Thursday, August 30, 2007


Make Him Go Away, Please!

Just Muttering, Instapundit and I'm sure many others noted John Edwards position on fighting global warming and driving SUVs.

The story, as reported by FoxNews.
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards told a labor group that he would ask Americans to make a big sacrifice: their sport utility vehicles.

"I think Americans are actually willing to sacrifice," Edwards said Tuesday during a forum held by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. "One of the things they should be asked to do is drive more fuel efficient vehicles."

The former North Carolina senator was asked specifically if he would tell them to give up their SUVs, he said, "Yes."
Edwards was asked during his appearance how he explained the contradiction of asking Americans to sacrifice while he's living in a 28,000-square-foot (2,600-square-meter) mansion.

He said he came from nothing, worked hard all his life, has always supported workers and fought big corporations as a lawyer.

"I have no apologies whatsoever for what I've done with my life," he said to loud cheers. "My entire life has been about the same cause, which is making sure wherever you come from, whatever your family is, whatever the color of your skin, you get a real chance to do something great in this country."
The Hedgehog Report covered the story showing an aerial view of Edwards estate with several large vehicles parked in the driveway.

I'm wondering what constitutes coming up from nothing and how that relates to gaining license to harm the planet more than us poor plebeians. Who is going to decide who gets to pollute and who doesn't. How far up do you have to go to say you have "come up?"

Do you get extra points for fighting the evil corporate dragons? Oddly, reading the Wikipedia entry linked to in the previous sentence, Edwards doesn't appear to have spent as much time fighting evil corporations but mostly sued people for big bucks of which he kept a bunch. Of course, to get a rise from mindless Democrats all you have to say is "fight big corporations" or "fight corporate greed". Paradoxically, these same mindless Democrats manage to ignore the speaker's greed.

Fortunately, Edwards doesn't seem to have much of a chance of winning the Democratic nomination, let alone the White House. Edwards may well be a white collar psychopath.
Psychopaths have a profound lack of empathy. They use other people callously and remorselessly for their own ends. They seduce victims with a hypnotic charm that masks their true nature as pathological liars, master con artists, and heartless manipulators. Easily bored, they crave constant stimulation, so they seek thrills from real-life "games" they can win -- and take pleasure from their power over other people.
"Hypnotic charm" (along with really good hair), "real-life 'games'", pleasure from power over other people. Callousness and lack of remorse show in comments covered in this story, i.e. you sacrifice, but I'm going to live high on the hog and make no apologies to you little serfs.

Obviously, he sees himself as being "above" the rest of us. (After all, he came up from nothing.) Many of the psychopathic elements certainly are present. He's a conceited, ego-centric individual who pictures himself in the typical psychopathic view of being above everyone else. Even Hillary seems almost normal in comparison.

Plus, Edwards is a somewhat effeminate pretty boy who probably thinks a VW Bug convertible is a really cool car for a guy to drive when the SUV is in the shop.

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Football: A Good Start

The varsity at my son's high school, Mason County High School in Kentucky, won their season opening football game yesterday 27-7. (Scroll down) The highlights were a stingy defense, good kicking by the twin girls, and a 174 yards on 24 carries by the running back, Jeremy Thompson. The kid can run. He reminded me a little of Barry Sanders, quick feet, changes direction in a heartbeat and strong.

As a freshman, my son got to dress out but, as expected, didn't play. An interesting side note my son told me - there are four sets of of twins on the team. That's more twins that were in my entire high school when I was in school. I wonder if there is something in the water here.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Seattle Ferry, Possible Terrorists, Protecting the Public, and a Misguided Newspaper Editor

Passengers on the Washington State Ferries system reported two persons behaving suspiciously. Armed with a clear photograph of the two men, the FBI asked for help identifying the men.
Typically newspapers and other media outlets gladly perform public service announcements and other public service acts.

But, in this case Seattle Post-Intelligencer Managing Editor David McCumber decided not to print the picture because it wasn't newsworthy, a threat to civil rights and several other logically garbled reasons. McCumber expanded on his "logic" here.
That's not the way a free press works.

If everything any government authority handed us was automatically unquestioned "news," we would be a state-run newspaper. Strangely, some of the same people who have made arguments that we should unquestioningly follow the FBI's directives are also very critical of "big government."

This afternoon I got a call from a Washington State Ferries captain who thanked me sincerely for the decision not to run the photos. He said he feared we were moving to some sort of brown-shirt state where hysteria replaced reason.

He ended our short conversation by quoting Benjamin Franklin:

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
The request by the FBI stands as news or not depending on you perspective. Is a tornado watch news? Nothing has happened yet. Tornado watches are handed out by a government agency. As for the captain, with a little effort I could find a person of nearly any profession to echo whatever sentiments I want to hear.

As for "essential liberty," which ones are being given up here? If I'm walking down the street and think someone is stalking me and tell a policeman, what do you think he'll do? When you are in public places, you temporarily give up large portions of your right to privacy.

Some people considering the FBI's actions racist profiling and fear mongering. Of course, this "unregistered user" could be anyone including a terrorist. Accusations of profiling are too easy to throw around. What did the other passengers observe? How many observed it? How often was it observed? How many passengers of the same racial appearance as the "suspects" ride the ferries and have never been reported? Unless you know the answers to all these questions, accusations of profiling are the same old knee-jerk response of lefties everywhere.

Washington State Ferries make up the largest ferry system in the country. A "Jumbo Mark II class ferry boat used on the Bainbridge to Seattle run has the capacity to carry 2,500 passengers per trip." The sinking of a ferry would be a disaster with a potential death toll close to that of 9/11. Attacks on multiple ferries could easily be worse. (The 9/11 terrorist did attack multiple targets.)

