HolyCoast: May 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Weiner Roast

It's over.  Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY and NYC Mayor wannabe) went on CNN and was asked the easiest question he'll ever hear...if in fact his Twitter account was hacked as he claimed.  Courtesy @diggrbiii:
Dana Bash: "Is it you in the picture?" Weiner: "I'm not going to let myself get distracted..."
Roasted.

There's more from Mediaite:
One of Capitol Hill’s most media-friendly people, New York Rep. Anthony Weiner, seems to be souring on the subject of his Twitter account, brushing off questions about his Twitter feed and the photo of a man in his underwear that was sent from that account. “I’m not going to talk about this anymore,” Weiner said Tuesday afternoon, in an exchange with journalists CNN described as “angry.”

It was clearly an unusually testy encounter for the usually cool and camera-friendly Democratic congressman. Weiner insisted the story that blew up over the Memorial Day weekend was nothing but a “distraction,” and that he would have nothing more to say about it, despite reporters repeated questions. “If I was giving a speech to 45,000 people and someone stood up and heckled in the back I wouldn’t spend three days talking to him. I’m going to get back to the conversation I care about,” he said.

With one reporter comparing the alleged hacking of Weiner’s Twitter account to a cyber attack on a member of Congress, Weiner was unmoved. “I’m going to return to the things I care about,” he said. “I’ve participated in the story a couple of days now. Given comments on it. This is a distraction and I’m not going to let it distract me.”
As I said in a previous post, it probably won't matter in the long run, but forever this guy will be both a congressman and an excitable underwear model.

GASP: GOP Wants Illegal Immigration to be...Illegal!

From the new DNC Chairman:
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D.-Fla.), chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, denounced Republicans last week for believing illegal immigration “should in fact be a crime.”
Uh...it is a crime. A federal crime. That's why it's called "illegal" immigration and not "we'd rather you didn't do that" immigration.

Biodegradable Products Are As Bad as Farting Cows

I summarize, but that's basically true:
So-called biodegradable products are likely doing more harm than good in landfills, according to research released today from N.C. State University.

Why? Because as they break down, they are releasing a powerful greenhouse gas.

“Biodegradable materials, such as disposable cups and utensils, are broken down in landfills by microorganisms that then produce methane,” says Dr. Morton Barlaz, co-author of a paper describing the research and professor and head of N.C. State’s Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering. “Methane can be a valuable energy source when captured, but is a potent greenhouse gas when released into the atmosphere.”

Only about 35 percent of municipal solid waste goes to landfills that capture methane for energy use, according to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates. Another 34 percent of landfills capture methane and burn it off-site, while 31 percent allow the gas to escape, the EPA estimates.
One word: Plastics.

Palin Plays Hard to Get and It's Driving the Press Crazy

I don't know what Sarah Palin is up to, but I'll bet she's having a good time:
Sarah Palin pulled a clever bait and switch on reporters in Gettysburg on Tuesday, as her "One Nation" bus tour rolls into its third day.

The Palin family and a few members of her staff snuck out of their hotel early, leaving their flashy bus behind in the hotel parking lot to give reporters chasing her the impression that she was still readying for the day.

As members of Palin's advance staff began to roll out luggage to the bus on Tuesday morning, a crush of media and tourists gathered to meet the potential presidential candidate on her way out of the hotel.

But CNN was soon tipped off that Palin was long gone, off to visit the Civil War battlefields and onward toward Philadelphia.
And from Politico yesterday:
Day 2 of Sarah Palin’s bus tour, and the former vice presidential nominee has prompted little more than confusion over exactly what she is up to.

Palin started Memorial Day at the National Archives in Washington after unannounced visits to monuments and other landmarks in the nation’s capital on Sunday afternoon, following a brief ride at the annual Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally. From there, it was to George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon, where reporters following Palin were able only to snap pictures of the former Alaska governor from a distance.
While most politicians run to every camera they can find and crave press attention, Palin seems to be turning the tables and making the press crave HER attention. It's hilarious to watch.

I'm almost hoping this whole bus tour is just a big tweak of the mainstream media.

America at Play

What do Americans do on a holiday weekend?  Riot:
UPDATE: MIAMI 'WAR ZONE' DURING URBAN WEEKEND...
'I was scared for my life'...
Poet 'Da Real One' Gunned Down In Front Of Miami Poetry Cafe...
Violent crime explodes in Myrtle during Black Bike Week; 8-hour hell...
Rib Fest At Rochester beach turns rowdy...
Riot On Long Island...
Urban Melee In Charlotte...
Chaos causes DNC concern for convention...
Unruly urban crowd shuts down Nashville water park...
TEEN GANGS UNLEASHED ON BOSTON BEACH
Sounds like the rainbows and unicorns had the weekend off.

When I was a kid we used to have the annual "Strawberry Riots" on Memorial Day weekend.  The Strawberry Festival in Garden Grove always seemed to have fights and problems breaking out.  I can remember hearing helicopters circling over the Festival which was located not too far from our house.

Rioting on Memorial Day weekend must be an American tradition.

Today's Military Headlines

I'm hoping these two stories aren't connected:
Five top generals defect from Qaddafi's army

Obama Names Picks for New Military Leaders
With Obama you just never know.

Weinergate Continuing to Look Like a Self-Inflicted Wound

First, from the Daily Caller:
 Write your own Weiner headline, folks -- It was a busy Memorial Day weekend for Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), and for lovers of frankfurter-related puns everywhere. TheDC's Matthew Boyle briefs(!) us on the growing(!!) scandal that's been dubbed Weinergate: "The imbroglio started Friday night when Weiner’s official 'verified' Twitter account sent a photo of a man's erect penis underneath gray boxer shorts to a woman in Washington State. Both Weiner and his spokesman, Dave Arnold, have stated that the lewd photograph made it onto the congressman’s Twitter account as result of a hacking of Weiner's Facebook and Twitter profiles. Weiner's office told TheDC that they won't allow this issue to become a distraction and that they are 'consulting on what steps' they can take regarding the hacking... Arnold would not specify what steps Weiner is considering. It is unclear whether a Capitol Hill police or FBI investigation into the hacking will ensue. Neither the Capitol Hill police nor the FBI has returned TheDC's requests for comment." Identity theft is a crime, and Weiner is a sitting member of Congress who is claiming that someone has broken into his online accounts in order to embarrass and defame him. This goes beyond a harmless prank. Rather than call for an official investigation, though, Dave Arnold says: "We've retained counsel to explore the proper next steps and to advise us on what civil or criminal actions should be taken." Wouldn't the proper next step be to demand that the authorities investigate this crime and apprehend the culprit? In other words: Why haven't they called the cops? In any case, the normally publicity-hungry Rep. Weiner certainly isn't responding to all this attention with his usual relish. 
I've had a little bit of time to look at this since the story first broke and it's pretty clear to me what happened.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY and NYC Mayor-Wannabe) sent the Tweet. He meant to send it as a Direct Message which can only be read by the sender and recipient, but in his...uh, excitement, shall we say, to show a 21-year old college girl his crotch self-portrait, he hit the wrong button and sent the Tweet via his regular Twitter stream. All 40,000 of his followers had a chance to see it if they were paying attention at that time, and apparently one did and forwarded it on to others as well as capturing screen shots of the offending Tweet.

