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Bloviating Zeppelin: May 2008

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.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Barack HUSSEIN Obama, Part II

Texas Fred had a very salient post this past week about BHO.

I would highly recommend you first hit his link before reading further. Texas Fred pointed out a great number of untold aspects regarding BHO but, in my estimation, the story doesn't stop there.

As I wrote in response to Robert's American & Proud repost of TF's summary:
Obama is a complete Lightweight. He, on paper, is well educated. But, as I discovered in a Leadership class I attended: “he was Taught; but what did he Learn?” I submit that Obama has been taught time and again; he’s clearly an intelligent individual and can read a speech with few peers. Extemporaneously, however, he is lacking in both his speech and his thinking. He seems to have little grasp of the true history of this nation and plays fast and loose with the truth itself when it satisfies his personal needs. He is like furniture made today — not like the furniture of old. Years ago, craftsmen made furniture out of solid hardwood, oak and the like, to be durable, lasting, strong, solid through-and-through. Obama is like today’s furniture: he is naught but veneer.

So what has truly BHO truly learned? Very little, I submit.

We all know about his past indiscretions as I documented both here and here as well.

But, further, here is what you must also know about BHO:

  • He wants to increase the minimum wage from $5.85 to $9.50;
  • He wants to index the minimum wage to inflation, with annual adjustments;
  • Make all but the smallest companies provide healthcare, or else the companies pay the government to provide it;
  • All children must be insured; families that can't afford it will receive subsidies;
  • To keep insurers from suddenly hiking their rates, government will reimburse health plans when employees suffer catastrophic illness;
  • Costs: $50 to 65 billion annually, according to Obama estimates;
  • Increase capital gains tax rate from 15% to 28%;
  • Allow a "middle class tax cut" to Americans making $75,000 a year or less;
  • Allow the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2010;
  • Raise the $102,000 payroll tax cap, so those earning above that amount would owe additional FICA taxes;
  • Create regulation especially in telecommunications, energy and finance;
  • The GOP estimates that these policies (and more) will cost $850 billion;
  • Obama's Global Poverty Act (S.2433) would commit $845 billion American tax dollars to reduce global poverty by half by the year 2015;
Oddly enough, on his own, Obama's tax returns between 2000 and 2004 show that Barack and his wife Michelle donated less than 1% of their $1.2 million income to charity. In 2005, their charitable giving jumped to 4.7%, due to his book royalties. In 2006 they donated 6.1%, including a $22,500 gift to Trinity United, the Chicago church led by Pastor Jeremiah Wright.

But wait; there's more about the Trinity United church.

If Pastor Jeremiah Wright didn't blow up your skirts in terms of the TUC, then their new pastor presents a greater conundrum. That is to say, the new pastor is even crazier than the old guy.

And the new pastor is white; well, in terms of strict melanin.

This past Sunday, the new Pastor Michael Pfleger at the Trinity United Church left Pastor Wright completely behind in terms of racism and extremism. First, check out this YouTube video:

Oddly enough, Pfleger was the recipient of a $100,000 earmark from Obama.

Then, read portions of the transcript from National Review Online:
I must now to address the one who says, 'don't hold me responsible for what my ancestors did.' But you have enjoyed the benefits of what your ancestors did! And unless you are ready to give up the benefits — Throw away your 401 fund! [sic] Throw away your trust fund! Throw away all the money that been put away in the company you walked into 'cause your daddy and your granddaddy and your great grandaddy —

(screaming at the top of his lungs)

Unless you are willing to give up the benefits, then you must be responsible for what was done in your generation! 'Cause you are the beneficiary of this insurance policy!

[garbled] expose white entitlement. And supremacy, wherever it raises its head. I said before, I really don't want ot make this political, because you know I'm really very unpolitical.

When Hillary was crying, and people said that was put on, I really don't believe it was put on. I really believe that she just always thought, 'this is mine. I'm Bill's wife. I'm white, and this is mine. I just gotta get up and step into the plate.'

Then out of nowhere, 'I'm Barack Obama!' Imitating Hillary's response, screaming at the top of his lungs again, he continues, 'Ah, damn! Where did you come from? I'm white! I'm entitled! There's a black man stealing my show!' (mocks crying)

She wasn't the only one crying, there was a whole lot of white people crying! I'm sorry. I don't want in any more trouble. The live-streaming just went out again."

I'm sorry, dear readers, I cannot write these things if I were in my most fevered dreams.

The racist Jeremiah Wright was replaced by an equally-racist but a more melanin-challenged racist White Boy named Michael Pfleger. This cannot be nothing more than a joke. Vanilla Ice was a joke. Michael Pfleger is a joke. He cannot seem to acquire sufficient air. And he cannot seem to acquire an honest Black Man accent because -- shock of shocks! -- he's not a Black Man! He's nothing more than a shallow parody of himself. And a betrayer of his race. This will brand me horribly. But it is as I espouse. Is it the roar of the crowd that I hear? The crowd of racists in a church? Obama's church?

But his congregation, as shallow and stupid and insipid as they appear, seem to be purchasing every syllable from Pfleger's gullet.

Jake Tapper said:
A fiery liberal social activist and a white reverend at an African-American church -- St. Sabina’s Catholic Church on the South Side of Chicago -- is a longtime friend and associate of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, having known him since the presidential hopeful was a community activist. In September, the Obama campaign brought Pfleger to Iowa to host one of several interfaith forums for the campaign.

Their relationship spans decades. Pfleger has given money to Obama's campaigns and Obama as a state legislator directed at least $225,000 towards social programs at St. Sabina's, according to the Chicago Tribune.

A Las Vegas judge has issued a felony arrest warrant for a politically connected Chicago businessman whose ties to Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama have become an issue in the campaign.

Antoin “Tony” Rezko, who is standing trial on federal corruption charges in Chicago, is wanted in Las Vegas for failing to pay $472,275 in gambling debts to Caesars Palace and Bally’s and related processing fees to the Clark County district attorney’s office.

The total unpaid Strip bill comes to more than $800,000, however, because the Bellagio obtained a judgment of default against Rezko a year ago for not repaying $331,000 in gambling markers.

A federal jury has been deliberating Rezko’s fate the past two weeks following two months of testimony in a corruption trial linked to the administration of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

And yes.

These are facts COMPLETELY and PURPOSELY IGNORED by the MainStream media.

Imagine that.


Friday, May 30, 2008

Gentlemen: Sydney Pollack and Harvey Korman

Hollywood has lost two more of the "last of a breed" -- that is to say, the last of the true gentlemen.

Director, actor and producer Sydney Pollack passed away last Monday, May 26th, at the age of 73 due to cancer. His films included Tootsie, Out of Africa, The Way We Were, Michael Clayton, The Firm, Absence of Malice and two of my favorites, Three Days of the Condor and Jeremiah Johnson. Go here to see his entire filmography.