Running a picture of the men in question does not seem like to much of a burden for a newspaper nor a real threat to any civil rights and such. I wonder what McCumber thinks about the the wholesale profiling of all men as sexual predators. Here is a sample of what newsworthy at the Post-Intelligencer. I'm sure the deaths of thousands in a ferry disaster would be newsworthy also. In an ironic way the name of the newspaper, the "Seattle Post-Intelligencer," is quite appropriate.

Over the years, I've called the 1-800-GRAB-DUI number, reported suspected (and proven in at least one case) child abuse, spousal abuse, generally crazy drivers, auto repair places pouring oil in storm sewers and other stuff. We all have a duty to protect each other and our country, plus the Earth and its people in general. The question is not whether the picture is "newsworthy." It is "Are we going to protect our readers?" Because of mangled lefty logic, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is failing miserably.

Hat tip to Bill Hobbs.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Don't Leave Your Kids in The Car!!

Researching my rather tongue-in-cheek deer post, I came across this story of a two year old toddler that died from after being left in an SUV. How in God's name can parents keep doing this? I feel nauseous.

The parent was apparently no uneducated, uninformed dummy. The car was a Mercedes SUV.
Records showed that the vehicle where the girl was found is registered to the school's assistant principal, Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, temperatures inside a car sitting in the sun can climb from 78 degrees to 100 degrees in as short a time as three minutes.

After six to eight minutes, the temperature inside the car can reach 125 degrees, and heatstroke occurs when the body's temperature reaches 104 degrees.

Temperatures reached near 100 degrees in many portions of the Cincinnati area Thursday afternoon.
This happened in a suburb of Cincinati. I work in Cincinnati and checked the temperatures at the airport several times today. The temperature at the airport reached 102o at 7:53 PM. You don't not notice heat like this.

When I left work today, the center console burned my forearm. I could hardly touch the steering wheel and my air conditioner barely kept the car cool while driving at cruising speed.

I won't leave my 11 year old daughter in a car by herself or with other girls her age. I'm too afraid some pervert might try something. I will leave my extra large 14 year old son in the car when I go into the local grocery but not in unfamiliar places.

I'll never understand how someone can leave a baby or toddler to die in the heat.
In a matter of 10 minutes, the temperature inside the car could have climbed close to 120 degrees. Jan Null, an adjunct professor of Meteorology at the San Francisco University ,said the car’s temperature could have been in excess of 145 degrees and that objects in direct sunlight would have been much hotter.

Null, who tracks instances of children being left in hot vehicles, said this death was the 23rd such fatality involving a child in a vehicle this year and the first for Ohio.

Another child died in hot vehicle today in St. Louis.
In all likely hood this tragic lost is devastating to the parent, as it well should be. I have little sympathy except for the child that suffered a torturous death. If you don't want to exert the extra effort that having a child requires, don't have a child.

UPDATE: From the Cincinnati Enquirer:
School officials declined to comment on why the girl, Cecilia Slaby, might have been left in her mother's Mercedes. Her mother, Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby, is the school's assistant principal.

Union Township police said the girl was strapped in a car seat in the rear of the vehicle for several hours before she was noticed.

Calls from people who spotted Cecilia began flooding the Union Township Police Department around 3:14 p.m., Lt. Scott Gaviglia said.

When officers arrived in the parking lot of the school, at 4342 Glen Este Withamsville Road, they found the child.

None of the windows was left down, Gaviglia said.
From what I heard on the 11:00 PM News, the woman simply forgot the child was in her car and went into work leaving the child behind. I wonder why she was so distracted or whatever that she forgot her child. I occasionally forget my umbrella but it is of much less importance. I can't help but wonder is she was engaged in a cellphone conversation or simply too rushed.

UPDATE2: An anonymous commenter suggested, "It might be wise to show a little compassion. You may need it some day." Perhaps, I should be a little more compassionate towards the mother, but I find it hard. If I'm compassionate because I might need it some day, I'm acting out of selfish motives. Do I want the mother to go to jail? No. If it was someone else's child, probably.

As well as this child dying, a baby in St. Louis died in the same manner. The parents were doctor and a medical researcher at the same hospital.
The child had been in the car for three hours, Gieseke said. It's believed the mother left the child in the back seat of the father's car, but that the father thought the mother had taken the child.
All these parents are college educated professionals. Surely, they were well informed enough to know the dangers. But, sometimes we let our immediate worries drowned out the bigger picture.

Still, I can only imagine the pain, emotional trauma and suffering the babies endured before dying. Symptoms of heatstroke
An abrupt onset is sometimes preceded by prodromal headache, vertigo, nausea and fatigue, small pupils and very high fever. The victim may become extremely disoriented or unconsciousness with possible convulsions. Sweating is usually but not always decreased, the skin is hot, flushed, and usually dry (sweating has ceased). The pulse rate may be strong, increase rapidly and may reach 160bpm.

Respirations usually increase, but blood pressure is seldom affected. Disorientation may briefly precede unconsciousness or convulsions. The temperature climbs rapidly to 41°C and the patient feels as if they are burning up. Circulatory collapse may precede death, after hours of extreme hyperpyrexia, survivors are likely to have permanent brain damage
I can envision the babies crying in terror, the older toddler probably struggled mightily to escape from the car seat. Neither would quit until exhaustion and the effects of the heat stopped them.

