Notes From Underground

Friday, February 27, 2015

Obama's Middle Finger Pointed At You!

What I've posted below is a virtual plethora of various actions the federal government, the federal bureaucracy, Congress, and the Obama administration are currently doing right now to thwart the constitution.  These are all current items where elected members of Congress, the president, or the bureaucracy is actively usurping the constitution of the United States of America right before our eyes!

First up, Loretta Lynch cleared a key vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday in her bid to become the nation’s next attorney general, picking up support from three so called Republicans on the panel in favor of her confirmation.  All the Democrats voted for her.  The vote was 12-8. The three RINO Pseudo-Republicans who backed her nomination were dumb a$$ Orrin Hatch of Utah, moron Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and the imbecile Jeff Flake of Arizona.  Check out the story here:  Lynch clears committee with three GOP votes. Loretta Lynch, under oath, pledge support for Obama's illegal executive amnesty and she confirmed herself to be a radical left Marxist who supports Obama's illegal actions and would be no different than Eric Holder on race baiting and class warfare tactics.  These three losers along with the Democrats are responsible for yet another Eric Holder racist to be installed into the attorney general post.  All the Republicans needed to do were to vote No and force Obama to pick a non-racist, non-bigoted attorney general nominee that would uphold the constitution of the United States.  Is that too much to ask?  Sickening...

Speaking of Obama's illegal amnesty, some of these illegal aliens who came here illegally and unlawfully may be able to claim more than $35,000 in tax benefits paid by the rest of the suckers in America.  See the story here: AMNESTY BENEFICIARIES COULD CLAIM MORE THAN $35K IN TAX BENEFITS IN FIRST YEAR

Next up, gun control and violating the 2nd amendment to the constitution.  Instead of banning guns, Obama is banning bullets and ammunition used in popular guns.  As promised, President Obama is using executive actions to impose gun control on the nation, targeting the top-selling rifle in the country, the AR-15 style semi-automatic, with a ban on one of the most-used AR bullets by sportsmen and target shooters.  See the story here:  Obama to ban bullets by executive action, threatens top-selling AR-15 rifle.

One main thing the federal government is supposed to do for Americans is protect us from foreign and domestic enemies and provide for and maintain a Navy (i.e. military - see Article one, Section 8, Clause 13-14 of the constitution).  Yet, under Obama and Congress, the United States military is hollowed out and decimated to the point where our military is only marginally able to defend the United States of America.  At the same time, China and Russia's military is expanding dramatically and overtaking our military strength by leaps and bounds.  China and Russia are on the move militarily and America is going backwards. See the story here:  U.S. military decimated under Obama, only ‘marginally able’ to defend nation.

How about this, the United States Treasury made $3 billion in unlawful payments to private, for profit health insurers, yet Congress never authorized the payments through annual appropriations.  That is $3 billion in our tax dollars sent to multi-billion dollar private corporations!  And the Treasury refuses to explain the decision or the payments!!  Treasury won't explain decision to make $3 billion in Obamacare payments.

One last thing, which is the worst recent news of all.  Today the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a non-elected federal government agency, voted three-to-two to reclassify broadband Internet as a common carrier service under Title II of the Communications Act.  The Internet is not and was not broken or in any need of any governmental regulations, yet the federal government indulged in a massive power grab to regulate the Internet and freedom of speech. It may be the biggest power grab in modern American history!  Government Internet (Department of the Internet) means de facto censorship of speech and expression and and the final nullification of the 1st amendment. The one last bastion of freedom is now being heavily regulated by the federal government. This blog cannot have genuine freedom of expression and speech with a governmental monitor, a bureaucratic overseer, and a tyrannical censor mastermind looking over my shoulder ready to shut me down due to the anti-government content (or any other reason). Read this article:  FCC Net Neutrality rules worst example of government intervention... ever.  

Obama has his pen and his phone and is playing catch me if you can.  He is going all out usurping the constitution and no one can keep up with him, especially not the courts and certainly not Congress.  Hell, Congress funds everything Obama does, no questions asked. In fact, Congress already announced they will never impeach Obama and will never shut down the government, so they have castrated themselves with their only weapons (those are really the only two weapons Congress possesses).  Obama is even daring Congress to take a vote on Obama's illegal and unconstitutional actions:  Obama Dares GOP: Go Ahead, ‘Have a Vote on Whether What I’m Doing Is Legal…I Will Veto’.  

Catch me if you can....Obama has his middle finger up and extended toward Congress and the American people!  The United States is far into a post constitutional era of lawlessness. America is beyond a constitutional crisis and is no longer a Republic.  The sacred document that binds 'we the people' has been trampled upon, violated, and spat upon by Obama and Congress.  Tyranny is now upon us...a despotic president with his nose in the air and his middle finger waved at everyone but himself.  The fundamental transformation from a Constitutional Republic to soft tyranny to all out dictatorship is well is happening right before our very eyes!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Jeb Bush Doesn't Love America Either...

Rudi Giuliani was absolutely correct when he said Obama doesn't love America.  I've been saying this for a very long time.  One doesn't love something when they want to fundamentally change it.  For instance, I love my wife and kids, but I would never say I want to fundamentally change them.  Synonyms for "fundamental change" are radical change, essential change, or central change.  If you truly loved something, would you really want to radically change that thing?  If you did, you really do not love what that thing is, otherwise, you would not wish to radically change it.  This is not semantics, it is plain English.  Obama is a radical Marxist who does not love America, therefore he wants to fundamentally change Americans and radically change America.  He campaigned on that very message and that is what he has done over the past six years.

You know who else wants to radically change America?  None other than the Fox News christened RINO Republican, Jeb Bush!  Mark Krikorian from the National Review wrote a great piece of how Obama is the first post-American president and Jeb Bush wants to be the second post-American president.  The morons at Fox News have already anointed Jeb Bush as the Republican Party nominee for president for 2016.  He will lose just like the losers McCain and Romney...

