Dave Stancliff AS IT STANDS blogarama.com

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

House Freedom Caucus Prepared to Shut Government Down

                                     Good Day World!

A lot of people are going to miss John Boehner.

Now that a new subversive group in the House – the House Freedom Caucus – has ousted him, be prepared for a Tea Party darling replacement who won’t have any compunctions about shutting down the government.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R) of California and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R) of Utah are vying for the soon-to-be vacated Speaker of the House position. Both are making grand promises to the House Freedom Caucus.

Both men make Boehner look like a true statesman. That’s bad news for the American public.


Like any subversive group, the caucus has an invitation-only selection of 40 zealots, which meet regularly at a Capitol Hill restaurant called the Tortilla Coast. The fight starts with the GOP's election for the speakership and other GOP leadership offices, which will take place in a secret ballot on Thursday.

In the weeks ahead, the Freedom Caucus will have plentiful opportunities to push the fight further – from the speaker's race to a combustible mix of fiscal deadlines this fall.

Though members say they have not yet settled on a strategy, one thing is certain: They are not afraid of government shutdowns, fiscal cliffs, or any other hardline tactics that typically made Boehner wince.


In Congress, a backlash may be building against Freedom Caucus hardball tactics. Last month, a caucus member quit, saying tactics were harming, not helping, the GOP cause.

Over in the Senate, Republican colleagues shouted down Tea Party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz (R) of Texas last week over his procedural move related to spending and Planned Parenthood.

But make no mistake…Americans need to be prepared for some angry Freedom Caucus members blackmailing the government and shutting it down if they don’t get their way.

You thought Congress was already inept? You haven’t seen anything yet. Wait until the new Speaker of the House (at the end of this month) fires the first salvo in a war of ideologies where the American people will lose at every turn.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Monday, October 5, 2015

Note to Mainstream Media: Pick a Number and Stick With It!

Good Day World!

When I first started hearing the reports of a huge rainfall event descending upon the Carolina’s four days ago, some newspapers were saying it was going to be a once in every 200 years downpour.

Within days that prediction vaulted to:

East Coast Flooding: 'Once in 500 Years' Downpour Threatens South Carolina

The very next day it went Biblical:

'Stay in Your House': Officials Warn Residents During Unprecedented '1,000-Year' Floods

Within the space of four days the predictions went from a 200-year deluge to a 1,000 year calamity! I strongly suspect there was some hyperbole among those frenzied predictions from members of the mainstream media.

No question, it’s been bad, nine deaths have been attributed to the flooding. The downpours and "catastrophic" flooding are expected to persist. But can we take a deep breath here?

There’s no statistical data showing this was a 1,000 year flood. North Carolina governor Haley called it that, but she’s hardly an expert.

Besides North and South Carolina, part of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia felt the storms fury, but none of them vanished into the Atlantic Ocean the last time I looked.

I get it…dramatic headlines get attention, but when you go from 200 to 1,000 years in four days that’s just too much.

Note to mainstream media: Next time pick a number and stick with it. It’s more credible.

Time for me to walk on down the road…  


Jeb Bush’s ‘stuff happens’ philosophy reflects GOP’s stance of doing nothing about mass killings

Good Day World!

Maybe Jeb Bush is right…”stuff happens and there’s no need to change gun laws.”

At least that’s what most Republicans want us to think whenever a mass shooting takes place (an average of twice monthly).

The most recent data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention found that in 2013 an average of 92 people died in the United States each day of firearm-related injuries.

The day that the mass shooting at a community college in Oregon (October 1st) took place these people were also killed by gunfire:

* A 5-month-old girl was shot to death while riding in a car with her mother in Cleveland.

* A man killed his wife and a good Samaritan, then turned his gun on himself in north Florida.

* A security guard was killed, allegedly by a co-worker in Atlanta.

* Teen-aged brothers were gunned down in broad daylight near a busy intersection in Fresno, California.

* A suspect in a Georgia shooting killed himself after a three-county car chase.

The list of the Oct. 1 dead goes on and on: murders, suicides, workplace violence, domestic violence, street shootings and drive-by gunfire.

But whatever happens, don’t change gun laws because the NRA and the Republican Party doesn’t want to admit that we have a gun problem. They always turn to the “mentally ill” shooters as an example that guns aren’t the problem. Nuts are.

Okay, so why doesn’t the Republican Party take on mental illness and come up with programs to combat it? The reason why they don’t is simple; they don’t like funding any health programs.

Where does that leave us? Watching helplessly as people die every 16 minutes from gunfire because of a murderous ideology that extols the merits of guns while blocking any legislation to make the public safer. 

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, October 4, 2015

A Tale of 3 Adopted Cats and a Dog


Good Day World!

I’m going to start off today with the old adage… never say never!

Two years ago, my wife and I had one dog, Molly, a black pug (photo).

When someone asked me if I was going to get any more pets I said, “No way. Never going to happen.”