To me, Pollack simply exuded class. I knew that when Mr. Pollack directed, acted in or produced a film, it would be a mature film made for adults. So few movies are created for real adults who can comprehend an actual script with true plotting.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Comedic actor Harvey Korman also passed away this Thursday, May 30th, at age 81, after suffering complications from the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm four months ago. He had undergone several major operations, and passed away at the UCLA Med Center.

Harvey Korman, in concert with Tim Conway, were an unbeatable duo. Korman was a favorite actor of director Mel Brooks and began the major portion of his career with the Carole Burnett Show.

Mel Brooks said of Korman's passing:
A world without Harvey Korman — it's a more serious world," Brooks told the AP on Thursday. "It was very dangerous for me to work with him because if our eyes met we'd crash to the floor in comic ecstasy. It was comedy heaven to make Harvey Korman laugh."

And it's a sadder, sadder world this week.

If you have memories, please leave them in comments.


Nothing But Rock



Thursday, May 29, 2008

An Engineer's Guide To Cats

More howling, guar-an-teed!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I've been away from politics for the past few days and feel better for it. In the meantime the wife and I visited Pacific Grove, Monterey, Sand City, and had our fill of seafood in some great restaurants. We did quite a number of things at the last second and two of them included taking in the new Indiana Jones movie, and going on a whale watching tour.

First, we stayed at a quaint little cottage in Pacific Grove, and I brought the portable DVD player from home. We watched some teleseries and the entire Tom Selleck-as-Jesse Stone film series -- instead of insipid broadcast TV, when we were in the room at night. Weather-wise, the days were primarily overcast with one specific exception: Monday.

We spent that day rambling about Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf and the muni pier then, at the last moment, decided we'd take the final whale-watching cruise offered by a charter at the end of the wharf, Monterey Whale Watching -- their 5:30 cruise.

We watched whales sounding from some distance away and then had three of them magically appear directly adjacent the boat. Try as I might, I mostly couldn't catch the whales conducting their most dynamic actions at the proper point in time. These few photos were my best take.

In all, it was a relaxing time and, oddly enough, traffic was half of what I expected.

There was one low point, however: the Monterey Bay Aquarium itself, on Sunday. Packed. Crammed. Asshole-to-elbow. And every illegal immigrant brought their Screaming Child. Hell, I have to be honest: every ethnicity brought their bevy of squalling children. Ahhh. My very own Private Hell. One visit mostly ruined by rude parents coddling ungoverned spawn.

But with that slight exception, the trip was quiet, calm, centered, relaxing.

How was your Memorial Day?


Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day

In an highly unusual status for me, I will actually be "on the move" for this Memorial Day.

Customarily I purposely stay off the highways during Memorial Day as it's such a royal PITA. I'll usually stay at the cabin, BBQ some ribeyes or country ribs, drink beer, sit under the umbrella on my deck. At night I'll watch the stars with clarity remarkable.

This year, however, my wife still holds probationary status on her state job and can only take time during state holidays. She has the time; she just can't use it yet.

For this reason we're taking the time offered (because Life is, after all, Too Short) and heading from the Sacramento Valley (where her home is located) to the Monterey Bay (for you golfers: Pebble Beach).

Yes, yes, I know, traffic will both suck and blow, particularly in Fornicalia despite the gas prices. I honestly don't expect prices to much impact traffic. Fornicalia was built on mobility -- after all, like the Missing Persons song indicates: "Nobody Walks in L.A." Or anywhere else in Fornicalia. Enroute, we'll also take in the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose.

So, as one might expect, my abilty to blog for a few days will be impacted because blogging politics is about the last thing I'll be considering. I've got a surprise set up for my sweet baby, and it don't involve the internet (wink-wink, nudge-nudge).

And when not in our specially-chosen bungalow, I believe we'll be attending the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row and Fisherman's Wharf amongst other things -- like the tidal pools in Pacific Grove.

This trip will also involve dueling GPS units: my Garmin Nuvi 250 vs. her more expensive Tom Tom Go 730.

We both love the ocean. And my baby is way overdue a vacation.

See you in a few days. Come back on Wednesday -- I may have stories to tell, and photos to post.

Be safe, drive safe on this Memorial Day. And never forget to tell the ones you love how you feel about them. Never pass up the opportunity for love, life, lust.


Friday, May 23, 2008

My First Video Post:

. . . because I absolutely howled out loud when I saw this!


And also because I only now figured out how to post a video. Hope you can view it. Please let me know if it played for you or not.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Arrogant Oil-Short Babies

Congress took oil companies to task on Wednesday. But it really won't do much; it's all for show. It's all a "show trial" for the public -- and the public may buy it. But I don't believe it's the domestic oil companies primarily at fault. It's the Washington politicians on both sides of the aisle.

Consider this: what is "big oil"? Where is it? What does it actually produce? The domestic oil companies taken to task proffer, what, 2 to 3% of the oil in the world? And the oil companies have excellent answers to the questions asked, and the answers are: because America has refused to let us do much of anything the past 30 years. Because environmentalists have had their way, because Congress and various states have disallowed. Because the oil business can be a challenging business. And because Americans are so arrogant, so naive, so ignorant, so adolescent, they don't wish to sully their hands.

Here's what we've gotten from the Left, the Enviros and the Demorats: elitism, plain and simple.

It's the "America doesn't mind the brown or black-skinned people digging for oil; America doesn't mind other nations doing the dirty work; America doesn't care if other nations allegedly despoil their country or environment seeking black gold -- because, after all, we're the American Left, we're better than that, we won't get our hands dirty" mindset.

Build new refineries in the US? No. Build more storage in the US? No. Build more power generation stations in the US? No. Drill on continental US soil? No. Drill in ANWR? No. Drill in Colorado, off our coasts? No and no. Because we might spill a drip of oil in search of Utopia. In an oil-based world.

Let's let the other "lesser" countries do that say the Left, as they jet to their elite little northeast parties, their Washington and Hollywood cocktail parties replete with stretch limos, Benzes, Maybachs, Rollers, Bimmers, Lincolns, Lambos.

So should it surprise that we are paying the heavy price now?

Moreover: nuclear power? No. Don't even consider it. Just plain no. Works for Europe -- you know, that beloved consortium of countries across the Atlantic, those folks the Left so admire? But still, no, can't have it here. No.

Arrogance and adolescence. Naivety. Stupidity.

We are going to have to "crash" as a nation before we wake up, this I firmly believe -- on any number of levels, and not just with oil. Before this summer is out I predicted and still believe: $5.00 per gallon. And clearly, that won't be the end.


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Barack Hussein Obama


News now: if elected, Obama may make Hillary Clinton a SCOTUS appointee.


'Nuff said.


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Personal Responsibility


More and more, this nation is becoming the Ultimate Nanny State. And, as with any good, growing UNS the lawsuits and laws limiting personal freedoms are burgeoning.

