November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

What I am Thankful For,
1. My family
2. Friends
3. Food and Shelter
4. Air that we breath.
5. My dogs
6. God because he created us.

~Arwen age 6

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The two writers above show us that the things we love, cherish, and give thanks for today are essentially universal, except dogs perhaps. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

The Salmon

November 18, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

The object of the game is to destroy American capitalism by having the government take over everything.
Wanna play? No? Too bad, you're already playing.
And in this game, nobody wins.

Thx Rick

November 17, 2009

Flying Inspiration

The following was borrowed from AOPA Blog.
My Dear Mother,

The red letter day of my life has come and gone–I have driven an airplane through the sky. I have done banks, spirals and straight flying. It is great and glorious and worth all the efforts I have (made) to attain it, and when I cross the great divide, I will do so knowing I have toyed with the clouds and frolicked in the skies; that I’ve raced through space with a joystick in my hand.

I know now what “pockets” in the air are, how they make you skip, toss and rock, and I want you to know that, sitting there 5,000 feet above ground, nothing matters much; you feel as secure as if in a rocking chair. You ride easier than the most luxurious limousine. I repeat, it’s great!

Driving an airplane is more like a combination of swimming, steering an auto, scenic railway riding, and roller skating than anything else. You have three controls: directional, longitudinal, and lateral, and the first time an instructor turns them over to you some 3,000 feet above the earth, you love so well a strange and lonesome feeling that comes over you. But there you are.

He signals what to do, say it is for a bank, your heart comes up into your mouth, and then if never before you realize you’re helpless–and all you have learned seems one tremendous pile of ignorance, but dauntlessly you lower your right wing and shove your right rudder–then, mother of mine, that right wing goes to the bottom and your machine turns practically on its side, your left wing nearly straight up and you seem to turn around in the length of your ship, which you don’t.

Then still alive and happy at your success, you bring her out, and once again you’re tearing through great gobs of atmosphere at 75 m.p.h. And you’ve done your bank.

About my commission, I’m not terribly interested in it. It’s a secondary thing, not the primary. The great and only thing is to fly. Being a flyer naturally brings a commission, but you’re not a flyer until you’ve done 75 hours in the air. I have been up four times, each time with an instructor, so you see I am not just on the verge of being haled as an “ace,” but just the same, an accident is the only thing that can keep me from being a pilot . . .

Van B. Foster, Army flight student. June 25, 1918
I'm sure that everyone that has ever gotten the urge to fly has a story like this that sums up the joy and excitement so inherent in flying. I am reminded of this piece I wrote several years ago.

November 15, 2009

Hawkeye Heartache

Photo: Freshman Quarterback James Vandenberg

On a Saturday when a bruised and battered Iowa Hawkeye team could have folded and given credence to the the season long naysayers, they proved once again that they could hang with the best despite the loss of Ricky Stanzi and others. They lost in overtime against an Ohio State team that by all accounts should have dominated.

I for one thought that freshman back up quarterback James Vandenberg would get chewed up and spit out but as one commentator noted Vandenberg, "played like a fifth year senior." And once again in the third quarter when it looked like the game was over the Heartattack Hawkeyes hung tough, tied up the score and sent the game into OT.
Of course the outcome was not what we wished but there is a bowl game in the Hawkeye's future and we can rest easy that a large part of this team will return next year.

Next week, Minnesota.

November 13, 2009

Fasten Your Seatbelt

US Airways Hudson River Ditch

Via Ace of Spades HQ

November 11, 2009

November 09, 2009

Flotsam and Jetsam

The Miracle Comes to An End: Iowa vs. Northwestern: Stanzi injured; Hawkeyes Fall 17-10
From the Des Moines Register

Raiders get a bye Week: Pretty sure they still suck.
We moved another step closer to Dystopia on Saturday as the House Passed Healthcare Reform 22o-215. Despite the Salmon's letter writing campaign Iowa's congressmen voted along party lines.

