Saturday, June 30, 2012

Anniversary 1966

My room-mate, Bill Ricks and I were gone to Tokyo for a three day break in combat flying. We'd been on the seven-day-a-week schedule since arriving at Korat the first week of May. It was the 29th and 30th of June when we picked up a newspaper in the Tokyo Hilton lobby. This was the news of the day:

The targeting had gotten a whole lot more serious. The thunder was rolling to the edges of Hanoi and the rest of the summer was going to be very intense. 

Neener, Neener, Ya-Ya

Justice in America....A massive contempt vote in Congress and a stick it in your whatchamacallit in response:

You Can't Make Us Do Anything!

What ever happened to that old concept of "Rule of Law"?

Saturday Morning Rocker

Friday, June 29, 2012

Nanny Association Advocates Control of People

That would be the NAACP, wouldn't it? They don't believe in freedom. They don't believe in options. They don't believe in a state program which raises huge amounts of money voluntarily to support primarily public education. They believe they know better than citizens how to spend their money, set your priorities, make your own choices.

Dallas NAACP Wants Texas Lottery Shut Down

You see the NAACP thinks their constituency is simply too stupid to manage their own life.

Oh, and about Dr. Juanita Wallace...are you wondering? So was I. Here's where she got her doctorate:

Madison University is a non-accredited distance learning college located in GulfportMississippi. The state of Mississippi considers Madison an "unapproved" college.[1][2] Madison is also listed as an unaccredited and/or substandard institution by four other U.S. states.[3][4][5][6] According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, Madison University has been referred to as a diploma mill by the state of Oregon.[7]
Tuition is charged per degree, not per course, credit, or academic term. The school offers discounts for multiple degrees or for referring other enrollees.[8] A 2004 newspaper article stated, "During legislative debate in Mississippi last year, Madison University, a school of particular concern to state officials and one identified as a diploma mill by the state of Oregon, said it enrolled 39,000 students from around the world."[
I think I'll go and order me up one of them doctorating things for my next resume.

Valor Stolen

In an America in which few have served, it seems increasingly that there is much to be gained by claiming not only to have served but to have done so with courage and distinction. It is so much easier to attest to your courage and heroism before a fawning crowd if you didn't have to get muddy, sweating and bloody along the way.

It doesn't take very much to uncover these frauds. A few questions by someone who's been there will easily reveal the lies. The catch is that most Americans don't know what to ask. They don't know that the uniform really looks like. They don't know that a USAF member would seldom wear dolphins or that a Naval officer might not readily acquire a CIB. The man on the street or the "journalist" for the media sees little but a lot of colored little ribbons and some sets of stripes on a sleeve or shoulder. They know nothing about service-specific awards or priorities. They don't know about little stars versus oak leaf clusters, silver versus bronze significance, which decorations might justify a "V" device or even the precedence for the line-up of awards.

Yesterday the Supreme Court of the United States declared "no-harm, no foul" when those who have not earned these forms of recognition claim that they have done so. The Court said that stating you have been awarded a Medal of Honor or earned a Purple Heart when you haven't is protected free speech. Even though untruthful, it harms no one. They simply don't get it.

When a pretender claims he or she has been recognized for their courage or achievements and they have not, it lessens the value to which those of us who did earn the accolades are entitled. When a liar is discovered, we are all placed in doubt. When the awards are cheapened by faulty claims, the respect which should be connected with the possession of such awards will be denied.

Is it hard to make a claim? Of course not. Tell the next person who asks where you've been and what you've  done the wildest tales you can dream up. Odds are you won't be doubted and the audience will sit in rapt attention hanging on your every word.

Want to spice it up? Get thee to Ebay and go searching for some memorabilia. Root out the collectors and get some patches, some ribbons, some actual medals in original presentation boxes. Flash your collection around. Deck out your uniform and show up at the Veteran's Day parade or the local American Legion bar.

Is it easy to build a background that a superficial check might accept? It's way too easy. Here's an example:

Give Yourself A Silver Star

Just go to the form, fill it out and you'll be on the list of recipients. You've "certified" that you possess the elements of the award; the citation, orders and medal. Create a thrilling bio for yourself and in a matter of an hour or so you're a red-blooded American hero.

Be cautious, however, where you make your claims. There are some real folks around who don't take too kindly to such shenanigans. The Supreme Court might say it is your right, but we're a little more restrictive on who gets in our club.

Modern Medicine

Been a busy week for the fat kid. Monday I started with a magical mystery machine called a Muga-Scan. That's an acronym for Multi-Gated Acquisition. Throw an ampule of glow-in-the-dark stuff into your veins then lie for twenty minutes with a big square box angled over your heart. It captures data at the rate of 240 frames per second and generates pretty neat pictures of your heart ventricles sucking and blowing blood down the pipes. Conclusion seems that my heart works.

Tuesday was trip to Dallas. There I started with a cardiologist consult that included EKG, cardio-ultrasound, and stress test. Then to the second floor for a carotid doppler scan. Conclusions there seem to affirm that heart pumps and sucks well and even sends some juice to the top floor for maintaining the data processing wetware.

Quick trip up the Dallas North Tollway to an imaging lab for a PET-CT scan. Slide another couple ounces of  glucose syrup loaded with more glow-stick stuff into a vein. Wait an hour for the hungry little tumors and tumorettes to feed on it, then do a Positron Emission Tomography/Computed Tomography scan. That's a super-cosmic 3-D living color imaging of the torso. All those greedy little bad cells give themselves away after gorging on the glow-worms.

