Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks

Thanks to all of you who read this blog.

May we all be blessed with what we need for a fulfilling life.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hindenburg of Hope, Chernobyl of Change

It sounds a bit callous, but I've been sitting in this front-row seat, waiting for this to happen. Not happily, although my frustration at times mixes with anger to produce a certain amount of Mr. Hyde ironic laughter. And I don't want to jump any guns, but I do think the bloom is finally sliding off of the Obama Rose.

Allow me to get this over with: Told ya. ;-)

I don't have much right now to be happy about on the homefront, what with living through the last vestiges of a flu relapse as The Hubster struggles to survives the last few weeks of a 15-month special project that's behind schedule. He came home last night with the news that they took dinner orders for Thanksgiving Day, which means they are working. He's been on 13-hour, 13-day, 1 day off shifts ever since August of 2008. That's right, 2008. He has been a real trooper, but the minute the end date was announced, it got harder for him, understandably. He's about ready to kill a few subcontractors who are holding up the start-up (as usual...why are subcontractor always dumb-asses? They've never done their jobs on time in the 20-plus years Hubs has worked among them. Just going by personal experience...).

Anyway, I digress. Point is, things have been less bleak mood wise around here, so I've taken special interest in the news lately, and have noticed a sort of mudslide occurring, one that has a donkey embossed on it. I'd be glad to elaborate.

1. Investigative reporting finally did its job uncovering systemic and systematic overstatements in the O administration's recovery job numbers. My, my, my. Let's see, who's in charge of that? Oh, yeah, Biden is, remember? I should have known, too, as this story broke within days of him jawing off to Sarah Palin that energy is a little more complicated than drill baby drill. Hey, Biden, may I suggest you forget about drills and get a damn calculator and some truth serum?

The O admin is blaming their grossly overstated jobs created or saved numbers on "human coding errors". Well, lemme tellya. That's hard to believe when all of the errors are overstatements. Just a fact of statistics: law of averages says that some will be over, and some will be under, and if all are in one direction, then fraud should be suspected. You can ignore my accounting expertise and just think about a checker at the store. Honest errors are one where one night she will be over and another she will be short.

Anyway, that's just one more way the O team plays us for fools. Here's the truth about this: they lied and made up numbers to try to fool us, and they got busted. I love how it went down. It bubbled up from locals who complained that the stats didn't make sense to their local papers, who then began investigating and pushed their findings upward until a few big newspapers couldn't ignore it.

2. Don't blink, but Obama is giving interviews to Fox. Yep, you read that right, but it is stunning, isn't it? This, just weeks after labelling them a non-news network. Mm. Mm. Mm. He's in trouble and in an earlier day he might have been able to bullshit the masses, but nobody who watches Fox is believes him anymore, so I really wonder why he's even bothering. Maybe someone needs to tell him that when you diss tea party patriots as unpatriotic and when you diss people's news networks as mere opinion cable even though they have broken most of the big political news this year despite being shunned by you, people don't exactly continue to trust you, much less continue to listen to you.

3. The NYC terrorist trial decision deferred to Eric Holder continues to not be a good idea at all. New Yorkers are divided on it, but the polling continnues to show a strong majority of them do not want those terrorists tried in Manhattan. I could add in the brilliant idea to move the Gitmo prisoners to an existing facility in Illinois as well. That's going over like a lead balloon as well.

4. Obama got nowhere with China. But hey, he got a trip abroad out of it and he got to be out of town when Holder announced #3. China even asked him what was up with health care and how much was it gonna cost! I loved it. Like, HELLO, you cannot afford it, half-white man. We are your creditors, so we know! I felt like telling the Chinese they were just blowing smoke because Obama doesn't listen or else he just stupidly believes that reality will play out like it looks on paper. Ah, the simple trust of naiivete mixed with the certainty of inexperience. That's our President!

I wouldn't be surprised if the Chinese didn't strong-arm him, though, because the second he got back here, he began warning in interviews we will see later this week that we cannot sustain our debt levels much longer.

DUH! Like, you couldn't have come up with that before all the spending you did and continue to push? He apparently does not have the balls to call off the Healthcare bill, so Pelosi and Reid must be bossing him around. Sigh. This is exactly why I supported McCain. I guess the brakes will be put on after...when? Dems continue to push transportation bills, additional jobs stimuluses, and all their pet projects. People, there is a direct correlation there.

