NASA's 400-page report says space shuttle crew's seat restraints, suits, didn't work as designedThis is the FoxNews lead for a story about NASA's findings in the Columbia crash. The point being if the the seat restraints, suits and helmets had operated as designed the astronauts would be...dead as opposed to what actually happened which is they died.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Not only can they not sell papers but now they're being sued like "The National Enquirer" for rumor mongering. They couldn't be bothered to report the actual affair of candidate John Edwards, but they printed an article that was totally without facts. Reading it was embarrassing due to the lack of actual sourcing.
The lesson, to me, is when journalist adopt an agenda instead of just reporting they will get hurt.
Monday, December 15, 2008
And we are to believe that the Earth is in peril because global temperatures climbed 2 degrees over a decade, and now are on the way back down.
The AP writes, "...2008 is on pace to be a slightly cooler year in a steadily rising temperature trend line. Experts say it's thanks to a La Nina weather variation. While skeptics are already using it as evidence of some kind of cooling trend, it actually illustrates how fast the world is warming." Up is down, in is out, lambs are lying down with wolves! This is the kind of thing that makes it hard to take the global warming nuts seriously. Of course the AP story had the ubiquitous reference to Al Gore, Panicker in Chief (see also ManBearPig.)
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I have only known Ray for 44 or 45 years, he died at the age of 49. Losing him is like losing a member of the family. If you grew up in a small town you know what I mean, and if you didn’t you will probably never understand. But I will try and convey the closeness that occurs in a small town, and a small school.
Our graduating class, Ray was in my class, had 35 members, give or take one. Of those 35, at least 20 of us went to school together for 12 years, and the others were with us for over six of those years. This forms a bond that is not much different than being brothers and sisters. You may not always get along, but you have to be forgiving of each other, because tomorrow you’re right back together. There was very little dating within the group, we dated up or down a class or two (the one exception I can think of produced a marriage that has lasted nearly 30 years now.) Maybe it was just too weird to date someone that close.
Being a member of a group like that means that you might not see each other for years, but when you do it’s like seeing a missing family member. It’s not awkward. You just catch up, and pick up where you left off. These are people that I would gladly do anything for, and I think they would for me. I may have secrets, but not from this group, as they know me as well, or better, than I know myself.
This closeness extends to everyone, though not quite as tightly, that you attended school with, up a couple of grades and down a couple of grades. It is a feeling of comfort which is hard to explain, but a joy to experience.
Sadly, Ray is not the first of our number to die. At least six that I can think of are already gone. Two were killed in auto accidents, and one was murdered, within two years of our graduation.
Farewell Ray, I will miss you and your wonderful sense of humor.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I am thankful for my family, my friends, my health and my freedom. These are things that we tend to take for granted, but they are the true blessings of life.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
The New York Times editorial staff reliably wets their pants over what a horrible person she is (they are such an entertaining group of panty waists.) I guess bleeding hearts think that food magically appears on the supermarket shelves and no animals are harmed in the process.
Mark Steyn sees the Governor's act of pardoning a turkey, and then allowing viewers to see others being slaughtered, as an allegory for government bailouts that pick and choose winners and losers. Ann Althouse, my favorite blogger, writes, "Deal with it, you candy-asses."
Sunday, November 16, 2008
This is mostly soothing words to make people feel psychically better (which is the proper role for a leader to play.) We don't want a President Carter malaise speech.
There are some policy comments in there. The creation of 2,000,000 jobs to rebuild roads and the crumbling infrastructure. That sounds like a re-creation of the WPA (Works Progress Administration) from the New Deal. And then the bit about a 5,000,000 new green jobs, but I don't think he means the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps.) Since I am one of those who thinks FDR's New Deal didn't actually accomplish much in the way of reviving the economy (unemployment rates did not improve during the 1930's) it's going to be hard for me to endorse revisiting bad policies.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
it's important that president elect Obama is prepared to really take power and begin to rule day one.
Friday, November 7, 2008
Government is evil.
It’s a necessary evil, but it is an evil. Any application of government should be done in a somber fashion, as it is a failure of our humanity that we couldn’t handle it as individual citizens. Deciding whether to apply government to solve a problem should be considered on the same level as burning down an orphanage full of children to solve a problem. Deciding to tax should be thought of like deciding to stab an innocent man for our own gain. Anyone who celebrates government is a ghoulish wretch who must be ostracized from polite society.
Frank J. at imao.us
This is a libertarian statement coming from someone who considers himself a staunch conservative. Anyway, I like it.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
It is hard to describe the intense feelings I had leading up to the election and then the release of the headache when it was announced that Obama had won Ohio at 8:30 PM. I was so afraid that the polls were wrong, or something would happen, etc. (the usual Democratic paranoid feelings!). Anyway, my emotions were a mixture of joy and relief.
All during the afternoon and evening of election day I had fun sending text messages to my girlfriend Teneshia who was working the polls here in Houston and didn't have access to the news for part of the evening. It was fun to send the messages (Drudge headline says "Exit Polls Show Obama Big"). By the way, why is it that the right wing jerk Drudge always has the best gossip and scoops?! His site is indispensible when you need to know NOW!!
Anyway, I am very thankful that it did not take all night to find out the winner. Of course, I had all of the joyful emotions, and even a few tears at the amazing scenes shown on TV. I'm also mindful that many (and most of my own family!) do not wholly share my happiness, so I try to keep it all in perspective. I'm hoping for the best. It's also hard to understate the impact this election will have in our country and around the world. That is my feeling. All the best J.R. and other reader(s).
