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    Wednesday, September 30, 2009

    Lies, Distortions, and Misrepresentations about Health Care (Updated)

    Neal Boortz is discussing the lies, distortions and misleading statements in Obama's Congressional Obamacare speech this week, and I think it is important enough that I will source the article that takes on these fabrications and quote it extensively here for you.  The original article was written by Michael F. Cannon and Ramesh Ponnuru for National Review Online.  You should read the whole thing, it details 21 of these.  Biggest whoppers:

    • “There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage.” An outright falsehood, whether you use the president’s noncitizen-free estimate or the usual estimate of 46 million.  The 30 million includes those who CHOOSE not to get insurance (estimated to be about 15M).  The 46M adds the 16M illegals without insurance.  There is a further number of the remaining uininsured who are between insurance coverages (i.e. job changes).  
    • “And every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage.” The paper that generated this estimate assumed that two months of severe job losses would continue forever. Applying that paper’s methodology to a broader period of rising unemployment (January 2008 through August 2009) produces a figure below 9,000 and it assumes these losses are permanent.
    • “One man from Illinois lost his coverage in the middle of chemotherapy. . . . They delayed his treatment, and he died because of it.” He didn’t die because of it. The originator of this false claim, a writer for Slate named Timothy Noah, has admitted he got it wrong.

      Jake Tapper spreads even more light on these outright distortions.
    • Requiring insurers to cover preventive care “saves money.” Nope. According to a review in the New England Journal of Medicine, “Although some preventive measures do save money, the vast majority reviewed in the health economics literature do not.”
    • “The [bogus] claim . . . that we plan to set up panels of bureaucrats with the power to kill off senior citizens . . . is a lie, plain and simple.” Sarah Palin claimed that Obama’s “death panels” would deny people medical care, not actively kill them. If Palin believes her claim, it is not “a lie, plain and simple.” Most important, the substance of Palin’s claim is, in fact, true. Obama himself proposed a new Independent Medicare Advisory Council with the authority to deny life-extending care to the elderly and disabled.

    Sunday, September 27, 2009

    No one knows if BMD decision means more ships. Sad.

    I have previously posted on the Obama admin's decision not to place ground-based interceptors in Poland, here, and here and here

    Bottom line: Technically good decision, politically, not so much.

    Like Information Dissemination, and a couple of Senators (Reed, D-RI and McCain, RINO-AZ) I wondered whether this decision meant more BMD shooters for the Navy.

    Well, the Vice Chairman of the JCS doesn't know (read ID's post for details).

    Which leads me to this conclusion on this decision - not only did the O admin handle this in an amateurish way from an international politics perspective (read my previous posts), but now we know they really don't have a plan to actually make this dream happen by building more BMD ships and manning them.


    Green Cars Get Green from Gore

    The conservative blogosphere is all a-twitter over the latest US government deal to loan $1B to specialty carmakers Fisker and Tesla to develop their hybrid/electric cars.

    It should be noted that much of the opposition stems from the fact that these cars will have some final assembly points outside the U.S.  In Fisker's case, this is Finland, and in Tesla's case, Great Britain for the Roadster, although the Model S Sedan is planned to be built in California. 

    It is of note that former VP (and green nut) Al Gore has a financial interest (through Kleiner-Perkins) in Fisker.  Fisker says they intend to bulld a $40k sedan in the United States, but, that machine has yet to be designed.  To their credit, they are California based (as is Tesla), and Fisker employs about 175 workers (supplier and Fisker) in Michigan, mainly doing engineering work.  The Fisker is not a hybrid, but it will use a gasoline engine to provide back-up electric power to extend the range of the vehicle to as much as 100 miles, according to Fisker.  Like the Chevy Volt, it is possible the Fisker could use the gas engine to charge the battery pack when it reaches some predetermined low point.

    The Tesla Roadster, based on the Lotus Elise, retails for about $110k.  Tesla plans a sedan for 2012, retailing at about $60k.  In the March Car and Driver, Tesla's founder (Elon Lusk, one of the founders of PayPal) lamented that he had only raised $40M and was hoping for a round of investment from GE Capital.  Of course, GE backed out, but a $465M loan from you taxpayers ought to brighten his day!  In May, Daimler (Mercedes) took a 10% stake in Tesla, so, how do you feel about your money now going to the German company who had the good sense to dump Chrysler years ago?

    Outside of the major auto manufacturers, these are probably the two companies with the best available options for making competitive hybrid or electric cars.  Are they worthy of taxpayer loans?  Personally, both these companies were already either producing and selling cars, or close to doing so.  They may have been able to make it on their own, without needing nearly $1B in loans from the feds.  They are not completely foreign companies as some would like us to believe, but, neither are they all-American, and the Gore connection to Fisker, and the democrat donor connection to Tesla, and the help given them by Pelosi should be troubling.

