Tuesday, April 29, 2014

STALINESQUE: Donald Sterling and the Thought Police

Donald Sterling, owner of the professional basketball, the Los Angeles Clippers, had a rather bad week.  It seems he was having a private conversation with his mistress/girlfriend in the privacy of his own home about the girlfriend's choice of friends and companions.  Unknown to Sterling, his girlfriend was secretly recording the conversation without his knowledge or permission.  It seems Sterling was jealous more than anything else, since the half-black girlfriend's companions were men.  Sterling allegedly told his mistress not to bring black people to the games or associate with them.  Why was not explained, or what Sterling's actual motivations were.  No matter, the Tribe of the Sacred Eboniferous was offended, and the man's head had to roll.  In our current political climate, one is either the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, or one is Sojourner Truth.  There is nothing between these two extremes.

Without so much as questioning Sterling about what he meant and why, the new commissioner of the National Basketball Association, one Adam Silver, banned Sterling from the NBA for life and fined him 2.5 million dollars...for expressing private thoughts that are nobody's business but his own, for reasons of his own that are by no means understood by anyone but himself, and that were not intended for public consumption.

Silver, a tall thin, bald man with big ears, resembles a demon from some Gothic painting.  He has the powers of a dictator over the NBA.  There is no hearing, no trial, no investigation, just some Stalinesque joker who can destroy a man at whim, all to the applause of the brainwashed masses.

The racial fanaticism of the far left has been so ingrained in the public consciousness for so long, that a massive knee-jerk reaction from the public is inevitable.  The aspect of this imbroglio that bothers me most, however, is the reaction of some conservatives, namely, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.  They too joined the RAAACISM chorus, they too called for Sterling's ruination, they too mouthed liberal/left talking points, they too joined the two-minute hate straight out of Orwell's 1984.  Only Rush Limbaugh retained any sense of proportion, postulating that Sterling was set up so his team could be taken away from him and sold to someone else, waiting in the weeds, i.e. Magic Johnson.

I don't follow basketball, and before this week, I didn't know anything about Donald Sterling.   But I know a royal screw job when I see one, and the racial fanaticism that now pervades our culture does far more harm, far more injustice, than it does good.

Related Post from Moonbattery:  Donald Sterling and the Slippery Slope Into Totalitarianism
UPDATE:  Two well-known black men criticize the public lynching of Donald Sterling at the Blaze.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

I'm In A Fighting Mood: Liberals Are Evil

I was arguing with some Pamela Geller bashers on Twitter today.  They created a picture of Geller as a demon, with horns and fangs.  These folks represent one of liberalisms many evil variants:  the defenders of the most violent, hateful, intolerant and war-mongering "religion" on earth.  If you oppose Islam's mass murder of innocents, its clitoral mutilation of young girls, its honor killings, child marriages, stoning of adulterers, hanging of gays, or that old time favorite, slicing some Jew's head off while he screams in horror and agony, well then, you must be a demon.  Such leftist scum make themselves parties to, and accessories in, the vilest evil ever to oppress mankind.

Then there is the Liberal Skank of the Month, Laura Levites, a hate-filled extremist who tweeted:  "I would personally like to castrate every Male Conservative Christian so that they have NO reproductive rights."

She also tweeted that she would like to buy a hacksaw to "chop off David Green's dick just so I can shove it up his ass."  David Green is CEO of Hobby Lobby.  When someone objected, Skank Levites replied "Get the Fuck out of my vagina and then I'll be tolerant."

I suspect the only things in her vagina are dead moths and flies.  She has a point about abortion, however.  If only her parents had listened.

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Return of the Militias and the New Fascism

In January 2013 I wrote that the growing threat to liberty by the federal government requires us to support and fund the militias that exist throughout the United States.  Never before in my lifetime have I seen a more aggressive, overreaching and threatening federal government.  Indeed, it seems obsessed with acquiring power over our lives, thoughts and deeds.  Based on my readings, I see these tendencies as fascism rather than communism (see this post).

