Saturday, December 31, 2011

Watch Out...




...for high curbs in Georgia


.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Redistribution Justice...

I had seen a version of this before, and thought it was funny.  But this time I listened to the answers, played a little Devil's Advocate...the Devil lost, like he usually does.

These people (we were all probably like these people at one time) ca not make the connection, they all think that it is different when you are talking about income or money.  Listen to their 'reasoning' - "...the thing about rich people is, our society isn't playing fair..."  Every argument they make, is completely transferable from the GPA argument to the income argument. 





Maybe if you explained the difference between "income" and "wealth" to these people, maybe if you explained...really, I don't know what it would take. Real life? That is what it took for many of us.

The Atlantic had an article that included some more "reasoning" as to why it doesn't translate, calling it an Apples to Oranges comparison.  But all the arguments try to change what "income" is - as if it is not earned.  Sure, I believe some salaries are out of whack - but it is a free market, and I can try to go get that higher salary for less work (that is the name of the game).  In fact, I have changed jobs three times, each taking an initial pay cut to do something I wanted to do more.  I also fought hard for my GPA in college (taking my 2nd year off to be a complete zombie). 

To me, the comparison is spot on...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Poor Richard...


I was going to post about a quote from Benjamin Franklin:

"I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer."
I wanted to write a post about what we do to our poor in the name of "helping" them, and that Obama and the Left are clearly on the opposite side of some wise thinkers.

I wanted to find the exact quote so I Bing'ed it (I've been protesting Google for some time now), and I found that William Sullivan had already written old Ben's comparison to young Barack, at the American Thinker.  Sullivan blogs HERE, and its a good blog.

"Benjamin Franklin was an industrious and brilliant liberal of his time, a man not only responsible for creating personal wealth, but in part responsible for creating the wealthiest nation on Earth. Yet we have seen Americans disavow his longstanding wisdom to embrace an ideology wholly contrary to our founders', peddled by a modern-day liberal academic who has created no true wealth, but only sought to redistribute it -- all with clearly detrimental results."





[Poor Richard was a pseudonym used by Franklin when he first published his Almanac.  Franklin based Poor Richard on characters from early almanacs, and from another character who predicted the deaths of almanac writers.  In Poor Richards Almanac, Franklin would predict the deaths of writers of other almanacs, and then later falsely report the deaths, and as being accurately predicted.  It was a joke...they don't make them like old Ben anymore!]

P.S.  I found the Ben Franklin quote in Newt Gingrich's new book.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Blessings...

It is a tradition in the Bannon house to leave each family member's "pile" of gifts from Christmas out until, well, if Mrs. Bannon allows...until New Years Day.  Or the day after.  Then, throughout the week, one can go to their pile, and decide which toy to play with, or treat to taste.

Even with the multitude of Bannonlings, there is enough room, and the tradition has continued yet another year.

While perusing my pile, I decided to read from my copy of Mr. Gingrich's latest book (autographed - thanks Babe!) and found this quote that summarized...well, the fact that we have piles:

"Your situation in life, every one must confess, is one of the great blessing: the providence of God has given you a wonderful heritage, above many of your fellow creatures." - George Whitefield speaking to the American colonists pre-revolution

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Best Christmas Ever...

I pretty much spend 364 days of the year waiting for this one day.  And this year was the BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!

I was spoiled again by my family with gifts of all kinds.  Great books, homemade gifts, gifts from my childhood, and more.  One of my favorite gifts was one I had asked for, but never thought I would receive.  I had been shopping around for a new axe for several months.  I had read dozens of reviews, probably close to fifty, and all the accompanying comments found on blogs and articles.

Nothing says "I love you" like a good axe.  So Mrs Bannon and her mother worked together to put this under my tree this year:

 2# Hudson Bay Premium Velvicut®

Council Tool has been making axes in America since the 1880s.  They recently introduced the Velvicut line of "Premium" axes to compete with high-quality northern European axes.  "These top-of-the-line, world class axes are made for the serious user, collector, outdoorsman, or tool aficionado. They are not for everyone but rather for those who seek the very best."

Yes, I seek the very best...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bah Humbug...

I had a post planned about Ted Nugent's comments in the Washington Examiner...then I found a video of Paul Ryan schooling Chris Matthews...but those will wait till next year. Other things can't wait...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Clear as Mud...

Newt or Romney?

Romney or Obama?

Obama or Newt?


I am hoping that Newt Gingrich wins the Republican nomination.  For several reasons.  None of which are "Newt is the best possible choice for President of the United States."

There are so many pundits out there offering their 'expertise' on the matter. I disagree with most of the assumptions that are made, and therefore the reasoning behind the opinions of the pundits.  Most of the time, they have to deal with the lowest common denominator.  But, as it turns out, it is not that type of math. 

Do you think Newt will beat Romney?

Do you think Newt can beat Obama?

Do you think Romney can beat Obama?

How much of it comes down to the campaigns?  How much of it comes down to the perception of the economy?

If you are a Liberal - the answer  in the General Election is clear.

If you are a Conservative - the answer in the General Election is clear.

So our future will come down to:

  1) The people who don't have a political belief system

...and

  2) Who shows up to vote


[If you have made up your mind, and it was easy - does it blow your mind that some people can't decide, or that the election will go no more than 54%-46%, and that would be considered a landslide?]


People will have to decide who they want to vote for, and other people will have to decide if they are going to vote.  How they go about that is where the water gets murky:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

If Only Congress...

...were so bold and honest:

Report on the Recent Piggybanking Crisis by Eric Hague

The following report, prepared by a bipartisan committee comprising both Mommy and Daddy, lays out a timeline of the principal events of last week's Piggybanking Crisis and its aftermath.

4:15 p.m., LAST FRIDAY

Daughter Georgia becomes aware that Addison Murphy from next door is placing a recently refurbished dollhouse on the market at an asking price of $30. Because Georgia barely earns enough from her weekly chores to eke out the occasional candy purchase, she has never really considered herself a candidate for doll-homeownership. Nevertheless, she elects to pursue the classic dollhouse dream and begins to explore financing options.