Yesterday it was North Texas Medical Center and insertion of a central port for chemo. That technology has come a long way since the peripheral line I had ten years ago or the central ports I saw used with a friend who had leukemia. Those were external plumbing that offered easy hook-ups for injection and infusion. They left you with a plastic IV terminal either from your arm or chest that created problems with bathing, swimming, clothing, etc.

Today's version is subcutaneous. That means under the skin for the folks who graduated from Chicago public schools or UC-Berkeley. The line is placed on either side of the upper chest linking to a major artery. A small plastic disk is inserted and once the incision heals the only evidence is a slight lump. Pop a needle into the center of the lump you're linked into the network as it were. Pretty quick and very little residual discomfort.

Got a week-end of general normalcy ahead, then start of first three weeks of infusion pump marriage. Monday through Friday on the drip for three weeks then three weeks off.

Still got to shop for a fake mustache or risk total loss of identity.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Texas Described in Detail

The devil in hell, we're told, was chained
A thousand years he there remained
He neither complained, nor did he groan
But was determined to make a hell of his own.

Where he could torment the souls of men
Without being chained in a prison pen
So he asked the Lord if He had on hand
Anything left when he made this land

And the Lord said "yeah, there's plenty on hand"
But I left it down by the Rio Grande
The fact is, old boy, the stuff is so poor
I don't think you can use it for a hell any more

So the devil went down to look at the truck
And decided that if he took it as a gift he was stuck
For after lookin' it over carefully and well
He said "this place is too dry for a hell."
But in order to get it off of His hands
The Lord promised the devil to water the land.

So trade was closed and deed was given
And the Lord went back to His home in heaven
And the devil said "now I've got all that's needed
To make a good hell" and he succeeded.

He began by putting thorns all over the trees
He mixed up the sand with millions of fleas
He scattered tarantulas along the roads
Put thorns on cactus and horns on toads

He lengthened the horns of the Texas steer
Put an addition to the rabbit's ear
Put a little devil in the bronco steed
And poisoned the feet of the centipede

The rattlesnake bites you, the scorpion stings
The mosquito delights you with his buzzing wings
The sand fleas are here and so are the ants
And if you sit down you'll need half soles on your pants

The wild boar roams on the black chaparral...
It's a hell of a place he has for a hell.
The heat in the summer's a hundred and ten
Too hot for the devil, too hot for men

The wild pepper grows on the banks of the brook
The Mexican use it in all that he cook
Just dine with one of 'em and you're bound to shout
"I've hell on the inside as well as the out!"

Now my hands are calloused July to July
I use the big dipper to navigate by
I fight off the wolves to drink from my well
So I have to be mean as hell

A sheep herder came, and he put up a fence
I saw him one day, but I ain't seen him since
But if you're needin' mutton, we got mutton to sell
We're cow punchers, and we're mean as hell.

Neither me nor my pony's got a pedigree
But he gets me where I'm wantin' to be
I'll ride him to death, and when he's fell
I'll get me another one, mean as hell

I shot me a calf and I cut off her head
'Cause the boys in the bunkhouse are wantin' to be fed
They rise and shine with the five thirty bell
And the best one of any of 'em... is mean as hell.
-Johnny Cash 

Good Advice

Written by Regina Brett,  90 years old, contributing editor of the Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio .

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most requested column I've ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short - enjoy it.

4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument.  Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone.  It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God.  He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't mess up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others.  You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.  But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath.  It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful.  Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It's never too late to be happy.  But it is all up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.  Don't save it for a special occasion- Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now.  Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words:  'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive but don't forget.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything.  Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don't take yourself so seriously.  No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Don't audit life.  Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day.  Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time.  Accept what you already have not what you need.

42. The best is yet to come...

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift."

Sunday, June 24, 2012

And Now For Something Completely Different

Riding Horses

The twits at MSNBC don't like the idea that Ann Romney rides horses. They don't like that she started as a recommended therapy for MS. They find it easy to dress up horse-back riding with the effete term, "dressage" which, by the way is an Olympic event. Here in Texas there are a lot of folks ride horses. Some are rich, some are poor and some work using the horses.

But, when you choose to ridicule someone with a serious and often debilitating disease you run the risk of looking like a buffoon yourself. There is ample research and support for horse-back riding therapy as beneficial treatment for symptoms of MS. Someone is going to call you out and if that someone is a national newscaster who also has the disease you'll get something like this:

And with a bit of research you might even discover programs like these:

PATH International 

Equestrian Therapy

Come Unity

Those are just a sampling of equestrian therapy programs having great success in helping both disabled children and adults deal with their illnesses.

So, is this a cheap shot:

Big "C"

This week looks like the decision on Obamacare. The spin has drifted firmly against the plan with public opinion running more than 70% against the program and multiple predictions of Supreme Court opinions leaning toward strike down of the act either totally or in part. The key part, of course, is the individual mandate since without that financial dictate there is no way to pay for the rest.

I'm looking at my future and thanking my deities that I don't live in Canada, the UK or Cuba (Michael Moore and Hugo Chavez, notwithstanding.) I've gotten on the fast train and haven't had to experience a bit of obstruction from government bureaucrats in getting everything I need.

Yes, I'm fortunate to have healthcare coverage. It's a combination of Medicare which is universally available to older Americans supplemented by the modified guaranteed lifetime coverage promised with military retirement. That program is now called Tricare For Life, and it is an automatic earned benefit that comes at age 65 with Medicare.