Per Krikorian's article, Jeb’s dissatisfaction with America, and desire to change it to be more to his liking, is a theme he returns to often. Jeb’s enthusiasm for immigration is not only a positive judgment on the immigrants themselves, but it is also a negative judgment on native-born Americans.  Some examples of Jeb Bush's discontent of Americans and his pro-immigration rhetoric are provided below:
“They’re more entrepreneurial, they set up more business, they buy more homes, they’re more family-oriented, they work in jobs that in many cases are jobs that have gone unfilled” (See video at 39:40
“I think Detroit would do real well if we started repopulating it with young, aspirational people.” (See video at 45:20 
“We have people that mope around thinking ‘my life is bad, my children will not have the same opportunities that I had.’ What a horrible notion in America, the most optimistic of places, and I think an economically driven immigration plan . . . would lift our spirits up dramatically.” (See video at 19:25) 
“The one way that we can rebuild the demographic pyramid is to fix a broken immigration system. . . . If we do this, we will rebuild our country in a way that will allow us to grow. If we don’t do it, we will be in decline, because the productivity of this country is dependent on young people that are equipped to be able to work hard….Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans over the last 20 years. Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families and they have more intact families.” (See video at 12:25)
According to Jeb Bush and Barack Hussein Obama, Americans are defective to the core and Americans need to be fundamentally and radically changed and be fixed by big Marxist government. 

Neither of these two imbeciles have any respect for Americans or America!  Neither have any respect for the entrepreneurial, aspirational, optimistic, hardworking, self-made, fertile, family loving, and America loving native-born Americans that comprise America and have made America the greatest nation in history!  Moreover, legal immigrants (i.e. those that came to America through the front door and legally) are and were instrumental in making America the greatest nation in history.  

Read the above quotes carefully (or watch the videos)...does Jeb Bush sound like a man that loves America?  Does Jeb Bush sound like a man that loves and respects native-born Americans?  Does it not appear to you that Jeb Bush favors immigrants (legal or illegal) over native-born Americans? 

On that note, it appears to me that neither Obama nor Jeb Bush love America...Rudi Giuliani was only half correct...this is more class warfare, racism, and resentment, but this time it is coming from Jeb Bush AND Barack Hussein Obama, both radicals in their own parties.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

American Democracy: A Bogus Scam

I recently indicated I am done with voting.  There is no reason to vote at all, including in federal, state, and local elections and especially town meetings.  It appears to me voting is a pointless and absurd endeavor given the egregious outcomes time and time again.  I will not participate in this democracy any longer.  It is a sham and a confidence game and I will no longer put my efforts into voting or participating in the bogus and false hoax that calls itself American democracy.  Read below if you want to know why....

The Republicans surrender and cave in every time.  Republicans are feckless and useless as an opposing party to the Democratic Party.  Republicans are refusing to repeal ObamaCare and Republicans are refusing to reverse Obama's illegal amnesty even with majorities in the House and Senate (despite their overt campaign promises).  Congress has fully funded the ObamaCare law since its passing and will soon fully fund Obama's illegal executive amnesty. Total capitulation and total surrender by the clueless and feckless Republican Party.  They capitulate every time and they are a disgrace to constitutional principles.  Anyone who claims to be a Republican should be ashamed of themselves for being a part of this useless party!    

I just finished reading this story:  Mitch McConnell Announces a Vote on Clean DHS Funding Is Coming and this story:  MCCONNELL CAVES, BUT REID WANTS FULL SURRENDER FROM BOEHNER AS WELL.

I'm not surprised at all.  Total surrender!  Total capitulation!  Total lies!  A federal judge deemed Obama's executive order on amnesty to be unconstitutional and unlawful and illegal, yet the feckless and useless Republicans will fully fund the illegal order and uphold Obama's usurping of the constitution, thereby also breaching the constitution themselves. The judge's copious and constitutional decision is included here.  The Republicans have everything on their side and yet they still cave in to the Democrats!

So, I'm out forever.  This American democracy project is a bogus scam and I refuse to participate...


Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Celestial Teapot and my Atheism

Have you ever read Bertrand Russell's parable of the celestial teapot?  I copied it below since I find it a really amusing parable, especially with all the religious wars going on right now between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism (all three of these religions share the same god):
Many orthodox people speak as though it were the business of skeptics to disprove received dogmas rather than of dogmatists to prove them. This is, of course, a mistake. If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.
Doesn't that sum up your religious beliefs?  You are worshiping that invisible celestial teapot that revolves around the sun between Earth and Mars and you claim it cannot be disproved by anything empirical or scientific.  And this is indoctrinated in everyone every Sunday by way of 1000-4000 year old man-made books that affirm the teapot's existence.  And the teapot also cares about you and your personal situation and outcome.  This celestial teapot is omniscient, omnipotent, and benevolent and will absolve all your wicked sins (sins defined by the teapot).  If you die on behalf of this celestial teapot, you can have sex with virgin girls. If you become a cannibal and eat the flesh and drink the blood of this celestial teapot's son, you will bask for all eternity in heavenly bliss.  The teapot also impregnated a virgin on Earth who gave birth to the teapot's son in human form.  You can pray to the teapot and ask for special favors from the teapot.  People congregate around the teapot and special teapot leaders are designated to speak on behalf of the teapot (we call them priests, mullahs, rabbis, and popes).  You must listen to them as they speak the sacred word of the teapot.  You should also donate money to the teapot congregation and these congregations will be treated honorably in society as if they have special knowledge not possessed by any other human (they are also tax exempt).  Finally, if you deny or doubt the existence of this celestial teapot, you will be damned to burn in hell for all eternity.  Now that sums it up nicely...

I am an atheist.  You are an atheist too since you do not believe in Zeus, Apollo, Amon Ra, Mithras, Baal, Thor, Wotan, the Golden Calf, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and the celestial teapot!  I just go one god further than you, but we are all atheists since we all deny the existence of some god from the past (and there have been thousands).

As an atheist, I believe there is nothing beyond the natural, physical world, no supernatural creative intelligence lurking behind the observable universe, no soul that outlasts the biological body and no miracles (except in the sense of natural phenomena that we don’t yet understand).  It is very liberating to proclaim this and live this way.  It is also somewhat comical to look back at my past beliefs and have a good laugh at my own naivety and ignorance....

