Thursday, March 31, 2011

More on the Volt and EVs

Here are a couple of quick updates on the Chevy Volt and electric vehicles

1. Check this out.  The Chevy Volt failed to start at a recent car show.  There are a couple of other tidbits in the story that are worth a click.

2. I have been in contact with my local representative regarding the West Coast Green Highway Project.  I also asked him if there are any plans to figure out a way to collect taxes on electric vehicles. He told that he has received e-mails from constituents who have said that if he votes to tax electric vehicles, they will NOT vote for him. Going out on a limb, I would guess that purchasers of the Volt are not GOPers. And of course, when it comes to taxes, it is OK, according to progressives, to tax the rich and everyone else, but not to tax them.  What pail full of garbage. They are already getting a $7,500 tax credit to purchase the stupid car, now they don’t want to pay a tax the repairs and builds the road their little “green” car operates on.

DOJ to Investigate the Seattle PD

This is not going to go well.  The Department of Justice (DOJ) is going to look into the Seattle PD’s “use of force practices, including treatment of minorities”.

Don’t misunderstand me; if a police department has a history of excessive force, especially against minorities, then investigations need to happen. But having the politically charged DOJ look into issues involving minorities is not going to go well. The racially charged issues at the DOJ are well documented here and here.

According to the article in the Seattle Times, the Seattle PD just might have some problems that need looking into.  Here is some recent history:

Whose a Liberal Outlet? You're a Liberal Outlet

Just in case you were wondering if Yahoo! News was a liberal news organization take a look at these headlines from this AM

Headline #1
OK, where to get started with this one. Let’s take a look at “target”.  Isn’t this word inflammatory and will cause people to go on a shooting spree? How many times did the liberal press point out that Sarah Palin’s target map was the root of all evil? I guess it is OK for Yahoo! News to use the word target and use it a way that makes it seem like being aimed at.

Now we’ll look at “antiabortion”. When you are a liberal and want to make the pro-life folks look a little less human, you use the term antiabortion. Throw antiabortion with the word crowd and you have unruly mob or “group with nefarious intent”.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Stolen Valor Act Ruled Unconstitutional

This one is a little tough to take.  The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has declared the 2006 Stolen Valor Act as unconstitutional based on the right of free speech guaranteed by the 1st Amendment.  I know the 1st Amendment is by design a very broad brush, put in place to protect dissenting opinions, even if the opinions are more hyperbole than substance.  But I am kind of surprised that lying is protected under the same amendment that protects political speech.

What bothers me the most is that when an individual is caught wearing a medal they did not earn and do not deserve, there is no recourse to get these individuals to stop. This takes away from the real heroes like Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta or Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith.

AARP Will Make a Few Bucks Off Obama Care

Now we know why AARP was so adamant about supporting the passage of Obama Care.  According to this story over at Red State, AARP expects to profit in the $1B range (B = Billion) over the next ten years.  I guess if I thought I could make that kind of profit off the government dole I might think of selling my soul too.

Arming Al Qaeda?

So now we are supporting and possibly arming those who have killed our service members.  I’ll let the article outline what is going on and just say this is beyond stupid, but what else should we expect from someone who has their head buried in the sand when it comes to foreign policy.

Being Prepared

I know that several of my readers know about Patrice and her blog Rural Revolution since she has sent some traffic my way a couple of times (Thanks Patrice!!!!). But for those who have not visited her web site, I suggest you do so today.  A quick background: She and her family are what could be called preppers, folks who have simplified their lives and prepare for TEOTWAWKI. Some might call them weird, but I don’t.  Throughout the years that I have read her blog, she has laid out a very good case about being prepared. She is not one to go running through the village shouting “The end is near”, but has laid out points that have convinced me that being prepared isn’t weird, but a smart thing to do.

Today she has written a long post about what one should do be to be prepared.  She references heavily from an article posted on Survival Blog. Both her post and the one at Survival Blog are very interesting reads and a good primer if you are considering moving you and your family towards a more simple life.

Global Warming at it Again

The California Sierra Nevada Mountains has experienced near record snowfall totals this year (h/t: Drudge Report). So far, 61 feet of snow has fallen, just four feet shy of the record of 65 feet set in the winter of 1950-51.

Ski resorts are also seeing records broken. With 605 inches of snowfall this season Mammouth Mountain has smashed their previous record of 579 inches. This does not include April which sees an average of about 33 inches.

Snowfall in the Sierra’s is at times feast or famine.  One year they could see eight feet of total snowfall, then the next year see over 40 feet.  There is no question California has experienced a drought over the last few years. But this is not unusual.  During the height of global cooling (1960’s-1970’s), the Sierra’s experienced less than normal snowfall totals for at least three straight years, and only exceeded average three out of eight years.  During the recent California drought actual snowfall totals exceeded average six times over a 10 year period.  And in the last three years, the snowfall totals were more than 100 inches over average each year.

As for the Global Warming excuse I have a feeling that OwlGore and his group will be sure to say “See, Global Warming is happening, how else do you explain the record snowfalls”.  Never mind they had also blamed the California drought on Global Warming (See here and here).  When it is hot, blame global warming, when it is cold, blame global warming, when is doesn’t rain, blame global warming, when it does rain, blame global warming.  So basically, they have all bases covered.  Back in the day, we used call this “weather” over the short period and climate over the long period.

