Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Couldn't help but laugh

When I saw this article about the male synchronized swimming team that was mad because they were not allowed to compete in the Olympics.

PHOTO: The Out To Swim Angels are Britain's only male synchronized swimming team, but were not allowed to compete in the synchronized swimming event at the 2012 London Olympics.

I could not help but think of Martin Short and Christopher Guest on Saturday Night live:

Friday, July 27, 2012

I have changed my mind

I may not vote for Mitt Romney, though I think he would do a passable job and sure as heck is better than the alternative.  I may well write in Representative Mike Kelly's name.

I figured out why Romney is unlikable

 Subject: Why Mitt Romney is Unlikable!

 A lot is being said in the media about Mitt Romney not being "likable" or that he doesn't "relate well" to people.  Frankly, we struggled to understand why.  So after much research, we have come up with a Top Ten List to explain this "unlikablility."
Top Ten Reasons To Dislike Mitt Romney:
1. Drop-dead, collar-ad handsome with gracious, statesmanlike aura. Looks like every central casting's #1 choice for Commander-in-Chief.
2. Been married to ONE woman his entire life, and has been faithful to her, including through her bouts with breast cancer and MS.
3. No scandals or skeletons in his closet. (How boring is that?)
4. Can't speak in a fake, southern, "black preacher voice" when necessary.
5. Highly intelligent. Graduated cum laud from both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School ...and by the way, his academic records are NOT sealed.
6. Doesn't smoke or drink alcohol, and has never done drugs, not even in the counter-culture age when he went to college. Too square for today's America ?
 7. Represents an America of "yesterday", where people believed in God, went to Church, didn't screw around, worked hard, and became a SUCCESS!
8. Has a family of five great sons....and none of them have police records or are in drug rehab. But of course, they were raised by a stay-at-home mom, and that "choice" deserves America 's scorn.
9. Oh yes.....he's a MORMON. We need to be very afraid of that very strange religion that teaches its members to be clean-living, patriotic, fiscally conservative, charitable, self-reliant, and honest.
10. And one more point.....pundits say because of his wealth, he can't relate to ordinary Americans. I guess that's because he made that money HIMSELF.....as opposed to marrying it or inheriting it from Dad. Apparently, he didn't understand that actually working at a job and earning your own money made you unrelatable to Americans.

My goodness, it's a strange world, isn't it?

Personal Information:

His full Name is: Willard Mitt Romney
He was Born: March 12, 1947 and is 65 years old.
His Father: George W. Romney, former Governor of the State of Michigan
He was raised in Bloomfield Hills , Michigan
He is Married to Ann Romney since 1969; they five children.

Education: B.A. from Brigham Young University, J.D. and M.B.A. from Harvard University
Religion: Mormon - The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints

Working Background: After high school, he spent 30 months in France as a Mormon missionary. After going to both Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School simultaneously, he passed the Michigan bar exam, but never worked as an attorney. In 1984, he co-founded Bain Capital a private equity investment firm, one of the largest such firms in the United States. In 1994, he ran for Senator of Massachusetts and lost to Ted Kennedy. He was President and CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. In 2002, he was elected Governor of the State of Massachusetts where he eliminated a 1.5 billion deficit.

Some Interesting Facts about Romney:
Bain Capital, starting with one small office supply store in Massachusetts , turned it into Staples; now over 2,000 stores
employing 90,000 people. Bain Capital also worked to perform the same kinds of business miracles again and again, with companies like Domino's, Sealy, Brookstone, Weather Channel, Burger King, Warner Music Group, Dollarama, Home Depot Supply and many others.

He was an unpaid volunteer campaign worker for his dad's gubernatorial campaign 1 year.
He was an unpaid intern in his dad's governor's office for eight years.
He was an unpaid bishop and state president of his church for ten years.
He was an unpaid President of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee for three years.
He took no salary and was the unpaid Governor of Massachusetts for four years.
He gave his entire inheritance from his father to charity.

Mitt Romney is one of the wealthiest self-made men in our country but has given more back to its citizens in terms of money, service and time than most men.

And in 2011 Mitt Romney gave over $4 million to charity, almost 19% of his income.... Just for comparison purposes,
Obama gave 1% and Joe Biden gave $300 or .0013%.

Mitt Romney is Trustworthy:
He will show us his birth certificate
He will show us his high school and college transcripts.
He will show us his social security card.
He will show us his law degree.
He will show us his draft notice.
He will show us his medical records.
He will show us his income tax records.
He will show us he has nothing to hide.
Mitt Romney's background, experience and trustworthiness show him to be a great leader and an excellent citizen for President of the United States.

You may think that Romney may not be the best representative the Republicans could have selected. At least I know what religion he is, and that he won't desecrate the flag, bow down to foreign powers, or practice fiscal irresponsibility.

I know he has the ability to turn this financial debacle that the current regime has gotten us into. We won't like all the things necessary to recover from this debt, but someone with Romney's background can do it.

But, on the minus side, he never was a "Community Organizer", never took drugs or smoked pot, never got drunk, did not associate with communists or terrorists, nor did he attend a church whose pastor called for God to damn the US .

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The $64,000 answer

The question, of course, is how much debt Obama has added to every single taxpayer in America since he took office.  You do the math.  On January 20, 2009 the United States owed $10.6 Trillion.  Today, the United States owes $15.8 Trillion.  Approximately 82 million individual tax returns were filed last year in which people declared some income.  Therefore, if each of those taxpayers were asked to pay an equal share in just the increase in US debt under Obama, he or she would pay $64,000 per taxpayer.  But don't worry, once Obamacare and all those green jobs kick in, I am sure it will go down.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Finally there is empirical evidence showing climate change

Rings in fossilised pine trees have proven that the world was much warmer than previously thought - with measurements dating back to 138BC

One of my biggest gripes about the global warmingistas is that they have never attempted an vetted, provable, reproducible and justifiable study of temperature change over a long period of time. Professor Jan Esper undertook a painstaking review of tree ring data from fossilized trees in the Finish Laplands dating back to 138 BC.  Sure enough, he found measurable climate change over time.  Yup, that right.  The earth has been steadily cooling since the Roman and Medieval times.  

