Caught Red Handed

Saturday, November 14, 2009
"Caught red handed," is a cliche' that refers to a killer found with blood on their hands. Recent revelations that the Republican Party ( GOP ) employees have been eligible for elective abortions under their Health Care Insurance policies are a perfect example of that cliche'. Which is all the more relevant as the House of Representatives has sent a Health Care Reform Bill to the Senate. A Bill that is being hotly debated on the issue of publicly funded, elective abortions.

Consider that this insurance policy has been in effect since George Bush Sr. was President, and that Democrat politicians ( including the current President ) have been criticised in every election since then by a party seemingly aligned with a political faction that was named back then, "The Moral Majority". Many Christian Americans, and most Fundamentalist Christian Americans where drawn to the Republican Party on this major issue alone.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele;
"Money from our loyal donors should not be used for this purpose," Steele said in a statement late Thursday after learning of the abortion coverage from a news report. "I don't know why this policy existed in the past, but it will not exist under my administration. Consider this issue settled."
Steele is the new face of the GOP, appointed immediately after their defeat in the last election. Can he move the GOP away from this blatant hypocrisy fast enough to dodge the accusations that will no doubt be made by the opposition in the Senate debate?

Another issue is the survivability of the GOP itself. Ben Smith, writing at Politico has a few sharp words, some great quotes on this issue of, "Do as I say, not as I do."
"...In order for the RNC to regain the trust of their donors, they must disclose the names of all people involved in any way of the selection of their health care plan. And those people must be summarily fired. No severance packages, no golden parachutes; fired. For cause.

No pro-lifer in good conscience can give them a dime until this happens...more..."
The GOP has enjoyed the financial support directed to them by the pulpit, but they require only the votes from that right wing of their rank and file. Their finances depend on lobbyists from Big the Insurance Industry that is obviously behind the opposition to Health Care Reform.

There's an election coming up, and many GOP Senators will have to decide between the Truth, and lies. Republican voters will be facing the same choice. Fundamentalist Christians have always embraced the contradiction between The Right to Life and the realities of business, it's known as The Puritan Dilemma. Or, as my Grandmother would say;
"If you're so smart, why ain't you rich?"
About the title of this post. It refers to the blood of the innocents sacrificed on the altar of profit.

Facebook has a backdoor to Friendfeed

Thursday, November 12, 2009
Though she may be the proud Mother of Invention, Necessity is none the less a Bitch. Yesterday presented a problem, I could not access my friendfeed account! All I could get was a page that said something like, "Go away, this page has either moved, been removed or you are just not welcome."

Realizing that my facebook account had a friendfeed application, I did a thorough search of the application settings at facebook. And guess what I found down at the bottom of the friend feed application page...a unique link to my friendfeed account that worked! It's called; Regular FriendFeed Interface.

I have no idea why my friendfeed account was blocked, maybe it was hacked. I don't know. But, if you enjoy friendfeed it would behove you to sign-up at facebook just in case you get locked out. Then get the friendfeed application. I have no idea why a link on facebook works but other links don't, but it does.

Oh, did I mention that Facebook now owns Friendfeed? Bitches, I might just close both accounts.

Nov 7 Digest This

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fort Hood
US Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, a military mental health doctor facing deployment killed 13 people and wounded at least 31 others. Dr Hassan had been working closely with soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

He was wounded but not fatally.

Dr Stephen Diamond ( ) asks some serious questions concerning 'Murder and Mayhem';
"...Should Dr. Hasan, given his apparently passionate religious and political beliefs, have been working with such patients in the first place?...more..."
Russia may back sanctions against Iran, depending on whether they present a 'constructive position' in regards to an international plan to diminish their stockpiles of enriched uranium. The IAEA has suggested that Turkey may hold the solution to the impasse in negotiations.
“...It should work,” ElBaradei said in an interview Saturday on Public Broadcasting TV, as reported by Bloomberg. “Iran has a lot of trust in Turkey.” The Obama administration would agree to this proposal because the United States is “very comfortable with Turkey.” ...more..."

4 Nov Digest This

Thursday, November 5, 2009
President Mel Zelaya is ready to step aside as interim President, and allow the Tegucigalpa-San Jose Accord address the question of his reinstatement up to Congress...Hondurans are set to go the polls Nov. 29 to choose Zelaya’s successor, but most foreign governments have said they will not recognize the process as legitimate unless the deposed head of state is reinstated beforehand.

