Thursday, December 24, 2009

Them's fightin' words!

I drove 1100 miles up and back to the Bay Area this week. This "Aryan" comment by Senator Whitehouse was running through in my brain in the background as I listened to Rush et al on the radio. The further I drove, the more fired up I got.

By Kerry Picket on Dec. 20, 2009
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) today took shots at those who are not supporting the health care legislation. During a floor speech, he excoriated Senate GOP members for holding up the pending health care bill and accused their supporters of being birthers and fanatics in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups. He started off by citing an editorial from the Manchester Journal Inquirer, which used the insult "lunatic fringe."

Had to turn off the radio for a bit cause I was starting to have a RCOB moment. Found myself repeating the admonition from the book of James, "The anger of man does not bring about the righteousness of God."

Sen Whitehouse's "Aryan" statement (and Senator Reid's comparison of healthcare opposition to supporters of continuing slavery) had me thinking about how boors, cads and ruffians no longer have to fear any payback for inflammatory speech.

In any other time or place we'd all recognize that "Them's fightin' words."

The more I thought about it, the more I thought that it is flat out wrong that a guy can say this type of stuff and have no fear of consequences.

The Senate should censure him (or worse) but won't.

What's that leave us with? A bit of Texas barroom justice? You know that Texas affirmative defense, "Your honor, I reckon he just needed a beatin'".

As satisfying as that is at first blush it hasn't worked so well in the Senate in the past (canings, etc).

The caning of Senator Sumner signalled the end of an era of compromise and sectional accommodation in the Senate, further heightening the discord that culminated in war after eleven southern states seceded from the Union during the winter of 1860-1861

It's frustrating that we on the Right are the adults in the room so we must do our best to ignore the loudmouth boors among us.

We on the Right are so "civil" that a Biblical Fool like Sen Whitehouse has no fear of getting jacked up in the cloak room or challenged by a colleague to meet at 10 paces down by the river at dawn.

At some point if boorish behavior like Sen Whitehouse and Reid is left unchecked, I fear we'll find ourselves back at the place we were on May 22, 1856; or even July 11, 1804

Where's Aaron Burr when you need him?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Irish Confessional

An Irishman walked into the confessional box after years of being away from the Church.

There was a fully equipped bar with Guinness on tap. On the other wall was a
dazzling array of the finest cigars and chocolates.

Then the priest came in.

"Father, forgive me, for it's been a very long time since I've been to confession, but I must first admit that the confessional box is much more inviting than it used to be."

The priest replied: "Get out. You're on my side."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

When Pigs Fly

Better start cruising for a suitable bear rifle. Ya know with the coming ice age and all that -- could be polar bears in the neighborhood before you know it.

What's that ya say? Crazy talk?

Hey, anything's possible! People were saying the AGW movement would slow down when pigs have wings.

Well, there's pork in the treetops this morning!

This from a column by James Delingpole at the UK's Telegraph:
What the Russians are suggesting here, in other words, is that the entire global temperature record used by the IPCC to inform world government policy is a crock.

As Richard North says: This is serial.

Read the whole article LINK

Rhubard Monopoly?

Beginning with the Greeks, dried rhubarb root has been used medicinally - primarily as a laxative - for about 4,500 years. Russia had an early state monopoly of the rhubarb trade it had with China, and by 1638 had a Department of Rhubarb. the whole article at Anchorage Daily News. LINK

A Dept of Rhubarb? Were there Rhubarb Robber Barons?

Q: Can the public visit the Experiment Farm in Palmer to view the different varieties grown there?
A: The rhubarb collection is part of the Arctic and Sub-arctic Plant Genetic Resources Unit. They have more than 300 rhubarb plants encompassing 64 varieties growing there from all over the United States and Europe this year. It is maintained by the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service. This is a research project to try to save our food plants for posterity. The public can't roam through the fields, so someone would have to escort visitors.

64 varieties? 64! Who knew...

I'm sure there's some tasty rhubarb puns in there. Or at least some bittersweet humor.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Morning light

A coupla shots from the phone camera yesterday morning as I worked on the first cup of coffee. Love it when the clouds lay in the valley like that. The camera doesn't do it justice but still...

Can barely make it out in this image but it was cool how the County Courthouse(tallest building in the valley) sat like an island on the cloud cover.

A good day for a Tea Party

On this day in 1773...

Apropos of the day, I just came across website for a group called "Fire Fifty." Looks interesting. Barely scratched the surface so far but deserves a closer look.

Our overall objective is to uphold the ideals of the American Revolution: free individuals in a representative democracy, bound by the rule of law.

Our immediate objective is to take control of the House of Representatives in 2010.

Our strategy is to elect a caucus of 50 Independents, denying both the Republicans and Democrats a majority in the House.

The Big Question
Many people are worried that if the Tea Party Movement supports anyone but Republicans we will help elect Democrats. We want to address this directly.

Strategically there is a very simple solution: win big. A necessary condition for winning is having a plan to win, and we plan to win. We have a clean, limited, conservative platform based on ethics and common sense American civics. We are focused, in district selection and on issues, and we have one goal: Victory in at least 50 districts from AZ-7 to WI-8. Winning congressional races is basic political blocking and tackling: people, money, and determination to win. The Tea Party Movement brings all of these to Fire Fifty Independents.

We believe that the Tea Party Movement is larger than either party thinks. Let them keep telling us that only 50,000 marched on Washington when it was probably more like 10 to 20 times that and that’s not including all the other tea parties held across the country on the same day. There are 61 individual Tea Party groups in Texas alone. This is a true grass-roots movement that will bring real change to Washington.

We have selected districts where Republicans have not presented a credible alternative to the “Progressive” running as a Democrat. By running as Independents, we are not saddled with the baggage of the Republican brand, and can run in New England, the Rust Belt and rural and suburban districts around the country. These districts are now represented by Democrats that are much more liberal than their constituents; they are vulnerable to a Tea Party Independent.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Words o' wisdom from a friend

Speaking of e-mails I get, this just in...

01. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.

02. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.

03. It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.

04. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

05. Always remember that you're unique. Just like everyone else.

06. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

07. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

08. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.

09. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is probably not for you.

10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.

11. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably a wise investment.

12. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.

13. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.

14. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.

16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.

17. Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

18. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.

19. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.

20. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

21. Never miss a good chance to shut up.


22. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night..

Saturday, December 12, 2009

We Get Letters (Spirit of the TEA partier)

We all get e-mail from time to time (daily?) claiming to be a grassroots sort of letter to the Dems and the Administration. Dunno if it's real grassroots stuff or Astroturf. Sometimes they claim to be written by some noteable public figure. If there's even a name associated with it, usually no one's ever heard of the person.

Anymore, I seldom even read them that closely, if at all. Many of them have been fwd'd so many times that the messed up formatting makes them really tedious, painful even, to read.