It's an easy mistake to make (not the sending of crotch shots, but sending something to the entire stream instead of by Direct Message). I remember one conservative I follow on Twitter accidentally sent his cellphone number to all of his followers instead of just to one particular person. It happens and it's not that hard to do. That's why it's pretty easy for me to come to the conclusion that Weiner was the culprit.

Getting back to our story, Weiner, realizing his error, tried to do some quick clean-up by deleting the Tweet and also going into his YFrog photo account and deleting all but just a couple of pictures. The girl on the receiving end immediately deleted her Facebook and Twitter accounts, and that creates even greater suspicion on my part.

I'm somewhat familiar with 21-year old college girls and their attraction to Facebook. With two college kids of my own I know that Facebook is the center of their social universe. All their friends are on there, they share information, comment on each other's activities, and plan social events via the service. No socially active college girl is going to suddenly dump her Facebook account and cut herself off from her social world unless there's stuff on there that if revealed by an investigation could cause trouble for her or for, let's say, a powerful New York Democrat.

By refusing to involve law enforcement and instead choosing to "lawyer up", Weiner simply confirms what we already knew. Innocent people don't "lawyer up", they call the cops. The guy's dirty and we all know it.

Will it matter? Probably not. The media swallowed Weiner's "I was hacked!" story verbatim and didn't even ask the simple questions that would have been asked of any Republican in the same situation. Just ask former Rep. Chris Lee. Lee resigned when his troubles came to light, Weiner will not. Democrats don't do the honorable thing.

He'll continue in his position and this isn't likely to slow down his drive for the mayor's office in NYC. If anything, this kind of stuff is a resume' enhancer for Democrats. It's expected of them. Weiner's "shortcomings" are unlikely to affect his career, though they'll follow him forever. That's the best we can hope for.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Critters

There's no shortage of critters in the Monterey Bay area.  Here are a few:
An assortment of sea birds.
Basking sea lions on an old harbor buoy. 
When I asked the sea otter to smile I didn't think he'd really do it.
Harbor seals getting some sun on a quiet beach.
Lucky for these guys nobody was shooting any birdies at Pebble Beach.
The rare Bloggus Californius on a windy spot overlooking the Restless Sea.

Godspeed, David

We had kind of a poignant chance meeting tonight.  We had gone out behind the Monterey Bay Aquarium where there is public access to view the bay, and while sitting there a guy named David came up and asked if I would take his picture for him.  I agreed, and as he got in position near the railing with the Bay in the background he took out a picture of his mother.  He told me he was taking a memorial trip, revisiting places they both had loved.  I took the photo of him holding his mother's picture, and another of him kissing the picture.  It was a special moment for him and I'm glad I could help him get it on camera.

He took a picture for us too, and I kind of like it:

Monterey Harbor

The sun is heading down over Monterey Harbor.

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Flowers

The view from our lunch table in Carmel.

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18th Green

The famous 18th green and fairway at Pebble Beach. One of the most spectacular holes in all of golf.

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The Lodge at Pebble Beach

Home of many a great golf tournament.

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Lone Cypress

The famous Lone Cypress and the symbol of Pebble Beach. Some loon tried to burn it a few years ago so it doesn't look as majestic as it once did.

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Restless Sea

The Restless Sea stop on the 17-Mile Drive.  Not that restless today. Wind has calmed down and it's much warmer.

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Inn at Spanish Bay

The view from the Inn at Spanish Bay on the 17-Mile Drive.

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A Special Memorial Day Message

NOTE:  I'm rerunning this item from last Memorial Day.

It is on this day we honor the sacrifices of those who have served our country in our military services.  One of those decorated veterans was my father-in-law, Roy Jennings, who came home from France after WWII with two Purple Hearts and a Silver Star, plus lifelong problems thanks to the trench foot that put him out of the war and the head wound that probably should have killed him.  Roy passed away on December 2nd, 2008, at the age of 83.

The battle in which he was wounded was the subject of a History Channel episode of "Shootout!", and Roy was interviewed on camera for the show.  I've excerpted the portion of the show that talks about the Battle of Vezon, France, and the moment in which he was wounded. What's still amazing to me is that all this happened when he was only 19 years old, barely older than my own son.  Please take a few minutes and watch this, and then read the follow-up information below the video:







The show did not go into what happened after that fateful night in Vezon, France, but Roy put that in his own words in an article I typed up for him some years ago. He later wrote a privately-published book about his experiences as a soldier.

 Here's the rest of the story:
The next morning the forward observation post counted more than thirty dead soldiers being loaded into the German ambulances. As for me, at the time I got back to the Regimental Aid station, the doctors gathered around; inspected the wound and came to two conclusions; one it was a glancing hit, the other it was a clear penetration into the frontal lobes. Both agreed if number two were true I should be dead. It was here at the location of this august body that I was presented my Purple Heart Award.

Bets were made and placed in an envelope which was tied to my shirt button hole for safe travel to the base hospital at Verdun, where the true winner could be established.

Along the way I was checked and injected with Morphine so I was pretty relaxed when we arrived at the receiving area. Immediately I was rushed into X-Ray and a series of pictures were taken from various angles, then back out to join the long lines of occupied gurneys awaiting their turn of attention. As I was being wheeled into the big operating room (six stations in action), I was pulled back out to X-Ray for more photos and then returned to the operating room. Here I was placed in the hands of the most gorgeous Red Headed Girl I had ever seen. She tenderly strapped my arm to a splint, inserted a needle and lovingly held my hand instructing me to count backwards starting at one hundred. I was fuzzy from Morphine but I couldn't take my eye off that vision in a nurses uniform. I think it made it down to ninety three and awoke in a small ward with my bullet on a 3x3 gauze pad on the night stand. It seems somewhere along the line I had asked that it be saved. Looking at it I agreed it must have been a ricochet as it was badly smashed with the copper jacket missing, and had the jacket remained intact if indeed it had one, any hunter could assure you it undoubtedly would have exited out through the top of the skull.

