Monday, January 31, 2011

Obama Care Ruled Unconstitutional, Part Two (Of Many?)

Florida district court judge, Roger Vinson, has ruled the nation’s health care law unconstitutional due to the inclusion of the ‘individual mandate’ that forces people to purchase insurance.

“I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the act with the individual mandate,” wrote Vinson.

He goes on further to say that Congress does have the authority to address the “problems and inequities in our health care system.”

Within the ruling Judge Vinson used President Obama’s own position from the 2008 campaign against him. (link via

“I note that 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that ‘if a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everyone buy a house.’”

Of course the Department of Justice plans to appeal the ruling, which will more than likely mean the provisions of the health care bill will continue to be put in place until it is, hopefully, struck down in the Supreme Court. (link via

Goodbye Axelrod

David Axelrod, President Obama’s senior advisor, is going the way of Robert “Baghdad Bob” Gibbs, and many other from the Obama White House staff. He is departing, although not far away as he is to be Obama’s chief re-election campaign strategist.

Axelrod will be replaced by David Plouffe who is generally credited with developing the strategy for help Obama defeat Hillary Clinton the primaries and then taking Obama all the way to the White House.

I’m sure Michelle Malkin will have some interesting updates on Plouffe once she gets wind of this, if she hasn’t already.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Pages

Some pages have been moved. I now have the Adirondack Furniture and Shop tips on separate Blogspot pages.

The links are on the left side or


You can get back here by clicking on the PACNW Righty link on the right side of these new pages.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

High-Speed Rail and Peak Oil

5. Drastically reduces our oil addiction and lowers our risk from the coming oil peak crises.
In light of President Obama’s mention of high speed rail in his SOTU speech earlier this week, I thought I’d bring back my series on High Speed Rail.  Here is what Obama had to say about high speed rail in his SOTU speech:

“Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying – without the pat-down. As we speak, routes in California and the Midwest are already underway.”

Over the course of the last few months, I have made arguments against throwing all of our tax dollars into these projects. Click here to review my other posts. In this post I will argue against what has been called the “peak oil” crises or theory.

  --Would this be the oil peak crises predicted to occur in 1978? Or the oil peak crises predicted to occur in 2000? Or the one that is supposed to happen next year? While the dates are random, the hysteria surrounding the “oil peak crises” is not random.  Every time there is a spike in the oil prices, somebody comes along to say we have reached “peak oil” and the end is neigh.  Peak Oil production is a continuously moving and nearly impossible target to pin down. As more discoveries are made, technology is improved to extracted oil from fields previously diminished fields, shale and oil sands become cheaper to extract, and alternative energy production methods are developed, oil peak will move further to the right.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Turning Off the Internet

A couple of days ago I blogged about the possibility that Congress will pass a law giving the President unprecedented powers over the Internet through the use of an “Internet Kill Switch” under cases of emergency.

Well, the government in Egypt has shut down Internet and phone access due to an emergency. See here, and here, and here.

Would what is happening in Egypt be considered a case of an emergency in President Obama mind? The leadership in that country has shut down Internet and phone access. There are three distinct differences between the USA and Egypt.  Egyptians don’t have the same level of freedom of speech and the press that we Americans have.  Most Egyptian media is officially controlled by the state.  Although the Egyptian government is supposed to be democratically elected its form of government is closer to Venezuela than to the USA. Yes there are elections, but to say they are free elections is stretching things a bit. Some would call it totalitarian. Thirdly, we have not yet experienced the level of protests against the government Egypt and Greece have experienced recently.

Adirondack Chairs

Recently completed this set of Adirondack Chairs for my parents. The wood is cedar treated with and oak stain and polyurethane.

This set I built for my neighbor

I am taking orders if you are interested. Click here to see more details.

The Civility Continues

Media Matters is running a story (found at Confederate Yankee) of the tragic shooting of a nine year old girl in Pima County, Arizona and trying to link it to the Tea Party without any evidence to support their conclusions.

But it is not 9-year old Christina Green who is being written about, who was shot by Jared Loughner in Tucson earlier this month. It is 9-year old Brisenia Flores who was allegedly shot and killed in May of 2009 by Shawna Forde during a robbery attempt to supposedly help fund a group called Minutemen American Defense.

The Media Matters story makes an attempt to link Forde to the Tea Party.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


The following was found posted very low on a refrigerator door.

Dear Dogs and Cats: 

The dishes on the floor with the paw prints are yours and contain your food The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Placing a paw print in the middle of my plate does not mean that is is suddenly your food, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Racing me to the top of the stairs is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It Is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other, stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out on the other end to maximize space that you are taking up, is nothing but sarcasm.

