Thursday, April 30, 2009

Nonsensical Drivel

In order to swallow the Kool-Aid, it is often necessary to call it something else. No one would drink water with an infusion of sugar and various chemicals unless you called it Strawberry-Pineapple something or other. You've got to convolute the reality until it is viewed as palatable. It helps, of course, if you are only five years old, can't read the ingredient label, and you like the sweet taste. If you are a resident of Jonestown and you didn't read the label, however, you find yourself bloating in the sun.

Take a moment to read this nonsensical piece which clearly illustrates the principle:

It Isn't a Tax, It's a Reward!

The flaws in the logic scream at you, but if you believe in hope and change you don't notice them. We've increased our productivity and standard of living exponentially since the dawn of industrialization. The contrast to Moore's Law which Mr. Friedman makes is exactly counter to his point. Just as Moore's Law doesn't seem to be running out of life, so also our productivity and ability to actually have more shouldn't be underestimated. There is no "More Tax" only the potential under this concept for more prosperity. The "Carbon Tax" conversely means more taxation on everything we do.

He doesn't find it improbable that the Messiah seeks to have our puny 300 million population create a positive carbon impact globally even as he points out that the population of the world is 6.8 billion. Somehow Friedman skims past that as his environmentally friendly green eyes see world cooperation in this growth stifling proposal when they can't agree on much else. Can he really believe that China, India and Russia, for example, are going to voluntarily match our carbon emission limitation efforts? He sounds like a potential customer for a major bridge in NYC.

Notice the generous acknowledgment of the current "economic troubles" and his suggestion that the draconian carbon tax option be delayed until 2011. Of course, the economic profligacy of the administration will have made it all better in less than two years. In that time we are all supposed to retool our lives with "green" appliances, cars, homes and exhalations. So, you've lost your job, your 401k is worthless, your mortgage is in foreclosure, your health insurance has been replaced by a free clinic and you are going to go on this responsible green spending spree.

Then you will reap the vast reward. It won't be a tax, it will be a dividend! How perverse is that logic?

No wonder the New York Times totters on the brink of disappearance.

Taking Geography 101

When I was on the verge of retiring from the AF, I came perilously close to becoming a high school teacher. My wife worked in the school system in New Mexico and we had many friends from the Superintendent on down to the principals and teachers. They suggested that with my experience, I would be an asset to the school which suffered from a decidedly localized mentality. Few of the teachers had ever left the county let alone the country.

Take a look at this indictment of the educational system of America and the harm of federal involvement in that which traditionally has been a local matter:

No Content in Ed. School Curricula

In New Mexico, I set up an appointment at New Mexico State University's Education Dept. to meet with the chairman. I submitted my resume and work experience along with transcripts of both of my Master's degrees. They were going to work up a curriculum for me to get certified as a teacher in the public schools.

When I talked with the department chair, he displayed the program. Despite already holding a pair of graduate degrees and having formal military classroom and instructional experience including training instructors and course design, I would need an extended program of more than 130 semester hours to get certified! That is equivalent to a full four-year BS degree.

Courses included things like "classroom procedures" even though my work experience included years of platform presentation for technical courses taught to college graduates. There were blocks on "lesson planning" despite my training in Instructional System Development. There were hours of "test administration and design" which seemed to ignore my background creating such tools.

Possibly the worst requirement was the demand that I take "Geography 101." That's when the interview came to an abrupt conclusion. I looked at the professor and suggested that I didn't need to read about those places in a textbook--I'd been to most all of them.

That's what is wrong with teacher education and certification in America. And, it isn't going to change any time soon.

Why She Gets the Big Bucks

Hat tip to Roberta X for leading me to this:

We Do Worse on First Dates

I mentioned a couple of days ago that the CIA "torture" memos revealed enhanced interrogation techniques that were pretty much the same stuff that was done to us during the required global survival course that all military aviators get. Ann Coulter shows why she's a master of the sardonic needle in covering the gruesome details.

If you aren't familiar with the Coulter reference to the Inquisition, here's the item:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Marriages of Convenience

Arlen Specter is gone from the ranks of Republicans. Was he ever one of them? His recent positions on significant ideological issues have indicated that his party identification was not a reflection of his core values. Probably a stronger indication of that is the fact that Specter has been flexible in his ideology before. He is what he needs to be to get done what he wants to do. He was a Democrat once until it suited him to identify with the GOP to get elected District Attorney in Philadelphia. Now when his actions in the Senate have distanced himself from his chosen party and he faces a clear loss in the primary next year, he moves across the aisle yet again.

Outrageous, the blogosphere screams. Good riddance, the hard core conservatives yell. We don't need your kind. But, the fact of the matter is that we do need warm bodies with an (R) behind their name even if we can't get them aboard 100% of the time. Some success in combating cloture and retaining the filibuster in the Senate is better than none at all.

How bad is a party switch? Is it the worst form of political venality? It might be worth taking an objective look.

I recall rejoicing in Colorado when my senator, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, came over from the dark side. He announced his switch, he won his primary and he got elected and re-elected until he chose to retire. Not a bad thing for us at the time.

Possibly the most honorable cross-over that popped into my mind was that of Texas Sen. Phil Gramm. He didn't simply announce a change of heart. He resigned from his seat, then registered as a Republican and ran from the outside. He was easily elected by the good guys.

We should remember that Ronaldus Magnus, the godfather of the modern conservative movement, was a party switcher. He saw the light and never looked back.

Take a look at this incredible listing:

Back and Forth Across the Decades

A quick review of the last thirty years shows a number of very recognizable names and in fact includes some very core Republicans.

So, should we revile Specter? Maybe. He was certainly doing us very little good with his current attitudes. Will his move bear political fruit for him? I don't know. He certainly is welcomed with open arms by the dark side. He couldn't beat Pat Toomey for the Republican nomination next year. But can Toomey win in the general election?

That will be an uphill fight in Pennsylvania where the trend has been toward the Democrats for the last fifteen years. It may depend upon how much damage the Messiah can do to this nation in the next year and a half. If it is of such magnitude that even the sheeple notice, it would be Toomey's election to lose.

What's In A Name

It would be hard to miss the pandemic panic going on around the world. Let's say there is a disease spreading and it will cause considerable discomfort for those who contract it. As with any illness, some folks will die from it.

Yet, so far the panic has been much greater than the reality of the numbers. In the totality of the population, the impact even in Mexico has been miniscule. Could it get much worse? Of course. Will it? I'm skeptical.

Now we've got political correctness being added to the mix:

Don't You Be Calling Them No Swines!

Doesn't H1N1 variant flu trip lightly off your tongue?

Meanwhile in Egypt they are about to round up and kill all the pigs. Gotta believe the death toll for piglets is going to be incredible. And, in Israel where they don't eat pork, the spread of "Short-Legged Cow" flu is being fought aggressively.

Monday, April 27, 2009

We're All Just One Step From Mayhem

This will simply make you gag. It is about a training video from Penn State University to help faculty in their relationship with students. Be sure to keep in mind that it is scripted and acted to make a point:

I'm Feeling Sooooo Threatened

Yes, that's right! The problem the comely young academic is dealing with is one of those Neanderthals that served his country and preserved her freedom to be such a twit. As everyone in the intellectual community knows, those vets are all ignorant red-necks just one heartbeat away from exploding into a murderous rage because they are so severely damaged by their experiences.

As the piece points out, you can only imagine the politically correct outrage if the problem student had been ethnic minority or some other protected class. Nope, he's just a vet and we all know how they can be.

Beyond the Emotions

In the past week, we've heard it all again. America is above "torture." The Bush administration should be brought before a "Truth Commission"--gotta say that causes me flashbacks of 1984 and/or Mao's Great Leap Forward. Nothing actionable was gained by enhanced interrogation techniques. They were used hundreds, thousands, millions of times against poor defenseless Muslims caught up in our anti-terrorist frenzy. And, Abu Ghraib was ordered/sanctioned/directed by the White House or Dick Cheney or the Pentagon.