The Chaplain had made the trip back from the front to Verdun to visit his boys and the others among the early wounded. I had maintained rather good Sunday attendance back at Indiantown Gap as a continuation of my Sundays as a civilian in Huntington Park, California. He was interested in the removed bullet and wondered what I intended to do with it. When I explained I intended to convert it into a watch fob or a unit to be hung on the chain of a tie claps, he laughed and agreed either would work. He left with both of us feeling the future held great possibilities.

When I was being discharged from the hospital I was carrying the bullet in my pants watch pocket for safekeeping. The pants were new hospital issue as my combat ones were gone. As I was leaving, and Officer looked at my pant legs which were rather short and said I would have to go back and be issued a larger pair. The whole activity was under extreme pressure as the truck was in the act of leaving the hospital parking lot at that moment. The long and the short of it was, my pant legs were now long enough but I was short one combat souvenir that was irreplaceable.

I was being returned to the front although totally night blind in the injured eye. The feeling at that time was, keep as many trained troops in action as possible. I was placed on night guard duty as others took part in patrol actions. This restricted duty was considered quite reasonable even though I was so night blind and vision restricted form the swelling there was no way I could distinguish friend from foe by observation. Everything was left to challenge, sign and countersign; it was a nervous time for all concerned.

My next combat patrol was our first daylight action some days later. I had my old job back as a member of the point along with Max Ellison, Jim Thayer, and some other fellow where we formed up behind Lt. Max Lewis.

A short while later Lt. Lewis was put out of action as a result of multiple shrapnel wounds. he never returned.

As for me, the bullet had entered through the skull 1/4 inch to the outside of the eye socket and had to be extracted out through the point of entry. So those number two theory doctors won their bets! The shock of the entry turned the eyeball to "the consistency of a boiled egg", the words of a later doctor. Another said on inspection "this eye in this condition is in no medical shape to see at this time".

It is true it has given me trouble through various operations but I still have two eyes to see with, for which I am eternally grateful.
The damage that was done to the frontal lobe of his brain did cause him some problems late in life as he developed a seizure disorder that was being caused by old scar tissue. However, it was not debilitating and he could usually tell when a problem was coming.

There are lots of stories like his out there and I encourage you to join me in honoring those who have served us so well.

And one of those who didn't come home was Sgt. Garrett McLead, the son of some friends of mine in Rockport, TX, who lost his life in a helicopter crash in Iraq in 2007.  I'll be thinking about his family today.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Sea Was Angry That Day, My Friends...

The wind is steady at 30+ knots and the ocean off Pacific Grove is churning.

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The Government Cannot Dictate the Content of Prayers

Looks like there's at least one judge out there who has read the Constitution:
The Department of Veterans Affairs cannot bar a Houston pastor from invoking Jesus Christ in a Memorial Day prayer, a federal judge ruled in a case that is yet another illustration of anti-Christian animus in the country.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes told the department it was “forbidden from dictating the content of speeches – whether those speeches are denominated prayers or otherwise – at the Memorial Day ceremony of National Cemetery Council for Greater Houston.”

“The government cannot gag citizens when it says it is in the interest of national security, and it cannot do it in some bureaucrat’s notion of cultural homogeneity,” the judge wrote. “The right of free expression ranges from the dignity of Abraham Lincoln’s speeches to Charlie Sheen’s rants.”

In his order, the judge noted that the Rev. Scott Rainey, the lead pastor of the Living Word Church of the Nazarene, was likely to prevail on his claims should the case reach trial.

“The Constitution does not confide to the government the authority to compel emptiness in a prayer, where a prayer belongs,” he said. “The gray mandarins of the national government are decreeing how citizens honor their veterans. This is not a pick-up-your-trash sign; this is a we-pick-your-words sign.”
The notion that we have to water everything down because some idiot might get offended is...well, offensive and not Constitutional. There is no right not to be offended.

Cetacean Institute

If you recognize that title you may be a Trekkie. The Monterey Bay Aquarium doubled as the "Cetacean Institute" in Star Trek IV.
The first time we visited the Aquarium was just before Thanksgiving in 1986. Star Trek IV hit theaters that weekend and on the second floor of the Aquarium they had a display of Star Trek IV props and pictures that had been taken during the filming at the Aquarium. We went and saw the movie after we got home.

Steinbeck Country

I feel a Steinbeck novel coming on...

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More of the Bay

The view from the Monterey Plaza Hotel, which unfortunately is not where we're staying.  Stayed here once in 1993 and could watch sea otters feeding right below our room.

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Monterey Bay

It's cool and breezy in Monterey today. Beautiful, but chilly.

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Monterey

Old Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey.

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Headlines That Caught My Eye This Morning

I don't have time to expound on stories this morning, so I'll just pass along a few headlines that caught my eye:
HUGE NEW OILFIELDS DISCOVERED IN TEXAS...


Congressman challenges Obama auto-pen 'signature' of Patriot Act...

3.5 minutes of terror: Air France crash plane dropped at 10,000 feet a minute...

City fines church for 'excessive' pruning of its own tree...


Memorial Day Snow in Aspen Deeper Than New Year's Day...

Melon-sized hail fell before OK tornadoes hit...

Democrats Plan 62% Top Tax Rate?

CITY'S FIREWORKS DISPLAY NOW REQUIRES ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STUDY...

PAPER: Inflation bumps cost of Memorial Day weekend BBQ by 29%!

RECESSIONISTA: MICHELLE OUTDOES ROYAL -- WEARS $2,000 DRESS...
And don't forget the ongoing Weinergate story.  Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY), the guy who wants to be the next Mayor of New York City, apparently tweeted a lewd photo of his crotch to a 21-year old college girl.  The media is circling the wagons to try and protect the aptly named Weiner and his claims that his account was hacked, but the story doesn't add up at all.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Graduation Day

Big day today.  We left the hotel at 6:45 am to pick up my daughter and head to Sonoma State for the graduation.  It was cool and a big windy, but a beautiful morning.

We had been warned that seating would be at a premium so getting there early was a very good thing.  My daughter Emily had to pick up her cap and gown at 7:30 and sound check at 8.  The ceremony began at 9.

Here are some photos:
About 45 minutes before the ceremony this hot air balloon floated about 500 feet over the ceremony site.  We think it was a student trying to avoid parking problems.

Emily sound checking before the ceremony.

The processional.

My daughter played "America the Beautiful at the beginning of the ceremony:



The featured speaker was filmmaker Morgan Spurlock who won an Oscar for "Supersize Me". Frankly, I was expecting some lefty tripe, but he did a good job.  Nothing political, just a good speech for a graduation.

Heading up to get her diploma.

After the ceremony.

Proud mom and dad.

We got pretty lucky.  Because of the size of the graduating class there were two commencement ceremonies. The morning ceremony which we attended had beautiful weather.  We got a little spritz of drizzle for a few minutes, but otherwise no problem.

