WERE THOSE TRAPPED MINERS KIND TO MOTHER EARTH?
•I am absolutely ecstatic that they have rescued all 33 of the trapped Chilean miners after their 70 day ordeal 2000 feet underground. I've never been either that far underground or out in space like the Apollo 13 spacecraft was. But the similarities which can be drawn between these two separate-but-related incidents are spooky. How did they manage air and food and waste management and exercise and social interaction?
Did they recycle? Were they sensitive to their environment? Did they try not to injure Mother Earth?
Seriously, how long will it be before we have a feature movie or a sitcom involving what zany antics trapped miners encounter while waiting months for rescue? It's coming. Just don't let Ron Howard direct it.
They should be able to mine this thing for years!
•I was amazed to learn that an American mining company was pivotal in the rescue operation. Rescuers ferried the miners one by one in a metal capsule which rode through a 2,000-foot hole bored by drill bits made by Center Rock Inc. of Berlin, Pa.
I heard an interview with one of the drillers that indicated they started by following a 5” diameter pilot hole that had already existed down to the area where the trapped miners were holed-up, and they blindly drilled along that 5” diameter hole to create a 12” diameter hole. There apparently was a considerable amount of uncertainty as to whether they could maintain that drilling path after all, they ARE working 2000 feet underground! If they had lost that pilot hole, they would have been literally drilling blind with absolutely no guide. North-South-East-West doesn't exist 2000 feet underground!
•If you needed any further evidence that the women of The View on ABC denigrates women by doing what the show was designed to do let dummies talk for them, you got it last week. The ladies of The View and FOX News' Bill O'Reilly bantered about the Ground Zero Mosque and it is on that basis where the fireworks were ignited.
During a discussion about building the controversial mosque at Ground Zero, Whoopi Goldberg asks O'Reilly why he thinks it would be inappropriate. His response: "Because Muslims killed us on 9/11." This angered Goldberg, who let an expletive fly before adding that it was religious extremists rather than Muslims at fault. Goldberg then got up and walked off the set behind Joy Behar, in an apparent show of, “Well, we'll just show him!”
Really? This advances the status of women in the exchange of ideas? Walking off the set?
The show's creator and chief, Barbara Walters, apologized for her colleagues' swift departure, and O'Reilly rushed to clarify things by saying, "If anybody thought I was demeaning all Muslims," he said, "I apologize." Goldberg and Behar later returned and the discussion continued.
If I was a woman, I would urge all fellow women to boycott that booger of a show.
•Unemployment, as measured by Gallup without seasonal adjustment, is at 10.0% in mid-October. Remember when the Obama Administration promised that the then 7% unemployment would not go above 8% if we let our Congressmen pass the Federal stimulus bill?
Certain groups continue to fare worse than the national average. For example, 14.2% of Americans aged 18 to 29 and 13.8% of those with no college education were unemployed in mid-October. So, we can conclude that federal government policies are actually harder on the lower income folks than they are on the higher income people? Where did we hear that warning before?
Remember folks, November is almost here.
•Did you ever wonder why we recycle glass? The most prevalent type of glass, used since centuries for windows and drinking vessels, is soda-lime glass, made of about 75% silica (A.K.A. sand) plus several minor additives. We're nowhere near running out of sand on this planet, and on the day we do, I know where we can find more landfills, where I throw all my used glass.
Think before you recycle.
•Have you heard all the attention the NFL is giving to concussions lately? I heard of it being rampant at the high school level as well. Something is wrong if we have to address these serious medical conditions consistently in the sport. There is one solution --STOP encouraging and rewarding thunderous hits. No, I'm not talking about at the legislative level or even at the league administrative level. I'm talking at the fan level. You've seen it at all levels of the game. Stop cheering and encouraging bone crushing hits on other players in the sport. Coaches and parents, teach solid blocking and tackling fundamentals. Old school is the answer.
•Welcome back to earth, all you Husker fans. I'm sorry you were never able to beat Texas. We're truly sorry to see you leave the Big 12 conference. But, just look on the bright side--you don't have to face Texas ever again.
(You get to face another Parallax Look again next week. In the meantime, email Brian at email@example.com)
DOESN'T ANYBODY SEND CANDY AND FLOWERS ANYMORE?
From 10/13/10 issue
•In case you need any kind of reminder, Election Day is fast approaching. This is our chance to begin to right the ship that has been trying to grow government beyond its Constitutional bounds. The first step is to send Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid packing. Remember when Pelosi told us we needed to let them pass the ObamaCare bill, “…so that we could see what is in it…”? Remember when Harry Reid told us that the War in Iraq “…was lost…” after the President Bush ordered troop surge? Remember when Reid told us that tourists to the Capitol building, “…smelled…”?
I'll be sending you these friendly reminders of what we've had to endure over the following several weeks leading up to Nov. 2.
•Can someone tell me why is CNN the prevalent and seemingly only news network allowed on airport waiting area TVs? Fox News is by far the most watched cable news network nationwide, and has been for a long time. What gives?
•So if I understand the facts of this story correctly, Brett Favre sends a few suggestive, “…let's get together…” voice messages to a young woman working for the NY Jets media department and a few days later caps his end of the “courtship” with photos of his “…short interpretation of Longfellow…” (to phrase what he did discreetly) and then the messages and pics make their way across the world via the internet.
What was he thinking? Do professional athletes think this kind of thing won't rise and get noticed? I can understand a rookie getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar like this, but isn't Favre 40? That's a man, at least according to Mike Gundy. And what man sends pictures of his “self” as an initial means of acquaintance? What…was he short on Topps trading cards?
I have to applaud my wife's initial reaction when I showed her Favre's photos, “Doesn't anyone send candy and flowers anymore?”
