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FBI Court Filing Reveals Grand Jury Targeted Hillary Clinton


(from Judicial Watch…)


Just when you think we’ve learned most of what there is to learn about Hillary Clinton’s emails a new mole pops up out of the hole.

This week Judicial Watch released State Department documents including a declaration from FBI Special Agent E.W. Priestap, the supervisor of the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email activities, stating that the former secretary of state was the subject of a grand jury investigation related to her BlackBerry email accounts.

The declaration was produced in response to Judicial Watch’s lawsuit seeking to force Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to take steps to “recover emails of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton” and other U.S. Department of State employees (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Rex Tillerson (No. 1:15-cv-00785)).  We originally filed the lawsuit against then-Secretary of State John Kerry.  The Trump State Department filing includes details of the agency’s continuing and shameful refusal to refer the Clinton email issue to the Justice Department, as the law requires.

In the filing, Priestap declares under penalty of perjury that the FBI “obtained Grand Jury subpoenas related to the Blackberry e-mail accounts, which produced no responsive materials, as the requested data was outside the retention time utilized by those providers.”

On April 30, 2015, Judicial Watch sued Kerry after the State Department failed to take action on a letter sent to Kerry “notifying him of the unlawful removal of the Clinton emails and requesting that he initiate enforcement action pursuant to the [Federal Records Act],” including working through the Attorney General to recover the emails.

After initially being dismissed by the district court, Judicial Watch’s lawsuit was revived on appeal by a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on December 27, 2016.

While at the State Department, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton conducted official government business using an unsecured email server and email accounts. Her top aides and advisors also used non-“state.gov” email accounts to conduct official business. Clinton left office February 1, 2013.

The FBI convened a grand jury to investigate Hillary Clinton in 2016. Why is this information being released only now?

It is disturbing that the State Department, Justice Department, and FBI are still trying to protect Hillary Clinton.  President Trump needs to clean house at all these agencies.

 

 

Don’t Do Anything Rash! (The Adventure Continues…)

SO…

I go to see my primary doctor yesterday afternoon.  She confirms ‘yes’, I DO have a rash of undetermined origin, now permeating most of my body.  My edema in my right calf is of significant size, and has NOT diminished when horizontal.

She prescribes a synthetic corticosteroid to deal with the rash.  She is MORE concerned about the edema.

She sends me to a diagnostic center for an ultrasound of the leg.  (I must drive myself, as J. is still recovering from her shoulder surgery and cannot drive.)

It’s either this, or she admits me to the hospital.  She’s concerned I might have a blood clot(!)

So, it’s back from central Phoenix to Chandler (nearer to where I live) for the imaging.  It’s approaching 1700, but they are waiting for me. (My doc has pull!)

I wore sandals I don’t usually wear, so she could get a better look at my legs and feet (wrestling with socks and ‘Ed’ the really big shoe can be difficult when swollen.  The sandals are uncomfortable and make driving difficult.

And I cannot afford to Uber.

J. is with me for moral support and to listen to my cursing.

Finally, we find the place and I get the ultrasound.  NO CLOTS!  😛  They contact my doc, who prescribes a broad spectrum antibiotic and schedules me to return Friday @ 1300 for follow-up.  She does this all herself and makes certain she speaks with me about diet to accompany the antibiotic.  Initially, I missed her call (loud surroundings) and she called back and left a message.  Then she kept calling until she could speak with me personally.

I have a great physician!

The Good News is I picked up the meds.  The Bad News is neither is recommended for evening use.  So, another night of calamine lotion looms.

I think I received three hours of sleep.  J. has another physical therapy appointment this afternoon.  AND I TOOK MY FIRST PREDNISONE THIS MORNING!  😛

C’mon work!

Time will tell.  It’s been about two hours, and I feel slightly less itchy.  (Perhaps that’s just wishful thinking?)

