December 31, 2007

A New Years Eve Funny

Bono, lead singer of the rock band U2, is famous throughout the entertainment industry for being more than just a little self-righteous. At a recent U2 concert in Glasgow, Scotland, he asked the audience for total quiet. Then, in the silence, he started to slowly clap his hands, once every few seconds. Holding the audience in total silence, he said into the microphone, 'Every time I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies.' A voice with a broad Scottish accent from the front of the crowd pierced the quiet... 'Well, foockin stop doin it then, ya evil bastard!'

Thx Rick

December 27, 2007

December 26, 2007

Alaskan Clydesdale

This story moved back to the top for some crass self promotion.
Other than my two loyal readers, and the occasional hit via the IowaHawk blogroll The Salmon generally plugs along in relative anonymity, but once in a while a story will hit a nerve and visits will skyrocket. The Alaskan Clydesdale was one such post and I want to thank Marlinowners. Com and for linking to it.

A friend in the north country sent me this incredible story.

"Only in Alaska....... This guy raised an abandoned moose calf with his horses, and believe it or not, he has trained it for lumber removal and other hauling tasks. Given the 2,000 pounds of robust muscle, and the splayed, grippy hooves, he claims it is the best work animal he has. He says the secret to keeping the moose around is a sweet salt lick, although during the rut he disappears for a couple of weeks, but always comes home.... impressive!"

Thx Steve.

A Dr. Seuss Surprise

I don't do book reviews here so to the following about a child's book is really off the beaten path for me.
My four year old daughter received a number of Dr. Seuss books from relatives in Ohio and last night she and her mother snuggled onto the couch to read her new books before bed. Half way through the first one my wife suggested that I read "The Butter Battle Book" and what I found was a little shocking. This was not his cute rhyming kids fare you find in works like "Green Eggs and Ham" and I don't know what age group Dr. Seuss was aiming for but this was not a what I would call a children's book.
In his early years, Seuss gained fame as a political cartoonist and a collection of his WWII work can be found at "Dr. Seuss Goes to War". (I tried to include examples that you may find relevant to today)

This book, written in 1984 during the era of Reagan's military build up, is a metaphor for the cold war. Two sides are at odds over which side their bread should be buttered on and live on opposites sides of a long low wall. An act of aggression by one side starts an arms race that eventually ends in both sides standing atop a now very tall wall holding the new "Bitsy Big-Boy Boomeroo." (I got the impression that this was probably a take off of the Little Boy bomb of WWII)

Besides the fact that it was not age appropriate for a four year old, the premise that the cold war was some small disagreement between the US and the USSR was shallow if it was targeted at an older audience. Also the ending left the two sides looking at each other without a resolution. If as I suspect Seuss was a part of the disarmament movement of the day, he could have shown what mutually assured destruction would look like. Or if he would have had the foresight of Reagan he could have pictured the wall coming down.

December 25, 2007

The Christmas Story

According to Luke:

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child.While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for see--I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!"When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us."
So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

December 24, 2007

The Paul Southern Strategy

Ron Paul articulating his southern strategy and other oddities.

"Six hundred thousand Americans died in a senseless civil war…. [President Abraham Lincoln] did this just to enhance and get rid of the original intent of the republic," Paul said. "Every other major country in the world got rid of slavery without a civil war. I mean, that doesn't sound too radical to me. That sounds like a pretty reasonable approach."

Sounds like a pretty reasonable approach if it had any connection to reality and actual historical events. Every other major country used slaves, mainly in their East Indies and South American plantation system, but only in the American south had the institution evolved into a slave economy dependant on slavery for its very economic survival. Northern politicians made a series of slavery compromises over the course of the first 75 years in the interests of holding the Union together. It was the radical Fire-eaters in the south and the Barnburner Democrats in the north that were willing to go to war over the question of abolition. Lincoln was not an abolitionist initially, he preferred to contain slavery within its current borders in the hopes that it would eventually die. The south equated containment with abolition. Once South Carolina seceded he was determined to settle the question once and for all.

If Ron Paul is trying to link Lincoln to some conspiracy to undermine the Constitution he is more of a loon than I suspected. Perhaps Mr Paul's longing for a return to the original intent of the republic includes the return to the "3/5ths" Compromise.

He goes on to say he'd vote against the Civil Rights Act as it was passed in 1964. "If it were written the same way, where the federal government's taken over property--has nothing to do with race relations," Perhaps the lost property that Paul laments was the black man. The act overturned 100 years of Jim Crow suppression in the south and to argue otherwise is to embrace the type of rhetoric that oozes from the dark side of the Internet. Ron Paul is not the type of man that should be anywhere near the reigns of power.

December 22, 2007

Trimming the Fat Hog.

It appears that there may be a chance for President Bush to undo at least some of the mind numbing 11,000 earmarks in the recently passed Omnibus spending bill which wallowed its way out of congress this week. The Heritage Foundation describes the Presidents options and the President has directed new budget director Jim Nussel (R.Iowa) to examine the possibilities.
For those on the left that rant that the White House has usurped the Constitution, declared itself a unitary executive, and has underhandedly thwarted the democrats every effort to accomplish anything of substance in the past year, this would be a rather first rate lump of coal for their Christmas Stocking. Merry Christmas.

December 21, 2007

Flotsam and Jetsam: Swimming in the Shallows

Joke of the Day.....
My husband, being unhappy with my mood swings, bought me a mood ring the other day so he would be able to monitor my moods. We've discovered that when I'm in a good mood, it turns green. When I'm in a bad mood, it leaves a big fucking red mark on his forehead.Maybe next time he'll buy me a diamond. Dumb ass.

Thx Nette.

Thx Amy.

A Day in the Life of a Beluga.

"This is so humiliating, I bet the Orcas don't put up with this shit."

December 19, 2007

How Can You Tell if Bill Clinton is Lying?

ORANGEBURG, South Carolina (CNN) – Former President Bill Clinton said Monday that the first thing his wife Hillary will do when she reaches the White House is dispatch him and his predecessor, President George H.W. Bush, on an around-the-world mission to repair the damage done to America's reputation by the current president — Bush's son, George W. Bush.
"Well, the first thing she intends to do, because you can do this without passing a bill, the first thing she intends to do is to send me and former President Bush and a number of other people around the world to tell them that America is open for business and cooperation again," Clinton said in response to a question from a supporter about what his wife's "number one priority" would be as president.