BTW: Governor Jerry Brown is expected to officially declare the drought over.  Can we do the same with the whole Global Warming scam?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Salazar Set to Unleash Wyoming Coal

File this under the odd category. Interior Department Sec Ken Salazar has said Wyoming can start auctioning off some of their vast coal reserves. What makes this odd is Salazar long time opposition to coal, and Obama’s promise to end the coal industry in the USA.

Union Thug "Attacks" Union Members

Union representative goes off on the employees he represents. Maryland prison guard say that Steve Berger, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union rep went off on a profanity laced tirade at some of the employees when he was asked where some of the union dues money went during the campaign seasons. He even challenged one guard a fight and called one of the employees a “Republican”, which I guess in the union leadership mind is a dirty word.

The prison guards sent copies of the complaint to Republican Rep Chris Shank who in turn asked Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Gary Maynard to look into the matter.

I guess these union reps are feeling the heat right now as state governments look for ways to balance out of whack budgets. But to take your frustrations on the folks you represent is crossing a line.  Last night Glenn Back made it a point to speak to union members to start standing up for what they believed (Remember the source, Media Matters, when reading the comments at the link), and these AFSCME members apparently feel that Berger crossed a line.

DHS Demotes Whistleblower

Could this be considered doubling up on corruption? Political appointees at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are interfering with Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) records, sometimes blocking records that under normal circumstances wouldn’t be considered as classified or close-hold.  And now the individual who blew the whistle is being demoted. Republican House member Darrell Issa, who is Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is saying the demotion appears to be “an act of retaliation”

Mr Issa accused the administration of improperly demoting Catherine Papoi, the former deputy unit chief in charge of the Freedom of Information Act. His charge raised the stakes in the broad congressional inquiry into President Obama’s promises to improve government transparency.

Raise your hand if you are surprised that the President, who is from the Chicago political machine, would condone this sort of activity (withholding information and retaliation).

DOJ Once Again Sticking Their Nose Where it Doesn't Belong

More indication that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has their head up their butts. The Obama Administration has made bullying a priority, telling schools they need to be more proactive with regarding to bullying on school grounds.

The DOJ is going to use the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a way to enforce the clamp down on bullying.  At the DOJ web site:

The Civil Right Division and the entire Justice Department are committed to ending bullying and harassment in schools... [snip] …protect students from discrimination and harassment at school because of their race, national origin, disability, religion, and sex, including harassment based on nonconformity with gender stereotypes. (Source: Washington Times)

New Jersey: Tough to Get Gun Permit

Apparently it is very difficult to get a handgun permit in the state of NJ.  A New Jersey man, who was the victim of a kidnapping, was refused permission to carry and handgun for protection. Taking this off on a tangent I bring in Gov Christie. Christie, a republican darling, is not what many would call a supporter of gun rights. During his campaign for NJ governor he said he wouldn’t ask for any new laws on the books, but would enforce those already there. The NJ laws are very tough, as experienced by Brain Aitken, who was arrested, tried, and convicted for transporting guns he owns for Colorado to NJ. Christie later commuted his sentence, but it is still on Aitken’s record.

How Freddie and Fannie did What they Did.

A must read on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It explains how Fannie and Freddie got so big by publicly denying they were backed by the government but privately saying something else.  Even good old Barney Frank, who now wants to be rid of Fannie and Freddie, said there was no government backing for the quasi-private companies.

“There is no guarantee. There’s no explicit guarantee. There’s no implicit guarantee.  There’s no wink-and-nod guarantee. Invest and you’re on your own. Nobody who invest in them (Fannie and Freddie) should come looking to me for a nickel. Nor anyone else in the Federal government.” (Source: NPR)

Of course we now know that Frank was talking out both sides of his mouth.  Good grief, Frank was romantically involved with a one time leader of Fannie. I don’t think anyone believes that there wasn’t so sort of pillow talk at one point of another.  This is the same Barney Frank that told President Bush to go away when Bush suggested we get out of the business of supporting Fannie and Freddie.  So far, the feds have given Fannie and Freddie over $100B dollars and it will probably be more before it is all said and done.

Media Matters Takes Aim at Fox News

Media Matters (MM) has made it official; they are going after Fox News. Glenn Beck did a bit about it on his radio show Monday.  Politico has the details. And the “Washington Examiner” has the possible legal ramifications.

In the Politico story, David Brock outlines what the plans are to take on Fox News and there is no coyness about it.

In an interview and a 2010 planning memo shared with POLTICO, Brock listed the fronts on which Media Matters – which he said is operating on a $10 million-plus annual budget – is working to chip away at Fox and its parent company, News Corp.  They include its bread-and-butter distribution of embarrassing clips and attempts to rebut Fox points, as well as a series of under-the-radar tactics.

