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December 18, 2011

Gingrich, our courts and freedom

Newt Gingrich is gaining momentum and losing headway on a daily basis and I am very surprised to hear anything about him at all. I remember in the late 80's and early 90's when he was an upcoming Minority Whip (and bouncing checks left and right) when he captivated us with his directness and ability to "tell it like it is", long before Oprah coined phrase with that loser Dr. Phil. But the fascination wanned as we found out Newt was just another whacko with a big mouth. He faded into obsurity until recently when he decided to run for POTUS. Quite a shell shock to me.

He reappearance in the forefront of politics reminds me of the new fashion trend that put the "ug" in "ugly". Boot wearing became popular fashion faux pas in the 80's with the pant legs tucked snuggly into the tops. I was in high school at the time and only the sluts wore them. Sorry ladies, Uggs fall into this same myopic view for me. Anyway, Gingrich has a tangenical parallel to these ugly boots in the same way a stupid fad reappears for the next generation.

Gingrich has blasted the court system in response to a Texas Judge's decision, based on the misconception of the elusive Constiutional clause "Separation of Church and State", to ban certain words in school:

In particular, Gingrich has criticized the US. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, on the West Coast, as well as U.S. District Judge Fred Biery of Texas, who ruled this year that a public school district in Texas could not, among other things, use the words “prayer,” “amen,” “invocation” or “benediction” during a graduation ceremony.

This is Texas, for crying out loud, where post-church pot lucks are as plentiful as the love of football and the US military. By, the way, just to backtrack a bit, I challenge you to find the clause "Separation of Church and State" in our constiution. Not an interpretation of the Establsihment Clause of the First Amendment mind you, the actual phrase. By the way, if this picture of Newt doesn't scare away voters I don't know what will. Moving on...

Gingrich was doing ok in this latest rant until I read this gem:

...judges who have ruled in favor of gay marriage or against prayer in school are “activists” who should be thrown out.

Sorry, Newtie. Freedom doesn't work that way. Either everyone gets it or no one gets it and we live like old school Communist Russia where car drives you. No one gets to dole out their interpreatation of freedom based on the antithesis of their "Icky" factor. Well, at least that's how it is supposed to work.

At least he is condemning "activist judges" and didn't single out either liberal or conservative. In an effort to balance my views and to stimulate intellectual growth, I spend a lot of time reading Huffington Post comment sections. Most commenters are not surprising in their support of all things liberal even to the extent of just making rash statements with no factual basis. Of course this practice is not limited to one political or social ideaology, but I see it more on HuffPo since it is a left leaning news source. It is fun to troll sometimes, however.

Here is an excerpt of a comment from someone named outlandish who has over 3000 followers. I imagine I would have more than my modest 65 if I would litter my comments with "Bush sucks", "I love Obama!" and similar leftists comments that adorn the majority of posts. This person really loves liberal judiciary practices does make a few good points:
"A liberal court will uphold the rights for women to choose and maintain the establishe­d jurist prudence and precedent of that law.
A liberal court will protect your property rights and protect your house and land being usurped by a corporatio­n or an individual with good political connection­s.
A liberal court will decide if police activities and excessive

A liberal court will uphold the Second Amendment, but only as little as they can get away with.
A liberal court will throw you in jail for shooting an intruder in your own home.
A liberal court will allow a sex offender to continue to live next door to a day care center.
A liberal court will sentence a man to death but rarely carry out the death sentence.
A liberal court will disallow the pledge of allegence in schools and take away the lease of land from Boy Scouts.
A liberal court will vilate Federal Election laws and the 14th amendment.
A liberal court will allow a minor to undergo an abortion in complete secrecy from the parents.

These are all decisions that are provably true and painted with the same broad strokes as my ultra liberal counterparts previous statements about liberal judges. Unfortunately, we need both types of judges to keep somewhat of a balance as they are prone to making laws instead of interpreting them.

It is shaping up to be just like every other election of the last (at least) 20 years where we will be forced to cast a vote for either a turd sandwich or a big douche. Obama will win with another landslide unless the GOP can get someone that will identify with the voters and, more imortantly, do what is best for this country. As it stands, there are slim pickins.

November 27, 2011

The Love-Hate relationship of the Occupiers

It has been a few months now since the OWS crowd has descended upon our cities. At first, my preconceptions of them were "dirty, stinky hippies" since I could not fathom anyone with a job being able to hang out in parks all day and all night. Boy was I wrong.

After caring enough to dig a little deeper into the movement I found that most of them in fact do have jobs. Granted there are only a few polls but perhaps there is more to these people than meets the eye. The Week reports high numbers of job holding, educated and high earning people who went online to complete the survey. The first quesiton that came to mind while reading the survey result is if the 1639 participants an indicative sample of the OWS crowd. Most news agencies do not portray the 13% making over $75k a year or even the 1% that report making >$300k.

Why don't the media cover the people that make up this minority? Only 1/3 have no job or are making minimum wage, but we only see or hear of the yet smaller minority who are portrayed as loons. The gentleman who handed Obama a note during a speech in New Hampshire seemed like an intelligent person and whose note was well written. If more of these ambassadors came to the camera then perhaps the movement would gain more traction.

