But the election is over and the need to pretend to agree with voters is gone too.

Sen. Wendy Davis said in a Monday interview with the Express-News that she opposes allowing the open carry of handguns and that she wishes she had a do-over on the support she expressed for the idea in her ill-fated run for governor.

You might expect me to use this as an excuse to hit the Democrats, but I’m also old enough to remember when John McCain wanted the border secure.

I can respect an open foe a lot more than a phony one.

Without a doubt, Pres. Obama’s December 17 Statement on Cuba Policy Changes was the top news of 2014 on Latin America.

Along with the Statement, American hostage Alan Gross was released in exchange for three Cuban spies, whose ringleader, Gerardo Hernández, was serving two life sentences. Gerardo Hernández’s wife was able to impregnate his wife through artificial insemination by having his sperm collected at prison in the U.S. and then flown to Cuba at U.S. taxpayers’ expense as part of the deal. Hernández was greeted as a hero in Havana as soon as he landed in Cuba.

The takeaway from Obama’s Statement was that a new U.S. policy towards Cuba would lead to a new Cuba policy towards the U.S. It didn’t take long for Mariela Castro, daughter of dictator Raul Castro and member of the Cuban Parliament, to disabuse us of that notion.

More significantly, the new U.S. policy towards Cuba has meant no change at all towards dissidents. Just yesterday (emphasis added)

Cuban authorities arrested dissidents, independent journalists and a well-known artist Tuesday in an apparent attempt to block a rally in Havana’s revolutionary square organized by a new movement that calls itself #YoTambienExijo (I also demand).

Among those detained were journalist Reinaldo Escobar, editor of the online 14ymedio publication and husband of prominent blogger Yoani Sánchez; Eliecer Ávila, an activist; and Antonio Rodiles, who directs a human rights group called Estado de Sats. Sánchez, who founded 14ymedio, reported the arrests on Twitter.

Sánchez said she was placed under house arrest and also reported that several other 14ymedio contributors were visited by State Security officers and warned not to cover the event, which was scheduled to take place at 3 p.m. at the Plaza de la Revolución.

The demonstration called for participants to go before a microphone for one minute to share their thoughts, concerns or ideas about how Cuba’s future should unfold.

Cuban authorities had denied permission to its organizers. Leading the event was artist Tania Bruguera.

As for the rest of Obama’s Statement, Frances Martell examined LINE BY LINE: EVERY EMPTY PROMISE IN OBAMA’S CUBA SPEECH.

Meanwhile, Bruguera, who resides in the U.S., is still detained, whereabouts unknown.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics at Fausta’s Blog.

by baldilocks

I’m deep into research and Breitbart provides one of the keys/tracks/clues via The Truth about LBJ and MLK–a piece which is tangential to the release of the movie Selma.

The truth is that Lyndon Baines Johnson was a life-long segregationist who resisted numerous attempts to eliminate the poll tax and literacy tests during his twenty-three year career in the House and Senate. He blocked every major and minor piece of meaningful civil rights legislation as the leader of the Southern block in the US Senate, and as its powerful Majority Leader.

It was Lyndon Johnson who neutered the 1957 Civil Rights Act with a poison pill amendment that required violators of the Act be tried before state (all-white), not federal juries. Many contemporary liberals including Joseph Rauh, the president of Americans for Democratic Action, and A. Philip Randolph, a vice president of the AFL-CIO, called the bill worthless, and “worse than no bill at all.”Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._and_Lyndon_Johnson_2

As Vice President, Lyndon Johnson orchestrated southern congressional opposition to JFK’s civil rights agenda and repeatedly warned JFK to go slow on the civil rights, voting rights, and open housing legislation that Kennedy had promised in his 1960 campaign.

LBJ, it seems, was reserving these initiatives for himself. He repeatedly cautioned President Kennedy to wait “until the time is right.” On Capitol Hill, Johnson simultaneously lobbied his “establishment” friends to stall that same legislation.

