Saturday, December 31, 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Pluralistic Society

The pundits are going to be in overdrive for the next four days. They have been telling us sequentially who is going to be the GOP presidential nominee for nearly a year and a half. They have elevated and then decapitated one after another, shaping the race and molding the minds of the mindless masses. They've got a disaster in the White House and they want to keep him there for another four years. They know what is best for us and they've seen behind the curtain that the big bucks come to those who support the administration even while the administration is ostensibly vilifying the wealthy. How does Corzine misplace $1.2 billion? How does a solar cell company with a $400 billion million cash infusion go bankrupt in a year?

Now we are getting to crunch time. Actual voters will be expressing actual preferences starting next Tuesday. The snowball is going to roll. But does it really reflect much of anything when it does begin that trajectory?

Iowa is a caucus state. Do you know what that means? It means a marketplace of competing ideas thrown into an arena of neighbors gathered for one cold and snowy night and then a division of preferences rather than a secret ballot. Supporters stand and pontificate on why their conservative is better than your RINO. Some of those pontificators might actually have facts at their command and some might actually be oratorical geniuses. But does it reflect a political preference for the nation to be swayed?

Think about America. Now think about Iowa. Does Iowa look like a microcosm of our nation?

Is Iowa 18% African-American? Is Iowa 16% Latino? Does Iowa have a single metropolitan area of a million people? What is Iowa's industrial contribution? What religious diversity does Iowa have? What percentage of Iowa falls into each economic class and how does that compare to America? Iowa has just seven electoral college votes.

Iowa is rural, agricultural, white-bread, small town Protestant. It's lovely but it really is a very tiny tail wagging a very dissimilar dog.

What will we see come Tuesday? Here's my estimate and it is worth exactly what you've paid to come here and read it:

Ron Paul will finish in the top 3. And, as Count Basie would note, "it ain't got that swing..." It don't mean a thing!

Rick Perry will do better than most pundits have predicted, probably at #3 or 4.

Romney will finish top three as well, but his real focus has been on New Hampshire. He's got support and voters could easily vote for him in the general election, so he's comfortable for now. New Hampshire, however, is similarly weak on parallels to America at large so it may not be very meaningful in the long run.

Gingrich will barely remain in the top tier. He may surprise but I'm suspecting the Ron Paul slash attacks have wounded him among many Iowa voters. That's too bad.

Santorum will be the surprise strong showing. He's burned up shoe leather and he's a likable guy with an approachable style. I think that will play well in Iowa.

Bachmann and Huntsman will drop into the background noise level.


  1. Paul
  2. Santorum
  3. Romney
  4. Perry
  5. Gingrich
  6. Bachmann
  7. Huntsman
But after Iowa, Paul will peter out. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Proper Role of Government

You've often heard me comment on "the proper role of government" in my postings. Quite often that frustrates the ideologically pure because it requires them to suspend their morally superior position and simply ask if the action which they seek is within the realm of a government's necessary functions. Something may be prudent and proper, ethical and correct, but it may be a function of individual responsibility and choice rather than governmental mandate.

Want an example?

Something To Vote On in Los Angeles

So what happens if they move the location to a nice beachfront home in Oxnard?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Memorializing

One does not let an heroic moment in time pass without erecting a suitable memorial. Those who sacrificed so much should not be quickly forgotten. "Never in the course of human conflict have so many owed so much to..." To these scumbags?

The Bishop of London Goes Bats***

But what would be suitable? Here is one of the suggestions:
Or an installation by Chris Offili of dirty needles, condoms and unsold copies of the Socialist Worker sitting on a pile of elephant poo?
Indeed! It could be the touchstone of a worldwide chain of similar installations at all of the defaced sites of the Occupy Movement.

It's Only Money

How can anybody win an election if they don't give candy to the voting kiddies? Seriously, you can't buy enough votes if you don't provide adequate pay-offs, kick-backs and presents.

Slip Me Another Trill and a Half

You know the drill by now. We'll simply repeal the Bush era tax cuts and maybe tweak the rate for "millionaires...aka those making more than $250k/year) up a few points. That should do it.

Did Santa Bring a Glock?

I've never liked Glocks. Don't own one and have never been tempted to buy one. But they are common, popular, and affordable. So, if you might have received a Glock for Christmas you may want to clean it properly before taking it out for the first shooting session. Even if you didn't get a Glock, the basics here are applicable to most quality firearms. Cleaning a gun can be fun:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Unicorn Hunting

Harry Reid may be the dullest, blandest, most scripted and possibly even most ignorant individual ever to occupy the position of Senate Majority Leader. I've never seen him speak extemporaneously. I don't think I've ever seen him look squarely at the camera. I don't think I've heard a hint of modulation as he delivers his talking points. He's a drone. But he's a powerful drone.

You know the mantra. The only solution to the nation's economic problems is massive redistribution. You can phrase it however you please, but the policy position is to increase the "progressiveness" of our tax structure to take more and more from the successful and cut the few remaining tax levies on more and more of the population to insure that they vote Democratic in gratitude. It works quite well so far.

Who creates jobs?

You just got a magnanimous $20 a week for the next eight weeks. It isn't an additional twenty, it's simply not taking a twenty back that they gave you last year. So how many folks are you planning to hire with your windfall?

According to Sen. Reid, it isn't millionaires that hire people. A millionaire job creator is like a unicorn, he says. They don't exist. So what happens if someone seriously examined the data?

Unicorns Found in Forest of Free Enterprise. Lot of Them!

Isn't that surprising? Well, no it isn't. It's purely logical.
Millionaire tax filers earn $221 billion – almost a quarter of a trillion — from business and professions, partnerships, and S-corporations. This is puzzling: If Harry Reid’s figure is correct (2,361 millionaire businesses), then the average millionaire-owned business earns almost a hundred million dollars, and all, except 118 of them, do this without hiring anyone. These super heroes do their own typing, selling, drafting. public relations, building, and manufacturing. They do not need employees. Remarkable!
But then his party has never quite understood the concept of supply/demand, capitalism and free markets, labor and production. These seem so simple, but they are so seldom recognized.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Stuck on Stupid

C'mon folks. Can we get real here? A pair of shoes is not going to make you the jive-ass king of the 'hood.

Charlotte Loses It Over Sneakers

Atlanta Gots to Have Air

Tukwila? Where Da Hell is Tukwila?

Bay Area Bang Bang For Booties

Detroit Break-In

If we want to get into a discussion about total societal breakdown and what it looks like, this might be a good starting point.

Anybody remember what Christmas is about? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?

A Lot of Christmases Past

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I Won't Read Another Poll

The horse-race handicapping of the Presidential contest is simply out of control. The meaningless drivel of comparative match-ups by competing polling firms each trying to decipher trends, influence policy and make profits is no longer relevant.

Maybe it is time to dust off the Constitution. Remember that document? It defines America. It does three essential things. Most people don't realize that. Any constitution does just three things:

  1. Define the organization of a government
  2. Define the operation of that government
  3. Define the limits of the power of that government
See? You didn't know that did you? You ascribed much broader purposes to the document but in the process you overlooked the essential power of the writing itself. 

Why should we go back to the document? Because we need to review how it prescribes the choosing of our chief executive. You don't know what it says. Hell, Al Gore apparently didn't know what it said when he whined that George Bush didn't win the election in 2000. 

