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Bloviating Zeppelin: March 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.

Monday, March 31, 2008

My Life With A Prius


A few weeks ago following a nasty storm (my local newspaper said this winter had been the worst in 20 years -- clearly due to Global Warming say the Religious Left) a chunk of ice or snow fell from the pines overhead and smacked my 9-month-old car, causing a huge dent in the right front fender and two smaller dents and a paint crack in the hood. A week after that I received a rock into my windshield. Heavy sigh. I've never before made a claim with my insurance company, and now I'd have to make two. There goes my 15 year record.

In any event, the vehicle damaged was my 2007 Toyota RAV-4 Limited V6. I decided I'd had enough of being wedged into Tuna Cans (I've most always had a small car, from a '74 Subaru GL, '79 VW Rabbit, '78 Ford Courier, '85 Chevy Sprint, '87 Geo Metro, '99 Chevy Metro) and traded my 2003 Subaru Outback Sport in for the RAV-4. As I wrote: "The Democrats, Progressives and Liberals can all kiss my ass if they think I'm shoehorning myself into another tuna can at my age and stage of my life."

Don't get me wrong; the Subaru was a great car. I moved, stacked, packed and crammed more stuff in that Subaru wagon (following my divestiture of a draining 17-year relationship wherein my former S.O. liberated all makes and models of items from my cabin which required replacement -- hence the heavy usage of the Subaru's cargo capacity! -- items removed even including the pulls from most all the cabinets. Not to even mention the selling of my dead mother's Hummel plates on eBay and the profits promised to my father going into her mystic coffers. But hey -- that's something she'll have to reconcile in her own afterlife. Three words playing in the back of my brain: "Don't be bitter!") than an entire fleet of vans. But after 89,000 tough miles, it was time to move on.

And move on I did. I acquired a larger vehicle with a much larger engine, 115 more hp and gas mileage that left the Subaru in the dust. At best, the Outback Sport got 24 mpg. I've gotten as low as 17 mpg with the Toyota RAV-4 V6 Limited, as high as 31 mpg, and recently 27 mpg on a long trip. And on regular unleaded. Somehow in my attempt to get a bigger, roomier vehicle with a larger, more responsive engine, I also managed to increase my mpg. It just doesn't seem logical. But again, though I could easily have afforded the Lexus RX350, I chose the RAV-4 because it had the same 3.5L block, same hp, only it ran on regular instead of premium.

In any event, I had to turn the RAV-4 in to the body shop I'd chosen (Maita Toyota in Sacramento, where I'd originally purchased the car and figured: they should be readily able to get the parts and match the metallic paint!), and my insurance covered a $25 per day rental. At Enterprise I asked: "What does that get me?"

They pointed to the 2008 Prius outside. "Great," I thought. "Some tree-hugging piece of shit."

The Enterprise gal showed me a few things, handed me the square key and I was on my own. I drove to a local Borders for a book (Jon Krakauer's Into The Wild) and, getting back into the car, couldn't start it. I tried and tried. The damnable thing wouldn't budge. I almost obviated my Man Card and actually called the rental agency. The same gal answered. She said: "do this and this and this and this." I did all those things. Nothing worked. "Okay," she said. "We're sending someone out."

Oh Christ, I thought. Exposed for the idiot I am. I actually relented and did the worst thing imagineable: I read the instruction manual.

1. I put the rectangular key into the rectangular slot on the dash;
2. I put my foot on the brake;
3. I pushed the Power button once;
4. I released the parking brake;
5. The blue dash light indicated: "READY"

That was precisely what the car wanted: the READY light to illuminate.

I slipped the small shifter up into R for reverse. It actually engaged. I could actually back out of the slot I'd occupied at Borders. Would wonders never cease?

I immediately called the rental company back in order to cancel their responder. I apologized profusely.

I finally realized: the car is a computer. It wants what it wants when it wants it, in the order it wants it, in the fashion it wants it.

When I gave it what it wanted, in the order it wanted it, it worked.

I first sat into the Prius seat and hated it. Just hated it.

And when it wouldn't run, I hated it even more.

Now, today, giving that car up for my RAV-4, I know I'll miss it. If I could purchase another car, for economy, it would definitely be a Toyota Prius. How did I come to this startling conclusion?

OBSERVATIONS:

If you treat the Prius something as a computer, you'll be better served. It wants what it wants when it wants it, and in the order it wants it.

The key is a rectangle on a ring. Insert it into the dash. Place your right foot on the brake pedal. Disengage the parking brake. Move the dash shifter an inch above into R for reverse. The engine may or may not engage. An incredibly annoying interior beep will commence until your backing maneuver has ended. If for no other reason than this, you will pre-plan your backing maneuvers in great detail so that you won't have to listen to that annoying beep. If this were my car, my first goal would be to pay any amount of money to disable that reverse beep.

But once I made it move: the gloves were off.

I now understand why these suckers pass me on the freeway.

First things first:

You'll hate the dash. The info station is positioned in the middle. A few extraneous info tidbits are placed in your natural viewpoint, deep, deep, deep into the dash. These bits are all digital. There isn't any bit of the car that is analog. You'd best get over that right away.

The key is simply a place to begin. Starting the car features the round POWER button. Your clue is when the dash displays: READY. Then and only then are you truly prepared to drive off.


Grasp the miniscule shifter lever on the dash, then move it up into REVERSE. The car will physically clunk into reverse. Let the interior beeping commence. Your goal: shift out of reverse as quickly as possible. When you're done driving and you stop, there is no place for the shifter. See the rectangular button marked P? There you go; that's P for PARK. You push it to park.

When you're done backing, shift down quickly into D for drive. Jesu Christi -- the beeping actually stops!

The Toyota Prius has a CVT -- that is, a Continuously Variable Transmission -- there is no 1st or 2nd gear or such -- if you floor this baby the engine sounds as if it will shake its moorings. And if you expect to feel a shift, well, you won't. Remember the old Honda mini-bike "centrifugal clutch"? A CVT is something kinda sorta like that, only different. A CVT is a poor choice for a vehicle with real power; and an acceptable choice for a vehicle whose driver's goal is as light a pressure on the throttle as possible. The Prius doesn't shift; it just moves.

About that throttle. It's not a linkage. Think of the throttle as an electrical rheostat -- kinda like the round knob on the wall that dims your dining room lights. You'll find that the gentler on the throttle you are, the more the computer game dashboard becomes fun. More on that in a second.

Absent all the other exquisite oddities displayed by the car, it's essentially a remarkably stable platform. The heavy battery pack exists on the very bottom of the chassis. This helps to lower the CG of the car and overcome its inherent crappy, thin factory tires. Thinking that it would understeer horribly, I was encouraged. It tended to stay on track pretty well, the wheel centered up readily, and it didn't display the nasty buckboard ride I was expecting. Suspension was good, compliant over bumps (but not mushy like a Buick Roadmaster), with acceptable body roll in turns. Not a Honda S2000, but not a Geo Metro either. More akin to the Toyota Corolla.

I couldn't ever completely figure out its regenerative center dash display -- when was it running on its 1.5L engine, and when was it running on the electric pack? Make no mistake: I could readily tell when the car ran on juice or gas. But what conditions would yield gas or electricity -- that escaped me. Oddly enough, the transition from juice to gas was darned near seamless; much, much less intrusive than I ever would have guessed.

I'd been told that the car would transition from electricity to gas at 25mph. But that wasn't always true --I'd seen the display indicate electric power right up to 40 mph one time. It all has to do with how much electricity created or stored over the course of a given trip. I suppose if I'd read the owners' manual I'd know how to read the energy display.