•Bob Woodward admitted in an NPR interview last week that he is a Democrat (could have knocked me over with that one!), indicating that he is essentially forced to do so because he lives in heavily Democrat Washington D.C. But the real kicker is that he also admitted in the interview that he has repeatedly taken his daughter, since she was four years old, into the voting booth with him and allowed her to cast his vote. Who does that?
Shouldn't he be arrested for committing voter fraud? Don't hold your breath on that one.
•So I'm perusing an airline in-flight magazine while traveling for business, and I come across this article about the Chevy Volt, GM's first electric car, and throughout the interview there was no mention of the relative short range of the vehicle compared to traditional gas-powered vehicles. There was no answer offered (nor question asked) about where one goes on a highway to recharge their electric vehicle and how long exactly that process takes compared to what one does now to “re-charge” their gas car. There was no mention of the concerns with charging such a large battery on a standard household electrical outlet in their home. Once again, all we get is fluff and P.R., and no answers from Government Motors.
I cannot wait for the Chevy Volt to fail miserably.
•A point of clarification is necessary regarding my Nebraska-Kansas State score prediction. You will note that my prediction for the score of 35-7 Kansas State was due homage to the last time Kansas State faced an opponent that was projected by most media soothsayers as unbeatable, the 2003 Oklahoma Sooners in the Big 12 Championship Game. My prediction was purely facetious, as are most of my score predictions. I'm traditionally so bad at score prediction, your time is better spent trying to decipher why I predicted the score I did rather than heading to Vegas with the information.
•So while we were watching my Wildcats get dismembered by the Cornhuskers last week, we were being serenaded by a red-clad jerk of tremendous proportions sitting behind us with various insults ranging from the age of our head coach, the faint Heisman Trophy aspirations of our starting running back, and the need for a stretcher for one of our injured players. After we turned around to object, we found out from one of his adjacent Husker friends that he wasn't even a real Nebraska fan--he was an Iowa Hawkeye fan. The other Huskers admonished the Hawkeye/Husker to shut-up because he was making them look bad. So kudos to the REAL Huskers out there, but on the whole, they were a rude bunch that were in no way reticent to burn a fire trail behind them as they left Manhattan, Kansas for the last time.
They're still largely a dumb fan base though. I submit the following as evidence…
(Take a weekly Parallax Look at the universe right here. Email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org)
IT'S TIME TO GET RID OF SOME WHINY RINOS
From 10/6/10 issue
•Have you had about enough of all the whiny RINO's yet? Lisa Murkowski in Alaska is running a write-in candidacy after losing to the Tea Party favorite Joe Miller. Mike Castle in Delaware has reportedly still not publicly endorsed Christine O'Donnell, who whipped him in the Delaware special election for Biden's vacant Senate seat. Charlie Crist saw he was going to lose to Marco Rubio in the Republican Primary for the U.S. Senate in Florida, bailed from the race, and is running as an Independent. Arlen Specter tried the same thing in Pennsylvania and lost that too.
Why should anyone feel sorry for these loser clowns? They epitomize everything that is currently wrong with politics and what has been wrong with the Republican Party. If you win, win with grace. If you lose, lose with dignity. Enough of the whining already.
Even if we lose a few seats to liberal Democrats, I will be pleased to be rid of whiny RINO's.
•Have you bought a bag of Sun Chips recently? The environmental whackos have influenced the makers of the reportedly healthy snack chip sufficiently to get them to repackage their product in a biodegradable bag that they claim with decompose on a compost pile in 14 days.
The bad part though is the crinkling noise of the bag as you handle it is noisier than all get-out. Think of the sound caused by chewing on a big sheet of aluminum foil with big metal teeth. It's downright obnoxious.
I hate those chips anyway, but if they are going to insist on polluting my commerce with enviro-nuttiness, I am going to counter them by making sure that the empty bag is tightly sealed in a really thick plastic trash bag so the 14 day count doesn't start for about 1000 years.
•By the way, did you catch this? (Almost nobody else did. Hat tip to Michael Savage.) When President Obama was climbing over fences intruding on family backyard BBQ's (Did anybody even remotely buy into that premise? Do they REALLY think we are that stupid?) to tout his economic plans a week or so ago, he said that he only became a Christian later in life. So, by his own admission, Obama was not raised as a Christian.
So what religion was he raised in? His fatherthe one who was essentially a sperm donor but apparently was around enough to inspire his son to write a novel about what he believes in--was a Muslim. His mother was apparently either an agnostic or an atheist. His step-father was a Muslim. What do you suppose was the religion he was brought up in?
•Jackass 3 is coming. This one looks good, and I can't even see things on the screen in #-D.
•Have you had a chance to catch “Man Woman Wild” on the Discovery Channel? I'm not sure why, but the show rocks! A special forces guy married to a hot news anchor traipses into the wilderness to survive various encounters with nature and teach the viewer what to do to survive should their parachute malfunction and deposit them onto a Pacific desert island.
I'm not sure if the information presented is all that relevant for most of us, 'cause if I was stranded with my wife in such a manner, she would kill me in my sleep and eat me within the first couple of days.
•Get a load of this one…half of all the humans who have ever lived, yes, I said WHO HAVE EVER LIVED, as many as 45 billion people, have been killed by female mosquitoes.
Forget the low fat ice cream…get me some Off!
•Nebraska at K-State football is on the national stage tonight (well, as you are reading this on Thursday) and much rides on this game.
A big step-up in the Big 12 North race.
Perhaps a big step in the Big 12 race since the South doesn't seem to be as near as strong as they were predicted to be before the season.
Nebraska kicks off its gauntlet through the Big 12 that they will have to face after cutting and running from Texas' financial and on-field (well, at least of Nebraska) dominance of the conference. Manhattan is their first stop. Don't imagine that it will be pretty.
