Wednesday, December 30, 2015

It's a woman's world

Some thoughts
Who gets our $$s


THERE CURRENTLY IS AN AD on tv to fund a girls-only program to give girls a boost to get ahead of boys for a university education.

No boys allowed.

And simply not right, either.

According to Forbes The male-female ratio in higher education has been steadily moved in favor of the females ever since the 1970s. Total enrollment figures show that females outnumbered their male counterparts for the first time in the late 1970s, and they have steadily increased their numerical advantage ever since. The superiority first came in public universities, but soon private universities saw female enrollment surpass male enrollment.

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that Females are expected to account for the majority of college students: about 11.5 million females will attend in fall 2015, compared with 8.7 million males. Also, more students are expected to attend full time than part time (an estimated 12.6 million, compared with about 7.6 million).

Unless statistics lie - and we know they can be made to lie, the "send money" pitch should be made not for girls but for boys who are being left behind.

I well remember all the charges of misogyny and sexism when women were bared from men's organizations and when they were indeed a minority in U.S. colleges and universities. I also recall when women "journalists" invaded the men's locker room after a football, basketball, baseball, or other sports event. Dare a male invade the ladies' locker room? Not on your tin type. Teenage males and older best stay clear of Shapes fitness clubs and any place with "for women" in its name.

Of the Seven Sisters, with notable exceptions, only females and transgenders - I'm not clean if that means males in female bodies or the other way around - will be eligible for admission., Straight males need not bother to request an application.

Aside from the Catholic priesthood, there seems no place with a "male only" sign on the door, and even the priesthood is being threatened. Are any straight males beating down the doors to be a nun?

Boy Scouts so far still are BOY scouts and Girl Scouts are still for girls, Traditional male sports - tackle football for example, slowly is integrating. When will the hairy legs of a male swimmer rise above the water as part of a synchronized swim team. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander except it isn't so.

Hard to believe, but the term "sexist" may now be more applicable to the "gentler sex" (tell THAT to the Marines!). Times they aren't changing; they HAVE changed.


By the way, the antonym for misogynist is misandrist

Some not-so-kind quotes about men

Monday, December 28, 2015


Call me


Recently I read two really good yarns.

I was enjoying each when, in a word from my working days, I encountered a "got'cha."

A venue in one of the books was South Florida University.

According to the author, South Florida University is, logically, located in south Florida.

South Florida has many universities and colleges; even a few professional and trade schools who grandly label themselves "university" or "college."

South Florida University is not one of them.

South Florida University, as this father of an alum knows, has its main campus in Tampa - about 250 miles NNE from my house in south Florida.

An otherwise good read was interrupted by carelessness on someone's part.

The author gets the most blame. She assumed something. Perhaps that the school's name reflected its physical location or that her fact-checker, if she had one, actually checked the facts set forth in the who-done-it.

The editors that read her novel likewise must have assumed the author did her homework and ignored the faux pas.

I complained to the author; I don't recall that I received a satisfactory answer , but never mind; I'll read more of her efforts.

A book I finished today almost was a "can't put down" read; that's a high rating.

This was a Jesse Stone yarn called Fool Me Twice. Michael Brandman, writing for the late Robt. B. Parker, informed the reader that the bad guy had a .38 Beretta automatic.

While my sons favor semi-automatics, I prefer the simpler, easier to maintain wheel guns (revolvers). My revolvers fire .38 Special rounds, also known a S&W .38s.

I searched - and searched and searched again - on the Internet to find a .38 Beretta. There IS a .38 Super round made for pistols, but the .38 Special is not made for semi-automatics. (A few DO fire the .38 Special, but only wad cutters for target shooting, not true defensive rounds.)

I learned a lot about ammunition thanks to the book's reference to a .38 Beretta automatic.

There was a second factual error in the same sentence. The Beretta pistol the writer was trying to describe would be a semi-automatic, not an automatic.

A machine gun is an "automatic." Pull the trigger and hold it back and bullets continue to fire as long as they last (or until the gun barrel melts).A SEMI-automatic requires the shooter to pull the trigger for each shot.

A revolver can be considered a "semi-automatic" but the term now most often refers to a pistol with a clip or magazine feeding bullets into the firing chamber. All but single shot rifles and shotguns also can be considered "semi-automatics."

Only the the military and terrorists can use "automatic" weapons - machine guns. A few police departments may have a machine gun, but it is rare.

I don't actually read books to catch factual errors, but when I see one I like to share the find with the author so that the faux pas will be corrected in future editions and perhaps, perhaps, the author will do due diligence on their next book.

Friday, December 25, 2015


World leader
Denied access
To Disneyland


Muslims with terrorist ties
Unfairly discriminated against?

CBS, in a are moment of candor, reported that A DHS source tells CBS News that one of the brothers was refused entry into Israel two years ago, and his teenage son's Facebook account has links to terrorist websites.

To be fair, CBS DID bury the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) comment seven (7) paragraphs down, following "shame, shame" comments from the UK (Paragraphs 2 and 3) and a slam at presidential contender Donald Trump in Paragraph 4, and the accusation by the denied traveler that "It's because of the attacks on America. They think every Muslim poses a threat," Mohammad Tariq Mahmood, who was one of the family prevented from boarding his flight, told The Guardian. He went on to explain how the children in the group had been counting down the days until they would be able to see their extended family in southern California and visit Disneyland and Universal Studios in Paragraph 5.

To its credit, CBS did correctly note that Trump called for a temporary ban on Muslims visiting the country. Most media elect to ignore the word temporary - it's inconvenient for their purposes.

