Saturday, March 31, 2012

Not Forgotten

Go here and give this gal her props...

Couldn't Have Happened To A More Deserving Guy

H/T to Jammie Wearing Fools for the link.

Department of Redundancy Department: Keith Olbermann Fired Again, Replaced by Eliot Spitzer
Current TV said Friday afternoon that it had terminated the contract of its lead anchor, Keith Olbermann, scarcely a year after he was hired to reboot the fledgling channel in his progressive political image.

The cable channel indicated that he had failed to honor the terms of his five-year, $50 million contract, giving the channel the right to terminate it. Starting Friday night, the former prostitute-frequenting Client Number Nine New York Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer  will take over Mr. Olbermann’s 8 p.m. time slot.
In a continuing pattern of behavior that reminds one of Olbermann's role model, barack obama, little Keithie blamed his firing on everyone but himself, just as he did in his previous dismissals.

That brings to mind a quote from my favorite philosopher, Homer Simpson:

"How come things that happen to stupid people keep happening to me?"

Friday, March 30, 2012

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2012.03.30

Today's selection is not the style of music I usually listen to. In fact, I never even heard of the performer -- Katy Perry -- until I ran across this article about the left calling for a boycott of the singer.
Katy Perry transforms herself into a U.S. Marine in her latest power-pop single, "Part of Me," which addresses female empowerment and pays particular tribute to service women.

However, at least one media type doesn't support Perry's Marines shout-out.

Prominent feminist Naomi Wolf, author of "The Beauty Myth" and one of many who were arrested amid the Occupy Wall Street protests last year, is urging Americans to boycott the singer, labeling her video "a total piece of propaganda for the Marines."
In response to Ms. Wolf's call for a boycott, I immediately bought the song at iTunes and posted the video here. It does begin with one of those annoying vid-commercials, so use the 15 seconds or so to visit the fridge and snag a cold one.

Then toast the Marines and all the other members of our military who serve so Naomi Wolf and the rest of the Occupy Whatever scum can run off their mouths.

And just to really piss off the left, some of the Marines at Camp Pendleton are featured in the video.


Saving The Planet One Orgasm At A Time

Like most bloggers, every once in a while I take a few moments to review my blog stats. It comes as no surprise that most of my higher-rated posts have something to do with sex.

There's the penis pump post, the vajazzling post, and the just-barely-covered spring break post. None of them are particularly noteworthy, but they do draw in the visitors.

So in the spirit of artificially inflating my stats, along with battling global warming climate change whatever the hell it's called now, and preventing the polar bears from drowning, I'm pleased to provide this link to the latest in eco-friendly sex toys: a solar powered vibrator.

No batteries needed, just the sun!

Plus just think how much fun you can have rubbing on the suntan lotion...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

More Late Night Thoughts

My wife and I were watching TV tonight. Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, we get somewhere around 200 channels, all of which seem incapable of broadcasting anything worth watching. But we got lucky and stumbled across a showing of the classic movie Wizard of Oz.

During a commercial break I couldn't help but think about modernizing it, based on current events.

Dick Cheney has already received a heart. Now we can only hope that Joe Biden gets a brain, obama gets some courage, and that a House falls on Pelosi.

Is There No End To This Clown's Ego?

I don't know how many readers of this blog are under forty -- my guess is probably not too many -- but for those of you who are, be advised that your generational designation has been changed.

President Obama has renamed the generation under 40 years of age

Rather than “millennials,” that generation has now been rebranded as "generation 44." The number 44 stands for 44th president. In other words, Obama has named the generation after himself.

Here's an excerpt from the official Gen44 web site.
As President Obama told us in 2008 and continues to remind us now, the work did not end on Election Day. We made commitments to each other about what we hope tomorrow looks like and what we believe our country can be and they are commitments we must fight for every day. From our commitment to these ideals, we created Generation Forty Four or Gen44 for short—a council to cultivate and empower a rising generation of leaders in the Democratic Party. Gen44 will work with this groundbreaking group, all under the age of 40, to serve as a platform for political mobilization and to ensure that President Obama and Democrats have the resources and infrastructure needed to implement the change we believe in.
As part of this bold new initiative, the obama campaign has created the twitter tag #gen44. Like so much of what this gang-that-can’t-shoot-straight touches, it immediately became a total fiasco.
We aren’t sure why, but for some reason President Obama and the Democrats keep creating and promoting hashtags despite the fact that conservatives inevitably take over the hashtags in order to mock them. This time the hashtag is #Gen44, and was meant to be a place where young Obama supporters expressed their admiration for him. Instead, conservatives are dominating the hashtag with tweets that criticize the President and some of his most naive supporters.
Some of the better ones:
I'm not #gen44, I work for a living.

I'm #gen1040

Whining beats working. #Gen44

#gen44 We don't stand for anything so we'll fall for everything!

#Gen44 Being told what to do is much easier than thinking for yourself.

#Gen44 because I'm too lazy to succeed on my own talents. Now hand over my free stuff!

#gen44: Because this time I want Obama to win all 57 States

#Gen44 Because I believe the largest economy the world has ever known can be run on solar panels, windmills and algae.

#Gen44 A Chevy Volt in every garage.
The mocking of Gen44 doesn't stop there.

(Gen44 Magnum image from here).

The only thing that comes close to rivaling obama's ego is the national debt.

I'll agree that he deserves the lion's share of the credit for that.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Late Night Thoughts

Fueled by equal parts outrage and Shiner:

Q: What's the difference between Spike Lee, the New Black Panthers, and the KKK?

A: The color of their hoodies.

What I Wish I'd Said

This morning I commented on the Trayvon Martin shooting. In that post I made mention of how ironic it was that the same ethnic group that has suffered so much at the hands of lynch mobs is now in the process of assembling one of their own.

This evening I came across the following post, which says what I was trying to say, but much more succinctly and eloquently.

The Lynch Mob Assembles
I haven’t written about the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Florida for the simple reason that I was as shocked by his murder as anyone else. I am not a racist no matter what some might say, and as a parent of a teenage boy myself I’m quite sensitive to seeing parents suffer the type of loss that is my own greatest personal fear. But I’ve learned from past experience to never trust initial reports, so I have been waiting for the dust to settle and the truth to be revealed. And waiting. And waiting.

The righteous anger that erupted immediately after Martin’s death has morphed into something else, something much more ugly. It is one thing to demand an investigation into his death, it’s another to call for his killer’s capture “dead or alive” as the Black Panther’s have, or to pass along his address – erroneously it turns out – to your 250,000 followers on Twitter the way Spike Lee has. This is the hysteria of the mob, and it is dangerous yet the politicians who don hoodies in Congress are so caught up in it that they are blind to it.

It is impossible to imagine Martin Luther King jr sending out the addresses of the men who killed James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner in 1964 for a very simple reason: He had seen first hand the results of lynch mobs, and he knew their irrationality and power. He had seen innocent men tried, convicted and executed by the mob, and he knew that the greatest antidote for it was the application of slow but inexorable blind justice. Florida 2012 is not Mississippi 1964, so why are so many so desperate to turn the clock back? Convene a grand jury and let the Truth come out, but do not unleash the beast that threatens to devour everyone including those that set it loose among us.

