Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Update on the Promotees




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http://www.newsday.com/video/newsday-video-1.1482431?idno=12320

10 pts. to the 1st one to find the guy that doesn't belong...

Props to the Fam




FDNY to promote LI father, son in historic ceremony
Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Some more notches in the Bomma's foreign policy belt

Our "new tone" seems to be producing results:

Russia to develop new first strike technologies.

Iranian hardliners want "no mercy" for dissidents.

Hope. Change. Hope. Change.

On the record

The Dems sure talk a good game in the heat of the moment, but as soon as that moment passes they seem to forget all about their earlier concerns and instead turn on those providing our security. The latest is Dianne Feinstein:

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said there should have been swift action after a member of the Nigerian government alleged that his son was becoming radicalized.

"It seems to me that when this happens, the person should go automatically on the no-fly list," she said. "I'd rather, in the interest of protecting people, overreact rather than underreact."


Really Dianne? Because I would certainly hope that would be your position. The question is, will that be your position 3 months from now? 6 months from now? 1 year from now? Or, when necessary precautions are taken in the future to protect the American people, will you instead turn around and start accusing law enforcement officers of "profiling" or "overzealous interrogations?"

Not unlike Sen. Pelosi, who in 2002 was briefed on enhanced interrogations like waterboarding and not only did she not object, but the committee apparently asked if stronger steps should be taken. The same Pelosi who just a few years later led the charge against those trying to protect us, and pulled a complete 180 from her earlier stance.

Somehow these senators have got to be held accountable. One hopes the MSM is paying attention and highlights any hypocrisy.
Monday, December 28, 2009

Carville with the secret to a healthy marriage



The guy is funny. No question.

"As long as one person's not arguing there's nothing to argue about. I don't have a position on anything domestically, so I just say 'yes' and then go on and do it.

I would say the three ingredients to a successful marriage: surrender, capitulation and retreat. If you got those three things..."


Matalin, not surprisingly, has better advice. But Carville's is funnier.
Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wikipedia Part of Overstating the Case for Climate Change

There's nothing to see here. The unprecedented warming we're seeing now was not preceded by a similar warming period 1000 years ago. Oh wait ... it was, but that's irrelevant.

Pfft
Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Another year of camaraderie and fun

Back for year 6 in SGL 183, and the OccObs crew continued their domination of the local deer population, liquor supply, and the universal quota on fun.

Of course, this was another year in which Caribou Express earned a slate of nicknames:

Kleenex Goopta
dirty-hands-in-the-chip-bag
Audible Apnea
House Mouse

and most importantly,

Floor "Bowl Missa" O'Dookie

But even more imporatnt than that was the opportunity to enjoy the solitude, oppression, and beauty of the woods. And pack the freezer full of venison. And watch D.C. stare down belligerent porcupines.

Hey, Beetz, I'm still waiting on photos to post here.

Thank You

Jim DeMint and John Ensign:

“An individual mandate to enter into a contract with or buy a particular product from a private party, with tax penalties to enforce it, is unprecedented-- not just in scope but in kind--and unconstitutional as a matter of first principles and under any reasonable reading of judicial precedents.”

Read the whole press release
Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Tides Are Turning

I may be prematurely optimistic, but I take it as a good sign when a Dem switches parties.
Monday, December 21, 2009

Hmmm...

This is almost enough to get me to start drinking coffee...

Great Charity

For anyone still looking for a charity to donate to before the end of the year, I have a great suggestion: Homes for our Troops.

They build homes for returning vets with severe disabilities, and provide them at NO cost to the soldier. You can either donate to the general fund, or if you pick an individual state you can see all the current soldiers they are building homes for and donate to a specific one. It is a very highly rated charity by AIP, which monitors charities to make sure they have very low overhead rates so most of your donation goes directly to the charitable effort. They have also been recognized by both Pres. Bush and Ted Kennedy.
Thursday, December 17, 2009

This Guy Won't Go Away

Chavez got a standing ovation for lauding socialism, and denouncing capitalism and the U.S.
Monday, December 14, 2009

Exhibit #99,459,984 of someone who should have had a 12-gauge handy

Even in our sleepy, quiet, and "safe" bedroom communities. Nothing to worry about here--the police are protecting us!

From Newsday:

A Bohemia homeowner was shot to death during a home invasion by two masked men who broke into the house and demanded money just after midnight Monday, police said.

Hey Beasty, give us your review of the "The Road"

I believe every contributor (except for maybe SHK and Beetz; but Beetz lives the book) who hasn't seen the film has already read the book.

MB? What say you? Did it capture the essence of the novel? Was it better for having Charlize Theron? Does the film rip out your will to live half as much as McCarthy does?

You write now.
Saturday, December 12, 2009

Uncomfortable...

Yo, Fredo--here's what I was telling you about:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

High Five!


Gotta love college basketball season.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Ho Ho Whoa!

Check out the Santa before you put your kids on his lap. You might want to reconsider.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009

MSDNC

Well, Chris Matthews took the leap from just another bleeding heart liberal to a full bore anti-American stance with his comment last night that West Point was "enemy camp" for Pres. Obama.

Really?

So when you are elected to be the commander-in-chief of this country, West Point is "the enemy?" I guess there are a lot of things I still don't understand.
Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Global "Hot Air"

As always, Prof. Lindzen of MIT provides an excellent rebuttal in the WSJ to the climate alarmist crowd.
Thursday, November 26, 2009

Im ova here now

Carmine left

Happy Thanksgiving

May you all have a happy and healthy Turkey Day!

Blessings to all of you and your families.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009

An odd postscript to an odd story

From the WSJ:

A Kentucky Census worker found hanging from a tree with "fed" scrawled on his chest committed suicide and staged his death to look like a homicide, authorities said Tuesday.

Read the rest here.
Monday, November 23, 2009

SNL

It's about as rare as Haley's comet, but SNL has yet another skit mocking Obama, this one focused on his trip to China. It takes a little while to get going but it's pretty good.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just caught Schumer on FTN saying there will be no new tax burden from the HC bill

Jon Kyl could barely contain himself. Meanwhile, over at the RGA meeting, Gov. Daniels (aka, "the blade") took care of business by laying bare the Dem lies regarding the costs of the health care bill:


This guy keeps saying he won't run for President, but dang if I'm not thinking he shouldn't give it some serious thought.
Saturday, November 21, 2009

More hope for the domestic automakers

1) The Fusion wins MotorTrend's 2010 car of the year, and they say it has "a sensational lineup of quality powertrains (for which Ford deserves huge applause), smartly tuned chassis, functional and attractive cabins, and outstanding value."

2) Check out U.S. News' ratings of "affordable mid size sedans." They have the Ford Fusion (and the related Merc Milan and hybrids) as the best available vehicles in class, with Chevy Malibu close behind. Both are ahead of Camry, Accord, and Altima.

3) In entry level luxury, Edmunds did a comparison of the totally revamped 2010 Buick LaCrosse and the Lexus ES (which the LaCrosse was apprarently built to compete with). The result? LaCrosse apparently smokes the Lexus in every conceivable way.

4) The LA Times echoes Edmunds findings here, with the article subtitle reading: "GM's first new car since it emerged from bankruptcy is as good as or better than the ES350 in every way..."

5) And don't look now, but the 2011 Buick Regal will be coming out in the next 6 to 8 months, and looks sweet:

I could easily see a Fusion sport, Regal or LaCrosse in my future.
Friday, November 20, 2009

The Wall Starts to Crumble

The Hadley Climatic Research Center (the main guys behind all the global warming nonsence) got hacked. Guess what? They got documents and emails with these guys talking about fudging the numbers to make it fit their model. Read the whole story if you really want to be disgusted. We'll see if the demagogues keep it up anyway.
Thursday, November 19, 2009

Sen. Graham eviscerates the A.G.

Who Would've Thunk It?

Iran? Delay tactics? Shocking!

When the US backed the UN plan a month ago that Iran should send its uranium to Russia for enrichment, and Iran agreed to consider the proposal, all indications from the WH and MSM were that this was finally the big breakthrough. See, diplomacy does work, all you need to do is extend an open hand.

