Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mile High Club - An Informal Survey









This is not a scientific study, it's merely a question for a blog and you may decide whether or not to answer (honestly).

THE MILE HIGH CLUB

ARE YOU A MEMBER?

"The Mile High Club" is a term that has come to denote individuals who have engaged in sexual congress while onboard an aircraft in flight. Membership is based on the assertion of the individual that they have qualified.

Unfortunately though I have held the fantasy for many years, I have to admit that that's as far as it went.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The New News Media


    I know it must sound silly to you blog readers, but there was a time when I thought there was such a thing as "journalistic integrity". The media more or less policed itself and being a reporter was almost a "calling". Today I find almost NO integrity in journalism and the state-run-media of the present lacks all credibility.


    I'm waiting for the State-Run-Media to air this mantra:

    WAR IS PEACE

    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

    and then Fox News will be a permanent test pattern.


    "If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say this or that even, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death."

    "And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"

    "Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Who Represents Us?

The Wachowski Brothers who wrote THE MATRIX created this 2005 movie set in Great Britain in the future. Totalitarian Britian - sometime in the near future - A mild mannered young woman named Evey Hammond is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked vigilante knoan only as "V".

There are echoes of Guy Fawkes who wanted to blow up the English Parliament and there are echoes from the disenchanted British who believe the Labour Government will ruin the nation with it Socialist policies.
In the movie, the government itself commits terrorist acts - and a new totalitarian state is created to fight the "terrorists". Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving and John Hurt do a good job as the principals in the cast.
Does this define an act of theft?

Thanks to the British Spider for the idea for this blog posting.

It's not TV, it's HBO

HBO launches a new series tonight, HUNG. It's about a single father of two kids who is down on his luck, his house caught on fire without insurance, he can't keep a job... he has only one thing going for him. He is strung like an ox.

I predict that it will be popular. Though intended for mature audiences, the men will think to themselves - if worse comes to worst, maybe I can do THAT for a living. (have torrid sex with hot women who pay you for the experience) Women will think to themselves -- I have a few extra bucks in the cookie jar.

HBO's series (among which are ROME and The Sopranos) do not reflect the better angels of human nature - not since Band of Brothers anyway.
And before Hung comes on, you can watch the second season of True Blood. Which answers the question, "where can a small town Louisiana girl find love?"

Worst case it will take your mind of the Obamatrauma.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Forever Orange?

In order to have a credible job, you need a credible threat. The Department of Homeland Security requires a daily HIGH RISK of terrorist attack. I fly for work and I fly for recreation. It's always "threat level orange", the Department's way of promoting vague anxiety, building a sense of fear and creating a need for me to remove my shoes, belt and wristwatch to protect the nation's airlines.

What is the Department of Homeland Security's long-term counterterrorism strategy? Is it credible? I'm frankly not sure what it is and I've been checking. I discount the Xenophobic rantings of concern about returning veterans, Americans who are against illegal immigration, attend a 'tea party rally' or who oppose abortion as being highly prone to turn domestic terrorist.

Whatever it is, they never seem to be able to drop below HIGH RISK, imminent danger of attack. Somebody ought to tell them that if they want to maintain any credibility at all, they should lower it to YELLOW ALERT (elevated risk of terrorist attack) occasionally to prove that they're meeting with some success or even GENERAL RISK of terrorist attack - genuine success. I suspect that if it dropped to General Risk, people would loose their jobs and people might question the mighty budget of the Department of Homeland security.

The emperor doesn't have clothes on, and the emperor knows it and doesn't care. Neither does the public. If that's the situation, you also need to ask yourself whether or not we live under rational leadership or under a brand of tyranny... don't you?

Austerity, Obama Style

What is the price tag for the first lady and the first children's shopping trip to England? Will it be paid out of the Chief Executive's pocket or will we the taxpayers foot the bill? 

(I know the answer. The questions are rhetorical.)


Last Sunday, Barack Obama flew home on Air Force 1. He left a VC-32 (pictured above) for Michelle and the kids to use to sightsee. They flew to London.

In February of this year, the President told corporate executives, "You can't get corporate jets, you can't go take a trip to Las Vegas or go to the Superbowl on the taxpayer's dime." I think it may be simply a matter of  - the rule applies to you, not to me.