The Organization of American States ( OAS ) has been effective as a mediator in this crisis that affects many nations in Latin America.

Two members of Russian National Unity have been arrested in connection with the deaths of Mr. Markelov, and Ms. Baburova last January. The RNU is a a paramilitary organization founded in 1990 by Aleksandr Barkashov, their lawyers claim the two are innocent.

Solidarity is an dissadent organization, a political movement and a cry for justice in what remains of the old USSR. Garry Kasparov and other political activists use words to battle guns. With elections looming in Russia, it will be interesting to see which strategy is more effective.

Near Cyprus
Israeli Navy commandoes captured a ship loaded with "hundreds of tons" of weapons headed for Syria.

This is the largest seizure of arms in Israel's history. Some believe it to be just a 'tip of the iceberg'.

2 Nov Digest This

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

El Paso, Texas
Violence is pushing Mexicans to take refuge in Texas, using laser visa ( border crossing visas ) to live. The laser visas are issued for 30 day visits with strict 25 mile limitations. More than 2,000 Mexican murders have been recorded so far in 2009, the victims mostly being involved in drug traffic, organized crime or police enforcement. Many Mexicans who live in Cuidad Juarez have relatives who are US citizens and live in El Paso, just across the border.

Shabtai von Kalmanovic was gunned down in gang-land fashion, while in traffic. After spending several years in an Israeli prison as a convicted spy , the Lithuanian immigrant earned a fortune in the construction business, and fame as an investor in Women's Basketball. He was 60 years old.

An epidemic is sweeping across the Ukraine. Is it Swine Flu? H1N1? Or, something more sinister? Mainstream News is not saying that it is not a plague.

Digest This

Sunday, November 1, 2009
Digest This will be a regular feature at Flexable Page, reflecting the News as it is posted.

Naples, Italy
Salvatore Russo was arrested, he's been on the run for 14 years. He's supposed to be the head of an Italian Crime Family from the Naples area. Police think that this will be a heavy blow to Organized Crime, but I have my doubts. It may however start yet another violent struggle for leadership in a culture of crime. Pasquale and Carmine Russo were also arrested, further creating a vacuum at the top of the organization that is supposed to control 40 towns in the Naples area.

200 Nautical Miles North of Seychelles
A Thai flagged fishing boat with 23 Russians aboard was captured by pirates. The Russians were from the Kaliningrad Region. A British Frigate was nearby but unable to save the ship. Kaliningrad Officials are investigating. Piracy has grown into a booming industry over the last two years, with many Governments responding to the challenge with their Navies.

1,000 Uzbek Militants are Fighting in Pakistan
Uzbek fighters will support the Taliban just to survive, as they have no place to go. As Operation Rah-e-Jihat proceeds, it is expected that both the foreign fighters and the Taliban will slip into the mountains as they have for centuries.

Radovan Karadzik's War Crimes Trile Begins
But Radovan isn't there! Some call him a hero, some say he's a psychopath. Everyone knows he master of the spectacle, and is doing his best to delay the inevitable; justice.

Kosovo Builds a Giant Statue of Bill Clinton
Hillary Clinton says she'll take a picture in front of the statue, and Prime Minister Thaci says he'll build a huge square around the statue. Wow.

Two Canadian Muslims Were Arrested
Mohammad Al-Sahli and Yassir Ali Kahn, from Windsor Ontario are linked to Lugman Ameen Abdullah ( a Detroit Muslim leader killed by the FBI ) and wanted for conspiracy to commit Federal Crimes. Crimes are related to weapons violations. No charges on far.

Check back tomorrow for Digest This updates.

The Children Did Not Come Out Tonight

Saturday, October 31, 2009
My wife was disappointed but not greatly, when no kids came Trick-or-Treating on this Halloween. Disappointed because she enjoys handing out treats to all that come to our door, dressed as goblins and monsters. Not greatly disappointed because she was feeling poorly, and I was at work and not able to enjoy the night with her. This leaves us with much candy to enjoy for the next few weeks.

The weather has been foul for weeks, cold and drizzling rain that tends to dampen any festive spirits. And, the flu season is at it's peak so I doubt if many parents were eager to take their children from door to door. Fortunately for the kids, there was an alternative this year. Church.

Several local Churches got together and invited everyone to the local school gymnasium to celebrate(?) Halloween. Which seems rather odd to me, as most Churches are dead-set against anything to do with witches, goblins and the like! Oh well, if Jesus can tolerate Easter Egg Hunts and Christmas Trees perhaps a few Zombies would be ok too.