Immigration Fears? Think Again!

Over at Big writer Tad Lumpkin writes a piece discussing why Americans have strong opinions on the current state immigration. While he never actually comes out and uses the term “illegal immigrants” the tone of the article is quite clear to me: We are afraid of accepting the immigrants from south of the border.  He starts off his article with this:

“The general attitude towards immigration emanates form a place of fear.  Many people like the way the America is and are afraid that immigrants will change our culture for the worse.  Well, those people would be wrong.”

Mr Lumpkin, I think it is you that is wrong. We are not afraid that illegal immigrant will change America for the worse. We are afraid that these illegals will be given citizenship without going through the same process that most of the rest of this immigration nation had to go through.

He concludes the open paragraph:

Another Threat Against a Politician

A 51 year old man from Graham, WA has posted threats against Washington state governor Christine Gregoire on here website. The state patrol has arrested the man, Robert R. Locke, and charged him Threats Against the Governor or Family, which is a Class C Felony.  See the whole story here, and here too.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

SOTU, The Environment and Green Technology (sort of)

I am really waiting to see what is going to happen once these clean/green energy initiatives get underway. A year or so back Sen Feinstein (D-CA) lead a fight to get a solar project in the Mojave Desert cancelled. It seems to me the Mojave would be a great place for a solar (and wind) project on a large scale. Several years ago the late Sen Kennedy (D-MA) put up a fight against a proposed wind farm near Cape Cod. Sen Harry Reid (D-NV) forced the end of the Yucca Mountain project that would have been the central depository of spent nuclear fuel. All three of these bubbas are are from the democrat Party, the favorite of the Greenies.  Other green energy projects have and are being fought against by the very people who you would think would embrace these projects with open arms. These folks don’t want oil, and gas. They don’t want wind turbines killing birds. They don’t want solar panels blocking the sun from reaching the endangered desert tortoise. Nuclear power doesn’t cut it for them because of the potential spent fuel issues. Clean coal doesn’t cut it either, although technology that exists today has cleaned up the air in the Northeast to the point where "acid rain" is no longer part of the conversation. Even if we went back to the Stone Age like some of the more extreme environmentalist seem bent on achieving, they’d pitch a fit if someone started a wood fire to keep warm and cook the food. I think groups like Greenpeace and the Sierra Club need to be ignored into extinction, then maybe more practical (and less doomsday) thinking could happen and these issues would be resolved.

The State of the Union, My Take

Last night President Obama gave his annual SOTU address. It was about an hour long, shorter than in times past. It was a decent speech, with a few good points on which could be used as starting points to getting things back on track. I am concerned he is looking at spending more money, money that we don’t have right now. He will use this as a point during his re-election campaign, either as “look at what I have accomplished” if the Republicans go along with it, or as “See, the Republicans are getting in my way” if they attempt to block Obama’s spending agenda.

One of the things I found most compelling about his speech was he it seemed he was actually acknowledging our “American Exceptionalism”. He has been quoted in the past as saying our exceptionalism is not different than any other country, forgetting that we have twice be the key force in keeping fascism and would-be empires at bay. Last night he said:

“The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs. And that’s a good thing. That’s what a robust democracy demands. That’s what helps set us apart as a nation.”

I am not going to discuss much about jobs here since it is clear the guy has not clue how to create jobs without the government getting in the way. He should have hired Brandon Fischer as his new economic advisor, rather than Jeffery Emelt from GE. Fischer is the owner of the small business that dug the tunnel that saved the miners in Chile. This guy knows how to start a business and create jobs.

He spoke about education and our needs to get us back on track. There was a time when were the leader in educating scientist and engineers. No longer. Our high school students used to be in the top five in science and math. Now we don’t even crack the top 20.  Obama seems to think we can change that with his “race to the top” program.

“Race to the Top is the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. For less than one percent of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning.”

The thing that intrigues me about this program is that it seems to let the states set the agenda on how to reach the goals. Anything that is given back to the states, especially something like education, is a good idea. Who better than the local and state governments to know what needs to be done in their own areas?  Here is an interesting take on the state of our education, especially the money side.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The State of the Union Speech

The SOTU speech is over. Here are a few highlights. I will blog more later once I get the hard copy

He wants 80% of energy to come from clean energy sources. He gives a weak pitch for Nuclear.

Got started late:

Education, nearly 50% of new jobs will require education beyond high school. Nearly 25% aren’t even graduating high school. Says that family is where the love of education starts. He wants the science fair winner to be celebrated. Gives a new pitch for his education programs, “Race to the Top”. Says teachers need to be treated with respect. In my opinion if you get rid of the unions then respect will return because they will actually be concerned with education, not who is getting the votes. Asking soon to retire baby-boomers to start a second career as an educator.