There's been not the slightest hesitation in approvals or scheduling of everything the doctors have recommended. The speed is almost frightening, particularly when attached to the various attached side-effects and life-style changes. The important thing, though, is that I can access the best that the current state of the medical art has to offer.

The arguments about "fixing" America's healthcare system always bring up the number of uninsured that Obama will provide for. I've seen as high as 50 million American uncovered and last week in a reputable news source as low as 15 million. The most common number is around 30 million. Never noticed in that is the fact that there are about 320 million Americans today. That means that without government getting into the single-payer, bureaucratic mix there are 290 million Americans satisfactorily covered.

Why does healthcare cost so much today? Because we've got tools we never had before and we've got them in numbers that get patients the access almost immediately.

So far, I started three weeks ago with a routine esophageal endoscoping. I've gotten them every two years for the last twenty due to chronic reflux and heartburn. The scope showed a stomach ulcer and tumor. I immediately received a CT-scan. That was Monday and on Friday the doctor gave me the biopsy supported diagnosis, adenocarcinoma of the stomach not related to the reflux or heartburn.

The following Monday I was in Dallas consulting with the chief of oncological surgery at Dallas Methodist. Tuesday I was getting detailed blood work done and Friday I saw an oncologist in nearby Sherman to lay out a plan.

This week's schedule starts on Monday with a Muga-scan which is a nuclear radiology procedure to evaluate heart capacity and ventricle pumping adequacy, a prerequisite to chemo. Tuesday it will be back to Dallas for a consult with a cardiologist who will participate in the eventual surgery, a carotid Doppler test to check blood flow and a PET/CT scan to identify any additional tumor spots. Thursday next week a visit to the internist to insert a central port for chemo infusions. A week from Monday the first round of chemo starts. A portable pump will give me a five day supply so I don't need daily visits to the clinic.Three weeks on and three weeks off for three cycles.

That should take me into October at which time I anticipate another PET and surgery. Looks like it will be the ultimate gastric by-pass. Then another series of chemo.

Yeah, it's not a pretty road. But it is certainly smooth, well-paved and unobstructed with governmental interference. Would I prefer a different situation? Of course. But right now it looks like I'm getting the best healthcare available in the world today.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Sacrifice All For the Leader

I mean really! This is pathetic. Nothing apparently is the property of individuals in the Whining New World. Your greatest days and the sharing with friends and family are subordinated to the political ambitions of the Bamster:

Lasting Longer Than a Gravy Boat

Of course it will! You won't be able to afford any gravy anyway/

"Routine Violations"

Syria is in a shambles. They've got a civil war going on and a genocide being perpetrated by their own government against the people. But, they probably know that the insurgents aren't equipped with high performance fast-movers. So, what's the truth about this:

Turkish F-4 Downed by Syrian Air Defense

I particularly like this comment from the Turkish President:
The Turkish president added that it was "routine" for jets flying in high-speeds to violate other countries air spaces for short periods of time.
That seems a bit disingenuous to me. It is far from routine in a region of incredible tensions.  You know where the borders are. You are briefed regularly. You had better know where your jet is at any given moment. That means either the TAF F-4 was on mission tasking, the Phantom pilot was incredibly inept, or he was on a lark seeing what he could get away with.

During my F-4 days in Spain, we spent one third of our time in Turkey at Incirlik. We flew low-levels all over Turkey which is a very large country. We did practice bombing on a Turkish gunnery range and we flew air-to-air over the Mediterranean and the Bay of Iskenderun. We stayed away from Cyprus and we didn't venture to the southeast where Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel were.

Except for one of my guys one day. I didn't find out about it until years later, so I guess fighter pilots can occasionally keep a secret.

He was a very good pilot. He had come to the F-4 out of Southeast Asia where he had been a Forward Air Controller. He was one of the guys who had gotten the tap on the shoulder one day in South Vietnam by a fellow in civilian clothes who asked if he would like to enter the Steve Canyon program. Would he like to become a Raven?

He went to Laos out of uniform and did some of the riskiest flying in the war. He got the gold chains and the big gold Rolex GMT-Master with the double wide solid gold chain-link bracelet. He got an Air Cavalry black Stetson from troops he supported and he wore it every deployment at the first night in the bar. Wearing a hat in a fighter pilot bar meant you bought for the bar. Wearing it all night meant you ran up a big tab.

We were just across the Bay from Syria and the second largest city Aleppo. Aleppo had a MiG-21 installation and a wonderful historic old section with a massive citadel and the largest covered souk in the Middle East. Several guys in the squadron had taken advantage of a long weekend to drive to Aleppo and see the sights.

My Raven took a different approach. He was on a functional check flight with one of the WSOs, single ship. He headed east, told the back-seater to shut up and went to Aleppo Air Base. Dropped down to initial, flew a traffic pattern and low approach to the runway then roared past the flight line row of MiGs.

Had conditions been what they are today, I suspect I'd have learned of the adventure a bit sooner.

Saturday Morning Rocker

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Blatant Manipulation

If one had any doubts about why network news is on life support and totally ignorable, you need only notice that yesterday's committee vote to hold the Attorney General in contempt of Congress will be a complete surprise to regular watchers of NBC News and regular readers of the New York Times. You see, for the last eight months or so, while the Fast and Furious investigation has raged in the House Oversight Committee, the NYT and NBC had totally ignored it. Now when a item comes up like a contempt of congress citation for a senior cabinet official, they've suddenly got to recover the back story.