Johnson would do an about-face on civil rights immediately upon becoming president, apparently now that the “time was right.” He did so to begin the creation of a grand legacy for himself through the passage of the same legislation that he had previously impeded, and to fend-off a challenge from Robert F. Kennedy at the 1964 Democratic convention.

His maneuvering also gave him currency in the left wing of his party so that he could escalate the Vietnam War unimpeded, having won its support.  He had also promised his longtime supporters in the defense contracting business, as well as the Pentagon, that after he was reelected “you’ll get your war.”

What am I researching? I’m trying to find an easy to understand method of how we got to where we are–intellectually speaking–with respect to education and racial enmity. As I’m doing so, an interesting thing is happening: I’m having my assumptions challenged, including the assumption that I know this part of history.


Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel, tentatively titled, Arlen’s Harem, will be done in 2015. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s Projects: Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or contribute to Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>baldilocks

One of the coolest memories I have of my mother took place when I took her to a New popular italian restaurant that had recently opened. The place was so packed we had to sit in the bar.

As we were eating I asked what she thought of the place, she commented that it was good and added it was a shame it would be out of business soon.

I did a double take as it was so packed you couldn’t walk but when I questioned her she noted that the bartender was robbing them blind. She had bars & restaurants for 20 years and couldn’t help but notice the trick he was using to tell himself how much dough he could take out of the till by the end of the day.

Within 3 months they were gone.

The moral is that when you have done something long enough or are an expert on your job is you can’t really turn it off.

A person who has been a locksmith for years walks by a door and knows which locks stink, a computer guy knows which systems have been surfing porn, an accountant knows when numbers don’t add up, a baker can taste a cheap cake and a restaurant owner knows a when the produce is ready to go bad.

And that brings us to the Police.

It is the job of a police officer to notice suspicious things, illegal things. Furthermore it’s the job of a Policeman to distinguish between fact and fiction from groups of people who represent a physical danger to them.

Once you’ve been doing it long enough or trained well enough you can’t help but be able to tell when someone is lying or cheating or a crook and furthermore they can’t turn it off.

It actually gets better, not only can’t they turn it off but because of the nature of their business they don’t dare turn it off because not noticing things, on duty or off will get you killed, even before Al Sharpton & his friends on the left decided to encourage thugs to begin target practice.

If you thought police naturally mistrusted, doubted and questioned what you said and did before, thanks to the new thug patrol even you non Sicilians are going to get attention that you don’t want.

And when you do remember, it’s not personal, it’s strictly business, the business of being a policeman who is trying to stay alive.


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Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

Attributed to Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Once you have made the World an end, and faith a means, you have almost won your man, and it makes very little difference what kind of worldly end he is pursuing. Provided that meetings, pamphlets, policies, movements, causes, and crusades, matter more to him than prayers and sacraments and charity, he is ours — and the more ‘religious’ (on those terms) the more securely ours. I could show you a pretty cageful down here.”

C.S. Lewis The Screwtape letters VII

One of the oldest teachings of the church is the danger of the sin of pride.  It is listed as the first of the deadly sins.  It a sin that damned Angels and regularly damns men.

The irony and the danger of this sin is the clever ways that the Devil uses it to strike.  One of the most clever cards played is using the difference between a wrong opinion (completely not sinful) and a wrong action (very very sinful).

There are plenty of faithful catholics, who attend mass, who receive the sacraments who might, on a personal level, disagree with a particular doctrine or teaching of the church.

A great example of this came from the late Synod on the family where several Cardinals expressed their opinion that the church should consider revising the rules concerning how the church deals with divorced & remarried catholics.

By its nature a synod or a council is a place of debate and man being a thinking and reasoning creature will naturally analyze situations and come to conclusions based on experience, thus while I disagree with Cardinal Kasper’s opinion on the subject I presume that he was advancing this opinion from pure motives:

It could very well be that Cardinal Kasper and those like him truly believe relaxing the rules for communion on divorced and/or gay couples will win souls for Christ, it may be they consider such moves reforms in the best tradition of the mercy of Christ, while I strongly disagree with this foolishness I presume that’s a question of error rather than sin.