Mostly me eye's glaze over and they go straight to trash. Some I will scan over, esp if there's a humorous image/pic included. I can't remember the last time I even bothered to Snopes one of 'em.

Once in a while I'll slow down and give a bit more attention to one of these posts. Agree with them or not, Astroturf or not, some are put together pretty well. Some even capture and communicate some popular sentiment very well.

Like I said, agree with this type post or not it, some merit attention simply as a view into part of the present day soul of America. The post below is one of those posts. It captures the spirit of the movement underlying the past year's TEA parties.

I must admit, even this one I haven't read super closely or parsed for error to argue or deconstruct. It's longer than most but doesn't go into internet rant territory.

Take it or leave it. Eat the chicken, leave the bones.

What caught my eye was the headings on the 12 key points. At least scan those for context and overall pespective. I bold faced those sub-headings for the casual reader.

The morning woodstove fire is up and running well, coffee's on, gray skys with a momentary break in the rain; enjoy some Saturday morning reading.

"I am a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life.
Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I
no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue
issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents
my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer
feel any political party or representative in Washington
represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to
me. Instead, we are burdened with Congressional Dukes and
Duchesses who think they know better than the citizens they are supposed to

There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that
you are there and that you're willing to fight for our Constitution
as it was written. Please stand up now.

You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would feel so horribly
disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut-job am I?
Well, these briefly are the views and issues for which I seek representation:

One- illegal immigration.
I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I'm not a racist. This is not to be confused with legal immigration.

Two- the STIMULUS bill.
I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told
you No, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed.
Freeze, repeal.

Three- Czars.
I want the circumvention of our constitutional checks and balances stopped
immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to
the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution, and
honor it.

Four- cap and trade.
The debate on global warming is not over. There are many conflicting opinions and it is too soon for this radical legislation. Quit throwing our nation into
politically-correct quicksand.

Five, universal healthcare.
I will not be rushed into another expensive decision that will burden me, my children, and grandchildren. Don't you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night without even reading it. Slow down! Fix only what is broken --
we have the best health care system in the world -- and test any new program
in one or two states first.

Six- growing government control.
I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. More is not better! Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your REAL [Constitutional] obligations. Why don't you start there.

Seven- ACORN.
I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them
investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed
to them every time on every real estate deal that closes -- how did they pull
that one off? Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending
impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the
census with our taxpayer money. I don't trust them with any of our taxpayer
money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before
taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks
like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work
for us, the people. Investigate.

Eight- redistribution of wealth.
No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked
for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs -- and
that is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a
job from a poor person! Why do you want me to hate my employers? And what do
you have against shareholders making a profit?

Nine- charitable contributions.
Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it

Ten- corporate bailouts.
Knock it off. Every company must sink or swim like the rest of us. If
there are hard times ahead, we'll be better off just getting into it and
letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. (Have you ever ripped off a
Band-Aid?) We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great
hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than
you have disappointed us.

Eleven- transparency and accountability.
How about it? No, really, how about it? Let's have it. Let's say we give the
buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please stop trying to
manipulate and appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you
obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making
deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal
investigation. Stop hiding things from me.

Twelve- unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.

Take a breath. Listen to the people. Slow down and get some input from nonpoliticians and experts on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop
speed-reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community
organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a
parent and a grandparent. I work. I'm busy. I am busy, and I am tired.
I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of
government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a
little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our
personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be
responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the
same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.

I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far
off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader
to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without
knowing what it contained? I do not.

It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you
would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I
would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt
that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP
bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still
cannot. There is needless urgency and recklessness in all of your recent
spending of our tax dollars.

From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am
far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current
pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop.
We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced
upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold
to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our
vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have
had and money we cannot afford to spend on bringing our concerns to
Washington . Our president often knows all the right buzzwords like
unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did
the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don't want your overpriced
words. Stop treating us like we're morons.

We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and
at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be
heard and we will be represented.. You think we're so busy with our lives
that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of
us who quietly work, pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our
noses to the grindstone... and we are now looking at you.

You have awakened us, the patriotic freedom spirit so strong and so powerful that
it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are
great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will
be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We
will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on
voting day to usher you out of office.

We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the
representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn't
ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in
violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you
will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us who
will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our

Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don't care.
Political parties are meaningless to us Patriotic Americans are willing to do
right by us and our Constitution, and that is all that matters to
us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is
not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted
you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As
Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If
you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and
consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired.
Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be
loyal to us, not to them.. Because we will get you fired and they will not
save you.

If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your
identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to
know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the
rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one
by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do
you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are

Those 12 points would be a good platform for the loyal opposition to run on in 2010 and 2012.

The party of "No?" Not enough "positive" vision in there for rebuilding the Republican brand? Maybe. Maybe that's not a bad thing. It's what adults need to say to foolish children.

"The party of No. Adult leadership for the future of America."

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tiger TARP

Pretty much sums up this week in the news...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

midweek midday mumblings...

Getting physc'd up to crawl under daughter #1's car. Best guess is her fuel pump is dead/intermittent and that means dropping the fuel tank. To quote the philosopher Harry Callahan, "Marvelous." Her car's just been sitting though without me getting started on it. If the evenings haven't been too full with meetings, they've been too wet. Well, 'cept for last night. I just plain copped out. /heh

Meantime, this was the last day to pay the first installment on this year's property. Ungggh. Got the my most of my duck's lined up for Xmas morning. Managed to do all my shopping online. The thrill of the mall at Christmas I felt at a child? No so much anymore. Maybe it's all the SoCal bare midriffs, bellybutton piercings and trampstamps. Either that or I'm just a cheap son of a Scotsman in a tight economy with 10% local sales tax and the idea of shopping in a retail establishment, much less paying retail just makes me dour about the whole thing. :-)

There's so much going on politically and economically that my mind buffer just about is in overflow mode. Public option is dead. Yea. Obamacare still lives. It's like Freddie -- just finds a way to live on and on...

Looked at the calender it's been since early October I got out shooting. Maybe I need some range time. Yeah, that's the ticket. Still cheaper than therapy.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Bores, Cads and Ruffians

The morning after the record rain dawned cold and bright. Yet, I must admit to having a few dark thoughts.

Harry Reid's comment in the Senate comparing those who oppose Obamacare to those who opposed stopping slavery had me imagining the return of fisticuffs on the floor of Congress and duals at sunrise among Washington gentleman.

Nevermind it was Dems who wanted to keep 'em down on the plantation then. Nevermind that it is Dems now who want to keep 'em on the plantation now by locking in dependancy on .gov healthcare.

Just consider that we've become so polite and well mannered a society that one can be this impolite and ill-mannered and get away with it. No worries that the opposing team dugout will clear out and start a brawl for the disrespect shown.

/selah. Some things still work in America. Things like dugout clearing brawls in baseball and bench clearing fights in hockey.

Bores, Cads, and Ruffians.

