Friday, July 17, 2009
GOP Sens. Richard Lugar of Indiana, the Senate's most senior Republican, Mel Martinez of Florida, its lone Hispanic Republican, and Olympia Snowe of Maine all announced they'd vote for Sotomayor, praising her qualifications and her testimony at four days of Judiciary Committee hearings this week.
This is why we need either A) a wholesale purge of the Republican party or B) a new third party dedicated to conservative principles. Sotomayor is at best an intellectual lightweight and unqualified for her current position, more or less a seat on the Supreme Court. These people should be willing to say so. Instead, they want to make nice at the Democrats and hope they're the last ones eaten.
Yeah, the NRA just hates cops. See, they even have an NRA Law Enforcement Programs group to prove it. I mean, they've only trained 50,000 firearms instructors, offer tuition-free armorers and shooting schools to law enforcement, scholarships for dependent children of LEOs, body armor discounts and a bunch of other things.
I'm sorry the cops got shot, and I do sincerely hope and pray for their full recovery. However, crap like this from people who should know better just jerks my chain.
Less than half of an estimated 18,000 American firearms used in Mexico's drug wars over the last three years have been traced back to licensed gun dealers — suggesting most are stolen or bought at gun shows where background checks are not required, a federal law enforcement official told Congress on Thursday.
Well, I'm going to call him on it, if for no other reason than I expect someone in his high position to have better reasoning powers--aside from knowing more about the laws his own agency enforces.
First, guns purchased from a licensed dealer at a gun show go through exactly the same process they would if they were sold in the dealer's store. I've filled out the 4473s too many times not to be aware of this, and I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that Mr. McMahon know it as well. He just chose to omit that fact.
Second, in most jurisdictions the sale of a gun from one individual to another needs no government blessing of any kind. Trying to make the willing seller and buyer obtain a blessing is simply a means to introduce a sort of back-door gun registration.
Third, if a gun can't be traced, then just how do we know it even came from the US? "Senor ATF Agent, we have this gun we think came from your country--can you check it out for us?"
"Why sure!" The ATF Agent does his thing and...hm-m-m...no records on that gun. Students, what does this prove?
That there are no records on that gun--no more, no less.
Now whether Mr. McMahon was just trying to protect his job (hey, that explanation at least gets some sympathy from me), was cooperating with an anti-gun agenda (Hi there Rep. Loretta Sanchez of California!) or actually is that ignorant of the relevant laws and facts I don't know. In any case, it stinks, and you should let the Houston Chronicle know that in the comments section on their web site. Many fellow gunnies and supporters of our Constitutional rights already are, so don't be late and miss all the fun.
It turns out Wendi Johnson, a Wilson-based construction engineer for the state Department of Transportation, was right all along: The central office experts skimped on their design for a new interstate highway for Eastern North Carolina.
A mistake it would have cost $2.8 million to avoid 18 months ago. Oh, and they've already spend $600,000 fixing the worst parts of this stupidity.
And people wonder why I don't trust government--any government--with my health care?
For some weird reason, I'm reminded of the scene in Band of Brothers where Guarnere and Heffron were talking about a guy from back in Philly named "Crazy Joe" McClusky and Guarnere says "I'm telling you Babe, Crazy Joe was crazy."
“Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’” Biden said. “The answer is yes, that's what I’m telling you.”
I think the new Crazy Joe needs to apply for this job--it looks like a perfect fit. Or maybe he needs to pack Son of TOTUS along on his trips. Or maybe the Big O just needs to fit him for a ball gag.
Change that can make you blow milk out your nose.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Well, that no surprise to anyone who can think (which leaves Congress out). But here's the best part...
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid voiced frustration with Elmendorf, who in recent months has set back health care efforts with his office's cost analyses of the plans being floated."What he should do is run for Congress," Reid said, suggesting he found the CBO estimate to be partisan in its results.
But it's the Congressional Budget Office. If it were partisan, you'd think it would be for the Ones in power, wouldn't you?
In a daring experiment, David St. Lawrence has proven that it doesn't work well at the local level, either.
Fair warning: this is a rant.
