Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ray Stevens Puts It Bluntly: You Vote ObamaCare, We'll Vote You Outta There!

With all eyes focused on the Obama Administration's screw up on the Christmas Day bomber, and the escalating but ineffective effort by non-elected Obama minions to put the blame squarely on - can you believe it, George Bush!? - I think it is time to refocus on the Obamanation called Health Care reform.

I teach in my college classes that if an issue seems too complex and difficult to grasp it sometimes helps to put it to music. I learned this from the Disney character Jiminy Cricket who taught me how to spell encyclopedia when I was a child by singing the letters accompanied by a lilting tune.

Well, Ray Stevens, who has put forth some of the funniest music of my generation, has a few words for the president, which should be easy to remember because he put them to music too. Without further ado, coming to you straight from YouTube, it is my distinct pleasure to introduce, Ray Stevens!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Obama Sees His Shadow - Nation Braces for Eight More Days of Vacation

President Barack Obama emerged from his Hawaiian vacation compound after a round of tennis Monday, uttered a few inane words about terrorism and Iranian protesters, and upon seeing his shadow immediately scurried back into hibernation, golf club in tow.

His effort to break free of Seasonal Affective Disorder was glaringly unsuccessful, as evidenced by his lack of concern over a terrorist attack on Christmas Day that missed killing hundreds of Americans only because the bomber was unskilled.

Obama also addressed the ongoing violence in Iran where anti-government protesters are begging for American support. He responded to their pleas by echoing a line from the movie The Outlaw Josie Wales "endeavor to persevere." Essentially that translates to "You're on your own, but if you succeed, we'll be very supportive in the future."

The Iranian protesters responded with a Warren Zevon line - "Send lawyers, guns and money!" - but by then Obama was back in hibernation and their pleas went unheeded, even when the protesters said "OK, forget the lawyers, but we do need guns and money."

We didn't exactly see world class leadership in either of the president's comments.

The Obama Administration is doing a full-court press in an unsuccessful effort to convince the voting public that our homeland security system worked to perfection to prevent the Christmas Day bombing. This became an urgent priority especially after Homeland Security honcho Janet Napolitano said it was working perfectly - then retracted her statement claiming she was "taken out of context."

I saw both of her speeches, the one where she said "All is well" and the follow up a day later where she said "All is NOT well." I didn't see any blips, or gaps, or jumps or distortions in the film of her first speech that would indicate someone tampered with her initial comments. The "out of context" claim is such a cop out. This administration is really, really short on ethics.

Obama also is claiming that the bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, was acting alone, even as Al Qaeda in Yemen, the next hot spot in the War on Terror, is saying he is one of theirs. Al Qaeda would be in a position to get the sophisticated explosive to use in the bombing, and train their stooges on how to use it. In fact, Al Qaeda issued a statement saying they will continue to work on perfecting their bombs until they get one right.

"It is absolutely critical that we learn from this incident," Obama responded, literally echoing Al Qaeda's position. He also promised to do whatever is necessary to track down any accomplices who may have helped Abdulmutallab get from Africa to Detroit. That sounds suspiciously like President Bush's "Hunt them down and smoke them out," line after 9-11, but without the serious intent.

The bomber, who now has a badly burned midsection, apparently is also becoming the poster boy for ObamaCare, since he is being treated in American medical facilities, apparently without medical insurance. Is insufferable stupidity a pre-existing condition? Just curious.

If Obama really wants to learn from this near disaster, here is Lesson One. Stop pursuing this act of war as though it is a civilian crime. The Clinton Administration did that after the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and look what happened. Rather, give this jihad warrior over to the military, let them try his suicidal butt under military law, and then when he has had a fair trial, shoot the bastard.

Don't go getting all haughty on me. This exact approach was used by the left's favorite President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, with stunning success against German saboteurs caught on American soil during WWII.

As it stands now, this brain dead wannabe has been given the full protection of the American legal system, including Miranda rights, a public defender if necessary, and most important, the right to remain silent. We don't want suicide bombers clamming up. We want them singing like canaries. Bring back water boarding and do it now!

The only reason there aren't hundreds of funerals underway for the victims of the would-be bomber is because either he, or his "technical advisers" in Yemen, didn't know how to handle the explosive he smuggled on board the plane. Passengers say they heard igniters going off - sounding like firecrackers - and then El Jerko II, lit up like a roman candle. (El Jerko I was Richard Reid, the Shoe Bomber.) El Jerko II had the bomb-making components sewn into his skivvies but instead of blowing up, the explosive lit up, and he lit up with it.

Talk about a "Crotch Rocket."

The short, short story on this guy is that he got on a plane in Nigeria, travelled to Amsterdam where he got on another plane bound for the United States and during final approach to Detroit, right over a heavily populated area, he tried to set off his bomb. Presumably he had the bomb components all along, since no one has mentioned him changing his undershorts along the way.

I saw on FOX News last night that a passenger in Amsterdam saw the bomber, accompanied by a man who appeared to be from India, arguing with a gate agent about not having a passport. The man from India apparently won the argument because Abdulmutallab got on the plane, with his underwear and his bomb intact.

Since Abdulmutallab was using PETN, which has been around since WWI, and was the same explosive used by "Shoe Bomber" Richard Reid, it would seem reasonable that we could at least have bomb sniffing dogs in use in major international hubs like Amsterdam where a simple stroll along a line of passengers could prompt an alert. But no. We have the least effective of screening devices in use at the very place where international suicide bombers can get inside the American system.