I will keep everyone advised.  (No Clots – Hooray!)  😛

I’ve Not Visited Here In a While…

The Art of Manliness! (a blog to which I often refer) (in part)

Decluttering Your Digital Life

Hamlet’s Blackberry. The Joy of Missing Out. Irresistible. Reclaiming Conversation. The Tech-Wise Family.

Recent years have seen a boom in books (and articles) about being digitally mindful — putting down the smartphone, closing the computer, and engaging with real-world, tactile things. All this content makes the case that our devices are sapping a bit of our soul.

And I have to agree. Here on the Art of Manliness, we’ve written about FOMO (and interviewed Christina Crook about JOMO), breaking the smartphone habit, the importance of conversation in a digital world, and more.

This isn’t to say that the digital revolution is a bad thing, just that it needs a little more mindfulness than simply picking up the latest iPhone and diving into the digital ocean with reckless abandon.

In reading these commentaries on the effects technology is having on our lives, and considering both the negative and positive sides of the coin, it occurred to me that perhaps the best way of thinking about how we should engage our digital spaces, is to compare it to how we inhabit our physical ones.

In the same way that “analog” possessions are neither good or bad in and of themselves, but only detract rather than enhance our lives when they become too great in number, require too much maintenance, and clutter up our garages, kitchens, and bedrooms, apps and websites aren’t inherently problematic, but become such when they overwhelm our devices and require too much attention. When they become digital clutter.

Just as physical clutter can cloud the mind and hinder your focus, so can digital clutter. It takes up an inordinate amount of mental space and bandwidth.

Fortunately, just like with physical clutter too, the digital variety can be readily sorted through, organized, and cleaned up. By making the effort to do some digital decluttering — putting everything in its place and ditching what isn’t desirable — you’ll be able to focus better, breathe easier, and reclaim many of those spare moments that have been lost to endless scrolling on Facebook and Instagram.

If you’re ready to vacuum up some digital dust, clean out your closet of apps, and pare down your technological junk drawer, then grab a metaphorical trash bag, and let’s get to work.

The Harm of Digital Clutter

Just as physical clutter leads to stress and a muddled mind, so does digital clutter. It leaves you with what author Scott Hartley calls “constant partial attention.”

It works in the same way that physical clutter sometimes leaves you unable to fully focus on a task: You need to finish up some administrative work at home, but you know there’s a pile of mail that needs your attention, the living room needs vacuuming, and the coat closet is bursting at the seams with junk.

The digital version: Your inbox has thousands of messages. Your smartphone notification window is alerting you to 6 different social media apps that need your attention. You have 19 tabs open, each with some purpose that you’ve probably already forgotten. You have a conversation going with a family member in a variety of different places — text message, Facebook messenger, email — and you can’t keep track of what was last said.

With all that going on just in your little device that you hold in your hand, it becomes impossible to truly focus on any one thing, let alone something that’s truly important.

Scott Hartley states this problem well in The Fuzzy and the Techie:

“It’s a process of constant minor interruptions that delude us into thinking that we’re highly engaged across a number of shallow conversations, but in fact, we’re just continually, partially attuned.”

The very technology that we’ve created has in fact very slowly hijacked all of us. As Christina Crook notes, “Facebook in 2006 was fun, Facebook in 2016 is downright addicting.”

You know the feeling of satisfaction, relaxation, and relief that comes when you’ve tidied up your room or house? It’s the exact same when you tidy up your digital life. You regain the ability to focus on important things — not necessarily productive things, but important things like your family, a good book, even a great meal. (When’s the last time you went a day without checking your smartphone during a meal?)

Identify and Inventory the Problem

The task of physical decluttering often starts by surveying what areas of the house have become overly filled with junk, and deciding on a rubric for figuring out what should stay and what should go.

The job of digital decluttering should begin in the same way.

In The Joy of Missing Out, Christina Crook offers a helpful yardstick for evaluating the effects of our digital “possessions.”

She was inspired by a seemingly unlikely and decidedly un-modern source: Saint Ignatius Loyola, who lived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries.

