Friday, November 30, 2007


This is the S&W 460 with a 12" bbl.
I think it is water cooled.
To accommodate the barrel length, it must be registered in two adjacent counties.

This is the S&W 460 with a 14" bbl.
It comes with it's own nuclear reactor.
To accommodate the barrel length, it must be registered in two adjacent time zones.

This is the S&W 500 Magnum with a 10" bbl.
It comes with two options:
1) a mounting bracket for the top of your Hummer,
2) a Pakistani gun bearer.
The muzzle blast from this handgun is the real reason why bears shit in the woods.
The cost of an afternoon of shooting at the local pistol range with this handgun rivals the annual GNP of most small nations.


S&W offers an "Emergency Kit" that offers a 500 Magnum with a 2" bbl. I guess you use it when you encounter angry grizzly bears, homicidal killer whales and rabid freight trains. If you fire a shot in a densely wooded area. the muzzle blast can be used to clear a small landing pad for helicopters and start a cook fire for the bear.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pin Ups And Treats For Troops


Gina Elise is a model with a BA from UCLA. She has spent the past two years on her project that combines what she knows (modeling, photography, history) to help a cause dear to her heart -hospitalized veterans and soldiers in need.

So, she created a project called Pin Ups for Vets which is co-sponsored by American Legion Post 360 of Lake Arrowhead, California. Her 2007 Pin Up Calendar sold out and now she has her 2008 Calendar available. These pin ups are reminiscent of the photos of starlets adored by GI's during WWII.

Your calendar donation will go towards: eyeglasses for Veterans, the home health program, recreational therapy, spinal cord injury & amputee programs, substance abuse program, women’s Veterans’ program, chapel improvements, homeless program, reading materials and subscriptions for the Veterans, patio improvements, parking lot shuttle, courtesy cart, social relief fund, televisions, wheelchairs, and outreach programs for the visually impaired.


Treats for Troops is an organization that seeks to do exactly that; put a smile on the face of a GI Joe or Jane far away from home. You can purchase candy, gadgets, drug store items, snacks and beverages for our service members. The gifts I saw ranged from about $30 on up. Go take a look see.

There is also a Foster A Soldier program that you can join. Thousands of men and women from every branch of the service are registered with Treats for Troops. If you want to send a care package to show your support, they’ll match you with a soldier who’d love to hear from you. You can choose your soldier by branch of service, home state, gender, general location, birthday, or you can let the program automatically select the soldier who’s been waiting the longest to receive a package.

So maybe bless yourself this holiday season by adopting a soldier.

Government In Action

From the Post Standard (11/29/07) page A-8:

Garden City, NY, A retired police officer filed a federal complaint Wednesday to force the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to drop its demand he return vanity license plates calling for the capture or death of Osama bin Laden.

Arno Herwerth, a 21-year veteran of the New York Police Department who retired as a sergeant, admitted he requested the "GETOSAMA" plates earlier this month to send a political message. He said he was surprised to hear, after receiving the plates, that the DMV wanted them back.

The agency, in a Nov. 15 letter to Herwerth, cited a regualtion that prohibits plates that can be considered "obscene, lewd, lascivious, derogatory to a particular ethnic group or patently offensive." Herwerth, 42, of Hauppauge, said in a telephone interview that it was important to him that the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror atacks, orchestrated by bin Laden, be remembered.

Oh come on. Does that mean that I can't get a plate that reads "THEALAMO" because some beaner will be offended? But I'll bet that the plates "GOABORT" are on some lib's car right now - no problemo.

Brave New World

An Ethical Brave New World
By Doug Patton
November 26, 2007

“O wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world that has such people in’t!”

--from Miranda’s speech in The Tempest

Ever since Aldous Huxley borrowed the title of his frightening 1932 novel from this line in Shakespeare’s famous play, the phrase “Brave New World” has come to be understood as the genetic manipulation of human beings for the greater good of society.

Seventy-five years ago, Huxley’s vision of a 26th-century civilization peopled with genetically engineered human beings created specifically for certain jobs was pure science fiction. Today, it could be, as they say, ripped from the headlines.

The debate over the ethics of destroying human embryos to create stem cells has become one of the great moral issues of our time. Now comes the recent discovery that human skin cells can be used to create something very much like stem cells — without the moral stigma.

Japanese scientists have discovered that they can transform adult human skin cells into cells that resemble embryonic stem cells. The converted cells have many of the physical and genetic features typically found in embryonic stem cells and can produce other tissue types, including neurons and heart tissue, according to the researchers.

Of course, those committed to the agenda of destroying human life — leftist radicals who worship at the altar of bio-science-as-savior — refuse to concede that this is a great step forward. Actor Michael J. Fox, whose Parkinson’s disease has led him to advocate — irrationally, some would argue — in favor of embryonic stem cell research was quick to say that embryonic stem cells were still the “gold standard.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

If embryonic stem cells hold such promise for curing all sorts of diseases, why is the private sector not clamoring to fund the research?

If this is the cure-all that 2004 vice presidential candidate John Edwards promised it was when he crassly assured us that, “when John Kerry is president, Christopher Reeve will walk again,” why are we not witnessing the greatest race medical science has never seen to be the first private company to make this miracle research pay off?

