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.