Monday, December 31, 2012

Predictions for 2013

Well, we survived 2012, but it really has not been a good year.  The economy remains sluggish, we have a never ending war in Afghanistan that we do not have the resolve to win (meaning turning the whole God forsaken place into a sheet of glass).  Iran is getting close to having a nuclear weapon,  Former allies Egypt and Tunisia have elected anti-western Islamist regimes, who quickly consolidated power and pushed through new constitutions instituting the draconian Sharia Law.  Welcome back to the 7th century Egypt and Tunisia.  It was nice knowing you.  Israel is under even more pressure from the west, including the Obama administration to make concessions to the likes of Hamas and Hezbollah, both who are dedicated to the destruction of Israel, and the extermination of Jews from the planet.

China is causing trouble for its neighbors, declaring the entire South China Sea as it's own private lake, and stirring up trouble with Japan over a couple uninhabited islands that just happen to have a lot of oil in their vicinity.  Russia has sunk deeper into creeping dictatorship, as Putin seems determined to resurrect the Soviet Union.  North Korea has launched a 3 stage rocket that  is capable of reaching the west coast of the USA, and is working hard on their nuclear program.  President Obama has all but abandoned our NATO allies in eastern Europe, and Poland and the Czech Republic are wondering if we can be relied on for any promise made by a previous administration next time the presidency changes. 

Africa remains dirt poor, starving, and mostly under the thumb of oppressive dictators, who care nothing for their people or developing their economies; and Latin America is sinking back into dictatorships, mostly leftist, fascist or communist in nature.

And finally, the American voters decided that President Obama and the Democrats were just ducky, and voted for free stuff instead of liberty and self reliance.  So where do we go from here?  I'd love to be optimistic, but I really don't have rose colored glasses pink enough to make me feel good about the upcoming year.  So, here we go.

  • ObamaCare taxes will kick in on January 1, and despite whatever President Obama says, we are all going to pay higher taxes.  Get used to it, ObamaCare is here to stay, at least until we run out of other peoples' money.
  • The economy will tank in 2013, and the US will sink into another serious recession, as companies reduce jobs in order to maintain the bottom line.  Many companies will outsource work in order to avoid the ObamaCare mandates put on them, and even more jobs will go off shore to places that have highly educated and less expensive employees.  Some will go to China, but some of the best engineering and IT jobs will end up in places like India, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea.
  • Gitmo will remain open, 4 years after Obama issued an EO to close it.  
  • Israel will attack Iran before March, as Iran gets closer to developing a nuke.  The Obama Administration will condemn the action, even though they will give it tacit approval privately.  Egypt will tear up the Camp David Accords in retaliation, and Israel will invade Sinai late in the year after rocket attacks come and arms infiltration proliferate from Egypt via their Hamas allies.  The threat of a regional war looms, and the gulf states and the Saudis become increasingly nervous about both Iran, and the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt.
  • Al-Qaeda will execute a major attack against American interests in Europe, possibly an embassy of military installation. 
  •  The European economic crisis worsens, as Greece, Spain, Portugal, and Ireland default on their loans.  Germany refuses to bail them out and the future of the EU and the Euro looks grim.
  • France's unemployment rises to 30% as the Socialists continue to raise taxes on corporations and "the rich"
  • North Korea, the craziest country in the universe, continues to cause trouble in the region, tests another nuclear device, and launches more "satellites".  Russia and China continue to do nothing to contain them.
  • Russia and Belorus begin talks about unification, and Russia continues to exert pressure on its neighbors, especially Ukraine and Georgia.   Obama yawns.
  • Hillary Clinton dies from a brain tumor. (I hope I'm wrong. I really am!)
  • John Kerry is confirmed as Sec. of State, and continues Obama's wrong headed foreign policies.
  • Chuck Hegel is put up for Sec. of Defense, but even Democrats won't vote for him and his name is quickly withdrawn.  Barbara Boxer is confirmed to the position.  Ok, I'm joking there.  Bob Kerrey (D-NE) gets confirmed easily, and does the best job he can with the hand he is dealt.
  • The big government Republicans continue to be in charge of the caucus' in both the House and Senate.  Boehner and McConnell sell out to Obama early and often, as the GOP continues to lose support from the conservative and libertarian base.  The GOP looks a lot like a 21st century version of the Whigs.  If they could dig up Millard Filmore, they would run him for president in 2016.
  • The Obama Administration through either EO or regulatory agencies like the EPA continue to circumvent congress and place further restrictions on oil exploration, fracking for natural gas deposits, and coal burning power plants.  Further nuclear plant development is stifled.  More taxpayer money goes down the tube for bogus green energy programs, fraudulent companies, and Obama cronies.
  • The NLRB continues to strong arm private business who are trying to escape from closed/union shops.  Card Check keeps raising its ugly head, as the Obama Administration and the Democrats in congress try to backdoor legislation to make it happen.
  • More and more states, attempt to reign in government employees' unions, and everywhere they try it, there are "mostly peaceful" protests, where only a few dozen right to work activists get roughed up or put in the hospital.  
  • The Tea Party remains a force to be reckoned with, but the GOP leadership yawns, the mainstream media call them racists, fascists, violent teabaggers, and (apologies to Mel Brooks) Methodists.
  • The world does not end, but the barbarians are getting closer to the gate.  
  • The west continues to turn a blind eye to the danger of radical Islam, as the middle east turns into a tinderbox, and European Muslims continue to demand special rights, Sharia Law for Muslims living there, and riot at the drop of a hat.  "French Yoots" continue to burn cars and apartment blocks in the banlieu of Paris and Toulouse. 
So there you have it in a nutshell.  It's not a pretty picture, but I have no reason to be optimistic about 2013, considering events of 2012.  A lot of this is our own doing.  Elections have consequences, both here and abroad.  As my Scottish grandmother used to say, "you made your bed, you lie in it".