4:24 p.m., LAST FRIDAY

Georgia consults older sister Johanna, the manager of a local piggybank with reserves totaling some $30.12, about the possibility of securing a mortgage. Although Johanna is aware of the meagerness of Georgia's allowance, she feels that the recent precipitous expansion of the neighborhood doll-housing market, coupled with the effects of informational asymmetries—namely, that Georgia can't really add yet—are enough to justify the risk.

4:31 p.m., LAST FRIDAY

Georgia closes on Addison's dollhouse. She moves two naked Barbies and a velociraptor into it.

12:00 p.m., SUNDAY

After receiving her allowance, Georgia makes her inaugural mortgage payment to the First Piggybank of Johanna's Room. Suddenly left with no funds with which to buy M&Ms on the weekly outing to Pathmark, Georgia begins to realize the enormity of her situation.

12:32 p.m., SUNDAY

Georgia lists her dollhouse with a local pretend-estate agent, Addison's older sister Emma.

7:04 p.m., MONDAY

Dumbledore, the family hamster, is found dead in his cage. Georgia is laid off from her job as chief pellet-refiller.

4:19 p.m., TUESDAY

Despite a promising open dollhouse with the twins from up on Fifth Street, Georgia still has not found a buyer. Facing the prospect of missing a mortgage payment, Georgia decides to walk away from her underwater dollhouse. She relocates her tenants to the big toy chest in the basement rumpus room.

4:22 p.m., TUESDAY

While Johanna is out at the swingset negotiating the sale of Georgia's subprime dollhouse mortgage to Jackson Meyers from two houses down, Georgia apprises Johanna that she is defaulting on her debt. Johanna announces immediate plans to foreclose on the dollhouse.

8:12 p.m., TUESDAY

Confronting a shortfall of Piggybank liquidity, Johanna appears before Mommy and Daddy and requests a bailout. (See minutes from "Tantrum before the Parental Subcommittee on Finance.")

8:14 p.m., TUESDAY

Members of the fiscally liberal Daddy Party announce support for a short-term emergency loan to the First Piggybank. The Mommy Party adopts the view that, though Johanna is a big girl now, she is not too big to fail. Following a vigorous debate in both the house and the carport, the Daddy Party unilaterally authorizes the lending of $30 to Johanna from the Disney World savings jar on top of the fridge.

10:26 a.m., WEDNESDAY

During morning recess, Johanna acquires $30 through the perpetration of a Ponzi scheme involving the fraudulent trade of Silly Bandz commodities.

3:31 p.m., THURSDAY

Georgia files a choreless claim with Daddy during the Pathmark trip. Daddy grants Georgia a distribution of candy benefits.

5:42 p.m., FRIDAY

Johanna repays the Disney World treasury in full. In spite of this, the Mommy Party attacks the opposition during mid-dinner debate, castigating it for its failure to live up to its promises to create new chores, as well as for its wasteful candy entitlement programs. Desperate to shore up support among daughters of all backgrounds, the Daddy Party announces that the Disney World vacation will happen next month—and that he'll just charge the trip on his MasterCard.

The Mommy Party opposes this increase in the household debt ceiling. Talks quickly stall, and the Daddy Party is forced to sleep on the smelly couch in the rumpus room.

6:30 p.m., FRIDAY

Aiming to draw attention to the disparity of wealth that exists between younger sisters and greedy investment piggybankers, Georgia decides to occupy Johanna's room with a blanket fort. Johanna soon finds herself mildly inconvenienced by Georgia's vague, ineffectual whining and chants of "I am the 50 percent!"

11:30 a.m., SATURDAY

The Daddy Party calls for an end to unproductive inter-party bickering as well as for his return to the Mommy Party's bed because his back hurts from that damn couch.

CONCLUSIONS

The parental government would like all daughters—regardless of socioeconomic status—to know that even if these conflicts ultimately prove insoluble and in time precipitate a complete parental shutdown, none of this is actually the fault of the general populace of children, and the Mommy Party and the Daddy Party love them both very, very much.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Healthy Justice...

Do you like going for a 30 minute run?  How about an hour?  Unless I am trying to get somewhere, I get bored after about 3 minutes

Years ago, I attended a police academy.  Two or three times a week we would do Physical Training (PT).  We would run at a moderate pace (though with stress stimuli added, making it seem like a faster pace) for approximately 45 minutes.  We ran through the hills and in the desert.  (Sometimes, we would run through the sand of a dry creek bed, and the staff would yell, "It's like running on the beach...you just have to imagine the ocean part!").

At the end of the academy, a recruit asked the staff why we did all the PT, when we would (most likely) not be running after a bad guy for 6-7 miles at a moderate pace.  The answer was - they were not training us to catch bad guys, they were training us for a healthy lifestyle.

Retirement is tough for cops. Their average life expectancy after retirement is five years, according to '91 FBI statistics. Psychotherapist and former police officer Albert Seng says a number of cops go through a grief process in disconnecting from "a lifestyle rather than a job." Once you're out of it, you're really out of it. You're on the outside.

"In the U.S., non-police males have a life-expectancy of 73 years. Policemen in the U.S. have a life expectancy of 53-66 years, depending on which research one decides to embrace."

Longevity Vs. Retirement Age

“Dr. Ephrem (Siao Chung) Cheng provided the important results in the following table from an actuarial study of life span vs. age at retirement. The study was based on the number of pension checks sent to retirees of Boeing Aerospace.“

Age at Retirement (Column A) Average Age at Death (Colmun B)

  A       B
49.9   86.0
51.2   85.3
52.5   84.6
53.8   83.9
55.1   83.2
56.4   82.5
57.2   81.4
58.3   80.0
59.2   78.5
60.1   76.8
61.0   74.5
62.1   71.8
63.1   69.3
64.1   67.9
65.2   66.8

“This indicates that for people retired at the age of 50, their average life span is 86; whereas for people retired at the age of 65, their average life span is only 66.8. An important conclusion from this study is that for every year one works beyond age 55, one loses 2 years of life span on average.”


