Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Secret Service No Secret To Columbian "Escorts"

There's been something of a teapot tempest over charges that an advance team of US Secret Service agents dallied with ladies of the evening prior to the arrival of POTUS Barack Hussein Obama in Cartagena, Columbia recently. The objections to this alleged behavior is that it's illegal under US law, which is doubtful, and that it might compromise the safety of the anointed one, also doubtful, provide an opportunity for Russian espionage and disgrace the US government. First of all, there isn't any federal law banning prostitution with the exception of the Mann Act, which makes illegal the transportation of females across state lines for an immoral purpose. The US doesn't get to enact the laws for Columbia, at least not yet. A secret service agent sharing affections with a stranger probably doesn't endanger the POTUS as much as the possibility that he might be hit by an errant golf ball. (How many secret service agents accompany the POTUS on a round of golf? Are others allowed to play the course while he's out there? Or are they all secret service agents representing golfers? If so, are the taxpayers on the hook for their greens fees, too? Do they form a human shield around BHO when some heavy hitter tries to play through? For sure the Russkies would infiltrate the Columbian prostitute pool on the off chance that one of their agents could pull her Mata Hari act on a gullible secret service agent but what could she get out of the guy, in information, at least? Would the Russians exploit some hitherto unknown BHO weakness and maybe poke him with a poisoned ball point or something? The disgrace of the US government is probably the critical failing. The government of a country that indiscriminately bombs various areas in Asia Minor would certainly lose standing in the international community if some of its super cops were caught enjoying themselves. Of course, it's all bullshit.

  The real issue here is this: highly paid US government functionaries attempted to steal something. Refusing to pay a hooker is the equivalent of shoplifting. As crimes go, it's pretty low on the totem pole of transgression. You might not enjoy your stay in the slammer if the other guys in the cell block find out that you stiffed a whore. Across the world, few people would be upset to learn that traveling government officials indulge in subsidized hanky-panky. They would, however, look down on big shots that don't pay their bills. That really is the issue here. A very well-paid appartchik that has all his expense covered by the taxpayers is too low class to bite the bullet and pay what he owed. In fact, none of this would ever have come to light if he had followed through on his end of the deal. The lady wouldn't have gone to the local police and they wouldn't have investigated the crime, which was non-payment for services, not prostitution. The agent and his co-workers would have moved on to the next glamour spot on the BHO re-election tour and taken their pick from the available love laborers. He deserves worse than termination, he deserves the disgust and derision of all red-blooded Americans.

A former merchant seaman has a similar take on it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I can see the Maldives from my house.

POTUS Barak Hussein Obama brought up the islands that were the scene of a short war between Great Britain and Argentina in 1982 during a speech he gave in Cartagena, Columbia on April 16. Unfotunately, instead of referring to them as the "Malvinas", as the Argentines do, or the Falklands, as the British do, he called them the "Maldives", a group of islands off the coast of India.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What Can We Learn From This?

This article from the Manchester Union-Leader in New Hampshire provides some of the details of another bizarre incident from Law Enforcement Planet. When three people are killed on a normally quiet Thursday night in small-town America it's a bona fide tragedy. How does such a thing occur?

First of all, both parties to this fiasco were soldiers, maybe, in the "War on Drugs". For sure the police officers were, perhaps the others were in the other army. Can we possibly imagine that if the penalties for possession and distribution of drugs were less draconian that offenders would still shoot it out with the cops? A confrontation the alleged criminal is inevitably destined to lose? We seldom hear of gunfights over speeding tickets but there would probably be lots of them if a conviction for speeding meant 10-15 in the joint.

Speaking of armies in the war on drugs, soldiers that mess up an attack or a defense pay the price, sometimes with their life. These cops were supposed to be professionals. How on earth did they manage to screw up an investigation like this? They have to be expecting resistance of some sort, they're wearing armored vests, they're armed, they outnumber the person of interest. Yet they still create a tragic incident. They're personally and institutionally incompetent.