Some guys just need punched in the nose once in a while to remind them to think before they speak in public.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Gully washer

Single day rainfall record for San Diego today. The hard drain lines up higher on the lot installed this fall seemed to flow pretty well.Put the temporary drains and silt fences to the test.
This is looking up at the two temp lines coming out the bottom corner of our lot onto the drive. It's going pretty good at this point but really stepped it up about 30 minutes later. Had gust to 50kts and some pretty good driven rain.
Was knee deep in forms for footings, gravel/sandbags/straw wattles/tarps/drain line prep for rain approaching, and getting Montero off jacks and on the road after 2 weeks in-op.

Watching the rain now -- a bit of a gully washer. I'm sure we'll be hearing from the doom and gloomers how this doesn't break our drought. Harummpph.

We'll see how all the improvements and prepwork on the homestead handle the water.

Remember. Today is December 7th. Remember.

A was A, though many chose to live in denial. We watched for 10 years then, ignored warnings, turned a blind eye to those would master or kill us. We failed to call a spade a spade or an enemy an enemy. Almost 3000 Americans paid the ultimate price that December day because of a slumbering America.

Today? A is still A. Are we a nation hopelessly lost in a post-modernist PC haze? Will we, can we, say reality is reality? Who will step out the spiral of silence and name those who are our enemies, foreign and dosmetic?

Thursday, December 3, 2009


...for the Obamazombie Apocalypse.

Grow a better tomato

Make your own warm clothing (for when all the zombie sheep are gone).

h/t Gunnie Librarian, Breda (not Marian)

Clean and butcher game

(or bald pets no longer useful for yarn production)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Get Jacked!

This, among other things, has been taking up quite of bit of personal bandwidth...

Have had this vehicle down (or up as it were on jacks) for over a week now. Takes up a lot of time juggling vehicles, various family member work schedules and such. Finally got a rental car for a few days but even that takes time to go rent and to run back to re-negotiate for a day extension. That's besides time spent working on it, running for parts, modifying tools to simulate atrociously expensive factory special tools, returning defective parts, order an new bearing hub ring from Mitsu dealer, yadda, yadda.

Sounds like I'm grumping? Nah, actually it's been sort of invigorating to be recovered enough from back surgery to do this. I did the stooping and grunting necessary to accomplish some light mechanical work without getting "jacked up" myself. (yea! progress back toward having a life :-) )

It's all set but for one missing part. I had to return and reorder a brake caliper that arrived with bunged up threads on the brake line port. It had been dropped and the casting was actually deformed. No way I could chase that thread safely without contaminating the unit.

Both hubs are all freshened up with new rotors, new bearings properly torqued and packed, new seals and locking hub permatex'd up watertight. The axle end play is properly shimmed to OEM spec's -- had to order a shim pack from the dealer. The shims were too narrow for me to make good homebrew shims.

Took advantage of the extra parts wait time to put new KYB shocks on the front. The factory originals were completely inop. Looking forward to seeing how that affects the handling. This rig is a bit tipsy_rocky_rolly.
Just waiting for the Brown Truck of Happiness to arrive with that caliper...

Monday, November 30, 2009

talking to myself...

Ephesians 5:20
...always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Colossians 2:7
...rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tommy this and Tommy that...

This came from my brother overseas in response to yesterday's post.

"Thanks for your part in defending our country on active duty. Our country errs most often on the side of being away from evil in these matters. This sure seems like one of those errors and I hope for justice. I cringe for those from countries where this error is never made."

I responded...

Amen. Evidence of American Exceptionalism.

Many of our countrymen mistakenly assign moral equivalence to other cultures and (implicitly) reject the notion of American exceptionalism. "American Imperialism" is the cry -- as if on balance that's a bad thing. Looking back through the at eras of empire and eras that lacked empire I know which era(s) I would generally prefer to live and travel in.

What we see since the Vietnam era is a far tilt toward toward being too public about matters of military battlefield discipline. It is morbid introspection on a national scale. Ironically, those who oppose us intend these public displays to expose America's flawed character. However, it actually proves our core national character and goodwill. In a sense it argues for American exceptionalism.

All that's academic and arguable. What must be a given is that we are indeed at war. Men and women are in harms way - now. It was not a war of our choosing. It was declared upon we who live in Dar el Harb. In these media matters we forget we are at war; that this is an information war, a war on national morale, occasionally interrupted by firefights and explosions. It is a war of "wills." We win by breaking the enemies will to fight. They win by "not losing" and fighting on long enough to break our will to fight.

To that end, we consistently give too much "aid and comfort" to the enemy and bolster their will to fight. On our side, too public a treatment of matters like this severely diminishes morale of those "rough men" who in go in harms way on our behalf. It energizes the enemy who seek another media event and costs American lives, coalition lives and lives of innocents who are used by terrorists as shields and pawns.

"We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

- Winston Churchill

First fight. Then fiddle. Ply the slipping string
With feathery sorcery; muzzle the note
With hurting love; the music that they wrote
Bewitch, bewilder. Qualify to sing
Threadwise. Devise no salt, no hempen thing
For the dear instrument to bear. Devote
The bow to silks and honey. Be remote
A while from malice and from murdering.
But first to arms, to armour. Carry hate
In front of you and harmony behind.
Be deaf to music and to beauty blind.
Win war. Rise bloody, maybe not too late
For having first to civilize a space
Wherein to play your violin with grace.

- Gwendolyn Brooks

Friday, November 27, 2009

Punch a Terrorist. Go to Jail.

What's the bumpersticker say?
"If you aren't outraged, you haven't been paying attention"

That was originally directed at Bush '43 but we've got a new
Commander in Chief. As far as I know the buck still stops in the Oval Office.

Punch a terrorist, go to jail?

Navy SEALs have secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq — the alleged mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. And three of the SEALs who captured him are now facing criminal charges, sources told


That is "IF" they punched him. He did spend time in Iraqi custody. In any case...

I learned my lesson from Chief Von Tersch in boot camp well, "Seaman
Recruit, you can delegate authority but you CANNOT delegate

Other than that, how was your Thanksgiving? :-) Hope it was a happy and thankful time.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

lite blogging

been busier than the proverbial one armed paper hanger. Mostly car troubles. Counting daughter #1's car at one point we were 3 for 4 vehicles this week (3 down and out).

Daughter's car is going to require dropping the fuel tank.

Got the TDI Beetle going again (thankfully a simple repair to low pressure fuel injector return) and troubleshot flashing glow plug light. Who'd a thunk that the glow plug circuit would be tied in with the brake pedal switch? Gotta get that part on order.

4WD Montero front brakes and bearings are going, going, gone. Got passenger side hub parts on order earlier this week and finished putting it together late today -- except for a factory shim I need to order to set/tighten up the axle endplay.

In the middle of this a missionary friend up from Mexico pulled in with his van front bearings screaming. That was easy, fun even. Working together we had him back on the road with new bearing on both front wheels in a couple or 3 hours.