I had believed that the militia movement was dead, killed off by negative publicity after the libs blamed them (falsely) for the Oklahoma City bombing.  Happily, I find I was wrong.  The Cliven Bundy Ranch standoff was brought to a conclusion by militia members from several states, as well as by many other citizens who faced down the feds.

Now the BLM is eyeballing land in Texas that the feds "own."  With the left's corrupt and bankrupt policies, they are motivated to extract all the cash they can from the private sector. However, the Oklahoma militia has said they will oppose further incursions of the feds into the western states, and are ready to shoot if necessary.  Obviously, we all hope that will never be necessary.  However, there is a point where discussion ends and revolution begins.  Many Americans feel they are being increasingly pushed towards the latter.

Note to the feds:  you work for us, we do not work for you.  We own you, you do not own us.  You answer to us, we do not answer to you.


Swapping Sports Stories at Easter: How I Met Jack Dempsey

For Easter my wife and I visited her sister in San Jose and had dinner there with sis, her husband and other relatives.  One of these was a doctor from Vallejo.  We soon learned we were both Giants fans and watched the former play the San Diego Padres on a large screen television.  The Giants won 4-3 and we were gratified.

During the game, however, we began swapping real-life sports stories; I told him about how I won a 49er football in an auction, the ball being autographed by all the 49er greats (Joe Montana, Steve Young, Dwight Clark, Ronnie Lott, Jerry Rice and many others).

He told me how he and three friends found Barry Bonds alone after a game, with few people around, and asked him to autograph their baseballs.  Bonds refused them three times, saying he was "too busy."  So they found that Bonds is, in real life, something of an A-hole.

Then I remembered another story from my distant past, the day I met boxing great Jack Dempsey.  I was in New York City in August of 1974, during the same week that Nixon resigned the presidency.  I was there for training as an employee of the big accounting firm, Peat, Marwick and Mitchell (now KPMG).  At lunch one of my colleagues told me we should eat at Jack Dempsey's restaurant.  While there, the colleague told me how his parents had brought him there years ago and he had actually met Jack Dempsey.  Suddenly, he gasped and said, "There he is!"

Jack Dempsey, now an aged man, was sitting all alone in a restaurant booth reading a newspaper.  We went over and said hello, and Mr. Dempsey autographed a paper menu for each of us.  I believe I still have that menu.  When I returned home to Scottsdale, Arizona, where I then lived, I told my father, who was aghast that I had met his childhood hero.  My father had met him once too, in 1929, if I remember correctly.

Jack Dempsey died in 1983, but he was once the Heavyweight Champion of the World, from 1919 through 1926 -- and I met him.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, Who Are You? What Have You Sacrificed?

EASTER, 2014
Jesus Christ, Superstar was the musical hit of the 1970's.  The Andrew Lloyd Webber production was filmed on location in Israel.  In my younger days, it satisfied my agnostic bent to a large extent, with Judas, played wonderfully well by Carl Anderson, asking what seemed to me to be pertinent questions.  If Jesus was the Messiah, why did he pick such a backward time and such a strange land in which to appear?  Don't get me wrong, now, I only wanna know, sings Judas.

The movie was released in 1973, a year when my life began to bloom.  I had completed college and left my six year job as a chemical laboratory technician and moved into my first accounting job in San Francisco.  I also met and fell in love with the pretty little Asian girl who would become my wife.  It was a time of change, most of it positive.  My girl saw the movie with me.

Jesus Christ, Superstar, for me anyway, captures the joy, the hope, the excitement, the pain and sorrow of the crucifixion, but also includes the questions and doubts of many people like me.

Here are two of my favorite scenes from the movie; the one with Judas asking Jesus (Ted Neeley) who he is and why did he sacrifice himself?  Jesus Christ, Superstar -- do you think that you're what they say you are?

The other video below shows the talented Yvonne Elliman as Mary Magdalene, who sang one of my favorite songs of all time, "I Don't Know How to Love Him."