But, on the other hand, make no mistake: it is only because the Public is demanding it be so. The Public is absolutely unwilling to accept any form of personal responsibility for themselves, their children, their family and, on the other hand, more than willing -- in fact, desperate -- to place the blame and any possible responsibility squarely on the shoulders of those with the deepest fiscal pockets.

Two cases come to mind, one my area, one from New Jersey.

I work in Sacramento, the capital of Fornicalia. This city finds itself adjacent the confluence of two large rivers: the Sacramento and the American. The American River is fed from the bitterly cold snowpacks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and, at this precise point, the past few days have seen Sacramento temperatures in the high-90s and the low 100s, meaning two things: 1) the runoff from the Sierra snowpack is now kicked into High Gear and 2) due to the first heat of the season, the river(s) are where people go to cool off.

And now, during the first heat of the season, there were two deaths from drowning:

In one case, a 20-year-old man was pulled out of the American River on Saturday evening.He died just before 7 p.m., the Sacramento County Coroner's Office confirmed Sunday. Teha Pen of Sacramento had disappeared under the water's surface near the Howe Avenue boat ramp.

Pen's drowning followed the death Friday of an 11-year-old girl. Monserrat Alegere of Richmond had been swimming with family members at Tiscornia Beach when she vanished under the water. Rescuers found the girl about 30 minutes later. Authorities said she was not wearing a life jacket.

Firefighters and paramedics were called to the same location shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday. A 4-year-old boy had been pulled out of the river (CPR revived that young boy).

That a 4-year-old and an 11-year-old were sucked into the river with one resulting death is unconscionable. Therefore, after these two recent deaths, there are screams for more laws. No drinking anywhere near the river. Mandate everyone in the river have life vests -- no more "free swimming". Some are advocating the complete closure of the rivers for swimming.

Let's not hold the parents of the two affected children criminally or, at the very minimum, civilly responsible. Oh no; let's instead tread upon the rights of everyone else. Let's remove the rivers entirely as a recreational venue. After all, it's "for the children."

The family of a now-14-year-old boy are suing because their son, 12 at the time of the accident, was pitching in a little league game when a line drive hit him in the chest and sent him into cardiac arrest. He stopped breathing for about 20 minutes, which resulted in a coma and a permanent brain injury due to oxygen starvation.


The Domalewski family is suing Hillerich & Bardsby, the parent company of Louisville Slugger, which manufacturers the kind of bat used in the accident. Also named are the local Sports Authority, where the bats are sold, and the New Jersey State Little League, which uses the bats. The family claims that all three were aware of the inherent dangers of the aluminum bats, according to the complaint obtained by

Yes, you read that correctly: the family is suing the bat manufacturer, the business selling the bat and the little league involved.

At issue is the metal bat used in the incident. Metal baseball bats may cost more on initial purchase but last longer than wooden bats. Some say metal bats "perform" more than wooden bats, meaning that balls smacked with metal bats go farther, faster, than with wooden bats. Some little leagues use metal bats because they can take a beating and last longer.

Now some people are considering not just limiting their use, but a total ban.

As far as I am concerned, these incidents illustrate the continuing Pussification of America, enabling the UNS. I listened to a local radio talk show yesterday; 100% of the female callers advocated mandatory life vests for all persons in the river or the complete shutdown of the rivers themselves. The men said things similar to "bad things happen."

Yes, I am sorry that children and adults are dead. But Life is tough. And place me into the list of those who say "removing freedoms in order to eliminate a small percentile of injuries or deaths is untenable and destructive."

I am certain there are those of you at this point who are calling me insensitive: "what if those were your children, BZ?" you might be asking. My response would be: "first, I wouldn't be suing -- and if those were my children who drowned, I should be criminally prosecuted for negligence."

We are on a path that assures only one thing: generations of persons who expect to occupy a risk-free world, who have expectations that will never be met, unchallenged, leading to nothing but a life of disappointment and fear. Which then leads to a nation of cowering, uncompetitive toadies expecting to be coddled, cuddled, guided and thoughtless.

Oh wait, that's right; we call those persons Demorats.


Monday, May 19, 2008

Obama's Speech In Portland, Sunday

During his speech wherein it was thought that 70,000 persons appeared, Barack Hussein Obama said in part:

We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times . . .and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK. . ."

So I should modify my eating pattern, driving pattern and my comfort zone because of the opinions of those in countries not my own?

I'm sorry, I have only two words for not only Barack Obama but "those other countries":

Fuck you.


By the way, Barack's retinue left the venue in a caravan of three SUVs.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Energy Quote

President Bush said on Saturday:

Our problem in America gets solved when we aggressively go for domestic exploration. Our problem in America gets solved if we expand our refining capacity, promote nuclear energy and continue our strategy for the advancing of alternative energies as well as conservation," he said.

"One interesting thing about American politics these days is those who are screaming the loudest for increased production from Saudi Arabia are the very same people who are fighting the fiercest against domestic exploration, against the development of nuclear power and against expanding refining capacity."

All very true. But where was this language seven years ago, President Bush?


Friday, May 16, 2008

President Bush Is Correct

Some may accuse me of parsing, but I believe our President Bush hit a very live, very open national nerve on Thursday when he said, in Israel, addressing members of the Israeli Knesset (excerpts):

We gather to mark a momentous occasion. Sixty years ago in Tel Aviv, David Ben-Gurion proclaimed Israel's independence, founded on the "natural right of the Jewish people to be masters of their own fate." What followed was more than the establishment of a new country. It was the redemption of an ancient promise given to Abraham and Moses and David -- a homeland for the chosen people Eretz Yisrael.

Eleven minutes later, on the orders of President Harry Truman, the United States was proud to be the first nation to recognize Israel's independence. And on this landmark anniversary, America is proud to be Israel's closest ally and best friend in the world.

The alliance between our governments is unbreakable, yet the source of our friendship runs deeper than any treaty. It is grounded in the shared spirit of our people, the bonds of the Book, the ties of the soul. When William Bradford stepped off the Mayflower in 1620, he quoted the words of Jeremiah: "Come let us declare in Zion the word of God." The founders of my country saw a new promised land and bestowed upon their towns names like Bethlehem and New Canaan. And in time, many Americans became passionate advocates for a Jewish state.

These are quotes that the the Mainstream Media, the Defeatist Elitist Media (DEM, as I call them) refuse to let you read:

My country's admiration for Israel does not end there. When Americans look at Israel, we see a pioneer spirit that worked an agricultural miracle and now leads a high-tech revolution. We see world-class universities and a global leader in business and innovation and the arts. We see a resource more valuable than oil or gold: the talent and determination of a free people who refuse to let any obstacle stand in the way of their destiny.