On the human interest side of the story, the sympathetic part, it's pointed out that the police chief was days from retiring. It's also pointed out that he was 48 years old. That should have been a headline story even if no shoot-out occurred. A public employee was eligible for retirement at age 48! That's truly mind-boggling. It would also be interesting to revisit the 4 surviving cops tens years or so into the future and see what kind of financial arrangements they will be enjoying.

Evidently 26 year old Brittany Tibbetts was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Her death is truly the saddest part of a sad story. In many states an accessory to a crime, the driver of the getaway car in a liquor store robbery for instance, is just as guilty of murder if the clerk is killed as the actual shooter. In this particular incident, even though Miss Tibbetts may have been killed by the resident of the home, the police themselves set the disaster in motion and bear responsibility for her death. They were negligent in not determining if another person was in the building. Natually, they were careful to examine the premises hours later with a robot to make sure that no more policemen would be put in danger. The safety of Miss Tibbetts never entered the equation, then or earlier. No matter, she, too, is just as dead as police chief Maloney and for the same reasons. No flags will be flown at half-staff for her, however.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Meet Jamie Galbraith!

Jamie Galbraith is the son of John Kenneth Galbraith, Canadian popular economist and author of the influential The Affluent Society. Somehow he inherited his father's genetic disposition to coming to erroneous conclusions about economic affairs and carries on the family tradition at the University of Texas, where he teaches and also leads the University of Texas Inequality Project. In watching this video you may wonder what other aspects of human existence men like Galbraith wish to control. I do as well.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The IRS Decides Who's an Employee and Who Isn't

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner explains:

IRS forces city to alter Clay Street Cemetery maintenance arrangement
by Dorothy Chomicz/
Apr 08, 2012

FAIRBANKS — An arrangement in which the city paid a local man several thousand dollars per year to maintain the Clay Street Cemetery has come to an end thanks to the Internal Revenue Service.

According to Tony Shumate, human resources and purchasing director for the city, the IRS conducted an independent audit of the city’s vendors and found Frank Turney does not meet the criteria for being an independent contractor.

“They have established that we have behavioral control over him, and that says that he is an employee,” Shumate said.

The IRS says behavioral control means the business has the right to direct or control not only what work is done but how it is done.

Since the city can no longer hire Turney as an independent contractor, the only other option would be to hire him as a temporary employee, something that would have created a separate set of hurdles, according to Shumate.

“All of our temporary employees are normally coming out of the unions. He could join one, but that doesn’t mean we would have a right to call him in, because he would have to get on their hiring list and he’d be low guy on the totem pole,” Shumate said.

As for Turney, joining a union was not a viable alternative.

“Tony mentioned to me, ‘Well Frank, you’d have to join the union.’ Well, Frank Turney is not going to join no government union. That’s out, that’s completely out,” Turney said.

Turney feels the city should pay him for the work he would have done this year.

“Well, why not? They’ve already appropriated the money in their budget. I would have just hoped they would have lived up to that contract. I’m not responsible for the city and the IRS. That’s their problem, not mine,” Turney said.

The Clay Street Cemetery was established in 1903 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Maintenance of the cemetery will now be done by the city’s Department of Public Works.

Read more: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner - IRS forces city to alter Clay Street Cemetery maintenance arrangement

Friday, April 6, 2012

Levi Johnston's Girlfriend is Pregnant!

But it's not Bristol Palin. Get this, the media keeps us informed of the reproductive peccadilloes of the 21 year-old ex-boyfriend of the daughter of the woman that unsuccessfully ran for the position of vice-president of the US four years ago but they still haven't been able to give us the name of one girl that now president Barak Hussein Obama dated in high school or college.

Florida Embarrassment

Gopher defenseman Ben Marshall cuddles up to BC winger Johnny Gaudreau while Kent Patterson makes the save.