Have a blessed 2013 everyone.  It looks like it is going to be a bad year, but we can all try to do well in our own personal lives.  Take care of your loved ones, be kind to strangers, and be generous to those who are truly in need.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Movie, TV and video violence

I don't blog all that much, and I'm not a great writer.  I'm an engineer, and my brain is not wired to be a great man of words.  It took me a long time for me to absorb all that happened at the invasion and mass murder of innocent school children and their teachers in Newtown, CT.  First, I know this town, as I passed through it frequently when traveling to Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford from Binghamton, NY back in the late 1980's, and always found it to be a nice, if picturesque small New England town on the way to some of the crap holes along Long Island Sound, namely Stratford and Bridgeport.

After the initial shock wore off about this horrible crime against civilization I thought seriously about what we as a country can do to minimize these attacks again.  I say minimize because, there is no way we can stop them completely, but I'm getting ahead of myself.  First I thought about disturbed people who do not get proper diagnosis and treatment.  I know "progressives" think that the solution is gun control.  Sadly psychopaths  don't care much about laws like this anymore than common criminals, and gun control laws will only take arms away from law abiding citizens who use then for protection, hunting or recreational use.  No, mass murder does not require fire arms, it can be done with machetes, knives, and swords. 

Then I thought that maybe it might be the culture of violence that America has not only become accustom to but celebrates.  Well, the western movies were often violent, especially the Sam Peckinpaw flicks of the 60's and the 70's, along with the Sergio Leone Spaghetti westerns.  Did they cause Charles Manson to go nuts and go on a killing spree?  How about the Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry Movies?  I don't think that John Wayne Gasey or Ted Bundy were affected by these.

Violence on TV and movies has been attacked by Liberals for a long time.  Moe Howard from the Three Stooges lamented on the Mike Douglas Show a few years before he died, back in the early 1970's about the attack on the Stooges by the Cleveland area PTA, who successfully got the Stooges shorts banned from the airwaves there because they thought their comedy caused violent outbursts in the American youth.  Moe was a man ahead of his time.

I've come to the conclusion that we can never stop crazy people, and evil people from doing these crazy and evil acts.  All we can do is try to get these people who are mentally ill some treatment, and get the homeless people who have often been released from mental hospitals by do gooder progressives who think they are better off on the street, rather than in facilities that can help deal with their illness.

I've had some family losses over the past few years, and though not in such a horrific manner.  I can really sympathize with with the families who lost their children, and my heart goes out to all of them.  But please folks, don't let the gun grabbing leftists tell you that the problem is with guns.  It's not, the problem is with the human condition.  We as a nation have to figure out how we can prevent these tragic events from happening in the future.  Politicians are not helping us in this conversation right now.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Joys of a Red Eye Airplane Flight

A few nights I got stuck on a red eye flight, coming home from a business trip to northern California.  The folks who I contracted with provided the plane ticket (something I'll not let happen in the future) and stuck me on a discount carrier that seems to attract people who, on these late night flights would normally ride the Greyhound Bus.  Thankfully they offered Business Class seats as an upgrade, something I gladly paid for on a 5 hour flight.  Back in steerage coach the seat pitch is a tight 29" and the seats do not recline.  I'd have no problem suffering that for a short flight, but not a transcontinental one.

Since I was sitting up front, we got boarded first and were given a drink and a bag of peanuts before the rest came on board.  The parade of people I saw come past me turned out to be more entertaining as the process continued.  Does anyone remember seeing videos of midnight Black Friday shoppers at an Arkansas Wal-Mart?  Besides the road weary travelers, vacationers with little kids who were understandably tired and cranky, and airline employees getting a freebee, what I saw turned out to be an interesting circus parade.  People came on board wearing pajamas, bathrobes, house coats hair up in curlers.  Even though there was supposed to be a one carry-on bag limit that had to fit certain dimensions, it did not appear to be enforced.  People were taking everything on board but the kitchen sink.  One woman brought on 2 five foot pinatas she was taking to a family in Mexico. 

