Can I?

I just got a Kentucky voter guide from the insurance company which covers La Casa del Rio; does that mean I can vote for Senator McConnell even though I live in Pennsylvania?

Reducing Moving Costs

Reducing Moving Costs

If you’re a typical military family, then you’ve probably moved twice in the last three years. Even with your branch of the service chipping in, it’s expensive. Chances are, you’ve gotten moving down to a science, but if you haven’t? There are a lot of ways to save money and time during your upcoming move.

Lightening the Load

Be ruthless in what you donate or throw away or sell in a yard sale. If you haven’t worn it in three years, out it goes, to Goodwill or the Salvation Army or into a pile for friends and neighbors. A library card takes less space than a box of books, so donate the ones you’ve read or don’t intend to. Think about space you’re moving to and its climate. You may want to get rid of garden tools, power tools, hot or cold weather clothing and furniture that may be too big.

Packing Materials

Wrap breakables (carefully) in sweaters, towels, sheets and blankets. Tube socks are great for small breakables. Large picture frames can be bundled into a blanket. Just be sure to put heavier things in the bottom of the box, lighter things on top. You’ll save a bundle on bubble wrap, paper and styrofoam pellets, and you’ll use fewer boxes. Speaking of boxes, they’re expensive, especially when they come from a moving company. Ask around the neighborhood for boxes, check with big box retailers and warehouse clubs. You can find a great many boxes for free.

Packing the Truck Up

Make the most of the truck’s size and volume. Take the legs off tables and tape the hardware to the underside. Take beds apart and use chair cushions to keep hard surfaces from scratching each other. Nestle sofa cushions around large electronics. The more creative you get with stacking, the more room you’ll find inside the truck. You can’t create more space, but you can use what you’ve got, efficiently!

Packing Parties

The most important part of savings when you move is your time. Ask friends and relatives to chip in. You’ll be surprised how many people will want to help, and many will have more tips that will save you money. Be sure to feed them while they’re working to show your appreciation, and turn this transition into a celebration of family and friends. Good luck, and click here for more hints and ideas!

“Anonymous” Obama Administration official calls a special forces soldier and combat veteran a chickenshit

On Truth Before Dishonor, John Hitchcock noted that an Obama Administration official let The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg know that they considered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “chickenshit.” Mr Netanyahu pretty much put the Obamabots in their place:

From Mr Goldberg’s article:

“The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars,” the official said, expanding the definition of what a chickenshit Israeli prime minister looks like. “The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He’s not [Yitzhak] Rabin, he’s not [Ariel] Sharon, he’s certainly no [Menachem] Begin. He’s got no guts.”

I ran this notion by another senior official who deals with the Israel file regularly. This official agreed that Netanyahu is a “chickenshit” on matters related to the comatose peace process, but added that he’s also a “coward” on the issue of Iran’s nuclear threat.

Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Hussein Obama, when they were younger.

Well, here is the “chickenshit” Mr Netanyahu, and our brave and noble President, when they were younger. Mr Netanyahu. After being graduated from Cheltenham High School, in the suburbs of Philadelphia, in 1967, Mr Netanyahu returned to Israel to enlist in the Israel Defense Force, something he did not have to do; living in the Unite States, he was not drafted. He trained as a combat soldier and became a team leader in an elite special forces unit of the IDF, Sayeret Matkal. He took part in numerous cross-border assault raids during the 1969–70 War of Attrition. He was involved in many other missions, including Operation Inferno (1968), and the rescue of the hijacked Sabena Flight 571 in May 1972 in which he was shot in the shoulder.

After his army service, he returned to the United States in late 1972 to study architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He returned to Israel in October 1973 to serve in the Yom Kippur War for a 40-day period. While there, he fought in special forces raids along the Suez Canal, as well as leading a commando team deep into Syrian territory.1

Yet, the minions of our brave and noble President, who never risked more than a paper cut, think that a former Israeli special forces soldier is a chickenshit.

Of course, the White House is in damage control mode now, but let’s be honest here: when people have to apologize for something that they have said, they are tying to dampen the criticism arising from them having told the truth about what they believe.

