In The Headlights

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Always sunny!  HI 82 | LOW 82  •  50 cents - price may vary


EDITOR RILEY

Riley composes the Silly Sentinel editorials from the perspective of a dog who finds human behavior more than a little nonsensical. Being completely dependent on the support of others, he should advocate more of an accommodating view, but he doesn’t. His focus is on the silly things members of his benefactor species do and the farcical explanations they conjure to justify their actions. He will never run short of material.

Riley

The Weak That Was

Another week has passed at last. Unfortunately, it looked a lot like the last one and a whole bunch before that.

Republicans and the DOJ continue at each other’s throats, fighting over the release of documents that no one but them cares about. The DOJ is still getting the better of the brawl, making the Republicans look impotent and silly.

The Democrats and the media dis everything Trump does, no matter what it is. Securing the release of the NOKO hostages this week was characterized by the media as a ratings grab and a staged production.

When Trump kicked the Iran deal to the curb, Democrats, who voiced opposition to the agreement back when it was signed, screamed foul.

Remember when Chuck Schumer accused Trump of putting us on the brink of nuclear war with North Korea? This week he presumed to tell Trump how to negotiate with Kim Jong-Un else the President give away the store in his historic meeting with the Korean dictator. The leader of the political hack pack must have whiplash from his rapid change of position.

This week’s winner of the most pathetic award is a series of commercials aired by the Diane Feinstein re-election campaign. The aging U.S. Senator from California keeps missing the Over The Hill exit ramp on her endless journey around and around the political racetrack. She’s now running for a sixth term. If voters in California return her to Washington, she’ll be 90 years old when her new term ends.

The main roadblock to her re-election is, of course, her advanced age. Her campaign commercials try to jump that high hurdle by making her sound youthful and vital. But, the phase, “Diane and a new generation are leading the fight…“, doesn’t fool anyone. Neither does plastic surgery or a dump truck full of makeup and hair dye.

Feinstein’s major in college was history. It’s time her career passed into it.

 

 

Riley

But Is It Enough?

It’s that time of year again. Ring out the old. Ring in the new. These phrases appear in a poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson written in the Before Time. Before technology. Before social media. Before grocery stores, canned dog food and late night TV.

In the 1850 poem, Ring Out, Wild Bells, Tennyson pretty much savages the old year as a festering cesspool of disappointment. He looks forward, perhaps too optimistically, to the new.

Here we are 167 years later. Every twelve months, we still ring out and in, which, if you think about it, makes us perennial Pollyannas. After all, if any New Year turned out to fulfill expectations, would we be so anxious to close the door on it? Yet, we cheer the next one each December 31 as if the result will be different.

There is a difference between New Year’s and, say, other year–end celebrations. New Year’s lasts one day. Compare that to Hanukkah, which goes on for eight days or the twelve days of Christmas, three if you live in Iceland and about 90 if you’re in retail sales.

And the New Year’s Day wish is to have a happy one. Happy one day? How much happiness can you cram into one–seventh of a week? And those New Year’s resolutions – they make for a hectic twenty­–­four hours.

Anyway, have a Happy New Year, what’s left of it anyway.

 

 

Riley

Unchained Melody

Dateline: Stupidville, December 13, 2017. After Monday’s terrorist goof up in the New City subway, most of us are singing, Unchained Melody.

No, not the Righteous Brothers’ jukebox standard from so long ago that my family tree barely had roots. The present day Unchained Melody is all about ending chain migration, an oddball visa entry system that randomly grants green cards through an annual lottery.

Begun over fifty years ago, the practice was permanently established through the Diversity Visa Program in The Immigration Act of 1990. The lottery distributes 50,000 green cards each year to lucky winners.

To qualify, participants need only a high school-level education or two years of work experience. No consideration is given to age, skills, language ability or any connection to the U.S. Because the entry requirements are lax, the lottery is a source of uneducated, unskilled labor.

As a perk, lottery winners can sponsor their relatives to come to the United States, who, in turn, can sponsor relatives of their own.  The extended-family chain gang is supposed to make the first link feel better about leaving the old country by replicating the familiar here.