Finally, there was a very large woman, carrying all her worldly possessions with her who came on board huffing and puffing, and plopped herself down in a business class seat (that she did not purchase) and decided that it was her seat, and whoever was supposed to be there could drag his narrow ass white ass to the back of the plane and sit in 37E for 5 hours.  It took a pilot, flight attendant and customer service person to convince here that she couldn't sit there because she didn't pay for it.  She kept on repeating that because she was an exceptionally large woman (400+ pounds is my guess), she is entitled to have a bigger seat.  She obviously belongs to the entitlement class.  She ended up wedging herself in row 37E and really could not fit in there without 2 seat belt extensions.  The poor people unfortunate enough to sit next to here were in for a world of suffering.

I think I'll just say no to red eye flights on the el cheapo carriers, and even daytime ones on long flights.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Are we going the way of Rome?

Rome did not die in a day, it took hundreds of years, but in the modern age it doesn't take so long.  We as country are less than 250 years old, and most of our young citizens do not know either the history of our country, or the history of the country of their ancestors.  Credit that to our schools who teach social studies rather than history or geography.  We have a lot of young people who are being taught in schools that the European settlers were imperialists and came to kill everyone who got in their way,

We have a new generation, indoctrinated by "teachers" who are liberals at best and Marxists at worst.  When I was a kid, we gave the pledge to the flag, and had a silent prayer every morning.  Now that that no longer exists, except Muslim children are excused to pray to Allah, 5 times a day. 

Liberals hate what we Christian conservatives hold sacred, God, country, personal liberty and responsibility, and ignore the real enemy of Jeffersonian democracy, radical Islam.

Americans haven't woken up to the fact that we are in a battle for our existence.  The socialists, Marxists, and communists are here right now and in power, and the Islamists are waiting in the wings.  We are not done yet, but unless America wakes up and smells the mess that we are in, we will go the way of Rome, sooner than later.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What now?

We are all trying to understand what happened on Tuesday.  It has taken me a few days, and a bit of alcohol to get over it.  We'll survive in the short run.  We are not all going to die short of the Mayan calender being right that the world ends on Dec. 21 or SMOD comes crashing down on us. 

Take a deep breath, we can get through this, but it may get worse before it gets better.  The majority of tf the American electorate has voted for continuation of President Obama's policies, bigger government, higher taxes, and war on business, not to mention war on Christians, but I'll get to that later.

There has been a realignment of the American electorate that has historically been center-right, to a decidedly leftist view.  There are a lot of factors here, the youth vote, immigrants, and an increasingly non-white population.  Young people voted for "free stuff" that they feel entitled to just because they are here. We have a lot of new voters who are new citizens from foreign countries who bring their culture here, both good and bad, and want the government to do more for them.  We have gays, women's rights agitators, race baiters, anti-capitalism Marxists, socialists, and anarchists demanding special rights, and some "occupying" places illegally, with only a shrug of the American people. 

Those of us who still pay taxes, go to church or temple, and do actual volunteer work to help the community where we live are in for a rough ride.  The takers are in charge now.  The House still has a GOP majority, but without a major chance of leadership, we are screwed.  The party is run by big government establishment republicans like John Boehner and in the Senate Mitch McConnell.  They have to be sent to the back bench and now.  If we are not principled, and put up candidates who can say NO to expanding government, and are basically Democrat-Lite, we will continue to lose.  If you put up a Democrat against a Democrat-Lite, people will vote for the Democrat.

ObamaCare is here to stay for foreseeable future.  This is bad news to all Americans, whether they know it or not.  It's already costing jobs, and it is killing pensions for senior citizens and disabled people.  Medical care will get worse, and rationed, much like it is in the UK and Canada. There is a reason that there is a huge medical center in Plattsburgh, NY just south of Montreal.  I've already been informed that my disability insurance will be terminated in 2014.

So lock and load, make sure you are armed, normal people, the barbarians are at the gate.  The "free stuff" won't last much longer, and when it ends, there is nobody to bail us out.  It might get really ugly when people who are used to getting free ObamaDollars and free ObamaPhone, and free ObamaCare, when the money runs out and the unwashed masses revolt. 

I wish I could be more optimistic, but today I just can not.  Take care of yourselves and family, hope and pray for the best, but prepare for the worst.  American socialism is not going to end well.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Who do you trust when disaster strikes?

I'm seeing a lot of my friends posting support for the Red Cross, after the Hurricane Sandy slammed New Jersey and New York City.  I'm not such a fan.  The Salvation Army is a far more effective organization, without all the bureaucracy that the Red Cross has, and the money you donate does not get sucked up in administrative fees.  Catholic Charities also does a far better job than the Red Cross domestically.