 Global cooling: It is the first time that researchers have been able to accurately measure trends in global temperature over the last two millennia

They aren't making Frenchmen like the used to

One of the good ones has left this world.  Robert de la Rochefoucauld died on May 8th.  The Count was born into a long lineaged aristocratic family based in the Loire Valley in 1923.  He was the stuff of legends during World War II.  When Hitler invaded France, a young Rochefoucauld joined De Gaulle's Free French Forces and immediately started blowing things (and Germans) up.  When the Gestapo began to get too close, he left for Spain and joined the British Special Operations Executive.  Whilst with the SOE, he parachuted into his homeland time and again.  He blew up rail road tracks, escaped via a stolen limousine, smuggled explosives in hollowed out loaves of bread and once escaped the Nazis by donning a nun's habit and strolling right by them.  My favorite exploit was when, after being actually captured, he faked a seizure, whacked one guard with a table leg to break his neck when he came in range, then stole his gun and shot the other two guards.  Yup, they certainly are not making Frenchmen like they used to.

Monday, July 9, 2012

I was thinking of selling my old digital camera on ebay

And by old I mean 1975.  No really.  It is a Kodak.  A little bulky by today's standards, but you can save money on SD cards because it records to a cassette.  Then all you have to do is run your data through a processor the size of a suitcase so the signal gets converted from 100 lines to 400 so it can be broadcast to a  TV tuner on a standard NTSC video signal and voila, "Film-less Photography."  Who wouldn't want that (except the film manufacturing company that just went bankrupt who decided it would be bad for business plus nobody would ever want to view photos on a screen)?

I knew it!

A UFO crash landed in Roswell New Mexico 65 years ago today.  And it was real.  The CIA said so.


For the record, the first day back at work after a vacation really stinks.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

At least there is some good news today

A bi-partisan House majority just voted Holder in contempt for refusing to turn over his Fast and Furious records.

Individual Maindate is gone as a mandate, but apparently survives as a tax

I will update when I have read the decision.  Right now there are dueling reports, but based upon one excerpt, it looks like Roberts joined the liberals to basically uphold the act.

Update:  It appears as though Roberts said the mandate was unsupported by Congresses Commerce Clause powers, but they are free to tax the crap out of us for a social(ist) program.

Update 2:  I read the decision.  I hate the decision, but Roberts may be technically correct.  He correctly held that the Federal Government cannot compel anyone into commerce.  They can regulate and tax the heck out of commerce, but they cannot force you to engage in it.  However, under their power to tax you, they can basically say that you are going to be taxed if you make a certain amount and you fail to buy insurance.  I could really go off here on Obama's many quotes about how Obamacare is not a tax, but I will not bother to rehash the obvious.  However, I agree with Roberts that Congress can Constitutionally tax the heck out of me and then spend my hard earned money in ways I think are ridiculous.  I have to be intellectually honest and consistent.  I hate an activist Court.  No one gave them the power to legislate from the bench.  My, and your, recourse is at the ballot box.  So as much as I agree with everyone who says vote your principles, I implore you to vote your principles unless the principled candidate cannot win, and in that case to vote Republican.  Romney with a Republican House and Senate will trash Obamacare.

What will the Supremes do today?

I think they will throw the whole thing out, lock, stock and barrel.  Roberts is the key figure for more reasons than one.  However, if he votes with the majority, he will decide who writes the opinion.  If they want to, each Justice could theoretically write their own concurring or dissenting opinion.  They try hard, however, to join in one majority opinion because then it becomes clear what the law of the land is.  No real precedent is set if the majority of the Justices vote the same way, but give different rational for their decision.  And I think Roberts knows that this will be at least one of the decisions that define his court.  He has a tough job trying to get very disparate views in line on this one.  I think his instinct would be to throw out only the individual mandate and let the legislature wrestle with what is left over because his core belief is to not legislate from the bench.  However, if he does that, I believe a number of Justices would fracture off from him.  We would be left with a mess of concurring in part, dissenting in part, and agreeing and disagreeing in part because of the the legal bases for each aspect of the ruling.  So in order to maintain his coalition on the right of the Court, I think he will grudgingly agree to strike the whole law.  For the record, I think that is the correct decision because Congress failed to include a severability clause whereby the rest of the law would remain if part were struck and also because there would be an unfunded mess if they just chucked the individual mandate.  Now let's sit back and see what the only 9 people whose opinion counts decide what to do.

Sadly, Robbie Douglas died

The older brother on My Three Sons.  Believe it or not the show ran for 12 years from 1960 until 1972.  First Sam Drucker and now Robbie Douglas.  

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Yeah, that's not a "huge" bear

If you read the headline in today's Boston Herald, you would be lead to believe that a good sized Black Bear was captured in Brookline, Mass, a wealthy suburb just west of Boston:

‘Huge’ bear tranquilized, survives fall from Brookline tree

Below is a picture of said bear:

A black bear is seen falling from a...

They estimated that the black bear weighed about 200 pounds.  Um, I hate to break a few things to the good liberals of Brookline who always think they are right, but the Second Amendment gives me the right to carry a gun, Obamacare is about to be thrown out, Obama is going to be as spectacular a failure as Jimmy Carter and THAT is not a huge bear.  If fact, it is down right scrawny (and that may explain why the dimensionally challenged ursine went to Brookline--he figured his disabilities would be recognized, celebrated and otherwise lead to advantages he could not achieve on his own).  Up in Maine, they know huge black bears.  Below is a nice little 600 plus pounder.  Did I mention that the hunter got him with a bow?  We don't bother using firearms unless it is a big bear.

