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Bloviating Zeppelin: July 2006

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Monday, July 31, 2006

I Believe This Says It All

I acquired this picture from Gayle at My Republican Blog; for me it indicates all I need to know about the works of Israel vs. those of Hezbollah and, for that matter, all of Islam vs. The West.

Craven cowards hiding behind the skirts of civlians vs. REAL soldiers in ACTUAL UNIFORMS that are CLEARLY IDENTIFYING themselves according to their country.

Or: cowards vs. heroes -- a concept that bears repeating and one in which I firmly believe.

'Nuff said.


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Three Best Drummers

What would your list consist of for the:

Three best drummers in music?


1. Ginger Baker (Cream, Material, Masters of Reality, etc.)
2. Neil Peart (Rush)
3. Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson, etc.)

If you doubt that Ginger Baker is the best living drummer, then you need to check out the current Cream revisited DVD entitled Cream At the Royal Albert Hall, 2005. Thirty-seven years after their final tour, they are no less stellar.

Eric Clapton looks great; Jack Bruce looks like a Dachau survivor (but plays and sings wonderfully!) and Ginger Baker snags the drumkit as though he was 40 once again -- but try to ignore his socks and shoes.

I have ancillary drummers of course; Carl Palmer (ELP), Carmine Appice (Cactus, BBA) , Terry Bozzio (Frank Zappa), Billy Cobham (Mahavishnu Orchestra: performed fabulously live!), John Bonham (Led Zeppelin, likely the strongest drummer ever!), Phil Collins (Genesis), Rick Allen (Def Leppard), Bev Bevan (ELO), Phillip Rudd (AC-DC) and, oddly enough, Ringo Starr. Ringo knew when to begin, and, more importantly in terms of tracks, when to stop. Sometimes simple really is good.



Saturday, July 29, 2006

Coming Soon To A Park Or A School Near You (And Your Children):

51-year-old Timothy Lee Boggs, a convicted child molester, is considered to be a "sexually violent predator" by the State of Fornicalia. He recented completed a therapy program while inside Atascadero Prison, near San Luis Obispo. The Fornicalia State Department of Mental Health attempted, for almost a year, to find a "suitable location or a willing landlord" for Boggs and, because of the year's delay, a judge ordered him freed by Friday, July 28th.

After having made 269 inquiries for Boggs' housing upon release, every venue turned down the state.

Here's the catch: after making the effort to find some sort of suitable housing location, having found none, and now being ordered by a state judge to release him, Boggs now has the ability to be dropped off in Sacramento County "wherever he asks." And that's that.

Listen to this, however:

"Boggs' attorney, Ken Rosenfeld, has argued that his client no longer poses a danger to the community and that the state has no legal right to hold him any longer."

Later in an article from The Sacramento Bee:

At one point, officials had thought Boggs would be taken to his lawyer's office and dropped off, but Rosenfeld reacted to that notion angrily last week and insisted that he is not responsible for Boggs once he is released.

Saturday morning, The Sacramento Bee reports:

After months of public outcry, convicted child molester Timothy Lee Boggs quietly checked into a downtown Sacramento residence hotel Friday afternoon, hours after being released from Atascadero State Hospital's therapy program for sexually violent predators.

Boggs, 51, paid $640 in state-supplied funds for a month's stay at the Hotel Berry near the Greyhound bus station, and checked into a studio-size room with a bathroom. But it was unclear how long he would be permitted to stay, with one source saying hotel management had asked him to leave by early next week.

The desk clerk at the hotel refused to comment.

If Boggs is forced to move, it will repeat a scenario faced by other released sexually violent predators.


He has been fitted with a satellite tracking device that he must wear at all times, and also is being watched by a private security firm that is paid by the state. Friday afternoon, two men in dark slacks and tropical print shirts stood across from the Berry, keeping an eye on the building. Neither would comment.

Your Fornicalia tax dollars being spent for private security (two of them!) on behalf of a "sexually violent predator."

Back in the 1980s, Boggs was convicted of molesting two 9-year-old boys in separate events. This indicates a pedophile's clear age-range preference. As conditions to release after having completed all four phases of his "treatment" at Atascadero, Boggs agreed to 13 pages of conditions for his release, including not using alcohol, not being near children and many others. Conditions for his release indicate he may have undergone chemical castration.

Law enforcement officials in Fornicalia don't want you to know, but some have privately admitted to me that they have no idea where 50%+ of the "registered sex offenders" (who are mandated by law to notify local law enforcement agencies of their addresses and where they move, if they can move), are at any given moment in the state.

So, because RSOs are, by nature, strict law abiders, we can naturally assume that Mr. Boggs will adhere to his mandates, obey his conditions and refrain from offending. And, of course, he'll continue his well-intentioned obeyance once the GPS system is removed. Won't he?

One final note:

Isn't it intriguing how NIMBY Boggs' attorney got when he was asked to assist further with the release of his once-sterling client. How easy it is to "represent" any pedophile and how easy it is to "demand their release." But isn't it interesting that neither the attorney nor the judge would want Boggs within their same zip code -- though it's perfectly acceptable for you or me to be his next door neighbor.

Under Megan's Law, sex offenders must be listed by region on a Fornicalia website. To see any activity in your area if you live in the state, go to:


Friday, July 28, 2006

Update: the AWNAA


WASHINGTON , DC (AP) - Congress is considering sweeping legislation, which provides new benefits for many Americans. The Americans With No Abilities Act (AWNAA) is being hailed as a major legislation by advocates of the millions of Americans who lack any real skills or ambition.

"Roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society," said Barbara Boxer. "We can no longer stand by and allow People of Inability to be ridiculed and passed over. With this legislation, employers will no longer be able to grant special favors to a small group of workers, simply because they do a better job, or have some idea of what they are doing."

The President pointed to the success of the US Postal Service, which has a long-standing policy of providing opportunity without regard to performance. Approximately 74 percent of postal employees lack job skills, and 91% of their national front counter staff lack any people skills whatsoever, making this agency the single largest US employer of Persons of Inability.

Private sector industries with good records of nondiscrimination against the Inept include retail sales (72%), the airline industry (68%), and home improvement "warehouse" stores (65%) The DMV also has a great record of hiring Persons of Inability. (63%)

Under the Americans With No Abilities Act, more than 25 million "middle man" positions will be created, with important-sounding titles but little real responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance.

Mandatory non-performance-based raises and promotions will be given, to guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable of employees. The legislation provides substantial tax breaks to corporations which maintain a significant level of Persons of Inability in middle positions, and gives a tax credit to small and medium businesses that agree to hire one clueless worker for every two talented hires.

Finally, the AWNA ACT contains tough new measures to make it more difficult to discriminate against the Nonabled, banning discriminatory interview questions such as "Do you have any goals for the future?" or "Do you have any skills or experience which relate to this job?"

"As a Nonabled person, I can't be expected to keep up with people who have something going for them," said Mary Lou Gertz, who lost her position as a lug-nut twister at the GM plant in Flint, MI due to her lack of notable job skills. "This new law should really help people like me." With the passage of this bill, Gertz and millions of other untalented citizens can finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Said Senator Ted Kennedy, "It is our duty as lawmakers to provide each and every American citizen, regardless of his or her adequacy, with some sort of space to take up in this great nation and also find a place for all illegal aliens no matter how useless they may be."

(Thanks, Dave!)


Thursday, July 27, 2006

One Thing To Do Today:

The California Organization of Police and Sheriffs, known as COPS, is looking for your support regarding Jessica's Law.

This proposed law stems from the February 23rd, 2005 kidnapping and subsequent brutal murder of nine year old Jessica Lunsford of Homosassa, Florida.

A "registered sex offender" buried Jessica alive, following her rape, a mere 150 yards from her house.

Go here to sign the COPS petition. Please, if you do nothing else today, do this.

Your support will be for the proposed Sexual Predator Punishment and Control Act of 2006: Jessica's Law. This act would:

  • Ensure that all child molesters who molest children under the age of 14 are put into a prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years or 25 years to life;
  • Electronically monitor convicted sex offenders for life, if they are ever released from prison, through GPS tracking;
  • Create a 2,000 foot "predator-free" zone around schools and parks to prevent sex offenders from living near where children learn and play.