The CBS report failed to include WHY Israeli authorities prevented one of the brothers from entering Israel, CBS also failed to report if the family complained to the media and UK politicians on that occurrence. The network failed to indicate if it attempted to contact Israeli authorities and, if it did, what was Israel's response. (Complete reporting never has been a tv forte'.)

Mohammad Tariq Mahmood should consider himself in rare company.

On 18 September 1959, Nikita Khrushchev, then USSR premier, was denied access to Disneyland when Eisenhower was president.

Khrushchev, famously banged his shoe in the UN General Assembly on October, 1960, and declared (in a questionable translation): "We will bury you (the U.S.).

Khrushchev was not a Muslim, but he was the leader of the only other "super-power" and he had hobnobbed with ten-president Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower in Washington (just as the incumbent allegedly meets and greets Islamic terrorist organization leaders).

I can empathize with Mahmood's anger. Not only was he and members of his extended family banned from entering the U.S. - any nation's prerogative - but the airline, which CBS failed to identify - was it a UK or U.S. carrier? - refused to refund the £9,000 (US$13,407.70) paid for the tickets. Duty-free shop purchases also had to be returned (CBS failed to indicate if they got refunds there), nor did CBS report why the air carrier failed to inform Mahmood that he and his family would be prevented from boarding before they arrived at the airport.).

Any embarrassment Mahmood may have felt at being prevented from boarding the flight to the U.S. should be laid at the feet of the carrier - again. CBS failed to tell us on which airline Mahmood and kin were booked.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Ripping off


MY MEDICARE INSURANCE company, AvMed just sent me a notice that it paid a doctor $343.00 on a bill of $350.00.

My co-pay was zero.

So why am I complaining?

I WAS IN THE hospital overnight for a "fem-pop bypass" to bypass an aneurysm.

I was admitted Wednesday morning and discharged Thursday evening.

The surgeon chatted with me before the operation (he's cut on me before) and he had me as a "show-n-tell" for some floor nurses and one of his partners the next day.

Today, AvMed informs me it paid another physician $343.00.

I never saw the physician.

Neither my wife nor son, who were with me, saw any physicians other than the surgeon. The Spouse supposes that this doctor's nurse came by to say "Hello," but I don't recall any nurses or nurses' aids that were not identified on the huge white board on the wall.

Again, my co-pay for this invisible doctor's visit was $0 - nada, effis, nothing.

BUT I THINK MEDICARE - FUNDED BY MY TAX DOLLARS - IS GETTING RIPPED OFF; the doctors who bill for visits not made are thieves.

Maybe this phantom physician has to make his payments on a prestigious car; my surgeon drives a leased Jaguar - we chat about cars and other topics between surgeries.

I may not have a co-pay, but in the end, I am - and all tax-payers are - paying for services not rendered. That, plain and simple, is theft.

Maybe $343.00 is a pittance to AvMed, too little in the grand scheme of things to investigate. But consider: if you add up phantom physician visits at one a day times 256 days (52 5-day work weeks) time $350 (the fee billed) the Grand Total is a healthy $91,000 (91 thousand). Granted that's probably peanuts for a lot of doctors and they do have debt - college and medical school aren't inexpensive, even the off-shore schools can be pricy.

Mind, that $91,000 total is for ONE visit to ONE patient for ONE day. Any invisible doctor should be able bill for 8 to 16 "visits" per day. Think about it: $350 times 12 "visits" per day and our phantom physician has billed Medicare or some other insurance company $4,200 - and the doctor may not have set foot in the hospital.

Even if the doctor sends a nurse in his or her stead, the doctor still is raking it in; nurses, as important as they are, don't get the dollars doctors do.

It's fraud, Medicare fraud, and while Medicare,gov preaches "report fraud," I suspect when fraud is reported, the individual fraud - e.g., $350 - is just to picayunish for the government to consider. The Medicare budget for 2014 was $511 billion.

Sunday, December 13, 2015


Is Trump correct
To ban all Muslims?


A REUTERS ARTICLE titled Islamic State can falsify Syrian passports, US report claims suggests that Donald Trump's plan to temporarily ban most non-U.S. Muslims from entering the U.S. might be a wise move, despite liberal cries of unAmericanism.

The "American way," the liberals, in agreement with Obama, seem to be saying, is to open our borders to the enemy. Trump and his ilk are turning American Muslims against their country by temporarily banning additional Muslim immigration, the liberals contend.

IF AMERICAN MUSLIMS WHAT TO CHANGE TRUMP'S rhetoric they might start policing themselves and exposing those Muslims - both citizens and non-citizens in America - who plan to maim and murder Americans of all beliefs.

Unfortunately, many American blacks seem to have the same mindset; don't point a finger at a fellow black who has, or is planning to, commit a crime, even murder. To be fair, neither American Muslims nor American blacks originated the idea of maintaining silence when a member of their religious or ethnic group is involved in criminal activity. Almost all groups - save for the two - have integrated into the national community and have put their community above parochial interests.

Islam apparently is the supreme ideology.

In the Muslim world, ongoing warfare takes the lives of Sunni and Shia, each killing to honor their post-prophet leadership, while the Wahabes of Saudi Arabia lop off heads and other body parts of any Muslim - and often non-Muslims as well - who are "less strict" that their extreme take on Islam.

But when it comes to combating a non-Muslim, differences are put aside and, in America, it is almost impossible to find a Muslim who will report a fellow Muslim - regardless of the Muslim's religious perspective - who is planning carnage in the name of Allah or the prophet.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Who gets credit for that famous remark? Not this scrivener. In fact, not any American. The credit goes to Edwin Burke, an Irishman born in Dublin in 1729!