But I remember when Halloween was more than a Sugar Rush, better than a Costume Contest. It was an opportunity to get even with Teachers, Preachers and the local cop for all those little things they represent to kids; rules, manners and social graces.

Halloween was a night when latent Juvenile Terrorists went out armed with bars of soap to decorate neighbor's windows with vulgarities. We waged war on out-houses, tipping them over ( even better if a teacher was in it ). And toilet paper, roll upon roll of tissue to adorn the trees of the grumpiest neighbor.

It's kinda sad really, my wife and I with all this candy and those kids at the school with the preachers. It almost makes me wish I'd wake up to find the wind-shield of my car soaped, "Eat Shit Wallace! You Suck!".

People Live Longer With Health Insurance

Friday, September 18, 2009
I read a news report about a Harvard Study that ( for me ) reduces the debate on a National Health Program to it's simplest terms. Simply put, people with insurance live longer than people without insurance. That sounds obvious, and most folks probably wouldn't need an expensive research program to come to the same conclusion. But think for a moment what that means to the National Health-care debate.

If Health Insurance doesn't add days to my life, why would I ever buy the stuff? I of course buy health insurance because I do believe it adds days, if not years to my life. Others may buy it to get those 'feel good' drugs that are so expensive, and others may buy it so they can afford a doctor to write excuses to their employer for missing work. But those, and many other reasons for buying insurance seem trivial when compared the basic assumption that insurance should allow us to live longer.

From the article;

"For any doctor ... it's completely a no-brainer that people who can't get health care are going to die more from the kinds of things that health care is supposed to prevent," said Woolhandler, a professor of medicine at Harvard and a primary care physician in Cambridge, Massachusetts... more ... "

The National Health Program is in favor of a National Health Program. It's study was challenged by the National Center for Policy Analysis which backs a free market solution to the problem. Noticeably absent from the news article was any challenge by that critic on the conclusions of the study. I believe that critics are forced to challenge the methods of the study itself, because they absolutely do not want the debate to focus on a citizens right to life, or the insurance industry's assumed responsibility to extend that life as they are payed to do.

Ask yourself why a major think-tank would ever argue against a study that says Insurance Companies extend life. If more experts come out with evidence that health insurance extends life, will other think tanks challenge those studies too?

Do you assume that the health insurance you pay for extends your life? I would hope so, I do. And I'm not really comfortable with those who would argue against that assumption, on any level. But I would like to know who they are, and if they really have my best interests at heart.

From the Article;

Nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and can not get good care, Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday.

If you don't believe the health insurance you pay for extends your life, then what are you paying for? Happy pills?

I would really like to hear anyone argue that Health Insurance doesn't extend life.

Town Hall Meeting; Obama Returns to New Hampshire

Sunday, August 9, 2009
President Obama will be holding his own "Town Hall Meeting" on Wednesday in Portsmouth, NH. I welcome the event, and believe it to be a bold move designed to put his Health Care Reform program on the offensive in a debate mired in controversy and confusion. This strategy may also put the President in a position to deliver the final death blow to a struggling Republican Party that seems to be resorting to dirty tricks just to remain relevant.

There have been several such events recently ( Obama was not present ) that resulted in mayhem, arrests and controversy. When White House director of new media Macon Phillips posted note on the White House web site asking folks to send anything 'fishy' about these events or their participants to, Republican Sen. John Cornyn wrote a letter to the President stating, "I urge you to cease this program immediately." Both the note and the letter have distracted the public from the major issue, and caused many to wonder about the state of politics in general.

Will (, aka The Celestial Navigator ) posted a note several days ago that addresses the political aspects of these events, and it would seem that thread is still active. Will makes his political position quite clear;
If a president is keeping an enemies list, and asking people to tattle on each other, he's behaving like Richard Fucking Nixon. Period. I don't care what color the man is; I don't care what politics he professes, or to which 'party' he belongs -- asking people to tell on each other is an old, old, tactic, and it's been used by some of the nicest people in the past -- and Nixon's enemies'-list was legendary.
This is a legitimate concern, and I'm hoping the President will address this issue while he's in New Hampshire. I don't see how he can avoid it if he actually allows his opposition into the High School Auditorium where the meeting will be held. I'm not so worried about the 'flag' note, and believe that it was posted to prepare the President for this meeting in New Hampshire, and to give him an opportunity to respond to his opponents on their own web-sites. I do however appreciate Will and folks like him that keep a close eye on our Civil Liberties as their is a growing mood of discontent in America that cuts across party lines.