    Obama has made the car industry something the government feels compelled to be involved in on an intimate level, picking winners and losers.  What did we expect?

    Bush, Obama, Hitler

    When your liberal friends (hopefully you have none) or the Legacy Media report on all the horrible right wing nuts comparing Obama to Hitler and how hateful they are, you need only steel yourself against their attacks by reminding them of the wonderful way the Left treated George W. Bush the last 8 years.

    Of course, you don't need to do the actual research, our friends at Zombietime have done it for you.

    Just read the article, check out the photographic evidence, and enjoy the many links.

    Additionally, anti-Bush protestors frequently advocated bodily harm (usually in the form of death) to Bush.  Don't remember?  Read this

    For the last 8 years, comparisons of Bush to Hitler were so routine, the term Bushitler was even copyrighted.  Maybe.

    Safe Schools Czar, Regulatory Czar: Where DO they find these nuts?

    If you thought banished from the O Czar Pool 9-11 Truther Van Jones was bad, check out a little of what the "Safe Schools Czar" (yeah, I didn't know, either) has been up to...

    Via Moonbattery...

    And, the "Regulatory" Czar (as though Democrats need a Czar to help them regulate), Cass Sunstein is sometimes referred to as a legal scholar, instead of a left wing whack job.  Here's hoping he's Beck's next target.

    Via Right Wing News.

    Now that the NEA has been exposed in cohoots with the Obama administration in furthering the cult of personality that is Obama, let's work our way to the big fish.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009

    Georgia Tech 24, UNC 7

    Time for a little college football ranting.

    Georgia Tech redeemed themselves today and beat Carolina handily, 24-7.  To all those who kept saying how Carolina was so awesome because they stopped Tech's triple option last season, I should remind you - it's a new season, you have to execute, and the triple option is a tough offense to execute against all the time (and you must, because it is designed for every play to be a big one).

    This, coupled with Miami's thrashing at the hands of Virginia Tech, sets up a big showdown between the ACC's premier engineering schools (ok, the one premier engineering school, and that ag school in Blacksburg) in a few weeks (assuming GT can get past FSU) to force a potential three way tie in the Coastal division of the ACC (again). 

    Yes, the ACC is down, down, down in the college football landscape these days.  With the exception of FSU's win over BYU and VT's over Nebraska, and NC State's apparent over Pitt today, the conference has had little success against other conferences, even flailing about against mid-majors.  But, when you look at three of the best teams in the conference - GT, UNC, and Miami - these teams, with relatively new coaches, are extremely young and will continue to improve.  I had hoped FSU was on the rebound, with the late game loss to Miami only marring its season, but today's fumblefest against USF did them in.  Time for Bobby Bowden to hang them up and Mark Richt to return home (that was for you UGA fans out there).

    Outside the ACC, let me just say how happy I am that Michigan beat ND.  Haha.  See ya later Charlie Weis!  Oh, and USC losing to Washington.  And Oklahoma to BYU.  Oh, and especially UGA to OK State.  How can South Carolina give up 3 points to NC State and 31 to UGA?  Come on Spurrier!  I count on you beating those pups regularly. 

    Anyway, this was really just an excuse to rub in the score of the Tech/Carolina game to my family (UNC grads all - get your own blog for basketball season).


    Nuclear Weapons: Keeping the World Safe for 60 Years

    Previously, I posted about the good aspects of Obama's foreign policy.  Further engagement and cooperation with India, and exhorting African nations to govern themselves responsibly are good things, and, largely, continuations of Bush era policies.

    The decision to not pursue the current ground based ballistic defense systems in Poland and the Czech Republic was the right technical position, if delivered pretty clumsily.

    However, Obama is doing a lot, and I mean a lot, of really bad things in his foreign policy, and the American people need to recognize this and understand that what was warned in the 2008 campaign is coming to pass.  Obama clearly sees America not as a shining city on a hill, but as just another Western power with nothing exceptional to give to the world.

    His recent performance at the UN was maddening and sickening to any American who believes that this country is something greater than just being one of many nations.  You need only read Obama's speech to fully understand his worldview.  He believes not in the greatness of this nation.  He puts us on equal footing with Libya, Iran, Sudan, and any other nation ruled by a tinpot despot.

    He cares not that democratic, freedom-embracing (if not loving) nations do not fight wars of aggression against each other as he exhorts that no one system of government is better than any other (huh?  This guy has a college education?).  Instead, he suggests (cynically, I hope) that the world (but first the United States) rid itself of nuclear weapons, even as Iran and North Korea (you may recall, those tiny countries who pose no threat to the United States according to Obama) push full steam ahead for those weapons, and the systems to deliver them.  North Korea uses its weapons to blackmail the West today, and does anyone have any doubt that once Iran has nukes, they will use them to either hasten the political demise of Israel, or, failing that, Israel's physical destruction?

