Day By Day

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Nice mashup for Virgin Galactic

Wonder how long before the price starts to drop to where normal humans can go? Probably not in my lifetime.


Friday, October 30, 2009

I keep saying this is the last trip of the season

Maybe this time it is. I needed to burn a week of vacation so I took this week off. mostly I moped around the house doing odds and ends, pre-winter tasks and general tasking. But I had planned on taking one day and trying my luck at some late season smallmouth. I was joined by my friend Dave and we loaded my truck and drove up to the Androscoggin River. After scouting the walk in we suited up in our waders and walked down to fish by some power lines.

The power lines from upstream.

We were fishing sinking lines with small clouser minnows. I had a few tentative hits but no real good hooks for quite a while. Then I caught a chub. Woot.

A nice shot of Dave intently working the waters.

We were leapfrogging each other working our way up the river. At one point I lost the clouser to a tree and put on this chartreuse and orange thing a local guide had cooked up. I immediately caught another chub. Woot.

Dave is still intent on the water. No fish yet BTW.

Eventually I took a break and Dave caught a small chub. Right after that he caught another only this one looked a bit different.

Dave proudly displaying his brown trout.

I had heard a rumor that trout had been stocked this past year but I had never caught one here, nor had anyone else I ever talked to.

It was a pretty day despite being a bit chilly and overcast. Afterwards we headed back to town and had a nice lunch of fish and chips washed down with some Grittys Halloween Ale. I can't complain.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

He nailed it

I think he just nailed everything that I fear about this bill. That said I think that he and the republican party are full of crap when they claim to have a plan. They didn't have a plan other than deficit spending for the 6 years they controlled the congress under Bush and since then they've done nothing that indicates to me that they have a clue, much less a plan. The Democrats are a mob, pushing us into a national healthcare protection racket, the Republicans are lost in denial of why they're sitting on the bench. I don't trust either party to do anything well.

the recession is over! the recession is over!

Or is it?
I usually don't comment on current economic events.
But the numbers today suck.
They show 3.5% annualized GDP growth, which is undeniably in and of itself good.
But the components are not good: while the cash for clunkers shows up with a +22% for consumer durable goods, nondurables are only up 2%; nonresidential investments remain firmly negative, with only residential showing as 23% increase due to the various stimulus plans. In other words, we see the stimulus growth, but it is failing to bring anything else up to speed.
Remove those two and you're firmly back into negative territory.
This means the recession really isn't over: it only looks that way. Exports were up 15%, but imports were up 16%, due to the weak dollar and strong oil prices.
The real key to understanding what is going on is that incomes remain down and tax revenue is up; wages and salaries are down, personal outlays are up, which means that the savings rate went from 5% to just over 3%. This is exactly the opposite direction these numbers should be moving in: this recession isn't over yet.
This recession isn't over. If you look at the numbers from last year, GDP is down 2.3% and investments are down 25%; looking at an index with 2005=100, investments are now at 70% of that level.
This recession won't really be over until investments are back and incomes start climbing. The US economy may have stopped digging itself into a deeper hole, but it still hasn't even taken a look at how to get out of the one it dug.
This is a stimulus-driven recovery quarter that has no stamina.
Ye gods.

I believe a real economist before I'll believe a spin master working for the man...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Theo Spark: Things we don't get in Norfolk...........

Just a coincidence?

Honduras leader's nephew killed
The nephew of the interim President of Honduras Roberto Micheletti has been found dead in what the police are calling an execution-style killing.
Enzo Micheletti's body was discovered on Sunday in woodland near Choloma, 250 km north of the capital, Tegucigalpa.
Police say his hands were tied behind his back and his body was riddled with bullets. There is no indication that his death is connected to the coup that brought his uncle to power at the end of June. The 24-year-old's body was discovered on Sunday two days after he had been reported missing.
The body of another unidentified man was found nearby.
Mr Micheletti came to power after President Manuel Zelaya was ousted in June after trying to hold a vote on whether a constituent assembly should be set up to look at rewriting the constitution.
He wants to be reinstated before 29 November elections, but the interim leaders have resisted his demands. They say Mr Zelaya was legally removed from office as he had violated the Honduran constitution.
It is not thought that the interim leader's nephew was involved in politics, but Honduras has the highest murder rate in Central America - much of it drug related.
Last year more than 7,000 people were killed.
Yeah thanks for that meaningless factoid there BBC....the thugs the White House choose to support have begun to murder. Oh yeah this really promotes the freedom agenda!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Change you can believe in

If this had happened when Bush was President the media would have made this guy a national hero, these days not so much.
When Matthew Hoh joined the Foreign Service early this year, he was exactly the kind of smart civil-military hybrid the administration was looking for to help expand its development efforts in Afghanistan.
A former Marine Corps captain with combat experience in Iraq, Hoh had also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. By July, he was the senior U.S. civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed.
But last month, in a move that has sent ripples all the way to the White House, Hoh, 36, became the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war, which he had come to believe simply fueled the insurgency.
"I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States' presence in Afghanistan," he wrote Sept. 10 in a four-page letter to the department's head of personnel. "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end."
It appears that serving his country under teH 0ne's stellar leadership has caused a crisis of confidence. How many more resignations await while Obama hits the links for another 18 holes? Things are starting to unwind; will we watch a replay of the last days of Nixon as the White house and staff become increasingly paranoid as they isolate themselves through incompetence and inaction?  

Democracy on the march!

