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The BL RAG is dedicated to the idea of free expression, thus we welcome and encourage reader  commentary on current events and issues, music, sports, or other topics of interest, no matter what one's political leanings or worldview.


Site Management:

Front Page Section Editors: Machiavelli, Skinnydipinacid, and Redbeard

Miscellanea Editor: Zoy Clem

Poetry Editor: Lenny

Music Editors: see schedule below


Site Editors: Skinnydipinacid and Zoy Clem

Maintenance Man: Master Admin Dude


Eric Olsen, Fornax, GrayRider, Winston, Jimmmco, and WesMorgan1


KRAG Music Section Schedule:

Sunday - Jgeagle5

Monday - Rhythm & Truth

Tuesday - Machiavelli

Wednesday - GrayRider

Thursday - Skinny

Friday - Fornax

Saturday - Zoy Clem

On-call - Schwabman

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Syrian Refugees Flee to Website with a Better Weekend Open Thread

Meanwhile the Pope is in town, telling us Catholics that we should willingly allow potential wolves into the henhouse... you know, because... history, or something... so there's that.   Oh, and many of them may not even be Syrian, according to German officials.   What could possibly go wrong?

Is it just me or is this map tracing the paths of Syrian refugees...

...starting to look like one of those maps tracing Billy's day on Family Circus:

 Syrian Circus?  Anyway, enough about these refugees.

Let's talk about Boehner, and the fact he's resigning.   We talked to conservatives in Washington and here's what they had to say:

Couldn't have said it any better gentlemen.

Oh, and the new Bond theme from Sam Smith is out, if you're into that sorta thing:

That about sums up today.   Guess I'll go back to doing nothing for what is likely the last weekday I'll have off for a while because I'm staring my new job next week.

Make the most out of your weekend...   I know I will.



Attrition / Realignment / Humor

Walker and Perry throw in their towels, Fiorina tops pundit poll as Trump slides, Rubio remains strong but unspectacular, Cruz still in there but constantly bruised by moron media, Carson may be losing a bit of steam, Paul still gets support, Christie is still very fat, and a bunch of other guys with basement poll numbers are slipping around like hogs on ice.  

On the other side, Crazy Uncle Joe-Joe is still eating purple crayons and wondering why thay don't taste like grapes, Hillary is still cackling like a rabid hyena whenever someone asks her a meaningful question that makes her unconfortable, Bernie is still promising everyone all the free stuff they want, and Marty O'Malley is still trying to apologize his way up the ladder.

The next few weeks will be interesting. 



Music for a Friday Night

Here is a lively little live tune to start the weekend off on a high note.  It's not quite as good as being there but almost:

Have a nice weekend...!



My Take on Last Night's Debate... If You Even Want to Call it That

Everybody keeps talking about last night's "winners and losers", but I don't think there was a bigger loser than CNN last night, who turned the entire debate into a sideshow by trying to pick fights between all the candidates.   I lost a lot of respect for Jake Tapper last night, who spent most of his time being an instigator... not a moderator.  Most of the questions at the beginning were about Trump, or based around attacks he's had against other candidates.  I highly doubt this would have been their strategy as hosts if this were a Democratic debate, but I guess we'll see when that time comes...  won't hold my breathe.

It did make for a great drinking game for those of us watching over at (both left wing and right, with the occasional trolls) as we drank every time the word "Reagan" was mentioned, any time Trump was attacked, any time there was a personal attack, any time Kasich tried to inject himself into a conversation to appear relevant (a late addition to the drinking game rules, but a deserved one), and every time Dr Ben Carson appeared to be blinking (or sleeping).   Needless to say I had to turn it off a little early and crawl to bed.

We stopped counting at 21...  that was the number of attacks on Trump (by CNN, not other candidates) before the 2nd commercial break.    This was more of an obsession than a debate.    Despite President of CNN's Jeffery Zucker's reasoning for the lengthy 3 hr debate being that they needed that much time to dig deep into the issues with 11 candidates, very few issues were presented in the questioning.  Instead animosity seemed the intention, with focuses on certain individuals, and the snubbing of others.