We fear the unknown.
We just elected a man who's core values are unknown, and who's governing philosophy is unclear. If his past is the marker he will be truly awful. If what he has been saying in the campaign is the marker, then he has the potential to be a truly transcendent leader. My hope is the latter.
Congratulations to President-elect Obama. I wish him the wisdom to govern our country well.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Tomorrow the 75% or so of voters who have not voted early will go to the polls and by days end the race will be decided. If it is close we may not know who the winner is but the die will have been cast.
I can say that clearly I have a preference as to who the winner is, but in the end both candidates are decent, intelligent men who are standing for a job that no one can truly appreciate the difficulty of. No matter which way the election goes we will have a new President who deserves the respect that goes with the office. The country will not be destroyed by whoever the winner is. We may discover ourselves moving in a new direction, but that will be tempered by the reality of governing.
Hopefully the hot heads on the far right and far left will remain calm and we will proceed in an orderly fashion from the Bush era to the new administration. America is the greatest nation on Earth and our election process though messy, long and ugly proves this because in the end the winner is accepted and we get on with our business.
Monday, October 27, 2008
"In an election that has been fought on an astoundingly low cultural and intellectual level, with both candidates pretending that tax cuts can go like peaches and cream with the staggering new levels of federal deficit, and paltry charges being traded in petty ways, and with Joe the Plumber becoming the emblematic stupidity of the campaign, it didn't seem possible that things could go any lower or get any dumber. But they did last Friday, when, at a speech in Pittsburgh, Gov. Sarah Palin denounced wasteful expenditure on fruit-fly research, adding for good xenophobic and anti-elitist measure that some of this research took place "in Paris, France" and winding up with a folksy "I kid you not."
It was in 1933 that Thomas Hunt Morgan won a Nobel Prize for showing that genes are passed on by way of chromosomes. The experimental creature that he employed in the making of this great discovery was the Drosophila melanogaster, or fruit fly. Scientists of various sorts continue to find it a very useful resource, since it can be easily and plentifully "cultured" in a laboratory, has a very short generation time, and displays a great variety of mutation. This makes it useful in studying disease, and since Gov. Palin was in Pittsburgh to talk about her signature "issue" of disability and special needs, she might even have had some researcher tell her that there is a Drosophila-based center for research into autism at the University of North Carolina. The fruit fly can also be a menace to American agriculture, so any financing of research into its habits and mutations is money well-spent. It's especially ridiculous and unfortunate that the governor chose to make such a fool of herself in Pittsburgh, a great city that remade itself after the decline of coal and steel into a center of high-tech medical research.
With Palin, however, the contempt for science may be something a little more sinister than the bluff, empty-headed plain-man's philistinism of McCain. We never get a chance to ask her in detail about these things, but she is known to favor the teaching of creationism in schools (smuggling this crazy idea through customs in the innocent disguise of "teaching the argument," as if there was an argument), and so it is at least probable that she believes all creatures from humans to fruit flies were created just as they are now. This would make DNA or any other kind of research pointless, whether conducted in Paris or not. Projects such as sequencing the DNA of the flu virus, the better to inoculate against it, would not need to be funded. We could all expire happily in the name of God. Gov. Palin also says that she doesn't think humans are responsible for global warming; again, one would like to ask her whether, like some of her co-religionists, she is a "premillenial dispensationalist"—in other words, someone who believes that there is no point in protecting and preserving the natural world, since the end of days will soon be upon us. "
It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.
So the problem is we, as a country, have not been able to break the restraints placed on government by the Constitution. Therefore, the government cannot provide for all of the needs of the citizenry.
This is very scary stuff.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Anywho, good for the California legal authorities for stepping down hard on voter registration fraud. This should not be acceptable practice by anyone. I look forward to reading about them arresting Acorn voter registration workers.
Just for the record, Jeff and I have established that we are probably not related, and Mark Jacoby is my first cousin, but not the Mark Jacoby arrested in California. Oh, and Cousin Mark who posts here is not Mark Jacoby either. He is not nearly fired up enough to go out and commit voter fraud.
In the movie, Colin Powell is shown as constantly feuding with Cheney and Rummy, and being the lone hold out on the decision to invade Iraq. By the end of the movie, it was implied that Powell felt used by the administration, and saddened that he had made the final sales pitch to the UN on Saddam and the weapons of mass destruction.
By the way, the movie is interesting and funny, but it is a work of fiction and speculation. If you love President Bush you won't like it, but I didn't think it was all that harsh.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I really don't have a problem with taxing those who make the money, but it is wrong to take that money and give it to people who contribute nothing to the treasury. That is classic socialism, and McCain is either uninformed or too much of a pussy to point it out.
McCain deserves to lose if he can't explain the fundamental differences between himself and Senator Obama. A pox on both their houses.
End of rant.
If I were gullible enough to believe Senator Obama rather than knowing how easily he dismisses his past, I might vote for him. Unfortunately, if any time is spent looking into his past as a community organizer, Chicago politician and his association with the very worst people in American society; from the Chicago mob, William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright, Acorn and on and on, then it is impossible to believe that he is really reformed from his past self.
A pox on both their houses. Intelligent men playing the American public for total fools. I might vote for Cynthia McKinney, at least she is honest about her stupidity.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
As my mother used to tell me, "It's about time Obama stopped claiming his raving canards were influenced by outside sources and just admitted he was wrong." For better or for worse, honest people will admit that his belief systems oscillate between disruptive pauperism and immature ruffianism. Concerned people are not afraid to tell you things that Obama doesn't want you to know. And sensible people know that Obama's secret passion is to destroy that which is the envy of -- and model for -- the entire civilized world. For shame!
