Saturday, May 30, 2009

the president discovers an American intelligence agency at Five Guys


From Politico/Ben Smith:

On his trip to get a burger with Brian Williams at Five Guys this afternoon, the President appears to have learned of the existence of a Defense Department intelligence arm, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, from an agency employee also at the burger restaurant.
"So explain to me exactly what this National Geospatial..." Obama said, after the worker mentioned his employer, according to a video of the event.
"We work with, uh, satellite imagery," the worker, Walter replied.

A POLITICO reader caught the exchange, which starts around 5:45 on
this C-SPAN video.

The transcript: (here) You gotta read this...


I just made a Watermelon Gazpacho this evening and it was mighty fine, if I do say so myself. My French neighbor, with whom I shared, said he added vodka. Either way it was a lovely addition to the meal on a 95 degree day.

Let me know if you are interested and I'll post the recipe.

The Lies of Obama

A list of (some of ) the lies that Obama has told us from BigHollywood

1) ”…not because I believe in bigger government — I don’t — not because I’m not mindful of the massive debt we’ve inherited — I am.” Speech to Congress, February 24, 2009

2) “And that is why I have ordered the closing of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and will seek swift and certain justice for captured terrorists…” Speech to Congress, February 24, 2009

3) “My administration has also begun to go line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs.” I wonder if the President knows he doesn’t have a line item veto.

4) “My immediate task is making sure that the second half of that money, $350 billion, is spent properly. That’s my first job.” Press conference February 9, 2009, talking about TARP money.

5) ”It also contains an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability, so that every American will be able to go online and see where and how we’re spending every dime. What it does not contain, however, is a single pet project, not a single earmark, and it has been stripped of the projects members of both parties found most objectionable.” Press conference February 9, 2009 talking about his own economic bill

Even the Left is Getting Fed Up With Obama

Some on the left are beginning to see what the rest of us were talking about during the election. From Ted Rall

...From health care to torture to the economy to war, Obama has reneged on pledges real and implied. So timid and so owned is he that he trembles in fear of offending, of all things, the government of Turkey. Obama has officially reneged on his campaign promise to acknowledge the Armenian genocide. When a president doesn’t have the nerve to annoy the Turks, why does he bother to show up for work in the morning?

Obama is useless. Worse than that, he’s dangerous. Which is why, if he has any patriotism left after the thousands of meetings he has sat through with corporate contributors, blood-sucking lobbyists and corrupt politicians, he ought to step down now — before he drags us further into the abyss....(more)

Robert Stacy McCain reminds us that many conservatives were once liberals, most notably Ronald Reagan. Obmas' umm, lack of follow though, on campaign promises which lacked detail of any sort may pay off:

Details . . . were not the Obama campaign's strongest selling point. Rather, Obama succeeded by capitalizing on the kind of boundless Hope that prompted a Florida woman, Peggy Joseph, to her memorable declaration after a late-October campaign rally: "I won't have to worry about putting gas in my car; I won't have to worry about paying my mortgage. You know, if I help him, he's gonna help me."Such irrational expectations are inevitably followed by disillusionment. No prediction of what the next four years might bring is safer than this: The yawning gap between Hope and reality will produce a bumper crop of ex-Democrats. . . .(more)

Well, if they don't become conservatives maybe the ignorant and uninformed/illinformed will just stop voting.

Friday, May 29, 2009

"what email would look like if it were invented today."

Do I really want another way to be "connected"? Dunno, but the "gee whiz" factor might be enough to make me switch, IF I can get something concrete in the way of info. So far the description just sounds like somebody is high...
From LifeHacker:

Google announced today a new, experimental idea aiming to reshape the future of communication on the web. It's called Wave, and if you believe its developer, it's "what email would look like if it were invented today." It's also going to be totally open source. Intrigued?
Primarily, Wave is about improving real-time communication on the web. I've been waiting all day for Google to upload the video promised on the Wave homepage, but since it's still not there, here's the skinny from Google's mouth:

What is a wave?

A wave is equal parts conversation and document. People can communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.

A wave is shared. Any participant can reply anywhere in the message, edit the content and add participants at any point in the process. Then playback lets anyone rewind the wave to see who said what and when.

A wave is live. With live transmission as you type, participants on a wave can have faster conversations, see edits and interact with extensions in real-time. (more)

The Obama administration ignores voter intimidation

Curiouser and curioser...

From the Washington Times:

Imagine if Ku Klux Klan members had stood menacingly in military uniforms, with nightsticks, in front of a polling place. Add to it that they had hurled racial threats and insults at voters who tried to enter.