The only thing missing from the fray is details and facts. They tend to get pesky. Now we've got this op-ed piece from someone who very clearly was in the know:

Drawing the Distinctions of Interrogations

I read the extracts from the memos released last week. I particularly focussed on the approved enhanced techniques. I also noted that the memos were prepared in the role of legal counsel asked to review the applicable laws and render an opinion on permissible limits for action when dealing with exceptional circumstances. I've always been under the impression that opinion on the law, even if later found incorrect, is not criminal.

The techniques looked an awful lot like stuff we've been doing to military aircrews and special ops folks for decades. Sleep deprivation, stress positions, loud music, time disorientation, slaps, small area confinement and, yes, waterboarding. Been there, done that. Survived it. Didn't like it one bit. Also didn't feel tortured. I've spent a few hours in conversation with Nam-POWs. They can tell you what torture is about.

I'm frankly getting very sick of pampered politicians who've never been in uniform, never been in the sights of an enemy gun, never been inconvenienced beyond being served an over-done steak at a Washington eatery, doing all this whining about torture being un-American.

Isn't it time for a reality check?

What Was I Saying?

If he is such a great orator why does someone have to continually tell him what he is supposed to be saying?

Life is Pass/Fail

If you've ever had a job you probably learned that you must show up on time and when you get there you must diligently apply yourself to the task which your employer has hired you for. If you've ever engaged in a competition you were aware that score is going to be kept and at the end of the game the one with the most is winner and the other is loser. It is better to be the winner.

When score is kept and your efforts are rewarded you feel good about yourself. You consider yourself a success. If you fail consistently you feel badly I hope. If you don't feel bad about your failure you are destined for less than mediocrity and a Hobbesian existance.

Why then do we have schools across the country engaging in the practice of no-fail grading for high school students? Can anyone make an argument which will stand up to rational, adult scrutiny that telling students that they will not fail regardless of how little effort they contribute is going to prepare them for life in the real world?

Here are a few folks trying to do just that:

It gives them motivation, you see.

That is simply drivel. I deal with recent high school graduates regularly in my freshman college classes. They are no different today then when I was their age. They are lazy, undisciplined, hormone-crazed, slugs crawling along the jungle floor doing the least they can to get by. If they have the last vestiges of motivation removed from them by saying you won't get a zero no matter how little you do, they will fail in life. The threat of failure on an assignment or even the threat of failure in the entire course should pale in comparison to the result of such failures persisting in their adulthood.

I will not even begin to address the consequences of failure in the business of tactical aviation which I practiced for my career.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Policy By Panic

OK, we've got swine flu on the rampage again...sort of. Folks are getting sick in Mexico and 80 have died. That's about the murder toll for a good week-end in LA, but so what? Here in the US we've had 20 cases of the swine flu in five major states. Total! California, Texas, Ohio, New York and Kansas have been struck. If we consider the population of those five major states, would it be exaggerating to say 100 million people? What's the percentage of 20 in 100 million? How many zeros after the decimal is that? Oh, and none of those 20 died.

Somehow I don't feel threatened until I read this:

Chicken Little Reports Firmament Collapse Imminent

Applying the basic principle of the administration which is "never let a good crisis go to waste" we have the beleagured Secretary of Homeland Security declaring a national emergency!

Well, it is reasonable to be prudent. This thing might blossom into something serious. But, regardless of whether it does or not, she's got it covered. She reassures you that if it doesn't happen right now, she's certain it will be back even worse in a couple of months. How about, if it doesn't happen to be a disaster now, it will disappear forever? Remember bird flu? How about SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) coming at us from China in 2003? ALAR on your apples anyone? Last year's tomato and jalapeno phobia?

Captain Trips?

But, the real question I've got about this announcement on a national health emergency is, why isn't the Surgeon General issuing the statements and policy guidelines? Isn't that the branch of the executive that deals with medical issues for the nation? Or is it simply that they don't need redemption the way Janet does?

New Paltz Journal Nails It

Big hat tip to New Paltz for this very informative video:

Guitar Lesson

Warning: This is a professional. Do not try this at home!

A good demonstration of why the concert is better than the recording.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

No Comment Required

Follow the Money

Former VP Al Gore testified before a congressional committee this week on climate change. He was there to fan hysteria in support of cap-and-trade legislation. That's the program that finds carbon dioxide (you remember, that's what you exhale when you breathe,) a global pollutant. Government will set a finite limit on your exhalations as well as that of your vehicle, your electric utility company, the farmer growing your food and the many manufacturing plants that built this nation into the marvel we now enjoy.

Within the cap, everyone will have their carbon production evaluated and the total must fit within the cap. If you wish to emit more than the government says you can, you will need to find someone emitting less and then buy up their allotment. Of course this will all be handled by brokers and a trading market covered by a lot of really neat federal regulations. In simple form it means everything you need for your life will cost more. Everything!

As mentioned two days ago, Mr. Gore was immunized from challenge in his testimony by a climatology expert. Gore's words are not to be questioned. That's the way Congress does business these days. No alternative thoughts allowed.

Guess what? Someone is going to benefit from this. Yes, while we all pay more to save the planet some folks are going to get really, really wealthy and powerful. Isn't that a pleasant outcome?

Have you seen those commercials on TV with belching chimneys and rows of tractors indicating the evils of capitalism and free enterprise followed by fawning fools cooing about global warming and clean air? Then we get the message about all coming together, holding hands and making the sacrifices necessary for future generations. A stylized "WE" logo sows the seed of unification for progress. This is so big that it supercedes any divisivness or partisanship. It is a job for all of us.

Here's the Time magazine coverage of the WE operation:

Guess who's behind it?

Well, surprise, surprise! Yes, we find the sticky fingers of the Climate Cassandra right there in the midst.

But, even in congressional committees, it is difficult to control all of those fractious players. The gentle lady from Tennessee puts the former VP in the spotlight with her questioning of yet another linkage to the money pot:

"But I give it all to a non-profit. My non-profit, but still..."

Watching the video and listening to the chuckles of this sleaze had me flashing back on the presidential debate with George W. Bush where Gore feigned his distaste with almost continual heavy sighs at each comment of his opponent. These people are so beneath him that his contempt can hardly be veiled.

The outrage continues.

Queen of Hearts Moment

Remember Alice in Wonderland? When she arrives at the Wonderland court in her journey with the rabbit, she meets the Queen of Hearts who seems decidedly predictive of our current crop of Congress-critters. She regularly contradicts herself but applies the royal prerogative of stating, "I mean whatever I want to mean whenever I want to mean it."

We saw it this week with Speaker Pelosi, certainly a queenly individual in her own patrician mind, emphatically denying any briefing or prior knowledge of enhanced interrogation techniques. Little attention is paid by the media when the unequivocal evidence is displayed that she and many of her cohorts received a one hour, detailed briefing in 2002 prior to any application of the techniques. That, in her mind was then and this is now. Deniability is no problem.

Now, speaking of Queens, here we've got this:

Fanny, Freddy, Fooie. I never said home ownership was a good thing

I increasingly find myself repeating the cliche that, "we are all entitled to our own opinion, but we aren't entitled to our own facts." They should be aware that in these times their every pronouncement is on video. That means when you do a 180 degree reversal you are going to wind up looking like the duplicitous ass you really are.

Now, let the Queen jokes begin...

Friday, April 24, 2009

McCulloch vs Maryland II

All I need to do is say "Supreme Court case" in class and eyes roll back in heads and the drone of snores permeates the room. Face it, unless you are some sort of pre-law pseudo-geek, the memorization of obtuse precedents from a hundred or more years ago is boring stuff.

Take McCulloch vs Maryland. It occurred very early in the history of our Republic. It laid the ground work for the effective dismantling of the anti-federalist influence in our Constitution. It expanded the power of the Federal government at the expense of individuals and the states. It was the beginning of the slide into big, bigger, biggest government.