Instead, we have people like this Huffington Post commentor who admonished the American citizen to avoid boycotting Wal-Mart  until  after the Black Friday rush because these are hard times and people need to buy cheap presents. Instead, he claims we should boyvott Starbucks because they should be paying their employees more and he shouldn't have to pay so much for a cup of coffee. I could not let this one go- here is my reply:

“Class warfare- the entitlemen­t mentality of "You have more than me, and I want what you have." It is wrong.

While the 1% of this country have the money, it is the top .1% that maintains their wealth through fraud. The Federal Reserve and the big banks are part of the same cancerous symbiotic relationsh­ip which people should be fighting against.

Starbucks and similar companies are exercising the oldest staple of capitalism - supply and demand. If someone, who has the money from working a good job, can afford to pay $4.25 for a grande vanilla mocha while someone on minimum wage cannot fit that indulgence into their budget, why should the business owner be forced to lower their prices?

Let's apply your premise to an extreme siuation to see if it passes: Would you boycott a Mercedes dealership so that the person making $25k a year could afford a brand new SLS AMG?

If you want to read a fact concerning taxes, the top 1% of this country earned 18.3% of the total income of the United States but paid 28.3% of all taxes. But that is not good enough for people like you who are stuck in the trenches of class warfare.

To wrap this up, I do not believe raising taxes even more on the rich will solve our economic woes, to which someone of your mind set will say something dopey like, "Well, it will be a good start." Good luck.” 
The whole thread is a very telling revelation of the poisonous, entitlement mentality that the majority of this nation has.

I still wonder why the media outlets have not sought out a reputable mouth piece for the Occupiers to find out exactly what they want. Jon Stewart can't even find material to support them. There was a failed attempt by media and officials to do so in Toronto. The talks failed mainly because the social architecture of the Occupiers is unsustainable. How can things get done effectively and efficiently if no one is in charge? Short answer: they can't. This is a repeatable outcome for most of the OWS sites. Officials cannot get anything accomplished and inevitabley the Occupiers wear out their welcome. The City of LA has actually been the most tolerant towards them, but that is coming to a halt tonight at midnight.

Leave it to foreign reporting to actually get to the bottom of a major story in the US. A UK ournalist wrote an impressive and though provoking piece about the movement and why it has gained so much resistance from elected leaders. Naomi Wolf writes,
The violent police assaults across the US are no coincidence. Occupy has touched the third rail of our political class's venality.
Very bluntly, she states the heavy handed resistance is wielded by the elected officials in Washington who are protecting their own profit streams. Throw George Soros in the mix and it lends a lot of credibility, especially since Soros, an extremely radical billionaire liberal, has many tracks leading to his involvement in the OWS. Interstingly, but not surprisingly, mostly bloggers seem to be reporting this- not the MSM.

I would invite you to research this Occupy Wall Street crowd and not rely on conventional media reporting to give you the full truth. Hell, I would recommend this for anything.

November 1, 2011

The most expensive sandwiches ever

I can't even remember the last time I had the opportunity to post something ragging on the State of Hawaii. I don't keep up with the nonsense as much anymore and usually just laugh at the ridiculousness of the island mentality in some cases. But this recent story rekindled my belief that although people are stupid where ever you go, the people who live in Hawaii are a special kind of stupid.

Last week an Air Force couple was arrested for shoplifting and their 2 year old daughter placed in Child Services for about 18 hours. the condensed version of the story goes like this:

Add caption
The couple allegedly got lost looking for a grocery store and when they finally found a Safeway they stopped in the deli for a few sandwiches. Some stories report the couple getting lost and others do not. The wife is pregnant and needed food. Instead of paying for their food, they opened the sandwich wrappers and started munching away, allegedly intending to pay for the sandwiches at the check-out area with the rest of their groceries. They bought $50 worth of groceries but didn't pay for the sandwiches.

Safeway security called the cops, stopped the couple and the Hawaii Police Department arrested the couple, placed the 2 year old in child services and then released the couple on $50 bail. Damn, those were some expensive sandwiches. There are so many levels to this story that it is hard to pick an area to dissect.

These two parents are idiots for two reasons. 
  1. Who gets lost any more? Most phones have GPS or an internet function to check Google maps.
  2. I don't buy the statement that they "forgot" to put the wrappers through the scanner.
That being said, what kind of an idiot calls the cops over a $5 sandwich? It isn't like the couple were a couple of thugs from Salt Lake. It sounds like the store manager was an HPD police academy flunky. Good pinch, jackass. You really used some sound judgement by calling the cops after following the couple through the store and then checking their reciept for the missing sandwiches. Watching all those episodes of Hawaii 5-0 finally paid off.

To add insult to injury, the ass hat store manager banned the couple from shopping at the store for a year.

Lesson learned: Pay for your food. McDonald's doesn't let me eat my burger while I stroll to the bathroom and then come back to pay.

October 29, 2011

Bums should submit to a piss test

I spent 20 years in the military and was subjected to random urinalysis. If I failed I would have been kicked out of the military with a dishonorable discharge. When I retired, I had to submit a urinalyis sample to start working at my current job.

I work. I pay my taxes. The government distributes my tax money as they see fit to government assistance programs.

