Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Google and Dog Runs

Sometimes I retain bits of information without knowing where I got them. I recently commented to wifey that in my dream home I wanted a sort of dog run. She didn't understand what I meant. I explained that it was where a house was separated with a covered area that allowed a breeze, thus helping cool the house.

As is my wont, I googled the term to show her a picture. I was chagrined to find that everything connected to the term "dog run" had to do with kennels and chain-link fences. It wasn't until I added the word porch to the search that I was finally able to get the proper hits.

From the Handbook of Texas Online: "DOG-RUN HOUSES. The dog-run, dog-trot, or double log cabin was a common type of house in Texas at the middle of the nineteenth century. The building consisted of two cabins separated by a ten or fifteen foot passageway, with a continuous gabled roof covering both cabins and the passageway between them, or dog-run...."

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Seniors '09

Tonight our son, a graduating high school senior, received a book from the senior parents, a combination cookbook, Who's Who and memory book. Each of the seniors has a page devoted to him or her, with their date of birth, favorite color, their favorite recipes and other such information. Leafing through it gave me more insight into these kids' lives than anything else. Among these responses to the category of "Worst Fear":

My son: "Losing my inspiration." (Profundities run in the family. One of his favorite recipes was for a bologna sandwich.)
From a set of twins: Twin A - "Not glorifying God;" Twin B - "Burning to death." (Proving that not all of their chromosomes matched. Geneticists still have some work to do.)
Half of the rest of the class: "Spiders."
The other half: "Snakes."

Most touching response, from a young man who
battled cancer his senior year, and who inspired his teammates on the football team to shave their heads so their haircuts would match his: Worst fear: "Chemo."

God bless and watch over our children.

With Powell, The Point's Already Made

According to an article on Yahoo News, Colin Powell has decided to fight Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh regarding the Republican Party. Powell believes that Republicans should change their principles to gain voters. "Americans do want to pay taxes for services," Powell said at a recent conference. "Americans are looking for more government in their life, not less." He also stated that he thinks Rush Limbaugh "diminishes" the Republican Party.

Colin Powell has invoked Limbaugh's name repeatedly in recent months, aping what Democrat strategists have tried to do: paint Limbaugh as the de facto head of the Republican Party. Although one could at one point have argued that Powell is simply expressing his beliefs as a Republican, it stretches credibility when you see how willingly he accommodates and uses a particular Democrat talking point. Add that to the fact that Powell publicly endorsed Obama during the presidential campaign, and you can see why Dick Cheney expressed surprise that Powell considers himself a Republican. Everyone should be surprised.

Colin Powell long ago used up any political credibility or good will he may have garnered from his military service up to and including Desert Storm. The straightforward military man has given way to the political opportunist. It is only hypocrisy and deviousness that prevent him from coming clean and declaring himself a Democrat. His actions have already belied his words.

Friday, May 22, 2009

American Idiots

According to a story in Yahoo News, members of Green Day are angry that Wal-Mart won't stock their latest CD, due to its language and adult content. Wal-Mart sells edited clean versions of CDs by other artists who have the same type of content. Green Day, however is unwilling to "censor" itself. Lead singer Billy Joe Armstrong says, "They want artists to censor their records in order to be carried in there," he said. "We just said no. We've never done it before. You feel like you're in 1953 or something."

Okay, so far fair enough. Wal-Mart insists on selling clean music to its customers, and Green Day refuses to allow an edited version to be sold. Both retain their own principles and integrity, right? But not so fast....

Bassist Mike Dirnt said: "As the biggest record store in the America, they should probably have an obligation to sell people the correct art."

First of all, Wal-Mart has absolutely no obligation to sell something it doesn't want to sell, simply so that Green Day can make more money. Green Day members are apparently angry that Wal-Mart has a choice in the matter, just as they do. Wal-Mart has committed itself to providing "clean" records to its customers, so that customers -- or more likely, parents of customers -- know that the music sold there does not contain certain content. Wal-Mart's obligation, if it has any, is to take care of its customers. Selling Green Day's unedited CD would violate Wal-Mart's voluntary agrement with its customers.

Next, Wal-Mart is not asking Green Day to censor anything. Censorship is the suppression of speech. Green Day has not been forced to be silent about any subject, nor to change their language. What they want to say in their music is widely available, in the way they want to say it. There is no censorship involved here. Wal-Mart, a private company, says it will not provide a channel for Green Day to sell their music. That's all.

As of now, no one's rights have been violated, taken away or trampled. If Green Day had their way, however, anyone who disagreed with them would not have the right to express it. Like a spoiled two-year-old, Green Day members are simply throwing a tantrum because they can't have everything their way. They're acting like American Idiots.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Anderson Cooper 180

Last month, Anderson Cooper of CNN showed a lot of class when he referred to the "Tea Party" tax protests held across the country as "teabagging":

Cooper has now admitted that his comment was "stupid and silly" -- something that most normal people would have decided before making the comment on network (using the term very loosely) television.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

His Master's Voice

I knew those images of Obama using his teleprompter looked familiar.

Obama's Sense of Humor

Our President always enjoys a good laugh. In this photo he is chuckling over the possibility of Rush Limbaugh's kidneys failing.

Here is Wanda Sykes entertaining Barack Obama. She shows great promise as an NBC correspondent.

Cheney on Colin Powell: "I didn't know he was still a Republican"

In an appearance on Sunday morning's Face the Nation, Dick Cheney commented on the advice that Colin Powell had for the Republican Party, namely to become more like Democrats. Powell had said, "Americans are looking for more government in their life, not less." He also said Republicans should repudiate Conservative philosophies espoused by people such as Rush Limbaugh.

