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Bloviating Zeppelin: July 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.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Drill Vote

The Demorats -- you have to admire their cohesion.

They have managed, due to their power, to put off a coastal drill vote -- absent Bush's rescission of a prior Executive Order in 1990 by his father, prohibiting such -- and now will be taking their recess, again putting off said vote.

Two reasons, and you place their priority:

  • Because to Speaker Pelosi, this literally is the line in the sand;
  • In order to shield Obama, as a Senator and, moreover, The Anointed PrezzyCandy, from being seen to cast an obvious NO vote on drilling.
Think about it.

Why can't the GOP be as cohesive? Moreover, why could they have not been so when the power was theirs to wield?

BZ

Vacuosity = Obamas



There are things you can do individually, though, to save energy. Making sure your tires are properly inflated — simple thing. But we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling — if everybody was just inflating their tires? And getting regular tune-ups? You’d actually save just as much!"


People in this country are ready for change and hungry for a different kind of politics and … for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback.”


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," Obama said.

"That's not leadership. That's not going to happen," he added.

As an educated American, do you see some possible flaws in these observations, perchance?

BZ

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's Official:


Those people living down your street who were fiscally negligent, perhaps at the behest of a larger fiscally negligent lender, will be "saved." And perhaps you, who did manage to exhibit fiscal responsibility, but bought a home during a stage of inflated home prices -- there you sit, with your mortage and the knowledge that literally billions more of your tax dollars will be directed towards bailing out irresponsible borrowers and lenders.


With none of the fanfare that usually attends a landmark bill becoming law,President Bush signed the huge housing rescue bill just after 7 a.m. Wednesday, shortly after he arrived in the Oval Office.

Yes, I know that somewhere persons are fearful of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac causing a domino-like effect cascading through many other lending institutions. I even wrote about that possibility here.

But mark my words, friends, here's the reality I predict:

Instead of dealing with the issue directly, taking the "hit" right now and up front, all we'll do is find ourselves expanding the pain and prolonging the amount of time it takes to recover.

BZ

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ah, Islam:


The religion of peace and tolerance:

Almost third of Muslim students on Britain's campuses believe killing in the name of religion can be justified, according to a controversial survey described as the most comprehensive of its kind.

The poll, conducted for Islam on Campus, a new report from the Centre for Social Cohesion think-tank, also found that 40 per cent of those interviewed supported the introduction of sharia law for British Muslims.

Wake up America.

BZ

Monday, July 28, 2008

This Is Just Plain Wrong


Legal or not, there are lines that should not be crossed and this happens to be one of them.

I first picked up the story at The Roland Blog and then at that judgmentally-racist TexasFred's (oh yes, the TexasFred who somehow managed to get behind the involved soldiers in this incident -- imagine that!) blog. To wit, from WFAA.com:


MCKINNEY - A North Texas couple is getting ready for their second deployment overseas.

They’re leaving to serve their country but instead they’ve been served with fees from their landlord.

“It’s a job, we have to do it,” said Chris Horvath.

But they’re leaving with added stress, since they’ve been in a fight with their apartment complex - McKinney’s El Lago development.

The couple, both of whom are sergeants in the Texas National Guard, are soon headed to Iraq.


The couple are being charged with up to $800 in fees and penalties for breaking their lease; but their lease is being broken because they're both being deployed to fight for you and me. See the full discussion and unfolding story at TexasFred's.

But my take? It's this:

We can spend literally billions and billions of dollars to bail out negligent lenders and consumers with regard to sub-prime loans. Yet we stick the monetary shiv between the ribs and into the guts of soldiers who fight for our country? Did anyone besides me notice this wasn't their first deployment -- it is their second?

This action is just plain wrong. Period. Why can't we give these people just a bit of a break?

BZ

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dialogue?


This came out of nowhere, via the internet:


by John Leo

Aggressive diversity programs on (COLLEGE and UNIVERSITY) campuses now come with harmless-sounding names such as "sustainability," "social justice" and the need for good "dispositions." The latest in this series is "intergroup dialogue." Who can oppose "intergroup dialogue"? Many of us, if the real meaning of the term is excavated.

"Intergroup dialogue" is the new euphemism for the oppression confrontations that used to be conducted sub rosa at freshman orientations and have now been spreading across the country as formal programs for almost a decade. The goal of an oppression confrontation is to put enough pressure on white males to convince them they are racists, homophobes and sexists. Role reversal is a conventional part of the program. Whites are asked to pretend they are black, straights part the part of gays. Insults and catcalls are supposed to sensitize the whites and reveal that they are living lives of unearned privilege in a system based on oppression. White guilt, the erosion of traditional values and a strong emphasis on identity politics are the conventional results sought in these exercises.

In Blue Eyed, a filmed racism awareness workshop used at many orientations, white students, in the words of Alan Charles Kors, cofounder of FIRE, "are abused, ridiculed, made to fail, and taught helpless passivity to that they can identity with a person of color for a day.

According to a July 16th report by Peter Schmidt in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Intergroup Dialogue deliberately stirs up conflict to expose students to different perspectives. The oppressiveness of American society is taken for granted in these programs and the "web of oppression" is one common exercise. Twelve to eighteen students from two or more identity groups take turns holding a web of string draped with labels that bear racist or sexist jokes or other statement "intended to spark discussions of power and discrimination." "Talking about these topics can blow up if you don't do it right," said Patricia Gurin, professor emerita of psychology and women's studies at the University of Michigan.

Gurin wrote the report on the educational benefits of diversity, seized on by Justice Sandra O'Connor, that tipped the Supreme Court toward accepting racial preferences in admissions at the University of Michigan law school. Her presence is a major figure in the Intergroup Dialogue movement shows that the program has the function of further justifying preferences.