Fine. Give my money to bums as you see fit- I don't have a problem with that.

What I do have a problem with is giving my taxes to bums who don't have to pass a urine test. If I had to pass urinalysis during my military career and also to secure a job as a civilian, shouldn't people who collect welfare, unemployment and other goverment assistance also pass a urinalysis? 

September 11, 2011

Remember the real September 11

I will not be watching September 11th stories today- in fact, I have never and I never will never call this day 9-11.  Pearl Harbor Day is not called 12-7 and I will not discredit the bravery of the American military with a catchy abbreviation. In my opinion, it is the equivalent of the internet and texting shorthand and it does not make me LOL.

 I will not be scouring online news sources for remembrance stories. I will not be writing an emotionally charged blog entry filled with images of that day. For some Americans, the true patriots, September 11 will be a time of horror, disbelief and anger- something that we do not need to be reminded of. Montages of people taking stock of their life, as they watch the inferno of the Towers above quickly rush away, is not what this day is about.

Some Americans think this day is about the lies of the President as we invaded Iraq and started a war to bring an insane, cruel and evil man to justice. The mismanagement of the war, the billions of dollars spent in the Middle East and the ensuing divisiveness of this country is not what September 11th is about.

I would rather listen to the sounds of freedom from the airshow jets flying over my house today than another special report or story- but not because the subject matter is unworthy. Children of 9/11 (ugh, even People magazine couldn't get it right) will be heart wrenching for sure. There should be more stories about the firefighters and first responders who are now suffering severe health problems in which their own governemnt had to be shamed into providing relief- who then renigged.

For me, September 11 is about the heroes of that day, the people who put themselves in grave and immenent danger to save the lives of strangers. On call and off duty firefighters and policemen, extraordinary civilians who elevated duty above all, who put away the prevailing selfishness of this day and helped their fellow man is what this day should be about. The men and women of our armed forces are a credit to this nation and they were instrumental in bringing our enemies to justice and for making this country a safer place to live.

September 2, 2011

August bleakest month yet for jobless

Youch- 14 million Americans out of work with about 40% jobless for 6 months or more for the month of August.  To make matters worse, there was no increase in jobs for August - at all - and we remain stagnant at 9.1%. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?

The Times reported a few factors that contributed to this depressingly bleak outlook of the (once) great financially secure nation of the United States. Of course the debt ceiling debacle made the top of the list. Who can blame employers for cutting back hours and trimming the fat when there was so much at steak stake? Thank you, elected officials, for screwing us (again) without the common courtesy of flowers and chocolate. I have made up my mind; in 2012 I will not be voting for ANY incumbent on that ticket. Not a one. So bring it on crazy third party fruitcakes! Let's see what you got.

Obama has his work cut out for him next week as he addresses a war-worn, economically depressed, record high levels of government assistance people of this nation. He should have a epic plan, the likes this country desperately needs, since he has had plenty of time to relax on the golf course (hitting 75 rounds the end of June).  I haven't seen much of our president, which is probably a good thing is he want to keep his ratings from ending up in the toilet. Scratch that, at least keep it floating in the toilet. No, really- the less he is around, the better his ratings get.

Unfortunately, the initial date of his address on September 7th shows just how little he cares this country- another petty thumb-to-nose bipartisan display proving, once again, that he is not good for this country. What is so special about 9/7? It just so happens to be on the same day the GOP debates are scheduled.

So why would the Obama administration schedule an important speech on a night when many people would be tuning into the GOP debates to see just who this Rick Perry guy is? My guess is because he is going to unveil another thinly veiled plan to get people back to work. My apologies, a thinly veiled "jobs plan" since all the stimulus plans have bombed like a Kardashian admission of previous nuptials. Interesting parallel, both Obama and Humphries have no idea what is going on.

I especially dislike news reports stating how well the economy is improving based on one study for one month. For example, consumer spending was up significantly in July and both the Obama administration and the media touted this rise as proof the economy was in fact improving. Considering millions of kids were going back to school in July and August, and they needed new clothes and school supplies, the increase in consumer spending is no surprise and no indication things are getting better.

What's next, a prediction that the economy will get even better because consumer spending will increase in November and December, with spending curiously ending on December 25th?

Start socking away your money and buying up gold. I suspect things will get much worse before they get better. Seriously, the only thing left for this country is a zombie invasion.

August 6, 2011

Bad things happen in 3's

Bad things happen in three's, this is especially true with celebrity deaths, but this week was a ringer for The Fates.

First, earlier this week our debt ceiling was raised. It was a long process marred by sophomoric behavior on both sides and in the end the Democrats caved and Obama tried to pin the compromised on the American taxpayer under the guise of, "it has been your voices that have compelled washington to act." I don't think so, pal. Watching the recaps and reading the pundits I think the Republicans and the Democrats only got it half right. They kept their own best interests in mind and in the end we are not really that much better for it. What good is it to reduce spending and not raise taxes when we can't get people back to work? What good is a debt ceiling when the new Congress will wring their hands like a teenager with a new credit card waiting for something to break it in on.

Mark my words, if Obamacare passes the resulting tax increases will tear this country apart. We will be in the same pitfall as Europe and China will be laughing all the way to the bank.