I was stunned that Bush Sr. would say such a thing. He has been pretty silent on GW's administration and to say that he would need to come out of retirement to patch up some perceived damage to the nations standing in the world seemed pretty preposterous. Jimmy Carter, Al Gore and Rosie O'Donnell would likely sign on to this traveling road show but I really doubted that Bush Sr. would care to tag along. As it turns out the the whole proposition was indeed preposterous.

WASHINGTON (CNN) In a statement sent to CNN Tuesday afternoon, former President Bush’s chief of staff Jean Becker said that he “wholeheartedly supports the President of the United States, including his foreign policy. He has never discussed an ‘around-the-world-mission’ with either former President Bill Clinton or Sen. Clinton, nor does he think such a mission is warranted since he is proud of the role America continues to play around the world as the beacon of hope for freedom and democracy.

It would be better if the Clinton's thanked the President for erasing the perception that the US is weak and lacks the perseverance to protect itself, a legacy of the Clinton administration which got us into this position in the first place.

Jihad Funny

December 18, 2007

An Iowa Caucus Primer

The Iowa Hawk lays out the case why Iowa is so much more than just the gateway to Nebraska. As he points out, as a microcosm of the rest of the country we are best postitioned to get first crack at who should be the next leader of the free world.

I think that we fight for the right to be first just simply because we have nothing more exciting to do than hang with the gypsies, tramps, and thieves that migrate through every four years. The side benifit to the rest of the country is we decide so you dont have to.

Voters of America: Bow Down Before Your Hawkeye Overlords

December 16, 2007

Winter Fun in the Flatlands

The gods (or God for my monotheists friends) were evidently angry here in eastern Iowa this week. Last Sunday I had just finished writing a term paper for American History and was working on a 15 page paper on World War I aviation for my history colloquium when my six month old laptop had a stroke. At first horrified, I sprang into action to revive the dying patient, but to no avail. Stunned and amazed I then went through all five of the steps of grieving.
Monday I grabbed the bull by the horns and spent the day at the PC reconstructing the History paper that was due on Tuesday. That gave me three days to do the same with the WWI paper. No Sweat!!!!
But nooooo! An Iowa ice storm rolled through town and Tuesday morning the Salmon Shack went dark when the local electrical grid also stoked out. Being without electricity is normally no big deal. We have back up heat, I had plenty of beer in the house, and I made a tent in the den for my daughter to have a camping adventure. I once spent two years in an Alaska cabin with wood heat, no plumbing, and no TV so living pimitivley is not a problem, but by day two things began to get a little desperate. Fifty percent of my grade relied on this one paper! Oh the humanity!!!
On Wednesday the lady that lets me live with her called me down off the roof where I had stamped out "HELP US !" in the snow, and gave me a couple good face slaps. "Get a grip you idiot and take down that "Where's FEMA?" sign in the front yard!" she yelled.
I went out to my old Alma Mater, Tall Corn College and Technical Institute, and spent the afternoon in their computer lab to begin reconstruction process on the term paper.
By Wednesday night the lights were back on and tragedy was averted. The paper was turned in on time on Friday, the "Geeks" gave the laptop hard drive an upgrade and salvaged a semesters worth of work. But most importantly, a new snowfall covered up the "help us" sign on the roof.

Swimming in the Shallows

This found its way to the Inbox.....

Many of you will recall that on July 8, 1947, almost exactly 60 Years ago, witnesses claim that an unidentified flying object (UFO) with five aliens aboard crashed onto a sheep and cattle ranch just outside Roswell, New Mexico. This is a well-known incident that many say has long been covered up by the U.S. Air Force and other federal Agencies and organizations.

However, what you may NOT know is that in the month of March 1948, nine months after that historic day, the following people were born:
Albert A. Gore, Jr.
Hillary Rodham
John F. Kerry
William J. Clinton
Howard Dean
Nancy Pelosi
Dianne Feinstein
Charles E. Schumer
Barbara Boxer

See what happens when aliens breed with sheep?
I certainly hope this bit of information clears up a lot of things for you. It did for me.

Thx Rick

And this...

Thx JJ

December 15, 2007

Common Sense Bill of Rights

We, the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid any more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior, and secure the blessings of debt free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great-grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt-ridden, delusional, and other liberal bed wetters.
We hold these truths to be self-evident: that a whole lot of people are confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim that they require a Bill of No Rights.

ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone - not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc., but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.

ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you happen to stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.

ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health care.

ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, ***** intentionally ***** or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.

ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big screen color TV or a life of leisure.

ARTICLE VIII: You don't have the right to demand that our children risk their lives in foreign wars to soothe your aching conscience. We all hate oppressive governments and won't lift a finger to stop you from going to fight if you'd like. However, we do not enjoy parenting the entire world and do not want to spend so much of our time battling each and every little tyrant with a military uniform and a funny hat.

ARTICLE IX: You don't have the right to a job. All of us sure want all of you to have one, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.

ARTICLE X: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to pursue happiness - which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an overabundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

(Attributed to State Representative Mitchell Kaye from GA.)

December 10, 2007

A Letter From Vets for Freedom

Getting Beyond Stalemate to Win a War

By John Batiste and Pete Hegseth
Saturday, December 8, 2007;

Congress has been entangled in a war-funding debate that pits war "supporters" against antiwar "defeatists." With all sides seemingly entrenched, a stalemate looms. The Pentagon, meanwhile, will soon begin stripping money from its training budget to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Our military men and women deserve better than partisan politics; they deserve honest assessments of our nation's performance in fighting the Long War.

We are veterans of the Iraq war with vastly different experiences. Both of us commanded troops in Iraq. We, too, held seemingly entrenched, and incompatible, views upon our return. One of us spoke out against mismanagement of the war -- failed leadership, lack of strategy and misdirection. The other championed the cause of successfully completing our mission. Our perspectives were different, yet not as stark as the "outspoken general" and "stay-the-course supporter" labels we received. Such labels are oversimplified and inaccurate, and we are united behind a greater purpose. It's time to discuss the way forward rather than prosecute the past.

Congress must do the same, for our nation and the troops. Overall, this will require learning from our strategic blunders, acknowledging successes achieved by our courageous military and forging a bold path. We believe America can and must rally around five fundamental tenets:

First, the United States must be successful in the fight against worldwide Islamic extremism. We have seen this ruthless enemy firsthand, and its global ambitions are undeniable. This struggle, the Long War, will probably take decades to prosecute. Failure is not an option.