5. Now we know why Obama decided to go pick up his Nobel instead of attending the Climate Change conference: we are apparently not going to sign onto those Helsinki accords. I have to giggle at this, because I'm pretty sure that his Nobel was awarded as a blatant bribe to sign on. And Obama's still going to accept that prize. Wow. That's audacity. Europe is falling out of love, too. Editorials over there are calling him the enemy of mankind now. I kinda wish those Swedish guys would Indian-give the Nobel, like announce there was a tally mistake and he didn;t really win it. It would almost be merciful.

6. Crap and Tax is also in peril. The Senate has made noises that it'll be next year before they tackle it, and it's generally assumed that means the House bill that was passed is just gonna die quietly. Now, this is good news to me, because I have been 150% against it from the get-go.

7. He's also not going to be able to close Gitmo by his deadline, because (and I love this) "it's not as easy as he thought it was gonna be". This really deserves another DUH!, but I don't want to over-do it. Yet, he won't use the court facilities we spent millions on to build down there to try the 9/11 suspects. Sigh #2. Democrats must just have a gene that makes it impossible to not spend money, ya know?

8. And this is my personal favorite: a government panel of experts under HHS has determined that women are getting screened for breast cancer too often to be cost-effective. Now, the reason I love this is the timing of it and the bigger lesson we should all get from it. Just as we are about to have government healthcare rammed down our throats, this comes out and causes a firestorm of objection. And, the most astute among us advise, hey get used to it. This is what government healthcare control will be like. HELLO? Did I mention this has caused a firestorm of adament objection? As in, well I'm screening anyway! No thanks! I'm eerily reminded that we have that option right now and we won't have the right to defy those experts if Pelosi and Reid have their way. This is a parable of premonition if there ever was one.

8. Okay, I'm tired, but there is more. I have to stop for now, but I'll leave you with my favorite news story this morning. I'm still watching Morning Joe on MSNLSD, and today they had Norah O'Donnell out in Michigan at Sarah Palin's first stop on her book-signing tour. Norah was incredulously amazed at the crowd there. It was like it had occurred to her for the first time that Palin had supporters apres election. I was laughing and rolling my eyes at the same time. The ostrich-like pretensiousness of the Eastern liberals and media is just awful. Do they even see themselves in the mirror? Does insulting other Americans make them feel superior and more secure? Newsweek's cover with Palin in hot pants was just beyond the pale. Even if it were okay to use a photo in a news magazine that was taken posing for Runner's World (and it's not), it's just one more pice of evidence of their hatred of real Americans.

And real Americans are voting out incumbents, talking back, protesting, not approving in polls. Ya think there might be a correlation?

Friday, November 13, 2009

The best and the worst

This, my friends, is the BEST:

Tiger's Bedtime Story Accenture Ad

I frankly needed a smile before my bitch-rant. This is my favorite commercial right now. When it comes on, I stop whatever it is I'm doing and watch...and by now I've seen it probably 4 dozen times. Still watching it. Why?

First, to see Tiger's sheer joy on his face at the end of it, when he says "He kicked his butt." To me, the daughter of a drama instructor and director, Tiger communicates perfectly...let me emphasize...PERFECTLY to all children what's so good about competing to win. He makes the prize of winning, or atleast a job well done, a tangible thing. Preparing to win. Following through. And Winning. Hell, he communicates it to all adults, too. He raises the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare to new heights as an allegory for success. For the first time in my 53 years, I saw the tortoise as a Player: a buff athlete determined to exploit his strength in order to win. Before, I just thought of him as an symbol of Good against Evil.

I raised a daughter through 9 years of softball and 4 years of dance team, and I've never seen a more effective persuasion. Nobody ever read that bedtime story to me that way. And I suspect I am not alone by a large margin.

The commercial is clear, concise, not an ounce of fat on it. Endearing scenario, excellent script, and may I say that even though Tiger's diction could use some training, he has a raw photogenic and communicative talent. The camera loves him. And that killer smile that he seems to guard protectively, not letting it out just for any old reason. Good strategy, for it makes that smile a precious thing.