Here it is:
2:  Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress:  but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
3:  The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves.  And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each;  which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.  The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted.  The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. 

Ok, you thought you knew that. But did you notice that there is not one single word in that description about any general election? There is nothing about a common citizen casting a single vote!

"Each state shall appoint" in a manner determined by the state legislature means that electors aren't themselves elected.

Why was it done this way? Quite simply because the Founding Fathers had a pretty firm belief that an emotional electorate would succumb to pandering and payoffs leading to corrupted and ineffective governance. And they have been proven absolutely correct, haven't they?

(Please note that the 1-2 selection of President and VP was modified by the 12th Amendment but still doesn't include any citizens voting.)

Shoe On Other Foot

It pays for your Social Security (theoretically). A year ago you were doing OK with the contribution then the Messiah sent you a half a loaf of stale bread for the coming year. To stimulate your extravagant spending he offered you a ONE YEAR reduction of 2% in the payroll tax withholding. For most folks it was virtually unnoticeable. Typically it came to about $20 a week. Hardly a spending spree. For some it got offset by rises in Medicare premiums. My monthly actually dropped by the frightening amount of $2.50.

Now the one year is up and the Bamster squeals. This is tragic. We must extend it again and keep the huge spending wave going forward and the recovery surging...or whatever. So he asks for a year extension, his Democratic controlled Senate gives him two months and the House balks in favor of his desired one year reprieve but they become the bad guys.

How bad is this? Well the White House is collecting sob stories for the media:

No Pizza! No Trip to Grandma's!

But there is one thing that confuses me in this.

If this one year pittance not being extended is so punitive, how is that different than the Bush-era tax cuts that have been in place for eleven years now? They put much more cash in the consumer's hand, they've been in place for a decade, and the economy flourished despite the tragic beginning of the period with 9/11. Only as the clock ran down and the uncertainty of the future began to loom did we see a down-turn and that was linked quite closely to the housing collapse.

Bush tax cuts bad. Bamster chump change good. Seems like simply a matter of scale here.

Some Christmas Guitar

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Fighter Porn


5th generation fighter planes from Gizmodo on Vimeo.

Unwanted At Any Price

Last year in what was conspicuously out of character for Car & Driver magazine, they declared the Chevy Volt as "Car of the Year." So, how has this automotive masterpiece fared in the free market?



Sales are abysmal. But that is even after the artificial bloating of the poor numbers by federally funded (and directed) fleet buys for local government entities. "I'm shocked, simply shocked..."

Could the administration be finagling the "success" story?



But what is it really costing? You won't believe it:

How about $250,000.00 each?

Continuing Christmas Week

After Alice, where could I go?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Decryption Required

Help me to understand this. The country needs jobs and we are all supposed to believe that tax relief to low and middle-income wage earners will suddenly flood the market with spending thereby driving factories to expand, tool up and hire thousands of workers creating a Keynesian perfect storm of growth. From my perspective that's partially true and partially political rhetoric.

Now I begin to get confused. The President claims that a 2% reduction in the payroll tax withholding which pays for Social Security can do that sort of stimulating. We've had it for a year now and it doesn't seem to have set the business world on fire. It has been a temporary measure since it was established, everyone knew that, and it expires at the end of the calendar year.

No one is claiming it worked. But, the President has asked, demanded, decreed, or threatened to hold his breath until he gets his way if Congress doesn't extend the payroll tax relief for another year. OK, maybe I'll concede that like chicken soup for a cold, it couldn't hurt. Except for another $120 billion in deficit spending to keep those SS checks flowing to the old folks which might be viewed as a bit of damage.

Here's where it gets weird. The House of Representatives supports a one-year extension and despite being heavily in the Republican majority they take the President's position. The Senate which is in the majority from the President's own party has just passed a ludicrous bill offering a two month continuation of the payroll tax relief and a two month extension of the now longer than three years of unemployment benefits. TWO MONTHS!

The amount of the payroll tax cut is generalized as $1000 for the year. So two months will be about $85 per month. How many folks do you intend to hire with all of that extra cash in hand? How long a contract will you sign with your new workers?

The Democrats howl victory. The House Republicans balk and say they must have a full year extension. And the President claims it is the Republicans who won't let him have his way.

I just don't get it.

Intro to International Relations 101

A key aspect of the study of international relations is to appreciate the need to respect the culture of the people with which you are dealing. While it might be morally correct and emotionally satisfying to overlay the diplomacy with the facade of western values, the reality is that in many of the tinder-boxes of the world those values don't apply. Social engineering on our behalf is naive and predisposing failure.

What am I talking about? Try this on for size:

Women Will Be Involved in Policy Negotiations

Seriously? How do you think that is going to play in Afghanistan? Saudi Arabia? Sub-Saharan Africa?

Let us note that in many areas of the world women have been politically active for some time and in fact, there are many instances of female success in gaining power and leadership roles. Margaret Thatcher is obvious as well as Golda Meir. Benizir Bhutto, Indira Gandhi, Cristina Kirchner and Angela Merkel are good examples as well. But those are reflections of the societal acceptance within those nations. We don't get to tell them who represents them or who will sit at the negotiating table. We simply don't have that authority.
As a result, U.S. combatant commanders will have an officer dedicated to gender issues to ensure protecting women is central to planning, and American diplomats will focus on bringing women into the political process as a core part of their work.
"Enabling women to have a voice alongside those of men in matters of international peace and security is the right thing to do," a senior administration official said.
That's all a field commander needs! Gotta have an officer "dedicated to gender issues" on the staff. How about an officer dedicated to supply, logistics, communication, fire support, tactical control, etc. War is about killing people and breaking things. "Anything else is rubbish."

And, memo to Hillary: They are COMBAT commanders, not combatant commanders.

If You've Been Naughty...

It might not be pretty.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Good News--Bad News

By now you've seen the headline:

Kim Jung Il Assumes Room Temp

So what comes next?

He paved the transition pathway last year with the elevation of his manifestly unqualified and virtually unknown third son to four-star general status and several other high-level party positions. This would put the qualification for chief executive of North Korea on a par with the incumbent of our own White House. That might be good news for us as a bumbling youth tries to learn on the job. But a bumbling youth with delusions of grandeur and competence in charge of a nuclear (sort-of) power is a tad scary. It might work in a stable and established democracy, but in an authoritarian autocracy things can shake out differently.

We may see a modernization effort and rapprochement with the West and NK's neighbors ala Gorbechev/Yeltsin. Or we might see a frantic attempt at consolidation of power and a demonstration of brutal control exercised through a cadre of loyalists seeking their own benefits. Somehow I think the latter is more probable.

Or we might see an attempt at a coup before such consolidation has a chance to take place. Ambitious opponents with access to a very disciplined military might attempt an overthrow of the dictator. And, that as well, could go either way with respect to the relations with the rest of the world.

Indeed I do live in interesting times.

Christmas is Coming

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Money's No Object

Well, he is the President and he's been campaigning, make that working, really hard solving the nation's free enterprise problems and keeping the masses funded with what is now approaching three years of unemployment benefits. So, while you struggle to keep your job and eke out a bit more from the nearly $100 you won't contribute to your retirement, the Bamster and the Missus toddle off for a few days in a tiny beach-front condo in a run-down neighborhood of Hawaii, just a few doors down from the Western White House which will be vacant.