Is that an isolated incident? Apparently not:

Shaping the News With Journalistic License

Cut and paste until you get the message you prefer. Then when caught, deny and ignore. The Great American Unwashed will still lap it up.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Sauce For the Goose

It seems that yet another federal law, coupled with the First Amendment, is inconveniencing the Bamster. We can't have citizens supporting candidates or issues with their money when the group is opposing the One True Leader. It was just fine when the shoe was on the other foot, but when his money has dried up and the opponent is getting the gravy, something must be done.

Crossroads In The Crosshairs

No truer words can be found than this quote from the article:
Obama's re-election is being helped by Democratic groups that enjoy a similar tandem relationship: sister organizations Priorities USA Action, the monthly reporting Super PAC; and Priorities USA, the non-disclosing nonprofit.
"Folks would do well to consider this a goofy sideshow until Obama sends the same letter to Priorities USA - the group modeled after Crossroads but which supports the president," Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio said.
"In the end, Obama doesn't care about the campaign laws; he only cares about silencing conservative groups that are holding him accountable for his failed record."
Maybe the Messiah will have to spend more time in Hollywood milking the mega-stars. Or, possibly they are going to figure out that there is no return on that investment.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pesky Details

At least 20 years ago, John Lott was researching at the University of Chicago on the relationship between citizen gun owners and crime rates. His peer-reviewed analysis bashed all aspects of the Brady folks except for their emotional hysteria about guns. The data showed conclusively that where guns are denied citizens, crime rates rise, sometimes to horrific levels. Where citizens can exercise their Second Amendment rights, particularly where "shall issue" concealed carry laws have been enacted, crime rates go down.

This has not been a momentary aberration. As more states have enacted modern CCW/CHL laws, crime rates have continued to decline.

Here's recent data:

FBI Shows Crime Decline. Private Sector Gun Manufacturing Doing Fine.

It was the late Ray Bradbury Robert Heinlein who wrote that "an armed society is a polite society." That seems increasingly obvious to all but the ultra-liberals.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Folly of Over-Reach

Roger Clemens found not-guilty today, but so what? Do you feel that justice was not served? Do you feel particularly endangered when major league athletes are engaged in chemical enhancement? Do you feel that government is not protecting society from evil?

Who cares?

First A Hung Jury, Now Acquittal. It's Your Money!

Has Congress got nothing better to do? Maybe some tax reform or an actual budget?

Professional sports are entertainment. A show for paying crowds to watch. It succeeds when apparent humans do remarkable physical feats. Statistics are kept, records are broken and we thrill when we see the limits exceeded. Cue the orchestra; tra-la-la, la-dee-da, that's entertainment!

Clemens may or may not have juiced, but when he pitched he filled the stands. People were entertained. Businesses made money.

Government thought they could "defend" us from something or other so the prosecuted him and couldn't get a conviction. They didn't think that horse was dead so they rode it again and this time they lost outright. They spent literally millions of taxpayer dollars that the government surely does not have laying around as excess.

The shame, however, is that Roger Clemens had to spend a similar amount to defend himself.

That is not justice.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Noticing the Nakedness of the Emperor

It is almost impossible to believe that there are enough Americans who have been adequately dumbed down to believe what is patently obvious lying. We've all heard the national debt numbers. They are repeated incessantly and can't be avoided as yet another Congressional deadline closes in on the ludicrous concept of a debt ceiling. Five trillion or so when he took office and more than fourteen trillion today. When is a limit not a limit? When it is a Congressional act, I guess.

Forbes Awards the Title

That's a fairly obvious scream from the back of the crowd regarding the Emperor's outfit.

A bigger chunk of Noonan offers even more enlightenment on the nakedness of the man:
President Obama’s problem now isn’t what Wisconsin did, it’s how he looks each day—careening around, always in flight, a superfluous figure. No one even looks to him for leadership now. He doesn’t go to Wisconsin, where the fight is. He goes to Sarah Jessica Parker’s place, where the money is.
There is, now, a house-of-cards feel about this administration.
It became apparent some weeks ago when the president talked on the stump—where else?—about an essay by a fellow who said spending growth is actually lower than that of previous presidents. This was startling to a lot of people, who looked into it and found the man had left out most spending from 2009, the first year of Mr. Obama’s presidency. People sneered: The president was deliberately using a misleading argument to paint a false picture!
But you know, why would he go out there waving an article that could immediately be debunked? Maybe because he thought it was true. That’s more alarming, isn’t it, the idea that he knows so little about the effects of his own economic program that he thinks he really is a low spender.
For more than a month, his people have been laying down the line that America was just about to enter full economic recovery when the European meltdown stopped it. (I guess the slowdown in China didn’t poll well.) You’ll be hearing more of this—we almost had it, and then Spain, or Italy, messed everything up. What’s bothersome is not that it’s just a line, but that the White House sees its central economic contribution now as the making up of lines.
Any president will, in a presidential election year, be political. But there is a startling sense with Mr. Obama that that’s all he is now, that he and his people are all politics, all the time, undeviatingly, on every issue. He isn’t even trying to lead, he’s just trying to win.
Most ominously, there are the national-security leaks that are becoming a national scandal—the “avalanche of leaks,” according to Sen. Dianne Feinstein, that are somehow and for some reason coming out of the administration. A terrorist “kill list,” reports of U.S. spies infiltrating Al Qaeda in Yemen, stories about Osama bin Laden’s DNA and how America got it, and U.S. involvement in the Stuxnet computer virus, used against Iranian nuclear facilities. These leaks, say the California Democrat, put “American lives in jeopardy,” put “our nation’s security in jeopardy.”
This isn’t the usual—this is something different. A special counsel may be appointed.
And where is the president in all this? On his way to Anna Wintour’s house. He’s busy. He’s running for president.
But why? He could be president now if he wanted to be.
That last line says a lot.

