Rule 5 Blogging: The Army and the Air Force

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, we’re back to good old American soldiers! Click any photo to enlarge.

Walk around before flight on an F-15E Strike Eagle.

Walk around before flight on an F-15E Strike Eagle.

Continue reading ‘Rule 5 Blogging: The Army and the Air Force’ »

From Around the Blogroll

Normally, I have more comentary on these articles, but I’ve been pretty busy today doing absolutely nothing:

The Feminist Empowerment of @Belle_Knox

From Donald Douglas:

Duke University Porn Star Belle Knox Returns to Campus Despite Threats
A news report at ABC, “Porn Star Student Returns to Duke University Campus.”

She says she’s “empowered” by making porn flicks to pay her way through college. Okay, whatever.

And one of the ladies interviewed at the clip says Knox is getting threats for being “assertive.” Yeah, I’m sure.

While we haven’t written about Miriam Weeks, the Duke University freshman who is supposedly paying her $60,000 a year tuition, room and board bill at Duke through acting in barely-legal pornographic films, Robert Stacey Stacy McCain has had several articles on her:

Miss Weeks was “outed” as a porn star going by the stage name of Belle Knox by a fellow Duke student, one who just happened to spend hundreds of dollars every month on his pornography habit, who recognized her. She then decided to try to take control of the story by writing about it herself — though she tried to use a pseudonym, it didn’t last long — claiming that what she was doing was a lot better than waiting tables, which she said she had done, that she loved sex and sex work, and that this was empowering for her.

The esteemed Mr McCain has noted that her story has changed somewhat — basically, she has told a bunch of half-truths about herself — but she has stuck to the story that she likes what she’s doing, and doesn’t care if you like it or not.

But sometimes the truth is told not in words, but in pictures. Miss Weeks had the opportunity to make some money during Duke’s spring break. The website Egotastic had the pictures; they are definitely not safe for work.

Belle Knox got very public at the HeadQuarters strip club in the Big Apple, dancing around in her school girl costume, naturally, and removing her top to flash her ACC All-Star udders. Obviously, there’s much more of Belle to see than this particular show, but I think it’s worth noting that her feminism extends to live work as well. Personally, I’d have rather done porn than a whole bunch of shitty jobs I had to pay for college. Hmm, cleaning clogged toilets in group homes or having paid sex on camera? Belle is much smarter and more merchandisable than I.

How much does Miss Weeks really enjoy her work? Well, your Editor undertook the grim task of copying all of the Egotastic photos from her strip show, and cropping them to make them safe for work on this site, because the truth is told not by her words, but by her face. To insure that we cannot be accused of hiding some information, to press an invalid point, I have reproduced ever photo from her strip scene which shows her face . . . and her expression.

The photos are all different sizes due to the way I cropped them, but, other than that, I have not altered them.

Now, the obvious question is: does this look like a woman who is actually enjoying herself, who is empowered? To me, she looks like she’s pretty much miserable! Sometimes, the truth comes not from what people say, but from how people look. The photos are below the fold; you can judge for yourself.

Continue reading ‘The Feminist Empowerment of @Belle_Knox’ »

Oh, those Democratic Attorneys General!

Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D-PA)

In the Keystone State, we have the amusing and sad spectacle of Attorney General Kathleen Kane (D-PA) squashing a sting and an investigation into bribery by some members of the Pennsylvania state legislature because, surprise! everyone caught has been a Democrat,1 an action so egregious that even the editors of The Philadelphia Inquirer complained.

And, of course, we have Eric Holder, the Attorney General for the United States, telling state Attorneys General that they do not have to enforce laws with which they disagree, specifically when it comes to the issue of gay marriage, but has also declined to enforce our immigration laws. Jack Conway, the Democratic Attorney General of Kentucky, announced that he would not defend the state’s laws and constitution concerning a ruling that the Bluegrass State must recognize homosexual marriages performed in other states.