Cheney's response on FtN: "If I had to choose in terms of being a Republican, I'd go with Rush Limbaugh. My take on it was Colin had already left the party. I didn't know he was still a Republican."

In the 2008 Presidential campaign, "Republican" Colin Powell endorsed the Democrat candidate Barack Obama.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Obama Kills the Rule of Law

The "Rule of Law" is a foundational principle upon which America's entire legal system is built. It means that a court renders its decisions based on already-established principles, applied without discretion. This principle prevents arbitrary governance based on the whims of judges or politicians. This is what makes America "a nation of laws, not men."

With the Obama administration's intervention in the Chrysler bankruptcy, the rule of law has been violated. One group (the UAW) has benefited from Obama's arbitrary decision to put unsecured debt (UAW benefits) above secured debt (lenders and bondholders.) In fact, one of the lawyers for a holder of secured debt said that the White House even threatened to use the White House press corps to "ruin" anyone who wanted the proper and expected distribution of funds from Chrysler by opposing Obama's decision to give the UAW 55% of Chrysler and put unsecured debt before secured . That lawyer's client eventually succumbed to the pressure, and meekly agreed to the settlement. Other bondholders did not.

After that threat was made (allegedly, of course,) Obama stayed true to his word, according to the Washington Post: "The [non-compliant] lenders were sharply criticized last week by President Obama, who blamed them for forcing the third-largest U.S. automaker into bankruptcy. Obama characterized the group as "speculators" who were fishing for "an unjustified taxpayer-funded bailout." In Obama's definition, "speculators" includes pension funds that invested in Chrysler with the full expectation of earning a profit or, failing that, getting all or most of their money back if Chrysler went broke. After all, theirs was secured debt. They are discovering that Obama does not bluff when it comes to rewarding political allies and attacking political enemies. (In direct contrast to how he treats those who attack America.)

Of course, Obama learned politics in the heart of corruption, the Chicago political machine. With this violation of a bedrock legal principle, and Obama's strong-arm tactics, we see now the consequences of electing a candidate whose history was full of terrorists, criminals and marxist mentors, and who the mainstream media supports without challenge. We have become a nation not of laws, but of one man.

What did you expect?

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Obama's Gift to Fiat and the UAW

The Obama administration has conducted a power grab that is unprecedented. They attached themselves to Chrysler, and now Chrysler is about to go under. Robert Robb explains it clearly in his column on

Here's the situation in a nutshell (and the point of which was the subject of a vigorous "discussion" I recently had with an Obama fan): "Chrysler has $6.9 billion in secured debt. Under the law, secured lenders have the first claim on the assets of the debtor in the event of non-payment.

"The Obama administration is attempting to muscle past this law. Under its proposal, the health care trust of the auto workers' union, an unsecured creditor, would forgive 57 percent of what Chrysler owes it, and receive 55 percent of the company's equity in exchange. The federal government would forgive about a third of what it would loan Chrysler and receive 8 percent of the company's equity. Fiat would pay nothing for its 20 percent initial ownership.

"The secured creditors, with the first claim on Chrysler's assets, were asked to forgive 70 percent of what they are owed and receive nothing in equity. (Emphasis mine - kw) When they refused and forced the company into bankruptcy, they were excoriated by Obama - a shameful act by a president who pledged to uphold the law, not make it up as he went along."

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Obama's "Extremist" Dictionary

Obama's Homeland Security department issued an "extremism dictionary" recently. Among those considered potential threats to America are those who oppose abortion and those who oppose taxes. It also warns about those who "link their beliefs to those commonly associated with the American Revolution." Also mentioned are those who believe in the sovereignty of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Obama administration has amped up its efforts to criminalize those who oppose it, even in thought or belief. It's informative to note some of the beliefs that it feels threaten it. With the collusion of the Democrat Congress, Obama can now create laws to enforce its views.

What did you expect? Remember this in 2010 and 2012.

"Cinco de Cuatro"???

"'El no habla': Obama jumbles Cinco de Mayo salute" reads the headline. Read the story.

Monday, May 04, 2009

First You Win, Then You Consolidate Your Power

The Obama White House has taken control of the census process, removing it from the Commerce Department. Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund explains the importance of the census: "Anything that threatens the integrity of the Census has profound implications. Not only is it the basis for congressional redistricting, it provides the raw data by which government spending is allocated on everything from roads to schools."

The Census Bureau conducted a study a few years ago and found that "sampling" -- estimating numbers of people based on probability -- won't work. There are too many chances for error. However, Liberal interest groups demanded that illegal immigrants and homeless people be counted in the census. Since these people are living off the grid, so to speak, it makes it nearly impossible to get a solid headcount of their numbers. Democrat strongholds such as inner cities and urban areas, where illegals and the homeless tend to concentrate, would benefit if these people could be "counted." More population equals more representatives, and more control of Congress and federal funds.

Obama's political seizure of a process that is supposed to be scientifically conducted goes against everything he says he believes in. Last December Obama promised to "once again put science at the top of our agenda.” Unless, of course, he can trump science with politics to gain more power for Democrats.

The Census Bureau lists its mission as to serve as "the leading source of quality data about the nation's people and economy." If, as expected, the Obama White House uses disproven methods such as sampling to conduct the census, then it will have violated the Bureau's mission. The White House has become Tammany Hall, with Obama as a 21st century Boss Tweed.