A Few Million Here, a Few Million There

And lest she and the girls have to languish in the White House itself for an extra three days or so, they've taken the other jet on their own.

Makes you glad to know he's serious about America tightening our belts.

Truth Suppression?

Yes, I am paranoid. But that surely doesn't mean that my freedoms aren't being threatened by government. It merely means I'm concerned and cautious.

So, you may have heard about the Audi Motors President trashing the Chevy Volt as a "car for idiots." The Drudge Report had a header and link for the last two days. The catch is that when you go there to read the full interview, the site is "down for maintenance." Coincidence?

Maybe you can find the original story by a Google of search terms like "Audi President Chevy Volt Idiot". Yep, lots of hits at various blogs. Links from all of them dead-end and one or two indicate that the story has been "taken down." Is this simply a random occurrence?

Finally I found a New York Times piece. Here we get a follow-up in which the core of the matter is that Audi has "walked back" the quotes. Make up your own mind:

Who Pays 15 Gees Extra For a Sub-Standard Corolla Equivalent?

Does that sound like Government Motors exercising their Agit-Prop arm to spin the story as the Volt simply being too far ahead of its time?

Not to me, but maybe a little bit...

In The Season

Friday, December 16, 2011

Iowa Debate

Superficial impressions gleaned from last night's showdown:

Newt exercised restraint, defended himself against outrageous assertions, avoided attack responses, and largely came off as competent but with a few valises in the hall closet.

Romney looked better (to me) than I had seen him before. He was well prepped and looked the model of executive competence. His major asset is private sector experience and familiarity with government relationships.

Ron Paul had my benefit of the doubt going into the event. I've previously expressed here that I thought he was a loon, but his recent surge in the polls caused me to give him a second look. He didn't disappoint. Every time he opened his mouth he looked like a nut job. Whether it was rambling about Austrian economists or single-handedly cutting a trillion off the budget in his first year, or reverting to 19th century isolationism, he always sounded like a fringe weirdo.

Michelle Bachman confirmed my judgment that she is a button-pushing harpy with little in the way of policy suggestions or reasonable proposals. Like a yippy little Pomeranian she barks with more noise than her bite justifies.

Rick Santorum is a conundrum. He should have more traction, but he simply isn't lighting the electorate's fire. Can't figure out why.

Rick Perry sinks further in my estimation. He simply isn't bringing the right sized guns to the OK corral. He may not possess such weapons.

And poor John Huntsman, who should have some level of appeal, continues to mumble about Utah's success and how to be an ambassador to Beijing. I honestly think even I could effectively govern a state which is predominantly white, hard-working and moral. It can't be that hard with that environment.

Light at the End of the Tunnel

In a rare glimpse of common sense we see a Congress that might be able to recognize when they have been going down a path which was well beyond the Constitutional range of delegated and reserved powers.

Let There Be Light--Inexpensive, Common, and US Made

I tend to be an early-adopter of many technologies. I'm not a "save-the-planet" eco-freak because frankly I'm just a selfish old man living at the top of the food chain. I enjoy living in the 21st Century with all of its conveniences. But, I liked the idea of a long-lasting, efficient and low-temp light bulb. I bought a veritable plethora of twirly bulbs.

I soon learned that they are incredibly impractical. They don't respond to faders. They don't provide full light on turn-on. They come in three-way, but after six attempts to find a suitable version I gave up the search for a curly-q that fit in a standard table lamp harp. And, in short order I found that the "seven times longer than incandescent" was a lie. Seven times more expensive, but about the same lifespan in my usage.

Over the last year I've stock-piled a dozen or so 50-100-150 bulbs awaiting the end of civilization as I know it.  Now, we've got the Make-China-Rich law repealed and we can once again have practical inexpensive lighting in our homes.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Shopping

In Texas, you simply complete the paperwork, wait for the instant background check and take your purchase home. If you hold a TX Concealed Handgun License, you only have to do the paperwork for the licensed dealer and the call-in is waived.

It's not so quick and clean in California, but they've been in the "Omigod guns are bad" camp for decades. Despite the paperwork and the satisfaction of the federal instant check requirement, you still must wait ten days to "cool off." I suppose no one has noticed that crimes generally aren't committed with guns purchased from FFLs and criminals tend to steal their firearms along the way. Bottom line, however, is that the waiting period is not much of a deterrent for folks doing prudent Christmas shopping this year.

Sales Boom to Wise Purchasers

Giving the gift of security, protection, enjoyment and tradition is a good choice.

Good News--Bad News

Polling shouldn't be about shaping the message. It should be about simply measuring the opinions for better or for worse.

Consider the outcome of this polling effort:

Harvard Millennials Not Convinced

One would think that those young folks immersed in the bath of political correctness and the ideological concepts of the administration would be firmly committed to the belief of the preponderance of support for the incumbent. But, they doubt him. I'd call that good.

They don't, however, see any of the Republican contenders as beating him head-to-head. That might be bad. Is that simply because they are fragmented in their support for a replacement? The question of how the support breaks against a generic opponent apparently was not definitive. It leaves confusion about how Obama loses yet is seen as beating any opponent.

Almost a third of those polled show interest in the Occupy movement. That's good in terms of simple awareness of the world around them. The ivory tower appears to have some windows. But if those interested are supportive of the destruction of the free market and the embracing of redistribution, then that's bad. You can't really determine degree of support since 46% won't express their position. If that is a manifestation of their ignorance, that's bad. If it is a reflection of political pressure to comply and avoid challenging their surroundings, that's bad.

The level of pessimism regarding the direction of the nation is reasonable. Whether good or bad would be determined by how the correction is chosen. If the trend is a return to the values and principles which made the nation great, then clearly good. If the option is revolutionary and manifest through abandonment of our core than certainly bad.

We'll probably all be a lot smarter regarding how things are going to play out next month when some actual votes that mean something are recorded. The handicapping will be over and the actual running will be underway.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Abuse of Office

It would be impossible to deny that the Presidency of the United States is an incredibly powerful office. That is why we seek to elect candidates who are viewed as "presidential." They must have "gravitas" and exhibit maturity. That's been effective for 43 incumbents in a row. Some were better than others, but all of them understood the concept of limited government, safeguard of rights, and their role in the republic.

Until now:

Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Republican Friends

The opportunities for abuse in that proposal are manifestly clear. The immaturity and lack of presidential gravitas is evident in this quote from the message:
Who inspires you to give?
This holiday season, we’re giving you a chance to have a little fun at the expense of a Republican in your life by letting them know they inspired you to make a donation to the Obama campaign.
Simply enter their name and email address below. Then, we’ll send them a message letting them know they inspired you to donate.
But, there is also a grand potential for a blowback on that effort. If I've got any Democratic friends who are supportive enough to send the Messiah a contribution and duplicitous enough to offer up my contact information, let them be forewarned that they will get an awful lot of return email from an incredible range of unwelcome sources. The penalty will be severe.

And if the Bamster's minions feel obligated to provide me with unsolicited guidance on my voting choices, there might be some return on that investment as well.

No one should "have a little fun at the expense" of this Republican. It won't be welcome.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It's a River In Egypt

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. You know that when the Messiah took office unemployment was at 7% with rising rates looming on the horizon. You know that his solution was a $857 billion stimulus to funnel borrowed dollars into "shovel-ready" pork projects in states which supported him for election. You know that the promise was that these "created" jobs would keep unemployment below 8%. You know that ever the next two years the rate went to 10.1 and many analyses say that number is kept artificially low because it drops those who simply stop looking for work. You know that only in the last two months has there been a decline in unemployment below 9%. And, deep in your heart, you suspect that the decline is a temporary result of holiday season temporary hiring.