I would love to know the ages of the team that conceived this ad. I suspect strongly that they are young, probably in their late twenties, early thirties, but no older. Everything about the ad is the new version of the traditional. GenX ad creatives would have ridiculed the traditional and that would have been the message and said, meh, buy us anyway. At least we can laugh at ourselves.

But not this. This takes the tradition and puts a new, more useable spin on it. It respects the old while changing it to new. This is Millenial / Gen Y creative stuff. I can just feel it. And since Tiger, at 29, is of that generation, it might even be coming from his own vision. I would not be surprised.

I'm a sucker for commercials. I bend over backwards to give them a fair shot, yet few of them ever really pass my muster. This one trampled all over me and leaves me screaming, Do It Again! Here's the direct link to it on Best Ads TV.


Now to the Bad. What is it about the Obama Administration that leaves one feeling as if on a roller coaster ride conducted by a drunk driver and it never stops?

It definitely causes me to pick my battles, lest I spend 24 hours a day taking issue.

Today Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the 9/11 terror suspects (I'm not even gonna use their names because I'll screw them up) will not be tried by a military court, but in a criminal New York City court.

On the face of that news, you may be like, so what? Okay. And if you are a Leftie who has been in perpetual salivation mode for --- what? --- 3-4 years to see Dubya, Cheney and Rove hung from the highest trees because of Gitmo and waterboarding, then today was the Friday the 13th from Heaven. (Or, Allah smiled on you, take your pick.)

But if it's stuff like this about Obama that makes your blood boil, then you are livid at this news. Here, the Left is thinking, okay, there is zero chance these suspects will not be comvicted, so let's get a 2fer out of it. Obama is down in the polls, and what does he and his do when that happens? Why, they throw their Leftie base a bone! And this bone is called the Use the 9/11 Victims and Their Families to Punish Bush. Win-win in their eyes, and no downside.

However, the Right is worried. If they are actually worried about Bush/Cheney?Rove being punished and proven wrong, then I have absolutely no sympathy with them. Personally, I think Bush skirted the rules right along the line enough to do what he thought was needed while everyone around him, including Democrats in Congress, sat by and watched. It was a technical win as dispicable as what Obama's people are doing now.

But punishing Bush for skirting the rules is not my dog in this fight. Stopping that kind of politcial behavior is my more worthy cause, no matter how tempting it is to turn the tables and do it better. To me, to do what Holder announced today is to spit in the face of the victims and their families, for it will surely bring needless sensationalism and a circus atmosphere to what should be swift, sure and approriate justice. Those brave souls, our fellow citizens, deserve no less from us, in their memories.

And given what happens a lot in our criminal courts today (and New York is not a conservative bastion), there is a real possiblity these jokers could go free or get off on a technicality, something that military courts don't do an awful lot of. And at the least, the trial could end up being completely focussed on Bush and torture instead of what it should be focussed on: the events on the morning of September 11, 2001.

So, to me, it's not worth the risk of those things happening. Once again, an ADULT would know this is not appropriate. Tempting, yes. Politically expedient, yes. Good governance? In a textbook, maybe. But not in real life. The official argument (which if you do like me and start my day with MSNLSD as Mark Levin calls them, so by noon you know the Democrat talking points by heart) is that New Yorkers should sit in judgment of those who wronged them, and the Supreme Court has ruled in a way that can be interpreted to support this.

But we were all wronged on that day. It's bigger than NYC. America was terrorized. New Yorkers breathed in the smoke and had their buildings toppled and their friends and loved ones killed, but we all felt the fear and uncertainty, for weeks. It has not been the first time I think the SCOTUS has missed the point. And I will never ever be able to accept, much less condone, the ruthless nature of Barrack Obama and his team. At some point, it has to be asked, do the ends justify the means? And I am not talking about waterboarding.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A New Definition

Our house is nearly flubug-free (knock wood) and I finally felt like blogging again. I've been following the horrific Fort Hood massacre and it really brought home to me how much I've evolved in my beliefs about national defense and terrorism.

