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etc. - a little of this, a little of that - by Oliver Del Signore

Archive for March, 2011


Another “birther” twist

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

It has been my contention from the beginning that the only reason for any politician not to release his or her birth certificate, student transcripts, etc., is because they contain information that will hurt them politically.

In the case of Our Dear Leader’s refusal to release the documents, the only assumption possible is that the “birthers” are correct.

Here’s a recent story out of Colorado that adds a new twist:

Springs man’s claim to have Obama records starts buzz

A Colorado Springs “birther,” retired Air Force Col. Gregory Hollister, has Internet blogs abuzz with what may be an illegal foray into an online Social Security data base and how he obtained a copy of President Barack Obama’s draft registration from 1980.

“Col. Greg Hollister, USAF (Ret.) contacted the Selective Service, falsely impersonated President Obama, improperly registered his own address as President Obama’s address, and by this false impersonation and identity theft he managed to obtain a duplicate registration acknowledgement card with President Obama’s Selective Service information on it,” a blogger posted on last week. “This may violate several federal criminal statutes, and apparently caused the federal record of President Obama’s address with the Selective Service to be altered to show that he lives in Colorado Springs, CO.”

Hollister said Tuesday a private investigator, Susan Daniels of Ohio, gave him what is purported to be the president’s Social Security number. He then accessed the Social Security Number Verification Service to find out to whom it was issued and to access Selective Service documents.

The site allows registered users to verify names and Social Security numbers for employment purposes and warns that using it under false pretenses is a violation of federal law.

“According to the Social Security Administration, that number was never issued,” said Hollister, who challenged whether the president is an American citizen in a lawsuit the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear Jan. 18 without requiring a response from the White House. However, that’s the Social Security number that appears on the Selective Service documents Hollister obtained.

Read the rest of the story here.

Given his steadfast stonewalling, I’m more inclined than not to think he may, indeed, not be a natural born citizen, though whether he’s a product of Kenya or Manchuria is still up for grabs.


Clearing the pile

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

When I come across articles in the newspaper about which I want to comment, I usually jot some notes on the page and add it to the pile on my desk. As the pile is getting tall, I thought I’d pull some and share the comments.

March 22: Fed to release loan data after appeal tossed — Some news organizations wanted details of Federal Reserve loads to troubled banks. The Fed wanted to keep it secret, arguing if the word got out a  bank was in trouble, it could cause a run on the bank and hurt loans and the economy. “The Fed acts as a lender of last resort for banks that cannot get money from private sources.”

My note: If a bank’s so mismanaged or unlucky it can’t attract deposits or investors, why are we bailing out the people who are responsible for the problem? So they can keep their cushy jobs?


March 24: Tax group blasts referendum bill — Here in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, we have an initiative petition process that lets the serfs, I mean, citizens, place binding questions on the ballot that can make or repeal laws. Lawmakers here hate it for obvious reasons, which is why one of them apparently filed legislation that would more than double the number of signatures needed to get a question on the ballot. When a taxpayer watchdog group caught them, it became news, so the local Democratic mouthpiece, the Boston Globe, had to report it lest they be further accused of collusion with the left.

My Note: Nice of you guys to bury this in four graphs on page B4 where most people will overlook it. This should be a page 1 story, top of the fold, so folks can call their Reps and Senators. Why do I keep spending money for this rag? Right – the comics.


March 20: The baby and breast brouhaha — The column’s about a New York business called  Upper Breast Side, “a local mecca for breastfeeding clinics and advice, as well as nursing paraphernalia and fancy bras. And its condo association wants it to go away.”

My Note: This is a bit outside my purview, but half  the readers  might find it interesting.

Added today: Would someone please explain to me why so many people have such a big problem with a woman feeding her child in public? They’re breasts. It’s not like everyone doesn’t know what they look like and what they’re for. And 99% of the time, when a woman is nursing outside her home, she has the boob and the baby covered with a blanket or towel. So what’s the problem? What are we, children?


March 17: Wal-Mart bias case could re-define class actions — What it says. Lawyers want to set a precedent that will let them generate ever higher fees for themselves.

My Note: I’m so tired of Wal-Mart bashing. If you don’t like what they sell, or how they buy what they sell, don’t shop there. If you work there and don’t like the way you’re treated, stop whining and get another job.


February 28: N.H. jurors face choice on insanity defense — The article’s about the sociopaths who broke into a secluded home in New Hampshire and hacked and stabbed a woman to death, then tried the same on her daughter, for the thrill of it. The machete-wielding leader tried pleading insanity.