About 1:30 the rain came in and from what I hear it rained nearly the entire time the 3 pm ceremony was going on.  They even cancelled some of the ending events because both students and parents were leaving as soon as the kids got their diplomas.  It must have been miserable.

We spent the afternoon in San Francisco where the rain caught up with us.  We had planned to walk the Golden Gate Bridge but the weather and the crowds messed that up.  We'll have to try it again some other time.  We did end up walking about a mile in the rain to get back to our car, but that was certainly better than sitting in the rain for 2 1/2 hours like the afternoon ceremony crowd did.

We're heading down to Monterey tomorrow for a couple of days.  More photos to come.

Weinergate

If you're unfortunate to have the last name "Weiner" the last thing you should probably do is send photos of your crotch to a college girl 25 years your junior.  And that appears to be what Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) has done.  Robert Stacy McCain is on the case along with Andrew Breitbart at Big Government.

Although the congressmen is trying to blame a hacker for what happened, the story just isn't adding up.  Check out the links above.

First Lady Junk

Seen in a San Francisco store- The caption says " First Lady of Fabulous".

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Ferry Building

We had quite an trip into San Francisco. Holiday traffic is ridiculous.  We've made it to the Ferry Building. Note: "Ferry" not "Fairy".

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The Bridging Ceremony

If you have already read some of the earlier posts you'll know I'm in Northern California for my daughter's college graduation. When she was little she was in Girl Scouts for awhile and when the girls would graduate from one level of scouting to another they would hold a "bridging" ceremony in which the girls would walk across a symbolic bridge to represent the new stage in their life.

We didn't have a bridge nearby, so as I recall her bridging ceremonies were done at the local park where the girls would walk over one of the playground pieces as we all watched.

A couple of years ago we were flying to Northern California on a plane with a bunch of Girl Scouts who were going to hold their ceremony on a real bridge - the Golden Gate. That got me thinking.

As we approached this graduation day we decided to combine something we've always wanted to do with a similar rite of passage. Every time I've driven over the Golden Gate Bridge I've thought about stopping and walking across but we've never had time. We're going to make time today.

After the graduation ceremony (and lunch) we're going to head down to San Francisco and take the time to walk across the bridge. The weather should be nice and we'll get some pictures at mid-span as we make this our own private bridging ceremony and celebrate her passage into the next stage of her life - student teaching.

I'll have some photos later.

And For Your Musical Entertainment...

Note the Musical Selection in the program. Our favorite flutist.

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Hot Air

There will be lots of hot air at the graduation today, but these guys are putting it to good use.

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Early Bird

The early bird gets the wet metal chairs.

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Dawn of a Good Day

We're up before the sun as we get ready to head to the commencement ceremony at Sonoma State University. Our graduating daughter has also been asked to play "America the Beautiful" on her flute for the ceremony. I doubt if any of the lefties up here will recognize the tune.

The speaker will be Morgan Spurlock, the guy who won an Oscar by making himself fat and sick by overeating at McDonald's for 30 days. Hollywood just loves that kind of crap. I guess Michael Moore wasn't available.

Should be entertaining.

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Next Year

After lunch with our daughter we drove over to Sebastopol to see the high school where my daughter will student teach next year. Sebastopol is a hippie-throwback town and a "Nuclear Free Zone".  That's good since I hate it when kids bring nukes to school.

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Rohnert Park, San Francisco and Monterey

That's the schedule for the next few days as Mrs. HolyCoast and I hit the road.  The first stop will be Rohnert Park and Sonoma State University where my daughter will graduate Saturday with her Music Education degree.  She's also been asked to play "America the Beautiful" for the commencement ceremony.  Very cool.

The three of us will then celebrate this milestone with a trip into San Francisco for dinner.

Sunday the Mrs. and I head to Monterey for a couple of days in a favorite spot of ours.  The scenery there is always spectacular, and we enjoy taking the 17-mile drive and seeing the sights of the Del Monte forest and coastal areas including Pebble Beach.

Blogging will be sporadic, and to keep the comment trolls away, all comments will be moderated while we're gone.  If you're comment doesn't appear immediately, don't worry.  I'll get to it as soon as I can.

The weather looks like it will be pretty nice, though cool, and I should be able to get some great pictures that I'll post here as I go.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Doctor's Story From the Joplin Tornado

Want to know what it was like to be a physician at St. John's Regional Medical Center in the middle of an EF-5 tornado?  Read this.  Scary stuff.

For Sale: One Big Glass Church With Prayer Tower

One owner, didn't use it as well as they should have:
Crystal Cathedral Ministries will sell its gleaming glass sanctuary and tower that have been an Orange County landmark for decades as a way to emerge from bankruptcy, pay its creditors and erase its $36 million mortgage, officials said Thursday.

The church plans to sell the campus to a real estate investment group with a guaranteed 15-year-leaseback and an exclusive four-year, fixed purchase buyback option on the core church campus, which includes the iconic glass sanctuary and Tower of Hope, according to a news release posted on the church's web site.

Marc Winthrop, the attorney representing the cathedral in bankruptcy court, said the plan will ensure that the church can continue its ministry and other programs unhindered.
You just know some Muslim group has got their eye on that tower.

Political Vehicle of the Day

I've always been a sucker for a cool bus:
Sarah Palin is hitting the highway.

Heartbreak in Oklahoma

This is an incredibly sad story from the Oklahoma tornado that ravaged Piedmont on Tuesday afternoon:
An extensive two-day search for a missing three-year-old boy came to an end this morning as his father announced that the toddler had been found.

Hank Hamil fought back tears as he confirmed the worst, that his son Ryan Hamil had been found dead in a lake near the family's home.

The family was torn apart as their home in Piedmont, Oklahoma, was devastated by a tornado on Tuesday.

Mr Hamil's pregnant wife, Catherine, remains in a fair condition in hospital, while his five-year-old daughter remains critical.

His 15-month-old son Cole died yesterday in an Oklahoma City hospital.

The unborn baby is said to be doing fine.

An emotional Mr Hamil said Ryan was his 'little buddy' as he confirmed that his son had died. He had been missing since the tornado hit two days ago.

'It's a bad deal,' said the distraught father. 'I lost both my boys. I loved them both.'

Breaking down in tears he said: 'I was hoping we were going to find Ryan today alive.'

'We found my other son this morning, Ryan, he was floating in the water on the west side of the lake.

'I just want to thank everybody for helping and being there.'
Piedmont is just west of my cousin's home in Edmond. At the time the storm hit Piedmont I was pretty sure it was going to take her home as well. Thankfully, it went just north. She could hear it as she huddled in a basement storm shelter, but it missed.