If we could trade Barack Hussein Obama for Benjamin Netanyahu, straight up as our countries’ leaders, I’d absolutely support that! Of course, the Islamists would like that, too, because they’d know that they could then attack Israel any time they wanted, and Mr Obama would then whine to the United Nations and the International Criminal Court, but he wouldn’t actually fight back.

  1. Previous two paragraphs are not quite direct quotes, but were largely taken from the linked article.

Those oh-so-independent Democratic senators!

Barack Obama not being exactly the most popular President in states like Arkansas and Louisiana and North Carolina and Alaska, the incumbent Democratic senators have been very busy telling their constituents how independent they are, how they aren’t just party drones but think for themselves. But, alas! they have something called a record, and conservatives have been all too happy to point it out. Via The Pirate’s Cove, where William Teach entitled his article The Democrat Rubber Stamp Club 2014:

Of course, Kentucky’s Alison Grimes isn’t an incumbent, and doesn’t have that kind of record, and she tells her hoped-to-be constituents that she opposes President Obama’s positions on the Second Amendment, the Environmental Protection Agency, and on the use of coal, but even her supporters think that she’s just saying that stuff to get elected, and I’m guessing that, if she actually is elected [shudder!] she’ll vote against the President’s policies about as much as Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, a whopping 3.6% of the time . . . if that often.

Let’s be honest here: when the Democratic senatorial candidates say that they aren’t going to be reliable, toady votes for President Obama and his positions, they are lying to you! Their records prove it.

The success of socialism

From The Wall Street Journal:

Venezuela Cancels Plan to Sell US Oil Refiner Citgo
Earlier This Year Officials Indicated They Were Looking To Sell Citgo For Up To $10 billion
By Kejal Vyas | Updated Oct. 26, 2014 1:49 p.m. ET

CARACAS—Venezuela has scrapped plans to sell U.S. refining unit Citgo, the country’s finance minister said in an interview published Sunday by a local newspaper, offering the government’s clearest statement yet on the potential divestiture.

Amid severe dollar shortages and economic woes that have roiled this oil-rich country and sparked fears of a default on external debt, officials indicated earlier this year that they were looking to sell Citgo for as much as $10 billion.

But President Nicolás Maduro last month puzzled analysts when he said that Venezuela plans were to “fortify our investment” into the Houston-based refiner, which is wholly owned by state energy giant Petróleos de Venezuela SA.

“The sale of Citgo is discarded and the president already asserted it,” Finance Minister Rodolfo Marco told local daily El Universal in response to a list of questions on the country’s economic situation.

When asked whether banks hired by the government will continue looking for buyers, Mr. Marco responded, “Venezuela continues with Citgo and will continue making the investments in the refineries.”

And a bit further down:

Plans to sell Citgo, which operates three oil refineries with total processing capacity of more than 750,000 barrels a day, came as Venezuela faces cash-flow problems that have forced it to cut back on imports by nearly a third over the last two years. Chronic shortages of some food and basic goods, along with an inflation rate topping 60%, have eroded Mr. Maduro’s popularity to a new low of 30%, according to a recent poll by the Caracas consultancy Datanalisis.

At the same time, the country is heavily in debt with a host of private companies that service its economy, ranging from airlines to medicine importers to oil-field service providers. As a result, many have scaled back on operations. The World Bank expects Venezuela’s economy to contract by nearly 3% this year, making it the region’s worst performer.

Venezuela gets 96% of its hard currency income through the sale of oil. In economic terms, Venezuela is the beneficiary of the productivity of foreign countries, as the dollars earned by foreign workers are pouring in, making the country far wealthier than it would be based on its own production . . . and the country is still broke! Contrast that with the vast wealth of the oil exporting countries in the Middle East, the ones which want nothing to do with the socialism imposed on Venezuela by the late Hugo Chavez, and it becomes pretty obvious: socialism does not bring wealth, does not make its people prosperous, but spreads poverty to everybody except the nomenklatura.

