As it states in the ‘about’ part of the blog, I’m a child of the 50’s. Television, movies, play, were all about The Lone Ranger, Space Command, Warner Bros. cartoons, Forbidden Planet, The Untouchables, and all other manner of sanitized violence.
And my green, wooden toy box reflected that.
It was filled with cars, trucks, robots, construction equipment, tools, and yes, toy guns. Including a multitude of cap guns and rifles-that-made-noise, play bullets and all manner of boy’s toys. Not a doll in sight.
Sadly, when my Dad married my step-mother, the toy box was moved to the exterior of the house. Wouldn’t want Guffaw’s toys to clutter the house, now would we? 😦
And, as I advanced in grade school, I played with them less. This meant my Mattel™ Fanner Fifty (with left-handed holster!), Detective Special (both re-loadable with Matty Mattel bullets and ignited with Greenie Stickum Caps), the construction gear, cars, tools, and everything else were subjected to the elements.
And eventually discarded. 😦
(My friend Leigh’s parents did film me in full cowboy regalia once, reenacting some scene from a forgotten cowboy TV show, running, jumping, rolling into prone, drawing and shooting one of my cap guns. Of course, the 8mm home movie is probably long lost.) 😦
This was when children played outside!
But, boys are nothing but ingenious! 🙂
My friends and I began constructing rubber-band guns, using scraps of wood we ‘found’ at housing construction sites. (Hey, we had to have guns!)
Affix a spring closepin to one end, stretch a rubber band (or a series of them for greater distance) and viola’! A toy gun with which we could play cowboy, or soldier, or spy, or whatever.
Of course, we were never happy with the limited distance or inaccuracy. (Sound familiar?)
As we got into the 5th and 6th Grade, we clamored for more.
So we attached the rubber bands to the wood (ala a slingshot) and began looking for projectiles to shoot! Obviously, after a few misadventures with pebbles and bent bobbie-pins, we made the universal decision to not shoot one another.
For safety sake.
Of course, escalation lead to model rockets, amateur rockets, BB guns, and eventually real guns. Always something to shoot.
And, we still don’t shoot each other.
This isn’t South Chicago…
(from Judicial Watch)
JW Files Suit For ‘Refugee Travel Loans’ Information
Tightening our immigration and refugee programs is a matter of national security (despite what some out-of-control judges may think), and it is also a matter of cost.
In this regard, we have filed a lawsuit against the State Department for records on the number of “Refugee Travel Loans” issued by State’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration to the United Nation’s International Organization for Migration from 2010 to the present.
We are also seeking the number of loans defaulted upon and the amount of money written off on each defaulted loan. We filed the suit on January 24, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:17-cv-00157)).
Judicial Watch filed the suit after the State Department failed to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on February 5, 2016, seeking the following:
- All records reflecting the number of Refugee Travel Loans furnished by the State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) per year; the number of travel loans that are defaulted upon per year; and the amount of money written off per defaulted loan.
The Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration provides funding for aid and relief work abroad and the bureau’s admissions office handles settling refugees in the United States. According to the agency’s website, it spent nearly $545 million “to provide new beginnings to the world’s most vulnerable refugees” in 2016 and more than $2.8 billion to “humanitarian assistance overseas.” It provided $103 million directly to the UN’s International Organization for Migration.
The International Organization for Migration, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, has an annual budget of $1.4 billion and (as of 2014) a staff of 9,000 throughout the world. According to the International Organization for Migration website, the organization provides interest-free loans “furnished by the Department of State” to “all refugees arriving in the United States:”
All refugees arriving in the United States are offered interest-free travel loans by IOM. Refugees who accept these travel loans are required to sign a promissory note prior to departure, committing themselves to repayment of the debt within 46 months after arrival in the United States.
IOM arranges for refugee travel using funds furnished by the Department of State, and is mandated to subsequently effect collections on behalf of the Department of State. Repayments made by refugees toward their loans are returned to the Department of State for use by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) to defray the cost of future refugee travel.
In July 2016, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution making the International Organization for Migration part of the UN.
Even The Washington Post reported that the nine resettlement agencies contracted by the State Department to help resettle refugees in the U.S. actually make more than $5 million a year in commissions on refugee debt collection.