Nobody knew, no one suspected??

Burke also is credited with a similarly worded statement:

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

Nothing has changed since Burke uttered those words

Both statements are applicable today, and we see the price we pay when good people remain silent, putting a few individuals above the community.

While I know Trump's words are an anathema to Muslims and liberals around the world, until the Muslims in America wake up and elect to become Americans first and Muslims second, his words need to be taken seriously and acted upon.

Muslims in America must decide - are they Americans first or Muslims first? That doesn't mean to give up Islam, but it DOES mean that when a fellow Muslim is planning to commit a crime, that person needs to be reported to the proper authorities.

That admonition applies to blacks, Jews, Christians, atheists; to all ethic and religious groups equally. Until Muslim Americans step up and perform their civic duties, Trump and his followers will have a reason to suggest temporarily banning Muslims from entering the U.S.

It's the American Muslims' decision.

Friday, December 11, 2015


How Obama
Vets terrorists


It wasn't only the DHS screening Malik passed, but according to a LA Times article titled "Rampage killers led secret life, hiding plans and weapons," she also had to go through a FBI background check, After a background check by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, she was granted a conditional green card last summer. (All News Pipeline)

Texas Senator and Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said that the vetting for San Bernardino attacker Tashfeen Malik “is the exact same vetting they are proposing to do for these Syrian Muslim refugees” and President Obama “acts as an apologist for radical Islamic terrorists” on Saturday’s “Fox & Friends” on the Fox News Channel.

If you ask a murderer if he (or she) is about to kill someone, the answer always is "No."

So when you ask a person who plans to a terrorist attack "Are you planning a terrorist attack" what do you - as a reasonable person - expect to hear in reply? "No," of course.

Apparently, from a number of sources (see below) asking stupid questions and accepting the answers as truth is how Obama's people are - not just intending, but in fact are doing - vetting people seeking visas to the U.S.

No serious investigation. It takes too long and too much manpower and too much money - and for all that may not uncover the truth anyway.

But to call answering 20 questions "vetting" is absurd, yet that is what Obama is having his minions do; ask a question (Are you planning an attack on the U.S.?) and accepting the answer ("No") sans further investigation.

That "20 questions" process allowed one terrorist (Tashfeen Malik) into the country, and she applied for a finance visa; imagine how the thoroughness of the vetting process will go for the initial 10,000 "refugees" from Syria's civil war. Rubber stamps will be flying.

Meanwhile, Obama's people are stonewalling. Sen. Cruz, and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) , sent a letter to the U.S. Attorney General, the DHS director, and Secretary of State which reads, in part:

On August 12, we sent a letter requesting that you provide basic information regarding the immigration histories of 72 individuals in the United States who have been identified as having a connection to terrorism over a one-year period. You have failed to comply with the request, sent more than three-and-half months ago.

A response is not only long overdue, but urgent in light of a series of assaults, including: the heinous attacks in San Bernardino, California, the earlier attacks on the military recruiting center in Chattanooga, the Boston Bombing, and Congress' imminent consideration of government funding legislation that would include funding for myriad immigration programs that have allowed for these events to occur.

Press reports indicate that the alleged perpetrators of yesterday's attacks, Syed Rizwan Farook and his new wife Tashfeen Malik, wore" assault style clothing, "described as "tactical gear," and authorities described their home as an "IED factory, "with multiple pipe bombs and small explosives strapped to remote-controlled cars. According to these press reports, Farook is the child of immigrants who came to the United States from Pakistan, and Malik travelled to the U.S.. from Saudi Arabia.

According to the LA times: "Farook recently traveled to Saudi Arabia and returned with a new wife he had met online." A CNN report added the following detail: "Farook traveled to Saudi Arabia for several weeks in 2013 on the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims are required to take at least once in their lifetime, which didn't raise red flags, said two government officials. It was during this trip that he met Malik, a native of Pakistan who came to the United States on a 'fiancee visa' and later became a lawful permanent resident." Among Muslim nations, Pakistan is the top recipient of U.S. green cards, having received 83,000 between FY09-FYI3. Further, according to CBS News, sources say that the two viewed ISIS propaganda online, and separate reports indicate that Farook was in touch with other individuals being investigated for terrorism.

According to MSNBC, The fiancé visa program has one of the more rigorous security screening processes — presenting far more hurdles than other avenues for foreigners to enter the U.S.

It requires an applicant to submit a standard non-immigrant form, with personal and security questions, plus certificates from police in every country in which an applicant has lived for more than six months, a medical examination, a passport, documentation of financial support, proof of the relationship with a U.S. citizen and various fees. Applicants who are granted a fiancé visa receive a sealed file of personal and government documents, which must be kept sealed and presented to security officials upon entry to the U.S.

Note that the MSNBC copy does NOT specify who solicits the information from the "police in every country," the visa issuing agency or the applicant. As far as a passport, they easily are purchased from forgers. Likewise it is questionable if a sponsor's financial background is checked; personal experience suggests it is not. In short, the applicant can answer all the "personal and security questions" with lies and buy all other documentation (police and medical reports, passport).

Will the initial 10,000 Syrian refugees be submitted to what MSNBC terms "one of the more rigorous security screening processes"?

Fox News, citing The Los Angeles Times that in turn cited an anonymous federal law enforcement official, reports that Syed Rizwan Farook was in contact with members of the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and the African extremist group Al-Shabaab. The official told the Times there was “some type” of contact between Farook and the terror groups, but it was unclear what kind of contact the parties had.

Islamic State radio also released a statement early Saturday saying two supporters of the terror group committed the atrocity in California, according to Reuters. However, ISIS didn't claim responsibility for the attacks.

