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...