Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More Bombings and Untimely News in Russia


Earlier today, another duo of suicide bombers self detonated in southern Russia:
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/03/31/killed-twin-blasts-russias-caucasus/


Those of us living outside Russia probably heard about it before the Russian people did.  According to this article from Time, Russian TV stations continued airing their normally scheduled programs during the Moscow bombings on Monday.  Apparently the Russian news media has trouble hearing the explosions:

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1976750,00.html

Is "NObamacare" Possible at This Point?


Sean Trende, of Real Clear Politics seems to think so.  The attached article takes a look at what Obamacare was intended to do, compares it with other social programs of the past, and looks at what the consequences--intended and unintended--are, as a result of this massive legislation:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/03/30/four_reasons_repeal_of_health_care_bill_isnt_out_of_the_question_104976.html

Monday, March 29, 2010

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Obamacare's Ripple Effect is Just Beginning



Here's a pro-Obamacare piece:

http://finance.yahoo.com/family-home/article/109178/10-ways-the-new-healthcare-bill-may-affect-you?mod=family-love_money 

Even if all this turns out well, I still have an issue with Number 6.  That is, mandating every American must be insured or face a fine.  Nor does this article mention how much Obamacare will cost.   Here's the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on the ripple effect already being generated by some of America's corporations:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704100604575146002445136066.html?mod=wsj_share_facebook

What I dislike the most about the healthcare debate is how conservative-minded folks, ordinary citizens are essentially being ridiculed by most of the media and members of our government and told to shut up & color.

Mark Steyn rolls-in on the unsustainability of Obamacare:

http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/tax-241197-percent-businesses.html

Friday, March 26, 2010

Obamacare Gets the Cuban Seal of Approval


Well Obamacare got the Seal of Approval from a real expert on socialized medicine--Fidel Castro:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/03/25/fidel-castro-applauds-passage-obamas-health-care-overhaul/ 

"It perhaps was not the endorsement President Obama and the Democrats in Congress were looking for."


Hmm.  Sound like:  "And there was much rejoicing" among the Obamacare alcolytes.
I am suspicious when a tyrant, or retired tyrant in Fidel's case, approves of anything.

Remember the "Carbonhagen" Climate Change Summit? 

Once guys like Ahmedinejad of Iran, Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Chavez of Venezuala, showed up, they gave the game away.  That the climate change summit was a mere smoke screen for a "redistribution of wealth" (ie, shakedown) of the leading industrial nations to the those nations foundering under the yoke of these corruptocrats.

So I consider Fidel's endorsement of Obamacare something to be wary of.

Meanwhile, back in The Beltway, the "Deemocrats" say the "fix" is in:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/03/25/changes-new-health-care-law-passes-house/

Conservative protests, in the form of the Tea Party Movement, continues unabated, but threats and violence against members of congress by the lunatic fringes--wingnuts on the right and moonbats on the left--is getting out of hand:

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/03/26/tea-party-leaders-condemn-disown-threats/

Thursday, March 25, 2010

(Non)Free Speech North of the Border

Ann Coulter usually causes a stir here in the Good Ol' USA, but her mere presence caused a major upheaval in the Great White North.  While it's one thing do disagree with a commentator, it infringes on free speech to officially shut down the debate.  Mark Steyn has the details, with additional links:

http://www.steynonline.com/content/blogsection/14/128/

FOX News has the video coverage:

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4122966/coulter-cancelled-in-canada

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Obamacare's Diminishing Returns


Yesterday, President Obama signed the contested healthcare bill into law.  The hue & cry to enact this law was to insure the uninsured.  The exact number of uninsured was also hotly debated, but the number finally settled on 30 million.  Despite Obamacare now being the Law-of-the-Land, there will still be millions of Americans uninsured. 

How many?  I'm sure the exact number will also be debated, but for starters, the Christian Science Monitor is settling for 23 million:

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2010/0323/Obama-signs-health-care-bill-Who-won-t-be-covered

So:  Radically transforming the way Americans receive healthcare and add at least another $900 billion to the deficit was done in order to ensure an additional 7 million people, in a land of 300 million receive adequate healthcare coverage, receive adequate healthcare coverage.

Talk about the Law of Diminishing Returns.  All the emotional energy, the projected cost and bureaucracy, not to mention dividing the nation, all for 7-ish million people.

Unless of course, it isn't really about healthcare at all.