That threat is Fascism.

If you've been watching these events in the media, you may be as curious as I am to know who exactly is behind the confusion and mayhem. Here's an MSNBC clip that sheds a little light on that;

I'm not a fan of MSNBC, or television news in general. In fact, the only time I watch it is when I find links to it on the web. I do like this clip, as there actually was some investigation into who was actually involved in the controversy, what their background is and who their sponsors are.

<> About the Republican Party; YOU SUCK! I learned my lesson in 1972 when I enlisted in support of a President that appeared to embody all of the good qualities of America, and seemed to have our best interests at heart. I couldn't have been more wrong, as I and many like me payed in spades for our mistake ( our mistake wasn't enlisting, it was believing anything a Republican says ). Since then I've watched several Republican Administrations rape our wallets, and steal our economic future with their Voodoo Economics. As far as Compassionate Conservatism goes, don't believe a hypocrite.

Here's the hypocrisy of Neo-conservatism in America; On Sunday you stand in a pulpit and denounce Darwin and Evolution as it goes against your religious beliefs, but on Monday you stand on Wall Street and preach Natural Selection in the Market-place. Let the anyone who buys their crap beware...< /rant>

I have two hopes for Wednesday meeting; I hope Obama's strategy of bringing the issue to the people works well for him, and I hope some fool throws a shoe. Both would put the Neo-conservatism in a tight little box that can be shelved with so many failed agendas.

And thank you Will, for you attention to issues and your talent as a writer/analyst.

Untitled Rant

Monday, August 3, 2009
Take a look at the photo to the left, I'm the old guy with the white hat. The other guy is a kid I work with at a very large noodle factory. I'm posting this pic to establish a context for anything else I might post on this blog.

Neither of us in an expert at anything. Both of us work very hard for very little. Either of us could go on the inter-net and establish ourselves as leading authorities on just about anything. Really.

Patrick ( the kid ) isn't even interested in the inter-net. It's not in the least bit relevent to his life. I'm curious and active on-line, but go there to 'get' more than I 'give'. Does the kid seem close-minded, or stupid? He's neither. Do I sound selfish? I don't think so.

What Pat and I have in common is the sure knowledge that neither one of us have the answers to the world's problems. Nor do we have the time or energy to solve those problems! It takes all kinds of people to make such a large world; leaders, doctors, planners and builders, cops and lawyers and all those other folks that believe they have at least a small part of the solution to the world's ills. But it takes a lot more of us ( the little people ), than it does of them ( the experts ).

So I will break from my policy of not meddling with other folks affairs today. I have some advice for all of those experts that seem to be having so much problems with the world's economic crisis, global warming, wars and conflicts, etc.;

Get a job! If you can't seem to find one that requires a suit and tie, do like Pat and I. Find some hand tools ( perhaps a shovel or a hammer ), and start walking down the street or highway. People will notice you ( trust me ), and some of them will actually pay you for work.

I never thought I'd say that! But, I've never heard ( or read ) so much griping about how the world has gone to hell. I do my share of griping, and so does Pat. But we do it in the break-room of a factory where we put little noodles in little boxes. We work for two hours, then we bitch about the world for fifteen minutes. We work for an hour and fortyfive minutes, and then we bitch for half an hour. Work for an hour and a half, and then we bitch for fifteen more minutes. We work for an hour or so, clean up our work area and then go home.

We tell our wives that we weren't able to solve the world's problems but all things considered, the bills are getting paid. And then once a week we hand her our paychecks, and she bitches for the rest the day at the high price of living.

And then she comes home, and rests. At peace with the world, because she knows there are more people like Pat and I than there are experts.

Early Morning Thoughts

Monday, July 20, 2009
Again, my mind wanders as I wait for my ride to work in these early am hours. I ponder the nature of Wealth, and Worth and my mind drifts back to memories of my Grandfather who died several years ago. He was a farmer, a Family Farmer which is different from most farmers these days as they own their land, do most of the work themselves and answer to themselves and the market.

Grandpa worked till the end, and when he stopped working the end came as he knew it would. His farm wasn't large, as he never intended it to be so. The farm was his retreat. That battle-scarred old man probably never read about Waldon's Pond as he only finished the sixth grade in school. But, he embodied that spirit more than anyone I ever met.