How's this for action?
If Honduras manages to preserve its democracy despite U.S. pressure to abandon it, the tiny Central American country may wind up thanking Nicaragua's Danny Ortega, of all people.
Last week, President Ortega inadvertently provided the best defense yet of the Honduran decision this summer to remove Manuel Zelaya from the presidency. Nicaragua has a one-term limit for presidents, and Mr. Ortega's term expires in 2011. However, the Nicaraguan doesn't want to leave, and so he asked the Sandinista-controlled Supreme Court to overturn the constitutional ban on his re-election.
Last week the court's constitutional panel obliged him. The Nicaraguan press reported that the vote was held before three opposition judges could reach the chamber in time for the session. Three alternative judges, all Sandinistas, took their place and the court gave Mr. Ortega the green light. Mr. Ortega has decreed that the ruling cannot be appealed.
Our current President has sided with Ortega and Chavez against the rule of law in Honduras.  Now that Ortega has begun his coup in Nicaragua I expect that the White house and the State Department will be silent as Ortega becomes President for life.

The press and the Democrats still seem to get riled when we call our President a spineless marxist; if actions speak louder than words what words describe Obama's actions?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yeah I want these people in charge of my healthcare

Watch CBS News Videos Online

Just imagine how much will get skimmed off the top by criminals when the total bill goes from a few hundred billion to a trillion or more.

Climate Chains

I have nothing to add.

Climate Chains from Climate Chains on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lying, Liars lying

The Obama administration now claims it did not try to exclude Fox News from Thursday's round of network interviews with pay czar Ken Feinberg.   A treasury department spokesperson claimed, "There was no plot to exclude Fox News, and they had the same interview that their competitors did. Much ado about absolutely nothing".  
Yet the other networks know better and have said so
A Fox News executive told the Huffington Post Saturday that the network "absolutely" did request an interview with Obama administration "pay czar" Kenneth Feinberg and that the White House acknowledged a mistake on the part of a Treasury department staffer in failing to initially include Fox News in the round of interviews Feinberg conducted Thursday.
"Of course we requested an interview," Fox News Senior Vice President Michael Clemente told the Huffington Post.
This directly contradicts reports by the Associated Press and Talking Points Memo, both of which reported that the White House had excluded Fox News because it did not request an interview.
Whether Fox News requested an interview was irrelevant in this case, however, as the interview was conducted a pool including ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox News.
Clemente said that CBS News Washington Bureau Chief and current pool chairman Chris Isham — who did not respond to phone or e-mail requests for comment Saturday — received a call from the Treasury Department Thursday saying that Feinberg would be available to speak to all of the networks in the pool except for Fox News, and that Bloomberg would be included instead.
Clemente said that when Isham presented that scenario on a conference call with the other pool members — including Fox News — "they unanimously said, instantly, no, that's not gonna fly. Either Fox is in or none of us is doing it."
Once Isham relayed that message to Treasury, Treasury cleared it with White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, who approved Feinberg's interview with Fox News' Major Garrett.
Clemente said, however, that there was now a catch: every network would get two minutes with Feinberg instead of the previously planned five.
This administration is so messed up they can't keep their lies, err story straight...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yet another misstep in the vital war against FOX

Words cannot describe how mindnumbingly stupid a move this was on the part of the Whitehouse. Bravo for ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC for refusing to go along with this.

Windows 7 released

Mac fans and perrennial critics of Microsoft may poo poo the latest version of windows but not me. In the past couple of years I've purchased two new desktops. The first and HP Pavillion Elite came with Windows Vista Home Premium and once I removed the HP bloatware and exorcised the symantec dung off the PC it ran like a dream for me. The second a Gateway i7 based screamer also came with Windows Vista Home Premium and it was a gigantic headache. It took me two weeks to clean off most of the bloat. Even so the PC had a problem, every hour, and for 20-30 mins one of the cores went to 100% CPU utilization and it was all kernel time, which meant that the PC slowed to a stagger for the duration of the event. I pounded on google and support sites, I tried all kinds of stuff, I was so desperate I contacted Gateway support multiple times; here's a hint - they couldn't even manage to point me at the proper driver set for my PC. Multiple times they asked me to install BIOS for a different, and much much older, PC model. Gateway support is so clueless they make Dell look like a precision instrument. 'nuff said, back to windows. A buddy of mine suggested that my problems sounded similar to problems he had with Vista that were cured by the Windows 7 release candidate, which was free to download. I bought a second SATA drive and downloaded and installed the final RC kit. I set it up to dual boot Vista. I haven't run vista since. Windows 7 is everything Vista should have been. It's fast, it's smart and it frigging works on the Gateway without issues, without errors and without a hitch for the past couple of months. I love it and can't wait for my free upgrade to arrive. But don't take my word for it

William Stanek, author, Windows 7: The Definitive Guide
Favorite feature: "My favorite Windows 7 feature is not so much a single feature, rather it is a super-set of features called Windows Recovery Environment (aka Windows RE). Windows RE is a safety net that you can use to repair your computer if it fails to start. The single-best thing about Windows RE and the reason I’m such a big fan: a Windows RE partition with all the related tools is created and configured automatically as part of Windows 7 installation. This means every computer running Windows 7 has Windows RE."
Biggest shortcoming: "Asking me to name the biggest shortfall about my favorite release of the Windows desktop OS ever? Ouch, that’s tough and it’d be a let down, not a shortfall, and it’s this: another one of my favorite features is found only in the Professional and higher editions. The feature: Windows XP Mode. Another sticking point for me is that the some of my favorite Vista included-in-the-box applications are now available as download only. You have to get the apps from Windows Live now and they’re very different from the originals."
Michael Cherry, analyst, Directions on Microsoft:
Favorite feature: The ability to run Windows 7 on low-priced netbook computers. "I am now running Windows 7 Professional Edition on a netbook with only 1GB of RAM, and I love its performance. ... If they can improve the performance profile at that end, then I'm going to love it even more on my Dell with a 64-bit processor and 4GB of RAM."
Biggest shortcoming: "I still don't like all of these versions, the different versions," Cherry said. "Too many, and too (difficult) to draw a line between them." He cited the example of BitLocker, a corporate data encryption system available in Windows 7 Enterprise Edition but not in Windows 7 Professional. A better approach, he said, would be for Microsoft to offer one low-priced version that can be configured for different "roles," as the company does with Windows Server, installing only the features needed by a particular type of user.
You can read the rest over lest you tag me as a MS fanboi I work in IT, I use Linux enterprise servers almost exclusively, and much prefer Linux as a server platform for Oracle databases than windows. I was also a UNIX and VMS system admin for decades, I know how a good operating system behaves.