Secondly, shortly after the debt talks were concluded the S&P downgraded our credit rating from AAA to AA+. Now the United States is looking more and more like deadbeat to the rest of the world- much like the people who bought houses in the early 2000's knowing their income could not support it. To top it off, China calls us out in front of the whole world while pointing an unapologetic finger at us. I wish I could say we didn't deserve it, but we do.

Lastly, and having nothing to do with with politics, a helicopter crashed in Afghanistan killing 38 people. 31 of were Americans and 20 were members of Seal Team 6, the same cowboys who stormed OBL's Pakistani compound in May and gave bin Laden's brains a chance to see the light of day. This is truly a day of mourning. I do not know what I will do if I read or watch a report showing Taliban rejoicing and trying to make a kharmic connection.

July 4, 2011

Happy birthday USA; Rekindled faith in youth; Top 3 Greatest Americans

Happy Birthday America. It's been a hard 235 years and those familiar with our nation's history will know what I'm talking about. There were so many times during the fight for our country where the outcome rested on a single event that, had it not happened, would have changed the course for our country. I'm not just referring to the fight for our independence from Great Britain but all the fights we have endured throughout the last 2 centuries plus- the right to be our own country, the right to live how we please including what we say, what gods we pray to and how we choose to express our feelings and sentiments.

**WARNING - Debbie Downer paragraph**
At the risk of sounding cliche, Americans take these liberties for granted- they are so ingrained in our minds that we cannot comprehend an opposing culture that would kill a woman because she wasn't covering her face when we deem it appropriate to let our teenage daughters wear string bikini's. The unforeseeable germination of the freedoms penned into our Constitution, by some of the greatest thinkers in the world, is laid out before us today - a nation in debt, unemployment at sickening levels, what some would call a steady decline in morals and a fostering of entitlement that has pushed this country on the brink of collapse.

As usual, I digress and this post is more than just a history lesson, although and I encourage you pick up a book and read it for yourself. Hell, even Jon Stewart's America has some great insight, with his comical slants of course.

Two things got me thinking about the future of this country last night as I sat on the north shore of Lake Tahoe while waiting and watching a spectacular fireworks display with my family. A group of 7 teenagers had sat down behind us, very peppy and a little loud. At first I was annoyed but then I realized that they were actually very polite just having a good time. My younger children were with me and I just don't think they need to hear the f-bomb and the like just yet- they hear it at schoold, I'm sure, but dammit I don't want them hearing when I am around (even when it comes from my mouth).

 I was very surprised when 2 of the guys (followed by the rest) started signing the Star Spangled Banner- and knew all the words. They sang it twice that night and the second time my 8 year old son stood up and put his hand over his heart. When the teens started in with God Bless America, my son was singing along while simultaneously signing the words (while my wife simultaneously cried). I taught that boy well. When one of them apologized to us for singing so loudly behind us I told him I was 20 years prior military and that I loved that song. All of them immediately thanked me for my service.

I was only half listening when I heard one of them say, "That guy in front of us put in 20 years in the military." to which his friend replied with a clever reference to Gandalf from Lord of the Rings, "Yeah, dude is like, 'You shall not pass!'" Respect for their country, for their fellow man and for the men and women who served this nation. I wish they represented the majority of teens in this country, but I know that is a fairy tale.

While one of the guys was taking time to lecture his friends on the origins of our national anthem, one of them said that Francis Scott Key was a great American- to which the first replied Key was a Frenchman. The only error I had heard in their conversion, I politely told them that Key was in fact an American born in Maryland, and that there is a monument to him that I have visited in Baltimore. I started thinking not only about the Americans who, in the last 235 years, helped to shape this country and mold it into what it is today but also the definition of "great". regardless of Webster's definition, I would hold a great American by three standards:

  1. someone who, single-handedly, did something that forever shaped our country's future,
  2. their contribution would not have happened by any other hand and 
  3. whom without we would not be where we are today. 

I find it appropriate that George Washington, first president of the United States, is my number one. He is the Father of our country and without whom there would be no United States of America. How fitting that he be placed on the most used currency.

Abraham Lincoln is my number 2 as he was President during one of the most tumultuous times in our history- and he brought us back together as a nation.

Lastly, is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for bringing equality to our nation.

That is my short list and of course there are many more out there but this is my top 3 that follow my criteria above. In closing, I wish everyone a safe and fun celebration of the birth of the greatest country the world has ever seen.

June 4, 2011

Where do icebergs come from?

Climate change is such a hot topic right now, no pun intended, and I have spent a long time sifting through both sides. The war between the deniers, the skeptics, the consensus and the alarmists is all based on evidence from both sides and both sides make compelling arguments. But that's not what I want to talk about since, at this point, you aren't going to sway either side. I recently found out where icebergs come from and why it is such a big deal. 

Climate change protagonists claim rising temperatures will melt the icebergs which will then cause sea levels to rise. My initial thoughts have been, "Huh?" If you take a glass and put an ice cube in it then fill it to the rim the melting ice will not cause the water to spill over. I used this analogous image to simulate the icebergs in the arctic and antarctic. They are already in the water, how will their melting cause the oceans to rise?

