Friday, December 11, 2015

Twas The Night Before Two Weeks To Christmas

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We gave up on trying to present "Good News Fridays" here quite awhile ago, and this stinkaroo of a week certainly didn't seem to offer up anything to change the pattern. So we decided to create a little good news of our own!

To take your mind off the cares of the world, and to gleefully annoy anyone who is offended by the word "Christmas," we're giving you a free no-strings-attached downloadable album of relaxing instrumental Christmas music!

Not available in stores. Trust us on this one.
It's the Manhole Steamrising "Complete Christmas Collection" and...what's that? You never heard of Manhole Steamrising? Well, you didn't think we could afford to hire Mannheim Steamroller to record a custom album, did you?! Besides, who needs all of those fancy-shmancy synthesizers when you're trying to enjoy quiet moments with the twinkling lights on your Christmas tree and the tinkling ice in your whiskey glass?

The album is solo harp which is actually played by a real angel (we think his name is "Harold") and consists of 15 soothing tracks of Christmas favorites, two of which are "Adeste Fidelis" and are done (as Basil Fawlty would say on gourmet night) "in two extremely different ways."

It's all perfectly legal, and you're free to share the music and/or the link with as many people as you like. In fact, we encourage you to share! Please! Tis the season! Just click this link to get your download started.

You'll end up with a ZIP file which, when double-clicked, will open up into a folder with your 15 songs in MP3 format. It's our way of saying "thank you" and "Merry Christmas" to everyone who visits Hope n' Change!

(UPDATE)  We got a couple of reports from readers who had problems with the download process. We've since made changes which should make it easier. If the existing link didn't work for you (it does for most people) please try THIS ONE:


But just to be sure NOBODY misses's the full album which I just posted to Youtube. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Allah Allah In Free

obama, obama jokes, political, humor, cartoon, conservative, hope n' change, hope and change, stilton jarlsberg, san bernardino, terror, trump, islam, refugees

Let's face it - this administration's system for vetting people coming into our country failed spectacularly in the case of the San Bernardino killers. As did domestic intelligence efforts intended to ferret out terrorists in our midst before they strike. And in the aftermath, Barack Obama once again bloodlessly lectured a frightened country - claiming that Islam had nothing to do with the violence, that the refugee "widows and orphans" entering our country are no more dangerous than tourists, and that the steps he's already taking to protect us from terror (so unsuccessfully) are all that is necessary.

And, oh yeah - Americans must resist their natural inclinations toward racism and ethnic hatred.

Much of what Obama said is demonstrably nonsense. But sadly we're also hearing nonsense of a distinctly non-helpful variety from Donald Trump. Should we consider a pause on the admission of refugees and immigrants until we figure out what went wrong with the vetting process for Tashfeen Malik? Absolutely. But simply banning all Muslims from entry (and assuming that terrorists are too stupid to lie about their faith) is a ham-handed approach which reinforces Trump's image as an overly-loud oaf who has had a few too many drinks at the bar and needs to be put in a taxi.

When speaking about Syed Farook, Trump said (and we paraphrase from memory here), "Howzabout that woman he brought in with him? Was that his first woman? Probably he'd never had a woman before! So she was able to radicalize him real fast."  Well gosh, Donald, thanks for the pithy analysis and the sophomoric locker room talk.

Additionally, Hope n' Change is tired of hearing (from numerous sources) that "we're at war!" Yes, there is a battle which we need to take seriously and need to win - but San Bernardino wasn't Pearl Harbor.

There is room - and necessity - for our nation to find the middle ground between Barack Hussein Obama's denials and Donald Trump's bellicose bombast. It is time - indeed, well past time - for all of this to be dealt with seriously, by serious people.

A personal sidebar: today, I had lunch in a McDonald's which is very near a large mosque in our neighborhood. It wasn't crowded inside, and I took note of the other people who were there. The staffers behind the counter were happily speaking to each other in Spanish. A woman wearing a headscarf was eating and looking at a video on her computer (I admit it - I looked to see if it was a "how to" on building "clocks," but it appeared to be a soap opera). Nearby, two Asian men chatted in what I presume was Chinese. And the McDonald's itself was nicely decorated for Christmas (by name) and, despite being next door to a mosque, advertising the distinctly non-Halal McRib.

As we were leaving, I held the door for a young mother wearing a head scarf as she entered while Mrs. Jarlsberg helped guide the woman's baby stroller through the door. The woman smiled and thanked us.