meesah like Windows 7

"Darth" Cheney Speaks

Recently, President Obama’s advisors have decided that it’s easier to blame the Bush Administration than support our troops. This weekend they leveled a charge that cannot go unanswered. The President’s chief of staff claimed that the Bush Administration hadn’t asked any tough questions about Afghanistan, and he complained that the Obama Administration had to start from scratch to put together a strategy.
In the fall of 2008, fully aware of the need to meet new challenges being posed by the Taliban, we dug into every aspect of Afghanistan policy, assembling a team that repeatedly went into the country, reviewing options and recommendations, and briefing President-elect Obama’s team. They asked us not to announce our findings publicly, and we agreed, giving them the benefit of our work and the benefit of the doubt. The new strategy they embraced in March, with a focus on counterinsurgency and an increase in the numbers of troops, bears a striking resemblance to the strategy we passed to them. They made a decision – a good one, I think – and sent a commander into the field to implement it.
Now they seem to be pulling back and blaming others for their failure to implement the strategy they embraced. It’s time for President Obama to do what it takes to win a war he has repeatedly and rightly called a war of necessity.
You can read it all here

I'd like to think that somewhere in the Whitehouse there is a single adult who will read this and then go talk some sense into teH 0ne but somehow I doubt it. So while President Zip dithers our troops continue to die, under supplied and under supported thanks to the feckless stupidity of Team Hope and Short Change. 

Maine's November Referendum Questions

Question 1: People’s Veto

An Act To End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom
“Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?”

I'm inclined to vote no despite the fact that the legislature and the Governor went against the people of Maine in passing this law. That's right the democratic process has twice rejected same sex marriage. For me it's more of an equality issue than a moral one. At the same time I object to the thought that a same sex couple could use legal means to force a pastor who objects to this to perform the ceremony. There really are more important things to worry about than same sex marriage and until this is fixed in stone it is never going away. 
Still slightly uncertain but leaning towards NO. No matter which way this goes I'm not convinced we'll put this behind us, more's the pity. 
Question 2: Citizen Initiative
An Act to Decrease the Automobile Excise Tax and Promote Energy
“Do you want to cut the rate of the municipal excise tax by an average of 55% on motor vehicles less than six years old and exempt hybrid and other alternative-energy and highly fuel-efficient motor vehicles from sales tax and three years of excise tax?”

The vehicle excise tax is one of the most regressive taxes in Maine. It's brutally expensive for the first several years and the rates were raised by the legislature in yet another round of "not tax increases, but fee increases" that seem to be the primary revenue enhancement method for the legislature these days. This question actually punishes the minor culprit in tax burden, the local town, not the State. Not only that but whatever group of gibbering morons that created the question had to throw in what I considered to be the absolute show stopper, exempting hybrids and highly fuel-efficient motor vehicles from the fees. I'm sick to death of the seemingly endless subsidies for hybrids when hybrids represent a future environmental disaster that we won't realize for 5-10 years, disposal of their highly toxic batteries. I'd also point out to the environmentalists and the rest of you prius class smug hybrid owners that the environmental footprint of making those batteries far exceeds the footprint of a conventional small car like a Civic or Corolla. This bill doesn't promote energy, no one 'saves' energy, at best we just use less, spare me the hyperbole. 
This one gets a resounding NO and someone should kick whoever included the hybrid exemption in the nads for including that provision. Had this rolled back the state portion of the tax AND not included the hybrid exemption I would have been all for it. 
BTW that ad that's been running on TV against this question, the one with the tow truck guy prattling on with typical brain dead class warfare rhetoric is offensive to anyone who can see beyond your 3rd grade emotional tirade. When I pay higher excise taxes on my new truck than you're paying on your piece of crap tow truck I'm covering your baggage you silly tool. Despite this disgusting piece of Marxist theater I'm still going to vote it your way.
No No No No NO!

Question 3: Citizen Initiative
An Act to Repeal the School District Consolidation Laws
“Do you want to repeal the 2007 law on school district consolidation and restore the laws previously in effect?”

I'm leaning towards yes, local control is always better. Of course this doesn't fix the real issue, the fact that the State Legislature still refuses to pay it's share of the cost of running our schools. 
Question 4: Citizen Initiative
An Act to Provide Tax Relief
“Do you want to change the existing formulas that limit state and local government spending and require voter approval by referendum for spending over those limits and for increases in state taxes?”