Since 1990, over one million lottery winners have immigrated to the US, eventually bringing almost four million of their relatives with them. Among the four million chain relatives are Monday’s terrorist and the crazy who killed eight people in NYC at the end of October.

The stupidity of the Visa lottery is so apparent that only a government could miss it. First, why are we admitting uneducated, unskilled labor with not even an English language ability? The national purpose of immigration is to benefit the nation. But, chain migration focuses only on the needs of immigrants who, due to practically non-existent entry requirements, will have a difficult time integrating into American culture.

Yes, Emma Lazarus’ 1883 words, “Give me your tired, your poor” are still engraved on the Statue of Liberty. But America in those days, under populated and in need of unskilled workers, is not our Country today. Today, we have an economy characterized by increasingly sophisticated technology. The U.S. requires educated immigrants who can hit the ground running.

Those who champion diversity in our population should look at American unskilled workers, who have been largely ignored for decades.

Second, immigrants that are admitted into our Country should be integrated into society, not cloistered on islands of cultural separation. Chain migration encourages isolation from mainstream America because those admitted have almost no chance to assimilate.

Third, those who advocate in favor of chain migration claim the flaw is the lack of proper vetting. But, not only is vetting an imperfect process that risks American lives, it is misdirected. It looks at past behavior as a predictor of future conduct.

It should look at the environment of isolation the immigrants face here and the susceptibility to propaganda that results. Both Monday’s terrorist and the killer in October are post-immigration converts to ISIS.

Our government looks stupidity in the face and is blinded by its own reflection.

 

 

Riley

The Accidental Conciliators

Dateline: Stupidville, March 28, 2017. As everyone in the Country who pays an Internet bill knows, President Trump is trashed daily in every way by the Politically Crazed.

Not that a little disagreement, in and of itself, is wrong. But, it’s one thing for, say, Democrats to oppose Trump’s agenda and rejoice in his political failures. Take their crowing last week over TryanCare 1.0’s faceplant. Good for the Dems. Ridicule should be heaped from all quarters on that misfire.

But, it’s another to impugn evil motives, scream louder and louder about non-existent conspiracies and trash his family. Hysteria has taken the place of rational discourse just because Hillary is not currently occupying the White House.

The frenzy has taken the form of an escalating profusion of smoke and smears. Take Chris Matthews as a case in point. The perpetually grumpy MSNBC commentator dug himself into a new low this week when he conjured up the ghosts of Saddam Hussein’s sons.

Matthews likened Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, to Uday and Qusay, the maniacally murderous offspring of Iran’s despotic ruler. Where will Matthews venture next? One thing is for sure, it will be where no rational mind has gone before.

But, luckily, not every Hillary supporter has succumbed to the contagion.

The hopeful among us believe that the Politically Crazed will eventually bring the house down on themselves. Voter reaction will force reconciliation between Republicans and Democrats in Congress so that the business of government can resume.

Because, right now, it’s just a huge mud wrestling spectacle.

 

 

Riley

Madcow Disease Makes A Comeback

Dateline: Bovineville, March 15, 2017. Last night, direct from MSNBC headquarters, its primary breeding ground, Madcow Disease made a comeback.

Unleashed by the political commentator, Rachel Madcow, after whom the Disease is named, it spread at the speed of television infecting feeble-minded viewers everywhere. Fortunately, there aren’t many of them.

The Disease causes degenerative thought processes, feverish rantings and fatalities of the central credibility system.

Madcow’s harangue was a stunningly embarrassing – for her – release of two pages of President Trump’s 2005 tax return. Rather than unmasking him as a tax dodger or Russian saboteur, the return showed Trump as a regular taxpayer. He paid over 25% in taxes, a high percentage than, say, the Obamas last year, Bernie Sanders or Comcast, MSNBC’s parent company.

We know all that by now. But, as humiliating as it is, it’s not the biggest goof about the Madcow episode. Infected by the Disease and slipping into near unconsciousness, several commentators babbled incoherently that Trump surreptitiously provided his tax return to MSNBC. Somehow a set up excuses the Madcow flare-up.