Why is it, I posit, that Islam cannot build, cannot proffer positivism, cannot seem to do nought but destroy? To tear down? To whine? To cry? I submit a response in two parts:

  1. Because destruction is easy and requires no thought but emotion
  2. Because Islam is a backwards, barbaric, ignorant religion perpetrated by masses who know no better
  3. Its adherents are gullible, stressed, uneducated; its current puppet-masters are quite the opposite

To continue with Pres. Bush's speech:

We believe in the matchless value of every man, woman, and child. So we insist that the people of Israel have the right to a decent, normal, and peaceful life, just like the citizens of every other nation.

We believe that democracy is the only way to ensure human rights. So we
consider it a source of shame that the United Nations routinely passes more human rights resolutions against the freest democracy in the Middle East than any other nation in the world.

Did you read this in the DEM? Continuing:

The fight against terror and extremism is the defining challenge of our time. It is more than a clash of arms. It is a clash of visions, a great ideological struggle. On the one side are those who defend the ideals of justice and dignity with the power of reason and truth. On the other side are those who pursue a narrow vision of cruelty and control by committing murder, inciting fear, and spreading lies.

This struggle is waged with the technology of the 21st century, but at its core it is an ancient battle between good and evil. The killers claim the mantle of Islam, but they are not religious men. No one who prays to the God of Abraham could strap a suicide vest to an innocent child, or blow up guiltless guests at a Passover Seder, or fly planes into office buildings filled with unsuspecting workers. In truth, the men who carry out these savage acts serve no higher goal than their own desire for power. They accept no God before themselves. And they reserve a special hatred for the most ardent defenders of liberty, including Americans and Israelis.

And that is why the founding charter of Hamas calls for the "elimination" of Israel. And that is why the followers of Hezbollah chant "Death to Israel, Death to America!" That is why Osama bin Laden teaches that "the killing of Jews and Americans is one of the biggest duties." And that is why the President of Iran dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle Ages and calls for Israel to be wiped off the map.

Continue reading what you won't read anywhere else:

There are good and decent people who cannot fathom the darkness in these men and try to explain away their words. It's natural, but it is deadly wrong. As witnesses to evil in the past, we carry a solemn responsibility to take these words seriously. Jews and Americans have seen the consequences of disregarding the words of leaders who espouse hatred. And that is a mistake the world must not repeat in the 21st century.

But the words most oft-quoted from the speech:

Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

Some people suggest if the United States would just break ties with Israel, all our problems in the Middle East would go away. This is a tired argument that buys into the propaganda of the enemies of peace, and America utterly rejects it. Israel's population may be just over 7 million. But when you confront terror and evil, you are 307 million strong, because the United States of America stands with you.

These are the words objected-to by Demorats. Mind me, my readers, mark these in your files, mental and physical. Remind yourselves of the greater, overarching issues we face. But then, from the speech:

Sixty years ago, on the eve of Israel's independence, the last British soldiers departing Jerusalem stopped at a building in the Jewish quarter of the Old City. An officer knocked on the door and met a senior rabbi. The officer presented him with a short iron bar -- the key to the Zion Gate -- and said it was the first time in 18 centuries that a key to the gates of Jerusalem had belonged to a Jew. His hands trembling, the rabbi offered a prayer of thanksgiving to God, "Who had granted us life and permitted us to reach this day." Then he turned to the officer, and uttered the words Jews had awaited for so long: "I accept this key in the name of my people."

The Demorat party couldn't contain themselves in response. My first immediate thought, from Shakespeare: "methinks thou doth protest too much."

And I would ask: what is it, quite, to which you so objectively protest? Do those words -- say, perchance -- truly define you? And to Obama: you'd best learn the true number of American states though, at 57, you somehow forgot Hawaii and Alaska -- which, I guess, aren't states?

When President Bush is wrong, he is wrong. When President Bush is correct, I proffer credit.


Can't believe I only got 3 comments on my last post. Folks: coming SOON to a theatre near YOU.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

California Supreme Court Overturns Gay Marriage Ban

Once again, the California Supreme Court shows residents that it couldn't care less what 36-million Californians think (as Fornicalia approved Proposition 22 in the year 2000, on a 4,579,386 / 61.2% Yes votes ...... 2,897,689 / 38.8% No votes), by granting same sex marriage.

California's supreme court ruled that a ban on gay marriage was unlawful Thursday, effectively leaving same-sex couples in America's most populous state free to tie the knot in a landmark ruling.

In an opinion that analysts say could have nationwide implications for the issue, the seven-member panel voted 4-3 in favor of plaintiffs who argued that restricting marriage to men and women was discriminatory.

With its 121-page majority opinion, the California Supreme Court opens a box best left closed: what are, then, the limits to marriage? One man, two women? Three women? Twenty women? One woman and a power tool? One man and one boy aged 13? One man and one goat? Five women and a Labrador Retriever? What about a California law aimed at churches, making it illegal to refuse to marry a same-sex or an "out of definition" series of persons or objects in what California now considers to be a lawful marriage?

As I have said and written, time after time, real power exists in the judgeships, SCOTUS appointments and education. We hand education and appointments to the Left, and we lose power entirely in this nation because the Left will continuously work OUTSIDE the electorate in order to promote and fulfill their Leftist/Socialist agendas -- those agendas that will not, generally, be approved by the electorate at large. But something tells me this will, in fact, be going to SCOTUS.

Further, Gov. Schwarzenegger has just now come out with a statement he will not be supporting an proposal to amend the California consitution indicating marriage is, in fact, a union between one man and one woman.

Today the California Supreme Court handed down a ruling which legalized same sex marriage in California. The California Defense of Marriage Act, also known as Proposition 22, was found to be unconstitutional by the high court. Passed by the voters in March of 2000 by a wide margin (61.2%) the law was codified as Section 308.5 of the Family Code and stated: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California."

Chief Justice George wrote the opinion for the court and was joined by Justices Kennard, Werdegar and Moreno. Justice Baxter wrote a concurring and dissenting opinion joined by Justice Chin. Justice Corrigan also wrote a concurring and dissenting opinion. Six of the seven justices on the court were appointed by Republican governors.

This is not the last word on this issue. In November the California voters will be presented with an opportunity to amend the California Constitution via the Marriage Protection Act. Should the Act pass, it will not be subject to review by the California Supreme Court.

Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute, stated, "This is a classic case of judicial activism at its worst. This decision will now make the passage of the Marriage Protection Act critical for the survival of the will of the people of California."

There is now no legal definition of marriage in the State of California.


P.S: California residents, go to:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Once Again: Oil

From a recent Yahoo News/Politico interview, (amongst other Iraqi issues) President Bush also said:

— The president said global warming has “been more clearly defined as a problem” during his eight years in office, and when asked if it is real, Bush said: “Yes, it is real; sure is.”

