Friday, June 26, 2009

House decides that you should pay more for energy

Based on questionable science, political payback and sheer stupidity, the House has passed legislation meant to "climate change".

We could have a raucous debate on the science for years--after all, the professionals have been doing so. The only thing they agree on is that the climate has changed before, and its changing now. They disagree on whether the causes are natural or anthropogenic (man-made). They disagree about if the earth has really warmed or cooled, and by how much. The disagree on the effects that an increase in temperature may bring. They disagreed on what to have for lunch, for all I know.

But the is no debate on the fact that your energy will cost you more--every group that has a number that is larger than what you pay now. There is debate on how much, which I view as akin to arguing about angels and pin heads. Right now, in this economy, we can't afford to pay any more for energy. Too many people simply don't have the money.

Now the battle moves to the Senate. I urge you to call, fax and email your state's Senators and tell them "NO!" in very uncertain terms.

I am, unfortunately, not surprised

Am email I received tonight led to some Googling, which lead to this:
David Jr. Meets His commander In Chief

For those who do not know Dave Borden, he is a former Black & Decker employee who lives in Hanover. His son Dave Jr was serving in Iraq and was badly injured from a bomb explosion. Dave Jr has had over 38 surgeries to date. The email below is from a recent visit from President Obama, the email speaks for its self.

Since Dave Jr. has been injured he has met and been overwhelmed by many, many political and military "celebs.The list includes Bob Gates, Sec. of Defense, who came into his room and told him 3 or 4 times that if Dave Jr. had any issues to call his cell phone number. It includes Gen. Petereus who sat and talked with Dave Jr. for almost 45 minutes.

The General recalled vividly all of the circumstances around the events that led to fighting that Dave was involved in. It includes Sen. McCain who arrived late on a Saturday afternoon during a thunder storm, unannounced, and talked to Dave Jr. about how similar their experiences with fate. It includes George Bush when Dave Jr. was invited to attend the very last Christmas party at the White House for the White House Staff.

President Bush and his wife entered the ballroom and immediately went to Dave Jr.. President Bush knew Dave Jr.'s name as well as when and how he was injured. Dave Jr. had a picture taken with Laura and the President that he has framed and ill cherish forever. The list goes on and on of people coming in to meet Dave Jr. and the other wounded warriors at Walter Reed and Bethesda.

Yesterday. Dave Jr. was ordered to be at the National Naval Hospital with another 12 soldiers and Marines to meet with Obama. Obama was supposed to arrive at 11:30 AM. He finally got there at 3:00 PM. He entered the room with the wounded warriors and quickly shook each of their hands. He never asked their names, where they were from, or how they were injured. Then he left.

Dave Jr. has met the people who really care about the military. All he remembers from Obama is a weak handshake. The others in the room, younger and less exposed to the people that Dave Jr. has met, were so disappointed. Word about Obama's "insensitive" visit has spread to the MATC ( the rehab facility) at Walter Reed and throughout Bethesda. The military sees through his phoniness.

All I can say is that it is such a disappointment that this man is Commander-In-Chief of our Armed Forces. He is an embarrassment to our Nation.
A "disappointment" and an "embarrassment to our Nation". Add "economic bungler" and "narcissist" and I'd say we've about covered it all.

Well, no S**t Sherlock

(Via Say Uncle)

I'm deeply saddened to report that criminals break laws--even laws that relate to guns. New government research says so.

Next up: a study on building bicycles for fish.

Good for her!

It's about time that the wives of foolish, lying politicos started standing up for themselves. I'm tired of seeing politician's wives stand at a press conferences with a smile plastered on the lower half of their face while the upper half looks like they want to rip his nads off.

To those accustomed to watching betrayed first ladies smile stiffly through their husbands' public confessions, the absence of Gov. Mark Sanford's wife at the soul-baring news conference where he admitted to an affair with a woman in Argentina was striking.