There's another story of a missing kid in Joplin. Will Norton had just graduated from high school and was on his way home from the ceremony in a Hummer with his Dad when the tornado hit. Will was apparently sucked through the sunroof and out of the vehicle. The Dad survived and was cut from the vehicle. They still haven't found Will and I've been following the story on Facebook.

Tornado Video From Oklahoma...and California?

This is some chaser video shot of the tornado that nearly took out my cousin's home in Edmond, OK.  This video was shot a little bit west of where she lives.  The storm ended up passing just north of her house:



And as a bonus, some amateur chasers managed to catch a tornado that came down in Butte County, CA yesterday:

Federal Government Spends $500K to Study Shrimp on Treadmills

Among other things:
You've probably heard of shrimp on the barbie, but what about shrimp on a treadmill?

The National Science Foundation has, and it spent $500,000 of taxpayer money researching it. It's not entirely clear what this research hoped to establish.

But it's one of a number of projects cited in a scathing new report from Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican from Oklahoma, exclusively obtained by ABC News.

Coburn's full report on the NSF's projects.

It's not just shrimp on a treadmill. The foundation spent $1.5 million to create a robot that can fold laundry. But before you try to buy one to save some time, consider that it takes the robot 25 minutes to fold a single towel.

The list goes on. Lots of people love to use FarmVille on Facebook, but lots of people probably don't love the government's spending $300,000 in taxpayer money to study whether it helps build personal relationships.

"What it says to me is, they have too much money if they're going to spend money on things like that," Coburn said in an interview.

But there's more.

The National Science Foundation has its headquarters in Arlington, Va., just across the river from Washington, D.C., a building it pays $19 million a year to rent. But now that the 20-year lease is nearly up, it has decided that it is time to move; into a new building that will cost $26 million annually to rent.

Even gelatin wrestling has been the subject of an agency project. In Antarctica, no less. The foundation notes that the project is the work of contractors, not agency employees.

Whatever the case might be, Coburn said, the situation is another example that federal spending has gotten out of control.

"We have 12 different agencies doing pure research, and we're duplicating and we're not sharing the information across and it's siloed," he said.
If you give them money they will find reasons to spend it. The only real solution to all of this is to take the money away.

Bawney Fwank Admits a Confwict of Intwist

Bawney's baby and the job he got him at Fannie Mae:
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank admitted he helped his ex-lover land a lucrative post with Fannie Mae in the early 1990s while the Newton Democrat was on a committee that regulated the lending giant — but he called questions of a potential ethical conflict “nonsense.”

“If it is (a conflict of interest), then much of Washington is involved (in conflicts),” Frank told the Herald last night. “It is a common thing in Washington for members of Congress to have spouses work for the federal government. There is no rule against it at all.”
If you're looking to see who's responsible for the current economic crisis you need look no further than Bawney Fwank and Chris Dodd, both of whom did their best to protect Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from regulatory oversight as the two mortgage giants failed. They also helped to ensure that people who could not afford to buy homes were able to buy them with little or nothing down and thus precipitated the home mortgage collapse when all those people began defaulting.

"MSNBC" Must Stand For "Misogynist NBC"

The network that seems to hate powerful conservative women has suffered another black eye:
Ed Schultz suspended for behaving like Ed Schultz -- Ever since Keith Olbermann's career imploded, the remaining MSNBC angries -- er, anchors -- have struggled to fulfill his old role. This has necessarily included finding ever more forceful ways of denigrating women they don't like. But apparently there are limits, even at 30 Rock. TheDC's Jeff Poor reports: "On his Tuesday radio program, liberal talker and MSNBC host Ed Schultz took a shot at conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham for her criticism of President Barack Obama’s trip to Ireland, where he enjoyed a Guinness, while the Midwestern United States was being hit by severe weather. 'And what do the Republicans thinking (sic) about?' Schultz said. “They're not thinking about their next-door neighbor. They're just thinking about how much this is going to cost. President Obama is going to be visiting Joplin, Mo., on Sunday but you know what they’re talking about, like this right-wing slut, what’s her name? Laura Ingraham? Yeah, she's a talk slut." MSNBC suspended Schultz for the remark, which is a bit like smacking the dog on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper for doing the trick you taught it. Schultz then apologized, saying, "This is the lowest of the low for me." Whether or not this is true will be left to those who listen to Ed Schultz voluntarily. 
Ingraham responded with typical biting humor (from Morning Jolt):
"First, I was surprised to learn that Ed Schultz actually hosted a radio show. Is it only available online? Second, I have to get back to recording the audio edition of my new book 'Of Thee I Zing.' Now I'm tempted to insert one additional zing -- about men who preach civility but practice misogyny." Later she tweeted, "MSNBC suspends Schultz. Oh great, now his ratings will go up."
When does Microsoft finally demand that their name be removed from this low-life network's name? Their brand does not seem to be benefiting from the association.

SEAL Team 6 Joins the Fight and Disney Surrenders

Back on May 15th I reported the story that Disney had filed for a trademark on the name "SEAL Team 6" with stated plans to use to trademark for "toys, games, electronics, hand-held electronic games, snow globes and Christmas stockings and ornaments."

Well, the SEALS didn't appreciate Disney's effort and filed a trademark application of their own. Disney quickly surrendered:
Well, that was quick: Mickey Mouse has waved the white flag and surrendered to the real SEAL Team 6.

Disney is withdrawing its applications to trademark the name of the elite Navy squad responsible for killing Usama bin Laden, the Navy said on Wednesday.

"The Navy is committed to fully protecting our trademark rights as it pertains to this matter and will continue to examine all our legal options," Navy spokeswoman Amanda Greenberg told FoxNews.com, adding that the military continues to broaden Navy's existing portfolio.

Disney did not return numerous requests for comment.
They're probably tied up somewhere on a SEAL ship.

Political Quote of the Day

From Iowahawk:
"President Obama's toughest re-election opponent: Math."
There are some awfully big numbers that he has yet to explain.

Boot On the Throat or Gas in the Boot?

A year ago Obama's Interior Secretary promised the Administration would keep their "boot on the throat" of BP to make sure they could extort as much money out of them as possible in the Gulf Oil Spill.  Yesterday BP got a little of that money back.
He maybe the president of the most powerful nation in the world, but his car still needs filling up with petrol.

Workers at a garage in Pimlico today told of their astonishment after Barack Obama's car and the presidential entourage pulled up for refuelling.

The armoured limousine, nicknamed "The Beast", arrived with six other vehicles and police escort at a BP petrol station on Vauxhall Bridge Road during the president's state visit to London.

Onlookers said the cars took up the entire forecourt when they arrived yesterday at around 3pm.

