Category Archives: Uncategorized

Maureen O’Hara, One of the Last Movie Icons

America lost an icon yesterday with the passing of legendary actress Maureen O’Hara.  Many will remember her as the mom in the 1960s Disney Classic “The Parent Trap” or her role in “Miracle on 34th Street” but I loved her roles in many Westerns and Adventure movies.  A star among stars, she always held a special place in my heart.

Like many boys who grew up when I did, I watched all of the big western classics, particularly the John Wayne movies.  John Wayne had many costars but none could match Maureen O’Hara.  With her blazing red hair and fiery spirit, she was never second string in a scene.  Even when sharing a scene with an overwhelming personality like John Wayne, her beauty and personality would make her shine.

She often played the role of a noble lady and it was a role to which she was perfectly suited.  She spoke with precision, occasionally allowing a light Irish trill to come out if the role called for it.  Born into an upper-middle-class family in Dublin Ireland in 1920, she was raised by her opera singing mother to be a lady and her soccer team owning father to be a lover of sports and outdoor activities.  John Wayne once said of her ” She’s a great guy”.  The two never had a relationship but they were very close throughout their entire lives.   John Wayne passed away in 1979.

One of my favorite movies of hers was with John Wayne in “The Quiet Man”.  It was a story about an Irish boxer who left America to go back to the island he left as a baby to try to find some peace in his ancestral homeland. Instead, he meets a red haired beauty in the neighboring farm and finds love. Maureen O’Hara is incredible in the movie, as she plays woman torn between her love and the proprieties of her times.  It’s a beautiful movie.

Another of my favorite rolls of hers was in the western comedy McClintock in which she played John Wayne’s estranged wife. It’s an unusual Western in that it truly is a comedy.  There’s an awesome fight scene that must involve at least 50 people in a mud pit including various cowboys, Indians and a lot of women, making probably one of the most unusual fight scenes in any Western movie.

She starred in many movies with many famous actors and actresses, including Tyrone Powers, Errol Flynn, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Jimmy Stewart, Henry Fonda, Walter Pidgeon, Natalie Wood and many others.   She was a class act and one of the last from a Golden Age of Movies that required true acting talent.  The world just lost a beautiful person that lived an amazing life.

Ed Ruth

Two More Lizard Species Becoming Common South Florida Neighbors

combine-Brown-Basilisk-Jungle-Runner-Florida

The Brown Basilisk and the Jungle Runner are becoming very common in South Florida

If you live in South Florida then you’re probably already very used to seeing the small anole lizards that run across your sidewalk pretty much anywhere and everywhere.  You’re probably also by now very used to seeing the large green iguana’s that have exploded in population over the past decade or so.   There’s also the Northern Curly Tail Lizards and the Cuban Anole that have become more and more common over that same timeframe.   And there are dozens of other exotic species of lizards that are occasionally seen here and there in select areas of South Florida.   But if you live in Dade or Broward County, you have probably started to see two more reptiles species that are becoming very common.

One is called the Brown Basilisk, which is often called the “Jesus Lizard” because of its ability to run across water when it feels threatened.  They get to be about 2 feet long and have a very distinctive crest on the back of their head that makes them look somewhat alien.

Brown-Basilisk-1

The one in the picture is one I caught swimming in my pool… He had apparently jumped in to get away from my dogs and was not able to make it over the edge of the pool to make good on his escape. He was surprisingly docile and let me hold him and take a few pictures before I let them go.  They are completely harmless, eating insects and occasionally other smaller lizards.

The second species becoming very common is called a Jungle Runner, also called an Ameiva or Dwarf Tegu.  These aren’t as common as the Brown Basilisk but I am starting to see them all over Central Broward County. They get to be about around two feet long and have a very distinctive color pattern including a almost luminescent Blue tail.