    I urge you to read Jeremy Boering's column in Big Hollywood today on the history of nuclear weapons and why they have been an instrument of peace, not war.  The bottom line on nuclear weapons is that while they have been in the hands of rational actors (the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France, etc), and the threat of assured destruction was out there, no one has dared use them.  Would the irrational leaders of Iran or North Korea dare use them if they knew (as they must) that it meant the destruction of their country's?  Does Obama really believe that a Western de-nuking would really lead to anyone else doing it?  Is he that naive?  If so, he doesn't deserve the office he holds.

    Finally, would the elimination of all nuclear weapons lead to an end to war?  Anyone who believes that, also believes in the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny, not to mention Santa Claus, leprechauns and other mythical figures.

    It is only in the aftermath of WW2 and the advent of the nuclear age that world wars have been avoided.  We rightfully won the Cold War because of our nuclear deterrent force (of which I am proud to have been a member), and the resolve of one man who knew it protected us and would give our economy and freedom the opportunity to drive the Soviets into the ground.  Nuclear weapons have done more for freedom and peace than the absence of them ever could have.  Does anyone doubt that in a world free of nuclear weapons that certain countries would not be emboldened to expand their spheres of influence using violent means (i.e. war)?

    Go ahead, explain this thought process to me, because I'd love to hear the convoluted arguments.


    Wednesday, September 23, 2009

    Global Warming: More Subs! Another Reason to Praise It!!!

    According to New London's Day, the melting of the arctic ice pack (in summer) means more subs in the Navy's developing strategy.  The Navy "will rely on its submarine force to play a 'very significant role' in future operations in the harsh Arctic environment, where there is limited support infrastructure for ships and communication and navigation can be problematic."

    But Rear Adm. David W. Titley, the Navy's senior oceanographer, said he did not have a high degree of confidence in this estimate because of the dynamic Arctic climate.

    Crap!  You mean the AGW alarmists might be wrong, and we won't get a bunch more subs and new and exciting missions?

    That would suck!

    Buy more SUV's!


    Sunday, September 20, 2009

    Cash for Clunkers: Clunk!

    The Boston Globe reports today that dealers are now facing slow sales again after the "Cars for Clunkers" program has ended.

    From the Globe article:
    • Analysts predicted that Cash for Clunkers would not boost sales for the year. September’s sales swoon seems to be making their case.
    • Most sales were of foreign models.
    • Most dealers are still waiting for voucher reimbursements.
    • “It was probably, in the end, a complete waste of taxpayer money,’’ said John Wolkonowicz, a senior auto analyst at IHS Global Insight.
    • In addition to the formidable paperwork, the government website set up to process the deals kept crashing, creating a backlog.
    • Wolkonowicz said the fall slowdown may have been worsened by the program.
    This was an ill-advised program, poorly executed, and emblematic of what happens when government gets involved in marketplaces.

    Saturday, September 19, 2009

    Missile Defense - Ultimately Unprotected

    The Weekly Standard blog has some insight into the NIE that the Obama administration is using to justify delaying (until the 2020's) a long-range missile defense system based in Europe to protect from Iranian ICBM's.

    You may recall, the administration has chosen not to deploy long-range interceptors in Poland with their radars in the Czech Republic. The NIE does push out the time when the Iranians are expected to have a long-range ICBM capability from 2015 to 2020, but, the Standard correctly points out that the administration's land-based SM3 capability is not planned until after 2020, thus, we will go defenseless for some period from 2020 (when the current NIE predicts the threat develops) until some time after 2020 when the land-based SM3 variant becomes operational in Europe.

    So, while we have a better technical decision against the current threat, we have actually probably made ourselves more vulnerable against the future threat.

    To those who say things like "The reversal of the National Missile Defense strategy today exposes the blundering strategy of the previous adminstration," I say, dig a little deeper.


    Friday, September 18, 2009

    Long Discourse on Obama Missile Defense Decision

    I spoke a little bit yesterday about the Obama administration's decision not to go with a long range missile interceptor system in Poland and the Czech Republic yesterday. 

    My post yesterday summed up most of my feelings on this, but, in Obama's defense, he (and the Perntagon) are correct on the technology (for now) and, if your desire is to do something (that ultimately has little import militarily) to "reset" relations with the Russians, and perhaps also say something to your Western European allies (Germany, France), then this makes some sense geopolitically.  It also doesn't shut out Poland and the Czech Republic.  As Gates stated in yesterday's presser, "The second phase, about 2015, will involve fielding upgraded, land-based SM-3s. Consultations have begun with allies, starting with Poland and the Czech Republic, about hosting a land-based version of the SM-3 and other components of the system. Basing some interceptors on land will provide additional coverage and save costs compared to a purely sea-based approach."

