Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolutions - Be it Resolved...


New Years resolutions are promises to yourself that you don't really mean to keep - but in a PERFECT WORLD, you just might.

There is also the Lunar New Year coming up on February 14, the year of the iron TIGER. People who are born in the year of the Tiger (as my friend WLC is) find this year to be a dreadful prospect. But you have to hand it to the Asians, who seem to celebrate the Lunar New Year with more circumspection. They don't resolve anything. Their hope is to make it through the year.

I drifted through the things I want to do next year and the things I resolved to do better at, irrespective of the Lunar New Year's drear predictions. (Being born in the Year of the sheep, this year isn't dreadful for me in astrological terms)

1. I want to see my novel published. WHITE POWDER: A Novel of the CIA and the Secret War in Laos is a book whose time has come. So I resolve to help peddle my own book in 2010, not so much for profit as for the vanity of having people read my work and (hopefully) appreciate it.

2. I resolve to complete my next novel, already in the works, in 2010. (Working Title: Penitent Man)

3. I resolve to take more time on vacation/holiday in 2010. (you wouldn't think this one is difficult to keep but it always turns out that way) As life sits now, every meal is a banquet, every paycheck a fortune, every formation a parade - but I don't get away as much as I'd like to.

4. I have no bad habits, but if I discover one, I resolve to consider quitting that bad behavior.

5. I resolve to buy more toys. It's true that (a) he who dies with the most toys wins and (b) the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

In my reckless list making and resolving I had resolved to make a longer list, but decided to break that resolution right off the bat to set a trend for the coming year.

Happy New Year 2010

Monday, December 21, 2009

CIA and the Secret War

WHITE POWDER: A Novel of the CIA and the Secret War in Laos


Soon you can order this fine novel from amazon.com or any of a number of fine book sellers. It will also be in some libraries across the US (and Canada, hopefully). ISBN 1449975852

The cover art is complete, the layout is complete and the work is going through a final editing process. In late January, or early February, it will be available. (Yes, WoFat gets a free autographed copy)

___________________

In 1961 the Viet Nam war wasn't the lead story on the evening news and wouldn't be for three more years. The developing war in neighboring Laos was never to make a headline. It was a secret war, managed under the auspices of the Central Intelligence Agency. In Laos the only cash crop was opium. Opium grown in Laos was purchased and refined by the Corsican Organized Crime Group known as the Unione Corse. They worked the drug in clandestine laboratories in France and later also in Viet Nam. 

The novel begins in 1961 with an effort by the Central Intelligence Agency to penetrate the Unione Corse through the use of Captain Craig Burton, one of the 107 United States Special Forces soldiers assigned to the 77th Special Forces Group who originally entered Laos in 1959. Unbeknown to the CIA, Burton is involved in a torrid affair with the married daughter of a kingpin in the Corsican underworld in Laos. Their tale of star-crossed love winds through the story and slowly becomes the story as personal motives supplant the CIA's operational imperatives. 

This extraordinary novel re-creates elements of the Secret War in Laos as it was in the early years when Soviet Russia, Communist China, the fading French Empire and the emerging American Empire grappled for control of the opium producing center of the world. White Powder is Larry B. Lambert's first novel: fast moving, panoramic, and scrupulously researched - a work on a grand scale. It is filled with the intense passion of a period that determined the shape of today's world. It draws strength from his personal experiences as a special warfare officer and intelligence official. M. Cordell Hart, a former CIA official who began his career in Indochina stated, "The novel is disturbing. It makes me feel as if I was back there."

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas List


My grandson Griffin's Christmas gift list was modest this year. Next year it may not be quite so restrained. He doesn't really understand that you OPEN the presents under the tree and that there are goodies inside.

It's fun being a grandpa.

Flying Old Glory

Van Barfoot lives in Richmond, Virginia. His home comes under the the Sussex Square homeowners' association. The homeowners association is upset that he put a 21 foot flagpole in his front yard. Each morning he raises the flag. Each evening, he retires the colors.

Angered at his disregard for the "harmony of the neighborhood", the Sussex Square homeowners decided to take legal action against Barfoot.