“I could have supported a lousy [Kyoto] treaty and everybody would have went, ‘Oh, man, what a wonderful-sounding fellow he is,’” Bush said. “But it just wouldn't have worked.

“I don't think you want your president trying to be the cool guy and not end up with policies that actually make a difference. So the policies I've outlined are policies that will actually make a difference: nuclear power for generating electricity, battery driven cars, ethanol.”

— Asked a question that was submitted online about skyrocketing gas prices, Bush said the problem doesn’t have “a quick answer.”

“It took us a while to get to where we are — very dependent on oil,” he said. “So my answer ... is that the best thing we can do is to increase supply and to drill for oil and gas in environmentally friendly ways at home and build more refineries.”

Let's examine this a little further.

As of Tuesday, 05-13, oil rose to $127 a barrel, and refined gas to $3.73.

But is it pipeline attacks in Nigeria? Mischief in Iran? Nasty hedge funds? The plunging overall value of the dollar?

Perhaps more importantly, what's the actual, realistic impact? I've re-thought this over the past few weeks and, frankly, I don't see much of one. Yes, of course, Prius sales are up. I happened to rent one not long ago when my 2007 Toyota RAV-4 was in the shop and -- gulp -- I actually liked it.

But in truth global demand hasn't significantly wavered, staying pretty much at 86 million barrels per day.

In the United States, politicians are still blocking development of our oil reserves off coastal waters, ANWR in Alaska, and the absolutely massive oil shale deposits available in Colorado.

I'll readily admit that, personally, I won't necessarily be much affected fiscally until gas gets to, say, $10 a gallon. I'm finally, at the late stage of my career, where my overhead is minimal, I pay less for my house than many pay for a studio apartment, I have one credit card, carry no credit over from one month to the next and don't purchase anything unless I can pay it off within one month. My credit card company hates me. But my credit score is 830. So I am very much the American exception and not the rule.

Despite this, the DOE hypothesized that fuel demand dropped by 200,000 barrels per day -- calculated to be less than 1% of the 20.7 million barrels per day total. The median age for US cars on the road is 9.2 years, up from 6.5 years in 1990. The national mpg of 22.4 is only 1 mpg better than 10 years ago. Why? Congressional demands for greater safety. Consumer demands for quieter cars with more options = heavier cars.

And our miles-per-year don't seem to be diminishing yet. In fact, with hybrid and purposely-purchased high mpg cars, it is theorized that these folks are spending just as much money on gas because the perceived efficiency allows them to rationalize driving, in truth, more miles.

Let's say gas is $3.50 a gallon. The US DOT estimates that, against taxes, registration, license, insurance, finance and depreciation (about $5,600 a year total), the yearly cost to drive 15,000 miles makes up just 29% of driving costs.

This also begs another question: why aren't oil companies going out-of -their-minds to drill?

Because oil executives have long memories and protect their profits. Oilfield capital costs have doubled since 2005. Shortages of people, machinery and steel have doubled the costs of some oil sands projects in Canada -- just ask AB Freedom about Alberta tar sands.

No big oil company is willing to bet that oil stays where it is. For example, British Petroleum (BP) still uses $60 per barrel oil as a reference for evaluating new projects.

And what about oil in the United States?

We're going to import more than $400 billion in crude and refined gas in 2008, up from $300 billion in 2007. And yet, some of the easiest and cheapest untapped fields are right under our US feet. A small oil company recently found a good amount in Colorado but couldn't get a pipeline. Because rates pipeline companies in the US can charge to move crude are capped by the FERC. So if a cap exists, why build pipelines? What's the point? Where's the incentive?

Royal Dutch Shell thinks that our waters of the outer continental shelf have 100 billion+ barrels of recoverable oil. Except: 85% of the US coastline is "off limits" by Congressional decree.

Shell thinks that 1.5 trillion barrels exist in oil shale within Utah, Colorado and Wyoming. Yet, last December, Congress passed a measure prohibiting spending to establish programs to lease oil shale on fed lands.

And those are just a few of the issues involved within the US.

What about diesels? Europe has created an entire generation of diesel automobiles, where fuel is $8 a gallon, and where 50% of passenger cars possess a diesel engine (as opposed to 3% in America). But wait; there's more. Yes, your mileage is better with a diesel engine. But what are American truckers paying now? Up to $4.50 a gallon for various localized "boutique" diesel blends -- up to a third more than regular unleaded? You see much savings? The average US consumer does not. And consider: diesel cars and trucks will cost $2,000 to $5,000 more per unit than gasoline versions -- and there may be additional costs to maintain the pollution equipment due to particulate matter.

Another clue about US diesels? The trucking trade Western Truck Paper is featuring 2006 Volvo tractors, for example, for roughly half the price of new units. Meaning: trucks ain't selling.

Ethanol? Ethanol is a scam and a ripoff, as I wrote some time ago. Already, much of the gas we commonly purchase can be, seasonally, 10% ethanol. I already predicted $100 oil in 2006.

Wonder why the global food shortages? A good deal of that comes from US farmers pushing other crops aside in order to grow corn/grain for ethanol. Except that: making ethanol burns up more carbon than it saves. It depletes groundwater, erodes soil and raises the cost of food for poor countries.

Except that Greenies, Leftists and Socialists would rather "feel good" than realize that their advocated policies are directly responsible for thousands of deaths and global violent strife over food stores deliberately minimized by their work.

Seen the video where the small-time inventor turns water into propulsion? If I knew how to post videos here, I'd place this video into a post. But even then, don't you think that, given exposure and time, Al Gore would accuse the US of reducing fresh water and oceanic sources?

In the meantime, how about some helpful internet sources:


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

So: Who's Responsible?

We are. The voters. The American electorate. You and me.

And we have abandoned our collective responsibility due to avarice, greed, laziness.

I began formulating the question this past weekend. Who really is responsible for the current plight of America? I don't mean strictly at this specific point in time; I'm thinking of, say, the past twenty, thirty years or so. Then I began to mentally step back even farther.

And here's what I concluded:

This country will be in much better shape when my generation completely dies off: the Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, are responsible for more navel-gazing, more irresponsibility, more self-centeredness, more arrogance, more entitlement-demandation than any generation before or since. William Jefferson Clinton, Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Hussein Obama are all Baby Boomers.

Now, most Americans most definitely want their cake and consumption. Before BBs, kids used to work through college if they could. Now, they demand college, default on loans and boast of it. Free college for illegal invaders, some now demand. And, oddly enough, those who worked their way through college discovered how the world really works much sooner than our coddled and pampered and protected kids of today.

But that's okay because today's kids always have a "fallback" -- their parents. They know full well that their guilt-ridden parents -- those who rushed their kids to soccer, to band practice, to T-ball -- will take them back into the fold. It's a great job if you can get it.