All in all, between the near-disaster on Christmas Day and the absence of leadership on the Iranian situation, Obama's hibernation has been a complete disaster, nearly as bad as when he is in the White House supposedly working.

Iran is hell-bent on developing a nuclear bomb, and claims to already have the means to deliver it - to Israel today, western Europe tomorrow, and eventually to anywhere in the world. Meanwhile, disaffected youth, political dissidents and everyday Iranian citizens who have had enough of a country run like a concentration camp are risking beatings, torture and death every day by taking to the streets to protest.

The time for revolution is ripe and like America in 1776 when it desperately needed help from European powers to overthrow the English, the Iranian protesters are asking every day for America to help them.

Obama is feigning a hearing problem. He finally gave in to intense pressure from his party to say something but when he gave his speech about the events in Iran he might as well have just said "something."

A friend has sent me a new website focusing on the Iranian protests and I recommend visiting it to see first hand what is going on in that country. People risked great personal harm to get these videos out to the free world. We can at least take a look at what is going on and turn our pressure on the Obama Administration to help them.

It has been nearly a year since Barack Obama took office. His party is doing everything it can to publicize the so-called "successes" of his administration. Frankly, I don't see any.

Further, I see a lot of former Democratic office holders rushing to the talk shows to argue against Tea Party supporters, Independents and Republicans who are fed up with Obama and a method of governance that ranges from confrontational to lackluster but is always ineffective - and ultimately dangerous to America and the rest of the world.

Know why so many ex-officials are doing the talking? So current office holders can't be held accountable for their comments during campaigns for the 2010 elections. Obama is no longer an asset, he is an Albatross around their necks and it is best to keep him at arms length during their campaigns. Most of those campaigns are already underway, and the rest will begin next week. Frankly, those who supported Obama last year have to feel pretty disappointed after seeing the fiasco he has dumped on them.

But hiding behind people who no longer can be thrown out of office is not going to prevent Obama's cohorts, minions, and stooges from being thrown out of office this November. The countdown is on, each day brings another embarrassment, another failed attempt at leadership, and more infuriating commentary from Obama and his apologists who think they are fooling the public.

Obama isn't fooling anyone. Neither are Reid, Pelosi, Frank or any of their cronies. Tick, tick, tick. That isn't a shoe bomber, or a crotch bomber ticking away. That is time. And it is running out for what is shaping up to be the worst Administration ever in American history.
Sunday, December 27, 2009

Obama Fiddled While Terrorist Burned - America Is No Longer Safe!

The media reported that President Barack Obama was not notified of the latest terrorist attack on our country - a nearly successful attempt to blow up an airliner carrying 289 passengers and crew on Christmas Day - until about an hour after it occurred.

When he was told, he responded "keep me in the loop" or words to that effect and went back to his vacation in Hawaii. There he played a round of golf at the Marine base near his bungalow, and presumably played footsies with the fiddler crabs on the beach as an aircraft was burning.

Fortunately for Obama, but far more fortunate for the nearly 300 people on the plane, the burning was limited to a portion of the cabin wall and the lower extremities of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the latest Al Qaeda stooge who wants to meet the non-existent 72 virgins. Alert passengers then jumped the aforementioned stooge and body slammed him into submission. They should have fed him a pork sandwich while they were at it, but the airline probably didn't have any.

Contrast the media outrage over President Bush gently extracting himself from a classroom full of little school children where he was engaged in a reading exercise when the terrorist attacks of 9-11 erupted. President Bush got the word, nodded quietly, finished his reading and then left as though all was normal, not once frightening the children or letting them know that something was terribly wrong. This all took less than 15 minutes.

But his administration was already fully engaged, moving the vice president to a secure location, and executing a plan to keep Bush mobile on Air Force One. There he was in constant communication with every essential federal agency until the attack was over and the Secret Service was convinced it was safe for Bush to return to Washington. Nonetheless, Bush was pilloried by the communist media and left wing yakkers for not responding quickly or effectively.

I guess from their point of view it would have been better if he had run from the classroom, scaring the hell out of a bunch of little kids and forever searing fear into their brain cells.

But do we hear the media saying one word about the lack of response by Obama? Nope! Did we get a live broadcast of the President making a reassuring statement to the American public. Nope! Did we see him hunkered down with senior advisers, military and intelligence analysts, or State Department honchos? Nope! We got network and cable news reporters doing stand ups from the beach miles away from the Obama vacation compound.

How did Obama and his advisers know that instead of just one bomber on one plane, there weren't a bunch of bombers on a bunch of planes intent on making Christmas a day of horror for future generations of Americans?

Answer: they didn't, I hope. But instead of swinging into action against the terrorists, the Obama Administration went on a media tear. They are calling it a legal matter for the police to handle, and trying to make the case that the latest bomber was just another rogue, instead of an Al Qaeda operative with links to terrorists in Yemen and access to PETN - a highly effective explosive.

Oh sure, a rogue who knew exactly what seat would give him the best chance of doing the most damage to the plane. A rogue who used the same type of explosive that the functionally illiterate "shoe bomber" Richard Reid used. PETN, which is about two-thirds more powerful than TNT ounce for ounce, has been around since before World War I, but you can't exactly purchase it over the counter.