First, let me say my prayers are with all the victims' loved ones and I'm thankful for their service. Second, as we've learned more about the alleged shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, I keep remembering how I felt when it was discovered that some of the 9/11 hijackers had taken flying lessons in Florida and had operated right under the radar of the FAA and all their instructors. Remember that? You should, for the parallels are numerous. Third, my mind then goes to a what-if -- what if the next incident of domestic terrorism comes in over the border with Mexico. Will we just oh-well that, too? So, that's my mindset. A decade ago, I would have been dissing someone who thought like that, in favor of the more European *oh, well, c'est la vie.*.

The big point of controversy surrounding Hasan seems to center around what made him do it, and if he should be given any sympathy for it. Many on the Left say that he had an illness, a form of secondary Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, and intimate that it wasn't his fault. Those on the Right say, Balderdash.

I say, agreed that he had PTSD, but mine is a new definition of an alternate acronym: I say he may well have suffered from secondary (traditional) PTSD, but it turned into Pre Terrorist Stress Disorder, or PTSD. You can take your pick, and I do believe that traditional PTSD is a very real disorder and one that can strike a civilian as well.

But the bottom line was that he became a terrorist on our dime on our soil. He massacred American soldiers. And, he's still alive, so it is even more complicated because he will be tried and punished if found guilty. So this is why we have to get this right: is there ever any circumstance that makes it okay or excuseable to massacre American soldiers on American soil? I say no on first blush, but I will be listening carefully to his trial defense. For now, though, I side with the Right, who says that excusing Hasan's behavior is political correctness gone mad.

I have only one thorn in my rosebush, and it's that I don't believe he acted alone. By that, I mean that the US Army is guilty, too. Not the soldiers, the System. A system and its administrators that would ignore alerts, complaints, warnings from its members for fear they'd be labelled politically incorrect -- I say they are just dangerous to Americans as the CIA that was asleep at the wheel on 9/10/2001.

There are approximately 1,000 Muslims serving in the U.S. Military while we are fighting their religious brothers. None of them should be fighting over there. They can do their duty on our shores as long as they agree to be monitored if they choose to stay in the military. I'm tired of this bullshit. Because, what the hell are we fighting overseas to protect our land from if we allow on-soil terrorism to be a civil right? There's a whole lotta messed-up happening, and it ain't in my head.


Now, for a channel change. Check this out:

My God - that's what I live! And, hey, just as an aside, I'm totally agreed on Austin-Roundrock being the top spot. That's the only other place I'd rather live in Texas. Well, not Austin anymore, the traffic has become such a bummer dragging down an otherwise idyllic oasis, but Roundrock, a few miles up the road from Austin, is like where I live adjacent to Houston, all the benefits and none of the consequences of big city congestion.

Anyway, this proves to me why, when the rest of the world is up to their chins in recession and misery, we seem to be able to save more money than ever before and my husband #1 job wish is to work less hours. I'm going to cease and desist feeling guilty about it, because when they report on areas of the country that are hurting, I pay close attention and fire up Google to read more. I'm constantly amazed at all the local taxes people pay in these places, all the rules they have to follow, all the luxurious their local gov'ts enjoy. I'll take my state's and countty's more bare bones approach to governance, and apparently it's a good strategy in bad times. You don't believe or agree with me? Then tell me why the top 5 Forbes cities are all of the major metropolises of Texas? No other explanation. Use us as a model of state government, before it's too late.

Yes, Texas is a right-to-work state, as are the majority of Forbes' list with 7 to 5 union states, and 23 RTW cities to 7 union cities. Hmm, mere coinkydink? I think not. Too much to cover and not enough time to get into a debate on that at this time, but the end results applied to the economy favor RTW states. Taking a macro-look, union states may offer better wages, but in many of those places, you want it, you have to sit on a list and risk dying before landing a union job. Plus, there is a direct geographical correlation between strong union labor and inflationary standards of living that bust and destroy if times get rough. Meanwhile, we're like the Energizer Bunny, we keep going right along. And, Hubs and I do live frugally, but I can assure you I never miss a meal and could have whatever I wanted if I wasn't so cheap that I won't buy it. My 3-bedroom brick home was devalued by about 10% for about six weeks earlier this year and now it's about 15% more valuable than a year ago. My husband is a union member of probably one of the biggest unions in the state, an AFL-CIO subsidiary, but it operates mainly as a defensive protection for due process. It knows its place, as we say down here. Moderation being the key is still a good axiom.