The Husker fans have traditionally been very classy, as long as they win which they have done in some abundance in way past years (not so much recently). But Head Coach Bo Pellini is really easy to develop a dislike for. Imagine the Richard Cranium high school coach/gym teacher you were tormented by--he's that bad.
I can't pick this one objectively because there is too much emotion involved. But I'm feeling the same way I did when the 2003 Kansas State team took on the greatest college football team in college football history at Arrowhead Stadium, and the last time EVER that we get to kick the Red out of Manhattan has got some oomph behind it this time.
Oh what the hay…KSU 35 NU 7!
(Email your non-objective college football picks to email@example.com)
WOULD A LAME-DUCK CONGRESS PUSH CAP-AND-TAX?
From 9/29/10 issue
•Remember when we heard all the hubbub last week over the Democrats' failure to repeal the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy practiced by the military? Apparently, the Democrats can't muster the 60 votes necessary to overturn the policy.
Do you remember what party passed the policy in the first place? Bill Clinton was the president and he was supported by a Democrat-led Congress.
You have to appreciate the subtle irony in Republicans going to the rail to defend a program started by a liberal Democrat president and Democrat Congress and currently being attacked, 18 years later, by a liberal Democrat president backed by a Democrat Congress. Make up your minds, people!
•So, the Chiefs are 3-0 heading in to the bye week. I have not made my mind up yet about the Haley Era, Matt Cassell, or (naturally) Scott Pioli. Apparently, based on the pre-season, a large number of Chiefs fans have, and are of the opinion, that Cassell sucks. I think these are the same folks that said Trent Green wouldn't be successful in Kansas City under Dick Vermeil, and we know for a fact that they were proven wrong.
Be that as it may, Cassell has some good qualities and we saw those on display Sunday against the 49'ers. But one person that has taken the abuse over defense of Cassell has been Chiefs' play-by-play voice Mitch Holthus, who has been in the Chiefs' QB's corner since Day 1 and hasn't faltered a bit in his belief in the former New England backup. It has been rather amusing listening to Holthus take a healthy, “I told you so!” Victory Lap much to the angry chagrin of Cassell haters everywhere in the city.
•85% of our electrical needs are provided by coal-fired generation. I thought you needed to be reminded of that.
•I like the NFL. I like football in general, but watching little kids play the game feels wrong because the strategy of the game doesn't work when little tykes are playing the game for what is supposed to be fun and exercise. When the game is being played by adults, you have to appreciate the logic and strategy and gamesmanship on display, especially the kind of offensive inventiveness shown by the Chiefs last Sunday.
What I don't understand is the fascination with a defender delivering a vicious hit on an unprotected offensive player. Whenever that occurs, the media, fans in the stands and in front of video displays everywhere cheer with some kind of apparent bloodlust when a player takes a violent hit like that. You don't see that kind of reaction when a freight train running back slams into a charging linebacker. I can understand appreciating that kind of hit. But cheering the other just seems kind of morbid and cruel, especially when you consider that they are studying NFL players' brains to try and get a handle on the long term medical effects of concussions on these players.
This observation reached a new low this fall when I witnessed parents and other family members high-fiving each other in a weekend football game after their kid delivered a massive hit on an unsuspecting player. Really!?!
•Did you know that after Conservative Republicans take over the Congress in November, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are going to try to enact Cap and Tax as part of a Lame-Duck Congress? They want to be able to tax your use of carbon. Every beer you drink, every soda, every egg you eat, every slice of bread, every slice of cheese, every ice cube cooling your glass, every pickle, every ounce of gas you use going out to run an errand, every car repair you pay for, and on and on and on. Carbon is in everything we do.
Those bloodthirsty Democrats will stop at nothing!
•Big 12 football is ready to get after it this week. Some summary pre-conclusions:
Texas is not as good as advertised. Oklahoma isn't either. Texas Tech is still trying to figure Tommy Tuberville out. Texas A&M and Okie State are perhaps on the verge of something. Baylor is better, but they're still Baylor.
In the North, the champion is likely coming from the scrum between Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas State. Nebraska and Missouri aren't as good as their pre-season hype and Kansas State is probably better, but only because they had no pre-season hype. Iowa State seems to be still trying to make themselves an identity. Colorado is hiding their flank until they run for the Pac10 Conference. Kansas seems to have accomplished the initial task of learning how to beat an under-matched opponent.
I don't think we are going to see a national champion out of this group, but then again, you never know.
(Parallax Look is always fun. Email firstname.lastname@example.org)
KARL ROVE IS MAKING AN ASS OF HIMSELF
From 9/22/10 issue
•Alright Parallax readers, it's once again time to update your Official White House Endorsed Technical Jargon Manual. The administration that brought you "man-caused disaster" and "overseas contingency operation," wants the public to start using the term "global climate disruption" in place of "global warming." Apparently, they fear that the latter term “oversimplifies” the problem and makes it sound less dangerous than it really is (purported to be--my clarification).
•White House science adviser John Holdren (Yes, THAT guy who co-authored a book that advocated forced sterilization for population control) urged people to start using the phrase during a speech last week in Oslo. The explanation he gave was that the impact from greenhouse gas emissions covers a broad "disruption" of climate patterns ranging from precipitation to storms to hot and cold temperatures. Those changes, he said, affect the availability of water, productivity of farms, spread of disease and other factors.
Do they seriously think we are going to buy any more into this farce than we did when they called it, “global warming” or than we did when they referred to it as, “climate change?” This is getting downright laughable.
•The Chiefs are 2-0. They have already matched half of their win total from all of last season and they are only one-eighth of their way into the season. It is what it is. Enjoy.