Again: if you do nothing else today, click on that website and electronically sign and forward the petition.

You'll be glad you did.


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Letterman's Top 10

"Top Signs There's Trouble at The New York Times:"

10: Extensive coverage of recent fighting between the Israelis and the lesbians;
9: Pages 2 through 20 are corrections of previous edition;
8: Stories written on Etch A Sketch;
7: Every sentence begins, "So, like";
6: TV listings only for Zorro;
5: Weather forecast reads "Look outside, dumbass";
4: Multiple references to "President Gore";
3: Obituary includes list of people they wish were dead;
2: Headlines fold over to create surprise Mad magazine-type hidden message;
1: Restaurant critic recently gave IHOP four stars.

Hezbollah and Condi Confounded

Condi has been given a terrible task; I wouldn't like it. She's confounded and, evidently, so is Hezbollah:

A senior Hezbollah official said Tuesday the guerrilla group did not expect Israel to react so strongly to its capture of two Israeli soldiers.

"The truth is -- let me say this clearly -- we didn't even expect (this) response. . . that (Israel) would exploit this operation for this big war against us," said Mahmoud Komati, deputy chief of Hezbollah's political arm.

Israel also killed a highly-placed Hezbollah commander.

Israel's 48-year-old Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni says: "There can no longer be a Hezbollah."

SPIEGEL: Madam Minister, after Hezbollah attacked a patrol and kidnapped two soldiers, your government launched a military offensive that you defend as your right to self defense. But what does the bombing of Beirut have to do with a right to self defense?

The legitimacy of our answer relies on the size of the threat and not a specific attack. Hezbollah as a real threat to us is a fact that is acknowledged by the entire world. Sheik Nasrallah wants to assume the position of a provocateur to prevent peace in the area of Israel and Lebanon. Israel will fight the Hezbollah wherever they are. Their command center is in southern Beirut. This is why we bombed this area.

Israel's PM Ehud Olmert is not backing down:
"Israel is determined to continue on in the fight against Hezbollah. We will stop them. We will not hesitate to take severe measures against those who are aiming thousands of rockets and missiles against innocent civilians for the one purpose of killing them," Olmert said.
Did you know this about Hezbollah:
On July 18th, 1994, Hezbollah was responsible for the largest mass killing of Jewish people since the Holocaust itself, with 85 killed and over 300 injured. On that date, the seven-story Jewish-Argentine Mutual Association (AMIA) community centre in Buenos Aires, Argentina was reduced to rubble when a van packed with ammonium nitrate was detonated.

MANSEHRA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Muslim clerics in Pakistan's conservative North West Frontier Province want local authorities to expel all women working for international relief agencies in earthquake affected areas by the end of this month.

The clerics accuse the women, including Pakistanis employed by foreign non-government organizations (NGOs), of dressing improperly, mixing with men and drinking alcohol, which is banned in Islamic Pakistan.

"We are not against the NGOs, but we are against them spreading obscenity in society and trying to weaken our faith by corrupting our women," Moazzam Ali Shah, head of Tehreek-e-Islaha Muashra, or Movement to Cleanse Society, told Reuters in Mansehra town.

The clerics have not said what action they might take if the women aid workers are not asked to leave.

I will be blunt again: I stand with Israel.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Problem Of Power

Today is Tuesday. This will be the 10th straight day of 100+ degrees in Sacratomato, Fornicalia.

I was driving down from the mountains on Saturday, watching the exterior temperature gauge creep up in my Urabus. It started at 86 degrees, then ended up at 117 degrees as I drove in downtown Sacratomato.

From Good Morning Vietnam:

-- God, it's warm, huh?
-- Warm? No. This is a setting for a London broil.

- What's the weather like out there?
- It's hot! Damn hot! Real hot! Were you born on the sun? It's damn hot!
- I saw -- it's so damn hot, I saw little guys, their orange robes burst into flames!

I overheard someone at work say: "It's so hot I gotta get into the hot tub to cool off."

So, with temperatures at "critical," the 10th straight day of 100+ degree temperatures, what does the State of Fornicalia do? It lights up its hundreds of interstate highway signs all up and down the state, its breadth and width, which say: "CONSERVE ENERGY FLEX YOUR POWER."

Huh. Like the way you're conserving power, State of Fornicalia?

Particularly after:

Authorities in California warned that the high demand could lead later this afternoon to an emergency order for rolling blackouts, a dreaded term here that brings reminders of widespread blackouts in 2003 during an energy supply crisis.

Officials declared a power emergency earlier this afternoon, cutting electricity to some businesses that had voluntarily agreed to reduce power use in exchange for lower rates. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered state agencies to reduce electricity consumption by 25 percent, acting on a prediction from the state’s power grid managers that demand would peak at 52,000 megawatts, a mark they had not expected to reach until 2011.

Now of course, a bit of history: former Governor Gray "Empty Suit" Davis tanked the entire state in 2003 over his ridiculous energy policies which resulted in Cal ISO going critical, the state's bond ratings tanking and lawsuits abounding. This situation was the predicating event for the sacking of Davis and the election of Schwarzenegger.

The last major power plant built in Fornicalia was Sacratomato's Rancho Seco nuclear power facility, which went online in 1977 and was shut down by voters in 1989. Rancho Seco spent much time down but not due to its nuclear components; primarily from its transformers and generators. Local voters hit their ballots and checked the "No Confidence" box in the Sacramento Municipal Utility District's ability to capably run Rancho Seco which, incidentally, was a Babcock & Wilcox designed plant -- just as was Three Mile Island.

Rancho Seco had a poor operating history and a lifetime capacity average of only 39%. Due to this poor operating history and increasing costs the plant was closed by public vote on June 6, 1989, though its operating license did not expire until October 11, 2008.

There have been a dearth of power generating plants since. And yet Fornicalia insists on being the recipient for thousands and thousands of illegal immigrants, not to mention those lawful citizens who for personal or business reasons are moving to this state when, on the other hand, the State of Fornicalia insists on refusing to build infrastructure, electrical generating stations included, for this drain on resources.

Why not build power plants? Three reasons:

  • Political
  • Environmental
  • Enron

Huh? The effect of the Enron situation (as well as Gray Davis's mismanagement of power and the resulting lawsuits in 2003) on investment money and confidence in power agencies is astoundingly negative. Some power companies will not, therefore, do business in Fornicalia when the state has a poor history with its energy management.

In the meantime, it's still damned hot!


Monday, July 24, 2006

Negotiating For What And With Whom?

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Beirut today and met with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora. She went to Jerusalem next.

In a meeting that appeared tense, Saniora told the U.S. diplomat that Israel's bombardment had taken his country "backwards 50 years," the prime minister's office said. And Nabih Berri, a veteran Lebanese politician who is Lebanon's parliament speaker and Hezbollah's de facto negotiator, rejected proposals brought by Rice almost as soon as she left.

Berri told Rice that a cease-fire must precede any talks about resolving Hezbollah's presence in Lebanon, an official close to the speaker said. Rice, reflecting the U.S. view that a quick cease-fire would not be sustainable, had proposed that the fighting stop at the same time that an international force deployed in southern Lebanon, the official said. Rice also proposed that Hezbollah weapons be removed from a buffer zone extending about 18 miles from the Israeli border, said the official. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were private.

This I suppose is all very well and good -- but is it?

I refer once again to the title of my post: for what is Secretary Rice negotiating, and with whom?

"Negotiating" with the Lebanese prime minister achieves what, precisely, when Lebanon has little or, truly, no control over Hezbollah?

In my opinion, this visit is solely a photo op for nothing and will achieve nothing. There will be no cease fire on any side, and Israel should be completely let alone to achieve its ends.

The fundamental problem is Iran. It is supplying the missiles, the money, the guidance. Intelligence experts believe that Iran is solely responsible for Hezbollah's raining missiles down on Israel in order to take world focus off the fact that Iran is moving forward with its nuclear weapons programs. This is, in truth, the Opening Act of Iran vs. The West. Syria is likewise a problem but taking its orders from Iran. Were Syria to be the subject of an incursion by Israel likely no one save Iran would come to its aid -- certainly not Egypt or Jordan or Saudi Arabia.