A resounding YES! Nothing else will get their attention. The State of Maine has one of the highest tax burdens in the US, that has been a major contributor to our State's 3rd world economy. The legislature refuses to address the tax issues, the Governor refuses to address the tax issues and it's been a problem as long as I can remember. Just say yes. Your grammy isn't going to starve, your kids won't be left without an education, the lights will stay on and the roads will get plowed but there's a good chance that the towns and the state will be forced to take a serious look at the crap we're paying for that doesn't do anything but feather someone's bed and it'll start to get cut. Without this there is no incentive for government to do anything but keep digging deeper into our wallets. You can't convince me that there isn't waste to be cut. 
yes yes yes a thousand times yes!
Question 5: Citizen Initiative
An Act to Establish the Maine Medical Marijuana Act
“Do you want to change the medical marijuana laws to allow treatment of more medical conditions and to create a regulated system of distribution?”

Like it or not medical marijuana is here to stay. With the federal government under Obama backing off (which is just about the only thing I agree with that Obama has done) on threats to Doctors and patients this makes sense to me. But I have always believed that locking up non-violent drug offenders was just about the stupidest thing we could do anyway. 
Question 6: Bond Issue
(Part A of Ch. 414, Public Laws of 2009)
“Do you favor a $71,250,000 bond issue for improvements to highways and bridges, airports, public transit facilities, ferry and port facilities, including port and harbor structures, as well as funds for the LifeFlight Foundation that will make the State eligible for over $148,000,000 in federal and other matching funds?”

Now for those of you who are wowed by the numbers please take a deep breath. Despite the fact that Maine would receive $2 for every $1 we spend, we still have to spend that $1. That means that a vote for this is a vote to increase your state debt burden and that means you will have to pay that out of your pocket in taxes. These days the coffers in Augusta aren't exactly bursting at the seams and given that the entire US economy, and especially Maine's economy isn't growing that this translates into money that won't be staying in your wallet. If you vote yes, you're voting to pay more taxes. It's really that simple. TANSTAAFL! "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" get it? 
Question 7: Constitutional Amendment
(Ch. 1, Constitutional Resolutions of 2009)
“Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to increase the amount of time that local officials have to certify the signatures on direct initiative petitions?”

Yes. Anything that increases our ability to legislate from the ballot verses trying to get the attention of the two herds of political moonbats in Augusta is a good thing. Allowing more time to certify helps enable valid petitions and helps detect and turn down the cheaters. This is a no brainer, it's all good. 

Now that I've weighed in let me share my gut on what'll happen when the we vote

1. YES
2. NO
3. YES
4. NO
5. NO
6. YES
7. YES

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

ACORN vote fraud in Troy, NY

TROY -- Dozens of forged and fraudulent absentee ballots from people registered to vote on the Working Families Party line were filed in the Sept. 15 primary elections in Troy, the Times Union has learned.
Many of the questionable ballots were filed under the names of students and people who live in government-subsidized housing and other downtown areas. Still others were submitted on behalf of voters who were alleged to have signed the ballots earlier this month, but those people have not lived in New York state for at least a year, records show.
Documents at the county Board of Elections show the fraudulent ballots were handled by or prepared on behalf of various elected officials and leaders and operatives for the Democratic and Working Families parties. A Troy housing authority employee, Anthony Defiglio, who sources said oversees vacant properties for the Troy Housing Authority, also handled many of the fraudulent ballots, according to public records and interviews with voters who said they were duped.
Read the full story

Given that ACORN was active in Minnesota before the last election and Norm Coleman lost by just a few hundred votes, votes that appeared post election day it looks to me like ACORN vote fraud is responsible for Coleman's loss. That loss gave the Democrats the 60 vote, nuclear option they need to ram through their dangerous spending agenda.

They are stealing our country out from under us by subverting the very process that made the US unique among all the nations.

But we're the racist rednecks.

Well that'll fix it right up

The latest in the ongoing political cover operation for the "friends of Angelo" which includes a number of influential Democrats is the best move ever...

Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) locked Republicans out of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee room to keep them from meeting when Democrats aren’t present.
Towns’ action came after repeated public ridicule from the leading Republican on the committee, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), over Towns’s failure to launch an investigation into Countrywide Mortgage’s reported sweetheart deals to VIPs.
For months Towns has refused Republican requests to subpoena records in the case. Last Thursday Committee Republicans, led by Issa, were poised to force an open vote on the subpoenas at a Committee mark-up meeting. The mark-up was abruptly canceled. Only Republicans showed up while Democrats chairs remained empty.
Republicans charged that Towns cancelled the meeting to avoid the subpoena vote. Democrats first claimed the mark-up was canceled due to a conflict with the Financial Services Committee. Later they said it was abandoned after a disagreement among Democratic members on whether to subpoena records on the mortgage industry’s political contributions to Republicans.
A GOP committee staffer captured video of Democrats leaving their separate meeting in private chambers after the mark-up was supposed to have begun. He spliced the video to other footage of the Democrats’ empty chairs at the hearing room, set it to the tune of “Hit the Road, Jack” and posted it on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s minority webpage, where it remained as of press time.

Preventing a subpoena vote at all costs to cover up the corruption that ever single one of them knows was going on now that's a confidence builder!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Famous quotes in the news!