The London Times described Michelle's visit this way, "Motorcycle outriders, armored Chevrolets and billet-headed men in raincoats crossed London yesterday as Michelle and her daughters spent a second day on an unofficial visit to the capitol."

The Times went on to describe Michelle's arrival at Westminster Abbey. "The building was closed to tourists with people already in line admonished to, "wait up against the wall." An American visiting the Abbey said, "right then I knew it was probably a member of our royal family visiting."

Michelle's motorcade shut down the London street (photo above) as the First Lady of the World went for fish and chips at a pub in Mayfair. The entourage inside the restaurant was fifteen people while dozens more waited outside including embassy personnel, security personnel, Air Force staff waiting to service and fly the VC-32.

Does the Chief Executive care that millions of Americans have lost their jobs on HIS WATCH and won't be able to take their families on a summer vacation? It doesn't matter. We still paid for the trip.

It's interesting that Michelle Obama specified that the fish and chip pub be owned by a black person. I'm sure she wasn't reflecting on race when she so specified - simply wanted to give a brother a hand up by ordering 15 fish & chips.

A Night at the Museum

Blogging from NY, NY - on the road

Guess which section of the Metropolitan Museum of Art was my favorite. HINT: Look Down.

The Medieval section was devoted to armor that survived, which means circa 1500 onward. Essentially armor from the end of the era of armor that wasn't used in battle.
Emilie walked like an Egyptian through that exhibit.

I found the sarcophagus that I want to be buried in and it fits. I say, if you are going to go, GO BIG!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

NY Field Observations (factoids)

Blogging from NY, NY - on the road
Do you heart NY - really heart it?

Some field observations of New Yorkers:
  • New Yorkers never wear short trousers - only tourists wear them.
  • The only New Yorkers who will look you in the eye are cops and hookers. Otherwise - no.
  • Bagels are better in New York than anywhere else. The same goes for pizza. Nobody really knows why but everyone has a theory.
  • New York Police Officers wear hats that look like bus driver hats. They are sensitive when you point this out.
  • New Yorkers never walk around the streets with a drink in their hands. The only place you can get away with that and look perfectly natural is New Orleans and Key West.
  • There are a lot of Orthodox Jews in New York - I mean a lot. If they all voted Republican, Hillary Clinton (the lady from Arkansas) wouldn't have been made a Senator from NY. Which tells me that either they don't vote or somebody needs to do some organizing.
  • New Yorkers are very sensitive about 9/11. They all have pictures of dead friends from that day.
  • At least 50% of NY cab drivers wear turbans.
  • A friendly New Yorker (to a tourist) is a New Yorker trying to work you for money.

Liberty

Blogging from Ny, Ny - on the road


It's a short boat ride from Battery Park to Liberty Island and Ellis Island.
Liberty Island - A visit to the lady who lifts her lamp of freedom.
Emilie, in tribute?
Relaxing with a fruit juice icee, hoisted to Liberty.
It was about 83 degrees and very humid.
Emilie, taken into custody by New York's Finest.

Can you feel the love?

Blogging from Ny, Ny - on the road

Last night, I took my daughter, Emilie, to see THE LION KING on Broadway. The production, as with all major Broadway plays, was stunning and exciting.

Emilie asked me what my favorite parts of the production were. I must say that the opening of the THE LION KING was immensely dramatic, moving - The Circle of Life. Favorite character? SCAR, of course.

We are all part of that circle of life. My four daughters are the legacy I leave the world. My grandson and granddaughter are the renewal of that circle. It's interesting to be sitting on the other side of fifty, looking at the circle from this perspective as opposed to the view from the beginning. 



Wednesday, June 24, 2009

ground zero

Blogging from NY, NY - on the road
The trip to Ground Zero, site of the former World Trade Center began on the subway (after toasted bagels and cream cheese for breakfast).

I hadn't been there since the attack on September 11, 2001, a date which like December 7, 1941, will live forever as a day of infamy.

When I was in New York last time the complex was still standing, but that was in early August, 2001. The images of the people killed by the Wahabi Muslims/al Qaeda and of the towers on fire flashed through my mind.