Were I a cynic I might suggest that the Feds inability to act on information has not changed since 9-11 and, before that, Dec. 7 (1941).



San Bernardino Killer Passed DHS Vetting!" TARGET="Pipe">All News Pipeline

San Bernardino shooter PASSED ‘Homeland Security’ vetting; Cruz, Sessions demand answers

Cruz: CA Attacker Passed ‘Exact Same Vetting’ Being Proposed for Refugees, Obama ‘Apologist’ for Terror

Female San Bernardino shooter reportedly entered US on 'fiancée' visa with inaccurate address

How the San Bernardino shooting suspect entered the US on a fiancé visa

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Wet foot
Dry foot


GOP PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE BEN CARSON doesn't know anything about the U.S. government's "Wet foot/dry foot" policy.

Not surprising. He is not a Cuban, south Floridian, or denizen of New York City.

Before anyone discounts his candidacy as they did that of then Alaska governor Sarah Palin for her lack of foreign experience, the incumbent at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue had even less experience with foreign policy. At least Gov. Palin could see a foreign nation from her state. The Chicago community organizer couldn't even see Canada from the Windy City.

While this is about politics, it is not about politicians.


There are, basically, three "official" problems with Cuba; reasons why Washington and south Florida politicians want to maintain the status quo.

    Problem 1: Cuba's government barely tolerates dissent.

    Problem 2: Cuba's government is one of several Communist/Socialist governments in the Western Hemisphere.

    Problem 3: Cuba lacks a U.S.-style democracy.


The United States has diplomatic and trade agreements with China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and a number of other countries that stifle civil rights.

China, through its proxies North Korea and Vietnam, has been involved in shooting wars with the U.S. and still threatens U.S. allies South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. Chinese ICBMs and ship-born (sea-to-land) missiles easily can strike cities on the U.S. mainland. China over the years has greatly increased its naval presence on, and beneath, the waves. Now Chinese warships are welcomed at U.S. ports.

Clip on image to enlarge

Russia, now in expansionist mode, has been involved with the U.S. in the so-called "cold" war for decades. Like China, Russia has the capability of sending missiles into American cities.

Saudi Arabia, which never has been in a shooting war with the U.S. does expect the U.S. to send troops to die protecting it while at the same time being one of the least tolerant nations of the world. The Saudis - under a harsh variation of the already harsh sharia law - execute women by stoning for the crime of being raped; it lops off heads of people who dare criticize the prophet (as do other Islamic nations).

Despite the above, the U.S. "enjoys" diplomatic and trade relations with all three of the above - and many more nations where civil rights are severely restricted or non-existent.

But Cuba? While the U.S. has several times invaded Cuba, Cuba never has invaded the U.S. - at least not as a military operation. True, the Russians, back when the Soviet Union existed, wanted to put ICBMs on Cuban soil and Fidel Castro was willing to accept the weaponry - in return for which the Soviets guaranteed to buy sugar and tobacco from Cuba to keep the Cuban economy from absolute collapse having Cuban products embargoed by the U.S.

Unlike China and Russia, Cuba is the U.S.' neighbor, famously 90 miles away from Key West.

It does allow some dissent, the Women in White as an example.

It seems to this scrivener that the best way to improve the lot of the average Cuban is to develop trade with the island; to export the flavor of U.S. style democracy (while realizing that not every nation can handle democracy as it is, or perhaps was, known in the U.S.).

It was Trinidad, not Cuba, but the bottom line of Rum and Coca-Cola was the "Yankee dollar." It may not have the power it once had, but it's still more welcome than the Russian ruble or even the Chinese yuan.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Corkscrew "journalism"

Half truths are total lies
Taking words out of context


NO DOUBT ABOUT IT, Donald Trump makes some headline-worthy remarks.

Problem is, the headlines frequently are not accurate.

I watched and heard "The Donald" clearly state he wants to prevent Muslims from entering the U.S.

I watched and heard tv talking heads on ABC, CBS, and NBC state that Trump would bar a Muslim who is an American citizen from re-entering the county.

One network had the absolute chutzpah to suggest that a U.S. Marine who was killed in action would not be allowed back into the U.S. had he survived his deployment.

Only a fool would twist Trump's words to suggest he meant U.S. citizens..

(Although to be fair, the male attacker in San Bernardino was a "born in the USA" citizen.)

Trump later backed off and allowed that athletes coming to compete in sports, diplomats, and at least one other category of Muslim visitors would be permitted to enter the U.S.

One tv network admitted that the U.S. has not always been kind to people. Case in point, the tv talking head said with film in the background, were Japanese during WW 2. First and second generation Americans were herded into concentration camps just because they were Japanese.

Germans were not incarcerated, even those pro-nazi Germans in the Bund.

Italians were not locked up behind barbed wire even if they were pro-Il Duce.

Mind you the people sent to camps were AMERICAN CITIZENS. Many Japanese were fighting for America in Europe. America was afraid to let them fight in the Pacific, but Germans and Italians were fighting in Europe. Looking different made the difference.

The network talking head carefully ignored the fact that the U.S. refused to let Jews trying to escape the nazis into the country. An appeal to allow 20,000 CHILDREN into the country was denied by America's politicians.

Maybe Trump is too radical to be president. He appears to be honest, which is more than can be said for many -perhaps most -who have resided in the White House.

No question that Trump is NOT "politically correct," most especially in the eyes of the liberals.

