March 29, 2009

The Road to Dystopia

The Obama administration asked Rick Wagoner, the chairman and CEO of General Motors, to step down and he agreed, a White House official said.
On Monday, President Barack Obama is to unveil his plans for the auto industry, including a response to a request for additional funds by GM and Chrysler. The plan is based on recommendations from the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry, headed by the Treasury Department.

The White House confirmed Wagoner was leaving at the government's behest after The Associated Press reported his immediate departure, without giving a reason.

General Motors issued a vague statement Sunday night that did not officially confirm Wagoner's departure. "We are anticipating an announcement soon from the Administration regarding the restructuring of the U.S. auto industry. We continue to work closely with members of the Task Force and it would not be appropriate for us to speculate on the content of any announcement," the company said.

The administration needs to explain under what authority the Executive branch can take this action. When President Truman tried to take over the steel industry the court in YOUNGSTOWN SHEET & TUBE CO. V. SAWYER found that the President had overstepped his bounds.

Even if it be true that other Presidents have taken possession of private business enterprises without congressional authority in order to settle labor disputes, Congress has not thereby lost its exclusive constitutional authority to make the laws necessary and proper to carry out all powers vested by the Constitution "in the Government of the United States, or any Department or Officer thereof."

I am afraid that I don't have the words right now to express my outrage at this development. Just days before the One jets to Europe to meet the Queen and dazzle the Continent he takes over a major manufacturing entity. If this doesn't send the peasants into the street with pitchforks then I have to believe we have reached the point of no return on our road to dystopia. Heaven help us.

The Wisdom of Our Founders

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

Let There Be Lights!

When I got home Friday evening the lady that lets me live with her asked if we were going to turn off the lights for Earth Hour. I had to say, and pardon the pun here, I was in the dark about the whole Earth Hour phenomena. But I can say that about most inane attempts at enlightenment by social consciousness groups with way too much time on their hands.

So in my typical knee jerk reaction I replied,"Hell no I'm not turning the lights off in fact I'm going to turn on every light I own and if I had a spotlight I would shine it into the lens of the Google Earth satellite. It would be so bright in my little corner of Iowa that Google would need to wear shades. I want to show that we are the light of the world and under no circumstances would I imitate the places on Gods green Earth that are only filled with dark matter!"

Fortunately there are those out there that express those same sentiments but in a more rational style. From The Competitive Enterprise Institute

The Competitive Enterprise Institute plans to recognize “Human Achievement Hour” between 8:30pm and 9:30pm on March 28, 2009 to coincide with Earth Hour, a period of time during which governments, individuals, and corporations have agreed to dim or shut off lights in an effort to draw attention to climate change. Anyone not foregoing the use of electricity in that hour is, by default, celebrating the achievements of human beings.

We salute the people who keep the lights on and produce the energy that helps make human achievement possible.

March 28, 2009

More Mt. Redoubt. A View from the Gates of Hell

Saturday Morning Video

Iowa's usually staid Chuck Grassley as been on a roll the last couple weeks. Last time he suggested that Wall Street should do the noble thing and fall on their swords. Yesterday he is talking smack with a fellow senator. Or maybe it wasn't a joke at all. Atta boy Chuck.

I got to get one of these.

March 27, 2009

More fun than shooting fish in a barrel

This may be why there is an ammunition shortage, but it sure looks like fun. I would certainly like to have one of those M134s.

Remember as our founding fathers always said. Freedom though Superior Firepower!

Via: Maggies Farm

March 26, 2009

Alaskas Mt. Redoubt Eruption

View of steam from the crater taken March 16th.
March 26, eruptions continue to spew ash and gas up 26,000 feet.
Photos Courtesy The Anchorage Daily News

Photo from Alaska Volcano Observatory webcam monitoring the mountain.

From the In Box

As men age, we start seeing more and more of the medical world and its employees, which nowadays seems to have more and more women as our Physicians and Therapists.