Making permanent the $10K tax credit for higher education. Glossed over the power grab of the student loans.

Bring up the damn DREAM Act.

Illegal Immigration. Says he wants to work with both side to “once and for all” figure out what do with the “undocumented workers”.

Ear-marks will be a non-starter for him. He is going to veto any bill that has ear-marks in it. McCain looked pleased.

Budget: said the deficit spending started nearly a decade ago, laying the blame on Bush yet again. Not mention the tripling of deficit spending since he took office.

Told the Republicans that Health Care repeal was not going to happen. He’ll be happy to work with the new Congress, starting with tort reform. Short on specifics

Makes a call to redouble the efforts to put construction workers back to work.  Stimulus, Part two. Hugh pitches for High Speed Rail. Getting high speed internet to all, forgetting that this takes lots of money. Will this be part of Stimulus Part two.

Change the corporate tax structure which is one of the highest in the world. Get rid of the loop-holes. Make the tax code fairer.

NOTE: nice to NOT see Pelosi behind the President.

One of the CBS commentators who was following some Palin supporters on twitter mentioned that is Palin has given this speech she would have eviscerated for lack of specifics. Another said it sound like a speech Sarah would give.

Is California Really Golden Anymore?

My lovely bride of 19 years is from California and would like to move back there someday. I can’t really argue with her reasons. Her family lives there, including our daughter. The rain and gray of the PACNW does depress her somewhat. The summers here can be short and start late while it is endless summer in San Diego.

I do like to point out that MY family lives in this area. That all the rain keeps things green year-round and we don’t have to evacuate likes the folks do when the annual fire season kicks off in California. We actually have rivers that have water in them all year long. We don’t have to worry about water rationing. We don’t have the smog issues.

Here are 22 more reasons not to live in the state of California. Here are a couple of examples:

California has the highest state sales tax rate in the nation by far at 8.25%. Indiana has the next highest at 7% (PACNW adds; some areas are even higher with cities and municipalities adding additional percentages).

Residents of California pay the highest gasoline taxes (over 66 cents per gallon) in the United States.

Residents of California pay some of the highest electricity prices in the entire nation.

These are just three of the 22. Read the rest here.

The Civility Continues (Update)

Last week I posted a story about a radio DJ in Madison, WI who had so not-so-nice things to say about the Lt Gov, Rebecca Kleefisch. Well, according to, he has a bit of a history of saying things that were directed at minorities in the Republican Party.  BTW, here are some further examples of the civility coming from the left, these directed at Erick Erickson, the head of Red State.

Environmental Advisor to Leave Obama Administration

President Obama seems to be bleeding advisors. Last year, Van Jones was forced to resign over some comments he made. Then Rahm Emanuel decided to depart so he could run for mayor of Chicago. Press Sec Robert Gibbs is leaving to start his own consulting firm. Christina Romer bails after more bad news. Peter Orzag, the Huffington Post hottie, leaves. Larry Summers looks for greener pastures. Now Carol Browner is leaving.

Kind of reminds me a rats jumping off a sinking ship.

Michelle Malkin has a run down on her efforts to really do in the US economy through various methods. Probably the worst example is when she basically lied about the Gulf drilling ban shortly after the Gulf oil spill disaster.

Internet Security and the Federal Gov't

They just keep chipping away at our freedoms and now they have come out of the closet. Last June, a bill introduced in the Senate was designed to give the President power over the Internet by giving the White House an Internet “Kill Switch”.

Under this bill, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would form a division named the National Center for Cyber-security and Communications (NCCC) that would monitor net traffic and keep an eye open for threats against the Internet. Under the NCCC all federal gov’t internet capabilities would be monitored by the NCCC. But, the bill would also declare “virtually all private communications infrastructure in the US “National Assets” over which the NCCC has vast regulatory power…” If a threat is detected, the Sec of DHS would let the President know what is going on and (s)he would order the offending site or area of the net shut down.

One of the key provisions within the bill is there will be absolutely no judicial review of these actions and the bill is written in such a way that prohibits the courts from reviewing it. There is an appeals avenue but that is to the Sec of DHS and that appeal is final. Kind of like the fox watching the henhouse.

The bill would authorize the DHS to monitor private providers of Internet access and content.  According the Sen Joe Lieberman (I-CT), a co-sponsor of the legislation, this bill would charge the DHS to “provide ‘situational awareness of the security status’ of the portions if the Internet that inside the US – and also those portions in other countries that, if disrupted, could cause significant harm”. (from The article goes on to state:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Assassination and the Media

Not too long ago a near tragedy occurred when the life of a Democrat politician was nearly taken by a deranged young man. The would-be killer came from the audience and in a brazen attack, almost succeeded in taking the life of a popular politician. You might think I am speaking about the Tragedy that nearly took the life of Congresswoman Giffords, and did take the lives of six others. No, I am referring to the assassination attempt on Missouri Gov Jay Nixon.