Except that once again, it does not. To the surprise of no one with an IQ above 10, Iran rejected this latest offer. And once again, in playing the "we'll take that proposal into consideration" game, they bought themselves yet another month to create their nuclear weapons program unfettered.

When will Obama and ElBaradei get it? Their naivete is a massive joke, with Iranian leaders pulling their puppet strings any which way.

SEOUL, South Korea - Showing impatience with Iranian foot-dragging, President Barack Obama said Thursday that the U.S. and its allies are discussing possible new penalties to bring fresh pressure on Iran for defying international attempts to halt its contested nuclear program.

Obama's warning came after Iran rejected a compromise proposal to ship its low-enriched uranium abroad so that it could not be further enriched to make weapons.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nova? Or not to nova?

Well, college hoops season is well underway. As many of you know, I've been a lifelong Johnnies' fan. However, I'm thinking of switching my allegiance to Villanova.

Here are my pros and cons.

Pros:
1. Jay Wright knows how to run a program, I can easily get behind the team.
2. Catholic to Catholic school swap.
3. In all my years of watching Big East hoops, 'Nova never bothered me. Only G-town and UConn would be out of the question for me.
4. Johnnies show no sign of taking their hoops program seriously ever again and turning it around. I'm a patient fan (see point #5), but come on.
5. As a Mets, Jets and ND fan I can only take so much for so long. I need SOMETHING. 'Nova would give me that winning team.

Cons:
1. Can't really think of any, except that I strongly prefer to keep my allegiances and root for the hometown team.

Any thoughts?

Rodney!

From the L.I. Press:

Next week would have been Rodney Dangerfield’s 89th birthday. Can’t let it go by without giving you 10 of his one-liners.

-I could tell that my parents hated me. My bath toys were a toaster and a radio.

-A girl phoned me the other day and said, “Come on over, there’s nobody home.” I went over. Nobody was home.

-Once when I was lost…I saw a policeman and asked him to help me find my parents. I said to him, “Do you think we’ll ever find them?” He said, “I don’t know, kid…there are so many places they can hide.”

-If it weren’t for pickpockets, I’d have no sex life at all.

-During sex, my girlfriend always wants to talk to me. Just the other night she called me from a hotel.

-I was such an ugly kid…when I played in the sandbox, the cat kept covering me up.

-I was such an ugly baby…my mother never breastfed me. She told me that she only liked me as a friend.

-I’m so ugly…my father carries around the picture of the kid who came with his wallet.

-I’m so ugly…my mother had morning sickness after I was born.

-I’m so ugly…I worked in a pet shop, and people kept asking how big I’d get.
Monday, November 16, 2009

Really

So let me get this straight. We're going to get health care reform that will increase the number of insured people, while NOT increasing the number of doctors, REDUCE the total budget deficit, and NOT end up rationing services?

Really?

I've got a two-syllable word for you and I'll give you the first syllable: Bull.

The rationing has already begun. As this Reuters article states, experts are suggesting that the ONLY motivation by the U.S. Task Force to reduce mammograms for women over 40 is to cut spending.

"These new recommendations seem to reflect a conscious decision to ration care," Lee said in a statement.

Can't wait to see what other "frivolous" medical procedures are eliminated as we move forward.
Friday, November 13, 2009

The next time your doctor tells you to lose weight,

why don't you just ask him what happens when the flesh eating bacteria strike? See, if you're not sufficiently fat enough, the bacteria give up on your love handles and go straight for the vitals. But satiate them with a healthy roll of back fat? You can win this fight, gentlemen.

The Link Between the Housing Bubble and ACORN from a Fannie Insider

Edward Pinto, formerly the chief credit officer for Fannie Mae, spells out how typical well-meaning, but ill-conceived liberal legislation combined with Fannie, Freddie and ACORN led to the housing bubble that burst to give us the recent near economic collapse. It's too dense with sad facts to paraphrase.
Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Grandfather Knew Something About Raising Kids Afterall

When my grandfather used to call me a meathead when I did something dumb, he was actually helping me. I knew all the doting, praising-at-any-cost, baby einstein watching stuff was crap. Check out this article on cracked.com (may not be sfw).

Comment bait.

I earlier posted this: "Once you control spending, you can cut the taxes. We've got to move away from the starve-the-beast model which just hasn't worked."

No comments.

I'm interested if that's b/c you guys agree, disagree, or just don't care. This is, to me, probably the most important issue out there going forward, and at the core of how I think the GOP needs to redefine itself. Don't cede the notion of "responsibility" to Obama and his ilk, especially when they're the ones bailing out their cronies (See: W, UA).

Of course, there are probably lots of seasoned politicians who would tell you a tighten-the-belt candidate is as well liked as a bowl of rice when you're already constipated. Or something like that.

Signs that we've entered the new economy

1.75L of Evan Williams + 1.75L of Sobieski.

Total expenditure < $45.

And the good news keeps a-coming

Looks like the Nassau County Executive Race is going the way of the GOP.

On election night, the tally had Suozzi (D) up 200+ votes on Mangano (R). After the re-canvass of all the machines, with GOP and Dem party officials monitoring the count, Mangano is now up 497 votes. That's nearly a 700 vote swing in the GOP's direction when the counters are being monitored. Draw your own conclusions.

There are still thousands of absentee ballots to be counted, but both Newsday and LI Press have reported that they are expected to lean GOP. Look's like Mangano is sitting pretty right now.

Shocker

No, not the fact that the stimulus funds were wasted. Not the fact that the number of created/saved jobs was wildly exaggerated. And certainly not the fact that Massachusetts severely inflated and falsified numbers.

The real shocker is that the Boston Globe has actually exposed it. First sentence:

While Massachusetts recipients of federal stimulus money collectively report 12,374 jobs saved or created, a Globe review shows that number is wildly exaggerated.

My favorite quote: One of the largest reported jobs figures comes from Bridgewater State College, which is listed as using $77,181 in stimulus money for 160 full-time work-study jobs for students. But Bridgewater State spokesman Bryan Baldwin said the college made a mistake and the actual number of new jobs was “almost nothing.’’

That's quite a correction.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Well, we've come full circle. Now Indians

are suing to preserve an Indian team name and mascot (in this case, Fighting Sioux), and the PC police (in this case, the NCAA) is requiring a team to drop the name even though the Indians like it.

WTH?
Sunday, November 08, 2009
In case any of you haven't seen this yet, it's probably the most enjoyable smack down on the impending nationalization of our health care system. Here's the opening:

The King James version of the Bible runs more than 600 pages and is crammed with celestial regulations. Newton's Principia Mathematica distilled many of the rules of physics in a mere 974 pages.

Neither have anything on Nancy Pelosi's new fiendishly entertaining health-care opus, which tops 1,900 pages.

So curl up by a fire with a fifth of whiskey and just dive in.

But drink quickly. In the new world, your insurance choices will be tethered to decisions made by people with Orwellian titles ("1984" was only 268 pages!) like the "Health Choices Commissioner" or "Inspector General for the Health Choices Administration."

You will, of course, need to be plastered to buy Pelosi's fantastical proposition that 450,000 words of new regulations, rules, mandates, penalties, price controls, taxes and bureaucracy will have the transformative power to "provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending . . . ."


By the way, any guesses how much control the government has over you when they pay for any bad health decisions you make? Once the government foots the bill if you get sick or hurt, think they might have something to say about whether you're allowed to eat certain kinds of food, drive certain kinds of cars, etc.? Is there any decision you make in your daily life that can be completely divorced from health care cost? If not, is there anything that the government couldn't regulate once they're paying for your doctors, Rx, etc.?
Friday, November 06, 2009

T-Paw!

Love the sound of this new proposal that starts focusing the GOP on spending instead of taxes. Once you control spending, you can cut the taxes. We've got to move away from the starve-the-beast model which just hasn't worked.

Race 4 '12 has the details here.

Mandatory Sex Education

It seems like the Brits may require sex ed. without the option to withdraw. Will this come to the U.S. next? I personally want to pay close attention to what the school will tell my sons about sex. If I don't like it, I'll fight to withdraw them, regardless of what some bureaucrat says.

