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Scott Ott

Scott Ott co-hosts a news, commentary and humor show called Trifecta on PJTV. He created and hosted the 20-part series on the Constitution titled Freedom's Charter. His satire site, ScrappleFace, spawned three books and praise from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin and many others.
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Obama To-Do: Normalize Relations First, Find Out if Cuba Still Sponsors Terror Later

Thursday, December 18th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

This morning I read President Obama’s to-do list under the “normalize relations with Cuba” project.

I’m a big to-do list guy. I have an app on my computer and smartphone to list tasks by project, create dependent sub-tasks, prioritize, and track accomplishment. The sub-task and prioritize features are great, because they help me not just to get things done, but to get them done in a logical sequence. Often, that means completing prerequisite tasks before attempting dependent ones.

Near the bottom of the official White House task list for Cuba Normalizar, we find this:

Initiating a review of Cuba’s designation as a State Sponsor of Terrorism —
The President has instructed the Secretary of State to immediately launch such a review, and provide a report to the President within six months regarding Cuba’s support for international terrorism. Cuba was placed on the list in 1982.

Now this comes after setting up a new embassy, facilitating travel to-and-from for certain people, opening up financial pipelines, and helping 95 percent of Cubans get on the Internet.

So, just as you’re thinking, “Tonight we’re going to party like it’s 1961,” we find that we’re doing all of this for, and with, a nation we currently classify as a state sponsor of terrorism. Furthermore, we’re doing all of this BEFORE determining whether that classification still applies.

Of course, Secretary of State John Kerry and his staff will assiduously investigate all of the Cuban government’s potentially-suspicious international activities. And, no doubt, Cuba’s communist government will throw open the books on their clandestine affairs so we can fully vet where the money, weapons and ‘advisors’ go and what they do. If we discover that Cuba still sponsors terror, then the normalization deal is off, right Mr. President?

That has to happen, otherwise, President Obama has just committed the United States of America to linking arms with a communist dictatorship that, for all we know, is Iran in the Western Hemisphere.

Funny, you’d think that the CIA would already have a pretty good feel (in espionage jargon) for what Cuba is doing regarding international terrorism, but The Agency has been pretty busy lately, defending itself from attacks by Democrats in Congress and the White House. So, we’ll just have to wait six months and see what Kerry finds out.

Maybe it’s just me, but if I had a “Normalize Relations with Cuba” project in my to-do app, “Determine if they sponsor terrorism” would be the number one priority task, with all others dependent upon, and awaiting, the outcome of its accomplishment.

Normalize relations with Cuba to-do list

President Obama’s to-do list for normalizing relations with Cuba.

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Open Letter to Theater Owners about The Interview: Please Show This Terrible Movie

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

Dear Theater Owners of America,

Please resist the temptation to cancel showings of the new Seth Rogen/James Franco movie The Interview, merely because anonymous, possibly North Korean, hackers have threatened to turn your multiplexi into lakes of fire.

I’m not asking you to show this movie because I want to see it: I don’t. I won’t. From the previews, it looks like most Hollywood comedies — a plausible comedic scenario skinned bare of surprise and delight by sophomoric sex jokes and overly graphic violence. Subtlety is dead. Or as they say in Hollywood: “Subtlety is F%$&#ing dead from having its face melted off and head exploded in extreme closeup during sex with an amputee stripper.”

And I’m not even pressing you to show it on Christmas day, as planned. You should release it now, the sooner the better, for national security reasons.

That’s because Seth Rogen and James Franco — two affable mediocrities — represent the heart of what makes this country great. Only in America can you create such a tawdry and tedious work of artless, and get paid a combined $15 million for several months of work. In the process, Rogen and Franco’s debauch of Crosby & Hope has employed countless thousands of people, most of whom are vastly more skilled than the dyspeptic duo above the title.

But it’s not for economic reasons you must show it. It’s because…America!

Now, I understand why Sony is backpedaling from its own production. To a foreign firm America may simply mean fatter margins to go with the wider theater seats. But to us, America means that a man can stand up and say any cockamamy thing that passes through his public-schooled brain without fear of government retribution, and certainly without kowtowing before the porcine princeling of Pyongyang.

While the hackers have threatened 9/11-style attacks on theaters and nearby subdivisions, their threat bears the earmarks of the Kim dynasty.


We will clearly show it to you at the very time and places “The Interview” be shown, including the premiere, how bitter fate those who seek fun in terror should be doomed to.

Soon all the world will see what an awful movie Sony Pictures Entertainment has made.

The world will be full of fear.

Remember the 11th of September 2001.

We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time.

(If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.)

Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

All the world will denounce the SONY.

CUT TO: Theater audience roaring with laughter.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Allah Now Angry About Boutique Coffee & Chocolate Shops

Monday, December 15th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

Allah — the Most Compassionate, the Most Incendiary — has, in recent years, made it clear that he’s angry with Americans and uppity women (but I repeat myself). However over the weekend, we learned that Allah — the Nourisher, the Reliever (the latter, doubtless, while standing) — has become enraged by boutique coffee and chocolate shops.

As Australian authorities attempted to negotiate with a soldier of Allah — the Everlasting, the Attention-Deficit Disordered One — to release hostages and come out peacefully from the coffee and chocolates shop in which he has barricaded himself, I managed to secure an exclusive interview with the Muslim deity.

Below is an exact transcript of my one-on-one with Allah — the Most Candid, the Most Quotable — precisely as these words came to me from the angel, Gibreel, his official spokesman.

SCOTT OTT: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. I know you’re a busy god.

ALLAH: Not at all. I run a decentralized operation, so I can focus on vision and strategy, while my agents in the field take care of the day-to-day stuff.

SCOTT OTT: Completely autonomous?

ALLAH: Well, they have the manual committed to memory, and as long as they don’t run afoul of it, they’re free to carry out my vision as they see fit. Middle managers help to head off violators.

SCOTT OTT: I see what you did there.

ALLAH: Forgive me.

SCOTT OTT: I thought that was your job.

ALLAH: Touché.

SCOTT OTT: I can understand why you’ve been enraged by American soldiers and by women — particularly women, since they’re the greater threat — but what is it about coffee and chocolate shops that offends you?

ALLAH: Well, some think it’s the pricing, the atmosphere or the indefinable music. As for me, it’s the pretension that borders on idolatry.

SCOTT OTT: You mean it’s the hipsters?

ALLAH: In a word.

SCOTT OTT: But isn’t armed hostage-taking a bit O.T.T.?

ALLAH: I see what you did there, Scott Ott.

SCOTT OTT: Forgive me.

ALLAH: I’ll think about it.

SCOTT OTT: Seriously, why not organize a boycott of coffee and chocolate shops in the name of Allah, the Most Politically-Savvy?

ALLAH: It could backfire. I’ll give you three words: Chik-fil-A.

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The Government Didn’t Shut Down? Prove It.

Friday, December 12th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

We awoke this morning to news of compromise at the highest levels of public servantry. A $1.1 trillion withdrawal from our bank accounts, and from those of our grandchildren, met with jubilation on the Hill and in the media. The federal government did not — will not — shut down, they sing.

And Americans say, “Prove it — prove that the government is not shut down.”

ISIS clambers across Iraq and Syria like an army of Gollums, now gaining a toe-hold in Egypt as well. Bashar Assad sits on a throne of chemically-killed corpses piled high on Obama’s “red line.”

Putin rolls through Ukraine, daring Obama to make eye contact with him, while he pockets Obama’s lunch money.

Iran’s nuclear centrifuges spin as fast as Secretary Kerry’s diplomatic remarks.

There’s still no accounting or accountability for Benghazi, Fast & Furious, NSA spying on civilians, the horrors of V.A. purgatory, IRS muscling of conservatives and the massive government bailouts that saved Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.

Business lags and the economy drags, while the under-employed and underpaid wonder why Washington doesn’t seem to suffer from “the new normal” — just us.

And if you still think a government shutdown has been averted, trying making a phone call to a government agency to solve a problem.

Obama closed

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What Interrogation Tactics Would You Not Try?