The larger and, yet, "smaller" problem is that the only way to attack Militant Islam or Islamists and specifically, in this case, Hezbollah, is to make seemingly-offensive step up in our determination to do what needs to be done and that, because of the nature of their cowardice insofar as their hiding weapons and firing from civilian apartments, homes, edifices, etc., and frequently hiding behind and firing from behind innocent civilians, there necessarily must be resulting civilian casualties.

"As long as people keep talking, people won't be dying," I've heard recently. In this ages-old case, I don't believe that to be true. Only actions will suffice.

We or Israel or other western nations either make this step or we shall surely fail. It is the nature of these heinous persons and of terrorists in general. "Negotiating" is NOT an option. There is no middle ground. We shall either win, or we shall lose. Israel either wins in this struggle or it loses its sovereign soil.

I am uncertain where this will all go. But as I've written before we are clearly at a crossroads; however, attempting to negotiate with Hezbollah, in this case, by way of the Lebanese PM will achieve positively nothing. The Lebanese government is a government in name only and it lives in fear of Hezbollah. How does one "negotiate" with such a loose, antiquated and dysfunctional "government" such as this?

In my opinion Israel has been very careful -- perhaps even too careful in its application of force. This "war" will be at a high cost to Israel -- and it appears Israel is hesitant to really pull off the gloves and apply heavy and overwhelming force. As it should. As we should.

At its base, the religion of Islam desperately needs a complete reformation. And it needs to have the discipline to achieve this reformation from within -- or it will have reformation forced upon it in ways it cannot imagine, and it will not be pleasant for the inflicter(s) or the recipient.


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Hey Frenchie: Check It Out!

Yes, another damnable American won the Tour de France for the 8th time in a row today!

Congratulations to Floyd Landis, who won the three-week long Tour de France, and acquired his first Yellow Jersey.

This is the 8th time an American has won the Tour, after the incredible Lance Armstrong won a record 7 years in a row, his final win occurring in 2005.

Landis, 31, is a man who, like many professional cyclists, keeps fighting even while keeping many of his true feelings hidden away, unwilling to share them with an intruding world.

When Landis is on his bike, he is usually stone-faced, failing to show even a hint of emotion — the product of a conservative upbringing and an intense discipline to keeping his true feelings under wraps.

The French, of course, said Landis "lacked panache, the style that characterized the great Tour champions like Lance Armstrong, Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault." Headline writers at a French newspaper decided to write "Landis Out!" when he collapsed on the climb to La Toussuire -- and it flat pissed him off. Competitors also said Landis didn't have a strong enough team around him to fend off the attacks of rivals.

That pissed him off too.

So what did you learn, France and World?

Never, NEVER underestimate America.

You do so at your own peril.


And If You Needed Any MORE Convincing:

Sometimes things are simply what they appear to be.

"Militant Islam," "Islamists" (or, in my opinion, Islam) wants to eliminate Israel and all Jews from the earth, and then eliminate the entire Western World -- if you deign not to convert to Islam. For those who may possibly need just a tad more convincing:

(Thanks to Rebecca of Revka's Take for the heads-up on this new WorldNetDaily article.)

By Aaron Klein
JERUSALEM – It is only a "question of time" before Palestinian terror groups and other Islamic organizations in the Middle East target the United States both abroad and on the home front, Abu Nasser, second-in-command of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, told WorldNetDaily in an exclusive interview.

Information such as this is all over the internet. I would refer you to the following additional sites:

al -- al Jazeera with their own captivating spin, in English just for us Infidels!
al Jazeera Magazine -- if you haven't acquired enough al Jazeera already.
Hezbollah Website -- darn; doesn't look too good at this point.
Hamas Website -- warm and fuzzy doesn't get any better than this!
P10K Website -- if you want to keep happy Palestinians happy.
CAIR Website -- spin, with just the slightest seasoning of Truth.
Al Qaeda Manual In PDF -- hey, start your own AQ cell, kids!
Hamas Charter -- read the entire thing; most revealing.

From the Hamas charter:

"Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it."

"The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up."

"There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors."

There are also revealing places on the web to find the truth regarding terrorism. I would refer you to:

Jihad Watch -- an excellent informative site packed references.
Terrorism Link -- a great beginning resources.
Official State of Isreael Website -- find out what's occurring in Israel.
MidEast Web Gateway -- a treasure trove of information and references.
Terrorism Resource Center -- great site for beginning research.

I should also like to point to Little Miss Chatterbox's recent post on Hezbollah and its nature.

To continue from the WND article re: the US targeted for terror.

"The Americans deserve to be targeted because of their support to the enemy. It is a question of time before the revolutionary organizations in the Middle East will start targeting the Americans," said Abu Nasser, speaking to WND from Nablus.

The Al Aqsa Brigades, the declared "military wing" of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, is responsible for scores of rocket and shooting attacks, and – together with Islamic Jihad – for every suicide bombing since last February's so-called cease-fire.

"One can say that these threats are just rhetoric, but the near past proved that these threats come more and more into reality," said Abu Nasser. "Believe me, it is a new era and I am suggesting to the American people to adopt a different policy and strategy because very soon they will deal with a unified Muslim world, but without the help of their agents in the Middle East." The Al Aqsa Brigades is not thought to possess the ability to attack inside the U.S., but there are concerns its ally, Hezbollah, has infiltrated America and is seeking to attack.

Hezbollah representatives in Iran warned earlier this week the group stood ready to target U.S. and Israeli interests worldwide.

American law enforcement officials said they are taking the Hezbollah threats seriously.

So America, my advice to you:
  • Keep your children's baseball caps backwards and their pants hanging past their asses;
  • Brad, Kate, Tom, Angelina; they're all the Resurrection and the Light!
  • Judge Judy and Maury Povich: critical to life!
  • Support Oprah! It's time for a tuneup for her Roller;
  • More Green Day! All Americans are idiots for supporting Bush & the war!

For, certainly, everyone knows all that far-off war stuff is ill-considered, oppressive, the result of Dick and George, Halliburton, American oil interests and results in global warming. It's far more important to know when and how Mikey has Two Mommies, that we support a working minimum wage, and that Transgenders are welcomed with open arms into the working public!


Until the IEDs and HBs start going off in Starbucks, shopping malls, water purification plants, at the base of electrical transmission towers and the nearest propane storage facility near you.

Or perhaps five feet away from your body.

How's that for warm and fuzzy, America?


Saturday, July 22, 2006

Brief Thoughts

In the comment section of my last post, Rebecca said something similar to (in reference to my standing in the TTLB Ecosystem): "BZ, you should not be a Lowly Insect."

Yes, I readily acknowledge my readership and list of "hits" has plummeted from a "Crawly Amphibian" to my current "Lowly Insect" status.

I am wondering if this is a result of the Standard Summer Lull where most persons take vacations and spend as little time in front of their confusers as possible, or whether my writing, thoughts, posts, views have been "off" and if there be "something" I am lacking.

I have noticed other bloggers have taken time off for schools, vacations, personal business and the like -- the Caucasionally-Challenged Christian hasn't posted since early June, and Robosquirrel's blog, People Covered In Fish, has disappeared entirely and is nothing more than a blank white screen. Anyone know what happened to Robosquirrel?

Any thoughts, folks? Do I suck and blow? Things you'd like to see -- ways I can improve?


Friday, July 21, 2006

I Needed A Break And A Larf

(Thanks, Chris!)

Various responses between commercial air crews around the world and their respective controllers:

Pilot: "Albuquerque Center, this is United 372. I have an engine that just went out and I need to land. No panic, but I need a runway that's close to my present location."
Tower: "United 372, this is Albuquerque Center. You are cleared to land at [Name of town I have never heard of] Airport immediately."
Pilot: (Who had obviously never heard of town either) "Hey, I'm not talking some crop duster airport here, Albuquerque Center."
Tower: "United 372, that runway is 6,700 feet long. Is THAT going to be enough for you, or do you want me to send someone up to help you land?=========================================

Tower: "Delta 351, you have traffic at 10 o'clock, 6 miles!"
Delta 351: "Give us another hint! We have digital watches!"