One of Mark Steyn's columns on his website is "Request of the Week."  In this section Mark re-publishes a past article that manages to remain relevant to the current times.  In "The Nationalization of Your Body," Mark addressed the issues with government run healthcare, several months ago.  His observations are still valid:

http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/3078/30/ 

One of the things that struck me was his life expectancy statistics: 

"Life expectancy in the European Union 78.7 years; life expectancy in the United States 78.06 years; life expectancy in Albania 77.6 years; life expectancy in Libya, 76.88 years; life expectancy in Bosnia & Herzegovina, 78.17 years. Once you get on top of childhood mortality and basic hygiene, everything else is peripheral – margin-of-error territory...The United Kingdom spends three times as much money on “health” as Poland and their cancer survival rates are more or less identical."

Talk about the Law of Diminishing Returns...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Barely Blue Plans to Sue


Despite the efforts of Michele Bachman and others to "Kill the Bill," Obamacare was passed by the House yesterday:

http://www.nwcn.com/video/featured-videos/Democrats-predict-health-bill-will-pass-House-88767677.html


This, however, does not sit well with the majority of the American people (at least 51%, depending on which poll you read, are against it). 

Here, the Evergreen State is, politically speaking, barely a shade of blue, thanks to the metropolitan areas of Seattle and Olympia.  (The presence of Joint Base Ft. Lewis-McChord makes Tacoma a slight shade of red).  Our state's attorney general, a Republican, plans to join the ranks of 10 other states and challange the constitutionality of Obamacare:

http://www.nwcn.com/news/politics/Washington-state-will-sue-to-challenge-health-care-bill-88842482.html

Everyone, even Democratic strategists, feel the Demorcrats (or "Deemocrats" as some commentators call them) will pay the price in November (please note, I received a lot of annoying pop-ups going to this site):

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international-business/Obamas-healthcare-success-may-come-at-a-cost/articleshow/5713514.cms

Michelle Malkin's taken notes on some of the Democrat gloating:

http://michellemalkin.com/2010/03/21/the-gloater-in-chief-another-stone-laid-in-the-foundation-of-the-american-dream/

But will "voting the bastards out" be enough?

Victor Davis Hanson, or "VDH" as we call him, applies his scholarly knowledge of classical and military history, and declared our country has crossed "crossed the Rubicon":

http://pajamasmedia.com/victordavishanson/weve-crossed-the-rubicom/

While for years, Mark Steyn has issued dire warnings on what Obamacare will do to our nation:

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NWI3MGNjMjVlMmJmYjEwNzdlYTYzZWYwNDlmNWIxNzg=

I'm with Mark on this one.  Voting out the Democrats won't be enough if Obamacare becomes the law-of-the-land.  Once an entitlement is established, like Social Security and Medicare, then it's virtually impossible to repeal.  From what I've read so far, American tax payers won't feel the pinch until years later.  So, like any street pusher giving away his drugs to first-time users, Americans will get hooked on "free healthcare."

As Mark Steyn keeps reiterating:  This is a game-changer.  This will fundamentally alter the relationship between citizens and the state.  All we have to do is look at our "closest relatives," Canada and the UK to see the result.

While I've piggy-backed and linked to what others have said, let me express why I am personally against Obamacare (these are not listed in any kind of priority, I'm jotting them down as I think of them):

1. The unaffordable cost: $1 trillion more (at least) to the deficit

2. The shady, contorted and downright unconstitutional way this bill was passed.

3. It is unfair.  Some states, most notably, Louisiana, and the infamous "Louisiana Purchase," received perks, viewed as outright bribes, in order to secure their votes.

4. Everyone in favor of this bill assumes someone else will be paying for it.

5. The condescending and even insulting attitude of the Democrats and most of the media have towards those who oppose this bit of legislation.  (I use to think I was sexually savvy, but I actually had to look up the term "teabagger" when I first heard it).

6. Irrelivent items such as the governmental regulation of student loans are included in the bill.  This increases suspicion that "health care" is just a smoke-screen for a massive government take-over of nearly every aspect of our lives.

7. Government-run healthcare is inefficient.  Once again, take note of Canada and the UK.

8. (Added 23 March) I find it creepy and offensive that the IRS will be involved in administering healthcare, by "checking compliance."  Those who don't meet the criteria for what's considered sufficient healthcare will be fined.

In conclusion: To piggy-back on one of Mark Steyn's post--Happy Dependence Day citizens!

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NWI3MGNjMjVlMmJmYjEwNzdlYTYzZWYwNDlmNWIxNzg=

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Just When You Think Government is Over-Regulating Our Lives...