Late last summer, Casey Brezik, came from the audience in an attempt to kill Gov Nixon, but you have probably never heard of this event. The problem was Brezik didn’t fit the lame stream media’s narrative for folks that would make an attempt on a politician’s life. He wasn’t a conservative. He was an (according to American Thinker) environmental extremist, anti-capitalist, anti-Zionist and a whole bunch of leftist “isms”.

I did a search at the NY Times, Washington Post, and using Brezik and each case came back with “No Results Found”.  Meanwhile, doing a search using Giffords I came up with the following results; Washington Post: 665, NY Times: 10,000+ (including Krugman’s piece that attempts to blame the right), Politico: 297.

Dupnik Recall Efforts

Seems some of the voters in Pima Cnty, AZ are a little fed up with Sheriff Dupnik’s. As you will recall Sheriff Dupnik fired one of the salvo’s against the conservative movement when he tried to pin the shootings in Arizona on the Tea Party and the supposed rhetoric.

I think this is a good call. While Sheriffs do run as part of a political machine, they must at all times remain above the political morass. They should not delve too far into politics while holding the office of Sheriff. Sheriff Dupnik not only crossed that line, he completely obliterated the line. Those who hold more traditional/conservative views are not going to feel that a Sheriff with a political agenda is going to treat them fairly. So a recall must happen. But there is a concern that I have. The organization that is sponsoring the recall is decidedly right leaning as they are strongly in favor of immigration control, especially along the Arizona – Mexico border. They might struggle to get the number of signature on the recall petition if the supporters of Dupnik are able to mount a solid anti-recall drive by trying to exploit the political leanings of Americans Against Immigration Amnesty.

Kitsap Sheriff's Deputies Involved with Shooting

Two Kitsap County sheriff’s deputies were shot yesterday in Port Orchard, WA. Port Orchard is just up the road from where I live. (UPDATE: Seems Salt Lake City officials have been looking for the suspected Prot Orchard gunman). The two deaths are the gunman, shot by a third deputy and what looks to be the gunman’s possible girlfriend. My family and I have spent time in the area before, taking my sons to their soccer and baseball games.  If seems that those in law enforcement are under the gun recently, Michelle Malkin has a good run down of the shootings that have occurred in recent days.

Based on all the reports that I have seen so far on the Port Orchard shooting, it looks to be a clearly defined case of a justified law enforcement shooting.  However, here is an interesting series of stories that I have been following over at Confederate Yankee. Seems late last year a fellow named Eric Scott was shot and killed by the Las Vegas PD. The stories point out there are more than just a few questions as to why and how it happened. There are several articles and it will take you a while to read it all, but more than worth your time.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Olbermann Done (Updated 24 Jan)

This just in, MSNBC has decided not to renew Keith Olbermann’s contract.  Tonight should be his last night as host of ‘Countdown’. Actually, I am disappointed. While he was not very good at telling the truth, he was entertaining and provided us right bloggers lots of fodder for comment.

(UPDATE): Seems the left blogosphere has their knickers in a knot over Olbermann’s departure from MSNBC. They are considering it the end of free speech. Some are thinking he might run for office.

The Civility Continues

The language in the following link is very coarse and probably best not read or listened to with youngsters around. It seems that the civility in the political discourse called for President Obama has not taken hold quite yet. On a radio show in Madison, WI, a couple of DJs decided to tell us what they thought of the current Lt Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch. What follows is rather disgusting and is low, even for lefties.

But I will give credit where credit is due. The DJ did later apologize and he avoided the non-apology, apology phrase “I am sorry if anyone was offended”.

When Lying Liars Don't Quite Tell the Truth

During the recent repeal of Obama Care the House floor was opened for debate on the matter. During the debate, a couple of Reps seemed to forget President Obama’s call for civility during his speech last week at the Tucson Memorial Service. One in particular stood out to me and I was offended by this dude’s language. See the video here.

“They (Republicans, I assume) say it’s a government takeover of health care, a big lie just like Goebbels,” Cohen said.  “You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it. Like blood libel. That’s the same kind of thing.”

While he never actually said “Republicans are Nazis”, did he really need to use those words to get his point across? How often did he accuse those who oppose Obama Care of lying? Of course, he never actually was able to point out correctly when Republicans lied. He did try to use the CBO’s estimate, but the CBO can only crunch the numbers provided and it has pretty much been proven the Democrats gave only the data that proved their point. Once the bill was passed and the real numbers were available for CBO crunching, the billions in savings turned out to be nearly a trillion in additional expenses over the next several years with no corresponding tax revenue to cover it.