Now suppose that the government, backed by a nationally televised video of the event, had won a court case against the Klansmen except for the perfunctory filing of a single, simple document - but that an incoming Republican administration had moved to voluntarily dismiss the already-won case.

Surely that would have been front-page news, with a number of firings at the Justice Department.

The flip side of this scenario is occurring right now. The culprits weren't Klansmen; they belonged to the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. One of the defendants, Jerry Jackson, is an elected member of Philadelphia's 14th Ward Democratic Committee and was a credentialed poll watcher for Barack Obama and the Democratic Party when the violations occurred. Rather conveniently, the Obama administration has asked that the cases against Mr. Jackson, two other defendants and the party be dropped. (more)

Prayer Study Part 4- Prayer of Tears

Continuing with our study begun a few weeks ago, of Richard Foster's book, "Prayer-Finding the Hearts True Home." The book examines a number of different types of prayer. Previous notes can be found here.

Tears are like blood in the wounds of the soul.
Gregory of Nyssa

• A broken and contrite heart
• Inward godly sorrow
• Holy sorrow
• The prayer of tears
• Keenly felt sorrow over our sin and distance from God

The Experience of Our Forebears

• Early American missionary David Brainard wrote of his tearful repentance in his journal
• O that my head were a spring of water and my eyes a fountain of tears, so that I might weep day and night for the slain of my poor people! Jer. 9:1
• I am weary with my moaning every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping. Psalm 6:6
• Others pp 38-39

An Experience of Joy

• The “charism of tears”
• In earlier times, those with dry eyes and cold hearts were pitied
• Contrition and repentance is accompanied by deep joy in our relationship to God

What the Prayer of Tears Does

• God wishes to touch all aspects of our lives, including our emotions
• Tears are an indication that God has reached us emotionally
• Because we are sinners and separated from God (original sin), the prayer of tears aids us in acknowledging this
• Martin Luther recommended living a life of daily repentance
• Death and resurrection of Jesus Christ makes this type of repentance possible

Elements of Contrition

• Seek repentance as a gift from God
– Jesus prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
• Confess
• Receive God’s gift of forgiveness
• Obey- Obedience not just avoidance of wrongdoing, but the pursuit of virtue

When We Cannot Weep

• Be both firm and friendly with yourself. Don’t let yourself off with “I’m not the emotional type.”
• “I am a rock I am an island” mentality was not taken on overnight nor will it be overcome overnight
• Shed tears inwardly
“The fire of sin is intense, but it is put out by a small amount of tears, for the tear puts out a furnace of faults, and cleans our wounds of sin.”
John Chrysostom

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What the heck is that video? Updated with links to funny science songs

My son has an assignment in his science class to create a power point/music presentation on a science theme. They have to substitute science information in a song. Because of his interest in German he has chosen music from a German group that isn't available on ITunes. It is available on YouTube but he can't access YouTube from school. He can access my blog so he hopes to access in this way.

All of this begins to explain why I haven't posted much this week...

the link to Tom Lehrer's "The Element Song."

the link to The First and Second Law.

Thanks to Otepoti for both.

Stop global warming? No, stop the insanity!

Just when I thought the whole global warming argument couldn't get any crazier, I'm proven wrong. What next? Everybody smear their bodies with zinc oxide?

President Obama's energy adviser has suggested all the world's roofs should be painted white as part of efforts to slow global warming.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Missing Link Goes Missing

It made front page news here in my hometown. Referred to by many as the "missing link" it has quickly gone the way of the "gay gene".

The fossil of a lemurlike creature that probably weighed no more than 2 pounds when it was fully grown is remarkable because it is the most complete primate specimen ever obtained from so long ago, experts say. (statesman)

Hmm, well that didn't seem so big a deal after all.

The discovery was presented with much fanfare at a press conference at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, where researchers called the finding a "missing link" and a publisher from Little, Brown (which put out a related book called "The Link") called it "a scientific discovery that will undoubtedly revolutionize how we understand our own evolution." (FoxNews)

Oh well, there you have it, the precursor ahead of the book release. That explains the hoopla and the lack of science...

...David Attenborough announced with confidence that the missing link ‘is no longer missing,’ but the way the evidence has been presented and handled has raised questions about media manipulation, especially from the London Times science correspondent Mark Henderson; he seems quite miffed.