Jungle-runner-1 Jungle-runner-4

This particular Jungle Runner was the latest of about six that my dogs have caught in our back yard.  His misfortune enabled me to get some good close up pictures of what are normally a very fast lizard that won’t normally let humans get very close.  These lizards may be fast but my dogs coordinate their attack and have been very successful at keeping down their population in my back yard.   They are having much more success outside my back yard and I’m starting to see them run across streets and sunbathing on sidewalks throughout Broward.   Like the Brown Basilisk, the Jungle Runner is completely harmless to humans.

These are just two examples of dozens of invasive reptile species that can be found with active breeding populations in South Florida. But these two species have been particularly good at establishing themselves to a point where there is no getting rid of them.

And now I’m going to be a little irresponsible and say that I’m glad they are here to stay. I love the diversity of animals that can be found in South Florida. I love that visitors can come down here and see stuff that cannot be seen anywhere else in the country.  It adds to the exotic allure of Miami and of South Florida in general as a tourist attraction when visitors know they can come down here and possibly see a huge Burmese Python in addition to the expected Alligator.  So welcome to the neighborhood Brown Basilisk and Jungle Runner…you help keep South Florida living interesting!

Ed Ruth

America, The Rule of Law and a Republican win in 2016

CAMERON CARDOW, CAGLE CARTOONS

The Orange County Register recently published an editorial on the slow but sure loss of the rule of law in America.  It should be read by all who are concerned with the direction this country is going.  In one short article they discuss the amazing damage to the rule of law that has occurred in this country since the 1970s and particularly during the Obama administration.  It describes how the law today is now something that can be molded by whoever is president into a heavy hitting ideological weapon.   Liberals have cheered this on during the Obama administration saying the president has no choice but to do these things since Congress will block him if he doesn’t.  Those cheers will change to shrill rage should a Republican win in 2016.

Let’s imaging for a moment that a Republican actually does become president in 2016 and that he (or “she” if the wonderful Carly Fiorina were to win) decides to use the executive power exactly as their predecessor has done:

First, they’ll pick an Attorney General who is himself or herself a partisan activist and who will protect both the president and anyone under them that shares their ideology regardless of whether or not they are actually breaking the law.   Then the president will put into the IRS and other agencies new leaders who will use their power to punish those of the opposing ideology.  They will be able to do so without worry of repercussion since any investigation would have to be approved by the Attorney General.

Next, the Republican president will be able to repeal Obamacare easily with the Republican majorities in the House and Senate.  They will use the same reconciliation process that Obama used to pass it.  And to those who say it’s too late because it will cause pain to millions who depend on Obamacare for coverage, the president will answer that they are just relieving America of a law that has never been popular and which forced millions out of coverage they were happy with in the first place.

The hesitation to use the “Nuclear Option” and other relics of past Senate restraint are now gone so the Republican president will use that lack of restrain the same way Obama and Harry Reid did to force through laws that previously would never have passed.   The EPA will be gutted.  The Obama administration has shown that the EPA in the hands of a liberal administration is too dangerous to be allowed to continue to exist.  It will have to be dismantled to a point where it would basically have to be restarted from scratch by any future Democrat president.  It’s a shame that an organization created by a Republican president to protect the environment became so corrupted by ideology that it must now be done away with completely.

The IRS is almost in the same boat as the EPA.  A Republican president would never allow the IRS to target liberal groups and to actively work against the free American election process as President Obama did with Lois Lerner.  But that does not mean nothing will be done to the IRS.  No, the best way to counter the IRS so that it cannot be used as a political weapon is to permanently defang the agency with massive tax reform.  A simplified tax code would remove most of the IRS’s investigative and punitive capabilities.  It would also boost the economy in many ways.  That’s a win-win for the next Republican president.

Then there’s the international policy.  When is a treaty not a treaty?  When the president of one ideology has a Congress controlled by the other ideology, that’s when!  Forget the Constitutional requirements of passing a treaty through Congress.  All you have to do is declare that it’s not a treaty.  Then you can pretty much enact any foreign policy you want without worrying about Congress or that pesky Constitution.  And don’t forget that the Secretary or State won’t have to worry about doing illegal.  Hillary Clinton has already shown that a ideologically protective Attorney General can even shield Cabinet-level administration officials from investigation.

