title>Lady Liberty Defended: February 2007
Lady Liberty Defended
Monday, February 26, 2007
  Culture of Corruption - Al Gore
Well, hypocrisy actually. I think old Al knows that it is the sun and not the SUV (perhaps the rumor was started by a bad speller in the liberal world) is the cause of global climate change. So, he's apparently not too concerned either with the size of a house that just begs high energy usage or with the actual energy usage. Why am I not surprised?

The Tennessee Center for Policy Research, an independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan research organization committed to achieving a freer, more prosperous Tennessee through free market policy solutions, issued a press release late Monday:



Last night, Al Gore’s global-warming documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, collected an Oscar for best documentary feature, but the Tennessee Center for Policy Research has found that Gore deserves a gold statue for hypocrisy.

Gore’s mansion, [20-room, eight-bathroom] located in the posh Belle Meade area of Nashville, consumes more electricity every month than the average American household uses in an entire year, according to the Nashville Electric Service (NES).

In his documentary, the former Vice President calls on Americans to conserve energy by reducing electricity consumption at home.

The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.

Last August alone, Gore burned through 22,619 kWh—guzzling more than twice the electricity in one month than an average American family uses in an entire year. As a result of his energy consumption, Gore’s average monthly electric bill topped $1,359.

Since the release of An Inconvenient Truth, Gore’s energy consumption has increased from an average of 16,200 kWh per month in 2005, to 18,400 kWh per month in 2006.

Gore’s extravagant energy use does not stop at his electric bill. Natural gas bills for Gore’s mansion and guest house averaged $1,080 per month last year.

“As the spokesman of choice for the global warming movement, Al Gore has to be willing to walk to walk, not just talk the talk, when it comes to home energy use,” said Tennessee Center for Policy Research President Drew Johnson.

In total, Gore paid nearly $30,000 in combined electricity and natural gas bills for his Nashville estate in 2006.

For Further Information, Contact:
Nicole Williams, (615) 383-6431
editor@tennesseepolicy.org

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Saturday, February 24, 2007
  Hope for Us All
An old man approached the entrance to the White House. He spoke to the Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with President Hillary Clinton."

The Marine replied, "Sir, Mrs. Clinton is not President and doesn't reside here."

The old man said, "Okay," and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Hillary Clinton".

The Marine again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mrs. Clinton is not President and doesn't reside here."

The man thanked him and again walked away . . .

The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same Marine, saying

"I would like to go in and meet with President Hillary Clinton."

The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mrs. Clinton. I've told you already several times that Mrs. Clinton is not the President and doesn't reside here. Don 't you understand?"

The old man answered, "Oh, I understand you fine, I just love hearing your answer!"

The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow."

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Friday, February 23, 2007
  Global Warming? Oh, REALLY!
Seems that somebody is cooking the books on the temperature data. Adjusting USHCN History By Steve McIntyre lays it out.

So, who is lying and why are they lying? Well, I think it is clear that somebody, as Mr. McIntyre notes, has a reason to "adjust" the figures. What could that reason be? Could it be that somebody has an agenda? Let's accept that. So what is the agenda? To scare us into giving them control perhaps? So, what would they want to control? Maybe our pocketbooks/wallets? Just maybe?

For those of you who think scientists don't lie just let me remind you of "cold fusion" and "South Korean human cloning" among other things. No I won't mention global cooling which was supposed to be the percursor of the next ice age (also caused by humans) in the 1970s. Interestingly the same politicos touting the global warming idiots were touting the global cooling idiots 30 years ago. Not that there is any connection, of course.

Let's get over it folks. The sun warms and cools and thus we warm and cool and in doing so weather patterns change a bit and life goes on. I hope you'll join me in urging the snake oil salesmen and women to take their scams elsewhere.
 
Thursday, February 22, 2007
  Culture of Corruption - Deval Patrick
Patrick to repay taxpayers for decor
$10,000 spent for drapes; governor to offset car costs
By Frank Phillips and Andrea Estes, Globe Staff | February 21, 2007

Only after he was caught did this paragon of fiscal responsibility and decency consent to repay the MA government for his purchases. I keep thinking I see a pattern here but I've been taken to task for jumping to conclusions...

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Wednesday, February 21, 2007
  Why are we dissatisfied?
I don't know to whom to attribute this but it is right on...
Discontented?

The Newsweek poll alleges that 67% of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69% of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3 of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.


So being the knuckle dragger I am, I starting thinking, ''What we are so unhappy about?''


Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4% of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?


Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all involved. Whether you are rich or poor they treat your wounds and even, if necessary, send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.


Perhaps you are one of the 70% of Americans who own a home, you may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of having a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes; an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own cell phones and computers.


How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy.


Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.


I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31% approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?


Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.


So why then the flat out discontentment in the minds of 69% of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds, it leads, and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells. Just ask why they were going to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book and do a TV special about how he didn't kill his wife but if he did, how he would do it . Insane!


Stop buying the negative venom you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad.


I close with one of my favorite quotes from B.C. Forbes in 1953:


''What have Americans to be thankful for? More than any other people on the earth, we enjoy complete religious freedom, political freedom, social freedom. Our liberties are sacredly safeguarded by the Constitution of the United States, 'the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.' Yes, we Americans of today have been bequeathed a noble heritage. Let us pray that we may hand it down unsullied to our children and theirs.''