While it’s unlikely he created the discipline, he considered what he called “The Examination of Consciousness” (sometimes shortened to simply be called “Examine”) to be the most important spiritual practice one could partake in. It was really quite simple — twice a day, the Christian practitioner would guide themselves through a reflection of their actions and time spent, using the 10 commandments as a guide.

With Ignatius’ Examine as a starting point, Crook created a shorter, modern, secular version designed to inspire reflection. She asks readers to inquire of themselves, on a daily basis, two things (and in this case especially, thinking with your device and internet habits top of mind):

  1. What today was most life-giving?
  2. What today was most life-taking?

In just two days of practicing this contemporary Examine I came to realize that most of my digital actions were far more life-taking than giving. What was most life-giving in a normal day? A splendid cup of coffee in the morning alongside a real book, a breath of fresh air in the middle of the day, playing with my son after picking him up from daycare, writing a letter to a friend. Not once in my reflections has anything social media or internet-related been most life-giving.

And yet, before this digital decluttering, I spent a lot of my time on my phone. Granted, I was better than a lot of people. It’s rare that phone time was truly disrupting something, but in spare moments I was playing games, or perusing Facebook, or trying to pick which adorable picture of my kid to post to Instagram. Those spare moments really added up — I’m a little ashamed to say that my game of choice was Two Dots, and I got up to level 1,006 before recently working up the nerve to delete it.

Viewing my digital habits through Crook’s Examine questions helped me to identify the areas of my tech habits that were problematic, and gave me criteria on which needed to be re-organized, pared down, or eliminated.

Before beginning your own decluttering project, I recommend engaging in the same illuminative exercise. The insights that you get will be different than mine, which will allow you to create a more personal plan.

In a lot of the material out there on digital detoxing, you’ll find plenty of prescriptive advice. The thing with clutter (of any kind), though, is that it’s actually fairly personal. A desk with piles of of books and papers and mail on it doesn’t bother me, but a sink full of dishes does. Some folks are just the opposite. Similarly, an email inbox with more than 30 messages in it stresses me out, while plenty of people have never deleted or archived anything and are perfectly happy to leave it that way.

You’ll have to find out for yourself what bothers you — what takes up mental space — and what doesn’t. Don’t necessarily just blindly follow what’s been recommended by others. Experiment and tailor your digital decluttering to your wants and needs.

How to Declutter Your Digital Life

Once you’ve determined which of your digital habits are more life-taking than life-giving, it’s time to take a broom to the former.

Below I walk you through some steps — both easy and not-so-easy — to tidy things up. Some of them may seem a little intense, but I encourage you to give them a try. As Flannery O’Connor wrote, and as The Strenuous Life implores — “Push back against the age as hard as it pushes against you.”

Since our age is pushing us hard into the abstract and distracting, don’t be afraid to be similarly ruthless with your decluttering — to go to what other people might call “extremes.” You can always add back in what you miss and what you discover is truly life-giving. Sometimes when cleaning up, you just need to throw it all out and start with a blank slate.

Christina Crook did this by going internet-free for 31 days. After going nuclear for a month, she added back in what was useful and beneficial (and also kept the good habits and routines she discovered in that month).

Kyle Eschenroeder did something similar with his Input Deprivation Week. For seven days, he lived without blogs, social media, and online news sites of any kind (among other non-internet forms of input too). He realized the space they were taking up in his life, and noticed a slew of benefits from taking a break:

“It will increase mindfulness, increase the respect you have for your own ideas, you’ll have more ideas, unsolvable life problems may begin to make sense, you’ll have an increased appreciation for the news that actually matters, you’ll become more social, you’ll gain perspective, and you’ll become more original.”

With the principle of doing more rather than less in mind, let’s get into specific tactics for reducing the digital clutter in your life:

Cull your email inbox. Let your inbox become a sacred space. By utilizing filters for any advertising or social media email, and by unsubscribing to anything I’m not actively interested in reading, my inbox has become a place where I know that almost anything that comes in is either important, or from a friend or loved one (which I’m interested in even if it isn’t all that important!).