Now as long as this is expressed as part of the synod debate or given as a private personal opinion that opinion is not in itself sinful or even written as an argument that’s not a problem and that’s one of the two traps for the faithful,

In the example above PolBECath was quite correct that the Cardinal was lying concerning a recorded statement.  (If you don’t know the story you need to read this this and this).  However to call him a “heretic” is the trap that is being laid for us who strongly disagree with the Cardinal’s opinion

A “Heretic” is defined at Meriam Webster.com as:

a dissenter from established religious dogma; especially :  a baptized member of the Roman Catholic Church who disavows a revealed truth

While Cardinal Kaspar’s actions concerning the Pentin matter were objectively sinful,  his opinions concerning how do deal with divorced Catholics, expressed as such, does not and will not cross over to  heresy until and unless he

1.  Disavows or defies the current teaching/doctrines of the church

2.  Uses his authority as a prince of the church to teach and encourage others to defy the current doctrine of the church.

3.  Proclaims as a prince of the church that the doctrine and teaching of the church is in error.

As long as he doesn’t cross that line not only is he not a “heretic” his opinion doesn’t even constitute a sin and thus judging him a “heretic” would be committing both the sin of calumny, the sin of “judging” and the sin of pride.

Now let’s say he crosses the line, let’s say that the church decides, as it is likely to do,  to maintain the current rules concerning communion for divorced catholics following the wise advice of the five Cardinals.  If and when this happens if Cardinal Kaspar or Cardinal Reinhard Marx or others choose to defy said teaching, they would at that point, in fact be committing the sin of heresy.

And if they did so and did not choose to repent then they would be modern versions of Luther and Henry VIII substituting their judgement for that of the Holy Spirit and the church it guides, no different that a Georgia Walker in Kansas or so-called  “Bishop” Bridget Mary Meehan.

The consequences of substituting your judgement for the church’s judgement are dire.  One of my biggest regrets was accepting advice directly contrary to the teaching of the church from a priest who gave it to me went to him with a problem.  You not only sin, you lead others into the same swamp.

But even if they do this and earn the critique or even excommunication from the church that doesn’t mean the Devil will not be setting the trap of pride for those who do not copy their errors as Christ himself warned us:

He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.

Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.

The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity – greedy, dishonest, adulterous – or even like this tax collector.  I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’

But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’  

I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 18:9-14

Remember these sins and errors are no different than any other, completely forgivable by sacramental confession.  Even one who is excommunicated can return to full communion with Rome (Fr. Leonard Feeney being an excellent example of this.)  The trick is, rather patting oneself on the back is to approach God with the humility of the sinners we all are.

Set as your goal to speak, write, live and pray toward the goal of salvation for ourselves and others.  In doing so we will be avoiding the Prideful traps set for us and work for the day, where as St. Pope John Paul II wrote That They May Be One.


By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT — I remember as a child sitting in my elementary school classroom as the teacher wheeled a huge cart with a little 19″ color television on it into the room.  Watching television at school?  It was a real novelty and we were all spellbound; what we watched was real time news footage of the Apollo 11 mission.  It fascinated me and made me feel very small.

When I was in college, a small group of us drove from north Louisiana to Cocoa Beach, Florida, to watch the launch of, I think the Venus Orbiter.  Looking back, I’m not sure now which launch we saw; all I really remember was watching that rocket soar off into space.  Thrilling!

Many years later, as an adult with a job, I can remember the entire office coming to a stop as we all learned the tragic fate of the Challenger.  We watched the replay on the news over, and over, and over.  It was awful.

Growing up with a fascination for the space program, but academically terrible in math and science, my space fascination has been relegated to the literary end; The Rocket Boys by Homer Hickam is a much thumbed favorite of mine and the ensuing film, October Sky, is on my DVD shelf, among other space classics.  I never got into sci-fi too much because the real thing was quite thrilling enough for me.