"TWA 2341, for noise abatement turn right 45 Degrees."
"Centre, we are at 35,000 feet. How much noise can we make up here?"
"Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 747 makes when it hits a 727?"

From an unknown aircraft waiting in a very long take off queue: "I'm bored!"
Ground Traffic Control: "Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!"
Unknown aircraft: "I said I was bored, not stupid!"

O'Hare Approach Control to a 747: "United 329 heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one o'clock, three miles, Eastbound."
United 239: "Approach, I've always wanted to say this -- I've got the little Fokker in sight."

A student became lost during a solo cross-country flight. While attempting to locate the aircraft on radar, ATC asked" "What is your last known position?"
Student: "When I was number one for takeoff."

A DC-10 had come in a little hot and thus had an exceedingly long rollout after touching down.
San Jose Tower noted: "American 751, make a hard right turn at the end of the runway, if you are able. If you are not able, take the Guadalupe exit off Highway 101, make a right at the lights and return to the airport."

There's the story about a military pilot calling for a priority landing because his single-engine jet fighter was running "a bit peaked."
Air Traffic Control told the fighter jock that he was number two, behind a B-52 that had one engine shut down.
"Ah," the fighter pilot remarked, "The dreaded seven-engine approach."
==================================== =====

Taxiing down the tarmac, a DC-10 abruptly stopped, turned around and returned to the gate. After an hour-long wait, it finally took off. A concerned passenger asked the flight attendant, "What, exactly, was the problem?"
"The pilot was bothered by a noise he heard in the engine," explained the flight attendant. "It took us a while to find a new pilot." (Huh -- musta been Southwest. -- BZ)

A Pan Am 727 flight waiting for start clearance in Munich overheard the following: Lufthansa (in German): "Ground, what is our start clearance time?"
Ground (in English): "If you want an answer you must speak in English."
Lufthansa (in English): "I am a German, flying a German airplane, in Germany. Why must I speak English?"
Unknown voice from another plane (in a beautiful British accent): "Because you lost the bloody war."

Tower: "Eastern 702, cleared for takeoff, contact Departure on frequency124.7"
Eastern 702: "Tower, Eastern 702 switching to Departure. By the way, after we lifted off we saw some kind of dead animal on the far end of the runway."
Tower: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff behind Eastern 702, contact Departure on frequency 124.7. Did you copy that report from Eastern 702?"
Continental 635: "Continental 635, cleared for takeoff, roger; and yes,we copied Eastern -- we've already notified our caterers."

One day the pilot of a Cherokee 180 was told by the tower to hold short of the active runway while a DC-8 landed. The DC-8 landed, rolled out, turned around, and taxied back past the Cherokee. Some quick-witted comedian in the DC-8 crew got on the radio and said, "What a cute little plane. Did you make it all by yourself?"
The Cherokee pilot, not about to let the insult go by, came back with a real zinger: "I made it out of DC-8 parts. Another landing like yours and I'll have enough parts for another one."

The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are renowned as a short-tempered lot. They not only expect one to know one's gate parking location, but how to get there without any assistance from them. So it was with some amusement that we (a Pan Am 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747, call sign Speedbird 206.
Speedbird 206: "Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of active runway."
Ground: "Speedbird 206. Taxi to gate Alpha One-Seven."
The BA 747 pulled onto the main taxiway and slowed to a stop.
Ground: "Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?"
Speedbird 206: "Stand by, Ground, I'm looking up our gate location now."
Ground (with quite arrogant impatience): "Speedbird 206, have you not been to Frankfurt before?"
Speedbird 206 (coolly): "Yes, twice in 1944, but it was dark, -- and I didn't land."

While taxiing at London's Gatwick Airport, the crew of a US Air flight departing for Ft. Lauderdale made a wrong turn and came nose to nose with a United 727. An irate female ground controller lashed out at the US Aircrew, screaming: "US Air 2771, where the hell are you going? I told you to turn right onto Charlie taxiway! You turned right on Delta! Stop right there. I know it's difficult for you to tell the difference between C and D, but get it right!"
Continuing her rage to the embarrassed crew, she was now shouting hysterically: "God! Now you've screwed everything up! It'll take forever to sort this out! You stay right there and don't move till I tell you to! You can expect progressive taxi instructions in about half an hour and I want you to go exactly where I tell you, when I tell you, and how I tell you! You got that, US Air 2771?"
"Yes, ma'am," the humbled crew responded.
Naturally, the ground control communications frequency fell terribly silent after the verbal bashing of US Air 2771. Nobody wanted to chance engaging the irate ground controller in her current state of mind. Tension in every cockpit around Gatwick was definitely running high. Just then an unknown pilot broke the silence and keyed his microphone, asking: "Wasn't I married to you once?"


Thursday, July 20, 2006

America's Shame

This will be a short, simple post, one that I have borrowed from AB Freedom's blog because I found his post and the accompanying video so shocking.

Watch this video about America's schools, by John Stossel of 20/20.

Then please leave your comments.

This is so embarrassing, so, so shameful.


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Hezbollah Targets America

Hezbollah has clearly come out and said what it means -- what it has meant all along and what every other organization aligned with Islam has said and, more importantly, means:

Islamists and Militant Islam, i.e., most all of Islam, will not stop at crushing and totally eliminating the Jews of the world; they will not stop until they have eliminated the Western world and, moreover, eliminated anything not aligned with Islam.

Unlike the United States and certainly most of Europe, we should take Hezbollah at its word: it means what it says. Translated for us: we should, as a country, take each and every threat as Truth and place it squarely in the Credible category.

Even back in 2004, articles ran in the Daily Oakland Press indicating Hezbollah, led by Sheik Hassan Nasrallah (see left), was "a key sponsor of Palestinian violence, funding suicide bombings that have killed dozens of Israelis in recent months, Israeli intelligence sources, Palestinian Authority officials and militants have told The Associated Press."

Iran's Hizbollah, which claims links to the Lebanese group of the same name, said on Tuesday it stood ready to attack Israeli and U.S. interests worldwide.

"We have 2,000 volunteers who have registered since last year," said Iranian Hizbollah's spokesman Mojtaba Bigdeli, speaking by telephone from the central seminary city of Qom.

"They have been trained and they can become fully armed. We are ready to dispatch them to every corner of the world to jeopardise Israel and America's interests. We are only waiting for the Supreme Leader's green light to take action. If America wants to ignite World War Three -- we welcome it," he said.

It is interesting to note that already Hezbollah appears to be quantifying the issue as another World War III -- in the fashion that former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich similarly quantified the issue this past weekend on Meet The Press and on the Michael Medved show on Tuesday.

GINGRICH: We’re in the early stages of what I would describe as the third World War and, frankly, our bureaucracy’s not responding fast enough and we don’t have the right attitude. And this is the 58th year of the war to destroy Israel and, frankly, the Israelis have every right to insist that every single missile leave south Lebanon, and the United States ought to be helping the Lebanese government have the strength to eliminate Hezbollah as a military force — not as a political force in the parliament — but as a military force in south Lebanon.

RUSSERT: This is World War III?

GINGRICH: I believe if you take all the countries I just listed that you’ve been covering, put them on a map, look at all the different connectivity, you have to say to yourself: this is, in fact, World War III.

Newt Gingrich has it right and, in my estimation, he has connected ALL the dots.


Though some sites have written that "The Arab League Condemns Hezbollah," that is not true. Go here. In truth, Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia have "all tempered condemnation of the scale of the Israeli reprisals with criticism of the 'adventurism' of the Syrian- and Iranian-backed Hezbollah in seizing two Israeli soldiers last Wednesday."

First, that's incorrect; three Israeli soldiers were seized. Already I doubt the Arab League's ability to "get it right." Or perhaps I should blame Yahoo. That doesn't sound like outright condemnation to me.

"We must take swift steps with sincere intentions to solve the Arab-Arab differences which create an obstacle to reaching a unified Arab position," Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Kurbi said, calling on all Arab states to "end any cooperation with Israel."