Debbie Does Denial

That is why if you are a true believer you must deny, deny, deny. There is nothing wrong with that strategy in modern America because most voters can't read or understand numbers. Those that can are falling into minority status although they are not minorities.

I wonder if we can find a nice benevolent dictator to take over for a few years?

A Melody in Honor of Lowe's Home Improvement

You've probably heard about the brouhaha with Lowe's withdrawing their advertising from a bit of politically correct programming on the Discovery Channel. The oxen bleating about their goring seem blissfully unaware of the concepts of freedom in which a private corporation can spend their money supporting whatever advertising they wish.

Actors Don't Get It

But here's a bit of a tune for Lowe's:

Why?

Well, it is important to have the right name and the right leverage if you really want to get ahead in the cut-throat world of modern journalism. I guess it is sort of like Presidential politics in that regard, actual experience and capability aren't on the qualification criteria list.

WaPo Declare Most Boring Personality On TV

Because what really counts to America is getting ho-hum reportage from a teleprompter script.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Presidential Similarities

The Bamster is regularly drawing parallels between his own august personage and well-respected previous incumbents of his office. Most recently he was explaining to the Kansas rubes how similar he is to Teddy Roosevelt, particularly with regard to his performance in mounted combat in Cuba or something. I tend to laugh at first his rantings and then at the rapt faces of the audience whose blank stares and gaping jaws signify the impact of sudden realization that they've been bound and drugged.

But here is a clear case of the Messiah walking in the very same steps as FDR. The similarities are remarkable, only the methodology is different.

Packing and Cracking the Court Prevails

Yes, it was FDR who thought the simplest way to run rough-shod over the Constitutional limitations on his office was to pack the court with loyal minions who would rubber-stamp his wishes. The checks and balances prevailed when the Senate denied confirmation to an additional seven justices.

Here we see the Chicago scholar circumvented by the public demands for recusal of his former Solicitor General. His appointment of a loyal mouthpiece won't work if she continues to exhibit the slightest bit of honesty with regard to her previous advocacy of administration policies.

She recuses on Arizona immigration and she may be led to recuse on healthcare when the topic is raised again as it undoubtedly will after this.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Delusions Highlighted

I had the misfortune to watch the speech live when it was rendered last week. I commented on the revisionist view of Teddy Roosevelt and the raw appeal to class warfare. Here's another observer talking about the pandering approach to Presidential politics:

Statist Delusions Described in Detail

Yep, when someone says, "this is not about sex," you can be certain it is about sex.

What SEC?

In yet another big slice of humble pie for the BCS and their parent company, the Southeast Conference, we see that the Heisman Trophy goes to a small school in central Texas which has largely been below the radar for the last twenty years. Baylor played a lot bigger than anyone could have anticipated this year and most of it was largely due to Robert Griffin III.

RG III Wins Heisman for Waco College

The runner-up in voting was not from the SEC either. He came from the PAC 12 and was also from a school which hasn't been thought of as a contender on the national scene for quite a while, Stanford.

The vaunted SEC? Their "Honey Badger" was a distant third and may not be able to pay his hairstylist bill for a couple of months until the first check from his future NFL employer clears the bank.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Insanity

I can see this as a home-run right down the Bamster's foul line. It's perfect. It's got guilt, debt to poor nations, built in punishment for American success, submission to a bunch of enviro-loons, surrender of national sovereignty, and a dismantling of national defense all built into one feel-good package:

Climate Court of Justice Coming Soon

This is a perfect time to simply say the US will no longer be a member, we will no longer support the organization, and it is time for you to build a nice new Hq building somewhere they love you like maybe Nairobi or Caracas.

Former Harry Reid Staffer Now Director

Some might think this is simply a diversion to take some focus off the questionable competence of the Attorney General. Some might also think that this is simply another facet of a policy agenda ungoverned by scientific fact or reality. It is a manifestation of government out of control.

Regulatory agencies are supposedly for the purpose of objective oversight of operations which are of concern to the public well-being. They are part of the executive branch of government. They are run by powerful people who ideally would be appointed based on their competence. But, we don't live in an ideal world.

Nuclear Regulatory Agency Chief Gets No-Confidence Vote

Am I misinterpreting when I read that this is a five member commission that Jaczko chairs and if four-out-of-five members signed the letter against him, the only member of the group that supports him is Jaczko himself.

Do I smell the rancid aroma of politically based policy decision on the Yucca nuclear waste storage area? Let me think about it. Former Reid staffer. Reid is Senator from Nevada. Yucca has been a nuclear test and planned storage site for sixty years. Summary cancellation without basis. Anti-nuke policy of the current administration. Disregard of the rest of the commission. Stonewalling of data. Yep, looks, walks, quacks like a duck.

Saturday Morning Rocker

Friday, December 09, 2011

Mature Evaluation

Yesterday we were seeing a screed from the ever-shrill Ann Coulter regarding the total disaster the Republican Presidential front-runner would be if nominated. While Ann abhors the Messiah, she delights in destroying Republicans who don't strictly fit into her uber-conservative cookie cutter. I'm not exactly clear whether Abe Lincoln would have made the cut on team Coulter.

Here is a more mature and rational analysis of Newt Gingrich. It isn't a slash-and-burn attack and it isn't an Ode to a Legend. It's simply a balanced coverage of pros and cons. It paints a picture of a man who has made mistakes, stepped on toes, endured successes and failures, and who consistently thinks of big solutions to big problems...some of which may or may not work.

Whatever You've Heard Is True

And having read that, I could live very comfortably under those conditions.

FAA Mishap

Last week we had the unfortunate incident of the head of the Federal Aviation Administration Agency being apprehended for driving considerably under the influence. He has since resigned and departed the bureaucracy in shame. Now we've discovered the rest of the story.

What could drive a man to such alcoholic excess? These recently released photos from the accident investigation clearly show the cause of his depression. The mid-air was tragic and the impact still isn't fully realized.


Thursday, December 08, 2011

Confirming My Own Impressions

I really find myself repulsed when I inadvertently stumble upon one of his speeches now. I've never experienced this level of revulsion against a President of the United States before, even when I strongly disagreed with his policies and his party. I never felt it against LBJ even though he seemed unconcerned about the men his micro-management of the war was killing. I didn't experience it against Carter despite his destruction of the economy through runaway inflation, exorbitant interest rates and three years of pay freezes for the military. I tolerated his give away of the Panama Canal and his bungling of Iran. He was my President. I didn't feel such emotion when Clinton was acting the buffoon about astro-turf in the bed of his truck, whether he wore boxers or briefs, and what the definition of "is" might be. Defiling of the Oval Office got an apparent pass and I simply shook my head in wonder.

But now I hear a man who aggressively seeks to destroy the nation. He preaches against capitalism and investment. He cultivates dependency on government and he seems unfazed by the concept of limited power established in our Constitution. He makes no secret of his plan to dismantle the private sector and institutionalize a monolithic governmental bureaucracy  which can control every aspect of our lives. I'm never sure whether he is channeling Lenin or Mao, Hitler or Mussolini, Chavez or Castro. I know for certain it isn't Jefferson or Madison.