I encourage you to take the leap toward atheism (it is not a leap of faith) and liberate your own mind and consciousness once and for all.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Open Letter to the Somerset K-8 School Committee

I find the trivial bickering on the K-8 School Committee to be juvenile, anti-education, anti-student, and ultimately dysfunctional.

I read yesterday's article in The Spectator (no link to the article is online yet) about how one committee person felt "bullied" by the Chairman and then called a motion to replace the Chairman with another committee person (a motion that was, in fact, seconded).  One was "upset" about criticism and observed "disrespect" of another committee person.  One committee person has allegedly been "yelled at inappropriately at meetings" and apparently felt "nervous to speak about certain issues."  Then there was covert campaigning by another committee person to remove the Chairman via emails and text messages sent privately to other committee persons (that seems unscrupulous to me, by the way).  There is an apparent lack of trust among committee members and allegations of "character assassination" were hurled out against one-another.  Rude, sarcastic, and snarky comments have been made at public meetings and this K-8 committee is beginning to look allot like past K-8 school committees. Only one committee person has stayed out of the fray and has remained on task.

Here we have five elected officials and at least four of them cannot get along with one-another to the point of being completely dysfunctional.  Voters put this board in place to stop dysfunction and to open up lines of communications, yet we now have more of the same useless bickering, name-calling, and defective leadership that Somerset had from year's past. It is more of the same juvenile behavior just with a new cast of characters.  And who suffers again?  The students in the K-8 district and the taxpayers that pay the bills are the one's suffering the most... 

I notice one over-arching and disturbing trend about elected school committees in general (K-8 and the region).  They very rarely talk about education and the students.  They seem to be mired in the minutia of processes and procedures and details and don't ever poke their heads up to see the forest.  Rarely are there spirited discussions about education and educating our kids. They especially love to discuss budgetary minutia (usually the lack of sufficient money), but true spirited debate about education and students rarely happens in school committee meetings.  I find that very sad and also very aggravating.  The town confiscates my money which goes mostly toward the school department, yet the school committee in charge is dysfunctional, snarky, underhanded, and only talks about money, money, money (and they always need more money).  As an example, the front page of The Spectator was about the $19 million school budget...!!!

I'm sorry, but you folks on the K-8 school committee ran for office and said you could do the job courageously and effectively.  You especially said you could do the job with integrity! You chose to run for the position, you campaigned, you made promises, and you were elected by the majority of Somerset voters.  If you can't do the job, it is time to resign your post immediately.  That may sound a bit harsh, but there is way too much at stake here in Somerset for the nonsense going on with this K-8 school committee.  If you decide you can do the job, then it is time to stand up and be an education leader and not an adolescent cry baby...


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Clueless & Feckless Republicans

The Republicans took over the House of Representatives in 2010 then took over the Senate in 2014.  Republicans now control a Congressional majority in both chambers.  They assumed control, in part, by promising voters and constituents they would completely repeal ObamaCare and reverse Obama's executive amnesty.  They said they needed a majority in Congress in order to "govern" and the only way for ObamaCare to be repealed and Obama's illegal executive amnesty to be reversed was for voters to give them the majority in Congress. And that is what voters across this nation did...

Now that they have the majority, what are Republicans doing?  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!   Republicans are refusing to repeal ObamaCare and Republicans are refusing to reverse the illegal amnesty.  Congress has fully funded the ObamaCare law since its passing and will fully fund Obama's illegal executive amnesty.  Total capitulation and total surrender by the clueless and feckless Republican Party.  

Ann Coulter hit the nail squarely on the head with her GOP DOUBLE-CROSSING TRAITORS piece published today.  Republicans are the party of surrender, the party of lies, the party of deceit, and the party of manipulation.  Even Senator Marco Rubio is surrendering to Obama's illegal whims:  Rubio: Homeland Security funding must continue despite immigration fight.  Only a handful of real Republicans are maintaining their stand against Obama, Senator Ted Cruz in particular:   Ted Cruz: White House ‘Counterfeiting Immigration Documents’.  

If Republican majorities in the House and Senate refuse to stop Obama from issuing illegal and criminal immigrants Social Security cards and three years of back welfare payments and refuse to repeal ObamaCare in totality, there is no reason to vote Republican ever again. 

In fact, there is no reason to vote at all.  For me, this is the death knell for my voting participation.  I may never vote again...why bother?  It appears to me voting is a pointless and absurd endeavor given the outcomes at hand.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Criminal Immigrants and In-State Tuition Subsidies

Just read this article and I wanted to puke out my Cheerios:  Bill would give in-state public college tuition rate to illegal immigrants

Just a little background...I have very close family members that were not born in America. My family members came to America lawfully through the front door.  They didn't cross the border illegally.  They legally obtained their United States citizenship by filling out lengthy immigration forms, paying $700-$800 in fees, taking the citizenship test in Boston, and then were legally sworn in as American citizens by a federal judge inside Faneuil Hall.  My family members worked hard in America, paid their taxes, supported themselves, supported their families, and never once took a dime from the federal or state governments.  Their kids put themselves through parochial school and college by working 30-40 hours per week while in high school and while in college.  There was no assistance from the government to help them with parochial or college tuition, they were on their own.  They simply worked hard, made some money, and put themselves through high school and college by their own labor. Their parents worked at Fall River factories, working overtime, and supported their families with no help from the government.  There was no entitlement, if you wanted college, you had to pay for it out of your own money.  All of these people are now highly successful and did it entirely on their own with no governmental assistance!!!

I find it disgraceful and contemptible that Massachusetts Liberal Democrats like Rep. Denise Provost (D- Sommerville) and Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Jamaica Plain) would push legislation that would allow illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, and people here illegally and criminally to get in-state tuition accommodations at public universities and colleges.  I also find it disgraceful and contemptible that Sen. Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport) would not be vehemently against such legislation versus saying "I have not seen it yet".  What a stupid quote from our stupid State Senator.  

I would expect my state representatives {Rep. Patricia Haddad (D-Somerset) and Sen. Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport)} to be vehemently against any legislation in any form that would grant illegal aliens and illegal immigrants (i.e. criminals) access to in-state tuition at public universities and colleges!  I realize the two of them are two peas in a Marxist/Socialist pod, but would it be too much to ask that they simply not support this disgraceful and contemptible legislation and make that pronouncement to their constituents now?  It probably is too much to ask...