The idea was that the feds came into Maryland and set up a bank. That would reasonably be viewed as unfair competition for the free enterprise concept of private banking. How can you compete with the guys who print the money and don't have a profit motive? The state of Maryland jumped into the fray and said, if you do have a bank, you'll have to pay business taxes to the state just like every other bank. The federal government said, "Yes, we can!"

The outcome of the case was that, despite the enumerated powers of the Constitution saying nothing about banks, the federal government could do it. And, furthermore, the federal government was immune from local taxation. A two-fer for federal government power.

Now read this:

Get Your O-Card

Think the issue through. Do you see McCulloch vs Maryland writ very much larger? A government credit card in your wallet means non-profit competition for the very banks they ostensibly are trying to rescue. It means the death of large entities like AmEx, MasterCard and VISA who will simply be undercut until they are gone.

But, look beyond the immediate disaster to the real future. If your government is your credit card company they now hold your very life in their hands. They know who you are, where you are, what you earn, how much you are worth, who you work for, and what you buy--they've got the book on you in greater detail than they ever had. The last vestige of privacy and individualism is gone.

Now they control credit approval for every purchase you make. Want to buy a new pickup or SUV? Sorry, disapproved. Pick the hybrid Prius or Volt, you'll slide right through. Want a gun? Ooops, my bad. They were already outlawed. But, you get the idea.

Then keep in mind that "spread the wealth" promise. Do you like the progressive income tax concept? Apply it to credit card rates. How about a monthly "fairness" charge against your card to help the homeless, support a welfare mom, or fight for the environment? And for the low/no income crowd, how about a monthly fill-up for your credit card courtesy of Uncle Sam?

But, Slate thinks it's a reasonable idea. They point out the Europeans just love it. Yeah, that explains it so well.

Doctrine vs Debate

It is a basic of religion. Things are told to us that defy logic or credibility. They are, in the terminology of the Catholic church, "mysteries" of faith. The core of our belief is suspension of disbelief. We take it as doctrine and debate is not tolerated. We can contemplate the core values, but we must start with the assumption that they are true.

That is all well and good for religions, but it isn't a good way to practice either science or government. Major issues which are going to trigger major policy decisions require objective study of all sides before moving on. Yet, we are seeing continual evidence of doctrinal embrace of core values of the left without tolerance of debate. The parliamentary gavel slams down to silence those who would challenge the foundations of their faith.

Global climate change has morphed out of global warming. The shift was required to allow the theory to fit the reality of changeable weather. There is a body of evidence to support the contention of cyclic weather patterns of global heating and cooling. There are supporters of the theory that man's impact on the weather is not as significant as we are sometimes told it is. There is data that indicates we are currently in a cooling period after a decade or two of heating. There is reasonable basis for a fair and equitable debate.

Unless, of course, you are an Academy Award winning Nobel laureate and former Vice-President of the US. Then you can testify before the friendly Congress despite absolutely no credentials in the field of climatology without fear of challenge:

Because We Said So

That's right. A recognized expert has been requested by the minority party in our government to come and engage in challenging dialogue. He might be right or he might be wrong, but the same can be said of the VP. The difference is that this guy is credentialed in the field.

Why can't the public see the arguments pro and con, expressed in the hallowed halls of government? Why can't we weigh the evidence ourselves after seeing a point-by-point refutation of the argument? What are they afraid of?

Could it be truth? Could it be derailing of their agenda to build a subservient Third-World class America?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Scathing Attacks

Rahm Emanuel appeared with that bastion of media fairness and equanimity, George Stephanopolous on Sunday to explain the rationale for releasing those CIA memos on how we actually applied "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques." The explanation was magnificent. It was, he patiently explained, to improve America's status among the Jihadis of the world. By showing them what we do, how we do it, the limits on how far interrogators can go and promising a kinder gentler welcome should they ever be our guests, they would now love us. Here's a quote from a commentator:

Turning aside the quest for answers to knotty questions -- including several on the point that most of what we now know about al Qaeda had been gleaned precisely from these enhanced interrogations -- Mr. Emanuel indicated that the Obama administration was guided by higher concerns. He proceeded patiently, to explain. By revealing the memos, with their detailed information on those interrogation techniques (now banned), we had elevated our moral status in the eyes of the world. More important, we had improved our standing in the eyes of potential terrorists. This would undermine al Qaeda, Mr. Emanuel explained, because those interrogations of ours helped to enlist terrorists to their cause. All of which was why the publication of the memos -- news of which would presumably touch the hearts of militants around the world -- would make America safer.

There is always danger in repeating propositions like this often, among them the likelihood that their irrationality will begin to make itself clear to anyone hearing it over time.

I particularly like the final comment on the irrationality becoming manifest over time. Then there is this about the Messiah's recent trip to Europe:

He had gone to Europe not as the voice of his nation, but as a missionary with a message of atonement for its errors. Which were, as he perceived them -- arrogance, dismissiveness, Guantanamo, deficiencies in its attitudes toward the Muslim world, and the presidency of Harry Truman and his decision to drop the atomic bomb, which ended World War II.

There seems to be very little which America has done in the last century which he is not willing to grovel about. The observer then adds this explanation about where it all came from--an explanation I heartily agree with:

None of this display during Mr. Obama's recent travels could have come as a surprise to legions of his supporters, nor would many of them be daunted by their new president's preoccupation with our moral failures. Five decades of teaching in colleges and universities across the land, portraying the U.S. as a power mainly responsible for injustice and evil, whose military might was ever a danger to the world -- a nation built on the fruits of greed, rapacity and racism -- have had their effect. The products of this education find nothing strange in a president quick to focus on the theme of American moral failure. He may not share many of their views, but there is, nonetheless, much that they find familiar about him.

The remarkable part is that these opinions are not from some extreme right-wing blogger. Read the whole thing here:

Wall Street Journal Opinion

Member of the Team

It would be funny if it weren't so tragic. The blatant incompetence of the administration is on display daily. We've gone from the incessant withdrawals of nominees because each was revealed to be tainted worse than the previous one. Then we've had the failure of the Sec Treasury to be able to articulate his promised plan when promised leading to continued market erosion for another thousand D-J points. There are the regular and frequent gaffes of the VP who has apparently been muzzled this week in the White House basement. And, now this week we've got Fidel Castro yelling, "Not so fast, Obama!" The bearded one is explaining that the lovefest between the Messiah and figurehead Cuban leader, Raoul, was misunderstood. At least there is consistency in the incompetence. It permeates.

The flap of the week was Homeland Security boss, Napolitano, advising everyone to watch out for us veterans. We're the sort of folks that are enmeshed in patriotism and that pesky Constitution. We're familiar with guns and we know how to use them. We're dangerous.

She got called out on it. She didn't recant. She stayed on page one. She apologized. Sort of.

Did she shut up? Nah. They don't do that. After all, they won the election. Check this:

Inadequately Briefed

She accuses our neighbors to the north of being the transit route for the 9/11 terrorists. When proven wrong, does she apologize? Her response is to say she can't be bothered with the past, she's got to deal with the future.

Might I reference Santayana for her with regard to lessons to be learned?

Would You Talk?

The slithering is going to get really slimey in the coming days as the glow of return from the "We Love Everyone Tour" begins to fade. After embracing every scum-bag anti-American dictator on the planet, the Messiah now must take the moral high ground back for the nation. We've got to track down the evil torturers of the nice guys from Tora Bora and bring them to justice.

Anyone who has watched a couple of episodes of "24" knows the problem. There is a certified bad guy in your grasp. There is a known plot to destroy the (insert disastrous target of your choice here). The death and destruction will occur in a few short hours. Only the bad guy can disclose the location of the weapon, trigger, launch vehicle, whatever. So, what do you do?

Apparently the new Big Boss thinks that you must maintain your decorum and invite the terrorist to tea to develop rapport. Anything more medieval would damage our international reputation and create a backlash in the Muslim world generating more terrorist activities. A few hundred American lives is small price to pay for maintaining our dignity.