Who is Van T. Barfoot? He's a 90-year old man who won the Medal of Honor during the Second World War.
Barfoot was born on June 15, 1919, in Edinburg, Mississippi. His grandmother was Choctaw, but Barfoot himself is not an official member of the Choctaw Nation. Although he was eligible, his parents had never enrolled him.
After enlisting in the Army from Carthage, Mississippi, in 1940 and completing his training, Barfoot served with the 1st Infantry Division in Louisiana and Puerto Rico. In December 1941, he was promoted to sergeant and re-assigned to the Headquarters Amphibious Force Atlantic Fleet in Quantico, Virginia, where he served until the unit was deactivated in 1943. He next joined the 157th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, and was shipped to Europe.
During the Italian Campaign, Barfoot participated in a series of amphibious landings: the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943, the invasion of mainland Italy at Salerno in September, and finally the landings at Anzioin late January 1944. His unit pushed inland from Anzio, and by May 1944 had reached the town of Carano. They set up defensive positions and Barfoot conducted patrols to scout the German lines. When his company was ordered to attack on the morning of May 23, Barfoot, now a technical sergeant, asked for permission to lead a squad. Because of the patrols he had made, he knew the terrain and the minefield which lay in front of the German position. He advanced alone through the minefield, following ditches and depressions, until he came within a few yards of a machine gun on the German flank. After taking out the gun with a hand grenade, he entered the German trench and advanced on a second machine gun, killing two soldiers and capturing three others. When he reached a third gun, the entire crew surrendered to him. Others also surrendered and Barfoot captured a total of seventeen German soldiers. He had killed 8.
When the Germans launched an armored counterattack later in the day, Barfoot disabled one tank with a bazooka, then advanced into enemy-held territory and destroyed an abandoned German artillery piece. He returned to his own lines and helped two wounded soldiers from his squad to the rear.
Barfoot was subsequently commissioned as a second lieutenant. His division moved into France and by September was serving in the Rhone valley. Barfoot learned he would be awarded the Medal of Honor and chose to have the presentation ceremony in the field, so that his soldiers could attend. He was formally presented with the medal on September 28, 1944, in Épinal, France, by Lieutenant General Alexander Patch.
Barfoot is one of the country's last living World War II veterans who received the Medal of Honor. He also served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War and earned a Purple Heart. He reached the rank of colonel before retiring from the Army. He currently lives in Henrico County, Virginia, near his daughter. On October 9, 2009, the portion of Mississippi Highway 16 which runs from Carthage through his hometown of Edinburg to the border between Leake and Neshoba counties was named the "Van T. Barfoot Medal Of Honor Highway." (Source: Wikipedia)

I'd say that gives him the right to fly the flag when and where he chooses. In a larger sense, if all Americans took such pride in their country we wouldn't be in the mess we're in. I further suggest that Barack Hussein Obama might not be president.

I'm guessing that Colonel Barfoot found himself living in a nest of Democrats.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Equal Opportunity


I recently paid a visit to a California State Prison, as I do from time to time (not as a convict). The place was in a general state of disrepair because California is bankrupt. At one point in my visit I used the prison guard's washroom. They advised that there are no paper towels to dry your hands after washing because the state decided to cut back. The one thing that appeared new, prepared where cost was not the object, was an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) poster, featured at every guard station. They were printed in color, mounted on foam core board and framed. The size - 2' x 3'. There were eight or nine large photographs of people of color on the poster, advertising that if there was a problem, they were the people to go to. They would listen to your tale of discrimination and would set things right. I don't work in the prison system, however it appeared to me that the lunatics were running the asylum. Perhaps a penologist or a state worker could set me right, but I simply find it odd that the only new and shiny things in the prison are the EEO posters that DOMINATE the guard's shacks - every guard's post has one.

When I worked for the government there were EEO awards that were handed out to minorities and women from time to time. I never attended the luncheons where they were bestowed because (a) I didn't find that sort of thing interesting, (b) the food at those suarees is universally bad, (c) there was always something better to do during lunch even if meant watching paint dry.

Back when I was in the US Navy, officers were compelled to attend EEO update training. Keep in mind that there were no minorities in the SEAL Teams. Everyone was "an operator" irrespective of race, national origin, etc. and there were no women at all. The EEO training, I opined, was in the event that they opened up the ranks to the unqualified - who felt the need to participate and were granted leave to do so based upon the demands of "equality".

The EEO people I've encountered in my life have been universally the sort of people who were unqualified to do ANYTHING but be an EEO representative. If you owned a company, you'd never hire them because they'd be dead overhead expense with no compensating productivity.  They're the drones of the workplace - the people with no potential in life, no added value to the whole, and for some reason they are now exalted within the California prison system. Go figure.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Are Vampires Draining You?


I'll admit that I watched Dark Shadows (when I was able) as a teenager. There was no t-vo then and television couldn't be recorded for convenient viewing. For those of you who are old enough to recall, Dark Shadows was an afternoon soap opera about vampires and such.

I watched the HBO Series True Blood, a more contemporary view of vampires living among us in the Southern United States. So I'm not uninformed as to vampire genre.

However, the current flood of vampire television and movies exceeds both my interest and my attention span, should I find myself interested in blood-suckers. Notwithstanding there are allusions to "sparkling vampires" and other versions of vampires in contemporary literature that I can't keep up with.