Now, look what happened in Delaware, under the administration of Attorney General Beau Biden (D-DE):

Did Rapist Skate Due to DuPont Family Ties Only to Rape Again?
Filed in Delaware by on March 19, 2014 • 16 Comments

Sometimes, it takes a few hours to absorb a story. Such is the case here. And here. Go ahead and read. Seriously, I’ll wait.  You have only to read this excerpt from McJournal to get your blood boiling:

A du Pont family heir who received no prison time after pleading guilty to raping his 3-year-old daughter nearly a decade ago faces a lawsuit from his former wife that accuses him of sexually abusing his toddler son.

Robert H. Richards IV, 47, on probation after pleading guilty in 2008 to fourth-degree rape of his daughter, has never been charged with crimes against his son. The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Superior Court provides in-depth details about a child rape case that did not receive media attention and Delaware authorities never disclosed publicly.

And the alleged rapist?:

(Robert) Richards is a scion of two prominent Delaware families – the du Pont family, who built the worldwide chemical empire, and the Richards family, who co-founded the prestigious corporate law firm Richards Layton & Finger. Du Pont family patriarch Irenee du Pont is his great-grandfather. His father, Robert H. Richards III, was a partner in the law firm until his 2008 retirement.

Richards IV is supported by a trust fund and paid $1.8 million for his 5,800-square-foot mansion near Winterthur Museum. He also lists a home in the exclusive North Shores neighborhood near Rehoboth Beach as a residence, according to the state’s sex abuse registry.

So, he pled guilty in 2008 and got probation. For raping his toddler daughter. Let’s see…who was AG in 2008? That’d be Beau Biden, scourge of pathetic old men viewing kiddie porn on their computers.  The guy who has made keeping kids safe from predators his principal (only?) issue. How is it that a child rape case prosecuted by Biden’s office did not receive media attention and Delaware authorities never disclosed (it) publicly?  We get multiple press releases from Biden’s office every week proclaiming that they’ve arrested yet another (passive) degenerate for viewing stuff in the privacy of his own home. Yet, an heir to both the DuPont family fortune and the Richards legal empire gets probation (he pleaded guilty!) for raping a three-year old?

More at the link; emphases in the original. El Somnambulo’s original suffers in one regard: the alleged molestation of his son supposedly occurred between 2005 and 2007, which would place it before his 2008 guilty plea; that makes the article title, asking if Mr Richards raped again after being allowed to “skate” a problem. However, it certainly does ask the right question about how someone who pleaded guilty to raping his three year old daughter ever avoided a long, long prison sentence.

Attorney General Biden’s office sends out routine press releases, noting how vigilant they have been in cracking down on consumers of child pornography, and both the article author and some of the commenters have noted that the Attorney General has been harder on perverts looking at child porn and, it is assumed, masturbating to such than they have been on someone who actually raped a child . . . with the implication that such is the case because the child rapist is wealthy and well-connected. Of course, Mr Biden is running for re-election this year,2 but even if he drew Republican opposition, the denizens of the Delaware Liberal, as outraged as they were in the comments section, would still vote for Mr Biden, even if he was caught on tape taking cash from Robert Richards, before they’d vote for a [shudder!] Republican.

What we have is a rash of Attorneys General, both federal and state, not doing their jobs! It’s widespread enough that the conclusion has become inescapable: you cannot entrust Democrats to do something really radical like enforce the law!
_________________________

  1. While concomitantly trying to investigate whether the state prosecutors took too long to charge Jerry Sandusky, while they were building their case against him, because Mr Sandusky was so well-connected. She is trying to blame Governor Tom Corbett (R-PA), who was Attorney General when the investigation into Mr Sandusky began.
  2. Despite Mr Biden’s health, which has been an issue recently.

Spring has sprung . . .

. . .the grass is riz;
I wonder where
The flowers is.

My mother’s favorite poem. Happy Vernal Equinox!

A Canary In The Mine In York Co., PA Special Election – Harbinger of Things to Come?

In the PA Legislature our local Senator in the 28th District resigned for personal reasons. The Dems thought they could pull a fast one and push a RINO and far out Lib were going to run in a Special Election yesterday. We do have a Primary in two months which would have worked fine to hold this election. But the rush was on to get the career politician into this seat. One the machine knew he would vote for higher taxes. Well, a ringer Conservative joined the race as a Write-In vote. Now, write-ins usually have a snowball’s chance in hell to make it. However, a miracle happened yesterday, the Write-In candidate WON. Not only WON, but won big time. The Write-In Scott Wagner almost had 11K write-in votes. The RINO and Lib Dem TOGETHER had about 12K votes. So, the wonderment is this, did the dirty campaign have an effect, was this the Obama Effect, was it the anti-incumbent effect, or all of the above? But the article has the vote numbers.