One of the biggest arguments being surfaced now is that torture doesn't work. It doesn't gain data. What you get is unreliable. The bad guy will lie. How then do you explain this memo coming from the Messiah's own chosen Director of National Intelligence:

Dear Me, They Have Rights Too

Or these quotes from various CIA and administration sources:

More Effective Than Not

Or the details from this forgotten CIA report:

Fuggedabout Da Facts

Yes, I will stipulate that sometimes a trained resistor will make stuff up and misdirect you to stop the discomfort. But, if there is a chance that something will be disclosed to stifle the plot, don't you need to take it?

How many really despicable people have you ever known? Hopefully not a lot, but I'm willing to bet you've encountered a couple. Were they really honorable? Were they courageous? Were they internally strong and principled folks? Hardly.

They are mud-crawlers without scruples. They are more than likely willing to take an easy way out whenever they can. They've already demonstrated that they would prefer to kill innocents by remote control rather than face an armed military defender. Why would I believe that at least some of them wouldn't give up the plot to save themselves?

It's worth the effort. And, even if the intel gained isn't reliable, there would be a certain level of satisfaction in knowing that the sleaze bucket was made uncomfortable for a while before being issued his Koran and ACLU lawyer.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Fort Bergen-Belsen

It is easy to be paranoid these days. One need only watch the daily show in DC and see the creation of the totalitarian future of America. Money is dispensed without regard for the future debt burden to those who support the administration. Pork has become earmarks which have morphed into infrastructure development which is actually vote buying.

Major industries are being nationalized. Resisting companies are being mandated to become subservient through arm-twisting, jaw-boning and outright coercion. When the resistance becomes too great, the CEOs are summarily removed and Boards of Directors are disolved or simply over-ruled.

The future of firearms ownership in the nation seems in jeopardy and a virtual gun-buying panic has developed. Non-sporting guns are in short supply and they are exactly the items that the Second Amendment was written to protect. Ammo for defensive handguns and tactical rifles has simply disappeared from inventories.

People who are successful anticipate being stripped of their property in a vast redistribution effort while those who have insured their healthcare look to a future of reduced benefits and clinical indifference modeled on the third world. Schools are on the verge of becoming indoctrination centers and the military is downsized to depend upon 1980's technology available for 1920 sized forces.

Top it off with impending environmental restrictions which are going to disable our power plants, shut down our industries, stifle our economy and blow inflation out the roof as shortages become rampant. We'll be green but hungry and poor. But at least we will have saved the planet.

Now, take a minute to read this:

Jackboots Cometh in the Night

Be sure that you followed the link to GovTrack or to OpenCongress to read the actual proposed legislation. It's short, so it won't be too painful.

Clearly the trend of the administration is going to increasingly breed some resistance. That will generate organization and protests. The TEA Party business was just the beginning. It apparently will be necessary to be prepared for that with nice fenced compounds where they can gather these dissidents and re-educate them.

How fascinating that this should surface on Holocaust Day!

Monday, April 20, 2009

How Do He Do Dat?

This requires some finger dexterity which is incredible to contemplate:

Never Grow Up

Just back from San Diego and a gathering of around 400 of my closest friends, the annual reunion of the Red River Rats. The "Rats" are an organization of military aviators who have been downtown to see the elephant. We were formed at the peak of the Rolling Thunder campaign, bombing North Vietnam out of fighter bases in Thailand. Three of the senior leaders concluded that the three wings from which much of the campaign was being waged needed to talk to each other to devise tactics, develop some understanding and esprit and possibly enhance our survivability. It apparently worked.

Membership in the organization was originally limited to guys who flew combat missions into the valley of the Red River of North Vietnam, the heavily defended area around Hanoi. Now we've expanded to include warriors from Kosovo, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. We've got a number of the Fighter Chicks in the group, a lot of active duty guys, many folks who are military aviation supporters and all of the Nam-POWs (the Vietnam POW organization) on our membership rolls.

Practice reunions were held each year of the Vietnam War and the "First Real Reunion" was in 1973 when the POWs were released. Since then we gather every year for the national reunion, a four day event in which we resume friendships forged in fire and refuse to act our age. Local Rat Packs have social gatherings throughout the year. Next weekend the Seymour-Johnson AFB area Rats will be gathering at the annual Blue Angels exhibition and air show. They will sponsor a "Pig Pulling" BBQ of one or more whole pigs and host a bunch of the wounded warriors from the nearby facilities.

It's more than fun and games however. The Rats have donated more than $2 million in scholarships to families of POWs and military vets and are very active in supporting the returning warriors from the current conflicts. Rats contribute time, money and support at major military medical facilities such as Brooke Army Medical Center and Walter Reed Hospital. After Hurrican Katrina, the Rats didn't wait for Ray Nagin to start begging, but sent $100,000 to the recovery effort to help support our friends in the area.

Learn more about the RRVA (Red River Valley Association) here:

River Rats Home Page

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

That's Not a Good Plan

Even if we (meaning the administration collectively) were too stupid to realize what blathering about insolvency or bankruptcy might trigger the results when it was done should have taught the lesson. If a senior government official, for example the Sec. of the Treasury or the Messiah himself, should postulate that if this were true and that might be then disaster would befall an entity the result is inevitably self-fulfilling prophecy.

Suggest that CITI group could be shaky and in a day or two it is!

So, how could this be a good plan?

Clueless Continues

That's right, folks. Your crack government staff plans to issue a statement reporting the "stress test" results on 19 of the largest financial institutions in the nation.

My guess is that unless there is the improbable result of a 19-way tie for first place the next step is disaster. And, maybe even with a 19-way tie, the interpretation could be that all of them are insolvent and unreliable.

Why don't they just sit back and sip on a great big cup of STF Up!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Once Upon a Time

Read and savor this short paragraph:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

That seems pretty simple doesn't it? A power that can't be found in the Constitution as "enumerated" (that's spelled out clearly for the folks in Washington DC) is reserved to the states for their handling unless it is prohibited by that very same Constitution for the states to do that. Short, sweet and to the point.

It captures what the Founding Fathers had in mind...a limited government that would not be able to intrude very heavily on the prerogatives of the states. Where has the concept gone?

A tax on carbon dioxide emissions? "I breathe therefore I emit..."

Universal national health care? A mandate of how many miles per gallon a car must deliver if they will allow it to be produced? A requirement to hire someone preferentially because of their ethnicity? Government choosing to fund or not support competing businesses? It would be damned tough to find those authorities enumerated in the Constitution.

Why then do we, why then do we demand that our government do them? We lose our freedom in the process, but no one seems to care.

So, this comes to us from the governor of my state:

Texas Reaffirms State Sovereignty

How appropriate that it comes on the eve of "Redistribution of Wealth" day, that annual festivity when 10% of Americans provide 70% of the money to run their government for the coming year as 40% of the population awaits their handouts for fairness.

Will anyone take heed?

A Philosophical Basis for Defense

In all too many instances a discussion of a question of freedom and liberty can become little more than a school-yard argument with shouted slogans and personal attacks. There is too much volume and not enough thinking.

That is why this detailed discussion which freely offers the opposition viewpoint and then effectively dismantles it point by point with reason and empirical data is so valuable:

Rational Argument With Graphs

Let me only add one perspective to the discussion. Whether we are talking about gun control or CAFE standards for automobiles, the single factor that seems to be overlooked is the fact that America is a huge nation with considerable differences as we proceed across the land. Unlike Europe which tends to be relatively small countries with dense, often homogeneous populations, America is vast. Big cars don't fit down narrow streets and much of life is within walking distance.

While our cloistered legislators view the world from the congested towers of Washington DC with occasional visits to their urban constituencies, many of us live in the heartland. There distances are great, need to travel them is constant if we wish to have a job or food on our table, and roads require reasonable but much higher speeds to be effective. Cars tend toward SUV and pick-ups with significant size, payload and power-plants.

When trouble strikes and we are endangered or threatened our survival is dependent upon our own resources to deal with the situation because even in the most ideal conditions the first responders will take some time arriving. The question of outcome will be decided long before the uniformed police arrive on the scene.