Victor Davis Hanson, one of my favorite writers says it pretty darn well:
I am not a big fan of saying that officials should resign for stupid remarks. But interim White House communications director Anita Dunn's praise of Mao Zedong as a "political philosopher" is so unhinged and morally repugnant, that she should hang it up, pronto.
Mao killed anywhere from 50 million to 70 million innocents in the initial cleansing of Nationalists, the scouring of the countryside, the failed Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, Tibet, and the internal Chinese gulag. Dunn's praise of a genocidal monster was no inadvertent slip: She was reading from a written text and went into great detail to give the full context of the remark. Moreover, her comments were not some student outburst from 30 years ago; they were delivered on June 5, 2009. Her praise of Mao's insight and courage in defeating the Nationalists was offered long after the full extent of Mao's mass-murdering had been well documented. Mao killed more people than any other single mass killer in the history of civilization.
So where do all these people, so intimate with our president (Dunn is the wife of his personal lawyer), come from? A right-wing attack machine could not make up such statements as those tossed off by a Dunn or a Van Jones. There seems to be neither a moral compass nor even a casual knowledge of history in this administration. And now we have the avatars of the "new politics" claiming it's okay to praise Mao's political and philosophical insight and his supposed determination ("You fight your war, and I'll fight mine") because Lee Atwater supposedly once evoked Mao too.
It seems to me that the rank indifference and incompetence of this administration in vetting those who are close to the President makes it laughably easy to find something to criticize.  It begs the question, are they unable to see that people like this don't represent laudable values or is it that Obama and his inner circle are all of like mind and can't see just how radical and unhinged worshiping at the church of Mao looks to the average american?

Can you hear me now?

I seriously doubt anyone in the congress or the white house is listening

Now that the Senate Finance Committee has passed its version of health care reform, 42% of voters nationwide favor the health care reform plan proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats. That’s down two points from a week ago and down four from the week before.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 54% are opposed to the plan.
The numbers have been remarkably stable throughout the debate. With the exception of bounces following presidential television appearances, support for the plan has stayed in a very narrow range from 41% to 46%. Currently, 24% Strongly Favor the legislative effort and 42% are Strongly Opposed. 
While voters are skeptical of the plan working its way through Congress, 54% say that major changes are needed in the health care system. Sixty-one percent (61%) say it’s important for Congress to pass some reform.
What needs to be done is to get the states out of the middle of this mess so that insurance companies can all compete in all the markets. That creates a bigger risk pool and drives down costs. In my state of Maine the field of companies allowed by the State to offer health care is 3; the result is high costs and no competition. As a result Maine residents suffer.

The more the Government has involved itself in medicine and education, beginning back in the 1960's the more it costs and the more dysfunctional it has all become. Less Government regulation and oversight and increased competition is the key to a cheaper, high quality health care system.

The President still voting present on Afghanistan

76 days. 76 days. one day short of 11 weeks. And he's still debating how to fight "the good war" in Afghanistan.  Like the community organizer in chief has a clue how to fight a war.
March 27, 2009
Good morning. Today, I am announcing a comprehensive, new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Remember that?

March 27, 2009 he announced his bold new strategy; and when his commanding General comes back and tells him what is needed to carry out that assignment the President makes an embarrassing trip to the IOC. He has his press office step up the war on FOX news and all dissent. He travels around the country saying and doing jack point shit.

Now back to March 27th.
To achieve our goals, we need a stronger, smarter and comprehensive strategy. To focus on the greatest threat to our people, America must no longer deny resources to Afghanistan because of the war in Iraq
Now it seems to me that General McKrystal asked that President Obama do just that 'no longer deny resources to Afghanistan'.

76 days later the President is still voting present.

But we should all take pride that President Obama is working overtime; Indeed he is working overtime to make the failed Presidency of Jimmy Carter look much better in retrospect.

Stark raving, gravel munching mad

GORDON Brown is building up the heat on global warming by telling negotiators flying to the Copenhagen climate summit that they have “50 days to save the world from global warming”.
As luck has it, these 50 days will not be interrupted by General Election, and Brown can focus his energies on telling the Major Economies Forum in London, which brings together 17 of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas-emitting countries, that there is “no plan B“.
More like 50 days to sign away our independence to a dictatorial committee of unelected, ill educated, bureaucrats who want nothing more than to redistribute the wealth of the west into third world shit holes.

here's a list of everything that's been blamed on global warming, read it and laugh your ass off.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Suddenly reality grabs Juan Williams by the balls

Listen as the liberal commentator Juan Williams describes his shock at being called an Uncle Tom for having the audacity to disagree with Commander Zero.

I'm struck by how blatant and indiscreet the left has become. Are they overconfidence in the message, power and position or is they desperate to be lashing out at someone who usually bats for their side?

Is Obama about to cede our independence to the UN?

Sourced from Fighting Words
Here were Monckton’s closing remarks, as dictated from my audio recording:
At [the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in] Copenhagen, this December, weeks away, a treaty will be signed. Your president will sign it. Most of the third world countries will sign it, because they think they’re going to get money out of it. Most of the left-wing regime from the European Union will rubber stamp it. Virtually nobody won’t sign it.
I read that treaty. And what it says is this, that a world government is going to be created. The word “government” actually appears as the first of three purposes of the new entity. The second purpose is the transfer of wealth from the countries of the West to third world countries, in satisfication of what is called, coyly, “climate debt” – because we’ve been burning CO2 and they haven’t. We’ve been screwing up the climate and they haven’t. And the third purpose of this new entity, this government, is enforcement.
How many of you think that the word “election” or “democracy” or “vote” or “ballot” occurs anywhere in the 200 pages of that treaty? Quite right, it doesn’t appear once. So, at last, the communists who piled out of the Berlin Wall and into the environmental movement, who took over Greenpeace so that my friends who funded it left within a year, because [the communists] captured it – Now the apotheosis as at hand. They are about to impose a communist world government on the world. You have a president who has very strong sympathies with that point of view. He’s going to sign it. He’ll sign anything. He’s a Nobel Peace Prize [winner]; of course he’ll sign it.
And the trouble is this; if that treaty is signed, if your Constitution says that it takes precedence over your Constitution (sic), and you can’t resign from that treaty unless you get agreement from all the other state parties – And because you’ll be the biggest paying country, they’re not going to let you out of it.
So, thank you, America. You were the beacon of freedom to the world. It is a privilege merely to stand on this soil of freedom while it is still free. But, in the next few weeks, unless you stop it, your president will sign your freedom, your democracy, and your humanity away forever. And neither you nor any subsequent government you may elect will have any power whatsoever to take it back. That is how serious it is. I’ve read the treaty. I’ve seen this stuff about [world] government and climate debt and enforcement. They are going to do this to you whether you like it or not.
But I think it is here, here in your great nation, which I so love and I so admire – it is here that perhaps, at this eleventh hour, at the fifty-ninth minute and fifty-ninth second, you will rise up and you will stop your president from signing that dreadful treaty, that purposeless treaty. For there is no problem with climate and, even if there were, an economic treaty does nothing to [help] it.
So I end by saying to you the words that Winston Churchill addressed to your president in the darkest hour before the dawn of freedom in the Second World War. He quoted from your great poet Longfellow:
Sail on, O Ship of State!
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years,
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!