Like many Americans, I was heartbroken when our American space program was decimated and manned spaceflight was ended under the Obama administration.  Growing up, astronauts were heroes; we knew their names like kids today know names of athletes.  Little boys wanted to grow up to be astronauts – fly to the moon; little girls too, for that matter.

America isn’t totally out of the space program, however. Charles Fishman has penned a lovely feature for The Atlantic about the International Space Station which takes us aboard and shows us what daily life is like there, how the astronauts (and cosmonauts) adjust to life in space, and reveals a bit about their mission.  (Arms in, or out, of your sleeping bag?)  Fishman’s article made me think, too: why don’t we know the names of these astronauts:

It’s a little strange when you think about it: Just about every American ninth-grader has never lived a moment without astronauts soaring overhead, living in space. But chances are, most ninth-graders don’t know the name of a single active astronaut—many don’t even know that Americans are up there. We’ve got a permanent space colony, inaugurated a year before the setting of the iconic movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s a stunning achievement, and it’s completely ignored.

As a teacher, our tenth grade literature book has an excerpt in it about Apollo 13 and the race to save the astronauts as they battled one critical malfunction after another.  I always make it a point for my students to read that selection and when time allows we watch all or part of the film.  Inevitably they ask me if it’s a true story.  They are always, always held spellbound by the suspense, and more importantly, many are fascinated by the teamwork and the ingenuity that brought the astronauts home.

There are so many benefits that we as a society have gained from our space program, and I don’t mean just Tang and Velcro. The best part of the space program has been the inspiration and the hope for the future that it has given generations of students.  Look at Homer Hickam for just one example of that. Maybe we can look to the skies once again for examples of heroes or role models for our kids rather than overpaid thug athletes. (Apologies for the generalization – I know they aren’t all thugs).

At any rate, Mr. Fishman’s article is a lovely tribute to the space program and brings a much needed awareness to the International Space Station.  When the ISS flies overhead, for those on earth it’s a few minutes of blinking lights passing overhead in the night sky; the next time it flies over my community I will have an entirely different perspective of what might be going on up there.

H/T: Instapundit

Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport.


Horton Hears a Who 1970

If there is one thing that’s axiomatic on Capital Hill it’s this:  If you want to get the attention of the lobbyists and the various monied interests you need to have power and influence or the prospect of shortly gaining it.

If there is one person who, media attention notwithstanding, has no prospect for power or influence anytime soon, it’s Nancy Pelosi.

With State Legislatures firmly in GOP hands an unpopular lame duck president and John Boehner GOP caucus holding a full 247 members Nancy Pelosi’s relevance on Capitol hill is practically nil.

However power is in many ways a matter of perception and this move by Nancy Pelosi is a clever if desperate attempt to claim it:

“Now that the election is over, Congressman Grimm is finally admitting the truth to his constituents,” Pelosi said in a brief statement on Tuesday morning. “Clearly, Speaker Boehner must insist that Congressman Grimm resign immediately.”

Pelosi’s “demand” has drawn snark from folks from the conservative hideout to Glenn Reynolds noting Pelosi’s hypocrisy but frankly what’s more interesting is her attempt to jump in front of a parade.

She likely figures it’s a low risk no lose move.  When Boehner and the GOP move to remove Grimm from his seat after his guilty plea she will run to the media who will gladly paint her as the person who called for this resignation while at the same time she will note the jabs over her hypocrisy, however accurate, as a sign she still matters and fundraise from a gullible base with them.

And if for some inexplicable reason the GOP doesn’t force Grimm it’s even better.  She has Grimm, convicted of Tax evasion as a club to beat the GOP with for as long as he holds his seat.

How should the GOP proceed?  Substantially if Grimm doesn’t resign on his own the House ethics committee should move to expel him.  Politically if and I should really say “when” the media asks him about Pelosi’s demands he should  say this:

“Like the voters of America I believe Nancy Pelosi’s opinions should have no bearing on how the House of Representatives operates.” 