I was browsing the Huffington Post last week (yes, I know it is left leaning but what better place to go when researching opposing viewpoints?) and there was another article on climate change. It was no surprise to read the article supported the consensus that climate change is real and is caused by human beings (labeled Anthropogenic Global Warming, or AGW). Even more interesting than the article were the comments, although sifting through them was a nightmare as they generally revolve around the pitting viewpoints of "Nuh, uh" and "Yuh, huh".

However, there was a comment that really made me rethink the scientific study of this planet, particularly glaciology. The majority of the icebergs in the Northern Atlantic do not come from the Arctic Ocean but rather from 100 iceberg bearing glaciers in Greenland. About 40,000 icebergs calve from these glaciers a year and some will float south along the Labrador current, some traveling as far as 2500 miles (4000m). Amazingly, Ninety-three percent of the world's mass of icebergs is found surrounding the Antarctic. 
Greenland from space

The glacial ice, which is made up of thousands of years of compacted snow,  would contribute to rising sea levels, if it melted at the rate climate change supporters claim, since it started on land and made its way to the sea. 

Using my glass example, fill a glass to the rim with water and then drop and ice cube into it.

I found this very interesting chart explaining both viewpoints of climate change.

May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Today is a time of remembrance when we pause, and in our own way, pay our respects to the men and women who have fought for this country, some even giving the  ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. For some Americans ('some' being a conservative number) it is just another few-and-far-between three day weekend to get drunk, sleep and have an unexpected Valentine's Day baby while most consider today the official kick off of summer.

I can count on one hand the number of duty free Memorial Day weekends I had  in my 20 years of service- par for the course for most submariners and something most of us came to grips with very quickly. For most military members family separation is the highest sacrifice they will make or endure. For a growing number of military families over the last 10 years the separation anxiety is compounded by the fear of combat injury or death as our fighting force is spread thin around the world fighting what many also fear as wars we cannot win.

I recall several instances during my career of submariners killed not in battle, but in the line of duty. Sometimes 'line of duty' is a vague term used to tell the families of the fallen service member who was killed with a ricochet bullet while trying to bullseye rats or from "friendly fire". My examples are sadder, not that my emotions are superior than others, but that they are etched into my military memory as events that should not have happened. Two of them are suicides, and the last was caused by head trauma as his submarine plowed into an underwater mountain. I recall another death caused by  heart attack when I was stationed in Mare Island but nothing you can really do about that except diet and exercise.

I come from an extensive military background as I have many past and present family members who have served. I am fourth generation Navy and my brother is currently stationed in Hawaii (poor guy). My grandfather on my mother's side retired from the US Army and my uncle is retired Air Force. My step mother's father is also retired Navy, and I only use "step" as an infrequent identifier when talking about my family tree. I estimate that my extended family has about 130 years of military service.

Our military men and women ultimately take their orders the their Commander in Chief, our President of the United States. The recent raid on the Pakistani compound that ultimately brought Usama bin Laden to justice could have had a much different ending as more information leaks out. I think Team 6 was lucky on many counts to make it back safely. I reminds me of the day, which has been counting down in the upper right hand frame of this website, when Saddam Hussein was brought to justice and hanged by an unruly mob in what looked like a basement. I cheered and even shed a few tears of joy and relief with my fellow Americans on both days.

The speeches made by The President after both captures are also very different from each other. Bush genuinely and humbly gives credit to the forces that hunted Saddam while Obama makes it sound like he was running point during the raid. Even the tone is different between the two presidents and I have included the videos below. One can almost forgive the egregious and shameful actions of Bush over the years after listening to his speech.

December 14, 2003. George W. Bush
Good afternoon. Yesterday, December the 13th, at around 8:30 p.m. Baghdad time, United States military forces captured Saddam Hussein alive. He was found near a farmhouse outside the city of Tikrit, in a swift raid conducted without casualties. And now the former dictator of Iraq will face the justice he denied to millions.The success of yesterday's mission is a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq. The operation was based on the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator's footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers in the hunt for members of the fallen regime, and in their effort to bring hope and freedom to the Iraqi people. Their work continues, and so do the risks. Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate 'em.

May 2, 2011 Barrack Hussein Obama

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.
Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

God bless this country and the men and women who fight for it.

May 29, 2011

Mike Alessi's Hangtown 2011 Crash

It appears that I have the only still photos of Mike Alessi's spill at Hangtown last weekend that left him KTFO for a few minutes. I missed the shot of him actually hitting as there was a sponsor sign in the way. But I also have the first shots of him lying on the ground with the first responders on the scene.

Ha! Suck it pro MX photographers!

1. First pass

2. Airborne. First sign of "Oh shit, not again" feeling.


The video replay:

100th Anniversary of Indy 500 ends with a bang

Yes, it literally did. JR Hildebrand, 23 year old rookie from California, was poised to win the Indy 500 with just one lap to go and a good lead. Then, on the final corner of the final lap with the checker flag in sight, he effed it up in one of the most head shaking and unbelievable flubs as he crashed his National Guard sponsored car into the wall. That was all the time Dan Wheldon needed to zoom past Hildebrand and secure his second Indie 500 victory.
Bummer, dude.