I personally prefer female vampires because they do have their own sex appeal. Could I (a mere mortal) overcome a fanged female in a fight? Would she have her way with me, or the other way round? These questions underpin the sexuality of fangs.

However the flood of vampire diaries, vampire drama, vampire feature films, vampire television, and vampire HBO (it's not television, its HBO) leave me somewhat drained.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The First Thanksgiving

While American settlers may have shared meals with Indians on or about this date, the holiday we in the US celebrate today began during the War of Northern Aggression/Civil War/War Between the States (pick your term).

This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national day of Thanksgiving.

According to an April 1, 1864, letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln's secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member Gideon Welles recorded in his diary that he complimented Seward on his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.



By the President of the United States of America.


A Proclamation.

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Monday, November 16, 2009

Funny Pics

Opus #6 here.  I have been asked to guest-shepherd LL's blogs for the few days he is out of town on business this week.  In honor of the occasion, I found a few pics that made me laugh.  Gotta love Fail Blog.
epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails



epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails



epic fail pictures
see more Epic Fails

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Stimulus and Failure


The American People, usually complacent, are slowly waking up to what's happening in Washington and it's not a pretty picture.

The near facist $2 trillion healthcare plan looming combined with a failed program to deal with the economy and Barack Hussein Obama's "Hope & Change" that translates to "Collectivize and Nationalize" is depressing not only for us, but for our posterity as well.

The sad truth is that creating government jobs merely puts a burden on those with non-government jobs who will be taxed more. The $800 billion stimulus package was not designed to stimulate anything. It was a political pay off to the hacks who contributed to Barack Hussein Obama's political victory. Typical Chicago politics...

For independent consultants, like me, it has meant a complete restructuring of the way I do business, how I find and service clients, etc. If I loose work, I am not counted by the bureau of labor statistics toward the official unemployment rate. I simply have to go it alone, uncounted and unmourned by the economy.

The solution to the problem is for the government to shrink in size, put less burden on the people, and allow the marketplace to create jobs. Thus, a victory is a victory without allowing the Federal government to take a bow. And the Washington Bureaucrats won't let that happen.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Suicide


A friend of mine over-dosed today in a successful suicide. My daughters (who read this blog) will remember Jim M. who SCUBA'd with me off my boat, Defiant (SeaRay 28) many times.

I can't get into Jim's mind any more than I can to other friends I've lost to suicide over the years. The instant thought is always, why didn't they come to me? They met their end alone. Then again, had I been there, they wouldn't have met their end at all.

I have worked in bainful professions over the years that are barbed and thorned by problems that plague those who pursue them. Sometimes problems press people to the breaking point and nobody knows where that is until they reach it.  Jim M. was different. He wasn't in the goat-rope government and never served in the military. He was almost like a son to me who I watched grow into respectable adulthood. He married, had three children and a successful job. The economic collapse hit him hard and I know there was stress in the marriage because of it. There was family money - quite a bit of it - and I don't know why he didn't turn to his parents. They were always very generous with their kids.

Maybe it wasn't one of the usual things.

Tonight I'm hurting because he's gone, he never said goodbye, and if he would have, I'd have run to where he was and helped him in any way under the Sun. In the last photo he sent me, he was riding on his ATC with his son in his lap.


RIP Jim M.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Weapons of Peace?




Language being what it is, becomes a political tool as national leaders mask one intention with honeyed words. On November 1, 2009, General Xu Qiliang announced (Source: Xinhua News Agency) in conjunction with the People's Liberation Army Air Force's 60th Birthday, that China intended to militarize Space (Earth Orbit) and attain military superiority in Space for the purpose of peace.



"As the air force of a peace-loving country, we must forge our swords and shields in order to protect peace," he said, explaining further that when China achieved military supremacy in Space, they would enforce peace. "The Chinese people is a peace-loving people, and China is a responsible developing country which upholds a national defense policy that is defensive in nature," he said.





It does make sense - Military supremacy in outer space would mean that the Chinese would be able to defend their nation better. Then again, there is a flip side.



Saturday, October 31, 2009

La Santa Muerte

When I first began to work on high level Mexican narcotics trafficking matters, I learned that many of the most prominent drug kingpins and their attorneys had, "made a pact with death". The concept didn't surprise me because so many of them find themselves dead at an early age. However it went a lot deeper than my initial superficial understanding.