PETN's many explosive uses include land mines and in detonation cord which burns so quickly that if you wrap it tightly in a confined area it ignites explosively. I was trained in its use in the Marines and it was a favorite in Vietnam for quickly clearing jungle landing zones. Several yards of "det cord" could be wrapped tightly around a tree trunk and detonated, resulting in the tree coming down in one shot.

It has more than sufficient explosive power to bring down a passenger plane, especially when strategically placed, which is exactly what the alleged bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab tried to do.

Yet, instead of a direct communication to the American public, letting us know what was going on and putting the official stamp on the bomber's resume, we get administration apologists on FOX News Sunday and other talk shows doing the "all is well" routine yet again.

For instance, Congressman Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, actually had the temerity to tell host Chris Wallace that terrorists "Have to be right once. We have to be right 100 percent of the time." Only a year ago, when that same line was uttered by members of the Bush Administration, Dems mocked them. Now they are embracing it. Hypocrites.

I hope that as President Obama and his family are enjoying the Hawaiian vacation, that will last until January 4, he is reflecting on what is going on around the globe - objectively for a change.

If so, he is learning that the reason America has enemies quite often has nothing to do with who is in charge in America as much as it is a matter that America exists. Whether it is the global warming charade, the War on Terror, the balance of trade deficit, reemerged communism or third world dictators and war lords, many people want America to fall because we offer a viable alternative to what they offer.

Throughout the first year of his reign Obama has shown himself to be an obsequious appeaser, which our enemies see as weakness, which itself presented opportunities for them to attack us - three times since Inauguration Day - and undermine freedom and democracy. It should be obvious from the near tragedy on Christmas Day, in addition to the Ft. Hood, Texas and the Little Rock, Arkansas recruiting office shootings, and the ineffective response to them, that the Obama approach is the wrong approach and only invites more attacks.

That a democratic republic such as we have works, is obvious in the fact that Obama is president. That it will continue to work will be equally obvious when his party gets slammed in the November elections.
Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas! Thank You U.S. Army Band

I know this is essentially a Marine-oriented website, but that doesn't mean I can't thank the other services when the occasion arises. One such occasion is the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" recent Holiday Festival show.

I am giving you a direct feed to Part 8 because my cousin Leigh Ann Hinton is the soloist singing Let There Be Peace on Earth. Her parents, Floyd and Kay Haber sent me the link and I promised we'd all watch it together today. Get set for some world class music.

Also, if you go to this link you can see the entire concert by selecting from the menu on the right side of the page. If you select US Army Band Holiday Festival under the Video Tags menu it will give you access to all segments of the concert. I am proud to showcase not just my cousin's stunning vocals(on Part 2 she is singing O Holy Night at about 5:50 into it) but the wonderful music of all her colleagues in the U.S. Army Band. This is a phenomenal concert, and I urge you to watch it while it is still up on the net.

The rest of my weekend will be spent away, as we visit relatives for Christmas Dinner later today, and then spend some time enjoying the long Christmas weekend with a loving family and friends we haven't seen for a while. Merry Christmas to everyone who reads this column and let's work together to bring some real Peace to this world.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I Am A Warrior and This Is My Song

Once again, thanks to You Tube and all who passed this on to me. Ten months and two weeks until the end of this abomination in Washington.

Also available at If you purchase a copy through their website the proceeds go to the "Armed Forces Relief Trust, to be dispersed by, and at the discretion of, the respective charities operated by the Navy/Marines, Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, and National Guard."

Active duty and former servicemen and women can receive a free copy from website.

I'll bet you thought this was going to be a "Merry Christmas - Peace on Earth" message didn't you? That comes in two days. We still have work to do before we take a day off.

Counting down.

Semper Fi
Monday, December 21, 2009

Dems Christmas Gift to America: Prostitution is Legal - Everyone is Doing It! Nebraska GOP: Find Out What Reid Has on Nelson

If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears I wouldn't have believed it.

But two powerful Democratic US Senators, appearing on FOX News Sunday after their Nebraska colleague Ben Nelson caved in to pressure and said he will support the 'health care reform' bill, declared it was fine for Nelson's vote to be purchased because 'everybody got something!' They are finally admitting it.

Prostitution is not only a time-honored tradition at the highest levels of the US Congress, it is legal and they are openly declaring it to be so! How's that for transparency?

North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobucher not only insulted most Americans - and especially their own constituents - by declaring that the backroom maneuvering and late night votes represent transparency, rather than whoring, but "It's better for the country; that's the nature of a democracy!" So, the world's oldest profession and second-oldest profession have merged into an international conglomerate of sleaze, and they all are in on it.

Conrad said "Every state gets some kind of differential treatment. That doesn't offend me at all. It's fair!"

Wow! Where the hell did these cheap street walkers come from? I thought Middle America was the place where values and morals still mattered! Apparently I have been under a gross misunderstanding of what has been going on the center of the country.

Speaking of values, Nebraska's Republican establishment should begin working immediately to find out just what Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader had on Ben Nelson to make him set a price for his "values." I saw Nelson on television several times in the past week or more, each time saying he could not vote for this so-called reform bill because of his opposition to government funded abortion and myriad other reasons.