Mark Henderson reports that doubts have arisen now that others have finally been given access to the fossil and suggests that Ida is related to ‘nothing that exists today.’ Although Ida is an important fossil, he writes that ‘she isn’t all that’ and complains that the researchers haven’t provided sufficient evidence to justify their claims. He argues that this is…
‘…especially serious given the publicity blitz behind Ida…a popular book, a documentary, a website and an exhibition have been launched on the back of this find, before it has received full scientific scrutiny.’
(Uncommon Descent)

Even Time Magazine said the whole thing is overhyped:

...Most paleontologists will roll their eyes at that sort of overhyped nonsense, especially given that there's real science lurking underneath. After wading through the false advertising, though, most people might have a hard time finding it.

The sorry state of modern journalism, and science for profit make for an awkward coupling do they not?

Obama picks Sotomayor for high court

Some info on Obama's pick from AUFL:

The Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Despite 17 years on the bench, Judge Sotomayor has never directly decided whether a law regulating abortion was constitutional. She has, however, decided a few cases that indirectly implicate abortion rights.

Writing for the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor upheld the Mexico City Policy which prohibited foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from using federal funding to promote abortion overseas. In a constitutional challenge brought by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR), an American abortion advocacy group that routinely argues that "abortion is the law of the world," Judge Sotomayor first rejected a claim that the policy burdened the First Amendment rights of domestic pro-abortion groups, finding that no First Amendment rights were implicated. The significance of this part of her opinion, however, may be minimal because the issue was largely controlled by the Second Circuit’s earlier opinion in a similar challenge to the policy.

More interesting was Justice Sotomayor’s response to CRR’s second claim that the policy violated the Equal Protection Clause by impermissibly burdening the "rights of domestic abortion groups relative to domestic anti-abortion groups." Rejecting this new argument, Justice Sotomayor wrote that because the challenge involved neither a suspect class nor a fundamental right, a deferential "rational basis" test was appropriate. She then acknowledged the ability of the government to adopt anti-abortion policies, noting "there can be no question that the classification survives rational basis review. The Supreme Court has made clear that the government is free to favor the anti-abortion position over the pro-choice position, and can do so with public funds."

Finally, Judge Sotomayor wrote an opinion overturning, in part, a district court’s grant of summary judgment against a group of anti-abortion protestors, albeit on an issue far removed from abortion jurisprudence. When a group of protestors sued the city of West Hartford, CT alleging its police officers used excessive force at a peaceful protest, the district court issued a summary judgment in favor of the defendants on all theories of liability. Writing for the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor reversed the district court’s summary judgment order against the protestors and remanded the case for further proceedings.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day

In August 2006 I did a tour of duty in Iraq. I was the NCOIC of a combat weather team. We support the Army with weather information. During that tour I had the opportunity to work with an Army Captain by the name of Sean Lyerly. Over 10 years younger than I he always had a smile on his face and always had a genuine concern for the welfare of those around him, including the enlisted. When we traveled to the other side of the base to check out the Bazaar, he got a Hum-Vee and drove us over. The Captain drove the two NCOs.

He loved spicy foods, from the wasabi trail mix that someone sent around Christmas to the Jalapeno/cheese poppers he asked me to bring him back from the chow hall.

We had many talks about wasabi. Upon finding out that most "wasabi" in the states was really horseradish, and that actual wasabi was very expensive, we decided to explore the possibility of starting a business growing wasabi when we returned. He had an interest in plants and actually received a degree in horticulture from Texas A&M and had experience caring for aquatic plants when he worked at Disneyland (or Disney world I can't remember). Naturally, we felt the answer would be to grow the wasabi hydroponically.

He loved his wife and 3 year old son and he loved to fly. He was one of the battle captains in the the tactical operations center (TOC) and consequently did not get to fly as often as he would have preferred. One of the last things I heard the Colonel tell him before I left was, "Don't worry, you'll get more flight time, I promise."

Our unit supported the Army's year long deployment with three 4 month rotations. Mine was the first. I left on December 31, 2006.

On January 20th he was shot down and killed along with 11 others who were passengers in the Blackhawk he was flying.

This Memorial Day, take a moment from the sales and the BBQs, and remember these and the many others who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country and it's citizens.

Memorial Day

They stood around the graves
And told their stories,
The very young and very old
And for every story learned,
For every one taught
A monument danced and a memory walked,
A grave remained unfinished and unfilled.

They sat upon the headstones
And sang their songs,
The living and the dead
And for every song left unheard
For every one forgot
A memory wept and a history slept,
A grave was sealed and a spirit stilled.