If embryonic stem cells are so useful in treating disease, why are researchers plagued by the continued formation of tumors in tissue treated with these cells?

And finally, if embryonic stem cells show more promise than adult stem cells (which have already been used effectively for the treatment of various ailments), why are there currently dozens of clinical trials going on using adult cells, but not a single one using embryonic stem cells?

As I have written before, the intellectually honest American knows the answers: it’s all about abortion. As the tide of public opinion turns against abortion on demand, the defenders of the indefensible must create new reasons to destroy the unborn, at whatever stage of development.

Thomas Jefferson once wrote that “To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” There can be no greater example of the truth of that statement than to force American taxpayers to fund the destruction of innocent human life, whether it is at the moment of fertilization or at the age of ninety. This is especially true when alternatives are available.

With the advent of this new skin cell discovery, medical science is bypassing the relics who continue to cling to the lie that destroying human life is the only way to improve it. Only time will tell if we truly can produce an ethical brave new world.
© Copyright 2007 by Doug Patton

Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a political speechwriter and public policy advisor. His weekly columns are published in newspapers across the country and on selected Internet web sites, including Human Events Online, and, where he is a senior writer and state editor. Readers may e-mail him at

News Busted produces some wickedly funny news clips. Watch this one.

And this is Joe Scarborough smacking CNN around after the Clinton ambush.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Stand Up And Be ... Thinner?

Scientists are now stating that exercise alone is not enough to keep the pounds off. We need to stand more. From ABC News:

Scientists have found intriguing evidence that one major reason so many people are overweight these days may be as close as the seat of their pants. Literally. According to the researchers, most of us sit too much.

In most cases, exercise alone, according to a team of scientists at the University of Missouri, isn't enough to take off those added pounds. The problem, they say, is that all the stuff we've heard the last few years about weight control left one key factor out of the equation. When we sit, the researchers found, the enzymes that are responsible for burning fat just shut down.

This goes way beyond the common sense assumption that people who sit too much are less active and thus less able to keep their weight under control. It turns out that sitting for hours at a time, as so many of us do in these days of ubiquitous computers and electronic games and 24-hour television, attacks the body in ways that have not been well understood.

Someone once told me that a ballerina exercises just by standing still. The muscles involved in remaining erect can work hard just by keeping balance while motionless.

"It was hard to believe at first," said Marc Hamilton, associate professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri-Columbia and leader of the research team. He said the team didn't expect to find a strong signal when they began researching what happens to fat when we remain seated. But the effect, both in laboratory animals and humans, turned out to be huge.

The solution, Hamilton said, is to stand up and "putter."

The research was published this month in the peer-reviewed journal Diabetes, and it will be presented by Hamilton's post-doctoral researcher, Theodore Zderic, at the upcoming Second International Congress on Physical Activity and Public Health in Amsterdam.

Almost everything I do at work is on a computer. So I sit. And sit. And sit some more. I know it's not good but what can you do?

Back in 1999 I worked for a construction contractor as a foreman. I worked right along with the crew but the main thing was that I did not sit down except for lunch. In six weeks I lost 25 pounds.

The researchers also took a close look at a fat-splitting enzyme, called lipase, that is critical to the body's ability to break down fat.

After the animals remained seated for several hours, "the enzyme was suppressed down to 10 percent of normal," Hamilton said. "It's just virtually shut off."

That's when that real bad enzyme, "bigbootyase", kicks in.

The results from the animal studies were very convincing, he said, and human experiments were just as compelling. The researchers injected a small needle into the muscles of the human volunteers and extracted a small sample for biopsy. Once again, the enzyme was suppressed while the humans remained seated. That resulted in retention of fat, and it also resulted in lower HDL, the "good cholesterol," and an overall reduction in the metabolic rate.

[...]"When we think about the postural muscles that are mostly in the legs and back, these are big, powerful muscles," he said. "We're talking probably 20 pounds of muscle in each leg. That's a lot of muscle that can be engaged in routine activities," including burning fat. But they can't do that without the enzyme that is suppressed while seated. .

So it is not just one thing, it is a combination of movements that work. I am back on the treadmill but it will take more than that.

Much is still not known, including such fundamental issues as how long the effect lasts from getting up and moving around for a while, but Hamilton expects the answers to come fairly soon.

"There is going to be a flood of research on this in the next couple of years, and not just by us," he said. "This has raised the attention of a lot of great scientists around the world who have begun doing their own studies."

In the meantime, he suggests, we do the obvious. Take the time to get up and "putter" for a while. If his research turns out to be on the mark, it could save your life.

Not bad advice.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's The Law

Cookie over to the Cook Shack ran a story about our GI's that has my bowels in an uproar.

There are certain things that governments do that elicit very fierce responses from the governed. I guess it is because in many respects we feel that:
1) It is being shoved down our throats;
2) It is just plain dumb;
3) It is wasteful; and
4) It is unfair, or worse, evil.

I can't decide whether or not the following government action irritates me so much because it is extremely unfair or that it is borderline evil.