Ending cooperation? -- that doesn't sound like condemnation to me either.

"Arabs are still talking about peace initiatives, about land for peace," Masr told state television. "But we are not getting land and we are not getting peace."

That isn't condemnation and that isn't correct. Arabs are not "still talking about peace initiatives. They are instead lobbing missiles at Israel. Doesn't read or sound like courting peace to me.

And land for peace?

How incredibly stupid do you have to be, World? Israel gave up land already -- land that fellow Arabs refused to provide their brothers and sisters. It's called Gaza.

And it is from Gaza that a good bulk of the missiles striking sovereign Israeli soil are issuing.

Israel gave up land. There is no peace. Palestinians are throwing missiles from Gaza.

I think even Downs Syndrome children could figure this one out.


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

What Are The Next Steps?

What would you do about the Middle East?

Israel and surrounding nations, and western nations, are at a crossroads in my opinion.

This would be the perfect time to make, again in my estimation, some very important and critical steps in terms of potential world peace and the stairstepping of power structures.

From UPI:

Hezbollah fires rocket-a-minute at Israel
JERUSALEM, July 18 (UPI) -- Shelling of Israel by Hezbollah militants in Lebanon reached a peak of one missile a minute for an hour Tuesday as Israel's air force stepped up bombing runs.

In my opinion, this would be the perfect time to destroy the infrastructure of not only Hezbollah in Lebanon, but Hamas in Gaza. Gaza should be reoccupied; the Palestinians have clearly proven they not only do not deserve a country, much less adjacent Israel, but they need to have Hamas destroyed anywhere near Israel proper.

We need to support Israel's bombing of Beirut and wherever Hezbollah is located in the entire country of Lebanon; likewise with Syria should Israel determine to do so. Then, there needs to be a concerted effort by both the US and Israel to bomb any location within Iran determined to be even remotely linked with nuclear production or any actions supporting the production of items related to nuclear production, warehousing, instrument tooling, centrifuges or tools which could be used to promote same.

Enough is clearly enough. Israel needs to be left alone to determine its own path of response. It's past due time to declare that Islamists and Militant Islam is comprised of nothing more than heathen, uncivilized barbarians requiring total elimination from the planet -- in any country, in any form.

Further terrorist acts should be met with like or greater force.

Ehud Olmert is perfectly correct in his demand that the bombings and attacks will not cease until the missile attacks and other attacks completely cease against Israel, and he acquires his hostage soldiers' return in good health. There will be no negotiations with terrorists.

Understand: the overarching goal by Islamists and Militant Islam and, in my opinion, Islam in general is not the elimination of Israel; that is only the starting point. The goal will only have been attained when the Greater Satan, the United States, and all western civilizations are eliminated and Islam is the only religion and philosophy extant.

We are at a crossroads. We allow Iran, and even North Korea or other tin-pan dictators and religious/philosophist zealots to acquire WMDs at the peril of not only localized countries and the United States, but the entire world as well.

What would you do?


Monday, July 17, 2006

Today's Heroes

Janis Cummings is called by some the "Anti-Cindy Sheehan" -- and perhaps she is.

Her son, Marine Cpl. Ryan John Cummings, 22, of the 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, was killed on June 3rd of 2006 in the Anbar province, Iraq. This was Cpl. Cummings' third tour of duty in Iraq.

His mother, Janis Cummings, recently finished her third year as a third-grade teacher at Oak Park Elementary School on Aurora's East Side.

Janis Cummings said she was proud of her son, who leaves behind a 17-year-old brother, a 20-year-old sister and a 13-year-old half-brother.

Cummings' father, John Cummings, said his son enlisted in the Marines on Sept. 10, 2001, and the terrorist attacks the next day only strengthened his resolve to join the military.

Along with serving in Iraq, Cummings helped build a medical facility in Africa and was involved in relief efforts after the tsunami in 2004.

He had returned to Iraq for his third tour of duty in February and was scheduled to leave the Marines in November. Cummings had plans to study engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, family members said.

Last week President Bush pointedly praised 22-year old Marine Cpl. Ryan Cummings, who was killed in Iraq. Ryan's mother

Janis Cummings appeared on The O'Reilly Factor and said:

"He always stood up for what he believed in, and he believed in what he was doing in Iraq. We supported him, and I know that if I was to protest against what he believed in it would be a betrayal. So even if I wanted to protest against the war, I could never do that."

It would appear that, unlike Ms. Sheehan, Janis Cummings has positively chosen to not denigrate the actions, dedication and service to his country of her son.

My most sincere condolences to Janis and John Cummings for the loss of their son, who is indeed a Hero of the first order; Janis is likewise a Hero for clearly and unequivocally supporting her son privately and openly in public.

She understands what it means when people say: Freedom is never, ever free.

Her son Ryan and the Cummings family have made the supreme sacrifice on behalf of the country they love.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Israel Digs In

While I was away from blogging the Middle East exploded.


Iran controls and finances Hezbollah in Lebanon, and controls Syria, as well as Hamas in Gaza under the Palestinian Authority. This is a given.

Iran's maniacal leader Ahmadinejad has declared the Holocaust to be a fiction, and will settle for nothing less than the annihilation of Israel. He has declared these things time and again to the world.

The Bush Administration should not put pressure on Israel to withdraw troops or to stop fighting back.

Each act of Israeli withdrawal has only escalated actions and attacks against Israel proper. Rockets keep coming out of Gaza. The new rockets have a much longer reach -- possibly to Haifa and now Tel Aviv.

What other nation in this entire world would the United Nations have the nerve to ask: "Do not defend yourself?"

Only Israel.


The United States determined not to fight back though it was systematically attacked, throughout various spots in the world, under the Clinton Administration. Unfortunately we first recently under-responded during the Iranian Hostage Crisis under Carter. We continued to under-respond when over 250 soldiers were killed in Lebanon under the Reagan Administration and the response was: get out. The die was cast.

We were a Paper Tiger.

Somalia then did nothing but reinforce the Paper Tiger effect. Down a few helos and kill some soldiers? Response: get out.

1993: World Trade Center bombing? Response? Little.

USS Cole? Response? Dead sailors.

Lockerbie: global response? Little.

The United States became a more taste-tempting target. Then the various Middle Eastern factions, al-Qaeda primarily, decided that it would be a good idea to coordinate the 9/11 attacks thinking there would be, as history indicated, little response.

They did not account for President George W. Bush, the son.

Now, with Israel, they did not account for new Israeli PM Ehud Olmert; they were counting on another Sharon-like response similar to his acquiescence regarding Gaza.

Think what you will of Sharon; I am of a firm and unrelenting opinion regarding Sharon. It was time for him to step aside. I am sorry that this "asideness" had to take the form of a medical intervention; but it was necessary nevertheless.


This is once again very simple, actually. One has but to do the Logical Extension (as I call it) and recall just a bit of history -- and apply a smattering of logic as well.

When your most vile enemy, one who has sworn to eradicate you from the face of the entire earth, demands concessions, do not allocate them land directly adjacent your own sovereign soil. Give them land some 2 to 3,000 miles away. In the desert. With little access to transportation or infrastructure.

When you provide them with land directly adjacent your most hallowed religious grounds and that which directly abuts your civilized nation, there could theoretically be something of a minor problem.

And, of course, what about similar Middle Eastern nations allocating lands for the "lost peoples of Palestine?" Huh. I haven't seen one nation making any such offering for its brethren.


Enough with the couching of terms and phrases.

Hezbollah and Hamas wanted an "incident." And they got it in spades. They represent doomed cultures with no technological bent whatsoever -- cultures that know nothing about Building and everything about Destruction and the Cult of Victimization.

Bush and the international community are simply WRONG with their "suggestions" that Israel "hang back" when attacked from either Lebanon or Gaza.

Allow me to please provide you with a relevant analogy:

Maryland has decided to go rogue. It has seceded from the Union. In response, it has decided to launch missiles from the center of Maryland against Washington DC.

Would Washington respond militarily?

In the meantime, Canada has decided to throw missiles, likewise, at Washington, DC. These missiles are issuing forth from Canada proper, sovereign Canadian soil, but the Canadian government is saying that whatever faction is responsible, is not representative of the Canadian government and thusly the overarching country of Canada should not be held militarily responsible for American deaths resulting from these missile attacks.

