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