And in this case a new Urologist for me. My family Doctor just recently referred me to a just-out-of-medical-school female urologist. I saw her yesterday, and she's absolutely drop-dead gorgeous.

She told me that I must stop masturbating.

I asked her why, and she said, "Because I'm trying to examine you......"

March 25, 2009

Karaoke with Barry

Obama's reliance on the tele-prompter is old news by now, but his handlers are still afraid he may blurt out some condescending, off the cuff insult to some segment of society. Be it gun clinging rubes, Special Olympians, or Jessica Simpson's butt. So to make the big guy look intelligent without those pesky prompter screens the big guy is now doing KARAOKE!

Via, Breitbart

March 19, 2009


I don't think I'm breaking any confidences here by saying that things are a bit tense around here. Ever since the White House announced that Big Boy was going to do another prime time presser next week, people have been waiting for the backlash. Sure, we could've done it during the day, but then we wouldn't get any attention. We couldn't do it on Thursday night, because that would cut into our watching the NCAA tourney. So instead we cut into "American Idol." If you ask me that sucks ... me needs what only Ryan Seacrest can bring.
What really blows is that there are some folks in this place who are pushing for Barack to go out there alone. Sans me. With no wing screens. Are they insane?
With this rabid press corps constantly looking to pin Him down for every friggin detail about obscure legislation like the TARP funding? Or the economic stimulus bill? All that kind of detail can't be fit on little note cards. Or even 5x7s. Sure, He rehearses, but nothing can compare him for those white, hot interrogation-room-style kleig lights, or those razor-sharp questions from the likes of Ed Schultz and that bag lady in the front row. Believe me, this is going to be a knock down, drag out fight worth monitoring over the weekend

There is no evidence of who is the wit behind the blog, but f I had to take a wild ass educated guess I might say it has all the earmarks of the Master of Internet Satire the IowaHawk.

Iditarod 2009: Mackey Wins His Third Straight Race

Lance Mackey joined an elite pair of mushers yesterday when he crossed under the burled arch in Nome to claim his third consecutive Iditarod victory. As I mentioned in an earlier post only Doug Swingley and Susan Butcher have ever pulled that off and each retired their favorite lead dog after the third win and was never quite as dominant again.
Mackey discusses this years team and its leaders:

"This race was really smooth as far as the performance level of the dogs,'' he said. "I've never had a team work together like this before."
At the front, Mackey said, he often had a 3-year-old named Maple pacing the way, but the strength of the team remained former golden-harness winner Larry. When the team had trouble getting out of Golovin on the run to White Mountain, Mackey
moved Larry to the front and off they went. When Maple got confused by the crowd on Front Street and wandered off the trail, Mackey brought Larry to the front to help guide her in.
"I love that dog,'' he said, adding that Larry is now headed for retirement.
"Even if he wants to do another, I'm not going to let him,'' Mackey said. "He's run in all eight of my Iditarods. The year I didn't run in '03, he was in (friend Paul) Gebhardt's team."
Mackey actually thought about leaving Larry home this year. He wasn't sure the 9-year-old dog was up to another 1,000-mile run, but at the end there was Larry, pulling as hard as ever coming into town and wagging his tail at the finish.
"Larry knows I need him only for certain times,'' Mackey said. "But he's pulled all sorts of boner moves (this year). It's a good indication he's had enough."
Whether the Mackey dynasty can survive Larry's departure remains to be seen. Swenson was never the same after Andy retired. Butcher was never the same after Granite retired. Alaska Sports Hall of Fame musher George Attla, one of the greatest dog drivers of all time, has long said if a musher gets one great lead dog in a lifetime,
he's been blessed.

Read the whole thing here.

Best wishes to Mackey and all the musher that are still on the trail. As always the mushers, the dogs, the magnificent scenery, and the brutal weather combined to make a story that only Alaska can supply.

A few final shots of Lance in Nome.