On top of that had to run up to OC for all day meeting Tuesday. Then today made a morning run up and back to Cucamonga to get the Son&Heir. He had his own adventures with vehicle breakdowns on the late night roadtrip down from the Bay Area. Friends radiator ran drive at top of the Grapevine. Just made it (coasted. literally) into a station in Gorman in time for the stations lights to switch off for the night.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saturday details and interruptions

Started off the day digging (footings for retaining wall to be poured). That used up the morning (and me). Figured I should make use of a leftover half sack of concrete mix before it got damp and was wasted.

The wall footings will need blocks to keep the steel off the bottom of the trench. Let's see what we can do with some scrap wood.

Wire inserted.

Voila. Dobies. Well, sorta. Not an unqualified success. The gravel in the mix made it tough score deeply. Got a few crumbling.

There's some left over mortar mix sitting too. We'll see if that works out better.

Off to run errands and hit up my toy store (Home Depot) for some odd bits and pieces. Heading home to get the Montero on jacks and start removing front hubs and rotors for to do a complete brake rebuild when a call comes from the ladies at the mall. "The Beetle is smoking or steaming or something. Whatta we do Dad?"

Got to the mall. Found it dripping diesel. Ruh-roh, is it that new injector pump installed earlier this year (at great expense)? Fired it up. See fuel washing the side of the engine. Trace it up to above the pump and see a cracked glow plug spewing.
Whew. Thank you Lord and thank you Triple A.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Dog for sale

A guy is driving around the back woods of Montana and he sees a sign in front of a broken down shanty-style house: 'Talking Dog For Sale ' He rings the bell and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard.

The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador retriever sitting there.

'You talk?' he asks.

'Yep,' the Lab replies.

After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says 'So, what's your story?'
The Lab looks up and says, 'Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA. In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.'
'I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running. But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals.' 'I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired.'

The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.

'Ten dollars,' the guy says.

'Ten dollars? This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?'

'Because he's a liar. He never did any of that stuff.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Morning light

Lit the woodstove for the first time this fall. Morning coffee. Morning light.

Big weekend behind us. Youth conference at church wrapped up. Guests gone home.
Camp trailer hooked up in the nick of time Friday, empty now. Waiting for next call to duty.

Friday, November 13, 2009

beatin' the rain

Took the day off and rented a bobcat today. Got a lot of cleanup done on the lower drive. Prepping for a house (and trailer) full of company this weekend. Youth conference at church. Lots of folks coming from out of town.

Big part of the effort was getting piles of fill, gravel and concrete rubble out of this area.

Also relocated all the keystone blocks lower on the lot: out of the way and closer to where they'll be used.

Took advantage of the bobcat to run gravel to the upper lot driveway and then by wheelbarrow over the wall to cover this drainage area at the foot of the grand retaining wall.

The crowning achievement of the day was getting the trailer (24') moved from the house driveway and down to the lower lot and the new RV hookups. It was dark by the time I got that done -- no pix. Still had to load the bobcat in the dark. One of the tie-down chain tensions jammed and I had to go persuade it in my vise. I reaaaally wanted to be done by then.
I'm beat.
John Lott does yeoman duty reporting the facts. Bookmark him for a daily read if you haven't already. Just be sure to be up on all your meds -- esp your blood pressure pill.

This (and other) tidbits on his recent blog showing the dirty details of the bill passed by the House last Saturday night (hack, spit)...

Buried in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's 1,990-page bill is a provision that provides "incentive payments" to each state that develops an "alternative medical liability law" that encourages "fair resolution" of disputes and "maintains access to affordable liability insurance." Sounds encouraging. Read on, however, and you come to this nugget: The state only qualifies if its new law "does not limit attorneys' fees or impose caps on damages." . . .

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Heavenly medical care

A man suffered a serious heart attack and had open heart bypass surgery. He awakened from the surgery to find himself in the care of nuns at a Catholic Hospital . As he was recovering, a nun asked him questions regarding how he was going to pay for his treatment.

She asked, 'Do you have health insurance?'
He replied in a raspy voice, 'No health insurance.'

The nun asked, 'Do you have money in the bank?'
He replied, 'No money in the bank.'

The nun asked, 'Do you have a relative who could help you?'
He said, 'I only have a spinster sister, who is a nun.'

The nun became agitated and announced loudly, 'Nuns are not spinsters! Nuns are married to God.'

The patient replied, 'Send the bill to my brother-in-law.'

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

90 years ago...

90 years ago today marxists on Tower Ave in Centralia who were wanting to "transform America" by force of arms, killed 4 veterans on parade during the first remembrance of Armistice Day.

One of the killers who was caught that day, made it safely to jail but didn't see the light of another day -- thanks to some young vets who took matters into their own hands in the dark of night.

Did they do the right thing? Those Vets with their midnight justice?
Certainly not by today's standards.

Put yourself in the historical context...
Sons of pioneers who'd settled hostile lands and fought Indian wars;
just returned from a war in Europe;
some like Warren Grimm who'd served in Russia and seen first hand the reality of a rising communist tide.
What did the threat of armed takeover of the US by IWW communists look like to them?

If not the "right thing," did they do the necessary thing?

Given their setting and worldview could they have done anything less?

Here we are today. 90 years later. What's changed?

Now there are Marxists still wanting to transform America, but, they've made it from Tower Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue. They have learned to use a different type of power and have a complicit media and the power of earmarks to bribe the self serving in Congress.

The spirit of the Wobblies lives on in America -- does the spirit of Warren Grimm?.

It ain't over yet...

Saturday, November 7, 2009

hey Pun'kin!

Been a lot on my mind. Was up in the wee hours last night thinking some things through -- life, church, a long time loved one who's gone astray, self examination.

Puttered in the garden today. Backfilled a bit of drain line trench. Planted some palms and a dwarf seedless Mexican lime tree by the pool. Ran drip lines to a couple beds around the pool perimeter..

Came inside mid-afternoon and puttered in the kitchen. Got hit with memories from the smells of autumn. Memories of Mom and life on Cooks Hill.
Smell links to memory stronger than our other senses...

I was past due to get the pumpkins from our patch off the porch. Tossed a couple that didn't smell as fresh as I liked. Sliced and gutted the rest and put them in the oven. Skinned them after cooking and ran the meat through the Kitchenaide shredder. 8 cups to the freezer -- enough for 4 pies at the holidays.

Daughter #1 jumped to, separated seeds, salted them and got in the hot oven after that.

Some garden and kitchen time. Refreshed. Life is good. God is better.

Costs of Defensive Medicine

A woman brought a very limp duck to the veterinary. As she laid her pet on the table, the vet pulled out his stethoscope and listened to the bird's chest.

After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said; "I'm sorry, your duck (Cuddles) has passed away.."

The distressed woman wailed; "Are you sure?"

"Yes, I am sure. The duck is dead." replied the vet.

"How can you be so sure?" she protested. "I mean you haven't done any testing on him or anything. He might just be in a coma or something."