My Note: Sure he’s insane. So what? There  are many insane people but they do not hack sleeping women to death. Innocent by reason of insanity should not exist. Guilty but insane I could live with. Then lock him up in a small cage for the rest of his life.


That’s it. The pile is smaller. Anyone have any thoughts on any of those stories?


Coming soon: Cloud Girlfriends

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Okay, so let’s say you’re a geek, a nerd, a dweeb, a guy with seven cats, or just a regular-variety dude with few social skills and little chance of ever getting lucky before you turn thirty unless a professional is involved.

You love girls. You’ve always loved girls, ever since that first tingle so many years ago signaled a change you didn’t quite understand yet. You love the way they look, and talk, and smell, and walk, and laugh, and toss their hair when they’re flirting with some guy who isn’t you.

Walking through the mall with your friends, their voices fade as, a mere ten feet away, feminine hips rivet your eyes. The gentle sway mesmerizes. Fantasies arise, unbidden, of their owner walking next to you, hand-in-hand, laughing at your wit as her loving, lustful eyes promise a night of animal passion that will make rock stars jealous. Then your best friend punches you in the arm, wanting to know if you’re sleepwalking or what.  He follows your gaze and starts raggin’ on you about what he imagines you want to do to the owner of those hypnotic hips. And, of course, you deny it, questioning his intelligence, lineage, and manhood, if necessary, to keep his taunts from getting any louder.

And later, when you’re home, alone in your room, after you’ve checked your Facebook page to see if any of your “friends” – especially those of the female persuasion – have posted anything interesting, you crawl into bed, the fantasy returns, and she’s next to you, under the covers, soft and warm and ready and oh-so-willing and then your idiot roommate pounds on your door and wants to know if he can have a couple of your beers and you want to hit him with a bat as the fantasy fades again. How different life would be, you think – you know –  if only you could find a real girlfriend.

Well, guy, despair no more. Help might be on the way. Soon, you might be able to rent your very own Cloud Girlfriend!

What’s a cloud girlfriend?

Well…everyone knows that the one thing, besides great looks and money and personality, that makes a guy attractive to a a girl is if he already has a girlfriend. After all, if she likes him, he must have something going for him, or so the reasoning goes. Apparently, your social-network girlfriend will be a real female who pretends to be your girlfriend on Facebook and Twitter and the like.

The basic info on the soon-to-be-launched website says there are four steps to acquiring a cloud girlfriend:

Step 1: Define your perfect girlfriend.

Step 2: We bring her into existence.

Step 3: Connect and interact with her publicly on your favorite social network

Step 4: Enjoy a public long distance relationship with your perfect girl.

Though they don’t say so, Step 5 must surely be that, once all those female Facebook friends see you interacting with your new girlfriend, you’ll quickly become more attractive to them. They’ll start flirting and texting and who knows what else? And soon you’ll have a real, live, girlfriend you can actually see and touch. At least that’s the theory…or the fantasy.

And it seems to me there’s probably going to be a Step 1.5 involving money, as in recurring charges to keep your virtual girlfriend from breaking up with you until the time is right.

Personally, I think the whole thing’s a joke to see how many guys will actually give up their email address.

Or it could be on the level and Cloud Girlfriends could be the next big thing, the link between porn and, err…companionship for lots of lonely guys.

And if it is real, and proves to be a money-maker, will Cloud Boyfriends be far behind?

What’s your take on all this?


Speaking of fantasies, check out this video of a young lady presenting her idea for a new business.

Is it real? A spoof? Who knows? It’s brought to you by the same folks who are creating Cloud Girlfriends. But it was pretty funny to watch and the idea isn’t any crazier than Pet Rocks, reality television, or spending our way our of debt.



This week’s winner…

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

…in the Comment Contest is Becky Holm.

Congratulations, Becky!!


Coming soon to your town?, A superb column, and A study in contrast

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Four days ago, British Muslims took to the streets for a little parade to let folks around the world know what they thought of America, Britain, and France getting involved in Libya.

Note the signs and the sentiments. The last minute or so is an interview with one of the marchers.


Superb column by Mark Steyn. Here are a couple of highlights, but the whole thing is really worth reading.

It is tempting and certainly very easy to point out that Obama’s war (or Obama’s “kinetic military action,” or “time-limited, scope-limited military action,” or whatever the latest ever more preposterous evasion is) is at odds with everything candidate Obama said about U.S. military action before his election. And certainly every attempt the president makes to explain his Libyan adventure is either cringe-makingly stupid (“I’m accustomed to this contradiction of being both a commander-in-chief but also somebody who aspires to peace”) or alarmingly revealing of a very peculiar worldview…

– – –

…suppose Qaddafi winds up hanging from a lamppost in his favorite party dress. If you’re a Third World dictator, what lessons would you draw? Qaddafi was the thug who came in from the cold, the one who (in the wake of Saddam’s fall) renounced his nuclear program and was supposedly rehabilitated in the chancelleries of the West. He was “a strong partner in the war on terrorism,” according to U.S. diplomats. And what did Washington do? They overthrew him anyway.