Rather than letting Redbox into your inbox to tell you the new releases, just go to the website when you want to rent a movie. Rather than letting Target suck you in with coupons, search out the coupons when you need something.

Practice Inbox Zero if you’re into that; if it doesn’t bother you, not a big deal. Personally though, knowing I have a fairly empty inbox at the end of the day clears up a bunch of mental space.

Get rid of apps on your homescreen(s). The homescreens on our smartphones are hotbeds for clutter. Between apps, folders for apps, and notifications, it’s pretty much constantly beckoning for our attention. If you have an Android phone, if you delete an app from a homescreen, it’s not gone, it just goes away into a slightly-harder-to-access app section. I’ve done this, so if I want to get to Instagram, I’ve added a step besides simply unlocking my phone. I now have to navigate to apps, then to Instagram. Just one extra step has me checking on a weekly basis rather than a few-times-per-day basis. My homescreen now only has apps that I use regularly for life-giving or practical purposes: Kindle, flashlight, kid’s mode, camera, phone, email, text messaging, and Starbucks. And boy is it nice.

(On iPhones, it’s a little harder, as apps are downloaded automatically onto the homescreen. Utilize folders, multiple homescreens with less on them, or the below option of losing your apps altogether.)

Decluttered homescreen(s), decluttered mind. You’ll no longer be mindlessly sucked into 20 minutes of Facebook scrolling because you’re worried you’re missing out on something. If you don’t see that little blue F button, there’s a good chance you won’t even think about it (or if you do, you’ll think about it much less).

Ditch apps altogether and use your browser or your computer. Frankly, I love this tactic. Get rid of all the apps on your phone and force yourself to use its browser, or your home computer, when you need a social media fix or to search for something. Apps are clutter. Period.

Need to look up flights? Right now? Doubtful. It can wait until you’re in front of a computer. If it can’t, use your phone’s browser. In general, apps give us permission to feel the need to check or look something up instantly, when that is rarely, if ever, a true need. We check the weather app constantly only because we can. Ten years ago we survived with weather reports on the news, maybe looking it up on a computer, or heaven forbid, stepping outside to feel the temp and look at the sky. Now, I check the temperature on my phone while standing in front of a window. Seems a little silly.

As noted above, don’t be afraid to go nuclear with your apps and mass delete things, and if you find you really need something, download it again knowing that it’s truly useful.

Ditch all notifications. Okay, this is somewhat prescriptive advice. Notifications are clutter, just like a pile of mail on your table is clutter. It’s stuff that’s just begging to be opened and looked at and dealt with. Except whereas your mailbox might have 5 items to look through, between email and social media and news alerts, you could have hundreds of things to wade through every day. Mental clutter.

Treat your notifications more like you do your actual mailbox. When you get snail mail, it’s not chucked through the window at you the instant it arrives at the postal service’s distribution center. That would be rather distracting. Instead, it’s sorted and delivered in a bundle all together at a single time during the day. Take 15-20 minutes once or twice a day to check email, news, social media, etc. Don’t let it clutter your day and interrupt the important things you’re doing.

And while you’ll generally think of notifications in terms of your smartphone, ditch ‘em on your computer too. There are multiple inboxes I keep track of for work, but I’ve limited desktop notifications to only my main account. And I’ve also disabled all social media desktop notifications. Those are things that can be checked at set times during the day.

Stick to 1-2 social networks. I have personally found that trying to maintain regular use of multiple social networks to be just too much. It takes a lot of brainspace to check and be active on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, SnapChat, and more all in the same day. So I’ve decided that in addition to deleting most apps from my phone, I won’t even try to keep up with more than Facebook or Instagram, and won’t maintain a presence on even those platforms beyond posting a weekly or bi-weekly photo. I’ve also taken up letter writing to keep in touch with people I truly care about. It’s far more satisfying for both parties than simply “liking” a social media update.