Shrines to La Santa Muerte or Senora de la Noche "Lady of the Night" can be found in the homes and offices of the attorneys who defend the narco-traffickers. This is the way they explained it to me. They have made a pact with death to extend their mortal lives and to give them power over others in the process. La Santa Muerte (the Saint of Death) is able to grant favors such as causing the death of others who are interested in killing you. Frequently the weapons wielded by both the police and the criminals in Mexico are blessed ritually by the Saint of Death. Worship of the Saint of Holy Death is said to bring fortune to her devotees and the narco-attorneys are all about fortune.


This cult worship of The Saint of Death has made this Mexican saint the de-facto patron saint of prostitutes, taxi drivers, police officers, soldiers, street vendors and people who work at night or "in darkness". Even though the ritual worship of this saint mirrors the rituals of the Catholic Church, the church condemns its practice as devil worship.

The Saint's Day is celebrated on November 1, August 15 (or both).

For more information about the rituals associated with La Santa Muerte, there is a forum where it is discussed (CLICK HERE ).

A serious religion, fantasy cult, dangerous black magic, or whatever it is, I found it very interesting that highly educated men and women put a lot of effort into worshiping this particular saint.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Snapshots from Paradise


I'm in Hawaii...spending time with my children. Here are two snapshots from today.

Heather


Emilie

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Musings



Sometimes I have to resort to reading what the "best and brightest experts in some areas of life" said, in order to keep everything in its place. Academia (above) is clearly not the place to look for real answers.Neither is the mainstream media - depicted as the small dog. The larger dog (a metaphor only) is Barack Hussein Obama.


The MAINSTREAM MEDIA

"The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State." (Dr. Joseph Goebbels)

"Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise." (Adolf Hitler)

The democratic process that brought the current US administration to power--

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote! (Benjamin Franklin)

“Civility in the face of evil is no virtue; rage in the face of nihilism is no vice.”(Lindsay Perigo)

POLITICAL CORRECTNESS

Political Correctness Defined - A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical socialist minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous non-enquiring media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

RIGHTS

"If you will not fight for your rights when you can easily win without bloodshed -- if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly -- then you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves." (Winston Churchill)

AN ARMED SOCIETY

"The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes....Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." (Thomas Jefferson's "Commonplace Book," 1774-1776, quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria in Chapter 40 of "On Crimes and Punishment", 1764.)


Thursday, October 15, 2009

The US Dollar

I've been following doomsayer's comments for about a year now. They uniformly report the demise of the US Dollar. So I've been watching reports carefully and quietly, not blogging about them - but not slacking in my attention to the issue.

I don't see any evidence in a massive loss of confidence internationally in the US Dollar. The International Monetary Fund shows that 64% of all foreign exchange holdings are in Dollars. That's down 2 % from 66% before the financial crisis that swept the planet. (China doesn't report its holdings to the IMF).

There has been a shift in which dollar instruments foreign central banks are buying. They are currently accumulating US Treasury obligations (bonds) rather than securities of government agencies such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They also favor short-term bonds over long term notes, displaying caution - but still buying Dollars.

Why?

Many countries still trade and settle trading debts in Dollars (the rise of the Euro notwithstanding). It makes sense for those countries to hold the same currency they use to denominate their foreign debt. 

86 % of all foreign exchange transactions since 2007 has been in Dollars. The Euro accounts for 38%. (the total is 200% since there are two currencies for each potential transaction)

US Treasury Bonds are the single most liquid for trading on government bond markets in the world. This is reflected in the high turnover rate and narrow spread between buy/sell. The liquidity is a function of the size of the American economy. Foreign investors place their holdings in the US markets because those markets are liquid and high trading activity in turn makes them still more liquid.

Brief Comparison

The Swiss Franc accounts for less than 1% of foreign reserves. The Pound Sterling is about 3%. This has mainly to do with the small economies so they serve as a subsidiary reserve currency (a hedge). The Japanese economy is much larger (second largest in the world) but the Japanese government discourages use of the Yen internationally because doing so would undermine its ability to maintain a low/competitive exchange rate. I read an interesting piece on WAX LIPS' blog (CLICK HERE TO VISIT) today, "Is Japan a Dying Nation?" The very thing she discusses makes Japan a less attractive option to play an expanding role in world currency.

The Euro was instituted to offer a European alternative to the Dollar. Financial markets in Europe will naturally hold Euros. The Russian energy consumers, primarily Europeans, pay in Euros, so that will naturally expand Russia's holdings in that currency. Russia has expanded its Euro holdings from 42% to 46% of its foreign currency reserves.

China is trapped

China holds $2,000 for every Chinese person. 87% of all Chinese holdings are in Dollars. They have a tiger by the tail. Selling US Treasury securities in the quantities needed to significantly alter the composition of its reserve portfolio would make those securities tank. If the Chinese divested themselves of Dollars, the value of the Dollar would depreciate, causing further losses to Chinese financial holdings.