While we are the subject of lying to get your way, Doug Ross laid out a few of the lies that were told as the health care bill was being debated:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Oregon Ranks #6

According to and The Oregonian Sports section, the University of Oregon’s 2011 recruiting class is rank sixth in the nation. Oregon’s recent rise to national prominence in football and Phil Knight’s deep pockets have been a huge factor in top recruits selecting Oregon over other prominent schools. Phil Knight is responsible for building state of the art training facilities at Oregon, and Oregon has recently played in two BCS games. Although both BCS games were losses (Rose Bowl last year, BCS title game this year) they have played well in both.

High school football in Oregon (and the PACNW in general) does not produce blue chip (5-star) recruits in abundance. But occasionally a player will rise into Rivals Top 100. Because Oregon (and Oregon State) have not had success until recently most of the state’s top recruits go elsewhere to play football, most often to UW or down California. In recent years that has begun changed. Jonathon Stewart, a 5-star from the Olympia area, selected Oregon over UW and a host of other schools. He had spectacular career at Oregon, and he had decided to stay one more year, he would have been the odds on favorite to win the Heisman in his senior year.

Colt Lyerla from Hillsboro (#26 according to, OR is the type of player the Oregon schools would have lost 10-15 years ago.  He had offers from some of the biggest programs in the nation, including Nebraska, Oklahoma, and USC. UW also offered and 10 years ago he probably would have gone there.

All in all, Oregon has a great class coming in for 2011 and should contend not only for the championship of the newly formed PAC-12, but for a National Championship as well (again).

Cantwell Wants GOP to Act

Sen Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and two other democrat Senators have challenged the GOP to really do something about health care. There is a provision within the Affordable Health Care Act that makes businesses report any purchases of more than $600.00 from any vendor. This was unpopular with both Dems and Reps but still made it through when Obama Care was passed last year.

Health Care Repeal and the 2012 Elections

During the last election cycle the Republicans promised they would vote to repeal the unpopular Health Care Bill passed last March. With this pledge, republicans took 70 seats in the House of Representatives and gained six seats in the Senate. Yesterday, the republicans in the House made good on their promise by passing a bill to repeal Obama care 245 to 189. It was nearly along party lines with only three Democrats backing the repeal.

Now the bill moves on to the Senate where Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) has said he will not bring it to the floor for a vote.

This was a symbolic vote, and the republicans knew it going in. There is a snowballs chance in a hot place of passing in the Senate and even if it makes it through the Senate, President Obama is sure to veto it.

This is all fine by me. Let the 192 House Democrats try to run on Obama Care once again. Of course, they didn’t run on Obama Care during the 2010 election cycle, knowing that it was a hot potato and mostly likely wouldn’t help them. It could be an even bigger loss for them than 2010. There is no question some House seats are safe for democrats no matter who runs against them.  Nancy Pelosi from San Francisco could get reelected in that district even if she were a convicted felon. Most of the Democratic Reps from Oregon are safe except maybe DeFazio who represents southwestern Oregon. While District 4 in OR is a fairly rural area of the state, it is dominated by Eugene and Corvallis which are hugely Democrat. In the state of Washington House Representation is dominated by Democrats who are mostly safe. But Jamie Herrera did show last year that a district held by a mostly by a Democrat only the past 50 years can be won by a Republican.

 Let the Senate Democrats try to get reelected. In 2012 there are 21 Democrats up for reelection and some of them could be venerable given the recent shift to the right of the America public. The following Senators are up for reelection in 2012:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Housing Market Recovery

Linked here is an article about some of the worst housing markets in the US. According to the article, housing recovery is going to be a very long and slow process due to a number of factors. Four of the eight listed are on the west coast, Nevada, California, Arizona, and Oregon. One factor not mentioned in the article is the how the speculation on housing prices was a huge player in the precipitous drop in the value of the home. Many people purchased homes in this region to speculate on the value continuing to rise and when the bubble burst, there was nowhere to go but down and down fast.

I have always been a tad skeptical about purchasing a house as an investment. You buy a home at $200K, and by the time you are finished, you have paid over $400K over the life of the loan (30-year fixed). Unless the house doubles in price over that 30 year period, I don’t see how it is a great investment. If the value grows slow and steady, then it probably works out OK.  But this whole deal in these states with 15-20% annual increases, fueling by questionable support from the feds, was a disaster waiting to happen. Now many homeowners will pay a huge price for this rampant, ill-advised speculation.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Women in Combat?