All these Marxist/Socialist politicians on Beacon Hill are trying to ride the Marxist coattails of Barack Hussein Obama, who has systematically and unlawfully dismantled immigration laws since 2009.  If you need to see a timeline of how Obama has done this dismantlement, see SEN. SESSIONS RELEASES LENGTHY TIMELINE OF OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S DISMANTLING OF IMMIGRATION LAW.

There seems to be some trouble with Barack Hussein Obama's recent usurpation of the Constitution.  A Federal judge has issued a temporary injunction on Obama's illegal executive amnesty order from this past November.  The federal court judge in Texas has issued a Temporary Restraining Order preventing implementation of Obama’s Immigration executive action.  Of course, the White House will appeal the injunction, but finally the courts are recognizing the lawlessness of Barack Hussein Obama!  If only Congress would recognize the lawlessness of Barack Hussein Obama!


Monday, February 16, 2015

An Antisemitic Muslim in the White House

The Islamic Nazi genocidal terrorists have announced they will conquer Rome, Italy (meaning the Roman Catholic Church) as they beheaded 21 Christian Egyptians on the Mediterranean shores of Libya.  The pathetic scum leader said the following:  
All praise is due to Allah the strong and mighty and may blessings and peace be upon the ones sent by the sword as a mercy to all the worlds.  Oh people, recently you have seen us on the hills of Al-Sham and Dabiq’s plain, chopping off the heads that have been carrying the cross for a long time, and today, we are on the south of Rome, on the land of Islam, Libya, sending another message.  All crusaders: safety for you will be only wishes especially if you are fighting us all together. Therefore we will fight you all together. The sea you have hidden Sheikh Osama bin Laden’s body in, we swear to Allah we will mix it with your blood.  And we will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission, the promise of our Prophet, peace be upon him. 

Rome, Italy is about 625 miles from Tripoli, Libya:

These Islamic Muslim cockroaches must be incinerated by the tens of thousands.  They have decapitated babies, burned people alive in cages, sodomized children (including 3,4, and 5 year old girls), gang raped children (10 Islamic Muslim men raping one pre-pubescent girl at the same time), forced 10 year old girls to be sex slaves to Muslim men, buried people alive in mass graves, tortured in the most sadistic and non-human ways, maimed, and killed.  It does not matter if the infidel is an innocent 6 month old crying baby or an 80 year old harmless elderly person.  If you do not think and act exactly like them, you are an infidel and must be killed.  

These Islamic Muslim cockroaches are sub-human scum and must be annihilated and obliterated by any means we have available, including nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, and biological weapons.  If we do not obliterate them now, they will obliterate us in the future.  Once they get their grubby Islamic hands on these types of weapons, they will not think twice about using them against the world and especially against the United States. The Islamic State is allied with Iran and China and they are America's mortal enemies in this World War.

America, World War III is here.  America's very survival depends on what America does right now. America must stop this Islamic State now, or we will suffer the grave consequences of inaction, appeasement, and capitulation in the near future.  These scumbags are likely already in America right now and are ready to strike us at the time of their choosing.  Our sovereign borders are wide open and we have no idea who or what is coming across the border or who is already here ready to commit mass murder and mayhem inside of America.  You can thank Democrats and Obama for that infiltration...

But, alas, America has an Antisemitic Muslim in the White House who seeks to appease Islam and take no real decisive action against America's enemies.  It is all part of his insipid 'fundamentally changing of America' world view....


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Investigations of a Dog

I was recently reading Franz Kafka's "Investigations of a Dog" (written in September to October of 1922).  The unnamed narrator is a dog and remembers a number of episodes from his past, in which his puppy version used logic, scientific, and rational methods to resolve basic questions of existence that most of the puppy's peers were content to leave unanswered or unexplored.  Many of the seemingly absurd descriptions employed by the dog express its misapprehension or confusion about the world he lives in, centering on the other dog's apparent inability to realize and acknowledge the existence of their human masters.

Often times, Kafka uses animals or insects as the protagonists in his short stories.  The protagonists are, of course, stand ins for humans and really stand for the absurd human condition relative to their environment.

This is a short story that needs to be read several times in order to grasp the full meaning. At some points in the story, Kafka lulls you into a sleepy stupor of the dog's careful investigations of his surroundings and suddenly Kafka slaps you in the face with something profound.  Early in the story, the puppy wonders why he is different than the other puppy's around him:  "Why do I not do as the others: live in harmony with my people and accept in silence whatever disturbs the harmony, ignoring it as a small error in the great account, always keeping in mind the things that bind us happily together, not those that drive us again and again, as though by sheer force, out of our social circle?"  

The puppy also makes observations about how the older dogs have simply given up the investigation into life's mysteries, "But many things that are disposed of in the minds of grownups are not yet settled in the minds of the young."

The passage that really slapped me in the face out of my reading stupor was the below passage where the dog becomes philosophical:

Now one might say: “You complain about your fellow dogs, about their silence on crucial questions; you assert that they know more than they admit, more than they will allow to be valid, and that this silence, the mysterious reason for which is also, of course, tacitly concealed, poisons existence and makes it unendurable for you, so that you must either alter it or have done with it; that may be; but you are yourself a dog, you have also the dog knowledge; well, bring it out, not merely in the form of a question, but as an answer. If you utter it, who will think of opposing you? The great choir of dogdom will join in as if it had been waiting for you. Then you will have clarity, truth, avowal, as much of them as you desire. The roof of this wretched life, of which you say so many hard things, will burst open, and all of us, shoulder to shoulder, will ascend into the lofty realm of freedom. And if we should not achieve that final consummation, if things should become worse than before, if the whole truth should be more insupportable than the half-truth, if it should be proved that the silent are in the right as the guardians of existence, if the faint hope that we still possess should give way to complete hopelessness, the attempt is still worth the trial, since you do not desire to live as you are compelled to live.