Scott Wagner the presumed winner in 28th Senate

CHRISTINA KAUFFMAN / The York Dispatch

In what appears to be an unexpected victory for a conservative businessman who has made a point of bucking his own party, Republican Scott Wagner is presumed to have won a write-in campaign to defeat party nominee Ron Miller for an open seat in the state Senate.

The closely watched, hotly contested face-off ended in disappointment for the Republican mainstay and a first major victory for the tea party in York County.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday night, write-in votes totaled 10,595, or 47.7 percent, to Miller’s 5,920, or 26.6 percent. Democrat Linda Small of New Freedom nearly edged out Miller with 5,704 votes, for 25.7 percent.If all or most of the write-in votes are, as expected, for Wagner, he will have won the race by a healthy margin.

http://www.yorkdispatch.com/ci_25365621/york-county-polling-sites-report-low-turnout-28th

Putin holds the hammer (and sickle?)

Apparently, the very serious measures President Obama has announced haven’t fazed Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. From The Wall Street Journal:

Russia Moves Closer to Absorbing Crimea, Despite Sanctions
Putin Orders Approval of Draft Agreement on Annexation of Crimea

By Carol E. Lee and Jay Solomon in Washington, and Gregory L. White in Moscow | Updated March 18, 2014 7:24 a.m. ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin brushed off an initial round of Western sanctions over the Ukraine crisis and defied warnings of stiffer punishment to come by taking another step toward annexing Crimea.

The Obama administration Monday enacted what it called the most comprehensive sanctions to hit Russia since the end of the Cold War. It targeted 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials, including some of Mr. Putin’s top advisers and the ousted former president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, a close Kremlin ally.

The European Union followed by blacklisting 21 individuals. Unlike the U.S. it steered clear of Mr. Putin’s inner circle, wary of ratcheting up the East-West confrontation. Business ties run deeper between Russia and Europe, although the landscape gets murkier as tensions climb.

The officials blacklisted by Washington and Brussels laughed off the initial wave of sanctions, with many saying they have no overseas assets that could be targeted. Russian financial markets, which have been hit hard during the crisis, also jumped in what traders said reflected relief that the penalties weren’t more sweeping.

More at the link.

The sanctions are an annoyance, no doubt about that, but just an annoyance. They don’t have the power to undo Russia’s actions, or the bite to unseat President Putin, and everybody knows it. Thus far, Russia’s actions have been (mostly) limited to the Crimea, but if President Putin decides that his troops have to move into eastern Ukraine, ostensibly to protect the rights of the ethnic Russians and Russophones living there, he already knows that the West cannot and will not stop him.

In 1990, President Saddam Hussein ordered Iraqi forces to invade neighboring Kuwait, which quickly fell and was annexed by Iraq. At the time, the United States had a real President, and the elder George Bush told President Hussein that he had to leave Kuwait, period, or he would be forced out. President Hussein didn’t believe him, and President Bush took action; after several months of fruitless negotiations, and an American-led Coalition military buildup, Mr Bush ordered the assault which drove Iraqi forces back out of Kuwait.1

But President Bush did what was possible; it is not (realistically) possible to tell President Putin that if he doesn’t evacuate the Crimea, or if he assails eastern Ukraine, that we will use military force to expel him. We will not go to war over eastern Ukraine — or all of Ukraine, for that matter — and everybody knows it. All that remains are non-military measures, and the huge entanglement of our European allies with Russia, primarily Russia’s supplies of natural gas and petroleum, means that democratic Europe can’t tolerate much in the way of economic or financial sanctions. With the coming of Spring, Europe will need less natural gas from Russia, but is in no position to get no gas from Russia. Everybody knows that, too. Ideas that we could replace the supplies that Europe receives from Russia depend entirely on the Obama Administration being willing to allow greater oil and gas production and transportation, but the President and his Administration seem more concerned about climate change warnings than foreign policy, so we might as well take that idea off the table.2