Gonna Be Busy

Things may be a little slow at the ThunderTales in the near future. Looks like I'm going to be pretty busy:

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Earning the Right to a Big Watch

The watch doesn't make the man. It's the man that makes the watch:

How Could It End Any Other Way

She's going to miss her court appearance for kidnapping, burglary and attempted murder today. She was shot yesterday when caught in the car she stole at gunpoint ran into another vehicle and she then attempted to run down the arresting officer. Poor baby was murdered in the street:

What She Be Doin' Wrong Dat Dey Need to Shoot Her?

Justice for Shantel?

Intelligent Design

Anybody who has been around computers for a while has heard of Easter eggs. They are little surprises that bored programmers build into the bowels of software and operating systems to tantalize other geeks into searching. Get the right sequence of commands or look in the right menu and enter a pass-phrase and something cute, funny or mysterious will be revealed.

The Creationists have morphed into Intelligent Design advocates. The idea is that there is too much theological, geological, zoological and palentological data to be reconciled by a six day creation story and a traceable genealogy of only six thousand years. The answer is that the universe is way too complicated for anything but an intelligent Supreme Being to have created. The unexplained evidence is simply a demonstration of the complexity which couldn't have been by accident or evolution.

OK, almost any scientist is going to at some point run into the conundrum of "uncaused first cause." Track back to the Big Bang and you've got a point where there is no before this. There's where you get into Supreme Being territory without question.

Here's this:

Man Not Neanderthal Leaves 40,000 Year Art

I suppose that the Intelligent Design answer for this evidence of humans being around for more than 6000 years is a sort of divine Easter egg. An embedded little surprise for us to puzzle over.

This one is a few thousand years younger than the hand prints, but still more than 30,000 years old.

I had the incredible good fortune to see this in person in 1976. Then the caves at Altamira were still open to tourists and the pre-historic paintings were there for people to view. Today they are closed to preserve them. The exhalations of people passing through to view them were causing massive deterioration. It would be a shame to see these lost forever. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

On Europe's Problem

Dan Henninger in the Wall St. Journal takes a scathing look at the pygmies in charge today compared to the leaders that built Western civilization:

Effete Finance Policies and Populism Not Working

I think he pounds the nails in then counter-sinks and fills the holes quite nicely.

Don't Mess With Texas

It's nice to know that the Federal Gummint is lookin' out fer us good ol' boys in Texas. We had a problem we didn't even realize because of years of just doing what come naturally when we was out in the woods. But somebody complained and the EPA demanded a judge look into the situation.

Somebody was taking care of business in the woods while hunting. That was clearly violating EPA standards, threatening the water table and creating irrevocable damage to the environment. It may possibly have been endangering some species.

The judge replied:

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Questionable Politics

Joy Behar is not known as a grand intellect. She's an entertainer with a caustic mouth. She doesn't even wield that weapon with precision or skill. She manages with crudity and volume. But she gets big bucks because America likes that sort of thing.

Here's an example that illustrates quite a bit:

Burn, Baby, Burn

Would it be piling on to point out to the airhead that police, fire-fighters, teachers, etc. are LOCAL government employees not federal? Would it be noticing her abject ignorance to mention that the federal government neither employees these people nor do the citizens of the nation's communities want them to. We like the traditional idea of hiring teachers, setting standards, developing curriculum, managing our own public safety assets, and controlling our taxes through elections on debt and tax levies.

Might it be pointing out her abject economic ignorance if she believes that government hiring people and paying them tax dollars is not as efficient a method of pumping the economy up as letting entrepreneurs keep their profits and grow their business thereby creating jobs that don't drain the tax coffers?

But this is great:
Behar, a former school teacher who reportedly got started in show biz in the 1980s as a standup comic.

“You know what I mean?,” Behar continued during her interview with Mediaite. “Come on. What am I supposed to do if my apartment gets caught on fire? Am I gonna call Mitt Romney to come and put it out? See what I mean?"
One must really wonder what caliber of school teacher she was. "...if my apartment gets caught on fire?" Seriously? Would that be apprehending your bedroom in "flagrante inferno"? How did you catch it, Joy? Did it slow down to wait for you or did you cut it off at the elevator?

And, I wouldn't recommend calling Romney. If I were you, Ms Behar, I'd call Obama. See what I mean?

In Your Face, Bloomberg

On a brighter note, we've got this challenge to Mayor Bloomers and a swipe at She-of-the-Toned-Arms with her program of "do as I say, not as I do" nutrition:

Whoppers and Bacon Sundaes

I've got to get on board with the concept of the bacon sundae. There is nothing in the world that doesn't get better with some bacon added.

Lost On the Concept

A student of American history used to learn about the Founding Fathers' view of the role of government and the absolute necessity to limit the reach of that institution into the lives of citizens. The Constitution specifies exactly what the power of the limited government shall be. Even then the citizens were not satisfied and demanded a Bill of Rights; a listing beyond what government CAN do and specifying what government CANNOT do.