Fireworks are legal in Maine for the first time in 60 years

Of course, this Fourth will not be the first time I have shot fireworks off in Maine.  In fact, Borepatch and I had long running tradition of trying to light up the sky on the evening of our Country's independence.  No worries, though, we long ago decided that the best idea was imbibe heavily all day because that way, it would hurt less if you managed to blow up an incendiary device in your hand.  Of course, through the years, it never dawned on me to see what would happen if you lit up a whole fireworks store.  Well, now I know.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gut shot

Perhaps the best measure of yourself is your friends. I am one of those guys that brings everyone else's measurements down because they associate with me, whereas I am lifted up by just about eveyone else who I can call a friend. Borepatch has been one of my best friends since first grade. Both of us had brothers one grade ahead of us. We grew up in a town, not a city, so the volume of kids at each age was not so great that we only played with those in our own grade. Therefore, Borepatch and I as often as not hung with our older brothers as part of our crowd. And through the years, I became pretty good friends with Borepatch's brother. Extremely bright guy and somewhat disturbingly, he was unfailingly nice to me, even if I was one of the annoying little kids. He would definitely be one of those people that bring up my overall life score because I have called him a friend. So it was quite a blow when Borepatch told me his brother had been diagnosed with cancer. I tried to figure the right words to describe my feelings. There aren't any. "Gut shot" was as close as I could come. I told Borepatch to pass on my good wishes, and I believe the prognosis is good. However, for a guy who sits in a corner office in a big downtown Boston high rise, I feel pretty inadequate and powerless. Godspeed on your recovery, Dave.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

What did Obama know and when did he know it?

OK, I admit it.  I stole the photo from Drudge.  But it is pretty funny.  After Barack "you should never hide behind executive privilege" Obama asserted executive privilege against the House in its subpoena of Holder for Fast n Furious documents in the Justice Department, one has to wonder: why is Obama asserting a privilege over documents he has supposedly never even seen?

The vast right wing conspiracy strikes again

First they made up a bunch of absolute lies about Bill Clinton fooling around with Monica Lewinski.  No truth there.  Nope.  Just a ploy by said conspiracy to smear Hillary's husband.  Well the VRW Conspiracy rides again.  As Breitbart points out, they have obviously for years been sneaking into Elizabeth Warren's bedroom and whispering "you are a Cherokee, you are a Cherokee."  Over and over again until the sub-somnolent suggestions took hold and made her claim minority status as (and all of the benefits of) a woman of color in higher academia.  Yup those VRW guys are pretty devious when they start conspiring.  Below is a statement bizarrely issued by the Warren for Senate campaign to address the issue dogging her every day:
The people of Massachusetts are concerned about their jobs, the future for their kids, and the security of their retirement. Scott Brown would rather talk about anything else. The out-of-state group in question is being promoted and supported by a right wing extremist who is on the record supporting and contributing money to Scott Brown. It is past time we moved on to the important issues facing middle class families in Massachusetts – even if Scott Brown won’t.

Thank the Good Lord and our founding forefathers

For the Supreme Court.  It would appear as though they are set to strike down Obamacare.  Because when you get a government run program, such as in England, that makes decisions based upon actuarial tables and limited budgets, you get the government killing off 130,000 elderly patients every year.

Who says none of Obama's job's programs are working?

Seemingly regular old people showed up at a bunch of Romney events across Michigan to protest.  Well, it turns out they were paid to do so.  So to all you naysayers out there, there is proof positive that at least one of the President's jobs initiatives is actually putting people to work!

How embarrassing

This is not a new story.  Young and full of love, hormones raging and in the throes of passion, an image is made to be preserved for eternity.  That story plays itself out every day throughout the world wide web.  Even more so now that everyone from teenagers on up has a smart phone with a camera.  Well a couple of in heat and crazy kids have their image out on the web for everyone to see as they do the wild thing.  And by wild thing, I do mean wild thing.  And by eternity, I do mean eternity.  As in 47 Million years.  And you don't get much more wild than than prehistoric turtle sex.

Fossilised turtles (Naturmuseum Senckenberg)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

"Freedom is not free"

5th US Armored Division SSI.svg

The above quote is from Col. George C. Benjamin, Ret., age 96 and a resident of Auburn, Maine.  Those were last words spoken as the 5th Armored Division Association closed its 66th Reunion in Bangor, Maine this past weekend.  It was in reference to the more than 1,000 members of the Division that came ashore on Utah Beach, but did not make it home to enjoy the 1st reunion, let alone the 66th.  Sadly, those are also the last words that will ever be spoken in any official capacity by a member of that great and historic band of warriors.  They concluded that there were too few veterans and those that were still with us were too old.  So they decided their reunion over the weekend will be their last.  At least here on Earth.  Thank you for your service.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hear that nervous "gulp"?

It came from the White House.  Romney just went up in Wisconsin, 47-44.  The poll was done by Rasmussen of likely voters.