Put your phone away. When you come home and throw your keys into a basket, catchall, or other small container, toss your phone in with them. When it’s with you — and in your pocket — the mental clutter of an entire internet’s worth of headlines and viral videos can be too much to resist. Having your phone always next to you is like having a stack of newspapers and magazines on the floor that you have yet to read. Only when you ditch the newspapers because you realize they’re literally old news will the mental space they’re crouching on be freed up. Same goes with your phone. Those memes don’t call to you if your phone isn’t within reach.

Change your “zoning out” routine. Plenty of people, myself included, cite phone use as a way to zone out and chillax a little bit at certain points throughout the day. Maybe you had a long day at work, or your kids were being extra rambunctious during dinner. So when it’s time to kick back and relax a little, you grab your phone for some mindless browsing and social media scrolling. You need to just not think for a little bit.

But in doing so, you’re adding to your digital and mental clutter. You’re actually filling your brain with more FOMO and more headlines that don’t usually convey anything important. You want to empty your mind, but you’re only adding to it.

Rather than zoning out by engaging the digital clutter, do something else. Anything else. Pick up a book — some easy-reading cheap thriller will do. Sit outside with a homebrew or a cocktail and watch the sunset. Bake some bread. Carve a spoon. Jumpstart your journaling. These are the things that will truly declutter your digital life. While your phone calls you in a million different directions and to dozens of apps to constantly check, doing something tactile often requires that you focus on one thing at a time.

While these actions often necessitate more effort to start than simply grabbing your phone, resolve to do it, and once you’re in the moment, you’ll realize it’s far better than staring at a screen.

When it comes to spring cleaning this year, don’t just think of tidying up your physical spaces, but take time to declutter your digital ones too. Determine which of your digital devices, apps, and emails are taking from your life rather than giving to it, and organize or eliminate the vitality suckers. “A place for everything and everything in its place,” doesn’t just apply to your clothes and dishes, but to your phone, and your habits, too.

Do I follow their sage advice?  Not as much or as often as I should.

But I AM learning!

 

From Not Clauswitz

media-collusion.jpg

Now, it makes sense that people who travel in the same circles with similar interests would meet and perhaps get involved.  Or married.

And their are examples of opposites – Mary Matalin and James Carville, for example.

But, it does make one wonder…

“I’ve Fallen, And I Can’t Get Up!”™

… and I’m not even an old Jewish woman! 

(My blogpost title is marked as a trademark, as the phrase is now legally linked with Life Alert™, the ad where I stole the phrase.)

(Yeah, yeah, political correctness – watch the original ad!)

One of my jobs is to retrieve the mail. We share one of those communal mailboxes about 100 steps from our front door. (I miss having a house with a mail chute built – in! But I digress.)

So last night I go out to retrieve the mail. Undoubtedly ads, solicitations, bills and perhaps collection notices, all for our enjoyment.

I noticed there was a significant breeze, cool, but not cold.

And no one else was outside to enjoy it. 

On my return trip, I did exactly that. I tripped. I suspect ‘Ed Sullivan’ (the really big shoe)* caught on one of those dividers they place in concrete sidewalks.

And down I went, pitching forward, my eyeglasses flying forward.

The ‘good news’ is I reverted to old karate training (from a Bruce Tegner book?) Instead of putting my arms out straight (ensuring a break or sprain), I placed them as if going down in a push-up – to absorb some of the shock. (Having a fused right hip, I am unable to bend all my joints and roll.)

I hit the sidewalk, felt some pain in my palms, and left ribs.

(Ok, so I didn’t do it perfectly. It’s only been 50 years or so.)

I rolled on my left side and began inventory. Hands, wrists, arms, no apparent sprains or breaks. Pain in my ribs, just below my left chest. It hurt a little when I breathe.   Palms hurt, but not any abrasions.  Glasses unscratched and unbent!

Now for the fun part. For a few years now, getting up off a flat surface has been challenging. To say the least. If I have foot stools, or something low and stable I can pull myself up on, incrementally, I’m golden.

