March 31, 2011

Nobel Prize for Hypocrisy

Now, let me be clear – I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied U.N. resolutions, thwarted U.N. inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity. He's a bad guy. The world, and the Iraqi people, would be better off without him.
... After September 11th, after witnessing the carnage and destruction, the dust and the tears, I supported this administration's pledge to hunt down and root out those who would slaughter innocents in the name of intolerance, and I would willingly take up arms myself to prevent such tragedy from happening again. I don't oppose all wars. ... What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war. What I am opposed to is the cynical attempt by Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz and other armchair, weekend warriors in this administration to shove their own ideological agendas down our throats, irrespective of the costs in lives lost and in hardships borne. - Barrack H. Obama

March 26, 2011

While giving alms may sometimes require contributing what has been earned through human labor, the gift of oneself is of greater value. After all, the debt incurred by sin wasn't paid in the currency of the world but in the flesh of Christ. ~ Fr. Gary Caster, The Little Way of Lent

March 25, 2011

Newspeak Update: War - Kinetic Military Action

My apologies to Edwin Starr but it must be tough to be an anti war song writer at the moment. (the original is on the sidebar for those too young to remember this song)

Kinetic Military Action! huh-yeah
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing

Kinetic Military Action! huh good God
What is it good for?
Absolutely nothing
Listen to me?

Kinetic Military Action ! It ain't nothing but a heartbreaker
Kinetic Military Action ! Friend only to the undertaker
Kinetic Military Action ! It's an enemy to all mankind
The thought of Kinetic Military Action  blows my mind.

March 24, 2011

Mission Impossible Squirrel

This came across the facebook page today and I just want to pass it along to my brother and his pecan eating squirrel friends. Steven, you cant win they are just too darn smart!

March 20, 2011

On to the shores of Tripoli

It wasn't that long ago, back when there was still a semblance of reason in the world,  that John Swiftboat Kerry and Hillary Red Queen Clinton were beating the former Republican President about the head and shoulders with claims that he had put our troops smack dab in the middle of a civil war. Meanwhile Senator Present was campaigning on a platform of "No force unless US interests are directly threatened."That was evidently before we tumbled down the rabbit hole.

Now we find Kerry way out in front on the Libya no fly zone idea while the Chicky Hawks in the administration Clinton, Powers, and Rice  (the ones with the big brass ones evidently) spent the week strong arming now President Present to intervene in Libya against the better judgement of his SecDef and others.

Their argument wasn't that we had some pressing national interest, threat to national security, or even a goal to unseat Q-daffy, instead we needed to do this for strictly humanitarian reasons.

The irony of this doctrine is evidently lost on these people. We are going to kill a bunch of Libyans, quite probably women and children so that a dictator doesn't kill a bunch of Libyans, quite probably women and children

Tyrants are violently suppressing freedom in any number of places around the world so according to this new Obama Doctrine it only follows that we should be chucking a few Tomahawks at the likes of Bahrain, Ivory Coast, Darfur, Egypt, Iran or taken to the logical end,  the mother of all tyrants China.

Without a clear national interest we open the door to war on a whim which is a dangerous precedent.

March 19, 2011

Red Dawn 2011

Wanted Poster Courtesy: Red Dawn 2011
Review here. Beware of Spoilers

The movie was scheduled for last year but it went back to the cutting room to make it less offensive to our overlords.... errr bondholders errr. Our friends the Chicoms. Damn, my  rebel nature is why I spent every afternoon cleaning erasers in sixth grade and why I'll inevitably end up in someones re-education camp!

I'm looking forward to this release, but I see Hollywood couldn't resist the  American resistance fighter wearing a keffiyeh. Whats up with that?

Update 3/20 : Gutfeld lambasts Hollywood whimps.

March 18, 2011

How Bout We Leave the Kids Out of It...

...and let them be kids instead of pawns. During the recent Madison protests I cringed when I saw people showing up with kids in strollers considering the passions, participants, and the possibility of events spiralling out of control.

I was equally appalled that teachers encouraged their students to participate in the protests. Its one thing to be an idiot with your own kids its entirely reprehensible to be an idiot with someone else's. A teachers first priority is to ensure that the  kids are in a safe enviroment. Hangin with union thugs doesnt qualify.