    From the political standpoint, it just depends on where you think the best interest of the country lies.  I am of the mind that, barring extreme incompetence, the President should be given wide latitude in foreign policy matters.  This falls in that category.  I personally side with supporting the Eastern Europeans on this (and given the likelihood that they will host SM3 systems, why that didn't get more play, I don't know), so, I think Obama's move is a bad one, at least from a PR perspective.  However, I can see their angle, which is surely that they hope for a less chilly US/Russian relationship, and help from the Russians with dealing with the Iranians.  Most analysts say they don't believe there was any quid pro quo in this, so, that's just bad negotiating, but who knows what may have occurred in secret.  If the Russians continue to thwart us on Iran, I think we can judge this move badly.  We'll have to wait.

    Interestingly, my Facebook site had a comment about this from someone who self describes as a "fiscal conservative."  At the same time, he supports Obamacare and the Stimulus, so, I don't know what kind of fiscal conservative that makes him.  You can be the judge of that and this post will help, too.

    Anyway, I don't know if the poster lifted this directly from left-wing website, but, he might as well have.

    "Seriously, the GOP is proving to be inept at even handling our national security interest, which I had thought up until now was their strong suit. The reversal of the National Missile Defense strategy today exposes the blundering strategy of the previous adminstration. We were wastefully spending taxpayer dollars (generating that deficit) on a system does not work and has not worked since the Reagan Era to protect against a threat that doesn't exist, namely the projected Iranian long range nuclear missile, which they have never successful developed or tested. Instead, for half the cost of the original NMD system, we will be more intelligently deploying proven ship-based interceptors missiles against a proven and tested Iranian threat of short to medium range missile. Now the talking heads of the GOP machine are embrassingly siding with old-school strategy."

    Let's parse this nonsense (I highly recommend anyone TRULY interested in this read the transcript from the Gates press conference):
    Point 1: GOP Ineptitude.  Hmmmmm, the only significant holdover from the Bush admin is the guy charged with coming up with this strategy and no friend to Missile Defense, Robert Gates.  Plus, other than the technology review, there really is no change in policy.

    Point 2: Blundering Strategy.  Spare me.  I discussed that in the paragraphs above and yesterday. 

    Point 3: Wasteful spending.  The system being deployed was 10 interceptors (in Poland) and a radar site in the Czech Republic.  But, the GBI's are expensive.  However, my guess would be the poster is somehow throwing aspersions at Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) in general.  For some reason, the Left hates missile defense.  I don't know why, especially now that the technology is starting to show great promise.

    Point 4: The system doesn't work and hasn't since Reagan.  This is laugh out loud comedy (especially when you read his next sentence).  There is much more work to do to perfect BMD, but, the technology is coming along, as the SM3/Aegis system shows, which is proposed as the solution to the Iranian Short/Medium range threat. The theater high altitude air defense (THAAD) and Patriot systems are also both tested and proven, so, we are making great strides in BMD.  While it is true that the current intelligence estimates (taking the Pentagon and the administration at their word) discount the Iranians' long range threat, we have seen how reliable our intelligence has been over the last few years.  Are you willing to bet New York, or Boston, on that? 

    Point 5: Using ship-based interceptors (the SM3).  Point well taken.  Go Navy!
    Some things to read:
    • Good article in WSJ, with some easy to understand graphics on how BMD systems work.
    • Charles Crawford (former ambassador to Poland) thoughts.  He sums up:
      • "The optimistic interpretation of this Obama move is that he has given up something that really did not count for much in strategic reality terms so as to get some other modest diplomatic gains (all with a keen eye on Obama's poll ratings), wrapping it up in vast spin about a 'huge move' to make it look bold and statesmanlike. Poles and Czechs are too right-wing for Democrats, so get a sharp clip round the ear followed by a perfunctory kiss to make up. The Russians know that it is all (mainly) rubbish, but piously applaud the 'wisdom' of it so as to make themselves look more powerful than they are. No real change.
      • "The pessimistic interpretation is that there really has been a 'huge shift' in US foreign policy and President Obama is ready to put at risk all the gains for freedom, pluralism and progress achieved around the world by Ronald Reagan with a little help from his friends, in the hope of creating a new world order based around a diminished unambitious USA in sly cahoots with left-collectivist post-democratic polities (EU, Russia, China) and sundry unhealthy pre-democratic Islamic regimes."
    • Tom Nichols, Professor of Strategy, Naval War College, and a Russian expert weighs in, "Despite the outcry that President Obama has sold out the Europeans and caved to the Russians by cancelling missile defenses in Europe, it was the right thing to do."
    • Eric S. Edelman, a distinguished fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, thinks otherwise, "'This system was always intended to deal with the missile threat from Iran and proliferating states in the region,' says Edelman. 'This doesn’t have anything to do with a technical issue with regard to Russia. Instead, it’s a preemptive concession to the Russians — a damn bad way to start arms-control negotiations.' And Edelman says that Obama’s decision may not even yield the desired concessions from the Russians, citing recent comments by Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister.
    Some good wikipedia links:


    Thursday, September 17, 2009

    Bam to Poles, Czechs: See the back of my hand (Caution: Navy angle)

    I have previously given kudos to the Bam admin for their continuation of Bush policies in India and Africa (despite Hillary Clinton making an ass of herself on her Africa tour and being upbraided over AGW by the Indian PM, Obama spent some time giving a good government lecture to African audiences).

    However, today, the administration returned to either their incompetent or nefarious ways by agreeing with the Russians that we don't need a missile defense system based in Poland and The Czech Republic.  Seeing as those are the most freedom-loving countries in Eastern Europe, I guess it's apropos that Obama would side with his Russian mentor, Vlad Putin, on this one.

    The administration demonstrated their incompetence by making this announcement on the anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939.  Talk about bad timing. 

    However, there is certainly a technical argument to be made that this is the right choice, and the quickest way to get interceptors in place to counter the growing Iranian threat, is to go for a sea-based and mobile ground based solution, vice the planned system.  Since this system will rely more on Aegis ships, armed to the gills with interceptors, maybe it'll lead to more ships for our Navy (don't count on it).  But, since the Aegis system and our SM3 is proving to be a pretty capable solution, I think in toto, it makes some sense.

    Still, there is something to be said for NOT slapping your staunchest European allies around, and not smacking them on a day with historical significance like today.  Also, since the system may yet lead to defenses in one/both of these countries, couldn't we have done something like send an Aegis cruiser over there for a symbolic port call?  And, why not extract some serious, and public, concession from the Russians?



    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    Travel Trouble. Thanks Delta!

    It doesn't happen that often, and usually only when I am forced to fly USAir, but this weekend was a fun time with Delta.

    Sunday night, I intended to leave Providence at 5:30 to return home to Atlanta.  Unfortunately, our flight was a very short one, since the landing gear on our plane (an ASA CRJ) refused to retract after takeoff.  So, we returned to Providence and proceeded to get the shaft from Delta/ASA.

    Since this was the last flight out to Atlanta, apparently, ASA thought they would pretend that we might actually depart on the same plane...for a while. At one point, they even suggested that the plane could return to Atlanta with a few passengers with the landing gear locked down.  In their plan, the flight would take 6 hours, be forced to fly at low altitude, and require a fuel stop.  Haha. Seriously, they said that.

    Finally, some saner heads prevailed, and they posited that the final arrival from Atlanta (which arrived at PVD some time around midnight), would turn around instead of overnighting.  In this scenario, the maintenance team was going to fly in from Atlanta on that flight and fix our plane to be the 6am departure, while the people from my flight would leave around 12:30 am, and get to Atlanta about 3am.  Whooooaaa.

    At that point, they started issuing hotel and food vouchers to those who were not willing to wait it out.  So, that's where I gave up and decided to just stay overnight.  That was the right decision for Delta/ASA and me, unfortunately, by the time I got my carry-on (plane checked) bag back and my vouchers and got to my hotel, there was no place open close by to eat, so, Dunkin Donuts for me!  Excellent.  I recommend the flatbread sandwiches.

    Anyway, booked onto today's 12:35pm flight, I left the hotel where I ran into a couple of ladies from my flight.  They said that Delta/ASA eventually decided to cancel the whole idea of going back to Atlanta, and took the checked bags off about 10pm, and they got their bags at 10:30.  Glad at 8:30 I bailed hearing that.  Also, a reason I don't check bags unless forced.

    Anyway, the travails of air travel will get you every time.  Fortunately, I am not a frequent enough flyer (maybe 15 times/year) that this really impacts me much.  But, let me say to Delta - I thought the flight vouchers we were getting were worth something, so I didn't look at it until the morning, and it was only $100.  What happened to airlines actually giving a free domestic roundtrip flight for these kinds of things?  At least the last time I got jerked like this by USAir, they did give a free domestic round trip and the hotel they put us up in was much nicer, but the La Quinta wasn't awful, just basic and the wi-fi was solid enough to work off.

    And, ASA did kind of make it up, when our 12:35pm flight was delayed 2 hours, they actually gave every passenger another $100 voucher, which they didn't have to do.  So, I made $200 out of it and got to stay in Providence for another day.

    All in all, a succesful trip.