The excuse is just another symptom of the Disease. The President never would have come up with the tax return angle to bait the ‘resistance’ since it puts him in a very good light. He can’t think those who oppose him are that dull-witted, at least until now. Plus, regardless of the source, Madcow should’ve figured out for herself that the return only helps the President.

Which underscores the horrifying nature of Madcow disease. It eats the brain right out of your head.

 

 

Riley

The Greatest Show On Earth

Dateline: Illusionville, February 20, 2017: The anti-Trump media circus that’s been touring the Country since November 8 set up its tents in the White House last week.

The result was a high wire thrill act from what, after Barnum & Bailey’s announced closure, has become the Greatest Show On Earth. President Trump soared over the heads of the media clowns below performing favorite renditions from The Flying Wallendas’ playbook.

Even before he finished, news outlets were accusing the President of media bashing, as if that’s somehow wrong. One news guy, speaking for his fellow jokers, set up a series of falling dominos that led from criticizing the press to the collapse of the Presidency.

As expected, Trump is constantly being accused of trampling on the constitutional free press rights. What’s left behind in all the clamor is impartiality, the chief responsibility of a free press. Without impartiality, the press becomes one of the greatest threats to freedom on earth. So far, detached neutrality hasn’t made an appearance in the reporting of most mass media outlets.

One thing the media always forgets is that, in their circus, the President is the Ring Master. Clown routines are slapstick sideshows that hold attention only briefly. The audience is riveted on the guy in charge.

So, the newshounds should try impartiality and let Trump succeed or fail on the merits of his programs, policies and leadership. Then we’ll have a press worth protecting.

 

 

Riley

Hurray For College

Dateline: Thankfulville, January 10, 2017 – A lot of people sidestep college on their way to tremendous careers. I know I did. But, there’s one college we can all be thankful for – the Electoral College.

You’d think all that stuff would be behind us by now. But, if you watched Trump’s Attorney General nominee get grilled on the Hill today, you know that isn’t true, at least not yet. Just try to picture the mess we’d be in if the EC hadn’t finalized the election results.

Speaking of election results, a few facts are always helpful. While it is true that Trump did not win a majority of the popular vote, neither did Hillary or any other candidate. She did grab 48% of the total vote cast, compared to Trump’s 46%, but that amounts to a plurality for her, not a majority.

Here’s another couple of interesting tidbits. Hillary received 2,865,075 more votes than Trump. But, she also beat Trump in the California tally by 4,269,978 votes. In other words, without California, Trump received 1,404,903 more votes than Hillary.

If you want your next President elected in a race where only the popular vote counts, you should move to California for a while. But, don’t plan on starting a business. For each of the past 12 years, the State has been ranked by CEOs as the worst for business in the country.

Even though it has only 12 percent of the nation’s population, California has 34 percent of the nation’s welfare recipients. A little business climate warm-up might just fix that.

 

 

Riley

The Weak That Was

Dateline: Punyville, May 24, 2015 Another weak week has, thankfully, just ended. The lamest happenings center on the ISIS tar baby with plenty of blameworthy politicians trying to throw others under the bus.


The latest round of pin-the-tail-on-any-other-donkey started a couple of weeks ago. In an interview with Fox News, Jeb Bush backstabbed his older brother for sending troops into Iraq in the first place.


Jeb didn’t mention ISIS directly but his statements reinforced Obama’s earlier criticism blaming W for the rise of ISIS. Geez, if only we hadn’t upset the locals and created so much anti-American hatred, ISIS would not have existed.


That’s a very handy claim, of course, but it can’t be substantiated.


This week, after being smacked by the backlash, Jeb decided to defend his brother. So he blamed Obama for not taking care of business. Regardless of how ISIS got started, it really was at one time a JV team that should have been crushed by the Pros. Alas, Obama himself is a minor leaguer so that play was missed.


As the politicians bickered, ISIS took two cities this week, Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province in Iraq, and Palmyra, an ancient Syrian City. Ramadi is the largest military victory for ISIS in almost a year.