The whole ordeal reminded of this speed skating ass clown that lost by a hair, not because he lost his balance or fell at th e finish line- this is much worse, but oh so delicious: Speed Skater Loses

In the Indie 500 "Who Gives a Shit News", Danica Patrick came in 10th place and might reconsider joining the NASCAR circuits since she sucks so bad at Formula 1.

May 21, 2011

Supposed day of judgement came and went today.

May 21, at around 6 pm local time, was the predicted and calculated day of judgement by Harold Camping. I have friends in Australia, where it is well past 6 pm, and they are fine. No earthquakes, no bodies rising from their graves, no Rapture. Bummer, Harold. Disturbing that a site dedicated to saving people's souls and preaching the end wouldn't update its doomsday timer for 8 days previous to the event.

There were a lot of these rolling billboards and there was even a static billboard on the highway close to where I live. I wonder how long it will stay up.

I started listening to Camping on Family Radio on my way home from work about 5 weeks ago. I had just bought a used car and was tuning the radio stations on the AM side looking for some political talk shows when I stopped to listen to a segment where a caller was asking for verification for the date of Judgement Day. I am always interested in the predictions of Judgement since the Bible says No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Mat 24:36 NIV). Camping conveniently dismisses this verse as it is extremely damaging to his case. It is the antithesis of Obama not believing his health care plan is damaging to us.

I was even more interested to learn how he came up with the date- a lot of math, a lot of assumptions. The Wikipedia write up talks about all of this and the Family Radio website gets into more detail. It (obviously) boiled down to nothing more than reading tea leaves or chicken bones and clearly he got it wrong- again. In 1994 he said there was a very high likelihood that the world would end back in 1994. When questioned on his his radio show he quickly dismisses it as people trying to discredit him and telling lies about his teachings. Last week someone called in and said a YouTube video of Camping teaching the 1994 date was readily available and can show Camping himself giving the September 1994 prediction. "Well you can't believe everything you watch on the Internet" was Camping's reply. The caller got one more question in before he was cut off, "Then why should we believe what you are saying now since your website says May 21?"

Boom, roasted.

Christ told his people back in the day that false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect (Mat. 24:24). How many times must you make a prediction that didn't come true before you are labeled as one?

April 30, 2011

I tried

I enjoy reading The Huffington Post (HP) online and I am fully aware of their left leaning agenda. To be fair, and not present myself as a hard core conservative who will not listen to the viewpoints of others, there are some very good writers for HP who shed perspective on issues I may have already have an entrenched viewpoint who will cause me to step back and rethink my position. The reader comments, however, do not.  I have never read more vitriol and hate from some of the most ignorant and reason depraved people than I have on the HP online- from both sides of center.

I wanted to share an example of discourse from a recent Huffington Post headline Obama Birth Certificate Released where I decided to use reason, civility and facts instead of my usual posts consisting of snide, irreverent and sarcastic comments. I have tried former strategy in the past on similar message boards but was met with a barrage of name calling, ad hominem attacks and unhinged comments that could only have come from keyboard translator machines with monkeys banging away at the other end. I found out long ago that both the hardcore left and the right are like spoiled 4-year olds- you cannot reason with them, they will not listen to your logic and eventually they will perform the literary equivalent of throwing a tantrum.

I have no love for Obama but have blogged many times that I do not want him to fail- fail at a second term, of course, but not to fail as the President of (what was once known as) the most powerful country on the planet. The headline article peaked my interest and I knew there were going to be some battles, in fact over 4000 comments (as of this post there are 45k +) were left before I even read the article. I read some very well written comments by both sides and decided to try once more to write with a civil tone devoid of mockery and disdain. The following transcript of my comments and readers's replies follows. 

Obama Birth Certificate Released By White House

TKThis was never an issue for me as there are plenty of other things that cast doubt on Obama's legitimacy to hold the position of President of the United States. What is sad, even after listening to 9 minutes of bumbling to get to the point, is that there will still be people who will focus on this asinine birth certificat­e issue regardless of facts.
I think that is a well written comment with just a hint of displeasure towards Obama and his inability to just come out and say something. Without a teleprompter he fumbles for words like George Bush but with the oratory condescension of John Kerry. My last sentence was supposed to show my balanced viewpoints of the issue but sadly the jackholes who read my post never made it past my first sentence. 
schildpad:  Oh really? And what are these other things, pray tell? 
Qualificat­ions for presdident­: 
No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constituti­on, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-fiv­e years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.  - US Constituti­on, Article II, Section 1
Barring the sarcastic overtones with the "pray tell" idiom, I was interested that the writer decided to go with the legalities of becoming president, completely missing the spirit of my original post. He must have thought I was a hardcore "birther" and that the birth certificate was a fake- despite my last statement condemning such a thought. 
TK: I was thinking more along the abstract lines of his lack of experience­, for starters. Little things that really qualify someone to hold the position, regardless of the laundry list of official qualificat­ions you present. Nice citation, by the way
Not equipped to handle reason and logic, schildpad desperately tries to assert his own.
schildpad: Unless they're up for a second term, no one has actual experience qualifying them for the office.
TK: That is an asinine conclusion and you insult your own intelligen­ce. You do not need to have experience as the President of the United States in order to be qualified to hold the position, however there are things that you can do that parallel the same type of experience a candidate should posess. This can be said about any new position someone is applying for - Not all CEO's were CEO's before they were promoted. They worked their way up in similar positions. 
Obama was a Senator for 2 years and did nothing noteworthy beforehand to prepare him for the Office he currently holds. McCain has decades of experience leading in politics. Unfortunat­ely, he chose a V.P. who did have experience in politics but was a complete idiot. To be fair, I suspect McCain would not have accomplish­ed anything noteworthy during his presidency­- much like Gerald Ford.
I can tell when someone is getting to the end of thier rope when I read the address in the next reply- snookie?:
schildpad:  Snookie, my conclusion is based on the simple fact that no other job in the world is like being president of the united states - and as you say, like Ford, McCain - for all his "experienc­e" would likely not have accomplish­ed much. Take a closer look at our past presidents­, we have had quite a few with little or no government experience­. Eisenhower was one of our greatest presidents (ever, in my opinion) and had he ever been in government­? Not exactly. Look at Lincoln - state legislatur­e, one term in the House and two failed senate tries. Not a whole lot of experience there either when you get right down to it.
I like the "fact" this person states, typical of someone who does not have the capacity to actually research anything related to their position. Schildpad must have taken some lessons in "making shit up to support my position" from Senator John Kyl (R-AZ). He is really taking a page out of the liberal play book by using "snookie" and other tolerant, mature phrases like birther and tea bagger.