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

Out of a clear blue sky, stock brokers and janitors rained.

Contorted bodies approached terminal velocity in wind-whipped business suits.

Forced to decide between the slow agony of fire and the sudden — O, God I hope it’s sudden –slam against cement, they laid out upon the atmosphere, wishing for the whisper of angel wings to whisk them ever upward.



I called a database vendor to get a project update. He said, “Do you know what’s happening?”

“No, what?”

“We’re under attack,” he said. “America is under attack.”

Phone slam. Dial my brother’s house — my brother, the United Airlines pilot. His wife answers.

Trying to sound calm, I say, “Where’s Jim?”

“He’s in triple-seven training in Colorado.”

She’s heard. She’s watching.

I exhale.

Turns out that one of the commandeered flights was a route my brother sometimes flew. Try not to think about that.

Falling Man on 9/11/2001Several days later, I’m out in the yard in rural Central Pennsylvania and the eery silence of the skies gives way to the whistle of a small jet engine. I stop and stare stunned at the ordinary airplane in the glide path of the local airport. I watch it to the vanishing point — the first I’ve seen since they cleared the skies because no one knew how many more would become missiles.

America’s incredible knack for engineering and for funding seamless systems was transformed by a relatively primitive enemy, into a boomerang bomb that locked onto us, like the Russian torpedo in the climax of The Hunt for Red October.

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Bro-Country Anthem Yearns for Hillary 2016

Thursday, December 4th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

Gas-guzzling trucks, cowboy boots, big red barns, people praying, dusty farms, the stars-and-stripes snapping in the breeze, and hot blond women on motorcycles — nothing says “Hillary 2016″ like all that, plus a bearded young hunk in a cowboy hat singing…

And now, it’s 2016

and this time I’m a-thinkin’

Guys, put your boots on and let’s

smash this ceiling.

I’ve been thinking about one great lady

like the women in my life,

she’s a mother, a daughter,

and through it all she’s a lovin’ wife …

She fights for country and my family

Now it’s time for us to stand up

with Hillary.

The video, posted just two and a half weeks ago by, already has gone viral with more than 344 views on YouTube — that’s nearly 20 views per day.

Countless dozens of people have been tapping their feet to this catchy tune and dreaming of a leader who understands that ”Our American dream is at stake, and there are some hard choices that need to be made.”

At the risk of converting some red-state Americans to the “Stand with Hillary” movement, I post the video here. (HT @iowahawkblog)

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[Video] 7 Ways Boehner & McConnell Fight Obama Like Obama Fights Wars

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014 - by Scott Ott

VIDEO SCRIPT: I’m Scott Ott, and here’s a thought.

It suddenly struck me today that Boehner and McConnell fight Obama just like Obama fights wars. Republicans in Congress use the same strategy and tactics against the Democratic president, that our Commander in Chief uses overseas.

Because this approach has become so popular among the rich and powerful, I thought you might want to try it. So, I boiled it down to 7 quick tips.

1. Draw red lines: Use bellicose rhetoric to let your base know that you’re serious about sounding serious.

2. Cave in when those lines get crossed: If you avoid invoking consequences, it saves you from having to do what you said you would.

3. Announce deadlines in advance: It’s only fair to tell your adversary how long he has to wait until he wins.

4. Fight if you must, but only to blaze a path for withdrawal: The objective of battle, after all, is to seize the moral high ground as the loser, because everybody resents a winner.

5. Use high-altitude sniping to avoid close combat: Low risk shots at high-value targets can win today’s news cycle, without the risk of triggering a more significant battle that you don’t have guts to win.

6. Blame your allies for failure: If you don’t, then people might think it was your fault, and that doesn’t feel good.

7. Take effective tactics off the table: Make sure your opponent knows exactly what you’re not willing to do in order to win.

That’s it. Scott Ott’s quick demonstration that Boehner and McConnell fight Obama like Obama fights wars.

Seven quick tips for snatching shame from the jaws of glory.

I’m Scott Ott, and there’s a thought.

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Senate Confirms Soap Opera Producer as Ambassador: Read Her Application Essay

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 - by Scott Ott

President Obama’s nomination of Colleen Bell as ambassador to Hungary was confirmed by the Senate Tuesday on a 52-42 vote. Here is the essay she submitted along with her application.

Why I Want to Live in Budapest for a Year or More

by Colleen Bell

I’m “Hungary” to spend some time in Budapest (LOL) as part of the U.S. government’s Obama Bundlers Abroad program (that part’s also a joke). While I’ve never been a diplomat, I did earn a diploma in high school and college. I hope this essay is good enough to win Senate confirmation.

As a soap opera producer, I bring a world of experience to the task of serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Hungary. My show, “The Bold and the Beautiful,” is seen in more than 100 countries, so they probably know of me already.

Because of my job on the soap opera, I know more than most people do about the challenges of building solid, long-lasting, mutually-satisfying relationships — or at least about pretending to do so.

But if all I had to recommend me was a history of creating high-quality treacherous relationship stories for daytime TV, I could understand how you might be reluctant to send me overseas as the president’s emissary, and the official face of America.

So, you’ll be glad to know that I’m also a campaign bundler for the president, having raised millions of dollars to assure myself an appointment as ambassador. (Just kidding.)

My wealth of experience making phone calls to wealthy Liberals will serve me well in Budapest, as I’m sure they probably have wealthy Liberals over there too, and maybe even telephones. I even hosted a dinner for the president at my house and got Foo Fighters to perform there. If Hungarian government officials haven’t heard of Foo Fighters yet, they’re really good.

Finally, as if all of that were not enough to secure my confirmation, I’ve also been told that I’m an attractive woman. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have mentioned that, but when you’re trying to show the world America’s best face, it never hurts to actually have a nice face.

All the Best,
Colleen Bell

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Here’s Why Hillary and Romney Lead 2016 Poll…

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014 - by Scott Ott

How is it possible that the latest CNN/ORC International poll shows that Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney lead the presidential packs in their respective political parties?

The short answer is because Rihanna and Chris Pratt have not (yet) announced their candidacies.

If the latter two names sounded only vaguely familiar to you, then you have the same reaction to them as normal people do to the names of politicians who want to be president.

Political geeks are societal freaks.

Which of the following does not seem likely to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016:

1. Rand Paul
2. Ted Cruz
3. Chris Christie
4. Jeb Bush
5. John Carson
6. Scott Walker
7. Rick Perry

Which ones on that list are U.S. senators and which are state governors? Sort them from most conservative to least conservative. Name their home states.

Chances are, you did all of that with near perfect accuracy.


We political geeks chuckle at videos of people who can’t name a single U.S. senator or a Supreme Court justice, or who want to ban dihydrogen monoxide. But then we see a poll that says Romney and Hillary lead the 2016 White House race, and we act like it means something.

Click to the next page to see who is most likely to be our next president…

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With 3 Words Obama Admits His Just-Announced Immigration Actions Are Illegal

Friday, November 21st, 2014 - by Scott Ott

If you have children, you understand the rhetorical value of misdirection.

When I was a boy, two of my brothers and I were in the kitchen downstairs with Nan, when we heard a loud crash upstairs.

Nan hollered up the staircase at our other brother, “What are you doing up there?”

His answer was immediate, in just two words: “Coming down.”

And so he did.

We all agreed it was a masterful answer, in that it was both true, and it deflected any real truth-telling. We never did find out what caused the crash.

President Obama is less skilled than my little brother. After all, Obama’s deflection during last night’s immigration speech took three words — 50 percent more.

Here are those three words: “Pass a bill.”

Here’s the context

Obama: “And to those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill. I want to work with both parties to pass a more permanent legislative solution. And the day I sign that bill into law, the actions I take will no longer be necessary.

Obama immigration speechSo, the answer to the question about the legality of his actions is this: Hey, Republicans, it’s your fault that I’m doing these illegal things.

The rest of his speech comprised vague allegations of racism and hate against anyone who opposes him, along with heart-rending images (“ripping children from their parent’s arms”), straw-man arguments about mass deportations, and some tough-on-crime rhetoric about gangs and thugs.