For international disasters, I would never give a penny to the Red Cross, because it gets funneled through the IRCC, a hyper political organization that has made it a point to condemn Israel, and criticize American foreign policy.

If the spirit moves you to help the people who have been displaced and affected by Sandy, go to the Salvation Army's website and give generously. These are our friends and neighbors, and God forbid, we may all need their help sometime in the future.

UPDATE: The Salvation Army has far less overhead than the Red Cross.  Things to consider when you donate.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Survivor Philippines

I had an interesting  twitter exchange with some people who like, respect and often disagree with.  It started out as a silly tweet about the awful CBS series Survivor.  This Year is is Survivor Philippines.  What really bothers me about is not the location, it is a truly beautiful country with some of the nicest people in the world.  What really bothers me is that these attention whores looking for attention are living in luxury on a private island and not amongst the real Filipinos. My idea for "Survivor Philippines" would be somewhat more realistic.  Make 2 teams.  One gets dumped with 1000 pesos in a squatter camp on the Pasig River in Manila, and the other gets to live on the Islamist terrorist overrun Jolo Island working as a Christian missionary.

Of course I'm not too serious with these proposals, but the problem with these "reality shows" is there is no reality there.  It is all contrived in a sterile environment.  You want to see the wold as it is, travel with me.  We can go places that nobody has been to, and not play stupid games for media whores.  I like to see the good, the bad, and the ugly.  That is real tourism.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

An Interesting Day Out

This morning I took a group of Boy Scouts out to the local nature center to do some upkeep on the place.  They were a good bunch of kids, and the older ones did a great job keeping the younger ones focused.  I ran the chipper and occasionally a chain saw.  I promised the kids that if they did a good job we would go to a place that has a pizza buffet afterwords, and that was a bit of a motivator.  Well this morning one of the parents called me and was alarmed that I would take their precious vegan child to a pizza parlor, and said that it was totally unacceptable. 

They do not approve of any meat or animal product in their diet, and expect their 11 year old kid to do the same.  This snotty woman insisted that I cancel my plan to treat the kids for an afternoon's hard work because of her lifestyle.  I (in a nice way), told her to go to hell and I'm taking them for pizza and if she didn't want him to go, she should show up at 3PM and pick up her son. 

Well, she did, made a huge scene, threatened me to sue for discrimination (how Orwellian is that?) and grabbed the poor kid, loaded him (who was in tears) in the SUV and drove out.  Of course her bumper was loaded with Earth First, Meat Is Murder (does that mean that fish is rape?) and the usual Coexist stickers. The other boys were speechless, and when we were at the pizza joint, Gary, the 17 year old said that was the strangest thing he ever saw.  Well, this awful woman was a buzz kill for everyone, and I feel sorry for her kid having such an awful mother.  What is wrong with these people?  Unless something changes this kid is going to grow all messed up.

I suspect today may have made for some interesting dinner time conversation at the kids' table.  I already had 2 parents call me wanting to know what the hell happened.  I explained, and  of course there was relief, since we all know this fanatical woman. 

Of course there was a Obama-Biden 2008 bumper sticker right below the Obama-Biden 2012 just below.

Mother Gaia is more important than the social development of a child I guess.  Liberalism is a mental disorder.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Some info for airline travelers

Sorry for the long absence but I've been preoccupied otherwise, and really didn't have that much to say that was not better by others.

Today, while watching my twitter stream, I watched @guypbenson bitch and complain because his flight out of Orange County (SNA) airport had to be diverted because of fuel issues.  I frequently hear other passengers complaining when flying from airports with short runways on long (and even in some cases short) trips because of restricted takeoff weight. 

Guy claims to be an experienced traveler, but I'd rather call him a frequent traveler who really has no idea about the airports he flies into and out of.  An experienced traveler knows the lay of the land and knows the airports where he/she is going.  SNA has a short 5700 foot long runway ( legal size runway for a short flight, barely legal on a longer one), and if any weather related issue comes up on the flight plan or on the arrival to the destination, they have to have fuel to go to an alternate airport. 

I frequently fly to airports with less than ideal locations, and some of these are weight restricted, as well as have issues with bad weather.  I'm used to cancelled, diverted and delayed flights  from some of these places due to crappy weather, and it is just part of flying. 

I fly from small airports all the time like Key West (EYW), a seriously weight restricted airport, and some high altitude airports, that can have serious issues in the summer. 

Folks, try to understand that even though I agree that the airline industry is generally not our friend, and customer service is about as good as the Greyhound or Amtrak, they have operational issues too.

Now get off my lawn, Skippy!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Jury Duty

I got a summons in the mail today informing me to show up for jury duty on May 1.  Of course I'm happy to comply with jury duty is as it is American as baseball and apple pie.  However the information on the notification has a lot to be desired, especially for us who do not go downtown all that often.  I got called to a cattle call at the convention center to decide my eligibility to be a juror (of course by a political appointee). 

