Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mondays, they're like that.

Michelle Obama: Birther!!

Listen from 40 to 50 seconds.

What should we make of this?

Some people live their lives at a different level.

My ambitions today were a bit less than "go to the Alps, ski and start an avalanche, dive off a cliff and parachute to safety.

Via Feral Irishman


This one's for James:

The DNC is furiously lowering expectations for Obama's upcoming debate performance.

 Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse tells Fox News he thinks Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will win.
Woodhouse says the way the DNC sees it, challengers win the first debate when they are up against incumbents.
“Mitt Romney has had a lot more time to debate, the president has not debated in the past four years in terms, of a campaign debate. I think the president will hold his own, but he’s not known for sound bites. And these are 60 second, 90 second responses.”
Woodhouse says Democrats are “trying to be realistic about expectations” because the president is “lucky to be able to devote three consecutive hours to debate preparation.”
Woodhouse also paints Romney as a good debater and gives him credit for “dispatching Newt Gingrich” who Woodhouse considers a pretty good debater.


Winston Churchill had the Middle East figured out long ago, and we would be best advised to listen to his insight.

  " The Middle East is one of the hardest hearted areas in the world. It has always been fought over, and peace has only reigned when a major power has established firm influence and shown that it will maintain it's will.  Your friends must be supported with every vigor, and if necessary they must be avenged.  Force, or perhaps force and bribery, are the only things that will be respected. It is very sad, but we had all better recognize it.  At present our friendship is not valued,  and our enmity is not feared."

Notice how everything that the Obama administration is doing is contrary to this wisdom, with the inevitable result. Hopefully the next administration will return our policy on this part of the world to a practical logic such as that espoused by Mr. Churchill.

"Make do" backpack, circa 1945.


Outmigration from California is averaging about 225,000 people a year.

So much for the land of opportunity.  Now the entire state is nothing but a life support system for the public unions.

"Due to high taxes, burdensome regulations, lack of public sector reforms, and a lackluster job climate, more people have left California than come to the state since 2005, according to a comprehensive study by the Manhattan Institute released on Tuesday, suggesting California is no longer “perceived by most Americans as the land where dreams come true.” 

The longer a state is run by Democrats, the faster this happens.  How California, with the stranglehold the public unions have over the state, escapes the fate of Detroit is hard to see.
Some interesting educational statistics:

In Chili, about 60% of school age children attend private schools.  In 2010, the percentage was less, but even then, the competition raised the performance of both private and public systems.

Here’s another study showing the benefits of comprehensive school choice in a foreign country. Interestingly, the author of the report about the Chilean system clearly is not a fan of competition, yet even his data shows higher scores for private schools and rising overall scores, even in the government schools – which is exactly what one would expect since competition encourages every type of school to do a better job:
Chile’s education system was decentralized in 1980, and a voucher-type subsidy was introduced to encourage private providers to enter the market. …Following the reform…, the subsidized private sector rapidly expanded…with 56 percent of enrollments in the municipal sector and 34 percent in subsidized private schools. The fee-paying private sector has expanded…to account for 10 percent of total enrollment. …test results have tended to improve over time, especially at 4th grade, but there are significant differences…fee-paying private schools on average score 19 more points than municipal schools in the SIMCE test, whereas subsidized private schools score 4.5 more.

The Mayor of Stockholm gave some brief remarks at the closing dinner of the Mont Pelerin Society meeting and mentioned that the number of students in private schools had skyrocketed after the implementation of Sweden’s school choice program. Intrigued, I emailed the folks at one of the nation’s research organizationsto ask for some details.
The figures are impressive. The number of students attending private high schools has jumped from 1.7 percent in 1992 to 19.5 percent in 2008. Not surprisingly, the quality of education is high. Indeed, researchers have looked at the data and concluded that, “Our findings support the hypothesis that school results in public schools improve due to competition.”