The State Department has stonewalled our request for refugee loan information and associated taxpayer losses for a year – an unlawful delay that screams “cover up.” This is an opportunity for the Trump State Department to come clean and clean up this refugee welfare program.
And there’s a lot more for the Trump administration to clean up when it comes to “refugee loans.” In June 2016, Judicial Watch reported:
The U.S. government gives refugees on public assistance special “loans” of up to $15,000 to start a business but fails to keep track of defaults that could translate into huge losses for American taxpayers, records obtained by Judicial Watch reveal. The cash is distributed through a program called Microenterprise Development run by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement.
HHS is not the only government agency doling out huge sums of cash for this cause, though its focus on refugees appears to be unique. Others, such as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Labor (DOL) also dedicate hundreds of millions of dollars to various microenterprise causes. For instance, in one recent year alone USAID spent $223 million on microenterprise development activities, according to figures released by the agency. The USDA also allocates large sums to provide loans and grants to microenterprise development through a special “Rural Microloan Revolving Fund” and the DOL regularly pours lots of money into various microenterprise projects that are promoted as workforce investments in areas with high rates of poverty.
So the debate about refugees is more than about keeping dangerous refugees out, but there is also the matter of asking just how much it costs to make politicians to feel good about themselves by using our tax dollars to provide special assistance to these foreign nationals.
I have no problem with legitimate, vetted refugees or immigrants following protocols for legal residency and eventually even citizenship. I used to know a guy who, with his family, escaped Saddam Hussein and Chemical Ali’s tyranny, to arrive here, become a citizen, and open a liquor store. He practically hugged every customer who walked in!
And I remember wondering where Lee Harvey Oswald got the ‘Traveler’s Aid'(CIA) funds of $200, after renouncing his U.S. citizenship and living in the Soviet Union. And was allowed to return back to the United States after purportedly giving away military secrets to the Russians. With nary a hitch.
Much has changed since the 1960’s.
And not for the better.
Data Science,Climate and satellites Consultant John J Bates, who blew the whistle to the Mail on Sunday The Mail on Sunday can reveal a landmark paper exaggerated global warmingIt was rushed through and timed to influence the Paris agreement on climate changeAmerica’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration broke its own rulesThe report claimed the pause in global warming never existed, but it was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ dataMore @ Mail Online
Death, obviously knows no change in calendars…
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mike Connors, who starred as a hard-hitting private eye on the long-running television series “Mannix,” has died. He was 91.
The actor died surrounded by family Thursday afternoon at a Los Angeles hospital from complications of leukemia that had been diagnosed a week earlier, said his son-in-law, Mike Condon.
“Mannix” ran for eight years on CBS beginning in 1967. Viewers were intrigued by the tall, smartly dressed, well-spoken detective who could mix it up with the burliest of thugs and leap on the hood of a racing car to prevent an escape. Episodes normally climaxed with a brawl that left the culprits bruised and beaten.
“Up until Mannix, most private investigators were hard-nosed, cynical guys who lived in a seedy area and had no emotions,” Connors theorized in 1997. “Mannix got emotionally involved. He was not above being taken advantage of.”
In the first season, Joe Mannix was a self-employed Los Angeles private investigator hired by a firm that used computers and high-tech equipment to uncover crime. The ratings were lukewarm. Connors feared the series would be canceled but it was produced by Lucille Ball’s Desilu studio, and CBS was reluctant to antagonize its biggest star.
In the second season, Mannix opened his own office and combatted low-lifes by himself. The ratings zoomed.
When “Mannix” was revised the office acquired a secretary, played by African-American actress Gail Fisher.
The network was concerned that affiliates in the South might object to her character but “there wasn’t any kind of backlash,” Connors recalled.
Another highlight was the theme music by legendary screen composer Lalo Schifrin.
Connors also starred in the TV series “Tightrope!” and “Today’s FBI.” Each lasted one season.
His movie and TV career stretched from the 1950s to 2007, when he had a guest role on “Two and a Half Men.”
Connors made his film debut in 1952’s “Sudden Fear,” which starred Joan Crawford. Other films included “Island in the Sky,” ”The Ten Commandments,” and a remake of “Stagecoach.”
Connors, born Krekor Ohanian in 1925, was from an Armenian community in Fresno. He served in the Air Force during World War II and played basketball at the University of California, Los Angeles.