I have said it many times before: to me, only results matter. It is not important how many glossy publications or learned, scholarly articles that socialists can produce, nor am I impressed by impassioned claims about the supposed justice of socialism and the evils of capitalism; the only point on which socialism can be, should be, judged is whether or not it provides economic security and prosperity for the majority of the people living under it, and in tha, socialism has failed miserably, faile everywhere it has been tried.

What a real #WarOnWomen looks like

From The Victory Girls:

She Was Executed For Killing Her Rapist: What Reyhaneh Represents
by Ericka Andersen on October 27, 2014

Reyhaneh Jabbari

A 26-year-old woman was executed in Iran this weekend. Her crime? Killing the man who raped her. Self-defense means nothing in Iran, especially if you are a woman. Reyhaneh Jabbari has been on death row for 5 years and the United Nations says she did not get a fair trial. Amnesty International says the trial was “flawed” and many drew attention to the execution — hoping to spare her life.

Their efforts were in vain and I was saddened to learn of her death this morning. Every time I hear a story like this, I think about how fortunate I am to live in a country where we have the luxury of complaining about things like women being called “bossy” or a business providing ONLY 16 kinds of birth control coverage under their insurance plan.

This woman just wanted to be able to defend herself from being raped. Instead, she was hanged, without a fair trial.

And this is no isolated incident in parts of the world that don’t respect or even treat women as human beings. In Somalia, a 13-year-old girl was stoned to death because she was raped. If Afghanistan, a 10-year-old girl was slated for an “honor killing” after being raped.

More at the original.

In the United States, in the liberal Western democracies, criticism of Muslims, of Islam, is Simply Not Done, because, why, we might offend the poor dears, and, even worse, we might be sen as somehow making common cause with the evil George Bush.1 Thus, when an Muslim soldier decides to make common cause with the Islamists, shooting at actually loyal American soldiers, why the Obama Administration classified it not as an act of terrorism, but workplace violence, because, well, because we wouldn’t want to offend other Muslims . . . along with the government being liable for less insurance expenditures.

And, of course, it’s only those simple-minded conservatives who listen to Rush Limbaugh and Faux News who make an actual connection between Islam and all of those isolated, completely unconnected incidents in which a perpetrator was identified as Muslim; the left wouldn’t want to be associated with those people!

ISIS Islamists Reportedly Behead Poster Girl for Kurdish Freedom Fighters

A young woman, known by the pseudonym “Rehana,” who had become the poster girl for the Kurdish YPJ, or Women’s Defense Unit, and was fighting for the Kobane resistance, was beheaded by the barbaric Islamic group ISIS.

As reported by the UK Daily Mail:

A female Kurdish fighter who became a poster girl for the Kobane resistance movement after a picture of her making a peace sign was retweeted thousands of times on Twitter has reportedly been beheaded by Isis.

The woman, known by the pseudonym Rehana, was celebrated as a symbol of hope for the embattled Syrian border town after a journalist tweeted a picture of her making a ‘V-sign’, claiming that she’d personally killed 100 Isis militants.

The message was retweeted over 5,000 times, but there are now claims Rehana, who fought for the Kurdish YPJ, or Women’s Defense Unit, may have been killed after gruesome pictures began circulating on Twitter of an Isis fighter purportedly holding aloft her head.

The image of Rehana went viral after it was posted originally on Twitter with a caption stating that she’d killed more that 100 ISIS terrorists.

The death has not yet been confirmed at the time of this writing.

It’s unfortunate that this brave soldier has been killed, but if she truly did have over a hundred kills of Islamist soldiers to her credit, then she has gone to her death well ahead, having done a valuable service, and honorable duty, for both her people and the civilized world.

So, we have the insane spectacle of the left complaining that evil Republicans are waging a #WarOnWomen, because many Republicans don’t think that churches or religious people who don’t think artificial contraception is moral ought to have to provide contraceptive coverage in insurance plans, but keeping their mouths clamped firmly shut as women unfortunate enough to live in the Islamic countries have been relegated to second-class citizenship status, and even that is a too-generous description.