Way back in the dim mists of time, I read a book by George R.R. Martin titled The Dying of the Light. Several things in that book have stuck with me, but the one that has stuck hardest is the concept of an animal that to all outward appearances is human, but in actuality is not so. In the book, they were to be hunted down due to the danger they presented to true humans.
Over the years, I have become more and more sure that there is truth in the concept. There are...living entities...that we pass every day that appear to be human. They walk erect, talk, eat, breathe, excrete and perform all the other tasks that we think of as being "human". However, they are missing something--call it conscience, empathy, a soul, whatever you like. But there is something that isn't there, and that missing thing is what separates a human from all other animals.
We've had plenty of examples of these lately, but two stand out in my mind, one particularly so. The first was the well-planned and executed home invasion in Florida that left two people dead. JW Rawles on SurvivalBlog has been warning for months that these things would start happening. Whether this is an isolated incident or not remains to be seen. (I'm suspicious that there is much more to the story than we know as I write this.)
But there is one that has me utterly convinced that these creatures walk among us, and that we will have to take measures--drastic measures--if we are to protect ourselves from them. Warning, this is one of those "click at your own risk" things.
A heartless kitty killer hissed angrily at animal rights activists Wednesday, grinning widely as she took credit for stuffing the helpless pet into a 500-degree oven.
"It's dead, bitch!" snapped an unrepentant Cheyenne Cherry, sticking her tongue out after a plea bargain that will put her behind bars for a year in the May 6 killing of tiny Tiger Lily.
I submit to you that the capacity to do something like this is de facto proof of a lack of humanity. Removing creatures such as this from our society should be looked on as a public service, something along the lines of eliminating rabid animals.
We should note that this is not her first (or second or third or...) crime, but the latest in a series. For this particular act she gets a 1 year prison sentence, which I am convinced will not change her in any measurable positive way. She will remain a danger to all around her as long as she lives. And since she's 17, this could be quite some time.
Creatures like Cheyenne Cherry walk among us. Individually, they're dangerous enough. In groups, the turn into Crips, Bloods, MS-13 and similar gangs. Dealing with one of them who catches you unaware is difficult enough. Could you deal with 8, 12,20 of them executing a well-planned raid on your home?
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
House Democrats unveiled ambitious legislation Tuesday to remake the nation's health care system and called on medical providers, businesses and the wealthiest Americans to pick up the tab for President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.
Or, in plainer language, you're getting health care farting unicorns, and everyone we think is rich is going to pay for it. Vote for us!
"This bill is a starting point and a path to success," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told a news conference where she and other Democratic leaders promised to pass a bill before the August congressional recess.
We gunnies have seen this playbook before, haven't we? Just as every gun law they propose is "A good first step" that leads to more gun laws, this "health care reform" will lead to more "health care reform" and "even more health care reform" until there is no health care left.
Obama has pushed the House and Senate aggressively to stick to the timetable, in hopes of signing comprehensive legislation in October.
"We are going to accomplish what many people felt wouldn't happen in our lifetime," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., chairman of one of three committees responsible for health care.
Indeed you are--the end of the best health care system in the world and the institution of Misery for the Masses. Best of all, paid for by the Evil Rich.
Waxman, Pelosi and others stood before a banner that read: "Quality Affordable Health Care for the Middle Class."
Your mileage may vary, see dealer for details.
The sweeping measure would imposes penalties on employers who fail to provide health insurance for their workers and on individuals who refuse to buy it.
The bill, to be debated in committee beginning later this week, also would require insurance companies to offer coverage, without exceptions or higher premiums, in cases of pre-existing medical conditions.
A requirement that will, in time, bankrupt every health insurance company in the US. But that's what they intend to happen.
It also would allow the government to sell insurance in competition with private firms, a provision that has sparked objections from Republicans and even some Democrats.
Like I said.
The bill's release came one day after President Barack Obama met with key Democrats in a White House session in which he told a powerful Senate chairman he wants legislation by week's end in his committee.
The Obama has spoken! Hope and Change! Serve and Obey! Kneel and Cower Coming Soon!
In all, the draft House bill runs more than 1,000 pages, and is designed to fulfill Obama's call for legislation that will extend coverage to millions who lack it, as well as begin to slow the rate of growth in health care generally.
I'm curious--do you suppose anyone will actually read it before the vote?