All of this is precisely irrelevant.

The problem with Obama’s actions has nothing to do with the immigrants, their struggles and their aspirations, nor with America’s failure to effectively address its illegal immigration challenge. It has everything to do with a president setting a precedent that U.S. law can be set aside by the executive at will. He’s not “acting where Congress has failed,” he’s usurping the constitutional role of Congress to establish a “uniform rule of Naturalization.” [U.S. Constitution: Article I , Section 8, Clause 4]

He’s also not striving “to make our immigration system work better.” If that were true, he’d merely step up efforts to enforce existing law, streamline the process for the many decent, law-abiding folks eager to take the oath of citizenship, and stop beckoning illegals northward with an implied promise of amnesty.

Let me be clear (as he would say), I’m not arguing with the president.

He and I already agree that he lacks the authority to do this.

You see, if Obama had legal counsel outlining why his immigration actions were appropriate and constitutional, he would have recited chapter and verse. Instead, he raised the only real objection, and then simply set it aside without refuting it. Further, he actually blamed his opponents for forcing him to take illegal action.

Since we have his confession, before a great cloud of witnesses, here are two, very direct, words for Rep. John Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell: “Repeal Obamigration.”

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McConnell Resurrects Long-Dead American Icon

Friday, November 14th, 2014 - by Scott Ott
Caspar Milquetoast, from H.T. Webster - Timid Soul

Although H.T. Webster died in 1952, Caspar Milquetoast is apparently alive and well and working in the U.S. Senate. (click to expand)

In 1924, H.T. Webster began drawing a comic called “The Timid Soul” for the New York World newspaper. It featured Caspar Milquetoast, a man afraid of practically everything and everybody.

Fast forward 90 years: Today’s New York Times says that Barack Obama “feels liberated” by getting past those messy elections so that he can implement is agenda on immigration, climate change and regulating the Internet, among other issues. Of course, previous election victories also liberated Obama to implement his agenda.

When you’re on a date with Barack Obama, ‘yes’ means yes, and ‘no’ means yes.

Barack Obama is no Caspar Milquetoast.

“…aides said Mr. Obama has concluded that he cannot let opposition from the other party stop him from advancing his priorities…”

In this case, “opposition from the other party” means decisive electoral defeat in the midterm elections after you explicitly said that your policies are on the ballot — every one of them.

Now, take a few steps from the White House down the National Mall to the Russell Senate Office Building and meet the leader of that oppositional other party — new Senate Majority Leader Mitch Milquetoast…uh, McConnell, reacting to Mr. Obama’s hubris.

“I had maybe naïvely hoped the president would look at the results of the election and decide to come to the political center and do some business with us,” [McConnell] added. “I still hope he does at some point but the early signs are not good.”

I had maybe naively hoped Sen. McConnell would look at the results of the election and decide to come to the front, and do what voters really want. I still hope he does at some point but the early signs are not good.

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Post-Thrashing Obama ≠ Post-Thumpin’ Bush

Friday, November 14th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

Ever helpful to Democrats, the New York Times points out today that President Obama, by kicking up the volume on immigration, climate change and regulating the Internet, merely pays homage to President George W. Bush.

Although they do not present it this way, in some ways Mr. Obama and his aides are taking a page from President George W. Bush’s playbook after his own “thumping” in his final midterm elections. Instead of pulling out of the deteriorating war in Iraq, as Democrats interpreted Mr. Bush’s election mandate, he sent more troops. Democrats like Mr. Obama, then a senator, accused the president of defying the voters. In the end, the reinforcements and a strategy change helped turn around the war.

The analogy is fundamentally, fatally flawed.

Let’s posit that the American people, by their congressional votes in 2006, sent a message to end the Iraq war. If that were true, you could say that Bush ignored the voice of the people. Although you could as easily conclude that his actions were meant to end the war.

No matter how you read the public will, George W. Bush acted within his constitutional authority as commander in chief when he ordered the successful 30,000-troop surge in January 2007.

As commander in chief, it was Bush’s role to effectively prosecute the war in Iraq, a use of military force that Congress had decisively authorized — 297-133 House, 77-23 Senate.

However, what President Obama now endeavors to do — by distilling his party’s devastating midterm losses into a steroid shot for his agenda — flies in the face of that Constitution.

  • He’ll use executive orders to usurp Congress’ Article I, Section 8, authority regarding immigration.
  • He uses regulatory agencies like the EPA to go beyond anything Congress authorized with regard to environmental protection.
  • He pressures a board of political appointees (the FCC) to rein in the same industry that allows most of us to watch his spellbinding YouTube videos, a move that would further focus power over information in the hands of people who devote their days to boiling down policies into concentrated power.

Nearly everything on Obama’s known agenda, as he waddles into the sunset, stretches or exceeds his constitutional authority.

Post-thrashing Obama ≠ post-thumpin’ Bush.

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Xi Shaming: The New York Times Pressures China’s President to Be More Like Obama

Thursday, November 13th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

The New York Times wants to embed more reporters in China, but the communist government won’t process the paperwork. Chinese President Xi Jinping, in a news conference this week, first ignored a Times’ reporter’s question about the issue, then suggested that if the Grey Lady would play ball, the red tape might get cut.

This raised the righteous hackles of the Times editorial board, which penned an open letter to Mr. Xi.

The Times has no intention of altering its coverage to meet the demands of any government — be it that of China, the United States or any other nation. Nor would any credible news organization. The Times has a long history of taking on the American government, from the publication of the Pentagon Papers to investigations of secret government eavesdropping.

When you have to reach back 43 years (Pentagon Papers, 1971) to establish your institutional morality, you conjure the expression “the exception that proves the rule.” Nevertheless, the editors then stand in the stirrups of their high horse, and finish with a flourish.

Demanding that journalists tailor their coverage to suit the state only protects the powerful and those with something to hide. A confident regime that considers itself a world leader should be able to handle truthful examination and criticism.

Times reporter asks Xi Jinxing about resident visas

New York Times reporter asking Chinese President Xi Jinping about delays in visa approvals for journalists who want to live in China.

Oddly enough, that first part could serve as the Times’ slogan: Protecting the Powerful, Since 2008.

Let me summarize the real message, in context, that the Times just sent to Xi Jinping: We won’t play ball China-style, but if you play ball NYTimes-style, we’ll both get what we want.

The context is the Times’ actual reportage and commentary about the Obama administration.

If Mr. Xi took a lesson from Mr. Obama, he would want more Times reporters, not fewer. That’s because even though NYT occasionally highlights administration malfeasance and incompetence, it’s much more likely to leap to the defense of seemingly well-intentioned Utopian centralized collectivist command structures.

In fact, President Obama should personally intervene to get a Chinese residency visa for Times’ columnist Paul Krugman — that is, if Mr. Krugman is willing to move to China, from his current duty station near Mr. Obama’s rectosigmoid junction.

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Can Republicans Learn These Two Lessons from this Young Elephant?

Thursday, November 13th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

First: Move to a new setting where you have the advantage.

Then: Go on the offensive.

I’ll leave it to you to apply these lessons in the comments below.

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In 22 Words: Obama’s Landmark Historic Climate-Change Deal with Chinese President Xi

Thursday, November 13th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

What’s the deal with the climate-change deal Obama made with Chinese President Xi Jinping?

The leaders of the world’s two most powerful nations dress up in silk teddies to do this (in 22 words):

One leader “pledges” to do what he said he’d do five years ago.
The other “pledges” to do nothing for 15 years.

Obama committed the U.S. to concrete, measurable goals — 26-28% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, from the 2005 baseline, by 2025. But Obama had already committed to similar goals back in 2009 at the United Nations. For his part, Xi “pledged” that China would “plan” to have her CO2 emissions peak by the year 2030.