Signs of resistance have appeared. Some students refused to be pigeon-holed in racial and ethnic categories, and are excluded from the program. And the National Association of Scholars has spoken out in opposition. Peter Wood, executive director of NAS said Intergroup Dialogue program is "overtly political" means of trying to indoctrinate students to see oppression all around them. (Since the Chronicle did not put Intergroup Dialogue in quotes or capital letters, it made Wood sound like a crank condemning all dialogue---one of the advantages of using a gassy euphemism for a pseudo-therapeutic oppression exercise.)

A nine-college collaborative is pushing Intergroup Dialogue---the University of Michigan, Arizona State, Occidental, Syracuse University, the University of Maryland, the University of Texas, the University of Washington, the University of Massachusetts and the University of California at San Diego.
Yes. It's your money funding this.

BZ

Saturday, July 26, 2008

New To The Usual Suspects


Ever visit a blog and something just clicks? You think: "this person has it going on" -- your thoughts and/or philosophies seem quite convergent?

After just one comment and -- in that perspective, having visited his blog -- I'd like to welcome The Roland Blog to my The Usual Suspects list.

Roland writes in his profile: "I am a retired US Navy Chief Petty Officer. I spent 20 years in Naval Aviation. I now spend too much time hacking away at my computer."

RG Roland lives in Keystone Heights, Florida, and can be contacted at rgroland@gmail.com. His interests include history in general, American history, geneology, animals and photography.

Please welcome The Roland Blog to my Usual Suspect blogroll and visit him frequently for an excellent insight into the military world and politics!

Excelsior!

BZ

A-10 At Work

This video was taken inside the cockpit of an A-10 by the pilot, at night. What you see is from 9,700 feet away (almost two miles). The four terrorists had no clue someone was watching from almost two miles away. The A-10 is using its 30 mm cannon -- without injuring the dog nearby, who escaped unharmed. You can see the gun camera shake a bit as the pilot fires; then count about 4 seconds for the rounds to travel the two miles. Every tenth round is a tracer, so the bullets you actually see are only tracers; the four terrorists are getting hit with hundreds of rounds, but the dog is unscathed. Muzzle velocity on the 30mm is 2,430 fps. All's well that ends well.

BZ


video

Friday, July 25, 2008

EJECT, EJECT, EJECT!


It's a bailout. Plain and simple.

And there are politicians who have been bought off completely by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

This housing legislation stinks, plain and simple. It has passed the House and goes to the Senate next. President Bush has said he won't veto the bill.

It's going to cost taxpayers literally billions. Billions of dollars vacuumed from United States citizens that somehow managed not to be stupid but, instead, managed to keep track of their monies and acted with discipline and restraint -- who knew what they could afford and what they could not. Further, what of those homeowners who purchased homes at inflated prices but haven't gone bankrupt -- and who'll be saddled with their own inflated debt and the debt of hundreds of thousands of other Americans who lacked frugality and reality?

But no, this bill would benefit those lenders and borrowers who were stupid, ignorant, greedy, arrogant, who wanted something for nothing and -- now -- apparently will get it. The only message sent is this: honest Americans get hosed; dishonest Americans are saved.

In the meantime, you and I get stuck with the bill.


This is a national disgrace. Those involved lenders and borrowers have a price to pay, and only they should pay it.

BZ

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Still More Truth






There is only one reason for Barack Hussein Obama to visit Europe: a shallow attempt to make him appear to be "presidential" -- and to get voters to think of him as "worldly" and "experienced" come November.

Obama's speech today (Thursday): "I come to Berlin as so many of my countrymen have come before. Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen -- a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world."

Really? After taking Americans to task for failing to honor the languages of other countries, why are you failing to address those visited nations in their own attendant language?

BZ

Gas

From Bloomberg:


July 23 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil futures fell below $125 a barrel for the first time in seven weeks (Wednesday) after a U.S. government report showed that fuel stockpiles increased as consumption tumbled to the lowest in more than a year.

A gas station in Stockton, California is selling fuel for $3.99 today.


WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - Republican John McCain on Wednesday credited the recent $10-a-barrel drop in the price of oil to President Bush's lifting of a presidential ban on offshore drilling, an action he has been advocating in his presidential campaign. The cost of oil and gasoline is "on everybody's mind in this room," McCain told a town-hall meeting.

He criticized Democratic rival Barack Obama for opposing drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf.


Now, oil shale, oil sands and ANWR next.

BZ

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Media As Owned By Barack Hussein Obama:


BZ

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

THE SUBWAY PROJECT

Heard of this, from your friendly, neighborhood religion of peace and tolerance: Islam?

The Islamic Circle of North America has instituted what they call the Subway Project in New York City, in order to flood 1,000 subway cars with advertisements this September in a campaign to "explain the true nature of Islam to non-Muslims who believe the religion is bent on acts of violence" during the month of Ramadan.


The stark, black-and-white ads of the Subway Project promote Islam with the goals of clearing up long-held misconceptions about the faith and reaching out to those interested in becoming Muslim, according to the Islamic Circle of North America, the group behind the campaign.

Timed to run during the month of Ramadan, the ads come in pairs, reading "Q: Prophet Muhammad?" or "Q: Islam?" and the corresponding answer is always "A: You deserve to know."

Those interested in knowing more are directed to call (877) WHY-ISLAM or to visit whyislam.org, which provide literature that teaches and proselytizes about the faith. The group insists it is not looking to transform subway cars into the "G-had train."

"Anyone who looks at this ad objectively can see that it is not preaching anything," Azeem Khan, the group's assistant secretary general, told The Post. "There is a lot of Islamaphobia out there. We provide people with a chance to speak with an actual Muslim who is informed."