Media Matters, Brock said, is assembling opposition research files not only on Fox’s top executives but on a series of midlevel officials. It has hired an activist who has led a successful campaign to avoid Glenn Beck’s show. The group is assembling a legal team to help people who have clashed with Fox to file lawsuits for defamation, invasion of privacy or other causes.  And it has hired two experienced reporters, Joe Strupp and Alexander Zaitchik, to dig into Fox’s operations to help assemble a book on the network, due out in 2012 from Vintage Anchor.

Monday, March 28, 2011

CY Has A Erik Scott Update

For those of you who have been following the Erik Scott case over at Confederate Yankee, Mike has an update today. Some of what he blogs about doesn’t DIRECTLY tie into the Scott case, but does provide background and support to the ongoing saga in Las Vegas.

Weekend Links

Weekend Links: (Sources: Seattle Times, Seattle PI)

1. Looking for the silver lining. The earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, with more than 10,000 killed and thousands more still unaccounted. The near term economic devastation will be difficult to measure, but it will most likely have an impact as exports to Japan will slow due to decreased demand. Another area where the impact could be felt is in the financial sector. Japan currently holds a good sized chunk of US Treasuries and may have to sell in order to finance their rebuilding efforts.

This is where the silver lining comes in. Not the sale of US Treasuries, which could have a significantly damaging impact on our economy and our dollar. But if we are able to withstand the sell-off, in the longer run, the rebuilding of Japan could be an economic boon for the US, and especially Washington State. They will need raw materials and construction equipment. We can provide both.

2. Here is a fairly smart idea.  Mark Russell has founded a company called Zebigo and using software he and his team developed you can try to link up some headed your direction. In these days of higher gas prices, this seems like a good idea. Free-market solutions; got to love them.  (No endorsement of Zebigo is intended, I just thinks it sounds like a good idea.)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Another Reason to Support the "Revolution" in Egypt

In Egypt, a Christian man was attacked and had his ear chopped off for allegedly having an affair with a Muslim woman. The charges were later proven false.  Apparently he had rented an apartment to two muslim women who were involved with prostitution. When he found out, he asked them to leave. Somehow, the peaceful, tolerant religion of Islam decided the best thing to do was to pushing a man who knew nothing of the woman’s activities. Sure glad our President thought it was best to have these kinds of people in charge in Egypt. (h/t Weasel Zippers)

Political Pioneer Geraldine Ferraro Passes

A political pioneer passes today. Geraldine Ferraro dies today from a form of blood cancer. She was 75

I still remember hearing the news that Water Mondale had selected a woman to run with him during the 1984 presidential campaign.  I remember thinking to myself that while this might give Mondale a boost; it really wasn’t going to make a difference in the grand scheme of things. Reagan was a force of nature and Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro were sacrificial lambs being lead to the slaughter.

Through no fault of her own (let me repeat that; through no fault of her own), I think her being on the 1984 democrat presidential ticket might have set women’s politics back by a decade. She was an able politician, and actually more popular than her running mate, Presidential candidate, Walter Mondale.  I think there might have been some residual animosity towards Ferraro and women in politics in general by some who blamed Ferraro for Mondale’s landslide defeat.  I will repeat this one more time; Not her fault.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Rep Weiner (D-NY) Ask for Obama Care Waiver

Michelle Malkin’s column today deals with the ever-increasing waivers from Obama Care. She points out that it is interesting how some of the biggest supporters of this health care bill are the one’s asking for the waivers.

Muslim Brotherhood Makes It's Move in Egypt (Updated)

During the protest in Egypt, there was some minor concern, dismissed by the administration, that the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) might be playing a role. Some even mentioned concerns about MB’s role in Egyptian politics after the likely fall of Mubarak.  These concerns were also dismissed by the MSM and the administration as being afraid of the boogy-man.

Well, it seems that our concerns might have been with merit.  Due to 30+ years of oppression coming from the Egyptian government, there was no political party structure. Why organize a political party when the elections are rigged? However, the MB does have a structure in which they have been able to slowly move into the vacuum created by the fall of Mubarak and his government.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

National Park Service Employees Stretch the Truth

Do you suppose that the folks mentioned in this report might have an environmental agenda to push forward? It seems that a few National Park Service employees might have falsified information to support an agenda against an oyster farm north of San Francisco. No criminal charges are going to be carried forward. Just speculation on my part but do you suppose that the loosey-goosey adherence to the truth and transparency of these folks’ bosses (Salazar and Obama) might have had a role to play. Maybe they thought, heck the bosses color outside the lines, why can’t we?

Toyota Delays Prius Production

Toyota’s expanded Prius line debut is expected to be delayed due to issues obtaining parts due to the massive earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

More Deepwater Drilling Permits to be Approved

The day THIS is no longer worthy of a news conference or a write up in the Wall Street Journal will be the day when things get back to normal.  And Ken Salazar can stop hurting his arm while patting himself on the back.

DADT Repeal Training is Underway

The indoctrination has begun. With the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) that will allow gays to serve openly in the military, training materials have gone out to the four service branches. The first focus of the training is for high senior level leadership and unit commanders. Also, combat troops in Iraq and Afghanistan will receive the training before returning back to home station.

I have mentioned some of my concerns in previous posts (here and here) about how this is going to be a one-way street. Straight service members are going to have to accept the gay people, but there is no tolerance training for the gay members.