They also told how the Cadillac - which is fitted with bullet-proof glass and has an armoured body, its own oxygen supply and even samples of the President's blood - took up a bay and a half while Mr Obama's driver filled it up with £50 worth of unleaded.
According to the story the station's attendants didn't know it was Obama's car. If they did, they probably would have spit in the tank.

TSA Headlines of the Day

From Drudge:
TSA Threatens To Cancel All Flights Out Of Texas If 'Groping Bill' Passed...

TEXAS CAVES IN...


If Texas ever decides to secede from the Union, I'm going with them.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Political Photo of the Day

President and Mrs. Frightwig (h/t Don Surber):

Trump to Go Perot?

If this happens you can count on four more years of Obama:
A source close to businessman Donald Trump has divulged to the Shark Tank that Trump is “seriously considering” running for President as an Independent because he believes the current Republican field of Presidential candidates is “weak”. The source also disclosed that Trump was overwhelmed with e-mails, letters, and phone calls from disappointed supporters who wanted him to enter the 2012 presidential field after he recently bowed out of consideration from the Republican primary field- allegedly over 300 disappointed supporters called his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach to urging him to run. If the eventual Republican nominee does not catch fire, Trump could very well jump in as an Independent and could spend $200 million in the race, according to what he told a close confidant. Recall back in 1992 how billionaire Ross Perot ran as an Independent candidate and took votes away from then President George H. W. Bush and gave us President Bill Clinton.
If Trump feels the GOP field is weak (and he'd be correct), why run as an Independent which would guarantee a loss? Run for the GOP nomination and beat all those weak Republicans.

I think Trump knows he'd have a tough time fighting the GOP insiders, but an independent run is a guaranteed loser for both him and the GOP. It will only guarantee an Obama win...and maybe that's the plan all along.

Senate Unanimously Rejects Obama's Budget Proposal

The Democrats won't put a budget forward if they think they can win by simply demagoguing the Ryan plan, so the GOP made sure the Senate had a chance to vote on Obama's budget proposal:
No senators voted for President Obama's 2012 budget when it came up for a vote in the Senate Wednesday.

A procedural vote to move forward on the president's plan failed 0-97.

Just minutes earlier, the Senate failed to advance Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget plan by a vote of 40-57, a vote on which five Republicans voted against their party.

Democrats sought to put Republicans on the defensive over the Ryan budget, which they have described as extreme. But Republicans, who demanded a vote on Obama's plan, sought to flip the script after the later vote.

"The Senate just voted unanimously against proceeding to the president’s budget. That’s right, unanimous opposition to the president’s budget that spends too much, taxes too much and borrows too much," said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) "Not a single Democrat voted for it. We’d vote on the Democrats’ budget, too…but they don’t have one."
There wasn't a single Democrat who'd stand with Obama and support his budget? What leadership.

An Angel For Sale

For about $700,000 you can buy your own angel.  Not the wings-and-harp kind, or even the baseball playing kind ($700K probably wouldn't even get you a rookie shortstop), but the flying kind that patrolled the skies of Anaheim with the radio call sign "Angel":
The helicopter has been patrolling above the streets of Anaheim for 22 years and its pilots say it's speedy and nibble – the in-the-air equivalent of a classic Porsche.

But today's police air operations require more radios and surveillance and heavier equipment that make roomier airships more practical – more like Cadillac Escalades of the air.

So the city's oldest helicopter in its fleet of four is up for sale. Actually, it's up for Internet auction.

No, not the typical item you'd see up for sale on eBay. But for the right price, the 1989 MD 500E police helicopter could be yours.

Starting bid: $150,000.

It's unclear what the copter on the block cost when the city bought it new. But city officials estimate the worth at much higher than the opening-bid price. Similar helicopters are listed online for around $700,000. Proceeds will go back into the city's general operating fund.

"You do get nostalgic; it's great to fly," said pilot Butch Melberg, an officer who has spent 17 years as an Anaheim police pilot. "It's just tapped out weight-wise."

Lt. Paul Gallagher, who oversees Anaheim's air operations at the Fullerton Airport, said of the eight Anaheim pilots, "You'll get a 50-50 argument over which type of ship is better to fly."

The Escalade-style Eurocopter AS350 came to the department in 2008, at a cost of $2.4 million. The intent was to replace the MD 500. But it took years to fully outfit the new helicopter.

The department maintains three helicopters so it can always have one ready to fly; they require a lot of routine maintenance.
That could really cut down on your traffic problems, and it will fit in three or four regular parking spaces - not unlike a regular Escalade.

Gov. Walker Signs Voter ID Bill, Wisconsin Union Thugs and Illegal Aliens Hardest Hit

You're going to have to prove who you are to vote in Wisconsin:
After an eight-year quest by GOP officials, Gov. Scott Walker will sign a bill Wednesday requiring voters to show photo ID at the polls.

But the measure costing more than $7 million in new spending and lost revenue could still face a legal challenge as opponents mulled over the possibility of suing to block it from taking effect.

The legislation will require poll workers to start asking voters for photo IDs for the July 12 state Senate recalls elections, but the voters will not be required to present them until next year's presidential primary

"Requiring photo identification to vote will go a long way to eliminate the threat of voter fraud," Walker said last week. "If you need an ID to buy cold medicine, it's reasonable to require it to vote."

The signing will make Wisconsin the 11th state to have approved requiring some form of photo ID at the polls. Democrats have decried the measure, saying it would do little to prevent voter fraud while disenfranchising thousands of minority, elderly and rural voters.
That's such utter and complete B.S. Everyone in this country legitimately has identification. It's required for all sorts of daily activities, whether it be driving, cashing a check or in some cases using a credit card, flying...lots of things. The only people who will be disenfranchised are those who were trying to commit fraud.

Israel's False Friend

Mona Charen takes Obama to the woodshed on his faux support of Israel in a National Review piece.  Read it all here.

The "Chicago Way" Is Not Concerned With the Rule of Law

Michael Barone takes a critical look at how the Obama administration is using the law to punish political enemies and reward friends:
One basic principle of the rule of law is that laws apply to everybody. If the sign says "No Parking," you're not supposed to park there even if you're a pal of the alderman.

Another principle of the rule of law is that government can't make up new rules to help its cronies and hurt its adversaries except through due process, such as getting a legislature to pass a new law.

The Obamacare waiver process appears to violate that first rule. Two other recent Obama administration actions appear to violate the second.

One example is the National Labor Relations Board general counsel's action to prevent Boeing from building a $2 billion assembly plant for the 787 Dreamliner in South Carolina, which has a right-to-work law barring compulsory union membership. The NLRB says Boeing has to assemble the planes in non-right-to-work Washington state.

"I don't agree," says William Gould IV, NLRB chairman during the Clinton years. "The Boeing case is unprecedented."

