Whatever Happened to Earlobes?

25 06 2014

I  have a feeling more than one of you will think me weird after seeing this but, I can’t help it. This is how my mind works. Hey, if you think it seems odd from your perspective, imagine what it’s like from mine.



24 06 2014

Yeah, they’re not playing Whack-a-Mole either, Mr. President.


HEADLINE NEWS: Susan Rice Wearing Out the Shoe Leather on TV

8 06 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – For the second week in a row, National Security Adviser Susan Rice made the rounds of the Sunday morning television talk shows to explain and defend her boss, President Obama, choosing to exchange five Taliban prisoners from Guantanamo Bay for captured Army Sargent Bowe Bergdahl. Rice also defended her own controversial remarks from the previous week, when she made the statement that Bergdahl had served “with honor and distinction,” during his time in the US Army.

Despite claims from many who had also served in Bergdahl’s Army unit, that he had “deserted his post” while in Afghanistan, Rice and other administration spokespeople have continued to defend and reinforce her statement.

As Rice herself explained in an interview with CNN on Friday, “What I was referring to is the fact that this was a young man who volunteered to serve his country in uniform at a time of war. That in itself is a very honorable thing.”

On the talk shows this morning, Rice went on to say that “virtually every person in America, if not the entire world, serves with honor and distinction.”

When questioned about this claim, Rice explained further. “For example,” said Rice, “last evening during dinner with friends, I was served my distinctive entrée with honor by a young woman who smiled very pleasantly, almost as if we were personal friends. This, despite the fact that, because of the wage she is paid, she could never afford to eat a meal at the high priced restaurant where I was eating dinner.”

“Now, that is truly honorable,” Rice proclaimed.

Rice refused to answer any questions about her newly broadened definition of the phrase “honor and distinction,” even when it was pointed out to her that such a definition removes all meaning from the phrase. “We say what we mean and we mean what we say,” Rice claimed. “What others think of that is up to them. That is, until such time as we tell them what to think.”

For some, it was difficult to understand exactly what Ms. Rice was saying during her various appearances, as it appeared that, from time to time, she had something in her mouth which seemed to inhibit her ability to speak clearly and cogently. Investigations into the matter later determined that, as a matter of policy and to avoid undignified bodily contortions, Susan Rice has begun to carry an extra shoe with her during appearances before the public, which she can easily place in her mouth, to muffle any claims to actual fact she happens to make.

At press time, it had been determined that virtually all administrations officials will begin doing the same.


2 Cycling eBooks on Sale – Just 99¢ Each

6 06 2014

Beginning today, June 6th, and for a limited time, both of my cycling eBooks are on sale for just 99¢ each at the Amazon Kindle Store.

Regular Price: $2.99 Now just 99¢ each

Rediscover Your Joy with Bicycles and Cycling at the Kindle Store

Rediscover Your Joy with Bicycles and Cycling #2 at the Kindle Store

Both of these cycling eBooks are packed with valuable information that will help the beginning or returning cyclist with the choice of the right bike, how to save money when buying a bike, making sure your bike fits you, essential equipment and accessories, bike maintenance, where to ride safely, how to include the family, and so much more.

Praise from readers for “Rediscover #1″…Bicycles Cycling EBook on sale

“The Kindle is great for this information. Everything is practical; Richard Conte doesn’t talk down to beginners with lots of riding jargon and the topics make a good check list for professionals who can forget some things.

This book is about pedal bikes — the machines. The various types of popular bike use are referenced when describing different designs, but there isn’t discussion in depth about those uses — including bike touring, mountain biking, transportation biking exercise biking and everyday, joyous biking. Spinning was a new term to me.” ~ JudyAnn Lorenz, Author, Ozarks Missouri, USA

eBook Sale Price good through June 12th

High praise for “Rediscover #2″…Bicycles Cycling EBook 2 on sale

“This book is full of practical and helpful advice from the best time to purchase a bicycle and get the best deal to upgrades that will help commuters avoid punctures. I enjoyed the information about the tandem and tag-a-long bikes for families.

Highly recommended! I was glad to pick this up during the free GAW. Thanks for making it available!” ~ J. Robideau “Rob” Bhaisipati, Lalitpur, Nepal

Wow, “Rob” is a Top 1000 Reviewer at the Kindle Store, having reviewed 479 books for them, and he’s in Nepal. Gotta’ love this one! Thanks Rob.

Free Kindle Reader Apps for All Digital Devices

Did you know that you can buy and borrow Kindle books, as well as download free Kindle books, even if you don’t own a Kindle Reader? It’s true. All you have to do is download one of the many Free Kindle Reader Apps available for your PC, MAC, iPhone, iPad, Tablet, or Android device, and you will be able to read anything Amazon has to offer for a Kindle reader.

Read the rest of this entry »

Thoughts on the Bergdahl – Taliban Swap

5 06 2014

I realize I’ve been sharing a large number of stories on the Bergdahl/Taliban swap to my Facebook profile in the past few days. In fact, I may have overdone it a bit, considering how easy it is to find stories if you look for them. It may also seem, because of the overall tenor of the stories and articles I’ve shared that I believe everything in them to be true, or agree with every opinion expressed. This is not the case.