The evidence seems to show clearly that competition drives improvement in student scores in both private and public educational systems.  Why not implement such a program here, to the benefit of all?
No doubt the unions would fight this tooth and nail, using their control of the Democrats to stop any such plan.  Remember, it's for the children.

Meanwhile, in Oakland, California, the descent into madness continues.  The school board there has decided that if one racial group is being disciplined more than others, it must be racism, and therefore discipline must only be dished out proportionally consistent with the percentage of that race in the district.

The Oakland school board on Thursday night unanimously approved an agreement with the Office for Civil Rights to reduce the number of out-of-school suspensions of its African-American students. …
Chris Chatmon, director of the district’s African American Male Achievement initiative … said that while African-American students made up 32 percent of [Oakland Unified School District]'s enrollment during the last school year, they received 63 percent of all suspensions.

I guess that after the racial discipline quota is reached for African Americans, probably in May or June, then they are scot free for the rest of the year.  And the people who decided on this plan are adults?
If you have your kids in an Oakland school, and they aren't African American, would you leave them in knowing that sometime in the spring the district would cease any effort to make this demographic behave in class?  Private schools would be mandatory for my kids were they in that environment.
Insanity defined.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

I'm there.

Valentine for the Taliban on the way


Looks like a whale disgorging a fish

Some amazing skills here.

Via Lloyd Kahn
Born tough

Freckles, they are good.

A bit of R. Crumb for a Saturday

Via My Delineated Life.
People were made of stern stuff not so long ago.

August 1936: An Oklahoma farm family on the highway between Blythe and Indio.  Forced by the drought of 1936 to abandon their farm, they set out with their children to drive to California.  Picking cotton in Arizona for a day or two at a time gave them enough for food and gas to continue.  On this day they were within a day's travel of their destination, Bakersfield.  Their car had broken down en route and was abandoned.  They wait patiently for a ride.

Photo by Dorothea Lange

Climber chicks are cool.

Pat Caddell, lifelong Democrat and Jimmy Carter's pollster, has now publically called out the MSM, stating that by their bias, they have now become an enemy of the American people!

“First of all, we’ve had 9 days of lies…If a president of either party…had had a terrorist incident and gotten on an airplane [after remarks] and flown off to a fundraiser in Las Vegas, they would have been crucified…it should have been, should have been, the equivalent, for Barack Obama, of George Bush’s “flying over Katrina” moment. But nothing was said at all. Nothing will be said. [...] It is [unacceptable] to specifically decide that you will not tell the American people information they have a right to know. [The MSM] has made themselves the enemy of the American people. It is a threat to the very future of the country; we’ve crossed a new and frightening line on the slippery slope, and it needs to be talked about.”

An amazing call out, in clear and challenging language, of the rotten, corrupt media.

Proof that water once ran freely over the surface of Mars, from the Curiosity rover.

NASA's Curiosity rover mission has found evidence a stream once ran vigorously across the area on Mars where the rover is driving. There is earlier evidence for the presence of water on Mars, but this evidence -- images of rocks containing ancient streambed gravels -- is the first of its kind. 

Scientists are studying the images of stones cemented into a layer of conglomerate rock. The sizes and shapes of stones offer clues to the speed and distance of a long-ago stream's flow. 

"From the size of gravels it carried, we can interpret the water was moving about 3 feet per second, with a depth somewhere between ankle and hip deep," said Curiosity science co-investigator William Dietrich of the University of California, Berkeley. "Plenty of papers have been written about channels on Mars with many different hypotheses about the flows in them. This is the first time we're actually seeing water-transported gravel on Mars. This is a transition from speculation about the size of streambed material to direct observation of it."   

The finding site lies between the north rim of Gale Crater and the base of Mount Sharp, a mountain inside the crater. Earlier imaging of the region from Mars orbit allows for additional interpretation of the gravel-bearing conglomerate. The imagery shows an alluvial fan of material washed down from the rim, streaked by many apparent channels, sitting uphill of the new finds. 