The Federal Government's Tyrannical Land Grabs

The recent standoff between ranchers and federal officials at the Clive Bundy ranch in Nevada has revealed the absurd control of state lands by the federal government.  The feds "own" over 80% of Nevada, about 50% of California, and a massive portion of Alaska.  Several other western states, like Utah and New Mexico, are also affected.  See here for more details.

How the feds can own large portions of individual states is appalling.  The ownership and control of these lands provides the federal government with the power to regulate and control the economies of these states, and is inconsistent with the "equal footing" of the states upon admission to the Union.

Now, however, representatives of the western states are meeting to discuss how to take control of their lands from the federal government.  The feds "ownership" of lumber and mineral rights within the states gives them an enormous source of revenue, and hence, power over the states, and denies the states rights to benefit from these resources.

Something must be done, and the western states are beginning to think about what to do.

Must Read Article on the Bias of the New York Times

Over at the American Thinker, J. Paul Masko has penned an article exposing the prevalent bias of the New York Times, Living in the New York Times World.  The Times, long heralded as "the Paper of Record," from which many sources of news and commentary are derived, is utterly biased, dedicated to impressing upon the American mind the goals and principles of progressivism.

The Times does this by suppressing news that is negative to Democrat goals and policies, by placing other news in the far pages of the paper where it will be overlooked by many readers, and by applying a leftward spin to stories on its front page.

The Times is actually a propaganda sheet.  Read it and be informed.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tax Season Is Over At Last

Yesterday, April 15, was Hell Day for tax accountants.  I saw client after client up until 9 PM when we closed.

A rude woman with an irrevocable trust insisted that I finish the 1041 by April 15, even though she came in only a week ago, without an accounting, and with stacks of contracts that needed to be discounted to their present value and amortized over their life to determine the taxable portion representing interest.  When I realized she couldn't do it, I bought a great loan amortization program called TValue5 and was able to discount and amortize all 40 of them, so I had enough information to file an extension.

Today I am in a pleasant stupor, unwinding as the giant rock on my back has been lifted.

This cinnamon tea and the cigar sure taste good.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Mark Twain's Eloquence and His Distaste for Islam

I finally finished "The Innocents Abroad" by Mark Twain.  It was a very entertaining read, and I was impressed with Twain's descriptive prose and vocabulary.  He uses some archaic language, but I found most of it in the Kindle dictionary.  Also impressive was his knowledge of the Bible and that of the ancient Greeks and Romans, of kings and emperors, generals and personages, and ancient battles and events.

Mark Twain's Eloquence
I was impressed with his description of the Sphinx.  He described it as follows:
After years of waiting, it was before me at last. The great face was so sad, so earnest, so longing, so patient. There was a dignity not of earth in its mien, and in its countenance a benignity such as never any thing human wore. It was stone, but it seemed sentient. If ever image of stone thought, it was thinking. It was looking toward the verge of the landscape, yet looking at nothing—nothing but distance and vacancy. It was looking over and beyond every thing of the present, and far into the past. It was gazing out over the ocean of Time—over lines of century-waves which, further and further receding, closed nearer and nearer together, and blended at last into one unbroken tide, away toward the horizon of remote antiquity.
 And this:
The Sphynx is grand in its loneliness; it is imposing in its magnitude; it is impressive in the mystery that hangs over its story. And there is that in the overshadowing majesty of this eternal figure of stone, with its accusing memory of the deeds of all ages, which reveals to one something of what he shall feel when he shall stand at last in the awful presence of God.
Twain was disgusted with the habit of some of his travel companions, who wanted to chip off pieces from every ancient building, tomb, statue or artifact they visited, to take home as souvenirs.  One fool tried to knock a piece off the chin of the sphinx with a hammer, but was stopped by officials before he could do any damage.  [In 1867 the Sphinx was buried in sand up to its neck, making the face accessible to miscreants like this.]