There are two kinds of people in this world. There are those who use terms of opprobrium such as "condescending, obdurate carpers" and "self-centered malefactors" to castigate whomever Obama opposes and there are those who name and shame his chums for their balmy acts of poststructuralism. Obama fits neatly into the former category, of course. Mark my words: I wonder what would happen if he really did impose infernal new restrictions on society just to satisfy some sort of insufferable drive for power. There's a spooky thought. I am familiar with Obama's goals, I understand how he operates, I have long recognized his tactics, and I know just about where Obama now stands on the ladder to total power. I can therefore say that, surely, I hate it when witless pinheads like him go on with such vigor about subjects they don't even know about. I could write pages on the subject, but the following should suffice. It strikes me as amusing that Obama complains about people who do nothing but complain. Well, news flash! He does nothing but complain.
To paraphrase a line from Hamlet, "Extremism, thy name is Barack H Obama". He doesn't want me to expand people's understanding of his ungrateful subliminal psywar campaigns. Well, I've never been a very obedient dog so I intend not only to do exactly that but also to create and nurture a true spirit of community. I wouldn't even mention that it is not difficult to see the undercurrents of irreligionism in his prank phone calls if it weren't unmistakably true. Obama does not merely shout obscenities at passers-by. He does so consciously, deliberately, willfully, and methodically.
Obama has been trying for some time to sell the public on an interventionism-based government. His sales pitch proceeds both pragmatically and emotionally. The pragmatic argument: Obama is the ultimate authority on what's right and what's wrong. The emotional argument: The Earth is flat. As you can see, neither argument is valid, which should indicate to you that Obama's favorite tactic is known as "deceiving with the truth". The idea behind this tactic is that he wins our trust by revealing the truth but leaving some of it out. This makes us less likely to snap Obama's cult followers out of their trance. So you see, I indubitably seek nothing but justice.
(I found a rant generator! http://www.pakin.org/complaint/ That is why this doesn't really make any sense.)
Saturday, October 4, 2008
According to the polls Obama has a 5-6 point national lead, and the swing states are trending toward him as well. Supposedly McCain is pulling out of Michigan (although Sarah Palin wants to fight on??). The question for me is, is McCain going to keep sinking, or are we about to see another turnaround in the race? I have NO idea, but I'm expecting the race to tighten for the following reasons:
1) Palin did well enough in the VP debate to excite the Republican base again. I think the talking heads were really worried after the Katie Couric interview, but she showed she can put words together and attack Obama.
2) McCain is probably about to go strongly negative. I expect to see ads with Jeremiah Wright figuring prominently very soon.
On the other hand, voters may decide that because the economy is so bad right now, that it is time to change parties in the White House. Also, I am not sure how Palin plays with the swing voters. She is like fingernails on a chalkboard to liberals, I know that, but for middle of the road voters, I'm not sure how she plays.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
Can anything beat the Palin Show with Katie Couric for cringe inducing humor? It's sad when Tina Fey doesn't even have to change Sarah's words to get laughs on Saturday Night Live. Maybe tonight Palin will pull it all together -- she had better is all I can say.
John McCain seems like a scatter-brained cranky old man. Could he have screwed up worse regarding the mortgage bailout bill or the first debate lead-in? He seems like he changes his stance by the hour, on any number of topics. Barack Obama is supposed to be the risky choice?? And why won't he look Obama in the eye during the debate or shake his hand in the Congress? What's up with that? Can't you at least be civil Mr. McCain?
From reading the right-wing nut jobs on my favorite Texas A&M website, it seems that almost all of the posters are ready to vote out the Texas Republican Senator Cornyn because he voted for the Wall St. mortgage bailout bill. "He's not a true Conservative!!" "He's a RINO 'Republican in Name only'". If they are stupid enough to vote out Cornyn and put in a Democrat (Noriega) this November, I am more than happy to help them!
I'm sure I need to enjoy this week while it lasts.. I can't imagine it's going to get any better than this!
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
The appropriate mechanism for dealing with large failures is to allow them to work out through the bankruptcy system. That is what any of us who default, or who are in danger of default, would do. Why we have investment bankers and insurance companies running to Congress rather than the nearest bankruptcy court is not clear.
A large part of the blame must fall on governmental mandates to make loans to those who cannot repay the loans. This is what a sub-prime loan really is, and they are strongly encouraged by federal oversight.
It still seems outrageous for any of us who did not choose to participate in high risk activities to have to pay the bills for those who did. There is high reward for risk, but the alternative is the loss of investment. But I don't believe nationalizing the equity markets would be wise. Politicians would just load up even more stupidity like making loan policies based on political ends rather than credit worthiness.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Hello! It is called horny goat weed. Maybe the scientists would have figured it out sooner if it were called horny old goat weed.
Friday, September 26, 2008
And what is up with McCain's stunts regarding the debates and the Wall St. bailout? I am amazed watching McCain and Palin over the last few days.. amazed and afraid if they could still actually win after all of this!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
But it never fails, they let the market work when it succeeds but can't suffer the ultimate failures. Business is good at creative destruction. Things that don't work fall apart, and those things that do work, move forward. All we need now is some massive federal intervention and regulation to ensure that the failures stay in place.
Economics is probably the least understood thing in DC. Politics will screw up economic creativity (with creativity comes destruction) every time.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Please, if you visit here, read the item and express an opinion.