I don't even know what to say about the above paragraph.  It is more of what Kafka doesn't say versus what he actually says.  It is what is left out there to think about and ponder.  What about the silence of mankind?  Do we know more than we admit about our beliefs or the lack of beliefs?  Do we utter the nothingness that is our fate?  Should we remain silent or should we "bring it out"?  Will this bring us to the realm of freedom and will others join in?  Kafka doesn't say, but leaves it out there for us to think about.  He does say the "trial" is worth it since we do not desire to live the way we are "compelled to live" here on earth.  Of course, I'm not doing it sufficient justice...there is so much here and there is so much not here....

The investigative dog then begins to look into the big initial error that is his demise...the "original sin" or the dog's "decisive...fundamental error" that he is certain he made and what has caused all of this world of falsehood that he has discovered by his investigations: Recently I have taken more and more to casting up my life, looking for the decisive, the fundamental, error that I must surely have made; and I cannot find it. And yet I must have made it, for if I had not made it and yet were unable by the diligent labor of a long life to achieve my desire, that would prove that my desire is impossible, and complete hopelessness must follow.

Near the end, Kafka's dog having starved extremely (like Kafka's A Hunger Artist), reflects on his life as an older dog, his life of investigation, his extreme fast, and contemplating suicide as the only way out of this absurdity.  It is the hopelessness and absurdity of his life that has been discovered and the only way out is to kill oneself.  The dog is starved of knowledge of his position:  For it was clear that nobody troubled about me, nobody beneath the earth, on it, or above it; I was dying of their indifference; they said indifferently: “He is dying,” and it would actually come to pass. And did I not myself assent? Did I not say the same thing? Had I not wanted to be forsaken like this? Yes, brothers, but not so as to perish in that place, but to achieve truth and escape from this world of falsehood, where there is no one from whom you can learn the truth, not even from me, born as I am a citizen of falsehood. Perhaps the truth was not so very far off, and I not so forsaken, therefore, as I thought; or I may have been forsaken less by my fellows than by myself, in yielding and consenting to die.

Perhaps I'm all wrong about this great story.  Perhaps is not this deep or perhaps it is infinitely deeper.  Perhaps there are a million interpretations and I'm all wrong.  Go read it yourself and see what you think....


Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Polemic on Fundamentally Changing America

Fundamentally changing America is a tall order, but Barack Hussein Obama is well on his way in accomplishing this lofty goal in just six years. Congress is doing absolutely nothing to stop him; in fact, they are running alongside of him and funding everything he wants and desires.  The Supreme Court is also there to offer their assistance in sanctioning all the fundamental changes that need sanctioning as constitutional. 

In order to want and desire to fundamentally change America, one must dislike the existing America and the citizens that make up the country called America.  Clearly, Obama dislikes America and Americans so much that he wants to fundamentally change it and us.  Why else would you want to fundamentally change America?  The whole notion presupposes that America is not set-up correctly in the first instance, thereby needing to be fundamentally changed.  

In the first instance, long held American principles such as freedom, liberty, private property rights, free speech, sovereign borders, privacy, laissez-faire capitalism, freedom of the press, domestic security, success, due process, states' rights, freedom of religion, and a limited Republic form of federal government are vilified and demonized.  Since those are the foundations of America as documented in the United States Constitution, those are the things that must be fundamentally changed in order to effectuate the fundamental change. To fundamentally change America Obama must fundamentally change Americans. That is exactly what Obama has done over the past six years.  All of the long held principles of America that I have listed here (and many more that I haven't listed) have been disparaged and condemned by Barack Hussein Obama and the radical left of America.  

Obama accomplishes many of his fundamental changes by way of the 4th branch of the government, the massive regulatory branch.  This is the branch of government with absolutely no accountability to the citizens of America.  I'm am speaking of the EPA, FCC, IRS, FEC, and the many other abbreviated regulatory administrations and commissions within the federal government.  This 4th branch, the regulatory branch, has tentacles everywhere and has more power over America than the other three branches combined. Congress doesn't control this branch and they, as a body politic, have funded the bureaucracy since time immemorial.  Congresses of the past and present have created the 4th branch and funded them in totality without batting an eye. This is all done outside of the Constitution with little to no oversight by Congress.  Obama can and does wield massive and tyrannical power by way of the regulatory branch.

And now Obama is after nationalizing the Internet and curbing free speech and free press. The FCC, controlled by Obama and the radical extreme left, will issue 332 pages of regulations of the Internet, but it won’t be released to the public until after the commission votes on its implementation later this month.  The regulations are full of broadband fees and taxes and the ultimate goal is to nationalize and regulate the Internet's content.  Regulating the content of the Internet is regulating free speech and free press.  Oddly, the phony and anti-liberty ACLU is silent on this civil liberty confiscation by the government.  These "net neutrality" (a complete misnomer) rules and regulations are simply a multi-billion dollar revenue source at best and a complete usurping of dear freedoms from Americans at worst. Nationalization of the Internet is a government power grab, just like ObamaCare was a nationalization of health care and a power grab. Some of the more recent articles on this subject are provided below:

Republican FCC Commissioner Slams ‘Obama’s 332-Page Plan To Regulate The Internet’


FCC Commissioner: ‘Unprecedented Involvement Of Executive Branch In Our Decision-Making’

Not to add fuel to the fire, but did you know IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told Congress on Wednesday that even illegal immigrants who didn't pay taxes will be able to claim back-refunds once they get Social Security numbers under Obama’s illegal and unconstitutional deportation amnesty?  It is true; your tax dollars are going to illegal aliens who never paid a damn dime in taxes.  These illegals will get a refund while we working Americans pay through the nose on their behalf.  Read all the gory details in the below article:

IRS to pay back-refunds to illegal immigrants who didn’t pay taxes

One more thing since we are on the subject of losing freedoms, governmental power grabs, and the IRS.  Did you know, for the first time ever, real federal tax revenues topped $1 trillion in the first four months of the fiscal year (October through January) according to data released Wednesday by the U.S Treasury.  Federal tax revenues hit a record $1,046,224,000,000 for fiscal year 2015 through January, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement, but the federal government still ran a $194,209,000,000 deficit during that time.  In the month of January, the federal government ran a bigger deficit than last year.  The January deficit was up 6.2% compared to last year at this time!  More details are provided below:

First Time Ever: Federal Tax Revenues Top $1 Trillion Thru January; Gov't Still Runs $194B Deficit

US budget deficit running 6.2 percent higher than last year

Remember that movie quote from Network (1976) when Howard Beale said "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"  The late Jerry Williams (WRKO) in Boston used to play that clip all the time to rouse his radio audience.  That is where I'm at now.  I really can't take much more of this.  Something has to give or there is going to be a revolution.  Beale also said "Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone."  Obama won't leave us alone. They are after us until they gain full control over us.  We are being fundamentally changed forever and all our freedoms are being taken from us, never to return again.  We are being forced into their Utopia and we have no choice or say in the matter.  We are powerless!! Obama's Utopia is my is my nightmare...