How would the United States respond to both scenarios?

And moreover, how would you want or demand your country to respond?


I thought so.

Let's lighten the hell up on Israel, shall we, and support them with every breath?


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Zen Sarcasm

(Thanks, Terri!)

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.
2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and leaky tire.
3. It is always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.
4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
5. Always remember that you're unique- Just like everyone else.
6. Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
7. If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments.
8. Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
9. If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.
10. Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day.
11. If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.
12. If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything.
13. Some days you're the bug; some days you're the windshield.
14. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.
15. The quickest way to double your money is to fold it in half and put it back in your pocket.!
16. A closed mouth gathers no foot.
17. Duct tape is like 'The Force'. It has a light side and a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
18. There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works.
19. Generally speaking, you aren't learning much when your lips are moving.
20. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
21. Never miss a good chance to shut up.
22. Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.


Gone But Not Forgotten?

I shall be gone for the rest of the week to school, so please excuse my absence, despite my being a "Lowly Insect" in the TTLB Ecosystem.

With any amount of luck I shall return on Sunday, having survived a Southwest 737 flight to San Diego and back.

Please visit all of my standard "Usual Suspects."

And tell those you love how you feel about them.

Life is fleeting.


The Cross Shall Stay For Now

I have steadfastly avoided this topic but I feel I must "come out" now. I shall either alienate my standard readers or cement those. This is nothing if not confusing for me and for you.

I am an agnostic. I am not an atheist. I am not indicating there is no God; I have simply not felt what so many of you feel or have felt; I am not denying God. I am simply indicating that, for me, God has not taken me up and provided me with a clear path. Some days I wake up and wonder what is wrong with me. Some days I wake up and think I am free. Some days I wake up and feel I am completely lost. Some days I wake up and wonder what is wrong with me that I cannot feel a compulsion, a need, a drive, to find a greater spiritual level.

But on the other hand, I believe, that does not diminish those who feel their spiritual drives. I envy you, in truth. I wish I could feel something here but I have not yet been overtaken. In the meantime I realize that I must, in terms of religion, "fish or cut bait" so to speak.

And I have clearly come down on the side of Christianity.

I look at history and I look at the history of my country specifically, and I examine material in the public domain and have decided that I either resolve to support Christianity or Judaism or I leave myself exposed to the evil in the world.

These are the two predominant religions in the country I inhabit.

And I have also examined the basic tenets of these religions and have determined that their core foundations are such that I can support them. How can one not support the inherent GOOD that exists in western religions? How can one not support the clear, common sense, day-by-day tenets of the Ten Commandments, for example?

Clearly, there are those who cannot. I can. And I do. I just lack. . .

I wish I knew.

There is a Basic Good in religion such that I can and will support it on so many western levels.

Which is why I post about this in a positive fashion:

SAN DIEGO — In the best legal news that defenders of the cross atop Mt. Soledad have received in years, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday delayed its removal until legal appeals in the state and federal courts are resolved.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, acting on a petition filed by the city, also suggested that the high court might hear the case when the appeals are completed. He added that the court might be influenced by the fact that Congress has passed legislation permitting the cross to be designated a national war memorial.

One point I simply do not understand:

Given the innate goodness of religion, why would persons want to eliminate the symbols of religion, historic and otherwise, that serve to cement and preserve not BAD thoughts, but GOOD thoughts?

I am not incapable of sorting good from bad. I have already determined: Islam bad. Christianity good.

I have no problem in differentiating this difference.

When I say "God bless America" or "God bless you," I mean it. I just wish I could feel smited with a euphoria or a drive that so many others feel. I can only but feel diminished. I'm not necessarily closed; I am simply not struck.

That the Mt. Soledad cross will stay for now? That can only be a good thing.

It is a matter of survival.

And this from an agnostic. Something I'll wager you may have suspected all along.


Hit me.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Mexico, and the US, Dodge A Libertine Bullet

Mexico dodged a bullet on July 2nd and, in so doing, the United States dodged one as well.

Mexico's new President-elect, Felipe Calderón, 42, a Harvard graduate (conservative, former energy minister, backed by business) beat Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the hugely-Leftist former mayor of Mexico City.

The entire business now seems to encompass a North American trend, as evidenced by George Bush, Paul Martin and now Calderón -- of a close conservative win against liberal opponents and those elections subsequently to be or actually challenged in courts of law.

Surely, the minions of Obrador are flapping their gums about lawsuits though they shall likely fall completely on their faces.

In the meantime, with Calderón, there now exists a possibility to forge a link on any number of levels with Mexico and perhaps even acquire some forward movement inside our southern neighbor which may mitigate the necessity for Mexican nationals to feel compelled to violate our border and our laws.

Meaning: solidify Mexico, help to makes its economy and its government strong, fresh and clean, and you help Mexicans stay in and focus on their own nation.

In the fight against illegal immigrants, Calderón could be the ally that Fox never was.

Calderón won the vote recount on July 6th -- a recount demanded by opponent Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador who then, predictably, vowed to take the fight to the courts when he didn't win. After all, he learned from the best: GEORGE W. BUSH, et al., PETITIONERS v.ALBERT GORE, Jr., et al. ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT. This process could, like any other legal machination, take literally weeks to sift out.

Calderon, who pledges to stick with President Vicente Fox's pro-business policies, took 35.88 percent of the vote to Lopez Obrador's 35.31 percent, after electoral authorities completed the recount. Calderon, 43, led Lopez Obrador by about 1 percentage point in a preliminary tally released the day after the July 2 election.

Despite the clear love of he and his policies by the wondrous Berserkeley resident Cindy Sheehan and some others, it would not do the United States nor Mexico well to have another Hugo Chavez of Venezuela sitting in Mexico City.

Obrador, if he ultimately "wins," could well be another Chavez.

An interesting viewpoint from within Venezuela itself about the fabulous Mr. Chavez:

Belafonte and Sheehan love Chávez, not Venezuela
By Gustavo Coronel
July 9, 2006 As a senior Venezuelan I have seen my country and my people living in much better times than today. Therefore, I feel sad when I listen to the likes of Cindy Sheehan and Harry Belafonte speak of their love for Hugo Chávez. On the July 5 edition of MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews, guest host and MSNBC White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell interviewed Cindy Sheehan. Sheehan said that "Hugo Chávez in not anti-American" and that she'd rather live under Chávez than Bush. Sheehan cites the aid of Chávez to New Orleans' Katrina victims and the oil subsidies to the U.S. "poor" as examples of Chávez humanity. She was in Venezuela back in January where she kissed Chávez and appeared totally under his spell. In her enthusiasm, she mentioned on Hardball that Chávez had already been elected eight times. In fact, he was elected in 1999 and re-elected two years later (comfortably running against his partner in the failed 1992 coup d'état, Francisco Arias Cárdenas, now Ambassador to the U.N.) and survived a controversial presidential recall referendum in 2004, validated by Jimmy Carter but denounced as fraudulent by millions of Venezuelans. >>

This is just a hint of an insight into a life with Mexico should Obrador prevail.

It is not a situation we would enjoy at all.

A new chance has been handed us; I recommend we take full advantage of the situation now.


Monday, July 10, 2006


In politics, the rubric goes something like this: "Match talk with talk, and actions with actions."

Japan, a rather short distance from Korean peninsula and therefore clearly in the gunsights of the NKM, has made a rather startling pronouncement:

TOKYO (AP) - Japan said Monday it was considering whether a pre-emptive strike on the North's missile bases would violate its constitution, signaling a hardening stance ahead of a possible U.N. Security Council vote on Tokyo's proposal for sanctions against the regime.

Japan was badly rattled by North Korea's missile tests last week and several government officials openly discussed whether the country ought to take steps to better defend itself, including setting up the legal framework to allow Tokyo to launch a pre-emptive strike against Northern missile sites.

"If we accept that there is no other option to prevent an attack -- there is the view that attacking the launch base of the guided missiles is within the constitutional right of self-defense. We need to deepen discussion," Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said.