About that center dash display: just about everything runs through that touch-screen display. Want to turn the fan on or off? Press CLIMATE on the display and touch the screen. Want to fade or balance the radio? Press AUDIO on the display. Want to see how much juice you're generating on a trip or your average mpg? Press INFO then press TRIP. If that center dash display ever goes tits-up, you are just about entirely toast.


There are darned few manual controls on the dash. Some manual controls can be found at your thumbs on the steering wheel, to include front and rear defrosters, radio controls. The cruise control is standard Toyota: a small stalk on the right side of the wheel.

The brakes on the Prius are oddly twitchy. You'd have to call them "sensitive" at best. Certainly they stop the vehicle and don't require legs like a Russian weightlifter to activate (like my former Subaru). But as the vehicle slows and the CVT engages or disengages it can tend to ramp up their sensitivity geometrically. If you have no feeling in your feet you'd best advise your passengers to be completely belted in because, if you're ham-footed on the brakes, you'll send them through the windshield. You'll come to appreciate the judicious pressure you must make on both the brake and throttle pedals.

You tend to start driving the car like it's a computer game. You check the info display to see how long you can keep it in electric power, and you likewise constantly check the MPG display to see how deep into the rheosta -- er, throttle you are. It's as if your goal is to wring every last mile out of each gallon of gas.

I acquired 46.3 mpg overall, during my 12 days with the Prius. Most of my driving was on the freeway or at speeds over 50 mph. If you become landlocked in heavy city traffic, your mileage will be better as you'll be running a good deal on electricity.

Can it compete with traffic? I drove it up I-80 into the mountains twice, passing most every vehicle at 70+ mph. It does not lack for power if you use it appropriately. Fear not: you won't have to drive it like a Hamms Beer delivery truck. And when you pass the black Cadillac Escalade the smugness just seems to exude: dude, you paid $75,000 for that P.O.S. and you still got passed by my Prius.

The interior is pretty roomy, the cloth seats comfy; the back seat area is amazingly roomy. The cupholders are a bit funky and won't hold your tippy drinks very well. And because it's a hatchback there isn't a massive amount of stowage to the rear, though there is a rolling sheet to cover and hide your purchases and possessions. Pull up the tab on the floor and you'll find this is where the jack and its handle and such live. Pull up on the black tray and you'll finally discover the mini-spare tire beneath.

One big issue with me: the view to the rear. Not unlike the much earlier Honda CRX, there is a horizontal bar running smack dab in the middle of your viewline from the driver's seat -- see the photograph. This stupid bar occludes a good deal of your available view to the rear. Obviously, the designers of the Prius wanted to reduce the Cd (coefficient of drag) by radically sloping the front and rear. This results in your looking out the rear through the hatchback, like the gunslit of a German bunker. There is a lower viewable section below the slit, heavily tinted. But the horizontal hatch support removes much of your field of view to the rear. Important safety tip: back up very carefully.

When all was said and done, I despised the car before I even sat down. I despised it even more when I couldn't get it to move. But when I finally understood the car, I liked it. A lot. I actually kinda miss it.

Would I buy one, if I wanted an econo-transport?

In a heartbeat.


BZ

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Out? Not Hardly!


More people wish Hillary Clinton to step aside, in order to allow Barack Hussein Obama to take the Demorat nomination:

Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont senator who endorsed Obama in January, said she was never going to win enough delegates, and he suggested she should throw in the towel in "the interests of a Democratic victory in November." A number of Democrats have expressed concern that Republican John McCain is getting a head start while Obama and Clinton fight on.

In response, Hillary has essentially said "no way" to any thought of quitting:

I know a little bit about comebacks," she said to cheers. "I know what it's like to be counted down and counted out. But I also know there is nothing that will keep us down if we are determined to keep on.


Asked what she thought of Obama's comment Friday that the Democratic primary race resembled "a good movie that lasted about a half-hour too long," Clinton smiled broadly and said, "I like long movies."



Well, again, I don’t take anything for granted, but hopefully with Pennsylvania’s help, she will be our next president, and yes, I do think she’ll be a better president."

WHAT YOU WON'T READ IN THE DEM (Defeatist, Elitist Media):


Charges against a US Marine allegedly involved in the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha were dropped on Friday ahead of his trial, the military said in a statement. A court martial for lance corporal Stephen Tatum had been due to start on Friday on charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault.

However in a statement released from the Marines Camp Pendleton base outside San Diego, the military said the charges had been dismissed "in order to continue to pursue the truth seeking process into the Haditha incident."

Just a bit of a clue: had the military possessed any real evidence against this Marine from the beginning, under the UCMJ he would have been hung out to dry and moved to Leavenworth forthwith. But likely the JAG-IC received specific prosecutory instructions from far above. Once again, our military bends and sways to the feminized political machinations from Washington.

BZ AKSZ FOR CONFUSER HEP:

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I received some very base instructions on how to remove programs that would cause a slow start-up in Windows XP, the OS in my HP Pavilion zd8000 laptop -- which is my primary confuser.

I went into the depths of my confuser, say, 6 or more months ago and clicked and unclicked a bunch of stuff that I cannot now recall. Imagine that. . .

In the meantime, my laptop makes me want to scream and throw it out the second story window. Essentially, every form of input and every physical manipulation made on this laptop is screwed up. The keyboard won't input every letter, won't make every space, won't move the cursor accurately, won't enable the first click on a field. And that has only been the case since I went into its depths and attempted to eliminate programs on Start-up. Quite frankly, I have no idea what I did. But I evidently did something; and it wasn't good.

Courtesy of Mrs. Lefkow's typing 7th grade typing class I have been measured at a rate of 13o wpm, which is "cooking with gas." I used to piss off my Homicide transcriber (and my P.O.S. female partner) because I spent time transcribing my own tapes made at crime scenes -- I soon learned that I was light-years ahead of Wanda, our secretary, because I was faster, more accurate and ultimately responsible for my own reports. So with that in mind, you can perhaps imagine my chagrin at having this stupid keyboard demand my backspacing on most every word.

My questions to those readers who are confuser/digital/HTML/internet/laptop/Microsoft savvy:

  1. Is the problem with my HP Pavilion zd8000 laptop a matter of physicality? That is to say, its keyboard is shot, its fingerpad toast, its every manner of input wrecked?
  2. Or, in the process of my stupidity did I somehow manage to eliminate some very important shit that controls each and every one of the things that I now complain about?
  3. If #2 is correct, is the situation repair-able?
  4. Or is it time to ditch this HP laptop?
"Help me Obi-Wan; you're my only hope!"

BZ

Friday, March 28, 2008

Is This The Real Reason?


"Outsourcing." I dislike it intensely. According to the Washington Times, even American passports are being made overseas, assembled in Thailand. Yes, American passports. The article indicates there are no U.S. printers who can handle the job. I disbelieve that.


SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - The head of the top U.S. phone company AT&T Inc (T.N) said on Wednesday it was having trouble finding enough skilled workers to fill all the 5,000 customer service jobs it promised to return to the United States from India.

However, he makes a scathing but pointed observation when he says:

Stephenson said he is especially distressed that in some U.S. communities and among certain groups, the high school dropout rate is as high as 50 percent.

"If I had a business that half the product we turned out was defective or you couldn't put into the marketplace, I would shut that business down," he said.