Yet, there he was on the Senate floor at 1 a.m. today, voting with his colleagues, taking their congratulatory hand shakes and back slaps as he sold out his state, his country and most of all himself and his family. Because Nelson showed that he is no less a whore than the other For-Sale Politicians, he just considers himself to be a high-priced whore instead of a common five-dollar hooker.

On his website, Nelson portrays himself as a bi-partisan consensus builder with his feet firmly rooted in his family, especially his children and grandchildren, and notes that he once served as a lay minister. I think the word "lay" in this situation meant "not ecclesiastical" although the double entendre is inescapable. Is Nelson aware that his obituary will now carry this farce as a major "accomplishment" of his political career?

If this guy really thought himself to be a man of values and principles, then Harry Reid must have found a really, really big skeleton in Nelson's closet to force him to publicly renounce those principles and accept a public payment for his humiliation. The Nebraska GOP must find out what Reid knows; then Nelson could be the next vulnerable member of the Democratic caucus.

Among the truly amazing facets of this bill is that Nelson supposedly opposed federal funding for abortion and supposedly got a compromise on that one issue - even though he repeatedly said there were many things wrong with the bill.

But his colleagues say the compromise is not binding. Nelson's buyout was an exemption from federal medicare payments for life for Nebraska residents - amounting to about $100 million. (That means he is nowhere near the high-priced level of Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu who held out for $300 million - but then she is presumably more attractive than Nelson.)

But Conrad commented that "No Congress can bind a future Congress." Apparently that means that when the next Congress (should it through some reverse miracle maintain a solid Democratic majority) starts amending the federally run health care regulations to really put the squeeze on American taxpayers, it can cut the Nelson Compromise right out of the picture. Then the Cornhusker Kickback will be relegated to the "payment for services rendered" category.

The extent of deal making that went on to get this travesty passed is astounding, but not nearly so astounding as the blatant hypocrisy that accompanies the sleaze that brought it to fruition. When FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked what happened to Barack Obama's promises of "change that matters" and transparency in government, Conrad and Klobucher said this is a perfect example of what the president was talking about.

I repeatedly heard the sleaze purveyors portray this outrage as a "gift" to the American public during the holiday season.

Well, as my son says, "I want to take my gift back and exchange it!"

The Democrats also are pushing the claim that this bill will cut the deficit - Obama called objections to his fuzzy math "carping" today - and reduce insurance premiums, but simultaneously admit that it will increase federal spending by $200 billion and result in $518 billion - that's more than half a trillion - in new taxes. So tell me again, how does this reduce anything? This is just shifting money from one government account to another government account and regardless of what the dirt-bag US Senate claims, it will require new taxes - or fees, or insurance premiums, or interest rates or some other creative name for new taxes - and as usual those taxes will come from the working people.

The numbers that Obama, Reid and Pelosi are using are based on figures they provided to government accountants, not real accounting, and don't take into account the changes that will be made to this bill in coming years - just as Democratic administrations and Congresses have changed Social Security from its original intent to its current dive into bankruptcy.

Ironically, this bill will still leave more than 20 million Americans uninsured, which is just about the number of American citizens who are uninsured now when you account for people who don't want to buy insurance because they can afford medical coverage on their own!

I really love the way Harry Reid and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi are working so hard to ram this crap through Congress before Christmas, supposedly so the voting public won't be thinking about it next year in the run-up to the 2010 elections. God these arrogant bastards think the public is stupid and they are just so much smarter.

Klobuchar said that even though the vast majority of Americans are dead set against this mockery now, in the future we will all be thanking her and the remaining members of the Houses of Ill Repute who took part in this orgy.

You just keep thinking Senator. We'll take care of the rest. But you should be aware, we know when we're having sex, and when we're just being screwed.
Thursday, December 17, 2009

Go Green - Boycott China! Is Obama Safe Among Copenhagen's Global Cooling Deniers?

I purchased a Christmas gift for my wife from a reputable, country oriented online-catalogue outlet, and imagine my surprise when it arrived yesterday with MADE IN CHINA stamped all over the packaging!

The first thought that went through my mind was: "What's wrong with this item?"

You can't blame me for feeling that way what with the tainted dog food, tainted chicken, acid-laced flip-flops and chemically altered drywall - produced in China - that have been causing illnesses and deaths all across America among our citizens and our pets for several years now.

Despite the junk that China is dumping on American markets, apparently with the acquiescence of the American government, it is increasingly difficult to buy any household items - and I don't care if you shop at Macy's or Walmart or Home Depot, online or in person - that aren't made in China. I have returned several such items over the years including a new shower curtain that had an odor of formaldehyde, and a leather coat that smelled like it had been aged in a mold locker.

But I didn't expect to find Chinese made products in what should be a good old-fashioned rural type outlet that specializes in items that are purchased primarily by people who live in the country, or wish they did. I wouldn't have minded if it came from Taiwan since the people who live there have been American allies since before World War II, and have been resisting the mainland communists for decades.

But this stuff comes from the communists, and I don't support communism. I don't give a damn what the Clinton Administration said about China's alleged move toward capitalism back in the 1990's, or what the Clinton State Department says now. I care that the ruling mainland Chinese communists, who have the one of the world's worst human rights records, still repress religious freedoms and expressions of individual thought, and are polluting the hell out of the rest of the world, literally own the United States of America. I care that we are doing nothing to rectify this situation, and yet we have become their market for their goods, while we get nothing but grief in return!