ADDED: Since only one of my massive reading audience chose to comment (thank you Miss Brazil) I will go ahead and give my opinion of this piece.
Ms. Warner brought a massive load of condescension to her post. She went forth to laugh and make fun of those conservative women who might think Gov. Palin is something other than evil in a lovely dress. She found, to her horror, that these women were actually nice to her. She has no context for understanding that people with political views other than her own might be rational, thinking human beings. It was embarrassing to read how flummoxed she was to find that these were not people out for her blood.
Her final bit about research showing that conservatives can empathize with liberals, but not vice versa was totally borne out by the commenters. The viciousness and hatred expressed by these people was more eye opening even than her own post.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
The two weeks since my original post have only confirmed my belief that McCain is solidly inside the Obama campaign's decision making process. He is forcing them to react rather than act. They are constantly reacting, and it makes them seem ragged and undisciplined.
Friday, September 12, 2008
There are claims by everyone in the media and both sides of the Presidential campaign that lies are being told! Oh my God! This is the most amazing thing I have ever encountered. Politicians who shade the truth, tell us what they think we want to hear and sometimes tell the truth but not in a manner acceptable to the opposition.
I have to admit that in my case this mostly falls on deaf ears. We've had to endure screams of "Liar!" for the past seven years every time President Bush says something that the left doesn't agree with. When policy differences are not argued, but simply dismissed as more lies from those lying liars it becomes difficult to really care.
Newsflash: Just because you disagree doesn't make it a lie.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Cousin Mark what are you doing about this one?
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
So tax increases are bad for the economy? Why then is Sen. Obama's plan to raise them supposed to help the economy? I am just so confused.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Just look at the new polls coming in this morning. The USA Today/Gallup poll has McCain/Palin at 54% and Obama/Biden at 44%. Wow! That is one hell of a bump!
I don't think the Democrats know what to do about Sarah Palin and the new strategy of the McCain campaign (that McCain/Palin are the real "change" agents). On the face of it, it seems ludicrous that 4 more years of Republican rule would be a "change," but we can't put anything past these Republicans!
Sunday, September 7, 2008
"Let's not play games," he said. "What I was suggesting -- you're absolutely right that John McCain has not talked about my Muslim faith . And you're absolutely right that that has not come." (Emphasis added)
This is not a slip of tongue I might ever make even if accused of being a Muslim.
We are not hiring a CEO, we are electing someone that we think has the character, judgment and ability to lead. Leadership ability is the only qualification at the end of the day. We elect a leader who we think has the steel, the balls, the guts to make an important decision without letting all of that extraneous bullshit that fills our world distort the process. Senator Obama has not gotten this far based on his experience, he has none of any value, but on the belief that he has leadership qualities that will make him a good President. We may disagree on the assessment, but that is the only reason he is his party's nominee.
The 3:00 A.M. question is relevant. Who do you want answering that phone? Decision processes are the only important issue facing the Chief Executive. Can he/she make a decision faced with limited/conflicting data that leads to a positive result. That is a hard thing, it requires character, judgment and surety. It is okay to be wrong, but it is not okay to be indecisive. Being the big dog, the final authority does not allow for a lot of soul searching, that person has to know what he/she believes and act accordingly.
I think this is an important election, as is each one, but I fail to see exactly what makes this one more significant than any other in the past 40 years.
Saturday, September 6, 2008
* reach out and work with communities in various ways.
* liaison with, and for, community agencies for service within affected areas.
* fight to make a difference.
* raise awareness.
* deal with community issues.
* raise awareness in the community of how we are making differences about undealt-with issues .
* when necessary, refer inquiries to outreach coordinators.
* Help coordination agency administrators identify and address outreach opportunities.
* model timetables and conceptualize benchmarks.
* issue guidelines for poster contests and interpretive dance festivals.
* Gather voter registrations, win valuable prizes.
I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume this is not an exhaustive list. After reading it I guess I know what a community organizer does, but that doesn't really help me understand how that benefits anything beyond the organizers own ego. If this were a business plan it would have to be redone as none of these items is specific, and there are no goals involved.
The last two are my favorites. It is hard not to smile or even chuckle a bit when issuing guidelines for poster contests and interpretive dance festivals, and winning valuable prizes are part of your job description.
The rest of the article is extremely helpful, you can read it here.
Ok, so it's satire. And I still don't know what a community organizer does. The one description I found talked about registering voters for ACORN, but since they tend to have dubious methods that is surely not all that is involved.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
“I can do my part in working really, really hard to get a natural gas pipeline, about a $30 billion project that's going to create a lot of jobs for Alaska. … [but] I think God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that,” she said. “I can do my job there in developing our natural resources, in doing things like getting the roads paved and making sure our troopers have their cop cars and their uniforms and their guns, and making sure our public schools are funded. But really that stuff doesn't do any good if the people of Alaska's hearts aren't right with God.”
It wasn't all serious, though. At one point during the address, Palin praised the graduating class as “a bunch of cool-looking Christians.” Then she picked out one student in the crowd and said with a smile, “Ben, I don't know you well enough yet, but looking at you, I'm thinking, people are going to interested in Jesus Christ through you because of the way you look - this red-headed Sasquatch for Jesus. You look good!” The students cheered. “Times are really changin'. And with the times that change, looks even change.”
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Since it seems obvious that the most important cause of any temperature shift is the sun, this is something that we should pay attention to. There is not anything that can be done, like carbon reduction, (well maybe increasing carbon would attenuate some of the cooling effect,) but it at least gives a warning and allows for preparation.