This was the media trying to pick the candidate.

First off there should have been more people on the Junior Varsity stage, because 4 on one stage and 11 on the latter wasn't the most ideal split.    Multiple candidates received little or no attention last night on the main stage...  in fact about two hours in I said "the whole left side of the stage may as well go home, because nobody's asking them anything".     CNN and the GOP added Fiorina to the main stage and didn't have the courage to knock anybody else down to the meaningless one, but as the night went on you could start to tell who belonged where.

In the JV debate, Santorum came off as the only person that didn't sound like his campaign was a complete waste of time, which is weird hearing me say that, because I've only considered his campaign a giant waste of time and money... with book signings.    Pataki and Graham showed why they're virtual no-shows in the polling and Jindal spent most of his time wishing he was still on the big-boy stage so he could go after Trump in person, as opposed to talking about him like a man obsessed off-stage.   I don't think last night's debate helped either of those 3, but it MAY have helped Santorum, even if only slightly.

As for the debate people actually cared about, it started exactly as I had expected, and throughout the night continued to put CNN and Jake Tapper in the role of stirring the pot like some high school drama queen in hopes of agitating other people into a hallway brawl.     Immediately CNN began going after Trump (a lot), and continued implement the same "moderation" tactics by finding ways to exploit differences between the other candidates, then focusing on petty differences in hopes of even more flare-ups.   It was extremely disappointing.  Often times they failed to get the results they hoped for, but not before the night had already been ripe with attacks and zingers, which gave CNN the type of morning-after headlines the hoped for involving Republican infighting and personal attacks

The next biggest "losers" of the night were unfortunately those who got little or no time to address...  well, anything.   Cruz was given hardly any time to talk and didn't even get a chance to speak (aside from his introduction) until about 20 minutes into the debate.   While making the most of it, attacking the Iran deal and making Kasich look like a clown, it paled in comparison to the focus that was onTrump, Bush and Fiorina.

Watch him turn Kasich into a fidgety mess:


Worse than that, Huckabee arrived even later into the affair, and seemed to do less with it (despite calling CNN out on having had no time to speak).    Paul and Walker were given more time, however both failed to do a whole lot with it.   Rubio found ways to capitalize on Trump responses about the Senate, so he got a lot more air time, but it was of no thanks to CNN.   John Kasich and Chris Christie managed to interrupt their way into the debate, but I don't think either did much in regards to substance, and by the end of the 2nd hour I was hoping Kasich gets left out of future main stage debates.   

CNN turned last night's into a Trump/Bush/Fiorina/Carson, only occasionally drawing in Carson, with everybody else was left fighting for scraps.   We'd ALL liked to have heard more questions about issues, policy, and maybe directing those questions at current serving members (Cruz, Rubio and Paul), but instead CNN chose to ignore those three most of the night, bringing them in only to respond to criticisms of the Senate by Trump or others.

It was obsurd. 

As for the JV squad, they should look to add Huckabee and Kasich at the very minimum.   Huckabee failed to do anything last night and Kasich came off more as a nuisance than a legitimate candidate.      They both could have left the stage and nobody would have noticed.  

As for Trump, he was pretty much attacked all night long and didn't take too many serious blows.   Biggest hit came from Fiorina about women hearing what Trump said in regards to comments on her face...  but history as shown that isn't enough to destroy Trumpapalooza 2015.   He was even the focus of CNN commercials during the break.   It was hard not to view CNN's debate as all about Trump.

By the end of the debate Trump definitely gave more bruises than he took, so he will likely remain the frontrunner for quite some time, and his scrap with Fiorina (and what is likely to be continuous media focus) will likely improve her poll numbers some as well.   Carson failed to wow, but he didn't exactly blow it either, and chose not to partake in CNN's line of a attack when asked about Trump.   I respected that, but don't see it being something that'll help him much.   He might drop a little.  I might eat my words.   We'll see.  