The blood-soaked butcher next door in Sudan is the first head of state to be charged by the International Criminal Court with genocide, but nobody’s planning on toppling him. Iran’s going nuclear with impunity, but Obama sends fraternal greetings to the “Supreme Leader” of the “Islamic Republic.” North Korea is more or less openly trading as the one-stop bargain-basement for all your nuke needs, and we’re standing idly by. But the one cooperative dictator’s getting million-dollar-a-pop cruise missiles lobbed in his tent all night long. If you were the average Third World loon, which role model makes most sense? Colonel Cooperative in Tripoli? Or Ayatollah Death-to-the-Great-Satan in Tehran? America is teaching the lesson that the best way to avoid the attentions of whimsical “liberal interventionists” is to get yourself an easily affordable nuclear program from Pyongyang or anywhere else as soon as possible.


And finally, a study in contrast:

President Harry Truman

Our Dear Leader


The “separation of church and state” fallacy

Monday, March 28th, 2011

The men who wrote the Bill of Rights were very concerned about religious freedom; so much so they chose to address it first:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…

Those words have been quoted uncounted times as justification for prohibiting in public buildings or on public grounds or events like school  graduation ceremonies anything that even hints at to God or religion. Thanks to the efforts of  certain organizations and individuals, generations of citizens have come to believe it was the Founders’ intent to prohibit anyone from posting the Ten Commandments in a school or a courthouse or erecting a manger or menorah on the lawn in front of city hall.

How did they manage the scam? By conveniently forgetting the other six words that follow:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

When the Founders wrote the First Amendment, it’s clear they  were concerned with Congress – not people, not even state or local governments for that matter – establishing an official national religion. They’d been there, done that, seen what it led to, and wanted no part of it for their new nation. (Here’s an old article about Thomas Jefferson’s views on the matter.)

Had someone suggested to them their Bill of Rights meant that the Ten Commandments could not be posted in the local town hall or courthouse, they’d likely have laughed in his face, and not only because the Bill of Rights imposed restrictions of the Federal government, not on the several states.

Some will say that Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment did impose  those restrictions on the states and they’d be correct. But if states, like the Feds, are required to recognize Constitutional prohibitions and God-given rights, then both are required to recognize  the right of every citizen to worship as they please. And if part of their worship involves posting a copy of their Creator’s Ten Commandments in places where they may be constantly reminded of them, such is their right.

What government may not do is permit one religion to post their rules while stopping another religion from doing the same. It may not allow a menorah and deny a creche. In fact, government at all levels merely has to do nothing. If every religion has the same right to post or display,then  no harm, no foul, the Constitution is satisfied.

The foolishness about the Constitution demanding that public buildings not being used for anything that even hints of religion is just that – foolishness. Nothing could be further from the truth. And those who promote such distortions, and their judicial enablers, deny citizens the very right they pretend to protect.

But what about Christmas decorations and plays and songs in schools? Surely principals and teachers can’t force everyone to take part in such religious expressions. Correct. They cannot.

However, students who want to decorate their school and classrooms can do so on their own. Parents can organize holiday parties and plays and musicals and children are free to participate or not, as they and their parents choose. And teachers can choose to participate or not. If any of them are prohibited from doing so, they are being denied their right to the free exercise of their religious beliefs.

The Founders understood freedom is a powerful force. It’s a concept that enables men and women to live the lives they choose instead of being forced to live as others think best. And all it requires is that we each do nothing more than mind our own business.

Our nation has forgotten that simple truth, and it has led us down a path that grows darker by the day as factions from the right, left, and center strive to impose their worldviews on everyone under color and cover of law.

“But what if someone is offended by our Commandments or our menorah?” I hear someone ask. “Don’t they have rights, too?”

Yes, they do. They have the right not to look at whatever offends them and they have the same right as everyone else to post or display whatever they want. But they don’t have the right not to be offended. Honestly, I find it inconceivable that so many people cannot seem to understand that.

Have we strayed so far from Liberty Ave. and Freedom Way that we’ll never find our way back?

Do you see any solutions? Anything practical we can do?

Or must we to continue fiddling as our nation collapses around us?

t nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, such people and organizations, and their judicial enablers, now force government to deny citizens the very right they claim to protect.

