Obama orders end to FED pay freeze

Whew just in time too, since Joe Biden was hurting for money. 

You’d think Congress would get a pay cut.  I mean, shouldn’t they have to produce something…like… say a budget?  Nah, what I’m I thinking?

President Barack Obama issued an executive order to end the pay freeze on federal employees, in effect giving some federal workers a raise. One federal worker now to receive a pay increase is Vice President Joe Biden.

According to disclosure forms, Biden made a cool $225,521 last year. After the pay increase, he’ll now make $231,900 per year.

Members of Congress, from the House and Senate, also will receive a little bump, as their annual salary will go from $174,000 to 174,900. Leadership in Congress, including the speaker of the House, will likewise get an increase.


The Long Goodbye


Well folks I just finished up the third Raymond Chandler novel “The Long Goodbye”. I guess this has been a Chandler reading time frame. If you recall I had a Dashiell Hammett period earlier. I do this mainly because of the books I get at the local library. They often carry the Library of America books which contain multiple novels and writings of literature figures.

Chandler reading list:

The Lady in the Lake (1943)

The little Sister (1949)

The Long goodbye (1953)

The Chandler novels featuring Philip Marlowe are great. The writing is sharp and full of sarcasm. The descriptions of an early 40s and 50s California is perfect. One of the most interesting aspects of these novels is that even in that time period the problems they faced were the same as today. Corruption, drugs and women haven’t changed much in all the years.

Sometimes you have to go back to the older writings to remember what style was like. Chandler brings all the style and texture of a time long gone back to life. Yes, it’s a pulp fiction kind of style. If you need some good night reading these stories are the ticket.

Reading is very important in our family as each night we take the last hour before bed to read. I personally think children and adults both benefit considerably from nightly reading. Reading at night also seems to take away the clutter of the day that can keep you up long into the night.

Back at it

Looking to get away from the cold I departed Colorado for Texas and Christmas with my father, sister and her family.  Somehow the cold found me even there.  It snowed Christmas day and was a bit chilly.  But other than that it was a very nice trip.  Now back to the grind.

Fiscal Cliff

So how’s the world since my time offline?  Well in Washington all is normal, in other words nothing useful is being accomplished.  The Fiscal Cliff is nearing with little chance of a deal.  Of course there are a few days left.  But I wonder if anyone, Republican or Democrat really want to stop the cliff.  Lets face it, this is probably the only way budgets cuts will take place.  No politicians actually want’s to cut anything.  The cliff is the easy way out.  The only cut I see as an issue is the defense cut.  The politicians in Washington have their hands in all defense contracts so I’m not sure this part of the cliff is what they really want.  We’ll see I suppose.

“Stormin Norman” Schwarzkopf has died.

General Schwarzkopf the commander of Operation Desert Storm has died.  He was 78.  I’ve heard mixed things about Schwarzkopf but overall he seemed ok for a General.  He didn’t appear as political as our current crop but then I didn’t work for him.  Either way he is an icon and his passing will be noticed. He was awarded Three silver stars in Vietnam and generally they don’t give those away two easily. He also was awarded the purple heart.

President Bush Sr. ill

George H.W. Bush is in the hospital for a hard to beat fever.  I always like Bush Sr.  I wish him well.  It’s hard for a former paratrooper not to like this.  Remember he was the youngest WWII pilot.  He enlisted on his 18th birthday  completing his initial flight training prior to his 19th birthday.  Bush was shot down over the pacific in 1943.

From the Naval History and Heritage Command site.