So...as of this posting, I'm announcing my retirement!  Just kidding.  However, back to the original point - "Long Distance Running" and a "Healthy Life." 


From Wikipedia:


"The Tabata Method uses 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles). In the original study, athletes using this method trained 4 times per week, plus another day of steady-state training, and obtained gains similar to a group of athletes who did steady state training 5 times per week. The steady state group had a higher VO2max at the end, but the Tabata group had started lower and gained more overall. Also, only the Tabata group had gained anaerobic capacity benefits..."

"...increases the resting metabolic rate for the following 24 hours due to excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, and may improve maximal oxygen consumption more effectively than doing only traditional, long aerobic workouts..."

"...Long aerobic workouts have been promoted as the best method to reduce fat, as fatty acid utilization usually occurs after at least 30 minutes of training. High Intensity Interval Training is somewhat counterintuitive in this regard, but has nonetheless been shown to burn fat more effectively..."



 
I prefer the "Tabata" method because 1) It may actually be better for you and 2) the rest part is like a small nap in the middle of the workout, and I like naps...


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Tebow...

I fear that Tebow will lose today.  I hope I'm wrong.  Anyway, lets play PICK THE RIGHT CAPTION:





A)  Tebow was actually built by a team of vast-right-wing-conspiracy engineers on leave from the Tea Party.

B)  "Tim we just need to see if you are really on the straight and narrow."

C)  "Now after I insert this boomerang, you will be able to throw the ball down field to yourself."




A)  This is Tebow on a recruiting trip to Penn State.  He didn't like it.

B)  This is right after Tebow got a life sized tattoo of his own chest, on his chest.

C)  "Tim, I have good news and bad news.  Good news, you're actually right handed.  Bad news, you can't throw with that arm either."





 




A) Tebow is the kind of guy that would give you the shirt off his back.  Literally.

B) Shoulder pads?  Tebow doesn't need no stinkin' shoulder pads.

C) Tebow stubbornly refuses to acknowledge the drastic effects of Global Climate Warming Change on NFL relaxed uniform policies.




Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Yadda, Yadda, Yadda....

FBI Director Denies Cover-Up Involving 'Fast and Furious' Guns Found at Border Agent's Murder



"...Speaking to Grassley's committee, Mueller promised the FBI "will bring to justice those persons who are in any way involved in the killing of Officer Brian Terry..."

"As for whether Holder ends up resigning..."

"I think he knew..."

"...you shouldn't be doing this job."

"In September, a spokeswoman for Grassley, R-Iowa, told Fox News it was "pretty clear"..."


(There was more to the article, I just hit the highlights).

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Tebow...

What Tim Tebow Can't Do...
by Jason Gay, WSJ

He cannot fly. He cannot see through walls. He cannot talk to the animals, not even cats. He's never picked up an automobile and tossed it across the road. He's failed to publish poetry in Russian. He can't explain Ryan Reynolds.

These are just a few of the many things Tim Tebow can't do.
 
Every day we are reminded of more things Tim Tebow can't do. He cannot throw a proper pass. He cannot stand still in the pocket. He can't run a conventional offense. He runs, but he doesn't run gracefully. He runs upright and frantic. He runs like he's stealing a toaster from the mall.

He's a cavalcade of failures. Why the Denver Broncos give him a paycheck, nobody knows.

Because Tim Tebow never lets you relax. He never puts a football game away in the first quarter. He forces you to watch the whole thing, with commercials and no fast-forwards. It's never pretty.

He doesn't put up Tom Brady's numbers. He doesn't put up Tom Brokaw's numbers. He's not impressing Broncos legend John Elway. John Elway acts as if he'd let the Broncos bus abandon Tim Tebow at a rest stop.

"Oh, where's Tim?" John Elway would say forty miles down the road. "Hmmm, that's too bad."

You can see why Elway's unconvinced. Tim Tebow can't do it the normal way. Tim Tebow can't get through an interview without mentioning his faith. Or giving credit to his teammates. Tim Tebow never sounds full of Tim Tebow.

He doesn't even get mad when people say nasty things about him. When people say Tim Tebow needs to improve, Tim Tebow says he needs to improve. Who does that?

Nothing seems to rattle him. He smiles and doesn't sulk. When Tim Tebow is bummed, he doesn't pull down the blinds, blast the Fleetwood Mac and drink red wine out of a Mason jar, like everybody else does. He's a total weirdo.

Do you know what else Tim Tebow has never done?

Tim Tebow has not climbed all Seven Summits. He's never built an invisible jet or hosted the Country Music Awards. If he has solved the mystery of Loch Ness, or washed dishes at The French Laundry, it's never been written about. Tim Tebow's portrait does not hang in the Louvre. Sandra Bullock has never made a Tim Tebow movie. Tim Tebow has never made a Sandra Bullock movie.

Sure, Tim Tebow has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but has he been on the cover of Dwell or Bon Appetit? That's right: no. Loser!

Do you know that Tim Tebow has never hosted a late-night talk show in Denmark? That he's never been the CEO of The Gap? That he wasn't a serious candidate to be manager of the Red Sox? Tim Tebow has never won a professional motocross race. He's never even come in second in a professional motocross race. Tim Tebow did zero to solve the NBA lockout. Zilch.

Here is a small list of other things Tim Tebow has never won: Wimbledon, a MacArthur "Genius" grant, "Project Runway," "The Price is Right," the Nathan's Famous hot dog eating contest, the Booker Prize or a Grammy for best spoken-word album.

That's embarrassing. Why do people care about him?