Second, whether or not we like it, Iraq is central to that fight. We cannot walk away from our strategic interests in the region. Iraq cannot become a staging ground for Islamic extremism or be dominated by other powers in the region, such as Iran and Syria. A premature or precipitous withdrawal from Iraq, without the requisite stability and security, is likely to cause the violence there -- which has decreased substantially but is still present -- to cascade into an even larger humanitarian crisis.

Third, the counterinsurgency campaign led by Gen. David Petraeus is the correct approach in Iraq. It is showing promise of success and, if continued, will provide the Iraqi government the opportunities it desperately needs to stabilize its country. Ultimately, however, these military gains must be cemented with regional and global diplomacy, political reconciliation, and economic recovery -- tools yet sufficiently utilized. Today's tactical gains in Iraq -- while a necessary pre-condition for political reconciliation -- will crumble without a deliberate and comprehensive strategy.

Fourth, our strategy in fighting the Long War must address Iran. Much has been made this week of the intelligence judgments that Iran has stopped its weapons program. No matter what, Iran must not be permitted to become a nuclear power. All options should be exhausted before we use military force, but force, nonetheless, should never be off the table. Diplomatic efforts -- from a position of strength, both regionally and globally -- must be used to engage our friends and coerce our enemies to apply pressure on the Iranian regime.

Fifth, our military capabilities need to match our national strategy. Our military is stretched thin and will be hard-pressed to maintain its current cycle of deployments. At this critical juncture, we cannot afford to be weak. Numbers and capacity matter. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, America was not mobilized for the Long War. This was an opportunity lost, but it is not too late. Many Americans are frustrated by the war effort, the burden of which has been shouldered by less than one percent of our citizenry. Our country is accustomed to winning. We deserve a comprehensive strategy that is focused on victory and guided by decisive leadership. America must succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan, but we also cannot focus too narrowly on those conflicts. We need a regional and global strategy to defeat worldwide Islamic extremism to ensure a safer world today and for future generations.

The day after his famous Pearl Harbor speech, President Franklin D. Roosevelt again addressed the nation. "I was about to add that ahead there lies sacrifice for all of us," he said. "But it is not correct to use that word. The United States does not consider it a sacrifice to do all one can, to give one's best to our nation, when the nation is fighting for its existence and its future life." His words inspired the "Greatest Generation," and they should inspire us again today. Americans must mobilize for the Long War -- bolster our strained military, galvanize industry to supply troops with what they need right now and fund the strategy with long-term solutions.

We have no doubt that Americans will rally behind a call to arms. America's veterans -- young and old -- are resolved to support and defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. This commitment, and nothing less, should compel us to stand together, in and out of uniform.
Would that Congress finds the courage to bury its pride and do the same.

December 02, 2007

A President Just Like the One that Married Dear Old Dad.

There was no doubt that the Clinton campaign would find a silver lining in the New Hampshire hostage event on Friday but this AP account of her reaction could have been a campaign press release. If this doesn't set off the bullshit detector.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - When the hostages had been released and their alleged captor arrested, a regal-looking Hillary Rodham Clinton strolled out of her Washington home, the picture of calm in the face of crisis. It was a vintage example of a candidate taking a negative and turning it into a positive. And coming just six weeks before the presidential voting begins, the timing could hardly have been more beneficial to someone hoping to stave off a loss in the Iowa caucuses and secure a win in the New Hampshire primary.

Calm in the face of crisis? Read on.
It affected me not only because they were my staff members and volunteers, but as a mother, it was just a horrible sense of bewilderment, confusion, outrage, frustration, anger, everything at the same time," Clinton said.

This is hardly a picture of Churhillian stoicism in the face of a implacable foe. It makes me question whether being motherly is the first quality that she would draw on in the event of a real crisis.
Over the ensuing five hours, as a state trooper negotiated with the suspect and hostages were released one-by-one, Clinton continued to call up and down the law enforcement food chain,(??) from local to county to state to federal officials...Along with taking charge while giving the professionals free rein...
Clinton sought to use the sad moment as a national teaching opportunity, another skill often employed by presidents.

So what did we learn through this little teaching opportunity? We know that when handed lemons she knows how to make lemonade, just like mother used to make. When things go wrong she can be counted on to be bewildered, confused, outraged, frustrated, angry, all at the same time. Just like mother when you broke her favorite vase. She knows how to be in charge while letting others think they have free rein. Just like dad used to think. In case of an emergency she knows how to call 911 and when the crisis was over she'll be there to give everybody a big hug. She just wants to be our Mommy.

November 30, 2007

U of I. Security to Begin Packing Heat

No, you won't be seeing any displays like this on the Iowa River any time soon but the Iowa Board of Regents has voted to allow Campus Secutity to begin carrying firearms. Now if we can only convince the legistlature to allow citizens the ability to do the same.

Regents Policy: Here
Pictured: USS Iowa, firing its 16 inch guns.

November 29, 2007

Bill Clinton's Real Agenda

If Bill Clinton is truly the brightest, most astute, politician ever to grace us with his presence how could he make such obvious gaffs that could hurt his wife's chances to get his butt back into the White House? Or perhaps he really is brilliant. Always willing to buy into a good conspiracy theory, Victor Davis Hanson may be on to something here about old Bill.

"Things Not What They Seem; Hard Call" The $64,000 question—which is the greater incentive for him: to get Hillary Clinton elected so he can get back into the White House; or to subtly and insidiously cause her problems, so that history records there was only one Clinton, not two, and especially not one who was the first woman, might do a better job, and thereby overshadow Bill.

Triangulating on his own wife. Brilliant!

WWI Tribute Video

I am in the middle of a term paper on the developement of the aviation industry during World War I and came across this very well done tribute video.

November 28, 2007

Police Brutality?

I am reminded of the story about the guy from California driving through the south, and while passing through one town he did the California roll at a stop sign. When the local sheriff pulled him over and asked if he knew that he ran the stop sign he responded that he did slow down. The officer proceeded to pull the guy from the car and began beating him about the head and shoulders with his billy club and asked "Do you want me to stop or just slow down?"

A common theme from the readers at Hullaballo, and summed up by digby.
" Police in the country are now allowed to torture speeders by the side of the highway in order to get them to comply. The only difference between this officer slugging the speeder in the stomach and putting 50,0000 volts of electricity in him is that the latter doesn't leave any marks. The intent, the pain and the goose-stepping authoritarian message are exactly the same."

The first time I viewed this I may have agreed. Then you really have to question what the gentleman in the SUV was thinking, he certainly was an ass from the initial encounter. He did not follow the officers orders and quite frankly the fact that he walked beyond the officers control with his hand in his pocket and then tried to return to his vehicle was enough to warrant the officers response. Sorry, I don't have much sympathy for people stuck on stupid. I do have sympathy and admiration for those that put thier life on the line dealing with the dregs of society while pulling down 40K a year.