According to the briefing materials, a recruiter may not refuse gays entry into a service even if it is against the recruiter’s religious beliefs.

“Marines are expected to obey lawful orders and could be subject to discipline or adverse administrative action if they refuse orders, even if such refusal is based on strong, sincerely held, moral or religious beliefs,” the briefing states.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Left's Plans Continue to be Exposed (Long Post)

The one thing that is not scary about what the left has planned for us is that we now have the ability to see it and do something about it before they can put their processes in motion or at the very least intercept them before conclusion.

Most recently Steve Learner was giving a speech at a symposium hosted at Pace College and he talked about what can be done to destabilize the banking system in particular and the free market economy in general. (Transcript here, thanks Legal Insurrection)

“…and for example, 10% of homeowners, going back to the where you started, who are under, a quarter of all people who own a home are under water. Right? Their home is under water, they are paying more for it than it’s worth.  Ten percent of those people are now in strategic default, meaning they’re refusing to pay but they’re staying in their homes.  That is totally spontaneous.  Right? They figure out it takes a year to kick me out of my home because the mort, the foreclosure’s backed up. I’m going to say I won’t pay. It’s just what business does, it’s a good business decision. If you could double that number, you would make banks, put the banks on the edge of insolvency again.”

“And so the question would be, what would happen if we organized homeowners in mass to do a mortgage strike. Just say if we get, and , and, if we get half a million people to agree, we’ll all not, we’ll agree we won’t pay our mortgages, it would literally cause a new financial crisis.”

Monday, March 21, 2011

Wisconsin Judge Might Have A Conflict of Interest?

Last week I blogged a bit about the temporary restraining order issued by Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi on the new Wisconsin law limiting collective bargaining by public sector employees.  I also pointed out this was the same judge who refused to force the striking protesting teachers back to the classrooms.

While I was writing the post it was running through my mind that based on here judgments that she might have more than a passing interest in these matters. Well, it turns out that her son is a union (progressive?) activist, heavily involved with AFL-CIO and SEIU, who have their share of public sector unions they represent. A column over at Big Government brings up the point that maybe she should have recused herself from the case.  What do you think?

Wisconsin Union Thugs at it Again

Unions activist are not unknown for their gutter behavior, but this looks to be beyond the pale for even union thugs (known as teachers in Wisconsin). It seems they are threatening business owners, who have no stake whatsoever in the collective bargaining issues, with less business unless they kowtow to their demands.  Read the full account here at Townhall. (Original link at Neal Boortz)

Hamas Attacks Israel, Obama Parties in Rio

Over the weekend Hamas launched almost 50 mortar shells into Israel. Fortunately there are no reports of any Israeli deaths from the rocket and mortar attacks. While this did garner some ‘ink’ from the main stream press, the Obama administration seemed to be pretty quiet about it. I guess he is too busy dancing in Rio. But I think everyone knows that if Israel launched a counter-strike, this would be front page news on all the ‘major’ newspapers and outlets. Plus, Sec Clinton and UN Ambassador Rice would be calling for Israel’s head on a platter for attacking the defenseless Palestinians.

When will the Jewish people of America realize the democrat party is not a friend of theirs?

Sutherland Thinks We are A Racist Countty

Responding to a question about racism that is depicted the play he stars in, “That Championship Season”, Kiefer Sutherlund said, “Racism is woven into the fabric of America.” (“The View”, 21 Mar 2011). What an incredibly asinine thing to say.  Of course, most of the panel agreed with him whole-heartedly and did nothing to question his statement. To go along with his charges he provided no backup or examples, just a blanket statement.

He went on to say that the play also shows how racism is a family thing passed from father to son and grandfather to grandson. I didn’t stick around long enough to hear whether Sutherland or Joy(less) Behar went on to attack the Tea Party as examples of racism in America.

Weekend Links

Weekend Links (Sources: Seattle Times, Seattle PI)

Taxes to be extended. How often do you hear about a government program that was supposed to be temporary wind up being permanent? Here in the local area, the state is looking for ways to offset a huge budget shortfall. One way to fund areas that might get the ax under budget cuts is to extend a tax on tourism that was scheduled to end in 2012. This tax was used to pay off Safeco Field, the Mariners Baseball Club’s new downtown digs. If lawmakers get their way, they will use it to expand the convention center to the tune of $600M, build and refurbish low income housing (mostly used by those employed in the hospitality industry), and the arts. The funny thing about this is that only King County (Seattle) will be effected. I covered this in a little more detail in an earlier post.

Seattle Mayor wants to shut down the Alaskan Way Viaduct. In what I would consider a pretty bold move Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has stated he would like to see the viaduct closed in 2012, which had been an original target date. According to his spokesperson, he does not have a plan on how to handle any immediate traffic disruptions caused by an early closure.

MSNBC Still has Their Crazy Guy

If any of you thought that firing Keith Olbermann would improve MSNBC, you’d be wrong.  Larry O’Donnell went on a rant about a discussion about the Book of Revelations Glenn Beck had the other night.  The following quote is at The Blaze:

“The Book of Revelation is a work of fiction describing how a truly vicious God would bring about the end of the world.  No-half smart religious person actually believes the book of Revelation.  They are certain that the God would never turn into a malicious torturer and mass murderer beyond Hitler’s wildest dream.  Glenn Beck, of course, does believe the book of Revelation.”

