Tuesday, November 30, 2010
|The President's sincere concern is sincerely appreciated.|
"Small businesses and families are tightening their belts," Obama said in brief remarks at the White House. "The government should, too."You kinda wished he had thought of that two years ago before he started on these multiple TARPs and bailouts and billion dollar road projects, shovel ready or not.
John Gage, president of the 600,000-member American Federation of Government Employees, called the decision "a slap at working people. ... To symbolically hit at federal employees I think is just wrong."Well, its a good start though.
"We're going to do everything we can to make this not happen and to explore all our options," said Colleen Kelley head of the 150,000-member National Treasury Employees Union.And I am sure the President is counting on you, Colleen. Truth is, this comes out just before Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dumb announce their recommendations for deficit reductions, which are sure to have raising taxes on the beleaguered American economy as a central theme.
The president is counting on the fact in presenting himself as concerned about the deficit we will forget the billions upon billions of dollars that he has spent.
Don't count on it, Barry. It's kind of hard to get excited about a guy talking about the importance of the Fire Department when he is standing there with a box of matches in his hand.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
|"Ho, Ho, Ho, the bomb didn't blow!!!"|
An example of the impotence (or perhaps impudence) of Barrack Obama's outreach efforts popped up right here in the Rose City. One Mohamed Mohamud was taken into custody just minutes after pushing the electronic triggering device that he thought would ignite a van filled with explosives, intending to kill, maim and injure thousands of people he didn't even know. In fact, that was the beauty of it, or so Mohamud thought.
"I want whoever is attending that event to leave either dead or injured"
That's a nice sentiment. And he told this to an undercover FBI agent who had just warned him that his little bomb experiment would kill a great many children.
A "huge mass ... attacked in their own element with their families celebrating the holidays."
Yes, their families about them bringing in the Christmas season, while Mohamed hides, hoping to kill and maim as many kids as he could.
The FBI's arresting officers captured Mohamud at the Portland Train Station, which he had calculated would be a safe enough distance away to detonate the explosive charges while avoiding any risk to himself. Shouting, kicking and screaming at the FBI agents, a distraught and disheartened Mohamud had this one message for Mr. Obama:
"Allah Akbar!!"Meanwhile, his former neighbors were in shock:
“I’m in shock,” said Stephanie Napier, who lived across the street from the family until they moved away about a year ago. “They are good, good people.”Yes, well personally, I do not find myself to be in shock. I am not shocked in the least. What I find shocking is that anyone could be surprised.
"What's that you say, that Islamic neighbor of mine, the Somali, what's his name. It kind of had a rhyme to it. Oh yes, Mohamed Mohamud. He tried to blow up a bomb at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Unbelievable!"
It is a particularly stubborn form of stupidity we have cultivated here.
“He made a bad choice,” Napier said. “But don’t racially profile the family. Who would have thought that he would have done this?”Is filling five 55 gallon drums with explosives, placing them in the back of a van and parking the van at a public park intending to blow it up at a Christmas Tree lighting what we call these days a bad choice?
Friday, November 26, 2010
|Ronny Mac reacts to ruling.|
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Well, with Jimmy Carter we are dealing with a sort of Bizarro president, where everything is opposite of what one might expect from a sane, rational, thoughtful leader. Thus, following North Korea's unprovoked violently lethal shelling of a South Korean island, with the death of four and the threatened death of millions more, up pops the former president and peanut farmer to offer this:
"No one can completely understand the motivations of the North Koreans, but it is entirely possible that their recent revelation of their uranium enrichment centrifuges and Pyongyang's shelling of a South Korean island Tuesday are designed to remind the world that they deserve respect in negotiations that will shape their future."No one can understand the North Koreans? I would suggest that many people understand the North Koreans, but that you would not be among their number. Perhaps your negotiations ended disastrously because they presented themselves as they knew you expected them to be? Perhaps you were made game of? Is it possible that you have yet to realize the obvious?
"Ultimately, the choice for the United States may be between diplomatic niceties and avoiding a catastrophic confrontation."Diplomatic niceties have not proven helpful. Best scratch that one off your playlist. By appeasing the North Koreans, you have doomed us to the confrontation, the violence of which has escalated a thousand fold by the nuclear weapons whose existence is a direct result of your negotiations.
"The North's technological capabilities under conditions of severe sanctions and national poverty are surprising."Jimmy, next time some fool president asks you to go abroad to fix an international crisis that he bungled himself into, please, tell him you are now retired and have no role in such things. Better still Jimmy, don't answer the phone at all.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
The state suit contends voters who didn't provide proper identification or were not known to election officials cast regular ballots instead of questioned ballots, as they should under state law.That seems important. It should not be that we are allowing people to vote who are not legally allowed to vote, whether they have forfeited their right because they are jailed felons or are not citizens, or allowing the dead to vote, or allowing people to vote multiple times, or using handlers to influence votes, or any of a number of what has become common practices.
There are two ways to disenfranchise people. One is to not allow them to vote. The other is to negate their vote with fraudulent ballots.
