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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Defunct Atlas Missile Silo near Vernon, Texas

The site is open to the public if you're willing to climb over a fence.

Latitude:    34-21-44
Longitude:    099-19-27

Satellite view:

Quonset hut

Silo doors

Entrance & gate

Friday, September 5, 2014

How to Understand the Middle East

For most Americans, the Middles East is an exotic and mysterious place. Like the Persian carpets made there, it is a complex weave of nations, tribes, languages, and religions. And like a Persian carpet, you can't pull on one thread without pulling on many others.

However, if you study the history of the region, certain patterns emerge. I studied the history and cultures of the region for many years until I had my eureka moment. I had discovered what I call the Grand Unified Theory of the Middle East. It is a unifying principle which explains every event there since the beginning of history. Once you learn this theory, you will instantly understand everything that happens there.

Here is my Grand Unified Theory of the Middle East: Everyone hates everyone.

The Arabs and Persians hate each other. The Turks and the Kurds hate each other.The Sunni and the Shia hat each other. The Bedouins and the Berbers hate each other. The Muslims and Christians hate each other. And all of them hate the Jews. The Jews, not wanting to be outdone in the hating game, boldly up the ante by hating both themselves and other Jews, mostly because they are either too Jewish or not Jewish enough.

Could this geopolitical dumpster fire possibly get any worse? Yes it can! Democracy in the Middle East, where it exists at all, tends to get into rut. Generally, there is a two-party system which is a fierce duel between the Islamic Party of Islam for Muslims against the Very Very Very Islamic Party. In such a situation, it is difficult to find common ground.

So what should the US do? I suggest treating the place like a nest of killer bees. The farther away you are, the less likely you are to get stung. And if you insist on getting close and throwing rocks at the hive, throw really big rocks. In 1982, Reagan withdrew US forces from Lebanon after a truck bomb killed 241 Marines. He said:

“Perhaps we didn’t appreciate fully enough the depth of the hatred and the complexity of the problems that made the Middle East such a jungle. Perhaps the idea of a suicide car bomber committing mass murder to gain instant entry to Paradise was so foreign to our own values and consciousness that it did not create in us the concern for the marines’ safety that it should have."

My Fight Against USDA Intrusiveness

Here is the email I just sent to them:

To whom it may concern:

I am trying to reach whoever is in charge of the Texas USDA Rural Development Program. I suspect it is Theresa Jordison since that is the name given on the website. Please forward this message to her.


My landlord recently gave me an intrusive, 10-page form that should told me I must fill out if I wish to keep living in my apartment. This is how I was introduced to the USDA rural development program.

The alleged purpose of this form is to determine my eligibility for a rent subsidy. To that end, it asks many intrusive questions about me and my income and wealth. I already have been paying  the full rent, I know I am not eligible for the subsidy, and even if I was, I don't want it. I am particularly annoyed by this program's disregard for my privacy and the value of my time. I already filled out these forms once when I moved in. Why the hell should I fill out a 10-page form with hundreds of questions just to make some bureaucrat happy?

I am not submitting this form and if I get evicted because of it, I will hold you personally responsible. So unless you want to be the next Lois Lerner, I suggest you grant me an exemption. I'll give you until 5 PM on September 10th to give me your response.



And here are some pics of the idiotic forms. Click to enlarge. Sorry for the fuzziness. I may scan all the forms and upload them later.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Privacy & The USDA Rural Development Program

When I moved to Texas, I was happy to find an apartment right across the street from where I work. I had to fill out a very long and intrusive application to get the apartment, but I was willing to put up with it once.

It turns out that I must fill out the same forms with same intrusive questions again. Why? Because I had the bad luck to choose an apartment controlled by the USDA Rural Development program. Here is where I would like to point out Plank 9 of the Communist Party Manifesto: "gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country."

I am told I must fill out this questionnaire to see if I am eligible for a rent subsidy. However, I know I am not eligible for it, I haven't been getting it, and even if I was eligible, I don't want it. You might be asking why I do not just fill out the forms. The minor reasons are: because I've filled them out before; because there are hundreds of questions, and because I will get nothing out of it. The main reason however, is because of all the intrusive questions it asks. The form demands my bank account numbers and balances, my license plate number, my Social Security number, my date of birth, and a list of all the valuables I own. In short, this form makes me vastly more vulnerable to identity theft. Seeing as the website was recently hacked, I do not trust the government to protect my information.

And to top it all off, I am required to fill out the same form every year for as long as I live here.

But I am a reasonable man, so I offer this compromise to Theresa Jordison, who is the director of this program for Texas. If she sends me her bank account, car, and personal identity information, I will offer mine. The Texas USDA Rural Development program may be reached at 254 742 9770 and

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Many Colorful Outfits of Louis Farrahkhan

Here he is as an Irish version of Cap'n Crunch:

Here he is in what appears to be a prom tux from about 1975:

A muumuu of some sort:

OK, this guy has more outfits than Liberace.

This appears to be a combo of UPS delivery man and Bill Nye the Science Guy: 

See a pattern?

Whoops! That last one is just some nut. How that get in there? 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Detroit: Progressive Paradise

There is a city in the US that has not had a Republican mayor since 1962 and no Republicans on its city council since 1994. Not surprisingly, this city is a beacon of prosperity and a shining example of the triumph of progressive public policy. I am speaking of course of Detroit.

Detroit did everything right: they have a high minimum wage, a large and well-paid public sector workforce, strong unions, high education spending, and a tax system that makes sure the rich pay their fair share. Is it any wonder that Detroit has the lowest rates of poverty and unemployment in the nation?

Detroit's strong gun laws have also made it America's safest city. It has the lowest homicide and crime rate of any city in the country. Detroit's high education spending has led to it having the nation's lowest high school drop-out rate as well as the lowest rate of illiteracy. For these reasons, people have been flocking to Detroit and its real estate market is booming. This teeming metropolis is also a bastion of racial harmony with its many mixed neighborhoods.

The city's car factories are thriving as well thanks to the UAW, which helped make GM America's top exporter. In 2008, GM did so well that it donated several billion dollars to the government to help pay down the national debt. Detroit itself is debt free thanks to the sound fiscal policies of the Democrats.

Other cities and states have decided to follow Detroit's example. California has been booming ever since it enacted Detroit's policies. People continue to flock there away from poorly-governed Republican strongholds like Texas.

Despite Detroit's obvious success, many are reluctant to try the winning formula. This November, remember to vote only for progressives. A vote for progressives is a vote for a strong middle class, good education, & low crime.

Just like Detroit.