Our public schools, then, should be shut down. U.S. public schools are laughingstocks; they are a shambles, filled with youngsters with no real drive, no real discipline, no real motivated teachers, filled with complacency, emasculated boys, historical inaccuracies (when history is taught at all), emotions, "feelings," "self-esteem," children with highly overestimated senses of individual worth, little responsibility, and teachers and admin staff more worried about their unions and keeping their jobs than actually performing. And oh-my-God, don't you dare question or second-guess a teacher or their value or their ability to be efficient or meet standards! Heresy! Blasphemy!

So: is this why we can't compete globally?


BZ

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Demorat Chumps


Not unlike the recent lies issuing forth from Barack Hussein Obama in re "not knowing" the true nature of his anti-American and racist pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, it now emerges that three Demorat congressmen took a trip to Iraq in 2002, in order to "stop the war," the trip being financed by none other than Saddam Hussein via CAIR out of Michigan.

Let's be plain and up front: Barack Hussein Obama isn't stupid, and I'll wager the three involved Congressmen, Demorat Representatives Jim McDermott of Washington, David Bonior of Michigan and Mike Thompson of California are not either.

Barack Hussein Obama disavows knowing the true nature of Rev. Wright. BHO isn't stupid, therefore he is a liar.

Here comes the bleating disclaimer from today's Congressmen:

Obviously we didn't know it at the time," McDermott spokesman Michael DeCesare said Wednesday. "The trip was to see the plight of the Iraqi children. That's the only reason we went."



WASHINGTON (AP) - Saddam Hussein's intelligence agency secretly financed a trip to Iraq for three U.S. lawmakers during the run-up to the U.S.-led invasion, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

An indictment unsealed in Detroit accuses Muthanna Al-Hanooti, a member of a Michigan nonprofit group, of arranging for three members of Congress to travel to Iraq in October 2002 at the behest of Saddam's regime. Prosecutors say Iraqi intelligence officials paid for the trip through an intermediary.

At the time, the Bush administration was trying to persuade Congress to authorize military action against Iraq.

Shall we examine this for just a moment?

Hmm. Let's see. The Weekly Standard had this to say way back in October of 2002, about the Baghdad Democrats:


IT'S A RARE POLITICAL MOMENT when Terry McAuliffe says no comment. Yet McAuliffe, the garrulous chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said just that last Wednesday at the Brookings Institution after a speech by Al Gore. Asked about the trip to Baghdad taken by three of his fellow partisans--Representatives David Bonior, Jim McDermott, and Mike Thompson--McAuliffe was nonplussed.

Further, Bonier was on record back then, during the trip, as burping out the standard Demorat bleat: "War is not the answer." Excuse me; what was the question?

Were these Congressdupes taking the trip to truly examine "the plight of the Iraqi children," or were they simply taking the juvenile steps to accommodate their previously-held beliefs on a junket pre-paid?

Again, they would have us believe:

  • Post- 9/11
  • Trip to Iraq
  • By Demorats
  • With pre-held anti-war views
  • Funded by CAIR
  • From Michigan

Huh. Which part of any of that computes to "we had no idea what we were doing or who was behind it?"

As I said: either stupid or liars.

And they're not stupid.

You can readily do the math.


BZ


P.S.
Please see the above picture of another useful idiot and dupe.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Barack Hussein Obama

Is a liar.

You cannot attend a church for 20+ years, have a pastor perform your marriage, attend his sermons, and NOT know what he says. And has said. Over and over. Rev. Wright is simply a raving, anti-American racist, plain and simple. Obama's recent words about Wright were nothing more than a glossing-over, a coverup, solely due to race. Obama was attempting to explain away Rev. Wright because Wright is black. Saying that blacks were poisoned by the CIA, that they were purposely given AIDS, is just Nutter Stuff -- akin to Truthers who believe U.S. authorities demo'd the Twin Towers and surrounding buildings.

But wait; there's more:

Hugh Hewitt recently unearthed a Trinity United Church of Christ bulletin (the church in question in re Wright and Obama, wherein it is clearly delineated that: "Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.," is the "Senior Pastor") exhibiting an article on the Pastor's Page entitled "Open Letter to Oprah from Ali Baghdadi on Her Visit to Palestine", page 8, by an Ali Baghdadi (from the bulletin in its description of the author: "Ali Baghdadi, an Arab-American activist, writer, columnist; worked with several African-American groups on civil and human rights issues since the mid sixties; acted as a Middle East advisor to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad the founder of the Nation of Islam, as well as Minister Louis Farrakhan; visited more than 80 countries throughoutthe world and met with many of their leaders, including Mandela, Castro, Saddam Hussein, Hafez Assad, Qathafi, Abdallah ibn Abdel-Aziz, Rafsanjani, Ayatollah Khamenei, among many others.").

In this article, Baghdadi writes in part:


I must tell you that Israel was the closest ally to the White Supremacists of South Africa. In fact, South Africa allowed Israel to test its nuclear weapons in the ocean off South Africa. The Israelis were given a blank check: they could test whenever they desired and did not even have to ask permission. Both worked on an ethnic bomb that kills Blacks and Arabs.

It would seem Obama's church and Rev. Wright have just about every Nutter, Racist and Anti-American aspect completely covered. Incidentally, back in 1998, Baghdadi was already accusing the White House (under Clinton!) of being completely Zionist. Further, in Ramallah Online, Baghdadi writes, in a justification of the 9/11 attacks:


Most of the credit must be given to our leaders and strategists in Washington who lack the courage and vision to address the root of the problem that led, as we are told, nineteen young Muslim men to carry out the most horrible non-governmental terrorist act in history. Instead of steering America, a damaged ship, safely to shore, and reviewing our misguided and immoral policy that made America the most hated country on earth, and resulted in the destruction of our two symbols of economic and military powers, and above all the death of innocent people, our President chose a with-us-or-against-us crusade as a solution.

The ADL writes about Baghdadi in this article from 1998, typifying him as a "black bigot."

Yes. Wonderful church. Excellent vision and perspective. Admirable Senior Pastor. That's certainly a Man of God that I'd heartily embrace. If I were running as a presidential candidate.


BZ

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Watch Your Thieving Steps


Well, first, a quick political summation before the main point:

Detroit's Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has been hit with 12 criminal counts by the Wayne County DA's office, charges to include perjury, obstruction of justice, misconduct in office and conspiracy. Kilpatrick physically looks like a refugee from a very bad grade B Hollywood rap movie rushed to DVD. What a loser. Detroit deserves what it gets.

New York's Governor David Paterson has now admitted to using cocaine and marijuana, as well as having 3-ways, 4-ways and likely unbidden trysts with small woodland creatures incorporating Wesson Oil and plastic sheets. Paterson has assuaged citizens by indicating he is not sleeping around on his wife this week.

Ah. I feel so much better, knowing that our politicians are only human. After all, what does the fashion in which a politician lives his or her personal life (or has a vivid imagination in re Hillary's "misremembered" Bosnia trip) have to do with his or her basic sense of ethics, morals, decision-making or sense of honor? Not much, if you would but ask the Demorats and the Left.

March 20, 2008 (Computerworld) An employee looking to steal confidential information from his employer sneaks into what should be a secure back room after hours. He pulls charts and files from a top-level financial meeting and slides them into his briefcase before heading back out.

What the insider doesn't know is that his shoes picked up hundreds of tiny radio frequency identification (RFID) chips that had been scattered across the floor. As he passes by an RFID reader near the front door of his office building, security will be alerted that he had accessed a secure area. The evidence is all over the soles of his shoes.