In the winners circle with his leaders Maple and Larry

Coming down Front Street in Nome

Lance on the phone with his father Dick, winner of the 1974 race.
The PETA Corner:
Obviously I love this race and what it represents as much as the PETA organization despises it,
but I want to thank them for being such good sports as we had a little fur fun at their expense.

March 17, 2009

Happy Saint Patricks Day

What would today be without some Bagpipes and green beer.

Iditarod 2009 Day 9 and 10

Missed yesterdays Iditarod post but it looks like the Lance Mackey story is continuing unabated. He pushed on through horrendous weather with winds and temperatures down into the minus 50s. Unless he gets lost in the white out conditions on his way to White Mountain he will win his 3rd consecutive Iditarod.

Borrrowed from the Anchorage Daily News:

High winds and bitter cold were brutalizing the leaders of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Monday night as Lance Mackey continued an assault on his third straight victory.
Though Mackey and his team were in control of the 1,000-mile race from Anchorage to Nome, the driver didn't appear to be having much fun.
When he pulled into the wind-pounded village of Shaktoolik tight against the shore of Norton Sound, howling winds were blowing spindrift snow across the trail, and the coats the 38-year-old musher had put on his dogs to protect them against the wind were snapping in the blow.
Buried in several layers of clothes beneath a huge, white anorak, all that could be seen of Mackey was his nose, part of one eye and some frost stuck to his mustache. A fur ruff that rimmed his parka was pulled in tight to try to save his face from 55-degrees-below-zero windchill that can freeze skin in seconds.
A villager who greeted Mackey with a check-in sheet joked that it had been a while since mushers had encountered the fabled Shaktoolik winds.
"I wasn't asking for it,'' Mackey said. "We've been really lucky.''
Despite the harsh conditions, his 15 dogs seem undaunted. They left Shaktoolik into a hellish headwind and still marched across the windswept ice of Norton Bay for about 45 miles to Koyuk at an average speed of better than 8 mph.
Mackey gave them a long rest there as the teams behind struggled. The dogs of four-time champ Jeff King from Denali Park balked at leaving Shaktoolik. At least twice King had to swap out lead dogs in an effort to find one willing to take the team into the teeth of the blow.
Behind King, John Baker from Kotzebue, a nine-time top-10 finisher, stopped his team and waited, apparently unable or unwilling to head out toward the Norton Bay ice.
"The coast is giving us a little excitement, a little weather,'' King had joked before heading out into the blow on Monday. "Nothing the coast hasn't seen before, but certainly something to talk about today.''...

The only ones across the bay by nightfall Monday were Mackey and Sebastain Schnuelle from Whitehorse, Yukon, the winner of the Yukon Quest. Schnuelle made it into Kokyuk just before 6 p.m. Mackey, who had been there since noon, had yet to leave. He was still there at 8 p.m.
It was the longest break he and his team had taken since an eight-hour mandatory stop back at the village of Anvik on the Yukon. It was an unusually long break to be taking at this point as mushers hurry along the coast toward the mandatory, eight-hour layover at White Mountain only about 100 miles on.
Shortly before 9 p.m., the checker at the Koyuk community center was reached by telephone and reported Mackey was getting ready to leave, but that weather was nasty.
Winds of 20 to 25 mph out of the north were stirring soft, loose snow into ground blizzard conditions, he said, and the temperature was about 20 degrees below zero.
"But (Mackey's) getting ready to go,'' the checker added.
"Unless something happens to Lance, then there's definitely no chance of catching him, honestly,'' Baker had observed earlier in the day. "He would have to have a problem."
Mackey still appeared to be on his way to victory late Monday, but this one was clearly not going to come easily.

Jeff King team balks at facing the winds on Norton Bay.
Two teams crossing Norton Bay on the way to
The PETA Corner:
MMMM, dog cicles?