It sucks getting a ticket, but take it from a person that used to get one every trip through Iowa and has had the experience of looking down the working end of an officer's 45 one dark night, if you keep your hands on the steering wheel and answer the officers questions respectfully, you will probably drive away with a warning instead of 50,ooo volts lighting up your day.

Flotsam and Jetsam: Nature Running Wild

One of the things I miss about living in Alaska was the fact that wildlife was literally as close as your front door. Quite often moose would make camp in the front yard and chew the crab apple tree down to the nubs in the winter, and in the summer there would be the occasional bear strolling through the neighborhood. This video was sent to me by a friend in Anchorage. See it here
Thx Nette!

When I first saw this photo I was sure that sleg dog was on the menu. See the whole story here.

Thanks to Maggies Farm.

"The roughly 18-point buck he shot and killed was dragging with it a dead 10-point buck. The two deer had fought and their antlers had become irreversibly joined."They are locked," Willmsen said. Nice job Jim!

Thanks to the Gazette. Story and video here.

November 17, 2007

Earmark Reform

The democrats became the majority with a promise to change the way Washington operates but so far they have been long on promises and short on action. I know the obstructionist Republicans have foiled them at every turn.............Sorry, fell out of my chair laughing.
My one pet peave that they could resolve with support of the republicans would be earmark reform. Bringing home the bacon is a time honored perk of power that has grown so large and the handouts so outragous that it is time to end this corrupt practice.
On the side bar I have placed a petition for the reform efforts of Senator Jim Demint. Please take a second and fill it out.

November 11, 2007

Thank a Vet

Whereas it has long been our customs to commemorate November 11, the anniversary of the ending of World War I, by paying tribute to the heroes of that tragic struggle and by rededicating ourselves to the cause of peace; and Whereas in the intervening years, the United States has been involved in two other great military conflicts, which have added millions of veterans living and dead to the honor rolls of this Nation; and
Whereas the Congress passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926 (44 Stat. 1982), calling for the observance of November 11 with appropriate ceremonies, and later provided in an act approved May 13, 1938 (52 Stat. 351) , that the eleventh of November should be a legal holiday and should be known as Armistice Day; and
Whereas, in order to expand the significance of that commemoration and in order that a grateful Nation might pay appropriate homage to the veterans of all its wars who have contributed so much to the preservation of this Nation, the Congress, by an act approved June 1, 1954 (68 Stat. 168), changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day:
Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America , do hereby call upon all of our citizens to observe Thursday, November 11, 1954 , as Veterans Day. On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.
I also direct the appropriate officials of the Government to arrange for the display of the flag of the United States on all public buildings on Veterans Day.
In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.
Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and cause the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
Done at the City of Washington this eighth day of October in the Year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and seventy-ninth.

courtesy of

Some catching up to do.

Busy Busy Busy.... I was able to get the last of the windows replaced before the weather turned frosty. The fire wood project turned into a family affair as most of the wood I was able to scrounge this summer was too long to fit the splitter. While I ran the saw to shorten them up the wife ( bless her heart) loaded logs into the splitter and our daughter ran the power handle. A good time was had by all.
Lucky Find....The woman that lets me live with her got it in her head that the next project on my list would be to remove the 1970's carpet in the bedrooms and install laminate flooring. Knowing the best way to get a job done around here is to do it herself she pulled back the carpet in one of the rooms and low and behold the bedrooms of this shack have hardwood floors. Except for the fact that the last carpet installer had a party with the hammer tacker in our daughters room, which required a couple hours on hands and knees pulling staples, the floors are in great shape. Another job well done.
Continuing Education....Made it through mid terms with flying colors and with the exception of one American History paper that earned an 83, I have aced the first half of the semester. The remainder of the term will be focused on two research papers and a couple book reviews. Piece of cake between now and finals.
A conspiracy of objectivity....I wrote a few weeks ago that the liberal indoctrination in college you hear so much about has been surprisingly absent here at the U, but since I wrote that I have decided that it not that it doesn't exist but instead it flows just below the surface and occasionally, subtly, bubbles to the top. "Is there any comparison between the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798 and the Patriot Act" Our TA asks with a slight grin. When no one offered to bite on her obvious hook she tried to move on. Not being able to leave it lie I thrust my hand in the air in an Arnold Horshack moment and asked if she thought there was a parallel... Since she brought it up. "I can't answer that, that's it for today" she replied dejectedly. LOL
In the World Civ discussion we were to discuss the psychology of a historical figure. The first name suggested by the TA was George Bush with the same little grin of the last TA. Again no one would bite.
It's VJ Day you moron !!!!! In what has to be the latest in politically correct historical revisionism the Professor in my World Civ lecture said "World War II ended in two stages VE day Victory in Europe and VA day" VA I says what the hell is VA? Evidently reading my mind she then added "Victory in Asia" HUH??? Who the hell ever called it VA day? Even a Google search doesn't turn up a VA day although an equally insidious VP day shows up in Wikipedia (Victory in the Pacific). Lets try to keep a little historical accuracy in how the people of the times interpreted the events whenever the evidence is clear and leave the PC crap out of it.
She also went on to state that the Russians were the victors in Europe and the US was the victor in the Pacific. Although I would argue that is hardly accurate at least it is debatable.
Editorial morons.... I just want to thank the editorial decision makers at the Cedar River Rag for taking the opportunity to run an anti war, bush bashing polemic on Veterans Day! I have already reduced my subscription to week ends only and that's just a heartbeat away from severing the final tie to the newspaper bidness.

October 25, 2007

Mail from Vets for Freedom

Pete Hegsdeth at Vets for Freedom has a rebuttal for General Ricardo Sanchez's "nightmare speach".


New York Post
Oct 23,2007

The former top commander in Iraq - Army Lt.-Gen. Ricardo Sanchez (ret.) - recently called the situation in Iraq "a nightmare with no end in sight." Citing insufficient prewar planning and a strained military, he painted a dismal picture of American prospects there.

War critics painted a similar picture when violence in Iraq peaked in '05 and '06 - using terms like "civil war" and "sectarian violence" - as they pushed for a rapid draw-down or immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces. An Iraq "at war with itself" shouldn't be America's problem, they argued. In fact, the existence of a "religious civil war" remains the chief antiwar talking point to this day.