The other example is the Internal Revenue Service's attempt to levy a gift tax on donors to certain 501(c)(4) organizations that just happen to have spent money to elect Republicans.

A gift tax is normally assessed on transfers to children and other heirs that are designed to avoid estate taxes. It has been applied to political donations "rarely, if ever," according to New York Times reporter Stephanie Strom.

"The timing of the agency's moves, as the 2012 election cycle gets under way," continues Strom, "is prompting some tax law and campaign finance experts to question whether the IRS could be sending a signal in an effort to curtail big donations."

In a Univision radio interview during the 2010 election cycle, Barack Obama urged Latinos not "to sit out the election instead of saying, 'We're going to punish our enemies and we're going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.' "

Punishing enemies and rewarding friends -- politics Chicago style -- seems to be the unifying principle that helps explain the Obamacare waivers, the NLRB action against Boeing and the IRS' gift-tax assault on 501(c)(4) donors.

They look like examples of crony capitalism, bailout favoritism and gangster government.

One thing they don't look like is the rule of law.
Read the rest of it. Barone starts the piece talking about Obamacare waivers and how union workers make up only 12% of the workforce but 50% of the Obamacare waivers. It's going to be difficult to undo the damage this administration is doing.

Got a Conservative Group on Facebook? Not for Long

Oh, you'll still have your group, but you'll lose all your members:
 Facebook still ugly, annoying; now also fascist -- If you've got a Facebook group and you're not a liberal, get ready to start all over. TheDC's Neil Munro reports: "Facebook’s managers are deploying a new software upgrade that will dismantle myriad groups of like-minded political activists unless they get a special software-key from the company. But Facebook managers are providing very limited information about which groups are being favored with the new key, prompting some activists to complain about possible political favoritism among Facebook managers, and many other activists to experiment with techniques and tricks to get the needed upgrade-key... The new software-upgrade will automatically archive all groups. Once archived, each group’s past activity will be still be visible on Facebook, but the groups’ administrators will lose access to their lists of group members. That means the administrators lose contact with everyone in their groups, and will be forced to recruit all those members again – unless Facebook provides them with the special upgrade software." Well, it should be easy enough to keep Facebook from trashing your groups. Just don't express political opinions that differ from those of Facebook's administrators. 
I know of one conservative group with 60,000 members that is not being given the opportunity to upgrade. They'll have to rebuild that group from scratch. Meanwhile, some relatively small but less politically incorrect groups are being allowed to upgrade.

I've got a little experience with that myself. I created a group a couple of years ago for Southern Gospel Music Artists that has 466 members. I was given the upgrade for that one. I belong to another small group of 67 members that's made up of people who all used to attend the same church. That group was also upgraded.

However, I started a group several years ago that was intentionally politically incorrect: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored Lights, a satirical group to promote my fondness for colored Christmas lights that currently has 595 members. It was also a chance for me to poke fun at the NAACP and their race-centric activism.  Facebook has not offered me an upgrade for that one and I think I know why.

We'll see if they change their mind.

Beam Him Up, Scotty. We Have an American Idol Winner

Drudge says the American Idol race is over.  He's calling it:
UN-COOL, UN-HIP, COUNTRY-FRIED SINGER WINS 'AMERICAN IDOL'...

SOURCE: SCOTTY TOOK NEARLY DOUBLE AMOUNT OF VOTES OVER RUNNER UP... DEVELOPING...
I guess no one will need to watch the finale tonight. I'm proud to say I've never watched a single episode of American Idol since it started, a record I plan to maintain.

UPDATE:  Told ya.

Yesterday's Tornado Outbreak Was Bad But Could Have Been A Lot Worse

Another deadly day in the Midwest:
Violent storms with winds of more than 150 mph slammed into a chunk of the central U.S. overnight, killing at least 13 people in three states, flattening homes, crushing cars and ripping apart a rural Arkansas fire station.

The high-powered storms arrived Tuesday night and early Wednesday, just days after a massive tornado tore up the southwest Missouri city of Joplin and killed 122 people.

The latest storms killed at least eight people in Oklahoma and two in Kansas before trekking east into Arkansas to claim three more lives.
I watched the first few hours of this develop and for awhile it looked like the Oklahoma City Metro area was going to get slammed. A very large long-track tornado skirted the Northwest suburbs and just missed my cousin's home in Edmond. She rode it out in a neighbor's underground storm shelter and could hear the roar and feel the rumble of the huge tornado as it passed very near by.

Other storms fired up further south and one tornado appeared to be following the same route as the May 3rd, 1999 tornado that devastated Moore, OK and several other communities like Bridge Creek. That storm did significant damage in Goldsby, OK but lifted before it hit the most densely populated areas of Southern Oklahoma City. Through there was damage and death, we didn't see a tornado go through a major population center like we did in Joplin or Tuscaloosa.

In an average year the U.S. experiences 24 tornadoes that result in fatalities.  This year there have been 53.  An average year sees 6 EF5 tornadoes.  So far in 2011 we've seen 4, including the Joplin storm that was raised to EF5 after further analysis yesterday.


Today could be another bad day further east with tornadoes already reported on the ground at this early hour.

DOJ Green-Lights Prosecution of John Edwards

He'll be very popular in prison:
The United States Department of Justice has green-lighted the prosecution of former presidential candidate John Edwards for alleged violations of campaign laws while he tried to cover up an extra-marital affair, ABC News has learned.

A source close to the case said Edwards is aware that the government intends to seek an indictment and that the former senator from North Carolina is now considering his limited options. He could accept a plea bargain with prosecutors or face a potentially costly trial.

Edwards has been the focus of a lengthy federal investigation focusing on hundreds of thousands of dollars allegedly provided by two wealthy supporters. The government will contend those were illegal donations that ultimately went to support and seclude his mistress, Rielle Hunter.

Hunter was a campaign videographer with whom Edwards had a lengthy affair that resulted in a daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, now three years old.

If the case were to proceed to trial, legal experts said, the government would have to prove that the intent of the donations was to cover-up the affair so that Edwards could continue his pursuit of the 2008 Democratic nomination for president.
That's what he gets for challenging Obama in 2008 - no mercy.

Coming to the Big Screen - Sarah Palin

This could end up being the rollout to a 2012 presidential campaign:
[T]the former Alaska governor pulled aside her close aide, Rebecca Mansour, to discuss a hush-hush assignment: Reach out to conservative filmmaker Stephen K. Bannon with a request. Ask him if he would make a series of videos extolling Palin's governorship and laying to rest lingering questions about her controversial decision to resign from office with a year-and-a-half left in her first term. It was this abdication, Palin knew, that had made her damaged goods in the eyes of some Republicans who once were eager to get behind her potential 2012 presidential campaign.
The response was more positive than Palin could have hoped for. He'd make a feature-length movie, Bannon told Mansour, and he insisted upon taking complete control and financing it himself -- to the tune of $1 million.