    Monday, September 14, 2009

    LIberal Dictionary, Part 2

    My wonderful readers (both of them) have made suggestions to the Liberal Dictionary.

    A bleg - if you are an email reader, please click the link in your email, and drive my traffic numbers! 

    Their suggestions (first 3 from readers, slightly edited)
    1. Diversity - Ethnic variety, as long as that ethnic variety includes, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, black, Muslim, or hispanic persons.  Asians and white folks need not apply.
    2. Homophobe - Any person who opposes gay marriage
    3. Baby Killer - Any pro-Bush member of the military
    4. Smear - Anything embarrassing done by a Liberal organization caught on video; the act of smearing can only be performed by Republicans or Libertarians
    Keep 'em coming


    Sunday, September 13, 2009

    New Word for the Liberal Dictionary: Racist

    I have decided to start a Liberal Dictionary.

    Since Liberals operate in a different world from the rest of us, it may be instructive for the rest of the thinking world to understand them, so, I am going to catalog for posterity what they mean when they use certain words.  I realize it's a small dictionary, but, every journey starts with one step (and I'm starting with two).

    1. Torture: Anything that provides useful information from an enemy
    2. Racist: Anyone who disagrees with President Obama
    Feel free to suggest other words (and even definitions) that have distinctly different definitions when used by a liberal.  I reserve the right, since it's my dictionary, to modify, reject, or use them as suggested.

    Update: I was inspired by this post from Aloha Dump.


    Rhode Island

    I am finishing up a weekend in New London, and, it's been a long time (10 years at least?) since I have been here.  I can't say that I missed it.

    Still, another set of good eats.  If you're visiting Groton, stop by the Seahorse restaurant and check it out.  Definitely a local feel.  Finally, just outside the Providence airport is a local RI chain, Chelo's, who have daily specials that include dessert for $8.99.  Complained a little that they didn't have the massive amount of food here for low prices as in Texas, but, that put the lie to that.

    Here is last night's dinner at the Seahorse - Scallops over Sole.  Pretty tasty.


    Saturday, September 12, 2009

    As Usual, Rob is Wrong

    Rob (The Online Magazine...) attempts to belittle the tea partyer's protest today.  As usual, he's pretty much reading straight from the DNC's fax machine.

    He says: "the health care reform bill specifically states illegal immigrants are not afforded coverage." 

    • This is true, however, the bill includes no provisions for verifying legality of individuals.  When House GOP members presented an amendment to require the use of the system (SAVE) that employers are required to use to verify right to work here, it failed on a party line vote.  So, one can genuinely question why these provisions wouldn't be built into the bill, and their absence (willfully) suggests that perhaps Dems have no intention of enforcing this provision, thus making anyone who supports such a bill, a liar.
    • While we assumed the white house was discussing the House plan, they are only defending their 2.5 page outline plan on the white house web site (remember when Republicans were lambasted for not having a detailed plan about some such thing this year?).  Jake Tapper reports that the WH is considering ther SAVE program and would explicitly deny coverage to illegals.  Maybe Obama listened to Joe Wilson?

    He says: "The people DO want health care reform. It was a major plank that President Obama...blah, blah, blah."

    • It may be true that people want health care reform.  However, it is painfully clear that the people do not want the kind of reform being presented by Dems in Congress and supported by Obama.  Despite a small bump in approval to 46% following this week's speech, a majority of Americans polled oppose Obamacare, and have since mid July.  Finally, by vast, vast, vast majorities, 79% of Americans like their current health care plan.  Of course, if they didn't why would Obama keep promising, "If you like you like your current plan, you will get to keep it."

    He says: "And nowhere in any of the reform proposals nor in any of President Obama's stated plans does it call for increased taxes, save rolling back the Bush tax cuts to the rich."

    • Whoooooaaaaa there.  That is still a tax increase.  Although it falls on the Democrats favorite group to rape for money, it's still a tax increase
    Additionally, there are numerous proposals in Congress go after more taxes (the Cato Institute studies):
    • Democrats propose eliminating health savings accounts, which allow people to save money for health expenses tax free.  83% of users of HSA's are low-middle income people.  Estimates are this would result in an additional $11B of taxes.
    • Democrats are looking to get $210B in revenue by ending the deductibility of medical expenses if they exceed 7.5% of your income.  73% of these deductions are taken by people making less than $75k/year.
    • Dems are considering raising taxes on beer (tripling it), on wine (quadrupling) and liquor (a 25% increase), as well as on sugar-sweetened beverages.  These kind of taxes hit poor and low-income people much more than they hit the "rich." Dems estimate they will get over $60B annually from these.
     So, don't believe what you read over there.  It's probably wrong.