Ever seen a lynch mob? This is how one starts. Someone innocent is going to get hurt, the outcome of most lynchings, and hysteria will be replaced by regret. But by then it will be too late, and those that think they are righteous today will have innocent blood on their hands tomorrow.
Well said, sir, well said.

Wait Just A Friggin' Minute

A whole passel of states have passed some form of voter ID laws requiring potential voters to provide some type of government approved picture identification such as a driver's license or passport in order to vote. Conservatives argue this is necessary to prevent voter fraud. Liberals claim voter ID laws disenfranchise minorities, older voters, and young people.
College campuses across the nation are teeming with students ready to exercise their right to vote, one of the few perks that comes with turning 18. Yet, instead of encouraging students to take part in this rite of passage, some states are imposing voter ID requirements that make it much harder for them to vote.

The fact that some Republicans see these new voter restrictions as a good thing shows their complete disregard for the democratic process.
I'm not going to address the minorities or senior citizen issue, but I would like to comment on the liberal's concern that young folks might be adversely affected.

Sweeping new security measures to prevent cheating on the SAT and ACT college entrance exams were announced Tuesday.
Beginning with exams taken in September, students will have to submit a photo of themselves when they apply for a test. That photo will be printed on the student's test admission ticket and the roster provided to proctors at testing sites. Testing staff will compare the submitted photo to a photo ID and to the student in person at the testing site.

Photo checks will take place when the student arrives at the testing site, during breaks and when tests are handed in.

Student photos will also remain in the testing databases and be checked again by high school counselors and college admission officials once scores are calculated and submitted.
(More here.)

Let me get this straight. It's okay to implement a restrictive system of checking photo IDs for prospective college students, but not for potential voters? Liberals howl in outrage over voter ID laws, but are strangely silent over stricter requirements for SAT and ACT tests? Double standard, anyone?

We're concerned about kids spoofing the system to get into college, where they'll either pass or fail mostly on their own merits. But we could care less about verifying the eligibility of people voting for the leader of the free world?

Priorities, people, priorities...

Don't Confuse Revenge With Justice

I was going to stay out of the whole Trayvon Martin controversy. After all, there’s been so much written and said about that sad incident. What do I have to add that hasn’t already been said by others? But the uproar not only continued, but intensified. The cries for George Zimmerman’s head on a pike got louder, while at the same time more details leaked out that indicated perhaps we haven’t heard the whole story.

So I thought maybe I’d just toss out a little reminder to withhold judgment until all the facts are in. Didn’t we see the folly of leaping to conclusions in the Richard Jewell affair (he was the security guard at the Atlanta Olympics who was first hailed as a hero for finding a bomb in the Olympic Park, then accused and convicted by the media as the bomber, only to be later exonerated)?

Or the rape accusations against the Duke lacrosse team? (A black woman claimed to have been raped by three white Duke students. The media took the story and ran with it, proclaiming it a hate crime. Later, of course, it turned out that the woman falsely accused the students, and the prosecutor ended up being disbarred for legal and ethical violations in his zeal to convict the students.)

Or, more recently, the Jared Loughner case? (Loughner shot former U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and several others at a rally in Arizona. The media immediately linked the shooting to ‘uncivil’ conservative rhetoric. Once again, after further investigation, the facts indicated otherwise. Loughner was a mentally troubled person who, if anything, had liberal leanings.)

So I figured I could be a voice of reason, suggesting that we sit back and let cooler heads prevail. Politicians and special interest groups would stand back and let the investigation proceed. The truth will come out and justice will prevail.

Yeah, right … and unicorns will jump over the rainbow.

Just as in the Duke and Loughner cases, the leftists and their allies in the media have no interest in justice. All they care about is politicizing this whole tragic affair for their own gain.

Don’t believe that last statement? Check out the following.

An obama stooge masquerading as an alleged MSNBC journalist blamed the shooting on the Koch brothers, the NRA, and other assorted conservative groups.

And speaking of MSNBC, we all know they are to obama as Monica was to Bill Clinton. But this time, they’ve outdone themselves. MSNBC altered the 911 call George Zimmerman made. Here’s MSNBC’s version:
"This guy looks like he’s up to no good … He looks black."
Here’s the actual full quote.
ZIMMERMAN: This guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
911 DISPATCHER: Okay, is this guy, is he white, black, or Hispanic?
ZIMMERMAN: He looks black.
Makes a big difference, doesn't it. It goes from making it sound like Zimmerman is biased or profiling blacks to showing that he was simply responding to a question from the police dispatcher. That goes way beyond journalistic license and ventures into deliberately twisting a quote to misrepresent the truth.

Finally, we have the obama campaign peddling official “obama 2012” hoodies. They hit the market on March 26, just days after the shooting.

Despicable? Certainly. Coincidence? I think not.

So if I did have something to add to this whole mess, it would be this one simple statement: Revenge and Justice are not the same thing.

Everyone wants (or should want) justice in this case. But so many people are out for revenge that it is frightening – especially when they don’t even know all the facts.

That sounds an awful lot like a lynching. Given the racial circumstances of this case, the irony is obvious.

It's been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Here's a few pictures that speak volumes, along with links to sites that have commentary worthy of your attention.

(H/T Day by Day)

(H/T Peter)

(H/T Hope-N-Change)

Talk About A Hostile Work Environment

We tend to take things for granted around here, until something like this pops up in the news.

7 mutilated bodies found in Nuevo Laredo
The mutilated bodies of seven unidentified men were found in an abandoned vehicle Monday morning east of downtown Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.

Authorities responded to a 9 a.m. call reporting the vehicle and bodies at an intersection one block from a Mexican army base, according to a government official who asked to remain anonymous.

“Their arms, legs and heads were cut off,” the source said.
Actually, this incident wasn't even reported locally. I was totally unaware of it until I read the San Antonio newspaper.

Seven mutilated bodies less than ten miles from my South Texas residence and office.

Reporting of those bodies occurs 200 miles away.

I'm a big critic of the media, but unlike the obama lapdog mainstream media, at least the Mexican and local South Texas media have a damn good reason for forsaking their reporting duties. I doubt if I would splash headlines across the front page with my name in the byline while knowing that at any time I could be kidnapped and executed in a most gruesome manner.

One of the things I try to teach my students is to look beyond the immediate consequences of their decisions, and to be aware of the secondary and tertiary outcomes. For those of you that use drugs (even the so-called victimless marijuana), I could care less what you ingest, or what you consider recreational drugs.

But I do get riled up when the downstream consequences of your drug usage contribute to the power and profits of the cartels.

We can debate whether or not drugs should be legal (FWIW, I'm all in favor of legalization), but if you don't man up and admit that your usage supports at least in part the unholy regimes of those vile and evil cartels then we have little common ground upon which to carry on a dialogue.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

If You've Never Done This Raise Your Hand - Anyone?

A large part of my job is conducting research projects. I enjoy it, but it has its challenges. When doing research involving human subjects, one of those challenges is finding a sufficient number of qualified participants.