Monday, September 1, 2008
Palin is more important in shoring up the conservative wing of the Republican Party. She is the poster girl for the religious, uber-conservative part of the party. This group has never been fond of McCain and there was a danger that they would just stay home on election day. That is not a problem now. Further, she may help in attracting some women who are independent, and even a small fraction of PUMA's in the right states may be enough to change the electoral map.
She may turn out to be a deeply flawed choice, but at first blush she seems a good choice by Sen. McCain.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
This chick flick, naturally, features a wild stroke of fate, when the two-year governor of an oversized igloo becomes commander in chief after the president-elect chokes on a pretzel on day one.
The movie ends with the former beauty queen shaking out her pinned-up hair, taking off her glasses, slipping on ruby red peep-toe platform heels that reveal a pink French-style pedicure, and facing down Vladimir Putin in an island in the Bering Strait. Putting away her breast pump, she points her rifle and informs him frostily that she has some expertise in Russia because it’s close to Alaska. “Back off, Commie dude,” she says. “I’m a much better shot than Cheney.”
Then she takes off in her seaplane and lands on the White House lawn, near the new ice fishing hole and hockey rink. The “First Dude,” as she calls the hunky Eskimo in the East Wing, waits on his snowmobile with the kids — Track (named after high school track meets), Bristol (after Bristol Bay where they did commercial fishing), Willow (after a community in Alaska), Piper (just a cool name) and Trig (Norse for “strength.”)
“The P.T.A. is great preparation for dealing with the K.G.B.,” President Palin murmurs to Todd, as they kiss in the final scene while she changes Trig’s diaper. “Now that Georgia’s safe, how ’bout I cook you up some caribou hot dogs and moose stew for dinner, babe?”
I don't care who you are that's just funny!
What's even funnier is you can almost imagine Gov. Palin doing all of this. But, can you imagine Sen. Obama doing anything as decisive and macho? Me either.
Friday, August 29, 2008
What he did today in naming Gov. Palin as his VP choice was to undercut the energy that Sen. Obama gained with his excellent acceptance speech last night. The Obama campaign might very well call foul, as a matter of fact, their statement yesterday was that if McCain did this it would be political malpractice. But, if they are protesting today, no one is hearing. As the pundits like to say, McCain sucked all of the oxygen out of the room this morning.
Props to the McCain camp for a dexterous political maneuver.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
His speech tomorrow night must be going to be a grand one. The backdrop certainly lends to his Godlike persona. I might watch that one. Somebody remind me when it is going to be on.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
It's been an interesting week here in Beijing, and I thought I'd share a few of my observations:
1) China is number 1 based on Gold medals. State Chinese TV shows China in first place, as compared to the US media's method of showing first place, which is total medal count. Ha.
2) I have never seen the air so clear here in Beijing. Taking half the cars off the freeways and shutting down industry really works.
3) You can't get anywhere near the Olympics venues without a ticket. Security is incredible. Bag screening and "the wand" at every hotel and subway entrance. It seems to me that the #1 priority of the Chinese has been that there should be no incident, and if the venues are not full, so be it.
4) The pandas in the Beijing zoo are so cute! The zoo is contained in a beautiful park with all the classic Chinese scenes, the wheeping willows draped over the water, etc. Very nice.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Ok, I know that this must be somehow racist, because it is making fun of Obama's celebrity, again! And, well, if you don't worship at the altar of Obama you're somehow a racist. But it strikes me as pretty funny. I guess this falls under the category of negative campaigning but it is really clever.
Monday, August 11, 2008
The first thing that occurred to me when I read of his suggestion was President Carter telling us that we should turn our thermostats to 68 and wear a sweater in the winter. The problem with that is not that conservation is wrong, but, that it is not a solution, it is not big thinking, it is NOT what we expect the President to talk about. We expect the President to have a solution that solves the problem not merely mitigates its effects. And this is, I think, why the Republicans jumped so gleefully on the comment, because I am not the only one who was reminded of the feckless Carter administration.
The House of the Lord Church is a church based on Dr. Cone's black theology of liberation, the same as Sen. Obama's former church headed by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. One of the stated beliefs is:
That Jesus is essentially African in origin.While Abraham, the father, was located in Asia, after hundreds of years in Egypt, northern Africa-and Canaan-during which obvious assimilation of religion, medicine, art, architecture, engineering, etc., occurred, what passed on to Jesus was Africanness.
We have all heard by now the statements made by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright; the question is, are these sentiments shared by the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, and his daughter? How does a black theology of liberation play with the mainstream Democratic voter?
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
The National Park Service could have asked any rancher and they would have known a fence wouldn't stop goats (or illegal aliens for that matter.) There is an old joke about a fellow who builds a new fence and asks his neighbor, an old rancher, if the fence will stop a goat. The rancher tells him to take a bucket of water and throw it at the fence; if any of the water goes through then so will a goat.
Some of my favorite excerpts from her latest column:
"The Arizona senator who built his reputation on being a brave proponent of big solutions is running a schoolyard campaign about tire gauges and Paris Hilton, childishly accusing his opponent of being too serious, too popular and not patriotic enough.
Even his own mother, the magical 96-year-old Roberta McCain, let slip that she thought the Paris Hilton-Britney Spears ad was “kinda stupid.”"
"McCain could dismiss W. as a lightweight, but he knows Obama’s smart. Obama wrote his own books, while McCain’s were written by Salter. McCain knows he’s the affirmative action scion of admirals who might not have gotten through Annapolis without being a legacy. Obama didn’t even tell Harvard Law School that he was black on his application.