The vet rolled his eyes, turned around, and left the room.

He returned a few minutes later with a black Labrador Retriever.. As the duck's owner looked on in amazement, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table, and sniffed the duck from top to bottom.

He then looked up at the vet with sad eyes and shook his head.

The vet patted the dog on the head and took it out of the room.

A few minutes later he returned with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and also delicately sniffed the bird from head to foot. The cat sat back on its haunches, shook its head, meowed softly, and strolled out of the room.

The vet looked at the woman and said; "I'm sorry, but as I said, this is most definitely, 100% certifiably, a dead duck."

The vet turned to his computer terminal, hit a few keys and produced a bill, which he handed to the woman. The duck's owner, still in shock, took the bill. "$150!" she cried; "$150 just to tell me my duck is dead!?"

The vet shrugged; "I'm sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but.....with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan, it's now $150.

Word 'o day

"Fifth Column" A concept tarred and feathered as un-PC and McCarthy-ite to even consider?

Put this on your reading list,
“* Navy Signalman Hassan Abujihaad last year was convicted of tipping off al-Qaida to battle group movements in the Persian Gulf, including disclosing classified documents detailing the group’s vulnerability to terror attack.

• Army reservist Jeffrey Battle in 2003 pleaded guilty to conspiring to wage war against the U.S., confessing he enlisted “to receive military training to use against America.”

• Army reservist Semi Osman in 2002 was arrested for providing material support to al-Qaida and pleaded guilty to weapons charges after agreeing to testify against other terror suspects.

* Marine Abdul Raheem al-Arshad Ali trained at a suspected al-Qaida camp and was charged with selling a semi-automatic handgun to Osman.

• Army Sgt. Ali Mohamed trained Green Berets at Fort Bragg’s elite special warfare school before stealing military secrets for al-Qaida and helping plan bombings at three U.S. embassies in 1998.

• Army Spec. Ryan Anderson in 2004 was convicted of leaking military intelligence to al-Qaida terrorists, including sensitive information about the vulnerabilities of armored Humvees.

• Army sniper John Muhammad was put on death row after fatally shooting 10 in the nation’s capital a year after 9/11.”

h/t to Lex. This showed up in comments

Friday, November 6, 2009

full plate

some sticky stuff at church to deal with, the jihadi attack on our troops at Ft Hood, the MSM's and .Gov's denial of connection to the enemy we're at war with...

pass the pink liquid. All I can say at the moment is "arm our military." Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? Arm our military? How many died yesterday because soldiers weren't allowed to bear arms on a military base. Absurd. How have we come to this?

That makes about 100 troops who've been killed by jihadis in their midst who wore the same uniform.

this tally from Zane's comment in response to this blog by Lex:
May I ask a favor of the readership? By my estimate, since 2001 we’ve lost over a hundred soldiers, and likely many hundreds more, to Islamic traitors. Help me name them all (I stink at names).

Start with Ali Mohamed, the Egyptian trained at Fort Bragg.

The Marine from Lebanon who invented his own kidnapping to escape his HET team in the field, was recaptured, and who fled the country when allowed out of brig in Christmas charity.

Perfidious interpreters such as some I knew of can be added to the list, if they were American citizens.

The soldier who rolled the grenade in Kuwait.

The soldier recently convicted of years of rapes.

The Beltway Sniper, trained in the Army.

Jihad Johnny, who knew the attack was coming, had multiple opportunities to tell his American captors, and chose Islam instead.

How about that OS who changed his name to Jihad (hey DivO, think that’s a clue to something?) and tried to pass location data on Lex’s battle group to the muj?

gimme a minute I'll back with bells on. At moment though I'm thinking some dark thoughts as I grieve with the families of our fallen (unarmed) warriors at Ft Hood.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Four more years

To quote an old friend who fwd'd this to me, "Even the Canucks have figured this one out."

"OBAMA WILL PROBABLY NOT FINISH HIS 4-YEAR TERM, at least not in a conventional way." the whole article

Monday, November 2, 2009

Making Sausage and Tax Laws

Somethings you're just better off not seeing. Here's another. The insides of my Taurus 85UL, 38 Special +P revolver.

It's said that a snub is the hardest handgun to shoot well. To get and stay proficient requires practice. I've done that. Lots of rounds have gone through this revolver. Tonight I finally took off the sideplate to give it a deep cleaning and see what lubing it up with the recent batch I bought of wonderlube "Slipstream" does for it.

Sort of wish I'd left well enough alone. Even inspecting without the benefit of magnification I see why so many smiths refuse to work on Taurus revolvers. I may be sending this back to Taurus and asking for them to clean up some ugliness on functional surfaces. The roughness on the cylinder pawls alone make me want to run to Brownells website and see if a replacement part is available. The hammer torques so much in DA mode that when it comes down it's striking the sideplate and sliding down it until it hits the transfer bar. yechhhh.

I got this about 3 years ago. Lots of guys base on Taurus quality but I've had a .357 Taurus since the 80's that's been a peach so I went ahead and got this 38.

Since then it's my primary carry piece. All in all I've been very happy with it. Yeah the double action trigger is notchy and varies widely from one cylinder to the the next but I shoot it pretty pickin' well if I do say so myself. Practice, practice, practice.

It's a nice compromise in size and weight for a snub. Fills my hand better than the benchmark lightweight S&W J-frame (a good thing when shooting +P loads). However, due to the alloy frame still much lighter than the Ruger SP101 I almost bought instead of this piece. I'm glad for the lighter weight.

I'll sleep on it but odds are I'll be checking into Taurus warranty.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Quote o' day

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by encouraging class hatred.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could do for themselves.
—Abraham Lincoln

h/t Lex

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Polar Express...

More bears than we can bear?

This from "The Telegraph" in the UK
The ice caps haven’t been melting as the alarmists and the models predicted they should. The Antarctic, containing nearly 90 per cent of all the ice in the world, has actually been cooling over the past 30 years, not warming. The polar bears are not drowning – there are four times more of them now than there were 40 years ago. In recent decades, the number of hurricanes and droughts have gone markedly down, not up.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Newt jumps the Shark

Have all ya'll have been following this one up in NY-23rd District? The NRCC is backing a Margaret Sanger Award winner who supports Card Check.

Sound to you like the TEA party messages have really struck home, eh? /heh

Michelle Malkin is reporting regularly on the race and the wrestling match inside the Republican Party.

I think Newt jumped the shark with his vocal stand with the NRCC and the RINO candidate on this issue.

Quite a show being put on by a Conservative Party candidate (and some fun fireworks to watch as Sarah Palin and others have sided with the 3rd party Hoffman). It would seem to me, this is a strategic battle for the soul of the Republican and conservative movement.

I've given to Hoffman's campaign. Been plenty of talk about conservatives taking on professional party RINO's.

We been talking about this type of guy emerging from the community to run for office. There's been plenty of talking. Sometimes, too much talking.