Problem is, the new U.S. strategy has changed the facts on the grounds...

DREAM Act Smackdown

I guess I may have paniced yesterday when I heard that Harry Reid was going to bring the Dream act to the floor of the senate for a cloture vote yesterday. Turns out the head count Harry made was a little off. It's one thing to get punked by the republicans but he didn't even get the vote count right on his own side of the aisle. Captains Quarters has a recap of the action here.

October 24, 2007

Alien Amnesty Act

Once again the open border crowd is attempting to give amnesty to people that have entered this country illegally. Harry Reed plans to submit the "DREAM" Act to give amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. It is time to once again fire up the immigration noise machine and deposit this bill in the shit can of bad ideas. Let your senator know that this plan is as unacceptable as that last piece of Immigration madness they tried to ramrod down our throats. In Iowa you can contact and Senator Grassley by email here or by phone at 202-224-3744.
Senator Harkin can be contacted by email here or by phone at 202-224-3254. You may want to remind the senator of his reversal in the last immigration bill. "Quite frankly, I'm hearing from a lot of Iowans," said Harkin after switching his stance on the legislation let him hear from us again.
NumbersUSA has a description of the legislation here.

October 20, 2007

U of I's Faculty

Iowa City is known as the most liberal city in Iowa so it should come as no surprise that the city’s largest employer is predominately infested with Democrats. Mark Moyar, a professor at the Marine Corp. University writes at NRO that the U of I History Department in particular is completely staffed by Democrats and because he is of the Conservative persuasion he was passed over for a position at the University. As I read this I got the impression that the article had a little tone of sour grapes. Mr. Moyar is an academic and should not be surprised that these things occur. Unfortunately being a conservative isn't a protected interest group in this state’s anti-discrimination laws (maybe it should be).
As a student at the College of Liberal Arts', (even the name should be a clue) I would have to say that for the most part the four History professors I have had my first semester have been objective with only hint of liberalism. I say that only because the choice of topics for the first essay assignment in one course was an interpretation of either socialism from the view of Marx and his infamous Manifesto, or how Josephine Butler addresses feminism in 19th century society. Even the TAs, which you would expect to be the young idealistic firebrands have been subdued in their indoctrination techniques.
Of course there were the occasional veiled references to how the capitalist white man exploited the world, killed its people, and stole their land, but I never had any professor come right out and say that as Americans "We Suck!" like occurred at Tall Corn College and Technical Institute and that’s a relief.

Education Update: I have made it through the dreaded midterms and have submitted at least one short paper (6 pages) in three of my classes. Some grades should be forthcoming this week. The fourth class consisted of getting familiar with the various arguments about WWI and now the rest of the semester will be dedicated to a topic of my choosing and a 15 page research paper.

September 30, 2007

Clinton School of Acting

I always got a kick out of Bill Clinton's ability to stick out that poutty lower lip and squeeze out a little tear when ever he felt your pain, or those moments of angry indignation that he could turn on and off with the flip of a switch. I always imagined Bill in front of the bathroom mirror practicing his repertoire of facial expressions. Hillary on the other hand has all the smoothness of fingernails on the chalkboard.

September 29, 2007

A Foster Brooks Classic

Love Those Aussies

Caution: Adult Languange

September 28, 2007

Flotsam and Jetsam

We spend so much time making sure that no child is left behind that we have forgotten that the reason education is important is so people can also be good citizens. Unfortunatley Civics is no longer emphasized. Test your civics knowlege HERE. See how you stack up here. ( I got an 89).

Dont Tell Me We Don't Have Enough Money! Iowa tax collections up.

Truther Alert! What happens when you fly a jet liner into a skyscaper at high speed.? ... It falls the .....Down!!!!

"An analysis of the World Trade Center collapse has challenged a conspiracy theory surrounding the 9/11 attacks." Story Here.

I knew this Bloging thing would pay off. This site estimates what your blog is worth. The Salmon is up to $564.54 if there are any takers out there.

Just keeping the head above water.

It has been a busy few weeks here at the Salmon shack. Classes at the "U" began just about a month ago and I have been working in overdrive ever since. A quick update...
It took about a week to realize that we ain't at Tall Corn College anymore Toto. The workload the first four weeks was a little daunting. This may be somewhat Darwinian but I think they have a plan to kill off the weakest and I do have to say that class sizes were suddenly smaller this week.
In between cramming several hundred pages of material a week into this mushy head, attending lectures,and commuting down I-380 t0 Libsburg I have had to fit in the rest of this thing called life.
After two winters here at the Salmon shack we decided to replace the windows before the Iowa snow flies this year. That little project is about half done. Come to think of it, its progress has quickly reached the same completion level as the other six projects in the pipeline, but I don't think the woman that lets me live here will allow this one to slide.
One week end was spent making a couple minor repairs to the camper and getting it cleaned and winterized for its long winter nap. And lastly, four days were spent in Madison, Wisconsin for my sister in law's "I Do's".
Just a word about the wedding. The procession began with the minister, victim and his entourage entering the sanctuary followed of course by the brides crew. Next down the aisle was the flower girl who was adorable and performed her duties to perfection. ( OK it was my daughter so I can be a little doting.) Fast forward... Standing hand in hand before the minister the guests were expecting the wedding to precede when suddenly two screens dropped from the ceiling of the sanctuary and there Eric Idol in his role in "The Princess Bride" regaled the audience with "Marriage...." I think everyone was at first was a bit stunned, then the laughter began and all tensions ebbed from the event. Fantastic and Congratulation Steve and Lisa.
Mid terms are in a couple weeks and its all down hill from there. Then all I have to do is get the rest of the windows installed, the firewood cut, and ..........

September 15, 2007

The Single Payer System

In a recent alcohol fueled debate with a friend of mine about the absurdity of socialized health care I argued why stop at health insurance, I demand socialized auto insurance. Why should I have all the advantages of first class auto repair whenever the hood of the Dodge Ram 4x4 climate heating heathen decides to pop open while speeding down Highway 30 at 70 per. Certainly everyone should be entitled to be made whole again whenever something pops up and smacks them in the windshield of life. Deductibles? There wont be no stinkin deductibles.
Jim Bass has taken my argument a step further in "Embracing My Single Payer Life".

September 14, 2007

How the hell would I know what's going on in Iraq?