Yes, the parents deserve some compassion but I really don't know how much. This reminds me of this story.
A mother went to the Emperor Napoleon to ask for mercy for her son.
He had committed some breach of the French law.
The emperor replied, “Madam, this is the second time the boy has offended.
“Justice requires that he should die.”
She answered, “I did not come to ask for justice, I beg for mercy.”
He answered, “He does not deserve mercy.”
“Sire,” she said, “It would not be mercy if he deserved it. I ask for mercy.”
When she put it that way, the emperor replied, “Well then, I will have mercy.”
These incidents are much like many others in that we get in too much of a hurry or get distracted by something of minor significance. Seat belts aren't worn, we drive too fast, don't completely stop at an intersection, etc. And, then comes the one time where it all goes wrong.

Sometimes our lives are defined by a single moment no matter what else we've done. I do hope the parents of these children can go forward in the future and make the world a little better place to live. Even more, I hope that we parents keep our children close enough in mind to avoid such mistakes.

I just find it extremely sad and avoidable.


Save the Planet - Go Hunting

Norway has a moose problem. Indeed, it is a moose problem that effects the entire planet.
Norway is concerned that its national animal, the moose, is harming the climate by emitting an estimated 2,100 kilos of carbon dioxide a year through its belching and farting.

Norwegian newspapers, citing research from Norway's technical university, said a motorist would have to drive 13,000 kilometers in a car to emit as much CO2 as a moose does in a year.
Moose emit large quantities of methane and carbon dioxide because they are ruminates, like cows and sheep.
Agriculture is responsible for producing 37 percent of global methane emissions, a gas that is 23 times more potent than CO2 when it comes to global warming. And much of this gas comes from the burps of ruminating animals such as cows and sheep.
Another ruminate is deer. And, the deer population in the United States has skyrocketed in recent decades. The current deer population of North America is well over 30 million. There were only an estimated 500,000 deer in North America in 1900. Is it just by chance that global warming correlates with the dramatic rise in the deer population? Above we've seen that methane in 23 times more potent than CO2 when it comes to global warming. The deer create methane.
A deer goes to the bathroom" an average of 13 times every 24 hours. Usually 65 percent of the food will be used by the animal, and 5 percent is lost as methane gas, 5 percent as urine, and 25 percent as feces.

(Emphasis added)

Deer are also causing all sorts of other destruction and damage.
Deer damage to agriculture in New York was between $58 million and $60 million in 2003, said Paul Curtis, an associate professor and extension wildlife specialist at Cornell University.
Today’s high deer population may shape how the country’s forests look decades from now. The animals are reducing the number of trees and seedlings and affecting which species will survive, forestry experts say.
Michael Conover, a wildlife professor and director of the Jack Berryman Institute at Utah State University, estimates deer cause at least $750 million in damage to the United States timber industry annually.

Humans, too, face increased dangers. There were 1.5 million deer and vehicle crashes in 2003, injuring 13,713 people and causing $1.1 billion in vehicle damage, according to a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released in November.
Many people have a misplaced affection for deer because of deers' beauty and grace. Make no mistake about it, these animals are responsible for habitat destruction of many other species, thousands of auto accidents, crop destruction, broken hotel windows in downtown Cincinnati, plus they're destroying the planet via global warming.

One obvious way to control these rampant, destructive animals is to hunt and eat them. Lots of pantywaist, wimpy PETA types don't want you to hunt. Man’s natural role is that of a hunter/gatherer. We've neglected the hunting part to a fault and now our planet faces of global catastrophe. The hell with Bambi's mother, and Bambi, take a hunter safety course, get your hunting license and do everything you can to save the planet.


Is the U.S. Suffering a Brain Drain?

According to a study by the Kauffman Foundation, the U.S. is in danger of losing valuable legal immigrants and thus creating a "reverse brain drain."
More than one million skilled immigrant workers, including scientists, engineers, doctors and researchers and their families, are competing for 120,000 permanent U.S. resident visas each year, creating a sizeable imbalance likely to fuel a “reverse brain-drain” with skilled workers returning to their home country, according to a new report released today by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
I'm not sure we need to take in a million immigrants a year but it is food for thought. Considering that the U.S. is well above some estimates of sustainability, we should proceed with caution. But certainly "skilled immigrant workers, including scientists, engineers, doctors and researchers and their families" should be given priority in the path towards citizenship.

Hat tip to Greg Siskind's Blog.


Quote of the Day, Again

Woody at GM's Corner said:

"And, when pictures of guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have pictures of guns."

Woody's post concerns zero brains in educators. Read it here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Another Global Warming Caused Hurricane!!

When I was young we had hurricanes, big, bad storms that came roaring out of the Atlantic to wreak havoc and destruction where ever they wished. We looked upon these as naturally occurring storms just as thunderstorms and tornadoes. Now I wonder if we'll ever have a hurricane, or other significant weather event, that someone won't feel obligated to tie to global warming.

Chris Mooney at HuffPo couldn't resist. He actually makes a valiant attempt to be calm and logical. He almost succeeds except for a case of the "Nevertheless's."
We can't blame any one hurricane event on global warming directly. Nevertheless, ...
we just don't know.

Nevertheless, ....
But I actually like Mooney's approach. "We have to be careful what we claim and how we claim it,..." He's cautioning against being too alarmist and/or making unsupportable claims. Unfortunately, some of his commenters disagree.
Chris, stop working so hard to appear "reasonable" about climate change. People need a portrait of the possible, in all its ugly detail,...
great point jbatch - it is ugly!
for all the naysayers of Climate Change, for those of us who don't have our eyes closed, say "JUST WAIT - cuz this kind-of weather isn't going away and will only continue to worsen!
The difference being:
If WE'RE 100% wrong about GW, the WORST to happen will be clean(er) air and water.

If you're 1% wrong, it may spell disaster for all generations to come.
And so on.

As for me, I've decided to take the Al Gore approach to this monumental crisis. Write a book, make a movie, travel by private jet, own mansions, that's mansions plural, that suck up energy and get fat and rich. Now, to find a publisher...