Now let's examine the truth behind the message:

Q: Who's promoting this campaign?
A: A Brooklyn imam named Siraj Wahhaj.

Q: Who is he?
A: He "was named by U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White as a possible co-conspirator to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and testified as a character witness for convicted terror mastermind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman. According to Salon.com, in a 1991 speech before the Islamic Association of North Texas, Wahhaj called Operation Desert Storm "one of the most diabolical plots ever in the annals of history," and predicted that America will fall unless it "accepts the Islamic agenda." He has openly expressed his desire to see the American government replaced with a caliphate."


There is no end to the nerve of Muslims who would destroy us. And that's mostly because we--our government and institutions--kowtow to them and literally allow them to get away with murder.

Now, according to the New York Post, Wahhaj is plastering New York City subways with an advertising campaign promoting Islam. Well, at least, they're telling the truth by having a terrorist as their spokesman. Wahhaj is prominent in a YouTube video promoting the subway ads.


The Islamic Circle of North America has been named in "a list of our organizations and the organizations of our friends" by the Muslim Brotherhood, which is bent on waging "a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions."

Once again, so-called "moderate Islam" is found to be hiding the nature of the true militant face of Islam.

Ladies and gentlemen, I say and will continue to say: "Be not fooled. Islam IS as Islam DOES."

BZ

New to The Usual Suspects:


Anyone reading my blog for a period of time knows that I live and die by Politics. Sure, I occasionally skew out onto some tangents now and then, but I deal with some State of Fornicalia issues and, primarily, into larger overarching federal, economic and social issues.

My "The Usual Suspects" blogroll, therefore, reflects my Conservative political bent.

With this exclusive exception: I'd like to introduce my readership to Alaska Steve's "A Sense Of Place" blog, and thusly kindly insert his site into my personal U.S. blogroll. Steve's site is only the second non-political blog (like BWH) introduced into my blogroll. That in and of itself bespeaks volumes.


And here's how I found his blog: some recent issues had me staying at home for a while, so I managed to escape a bit into television and, by this venue, I found a real enjoyment in the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch. I got all caught up in crab fishing, Dutch Harbor, crab boats, Unalaska, the fisheries, the hard work, the Bering Sea, the controversy, the challenges, the independence of and nature of those who choose that life.

I found Steve's blog in this fashion. And Alaska Steve is the Real Deal: an articulate blogger actually living in Unalaska, near Dutch Harbor, and a hard-working fisherman to boot.

As he writes on his blog masthead: "Finding peace and new life on Unalaska Island." And his masthead photo: absolutely beautiful.

A wonderful bonus that I particularly appreciate: each and every photograph portrayed on his blog is a treasure in and of itself, taken with great care by Steve himself.

Alaska Steve may not know this, but his blog is a centering calm in a storm of reality.

Please, welcome Alaska Steve aboard, and visit his blog frequently.

BZ

Monday, July 21, 2008

State of Fornicalia:

This is how Fornicalia politicans (a state where the Demorats are clearly in control and our Gov. Schwarzenegger is an obvious RINO) feel compelled to handle the current plight of the Ship Of State.


BZ

P.S.
The City of Vallejo is currently bankrupt. The City of Berkeley is on its way. Colfax had to disincorporate. Compton had to disincorporate. Rio Vista had to disincorporate. And yet my State of Fornicalia politicians are spending more freely than ever before.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Still A Guy


In recent reflection of not only the pussification of America but the world as well, I happened recently to chance upon a country music station broadcasting out of Sacramento. I heard a song by Brad Paisley entitled "I'm Still A Guy" and, I must admit, in consideration of the state of this nation, I thought the lyrics were appropriate for reproduction here:


"I'm Still A Guy"

When you see a deer you see Bambi
And I see antlers up on the wall
When you see a lake you think picnic
And I see a large mouth up under that log
You're probably thinking that you're going to change me
In some ways well maybe you might
Scrub me down, dress me up but no matter what
I'm still a guy

When you see a priceless French painting
I see a drunk, naked girl
You think that riding a wild bull sounds crazy
And I'd like to give it a whirl
Well love makes a man do some things he ain't proud of
And in a weak moment I might walk your sissy dog, hold your purse at the mall
But remember, I'm still a guy

I'll pour out my heart
Hold your hand in the car
Write a love song that makes you cry
Then turn right around knock some jerk to the ground
'Cause he copped a feel as you walked by

I can hear you now talking to your friends
Saying, "Yeah girls he's come a long way"
From dragging his knuckles and carrying a club

And building a fire in a cave
But when you say a backrub means only a backrub
Then you swat my hand when I try
Well, what can I say at the end of the day
Honey, I'm still a guy

I'll pour out my heart
Hold your hand in the car
Write a love song that makes you cry
Then turn right around knock some jerk to the ground
'Cause he copped a feel as you walked by

These days there's dudes getting facials
Manicured, waxed and botoxed
With deep spray-on tans and creamy lotiony hands
You can't grip a tacklebox

With all of these men lining up to get neutered
It's hip now to be feminized
I don't highlight my hair
I've still got a pair
Yeah honey, I'm still a guy

Oh my eyebrows ain't plucked
There's a gun in my truck
Oh thank God, I'm still a guy


Thank God I'm still "kickin' it Old School." I don't always agree with my woman. I'm not a carpet. Too much detail drives me crazy. I like action movies. Football season arrives for a reason. I like beer; life is too short for cheap beer. I open the door for my wife. I kiss her and I hold her hand in public because I'm proud she's with me. I know how to cook, how to vacuum, how to do wash, I'm independent. I decorated my own house and I'm clean. Matter of fact I'm infinitely cleaner than my first wife and my last girlfriend. I don't read female authors because they don't write for me. I like guns because they're fun and they make people uncomfortable and because I believe in the Second Amendment. I didn't make my fiance my wife because I had to; I made her my wife because I chose to. I don't like parties. I don't dance. I couldn't much care less about socializing just to socialize. I don't speak much unless it's required. People who talk on and on are stupid and insecure.