Yes, Tim Tebow beat the Miami Dolphins, the Oakland Raiders, the Kansas City Chiefs, the New York Jets and the Chargers of San Diego. But Tim Tebow has not beaten the Detroit Lions. Or the Detroit Pistons. Or the Detroit Red Wings. Or Manny Pacquiao. Or Dara Torres. Or Real Madrid. Or Gary Kasparov.

Tim Tebow doesn't fight the law, but if he did, the law would surely win. Okay, maybe not.

Despite all of these issues, people still like Tim Tebow, which is mystifying. It's as if they can't recognize his flaws. They're blinded by hype. They're willfully ignorant. They want to believe in a myth.

One day they will see all of Tim Tebow's shortcomings. How he's never once sang O Canada at a Vancouver Canucks game. How he's never captured a live dinosaur. How he's too chicken to run for President.

Tim Tebow never, ever makes everybody happy. He can't really do anything besides win football games. Since when did anyone care about that?


PS - He also beat the Minnesota Vikings.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Tactical ManBag...

There you are, on the range, ready to throw lead, kill paper, plink steel.  Do you have eye pro?  Where's your ears?  Extra mags?  How many places are you going to store all this stuff?  Well, that problem has been solved.

Introducing Practical Utility Range Shoulder Equipment by 5.11


  • 1050D Nylon
  • Large main compartment
  • Two side expanding pockets
  • Zippered Back-up-Belt™ System Pocket
  • Adjustable shoulder strap with removable pad
  • Aero-foam padding on back
  • Nametape and flag holders

Just read these amazing reviews:
"I love it, it holds all my items.  If its a hot, dry day out, and my lips get parched and chapped, I can just reach into my satchel, or bag thingy, and there's a small tactical pocket where I keep chapstick.  Non-scented chapstick.  In a velcro pouch, you know, for when I'm shooting and stuff, or punching somebody..." 
- John R.  Mesa, Arizona

"I love my 5.11 thing.  Its black, so it goes with all my tactical clothing, at any time of the year. It has great concealment pouches, if your hiding something.  I mean, like a weapon, or something."
- Frank M.  Kansas City, Missouri

"Its not a purse!"
- Anonymous


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Follow the Money...


I'm not feelin' Darrell Issa anymore.  I think the more he is in the spotlight, the more flaws we will see. 


Issa Launches Probe of Alleged DEA Laundering Operation in Mexico

I'll keep it short and simple.  You never let guns walk.  ATF's Operation Fast and Furious makes no sense, I've read all about it, and I have never read anything wherein an agent, supervisor, or prosecutor explained how that was going to work.  It just doesn't add up.

What the DEA is doing - is was needs to be done, and needs to be done more.   "Follow the money" Mr. Issa.  It is the best tool for fighting the Cartels.  And just from reading the article, you can see the DEA may have a big one:

They are involved in the shipment - so they know the means by which the money is physically moved.

They are involved in the laundering - so they know the manner in which it happens, and they can have an accounting.

They have been making seizures - so it looks to the cartels like business is usual, while not all the money is walking.



This was done with Colombian drug Cartels in the past - and it has led to changes in laws making it harder for Cartels to launder and spend their proceeds, it has lead to changes in monetary policy between countries, and it has lead to huge seizures of funds already outside of the United States.



Follow the money Mr. Issa...


[I get the feeling when Darrell was little, he was the kind of kid who would eat a whole bottle of vitamins - because if one vitamin is good...]

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Tebow...

I am not a fan of the Denver Broncos.  First and foremost, because they are not the Dallas Cowboys.  Though I do like Denver, and Colorado, and the Rocky Mountains.  I am a huge Tim Tebow fan.  I wasn't always.



I only first started to pay attention to Tebow when he and his mother did the Super Bowl commercial.  I saw the huge firestorm of criticism around it, and him, his beliefs...and his throwing motion.  I saw that people wanted to attack him any way they could.  That sounded like a familiar theme..

It came more into the spotlight, when he was sacked by the Detroit Lions' Stephen Tulloch, who then proceeded to mock Tebow's praying.

What did Tebow say? “He was probably just having fun and was excited he made a good play and had a sack. And good for him.”



Tebow was born in Makati City in the Philippines, the son of Christian Baptist missionaries. While pregnant, his mother suffered a life-threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba. Because of the drugs used to rouse her from a coma and to treat her dysentery, the fetus experienced a severe placental abruption. Doctors had expected a stillbirth and recommended an abortion to protect her life, although abortions are illegal in the Philippines, but she remained undaunted and refused having an abortion.  (For any birthers out there - Tim is eligible to be president).

Tim is the youngest of five children.  He was homeschooled all the way through high school.   Several states have proposed laws that will allow homeschoolers to play high school sports, such as Alabama, where the bill is titled "The Tim Tebow Bill."

Tebow was twice named the Florida High School Player of the Year, and won the state championship as a senior.

Tebow led the University of Florida to 2 National Championships, and won the Heisman Trophy in 2007, the only underclassman to ever win the award.

In 2008, Tebow received more first place votes for the Heisman than the winner.

In 2008, Tebow became the University of Florida's all-time career rushing touchdown leader...breaking Emmitt Smith's record.

In 2009, Tebow became the SECs all-time career rushing touchdown leader...breaking Herschel Walker's record.

Tebow's 2011 salary will be $8,230,000.






With all that, its hard to look at Tim Tebow as an underdog (again).  Yet he is...because they are out to get him.  There was a time when his values would be praised, his efforts cheered, and his reputation coveted. 

Times have changed.  Tebow is out there fighting the good fight.  I hope he keeps it up.






Oh, and I thought this was funny...