And this article would be dreadfully incomplete if we didn’t discuss the greatest tool the Obama administration used so effectively and that future presidents will wish to copy wholeheartedly:  The threat to shut down the government!  That’s right, the president can now tell the Congress that he or she doesn’t care a bit about their supposed Constitutionally empowered control of how tax dollars are spent.  Congress will either pay for what the Republican president wants or he or she will not sign the spending into law.  Then the cameras will show how evil Congress is for not “doing their job” in paying for the government.   So a Republican president will now be able to push through and expensive border wall, Keystone pipeline, etc without too much trouble.

That’s of course assuming the media will cover a Republican president the exact same way they’ve provided cover for President Obama when he did the same thing.  I almost couldn’t type that last sentence because I was laughing so hard at the idea of the media being fair to a Republican president.  But even that doesn’t matter as much as it has in the past thanks to President Obama.

Despite the cover the liberal media has provided for the Obama administration again and again, this administration has shown utter disdain for the news media class.  Instead of being “the most transparent administration in history”, we have had an administration that has closed out the media and created layers of secrecy like none before.  A Republican president has in the past always known the media weren’t with them but they also knew they had to be somewhat kind and respectful to the news media in order to keep on message with the public.  But with the Internet providing so many alternates and with the Obama administration example of how to close out the news media, a Republican president will not have to worry about the liberal media as they have in the past.

Basically, a Republican president will be able to use the powers of the Executive Branch, drastically enhanced as they have been in the Obama Administration, to push right wing ideology as far as they wish for four to eight years.  And then the next Democrat will do the same in the opposite direction.  How exactly does a country survive such drastic swings with pulling apart?  The answer is that it doesn’t for long.

Ed Ruth

 

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Can’t Tell Difference Between Democrats & Socialism

My local US Representative (shudder!) and DNC Chairperson (as in, she’s in charge of the Democratic Party across the entire nation) once again entertained us with her mental ability as she was flummoxed by MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Thursday evening.  Chris Matthews is an unapologetic Liberal to the extreme and this should have been an easy interview for her.  But when the subject of Bernie Sanders, a self-described Socialist, came up and Matthews asked her what the difference was between a Democrat and a Socialist, she didn’t have a clue.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/07/30/chris_matthews_to_debbie_wasserman_schultz_whats_the_difference_between_a_democrat_and_a_socialist.html

I really can’t blame her too much…there hasn’t been a true difference between a Democrat and a Socialist in many years.

 

Left Uses Another Tragedy For Political Gain

The death of 9 worshipers at a Charleston, SC church a few days ago is a tragedy.  It is sad beyond measure that 9 innocents lost their lives to a deranged maniac.  But while most of the country looks sadly at this incident and pray for the lost, a segment of the liberal political class is once again jumping on the tragedy to push forward their ideology.

Liberal commentator Bill Maher says that Conservatives are to blame for the mindset of those who do such horrible crimes.  Hillary Clinton, who finds it hard to tell the truth, said we as a country have to face some “hard truths” about race and guns.

As former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel once said, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste”.   He was President Obama’s right-hand man at the time and he expanded on this comment saying “What I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things that you thought you could not do before.”  So once again liberals seeking restrictive gun control laws they know would never otherwise happen will use another tragedy involving a bad guy (a murderer) with a gun to restrict good guys (law-abiding citizens) from being able to own guns.

Once again it seems these liberals are incapable of understanding some basic facts:  It is basic common sense (which is all too uncommon these days) that bad guys with evil intent are not going to let a law that says they can’t have a gun stop them from getting a gun.  If you’re prepared to break the law by killing innocents, then you are definitely prepared to break a gun ownership law.  Passing laws restricting gun ownership only makes it harder for the good guys (i.e. those who do obey the law) to get a gun.