Dave Loebsack Will Rue This Day
Reed Sets his Sights on Loebsack in Iowa’s 2nd CD

What Iowa's Delegation Had to Say
From the Des Moines Register

What the Pelosi Health-Care Bill Really Says
From the Wall Street Journal
These are the folks that have possesion of your childrens minds 7 hours a day.
Recommended Reading List at the National Education Association, "Rules for Radicals" by Saul Alinsky
From the NEA

Ten Components of Emergency Preparedness
From Preparedness Pro

November 08, 2009

Ice Queen President

I doubt that this was intentional, but George Bush highlighted that America has elected an Ice Queen. Friday, under the cover of darkness, George Bush snuck into Fort Hood to console the victims of the Fort Hood Massacre. From the LATIMES:
Last night former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura made a secret visit to the devastated military families at Fort Hood.

The Bushes instructed the commander of the mourning military base that they wanted no publicity. With their Secret Service detail, Bush and his wife made the 30 mile trip unannounced from their ranch near Crawford, Texas Friday evening.

Fox News broke news of the visit this afternoon. Other sources said the former first couple spent about two hours meeting with the wounded, family and soldiers, talking quietly and at times hugging them as they did in private at other times of crisis such as post-9/11.
Bush’s selfless act would probably not seem so extraordinary but for the fact that it comes on the heels of Obama’s midnight excursion to Dover AFB, complete with press, staff, and photographers so he could "see first hand the human cost of the Afghanistan war."

Now, as USA Today reports. "President Obama will visit Fort Hood soon to pay tribute to the victims of Thursday's shooting, a decision that scrambles the rest of his schedule, possibly including next week's trip to Asia." Gee, sorry for the inconvenience. Perhaps the President can persuade them to hold the memorial on Veterans Day and get some real mileage out of it.

I’m not saying that Obama is cold, calculating, or heartless it’s just that by all appearances he is an automaton; cold, calculating, and heartless. A case in point was the President’s address to the nation on Thursday. Obviously the events in Texas were still unfolding but I for one sat stunned as Obama rambled on for two minutes and gave a Palinesque shout out to someone in the audience before he coolly stated the obvious. Soldiers were being killed on a US military installation and the Presidents schedule proceeds uninterrupted? The disconnect here is disturbing.

His performance on Friday was equally obtuse. He sounded more like a local news caster as he moved deadpan from the Fort Hood update to the economy story. I half expected him to say “Now let me shoot you over to Rohm Emmanuel at our weather desk.”

Perhaps I'm just longing for the days when a President could at least feel our pain, and if necessary command a tear when appropriate. It is often said that what made FDR so effective was his ability to make people feel that he connected to them personally. These recent events leaves you wondering if the Ice Queen is connected at all.

November 05, 2009

Iowa vs Oakland

As many of you know I have been pretty excited about the Iowa Hawkeyes this season but come Monday mornings I have have been forced to post "Raiders Suck" about 8 times. Oh the humanity!
Could the Big 10 Hawkeyes beat the NFL Raiders? HMM, interesting question.
If Cable took his Raiders and brought them to college football’s best conference in the Midwest, would Oakland succeed? Well, the answer is simple: No...

Do the Raiders have the fattest quarterback-kicker combination in the league?

Do they have a senile old man who has possibly turned into a zombie as an owner?

Are they the first NFL team to lose at least 11 games in six straight seasons?

The Raiders have been such a laughable organization since their Super Bowl run in 2002, never doubt the ways in which they can screw up. Sure, they might give Indiana a run for their money and a game against Illinois could end up in negative total points, but the Raiders could never compete with Big Ten heavyweights.

Ohio State has more future NFL hopefuls currently on the Buckeyes roster than the Raiders do.

Penn State wins in an old man competition pitting JoPa against Al Davis.

And Iowa would win ugly, because that is what the Hawkeyes do.

Letter to the Iowa Congressional Delegation

Dear Sir.

As the healthcare bill inevitably moves toward the reconciliation process in congress I would ask you, as a fellow Iowan, to take a moment and reflect on the four basic goals that congress set out to achieve with this legislation. Reducing medical costs, insuring all Americans, and reducing the deficit all without increasing taxes on Americans.