One thing apparently ignored is that the San Bernardino massacre was at the hands of a native son, a born and educated in America Muslim. Despite evidence to the contrary, none of his acquaintances nor his mother - who shared a home with her son and daughter-in-law - reported the couple's terror-like behavior to the authorities. The pair had more than 3000 rounds of ammunition in their home and bomb making equipment in the garage. Mother never saw the bullets and never went to the garage?

Were all the people who knew them afraid? Were they in agreement with the couple's ideology?

When something is written or said in the media I am skeptical. So many times what is said is distorted or only partially reported. Watching a politician - particularly a Republican politician - say something on tv and then listening to the media report it is like listening to two different talks.

The way statements are presented in the media makes me think of a cork screw; twisted beyond recognition.


President Obama:."We should put in place stronger screening for those who come to America without a visa so that we can take a hard look at whether they’ve traveled to war zones,” Obama said Sunday in a televised address from the Oval Office. “And we’re working with members of both parties in Congress to do exactly that.”

U.S. House or Representatives: The House overwhelmingly passed legislation on Tuesday (407 to 19) that would overhaul the federal visa waiver program and bar those from Iraq, Syria, Iran and the Sudan, or those who have visited those countries in the last five years, from traveling to the United States without a visa.

Sounds good, but a terrorist likely has a passport that is used for trips to the "forbidden lands" and another passport for legitimate travel - say to the U.S.

Citizens of many countries currently can enter the U.S. sans visas. Among the no-visa-required countries are Belgium, France, Germany, and UK, all of which have active terrorist organizations as proven by recent events.

QUESTION: How are passport checkers at international arrival points going to know the man or woman with a "clean" passport was in Daesh-controlled areas or Iran?

STILL ANOTHER QUESTION: Since it is difficult - or very expensive - for a person to enter the U.S. with weapons and bomb making equipment, the person with intent to kill and maim must be supported by people already in the country - perhaps a "born in the USA" citizen.

ANSWER: The president's and representatives' plans are useless; hardly "better than nothing."

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Trump vs. Muslims:
Nothing new
Under the (U.S.) sun


DONALD TRUMP WANTS TO STOP Muslims from entering the United States.

People of all stripes are shocked.

How can anyone, how dare anyone, even suggest banning an entire people from entering the country based on religion?

It's been done before.

Back in 1939, a ship, the St. Louis 1 carrying more than 900 Jews 2 escaping nazi Germany attempted to land at its first destination, Cuba; when the Jews arrived with Cuban visas, they found the Cuban government, under Batista, had reneged and refused the Jews' entry. The ship's captain, Gustav Schroeder, pointed the ship north and sailed along the U.S. east coast, appealing to the U.S. to allow his passengers entry.

Influenced by the economic hardships of the Depression, 3 which exacerbated popular antisemitismsic, isolationism, and xenophobia, the refugee policy of the US State Department and its stringent (and questionably legal) application of the 1924 Immigration Law made it difficult for refugees to obtain entry visas, despite the ongoing persecution of Jews in Germany.

Although several other European countries permitted limited Jewish immigration (for example Britain, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands) before 1938, many of these refugees disappeared as Nazi Germany conquered Europe. Latin America had also been a potential destination for refugees, although after 1938 these nations increasingly refused to admit further immigrants. A significant exception was Bolivia, which admitted around 30,000 from 1938-1941.

Beginning in 1940, the United States further restricted immigration by ordering US consuls to delay visa approvals on national security grounds. After the United States entered the World War II in December 1941, the trickle of immigration virtually dried up, just as the Nazi regime began systematically to murder the Jews of Europe. Despite many obstacles, however, more than 200,000 Jews found refuge in the United States from 1933 to 1945, most of them before the end of 1941.

In June 1939,4 then-president Franklin Roosevelt decided to refuse political asylum to more than 900 passengers aboard the German ocean liner St. Louis. The passengers, nearly all of them Jewish refugees, had the lights of Miami in sight when the United States government refused them permission to disembark. Roosevelt did not respond to pleas for help. The ship returned to Europe, and the Holocaust claimed more than a third of those who returned to the Continent.

Efforts by some Americans5 to rescue children failed: the Wagner-Rogers bill, an effort to admit 20,000 endangered Jewish refugee children, was not supported by the Senate in 1939 and 1940. Widespread racial prejudices among Americans—including antisemitic sic attitudes held by the US State Department officials—played a part in the failure to admit more refugees.

At the time, the total population of the U.S. was 132.2; in 2010, the last census, the U.S. population stood at 308.7 million.

The Census omits questions that identify the population by religion.

The Jewish population, as recorded by Jewish sources 6 in 1940 was estimated between 4,770,000-4,975,000; the estimated Jewish population in 2011 was 6,588,065.

Jews And Syrians: Counting Bodies

It was estimated that the nazis and their followers murdered some 12 million people over 6 years. That figure has now jumped to an estimated 15 to 20 million 7 of which at least 5 to 6 million were Jews. (Others murdered by the nazis and those like them included mentally and physically handicapped, Communists, and Roma (gypsies), among others.)

This does not include Jews murdered 8 in Muslim countries that aligned with the nazi's effort to exterminate the Jews.


By comparison, as of September 2015, "more than 200,000 people have been killed in the four and a half year Syrian civil" 8

Roosevelt and Congress turned their backs on the Jews - even children - while Obama wants to welcome 10,000 Syrian Muslims.

Jews, as a people, never have attacked the United States.

Muslims have, on several occasions, the most successful from the Muslim point of view must be 9-11-2001.

Muslims are at war with each other 10: Shia, Sunni, Wahabi, and more variations on the theme. Admittedly, Jews also are religiously fragmented, but they are not known to war against each other with any weapons other than words.