I was appalled on Tuesday when I stopped channel-surfing to watch his speech in Kansas. I thought that now the gloves are off and he has gone so far down the pike that even the American booboisie will notice.

Dan Henninger Confirms My View

That means I'm in good company. I'll confess though that the Corleone link is a new spin. Maybe that's why he writes for the WSJ and I blather on Blogger.

Insight Offered

As the reincarnation of Bull Moose Teddy continues his never-ending campaign tour around the nation embracing the rhetoric of class divisiveness while simultaneously stifling any real opportunity for economic growth, we get this analysis of his latest wagon load of bread to be dispensed to the crowds gathered hungrily before the Circus Maximus.

Read this analysis of what the Great One proposes and what is suggested as a better alternative:

Payroll Tax Cut Extension Less Effective Than Simple Handout

Understanding the complexities of our progressive tax system is difficult. Some things simply can't be comprehended by the common man. So here's what that analysis covered and maybe a bit of what is between the lines.

The Payroll Tax Cut which the President wants extended is a reduction in your Social Security contributions. It was instituted last year and you probably didn't notice it unless you read about it in the news. You certainly would have had a tough time seeing it in your paycheck. Did you notice how the economy boomed as a result? Did you notice the huge drop in unemployment through the year? Did you create a couple of jobs yourself with all of that left-over cash?

Of course none of that happened. What did happen with some degree of certainty is that cash which should have flowed into the Social Security fund didn't. That means that payments to recipients were drawn from general revenues and the date certain of SS insolvency was moved closer.

The analysis points out that to get the $1000 or so which the President promises, an individual actually must be working! If you aren't working in the first place you don't get any cash to spend under any circumstances. So it really doesn't do much for his devoted followers.

What is much better, the loyal budget analysts suggest, is the trick the Messiah applied the previous year. That was rye bread for the hungry crowd compared to the stodgy old white bread of a payroll tax reduction. It was a direct payment of a chunk of cash. The requirement for actually doing any work was eliminated for the recipients of 2009. Much better in terms of appealing to his voter base. Yes, a direct payment without a linkage to actual earnings first is a much better stimulus. Imagine all the economic boosting that is going to do.

Meanwhile, we've got a loyal neighbor and trade partner next door who is simply begging to sell us their oil. We get oil from our hemisphere. We reduce dependence upon the Middle East and Venezuela. We acquire the product rather than China (who isn't on our side.) We get an instant 20,000 very nicely paid engineering and construction jobs in the heartland. We put our refineries to work. We make an existing pipeline route which has been moving product through the region more productive and we do it safely as proven by the record of the current Keystone pipe.

Surely you know how our leader would view that sort of win-win action. "Let them eat windmills...."

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Tell Me Again Who Won?

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. It is December 7th, "a day that will live in infamy..."

So here's how that works in Washington:

Sasha and Malia Sup on Sushi and Sukiyaki

YGBSM! Are they all tone deaf?

Tragedy Ongoing

Here is an update on what your Air Force is intentionally to doing to the last of an historic breed of aircraft:


The early story was the aircraft were being moved. Here it is apparent that they are being destroyed. The orange crane on the left of the photo bears the spike which is driven through the engine and the wing spars to forever destroy the resource.


The two round holes are the insurance that the wing will never again support flight.


The orange square rod you see is the spike through the engine turbine. This is not accidental. It is a purely malicious act by an arrogant government which is destroying a heritage written in blood by some of the bravest warriors this nation has ever produced.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Who's Driving Da Plane?

I never even heard of an RQ-170 before. Now I harbor the knowledge that it is affectionately dubbed "The Beast of Kandahar"! Well, apparently the beast was a bit rambunctious and a lot too tame.

Stealthy Vehicle Goes Wandering and Touches Down Gently

OK, I get that it is a remotely piloted vehicle. I understand that these things can possibly do their own version of the "Blue Screen of Death" and like most of our home computers maybe require a reboot or the dreaded firmware update. But isn't this supposed to be some sort of cosmic top-secret spy widget direct from the undergound lair of Q? Didn't we have a little flap-a-doodle a few months ago about a crashed spooky Blackhawk with a super-silent tail rotor? Don't we learn from these events?

So there you are hyper-ventilating in your air-conditioned trailer in your leather Lazy-Boy with your cold can of Red Bull sweating on the neato Air Force logo coaster when suddenly your special custom GameBoy controller no longer seems to be directing the Bat Plane. What do you do? Is this like taking an SA-14 up the prostate exam access receptacle? Will you earn a DFC for this or be severely reprimanded for losing track of your assigned toy? Do you have a checklist covering this situation?

According to the news item, you need not worry because the Spook-mo-Plane is programmed to maintain level flight, draw upon it's genuine OnStar traffic database and find a suitable landing location where it will set down gently without harm to bystanders or voiding your LockMart warranty.

The only catch is that chosen airfield is owned and operated by Iranians-R-Us and they are not our friends. Special delivery, Candy-Gram for Mahmud Ahmadinejad!

What ever happened to "this tape will self-destruct after thirty seconds"? What became of the little fail-safe package and the red button on the console to make all of the secrets disappear before being delivered to the bad guy's research lab? Can't we do a simple thing like mort our own errant drone before turning it over to the enemy?

Maybe Game Boy shouldn't get to wear wings and get combat pay after all. Apparently the really critical man-in-the-loop decisions take a different breed of warrior.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Bowl Crap Series

The season is over and the match ups are finalized by the totally neutral, totally mechanical, totally just and totally unbiased computers programmed in the bowels of the Southeast Conference headquarters.

The "National Championship" will bring together an undefeated team and a team which is from the same conference, which got beaten in a game with the #1 in which neither team scored a touchdown. The loser didn't even win their division in their conference.

Seriously, does anybody care? The real question will be if LSU can score a touchdown against Bama this time. But what if the Tide rolls and they rack up two or three field goals. How definitive will that "National Championship" be?

Wouldn't anybody love to see the Big 12 offensive juggernaut have a shot? How about the Pac 12 powerhouse? Did somebody forget about the Big 10?

Seriously folks, the BCS is a lot worse than a joke. It is a travesty. It happens annually and we still don't do anything about it. Last year's dismissal of the the Horned Frogs and the total denial of what OSU has done this season makes the BCS a crime against the game.

When Bloggers Go Bad

This gentleman is an asshole of the first-order. He seems to have no interest in informing himself about facts and apparently takes great pride in misleading.

Read these lies, then please take a moment to register and comment to offer his readers a glimpse of the truth.

Some Old Guy Wants A Jet

This is a bad way to start my week.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Brave New World

Luke AFB to speak at a Viper class graduation. Great to see the new generation ready to write history themselves.

Some things change though and they aren't always pretty.

First impressions: who was the buffoon who outfitted aircrews in pastel green suede combat boots?

Why do we have OD green Nomex for stateside units and desert tan for Middle East fliers? Double the cost with no discernible benefit. And that outfit requires tan suede boots. Is this a conpiracy against Kiwi?

Joint "club" now, but there is main enlisted bar and Officer's Lounge. Eight taps for draft beer. Six don't have any beer. Last call is at 8:00 PM. Total clientele? Three retirees, the Support Group commander and his wife, then ten guys from the graduating class. Not single other student, instructor or support officer stopped in.