And those are just a few reasons I'm glad to be a Guy.

BZ

P.S.
Hmm. Maybe I should listen to more country music.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things


Over the years I've had the pleasure of carrying a large number of handguns on duty and off duty, from S&W Models 28 & 29 to Series 80 Colt .45s. I have also had the pleasure of being the Sergeant Rangemaster to my department's 2,000+ officers, as well as its current EVOC Supervisor.

My three favorite handguns (as pictured) include my first-ever wheelgun and two semi-autos, all of which I still own.

At this point my department only allows the Sig Sauer semi-auto system to be carried, in .40, .45 and 9mm calibres (with the .380 reserved for Exec and Management Staff). Approved models include the P220, P226, P229 and P232.

Top:

Colt Python, .357 calibre, 4" bbl, blued
My favorite rollergun, I carried this weapon first as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff in 1975 for a number of years until I acquired the Chrome Bumper (no longer owned), which was a 6" bbl Colt Python slathered with liberal doses of pimp-chrome. Reserves were not supposed to carry a long-barreled handgun but, for whatever reason, no one objected. I also carried the 4" Python for a short time when I worked for the FBI.

Ah, memories: for years my department's officers only shot wadcutters for qualifications. One day in the late '70s a clear-thinking Rangemaster postulated: "Hey, since we shoot factory rounds in the street and not wadcutters, perhaps we should qualify with factory rounds?" Imagine the chagrin of some officers who lost their vision during night-quals due to the bloom from a Full Chat .357 round! Some officers who'd never had to fire a factory round in the street were shocked -- shocked -- that the Full Chat .357 round was a wrist-wrencher! Makes me giggle.

Middle:

Sig Sauer P220, .45 calibre, blued, Euro-release, single-stack mag
I carried this handgun the bulk of my time in Patrol. I had a double-mag pouch on my Sam Browne which meant I carried four magazines within immediate reach. A very light-framed handgun with a potent round, the P220 was balanced very well and shot accurately. It was hardy, durable and the large hole at the end caught many a person's attention.

Bottom:

Glock 17, 9mm calibre, blued, double-stack mag
For whatever reason, I shot best of all with this handgun. I also carried this for a time with the FBI. Called the "plastic gun," scuttlebutt at the beginning of its life included the falsehood that it could pass through metal detectors -- which it could not and still cannot do. The frame is a poured polymer, but the slide and various other critical parts are metal, plain and simple.

My department eliminated the weapon for optional carry because, for cleaning and stripping, you had to be smarter than the gun. That eliminated a certain number of personnel from my department -- those who managed to put a few holes in the cleaning shack adjacent Range 1. One must depress the trigger in order to release the slide (Glock, what were you thinking??) but, as any logical and safe gunhandler knows, you must first drop the magazine, lock back the slide and clear the well and throat. Heavy sigh. I miss my Glock.

Yes, these are a few of my favorite things. Yours?


BZ

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Voice Of Obama


It is clearly abundant that Barack Hussein Obama is too stupid to walk upright like a Man.


We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.

What the hell?

You won't read this in the DEM -- the Defeatist, Elitist Media. It somehow managed to vanish off his own website. The DEM appears to be not only indifferent to his stupidity, but complicit in terms of purposely not covering statements and making idiotic things disappear.

  • Does Barack Hussein Obama think the military can lawfully be utilized within the United States?
  • Does Barack Hussein Obama think the National Guard is the same thing as the military forces?
  • Does Barack Hussein Obama think we need a fatter, cuddlier, cuter, nicer Civilian force to replace a true Military force?
  • Does Barack Hussein Obama think we need a National Police Force like the film "Escape From New York"?
  • Will these civilians be the Energy Police if your thermostat isn't set at 89-degrees in summer?
  • Will these civilians be the Spaying Police to see if your dog has been cut?
  • So if we create a Federal Police Force, how many more billions of dollars will this cost?
  • And will we disband county, city, state police forces?

This imbecile now reminds me of a Stegosaurus, whose brain was insufficiently large to allow all its limbs to walk; it had a separate ganglion of nerves in its hips to drive the rear legs.

On the other hand, all three MSM "anchors" (Charlie Gibson, Katie Couric, Brian Williams) are going to Iraq with Obama. Did John McCain, will John McCain see this kind of free publicity? Shall we call this the "Shamelessly Pimp Ma Demorat Tour"?

The MSM is literally saving Barack Hussein Obama millions and millions of publicity dollars.

And despite all of this, Barack Hussein Obama and McCain are essentially neck-and-neck when, you'd think, BHO should be wiping the floors with an ancient, flaccid fossil like McCain.

That's how stupid both parties really are. And how ignorant and stupid Barack Hussein Obama really is.


BZ

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Less Jet-A?


NEW YORK (CNN) -- U.S. Airways is pressuring pilots to use less fuel, undermining their authority and possibly compromising safety, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Airline Pilots Association.

U.S. Airways says it wants pilots to balance an appropriate amount of fuel with rising gas prices.

Eight pilots and their union have filed complaints with the Federal Aviation Administration, accusing the airline of infringing on their authority and making them fly with less fuel than they feel is safe, said James Ray, a spokesman for the U.S. Airline Pilots Association.