Just when you thought it was safe to go into the Waters of Theft, there's more:


(President of Nox Defense, Carl) Brown explained that the RFID chips, or spy chips, are perfect for what he calls clandestine surveillance. The RFID readers can be hidden in an office building or warehouse, and the RFID tags can be placed on company products or property -- even on employee name tags or ID badges. Thieves, intruders and even personnel see nothing of the tracking system.

If an employee in the warehouse walks off with a plasma TV or loads seven instead of five computers into the delivery truck, it can be tracked with the RFID technology. And since the RFID chips will tell security what time the equipment was moved, the company can check the digital video archives for that time and that section of the warehouse.


And check this out:


The RFID Dust that Nox Defense also sells is actually made up of tiny RFID chips -- each about the size of a grain of sand, according to Brown. They can be scattered on a floor, so when someone walks through a room, entryway or warehouse, the tags will stick to their shoes or pants cuffs. When they walk past an RFID reader, it will be able to tell where they've been.


Better grab that new plasma TV or your handful of pencils from the work cabinet soon, before RFID Dust or tags throw a damper on your thieving life!


BZ

Monday, March 24, 2008

The REAL Truth


Remember President Bush's fabulous "economic stimulus" package?

Well, the TRUTH comes home to roost. The following correspondence from the IRS was mailed and received at my home, which I have completely retyped for your examination and consideration. Please note; the various emphasized aspects are of my doing:

ECONOMIC STIMULUS PAYMENT NOTICE

Dear Taxpayer:

We are pleased to inform you that the United States Congres passed and President George W. Bush signed into law the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, which provides for economic stimulus payments to be madeto over 130 million American households. Under this new law, you may be entitled to a payment of up to $600 ($1200 if filing a joint return), plus additional amounts for each qualifying child.

We are sending this notice to let you know that based on this new law the IRS will begin sending the one-time payments starting in May. To receive a payment in 2008, individuals who qualify will not have to do anything more than file a 2007 tax return. The IRS will determine eligibility, figure the amount, and send the payment. This payment should not be confused with any 2007 income tax refund that is owed to you by the federal government. Income tax refunds for 2007 will be made separately from this one-time payment.

For individuals who normally do not have to file a tax return, the new law provides for payments to individuals who have a total of $3,000 or more in earned income, Social Security benefits, and/or certain veterans' payments. Those individuals should file a tax return for 2007 to receive a payment in 2008.

Individuals who qualify may receive as much as $600 ($1,200 if married filing jointly). Even if you pay no income tax but have a total of $3,000 or more in earned income, Social Security benefits, and/or certain veterans' payments, you may receive a payment of $300 ($600 if married filing jointly).

In addition, individuals eligible for payments may also receive an additional amount of $300 for each child qualifying for the child tax credit.

For taxpayers with adjusted gross income (AGI) of more than $75,000 (or more than $150,000 if married filing jointly), the payment will be reduced or phased out completely.


To qualify for the payment, an individual, spouse and any qualifying child must have a valid Social Security number. In addition, individuals cannot receive a payment if they can be claimed as a dependent of another taxpayer or they filed a 2007 Form 1040NR, 1040NR-EZ, 1040-PR, or 1040-SS.

All individuals receiving payments will receive a notice and additional information shortly before the payment is made. In the meantime, for additional information, please visit the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov/.

Please read that second red-emphasized paragraph. That means the wife and I will receive nothing from the government, though we pay the greatest amount of taxes. I guess we're simply considered, by the government, to be simply too filthy rich in Fornicalia, there being a huge difference between gross and net. It was a poor idea, poorly executed. But it lets me know precisely what it is that my federal government thinks about me:

At first I wrote in response for this post: "I guess I should just take a big cup of Shut The Fuck Up and bend over for my monthly piece of white-hot governmental rebar shoved up my ass. 'Thank you sir, can I have another?' " However, after a few days' consideration I've simply decided to write: "The Revolution, Dear Government, is actually beginning to achieve form. I would highly recommend you tread a bit more daintily in the next 10 years should you decide to more deeply exploit the fount of your largesse."


BZ

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Favorite Westerns

Yes, I know today is Easter; I'll let you all celebrate and honor as you will. In the meantime my mind wandered (as it is wont to do on occasion) and I recalled Ranando making a post about the film "The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford," which was a very good, detailed but moody character study on the topic.

And that brought me to a question: what were MY favorite Westerns? Perhaps not my "ultimate pedestal" Westerns forced on me by opinion, but the ones I like to watch over and over -- that's my benchmark. In no particular order but only as they come to mind:




1. The Long Riders
Made in 1980, the movie featured the brothers Carradine, Keach, Quaid and Guesteach. There is something remarkably alluring about this Walter Hill film. It never seems to lose its fascination for me. I could watch this DVD weekly and find something eloquent about its presence.




2. The Wild Bunch
How classic can it be? The quintessential Sam Peckinpah movie, with slo-mo and all. Despite that distracting tool, TWB (1969) featured prototypical performances by, primarily, William Holden. Who'd'a thunk WH pigeonholed as a Bad Guy? Few, then. Plus stellar performances by Warren Oates, Ernest Borgnine (already saddled by alcohol, as was Holden), Robert Ryan and Edmond O'Brien. Classic western filmmaking!




3. Unforgiven
Eastwood made hordes of fabulous Westerns. Hell, it could be said that his entire career was proffered on the back of Westerns. This film, in my opinion, supercedes them all but not necessarily by design. A culmination of every film aspect he'd yet learned to date, Unforgiven simply shines in its darkness. Somehow Eastwood, in the guise of William Munny, seems to focus and focus and focus. It is spare and dense and thin and sparse and evocative and beautiful and ugly.




4. The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
This 1972 film featured Paul Newman as the Judge His Own Se'f. I cried at the demise of the Watch Bear. I absolutely loved Stacy Keach's albino Bad Bob. Ava Gardner was classic as Lily Langtry. Heavy sigh.




5. Jeremiah Johnson
Am I stuck in 1972? Or is it co-inky-dink? This was the benchmark film that clearly pushed Robert Redford over the Liberal Top. He connected with the land and, because he could, purchased thousands and thousands of acres for his future Sundance Ranch. Hell, he snaked away hundred of acres for a couple of thousand dollars. Despite that, JJ is the quintessential Mountain Man film, despite the film itself called The Mountain Men (Charleton Heston and Brian Keith). I find this film watchable again and again. Simply good film-making and captivating story-telling.


6. Tombstone
Kurt Russell was a far distant second choice for Wyatt Earp. And, in my opinion, this film kicks the living ass out of Costner's Wyatt Earp. In 1993, director George Cosmatos had a striking film in his mind. And with Powers Booth, Val Kilmer, Bill Paxton and Sam Elliott; it doesn't get any better than that. Russell is the better Wyatt, plain and simple. And any western without Sam Elliott is, well, pretty much diminished.

There are, of course, many others:

  • Little Big Man;
  • Wyatt Earp;
  • Silverado;
  • Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid;
  • Dances With Wolves;
  • The Outlaw Josey Wales;
  • Stagecoach (original);
  • Open Range;
  • Hombre;
  • Lonesome Dove (series);
And even more. Plus this: you can be guaranteed that any western film containing Sam Elliott will be excellent, to include "The Quick and the Dead," "The Desperate Trail" and "Conagher." Certainly Mr. Elliott has made more, but I particularly enjoy his starring roles. An aside: I can't write that of other actors known for westerns such as John Wayne or Clint Eastwood; yes, Sam Elliott is an actor that quintessentially good.

What are YOUR favorite Westerns?