You can scream on the street in New York City or Washington DC and you will be heard by someone. They probably won't come to your aid, but you will know that you were heard. You probably are going to be the star of the 10 PM news as the ubiquitous surveillance cameras capture your acquiesence to the goblins who are beating you. You wouldn't want to have a weapon there, of course.

In a lot of the country, you can scream quite loudly and no one is there to hear. I like the idea of being responsible for myself. I would be happy to have law enforcement come to my rescue, but I realize that until they get here, I'm in charge. Hence you find us disillusioned and clinging to our guns...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Non-Trivial Task

It sounds like all that was needed was the Messiah's go-ahead. With approval from on high, you simply rescue the captain. Done deal.

But, consider this high stakes game of Whack-a-Mole. You've got the pirates aboard a covered lifeboat in choppy seas. It is night. You put three snipers on the fantail of a destroyer. The destroyer is rolling and pitching as it plows forward. The pirates are concealed from view. The lifeboat is rocking and rolling severely. The hostage captain is at the wrong end of an AK-47.

You have to get the three pirates all into view at the same time. One, two, three they pop up not much higher than shoulder level. The three snipers must all take a shot from a moving platform to a moving platform at night across a distance of about forty yards at exactly the same time. All three shots must be instantaneous kills.

That is what is being largely under-reported and that is an impressive task by anyone's standards.

Where do we get such men?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Walk Down Memory Lane

It won't mean much to many of you, but for those who were there this will trigger some recollections:

It wasn't good or bad, it simply was.

Administration Theme Song

Heard from the West Wing of the White House this morning before the Easter Egg Roll:

Particularly apropos is Michelle's comment, "With the things you'd be thinkin' you could be another Lincoln..." Yes, we've heard the parallel made so many times recently. Or Hamilton or Jefferson or Kennedy or Reagan or MLK or any of those great folks all wrapped up into one scrawny little pandering, indecisive package.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Expanding the Issue

This high seas adventure is getting pervasive. Now there's this one:

It's All About the Leverage

If you are engaged in maritime commerce within 500 miles of the east coast of Africa you seem to be vulnerable. That's a threat to a lot of commerce. The only reason they grab an ocean-going tug humping two barges is to grab another nation's sailors as more bargaining power.

Among the fascinating revelations of this has been the apparent common national prohibition against carrying any sort of armament on merchant vessels. I'm not talking depth charges and torpedoes here. I'm not even considering five-inch guns or Jack Sparrow's cannons. How about some of the nice personal weaponry that permeates the region?

Sailors tend to be take charge kinds of guys. They work hard, take risks for rewards and when ashore might frequent the more macho sides of the port cities. I can honestly see them being willing to put up a respectable resistance to a handful of skinny rag-heads armed with AK-47s and grappling hooks 350 miles out to sea.

What I'm seeing instead looks a lot like Washington DC after dark, or Cabrini Green in Chicago or the Bronx or Bed-Sty in Boston. We've legislated their defensive guns away from them while the goblins have no such scruples about law compliance. Wouldn't a dozen FN-FAls in a locker on board be a handy resource? Wouldn't a score of Springfield SOCOM-16s be just the thing for repelling borders? How about a shiny new Barrett .50 BMG to pot-shot an approaching pirate vessel? The crew could even have a pool for who gets the most one-shot sinkings on a voyage.

Of course, with all of the new language coming out of the Obama White House, we've got this change to contend with:

Offensive Name Replaced

Seriously now, can't we simply kill a couple of hundred of these scum, sink their boats and then enjoy another 200 years of unimpeded use of the high seas like after Tripoli?

Pest Control--Who Ya Gonna Call?

We drift, literally, into the fourth day of the piracy saga off the coast of Somali with the USN looking a bit perplexed with regard to allowable options under the Rules of Engagment. One might suggest thinking "outside the box" on this. If your list of options seems thwarted by the ROE, it might be time to consider revising the ROE!

Pathetic Responses

Once again we see the Islamists (make no mistake, the Somalis are exactly that and have been since well before "Blackhawk Down,") are using their well-oiled PR machine to link the American confrontation with a group of other currently held pirate hostages. Now, think how pathetic that statement is! This sort of activity is so common that right now, the pirates also hold Phillipine, Russian and German ships with hostages. The linkage of what happens to the American to what the outcome might be for the other nation's citizens is designed to further limit the US options. We might handle our situation, but the success would cause the execution of the rest.

Notice, in particular, the strong position of the VP of the Phillipines:

"We hope that before launching any tactical action against the pirates, the welfare of every hostage is guaranteed and ensured," said Vice President Noli de Castro. "Moreover, any military action is best done in consultation with the United Nations to gain the support and cooperation of other countries."

I can see that approach getting a lot done. We'll consult with the UN!

How about this. Let's outsource the job. There have been hostage situations before that resulted in something more satisfying than a ransom being paid, a reputation being sullied and a notch in the rusty guns of the bad guys.

Let's put out an RFP (Request for Proposal) and get bids from the Israeli military. I'm certain that they could cobble together something like Entebbe again. Or how about asking the German SKS who did such a great job a couple of decades ago against the train seizure and hostage taking in their country. The Brits have always had a very creditable, well-trained and brutally efficient group in their SAS. There are a lot of other potential bidders. We certainly could entertain proposals from our own Delta Force and might even open it to private contractors--I like the ring of that one, a free enterprise capitalist solution!

Then, we could get an omelette made. There might be same eggs broken, but the outcome would be quite satisfying.

Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?

A basic for any operation is to know your enemy. It is foolish to act without knowing where you are and what the defensive reaction might be. It might even be better to cancel the proposed operation if your enemy is too strong for you or the outcome might not be worth the risk.

Here's a story of four of the luckiest men alive. Stupid, but certainly lucky:

Know Your Enemy

What kind of fool would, on a whim, kill a man's dog? Why would you simply stop on the road, go behind a person's house and shoot a pet? Is this a thrill? Is there any justification?

To do it at the house of a Navy SEAL, however, is a big mistake. To survive it? That's being the luckiest guys on the planet. Not that they deserve to be, but they are.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Molon Labe!

Who is Bobby Rush? He's a congressman from the Chicago area. He's black. He was a founding member of the Black Panthers. Remember them? They were black revolutionaries of the late '60s, sort of our home-grown version of terrorists. He was convicted as a result of his activities for federal firearms violations. Isn't he an unlikely legislator for this?

Licenses, Photos, Fees and Red Tapes Will Make You Safe

Who was Blair Holt you ask? It's in the text of the bill. He was a high school student in Chicago who got offed by a gang-banger on a city bus.

Now any logical person would ask if the proposed draconian national registration system with its bloated bureaucracy would have saved young Blair. Can you own a handgun in Chicago? Nope. Is Chicago policed? Is it illegal to carry a concealed weapon in Chicago? Is it legal to shoot someone in the People's Republic of Illinois?

So, Rush wants a law to effectively create a national firearms control agency which will tax gun owners, track our firearms, dismantle the Second Amendment and have absolutely no impact in situations such as the crime cited as justification for the law.

Only in America. But, hopefully not for long.

The Oath Lasts a Lifetime

I've got a strong feeling that you will be seeing this in a lot of places:

The wisdom of our forefathers continues to astound. What were they thinking when they wrote our basic oath and used the phrase, "preserve, protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign AND DOMESTIC."

Thursday, April 09, 2009

When You Miss the Launch

I had the good fortune of having "When Thunder Rolled" reviewed in the Wall Street Journal about a month after it was released. Within 24 hours the book sales were in the top 100 at Amazon. By 48 hours it was in the top 10 and peaked at #8. Sales remained in the top 100 for a month. The influence of a full review in the WSJ can't be underestimated.

So, being a regular reader as well as a part-time computer junkie, I caught this item today:

Rocket Assist to Stardom

That looks like something I need to look in on. So, I fired up the old browser (actually the new browser--IE 8) and went to TrueSlant

The interface is slick, with the modern clean-page sort of Web portal look that is the current trend. Little pictures of contributors with links to their articles, snippets of recent pithy pronouncements, headlines, and an assortment of whiz-bang like RSS feeds and item tracking for the anal retentive.