Other impressions? There appears to be a very strong awareness that the highest levels of the Air Staff are committed to crushing the Warrior Ethic!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CAA

Would I like to be tied into this group?

Creative Artists Agency

Does the large ursine mammal defecate in the forest? Dreams of a very Merry Christmas dance in my aged head.

This Is Serious Business!!!

Deja Vu Again

"Those who will not learn from the lessons of history will be condemned to repeat them."

In Teheran a mob has attacked and sacked the British Embassy. Any attempt to describe the action as a mob which Iranian security forces could not restrain is impossible. Nothing happens in the streets of Iran which does not have the approval of the government. The Iranians are unhappy with sanctions imposed as the civilized world attempts to restrain their efforts to achieve a nuclear weapon and then to fulfill their oft-repeated promise to deliver it on Israel. The whole purpose of sanctioning is to modify behavior. Sanctions are supposed to be unpleasant. The way to lift sanctions is to change your actions.

But in Iranian thinking the way of the future is the destruction of Israel and by extension the rest of the non-Islamic world. If in the process you unleash nuclear Armageddon, so be it. You are martyred in the cause and you will live forever surrounded by houris and lolling in luxury.

This is the deer-in-the-headlights response of the Leader of the Free World. This is what the "most powerful man in the world" does to compel a change in behavior by a rogue nation:



So, the date is November of 2011 and we are one year away from a presidential election. We see American in the throes of an economic recession and we see a once-respected nation now withdrawn from the position of leadership. We relish our secondary role as global by-stander and the President waffles and gripes about the laziness of an America that resists redistribution of their earned wealth.

Does it help to point out that the Bamster might want to dust off a recent history book. Look up what happened in November of 1979, one year away from a presidential election when a nation was mired in economic recession and withdrawn from leadership. The President waffled and griped about a malaise that he could not overcome.

History repeats itself and we need to learn the lessons. The very seeds that were sown on the embassy grounds of the American Embassy in Teheran have matured into the mad-dog president of that rogue nation. Ahmadinejad rose to power on the basis of the role he played in those events.

Monday, November 28, 2011

New York Times May Regain Respect

It will take a while, I'm certain, but with analysis like this appearing in the pages of the Gray Lady, there is hope:

Abandoning The White Working Class

Isn't that amazing? It honestly acknowledges that it is intellectual non-productive pinheads and welfare sucking dependency drones that constitute a potentially victorious majority in the nation. Is that a rational analysis?

Unfortunately it just might be.

But here is another analysis of the Messiah's thinking. This one from a more right-wing publication, the Washington Times:

Does Bamster Really Want to Win?

My guess is that he really DOES want to get re-elected. He loves the adoration of the hand-picked and filtered masses on the campaign trail. He definitely loves the perks of office. I mean, an executive jet is one thing, but a B747 for yourself and a 757 for the Missus is a whole 'nuther class. He digs the tee-times and the courtside seats. He loves the top rank talent shows in his own living room and the fawning to the left-wing intellectuals telling him he is the smartest guy since Aristotle and easily could best Thomas Jefferson on his worst day.

Where is this all going? I can't tell the future, but I sure can foresee the outcome for the nation either way we go next November.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Interesting Experience

Yesterday at the Women, Pilots and Aviation Writers event at the Ft. Worth Library, I had fun and even had the chance to get my prejudices reinforced. First, the fun.

I missed my turn to the Ft. Worth Library and so wound up about three blocks north of where I needed to be. Not a problem though as a nice gentleman managing a parking lot redirected me and I found my destination. Surprisingly all of downtown Ft. Worth seems immune to the requirement for handicapped parking spaces. Pulled into a parking lot next door to the library and when I started to deposit all of the money I had in my pocket into the designated "Pay or Die" receptacle, he called to me and told me the extortion is only collected on week-days. Texas folks are nice that way.

Beautiful library and a great venue for a writer's signing event. Immediately met a lot of friends and quickly made some new ones among the writers and readers present.

Shortly thereafter I was scheduled to speak on my recommended route to getting published. A rapt audience of at least seven or eight people filled the 120 seat auditorium hanging on my every word except for the one gentleman who apparently found it a cozy place to get off the street and into a warm napping zone. At least I didn't get booed. Although maybe I did but the sound didn't carry from their little group in the far back row of the auditorium.

Following the presentation I had a chance to meet my long-time FaceBook friend, award-winning author Kathleen Rodgers who introduced me to the Book Section editor of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. She had previously held a similar position at the Dallas Morning Star. Kathleen offered that the woman held a Pulitzer. I shook her hand and inquired why I had been unable to get a review of the best selling Fighter Pilot upon release, after the Wall St. Journal coverage, or during the two years since it has been out. I also wondered why a north Texas author with three successful books couldn't get acknowledged.

Her reply was, "I don't need this!" and to simply turn and walk away.

I guess that explains a lot about journalism in America. The inquiring mind first requires stroking, affection and total subservience.

One could also assume the woman had not previously encountered many fighter pilots.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Giving Advice

Leaving in about an hour for Ft. Worth Central Library where Ft. Worth Veterans Memorial Air Park Museum is holding an all-day event titled, "Women, Pilots, and Writers in Aviation." Gotta say that's an eclectic group.

There will be a collection of about a dozen military authors signing books and a day-long program of speakers on a range of topics from waiting wives to probing the reaches of hypersonic flight and space in the SR-71. I close out the speaker's schedule at 3:30.

Since my research on women is drastically out-of-date and even when it was current my advice probably wouldn't have been very good, I opted out of that topic.

I assumed the other pilots and aviation writers would be talking with their hands, shooting their watches and elaborating on their remarkable achievements without regard to their personal safety or the immutable laws of physics, so I declined to confirm the world's opinion of fighter pilots as arrogant, egotistical, bastards by recounting my exploits.

That left writing as my topic. Coincidentally there was a review in yesterday's Wall Street Journal about a recently opened Broadway stage-play about a seminar group seeking the route to publication at the feet of a successful author and noted cynic. Apparently young eager and aspiring writers pay up to $5000 each to be abused in the name of their art.

My presentation on the route to publication will not cost that much. But I will freely acknowledge that it will be worth exactly what the audience pays for it.

The goal of the day will be to prevent at least one individual from spending his own money to self-publish his worthless rambling which will be the literary equivalent of Uncle Seymour's Super-8 home movie collection from past vacations to the Catskills.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Flaws In The Facade

Even those who might have been initially sympathetic to the Occupy Wall Street movement have got to be seeing the totally ludicruous aspects of the positions. The class-warfare meme was little more than a facade. The argument of this politically shaped dichotomy between a symbolic "Wall Street" and a down-to-earth "Main Street" was already stretched quite thin.

Wall Street is a market. Nothing more, nothing less. It is a place where willing buyers and willing sellers come together to negotiate a fair price for goods. Someone who facilitates that exchange is a broker. They charge a fee for making that transaction possible and effortless.

Main Street is where the people who want to buy goods live. They can take money and buy goods at a favorable price and then if they have chosen wisely they may be able to sell that product for a higher price in the future. Some will lose and some will win. The marketplace has always been like that. Some may not trade directly, but they trade through their retirement funds, their savings accounts, their profit-sharing plans, etc. Wall Street is where Main Street does business. They aren't two enemy camps.