Special Drawing Rights

Last March, Zhou Kiaochuan (Bank of China) argued that the dollar should be replaced as a reserve currency by IMF's Special Drawing Rights (SDR's). The SDR is composed of a basket of four currencies: US Dollar, Pound Sterling, Euro and Yen. Russia immediately announced it would trade $10 billion for SDR's. The problem with the SDR is that they can only be used by governments to settle debts with other governments and the IMF. Previous efforts in the 1970's to commercialize SDR's never got off the ground. 

In order for SDR's to become any sort of international currency, the IMF would need to be able to issue additional SDR's in times of shortfall the same way as the US Federal Reserve issued Dollar swaps to insure liquidity in the second half of 2008.  Under present regulations, 85% of participating countries would have to agree in order for the IMF to act in that manner. IMF would have to act as a global central bank and that's not going to happen anytime soon.

Back to China

China would like to make Shanghai a world financial center by 2020, but it's unlikely to happen that quickly. The Chinese GDP is not large enough to support their currency, the Renminbi (RMB) a reserve financial currency. Even with optimistic growth rates that are largely unrealistic, by 2020, the Chinese GDP will still be less than half as large as the United States. The RMB is unlikely to be able to serve as more than a subsidiary reserve currency or regional reserve currency in the foreseeable future. Its prospects as a world currency are remote and distant.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Treat?

Halloween is coming and the weather is changing with the fall equinox. The question here is, "what are you doing for Halloween?" I'll stay home and hand out candy to legions of ghosts and goblins. I have neighbors who decorate elaborately. Their yards are turned into faux graveyards complete with faux spider webs and giant plastic spiders. I don't do that. I just hand out candy. 

I know people who condemn me for handing out candy to kids - claiming I am celebrating SATAN'S HOLIDAY. To those people, I say, "get a life".

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Fox

There's only one place to get news anymore, and it's not CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS or MSNBC, who have essentially caved to pressure from the White House and refuse to hold the Obama Administration accountable for their formidable list of serious blunders. If they really are blunders.  The principal American newspapers are just as much to blame.


Barack Hussein Obama has not been shy about pronouncing his intent to replace the America we know and love with a utopian socialist state. The lay-abouts and parasites love the idea that everything will be "free". And those of us who work will no longer find value in work, so maybe we'll go on the dole too.

Anyway, here's a clip from FOX News, the only reliable source of information remaining in America outside of the Internet.



Monday, October 12, 2009

What can be done to stop Global Cooling?


I'm not asking former US Vice President to give his Nobel Peace Prize for alerting us to Global Warming back.

But will the Cap and Trade Legislation currently before Congress speed up the crisis that is Global Cooling? Will this legislation turn North America in to one big ice box?

It seems that ice at both poles haven't been paying attention to the computer models. The National Snow and Ice Data Center released its summary of summer sea-ice conditions in the Arctic last week and reported a substantial expansion of "second-year ice" — ice thick enough to have persisted through two summers of seasonal melting.

According to the NSIDC, second-year ice this summer made up 32% of the total ice cover on the Arctic Ocean, compared with 21% in 2007 and 9% in 2008. Clearly, Arctic sea ice is not following the consensus touted by Gore and the warm-mongers. (Investors Business Daily)

____________

The journal, Geophysical Research Letters published an article last month by Marco Tedesco, a research scientist at the Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology. He reported that "ice melt on Antarctica was the lowest in three decades during the ice-melt season."


Each year, millions of square miles of sea ice melt and refreeze. The amount varies from season to season. Despite pictures taken in summer of floating polar bears, data reported by the University of Illinois' Arctic Climate Research Center at the beginning of this year showed global sea ice levels the same as they were in 1979, when satellite observations began. At the other end of the earth, we are told the Larsen B ice shelf on the western side of Antarctica is collapsing. That part is warming and has been for decades. But it comprises just 2% of the continent. The rest of the continent is cooling.


Friday, October 9, 2009

They start work early now

My grandson, Griffin (8 1/2 months), applied for a job at In-N-Out Burgers today. It looks like they put him on as crew chief... the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Do the Right Thing!


My grandson GRIFFIN (CLICK HERE) has been entered in the Baby Gap contest.

Please visit the website and as they say in Chicago.

VOTE EARLY
VOTE OFTEN
OK IF YOU VOTE DEAD




Yes, I realize that it's a pain in the neck to register at the site, however it would make my daughter happy if you do.

Who Should Manage Education?

To make myself clear on the matter, I don't feel the Federal Government has any Constitutional role in Education. It is a matter for the States or Counties to decide as they will.