The rounded shape of some stones in the conglomerate indicates long-distance transport from above the rim, where a channel named Peace Vallis feeds into the alluvial fan. The abundance of channels in the fan between the rim and conglomerate suggests flows continued or repeated over a long time, not just once or for a few years.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Swiss take their ammo seriously.

Via Free North Carolina
Scientists have determined that a 1000 year old carving of a Buddha, taken by the Nazis from Tibet, is the first and only known carving of a human from a meteorite.

Any story that mixes Nazis, Tibet, meteorites and the Buddha has to be interesting.
A man goes to a Chevy dealership, buys a new car and cuts a great deal.

A deal so good, in fact, that when the managers see it, they demand that he come back in and sign a new deal for much more money.

When he refuses, the Chevy boys call the police, tell them their customer stole the car, and get him arrested, causing him to spend four hours in jail.

Talk about revenge!  Now, realizing that they misrepresented the situation to the police, and have a public relations nightmare on their hands, they are trying to backpedel and say they are sorry.

I'm sure the customer will be happy after he gets a multi million dollar settlement out of them.  Ijits.
Climber chicks are cool

Thursday, September 27, 2012

From Michael Yon, a letter from a soldier in Afghanistan to his dad, publicizing the change in rules for our troops in theater.  Yon says it's real, and he has some credibility.  If it is, this is something that needs to be brought to everyone's attention.

Can you imagine your son or brother or father being asked to put their lives on the line under these conditions?

I am fed up. I cannot believe the lack of attention the recent changes in this war is receiving by the media or the country. I think I saw one thing on CNN about the following subject, but I had to dig extensively to find it. The purpose of this letter is to let you know of the garbage that our soldiers are going through right now. With this knowledge, I hope that you take action by writing your congressmen.
First, because of the recent green on blue incidents or "insider threats" as the new buzz phrase dictates, all coalition forces in Afghanistan have completely stopped partnering with the ANA, AUP, and ALP in order to prevent the death of anymore CF casualties by ANSF or Taliban disguised as them. This is also greatly spurred by President Karzi's indifferent attitude and lack of action to take measures to prevent further insider attacks.
Second, because of this massive change in policy (and complete change in mission) all U.S. forces are forbidden to actively patrol their AO and are to remain on their respective COPs/FOBs. There are only a few exceptions to this rule and they all pertain to "hardening" highway 1 in our AO. We have received orders that clearly state that all CF will no longer be allowed to drop air to ground munitions within the country of Afghanistan. This preempts Karzi's announcement that will be made shortly that states the above mentioned order, making it a tactical directive that he is ordering.
To the first point: Our mission in Afghanistan is to partner with the ANSF on all levels. Now the policy makers are telling us that we are not allowed to do that and further more we are to take immediate measures to secure ourselves from the ANSF that are co-located with us. So the question now becomes, what is our mission? Furthermore, the implication is that we have absolutely no reason to still be in this country if we are not partnering with the ANSF. So why are we here?
To the second point: I don't think that the American citizens would be happy if they knew that their soldiers were being prohibited from defending themselves in any way because of politically driven orders, but that is precisely what is happening in this war right now even as I write this letter. The soldiers of the U.S. never engage the enemy unless we know that we have will always have the tactical advantage in defending ourselves, that advantage is the use of close air support and air weapons team. To take those weapons away from us is to level the playing field for the enemy and thus exposing our soldiers to more danger. In the school house they teach us that the minimum ratio that we are to engage the enemy with, is a 3:1 ratio. In other words, we have the highest probability of winning because we don’t fight fair. The sound tactical principles behind this teaching have saved lives. The very presence of aircraft over our foot patrols has also saved lives and now our chain of command is being told by our political leadership that this is now not allowed.  If we are not partnering with the ANSF and we are not actively patrolling to prevent our enemies from massing their attacks on our COP and we can’t drop a bomb on the enemy that we have positively identified, than what the hell are we doing here?
Give us a mission or send us home. I honestly have no preference on what the politicians decide, as long as they just make a decision. Of course this will be a terrible inconvenience on the current elections so I am sure we will be forgotten, which really does not seem to be too different for how things have been going for the last eleven years.