What will it take to stop this madness?


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

An Irresponsible K-8 School Budget...

The only way to describe my reaction to the Fiscal Year 2016 K-8 preliminary school budget is "dumbfounded".  I'm dumbfounded by the arrogance, the recklessness, and the irresponsibility of this school administration's request for an additional $927,034 or 5.3%.

We need to step back here and recall not-so-distant events from just months ago.  If you remember correctly, Somerset voters appropriated $17,919,878 at the May 19, 2014 Annual Town Meeting.  This was the exact amount the school department requested voters appropriate to run the K-8 school district for Fiscal Year 2015.  Voters didn't come up with the figure; it was the school administration that touted the figure as accurate. Administrators and elected politicians claimed this was an appropriate and accurate amount to run the K-8 school district in Fiscal Year 2015.  Voters approved of the $17,919,878 amount and that was that...

Then, K-8 school department administrators discovered more than $460,000 in unpaid bills from 2013-2014.  Somerset called a Special Town Meeting to order on December 1, 2014 and several of those warrant articles requested the Town voters to appropriate additional money to pay the unpaid bills from 2013-2014.  Most of these articles failed to pass the 90% threshold for appropriation, so those bills are still unpaid (as far as I know).

Then, a few weeks later, K-8 school department administrators discovered a budget deficit of $850,000 from the appropriated $17,919,878 budget as of day one of Fiscal Year 2015 (July 1, 2014). The $850,000 didn't include the aforementioned $460,000 in unpaid bills from 2013-2014, this was a whole new budget deficit within the current fiscal year.

Then, there were a series of school committee meetings to discuss closing the $850,000 budget deficit.  I attended the meetings.  There was discussion about layoffs (especially in the music department), classroom closures, furlough days, revamped scheduling, SPED changes, and ending the Spectrum program.  Somehow, someway, the $850,000 budget deficit was reduced to zero dollars without eliminating any personnel.  In fact, positions were created.  The K-8 school administration eliminated $850,000 in deficits by a single furlough day (approved by the union), revamped schedules, returning several SPED students to Somerset, ending Spectrum, and the school committee forgoing their stipend.  Miraculously, the $850,000 budget deficit disappeared with no impact on staffing and really no noticeable impact in the K-8 district.  So, in essence, the school district was back to square and operating within the appropriated sum of $17,919,878 (by their own admission).

Then, last evening, the K-8 school administration put forth their preliminary Fiscal Year 2016 school budget of $19,971,912.  The budget is a whopping $927,034 or 5.3% increase from last fiscal year.  In this preliminary budget, the school department proposes to hire more staff, especially more administrators.  The budget calls for adding many new staff positions, including six therapists and assistant therapists for SPED, one psychologist, one English as a second language position, one SPED paraprofessional, two psychology interns, and a new computer technologist.  Most of the new budget increases are due to the additional staff (84% of the increase is for salaries). The administration also wants to add 250 Chromebooks, two new servers, and increase the technology budget dramatically.

Given Somerset's dire financial situation, I find this K-8 budget proposal to be entirely irresponsible, reckless, ill-considered, and capricious.  The audacity of this administration to force teachers to take a furlough day unpaid, and then propose to hire more staff the following year is arrogant and derelict!  The rashness of claiming to be able to run the district with $17,919,878 (they eliminated the deficit, remember?), but demanding more staff and administration the next year is alarming and disturbing, especially given Somerset's bleak economic future. This district's administration is on a completely different page than average Somerset taxpayers.  Do they not understand the current economic situation in Somerset?  Have they forgotten the significant revenue shortfalls on the near horizon?

I am truly dumbfounded by this administration's arrogance, recklessness, and irresponsibility to the Somerset taxpayer.  


Monday, February 9, 2015

'Climategate' Fraud and Somerset

How does it make you feel that the government shut down Montaup and Brayton Point power plants based on lies, fraud, data manipulation, hype, hysteria, propaganda, and criminality?  It doesn't feel good to be duped by politicians and the mainstream media, does it....

As I sit here on this snowy Monday morning and contemplate going to the Workshop slated to study future uses for power plants scheduled for tomorrow night, I wonder if people in this community realize these power plants have been shuttered based on fraudulent and criminal manipulation of temperature data by government-paid "scientists".  When we step back for a moment, this really does begin to look like one of the biggest scientific scandals of all time.  Yet, it is a scandal that is ruining my hometown of Somerset where I've lived all my life and decided to raise my family.

The entire hype and hysteria of climate change and global warming rested upon a false premise that the earth was warming directly due to human fossil fuel burning.  Yet the warming concoction was accomplished by a systematic adjustment of temperatures to show the earth as having warmed, when in reality, no warming occurred.  An entire cadre of masterminds, professional planners, advocacy groups, environmentalists, media talking heads, and politicians were erected over the past 30 years to neutralize the scientific opposition to the global warming religion and inject major political and economic responses with massive economic and social consequences.  Some of those massive economic and social consequences are being felt right here in Somerset, Massachusetts with the closing of Montaup and Brayton Point power.  The whole "science" (term used loosely here) is based on lies, fraud, data manipulation, hype, hysteria, and propaganda.  