I suggest we sit back and count our blessings for all we have. If we don't, what we have will be taken away. Then we will have to explain to future generations why we squandered such blessing and abundance. If we are not careful this generation will be known as the ''greediest and most ungrateful generation.'' A far cry from the proud Americans of the ''greatest generation'' who left us an untarnished legacy.

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  And another of our own pays the ultimate price...
We've had another local boy from Augusta County KIA. They brought his body into the funeral home yesterday. A local newscaster opined that,
Since the start of the War more than 3,100 men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, have been killed in Iraq.

It's a reality we've come to expect during war time.

But that doesn't make accepting it any easier.

Across the country cities are flying flags at half staff.

Their way of honoring their local heroes, who paid the ultimate price defending their country.

Nearly half of the U.S. Military fatalities in Iraq have come from small towns
I don't know what they expect. Less than 1% of the US population is serving in the armed forces. Small towns have something that our big cities and metropolitan areas are apparently lacking. We call them SMALL TOWN VALUES. We value country, family, God, and our responsibilities to those things. Many times more than in the big cities it appears that we can actually pass those values on to our children. Lance Cpl. Daniel Todd Morris of Raphine, Augusta County, Virginia, USofA was just such a young man. By all accounts he was a young man anyone would be proud of parenting. He was a young man with whom any Marine or soldier or sailor or airman would have been proud to serve.

If you would, please keep Daniel's family in your prayers. I know I will. It is such a small thing to do in view of how much he has given us.

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  Which is it?
Which is it? First, 20K+ troops are needed immediately to squash the insurgency in Iraq. So the POTUS says ok and suddenly it won't do anything but expose our young men to death. Then the Brits decide to pull out just 1,600 men from a pacified area and suddenly this loss of troops will be catastrophic.

The Dem/S are lying again. What they are lying about is indeciperable but they have to be lying about something. I truly suspect that they are like a broken clock. Right twice a day.

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Monday, February 19, 2007
  Dem/S and the Military
Dem/S in this area are overwhelmingly anti-military, anti-security, anti-gun. At the national leadership level, still true. If the reference is to the recently elected (and very junior) blue-dog Dem/S that the Dem/S leadership put up to beat the Republicans, I can only speak to our local, Jim Webb.

Senator Webb was Secretary of the Navy during Tailhook and ridiculed the women. Not handled well at all as male, officer sailors acted inappropriately and female, officer sailors did the same. Who got canned was a crap shoot. He was supposedly a hero in Vietnam. His son is in service. He shoots but as I understand it at least some of his own club members see him as sort of a ZUMBO. He is STRONGLY anti-security and anti-military. He writes/wrote pornography. He refused common courtesy to the POTUS. He has been a Democrat, Republican and is again a Democrat because it suits him, IOW he is an opportunist. IOW he is untrustworthy.

Blue-dog once meant CONSERVATIVE. He certainly isn't a conservative. He didn't speak conservative values in the counter to the POTUS's state of the union. Because he is what he is I can do nothing but think that he is not my friend. I can't believe he will be a friend to gun owners. BUT he is the best of the local Dem/S. So, what exactly do you expect me to believe? That the DNC is for me? No. I don't believe that. Not for a minute.

Day by day I am more and more convinced that the DNC, the leadership and the rank and file of the party who do more than simply vote in elections, are not working for my best interests. They don't trust me and so I can never trust them. They want to take what little I've earned and saved from me. They want to pursue policies in taxation, in property rights, in every way that will reduce the quality of life my children and grandchildren will have. That they don't care about the security and future of this country more than they care about their own personal power.

In my years of service, I served under Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Bush. I can tell you that in every instance there was a Democrat as POTUS there seemed to be a chill wind blowing towards the military.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007
  Culture of corruption - Nancy Pelosi and William Jefferson
From CQ Today: Embattled Louisiana Rep. Jefferson Gets Homeland Security Seat
By Susan Ferrechio | 9:53 AM; Feb. 16, 2007

Oh yeah, we can trust William "Cold Cash" Jefferson of LA, the $100,000 congressman to safeguard our security secrets. Ms. Pelosi once again proves that the good of the nation comes second, at best, to her personal and her party's political power.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007
  Of course the shooter was Muslim...
so, now tell me why we should be so happy they are here. Tell me why I'm prejudiced. Tell me how the owners of the mall banning CHPs helped them keep their customers safe.

Utah gunman, 18, was Muslim from Bosnia - Killed 5 in crowded shopping mall before being gunned down
 
Monday, February 12, 2007
  From Bill Hamm, Why Gun Control is Good
1. Banning guns works, which is why New York, DC,& Chicago cops need guns.

2. Washington DC's low murder rate of 69 per 100,000 is due to strict gun control, and Indianapolis' high murder rate of 9 per 100,000 is due to the lack of gun control.

3. Statistics showing high murder rates justify gun control but statistics showing increasing murder rates after gun control are "just statistics."

4. The Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban, both of which went into effect in 1994 are responsible for the decrease in violent crime rates, which have been declining since 1991.

5. We must get rid of guns because a deranged lunatic may go on a shooting spree at any time , and anyone who would own a gun out of fear of such a lunatic is paranoid.