Senate blocks census US-citizenship question

Predictably, the Senate Dems don't want to apportion congressional districts based only on citizens, but on the total number of people living there.

Read here
Wednesday, November 04, 2009

2009 Elections

A great night for the GOP, with McDonnell and Christie providing the signature wins. But it wasn't just the big races that were important. In Nassau County, the GOP picked up 2 seats and regained control of the Legislature; and Mangano trails Suozzi for County Executive by a mere 0.1% of the vote (237 votes out of approx 235K cast) in a race that will involve absentee ballots and perhaps a recount. It's a shame that the Conservative Party didn't endorse Mangano, as that would most certainly have pushed him over the top--Hansen received over 9,000 votes. All in all, much to be encouraged about.

To all the newly elected GOP officials: get to work sharpening that axe. Let's get spending under control.
Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Blue State Exodus

A very interesting article in Forbes points out that there has been an ongoing exodus of educated middle-class people from the blue stronghold cities such as Boston and New York.

Here are some good tidbits that hit close to home:

Massive public spending increases over the past decade in California, New
Jersey, Illinois and New York have gone overwhelmingly into the pockets and
pensions of public employees.

The American Association of State Highway Transportation, for example, ranked
New York 43rd in the country and New Jersey dead last in terms of quality of
roads. Some 46% of the Garden State's roads were rated in poor condition,
compared with the national average of 13%, even as the state's spending reached
new highs. The typical New Jersey driver spends almost $600 a year in auto
repairs necessitated by the poor conditions of the roads.



There are lots of implications here. I'd love to see an analysis of what this will do to the electoral map. I have a feeling it will just make the blue bluer and the red redder. What does this do to the economies of these states? What does it do to the tax burden of those who remain in the blue cities and the surrounding suburbs?

It Makes Me Want To Run For Office

I was very disappointed today when I voted to see many of the candidates here in Suffolk ran unopposed. I'd run for a government position, but I actually like to work for a living.

A Newspaper I'd Love To See

I saw a headline on digg from the NYTs today that caught my eye. I was foolishly optimistic about the content: NYT: GORE'S BIG PROFITS FROM 'GLOBAL WARMING'....

I'd love to see a website where the reader's take NYTs stories and rewrite them how they should have been written without bias. But alas, it is a fool's errand to pursue.
Sunday, November 01, 2009

Reminder

Get to the polls this Tuesday! Nassau county elections are destined to be very close. If you haven't already made sure you're friends relatives are voting for lower taxes and a stronger economy (e.g., for Republicans), now is the time.

Vote Mangano for County Executive!
Friday, October 30, 2009

While I'm talking products,

I've got to give a shout out for Nivea shaving products. If you've got sensitive skin like I do, and get shaving bumps easily, this stuff is worth its weight in gold.

Verizon Droid

Looks pretty sweet. The first time I've seen a phone that's made want to stay in "the network." I have to think Android will beomce the dominant phone O/S at some point.

Might finally have something for my wish list for Santa this year...
Thursday, October 29, 2009

Cash for Clunkers

Well we all knew this program was going to turn out to be a massive waste of money, but I never would have anticipated the actual level of waste. Edmunds.com ran an analysis, discussed here. The results are an absolute embarrassment: only 125,000 additional vehicles sold that wouldn't otherwise have been sold, costing taxpayers an average of $24,000 per car.

That's right, 24 THOUSAND dollars per car. What an enormous waste.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009

One Step Closer to DC's Prediction

DC, save us from Boston Dynamics before it's too late.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sign o' the times

Gotta love this headline:

'Golden Girls' star Bea Arthur leaves $300,000 in will to NY group that helps gay homeless youths

Because if you're a heterosexual homeless kid, the world is your oyster.
Saturday, October 24, 2009

Funny Keystone Light commercial


Grandpas Keystone Light - Watch more Funny Videos
Friday, October 23, 2009

Quote of the Day

And the NYT author must've choked on it while having to write it (last sentence):

NATO defense ministers gave their broad endorsement Friday to the counterinsurgency strategy for Afghanistan laid out by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, increasing pressure on the Obama administration and on their own governments to commit more military and civilian resources for the mission to succeed... Although the broad acceptance by NATO defense ministers of General McChrystal’s strategic review included no decision on new troops, it was another in a series of acknowledgements that success there cannot be achieved by a narrower effort that calls only for capturing and killing Al Qaeda-linked terrorists. That counter-terrorism strategy is identified with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Thursday, October 22, 2009

When will Congress get around to regulating my digestion?

I saw Chris Dodd on the news this morning bragging about proposed legislation to dictate what banks can charge for overdraft fees. Since the government seems so engaged in telling businesses how to run themselves, why shouldn't the government tell me where and when to poop? This way I could eat and drink whatever I want and not worry about consequences. Why should I be responsible when the government can be?

Obama! Obama! Obama!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Pope Opens the Door for Anglicans

The Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury jointly announced an official path for Anglican worshipers and clergy to convert to Roman Catholicism. This article points out that it could be a double-edged sword. One on hand it may bring more of the traditionally faithful Anglicans back into the Catholic fold. On the other hand, by allowing married Anglican clergy to become Catholic clergy, progressives in the Catholic church may want the same allowance for existing Catholic clergy.

Christie, predictably, faltering in NJ

If you've been following the race in Jersey, you've seen Christie go from a double-digit lead earlier this year to a dead heat in the most recent polls.

This isn't that surprising, really, and follows the pattern of the last few statewide Jersey elections. Jersey voters seem tired of the corrupt single-party rule that their state has endured for years now. But when the Dems zero on the GOP challenger, and make known their actual positions (or at least, distorted images of those actual positions), they are able to scare the liberal electorate into retaining the status quo.

This year, with their big budget ad blitz, they've managed to successfully portray Christie as, first and foremost, white, male and fat. Secondly, as someone who uses his authority and insider status for his own benefit (cross reference with white/male/fat). Finally, as a heartless conservative, who wants to strip people of their medical coverage, force women to go without mammograms, and poor children to beg for food.

Christie either doesn't have the budget or the political team to respond effectively. His add about his mom having breast cancer came across as really defensive, and almost ceding the point to Corzine.

Yet there is one glimmer of hope, at the end of the day. Even now, in the most recent polling, Corzine is only attracting about 40% of the vote. He's essentially tied with Christie, with the third party candidate, Daggett, polling around 14%. What that tells you is that almost 55% of the electorate wants the incumbent out.

If Christie were smart, he'd stop engaging with Corzine, and simply go after Daggett supporters. Doing so allows him a backhand slap at Corzine, while going after voters who are already clearly disaffected with the governor:

"According to the most recent polls, 64% of New Jersey voters want a new governor in Trenton. But if you want change, Chris Christie is your only real choice. While Chris Daggett would represent an improvement over Jon Corzine, he only garners 14% in the polls--not enough to come close to winning, but enough to return Corzine as governor. If you want change, a vote for Chris Christie is the only way to avoid more of the same: the same Democrat corruption; the same Democrat tax hikes; the same growing Democrat deficits; the same weak Democrat economy."
Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sister-of-the-Beast

My (liberal) sister sent me a link to an Op-Ed in the NYT by Bono in this message:

good article - take a read and let me know what you think - he even says something positive about W!

OPINION | October 18, 2009
Op-Ed Guest Columnist: Rebranding America


I thought I'd share my response:

It's the usual trash in the NYT. It's pure rhetoric and propaganda for what yet another celebrity with a turgid ego picks as his cause. I know Bono is actually well-meaning but it's still nonsense. If you buy into all he is saying, your accepting some very questionable underlying assumptions.

If America is so great that we alone have the power, resources and (possibly) the will to carry out his three great challenges, then why do we care what the Europeans think? Europe's not so great. Many countries there have horrible problems. For example, France has and has had an awful level of unemployment for quite some time. They have a very big problem with Muslim upheaval. Also look at recent elections in Europe. Sarkozy and Merkel are much further right than their predecessors. We cared what the U.N. thought for a long while, and unfortunately most Americans still do. Look where that got us. Graft & corruption. Sending money meant for humanitarian use to Kim Jong Il.