The problem was that the experience was like showing up at a middle school pep rally. The "journalism" was adolescent, the commentary was self-indulgent and the entire page was apparently plagued with predominantly slow servers and bad links.

There was the predictable political trashing--a New York "baseball reporter" writing a pondering piece on whether President Bush might be booed in Dallas when throwing out the first ball at the Rangers opener. Is that stupid or what? Bush was the former boss of the Rangers. He now lives in Dallas. This is his home country. It ain't New York. And frankly we are glad of that!

For "entertainment" there was an embedded viddie of Eminem's latest mash-up. It convinced me once again that his musical genre is for primitives and his talent is for little more than gutter language and mouth-breathing sex jokes.

Other places, when I could get to them were similarly Twitter-ish or Facebook egotistical. The prevailing political lean (there always is one...) is New York Times with the constraints of actual responsibility removed. They are left, anti-gun, anti-talk radio, metrosexual, hip to the point of stereotypical and not worth a revisitation.

They might have gotten a big boost from the WSJ coverage, but at the current level they aren't ready for that audience. I doubt they will ever be.

Where's Jefferson?

An American ship boarded on the high seas. An unarmed merchant vessel crew taken prisoner followed by a negotiation and botched prisoner exchange. A ship's captain held hostage and a Secretary of State blustering about what she will do.

Is this deja vu all over again?

The Lessons of History

Once upon a time we had men in America who believed that diplomacy had limits and military action was often the remaining alternative that could be relied upon. Other nations whine and plead, they send warships and then negotiate the conditions of payment of an exorbitant ransom. We've got a destroyer alongside now and I'd be willing to bet some other combat vessels close at hand. What are we going to do?

I'd start by issuing an ultimatum, similar to Jefferson's. I'd take advantage of the 21st century intelligence capabilities we've got. I'd ready some "special operators" and conduct a mission similar to those early "Leathernecks" in which those who conduct this piracy are rooted out of their ratholes.

It's possible that some innocent lives will be lost in the process. Lloyd's of London might have to pay off an insurance policy for a ship that was badly damaged or lost in the process. But, in the long run the outcome will be worth the battle.

It Makes a Great Story

We've all known someone who embellishes a story a bit too much. Pretty soon they are like the boy who cried "Wolf!" We don't believe them any more. We ignore them. We pay no attention to their braggadocio.

But, that's family and friends. When it comes to the American political scene the stories take on a life of their own. Rather than being scoffed at and discrediting the blow-hard, we seem to embrace the fiction and it becomes revisionist fact:

Creating a Legend

Vice-President Joe "The Mouth" Biden isn't known for fact-based discourse. Whether it is his somewhat checkered plagiarist educational past or his spelling prowess as in "a three-letter word, J-O-B-S," we've come to hang on his every creative speaking moment.

Now, the once-upon-a-time Senator is weaving the story about his chastising of the President within the Oval Office. It certainly makes him seem more like an uncultured boor than a seasoned elder statesman. Apparently in his glassy eyes it gives him street cred and a macho swagger.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

More Power for Da Man

Talk about your unholy alliances, here we've got Dem. Sen. John "I Inherited Mine" Rockefeller and Rep. Sen. Olympia "First RINO" Snowe uniting to be sure you all are protected by his Messiahship:

Am I to be a Cybersecurity Risk?

The nice folks at that link have taken the pains to highlight the scariest parts of the story.

A Painful List

I visit Salon regularly because of the basic military dictum of "know your enemy." They are generally liberal, but occasionally there is insight and honesty from even that quadrant. Camille Paglia isn't very liberal at all, yet she contributes regularly to the pages of that e-Zine:

Where Stoppeth the Buck?

The MSM's fawning adoration of everything the Messiah and Michelle did on the G-20 excursion downplayed so much, but check this list from the Paglia piece:

  1. The "president's tacky appearance on a late night comedy show."
  2. The "kitsch gift given to the British Prime Minister." (and the Queen!)
  3. The "sweater clad first lady's over-familiarity with the Queen."
  4. The "jaw dropping spectacle of a president of the US bowing to the king of Saudi Arabia."
  5. The "ambiguity of Obama's birth certificate."
  6. The "embargo on Obama's educational records."
  7. The "fidelity to leftist Saul Alinsky."
  8. The "questions about production of his two memoirs."

And, that doesn't even begin to address the appointment of a buffoonish cadre of tax-evading poltical hit-men with more questionable work experience than even the Messiah himself.

So even Slate is nipping at the heels of the man who would be king.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Riddle Me This

I fear redundancy. I've written several times here about the manifest disconnect between the words of the Messiah and the reality of either his actions or the world we live in. For example, we've got the question of spending versus income and how it applies to a national budget. Or, maybe there is effort versus reward and the relationship of that to economic equality (whatever that means.)

He outdid himself this week-end. He spoke in truly inspiring terms about nuclear proliferation and taking the lead for the world to follow by rendering the country he is responsible for defenseless. While he was doing it, our enemies were graphically illustrating the ludicrous truth of his idealistic flight of fantasy. Their nose-thumbing was followed immediately thereafter by the global response of the Dis-United Nations. A collective "tsk-tsk" was heard from the Security Council followed by a deep and profound sigh.

Read this and weep:

Reality, I Divorce You

During the Victorian Era, diplomacy masked itself as a morality play. There were "good guys" and "villains" with your nation always being on the proper side of the ethical equation. During the first half of the Twentieth Century the United States rose twice to "save the world for democracy." That illustrates it perfectly.

But, then thinking shifted drastically. Folks like Hans Morganthau and Henry Kissinger postulated that nations acted rationally, not morally. They act in their perceived self-interest. They are like children, rambunctious but able to understand consequences and outcomes. They can be maneuvered by positive or negative reinforcement. Do what we prefer and you will get a cookie or a beneficial trade agreement. Do what we told you not to and you will go to bed without your favorite TV show or we will militarily deal with you. Self-interest determines how the child/nation then responds.

So explain this to me. If nations perceive nuclear weapons as a symbol of their technical prowess and military capability would they not strive for them? If they see nations in possession of nuclear weapons able to exercise considerably more power in relations with others, would they not wish to join the club? If they view nuclear retaliatory capability as life insurance for their people would they not seek it?

Are there fewer or more nations each day on the verge of nuclear capability? The answers to all of these questions are obvious. Then, if that is the case, how will unilateral nuclear disarmament by the US impact their choices? If we lead the way into passivity and defenselessness, will they blithely follow? Will terminating a purely defensive, non-nuclear, anti-missile system make us more secure? Will the world truly be a better place?

It takes no rocket scientist to know the answers. Certainly a Harvard graduate should be able to figure it out, particularly with the counsel of the alleged "smartest woman on the planet."

What It Isn't

SecDef Robert Gates dropped the other shoe yesterday. He announced his budget plans for the coming period and it included his proposals for shaping the force. That involves acquisition proposals for weapons. It also involves production adjustments, purchase forecasts and program proposals. Here's the coverage:

Raptor Eggs Make Omelets

As a tactical aviator by temperment, training and experience, it tugs at my hardened heart to see the F-22 program not extended. I was there at the beginning, working at Northrop on the YF-23 proposal when the outline was for around 800 of those airplanes. It would have essentially replaced the entire F-15 air superiority fleet. That, of course was right at the leading edge of the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was 13 years before 9/11.

Along the way the program was stretched, not for military reasons usually, but for political ones. Dollars and jobs drive these things as much as operational effectiveness. Eventually as the remarkable aircraft came online, the total buy had been whittled down to 187 aircraft. At raw numbers that is ten squadrons--but that isn't true. Some of those birds are development and test-beds. A couple of squadrons are training dedicated. Combat ready, you'll be lucky to see six fully operational squadrons.

Everyone hoped for an extension. There's 90,000 jobs attached to the program and it will be hard for the Messiah to shield that number from scrutiny. But, Gates makes the case that the competition for an airplane like the Raptor doesn't pose that great a threat any more.