The fruits of that initial conversation are now complete. The result is a two-hour-long, sweeping epic, a rough cut of which Bannon screened privately for Sarah and Todd Palin last Wednesday in Arizona, where Alaska's most famous couple has been rumored to have purchased a new home. When it premieres in Iowa next month, the film is poised to serve as a galvanizing prelude to Palin's prospective presidential campaign -- an unconventional reintroduction to the nation that she and her political team have spent months eagerly anticipating, even as Beltway Republicans have largely concluded that she won't run.

Bannon, a former naval officer and ex-Goldman Sachs banker, sees his documentary as the first step in Palin's effort to rebuild her image in the eyes of voters who may have soured on her, yet might reconsider if old caricatures begin to fade. The film will also appeal to staunch Palin supporters who have long celebrated her biting rhetoric and conservative populism yet know little about her record in Alaska and have perhaps written her off as presidential material.
Well, this ought to be interesting.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Political Photo of the Day

From the Guestbook at Westminster Abbey:
In case you have a hard time reading that, here's what it says:
It is a great privilege to commemorate our common heritage, and common sacrifice.


Barack Obama


24 May 2008
He signed it today. In 2011.

Can you imagine how the press would have handled this if George W. Bush had done this? Obama has made a host of silly errors (57 states?) and yet we're constantly told he's the smartest guy on the planet.

Big Tornado Outbreak in Oklahoma

Tornadoes are breaking out all along a line west of Oklahoma City almost from Texas to Kansas.  A large destructive tornado has already hit areas NW of Oklahoma City, and another large tornado is tracking along almost the same route taken by the terribly May 3rd, 1999 storm.  There are already reports of injuries, damage and missing people.  This is going to be bad.

The Weather Channel is pretty much full-time on these storms right now, and KFOR in OKC is also streaming their broadcast live : http://www.kfor.com/news/livestreaming/

UPDATE:  There's some amazing video coming out of Oklahoma.  A tornado made a direct hit on the town of Goldsby and the KFOR helicopter spotted a group of people climbing out of a storm shelter.  The home had been completely swept from the foundation - nothing left.  Vehicles had been thrown.  Fortunately, nobody at that sight was badly hurt, though fatalities have been reported in other parts of Oklahoma.

My cousin lives in Edmond and sent me this:

"It was way too close! I could hear it coming. I've never heard anything like it. We watched it go behind our house just west and north. it looked about 1/2 mile wide. I am hearing the constant sound of sirens from emergency response vehicles."

Stunning Damage Photos from Joplin

As another potentially historic tornado outbreak begins to take shape this afternoon in the Midwest, The Atlantic has a collection of stunning damage photos from Joplin, MO, which was devastated by a strong EF4 tornado on Sunday.

I can't help but wonder if we'll see other towns that look like that after this day is done.

Weekly KHND Interview Podcast

They've changed the way the podcasts are done at KHND, so instead of a player I'll post a link to today's show here.

Obama's New Truth Ministry

The notoriously thin-skinned White House has now tasked an employee to act as a Truth Squad to respond to things they see as threatening. From Daily Caller:
White House just goes ahead and creates Ministry of Truth -- What does an emperor do about the pesky peasants who keep pointing out his nudity? Something like this, according to Sam Stein at HuffPo: "The Obama administration has created and staffed a new position tucked inside their communications shop for helping coordinate rapid response to unfavorable stories and fostering and improving relations with the progressive online community. 'This week, Jesse Lee will move from the new media department into a role in the communications department as Director of Progressive Media & Online Response,' read an internal memo from Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer." Because it's not enough to have 99% of the media covering for you. Gotta slap down that 1%. To inaugurate his official White HouseTwitter account, Lee posted a picture of a Terminator skullfor some reason. Is Lee supposed to be the Terminator now? Does he realize the robot was the bad guy? Does he remember what happened to its head at the end of the first movie? Or maybe Lee is hinting that he has an illegitimate kid. It's possible he hasn't really thought the whole thing through. His boss obviously hasn't. By the way, can you imagine the reaction if Bush had done this? 
I get the feeling that this isn't so much to respond to conservative criticism which they can't really control, but to respond to criticism from their base and allies who they think they CAN control.

Political Cartoon of the Day

Seen on Facebook:

Perhaps This is Why Netanyahu Won't Go Back to Israel's '67 Borders

Because he missed his high school graduation while fighting in the 1967 Six Day War:
Ah, graduation day at Cheltenham High School, 1967, a beautiful June afternoon in Wyncote, Pennsylania. Senior boys adjust their gowns and tassels. Senior girls look down at their hems, each hem exactly eight inches from the ground. Mrs. Downey and Mrs. Engle were on hand to help measure and pin the hems for graduates sitting in the front row.
“And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star”
After the invocation the Senior Vocal Ensemble sings “The Impossible Dream,” with all its pomp and mustard. And Mr. MacFarland hands out the diplomas:
“… Penny Neckowitz.
Alan Joel Nelson.
Benjamin Netanyahu.”
Where was that Benjamin, anyway?
“Barbara Jo Netter.
Richard Neuman…”
One senior girl, Zelda Rae Stern, clubs editor of the yearbook, knew where Ben Netanyahu was: He was in Israel. It was June 7, 1967, day three of the Six Day War. While Cheltenham seniors, back in May, were studying for finals, Egypt moved tanks into the Sinai, and the Netanyahus, she learned later, returned to Israel, and to uniform.
Bibi knows what Israel had to do in 1967 just to stay alive, and why those borders today are indefensible.  He also fought in the 1973 Yom Kippur War.  He understands what Israel is facing today.

Obama does not.

Jerry Brown: Supreme Court Ruling on Prisons Means We Need More Taxes

Imagine my surprise:
A week after increased revenue estimates looked to frustrate Gov. Jerry Brown's case for higher taxes, a Supreme Court ruling requiring California to reduce its prison population may help.

Brown said in a prepared statement that shifting certain offenders from state prisons to county facilities, as Brown proposes in his budget, is "key" to implementing the court's order today that California reduce its prison population by more than 30,000 inmates.

"We must now secure full and constitutionally guaranteed funding to put into effect all the realignment provisions," he said, a reference to his bid for a ballot measure extending higher taxes.
He must be getting some serious heat from the prison guard's union who fear that releasing prisoners will cost some of their members their jobs. I'm sure Brown's concern has nothing to do with public safety. As a general rule Democrats don't care much for keeping people in jail except for the benefits it provides the unions.