Is Pat Schroeder Racist?

Yesterday we heard the comment Pat Schroeder directed towards conservatives because they read fewer books on average in the past year. More information is available today.

It turns out that blacks and Hispanics didn't read as much as whites. I wonder if Schroeder has similar deprecating comments about those groups. Indeed what does Schroeder think about all the groups that didn't read as much.
Who are the 27% of people the AP-Ipsos poll found hadn't read a single book this year? Nearly a third of men and a quarter of women fit that category. They tend to be older, less educated, lower income, minorities, from rural areas and less religious.
Of course we know the answer. Lefty progressives are so insecure in their own identity they have to take every opportunity to insult those that don't agree with them. They can't argue logically on the issues because their "logic" doesn't hold up. Instead they resort to the juvenile commentary that you thought you left behind in junior high. But they show their true bigoted, biased colors when they do.

The questionnaire with "topline" data can be seen here. Unfortunately, AP-Ipsos only reports the aggregate data and it is not broken down by demographics or other factors. Naturally, no marketing research company is going to release the complete data to the public.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Quote of the Day

In the typical sanctimonious, condescending manner of many liberals, Pat Schroeder, president of the American Association of Publishers, insulted all conservatives in response to a poll showing that liberals read more books than conservatives.
"The Karl Roves of the world have built a generation that just wants a couple slogans: 'No, don't raise my taxes, no new taxes,'" Pat Schroeder, president of the American Association of Publishers, said in a recent interview. "It's pretty hard to write a book saying, 'No new taxes, no new taxes, no new taxes' on every page."
But that is not the quote of the day.

The quote of the day is White House spokesman Tony Fratto's remark.
White House spokesman Tony Fratto said Schroeder was "confusing volume with quality" with her remarks.

"Obfuscation usually requires a lot more words than if you simply focus on fundamental principles, so I'm not at all surprised by the loquaciousness of liberals," he said.

Emphasized added
The next time you read a "liberal" post or oped column remember this quote. Liberals engage in much convoluted logic and circular/emotional reasoning to try to make their points. An excess of words is necessary for this process. It takes a lot of effort to avoid putting the word "illegal" in front of "immigrant" or to use the word "insurgent" rather than "terrorist." Then one must go to great lengths to "explain" why.

The only people who buy it are those with similar disturbances in their logic process.

Here are some thoughts from J. Krishnamurti that speaks clearly to the issue of reading.
I wonder why you study, why you read philosophy, why you read the sayings of religious leaders. Do you think the knowledge which you have learned, read of, will get you anywhere? Perhaps in a discussion, to show off your cleverness or erudition, it might be useful. But will accumulated knowledge—except in the scientific world—lead man, you or me, to find out what is real, what is truth, what is God. The eternal?
Quoting Krishnamurti is paradoxical. Lest you think he wrote books for us to read, he did not. Krishnamurti never wrote a book, his "books" are collections of his talks with others.

BTW - Mark Steyn wrote an excellent piece the other day contrasting reaction to the execution of the three young adults in Newark to the murder of Matthew Shepard.
By contrast, there's been a succession of prominent stories with one common feature that the very same pundits, politicians and lobby groups have a curious reluctance to go anywhere near. In a New York Times report headlined "Sorrow And Anger As Newark Buries Slain Youth," the limpidly tasteful Times prose prioritized "sorrow" over "anger," and offered only the following reference to the perpetrators: "The authorities have said robbery appeared to be the motive. Three suspects – two 15-year-olds and a 28-year-old construction worker from Peru – have been arrested."

So, this Peruvian guy was here on a green card? Or did he apply for a temporary construction-work visa from the U.S. Embassy in Lima?

Not exactly. Jose Carranza is an "undocumented" immigrant. His criminal career did not begin with the triple murder he's alleged to have committed, nor with the barroom assault from earlier this year, nor with the 31 counts of aggravated sexual assault relating to the rape of a 5-year-old child, for which Mr. Carranza had been released on bail. (His $50,000 bail on the assault charge and $150,000 bail on the child-rape charges have now been revoked.) No, Mr. Carranza's criminal career in the United States began when he decided to live in this country unlawfully.
Why is there no outcry against our lax treatment of criminal immigrants by the liberal media in response to these murders? Is it because they view illegal immigrants as "more oppressed" than black kids in New Jersey? In the back of their minds do they consider this an acceptable sacrifice?

I'm sure they have some long winded semi-intelligible explanation. But it won't help those three kids like enforcing our immigration laws very well might have.

My apologies to true classical liberals. Unfortunately the left's lunatic fringe, many of whom now call themselves "progressives," have tainted the term liberal for many years to come.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Can You Walk and Text At the Same Time?

For several years people have been debating the dangers of using cellphones while driving. As time goes on, I lean more and more towards restrictions on cellphone use in cars.

I've noticed that much of the time the car traveling 10 mph below the speed limit on the Interstate often has a driver talking on the phone. A couple of months ago a local girl ran over a man working on the pumps at a gas station because while talking on the cellphone, she didn't see him. Feeling the bump and being the genius that she is, she backed up to see what she had run over and ran over him again. Miraculously, he survived.

Now, we have a fellow, texting on his cellphone, struck by train WHILE WALKING!
A man sending a text message avoided being hit by a train going in one direction only to be struck by another train.

Witnesses told police the man was looking down at his cell phone as he crossed some railroad tracks around 9 a.m. at Township Road and Elmwood Avenue in Elmwood Place.

Witnesses said the man waited for a southbound train to pass, put his head down and started walking across the tracks.

The man apparently did not see or hear a northbound train as it approached, witnesses said.
Some how, he survived also.