In the end, the entire family ( except for me, as I knew his secret ) was shocked to find out he had no money, no wealth, and they were not pleased to find that over the years he had been giving it away, acre by acre to my brother who had been working beside him for decades. He knew all along that you can't take Wealth with you, and that if his life was to have any worth he'd have to pass Wealth on.

What is Wealth? Grandpa knew that there was no way in the world that my brother could ever buy a farm of his own with money he had earned. That's what Wealth is, more than you could ever acquire honestly. And he knew that my brother's dream, and goal in life was to find his own seperate peace, and work that dream for him and his. For them work is the goal, not the means to an end. This definition of Wealth is quite different than what you'll find in the dictionary, or on the Oprah show.

I'm of to my job now, a job I really do enjoy because it suits me. And I'll be daydreaming all day, probably thinking about how I no longer have to help my brother take care of those damn hogs...

Thanks Grandpa, thanks Ed, dream on...

Natasha Estemirova was murdered

Friday, July 17, 2009
Natasha Estemirova was murdered

It is said, "Natasha was a truth-teller."


Inspeculation: Moon Landing Tapes Degaussed

Thursday, July 16, 2009

How do you destroy NASA's credibility, and jeopardize there funding for years to come? You can start by announcing that the best evidence of their greatest achievement doesn't exist. Follow that with an effort to recreate that evidence in a studio and you have all that is needed for conspiracy theorists to trash NASA for decades to come.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The original recordings of the first humans landing on the moon 40 years ago were erased and re-used, but newly restored copies of the original broadcast look even better, NASA officials said on Thursday...more

Those tapes of the moon landing set NASA's credibility on bedrock, and that credibility was the foundation for funding much of the research and development that has changed our way of life over the last four decades. Until now, anyone who was against the rapid advances of science and technology had to contend with this solid proof that people could and should look to science to improve and secure their future. At that time scientists were contending with the deeply rooted Fundamentalist mind set of average America. Since then Fundamentalism has grown around the world to challenge the change in society that science has fostered. Now questions are rising as to whether the Space Age ( read; NASA ) should be a part of our future.

How important is progress to you? Are there more important issues such as Global Warming, Universal Health Care, War on Drugs, and War on Terrorism? Would you vote for a Congressman or a Senator that chose NASA funding over the many other interests that compete for Federal Funding?

It looks like NASA is in a fight for it's life, and they can only blame themselves.

Allusions of Grandeur

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Gone are the days when Emporers and Czars sold huge territories to balance their budgets, or are they? Surely the world has progressed beyond wholesale bartering of the fate and fortune of millions of people, to secure the status of the rich and powerful, or has it?

Yesterday Garry Kasparov gave a statement to President Obama in which the Chess Master alluded to those bigone days that was steeped in sarcasm, or was it? You be the judge;

Prime Minister Putin and his friends have treated the Russian treasury like their personal bank, but only for withdrawals. They are selling the riches of our country from under our feet. In fact, if, President Obama, you wish to go down in history like Thomas Jefferson or William Seward, I’m sure you can get a good deal on several million acres of Russian land during your visit!...more...

Perhaps Garry was merely expressing his feelings towards the Russian Leadership that is perhaps not performing very well in the World Economy. Or, perhaps he's referring to the recent decision to allow US Military flights over Russian Airspace to supply the war effort in Afghanistan.

I'm not going to pretend to understand the mind and machinations of a Champion Chess Master ( I really don't play the game well ), but I will make a wild guess that there was a real strategy, and deeper meaning to Garry's words. I surely hope so, because I didn't get much else from his statement.

But as long as I'm speculating, how much would the Artic Ocean be worth to Putin? Come on Putin, what's it going to take to make this deal happen?

For Six Months I've Been Following Two News Stories

Sunday, July 5, 2009
For six months I have been following two news stories that are about to intersect. Garry Kasparov and his Solidarity are about to meet President Obama and his Foreign Policy. For the first time in six months, if you click on either of these links you will see the same story at the top of the page.

While the world pays attention to proxy battles such as Iran vs Israel, N Korea vs S Korea Honduras vs ... ( well they're fighting somebody down there, I'm just not sure who yet ), it is wise to watch the masters play out their strategies at the highest level.

While I don't pretend to have the slightest idea of what these intelectual giants will be discussing, I'm quite sure that the rest of the world leaders will be watching with great interest. Mr. Putin and his friend Ahmadinejad will no doubt be watching as well. That is not to say that the latter two aren't major world players, but that this story is not about power or politics.