The Minnesota Golden Gopher hockey team's 2012 renaissance ended with a hard-fought but ultimately humiliating loss to Hockey East power Boston College 6-1 in the semi-finals of the NCAA national tournament in Tampa, FL on Thursday night. Unlike professional sports, where there is little reluctance on the part of the media or fans to criticize individual performance, college coaches, rather than players seem to get the blame for failure. While everyone is quick to justifiably credit BC goal tender Parker Milner for his part in the impressive win, the fact remains that the Gopher defensive crew failed to show up for the game. Ben Marshall in particular played poorly and the normally reliable Nate Schmidt had several lapses as well. BC forwards were able to cruise down the slot as Gopher defensemen failed to force them to the outside and were then unable to clear the puck.

Rather than accept defeat with class, the Minnesotan captain, Taylor Mattson, committed a blatant slash at the 11:10 mark of the third period and team mate Nate Condon was given a 5 minute major penalty and game suspension for hooking the head of a BC player in the melee that followed. A sad ending to what had been an exciting and positive season for Gopher hockey.

The 2003 Gopher victory in the national championship game resulted in serious student misbehavior and vandalism in the Dinkytown business district adjoining the Minneapolis campus. Authorities were ready this time. Even though it was a Thursday night, with the dedicated student body preparing for the grind of classes the following day, and the game itself only a semi-final, squad cars from both the Minneapolis Police and the University Police were on every block. Five helmeted cops on horseback rode down the street in formation, dallied at the intersection of 14th & 4th street, and then ambled off. The only cops seen on foot were two that double parked with their emergency lights on while they went in to buy cigarettes. There was no disturbance, probably because they were there.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Making Money Obsolete

The truth is that a cashless society is much closer than most people would ever dare to imagine. To a large degree, the transition to a cashless society is being done voluntarily. Today, only 7 percent of all transactions in the United States are done with cash, and most of those transactions involve very small amounts of money. Just think about it for a moment. Where do you still use cash these days? If you buy a burger or if you purchase something at a flea market you will still use cash, but for any mid-size or large transaction the vast majority of people out there will use another form of payment. Our financial system is dramatically changing, and cash is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. We live in a digital world, and national governments and big banks are both encouraging the move away from paper currency and coins. But what would a cashless society mean for our future? Are there any dangers to such a system?

In a libertarian/free trade society money is a medium of exchange freely agreed upon by the participants in the trade, it is not a government-imposed arbitrary abstraction. This article tells us about how government and the financial industry are quickly making the use of any form of physical money anti-social and actually illegal.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Take Charge Indy

In 1967, there was a mating between Mexican rock and roll idol Enrique Guzman and Mexican superstar actress Sylvia Pinal, married at the time, that produced perhaps the greatest female rock and roll singer of all time in any language, Alejandra Guzman.

In 2009 there was a mating between throughbred stallion A.P. Indy, son of the legendary Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew and himself Horse of the Year and Champion Three Year Old Male, the winner of the Santa Anita Derby, Belmont Stakes and Breeder's Cup Classic and almost $3 million in purse money, and Take Charge Lady, a mare with 11 wins in 22 starts and earnings of $2,480,377. A descendant of racing legends such as Northern Dancer, Secretariat and Swaps, Kentucky Derby winners all, she holds the track record for 1 1/16 miles at the Fairgrounds in New Orleans, set in 2002. About 340 days after this transient relationship that involved a fee-for-sex of possibly $150,000, a colt was born that eventually was sold at the Keeneland 2010 Yearling Sale for $80,000 and has since become the property of Chuck and Maribeth Sandford. The Breeder's Cup profiles the owners below:

Born: Maribeth Sandford was born and raised in Louisville, Ky.; Chuck grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Residence: They reside in Marengo, Ill., a suburb between Chicago and Rockford
Family: Maribeth has a daughter Jennifer and a son Paul from a previous marriage.
Education: Maribeth attended the Ray Vogue School of Design in downtown Chicago and later studied Home Economics at the University of Louisville... Chuck attended a small college in Iowa before being drafted into the Army and serving in Vietnam.
Professional Background: Maribeth founded Bag Makers, Inc. and serves as its CEO while Chuck, who joined the business later, is the company president ... According to the company Web site: "Bag Makers, Inc. is a leading supplier of non-woven, paper and plastic bags to the promotional products industry. Established in 1980, the company imprints more than 80 million bags each year to the corporate marketplace through a national network of promotional marketing companies. Today, Bag Makers employs 320 people in the United States, plus 500 in its factory in China to produce more than 100 styles of bags. Using this global supply chain, Bag Makers also provides custom design and manufacturing services to its clientele."... What began as a small startup company in a dairy barn in northern Illinois has today become a multi-million dollar corporation with more than 800 employees worldwide ... Maribeth Sandford's rags-to-riches success story was featured on the CNBC program "How I Made My Millions" in Aug. 2011... As a single mom in 1980, and looking for a way to support herself and her children, Maribeth decided to use her experience in graphic arts to begin printing logos on shopping bags. She borrowed $10,000 from her father to buy a printing press and set up shop in a dairy barn. Her focus was on printing small quantities of bags to suit her customer's needs. Selling bags by day and printing them by night, slowly her business began to grow. She paid her dad back ... and then some ... Bag Makers is a family affair. The company has long named different bag styles after family members and featured her children and grandchildren on its catalog covers. Now her two children are helping to run the company too, together with 11 other family members.
Web site:
Racing Career: Chuck had a few Thoroughbreds after getting out of the Army... The Sandfords as a couple didn't get into racing until June 2009... "We're trying to put together a nice stable, and that was the colt we came to buy," said Chuck Sandford after purchasing a Tiznow colt for $475,000 at the Feb. 2010 Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. 2-Year-Olds in Training Sale. "We just got into the horse business last June, and we're trying to do the right thing like a lot of other people. To get into it at this level is just like a dream come true. It's a terrific industry, and I've met some real nice people." ... The stable star is currently Take Charge Indy, a Juvenile hopeful, who is out of mulitple graded stakes winner Take Charge Lady.

As optimistic horsemen always hope, mating the best to the best is the most likely route to success. While the Sandfords must be very happy with the accomplishments of their horse, they now look forward to an even greater achievement on the first Saturday in May at Churchill Downs.

Maribeth Sandford shows off one of her lunch bags.

Steve Haskins of The Blood Horse tells us more of the history of Take Charge Indy and the people that have been a part of it:

One of the great storylines of this year’s Derby trail is the ongoing love affair between horsewoman Tami Bobo and her “pet” Take Charge Indy, upset winner of the Florida Derby.

The affection Bobo has for the son of A.P. Indy can be heard in her voice, which one minute is alive with a youthful exuberance when reminiscing about her days with the colt at her farm in Ocala and the next minute quavers with emotion as she attempts to describe what it was like watching him win the Florida Derby. Trying to put those emotions into words brought her to tears.

Take Charge Indy’s story began at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale, when he stepped into the ring as part of the consignment of Eaton Sales, who bred the colt.

The colt’s pedigree spelled money, being by A.P. Indy, out of multiple grade I winner Take Charge Lady, a two-time winner of the Spinster Stakes and earner of more than $2.4 million.

But it was feared the colt was not going to bring anything near what he was worth due to a couple of minor physical issues.

“He was a great big, strong-bodied, athletic colt,” said Eaton Sales’ Reiley McDonald. “He just had some minor conformational flaws that put people off, and when you’re at a small selected sale as are the first couple of days at Keeneland, a lot of buyers will walk right past a horse if they see any flaws. I think a lot of buyers just marked him off their list. He was a little upright in his pasterns and his knees were a little bit close, and he had a very short step behind. A lot of buyers like to see a big loopy overstep, and he didn’t overstep at all, so I think it put some people off.”

McDonald knew he was going to have trouble selling the colt for his true value, so he wasn’t exactly shocked when he failed to meet his reserve at $80,000. He now had to find a willing buyer who would overlook the colt’s flaws and approached Bobo and Carl Bowling, partners in the fledgling company Secure Investments.

Bobo had just come over to Thoroughbreds from Quarter-Horse show horses that year, teaming up with Bowling, a longtime Thoroughbred horseman, purchasing yearlings and then pinhooking them as 2-year-olds.