Over at Big Jim Hanson has what might be one of the opening salvos on allowing women to serve in front line combat units. In his story he links to an article at titled ‘Commission to recommend allowing women in combat units’ which mentions that a “military advisory panel appears poised to recommend allowing female troops to serve in combat units without any restrictions...”

Two years ago Congress established The Military Leadership Diversity Commission to look into the subject of allowing women to serve in front line combat units. Based on the name of the commission and who established it (Congress) you could already guess what direction the decision was going to be. Here is the list of names of those on the commission. When looking these over, please remember that the military is comprised of 17% female. This commission was stacked in the agenda setter’s favor.

As a retired vet, there is no way that I could support allowing women in a forward combat unit. Most of the women I served with over my 27 years did so admirably and will continue to do so. But adding direct combat to the list of activities they have a part in is a no-go. As you readily point out, most in a forward combat unit are your aggressive type-A personalities and adding females to this mix is only asking for trouble on two fronts. While engaged in actual combat, their hard-wired desire to protect those that are weaker (yes, the liberal male is included here, with reluctance) will only distract the warrior from full combat effectiveness. While back at the forward base, this type-A personality will spend time trying to attract the females, which could either hamper preparedness or create conflict between fellow warriors vying for her attention. The feminist reading this will more than likely say “get over yourself”, but is this social experiment really worth the lives of both the female assigned to the combat unit and the warrior? Thousands of years of protect the women of our world will not be change just because Diane Finstein (sp?) wants to score points with her female and liberal voters.

Asian Students

Have you ever wonder why Asian children seem to do better in school then other ethnic groups? Here is a small window as to why this might be. This paragraph is very telling as to why there might be a difference in student performance.

“In one study, Chua writes, “of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that ‘stressing academics is not good for the children’ or that ‘parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun’.  By contrast, roughly 0% of the Chinese mothers felt the same way.”
Click here to read the full article by Mona Charen at National Review
I realize the question above might have some racist undertones, but since I am not racist I am not really concerned about what others might think. While admitting that my experience is limited, I do recall that the Asian kids that I went to school with (high school and college) out performed the white students as a group by a significant margin. I don’t recall any of Asian kids struggling to get good grades, while the white kids were all over the place. Once thing I will say, the white kids that did well did have one thing in common with the Asian kids. Their parent stressed that an education was the best way to make things better for themselves.

BTW: for those you who will tell me that I am racist let me tell you my philosophy on race. You are no better or worse than me just because of the color of your skin or your ethnic background. And I am not better or worse than you because of the color of my skin or my ethnic background. I will base my judgment on what you bring to the table. If one person is white and brings 50% and the other is black and brings 60%, I choose the 60%. I will always choose the higher performer. Fairly simple and to the point, don’t you think? And isn’t that what Dr. King wanted all along?
This idea is a little spooky. It seems the city of Ogden, UT is considering using a blimp with cameras to take a little air out of the crime rate. Sounds a little “Big Brother” to me. Not quite sure where I stand with this type of surveillance. In a perfect world, this would only be used as a means to track down criminals and lead law enforcement types to the people responsible for crimes. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Here are a few examples of abusive use of surveillance camera (Source:

In NYC in Nov 2001 several ATM customers who lost thousands of dollars to thieves who were able to steal their PIN to make unauthorized withdrawals. The thieves used cameras disguised as ATM surveillance cameras to steal the information.

In Tuscaloosa, AL in Sep 2003 a people spending time in an area known as The Strip noticed the traffic camera was moving, paying attention to young women and other people in the area.

NYC (again), Apr 2004: A suicide captured on tape by a surveillance camera was posted on the web.

San Francisco, CA, Apr 2005: A police officer was caught using the SFO International Airport surveillance system to watch women

Somers Point, NJ, May 2007: A graphic fatal car accident captured on a traffic camera has been seen on the Internet

Surveillance cameras are very common is casinos, but usually they are used to catch people who try to cheat while gambling. At a casino in AZ in Jun 2004 the cameras were used to take pictures on women’s breasts.

For the complete list click here to get to the full article at

There was an incident not too long ago in the local ago where the county was using hi-res satellite images to see if people were complying with local building codes.  They were looking for things like sheds, pools and expanded driveways. If there were no records of permits bring issued and paid for, then the homeowner was sent a notice to pay. I am not a fan of this. I own the property and short of doing something illegal (growing pot, damming a stream, or building a rocket), the county should not have any say on what I do with my property.

Monday, January 17, 2011

More Humor

My dad sent this to me the other day.