Apparently Mayor Bloomberg in New York isn't on board with the concept.

Yesterday Coke, Today Milk and Popcorn

One must ask what the people of New York are going to accept before they revolt. They don't get to own firearms, they don't get freedom from a city income tax, they get stuffed into public transportation because they can't find a parking spot, they live in a hive of discourteous pushers and shovers, and now they are being diet managed for both choice and quantity.

Land of the free and home of the micro-managed.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Oceanfront Property in Arizona For Sale

The cliches about really gullible people jump to mind when watching the Department of Justice saga continue to unfold. Beach front land in middle-America or a real deal on buying the Brooklyn Bridge begin to pale in comparison to the protestations of the Attorney General.

Sen. John Cornyn Demands Resignation

AG Holder didn't know about Fast & Furious. Or he did but really didn't pay attention, but the President was above it all. Or maybe the Bamster got the memo but didn't read it. Seriously though, Holder can't remember the details. And it doesn't really matter because George W. was doing the very same thing for years, or maybe not.

Yes, we found 136,000 documents in response to the subpoena but we already gave you 7,600 so we're all square. The remainder are just like those we gave you. Trust me.

Now, we've got the New York Times publishing great detail with conspicuous quotes from White House National Security team members regarding counter-terrorism ops and cyber-warfare against Iran. The goal quite apparently is to pump up the volume on Conan the Messiah's warrior cred. But he denies he would ever tolerate such a thing.

In response to that conflicting data, the AG promises to investigate his own executive branch and follow the leads whomever gets in the cross-hairs.

Wanna buy a nice antique bridge?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Are You Better Off Now...

...Than you were four years ago? Ronald Reagan asked the question after four years of Jimmy Carter stagflation when the solution to everything was to raise interest rates and inflate dollars with hot air until they couldn't rest on the table. The answer was obvious and Reagan became a conservative icon.

If you have a 401(k), an IRA, a 403(b) or any of the other alphabet soup retirement plans you know the answer before you have to read this piece, but read it anyway:

Net Worth Of American Family Down 40% in Three Years

So, you can read that sort of propaganda with those numbers in it or you can take the President at his word, "The private sector is doing fine."

I know my account reports tell me all I need to know about what to believe.

Thoughts In A Song

The only problem is that this was done just before the current administration! He wouldn't have thought the situation was bad then if he had been doing the song now:

Sunday, June 10, 2012

What is Real?

Do you believe everything you read? Of course we don't. But are we really aware when we are being manipulated, mislead or propagandized? Do flags go up and buzzers sound when our perceptions are being shaped for a purpose?

Try this tidbit:

The Like Us! They Really Like Us!

Of course the man in the street is going to have a perspective that might not be in lockstep with an administration. Maybe they might even confide that to the itinerant journalist. Or possibly the administration has conditioned the people to offer certain responses. Or maybe the route of the journalist and exposure to certain segments of the society have been shaped to lead to certain conclusions. Maybe even the journalist has an agenda and the report is designed to have the reader believe what the writer wants them to conclude. We can't know for sure. But we can get suspicious when we also get reports like this one:

We Will Kill You If You Interfere 

Nice folks, heh? We are told that unless we let their proxy for terror continue his ruthless suppression of his own people, we and our allies will be destroyed. We must stand by and watch thousands die because they say so.
 “Today all the people of the region are ready for wiping out this cancerous tumor, and reaction to any aggression will be the freedom of Quds.”
What "cancerous tumor" is that? Israel.

Sunday Morning

I've had the incredible good fortune to have seen many sights like these. A few of them I haven't encountered, but they are still out there waiting:

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Base Housing

In the '50s and '60s, the military had loads of base housing. It was much more common for military people to live on the installation than the local economy. While lower ranks could be housed in barracks (aka "dormitories" in modern nomenclature), the higher rank career officers and NCOs qualified for base housing. Only when the military was unable to offer on-base facilities were members allowed to reside off post.

That meant massive programs to fund and construct communities on the installations. The programs received names of the legislative sponsors and the homes were always identified that way. The first generation large-scale program was the Wherry project, which built generic, flat-roofed, minimalist living quarters. The second generation made it look a lot more suburban and welcoming. They were the Capehart houses with peaked roofs, porches, meandering streets and reduced cookie-cutter appearance. Still basic, but quite a bit nicer than Wherry which was generically referred to as weary.

Now, the Obama administration is expressing their never-exceedable support for the troops with a new housing program. A prototype proof-of-concept home has been built for testing purposes and shows a much more classic and historic urban approach to housing. The goal is to make housing throughout the nation achieve this standard:


Walking it back has become a familiar activity for the Messiah. Apparently his speech writers still believe in his magical ability to say anything and the adoring crowds will accept it as biblical. They write outrageous statements and feed them to the teleprompter. The Bamster takes the podium and without another consideration dutifully reads what they have written for them, applying his stentorian tones and characteristic pacing while rotating his head between the two prompters to look as though he is addressing the audience on all sides.

The only catch is that America is throwing the BS flag with increasing regularity. So, five hours later press secretary Jay Carney rephrases the stupid remark to make it sound like what you heard in plain English is not what the Great One said. Or, as happened yesterday, the leader himself comes forth to recant:

The Private Sector is Doing Fine

I know that I would have looked at that line before delivering it with a straight face and said, YGBSM! But the Bamster didn't flinch. He does what he is told by his handlers knowing confidently that his charisma and the adoration of the true believers will carry him through.