I think O’Donnell is trying to fill the vacuum left by Olbermann’s departure. Not that the vacuum is very large by previous and current ratings.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Chevy Volt is Cold (Correction)

Moe Lane over at Red State has a bit more information on the issues with the Chevy Volt. I did NOT know the car doesn’t come with a standard heater.

Correction: the Volt does come with a heater, it just doesn't work with a darn. According to a write-up done by Consumer Reports, the heating system wouldn't keep their testers warm when the weather was too cold.  The seat heating system wasn't enough. It also reduced the distance the charge could take you.  Consumer Reports recommends the Volt as a second or third vehicle and if you live in a temperate climate.

One more thing. The Volt is really popular with green crowd, obviously. The green crowd also tends to be on the progressive side of the aisle. And the progressive crowd is real big into redistribution of wealth. The cost of this car is require a redistribution. At $43K (before $5K dealer markup), most folks cannot afford this as a first car, much less as a second or third car.

Protesting Phil Knight’s Taj-Mahal

Some University of Oregon students have their knickers in a knot over a building on the campus that is used for student-athletes. The John E. Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes was built using private funds for the specific purpose of having a place where student-athletes could come and study. It is quite an opulent structure, with classrooms on the first floor (open to all), and tutoring rooms and computer labs, and office space on the second and third floors. These floors are the center of this budding controversy.

I am not a real huge fan of separating the folks who play scholarship sports from the rest of the student body, but I am a fan of someone spending their money how they see fit. The building is Phil Knight’s baby; he funded it.  Other than the land it was built on, UO didn’t drop a penny into the building. Knight has offset this donation with others directed at the general population and the campus at large. If Knight wants to build an athletes-only facility, so be it.

I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that the students who are planning occupying the so-called restricted area probably voted for Obama, or would have if they could have voted. The mentality of people like this never ceases to amaze me. They just can’t understand why they can’t have everything they want. It’s this gimme something for nothing attitude that is causing the problems we now find ourselves.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

So True and to the Point

Some dark humor worth a read. Considering the subject matter is quite serious, this will not be filed under humor like some of my previous “humor posts”. (H/T TigerHawk)

Useless Volt Charging Stations

Well, well, well, it seems the more information that is circulated about the Chevy Volt, the worse it gets.  Not only does the Volt have issues with distance per charge (25-50 miles), now it seems the electric portion of the vehicle is not meant for the freeway. Over at Forbes Magazine Patrick Michaels has brought to light something that I didn’t know. It seems that the combustion engine, not the electric drive, on the Chevy Volt is used while cruising down the Interstate.

It turns out that the premium-fuel fired engine does drive the wheels—when the battery is very low or when the vehicle is at most freeway speeds. (Emphasis mine—PACNW Righty)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Wisconsin Judge Blocks Collective Bargaining Bill From Becoming Law

Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi has blocked the collective bargaining bill that was passed last week in the Wisconsin Legislature. Her judgment was in response to a suit brought on by the District Attorney alleging that the bill was violated the state’s open meeting laws.

“I would hope the Republicans would take this as an opportunity to sit down with democrats and negotiate a proposal we could all get behind,” said democrat Sen Jon Erpenbach, one of the 14 senators who stayed in Illinois for three weeks in an attempt to stop the bill from passing. (Source: Yahoo News)

Slow Blogging

Blogging is going to be a bit slow. I have several Adirondack Chair orders I need to catch up on. I have also been collecting research for future posting. So with all the research and work in the shop, the site received a little less attention in the past 24 hours.  I hope to fix that tomorrow night.

 Please stay tuned.


PACNW Righty

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Huge Nugget Found

Absolutely amazing.  At $1,300 an ounce, this is winning the lottery.  This will make a lot of bling.

Obama and Gun Rights, the Evidence is not so Good

On Glenn Beck tonight he discussed the Obama Administrations plans for gun control over the next couple of years. During the discussion he put up a quote regarding how to best get more gun control. The quote discussed better background checks and mental health issues.  The one thing that caught my eye was the statement (paraphrased) efforts should also focus on those who have no need to legitimately own a gun. That caused me to sit back for a moment. Once you eliminate the felons and criminals, and the mentally ill folks from owning and possessing guns what else is there? Who are the folks who have no need to legitimately own a gun?

Well, based on how he and some of his cabinet members and other advisors feel about guns and their desire to either highly control them or eliminate them altogether I fear those who have no legitimate need for guns would be the rest of us, at least in their minds. If they get the opportunity to change the laws, we will the ones who don't have a legitimate reason to own a gun. Obama has, in the past, stated he supports bans on right to carry for everyone except police officers.