On the bright side, while Chinese carbon emissions skyrocket as a result of its rapid emergence from the stone age, along with heavy reliance on coal, U.S. emissions are already in steady decline, thanks to the moribund Obama economy, and the fact that those nice Chinese folks burn the coal to make the stuff that we use, so we don’t have to soil our hands with manufacturing…or coal. So, Obama’s climate change pledge is do-able, as long as Democrats keep their boot on the throat of the U.S. economy through taxation, regulation and profligate entitlement spending.

One can’t help but hope that the New York Times is right that Democrats will make climate change the centerpiece of their 2016 president campaign.


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Pop’s War Stories: Meeting Patton, Jimmy Stewart and a Panzer

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014 - by Scott Ott
George Patton, Jim McMaster, Jimmy Stewart

George Patton, Jim McMaster, Jimmy Stewart

Sgt. Jim McMaster heard the jeep, and looked up from the winch he was wrangling. Three stars on the bumper meant straighten up and acknowledge.

Gen. George S. Patton returned McMaster’s salute.

“What’s the hold up, Sargent?” Patton barked.

A truck hauling a Sherman tank had slid from the rutted frozen slurry, but still blocked the road and thus the convoy. McMaster told the General he’d get the tank off of the truck and use it to pull the truck back onto the road.

“Carry on, Sargent,” Patton said, snapping a salute before ordering his driver onward. And that was that.

Mac and his men got the tank off, the truck out, the convoy moving again.

Not a lot of celebrity moments like that in World War II, although McMaster did meet actor Jimmy Stewart, then a captain or a major, late one night over drinks during a Channel crossing.

No, war is more mud than stars.

Jim McMaster, my Pop, wound up raising his four grandsons, and we hung on his words when he told us war stories.

Setting out for the Normandy invasion, McMaster grabbed the ship’s rail to vault into the landing craft. The next soldier, also vaulting, accidentally kicked his wrist, sending McMaster sprawling on the deck, and his wristwatch sailing into the drink. He’s headed to fight the Nazis, but at the moment, he’s ticked about losing the new watch. Sixty years later, he tells his great-grandchildren about the watch. It was a good watch, and new.

As they approached the Normandy beach on D+4, the landing craft pilot, eager to avoid underwater obstacles, idled the engine and said, “Here’s where you get off.” McMaster looked out at the distance to the beach and knew the water was too deep.

“Take us in closer,” he said. The skipper refused. McMaster laid a hand on his sidearm.

“Take us in.”

The motor revved and the boat moved closer to the beach. When McMaster dropped from the craft into chest-high water something heavy landed on his pack. As he was about to swing an elbow and tell the soldier to find another ride to the beach, when he realized it was a woman — a Red Cross nurse. He waded in, with her on his back, until she could safely walk on her own. He stayed in touch with her by letter for a while. Then the letters stopped. He later learned that the Germans bombed her Red Cross hospital. And that was that.

When McMaster enlisted, he hoped to fly. Instead, he wound up in a tank, with engines originally designed for aircraft that used high-octane, highly-flammable gasoline.

One day, a Panzer surprised him from behind a barn, and shot a track off his Sherman. Able to move only in circles, with no place to hide the tank, he ordered his men to abandon. Two went out the turret hatch, under withering machine-gun fire from the Panzer. McMaster finally leaped free of the crippled tank, losing a piece of his knee to a machine gun round. Before the two men in the belly could escape through the hatch between the fuel tanks, the Panzer lit it up. McMaster watched his fuel-soaked buddies burn. The Sherman exploded, sending the entire turret to high heaven.

This wasn’t a frickin’ movie where the stars all get to go home at day’s end to drink chardonnay.

These were American farmers, mechanics and clerks — boys — shredded, severed, bloodied and burned.

Veterans Day ceremonies tend to be calm, somber, clean and peaceful.

Let’s remember the men who climbed from the mud to the stars to make it so.

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Republicans Own Texas: Wait Till You See What They’re Planning for the Next Legislative Session

Monday, November 10th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

Dallas News headlines

Wait a minute…I thought Republicans won the election.

Here in Texas, Republicans dominate the legislature, the governor’s office and all statewide offices. Yet, that Dallas News headline offers the early word on legislative priorities for the next session.

Former House speaker Rep. Tom Craddick, R-Midland, again filed a bill that would institute a statewide a [sic] ban on texting for all drivers—a measure that previously passed in the Legislature in 2011 but was vetoed by now departing Gov. Rick Perry. He called the bill “a government effort to micromanage the behavior of adults.”

Of course, this stalwart Republican, Craddick, doesn’t want to limit your liberty. He merely wants to “give our law enforcement officers the tools they need to make our roadways safer,” not to mention a good excuse to take a look-see at the data in your Moto X, since it’s now been used in the commission of a crime. Who knows what other crimes you might be commissioning with it?

Aw, don’t give me that smug look. I don’t think people should text-and-drive any more than you do. (And, by the way, you do it way too much.) After all, if you’re looking at your phone instead of the road and other vehicles, you could miss some great opportunities to express your God-given right to road rage.

The point is, it’s already illegal to drive recklessly. Who cares why you’re doing it — texting, eating a Whataburger, combing your big hair, tweezing your nostrils, smoking one of them vapor contraptions, or rebuking your kids because one won’t share his iPad or e-cig with the others? (Don’t make me come back there.)

If I were in the Texas House right now, I’d introduce an amendment to the Craddick bill that would make it illegal to take your hands from the 10-and-2 positions on the wheel for any reason whatsoever. It should also be forbidden to speak with one’s spouse, children, campaign manager, press secretary or other pets while driving. Needless to say, I would also press for a full ban on daydreaming, or listening to Tears for Fears…

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Real Men Give Birth: New Study Shows We Need to Be More Sensitive to Trannies on the Nest

Friday, November 7th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

A new study of 41 women who identify themselves as men, but who have successfully born children after “transitioning,” encourages gynecologists and obstetricians to build better rapport with their transgender patients.

That starts by getting the pronouns right. It turns out that 75% prefer to be called “he.” The others divide between “she,” “they” and “ey.” (Like the Fonz, not William Wallace.)

While study authors acknowledge that they’re on the cutting edge, they think there may be thousands of mannish women with baby bumps out there, whose hearts break when someone calls them “she” just because they’ve got a bun in the oven. Haters.

Oddly enough, some subjects felt their masculinity peaked during gestation, labor and birth.

“Pregnancy and childbirth were very male experiences for me,” said a 29-year-old respondent in a study reported Friday in Obstetrics and Gynecology. “When I birthed my children, I was born into fatherhood.

It’s one thing to have lady parts and think you’re a man, but quite another to use those lady parts for a ladylike purpose, and think that it makes you more manly than ever.

It’s reverse gender dysphoria…on steroids.

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No, Sen. Reid, Americans Don’t Want Washington to ‘Work Together’, ‘Get Things Done’?

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

Reid, Boehner, Obama, McConnell, Pelosi in Oval Office

The message from voters is clear: they want us to work together,” [Sen. Harry] Reid said. “I look forward to working with Senator McConnell to get things done for the middle class.”

Harry Reid, Waning Senate Majority Leader

If Americans were tired of divisiveness in D.C., and frustrated with the failure to work together to pass legislation, Democrats would have swept Tuesday’s midterm elections. They did not.

If Americans wanted to get back to the good old days of the Clinton administration, they would have supported the candidates who Bill and Hillary backed. In the crucial Senate races in Georgia, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina (and others), they did not.

Americans would have returned Harry Reid to the Senate majority leader’s chair, with a filibuster-proof Democratic majority, if they yearned to…

  • pack the courts with abortion advocates, or
  • hold onto their Obamacare health plan, or
  • yield their children to compulsory Common Core curricula, or
  • slap down corporations through higher taxes, or
  • muzzle the voice of the Koch brothers, or
  • protect the bureaucrats who snoop on and target us, or
  • put that hinkle dreck Netanyahu in his place. (Apologies to my Pennsylvania Dutch and Jewish brethren.)

They did not do that, because they do not want that.

In Iowa, the Joni Ernst for Senate campaign caught fire when she implied she would castrate Democrats and their cronies in D.C. — figuratively, of course.

If America wanted nothing more than peace in the D.C. pigpen, Joni would be headed home.