6. The more helpless you are the safer you are from criminals.

7. An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.

8. A woman raped and strangled is morally superior to a woman with a smoking gun and a dead rapist at her feet.

9. When confronted by violent criminals, you should "put up no defense - give them what they want, or run" (Handgun Control Inc. Chairman Pete Shields, Guns Don't Die - People Do, 1981, p. 125).

10. The New England Journal of Medicine is filled with expert advice about guns; just like Guns & Ammo has some excellent treatises on heart surgery.

11. One should consult an automotive engineer for safer seatbelts, a civil engineer for a better bridge, a surgeon for internal medicine, a computer programmer for hard drive problems, and Sarah Brady for firearms expertise.

12. The 2nd Amendment, ratified in 1787, refers to the National Guard, which was created 130 years later, in 1917.

13. The National Guard, federally funded, with bases on federal land, using federally-owned weapons, vehicles, buildings and uniforms, punishing trespassers under federal law, is a "state" militia.

14. These phrases:"right of the people peaceably to assemble,""right of the people to be secure in their homes,""enumerations herein of certain rights shall not be construed to disparage others retained by the people," and "The powers not delegated herein are reserved to the states respectively, and to the people" all refer to individuals, but "the right of the people to keep and bear arms" refers to the state.

15."The Constitution is strong and will never change." But we should ban and seize all guns thereby violating the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendments to that Constitution.

16. Rifles and handguns aren't necessary to national defense! Of course, the army has hundreds of thousands of them.

17. Private citizens shouldn't have handguns, because they aren't "military weapons'', but private citizens shouldn't have "assault rifles'', because they are military weapons.

18. In spite of waiting periods, background checks, fingerprinting, government forms, etc., guns today are too readily available, which is responsible for recent school shootings. In the 1940's, 1950's and 1960's, anyone could buy guns at hardware stores, army surplus stores, gas stations, variety stores, Sears mail order, no waiting, no background check, no fingerprints, no government forms , and there were no school shootings.

19. The NRA's attempt to run a "don't touch" campaign about kids handling guns is propaganda, but the anti-gun lobby's attempt to run a "don't touch" campaign is responsible social activity.

20. Guns are so complex that special training is necessary to use them properly, and are so simple to use that they make murder easy.

21. A handgun, with up to 4 controls, is far too complex for the typical adult to learn to use, as opposed to an automobile that only has 20.

22. Women are just as intelligent and capable as men , but a woman with a gun is "an accident waiting to happen" and gun makers' advertisements aimed at women are "preying on their fears."

23. Ordinary people in the presence of guns turn into slaughtering butchers but revert to normal when the weapon is removed.

24. Guns cause violence, which is why there are so many mass killings at gun shows.

25. A majority of the population supports gun control, just like a majority of the population supported owning slaves.

26. Any self-loading small arm can legitimately be considered to be a " weapon of mass destruction" or an "assault weapon."

27. Most people can't be trusted, so we should have laws against guns, which most people will abide by because they can be trusted.

28. The right of Internet pornographers to exist cannot be questioned because it is constitutionally protected by the Bill of Rights, but the use of handguns for self defense is not really protected by the Bill of Rights.

29. Free speech entitles one to own newspapers, transmitters, computers, and typewriters, but self- defense only justifies bare hands.

30. The ACLU is good because it uncompromisingly defends certain parts of the Constitution, and the NRA is bad, because it defends other parts of the Constitution.

31. Charlton Heston, a movie actor as former president of the NRA is a cheap lunatic who should be ignored, but Michael Douglas, a movie actor as a representative of Handgun Control, Inc. is an ambassador for peace who is entitled to an audience at the UN arms control summit.

32. Police operate with backup within groups, which is why they need larger capacity pistol magazines than do "civilians" who must face criminals alone and therefore need less ammunition.

33. We should ban "Saturday Night Specials" and other inexpensive guns because it's not fair that poor people have access to guns too.

34. Police officers have some special Jedi-like mastery over handguns that private citizens can never hope to obtain.

35. Private citizens don't need a gun for self- protection because the police are there to protect them even though the Supreme Court says the police are not responsible for their protection.

36. Citizens don't need to carry a gun for personal protection but police chiefs, who are desk-bound administrators , who work in a building filled with cops, need a gun.

37."Assault weapons" have no purpose other than to kill large numbers of people. The police need assault weapons. You do not.

38. When Microsoft pressures its distributors to give Microsoft preferential promotion, that's bad; but when the Federal government pressures cities to buy guns only from Smith & Wesson, that's good.

39. Trigger locks do not interfere with the ability to use a gun for defensive purposes, which is why you see police officers with one on their duty weapon.

40. Handgun Control, Inc., says they want to "keep guns out of the wrong hands." Guess what? You have the wrong hands.

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  Taxes
I'm not talking about income taxes which are bad enough for so many reasons (like taxing the refund which is already taxed money the govt denied you the use of for the year) but real estate taxes.

Saturday, my assessement, how much my local government has determined my house is worth, arrived. My property is worth a whopping $204,000 more than it was when I bought it 20 years ago. It is worth $40,000 more than two years ago. On top of this the locals want to UP the TAX RATE. So in one year they want to up my real estate tax payment by $1000+!