March 15, 2009

Iditarod 2009 Day 8

The 15-dog team of Lance Mackey was once more slogging its way north Saturday afternoon on a punchy trail up the frozen Yukon River.
The leader in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race since grabbing the halfway prize in the ghost town of Iditarod on Thursday, Mackey let his dogs rest for more than 7 hours
after hitting the minimalist, wall-tent checkpoint of Eagle Island along the west bank of the river Saturday morning. The long rest came after a tough 60 miles of trail in from Grayling that took his dogs more than 9 1/2 hours.

The race has become a slow crawl since the teams began hit the Yukon River. Deep soft snow has reduced Mackeys team to a 5 to 6 MPH (this ain't Nascar folks) slog. Even so Lance Mackey has managed to maintain a sizable lead which allowed him to take a seven hour break in Eagle Island. His closest competitor is about four hours behind which has to be demoralizing as Mackey pulls out of a checkpoint well rested just as you are arriving.

The Ghost Town of Iditarod

The PETA corner.
The Alaska Fur Gallery, for all your fur needs

March 14, 2009

Iditarod 2009 Day 7

Mackey reaches Eagle Island firmly in charge

As I wrote yesterday there are a plethora of ways to loose the Iditarod. One common theme is the lack of sleep that the front mushers must endure. Last year Rick Mackey quietly snuck out of the checkpoint after he was sure that his Nemesis Jeff King was soundly asnooze. This year it was Mackey who had took a nap and it cost him a couple of hours of the lead he had built up.

On the short, 25-mile jump from the tiny village of Shageluk over to this community on the banks of the Yukon River, Mackey fell asleep on the runners of his dog sled. The result was that his team got lost. He figured it out when he woke up and had to make them turn around to retrace their steps."Not cool,'' said the 38-year-old musher from Fairbanks. "I broke their spirit.''

What should have been a 2 1/2-hour jaunt between the villages to meet a welcoming
crowd in Anvik became a 4 1/2-hour march. The only good part for Mackey, who has won the race the last two years, and his team was that they still arrived here first.

Despite the wrong turn Mackey continues to burn up the trail and maintains a 4 hour lead over the closest competitor. The pack chasing the rabbit can only hope at this point that Mackey falls asleep at the wheel again.

Unless your the lead dog the view never changes

The PETA corner.

Dogs stacked up like cord wood along the trail;)

Saturday Morning Cartoon

Via: IowaHawk

March 13, 2009


Moved backed to the the top for the addition of a couple more rolling radicals.

From the flatlands of eastern Iowa.

Spotted in a Dubuque Iowa parking lot.

My Friends Were Right.

This recently landed in the in box.

I have to admit it. My friends were right.

They told me if I voted for McCain, the nation's Hope would deteriorate. Sure enough there has been a 20 point drop in the Consumer Confidence Index since the election. Reaching a lower point than any time during the Bush administration.

They told me if I voted for McCain, the US would become more deeply embroiled in the Middle East. Sure enough tens of thousands of additional troops are scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan.

They told me if I voted for McCain the economy would get worse. Sure enough unemployment is approaching 10% and the new stimulus packages implemented recently have sent the stock market lower than at any time since before 9-11.

They told me if I voted for McCain, we would see more "crooks" in high ranking positions in Federal government. Sure enough several recent cabinet appointments revealed resumes of bribery and tax fraud.

Well I ignored my Democrat friends in November and voted for McCain. My friends were right, all of their predictions have come true.

Iditarod 2009 Day 6

Out in the snowy desolation of the Innoko River country, two-time defending Iditarod champion Lance Mackey made his move Thursday to grab control of The Last Great Race.
His 5:20 p.m. arrival in the ghost town of Iditarod not only secured the halfway prize of $3,000 in gold nuggets put up by GCI, it also sent a warning to the mushers behind that the man from Fairbanks has a team with the potential to take over this race.
The 90 miles of trail between the old gold camp of Ophir and Iditarod was supposed to be soft and slow. And yet Mackey's dog team averaged about 9 mph. His running time of 9 hours, 56 minutes would have been fast on good trail.