Let’s be clear about this: Miss Jabbari was executed solely because she is a woman who lived in a Muslim country, ruled by an Islamist government. In any civilized country, a description which excludes every country run by a religious Islamic government, Miss Jabbari, who found a weapon and stabbed the man who was trying to rape her, would have been not only released without any charges, but celebrated as a brave woman who defended herself. The American left will admit, albeit grudgingly, that Miss Jabbari herself was wrongly condemned and executed, but they will never, ever make the connection between the way she was treated and Islam itself. The left are, basically, a group of educated idiots.

The left will complain, naturally, that it wasn’t really Islam to blame, but simply a group of heteronormative patriarchists2 seeking to continue male dominance who were at fault, but that overlooks the very obvious: not only are they Muslims, but they were reared in a Muslim culture, and people’s actions are limited by their cultural context. What was done to Miss Jabbari would never happen in the West, because it is so far outside of our cultural norms that almost no Westerner would even consider it. Miss Jabbari was executed because the idea that a woman deserves to be put to death for using deadly force, even in self-defense, against a man male3 is perfectly reasonable in the context and culture of Islam. That the left will never see, will never admit, because it stands as a stark challenge to their notions of multiculturalism, and, more importantly, it says, very loudly and very clearly, that Western liberalism, in its present form, is totally out of touch with reality.
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  1. Christians, on the other hand, are considered fair game by the left.
  2. I’m eagerly awaiting Amanda Marcotte’s article on this.
  3. A rapist may be male, but no rapist is actually a man.

Marijuana Growers Seeking Legal Counsel in California

Marijuana Growers Seeking Legal Counsel in California

Marijuana might prove to be a fruitful venture for businesses in the state of California, and not just for the growers or sellers of the drug, which is currently available to patients with a doctor’s prescription. A business attorney Orange County CA could benefit from increased activity surrounding the legalities of growing and selling pot.

These lawyers are now in high demand for businesses that are catering to customers who wish to buy marijuana. From dispensaries that offer marijuana in a variety of formats to growers, these new small business owners want to make sure their backs are covered should anything go wrong. What was once illegal is now a livelihood for many people. Business attorneys help these businesses become legally licensed and abide by the law during their everyday operations.

However, it’s not just people connected with the marijuana industry who have an attorney on speed dial. Manufacturers and sellers of supplies that might be used for growing marijuana, such as hydroponic equipment, want to make sure they’re protected by, and sometimes from, the law. Terra Tech is one company that has a toe dipped in the manufacturing side, and now the company is breaking into growing marijuana directly. This move will result in the full merging of their production and selling of marijuana with the public part of the company, which focuses on other herbs.

These aren’t the only people who could benefit from the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes. For example, Justin Hartfield and Doug Francis partnered up to create a website that’s similar to Yelp for dispensaries. Weedmaps not only shows the location or nearby dispensaries, but it also allows consumers to leave reviews to help other buyers. While Hartfield has stayed away from directly selling pot, he’s interested in the day when recreational marijuana is legal. At this point, he will venture into direct retail, and a business lawyer will help every step of the way.

Companies like Weedmaps and Terra Tech understand that while they risk investigation from federal authorities by acting, they may be risking just as much or even more by allowing the competition to both produce and sell marijuana and reap the benefits. Terra Tech expects to make $4 million by branching into production. Smaller businesses might take more time to make their first million, but this doesn’t mean they shouldn’t consult an attorney in the meantime.

We told you so! Obaminablecare adds to the deficit

Maybe the left find it stunning, but conservatives do not:

Stunning New Report Finds Obamacare Adds $131 billion to Deficit
Posted by Loren Long on Friday, October 24th, 2014, 4:08 PM

In a report released this month, the Senate Budget Committee has found that the Affordable Care Act will add $131 billion to the federal deficit over the next ten years. Even more striking is the fact that this $131 billion will not, in fact, expand growth in the healthcare system.

The most recent example of increased spending without result within the realm of Obamacare is the Accountable Care Organization, or ACO. ACO was enacted to join hospitals, primary care physicians, and specialists into teams in order to produce more efficient patient treatment. Health and Human Services released this new federal regulation with the intent to reduce spending.  However, over the first two years of this experiment, spending increased at over half of the 32 HHS hand-selected sites that were used for the test model.