Personally, I'm amazed that people become so engrossed in conversations and texting that they completely block out the real world. Not a good survival strategy. I'm also amazed that so many people feel the need to be constantly immersed in cellphone conversations and texting. I enjoy smiling and exchanging friendly "Hello's" with strangers or starting a conversation with someone at the gym whom I've never met.

While cellphones contribute to convenient communication, I have some serious doubts about some of its impact on people and society.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


The Duct Tape Robber

If you haven't seen or heard about the duct tape robber in Ashland, KY, you need to check him out.

Robbery is a serious problem for retail stores across our region. But the employees of Shamrock Liquors in Ashland, Kentucky, can't stop laughing about what happened last Friday at the store along 13th street.

Police say Kasey Kazee walked in to the store with duct tape wrapped around his head to conceal his face.

Fortunately, store manager Bill Steele had some duct tape of his own. Steel had a wooden club wrapped with duct tape that eventually sent the suspect fleeing the store.

Store employee Craig Miller says he chased Kazee to the parking lot, tackled him and held him in a choke position until police arrived. An unidentified customer also helped.
A group of us at work first saw this on the noon news while eating lunch at a local pub. The entire place broke out in laughter.

The link above includes a hilarious video of an interview with the "suspect." If you need a definition for "loser," this is a good one.

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Buffalo Trace Balloon Race

Today we attended the Buffalo Trace Balloon Race festival. The actual race was yesterday evening. I took some pictures but, since my old digital camera only has a zoom of 2.5 times, the balloons look like spots in the sky. Today several balloons were available for tethered balloon rides.
The festival today appeared to be a rousing success. The parking areas were full and cars were parked on both sides of the highway for a half mile or more in both directions. Bands played and food vendors looked very happy. The happiest is probably the recipient of the proceeds.

This picture shows about a fourth of the crowd.
Each year a charity is chosen and receives 100% of the proceeds from the event.My son worked as a volunteer. This years charity is C.A.S.A. (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children). I know almost nothing about the charity but it appears to me to be on program that could be very good or very bad depending on how reasonable and unbiased they are in their advocacy.

This was the first year for the balloon race. I look forward to again each year as I'm sure many others do also. The festival was held on the grounds of Maysville Community & Technical College which frequently hosts outdoor community events in the warm months.


NOLA Blog Links

I've decided to add links to several blogs concerned with New Orleans. Thanks to Patrick at Hurricane Radio for regularly posting on goings on in New Orleans and getting me more interested in the problems there, which are numerous. Reading the blogs from NOLA gives me a better idea of the feelings of the people living there and of the atmosphere of the city.

Southern Studies published a "A New Agenda for the Gulf Coast" which touches on some critical issues but completely ignores others including violent crime and truly bad local government. New Orleans suffers from rampant crime, a high murder rate, and corrupt/incompetent local government. No amount of Federal aid will solve that problem. Indeed, Federal aid would most likely help the corrupt politicians and their cronies get richer and more powerful.

Until more of the citizens of NOLA are willing to roll up their sleeves and do the dirty work and kick out the bums in local government, any efforts will most likely be ineffective. Hopefully enough of the residents of NOLA will realize this soon and begin to make real change.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Getting Kicks From Twins
What A Great Place To Live

My youngest son started high school this year. He's a big kid (14 years old, 6' 1", 215 lbs) and the strongest kid on the freshman football team. Today he got to scrimmage some with the varsity against another high school.

The big story isn't my son, except for me, or some of the other freshmen who show promise of being good enough to play college ball. The big story is the place kickers for the varsity, pictured below. They are twin sisters. One kicks extra points and the other kick-offs. It's bcome fairly common for a high school football team to have a girl or two on the team but how many have twins?

They both also play soccer, quite well it is told. During one of the kick-offs the female kicker got in on the tackle of the ball runner.

Because I couldn't resist, I've included a picture of my son standing close to one of the girls. He's not only large but incredibly handsome and intelligent. :-)

One of the things that amazes me about Maysville/Mason County is the number of high achievers it produces. Supreme Court Justice Stanley Reed, Rosemary Clooney, Miss America 2000 - Heather Renee French, and All-American basketball player Chris Lofton.

Last year Army free safety Jordan Murray, former Mason County player, intercepted Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn to break Quinn's streak of over 200 passes without an interception. At least one other West Point Cadet is from Maysville as well as another Maysvillian entered the Naval Academy this year.

Daniel Boone lived here once. His cousin, Jacob, is buried in an old cemetery in downtown. Confederate general Albert Sidney Johnson was born in what is now the "Old Washington" section of Maysville. Much of Harriet Beecher Stowe's inspiration for writing "Uncle Tom's Cabin" came from a visit to Old Washington. Being a friend of the son of the last people to live in the house in which Beecher stayed, my oldest son spent several nights in the house himself.
There are more in the making. Mason County High School has a senior basketball player currently considered the 32nd best high school player in the country. And I left out the All-American swimmer who just graduated from St. Patrick's High School in Maysville.

Not bad for a city/county totaling about 20,000 people. There are more to come, I'm sure.

My theory as to why the high number of successes is the positive side of small towns. Almost everyone does know everyone else. About the only people who don't are "newcomers" like me. I've only lived in the area for 17 years. People see the success of other members of their community as a reflection on themselves and their community.

When a young person shows promise they receive tremendous support from almost everyone. It's not like "Friday Night Lights". It's much more upbeat with lots of rah-rah "way to go" stuff and there is always someone there willing to help the kids as long as they're willing to be helped.

A couple of weeks ago, my youngest son told me he wanted his kids to grow up just like he did, in a small town with lots of friends and people cheering each other on. I often hear about kids hating living in a small town, etc. Well, that small town ain't Maysville, KY.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


Hell In A Handbasket?