He loves me, he loves me not…and Denying guns to innocents

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

One might think women would be most attracted to guys they know like them. After all, liking them back is a safe bet. Or, based on observational evidence, one might even make the case for women being more attracted to the bad boys they know are not really attracted to them. But it looks like both assumptions might be wrong.

An ABC News report last Thursday concerned a study by Erin R. Whitchurch and Timothy D. Wilson of the University of Virginia and Daniel T. Gilbert of Harvard which found women were more attracted to a man when they are not sure how much the guy liked them. While only women were tested, the assumption is that men would behave similarly.

Ladies, after you read the report, does the conclusion ring true to you? Do you (or did you when you were single) find yourself more attracted to the guy you know likes you, the one who doesn’t, or the one you’re not sure about?

And guys, same question to you about women.


If one tallied the ranks of US Senators who are least likely to appear on the the quiz show Jeopardy, Chuckie Shummer from New York would probably appear high on the list.

Chuck’s latest attempt to top the list comes in the form of Senate Bill 436, the “Fix Gun Checks Act of 2011” which seeks “To ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the national instant criminal background check system and require a background check for every firearm sale.”

Chuckie has decided that anyone arrested for a drug offense in the past five years should be denied their right to purchase and carry a firearm. It would be bad enough if Chuck’s proposed legislation only denied you your rights if you’d actually been caught with a little pot, but you will also be denied even if the charges were dropped or you were found innocent of the charges, and even if you were arrested for possession of something for which you had a prescription and even if the cop who arrested you didn’t care the bag of green stuff on your car seat was dried parsley from your garden that you were bringing to your mom! Just being arrested makes you guilty in Chuckies eyes.

I was about to type “Surely such idiocy would not stand in the Senate” but then I realized these were largely the same people who passed things like Obamacare.

Here is the language from the bill:


(a) Inferences of Abuse- Section 921 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

‘(c) Unlawful User of Any Controlled Substance-

‘(1) IN GENERAL- An inference that a person is an unlawful user of a controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802)) may be drawn based on–

‘(A) a conviction for the use or possession of a controlled substance within the past 5 years;

‘(B) an arrest for the use or possession of a controlled substance within the past 5 years;

‘(C) an arrest for the possession of drug paraphernalia within the past 5 years, if testing has demonstrated the paraphernalia contained traces of a controlled substance;

‘(D) a drug test administered within the past 5 years demonstrating that the person had used a controlled substance unlawfully; or

‘(E) an admission to using or possessing a controlled substance unlawfully within the past 5 years.

‘(2) MEMBERS OF ARMED FORCES- For a current or former member of the Armed Forces, an inference that a person is an unlawful user of a controlled substance may be drawn based on disciplinary or other administrative action within the past 5 years based on confirmed use of a controlled substance, including a court-martial conviction, nonjudicial punishment, or an administrative discharge based on use of a controlled substance or drug rehabilitation failure.’.

Note that in (2), Chuckie apparently also wants to disarm active duty service members. Oops!

The level of Chuck’s brilliance is truly something to behold…or would be if it were possible to see that low.


Great minds, messy offices

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

This past Tuesday, my post was about my messy office. Reader TheNumberSix commented that I should google William F. Buckley’s office, so I did.

I found several sites with the same photos posted below, so don’t yell at me when you get to the last one. I’m reproducing them here 1) for those who may not yet have encountered them online and 2) because I think they support the notion that, for whatever reason, great minds really do have messy offices and desks and I’m happy to wallow in my delusion that I’m part of that group.

So, here they are:

and then there’s



Affirmative action comes full circle

Friday, March 25th, 2011

I’ve always believed that affirmative action quotas that hand jobs or college acceptances or anything else based on anything except merit were the very worst kind of racism because they legitimized and  institutionalized the absurd notion that certain “protected” or “disadvantaged” groups were more worthy of something than other groups. The reasons given for this official discrimination were legion, but always rang hollow to me.

I never understood why any society would want to encourage advancing less qualified people over those more qualified since the unavoidable effect must be a general dumbing-down of the average competency wherever it was applied. Look at the entire Federal government, from the top down, for example.

In education, I believed that if a particular group of people could not pass an entrance exam, the solution was not to lower the standards but to better educate the members of that group. In business, if members of a group were “under-represented” in a certain field, the solution was not to promote less qualified people to construct some illusion of equality. Rather, talented members of that group should have started competing businesses, hired the most qualified members of the group they could find, preferably away from the companies that would not promote them, and out-compete the other guys. And in government — especially in government, where the very welfare and survival of the People and the nation was at stake– nothing less than hiring the most qualified person available should ever have been considered.