This is about Journalism, and entertainment. And a Grand Gambit. Good luck Garry, this is your fifteen minutes of fame, play it wisely...


Photo; File:Kasparov-27, jpg - Wikimedia Commons

What 'They' Are Saying

Monday, May 11, 2009
I've added a new link to the side-bar, to a page that I think some will find useful. What 'They' Are Saying provides news in it's raw form. That is to say our News Media is focused on persons of interest. And more importantly, most of what we read and view in the News Media is taken from quotes of those persons of interest.

If you click on the link ( under items and issues worth watching ), you will find quotes of five significant persons; Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Vladimir Putin, Ahmadinejad, and George Soros. This is a short list that I believe to form the core of most news articles that deal with international issues. The list will no doubt grow as other folks ascend in the Pantheon of Journalism.

I'd like to thank Google, and their Advanced News Search Feature that has served me so well over the last year or so. This is a marvelous device that has allowed me to ( among other things ) filter searches with key phrases such "Putin said", and "Obama said". With a few adjustments, your search results can be tweaked to display in chronological order. But the best part is these searches are available as rss feeds that can be subscribed to in your rss reader ( I use Google Reader ).

Perhaps you have clicked on one of the other links (...items and issues...). The Mother of all Frauds has seen a lot of activity in the last few months as I track stories about the current World Economic Crisis. Google allows it's users to publish 'tagged' items that they find via rss. I have about one hundred such pages.

That is what I do on the Internet, I read and tag items of interest. Sharing them is a what I enjoy the most. I subscribe to quite a few feeds from bloggers around the world, and would like to thank them for their efforts.

Internet News is like a flood that picks up and carries bits and pieces of the world. You can't read it all, but you are able to filter the most relevant items, and then 'share'.


Subterranean Economic Blues

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

With huge bonuses going to executives of many large corporations, I have to as, "What do they do with all that money?" My personal contact with the wealthy is limited to short trips in the taxi that I drove for twenty years, so my understanding of that social class is limited to that perspective. Those folks do tip big.

I left that job eight years ago when I returned to the agricultural community where I was born and raised. Most of all I miss the tips, that little bit of 'dash' that provides the instant gratification that is practically non-existant in a rural setting. Tips are a large part of the under-ground economy that you will find in any city, subterranean so to speak. I liken my sense of loss to Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues. So, what is the connection between the underground, Bob Dylan, corporate bonuses and my blues? Let me explain;

There is a line in Bob's song ( click on link above ), '...the pump don't work, cause the vandals took the handles...' That particular lyric has mystified myself and many others for years. Now I understand; Without the bonuses, corporate executives can't support the thousands of low-lifes ( like myself ) that depend so much on their filthy lucre. The pump is the economy, and the handle is instant gratification ( TIPS = to insure prompt service ).

When those executives left their homes to appear before the US Congress, I have no doubt that they tipped everybody they met along their route to those hallowed halls. I'm just guessing, but I'll bet they laid out thousands of dollars in largess that they fully expected to 'trickle down' through the economy, and thus 'stimulate' that same economy. Limo drivers, sky-caps, and valet parking assistants are just a few of those that benifit from their 'cash flow'. That is just the way the weathy contribute to society ( except for wealthy Canadians, they don't tip ).

How much of our lives, our jobs and our Government is dependent on an under-ground economy? For the last eight years, my wife and I have supported ourselves with minimum wage jobs, so we really don't feal the pinch like we would have 'back in the day'. The blues I feel are more nostalgic, than financial.

I'm also grateful that circumstances put disance between myself, and a very corrupt system that depends so much on instant gratification.

And about that pump, my neighbor has an old one in his back yard that works well ( if you work it )

Posted via web from Wallace's posterous

Talent, Poise and Presentation

Sunday, April 12, 2009

I got this replacement video from Linda, thanks Linda!

Rumors of War

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I am worried that the US and Mexico may soon escalate the 'War on Drugs' from a strategy of enforcement by civil authorities, to a shooting war on the border between the nations. Mexico has been using it's military for several years now in it's efforts to battle the Drug Cartels' influence and control over several of their states. The US has supported Mexico's efforts with much money, and advisors under the banner of 'The Merida Initiative', but has refrained from deploying Federal Troops to the Mexican border ( although National Guard Units from the region have been alerted to the possibility of such a deployment ).