But the Occupy folks weren't just about that. They also sought "fairness," whatever that means and "justice." They looked into the TV cameras with pleading eyes and wailed about their college loans. They borrowed money without apparent understanding of the concept of a loan. They sought "education" in esoteric studies most of which offered no promise of a meaningful future beyond the ephemeral joy of intellectual pursuit. Now they owe money and can't get a job that matches their nebulous education. So, in fairness, they simply want their debts forgiven. There seems to be little regard for the fairness to the source of the money they received. That agency can simply take the hit.

Now this seems to cement the underlying fact which we've known all along:

Occupy Everything, Sell Nothing

The fundamental economics of their success seem beyond their comprehension. If they block the stores, they damage the corporation and their shareholders. They damage the workers who are striving to succeed for themselves. They damage the customers who are attempting to economize and shop for needed items at the best price possible.

In a recessive economy, the Occupiers who seek everything, apparently are expecting that if all business in America fails, if all Americans are out of work, and if all families are bereft of those items which sustain their lives, then all will be right in the Occupied society of their dim future.

The Occupiers are little more than anarchists, brainless anarchists at that.

Climategate 2.0

It will be interesting to see the mainstream media coverage of this:

Forbes Reveals Email Climate Cover-up Evidence

It would be hard to call that anything other than flagrant duplicity. I really like the part about the whole scam being funded on the back of DOE grants and that the US government is complicit in the lockdown of basic data.

Black Friday

There is simply no bloody way that I would go out at mid-day to the mall or big-box store let alone waiting in line for five hours to push through the doors at midnight or four AM. There is nothing in this world, no bargain, no deal, no incentive to suffer that sort of indignity when there is left-over turkey in the fridge, the beer is cold and there is football on the TV.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving

It is easy for me to be thankful. I've lived a very full life. I've done things that many cannot dream of and been fortunate enough to have an appreciation of my experiences.

I grew up with loving parents and got a good education in Catholic schools. We didn't have much but we appreciated what we had. Holiday traditions were well established and we always celebrated Thanksgiving, even in those days when all we could afford was half a turkey. It never looked like the Norman Rockwell paintings of the feast, but it tasted just as good.

I earned a National Merit Scholarship but learned that because my father earned more than $5000 a year and my mother earned nearly $3000 that we were too affluent for financial aid for college. I worked my way through school and commuted from home on the bus and subway of Chicago. I graduated in four years with the bare minimum grade-point average, 2.01 for a 2.0 requirement. I was thankful for that.

My career path was clear to me and I was fortunate enough to have the skills and health and the opportunity to pursue it. I went to war when I wasn't ready but through the grace of God and a handful of exceptional leaders, I survived. When my turn came to lead others into combat, I paid it forward.

Along the way during my career I got VA benefits to fund two Master's degrees. I had the chance to spend a year and half in Asia and nearly eight years in Europe. I've skied the slopes below the Matterhorn and Eiger, sipped wine in the shadow of the Duomo in Florence, ridden through the lagoons of Venice, eaten at a dozen Michelin three-star restaurants in France, walked Picadilly and Tafalgar squares, watched Formula One races in Spain, Belgium, Germany, Holland and France, fought bulls in Spain and eaten cochinillo in the shade of a 1000 year old aquaduct in Segovia.

There's more, but you get the idea. I've been to Turkey, Syria, Morocco, Gibraltar, Portugal and Greece. It's all been good. And I know it.

I've been married to a loving woman who has tolerated some amazing shenanigans through the years. Somehow she still loves me. I'm very fortunate.

I've had cancer and survived surgery and radiation only slightly the worse for wear after almost nine years now. I'm thankful.

Today I can reflect back on a life that has been rewarding and full. I'm thankful for my family, small though it may be. I'm thankful for what God has given me in talent and skills. I'm thankful for my friends over the years. I've got not a single regret in my life and for that I'm immensely thankful.

I was fortunate to be born in America. And how much more can I be thankful for that?

I'm thankful today and every day.

A College Education

Some of us may still harbor a vision of what a college education means. The best and the brightest should be prepared to contribute to the future with their skills and talents. They should learn reasoning skills, judgment, ethical/moral behavior and along the way pick up technical knowledge to prepare them to fulfill their career aspirations.

Yet we must note that if the Occupy movement is showing us anything about college education in America it is that we are graduating students who have no understanding of fundamental principles. I learned very early in life that gifts are something special. Loans are temporary use of a commodity with the clear understanding that at some future point I incur an obligation to return what I have been lent. In the case of money that usually means a bit extra as well. I learned that if I want something I may or may not get it. The best way to eventually get what I want is to work hard and save for it. Frankly, I never thought the government would give me food, shelter, doctor's care or a retirement. And, I certainly never even considered the most remote possibility that my $100/week father or $60/week mother would build an inheritance. They couldn't and didn't.

Here we have another example of America's "gifted and talented" generation. Blessed with the good fortune to be able to afford some of the premium universities in the country and then participate in a very special program they engage in this:

Three Released After Protesting

A belief in democratic principles and freedom from oppression is certainly commendable. But did they not understand that in an Arab nation experiencing a violent revolution and under the control of a transitional government it would be imprudent to throw Molotov cocktails at the police? Are they unaware that a bottle of flaming gasoline can kill someone?

I can only ask why they were not left to rot in a Cairo version of Midnight Express?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Confirming What I Know

This little tidbit is much less about testimony on exploitation of Alaskan oil reserves than about the ego of a certifiable asshole of the left. Read the story, but then watch the video:

Historian Takes Umbrage in Hearing

Regular readers here know that I don't commonly refer to those I disagree with politically in the term I applied in the first paragraph. In this instance I make an exception based upon personal experience.

Many of you have read Palace Cobra, my memoir about the last days of the Vietnam air war over the North. Some of you are aware that the book was first contracted to Smithsonian Institution Press who published When Thunder Rolled. Along the way the staff I had worked with so harmoniously on the first book was replaced by a new agenda and a new editor.

In short order my work was modified significantly. The introductory poem I used to highlight the fighter pilot attitude was deleted as risque. The photo section was excised as too expensive. The title was changed to something that sounded more like a black socks and Lone Ranger mask porn movie. The cover art was culled from a cliche video game.

When the catalog of advance publications was published for marketing to book-sellers, the work was characterized as a tale of impending mutiny by dissastified and disillusioned pilots offended by demands of their government to fly "secret" missions into Laos and Cambodia. The characterization was promoted and the book was to be touted by "noted historian, Douglas Brinkley."

I called the publisher, not my editor, and expressed to him that clearly there was no "secret" war, there was no disillusionment, and that my reputation among peers and the public would be severely slandered by such a characterization. I also threatened law suit should Professor Brinkley come anywhere near a sponsored review of my book.

Eventually, Smithsonian defaulted on the contractual publication timeline. I read the fine print, reclaimed my manuscript, retained my advance, and have since enjoyed a satisfying working relationship with St. Martin's Press.

Mr. Brinkley's umbrage before Congress confirms my estimation of the man.

Tortoise and Hares

The tortoise in the race is now in the lead. After being almost immediately written off as yesterday's news and a target for redredging of twenty year old marriage difficulties, he has slowly and steadily climbed to the top with a message of thought-out policy statements, an aversion to knee-jerk press responses and an avoidance of trashing his opponents. That just might be what America is crying for.