I am not gay baiting, however I do want to take a shot at the current administration's choice for Director of the Department of Education's Safe and Drug Free Schools Bureau. Kevin Jennings is a very poor choice for that position. Jennings is simply one more in a long line of inappropriate choices -- put into a decision making role at the national level.

Let's outline who Jennings is and what he has done and you decide for yourself whether or not you want this self-admitted narcotics user in charge of Drug Free Schools.

  • Failed to report a statutory rape of a student. (when Jennings was a teacher in Massachusetts)
  • "Radical homosexual druggie" (WorldNetDaily - Erick Rush)
  • "Jennings has made extremely radical statements promoting homosexuality in schools." (Washington Times - Editorial)
  • Michelle Malkin said that Jennings is a controversial homosexual rights advocate who founded a controversial organization that aggressively pushes sexually explicit books. (Malkin refers to GLSEN - Gay and Lesbian and Straight Education Network)
Is this the kind of guy we want making policy for the education of our children. His appointment is typical of the sort of skewed values the current administration has. Change You can Believe In...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Who Should We Fear?


Many terrorism experts believe that key indicators show Al Qaeda and its global jihad are on the decline. The tactics they used have been widely discredited in the Muslim world as being morally wrong or strategically counterproductive. Their leadership has been thinned out ad their operatives are picked off by Hellfire missiles fired by drones or taken out by government agents. Dr. Marc Sageman, a former CIA employee says that the central Al Qaeda leadership threat has been replaced by a generation of "dispersed, aspiring terrorists linked largely by the Internet who still pose a threat but to a lesser degree."

Shane - NY Times - September 27, 2009:
Audrey Kurth Cronin, a professor at the National War College in Washington, cites the arcs of previous violent extremist groups, from the Russian People's Will to the Irish Republican Army, that she studied for her new book, "How Terrorism Ends." "I think Al Qaeda is in the process of imploding," she said. "This is not necessarily the end. But the trends are in a good direction." Yet the question of how much comfort to take from such an assessment, and whether it should change American counterterrorism policy, remain wide open, as shown by the Afghanistan debate and the charges against the Denver man, Najibullah Zazi.
Even counterterrorism officials who agree that Al Qaeda is on the wane, for example, say the organization might well regroup if left unmolested in a lawless region in Pakistan, Afghanistan or Somalia. Moreover, they point out that even a lone terrorist with modest skills can produce mass carnage. Six years before 9/11, with no aid from a sophisticated network, Timothy McVeigh used a simple fertilizer bomb in Oklahoma City to kill 168 people. And the 2001 calamity was the work of, at most, a few dozen plotters. Nevertheless, some government officials do take quiet, if wary, satisfaction in two developments that they say underlie the broad belief that Al Qaeda is on a downhill slope. One is the success of military Special Operations units, the C.I.A. and allies in killing prominent terrorists.
Three days apart in mid-September, American special forces in Somalia firing from helicopters killed Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a leader of a Somalian organization, Al Shabab, which is allied with Al Qaeda, and the police in Indonesia killed the most-wanted terrorist in Southeast Asia, Noordin Muhammad Top, in an assault on a house in Java. In Pakistan, missile strikes from C.I.A. drone aircraft have taken a steady toll on Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies since the Bush administration accelerated these attacks last year. A count of such strikes, compiled by the Center for American Progress in Washington, found a handful in 2006 and 2007, rising rapidly to 36 in 2008, and another 36 so far in 2009, nearly all in Pakistan's tribal areas.
In addition to thinning the ranks of potential plotters, the constant threat of attack from the air makes it far harder for terrorists to move, communicate, and plan, counterterrorism officials say. And while the officials say they worry about a public backlash in response to the civilians killed during the air attacks, those officials also say the strikes may be frightening away potential recruits for terrorism.
The second trend is older and probably more critical. The celebration in many Muslim countries that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has given way to broad disillusionment with mass killing and the ideology behind it, according to a number of polls. Between 2002 and 2009, the view that suicide bombings are "often or sometimes justified" has declined, according to the Pew Global Attitudes Project, from 43 percent to 12 percent in Jordan; from 26 percent to 13 percent in Indonesia; and from 33 percent to 5 percent in Pakistan (excluding some sparsely populated, embattled areas). Positive ratings for Osama bin Laden have fallen by half or more in most of the countries Pew polled.
Peter Mandaville, a professor of government and Islamic studies at George Mason University, says a series of public recantations by prominent Islamist scholars and militants in recent years have had an effect. But the biggest catalyst has been bombings close to home. "Right after 9/11, people thought, wow, America is not invincible," Mr. Mandaville said. "It was a strike against the U.S., and they were for it." But when large numbers of innocent Muslims fell victim to attacks, "it became more and more difficult to romanticize Al Qaeda as fighting the global hegemons - basically, 'sticking it to the man.' " Support for bombings plummeted in Jordan, for example, after three bombs hit hotels in Amman in November 2005, including one at a wedding party. In Iraq, the slaughter of civilians by the group that called itself Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia prompted Sunni tribal leaders to make common cause with American forces. In Pakistan, proliferating bombings, including the 2007 attack that killed Benazir Bhutto, soured most people of all social classes on Qaeda-style violence.
In addition, Al Qaeda, for all its talk of global religious war, offered no practical solutions for local problems: unemployment, poverty, official corruption and poor education. "People realized bin Laden didn't have anything to offer," Dr. Mandaville said. Weighing the importance of such statistics is tricky, however. Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University who is often consulted by government agencies, is a dissenter from what he acknowledged has become a majority view among counterterrorism specialists about the decline of Al Qaeda. Despite the sinking poll numbers, Mr. Hoffman said, "Al Qaeda's core demographic is young hotheads aged 16 to 28, and I still don't think it's lost its appeal to that demographic." He said many terrorist groups kill their compatriots and become unpopular, but still remain in business. "Terrorism ends, sure," he said. "But with Al Qaeda it may be 50 years, and we're only eight years away from 9/11."
Even those who are convinced Al Qaeda is growing weaker offer a cautious prognosis about what that might mean. They say that what is growing less likely is an attack on American soil with a toll equal to or greater than that of 9/11. But they concede that the example of Al Qaeda will continue to produce copycats: "Bin Laden has given others a narrative, a grand story of struggle, and he's given them tactics as well," Dr. Mandaville said. Dr. Sageman said the United States should approach the threat not with hysteria, but with a careful analysis of the motives and patterns of people drawn into violent plotting. "Terrorism," he added, "is here to stay." The news last week made that crystal clear, but it also made clear a corresponding reality: counterterrorism, too, is here to stay, and is achieving some successes. Al Qaeda has no entirely safe haven today, and the Afghanistan debate is over how to keep it that way. And if the arrest of Mr. Zazi sent a shudder through many Americans, it's worth remembering that it came before any bombs went off.