There are two sets of fuel rules:

1. Those set by the FAA: when you file a flight plan, you also file an alternate airport for emergent purposes. Fuel burn is known, distance is known. You must have 45 minutes of fuel when arriving at your primary destination, but also 45 minutes of fuel in reserve at your alternate destination as well.

2. The Pilot in command has the final decision: in terms of how much fuel to put on board, and other issues.

Most pilots know when they have to wait for takeoff. If there is a taxi time issue, most pilots will run the ramps with one engine and then, when closer, spool up the second engine in line. A Southwest 737, for example, will burn 800 pounds of fuel per hour, per engine, to taxi. Climbout burns 2,000 pounds of fuel per hour, per engine.

There are also various economy settings in a commercial aircraft. Power may be pulled back in order to save fuel in flight. Fuel is heavy. There may be 100,000 pounds of fuel on board a large commercial craft.

US Airways has apparently had a consistent history of discontent between its pilots and management.

The big question: are these pilots adding 2,000 or 3,000 additional pounds of fuel -- what most pilots consider very reasonable? Or are they adding 10,000 pounds, 12,000 pounds?


BZ

Just Mention The "D" Word,

. . . and oil drops again, Thursday: $130.52. Now closed at $129.29. Dropped more than $15 in three days.

BZ

Obama Youth

(With thanks to VW!)


BZ

The Economy Is Horrible

Right.

That's why nobody can get into or make an appointment at any Apple Store because of or for the new iPhone.

Disposable income, anyone?

BZ

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Little Late


But I still couldn't pass up these pix. I needed a larf.


BZ

Say The Word "Drill" - Oil Prices Lower


I recently wrote: "When word comes of drilling domestically, watch the price of oil drop."

President Bush recently pulled the EO banning domestic drilling. Today, Tuesday, the price of oil dropped to $139.


In a dramatic move yesterday President Bush removed the executive-branch moratorium on offshore drilling. Today, at a news conference, Bush repeated his new position, and slammed the Democratic Congress for not removing the congressional moratorium on the Outer Continental Shelf and elsewhere. Crude-oil futures for August delivery plunged $9.26, or 6.3 percent, almost immediately as Bush was speaking, bringing the barrel price down to $136.

Now isn’t this interesting?

Democrats keep saying that it will take 10 years or longer to produce oil from the offshore areas. And they say that oil prices won’t decline for at least that long. And they, along with Obama and McCain, bash so-called oil speculators. And today we had a real-world example as to why they are wrong. All of them. Reid, Pelosi, Obama, McCain — all of them.

Knee-jerk, or prophetic?

BZ

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?


The Chrysler Building in New York City was recently sold to Dubai.

Anheuser-Busch was purchased by Belgian brewer InBev SA, a company essentially controlled from Brazil.

Properties in America, commercial and otherwise, are being sold left and right.

However, if you recall in the mid-to-late 80’s, everyone was concerned when Japan apparently went on a buying spree of properties in the U.S. Yes, Japan made many purchases and then Japan’s economy tanked and those purchases became later sales themselves.

Much of this movement is opportunistic. Property is cheap, and not just at the level of the individual home. The dollar is weak and those able to do so are taking complete advantage of this fact but on a larger commercial basis.

What is truly starting to become frightening is the portent of all of this: the rumbling roll of growing fear with regard to the weak dollar, the stock market, the price of a barrel of oil -- and now banks:
July 14 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks fell, sending financial shares to their lowest level since October 1998, on heightened concern that bank failures will spread.

Washington Mutual Inc. posted its biggest drop ever and National City Corp. tumbled to a 24-year low after last week’s collapse of IndyMac Bancorp Inc. spurred speculation that regional banks are short of capital. The companies said they’ve seen no unusual depositor activity. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac erased an earlier rally fueled by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s plan to help rescue the largest U.S. mortgage lenders. Alcoa Inc. jumped, limiting the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s drop, after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. advised buying the shares.”

Unfortunately, in the markets, perception and NOT truth is everything.

If people perceive banks are falling like a house of cards, they will. “Self-fulfilling prophecy” comes directly to mind.

There's a significant amount of grave concern about the banking sector,'' said T.J. Marta, a fixed-income strategist at RBC Capital Markets in New York, the investment-banking arm of Canada's biggest lender. ``Now what we're having is solvency concerns.''

Self-fulfilling prophecy? More:

July 14 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Treasury Department's plan to shore up FannieMae and Freddie Mac is an "unmitigated disaster'' and the largest U.S. mortgage lenders are "basically insolvent,'' according to investor Jim Rogers.

Taxpayers will be saddled with debt if Congress approves U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's request for the authority to buy unlimited stakes in and lend to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Rogers said in a Bloomberg Television interview. Rogers is betting that Fannie Mae shares will keep tumbling.

Self-fulfilling prophecy? More:
PASADENA, California (Reuters) - Hundreds of worried IndyMac Bancorp Inc customers descended on the company's branches on Monday to withdraw their money, after regulators seized what was once one of the largest mortgage lenders in the United States.

Regulators took over the Pasadena-based lender on Friday after a bank run in which customers -- panicked over IndyMac's survival prospects -- withdrew $1.3 billion over 11 business days, regulators said.

We are on the potential cusp of a remarkable crash, not unlike 1929. And should this occur, it won't be because of reality -- it will be because of perception. In my opinion, this isn't anything we cannot resolve -- unless we choose not to.


On the other hand, when I write that now might be a great time to buy ammunition, do you wager I am kidding?


BZ

Monday, July 14, 2008

Listen Up, GOP


Wordsmith has an excellent post on the nature of Barack Hussein Obama, specifically targeting the cover and concomitant story by the New Yorker magazine. I'll not reproduce the cover here, you can find it if you wish.