Then he is forced to say this:
Obama backpedaled and declared it is “absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine.” While there had been some “good momentum” in the private sector, Obama said, public sector growth lagged behind, making it imperative that Congress act on his proposals to hire more teachers and first-responders.
I guess what the Captain means is there is great momentum in the private sector but it is in the wrong direction and he doesn't really consider that a problem. It is the growth of the public sector which isn't happening fast enough. We need a lot more government which will be a lot bigger drag on the private sector and require a lot higher taxes and a lot more debt so that he can have a lot more power.

Psssst! Mr. President, the federal government doesn't hire teachers or first-responders in our federal system. That is a local government function paid by local taxes and based on decisions of local city councils and school boards. Butt out!

Saturday Morning Rocker

You can never get too much Zappa:

Friday, June 08, 2012

Learning a Trade

We're talking about serious vocational training in Oakland. This is a school that is preparing these students to operate in the modern American environment.

Hit The Streets, Kids!

That's a trade that will serve them well and the opportunity to expand simply begging into the more lucrative drug-dealing and pimping field will be right there in front of them. Or they can learn from their own school administration how to inflate the student population and bilk the government out of thousands of taxpayer dollars.

Why doesn't anybody on that journalistic staff ask the question about what a school named St. Andrew Missionary Baptist Church Private School is doing getting federal tax dollars or under the auspices of Oakland School District? Am I missing something about PRIVATE and Baptist Church here?

Shattering Memes

You've heard it from your friends, your family, the mainstream media pundits, the administration, the left-wing politicians and the Occupy Wall Streeters. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. And top it off that those nasty ol' rich folks aren't paying their fair share.

Simply put, class envy sells. It has sold well since Lenin wrote the book on Marx. It has fostered revolutions and led to governmental regime changes around the world. The Bamster is depending upon acceptance by that 51% of working age Americans who pay no federal income tax. If they believe it, and they surely will, then he already has a victory. All he needs to do is get them out of the welfare line and crack houses long enough to vote.

Turns out that the meme is pretty frail. Take a look:

Fortunate 400 Has Revolving Door

If a person was in that elite group last year it is very likely they won't be in it this year. The membership churns over and over. People come and go. The rich aren't getting richer in this bunch because they aren't the same rich for very long.

I would be the last to say they require any sympathy from me. I don't think they need my concern. But I do think it is an important reaffirmation of the US as a land of opportunity in which the door is open for people to move from class to class in a society without artificial restrictions.

Almost a 40% decline in the income level to get into the Fortunate 400 since 2007 tells us a lot about the economy beyond correction of the "rich getting richer" fallacy. It also is telling that the effective tax rate paid by that group is the highest it has been in a decade. That decade you may wish to recall started with the introduction of those nasty Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

Numbers sure can be inconvenient. Now if we can get the Bamster and Paul Krugman to read them we might be able to make some progress toward that elusive "fairness" thing they want.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Innocent or Crude?

It might be simply an unintentional double-entendre. It certainly could be passed by quickly if not for the audience before which it was delivered. Placed in the context of the group he was addressing it becomes a very intentional and decidedly unpresidential statement.

LGBT Learns About Michelle

I never would have guessed that about her.


They don't seem to learn. You can get away with a lot of BS hanging around the local bar and sweet-talking the impressionable young ladies who generally are clueless and simply looking for a hook-up. If they get to make it with a war hero, all the more exciting.

But, if you are going to go on television nationally and you're going to spin a yarn about heroism and war injury and combat trauma then somebody is going to check you out.

America's Got Talent and Liars Too

This from TMZ says it all:
We asked Tim to prove it really happened.  He said he received treatment at a military medical facility in Afghanistan before being transferred to a medical center in Landstuhl, Germany. Tim says he was then transferred to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.  He did not produce any documents to support his claim.

Tim says he plans to sue his ex-wife and several others for telling the media he was lying.

We asked Tim for ANY hard proof to back his claims -- he gave us nothing, saying he can't release pics or documents for legal reasons. So we gotta ask ...
Yep, another one of those super-secret mission types who can't release his records because they are highly classified. Nobody in his unit knew he was wounded. Who then picked him up and brought him out? How did he avoid the routine issuance of a Purple Heart?

These people are simply disgusting. When you've offended Howard Stern, you're really at the championship level for slime-crawling maggots.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Pay No Attention

I was watching election results last night and as the percentage of precincts reporting rose and the two-to-one margin for Walker held consistent, I wondered why Fox News hadn't declared a victory. So, I went to the other major cable news outlets. First I took a look at CNN where Wolf Blitzer was fighting back tears but still depending upon exit polls from earlier in the day while viewers were seeing actual counts appear in the crawl at the bottom of the screen. Denial was blatant.

So, I really went afield to MSNBC and Rachel Maddow. That's when it really became surreal:

"Too Close to Call---Walker To Be Indicted"

These people live in a twilight zone.

Particularly note-worthy was Ed Schultz bleating about the injustice of campaign funding superiority by the winner. Somehow ignoring the billion dollar slush fund that the Messiah has amassed and alluding to corruption of the democratic process; truly remarkable.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Who'da Thunk It?

Dick Morris, once a Clinton staffer and now a convert to conservatism, speaks the words which are obvious to all:

The question, however, is why? What's Bill Clinton's game? What does he gain by an Obama loss?