McCain upbraids Obama for being a poppet, while he’s becoming a puppet. His mouth is moving but the words coming out belong to his new hard-boiled strategist, Steve Schmidt, a Rove protégé, nicknamed “The Bullet” for his bald pate.
Schmidt has turned Mr. Straight Talk into Mr. Desperate Straits. It’s not a good trade."
Monday, August 4, 2008
Democrats have a candidate who is sophisticated in his understanding of policy, and Republicans have a candidate who is still largely running on his biography as a war hero, whose only coherent and consistent remaining policy position is support for offshore drilling.
That is how Adam Serwer describes the differences between the candidates. Of course, liberals are always sophisticated, and the rest of us are just empty headed, and don't know what is best for us. The actual word for this attitude is "condescension". I won't argue McCain's policy beliefs, as they seem to be muddy at best, but to call the empty rhetoric and platitudes that Sen. Obama spouts sophistication is to stand reason on its head. He sounds sophisticated, but if you read these speeches they are hollow and empty of any coherent thought. "We are the change we seek"? My bullshit meter goes way into the red when I hear something like that. It makes no sense, but it does sound very impressive. Or, "My friends we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it." Now that is sophisticated; wanting to change the greatest nation in the history of the world, and not specifying whether that change would be for the better, or for the worse.
Senator Obama's record at the national level is toilet paper thin, and his record at the local and state level is pure redistributionist socialism. But that alone makes him sophisticated by the lights of the Serwer's of this world. You can define sophisticated by their definition as "his politics align with mine."
The more I listen to this empty suit the less I find to like.
ADDED: As Barry Deutsch points out. Apparently the cited Obama quote is not something he said, see Snopes.com.
Ruth Ann Dailey has a more detailed discussion in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette.
Friday, August 1, 2008
I know that women, particularly women who grew up in an era of overt discrimination against women felt that there was a strong gender bias on display in the Democratic primary. One even recently commented that if Senator Clinton is not the VP candidate she will not be able to vote Democrat this year. This is certainly something the Party should pay attention to, because this is a group who can move the election to the Republican side.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I read somewhere else that recycling is becoming more lucrative now that commodity prices are so high, so maybe Houston will get with the program and give the landfills a break in the future.
This comment by Kerry spokesman David Wade is great; “No wonder everyone in the Massachusetts Republican Party was shocked by the photo - they’ve never had a candidate surrounded by supporters,”
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I think it is a mistake to provide pensions to legislators. Provide them a reasonable salary, make them participate in social security and encourage them to have a life outside of the Washington power circles. Over time they become so accustomed to power that they think they deserve things that they truly don't. Additionally, they lose context for the laws that they are tasked with enacting. Living inside DC is not anything at all like living in Peoria, Portland, LA, San Antonio or, really, anywhere else in the country.
It is deplorable that Sen. Stevens abused his position, but it is a danger to anyone that sits in a position of power for such a long time.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I am no fan of minimum wage laws, but forcing state employees to live on federal minimum wage might be an educational opportunity; as one commenter says "after my rent, that would leave only $218 left." My money is on the budget being completed fairly quickly.
Friday, July 18, 2008
These idiots have their priorities so far out of whack that they consider animals more important than humans. Humane treatment of animals is one thing, but animals are not human.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
“American History X” is not a new movie, but I had not seen it until tonight. It is a good commentary on how poor race relations can be in
I don’t have the answers to these questions. I have certainly come into contact with people that held hatred for the other, but I’ve never been able to understand it. In high school I knew people who hated blacks; but why? They had never in their lives known a black person. They would malign Jews, again they might, maybe, know one. It is beyond me to grasp the basis for racial, ethnic, or religious hatred in individuals that are really uninformed about the other.
I don’t know, I don’t understand.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Perhaps the candidates should be required to take an economics course before they are allowed to take the oath of office!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
This is from an October 2007 Dallas Observer article. The bottom line is that you can carry or travel with a firearm any time you wish. This predates the SCOTUS ruling on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Thank goodness Texas is sane on the right of a citizen to keep, carry and, if necessary, use a firearm. Also, a long gun, rifle to most of us, has virtually no restriction in its possession or carry.
The new law, the first bill Governor Rick Perry signed from the last session of the Legislature, now allows gun owners without a permit to carry a concealed gun both "to and from" their premises and their vehicles. Guns can be carried in cars with a few restrictions: They must be hidden from plain view, and the owner cannot be involved in criminal activity or a criminal street gang or otherwise prohibited by law from carrying a weapon.
In other words, if you're caught carrying a concealed pistol on the street and don't have a permit, tell the cop you're walking between your car and your home, either getting ready to travel somewhere or coming home. The burden now falls on the police officer to prove you are not really "traveling," which Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins says is virtually impossible.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
I was reading an article last week that Maryland and New Jersey have enacted laws that will allocate their electors to the winner of the national popular vote, if enough other states also enact the same law to equal a winning margin in the electoral college (270 electoral votes). Some other states have partially passed the law (e.g. legislature passed it but governor didn't sign).
I'm not sure if the backers of this law will ever be able to get enough states to enact to reach 270 electoral votes, but it is definitely more of a possibility than getting 3/4 of the states to ratify a constitutional amendment.
I know the framers of our Constitution did not intend for the President to be elected by national popular vote, but I believe the current implementation of the electoral college is not done as per the Constituion. I believe there is nothing in the Constitution requiring states to even hold elections for President, just that the states can allocate their electors as they see fit. (I could be wrong on this, but I think I'm basically correct). Since the 19th century most states have allocated all of their electors to the winner of their statewide election.
