The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Monday Music "Smugglers Blues" by Glen Frey

Dangit, forgot to set the date and time on the scheduler thingie, and with blogger, you can't have "do overs"   Oh well...

Blogging has been Sporadic, I have been dealing with migraine issues and now I am going off furlough so it will be strange going back to work at a post Kung-Flu Employer.
     I have been enjoying the run of songs, I never had a theme last this long, and I am  really enjoying it in a weird sort of way,   I have several more weeks in mind, perhaps longer.  As long as I can flog er work the muse, I will, and for some reason Disco really plays well with this theme of songs for some reason.
     I am continuing my string of "bugaloo" songs.  This discussion was started in the "Monster Hunter Nation, Hunters Unite", back in December? it is a Facebook group with enthusiast of the ILOH "International Lord of Hate" A.K.A Larry Correia.  We were talking about what song would we use if we looked out of our window or glanced at our security camera and saw this.....

One of the alphabet bois lining up to take down your house...What would be your "Valhalla" song and you would set it up to play as you load up magazines and prepare yourself.
 I figured it would scar the alphabet boys if they come busting in and hearing a song that is related to Fast cars and good music in the 1980's.  What can I say, My humor is warped....just a bit. Next week will be "Better be good to me  By Tina Turner,  Now that should really cause some psych evals., hehehe, some poor ATF guy trying to explain the attraction to his mother because of Don Johnson. and the possibility of italian sports coats and an alligator named Elvis:D

The video for "Smuggler's Blues" won Frey an MTV Video Music Award in 1985, and inspired an episode of Miami Vice, in which Frey guest-starred.
In the video, Frey plays a smuggler (his then-wife Janie plays the smuggler's female accomplice). The video is like a short movie, fitting the lyrics exactly and packs danger, suspense, and intrigue into a small segment of time.
It opens with Frey in a car with his friend and male accomplice, counting money. A drug deal is about to go down. Frey appears nervous, but his friend laughs off his concerns. As he goes in the building to complete the deal, Frey stays in the car. Suddenly, he hears a gunshot. His friend comes running out, shouting that they have to get out of there right away and that something has gone wrong. As Frey peels out, two men chase them, shooting. They strike and kill Frey's friend. Frey sees that his friend is dead and barely has time to react before he has to figure out a way to escape from the two men who are now chasing him down in a car.
Knowing he has to lose them somehow, Frey pulls the car over once he is out of their sights, grabs the suitcase full of money, then makes a run for it. He escapes by going to the roof as the pair chasing him run around looking for him on the ground. He makes it safely back to his hotel, but there is not much time before they catch up. As he is talking to his female accomplice in his hotel room, one of them shows up in the lobby. Oblivious, Frey is giving out instructions - "Here's a little money now, do it just the way we planned..." After she leaves, he takes a moment to grieve - "I'm sorry it went down like this, but someone had to lose" - before getting ready to go himself.
Frey hurries down to the hotel's elevator bank and presses the button to go down. In the lobby, the one pursuer has pressed the button to go up. He gets into the elevator, then the video cuts back to Frey, waiting, back to the pursuer in the elevator cocking his gun, Frey again as the elevator door opens...leading the viewer to expect a confrontation, but nothing. After Frey gets into the elevator and the doors close behind him, it is revealed that there is a second elevator, with its doors opening to reveal the pursuer who has missed Frey by seconds.
Frey escapes to a gas station restroom, where he shaves and changes from his Hawaiian shirt and casual wear into a business suit. He slicks back his full, wavy hair and puts on sunglasses. As he leaves, he throws away the clothes, looking like a different person. He gets on a plane back to Miami.
Meanwhile, his accomplice is going through customs seemingly without any problems. Unfortunately, after she drives back to her place, the police catch her and take her in. She apparently rats out Frey, because in the next scene, the cops come to his home and take him in for questioning as well.
The verse matches up perfectly, as it appears Frey really is answering questions - "They move it through Miami, sell it in LA..." The interrogation scenes of he and the girl are interwoven, and it is seen that time is passing as Frey goes from being in his suit and tie, to no suit jacket, no tie, and a partially unbuttoned shirt. Finally, he is barely able to sit up straight, his hair is a mess, and he appears exhausted. However, police do not have enough evidence to hold him after a search fails to turn up anything.
Now thinking he is home-free, Frey drives down the highway but gets pulled over by what appears to be a motorcycle cop. Frey reaches for his driver's license but when he turns to the "policeman" to show it to him, he is staring into the laughing face of the pursuer whose tail he thought he had shaken... and down the barrel of his gun. The scene then fades to a presumably dead Frey slumped over the side of the car, with the car radio blaring a news announcement stating "Here are the top news stories this hour. Dade County Police are investigating the mystery shooting of a Miami businessman. At the moment, there appears to be no motive for the slaying..." as the video ends.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

"The Heir to the Throne of the Kingdom of Idiots."

China has been on an ascendancy, they tested "W" right after he got sworn in after his contested election.  I think they were disappointed that he won, I think they wanted "Al" to win especially since Bill was very willing to sell our our precision duel use technology to them for a contribution to his election fund.  for those that doubt, I remember when our precision missile guidance technology happened to be "available" for sale*Wink Wink, Nudge Nudge* for satellite communications..  and there was a big donation to the Clinton Foundation,and some guy named "Lee" got rolled up in influence peddling and went to prison, but Bill got his money, and the Chinese got their technology.  I believe that Al Gore would have continued that fine democrat tradition of selling out the country for personal gain.  Well China believes that the 21st century is their century, from the movies they make for domestic consumption as well for international release, and their media policy.  They believe that this is their time to shine and they want the rest of the world to pay for generations of shame heaped on China for past misdeeds and the want the rest of the world prostrate before them.  The Chinese are communist of the first order, they don't believe in an afterlife, they have a mandarin outlook on life with communist and Mao thrown in.   Sorry for the incoherant rambling, this is what happens when I am having a migraine attack. I think I fixed it....Mostly
      I got this from SSG