After graduation he studied law for two years but his good looks and imposing presence attracted him to acting. In an era when film actors were given names like Tab and Rock, he appeared as Touch Connors — “Touch” being his basketball nickname. He later changed it to Michael and finally, Mike.
Connors and his wife, Mary Lou, were married in 1949 and had two children: a son, Matthew, and a daughter, Dana. Their son, beset by hallucinations starting in his teens, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and before his death lived in a small residential care facility. Connors and his wife championed efforts to erase the stigma of mental illness.
In addition to his wife, daughter and son-in-law, Connors is survived by a granddaughter, Cooper Wills.
The late Associated Press writer Bob Thomas contributed biographical material to this report.
We humans always seem to make the passing of time with a New Year, with the hope that Death will do the same.
But, he never stops.
There have been others, Mary Tyler Moore being the most notable.
But my high school TV years were filled with shows like Mission Impossible.
For me, Mannix filled the generational gap between 77 Sunset Strip and Magnum.
This was Mike Connors image, even though he did other things.
He even did a show where he was named Ohanian – his real Armenian name – but it didn’t take.
He once quipped as Mannix he was hit on the head something like 57 times, but always came back. Maybe PIs should be issued safety helmets?
Godspeed, Mike. R.I.P.
Being disabled, including a fused right hip, makes raising up from seated, especially of the lower variety chair, difficult, painful and sometimes ne’er impossible.
So, after my roommate’s stepmother passed, when we were tasked with emptying her home for sale, I was most grateful I was offered her ‘lift chair’! Having a fulcrum in the front of the recliner, it lifts one up out of the chair from seated. The process is reversed to sit.
Quite nice, really.
The control extends the chair to operate as a recliner, and even lays out flat, for sleeping!
However, it’s been in regular use for a few years now, and the controller module is failing!
Meaning it will no longer recline, is stuck in one sitting position, and sometimes will not elevate.
A problem for me, meaning my knee often goes out when I get up! Sometimes I can get it back into place in twenty seconds – sometimes not in twenty minutes. Sigh.
And it’s VERY painful.
(And knee braces are not possible, for too many reasons to go into here.)
A problem for my roommate (besides having to listen to me yell and whine) because SHE will need the chair soon to sleep in (post shoulder rotator cuff surgery). (I’ll be sitting in a straight chair in the interim.)
And a replacement control unit is almost $100 !
Funds are always tight, even more so now with her working less with the bad shoulder. She hasn’t worked a ‘regular’ work week in over a year, with her many health issues.
I don’t usually bleg, but contributions to my PayPal account (on the right sidebar) in any amount would be most appreciated!
Failing that, a good thought or prayer if that’s what you do. She will probably miss 12 weeks of work.
The surgeon says if she doesn’t have the repair surgery soon, it will become a replacement (!)
And please don’t tell her I asked – she’d have a fit. (she doesn’t always read the blog.)
Thank you for your kind consideration! 🙂
As posted by Irish…sent in by reader Brian:
A Jihadi-cartel alliance in the Mexican state of Nuevo León is collaborating to carry out attacks in American cities and ports of entry along the southern border, according to intelligence obtained by Judicial Watch from confidential U.S. and Mexican law enforcement sources. As part of the plan, militant Islamists have arrived recently at the Monterrey International Airport situated in Apodaca, Nuevo León, about 130 miles south of the Texas border. An internal Mexican law enforcement report obtained by Judicial Watch confirms that Islamic terrorists have “people along the border, principally in Tijuana, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas.” Cartel informants tell law enforcement contacts that “they are only waiting for the order and the times to carry out a simultaneous attack in the different ports of entry or cities of the United States of America.” Drug cartels have a working “agreement” with Islamic terrorists, according to a high-ranking Mexican police administrator, who said that men from the Middle East arrive regularly into the country to “train” jihadists.
Regular readers know I love movies and TV. What you may not know is, I rarely go ‘out’ to the movies.
Part of the reason is the technological shift in how we can view movies. I get them directly on my satellite dish, or through services like NETFLIX™. I even own a ‘few’ on DVD! (I know – OLD technology!) 😛
There are more than enough from which to choose.
And there’s this (from FB, in part – not me!):
Went to the H****** Metrocenter 12 …at the 01:30pm “Jupiter Ascending”…Me and 2 others of my party had to walk out!!!