Therefore, to me it seems that the individual states can change the way they allocate their electors, and if they want to do it by national popular vote, they can do it. The good people of Wyoming would lose their 4 to 1 voting power over the good people of California, but that's too bad!
But, I am certain, that this is just another example of Muslims being inconsistent. Muslim art has a long tradition of images of Mohammed, but if his image is used in the West it will bring a Fatwah.
A pox on this religion of hatred and murder.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
I hope that my country never becomes this politically correct. I can't really relate how loathsome this type of kowtowing to one group of religious fanatics is.
Muslims show no respect for the beliefs of others; why should they be allowed to dictate what is appropriate to the rest of us?
I believe that patriotism is the belief that America is fundamentally good; that it is the greatest nation so far created; that we are lucky to live in a nation of free people; that the pursuit of happiness is the greatest boon we can be granted.
That is not to say that there are no flaws with the U.S., but that we as a people work to repair those flaws. We disagree on what the flaws are, and on how to fix them, but we are able to do that in open debate, and to elect representatives who reflect our ideals and biases.
A measure of a nation's greatness is the immigration rate, and the emigration rate. People of the world are willing to endure hardships to get here, and, despite frequent comments about leaving the country if this or that happens, very few people elect to surrender their citizenship and move elsewhere.
I am proud to be an American, and know that no matter what the naysayers predict, the people of this country will not allow it to become a place of which they are not proud.
Being a captive during the Vietnam War is not necessarily applicable experience for Commander in Chief, but moving up the career ladder to the rank of Captain is certainly good experience.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Justice Stephens, in the dissent, wrote that the majority, "would have us believe that over 200 years ago, the Framers made the decision to limit the tools available to elected officials wishing to regulate civilian use of weapons." This is, in my opinion, exactly backwards. The purpose of Amendment II is to limit the tools of government against the individual.
I am no Constitutional scholar, but I can read, and it is sometimes hard for me to understand the contortions the Court must go through in order to reach a decision that fits the justices' individual prejudices. Today is a good day for those of us who believe that the Constitution means what it says rather than having some obscure meaning that is hidden somewhere just out of sight of the rational mind.
Below are the first ten amendments of the U. S. Constitution:
Bill of Rights
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a
No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
The powers not delegated to the
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
"Hezbollah would not carry out an attack in the west, or wherever this attack is going to occur, without approval from Tehran," said Baer, the former CIA intelligence officer.
Baer says his Hezbollah contacts told him an attack against the US was unlikely because Iran and Hezbollah did not want to give the Bush administration an excuse to attack.
If this statement is true, then we should all be glad that President Bush has such an unpopular foreign policy. It seems very effective in this instance.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Dr. Robin Hansen has an excellent article on change (the kind Senator Obama talks about, not the stuff in your pocket.) The basic theory is that world changing events occur more and more frequently. The pace of change is logarithmic (see the graph above), basically meaning significant events occur in half the time that the previous significant change occurred. The article is very interesting and not so technical that we can't all understand it. It also links to some other notable articles on the same premise.
These events are called singularities, and two of note are the invention of agriculture and the industrial revolution. The economic implications of singularities are also discussed. Dr. Hansen theorizes that the next singularity will come with the perfection of intelligent machines (those that are capable of thought and learning.)
There are many more graphs showing logarithmic progress in things like computing speed, internet use, U.S. war deaths, etc. It is very interesting.
Monday, June 16, 2008
One of the many things that is constantly brought up is increased drought due to warming; this makes no sense. If the planet warms then that should cause melting of glaciers and the polar ice caps. If that occurs what is the impact? The impact is to release more water. Therefore, a warm period should be a wetter period. Glacial periods are the truly dry periods with low biomass; fewer plants and therefore fewer animals. Interglacial periods are the periods of plenty on the Earth. The Mesozaic era, the dinosaur period, was a time of a warmer planet than what we are in now, or likely to be in, even in the worst case scenarios. This period lasted some 180 million years and was a time of tremendous abundance in flora and fauna.
The only real problem that warming presents is a disruption of the status quo. Flooding of some low lying coastal areas, and perhaps inundation of some low elevation islands, like the Maldives. This is problematic for the people in the affected areas, but on a global issue we have to consider the impact on the human species, not individual humans.
So though I'm skeptical of global warming as a long term problem. I think we should hope for warming as opposed to cooling, which is what sunspot activity would predict.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Even though I am skeptical of the future predictions of climate based on global warming science, I believe humans are altering the atmosphere (the numbers indicated below are inescapable), and governments should take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Eleven of the last twelve years (1995-2006) rank among the 12 warmest years in the instrumental record of global surface temperature (since 1850).
- Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely (90%+ probability) due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.
- The average temperature of the global ocean has increased to depths of at least 3000 m and that the ocean has been absorbing more than 80% of the heat added to the climate system. Such warming causes seawater to expand, contributing to sea level rise.
- Mountain glaciers and snow cover have declined on average in both hemispheres. Widespread decreases in glaciers and ice caps have contributed to sea level rise
- Global average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.8 mm per year over 1961 to 2003. The rate was faster over 1993 to 2003, about 3.1 mm per year.
- Average Arctic temperatures increased at almost twice the global average rate in the past 100 years.
- More intense and longer droughts have been observed over wider areas since the 1970s, particularly in the tropics and subtropics.