(Image of Bettie Page, from Pacific Presents Vol. 1 No. 2, April 1983, by artist Dave Stevens:  http://www.davestevens.com/ )

...California is considering one more "cap" to add to it's officialdom.  In this gem, Mark Steyn demonstrates how the Golden State's "Bureaucratization of Porn" is part of the same symptom as Obamacare:

http://thebulletin.us/articles/2010/03/19/commentary/op-eds/doc4ba3aa2cf0361411594027.txt

Saturday, March 13, 2010

More History Lessons for Mr. Hanks

(Image:  The wreck of the USS Arizona after he Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor)

Another great rebuttal of Tom Hanks' comments:

This is all very bizarre. With regard to the whole, "we wanted to kill each other because we were different" nonsense. Does Hanks even realize that there was a great deal of sympathy in this country for the Chinese because of Japanese attrocities in China and that one of the primary reasons we cut off their oil and scrap iron imports was an attempt at economic coercion to get them to stop waging war on China? Granted Hanks may not even realize that Japan had been waging war on China since 1937 (1931 if you start with the annexation of Manchuria) and that for the Japanese Army, the war in China was the main theater of the war. Of course Hanks may very well think that Asians are inherently peaceful people who never waged war on one another until the Europeans started showing up.


Also, does Hanks understand that Japan was allied with Nazi Germany? They signed the Anti-Commintern Pact in 1936 and signed on to the Tri-Partitie Pact in 1940. That does count for something.

The NYT had a review of the show, overall it sounds like they are taking more of the Paul Fussell approach and it is probably still worth watching as long as you tune out anytime they try and hit you over the head with some sort of post-modern message.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Producer of "The Pacific" Needs a History Lesson

(Image:  The USS Shaw exploding during the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor)

My friends and I were eagerly looking forward to the upcoming HBO miniseries, The Pacific, produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg:


We're hoping The Pacific will be every bit, of not more, awe inspiring than their previous collaborative work, Band of Brothers.  However, in an interview with Time, some of Tom Hanks' comments give us cause for concern. 

Time article on Tom Hanks and The Pacific:


The first "WTF?" commentary came from Michelle Malkin:


Followed by John Nolte of Big Hollywood:


Finally, Victor Davis Hanson rolls-in on Tom Hanks in his usual scholarly style:


One of my friends best expressed our concerns in these terms:

If what he says is reflected in the miniseries, it will have a distinct effect on whether or not I'm that interested in watching it.

Meanwhile, Comrade Karla had this to say about Hollywood's "formula for success:"



I think some of it falls under the "little bit of knowledge being a dangerous thing" category. They crib a few memoirs, without reading anything that addresses the bigger picture. Add their ideological biases and a touch of current events, stir, and that's what you get.

And here's some of the other message traffic sparked by Hanks' comments:

"World War II in the European theater was a case of massive armies arrayed against an unambiguous evil."

And the Japanese were such a benign and well behaved occupier of China, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Burma, etc....


To which, Comrade Karla  made this graphic response:

And Regardless of what one may think, I don't detect Americans having a lot of warm fuzzies toward Germans while they fought them--you know, the same guys who shot US POWs.  The Japanese behaved even worse and somehow that's supposed to reflect GIs misunderstanding them. Or something.
Yeah, they were effing "different" allright.


And I'm not sure if it's because Hanks and others don't care/know about it because it was Asians killing Asians or because there hasn't been a good English study on it but in China where most of the Japanese Army was engaged, they committed atrocities every bit as hideous as what the Germans did not mention their treatment of Allied POWs and their behavior in other areas of Asia that they occupied.
With regard to the "isolated groups of men" nonense. We invaded Saipan alone with three divisions, ultimately 12 divisions fought on Luzon, the planned invasion of Formosa called for 450,000 men. Where do people come up with crap like this?

Huh? Wasn’t Okinawa nearly as large an amphibious invasion as Normandy ? And Olympic/Coronet would have made Normandy look like a small-scale practice run! Bizarro! And toss-in the Commonwealth and Chinese forces and I would think the total number of combatants has to be close to that in the European theater. WTF indeed!

The Pacific begins airing on 14 March. Despite Tom Hanks' comments, we're still hoping it will be another "must buy" DVD set like Band of Brothers was.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Manning the Pumps on Board the Goodship Hopeandchange

(Image from Michael Ramirez)

The UK's Telegraph discusses how the crew of the Goodship Hopeandchange are steering a perilous course towards a one-term presidency:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/7396358/The-end-of-the-road-for-Barack-Obama.html 

Comrade Karla:  Funny nobody in the US press seems to want to really dig into this.

To which, another on-line friend responded:

"The U.S. media realizes that if they attack Obama, their own part in the impending Obama Disaster will be made clear to even the stupidest at long last.  What is happening is what I feared, and why I told all the knucklehead conservatives that wanted Obama to win so the Dems could fail that they were being WAY too short-sighted. Obama's mess is going to cause damage that may never be repaired, and at a time of some really serious domestic and international issues coming to a head..."