Bush flopped in my opinion (despite CNN considering him a winner in the debates last night, which just makes me laugh) and the only thing that actually gave him a lot of applause (from an audience ripe with establishment Republicans; i.e. Bush donors) was mentioning that his brother kept America safe.   It might have seemed like a good line at the time, but he's finally tying himself to his brother, and it won't help him at all.   He also seemed to be Trump's favorite punching bag, making him appeared more bullied than Harry Reid in a "weight room".

Rubio and Christie may have also improved their position in the race, but how much remains to be seen.

Real winners (in regards to polling):   Trump and Fiorina

Real losers (in the same regards):     Bush, Kasich, Huckabee and Paul

If you haven't watched it yet, here it is courtesy of YouTube:

If you have some sick for of desperation in your life, you can also view the JV debate:


Do Your Duty, Citizen

Do your duty, and report subversive elements to Citizen Robespierre and the Committee of General Security.  We must cleanse our campus of unclean practices that threaten the stability of the State.  Note the police instructions to turn in your fellow citizens. 

If you comply, you may escape the guillotine.


The Egomaniacal Weekend Open Thread

Alternate title was 9/11 Weekend Open thread...  but when you have a habit of paying tribute to things by tweeting out pictures of youself, the modified one seems more fitting:

Well, isn't that touching.   Only thing that might have made it more emotional is some staged tears from Mrs. Never-Going-To-Be-Prez or Debbie Doberman Schultz.  That might help sell the his "never forget" sentiment a little, but probably not much.

Actually, it's rather hard to take him serious on fighting terror these days.   Ignore the fact that he's promoting taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees that are basically unknowns, ignores illegals from all nationalities crossing our border, and has never really seen ISIS as a great threat (even though they're one hell of a JV squad).

My biggest beef this week however is the exclusive over at the Daily Beast:

More than 50 intelligence analysts working out of the U.S. military’s Central Command have formally complained that their reports on ISIS and al Qaeda’s branch in Syria were being inappropriately altered by senior officials, The Daily Beast has learned.

The complaints spurred the Pentagon’s inspector general to open an investigation into the alleged manipulation of intelligence. The fact that so many people complained suggests there are deep-rooted, systemic problems in how the U.S. military command charged with the war against the self-proclaimed Islamic State assesses intelligence.

“The cancer was within the senior level of the intelligence command,” one defense official said.

It goes on...

That complaint was supported by 50 other analysts, some of whom have complained about politicizing of intelligence reports for months. That’s according to 11 individuals who are knowledgeable about the details of the report and who spoke to The Daily Beast on condition of anonymity.

The accusations suggest that a large number of people tracking the inner workings of the terror groups think that their reports are being manipulated to fit a public narrative.

Gee, a narrative... that's a shocker, huh?  No?  Really? (Not even a smidgen?)

Granted, the report comes with it's typical "but it happened under Bush too" over WMDs, with the pitch that they never existed, but hey... you'll get that from a left-wing site.

So yes, let's remember 9/11...  in fact, most of you probably already thought of this day the moment you picked up a pen to write today's date, if not before then.  We certainly don't require another photo-op from the Selfie-President as a reminder.   Maybe some of his followers might, but just about every American that gets the proper amount of oxygen to their brain... doesn't.

Happy Friday...  Now let's... DRINK....



 (  ... idiocracy, here we come!)


Okay, that went down waaaaaayyyy too good.   How about another?

SHOT #2:





Have a great weekend everybody!


Hillary Clinton Energizes the Crickets

Bad messaging, bad demographic research, tired speech, no enthusiasm.  But hey, it's HER TURN, and she's still the Presumptive Nominee, right?

You love me, right? RIGHT?


Support For Iran Deal Crumbling

Public support, that is.  A number of morons in Congress still want this piece of garbage to go into effect, despite the fact that only 21% of the public is for it, a steep drop in support. 

Poll result

The huge sticking point now, the thing that may still be able to stop the worst deal in history (short of the Munich Agreement), is that Dear Leader still refuses to turn over details on all the secret side deals.  The argument is strong that Congress must have this information before being able to vote on Obama's grand giveaway plan.