After I retired, my wife insisted that I accompany her on her trips to Target. Unfortunately, like most men, I found shopping boring and preferred to get in and get out. Equally unfortunate, my wife is like most women - she loves to browse. Yesterday my dear wife received the following letter from the local Target.

Dear Mrs. Samuel,

Over the past six months, your husband has caused quite a commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and have been forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against your husband, Mr. Samuel, are listed below and are documented by our video surveillance cameras.

1.  June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in other people's carts when they weren't looking.

2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in House wares to go off at 5-minute intervals.

3. July 7:  He made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to the women's restroom.

4. July 19:  Walked up to an employee and told her in an official voice, 'Code 3 in House wares. Get on it right away'. This caused the employee to leave her assigned station and receive a reprimand from her Supervisor that in turn resulted with a union grievance, causing management to lose time and costing the company money.


Funny stuff. My wife got this in her e-mail and I just had to post

This is funny and true!  I remember rolling my eye's when one of my parents went on and on about how hard their childhood was (never got caught doing that though....I don't live that dangerously!)

Growing up without a cell Beth Piana

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were. When they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning...Uphill...Barefoot... BOTH ways yadda, yadda, yadda

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on my kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it! 

But now that I'm less than 3 years away from 50, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today.  You've got it so easy!  I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia!  And I hate to say it, but you kids today, you don't know how good you've got it!
I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have the Internet.  If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!!   

Canadian Censorship

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council has decided that Canadians are not mature enough to listen to the unedited version of Dire Straits’ 1980s recording of ‘Money for Nothing’ because the song uses the word faggot three times.

Well, maybe they need to look over the following songs for content:

Billy Joel’s classic ‘Only the Good Die Young’ because it speaks ill about catholic school girls.
“Catholic girls start much too late, Aw but sooner of later is comes down to fate, I might as well be the one.”

A large portion of rap music for the overuse of the “N-word”

Randy Newman’s “Short People”
“They got little hands
Little Eyes
They walk around
Tellin’ great big lies…”

Matt Welch at says it better than I could when he writes:
“Please don’t ever tell me Canada is a more enlightened country that the U.S. and A.”

MLK, Then and Now

Today is the day we celebrate the birth of a very brave man. A man who stood up to challenge the status quo. To end the systematical and entrenched policy of treating full citizens of the USA as second class citizens. While he was not solely responsible for bringing about changes to civil rights in the this country, he was the face and the voice of the movement.

On a day to celebrate what is good about America, CNN chose to run an article to show how bad things are by comparing today’s political rhetoric to the atmosphere prior and during the civil rights movement. In the first few sentences CNN writes:

“Casey Hayden knows something about hate. She’s seen how hateful words can cause people to demonize their political foes, grab guns and commit murder. She’s a survivor of one the most brutal episodes of the civil rights movement. Long before the January 8 shootings in Tucson, Arizona, sparked debate about the role of heated rhetoric, Hayden and other civil rights veterans worried about the nations recent political tone – and what it might wreak.”

This article really does the whole civil right movement a disservice by attempting to relate the political climate today to how things were back then. While I did not live through that period of our history, one only needs to read history to see how different the environment really is. Today, we don’t have members of one side of the debate dying at the hands of the other side of the debate. We don’t have National Guard troops having to protect the rights of the minority. We don’t have protesters being knocked down by water cannons.

Bruce Harford, a member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, “said it’s virtually inevitable that rapid social changes in America – electing the first black President, the influx of Latino immigrants – will be accompanied by violence”

Fairness Doctrine Fight

Take a look at the link provided here.  The most interesting aspect of this story is the images they used of Hannity, Beck, and Limbaugh. Certainly Politico has other pictures of these guys that don’t make them look angry. Other than that, the story does make an attempt to be fair towards conservative talk radio, pointing out attempts by the left to demonize right leaning talk radio during the recent Tucson Tragedy and the Oklahoma City bombing back in 1995.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Steele Out, Preibus In

Michael Steele is out as RNC Chairman.  After a controversial tenure as RNC Chairman, Michael Steele dropped out of the race for a second two year term as the RNC’s top dog. Reince Preibus will succeed Steele.

Steele was controversial due to some mistakes he made and spending issues.  After he gave up his reelection bid Steele took to podium and said, “I hope you all appreciate the legacy I leave, despite the noise. Despite the difficulties, we won.” Steele was an easy target for the media because, unlike previous RNC Chairs, he was in the spotlight lending his voice, face, and time in the Republicans efforts to take back Congress. In this, he was successful with Republicans taking more seats in the House of Representatives in an off year than in more than 70 years.

Preibus is a little different than Steele. He is quieter and lets “the candidates speak for the party”. As the former Wisconsin Republican state chairman, he helped republicans pick “up the governorship, a Senate seat, and two House seats last November” ( Hopefully he’ll be able to clear up the funding issues that Steele has left behind and lead the republicans to the White House in 2012.