Saturday, December 3, 2011

“Humanity has won its battle. Liberty now has a country"
 - Marquis de La Fayette

"I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in providence, for the illumination of the ignorant and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth."
 - John Adams

"When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect."
 - Adlai Stevenson


"We need an America with the wisdom of experience. But we must not let America grow old in spirit."
 - Hubert H. Humphrey


"The poet called Miss Liberty's torch, "the lamp beside the golden door." Well, that was the entrance to America, and it still is. . . . The glistening hope of that lamp is still ours. Every promise, every opportunity is still golden in this land. And through that golden door our children can walk into tomorrow with the knowledge that no one can be denied the promise that is America. Her heart is full; her torch is still golden, her future bright. She has arms big enough to comfort and strong enough to support, for the strength in her arms is the strength of her people. She will carry on in the eighties unafraid, unashamed, and unsurpassed. In this springtime of hope, some lights seem eternal; America's is. "
 - Ronald Reagan

"I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism."
 - Barack Obama


"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
  - Abraham Lincoln

Friday, December 2, 2011

Inner City Violence...


I was going to post on Newt (and sway y'all) but I don't have time.  I do find it amazing, that even extreme-right-FoxNews will grab a sentence with no context, and make it an unfavorable headline...."Gingrich: Poor Children Have No Habits of Working".  I heard him say it live, and I felt that he has been listening to me in the inner cities - these kids need opportunity.  There is no doubt in my mind that the Left will turn it into, "Newt needs to apologize to poor kids"...


However...I have spent a good portion of the last decade combating street gangs. Although sometimes it feels like I mostly combat them with intelligence files, which I could bury them under... 

But none like this motley crew:

It should be noted that they are already prepared for prison-wear
Agents Found Drugs, Hair Clippers During Raid On Amish Beard-Cutters


They're probably from Ohio.  Them Ohio Amish are different...

I found this surveillance footage:


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Public Service Announcement...

I was recently felled by the flu.  I had a sore throat just before Thanksgiving (#3 son always starts that annual tradition).  So I thought I was good - immune system up and running.   Nope.  And, I'm recovering from a pulled hamstring (but I still showed up and played for my Fantasy Football games...)  I think this was a 12 hour flu - anyway...



I would like to remind everybody to cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Tax Holidays...



Do you know what a "payroll tax" is? 

This is a way the government (i.e. the 'system', 'big brother', 'the man') unintentionally intentionally labels things to hide the true nature of what it is they are labeling.  Ask friends, co-workers and people you think are smart - what is the "payroll tax?"  See if they know.  Answer: Social Security.  Why is it not referred to as Social Security Tax?  Well, it is, by some.  But why say "payroll tax", why say "withholding tax," which is income tax? 

(Then what is FICA?  After they created Social Security, they gave the IRS the duty of collecting it - that law is FICA)

[for self-employed people - I'm sorry, I know that you know. But hopefully you know that I know that you know...]

The Social Security Tax crept up to 6.2% for employee, and 6.2% for employer.  So, for an employee earning $50,000 a year, the government was collecting $6,400 a year for Social Security (and $2,900 for medicare).


All of this brings me to my point - last year congress reduced the Social Security tax on individuals to 4.2%.  But...not permanently, its only a 'tax holiday'.  Now the Democrats are pushing to extend the lower tax...and the Republicans oppose it.  At least, that's what you will hear.  The Democrats want to add a permanent tax increase for the top earners - to pay for the tax holiday, which will someday go away.

Is they serious?  That is how they treat everybody.  They play a shell game, only they move slow, and the shells are transparent.  They bank on Republicans not articulating the argument well, and they throw in "tax break" and "millionaires" and they think we will all be confused.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

They don't make'em like this anymore...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Truth, Justice, and the American way...

.
That's what this blog is all about...and now we bring you, the American way part:


I was searching for some "survival gear"...and I found this:




Really?  Is this where we are as a country?  But wait, don't order yet, for those that pick up after their dog, and carry it around with them for the rest of the walk, and don't want to be a hypoocrite, it comes with options:




.
I'm sorry folks, I wasn't raised that way...I was raised this way:





Not really.  We did live in the lap of luxury...we had a two-seater (true story):





Now that I'm older, and wiser, I have taught my boys everything I know....about marketing:


For sale now (limited time only) $69.99 $9.99 Lavoratory On the Go, "Go green...well, you know what we mean.":











While conducting research for this post, I found this gem :


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Man, The Myth...

The Legend..


And what of that legend.  Of course I didn't know Mr. Hoover (I'm quite young you know).  But I grew up in an era where the FBI was renowned for its ability to fight crime.  Mr. Hoover was responsible for that.  He not only developed the FBI, but extended great effort to portray the FBI and its Special Agents as the epitome of professionalism.  The effects of his efforts in that area felt today, not always in ways you might appreciate . . . but the bad guys do.






(The shooting between the legs technique can come in quite handy...)


Though Mr. Hoover tried to portray himself, and the Bureau, as perfect, he wasn't. History has shown us.  However, to take Mr. Hoover out of the time frame he lived, and give him characteristics of today's society, is an injustice in itself. 

Mr. Hoover collected information on individuals, in a way, and using techniques, that was not against the law at the time.  He gathered physical evidence of the philandering of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., of President John F. Kennedy, and others.  We know today that MLKs family was subjected to the evidence, for probably less-than-righteous reasons.  But has the public been subjected?  What is MLK's reputation today?  What about JFK?

And for that, what of Mr. Hoover's legacy.  Enter "J Edgar Hoover" into Google, Bing, or Yahoo, and look at option #3, #2, and #9 respectively. 

I would hope that this lie about Mr. Hoover (a result of his percievd blackmail efforts of others), would die off over time, as the truths of the covert, and private, activities of MLK and JFK would die off too.  But Hollywood has seen to it, that that not be the case...

Like I said, Mr. Hoover was not perfect, but I do appreciate what he created, and the ideals he stood for.



Retired FBI Employee Who Helped Crew in “J. Edgar” Reflects on Movie and Power of Hollywood

(READ THE ENTIRE ARTICLE HERE)

Rex Tomb served in the FBI from 1968 until his retirement in 2006. For most of his career he served in the Office of Public Affairs, retiring as Chief of its Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit.