This nation used to believe that parents were responsible for their children. Fathers worked and mothers cared for the kids, as horrifyingly sexist as that sounds. "Bad kids" were ostracized from local groups. It "paid" to be good because most all the neighborhood adults watched over the actions of the juveniles. One phone call from some parent about your negligent actions resulted in serious consequences.

Then the media jumped in. Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan jumped in. Being a mother was ridiculed, demeaned and caricturized. But equal rights didn't mean just equal rights -- it meant superiority over the traditional male and his role as leader. Except, of course, when equal rights didn't quite mean equal rights. US women didn't fight wars, didn't want to, weren't drafted, never have been. Women morphed into men and men became Metrosexuals and pussies. Lazy, New Age female teachers pushed Ritalin on boys in class because boys couldn't or wouldn't sit calmly like little girls. Women now are bemoaning the fact that their life expectancy in the modern world is beginning to decline -- directly due to stress, work, responsibility. Time to hold up your end of the log, womyn. GTFOI.

Divorce rates soared. Now, single-motherhood is a woman's right -- and to hell with the child. It isn't about the child, it's about the mother. Same for abortion. Except -- who's getting aborted? Why yes, statistically blacks would comprise the largest numbers. But, hey, that's freedom, eh wot?

Speaking of blacks for a moment, we can all thank Lyndon Johnson and his Great Society. You know -- the one that ripped black families asunder and PAID black women to rid themselves of black men and, essentially, create generations of black, fatherless underclasses due to welfare?

"If you wish to judge a tree -- look at its fruit."

This nation decided -- made a conscious decision -- to abandon love, duty, honor and self-sacrifice in order to glorify the government, the provider, the entitlements. And people became not only enamored of but completely dependent upon the "safety nets" provided by the G.

Why? Because people wanted the safety nets. They were easy. They required little thought and, moreover, even less work.

And all run with the precision and efficiency of your local DMV.

What happened to the Land of the Free, the Home of the Brave?

Why are those who espouse individualism, freedom, liberty and self-sufficiency branded as radicals?

So now, this moment: where is the weak link?

I submit that it is the bulk of America:
  • The America that votes for every bond measure on the ballot.
  • The America, in tort cases, that thinks: "you know, if that were me at the plaintiff's table I'd want the money."
  • The America that thinks taxation is the key to every success.
  • The America that is sufficiently stupid not to realize: no money comes from Washington. Money only comes from the Mark I, Model I American Taxpayer.
  • The America that shrieks for safety, for comfort, for security, for mental pablum.
  • The America that disdains challenge, strife, conflict, contretemps, competition.
Someone once wrote: "We can go on singing patriotically, deluded that we're somehow still a Superpower because of technology. But weak people and powerful technology don't make a wholesome couple. We may not know that. But the world's terrorists do."


Monday, May 12, 2008

Top Gear

Expecting politics, were you?

Sorry, not today. Simply politicked out.

Instead I'd like to observe and comment on a show hosted on BBC America (BBC = British Broadcasting Corporation, otherwise known as "Auntie Beebe"), entitled Top Gear -- a show about all makes and models of cars -- a subject near and dear to my heart, as I currently subscribe to Car & Driver, Motor Trend and Road & Track -- as well as a few other professional periodicals.

I admittedly do not know much of the history of Top Gear. But I do know that the show now consists of three hosts led by the towering Jeremy Clarkson, the long-haired James "Capt. Slow" May, and the Dudley Moore-ish Richard ("Hamster") Hammond .

This one-hour show just tickles me throughout. Though, with great admiration and truthfulness, I admit I am a sucker for dry, deadpan British Humour. Monty Python is the pinnacle of chuckles for me - absent any good original Laurel & Hardy or Three Stooges episodes. Call me wacky.

But now don't call me late for Top Gear.

This is an excellently-produced (and apparently well-funded) UK series that features -- at least for us U.S. viewers -- vehicles in obscurum that we will never see or drive but that tantalize and draw us into the show itself. Cars manufactured by Jaguar, Aston-Martin, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Porsche and the like.

This is a show that I enjoy simply for its "foreign-ness". Cars featured are predominantly ones I can't buy due to the U.S. EPA or because they cannot be imported, driven pretty much by "common guys" (with accents) who make mistakes and hold to commonly-dry UK miens.

And I am considerably hooked to this show.

Certainly, the three hosts make the best of the cars they are proffered to drive. Not professionals, they however leave room for the Star In A Reasonably-Priced Car as well as their on-show APD (Anonymous Professional Driver) in his white racing suit and helmet, simply known as The Stig.

On my DirecTV, BBC America's Top Gear is on channel 264.

Top Gear is, quite frankly, great fun.

I am now a consistent Top Gear addict -- and not necessarily just for the cars, but for the production values inherent in the various segments featured. This isn't a cheap show -- but it is a tremendously-entertaining show.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Caption This Photo


Friday, May 09, 2008


I was wondering what form it would take -- where would it start, how would it start, with whom would it start? And I am proud to say that it has started in my area, in the veritable Heart of Darkness, Sacratomato, the capital of Fornicalia.

1. Where Did My Party Go?

What have the bulk of us been bemoaning the past four years? Haven't we been collectively saying: where has the GOP gone? What has become of actual Conservatives? Why is the GOP dancing predominantly to tunes scored by Republicans In Name Only (RINO) such as Fornicalia Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger? Why is the GOP adrift? And, perhaps most importantly of all, why are the lines between the Demorats and the Republicans blurred more than ever? Why is it now an accepted axiom that JFK, a Democrat in the early 60's, would be "too Right" for the Republicans of today?

Where have all the Conservatives gone?

I submit: actually, nowhere.

I submit: the RINO money and power whores have overshadowed true Conservatives in the GOP and managed to use said money and power to line their own pockets and continue their own power bases in the House and Senate. When the GOP actually controlled the House and Senate, as well as the White House -- what did they do? Essentially nothing. They caved. They appeased. They had access to a national media which they failed to use. They refused to coalesce. They proffered the Gang of 14. They failed, abjectly, to take the Conservative message to the electorate -- those who placed them there by way of the hallowed vote -- and instead allowed the opposing camp, the Demorats, to continuously define the nature and mission of not only the GOP but true Conservatives as well. And it was all a lie.

Lies not refuted, continuously and stridently, by the GOP allegedly "in power."

No. Oh no. The GOP was instead preoccupied with combing its hair, checking their members' stocks online, balancing their checkbooks or perhaps cleaning their fishtanks. Anything but tending to true Conservative values.

The GOP possessed power, were reticent in wielding it, squabbled internally, succumbed to greed and avarice, with the results being that they lost said power and now find themselves wondering: "Gosh, what happened to our donations? Why is our funding down?" A horse walks into a bar. The bartender says: "Hey, why the long face?"