Servicemen who received reenlistment bonuses are being forced to repay all or part of that bonus if they are unable to complete their tour of duty due to injuries received while on duty. From CBS News:

(CBS) Jordan Fox received a $10,000 signing bonus when he joined the Army. The Mt. Lebanon man served his country in Iraq, where as a sniper he survived machine gun battles and a roadside bomb that knocked him unconscious and linded him in his right eye. The injury forced the military to send him home. A few weeks later, Fox received a bill from the Department of Defense, saying he owes the military nearly $3,000 from his original enlistment bonus because he couldn't fulfill three months of his commitment.

"I tried to do my best and serve my country and unfortunately I was hurt in the process and now they're telling me that they want their money back," Fox told CBS station KDKA-TV.

This is apparently not an isolated bureaucratic foul-up. The military is allegedly demanding that thousands of wounded service personnel give back signing bonuses because they are unable to serve out their commitments.

This isn't the NFL where a highly paid athlete can suffer a career ending injury at any time and then retire to another good job in a broadcast booth. These men and women are placing themselves in Harm's Way so we don't have to.

There is another side to this. While researching this article, I came across this comment at

Rather than outsourcing, I would suspect the computers at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service are programmed to detect when a servicemember's discharge date falls before the expiration date of the bonus contract...and send out a computerized form letter.

Very little of what happens in the military pay area is touched by human hands...once you're programmed into the computer. YA, you must remember that the "ruling" political party only controls a small sliver of jobs at the top of each executive branch agency. It's the long-term civil service employees (aka bureaucrats) that move with the speed of molasses.

Perhaps there is a good bit of truth to this. Being a bit of a bureaucrat myself, I can testify that there is so much BS that we have to report on and take care of. Automating system responses is the only way we can get anything done. Of course if someone neglects to create a field in the database that specifies a duty related injury as the cause for noncompliance, there is no way for that computer generated response to be cancelled.

In any event this must be addressed. Please contact your local congressional representative and urge them to support H.R. 3793: The Veterans Guaranteed Bonus Act of 2007. This act reads as follows:

To amend title 37, United States Code, to require the Secretary of Defense to continue to pay to a member of the Armed Forces who is retired or separated from the Armed Forces due to a combat-related injury certain bonuses that the member was entitled to before the retirement or separation and would continue to be entitled to if the member was not retired or separated.

If you don't know who your representative is, please use this site to find out who he or she is and to contact them.

It appears that all the serviceman has to do is file for a waiver for the bonus repayment to be canceled. Again from

Bureaucrats and green eye shade accountants in DoD...who are dutifully following the regulations and directives written...and carefully crafted in concert with ensure DoD complied with the reams of Congressional language tied to the awarding of reenlistment avoid scandal headlines in the Washington Post...after some GAO report blasts the service for not being good stewards of taxpayer money.

Here's the real story: anytime an enlisted person accepts a bonus--in this particular case an up-front lump sum bonus for future time to be served--that service person signs a document acknowledging he/she must repay any portion of that bonus that hasn't been "repaid" through active service. Reasonable procedure to ensure all you American taxpayers get your money's worth out of our GI's.

The more reasonable procedure is the one that exists within each branch of the service whereby, with justification (and supporting documentation), the GI can submit a letter to the Secretary of his/her branch of service requesting foregiveness of that financial obligation.

This is such a routine occurance that the approval level for these kinds of waivers have been delegated down to the lowest level of political appointee within each branch (deputy assistant secretary). The process even covers situations such as your furniture shipment exceeded the allowance for your rank and you owe money to to government for excess moving costs. It can...and is...routinely foregiven.

All this wounded warrior has to do to avoid recoupment is ask.

And YA, the rules on bonuses and recoupment go much, much farther back than Bush II.

Hmmmmm. Mebbe this whole thing is just another outburst of BDS by the lamestream media. I am starting to wonder if that PA COngressman is sponsoring this legislation just to gain some political advantage. Soooooo, I did some more checking and found this mind numbing DoD document.

It is Section E1.5.3. that lays out the stipulations where repayment of bonus will be waived as long as the injury or illness is not a result of the service member's misconduct.

Actually there are seven conditions where the repayment of bonus is waived! This includes an involuntary Reduction in Force (RIF), Service directed re-deployment, separation for hardship, etc. You can read it all right here as follows:

Department of Defense INSTRUCTION NUMBER 1304.29 December 15, 2004

SUBJECT: Administration of Enlistment Bonuses, Accession Bonuses for New Officers in Critical Skills, Selective Reenlistment Bonuses, and Critical Skills Retention Bonuses for Active Members

General. A Service member shall be required to refund the unearned portion of the bonus, as specified in paragraph E1.5.5., when:

E1.5.1.1. An enlisted Service member, voluntarily or because of misconduct, does not complete the term of enlistment, extension of enlistment, or additional obligated service for which the bonus was paid.

E1.5.1.2. With respect to an Enlistment Bonus or SRB, an enlisted Service member is not technically qualified in the skill for which a bonus was paid (other than a enlisted Service member who is not qualified because of injury, illness, or other impairment not the result of the enlisted Service member’s misconduct).

E1.5.1.3. With respect to an Officer Accession Bonus, an individual fails to accept a commission as an officer or fails to commence or complete the total period of active duty service specified in the agreement.

E1.5.1.4. With respect to a CSRB, an officer who has entered into a written agreement fails to complete the total period of active duty specified in the agreement.