"...The film also documents Hoover’s rise in the Department of Justice as well as the political turmoil faced by the nation in the early twentieth century. The film credits Hoover for his meticulous attention to detail as well as some of the innovations that he introduced to American law enforcement.

What I found less satisfying was the portrayal of Hoover and Tolson’s personal relationship. Mr. Hoover and Mr. Tolson were certainly close. When I first started at the Bureau, from time to time I would hear colleagues make snide remarks about them. It didn’t happen as much as one might expect though. Perhaps it’s because until relatively recently, women were largely excluded from clubs, schools and other organizations. Also, remember that up until 1973, only guys were drafted into an almost exclusively, all male U.S. military. Over the years, millions and millions of men were compelled to go through this male rite of passage...

...As for their living arrangements, Mr. Tolson lived in an apartment near American University. Mr. Hoover owned a house several miles away. The only time that I am aware of Mr. Tolson ever staying with Mr. Hoover was the time just after he had had open heart surgery. Mr. Hoover had a live-in domestic who could look after Mr. Tolson during his convalescence. Under these circumstances, not allowing Mr. Tolson to stay at his house would have been pretty uncharitable. By the way, Mr. Hoover’s secretary, Miss Gandy, also lived within easy walking distance. There was plenty of help if Mr. Tolson needed it.

Were they more than just good friends? We’ll never know, but of the numerous people I’ve talked to over the years, who really knew them, all have told me that there was nothing more to their relationship than friendship. This, I guess, is why I’m so skeptical of all of this talk about them being secret lovers. I mean why should I accept the notions of those who never knew them, never saw them, never met them, never talked to them and in some cases weren’t even born yet?

In recent conversations I have had with some of my former colleagues, I don’t think that most of us really care about the nature of Mr. Hoover and Mr. Tolson’s relationship. I know I don’t. Many of us believe, however, that both Mr. Hoover and Mr. Tolson would care.

If this were a film about a ”fictional” FBI director, in the same way that “Citizen Kane” was a movie about a “fictional” press baron, I wouldn’t be too concerned. This movie, however, deals with real flesh and blood people and just to make sure we know that, they even used the main character’s name for the film’s title. Millions of people will see this movie and will draw conclusions from it. For the record, there is absolutely no credible evidence that J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde A. Tolson were either closeted or openly homosexual. Likewise, while there is a popular notion that Mr. Hoover blackmailed the Kennedys and others over the span of his very long career, I have never seen solid evidence that it actually happened. Indeed, I find it dubious that anyone could intimidate 535 members of Congress and every President from Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon for nearly 50 years. This is America and not the Soviet Union. While the film does not come out and say it, it certainly does infer these things about Mr. Hoover. Is it accurate? Is it fair? What impressions will viewers take away with them, not only of Mr. Hoover, but of the thousands of men and women who over the years worked for him, and in some cases sacrificed their lives while serving under his leadership?

Hollywood rightly calls attention to the unchecked power of elected and career government officials. What I sometimes fear they miss, however, is the power of their own industry. They can re-write the entire life of an individual in several languages, and it will be believed, sometimes unquestionably, by a vast worldwide audience. With nothing but the box office or advertisers to serve as a check and balance, the entertainment industry has the ability to demonize or beatify almost anyone they choose. Now that’s power! I wouldn’t want it any other way. Censorship has no place in America. But still, we really place a lot of faith in the entertainment industry, and that puts a very heavy responsibility on their shoulders. What does the Bible tell us? “. . . unto whomsoever much is given, unto him shall be much required.”

So true, so true."

Monday, November 21, 2011

Left Vs. Right...

Fact Vs. Fiction

Ever watch Chris Matthews?  I try...it is brutal.  I would rather be waterboarded, than hear Matthews bloviate on waterboarding.


Whenever he has guests that have facts, he yells, he changes the topic.  Larry Elder proves that Matthews can't play HARDBALL!






At one point, Matthews asked Elder “What is the purpose of this conversation?” — later adding, “I’m trying to be polite, and I come on your show because you invited me.”

“No, no, no, no,” Elder replied. “You called us and you asked to come on. I didn’t invite you.”

LATER...

MATTHEWS: This is an embarrassment. This is why this country is being torn apart, with this kind of hatred.

ELDER: It’s called a disagreement. You perceive it as hatred, just like you perceive that the Republicans want people to die on gurneys, and they don’t care about illegal aliens, and all the other silly things that you’ve said. That’s hatred. That’s hatred, Chris.

I got this from Jeff Poor of the Daily Caller...who got it from The Hollywood Reporter

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Economics (UPDATE)...

I did go to a state university, and studied economics.  Then I went to the real world and applied it.

I did not go to Yale, I did not get a PhD from MIT, I have never taught economics, never written a book on it, and I have not (yet) won a Nobel Prize.  Paul Krugman did.

His résumé is outstanding.  But it lacks one thing.  The real world.


PhDUH

"There's obviously a relationship between tax rates and revenue. That relationship is not, however, one-for-one. In general, doubling the excise tax rate on a good or service won't double the amount of revenue collected, because the tax increase will reduce the quantity of the good or service transacted. And the relationship between the level of the tax and the amount of revenue collected may not even be positive: in some cases raising the tax rate actually reduces the amount of revenue the government collects."--from "Economics," by former Enron adviser Paul Krugman and Robin Wells (Mrs. Krugman), second edition, 2009


"In Democrat-world, up is up and down is down. Raising taxes increases revenue. . . . But in Republican-world, down is up. The way to increase revenue is to cut taxes on corporations and the wealthy."--Paul Krugman, New York Times, Nov. 18, 2011

...derned real world! 

I'm going to take a guess here, and say, when writing his book he did some research - and some facts were slipped in.

(James Taranto - WSJ)



Saturday, November 19, 2011

Economics...

[Not an exhaustive survey, just a rant...]