For example, if I'm researching the factors influencing smart phone adoption by older Americans, I need to find a large enough sample of mature subjects who use smart phones, along with a similarly-sized sample of older people who don't use smart phones (for compare-and-contrast purposes). Each sample has to be large enough so I can control for other factors such as gender, ethnicity, income levels, education, and so forth.

That need for compare-and-contrast samples is a requirement for just about any research study involving people. As the researchers running this particular study found out, in some cases that's easier said than done.

Pornography study doomed to fail after scientists couldn't find a single man who hadn't viewed X-rated material
Scientists studying the effects of pornography fell at the first hurdle - after failing to find a man who had not viewed X-rated material.

The researchers were comparing the views of men in their 20s who had never been exposed to pornography to regular users.

But Professor Simon Louis Lajeunesse, of Montreal University in Canada, said: 'We started our research seeking men who had never consumed pornography. We couldn't find any.'
And they're surprised why, exactly?

I guess they could have gone to Utah and asked some of those good Mormon youth. Or perhaps the Amish in Pennsylvania. But it appears that they limited their search to Canada. Given the winters that our neighbors to the north experience, it's no surprise that the young men up there turn to porn. After all, there's just so much hockey a guy can watch.

But like all good researchers, Dr. Lajeunesse is nothing if not flexible.
Although hampered in its original aim, the study was then changed to examine the habits of men who regularly used porn.

It found single young men viewed such material on average for 40 minutes three times a week, compared with those in relationships, who watched it 1.7 times a week for 20 minutes.
Those of us in the research business just love findings like these, because they can lead to further studies and, with a little bit of luck, even government funding. For example, do those young men in a relationship view porn alone or with their significant others? Why do the porn-viewing episodes of single young men last twice as long as involved young men? Is there a difference in the type of porn viewed by the two groups? And so on and so forth.

The search for truth is often long and arduous, but it's something we academics are committed to...

Shocking News

Would the government mislead us?

Would a large corporation mislead us?

Would a hybrid government/corporate organization mislead us?

** Snort **

I speak, of course, of that unholy alliance between obama and General Motors, and its bastard offspring - the Chevy Volt. (H/T Doug Ross for the link.)
About eight months ago some owners of Chevy Volts complained that charging cords were overheating, sometimes to the point of melting. At the time, GM blamed owners, saying the wall outlets were the culprits. We now finally have GM addressing the safety concerns and agreeing to replace charging cords for all 9,500 Volts that have been sold since production began. But in what is becoming a new public relations precedent, the move is not being called a "recall."

The non-recall recall is instead referred to as a customer satisfaction action which is designed to "offer a more consistent charging experience."
"More consistent charging experience" - as in your garage doesn't burn down.
The political strategy is becoming more and more evident at GM as Chevy Volt sales continue to struggle and the 2012 presidential election nears. Excuses have been made for low sales of the Volt, starting with supply constraints and more recently involving a Republican conspiracy to hurt sales. GM refuses to admit the real reason that the Volt doesn't sell well is that the car is too expensive for most consumers and the savings from gas usage do not justify the high cost.
That's what happens when the government takes an ownership position in a private-sector business. If you think this is bad, just wait and see what happens if obamacare is ever implemented.

This is the second recall customer satisfaction action for the Volt.
The first non-recall was for reinforcements to the battery pack after test vehicles at NHTSA ignited days after crash tests. In both cases, GM was adamant that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Volt; it is either the fault of owners with faulty wiring or right-wing media sources.
In a scary combination of corporate and government bullying, "GM has stepped up ad spending for the Volt on those TV networks that are accused of criticizing the car. The spending seems to be quieting the criticism."

As always, politics is trumping reason, logic, and facts.
The main subject for debate regarding the Chevy Volt and cars like it, is the taxpayer costs versus benefits, not how popular the car is or isn't. Let's summarize once again what the proposed goal of President Obama to have a million electric vehicles on the road within a few years does and what it costs. If Obama gets his way, each car gets a $10,000 tax credit. This goes to the wealthy buyers of the cars or to the dealers if the cars are sold to the government. Disregarding state credits, infrastructure costs and other subsidies for the industry we have a cost to taxpayers of $10 billion. Given the assumption that there will be about 250 million passenger vehicles on the US roads that account for less than 50% of the nation's oil consumption, we get a reduction in oil dependence of less than 0.2 percent. That's $10,000,000,000 for a 0.2 percent reduction in oil usage.
And that's ignoring the fact that electric cars are ridiculously impractical for anything but short trips (short being defined as a round trip of 50 miles or less), for two reasons. One, there are very few charging stations in this country, meaning that electric car drivers must charge them at home. Two, it takes a long time to fully charge an electric car.

The good news for Volt-heads is that Electric Highways are spreading like wildfire molasses.

First big piece of ‘Electric Highway’ gets juice
Electric car owners riding along Oregon’s Interstate 5 don’t have to worry about running out of juice on the open road.

The first major stretch of what’s been dubbed an “Electric Highway” on the West Coast from Canada to Mexico went operational Friday with the opening of a series of fast-charging stations along 160 miles of the interstate.

They are spaced about every 25 miles, so a Nissan Leaf with a range of about 70 miles can miss one station and still make it to the next. Electric car drivers will be able to recharge in about 20 minutes. The charge is free for now.

“I would say range-anxiety with these fast chargers will be nearly a non-issue for me,” said Justin Denley, who owns a Nissan Leaf. Inspired by the stations, his family is planning a trip from Medford to Portland, a distance of about 280 miles.

Last summer, he took the family on a 120-mile trip to the coast and had to include an overnight stop at an RV park to charge up.
Now, thanks to the benefits of the Electric Highway, Denley "expects the trip to Portland to take perhaps three hours longer than in a gas car."

Adding three hours to a 280 mile trip means a trip that would ordinarily take between 4 - 5 hours will now take around eight: almost a 50% increase.

The tradeoff, of course, is time for money. The trip will take longer but cost less - at least on an energy-per-mile basis. But when you factor the sticker price differential (a Nissan leaf sticker price is around $38K while a conventional Nissan Versa goes for around $11K), well, $27K buys a lot of gas, even at $4.00 per gallon.

Something to think about: Interstate 5 stretches 1,350 miles from British Columbia to Baja, Calif.

So it seems pretty clear that the electric car won't be replacing gasoline-powered ones at any time in the near future.

That is, assuming the government let's the free market do its job...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Dog Lover

I've had dogs since as long as I can remember, going all the way back to when I was five years old (a dachshund named Brownie. Hey, I was five. How much originality did you expect?)

As I got older the dogs got bigger. During my teen years there was a border collie named Gulliver. (We were a military family, and relocated quite often. Hence Gulliver, for Gulliver's Travels.)

After I left home and was on my own there was a succession of Labrador Retrievers. They have a lot in common with adolescent males. Enthusiastic, energetic, exuberant - not to mention pretty intelligent, but totally lacking in common sense. First was a black lab named Chump, who became impregnated by a German Shepard who possessed the ability to leap a six-foot high cedar privacy fence when the bitch next door was in heat. (The shepherd was named Sergeant, which I felt was appropriate, since he did to my dog what a succession of Army sergeants did to me - figuratively, not literally).