This is only one example of the ACA’s failed attempt to increase services and efficiency while decreasing spending. While the intentions of the Affordable Care Act are to make healthcare more affordable to Americans, the next decade will prove the opposite as Americans are faced with an increasing debt and a heavier tax burden that comes with a less-than-efficient national healthcare system.

When he first began to roll out his suffocating national healthcare program, President Obama and his fellow Democrats touted that Obamacare would give the American economy the boost it so desperately needed. While it is widely known that Obamacare has obliterated consumer choice, which is the driving force behind America’s free-market system, recent data shows that President Obama’s so-called boost to the economy has in fact produced the opposite effect.

The reason is obvious: you cannot add tens of millions of people who could not previously pay for health insurance to the insurance rolls, and have the government pay for some or all of their premiums, and not have government spending increase.

Of course, the left don’t really care, because the current (shifting) form of the Affordable Care Act was never intended to be anything long-lasting. Rather, it was always intended to get something, anything, passed which would establish the principle that the federal government was ultimately responsible for health care coverage. Then, when the ACA finally collapsed, the Democrats could throw up their hands and say, “See, we tried it the ‘conservative’ way, and it didn’t work, so single-payer is the only thing that’s left.” Unfortunately, some Republicans have gone along with that thinking with their “repeal and replace” talk, which sets the stage for some other form of federally guaranteed health care coverage, when the real answer is that the government should not guarantee health care coverage at all.

The real #WarOnWomen : encouraging women to remain poor!

From The Wall Street Journal:

GOP Gains in Key Senate Races as Gender Gap Narrows
In Iowa, Arkansas and Colorado, Democrats’ Advantage Among Women Voters Has Diminished
By Janet Hook | Updated Oct. 23, 2014 8:08 p.m. ET

In a warning flag for Democrats, recent polls suggest the party is failing to draw enough support from women in three key Senate races—in Iowa, Arkansas and Colorado—to offset the strong backing that men are giving to Republicans.

Surveys this week in Arkansas and Colorado for the first time also showed the GOP candidates pulling even or ahead of Democrats among women voters, threatening to close the gender gap that has been a cornerstone of Democratic electoral strategy for decades.

While the situation remains fluid, an erosion in the Democrats’ traditionally large advantage among women would be perilous for the party, especially in an election year in which men, who favor Republicans overall, are showing a greater enthusiasm for voting.

Democrats are making a particular effort to mobilize unmarried women—their strongest supporters, but a group that tends to skip midterm elections. However, the rise of national-security concerns and low approval ratings for President Barack Obama may undercut that effort.

Click to enlarge

Note the next to last sentence in the quoted section: unmarried women are the Democrats’ strongest supporters.1 Married women, on the other hand, normally favor Republicans. In 2012:

Fifty-three percent of married female voters went for Romney. Among single women, by contrast, Romney was about as popular as an extra 20 pounds; a mere 31 percent supported him. The gap between married and single women, then, is wider than the male-female gap that the media have been touting. And it isn’t new; married women have voted Republican in every presidential election since 1980, with the one exception of 1996, when they preferred President Clinton by 4 percentage points.

The Democrats love unmarried women, but it’s a prospect that sets up some of their strongest supporters for economic failure: married people are simply better off financially than are singles, including unmarried cohabiting couples. The reasons are, or at least ought to be, obvious: the economies of scale, along with shared household responsibilities, and greater economic commitment to the relationship and each other. The Democrats seem to think that issues like contraception are important, but married women use contraception just as much as do single women, yet the Democrats’ fear ploy — the Republicans are going to ban birth control!2 — seems to have little effect on married women.

The Democrats are in the position of getting a large percentage of their votes from poorer people, and thus needing poverty to remain higher rather than lower to have any electoral success. The thing that women, the thing that men as well, can do that will have the greatest positive impact on their financial well-being, is to get married, buy a house, and have children. In other words, the thing that people can do which will help them the most financially is to become the type of person who is most likely to vote Republican!