Critics claim that Obama’s recent strategy in mishandling ISIS is to pretend that the terrorist group has already been defeated. Earlier this month, his spokesman criticized the press for broadcasting news clips that showcase the group’s military might.

Instead, the President insisted that ISIS has been reduced to driving a lone Toyota after dark with the headlights out. And then Ramadi and Palmyra happened.

No wonder Obama and Biden are talking about global climate change at commencement addresses over the weekend. They’re in so much hot water in foreign policy, it’s a natural for them.

 

 

Riley

The Weak That Was

Dateline: Punyville, May 17, 2015 Another weak week has just ended and what a weak it was. The lamest incident is the major blow off Arab leaders gave President Obama over what was to be an historic conference at Camp David.

 

Back on April 17, the White House announced a U.S. – GCC Summit in Washington on May 13 and 14. The GCC, or Gulf Cooperation Council, consists of six Persian Gulf monarchies including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

 

Billed as an historic meeting, the get-together was supposed to be all hugs and kisses about how to strengthen security cooperation among the seven countries. Obama wanted to use the occasion to assure the kings that the U.S. still really has their backs against Iran’s burgeoning bullyism in their ‘hood.

 

The leaders of four of the six monarchs must have missed the momentous message because they decided not to attend, sending underlings instead. Widely viewed as a snub to the White House, the absences underscored the U.S.’s vanishing influence in that part of the world. This circumstance is not something that a day and one-half listening to Obama’s lectures will change.

 

Saudi Arabia, in particular, has been highly critical of the Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. Not only does it not deter Iran’s nuclear advancements, lifting economic sanctions will pour billions of dollars into the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.

 

On top of that is our Country’s general abandonment of the Middle East, which is in the midst of an Iran-Syria-ISIS bloodbath. Today, the city of Ramadi, capital of Iraq’s largest province, fell to ISIS after government forces fled. Not a great start to a new week.

 

The Iran wedge that is being driven between long-standing allies is another sad example of the U.S. dictating outcomes in distant lands. Obama refuses to listen to our allies in the region about how to handle Iran substituting, instead, his own judgment of what is best for them.

 

Despite Obama’s speeches about the intrusive failures of past U.S. foreign policy, Western colonialism is still ruining the world.

 

 

Riley

The Weak That Was

Dateline: Punyville, May 10, 2015 Another weak week has just ended and what a weak it was. The lamest of the lame is the excuse given for a fantastically false statement made by our Director of National Intelligence. But, there were other weaknesses on display, too.

 

Back in 2013 James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, testified before a congressional hearing that the U.S. does not gather information on American citizens. The testimony came only a couple of months before Edward Snowden spilled the beans on the NSA’s massive data collection program. Oops.

 

Last week, Clapper’s attorney explained his client’s big, fat slip of the lip. The Director simply forgot about the gargantuan program that records metadata on cell phone calls including the number called and the date and time of the call. The program has been widely criticized as an intrusion on fundamental liberties. But, the proponents have been just as vociferous.

 

Regardless of the merits of the debate, the collection effort is huge. That Clapper simply forgot about it is unbelievable. He’d do a better job justifying his testimony by claiming that the program was aimed, not at Americans, but at their cell phones.

 

The other especially lame happening is North Korea’s test launch of a newly developed ballistic missile into the sea off the South Korean coast. Firing test missiles toward South Korea is not a new exercise for the government of Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un.

 

But, this one was the response given to recent diplomatic overtures from the Obama administration. Nothing says ‘no’ to peace like a missile launch.

 

Worse, the North has nuclear weapons, conducting its first test of them in 2006. Obama offered a diplomatic resolution in 2012 but was rebuffed the following year with the Country’s third nuclear test.

 

Experts predict that North Korea could have as many as 100 nuclear weapons by 2020. Since Kim Jung-Un is widely regarded as an unrestrained murderous tyrant, having all those weapons in his arsenal is a very scary proposition.

 

So far, our only reaction has been ineffective sanctions and those shriveled olive branches.