At the end of the Clinton administration and the beginning of George W. Bush’s administration, it was possible to imagine that America was permanently ascendant.  The Cold War was over, the tech boom was going, and the worst stories in the news were of a slight increase in the number of shark attacks at the beach.  The Soviet Union had collapsed, China was just beginning to emerge from Communist-made poverty into the light of capitalism, and surely they would swing our way.  America had such a head start, though, who could catch up to it?
Sadly we know the answer.  After 9/11, the United States embarked upon a series of ruinous wars.  The wars did not have to be ruinous, but wars often are.  Rather than keeping our footprint in Afghanistan limited to small special operations groups to hunt Al Qaeda, we embarked on what is now a nearly twenty-year industrial-scale program to remake the country.  It has proven a vast sinkhole of American wealth, and cost the lives of many of our best youth.  The Iraq war could have been avoided, or at least it could have been won in 2010 with a status of forces agreement that would have kept us from having another decade of war against ISIS and Iranian proxies.  Yet then for some reason the Obama administration, which had run against the wars, decided to open new fronts in Libya, and then in Syria.
As a consequence of these multiple deployments, and the fact that the Afghan one required Russian support for our logistical route through the Central Asian republics, we were in no position to respond to Russia’s invasion of Georgia.  Nor Russia’s invasion of Crimea.  Nor Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As a wise man once said, only the heir to the throne of the kingdom of idiots fights a war on many fronts.  Even two fronts seriously burdens a nation’s capacity for winning its wars.  The United States made a series of costly blunders over the previous two administrations.
China appears to be about to embark upon a set of blunders of its own.  The Security Studies Group has warned that the Chinese state could be readily embroiled upon three fronts at the decision of the United States and without the United States having to fight any of the wars.  China appears to have elected to open a fourth front, and to have accelerated two of the others on its own.
The first three fronts were Taiwan, where China is conducting aggressive war games and protesting American and French weapon sales; the Uighur, where China is engaged in genocide against a large ethnic minority group that extends beyond its borders into Central Asia; and Hong Kong, in which China has ‘altered the deal’ by imposing decades-early direct control from Beijing.
The fourth front is the border with India.
Thousands of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops are reported to have moved into sensitive areas along the eastern Ladakh border…. In response, the Indian army has moved several battalions from an infantry division usually based in the Ladakh city of Leh to “operational alert areas” along the border, and reinforcement troops have been brought in.
From the American strategic perspective, this is good news.  Every additional front China entertains makes it less likely that it will accomplish its goals on any other front.  Taiwan can breathe a little easier as it watches Indian battalions digging into the Himalayas.  Hong Kong, nervously awaiting the crackdown, can hope for better fortunes if either of those other fronts becomes hot.  And should the Uighur find a large cache of arms, and perhaps some plausibly deniable trainers across the border in Afghanistan, not only will China be more likely to fail in its genocide but everywhere else as well.
This is in fact the strategy that ‘made America great’ in the first place.  In two successive world wars, America avoided fighting the conflict until near the end of the fight.  Instead it preserved and built out its industrial base by selling arms to its preferred victors.  Though propaganda from the era suggested that it was war material merchants who were pressing for America to enter these wars, in fact the opposite was true.  American war merchants of the era had every reason to let the conflicts drag, while they sold replacement ships and planes and tanks from an industrial base that faced no aerial bombardments.
If the Chinese Communist government insists on going down this road we should at least not stop them.  We should, at least, be making outreach efforts to their proposed enemies to see how we might support them.  One should never interfere with an enemy who is making a mistake.  If one can instead profit off their mistake, all the better.

Friday, May 29, 2020

what an adventure...

Came back from vacation and finished it in the Emergency room....What a deal...What a deal....LOL

We went to Alabama for our family vacation to meet my brother and his family, they rented a lake house house and we split the cost on Lake Martin and it was a nice lake but the lake was huge.  We had this grand plan to rent a pontoon boat for 24 hour and drive all over the lake and let the kids have a good old time,well the rain that Old NFO summoned from Texas hit Alabama and scotched that idea.  No biggie. we just hung around and enjoyed being around family. My son and his friend had brought various fishing poles and lures to match their wits against the local fish so they were stoked.  It was a good vacation...except on the last night, there was a trip to the Emergency room...Mine.  I am susceptable to migraines and they are vicious.  I take maintenance drugs to keep them at length.and if they fail, I have "Old Faithful"
Well "Old Faithful" didn't work so I took what is called "Breakthrough" medication and it didn't work so off the the ER I went. second time to the ER ever for me, first time was because of a car accident.  That was no fun, lemme tell you.  Heck of a way to round off my family vacation LOL.  Wife is planning another trip in July. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

New Post for Mack

This is on my scheduler thingie in case I am out of contact where there is no WiFi and this drops so my blog has something to fill in the spot so my little corner of the internet has something for the coffee drinkers to peruse while they energize for the day.

 This was back in 2015 when my son joined the Order of the Arrow

My blog buddy Mack is my friend both in blogspace and in Meatspace.  We both knew each other in the Scoutcamp world before we realized that we also knew each other from knowing Old NFO and commenting on his stuff on his blog.  Funny how that worked out.  Well anyway besides my razzing Mack on his love of tupperware guns and his adoration of 1911's, he is a really good friend to have and I count myself honored to be one of his friends.
Mack and Old NFO at the Original ChickFila in Hapeville back in 2017
We got together with him to swap lies and other stories while Jim was passing through to do his annual pilgrimage at the Masters in Augusta.  

      Well anyway Mack Always had this thing for the Rogue squadron from Star Wars and I saw this video on YouTube and I immediately thought of Mack and his thing for Rogue Squadron.

It is funny that the fans have done a better job with Star Wars than the Studio has, especially with the last couple of offerings were so ate up with PC nonsense it turned off a lot of fans in disgust.  I saw this and figured that Mack would enjoy this one.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Returning home

I and my son went to Tennessee to visit my Mom and Pops for a couple of days and while we were there I happen to go into a thrift store and walked around and picked up a few books...
I am looking forward to reading these books.  I also stopped at the Smokey mountain Knife works and picked up another knife for work.

I remembered a conversation that we had on Farcebook about Lawdog making a comment about Dolly Parton and how she much work she has done for the Appalachian community since the early 90's and I had commented that "She is the closest thing to a saint in that community.  By her personality and force of will and vision, she has built an empire that has done much for her community.
She has her own license plate in that area of Tennessee.  This one came off my Moms car.   And speaking of License plates. while we were driving from Tennessee to Georgia, a huge percentage of the cars I saw on the interstate were from "Blue States" that are under lockdown and they are driving down to the red states where we ain't locked down to actually do stuff.  Funny how that actually works out...

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Memorial Day weekend

This post is scheduled for Sunday morning on the Scheduler thingie.  I will not have a Monday Music like I normally do.  To me it would be inappropriate because it is Memorial Day.

    I'm going to explain "Memorial day" compared to the other holidays that involve the Military.

      Armed Forces Day honors those that are serving now.
      Veterans Day honors those of us that are no longer serving but still around to thank us for our    service.
   Memorial Day honors those of us that died in service to our country or those of us that have died since.
     To me Memorial day is a somber Holiday,  It gets worse the older I get because I attribute it to "survivors guilt".  We miss our comrades that will never grow old and one day we will join them.  Like I said, I attribute this to "survivors guilt" or basically why me and not them, why do I grow older and they don't.  What made me special that I lived and they didn't.  This goes through my mind and I just leave it to the guy upstairs because I figure that he still has plans for me.
     I do what is called "Honor Guard" missions with my employer, where we greet all remains coming off the airplane with a flag line and a prayer.  I am honored to do that. 
     I don't begrudge the people using the Memorial Day as an excuse for a vacation or the "Start of Summer".  At least they say the words "Memorial Day" in their conversations. 