I had the last word in this thread and never heard from schildpad again- either by the limitation imposed by HP comment structure or, what I believe, being bested by comments which caused him to curl up in the fetal position while watching marathon episodes of Bill Mahar. 

There was a very revealing comment directed to me by someone who clearly cannot take any criticism of his President and jumps to irrational and absurd conclusions by people who make those criticisms. It was made right after schildpad's first comment but has since been removed. It went something like "What, that he's black? Nice hood." 

Oh well. I tried.

April 23, 2011

Another "What is my political philosophy?" website

Whenever I see a new site that attempts to define my political philosophy by asking 10 questions I just have to take the quiz. They all end the same- lumping me into the Republican category. Regardless of how "in-depth" the quizzes claim to be, however, they all suck. They suck because they do not take into account the people who do not have a yes or no position. I think many people do not really care one way or the other about a great many things.

I do not care if gay marriage becomes legalized or not and there is not a political party for that. The quizzes strong-arm the quiz taker into a yes or no position with no grey area to spare. I find the same narrowing viewpoint with questions about US military action- if you support the military then you are auto-lumped into the group that thinks we are supposed to be International Meter Maids preemptively taking out any crazed dictator who claims to hate the United States. Smaller entities who threaten and kill Americans, like Somalian pirates, are paid no attention. Many of the Maybe/I don't care questions must be thrown away or given very little weighting.

I am labeled a capital purist/Social Capitalist but I wholeheartedly disagree with the last statement that says I believe in the economy the way it is. I don't think anyone believes that except the crooks and politicians (nay, I repeat myself).

Here are my scores:

There is at least one point that I disagree with on every category- some very vehemently. Again, there is no party for those of us who appear weak to the opposition by not taking a stand or position on an issue. Some of us don't give a shit either way- gay marriage, pot legalization, levelizing tax burdens, flag burning, etc. We are honest enough to admit that Fox News and CNN are both culprits of reporting heavy handed agendas on either side. We recognize that fact and we seek out our own sources of information to make a well informed decision on the issues. We neither identify with Glenn Beck's insane point of views nor with Anderson Cooper's hypocrisy. We believe that people need government assistance but when that assistance drags on for generations for the same families then it is time to turn off the spigot.

If anyone knows of a political philosophy website that is actually worth a damn please let us know.

April 10, 2011

Shutdown averted; Triad fights for credit

I was in the military when the first shutdown of my lifetime happened in November of 1995. The shutdown happened the day before payday and many civilians struggled for a week while both sides bickered about which items they would negotiate with as little backlash for future votes as possible. 

The second shutdown happened in December of that same year and lasted almost a month. Needless to say, a lot of people suffered- but not the military! We were paid although I really wanted to see if the loudmouths in my division were really going to refuse to show up to work if we were not going to receive pay. I tried to remind them that we are not an autonomous organization and if we were asked to work without pay while pulling weeds naked with jockstraps on our heads then that is what we would have to do. 

Clinton was President and the GOP controlled both the House and the Senate, which is probably why the military continued to receive pay. I blame Gingrich and his asinine Contract with America for the delays.

The 2011 government shutdown was going to cost the military pay along with 800,000 government employees (plus National Parks, contractors and even delayed some tax refunds). Sounds pretty bad except that there were provisions for those same 800k workers to receive government assistance, i.e. unemployment. And not to worry if you are on welfare- your baby momma would continue to receive benefits. Only the military would be sucking hind tit.

Currently, the House is GOP controlled 241 - 193 while the Democrats hold the Senate at a 53 - 47 margin. Fact: 
No Democrat-Controlled Congress Has Balanced Federal Budget in 40 Years; No Republican President Has Balanced Federal Budget in 50 Years
That maddening quote is cited from the historical data published by the Office of Management and Budget.   Even more maddening were some of the issues that divided both party's. What irritated me the most about the whole impending shutdown was the minuscule amount of money in question. 