Now, eight years later, the place is being rebuilt from below ground up. There will be taller buildings and a large park at ground level as a memorial for those people (who included Muslims working there) who lost their lives at the hands of terrorists.

We can never forget.  I personally do not forgive.

There will be another World Trade Center.  

I hope the Chief Executive of the United States never apologizes for our reaction to 9/11 - though he seems inclined to apologize for a great deal that requires no apology. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Vampire State Building

Blogging in NY, NY -- on the road

Whenever I ascend the Empire State building in New York, I feel like the villain in a Batman/Superman (insert superhero name here) movie.
My daughter goaded me into smiling for the photo.

Emilie, with the Statue of Liberty slightly visible in the background to her right in the photo. 

For those Hard Times ahead...

Blogging from NY-NY - on the road

In Time Square an enterprising man was selling Obama Condoms (and you'll note the website on the sign). I approached him and told him I'd buy one if Barack's face was on the reservoir tip of the latex "glove". He thought it was a great idea -- but the models he sold did not have the chief executive's face on them.

You can get more or less anything you want at Time Square, NY, NY

Monday, June 22, 2009

Blogging from The Big Apple


Beginning tomorrow, I will be blogging on-the-road from The Big Apple. There will be intermittent rain in New York City all week and it should keep the heat down (the humidity is another matter).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Message to Garcia



I served in the US Navy in a staff position at one point in my career with a US Marine Corps lieutenant colonel at Naval Special Warfare Group One, Coronado, California. This colonel, my peer at the time, stressed the importance of fulfilling a task completely and with excellence and his discussions of the Message to Garcia echo in my mind at times.

For those of you who read this blog who may be adrift in your lives, wondering what the world wants, this provides the answer. It wants people like LT Rowan who can carry a message to Garcia. As Hubbard (link below) put it:

"My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the boss is away as well as when he is home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly takes the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aughte else but deliver it, never gets 'laid off,' nor has to go on a strike for higher wages. Civilization is the one long, anxious search for just such individuals."

This is the first person account of First Lieutenant Andrew S. Rowan, 19th US Infantry, who took a message to Lieutenant-General Garcia, leader of an insurgent army at the outset of the Spanish American War who was "somewhere in Eastern Cuba". (CLICK HERE)

Elbert Hubbard commented on the Message to Garcia and his comments were memorialized in an essay of the same name. (CLICK HERE to read the essay)

Both the story written by LT Rowan and essay by Hubbard are written in the language of the day, maximum verbosity and a style out of fashion. Be warned.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

What's a few $$ Trillion $$ ?


I never thought I'd see Democrats wince at spending a trillion dollars or two for shits and giggles whether or not the country was in financial trouble. CLICK HERE to read the latest on the health care mess the US Government is preparing to pull down on us (or maybe not?). The Congressional Budget Office reports that the new health care plan will cost $1.6 trillion and leave millions of Americans without health care. Based on past experience, you can take the projection from the CBO and double it for the real-life number. Am I the only one who is shocked by a potential $3+ trillion dollar price tag on universal health care at a time when we are financially unstable and the "financial recovery" is still projected at over a year away - best case?

Socialism doesn't work to spite the best wishes and desires of liberals. Think of it. If everyone who voted for Obama paid for health insurance for only one family without healthcare, the problem would be solved and they'd have the joy of having lifted up somebody. I like that solution. It's the sort of solution the socialists would never consider.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Riding the Tiger


We all choose our path through life. Some of us take the easy path, some of us find a clear and unobstructed path devoid of challenge and take a road well worn and smooth simply because it suits our nature.

I have taken a road less traveled through rocks, brambles, snakes and wolves because it pleases me to do so. My present consulting work takes me into situations where many people would not go. At times my family worries about me - with some justification. However, unless I am on the back of the tiger, I never feel quite whole.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Theocracy: Bad Idea

When I was young, people I knew thought that a theocracy - rule under God's law, was the highest possible form of government. While I didn't buy off on it, I did bide my time, look, listen and consider what I saw and what I heard.

Today I understand that there is no presently understood historical basis for this. Some claim that in "ancient times" it worked. I can't address pre-history nor can I vet any claims to such as valid.