There's much more to the article (I mean, 1,000 pages--you have to have a few more paragraphs to cover that much paper, right?), but it's such a crock of bovine excrement that it isn't worth my effort to keep on fisking it. You get the general idea by now, I'm sure.
I don't know if it will help, but it's time to start writing your House rep and urging them to work against this nightmare using every tool at their disposal. Past that, start thinking how you and your loved ones will deal with this, both short term (higher taxes, decreased wages and lost jobs) and long term (decreased/unavailable medical care).
Change you can die from.
Another commenter, Jeff the Baptist, has his own blog, so I decided to visit. There I found a link to an amazing commentary on the coup-that-isn't-a-coup in Honduras, complete with citations to support his points. After reading it, surprise, surprise--it still isn't a coup.
The One, his sycophants in the media and the UN may now STFU and slink back into their slimy holes.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Change you'll just have to wait for.
Let's start off with tractors, since this is the Southeast Old Threshers Reunion. First up is this large steam-powered Case tractor. Note the large flywheel, which would have been used (along with a large leather belt) to power other farm equipment, such as a thresher or perhaps a small sawmill. Back in the day, a tractor like this would be a huge capital investment for a farmer, and it had to be able to perform many functions. Contrast that to today, where many pieces of farm equipment perform only a single task or series of related tasks (such as the combine).
Here we have the Grand Dame of the Denton Farmpark, the Altman-Taylor, as it prepares to lead the final day's "Parade of Power". It also has the big flywheel for powering other equipment. Obviously this machine was designed in the days before OHSA.
While it's difficult to see, this tractor is steered by chains, rather than a four bar system as you might expect. The chains seem to wrap around a geared shaft which is turned by the steering wheel. If you watch carefully at the beginning of the clip, you'll see the driver cranking on that wheel, and you can see how much mechanical advantage it took to allow this beast to be steered by those with mere mortal levels of upper body strength.
Now, let's venture back to the radio museum for a bit. (Besides, it's air conditioned!) Most of the items in this building belong to Stan Bingham, a local state senator.
Here we have an Atwater-Kent from the early days of commercial radio. Doing a bit of research, this one seems to be a Model 42 with a Model E speaker. The Model 42 was AC-powered, which was an advance from many older radios which were battery-powered. Because it required AC power, I suspect it was marketed to more well-to-do customers who lived in an urban setting. (In 1929, rural electrification was still a thing of the future, and many if not most farms depended on power sources other than our familier wall sockets. If you wanted a radio, it had to run off batteries, which were exchanged (along with some of you cash) at a local store for fresh ones. No throw away batteries in those days!)
Here we have a newer Zenith model A600L of the famed Trans-Oceanic series. Manufactured in 1958, it was nearly the end of the line for Zenith vacuum tube radios, and was priced at $139.95--that's the equivilent to $1,034.84 in current dollars. (Isn't inflation wonderful?) I had a cousin who had a later transistor-based Trans-Oceanic. I lusted after one of those for years.
Moving along, let's have another look at tractors--the hay-burning variety. Again, this team is pulling 4000 pounds on a sled. I was amazed at these animals and how badly the seemed to want to pull that sled. At the sound of the hook hitting the eye, many of the teams would simply take off--the guys doing the hooking knew this and moved quickly. Hang onto the reins, boys!
The astute viewer will notice a large gray device in the background. It's the steam shovel, better seen in this picture, along with its fellow, the steam crane. Relatives of these two helped build the Panama Canal.
Behind the steam equipment is the Jackson Hill Church, a place with its own quiet appeal. Service is still held there every Sunday morning.
The Farmpark also has it's own railroad--The Handy Dandy RR. They have two engines, with my favorite being...the steam engine! (What, you're surprised?)
This engine was built for use as a "switcher" during World War II, and like so many of the exhibits, was rescued and brought to Denton, where it was repaired, refurbished and continues to belch smoke, ring its bell and delight thousands every year.
This is how our grandparents, great grandparents and great-great grandparents lived in small towns scattered across the United States. They lived simply, with none of the conveniences we take for granted. High tech for them was a radio, and the future was a magic wire that delivered electricity to light their home. Using tools like these they built the greatest country in history, and events like this celebrate that heritage. You really should find one to go to.