Do not buy into what the some media outlets have already said about this. Casually saying that this is a frequent occurrence is false, and is an attempt to downplay the major ramifications for these decisions. We have never been so restricted in defending ourselves as we have now. This is not just a stand down. The other implication of this decision is that we will perhaps never regain our relationship with the ANA after we have executed these measures to protect ourselves from them.  Essentially, we have left them to die as we watch from our high-tech cameras and UAVs. They will not forget this and I fear the relationship will never be the same.
I love you very much Dad and I don’t want you to worry about me any more than you already are, but I also know that this has to be brought up, someone has to say something about this. It is wrong to keep this hidden away while American soldiers are under constant threat of death and dying.  I don’t care if you send this letter directly, this needs to be known.
Your son,

Obamacin, it's those side effects that will get you.

Via American Digest

Of course, some Americans do appreciate the benefits of Obama, literally.

Via Jim Treacher

As an aside, what does this chick have in her mouth?  I kept expecting her to spew it out during her rant, but apparently she is skilled enough at what she does to avoid losing her mouth full of government cheese.
The vibe is different with Bibi and Romney, is it not?

Climber chicks are cool.

This one's for James....


Via Bayou Renaissance Man

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

60's autumn

An unbelievable video from Afghanistan.  A US soldier draws fire away from his pinned down company, and in the process takes four rounds, but his body armor prevents serious injury.

No rounds penetrated his body armor, and he made it home with no permanent injuries. This happened in Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
From the cameraman:

” I got a hit a total of 4 times. My helmet cam died and i made it down the mountain on my own. I was also hit in the side of my helmet and my eye pro was shot off of my face. We were doing overwatch on the village to recon and gather intel. I was point heading down the face of the hill with the LT. when we got hit. the rest of the squad was pinned down by machine gun fire. I didn’t start the video until a few mins into the firefight for obvious reasons. I came out into the open to draw fire so my squad could get to safety.”
“A round struck the tube by my hand of the 203 grenade launcher which knocked it out of my hands. When I picked the rifle back up it was still functional but the grenade launcher tube had a nice sized 7.62 cal bullet hole in it and was rendered useless. 

Ex-pat Iranians run into Ahmadinejad's spokesman in New York City, and give him the greeting he richly deserves.

Good work Iranian Americans!

Some food for thought, courtesy of George Washington.  When he says "faction," he means political party.

"The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty." -- Avalon Project - Washington's Farewell Address 1796

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Climber chicks are cool.

This is cheap but funny.  But not in Norway.
Hillary Clinton makes me love her more than I already do!!

At the Clinton Global Initiative 2012, she said:

"One of the issues that I have been preaching about around the world is collecting taxes in an equitable manner — especially from the elites in every country," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in her speech at the Clinton Global Initiative Monday.


Monday, September 24, 2012

An agglomeration of random images that nevertheless set a tone, as it were.


Fern Canyon, far northern California
The wife and I have trod this gully, but not the kids.  I realize we need to take them.

Blue and cool, Glacier Bay, Alaska

Sheep switchback, Blatten, Switzerland

The main stream media report an Obama sighting.

A summary of Obama's 60 Minutes interview disaster.

The debates should be fun given how out of control this guy is without a teleprompter and without a way for the press to defend him, or edit away his gaffes.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mondays, they're like that.

Bouldering chicks are cool.

These graphs are from a website called Unskewed Polls.  I haven't dug into the methodology because I haven't had the time, but they seem far more accurate judging purely by the anecdotal evidence out in the real world. 

I'm calling landslide in November.

Well, about a week after one 10 oz gold bar was found filled with tungsten ( 1$ an oz.), another ten have shown up. 

