Friday, February 27, 2009

Teenager Audio Test

Train Horn

You may have heard about the ringtone that was developed that supposedly only teenagers can hear. Now you can take the test online and see if you listened to too much Motley Crue in the 80s (with the volume turned to 11, of course.)* Apparently my hearing is superhuman to make up for my poor eyesight. I heard it fine.

* Cheers, Tracy.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


NPR has an article on the importance and popularity of lists. Famous listmakers include Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and David Letterman. Shakespeare is said to have used the word "list." Facebook has a document going around called "25 Random Things About Me." (A list that I would never be tempted to create.)

I use lists constantly. My planner is full of old grocery lists, to do lists, people to call lists, lists of phone numbers, speeches, meetings, writing assignments and other ephemera. As I get older, though, I've run into a downside. There's nothing quite as abashing as coming up on an old list and not quite realizing or remembering what it's a list of.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

AP/Obama Smooch-Fest #2

Reflecting the propagandist nature of Associated Press reports, AP reporter Devlin Barrett wrote a glowing story about Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder with the headline "Holder: US a nation of cowards on racial matters." The story reports on how Holder -- during Black History month -- says Americans don't talk about race enough.

Barrett's "reporting" continued: "In a country founded by slave owners, race has bedeviled the nation throughout its history, with blacks denied the right to vote just a few decades ago."

The Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution, giving blacks the right to vote, was ratified in 1870. For the math impaired (like the AP's Devlin Barrett,) that was 139 years ago -- quite a bit more than "a few decades ago."

A Sure Sign That It's On Its Way

A headline on Fox News: "White House: Obama Opposes 'Fairness Doctrine' Revival"

In recent weeks Obama has shown how his words differ from reality:

On his promise of bipartisanship: "I won." Congressional Democrats then proceeded to craft the stimulus bill without Republican input.

Obama also promised to accept public financing for his presidential campaign. He later reneged on that promise.

Obama promised that there would be no pork or earmarks in the stimulus bill. Look here for how that worked out.

So if Obama publicly declares that he's against the Fairness Doctrine, that means that plans are already in motion to implement it. Of course, it will have another name, and the first step will be a small intrusion on the First Amendment. But rest assured, it's coming. You can count on Obama's words -- if you expect the opposite of what he says.

Who You Voted For

And for you old folks who don't get it, you can see the original video here.

Obama's Elf

Monday, February 16, 2009

Former Astronaut Nails Global Warming

Former astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who walked on the moon and once served New Mexico in the U.S. Senate, doesn’t believe that humans are causing global warming. Schmitt contends that the facade of a "consensus" exists because scientists "are being intimidated" if they disagree with the idea that global warming is manmade.

"They’ve seen too many of their colleagues lose grant funding when they haven’t gone along with the so-called political consensus that we’re in a human-caused global warming," Schmitt said.

Schmitt is scheduled to speak at the International Conference on Climate Change to be held next month in New York.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Start the Vacation Counter

Liberals made a big deal out of tracking the number of "vacations" President Bush took during his time in office. They always included the "vacations" when Bush took foreign dignitaries or administration officials to his Crawford ranch, not bothering to consider if work was being done or not. To the Bush-haters, trips to Crawford always counted as "vacation."

Barack Obama has been in office less than a month and is already taking three days off. Start your counter.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Congress: "TV Stations Did Whaaaat??"

More than a decade ago, the federal government began the process of forcing a transition from analog television to digital. For several years, the message has been Digital transition on February 17, 2009. Get your converter box before it's too late! Millions of people have spent money to buy converter boxes for their analog televisions, so they could continue to watch TV.

The government even set up a government website to address the situation. ( A telling phrase is from the FAQ:

Why are we switching to DTV?
An important benefit of the switch to all-digital broadcasting is that it will free up parts of the valuable broadcast spectrum for public safety communications such as police, fire departments, and rescue squads. Also, some of the spectrum will be auctioned to companies that will be able to provide consumers with more advanced wireless services (such as wireless broadband).

In other words, the government saw a way to make money. The government now "owns" the broadcast spectrum, to the extent that it can auction it off. No word on who the government bought it from.

The conversion has had a rough start. Test conversions in specific cities have had poor results. Many people were not prepared, or the digital technology had glitches. The government was not able to keep up with the demand for coupons that provided a discount to consumers for the converter boxes.

As a result, Congress has pushed the mandatory conversion back to June 12, 2009. Now, instead of the compulsory transition date they have had in effect for years, they give TV stations the "choice" to switch to digital broadcasting. Many stations, after having spent millions of dollars on upgrading or replacing their equipment, will go ahead with the transition on February 17, as has been the plan for years.

It's likely that millions of people will be without television service come February 17. Only now, instead of Congress taking the heat for their legislation, they will be able to throw up their hands as though they had nothing to do with it. They will likely come out with public statements about how TV stations are victimizing the poor and the elderly. They will put their own foolishness off on someone else.

When the TV riots of 2009 start, blame Congress.

Friday, February 06, 2009

And So It Begins

Another Democratic U.S. senator has gone on record as supporting the reinstatement of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine," adding, "I feel like that's gonna happen." .

These are the words of Michigan Democrat Debbie Stebanow. also known as Mrs. Tom Athans, who was executive vice president of the left-leaning talk radio network Air America. He left the network in 2006, when it filed for bankruptcy, and co-founded the TalkUSA Radio Network. Athans refers to his network as a "viable alternative to Air America...Progressive Talk Radio is a viable format that has great commercial potential..."

Air America is the Liberal radio network that had lower ratings than reruns of static and which went bankrupt a couple of years ago (but not before its executives managed to rip off the Boys and Girls Clubs.)

So Senator Stebanow wants to introduce legislation that would eliminate her husband's competition.

Nope, nothing corrupt there.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

American Banks Nationalized by Force!

Sometimes the crackpot conspiracy theories are right. This story got by me. From an article in Time magazine:

"On October 13, the nine bank bosses, assembled in the Treasury's imposing boardroom, were each handed a piece of paper [by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson]...

"[The government's program] called for the U.S. government to take partial ownership of nine leading banks... "

Although Wells Fargo chairman Richard Kovacevich resisted, Paulson gave the bankers no choice." (Emphasis mine.)

Now Wells Fargo is being slammed in the media for conducting their traditional celebration to reward sales bankers because they took bailout money -- even though they were forced to take it. In other words, the banks have been nationalized, some against their will. And today Obama announced a salary cap for executives in companies who took (or were forced to take) bailout money.

Where is the outrage? The word nationalized has been scrupulously avoided in the media. Shouldn't the federal government be in the hot seat, not Wells Fargo?

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Today's Most Important Headline

"Czech president attacks Al Gore's climate campaign"

Want to guess who I'm rooting for in that battle?

Second most important deadline:

"Georges St-Pierre dominates B.J. Penn at UFC 94"

One of the few times I've rooted for a foreigner (St-Pierre is Canadian) over an American.