Twain's Distaste for Islam
Mark Twain wrote disparagingly of Muslims and Islamic culture and living conditions, noting the latter's hostility and antipathy towards non-Muslims.  He reported seeing some Muslim women dressed in body covers from head to toe, noting that they resembled mummies.

He saw Abdul Aziz, lord of the Ottoman Empire, sharing a parade in Paris, with Napoleon III, leader of France, and was disgusted by the presence of the former.  He wrote:
Napoleon III, the representative of the highest modern civilization, progress, and refinement; Abdul-Aziz, the representative of a people by nature and training filthy, brutish, ignorant, unprogressive, superstitious—and a government whose Three Graces are Tyranny, Rapacity, Blood. Here in brilliant Paris, under this majestic Arch of Triumph, the First Century greets the Nineteenth!
And this, while describing the Muslim Middle East:
Rags, wretchedness, poverty and dirt, those signs and symbols that indicate the presence of Moslem rule more surely than the crescent-flag itself, abound.
And this:
The Moslems watch the Golden Gate with a jealous eye, and an anxious one, for they have an honored tradition that when it falls, Islamism will fall and with it the Ottoman Empire. It did not grieve me any to notice that the old gate was getting a little shaky.
I almost hated finishing the book.  A good book is like a valued friend, visited nightly for conversation and cigars before bed.  When the book ends, there is a feeling of sadness.  I have resolved to read all of Twain's books and short stories.

Tax Day: The End Is In Sight

9:13 AM.  It's safe to say my 9 AM client isn't going to show.

A couple of days ago I was feeling a lot of pressure to get a lot of returns done, and wasn't sure I could do it and also prepare union reports for a bookkeeping client. Amazing what you can do when you have to do it.  I gave up some sleep but got it done.  Last night I celebrated with a big cigar and a cup of hot herbal tea.

My last obstacle is a woman with an irrevocable trust, that requires amortizing 40+ notes (she's doing it, not I).  That's why God invented extensions.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Enjoying Spring in California with Sam Clemens

California Poppies
I hear it is still cold in parts of the US.  Not here in California.  My persimmon tree has exploded in green foilage, my lawn is luxuriant, and there are lemons growing on my lemon tree.  The green hills are splashed with the orange of wild poppies and the yellow of wild mustard.  It is a lovely sight to see.

For the past few weeks I have been reading Mark Twain's book, The Innocents Abroad.  In 1867, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) took a voyage and visited places in Europe, Greece and the Middle East.  His tale of the foreign cities and peoples and cultures is fascinating, and made more enjoyable by his sense of humor.

One of the gambits he and his traveling companions enjoyed was baiting the hired guides.  No matter what ancient statue or artifact they were shown, they asked if it were by Michelangelo.  "No, this was made 2,000 years before Michelangelo was born!"

When they were shown a mummy, they asked if he was dead.  "Of course he's dead, he's been dead for 3,000 years!"  What's his name?  "I don't know his name, what does it matter??"  (or words to that effect).

When shown an ancient manuscript penned by Christopher Columbus, they feigned disinterest, and criticized his handwriting.  Their guide quickly concluded that they were lunatics.  I was laughing like a fool as I read these passages, loudly and boisterously -- over a text written 147 years ago!

The Innocents Abroad is a long book, and worth your time.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Quiet Before the Storm: Tax Season 2014

It's quiet today in the tax office.  So far I have had two clients this morning who were not required to file a tax return.  I so informed them and sent them on their way, no charge.

After several days of needed rain, it is sunny in Hollister, with blue skies and white cumulus clouds floating majestically overhead. My mind drifts toward my backyard gazebo, fresh cigars, hot tea, and good books.  Thirteen days to go.

We expect the usual mad rush in the final week.  People who owe money put off taxes as long as possible.  When clients are getting big refunds, they look at me like I'm a hero.  When they owe large liabilities, they eyeball me like I'm an incompetent moron.  I just tell the truth, wherever it may be, good or bad.