As had been predicted, food prices are rising. From several posts at Instapundit to my boss who shares a 100 acre farm with his brother, I've been hearing and reading warnings that food prices will rise. Well, they have.

The major culprit?
It's partly because of corn prices, driven up by congressional mandates for ethanol production, which have reduced the amount of corn available for animal feed. It's also because of tougher immigration enforcement and a late spring freeze, which have made farm laborers scarcer and damaged fruit and vegetable crops, respectively. And it's because of higher diesel fuel costs to run tractors and attractive foreign markets that take U.S. production.
My boss' comments were all based on the rising price of corn due to the demand for corn to make ethanol. In no sense is corn-based ethanol the answer to our energy problems. If you do a little research you will find we can't grow enough corn and that ethanol has a low energy concentration and . But Congress may be more interested in corporate sponsorship than real answers. Ethanol is not the answer to greenhouse gases either. As I've said before, I like diesel.

Backing a guaranteed failure to energy needs has not been Congress' only action. A Senate bill currently being considered would cut the U.S. economy by more than $500 billion dollars. Reportedly Ted Kennedy would still have a view of the Chesapeake Bay unhindered by windmills.

PLUS, we get this warning from David Walker, comptroller general of the US.
The US government is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic health care underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon, the country’s top government inspector has warned.
Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.

“Sound familiar?” Mr Walker said. “In my view, it’s time to learn from history and take steps to ensure the American Republic is the first to stand the test of time.”
The Romans grew too lazy to do their own work including providing manpower for their armies. They turned to the barbarians to do this for them. Is there a parallel between this and illegal immigration?

The difference I see is that the U.S. still has plenty of people willing to serve in the military and plenty of people still willing to work. But it seems many of our leaders don't want us to serve and work. From the loony left we hear that we are entitled to nearly everything. John McCain says we're not tough enough to pick lettuce. It's as if they want us to be lazy and indifferent so that they can run the country and get rich without interference from the citizenry. And screw the future generations.

One up-beat note however, Wal_Mart missed its profits goal. I'm not a Wal-Mart hater although I don't like to shop there because of lousy service and generally low quality goods. I see this as a good sign. Wal-Mart probably missed its goals because people are able to shop at better, more expensive stores. As people's incomes and discretionary spending increases, one of the first things they do is stop shopping at Wal-Mart.

Now contact your Senators and Congresspersons and give them some hell, even if your viewpoints differ from mine. Congress needs to be shook up.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Nagin and NOLA

About the only way I keep up with NOLA is via Patrick at Hurricane Radio. Although he claims to be a liberal, he seems to have a level head. He's definitely not a radical left winger.

He reports disturbing news, lots of murders and Nagin still says stupid things. There have been 118 murders as of Aug.9 of this year. Cincinnati, currently a much larger city with outraged citizens, had 86 murders for the 12 months of 2006. How do the city officials of New Orleans react to this crisis?

Your Right Hand Thief gives a synopsis. Quoting The Times-Picayune
"Do I worry about it? Somewhat. It's not good for us, but it also keeps the New Orleans brand out there, and it keeps people thinking about our needs and what we need to bring this community back. So it is kind of a two-edged sword. Sure it hurts, but we have to keep working everyday to make the city better," Nagin said, according to a transcript of provided by FOX 8.
I wonder if Mayor Mallory of Cincinnati will pick up of this strategy to promote Cincinnati. "Hey, we're killing each other. Help us rebuild our city!" More from YRHT:
In sum: we are told to be comforted by random murders, and we are told that the upside to our high murder rate is more exposure for "the New Orleans brand".

The mayor of Newark goes for days without sleep when violent murders occur in his city. He promises that the killers will be found and that the multiple murders will stop.

OUR MAYOR, on the other hand, is only "somewhat" bothered by the violence, and sees a marketing opportunity for our stricken city. As all the helpful Couhig Conservatives and other Nagin-enablers will tell you, OUR MAYOR "understands business". Unlike, say, Mitch Landrieu, Nagin understands that being the murder capital of the U.S. keeps "the New Orleans brand" out there. The mayor claims that murders are thought provoking. Indeed, "they keep people thinking" about New Orleans' many needs.
Read the entire post and follow the links. Amazing stuff.

Another great quote reached via Hurricane Radio/YRHT/
Recently, after a murder of a 52-year old engineer who was returning from work to his home New Orleans, NOPD spokesman Sgt. Joe Narcisse said “I think people can take some comfort in knowing that it was a random act of violence….”

As if random acts of violence are more acceptable than a pattern of violent acts. Nothing about acts of violence should make anyone comfortable.
Yep, I always find random acts of violence, especially murder, comforting.

Adding to all this, Patrick at points out that the district attorney is not prosecuting murders. Maybe he's afraid of being the target of a random attack.

National Geographic ran a story, New Orleans - A Perilous Future, in the August, 2007 issue. Reading this story (I subscribe to the paper edition), I got the feeling that New Orleans is doomed.
But among engineers and experts, that resolve is giving way to a growing awareness that another such disaster is inevitable, and nothing short of a massive and endless national commitment can prevent it.
The long odds led Robert Giegengack, a geologist at the University of Pennsylvania, to tell policymakers a few months after the storm that the wealthiest, most technologically advanced nation on the globe was helpless to prevent another Katrina: "We simply lack the capacity to protect New Orleans." He recommended selling the French Quarter to Disney, moving the port 150 miles (240 kilometers) upstream, and abandoning one of the most historic and culturally significant cities in the nation.
Instead of rebuilding smarter or surrendering, New Orleans is doing what it has always done after such disasters: bumping up the levees just a little higher, rebuilding the same flood-prone houses back in the same low spots, and praying that hurricanes hit elsewhere. Some former New Orleanians may have had enough. More than a third of the city's pre-Katrina population has yet to return.
Maybe it is time to hang it up for New Orleans or turn it over to Disney. The city government has shown itself time and again to possess legendary incompetence. Geographically the city is indefensible from nature. The levees protecting New Orleans destroy wetlands and prevent natural depositing of silt in the delta. Unfortunately many cities die, maybe we need to perform a requiem for NOLA.