•What has gotten into Karl Rove? If you've been under a rock, The Architect has been ripping into Christine O'Donnell, the Republican primary winner for the U.S. Senate in Delaware, at every turn. Rove apparently sides with the “Republican establishment” in believing that a moderate Republican (A.K.A. a RINO) is the only candidate that can win Joe Biden's old seat.
One of Rove's main talking points of criticism of O'Donnell went like this, “How come it took nearly two decades to pay her college bills so she could get her college degree? How did she make a living?”
Are you serious? Working hard to pay off a college education is something to be looked down upon? Really?
Well, here you go, libs. Here is concrete proof that we will turn on our own when they make complete asses of themselves. Now, about Obama…
•Don't buy into the hype folks. Nebraska football stinks worse than a dead possum nestled in a bloated yak carcass at noon on a deserted Texas panhandle plain. Washington was a bad team that won only five games in 2009. The Huskers haven't tasted pain like the version they will endure when they march into a Big 12 stadium for a road game.
•Colon Powell started doing a Michael Jackson moonwalk on Monday this week after declaring on the NBC Sunday talk show, Meet The Press, that "illegal immigrants do essential work in the U.S…” and, “…They're all over my house…and I'm sure you've seen them at your house.”
I don't think it's very wise to refer to Mexicans in the same way that one refers to cockroaches. He continues with his foot insertion, “We've got to find a way to bring these people out of the darkness and give them some kind of status."
This morning, however, comes word from Powell's office that he "misspoke." (Don't they always, “misspeak?”)
"I don't hire illegal immigrants," Powell said in a statement Monday.
"On Meet the Press yesterday, I referred to illegal immigrants working around my house. I was referring to the many service contractors who work in my neighborhood, using mostly immigrant workers, who do good work. Some may well be 'illegal.' There are 11 million illegal immigrants in this country and most are working somewhere in our economy."
You know, it's hard to find good help these days. Obama needs to dig into the left-most side of the Republican Party, and you can never really trust what you often hear from that group.
•There are a number of you that like the pig on the Geico commercial that goes, “We-we-we-we-we…” all the way home. I realize that the notion of the commercial is clever, and I will give them that. The annoying part is by design. I get that too. Then give us a palate cleanser, like the pig is living with a really hot woman in a bikini that waves at him from the porch.
•And this capper from Obama's speech Sunday to the Congressional Black Caucus should effectively close my rant for this week:
President Obama read from the Declaration of Independence:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed…(he paused here)…with certain inalienable rights..."
Now, here is what the document actually says:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights,”
So why did he leave out the words, “by their Creator?” Excuse me…why did his teleprompter leave out those words?
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MEASURING OBAMA'S IMPACT ON THE NATIONAL DEBT
From 9/15/10 issue
•Did you catch the stat coming across the waves last week claiming that Obama has added more to the national debt in his first 19 months in office than all presidents COMBINED from Washington through Reagan?
Since January of 2008, the federal debt held by the public increased by $2.5260 trillion, which is more than the cumulative total of the national debt held by the public that was amassed by all U.S. presidents from George Washington through Ronald Reagan.
At the end of fiscal year 1989, eight months after President Reagan left office after his second term, the total federal debt was $2.1907 trillion. That means all U.S. presidents from George Washington through Ronald Reagan had accumulated only that much publicly held debt on behalf of American taxpayers. That is $335.3 billion less than the $2.5260 trillion added to the federal debt just between Jan. 20, 2009 and Aug. 20, 2010.
Comparing the administrations of Obama and Reagan, in the nine-fiscal-year period of 1980-89 with Reagan, the federal debt held by the public increased $1.4788 trillion. That is more than a trillion dollars less than the $2.5260 increase in the debt held by the public during Obama's first 19 months.
Now, what has happened to unemployment and the economy in general during the Reagan years as opposed to the Obama years? In the Reagan years, the first 19 months saw unemployment rise, then start to fall sharply in May of Reagan's second year. We have seen no similar kind of fall in Obama's second year.
Just dealing in the facts.
•Good to see Jets coach Rex Ryan lose his first game of the season. I don't get all the hyperbole over Rex Ryan. Does the NFL really need another arrogant blowhard? Give me the Ravens' head coach Harbaugh's style of quiet competence any day.
•Have you noticed whenever you get a Democrat in the White House, we soon get inundated with all sorts of public service announcements about old, tired liberal issues? Solar power, wind power, that inclusiveness in the workplace spot on TV with the lady who rolls around an office in a wheelchair and refuses to learn how to make good coffee?
Now it's lead paint. You've heard the ads playing on the radio, blaming lead poisoning on any number of maladies affecting young children.
Well, once again, you can come here for the facts. Lead based paint is paint containing lead, a heavy metal that is used as pigment. Lead is also added to paint to speed drying, increase durability, retain a fresh appearance, and resist moisture that causes corrosion. Paint with significant lead content is still used in industry and by the military. For example, leaded paint is sometimes used to paint roadways and parking lot lines.
So, while lead improves paint performance, it is a dangerous substance if you eat it. It is especially damaging to children under age six whose bodies are still developing. Lead causes nervous system damage, stunted growth, and delayed development. It can cause kidney damage and affects every organ system of the body. It also is dangerous to adults, and can cause reproductive problems for both men and women. Lead paint is particularly dangerous because it tastes sweet therefore encouraging children to put lead chips and toys with lead dust in their mouths.
So, I can understand getting toys to not be painted with leaded paint, though I'm not sure we need the government to do that task for us. What incentive is there for toy companies to poison their customers?
Can't we see to it that our children don't eat the paint that may chip off the walls and window frames? Is that asking too much?
•Now this next story just has me plain mad.
