Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Democrat double-standards, yet again

I want to demonstrate the continuing abject animosity of the 's administration.

By now you've heard of the White House Military Office request to update the file photos of Air Force One. For the record, while I am willing to believe the stated reason given by was legitimate, I have a problem believing there's such an intense public-relations need to update the photos of AF-1 flying near the Statue of Liberty - the fact remains that the stock photos are as good as any .

Be that as it may...  Even without the memories of September 11th still in the minds of many New Yorkers, I would find hard to imagine that no one would find it odd that a 747 flying low across the skyline ... with a fighter jet in pursuit:


Now I want you to recall another time there was a photo controversy involving Air Force-1.  In the hours after the September 11th attacks, President Bush was aboard AF-1.   The White House photographer - a staple in every modern administration - was snapping photos.   One photo of shows him on a telephone, looking out a window of the plane.   That photo made its way to GOP congressional campaign committees which used it as a premium for fund raising.

Not surprisingly, there was an outcry from the DNC.    Speaking at the time, the now former Senate Majority Leader (and noted tax cheat) Tom Daschile said:
Obviously, we certainly hope that no governmental role is involved here, that no photographs or facilities that are taxpayer based would be used here, but we'll have to pass judgments and make decisions as information is provided to us,"
Sen. Dachile used appropriate restraint, in my mind, but was still critical overall.   Former had a decidedly different take:
"While most pictures are worth a thousand words, a photo that seeks to capitalize on one of the most tragic moments in our nation's history is worth only one -- 'disgraceful,'"

I don't believe that President Obama's WHMO acted in any way disgraceful anymore that I believe President Bush (and the GOP congressional campaign committees) did. But what I look for is whether the same pundits and ranking Democrat leaders who took exception to the 2002 incident use the same rhetoric with today's incident.

Somehow, I doubt it.

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Friday, April 24, 2009

On living together

So last night I was having a late dinner... Taekwondo workout ran until 8pm, and afterwards I needed to hit a supermarket, etc, so I was eating long after the rest of the family. But my 6 year old son kept me company during my meal.

During our chat he laid out some future plans he's been making:

He: Dad, when I grow up - you know, and be an adult like you - can I still live here?
Me: I don't see why not!
I said this knowing that he's likely to change his mind more than once in the next 12-15 years, but so be it.

He: Good! Then it will be you and mommy, and me and my wife!
Me: Um, OK. But what about your (older) brother?
He: Oh, he won't want to live here when he grows up.
Silly me! I wonder if he knows that yet?
Just then the cat wandered by and meowed, obviously interested in my steak.

He: Yes, Tigger, you can still live here, too. But you better be nice to the dog I'm going to have!
Hey, at least I know he's thinking ahead! Although the cat is pretty old now, already, so I am not so sure he'll be in the picture in another dozen years. And it seems this has been on his mind a lot lately, as my much-better-half told me he asked the same opening question to her last week, although he left out the plans for his bride.

Now to break the news to my older son...





In the interest of full disclosure: this was originally posted on Thursday, 23-Apr. I have added this addendum and altered the date of the post to today, Friday, 24-Apr., so as to include in the FATHERHOOD FRIDAY at Dad-Blogs. Yeah, it's sort of cheating, but the heady days of my cranking out 2-3 post per day seem to be OBE.

With that in mind, this then is my inaugural FF post.

FatherhoodFriday @ Dad-Blogs

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Intolerance

Regarding the recent events surrounding the ... and for those completely out of sync, see the video of the incident here.

Tabloid journalist asked the Miss USA contestant from California, , whether or not same-sex marriage should be legalized across the country.

We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that's how I was raised.
To be fair, she did not completely answer the question.  However her answer appears to be consistent with the recent result of in her home state. Mr. Hilton was not only unimpressed with this response, but he thought it was so wrong he profanely slammed her in a video.

I know a lot of people who are passionate on this matter, people who would be called extremists by most.  And on-balance, the people I know are roughly split on each side of this issue. Certainly, those who do approve of same-sex marriage are on Mr. Perez's side, and those who do not are on Ms. Prejean's side. That's easy to see.

What isn't easy to see is what happened since Ms. Prejean took her stand: right or wrong, she laid it all out, on national television, and said what she morally believed. Damn the consequences, she stood fast. Whether you agree with her or not, that took courage, integrity.

Mr. Perez, to his credit, stood up for what he believed in, and used his highly popular blog to state what he believed in. His website carries a lot of influence, and should Ms. Prejean ever want a career in the performing arts, for example, his retort will surely do damage to any future endeavor in that area.

Where Mr. Perez went wrong, in my view, is that he completely undercut his own position by using offensive and derogatory words in describing Ms. Prejean.  Later, on the TODAY show, he suggested she should have left her politics at home.   This made me laugh: how is it that a contestant should leave their politics at home but then have to answer a political question?

In my view, Mr. Perez has done himself - and the position he defends - a huge disservice by acting in an intolerable manner. To those who advocate same-sex marriage, Ms. Prejean will always be viewed as intolerant.