Instead, she issued a tough-minded statement saying she had thrown her cheating husband out and told him to stop speaking to her while she tries to deal with his infidelity.

No woman and no man should put up with this sort of thing. Throw the bum/bumette out and good riddence.

And Mrs. Sanford? Forgivving him is one thing, but would you ever really be able to trust him again? Life's too short, babe. Trust The Freeholder on this one.

Let's get it right, people

OK, I grew up in North Carolina and I've been through Jacksonville plenty of times. I've never heard the name of the Marine base there as anything other than Camp luh-JUNE.

Well, it seems that it should have been Camp luh-JERN. That's how the family of Lt. Gen. John A. Lejeune pronounces their surname to this day.

I suppose this means that the next time I screw it up, I get to drop and give the man 20, huh?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Psss-t. Hey buddy...wanna get Windows 7 cheap?

I don't do a lot of tech blogging, even though it's how I earn my keep. But I want to pass this one on to you.

You may know that Windows Vista is pretty sucky. Heck, Windows has always been pretty sucky in a lot of ways, but if you have to operate in the real world of business, Windows rules. That means that you're much more likely to have a Windows box at home than a Mac or Linux. It's just easier for you.

You may also know that Microsoft is preparing to release the latest version, Windows 7. (Thank you, MS, for going back to version numbers. It freakin' took long enough.) I've been playing and working with it since the public beta came out. Outside of one quibble I have with them about the Start menu (I want the classic menus as an option, you idiots!), it is everything Vista wasn't. It's stable (crashed twice in beta, never on the release candidate). It is less demanding in terms of hardware (most any Core Duo and 3 GB of RAM will do unless you're doing a lot of graphics work--but remember, more and faster will always be better). The Beta on the default wallpaper is very cool.

And, according to Ars Technica, it's now less expensive. I'm going to be ordering my upgrade copy tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rest easy, gentlemen

(Via Timebomb 2000)

When I was growing up, it was a simple fact of life--I was surrounded by veterans of World War II. If a man was of a certain age, it always struck as unusual if he wasn't a veteran of the war. Unlike a lot of men, my Dad was not unduly scarred by his experiences with the 9th Armored Division, and has always told the "funny stories" that came home with him from the war. As years passed and I got older, he talked of the uglier side in a very matter of fact way.

Today, the 16,000,000 men and women who served during that conflict are dying off, leaving us at the rate of over 1,000 per day. In recent days, I've seen two pass on, men who have had an effect on my life, even though I never met either one.

The first (that I heard of) was Ed McMahon. For me, he's always been the jovial sidekick of Johnny Carson. I started watching that show in my late teens, and watched it as often as I could up until the last show. Both men were utter class acts. My sense of humor was largely influenced by these men, while my admiration for the luminaries of their generation (Bob Hope, Don Rickles, Buddy Hackett, Maureen O'Hara and so many more) was enhanced by a constant exposure to them in genial conversation. I also don't think it's a stretch to say that the "Carson Show" has absolutely ruined me in terms of being able to watch any of the current crop of TV talk shows. Funny and erudite at the same time, they set a standard that none have matched.

But one that I think hurts me more is the death of one of the Band of Brothers--Sgt. Darrell "Shifty" Powers. Watching him in the documentary on Easy Company, I was stuck by two things--the soft Virginia accent and his humble manner as he spoke of his service and his friends. His stories were so much like my Dad's, told in the same simple, straight-forward way. And, as from so many who served in that war, the ever present quote: "I'm not a hero; the real heroes never came home."

Also, like my Dad, when the war was over he came home, married, raised a family, worked, and lead a "normal life". Not until the book Band of Brothers came out did any of us know the name Shifty Powers.

But those of us of a certain age all knew the men, and never realized how privileged we were to be raised by heroes.

(Here's another story on the passing of Shifty Powers.)

White House "Wants" Bipartisan Health Care Plan?

So The Obama "wants" nationalized healthcare (disguised as a government "insurance" plan), and he's going to steamroller anyone who gets in the way, huh?