Japan's constitution currently bars the use of military force in settling international disputes and prohibits Japan from maintaining a military for warfare. Tokyo has interpreted that to mean it can have armed troops to protect itself, allowing the existence of its 240,000-strong Self-Defense Forces.

Japan, following WWII, has been historically reticent to even write of their defense forces, much less consider their usage in world affairs. Though they contributed troops in Iraq, Japan would much rather that bit of information remain background as much as possible.

The NKM is a larger threat now on the world stage, despite his missile techno-losses, if for no other reason that Japan has made this public announcement. Literally, in a country where the standard individual is a minimum of 2 to 3 inches shorter than the area average because of nutritional deficiencies and where the nation appears to be unable to manufacture flat glass panes without bubbles or distortions, the NKM will feel forced to ramp up his rhetoric. Why? At 5'2" the NKM is actually shorter than Napoleon -- the leader credited with having the first megabout of Short Man's Complex. The NKM does wear lifts in his shoes and he will respond to Japan.

This is clearly not a tension-lessening act but serves only to escalate frayed nerves. With North Korea it is this simple: do not speak or write of an action against the country; simply do it. Words without backup will only serve to heighten tensions and force the NKM to further ill-considered actions.

Also, from the UK Timeonline:

A PROGRAMME of covert action against nuclear and missile traffic to North Korea and Iran is to be intensified after last week’s missile tests by the North Korean regime. Intelligence agencies, navies and air forces from at least 13 nations are quietly co-operating in a “secret war” against Pyongyang and Tehran.

It has so far involved interceptions of North Korean ships at sea, US agents prowling the waterfronts in Taiwan, multinational naval and air surveillance missions out of Singapore, investigators poring over the books of dubious banks in the former Portuguese colony of Macau and a fleet of planes and ships eavesdropping on the “hermit kingdom” in the waters north of Japan.

It is interesting (and most disturbing) to realize that one of the primary missiles that ended up failing 47 seconds into its test had its trajectory analyzed and, as a result, it was determined this missile would have ended up near our Hawaiian Islands chain.


Saturday, July 08, 2006

Cindy and Various Threats

First: support Bushwack at his American and Proud Of It! blog by visiting and registering to proclaim your support for our American soldiers and providing Cindy Sheehan with the disdain she deserves.

You'll be proud to know what Cindy now resides in Berkeley, Fornicalia, where the city council has voted to spend $10,000 in taxpayer cash to place a measure on the ballot so the citizens can vote to impeach President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Of course, Washington will take heed of this, once passed, and readily comply. Good old, OLD Cindy -- Hugo's new best friend. Hugo, when she visited, was last seen wagging his finger at Cindy Sheehan as he clutched a cigar, heading for an adjacent closet. That Hugo Chavez -- what a prankster; the Life of the Party and always good for a laugh!

More about Cindy's "fast" -- the "fast" consists of no food for one day, then "passing it along." My, now that's some serious commitment! No KFC for Rob Reiner for 24 hours? Whatever shall he do?


Kim Jong Il has decided that since his missiles (one of which was aimed at the Hawaiian Islands) didn't work all that well during Threat Phase One, there must necessarily be Threat Phase Two.

From Reuters:

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea threatened on Friday to take "stronger physical actions" after Japan imposed punitive measures in response to its barrage of missile tests and pushed for broader sanctions at the United Nations.

Japan introduced a draft U.N. Security Council resolution on Friday that would clamp down on missile-related financial and technology transactions with North Korea, but it was unclear whether veto-holding members China and Russia would approve the step.

One reason China semi-supports the 5'2" NKM: "Analysts say Beijing does not want action that could risk bringing down the Pyongyang government and sending refugees swarming across their border." Ah, the open arms, acceptance and liberal immigration policies of nations other than the United States!

Just a few miles away, our good and stable friend, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, said yesterday that if Israel continued its violence against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, there would be an "explosion" in the Islamic world targeting Israel and its supporters in the West. Ahmadinejad couldn't resist throwing in a good-humored Israeli poke: "This is a fake regime -- it won't be able to survive. I think the only way (forward) is that those who created it (the West) take it away themselves." Ahmad buddy, we'll get right on that shit. NOT.

On Israel's side, though the Palestinian Hamas-led government called for a cease-fire in its violent two-week standoff with Israel, it didn't offer to release the Israeli soldier held by Hamas militants. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected the proposal by Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Olmert will not agree to a truce until Hamas releases the soldier, officials in Olmert's office said.

Stick literally to your guns, Ehud Olmert, right the wrong that Sharon created, and send your military into the Gaza. You will never, ever have peace until you do. Living adjacent your enemy will never, ever, satiate your enemy and history has proven this time and again.


Friday, July 07, 2006

The Truth, Finally Written

Hugh Hewitt spoke and wrote yesterday about an article and a speech by Australian Cardinal George Pell, of the Archdiocese of Sydney.
First, I would recommend you go here to read the speech.
Cardinal Pell has written some remarkably truthful, daring and yet pessimistic things about the religion of Islam. I will highlight those points momentarily.
My view has always been this post 9/11: "Ah Islam, the religion of peace and tolerance." I will drop a hint perhaps uncaught by no one reading by blog: this is dripping sarcasm.
My true thoughts run this way: "Ah Islam, the religion. . ."
Of the oppressed;
Of the Borg;
Of the sexists (clitorectomies, anyone?);
Of the Moonbats (OBL, Ahmadinejad, etc, etc, etc.);
Of the remarkably violent;
Of the remarkably antiquated;
Of those who would rather you be dead than not be a Muslim.
"Ah yes, Islam, the religion of peace and tolerance."
And folks, I don't just mean the "Islamists" or the "fanatics" or "Militant Islam," though those are good descriptors I commonly utilize; I mean Islam itself -- for I see no one in a position of Islamic authority, in any venue, coming into the open world and decrying loudly for all to hear:
"This is not us, this is not the true religion of Islam. We are peaceful members. We disavow ourselves from those who would hijack the good religion of Islam for their own heinous and evil purposes, spilling the blood of innocents, of civilians, of those non-Islamics who mean us no harm. We condemn, in the most powerful terms and fashion, the actions of those Islamic infidels who claim to speak for Islam but who, in truth, condemn the entire religion and those cultures supporting it, to backwater and primitive status, diminishing the status of an entire religion and its believers in the eyes of an entire planet."
Have you heard that or similar proclamations proffered at any time since 9/11?
No, you have not, for one very sharp and clear reason: those rational persons are afraid! Afraid of the consequences should they do so! Afraid of what their own people, those who believe in their own religion, will do to themselves or their families!
And I say: if this is how those who espouse peace may feel and cannot express it, and fear for themselves, then how can we in the West be tolerant of Islam if it appears that these violent tendencies and beliefs are not just the holding of fanatics, Islamists or militants but of the entire religion? Moreover, perhaps these words are not being expressed because it is the majority of Islam that believes in the Islamist/militant ways, and those who do think or express tolerance, perhaps to themselves, are in fact the minority of Muslims, are not in the mainstream, and are held in such a way that they are the non-believers?
Cardinal Pell said, in selected highlights:
September 11 was a wake-up call for me personally. I recognised that I had to know more about Islam.

In the aftermath of the attack one thing was perplexing. Many commentators and apparently the governments of the “Coalition of the Willing” were claiming that Islam was essentially peaceful, and that the terrorist attacks were an aberration. On the other hand one or two people I met, who had lived in Pakistan and suffered there, claimed to me that the Koran legitimised the killings of non-Muslims.
I suspect one example of the secular incomprehension of religion is the blithe encouragement of large scale Islamic migration into Western nations, particularly in Europe. Of course they were invited to meet the need for labour and in some cases to assuage guilt for a colonial past.
If religion rarely influences personal behaviour in a significant way then the religious identity of migrants is irrelevant. I suspect that some anti-Christians, for example, the Spanish Socialists, might have seen Muslims as a useful counterweight to Catholicism, another factor to bring religion into public disrepute. Probably too they had been very confident that Western advertising forces would be too strong for such a primitive religious viewpoint, which would melt down like much of European Christianity. This could prove to be a spectacular misjudgement.