Let's look at Bono's three challenges. Terrorism is first. He mentions W for the AIDS program, but no for his tremendous contribution in the fight against terrorism. Under his command, we took out most of Al Qaida's leadership. The contribution is statistically supported by the precipitous decline in attacks in Western countries. Obama has said some nice stuff but hasn't actually accomplished anything here.

Second is poverty. Again, no real accomplishments from Obama. Why not give the peace prize to Bill Gates? He's done way more - major funding for medicine to fight non-profitable diseases in the third world, like malaria.

And the third is climate change - perhaps the biggest example of demagoguery in history. It was first global warming. Then when the facts didn't fit the propaganda - the antarctic ice cap is getting bigger - the diatribe changed to climate change. What isn't considered climate change? Plus, it's not just one unsubstantiated assumption, it's several. One - the climate is changing in a dangerous way. Two - humans are the cause - it's not a natural cycle (we have data from an infinitessimal period in geological terms). Three - there's something we can and should do to stop or reverse it. Four - it's worth doing these things at any cost. I'll have to find an article I read about this last point. It was written by an economist who points out that the money some people are proposing to spend to fix climate change could help the world's people cope with it, plus feed everyone and treat many diseases not currently being treated.

The saddest part of this is most people, even smart people like you never even consider any of what I've written. Whether you believe what I've said or not, it's food for thought.

First Look: Fredo's '84-'87 Pop hits

There's so many, I can't claim I'm not missing my own top 5. But here's my first blush. Looking for more nominations to edit/revise and perfect the list.

10. Don't You Want Me - Human League
9. Tainted Love - Soft Cell
8. She Blinded Me With Science - Thomas Dolby
7. Broken Wings - Mr. Mister
6. Don't Dream It's Over - Crowded House
5. Never Tear Us Apart - INXS
4. Don't You Forget About Me - Simple Minds
3. Hungry Like the Wolf - Duran Duran
2. Addicted to Love - Robert Palmer
1. No One Is to Blame - Howard Jones
Saturday, October 17, 2009

What say you, 80's music fans?

So, for some reason, I was sitting down, reviewing a list of mid 80's Billboard hits, and I decided to start compiling my own list of "best pop/synth pop hits" of the period. Not that I was primarily a pop music fan at the time, but I like to spend my weekends on these kinds of important tasks.

So I come across one of my favorite 80's songs (one that I even liked at the time even though the artist didn't have a double-bass drum set on stage), Howard Jones' "No One Is To Blame". I start listening closely to the lyrics, and I had one of those "reassement" moments.

Jones looks like an alternative new-wavish type guy (not that I know him personally), so I figured he was a liberal/moral equivocator. And in the past, I always had the impression that the song was preaching about the primacy of fate, and the evil of "judgmentalism". But listening to it today, I decided to pay close attention to the lyrics. And read the printed lyrics.

"No one. No one. No one ever is to blame."

Ever? Never? Never ever?

It sounds more like something I might say satirizing liberals than what a real liberal would admit to. So I started reevaluating the context of the song.

I always thought it was about two star-crossed would-be lovers who liked each other but couldn't get together for whatever reason. But I started to think of the song as being about two people who were attracted to each other, but were already committed in other relationships, and it made more sense to me.

That's why "you can read the menu but you just can't eat," and "You can dip your foot in the pool, but you can't have a swim."

But for the person who would go for it anyway and break their commitments, he offers the second verse.

Jones: "Some break the rules,"

But why would they do it? Because they're fixated on what they're not getting, and feel like they could, or maybe even deserve, to have (Jones: "...and live to count the cost").

That's the seductive allure of breaking the rules--if you do it, and hey, it will only just be this once--it seems like happiness could be yours. Alas, that is rarely, if ever the case. Usually it's just the beginning of the slippery slope to more malfeansance and, eventually, self-hatred.

Jones: "The insecurity is the thing that won't get lost."

I don't know if any of you care about this song or have ever thought about it, but is it possible that, rather than excusing all decisions as fate, Jones is lampooning people for being self-indulgent?
Thursday, October 15, 2009

Is this real?


9 years old. Are you kidding me?

R.I.P. Captain Lou

Captain Lou Albano died today at the age of 76. It brings back lots of childhood memories of nearly killing each other trying to emulate WWF moves.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fall is here

and the cool air hitting my face is beckoning me upland. The winged creatures feel a similar call, and they begin their Southward journey just as I want to head North. I like to look skyward, and watch these graceful creatures soar in formation, headed to Florida. I shout at them: "Wee Nancies." Never run from the cold.

The coming of Fall is, for me, the siren song of the woods. I can no more resist it than if Angela Lansbury waved the Queen of Diamonds in my face and told me, "go hunt deer." I will go to the cabin with a rifle, a crate of bourbon, sixteen pounds of hoofed-animal flesh and an ice truck worth of beer, and begin again the quest to shoot at other hoofed animals.

It is a tradition that begins early in life:

But it is a tradition that only comes to its full fruition when experience and a mature temperment allow the mind and spirit to process all of the unique sensations that the hunter imbibes: that peculiar mix of exhaustion, bitter cold, peace, adrenalin, raw natural beauty, and indigestion. Yes, only with years of observing and nurturing these experiences can one come to truly appreciate the beauty that is the hunt:


ht: Beetz for photography prowess
Sunday, October 11, 2009

I love Columbus Day

It's always great to read articles like this one, and remind myself what Columbus Day is really about. It's really about trying to convince ourselves that, on net balance, the European colonization of the New World has been at best a zero-sum game, and at worst, straight-up genocide.

Hey, Kindergartners, ya gots ta know the truth, yo.

Kolowith's students learn about the explorer's significance — though they also come away with a more nuanced picture of Columbus than the noble discoverer often portrayed in pop culture and legend.

"I talk about the situation where he didn't even realize where he was," Kolowith said. "And we talked about how he was very, very mean, very bossy."


BTW, a total tangent, but I wonder what General George S Patton thinks of this quote if he can read it from the hereafter. Or Henry Ford. Gotta break a few eggs to make an omelette, folks.

Columbus' stature in U.S. classrooms has declined somewhat through the years, and many districts will not observe his namesake holiday on Monday. Although lessons vary, many teachers are trying to present a more balanced perspective of what happened after Columbus reached the Caribbean and the suffering of indigenous populations
.
Saturday, October 10, 2009

Couldn't have said it better



Thanks to Caboose for the send.

Let's call this the Gong Show


I can name that drink and location in two notes.
Friday, October 09, 2009

Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

1. This is a great accomplishment for any person, but more so for an American President
2. This gives our government some extra chips for diplomatic engagements

I will pass on the discussion of whether this is deserved--it is important either way. In my subjective judgment, the positives globally outweigh the negatives in domestic politics.

That said, it will be painful to watch how much fawning and adoration will go along with this.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Big Government

If there is anyone who is still against big government health care, I think this video will help change your mind (safe for work).

Monday, October 05, 2009

Chess, part deux

Kasparov vs. Karpov

The two chess greats are reprising their famous match from 25 years ago, in which the Soviets got the match stopped b/c Karpov was about to go insane.

Meanwhile, from the recent rematch, comes this photo:

I'm not sure what the connection is, but when I look at Karpov, I just feel like asking,

"Andrei, you've lost another submarine?"
Friday, October 02, 2009

Priorities

It's a good thing there are no problems to deal with here at home, giving Obama the luxury of taking time off to pitch Chicago for the 2016 Olympics. At least his effort paid off. Or not, as Chicago was the FIRST city eliminated from contention by the IOC.

The best part is that people in Chicago don't even want it, and are outraged that he's focused on that rather than helping improve their city or commenting on the vicious beating death of Derrion Albert.
Thursday, October 01, 2009

Thanks to the Dems, 10% Fewer People Will Pay Fed Income Tax

More evidence to our decline into socialism:

The good news: nearly 50% of American households (47%, to be precise) won’t pay
any federal income tax in 2009.
The bad news: the remaining 50% (or so) will
have to foot the bill for everyone.
You can thank (or blame) the new economic
recovery package for bumping the percentage of taxpayers who won’t be paying a
wee bit higher (about 10%).