If things are just flat, not so much.  (not being able to bend like normal folks, and having less body strength in my arms and left leg)

And, while I did yell aloud upon impact (a kiai?), no one came outside to investigate. It was 1940 hours, and dark.

What to do, what to do? 

I considered, for about two seconds, crawling across the sidewalk, to a narrow grassy area to the colored gravel adjacent to the townhouse stucco wall. There, using the wall (I reasoned) I could get a purchase and pull myself up!

Crawling, especially across gravel with sore ribs didn’t have much appeal to me, which is why I only thought about it for a couple seconds.

I know! I’Il call J., my roommate! She had said she was going to join me downstairs shortly.

Of course, sometimes she goes back to her nap, and turns off her phone! (911?)

I called, and she answered. She is recovering from shoulder surgery – there is no way she can pull me up…

I explained to her what had happened, and asked her to bring the aluminum patio chair out to me, that it might work for me to get myself up.

No dice! It was to high for me to get enough leverage. I suggested she knock on neighbor’s doors, until she found some help. Failing that, it was 911 for sure!

I think it was on her third try. Neighbors we didn’t know (and how sad is that?), a nice young man who was active in martial arts and sports medicine (a Twilight Zone moment, to be sure!) came, assessed me before touching me, then lifted me to my feet as if it were no big deal(!)  He walked J. and I to our door, not letting go until he was certain I was ambulatory.  He asked where all the blood was from – I didn’t know there had been any!  He said I should get ‘checked out’ (as if I were in my eighties and broke my hip).  I thanked him profusely.

Turns out I led with my chin**.  A couple of abrasions that wouldn’t stop bleeding until I shaved off the kung-fu beard! (A disappointment for J.)  I may have to grow it back. We’ll see.

Blood? What blood?

The never-ending bleed

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I have had broken ribs a couple of times. These are only bruised. I take pain meds for ongoing conditions, anyway. No biggie.  Unless I cough, sneeze, reach for something, bend – you get the idea!

Getting old ain’t for sissies, no siree!

 

*Ed Sullivan was a variety showman on TV from the late 40’s ’til the early 70’s.  He used to say, “We have a really big show – pronouncing it as shoe.  Youngsters, ask your parents!  I wear a built up shoe on my right leg – hence the clever nickname.

**Faces are VERY vascular (they can bleed a lot).

Auto Burglary 

(NOT an Auto and Burglar gun, after which I still lust!)

Since re-locating with my ex-girlfriend over five years ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long!), very little of a criminal nature has occurred here. (compared to my previous neighborhood.)

The old neighborhood was rife with graffiti and gang stuff. I had THREE burglaries in eighteen years, the last in which my 800 pound Ft. Knox vault and it’s contents (personal stuff and 53 firearms) were taken!

When I moved to ‘the suburbs’, my automobile insurance company even refunded me $18.

However, no place is crime free. 

I returned home Saturday last, when my ‘new’ neighbor (of six months) to the North was outside examining his car. It seems his car had been broken into, and his registration, insurance papers and an inexpensive 380 ACP handgun were stolen.

So much for the $18 safer neighborhood! 
 

Time Bomb Computer (A First-World Problem Story)

I own an HP Pavilion Touchscreen, with an AMD Athlon™ II X2 235e Processor 2.70 GHz 400 GB of RAM (3.75 GB usable) 64 bit operating system, x-64 based processor.  She has a 20″ flat, touch screen, with a cordless keyboard and mouse.

I purchased her on-line, refurbished (2011?)  And she has served me very well.

Last week, I received a message one of the software protection programs I purchased after-the-fact was in need of annual renewal.

And, frankly, with all that’s going on here (roomie surgery, less income, etc.), I don’t have the funds.  (This is NOT a bleg.)

The next day my computer gave me an error message:  HARD DRIVE FAILURE IMMINENT!  PLEASE BACKUP YOUR FILES (yadda, yadda, yadda).  I went back to using the computer, as I do not regularly back it up, and have no discs with which to back it up, anyway.

Besides, what if it was just some malware file from the software company, or elsewhere?