After Bush was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade on 1 August,San Jacinto commenced operations against the Japanese in the Bonin Islands. On 2 September 1944, Bush piloted one of four aircraft from VT-51 that attacked the Japanese installations on Chi Chi Jima. For this mission his crew included Radioman Second Class John Delaney, and Lieutenant Junior Grade William White, USNR, who substituted for Bush’s regular gunner. During their attack, four TBM Avengers from VT-51 encountered intense antiaircraft fire. While starting the attack, Bush’s aircraft was hit and his engine caught on fire. He completed his attack and released the bombs over his target scoring several damaging hits. With his engine on fire, Bush flew several miles from the island, where he and one other crew member on the TBM Avenger bailed out of the aircraft. However, the other man’s chute did not open and he fell to his death. It was never determined which man bailed out with Bush. Both Delaney and White were killed in action. While Bush anxiously waited four hours in his inflated raft, several fighters circled protectively overhead until he was rescued by the lifeguard submarine, USS Finback. For this action, Bush received the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari  the son the the assassinated Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto appears on the world stage

This could be interesting to watch if he lives.


Political Expediency and the Fear Factor

So a fool over at MSNBC has declared that People against Gun Control are scared of black and brown people rising up to get them. How do they stay in business? Yeah….That’s my fear. What scares me is that there are people that actually have time to think up such drivel. Please follow the link to get a full dose of stupidity.


Mayans may be right..Marines = no alcohol

The Mayan’s may be on to something.  If a Marine or any other service member can’t have a damn drink the world if F—–ing doomed.  Thank god I’m retired. 

Marines’ new alcohol policy strictest in U.S. military

“It’s possible if a Marine goes to a bar and is drinking a substantial amount of alcohol over the course of an evening, and he gets himself to a BAC of 1.5 or 2.0, if they are tested first thing in the morning when they report to duty, they may still have some alcohol in their blood and test positive,” he added.

Seriously, what Marine goes into a bar and doesn’t drink a substantial amount of alcohol?

Chili, I’m having a scotch in grieving for your glorious Marine Corps, I’m sure the Army will follow soon.

Warriors led by REMFs.

Republican obstructionist

Those Republicans once again won’t vote on a proposed fiscal cliff deal.  I guess they don’t want anyone to do well.  Oh wait….

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday the Senate will not vote on Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) "Plan B" to extend tax rates for family income below $1 million.

The Democratic leader blasted Boehner for wasting time on "fiscal cliff" legislation that will not see floor time in the upper chamber.

“We are not taking up any of the things that they’re working on over there now,”

Don’t worry folks I’m not a fan of either side right now. 

Just some thoughts

When major events happen I generally take a few days before I write anything here. That’s mostly because in the moment of an even it’s hard to see or think clearly. We know that we won’t have the information we need to make a rational comment. The Sandy Hook Elementary school killing spree is one of those events. I was in class when I checked the news quickly as the day was wrapping up. I caught a glimpse of the headline and only read a few lines. I had to shut it down. The story, the news site then log off.

Lately the news in general has been hard for me to watch as intensely as I normally do. Right is portrayed as wrong, bad is shown as good. We don’t seem to be pushing disaster away but rather we are plotting a course directly to it. Corruption is the standard not the exception, so I’ve been cutting way back on news. It’s become a farce where reporters are now reporting tweets and rumor. News that we truly need can’t be found. Only hype and spin. Breathless reporters in the faces of children prying the story from them trying to sound so sympathetic yet not quite pulling it off.

As a father all I wanted was to get home and meet my boy after his school day. I’m not an overly sentimental person but kids get to me. They always have, children in any land of any race or religion.

Of course the dialog quickly turned from the actual event to the political. The sides are martialing their forces to once again fight their personal ideological battles. No time for the grieving, no time for personal reflection or just a hand to the living victims. Nope their war goes on and this is just collateral damage. Or I suppose more like a useful event that shouldn’t go to waste.  The twenty four hour news-cycle beast must be fed. To read the comments on many news and social media sites is disgusting. But it’s a very good reflection of our society. I don’t need to point them out, you can see for yourself. We no longer have any sense of decency, courtesy, or real compassion. Not publically anyway.

Civilization is dying, not in the actions of a madman but in the reaction of a nation and its gatekeepers. Let the families of the victims bury their loved ones.  There is plenty of time to return to the cause of the week.