This latest tragedy is another example of the fault in their gun-control logic.  The maniac (I call him that since publishing his name just gives him the attention he craves) was reportedly given the Glock handgun he used in this henious crime as a birthday present.   Background checks would never have prevented him from getting that gun.  Are we to ban law-abiding fathers all over the country from giving guns to their law-abiding sons because a maniac committed this crime?  That doesn’t seem very likely.

Unless we as a country want to change the Constitution and confiscate a few hundred MILLION guns in the United States, then the only option is to make sure it’s not hard for good guys to have guns so they can stop bad guys that have guns.

 

Ed Ruth

Rand Paul Is a Very Different Type of Senator

I’m not sure quite what to think about Senator Rand Paul.  I’ve been a fan of many of his positions since he was elected to the Senate and I usually feel like he’s got a good, common sense approach to many of today’s most troubling issues.  But he did not sound like a person with a clear grasp of the situation when he said last week that GOP hawks were responsible for the creation of ISIS.  He has since backtracked somewhat on that statement but even his clarification leaves a lot to be desired when we are talking about someone who wants to become the leader of the free world.

I was already questioning Senator Paul’s ability to lead this country when I found out earlier this month the he was one of five GOP Senators that shamelessly prevented Senator David Vitter from uncovering the truth behind who had fraudulently exempted Congress from Obamacare requirements that enabled Congressional staff members to qualify for subsidies that they clearly should not have been able to get.  The whole deal smelled of hypocrisy, deceit and the type of business-as-usual Washington backdoor agreements that Senator Paul is usually protesting.  To think that he was one of the primary instruments holding up the investigation of the fraud led me to feel like I couldn’t trust Rand Paul to look after the interests of average people instead of the needs of the Washington establishment.  If I can’t trust Senator Rand Paul, then how could I trust a President Rand Paul?

Maybe that’s not being entirely fair to Senator Paul.  He did just stand up against fellow Senators from both sides of the aisle against a renewal of the Patriot Act, a law I’ve always thought gave the government a bit too much power.  When someone has the conviction to stand up for what they believe in regardless of party, that is to be respected.   I guess the truest thing you can say about Senator Rand Paul is that he is not as easy to fit into any particular political or philosophical box.  And that puts him above most of his Senate colleagues.

Middle Eastern Nukes Will Spread From Obama’s Iran Failure

Obama-Iran-Nuclear-Weapon-Failure

Did you hear anything about Saudi Arabia declaring that it has decided to move forward with buying nuclear weapons?  You’d think something like that would be big news.  Lots of coverage, diplomatic discussions between our State Department and them to try to dissuade them from nuclear proliferation, etc.   It isn’t every day that a country starts stating that it will openly violate the decades-old Non-Proliferation Treaty and it’s certainly not an everyday occurrence when a Middle Eastern country known for producing and financing terrorist organizations gets does so.  So one would think that would be getting wall-to-wall coverage on all the major news outlets.  Such is not the case.

When the Sunday Times of London reported last weekend that senior American government officials had confirmed comments from Saudi Arabian officials that they were moving forward with buying “off-the-shelf” nuclear weapons from Pakistan, I looked hard for two days to see what other news agencies would do with the story.  It wasn’t until the afternoon of the second day that a story from CNN about Saudi nuclear weapons referenced the story and mostly sought to cast doubt on it.

The Saudis have been threatening for years that they would use their buying power to match any Iranian nuclear program.  And the recent deal that President Obama is offering Iran, a Treaty without Congress’s Constitutionally mandated authority,  has had senior Saudi officials openly declaring their intent to do so.  So it seems very doubtful that denials from Pakistan of any intention on doing such as sale are realistic.

The Iranians have made it clear that they have no intention of stopping their nuclear weapons program.  They have used President Obama’s naïve efforts of forging an agreement to stop their program as breathing space to further their nuclear weapons goals.  Each day that passes while Obama dithers is another day Iran gets to actively work toward those goals.  Time and time again Iran has been caught  cheating in their efforts even as they sit down to “negotiate” with John Kerry, the worst Secretary of State in US history, and his counterparts in five other countries.