Secondly, it claims that in several precincts, the handwriting on "many or all" write-in ballots appears to be from the same person, or a small group of people. It claims this is a violation of state law, which says the voter must write the candidate's name. This, however, could be due to voters receiving requested, allowable aid in filling out ballots.
The lawsuit says the state has ignored state law requirements implemented to prevent voting fraud and uphold the integrity of the process, "thereby casting serious doubt on the returns from certain precincts."
The lawsuit also says that ballots rejected by the machines were handled differently if they contained write-in candidates. They would be reviewed to determine voter intent, while other rejected ballots aren't subject to any review or hand count, the court document says.
The Miller campaign has said he wants a hand count after a court rules on the standard by which ballots should be judged.Seems reasonable. What does the Murkowski camp say?
"It doesn't make sense to me that Miller continues to delay the inevitable. He's going to court in order to hope to lose by less votes," Sweeney said. "We're going to court in hopes that he'll lose by more."I gotta tell you, as messed up as our electoral process has become, there is something about the all-in, cut-throat aspect of a guy like Sweeney that gives me a chuckle.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Dennis Conner crew trained and sea trialed the boats against each other for two years in the Pacific waters of Hawaii, taking advantage of the steady 18 to 25 knot trade winds off Waikiki. He declined to participate in the 12 Metre World Championships held in Perth in the winter of 1986, and in fact his was the last syndicate to arrive in Fremantle. The three newest hull designs made the trip down to Perth, where the in-house competition between boats continued, with Stars and Stripes 87 (US 55), receiving the nod over Stars & Stripes 86 (US 56) just a few days prior to the start of the challenger round robin series.
The shocking surprise of the Louis Vuitton Cup were the Kiwi's, who seemingly came from no-where to produce a very fast boat that was well crewed and well raced. Chris Dickson was a confident, cocky young man, and sailed to victory after victory in the regatta. The tremendous effort put in by all comers made the seemingly effortless success of the Kiwi's seem suspect, especially in light of the fact that they were the only competitor to build their boat from fiberglass. In the end the testing confirmed the hull thickness was consistent and met the 12 Metre regulations.
Dennis Conner believed Liberty reached her maximum speed potential too early in their efforts during the 1983 Cup defense. One of the goals of the Stars and Stripes camp was to increase boat speed throughout the campaign to peak going into the finals.
All boats competing underwent changes during the challenger and defender series, some successful, some not. Changes made on Stars & Stripes 87 consistently resulted in a step forward in boat speed. This was largely thanks to Marshall, whose technical, sailmaking and organizational skills allowed Stars and Stripes to coordinate an enormous amount of technical assistance, resulting in boat changes that were consistently successful. The greatest increase occurred with the re-working of the boat's keel between the second and third round robins. Close competitor Tom Blackaller felt the boat had found two tenths of a knot increase in Vmg (Velocity made good) when sailing to windward as she entered the third rounds robin. The final tweak before the finals was the application of a space age shark skin like riblet covering applied to the boat hull prior to the Challenger finals to reduce drag.
|Stars & Stripes and Kiwi Magic race to the windward mark.|
"The low point was when we lost those four races in November and we really didn't set our boat up very well for that. The high point was beating Blackaller, four-zip. That was quite an accomplishment because he was extremely fast."Going into the Louis Vuitton Finals, Kiwi Magic was the favorite. She was clearly a fast boat in both light and heavy air, had beaten Stars and Stripes 87 twice, and had won an incredible thirty-seven of thirty-eight match races. But Stars and Stripes 87 was showing her best form of the regatta, particularly in heavy winds above 20 knots.
The first two races played out as Conner wished, with Stars & Stripes going out on a long beat to the lay line and taking an early lead to the first windward mark, then holding that lead throughout the rest of the race, holding ground on the downwind legs and extending it on the beats. The third race started out much as the previous two, with both boats taking a long tack out to the left hand side of the course in what Dennis Conner termed a "speed test". Stars & Stripes 87 rounded the first windward mark 26 seconds ahead when trouble started. A snap shackle failed, causing her spinnaker to drop into the sea. The Kiwis closed the gap, gibing back and forth across Conner's stern until they achieved what they were looking for, an inside overlap on the bottom mark. With right of way the Kiwis were able to slide ahead on the turn about the mark. Once there the Kiwis proved a very difficult boat to get past. On the second beat to windward they covered every move of the gunsmoke blue hulled boat, keeping Conner at bay with a tight cover. Next came the two reaching legs, which never allowed room to get around a competitor. Thus the boats reached the bottom of the third and final beat to windward in the same position. This was one for the record book. Conner threw 55 tacks along with two false tacks in an effort to break away. The New Zealanders covered each move in one of the most exhausting and tense beats to windward in America's Cup history. The result was a win for the Kiwis, and a match series now close, with Stars & Stripes up by a single race, 2-1.
The fourth race saw fortune make a complete turn. Now it was KZ 7 that experienced a number of uncommon structural failures, all of which snowballed by the actions of the skipper and crew, culminating in Kiwi Magic blowing her backstay in an abrupt gibe. The race was lost to Stars & Stripes by 3 minutes 38 seconds.