“I approached Tami and Carl in the back walking ring and told them I have a horse who fell through the cracks and needs to be bought,” McDonald recalled. “They went down to see him and fell in love with him and we did the deal right there at the sale.”

Said Bobo, “Carl and I were looking at horses when Reiley came up to us and said, ‘I have one that I think you guys would like, and I don’t understand why I don’t have much action on him. You should probably come look at him. I immediately fell in love with the colt. He was long in his pasterns and straight in the front and kind of a gangly colt. But I felt the imperfections he had were the type he could grow through. All in all, as far him not being 100 percent, in my opinion no horse has perfect conformation. You find the imperfections and if you can live with them, a lot of horses overcome a lot of things. I come from a Quarter-Horse show horse background and I’ve been in the horse business my entire life; I was raised around horses. The first year I actually trained and broke Thoroughbreds on my own was in 2010, which was my year with Indy.

“I’m very Quarter-Horse minded when it comes to working with young horses. We break our horses out in the field and we gallop them out in the field. Our horses are never kept in stalls when we first get them. We break them and leave them out and let them develop. A lot of that played a big role in Indy being able to develop the way he needed to. The way he was made, if you kept him in a stall and just galloped him and broke him that way I don’t think Indy would be where he is today.”

For Bobo, it was love at first sight. Their relationship at the farm went beyond the typical rapport between trainer and horse and beyond the normal breaking procedure. She and the colt became inseparable, and she knew it was going to be difficult parting with him and finding a worthy owner.

Bloodhorse Photo

“From the first day I saw him, everyone will tell you I fell in love with him,” Bobo said. “Carl asked me who was my favorite, and I told him it was Indy, from day one. I said this is the kind of horse if you stay out of his way he’s just going to get better. A great horse is a great horse and all a trainer can do is keep them sound and keep them going and give them the best shot you can. You just need to maintain them and keep them happy. Because we’re not a large volume facility we do small numbers and high quality and try to cater to the high end of the industry. We try to sell boutique style horses.

“Indy was my barnyard pet. I would get on him in the afternoons and take him to the track and ride him with a just a halter and a lead rope. He just loved to train and I would gallop him two miles every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, just because that’s what he mentally needed. I didn’t overtrain him and I didn’t undertrain him; I just let him tell me what we needed to do and how far we needed to go.”

As time went on, Bobo and Indy grew closer to each other.

“Eventually, he learned how to say ‘yes’ for his carrots and he learned how to say ‘no,’” Bobo said. “And he knew his name. Even to this day, and (trainer) Pat Byrne can tell you, I can walk into his shedrow and call out ‘Indy,’ and he’ll nicker to me; he knows who I am. He’s just very attentive to me, and I think it’s because of the amount of time I spent with him. When we went out in the afternoons, it was as if he were being trail-ridden, riding bareback with just a halter and lead rope. There was no bucking, lunging, or leaping. I think those fundamentals we teach stay with them and teach them to be strong and confident and not be afraid.

“I’ve learned a great deal from Carl. I’ve been blessed in the short time I’ve been in the Thoroughbred business, and I owe so much to the unsung heroes, Enrique Martinez and Everton Miles, who both helped break Indy. And Enrique was his regular rider. Carl and I buy yearlings and pinhook them as 2-year-olds, and if it wasn’t for Carl being there for me and answering all my questions I wouldn’t be where I am today in the Thoroughbred business.”

Finally, it was time for the 2-year-old sale, but by then, Bobo had become too attached to the colt.