    NWU and USS North Carolina

    I know how much Joel likes uniform stories, so I can't believe he hasn't seen this milestone.

    The USS North Carolina (SSN-777) is one of the first boats on the Groton waterfront to be 100% NWU.

    How's that for impressive???


    Docents for Sub Force Library and Museum Needed

    I didn't see this on anyone else's site, but, for you guys who might be in the Groton/New London area, and looking for some way to contribute to the Submarine community, The Submarine Force Library and Museum has a docent program, coordinated by the U.S. Submarine Veterans Inc. (SUBVETS) Groton, and they are looking for volunteers to be docents.

    Article here.

    To find out more information, or if you are interested in being a docent, contact the SFLM Docent Coordinator, Gary Schmid at (860) 823-9806 or e-mail docent@subvetsgroton.org.


    Big Rally Surprises Officials in DC

    Protests in Washington today against growth of government. Even the New York Times says "the magnitude of the rally took the authorities by surprise." Estimates ranged from tens of thousands to over a million.  Make fun of these citizen-activists if you want, call them names if you must (brownshirts, astroturfers, nazi's, teabaggers), but ignore them at your peril.

    These are not your run of the mill leftist paid protestors, these are average American citizens, who will vote.  And, even though most of them aren't Obama voters to start with, their sheer numbers will give strength to those who might not think it PC to oppose Obama.

    That is why the legacy media will not report this fairly, if at all.

    But, kudos to the NYT for covering the rally, if even in their usual leftist slant.


    Facebook - Like a Bad Dinner Party

    After having my twitter account (which I tend to fill with political rants <140 characters and re-tweets of other, smarter people) linked to facebook, a couple of heated political discussions ensued.

    You know what it convinced me of? 

    That, generally, the people who spend time on facebook should not discuss politics, as their stupidity frustrates me.  They should stick to talking about their own boring social lives.

    Twitter and this blog are where it's at.


    Friday, September 11, 2009

    Anti-Abortion Activist Murdered in Michigan

    Anti-abortion activist murdered in front of a Michigan school this morning.

    When will Obama speak out on this?
    When will the left chatterers denounce the hate speech of the left that led to this?

    Where's the outrage?

    Guessing we'll see little.


    Wednesday, September 9, 2009

    No Moon For You

    I can barely say I was alive when men first walked the moon, but in those years from 1969-1972, I fell in love with space exploration, like many other young boys.  The much awaited Augustine report is available and the news is bad (executive summary here).  Now, it may be another generation before any man sets foot on another world.  Unless NASA gets a minimum $3B/year cash injection, manned space launches are coming to an end in 2011 and not returning until (most likely) 2018.

    Trips to the moon or Mars:  likely never.

    It is instructive that the panel believes that the path to low earth orbit manned missions lies in the commercial sector, saying, "The United States needs a way to launch astronauts to low-Earth orbit, but it does not necessarily have to be provided by the government. As we move from the complex, reusable Shuttle back to a simpler, smaller capsule, it is an appropriate time to consider turning this transport service over to the commercial sector."

    Interesting stuff, but former Apollo 12 moonwalker, Alan Bean, summed up where we are on space exploration and going back to the moon, or Mars, "I know we could do it, but we're not going to.  I want to go, but I know I'm in the minority." The nation was driven in the 1960s by the desire to prove its superiority over the Soviets, Bean said. Without a similar motivation now, returning to the moon will be viewed by most Americans as too expensive. "Future generations will have to find a reason," he said. "There's just not a reason now."

    And that's the bottom line.  We just can't find a reason amid $800B stimulus packages and potentially $1T government takeovers of health care.  We can't.


    Monday, September 7, 2009

    Sunday, September 6, 2009

    Obama disappoints, accepts resignation of nut-job Jones

    Obama disappointed me today by doing what everyone said he would, allow 9-11 Truther, Whitey-hating, Communist, and all around idiot Van Jones, the "Green" jobs Czar, resign.

    Jones, of course, like all good liberals and little communists, decided it wasn't his fault. All those crazy things he had said (and sung) that were inconveniently captured on You Tube (just one example) were the result of a “campaign” of “lies and distortions to distract and divide.” Michelle Malkin warns us to "Get ready for the coming media/left-wing martyrdom of Jones."

    Watching Juan Williams (designated left-wing defender on Fox Sunday News), we saw the Left's alternate explanation of why Jones's statements and subsequent exit are not damaging to Obama - his position just wasn't that important, he really was just a low level staffer. Huh? The position was specially created for him. Spare me this one.

    One of fave bloggers, Gateway Pundit, along with Glenn Beck really pushed this story, and are to be thanked for exposing and ridding us of one radical in the White House. If you get your news from the legacy media, tomorrow you may be reading about the whole thing, but for those who seek the Truth, they've been on this thing for a week.