There is a phrase I saw in the Movie "Gardens of Stone" that came out in 1987, and we in my unit started using it because it resonated with us. Here is  the trailer of the movie "Gardens of Stone".  I really like the movie partly it ties in with my Dads experiences because he was a member of the "Old Guard", although for him it was 1962-1964 for him.  He had told me that the things that the "Old Guard" did was accurately portrayed.

I hoist a glass of whatever beverage I drink on Memorial Day and say "Here's to us ...and those like us.....Damm few of us left."   I honor my friends that got killed during  the war and my friends that died after  the war from accidents, disease or suicide.

 I will have some post on Tuesday and later.  I will be out of town until Friday, and I will try to load the scheduler thingie if I don't have WiFi-acccess.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

I made a booboo

 This along with 2 older post are scheduled to drop on my scheduler thingie. since I am out of town in Tennessee visiting my mom and my pops.  

   This post is hard for me to write...

Several weeks ago I had gone to meet a good friend of mine at a city south of where I live, we met at a diner in the small city in the middle of the state.  I was there as was my wife and my son.  It was a good visit.  We were talking about many different subjects and he happen to mention that he bought a new pistol, a Sig and he had a new holster and pulled it out of his briefcase and showed it to me and I with out thinking about it pulled put my "Smif" holster and all and held it like this...and compared it to his holster, and it was a very nice holster made with some really exotic leather

                                                                   This is how I held the "smif"

then put it back on again.  Didn't think about it until we were leaving, and I happen to see one of the waitresses, she was terrified, All I could see were her eyes, she was wearing a hat and a mask, her eyes wide open and pinging back  and forth at me and everyone else.  I immediately felt like crap.  I had made a subconscious assumption that everyone is "people of the gun" because it was middle Georgia and everyone are "country people" and everyone else acted normal except her, and it did bother me immensely.   I try to be very considerate of other people because you don't get converts if you scare the crap out of people and I am called "Mr. Manners" by my wife, I can't help it, I try to be polite to people at all times unless they are dicks then the manners stop.  I was troubled by this and my wife picked up on it and I explained what happened and she responded that she didn't even notice and I replied "Well I did and I feel like crap because of it"   I am troubled because I scared the shit out of someone by my having a braincramp.  I berated myself for my momentary mental slipup and swore I wouldn't screw up again.  Perhaps I didn't do anything wrong, but in my mind I messed up and embarrassed "the people of the gun" by my poor manners.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Nine ways to become more Courageous

I shamelessly snagged this off "Art of Manliness"

Courage is a universally admired quality. It is has been celebrated in every culture in the world, in every age. It’s one of the four “tactical virtues” of masculinity. And it serves as not only the foundation of masculine excellence, but of every type of it, for as Winston Churchill observed: “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities . . . because it is the quality which guarantees all others.”
While we often think of courage in terms of physical bravery — risking life and limb to save a child from a burning building — we also call upon this quality in moral and social situations. We need courage to talk to new people, stand up for our beliefs, start a business, change careers, move to a new place, or voice dissent in a church, club, or business meeting. It’s a quality we use in any situation, big or small, in which exists even the tiniest bit of fear and risk, and these come up nearly every day.
Fortunate it is then, that courage isn’t something you’re just born with or not. It’s a quality that can be deliberately developed. As Robert Biswas-Diener puts it in The Courage Quotient, “courage is a habit, it is a practice, and it is a skill that can be learned.”
Today we’ll show you how. 

It’s often been said that courage isn’t the absence of fear, but the ability to feel fear, but act anyway.
Fear itself isn’t a bad thing. It sometimes warns you of legitimate threats and primes you physiologically to be ready and alert for whatever comes next. As Biswas-Diener puts it, “the very experience of fear itself is the tip-off moment, the signal that a possibility for action is opening up and so a choice needs to be made . . . fear is the first step towards courage. It can be the catapult that launches us forward into heroic actions, both large and small.” Fear awakens us to the fact that an opportunity has arrived.
Fear only becomes a problem when it isn’t proportional to the actual risk and/or it hinders you from doing something that is right or will be for your betterment.
While it’s true that courage isn’t the absence of fear, your ability to act in its presence is very much contingent on your ability to suppress and control this emotion. The lower and less paralyzing your fear is, the more able you’ll be to step through it to take action.
The skill of courage thus consists largely in developing your capacity to manage your fear.
Here are some time-tested and research-backed ways to do that:

1. Do reconnaissance to remove aspects of the unknown.

The less we know about something, the more we inflate our risk-assessment of it. Uncertainty breeds fear.
To reduce uncertainty, and thus diminish your nerves, do as much reconnaissance as you can into an event/situation you’ll be walking into. Gather as much information as possible. Do a dry run.
For example, if you’ve got a job interview coming up, drive over to where it will be held the day before, so you know how to get there, how long the drive will take, and where to park. Do some research on the company, and on the interviewer too, if possible. Figure out how current employees dress (watch them leave the office at the end of the day if needed), so you can gauge how to dress yourself.
Or if you’re nervous about a public speaking event you’ve got coming up, visit the classroom or auditorium in which you’ll give the speech beforehand. Stand on the stage to envision what it will be like to give your address.
Things are less scary, the more you know what to expect. 

2. Use relaxation techniques.

A little fear amps you up. Too much shuts you down. To reduce your fear to manageable levels and keep your physiological response in check, use various relaxation techniques. These can include tensing and relaxing all the parts of your body, “tactical breathing,” and meditation.

3. Get skilled.

You’ve likely heard of the “bystander effect”; the well-documented phenomenon in which people are less likely to render aid or address a wrongdoing when they’re in a crowd, than when they’re by themselves. Research has found that part of the reason for this effect, is that folks figure someone else will step in to help — someone who’s more qualified than they are to do so. People may want to help, but don’t know how. Conversely, and not so surprisingly, research also shows that bystanders who feel competent, are more likely to come to the aid of others.
Given the diversity of scenarios that involve risk and danger, it pays to develop a wide range of skills, from self-defense and first aid, to automative repair and the ability to speak a foreign language. The greater your degree of savoir-faire — the knowledge of what to do in any situation — the braver a man you’ll be.