How do these petty tyrants get away with this? Most folks who "own" property pay the taxes through the escrow accounts held by their mortgage holder. So, the "owner" doesn't get to see the tax bill, not exactly anyway. Easy to avoid the pain that way. So, you might call me the "owner" but I don't as the government can take my property to give to another private person to make more money and pay more taxes to the government OR if I somehow neglect to pay my taxes. AND they can do this at the point of a gun. Perhaps, I'm beginning to think I don't own anything.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007
  Let One Hundred Flowers Bloom, Let One Hundred Thoughts Contend
This was a campaign begun by Mao, actually the gang of 4, in the People's Republic of China (PRC, aka COMMUNIST China) which encouraged free expression. After a bit the free thinkers were rounded up and put in prison. I guess you could say they picked the flowers. So it is with the former Mayor of DC, Marion Barry's plan to loosen gun laws for a bit.

Barry aims for gun-ban hiatus
By Gary Emerling, THE WASHINGTON TIMES, February 7, 2007
D.C. Council member Marion Barry yesterday introduced legislation that would suspend the District's 30-year ban on handguns, providing gun owners a 90-day period to register weapons they would then be allowed to legally own.
"We are in the midst of a gun-violence epidemic," said Mr. Barry, Ward 8 Democrat. "We need to see gun violence as an emergency in the District of Columbia."
Mr. Barry's bill, which only applies to pistols, would allow D.C. residents with no criminal record to register guns for 90 days from the law's enactment. After the 90-day period, current gun restrictions would be reinstated.

Barry spokesman Keith Perry said the bill is "an acknowledgment that people do have guns" in the District and would help police better track weapons used in the commission of crimes.

The District has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation and restricts ownership of most guns that were not registered before 1977. Privately owned rifles and shotguns must be kept at home and stored unloaded, disassembled or bound by a trigger lock or a similar device.

Mr. Barry's proposal would increase the penalties for possessing an unregistered weapon in the District from a maximum of one year in prison and a $1,000 fine to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

A second offense could result in 30 years in prison and a $20,000 fine, according to the bill.

Mr. Barry, who was robbed at gunpoint in his Southeast apartment in January 2006, cited statistics that said police had confiscated 2,656 guns last year, with 51 percent of those weapons being seized east of the Anacostia River.

A recent Metropolitan Police Department report on homicides from 2001 to 2005 states that 901 of 1,126 homicide victims, or about 80 percent, were fatally shot.
Mr. Barry, who served four terms as D.C. mayor, also referenced the recent shooting deaths of D.C. teenagers Cynthia Gray and Taleshia Ford, both 17, in urging support for the measure.

"We all get outraged ... and we all go home," Mr. Barry said. "Nothing is done to get the guns off the streets of Washington, D.C."

Mr. Barry's bill was co-sponsored by council members Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat; Kwame Brown, at-large Democrat; and Tommy Wells, Ward 6 Democrat. It was referred to the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary.

Mr. Brown acknowledged that the bill "needs some working and flushing out" but that it was a proactive approach to taking guns off of city streets.

"To me, it's the end result," he said. "How do we get guns off the streets of the District of Columbia, get public input and find out how we can make the streets safer?"

Phil Mendelson, at-large Democrat and chairman of the public safety committee, said he had reservations about aspects of the bill. He said the 90-day period during which people who have owned illegal guns can register their weapons seems "counterproductive."

"The intent is right, to deal with gun violence," Mr. Mendelson said. "The amnesty thing, I think, goes against the need to reduce the number of guns in our city." He said the bill would likely be considered during the course of a larger hearing on gun violence.

Peter Hamm, a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said yesterday the organization was not sufficiently familiar with Mr. Barry's bill to give an opinion on it but that the measure could be a tough sell in the District.
"It seems like a real uphill struggle for Mr. Barry to get a lot of broad support for something like this," Mr. Hamm said. "Washington, D.C., is suffering from a lot of gun violence lately and to say, 'Let's bring more guns into the equation as a solution,' doesn't sound like it makes a great deal of sense."

Chris W. Cox, chief lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, also said Mr. Barry's proposal was a surprise and that the organization would study the bill.
"Obviously, we support efforts to allow law-abiding residents of the District to own firearms," Mr. Cox said. "And we will continue in those efforts."
Congressional attempts to repeal the District's gun ban in recent years have been criticized as attacks on the District's right to home rule.

In 2004, the House of Representatives voted in favor of repealing the city's restrictions on gun ownership and registration, even though the measure was opposed by the District's mayor, 13 council members, the police chief and the city's congressional delegate. The bill was not brought to a vote in the Senate.

A federal appeals court heard arguments in December about whether the District's decision to prohibit residents from owning guns is a violation of the Second Amendment. That decision is pending. A U.S. District judge rejected the argument, brought by six D.C. residents, in 2005.
Oh, I do feel sorry for anyone foolish enough to want to live in the District of Columbia.

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  Standing at Attention at the Super Bowl
A simple act of patriotism? How many of you go to a July 4th parade and see folks who don't stand or remove their hats? Look closely at this young Marine. Remember him. Now, look around at all you have. Think of him as you and your family tuck into warm beds in a warm house tonight. That there are still young men and women that know what is important means something to this old soldier. I hope it means something to you.