“I was so in love with Indy I didn’t want to sell him,” she said. “We wanted to keep him and run him ourselves. Pat Byrne, being a longtime friend and customer of Carl’s, called and wanted to come and look at some horses. He came to the barn with Chuck Sandford and they saw how heartfelt I was when it came to Indy and the strong feelings I had for him. I told them it was going to take a special person to own a part of this horse, and that Carl and I weren’t going to sell this horse at a sale; we’re just going to sell a portion of him. Chuck came to the barn and absolutely fell head over heels for him. From a buyer’s perspective I think he was already in love with the pedigree, but when Chuck saw how personable he was and the tricks he would do in the barn, and how he’d just stand there when you opened his stall door, he fell in love with him, just as I did. He saw how attentive he was to me and the faces he’d make when you scratched him. I think Chuck just felt a connection to Indy, and, as an owner, there was a comforting feeling having a horse with such a pedigree that he could walk up to and pet. So I really think Indy sold himself to Chuck. Carl and I both knew at that moment this was who we needed to sell Indy too, because he would impact Chuck and (his wife) Maribeth’s lives as greatly as he did ours.

“We only sold 50 percent and kept the other half in order to stay involved with Indy. We’ve since made other deals and arrangements and just recently sold our last portion of Indy, so Chuck and Maribeth now own all of him. This is what we do. We cater to a specialty market and only sell select horses. We follow their careers, and hopefully, if they end up in the right hands, we always remain a part of their lives.”

Bobo regrets that she was unable to make it to Gulfstream for the Florida Derby, but there is nothing that will keep her from attending the Kentucky Derby. Watching the Florida Derby on TV was enough of an emotional experience to last her a lifetime.

“I get very emotional watching Indy run and staying so connected to him, and it takes your breath away to see a horse do what he did (in the Florida Derby) who is so special to me and who I believed in from day one,” she said. “He gave me 110 percent every time we breezed him or galloped him. When he’s right his tail goes straight out behind him. I can always tell looking at his tail when he’s 100 percent on and when he’s not. That tail goes out behind him and he’s absolutely effortless, just as he was in the Florida Derby. He’s just amazing; he truly is. I have a 21-year-old daughter, and you love your kids, but that horse just owns a part of me.

Trayvon Martin

What's the meaning of the Trayvon Martin controversy? What has given this story legs in the national media, as opposed to the other incidents of interracial violence that occur daily across the fruited plain? I'll contend that unlike this heinous incident, where trained law enforcement agents simply apply the death penalty to someone that they perceive as a problem, the Martin affair shines a light on the controversial (to leftist statists) "Stand Your Ground" doctrine that has been accepted as normal in many states and by the US Supreme Court itself. Both political parties are, by necessity, statists. Both Democrats and Republicans, regardless of the differences in their ideologies, advocate an extensive and expanding government law enforcement effort, an entrenchment of state power administered by the party in power in a democratic charade. We see this in the creation of the monster TSA, the Homeland Security Administration, weapons on the hips of forest rangers, drone aircraft and armored vehicles for the use of police departments, government surveillance of the internet, banking, and communication systems; all developments lauded by the membership of both parties.

The exclusive right to the use of violence is the foundation of state power. The state cannot share this with any part of the citizenry. A confrontation between the state or its agents must be resolved to the state's advantage. There can be no legal use of coercion by private parties, no rivals to the state. A similar incident in 1984, when New York subway passenger Bernhard Goetz used an unlicensed gun to wound 4 muggers generated intense national controversy over race relations, gun laws and the individual's right to self-defense. Goetz was convicted of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree and served 8 months of a one year sentence. He was later sued by one of his attackers and ordered to pay $43 million in damages.

Some small towns, saddled with increasing taxes to pay the salaries and benefits of their own police departments, have investigated hiring private contractors to patrol their streets. Of course, this has run into significant opposition. The city cops don't want to lose their jobs. County sheriffs don't care to see their responsibilities expanded unless there's a commensurate increase in their funding. Critics maintain that private law enforcement can't have the ability to make arrests, even though there's no reason it couldn't be authorized by the municipality involved.

The Trayvon Martin phenomenon doesn't have anything to do with unfortunate demise of a young man, something that occurs daily. What it's about is checking an outbreak of perhaps unconscious anti-statism.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mexican Billionaire Drug Entrepreneur

thanks the US political and governmental leadership for policies that have enabled him to become one of the wealthiest people on earth.