Instead, Senator-elect Ernst is pulling on her Carhartts and snapping on the latex gloves.

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“By Far the Most Egregious” Violator: Holder & EPA Ding Carmaker $350 Million for Climate Change

Monday, November 3rd, 2014 - by Scott Ott

Attorney General Eric Holder and EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced the biggest climate change enforcement action to date against Hyundai Group for overstating their fleet-wide fuel efficiency by an average of one mile per gallon.

In sensational language, Attorney General Eric Holder today announced the biggest enforcement action ever against a greenhouse gas violator, as the federal government penalized automaker Hyundai Group up to $350 million.

“This will send a strong message that cheating is not profitable and any company that violates the law will be held to account,” Holder said. “This announcement illustrates that this type of conduct quite simply will not be tolerated.”

What did they do to deserve the biggest spanking since the Supreme Court, in 2007, gave the EPA power to regulate greenhouse gases?

Hyundai Group overestimated the miles-per-gallon rating in about a quarter of their Kia and Hyundai models.

That means they’ve had to downgrade their fleet-wide 2012 fuel efficiency average from 27 all the way down to 26 MPG.

That 1 MPG variance apparently constitutes a high crime.

According to the EPA, the fine is the largest in Clean Air Act history, which the automakers violated when they sold close to 1.2 million vehicles that will emit approximately 4.75 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in excess of what the automakers certified to EPA.

The biggest part of the penalty comes in the form of lost carbon credits. Hyundai already compensated some 900,000 customers for the MPG misstatement, and characterizes the settlement as a welcome end to a two-year government inquisition.

“We’re going to be working with the EPA to make sure that the guidelines are easy to follow. … So we’re getting slapped on the wrist here [but] we did have an error, and we fixed this. It’s not going to happen again. We’re paying a penalty and it’s time to move on,” [Hyundai spokesman Jim] Trainor said.

While the issue may be behind Hyundai, the rest of the industry can’t breathe easy yet.

[EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy] said Hyundai’s conduct was the most “egregious” and “systemic,” but didn’t close the door on possible investigations against Ford Motor Co. or other automakers who have overstated mpg. Ford, BMW AG and Daimler AG have restated mileage ratings on vehicles over the last year.

Of course, corporations don’t pay fines any more than they pay taxes. You and I pay for all of it. So, now that you’ve been chastised, I hope we won’t have to have this conversation again.

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How to Depress Democratic Voter Turnout by Building a Golden Bridge with Obama’s Record

Monday, November 3rd, 2014 - by Scott Ott

As frustrating as it is to be a Republican in Obama’s America, our deepest empathy should flow to our beleaguered Democratic neighbors. Not only must they bear the burden of this administration’s incompetence, corruption, and human rights violations — but they also harbor the heartache of multiple promissory notes that candidate Obama wrote, but that President Obama failed to cash.

Today in the The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf, peels back the sopping dressing from the sucking wound that is Democratic discontent with Obama.

But here’s what I find alarming: Confronted with a president who 1) spied on every American; 2) covered up torture; 3) continued a War on Drugs ruinous to minorities and whole foreign nations; 4) killed hundreds of innocents in drone strikes; 5) waged war illegally and killed an American citizen without due process (while suppressing the legal reasoning used to do so); 6) let high-ranking national-security officials break the law with impunity; and 7) persecuted whistleblowers—confronted with all of those transgressions, more than four in 10 Americans still approve of the job Obama is doing. And most of them are loyal Democrats. Partisanship and tribalism are overriding the moral compass of too many liberals, who ought to be furious with Obama. National-security policies he unilaterally pursued will be harming the U.S., its moral standing, and its most vulnerable citizens for years if not decades to come, especially since Democrats are poised to make civil illibertarian Hillary Clinton their party’s next leader.

You don’t have to agree with their ideology, objectives or worldview to feel their pain. And now, on election eve, is no time to swat them across the nose with a newspaper for their votes in 2008 and 2012.

Obama Dog Shaming

There’s no need for this.

As a few of our Democratic neighbors shuffle forlornly into the polling places Tuesday, these facts will weigh heavily on their minds. For some, it will be a bridge too far. They will not muster the strength to rise and go forth. They’ve lost the will to make excuses for this president and for the Democrats in Congress who have backed him every step of the way, but who now resort to  feigning outrage at his policies.

If you back someone into corner, by bludgeoning his party or his erstwhile president, you force him to fight to avoid losing face. Instead, consider the art of war advice usually attributed to Sun Tzu: “Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.”

That little paragraph from The Atlantic, with a link to the article, could be part of that bridge.

If we approach our Democratic brethren with a sense of our common humanity, and with grace for a fellow sinner, then we may look back some day and realize, in the words of a once-inspiring aspiring leader, that “this was the moment - this was the time – when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals.

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Educated White Democrats Run Blacks Out of Town: Republican Cities Welcome Them

Monday, November 3rd, 2014 - by Scott Ott
Educated whites crowd out lower-income blacks in Democrat-dominated cities like Austin, Texas.

Educated whites crowd out lower-income blacks in Democrat-dominated cities like Austin, Texas.

No one cares for the black people more than college-educated white Democrats.

I know, right?

So that’s why when educated whites move into America’s most tolerant, progressive Democratic cities, blacks move out, according to Eric Tang in the Washington Post.

Between 2000 and 2010, cities like Austin, Chicago, Washington D.C., San Francisco—places that vote majority Democrat, consider themselves socially and culturally progressive, and boast racial diversity—all lost unprecedented numbers of African Americans. San Francisco, for instance, saw a staggering 20.4 percent loss in its African American population between 2000 and 2010. Chicago and Washington D.C. also experienced double-digit losses.

Tang, an assistant professor at University of Texas, Austin, cites Stanford University research showing that as college grads become a bigger share of a Democrat-dominated city’s workforce, income inequality rises, driving out (often black) lower-wage folks.

Meanwhile, 100 percent of the big cities that Mitt Romney won in 2012 (ok, there aren’t many of them) saw their black populations grow — big time.

During that same decade, the only three major cities (populations over 500,000) that voted Republican in the 2012 presidential election— Phoenix, Fort Worth, and Oklahoma City—all saw significant increases in African American numbers; their African-American populations grew by 36.1 percent, 28 percent and 11.4 percent respectively.

Austin, known in Texas as “the blueberry in the tomato soup,” is unique among major cities in that it’s growing, but not in diversity. The actual number of black Austin residents decreased from 2000-2010 by 5.4 percent.

All of this proves at least two things:

1) reducing diversity makes the Democrat ideal of tolerance more achievable, and

2) while white Democrats may be college educated, blacks who pack up and leave are just plain smart.

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If Tom Corbett Wins in Pennsylvania, It Will Break His Squander Streak, But Vote For Him Anyway

Friday, October 31st, 2014 - by Scott Ott

In most parts of Texas, the Republican primary virtually IS the general election, or so they tell me. But Republicans are careful to add that they don’t take anything for granted.

Things are different back in the old country — my former home of Pennsylvania — as I was reminded yesterday.

I found a GOTV postcard in my Texas mailbox, addressed to my Texas home, from the ‘Tom Corbett for Governor’ campaign. Corbett is the sitting (rarely standing) governor of Pennsylvania.

Look up the word “squander” in the dictionary, and you’ll find a picture of Tom Corbett.

The postcard headline says “Poll Shows Corbett-Wolf Race Tightening,” and the text tells me that “We need every Republican to vote, and that includes you!” I wondered how many other registered Lone Star voters Corbett counts on to put him over the top in the Keystone State.

I rejoice that I get to vote for Greg Abbott as our next Texas governor — a wheelchair-bound man who stands up more than Corbett ever has.

Corbett Postcard

The Pennsylvania governor’s campaign mailed this “Get Out the Vote” postcard to my home in Texas. Competence much?

I would call Tom Corbett a huge disappointment — a Republican governor, with a Republican legislature — who has kowtowed and cowered before the union bosses, while equivocating about his positions, and carping about legislative obstacles in his own party…but “disappointment” is a word too glorious for Corbett.