E1.5.2. Repayment Not Required or Repayment Waived (when authorized by law)

E1.5.2.1. For purposes of subparagraph E1.5.1.1. (Enlistment Bonus), the term “voluntary or because of misconduct” shall not include those conditions or circumstances set forth in subparagraph E1.5.3.

E1.5.2.2. For purposes of subparagraph E1.5.1.3. (CSRB), the Secretary of the Military Department concerned shall not require recoupment for those conditions or circumstances set forth in subparagraph E1.5.3.

E1.5.2.3. For purposes of subparagraph E1.5.1.4. (Officer Accession Bonus), the Secretary of the Military Department concerned shall waive recoupment under the conditions or circumstances set forth in subparagraph E1.5.3.

E1.5.2.4. A Service member paid an Enlistment Bonus or an SRB who is discharged prior to the completion of the term of service specified in the bonus agreement for the purpose of immediate reenlistment for which no reenlistment bonus is paid, is not required to refund the unearned portion of the Enlistment or Reenlistment Bonus provided the term of the reenlistment following the early discharge includes the remaining period of service in the prior enlistment.

E1.5.3. Conditions or Circumstances. Under the following conditions or circumstances, repayment of an unearned portion of a bonus shall not be required, or repayment shall be waived if waiver is statutorily authorized:

E1.5.3.1. Death of the Service member was not the result of the Service member’s misconduct;

E1.5.3.2. Injury or illness of the Service member was not the result of the Service member’s misconduct;

E1.5.3.3. Service-directed employment in another military specialty; for continental United States and overseas rotation, sea and shore rotation; other mission-essential requirements; or drawdown or elimination of the specialty;

E1.5.3.4. Involuntary reduction-in-force;

E1.5.3.5. Separation or reassignment for hardship or dependency;

E1.5.3.6. Separation of an enlisted Service member to permit acceptance of, or entry into a program leading to commission or warrant appointment. (Any unpaid portion of the bonus is suspended and shall terminate on commissioning or appointment; any unpaid portion of the bonus shall be paid on a pro rata basis if the Service member is not commissioned or appointed and returns to an enlisted status in the same bonus skill); or

E1.5.3.7. For such other reasons as determined by the PDUSD(P&R).

E1.5.4. Delegation of Authority. The Secretary of the Military Department concerned may delegate, but not below major command headquarters level, a determination that repayment is not required, or a determination that repayment shall be waived if waiver is statutorily authorized, under the conditions or circumstances set forth in subparagraph E1.5.3.1 through E1.5.3.4.

E1.5.5. Unpaid installments

E1.5.5.1. In the case of an enlistment bonus, an accession bonus for new officers in critical skills, an SRB, or a CSRB, if an enlisted Service member dies before receiving the full amount of the bonus due (including future anniversary payments) and death is not caused by the Service member’s misconduct (subparagraph E1.5.3.1), the remaining unpaid balance shall be included in the settlement of the deceased Service member’s final military pay account.

E1.5.5.2. Under conditions set forth in subparagraphs E1.5.3.2 through E1.5.3.6, the Secretary of the Military Department concerned may determine that unpaid installments shall be made to the individual Service member if the Secretary of the Military Department concerned determines that it is against equity and good conscience, or contrary to the best interest of the United States, to deny payment of future installments under the circumstances.

E1.5.6. Procedures for Recoupment or Termination of Installments. The Secretary of the Military Department concerned shall notify the Director, Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), when future installments of a bonus shall not be made. The Secretary of the Military Department concerned shall also notify the Director, DFAS, if recoupment action is to be initiated or forward a waiver of recoupment approval under subparagraph E1.5.2.3., as applicable. Recoupment shall be accomplished in accordance with applicable debt collection procedures.

E1.5.7. Amount of Recoupment. Recoupment is required on a percentage basis for the time remaining to be served. Divide the amount of the bonus paid by the number of months for which the bonus is payable. This is the bonus amount per month. Multiply this number by the number of months and fractions of months not served (including lost time, unless such lost time has been made up). This is the amount to be recouped. For example: A Service member reenlists for 6 years (additional obligated service). Total bonus payable is $36,000. The Service member receives $18,000 in initial payment. This represents ½ of the total bonus payable, so the bonus was paid for ½ of the period of additional obligated service (½ of 6 years = 3 years = 36 months). Bonus amount per month is $18,000 ¸ 36 = $500 per month. Of this 36-month period, Service member serves 30 months (does not serve 6 of the 36 months). Recoup $500 x 6 = $3,000 if reason for separation requires recoupment.

E1.5.8. Bonus Recipients Serving in Out-of-Skill Assignments

E1.5.8.1. The purpose of enlistment, accession, reenlistment, and retention bonuses is to induce individuals to serve on active duty in designated critical military skills. That purpose makes assignment of bonus recipients to these designated military skills crucial to justify the use of a bonus. It is essential these individuals serve in the bonus military skills for the duration of the active duty agreement to the maximum extent practical. Service in a designated military skill shall include normal skill progression, as defined in Military Service classification manuals or military service in a comparable military skill. A Service member attending courses of professional military education, or advanced training or education related to the Service member’s skill, is considered to be serving in the critical military skill concerned. The Military Services shall clearly justify waivers given to bonus recipients who serve more than 1 consecutive tour out of skill.