In cities across the U.S., local governments are placing computer chips in recycling bins to collect data on refuse disposal, and then fining residents who don't participate in recycling efforts and forcing others into educational programs meant to instill respect for the environment.
In Dayton, Ohio, chips placed in recycle bins transmit information to garbage trucks to keep track of whether residents are recycling, and to top it off, a half a million dollars in stimulus money was spent making it happen.
In Charlotte, N.C., the trash tags gather similar information. The city uses the data from the tags to find which areas aren't recycling as often and to start education initiatives where numbers aren't being met.
•Why are we worrying about recycling aluminum?
As you know, bauxite is a naturally occurring aluminum ore. In 2007, Australia was one of the top producers of bauxite with almost one-third of the world's production, followed by China, Brazil, Guinea, and India. Although aluminum demand is rapidly increasing, known reserves of its bauxite ore are sufficient to meet the worldwide demands for aluminum for many centuries.
We aren't running out of aluminum for a long, long time.
So, why are we recycling it?
(Give Brian a parallax look via email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
OBAMA SHOULD TRY NOT SPEAKING LIKE A MUSLIM
From 9/8/10 issue
•President Obama was in Milwaukee Monday stumping for yet another stimulus plan (Are they tone deaf? ANOTHER federal government spending increase?), and he made the statement in decrying his Republican critics of all the exorbitant government spending that he is pushing, “…they talk to me like a dog…” Then he made the statement/disclaimer that his observation was not in his prepared remarks--yes, the president was OFF his teleprompter.
Why would he think it important to mention aloud his thought that his political opponents talk to him as though he were a dog are not present on the speech prepared for the president to deliver that day? Did he want to excuse his speech writers for not being responsible if there was any backlash? Why would that be the case? He never showed concern for his speechwriters when he made the pro-Ground Zero mosque comments at the Ramadan dinner that got him into trouble. We don't know his speech writers, and besides, isn't Obama responsible for the words coming out of his mouth, regardless of whether he wrote them or not?
On another note, a responsible speech writer or advisor would have reminded the president that referring to the manner in which one communicates with a dog is a description of degrading talk in Islamic countries, where dogs are looked upon as low-status animals. In America, most people talk to their dogs better than they converse with their family members. If the president is truly interested in separating himself from Islam, perhaps he should try not speaking like a Muslim.
Here we have yet another example of this not-too-bright president illustrating his lack of foresight when going away from remarks prepared for him in advance.
•I sense that my hot weather running days are soon coming to an end for the year. I have been blessed to cover at least 2 miles on each and every day where the temperature rose above 90, and it has been wonderful for the psyche.
Now I have seen it all. The U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus, said a planned organized burning of Qurans on Sept. 11 by a Florida church could put the lives of American troops in danger and damage the war effort.
Florida pastor Terry Jones has said he will burn copies of Islam's holy book to mark the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Gen. Petraeus warned that the Taliban would exploit the demonstration for propaganda purposes, swirling anger toward the U.S. of A. and making it harder for allied troops to carry out their mission of protecting Afghan civilians.
I won't debate whether the General is correct in his observations or not. What I would like to know is, what business does an American military commander have dictating freedom of speech issues in his home country? The Obama Administration has clearly exerted their influence on Gen. Petraeus and he is playing the role of duty-bound soldier. Military leaders have enough on their plate without having to monitor the meanderings of private citizens.
Liberals just don't get it.
•Have you buried your electoral hatchet yet? I'm talking about the August primaries we had. Some of us voted for candidates in the primary that did not win their election. So we now must put aside our differences and put the greater needs of conservatism ahead of our personal disappointment. Vote for the nominee of your party. Do not vote for a third party candidate. None of them have enough power to be influential and when you do such a thing, you end up supporting the incumbent. Focus on the bigger picture. Back your party. Hold your party nominee's feet to the fire. Make them be the candidate they said they were in the primary election. It starts now. Let's stay together.
•That Geico commercial with the wailing pig in the car is about as annoying a commercial as has ever been committed to ad lore. I am making an active effort to not buy anything from Geico because of that commercial.
They had me with the Abe Lincoln ad…but they dropped the punt on the next one.
•I took particular note during President Obama's speech to the nation last week about the end of combat operations in Iraq that he never once mentioned the word, “victory.” Victory is the central tenet of every military effort. It was part of WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Desert Storm, and Desert Shield.
Is victory part of what he is doing in Afghanistan? It was in Operation Anaconda. I don't recall President Obama ever mentioning victory in any of his Afghanistan speeches surrounding the reduced troop deployment he finally approved.
If we aren't about victory in our military efforts, shouldn't we get out of war in that country? The designed function of the military is to kill people and break things in conjunction with protecting American interests.
If that's not what we're about, we need to stop.
(Never stop enjoying a Parallax Look. Email Brian at email@example.com)
THE REASON THE DEMS DON'T HAVE A SARAH PALIN
From 9/1/10 issue
•Did you catch where President Obama spoke Saturday in his regular weekly address on an issue that he would conceivably be able to show congruence with his predecessor, George Bush? That would certainly be a step forward toward diplomacy for Obama, who thus far in his short reign has not let an opportunity pass to foist blame for his own missteps on the conditions he was left by President Bush.
Obama spoke to the coming close of combat operations in Iraq in his Saturday address, and is administering the implementation of a plan to draw down American troops in Iraq that was written by the Bush Administration. If you will recall, back during the campaign, Obama promised an all-out 16 month drop-your-guns-and-run plan back in 2007. Yet another example of this president's commitment to promise whatever he needs to get your vote, then do whatever he wants.