Could Lance be on course for his third straight win? If so that would put him league with Susan Butcher in 86,87, and 88 and Doug Swingley who won in 99, 2000 and 01. But we have to remember it is still a long way to Arch.
I was debating with a friend in Alaska whether our favorite musher Rick Swenson had another win in him. This was when he was in 18th position and the pack was still tight before the layover. Now that things have started to spread out things don't look so hopeful. That may be a reflection of what it takes to be competitive. Swenson has been more successful than any other musher and has wins that span the course of three decades. Three in his first decade of racing 71, 77,81, then again in 82 and 91. Swenson can be credited with turning the dogsled ride to Nome into a real race and was instrumental in advancing the technical side of the race. He has been over the long term the most successful musher ever however he is no longer the threat he once was.
It seems that powerhouse mushers have a certain window of success. Butcher and Swingley (4 wins) dominated for a time and then faded and retired. Four time winner Matin Buser too seems to have lost that edge. Jeff King (4 wins) is still competitive but tying Swensons five wins has so far eluded him.
As Swenson once said when Butcher took over as the dominating force in the race, that special team particularly your leader only comes around once in a lifetime. Add that to the myriad of ways you can loose this race and you gain an appreciation for Swensons success.
Swenson in the 70s, Butcher in the 80s, and Swingley in the 90s. This just may be the Mackey decade.

Link: The History of the Iditarod.
Alaska sweetheart, DeeDee Jonrowe
Into the wilderness.

Flying coach really sucks. I hope this flight serves drinks.

The PETA Corner
New for 2009, the Huskey

March 12, 2009

Iditarod 2009 Day 5

Not much time today so I will take the easy way out and just say that the front of the pack has finished the 24 hour mandatory layover and now the race is on. Plus a few pics.....
Woohoo were going to Nome, we're going to Nome!!

Looks like something out of Mad Max does ArcticDome.

Love on the Iditarod Trail.
Freaky Dog.

The PETA Corner

More unique Alaskan headwear.

March 11, 2009

Border Violence Spilling Into Texas

I talked to someone on the front line of the revolution yesterday and he alerted my to the fact that Texas has gone on alert due to the violence along the Mexican border where 7000 people have died in gang violence over the past year. Yet the news has been silent on the whole situation. My Texas contact also reported that the violence has moved into Houston and yet there is no apparent action by the federal government. Where is the Department of Homeland Security? They released this report about gun seizures on the US side but a couple AK's and some reloading supplies are a drop in the bucket when the bad guys have RPG's.

Iditarod 2009 Day 4

As I mentioned yesterday, as the teams start to spread out we will begin to see the racers strategies begin to take shape. The leaders are into McGrath and of course it includes Mackey and King who slugged it out last year. They must now decide to take a rest or push on and the 24 hour layovers will come into play. From Iditarod.Com

So let the gamesmanship begin. Some in the lead pack are probably thinking about those Iditarod trail breakers up ahead of them breaking trail. The gamble is whether to follow them and risk breaking ground for the rest of the field in hopes that they get ahead of the weather that seems to be closing in on them. Its a tricky gamble.
There’s no doubt that this field is deep. The overall quality of the teams is something to see. But over the next 24 hours its the decision making that will tell the story of Iditarod 2009.
It’s all about to unfold right in front of us. And we haven’t even mentioned the
most awe inspiring element in this whole equation; Mother Nature.
Come daybreak “The Last great Race” could get a lot more interesting.

The Iditarod or more accurately Martin Buser was featured on this "GMA" piece.

Views From the Trail: The Iditarod Air Force

The PETA Corner

Not even PETA could object to the Fur Bikini. Could they? ( Chilkoot Charlies)
Oh what the heck, FUR, FUR, FUR, FUR FUR, FUR .....

Photos: ADN