Well, Keep talking. But, now is time for action. So take action while you talk the issue up. If you're so inclined, send $5, $10 or $20 towards Mr. Hoffman's campaign. LINK

Maybe the RNCC and Mr. Steele will feel your poke in their eye.

Hoffman's NY column: Link

Self Evident?

Are these truths still self-evident?

1. Liberty
2. Private property
3. Consent of the governed
4. Equality
5. Natural rights
6. Religious freedom
7. Rule of law
8. Constitutionalism

Even to this generation of government schooled people?

This list came nicely packaged in Cal Thomas's colume today at Townhall,
Matthew Spalding of The Heritage Foundation offers one component of that strategy in his new book, "We Still Hold These Truths: Rediscovering Our Principles, Reclaiming Our Future." Spalding believes, "America is unique in that universal principles of liberty are the foundation of its particular system of government and its political culture."

Part of Cal's prescription? Going Galt on public schools -- a mass exodus. hmmm...

We're facing that decision ourselves as our youngest approaches the end of junior high school. We are considering where to send her for freshman year of high school. She'd been in an excellent charter school that's a blast from the past. The school teaches history the way I learned it; with it a healthy view of American Exceptionalism.

The Charter School is in it's second year of a new high school program. We'd thought that was a fait accompli for daughter #3 since it was first announced. However, as it's developed, it's faced a lot of opposition from the Establishment and the ramp up in facilities and programs has been slower than expected. They still are making do in cramped quarters at the lower campus and hitting snags with contracting for a dedicated HS building.

Add to that daughter #3's growing interest in water polo and involvement with the team/coach/new friends at our default public high school. It's a really good public school -- as public schools go.

So, a choice between schools will have to be made -- a choice we'd thought was long since settled.

World view or water polo?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Make Mine Freedom


Speaking precisely -- or accurately

A discussion about "group size" among gun nuts leads to this bit of muttering...

Accuracy as a term used by gunnies is really "precision." This is a bread and butter part of my work a day world. It's remarkable how hard it is for folks to grok. Even among degreed engineers only a few are consistently able to synthesize and apply it to their situation.

Put less precisely than the dictionary definitions but more in the vernacular that seems to "stick" with the folks I deal with:

How tight the group = how precise the (weapon) system.
How far the group deviates from the bullseye = how accurate the (weapon) system.

Lessons from quality improvement trenches:

The key to improvement is reduction of variation. Is there a life lesson lurking in there?

Along the way what all QE's should be able to articulate but not 1 in 100 Certified Quality Engineers I've interviewed can actually tell ya:

1. Make sure your measurement system has at least 10:1 better resolution than the less significant digit you're measuring.

2. Make sure you measurement system can adequately discriminate. i.e. Gauge's variation should no worse than 1/10 of your system variation (99 times out of 100 Gage R&R is a waste of time and you're better of doing an Isoplot for this).

3. Always work to reduce range of variation (R) first. Then work to shift the average (X bar) to the target (nominal).

4. Identify and reduce the largest source of variation. Working on reducing lesser sources of variation will just drive you nuts.

If you can think in mathematical terms maybe it'll help to consider that variation accumulates as the sqrt of the sum of the squares of individual variation.

e.g. Given, you have 3 factors with variations of 3,4 and 5.
Then total of each is squared and summed and sqrt is taken for final result(variation = 9 + 16 + 25 = 50sqrt).

You see that? The largest source of variation "5", has the same total effect on variation as the 3 and 4 combined(!).

There. You're smarter than 99 out of 100 QE's I've interview and probably 9 out of 10 Six Sigma blackbelts.

So is there a life lesson in there?

pfftt. Who knows. Probably.

At a minimum that understanding and a persistent curiousity is enough to make a decent living. /heh

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Lost Saturday (or "Never pay retail")

Well, not a total loss, but, spent more time running around stimulating the economy than I did actually getting things done. Takes time to do the extra running around in order to get a couple better deals. Never pay retail!

First though we spent some time, my honey and I, shoveling backfill behind a new retaining wall. 15' of wall down, 40' to go. A tractor with a frontloader would be nice but would lack the aerobic benefits. /heh

Finishing that bit of wall and planter, and cleaning up that bit of drive is a major milestone. That will open up the parking for 2 RV's and accompanying waste dumps (you can see one riser cover in the foreground in photo below). Those lines were a big project last winter. LINK

We had some Saturday fun back then too. LINK
Yeah baby, we'll be able to move the trailer down from our main parking (no more door dings and parking jams with guests) and get it on hookups for hosting overnight guests.

After lunch we finally managed to get out together for a drive out to the booneys to check on a deal I spotted on Craigslist for a couple used patio tables. We've got a lot of patio now since pouring concrete last spring but not much to put out for sitting a spell. Well this was one goose chase that paid off nicely. Got there, liked what we saw, told the lady we were interested in both sets and before I could make an opening counter offer she knocked 20% off. I woulda paid full price but hey...

That'll do pig. That'll do.

Now to muster some young backs to help get 'em home. 2 sets of table and benches. ~1350 lbs each. unnggghh...

Finally we hooked up the utility trailer for a run to my toy store (aka Home Depot). There we picked up some plants to fill in more of the empty beds around the pool: 3 Phoenix roebelenii (aka pygmy date palms), a fruit bearing Passion Fruit vine and a Trachycarpus fortunei (aka Windmill Palm) with an nice cluster of pups at the base.
I'm cheap so the 3 gallon pots will have to do. Lord willing we'll be here a good long while and enjoy watching them mature.

Speaking of new patio, the new roses in the patio planters are a riot of color the past couple weeks. Dunno if it's the weather cooling, the plants getting established, result of recent feeding or a combination of all that. Either way they're are rockin'!

Here's some photos from sunset. The lighting is a bit extreme...

Perfume Delight

Perfume Delight, "Ready for my close up Mr. De Mille."

And finally, "Chrysler Imperial." The richness of the red is something to behold -- like crushed velvet. That and the powerful sweet smell just knock my socks off.

Now off to the theatre for evening of youngest daughter dancing in the ensemble as a pirate wench in Peter Pan.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Humor

Yeah the video's a bit macabre' but the lyrics have always been good for a chuckle...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Draining day

That is to say a day putting in drain lines can be draining. I'm bushed. Except for a few details at the bottom of the lines this will finally do it for getting all the lines from the upper lot down the hill and out to the street. Yea.

About 80' of trench with one ea 6", 4" and 3" lines. Clock running on backhoe rental. Warm day. Throw in a bunch of angles and a couple of "Y's" to tie various lines together and it's good manly fun. Now where's the aspirin?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Receive No Contributions

Yes, the Stupid Party is still the Stupid Party. They're still backing RINO's over conservatives in primaries... Even Newt is endorsing the RINO in the NY-23rd Congressional District race. LINK


Thought maybe they'd bought a clue after all the TEA party action this year. Well, my money went direct to Doug Hoffman this morning. Makes it easy with a PayPal button.