From Maggies Farm:

That is to say, I've seen the cooter of every trashy teenage "singer" getting out of car and going to a party. I've seen all I need to see of Brangelina and the football team of children they're trying to purchase wholesale instead of doing it retail like we all do. I've seen drivel and piffle and nonsense; I know that Anna Nicole Smith's "anus is unremarkable," since I've read her autopsy. WTF is going on in Iraq? Are there any paparazzi there?
Don't get me wrong. The media has not fallen asleep or anything. I know, for instance, that Bush is Hitler. I know every permutation of his brownshirt perfidy. I've seen and read and heard eleventy billion soliloquies, with photoshopped picture learning aids, exquisitely detailing his crimes against humanity, nature, and God-- except there isn't a god, of course. Silly me. And I'm beginning to supect Helen Thomas doesn't like him much, either. And yes, I understand that Bushitler had a ninja army of mercenary big tobacco executives and Enron jacklegs and someone named Scooter precisely plant explosives during lunchtime when the buildings are empty to blow up the World Trade Center to start his illegal war for oil. I get all that.

You can read the whole thing here.

More from Alexis de Toqueville

Never before, in my memory at least, have the leftist forces, the dark side if you will, sensed an opportunity to openly push forward an agenda that would be ruinous for the United States. Until now they were forced to nibble away at the edges of our social and political culture. We have seen it in the push for "multiculturalism". Classes in diversity in schools and the workplace. The push for equality, not in the sense of equal access and protection under the law that drove the civil rights movement, but instead an equality of outcome, regardless of input.

You can see it in the political rhetoric of the current democratic candidates that promote equalization of income, co-opting the health insurance industry, the nationalization of revenues from one industry particularly oil to protect us from global warming. Openly promoting a socialist agenda.

The following is an excerpt from the second volume of Alexis de Toqueville's "Democracy in America" that gives a chilling 19th century prediction on what tyranny would look like in a democratic nation. You could argue from Toquelville's definition that we have already made the transition from democracy to tyranny. I on the other hand I like to remain optimistic that what damage has been incurred can be repaired and that the lefts new push may be a "Bridge Too Far".

""Democratic governments may become violent and even cruel at certain periods of extreme effervescence or of great danger, but these crises will be rare and brief. When I consider the petty passions of our contemporaries, the mildness of their manners, the extent of their education, the purity of their religion, the gentleness of their morality, their regular and industrious habits, and the restraint which they almost all observe in their vices no less than in their virtues, I have no fear that they will meet with tyrants in their rulers, but rather with guardians.
I think, then, that the species of oppression by which democratic nations are menaced is unlike anything that ever before existed in the world; our contemporaries will find no prototype of it in their memories. I seek in vain for an expression that will accurately convey the whole of the idea I have formed of it; the old words despotism and tyranny are inappropriate: the thing itself is new, and since I cannot name, I must attempt to define it.
I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world. The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men, all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives. Each of them, living apart, is as a stranger to the fate of all the rest; his children and his private friends constitute to him the whole of mankind. As for the rest of his fellow citizens, he is close to them, but he does not see them; he touches them, but he does not feel them; he exists only in himself and for himself alone; and if his kindred still remain to him, he may be said at any rate to have lost his country.
Above this race of men stands an immense and tutelary power, which takes upon itself alone to secure their gratifications and to watch over their fate. That power is absolute, minute, regular, provident, and mild. It would be like the authority of a parent if, like that authority, its object was to prepare men for manhood; but it seeks, on the contrary, to keep them in perpetual childhood: it is well content that the people should rejoice, provided they think of nothing but rejoicing. For their happiness such a government willingly labors, but it chooses to be the sole agent and the only arbiter of that happiness; it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasures, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, regulates the descent of property, and subdivides their inheritances: what remains, but to spare them all the care of thinking and all the trouble of living?
Thus it every day renders the exercise of the free agency of man less useful and less frequent; it circumscribes the will within a narrower range and gradually robs a man of all the uses of himself. The principle of equality has prepared men for these things;it has predisposed men to endure them and often to look on them as benefits.""

Toqueville, Alexis, "WHAT SORT OF DESPOTISM DEMOCRATIC NATIONS HAVE TO FEAR" (Volume II, Sect. 4 Chapter VI) "Democracy in America"

" A Bridge Too Far" ""On 17 September 1944 thousands of paratroopers descended from the sky by parachute or glider up to 150 km behind enemy lines. Their goal: to secure to bridges across the rivers in Holland so that the Allied army could advance rapidly northwards and turn left into the lowlands of Germany, hereby skirting around the Siegfried line, the German defence line. If all carried out as planned it should have ended the war by Christmas 1944.
Unfortunately this daring plan, named Operation Market Garden, didn't have the expected outcome. The bridge at Arnhem proved to be 'a bridge too far'. After 10 days of bitter fighting the operation ended with the evacuation of the remainder of the 1st British Airborne Division from the Arnhem area.""

September 11, 2007

The 9/11 Flashbulb Memory

My route to campus usually takes me down Iowa Avenue, leading directly to the Old State Capital Building. This morning I was greeted by the morning sun glowing brightly off the Capital's golden dome with a backdrop of a crystal blue sky. Today though, the flag was flying at half mast and a bell forlornly tolled for the souls lost six years ago. On that day we experienced one of those rare flashbulb memories , the images of evil personified, forever seared into our minds. Natures way, I hope, of preserving those moments that should never be forgotten.

Sept. 11 2001: Five AM and I was just getting out of the shower in our Anchorage home when my wife somewhat causally told me that a plane had run into the World Trade Center. Being a pilot myself I imagined that I would see the empendage of a Cessna sticking out the window of the skyscraper. I grabbed a cup of coffee and was stunned to see the top of the tower in smoke and flames. A moment later I caught a split second glimpse of something shooting across the bottom of the screen and an explosion from the second tower. Realization, this was no accident. Another cloud of smoke and it took me a moment to realize that the South Tower was no longer visible. Working in the newspaper business at the time I knew this was going to be a busy day. The crew and I took turns strolling down to the TV in the break room and returning with updates as we prepared to produce a special edition that afternoon. At one point that morning we all went to the roof and searched the skies when rumors spread that an overseas flight was out of contact and possibly headed towards Anchorage...

Then as now I question how we could have let this happen when the danger was, to steal the aphorism "clear and present." But six years later it does little good to rehash the failures of the past but its more important that each of us question.

Question the motives of those that would downplay the threat as a bumper sticker slogan.

Question those that demean the ones, that six short years ago, we collectively asked to risk their lives to preserve the things we all hold precious.

Question those that have made a total disconnect with the war in Iraq and the war with extremist Islam but at the same time refuse to make the moral stand to achieve what they believe in.