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  Department of Interior Arrogance
The Department of the Interior doesn't believe that states which issue concealed carry permits (aka concealed handgun permits as here in VA) know what they are doing and want you to disarm when you enter a national park. This is what we got in response to a petition for them to honor VA CHPs.


What these folks don't realize is that the parks exist inside other political entities the citizens of which have acted to ensure that certain rights can be exercised and that the DOI via the NPS are denying exercise of those rights.

Let's go get 'em. Contact your Senator and Representative to move on already introduced legislation so that you can exercise your rights everywhere in your state and reciprocating states.

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  Herr Kruger Proposes Controlling HOW Pedestrians Walk
Ok, so that's not how this proposed law is being "billed" but that's what it is. New York State Senator Kruger is proposing a bill that will prohibit use of electronic devices including Ipods in crosswalks... Bill Banning iPods In Crosswalks Slated For Albany
State Sen. Kruger: Electronic Devices Put Many In Danger
What folderol! It isn't enough that one can't do this or that while driving, apparently der future Furher believes you can't walk and talk or listen at the same time. Does he also propose that the DEAF can't use city streets unless accompanied by the hearing?

Perhaps I've got this all wrong and New Yorkers are all for this infringement on their ability to decide for themselves but they want to take money from all the tourists who visit New York, particularly New York City and come from places with less of a all controlling atmosphere, like Communist China.

I think the State Senator should BUTT OUT!

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007
  Why Doesn't Congress Understand Military Issues?
I think perhaps, just maybe, because so darn few have ever worn a uniform. For the current Congress
Only 29 senators and 23 percent of House members today have ever worn a uniform. Those are the lowest percentages since World War II.
from PotomacNews.com By JAMES W. CRAWLEY Media General News Service Sunday, February 4, 2007

For Virginia:

Senators:

John Warner, Republican, Navy (World War II), Marine Corps (Korean War), Marine Corps Reserves (Cold War)

Jim Webb, Democrat, Marine Corps (Vietnam War)

Representatives:

Tom Davis, Republican, Army and Army Reserve (Vietnam War and Cold War)

Virgil Goode, Republican, National Guard (Vietnam War)

Robert Scott, Democrat, Army Reserve (Vietnam War), National Guard (Cold War)

Frank Wolf, Republican, Army (Cold War), Army Reserve (Vietnam)

Source: Military Officers Association of America, Congressional Research Service

* * * * *


I sure do wish our congress critters, as a group, would smarten up. They don't seem to understand what is truly important to us. At least they don't do what is in the common man's best interest.

#1 Find practical new energy sources AND develop already discovered sources to reduce our strategic vulnerabilities while permitting a continuation of economic growth.

#2 Reform the tax law to eliminate costly bureaucracy, decrease the tax burden on all citizens and increase revenues to the government to pay for the war on terror.

#3 Support the military services and intelligence services in a cohesive war on terror to include the victorious resolution of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This would be a good start. I won't hold my breath.

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Monday, February 05, 2007
  SGT Jeffers, You are NOT Alone!
Kim du Toit put this on his blog. Irate Nation is another blog one might want to read, particularly this particular post by SGT Jeffers.

We absolutely must win this war. No other course of action is open to us that permits the survival of our nation. The quislings are many and those collaborators are so numerous that one might feel there is no hope but there are strongholds even in areas dominated by the Dem/S. We must continue to fight for the hearts and minds of our own people. We must, we have no choice.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007
  Florida's Pain
First thing I want to wish all the best to the folks affected by the tornado(s) in Florida. I've been to all those places and they were very nice communities. You could say, with all the snowbirds, that they are a cross-section of our citizens. Our prayers are with you.

In this tragedy, 19 people died. Apparently some blame is being laid on the preponderance of trailers/mobile homes (most of which are no longer any more mobile than tax law requires) and pre-fabs. Somebody somewhere has brought up the idea that these trailers and such need to be outlawed. I guess this person (or people) haven't priced housing and are ignoring one very important thing. What building you were in mattered very little. Photos show trailers, houses and a church built to withstand 150 mph winds all shattered. Such a ban would be a typical, government-knows-all-does-nothing approach to the problem. The REAL solution is to build a reinforced bathroom in the trailers and make sure that everyone has a weather radio, the kind that wakes you up in an emergency. Ignorance of the coming storm seems to have been the real problem.

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Friday, February 02, 2007
  Men in Trees
Ok, so "Men In Trees" is set in Alaska and I watch it for the 15 seconds or so of scenery which is actually British Columbia or someplace (but not Alaska) but I watch it mostly because my wife LOVES this show. Love as in unreasoning affection.

Starring Anne Heche (yeah, that Ellen Degeneres related Anne Heche) as relationship coach and author Marin Frist, the show has a number of other talents, notably (to me) John Amos and Cynthia Stevenson who do a more than passable job. The ladies on the show are ALL worth a look and appeal to a wide range of tastes.

The show started with recently jilted Marin going to Elmo, AK for a speaking engagement and, after meeting the quirky residents, stays to get over her heartbreak (as well as lust after local naturalist Jack). Aside from the comedic incidents common to such shows and attempts at psycho-babble wisdom, Marin and crew are a bunch of lusty lads and lasses constantly bedding one another albeit with some pre and post coital angst. Only barfly Jerome seems to go without but he does get to hear all about the others' "interactions".