In your face RINOs. "RNC" once again stands for "Receive No Contributions."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How to...?

Something Paw Paw wrote recently about deer hunting got me to recalling...

How do you get peanut off the roof of your mouth?

You can lick it off. (nunghh, nughh, nuuggnggh -- nope)
You can blow it off. (huccch, huccch, huccch, spittle flying -- nope)
Or you can scraaaaaape it off with your finger. (yep -- eeewwww!!!)

Short, sweet and for my money and sensibilities still a great summer camp skit. They just don't write 'em that good any more. No?

Yeah, I know, I know. Humor me, will ya? Chalk it up to Monty Python poisoning at an early age.

PawPaw's House: Extreme Addiction

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Joe y Jose

This parable is making the rounds. It's worth repeating here...

You have two families: "Joe Legal" and "Jose Illegal". Both families have two parents, two children, and live in California

Joe Legal works in construction, has a Social Security Number and makes $25.00 per hour with taxes deducted.

Jose Illegal also works in construction, has NO Social Security Number, and gets paid $1500 cash "under the table".

Ready? Now pay attention...

Joe Legal: $25.00 per hour x 40 hours = $1000.00 per week, or $52,000.00 per year. Now take 30% away for state and federal tax; Joe Legal now has $31,231.00.

Jose Illegal: $15.00 per hour x 40 hours = $600.00 per week, or $31,200.00 per year. Jose Illegal pays no taxes. Jose Illegal now has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage for his family at $600.00 per month, or $7,200.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $24,031.00.

Jose Illegal has full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics at a cost of $000 per year. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. Joe Legal pays $500.00 per month for food, or $6,000.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $18,031.00.

Jose Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for food stamps and welfare. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays rent of $1,200.00 per month, or $14,400.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $9,631.00.

Jose Illegal receives a $500.00 per month federal rent subsidy. Jose Illegal pays $500.00 per month, or $6,000.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $ 31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays $200.00 per month, or $2,400.00 for insurance. Joe Legal now has $7,231.00.

Jose Illegal says, "We don't need no stinkin' insurance!" and still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, etc.

Jose Illegal has to make his $31,200.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, and what he sends out of the country every month.

Joe Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work.

Jose Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family.

Joe Legal's and Jose Illegal's children both attend the same school. Joe Legal pays for his children's lunches while Jose Illegal's children get a government sponsored lunch. Jose Illegal's children have an after school ESL program. Joe Legal's children go home.

Joe Legal and Jose Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services, but Joe paid for them and Jose did not pay.

Monday, October 12, 2009

You tired? Me too.

This was fwd'd to me by a friend...

"I'm Tired" by Robert A. Hall

I'll be 63 soon. Except for one semester in college when jobs were
scarce, and a six-month period when I was between jobs, but
job-hunting every day, I've worked, hard, since I was 18. Despite
some health challenges, I still put in 50-hour weeks, and haven't
called in sick in seven or eight years. I make a good salary, but I
didn't inherit my job or my income, and I worked to get where I am.
Given the economy, there's no retirement in sight, and I'm tired.
Very tired.

I'm tired of being told that I have to "spread the wealth around" to
people` who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the
government will take the money I earned, by force if necessary, and
give it to people too lazy or stupid to earn it.

I'm tired of being told that I have to pay more taxes to "keep people
in their homes." Sure, if they lost their jobs or got sick, I'm
willing to help. But if they bought mansions at three times the price
of our paid-off, $250,000 condo, on one-third of my salary, then let
the left-wing Congress-critters who passed Fannie and Freddie and
the Community Reinvestment Act that created the bubble help them with
their own money.

I'm tired of being told how bad America is by left-wing millionaires
like Michael Moore, George Soros, and Hollywood entertainers who live
in luxury because of the opportunities America offers. In thirty
years, if they get their way, the United States will have the economy
of Zimbabwe, the freedom of the press of China , the crime and
violence of Mexico, the tolerance for Christian people of Iran, and
the freedom of speech of Venezuela. Won't multiculturalism be

I'm tired of being told that Islam is a "Religion of Peace," when
every day I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their
sisters, wives and daughters for their family "honor"; of Muslims
rioting over some slight offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and
Jews because they aren't "believers"; of Muslims burning schools for
girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for
"adultery"; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls; all
in the name of Allah, because the Qur'an and Shari'a law tells them

I believe "a man should be judged by the content of his character,
not by the color of his skin." I'm tired of being told that "race
doesn't matter" in the post-racial world of Obama, when it's all that
matters in affirmative action jobs, lower college admission and
graduation standards for minorities (harming them the most),
government contract set-asides, tolerance for the ghetto culture of
violence and fatherless children that hurts minorities more than
anyone, and in the appointment of US Senators from Illinois.

I think it's very cool that we have a black president and that a
black child is doing her homework at the desk where Lincoln wrote the
emancipation proclamation. I just wish the black president was Condi
Rice, or someone who believes more in freedom and the individual and
less arrogantly of an all-knowing government.

I'm tired of a news media that thinks Bush's fundraising and
inaugural expenses were obscene, but that think Obama's, at triple
the cost, were wonderful; that thinks Bush exercising daily was a
waste of presidential time, but Obama exercising is a great example
for the public to control weight and stress; that picked over every
line of Bush's military records, but never demanded that Kerry
release his; that slammed Palin, with two years as governor, for
being too inexperienced for VP, but touted Obama with three years as
senator as potentially the best president ever. Wonder why people are
dropping their subscriptions or switching to Fox News? Get a clue. I
didn't vote for Bush in 2000, but the media and Kerry drove me to his
camp in 2004.

I'm tired of being told that out of "tolerance for other cultures" we
must let Saudi Arabia use our oil money to fund mosques and madrassa
Islamic schools to preach hate in America , while no American group
is allowed to fund a church, synagogue, or religious school in Saudi
Arabia to teach love and tolerance.

I'm tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight
global` warming, which no one is allowed to debate. My wife and I
live in a two-bedroom apartment and carpool together five miles to
our jobs. We also own a three-bedroom condo where our daughter and
granddaughter live. Our carbon footprint is about 5% of Al Gore's,
and if you're greener than Gore, you're green enough.

I'm tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must
help support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a
giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white
powder up their noses while they tried to fight it off? I don't think
Gay people choose to be Gay, but I damn sure think druggies chose to
take drugs. And I'm tired of harassment from cool people treating me
like a freak when I tell them I never tried marijuana.

I'm tired of illegal aliens being called "undocumented workers,"
especially the ones who aren't working, but are living on welfare or
crime. What's next? Calling drug dealers, "Undocumented Pharmacists"?
And, no, I'm not against Hispanics. Most of them are Catholic, and
it's been a few hundred years since Catholics wanted to kill me for
my religion. I'm willing to fast track for citizenship any Hispanic
person, who can speak English, doesn't have a criminal record and who
is self-supporting without family on welfare, or who serves honorably
for three years in our military... Those are the citizens we need.