There is no street address as to where I need to appear other than the "Memphis Cook County Civic Center", a place where I have never been in 17 years I've been here, because there was never an event there that I was interested in participating in there.  Parking info and a map with a few directions might help a bit too.

Come on Shelby County Tennessee, you need to help us comply with the law.  I honestly do not mind serving, but help us out a little.  An address, a map to the parking garage and a diagram to the room where we have to meet in this massive behemoth of a building would be nice.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Random thoughts about the 99% versus the 1%

As President Obama and the Democrats continue to rail against the alleged unfairness of wealthy people being wealthy, while the poor in this country have to drive 5 year old cars, live in smaller apartments and houses, and forced to live on their our welfare money in the form of EBT debit cards; Americans need to be a bit less myopic and understand just who the 1% are in most of the 3rd world, and just how bad do the 99% have it in the worst of these countries.  Our poverty line would be considered middle class in most of the developing world.  When you can own a house, a car, have a steady income, however meager it might be, that is in no way, shape or form considered poor in 90% of the world.  These people are called consumers in countries like India, Vietnam, the Philippines and Mexico.

The idea that working hard, making your fortune, often creating many jobs and developing wealth, and getting to keep the fruits of your labor is not unfair in a free market economy, and the US constitution makes no provision for punitively seizing private property to redistribute to those who have not fared so well.  That idea is Marxist in origin and is alien to our society (at least until the age of Obama).  Unfortunately, in the past 50 years, the poverty pimps have propagated the idea that society owes the "poor" a certain standard of living, and in the current class warfare rhetoric of Obama, it has gotten some steam amongst the left leaning electorate, and certainly among unions, welfare, and some medicare and social security recipients.

 I've been fortunate to travel the globe since a young age, and got to see how things are elsewhere up close and very personal.  The violent anarchists, communists, hippies and slackers at the Occupy protests who claim to be the 99%, are wrong, just plain pure and simply wrong not only by American standards, but on a global standard, they are the 1%.  At their "camp sites" they had food, clothing, shelter, and allowed to protest, at least until they became violent law breakers.  Even then, in some cities, the police did nothing.  Good luck with that protest in 95% of the rest of the world.

Instead of working within the most open, just economical system in the world, they take the street to demand that we turn over our wealth to them, an unruly mob.  Meanwhile, the American mainstream media were celebrating these people while denouncing the Tea Party activists who want nothing more than a return to constitutional government that exerts minimal regulation on society based on the US constitution, as a bunch of racist, violent gun toting, inbred rednecks.

This clash between ideologies between limited government constitutionalists, and big government statists and socialists will be the crux of the upcoming election.

This brings be back to the truly poor people verses the rich people in the 3rd world.  I'm going to use the example of the Philippines, a country I know a lot about.  Roughly 2% of the population own 95% if the wealth in this country.  Imelda Marcos, the widow of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos and her children are still involved in government there, swindled billions of dollars out of the country, and own huge portions of the economy.  Another family, the Ayalas, literally owns the central business and shopping district of Makati in Metro Manila.

These are also the king makers in an incredibly corrupt series of governments that dates back to independence from the US in 1946.  There is no social safety network in any way, shape or form.  You either figure out how to survive or you die, plain pure and simple.  This is life in the 3rd world.  The odds of ever rising beyond abject poverty are against the 99% from birth, however, for those that do, they still have to deal with obstacles such as kick backs and corruption at every turn for a would be store keeper, business owner, and property developer.  Nothing happens without greasing the palms of politicians, and those who have lived off the backs of the 99% for decades.

For many people the way out of this poverty is to move abroad, either by observing the potential host country as legal immigrants or guest workers, or as illegal fence jumpers that continue to pose both economic as well as national security problems for the US and many other countries.

I have a good friend that I've written about here before, who in Barack Obama's own words was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth.  Unlike Obama, Ron did not go to Harvard and Columbia Universities.  He grew up poor, after Muslim jihadists burned down his family home and murdered his father in the Philippine province of Zamboanga del Sur in western Mindanao.

Ron worked hard throughout his teen years, got in a very good state technical university and graduated with honors.  He had a tough time getting work at first, took some crappy jobs working call centers, and eventually working as an Information Technology teacher at a local high school.  The money was not good, and through no help of the 1% or the government managed to get work in Singapore, at first being exploited by the 1% who run that autocratic island nation.  However, step by step, he has been making progress, and will soon start a new job, making better wages, though still not as good as citizens of Singapore, and hopefully this is yet another stepping stone to a better future. Ron is way too busy to Occupy Singapore (as if that would be permitted EVER) trying to build a future.

Getting ahead in the developed world, and especially the USA is a piece of cake compared to the obstacles that get in the way of smart, ambitious people in the 3rd world, but even they have opportunity in many places, with education and and hard work.