Chump begat Darlin', a yellow lab, who was named in honor of all the blonds I used to date, but whose names I could never remember, so I just called them by the generic term Darlin'.

Darlin' begat Josie, who was the sweetest, calmest, and best behaved Lab I ever knew. To compensate, she was also the dumbest. Josie had perpetual knots on her forehead from trying to chase rabbits and squirrels under our back porch deck. She never learned that a rabbit or squirrel, even running at full speed, could fit underneath the deck's baseboard, but a full-grown Lab could not. Do I really need to add that Josie was a blond?

We currently have a couple of mutts. I wanted another Lab, but was overruled by the wife and kids the day we went to the local animal shelter and saw these two. They're sisters, and also rescue dogs who were taken from an abusive environment and cared for until we adopted them. It's been interesting ... they're fine with women and children, but at first were very leery of men - especially men wearing baseball caps. Obviously they were abused by some asshole in a cap. They've come to tolerate me, but still are unfriendly towards strange men. That's not necessarily a bad thing, since we now have a couple of furry four-legged sentries.

We also have one other dog. This one possess special qualities that have resulted in a number of people asking if they could buy him from us.In fact, there was such demand for him that I was forced to put the following notice in the local paper.

(H/T to Bots for the picture.)

FOD 2012.03.26

Busy weekend - out of town guests, kid activities, and home repairs - so I'm taking the easy way out this morning and cut-and-pasting excerpts from a NY Post column of obama's Keystone Cops Pipeline fiasco. Enjoy.

 * * * * *

Obama’s energy lies - Playing politics with gas prices and a pipeline

In his weasel-worded decision to block a perfectly harmless pipeline that would have provided America with jobs, energy and hope, President Barack Obama betrayed his country, lied and then, just the other day, halfway reversed himself, once more fraudulently.

Not so long ago, this country was in a terrible energy fix. Thanks largely to China and India, world demand for oil was going up while supplies remained limited, meaning prices were soaring as dependence on production in the volatile Middle East grew. However, owing in part to new technology, we found vast new possibilities to obtain oil and gas in the United States, and our neighbors were discovering new resources, too.

Canadian tar sands, it turns out, hold 100 billion barrels of obtainable oil, which is to say, we have Saudi Arabia II sitting right next door. Stretching a pipeline from Canada to Texas refineries is no big deal in a country with 2 million miles of pipeline already. What’s more, there is good besides oil that would flow from it.

It would create thousands of jobs and experts note that a pipeline is far cheaper and safer than other modes of transportation, especially shipping it across the ocean.

Obama had promised a decision by the end of last year, but then, on top of screams from environmental extremists, some Nebraskans complained that a physically impossible tainting of aquifer water might occur as the pipeline crossed their state. Obama was in a tough spot -- there was an election coming up and whatever decision he made would displease either environmental supporters or union supporters. He punted, saying the State Department was going to study a new path for the pipeline, and that this would take at least a year, by which time the election would be over. Political problem solved?

. . .

Suddenly, gas prices are up dramatically again, and Obama is in a political pickle. His Chevy Volt and Solyndra solutions are like putting out a forest fire with a squirt gun that doesn’t work. His record on denying drilling hither and yon, and a past, reported statement about not seeing oil as a solution to anything, hardly help the country, especially since he is thus sending oil markets signals to increase prices more. Increased production in our own land has happened despite him instead of because of him.

And now he is going to get out of the mess by promising half a pipeline that will accomplish zip without a northern part Nebraskans along with greenies particularly don’t want? If the American public is dumb enough to buy all that – and I don’t think so – we deserve this guy and the gas prices that come with him.
I couldn't have said it better myself...

Saturday, March 24, 2012

More The World Has Gone Mad

Well, not really the entire world, just the leftist hemisphere. That doesn't really come as a surprise to most thinking people, I know, but the most recent examples of liberal nonsense just boggle the mind.

The insanity spans the nation from coast to coast. Let's start on the East Coast, home to two of the bigger leftist loons, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and President barack hussein obama.

First, Mayor Bloomberg:
The Bloomberg administration is now taking the term “food police” to new depths, blocking food donations to all government-run facilities that serve the city’s homeless.

In conjunction with a mayoral task force and the Health Department, the Department of Homeless Services recently started enforcing new nutritional rules for food served at city shelters. Since DHS can’t assess the nutritional content of donated food, shelters have to turn away good Samaritans.
I guess donated food with an unknown nutritional content is worse for homeless folks than all that healthy stuff they scavenge from dumpsters.
DHS Commissioner Seth Diamond says the ban on food donations is consistent with Mayor Bloomberg’s emphasis on improving nutrition for all New Yorkers. A new interagency document controls what can be served at facilities — dictating serving sizes as well as salt, fat and calorie contents, plus fiber minimums and condiment recommendations. (Condiment recommendations?!? - oh, my achin' butt!)
In other words, if the government can't control it, they'll ban it. As a result, the homeless either get less to eat, or the government steps in and provides additional food to replace what is currently being donated. Of course, "the government provides" is just a euphemism for "the taxpayers are forced to dig deeper into their pockets."

It's worth noting that the NYC department enforcing the ban -- the Department of Homeless Services -- is know by the same acronym (DHS) as the Department of Homeland Security. Both are government agencies that see their mission as to deny and control, rather than to protect and serve.

Then we have obama's choice for the president of the World Bank.
President Obama on Friday nominated Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the president of Dartmouth College, to be the next president of the World Bank.

Kim's background is in medicine, not economics or business as has been the case with most previous World Bank presidents. He has worked with international organizations, serving as a senior official at the World Health Organization.

Kim is particularly known for his efforts addressing health concerns, including AIDS, in developing countries. He was one of the founders and former executive director of Partners In Health, a not-for-profit organization that supports health programs in poor countries.
Good for Kim. He seems like a fine fellow, with a remarkable record of doing good. Impressive though his credentials in medicine might be, however, I fail to see how that qualifies him to run an economic and financial organization "offering loans and grants as well as technical expertise for development projects around the world."

That makes about as much sense as nominating the CEO of Citibank to run the World Health Organization. Just another head-scratching obama decision.

Or maybe there's something more sinister afoot here. Maybe this is an obama stealth move to spread obamacare worldwide.

Naw, he couldn't be that devious ... could he...?

Meanwhile, over on the other coast, we have the Los Angeles Chief of Police unilaterally deciding that his police department will ignore a CA state law requiring them to impound the vehicles of people driving without a license. (H/T to Peter for the link.)
The Los Angeles Police Department will soon start ignoring California state law, which requires police to impound the vehicles of unlicensed drivers for 30 days.

The majority of unlicensed motorists in Los Angeles are immigrants who are in the country illegally and have low-income jobs. The LAPD says the state's impound law is unfair because it limits their ability to get to their jobs and imposes a steep fine to get their car back.

As long as drivers can produce some form of I.D., proof of insurance and vehicle registration, they'll be allowed to keep their car. Police Chief Charlie Beck insists that it's simply leveling the playing field.