While such an answer is not only a low-cost way to please his base but it will pay one other dividend.  Such a statement would ill will likely lead to outrage by the lefts allies in both print and television media but it will also give an opportunity for the GOP’s allies on the right to crank out story after story highlighting a truth that no amount of outrage, indignation or spin can alter.

Nancy Pelosi is completely without power on Capitol hill and is likely to remain so for the rest of her life.

The only comment about any Democrat member of the house that any Republican should give is on how little they matter.


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Summary: Will Santa Give the Doctor & Clara what they really want for Christmas

Plot:   Clara is woken up by a crash and discovers Santa’s sled crashed on her roof.  As she cycles through that fact the Doctor suddenly appears and takes them to the North Pole where a group of Scientists are under siege by mysterious creatures.  Or are they?  And only Santa Claus can save them, the Doctor & Clara, or will Danny Pink save the day?


Writing:  This episode is as close to perfect as you can get and it reminds me of the thing that frustrates me about Steven Moffat the most.  Last Christmas has absolutely everything, a terrifying villain, a wonderful hero, comedy, poignant moments, plot twists within plot twists  and an ending that is inspiring.  Best of all he manages this without a single time paradox.  I suspect I’ll be watching this one over and over again and that’s the frustration,   It’s hard to put up with C-List episodes when he’s capable of amazing things like this.

Acting:   Capaldi and Coleman are absolutely perfect in this episode with more chemistry that a lab at a pharmacy company.  Combine that with an incredible performance by Nick Frost as Santa Claus and excellent supporting performances by every single cast member from Dan Starkey to Faye Marsay and you get an episode you can’t put down.

Memorable Moments: Who you gonna call?  Dying manuals , can I drive? That’s racist.

Doctor Who Flashbacks: Driving a sleigh (11th Doctor a Christmas Carol)  The cracker (Time of the Doctor 11th Doctor) Tangerines (The Christmas Invasion:  10th Doctor),  There was one man (School Reunion 10th Doctor) .

Oddities:  Shouldn’t there be some reason why these random humans became involved in this adventure?

Pet Peeves:   The  Doctor’s plan to detect the dream shouldn’t have worked since as soon as the first person read the manual aloud the others should have said the same thing.  Only writing it down would have worked with The Doctor being able to override the Dream Crab’s attempt to force him to see the same thing on all the sheets.


Great Quote(s) 


Shona:Argh! Argh!
AshleyShona? Shona, what’s wrong?
Shona: We’ve, we’ve got ghosts!
Shona: Yeah, yeah, it’s a skeleton man and a girl in a nightie!


Ashley: [To Santa who has just entered] Who the hell are you?
The Doctor:Oh, take a guess, go on. Push the boat out! Tooth Fairy, maybe? Easter Bunny?


Clara:OK, Doctor, are you going to explain? What is going on?
Santa Claus:It’s an invasion, Miss Oswald.
Clara:An invasion of what, elves?
Wolf the Elf:Whoa! THAT is racist.
Ian the Elf:Elfist!
Wolf the Elf:Which is a bit hypocritical, from someone of your height.


The Doctor:You all right?
Shona: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m trying to talk sense into Beardy-Weirdy.
The Doctor:You don’t seem much like a scientist.
Shona:That’s a bit rude, coming from a magician!

The Doctor:  Beardy-Weirdy.
Santa Claus:Yeah?
The Doctor:  How do you get all the presents in the sleigh?
Santa Claus:It’s bigger on the inside.

Professor Albert Smithe:They’re a bit like Facehuggers, aren’t they?
The Doctor:[Confused] Face huggers?
Professor Albert Smithe:You know, Alien. The horror movie, Alien.
The Doctor:  There’s a horror movie called “Alien?” That’s really offensive. No wonder everyone keeps invading you.

Clara:I miss you.
Danny Pink:Five minutes.
Clara: What?
Danny Pink:You can miss me for five minutes a day. And you’d better do it properly. You’d better be sad. I expect my five. But all the rest of the time, Clara, all the rest of the time, every single second, you just get the hell on with it. Clear?