The pacifist press plays the "cancellation" headline at the top. But, read the rest of the request. Down lower in the news the buy of the lighter, smaller, ground-attack optimized F-35 is at about 2400 aircraft! The Lightning II (fighter pilots won't call it that!) is the replacement for the F-16 Viper. It is the bird that will be the flex fighter for the most likely conflicts of the next twenty years. It is stealthy, capable of precise munitions delivery and respectable in the potential air-to-air arena particularly if supported by a handful of Raptors conducting sweeps.

The desired reaction from the unwashed masses is, "Oh goodie. More money for my welfare check and less for those nasty old military brutes. Peace is at hand!" But, in reality, the Gates proposal appears to be a rational approach to the new situation. It maintains a sizeable force capable of responding effectively to foreseeable threats. It clearly isn't a disarmament by any interpretation.

The problem now is how the proposal will come out of the sausage grinder. Common sense or national defense don't usually enter into that equation.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Once in Control, We Do Not Relinquish

Possibly the most under-noticed critical story of the past day or two is this one:

It Isn't About the Money

That editorial piece describes Stuart Varney's astonishment that the Obama administration really doesn't want those tax-payer dollars back when a private enterprise entity doesn't need them. The goons of the government forced banks and lending institutions to take TARP funds even when they wanted to forego the pleasure. The idea is that if a company has federal funds in the till, then there is justification for the ministers of the mob to maintain control of the entity. They can hire, fire, mandate and misdirect to their greedy little dictatorial heart's content.

Billy Beck supplied the link to the WSJ editorial and then chastises Varney as only Beck can with the briefest summary of what his personal credo has long been. Look for it in the April 6 postings as "It Really Can Happen Here." Two-Four

Now as soon as Obama burns the Reichstag and suspends the Constitution to better deal with the national threat we might begin to understand where this all leads.

21st Century "Duck and Cover"

I grew up in the McCarthy era. There was a Stalinist under every bed and nuclear war was a possibility on every day. The Civil Defense signs were seen in hallways of down-town office buildings and large cardboard boxes sat in basement stairwells filled with survival supplies. Subway entrances were posted with "shelter" signs as well as Chicago Transit Authority logos.

In school we learned that desks near the windows got you a fresh air breeze in the temperate months, but offered the possiblity of gamma ray flash burns followed by severe lacerations when the blast wave blew out the glass. Periodically we would do the government mandated "duck and cover" drill and every Tuesday morning at 10:30 the air raid sirens would be tested for one minute.

Were we scared little tykes? Well, yes, we were. My secure world and my loving parents could be annihilated in a very literal flash.

So, what do you make of this:

Indoctrinate While Young

"Are you worried the earth won't exist when you grow up?" Excuse me, if the earth won't exist, you won't grow up will you? What kind of rational adult poses this question to a 6-11 year old?

Notice that the concerned parent quite reasonably asks the telephone poller who sponsors this survey. He gets no answer.

Can there be any doubt who it might be? It's a four-letter word...G..O..R....No more hints.

So, little tykes, to save the planet, you be sure to dun your parents into buying a piece of crap electric car for $40,000 dollars, giving up air conditioning, foregoing electric lights in the house, and converting to windmills and solar panel suits for their entire body.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Never-Ending Search

The willingness to express racial indignation for almost anything is seemingly always a bit more extreme. We might recall nearly a decade ago the deep umbrage taken when someone accused an individual during a public speech of being "niggardly." It mattered not what the definition of the word is, the resemblance to the all-to-familiar racial slur allowed for the ignorance of taking offense to prevail over common sense.

How many times during the campaign was the slightest reference to ethnicity pointed out as being a serious breach of polite discourse. You might even recall the twisting of the race issue by candidate Obama himself into accusations of what his opponent might probably do, not what he actually did.

So can we be surprised at this:

What Would The Colonel Say?

Apparently now the linkage between fried chicken and race is established, but I'm not sure how pizza fits into the equation.

We've seen the Messiah's image, logo, name, and slogan plastered all over the civilized and uncivilized world for the last three years. What's wrong with a restaurant in Brooklyn and in Harlem using the name?

Should I be offended by the clear slur I see every day at KFC when the connection is so shamelessly made between fried chicken and chubby, old, white guys?

I never realized. Maybe there's a law suit in this...

Capitalism Is The Villain

Ohh, yeah! The UN "Commission of Experts" explains what the world needs now. What I need now is an explanation of how much hubris it takes to become a member of any agency which would give itself such a pompous title.

Take a deep breath then read this:

UN Recommends a Global Tax

Some pithy pronouncements from the piece that will give you insight into our very own current administration's ideas:

The report blends the socialist and Islamic economic perspectives as an alternative to our present capitalistic system. It has four basic themes. Western-style free market capitalism is the villain. Redistributive justice is mandatory. New global governance authorities are required. Global taxes are also needed.

Personally I see more Islamic nations reaching toward a twelfth century sort of dark ages than succeeding with the "Experts" concept of enlightened economic perspectives. If we don't have a petro-dollar fueled oligarchy we've got stark primitivism in the Islamic world.

Are you wondering what makes the Islamic system so desireable? First don your burka and abandon your iPod habits, then take this into consideration:

The Islamic financial system derives its strength and stability from its faculty to uphold Shariah principles.

See? If we simply had some goons with clubs marching up and down Wall Street enforcing Shariah, we would have avoided all of this travail.

Now you are probably asking yourself, who could possibly be able to handle this conversion from the evil world in which we Americans live and move us toward the paradise of redistribution of our wealth to the third world. You want to know who would lead us to Shariah and dismantle our capitalism so that we can share the joys of poverty with Islamic nations. Look back to the article and see:

The only institution that the UN experts believe has broad enough political legitimacy to serve as the global decision making forum and eliminate the abuses of free market capitalism is, unsurprisingly, the body that gave them the platform to air their views on a global stage in the first place – the United Nations.

I've always been able to make an argument that the UN was a debating forum for better world understanding, even when they often have demonstrated that they don't have our best interests in mind. But, now I've tipped over on this. They are a subversive element in our society. They seek our downfall while flourishing within our hospitality. They take our money while slapping us down regularly in their General Assembly. They demand without respect. They need to find a new home for their headquarters.

I'd suggest someplace nice like Kabul or Islamabad. I hear the weather is nice there this time of year and global warming won't be causing any flooding very soon.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Churchill Verdict Says Little

The jury did what juries do. They simpered and whimpered and gave him a buck-a downpayment on a latte. Nothing more.

American Spectator offers a commentary on the verdict:

Churchill and Eichmann Redux

Sure, only one juror drove the $1 award. She should be immortalized as a single individual who has a clue in that courtroom. But, read to the second half of the article and get a feel for the sort of folks we are dealing with and the way they view authority:

And this juror, she was like. So I goes and then she goes

How anyone could conclude that this perversion of an American, native or otherwise, deserved anything but a boot in the butt escapes me.

What always amazed me about the Ward Churchill saga is his rise to academic royalty at UC Boulder. He did not and still does not have a PhD. He was hired to teach one course as an adjunct. Within a matter of months he was offered a full professorship sans doctorate. Then within the year, tenure. In a span of 18 months he was Department chair. That simply defies logic.

He clearly did get to speak freely, so the First Amendment argument is specious at best. His speech, like yelling "fire" in that ubiquitous theater, bore consequences. That should be the end of the story. The First Amendment doesn't guarantee against a punch in the nose or an ass-kicking.

What remains to be seen is whether this will have any impact at all on his dismissal which was on grounds of his plagiarism and academic fraud, not his immature free speechifying.

So Sue Me

Did you ever despair over the state of popular music? I mean which hip-hop or rap artist will be remembered on a "classic rock" station in fifteen or twenty years? Will we have the equivalent of The Who or Zeppelin or Moody Blues or ELO or Pink Floyd or the Stones? I suppose my parents said the same thing about Glen Miller and Tommy Dorsey.

Well, here's some Saturday AM music. It ain't rock or jazz or rap.