But Nancy Pelosi isn't worried about actually knowing what she's voting on; after all, "we need to pass the bill to see what's in it" is her idea of informed leadership. 





Freedom Is Scary and Should Be Restricted

So say the Kalifornia lefties who are trying to wreck Uber.  Now the courts are beginning to cave to leftie pressure by saying that Uber drivers must be considered employees rather than independent contractors.  This has been a ploy used by organized labor, big government, and crony capitalists for a long time. 

Uber dares to disrupt the cozy taxicab incest between government and taxi corporations, which has worked to limit competition and insure so-so service for decades. 

Good job, you Kalifornia lefties.  Free choice for consumers?  Screw that, right?  Free choice for drivers?  Screw that too.  Conform!  March in line!  Pay whatever the bureaucrats decree for a ride or a job.  

Why do lefties fear freedom so much?  Because with freedom comes a loss of their power.




"I didn't do it. No one saw me do it. You can't prove anything."

Apologies to Bart Simpson.

"Evolving" seems to be a good word for Hillary's ever-changing email defense.  Now that it's pretty obvious that she did wrong, she's adopted a new tactic, pleading ignorance.  Well, ain't that presidential? 

Hillary:  "You know, I was not thinking a lot when I got in. There was so much work to be done. We had so many problems around the world.  I didn’t really stop and think what kind of email system will there be."

Next up if we get Madam President:  "You know, I was not thinking a lot when I got that 3:00 AM call about those incoming missiles.  I didn't really stop and think what that meant."



Delayed Tribute

(but since the story is close to 5 decades old... what's another 2 weeks?)

Some things in life we take for granted.   Some things we've become so accustomed to we don't truly realize how blessed we all are.  Sometimes we let our politics cloud our feelings towards what truly matters.   Sometimes we regain clarity in the most unlikely of places.

For me that unlikely place was (of all places) a political event, Americans for Prosperity's 2015 Dream Summit, just two weeks ago.  It was a great event, but it became apprent that we were all getting a little burnt out on the politicians pandering, promising and positioning themselves as a likely favorite amongst conservatives.  

By the time the event was nearly over and some State Representative from Florida (I'd be lying if I told you I remember his name...  just know his family owns a cigar company and I enjoyed a couple of his freebies handed out at the Buckeye Bash the night before, along with many, many MANY Yuenglings) took the stage at 5:30 pm I would wager that 1/2, if not 2/3 of the people, had taken off early in hopes of beating traffic, catching their flights or getting to their respective busses to get themselves situated for a long trip home.

While I knew, albeit only somewhat, what my little sister was going to do to close out the summit was going to be monumental for our family as a shared moment... I had no idea how it would also impact the crowd who stuck it out to the very end of the event like political champs:

(Did you watch it?   I'd hate to do a spoiler here)

It's a story I'd heard a dozen times throughout my life, only the stories told to me were usually a tad bit more graphic, haha.   Yes my father has indeed always been a hero of mine for a litany of reasons, but when it came to his war story and the pain he's dealt with every day since, it's always come with a stoic feeling on his part... partly because he's tough as nails and you rarely hear him complain about anything (and perhaps I'd just grown too used to that feeling of ho-hum).  Seeing his story told to the thousand-plus people still in attendance, then seeing how it affected so many of them, it really reminded me of how truly unique he is.

Unfortunately the video didn't do the experience much justice.   Almost every one of the AFP #Dream15 videos I've seem to have muffled the sound of the audience, I assume making it easier to hear the speaker. The applause for Ted Cruz was huge without a doubt, and the cheers for Rick Perry seem minced compared to what I'd seen at the actual event...  but when it comes to my father's story I wouldn't be lying if told you that his applause, despite coming from only a fraction of the people that had been there at the beginning, may have rivaled even what Ted Cruz had with a packed house.

Throughout the video I continue to be reminded of myself looking back and seeing myself surrounded by tears falling from the eyes of grown men and women, and a thunderous gasp of the crowd when my sister went on to state what Ron Sebastian had accomplished as a volunteer for AFP, and as the video ends I'm able to close my eyes and remember what it felt like to see what seemed like everybody in attendance rush the stage afterwards to meet this man.   Veterans and members of the armed service currently serving their country coming up to him and embracing him.   Security personnel, there to guard to the doors and protect some of the GOP's most prominent candidates and future leaders, leaving their post just to shake his hand.