And

In terms of all federal taxes, and not just income tax, the top 20% of income
earners will report more than half of total cash income but will pay a whopping
2/3 of all federal taxes (including income, estate, etc.).


http://www.taxgirl.com/tax-or-no-tax/
Monday, September 28, 2009

There, I Fixed It

Good for a (safe for work) laugh or two:

http://thereifixedit.com/


Here are some of my favorites:

Aren't shower curtain liners about $1?





The bucket's labelled in case you couldn't figure out what was in it.




I've been there.




Visegrips rule!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

RIP

The great William Safire has passed on.

Might want to tighten up the posting procedure a bit...

If I were to accidentally post some off-the-record work related stuff on the blog, I'd probably be pretty embarrassed. But if I worked for the AP, and accidentally posted it over the internet (e.g., on Yahoo! News), that would probably suck worse. To wit,

Swiss arrest Polanski on US request in sex case

Buzz up!374 votes
SendSharePrint

Reuters
2 mins ago

OK, can you do some more probing? New York will want to know
frank's out today.

i checked already, and so did zurich. they say the question is irrelevant. he answered me with the quote i used, about we knew when he was coming this time. he's been here many times in the past, we think.

thx brad. aptn is aware, but unfortunately won't make it in time, but is hoping to catch tail end.
i'm pushing out another writethru with some more background details before press conference.
no surprise, new york is really hot on this.

they particularly want to know why now. (has he never set foot in switzerland before?) sheila, theorizes that's because they're under intense pressure over ubs and want to throw the U.S. a bone, but can yo ucheck with justice department sources there?

is frank around too, or are you alone?

u can tell aptn press conf 1700 (15 gmt) in bern at the parliament
i'll watch it live on internet


Just guessing, but this probably isn't the story as it was supposed to be published.
Friday, September 25, 2009

Joke of the Day

(Other than Congress--zing!)

President Obama gets off a helicopter in front of the White House while carrying two piglets. A Marine guard salutes and says, "Nice pigs, sir."

The President replies, "These are not pigs. They're authentic Arkansas razorback hogs. I got one for Secretary of State Clinton and one for Speaker of the House Pelosi."

The Marine says, "Good trade, sir."

HI-YO! Courtesy of Maxim Magazine (yes, I am a subscriber which should surprise no one that would read this board)

Something's Not Adding Up

These stories (here and here) about foiled terror attacks on US soil don't make sense. After all, we all know that the only reason Islamic extremists hated the US was because Bush was president. Once he got out and we were completely conciliatory to the rest of the world all that was supposed to go away.

Right?

More goodies from the Tube

Real Men of Congress

ht: R 4 '12

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Whew!

At least I'm in the clear. Can't speak for you clowns, though:


ht: R 4 '12

Dumb-ocracy

Good to see democracy is alive and well in The People's Republic of Massachusetts. After all, who needs silly things like elections and legislative waiting periods. Let's just appoint Gov. Patrick and King Patrick and return to our roots.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Obamacare Close to Home

I just had two conversations at work today that shined the spotlight on just how bad an idea the currently proposed health care reform really is (as if we didn't know this).

The first was with a guy who's son attends MIT. He told me that Massachusetts, in their infinite wisdom, requires health insurance with a maximum deductible of $250. He already has perfectly good health coverage for him, but now has to pay extra because his policy's deductible doesn't meet the ridiculous requirements.

The second was with a guy who's mostly an Obama fan, but chooses not to have health insurance because he's generally healthy and would rather self-insure. Of course I pointed out to him that the proposed legislation would force him to have health insurance.

Tell me what is wrong with a bill that would included three things?
1. Tort reform
2 .Allowing insurance to be purchased across state lines
3. Government underwritten private insurance for those who cannot afford it (I'd even be willing to let the Government specify the coverage and price to the insurance companies within reason)

Oh. I forgot. Howard Dean already said they don't want to take on the trial lawyers. I guess that would be biting the hand that feeds for the Dems.

Join me in shaking your head in disgust.
Sunday, September 20, 2009

Happy Steuben Day

Baron Freidrich von Steuben voluneetered to serve with George Washington during the revolutionary war. He trained the continental army at Valley Forge and is considered a hero of the war. His birthday, September 17th is celebrated by German-Americans during the nearest Saturday.
Friday, September 18, 2009

5 to grow on

American Conservative discusses 5 "canonical" books of the modern conservative movement. I'm ashamed to say I've only read one of them, but I thought I'd forward for discussion.
Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's the people, stupid.

Here's the story of a man who literally changed the world. In many ways, his story is a microcosm of what makes America great: innovation, tireless work ethic, personal responsibility, concern for his fellow man.

In this time of crypto-socialism, it should serve as a nice reminder to the 1st estate: it's the people, stupid. Not the government that makes America strong.
Monday, September 14, 2009

Today's quote of the day

"Fool me once, shame on..........
fool me twice..............
won't get fooled again."


I know the Bomba's got us down, but remember, even when things are good, they're not that good.
Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wow!

My humblest apologies to Caribou Express: a while back I made fun of him for professing his love of Sex and the Ciy. He told me the chicks on that show are hot. I didn't believe him until I saw this shot of Kim Catrall from the set of Sex and the City 2 (currently annihilating traffic in midtown Manhattan during filming--thanks a million).

Clearly there are no words for how wrong I was...

For All You Giants Fans Out There

And everyone else who hates the Dallas Cowboys (so pretty much everyone but MB, sorry Beasty):



Apparently the new, massive scoreboard at the Cowboys new digs (which also interferes with any decent punt attempt) is hooked up to a wonky computer.

Serves ya right, Jerry Jones!
Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Why Am I Not Surprised

From an e-mail I received this morning:

YESTERDAY ON "ABC-TV" (BETTER KNOWN AS THE ALL BARRACK CHANNEL) DURING THE "NETWORK SPECIAL ON HEALTH CARE".... OBAMA WAS ASKED:

"MR. PRESIDENT WILL YOU AND YOUR FAMILY GIVE UP YOUR CURRENT HEALTH CARE PROGRAM AND JOIN THE NEW 'UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE PROGRAM' THAT THE REST OF US WILL BE ON ????"...... (BET YOU ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWER)...

THERE WAS A STONEY SILENCE AS OBAMA IGNORED THE QUESTION AND CHOSE NOT TO ANSWER IT !!!...

IN ADDITION, A NUMBER OF SENATORS WERE ASKED T HE SAME QUESTION AND THERE RESPONSE WAS...."WE WILL THINK ABOUT IT."

AND THEY DID. IT WAS ANNOUNCED TODAY ON THE NEWS THAT THE "KENNEDY HEALTH CARE BILL" WAS WRITTEN INTO THE NEW HEALTH CARE REFORM INITIATIVE ENSURING THAT CONGRESS WILL BE 100% EXEMPT !

SO, THIS GREAT NEW HEALTH CARE PLAN THAT IS GOOD FOR YOU AND I... IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR OBAMA, HIS FAMILY OR CONGRESS...? ? WE (THE AMERICAN PUBLIC) NEED TO STOP THIS PROPOSED DEBACLE ASAP !!!!... THIS IS TOTALLY WRONG !!!!!

PERSONALLY, I CAN ONLY ACCEPT A UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL THAT EXTENDS TO EVERYONE... NOT JUST US LOWLY CITIZENS... WHILE THE WASHINGTON "ELITE" KEEP RIGHT ON WITH THEIR GOLD-PLATED HEALTH CARE COVERAGES.

IF YOU AGREE PLEASE PASS THIS ON ....IF NOT PLAN TO SUFFER WITH THE OBAMA HEALTH CARE PLAN ....FOR FREE....WHILE OUR SELF-SERVING POLITICIANS MAKE SURE THAT THEY TAKE CARE OF THEIR BUTTS AT OUR EXPENSE.
Thursday, September 03, 2009

Ahh, the Classics...

A different kind of "Hope"

video

Thanks to DCenior for the send...
Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Favorite Site

failblog.org

You will laugh--guaranteed!

Thanks to FNG @ work for the tip...
------------------------------------------

ed note:

Warning! While getting some yuks from this website, also be aware that some of the "FAIL"s are videos. I watched a few of them. And then, I got hit with a wicked virus. My computer is totally unable to boot up. Just be aware.