BZ

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Boeing v. EADS-Northrop Grumman


As you've likely already heard, the consortium of EADS (Airbus) -Northrop Grumman was recently awarded, by the USAF, a $30 to $40 billion contract for the production of the newest series of military in-flight refueling aircraft.

Some people believe this award to be of little consequence; others believe that proffering a contract of this magnitude to the French (and Europe) is an error of monumental proportions.

I tend to embrace the latter thought.

It gets down to: the Airbus 330 v. the Boeing 767.

The things you won't hear or read:
  • EADS (Airbus) has never built a refueling platform.
  • The 767 tanker is in current production (for overseas customers).
  • EADS has to build an entirely new factory in order to fulfill the contract.
  • The 767 line has been running for 20 years, and doesn't have enough new orders to keep it open. Its unused capacity can be ramped up to whatever rate the USAF wants.
  • The 330 tanker can't refuel the Osprey OR any Navy or Marine aircraft, or any Army helicopter.
  • The 767 can already refuel most of them.
  • The 767 tanker can be maintained by current KC-135 (the military equivalent of the 707)facilities.
  • The 330 will require all new maintenance facilities, because of it's larger wingspan.
  • The USAF repeatedly told Boeing it wasn't interested in a 777 tanker, because they wanted a smaller airplane. They also didn't want tankerized, refitted MD-11's (the USAF's most recent tanker platforms) because they were too big.
  • Then they buy the 330.
Clearly, money exchanged hands somewhere.

Allow me to be blunt for just a few moments.

If this were a commercial and non-military contract, I would voice little opposition. But when you have technology that is not only ground-breaking (the US pioneered the concept of in-flight refueling!) but proprietary, I hold issue with freely providing this technology to countries not continuously and loyally espousing US interests -- not to mention an entire union.

France stands not alone; these days EADS is linked to the UK, Germany, France, Spain. Airbus is primarily funded by a governmental joint powers agreement of countries.

Precisely what Boeing isn't.

Boeing stands alone against a litany of linked countries whose sole job is to compete with and overturn offered U.S. contracts. In order to appear "fair."

Those issues aside; let's examine the specfics:

Q: What will this airframe do? What is its objective?
A: Refuel as many U.S. air platforms as possible on various military air configurations. Propeller-driven; turboprop; jet; helo; hybrid (Osprey);

When we speak or write of technology, it isn't simply about the platform to be created; it's also about the technology required to mate with the greater bulk of aircraft extant in the complete U.S. inventory. This devolves to individual craft, flight configuration, airspeed, type, platform, trim, general characteristics, minimum airspeed, flap setting, attitude, power settings, stall speed, mounting hardware, procedures. Those in receipt of this contract need to know some very specific information about some very sensitive aircraft in our inventory.

Why is it, I posit, that we would even remotely consider handing control on any military basis over to countries already completely infiltrated by our Islamist enemies -- like the European Union?

This is simply, as I see it, an equation for failure.

The award to EADS/Northrop Grumman needs to be immediately overturned. For the first time ever, Boeing has made an appeal to the GAO. I can only hope our nation is favored.


BZ

Friday, March 21, 2008

Crashing The Economy


The Demorats, and Representative John Dingell (D), want to completely crash the American economy.

Dingell, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee creating new climate legislation, says:


I'm trying to have everybody understand that this is going to cost and that it's going to have a measure of pain that you're not going to like."


This is what 81-year-old Demorat Dingell (15th Congressional District in Michigan) wants:


—A 50-cent-a-gallon tax on gasoline and jet fuel, phased in over five years, on top of existing taxes.
—A tax on carbon, at $50 a ton, released from burning coal, petroleum or natural gas.
—Phaseout of the interest tax deduction on home mortgages for homes over 3,000 square feet. Owners would keep most of the deduction for homes at the lower end of the scale, but it would be eliminated entirely for homes of 4,200 feet or more.



In the interview (on C-SPAN's ‘Newsmakers’ airing Sunday), Dingell acknowledged that voters may not be willing to bear the cost of limiting greenhouse gas emissions, and that he would propose the new tax “just to sort of see how people really feel about this.”

“I sincerely doubt that the American people are willing to pay what this is really going to cost them,” Dingell said in the interview.


So let me see: this guy is going to "float" a crippling tax just to "see" what people think about paying an additional 50-cents per gallon on top of what they'll pay in the future?? Not to mention, the Demorats have stated they'll allow the current tax cuts to simply expire in 2010. And they want you to pay more taxes as well, even absent this fuel tax.

You cannot tell me that Fornicalia has the Moonbat Market cornered; I think at this point one would have to include Michigan (not to mention its burgeoning Muzzie populace and its government's and businesses' capitulation to Islamic "conveniences" -- foot basins at the airport, taxi drivers refusing fares, etc.).

If you think that I don't believe the threshold of this is, in fact, the tanking of our economy, then you're entirely wrong.


BZ

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Ouch!

(From Chris Muir's Day By Day.)


That's gotta hurt!


BZ

Big Deal




Ho-hum. Big deal.

How about some more cartoons, OBL?

Of course, it doesn't hurt that Islamists and OBL are getting some assistance domestically as well -- from the New York Times.


BZ

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Unionizing Grandma

You've already set things up. You and your spouse have to make a last-minute lengthy meeting with your tax preparer -- so you call your mother, the grandmother of your children, to babysit. Your mother isn't happy; you can tell by the sound of her voice. But she grudgingly does it.

A month later, you receive a summons from the State of California to appear at the local State Board of Labor Relations, because your mother has filed a grievance with CALWORKS; she felt it was unfair to force her to babysit the children and, besides that, you and your spouse were three hours late from the originally agreed-upon time.

Sound far-fetched?

Not at all, ladies and gentlemen, if you live in Fornicalia. And, as you well know, the lunacy that begins here eventually makes its way to the rest of the nation.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, CA State Senator Dave Cox:
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
CONTACT: Nghia Nguyen Demovic @ 916.651.4001
Sacramento, CA - In a year when the State of California is facing a budget deficit of $16 billion, Senate Democrats in the Legislature rushed to pass a measure to allow for the unionization of child care workers. Without policy or fiscal committee review, the Senate passed SB 867 by Senator Gil Cedillo of Los Angeles along party lines at its Monday meeting.

“It is irresponsible for the Senate to pass a measure that will cost the state an estimated $60 million at a time when the state has no money,” said Senator Dave Cox, Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee – a committee whose members are in charge of reviewing proposed bills that require state funding. “This bill should have had a hearing in the Senate Appropriations Committee.”

“Think about this for a moment: Increasing the cost of subsidized child care in a state with a $16 billion deficit will cause the state to pay more for less service. Unionized child care workers will receive higher payments forcing the state to fund fewer child care placements. The bottom line is that the state will be spending millions more for fewer services to families,” Cox added.

Through a program called CALWORKS, family members are paid by the state to take care of their children while the parent(s) work or receive training to become less dependent on welfare.


Check it out: Fornicalia wants to UNIONIZE child care providers: i.e., mom and dad, grandmother and grandfather. Oh, but just you wait, it so gets much better:


SB 867 will allow licensed “family child care providers to form, join and participate in ‘provider organizations,’” which is another word for unions. The stated purpose for this bill is to ensure higher quality day care through increased pay and state funded benefits for child care workers.

SB 867 further allows a union that becomes the representative of all family child care providers to charge “fair share” fees to all child care providers.

Even if a grandparent or aunt or uncle objected to unionizing, they could still be subjected to paying union dues.