As a matter of fact that determination was tested several times. I stood by my guns each time, refusing to get another dog, or cat. But then something happeneATT_1426813815459_imaged.

To help out someone we love we adopted two cats. Oliver (Photo), a blind black Persian-mix, and his brother Tommy (photo). Molly meanwhile, gradually learned how to deal with our two new additions over a year’s span.

The animal pecking order became Oliver, Molly, and then Tommy. Because Oliver is blind he has a tendency to slash out when startled and ask questions later. This earned him a healthy respect from Molly who learned to keep a distance from him and to approach him slowly when necessary.

Tom is a l20151001_094548over, not a fighter. His sweet disposition gets him bullied by both Oliver and Molly. Just when things were firmly established in our increased household we found ourselves rescuing another cat.

We call him Bob (Photo being petted).

Bob has lived the first two years of his life hiding under beds and other places and only coming out briefly to eat, drink, and go to the bathroom. The person he lived with was able to approach him and love on him, but the minute someone else entered the room he was gone in a flash!

Bob lives in our walk-in closet right now. We love on him daily, but can’t get him to come out and hang with the rest of the family yet. Bob is pretty hardwired, but we hope that will change.20150722_081831

It didn’t stop there. We ended up rescuing a dog in our neighborhood when he was abandoned by his owners. His name is Butters and he’s half Italian Greyhound and Chihuahua.

He’s also one of the sweetest dogs you’ll ever meet. He fit right in with everyone (but Bob) from Day One. So that’s how we became a modern day Animal House and why I never use the word NEVER if I can help it!

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Saturday, October 3, 2015

Gun-toting student(s) couldn’t do anything about Oregon mass killing

Let’s get one thing straight right now;

…the ability to carry guns on a college campus doesn’t equate to stopping mass murderers.

John Parker, a student on the campus of Oregon's Umpqua Community College admitted to carrying a concealed gun on Oct. 1st when another student opened up with his gun killing nine other students.

But Parker wasn’t in a position to use it — he was locked down in the school's veterans center several hundred yards away from the science hall where the shooting took place.

Parker wasn’t the only armed student on campus that day. The reason I know this is Oregon is one of just eight states that allow the carrying of concealed weapons on campus, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Despite Umpqua Community College’s claim to be a Gun Free Zone, state law trumps that claim. It’s anyone’s guess how many students were packing that day, but the law of averages suggest that out of 3,300 students there was more than one, or two.

It’s safe to say there’s a certain amount of confusion regarding gun laws in Oregon.

Here’s the main point:

Debate over the ins and outs of concealed carry policy misses the broader point: that putting more guns on campus is not an effective way to prevent or limit violence.

The NRA and other gun lobbies like to raise this argument (arm everyone and that’ll solve our mass killing problem) to feel good about themselves.

In the end, it’s about confusing what we really need to talk about, which is how guns are completely out of control.

Related: ‘Good Guy With A Gun’ Was On UCC Campus At Time Of Massacre

Time for me to walk on down the road…

The Daily Hack Report: See If Your Identity Has Been Stolen

Good Day World!

Welcome to my latest news feature; The Daily Hack Report.

Are you wondering if your identity has been stolen recently? The following links will provide the most recent retail data hacks that may have affected you:

Scottrade Says Hack Could Have Affected 4.6M Customers

Experian Says Info from 15 Million T-Mobile Records Hacked

Hilton Hotels Looking Into Possible Data Breach

Older links with new information:

OPM Hack: Government Finally Starts Notifying 21.5 Million Victims

OPM Hack: 5.6 Million Fingerprints (Not 1.1 Million) Were Stolen

Trump Hotels Confirm Hack Exposed Customer Credit Card Info

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month, a collaborative effort by government and industry to inform Americans about ways to stay safe and secure online.

Here’s a good resource to check on daily updates about cyber attacks out to steal your identity.

Related: A Quick Guide to the Worst Corporate Hack Attacks

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Friday, October 2, 2015

In America there’s a mass killing every 2 weeks – what can change that?

Another mass shooting in the USA. This time in Oregon at a small community college.

They’re becoming more common every day.

Statistics show that we can expect a mass shooting about every two weeks.

Headlines like this are becoming routine:

Obama Condemns ‘Routine’ of Mass Shootings, Says U.S. Has Become Numb

Why are Americans 20 times more likely to die from gun violence than other citizens in civilized countries? Simple. We live in a gun culture nurtured by the NRA and the gun and ammo industries.

Rather than come up with more accountability in the gun sales system, the NRA has chosen to feed misinformation to the public to further their ultimate goal of no gun control.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

A single mass shooting changed everything in Australia.

In 1996, Martin Bryant entered a café at the site of a historic penal colony at Port Arthur, Tasmania.

The 28-year-old ate lunch before pulling a semi-automatic rifle from his bag and embarking on a killing spree. By the time he was apprehended the next morning, 35 people were dead and 23 had been wounded.