I agree.  I thought the conservatives with the "it was necesary to destroy the village in order to save it" mentality, were loony to advocate such political strategy.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

This Should Make the 9/11 Truthers Happy...


Ahmadinanutjob says the 9/11 attacks are a "big lie:"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100306/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_iran 

Here's some data on the domestic "9/11 Truth Movement:"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9/11_Truth_movement

As far as I, and my like minded friends are concerned, the September 11th Attack adds up to this...


I guess for many, this is too simple to be believed.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Green Kool-Aid Anyone?

(Image:  By Andrew B., Honorable Mention in the 2007 Political Cartoon Contest on Generation Joshua).


The Climategate Ringleader admits to sending "awful" e-mails.  From the Daily Mail:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1254660/Climategate-professor-Phil-Jones-admits-sending-pretty-awful-emails.html 

However, despite the collapsing house-of-cards, there are still high-profile true-believers hawking their brand of Kool Aid.  Here's some of their comments courtesy of one of my on-line friends:


"Isn't the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn't it our responsibility to bring that about?"
- Maurice Strong, former Secretary General of UNEP


"A New World Order is required to deal with the Climate Change crisis."
- Gordon Brown, British Prime Minister


"No matter if the science of global warming is all phony... climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world."
- Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment


"The data doesn't matter. We're not basing our recommendations on the data. We're basing them on the climate models."
- Prof. Chris Folland, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research


"It doesn't matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true."
- Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace


"Unless we announce disasters no one will listen."
- Sir John Houghton, first chairman of IPCC

Monday, March 1, 2010

Even in Sports, a Bear Can't Change it's Fur


Russian President Medvedev, Vladimir Putin's stunt-double, called for all  "those responsible" for Russia's less-than 24-karat showing at the 2010 Winter Olympics to resign.

4th Place Medal has the story: 

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/Russia-red-faced-after-poor-Olympic-showing?urn=oly,225028

But maybe Russia has reformed.  After all, resigning is better than being sent to the Gulag Archipelago...

Massive Earthquake Devestates Chile


On Saturday, 27 February, a massive earthquake struck Chile.  The nature of the earthquake is already posted on Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Chile_earthquake

An hour after the quake, a tsunami swept away several beach communities.  Today's Seattle Times has the story:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2011221558_apltchileearthquake.html

Nor was the danger of tsunamis limited to Chile.  Various Tsunami Warnings, Watches or Advisories were issued to numerous countries on the Pacific Rim.  It was the tsunami concern that kept my two coworkers, on duty that day, very busy.

The Seattle Times photo gallery:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/photogalleries/photography2011220685/1.html

The 2010 Olympics Come to a Close

Last night the 2010 Winter Olympics came to a close.

My wife and I made a last-minute, overnight trip up to Vancouver, BC, to watch the short track speed skating (26 Feb).  It was the most intense sporting event I ever attended!  Prior to that, I managed to catch snippets of the games on TV, like the vast majority of folks.  Even without the Olympic hoopla, Vancouver is a beautiful city and I'm glad my wife and I had the opportunity to attend such a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Some closing comments from the news agencies, first on the closing ceremony:

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/news?slug=reu-closing_pix_tv_graphics&prov=reuters&type=lgns

The climatic sporting event was he US-Canada hockey game:

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/ice_hockey/news?slug=jp-hockey022810&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

While I'd preferred a different outcome, this was one of the best games in any sport, I've seen on TV.

Here's a good commentary regarding the "good, bad & ugly" of the 2010 games:

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/news?slug=dw-winnerslosers022810&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

My personal favorites:

1. Joannie Rochette's heart-rending story and beautiful performance

2. The Canadian Women's Hockey Team "scandal" (see previous post)

3. The US-Canada Hockey Game, and last but not least,

4. The events I personally attended; which were--the Men's 500 Meter, Women's 1000 Meter and Men's 5000 Meter Relay Races.  Katherine Ruetter won the Silver Medal in the 1000 Meter, while Team USA won the Bronze in the 5000 Meter Relay.  The only thing missing from this experience was hearing our National Anthem played at one of these award ceremonies. 

While the Canadians did a great job as a host nation, the American network, NBC's performance earned a "4th Place" medal.  Throughout the course of the Olympics, NBC time-delayed airing nearly all the events until prime time, usually starting at 8 PM.  With today's internet connectivity fans can receive news of their favorite event in real-time.

And for the closing ceremony, NBC cut to a newly hyped program.  4th Place Medal has the details:

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/NBC-awkwardly-and-abruptly-ends-Olympic-coverage?urn=oly,224859

Despite the such clunkers, my thanks goes to the people of Canada for hosting such a memorable Olympic event!