Our president is a puppet of the Chinese communist masters, they own more than a trillion dollars of US debt and could break the bank overnight. So why the hell are we buying all of their junk, and the cargo ships that bring it to our shores are going back across the Pacific empty? Why is the balance of trade deficit in their favor, considering how much we owe them?

And to top it all off, China's representatives at the Copenhagen Conference for Global Cooling Deniers are walking around in sackcloth and ashes bemoaning themselves as the leader of the world's "poor" countries. China, which recently was portrayed as opening a new coal-fired power plant every week, without the benefit of clean coal technology, is spewing out more pollution than anyone else - with India coming in second - yet is demanding that the United States and other highly developed countries cough up extortion payments to other countries to atone for our successes!

I say the best way to bring the balance of trade into balance is through boycotting Chinese goods, even if we can't find an American-made shower curtain. Go glass! And rather than passing a "health care reform" bill that is nothing but a blatant government grab for power over the American private sector, Congress should kill that bill and use the trillions it would have cost American taxpayers to pay off our debt with China!

Let's get this straight - this isn't rich countries versus poor countries, and it isn't developed countries versus developing countries. It is PRODUCTIVE versus NON-PRODUCTIVE countries.

The vast majority of these third world countries have been inhabited, if not civilized, for thousands of years, and have had more than a good head start on America, Japan, Great Britain and other productive countries. They could have been world leaders, yet for the majority of the years they have existed they have been stagnant. It isn't that they aren't inhabited by capable or intelligent people, but these places all too often are led by brutish dictators of one political stripe or another who have successfully feathered their own nests for centuries, while the common people have suffered.

The brightest and most productive citizens of these countries get out as soon as they can and make their way to places where they have equality and real opportunities - like the United States of America. And now these multi-generational thugs are using the myth of global warming to try a new method of extorting money - by guilt-tripping the gullible in the productive countries into paying trillions of dollars to make up for climate change that has little to do with human advancements.

Tell me will you, if Sudan, the largest country in Africa, doesn't have any industry to speak of, and has been essentially a desert since the last ice age, exactly how much money does it take to "convert" its non-existent carbon producing industries to green technology? The primary focus of the Sudanese government, when it isn't pursuing a religious war against non-Muslims, is producing limited amounts of petroleum and developing its small reserves of iron ore, copper, chromium ore, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, and gold.

But it apparently doesn't pursue those economic objectives too seriously because the country has severe problems what with constant war and rampant illiteracy - about half of the total estimated population of 40 million is illiterate. That is an estimate and it is difficult to get solid information since the leaders of this idyllic nation have been hell bent on killing anyone they don't like for decades - does the word DARFUR ring a bell?

Yet the US has sent hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Sudan going back to the jimmy carter presidency, much of it in grants, or unpaid loans. For what? And we should give them more? Maybe the lemmings in the State Department are stupid, or just communist dupes who see this as one more cog in the wheel that will crush free enterprise, but I suspect that most Americans don't agree.

Here are a couple of other factoids - rough estimates due to the unreliability of the source, the government of Sudan: Agriculture production includes cotton, oilseed, sorghum, peanuts, millet, wheat, gum arabic and sheep, all of which produce at least some Carbon Dioxide; industries include cotton ginning, textiles, cement, edible oils, sugar, soap distilling, shoes, automobile assembly, and petroleum refining; annual exports of $500 million are primarily from cotton, livestock/meat, and gum arabic; but it imports twice that much, $1 billion annually, primarily food, petroleum products, manufactured goods, machinery and equipment, medicines, and textiles.

The country is poor, yes, because it is war torn, illiterate, and run by militant bigots. It has been at war for decades off and on, primarily over efforts by the Arab/Muslim north, to impose Muslim sharia law over the black population in the south that follows either Christianity or traditional local religions. Millions have been killed and displaced. The northern leaders even supported Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait! And yet they want my tax dollars to further finance lavish lifestyles for the northern leadership while the common people are oppressed, murdered, raped, tortured and displaced? I have a response but I'll keep this clean.

Meanwhile, China is stomping around the Copenhagen Global Cooling Deniers Conference (where they are literally snowed in) like a bully-boy demanding here and threatening there, agreeing to nothing, and claiming it represents the "poor" countries. Poor, poor polluted China. And Hillary Clinton is folding under the pressure like a house of cards in a breeze, agreeing to cough up $100 Billion per year to third world loan sharks!

I have to wonder, and I am being serious here, if, considering the rioting going on outside, the hostility inside, and the disingenuous foundation of this conference, whether President Obama will be safe in Copenhagen? He will be walking into a mass of self-aggrandized, militant, so-called climate scientists, the bulk of whom seem to be in denial, and he is representing the biggest target of their misplaced venom and vitriol.

Will President Obama tell former Vice President Gore that the North Polar Ice Cap has been expanding for the past three years and his "sky is falling" claim that it will be all gone in five years amounts to nothing more than junk science hysterics and extortion tactics? Will he tell the militant, corrupt leaders of non-productive countries that they better shape up and fly right if they even want to talk about cooperative development arrangements with the United States?

Will President Obama tell the deniers conference that he is a product of hardball, brass knuckles and baseball bats Chicago politics, and they better not disrespect him or his country? Will he remind them of the equal opportunities for all in his country and the major advances in civil rights, women's rights and religious freedom over our relatively brief history as a nation? Will he speak of the millions of people who have emigrated from the third world to the United States where they have built lives they could not have even dreamed of in their home countries?