The government introduced the National Firearms Agreement — legislation that outlawed automatic and semi-automatic rifles, as well as pump-action shotguns. A nationwide gun buyback scheme also saw more than 640,000 weapons turned in to authorities.


An article published online in July by the NRA claimed there was "growing consensus" that the laws hadn't made Australians safer.

Provocatively titled "Australia: There Will Be Blood," it also stated that Obama's portrayal of Australia's gun laws was "disingenuous."

Research, however, suggests otherwise. Gun-related homicides decreased 7.5 percent per year following the reforms, while firearm-related suicides have also fallen, according to one Australian study.

And although there have been calls to revisit the laws, most Australians haven't looked back. One news and pop culture website recently wrote: "The NRA reckons Australia's anti-gun laws are 'a mistake'; Australia tells NRA to go f*** itself."

I second that motion.

Time for me to walk on down the road…


Waiting to Make Contact With Extra-Terrestial Life Forms

                                   Good Day World!

I’m one of those visionaries that believe intelligent life exists somewhere in the vastness of space.

At one time, I would have been locked up in a loony bin for admitting that. But this is the 21st century and we’re still expanding our horizons through science.

The question of meeting extra-terrestrial life forms should be “When will it happen?” Not if it’ll ever happen. 

For the first time in human history, scientists have a plan and the means to answer the question of whether we're alone.

"The fact that science can actually apply itself to the question instead of it being purely philosophical is very exciting," says Jason Wright, an astronomer also at Penn State. "It might be a long shot that we can do this, but the question is so compelling."

Scientists at NASA say the best shot at finding extra-terrestrial life forms is on Europa, a moon of the planet Jupiter. Right now, there is no other body in the solar system that attracts as much scientific attention as this bright strange-looking moon, the smallest of Jupiter's four large satellites.

There’s always naysayers.

According to a recent study, “Nearby galaxies in our universe show no signs of advanced alien civilizations — at least for now.”

I say it’s only a matter of time. Then there’s the real possibility we aren’t going to like them, or they us.

In his famous lecture on Life in the Universe, Stephen Hawking asks: "What are the chances that we will encounter some alien form of life, as we explore the galaxy?"

More to the point, Hawking’s has suggested that “…alien contact is not a good idea.”

Who knows? Chances are they’re more intelligent and don’t want anything to do with us until we learn how to live without war and to live peacefully.

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Benghazi Committee Busted: McCarthy Gloats Over Clinton’s Dropping Numbers

Oops! The cat’s out of the bag.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who is campaigning to be the next Speaker of the House, let it slip that the whole Benghazi investigation by a special committee was aimed at hurting Hillary Clinton’s chances of being elected president.

Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?” McCarthy told Fox News. “But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping."

McCarthy's words were widely considered a major gaffe, among some of the first public remarks he made after jumping in the race to replace John Boehner as speaker.

Democrats said McCarthy's comments revealed the truth about the committee and countered longstanding Republican claims that the panel was set up to find out what happened in the attacks on American facilities in Benghazi, Libya that left four people dead.

The Benghazi committee, set up last year, may have violated ethics laws that ban using taxpayers' dollars for political purposes. Hurting Clinton’s electability definitely falls under the politics category.

Violating ethics laws is nothing new to Republicans who will do anything to get into the White House. You can bet the Select Benghazi Committee will continue to operate right up until election day next November.

Time for me to walk on down the road…


The Versatile Glider: From WW II to Modern Space Exploration

Image: Perlan 2 glider

The Perlan 2 experimental glider reached an altitude of 5,000 feet in a proof-of-concept test ahead of next year’s planned record-breaking journey to the stratosphere. perlanproject.org

                                    Good Day World!

Look up in the sky! It’s a jet…err no…it’s a glider!

Oregonians like myself had the opportunity to see a truly wondrous advancement in flight history the other day. That is if we happened to look up at the right time.

An experimental glider that could eventually reach the edge of space without the power of an engine had a successful first test flight over Oregon this week, winning applause on Thursday from Airbus, a major backer of the project.

The manned glider, dubbed Perlan 2, reached an altitude of 5,000 feet, in a proof-of-concept test ahead of next year's planned record-breaking journey to the stratosphere.

To start its flight, the Perlan 2 is towed behind a motorized aircraft but once airborne it is able to harness the energy of the wind to gain speed and altitude, said Ed Warnock, CEO of the Perlan Project, a nonprofit organization run by a volunteers.

Next year, the Perlan Project plans to launch the glider near from the Andes mountains in Argentina, which should allow the craft to ride atmospheric waves to heights that researchers are only beginning to understand.

Gliders have come a long way folks.

I use to live in 29 Palms, California (I worked there as the editor of the local newspaper - The Desert Trail), next to the massive Marine Corps base.

At one time that base was called Condor Field and served as a training base for U.S. Army Air Force glider pilots during World War II.

Fun Factoid: Actor and Army Air Force pilot Jimmy Stewart also spent time at Condor Field.

Time for me to walk on down the road…