There's no big punchline to this story, other than that everyone was getting along just fine. At a McDonald's. And it made me wish that we could all take a deep breath and turn down the nonsensical rhetoric a bit on both sides. Not closing our eyes to very real dangers; just remembering that keeping our eyes open should have rewards which go beyond surveillance.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Seer Madness

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We're writing this before Obama's Sunday night address to the nation about the largest successful terror attack on American soil since 9/11. And as much as we'd like to hold off on our commentary until he's spoken, stringent press deadlines simply won't allow it. Because by "stringent press deadlines," we mean that there's only a 50% chance that we'll be cold sober when Barry starts talking, and a 0% chance that we'll be sober afterwards.

So instead we've decided to exercise our mystic psychic powers to predict what Obama is going to say, and let you check us for accuracy. Hush now as we dim the lights, put on some eerie music, and gaze into the future...

• Obama will still give "workplace violence" as much blame as ISIS.
• Obama will say that by virtue of committing murder, the California killers weren't Muslims.
• Obama will say (feistily) that GOP candidates are stirring up a rhetoric of hate which plays into the hands of our enemies.
• Obama will partially blame that darned 1st Amendment for making it hard to keep people from finding self-radicalizing materials.
• Obama will more strongly blame the 2nd Amendment for making "weapons of war" too easily accessible.
• Obama will call for bipartisan action on gun control, express doubt that it can happen, then announce that he intends to take executive action on stricter gun control measures.
• Obama will say our nation's greatest weapon against terror is multi-culturalism and the increasing importation of refugees who are very, very carefully screened.
• Obama will not find fault with the very, very careful screening process that allowed Tashfeen Malik to enter our country for the purpose of mass murder, nor will he suggest that the process be changed.
• Obama will not make a strong statement of war against ISIS, nor concede the growth of their size, wealth, and influence on his watch.

And finally, we predict that he will end his speech by saying "God bless America" but not meaning it.

Okay, now we've seen the remarkably passionless speech and we're going to honestly review our predictions. First, we'll say that overall Obama actually seemed to reluctantly acknowledge that radical Islam is a problem (although he didn't have much of a choice). Below are our predictions and whether we got them right, partially right, or wrong.

• Barry didn't blame "workplace violence" but made a point of referring to the victims as "coworkers." (partially right)
• Barry said that the ideology of ISIS is a "perversion" of Islam (partially right).
• Obama referred to "this political season" and rhetoric which plays into the hands of ISIS (right).
• Obama did not blame the 1st Amendment for access to radicalization materials (wrong).
• Barry said that making guns harder to obtain will help fight terror (right).
• He called for bipartisan gun control efforts, but did not say he was taking executive action (partially right).
• Obama praised multi-culturalism, refugees, and immigration (right).
• Obama said he is asking for a "review" of the process that let Tashfeen Malik into the country, even though other officials have already said the policy won't be changed. Still, we'll call it (wrong).
• Obama did not make a credible war cry against ISIS, or admit to its growth (right).
• Obama said "God bless the United States" but didn't mean it (right).

All in all, we'll credit ourselves with a pretty good batting average.

obama, obama jokes, political, humor, cartoon, conservative, hope n' change, hope and change, stilton jarlsberg, loretta lynch, DOJ, free speech, prosecute, muslim

Just to make sure everyone knows where the battle lines are drawn, Attorney General Loretta Lynch went before a Muslim group to announce that she now intends to prosecute anyone who voices anti-Muslim opinions which "edge toward violence," whatever the heck that means.

But apparently, calls for violence are still peachy keen and totally legal as long as the persons making those calls are of the same race and political disposition as the president and his legal toady.

How else to explain the fact that Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan isn't on Lynch's radar for his frequent exhortations that white people need to die? And remember the black marchers following Al "Freddie's Fashion Mart" Sharpton who chanted, "What do we want? DEAD COPS! When do we want them? NOW!"  Days later, two officers were shot to death in their patrol car by a man who had said that this kind of anti-cop rhetoric was his inspiration.

But is Lynch prosecuting any of those people? Absolutely not. Rather, she's just announced that she's kicking off a big investigation to prosecute Irving school officials and police officers who believed "See something, Say something" was a good idea when Ahmed the Suspicious Timing Device Maker flashed his "invention" all over a school then refused to talk about it.

Let's be clear: Hope n' Change never has and never will support or tolerate calls for violence against any religious or ethnic group. But what Lynch is doing serves only to further divide our nation by applying unequal standards of law.


Today we remember Pearl Harbor and mourn those who lost their lives, while also giving thanks for the countless others who subsequently served our nation in wartime to ensure our freedom and that of other nations and peoples.