- Widespread changes in extreme temperatures have been observed over the last 50 years. Cold days, cold nights and frost have become less frequent, while hot days, hot nights, and heat waves have become more frequent
- The global atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has increased from a pre-industrial value of about 280 ppm to 379 ppm in 2005. The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide in 2005 exceeds by far the natural range over the last 650,000 years (180 to 300 ppm) as determined from ice cores.
- The primary source of the increased atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide since the pre-industrial period results from fossil fuel use, with land use change providing another significant but smaller contribution. Annual fossil carbon dioxide emissions increased from an average of 23.5 Gt CO2 per year in the 1990s, to 26.4 Gt CO2 per year in 2000-2005.
- The global atmospheric concentration of methane has increased from a pre-industrial value of about 715 ppb to 1732 ppb in the early 1990s, and is 1774 ppb in 2005.
- The combined radiative forcing due to increases in carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide is +2.30 W/m2, and its rate of increase during the industrial era is very likely to have been unprecedented in more than 10,000 years.
John Coleman, the founder of the Weather Channel, has some strong words on the subject. This article is well worth reading so that you get some balance on the subject. His point is that CO2 is not the enemy, and the "science" proving that it is, is highly questionable.
It seems to me that a wait and see attitude is by far the better response than destroying the world's economy in a silly effort to reduce carbon by 10% or 20% or whatever the number is today. The planet has cooled over the last ten years but the warming fanatics think we should ignore that; One even commented that the cooling was masking the warming trend. (That individual should get the Orwell award for double speak.) It is about the same as saying that the high gas prices are masking a downward trend in the price of fuel.
Talk about bitterly clinging!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Barack Obama's half brother Malik said Thursday that if elected his brother will be a good president for the Jewish people, despite his Muslim background.And what about those of us who are gentiles? Will he not make a good president for us?
There was a time when Al Franken was funny; like in "Trading Places" when he was working with Tom Davis as Franken and Davis. He hasn't been funny in quite a while. He has just been another angry liberal. But who knows, the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party has nominated him their candidate for the Senate seat now held by Norm Coleman. Coleman should be in trouble as a Bush Republican, but the Democrats may have found one of the few candidates that can't beat a Republican this year. And the Republicans are already digging up every controversial comedy sketch he ever wrote, and there are a lot of them.
This one should be fun to watch; unless you live in Minnesota and are in danger of being represented by this nimrod.
Monday, June 9, 2008
It has long been a well kept secret from non-Texans. That has ended. The New York Times puts the hill country as the number one vacation spot for the summer of 2008. Fredericksburg was already nothing more than a tourist spot. Now the rest of the region is in danger of becoming something quite not authentic. But know that you will always be made to feel welcome. This is a happy circumstance for the region economically, but there is always a lot lost in translation.
Hat tip to the Lady from Ipenema.
History teaches that the ice ages are droughty times which are hard on animal populations (including man) and the warm eras are times of great abundance. This is why I don't understand all of the current doom and gloom over potential warming. Unfortunately, it appears that the warming fear mongers are wrong and we are actually entering a cooling period.
This article in the Financial Post argues for the positive influence of CO2. I am not at all sure about the effects of carbon, but it does seem that high carbon levels follow warming, not the other way around.
Friday, June 6, 2008
The editorial also has some good points about how it seems to be acceptable in today's culture to be sexist, and make abusive sexist comments, but racist and ethnic comments are taboo.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Mark's mother and my mother are sisters. We both grew up in religious homes of Republican orientation. Somewhere along the way I went wrong on religion and Mark went wrong on politics. The family just kind of looks at him and shakes their heads. They talk about us heathens as well. I'm not saying we are black sheep, but perhaps there is more dark fiber in our fleece than some would like.
But on the positive side of things we are both Aggies, so we can't be all bad.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
It is wonderful to see that America has advanced to the stage where a black man can be a serious contender for the highest office. And he is indeed a serious candidate. Previous candidacies by Jesse Jackson and Al Shaprton were not truly serious. Those two represented black America only. Senator Obama, despite attempts by the Clintons to prove otherwise, is a candidate for all Americans.
I do not wish to see this man elected, but his nomination will make it possible for a black man or a woman, thank you Senator Clinton, to vie for the office in the future without the question constantly arising about race and/or gender. There are some good candidates ideologically nearer the center who may be more willing to enter future races thanks to the Democratic primary this year.
Congratulations Senator Obama.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I am sick and tired of having people who say things that they then learn are unpopular, then demanding that everyone else shut up because disagreement is tantamount to censorship. And you know what; these people are always, ALWAYS, some dumbass liberals. They are so accustomed to silencing others by playing the political correctness card that when it is used on them they are shocked, shocked I say, to learn what it is like to be called on an unpopular opinion.
End of rant.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Obama makes the point that he took a job as a community organizer when he graduated Columbia, rather than pursuing the big bucks on Wall Street. Personally, I don't know what a community organizer is; the image I get is of a paid rabble rouser. He was paid only $12,000 plus $2,000 for a beat up old car. He goes on to describe the value of public service and the many opportunities available. Oddly, he doesn't mention one obvious line of service.
When I hear the term service to one's country the first thought I have is of military service. Senator Obama did not mention it as a course of service to one's country. I am sure that Senator Kennedy would feel quite comfortable with military service, as his brother Joe was killed in WWII and Jack was seriously wounded. President Kennedy was a true war hero. I don't think the words, "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country," were a call to community organizing.
A man who is running for Commander in Chief should not be comfortable with ignoring the value of military service.