So far we've seen everything but gay trysts but this might be changing as Buzz's (John Amos) long lost son George is brought to Elmo by his "white" son Patrick as a measure of thanks for his support. George is apparently gay as shown in the preview.

So what's important about this show? Well, I don't know that anything about this show is important. It ironically shows Anne Heche in a roll where she does what she apparently does in real life, that is she sleeps with whomever, wherever! That she is a relationship coach is particularly ironic. Makes me laugh. But the show IS entertaining and the recently separated-from-her-husband Miss Heche has a certain comedic sense that works well. The women are good looking as is the BC scenery.

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  France Directs US Policy and Law
France Tells U.S. to Sign Climate Pacts or Face Tax
By KATRIN BENNHOLD
February 1, 2007

President Jacques Chirac has demanded that the United States sign both the Kyoto climate protocol and a future agreement that will take effect when the Kyoto accord runs out in 2012.

He said that he welcomed last week’s State of the Union address in which President Bush described climate change as a “serious challenge” and acknowledged that a growing number of American politicians now favor emissions cuts.

But he warned that if the United States did not sign the agreements, a carbon tax across Europe on imports from nations that have not signed the Kyoto treaty could be imposed to try to force compliance.

* * * * *

Oh, right... We're going to let France dictate our policy? Really? I don't think so.

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  Flu Response Could be Disruptive
U.S. Issues Guidelines in Case of Flu Pandemic
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.
February 1, 2007

Cities should close schools for up to three months in the event of a severe flu outbreak, ball games and movies should be canceled and working hours staggered so subways and buses are less crowded, the federal government advised today in issuing new pandemic flu guidelines to states and cities.

* * * * *

You ought to read the entire article and prepare for the eventuality. Can't hurt.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007
  Climate Change - The Debate Continues
Delaware global warming skeptic stands pat
State climatologist on opposite side of governor in court case

By JEFF MONTGOMERY, The News Journal
Posted Thursday, February 1, 2007

Delaware's state climatologist David R. Legates
Delaware's state climatologist has found himself in the middle of a political squall after taking skeptical stands on global warming and climate change -- in one case directly contradicting the state's own policy.

David R. Legates, a University of Delaware geography professor, co-wrote a "friend of the court" brief that opposed Delaware's position in a multi-state U.S. Supreme Court case.

In the appeal, state regulators argued that carbon dioxide from new cars should be regulated because of evidence the gas was contributing to rising global temperatures, climate shifts and changes in the environment. The Bush administration and industry critics opposed the demand, saying the dire warnings are unproven.

Enter Legates, a Ph.D. climatologist who received the title of state climatologist in 2005 from Daniel Leathers, now the head of the University of Delaware's geography department.

Legates joined a group of scientists late last year in urging the court to reject the state claims, in a brief filed by the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute.

"It is simply impossible to conclude that the net effect of greenhouse gases endangers human health and welfare," the brief said.

The institute has sued the government in the past to block some fuel economy standards for automobiles.

Two sides of the coin

The appearance of Delaware's climatologist on the other side of the court case left some state Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control officials frustrated.

"He's taken a position that 'The climate is changing, but we don't have any danger signs,' " said Ali Mirzakhalili, air quality management chief for DNREC.

Recently branded "a favorite scientist of the global warming denial machine" by one national environmental group, Legates said he was following scientific evidence in arguing the institute's position in the court case. He has taken similar positions dating back to at least 1998, while a professor at Louisiana State University.

"The science brought in by the one side had given a more extremist view of climate change," Legates said. "What we're trying to say is, the science isn't necessarily that well settled, and in many cases it isn't that extreme. I'm not saying it isn't a problem."

As state climatologist, a position the state doesn't fund, Legates collects and shares climate data with the National Climatic Data Center, the Northeast Regional Climate Center and the National Weather Service office in Mt. Holly, N.J. Similar positions exist in 41 other states and Puerto Rico, generally staffed by state employees or university staffers.

"I don't think the doctor [Legates] speaks for the state's position," said Philip Cherry, a DNREC administrator who recently invited Legates to address agency employees. "I think the governor speaks for the state's position."

Delaware has accepted the view human activities contribute to global warming, and changes are needed to curb risks of sea level rise and climate change. The state adopted a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in 2000.

An updated report on global warming and its consequences by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, due Friday, is expected to include forecasts of rising sea levels and changing weather and climate conditions worldwide.

Legates disputes warnings

Federal scientists have long warned that sea-level increases could be most pronounced along the mid-Atlantic, including the shores of the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay.

Some forecasts have predicted that Delaware could lose 50 percent or more of its tidal wetlands under worst-case scenarios.

But during a presentation sponsored by the conservative Heritage Foundation last year, Legates said, "This has become climate alarmism."

Then in early 2006, the National Policy Research Center, a conservative think tank, published a paper by Legates saying science "does not support claims of drastic increases in global temperatures over the 21st century, nor does it support claims of human influence on weather events and other secondary effects of climate change."

NPRC listed Legates as an adjunct scholar at the time the paper was released, as well as director of the University of Delaware's Climatic Research Center.