Or will he play it safe and just bow and apologize to the non-productive countries for the United States being a haven and land of opportunity for their oppressed masses, just as he has done several times since inauguration day?
Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Reform Insurance Laws, Not Health Care. Anti-Lieberman Protest a Bust!

When the annual insurance premium for a veterans organization I belong to doubled a few years ago, I was authorized in my capacity as finance officer to seek out bids for a less expensive policy - with no reduction in coverage.

I quickly discovered that a suitable replacement policy - that actually gave us better coverage - was available from another insurance provider in another state, at half the rate our former policy would have cost. Obviously we changed companies and to this day have been able to keep our costs under control with the new firm. If we see the policy premiums increasing at an uncomfortable or unsustainable rate, we will go back out to bid and look for someone new.

I mention this because in the debate over so-called "Health Care Reform" the real issue is not health care, but rather the cost of health care, specifically insurance and prescription drugs.

We can debate until we all are blue in the face over the government's takeover of the insurance industry, which is really what this is all about, but what we need is reform of the legislation that restricts free trade on health insurance policies.

If we are not happy with the coverage or the cost of our health care insurance, we can not call someone in another company in another state, to see if they offer a better or cheaper policy. We are stuck with what is available in our state and nothing else.

We can not obtain competitive bids for health care insurance as we do with automobile insurance. To which I ask, "WHY NOT?"

The Democratic sponsored "health care reform" currently working its way through the US Senate, heedless of the wishes of the voters, should be held up and examined closely for all its flaws, hidden costs, and yes, outright lies and deceptions. Otherwise, we not only will end up paying more for less - with legal and financial penalties if we don't - we also will see the demise of a viable American industry with resultant job losses for thousands of workers.

If we are going to put someone out of business I would much rather see the Fair Tax Doctrine replace the Internal Revenue Service. Accountants and lawyers can always find work, and the Fair Tax would resolve a lot of the problems now facing the US government.

Congress can't be taken seriously it it won't fix the most glaring problems first! Everyone will benefit from interstate competition for health insurance policies. If insurance industry executive pay is such a big deal, the best way to put a clamp on it is open up the industry to real competition, which will drive down rates, and make less money available for executive salaries and bonuses. Meanwhile, the customers will reap the savings.

The same can be done with prescription drugs. Let's forget for a moment that far too many Americans, particularly the elderly, are taking far too many drugs. My two oldest living relatives, my mother and my uncle - her brother - are both in their nineties and regularly take only vitamin/mineral pills. It is one thing if you have an illness that requires treatment, but next time you see a drug commercial on television, listen to the side effects listed at the end of the spiel - especially on drugs that may not be necessary.

I can't believe how many drugs can cause worse conditions by taking them than the original illness they are supposed to cure. And the truth is, many "conditions" can be cured with a balanced diet, exercise and weight control.

Congress can bring down the cost of non-generic prescription drugs just by shortening the length of time that new drugs can be marketed with no competition. I realize that pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars on research and development and by all means they should be able to recoup their investments and earn a profit from their efforts.

But once again, competition will bring down the costs. Then we can turn our attention to whether so many people really need so many drugs.

It doesn't seem that I am asking the impossible here. I am suggesting that the two most expensive components of American health care be opened up to more competition which by the nature of the beast would drive down costs, and make affordable health insurance and prescription drugs available to more people.

Then we can turn to insurance for pre-existing conditions and other more complex issues.

On a related matter I was pleased to see Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman take a strong stand against the so-called "public option" which would close down a primary industry in the state he represents, and to other objectionable portions of the Senate bill. His strong and unwavering positions have forced the Senate to take some of the most objectionable parts - like cuts to Medicare - out of the "reform" bill.

For his efforts, Lieberman made the Connecticut local news yesterday when a pitiful band of protesters showed up outside his Hartford office. The protesters were easily outnumbered by the media, with one reporter putting their number at "about 15."

I couldn't help but wonder if that meant the reporter was rounding up to give the protest more weight than it deserved, or if news reporters these days can't count past the number of fingers on two hands. The news said the protesters had hoped to get a big crowd of similar minded activists out to attack Sen. Lieberman. But obviously, concerns about being forced to buy insurance we don't want, seeing cuts to insurance we need, and the wholesale gutting of Medicare scares people on the left just as much as those in the center.

The protest was weak, unfocused and would have gone unnoticed if the media wasn't so hot on calling Lieberman names for not being a lemming.

The media wouldn't be going out of business if it focused on real stories, like the fact that many elderly people - my mother and uncle come to mind - are scared that the Obama/Reid/Pelosi legislative efforts will take away Medicare. I should point out that most elderly people paid into Medicare through lifetimes of work and taxation. Now that they need it, they shouldn't have to worry that it will be taken away from them.

I hope Lieberman stands his ground and doesn't allow this travesty to continue through the Senate. Many people are saying that American health care is not the issue, but rather access to it needs fixing. I can live with that and I just outlined two ways we can improve access without destroying the good parts. It shouldn't be all that hard for members of Congress who really want to do some good to figure this out.

If the House and Senate remember that access is the issue, then America's elderly would be reassured - which is a good thing especially when we consider that the elderly are informed ... and they vote.
Friday, December 11, 2009

Dear Congress: Please Grow a Pair of Cojones! And Castrate The EPA! It's the Money, Stupid! Ka-Ching!