Living far north of the border ( in Illinois ) doesn't remove the affects of a conflict on the Rio Grande, as so many folks from south of the border live as neighbors and work beside mid-west citizens. If the US where to use Federal Troops to battle the Drug Cartels in the States, or ( God forbid ) in Mexico, would fear dictate the relationship between this minority and Non-Latinos? Certainly different states and regions of the US would react differently, but would the Federal Government be able to establish a workable general policy for dealing with conflicts inside the US?

One would hope that the Obama Administration is looking for models of past conflicts, and judging them for their successes and failures. The Internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War comes to mind, which brings up the issue of immigrants and Americans of Mexican descent that are ( or will be ) serving in the US military.

I have asked several questions, to which I have no answers. While we all worry about our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, perhaps we should also be concerned about events that are not so far over the horizen..

DoD photo by Staff Sgt Adam Mancini US Army - Released

Thanks to Sgt. Mancini for the photo.

Posted via web from Wallace's posterous

gmail down

Tuesday, February 24, 2009
gmail is down this morning ( I noticed the problem about 4:30am CST ). Twitter is going crazy with "End of the World As We Know It" tweets coming at about 100 per minute. Here's a link to a twitter search ( gmail );

What amazes me, is that this is a twitter event as large as the terrorist attack in Mumbai several months ago. How dependent are we on gmail, or email in general? I'm glad that I have twitter and other means to communicate.

Updates to follow....

6:13am CST, USA

gmail up and running again. While gmail was down, I clicked on 'all mail' and found a test post that I had sent from yahoo mail. Apparently the mail was being delivered, it just wasn't being displayed in the 'inbox'. Actually, nothing on the front page worked...

All's well that ends well, and twitter got a boost tonight.

I Can't Support Obama's Super Bowl Policy

Sunday, February 1, 2009
The Honeymoon is over. The scales have been lifted from my eyes. Barry has feet of clay, and now it's obvious to me and the rest of the world. Pittsburgh?

What can that man be thinking?

I'm gonna watch the game, and try not to think the disappointment I feel.

I hope Arizona's defense forces at least five turn-overs, and Kurt Warner throw's for at least five touch-downs. It could happen.

Barry's not so smart...

I hope Barry remembers

Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I hope Barry remembers this, some think that Pres. Bush forgot...
The executive branch's first duty is to protect and defend the Constitution, not the territory, of the U.S.

Of course both are nescessary, it's just that I think priorities should be established, and then followed.

Inaugural Address of President Barack Obama

via SWJ Blog by SWJ Editors on 1/20/09

President Barack Obama took the oath of office as the 44th president of the United States and delivered an inaugural address focusing on the themes of sacrifice and renewal on 20 January 2009.

Inaugural Address of President Barack Obama
20 January 2009

President Barack Obama

Thank you. Thank you.

My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.

I thank President Bush for his service to our nation as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath.

The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because We the People have remained faithful to the ideals of our for bearers, and true to our founding documents.

So it has been. So it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age.

Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many, and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet.

These are the indicators of crisis, subject to data and statistics. Less measurable, but no less profound, is a sapping of confidence across our land; a nagging fear that America's decline is inevitable, that the next generation must lower its sights.

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real, they are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this America: They will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.

We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.

In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less.

It has not been the path for the faint-hearted, for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame.

Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life. For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West, endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died in places Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction.

This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous, powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions -- that time has surely passed.

Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America.

For everywhere we look, there is work to be done.

The state of our economy calls for action: bold and swift. And we will act not only to create new jobs but to lay a new foundation for growth.

We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together.

We will restore science to its rightful place and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its costs.

We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.

All this we can do. All this we will do.

Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions, who suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their memories are short, for they have forgotten what this country has already done, what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose and necessity to courage.

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them, that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long, no longer apply.

The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works, whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.

Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.

And those of us who manage the public's knowledge will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government.

Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched.

But this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control. The nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous.

The success of our economy has always depended not just on the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart -- not out of charity, but because it is the surest route to our common good.

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

Our founding fathers faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.

Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.

And so, to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and we are ready to lead once more.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with the sturdy alliances and enduring convictions.

They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use. Our security emanates from the justness of our cause; the force of our example; the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

We are the keepers of this legacy, guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort, even greater cooperation and understanding between nations. We'll begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people and forge a hard- earned peace in Afghanistan.

With old friends and former foes, we'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet.

We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waver in its defense.

And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that, "Our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you."

For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and nonbelievers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth.

And because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.