EPA Has a Fight On It's Hands

Sen John Barrasso (R-WY) is going up against the Obama Administration and the EPA. According to’s “Morning Energy” newsletter, Sen Barrasso plans to introduce legislation on 24 Jan that will seek to block federal climate rules under the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act.

“The Barrasso bill stops this backdoor attempt to enact Obama’s cap-and-trade agenda through the EPA and the rest of the federal bureaucracy,” said Barrasso spokeswoman Emily Lawimore.  “By passing the Barrasso bill, we can protect jobs, consumers, and small businesses from Obama’s overreaching bureaucracy that is stifling job creation and slowing our economic recovery.”

Others in Congress are looking at ways to hamstring the EPA by either “blocking the agency from regulating climate”, or by looking at “the EPA’s funding”.

Unions Moving Again

If you are a union member or a union support the following stories should warm the cockles of your heart.  If you, like me, think that unions have long outlived their usefulness and no longer really serve the actual dues paying members, then this should scare your pants off.

The unions are re-doubling their efforts to push back at the conservative movement and the general public by going on the offensive. Read the full story over at which is one of my favorite sites.

It seems the unions are making an effort to unionize the fast-food industry. There are a lot of bad outcomes from this effort which are covered very nicely by the article, but one they don’t touch on is the further marginalizing of the teenage worker. As the minimum wage has risen, so has the teenage unemployment. This will most likely have a further negative impact on teenage employment

James Stays, Rodgers Departs

Looks like Oregon State’s Quizz Rodgers has decided to come out early (Reaction, again). That surprised me a little, especially since his older brother was given an additional year due to the injury he suffered early this past season. Oregon’s LaMicheal James also waivered a bit but has decided on staying another year.

Decline in Freedom

Interesting article here about the decline freedoms in the world done by the Washington DC-based Freedom House.  The article gives a few examples of locations that are either losing freedoms or never had it in the first place.

“The report classifies countries as free, partly free or not free based on individuals’ ability to exercise political and civil rights, taking into account political systems and other factors like war and crime.”

While I am sure that we still rate as “free” I wonder if any of the events over the past few years gave the members any pause. There are still attempts to reduce our freedom of speech (here, here). The massive health care bill is certainly an affront to our freedoms by making us have to purchase something. Fortunately, it is being whittle away in the courts. While not nearly a rampant as in other countries, voter fraud is poking its nose under the tent (here, here, and here). There are many other examples of how we are losing our freedoms that might make for some good topics for future blog posts.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Palin Speaks, Tweeters are Chirping

There have been all kinds of fallout over Palin’s video. The left is tripping all over themselves trying to outdo each other with condemnation of what she said and how she said it (here, here, and here).  She is also now getting death threats. Someone has compiled a YouTube video of the tweets, which will probably be pulled shortly. I have included here just in case it gets pulled from YouTube. Be advised, the language in the video is very coarse. Their mothers would not be proud of them.

How much do you want to bet that if leading political figure on the left were receiving death threats this would be all over the news, but Palin gets them and all that is heard is chirping.

   I have a friend who is a card carrying liberal who cannot stand Palin. When I ask her to explain the reasons for her dislike of Palin, the answer is not very articulate. The answer basically comes across as "I just do". When I point out to her that Palin has a successful career, by all appearances is a great mom, has a strong marriage, and is a well rounded individual, just about everything that a feminist could love, she says Palin doesn't support abortion. But I point out to her that feminists are pro-choice, the right to choose whether to end the baby’s life. The Palin’s discussed abortion when she found out the Trig would be born with Downs Syndrome but made the CHOICE to have Trig. Seems to me that the feminists would cheer her on for having and doing all of that.

Liberals Speak

As the progressives and the leftist media continue their attacks on all things conservative and try to pin the Tucson Tragedy on the rhetoric that comes from the right, here is a reminder for those you live in glass houses. From CNSNews.  I guess it is OK for the left to say things like this, but not the right.

“Rush Limbaugh is beginning to look more and more like Mr. Big, and at some point somebody’s going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he’s going to explode like a giant blimp. That day may come. Not yet, but we’ll be there to watch.” – Chris Matthews,…Oct 12, 2009

“He is an enemy of the country, in my opinion, Dick Cheney is, he is an enemy of the country… You know, Lord, take him to the Promised Land, will you? See, I don’t even wish the guy goes to Hell, I just want to get him the hell out of here.” Ed Schultz,… May 11, 2009.

There are many more examples of speech for the left that could be construed as hateful rhetoric at