Saudi Arabia is not the only country contemplating getting nuclear weapons in response to the Iranian nuclear weapons program.  They are the most likely since they have a very close relationship with Pakistan and have financed both their nuclear program and their ballistic missile program.  But other countries, notably Turkey and Egypt, have also said they would not be comfortable with a nuclear Iran and would have to match their capabilities.  Such is the world President Obama is leading us toward.

President Obama’s unrealistic deal with Iran is giving Iran the time and legitimacy to create a program that will be unstoppable by the time more capable U.S. leadership is elected.  With less than two years left in office, it may be after his term as President that the world has to face a nuclear armed Middle East.  But it will never be a doubt that such a result will be a true part of the Obama legacy.

Ed Ruth

Above-The-Law Holder Protected Above-The-Law Administration

In years to come, when Americans look back at the Obama Administration terms, it will be hard for them to settle on what one big “thing” they think of when they think of the Obama Presidency.  Will it be Obamacare, the Middle East, the huge increase in our national debt or the increased racial tensions that have hit our country through his presidency?  For me, it will instead be the example he and his Attorney General set that showed all future administrations exactly how a President can do just about anything he or she wants as long as you have an Attorney General who will back you up to the end no matter what you do.

Once a President knows they have an Attorney General they can depend on regardless of Constitutional validity or legality, they can place various underlings in positions of power (For instance, in charge of the IRS, the EPA, etc.) and tell them to use their power without limits.  And should they be discovered?  Don’t worry, it requires a Department of Justice investigation with the approval of…you guessed it…the Attorney General…to investigate.  Since the Attorney General wont let that happen, those underlings know they can act with impunity to push their ideological agenda passed any and all legal limitations without regard to the consequences.

Voter Intimidation – Attorney General Holder wasted no time in showing exactly how he would use his power of blocking prosecutions of those that broke the law in pursuit of furthering their common agenda.  Members of the New Black Panther organization were filmed in Philadelphia intimidating voters at a polling station.  The Department of Justice, with President Bush’s administration still a few weeks from leaving office, filed charges against 4 members for Civil Rights violations.  One of the first acts of the Justice Department under President Obama was to limit and later totally drop all charges against those individuals.   Can you imagine what the response would have been in some KKK members in hoods had showed up to intimidate voters?

Federal Guns going to Criminals – From 2009-2011, the Justice Department conducted a multi-agency program to try to track illegal gun sales that were arming Mexican drug cartels.  One of the agencies involved was the ATF, which ran their “Fast and Furious” program and ultimately lost well over 1,000 weapons.  One of these lost weapons ended up being used to kill a federal agent.  Congressional oversight committees investigated and quickly found a cover-up was being conducted by Attorney General Eric Holder.  The nature of the cover up was to protect Holder, who had testified under oath that he was unaware of the program.   But the Congressional committee was stymied by Holder’s refusal to release documents issued by the Justice Department that would have proven Holder had lied under oath.   President Obama stepped in when Congress got too close to actually  proving Holder had lied under oath.  Obama declared the documents sought by Congress were protected by “Executive Privilege.”  The oversight committee cited Attorney General Holder for contempt for refusing their Constitutional right to conduct oversight.   In June of 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to hold Holder in criminal contempt.   But with President Obama’s protection, there was little more they could do.

Using the IRS to attack Political Opposition –  With Obama appointee Louise Lerner leading the agency, the IRS systematically targeted groups with known Republican/Conservative ties.  It prevented them from conducting their Constitutionally protected rights to assemble and conduct voter initiatives that could have substantially changed the outcome of the 2012 election (i.e. Obama could have lost).  Can you imagine if a Republican president had used the IRS to target liberal groups?  The liberal media would never let the story drop from the headlines.