I won't publish his resume here, but it is impressive for a young man of 26.  Any serious inquiries can contact me on twitter @keith_martin2

The OWS people can all go to hell as far as I'm concerned.  They are slackers who want to live off the fat of the land and do nothing to earn it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Is America Losing its Intellectual Edge?

Tina Korbe over at noted today that many people who immigrated to the US have been moving either back home or another country because the opportunity is just not here anymore.  The recession and anemic recovery have not provided many jobs for either native born Americans or those who decided to make the US home, and it is somewhat understandable that these folks will move away to pursue their dream.

To me the bigger question is, has America lost its edge?  Have we been so straddled by government regulations and work rules where neither a small scale inventor or a mega-giant company can no longer produce anything due to regulations upon regulations that unelected government bureaucrats impose on a daily basis, not to mention  royal decrees executive orders sent to us on a daily basis by "The Man of the People".

We no longer teach our children American history, geography, and civics, and instead teach touchy-feely things like social studies, that teaches nothing about American history, or our society as a special and unique civilization, but preaches that all cultures are equal.  Devout Muslims will not agree.  To them, reestablishing the caliphate and imposing Sharia Law, a 7th century code of law is foremost.  Many of them walk amongst us.  Leftists in our own country don't look at us as anything particularly exceptional, and routinely criticize the 18th century founding fathers for their failings, based on 21st century standards.  Hey lefties, how about a few comments about your leftist heroes like Marx, Lenin, Mao, Stalin and most notably from t-shirts, Che?  How many people did they murder.

Once we brainwash our children that America is not a special country, a constitutional republic, that limits what the government can not do, rather than one like the European Union that tells it's subjects exactly what rights they have, we are doomed as a country.   The public school system is well on the way to doing just that thanks to the teachers' unions and politicians who enable them.

Getting back to Tina's piece,  I think we lost a generation, with some notable exceptions.  Both of my 20-something nephews have rejected liberalism (unlike their father) and have worked for their spending money since they were both 14 at McDonalds and other minimum wage jobs in high school, and even throughout their college years.  They are products of a broken marriage, and neither parent has a lot of money, but these young men turned out well, because of their shear determination to do well and get a good education.

There is hope for America's youth, provided that they get back to the basics and learn about our history, learn subjects like science and engineering, and avoid useless degrees in a high tech society such as gay and lesbian studies, or literature from the Benin Kingdom. (look it up on your own).

I talk to young people all the time and I always encourage them to stay in school and get training in either a high tech job, some sort of business skill, or take up a trade where they can make more money than either of the 2.  When your furnace goes out on a -10 degree night, how much good will a professor in Anastasi studies do for you?  A HVAC technician, though not a sexy job, can make you very well to do, especially if you own your own business.

America can return to excellence, but not so long as we are just another unexceptional country, no better or worse than, Germany, Egypt, Iran or the oh so wonderful Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Volunteer Radio

Is anyone else fortunate enough to have a volunteer radio station in your town?  I don't mean a NPR affiliate that carries highly charged leftist views, but a station that is listener supported and focuses on music programming.  My favorite drive time radio station has become WEVL, a totally volunteer station.  Everyone who works there has day jobs or is retired and either have shows as DJ's, produces programs, maintains the transmitter or helps out in other ways.  It's available on the internet at the station

I've helped out on various occasions, and really think that this kind of radio is a great alternative to obnoxious FM DJ's and talk radio, that quite frankly gets on my nerves after awhile. 

Living in Memphis, we are blessed with some great local musicians and they often appear on shows on WEVL.  Personally I've never seen another station like this.  It is not associated with NPR, or a university, and only runs 2 short pledge drives a year and always gets enough money to keep the station running....sometimes just barely, but this is non-profit, and people who host shows or other tasks do it for love of the job.  They get no government funding, no union donations and no K Street lobby money.

If you get a chance, check it out.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Success from a land of fail: Part 2

Last time I wrote about this subject, my young friend Ron had just moved from his hometown in the Philippines to take a job in Singapore.  Although it was an improvement in living conditions and pay, he is way underpaid compared to his Singaporean counterparts.  He got involved in a bad contract that had small print, and I mean really small, that is both blurred and unreadable, and in the US would not be enforceable.  The contract basically made him an indentured servant so long as his employer wanted his employment, even though the large print read that it was a one year contract.

There is some good news as of late.  Ron found a way to buy his way out of the contract and can leave in June.  He will have a job waiting for him that pays much more, and has good benefits.  Although he misses his family very much, he has adjusted to Singapore and does not live poorly.  His long term goal is to get a job in Australia, Canada or the US, and it looks like it will be doable in a few years, with a resume that has a few overseas jobs under his belt.

I was elated when we talked tonight and heard the good news.  This is a very positive development for a young man who had very little going for him as a young teenager.  I do admire Ron's fortitude and determination to succeed when the odds were always against him. 