I will always remember New Orleans as the place where I first legally drank beer. But what a mess.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Grace Hopper

If you're involved in computer programming in any way you should, and hopefully probably do, know of Grace Hopper. I found out about Grace Hopper for a segment on 60 Minutes.

The one thing that really stuck with me from that segment was her explanation of the difference between a microsecond and a nanosecond. But her contributions to computing go far beyond that.

Hopper developed COBOL which for many years was the most commonly used computer programming language. She also developed the compiler which allowed computer programs to be written in English "like" language.

Hopper demonstrated unusual modesty in her achievements. Regarding creating the compiler she said "She did this, she said, because she was "lazy" and hoped that "the programmer may return to being a mathematician." " She claimed she developed COBOL "because I couldn't balance my checkbook."

My favorite Grace Hopper quote: "The most damaging phrase in the language is: We've always done it this way." Maybe this is because when I bring up that something is inefficient, works poorly, etc. at work the most common response I get is "We've always done it this way." The resistance to change and the momentum to do it the way we've always done it is tremendous.

Grace Hopper's example of the difference between a microsecond and a nanosecond? She has a length of wire looped around her neck and shoulders. The wire was 987.36 feet long. That is how far light travels in a microsecond. Hopper also held a piece of wire about 11.8 inches long in her hand. That was how far light traveled in a nanosecond. Often computing speed makes a difference. When speed of computing makes a difference, keep this in mind.

Oh, Grace Hopper was also an admiral in the U.S. Navy, one few female admirals ever and one of the oldest. (She may have been the oldest but I haven't been able to verify that.) At the time of her retirement, she was the oldest officer in the U.S. Navy. "At the moment of her retirement, she was the oldest officer in the U.S. Navy and aboard the oldest ship in the U.S. Navy." Her retirement ceremony was held aboard the USS Constitution.

Hat tip to Auto Report World Editors for leaving a comment mentioning Grace Hopper at DrHelen that reminded me about Grace Hopper.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


What Is Feminism Anyway?

DrHelen posted an "Are You a Feminist?" link today. I scored a 91%, a little surprising. But the gist of the quiz was primarily based on equality. Well, I'm all for equality. But I think that for many women equality is not the desired outcome. The one item that slightly surprised me was "A woman should be able to marry and have kids with anyone she wants - including another woman."

When and why did homosexuality get to be a feminist issue? Don't believe it is, check out this page at At times NOW seems to care more about gay issues than women's issues. Not that NOW shouldn't care about the civil rights of others but they are certainly selective in their concerns. Why do they care more about gay rights than racial discrimination? (I make this judgment based on the amount of words dedicated to each.)

You Are 91% Feminist

You are a total feminist. This doesn't mean you're a man hater (in fact, you may be a man).

You just think that men and women should be treated equally. It's a simple idea but somehow complicated for the world to put into action.

Are You a Feminist?

NOW also plays the selective statistics trick. "In 1994, women still were paid only 74¢ for every dollar paid to men." NOW cites a general link to The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 1994 that does not go to a specific report. Why 1994? There are more recent reports (2006). Women are still behind but they're gaining, up to about 81 cents for every dollar a man earns.

NOW also ignores inconvenient truths such as women take off to have and raise children, most likely work schedules that put a higher priority on family vs. career, are minimally represented in many higher paying engineering and technical fields (see linked chart), and women are also grossly underrepresented in construction trades and as mechanics, etc which are generally well paying jobs. At this point there is no reason that women are not entering these fields in greater numbers except that they choose not to.

In my observations at work, in a company in which the majority of employees are female, women are more likely to work part-time, quit to be with the children, work a special schedule to be with the children, retire early (especially when their older husband retires), etc. The women leaving are most often replaced by fresh college graduates starting out at starting salary. (Imagine that!)

None of this is conducive to building the longevity needed to improve the average wage at the same rate as someone who works full-time without breaks and only quits to accept a better, higher paying position elsewhere. Does NOW expect women who have worked fewer years, fewer contiguous years, etc. to be paid as much as those who have put in consistent work time over many years?

Is it equal opportunity or equal outcome? Equal opportunity is an achievable and worthy goal. Equal outcome should not be guaranteed. To begin with, there are too many variables that go into determining what is equal outcome, education, profession, effort, intelligence, possibly physical strength, risk taking, interpersonal skills, personal choice of professions, etc.

Using outcomes to measure opportunity is misleading and inaccurate. Everyone in my son's school has the opportunity to play football. Yes, even the girls and they've had a few on occasion. But the outcomes favor the bigger, stronger, faster kids who tend to be male. The outcomes also tend to favor the people who put in the most consistent effort over the years, as do most activities, including jobs.

This is where NOW and many other feminist types are off base. If you want to do a more in depth thorough analysis, please do. But please don't play the pick and choose statistics game.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Liberal Self-Delusions

A few days ago, DrHelen linked to a post by Ace of Spades, The Toxic Self-Delusions of the Liberal Psychology. Ace left out one little known liberal self-delusion - liberals think they have better sex than all those dumb religious conservatives.