Then the a few days ago we find  kids chanting union slogans in the Wisconsin Capital. I asked my liberal friend if this wasn't some form of child abuse since the kids were essentially being manipulated. His reply was they were getting a first hand look at democracy in action, like it was some sort of teachable moment. The kids were six I dont think they got it.

This morning I see that kids as young as 5 are being dressed up and paraded around the Arizona capital to make some point about immigration. From the Huffington Post:
Call it Arizona's Shock Doctrine.

And the children are the shock troops.

They dressed as firefighters, doctors, lawyers, police officers, pilots and scientists. They carried signs, including a 30-foot banner of colorful hand prints. They marched along the Arizona Capitol grounds, singing "This Little Light of Mine."
If these morons had a hint of self awareness  perhaps they could see how fascistly repugnant this tactic is. After all they are not the first to use children to meet their ends.

March 13, 2011


Our hearts and prayers are with the people of Japan in this time of tragedy.

How long before some idiot calls it divine retribution or something?

Update 3/15- Well That didnt take long, from the Church of the Everlasting Goracle
Climate Change Advocates Glom Onto Tsunami to Advance Arguments
The Salmon son heads back to Afghanistan today after two weeks of leave. Be safe Justin, we love you.

Iditarod Sunday

The run up the Yukon River has a way of sorting out the wheat from the chaff in any given year. Of the three racers to watch in my last post, only Hugh Neff is still hanging with the leaders in fourth place.

Martin Buser, as has been his m.o. for the past several years, looked strong at the start but began his fade in the middle. And as has happened to every four time winner, Lance Mackey may be witnessing the end of the Mackey dynasty, four in a row and there aint no more. He is now running with Martin around 12th position.

There looks to be four mushers out in front making a race of it as they reach the coast and of the top nine mushers none have previously won the race. Go underdogs!

How hard is to win five races? It has only been done once before, by Musher Rick Swenson and how he won is one of the legends of Iditarod history. This was back in the day when the feud between Rick and Susan Butcher was as much fun to watch as the race itself. A walk down Iditarod memory lane  From the New York Times, March 1991.

NOME, Alaska, March 15— On a day when the wind and the snow blowing off the Bering Sea Coast were so severe that he thought he might be risking his life, Rick Swenson of Two Rivers covered the final 77 miles to this historic gold-rush town and won the 19th annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race early this morning.

By mushing his team through temperatures of 20 degrees below zero and winds of 40 miles per hour when most of the chief competitors turned back to shelter, Swenson became the first five-time winner of the 1,163-mile race from Anchorage to Nome.

Swenson, who last won the event in 1982, finished in 12 days 16 hours 34 minutes 39 seconds to win $50,000 and a new truck. In 16 Iditarod competitions, he has never finished out of the top 10. Boldness Is Rewarded

The victory rewarded Swenson's boldness in mushing his dog team into a bitter winter storm from White Mountain, the next-to-last checkpoint, and deflecting the challenge of his chief rival, Susan Butcher of Eureka, who was seeking to become the top-winning Iditarod competitor.

Butcher, winner of four of the last five Iditarods, and the event record-holder with a time of 11 days 1 hour 53 minutes was one of three front-runners who headed into the bad weather, but then turned back early Thursday morning. Before the storm, she was viewed as the likely winner.
"If I was going to walk, I wasn't going to turn back," said Swenson. "As long as I stayed on the trail, I wasn't going to die."
Butcher finished third, five and a half hours behind Swenson.

You couldn't tell if you were going up, down or sideways," said Swenson of the worst stretches of trail. "You couldn't tell anything. I never worked so hard for anything in my life. It was a little scary and it was stressful. It was not a pleasant night."
Swenson, 40 years old, said he did not even know that the others had gone back, but he was determined to push on. "There was no prize in White Mountain," he said.

Swenson expressed surprise that Butcher didn't fight the storm. "She's gonna have to get six now if she wants to be top dog," he said.

Butcher, in a concession speech at White Mountain, said she was "very, very, very happy for Rick."
Susan quit racing after the 1994 race to concentrate on family, while Swenson has continued to race year after year. (Susan passed away from cancer in 2006). In this 1996 interview Swenson describes the single minded attention to your dogs that it takes to be competitive. That and age seems to be the determining factor in putting together multiple wins in this the "Toughest race on Earth.