But to those who are either undecided or are opposed to same-sex marriage, Mr. Perez is clearly intolerant. Intolerant of someone who has a different opinion, and who punctuates their disagreement by leveling an ad hominin attack.

I said this to a group of my colleagues who strongly defend Mr. Perez's position. They were aghast: how can anyone who supports same-sex marriage be considered intolerable?

Isn't that a lot like saying people like who are racists automatically have to be white?

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today is EARTH DAY; can we stop talking about the myth of global warming?

I realize this will piss off more than a few readers,  but I am old enough to remember being taught of the coming ice age as a child.  To that end, the entire idea of global warming is so much hot air (pardon the pun).

Here is a repost from Dec. 2007:

This is from The Daily Green - the consumer's guide to the green revolution--

The record melting of Arctic sea ice observed this summer and fall led to record-low levels of ice in both September and October, but a record-setting pace of re-freezing in November, according to the NASA Earth Observatory. Some 58,000 square miles of ice formed per day for 10 days in late October and early November, a new record.
This piece goes on to describe with comparison photos of sea ice in the last 25 years. Now don't forget, in 1974 - just a few years before this alleged quarter century review of the sea ice was begun, Time magazine reported:

As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic upheaval. However widely the weather varies from place to place and time to time, when meteorologists take an average of temperatures around the globe they find that the atmosphere has been growing gradually cooler for the past three decades. The trend shows no indication of reversing. Climatological Cassandras are becoming increasingly apprehensive, for the weather aberrations they are studying may be the harbinger of another ice age.
Compare that to The Daily Green, again:

The record melting of Arctic sea ice this summer was widely viewed as a harbinger of global warming, though unusual wind patterns played a role and many factors affecting fluctuations in Arctic ice are poorly understood by scientists.
At least they acknowledge scientists poorly understand the fluctuations!

When we look at weather over a generous period of time, and not just in snapshots, we learn the panic of Global Warming is nonsense.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Democrat voters: Is this the CHANGE you wanted?

Barack Obama's campaign website still cites the fact that "the Bush administration has ignored public disclosure rules and has invoked a legal tool known as the 'state secrets' privilege more than any other previous administration to get cases thrown out of civil court." The site declares: "Secrecy Dominates Government Actions."

This despite the fact that the Obama administration has already invoked the state secrets privilege in three separate cases, including one claim so sweeping as to quickly produce an expert consensus that the Obama-ites are following directly in Bush's footsteps.
H/T: TPMMuckeraker

I have spoken with supporters of President Obama who are visibly troubled by yesterday's release of memos supposedly on torture and how the Administration won't persue prosecution. 

Who knows?  All of the back-peddling I predicted after November's election may come true afterall.  As a Conservative, I can only hope for nothing less.

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...unless you're a Conservative.

...unless you're a Conservative


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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wonder when I'll lose my Secret clearance

According to the Department of Homeland Security, I can easily be considered a terrorist.

Gee, won't that look good on my resume'?   I wonder when I'll lose my secret clearance, simply because I have a fundamental disagreement with the President of the United States?

Yesterday there was a lot of ink and talk about an assessment published by the that is titled Right Wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.  In the 9 page document that was distributed to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement officials and is tagged Unclassified // For Official Use Only, it is plainly stated that most people who did not vote for Barack Obama can be viewed as a threat (emphasis in the following by me):
Right Wing extremists are harnessing this historical election as a recruitment tool. Many right wing extremists are antagonistic toward the new presidential administration and its perceived stance on a range of issues, including immigration and citizenship, the expansion of social programs to minorities, and restrictions on firearms ownership and use. Right Wing extremists are increasingly galvanized by these concerns and leverage them as drivers for recruitment. From the 2008 election time frame to the present, right wing extremists have capitalized on related racial and political prejudices in expanded propaganda campaigns, thereby reaching out to a wider audience of potential sympathizers.
What do you know?  Because I did not vote for , because I believe in border security and in the enforcement of our immigration laws, because I believe in the 2nd Amendment, and because I have expressed my 1st Amendment right to campaign in favor of these views and against those views of the current administration, I can be labeled an extremist!

Gee, I guess last month was a bad time for me to join the !

Now before anyone reading this decides to join my co-worker, who immediately called the report a sham and a fake, since he could not find its official release on the dhs.govhttp://www.dhs.gov/ website, allow me to point to the following major media sources:
  • Reuters: The April 7 report, which Reuters and other news media obtained on Tuesday, said such fears were driving a resurgence in "recruitment and radicalization activity" by white supremacist groups, anti government extremists and militia movements. It did not identify any by name.
  • Washington Times: Homeland Security spokeswoman Sara Kuban said the report is one in an ongoing series of assessments by the department to "facilitate a greater understanding of the phenomenon of violent radicalization in the U.S."
If this was a hoax put out by some right wing extremist, the Obama Administration would have said as much and would have distanced themselves from it.   Clearly, President Obama condones this sort of rhetoric. 