4. Buddy up.

Though the power of being in a group context is usually thought of in a negative way — people using the anonymity of the crowd to hide or give in to their worst impulses — it also works the other way around too; the presence of friends and family can increase your willingness to act in positive directions.
Loved ones provide accountability; if you tell them you’re doing something, the dread of shame will spur you to keep your word.
The presence of family and friends can also impart a source of comfort and confidence that tamps down fear. This is true if they’re just present with you, and doubly so if they’re willing to participate alongside you. Much courage is gained in the “If you do it, I’ll do it too!” dynamic. There’s less to fear when you’re doing something together, with others who have your back.
Indeed, research shows that the more cohesive the members of a group — the better friends they are — the less likely they are to be inhibited by the bystander effect and the more likely they are to take positive action in a critical, dangerous situation. This is particularly true of an all-male group. Call it the “band of brothers” effect.

5. Carry a talisman.

You might think that the use of lucky charms or religious totems is irrational, but if they’re scientifically proven to give you more confidence, their use might be thought of as anything but. Research has indeed shown that good luck charms effectively improve performance in both mental and physical tasks. Turns out there’s something to athletes putting on lucky underwear or eating a ritualistic meal before games after all.
To harness the power of magical thinking, wear or carry a special “totem” in situations where you’re feeling nervous. This could be a piece of clothing or jewelry (like Grandpa’s old watch), a souvenir, memento, coin, or photo. Anything that has special meaning for you and makes you feel more calm and confident — anything you believe has even the smallest chance of providing protective powers, giving you good joo-joo, or simply putting some pep in your step. Even if you’re not much of a superstitious thinker, it may still provide an extra sense of comfort and resolve.

6. Think of yourself less.

The more you think about yourself, the more scared you get about acting. Egocentrism ratchets fear up and makes your performance go down. When you focus on how you’re doing and how you’re feeling, when you believe everyone is watching you, you get self-conscious, and when you get self-conscious, you get paralyzed and awkward.
The more you shift your focus outward, the more courageous you’ll feel.
Focus on other people’s feelings instead of your own. Rather than thinking about how you’re coming off to someone new you’re talking to, think about how she’s doing. Is she having a good time? What can you do to put her at ease?
In other situations, focus on a mission or purpose, a sense of service, instead of your own vulnerabilities. Subsume yourself in a cause greater than yourself.
Courage is at its strongest, when you’re courageous for something.

7. Lean into your role.

Related to the above point, an effective way to become less self-conscious is to think of the actions you need to take as growing out of the role you’re in, and what that role requires in terms of your responsibilities and obligations to others. This creates a more impersonal mode of operation that can liberate you to greater boldness.
The reaction of first responders, who run towards danger instead of away from it, is facilitated by the fact that they know that that’s their role. In such situations they become less Tom, Dick, or Harry, and more a firefighter, a police officer, a medic; their identity becomes less personal and more about the job they have to do.
A father who feels a little intimidated about standing up to his child’s principal, may feel more emboldened in remembering that he is the patriarch of his family, charged with protecting his children. A guy who often feels shy as a party guest, may actually come out of his shell more as a party host, who has a specific role, and clearly-delineated duties to tend to. A supervisor who believes his job is to look out for his subordinates, can feel empowered to stand up for them against an unfair edict handed down by the higher ups.

8. Exercise 20 seconds of insane courage.

In the movie, We Bought a Zoo, Matt Damon’s character tells his son, who’s struggling to share his feelings with a girl he likes, “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.”
Fear can seem overwhelming if you think you’re going to have to experience it for days or hours. But everyone can face their fear for just 20 seconds. Or even less. Oftentimes, you just have to take one simple action, knock down the first domino, and that sets the whole course of things in motion. The die is cast! You force your own hand; you burn the bridge behind you; you have no choice but to engage with what follows next.
All you need is a single moment of crazy courage to press send on a text apologizing to an old friend, or to dial a number to ask a contact about a job opportunity, or to confess your feelings to a long-standing crush.
And that can literally be all it takes to change the entire contour of your life.

9. Do something scary once a week.

Courage is well thought of as a muscle that needs regular training to be kept strong. You can’t expect never to exercise your bravery, and then somehow be able to call upon it in an emergency. It has to be kept “in shape” through small choices, for you to be able to employ it in the service of big ones.
You can keep your courage strong by challenging yourself to do one small thing each week that requires a bit of fear and risk — anything that makes you a little nervous. This could mean eating at a restaurant that intimidates you (like a very authentic Chinese place where you’re not familiar with the dishes and the employees don’t speak much English), talking to a stranger, negotiating the price of something (even your morning coffee), visiting a house of worship you’ve never been to before, inviting people over for dinner, etc.
See how many consecutive weeks of this “courage challenge” you can string together, and when a truly scary situation gets thrown at you down the road, you’ll find you have the ability to face it with a braver heart.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

still more projects...

This ties into the door project that was in the prior post.  This should have dropped, but for some reason I got the date off by one...*oops*, and I didn't catch it until I came home this afternoon to finally do my daily blogreading and coffee drinking. 
     I had decided to change the bathroom downstairs from the old color, it really didn't translate well and it just look *blah*.  Since I am furloughed,  the spousal unit picked out another color for me to use in the bathroom.  I proceeded to take things apart and cover things..
Started taping up.
More Taping.
Put a Tarp down to keep paint off the floor...What a pain, lemme tell you.
 I had moved the light and removed the exhaust fan and cleaned and painted it white.
More Paint.
Finished Bathroom, I also replaced the outlet covers,light switch cover repainted all the trim along the floor, reglued the wood on the cabinet, and replaced the cabinet hardware.  Faucet is next, I am not excited about squeezing my old round shape in that space to install it.*ouch*

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

One of my projects

I have been doing improvements to the house while I was on furlough, We have a pocket door on our ground floor bathroom and I was never happy with it. The hacks that installed it were very sloppy with the installation and for 22 years I just looked past it, until one day I finally decided to fix it.  Here are the before and after shots.
Bottom of Door
See the Gaps around the door and the Frame?
What it looked like recessed
See how battered the door casing looked?
So I proceeded to pull out the...
And started filling in the gaps, and also took the striker plate off and the latch assembly, and totally filled in the opening in the casing because when the hacks installed the door, they installed the striker off center and misinstalled the latch so you could never lock the pocket door.
I proceeded to use my tablesaw to measure out and cut new pieces of trim then start to fit them.
Looking up 
I continued laying trim. As you can tell, the bathroom wall has been painted, that is another blogpost;)
Continuing running Trim
The Trim installed.  I let it dry for a week before I sealed it then primed it and painted it,
Sealed and painted, I also had replaced the latch assembly with a new brushed aluminum latch after repairing the door from where the hacks had mis screwed and mis drilled the original latch 22+ years ago.  I also replaced the striker plate on the casing
The Casing has been repaired and painted and the door tracks much better. 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Monday Music "Theme From Miami Vice" By Jan Hammer

Blogging has been Sporadic because I have been more housebound doing house remodeling stuff.
, I had enough time to read my blogroll in the morning as I drank my coffee, before I started working on the house.  I am still on Furlough for another month, It is strange being home, I am not sure if I like it.  If this is what retirement is like, I may work until I die...Only time will tell.
     I have been enjoying the run of songs, I never had a theme last this long, and I am  really enjoying it in a weird sort of way,   I have several more weeks in mind, perhaps longer.  As long as I can flog er work the muse, I will, and for some reason Disco really plays well with this theme of songs for some reason.
     I am continuing my string of "bugaloo" songs.  This discussion was started in the "Monster Hunter Nation, Hunters Unite", back in December? it is a Facebook group with enthusiast of the ILOH "International Lord of Hate" A.K.A Larry Correia.  We were talking about what song would we use if we looked out of our window or glanced at our security camera and saw this.....