To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict or blame their society's ills on the West, know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.

To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds.

And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty, we say we can no longer afford indifference to the suffering outside our borders, nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. For the world has changed, and we must change with it.

As we consider the road that unfolds before us, we remember with humble gratitude those brave Americans who, at this very hour, patrol far-off deserts and distant mountains. They have something to tell us, just as the fallen heroes who lie in Arlington whisper through the ages.

We honor them not only because they are guardians of our liberty, but because they embody the spirit of service: a willingness to find meaning in something greater than themselves.

And yet, at this moment, a moment that will define a generation, it is precisely this spirit that must inhabit us all.

For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies.

It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break; the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours.

It is the fire fighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.

Our challenges may be new, the instruments with which we meet them may be new, but those values upon which our success depends, honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old.

These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history.

What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility -- a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than giving our all to a difficult task.

This is the price and the promise of citizenship.

This is the source of our confidence: the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.

This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed, why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall. And why a man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.

So let us mark this day in remembrance of who we are and how far we have traveled.

In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by nine campfires on the shores of an icy river.

The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood.

At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet it."

America, in the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words; with hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come; let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.

Thank you. God bless you.

And God bless the United States of America.



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Why are Palestinians Still Launching Rockets Over the Heads of Their Attackers?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

As a tactic, shooting over the heads of your most immediate threat doesn't usually win battles. I understand that there are major political, social and even religious issues and strategies involved with the conflict in Gaza, there has been from the beginning. But I have to say something, even if only one person over there hears me;

"Lower your sights!"

Can those rockets be fired horizontally? I understand that rockets have a lot of back-blast when they are launched, maybe they could be fired from an open field or a large parking lot where no-one would get accidentally burned. To be perfectly honest, I've seen quite a few rockets launched ( it was years ago, but I don't think the basics have changed much ), and they really weren't designed with urban combat in mind. So I have to ask;

"When you built those rockets, did you put a sight on them?"

Not to say that weapons without sights can't be accurate, I've seen knee-mortars that are pretty effective. But knee-mortars don't leave smoke trails that give your position away. Let me try to explain this in very simple terms;

"Shooting over your enemy's head, and telling him where you are forces your enemy to decide whether to kill you along with all those standing around you...your buddies."

Knowing your enemy's reputation on the battle-field, I wouldn't give him that option.

Imagine this message to be a real conversation, and ask yourself if it sounds a little childish. That's intentional... 

Five Presidents of the United States reveal America's most precious asset

Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The ex-President's Club.

I can think of no nation in the world where an incoming President has so much experience to draw on. 

President-elect Obama's Transition Team has been working closely with President Bush's staff to ensure a 'seem-less transition' from one administration to the next. From all indications, they have ( so far ) been succesful.

The recent election enjoyed a larger audience than any previous election. The world has no doubt been watching, and judging the transition. This photo, and others like it will impact that judgement greatly.

The Old World has two weeks to take advantage of this transition. Make the best of it, because The New World is becoming new again, and again and again...

p.s. North America has enjoyed more than fourteen decades of peace. Europe has enjoyed six. Africa and Asia? Maybe if they learned to make the transition of power a peaceful process, then they would be able to display photos like this for their Grand-children to see. 

ƒoxεs iη midsυmmεr - Ancient Greek Humor

Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Mortal: What is a million years like to you?

Zeus: Like one second.

Mortal: What is a million dollars like to you?

Zeus: Like one penny.

Mortal: Can I have a penny?

Zeus: Just a second…

Life must go on in Gaza and Sderot

Sunday, January 4, 2009
In Gaza and in Sderot two men live on to share a blog of a kind I've never read. The header of the blog declares their intentions to live and blog regardless of the insanity that lies between their respective houses;

This blog is written by 2 friends. One lives in Sajaia refugee camp in Gaza and the other lives in Sderot, a small town near Gaza on the Israeli side. There is ongoing violence between Israel and Gaza which has intensified greatly since October 2000. Many have been killed and many have been injured. The media coverage on both sides has been extremely biased. Our Blog is written by 2 real people living and communicating on both sides of the border.
[Your comments are welcome]

I have gained more from these short posts, than from all the rest that all the media has to offer. They stand as two candles on a hill, a witness to the prayers and the dreams of two peoples free from the shackles of politics and religion. I wish for these two all the security and peace that God sees fit to grant them.

I no longer see Palestine, nor Israel. I see only two men, two candles on a hill.