But unionization is not the only factor by far as to why we are doing so well down here.  Some other reasons aren't so brag-worthy. We spend less on education than most states. A larger than normal percentage of Texans don't have health insurance. And our utility bills and insurance premiums are the largest in the nation. Nothing's perfect. But, we don't create public troughs to right these injustices. We just suffer them. Not cool, right? But, in the end, bottom lining it, where's the beef, what's the diff? Not much, people.

People without insurance go to our emergency rooms, those of us who do have it pay more when we go. Those of us who go a lot get screwed, but frequent emergency room visits are not the average patient norm. Sure, we all griped about it, before we saw the Pelosi/Reid/Obama Solution. Now, we will suffer what we have now just fine, thank you very much.

In a way, this convoluted health care legislation is to me a federalized version of life in all of those unionized and taxed American cities and states that aren't doing so hot right now. And ditto on steroids for the Crap and Tax legislation. I don't want any of it because the medicine will make us sicker than the chronic condition.

It's like black-white race relations. What if this -- right now, today -- is as good as it's gonna get? Ever? No matter what else we do or try to manipulate it toward perfect? What if the health care system we have now is the best that a democratic republic can produce? And what if continuing to EPA our environment instead of destroying our present economy and consumer structure to try to create another one that looks real good on paper, what if what we have right now is the best in the long run?

Which brings me right back here to where I live, in the #2 best job spot in America. I also live in the epicenter for petro-chemical production, and the big breath of air I just took is not that much worse, not that different than the one you just took, no matter where you are. Hey, remember bio-fuels? It's supposed to be part of the cornerstone of Obama's new green economy, right? Well, back that polluting truck up. Yeah, turns out it has quietly disappeared from the spotlight. Wanna know why? Turns out its promoters kinda forgot to factor in the pollution the animals and the deforestations cause in the process of producing the fuel. The Amazon rain forest is being destroyed by it. That's a lot worse than any pollution being done by fossil fuel refining here where I live.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Moderates Live On!

Election Night and the Living is Easy...

Well, well, well. Looks like the moderate wing of the GOP is still desired by the People. I present as evidence one Governor-elect Chris Christie of New Jersey. He's no right-winger, but he is the winner. And that Hoffman dude in upstate New York that Sarah Palin endorsed? He lost. All that bru-ha-ha and all he's left with horseshoes and hand grenades.

I cannot wait to hear how Glen Beck spins it. Probably along the lines of "'s better that the Democrat won than the GOP-endorsed candidate." Man, that tact is getting to be redundant. And it doesn't work, except to give Beck and Limbaugh a never-ending reason d'etre. Oh, that's maybe the real goal, ya think?

Anyway, I spent the evening watching the returns on MSNBC because, well, I wanted to see if anyone cried or freaked when the GOP started winning in New Jersey and Virginia (they have a new GOP governor, too, one who is a bonafide conservative but his focus is jobs and the economy, and it's indeed telling that he played his campaign to appear to be as moderate as possible). It was highly entertaining, lemma tellya.

The moment the NJ race was called for Christie, Howard Fineman became speechless and called it stunning. I was stunned at how quickly he and Lawrence O'Donnell went into mop-up mode, blurting out like a half dozen times how polls showed this was not a referendum on Obama. Oh, okay. Don't you folks know by now that people are not going to admit to any dislike of Obama because they don't want to be tattooed as racists? Which means that his favorable ratings are probably inflated, too. But, I digress because this wasn't any kind of criticism on him, oh no.

MSNBC was johnny-spot at excusing away any meaning in last night elections. Except for Chris Matthews, God love him. He blurted out what I just said about people telling pollsters what sounds good and nice and fair, stopping O'Donnell dead in his tracks as he repeated the poll findings for the 100th time. It was great.

The really ugly part, however, was how MSNBC, once they knew that Corzine had lost to Christie, proceeded to trash and denigrate Corzine as a candidate that was so bad nobody could help him. You may have heard that Obama and Biden made 3 trips to campaign for Corzine. I guess Corzine got thrown under the bus, huh?