The government of the United States of America has three main branches, as outlined in the Constitution: the Executive Branch headed by the President; the Legislative Branch - Congress; and the Judicial Branch, the final arbiter of which is the Supreme Court.

These branches exist to create a set of checks and balances so that no one branch becomes all powerful.

If the president wants legislation passed he has to go to Congress. He can get around Congress to some degree by executive decrees, but if he wants permanent legislation or programs he has to get it through Congress.

On the other hand, if the president doesn't like legislation passed by Congress, he can veto it. Congress can rewrite the legislation more to the president's liking, but if it really believes its legislation is good for the country it can override the president's veto with a two-thirds vote.

If the president or members of the general public still maintain that the legislation is bad, then individuals or groups who claim they are harmed by the new law can file a court case and eventually have it heard by the Supreme Court if necessary. That court can uphold or strike down the legislation, and if the latter occurs the process starts all over again.

If the public doesn't like what is going on in Congress or the White House we have the opportunity every two years to start the replacement process. Except that the Supreme Court justices are there for life or until they voluntarily step down.

You'll note that nowhere in this process have we mentioned bureaucrats. That's because the Constitution doesn't provide for an all-powerful bureaucracy. If you want to see what happens when the bureaucracy - with one all-powerful chief executive - takes over, look to Nazism or communism. Under those systems the people have no real say in their government, and most decisions are made according to rules and regulations that are imposed unemotionally and without a shred of originality.

If you want a more personal vision of a bureaucracy think Motor Vehicles Department. Think of going to register a new car, standing in line at the information desk to get the proper forms, filling them out, then standing in another line to have them processed, only to have another clerk tell you that you have the wrong form, or not enough forms. You get sent back to square one and start all over. That is a bureaucracy.

I'm telling you this because one of President Barack Obama's top bureaucrats, Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has told the US Congress to get moving on passing so-called Cap and Trade legislation or her agency will do it for them through new EPA regulations! Jackson said she wants the US to slash greenhouse gas emissions by ninety percent by 2050, which means in forty years she wants a complete end to traditional forms of industry and a total makeover of the American economy.

Ms. Jackson, told this to the delegates at the Copenhagen global warming conference on Tuesday, saying to wild applause from the junk science profiteers and environmental liars assembled there that the Obama administration will use its executive authority to enforce climate legislation. She tried to soften her comments by saying she would be working with Congress, not in place of Congress, but few if any Americans took that line seriously.

Cap and Trade legislation would put a limit on the amount of carbon dioxide that can be emitted each year by each company that has emissions, which, if they are run by people who breathe, means everyone, since we all emit carbon dioxide every time we exhale. The trade part means that companies with too much carbon dioxide can get credits from companies that already are below their emissions limits.

Basically what Jackson is saying is that in order to suck up to a bunch of foreign countries who are trying to use the ruse of global warming as an excuse to embezzle trillions of dollars from developed countries, she is going to shut down American industry, putting thousands of people out of work and relegating us to lower-than-third-world status.

News reports say delegates are trying to decide how much ransom the better developed - "wealthy" - nations will pay, to undeveloped - "poor" - nations for adapting to global warming and producing renewable energy.

Do you realize that the United States has been sending hundreds of billions of dollars to these third-world con artists for decades, yes decades, in the form of foreign aid to help them jump start their economies? Do you know why they are still "poor?"

Because for the most part they are run by tin-pot dictators, strongmen and war lords who steal the bulk of America's largesse right at the docks or air freight terminals and precious little of it actually makes it to the people who are supposed to be helped. But the State Department maintains that we have to keep doing this because we don't want to alienate the leaders of the global con community. This might have had some relevance back in the Cold War but since we have won I suggest we move on.

Four countries - Britain, Australia, Mexico, and Norway - proposed setting up a fund with $10 billion in seed money, but the "poor" delegates - who got to Denmark by private jets and limousines - say $10 billion is chump change and they want hundreds of billions of dollars so they adapt to climate change.

(How can the Maldives, a bunch of coral atolls out in the Indian Ocean which grow bananas and tropical fruits, and which have a maximum elevation of less than six feet above mean sea level, "adapt" to rising seas? The seas have been rising for ten thousand freaking years! Why is it now my problem? Adapt? I suggest relocate! No offense intended to anyone who actually lives there, I'm sure they are wonderful people. But please, let's get real.)

The New York Times says it would cost many trillions of dollars to implement a global treaty that weans the world off fossil fuels, spurs development of renewable energy, and funds efforts to adapt to global warming.

I have a better idea. First Congress should disband the EPA and fire its director. Who the hell does she think she is to go to an international conference and propose regulations that will cripple the American economy just so a bunch of crybabies and junk science profiteers will clap for her and tell her how civilized she is?

Where in the Constitution of the United States of America does she get this authority? Nowhere!

This should be viewed as an absolute outrage, a power grab that is working in tandem with the money grab going on in Denmark. We're supposed to send trillions of hard earned US tax dollars to undeveloped countries in Africa where centuries old tribal conflicts still result in murder, rape, and torture by machete wielding mobs? (So much for gun control.)

And the director of the US Environmental Protection Agency is aiding and abetting this robbery? Dissolve the EPA, toss out this power-grabbing empire builder, then enact new legislation that creates a similar agency, but with far less sweeping powers.