And despite the sound, it isn't Billy Holliday either.


Friday, April 03, 2009


So, we've known for a while that the Messiah is heavily dependent upon the teleprompter. We know conclusively that he is a grandiloquent orator when scripted. And, unfortunately we are increasingly aware that he has nothing to say when it is not written out for him.

This is from the G-20 press conference. He made his prepared statement. He took his routine pre-screened questions with his pre-loaded answers. Then, he took a question from a "foreigner"--that's right, he's in Europe and he calls on a "foreigner" thinking somehow that he possesses the mantle of native citizenship.

The question is simple, if you have a clue. Apparently he doesn't.

He could have said, "that's an important issue, but we didn't have time in this busy conference to discuss it. We will in the near future." See how easy that would have been? And, I'm not even President.

Obama/Geithner Economics Primer

I know a lot of you are having a difficult time understanding the economic situation. Here's a video that explains it all and does it in a manner that is easily understandable. I've little reason to doubt its veracity:

Understand it now?

Future Decline

The G-20 ended with the usual round of back-slapping, congratulatory pronouncements and gratuitous press conferences by each of the participants announcing that everything will be just fine now.

Admittedly it allowed the leaders of 20 major players in the world to meet face-to-face for a couple of brief days. Those sorts of interactions make it easier in periods of crisis to pick up the red phone and have some understanding of what the person at the other end is like.

But, there is also something a bit more sinister involved. Read this carefully:

When the Russian Calls You Comrade

Why do I have the feeling that security, defense, and even capitalism are on the table for slicing and dicing as the young kid gets a lesson from the Bear?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Touching All the Liberal Buttons

While much of the media demonstrates a clear bias, there are a few places that are open to coverage of both sides of the opinion coin. One of those is the Wall Street Journal, although I will confess that a regular columnist who writes a column called "The Tilting Yard" makes me gag.(Thomas Frank) Thursday's WSJ offered a good example of balanced, if not popular for the most likely audience, opinionating.

Relax as you read this socialist blathering which manages in about 1000 words to slip every single neo-Marxist, liberal cliche into the dialogue:

From the Marxist Playbook

Some of the touchy-feely, class-warfare stuff will make you scream. The current economic issues are "a result of Reaganism-Thatcherism." Sure, like warts on your hand are a result of...never mind.

Or how about the use of crisis seven times in only two short sentences? Did you get the gratuituous reference to climate and energy and environment as three distinct crises? How about the whimpering plea that while the developed nations are melting down economically, it is really the third world which didn't have anything to start with which is now suffering so much more?

And then the finale. While he acknowledges that maybe the G-20 might be slightly relevant, the really important stuff will be handled by the "Global Progressive Forum" in Brussels under the auspices of the United Nations and key-noted by our own lovable fuzz-ball, Bill Clinton.

If the column had been run a day earlier I'd have thought it was a prank.

Making It Up

There is an old cliche that we are all entitled to our own opinion, but not to our own facts. There is a similar tongue-in-cheek line about "85% of all statistics are made up on the spot." Both seem increasingly appropriate when we listen to the new administration.

Here's a refreshing piece:

Making Up the Facts

Did you get that? Maybe a slight mis-speak would be allowable if they said 90% but it was actually 83.5%, but the reality of only 17% of those guns being traced back to the US means that those liberal speakers didn't really care about the truth.

Their agenda, not very deeply hidden is gun control for US citizens. Building the strawman of correcting crime in Mexico fueled by American weaponry is simply the foundation for cutting production, imposing licensing, mandatory registration and draconian restrictions on our Second Amendment rights.


A great movie, too seldom seen, was the epic film "1900". Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, it runs over six hours! How's this for cast: Robert DiNiro, Gerard Depardieu, Donald Sutherland, Burt Lancaster, and Sterling Hayden are the top line.

The story tracks two families from the beginning of the 20th century until the end of World War II. One family is wealthy and owns the huge farm, the other is working class and works the fields for the land-owner. It's classic Marxian society.

The sons of the two families share a thorny friendship, growing up together and bonding as boys do while still having the class line drawn heavily between them. They get wrapped up in the events surrounding Mussolini's rise to power with the workers naturally leaning toward communism and the land-owning family, particularly the villainous Donald Sutherland as the farm's foreman, supporting the Fascists.

We should all recall that it ends with Mussolini hanging upside down from a street corner lamp pole. Along the way, the workers rise up and there is predictable carnage and blood-shed.

The Liberation:

So, now jump to this fine comparison offered in the American Spectator this AM:

Incredible Parallelism

I don't think it is too much of a stretch to see exactly what the author describes. I couldn't find much fantasy in the comparisons at all. It is what it is.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Quality Advisors Are Hard to Find

It is customary for visiting dignitaries to exchange small symbolic gifts. In some countries the gifts might be more than simply symbolic. They could be indicators of esteem, relative power, diplomatic conditions and more. For the US and European nations, however they are usually symbolic.

That's why the Messiah's performance on this insignificant little matter after his first 70 days is so indicative of the total incompetence of his administration.

The first noticeable faux pas was the boxed set of DVDs for Prime Minister Gordon Brown when he visited the US. Are the entire staff so parochial and ignorant they didn't know that the discs were incompatible with European video standards? All one would have to do is shop on Amazon to see the different regions that discs are certified for. So, he gives a high-school prom gift and it doesn't work. "It isn't the gift, it's the lack of thought behind it."

Now this:

Where's His Lord Chamberlain?

He gives the British sovereign, a woman in her early '80s, an iPod! Can any sober individual get a picture of the Queen wondering through Buckingham with earbuds stuck in her royal auditory canals listening to downloads of last night's American Idol performances?

Don't we have an ambassador there? Can't he draw upon his culture, breeding and familiarity with the process to offer a little counsel to his President on an appropriate gift? Where is the chamberlain to whisper in the Messiah's ear what he needs to do in a formal dinner or a meeting with a head-of-state?

I mean really, isn't this a bit adolescent? Maybe he'll have a cell phone from a local US company to present to Russian premier Medvedev.

Walking a Thin Line

We have a long history of support for Israel. A couple of other folks in the region have a longer history of dedication to annhilation of that state. In comparing the level of industry, success, stability, democracy and standard of living between Israel and those who want it eradicated, I'd prefer the former to the latter. Hard-working people seeking a life for themselves and their families versus bearded, unwashed radicals with bombs strapped around their teen-agers leave me no difficulty in deciding.

The President, however, has very vocally indicated a desire to tread a new path. It is the same new path that Carter and Clinton, Albright and Christopher went down. We've been here before and seldom seen a good outcome. That euphemistic "peace process" and "roadmap" crap has led to little improvement. The Israeli know it. We should as well.

So, here's the new Prime Minister of Israel, a US educated statesman who has been on the political scene both locally and globally for a long time--longer than our new President has been out of high school in fact. He's got a vested interest in the preservation of his country.

He speaks bluntly to the Messiah:

Messiah, Can You Tap Dance?

Bibi lays it out clearly. We don't have to dig or trust questionable intelligence estimates to recognize Iran's intentions or their capability. They are an open book. We can play patty-cake with them at great risk to the Middle East and the world at large, or we can hear what Israel is saying.

Frankly, I don't think President Obama will listen.

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel

Remember "Cabaret"? That was a musical starring Joel Grey and Lisa Minelli that somehow romanticized the decadent pre-war Berlin sexual depravity. There was a bit of pathos and it pushed the limits of America in 1972.

Last night Fox introduced their latest dive into the slime of America's psyche. The tricked a lot of people by ending the big show, American Idol, at twenty minutes after the hour anticipating that with no other shows starting and the inertia of couch sloths, we wouldn't reach for the clicker. I'd seen the previews and knew what was to be expected, so I nearly knocked over the lamp scrambling for the remote. Take a look:

But, maybe there is hope for the nation. This morning I see this:

No Thanks in Florida

And here:

No Again in Cincy

Frankly this dysfunctional family is disgusting as are the slavering drones who fill their audience and drool in their cheese dip at home.