Reflection, refraction, diffraction and the search for ET

Reflection and refraction are two methods by which astronomers gaze at the stars.  Reflection was pioneered by Newton.  It uses a concave mirror to focus the collected light.  Refraction was pioneered by Galileo.  It uses a series of in line lenses to do the same thing.  Above is a picture of Augustin-Jean Fresnel.  He developed diffraction to achieve the same results.  Diffraction uses a series of concentric rings that alternate between opaque and clear.  The idea is to scatter and spread the light waves in a manner whereby they end up reinforcing themselves and cause an image by the reinforced waves.  Unfortunately, logistical issues posed by the Earth's atmosphere would end up requiring a several kilometer long diffraction telescope, so the Fresnel telescopes were never developed.  The Economist has a great article whereby they suggest using a diffracting telescope in space to look for life in another solar system, where the Earth's atmosphere no longer is an impediment.  If the Fresnel telescope finds waves equating to oxygen in another planet's atmosphere, then we have likely found ET.  Oxygen is a very reactive element that is only present in abundance here on Earth because of the constant biologic processes producing it.    

Monday, June 11, 2012

Wow, a rare outbreak of common sense in a Massachusetts court

An atheist couple brought suit to enjoin the utterance of "under God" while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in a school.  And a actually threw the claim out!

 Middlesex Superior Court judge has rejected a lawsuit by an atheist couple and their children who sued the Acton-Boxbrough Regional School District and the Acton schools challenging the use of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Judge S. Jane Haggerty, in a ruling released Friday, said the daily recitation of the pledge with those words did not violate the plaintiffs’ rights under the Massachusetts Constitution, did not violate the school district’s antidiscrimination policy, and did not violate state law.
The plaintiffs, while acknowledging that the children had the right to refuse to participate in the pledge, asserted that the phrase “under God” was a “religious truth” that contradicted their beliefs, Haggerty said.
The defendants argued that the pledge, rather than a religious document or ceremony, is a patriotic exercise and statement of political philosophy, according to the ruling.
The judge observed that the case presents a “familiar dilemma in our pluralistic society — how to balance conflicting interests when one group wants to do something for patriotic reasons that another group finds offensive to its religious (or atheistic) beliefs.”
The judge ruled in her 25-page opinion that the phrase “under God” was not a religious truth.
Citing previous opinions, she said that the daily flag salute and pledge in schools are “clearly designed to inculcate patriotism and to instill a recognition of the blessings conferred by orderly government under the constitutions of the state and nation.”
“The Pledge is a voluntary patriotic exercise, and the inclusion of the phrase ‘under God’ does not convert the exercise into a prayer,” she wrote.
“As recently as 2002, Congress reaffirmed the terms of the Pledge,” she noted, “making findings that support the conclusion that including the phrase ‘under God’ did not transform the Pledge into a religious exercise but rather was intended to reflect the history and political philosophy of the United States.”
Named as a defendant in the litigation was Stephen E. Mills, superintendent of both the Acton-Boxborough regional and Acton public school systems.
Today, Mills released a copy of the memo he sent to the school committee detailing Haggerty’s ruling in favor of the existing practice inside the systems’ classrooms.
“The court upheld the school district’s longstanding practice of leading children in the Pledge of Allegiance, which is also required under our state law,’’ Mills wrote.
“The school districts have maintained throughout this lawsuit that we have not engaged in unlawful discrimination against its students, specifically with respect to their religious beliefs as was alleged in this case,’’ Mills wrote.
Mills added that “we are pleased with the court’s decision regarding the claim of discrimination and we continue to work hard to provide a positive and accepting educational environment for all of the students in the communities that we serve.’’
The names of the children and their parents who brought the lawsuit was not disclosed in court papers, but they were represented by Fitchburg attorney David Niose on behalf of the American Humanist Association.
Niose is also president of the association, and he promises on his website to appeal Haggerty’s ruling.
“If conducting a daily classroom exercise that marginalizes one religious group while exalting another does not violate basic principles of equal rights and nondiscrimination, then I don’t know what does,’’ he wrote.
During the litigation, Daniel and Ingrid Joyce family stepped forward on behalf of their two children to defend the inclusion of the words, “under God’’ with the support of the Catholic fraternal organization, the Knights of Columbus, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
“This is a great victory for everyone who believes that human rights come not from the whim of the government, but from a higher power, which is what the Pledge proclaims,” Diana Verm, legal counsel of the Becket Fund wrote on the fund’s website.
The Becket Fund reported on its site that the Acton-Boxborough litigation was the fourth major lawsuit targeting the phrase “under God’’ in the pledge and is also the fourth time that courts have ruled in favor of retaining the phrase.

Tomorrow, June 12, is the anniversary of the first naval battle of the Revolutionary War

It happened on June 12, 1775 in the bay at Machias, Maine.  Ichabod Jones was a trader that brought lumber from Maine and returned his ships with their holds filled with supplies and commercial goods.  The lumber that was supposed  to come down from Machias was needed by British General Thomas Gage to build barracks for his troops, which had been increasing in number ever since the insurrections in Lexington and Concord.  Ordinarily, Jones would have just sailed up as soon as the spring replenishments were tucked in the holds of his ships, the Unity and the Polly.  However, recently enacted Boston Port Act of 1774 required the blessing of Admiral Samuel Graves before any vessels could leave the harbor.  Knowing that Gage needed the lumber, and spooked by the April clashes of Lexington and Concord, Graves ordered the British naval sloop Margaretta to "protect" the two commercial ships, though I suspect "protect" may have been defined as making sure they came back with the lumber.  Of course, when poor Jones showed up in the harbor with a British war ship, the good people of Machias figured him for a loyalist.  Jones protested that having the ship tag along was the only way that he could get permission to bring his ships, and the town's supplies, up to the people of Machias.  They had a big meeting at the Burnham Tavern and eventually (one wonders how many pints were consumed in the the decision making) allowed the loading of the lumber to proceed.  Jones overplayed his hand, however.  He said he would only give the provisions he carried to those who pledged their support for him.  Local malcontents/patriots took exception and hatched a plot to capture Jones and the British officers when they came to town for church.  It failed.  Jones made it to the woods and the British officers made it back to the Margaretta.  Nonetheless, the fight was on.  The local boys commandeered the Unity and took off after the British sloop which was having difficulties in  Machias Bay.  Machias bay is very close to the largest tides in the world, and I have a suspicion borne of hard earned personal knowledge from sailing those waters, that  the poor captain of the Margaretta was sailing against the tide.  Either way, aided by a ship called the Falmouth Packet, the colonialists shot the British captain in the chest and forced the sloop to surrender.  The Brits exacted a terrible revenge by burning all of the ships in Falmouth (now Portland, Maine) harbor.  Maybe they decided they had had enough of the twenty foot tides up north, so they opted for a more target rich environment a couple hundred miles to the south.  The Committee of Public Safety in Massachusetts gave the Unity to the Maine revolutionaries and it was renamed the Machias Liberty.  History is unclear about the fate of the Margaretta, but during one of those incredible moon tides, the bare remnant bones of an old ship can still be seen at the bottom of Sawyer's Cove, down the coast in Jonesport, where local lore has it the the burning Margaretta came to her final rest.