I have never said that the deal made by our POTUS was treasonous. I have never said he should be impeached for making this deal. In fact, the first time I shared anything about this story was on June 2nd, the day I discovered that the members of Bergdahl’s platoon had named him a deserter. Here is what I wrote that day, when posting a headline story from CNN.com:

“Wow, I’ve never even heard of the possibility he had deserted prior to this. If true, it adds a disturbing aspect to the entire story, especially the image of the POTUS patting himself on the back upon the news of Bergdahl release.”

Since then, stories in the media and interviews with those who’d served with him have provided overwhelming evidence that he left his duty station voluntarily, walking away from his platoon, only to be “captured” by the Taliban. It has even been suggested that he went to them willingly, though that has yet to be proven. What is known is this – Bergdahl left voluntarily, after expressing dissatisfaction with his choice to serve and the mission assigned him.

For me, the mistakes made by the administration have nothing to do with treason but with poor judgment and duplicity – things we’ve seen from them all too often – which is why I continue to share stories and articles on this subject, as well as many others.

  • First, the decision to exchange five very dangerous individuals for a single soldier was a poor one, especially considering reports that his release could have been gained for a cash payment instead, and that he had willingly deserted his post.
  • Second, the grandstanding by the POTUS at the announcement was unseemly and in poor taste, which is also not unusual for him. His need to seek approval and accolades makes him seem a very small person, with huge self-esteem issues.
  • Third, the constant effort to mislead the public for the justification of this deal, from Susan Rice’s again ridiculous appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows to the rest of the administration attacking the character of everyone who is critical of the deal, is just more of the same. These people simply cannot handle criticism from anyone, regardless of whether or not it is justified.

It has become obvious in his second term that we have elected an exceedingly petty president, who has surrounded himself with equally petty people. Their inability to handle criticism, combined with their need to lash out at any and all who dare to find fault with them, smacks of the playground bully in elementary school who lashes out at anyone who challenges his right to be a prick. Their behavior lacks class, while their arguments are empty of intelligence or honesty.

The truly unfortunate aspect to this latest turn of events is the regularity with which this group of intellectual adolescents find themselves in similar situations. While this particular mess may not rise to the level of a scandal, as so many other events have done during this administration, it is certainly one more incident which proves just how incompetent these people are.

No, I don’t believe this rises to the level of an impeachable offense, but it is certainly evidence, as if more were needed, that this whiny, put-upon POTUS and his team of adolescent advisors all deserve a good, old fashioned spanking.


My Take on Edward Snowden and the NSA

2 06 2014

First, I remain ambivalent about whether Edward Snowden is a hero or a traitor, or something in between which we have yet to define. Glen Greenwald, the reporter who originally broke the Snowden story for The Guardian, and who continues to release new information, has said, “Literally of all the people that I’ve ever met and now know in the world, Edward Snowden is by far the person most at peace and fulfilled as a human being,” according to Real Clear Politics. This implies that Snowden has no regrets, and continues to believe his actions were not only necessary, but honorable. OK. I guess.

Snowden has also said that not a single person has been harmed by the release of the information taken from the NSA. While there have certainly been no reports of intelligence sources being compromised as a result of his revelations, it must also be said that there rarely are, as intelligence services do not publicize such losses. In the long run, I think it highly likely that Snowden will, someday, be seen as doing a favor for the American public with his actions; though even having said that, I cannot quite bring myself to praise him – yet.

Spying is supposed to be hard work

However, I can certainly do the opposite as regards the actions of the NSA, finding fault with the ways in which they seem to have taken shortcuts with our Liberty in an effort to make their job easier. Much like the use of warrantless searches by police departments across the nation, gathering intelligence on our own citizens has become far too easy, with both intruding regularly on the civil rights of citizens.

Gathering intelligence, or “spying,” is not an easy job but, then again, it’s supposed to be hard. When it comes to protecting the “Homeland” from the possibility of internal threats it should to be particularly difficult, for the very reason that Individual Liberty and Civil Rights will inevitably get in the way of doing so.

The standard justification we often hear, “If you’ve done nothing wrong you have nothing to worry about,” simply does not justify regular, wholesale intrusion into our lives. It’s a mere canard, an egregious attempt to justify a clear invasion of privacy by heaping the resulting guilt on the victim. It is an argument made by small minds and lazy bureaucracies.

Taking shortcuts with our Liberty is never the proper model for our government to use, even when trying to “protect us.” Why? Because the logical conclusion of such a philosophy has already been shown to have far reaching, devastating effects on liberty, as evidenced by the fascist government of Germany in the 1930s – 1940s, in an effort to “protect the Fatherland” from Jews, Communists, homosexuals, and other “undesirable” elements of society. (Even the names “Department of Homeland Security” and “National Security Agency” contain fascist overtones that make me uneasy.)

I don’t believe anyone would like to see that here, regardless of the justification – or the threat.

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