The fifth race was extremely competitive. Stars & Stripes 87 took the initial lead on the first windward leg as she had in the first four races, but on the second beat to windward her Number 6 genoa blew to pieces, giving the Kiwis a chance to close down the gap and overtake Stars and Stripes. All hands went forward to clear the wreckage, bringing to deck and hoisting the Number 7 genoa before Kiwi Magic could slip by. From there on Stars & Stripes held on to the slimest of leads throughout the next four legs. Rounding the final mark with a six second advantage, but here Dickson made one of the rare mistakes of his summer and struck the mark while rounding. The infraction required KZ 7 to come about and round again, the resulting time loss ending all hope the New Zealanders had of overtaking Stars & Stripes in the final beat. Stars & Stripes 87 took the series, four races to one.
Michael Fay summed up the New Zealander's effort:
"We did the best we could. We couldn't beat the other guy on the day, and we've got to shake his hand and say 'Well done' because that's what happened. They did a very good job and they beat us."With the challenger selected, the America's Cup was entered into with much hope for the Kookaburra squad who had raced intensely for months, beating out Australia IV and the Alan Bond syndicate with the help of a late round keel modification that finally gave Kookaburra III a clear edge in speed. The first race was in light airs, thought to be the Kookaburra's best conditions. The defenders hopes were dashed, as Stars & Stripes led throughout and was never seriously threatened. After this first race it was well apparent that Stars and Stripes 87 had the edge in sailing to windward, and held her own on the downwind legs. The reminder of the Cup races saw the return of the Fremantle Doctor, and with it an ever greater difference in boat speed. The Aussies gave a great effort, but they simply lacked the boat speed to stay with Stars & Stripes, which showed a consistent twenty second advantage on each beat to windward. She won the series four races to nil.
"It's a difficult problem when you have a boat like Stars and Stripes that won't play the match racing game. When we don't tack and we don't cover, it's pretty hard for them to be aggressive and exploit the fact that they do tack better and maneuver better."
|Stars & Stripes 87 in Seattle on her return trip from Australia.|
Stars and Stripes 87 was the final 12 Meter to win the America's Cup, and as such she represents the zenith in 12 Meter design. She is currently berthed on St Maarten in the Caribbean, where she can be sailed by the public as a 12 Meter match race boat.
This boat and the story of her skipper's determination to overcome adversity was a great tale. Her races at the 1987 America's Cup have been submitted onto Wikipedia, and can now be found here.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
With the media weighing in on the elections and with the senate leadership crying that the Tea Party movement has... just made their life really, really hard, I couldn't help but laugh at this bonehead posting by our betters at the Washington Post.
The Washington Post, the DC liberal flagship, home to such investigative journalistic greats from the past as Woodward and Bernstein, made a gaff of epic proportions. What was better still was when conservative brother Bob Parks called them on it. I just had to laugh, and you know what, laughing is good medicine.
My...oh my... what a doosey!
Hat tip to Bob Parks at Black and Right.
(Originally posted May 3rd, 2010).
|Ruling Class note a curious fin following their leisurely paddle into history.|
From the day he ascended the bridge, he kept steaming on a collision course with the iceberg of economic reality, surrounded by monstrous chunks of baby bergs floating in the frigid waters of foreign policy, utterly unperturbed.
Is Obama mistaking a luxury liner for an icebreaker? Let's not go there. I can't hope to analyze in a few hundred words a complex emotional and intellectual phenomenon of a type that recurs in history, once summarized by George Canning, Britain's prime minister for a brief period in 1827, at a time when politicians still wrote verse, as
"A steady patriot of the world alone
The friend of every nation but his own."
He's got him exactly. And who else but Jonas would be quoting a little known British Prime Minister from 1827? Read the rest here.
But we can read his comments from his exclusive CBS interview:
After suffering a “shellacking” in the midterm elections, President Obama acknowledges what many have seen as his chief weakness – failing to sell the importance of several legislative milestones to the American people.Yeah? Barry, you jammed that stuff down everybody's throats, knowing that the people did not want it. Knowing that your party was going to get killed at the mid-terms, and you didn't seem to care. In fact, some would say since you were not on the ballet in 2010, the problem of the public's rejection of your policies did not rise to the level of presidential concern.
"I think that, over the course of two years we were so busy and so focused on getting a bunch of stuff done that, we stopped paying attention to the fact that leadership isn’t just legislation. That it’s a matter of persuading people. And giving them confidence and bringing them together. And setting a tone,” Mr. Obama told 60 Minutes’ Steve Kroft in an exclusive interview set to air Sunday.
“Making an argument that people can understand,” Mr. Obama continued, “I think that we haven’t always been successful at that. And I take personal responsibility for that. And it’s something that I’ve got to examine carefully … as I go forward.”Barry, you were talking and talking and talking. Everyone knew what your arguments were, and it was well understood. What was lacking was an interest on your part of doing the nation's bidding, and your party got killed for it. Sixty-three seat gain in the House, thanks to your policies and wooden ear. Ruling the people is not the job description.
Go on, get out of the country. A trip at 200 million a day? The money spent further underscores your reckless disregard for the people you lead.