The question becomes: Which Muslim sect will be allowed in? If more than one, what guarantee that (a) the refugees won't bring their intra-religion wars to the U.S. and (b) that they won't -as they have done in England, France, and elsewhere in Europe - set up sharia law wherever they settle (at the expense of U.S. and local laws)?

Another question: Who will sponsor the refugees?

A 2011 survey of Muslim Americans, 11 which was conducted in English as well as Arabic, Farsi and Urdu, estimated that there were 1.8 million Muslim adults (and 2.75 million Muslims of all ages) in the country. That survey also found that a majority of U.S. Muslims (63%) are immigrants. Another survey 12 estimates that between five to 12 million Muslims live in the United States. About one-third of them are African-Americans. Another third are originally from the Indian subcontinent, including Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. The last third include Arab immigrants, Latinos, other European and Caucasian Muslims, and converts to Islam. The first Muslims to come to the Americas were brought as slaves. The first mosque built in America was in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

President Obama claims that all Syrian refugees will be closely vetted and that will take some time, yet he seems prepared to welcome 10,000 or more Syrians in short order.


1. SS St. Louis

2. St. Louis cargo

3. U.S. immigration policy toward Jews fleeing nazis

4. FDR and the Jews

5. Wagner-Rogers bill

6. U.S. Jewish population, 1654 to 2013

7. Holocaust death count

8. Syrian death count

9. Muslims and nazis

10. Islamic Supreme Council of Canada

11. Muslims in U.S.

12. Muslim population in US

Monday, December 7, 2015


Isn't it


Egypt wants gas,
Israel, Jordan building a bridge

FOR YEARS ISRAEL has been telling its neighbors: Have peaceful relations with us and we all gain.

Egypt listened and, although there have been some tensions, the Sadat-Begin peace has held. (I list Anwar Sadat first since he came to Jerusalem to meet with Menachem Begin - two old warriors who knew all too well the price of war.)

Egypt now is first in line for Israeli gas from the Med. It has plans to use some and make a profit on the rest that it buys from its neighbor.

Jordan, which came to the table late, now is planning a new bridge over the river to connect industrial districts in each country.

There already are three crossings between Israel and Jordan:

  Allenby/King Hussein bridge

  Sheikh Hussein crossing /North Border

  Wadi Araba Crossing/South Border,

According to the WorldTribune,
Israel and Jordan plan to boost economic and trade ties with the development of a joint industrial zone on both banks of the Jordan River.

“This is an important milestone between the two countries in promoting a large-scale economic project, which will provide employment and welfare to Israeli and Jordanian citizens and the entire region,” said Deputy Regional Cooperation Minister Ayoub Kara, who heads the project.

Jordan and Israel, in this scrivener's opinion, should be working together to develop a common international airport near the Red Sea.

The bridge is not the only thing Israel and Jordan are working on together.

Also in the works is a joint effort to build a waterway between the Dead Sea and the Red Sea. This little enterprise is expected to cost the neighbors roughly US$800 million according to a Jerusalem Post article.

There is a long history of quiet cooperation between the two countries. Those "quiet" conversations failed to prevent war, but perhaps laid the groundwork for the current peace agreement with the Hashemite kingdom.

With Egypt the issues are security in general and Gaza (Hamas) in particular.

But peace, even a shaky peace, is proving beneficial for all three countries. If only some others in the region would recognize the value of peace with Israel, even if it is "unofficial."

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Grammar police & tvs

Getting it right
Too difficult
For talking heads


WATCHING LOCAL tv talking heads either can be (a) painful or (b) amusing.

Back in the day, I was editor of a small daily in eastern Nevada. Because the owner was cost conscious the paper shared an AP "pony wire" with the local radio station.

The copy over the wire - since the target market was radio and tv - always provided a phonetic pronunciation of uncommon words.

As examples:

    Chabad (ha-bad)
    Chanukah (ha-nu-kah)
    Netanyahu (ne-tan-ya-hoo)
I don't know if local news writers - those people who prepare what the talking heads (anchors) read - do the same thing - I suspect not.

Because Hanuka (or Chanukah or …) is at hand it gets a brief mention in my area. South Florida has the second or third largest concentration of Jews in the U.S. ignoring Hanuka puts some advertising revenue in jeopardy, and no media outlet wants that.

This morning, I was told CHA-bad - "cha" as in "cha-cha" the dance - was planning a parade of cars with menorahs on their roofs. (Never mind that the correct name for the "Hanuka menorah" is "hanukiea (ha-nu-key-yah). Lots of Jews don't even know that so I don't fault the writer or reader.)

Down here, Chabad is almost ubiquitous; I know of 4 within a few minutes drive or a 30-minute walk.

Obviously the talking head lived a sheltered life in some rural midwest hamlet.

The person who wrote the script for the newsreader should have known the reader's disability and either told him how to pronounce Chabad (ha-bad) or written the word phonetically.

Unique is unique and is not modifiable

As a risk management practitioner I used to write long lists of threats to my client's organization.

As the last entry I would add "ubiquitous other" to cover any threat my client's Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and I might have overlooked.

As with unique the only acceptable modifier is "almost."

Something may be almost unique or almost ubiquitous, but never "most" or "more" or "less."

My spouse, who has English as her - at least - fourth language, and all my children - one of whom now is an English teacher, compete with me to catch professionals (talking heads) who, despite university educations, lack a basic command of English.

Perhaps the talking heads and their writers lacked teachers in grammar/elementary schools who cared about the language I doubt that even Fowler would continence "most unique" or "extremely ubiquitous."


BY THE WAY has anyone noticed that the reports about terrorist attacks around the world always, always fail to mention Israel where terrorist attacks occur multiple times-a-day?