2. How Do We Make It Right?

I would suggest you check out Support The

This is not only a website, but a movement. From the website:

For Immediate Release
Contact:Craig DeLuz,(916) 468-0594
Real Republicans Take to the Airwaves in Battle for the Heart of the Party
Support the Platform Launches Radio ad
Campaign to Take Back the Republican Party

(Sacramento) - “…like you, I’m tired of ‘so-called’ Republicans claiming to support the Republican principles of smaller government, lower taxes and family values just in order to get my vote.” This is how local conservative radio personality, Eric Hogue begins the new radio advertisement for Support the Platform (STP), a local conservative grassroots group fighting to elect candidates who actually support Republican values. (Click Here to Listen) (read more… )

The purpose of this website is to promote those Republicans who actually adhere to Conservative values and, additionally, to ensure that the Conservative message gets out to those who need to know and to the public at large.

The purpose is to hold those persons who claim the GOP accountable to the original and core values of Conservatism and not to the current RINO landscape.

It was started in Sacramento, California.

Can you not create a website, create a demand, touch base with Conservatives -- in your area as well -- based upon True Conservative Values?

And, moreover, try to hold those persons ACCOUNTABLE?

Support The Platform - About Us
Support The Platform (STP) is working diligently to help repair a Republican Party that has been fractured by people and political interests who insist the Republican Party adopt Left-Wing Liberal positions in order to “grow” our Party. STP intends to mount and maintain a continuous barrage of political challenges to Left-Wing Liberals, while persuading listeners to agree to advance policies important to Conservative Republicans. STP believes that the implementation of Conservative Policies and Principles is the best solution for “All Americans to achieve the American Dream!”

We believe in the sanctity of human life and support the reversal of Roe v. Wade
We believe in the traditional model of monogamous heterosexual marriage
We believe in the right to keep and bear arms
We support legal immigration and oppose illegal immigration
We oppose special privileges, rights, or accommodations based on sexual or behavioral preferences
We support strict limits on eminent domain
We support school choice programs, charter schools, vouchers, educational savings accounts and the rights of parents to home-school their children without interference from government
We support a merit-based pay system for teachers and elimination of union control of our education system
We support streamlining the environmental regulatory system to protect the environment, encourage business profitability, create jobs, and protect property rights

Does this sound appealing to you?

Perhaps time to make a similar growth product in your community?


Thursday, May 08, 2008

More Racist Mexicans, & Votes For Sale

Hillary, Barack, want my vote? Just $20 million, please
May 7, 3:45 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) - What will it take for a Democratic presidential candidate to win the support of California superdelegate Steven Ybarra?

Say, $20 million.

The Democratic National Committee member doesn't parse his words when it comes to what he wants from Barack Obama or Hillary Rodham Clinton - an ironclad promise to spend that heady amount to register Mexican-American voters and get them to the polls in November.

In a telephone interview Wednesday, he said he plans to remain undecided in the tight contest until "someone shows me the money."

When will he settle on a candidate?

"Nobody showed me any money yet," he said.

Is this a Demorat "superdelegate" who is inclusive, who wants to bring America together? Who wants to include all races, all persons? Just as the Demorats espouse?

No. This is a racist Mexican who's pimping his vote for bucks, for La Raza, for The Race.

What might you think would happen if Ybarra were a despicable White Man instead of Mexican? Front page news? Every newspaper? Every TV channel? For weeks?


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Thanks For All Your Help, Washington! (P.S., Obama IS The Demo Nominee)


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Good Friends of Barack Hussein Obama, Pt. II

Bill Ayers: A central figure in the Weathermen, Ayers lived underground for ten years, an experience he wrote about in his memoir, Fugitive Days. Now married to Dohrn, Ayers is currently a school reform activist and a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago (your Illinois and federal tax dollars at work).

What kinds of things did the Weather Underground do? Go here to see. And, of course, Ayers says he has no regrets about what he did at all.

I am so, so tired of the media turning a blind eye to Barack Hussein Obama.

You are who you associate with. Obama IS "Pastor" Wright. Obama IS William Ayers, the William Ayers who, in 2001, tramples on our flag.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Iron Man

In my estimation the new Marvel Comics character Iron Man has translated to the large screen in an absolutely excellent fashion -- in fact, I'd wager it's the best Marvel comic character movie yet created, considering the crew of Spider-Man, the Hulk, Fantastic Four and the Punisher. Director/actor Jon Favreau (who, at 6'2" plays Happy Hogan, Stark's Rolls-Royce Phantom driver) did well with his choice of Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, Terrence Howard as Lt. Col James Rhodes, and Jeff Bridges as co-Stark Industrialist Obadiah Stone.

I found Iron Man to be actually entertaining -- a primary element so sadly lacking in so many films today. Robert Downey Jr. (his past antics notwithstanding) does quite a fine job with central character Tony Stark, leader of a huge military corporation whose production includes missiles, warheads, etc.

However, once Stark comes face-front with his own mortality somehow, magically, mystically, his corporate worldview manages to change and, for a number of reasons (I don't wish to be a spoiler, you see) decides to utilize a powerful armored suit he's created for Good. And more.

As opposed to a few recent movies, the CGI is absolutely excellent. There were "real world" versions of the Iron Man armor created for the film, and the meshing of CGI with the "real" armor was completely seamless. And I mean seamless.

Iron Man actually had a plot, a script, great actors, sterling CG effects, a number of laughing points (and I seldom laugh outright in movies any more) and managed to delineate characters you truly cared about.

For the parents: I cannot even recall one swear word in the film. It's entertaining and clean. Yes, violence included however. You can even watch the movie online, here.

Want to acquire a taste of the future for the franchise? Wait until the credits have entirely played. Don't leave your seat. Then you'll see.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Fueling the Economy


Saturday, May 03, 2008

Border Patrol Nannies

"No human is illegal"?

Josefa Gonzalez Loya has sneaked across the Mexican border at least 128 times in the past eight years. And each time, the Border Patrol has been nice enough to give her a lift home.

Gonzalez and a group of other women and children -- all Indians from the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca -- have no interest in staying in the United States. All they want to do is panhandle outside El Paso businesses, using the children as lures.

At the end of a productive day, they wait for the Border Patrol to come pick them up and drive them back to the border.

Little dramas like this play out day after day, accounting for thousands of arrests but hardly any prosecutions in the past several years.

The Oaxacan immigrants fall under a loophole that gives border agents discretion to keep some adults and children together and out of jail.

"They do qualify for jail and prosecution," Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero said. "However, we've got to look at the humanitarian factor first if we are going to have to separate the family."

Let me be unequivocal and crystal clear:

I couldn't care LESS about ILLEGAL INVADERS. This is MY country, not theirs. You like Mexico? Stay the hell at HOME. That is your country; this is mine.

Illegal MEXICAN invaders want the best of all possible worlds. They wish to bleed my country dry of services and then complain that the road to entitlements isn't sufficiently padded for their dainty feet or paved with clear signposts in enough Spanish, water spots, massages and ice cream.