The really pathetic part in the address was how often Obama used the word, “I.” Here is one of the more telling parts:
“On Tuesday, after more than seven years, the United States of America will end its combat mission in Iraq and take an important step forward in responsibly ending the Iraq war. As a candidate for this office, I pledged I would end this war. As president, that is what I am doing. We have brought home more than 90,000 troops since I took office. We have closed or turned over to Iraq hundreds of bases. In many parts of the country, Iraqis have already taken the lead for security. In the months ahead, our troops will continue to support and train Iraqi forces, partner with Iraqis in counterterrorism missions, and protect our civilian and military efforts. But the bottom line is this: the war is ending. Like any sovereign, independent nation, Iraq is free to chart its own course. And by the end of next year, all of our troops will be home.”
Total mentions of President Bush: zero. Total mentions of victory: zero. Total mentions of “I” in speech: six, including the three in the above portion.
What a leader!
•An op-ed in the New York Times last weekend bemoaned that the Democrats don't have a Sarah Palin of their own.
I would imagine it would be difficult to be inspired by a woman that divorces her husband in order to pursue a career, aborts her Down's Syndrome child, pays for her pregnant teen daughter to abort her child, and sends her male son to Canada to avoid honoring his commitment to the military.
Remember…they hate Palin because she lives the life that liberals claim is too hard to do.
•I read this weekend where “green” products buying has jumped from $200 billion to over $400 billion in less than 10 years. People are sheep. There is absolutely no reason to buy anything marketed as “green.” Avoid “green.”
I've noticed that Best Buy and Save supermarket products are not affiliated in any way, shape, or form with “green” propaganda. They are every bit as good I will personally vouch for that fact.
•I've heard it claimed many times by those on the left that Franklin Roosevelt brought the U.S. out of the Great Depression with his progressive policies (they actually prolonged the dire circumstances if you look at the facts). They also like to argue against those that claim World War II was in reality the impetus for the economic growth out of the Depression, because, they theorize, the massive government spending on the war was, in effect, a government stimulus.
The sobering truth is, however, that the war removed a significant number of people from the workforce that had to be replaced. Looking at the numbers...because we know that they never lie, the U.S. lost 418,500 people in World War II. The U.S. population was about 130,000,000 when the rate of population growth began to slow due to the war. The civilian workforce was about 60-70% of the population in 1940. About 25% of the workforce was women. That means that the number of casualties from the war represented 20-25% of the full employment statistic of 4-5% unemployment. The today equivalent of those figures would be a war casualty rate within five years of six million men.
Think that would have an impact on our economy today?
•By the way, I hope you were able to catch “The Green Swindle” on Fox News Sunday night. It is an excellent summary of all the facts we have been talking about over the past several years about what is really behind the left's environmental craze. You can catch it online at:
(For a personal Parallax Look, email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org)
JASON WHITLOCK IS A BLACK MALE DRAMA QUEEN
From 8/25/10 issue
•Can we take a breath for a minute on the Salmonella outbreaks? Do you realize how many eggs we eat in one form or another in this country? We consume 80,000,000,000 (Yes, that's 80 BILLION!) eggs in various forms every single day. The latest recall only involves 228 million. That is only 3/10 of 1 percent of a single day's production.
Figuring-in that the eggs are only volatile if they are not completely cooked (to about 150 degrees Fahrenheit) and then are threats only to the very young, the very old, or those with weak immune systems, all-in-all, you the Average Joe has a better chance of getting hit by lightning, twice, while dancing the Lambada on a church roof.
Relax. Enjoy your eggs.
•The Jason Whitlock public bridge burning that occurred last week between he and the Kansas City Star newspaper was sad, predictable, boring, and apparently riveting for some. I guess the TV version was preferable to the radio version because it's not every day you get to see a 300 lb. black male drama queen.
Anybody that has followed Whitlock's career over the years knows that when his employer doesn't see things his way, eventually he will turn the tables on them and try to find something out about them that they may not wish be shared in public. Whitlock did this at AM 810 WHB, AM 610 KCSP, at ESPN, and has now done it at The Star. I'm no psychoanalyst, but my experience as an employee and an employer has taught me that people that do bridge burnings in this way are either overly full of themselves professionally or they are simply not smart enough to understand the importance of nested networking to a productive work career.
•If you get the email telling about free cell phones being provided to welfare recipients paid for by taxpayers, A.K.A. Obama Phones, be wary of the snopes.com and factchecker.org denials that say the phones, which are indeed made available to welfare recipients, are not actually paid for by taxpayers. Here's the truth:
Is it accurate to say that taxpayer money is being 'redistributed' to provide these services?
Basically yes, though not in the sense one might assume. Apart from being administered by the FCC (the Federal Communications Commission), it's not a federally-funded program. Since its inception, the program has been financed via the pooled contributions of commercial phone service providers, which in turn impose small monthly fees on their regular customers to recoup the cost. So the FCC pays with tax dollars to administrate the program and then they also charge paying cell phone customers for the free phones for welfare recipients. How exactly is that not a tax?
Always come here for the truth.
•Did you catch where Titanic and Avatar director James Cameron challenged climate skeptics to a debate and then chickened out at the last minute?
From www.ClimateDepot.com, Cameron challenged three well-regarded global warming skeptics to a public debate last Saturday at a global warming and energy conference in Aspen, CO, but he backed out at the last moment after environuts warned him to avoid the fray in true Al Gore fashion.
Cameron had challenged Andrew Breitbart, Climate Depot's Marc Morano and filmmaker Ann McElhinney of the recent film, “Not Evil Just Wrong.” The debate was already in the program for the Aspen American Renewable Energy Day (AREDAY) summit. The website program described the agreed to debate as “AREDAY Climate Change Debate: Reality or Fiction?"
After setting up the public debate, Cameron and his negotiator suddenly changed formats multiple times, and initially said it would be open to the media and then said there could be no recording devices. The skeptics agreed to all the changes. He still cancelled.