But the point is: even a Left Wing organ like the New Yorker is beginning to peel the layers off the eatable BHO object, thinking it's a sweet apple and finding it might be an onion.

As I wrote in comments:

There is nothing new about Obama, except his ability to say there is something new -- in a way that those desperate to find a new Savior have FOUND their Savior. A Savior who speaks much but says little. He is no "change;" he is but more of the "same."

And the GOP and Conservatives should take careful note:
1. "Democrats don't win elections; Republicans lose them."
2. Though being in power, the Demorats couldn't stop FISA.
3. If McCain and the GOP and Conservatism are so "yesterday" then Obama should be miles and miles ahead of McCain, as he clearly has the DEM working entirely FOR him.

And still, it is no walkaway race.

Conservatives, GOP, are you listening? Are you hearing? Are you paying attention?

The power is the GOP's to LOSE.

BZ

How Things Are






This says it all.


BZ

Sunday, July 13, 2008

How Far The Once-Mighty British Have Fallen


And continue to fall. I'll wager there isn't a full set of complete testicles in the entire country -- at least, a complete straight set of balls. From the UK MailOnline:


Most visitors to a popular beauty spot would welcome overgrown bushes being cut back. But a council had to tread carefully after being told that to some members of the gay community, the dense undergrowth was something to be protected.

Removing it would discriminate against the gay men who use the area for outdoor sex, campaigners claimed.

Visitors to the Downs near Bristol's spectacular Avon Gorge have complained about the 'inappropriate sexual activity', which can be punishable by up to six months in prison.

Despite this, the city council was forced to consult gay rights groups about their concerns over its plan to clear away the bushes to improve the scenery and protect rare wildlife.


Oh, but wait, it gets better. Note this paragraph buried in the article at the very bottom:


Last year four firefighters were disciplined for allegedly disturbing a group of men at night by shining their torches into the bushes on the Downs.

After complaints that their actions were homophobic, the four senior officers from Avon Fire Service were fined and transferred to other stations.


With that in mind, I decided to check. Could it be true that firefighters were considered homophobic when they came across some kind of activity and checked to see what it was? And further, were disciplined for doing so? The sad answer:

Yes, it occurred. Check the links noted. The firefighters were disciplined. Forced to be brainwashed with PC propaganda. And further, transferred. From this article:

However, one of the firefighter's colleagues told the Daily Mail that they were not happy with the punishment.

"This is a complete farce. All four officers have been let down by their senior officers when they needed their support the most," he said.

"They have been treated as the criminals in this case and it has been completely forgotten that they witnessed criminal activity occurring in a public place.

"There are a lot of firefighters in Avon who feel that the four involved have been treated very unfairly so the service can be seen as being politically correct." he added.

The money from the fines is to be donated to a gay-rights charity and the four firefighters have been transferred to other stations.


The once mighty, once proud United Kingdom has been turned into a nation of politically-correct, Gay-Advocating, Islamic-Advocating capitulists -- just a bit of a conundrum. I shake my head in wonder. . .

Hello? Looking for the very last complete set of balls in the UK? Anyone? Hmm. Must be hanging on a woman now.


BZ


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Si Se Puede: 55


(I wrote this post last week; I was prescient, because now it is here: Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, wants to return to the Good Old Days.)

It's coming. I can hear it from here: footsteps. The Double Nickel Footsteps.

Expect a regression to a national 55 MPH speed limit.

On the same day Gov. Jennifer Granholm suggested the state consider lowering freeway speeds to conserve gas, speed studies released to The Detroit News on Wednesday indicate that $4-a-gallon gas has not put a damper on the desire to zoom across town.

The average speeds at nine spots around Metro Detroit actually rose from August 2007 to June, according to the Michigan Department of Transportation. Speeds went down slightly at just three sites that MDOT routinely monitors.

It is classic time-is-money tradeoff, said David Greene, a researcher for the U.S. Department of Energy based in Tennessee. A motorist can save $12 in gas by going 10 mph slower over 500 miles. But it adds an hour to the trip.

"For a lot of people, their time is still more valuable than the fuel savings," Greene said.


However, buried deep in the article:
Police and others say slowing down too much can be dangerous. Some folks are tempting fate by dipping below 55 mph, said Jim Rink, a spokesperson for AAA Michigan. If most traffic is going 70 to 75 mph, the slow car becomes a danger, he said. "It's a recipe for a potential crash," he said.


One commenter on the Truth About Cars (apparently a partial Libertarian after my own heart) wrote:

For that matter, why are taxes being imposed for any purpose other than supporting government functions, and why is there such an obsession with taxing anything you don’t like?

If the government can give out incentives for hybrids, why not incentives for any car that exceeds 30 mpg combined? What about supporting a SUV buyback program if people are so hellbent on getting these things off the streets?

What is so attractive about beating people over the heads with excess taxes and excess regulations?

Another commenter nailed it when he wrote:
If the motivation is to save fuel, then instead of slowing people down, the goal should be the opposite — to get traffic to stop idling. Unless you drive a hybrid, your worst fuel economy is achieved in slow stop-and-go traffic, not at highway speeds.


I've said that for years: eliminate "stupid" traffic lights -- the ones that don't run on demand, the ones that make you stop when there's no traffic about. Eliminate concrete dividers and place more "left turn" center lanes so drivers don't have to make a U-turn at a stop light to enter the street they passed. Extend the time of "yellow" at each traffic light to eliminate accidents -- ooops, sorry, can't do that, might cut into a city's PROFITS from "red light runners" (you know, of course, don't you, that the companies manufacturing and installing Red Light Cameras get a cut of the PROFITS from each traffic citation, yes?). Even-out green light times so one direction isn't overbearing and all other directions sit at idle.