"It's about fairness. It's about equal application of the law," Beck told a Los Angeles TV station earlier this month.
"Equal application of the law?" If I or any other legal resident get pulled over while driving without a license, our vehicle gets impounded. If an illegal immigrant is pulled over, he gets to drive away. What's 'fair' or 'equal' about that? Furthermore, research shows that unlicensed drivers "are five times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes and more likely to flee the scene of a crime."

Don Rosenberg, a Los Angeles father whose son was killed by an unlicensed driver, puts it best when summarizing the new policy:
"It's more important that people who are in the country illegally get to drive than it is that people who are here get to live."
The left responds:
Immigrant advocates say the controversy highlights the need to provide provisional driver's licenses for illegal immigrants.
Or perhaps the need to deport people who, by the very fact of being here illegally, are criminals.

Not to mention likely democrat voters...

That's all I can take for now. Much more of this crap and my head will explode.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Follies Happy Hour

The weather today is just absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. Combine that with a bit of a hangover from Spring Break (figuratively speaking, not literally) and I've got a serious case of spring fever.

There's only one cure - Road Trip!

Better Than We Deserve

In what has sadly become an all too often occurrence, another U.S. service member was killed in Afghanistan recently.
Second Lt. Clovis T. Ray died Thursday in Kunar province, Afghanistan, the Department of Defense confirmed Saturday. He was injured when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
What makes this particular death more noteworthy than the others, are least for me, are two things. First, the soldier was from the Central - South Texas region. He grew up in Three Rivers, just down the road from here, and lived in San Antonio for a while.

The other thing that resonated with me is his story.
Ray, 34, gave up a lucrative career as an investment banker to join the Army, said his father, Bob Ray. He worked for Wells Fargo and Wachovia in San Antonio, where he lived for many years.
I worked in the banking industry for many years. Following 9-11 I looked into rejoining the Army, but was told I was too old (I was 49 at the time - a young 49, I insisted, but to no avail).

Lt. Ray, however, managed to get around the age restriction.
(Lt. Ray's father) said the Army generally doesn't take recruits over the age of 30, but they accepted his son at 32.

“I had no idea until he called and said, ‘Dad, I've joined the Army. I want to serve my country,'” his father said.

He leaves behind a wife, Shannon, and 5-year-old son, Dean Aaron Ray.

Maj. David Eastburn, spokesman for the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, said in an email Saturday that Ray was commissioned as an infantry officer through Officer Candidate School in 2010.

“He would lead his men, day in and day out, in the infamous Kunar Province of Afghanistan,” Eastburn wrote. “Clovis made the ultimate sacrifice on a patrol with his platoon. He was a unique leader in that he was well liked by both his peers and subordinates and was always willing to do what it took for his men to be successful.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with this great man's family and friends while they struggle through this difficult time. Although we're on the other side of the globe, we mourn along with them and feel their pain.”
With all the bad press our military gets, it's rewarding to hear a positive story about the sacrifices many of them make just to serve, much less what they endure while serving.

Next time you're out and about take a good look at the people you see and ask yourself how many of them would give up a high-paying career to join the military. How many would leave behind a wife and a five-year-old son. How many would abandon their comfortable air-conditioned life to live in a tent, sleep on a cot (if they're lucky), eat MREs, and forsake cold beers and the other creature comforts we take for granted. How many would give up all that to put their life at risk and serve their country.

My guess is "not many."

I don't know where we get people like Clovis Ray. I am grateful that they do step forward. I hope and pray that we will prove ourselves worthy of them.

God Bless you and your family, Lt. Ray.

Rest in Peace.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's An Ill Wind That Blows Nobody Good

I seem to be on a bit of an energy kick this week, with posts touching on various government-subsidized solar power debacles and obama's hypocritical and misleading posturing over the Keystone pipeline. We may as well go for the trifecta and talk about wind power.

The story below illustrates the folly of artificially propping up an industry segment that can't compete on its own with other sources of supply.
A breathtaking sight awaits those who travel to the southernmost tip of Hawaii’s stunningly beautiful Big Island, though it’s not in any guidebook. On a 100-acre site, where cattle wander past broken ‘Keep Out’ signs, stand the rusting skeletons of scores of wind turbines.

Just a short walk from where endangered monk seals and Hawksbill turtles can be found on an unspoilt sandy beach, a technology that is supposed to be about saving the environment is instead ruining it.

If any spot was tailor-made for a wind farm it would surely be here. The gales are so strong and relentless on the tip of South Point that trees grow almost horizontally.

Yet the 27-year-old Kamaoa Wind Farm remains a relic of the boom and inglorious bust of America’s so-called ‘wind rush’, the world’s first major experiment in wind energy.

So what went wrong? It started with the late Seventies oil crisis that convinced America it had to look around for other sources of power. For a time, wind power was considered to be a serious alternative to fossil fuels.

Turbines were built across several states, though there was a preponderance in California, where nearly 17,000 sprouted up from the  dusty earth.

Nearly all of these were concentrated in three giant wind farms: Altamont, east of San Francisco; Tehachapi, on the edge of the Mojave desert; and San Gorgonio near  Palm Springs.

In theory, conditions couldn’t have been better. Each of these are passes that benefit from just the right sort of wind that turbines need — strong and almost continual.

Better still, they were crossed by under-used high voltage lines to take away the power.

But most importantly for the scrum of investors who were thrusting their snouts into the trough, there was the extraordinary generosity of the government.

Between 1981 and 1985, federal and state subsidies in California were so favourable that investors could recover 50 per cent of the cost of a wind turbine.

Paul GIPE, a former California wind company executive, calls what happened next a ‘tax credit frenzy’.

‘The lure of quick riches resulted in shoddy products that littered California with poorly operating — sometimes non-operating — turbines.’

They were expensive and badly designed. Some were far too small to make a difference, others were just clunky machines designed by the aero industry with blades the length of a rugby pitch.

But thanks to the subsidies, it hardly mattered that some of the untested turbines were so sub-standard they barely even worked.

Not to put too fine a point on it, for some wind energy investors it was simply a tax scam.
But as tends to happen with a business that is driven by financial incentives, it lasted only as long as the subsidies. In 1986, the price of oil tumbled and the subsidies started to die out. Suddenly, the wind energy sums didn’t add up any more.

And just like the gold rush miners who had rushed to the same Californian passes a century earlier, the wind prospectors departed in such a hurry that they didn’t even bother to take down the turbines they had littered across the state.

With so many moving parts to worry about, maintaining turbines is expensive — too expensive when the electricity they could produce was suddenly worth so little.

No one who has driven past one of America’s mega wind farms today can fail to be struck by how few have blades that are turning, even in strong winds.
And in yet another example of the Law of Unintended Consequences, the wind turbines that are operating are surrounded by heaps of bird carcasses killed by the whirling blades.
Unfortunately, the frenzy of windmill building during the wind rush didn’t just ruin the view, but also devastated the wildlife.

No one noticed until far too late that the 5,000-turbine wind farm at Altamont Pass is on a major migratory path for birds. The National Audubon Society, America’s RSPB, has called it ‘probably the worst  site ever chosen for a wind  energy project’.