And here is where President Obama’s past foreign policy weaknesses have hurt his credibility: the famous red line that he drew, and that Syrian President Bashar al Assad stepped right across, showed the world just how seriously anyone needs to take the threats of President Obama. In what now seems like an obvious ploy, President Putin even helped the United States, by brokering a deal in which Syria would give up its chemical weapons,3 but it exposed Mr Obama’s weakness vis a vis Mr Putin. A former KGB officer, Vladimir Putin isn’t the kind to miss things like that. He took the measure of Barack Hussein Obama in Syria, and saw exactly what kind of an opponent he faced.

President Theodore Roosevelt is credited with the expression “speak softly, but carry a big stick.” Reasonable people already knew that we could not and would not use that big stick against Russia, with her huge armies and nuclear weapons, but President Putin quickly determined that President Obama was very reluctant to carry that big stick even against Syria4 and Iran, and Mr Obama’s obvious distaste for the Israelis being willing to defend themselves vigorously only reinforced that view.

Bashar al Assad and Ali Hosseini Khamenei both showed that countries which could not resist the United States militarily if it came down to that could still flout Barack Obama’s demands, and that he would back down; a lot of not very nice men saw those examples and learned from them, and Vladimir Putin, who rules a country that the United States could not defeat militarily, certainly learned that lesson . . . because he helped to craft it!

Flags flown by demonstrators in the Crimea; note the old one in the center.

And so it has come to this: President Putin will do exactly what he wants to do, because he knows that he can do it. President Obama can bluster and fuss, which he will, but the former KGB officer knows that there’s just no threat like an empty one.

President Obama should be glad that there are no real reporters in the Kremlin, who could capture Mr Putin, on tape, laughing at him, because we all know that that’s exactly what he is doing.
_______________

  1. Regrettably, when we had Saddam Hussein on the ropes, the elder President Bush yielded to poor advice that President Hussein would be deposed by the Iraqi people, and stopped Coalition military action 100 hours into the ground assault. President Hussein survived, and this left it to the younger President Bush to finish the job.
  2. Even if the President reversed his policies, to allow such changes, the infrastructure to export large amounts of natural gas to Europe does not exist; port facilities would have to be modified and more liquified natural gas ships built.
  3. Which has begun, but which is also behind schedule.
  4. Sending out your Secretary of State to say that Bashar al Assad must go, twice, six months apart, and then forging agreements with him that do not require him to go does not exactly inspire confidence that your threats should be taken seriously.

Another solar energy company is failing

Normally, when quoting from newspaper articles, I try — not always successfully — to limit myself to the first four paragraphs. Donald Douglas, on the other hand, frequently quotes more, and considering that the original source is The New York Times, which limits non-subscribers to ten free article views a month, I think that I’ll refer you to Professor Douglas’ article, where you can read more without going over your NYT limit:

Fears Over China’s Currency
Interesting piece on the move toward a larger official trading band for the Chinese yuan, at the New York Times, “In China, Shaking Up Currency’s Strength.

Beijing heavily controls the value of the yuan (when it appreciates against the dollar, Chinese goods become more expensive, potentially hurting the country’s export-led economy). But what fascinated me about this piece was the effects on global traders from the default of a major bond investor to the tune of $163 million:

Over the years, China’s investors and trade partners have come to rely on what amounts to a “Beijing put,” an option that provides assurance that a minimum level of growth will be attained. When the country looked set to fall short, the government would intervene to prime the pumps — freeing up credit, introducing subsidies and otherwise ensuring that China avoided any real economic pain and remained on track as the world’s fastest-growing major economy.

Yet in the face of apparently slowing growth, this implicit guarantee is showing signs of fraying. Markets around the world are growing worried, from Australian iron ore miners to the luxury fashion houses of Europe to American scrap exporters.

Take copper, where global prices have fallen sharply in recent weeks. This is partly the result of concerns that growth is slowing in China, which accounts for more than 40 percent of global consumption of the metal. But the falling prices represent another, bigger fear — one that focuses on the role copper plays in China’s huge shadow finance sector and the realization that Beijing will not always be there with a bailout.