The goal should be: KEEP TRAFFIC MOVING and MINIMIZE IDLE and STOPPING TIMES.

But no, those are common sense ideas. It's best to once more jerk off the public and penalize the many due to the few.

55. It's coming. Actually, it's almost here.


BZ

Friday, July 11, 2008

My Own Personal Slice of Hell


As I've alluded for the past few weeks, Northern Fornicalia just can't seem to catch a break because of all the fires. Iran said "we" (the U.S.) would burn. Are their minions here purposely setting fires?

I am besieged by smoke not only at work in Sacramento, but at home too.

Thursday, July 10th in Sacramento, it was 111-degrees on our work thermometer, the air was stagnant, unmoving, overcast and humid. Particulate matter floated. I could no longer see the tower at Mather Airport. Visibility was roughly half a mile. The air conditioner at work provided only a cooler flavor of smoke. You could taste it.

My eyes still run red. They tear up constantly. My throat burns. I cannot get away. I have a massive throbbing headache as I write this. There is no escape.

When I got home Thursday night, the air was stale inside my house, stagnant, hot, 88-degrees, and smelled of smoke. I have no air-conditioning and rely upon the cool night to vacate the old air from my house like a Whole House Fan. It's cooler out there now; just profligate with smoke.

It was so hot inside the house I actually preferred the smell of smoke to the depleting heat. I have box fans blowing the stale hot air out as I write this paragraph. I am trading it for "hopefully" cooler smoky air. What a choice. And oh yes, I am drinking cold Grey Goose vodka and Squirt. It seems to be smoothing out the rough edges for me, even as I write this. Otherwise I couldn't stand to be here. I will be abandoning my cabin tomorrow. Fuck this. I can't breathe. I need cooler air. I'm thinking it's time to actually spend the money I make and install a new HVAC system in this 1980 cabin. Then I could run the place on two energy systems: propane and electricity.

Included is a map of Fornicalia smoke plume areas.

Scuttlebutt at the local store is that the flames from the Blue Canyon fire are visible and only a few ridges from Moody Ridge -- about 5 miles from my house.

I've started taking some things down in my Toyota RAV-4 to the wife's house. What to take? I ask. What's important? How can I decide with a Lifetime of history stashed in my home? How to triage what's truly valuable?

Because triage I must. Best to do it now instead of later. I don't know for a fact I'm definitely targeted. But I'd be a fool to assume I am not, that the fires aren't coming directly for my forehead. And my house. And everything I hold valuable, worked, sweated, toiled, bled for the past number of years. And obviously I am not the only one in this predicament. There are many of us Mountain People up here. Older people. Families with children.






The fire coming for me is called the American River Complex.

Should I be fearful? Or simply resigned?

I can only hope that CalFire decides to fight like Frothing Bastards for my area because, if they lose me, they lose my entire local CalFire response station and its adjoining reservoir for bucket dipping.


BZ

Boeing's Second Chance


Boeing gets a second chance to re-bid the USAF's $35-billion dollar tanker project, the aircraft necessary to replace its aging fleet of Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers and Boeing KC-10A Extenders.

EADS/Northrop-Grumman acquired the initial award. EADS is the parent company of Airbus, the foreign aircraft manufacturer. Airbus is subsidized heavily by the French government.

Boeing filed a protest early this year alleging more than 100 violations of proper contracting practices, eight of which were sustained by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress.


WASHINGTON --- The Defense Department has reopened the bidding process for a multibillion-dollar midair refueling tanker contract, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said today. The announcement comes after the Government Accountability Office last month found improper practices related to the $35 billion contract awarded in February to the Northrop-Grumman/EADS/Airbus consortium, which prompted a protest from rival bidder Boeing Company.

Call me insular or jingoistic, but my disagreement then and now is this: if the consortium of countries of controlling origin (to include France) conjure a dispute with the United States, they may decide to cut off supply of the tankers or refuse blueprints or production access to the aircraft. This is a 30-year contract. Much can happen in 30 years.

Please remember, these replacement tankers must refuel any US military aircraft to include Air Force One -- and contracts must consider any proprietary and classified information needed for in-flight refueling maneuvers and compatibilities. And finally, Boeing is not subsidized by the United States (see Boeing's tanker blog here).

This, to me, is a matter of clear national security, not cost. The Boeing KC-767 should win.

BZ

Thursday, July 10, 2008

"I Want To Cut His Nuts Off"


It doesn't get any better than this. Jesse Jackson says of Barack Hussein Obama:

See, Barack been, um, talking down to black people on this faith based ... I want cut his nuts off ... Barack ... he's talking down to black people."

Pot calling kettle black, anyone? I love that line's application to this incident. . .heh-heh.


BZ

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Canadian Insanity


Perhaps I'm late on this news-tip, but I just recently became aware of a Canadian ruling from last month. Read away and please be certain, if you're a parent, that you're sitting down:

GATINEAU, Quebec, June 20, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Quebec youngster has used the courts to avoid parental discipline in a "landmark" case. The 12-year-old girl, who is too young to be named, went to court to force her father to overturn his decision not to allow her to go on a school trip. Her father had decided to ground her after he found out she had posted photos of herself on a dating website against his wishes.

The sixth grader then took her father to court, arguing that his punishments were too severe. Madam Justice Suzanne Tessier of the Quebec Superior Court ruled today that denying the girl permission to go on the school trip was an excessive punishment. The girl's lawyer, Lucie Fortin, said, "She's becoming a big girl" and described the school trip as "a unique event in her life", the Globe and Mail reported.

In arguing the case, Fortin cited Sections 159 and 604 of the Quebec Civil Code, which allow minors in some circumstances to initiate court proceedings relating to the exercise of parental authority. Section 159 is used in "extreme circumstances", such as cases of parental negligence.