We only need to look at some very recent articles on this "Climategate" scandal...this pseudo-science fraud that has been promulgated and perpetrated by alleged "scientists" and thrust upon us by fraudsters and charlatans, mostly of the liberal persuasion:  The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever  and Hottest year ever? Skeptics question revisions to climate data and Climategate, the sequel: How we are STILL being tricked with flawed data on global warming.  

Our very own State Representative Patricia Haddad is a devout environmentalist and a vocal advocate for the lies and fraud of global warming and climate change.  She has been working for many years to satisfy the environmental lobby and shutter Montaup and Brayton Point in her hometown.  In fact, all of Somerset's State and Federal elected representatives are devout environmentalists and vocal advocates for the lies and fraud of global warming and climate change.

I applaud the author of this letter to the editor Make your voice heard on power plant reuse. The author is correct to "focus his comments on power generation as the most profitable and reliable re-use" of Montaup and Brayton Point.  Yet, the properties are privately owned and current laws and regulations prohibit profitable operation of these sites for power generation with any fossil fuel; including coal, gas, or oil.  Whatever is said at tomorrow's meeting is just for pomp and circumstance since no one at the meeting has any standing to do anything of any consequence to those two power plant properties.  Clearly, attending that meeting is an exercise in is an absurd proposition and pointless, so I will not be attending (especially knowing the big hypocrite, Patricia Haddad, will be in attendance).

It is a damn shame that voters in Somerset don't familiarize themselves with actual facts about this pseudo-science of global warming and climate change instead of being led by the nose by politicians, bureaucrats, and the talking head media.  If voters would just take a few hours to read some of the publications of Professor Richard Lindzen, a Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and now a Distinguished Senior Fellow for the Cato Institute's Center for The Study of Science.  If you want to learn about the origin of this fake and phony science, I recommend reading Lindzen's Global Warming:  The Origin and Nature of the Alleged Scientific Consensus.  I also recommend Lindzen's Reflections on Rapid Response to Unjustified Climate Alarm and Understanding The IPCC Climate Assessment just so you can get a flavor for the politics involved and the liberal's clear and present intent for power and control...


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Capitalism vs. Socialism

Americans have abandoned the basic principle that made America the greatest society in the history of the world.  That principle is freedom and freedom alone.  The freedom of the individual...the sovereign individual (the singular person).

The scope of government must be limited.  The major function of government must be to protect freedom both from the enemies outside America and from our fellow-American citizens within America. Government must preserve law and order, enforce private contracts, and to foster competitive markets.  Government must exist to protect individual freedoms...that is the sole purpose of government.

Government must be dispersed.  Local government ahead of county government, county government ahead of state government, state government ahead of federal government, and federal government ahead of world government.  Dispersion versus centralization.

We must take the freedom of the individual as our ultimate goal in judging all government arrangements, including economic and political arrangements.  Freedom is a value in the sense that it has to do with the interrelations among people....individual people (the singular person).

One aspect of freedom of the individual and government is whether government is organized as top-down versus the bottom-up model.  Another way of saying it is central planning and control versus private markets...more succinctly...socialism versus capitalism.  History tells us that increases in economic freedom have gone hand in hand with increases in political and civil freedom and have led to increased prosperity.  Competitive laissez-faire capitalism and freedom have been historically inseparable.

At the core, there are only two ways of coordinating the economic activities of millions of people.  One is the centralized government using coercion (via taxes, regulations, and laws) and the other is the voluntary cooperation of individuals better known as laissez-faire capitalism (laissez-faire capitalism allows both parties to an economic transaction to mutually benefit).  The former leads to governmental tyranny (centralization) and the later leads to individual freedom (laissez-faire).

If you cherish individual freedom, your sovereign freedom of your singular person, you must cherish and embrace laissez-faire capitalism and stand opposed to government central planning and socialism.  Unfortunately, Americans have summarily abandoned laissez-faire capitalism and freedom in favor of top-down, iron-fisted, centralized, leviathan government. America will need a revolution to return to freedom as we have drifted far off course....


Friday, February 6, 2015

Somerset Deserves It!

Liberal Democrat voters in the region and especially in Somerset undoubtedly deserve the high electricity prices and electricity shortfalls that are upon us now.  It is the Liberal Democrat politicians on Beacon Hill and Capitol Hill and in the White House that Somerset voters have supported and elected time and time again which has caused the extremely high electricity prices and the shortfall of electricity supply.  

The blame is squarely on Liberal Democrats and the voters that vote them into high office. 

If you voted for any one of the following Liberal Democrat politicians at any time in your voting life, then you own the blame:  Patricia Haddad, Michael Rodrigues, Deval Patrick, Elizabeth Warren, Ed Markey, Joe Kennedy III, Barack Hussein Obama or anyone with a big "D" next to their name, then you are solely responsible for the extremely high electricity prices and the electricity shortfalls we are now facing in Massachusetts and the region.  It is entirely your fault!  Don't complain; just accept the fact that you are the sole cause.  This is exactly what you voted for!  This is what you wanted!  We now have upon us the dire results of Liberal Democrat politicians being elected into office and the impact it has on society and your wallet.  Don't you like it?  Isn't this the Utopia you imagined?  Isn't this the peace, love, and joy you so desired as a Liberal Democrat?  Shouldn't we all just stand around the camp fire, join hands, and sing Kumbayah in our new Utopian society devoid of Brayton Point Power?

Unfortunately, I too must suffer the consequences of your ignorance and your Liberal Democrat politician penchant.  I too must pay these prices and live in your Utopia....Liberal misery always loves and demands company....

Allow me to remind you of my electricity prices over the past few years.  The below chart is my cost per kWh since January, 2013 until my most recent bill received January, 2015.  This is NOT my usage, it is my cost per kWh regardless of usage (whether I use 50 kWh or 1050 kWh, the rate per kWh is the same factor).  You can do the math on your own bill if you want to double check me....This is a truly ugly and disturbing trend and chart:


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Santa Claus and Mohammad...