R.I.P. Sam Drucker

Sadly, Mr. Drucker of both Green Acres and Petticoat Junction fame, has passed.  Sam's real name was Frank Cady.  He was 96 years old when he died.  The late great thespian studied drama at Stanford and fought in World War II.  He took a bit part on The Beverly Hillbillies and turned it into a career.  

Friday, June 8, 2012

My apologies to the heros of the battle of Midway for missing the anniversary

June 4, 1942.  Midway is just that, a barren island halfway across the Pacific.  And as such, it was of immense strategic value to fighting forces looking at each other from both the East and the West.  Chester Nimitz was put in charge of cleaning up the disaster at Pearl Harbor by Roosevelt himself.  It was well known that the strategy (developed before WWII even broke out) was to play for time with the Japanese, win in Europe and then take care of Asia.  When Roosevelt looked around for the right guy to fight a controlled, delaying action, maybe the President was fooled by Nimitz's calm, Texas demeanor.  However, he picked a true warrior.  So when faced with the prospect of loosing the strategic outpost, Nimitz did not opt for the conservative course of letting the island fall while the US re-established its Pacific naval forces to try to take it back in the future.  He seized the opportunity to put a big dent in the Japanese naval capabilities.  Bear in mind, theirs was better than ours at the time.  We were down to two carriers that were functional in the theater, maybe three if the Yorktown could be patched up with some spit, bailing wire and American know-how.  And the Rising Sun had the edge in their air power too, with their zero's far outperforming our old F4F Wildcats.  But that didn't stop old Chester (or actually young Chester who was only 56 years old).  In the great tradition of his Texas home boys, he saddled up and took his posse after the bad guys who messed up Pearl Harbor.  Carrying the Texas Ranger analogy forward, his top deputy got shot next.  Bull Halsey, who he would've sent in charge of the fleet, was waylaid in a Pearl hospital with a bad bout of debilitating psoriasis.  So Nimitz picked another young gun, Admiral Spruance at a mere 55 years old to head up the group.  And off they went.  With the Yorktown a bit late to the fight, but deemed battle worthy (enough), Spruance ordered Task Force 16 to proceed toward contact with the enemy fleet with understanding that the Yorktown group would be coming along.  The air group on the Enterprise was lead by Wade McCluskey, who had only turned 40 a few days before.  Per his orders, he got his group in motion, armored and up in the air.  However, delays beset all of the other groups.  Finally, with half their fuel burned while waiting around, they were given the order to proceed alone by a frustrated Spruance.  One look at the gauges told the men it was not going to be a round trip.  As it turned out, McCluskey ended up with 32 dive bombers--and nothing else.  Like his commanders, McCluskey was not a man of hesitation, so he and his group took off to the anticipated position of the Japanese fleet.  Only when the fly boys got there, they were alone.  As they started a search grid, two the bombers ran out of fuel and had to ditch in the water.  McCluskey was just about to be forced by low fuel into breaking off the search when he spotted a lone vessel traveling as fast as it could.  He correctly surmised that it was a straggler that was racing to catch up with the rest of the Japanese fleet.  He used the "V" of the ships white wake as an arrow and pressed forward in search of the enemy.  Sure enough, the entire Kido Butai came into view.  The airmen knew their high value targets well.  They wanted the Japanese fleet's largest carrier Kaga and also the flagship carrier Akagi.  McCluskey had tasked his two best squad leaders to lead the parallel attacks, Lieutenants Ed Gallaher and Dick Best (another young whippersnapper at only 32 years old who still got carded buying a beer).  Unfortunately, McCluskey did not come up through ranks as a bomber pilot, but rather as a fighter jockey.  Bomber doctrine would differentiate the target as near and far and not right and left.  Tactics called for Gallaher's lead squadron to fly past the closer carrier and attack the far carrier and then Best would swoop down on the the near one. McClusky made a potentially disastrous error when he finally broke radio silence and ordered Gallaher to take the carrier "on the left" and Best to take the one "on the right".  To add to the confusion, Best never even heard that order.  Post battle speculation was that he radioed to McCluskey with his target at the exact moment McCluskey radioed to him.  In any event, he had just lined his boys up to dive onto the target he thought was his, the Kaga, when Gallaher, McCluskey and the whole other squadron went screaming past him, jumping his target.  Best desperately tried to signal his squad to hold off, but all but his two wing men, Ed Kroeger and Fred Weber had already committed to the dive.  So 27 of the remaining 30 planes dove on the unsuspecting Kaga.  She was plastered with a whole lot of Pearl payback and left a smoldering, barely floating wreck.  In the best tradition of American airmen before and since, Dick Best gathered his wing men and pointed his nose toward the flagship Akagi in what he thought was a pointless and likely fatal attempt to inflict some harm on his targeted enemy.  Each of the three planes carried single 1,000 pound bombs, which sounds like a decent ordnance, but was more like a mosquito bite on a buffalo considering the size of the carrier.  Only sometimes mosquitoes carry deadly diseases.  Just as they had been taught, all three American pilots sited their bombs dead center of the flight deck, just forward of the bridge.  They pulled up at a mere 1,500 feet and skimmed the water in their attempt to pull out of the dive.  Best's 1,000 pounder did a decent of amount of damage to the flight deck as it punched through.  But that damage was nothing compared to the secondary effects.  The Akagi's flight hanger below the deck was crammed with 18 big "Kate" torpedo bombers, which were all armed with Type 91 torpedoes and fueled up.  Better still, there were carts of ordnance beside the planes and more stacked along the walls.  As the av fuel caught and started to pop off the ordnance, the Akagi was doomed.  That was when the straggling and still limping Yorktown finally caught up to the fray.  It launched all it could muster against the carrier Soryu.  In less than half an hour's time, three quarters of the Kido Butai was destroyed, Pearl was avenged and any thoughts of fighting a staying action in the Pacific were banished.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wow. I didn't know Al Gore was that old!