It was a truly great moment and my only wish was that more people that attended the event had got to experience that before running out early, not expecting to miss out on one of the finest moments from the 2-day event.  Of course, how would they have known...  not even Ron Sebastian knew it was coming, thanks in part to a family of great secret-keepers (heh). 

My dad defines the definition of the word hero to me, and although I've grown too accustomed to what he has done for the people he surrounds himself with, he is indeed one of the many reasons I fight and will continue to do so until my body no longer allows it.

(So I guess that means you're stuck with me until then)

Have a great Labor Day everybody...  Oh, and in honor of THAT you should definitely stay tuned to for my upcoming piece on how the Union and Fight for 15 crowd has co-opted leaders of the Davenport Catholic Diocese to speak out on behalf of the entire church against a Catholic-owned non-union company.  They are attacking them with some pretty incredible lies mixed (fed to them by the AFL/CIO, of course) with the added flare of bible verses to help paint them as some heathens, in which they are not.   I'll be going after them as they're currently planning their next picket line, complete with my own bible verses for the corrupted leaders of a diocese I'll never again donate to.  

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account"  

Now...  FIGHT!


Site Security Feature on the Fritz

If anyone has been blocked from posting, it's because something is messed up in the "captcha" deal, where you must confirm yourself by entering the characters seen on the screen.  No characters appear now, for some reason. 

This can be avoided by simply logging in.  I know, it's a pain, since the system won't let you stay logged in if you leave and return later, but at least logging in will allow you to post.  


Happy Friday

Well...Skinnydipinacid appears to be busy, so here is a new open thread for the weekend with some appropriate music:

Have a nice weekend.


The Holy Smokes I Sure Have Missed Out on a Ton of Crazy Top Stories Open Thread

So I'm finally moved in (well... mostly) and settling into my new community here in NW Arkansas.   Seems like forever since I last posted even though it was only 2-1/2 weeks ago.  My how time drags when you have nothing to do.

On the bright side, new homes come with some exciting things, like "Welcome to the Neighborhood" mailings from the US Postal service that include attractive coupons to some of your favorite stores... like this one:

... now, if I could just find a way to travel back to early 2008 and use it we'd be set.  Maybe pick us all up some CD's or DVD's.   I think those were still popular back then.

I've also missed out on pretty much everything that has happened over the past couple weeks due to having no cable or internet until tonight... which is both good and bad.   Bad because I have litererally no idea what to joke about in regards to current events, but good because I haven't allowed a single moment of my free time to go waste focusing on all the ridiculous crap going on.

While I was too busy taking care of this monstrosity...

(yeah, that's a 26'er... filled to the top all the way through)

...apparently lots of crazy things have happened.  

For instance:

- Jared Fogel should probably never show his face in public ever again

- Hillary goes all "it depends on what your definition of 'wiped clean' is"

- Hackers quit waiting for Ashley Madison to act and dumped all their users' info online (sorry honey)

- California hopes to ban guns for 10 years AND take farmers' land via emininent domain

- There's finally hope for liberals worldwide

- Windows 10 can go away already for all I care (now how do I make my update icon disappear?)

...and that's just since my internet got (finally) hooked up down here in lovely Arkansas.  

I can only imagine the obsurdity that's ensued the past couple weeks during my digital seclusion.   Not that I want to know.   I really have enjoyed not knowing.   It's been quite serene.   Heck, maybe I should make it a thing.  Be that blogger that comments only occasionally on things he doesn't even follow.  Could be my niche.   What do you think?


Thread's open...  but then again you probably already knew that.

(See? Already off to a bang!)



A Skinny-less Weekend Free-For-All Thread

While he's traipsing off to the wilds of Arkansas, leaving us slowly twisting in the breeze, here's an open thread for the weekend.  Next week we'll take a vote as to his punishment for going AWOL.