If this is what happens it's the end of the US. The end of the dream, the end of the line. We're to become tax slaves tasked with paying off the sins of success, no the sins of having built a technological civilization.  So while he has us all entralled with the health care 'debate', and the Rush Limbaugh lynching, he's quietly destroying the entire shebang?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Walking the fine line in the middle east

Late in 1978 a curious thing happened; every Iranian undergoing training at NAS Miramar disappeared overnight. At the time I was an aircrewman assigned to a squadron between deployments, home based out of Miramar. There were Iranian aircrew and maintenance personnel undergoing training for the F-14 there, my squadron shared a hangar with the Tomcat training squadron and I saw them daily. When the revolution began they were pulled from training and sent home. I had about 1/2 a year left on my enlistment contract and I was fairly certain that I was going to leave the USN and move back to New England. The Iranian revolution held me in it's grip for the remainder of my enlistment; the drama of the US hostages in Iran, my frustrations with Carter's lack of a strong response, coupled with my belief that eventually the US would go to war with Iran if the hostages were not released all kept me on edge. We now know how that story played out; much to my surprise in mid 1979 I was discharged from the Navy instead of sailing off to war.

Since then various US administrations have struggled with how to deal with Iran. Iran has a long and rich history and it's people are justifiably proud. However since the fall of the Shaw Iran has been in the grips of militant and radical Shia theocrats who found it convenient to keep the Great Satan high on their enemies list. The US response to this has been to contain Iran and hope that the regime collapses from within; the hope being that whatever government takes the helm afterward would be more reasonable and less of a threat. So far those hopes remain unrealized. Instead Iran, represented by President Ahmadinejad has ratcheted up the rhetoric and become ever more bellicose. 

In 2007 the NIE assured us that the Bush administration was wrong and that Iran had ceased efforts to develop nuclear weapons. It is now a certainty that the authors of that NIE knew that Iran was concealing an enrichment facility that was clearly intended to produce weapons grade materials. In short they politicized the report not in favor of the Bush administration's agenda, but against it to the detriment of the nation. The specter of a nuclear arms race in the middle east isn't something any rational person should desire, regardless of how much they oppose a particular President. 

Over at Slate Lee Smith lays out some chilling observations of how the US has failed and what we can likely expect in the future.
If Iran gets the bomb, other regional powers will pursue nuclear programs—if they are not already doing so. Inevitably in a region as volatile as this, there will be a few small-scale nuclear catastrophes, probably rulers targeting their own people. Saddam gassed the Kurds and slaughtered the Shiites, Hafez Assad massacred the Sunnis of Hama, and mass graves throughout the region testify to the willingness of Arab rulers to kill their own people—in their hands, a nuclear weapon is merely an upgrade in repressive technology. Still, it's extremely unlikely the regimes will use these weapons against their regional rivals. Remember, the main reason these states support nonstate terror groups is to deter one another and thus avoid all-out war.
You can read the rest here.

It is my earnest hope that Barack and Hillary both read it, several times and take heed; our current direction trades short term feel good diplomacy for long term danger.

that's not a tequila sunrise

The Perfect Storm

A perfect storm is forming in the US; a storm that threatens our economy in ways that will make our current banking issues appear small.

1. The runaway deficit spending of a government dominated by a single party of big spending do gooders.
2. Health care legislation that is being sold as cost/revenue neutral when similar attempts made by the States of Tennessee, Maine and Massachusetts clearly demonstrate that cost neutrality cannot be attained without severe rationing.
3. The Speaker of the House has suddenly decided that the US needs a VAT tax (national sales tax).
4. "Cap and Trade" legislation will be rammed through with as much thought as the stimulus and the health care package without regard for the cost on the poor and middle class.

The net impact of the above will be an economy in collapse. Long term unemployment, hunger and civil unrest are the likely outlook. The problem is that the socialists have never admitted to themselves just how much they need a successful capitalist economy to feed on; like all parasites eventually they weaken and kill their host.

If we're unable to stop this demented feeding frenzy that's being rammed through by the Democrats and a few misguided Republicans, the US will be threatened like the Andrea Gail and will likely founder; it remains to be seen if we're all going down with the ship.

No doubt the rats in Washington all have their lifelines intact. What color is your parachute?