E1.5.8.2. Recognizing that the need may arise to assign an individual in another military skill to meet continental United States or overseas rotation, sea and shore rotation, mission essential requirements, or humanitarian and/or medically dictated assignments, the Secretary of the Military Department concerned shall establish criteria for such assignments. The Secretary of the Military Department concerned shall establish procedures to ensure that all out-of-skill assignments are authorized only when warranted based on the needs of the Military Service.
E1.5.8.3. The Secretary of the Military Department concerned shall establish procedures to identify and monitor out-of-skill assignments of bonus recipients.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving Ruminations

Yesterday I left work early so I could start preparing the big meal (aka "feast") for today. My wife bought six great, big butternut squash that needed peeling and cutting. That's my job. I am a peeling, cutting and dicing fool. The potatoes sit quivering on the counter; they know they're next.

Until her death in 2003, my mother-in-law would spend the whole day helping my wife get things ready. Upon her passing Thanksgiving was never the same. With the death of her father , things have changed again. He died four weeks ago this morning. That's two big empty spaces at the table and we're looking to fill them.

This is the first Thanksgiving that Danielle's boyfriend, Matt, is spending with us. He goes to school near Albany and they have bee seeing each other for several years. They split up after she went to Cairo but upon her return this June they began seeing each other again.

Matt is a great cook. His mom runs a gourmet catering service and he has picked up on her skills. He prepared chicken Marsala for us last night and it was the best I have ever had. After dinner we got busy again and I made the turkey stuffing - the wife was supervising of course. I swear, she obsesses over this. Her stuffing is the benchmark for Thanksgiving and it is always delicious. Unfortunately it also produces high expectations and therefore high anxiety that it won't be up to par.

The insert was placed in the dining room table and we sent the kids looking for the extra chairs.

Later we all sat down and watched "Transformers" and ate the batch of homemade tollhouse cookies that my daughter and Matt made. Not exactly the viewing fare I would have selected for this evening in particular, but Danielle wanted to see it. She didn't see any movies in Cairo.

As usual the two youngest girls got to cutting up with each other and I could barely hear the movie. Jessica (the middle one who's a hair dresser) doesn't have a boy friend yet and the youngest, Rebecca, is too young. We don'tbelieve in dating while in high school.

Between Jess and Becca it is never quiet around here. It's like they're insane. When the three are together it gets worse. A wrestling match between Danielle and Becca broke out after the movie ended and I warned the two of them not to knock over the glass of cranberry juice that Matt had left by the couch. I made the mistake of calling it a "beverage."

Jess latches on to my use of the word "beverage" and harasses the ever loving crap out of me.
"A beverage?"
"A beverage???"
"Look out! There's a beverage afoot!"
And off she goes. She had us in tears. The cookies never made it to the end of the movie. The beverage emerged unscathed from combat.

This morning the corn casserole was cooked and the turkey was placed back in the oven. It's a big bird and will cook for twelve hours before it is ready. The squash will be boiled, mashed and brown sugared next. My oldest daughter, Amy, is bringing collared greens and pie. Collared greens is a first for us, her husband wanted them so I'm kinda looking forward to it. I had beet greens once and I liked it.

I wandered off in this discussion. I really started to ruminate about the use of tables at Thanksgiving. This was precipitated by a NY Times article that I read this morning.

As kids, the four of us (two brothers and two sisters) were delegated to a card table in the living room while all the adults sat in the kitchen. My parents didn't have a dining room. We never thought much about it and this continued throughout the time I spent at home before going to college and then getting married at an early age.

Today we will have to use three tables. One for the older adults - that'll be the one in the dining room. Then one for the college aged young adults - that'll be the kitchen table pulled up to the counter island that separates the kitchen from the dining room; all the fixings will be on the counter between the tables. Then one little play table for the three grand kids.

Our ideal Thanksgiving is when the house packed to the rafters and there's no room at the table for another dish of food or an additional appetite.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. And just one thought: you can celebrate (or not) a National Day of Thanksgiving in a country where you don't have to be thankful at all and no one will do anything about it. Let your conscience be your guide; that's what our soldiers have been dying for these past two hundred thirty-one years.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Arizona Scheming

Another sign that America's educational system has hit rock bottom and is now boring holes for blasting charges. Planning and preparation for the public good has been replaced with hubris and profit sharing.

Huge Water Park Planned for Ariz. Desert
MESA, Ariz. - By tapping rivers and sucking water from deep underground, developers have covered Arizona with carpets of Bermuda grass and dotted the parched landscape with swimming pools, golf courses and lakeshore homes.

Now another ambitious project is in the works: A massive new water park that would offer surf-sized waves, snorkeling, scuba diving and kayaking -- all in a bone-dry region that gets just 8 inches of rain a year.

If these people who LIVE IN A DESERT can't read the writing on the walls then we as a country are indeed doomed. Turn it all back to the Injuns and the scorpions.

"It's about delivering a sport that's not typically available in an urban environment," said Richard Mladick, a Mesa real-estate developer who persuaded business leaders in suburban Mesa to support the proposal called the Waveyard.

It's about a fast talking businessman delivering something that is not needed that uses a scare commodity that is desperately needed to a bunch of people who even more desperately need a new set of brains.