If you live in Texas you can't help but be aware of the illegal immigration problem. We've got the longest shared border with Mexico of the four border states. We've got a growing Latino population, both legal and illegal. We've got towns, schools, businesses, ranches and farms that are directly impacted by the border and not always adversely. We encounter assimilating Latinos every day. They are hard-working folks, embracing the American dream and making significant contributions to the economy.

Watching Mitt Romney, the Massachusetts scion of wealth, privilege and politics or Michelle Bachman, the shrill voice of ultra-right policy from Minnesota express a position on illegal immigration you are almost compelled to ask if they have ever met a Mexican immigrant. Can they order a beer and a burrito in rudimentary Spanish? Who turns down the sheets in their hotel room, tends their lawn, or cooks in the kitchen of the coffee shop where they campaign? Do they know what they pay for vegetables or who builds most of the new houses in America?

Gingrich Speaks Common Sense

I think it is remarkably refreshing to hear a candidate say something that reflects a realistic understanding of a complex issue. I enjoy someone who says to the electorate, I won't pander to your simple desire but will tell you what you really need to do and if you choose to deny me support, then I will accept the outcome.

Rick Perry was exactly correct that the border must be secured. No question about that. But he also is realistic in acknowledging that an educated immigrant is more beneficial to society than one denied opportunity.

Bachman, spouts of "rule of law" and implies punishment, removal, isolation in society along with a desire for an easy way out. That sort of position will not deal effectively with the problem and while it may attract hard-core true-believers, it won't win in a general election where many states with significant Latino voting populations will flee to the left. That jeopardizes victory in states which would otherwise be firmly in the red column on election night.

If Gingrich keeps making sense, eventually intelligent people will notice. The worst outcome, which wouldn't be that bad, is that the other candidates learn from him.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ripley's Believe It or Don't

Proving there are no limits to with weirdness of man, we have this item:

That Will Be a Nice Firm Butt When It Sets

Yes, nothing says sexy like a rock hard gluteous maximus and super-glue with cement will definitely do that.

The Tingle is Gone

When you lose the loyal soldiers you may not have many for the coming battle:

Matthews Wants Marching Orders

Seriously?

Government Must Save Us

It would seem that the only possible way Americans can be great is if government tells us what to do. I grew up thinking that the nation was built by entrepreneurs, men of genius who took great risks and fulfilled their vision. Apparently that was some sort of revisionist history I was taught.

Greatness Is The Gift of Government

That certainly puts a perspective on Ms Maddow, doesn't it?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Defining Downward

Seriously, folks, we've gone overboard in looking for something to whine about. The group described here were exactly what most of us who grew up in post-war America looked like. It was then called "working class" or even "middle class". It was always viewed as hard-working, honest, frugal and striving to have a better life for their children. They were generally successful in that endeavor.

Census Finds "Near Poor" Startling!

When you find the government creating such a category you must reasonably expect to encounter that terminology with some degree of regularity emerging from the slavering mouths of the class-warfare politicos who will immediately justify increasing taxes to insure the successful will increase their fair share of support for the broadening of dependency on government programs.

Saturday Morning Rocker

An unlikely duo that worked very well:

Friday, November 18, 2011

Questions

No, it doesn't surprise me that someone would shoot at the White House. One need look no farther than any news source covering the Occupy activities. They country is now populated by loonies. They come in all ages, all races, and all have a certain unwashed, unkempt, wild-eyed look about them. But, it is difficult to avoid asking some questions about this:

Apprehended and Charged With Assassination Attempt

  1. Am I the only person in the nation that still wonders if this guy is an illegal?
  2. Do you mean that gun laws in Washington DC don't work?
  3. Can you attempt an assasination and miss by 8,000 miles?
  4. Did no one notice he was one sick puppy?
Wouldn't some enterprising journalist be thinking along the same lines I am?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Not An Occupier

Karl Rove's column today recounts a story that helps to restore the perspective on real Americans. They aren't the trash of entitlement filling parks around the country demanding immediate gratification. They are a special class of folks.

Going Hunting With Heroes

Amazing people.

Logic In An Illogical World

The House of Representatives must have benefited from that reading of the Constitution at the beginning of the session last January. Someone may have noticed the "full faith and credit" clause. That's the one that says every state must give full recognition of the legal acts of every other state. That's the reason why your driver's license from Iowa is sufficient to drive in Missouri. It's why your marriage license gets you the same rights and privileges in every state...almost. It should be the reason why the concealed carry permit issued in one of the 41 states of the union is valid in every other state. Now they've taken a step in that direction.

House Overwhelmingly Approves Reciprocity Bill

Now we can only sit back and watch as the Senate tries to direct our attention away from the short man manipulating the levers behind the curtain which Toto has just pulled aside.

We'll again hear about Dodge City shoot-outs and unbridled mayhem when citizens who have been background checked and certified by their states exercise their Second Amendment rights. We will be asked to ignore the history of concealed carry everywhere it has been enacted and nod in favor of the places with the strictest gun control in the nation which clearly demonstrate that such control does not eliminate gun crime and actually exacerbates the violence which plagues the society of defenseless victims.

Anybody think that the Senate will pass this? Wanna buy a bridge in Brooklyn?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Academia Personified

We should be aware that a university should be a forum for unfettered debate and exchange of ideas. That means in an atmosphere of academic freedom an individual should be able to say whatever they can defend and support with their reason, intellect and research. I will often say things in class to foment debate or discussion on a topic even if I don't espouse those positions personally. I warn my students at the beginning of the semester that not everything I say is my own ideology.

But, Roberta X points us at this toad this morning:

Care Packages For Troops Shameful

You can probably assume by looking at this face that he's not familiar with the US military from the inside. I can also assume that there are a lot of folks in the military that would like to take him under their wing, figuratively, and give him a new perspective.

What do Prof. Avery's students think of him? Well read the comments here:

Not Their Favorite

And, yes, he did spend some of his education years at the University of Moscow. Yep, that Moscow!

CV of Professor

He probably used the same class notes for his Constitutional Law course as the Bamster did at University of Chicago.

The Details You Need

There is a lot of controversy about natural gas recovery through hydraulic fracturing or "fracking." It's a big topic where I live in the midst of the Bartlett Shale area. I've commented previously about it and have sought a reasonable length video to offer you some information about the topic. Here's a concerned homeowner and an industry representative discussing the complexities:

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Paranoid? You Bet

You'll think I'm paranoid, but I can't overcome the feeling that Microsoft has stuck their monopolistic fingers into the workings of my beige box again.

I've been using Google Chrome as my default browser for about two years now and love it. It's fast, got a cleaner interface and is arguably more stable than IE. Yesterday it simply stalled and won't reload my default tabs on start-up. That happened early last week, but a quick update to the latest incremental upgrade of Chrome cured the problem

Yesterday, however, that wasn't it.

Naturally I temporarily reverted to Internet Explorer. Seems to work but is still a bit slow. I went through the usual suspects. Shut down and reboot. No help. Check on Chrome update. No help. Shut down modem and router and restart. Not it. Reinstall Chrome. Nope. Remove and reinstall Chrome. Still not doing it.

But IE works a bit better today.

Purged browsing history, cookies, log-ins, passwords, and temp files. Still no help.

This looks like the experience I had four years ago with FireFox. Total satisfaction for a while and then suddenly, failure and a need to return to IE.

Am I being paranoid, or are they really out to get me...and succeeding!