Further down in the article, if you choose to read it — and you should — you’ll notice that the problem was caused by a default on ¥1 billion ($163 million) of bond interest payments due by Shanghai Chaori Solar Energy Science and Technology Company.

Dr Douglas’ article, as well as the Times original — and there is more there, if you want to read it — goes more deeply into the financial situation, and I’m happy to let them address that part of the issue. What intrigued me was that the default was by a small producer of solar panels. The Chinese aren’t concerned or controlled by our House of Representatives and the evil Republicans who dominate it; how is it that everyone in the world other than we wicked American conservatives are so concerned about global warming, and doing something about it, yet the manufacturers of solar panels are having such problems?1

Somehow, no matter how much good, noble, well-intended people like former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore tell us that we have to worry about climate change, no matter how much august statesmen like Secretary of State John F Kerry tell us that climate change is as big a global threat as terrorism, poverty and weapons of mass destruction, in the actual real economy, it seems as though the favored businesses to provide alternative, renewable energy sources just aren’t doing very well. It’s almost as though it isn’t just radical right-wing global warming deniers who don’t take the Chicken Littles of climate change very seriously.

We told you so!

Breitbart notes the troubles in the Windy City:

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Warns of Doubled Property Taxes to Fund Spiraling Pension Costs
by Warner Todd Huston 12 Mar 2014 1236

Illinois has one of the worst pension messes in the nation as the cost of government employee benefits is sending state, county, and local governments into bankruptcy crises all across the state. No place has more trouble than Chicago, prompting Mayor Rahm Emanuel to warn that property taxes will have to double to serve that spiraling debt.

In 2015 Chicago faces a looming financial disaster with a municipal pension system that is in worse shape than that of any other major U.S. city. Chicago is under the gun for a whopping $1.07 billion balloon payment on its $19.4 billion pension debt for city employees. Chicago’s mayor is struggling to figure out how to pay the balloon payment, which is equal to one third of the city’s entire budget. According to The Wall Street Journal, the balloon payment alone could pay for the salaries of the Chicago Police Department’s entire 4,300 officer force or for the re-paving of all 16,000 blocks of roads in the city.

More of the ugly details at the original. But I have to quote the last paragraph for you:

Meanwhile, the State of Illinois already comes in at second place in the number of citizens moving out of state. Outward migration for The Land of Lincoln ranked second only to New Jersey in 2013.

I wonder: has anybody ever mentioned this kind of problem before?

Naturally, there was this news, thatMoody’s downgraded Chicago’s credit rating, from A3 to Baa1, with anegative outlook putting it only three notches above junk-bond status. The Windy City now has the worst credit rating of any major city other than Detroit . . . and Detroit is in bankruptcy!

Of course, Mayor Emanuel knows the dirty little secret: property can be bought and sold, but it can’t move. People who want to flee yet another tax increase will have to sell their property to someone else, because they can’t take it with them. The tax increase will have eventual effects on property prices, as people will lower their offers for property because the increased taxes make it more expensive. Most people with jobs in Chicago won’t be able to leave their careers. And the poor, who are mostly renters, will be bamboozled into thinking that this isn’t a tax increase on them, but just their evil landlords, while the landlords will do what they have to do, and pass on the tax increases in what they charge for rent!

The Democrats have a one-track mind: raising taxes is their only solution! But raising taxes really doesn’t work all that well, as the higher tax areas are finding out . . . though the Democrats will never admit it. They get higher tax revenues now, but their future growth is inhibited, and they wind up with a poorer populace.

Gone to the BIRDS

Every year about this time the Canadian Geese, Snow Geese and Tundra Swans are on their great migration NORTH to Canada. There is a Wildlife Preserve called Middle Creek which is in northern Lancaster Co., PA. As many as 80,000 to 100,000 birds could be resting here and waiting favorable winds. They are a week late this year due to the cold. The lake at the wildlife area is about 80% iced over. The othe two times I went there it was ice free. For comparison, the last two or three years crocus and mini-Lilacs were in bloom now. Today they are barely sticking shoots up.

First two pictures are from 2008 with a large migration:
CRW_9890a

CRW_9898a

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