In 2003 Legates was called to testify in the U.S. Senate by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla, a global warming skeptic prone to talk of "debunking" scientific climate change conclusions that are now widely accepted.

During that testimony Legates disputed findings of the international panel, saying researchers failed to prove recent warming trends or that human causes are "the only significant factor."

Wilmington resident Chad Tolman, a retired DuPont Co. research scientist who held positions with the National Academy of Sciences, said Legates' position clashed awkwardly with most Delaware scientists.

"I just don't know how, in the face of all the evidence, [he] maintains [his] position," Tolman said.

Cherry, who is managing Delaware's efforts with other states to cap regional greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, said Legates was free to take a stand that contradicts Delaware.

"But I have to say he's in the very small minority," Cherry said.

Contact Jeff Montgomery at 678-4277 or jmontgomery@delawareonline.com.

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  Culture of Corruption - Sanchez Accuses Democrat of Calling Her a 'Whore,'
So which party is it that respects women? Which party is it that accepts diversity? Certainly isn't the Dem/S...

Sanchez Accuses Democrat of Calling Her a 'Whore,' Resigns from Hispanic Group
By: Josephine Hearn
February 1, 2007 01:34 PM EST

Rep. Loretta Sanchez has quit the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, accusing the chairman, Rep. Joe Baca, of telling people she's a "whore."

Baca denied the charge.

In an interview with The Politico Wednesday, Sanchez, a California Democrat as is Baca, also cited concerns about whether Baca was properly elected Hispanic Caucus chairman in November and about his general attitude toward female lawmakers. The caucus represents 21 Hispanic Democrats in Congress.

"I'm not going to be a part of the CHC as long as Mr. Baca illegally holds the chair … I told them no. There's a big rift here," Sanchez said. "You treat the women like shit. I have no use for him."

In a statement to The Politico, Baca said Sanchez "has decided to resign from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), and has chosen to air baseless statements. Let me be clear; her comments are categorically untrue."

The last time lawmakers withdrew from the Hispanic caucus was in the late 1990s when the group's Republican members left over partisan differences.

Sanchez said she had been approached earlier this year to contribute funds from her office budget to support the CHC's shared staff, a requirement for all its members. She refused.

"I told them to take me off the list, take me off the Web site, take me off everything," Sanchez said.

She said she was surprised and insulted when she learned that Baca had made the disparaging personal comment about her to California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and other legislators last year.

Nunez "is a friend of mine. Did he think he wouldn't tell me?" Sanchez asked.

Sanchez voted against Baca in the election for chairman in November. Four other female lawmakers abstained from the vote, raising concerns about whether the election followed proper procedures.

The Sanchez withdrawal is a blow to Baca and his allies who have been trying to bring the caucus back together after a series of internal spats last year. Many of the more junior members and the women have butted heads with him and senior lawmakers.

Last February, six members withdrew from the group's political action committee after Baca and his allies authorized political contributions to family members who were running for state and local offices.

Sanchez was among that group of defectors, which also included her sister, Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., and Democratic Reps. Dennis Cardoza of California, Jim Costa of California, Raul M. Grijalva of Arizona and Hilda L. Solis of California.

In recent weeks, Rep. Xavier Becerra, Calif., a CHC member who serves in House leadership as assistant to the speaker, had been trying to persuade the six members to rejoin the political action committee, which is known as the Committee for Hispanic Causes/Building Our Leadership Diversity. So far, it appears those efforts have not succeeded. An invitation for a PAC fundraiser to be held Wednesday night continues to omit the six.

Earlier this month, four female lawmakers wrote Baca asking that the caucus repeat his election as chairman because the earlier vote failed to use secret ballots, as required in the group's bylaws.

Sanchez and other female CHC members have repeatedly complained that Baca and some of his male colleagues do not accord them a high level of respect.

"There is a big rift. Hello? Do they not get this?" Sanchez said.

and
Breaking News: Two More Reps. Complain About Treatment of Women in Hispanic Caucus

By: Josephine Hearn
February 1, 2007 01:31 PM EST

Two Democratic congresswomen released statements supporting a complaint that the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus called Rep. Loretta Sanchez a "whore."

Said Rep. Hilda L. Solis, of California, about this rapidly developing story:

"I share Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez's sentiment about the lack of respect afforded to women members of the Hispanic Caucus. If the Hispanic Caucus is to be truly representative of the Latino community, it must give equal treatment to all its members, regardless of gender or seniority.

"I continue to be very concerned about the operation of BOLD-PAC, the Caucus' campaign arm. I withdrew from the PAC last year because it was moving away from its mission of electing Hispanic Congressional candidates by allowing contributions to Hispanic Caucus relatives running for local and state office. The PAC's recently revised by-laws continue to allow this practice. At a time when the public is crying out for a more ethical government, we should be taking every step to avoid any appearance of preferential treatment for relatives.

"We must address these issues and resolve them as soon as possible so we can continue fighting for the rights and the well being of the Latino community, as is the mission of the Caucus."

Added Rep. Linda Sanchez, also of California and the sister of Loretta Sanchez:

"I support Loretta's decision. I was one of several members of the CHC who raised concerns about this issue before the current caucus leadership was determined. I am waiting to see if the Hispanic Caucus leadership will make good on its promise to be more fair and inclusive of its Latina members. It is my hope that the leadership will take the concerns that the Latinas have expressed seriously. Latinas are the fastest growing segment of the minority population, and their perspective deserves to be represented, not denigrated."