Some trashy family with 3-4 kids sat right next to us and talked and talked ..and talked…and also they let their kid run up and down in front of us!
Then to top if off….the father had the nerve to pick up one of our parties drinks and hand it to his kid to drink out of ….then said sorry and handed it back “AFTER” his kid (& himself took turns slurping it down!).
I had to had have a friend get a manager…2 (Two) times….then finally got our money back and walked out!!
BAD!!!! I wont be back to the H****** Metrocenter 12…sad missed a film that I had been wanting to see for weeks!
Metrocenter used to be a family-friendly huge, upscale mall, wherein many weekends were spent window and actual shopping. With my then wife and young daughter. Now, with most of the brick-and-mortar department stores closed, it’s become a hang out for misguided yutes.
I remember even in pre-VHS days, attending a different theater and encountering rude people. As the film began, three yutes (misguided teens) began talking loudly to each other and the screen. Against my better judgment, I approached them and strongly suggested I paid good money to hear the movie, and not to hear them sh*** and j***. (Using a 40’s vernacular with which I’m certain they lacked familiarity).
They quieted down, and I spent most of the movie checking my six for some variety of retaliation. Thankfully, none came.
While I sometimes miss the big screens and speakers (remember CINERAMA™ and Dolby™?), it is nice knowing I can pause the film for bathroom and/or beverage, and even watch in my skivvies.
(from the NRA/ILA, in part)
Grandma Got Run Over by Obama: SSA Finalizes New Gun Prohibition Rule
On Monday, Barack Obama’s Social Security Administration (SSA) issued
The final version of a rule that will doom tens of thousands of law-abiding
(and vulnerable)disability insurance and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
recipients to a loss of Second Amendment rights under the guise of recharacterizing
them as “mental defectives.” The SSA, for the first time in it’s history
will be coopted into the federal government’s gun control apparatus,
effectively requiring Social Security applicants to weigh their need for benefits
against their fundamental rights when applying for assistance based on mental health
Yeah, elderly folks don’t need to defend themselves, right?
In a pig’s eye!
This really torques my jaw!
Most of the ‘older’ folks I know have been gun owners and shooting their entire lives. To have the bureaucracy remove their rights with no due process is obscene.
(from Judicial Watch)
Somali “Community” Given Special Access to Secured Areas of Airports
The Obama administration’s willful failure to recognize the potential threat from radical Islamists here at home continues to place Americans at risk. The latest example of this will shock you and in is found in just 31 pages of records we pried loose from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The records reveal the Department of Homeland Security has given Somalis “community engagement tours,” including security briefings, in secured areas in at least three major U.S. airports – Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Columbus, Ohio.
The briefings provided to the Somali groups were so sensitive that in 14 instances the agency redacted portions of the records under Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption (B)(7)(e) the law-enforcement “risk circumvention” exemption, which reads:
Exemption 7(E) of the Freedom of Information Act affords protection to all law enforcement information that would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law.
In one instance, Customs and Border Protection exempted under (B)(7)(e) a portion of a February 16, 2016, “Minute by Minute Agenda” provided during a tour/briefing of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP). The material that was withheld from Judicial Watch as too law-enforcement sensitive – but provided in full to the Somali group – included a section entitled: “TSA Overview — Processing [Redacted].” The invitees were provided briefings of the Global Entry system, APC [Automated Passport Control] system, secondary screening procedures, baggage-screening procedures and given tours of the holding cells/interview rooms.
Notes from the February Minneapolis St. Paul Airport tour indicate: “Current CBP and TSA job vacancies” were discussed. Attendees responded with requests for DHS outreach efforts during Somali community events to further advertise these positions to interested individuals.”
The newly released records also reveal:
In addition to the Minneapolis Airport tours/briefings given to Somalis during 2014 and 2015 – and first revealed by Judicial Watch in August 2016 – tours of U.S. airports and security briefings also have been provided to other groups at airports in Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio: “Once we agree on the dates we will select the time based on prayer schedules. Another idea could be the roundtable to take place at the airport after the tour. We have done that before in LA and Columbus and it worked well both times”.