The guy who really invented the internet arguably did so in 1934!  Talk about being ahead of his time.  Paul Otlet looked at the telephone and the emerging television and envisioned the Radiated Library.  He foresaw people dialing in to a central library with a query and then having the librarian send the response pages as television signals.  Hmmm.  Type a question into Yahoo and have some servers give you the answer on the screen in front of you.  Yup, ol' Paul was pretty much dead on.

You can see the electoral college flipping as we speak

If you look at the polls of likely voters (do not be fooled by the registered voter polls which are nothing more than flipping open the phone book with no attempt to filter for who may actually vote in the fall and are always and appreciably biased toward Obama), every day the numbers are more and more favorable to Mitt.  The latest states to flip:

Michigan--now 46-45 Romney


Ohio--now 46-44 Romney

Together they total 34 electoral votes.  Obama carried them both in 2008.  And if he cannot carry them again, he will not be President again.

Fishing is better in Maine--just look at the perch these guys caught

OK, I lied.  It is actually an Atlantic halibut.  A 257 pound, 7'4" long halibut.  Josh Lawson caught it off shore not too far from my Maine place.  Not bad Josh.  'Course, if it'd been on my line, I would have thrown it back. I only keep the big ones.

Dog bites man

And Obama used to actually belong to a Socialist Party (as opposed to being a socialist while afilliating with the Democratic party).

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Politics and war

Even in times of war, and even by military men, political (or maybe marketing) decisions are often made instead of military decisions.  The above photograph is from a wonderful Life Magazine collection of immediately before and then after D-Day.  This picture was taken on the Champs-Elysees in August of 1944.  The day after Paris was Liberated.  I looked for my father, but not surprisingly did not see him.  The reason I looked for my father was because that was the first day he went into Paris.  He and his company had done a lot of dirty work from D-Day on and had been diverted by the brass to go down and help clear the remaining Germans out so the French Capital could be liberated.  And so they did.  They had a few nasty scrapes with what turned out to be the rear guard whose job it was to give the German brass that had been in charge of the occupation enough time to bug out.  The only thing was that when my father and his pals got just into the City limits, after chasing off the last of the Krauts, they were ordered to stand down right where they were.  So those lucky German troops were allowed to disengage and high tail it out of town to catch up with their buddies.  Why,  you may ask, were GIs including my Dad ordered to stop?  Simple.  They looked exactly like you would expect troops that landed on an open beach with artillery and automatic weapons firing down on them from cliffs above, then fought their way in through hedgerows, villages and farms against the best troops a desperate enemy had to offer, and then were pulled down to clear out the passage into the ancient capital of a liberated Ally against the best CYA German troops left around.  In other words, they looked like s%&t warmed over.  And the brass wanted pretty newsreel pics for the people watching on the home front.  So my father and his company was told to bivouac off the road and out of the way while the fresh troops with spotless uniforms marched in precise columns as they liberated the City of Lights for posterity.  In fact, the guys who did the real work weren't given passes or even a hot meal (though it is my understanding that the boys decided on their own to liberate some fresh Parisian libations for a couple of days).  Immediately thereafter, the fresh meat was left to "guard" the City and the experienced troops were sent back to the real front.  But don't worry, he was eventually told he could pull back.  That was sometime in December of 1944.  Right before the Battle of the Bulge.

Below is a picture of Barack Obama

At least that is what Jack Kelly makes a very good case for over at Realclearpolitics.com.  He points out the following:

1. In 2008 Obama won the Jewish vote by 52%.  But thanks to his definitely NOT Israeli friendly policies, he has lost 16% of that demographic.

2.  He won the Catholic vote 54% to 45%.  Wanna bet that slips thanks to Obamacare forcing paid contraception and abortions down their throats.

3.  Affluent suburban voters went 40% for him.  How's the economy and class warfare rhetoric working out for them.

4.  Remarkably, Obama only lost to McCain by 10% of the veterans in the last elections.  He is eviscerating the military budget and, right or wrong, dumping don't ask don't tell was actually very popular among the military.

It is a good read and I commend it you.

Monday, June 4, 2012

I wonder if Eric Holder is going after the Massachusetts Democratic Party?