Do what I call "the logical extension." If these family members are mandated to pay union dues, then does it not follow that grievances shall thusly issue forth? Won't these people want something for their "dues"? Higher wages? Better working conditions? Contracts and negotiations? Benefits? Health care? Retirement benefits for those already retired?

The child-care providers -- grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings -- would pay dues and be represented collectively in negotiations with the state over pay, benefits and working conditions. Child-care providers who did not want to join would still have to pay fees.

Please read all of this article.

Future phone conversation:
"Grandma, can you watch the kids this Thursday morning?"

"No dear, your father and I are on strike this week, our Local 867 just called. I'm so sorry."
Click.


BZ

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama's Wonderful Church


And that's about all I'll write on the issue. Despicable.


BZ

P.S.
In his speech this morning, Obama obfuscated with much rhetoric but, when all was said, he refused to distance himself from Rev. Wright. So be it. Barack Hussein Obama is a clear racist.

Cat

Direct from Syria, the new Middle Eastern cat, coming soon to a market, school or town square near you.

BZ

Monday, March 17, 2008

Alan Says:


Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan writes:

The current financial crisis in the US is likely to be judged in retrospect as the most wrenching since the end of the second world war. It will end eventually when home prices stabilise and with them the value of equity in homes supporting troubled mortgage securities.



Global investors see little reason to own U.S. financial assets with the two-year Treasury yielding 1.28 percent today, or 1.97 percentage points less than similar-maturity German bunds. The gap is the widest since September 1993. Foreign purchases of U.S. financial assets slowed in each of the final three months of 2007, to a net $56.5 billion from $113.9 billion, according to the latest Treasury Department data.

As the currency fell, the UBS Bloomberg Constant Maturity Commodity Index of 26 commodities ranging from energy, metals, agriculture and live stock rose 43 percent in the past 12 months, the biggest increase since the index's inception in 1998. The price of a barrel of crude oil surged 96 percent in a year to an all-time high of $111.80 today.


What was that I wrote a while ago, about self-fulfilling prophecies?


BZ

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Waiting

When I moved to the Sierra Nevada mountains in 1993, the cabin just below me wasn't yet occupied. Open for touring, the home, quite frankly, smelled of cat piss and dog feces. I opted against the house. A short time later a husband, wife and daughter moved in. The ripped the carpets out immediately. They were of a type wherein, early on, I waved to them when I saw them pass my house, in town, or as we passed in cars. They never waved back. I figured: so be it. The husband and wife separated for a time then, about a year later, she came back. They'd been together now for about four years.

A week ago, I noticed the man's white Chevy Blazer was gone. I'd believed him to be retired from CalTrans but thought: maybe he's back working for CalTrans, or on an assignment.

Yesterday I checked for my mail at the post office. A small piece of paper was tacked to a wall, indicating that he had passed away at a care home in a larger town below mine, on March 11th, at the relatively young age of 64. I saw his photo. Yes, it was the man whose white Chevy Blazer had never returned. I'd seen him about a week prior, then he and the truck were gone.

He had a blonde-colored dog named Katy. She never warmed up to me at all, was very wary of any strangers, but protected their property well. Despite his not being able to easily walk, he was out every day throwing a ball to Katy. She was clearly his dog. His truck would come down the street and she would magically appear to greet him. She never liked me but, despite that, I could tell that she was a very good dog. She did her job. She played, she fetched, she loved her master.

I finally understood. That is her photo above. She waits in the street, attentive. Waiting for the white Chevy Blazer, and her master. She's been alternately laying and pacing for days now, her gaze fixed up the street.

Neither shall ever return.

She is a very good dog. I feel sad.


BZ

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Religious Left: Enviro Despoilers


Once more, a clear and documented example of the Religious Left doing as they wish in hypocritical contravention of their flowery rhetoric:

Ted Kennedy Dumps Fuel into Nantucket Sound
Friday, March 14, 2008 9:14 AM

Ted Kennedy has called Nantucket Sound near his Massachusetts estate “a national treasure” — but that didn’t stop the senator from having oil dumped from his yacht into its waters.

A local photographer spotted an oil slick coming from Kennedy’s yacht Mya as Kennedy and his guests left the vessel in a launch following a race that ended in Hyannis, the Cape Cod Today newspaper reported.

The lensman was so shocked that he rowed his dinghy out to question the crew member left aboard the yacht.

He asked the crewman, “What the hell are you doing?”

The crewman said that diesel fuel had gotten into the bilge and he was told to dump it.

When the photographer pointed out that the yacht was moored in coastal waters near shellfish beds and people swimming, the crewman replied, “Whatever.”

And of course, as the hypocrisy worsens:

As Newsmax reported earlier, Kennedy has opposed a proposal to construct a wind farm in Nantucket Sound to produce cheap, clean energy. Asked why, he said: “That’s where I sail.”

Ted Kennedy, not only the negligent person responsible for Mary Jo Kopechne's death, and embraced by the Religious Left, but a despoiler of the environment he so alleged treasures.


BZ

The Desk Lesson


(Thanks, Steve!)
Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a Social Studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, did something not to be forgotten.

On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she removed every desk from her classroom.

When the First Period kids entered the room, they discovered that there were no desks.

Looking around, confused, they asked, "Ms. Cothren, where're our desks?"

She replied, "You can't have a desk until you tell me what you have done to earn the right to sit at a desk."

They thought: "Well, maybe it's our grades."

"No," she said.

"Maybe it's our behavior," they offered.

She told them, "No, it's not even your behavior."

And so, they came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom. By early afternoon television news crews had started gathering in Ms. Cothren's classroom to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her room.

The final period of the day came, and puzzled students found seats on the floor of the deskless classroom.

Martha Cothren said, "Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you."

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it.

Twenty-seven U.S. Veterans, all in uniform, walked into that classroom -- each one carrying a school desk. The Veterans began placing the school desks in rows, and then they would walk over and stand alongside the wall.

By the time the last soldier had set the final desk in place, the students began to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks must be earned.

Martha Cothren said:

"You didn't earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you. Now, it's up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens. They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don't ever forget it."

This is a true story. If you doubt, go here to affirm.
  • If you can read this, thank a teacher.
  • If you read it in English, thank a soldier.

BZ

Friday, March 14, 2008

Two Points




. . . that I'd like to make about Geraldine Ferraro:
  1. Regards her comment about Barack Hussein Obama: duh. These are called both "facts in evidence" and "stating the obvious."
  2. She looks just like Hal Holbrook.
BZ

The other thing I very much enjoy: the Demorats are tearing themselves apart with Political Correctness, harkening back to a post I originally made on January 15th of this year wherein I wrote: These are either the best or the worst of times for Demorat voters:
1. They can either vote for Barack Hussein Obama against Hillary Rodham Clinton and be sexists.
2. Or they can vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton against Barack Hussein Obama and be racists.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Demorats: Remember This


As a buttress to yesterday's post, I checked out the following from WeaselZippers (referred to me by Mark) whereupon it is written:


It might come as a surprise that the country with the largest oil reserves is not Saudi Arabia, Iran or Venezuela, but Canada.

Yet America’s No. 1 trading partner is concerned that the U.S. doesn’t want its oil. Canada has an estimated 1.6 trillion barrels of oil on its territory. Saudi Arabia has an estimated 270 billion barrels. But much of Canada’s oil is locked in tough-to-excavate tar sands in the province of Alberta.

Canada’s government recently sent U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates a
letter warning that it might not be able to sell the U.S. any of the oil America needs for national defense, according to the Financial Times of London.

You must be kidding me! Canada can't sell us more of the oil we need? Why not? To continue:

The reason: The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which was passed with “great gusto and self-righteousness by the Democratic Congress,” an editorial in Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) observes.