I'm tired of latte liberals and journalists, who would never wear
the` uniform of the Republic themselves, or let their
entitlement-handicapped kids near a recruiting station, trashing our
military. They and their kids can sit at home, never having to make
split-second decisions under life and death circumstances, and bad
mouth better people than themselves. Do bad things happen in war? You
bet. Do our troops sometimes misbehave? Sure. Does this compare with
the atrocities that were the policy of our enemies for the last fifty
years and still are? Not even close. So here's the deal. I'll let
myself be subjected to all the humiliation and abuse that was heaped
on terrorists at Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, and the critics can let
themselves be subject to captivity by the Muslims who tortured and
beheaded Daniel Pearl in Pakistan, or the Muslims who tortured and
murdered Marine Lt. Col. William Higgins in Lebanon, or the Muslims
who ran the blood-spattered Al Qaeda torture rooms our troops found
in Iraq, or the Muslims who cut off the heads of schoolgirls in
Indonesia, because the girls were Christian. Then we'll compare
notes. British and American soldiers are the only troops in history
that civilians came to for help and handouts, instead of hiding from
in fear.

I'm tired of people telling me that their party has a corner on
virtue and the other party has a corner on corruption. Read the
papers; bums are bipartisan. And I'm tired of people telling me we
need bipartisanship. I live in Illinois , where the " Illinois
Combine" of Democrats has worked to loot the public for years. Not to
mention the tax cheats in Obama's cabinet as well.

I'm tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers, and politicians
of both parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or
youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was
getting caught. I'm tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich
or poor.

Speaking of poor, I'm tired of hearing people with air-conditioned
homes, color TVs and two cars called poor. The majority of Americans
didn't have that in 1970, but we didn't know we were "poor." The
poverty pimps have to keep changing the definition of poor to keep
the dollars flowing.

I'm real tired of people who don't take responsibility for their
lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government, or
discrimination, or big-whatever for their problems.

Yes, I'm damn tired. But I'm also glad to be 63. Because, mostly, I'm
not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm just
sorry for my granddaughter.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam veteran who served five terms in
the Massachusetts State Senate.

All I can say is "Even so, come Lord Jesus."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Afternoon. Getting Stoned and Swinging Out.

Well in a manner of speaking.

While the Divine Miss M(egan) hosted a rehearsal of her 11th grade swing dance numbers for the big Homecoming Airband competition this week,...

It was breaking down a bit at this point as the testerone poisoning turned into horseplay. Gotta love Mel's body language as she waits for the boys to settle.
... I picked and fit stones for the new walkway to swinging sounds of Michael Buble.
Took a pic of the work in progress when the Chief Inspector showed up and created a work stoppage.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Leadership lessons

Moving beyond Nobel prizes and other tomfoolery, but still thinking about and praying for leaders (as instructed -- "that we may live godly and at peace"). These verses from Proverbs 25 in this morning's reading stuck with me...

4 Take away the dross from the silver,
And there comes out a vessel for the smith;
5 Take away the wicked before the king,
And his throne will be established in righteousness.

Leaves me praying for a house cleaning.
Whether it's in DC, Sacramento, Chicago or all of the above, I'd take any of it with thankfulness.
Whether initiated by the Executive, legislative inquiry, the AG or suits brought by we the people -- not matter.
Pray changes things: not the least of which is the one who prays.

Yeah, I could use some changing. Knuckleheads and crooks get me worked up and frustrated when they prosper and are allowed to persist in afflicting a people and nations with foolishness of Biblical proportions.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7

Hope in God, not in man...

“Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise. Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.”- Proverbs 19:20-21

Friday, October 9, 2009

It's 5 o'clock somewhere

Don't intend to stumble anyone by broaching this subject before 1700hrs on a Friday, but...

An old school chum asked about the etymology of the word "cocktail" on Facebook today.

Seems apropos of this day that is both Friday and the day when another worthy Nobel Peace prize winner was announced. A man who some might think of a as a bit Peacock.

Cocktail. Peacock. Get it? oh well...

Is it fair to compare him to a peacock? Being that peacocks are the ultimate narcissists? Oh well, sometimes you just have to

Back to the subject at hand...

From the May 13, 1806, edition of the Balance and Columbian Repository:

“Cocktail is a stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters — it is vulgarly called a bittered sling and is supposed to be an excellent ... Read Moreelectioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a Democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow anything else.”

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

That darn cat

Some folks are like the cat that sat on a hot stove. It learned a lesson alright but not the right lesson. For ever after it won’t even sit on a cold stove.

Lex has a worthwhile post up today,
Thirty-four years on, the Vietnam War is still shaping perceptions at the top levels of government and the military. Not surprisingly, those perceptions are shaped as much by participant’s predisposition as it is by the facts on the ground:

The two draw decidedly different lessons from the Vietnam War. The first book describes a White House in 1965 being marched into an escalating war by a military viewing the conflict too narrowly to see the perils ahead. President Barack Obama recently finished the book, according to administration officials, and Vice President Joe Biden is reading it now.

The second describes a different administration, in 1972, when a U.S. military that has finally figured out how to counter the insurgency is rejected by political leaders who bow to popular opinion and end the fight.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Live from NEW YORK!

..wonder if they'll do a bit the "O" iconography?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Power of Legend

Very insightful, this from the Belmont Club.

So when an African-American President gets up on a stage in Copenhagen and dons sack-cloth and ashes; apologizes for his culture and all the rest, he is really telling two stories. To the domestic audience it is the familiar tale of guilt and redemption. But to the international audience it is in some ways a totally different narrative. It says, “we are only the man behind the curtain. The Mighty Oz is nothing but the flacks I have around me.” He is the demolishing the very aura that brought him there, because when you come down to it, the invitation was extended not to him as a person, but as the leader of the once mythical and legendary United States of America. He was careless of his legacy.

The "Power of Legend." Sort of like when we say "It's not enough for the other team to lose. They must be beaten." Sets up an expectation of your superiority and dominance that extends to shape future encounters.

Trade that for power for standing among fickle friends at home and abroad? Apparently not even enough to land an Olympic city win. How much will it buy us in the big game where they play for keeps?


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ready to roll (and rock)

Two weeks and out. Carpet laid yesterday. Lifted baby grand up this morning. Turned the musicians loose to rehearse for tomorrow morning services. Whew.

Young yokefellows did yeoman work getting this done. Over a 120 volunteer man hours invested in this job. About 100 by 2 individuals. As I write this they're still there cleaning up main hall. All the overflow of construction materials and fixtures into the fellowship was dealt with, cleaned up and setup for tomorrow before I left there.

Check one major project off the facilities list...

Youth conference in November. More stage lighting and embedding of stage sound system wiring needs wrap up before then to take full advantage of the new stage.