The Doctor:  This makes perfect sense. The Dream Crab tries to make the dream as real as possible to trap you inside it. It creates dreams within dreams so you can never be sure if you are really awake. But your brain knows something is wrong. Your subconscious fights back. THIS is your mind, trying to tell you this isn’t real.
Santa Claus:  So it gives you me. Sweet Papa Chrimbo!
Ian the Elf:It gives you comedy elves, flying reindeer.
The Doctor:  Exactly!
Santa Claus:  A time-travelling scientist dressed as a magician.
Ian the Elf:  Classic!
The Doctor:  No, no, no. hang on. No, no, no, no.
Wolf the Elf:Living in a phone box.
The Doctor:  It’s a spaceship in disguise!
Santa Claus:  You see how none of this makes any sense?
The Doctor:  Shut up, Santa!


The Doctor:No, no, no. Line in the sand. Santa Claus does not do the scientific explanation!
Santa Claus:All right. As the Doctor might say, “Arr, it’s all a bit dreamy-weamy!”


Santa Claus:Fortunately, I know all your home addresses.

Thanks to this site for having a transcript so I could recover all I lost after hours of copying this stuff by hand.

Final Verdict:   5 stars.   As close to a perfect Doctor Who episode as you can get. Worthy of the Baker era.

Ranking of Season:   1st of 13. I thought for a short while before ranking it above The Caretaker but this episode not only had everything but actually moved me emotionally. Was caught totally by surprise by Coleman deciding to stay.

1. Last Christmas
2. The Caretaker
3. Mummy on the Orient Express
4. Into the Dalek
5. Dark Water
6. Listen
7. Flatline
8. Robots of Sherwood
9. Time Heist
10. Kill the Moon
11. Death in Heaven
12. Deep Breath
13. In the Forest of the Night

Bill Ayers at at 2012 Occupy Chicago rally
Bill Ayers at a 2012
Occupy Chicago rally

By John Ruberry

In David Horowitz’ pamphlet Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution, the onetime leftist remarked, “An SDS radical once wrote, ‘the issue is never the issue. The issue is always the revolution.’  In other words, the cause-whether inner city blacks or women–is never the real cause, but only an occasion to advance the real cause, which is the accumulation of power to make the revolution.”

Now the cause is police killing of blacks, but in reality the protests about the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner betray the longtime anti-police sentiments of the Left since the 1960s. But that is a subject for another blog post. Today I’m going to talk about the issue. 

The emergence of the New Left, which was kickstarted by the aforementioned Students for a Democratic Society, which Bill Ayers was a member of,  was part of the upheaval of the late 1960s.  The New Left eschewed the mainstream liberalism of Hubert Humphrey and the George Meany-led labor movement and its anti-communist bent. The Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, and Women’s Liberation were the issues then. In the 1970s, the New Left’s call for action were the Watergate scandal  and the environment–in the 1980s it was the No Nukes and the Nuclear disarmament causes, in the ’90s and the 2000s, the Middle East wars were the issue.

In 2011, the openly leftist Occupy Wall Street movement emerged. Not surprisingly, it collapsed.

During this time span, I’m not sure when, but let’s say it was in 2000, through attrition, death mainly, the New Left supplanted the Old Left. It is they and liberal Generation Xers and Millenials who have followed them that are the driving force in the contemporary Democratic Party as well as the labor movement. Their true views, which I imagine they share with at most twenty percent of the electorate, are masked. But their goal is still the revolution. ObamaCare, a private-public mutation that represents the worst of both worlds, is nothing but a gateway to what the libs euphemistically call “single-payer health care,” that is, socialized medicine.

John "Lee" Ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry

When twenty percent of the economy is under government control, the rest of it will appear to the Left as low-hanging fruit.

But for now, the Left is looking to bolster its ranks by building up anti-police protests.

Until the next issue that won’t really be the issue comes along.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.