Leader John Baker of Kotzebue
The race today is led by Alaska Native John Baker who has built a two hour lead over the rest of the field.  Bio from
John Baker, 48, was born and raised in Kotzebue, Alaska. He began mushing in 1995 and was interested in the Iditarod after watching the Race in its early years. He ran his first Iditarod in 1996 and has been in every race since. He has 11 top ten Iditarod finishes, and in 2010 won both the Kusko 300 and the Kobuk 440.

Race Standings Here

The Annual Salmon Hat Tip to the Iditarod Air Force which makes the race possible.

Weight and Balance? If it fits it flies.

Fuel;  gas, kerosene, propane and gallons of Heet.

March 10, 2011

Iditarod Day Five

The Iditarod Rush Hour

At about midnight Alaska time last night the Takotna Dam finally let loose and the pack of mushers spending their 24 hour layovers there poured out onto the trail once again. Musher Trent Herbst pushed on to Iditarod to earn the halfway prize of $4000 but he is about to be deluged with the flood of mushers now bearing down on the ghost town. As the screenshot shows this is the closest this part of Alaska gets to a rush hour as about 25 teams make the trek from Ophir to Iditarod.

The racers to watch and the first three of the pack into Iditarod.
4 Time Champ Martin Buser
Been a while since Buser was the first under the Burled Arch is he back?
Hugh Neff- Placed 9th last year. Can he hang with the big dogs?
4 Time Winner Lance Mackey-
Cool Pic courtesy the Anchorage Daily News

Northern Lights over Tokatna

March 09, 2011

Iditarod Update

From the You Got To Be Tough in the North Country Department: Swenson says mushing with apparently broken collar bone is "not so bad" (Anchorage Daily News)
Rolling up plastic for his dog sled runners? That's hard. Lifting his left arm above his chest? That hurts.
But mushing with what appears to be a broken collar bone isn't as bad as five-time Iditarod champion Rick Swenson expected.
"It’s painful, but as long as I keep my arm down as low as possible below my chest and don’t try to reach out very far it’s not so bad," he said, clacking two bricks of frozen meat together beside his sled. "I’m surprised actually.”
Swenson was one of several mushers to wipe out at the notorious Happy River Valley steps before the Rainy Pass checkpoint. He heard something pop, he said, and a physicians assistant at the checkpoint said he indeed appeared to have a broken collarbone.
“I’m a little slower, because of it, but I think I’m doing a good job," he said
I was pulling for Rick to make a comeback and add to his 5 victories before Mackey or Buser tied him this year. As it looks now I don't see how he can possibly be competitive. Hang in there Rick.

The leaders look like they have decided to enjoy the next twenty four hours hanging out in beautiful downtown Takotna for the mandatory layover.
From ITC - Tokatna - Population 51 -- Situated on the banks of the Takotna River, this town has a store and a restaurant. This is one of the smallest towns with one of the biggest welcomes.

Martin Buser (15 dogs) has been setting the pace followed by Mackey (12 dogs) an hour and a half later. Four would be contenders pushed on to Ophir but the leaders will certainly blow past them just as soon as the layover is done around 8pm ADT.  Leader Board HERE

The weather is predicted to be clear and relatively balmy for the next few days so this could turn into a real sprint once the mushers hit the coast.

A few Pics stolen from courtesy the Anchorage Daily News.

Mt. Denali and Foraker in the Distance

The Checkpoint at Nicoli

Mushing Through Rainy Pass

March 08, 2011

Iditarod 2011

I couldnt drag my team away from the hydrant so I am a couple days late with the annual Salmon Iditarod Coverage. Once again the lady that lets me live with her has treated me to the Iditarod Insider Package and the racer GPS live tracker.
The race began from Willow Sunday morning with 63 mushers. Four time champ Martin Buser led the pack into Nicoli today 243 miles down the trail. One hundred seventeen miles back is the Red Lantern and musher Robert Story. As the screen shot shows, that's one long line of dog doo.

Iditarod Trail Official Site
Interactive Map Courtesy the Anchorage Daily News

The  man to beat, the winner of four consecutive races, Lance Mackey,