We who are blessed to live in developed world really need to count our blessings despite how bad our economy is right now, and cheer those people who have worked hard to liberate themselves from poverty and become successful themselves.

There is a lot to learn from young people like Ron to the food stamp generation and those who feel entitled and government dependent in our own rich country.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Republicans: Change the way you do primary debates

Why does the GOP let the Democrats set the primary agenda?  For decades now, Republican presidential primary debates have been mostly moderated by liberal mainstream media Democrats. (When was the last time anyone called George Stephanopoulos anything but that?).  We've had umpteen debates almost all moderated by agenda driven liberal media types who's goal is to get Barack Obama reelected in November.  They pick out their Republican media darling who they think they can beat and boost up his/her credentials until the convention, the lower the boom.  They loved John McCain last time around, and now they all love Mitt Romney.

I know it is way too late to fix the GOP debates during this election cycle, so lets look to the future.  Why on earth should we have debates during our primaries moderated by people and networks who want to bring down our agenda?  That's madness.  Up until recently we were reliant on using the networks to broadcast our message, but this is changing rapidly.  The older generation who relies on the Big Three networks, are just a small portion of who is looking at the candidates or the news these days.  At 55 I'm no youngster, but I do not rely on, nor have for some time, on the mainstream media to tell me what is going on in my world in 18 minutes.  We now have a multimedia environment on the internet that can communicate our ideas without burdening ourselves to the Tiffany Network.  Without getting into details or endorsing any particular media format,  I'm making a modest proposal.  During the next primary cycle, lets skip the traditional media of the past, and as Republicans, have debates that are on subjects that are of interest to us.  I don't want to watch a debate where Rick Santorum gets brow beaten about his pro-life message or Mitt Romney on his "magic underpants" at a time when we as a country have very serious issues to deal with.  Foremost domestically is the economy, and abroad is the possible nuclearization of Iran in the near future.  Whoever is the president in 2013 is going to have to deal with both.  These need to be discussed, not Romney's Mormonism, or Santorum's conservative pro-life Catholic values.

The liberal media has one goal and one goal only, to get Obama reelected and maybe take back the House.  They have been using the Republican primary debates as a tool to get their people elected and at the very least set the agenda for decades, and it is past time for this to stop.  We now have the New Media capable of getting to voters without using the fossil networks to tell us where we need to focus.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The End of the Memphis Tea Party?

Yesterday Mark Skoda, the president of the Memphis Tea Party and has an outstanding radio show on local radio here in western Tennessee, announced that we were all endorsing Mitt Romney as Republican candidate for President.  I found out about this from a twitter message from Larry O'Connor of Breitbart TV.  Larry mentioned that Mark would be on his show last night explaining why there was an endorsement for a very non-tea party guy like Romney, especially after only 2 primaries and one caucus in 3 very small states.  There was never a vote taken by members of the Memphis Tea Party regarding endorsing one candidate over the other, and I'm really not happy with this heavy handed endorsement without the rank and file participation.

Well, Larry was quick to half jokingly call Mark a RINO, and he did not take it well.  When asked by a caller why there was never at least a chance for members to participate in an open vote, Mr. Skoda responded with, and I'm paraphrasing here since I don't remember the exact quote, "I made an executive decision".  Excuse me Mark, but the Tea Party is not about top down decisions like this.  You are forgetting that we are a grass roots movement.  If I wanted to belong to an organization that has heavy handed top down political management, I'd work with the RNC.  Your early endorsement of Romney has alienated many Tea Party conservatives, and I have to consider about how much I will support this organization in the future.

I'm not endorsing anyone at this point, and certainly not happy with the lot that the GOP has put up this year.  I'll hold my nose and vote for Romney if he is the candidate, but only because we need to get rid of Obama for the sake of the country.  But endorsing a New England liberal as the Tea Party candidate in the premise of it being an executive decision stinks of top down politics ala Meet John Doe

You speak for yourself Mr. Skoda.  Don't send an endorsement for one of the largest Tea Party organizations in our name, just because you are on Mitt's bandwagon. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Translations of Common Euphemisms

A friend sent this to me today.  It'll help you when listening to the mainstream media or listening to your Liberal and Democrat friends:

Translations of Common Euphemisms
Arsenal of Weapons
Gun Collection
Delicate Wetlands
Undocumented Worker
Illegal Alien
Cruelty-Free Materials
Synthetic Fiber
Assault and Battery
Attitude Adjustment
Heavily Armed
Taxes or Your Fair Share
Coerced Theft
Common Sense Gun Control
Gun Confiscation Plot
Illegal Hazardous Explosives
Fireworks for Stump Removal
Non-viable Tissue Mass
Unborn Baby
Equal Access to Opportunity
Multicultural Community
High Crime Area
Fairness or Social Progress
Upper Class or "The Rich "
Progressive, Change
Big Government Scheme
Homeless or Disadvantaged
Bums or Welfare Leeches
Sniper Rifle
Scoped Deer Rifle
Investment for the Future
Higher Taxes
Healthcare Reform
Socialized Medicine
Extremist, Judgmental, or Hater
Home Schoolers
Victim or Oppressed
Criminal or Lazy Good-For-Nothing
High Capacity Magazine
Standard Capacity Magazine
Religious Zealot
Reintroduced Wolves
Sheep and Elk Killers
Fair Trade Coffee
Overpriced Yuppie Coffee
Exploiters or "The Rich "
Any Employed or Land Owner
The Gun Lobby
NRA Members
Assault Weapon
Semi-Auto (Grandpa's M1 Carbine)
Fiscal Stimulus
New Taxes and Higher Taxes
Same Sex Marriage
Legalized Perversion
Mandated Eco-Friendly Lighting
Chinese Mercury-Laden Light Bulbs
Accepted Facts
Horse Shit!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How safe is the Airbus A380?

The A380 has been in service for only about 4 years and has already had engines exploding, and now cracks in the wings, something that is usually only found in older aircraft.

The first publicized problems came about when a Qantas A380 had an uncontained engine failure of one of the 4 Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines.  Rolls-Royce advised the operators of A380 aircraft who had this engine to change them every 90 cycles, something unprecedented and extremely costly in aviation. 

Recently it has come to light that airplanes less than 4 years old are already developing cracks on the wings.  Airbus assures us all that this is nothing to worry about. Phewww, I feel much better now, time to move on, nothing to see here. 

The Qantas incident was a much bigger deal than reported at the time, as extensive damage was done to the wing, and the plane could not land immediately as fuel needed to be burned off and dumped to safely land back in Singapore.  The flight crew did a good job containing the damage and getting the plane safely back on the ground.  Qantas and other carriers grounded the fleet for several months until a work around could be developed.  But they are back in the air, on very long routes where the nearest usable airport could easily be 3 or more hours away.

Not every airline purchased the Trent engines, and many others have the more reliable GE models, and they do not have the design flaws of the Trent.

While Airbus is downplaying the wing cracks, I consider this to be yet another serious design flaw on an airframe that has only been in service for 4 years. Hopefully the FAA and other foreign governmental aviation regulatory agencies will hold Airbus' feet to the fire and demand fixes.  There is a lot of pressure on these agencies to keep these planes in the air, for purely economical reasons.  But one has to ask oneself if they are feeling lucky when flying on a flight from LAX to Sydney or Singapore.

I do get stuck on Airbus planes quite often, especially the A320 family, but never feel too comfortable, understanding all the issues with their "fly-by-computer" flight and engine controls, but most of the bugs have been worked out of these planes.....after 20 years.

Here's a video of the Qantas plane that had the uncontained failure,

So you have to ask yourself, how lucky do I feel flying on a plane with known engine problems, that only have a very expensive work around, and wings that are cracking at a very young age.

Departing from the safety issue, do you really want to fly on a plane that holds close to 600 people, takes 2 hours to board and an hour to disembark?  And think of the customs lines when a couple of these monsters show up at the same time.  It's not my cup of scotch to be sure.

I'm planning to go to Australia later this year, but I'll book flights on another aircraft type, and preferably a Boeing aircraft.  

If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going.

UPDATE: Qantas has grounded the plane that Airbus told us not to worry about.  As a bonus, Airbus says that these cracks are nothing to worry about because they are manufacturing defects and not stress cracks.  I'm feeling so much better about this plane now.  Flying on this lemon is like playing Russian roulette.  It's an accident waiting to happen.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What does not kill me makes me strong

Most of us who have lived as long as me, have had many great times, and some really tough and bad ones.  I hear a lot of my younger relatives, co-workers, and friends bitch and moan whenever things don't go just their way, and act like it is the end of the world for them.  Well, that's life.  The only thing guaranteed in this life are death and taxes.  Having a strong faith in God and my Christian beliefs have gotten me through the worst times.  This faith is seriously lacking in our younger generation, who have been indoctrinated by liberal teachers, inattentive parents, and the crap that passes for entertainment on TV.

Recently several friends on a message board, that I check in on, have had very bad news.  Deaths of loved ones, cancer diagnosis in loved ones, and Alzheimer's Disease have taken a toll on some of my dearest friends and family.

I was diagnosed with MS a couple years ago and it would be easy to say, "why me?", but this is a common disease that has only become evident in my 50's rather than 20's.  I also am blessed to live an a first world country, where clean food, water, and decent health care is still available (although ObamaCare may end that).  I'm not twisted and bitter, and I thank God for just how well I've had it all my life.

We, as Americans need to man up, quit complaining, and realize that as bad as things are here, we are still the 0.01% of the rest of the world.

God bless us all, everyone.