Hillary is a senior administration official. They don't get much higher than SecState. She's cobbled together a credible resume of governmental service reaching beyond the rather nebulous credential of having been First Lady. She's been at Bill's side in state government, she watched the executive branch from inside the White House, she's been a US Senator and now the manager of foreign policy for the nation. That's heavy duty regardless of your ideology.

She ran a bitter primary race against the Bamster in 2008. When he won, she was marginalized even as SecState. The Messiah was on the global apology tour and Hillary was visiting central African back-waters. She's still got the presidential jones unsatisfied.

The Bamster is not likely to swap her for Biden at veep. Bill is making sure that won't happen by dumping these clinkers on the Obama campaign. Obama doesn't want Bill around the White House catching the lime-light. If Obama gets a second term, Hillary will be history and that leaves her four years in the wilderness.

If Obama gets re-elected the country will be in such a mess by 2016 that the second coming of Christ wouldn't be sure of a Democratic election win. Hillary doesn't want to be seeking the Bamster's seat then. It works much better for her if Romney wins and she can campaign against a Republican president in 2016. Give her four years as the face of the opposition and she's a shoo-in. QED.

Monday, June 04, 2012

On Sale: Distressed Merchandise

"The president who started off with such dazzle now seems incapable of stimulating either the economy or the voters. His campaign is offering Obama 2012 car magnets for a donation of $10; cat collars reading “I Meow for Michelle” for $12; an Obama grill spatula for $40, and discounted hoodies and T-shirts. How the mighty have fallen."
That tidbit is from a left-wing top-level editorial writer for the New York Times. It's not a right-wing hit piece. It leaves me pondering whether I would get more use out of an Obama burger flipper or a nice hoodie to roam gated communities at night.

Here is the entire sad story:

Maureed Dowd No Longer Feeling Bamster Tingles

So, are they essentially paraphrasing that great Lincoln quote regarding how you can fool some of the people some of the time and some of the people all the time?

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Three Days in Dallas

Just finished a delightful three days in Dallas observing the economic impact of Gov. Perry's gross mismanagement of the state economy so that we can't begin to aspire to the success of places like Detroit, Newark or Chicago. Admittedly it is a struggle, but Texans are a hardy lot and we manage to make do.

We stayed at a rundown refurbished Motel 6 which is so broke they no longer leave a light on for you.

But, it's more than a bedroom and a TV bolted to the wall. You an relax in the cramped and beat-up furniture of the lobby or beg some sustenance from the street vendors or possibly find something in the dumpsters nearby:
You can gobble your gleanings indoors or out, depending upon your mood and the temperature. You have to be cautious that the other down and out Dallas-ites waiting for their Obama-Bucks don't try to steal from your shopping cart of possessions.

Second night we ventured away from the shack to a less exotic locale with a future so bright they've got to wear shades. Italian cooking in a cozy retro style of neighborhood joint. They are so poor that they can't even afford canned goods. They have to make everything on the menu from scratch and it shows. Bread, salumi, pates, fresh pasta, risotto, sauces and deserts all get cobbled together from whatever ingredients they can find:

Lucia's Booked A Month In Advance

No, the food is not the quality of MRE's warmed on the exhaust manifold of a HumVee, but then what really can compete with that?

Finally we finished up our three-day survival exercise with some ethnic cuisine handled by Asian folks who are so poor they can't even afford to cook a lot of their fish:

Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Korean and More

Like so many places suffering the legacy of the Bush administration's evil policies, the place was populated by middle-aged men accompanied by leggy, busty, stylish women who were all apparently turned down by "Real Housewives of Somewhere" casting calls as being too beautiful, too well-mannered, too polite and too sophisticated to be real housewives.

When we departed these two rickshaws were pulled up in front, apparently waiting for two trucks to haul them away after break-downs:
Yes those are twin Bentley cabriolets both still wearing dealer plates and representing a cool half-million in automotive luxury. 

It was a tough three days but we survived it. Until next time...

Friday, June 01, 2012


Convenience be damned. Discretion? We don' need no steenkin' discretion. Free choice? Not in Progressive America. OK, I haven't had a soft drink in a couple of decades. I drink water usually, beer occasionally and wine with most dinners. I'm fat, but I prefer to think of myself as prosperous. It's my free choice. Not, a very bright future for free choice in New York though. The pseudo-Republican mayor seeks to control size of soft drinks. Nothing larger than 16 ounces to be sold. No more Big Gulp at the convience store. I'm not sure about two liter bottles of Pepsi and the brackets on stuff like lo-cal or zero calories soft drinks aren't clear either. I'm wondering how a 40 of malt liquor fits in the equation. You see the saintly Mayor make that Bloomberg, seeks to pare down the large diameter of NYC denizens. You see the average 8 ounce Coke contains sugar, about 25 calories worth. Than means a 16 ounce limited drink will have 50 calories of sugar. For the average teen-ager or active young adult that is a pretty small component of a typical 2000 calorie recommended intake each day. But, read this: Shut Up and Take It Gotta love the liberal dietician who blatantly claims no food value. Somehow I thought calories equaled energy and the most concentrated forms are the complex sugars. If you don't get them directly, your body converts carbohydrates into sugar first before producing energy to keep you going. Particularly noteworthy is the now characteristic of the left-wing apologist to pepper his debate with supportive language gleaned from the lowest levels of society and throw in the occasional reference to the intelligence level of the reader. The essential here is that control of portion size is not a role of government. Good for you or bad for you is your choice...or it is in the rest of the country.

Living Large

A few days R&R at the Mansion at Turtle Creek.