Mladick, 39, said he wanted to create the kind of lush environment he remembers from growing up in Virginia Beach, Va., and surfing in Morocco, Indonesia, Hawaii and Brazil. "I couldn't imagine raising my kids in an environment where they wouldn't have the opportunity to grow up being passionate about the same sports that I grew up being passionate about," he said.

Thank God he didn't grow up in a gay bathhouse.

No citizens groups overtly opposed the project, but its water usage may raise questions in the future as the growing Phoenix areas struggles to replenish its vast aquifer. Arizona has been in a drought for a decade, and rivers that feed Phoenix and surrounding communities experienced near-record low measurements this year.

"Water is a scarce and valued commodity," said Jim Holway, associate director of the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University.

Good old Jim didn't finish his sentence, "Water is a scarce and valued commodity; therefore any snake oil salesmen who wants to put unrealistic demands on our water supply should be staked out on a fire ant hill."

This is the problem that occurs when an area is developed far beyond its capacity to sustain itself. Water management has been a problem here for decades and projects like this don't make it any better. Remember what happened in Florida when the aquifers dried up? They turned into sinkholes. The kind of area that produces this is known as "karst landforms," and Arizona is well known for these types of formations.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Another Step Closer

The socialist eco-loons never stop pushing their agenda. And what better vehicle to accomplish their grab for power than the UN?

After five days of sometimes tense negotiations, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change adopted its fourth and final report this year, along with a summary, on the science of climate change and the effects of human-produced greenhouse gases.

The IPCC has chosen a somewhat different tactic to scare everyone into giving up their rights. Now it's the poor and underserved that they're trying to spare.

The document says recent research has heightened concern that the poor and the elderly will suffer most from climate change; that hunger and disease will be more common; that droughts, floods and heat waves will afflict the world's poorest regions; and that more animal and plant species will vanish.

No matter that the UN stood by and did absolutely nothing while 800,000 poor, destitute Rwandans were slaughtered. No wait, they did manage to initiate underage sex slave trade in various other poor, destitute countries so at least they provided some jobs.

There's just no advantage for the UN to get involved in something like the debacle in Rwanda. But get governments to raise taxes, take away freedoms and dictate what a citizen can or can't do and the UN is there like flies on a fresh turd. And this is the kicker.

The Summary for Policymakers, and a longer version called the synthesis report, distill thousands of pages of data and computer models resulting from six years of research compiled by the IPCC.

It will be a how-to guide for policy makers meeting in Bali, Indonesia, next month to discuss an agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

The report is important because it is adopted by consensus, meaning countries accept the underlying science and cannot disavow its conclusions [emphasis mine]. While it does not commit governments to a specific course of action, it provides a common scientific baseline for the political talks.
The eco-loons expect everybody to grab their ankles on this deal because, now, it's for the chilluns and the elderly.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Thanks to Patrick and Cookie, you can disregard the previous post and instead heed this advice from the folks at Walter Reed Hospital if you want to help a wounded US soldier during the holiday season or any time for that matter.

Walter Reed Army Medical Center officials want to remind those individuals who want to show their appreciation through mail to include packages, letters, and holiday cards addressed to 'Any Wounded Soldier' or 'A Recovering American Soldier' that Walter Reed cannot accept these packages in support of the decision by then Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Transportation Policy in 2001. This decision was made to ensure the safety and well being of patients and staff at medical centers throughout the Department of Defense.

This does make sense as any nutjob wanting to hurt the feelings (or worse) of a recuperating GI could send anything through the mail to him.

Instead of sending an “Any Wounded Soldier” letter or package to Walter Reed, please consider making a donation to one of the more than 300 nonprofit organizations dedicated to helping our troops and their families listed on the "America Supports You" website,

Other organizations that offer means of showing your support for our troops or assist wounded servicemembers and their families include:
For individuals without computer access, your local military installation, the local National Guard or military reserve unit in your area may offer the best alternative to show your support to our returning troops and their families. Walter Reed Army Medical Center will continue to receive process and deliver all mail that is addressed to a specific individual.

On a personal note, I've been busy helping my wife cope with the deah of her dad. We emptied and cleaned his apartment and went to Surrogate Court this morning so we can administer his estate. She is doing okay but has her moments. Our consolation is this: that one day we will all be together again. And we will never be separated again.

But until then, things just won't be the same. Again, my heartfelt thanks to all our family and friends for helping us through this time. Dad will be sorely missed.

During this time I was also preparing for a job interview. I was in Albany last week for the interview and I think it went rather well. Hopefully I'll hear something within the next few days on whether or not I get the position.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

America's Best

Charlie the Cop sent me this. I think it is a fantastic idea.

When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please include
the following:

A Recovering American soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue,NW
Washington , D.C. 20307-5001

Please consider doing this yourself, You can also send this to all your
contacts, place on bulletin boards and blogs. This would be a great project for
grammer and high schools as well. Think of where it may do the most good and
send it off or contact those folks in person etc.


Your New Best Friend

This is truly awesome firepower. A fully automatic, 300 rpm 12 ga tactical shotgun.