Now I do not believe that this single document is evidence that people like myself are to be rounded up for prosecution, but it does set a tone that ought to be disturbing.  One that suggests we either think-in-line-or-beware.  Today, across the US, there are Tea Parties planned on this last day to file your income taxes.   How many people will wake up this morning and think Gee, maybe I shouldn't attend the rally against higher taxes.... who knows who may be watching?  This document, on its own, may serve as a warning to anyone who might dare to speak out against our elected president.  
Suddenly, the rhetoric President Obama used when he spoke of those he called bitter, gun holding, bible thumpers, of his being a member of a hateful, racist congregation, of his friendship and association with a domestic terrorist, suddenly comes into greater question, don't you think?  

The so-called moderate is far from that; one might even say he's an extremist, but then if I were to go record saying that I might get a knock on the door from law enforcement.

Remember: elections have consequences.  

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Still here

Admittedly, I haven't been keeping the content fresh here.

A huge reason is work;  the task load is much different from months ago, and since I know several people who have had to find other work in the last two quarters, I have nothing to complain about.  

I am spending more of my idle time reading, and as such am finding less time to write.  Whenever I find something worthy of comment, I am more often than not linking to it via Google Reader (see my feed here).  That's a lot less fancy than my own blog, but it's something.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Uncle J

Three weeks ago I was speaking with my uncle. He lives in Queens and has a PC that he does quite well with, albeit he’s 80 years old. About 2 years ago I set him up using RealVNC so I could simplify remote desktop support. Whenever he has a question or a problem, I connect in and see exactly what he’s talking about. This is the same way I support my parents, and believe me: RealVNC is a sound and safe investment.

So three weeks ago I was cleaning up some stuff on my uncle’s hard drive. He sounded his familiar self, although he had been off and on sick all winter. Still, he was as quick witted as always, and he laughed in his familiar, hearty manner.

About 18 months ago he was diagnosed with colon cancer. After chemo therapy, the prognosis was good: they had said they got it.

A common thread in my family (and extended family) is that all of us tend to keep medical diagnosis close to our respective vests. Another uncle of mine was hospitalized recently; also in his 80s, he became unresponsive while having lunch in a restaurant. After three days in hospital, he was released, and his son (my cousin) said the diagnosis was gout. Now I am neither a doctor, nor play one on TV, but even I know gout is not likely to cause an unresponsive symptom (a stroke would be a good guess from a novice such as myself). I’d be inclined to suggest there was incompetency at the hospital were this sort of vauge description not so common in other family members.

Knowing what any everyday person knows, my Uncle J’s prognosis this was far from a sure-thing. Late last summer, the cancer had returned, and this time had spread to his lungs. Back on chemo again; all this time I was speaking to him ever y few weeks and connecting to his PC about once each month.
After a PET scan in January, the prognosis was less favorable. The cancer had spread to his heart. Here’s a man who never smoked a day in his life, who drank maybe one or two glasses of champagne a year.

Still, the long term plan was a positive, with chemo being the treatment of choice. Silently, at least, everyone had to know where this was heading.

Two weeks ago – a week after I last spoke to him – he got the bad news (compared to all he’s gotten to date): the latest PET scan showed the cancer had spread: to his lungs, liver and brain.

I imagine this affects my father greatly: J is his childhood friend, who later went on to marry my father’s sister. They have travelled together and are as close to each other as my father's brothers are to him. As recently as 3 weeks ago, Uncle J had been helping my father with some light plumbing work. For nearly 60 years, my parents, my aunt and uncle, and three other couples have met monthly (without fail!) to recite the Rosary together. Still, my father will say what a shame it is, but he knows there’s not much more to be said.

I got into to Queens on Palm Sunday; with Easter coming, I had planned on visiting my folks (whom we don’t get to see nearly as often as either of us would prefer), but of course made a special trip to my uncle’s home. His living room is now where he’s limited to: hospice care has provided him a bed, since he’s no longer stable on the stairs. His hearty voice is all but gone, and he looks uncharacteristically frail. Our visit is short, but his spirit is bright; he even managed one of his trademark laughs. He tells me he knows he’s in a win-win situation: every day he wakes up and spends it with my Aunt, and the one day he doesn’t he knows he’ll be in an even better place. How can anyone argue with that view of life?

As we go to leave, he pulls me close and says he needs a little more PC support, and of course I tell him “name it!” He says he needs me to login to his PC and clear all the set passwords; he doesn’t want my Aunt to have to bother with any of them once he’s gone. I’m taken aback at how calm he is, but also how direct he is at what must be so important to him.

I promised him I would take care of it, and of all of her PC needs. He’s relieved: he tells me that’s one less worry he has.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Gee, thanks.

Conversation at my office;  dialogue 100% accurate:

HE:   Hey Charlie, how are you?
ME:  Fine, how about you?
He:   Heh, since I live across town, and you live 2 hours away, I guess I am way better off than you are!
I'm not disputing his point, but gee, what a way to foster camaraderie in the workplace.

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GMail's April Fools offer

Remember the high-speed network via your toilet ad that Google ran on April 1st 2007?  

Here's this years!

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