By every metric this bill fails to accomplish those goals. It does not cover everyone. It does not bend the cost curve of medical care. It will negatively impact the deficit while raising taxes on a majority of Americans. To ignore these facts and still vote for this bill would require, as the great Senator Hillary Clinton once declared, “ the willing suspension of disbelief.”

I could go on to argue about the increase in the bureaucracy, the history of the government’s inability of to operate similar programs efficiently, the loss of personal liberty, or the question of constitutionality but those issues while very important are secondary to the fact that this bill fails to live up to its original intent.

I don’t believe any Iowa legislator would intentionally pass legislation that would ultimately harm their constituents, their neighbors, or their family but a vote for passage of this legislation would be a travesty for the people of Iowa and all Americans. Please vote no on this healthcare legislation.


Cc: Iowa Congressional Delegation

November 04, 2009

Speaking Truth to Power

I came across an interview of Obama’s Frau Blucher the other day when she was lamenting the dissenters of the B.HO administration, “The administration has said very clearly is that we're going to speak truth to power.”

As John Steel wrote in the WSJ, “Much of the American political world collapsed in laughter, pointing out that her boss was president of the United States, the most powerful man on earth.” I personally have always pictured David waging his finger at Goliath.

From what I have since been able to ascertain the phrase originated in the Quaker community in 1955 as the title of a study “Speak Truth to Power: A Quaker Search for an Alternative to Violence” which sought a way for the US and the Soviet Union to peacefully resolve their differences. Historian Larry Ingle writes:

Its title, which came to Friend Milton Mayer toward the end of the week in summer 1954 when the composing committee finished work on the document, has become almost a cliche; it has become common far beyond Quaker circles, often used by people who have no idea of its origins. (One current example: Anita Hill entitled her memoir of her sensational charges of sexual harassment against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, Speaking Truth to Power.)

The best contemporary definition of the phrase comes, from of all places, the Urban Dictionary which reads in part.
A vacuous phrase used by some on the political Left. Ostensibly, it means to verbally confront or challenge conservative politicians and conservative ideals using the overwhelmingly logical and moral arguments of liberalism. Doing so would naturally devastate the target individual, leaving them a stuttering, stammering bowl of defeated jelly. That or cause them to experience an epiphany that would have such a profound, worldview-changing effect that they would immediately go out and buy a Che t-shirt and start reading Noam Chomsky.
I think that is the best explaination for the point that Frau Blucher was trying to make.

November 03, 2009

The Warning.

I caught the documentary "The Warning" on PBS a couple weeks ago.

It is the story of lone regulator Brookley Born as she tried to sound the alarm in the mid 90s that the derivatives market was a ticking time bomb. In 1998 the system nearly collapsed, but was bailed out by the bankers in that instance. Despite the evidence congress, republicans and democrats, along with the Fed refused to reign in Wall Street.

The players, particularly Clinton's Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Obama's economic advisor Larry Summers who fought against regulations went on to make millions in the market that they were charged with overseeing. Also fighting to discredit Born was Alan Greenspan. When Greenspan recently announced that, "Gee, I didn't see this coming" he is a liar in the first degree, he knew the systemic risks but elected to defend Wall Street.

I am beginning to believe that we are living in an oligarchy. I'm not sure what other conclusion to make after seeing this program. If you feel that your level of disgust at your elected officials, the Fed, or Wall Street just isn't high enough then this is the documentary for you.

November 02, 2009

Looking for a True Conservative

From Forbes

...The noisiest single lobby in the world today is the Climate Change/Global Warming/Green alliance, of which the supposedly liberal President Obama is an enthusiastic member and which has the support of left-wing ideologues all over the world.

This is essentially a reactionary movement, for its aim is to confine and even reverse capitalism, returning to a precapitalist arcadia in which woods and forests expand, the sea is no longer harvested, energy is strictly rationed and controls on human activity, especially wealth and job creation, are universal...

Indeed, many of its supporters would prefer a pristine world in which Homo sapiens remained primitive or did not exist at all. Their faith, like most forms of political absolutism, is a substitute for genuine religion. In fact it is, in one sense, a crude form of religion--pantheism, the worship of the Earth and all its manifestations.