The computer has continued to function, as usual.

Yesterday, there was a blip in my Wi-Fi service (Cox, who knew?).  I reset the router (which is inconveniently downstairs).  Upon my return, there was the same message I had received a week ago.

I again accessed my computer, and downloaded a free hard drive analysis program.

The program confirmed my hard drive’s demise was imminent indeed!

Now what?

I have no funds or credit, so buying a new (or well-used) computer is out of the question.  Of course, getting it repaired also falls under these criteria.

I CAN check my email and blog from my smartphone or my cheap, Chinese tablet, with some difficulty.

Obviously, not my first choices.

What to do, what to do?

I will continue to blog, daily, changing the quote, cartoon, beauty and YouTube posting as I can.  Who knows – maybe she won’t fail until I somehow find a way to get another PC?  🙂

(I know, I’m an optimist!)

(FTC – HP, Athlon, and Cox have given me nothing, save years of good service (Cox, less so.).  I paid for the computer, and pay for Wi-Fi.)

Honorable?

(from Brock Townsend)

Attorney General Lynch Signed Off on ALL FISA Applications to WireTap Trump

Via Billy

According to ABC, all applications to the FISA Court were signed off on by the Attorney General and therefore if any applications were processed in the past year, they were signed off on by Loretta Lynch.  This means that Lynch signed off on any requests for wire tapping President Donald Trump during the Presidential race.   This is disheartening knowing that she released a video over the weekend calling for the need for more marching, blood and death on the streets.  This also means that she chose not to investigate the Clinton Foundation for illegal activities but rather signed an application to wire tap President Trump.

Finally, another very disturbing fact about the wire tapping request of President Trump is that the FISA Court turned down President Obama’s Administration’s first request to wire tap President Trump that was evidently signed off on by Attorney General Lynch.  With only two applications denied out of 10,700 from 2009 through 2015, the fact that the Obama Administration’s application was denied by the FISA Court is very disturbing.  The odds of this happening were 0.02%.

The Obama Presidency is now arguably the most corrupt in US history.

The HONORABLE Loretta Lynch?  Seriously?
I know historically AGs have played fast and loose with the law.  From XXX to John Mitchell, and beyond…
People speaking of political corruption often invoke Watergate and the Plumbers.
We are so far beyond that it pales by comparison!
And, the whole FISA thing makes it stink even more.
“The Obama Presidency is now arguably the most corrupt in US history.”
Perhaps, not so arguably.
(PS – shouldn’t it read candidate or president-elect?)

The Best Laid Schemes Of Mice And Men

aft gang agley* (oft go awry – Robert Burns, the poet laureate of Scotland)

I’d plans to ‘improve’ and edit my blog, prior to the Sixth Blogoversary (March 5).  I definitely need to edit out of The Usual Suspects (my blogroll) those who are no longer blogging, or have left the grid.

I have not yet done that. 😦

A general observation of my blogging world – It saddens my to two of the finest bloggers out there (Brigid and Tamara) have had to change their blogging formats to by invitation only (in Brigid’s case) and no comments allowed (in Tam’s), both allowing for responses in other venues (FB and Borepatch guest blogging status (in Brigid’s case).

Because of attacks in print by certain blog readers!

I’ve had a few spammers in my six years, but considering the difference in volume and quality of Brigid and Tamara vs. Guffaw, it’s completely understandable I’ve had many fewer.

I will continue my lowly blog, until it no longer is physically possible, or I lose the need for morning discipline and structure.

We come now to one of my first Internet-blogging friends.  Rev. Paul.  Paul lives in Alaska with his family, and has been a virulent supporter of both this blog and this blogger!  His blog Way Up North is rife with tales of the weather, local crime, politics, and moose pictures(!)  And often religiously-themed (he IS a Rev., after all) messages of hope for all, whether religious or not.

He announced recently he will be cutting back from almost daily posting to occasionally.  Because reasons.

And, this too, makes me sad.