The timing of the Minneapolis Airport tour given to a group of Somalis in February 2016 was scheduled between 6-8pm because it would “accommodate prayer times well”
During the “annual” tour, federal authorities granted excursions of the facility’s “secure areas.” It is also noted that two parties in the previous year “did not pass vetting.”
The invitation extended to the Somalis for the Minneapolis Airport tour addressed them as “Dear Colleague,” and promised “walking people through CBP’s process, walking people through TSA’s process” and provide “a step-by-step tour of our operations, designed to offer a greater understanding of airport processes and procedures.”
Eight senior ranking Homeland Security and Customs officials were tasked with accompanying and briefing the Somalis on the February 18, 2016, Minneapolis Airport tour, including the Minneapolis Area Port Director, the Assistant Port Director, the Watch Commander, a Homeland Security Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Senior Policy Advisor (flown in from Washington), the TSA Federal Security Director and TSA Deputy Federal Security Director.
The documents show Customs officials reporting that one of the invited individuals had given “CBP Chicago a hard time” following the last tour and noted three of the invitees had had investigations against them, which had since been closed. Another invitee had an active investigation pending.
Logically, information that is too sensitive to provide to Judicial Watch and the public should not have been given to a “community engagement tour.” The U.S. government has been aware for years that Minnesota is a hotbed of Somali terrorist-cell activity. The behind-the-scenes tours and security briefings of the Minneapolis airport very well could have created a threat to public safety.
We’ve been on watch for this issue for some time. In August 2016, the JW Corruption Chronicles blog reported on the Muslim airport tour story: “The Obama administration gave Somali Muslims behind-the-scenes tours at a major U.S. airport after the group complained to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson about feeling harassed and profiled, government records obtained by Judicial Watch reveal. The special security tours not offered to any other group occurred at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport after Department of Homeland Security roundtable meetings with local Somali leaders to obtain feedback for ‘modifications to practices that would allow for operations to be more culturally sensitive.’”
I have no problem with law-abiding Muslims who are in the United States legally. I do, however, take issue with those who intend to do us harm, and with unequal protection of the law!
Would we have given the same access to Mexican immigrants? Or former IRA member?
SERIOUSLY?! Political Correctness is killing us, now possibly literally…
(from my friend Borepatch)
I strongly recommend that you do NOT buy the My Friend Cayla doll, the i-Que robot, or the Barbie Hello Dream House as gifts due to a grotesquely dangerous security flaw in the toy’s design.I often rant about poor security in products and how “security wasn’t an afterthought, it wasn’t thought of at all.” Mostly it’s about something that is unlikely to effect most of all y’all. This time is different – here are some toys that can endanger children, and I STRONGLY recommend that you do NOT buy these as gifts this holiday season.
My Friend Cayla is a doll with embedded voice recognition technology similar to Apple’s Siri, that can interact with children. It not only listens to what the child says but can respond appropriately.
While it’s somewhat concerning that the doll “phones home” over the Internet for the voice recognition to work, the issue isn’t that it’s listening in on your kid. Mind you, I find this more than a little creepy, but I remember when there were only 3 TV channels.
The danger is that the doll is Bluetooth enabled, and the Bluetooth is completely unprotected. What this means is that anyone within Bluetooth range (which at 100 yards is actually further than many think) can connect to the doll and start talking to your child as she plays.
Let me say that again – Joe Shmoe in the park across from your house can connect to your little Princess’ doll and have a chat.There’s a video of this, although they’re wrong to call it a “hack”. It’s simply use of the functionality as it was designed.
Also using the exact same technology with exactly the same flaw is the i-Que robot: this isn’t just a threat to little girls.
Unconfirmed reports also include the Barbie Hello Dream House. I don’t know whether this is vulnerable to remote Bluetooth access, and it’s almost certain that nothing definitive will be published on this before the holidays. Given that I recommend that you don’t buy this, either.
This seems to me to be bordering on criminal negligence by the companies involved (certainly My Friend Cayla and i-Que; possibly Mattel). The idea that a child’s toy could be released that would allow someone to remotely talk with your child his his or her own bedroom is mind bogglingly stupid.
To reiterate, I strongly recommend that you do NOT buy the My Friend Cayla doll, the i-Que robot, or the Barbie Hello Dream House as gifts due to a grotesquely dangerous security flaw in the toy’s design.
Anyone remember “My name is Talky Tina” from Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone? These toys take that to a whole new level.