“Islam makes very large claims for itself. In its art, there is a prejudice against representing the human form at all. The prohibition on picturing the prophet – who was only another male mammal – is apparently absolute. So is the prohibition on pork or alcohol or, in some Muslim societies, music or dancing. Very well then; let a good Muslim abstain rigorously from all these. But if he claims the right to make me abstain as well, he offers the clearest possible warning and proof of an aggressive intent.” 
                        -- Christopher Hitchens

How dare these Islamic Nazis tell me what to do with my life, my thoughts, and my deeds? These Islamic Nazis claim this man-made book (the fictitious Koran) is the 'final revelation' from god. Apparently, god spoke to an illiterate man in Saudi Arabia through an archangel and the resulting material was written down in the Koran.  Most of it appears to be plagiarized from the bible and other religions because these Muslims can't come up with an original thought or an original religion for themselves.  The man (Mohammad) that spoke to an archangel (you can't make this stuff up) tells everyone that it is to be accepted as divine revelation and those that do not accept said revelations are to be raped, beheaded, burned alive, tortured, maimed, disemboweled, skinned alive as infidels by jihadists.  That is what it says and that is what these Islamic Nazi Terrorists are doing right now throughout the world...

Of course, the bible (old and new testament) was the main idea source for the fictional Koran.  Where else would they get their crazy ideas for the pure subjugation of women as chattel, for the burning and flogging of homosexuals, for ethnic and religious cleansing, for Anti-Semitism, for religious wars, and for the genocidal eradication of all non-believers? Where else but the fictional bible?  All of this crap was already written down in the fictional bible to be plagiarized in the fictional Koran.  Muslims just re-hashed all the fairy tales in the bible into a new fairy tale called Islam, with a new head honcho named Mohammad taking the place of Jesus and Yahweh.

And you believe this crap?  You've surrendered your mind?  Your reason?  I'm sorry to tell you this, but Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny do not exist...neither does god in all of its ugly forms and iterations...


Tuesday, February 3, 2015


I have blogged about this very issue before, but it is worth repeating over and over again.

The 5.6% unemployment rate touted by Barack Hussein Obama, the mainstream media talking heads, Democrats, Republicans, and Wall Street is a BIG LIE.  

Jim Clifton, the Chairman and CEO of Gallup, wrote a great and succinct editorial titled The Big Lie: 5.6 Unemployment.  In this remarkable piece, Clifton states "There's no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie."  

As I've stated before, the only reason the unemployment rate is reported in the 'mid fives' is due to the complete collapse in the labor force participation rate!  America is at an all time low for labor participation and Americans not in the labor force is at record levels.  Nearly 100 million people in America are not in the labor force which is staggering in and of itself! But what is really staggering is the government conveniently doesn't count them as unemployed and lies about unemployment dropping to 5.6%!  As Mr. Clifton states, this is a 'big lie' that is being perpetrated on Americans by the federal government and facilitated by the mainstream media.  

I think the unemployment rate is well-over 30% if you count everyone unemployed.  Why do we accept being lied to by our elected representatives?


Monday, February 2, 2015

Tyrannical, Despotic, and Lawless President

Barack Hussein Obama took this oath of office twice, once in 2009 and once in 2013:  “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Barack Hussein Obama has never faithfully executed anything to do with this solemn oath in his six years in office.  If fact, he has done everything to usurp the Constitution and Congress and violate the oath in every way imaginable.  Congress is doing nothing to stop the President...Congress is eternally sitting with their thumbs inserted where the sun don't shine...

Enter the latest evidence:  "President Barack Obama has quietly handed out an extra 5.46 million work permits for non-immigrant foreigners who arrived as tourists, students, illegal immigrants or other types of migrants since 2009, according to federal documents released by a Freedom of Information Act request.  “The executive branch is operating a huge parallel work-authorization system outside the bounds of the [immigration] laws and limits written by Congress [and which] inevitably reduces job opportunities for Americans,” said Jessica Vaughan, the policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies, while filed the FOIA request."

Read the alarming stories below:

Obama Quietly Adds 5.46 Million Foreigners To Economy


More than 5.46 million foreign nationals received work permits from the federal government since 2009

Obama is usurping the United States Constitution at every turn. He has violated his oath of office and has committed high crimes and misdemeanors that are clearly impeachable offenses. I am simply astonished at the massive number of work permits issued by Obama outside the law and legal system established by Congress. This is illegal and criminal! This is yet another impeachable offense committed by our lawless and despotic President. These work permits are encouraging more illegal immigrants to come to America and they are putting greater strains on America's faltering economy.

And what will the Republicans in Congress do about it?  Absolutely nothing at all!!! Republicans have abandoned all their campaign promises about immigration and Obama's lawlessness.  Congress has abdicated all their powers and have sanctioned Obama's lawlessness time and time again.  We no longer live in a Republic that is governed by the people and for the people.  We are governed by a tyrannical, despotic, and lawless President and a passive and impotent Congress that allows all of it to happen right in front of their dumb faces.  

There is nowhere else to turn but to revolution against the regime in place.  Our founding fathers would encourage us to rise up and replace this government.  That is what they did and that is what we must do.  What are we waiting for?


Friday, January 30, 2015

A Disgraceful and Contemptible President

Look at our disgraceful and contemptible President!!!  Just look at him...

Barack Hussein Obama appears to be conducting an illegal taxpayer funded political smear campaign against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  America's #1 ally in the Middle East and the only democracy in the Middle East is under perpetual attack by Obama and taxpayer money is being used illegally to launch the attack!  Obama wants leftists (like him) to take over Israel so he can help along the Caliphate and Sharia Law of the Islamic Nazis genocidal cockroaches!!

As Breitbart reports: "Prime Minister Netanyahu is a courageous leader, a symbol of Israel’s strength in the face of continued threats from Iran, and Americans who support Israel deserve to know whether their President is actively working to remove him from office.  And, even more troubling, whether U.S. tax dollars are being used to fund the campaign."  More information about this is linked below:

Our disgraceful and contemptible President, Barack Hussein Obama, is closely aligning America with Islamic Nazi genocidal regimes and jettisoning relations with peaceful and democratically elected governments.

This is outrageous!  Obama is detestable and shameful and any Jew that voted for him should be ashamed of themselves before their people and their god.  

Without using expletives, I find no other adjectives to describe my hatred of this President and his overt anti-Semitism.