So the current situation is very different from what the West confronted in the twentieth century Cold War, when secularists, especially those who were repentant communists, were well equipped to generate and sustain resistance to an anti-religious and totalitarian enemy. In the present challenge it is religious people who are better equipped, at least initially, to understand the situation with Islam. Radicalism, whether of religious or non-religious inspiration, has always had a way of filling emptiness. But if we are going to help the moderate forces within Islam defeat the extreme variants it has thrown up, we need to take seriously the personal consequences of religious faith. We also need to understand the secular sources of emptiness and despair and how to meet them, so that people will choose life over death. This is another place where religious people have an edge. Western secularists regularly have trouble understanding religious faith in their own societies, and are often at sea when it comes to addressing the meaninglessness that secularism spawns. An anorexic vision of democracy and the human person is no match for Islam.

It is easy for us to tell Muslims that they must look to themselves and find ways of reinterpreting their beliefs and remaking their societies. Exactly the same thing can and needs to be said to us. If democracy is a belief in procedures alone then the West is in deep trouble. The most telling sign that Western democracy suffers a crisis of confidence lies in the disastrous fall in fertility rates, a fact remarked on by more and more commentators. In 2000, Europe from Iceland to Russia west of the Ural Mountains recorded a fertility rate of only 1.37. This means that fertility is only at 65 per cent of the level needed to keep the population stable. In 17 European nations that year deaths outnumbered births. Some regions in Germany, Italy and Spain already have fertility rates below 1.0.

Faith ensures a future. As an illustration of the literal truth of this, consider Russia and Yemen. Look also at the different birth rates in the red and blue states in the last presidential election in the U.S.A. In 1950 Russia, which suffered one of the most extreme forms of forced secularisation under the Communists, had about 103 million people. Despite the devastation of wars and revolution the population was still young and growing. Yemen, a Muslim country, had only 4.3 million people. By 2000 fertility was in radical decline in Russia, but because of past momentum the population stood at 145 million. Yemen had maintained a fertility rate of 7.6 over the previous 50 years and now had 18.3 million people. Median level United Nations forecasts suggest that even with fertility rates increasing by 50 per cent in Russia over the next fifty years, its population will be about 104 million in 2050—a loss of 40 million people. It will also be an elderly population. The same forecasts suggest that even if Yemen’s fertility rate falls 50 per cent to 3.35, by 2050 it will be about the same size as Russia — 102 million — and overwhelmingly young[24].
Now, please read Cardinal Pell's complete article. And re-examine, if you will, your own thoughts and feelings about Islam vs., essentially, everyone else.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Appeasement Doesn't Work: Two Newest Cases

Case # 1:

Say what you will about Ariel Sharon, it was his decision to vacate Gaza and turn it over to the Palestinian Authority. The PA has clearly done a wonderful job with the government there, and Israel is resultingly much safer having done so.

To the point where Israel has its military lined up ready to, essentially "retake" Gaza -- and they are entering northern Gaza at this moment.

Case #2:

President William Jefferson Clinton decided it would be wise to provide North Korea with American cash in exchange for its dropping interest in a nuclear program. Yesterday, North Korea demonstrated in an equally efficient and proficient fashion its ability to saber-rattle by shooting off its own equivalent of fireworks on July 4th.

We threw money at North Korea to abandon its nuclear program and delivery systems, then, huh, find ourselves once again being "blackmailed" for cash for same.

Except this time the NKM (North Korean Midget) has become a laughingstock in the international missile community on one hand, and on the other has managed to actually raise the ire of UN members -- Japan predominantly amongst them due to its proximity to the NKM's property.

But let's go back a bit: North Korea refused to carry out its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and other nuclear accords it had signed by building nuclear reactors and a plutonium reprocessing plant at a site called Yongbyon. Nations believed North Korea had enough weapons-grade plutonium for the manufacture of at least one nuclear weapon.

Clinton tried negotiations, but North Korea's violations of its obligations under the NPT killed the talks until August of 1994. However, the US and North Korea signed an agreement on October 21, 1994, that offered North Korea a package of benefits in return for a freeze of North Korea's nuclear program.

Benefits to North Korea included: light water nuclear reactors totaling 2,000 electric megawatts by the year 2003; shipments of "heavy oil" to North Korea (50,000 tons in 1995 and 500,000 tons annually beginning in 1996 until the first light water reactor is built); U.S. agreement to establish liaison offices as an initial step toward diplomatic relations; and a relaxation of the American economic embargo against North Korea.

In December 1995, the United States and North Korea signed a supply contract for the light water reactors.

So, by way of appeasement wherein the US provided NK with lots of cash and nuclear technology, NK kept up its end of the bargain by continuing its nuclear program on the sly and then in the clear and further, on July 4th this week, by firing off its first official generation of a nuclear weapons delivery system.

Let's cut to the chase:

Appeasement by US and other regimes does not work; invariably it comes right around to haunt the offerer. And the NKM wants what he wants when he wants it but, first, he simply wants the CASH -- though he has indicated more missile tests are coming.

But wait, there's more:

Taiwan, China's non-conformist little brother, says it will "test-fire a missile capable of hitting China, alarming the island's main ally, the United States, a cable news network said on Thursday."

The Hsiung Feng III, developed by Taiwan's Chungshan Institute of Science and Technology, has a range of 600 km (360 miles) and is accurate to within half a meter, the online edition of cable news network ETTV ( said, quoting unnamed military sources.
That range would put areas along China's coast from Fuzhou in Fujian Province to Nan'ao in Guangdong within striking distance of the missile, the Web site said.

The plot thickens -- is China getting some of its own medicine when, at the same time, it and Russia refuse to condemn the NKM's recent missile tests?

How Much Will You Pay To Fly?

Four stories on the aviation front:
No damage to Discovery?
The AP reports our astronauts have yet found no damage to the shuttle Discovery. Discovery's delicate heat shield and everything else appear at first glance to be in near perfect shape, NASA officials said, although it's still very early in the analysis.
To me, this sounds a bit like NASA hedging its bet. I would want a much more thorough analysis. Engineers are nowhere near finished poring over 70 minutes of video that astronauts shot using an extended boom armed with a laser and cameras to inspect Discovery's delicate reinforced carbon wing and nosecone.
Boeing set to beat Airbus for the first time in five years:
Airbus has definitive orders for 145 to 150 aircraft so far this year. In May it had 105 orders. Boeing has three times as many with 445 (358 in May).
The Airbus monster A380, at $170 million each, has no orders; Boeing's comparable model, the 747-8, at $150 million each, has nineteen orders.

I wrote about the A380 last year; having been a regular flyer since January of this year, I am incredibly aware of boarding and deplaning times for a standard Southwest 737-300. Not only will the A380 demand entirely new terminal accommodations due to its size, but will require massive amounts of time and tolerance for those 555 persons deigning to enter and exit such a behemoth.
The price of fuel hits $75 a barrel today:
And everything will be affected: trucking, aviation, commercial and private vehicles, railroads, shipping, textiles, manufacturing. Crude oil futures soared to all-time record highs in New York as markets were roiled by news of missile launches by North Korea and tensions over Iran, dealers said.
Over the weekend gas prices at my local ARCO ran from $2.95 to $2.99. That same station today ran at $3.03. Prices are rising immediately.
As goes Britain, so goes a like "green" aviation tax in America?
You'll be paying higher ticket prices soon, because air carriers will pass their higher fuel costs on to the customer. But will you also be seeing an aviation "green tax" in your future?
The UK Timesonline reports that because of this tax, airfares are likely to double in Europe.
AIR passengers will be charged up to £40 extra for a return ticket within Europe to pay for the environmental impact of their journeys, under plans approved by the European Parliament yesterday.

MEPs voted in favour of the “immediate introduction” of a tax on jet fuel for flights within the 25 member states of the EU. The charge would double the cost of millions of budget airline flights.

They also accepted a recommendation for a special emissions trading scheme for the aviation industry, which would see airlines buying permits to cover their output of carbon dioxide.
Now that this idea is in the public domain, can anyone guess how long it will be before an American Democrat authors a like bill?