From the moment I met him, and in several subsequent conversations, he struck me as a pathetic figure who couldn’t lead a little girl if she stood on the tops of his feet and begged him to dance.

The only circumstance that would justify reelecting Tom Corbett for governor would be if the figurative ‘wolf is at the door.’

Unfortunately, it’s worse. The literal Wolf is at the door.

Democrat Tom Wolf will make Pennsylvania’s burdensome taxation even more intolerable. Entrepreneurs and corporations will decamp from the Commonwealth more eagerly, and the outbound capital flow will grow to a torrent.

The policies and politicians of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh will kiss in Harrisburg.

So, to my Pennsylvania friends: Tom Corbett sucks, and it doesn’t get any better than that…not this time.

So, suck it up and go vote for Corbett. Then go take a shower with a wire brush.

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Tim Cook’s Silliest Announcement: Apple CEO ‘Proud’ of God-Given Gift of Gay-ness

Thursday, October 30th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

Apple CEO Tim Cook coming out as gay today packs all the surprise of most recent Apple product announcements. By the time Tim takes the stage, everything’s already been leaked.

And yet we know that for many people, Tim’s announcement carries cultural significance. They see it as bold, ennobling, inspiring, and perhaps long overdue.

I see it as just plain silly — absurd, lacking in common sense, ignorant, pitiable, and perhaps disingenuous.

“So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.” — Tim Cook, Bloomberg Businessweek

First of all, Tim, “Let me be clear” is Obamese for “I’m about to lie.”

And in fact, in this context, you’re saying that you haven’t “publicly acknowledged” your “sexuality,” but you sure are proud of it. Is that like how you’re so proud of the new iPad Air 2, that you’ve just decided to keep it a secret? [By the way, when did publicly acknowledging one's sexuality become a rite of passage? Imagine if the late Steve Jobs had written an op-ed in a business publication to proclaim, "I just want everybody to know that I love women. And I'm proud of it. Thank you, Jesus, for this awesome desire."]

As Tim Cook goes on, it becomes more absurd on several levels, if you accept conventional wisdom about what it means to be gay.

How could someone be “proud” of their natural condition? Pride bespeaks achievement. But if, as GaGa say, you’re “born that way,” then what sparks pride?

Slavishly obeying your genetic predisposition is merely animal instinct, not accomplishment. Why would you talk about homosexuality as if it were a choice? (Hmmm?)

Now, if you chose to be gay, in the face of a society that rejects homosexual behavior, perhaps then you’d have something to brag about. Although it would seem silly to buck your heterosexual nature, just to tick off your neighbors.

Next, Tim says being gay is one of the “greatest gifts” from God. Setting aside any biblical interpretation of that remark, let’s just take it as Tim leaves it.

So, Tim, I guess you weren’t really born that way, God just threw in your desire for male-on-male sex as a bonus. Forgive me, I know it’s much deeper than that.

Tim Cook, Apple CEOBeing gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.

“Timmy,” the Lord seems to say, “I’m going to give you homosexual desires, so that folks will treat you badly. That way, you won’t grow up to be a bigot, and you’ll be ready to manage the world’s most respected brand.

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[Video] Black Chicago Activists Speak Out Against Abusive Democrat Machine, Obama

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

The rebellion begins.

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Your Civic Duty: Creating an Alibi for Election Day

Friday, October 24th, 2014 - by Scott Ott


SCOTT OTT: I’m Scott Ott, and here’s a thought…

On Tuesday, November 4th, most of the nation’s registered voters will dutifully do what they always do on the first Tuesday in November. They’ll get up a little early and head out to beat the traffic. That’s because it’s election day, and they’ve got work to do. That’s right, the majority of the nation’s registered voters will be hard at it, constructing alibis for their absence from the polls. It doesn’t have to be this way. There’s no good reason for waiting until then, when you can start work on your alibi now.

Fabricating an alibi for failing to vote is thirsty work, and it gets tougher all of the time.

After all, it’s not easy to make a legitimate excuse for missing a 20-minute appointment so near your home which you’ve known about for months, about which every news source has chattered since the last election day, and
upon which rests the destiny of the nation, and of all mankind.

In addition, the polls are open for roughly 12 hours on election day.  And need I mention that 47 states allow absentee voting by mail and most of those require no excuse to do so. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia allow early voting in person, with no excuse required. In other words, most folks could literally vote today, or tomorrow, or the next day.

All of this means that patriotic Americans will have to work extra hard to craft a solid alibi, because you can’t outsource this kind of work to illegal aliens. Many of them are much too responsible to skip voting.

November 4th will be upon us before you know it, so it’s never too early to start devising an air-tight alibi.

“Things got hectic at work today,” or “Car trouble again” or “MacKenzie had a temperature.” Those excuses will of course evoke sympathy, but only from people whose own alibis sound even more hastily slapped together.

Because of the ease and brevity of voting, the advanced warning and the variety of options in most places, some folks will resort to making their alibis sound thoughtful, anchored in deep-seated concerns about the American republic, rather than admitting to laziness or self-centered indifference or addiction to gaming and porn.

Here are some examples of thoughtful alibis.

I don’t vote because…

  • Big money has corrupted the system, so I’m going to drop my only weapon to fight it, or
  • Nothing ever changes anyway, which is why things are such a mess compared to how they used to be, or
  • My candidate lost in the primary to that cheater, so I’m going to a let bigger cheater beat him, or
  • The establishment controls the system, so I’m going to let them…that’ll teach ‘em,
  • I don’t trust electronic voting machines, because electrons are just so negative
  • I need to stay off the grid, because the NSA knows too much about me already.

Now, some folks might even try to blend the two methods by claiming that they were too busy to research the candidates and the issues.

“I’ve always valued the electoral process too much to engage in VWI — Voting While Ignorant.”

Whatever you decide, the important thing is that you do your civic duty, and develop a credible alibi for not voting. You see, there’s no excuse for making excuses that you have time to make excuses.

I’m Scott Ott, and there’s a thought.
Paid for by the Coalition to Maintain the Status Quo.

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You Pay a Billion Bucks Per Presidential Term for Federal Workers on Extended “Disciplinary” Leave

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 - by Scott Ott

Look on the bright side: Although you’re paying for tens of thousands of federal workers on extended leave, at least they’re not wearing out the office furniture.

Irked that you pay Federal employees to goof off or surf porn on the clock when they should be working?

At least they show up.

President Obama — so enraged about the “do-nothing Congress” — might also want to find out how many of his 2.7 million executive branch employees get paid to stay home and watch “The View.”

According to the Washington Post, your tax dollars support tens of thousands of public servants on extended paid leave (a month to a year or more) while they await the adjudication of their disciplinary cases.

Unlike former Senator Barack Obama, they can’t even vote “present.”

During a three-year period that ended last fall, more than 57,000 employees were sent home for a month or longer. The tab for these workers exceeded $775 million in salary alone….While the employees stayed home, they not only collected paychecks but also built their pensions, vacation and sick days and moved up the federal pay scale. (Washington Post, Oct. 20, 2014)

That’s more than a $1 billion every four years going from the pockets of hardworking taxpayers, to the pockets of non-working bureaucrats. This accounts for only about three-fifths of the total federal workforce, since some government agencies don’t keep track of paid-leave data.

Under official rules, dating back to 1980, this “cannot” be, since employees under disciplinary review are to be sent home only in “rare circumstances.”

The extensive use of administrative leave continues despite government personnel rules that limit paid leave for employees facing discipline to “rare circumstances” in which the employee is considered a threat. The long-standing rules were written in an effort to curb waste and deal quickly with workers accused of misconduct.

And the comptroller general, the top federal official responsible for auditing government finances and practices, has repeatedly ruled that federal workers should not be sidelined for long periods for any reason.

Nevertheless, government bosses do as they please, sending bureaucrats home (with pay) for “alleged violations of ­government rules and laws, whistleblowing, doubts about trust­worthiness, and disputes with colleagues or bosses. Some employees remain on paid leave while they challenge demotions and other punishments.”