One of the alphabet bois lining up to take down your house...What would be your "Valhalla" song and you would set it up to play as you load up magazines and prepare yourself.
 I figured it would scar the alphabet boys if they come busting in and hearing a song that is related to Fast cars and good music in the 1980's.  What can I say, My humor is warped....just a bit. Next week will be "Smugglers Blues By Glen Frey",  Now that should really cause some psych evals., hehehe, some poor ATF guy trying to explain the attraction to his mother because of Don Johnson. and the possibility of italian sports coats and an alligator named Elvis:D

  "Miami Vice Theme" is a musical piece composed and performed by Jan Hammer as the theme to the television series Miami Vice. It was first presented as part of the television broadcast of the show in September 1984, was released as a single in 1985, and peaked at the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the last instrumental to top the Hot 100 until 2013, when "Harlem Shake" by Baauer reached number one. It also peaked at number five in the UK and number four in Canada. In 1986, it won Grammy Awards for "Best Instrumental Composition" and "Best Pop Instrumental Performance." This song, along with Glenn Frey's number two hit "You Belong to the City", put the Miami Vice soundtrack on the top of the US album chart for 11 weeks in 1985, making it the most successful TV soundtrack of all time until 2006, when Disney Channel's High School Musical beat its record.

The music video of the theme is a mini-episode of the TV series with Hammer as a fugitive on the run from James "Sonny" Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs. Throughout the majority of the video, Hammer performs the theme in front of a projector screen playing footage from the TV series – including scenes of the Vice duo chasing him. In the end of the video, he boards a helicopter and escapes from Crockett's sight. The video also shows shots of Fairlight CMI screens including the page R (sequencer) page and the waveform page

Saturday, May 16, 2020

A Time To Hate

This has been making the rounds on several blogs, I saw it on American Spectator, and it resonated with me, the Gentleman wrote exactly what I felt, When President Obama won, I wasn't happy, but I rolled with it and accepted it because that is what Americans do, we accept the results and if you candidate don't win, well, you have 4 years to pull a better one out.  And 4 years later, we tried again with Romney, and the 2012 election was his to lose, and when he allowed himself to get rolled in the 2nd debate by Candy Crowley and I knew it was over, he was too nice, the media was all in the tank for the messiah and it would take some one that was willing to get in the mud and fight back.  Cue in the 2016 election, and Donald Trump threw his hat in the ring, at first the media treated him as a joke as he started talking and finetuning his message to the middle class, the ones that have been forgotten by all the globalization, the ones that have seen all the jobs go overseas and they have to take jobs at walmart to make ends meet.  He tapped into that resentment and off to the races we went.  Donald Trump fought back against the media and the democrats, all the dirty tricks, all the slime, he was "Teflon Don", and nothing stuck, because he wouldn't let nothing stick.  And when he won against Felonia Von Pantsuit, the Designated successor for the Messiah's term, the Left exploded in Rage.  the 20 years of globalization that was so close was almost at hand, 2 more terms with Felonia in charge and the illegals permanently ensconced and given voting privileges, the GOP would never win another election and power would be with the Democrats for generations and the United States would have been permanently lessened among nations as was the plan and globalization utopia was at hand.