Under the Act, tar sands are considered an alternative fuel, and the law requires oil sold to the U.S. government from alternative sources to emit fewer greenhouse gases than oil produced from conventional sources.

Is there any point to this? In my opinion, there is not. And who had driven this process? Why, that would be the Demorats.

Please, remember this when you can't afford a tank of gas. When the costs of goods delivered by truck or rail (most everything extant) spiral into the stratosphere. When your wife or girlfriend takes the bus or light rail and is accosted or, God forbid, assaulted by the mingling scrotes or mentally deficient bums and human detritus frequenting mass transit during, to or from various stations.

I can tell you right now, I will never allow my wife to ride Sacramento buses or light rail and subject herself to the pond scum that can be found there.

Again, remember who placed the country onto the path it's obviously taking: lacking the energy necessary to keep it running; namely:

The Demorats.


Classifying the oil sands as a nonconventional fuel would unnecessarily complicate the integrated Canada-U.S. energy relationship,” said Tristan Landry, a spokesman for Canada’s embassy in Washington.

Let there be no mistake:

America lacks not for the fiscal means or the technical capabilities to build more refineries, more electrical generation stations, more infrastructure, more oil wells, enabling more energy independence until viable, workable and logical energy alternatives are identified and instituted in a mass fashion.

It's not that we can't; it's that we are internally constrained by political forces in the form of the Demorat Party under the pressures placed by various misled environmental factions spearheaded by the Religious Left.

I still to this day cannot understand what motivates the Left via the Demorats to continuously attempt to remove the power and independence of our great nation.


BZ

P.S.
The top photo is of actual oil-sand.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

At This Specific Point:



  • Iraq doesn't scare me;
  • Terrorism doesn't scare me;
  • The housing market doesn't scare me;
  • Iran doesn't scare me;
Oil prices scare me -- and few people seem to much care. To illustrate, Hugh Hewitt is breast-beating about The Vagina Monologues being hosted at Notre Dame. Excuse me, that's just entirely immaterial at this point. Even Hewitt doesn't "get it."


Oil came close to breaching $110 a barrel, boosted by signs that demand in China remained robust and investors were seeking protection against further weakness in the US dollar. The rise in oil prices came after the International Energy Agency, the western countries’ energy watchdog, said that global oil demand growth in 2008 was relatively robust in spite of record prices and an economic slowdown in the US.

Articles of Note:
Oil price fails to spark merger activity - Mar-11
Independents wrestle with shift in power - Mar-11
Central Asian gas prices set to rise in 2009 - Mar-11
Cleaner fuel is now a global commodity - Mar-07
Gas is key to future growth of oil groups - Mar-02
Vacuuming up small assets in south-east Asia - Feb-26


The IEA said world oil demand would grow this year by 1.7m barrels a day, up from 0.9m b/d in 2007. It said demand would hit an average of 87.5m b/d, down 80,000 b/d from its previous estimate.


Analysts believe oil's underlying supply and demand fundamentals do not support such high prices, and argue that crude's rise in recent months is mostly due to the falling dollar. Crude futures offer a hedge against a falling dollar, and oil futures bought and sold in dollars are more attractive to foreign investors when the dollar is weak.

The Energy Department and IEA, an energy consultant to western, industrialized nations, raised more concerns about the economic slowdown's impact on oil consumption Tuesday when both forecasters cut U.S. demand growth forecasts, but said strong demand overseas will keep prices elevated this year.

Further, of little notice was President Bush's recent trip to Africa late in February. He toured Tanzania and other countries regarding US support for AIDS and other humanitarian issues. The Journal of Turkish Weekly said, though, that those weren't the bullet points Bush sought. Instead, Bush was trying to locate AFRICOM permanent US bases on the continent ahead of China, because Africa is one of the last untapped oil resources on the planet.

My thoughts? Screw China. Locate the bases. Tap away. Keep the oil flowing. We should be there to exploit the oil. If we don't source

However, it turned out that Tanzania, Nigeria and Ghana refused the offer. And Kunle Somorin of Nigeria's Leadership said that, with the decision, Africans cut off their own noses to spite their faces, resulting in the loss of numerous new jobs and an infusion of foreign currency into desperate nations. AFRICOM, it turns out, will be located in Stuttgart, Germany.

The Africans were stupid, and President Bush was stupid to let it go at that.

We'll see $4.00 gas in a month, and $5.00 gas by August or September. That'd be $80.00 to fill my 16-gallon tank.

You want to completely kill this economy and the nation?

Keep it up. The Demorats are doing their level best to keep it up. And the Republicans are remaining conspicuously absent like the limp-wristed pussies they are.


BZ

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

When You Outsource




You make this country more dependent on the economies and political instabilities and cultures of those not your own -- to our clear detriment.

You make this amazing and wonderful country less independent, and more dependent upon the whims of second, third and fourth world countries.

And there is a reason we are considered a FIRST WORLD culture.

Because we are, quite frankly, superior to our lessers. They are called "third world countries" for a reason.

It is because they are our inferiors, plain and simple.

Due to their cultures, their environment, their geography, their mindset, their overarching religions, their ignorance, their stupidity -- I couldn't care less.

Many nations are inferior simply because they are, because of any or all of the above factors.

We place a priority on kindness, consideration, fairness, transparency, ethics.

Other developing nations couldn't care less about our rules, our attorneys, our tort system, our liabilities, our immunities, our entire sense of stability, our good will, our fair intentions. Or the health and well being of our citizens.

They do what they do when they do it, because we have purchased it, we have written it, we have paid for it, we have been forced to do it.

Because we have been convinced that "outsourcing" is the future.

But is it really?

How do we compete with countries whose line workers will be satisified with 95-cents per hour?

I am, clearly, at a loss.

My first thought: protect my country.

But how can we compete with a line production worker whose government (the U.S.) mandates health care, overtime, fair treatment, fairness in discipline, vs external governments that are completely open in terms of wages and benefits?

I ask you: what is the answer?


BZ

Monday, March 10, 2008

Barack HUSSEIN Obama

Obama will take Mississippi on Tuesday, March 11th.

BZ

Insufficiently Left

Despite all the advances we have made over the years, despite the advances in media in oh-so-many-forms, despite having taken off the gloves and actually engaged the Left in more of a bare-knuckled fight (when we had the balls to fight, that is), we as Conservatives still, in my opinion, do not clearly understand the Left -- and do not understand how the Left views what we view.

A bit of necessary background:

The Left has historically ruled the media on most every level.

It was only when the history-making Rush Limbaugh forged forward with his conservative radio program in the 80's (I met him briefly when we both worked for KFBK in Sacramento, very early in his career, very late in mine) that the Right seemed to have found its voice. Say what you will about Limbaugh, his were the formative and very important first steps on the Right.

From that point on, conservatives ruled talk radio. That rule translated to our voices being heard on the internet, into networks via Fox News and, at the same time, the instigated diminishing of the Left's importance in print media.

Is it, then, no coincidence that the Left became LOUDER and more STRIDENT and more LEFT as they perceived a greater challenge to their former AUTHORITY and DOMINANCE over all forms of the media? Is it, then, no coincidence that they clawed their bloody and demented talons more firmly into EDUCATION on all its levels, and into recognition that control of two very salient aspects of American life would ensure their competition and success, to wit:
  1. ALL forms of education
  2. ALL the courts of the land
The more the Left was challenged, the more TO the Left they moved.