Stewart and the 10 myths

Leighton Steward is a geologist, environmentalist, author, and retired energy industry executive. He has written about the reasons for the loss of much of the Mississippi River Delta (Louisiana's national treasure) and has given advice on how the nation can achieve "no net loss" of wetlands in the future, advice that has been accepted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. He was lead author on a book about nutrition and health (Sugar Busters) that gave advice on how to lose weight and prevent and or treat diabetes. The book became a No.  1 New York Timesbestseller for 16 weeks and made a significant contribution to the changes that have occurred regarding the availability of no-sugar-added, higher fiber, and low-glycemic products in the supermarkets. More recently, Steward has written a book ( Fire, Ice and Paradise ) that is an endeavor to educate the nonscientist about the many causes of global climate change so that readers will be better prepared to understand what they hear, see, and read about in the media and from the politicians. He has received numerous environmental awards, including the regional EPA Administrator's Award for environmental excellence. He is chairman of the board of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man at Southern Methodist University, was chairman of the National Wetlands Coalition, and was twice chairman of the Audubon Nature Institute. He currently serves on the boards or boards of visitors of the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, EOG Resources, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, and the Southwest Research Institute and is an emeritus member of the Tulane University board. His current interest lies in helping to educate the public and politicians about the benefits of carbon dioxide (CO2) as it relates to the plant and animal kingdoms and their related ecosystems and habitats and to the general health of humanity.
H. Leighton Steward is famous as one of the authors of Sugar Busters a book recommended to me by my own doctor and no doubt by many doctors worldwide. As you can see from the above his resume is extensive. Steward has recently published a book that attacks the so-called conventional wisdom of global warming; in his book he describes the 10 Myths of Global Warming. Here are two of them:
Steward's Myth 1: The planet Earth will be healthier with lower CO2 levels.
He says: More CO2 is needed to bolster plant life, which turns the gas into oxygen while also providing food.
Steward's Myth 2: Rising CO2 levels cause temperatures to rise.
He says: Temperatures over time have fluctuated while CO2 levels have remained steady. What's more, temperature increases have historically led increases in CO2 levels.
You can read all of them here.

Al Gore's scientific consensus is collapsing but I doubt that it will collapse in time to save us from cap and trade.

Blind, stupid and just plain wrong

I blogged before about Honduras. Our government continues, seemingly mindlessly, to support Zelaya at the expense of rule of law. Honduras is a rarity, a case where democracy appears to be functioning and fully able to defend itself. Inexplicably the Obama administration has decided to side against a friendly democracy and with the likes of Castro, Chavez and Ortega. This type of myopic stupidity undermines the very values I believe this country needs to be promoting, especially in the Americas; Democracies make good neighbors.

Senator Jim DeMint visited Honduras and wrote about it in last weekend's Wall Street Journal. His article is an exceptional read that contrasts to the obstinance of the Obama administration. Here's a sample:
As all strong democracies do after cleansing themselves of usurpers, Honduras has moved on.
The presidential election is on schedule for Nov. 29. Under Honduras's one-term-limit, Mr. Zelaya could not have sought re-election anyway. Current President Roberto Micheletti—who was installed after Mr. Zelaya's removal, per the Honduran Constitution—is not on the ballot either. The presidential candidates were nominated in primary elections almost a year ago, and all of them—including Mr. Zelaya's former vice president—expect the elections to be free, fair and transparent, as has every Honduran election for a generation.
Indeed, the desire to move beyond the Zelaya era was almost universal in our meetings. Almost.
In a day packed with meetings, we met only one person in Honduras who opposed Mr. Zelaya's ouster, who wishes his return, and who mystifyingly rejects the legitimacy of the November elections: U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens.
When I asked Ambassador Llorens why the U.S. government insists on labeling what appears to the entire country to be the constitutional removal of Mr. Zelaya a "coup," he urged me to read the legal opinion drafted by the State Department's top lawyer, Harold Koh. As it happens, I have asked to see Mr. Koh's report before and since my trip, but all requests to publicly disclose it have been denied.
On the other hand, the only thorough examination of the facts to date—conducted by a senior analyst at the Law Library of Congress—confirms the legality and constitutionality of Mr. Zelaya's ouster. (It's on the Internet here .)
Unlike the Obama administration's snap decision after June 28, the Law Library report is grounded in the facts of the case and the intricacies of Honduran constitutional law. So persuasive is the report that after its release, the New Republic's James Kirchick concluded in an Oct. 3 article that President Obama's hastily decided Honduras policy is now "a mistake in search of a rationale."
Missteps, mistakes, misspeaking, misunderstandings, missed opportunities, arrogance, tone deafness, above all an inability to recognize error without a sacrificial lamb to throw under the bus seem to quantify the amateur in the Whitehouse.  Nothing good will come of this, the American people deserve better.

Monday, October 12, 2009

New gas?

The times announces that the "energy crisis is postponed". Again.

Peak oil weenies read it and weep!
Tony Hayward, BP's chief executive, said proven natural gas reserves around the world have risen to 1.2 trillion barrels of oil equivalent, enough for 60 years' supply – and rising fast.
"There has been a revolution in the gas fields of North America. Reserve estimates are rising sharply as technology unlocks unconventional resources," he said.
The US is leading the charge. Operations in Pennsylvania and Texas have already been sufficient to cut US imports of liquefied natural gas (LGN) from Trinidad and Qatar to almost nil, with knock-on effects for the global gas market – and crude oil. It is one reason why spot prices for some LNG deliveries have dropped to 50pc of pipeline contracts. 
When has the US NOT led the charge? If our LNG imports are dropping that's exceptional news.

Color me not so surprised. Too bad our government is about to declare a taxation jihad on the satanic gas CO2.