He certainly has been very busy with voting laws down in Florida.  First he went into court to temporarily restrain the State from enforcing its Voter Registration Law which was enacted lat year and was designed to stop the ACORNs of the State from massive--and fraudulent--voter registration drives.  Next he sent a threatening letter to Ken Detzner, the Florida Secretary of State who is leading the effort to purge the voter rolls of illegal (or dead, or moved away, etc.) registrants.  Secretary Detzner has in the past asked the Obama administration for information that would make the process more efficient, only to be stonewalled.  Now Obama's Attorney General is threatening suit to stop the cleaning up of the rolls.  Apparently, after Due consideration, Secretary Detzner told Holder and Obama to go worry about the jobs they were (not) doing in DC and leave voter registration in Florida to Florida.

Then I read on Breitbart that you needed a valid photo ID to get into the State Democratic convention this past weekend.  Surely General Holder will not stand for such blatant disenfranchisement of the poorest and least represented among us!

Real photographic evidence of Greenland's glaciers retreating dramatically

Danish explorers in Greenland in 1932. Credit: National Survey and Cadastre of Denmark

In 1932, that is.  And far more dramatically than today.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Did Elizabeth Warren commit a federal felony?

And Harvard, too, for that matter.  Legal Insurrection, a blog run by Prof. William Jacobson at Cornell Law School, brings up a very good point in his post entitled "It's Elizabeth Warren's and Harvard's federal filings, stupid."
We now know that starting in 1986 Warren filled out forms for a faculty law directory as “Native American“ putting her on a relatively short list of “Minority Law Teachers.”  Her explanation of why she did it, to meet others like her, didn’t hold up.
We now know (because Warren finally admitted it last night after The Boston Globe found more documents) that Warren told her prior employer, U. Penn. Law, that she was Native American and that Penn reported it that way for federal filings.
We now know that in its Spring 1993 issue (which would have been prepared substantially before that), during Warren’s 1992-1993 “visiting” year at Harvard, the Harvard Women’s Law Journal listed Warren on a relatively short list of Women of Color in Legal Academia.
We now know (again last night after The Globe found documents) that Warren was listed for the 1992-1993 academic year as Native American in Harvard Law federal filings.
We now know that all these federal filings were false.  There is no evidence that Elizabeth Warren is Native American, and substantial evidence she is not.
Making a false federal filing potentially was a crime.  18 U.S. Code § 1001 as it existed prior to 1996 revisions provided:
“Whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact, or makes any false, fictitious or fraudulent statements or representations, or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”
The statute since 1996 has provided:
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully–
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or
(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;
shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both. If the matter relates to an offense under chapter 109A, 109B, 110, or 117, or section 1591, then the term of imprisonment imposed under this section shall be not more than 8 years.

So Elizabeth Warren and Harvard, what did you know and when did you know it?  If you made a false federal filing, you may have committed a federal felony.  How about the US Attorney for the District of Massachusetts starts a real investigation that the two potentially guilty parties cannot stonewall.

Um, did Bill Clinton just endorse Mitt Romney?

"There's no question that in terms of getting up and going to the office, and you know, basically performing the essential functions of the office, a man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold."

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Yet another reason I am predicting a Romney victory

Money.  Per this article on Politico:
Republican super PACs and other outside groups shaped by a loose network of prominent conservatives – including Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – plan to spend roughly $1 billion on November’s elections for the White House and control of Congress, according to officials familiar with the groups’ internal operations.
That total includes previously undisclosed plans for newly aggressive spending by the Koch brothers, who are steering funding to build sophisticated, county-by-county operations in key states. POLITICO has learned that Koch-related organizations plan to spend about $400 million ahead of the 2012 elections - twice what they had been expected to commitJust the spending linked to the Koch network is more than the $370 million that John McCain raised for his entire presidential campaign four years ago. And the $1 billion total surpasses the $750 million that Barack Obama, one of the most prolific fundraisers ever, collected for his 2008 campaign.
Restore Our Future, the super PAC supporting Mitt Romney, proved its potency by spending nearly $50 million in the primaries. Now able to entice big donors with a neck-and-neck general election, the group is likely to meet its new goal of spending $100 million more.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The (a) difference between Romney and Obama

Romney, while at Bain, was a private equity investor who often invested his own money.  Obama, while President is a public equity investor who always invests your money.  Oh, and Romney made money on his investments.

Now I am getting worried because the Obama campaign seems to finally be getting a little smarter

They told Biden to sit down and shut up for a week!  No, really!!!  If they can keep everyone else in the Whitehouse  from opening their mouths, we may be in trouble.

What a shock

The smarter the person, the less likely they are worried about global warming.  At least that is what a Yale law professor has concluded based upon his recently published study.
"As respondents’ science literacy scores increased, their concern with climate change decreased," the paper, which was funded by the National Science Foundation, notes.
So let me get this straight, the more a person knows about science, the less concerned they are about AGW.  Sounds right to me.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

When I see headlines like this, I am glad I grew up in Maine AFTER the advent of indoor plumbing

"Black Bear Mauls Man In Outhouse"

I always thought this was the case

A Florida man was driving home one day and he saw a Seminole County Sheriff's car parked of the road in a speed trap.  So the man started to flash his lights to oncoming traffic.  Only one of those cars was another deputy, who promptly gave him a ticket.  Well, our hero fought the police action on two grounds.  First he said that the statue they county relied on was not intended for flashing your headlights but rather to prevent average citizens from using flashing emergency lights on their cars while driving down public ways.  Second, he said he was using his headlights to communicate with the on-coming drivers.  Therefore, any attempt to stop him was violative of his First Amendment right to free speech.  Both arguments had great merit.  He could have one on the first grounds that the sheriffs overreached to apply the emergency light statute.  However, the judge took on the Constitutional issues.  And the driver won.  So people, feel free to freely express yourself.  The next ticket that is saved may be your own.

91 year old driver kills man in crosswalk

You read headlines like that and roll your eyes about how people too old to drive should not be allowed to drive.  However, the man he killed was 101 years old.  Maybe he was too old to cross the street.