If you work in the private sector, you know that administrative leave is granted sparingly, and only for brief bursts. Serious problems spark termination, or unpaid suspension. Oddly enough, private companies working government contracts cannot bill the government for employees on paid leave…so they don’t have many of those.

But it seems our passive-aggressive federal overlords would rather make a problem go away than deal with her.

The financial tally above does not include a calculation of productivity losses, although perhaps this is negligible for federal workers. (When Bob left, he didn’t leave no vacancy.)

By the way, one might expect a large number of disciplinary cases to happen in the Defense Department, both because of the sheer number of employees (roughly 35% of the total), and the psychological demands of the work. But only 9,623 of the extended-leavers worked (or didn’t) for the Pentagon (about 17%).

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Monica Lewinsky’s First Big Speech: Shaming the Internet into Stopping the Shame Game

Monday, October 20th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

Monica LewinskyYou’ve just been chastised for nearly 25 minutes by Monica Lewinsky — chastised for reading and writing on the internet about Ms. Lewinsky’s “intimate moments” with former President Bill Clinton nearly two decades ago. [See Lewinsky speech video on the next page.]

You see the genuinely immoral aspect of her adulterous affair with Hillary Clinton’s husband cannot be found in anything she did — unless loving too much is a crime — nor in anything he did, because she imputes no impropriety to him. Rather, here’s how she broaches the topic…

Fresh out of college, a 22-year-old intern in the White House, and more than averagely romantic, I fell in love with my boss, in a 22-year-old sort of way. It happens. But my boss was the President of the United States. That probably happens less often.

This, of course, is calculated to draw laughter and sympathy. But Lewinsky is quick to add a note of contrition — not a whole note, but perhaps a quarter note.

Now, I deeply regret it for many reasons, not the least of which is because people were hurt, and that’s never OK.

Observe the skillful use of the passive voice (“people were hurt“) and the stern consequences she accepts (“that’s never ok“).

But before she can rend her garment and fling dust on her head, she rapidly moves on to the real breach of morality in this saga.

No, it’s not that she was diddled by a man old enough to be her father. It’s not that the imbalance of power between them was perhaps the greatest since Mohammed took 9-year-old Aisha as his wife, making it prima facie sexual harassment in every corporation in the land.

You see, she wasn’t sexually harassed, she was in love. Her two-year affair with 15-year-old Chelsea Clinton’s Daddy was what Lewinsky calls “my everything.” That was “the golden bubble part for me,” Lewinsky said. “The nice part.”

The nasty part was that it became public — public with a vengeance.

So, nearly 20 years after she and the president jeopardized national security by conducting a clandestine sexual relationship in the White House, making the commander in chief vulnerable to blackmail, it’s time for the perpetrators to be called out — starting with Matt Drudge and you.

Overnight, I went from being a completely private figure to a publicly humiliated one.

She goes on to recount her depression and suicidal thoughts, and falls just short of launching a crusade to “Save the Love-Struck Presidential Interns from Internet Shaming.”

For just 73 cents a day — that’s less than a cup of coffee — you can rescue a “more than averagely romantic” young woman from the savagery of social media slut-shaming and help her to live a quiet life of secret trysts with leader of the free world.

Personally, after watching Monica Lewinsky’s entire speech, I’m as chastened as she was chaste.

[See Lewinsky speech video on the next page.]

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N.Y. ‘Safe Act’ Strips 34,500 of Constitutional Rights, Stops Not One Mass Shooting

Sunday, October 19th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

In the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary slaughter in Newtown, CT, New York state passed an “an expansive package of gun control measures” which read like a progressive fantasy: ban “assault weapons,” create a list of dangerous mental patients and confiscate their guns.

As today’s New York Times details, several problems arose on the road to peaceful Utopia. But, progressives can delight in the news that they’ve compiled a list of 34,500 Americans who no longer have 2nd Amendment, 4th Amendment or 14th Amendment rights. For these folks, New York state is a Constitution-free zone.

Under the “Safe Act,” county officials were to screen and forward names from mental health workers to a state agency. But those county employees did not, generally, have direct contact with the patient, nor did the bureaucrats in Albany. The county workers, quickly overwhelmed with the volume of submissions, began rubber-stamping. The much-touted government oversight became at best cursory, at worst, nonexistent.

Only 278 among the 34,500 were found to have gun permits, and guns were seized from an unknown number of them. But only New York City requires permits for long guns anyway, so a person on that list may go shopping elsewhere, and the government will not know about his purchase. In addition, there’s no way for law enforcement to know whether they’ve confiscated all of a person’s weapons. So, essentially, the program may seize SOME guns from people in a designated zone (NYC), but only if they obeyed the law by getting a gun permit.

Of course, if you have a mental health issue and you treasure your natural, God-given 2nd Amendment right to self-defense, then the law discourages you from seeking professional help with the threat of confiscating your property and your security.

This is all fine with the progressives who love to keep their women defenseless, their poor, disadvantaged thugs unperforated and out of jail, and their government ruling with an iron fist — but above all, who love to be SEEN as doing something about a problem.

Gun control supporters argue a wide net is appropriate, given the potentially dire consequences.

Even if just one dangerous person had a gun taken away, “that’s a good thing,” said Brian Malte, senior national policy director of the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence.

Now, Mr. Malte fails to consider the possibility that he may have taken that gun away from a person who then has to confront a pistol-packing burglar in his home, armed with nothing but a Salad Shooter, or a Swiffer mop.

Gov. Cuomo signs Safe Act

New York Governor Mario Cuomo signed the Safe Act in 2013, which has created a Constitution-free zone for 34,500 Americans, and has stopped not one gun crime or mass shooting.

The dangerous truth about all of this “gun control” is that none of it will save a single life. Worse, it will delude a certain portion of the population into thinking that they, and their children, are safer — after all, we passed the “Safe Act.”

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New York Times Fears ‘Specter’ of ‘Sabotage’ in Iranian Missile Facility Explosion

Friday, October 10th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

“Specter” is a word that means something feared as dangerous or bad. For example, the following headline would reflect proper use of the term.

“Iranian Secrecy About Nuclear Program Raises Specter of First-Strike Capability”

Which is why the headline on the homepage of today’s jarred me.

“Spectacular Blast at Iranian Base Raises Specter of Sabotage”

Specter of Sabotage“Specter of Sabotage”!?

Lord forbid that someone might have sabotaged Iranian efforts to weaponize and to loft the output of their centrifuges.

Now, if this were some local rag, I’d write it off to the hackery of journalism grads from the second-tier schools — you know, guys like me.

But Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet! This is the New York Greekin’ Times.

Is it really possible that a Times editor, gulping a mug of crème de la crème, in the rush to post the story, with the need to constrain the third deck of the header to 19 characters, settled for “Specter” because “Questions” takes too many letters? (The header on the jump page does use “Questions.”)

Perhaps the word choice came in the quest for alliteration — Spectacular…Specter…Sabotage. Forget the dictionary. That just sounds good.

Certainly, the Times’ editor could not have intended the meaning of this word. A bit of searching shows that previous Times‘ “specter” headlines include…

  • Confronting the Specter of Alzheimers’
  • Two Hospital Networks Agree to Merge, Raising Specter of Costlier Care
  • Candidates Raise Specter of Cheating
  • Behind Microsoft Deal, the Specter of a Nokia Android Phone
  • Unburnable Carbon and the Specter of a Carbon Bubble

Almost all other instances referred to a certain former senator from Pennsylvania, whose name still conjures the specter of betrayal, two years after his death.

So, it seems, the Times knows how to use the term correctly — although that Nokia Android phone better have a death-ray feature to merit its “specter.”

No, I actually imagine the editor cringing in horror as she reads the lead, and ponders the possibility of betrayal within the ranks of the Iranian missile program. How could a saboteur penetrate the security cordon of the Iranian military and intelligence service?

She probably glanced around the newsroom nervously. Are THEY all loyal to us?