Friday, December 4, 2015

Gun control

Only in Washington


Yes, yes, - four times yes.

Allow gun sales to mentally ill: Yes

Allow gun sales to people on No Fly list: Yes

Allow gun sales sans background checks: Yes

Many U.S. senators are stupid: Yes

TRUTH IN BLOGGING: This scrivener owns guns and has a concealed weapons license. One son is a policeman, another has a small arsenal of rifles and handguns.; both have concealed weapons licenses.

What the Senate did on December 3 should join December 7th in the "Days of infamy" category.


By a vote of 52 to 47, the Senate rejected a proposal to strengthen treatment for mental illness and substance abuse disorders. The proposal to prevent people with mental illness from purchasing weapons was included in the overall proposal.

    Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) said Thursday there are still too many unknowns about the San Bernardino shootings, but he said one common theme among many mass shootings is mental illness, an issue he says Congress has already been working on with legislation.

    "People with mental illness are getting guns and committing these mass shootings," Ryan said on CBS This Morning. Ryan made the same point earlier this week in reaction to the post-Thanksgiving shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic.

Lawmakers voted 50 to 48 to reject a bill that would have expanded background checks on guns purchased online or at gun shows.

    John Cornyn (R-TX) failed to win an alternative putting gun sales on hold for 72 hours for people on watch lists. Critics have said such background checks could take longer to complete.

Many states already have waiting periods - from 3 days (Florida, Iowa) to 14 days (Hawaii). During the 72-hour delay, Florida's Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) checks to assure the buyer is eligible to own a handgun. A Florida concealed carry license is significantly more stringent and time consuming.

The Senate voted 45 to 54 against a bill that would have stopped people on the terror watch list from purchasing guns.

    Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) said part of the discussion surrounding mental health legislation is who should and shouldn't have access to guns, but he signaled that barring gun purchases by people on no-fly terror lists — as President Obama urged Wednesday — is not an option.

    Ryan said government officials put people on such lists without any due legal process and so denying those listed the right to bear arms would violate their rights.

    "People have due process rights in this country," he said.

    "If somebody is too dangerous to board an airplane (because they are on a terrorist watch list), they are too dangerous to buy a gun," Diane Feinstein (D-CA) said at a press conference with seven Democratic senators. "This shouldn't be a partisan issue."

Do non-citizens have all citizen rights and if so, why? If a person unjustly is on the No Fly list, there is a remedy.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll last month found 82 percent thought gun violence was a very serious or somewhat serious problem. But opinion split almost evenly over whether enacting new laws to reduce gun violence or protecting the right to own guns was more important.

The poll also found that 63 percent blamed mass shootings on mental health problems, while 23 percent cited inadequate gun control.

I'm always skeptical of polls. Who was polled? Where was the poll taken? How many people were polled? How were the questions phrased. As a writer I know how to phrase a question to get the answer I want. Unless I have all the information, in my mind all polls are suspect - even ones that agree with me.


Apparently ignored by the Senate was purchase of fully automatic weapons and weapons that can be modified to be full automatic.

Likewise, why would a hunter with an AK-47 need a 75 round magazine (clip)? Or even a 30-round magazine? Is the hunter a terrible shot? I'd hate to be hunting where he is hunting. Does he think it will take 30 or 75 shots to bring down a buck?

Why would anyone need a 33-round clip for a handgun unless the shooter was planning either mass murder, a gang war, or just planning to "shoot up the neighborhood."

Yes, Virginia, 75-round and 33-round magazines are for sale in the U.S., no questions asked.


The FBI and other state and federal government agencies seem to have a problem labeling the husband and wife who murdered and wounded so many at a San Bernardino center on December 2 as terrorists.

Never mind that they had more than 2,000 rounds of ammunition, that they had bomb making equipment and completed bombs in their home, that they had contact with known, albeit "low level" (meaning???) , terrorists, that they outfitted themselves with body armor before the rampage.

How can anyone, including POTUS, conclude that these people were NOT terrorists. Even if they were not Muslim terrorists, they still were terrorists: a terrorist is a person whose acts are intended to terrorize others, and by their actions, this husband and wife team were, without a doubt, terrorists.

After thought Because the San Bernardino building was a gun-free zone, all of the victims were unarmed, defenseless.

Gun-free zones are the result of work-place violence, someone "going postal." Unfortunately, terrorists - as proven in San Bernardino - ignore the rules, leaving employees and visitors at the mercy of murderers.



Senate rejects a series of gun control bills.

Polarized Senate blocks expanded background checks, other gun curbs after California shootings

Republicans say no to new gun control legislation after San Bernardino

U.S. Senate debates gun control after California shooting, but no action taken

Thursday, December 3, 2015




Daesh credits unchecked
Caterer's soda for downing plane

I HAVE BEEN WRITING - and been ignored - since September 12, 2001 that it is easy to get weapons and bombs on board commercial aircraft.

An article I wrote was "vetted" by the then security chief for a no-longer existing airline who contended that what I wrote was ludicrous.

Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) validated my contention when it brought down an Airbus A321 with 224 people on board, telling "the world" that it brought the plane down with a soda can bomb.

If true, someone needs to ask two very simple questions: Who put the bomb in with other soda cans? and Who put the soda can bomb on board the Metrojet?

The best, most convenient answer to both questions is A caterer employee.

That's not an absolute, of course, but the probability is great that a caterer employee played a role in getting the bomb on board.