And then of course all the Repugs think it's the beginning of the Second Political Coming, which isn't right either. To me, this was the infinite wisdom of the People saying no to the Obama-Pelosi-Reid spending spree that is leaving too many unemployed and worried about the enormous debt and size of government. And since there are only two choices at the ballot box, it's a game of tennis. Back and forth until somebody starts acting right. That means the ball is in the GOP's court but does not guarantee a victory or even a score. They'll get the same treatment if they screw up.

See, right-wingers are not the only people who can enact some Tea-partying. They don't hold a patent on it. They made a lot of hay this week saying the whole situation in New York proves that the party should not be big-tenting and reaching out to moderates. But the truth was that the national GOP's only crime was trusting the local NY GOP people, who were the real idiots for thinking they could run a copycat candidate instead of a real Repug. Dede Scozzafava, that's her name. And she wasn't even chosen by a primary of the people up there. The local party bosses chose her, and she was truly left of the Democrat running.

My point in all this is that the right-wingers scooped this up and made it out to be a national reflection on moderates. Wrong. That was completely a local F-up of trying to outwit the witless. So do not be fooled. And this incident proved that Palin knows how to swoop in and do a *Rush* job on people, too. That's upstate New York. What is conservative to them is heavy Leftie anywhere else.

That's not to say that those NY'ers aren't ticked off at the way things are being run either. Hoffman came pretty close to winning being that he was a last-minute 3rd party candidate. I forget the exact percentages, but Dede still got like 6% of the vote and if those had gone to Hoffman, he'd have won. What that says is that more poeple voted GOP than Dem. Which is all part of that anger and tennis volley.

Be on the lookout on MSNBC and on Fox at how the two sides try to play the election results. Because Matthews has it pegged, I think. He explained how when the right-winger runs he is defeated. When the moderate runs, he wins. That was true in NJ, faux-true in VA (the GOP winner went to great pains to paint himself moderate and downplay his right-wingedness), and true in NY, obviously. Even out in CA, in the race to fill Ellen Tauscher's seat, the conservative right wing GOP candidate was behind as I type this, and that district is one of those rarities in CA in that it's not liberal.

Let me hammer home my point here: if the country was clamoring for right-wing leadership like Beck, Rush, Laura, Sarah and Ann are jabbering about, then Hoffman would have won, the VA winner could have outed his right-wing self, and Christie in NJ would have had a harder time (cuz you know some of those right-wingers are happy to stay home and not vote). Don't buy the B.S. explanations. BOTH parties have a lot to be worried about and frankly, I hope it stays that way. Heck, even Bloomberg barely won re-election and I'd say he's pretty dang popular.

Oh and P.S. -- the younger voters who elected Obama totally crapped out. Did not show up. That was icing on the cake to me. I can only hope it means they've wised up about voting for a novice just cuz he be cool. {EYEROLL} But actually, it probably means they still have no clue what it takes to be a serious, responsible voter.

The Mirage of a Congressional Thermo-Fix:

The Left wants us to believe that all scientists of any merit are solidly behind the theory of manmade climate change being something that needs to be aggressively solved now and that Congress has the guts and brains to do that. Turns out that one of those guys who won a Nobel for this kind of thing is trying to tell us that ain't necessarily so:
BILLINGS- As debate over climate change legislation heats up on Capitol Hill, the Director of the University of Montana’s Climate Change Studies Program, and a co-author of a Nobel Prize winning report, says cap and trade legislation could ruin the US economy.

During a Wednesday morning interview with statewide radio talk show host Aaron Flint on “Voices of Montana,” Dr. Steve Running said any climate change solution needs to involve all nations.

“We have to have all the major nations in agreement on future progress,” said Running.

Running is a co-author of the Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and founder of the Climate Change Studies program at the University of Montana.

He added, “If the US passed a cap and trade and other countries did not, it wouldn’t work. It would ruin the US economy and it wouldn’t save the climate either. So this is a global issue, the global climate statistics are global in nature, global carbon emissions are global in nature, and we really have to have an international consensus of what to do. That is going to stretch our international diplomacy to its limit, there’s no doubt about that.”

This is Reason #2,901 why Congressional reform efficacy will just be a mirage.