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  Culture of Corruption - Nancy Pelosi
Speaker pursues military flights
By Rowan Scarborough THE WASHINGTON TIMES 1 Feb 2007

The office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pressing the Bush administration for routine access to military aircraft for domestic flights, such as trips back to her San Francisco district, according to sources familiar with the discussions.
The sources, who include those in Congress and in the administration, said the Democrat is seeking regular military flights not only for herself and her staff, but also for relatives and for other members of the California delegation. A knowledgeable source called the request "carte blanche for an aircraft any time."
"They are pressing the point of her succession and that the [Department of Defense] needs to play ball with the speaker's needs," one source said. The request originally went to the Pentagon, which then asked the White House to weigh in.
Mrs. Pelosi's request is not new for a speaker, who is second-in-line in presidential succession. A defense source said the speaker's regular access to a military plane began after the September 11, 2001, attacks. Rep. J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican, who was speaker at the time, started using U.S. Air Force planes for domestic travel to and from his district for security reasons. A former Hastert aide said the congressman did not use military planes for political trips or regularly transport his family.
The defense source said Mr. Hastert requested a plane with good communications so he could conduct legislative business. The military flights increased to the point the speaker used a military plane for many, if not all, flights to his Illinois district, the former aide said.
Sources said Mrs. Pelosi's request goes beyond what Mr. Hastert received. The speaker's legal counsel is spearheading the talks.
An aide to Mrs. Pelosi, who asked not to be named, confirmed yesterday that discussions are ongoing with the administration. "It would be done for security reasons," said the aide, adding that the speaker has used military aircraft for at least one trip back to San Francisco.
The aide asserted that the administration was using a Washington Times reporter, in effect, to negotiate with the speaker's office by leaking information about Mrs. Pelosi's request. Asked if the speaker was seeking increased access to military planes, the aide took the question, but did not call back.
A Pentagon spokesman referred questions to Mrs. Pelosi's office. A White House spokeswoman said last night she had no information on the request.
The rules for congressional travel on military aircraft are contained in Defense Department Directive 4515.12.
Congressional access to military passenger jets is generally restricted to official trips abroad, or for domestic flights to military bases or events to which the Pentagon invited the lawmaker. Al Qaeda attacks on the U.S. changed the procedure in the case of the speaker.
U.S. Air Force travel for VIPs such as members of Congress is first-rate. The planes are staffed with stewards who serve meals and tend an open bar. Communications suites allow members to conduct business while traveling.
Such flights are one of Congress' cherished perquisites, providing lawmakers a chance to visit foreign lands at government expense. Official duties are often mixed with sightseeing and fine dining.
But trips to war zones are not junkets. Since the September 11 attacks, the Air Force has flown hundreds of congressional delegations, or "co-dels," to various war theaters. Mrs. Pelosi just completed a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan and Iraq.
Upon her return, she repeated her demand that President Bush not send more troops to Iraq.


There is a commonality here. The Dem/S sure do have the idea that the military, being in uniform, must be some sort of personal service league or something.

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  Being Something You're Not
As in any other war, and we are at war folks, there are those who try to say that they are something they aren't. They will tell you that they are heroes. Real vets aren't like that. They most often won't even tell their children or wives about their experiences (aside from the funny ones involving a tasteful practical joke). If somebody comes up to you and starts talking about his (most likely a "he" but not always!) war experiences, I've some observations...

I'll bet your guy talked about himself, about his guns, about his training and being the best, about being tough and strong and about something at least bordering on atrocity. But for sure it will be about him. He might have medals, documents, even photos, but...

I bet your guy didn't get that sad and lonely look when he was talking about something that seemed like yesterday to him and a place and time far away to you. You didn't see a tear in his eye. You didn't hear his voice shake. He didn't pause and look away time to time as he regained his composure. He didn't mention friends' names with obvious reverence.

Now there are sites which will help you smoke out these people such as




and books on the subject



which resulted in the introduction and promotion of a law, the Stolen Valor Act of 2005.

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  Whose Country Is It?
I was casting about and saw this:
Englund said criminals can be long gone by the time a deputy arrives from Cambridge, the county seat, about 14 miles away. The sheriff said that, with a rising call rate and 14 deputies to patrol 440 miles of roads, his department is understaffed.

"We want people's help, we need their help [calling with information], but we don't want people taking the law into their own hands," he said.
I'm not alone in this but I'd like to point out that the law is ours, in our own hands. Law enforcement officer (policemen and women) are our employees as are the government representatives. We aren't selecting them to be our bosses. We don't pay them to be our bosses. We pay them to protect us from the worst among us, to make sure the water works work, the schools educate our kids/grand kids and the roads are maintained.

It seems to me that there is in this country a growing tendency for public officials to forget they work for the citizens of that particular community. New London, Connecticut officials have done that even going to the point of spending tax payer money to get other public employees to allow them to steal citizen's property to give to others.

I don't like the way this is going.

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For us, the American ideal is personified in the concept of self-reliance, work ethic, honesty/forthrightness, decency, personal property rights, family, religion, an ability to defend oneself from criminals and crooked politicians, and personal responsibility.





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