Cameron's cancellation of the debate didn't happen until one participant (Morano) was already in transit to the debate site on Saturday.
I'm sorry he bailed. That would have been a bloodbath. I love it when Hollywood types try to actually discuss things with real people, as though their opinions somehow have merit above those of the average American.
•My predicted order of finish in the Big 12 this season is finished:
The Sooners smack the Tigers again for the Big 12 title.
(Get a Parallax Look from Brian via email to email@example.com)
WHERE'S THE EVIDENCE OF OBAMA'S INTELLIGENCE?
From 8/18/2010 issue
•Has it occurred to anyone--with regard to this issue of a mosque being built within a stone's throw (Now THERE's irony for you!) of Ground Zero in New York City--that it is yet another example of Obama's lack of intelligence?
We were basted with the idea during the campaign that this guy was the smartest President ever to hold the seat, and he still writes like he's crippled in his signature arm because he was unable to figure out the secret mythology of left handed cursive, he opened his mouth like a neighborhood busybody in the Cambridge Police-Gates controversy that led to the atrociously awkward Beer Summit, he drags his kids into the Gulf oil saga telling the nation that one of the pressures on him was that his daughter came to him one morning and asked, “Did you plug the hole yet Daddy?” My personal favorite was his barking like Spike Lee's dog to “kick (someone's) ass” after Lee told the President via another interview to, “Go off…”
And now, when Democrats need dearly to be able to avoid the issue of a mosque going up near Ground Zero, up steps President Big Mouth to inject himself into the issue, and naturally, Obama's opinion is right in-line with barely one-third of the country on an issue that the American people had no problem unifying behind in opposition.
And note that these weren't off-the-cuff remarks by Obama. He weighed his words carefully last Friday, saying that Muslims have the right to build a mosque near New York's Ground Zero. Where exactly is that right enumerated in the Constitution?
The backlash has gotten so bad, even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid de-laminated himself from the President on the issue, declaring on Monday that he believes that the mosque should not be built on this site.
Where is the evidence of Obama's purportedly superior intellect? These issues aren't the well considered and thoughtful ruminations of even a thoughtful person. They're more like the verbal vomit of an arrogant busybody who doesn't know when to speak and when to hold his tongue for proper effect.
•I will say on the issue of the New York mosque that it really isn't a freedom of religion issue. Nobody is arguing that they cannot practice their religion. There are plenty of mosques in New York City. New Yorkers (and now the President and just about everybody on the Democrat side of the aisle across the nation) are arguing whether this particular location is the best place, all-things-considered. Governments, state and local as well as federal seem to have lots to say about location of strip clubs and other adult entertainment venues. Why can't they have a say on the location of a proposed mosque near the site where thousands of free people were ruthlessly murdered only nine years ago?
•I heard on the Rush Limbaugh Show last week that the entire volume of the Gulf oil spill was the equivalent of spilling a 12 oz. glass of beer in the New Orleans Superdome, which, if true, is really kind of silly if you think about all the fuss that has been made. So I figured I would check it out for myself. Did you know that the entire volume of the Gulf oil spill was the equivalent of spilling a 12 oz. glass of beer in the New Orleans Superdome? The government claims that 4.2 million gallons of oil leaked into the Gulf PER DAY during the spill - 180,000,000 gallons total. The Gulf basin holds 6.43x10 to the 17th power gallons of water. That results in a ratio of 2.79x10 to the -10th power. Applying that ratio to a 12 oz. glass of beer yields a volume of the Superdome of about 350 million gallons, which is about right.
So why all the fuss? Do you realize how much beer is spilled in football stadiums in every game? Why has the media not mentioned this in all their ridiculously overblown coverage?
•Theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking recently offered some advice for the people of Earth, "I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space…It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million. The human race shouldn't have all its eggs in one basket, or on one planet. Let's hope we can avoid dropping the basket until we have spread the load."
Didn't I tell you all this long ago? So there you go.
But easy there on the travel plans. Remember that I also told you that we needed to start pursuing some more high power energy sources. It's not so easy to just zip off to another planet. The closest star to Earth is 4.2 light years away, which means man could reach the star in 4.2 years - if man could travel at the speed of light. But of course, we can't travel nearly that fast. At this point in technology, man travels at about one ten thousandth of light speed, which would make that journey about 50,000 years long
Live long and prosper!
(Email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org)
DO THE OBAMAS BELIEVE THEY ARE AMERICAN ROYALTY?
From 8/11/2010 issue
•To all of you that voted in the primaries last week, THANK YOU! If your candidate won their race, great. Stay behind them in the general election in November. If your candidate did not win the primary, bury the hatchet, get behind your party in the general election, and if your party's candidate wins, hold their feet to the fire once they get in office. Make sure they represent you as rock-ribbed conservatively as they portrayed themselves in the campaign for the primary election. This is how tyranny is checked in a representative republic. Let's make it happen.
If you are a Liberal or a Democrat, shade your eyes come November. It isn't going to be pretty for you.
•Five million barrels of oil supposedly “leaked” into the Gulf of Mexico, claims the Obama Administration--well, at least according to Carol Browner, Obama's Climate Czar. How exactly did they measure that? Did they stick a flow hood over the well? It took them 70-some-odd days to even cap the flow of oil 5000 feet below the surface of the Gulf. Somehow, I don't see the government's claim as to the amount of oil that leaked holding up in court --well, unless Elena Kagan hears the case.
For those out there rubbing their hands together in anticipation of the Obama Administration “putting the screws” to yet another “evil” capitalist corporation when the federal government announces that they are fining BP some exorbitant sum as reparations for the oil leak, first consider this: BP's gross revenues are between $40-55 billion annually. Their shareholders are not going to absorb the cost in terms of reduced profits. They are going to pass those costs off to their customers, in the form of higher energy prices. Be careful what you wish for America.