In the Crosshairs of the Syrian-Iranian Axis

Michael J. Totten has written a most interesting piece, it's worth your time.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

That's like the Mt. Rushmore of shut the hell up

RomneyCare - a preview of what's to come

A warning tale from the Wall Street Journal....
My husband retired from IBM about a decade ago, and as we aren't old enough for Medicare we still buy our health insurance through the company. But IBM, with its typical courtesy, informed us recently that we will be fined by the state.
For the first two years of the mandate, our IBM health insurance was seen as acceptable in the eyes of the state. This year the rules changed. The state requires that health plans cap out-of-pocket expenses for individuals (not including monthly premiums) at $2,000 a year. Our plan's cap is $2,500.
Yep everyone is a potential criminal and the states are out there just waiting for the chance to fine, tax or otherwise raid your wallet to punish you for your independent free thinking ways. Is it time for some push back? As John McCain is so fond of saying ever since he botched his unbelievably lame ass presidential campaign, "Elections have consequences". I'm hoping the next one shows just how true that statement is.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I almost didn't go

Between work and the weather this year has been crap for fishing. I've had my boat out twice all year, now it's getting cold and it's time to put the boat and the fly rods away and sit near the fire until spring. I decided since I wasn't on call today that I'd take the boat out one last time. I got up, checked the weather, checked the river flow rates and about 10:00AM I loaded up a lunch and my stuff and hooked the boat up to the truck.

I made it about 30 feet. The boat trailer had a flat. First I tied to just pump it up, but the bead was broken so I was going to have to change it. That's when I discovered my son had gone back to school with my spare jack in his trunk. sigh. So I dug out the jack from the pickup and went about the task of swapping on the spare. Because of the micky mouse rig that holds the spare to the boat trailer that takes a while so it was almost noon when I climbed back into the truck and headed up to the river.

The USGS flow gage said the river was running 2800 CFS which I interpret as low water. when I pulled up to the ramp the river was high and the wind was howling. I mean really howling. I spent a couple of minutes debating with myself and decided that I was going fishing even if I didn't catch a thing, and I had serious doubts since the water and wind were not ideal.

I drove the boat upstream about two miles and pulled into a back channel behind an island where I expected I'd catch a fish.

downstream view

upstream view

I started with an olive bugger on my 9 1/2 foot 7wt Sage. This particular bugger with it's brass conehead and rubber legs has really slayed the smallmouth in the late fall for me the past couple of years. I worked the bank in earnest and didn't get a thing. I fished the entire drift behind the island and didn't hit a thing. I was beginning to get discouraged.

I headed back downstream, the next mile or so was windy and there were whitecaps on the water so I decided to just blow past it looking for some calmer waters. Down below I fished the banks in spots that have always been good for me and didn't catch a thing. I fished a series of spots that have been good in the past with no luck. So I scooted past the ledges into the last mile back to the boat launch. This is an area that I hadn't fished much in the past, usually when we float this in the pontoons we don't cover this water.

Finally I switched to a small brown and white clouser minnow and while twitching it past a log I saw a fish come out and look at the fly, one more twitch and he took it. A beautiful fish came to net, 18-19" long a good fat 3-4 lbs. 

I managed another smaller bass and a 2lb chub when the wind kicked up as the clouds covered the sun. I decided it was time to take out fearing that a rain squall was headed my way. I snapped this last shot just before pulling the boat out.

Tolkien Fans will be pleased

The Hunt for Gollum is a fan flick that's well done and well worth watching. It is available online.

And there's another Born of Hope that will release in December

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Dangers of Rogue Household Robots?

Now here's something that was so obvious yet it never occurred to me.
While the machine uprising may not be upon us just yet, a group of University of Washington researchers has conducted a study on the various threats to security and privacy that household robots currently on the market could introduce to our homes. While their findings found little to fear in the way of an I, Robot-esque revolt, it turns out common household robots can open a home to various security and privacy threats, mostly via web-enabled features that are supposed to make the robots more useful. To put it briefly: if you can access your camera-equipped household robot remotely via the Internet, so can someone else.
 I guess I'll have to tell the wife to dispose of the roomba

The Nobel

I hear he's a shoe in for the Special Olympics Gold medal in bowling...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Speaking of genius!

What could be cooler than a polka version of ZZ Top's Gimme All Your Lovin' sung by guys with absurdly huge pompadour hairdos while wearing pointy elf shoes?  What if I told you that they have the Red Army Choir for backup singers? Feast your eyes and ears on the Leningrad Cowboys.

youtube won't allow embedding so you'll have to click the picture for the video. Perhaps Deep Purple's Smoke on the water is more to your liking? Click the picture below....



Somali pirates attempted to storm the French navy's 18,000 tonne Indian Ocean fleet flagship after mistaking it for a cargo vessel, the military said on Wednesday.

Think of it as evolution in action. 


For those of you who have never had the pleasure of reading a Bill Whittle essay you're in for a real treat. Bill has reposted Tribes.

I wish I could read it for the first time all over again...

I don't want to get all tinfoil hat about this but....

If this goes down this way, it's time to have another "tea party" march on DC and be slightly more forceful about things...
Leaders in the House and Senate have a plan to pass President Barack Obama’s sweeping health care plan by Thanksgiving without any significant participation by the American public. CNS News has confirmed the details in our September 22nd titled“Passing a Shell of A Bill: Congress’ Secret Plan to Ram Through Health Care Reform.” Nicholas Ballasy reports “a senior aide to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) told that it is ‘likely’ that Reid will use H.R. 1586—a bill passed by the House in March to impose a 90-percent tax on bonuses paid to employees of certain bailed-out financial institutions—as a ‘shell’ for enacting the final version of the Senate’s health care bill, which Reid is responsible for crafting.”
 Read it here and let me know what you think.