I was involved in a debate about life and death in the comment section of another blog.  Some real 'thinker' decided to bring economics into the equation.  This person chose to say (I'm paraphrasing) that due to society's finite resources, those that create a 'drag' on those resources - should be eliminated.  This person wasn't actually that direct (but pretty close), but the words they chose would have the same result, people would die.




Society's finite resources?  At what point did they become finite?

Enter the words "Economics is the study of" in your search engine and you will get numerous options.  I like this one:

"Economics is the study of how people choose to use resources.   Resources include the time and talent people have available, the land, buildings, equipment, and other tools on hand, and the knowledge of how to combine them to create useful products and services.  Important choices involve how much time to devote to work, to school, and to leisure, how many dollars to spend and how many to save, how to combine resources to produce goods and services, and how to vote and shape the level of taxes and the role of government."

Resources are scarce, at times, but not finite.


Name a finite resource.  I searched it.  I saw "oil, coal, water..."  Really?  Oil.  Finite.  How much is there?  When will we run out?  I realize that when we refuse to drill, it seems finite.  And I guess, if you take it to the extreme, if we had the ability (which we don't) to drill it all, drill it all very fast and burn it up, that since you can neither create nor destroy matter - it could conceivably be 'finite.' 

But we can't.  And its not.

Remember, we really are not destroying matter, we are only changing its chemical makeup.  Its elements get rearranged in the burning process and relocated in the air, and eventually, the molecules will reform.  Oil is being created right now.  And not just in known oil fields, but in parts of the earth that we have never drilled.  Some like to say that its too deep, or will eventually be too expensive - but again, that's not how progress or economics has ever worked.  We will dig deeper, and it will get cheaper. 


And this person, who thought this about our economy, wants to be the one to decide who lives and who dies?

Let's move on to how our earth has only a finite amount of water...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Question #1...

We don't all fit in clear Left or Right political categories on each and every issue.  Some issues are of national concern, others are state matters, and on down to locals and communities.  Listening to the voices of the Democrat party (below) makes me wonder - how many people (actually) agree with them on anything?  The percentage has to be low...




What is the message of OWS? Why should God bless them for their spontaneity (that is a liberal thing, spontaneity is good for spontaneity's sake, regardless of what was spontaneous)? OWS is "focused"? - Doesn't that one remind you of statements made by Eastern European politicians during the Cold War?





This is par for the course for Matthews, but he used the term "Republicans," not "Tea Party," or "Conservatives," or "fringe right" - REALLY? What percentage of Democrats believe Republicans are so filled with hate, that they can't even bring themselves to choose a candidate?  I'm not talking about the anarchists of OWS, I'm talking about your neighbor with the local Democrat sign in his yard.


POP QUIZ:

You are driving around your community, and you see this house:



What do you think/feel?

1)  You are inspired.  Maybe a little in awe, but part of you starts to think that you are proud to live near this.  Part of you starts to think of what it would take for you to acquire this.  Maybe, some of you, start to think what you could do in the future to earn something like this.

2)  You are upset.  Why should somebody live in such opulence, while others nearby, can't.  It's not fair.  It doesn't matter who lives there, or how they got there, its not fair to others.  As long as somebody lives in that house, they should be paying enough taxes to support the needs of those who can't live in that house.


Not everyone fits in one of those categories, I know, but if you had to choose...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

From Philadelphia to Fallujah...

ArmyNavy2001

"One event. One game. One decade. On December 1, 2001, two ordinary football teams met on a field in Philadelphia's Veteran's Stadium to play sixty minutes of football. But this was no ordinary game. This was the Army-Navy game. And this was no ordinary Army-Navy game. This was the Army-Navy game that would occur just weeks after the attacks of September 11.

This program looks back at that historic game and profiles the journeys of three of its players who dedicated themselves to this country. These are compelling journeys - sometimes with tragic endings, other times with auspicious new beginnings. But always with an incomparable nobility and honor."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

***WARNING***

***If you haven't seen it, WARNING, the content of this video is DISTURBING***





I think the Right suffers just as much from the cult of personality, as the left. Cain is a very likable guy, he's like your uncle, or a football coach, or a woodshop teacher.  I like him.  I don't want him to be President.  There is no reason a guy like this can suffer all the setbacks he has, and still be in it.  Its racism.  We like him because he is black.  He has surged ahead because the Right is looking for something, someone, to lead. Cain has leadership qualities.  It takes more than that.

If you think, 'Well, I think he can beat Obama,'...he can't.  Because its not just Obama, its the entire main-stream-media, and the clip above was not a hatchet job, it was a simple question.

I know who I support.  I would invite Cain over for dinner, I'm not so sure about my candidate...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

When All of a Sudden...

Sunday's are great days.  If you've ever had a really crappy 9-to-5 job, Sunday's (especially Sunday nights) can have a little anxiety to them.  I have a great job, on its worst day its better than most, so Sunday's are great.

Sundays should be days of rest.  For me, 'rest' means a good workout, some reading, maybe a little time at the shooting range, and watching FOOTBALL.  Recently, I was recruited to play street hockey on Sunday nights.  I don't enjoy hockey (grew up in the desert), and being on the 'street' instead of the ice, makes it all the more lame.  However, I love competition, so while I still have it in me, I give it 100% (I even practice a little in the week, when nobody is looking)...

Zombie Target Practice
So...football wasn't on yet, didn't want to workout because of hockey, so I decided to dry-fire and read...

Couldn't find a book I was interested in, so I checked the library on-line, yadda-yadda-yadda, and I was reading on the Internet...and I began reading a "survival blog," which can be both informative, and entertaining.  The post I was reading was about preparing for an event, such as flood, hurricane, total economic collapse, zombie attack, etc.  When all of a sudden I came across this:

"...Checking for trigger events is the first thing I do in the morning and the last thing I do at night. When the markets are open, I will get an automated text message in the event of an economic slide. Hopefully, this proactive approach will allow us to bug out while the desperate masses are still paralyzed by their ingrained normalcy bias. The benefit of a government job is one can leave for up to three days without advance notice in the event of a perceived trigger event. Not only does one not get fired, but usually gets paid for those days..." 