BP = Douchebaggery

Well, glad to see Pan Am bomber al-Megrahi was released so BP could get their oil deal with Libya. I will NEVER buy from a BP station.
Saturday, August 29, 2009

A long-winded reply to the Beast on oil "speculation"

Nice, Beasty. Feel free to drop mulitple meaty, heavy issues on my plate after midnight.

Let me start with this point: the Reuters article tells me little. It states that oil prices "could collapse" as a result of impending changes in commodity regulation, but (A) not does not tell me what those changes are, and (B) glosses over the fact that Goldman Sachs (with all of their direct and indirect influence) sees unfettered growth in oil prices over the next 12 months. The case would not appear to be a slam dunk that new regulations (of some variety) = a decline in oil prices.

The article argues that that "speculation" is leading to increased volatility in oil prices. But who defines "speculation"?

Apparently, a recent Rice Univ. study says 50% of oil traders are "speculators." Noncommercial traders are up to 71% of the volume in the commodity, up from 30% at the beginning of the decade. Sounds ominous.

But let's remember a few things: There has been a proliferation of financial instruments--ETFs, ETNs, managed futures programs, alternative asset class mutual funds, just to name a few--that are allowing the both the retail investor, and the institutional money manager, to participate in the oil market as they never have before. Investors with brokerage accounts can now add a GSCI Commodity ETF, or a Crude Oil linked exchange traded note, to a portfolio without the magnified risks involved with options or futures trading. Institutional money managers can find liquid investments to meet specific goals, such as a low correlating asset to U.S. stocks that can bow the efficient frontier can create more favorable risk-return relationships.

Are these people speculators? If the Reuters article's implied definition of speculators as "noncommercial traders" holds up, then yes. But that hardly seems to meet the idea that most folks have of speculators.

My guess is that, to the casually informed observer, "speculator" means something else entirely. They would be considered gamblers who bet long or short positions becuase they: (1) enjoy high-risk, high-reward propositions; (2) have inside information; (3) are seeking to maniuplate the market; or (4) all of the above.

This definition hardly seems to fit the way many, if not most, investors seem to be incorporating oil into their portfolios currently: as a hedge against a dollar collapse, and/or a long-term play with an eye towards the BRIC nations economic growth and global resource scarcity.

But, you may be wondering, what to make of the seemingly irrational run up of oil from 50 to 150 in 2008, only to tumble back to its starting point? Did the supply/demand balance of oil, from an economic standpoint, change that drastically, and that quickly?

Probably not. But when viewed in light of what was going on in the broader capital markets, there is some logic to it. After all, by mid '08, U.S. and foreign stocks had already suffered large losses, and the worst was yet to come. Equities were losing their appeal. Fixed Income values were suffering as credit spreads balooned, and investors worried about a flood of defaults over the horizon. Short-term cash instruments were paying near zero interest rates. For a brief period later in the year, treasury bill yields actually went negative, meaning investors were willing to tie up their money for some period of time, with the guarantee of a small loss, but preferred that to the risk of larger losses elsewhere.

Amidst this backdrop, oil seemed to have a lot going for it. It had positive price momentum for a time, while equity markets were moving in reverse. The "peak oil"/resource scarcity story resonated with many investors, who felt the commodity would sustain its value even if certain economies were contracting. After all, the "awakening" of the Chinese and Indian economies were creating vast new demand for oil, and there would continue to be plenty of price support for oil if the American economy (and dollar) hit the skids, b/c SWFs might decide it makes more sense to stockpile a valuable asset if prices decline, than invest in low-interest rate notes that are creating cash flows in a diminishing currency.

Basically, plenty of investors, including hedge funds and institutions, looked out there and saw oil as the one reasonable "story" they could justify loading into when the rest of the world seemed to be going down the drain. Hence, a bubble shift.

The problem with defining the above ativity as "speculation" is that it does not differ from what goes on in any other marketplace: equities, fixed income, real estate, etc.

If people think that an asset can appreciate or improve their overall portfolio, who is to tell them they are wrong? Should regulators make the call that a stock, commodity, or personal residence is "overvalued" and investors must be turned away? That sounds good if you were the person loading into oil at $140, but how would it sound if you were the person trying to buy Microsoft in 1987, or Dell in 1993, when the stocks had already appreciated by hundreds of percent from their IPO price, and plenty of folks probably were screaming their P/E's were unsustainable. If you were locked out of those stocks by regulations that said "no more speculators", you would have missed out on the thousands of percent that the stocks appreciated from there. And more importantly from the policy perspective, you would have choked off the easy and cheap availability of capital to these firms, and potentially stymied their growth. Poor policy when one considers how integral these firms and their products were in improving productivity in the economy at large. To me, I'll always trust a free-market price over the judgment of some bureaucrat to tell me how valuable any asset is--be it a stock ot the future delivery of a barrel of oil.

The flip side is when the investor is colluding with others, or even acting on their own to intentionally skew the price of an asset for their own gain. How to differentiate this type of investor from the type described above is the job of a regulator, in a nutshell. But that is the case where regulations and regulators can be worthwhile. In those circumstances, it becomes a simple cost-benefit analysis: is the money we are spending on enforcement acutally worth it? In reducing market manipulation, are we actually producing a net gain to the economy through a more efficient distribution of capital, that it more than counterbalances the cost of enforcement?

Unfortunately, on this last point, the Reuters article gives me little to go on. What is the cost? Who are these manipulators, and what strategies can you lay out that would lead me to believe they could be caught and/or deterred from engaging in nefarious behavior at an acceptable cost to the taxpayer?

I don't see much in the article addressing those issues, only a range of opinions from the investment banks about what could happen. Brodman's comments hit closest to home:

"there's a growing political imperative out there. An oil price rise of $30 a barrel would offset 40 percent of the stimulus spending. That's not what these countries are looking for"

Just as I thought, it's concern that Obama's political narrative (e.g., the "success of the stimulus") could unravel that is driving the train. Who knows whether Brodman's $30 a barrel increase would have happened on its own; what's important to the administration is that it can't be allowed to happen. And rather than increasing the supply of oil, we'll just put de facto price caps in place by gutting the buy-side of the market. Because price controls have always worked so well in the past.
Friday, August 28, 2009

MSM Still in the Bag for Obama

Surprise, surprise. ABC, NBC Won't Air Ad Critical of Obama's Health Care Plan

Should We Regulate Speculation?

It's probably no surprise to my fellow OccObs'ers that I'm generally against any kind of government regulation, but the implications of this one intrigue me. This article from Reuters is about regulating oil speculation. It's been reported recently (although I don't know why it took so long), that oil speculation was and is the main cause for the dramatic increases and fluctuations in oil (and therefore gas) prices in the last few years. This may be the shred of politics I picked up from my maternal grandfathers, but what do speculators actually contribute to anyone? It's basically gambling that has adverse effects on the whole country. The draw to regulation is that it is likely to reduce the price of oil by $30/barrell, which will help pay off some of the stimulus (the article explains it better).

Along the same lines, should we regulate high-frequency trading? This is basically computer programs that buy and sell securities very quickly, trying to eek out small gains, which aggregate to large gains over the course of time. These HFT programs accounts for some ridiculously large percentage of trading volume (something like 70%).

Fredo, you know more about this stuff than I, so please enlighten me if I'm erroneously straying from my libertarian ways.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What Will Kennedy's Death Mean for the Healthcare Bill?

The Dems now no longer have 60 votes (not that they had them before) now that Ted Kennedy has passed on. Perhaps this combined with the widespread outrage at the town hall meetings will temper the socialist agenda in the bill. But, the probably just me being optimistic.

Ted Kennedy Has Died

That's all I have to say about that.
Sunday, August 23, 2009

An Eventful Delivery

In case anyone didn't hear about it, the Mrs. and I welcomed our daughter into the world on Saturday morning, 8/22/09, at 10:50 AM. It certainly wasn't a typical labor.