In recorded history that can be vetted/validated and multi-sourced, there is no indication of any theocracy that wasn't despotic, cruel and repressive to the people it ruled, favoring one class (usually a priestly class) over all others. ie. All men are equal but some are more equal than others. It is clearly manifest in present-day Iran.

Once Broken - can we bring back Private Healthcare?

Nothing in history, nothing in the body of law, nothing in national precedent requires a national healthcare system that is MANDATED. Nothing indicates that the quality of health care will improve and the opposite realities exist in countries that have the sort of plan in place that the current administration wants to shove down our throats.

There will still be private physicians who will be wildly expensive - and we'll all be saving up to go there instead of dealing with the medical-mill the government will offer those who can't afford the higher tier of private care. I lived in Great Britain. I saw for myself. It was a gloomy, depressing system there and the Democrats want to pull us down.

Will the legislators go to the public/government clinics with the great unwashed in our Nation's Capital? Highly doubtful. But if they impose this health care program on us, they should be required by law to use the system they impose and ONLY the system they impose on the nation.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Iran - an uncertain path to tomorrow


Both Ahmadinejad and Mousavi have similar views on the Great Satan (which would be more or less all of you, if you're reading this blog anywhere in the world). Mir Hossein Mousavi was endorsed by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and vowed to continue Iran's march toward the construction of nuclear weapons. Ahmadinejad won on what are held to be rigged elections, Iranians demonstrated in the streets and the government is silencing them.

President Obama expressed his profound national guilt for the CIA's coup in 1953 that prevented the Soviet Union from dominating and perhaps annexing Iran in Cairo a few days ago. If he is as guilty as he claims to be, why did Vice President (Slow) Joe Biden say, "We're going to withhold comment for a few days." on Meet the Press yesterday? Why didn't the President come out an encourage the Iranian people who voted for a future that didn't include Ahmadinejad? Wouldn't that have assuaged his guilt?

The President of the United States is remaining mute on the subject of the Iranian elections. I wonder if THAT will make him feel guilty?

Who Guards the Guardsmen?

Blind Justice?
CLICK HERE to read the article.

The President of the United States fired the inspector general, who is supposed to find and prosecute fraud waste and abuse - for finding fraud waste and abuse committed by an Obama supporter.

Merely being an inspector general means you should be free to inspect where you find wrongdoing without fear or favor. It seems that things, which are changing in America, are clearly impacting the ability of non-partisan members of government from ferreting out corruption.

No, I'm not shocked this happened. It's simply quite blatant. Obama is sending a message.

The American Agenda

I'm not saying that the United States has done the right thing all of the time. I know that it hasn't. Sometimes there is arrogance, sometimes capricious indifference, and it goes with the turf. However, I don't understand coddling terrorist organizations, such as Hamas, who have declared war on us.

Now that Barack Obama is the de-facto CEO of General Motors, which means every US taxpayer is a stock holder, underwriting past and current failures from our wallets, I wonder if we'll be required to buy GM in the future - by presidential directive?

Whether its somehow glorying in the transgender choices some have made, ruling by presidential fiat, new policies defining domestic terrorists as anyone who opposes the administration's agenda peacefully, the current American Agenda seems to be precisely 180 degrees off course.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Post Basketball Championship Riots

It seems that every time the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team wins a championship, there is a riot, even if the final game is played somewhere other than Los Angeles. Tonight we've seen yet another example.

Tonight is no exception.

And as usual, the television crews get close up s of burning, looting and destruction while the police, impotent, stand by and watch.

Are you content with the concept of police standing mute while this takes place (like clockwork)? I know some LAPD officers and like the human race, there are some very effective, very professional officers and some embarrassingly weak, frail, wimpy officers - I'm talking about you, Ray. And I didn't like you eye-balling me today either... comment about LAPD type who lives near me and fits in the latter category.

What do you think the Los Angeles Police Department should do when insane, fans begin burning cars, destroying businesses, etc.?


Transgender Adoption?


Link to the -> WHITE HOUSE: The most recent Presidential Proclamation

No, I'm not kidding, it's not a joke link or anything of the sort. It's the most recent move in what is absolutely the Obamanation.