An estimated 10,000 birds including up to 80 protected golden eagles, 380 burrowing owls, 300 red-tailed hawks and 330 falcons were being shredded each year in Altamont’s massed banks of turbine blades — to say nothing of thousands of bats — until outraged conservationists sued America’s ‘deadliest’ wind farm four years ago.
Conservationists suing to stop production of green energy. Can you say "irony?"

Actually, I don't know which is more ironic. The 'save the birds' lawsuits, or the fact that the obama administration is participating in a plan to pay wind farms in the Pacific Northwest to not produce electrical power.

But I digress.
As a result, (the wind farm) has agreed to grind to a halt for four months every year to avoid causing more carnage during the migration season. Go further south to the Tehachapi pass on the edge of the Mojave desert and you’ll find golden eagle carcasses under the wind turbines, too.

In the U.S., one of the great ironies about wind energy is that the people you might expect to cheer for it most — wildlife conservationists who care about the planet — are its most vociferous critics.
It’s not hard to see why when you glance at the statistics. The American Bird Conservancy estimates wind turbines kill between 75,000 and 275,000 birds each year.

The conservation cause is not the only issue. There are horror stories about turbines falling over, catching fire after being struck by lightning, lethal shards of ice being hurled from the blades, the nerve-racking low frequency noise (like a pulsing disco) and the disorientating strobe effect in sunlight.

While Hawaii has six abandoned wind farms, most of California’s derelict turbines are only now being removed — decades late — after disgusted local authorities threatened to sue.

So how many windmills have been abandoned across the U.S.? It is  an intensely sensitive subject for wind enthusiasts, who will quibble that it depends on how you define ‘abandoned’.
Yeah, and it all depends on what the definition of "is" is.
‘The key lesson from history is that when the subsidies go, the wind farms go ... It costs too much to maintain them and they just get abandoned.’

The latest figures show U.S. investment in wind energy plunged 38 per cent last year. Experts say there are simply too many turbines out there and not enough people buying the electricity.
And maybe the investors followed the easy money to solar companies. But I digress one more time.
Republicans in Congress want to cut wind energy’s 20-year-old subsidy at the end of the year.

Why, they ask, should the debt-laden country be giving wind energy companies a 30 per cent tax credit, costing taxpayers nearly  $3 billion a year, when wind accounts for only 2.3 per cent of America’s electricity and 8 per cent of its pollution-free electricity?
Why, indeed.

In addition to the economic issues and the sliced and diced wildlife, there's also the aesthetic aspect. Few sights are quite as jarring or upsetting as a line of giant wind turbines stretched across a once-pristine scenic view.

In fact, a proposal to build a wind farm off Cape Cod was met with fierce resistance precisely because it would spoil the view.
... the project drew ... passionate opposition from many of the moneyed and influential residents of Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket who don’t want their pristine views disturbed.

Big names, from Senator Edward M. Kennedy to Walter Cronkite joined in the long battle.
Typical liberal hypocrisy. We want clean energy, but we don't want it where we live. NIMBY - Not In My Back Yard. (Of course, in Ted Kennedy's case he was probably afraid he'd hit one of the turbines the next time he got drunk and drove off a bridge.)

There are wind farms going up in West and Central Texas. I regularly see semis hauling turbine components headed west on IH 10. I just hope that 20 years from now those turbines aren't rusting, abandoned hulks like the ones in Hawaii and California.

On the bright side, if they are, we can always use them for target practice...

There Is No Hell Hot Enough...

... for a cowardly gut-less ball-less low-life scum like this miserable piece of excrement. I hope he suffers the fires of damnation from here to eternity.

"Self-confessed terrorist thought to have killed seven people in two weeks..."

The victims include three French paratroopers and four people - one adult and three children - at a Jewish school in France.

Is anyone really surprised that the killer's name is Mohammed, and he is a devout follower of the alleged 'religion of peace?'

As the folks at the link pointed out, all of the victims are deserving of our sympathy and respect. But the particularly brutal murder of seven-year-old Miriam Monsonego is especially heartrending.
According to initial details, a man riding on a scooter opened fire on the school at around 7:46 am, as the students were arriving for the school day...

Jonathan Sandler was the first one to be shot at short range by the killer. He was holding his son Gabriel in his arms. Gabriel was hit and fell to the ground and then (Sandler's other son) Arieh followed.

According to eye-witnesses, the gun then jammed, temporarily putting a halt to the rampage but the killer swiftly changed weapons and headed into the school. He grabbed Miriam as she tried to escape, grasped her hair and shot her.
Then, as she bled to death on the floor, he lifted up her head and fired two additional bullets.  

 Miriam Monsonego - RIP

What a brave, heroic warrior of islam. He took on a school full of unarmed men, women, and children. Way to go, Mohammed. You've certainly carried on the proud tradition of of your pedophile-worshiping camel-screwing travesty of a religion.

As of this writing Mo has barricaded himself into a building in France. He doesn't even have the common courtesy to blow himself up like any other halfway decent suicide bomber.

If I was in charge of the French police I'd just pull everyone back about a block and then flat-out level that building. Then I'd purge my country of any remaining adherents to that vile evil religion.

I'm normally a fairly calm, reasonable person who believes in live and let live. But if there's a nest of copperheads under my house that are threatening my family then all bets are off.

Kill 'em all and let God sort 'em out...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One Last Spring Break Photo - NSFW

It's good news for guys when the sunglasses are larger than the bikinis.

The swimsuits may look great, but they've got to be very uncomfortable...

It's Now Official

We all knew this was coming. The question is what are we going to do about it.
The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama’s three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency.

The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office.

The National Debt also now exceeds 100% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, the total value of goods and services.
And what does obama have to say about increasing the national debt by over $4 trillion?

“That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic.”

Oh, wait. He was talking about Bush. Surely we can't hold him to the same standard, can we?

“The problem is, is that the way Bush has done it over the last eight years is to take out a credit card from the Bank of China in the name of our children, driving up our national debt from $5 trillion dollars for the first 42 presidents -- number 43 added $4 trillion dollars by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion dollars of debt that we are going to have to pay back -- $30,000 for every man, woman and child,” Obama said on July 3, 2008, at a campaign event in Fargo, N.D.

“That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic,” said candidate Obama.
This guy has given the republicans so much ammunition for the 2012 election that it's hard to imagine how they'll manage to screw it up.

Stick It Where The Sun Don't Shine

The EPA has declared war on coal power plants. obama has stymied drilling on federal land and has shut down the Keystone pipeline. To replace these energy sources the sunshiner-in-chief has placed a large number of bets -- using taxpayer money, of course -- on solar energy. How's that working out, you ask?

We all know the story of Solyndra.
The ongoing congressional investigation into a failed California solar panel maker that garnered more than a half-billion dollars in federal loans from the Obama administration could lead to criminal indictments...
Well, Solyndra may just be the tip of the iceberg. Despite billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, another solar energy firm has gone down the drain.
... law firms are lining up to get a piece of the action after a class action lawsuit was filed against federally subsidized First Solar, Inc., allegedly because the company failed to disclose the massive costs it was incurring due to defects in its solar panels, leading investors to believe the company’s stock was worth more than its actual value.