Read, then, and please try to understand the implications thereof, from The Smirking Chimp:


President Bush on Saturday further cemented his legacy of fighting for strong executive powers, using his veto to shut down a Congressional effort to limit the Central Intelligence Agency’s latitude to subject terrorism suspects to harsh interrogation techniques. New York Times, 3/9/08

President Bush vetoed a bill that would have outlawed torture.

Ten words. Ten straightforward words as opposed to the thirty-eight in the above opening sentence to the New York Times story. There’s a reason why the Times uses triple the verbiage required. Journalists today are doing their best to edge around a truth too ugly for our media to confront directly. The writing must instead be carefully unfocussed so that it’s not about torture but about Bush’s “legacy,” about “strong executive power,” nice, bloodless terms that help stretch the sentence out and further dilute its actual meaning.


As far as the current Left are concerned, the New York Times is a Conservative Mouthpiece for the Right.

Did you get that? The New York Times is a Conservative Mouthpiece for the Right.

It isn't just a slight fringe believing this anymore; it's the bulk of the party.

Wrap your mind around that concept.

Today, people like Scoop Jackson, Jack Kennedy, Zell Miller -- they wouldn't even get into the Demorat party. And why Joe Lieberman had to leave.


BZ

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Insanity At The Gates


[NOTE: First, I apologize for not visiting or consulting more blogs this past week, but my computer and internet connection are not cooperating. My HP zd8000 laptop has, for some arcane reason, decided to not recognize every 3rd or 4th keystroke and it is maddening (for I am a very rapid typist, courtesy of Mrs. Lefkow's 7th Grade typing class!) when I have to continuously backspace in order to add the requisite letters or spaces between words.

In addition, my dial-up seems to have gone on vacation. It comes up as 54.6 kbps, but a simple and graphics-minimal site such as WorldNetDaily takes a good 1 to 1.5 minutes to completely load. Your blogs, some with many videos, can take up to 4 or 5 minutes to load. I simply don't find myself having the patience on some internet sessions, what with the connection and the keyboard issue -- not to mention the connection deciding, at a whim, to disconnect itself. Three or four more paychecks (some very serious fiscal issues had to be addressed recently, leaving me with no budgetary room) and I'll be ready to divest myself of the PC world and purchase my very own iMac. After that, I'll be seriously (fiscally) investigating a satellite internet connection.]

THOUGHTS ON ISRAEL:
After the second Lebanon War, the Olmert Party is barely holding together a country. Olmert is doing nothing for his nation and nothing in Gaza.

Condoleezza Rice isn't helping either. Our state position on Israel isn't helping. Pressure from Washington isn't keeping Israelis secure in their beds at night.

It isn't poverty, it isn't settlements, it isn't a country, it's simply about the state of Israel being allowed to exist. Acknowledging its presence and its future. And Arabic interests are doing their best to ensure Israel dies. I repeat: it isn't about "Palestinian" "poverty" or "no power" or "no water" or "the wall" -- it's simply about the total and complete elimination of Israel. Anything less is unacceptable and damn the casualties -- on both sides.

Yassar Arafat set the precedent: whilst filling his own personal coffers with briefcases full of cash sent to offshore accounts, Parisian housing, he portrayed himself as a fighter for, in truth, those sufficiently stupid and gullible to buy his "common man" act. And an act it was; he refused to accept, under President Clinton, lands offered by Israel for "Palestine"; he wasn't satisfied. He wanted all of Israel offered up on platter. Anything less was insufficient.

Arafat couldn't have cared less for the average "Palestinian" and neither does Hamas, the force behind the recent Israel school slayings. The young "Palestinian" assassin was a driver for the school and, as a "trusted" employee he managed to bring his AK-47 there. A Hamas flag flies over the assassin's mother's house. This is called a "clue." Hamas has already claimed responsibility.

But what is being done? The Israeli government said:

Mark Regev, spokesman for Olmert, said that "tonight's massacre in Jerusalem is a defining moment." He said that "the same warped and extremist ideology behind tonight's massacre is also behind the daily rocket barrages in the south."

A defining moment. This attack occurred on Thursday night; I write this late Friday for a Saturday publishing. And nothing is yet done. "Defining moment" indeed.

I can only ask: how long will Israel continue to exist when it has not the collective will to actively defend itself? And how long will the populace continue to allow itself to be undefended?

A True Defender of Israel, Yoni Tidi (at Yoni The Blogger) writes:

Jews are murdered but the peace talks must move on.

It makes about as much sense to me as if someone during the Holocaust indicated that the only thing they spoke out against was the environmental impact caused by all the smoke.

Shame on Bush, Rice and Olmert for standing by whilst innocent blood, both the blood shed yesterday and that which will be shed in the future, is shed on the altar of the Idol called Peace.

THE U.S. RECESSION:
We are in a recession. Its definition simply indicates so with two contiguous quarters. This economy has to be allowed to run its course. And until credit and capital starts to move, we won't be climbing out. Even Toyota is down. Popular car sales are softer.

In a positive (as I wrote last week) we can already see signs that homes are darned near at the bottom. Spring will bring about national upwards movement.

However, in Fornicalia, proposed Demorat tax increases will kill the state. Arnold doesn't have it in him to VETO. The Fornicalia economy is definitely in a recession. It could actually go into a full fledged depression.

There need to be SPENDING LIMITS -- an external DISCIPLINE which allows politicians to point to a particular bill and "gets them off the hook".

PETROLEUM:
President Bush says we need to get off the petroleum nipple. But what does he do? It doesn't matter what you say; it matters what you do.
  • Building new refineries?
  • Deciding to tap oil reserves in ANWR?
  • Oil shale in Montana, South Dakota, North Dakota?
  • Building more electrical generation stations?
  • Deciding to build nuclear power?
  • Erecting oil platforms for drilling off our very own shores?

ANY indication that we are even remotely attempting to become the slightest bit independent?

NONE.

Oil is at $104+ the barrel.

I paid $3.63 for gas at my local Sierra Nevada station two days ago.

Diesel fuel is more expensive than gasoline now, impacting railroads, trucking, farmers, fire departments.

Gasoline already costs $7.50 per gallon in Germany today.

U.S. CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) regulations indicate that Amercan vehicles must achieve 35 mpg by the year 2020. Get over it right now: the only way to achieve this is to create an entirely new wave of microcars, none of which can weigh over 2,000 pounds. Your SUV is gone. Your station wagon is gone. Your Accord-like vehicle is gone. Your pickup truck is gone. Get used to the smartForTwo prototype vehicle.

We are competing with India, China, Europe and Russia for fuel.

I predict $5.00 per gallon fuel by this time next year. For my 2007 4WD Toyota RAV-4, which is much larger, much faster (0-60 in 5.9 seconds, 280 hp) and gets better mileage (my best is 31 mpg, average of 23) than my former dinky 2003 Subaru Outback Sport AWD (best mpg of 24, average of 19 to 20), this would cost me $85 per fill due to my 17-gallon tank.

This will simply kill our economy. If it goes that way I'll forward my retirement and sit back, observe. I have a 69 mile commute per day because I REFUSE to live cheek-to-jowl with illegal Mexicans, black gangbangers, Vietnamese with their chicken shacks, continuous rooster howls, people who refuse (and whose lesser languages are accommodated by my government) to speak English. Call me a racist, sexist, generationist, futurist, I couldn't care less. I want to be with people who look like me and speak like me in my dotage. Imagine that.

And still we'll beat our breasts when we have the answers at our very fingertips -- killed by our own stupidity.

To quote Kurt Vonnegut (1922 - 2007): "and so it goes."


BZ