H/T to Charlie the Cop


Tips From the Redneck Book of Manners

1. Never take a beer to a job interview.

2. Always identify people in your yard before shooting at them.

3. It's considered poor taste to take a cooler to church.

4. If you have to vacuum the bed, it is time to change the sheets.

5. Even if you're certain that you are included in the will, it is still considered tacky to drive a U-Haul to the funeral home.

Dining Out
1. If drinking directly from the bottle, always hold it with your fingers covering the label.

2. Avoid throwing bones and food scraps on the floor as the restaurant may not have dogs.

Entertaining In Your Home
1. A centerpiece for the table should never be anything prepared by a taxidermist.

2. Do not allow the dog to eat at the table no matter how good his manners are.

Personal Hygiene
1. While ears need to be cleaned regularly, this is a job that should be done in private using one's OWN truck keys

2. Proper use of toiletries can forestall bathing for several days. However, if you live alone, deodorant is a waste of good money.

3. Dirt and grease under the fingernails is a social no-no, as they tend to detract from a woman's jewelry and alter the taste of finger foods.

Dating (outside the family)
1. Always offer to bait your date's hook, especially on the first date.

2. Be aggressive. Let her know you're interested: "I've been wanting to go out with you since I read that stuff on the bathroom wall two years ago."

3. Establish with her parents what time she is expected back. Some will say 10:00 PM; others might say "Monday."

If the latter is the answer, it is the man's responsibility to get her to school on time.

4. Always have a positive comment about your date's appearance, such as, "Ya'll sure don't sweat much for a fat gal."

1. Livestock, usually, is a poor choice for a wedding gift.

2. Kissing the bride for more than 5 seconds may get you shot.

3. For the groom, at least, rent a tux. A leisure suit with a cummerbund and a clean bowling shirt can create too sporty an appearance.

4. Though uncomfortable, say "yes" to socks and shoes for this special occasion.

5. It is not appropriate to tell the groom how good his wife is in the sack.

Driving Etiquette
1. Dim your headlights for approaching vehicles, even if the gun is loaded, and the deer is in sight.

2. When approaching a four-way stop, the vehicle with the largest tires always has the right of way.

3. Never tow another car using panty hose and duct tape.

4. When sending your wife down the road with a gas can, it is impolite to ask her to bring back beer.

5. Never relieve yourself from a moving vehicle, especially when driving.

6. Do not lay rubber while traveling in a funeral procession.

Two Reasons why it is hard to solve a Redneck Murder:
1. All the DNA is the same.

2. There are no dental records

H/T to Al.

McCain & Thompson

You may not agree, but this is one man's opinion of two Republican Presidential aspirants.

For Thompson and McCain, It’s Too Little Too Late
By Doug Patton
November 5, 2007

U. S. Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, has spent the better part of the last decade running for president. He actively sought the office in 2000 and lost handily to George W. Bush. Since that time, he has done everything he could think of to antagonize the base of his own party.

Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-TN, acts as if the thought of running for president just occurred to him five minutes ago. Some days he acts as though it still hasn’t occurred to him.

For very different reasons, these two men, with their totally different approaches to politics, have probably slammed the door on their chances for winning the Republican presidential nomination.

In 2000, McCain was the darling of the mainstream media. Back in those days, he was the anti-Bush, which appealed to them. This year his worldview is anathema to theirs because he has unapologetically defended “Bush’s war.”

But McCain’s unpopularity within his party stems from two other issues: illegal immigration and campaign finance reform.

On immigration, McCain seems to have learned his lesson. In what radio host and bestselling author Laura Ingraham would call a “Power to the People moment,” McCain (along with a lot of other members of Congress), has gotten the message loud and clear: border enforcement first.

“I understand why you would call it a, quote, shift,” McCain said to reporters after being grilled by voters in South Carolina. “I say it is a lesson learned about what the American people’s priorities are. And their priority is to secure the borders.”

Too bad it took a meltdown of the congressional phone lines last June to convince the senator of the common sense of the American people. Until he saw his poll numbers sink to single digits, McCain seemed absolutely oblivious to — nay, defiant of — the people’s will. Nevertheless, those of us who have been incredulous to the deafness of the president and far too many members of Congress on this issue welcome Sen. McCain into the bright light of reason on this issue.

While “comprehensive immigration reform” (better known as “amnesty”), is dead, the legislation for which John McCain is best known is still alive and festering within our political system. The McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill passed by Congress and signed into law by the president will be haunting us for years, despite the fact that the Supreme Court has struck down certain provisions of the law. For that reason, it has left the base of the Republican Party with a permanent bad taste for McCain’s brand of politics.

Fred Thomson’s alienation from the GOP activists who comprise the nominating block of the party is much more recent. In fact, it unfolds like a wet blanket of sad disappointment day by day. Desperately seeking a candidate to rally around, social conservatives keep waiting for Fred Thompson to show them — something.

His recent underwhelming performance on “Meet the Press” did not help. Asked about his positions on abortion and same-sex marriage, Thompson, who has a respectable record on both issues, managed to flub his answer. He told host Tim Russert he opposes to an amendment to the U.S. Constitution on either issue, preferring to leave these two crucial social issues to the individual states. As Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family has pointed out, Thompson endorses the idea of fifty different definitions of marriage. The same is true, it seems, on the definition of life, since Thompson simply wants to see Roe v. Wade overturned and the issue returned to the states.