Things are working, and the people responsible for keeping the nation safe have done a good job, but it's always the threat you don't expect that seems to do the most damage. Out-of-the-box thinking and challenging our leadership to be vigilant is the key to understanding where the next threat is coming from.

Unfortunately the current administration has taken up the cause of courting terrorist states in the hope that the charisma of Dear Leader will disarm them. I believe that our moves to disarm America will only embolden our enemies and will create a larger "who should we fear" list.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Russian Missiles, Iran (and Israel)

The Russian S-300 family of missiles have become a key component in the Iranian plan to protect their nuclear weapons production facilities from attack from Israel.

Since it is a major issue, let's take a look at the missiles themselves: SA-10 Grumble, SA-12 Giant and SA-20 Gargoyle. They're long range surface-to-air missiles produced by Russia and are considered to be one of, if not THE most potent anti-aircraft missile in the field. The S-400 family of missiles (SA-21) are not yet deployed but are in production and are expected to be even more capable, but nobody expects Russia to sell them to Iran. However they may not need to in order to effectively shield the Iranian nuclear material production.

Having done a bit of research on the issue, I can't figure out how many of these SAM's Iran has. Libya may have sold some of their S-300's to Iran and the Iranians have been trying to buy up whatever they can lay their hands on including inventory from Belarus and Crotian arsenals.

The Israeli jets may not get as far as Iran though. Former Democratic US National Security Advisor Brzezinski suggested that the US would shoot down the aircraft of its ally, Israel. (CLICK HERE)

The situation for Israel is becoming increasingly perilous and the stakes have been raised by Dear Leader, who, as a Muslim (former Muslim by some accounts), has no love for Israel.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Should We Worship Obama?


There are some who would worship the nameless (or named) God. There are many names for God and depending on your religion, they are also attributes of the Most High.




pre-election prayer.










In America, The Messiah, also called The One or Dear Leader is worshiped in lieu of God and he accepts the accolades in line with his self-proclaimed messianic crusade.

Am I the only one on the planet that simply thinks this is a little weird?

COMMIT CRIME in Wellford South Carolina!


Some elected officials are dumb as posts. Some are dumber. (h/t WoFat) Mayor Sallie Peake happens to be the dumbest I've ever been exposed to (see her interview below).

If you plan to commit crimes, consider committing them in Welford, South Carolina. (click for print story)

This is a photograph of the Wellford Police Department. These officers are under orders not to chase you on foot or in their cars if they see you commit a crime. I wonder why they need leave the station? I'm sure they'll be called on to drive to the scene of the crime after the criminals have departed and take a report.