Rep Green is Weird

I have been following the debate about rep King’s hearings on home-grown jihadists but have not really covered it much on this blog. I am in a bit of a quandary about it. There is a tad bit of McCarthyism about the hearings, but is that really such a bad thing? Over the years the McCarthy hearings have kind of gotten a bad rap for singling out individuals with ties to communism. By most yardsticks the hearings were successful in rooting out some communists in highly placed government positions. But as time, the media, and a progressive agenda have the ability to do, the facts are messaged and omitted to come up with the narrative that the McCarthy hearings were all bad. But I do understand the misgivings that some folks are having; fearful this will turn into some sort of search truth that gets bastardized by political shenanigans and posturing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

High-Speed Rail not Tracking Well

High speed rail is not popular in some states and governors in Florida and Wisconsin have turned down funds that would go to studying and building high-speed rail in those states. Other states like New Jersey and Ohio have turned down federal money for funding conventional rail passenger projects. The most recent turn down of the high-speed rail funds was Gov Scott of Florida. The money was earmarked for a rail line between Tampa and Orlando, a dubious choice to begin with as the line was going to be quite short with many stops and only saving about 30 minutes over the drive time.

These following links are must reads:
Ridership Estimates: This document crunches the numbers and doesn’t come up with a rosy picture of ridership between Orlando and Tampa. It also covers the likelihood that cost overruns will saddle Florida taxpayers with more than the initial $280B currently stated as their obligation. One point the study makes is rather telling:

Jewish 3-month Old Murdered in West Bank

I heard about this earlier today and I just find myself disgusted.  Of course it took a right leaning web site (actually several of them) to bring this to light.  CBS News did cover it, giving the murders one line in a story about how the Jews are continuing to build, and the settlers are hard-liners only respecting “God’s Law”.

The fact that Palestinians celebrated the cold-blooded murder of a family of five, including a 3-month old baby, says an awful lot about the type of people the Palestinians are, which is sometime a little less than human.

As long as the Palestinians have the world press in their pocket and won’t recognize Israel’s right to exist, these kinds of things will continue to happen. If the press and the world would strongly condemn these kinds of actions as strongly as they do when Israel does something they don’t like, then Hamas would have it stopped.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Wisconsin Unions Scramble to Get New Contracts in Place

In the state of Wisconsin a law takes effect the day after the Secretary of State publishes it. Under the law, the Sec of State has 10 days to publish the law once it has been signed into law.  The current Wisconsin Sec of State is Doug La Follette is a democrat who opposed the law and now is dragging his feet get the law in place, using the full 10 days, which is allowing unions and school districts to get new deals in place.  BUT, what is most interesting is many of the new contracts have several of the provisions Gov Walker has called for to help schools overcome a sharp decrease in funding that will be coming from the state. Several contracts call for increased employee contributions for both retirement funding and health care and small raises. (Read full story at Seattle Times)

There are also a few cases of contracts being awarded that are more generous then the ‘guidelines’ Walker has discussed.  These counties are going to pay for this short-sightedness in the long run. I for one do not feel sorry for them, although I do feel for general public in those counties that are paying more in the newly signed contracts.

Small Towners, You Know Who You Are (Humor)

Here is a list for those who grew up in a small town. Most of you small-towners will recognize these, although some are a bit dated.

1) You can name everyone you graduated with.

2) You know what “4-H” means.

3) You went to parties in a pasture, barn, gravel pit, or in the middle of a dirt road.  On Monday you could always tell who was at the party because of the scratches on their legs from running through the woods when the party was busted (See #6).

4) You used to ‘drag’ Main.

Weekend Links


1. King County (Seattle) has seen a slight uptick in the unemployment rate from Feb to Mar. As goes King County, so goes the rest of the state.  Since our region was probably hit last in the “Great Recession” we’ll also probably be last to feel the slow economic recovery. Overall, the unemployment rate has improved slightly over the past year.

2. The Washington State Legislature has tried in vain for several years to raise taxes on us but have failed miserably every time as residents have defeated legislation efforts with initiative. But I think Olympia has finally found a way to raise some tax revenue that won’t upset the residents too much. They are going after the Canadians.

3. While this news is terribly surprising to me, the man arrested for attempting to bomb the MLK Day parade in Spokane earlier this year has ad links to a white supremacist group. Kevin William Harpham, a former Fort Lewis soldier, has been arrested by authorities in Spokane and has been linked to the Neo-Nazi group, the National Alliance.

Fred Meyer to Install Charging Stations

Mike over at Confederate Yankee has a brief update on the Chevy Volt.  In other electric car news, Fred Meyer, a PACNW retail legend, is going to offer charging stations this summer at selected locations around the Puget Sound area.

Fred Meyer is going to partner with ECOtality to installing commercial charging stations at a few locations is the Puget Sound and Portland, OR area.  ECOtality is also involved with installing charging stations along the I-5 corridor through Washington and Oregon.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A Dumb Generation?

A very good column by Patrice Lewis (Rural Revolution) about the Dumbest Generation over at World Net Daily.  In it she makes points that the plug in generation of today is becoming something less than literate.

In her column she compares today’s students and their efforts to get information and write a paper on an assigned subject matter. Here she quotes from the book The Dumbest Generation by Mark Bauerlein:

The trouble, apparently, is while kids are frighteningly savvy when it comes to all electronic media, those skills do not translate into actual knowledge. They do not retain material they study. “When the fifth-grade teachers assign a topic, the kids proceed like this: go to Google, type in keywords, download three relevant sites, cut and paste passages into a new document, add transitions of their own, print it up, and turn it in. The model is information retrieval, not knowledge formation, and the material passes from Web to homework paper with lodging in the minds of the students.”