Question those that claim we were powerless to do more prior to 9/11 because there wasn't support, when in fact leadership is the ability to build support from those that you are charged to lead and sworn to protect.

Question those that would return to the failed policies of the past.

Finally, and maybe most important, question how that flashbulb memory could have been so quickly erased from their mind.

September 09, 2007

Cool Video

September 05, 2007

Armed Security at the U

As I wrote a few days ago the U of I faculty Senate will be taking up the issue of arming campus security. In a prelude to the vote scheduled next Tuesday, the Faculty council voted 12-3 to recommend allowing security to carry guns. From the CR Gazette.

IOWA CITY - University of Iowa faculty leaders support a recommendation to arm UI campus police officers.The UI Faculty Council, the leadership group of the Faculty Senate, voted 12-3 today to support the recommendation to make guns standard equipment for UI police. The recommendation comes from the directors of public safety and vice presidents at the UI, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.

This was an encouraging first step and I hope that the full Senate follows through on the recommendation. I am not sure of the make up of the Senate at this time but lets hope that it isn't dominated by the English and Philosophy departments.

September 01, 2007

Gay Marriage Legal In Iowa!

Hehe! Just kidding. The Polk county judge that found the states marriage law unconstitutional had a chance to sleep on his decision ,or sobered up, and stayed his own decision pending appeal.
Dafydd at Big Lizards has all the details here.

Vote Yes for Armed Campus Security

In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings the Iowa legislature ordered a feasability study of arming campus security at the states university's. The Dean of the University of Iowa like the other university's in the state is asking for feedback from campus leaders. At UNI Public Safety Director Dave Zarifis recommended that officers be armed but Friday night the faculty spiked his recommendation 11-3. From the Waterloo Courier:

The senate debated the issue for nearly an hour late in the afternoon as the campus emptied for the long holiday weekend. Ultimately, it decided the university would be safer if campus police did not carry guns....Several professors spoke against arming police, citing a low violent crime rate on campus, the Cedar Falls Police Department's ability to quickly respond to the campus and concerns over the impact of putting more guns on campus.

You mean there are already guns on campus? As a security officer I would feel a little naked knowing that I would be unable to defend myself or others in the event I encountered the working end of a S&W. They should have at least suggested they can have a gun but they have to keep the bullet in their pocket. It gets better, as we hear from the touchy feely wing of the faculty senate.
"This proposal is a knee jerk reaction to what happened at Virginia Tech," said religion and philosophy professor Jerry Soneson, referring to a recommendation by UNI's director of public safety to arm campus police. "We ought to be a model in how to react to social crises in a thoughtful manner." (I just get all tingly when they talk that way.) ...Social work professor Katherine van Wormer said UNI regularly rates as one of the safest campuses in the country, and murders at colleges nationwide are extremely rare. She added that (Insert Race Card Here) national statistics show African Americans are more likely to be shot by police than a white suspect. "It explains why people from the black community are very concerned about this," she said.
This is not about reacting to a "social crisis" its about the ability to react to the next mental crisis of some emotional cripple that got razzed during 9th grade dodge ball and has promised revenge on the bullies of the world ever since. There were a couple voices from the right wing radicals on the panel however.

Jerry Smith, a professor at the business school, spoke forcefully in favor of arming campus police."To me, we're more likely to have lives lost as a result of campus police not being armed, than we are if they are," (Amen professor) ... Political science professor Michael Licari didn't cast a vote as chairman of the Faculty Senate, but spoke in favor giving guns to campus police because they do the same work as municipal officers."We ask them to do the same police work as any officer in Iowa without the same tools," he said.

Under normal circumstances this issue would probably have glanced off the radar screen, but since I am now a part of the college "community" I would urge the University of Iowa to take a stronger stand on this issue than their counterparts in Cedar Falls. I have been witness to a shooting spree and there is no more helpless feeling than waiting to hear the sirens of your saviours as gunshots are filling the air. Arming security will not put students in danger and may someday save innumerable lives. Who will be the one to answer to my wife or to the parents of some slain teenager if the day comes that security does not have the means to save them. If for nothing else we need to "do this for the children"! Or better yet enact CCW in Iowa and I can have the means of protecting of myself.

Immigration Control

This one will make you grin. Concerned citizens take immigration control into their own hands.
Thx. Common Sense Political Thought

August 29, 2007

From the 2007 "John Edwards Mystery Tour"

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards told a labor group he would ask Americans to make a big sacrifice: their sport utility vehicles... Edwards says Americans should be asked to drive more fuel efficient vehicles. He says he would ask them to give up SUVs.

We are all numb to the hypocrisy factor in Mr Edwards by now so for him to ask me to give up the Ram Tough Dodge 4X4 climate heating heathen is to be expected, but it gets better.

Edwards got a standing ovation when he said weapons and equipment used by America's military needs to be made in the United States. He says "tanks and ammunition for M16 rifles are being made in other countries."

Having spent the last four years in Iowa has made the guy a little cornfused.

From Global Security "The Lima Army Tank Plant (LATP) manufactures the M-1 Abrams tank. The Tank Plant is a government-owned, contractor-operated (GOCO) facility, run presently by General Dynamics...The Lima facility is also projected to produce 465 Heavy Assault Bridges...Production of a new light-armored military vehicle should increase the work force at the Lima Army Tank Plant by the end of 2001, and employment levels should exceed 600 workers.

No John, that isn't Lima as in Peru, it is in fact Lima as in OHIO.

General Dynamics and others also are involved in supplying the ammunition needs of the military.
"The military is in no danger of running out because it gets the overwhelming majority of its ammunition from a dedicated plant outside Kansas City." (MyWayNews)

August 28, 2007

Pepper Jack Update

As I mentioned previously, we are now the owners of a deaf Jack Russel Terrier. As you can see from the picture Pepper has settled in and made herself right at home. She is a lovable little pup, constantly under foot and has started to show some of the intelligence of the Jack Russel. We hung a bell on the back door and in a matter of days she was ringing it with regularity to go outside. I would say we are having a 90% success rate in the house breaking department. She is very tolerant of our daughter (unless chewing up every toy that is left at her level is some display of passive aggresive behavior) and she is submissive to our big dog. So far so good.

Back To School

Back to School... It's time to leave the summer fun behind and hit the books. School began on Monday and the adjustments to the U will be interesting. Most notable is the size. Where I had became comfortable dashing a hundred yards between classes at Tall Corn College and Technical Institute, distances are now measured in blocks. Class sizes that were in the low thirties are now measured in hundreds. Today there were few students on campus as I made my way from parking to my first class at 8:30. By 9:30 the place had come alive and from the air it must look like thousands of ants scurrying helter skelter from one hole to another. From a park bench along the banks of the Iowa River you can see the towers at the University Hospital (pictured), I doubt that they are ivory but the Gothic architecture certainly leaves that impression.