The recent May 1st "protests" in Los Angeles? In 2007 the LAPD took some stick time to illegal invaders' protests in that city. Some say LAPD screwed up. I say LAPD just acquired a bit more real world ASP or baton experience. As one LAPD officer was overheard to say behind a member of the media watching Bratton apologize for the melee: "They should have gotten out of the way, then." Meaning the media AND the invaders. Concur.

This May 1st? Fewer "protesters," no riots, no major media coverage. Why?

Because the American public, in the span of just ONE YEAR, has been sufficiently beaten into thinking that standing up for sovereignty, their borders, their culture, their language, is racist.

Do you see the issue even addressed in blogs anymore? In the media? And certainly NOT by ANY presidential candidate. So, why no May 1, 2008 protests? Because the pro-immigrant remoras, hagfish and parasites have won. That is why.

And it is sickening.

Wish to be sickened further? Wonder what the above photo indicates? Then clench your stomach, bear down and go here for a website that tells all good little Mexican Illegal Invaders just HOW to get their fair share, free, and how to go about insisting on their "rights" in this country.

It's time to get back on the anti-immigrant bandwagon, people. It's time to bring ILLEGAL MEXICAN INVADERS back into the spotlight. It's time to get pissed again because, obviously, our country is doing nothing.


Friday, May 02, 2008

Just You Wait


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Controlling Digital Content

Let's reflect for a moment, shall we?

What is the apparent goal for most all information? To be digitized, correct?

What is the push for music, film, gaming, entertainment content?

To be digitized.

The push is away from the physical, and towards the ethereal -- the realm of 1s and 0s.

As my brother Don wrote in a recent e-mail whilst we discussed the CD format, and HD-DVD vs BluRay formats:

I think you share my version of your statement, which is that until MILLIONS of others have wasted their dollars, I'm NOT going to be on the cutting edge of the high definition recorded media (now, apparently, the BLU-RAY), which is still one step short of the RIAA's and MS's great hope of getting the masses to NEVER, EVER actually own anything PHYSICAL, such as any sort of disc. In their ideal world, they want to have everything that is "yours" located on a server under THEIR CONTROL, where they can turn off the spigot and block your access any time they want. And if they ever achieve that, corporate greed will simply NOT be able to resist the temptation to cut you off for any one of a number of reasons, or at least degrade your access to the media that you have paid good money for.

He also included this article:

Microsoft Pulling Support for MSN Music DRM
By Eliot Van Buskirk
April 23, 2008 2:05:33 PM

Music fans who purchased music from Microsoft's MSN Music service are in for another cruel awakening about the harsh realities of digital rights management. As of September 1, it will become impossible to reauthorize songs purchased from the MSN Music store, which Microsoft shuttered to make way for Zune.

Music purchased from MSN Music will still play on authorized machines, but users only have five operating systems left in their entire lifetimes on which to play the music. I say "operating systems" instead of "computers" because even when a user upgrades, say from XP to Vista, songs need to be reauthorized.

What should you do if you want to keep your music? As Sony advised its users to do when it closed down Sony Connect, you can burn CDs of your purchased tracks and re-rip them. Of course, this degrades sound quality because it forces the music through the encoding process twice. MSN Entertainment and Video Services general manager Rob Bennett broke the bad news to former users of the MSN Music service in an email on Tuesday: "As of August 31, 2008, we will no longer be able to support the retrieval of license keys for the songs you purchased from MSN Music or the authorization of additional computers. You will need to obtain a license key for each of your songs downloaded from MSN Music on any new computer, and you must do so before August 31, 2008. If you attempt to transfer your songs to additional computers after August 31, 2008, those songs will not successfully play."

My brother also wrote:

Technical note from me: The weakest link in the creation of music on digital media is the encoding / decoding process, i.e., analog to digital, and digital to analog, which may include conversion from one sampling rate to another. Aside from that, if the music has to be crushed by any re-conversion via the MP3 "lossy" compression process, further degradation will occur.

In fact, MP3 is an inferior format than a CD. MP3s rely on a masking phenomenon, a reduction of the number of bits required to convey the same musical message. MP3 doesn't require as much bandwidth to convey a tune or to store it digitally. Proponents of the MP3 format believe that a statistically significant number of persons cannot tell the difference. The simpler the music, the more difficult it is to discern the difference -- most "popular" music today. However, the more complex the waveform in, for example, a 100-piece orchestra with a 250 voice choir, much will be lost.

My brother also makes an excellent series of points:

After chatting with a few other folks and reading some commentary on the net, I am led to believe that Vista's heavy handed Digital Rights Management is leaving a pretty foul taste in some folks mouths. Vista, on the other hand, is being accepted by quite a few folks who apparently don't intend to use a computer as the central component in a multi-media entertainment system. Some say that it doesn't affect the speed of their computer, but others claim that when they stripped Vista from their computer and loaded Windows XP, that the speed seemed to have doubled. Regardless of these claims, the overhead of constantly checking every peripheral (in real time) to constantly re-authorize them is a heavy burden.

I think the bottom line, however, is that corporate greed has scotched Bill Gates' dream of having the computer be the center component in a home theater. In short, when folks get burned, it ain't gonna happen. I heard somebody say that all it will take to finish off Bill Gates' dream is for the Chinese to come out with a $49 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD universal player and then nobody would put up with the nonsense that the RIAA and MS are foisting on us.

My prediction of a troubled future for DRM as presently applied by RIAA / MS is based on something as simple as this: IF a person cannot play back a Blu-Ray disc on his home theater that he bought only 4 years ago for anywhere from $5,000 to $40,000 without having to buy a NEW $10,000 PLASMA / PROJECTOR / DLP or any other expensive display, just because the signal to it must be ENCRYPTED, is a situation that I don't think will be generally tolerated. Those folks, like myself, will happily buy a Blu-Ray player, but that's as far as we're willing to go.

As a last thought, I can't help but think that the widespread "ripping" of CDs and DVDs and distribution of "free" music that came to occur as the result of an apparent feeling of entitlement; of being "due" this largesse, must be largely the cause of the industry's response in the form of DRM. In short, I think what has happened was largely initiated by the actions of that group that thought the musicians should give up their music for free. Unfortunately, corporate anger evolved into corporate greed and we have what we have. No single group is 100% without fault.

Here's the bottom line: if Sony Music thought the MP3 format was "sufficient," they wouldn't be archiving all their music (reminds me of the musical 'Master Tapes,' 2" tapes running at 30 inches per second) on hard drives, with the signals taking the form of uncompressed 24-bit, 192k-sampled audio. So evidently MP3 isn't The Ultimate? Imagine that!

My point being: whoever digitizes the content and controls this digitized content controls the almighty cash and the almighty licensing and playing.

Be forewarned, people.