Of course, perhaps an editor who uses “specter” to refer to sabotaging the Iranian missile program raises the specter of an Iranian mullah-regime sympathizer on staff at the New York Times.

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Should Local Folks Have Power to Ban Fracking, or Anything Else, by Referendum?

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

A fracas over fracking in a Texas college town raises some significant questions about property rights, governance and who gets to decide what you can do with your land?

These questions arise regardless of your beliefs, or even of the facts, about hydraulic fracturing as a method of energy extraction. 

The dispute is a novelty to The New York Times, because it’s in Texas.

Denton is just the latest, and unlikeliest, battleground in a movement that has gained momentum around the country. Communities from Colorado to Pennsylvania have imposed similar bans, and the state of New York has prohibited fracking since 2008. By all accounts, the antifracking campaign here has caught the gas companies and their supporters flat-footed.

On the surface, a voter referendum in Denton, Texas, seems like the essence of democracy, with the people petitioning their government for the redress of grievances by mustering a majority vote on the next election day.

But as you know, midterm election turnout tends to be even smaller than during a presidential year, so the number of ‘Yes’ votes required to gain a majority on a referendum will, in all likelihood, represent a small minority of local adults. That minority has the power to strip a person or company of property rights, along with the income that might have been generated by those rights, and the sustenance to local families and stockholders that income would have produced. But my questions persist even if there were a way to poll every adult citizen in Denton. Should “majority rule” on every issue?

Most folks are all for democracy in the abstract, less so when it bites their own bank accounts. Most folks are for more energy production in the abstract, but some lose their enthusiasm when they learn that the energy courses through creases a mile below their houses.

But who gets to decide what the landowner may do on his land?

The Framers of the Constitution had seen democracy unleashed, as mobs formed to demand their own property rights. The most famous, called Shays’ rebellion (1786-87), culminated in armed conflict, injuries and death over a tax protest during an economic crisis. In the Constitution, “we, the People” formed a republic — not a democracy — in large part to protect the rights of the minority from the passions of the mob.

The question here is not whether the people of Denton CAN vote to ban fracking: Until some court says differently, they can. The question is “Should they?”

If we are to be a nation of laws, not of men, that means that the structure of the law is as important as its content.

On a question like this, what’s the appropriate locus of control? At what level should such decisions be taken? Should the federal government have power to ban fracking? How about the state, the county, the municipality or township? Should “the people” be able to legislate by referendum at any and all of those levels? California doesn’t really have a Constitution, but rather a collection of voter referenda passed from time to time.

Perhaps you think you know the proper level for the decision in the fracking case. But on what basis shall we choose the appropriate level?

When I served as a county commissioner, a former Republican commissioner tried to push us to allow a referendum on an issue. I actually agreed with him that the practice he sought to prevent should be prevented. But I opposed a referendum to create the law because it’s an abdication by the county commissioners of their responsibility. Rather than be held accountable for such decisions, he sought to absolve the commissioners of the burden, and to hand the decisive power to a minority of local citizens who would constitute a majority on referendum day. The way those work out, it would be a turnout battle won by the best funded and/or best organized side of the question.

Did I wish to deny the power to the people? No. I believe they already possessed that power as expressed through their elected representatives.

Again, the structure of governance is crucial to the quality of governance, and therefore, to the security of liberty. Democratic referenda emit all of the aroma of individual rights, with none of the substance.

The Framers of the Constitution worried that mobs, whipped to frenzy by charismatic characters, could strip property rights, force governments and merchants to accept worthless paper for repayment of hard currency debts, and commit a welter of other evils.

The battle of Denton will likely go to the best-organized side, not necessarily to the most accurate, reasonable side.

I know from experience that the results of a referendum pass into sacred lore. The voters in my old county once passed a referendum to borrow $30 million for ‘green space’ during the succeeding 1o years. But to some folks, the fact that “the people had spoken” meant that the ‘green space’ programs should persist in perpetuity when the decade expired.

I don’t know the answer to all of these questions. What concerns me is how rarely someone asks these questions.

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Democrat Politician Says Obama Should Use Blacks-Only Microphones on Campaign Trail

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

While Congressional Democrat candidates have quarantined their historically-unpopular standard bearer from the campaign trail, one former Democrat mayor — believing that a mouth is a terrible thing to waste — has a Jim-Crow-Dandy idea to segregate President Obama at Blacks-Only microphones. According to The New York Times

“I’d have Obama on an evangelistic schedule of black churches all over the country,” said Willie Brown, the former mayor of San Francisco. “I think he really should go to the black base. I don’t think there’s any other place I would trust he wouldn’t create an adverse reaction rather than a positive reaction.”

This is the final paragraph in a doleful series of quotes from Democrats trying to spin Obama’s intra-party pariah status. But the Times reporter cocks an eyebrow, noting that the president “of the People,” who used to draw Jay-Z-sized crowds to arenas, now nibbles pâté de foie gras as he mingles with the one-percenters, who still think access to the president means something.

But all of this should not make you think that Obama’s at home, sitting on the sofa, flipping through the Vine app on his smartphone. After all, he’s got his hands full making anti-Democrat attack ads for Republican candidates. 

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Greedy Corporation Stops Ebola Spread in Liberia

Monday, October 6th, 2014 - by Scott Ott

While governments and nonprofits have been stymied in their efforts to stymie the spread of the Ebola virus, Firestone Tire & Rubber has apparently succeeded among its 80,000 Liberian employees and their families. When a wife of a Firestone employee showed up ill after caring for an Ebola victim, the staff of the evil capitalist corporation leaped into action.

“None of us had any Ebola experience,” he says. They scoured the Internet for information about how to treat Ebola. They cleared out a building on the hospital grounds and set up an isolation ward. They grabbed a bunch of hazmat suits for dealing with chemical spills at the rubber factory and gave them to the hospital staff. The suits worked just as well for Ebola cases.

Firestone immediately quarantined the family of the woman. Like so many Ebola patients, she died soon after being admitted to the ward. But no one else at Firestone got infected: not her family and not the workers who transported, treated and cared for her.

Company employees built a 23-bed isolation facility, and in recent months treated 48 patients (mostly from outside the rubber plantation), managed to save 18 of them, and were able to prevent the spread of the disease. They also launched a door-to-door education campaign.

NPR’s report puts emphasis on Firestone’s financial resources, but I think they miss the “X” factor that causes these private-sector employees to succeed outside of their bailiwick: They’re accustomed to setting goals, achieving results and being rewarded based on actual accomplishments. In addition, they’re innovative, and know that one must often improvise and create rapid prototypes on the way to the ultimate product.

The sick and suffering people of Africa don’t need more political speeches, government press releases and empty promises.

They need more Firestones.

Also on the Tatler: 

Must-See VIDEO — Lois Lerner Dislikes Being Targeted So Much She Tries to Bust Into a Neighbor’s House

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HUD Workers Skims $843K from Native American Program, Helping Those Who Help Themselves

Friday, October 3rd, 2014 - by Scott Ott

They say when you go into public service, you sacrifice the potential for more lucrative income in the private sector. But why make such a difficult decision?

Consider Brian Thompson.

While working at the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Loan Guarantee for Native American programs, his bank account swelled handsomely.

Thompson sold real estate properties on behalf of HUD, after borrowers defaulted on mortgages from the department. For several properties, the Justice Department says he made “materially false representations” to third parties and diverted $843,000 to his own bank accounts.

Of course, the government doesn’t like it when you steal the money that its stealing from others, so Mr. Thompson will soon get an all-expense-paid stay at one of our best federal housing and urban development projects — a penitentiary. He’ll also cough up a fine and make restitution.

Perhaps the most curious aspect of this story is how they ever caught him.

Given HUD’s credo — Accipere a Divitibus, Pauperibus Dignitate Spoliare (Take from the Rich, Strip the Dignity of the Poor) – it must be difficult to distinguish when someone’s doing something unethical or illegal, or is merely fulfilling the mission.

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[Video] Gov. Scott Walker Promises “More of the Same.” Yesssss!

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014 - by Scott Ott

This should be the campaign promise of every Republican governor’s reelection campaign.

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