Certainly the case is likely to be appealed; however, should it stand (and that is not entirely impossible in Canada - as the above photo insinuates) it will send a massive rippling effect directly south.

Can you imagine the catastrophe if, should your child disagree with your various decisions, they are eminently grievable in our courts?

This is sheer insanity.


BZ

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

What You Won't Widely Read. . .


. . .in the DEM (Defeatist, Elitist Media), and thanks to Mark for the tip:

In the six-and-a-half years that the U.S. government has been fingerprinting insurgents, detainees and ordinary people in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Horn of Africa, hundreds have turned out to share an unexpected background, FBI and military officials said. They have criminal arrest records in the United States.

There was the suspected militant fleeing Somalia who had been arrested on a drug charge in New Jersey. And the man stopped at a checkpoint in Tikrit who claimed to be a dirt farmer but had 11 felony charges in the United States, including assault with a deadly weapon.

The records suggest that potential enemies abroad know a great deal about the United States because many of them have lived here, officials said. The matches also reflect the power of sharing data across agencies and even countries, data that links an identity to a distinguishing human characteristic such as a fingerprint.

"I found the number stunning," said Frances Fragos Townsend, a security consultant and former assistant to the president for homeland security. "It suggested to me that this was going to give us far greater insight into the relationships between individuals fighting against U.S. forces in the theater and potential U.S. cells or support networks here in the United States."


Yeah, that oppressive and ineffective Patriot Act sure sucks, doesn't it?


BZ


P.S.
Plus -- you guessed it -- that doesn't even take into account those who will be released from Guantanamo via our SCOTUS. Think we might see those bastards again, eh?

Monday, July 07, 2008

YELLOW CAKE URANIUM FROM IRAQ:


Wait (the sound of hand slapping my forehead). Wait! I cannot believe this. Where is the outcry, the huge jolt through the Blogosphere??

I just came back from geeeeeZ! blog, where she points out this story:

The last major remnant of Saddam Hussein's nuclear program - a huge stockpile of concentrated natural uranium - reached a Canadian port Saturday to complete a secret U.S. operation that included a two-week airlift from Baghdad and a ship voyage crossing two oceans.

The removal of 550 metric tons of "yellowcake" - the seed material for higher-grade nuclear enrichment - was a significant step toward closing the books on Saddam's nuclear legacy. It also brought relief to U.S. and Iraqi authorities who had worried the cache would reach insurgents or smugglers crossing to Iran to aid its nuclear ambitions.

What's now left is the final and complicated push to clean up the remaining radioactive debris at the former Tuwaitha nuclear complex about 12 miles south of Baghdad - using teams that include Iraqi experts recently trained in the Chernobyl fallout zone in Ukraine.

So, Saddam Hussein had no WMD or the means? Everyone said no Nigerian yellow-cake existed? And here we have 550 metric tons?

This contradicts all those lies from the Left and yet, no one blasts this from every news portal?

Am I going insane?


BZ

What's Your Score?



Take the test and see how you do.

I made a 95% -- missed question #2.

How did you do? Did you pass? Are you an American citizen?

BZ


P.S.
Did you pick up on my clue?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Points About A.N.W.R.

What is ANWR? These letters stand for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is located, as you can see, in the upper northeast portion of Alaska. This is the area that is at issue with regard to oil drilling in the United States, along with coastal waters. We had the chance to ameliorate the situation back in 2002 yet failed to grasp the opportunity. What kind of find might be made in ANWR? It is estimated:


Geologists agree that the Coastal Plain has the nation's best geologic prospects for major new onshore oil discoveries. According to the Department of Interior's 1987 resource evaluation of ANWR's Coastal Plain, there is a 95% chance that a 'super field' with 500 million barrels would be discovered. DOI also estimates that there exists a mean of 3.5 billion barrels, and a 5% chance that a large Prudhoe Bay type discovery would be made.

I am a great advocate of drilling off our national coastlines and in ANWR, if for no other reason than to buttress our Strategic Petroleum Reserve for military needs. Yes, conversion to petroleum would take "time." So what? Not acting guarantees that nothing will occur.

The Left seems to believe that drilling in ANWR is the Conservatives' only answer to the oil energy problem. On the other hand, the only answer proffered by The Left to energy is "conserve." Energy solutions come via a multi-layered and multi-pronged attack. Conservation is but one aspect; drilling off the coast and in ANWR is only one aspect.


On this vein, I reproduce here portions of a circulating e-mail of which we all need to be aware:

1. ANWR is in the ANWR Coastal plain:




2. This is ANWR's relationship to the state of Alaska:






3. The delineated coastal plain is the target point of drilling, not the entire area in yellow, and not directly on the coast itself.



4. From the ANWR website, this is what the ANWR looks like.





5. This is ANWR in winter:



6. ANWR in summer (next two photographs):







7. Google Maps (2) indicates where the drilling is to occur -- a barren wasteland, essentially:




8. Here is the "depleted wildlife" situation seen (in summer) created by drilling near Prudhoe Bay (P. Bay accounts for 17% of US domestic oil production):



9. The same location in winter:



10. Here, wildlife avoids the drilling area:



Again, I repeat: drilling off our coasts or in ANWR is no guarantee of reduced pricing or markedly increased production, and certainly not immediately. But I still advocate drilling if for no other reason than to supplement our Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

The Left expects that an entire energy paradigm shift can occur overnight. Simply, for example, converting immediately to electric vehicles guarantees the entire tanking of our national electric grid, due to undercapacity and no new electrical generation stations having been built. That too, just like drilling in ANWR, would take that proverbial "minimum of ten years" -- but that's only if The Religious Left don't interfere in environmental terms.


BZ