    Odds are, the most transparent administration in history (there's a laugher!) was lied to by Mr. Jones in his job interview - you know, the 63 question questionnaire where they actually ask (Question 61), "Have you had any association with any person, group or business venture that could be used – even unfairly – to impugn or attack your character and qualifications for government service?"

    I guess it's plausible that Jones didn't think being a Communist or a whitey-hater would be something that could embarrass this crowd.

    Anyway, Van Jones is just another radical exposed. How many more lurk in the current administration?


    Saturday, September 5, 2009

    Top Ten Reasons 9-11 Truther Van Jones will not be asked to resign

    Since the Obama administration seems to be digging in its heels and not immediately ditching 9-11 Truther Van Jones, the "Green" Czar, I did some investigating to try to determine the top 10 reasons why they want Jones to remain on the White House payroll.

    To wit...

    10. Already had plans to feature him in his speech to the ObamaYouth on Tuesday as another example of a black man who has made it in a white, racist country.

    9. Makes Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid look moderate by comparison.

    8. There's a Green Czar? Obama missed him during introduction to other 36 unelected and unconfirmed Czars

    7. Bill Ayers is not available to replace him (busy on his book tour)

    6. Obama can no sooner disown Jones as his own racist white grandmother (oops, used that one already for another racist pal)

    5. Joe Biden really enjoys Van's raps

    4. Test the MSM to see how much crap he can get into and count on them to get him out of it

    3. Intends to count this as one of the jobs the stimulus package "saved"

    2. Professional Courtesy - Sets precedent for 2012, so Sarah Palin admin can employ Birthers without too much scrutiny.

    1. Obama agrees with Jones.


    Friday, September 4, 2009

    Preventative Medicine - not always a cost saver

    Jason Fodeman writes in National Review Online about the costs of preventative medicine and why it's not always a cost-effective means of treating disease.

    Fodeman writes:

    "At first blush, prevention seems great. Preventing and detecting disease early to save lives and money — sign me up. But, as new research in this week’s Journal of the National Cancer Institute highlights, prevention unfortunately is not as simple as President Obama would like to depict. Two Dartmouth physicians studied prostate cancer diagnosis-and-treatment statistics, starting with the introduction of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening."

    This has some meaning to me, since both my grandfather and father had prostrate cancer (both ended up being treated surgically), putting me in a high-risk group for the disease. Because of that, my prostrate screening, including the PSA test, started at age 40, vice 50 as recommended for most men.

    The study concludes that since the PSA test came online in 1987, "an additional 1,305,600 men have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, of whom 1,004,800 have been treated for the disease."

    But, this wonderful preventative measure has an (un?)intended consequence. "Many of these patients were over-diagnosed and over-treated. They were treated unnecessarily for symptoms they did not have and never would have had. Even when employing the most optimistic benefit assumptions, [the study concludes] 'the vast majority of these additional 1 million men did not benefit from early detection.'"

    The point is, while prevention is a wonderful thing, an attempt to sell health care reform by extrapolating savings from "prevention" ignores the additional costs borne by the system from measures such as these.

    As we are seeing, science is enabling us to determine likelihoods of having particular pathologies based on these kinds of tests and even genetic factors. What happens, when we take health care decisions completely out of the hands of doctors and patients and place it in the hands of a single payer government system and its series of boards and councils (who are empowered to control costs, since government will necessarily have to operate within some cost constraints, since Obama won't be president forever), when they have this knowledge?

    You think "death panels" are ludicrous...


    Thursday, September 3, 2009

    Green "Czar" revealed as 9-11 Truther. Countdown to firing begins.

    Today, our friend GatewayPundit revealed that Green Czar, the unelected, and unconfirmed by the Senate, Van Jones, previously outed as a Communist and previously caught on tape calling Republicans a$$holes (watch as the obviously friendly audience laughs along with him), is also a 9-11 Truther (caution: I think the Wikipedia entry gives these people a little too much credibility. They're fringe lunatics.).

    You may know of the 9-11 Truthers. They believe that the Bush administration knew 9-11 was going to happen and allowed it to happen so they could go to war. These people are nuts. They are nuttier than the Right's birthers. The Truthers have to believe that the former President willfully allowed Americans to die, for whatever nefarious reasons. At least the Birthers don't think anyone was allowed to die so that Obama could fake being an American (for the record, I think the birthers are crazy, too, but not THIS crazy).

    So, today on Fox News, Steve Hayes wondered, as of 7pm, after the story had been out 7 hours, why Jones hadn' t been dismissed, and Charles Krauthammer wondered whether the adminstration was just incompetent in its vetting process, or whether they allowed this guy to be chosen with knowledge of his wacked out views. Neither says much for the Obama administration.