•Did you see where the mainstream news cycle was all over the story that an ice chunk (they called it an “island”) four times the size of Manhattan broke off from one of Greenland's glaciers, claiming it to be the biggest such event in the Arctic in 50 years.
Experts had expected an ice chunk to break off from the glacier because it had been growing in size for seven or eight years but they did not expect it to be so large. (You mean climate projections can be wrong?)
Here's the kicker: Scientists also said it was hard to judge whether the event occurred due to global warming because records on the sea water around the glacier have only been kept since 2003. "Nobody can claim this was caused by global warming. On the other hand nobody can claim that it wasn't." Wow! Such precision! So we were supposed to allow the federal government to add a tax onto every gram of carbon used in the economy, based solely on their climate forecasts?
•Got your blood boiling yet? Try this one on for size. The state of Kansas is getting its financial reward for adopting a tougher seat belt law. I know you Missourians heard those ‘Click It Or Ticket’ ad campaigns on the radio waves these past months that bled over from Kansas into your own state. Well, a check for nearly $11.2 million will be presented Tuesday to Kansas Gov. Mark Parkinson by an official of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It was the federal incentive payment for passage of primary seat-belt legislation.
Parkinson signed the measure into law May 27. It requires every occupant of a passenger car to wear a safety belt. It also allows law enforcement officers to stop a vehicle solely for a seat-belt violation.
Tuesday's check presentation is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the Kansas Department of Transportation's Gage Maintenance Complex in Topeka.
Do you think John Adams, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison would approve of such an intrusion of the federal government into the operations of state governments?
•This will likely be old news by the time you read this, but Michelle Obama's vacation trip to Spain last week was a horrible example to a nation that is tightening its belt for yet another month. But I did wonder why she/they made such an enormous misstep. They're not stupid. There's only two possibilities in my view--they know it looks bad and don't care because they believe they can do no wrong, or they truly do not care because they believe they truly are American royalty and the Marie Antoinette “Let them eat cake!” attitude is a true representation of their beliefs.
Wouldn't it be cool for a camera to be trained on her when somebody asks Michelle Obama herself to defend the extravagance of such a foreign trip? She would go absolutely ballistic. Don't hold your breath on seeing or hearing that one though.
(Reach Brian, our own climatologist, at email@example.com)
IT'S TIME TO RELOAD CONGRESS
•I am spending some family time in the bosom of our republic’s foundation, Boston, Massachusetts.
It is awakening to the spirit to read so many historical documents that declare that a people who find themselves being led by an entity that takes excessive liberties with the powers entrusted to them by the Creator have a right and duty to dissolve those bonds and seek new governance.
No, I’m not recognizing a call-to-arms to overthrow the federal government. But I am calling for us all to go to the polls and reload Congress with folks who recognize that the way of the Democrat Party is not the way that the Constitution and the founders intended us to be led. Let the Libertarians and Republicans fight it out for a hundred years or so.
Is there anything the liberal wing of the Democrat Party supports that is endorsed by the United States Constitution?
•Maybe it’s being awash amidst all these elitist blue-blood liberals out here, but it hit me that somebody on the side of liberty and freedom should be putting this acronym on a bumper sticker: OPR – Obama, Pelosi, Reid….Oppose, Purge, Replace. Works for me.
•I’m not much enamored with political endorsements, but I love advance voting. Here in Kansas, I am allowed the opportunity to vote weeks in advance of election day and it is a grand way to vote your voice the constitutional way we have long enjoyed for centuries in this grand republic.
I don’t miss ignoring the last minute verbal flotsam we are encumbered with in the airways of the media the final days of the election campaign.
But whatever your preference, just vote.
•Did you catch where the long-anticipated General Motors’ electric car, the Chevrolet Volt, will cost $41,000? GM announced last week the news, leaving us consumers to decide whether “environmental appeal” is equal to a cost way beyond similarly sized gas-powered cars.
Electric-cars have been around for years; like 1911 when the New York Times called them the “wave of the future.” GM is counting on a $7,500 federal tax credit for buyers of electric vehicles to offset some of the exorbitant price tag, hoping that their novel power source will make up the difference.
There was no mention that the car requires a 240 volt charging station. That’s the same infrastructure accommodation homes require for a clothes dryer. There was no mention about the additional coal needed to provide the necessary electrical power. I guess they’re holding that information for the time that they start up their campaign against the coal industry for all the “evil” that they burden mankind with.
I’m just preparing you for what is coming. It’s all nonsense.
•We toured the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts today, and it was a nirvana to behold for basketball junkies like me, especially in the off-season. But what in the world are they doing with an entire wing of the facility devoted to Michael Jordan? Has the sport of John Wooden, Adolph Rupp, Hank Iba, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Red Auerbach sunk so low that we have to be lambasted with the esoteric exploits of a great one-on-one player as though they are to be remembered as though they are sport-defining in retrospect? I avoided that part of the exhibit purposely.
•Is anybody missing Jason Whitlock in The Star? I’m more than satisfied with the comprehensive coverage provided by www.kcconfidential.com and www.plattecountylandmark.com sports reporter Greg Hall, who more than adequately offers us information on what the new Chiefs’ training camp location and all that is going on with the team includes.
Who is Jason Whitlock?
•I’m a little short this week, but it’s not because I don’t love you all and what I provide for you every week. I do. I just need a vacation occasionally. Mine is only about 100 words long.
See you next week back in my usual 800 word voluminosity.
(Length isn’t everything. Check Brian’s length next week right here in this spot. In the meantime, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)