This was written by Dov Fischer, and I pulled it off the American Spectator.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to guard, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
— Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 3:1-8
Through eight years, I accepted the rules of the game. Obama was president. He won fair and square because the Republicans serially put up two milquetoast opponents who were incapable of offering a vision or articulating a message that inspired. John McCain had been an American wartime hero who stood by his men, refused early release, and withstood torture in the “Hanoi Hilton” 40 years earlier. But he had no business running for a presidency two generations later for which he was not prepared to fight and for which he had no vision. And then came Mitt Romney, his etch-a-sketch candidacy, his binders full of women, and his Romneycare, which served as the model for the Obamacare and which was the single most galvanizing issue in 2012 for Republican conservatives. In order to throw out Obamacare, the Republican Party offered us conservatives … what, Romneycare? Tough for us conservatives to sing in that tabernacle choir.
I accepted Obama. I never articulated his first name, and I never called him “president,” but I accepted the results and accepted that this Pretender was our country’s lawfully elected chief executive. I watched his arrogance, the unctuous way he carried himself literally with his nose up, the way he never held a railing while walking a stairway because he was too cool, the kinds of human dreck he regularly invited as his White House guests, and I accepted it all with the soft whisper, “This, too, shall pass.” I watched the Corrupt Journalist Corps idolize him, crown him a king, admire him as a messiah and a deity, and I accepted the milieu. This, too, in time would pass. It meant living through eight years of the deepest public corruption. Lois Lerner stealing an election by leveraging the awesome power of the Internal Revenue Service to close down legitimate conservative political groups. Eric Holder — the nobleman who urged people to kick enemies — bringing lawlessness and corruption into the Justice Department, even approving the “Fast and Furious” idea of releasing lethal weapons to Mexican drug lords in the cockamamie scheme to find out how they access and move their weapons. Glenn Beck exposed Obama’s Maoist communications director, Anita Dunn, who walked children through the White House. There was ACORN. Just one corruption after another.
I hate that Donald Trump never was given a chance to be President of the United States for even one day’s honeymoon.
Amid my speeches and writings throughout the Wasted Obama Decade, I never published a piece aimed at bringing down Obama before his term was up. He won. Although he is despicable beyond words, the rules of our game, as set forth in our precious Constitution, made him our president. That meant Americans would die needlessly because we had a commander in chief who was a Pretender and an Incompetent. But he won fair and square. So ISIS grew from a small terror band to a caliphate. ISIS-inspired terror attacks occurred in our homeland. Western Europe sustained terrible deadly attacks. Our American economy went nowhere. We micturated half a billion dollars down a toilet with Solyndra while trying to close down our energy sector, attacking the genius of our hydraulic fracturing, obstructing our oil exploration, blocking the construction of new pipelines that offered even more oil and more thousands of jobs. Instead, we got shovel-ready jobs that were not ready but rather were chummy payoffs to union heads and other political insiders. We got windmills suitable for blowhards. We got Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State and Benghazi as testimonial to her vision. We got Susan Rice, an idiot, raised paradoxically to head of national security after spending a day lying on five television stations about Benghazi and later going on to describe Bowe Bergdahl, a coward and deserter, as a hero who had served with honor and distinction. We got Loretta Lynch, who some thought would clean up Holder’s corruption of Justice, only to find that she ended up in bed with the Clintons at the height of the probe of Hillary’s corruption. We saw the world’s worst murderers freed from Gitmo so that they could rejoin the war against America.
And yet I accepted it all. Because if there are only two main parties in this country, and if the Republican RINOs refuse repeatedly to nominate a bona fide conservative who truly reflects the will of the rank-and-file voters whose ballots send them to Washington, then we are left with a Pretender like Obama, and he won fair and square.
The waters did not stop rising on Obama’s watch. The Earth was not healed. On his watch, a country that finally had healed itself from the shame and scourge of imposing slavery on human beings more than a century earlier, a country that had atoned and that had created and institutionalized a new social infrastructure by which people no longer were denied because of their skin color or religion — a country that reflected that healing by electing a Black man president despite his manifest lack of personal achievement, close ties with an organized-crime felon, and questionable biography — suddenly erupted into a new era of racial bitterness. Michael Brown and Ferguson aflame amid the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” lie promoted by Obama and by Eric Holder but shot down by a Missouri grand jury. Freddie Gray and Baltimore aflame followed by a series of outright judicial exonerations handed down by a Black judge who saw that every accused cop had acted properly and lawfully. A lowlife killed by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, a thug whom Obama told us would have been the likes of his own son if he had had a son. Eight years of racial divide, social division aimed at tearing us up as a color-blind and religion-blind American People, just to promote electoral successes.
And yet I accepted that Obama had won. No derangement syndrome for me. It was what it was. As a New York Mets fan from their founding in 1962, I understood what it was to wait patiently and to endure eight years of unmitigated disaster. As a boy, I waited then, and then came Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Nolan Ryan. As an adult I waited. And then came Donald Trump and Mike Pence.
When the Mets finally took it all in 1969, the other teams accepted the results. They lost gracefully. Now it was the Mets’ turn, and they had won it fair and square. But these past three years have been something different. Trump and Pence won fair and square. But there was no grace. Rather, there was instant character assassination, instant war, instant denial. Advertisements urging electors to violate their Electoral College oaths. Fabrications of collusion with Putin. Investigations that hamstrung a presidency. Lies and innuendoes leaked and published by the unindicted co-conspirators we call the “mainstream media.” A never-ending hunt to find scandals and Trump accusers: a bimbo who pole-danced at bars, her lawyer who now dances behind bars, another crooked lawyer who tape-recorded his own clients and now is locked up, disbarred from the Bar. One cartoon character after another.
As a rabbi of 40 years and a person who believes that most people have the potential for goodness, and who tries to find the good even in people who disappoint until they absolutely close off the possibility of goodness being discovered within them, I now have learned to hate.
The Bible certainly does not encourage hate. “Do not hate your brother in your heart. [If he does wrong, go ahead and] Rebuke your compatriot, but do not sin because of him” (Leviticus 19:17). “Do not seek revenge, and do not bear a grudge against the children of your people. And you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). But the Bible acknowledges the existence of viciousness and cruelty, and it demands of decent people that we not sit on the fence in the face of evil: “Those who love G-d hate evil” (Psalm 97:10). King Solomon laid it out best in that magnificently poetic third chapter of Ecclesiastes, which inspired not only The Byrds but even Pete Seeger and Judy Collins.
Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue. There is a time to hate.
I have come deeply to hate. I hate that Donald Trump never was given a chance to be president of the United States for even one day’s honeymoon. I hate that, long before he won the presidency — fair and square — corrupt crooks and criminals in the United States Department of Justice, its Federal Bureau of Investigation, were actively plotting to take him down. I hate that there are so few outlets in the media that give voice to condemn the criminality and corruption that broke every accepted societal norm by which we play the game. I hate that Obama was in on it, yet continues to pontificate on what is just and on what threatens freedom.
I hate that they all keep getting away with it. Every single one of them gets away with it. There is absolutely no price to be paid on the left for perjury, for conspiracy to overturn a legitimate election, for treason.
Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn may or may not be a great American hero. Yes, he has the medals and the military career for which we all say, “Thank you for your service.” But so did John McCain, and so does that Vindman guy. OK, so thank you for your service. Absolutely. But Michael Flynn, whether a hero or simply, merely just a lifelong patriot who has devoted his entire adult life to the protection and betterment of the United States, wanted to serve his country. So he served honorably in the military under Obama as commander in chief. He accepted the chain of command. And then, after his active military service, he stepped forward to participate politically under Trump.
Lt. Gen. Flynn never deserved what was done to him. He was targeted for destruction by criminals and crooks in the FBI. They set out to destroy him. The FBI is not allowed to bother law-abiding people like you and me, to set us up, and to induce us to commit a crime. They are permitted to pursue criminal investigations only when they have a predicate before them. In the case of Flynn, they had in their possession a complete recording and transcript of his phone call with Sergey Kislyak. Yet they interviewed him and asked him to tell them what was said during the call. The Bureau of Investigation was not investigating; they already knew the answer. Rather, they were setting him up to speak a falsehood, to commit the crime of lying to the FBI, an act whose criminal dimensions he did not appreciate as a layman. They dissuaded him from having an attorney at the interview so he would slip into the trap. A competent attorney would have protected him. Frankly, a competent attorney would have killed the interview in the first place or would have wrangled terms that would have negated its purpose, much as Hillary did.
For each question, even if such an interview ever would have happened, an attorney like me would have been saying, alternating between my client and his interrogator: “Lieutenant General, you do not have to answer that question. Go ahead, what’s the next question?” Or “Lieutenant General, please wait a moment. What is the purpose of this question? What exactly are you asking?” Or “My client, the Lieutenant General, is delighted he could give you eight minutes of his valuable time today. If you want to ask him any more questions along these lines, send us a subpoena. We will study it and let you know our thoughts.”
They took advantage of a good man who suddenly found himself combating in a different kind of military theater outside his field of expertise. He knew the jungles of Afghanistan, not the jungles of the Justice Department in Washington. The slime dregs of Justice, the Peter Strzoks and Andrew McCabes of the FBI, knew this. They had the lieutenant general on their terrain. He never should have been questioned about the call. He never should have been sucked into an interview without an attorney present. He never should have been lulled into what he said to the FBI.
Donald Trump has been the chief executive of this country for more than three years, and he has proven to be a great president in so many ways, but he sadly has proven incapable of cleaning the swamp. He at least identified the swamp’s existence, and he is fighting its effort to swallow him within its muck. But he has proven that, despite the glorious slogan he inspired, he cannot drain it. Not one single slime in the swamp has been brought to justice.
There is something so evil in a society that tolerates a dual standard of justice, dual standards of everything. On the one hand, we political conservatives harbor profoundly deep feelings, but we do not destroy people’s lives based on abstract politics. Yes, we oppose them and expose them, and we hope that contemporary society and history judge them for the evil they represent. But we do not destroy them in their lives. They get away with everything. Hillary Clinton spoliated 33,000 emails amid a federal probe, a federal crime that always ends up with prison time — but not for her. It is a federal crime to lie under oath to Congress. Comey, Clapper, Brennan — how have they all avoided prison time? Strzok, Page, the whole bunch of them? Adam Schiff. The outliers on the Mueller team. Not one single slime among them in the swamp has been brought to justice.
These animals destroyed the life of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. They drove him into such financial ruin that he had to sell his home to pay his legal bills. They went after a good boy, Nick Sandmann, and they cruelly made him into the face of racism. His own Catholic diocese in eastern Kentucky sold him out and sold out all the boys who stood with him that fateful day in Washington, D.C., when he was harassed by a messed-up Indian with a drum. And they did everything they could to destroy Brett Kavanaugh, a good man, a family man, a man who has devoted time throughout his life to his church and to the need. They endeavored through outright perjury to destroy him. The perjurers all got away with it. Name one single perjurer against Justice Kavanaugh who ever was brought to justice by Charles Grassley or Lindsey Graham of the Senate Judicial Committee.
The liars destroy with impunity because they know they always will get away with it. Republicans watch the character assassination and then go on Sean Hannity to sound brave for five minutes. “These people will pay a steep price, Sean.” “I won’t let them get away with it, Sean.” “Let not your heart be troubled, Sean.” “We will investigate every crime and every perjury, Sean.” Three years of hearing this from Paul Ryan, Reince Priebus, Trey Gowdy, Charles Grassley, Lindsey Graham, Rudy Giuliani, Jason Chaffetz, Kevin McCarthy. Well, Fox News Alert: They all got away with it. Comey. Brennan. Clapper. Blasey Ford. Schiff. Hillary. Strzok. Page. McCabe.
If the Left truly believed in the truth of the slogans they chanted in their failed effort to destroy Justice Kavanaugh, does anyone truly believe that Biden still would be standing today? Does anyone truly believe that Sonia Sotomayor could not have been completely destroyed at the time of her SCOTUS nomination if she were conservative? If the media were not a division of the Democrat Party, does anyone doubt that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo today would have been forced from office like his immediate predecessors, Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson, if only for presiding over so extraordinary a health catastrophe that his one state accounts for half the coronavirus illnesses and deaths in the whole country? Cuomo ordered nursing homes in his state to admit coronavirus-infected seniors into facilities that were woefully unprepared to handle the medical ramifications, and that order singularly caused mass death. And yet the same media that seek any and every angle to blame Trump for not wearing a mask lionize Cuomo, who not only should wear a mask but also should change his fingerprints, undergo plastic surgery to reconfigure his appearance, and hide for dear life in some El Chapo cave from the children and grandchildren left behind by the more than 5,000 defenseless seniors whom he has martyred so far on the altar of Democrat liberalism.
There is a time to love and a time to hate. This is a time to hate.