Add to that the numerous immigration laws flouted and immigration officials actually threatened by the president with “consequences” if they do their legally appointed duty.  Who would have ever thought we’d have a head of the Justice Department actually ordering law enforcement officials not to enforce the law?

Others on the other side of the political spectrum will no doubt point to their favorite target George W. Bush and claim that he and other former presidents acted similarly.  But I truly do not think any other president, Democrat or Republican, ever went anywhere near as far as Obama and Holder.  We were left time and again with both Congress and numerous judges indignant that their Constitutional authority was slapped aside with such impunity.

What President Obama and Attorney General Holder have done has revealed a stunning flaw in our system of government.  It is a gapping hole in the Constitutional process that enables the Executive Branch to ignore the checks and balances of the Legislative and Judicial Branches of government.  We ignore this flaw at our peril.  If it is not sealed with active participation from both the legislative and judicial branches, then it will grow with abuses from future administrations.   The structure of coequal branches of government will disappear and the Executive Branch will become ever more imperial.

SOURCES:

http://thehill.com/opinion/katie-pavlich/238002-katie-pavlich-the-deception-of-the-obama-department-of-justice

http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/042715-749837-holders-legacy-of-politicization-at-the-justice-department.htm?p=2

Ed Ruth

Great Article for Understanding The Large Hadron Collider

This is a great article for anyone wanting a simple, technobabble-limited explanation as to what exactly the Large Hadron Collider at CERN is and what it’s trying to accomplish: READ ARTICLE

The LHC is the worlds largest, most powerful particle accelerator.

It really is an engineering marvel and will hopefully make some amazing discoveries.

Ed Ruth

 

 

 

 

The Latest Obama Failure: Iran Gets Nukes

With the assistance of Secretary of State and one-time President Candidate John Kerry, who has been voted as the worst Secretary of State in modern times, President Obama lurches towards another foreign policy failure.  This time it’s Iran and the result of their ineptitude will be official acceptance that Iran is going to go nuclear.

There is no way to look at the Iran nuclear deal as anything other than an abject failure.  The Iranians do not have to reduce the amount of infrastructure they’d already built for refinement of nuclear material.  There is so far no requirement that the Iranians ship out their enriched uranium.  Even Obama supporters acknowledge that these steps guarantee Iran could quickly ramp up enrichment operations and produce nuclear weapons very quickly whenever they chose to. 

Some Obama supporters say that this will at least “Open the dialogue” or give the U.S. “leverage to push for democracy from the inside”.  The same arguments were made in the 90s when Clinton folded like a lawn chair during the North Korean negotiations.  The North Koreans never let the restrictions or IAEA inspections hold them back and they now have multiple nuclear weapons.  And to say that caving in gave us any leverage at promoting freedom or democracy in North Korea would be funny if it weren’t so sad and dangerous.  This is how it will turn out in Iran as well.

While Iran gloats about getting all of what it wants with little if any chance for enforcement of restriction on development of nuclear weapons,  our long-term ally Israel is forced to accept that America no longer has the backbone to help it defend itself against Middle Eastern powers that seek its destruction.   Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak next week in front of the US House of Representatives to urge America to find the resolve to deal strongly with Iran.  But almost two dozen Democrat Representatives have said they will boycott the speech.  Hopefully their constituents will make them pay for their lack of backbone come the next election day.

Once again, President Obama is failing America.  His far left ideology combined with poor decision making and weak-handed approach to handling problems will once again have serious long-term negative effects for our country.  And when the subject includes Middle Eastern fanatics, dictators and nuclear weapons, the consequences don’t get much more serious.

Ed Ruth

Related Articles:

http://news.yahoo.com/phased-us-iran-nuclear-deal-taking-shape-112339907–politics.html

http://news.yahoo.com/good-bad-iran-nuke-deal-israel-vs-us-143855635.html

 http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-02-24/obama-white-house-lowers-bar-for-iran-nuke-deal