All three of these fine folks have been anchors for me, have given me much which to aspire, and have supported me to a degree they will never know.

It was said a few years back that blogging is going the way of the dinosaur, what with FB, Snapchat, Flickr, Google+, Twitter, and numerous other avenues almost daily being added to the list of social networking.

To all fellow bloggers and friends out there, please keep blogging, reading and commenting.

I’m to old to change formats!  😛

*”Tae a Moose, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough[1] (English: “To a Mouse“)(Wikipedia)

From a name-long-forgotten children’s joke book:  “Robert Burns wrote ‘To A Field Mouse’.

“I bet he didn’t get an answer!”

(The fact this was a joke book for grade school children further shows how the American public education system has failed.  Ask any grade school (or junior high, or even high school) student who Robert Burns was, or what ‘To A Field Mouse’ is.)

I’ll bet you won’t get an answer!

Colt, We Hardly Knew Ye

(from The Firearm Blog)

BREAKING: Colt Lays Off Custom Shop Director, Other Employees, Company Rumored Gutted

What is happening at Colt? That’s the question on many people’s minds as news of layoffs in the company began to trickle out starting on Tuesday. Rumors of massive layoffs at Colt began with a post at Pistol-Forum by member “misanthropist”, who wrote:

Sounds like a big mess down there and a whole lot of pink slips, including my favourite division, the custom shop.

The extent of the layoffs are not yet known, but it has been confirmed that Brent Turchi, director of Colt Customer Service and the Colt Custom Shop, was let go. Brent posted the following at 1911forum.com:

I am alive and well just no longer with Colt. I will continue to be a member of this forum and interact as I see appropriate. I will also tell the forum when and where I land. I have and will continue to enjoy this forum and its members. All thoughts are appreciated.
Brent

Whether this is a handful of layoffs or a gutting of the company is yet unknown, but according to misanthrope, things are not looking good. He posted that Colt Canada had reportedly been gutted, and the Colt Advanced Systems division and the Custom Shop virtually shut down entirely:

Sorry guys I don’t think there’s any information I can link to.

My understanding is that Advanced Systems is shut down entirely, as is the Custom Shop. Colt Canada will be stripped down to little more than the C8 production line and the extraneous people just had their jobs eliminated. The SWORD and MRR programs sound like they’re shelved. From the sounds of things, a lot of job losses.

That’s what I am hearing, anyway.

Colt has been trying to make its way back to normalcy, after bankruptcy rocked the company in 2015. The company debuted its newly reintroduced Cobra revolver at the 2017 SHOT Show, a firearm developed in part due to the efforts of the Custom Shop. The Custom Shop also helped debug the Defender compact 1911 variant.

There is a lot of speculation that with the election and lack of contracts, Colt simply doesn’t have enough money to continue operating these divisions. Shutting them down, however, would burn a significant amount of goodwill that Colt has built over the years with its customer base, which might make recovery even harder for the Hartford company.

We will keep our readers updated as things unfold.

Colt.  A legendary name in the annals of firearm and American history.  I’ve never had the good fortune to own one.  Have fired many.  A Detective Special (bored out to accept .357!), A friend’s 6″ Python (nickel), some ARs, an Official Police (parkerized!).  Always wanted a 4″ Python…

But, it was not to be.  Just never had the cash.  Colt, in my world, is the new Cadillac, when all I could usually afford was the used Chevy. (Back when I could afford stuff.)

They have been the proverbial Phoenix, rising from the ashes (after how many BKs?).  It would appear, given the above story, that they are on their way out, yet again.

Stories have come out of Colt for years about mismanagement, poor marketing, and high pricing.

And, they are in Connecticut, one of the birthplaces of American firearms industry (and my birth State), now hobbled by further restrictive ‘liberal’ firearms laws.  Many manufacturers have close or moved.

Will Colt do the same?  Do they have the resources?  Or is another bankruptcy in their future?

Will the Phoenix rise, yet again?

Sam Colt is probably spinning like a cylinder in his grave…

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…