Friday, May 15, 2020

FBI Miscues?

I ran across this list on Quora A writer named "Terry Terhune: had written it and it was brilliant.  I also remember how the F.B.I handled the Richard Jewell and the Centennial bombing in the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996 and they crucified him with "accidental leaks" to a friendly local AJC reporter and the resulting feeding frenzy as they tried to set this poor guy up as the bomber when he was the hero to begin with was beyond the pale.  The FBI has done a lot of good stuff, the "G" men were legendary, but I wonder of the luster is worn a bit.  I don't want to bash them, because you need a federal agency that can cross state lines to go after bad guys who cross state lines to get away from State agencies.  I am not sure what it will take.    The Following is the quote I pulled of Quora:

It won’t affect the FBI directly as a Federal Law Enforcement Agency, however, it will in how the FISA Court has recently said that they now can’t trust the Bureau and wants to examine all prior FISA applications to see if they were intentionally duped like they were in the Carter Page FISA application. It will affect the general public perception that the FBI can’t be trusted.
The FBI’s current director, Christopher Wray, recently said his first priority is to “try to bring a sense of calm and stability back to the bureau.” However, the FBI is facing one of the greatest tests of its 110 years. It must fix a culture of internal problems, rebuild its trustworthiness with the law enforcement community. Worst yet, this comes at the same time many Americans are asking themselves: Can the American trust the FBI after the McCabe findings have shaken the FBI. The FBI has massive power, and as a result, it has strict rules. Lying to FBI investigators is considered a dire breach in an organization built on trust. The referral to the U.S. Attorney’s office, which emerged after the report was released will probably result in charges against McCabe of making a false sworn statement. He has challenged the findings, disputing even the most basic elements, like how many people were in the room. The IG said it did not find many of his objections credible, with some elements contradicted by notes taken contemporaneously by other agents. McCabe previously called his firing part of a “war on the FBI” and the Russia investigation. However, viewed against the facts of Horowitz reports, McCabe’s rule-breaking is part of a much larger internal problem. Horowitz found that bureau investigators had allowed employees with negative polygraph results to keep their top-secret clearances for months or even years, posing “potential risks to U.S. national security.” In one instance, an FBI IT specialist with top-secret security clearance failed four polygraph tests and admitted to having created a fictitious Facebook account to communicate with a foreign national, but received no disciplinary action for that. Horowitz found that the FBI was getting information it shouldn’t have had access to when it used controversial parts of the Patriot Act to obtain business records in terrorism and counterintelligence cases.
Just as troubling are recent FBI missteps not yet under the IG’s microscope. At 2:31 p.m. on Jan. 5, the FBI’s round-the-clock tip center in West Virginia received a chilling phone call. The caller gave her name and said she was close to the family of an 18-year-old in Parkland, Fla., named Nikolas Cruz. Over 13 minutes, she said Cruz had posted photos of rifles he owned and animals he mutilated and that he wanted “to kill people.” She listed his Instagram accounts and suggested the FBI check for itself, saying she was worried about the thought of his “getting into a school and just shooting the place up,” according to a transcript of the call. The FBI specialist checked Cruz’s name against a database and found that another tipster had reported 3½ months earlier that a “Nikolas Cruz” posted a comment on his YouTube channel saying, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” But neither tip was passed on to the FBI field agents in Miami or local officials in Parkland. After Cruz allegedly killed 17 people with an AR-15 rifle at his old school just six weeks later, the bureau admitted that it had dropped the ball and ordered a full review. “You look at this and say, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,'” says Anderson, the former FBI official.
The Parkland shooting was only the latest in a string of devastating misses. After Omar Mateen shot and killed 49 people at the nightclub Pulse in Orlando in June 2016, the FBI said it had investigated him twice before on terrorism suspicions, but shut the inquiries for lack of evidence. The year before, after Dylann Roof shot to death nine African-American parishioners at a South Carolina church, the FBI acknowledged that lapses in its gun background-check system allowed him to illegally buy the .45-caliber handgun he used in the massacre. In 2011, the FBI received a tip from Russian intelligence that one of the Boston Marathon bombers had become radicalized and was planning an overseas trip to join radical Islamic groups. The FBI in Boston investigated him but found no “nexus” to terrorism.
The Orlando shooting provoked more problems for the bureau. In late March, when the shooter’s widow, Noor Salman, was acquitted on charges of aiding and abetting him and obstructing justice. The jury foreman pointed to inconsistencies in the FBI’s accounts of the disputed admissions that agents said Salman had made, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The judge also reprimanded the bureau after an FBI agent contradicted the government’s earlier claims that Salman and Mateen had cased the club.
The serious concerns about FBI testimony in a major terrorist prosecution underscore a larger question: Are people less likely to believe what the bureau says these days? A federal judge threw out all the criminal charges against renegade Nevada cattleman Cliven Bundy, his two sons and a supporter who had been in an armed standoff over unpaid grazing fees. Judge Gloria Navarro accused the government of “outrageous” and “flagrant” misconduct, citing failures by both prosecutors and the FBI to produce at least 1,000 pages of required documents. The judge said the FBI misplaced–or “perhaps hid”–a thumb drive revealing the existence of snipers and a surveillance camera at the site of the standoff.
A related case in Oregon, growing out of the 2016 takeover of a wildlife refuge by Bundy’s sons and their followers, has not gone well for the FBI either. An agent at the scene, W. Joseph Astarita, is now charged with five criminal counts after prosecutors say he falsely denied shooting twice at an occupation leader who was fatally shot by police, who said he appeared to be reaching for his handgun during a roadside encounter. The Bundy sons and five supporters who helped in the takeover were found not guilty of conspiracy and weapons charges, in another jarring setback for the government.
The on-going string of not guilty verdicts as a sign that jurors and judges are less inclined to take what the FBI says in court at face value. The evidence support that conclusion. The court statistics shows a surprisingly low rate of success for the thousands of cases the FBI investigates and sends to the Justice Department for possible prosecution. The Justice Department has won convictions in fewer than half the cases the FBI referred for prosecution, with a conviction rate of 47% the data showed. That fell well below the average of 72% for all other government agencies. Prosecutors themselves have rejected many of the FBI’s referrals before they ever got to court. The bureau’s low success rate in these cases has remained largely unchanged in recent years.
In a national case, Gina Nichols, says she never had strong impressions one way or the other about the FBI until her daughter Maggie Nichols, who was a member of the national gymnastics team, reported three years prior that team physician Larry Nassar had molested her. Gina waited anxiously for the FBI to contact her and interview Maggie. But no one in the FBI did so for over a year as the case languished among different FBI field offices in Indianapolis, Detroit and Los Angeles. Nassar is believed to have molested dozens of additional victims over the course of that same time frame.
The FBI had opened an internal inquiry to determine why the Nassar investigations appear to have dragged on for so long. John Manly, a Southern California lawyer representing many of the female victims, says he is angry that no one from the FBI has contacted the victims to explain the delay. “Knowing that the best law-enforcement agency in the world knew exactly what he was up to and did nothing can’t be explain that to them,” Manly says. “You’ve got people who were really hurt here and the FBI took their time until the heat was on them.”
Then there is Mueller’s Russia probe has found that Moscow’s operation against the 2016 election first got under way in 2014, but the FBI failed to grasp the scope and danger of what was unfolding. The bureau missed the significance of the damaging 2015 hack of the DNC database. Then when the Russian operation began to heat up in the summer of 2016, the FBI was always a step behind the Russians, struggling to understand intelligence reports they were getting about possible connections between Moscow and Trump aides. The bureau also sat on the disputed “dossier” prepared by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Then now we find out that the FBI knew Carter Page was a CIA agent and intentionality left the exculpatory evidence out of the FISA application thereby duping a FISA Judge. The FBI then sought three additional renewals of the highly classified FISA warrant. To make matters worse, Carter Page was never charged or indicted because he was actually telling the truth that he was spying on the Russians for the CIA and not colluding with them to help Trump won the 2016, election.
A report released by the House Intelligence Committee found that the FBI was slow to confront the election meddling, especially in its failure to notify U.S. victims of Russian hacking quickly enough. The committee also charged that the bureau’s decision to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was influenced by politics and biased FBI agents. At the same time, the IG has pointed to text messages between FBI special agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, which were critical of Trump as well as many Democrats to argue the bureau is fundamentally rotten to the core and needs a complete overhaul to fix their serious internal cultural problems.
The most important thing is how can the FBI be fixed when they don’t even follow their own internal regulations they teach new agents at Quantico as noted in their Bible called the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide “DIOG. In the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email probe ahead of the 2016 election, Comey acted without telling the Justice Department what he planned to do. He then stripped the case from a field office and kept it in the headquarters and had the same agents working on it and all other high profile cases and the Russian collusion probe at the same time. Comey is the main culprit who came under fire in the IG report for breaking with Justice Department rules and norms by assuming authority usually held by prosecutors and speaking in public about a case that did not produce criminal charges. What was disclosed is Comey allowed the Bureau to be weaponized by the Obama Administration.
At FBI headquarters, agents and supervisors are currently saying that they are keeping their heads down and focusing on their jobs and investigations while the building is crumbling around them and the criticism of the Bureau is blowing the shingles off the roof.
Trump’s attacks on the FBI was proven to be true after the IG released his reports. Some worry that the damage to the FBI may take years to fix. Trump’s public attacks on the Bureau is having an effect on the public’s confidence in the FBI. The serious problems of the FBI and their sad state of affairs is on a severe lack of leadership and transparency at headquarters in owning up to recent blunders and gross misconduct. Those damaging failures have just about pushed an incredible organization over the brink. For now, everyone inside and out who cares about the reliability of law enforcement in America is left hoping that the Bureau can rebuild itself as a premier law enforcement agency.