May 30, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

The Seldovia Gazette: Michelle Obama Statue Wins Chainsaw Carving Competition

From the folks that want to run health care and the automobile industry. Audit: Millions Spent on Failed Job Projects

DES MOINES (AP) - State auditors say a taxpayer-funded program that pays job training costs for new companies put millions of dollars into projects that failed. State auditors released a report on Tuesday on the Iowa Industrial New Jobs Training Program, which is run by the state's community colleges. The program has borrowed $38.5 million on behalf of businesses who promised to move to Iowa or expand their operations in the state. The audit shows that the companies either closed, went bankrupt or failed to create more than 15,000 planned jobs.

On the road to dystopia.

May 28, 2009

Life at the Salmon Shack

Finally... Schools out for Summer. I'm sure it is typical with most students, particularity the non-traditional type such as myself, to hit the proverbial wall. It happened to me this semester and for the first time I exchanged the mad dash to the deans list for a casual stroll down give a shit lane. I am beginning to see the light at the end of this tunnel however. I will return this summer to my old Alma mater Tall Corn College and Technical Institute to finish up the foreign language requirement and then only 10 hours separates me from the college degree.

The first task of the summer was log day. Every year I spend considerable time locating free BTUs to run through the wood stove but this year our neighbor took down a tree in his front yard that should see us through another cold Iowa winter. The woman that lets me live with her, bless her heart, helped out on the splitter and I then spent a day stacking. This job usually occurs in the heat of August so it is a relief to get it out of the way during our unusually cold spring.

A flock of Robins has taken up residence in our rickety wood fence which is now going to delay the fence replacement project. Darn the luck.

Rights of Passage:

The First Shiner.

Turning Six
Pierced Ears

Obama ready to confront the North Koreans

From Andy Borowitz

One day after North Korea launched a successful test of a nuclear weapon, President Obama said that the United States was prepared to respond to the threat with "the strongest possible adjectives."

In remarks to reporters at the White House, Mr. Obama said that North Korea should fear the "full force and might of the United States' arsenal of adjectives" and called the missile test "reckless, reprehensible, objectionable, senseless, egregious and condemnable."

Later in the day, Defense Secretary Robert Gates called the North Korean nuclear test "supercilious and jejune," leading some in diplomatic circles to worry that the U.S. might be running out of appropriate adjectives with which to craft its response.

May 26, 2009

Homeland Security Party Grants, Who Knew.

What ever happened to the days when neighbors would get together for a potluck and bar b que, without the need for the federal government supplying the entertainment and the hot dogs. This from the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
The Northwest Neighbors block party will not be held today because money from a grant needed to fund the event didn't arrive in time.Greg Stokesberry of the South West Neighborhood Association said the event, slated for today (Saturday, May 23) from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., was to be funded by a grant through the Department of Homeland Security. But he said the city hasn't received the grant yet, and thus hasn't distributed funds to support events like Saturday's planned block party."They're telling us it should be here by June 1," Stokesberry said.The event was to include live entertainment, an inflatable midway, food and more.Stokesberry said other similar events are planned around Cedar Rapids through the summer, and all are slated to receive funding from the Homeland Security grant.

I just can not fathom how block parties are in any way related to the job of Homeland Security or any other government agency for that matter.

May 25, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

We walked among the crosses
Where our fallen soldiers lay.
And listened to the bugle
As TAPS began to play.
The Chaplin led a prayer
We stood with heads bowed low.
And I thought of fallen comrades
I had known so long ago.
They came from every city
Across this fertile land.
That we might live in freedom.
They lie here 'neath the sand.
I felt a little guilty
My sacrifice was small.
I only lost a little time
But these men lost their all.
Now the services are over.
For this Memorial Day.
To the names upon these crosses
I just want to say,
Thanks for what you've given
No one could ask for more.
May you rest with God in heaven
From now through evermore.

C.W. Johnson

Once again the artistry of Ray Sorenson and his yearly Memorial Day painting of Freedom Rock in western Iowa. This is the 10th anniversary of Ray's project. Photo courtesy of FREEDOM ROCK

A news item this week about the organization "Bugles Across America" brought back memories of my time assigned to the base funeral detail while stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco. As I recall we were blessed with a bugler from the 6th Army Band that could hang onto a note during taps that would send a shiver up your spine and tears streaming down the faces of bereaved. When congress decreed that all veterans were eligible for military burial many places were forced to use a recording of TAPS. Retired bugler Tom Day felt that this practice was unacceptable and founded Bugles Across America.

May 08, 2009

Texas Fury

Thx: Steve

May 04, 2009

The Ultimate Moose Gun

Governor Palin will be receiving a custom made Alaska Themed M4 .50 caliber Beuwulf.

Click to Enlarge.

What a difference a regime change makes.

The Stormtroopers snap to attention when the CiC enters the room. Via: McClatchy Watch

Ok Stormtrooper may have been a little strong but you add this video with the accusations that the White House threatened investors with personal destruction at the hands of the press and you begin to see them in a different light. You could almost say that they might be in the bag for the new president but you surely couldn't prove it.

Well maybe you could...

The good folks at PEW Research have conducted a study that finds that the coverage of the Obama regime has been slanted in favor of the President by a margin of 2 to 1 over the Bush coverage during the same time in his presidency. He even out performs Bill Clinton.

May 03, 2009

The Road to Dystopia: As Darkness Settles Over America

While perusing the "dark side" of the blog o sphere I came across the above photo at the DailyKos site and my immediate impression was one of impending darkness.

It was 1984 when we were last recovering from an economic downturn similar to our current events. We were only 4 years removed from the Carter induced malaise/embarrassment of the late seventies but because of Ronald Reagan's steely resolve and an unparalleled conservative optimism we experienced a resurgence, a new dawn so to speak, which he called "Morning in America". It was a transformation that unraveled 40 years of failed progressive policies, ended 30 years of Cold War politics which eventually brought freedom to millions, and ushered in 25 years of unprecedented economic growth and prosperity.

Barrack Obama and his fellow travelers consider themselves the new revolutionaries and they see an opportunity for a counter transformation. They too want to unravel the old order and usher in a new age. How do they tout this transformation? With a metaphor of an eclipse, a darkness being cast over light. Unwittingly their metaphor is all too appropriate to our current moment in history.

After all Reagan is famously remembered for confidence in America's Exceptionalism and our system's ability to weather any storm. As he once said "Let us remember our heritage and, with it, our destiny – the destiny of this shining city on a hill, this beacon of freedom for all the peoples of the Earth." Liberals reject our heritage and exceptionalism. They reject the successes of capitalism despite the proven failures of the alternative. They reject liberty in exchange for social justice. Sadly under this assault America's light is indeed being eclipsed.

May 01, 2009


Well Put Miller

Alaska Near Death Experience

A Taylorcraft perched precariously in the edge of a 1500 foot cliff in the Talkeetana Mountains in Alaska. From the Anchorage Daily News.

On April 19, Soplanda attempted to land near 6,000 feet on an unnamed peak east of Bald Mountain in the Talkeetnas to explore ski and snowboarding opportunities on some adjacent slopes. Unfortunately, the snow atop the peak where he touched down was crustier than the young pilot expected.

The skis on the airplane, instead of grabbing soft snow, went sliding across hard snow. With cliffs ahead, Soplanda tried to steer the aircraft to the left to stay on top of the peak.

It almost worked.The right ski, however, went over the cliff, the plane tilted at about a 60-degree angle, and there it stopped.

To top it off some brave soul climbed out on the plane to rig it for recovery. Y0u got to be tough in the north country. Hate to second guess but sometimes its nobler to push the go handle rather than try to save a bad landing.