Strawberry Girl woke up at 8:00 saying she was having a lot of contractions, but that she figured it was a false labor. She'd wait it out and thought it would subside. I kept the boys company for breakfast and checked in every 15-20 minutes with her as she was resting upstairs. She said lying down made the contractions less painful and she didn't want the boys to see her in pain. She said she was going to take a shower, and when she got out I checked on her again, and she said she was going to "do her hair." Ah ha! "You think we're going to the hospital today, don't you?", I asked. Yes, she said. "I'm not sure what time, but we're going today."

"Are you timing your contractions, I asked?" She says she can't see the clock from the bed. I get her my watch.

Around 10:00 she comes downstairs. I'd dressed the boys, started getting them a snack, and had told my mother to come over. We just needed to wait for her arrival and we could go.

Just after that, the missus tells me, "the contractions are coming pretty regularly. I'm worried we waited too long." What!?! I tell her to get in the van, because she's between contractions. I'll get the bags.

I get the bags in the van and finish with the boys snack. I try my Mom's cell, and get voice mail. Call my Dad at the office (only about 1.5 miles away). "Hey Pop, we need to go the hospial."

"You're Mother's on the way over."

"I know. We need to go now."

"I'm on my way."

Dad gets to the house, and we exchange greeting on the front lawn as I head to the van. S.G. and I leave Bethpage about 10:25. I start ripping up 107 and get to a long red light at 107 and S. Oyster Bay Road. I try to go into oncoming traffic to pass, but end up coming to a stop, as I end up my-front-bumper-to-his-front-bumper with a car that was making the left onto 107 South. Another car, turning in the lane next to him, keeps me from going around. Traffic starts to pile in behind these cars, and the horns start to erupt. Finally I weave thru, well ahead of the light changing. As I continue to blow lights and slalom up 107, my cell rings:

"I don't know what you think you're doing driving like THAT, but you're not going to get to the hospital at all with that kind of driving. I was at that intersection, you know."

"Thanks Mom, gotta go."

I got all the way up 107, and turned Westbound onto Old Country. At this point, S.G. is barely able to talk because of the intensity of the contractions. I call the hospital, and after getting transferred a few times, I tell them we're on the way in, and I think my wife is going to be delivering soon, so get a room ready. The nurse later tells me they get these calls all the time, so she didn't think much of it.

After continuing with some fantastic driving stunts worthy of the French Connection, I finally managed to get us to the hospital in time for Strawberry Girl to give birth. Sort of.

S.G. had already informed me that the baby was crowning, just as we were passing the Barnes and Noble on Old Country Road on the way to Winthrop. She told me I needed to pull over right there to deliver. No way, I said. We're almost there. Figuring we were only about three minutes out, I told her, "don't push!" (I'm sure I'll get laughed at for that one later), and continued to weave between Westbound and Eastbound traffic, blowing every red light along the way. Thank goodness for that EVOC course.

By the time we got to Winthrop, I did a blowby past the security checkpoint, and pulled directly up to the E.R. door. I ran inside to get a wheelchair. As I entered the E.R., I announced to everyone and no one in particular that I needed a wheelchair to get my wife to labor and delivery. A security guard rushed down the hallway with me (and a wheelchair) towards my van. To my surprise, the missus was already walking into the hallway with another woman holding her arm. Just as I was telling her to get in the chair, she sort of folded to the hallway floor, and the woman with her said to me "I'm an EMT, and we need to deliver here."

It all happened pretty quick. The guard put over a transmission for a nurse. The nurse came out and shouted "code white." Then there were like ten people shouting "code white" and then the hall was filled with the whole E.R. staff (probably 30 people) within a minute. Strawberry Girl was about two to three feet from the sliding glass doors that are the entrance to the E.R. from the parking lot, but a bunch of security guards stood in front of the door with their backs to us to block the view, and they shooed away any pedestrians.

The medical staff delivered the baby, but she was practically half out already. I was scared to death when a nurse was asking for suction and they were all sitting around looking at each other like, "we don't have any suction." Luckily, the baby started crying a few moments later.

Finally, after the cord was clamped and cut, and the baby was being attended to by a gaggle of nurses, a nurse from the delivery wing showed up with a sealed package of sanitary linens. Just a bit late on that one.

They wheeled S.G. on a gurney, and the baby in a crib, down to the labor and delivery wing. As we were walking I called my parents.

Mom: "How's [S.G] doing? You think she'll deliver soon?"

Me: "She already delivered the baby. On the hallway floor in front of the E.R. You still think I was driving too fast?"

Mom: "Wow."

Anyway, there wasn't much for them to do in the delivery wing, but clean up the baby and the wife, and give her the pitocin to keep everything contracting and cleaning out. She thinks that stuff is from the devil. Seriously.

One of the nurses brought some paperwork to S.G.: "Do we have permission to deliver your child and provide treatment?" Heh.

Anyway, here are the most important details:

Mother and child are both doing very well, and should be released from the hospital tomorrow right on schedule.

If any of you haven't gotten my texts regarding the name and vitals, let me know, I'm happy to talk!
Saturday, August 22, 2009

Congratulations Fredo & Family

Many blessings for you and your family with the birth of your new baby girl.
Thursday, August 20, 2009

Red Stag

tastes like Kool-aid and bourbon.

not good
Wednesday, August 19, 2009

That's Enough Brett Favre

That is all.

Great Letter

Just emailed from Father-Of-The-Beast (not sure if it's bogus, ut it's good anyway):

Some of us witnessed the arrogance of Barbara Boxer (CA) as she admonished a brigadier general because he addressed her as "ma'am" and not "Senator" before a Senate hearing. This letter is from a National Guard aviator and Captain for Alaska Airlines. I wonder what he would have said if he were really angry. Long fly Alaska!!!!!

You were so right on when you scolded the general on TV for using the term, "ma'am," instead of "Senator". After all, in the military,
"ma'am" is a term of respect when addressing a female of superior rank or position. The general was totally wrong.. You are not a person of superior rank or position. You are a member of one of the world's most corrupt organizations, the U.S. Senate, equaled only by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Congress is a cesspool of liars, thieves, inside traders, traitors, drunks (one who killed a staffer, yet is still revered), criminals,
and other low level swine who, as individuals (not all, but many), will do anything to enhance their lives, fortunes and power, all at the expense of the People of the United States and its Constitution, in order to be continually re-elected. Many democrats even want American troops killed by releasing photographs. How many of you could honestly say, "We pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor"?


None? One? Two?

Your reaction to the general shows several things. First is your abysmal ignorance of all things military. Your treatment of the
general shows you to be an elitist of the worst kind. When the general entered the military (as most of us who served) he wrote the government a blank check, offering his life to protect your derriere, now safely and comfortably ensconced in a twenty-thousand dollar leather chair, paid for by the general's taxes. You repaid him for this by humiliating him in front of millions.

Second is your puerile character, lack of sophistication, and arrogance which borders on the hubristic. This display of brattish behavior shows you to be a virago, termagant, harridan, nag, scold or shrew, unfit for your position, regardless of the support of the unwashed, uneducated masses who have made California into the laughing stock of the nation.

What I am writing Senator, are the same thoughts countless millions of Americans have toward Congress, but who lack the energy, ability or time to convey them. Under the democrats, some don't even have the 44 cents to buy the stamp. Regardless of their thoughts, most realize that politicians are pretty much the same, and will vote for the one who will bring home the most bacon, even if they do consider how corrupt that person is. Lord Acton (1834 - 1902) so aptly charged, "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Unbeknownst to you and your colleagues, "Mr. Power" has had his way with all of you, and we are all the worse for it.

Finally Senator, I, too, have a title. It is "Right Wing Extremist Potential Terrorist Threat." It is not of my choosing, but was given to me by your Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano. And you were offended by "ma'am"?

Have a fine day.
Cheers!