There is never one cockroach.

Now, the job will be to find out how many more are out there, and who is doing the counterfeiting.
That creepy Obama flag has now mysteriously been pulled from the administration's website.  Perhaps it was a step too far in building the cult of personality, it was too close to actual desecration of the flag, or it showed too much resemblance to the bloody hand streaks from the Benghazi consulate.

It was a bad idea from the start.
Just shows that you should never give up, no matter how bleak things might look.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Jane thought that she and Rajah had become close enough that practical jokes would be appreciated.

Jane was delicious.

Bears, more human than we think.

I am so glad this insanity is beginning to come to more people's attention before the election.

Obama and his EPA are about to shut down 36,000 megawatts of electricity production over the next three years.

Someone who works in the industry has pithily commented:

"Look, folks, I am in this field. I have been for more than 30 years. Losing 36,000 MWs of the most cost-efficient generation capacity in the US is a disaster. You have no idea how bad the increases are going to be. They will be disastrous to the individual energy consumers and apocalyptic to large users – those who create jobs.
I shudder to think of what this is going to do to grid reliability as well. A lot of those coal plants help support the grid during disruptions. They regularly provide both energy and MVARs (Mega Volt-Ampere Reactive) that keep the grid from collapsing when large loads are added or lost. (That’s about as simple as I can make it and still be understood.) Losing these stabilizers will make it very hard to hold the grid. I pity the load dispatchers.
Trust me, people, this is a very big, very bad thing that is happening as a direct result of Barack Obama’s war on coal."
Another brilliant decision by our post partisan president.

"Senate Republicans are furious the Obama administration rebuffed their attempts to learn details of the Benghazi attack, only to give the coveted information to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal."

These idiots wonder why nobody believes them, they wonder why Republicans don't trust them, and they wonder why they get no cooperation from across the aisle. 

Clueless, and prone to immature insults like this that only dig them deeper into the hole.  Good thing most of them will be gone in November
This article raises the question, " How is this election even close?"

It references a recent poll that had Obama up nationally by one.

The answer is surprisingly simple.   A commenter put it perfectly when he said this:

D+9 poll when obama won in 2008 with an historically high D+7 electorate. The job of this poll is to dishearten Romney supporters. 

But I love it! It's a great poll. We'll just shift it down to D+3 (average of last 30 years IIRC from Jay Cost?) and we'll shift it 3 points to go from Registered to Likely voters.... and I'll call it 51-42 Romney.

In other words, the pollsters are just purposely exaggerating the Democratic vote, for what purpose, I don't know.

I call a landslide in November.

Jim Messina, Obama's campaign manager.

Hey Jim, how does a guy with an Italian name end up with red hair?

And how many neighborhood boys do you have buried in the crawl space of your home?

This is a great idea!

Western newspapers should print a Mohammed cartoon every day forever, or until the Muslim world stops rioting.

Seeing how many people manage to get themselves killed over there during their own rioting, or even breathing the fumes from a burned but still apparently vengeful old glory, we might get them to cut down the numbers of violent rioters all on their own.

I say, publish them!

Investor's Business Daily has put up a pretty good article on the creepy cult of personality created by President Obama.

First, that tells you a lot about the people who both create this kind of image, and about those who follow him.

Second, imagine something like this coming from George Bush.  Can't.

From the article:

In totalitarian countries, leaders can force their greatness on unwilling subjects because they own the press, they own the entertainment industry and they own all the schools.
But here in the U.S., we don't worship our presidents. We hire them to do a job for us. And we only pledge allegiance to the flag — the one with 50 stars and 13 stripes.

The article makes it sound like some kind of soul bonding boy-marmot thing.

In reality, he did it by feeding them a bag of peanuts all summer.  By the fall, they are his peanut-pals.

Hey, it's far more believable!

Friday, September 21, 2012

I dunno what's going on here, but she looks like she's having a lot of fun!