It just ain't so.
When University of Chicago researchers set out to discover which religious denominations have the best sex, they learned that the faithful don't do all their shouting in church. Conservative Protestant women, their 1994 survey found, report by far the most orgasms: Thirty-two percent say they achieve orgasm every time they make love. Mainline Protestants and Catholics lagged five points behind. Those with no religious affiliation were at 22 percent. (Unitarians may not wish to read any further.)
Slate goes on the attribute at least some of this to the "modern Christian sex advice business." My brother believes it is simply that sex is more enjoyable with someone who has committed themselves to you for a lifetime, and means it. Whatever the reason, the "traditional" sexual relationship that horrifies so many lefties satisfies more people.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


Falling Bridges

Besides serving their obvious purpose, bridges are often beautiful.

One of my favorite bridges is the Roebling Bridge in which crosses the Ohio River from Covington, KY to Cincinnati, OH. It opened in 1867 and was the prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge. (It is NOT a copy of the Brooklyn Bridge. It pre-dates the Brooklyn Bridge.) My kids call this the "singing" bridge because of the sound from the steel grate road surface as tires roll across it.
Another is the Simon Kenton Bridge which crosses the Ohio River at Maysville, KY. Being the younger of the two bridges, the Simon Kenton Bridge opened in 1931. Traversing it in a large vehicle can be a tight squeeze.

Both these bridges are still standing and functioning well. The Simon Kenton Bridge underwent major repair and re-construction just a couple of years ago, which required it being closed for 18 months.

Now, we need to ascertain why the bridge fell in Minnesota. Some have already started blame game. I agree that it is probably Kevin Bacon's fault but let us not rush to judgment. (Hat tip to Instapundit.)

What are the contributing factors in a bridge collapse? Guess what? I really don't know. They could be myriad, some unforeseen. Age could be a factor as metal fatigues and other materials deteriorate. But, as we can see from the two bridges above and from ancient Roman construction, many bridges far outlast the I-35 bridge.

Could the bridge design be faulty? Bridges do fail because of faulty design. The Silver Bridge collapse in West Virginia, the bridge collapse dramatized in "The Mothman Prophecies," fell primarily because of faulty design. Tacoma Narrows Bridge gave us one of the most dramatic bridge collapses due to design flaws. (The link includes video of the collapse.)

Maybe the design was fine, but it wasn't followed during the construction as in the Kansas City Hyatt Regency disaster. Construction companies don't always build everything to specifications.

Maybe the land on which the bridge was built wasn't steady or solid enough. Maybe the current construction workers on the bridge did something they shouldn't have. Maybe we should wait until a thorough investigation is done before we start pointing fingers.

In the mean time, it wouldn't hurt to double check some other bridges and renew our commitment to maintaining our infrastructure, more than just our bridges. (Hat tip to Instapundit, again.)

Friday, August 03, 2007


Worst Congress Ever: Part XXXVII

At 3% approval rating on how they have handled the war in Iraq. That makes Bush's meager 24% rating look great.

I guess that 3% are the people that John Murtha and his cronies are speaking to when they begin spouting their blather. BTW - for being such a heavy critic, Murtha sure made sure there were plenty of defense dollars earmarked for his special friends.

Speaking of blather, Barack Obama sure made some ignorant and scary statements concerning the war on terror.
"If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will," Obama said, referring to reports that Al-Qaeda had regrouped in Pakistani tribal areas bordering Afghanistan.

"I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges, but let me make this clear: there are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again."

Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Tasnim Aslam told AFP she would not comment as Obama was not president, but added: "These are serious matters and should not be used for point-scoring. Political candidates and commentators should show responsibility."
I wonder what our left wing friends think of this. Certainly doesn't sound like a good plan to extract the U.S. out of the quagmire of war in the Middle East.

Unfortunately, a Republican presidential hopeful, who doesn't have a snowball's chance in Hell, chose to make even more outrageous remarks.
Another presidential hopeful, Colorado Republican Tom Tancredo, also came under criticism Friday by a Pakistani official after saying that the best way to deter a nuclear terrorist attack on the United States would be to threaten to retaliate by bombing the holiest Islamic sites of Mecca and Medina.

Tancredo spoke at a town hall meeting in Osceola, Iowa on Tuesday.

In Washington, the State Department disavowed Tancredo's remarks, which some diplomats fear could damage U.S. ties with the Muslim world and hurt efforts to counter Islamist extremism.

"It is absolutely outrageous and reprehensible for anyone to suggest attacks on holy sites, whether they are Muslim, Christian, Jewish or those of any other religion," deputy spokesman Tom Casey told reporters, adding that the comments were "absolutely crazy."

In Pakistan's national assembly on Friday, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sher Afgan said he would open debate next week on recent American criticism of Pakistan, including Tancredo's remarks.
We've had acceptable cooperation from Pakistan in the fight against terrorism so far. We don't need members of the worst Congress in history destroying what relationship we have with Pakistan.

There are certain aspects of the criticisms against how we are fighting the war on terror to which I agree. First, it should be abundantly obvious that we cannot militarily attack whomever and/or where ever we wish. We cannot spread our military throughout the Middle East or else where. To suggest this and to potentially alienate allies, weak or strong, is irresponsible.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Females Assaulting Males

A commenter named Oligonicella left this link at DrHelen of a video on YouTube a violent females assaulting men. The second clip was especially powerful of three "oversized" women assaulting an average sized guy somewhere in England, it appears. The guy is the only one arrested because he supposedly instigated the assault by saying something.

That clip is followed by two women assaulting a stand up comic because they misunderstood his joke. The comic then talks about being assaulted by his sister as a child and other assaults on him by females. Then it moves on to child abuse and neglect, fighting between girls, etc.

Music and commentary is included. If it doesn't scare you, you need a serious self check.

Watch the whole thing. I dare you.

Of course, we've been programmed to believe that females never ever commit violent acts, harm others or other such things.

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