Thursday, September 24, 2009

Prayer in Public School?


Does this qualify as "school prayer"?


It's been bouncing around conservative blogs and you see it here now for yourself. As the self-styled "Messiah", one would expect to see Him pushing this in public schools, however it's clearly an ObamaNation...

National anthems, and patriotic songs seem to be things of the past. Now they are songs and chants dedicated to Dear Leader?


Parents need to pay more attention to the ObamaPlan for indoctrinating school children.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Public Safety Warning - Mexico


As a toyota owner, I found this video to be an important message to those traveling in Latin America. The violence in Mexico has led to this sort of commercial advertisement.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I had an opportunity to do some work today (fruitful work) and to spend time with three of my children in different settings - and with my granddaughter.

The blogosphere, as with the world in which we live, can be a dark place at times. It is usually daunting because the only easy day was yesterday. However the darkness and cheerlessness of churls and curs such as those who slavishly follow Dear Leader are eclipsed when you look into the face of a smiling child.

Every day is golden. Every moment precious.

That's all.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Easy Listening

Sometimes even the most strident of bloggers need to chill for a moment. Life is too short not to. This is what I'm listening to on a warm summer Sunday evening--

Community Service- serve.gov

H/T to biggovernment.com

There is nobody who is more in tune with the concept of service to one's community than I am. While I am not a government groupie by any standard, I advocate service and applaud the concept of giving back. Whether you are volunteering your time at the local library with one of the literacy projects, reading to people at a nursing home, or working with the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts to help build character in the rising generation, you're doing the right thing.

If you are looking to serve, you might be drawn to the new US Government website devoted to community service, www.serve.gov. On its face, it looks like just the portal for you. The problem is that when you type "ACORN" into the search field entitled WHAT INTERESTS YOU, you are transported to allforgood.org where you can volunteer with ACORN.

ACORN has been shown to be a racketeer influenced and corrupt organization. It systematically encourages, enables and furthers crimes as reprehensible as child prostitution, alien smuggling, human trafficking (slavery), adult prostitution, loan fraud, tax fraud, voter fraud and a host of other criminal activities. This pattern of criminality has been shown to conclusively extend nationwide.

Serve.gov will also direct you to community outreach programs which promote the interests of electing one political party to office (let your imagination run wild). Yes, the Democratic Party. This is paid for by you, the taxpayer.

Serve.gov is one of many projects managed by the Corporation for National and Community Service (a federal agency overseeing various government service agencies including AmeriCorps - Dear Leader's storm troopers)

When I clicked what I was interested in, ACORN, into the local search field, I came up with SPECIAL EVENT VOLUNTEER where I could assist with ACORN Day at O'Neill Regional Park in Irvine, California. I'm not sure what it would really translate into (tax fraud, child prostitution, racketeering or whatever).

When I clicked AmeriCorps, the search came back that I could volunteer for AmeriCorps City Year in Los Angeles(term of service from September to June 2011) with a promise that I would change the world (a change I could believe in).

AmeriCorps paramilitaries (right) in uniform - a tattoo is encouraged to show your commitment to the cause.

I also found employment opportunities for HeadCount, a voter registration organization (funded by the US Government) that claims to be non-partisan, but it's part of Dear Leader's irregular army of volunteers and you know I'd be registering Democrats to vote him back into office in 2012...

I could also join the OXFAM Action Corps (I have no idea what that is). There are a number of groups that promise paramilitary service for the cause of supporting Dear Leader.




This is the sort of training I would be receiving. As a former US Special Forces officer, I find that I might take to an organization like this. Force multiplication, low intensity conflicts, and irregular warfare are not concepts that are alien to me.


Friday, September 18, 2009

ACORN - Good for Something!


ACORN: Good for something.





Thursday, September 17, 2009

Not Quite Dear Leader's Czars

As most of you know by now, on 9/12/2009 (Patriot Day), somewhere between 1,000,000 and 2,000,000 Americans came from around the country to peacefully protest Dear Leader's vision of America. Best guess, they represent a sound majority of Americans who are fed up with the current Administration after 8 months of them.

One issue that struck a nerve with America were his appointed czars - about 40 at last count, who have the roughly equivalent role as commissars within Soviet Russia. They are not confirmed by Congress and answer only to Dear Leader. By way of protest, a few new czars showed up on the Capitol Mall, the self proclaimed, BOOB CZAR and the CZAR OF TRANSPARENCY.
In the photos below we see the Green Czar joined the Boob Czar and the Transparency Czar. I suspect that Dear Leader would gain much more respect from voters if he fired all but the Boob Czar and Transparency Czar...



















GRIFFIN, stop looking up at the Boob Czar!
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