As Eric, a frequent commenter and far less frequent writer on this site, is wont to say, “The sexual revolution is over, and men won.” Yup, that’s exactly right. We used to have cultural norms which linked sexual activity to real commitment, to marriage or at least to an intent to marry, and those norms encouraged earlier marriages and put a stigma on bearing children out of wedlock. In our efforts to be fair to women, those cultural norms were ended, having the predictable results of later marriage, more often people never marrying, and far more children born out of wedlock. The left may see those as good and fair changes, but they have had the obvious economic consequences as well: children born out of wedlock usually wind up living part of their lives with only one parent, and that means a far greater likelihood of living in poverty. It doesn’t matter how good and strong and noble and dedicated a single parent may be, he still can’t do the work of two people, both in providing economic means and keeping a good home.

We have noted previously that culture plays a role in economic achievement, and that efforts to change the culture will have economic consequences. The cultural changes encouraged by the left have had the predictable economic results, as more people fell into the trap of being “liberated” from the old, staid ways . . . and wound up being liberated from prosperity as well. It does not seem to have occurred to many people that the older American culture developed the way that it did precisely because it yielded better economic results.

The oft-ridiculed Vice President Dan Quayle famously said:

Bearing babies irresponsibly is simply wrong. Failing to support children one has fathered is wrong. We must be unequivocal about this. It doesn’t help matters when prime-time TV has Murphy Brown, a character who supposedly epitomizes today’s intelligent, highly paid professional woman, mocking the importance of fathers by bearing a child alone and calling it just another lifestyle choice.

Mr Quayle noted the obvious problem: the Murphy Brown character was a “highly paid professional woman,” who had the financial resources to pay someone else to do the family chores she didn’t have the time to do. But, in our society, unwed mothers are rarely highly paid professional women; they are far more likely to be working class women who are barely scraping by on their own, now being burdened with child care expenses as well as the costs of surviving themselves. The left simply assumed that inexpensive contraception and legal abortion would avoid the cultural problems associated with changing sexual morés, but the results have been far different. Vice President Quayle was widely ridiculed for his statement, but it turned out that he was absolutely right.

The economic results are unchallengable. The economic policies advocated by the Republicans have proved to be more productive than those pushed by the Democrats — and would be even more so if the Republicans had stuck to their guns more strongly concerning deficit spending — and the people who follow the traditional cultural path in our society, the people who are more likely to vote Republican, have stronger overall financial results within their families.

The Democrats tried to use the Sandra Fluke meme to say that Republicans who opposed using the Affordable Care Act to force churches and religious people who did not believe that contraception was moral to have to provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plans anyway to claim that the Republicans were waging some kind of “War on Women,” but they got it exactly backwards; it is the Democrats, in their push to continually enable cultural choices which lead more rather than fewer women into poverty who are waging the real “War on Women.”
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  1. An untrue statement: Black Americans are the most loyal Democrat voting demographic, at about 90% loyalty, followed by American Jews, who give about ¾ of their votes to the Democrats.
  2. An outright lie on the part of the Democrats; there is no support for that in the Republican Party, and Republicans use contraception just as much as do Democrats.

Rule 5 Blogging: Sailors!

It’s the weekend and time, once again, for THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL’S version of Rule 5 Blogging. Robert Stacey Stacy McCain described Rule 5 as posting photos of pretty women somewhat déshabillé, but, on this site, our Rule 5 Blogging doesn’t put up pictures of Megan Fox in her summer clothes, but women, in full military gear, serving their countries in the armed forces. The terribly sexist authors on this site celebrate strong women, women who can take care of themselves and take care of others, women who have been willing to put their lives on the line in some not-so-friendly places, women who truly do have the “We can do it!” attitude. This week: United States Navy sailors! (Click any photo to enlarge.)

ARABIAN GULF (Jan. 18, 2014) Master-At-Arms 1st Class Renault Nwokeuku, right, instructs Aviation Maintenance Administrationman 3rd Class Amber Mahaffey, left, and Culinary Specialist Seaman Deantae Kirkwood how to conduct a proper take down maneuver aboard the aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75). Harry S. Truman, flagship for the Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group, is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations, supporting theater security cooperation efforts and supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Emily M. Blair/Released)

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: Sailors!’ »