August 27, 2007

Flotsam and Jetsam: Nature Running Wild

Note to Al, Its the ungulates stupid.
Norway's Moose Population in Trouble for Belching.
"Norwegian newspapers, citing research from Norway's technical university, said a motorist would have to drive 13,000 kilometers in a car to emit as much CO2 as a moose does in a year."

With four million moose worldwide this is a serious threat, and that doesn't even count the moose's cousin the elk. Something must be done. As former Alaska Governor Wally Hickle once said. "We just can't let nature run wild!" World's Costliest Ham Triggers Pork Envy

This story has been floating around the Internet for some time evidently and finally found its way to may inbox.
From the San Francisco Chronicle: Daring rescue of whale off Farallones; "Humpback nuzzled her saviors in thanks after they untangled her from crab lines," diver says. Anthropomorphism perhaps?

Cool Science: "Scientists hail ‘frozen smoke’ as material that will change world"

August 24, 2007

Michael Vick's Punishment

As Michael Vick moves closer to accepting a plea bargain that will salvage his multi million dollar income, the dogs that he used and abused are moving closer to getting the needle. The judge in this case should step in and save these animals.

As reparation, Michael Vick should be required to maintain these animals for the rest of their natural lives. He should be required to build a kennel facility akin to a doggy Hilton, staffed by Vick and a full time staff of animal care professionals. Paid for by Vick, personally writing a check on a monthly basis, underwriting all expenses of the operation. The youngest of the dogs should live a life of luxury for the next ten or twelve years and every time he cleans up a kennel he can reminisce about his glory days as dog fight promoter.

Enough has been written about the psychopathic hip hop gangster sub culture that Vick is a part of. Comedian Bill Cosby has pointed out the absurdity of the inner city lifestyle for some time now. But neither Cosby or any of the leaders of the black community are offering any concrete solutions to transform the primitive mindset that leads to people like Vick.

Update: I just read that Vick will not have to admit to wrongdoing when he makes his plea. This wouldnt happen if D.A. Jack McCoy were there. Every scumbag makes an alocution when Jack and the babe are on the case.

August 23, 2007

History Channel special “9/11 Conspiracies: Fact or Fiction.”

"I'd like to be able to say that everything we're saying is backed up by fact."

-Dylan Avery- “Loose Change.”

I just finished watching the History Channel special “9/11 Conspiracies: Fact or Fiction.” and what surprises me most is the angry vehemence of the people that are so certain that they know, “The Truth”.
I have met a variety of these people over the years. Those that believed that the “X Files” was a documentary, each one sure that they knew the truth about, (insert your favorite conspiracy here.) and if I wasn’t so blind I would see it too. But those believers were generally loners or passed their little discoveries about the truth around their tight knit little community. The internet has changed all that and has made it possible for everyone to be a historian and develop a narrative of what happened on that September morning.

What they fail to realize is they are not historians. Historians compile evidence from primary sources in its complete and original context in a logical manner to reach conclusions that are verifiable by others to build a narrative of events. The Truthers, on the other hand build a narrative and then fill it with whatever evidence best fits. Mr. Avery illustrates this when during the re-edit for Loose Change 2. “We took the good parts from “Loose Change” then we put in some other things” Avery says chuckling.

As another of the Truthers put it "There is in my opinion, substantial evidence, that suggests..." This type of logic is rampant in a philosophy that is selling opinions packaged as proof by people that are not even qualified to decifer what the evidence is telling them.

The show did an excellent job of point by point refuting each argument using experts and witnesses. It also gave good insight into how and why these beliefs are formed. Catch it on the repeats Sat and Sun.

· Video. If you don’t have two hours, you can watch Penn and Teller debunk some of the loonier loons of the Truth Movement.
· Skeptic Magazine

August 22, 2007

A Little Outrage Please.

USA Today; "Drunken driving deaths up in 22 states".

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released data showing there were 13,470 deaths in 2006 involving drivers and motorcycle operators with blood alcohol levels of .08 or higher, which is the legal limit for adults throughout the country. The number was down slightly from 2005, when 13,582 people died in crashes involving legally drunk drivers...Among states, Arizona, Kansas and Texas had the greatest increases in number of drunken driving deaths last year. But Utah, Kansas and Iowa had the largest percentage increases compared with 2005.

At the same time there are some that are pushing to lower the drinking age back to 18.

Over the strong objection of federal safety officials, a quiet movement to lower the legal drinking age to 18 is taking root as advocates argue that teenagers who are allowed to vote and fight for their country should also be able to enjoy a beer or two.

If that isn't like deja-vu all over again. Those are the same recycled arguments that were used in the 1970's. At the height of an unpopular war, not only couldn't you drink at 18 but you could be drafted into the military and you didn't even have the power to vote the bastards out of office. In 1971 the 26th Amendment to the Constitution granting the right to vote at 18 was passed. By 1973 the draft was ended and states around the country began to lower the drinking age. In Iowa it was done incrementally, first lowered to 19 then the following year to 18. Although at 16 I didn't know anyone 21 that would buy us alcohol it wasn't hard to find a willing accomplice that was 19. By 17 me and most of my high school class were getting into several local bars no questions asked.
Then a funny thing happened, somebody noticed that teenagers were killing themselves in disproportionate numbers compared to the rest of the drunk population. Common sense prevailed and the age was raised to 21 although some would argue the change was coerced by the feds.

I would agree that if you are old enough to fight for your country you should be able to have a beer. But only if you are actually willing to fight, therefore those possessing a military ID should be able to purchase alcohol, but lets not go back to the 70's. There also needs to be a renewed zero tolerance for DUI.
Why 21?

August 21, 2007

Flotsam and Jetsam: Survivor

It is recommended that you fill your bathtub in case of an emergency so that you and yours have a ready supply of emergency water. Heaven forbid you actually have to use it. This product removes the yuck factor.

"The WaterBOB™ is a water containment system that holds up to 100 gallons of fresh drinking water in any standard bathtub in the event of an emergency. Constructed of heavy duty food grade plastic, the waterBOB™ keeps water fresh and clean for drinking, cooking, washing and flushing. Water stored in an open bathtub, with dirt, soap film and exposure to debris will spoil and become useless."