Here is how she describes her efforts when writing a paper “back in the day”:

Friday, March 11, 2011

New Contract for Portland Teachers

The Portland School Board has approved a new contract that gives teachers a same raise. The taxpayers will continue to fund 93% of their health care costs and provide a 3.4% pay raise for teachers with less than 12 years on the job.

Make your own decisions on whether this is right or not in these bad economic times.

Portlans Stays Weird, JTTF Not Going to Happen

Despite a near disaster last year in Pioneer Square, the Portland City Council has voted to keep Portland Police out of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The Christmas tree lighting ceremony has become a must go to event every year. On the Friday evening after Thanksgiving 1000’s gather in Pioneer Square to watch a 100 foot tall tree get its lights turned on. Last year, a young terrorist was caught in a sting by the FBI trying to detonate a truck bomb near the crowd. 100’s would have been killed or wounded

The unofficial mantra of Portland is “Keep Portland Weird” (look here and here) and this most certainly qualifies. Portlanders have been known for decades to run against the flow, probably something to do with the fact that the state fish is the Salmon. I am from Portland (a suburb actually) and have witnessed first hand Portland’s weirdness. It is what makes the city unique and I firmly believe decisions like not being part of the JTTF is a conscious one.  Seattle will always be known as the crown jewel of the Pacific Northwest so Portland has to do something to separate itself from the shadow of its much larger cousin city to the north.

Japan Rocked by Massive Earthquake and Tsunami

Massive quake and tsunami hits Japan. First estimates have the quake measured at 8.9 on the Richter scale, which would make it the 7th largest since we have begun recording quake strength about 60 years ago.

My family and I spent 3.5 years in Japan, stationed at a base outside Tokyo.  We still have friends living in the area. So far, all reports have them safe and sound.

The videos of the tsunami are awesome, however we must temper our awe with the fact that there could very well be people in those houses and cars we see being pushed along by the wave.  Japan is probably one of the best prepared nations for this sort of thing, but nothing can prepare you for when everything you have is rip right off its foundation.

If you are the type that prays, please pray for the people of Japan, especially the rescue workers and the Japanese military who will also be involved with the rescue efforts.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Obama a gun-totin' Prez?

This is ABSOLUTE must read for all of us who firmly believe that Second Amendment protects our right a keep and bear arms with little to no qualifiers.

Obama IS the Education President

In a matter related to budget cuts, President Obama is a little ticked off that as part of the overall budget reduction efforts, education is a target (among many targets) of the slashers.

“We cannot cut back on the very investments that will help our economy grow and our nation to compete,” Mr. Obama said (after touring Massachusetts’ TechBoston Academy with Belinda Gates).  “There is nothing responsible about cutting back in our investment in these young people.”

On the surface, Obama’s statement has some validity. Education is very important for both our domestic economy and how we compete in the world economy. We need to produce smarter, better students and graduates if we what to remain at the top of the heap. But what are we getting from our investment in education. Right now we are about middle of the pack. According to a report on at

Budget Bills Go Down in the Senate

The democrats have defeated both version of the budget bill so now we start all over again under the cloud of a government shutdown.

“Today’s votes in the Senate demonstrate that democrats and Republicans must come together to find common ground on a budget that cuts spending and puts us on a path to live within our means, but also ensures we continue to invest in our future,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said after the votes, which democratic leaders said they hoped would prove to House republicans that their deep cuts cannot pass.

Well, duh. As long as the senate is populated by the likes of Harry Reid and his crew, meaningful spending cuts are not going to happen. There is going to be pain, there is no two ways about it. People are going to have to bit the bullet a little in many different areas. We have spent ourselves in this mess and we need to make significant cuts to get us out of the mess.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Help is Still Needed

Michelle Malkin’s cousin is still missing and she still requires our help.  Please click here for updates on Marizela Perez and the efforts to find her.  There are also a few other pictures of Marizela at this new post. Anything that you can do to help, please do so.

Did Obama Read Orwell?

President Obama has stated several times that he likes the way the Brits run their health care system. I wonder if this was one of the points of their system that he likes?

According to Dr Daphne Austin, it all comes down to money and how it is spent:

“We are doing more harm than good by resuscitating 23-weekers. I can’t think of very many interventions that have such poor outcomes. For me the big issue is that we’re spending an awful lot of money on treatments that have very marginal benefits. I would prefer to free up that money to spend on providing support to people who have much more lifelong chronic conditions.”

NPR Cannot Turn Off Stupid

Unless you live under a rock, you have heard about James O’Keefe and his video with the outgoing fund raising executive for NPR. Some good stuff was said. But for a slightly different perspective on the event, take a look at this article over at Slate.  Slate is not known for being friendly towards conservatives, and the story is slightly bent in a progressive way, but by and large, the story does do a fairly good job of covering some of the surface highlights. I won’t rehash the quotes, but I would like to point out that those in the MSM that are reporting on this are leaving out one point he about the Jews and their ownership of newspapers. I have asked this before (here and here), but could someone please tell me why Jews support the democrat party in such large numbers.