Many of you are, perhaps, too young to remember the days when, if the new employee was a minority or a woman, he or she was inevitably branded the “affirmative action hire.” Even if  they were truly the best applicant, such folk  had to work twice as hard to prove their qualifications and competency and earn the respect of their co-workers. And if they were not the best…well, the situation was unfair all around and on many levels.

Nevertheless, though many of us who were libertarian and/or conservative railed against substituting new forms of racism and sexism for the old ones instead of honestly working to eliminate both, liberalism and egalitarianism carried the day and carried America further along it’s general decline to where we are today.

And where are we, discrimination-wise?

In a recent Wall Street Journal book review, A Craving for Acceptance, we’re introduced to Andrew Ferguson, author of the bestseller Crazy U: One Dad’s Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College. Andrew is a dad who wanted to understand what the reviewer called the ” frantic struggle to gain the approval of inscrutable college-admissions officers.” His investigations took him far and wide.

He learned, among other things, that for some time now, because girls tend to out-perform boys in high school academics and testing, many schools are faced with a glut of female applicants. As a result, in order to achieve the holy grail of equal representation of every defined group and prevent the student body from becoming too female, colleges have had to resort to some affirmative action nobody on the left could ever have imagined would become necessary. They are refusing entrance to more qualified females — even minority females — in favor of less qualified white males!

Ferguson said:

“After several generations of vicious racism, followed by protest marches, civil rights lawsuits, accusations of bigotry, appeals to color-blindness, feminism, and eloquent invocations of the meritocratic ideal, the latest admissions trend in American higher education is affirmative action for white men. Just like the old days.”

Isn’t that something. The white male, the only American “group” whose members could be disparaged with impunity for the past fifty years,  are now, effectively, a minority!

Does this mean they can apply for protected status like other minorities? Will there be nationwide programs set up to rebuild their self-esteem? Will there be government set-asides for business run by this now-disadvantaged group? Will liberals nationwide start hiring good ol’ boys the way they hired other minorities when they were fashionable?

Most important of all, though, since everyone in Hollywood and at the networks knows it’s far too Politically inCorrect to make fun of disadvantaged groups, will we finally see an end to the heretofore steady stream of movies, sitcoms, and commercials which depict white males – for that matter, all males – as buffoons and blithering idiots?

I guess we can only hope.


I’m guessing most of you will not want to read the whole book review linked-to above, so here are a couple of quotes from the review to give you an idea of Ferguson’s style.

Mr. Ferguson is not the first author to chronicle the horrors of the SATs, the runaway cost of elite universities or the mysteries of the admissions process. But having taken what his subtitle calls “One Dad’s Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College,” he has succeeded in pulling the whole thing together through a single family’s experience, enriched by much authorial homework. This is a guy who doesn’t just delve into the history of the SAT. He also takes the test himself. (“Close to a disaster,” he says of the results, with a math score so bad that he won’t divulge it, other than to say “somewhere below ‘lobotomy patient’ but above ‘Phillies fan.'”)

On a swing through New England, the Fergusons narrowly miss Dartmouth’s Second Annual Campus Sex Screening, a supposedly health-promoting event where, the flyers promised, “sexperts” would be giving “free demonstrations!” and the party favors included dental dams, glow-in-the-dark condoms and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Mr. Ferguson muses: “I may be showing my age, but back when I was a college student we didn’t need free ice cream to get us to come to a sex demonstration.”


My son finished school nearly a decade ago (Has it really been that long?!) but writing this post and perusing various reviews of Crazy U has made me want to read it, partly to see if what he experienced was what we experienced back in the ’90s but mostly because nearly everyone who’s reviewed it says it’s a great read and very funny, and I’m always up for a few laughs.

Unfortunately, it’s still in hardcover, with a bookstore price of $25.00, but Amazon has it for just $15.92 or $11.99 for the Kindle edition. Thrifty person that I am, I requested the book through our local library system, but I’m #161 on the list for 17 copies in the system. If I don’t move up the list pretty quickly, I might just have to break down and give Amazon some business. If you’re similarly inclined, here is the link to the book page.


Why Obama’s insane spending is bad for America

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Dave posted links to the videos below on his Behind The Scenes blog. I wanted to make sure all my readers saw them, too.

After watching both, please share your thoughts about them and their messages in the comments section.

This first one is only a minute long, but what a powerful minute and message. It’s from Citizens Against Government Waste. Visit their website. Sign up for their newsletter. Do what you can.


The next powerful minute was produced by WR Grace & Co. way back in 1986. Did they have a crystal ball or what!!

All the networks refused to run it.



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