Airport security generally focuses on passengers and their luggage - both stored in the hold and carry on. Despite this emphasis on passengers,

Airport security - with the exception of Israel and Israeli carriers - generally ignores

    Flight crews
    Cleaning crews
    Maintenance crews
    Refueling crews

Next time you are in any airport, watch as flight crews skip the scans and continue undelayed to their aircraft; look out the windows while waiting to board to see who has access to your plane and, more importantly, who is watching the people who have access to the aircraft.,

The problem is not the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA), staffed primarily by people off the street with no security background and minimal training - they do the best they can.

The problem may not even be airport security.

None of the Israeli airlines depends solely on airport security. Cleaning crews and caterers are greeted by Israeli security agents when they board an Israeli flag carrier. Israeli personnel are on the ground near the aircraft as until the plane moves away from the jetway/gate/boarding area.

    I watched from my window seat as armed security surrounded my El Al plane at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport and I was lectured by an on-board security person for leaving an expensive camera on board during a brief stop at New York's JFK. I know Israeli security first hand. I never have seen anything similar with the many other airlines on which I have flown.

Catering companies are vetted by the Israeli airlines.

It's not perfect, but it's better security than any other country's airlines offer. Compare El Al's record with any other airline.

How do other airlines compare? What's the difference? The answer to the second question is easy: Israeli airlines are security conscious and understand that passengers are not the only threat to an aircraft.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Engineering faux pas

Canon PIXMA MX920
An inconvenient printer


I AM A CANON loyalist. I have Canon cameras (F-1, FtB, SD30, and SD1100) and Canon multi-function printers (PIXMA MP560 and PIXMA MX920). I also had a Canon camcorder that failed when most needed.

I just bought/installed the PIXMA MX920.

The installation went "OK." First time installs always have user-generated hiccups.

But then came the use - and the surprises.


In order to print an envelope with the MX920 all the document paper (8.5*11, A, etc.) has to be removed from the lower feeder tray to load in envelopes.

The printer has two trays. The top tray is for photo paper; it will NOT accept standard #10 envelopes. (I tried.) By comparison, the much older MP560 has a pop-up "tray" in back for envelopes, cards, photo paper, and "other size documents not suitable for the paper tray." I'm normally the only one who actually sends snail mail with other than pre-addressed envelopes, having the "envelope machine" next to my computer makes keeping the old machine worthwhile.

Both trays are plastic and while they are relatively thick plastic, I don't have any confidence that it is sturdy plastic, especially the movable parts. The MP560 trays have held up, but they have fewer moving parts.

The MX920 has an integral fax, but to SEND a fax, the user has to

  1. Create the copy on a computer or with pen and paper
  2. If on the computer, print out the document
  3. Load the document into the MX920
  4. Dial the destination number from the computer
  5. Send the fax from the MX920

Turns out, and unbeknown to me, my wife's Windows 8 machine has a "fax from the computer" option. Sans a telco connector, I don't know how that could work, but that's for another day.

The manual, which has to be downloaded - nothing's in paper anymore, tells me that I have the option to set the system to essentially "sleep" between print jobs. The manual must be for the entire series of MX machines because my MX920 lacks the feature. I CAN turn the device OFF from the computer, but despite having a "Start" icon, the only way to turn the device on is top walk over and push a button. Given that it is a networked device and the other computers are distant, someone has to walk to the office to (wo)manually turn ON the unit.

All-in-all, I am NOT a happy camper and now understand why this unit was less expensive than the older MP560 despite the addition of the ADF and fax function.

Having bought the new machine I am beginning to suspect that the MP560's color problem is NOT the machine but the cheap mail order ink I bought for it. Still, it - like me - is making age-related noises. I may spring for some Canon ink and see if it's the ink or the machine.

The new machine has some features I appreciate - the Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) and the fax function. It is quiet and it supposedly is power efficient sufficient that it can be left ON for most of the time.

In my not at all humble opinion, Canon's hardware engineers failed, and failed on a grand scale, with the MX920.

Printers should first be easy to use; the MX920 is not.

Canon tried to make replacing ink cartridges easy and failed at that.

The old MP560 took two steps to access the easy in/easy out cartridges.

The new MX920 takes an additional step and the cartridges are hard to insert.

Both printers have 5 individual cartridges; if one is empty, replace that cartridge. More economical than replacing an "all-colors-in-one" cartridge - but still not "low cost."

To be fair, set up was relatively easy; the most difficult part was getting the printer and modem/router to recognize each other. Once physically configured I ran the the accompanying CD in each networked computer; that may not have been necessary except for the first machine.

I ordered the MX920 from Amazon on Tuesday, 24 NOV and was promised delivery between December 1 and 7. It was waiting for me when I returned from an overnight Thanksgiving trip - fast delivery. Tip of the hat to Amazon.

The MP920 seems to print first pages faster than the older MP560, and the noise factor in Quiet Mode is minimal.

Documentation, downloaded in PDF from comes down as an executable (.exe) file that contains 5 user documents. The documents are, based on a quick overview, useful and provide information in text and graphics.

Mechanical engineering - the engineering that designs hardware - is in some respects like my old job in that, to be good, the engineers need to think "outside the box."

I once worked for a mainframe company - that shall remain nameless - that built a computer enclosure that everyone thought was perfect . . . until someone tried to cable the components; no room for the cables. A different company made a nice machine that had a pull-out unit. The only problem was when the unit was pulled out, the ribbon cable was disconnected from the backplane. Oops.

Canon would be well served by asking the customers what they want and how they want it presented. That top tray would be great if I could put envelopes in it as well as photo paper. Alternatively, copy the MP560 "pop-up in back" tray (see photo, above).

Software engineers need to get with the mechanical engineers so the unit can be turned off AND on from the computer.

The MX920 is close, "but no cigar."