The total amount of money requested for the 2011 budget was $3.83 trillion. Interesting that the word trillion is thrown around these days with such reckless abandonment. Let me write that budget figure out longhand: $3,830,000,000,000. To put that in perspective, the average salary in the United States is only .0000000156657963% of the 2011 budget.

The total amount of budget cuts causing such a fuss was $33 billion (proposed by the Democrats)- a mere .099% of the total budget. Chump change really.

With as much procrastination Obama displayed at the initial Gulf oil spill intervention, he finally intervened with the budget crisis and demanded resolution. For this he accepts credit for the (momentary) government shutdown. The Democrats accept victory because they gave up more than they asked for, which is exactly why the GOP is claiming victory. 

In the end the American people were shafted again, whether they know it or not. The tea partiers showed how a little determination can foster a radical change in government occupancy. I have decided that I will not vote for whomever is in office right now. I am not hardcore R or D but rather float either just to the right or to the left of certain issues, but I do know that if you are on the Trickish Knave Shit List you will not receive my vote:

Commander in Chief: Obama (D, Kenyan)
V.P.:  Joe "the" Biden (D)

Diane Feinstien  (D) 
Barbara Boxer  (D)
Seriously, these two need to go just on basic principle.

Dan Lungren  (R)

This guy is looking better every day.

March 20, 2011

I don't get it- Libya good, Iraq bad?

The people of the Middle East are fed up. All it took was a spark in Tunisia late last year to ignite a massive revolution a few months ago in Egypt. Now, the Libyans are fed up and realize that massing together to fight a tyrant is not such a bad idea. What amazes me is the hurried involvement of the United States and its Allies joining together to help the citizens of Libya.

It didn't take the world community to impose sanctions against Ghaddafi and his family after forces loyal to the dictator banded together to fight the opposition. In less than one month of watching the conflict grow, the UN endorsed military action against Ghaddafi. One month. Two days later French jets bombed military targets along with Great Britain and the United States. For crying out loud, France took the initiative and bombed Libyan military targets- FRANCE? These are the same guys that bailed on us in 2007, shortly followed by the rest of our allies in Iraq.

Roll the clock back a decade or so. Saddam brutally murdered thousands during his dictatorship, dodged UN Weapons Inspectors for years and pulled many more shenanigans before the US got fed up and decided to invade to protect our own interests. Those interests are still in doubt and the fact that we poorly handled the Iraqi  War is so apparent that anyone who says otherwise is lying to themselves. But it took decades before anyone finally decided to do something about Iraq to end Saddam's 24 year reign of terror.

Kim Jong Il officially took over as the Supreme Leader of North Korea in October 1997 and admitted in 2006 that it had successfully built and tested nuclear weapons, despite a 1994 Agreed Framework it had signed with the US. He even shot missile directly over Japan after he made this announcement (and several times before). His country suffered severe flooding followed by years of drought causing his people to live in squalor- average income being $1000 a year. A South Korean military ship was sunk by a mysterious torpedo, believed to be from a DPRK submarine, in March of 2010 and launched a premeditated attack on an island that killed a few dozen South Koeans.

UN/World response to North Korea: dick. Sanctions appear to have no affect and only hurts the people in N.K. trying to survive on little food, no jobs, and no hope.

Don't get me started on Somalian pirates.

The message that I'm getting from all this: The UN et al. will help you topple your dictator but only when you start a revolution where press coverage involves little old ladies and children being killed by the dictator's forces. But we will only shoot rockets and missiles- no ground support.

Or maybe the US just misses bombing Libya. Reagan would be proud.

Anyone remember Japan?

March 17, 2011

My Fellow (stupid) Americans

Stop buying iodide pills and geiger counters because a nucular (sic) reactor 5000+ miles away (from San Francisco) could have a meltdown. You are being stupid, ignorant and selfish. People in Japan need those pills more than you do.

"But, Knave, you never know what could happen and it is better to be safe than sorry."

Wrong- it is better to be informed than stupid.

This is the reality of people within very close proximity to a reactor that could have a meltdown:

This is moronic hysteria. I hope to God she isn't going to give those pills to her baby otherwise obeseity from an enlarged thyroid will be the least of its problems.

Reckless, hysterical and unfounded- and i am talking aobut our Surgeon General who is promoting this type of behavior- he should be horsewhipped and fired.

Don't get me started on the spike in geiger counter sales nationwide. Yes, nationwide- not the few kooks that ran for the hills when Y2K looked over us on 12/31/99- millions of people buying pills and radiacs.

Question: What are the alarmists going to do when they wake up and take a reading and it is going off, probably because of a large amount of radon in your house, and that bottle of iodide hasn't been mailed from


Want to see how a nation is supposed to react during a time of real crisis? The Japanese are exhibiting the perfect signs of what they have always been known for- resolve. Their behavior contrasts sharply with America's self righteousness and hysteria. No? Look at New Orleans and tell me otherwise.

While most of Japan may be hosed for decades to come, the United States will not suffer any harmful effects from radiation. Sushi shortages are another story.