In addition, Thompson seemed muddled and indecisive about his opinion on water boarding as a technique for dealing with terrorist detainees.

With less than two months remaining until the Iowa caucuses, it is likely that Fred Thompson and John McCain will both continue to decline in the polls, while former Governors Mitt Romney (Massachusetts) and Mike Huckabee (Arkansas) will continue to gain on the current frontrunner, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. So be it.


© Copyright 2007 by Doug Patton

Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a political speechwriter and public policy advisor. His weekly columns are published in newspapers across the country and on selected Internet web sites, including Human Events Online, and, where he is a senior writer and state editor. Readers may e-mail him at

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Riding The F-14

I thank God for all of you; for your prayers and encouragement the past few weeks. We're cleaning out my FIL's apartment and it is taking some time. We should be done this coming week.

My brother sent me the following email that I am posting here. It is a trip. The F-14 was the last jet my Dad worked on at Grumman's and it was the last jet my brother-in-law worked on at Patuxent NAS. Enjoy.

Below is an article written by Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated. He details his experiences when given the opportunity to fly in a F-14 Tomcat. If you aren't laughing out loud by the time you get to 'Milk Duds,' your sense of humor is seriously broken.

Someday you may be invited to fly in the back-seat of one of your country's most powerful fighter jets. Many of you already have . John Elway, John Stockton, Tiger Woods to name a few.

If you get this opportunity, let me urge you, with the greatest sincerity... Move to Guam .

Change your name.

Fake your own death!

Whatever you do.
Do Not Go!!!

I know. The U.S. Navy invited me to try it. I was thrilled. I was pumped. I was toast! I should've known when they told me my pilot would be Chip (Biff) King of Fighter Squadron 213 at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach.

Whatever you're thinking a Top Gun named Chip (Biff) King looks like, triple it. He's about six-foot, tan, ice-blue eyes, wavy surfer hair, finger-crippling handshake -- the kind of man who wrestles dyspeptic alligators in his leisure time. If you see this man, run the other way. Fast.

Biff King was born to fly. His father, Jack King, was for years the voice of NASA missions. ('T-minus 15 seconds and counting .' Remember?) Chip would charge neighborhood kids a quarter each to hear his dad. Jack would wake up from naps surrounded by nine-year-olds waiting for him to say, 'We have liftoff'.

Biff was to fly me in an F- 14D Tomcat, a ridiculously powerful $60 million weapon with nearly as much thrust as weight, not unlike Colin Montgomerie. I was worried about getting airsick, so the night before the flight I asked Biff if there was something I should eat the next morning.

'Bananas,' he said.'

For the potassium?' I asked.

'No,' Biff said, 'because they taste about the same coming up as they do going down.

'The next morning, out on the tarmac, I had on my flight suit with my name sewn over the left breast. (No call sign -- like Crash or Sticky or Leadfoot. But, still, very cool.) I carried my helmet in the crook of my arm, as Biff had instructed. If ever in my life I had a chance to nail Nicole Kidman, this was it.

A fighter pilot named Psycho gave me a safety briefing and then fastened me into my ejection seat, which, when employed, would 'egress' me out of the plane at such a velocity that I would be immediately knocked unconscious.

Just as I was thinking about aborting the flight, the canopy closed over me, and Biff gave the ground crew a thumbs-up. In minutes we were firing nose up at 600 mph.

We leveled out and then canopy-rolled over another F-14. Those 20 minutes were the rush of my life. Unfortunately, the ride lasted 80.. It was like being on the roller coaster at Six Flags Over Hell. Only without rails. We did barrel rolls, snap rolls, loops, yanks and banks. We dived, rose and dived again, sometimes with a vertical velocity of 10,000 feet per minute. We chased another F-14, and it chased us.

We broke the speed of sound. Sea was sky and sky was sea. Flying at 200 feet we did 90-degree turns at 550 mph, creating a G force of 6.5, which is to say I felt as if 6.5 times my body weight was smashing against me, thereby approximating life as Mrs. Colin Montgomerie.

And I egressed the bananas.

And I egressed the pizza from the night before.

And the lunch before that.

I egressed a box of Milk Duds from the sixth grade.

I made Linda Blair look polite. Because of the G's, I was egressing stuff that never thought would be egressed.

I went through not one airsick bag, but two.

Biff said I passed out. Twice. I was coated in sweat. At one point, as we were coming in upside down in a banked curve on a mock bombing target and the G's were flattening me like a tortilla and I was in and out of consciousness, I realized I was the first person in history to throw down.

I used to know 'cool'. Cool was Elway throwing a touchdown pass, or Norman making a five-iron bite. But now I really know 'cool'. Cool is guys like Biff, men with cast-iron stomachs and freon nerves. I wouldn't go up there again for Derek Jeter's black book, but I'm glad Biff does every day, and for less a year than a rookie reliever makes in a home stand.

A week later, when the spins finally stopped, Biff called. He said he and the fighters had the perfect call sign for me. Said he'd send it on a patch for my flight suit.

What is it?? I asked.

'Two Bags.'

CAPTION: "This is an actual fly-by during deployment of the Nuclear Aircraft Carrier USS Stennis. The pilot was grounded for 30 days, but he likes the picture and thinks it was worth it. Yikes!"
God Bless America!