I do not understand transgender adoption. I have no idea why it would be in the best interest of the United States to promote this practice. I am offended that tax money would be used to further this agenda. Kids have a tough enough time growing up without promoting this as a rational alternative. Call me insensitive, because perhaps I am. Call me traditional because I clearly am.

Our Individual Legacy


I'm keying on a post made by Euripides, whose blog I follow.

We did not arrive here unaided. Countless others came before us and passed on their characteristics to us through both DNA and through traditions we inherited through our families. Every one is different, every one unique. Every one is precious.

How can you truly understand who you are without understanding who they were?

Most Americans trace their personal histories to people who came here from somewhere else.
  • Why did they do that?
  • What drew them here?
  • What value did they see in the new world that was somehow lacking in the old one?
  • In leaving their homes, what did they give up and why did they do it?
  • What was important to them and should it also be important to us?
Until you have examined those questions, it's difficult to know who you are.

My family tree came from many lands to root itself where I am today. Every single person who did that came because there was not so much freedom where they were as there was in the land where they were going.

None of my ancestors were homosexual. If they had been, I wouldn't be here. No offense to homosexual readers, but homosexuals by nature do not reproduce and leave a legacy.

At times I ask myself whether or not my ancestors would be proud of me. If they would see themselves in me and feel vindicated. From my considerable study of same, I found that most lived lives marked by honesty, hard work, duty to country, duty to God, duty to family. They were the bricks and mortar who built the foundation of what we as a society now enjoy.

Taking a moment to reflect on these things helps me build resolve to protect the legacy they left me.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Maintaining Freedom


"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." -- John Stewart Mill

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Exploring Aircraft Crash Sites


It's something to do with my daughter on weekends when there's not much else to do.


You can call it a hobby if you'd like. It's not an obsession.

I like to find crashed aircraft in the California desert(s) and explore the wreckage, take some photos, etc. It's a lot like a treasure hunt because they're not always as intact or as easy to find as the C-130 Hercules pictured below.

My Toyota FJ Cruiser under-wing.

The most comprehensive exploration I'm aware of has been compiled on-line by Joe Idoni. CLICK HERE to view his journey of exploration.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Bogus Firearms Prosecution

Chilling government response to what everyone held to be a jammed rifle on a range. It's interesting to see how the response to this gentleman's situation was handled. The Justice system seems to be focused on the WRONG THING.

The problem is NOT a man who has a malfunctioning rifle on a range. It's with gang members and criminals who commit crimes. If you're at all interested, please take time to view this video.



Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thai Criminals

Finding the right bank to rob, planning, execution and getting away with the loot can be problematic unless you're a smart crook. 

Unfortunately these guys were dropped on their heads as children.

Thanks to WoFat, former Thai resident, for the video:


video

Hiding Stuff


Have you ever thought about adding a secret room to your house? Someplace only you knew about? There are films that depict mansions where a secret door is opened by pulling on a candelabra or pushing a panel. 

Are there advantages to doing something like that? 

CLICK HERE for Creative Home Engineering. Yes I'm giving them a shameless plug on my blog, but the website is worth a visit - if only to satisfy your curiosity. 

Monday, June 8, 2009

Beauties and the Beast

Snapshots from Sunday Dinner:


Grandpa and (grandson) Griffin see eye-to-eye on most matters.

Alyssa at three weeks. Having both a granddaughter and a grandson is something very precious to me.

Formula for Greatness

I spoke with a friend about what makes men/women great and what special formula differentiates the great from the mass of humanity.

This is it:


Sunday, June 7, 2009

How Important are Cool Sunglasses?

Where would art and society be without them?
Can you imagine THE BLUES BROTHERS without sunglasses? There's the classic line from the movie: "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses."
To the MEN IN BLACK, sunglasses formed an integral component in their effort to fight space aliens who live among us. (If you missed the feature film, it will be re-run on television soon)


Sometimes we need them to block the sun. Other times we need them to reaffirm that we're cool. They make a statement in addition to their function - which means that sunglasses are greater than the sum of their parts.

Why?

There are other big imponderables in nature and perhaps I should be spending my time contemplating them. But I'm not. Which means that at least in my own feeble mind, sunglasses are almost as important as the question of when the next planet-killing comet will strike this rock and vaporize us all.
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