Jim Hill
16808 - 103rd Avenue Court
East South Hill, WA 98374

Thought This Would Be Appreciated Here



And of course the guy who came up with this is being villified--so much for freedom of expression and fairness...especially when you see stuff like this:




For these paintings, comic artist Alex Ross (no relation to Bob) was highly lauded--especially for the one of Bush.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bloggers revealed

Manhattan judge forcing Google Blogger to give up the identity of an anonymous blogger.
Monday, August 17, 2009

Green states


Forget red states and blue states, let's get fired up about green states! No, I don't mean green energy (although that would be good for my current job), but rather the color coding on Gallup's latest poll results showing conservatives outnumbering liberals in ALL 50 states. Not a hint of white anywhere to be found!
Thursday, August 13, 2009

Don't Define Yourself By One Issue

This morning I figured something out. In private conversations about homosexuality, I've expressed my own opinion that I feel it's immoral. As a result, I was called homophobic, intolerant, old-fashioned and a variety of other terms (I don't really mind old-fashioned). Now, I've known a decent number of homosexual people, and liked some of them. I realized the ones that I've liked, don't define themselves by their sexuality and put it in everyone else's face. I don't share what goes on in my bedroom with my wife, and I don't expect other should either.

Phobic means and irrational fear. My judgment that homosexuality is immoral is neither irrational nor a fear-it's an opinion founded in my core values. I don't treat others badly because I disagree with their morality or lack thereof (homosexual or otherwise), so I shouldn't receive snap judgments from those who disagree-it's hypocrisy.

I also realized that I also dislike when others who define themselves by one issue pounce on me when I show the slightest disagreement. Vegans and extreme environmentalists come to mind. Instead of thoughtful debate or even respectful disagreement, you get demagoguery. Folks like this don't worry about offending people who disagree with them, but lambaste whomever opens his mouth in the slightest dissension.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Footnotes

In reading Maureen Dowd's latest rant today (I sometimes enjoy doing self masochistic things like reading Dowd or watching Maddow to see how much pain I can take), I caught the footnote at the bottom of the article:

Thomas L. Friedman is off today.

I couldn't help but think perhaps a more fitting footnote would have been:

As always in the NYT, common sense and rationality are off today.
Monday, August 10, 2009

This public service announcement regarding internets ettiquette has been brought to you

from The Devil's Den:



ht: mynameisbond
Sunday, August 09, 2009

Polling

Rasmussen takes it to Krugman and sticks it hard. Bravo. Perhaps Krugman ought to find a target other than one of the most historically accurate pollsters, especially in recent elections.
Friday, August 07, 2009

Savages

I urge people to read this horrific story. Every time I hear Obama and his naive team suggest we should "just open a dialogue and negotiate" it makes me lose a little part of myself. Perhaps his administration should be forced to read this and realize that there will be NO negotiating with disgusting animals like al qaeda.

Khidir was just 6 years old when he was savagely ripped away from his family, kidnapped by al Qaeda operatives in Iraq.

"They beat me with a shovel, they pulled my teeth out with pliers, they would go like this and pull it," said Khidir, now 8, demonstrating with his hands.

"This is where they hammered a nail into my leg and then they pulled it out," he says, lifting up his pant leg to show a tiny wound.

He says his captors also pulled out each of his tiny fingernails, broke both his arms, and beat him repeatedly on the side of the head with a shovel. He still suffers chronic headaches. He remembers them laughing as they inflicted the pain.


Who is so morally bankrupt and savage that they would do that to a six year old?

And to think of the outrage by liberal elites because we "violated" the "rights" of terrorist garbage by putting some panties on their heads and making them listen to loud music. THAT is not torture. What is described above is torture.
Thursday, August 06, 2009

Uncle Ted Rules!

The guy is totally bat-s*** crazy, but he sure can drive a point home.

Gotta love it.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Movie dialogue of the day,

for Wed., August 6th:

Carla Jean Moss: Where'd you get the pistol?

Llewelyn Moss: At the gettin' place.

Carla Jean Moss: Did you buy that gun?

Llewelyn Moss: No. I found it.

Carla Jean Moss: Llewelyn!

Llewelyn Moss: What? Quit hollerin'.

Carla Jean Moss: What'd you give for that thing?

Llewelyn Moss: You don't need to know everything, Carla Jean.

Carla Jean Moss: I need to know that.

Llewelyn Moss: You keep runnin' that mouth I'm gonna' take you in the back and screw ya'.

Carla Jean Moss: Big talk.

Llewelyn Moss: Keep it up.

Carla Jean Moss: Fine. I don't wanna' know. I don't even wanna' know where you been all day.

Llewelyn Moss: That'll work.


BTW, ht to ManBeast who set this thread off with a textmessage.

I'm Not Particularly Religious...

But I really hope there is a hell just so Diane Schuler has somewhere to burn for eternity.

This is the woman who caused a massive accident on Taconic Parkway in upstate New York that killed her, her daughter, her three nieces, and three men in a second vehicle. In addition, her son was severely injured.

Initially, the picture was painted that Schuler was not feeling well and that led to her driving the wrong way on the parkway causing a horrific head-on collision.

Now the truth comes out: she left a campsite at 9:30am and was driving aggressively the entire time--flashing brights, tailgating, straddling lanes, and even passing a car using the shoulder. Around 1:30pm the fatal crash occurred. Toxicology reports show that her blood-alcohol level was 0.19, more than twice the legal limit (or the equivalent of about 10 drinks) with another 6 grams undigested in her stomach. Additionally, she had high levels of THC in her blood that indicate she was smoking marijuana 15 minutes to an hour before the crash. An open bottle of Absolut was also recovered in the wreckage.

So this woman was drinking while driving, as well as smoking pot with five children in the car (ages 8, 7, 5, 5, and 2). She was entrusted with the care of her brother's three children, much less her own two children. And yet she commits this heinous act of carelessness and stupidity.

Congratulations on destroying the lives of four families, much less the extended families, friends, and co-workers who will also feel the loss. The case is now being treated as a multiple homicide but what good does that do now? She's off the hook. Who can be punished?

And now that the truth is out, how long will it take before they try to paint Schuler as a victim--most likely of addiction. "Oh, this wasn't her fault--she had a problem that she was bravely fighting and dealing with in a heroic manner. The alcoholism is at fault, not a loving, responsible mother."

Mark my words--it's coming.

And just when I thought this story couldn't make my any sicker...

Well Played Ma'am, Well Played...

Kudos to Hillary (did I actually just say that?) for throwing a sucker punch early in the 2012 race.

Any way you look at the situation, it's a win for the Clintons. If the White House tries to make the claim that they set up the negotiations for the release of the reporters in North Korea, it makes their administration look weak an ineffective that an outsider had to get the job done. And if they say that Bubba went over on his own, then Hillary gets to point out that the Clintons can accomplish missions on their own that the presidency was unable to.

And listening to the press conference was priceless: every time one of the reporters thanked "President Clinton" for obtaining their freedom, Obama must have thrown up a little in his mouth. Nothing like getting that idea into people's heads again--"President Clinton." Even if it's a few years away, those little nuggets tend to stick.

Subliminal campaigning--it's all the rage...

And things look better for Mitt by the day.
Monday, August 03, 2009

So Close, Yet So Far

I was (almost) encouraged by some headlines I saw in the NYT.

The first one is Top 1% Paid More in Federal Income Taxes Than Bottom 95% in ‘07. But alas, instead of pointing out why this is the reason the rich benefit from tax cuts or why you don't want to overtax the rich and cause them to leave with their money, leaving everyone else to pay their share, the article was about how the richest had the best income growth.

The second one It May Be Outrageous, but Wall Street Pay Didn’t Cause This Crisis. Even closer, but no cigar.

And the third, Profit Dropped 66% at Exxon Mobil, doesn't even mention the windfall profit bill.

sigh
Saturday, August 01, 2009

Couldn't resist when I saw the title of the link...

http://www.geekologie.com/2009/08/youre_doing_it_wrong_woman_dra.php

Three words, D.C.

I. Want. Pictures.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Looks like air traffic control had to play a little D-FENS

Whadd'ya know, Caribou Express (aka Slidy McHump) actually had this one right from the get go:

Prendergast IS a douche.

Check it:

A pilot from Virginia nearly caused a major disaster at Kennedy Airport when he brought his single-engine plane down for a landing in the path of a Boeing 747, sending controllers scrambling to get other planes out of his way, according to a published report.

Hundreds of lives were threatened over the weekend as John Prendergast la-dee-da-ed his way around the sky trying to figure out where on earth Republic Airport in Long Island was, reports The New York Post.

Huh.

Btw, the original Prendergast, the source of CE's ire, is here:

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