I can remember my Mom's usual answer to my childish "I wants" when I was a kid--"What you want won't hurt you." Unfortunately, if the kid in the White House gets his wants, it's going to hurt all of us.

Healthcare with all the quality of public housing and the efficiency of the local DMV office? No thanks, you can keep that Change.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Conservative Kansas teacher gets his job back

(Via Timebomb 2000)

A high school teacher in Kansas who claimed his contract was not renewed due to his conservative political views has been reinstated.

The article goes on to state that there were "inconsistencies in the evaluation process". I suspect that's the understatement of the week. I also suspect that the next time, Mr. Latham's evaluation process will be correct to the letter and that his contract will not be renewed--but you've already figured that out, haven't you?

And for bonus points, we find out that the assistant principle who orchestrated the event, Jan Gentry, was nailed for DUI three years ago, but with some creative pleading, got off.

Yeah, I'd like to have her ruining running my kid's school.

Well this sucks

It seems that Microsoft is discontinuing several of its software products, including Microsoft Money, which I've used since I had to give up my DOS-based software these many years ago. But it'll be OK, because Intuit and MS are going to do an import routine into Quicken. Oh joy, I can trust my personal finance information to a company whose business practices make Microsoft look positively benign. I. Don't. Think. So.

Who has a non-Intuit suggestion for me? Windows, please.

Baa! Baa!

(Via Hecate's Crossroad)

As gunnies, we all experienced this situation: you wind up in a "discussion" with a hoplophobe, and no matter how politely you state the provable facts, you just keep getting the same old Brady Bunch talking points in reply. Eric S. Raymond of Armed and Dangerous has developed a new method for dealing with this issue.

I listened to the others on the channel offer polite, reasoned, factually correct counterarguments to this guy, and get nowhere. And suddenly…suddenly, I understood why. It was because the beliefs the ignoramus was spouting were only surface structure; refuting them one-by-one could do no good without directly confronting the substructure, the emotional underpinnings that made ignoramus unable to consider or evaluate counter-evidence.

The need, here, was to undermine that substructure. And I saw the way to do it. This is what I said:

“You speak, but I hear only the bleating of a sheep. Your fear gives power to your enemies.”

Ignoramus typed another sentence of historical ignorance. My reply was “Baa! Baa! Baaaaa!”

And another. My reply was more sheep noises, more deliberate mockery. And you know what? A few rounds of this actually worked. Ignoramus protested that he wasn’t a sheep. At which point I asked him “Then why are you disarmed?”

*CRACK*

The conversation afterwards was completely different, and ended up with ignoramus speculating about meeting with one of our regulars in his area to do things with firearms.

I'm am so-o-o looking forward to a test application of his methodology. I may also try it for other, similar circumstances.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Iran

I have kept silent on a lot of subjects lately, partly because my time for blogging is currently limited, partly because others are handling them better than my currently limited time allows and partly because I don't have anything new and/or useful to contribute.

Case in point--Iran. While my sympathies are with those trying to get rid of the current whatever-the-hell-ocracy they're saddled with, I'm very aware that it isn't our fight, and that anything we do (and most of what we don't do) can be used to give us yet more international nuggies, which we currently don't need. My urge is to say "Hey, let's get the heck in there and help these folks out!", but I understand that our current military is stretched thin and we as a country are saddled with political leadership that can best be termed "amatuerish" on its good days. (Hey, "you people" voted for him--how's all that Change workin' for ya?)

But, as I said, others are covering this far better than I can. Major Chuck knows what he'd do, and all things considered, I'd advise folks to see what he says. It makes sense to me. It lets us help without making promises we can't keep. We give the good guys a leg up without indulging in the thankless task of "nation building". Lots of upside for both sides, lots of downside for the mullahs.

I like it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

And how better to wake up on this day than by having your son give you a card:

The message reads "Armpits across America are saluting dads today!"

I feel the love.