First Solar has received enormous financial backing from taxpayers.
  • The Department of Energy provided a $646 million loan guarantee for the Antelope Valley (Calif.) Solar Ranch 1 project
  • The Department of Energy also partially guaranteed $1.46 billion in borrowing for its Desert Sunlight Solar Farm west of Blythe, Calif.
  • DOE loans of $967 million covered First Solar’s Agua Caliente Solar project in Yuma County, Ariz.
  • Its Topaz Solar farm, which Warren Buffett just bought for about $1.9 billion, also qualifies for a federal grant (like the others) that pays a 30 percent rebate on construction costs.
  • The U.S. Export-Import Bank backed $455.7 million in loans to First Solar for projects in Canada.
  • The facilities also reap job training, state and local incentives, in addition to enjoying mandates that force utilities to buy their renewable power.
The Tempe, Ariz.-based manufacturer also disclosed in its annual report on February 29 that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating it for violations of Regulation Fair Disclosure.
Unfortunately for those of us who pay taxes, First Solar isn't alone.
Evergreen Solar is asking a bankruptcy judge for permission to walk away from its former plant in Devens.

The company, which received tens of millions in state aid before shuttering its facilities last year and moving its manufacturing operations to China, filed the notice in federal bankruptcy court in Delaware on Monday.

Evergreen received more than $20 million in grants and $11 million in tax and lease initiatives from Massachusetts. That doesn't include other tax benefits and millions in upgrades to roads and utilities around the plant.
A spokesman for Massachusetts Development declined to discuss what will happen next with the plant, which cost some $450 million to build just five years ago. The development authority was one of the Massachusetts state agencies that pitched in to get Evergreen Solar going.

Evergreen Solar was one of several green-technology enterprises that filed for bankruptcy in recent years, a wave of failures that wiped out billions of dollars worth of public and private investment.
The common theme among all these failures, of course, is the obama administration stubbornly clinging to the idea that solar is the current and future answer to this country's energy needs. I've got nothing against solar, or any other form of clean energy, as long as it can stand on its own and be economically sustainable without massive and ongoing taxpayer subsidies extortion.

That's called the free market...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave

My father always told me that I'd get in less trouble for telling the truth than I would for lying. I didn't believe him at first, but after a few unfortunate incidents involving missing bottles from his liquor cabinet I was soon convinced.

Politicians from Nixon through Clinton and now obama would have benefited from listening to Dad.

It all started last night, with Harper sounding the alarm about the mysterious vanishing news stories regarding the president's daughter, Malia Obama, visiting Mexico.

Then today the stuff really hit the fan. In spite of the White House's best efforts, the story rapidly spiraled beyond their control.

First there was the issue of obama allowing his daughter to travel to a country despite his own State Departments travel advisory against it.
"...crime and violence are serious problems throughout the country and can occur anywhere."
It's a classic example of 'do as I say, not as I do,' and Rick Santorum has called b.s. on obama for it.
"What I would say is that the president's actions should reflect what his administration is saying."
Then we had the administration's ham-handed attempts to strong-arm various news outlets into sanitizing their sites and removing any mention of Malia's trip.
The AFP, the Huffington Post and other websites have scrubbed a report about first daughter Malia Obama's school trip.

On Monday, the AFP reported that Obama's daughter was on a school trip along with a number of friends and 25 Secret Service agents. The story was picked up by Yahoo, the Huffington Post, and the International Business Times, as well as UK publications like the Daily Mail and the Telegraph and other overseas publications like The Australian.

But on Monday night, the story had been removed from those sites. The AFP page for the story now links to a story titled "Senegal music star Youssou Ndour hits campaign trail," as does the Yahoo page. The Huffington Post page now links directly back to the Huffington Post homepage. The Daily Mail, Telegraph, and Australian stories now lead to 404 error pages, reading "page not found."
It got so bad that sites were scrubbing stories about their scrubbing stories.

Story About White House Scrubbing Obama Daughter Travel Story Has Now Been Scrubbed
The White House's campaign to scrub a story from the internet yesterday about Malia Obama's trip to Mexico has gone meta: a media reporter's blog post about the administration's efforts to scrub the story has now been scrubbed of certain details, Politico confirmed.
And finally, in a bit of cosmic irony, the part of Mexico that Malia is touring was hit with a large earthquake. That prompted concerns for her safety, forcing the White House to address the issue head-on.
The White House said Tuesday afternoon that President Obama’s older daughter Malia was unharmed by a 7.4-magnitude earthquake that shook Mexico, where she was traveling on a school trip.

“In light of today’s earthquake, we can confirm that Malia Obama is safe and was never in danger,” said Kristina Schake, communications director for First Lady Michelle Obama.

Multiple news outlets reported on Monday that Malia Obama was in Oaxaca with classmates and about 25 Secret Service agents. The White House has a standing request that media not report on the Obama children’s whereabouts, and Schake told Politico late Monday night that it had asked news agencies to remove the reports from their websites.

The outlets largely complied, but the White House confirmed Malia Obama’s safety on Tuesday because reports of her presence in Mexico had circulated on the Internet.
One final note:
The administration has gone to great lengths to crack down on this story, possibly sending a signal to media outlets that, as the general election nears, the president's children will be off limits.
Oh really? Then why does the parent-in-chief trot them out as props at every opportunity?
He has cited Sasha and Malia, now 10 and 13, in discussing everything from the rescue of an American aid worker from Somalian pirates to the touchy subject of public access to emergency contraception. His daughters also are prominent in a family photo being used by his reelection campaign.

Most recently, Obama brought up his daughters when asked about conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh's reference to college student Sandra Fluke as a "slut" after she testified that birth control should be covered by insurance.
And it's not just Barry. Michelle is guilty of it as well.
Michelle Obama frequently brings up her daughters while talking about her campaign against childhood obesity.
The kids are in their early teens. I get that they shouldn't be dragged into the nasty mess that now passes for this country's political discourse. And I can sympathize with the desire of parents to protect their children. But it's a two-way street. If BHO and his missus want the kids to be off limits, then they shouldn't use them to further their political objectives.

And they damn sure shouldn't try to stifle what used to be a free press in the process...

He Just Keeps Going And Going And Going...

Posted without any additional comment. The story is, sadly, self-explanatory.

 * * * * * * * * * *

Obama's Upcoming Visit To Keystone Pipeline Site: 'So Hypocritical And So Ironic'
On Thursday, as part of a roadshow for his “all of the above” energy strategy, President Obama is scheduled to visit Cushing, Okla., home to the world’s biggest oil storage complex. There he is to tour a yard where TransCanada is storing pipes to be used in building the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline. The line will stretch from Cushing down refineries on the Texas gulf coast.

It will be a strange and remarkable visit considering that Obama in January denied a permit for the northern section of the pipeline that would have crossed the Canadian border. The strangeness wasn’t lost of Harold Hamm, the chief executive of Continental Resources, Mitt Romney’s new energy advisor, and a first-rate oil tycoon...