I took note of the phrase "ingrained normalcy bias," - I'm gonna use that one.

But the note about being a government employee...clearly, this is totally misleading.  A government employee can be gone for much longer than THREE DAYS without being noticed.  One could be at an 'off-site,' or 'in the field,' one could be at 'training,' or doing some liaison with another useful branch of the government.  And, why wouldn't one get paid for those three days?  One got hired - and as long as one has not retired - one gets paid. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I'm Just Sayin'...



We didn't come from the one on the left, but we are close to the one on the right...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I liked living in the Mid-West.  Just an opinion, but people seem nicer, life seems slower... 



Lt. Ashley White, Alliance, Ohio

U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ashley White, 24, of Alliance, Ohio, assigned to the 230th Brigade Support Battalion, 30th Heavy Brigade Combat Team, North Carolina National Guard, based in Goldsboro, North Carolina, died on October 22, 2011 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device. She is survived by her husband Captain Jason Stumpf, her parents Robert and Deborah, brother Josh, and twin sister Brittney.




A Tribute To Ashley


"...Ashley was a true warrior. A member of a Cultural Support Team, she worked in support of Special Operations units and exposed herself to danger on a regular basis. She was a member of only the second class of this elite female team and you can bet that in the decades to come she will go down in history as a trailblazer for women warriors everywhere.


Ashley, by her family’s account, loved being in the military. What struck me most about the obituary in the Fayetteville Observer was the pride her family felt in her service...


...I’m sure there will be those who will gnash their teeth and spout idiocy about how we can’t have America’s daughters coming home in body bags…that war is too dangerous for women…that women don’t belong in special forces. Well Ashley, by her bravery, proved they do. I know she wasn’t on a Special Forces team. Those are for men. But equality doesn’t always mean replication. The Cultural Support Teams are the first iteration of women forging their own unique special forces function and have no doubt it will grow from there. Just as SEAL teams grew from the WWII Scouts and Raiders, OSS Operational Swimmers and Underwater Demolition Teams.


I feel a special kind of grief for 1st Lt. White. I wonder with a start like she had and with her obvious love for her job what she could have been. I wished she had survived to blaze more trails for our sisters in uniform. But she leaves a legacy. And that legacy is a message to the rest of us. This business we have undertaken can be cruel and the losses linger on in perpetuity. But the honor and the sense of purpose and selflessness that comes with taking on the mantel of defending ones nation is a gift. Ashley was out there, side by side with some of the baddest-ass guys we have. And she made a difference. She gave it everything she had and I am so proud that we girls have someone like her to point to and say, “see?”..."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Safety Nets...

.

Which is safer?


A)  Investing your money, your life's savings, in ABC Investments Inc.  ABC is a large company, millions of dollars are invested with ABC.  The government has created laws and rules that protect investors, and companies like ABC have to abide by those rules.  Several government agencies, and congress, has oversight on how ABC operates, to ensure that their methods are fair, and safe.

B)  Investing your money, your life's savings, in XYZ Investments Inc.  XYZ is a large company, millions of dollars are invested with XYZ.  There are no government rules, no laws regarding how companies like XYZ invest money.  XYZ has been around for years, under no laws, investing people's money.  XYZ customers rave about the service, and the security they feel.  Only the customers watch XYZ.

Are their currently laws about how companies invest retirement savings, and investors' money?  Are their currently multiple government agencies, and congress, with oversight on how investment companies work to ensure their methods are fair and safe?









Sorry folks, shows over...

.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Expect the Unexpected...


Farmers Gear Up for Unexpected Boom After New Free Trade Pacts

What was unexpected was that this present government would sign real free trade agreements.  OF COURSE there will be a boom - more customers.  Taxes, duties and tariffs don't help business.  Customers help business.  Competition, yes, helps business - by helping customers.


Deported Drug Cartel Member Caught With $1.6M in Drugs in Arizona

What was unexpected was that he was caught, not that he would return and do it again.  The article says he was caught with 80lbs of heroin.  On any street on the east coast (not Florida), that's over $9 million.  Oh, but assuming its +90% pure...so its real "worth" is upwards of $36,000,000.   The cartel lost a body and 80 pounds of dope, sure he had knowledge of their system, connections, etc.  But Mexico is full of bodies (even at the rate they are losing them) and 80 pounds is nothing...   How do you stop it?  How did this guy get across the border?  Why was this guy free two weeks after being arrested and deported?


Cain's Former Secretary: This Is Not the Herman Cain I Know

Why haven't we heard about sexual harassment complaints against Barack Obama when he was a...er..when he worked at... well during the time when he...wait, why haven't we heard any stories about anything Obama did when he had one of his 'jobs'?  Be prepared, one of the Republicans running for President, probably the nominee - allegedly farted!  It will break after the convention.  The story I mean.


Republican Senator Calls on Obama to Cancel Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Bonuses

"$12.8 million in bonuses that were approved for 10 executives...$6.46 million in bonuses for the top five officers at Freddie Mac -- including $2.3 million for CEO Charles E. Haldeman Jr., who is stepping down next year -- and $6.33 million for Fannie Mae officials, including $2.37 million for CEO Michael Williams, for meeting modest goals."

"...the president took a lead on cleaning up excessive compensation on Wall Street with the Dodd-Frank bill, but those provisions do not apply to Fannie and Freddie. “The White House was not involved and nor should it be,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney..."

I can keep cutting and pasting - but read the article.  For those of you that follow the Fannie and Freddie nightmare, you are aware that these bonuses are not new - only that they come AFTER the bailouts and failures.   I'm speechless.  Let's put Ron Paul in charge of these institutions!