The liberal cocoon

Michael Barone has written a wonderful opinion piece about how liberals insulate themselves from opposing views and thereby are ill-prepared to argue their positions.  It reminded me of a political argument I got in a long time ago with my (very liberal) brother.  The sands of time have washed away my memories of the specifics of the argument, or even what the general subject was.  However, one thing stuck in my mind all theses years.  Every source he cited in support of his position, I had read.  Every source I cited in support of mine, he had not read.  I welcome opposing views and I love a well reasoned argument.  The same cannot be said for most liberals I meet, however.  They would never be caught dead listening to Rush Limbaugh instead of NPR (which I will from time to time tune in).  They would never think of watching FoxNews instead of MSNBC (which I watch), and Heaven forbid they read the Wall Street Journal instead of the Boston Globe (I just got done with it).  I suppose I should not push them to broaden their horizons, though.  It is too much fun watching their shocked and stupefied expressions when their liberal champions go down in flames at the polls.  After all, everything they read, everything they watched and everyone they spoke with supported their causes.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I am in mouring

Eugene Polley, the inventor of the TV remote control has died.  Working for Zenith, he was the guy who came up with the workable concept of a wireless remote control.  It looked like a ray gun, and you pointed it at the corner of the television screen where it activated photo cells tied to the channel changer, the volume, etc.  That was in 1955.  Mr. Polley was 96.  Think about it, who has affected what we do, every day, more than the late Mr. Polley?  A truly great innovator.  Mark Zuckerberg who?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

For the record, I am not a birther

but, OOPS!  Check out this 1991 booklet that Obama's literary agency, Acton & Dystel, put out which Breitbart dog up:

Though I am not a birther, I most definitely agree with Breitbart that the fact that this thing has been just sitting out there with nary a peep out of the MSM shows how little interest they have in actually vetting Obama and his ideas.

What do Elizabeth Warren and I have in common?

We both lay claim to minority status.  Of course, in Her case it would be a lie that has told in order to further her career and curry favor with the right thinking people.  In may case it would be the absolute truth.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Yet another example of Fox News biased and inaccurate coverage of the Obama White House

Fox News has as the lead article on its website one entitled "Horning in on History?"  In it they lambaste Obama for editing the bios on the official White House web page of Presidents going back 100 years so as include something about Obama.  For example, the Reagan bio has the following sentence added to it:
"In a June 28, 1985, speech, Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multimillionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule." 
That is just patently unfair and an example of yellow journalism at its worst.  The truth is that there is no reference to Obama in the Gerald Ford bio.  And they could have very easily slid one in about how much they both played golf, too.

Lest we forget, Presidents are not popularly elected

Each State, through rules it basically sets on its own, selects "electors" who in turn sit in the electoral college.  Those electors then decide who will be the next President.  So certain States take on a magnified importance.  For example, who cares how many votes either party gets in California because they are all going to Obama.  Conversely, little New Hampshire and its lonely four delegates may get quite a bit of attention because those votes are in play.  Last election, based upon the strength of support within the African American community, North Carolina, a normally reliable Republican State, voted for Obama.  It was won of his real keys to victory. Well, the latest Rasmussen tracking poll of likely voters in North Carolina has Mitt up 51% to 43%.  How important do the Democrats believe North Carolina is to Obama's reelection chances?  They picked Charlotte for their convention.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I used to find Chris Mathews half way entertaining

But as his bias became more and more obvious, and his screaming louder and louder as opposed to more thoughtful, I got to the point where I really couldn't stand him.  He turned into a classic wannabe bully.  He loved to lob grenades for which there was no opportunity for the victim to respond.  Like all of the times he would sneeringly and with great superiority say how he would love to see Sarah Palin on Jeopardy.  So how did Mr. Self Important Obviously Smarter MSNBC anchor do when he went on the show?  He embarrassed himself.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Found seventy years later

RAF Flight Sargent Dennis Copping was charged on June 28, 1942 with shuttling a Kittyhawk P-40 to another airbase where they could better work on the front landing gear that would not retract.  At the time Rommel was busily chasing the Brits all over the Sahara and every piece of equipment was important.  Unfortunately Sgt. Copping got turned around and ended up running out of fuel over the Egyptian desert.  Well, the plane, but alas not Sgt. Copping, has been found, and in remarkable shape.

In what experts consider nothing short of a miracle, a Polish oil company worker recently discovered the plane believed to have been flown by missing Flight Sgt. Dennis Copping.
As German Gen. Erwin Rommel chased British forces across the North African desert, a stray Royal Air Force fighter crashed in the blistering sands of the Egyptian Sahara on June 28, 1942.
The pilot was never heard from again. The damaged Kittyhawk P-40 -- a couple of hundred miles from civilization -- was presumed lost forever.
The fighter's "state of preservation is incredible," British military historian Andy Saunders said. "The thing just landed there in the desert and the pilot clearly got out. ... It is a complete time capsule really."
Pilots were "flying with very basic life support systems," Saunders said. "His chances of survival were not good."
Almost 70 years after the accident, the plane is extraordinarily well-preserved.
RAF pilots in North Africa at that time didn't have much in terms of rations. Copping's supply would have been very limited, assuming he had food or water at all.
The young pilot, according to Saunders, apparently became disoriented during the flight and headed in the wrong direction. Another RAF pilot flying nearby "tried all sorts of things" to get his attention, but Copping "bizarrely" ignored a series of warnings, Saunders said.
Most of the plane's fuselage, wings, tail and cockpit instruments remain intact.
For safety reasons, Egyptian officials have removed its ammunition and guns.
As Copping's story becomes known, British authorities are hoping to bring his plane back to the United Kingdom and put it on display at the RAF Museum in London.