“It’s so hypocritical and so ironic after everything he’s tried to do against the industry,” said Hamm in a phone interview with me today. “He’s trying to take credit for all the gains we’ve made against the backdrop of the biggest oil storage complex in the world.”

Isn’t it more likely that the president is going to Cushing (as well as another stop to an oilfield in New Mexico) to bash oil? After all, it was just a couple weeks ago at a campaign stop in North Carolina that Obama dismissed oil as “the fuel of the past.”

Maybe the president is going to Oklahoma to apologize for the comments of his actor friend Alec Baldwin ... Over the weekend Baldwin tweeted that Oklahoma’s pro-oil, anti-environmentalist Senator James Inhofe should be retired “to a solar-powered gay bar.” Baldwin also tweeted, “Is there a bigger Oil Whore than James Inhofe?”

Maybe he wants to take credit for the mammoth gains in domestic oil and gas production in the past three years? No, that couldn’t be the case either. The president knows full well that he had nothing to do with the development of oil and gas from shale reservoirs in Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and North Dakota. In fact, it’s clear as day that the president thinks oil and gas companies should be drilling less, not more. Why else would he have said in his radio address last Saturday that Congress should move to cut billions in oil and gas tax breaks. A congressional vote, he said, would put lawmakers on record as to whether they “stand up for oil companies” or “stand up for the American people.”

It’s an either/or, huh? Tell that to the oil-and-gas boom states of Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Louisiana, or North Dakota, which has the lowest employment rate in the nation, and where there are thousands of jobs available working on the Bakken shale oil field ... Last month North Dakota surpassed California as the state with the third-most oil production. Hamm says it will pass Alaska later this year. Thanks to fracking, domestic oil production is up 20% since 2008 to 5.8 million bpd.

Yet we know the Obama administration doesn’t like oil drilling in the Bakken because last year the Department of Justice brought a criminal indictment against Hamm’s Continental Resources (and other oil companies) over the death of a handful of migratory birds that apparently died in a wastewater pit. Nevermind that an estimated 100 million birds die each year from flying into windows. (A judge threw the case out.)

The southern stretch of the Keystone XL will be instrumental in opening up the bottleneck that has prevented Bakken oil from getting to market. Bakken producers have had to rely on tanker trucks and trains (especially those operated by Obama buddy Warren Buffett’s Burlington Northern Santa Fe) to get crude to market.
 * * * * * * * * * *

To put things in context, consider where obama will be coming from when he visits the oil storage complex in Cushing.
President Obama will visit the 48-megawatt Copper Mountain Solar 1 facility in Boulder City, Nev., this week as part of a multistate trip to promote his energy policies. The president will also make stops in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Ohio on the trip Wednesday and Thursday.

The Boulder City facility, operated by San Diego-based Sempra Energy, is the largest photovoltaic solar plant operating in the country and produces enough electricity to power 17,000 homes, the White House said. The plant sells its electricity to Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
However, solar and wind power farms share one problem with shale oil fields: how to get their energy to market. With shale oil, it's pipelines. With wind and solar, it's high power transmission lines.
The proposed new power lines would stretch through rural areas of the High Desert to connect a substation near the Cajon Pass with the utility’s Coolwater Substation, near Daggett. Edison officials say the project is needed to provide increased capacity in its power grid to enable the utility to deliver higher volumes of electricity generated from solar projects in the Mojave Desert to more densely populated areas in the San Bernardino Valley.

Because the earliest the line could be completed is in 2018, some solar plants in the desert will be operational before then and the utility’s infrastructure may not be able to handle all of the new power they generate, officials said.
I can't add anything that would rival that last paragraph for irony

None of those problems would be an issue with the Keystone pipeline. However, despite obama's purported policy of  "all of the above," I'm not holding my breath...

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Break Highlights (?)

Spring Break is over. I've returned to South Texas and am busy girding my loins for the remaining weeks in this semester. But before moving forward, it might be appropriate to take a few glances back at 'the week that was.'

It wasn't much of a vacation. Most of my time was taken up with various home maintenance and repair chores. The most demanding was a broken water pipe at our weekend cabin on Lake Buchanan.

The main supply line is an old, old galvanized iron pipe (30+ years). It is deeply buried -- at least two feet underground -- and goes under a couple of foundation footings. Needless to say, the break occurred under the house, which necessitated a whole passel of digging and burrowing. I'm old and feeble, but I can still dig. However, my burrowing days are way behind me, and my wife adamantly stated that she is not now, nor ever was, a burrower. So we had to break down and call a plumber. My wallet is still screaming in outrage.

At the same time, our deer hunting lease in South Texas was sold out from under us. The Eagle Ford shale play has increased demand and raised prices to an unimaginable extent down here (see the note below). We had short notice to clear the lease, so I spent a day driving down there, loading up my blind, feeders, and other items, and driving back to Central Texas. I left with a full tank of gas. The next morning, before I headed up to the lake cabin, I refilled the truck. Twenty gallons = $70. After a round trip to the lake and back I topped off the tank again. Another $30. That's $100 worth of gasoline in one day. Granted, my old truck isn't the most fuel efficient, but still - $100 for one day's worth of driving!?! 


There was, however, one highlight of the trip back from the lake. As we passed through Burnet, we saw the sign below.

Peer pressure in a small town can be a powerful incentive to pay your bills.

But there was still time to appreciate the arrival of Spring in this part of the country. Trees are budding out, wildflowers are blooming, songbirds are filling the air with their melodies, and life in general is happening. It's all good.

So I'll suck it up and drive on, dealing with the indignities of traffic, students,  idiot politicians and school administrators, and other pains in the butt.

After all, when you consider the big picture, those things are just minor annoyances when compared to the pleasure of family, friends, and the renewal of life that Spring heralds.

Pop another Shiner and enjoy...

Here's what it's like to be at the center of a modern-day oil boom.

There's a fellow in Three Rivers who's renting out his house to 17 workers in the Eagle Ford Shale. He's charging each of them $150 a week. That's more than $10,000 a month he earns in rent.

In that same small Texas town, the McDonald's inside Love's Travel Stop has at least 20 job openings and is busing about 10 workers to the store from Beeville,34 miles away.

... last summer, Valero Energy Corp. was doing weeks-long maintenance at its Three Rivers refinery, and dozens of contract workers were hired from outside the city — only there was no place for them to stay.

Some lucked out when a man rented out his garage (after adding a shower) to 12 of them, charging each $150 a week. Others resorted to tents in the city park, availing themselves of the public restrooms and barbecue grills...
Eagle Ford, along with the Bakken shale oil play in North Dakota, have the potential to create not only jobs but wealth, lower oil prices, reduce our dependence on foreign oil imports, and stop the flow of money from our pockets to people who are trying to destroy this country. More on this later, but for now, go here.

FOD 2012.03.19


1. Open a new file in your computer.

2. Name it 'Barack Obama'.

3. Send it to the Recycle Bin.

4. Empty the Recycle Bin.

5. Your PC will ask you: ‘Do you really want to get rid of Barack Obama'?

6. Firmly click ‘YES’

7. Repeat as necessary until you feel better.