I just thought my readers might like to see what the “other side” is saying about this. Apparently O’Keefe and his group, who said they had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, was trying to give $5M to NPR, who through a spokesperson, has said they turned the money down repeatedly. It is a little curious why, if they turned down the money, why was Schiller taking them to lunch.

During the course of the taping, Schilling didn’t let anyone off the hook. In his elitist mind, conservatives, tea party members, and Jews are groups that need to be brought down.  He even went after Juan Williams, the NPT journalist who was fired last year for mentioning that he is worried when he sees people in Muslim garb when he boards an airplane.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dipping into Taxpayer Pockets Once Again

Seattle mass transit is in trouble yet again and they are expecting the taxpayer to pick up the slack. The Washington State Legislature has passed a bill authorizing the Seattle City Councilto approve a two-year, $20 annual vehicle surcharge to be used to help Metro maintain service hours.

Sen. Scott White, D-Seattle, said the amended measure had support from a variety of citizens that included major businesses because continued transit service is “important for their workers and their success” in software and aerospace industries.

Not only are the tax payers having to pick up the tab to subsidize ridership, King County residents will also be subsidizing two of the most solvent businesses in the area, Boeing and Microsoft.  I’d be willing to bet that if either or both of these companies were forced to develop their own transit system (i.e. shuttle buses) they would be able to do it cheaper than the city. Two runs before and after each shift, maybe one or two in the hours between would probably do it. Then the city can get out of running those buses and focus more money on other money losing routes.

Locke to Get Ambassador to China Nod

President Obama’s nominee to replace Jon Huntsman as Ambassador to China has local ties. Former Governor Gary Locke, the son of Chinese immigrants, has been nominated to replace Huntsman, who departs next month. He has experience in China as he developed business ties between Washington State and China. Full write up at the Seattle Times.

Oregon Democrat Machine in Full Smear Mode

In the last election cycle Art Robinson, a Republican, ran against Chris Defazio in Oregon’s Fourth District. Even though the final tally wasn’t very close Robinson has decided to run again in 2012.  It looks like the Oregon democrat machine is not very happy about this and has launched a smear campaign, going after Robinson’s children, who are students at Oregon State University. He has written about his experience over at World Net Daily.  Based on what he has written, it really does appear that OSU and the democratic party in Oregon have gone after this guy and his family.

One more thing you should know about Dr Robinson; He has directed the Petition Project which opposes, based on scientific grounds published in peer reviewed journals, the “human-caused global warming” hypothesis. Since it is obvious that he does not sip from the same “Obama kool-ade” cup, he is a target for the more media connected democrat machine.

Also of note is that the Oregonian has not yet begun to cover this story. But don’t hold your breath waiting for it as the Oregonian has indorsed democrat candidates since time began (OK, I have over stated this a bit, but I really don’t remember them endorsing Republicans except Hatfield and McCall, who had their hey-days in the 1970’s).

Michelle Malkin Is Asking For Our Help

Michelle Malkin is asking for our help locating her missing cousin, who is a student at the University of Washington. Marizela Perez has been missing Saturday afternoon. Her parents have filed a missing persons report. Please read here for all the information needed to be of assistance. If you are able to provide any information, please contact the Seattle Police Department.

Weekend Links

Local News:
1. The Seattle City Council has overridden the mayor veto the tunnel construction that is supposed to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct along Seattle’s waterfront. The tunnel is not a done deal yet as it still has to go before the voters. Mayor Mike McGinn is worried about taxpayers having to foot the bill for cost overruns. Cost overruns? That NEVER happens with government contracts, right? Take a look at this from the Cato Institute. Although the study is nearly eight years old, it is still a viable product for getting an idea of why Mayor McGinn is concerned.

2. I have blogged in the past about how the State of Washington is going to raise funds with declining gas tax revenue expected to accelerate with more Hybrids and electric cars on the roadways. A bill currently under consideration would charge tolls on I-405 for single occupancy vehicles to use the high occupancy (carpool) lanes. It is already in use on State Route 167, which feeds into I-405. So far, the SR 167 tolls have not been successful, costing more money to operate than is being raised. In the eyes of DOT officials the tolls have been successful in improving traffic flow. We subsidize farms, we subsidize housing, we subsidize health care, and now we are subsidizing driving to work. Ain’t American great?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

More on the Volt

As my readers you should be aware that I have been blogging about the Chevy Volt and some of its issues. Mike, over at Confederate Yankee, has been also looking at this electric vehicle, giving a very critical review of the future prospects for the Chevy Volt. We have brought up issues like travel distance, comfort of the vehicle, rat troubles, time it takes to fully charge the vehicle, and several other angles.

Today, Mike takes a closer look at three issues that are bound to plague the electric car, specifically he Chevy Volt.  Those three issues are:

1) The technology has not yet caught up to reality. Bottom line here is this is not even close to being ready for prime time. As we have pointed out before, it takes 8 hours to fully charge, gets only about 40 miles travel distance, and the batteries are going to EXPENSIVE to replace ($8K).