I agree with the concept that pollution should be reduced everywhere and halted wherever possible. But we have a system of government that has worked very well for more than two centuries, and suddenly we have unelected bureaucrats, freelancing before world audiences, attempting to disassemble the constitution? There are far better and more economically feasible methods of reducing pollution, including greenhouse gases. Mandates from unelected political hacks are not the solution.

This can not stand unchallenged.

But what has Congress done so far? Basically responded like a bunch of simps and wimps.

South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Massachusetts Senator John Kerry have responded by co-authoring some form of appeasement that they say will move Cap and Trade faster, hopefully in time to Ms. Jackson's whip cracking. There you have it - a typical Congressional response by two names that are synonymous with knowledge, leadership and security. Oh, I forgot, Joe Lieberman is in on it too.

This couldn't be any better unless Al Gore signed on! Did you see this week that he told an interviewer the Earth's temperature is millions of degrees only two kilometers below the surface. Did you know that many mines go deeper than two kilometers - about 1.2 miles?

I guess that would explain the global warming issue wouldn't it? I swear that guy is dumber than a box of sawdust. Yet people quote him as if he were Daniel Webster. The dumbing down of America, and the rest of the world's masses, apparently is succeeding as planned.

Let's face the truth here. The global warming scam is not about rising sea levels, greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide or glaciers. It is about wealth redistribution - another effort by our president, a known communist sympathizer, in concert with like-minded socialists around the world, to take money away from the world's most energetic economies and give it to people who have neither the initiative nor the ability to make improve their own spot on earth.

This isn't about pollution, this isn't about climate change, it is about MONEY, Stupid! As Shania Twain puts it - Ka-Ching!

Maybe this should replace Hail to the Chief as the music played by the Marine Band when Barack Obama enters the room.

Thanks again to YouTube for access to some great music - and ideas.
Monday, December 07, 2009

President Obama: What if There is NOT ENOUGH CO2 in the Atmosphere? And What About the Gakkel Ridge?

Starting 250 million years ago, and continuing forward until about 65 million years ago, during what is called The Mesozoic Era, the earth was dominated by a species collectively referred to as dinosaurs. Some were small, some were large and some were truly huge.

They were divided primarily into carnivores and herbivores and it seems that for most of the 185 million years they ruled this planet there was a constant state of war between the meat eaters, and the plant eaters.

Herbivores developed some interesting means of defending themselves, and just because they were vegetarians did not mean they were pushovers. They continued to live, thrive and evolve in this uneasy state between predator and prey until a massive die-off occurred about 65.5 million years ago as a result of a cataclysmic occurrence called The Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event.

Some dinosaurs such as Argentinosaurus grew to a height of 70 feet, at a length of 120 feet, weighing as much as 110 tons. That's 220,000 pounds! Another species, Seismosaurus, was even longer that Argentinosaurus.

And these monsters got chased around by somewhat smaller, but wickedly muscular and effectively armed carnivores that saw them as walking food pantries. Spinosaurus is thought to have been the largest carnivorous dinosaur, at nearly 60 feet long and weighing nearly 20,000 pounds, bigger even than Tyrannosaurus Rex.

So, how did they get this big? Plants. Living creatures back in the Mesozoic Era either ate plants, or ate the other dinosaurs that ate plants, and many of them grew to monstrous proportions. Argentinosaurus was a plant eater, as was Seismosaurus!

How did enough plants grow on the earth to support such a vast range of huge, ravenous beasts?

Carbon dioxide my friends, and lots of it. The plants helped produce it and they thrived because of it. It made the Earth hotter, all across the globe. Approximately 10 degrees Celsius on average, which calculates to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

But plants grew even in the heat, in sufficient quantities to feed hordes of plant eaters that in turn provided sufficient food for other hordes of ravenous meat eaters! Know what else? Another reason there were so many plants was because the whole world was warm. No ice, no polar ice caps; just land where it was warm enough for plants to grow.

Early in the Mesozoic Era the earth didn't have 7 continents, it had one super continent, Pangaea. The continents had been disconnected previously, but bumped up against each other at the outset of this era.

As the era progressed the continents again split and drifted apart, making for some significant changes in ocean currents, depth and climate, but Earth still didn't have polar ice caps as far as scientists can ascertain. (There seems to be agreement on this point. Also, there was a worldwide ice age before this era, but we're not talking about that right now. Besides, George Bush wasn't around to make all those glaciers and ice caps melt, so why discuss it?)

Interesting isn't it, that the world was so different and its dominant inhabitants were so different, and yet everything survived?

This all ended, according to some scientists, when a massive meteor from outer space smashed into the earth near the Yucatan Peninsula, throwing up a cloud of debris and ash that obscured the sun for a couple of years - long enough to kill off the vast majority of plant life and the animals that depended on it.

Others say it was near-simultaneous volcanic eruptions across the globe that had the same result. Frankly, I don't know why it couldn't have been both. If Earth was indeed hit by a meteor of such size and force that it could have caused a "nuclear winter" it seems reasonable that it also could have caused fissures in the earth's relatively fragile crust that would have caused a major increase in volcanic activity too.

At any rate, the most dominant species of animal that has ever existed died off in a matter of a few years. Know what survived? Ocean dwelling creatures that existed on detritus - the rotting carcasses of other species - such as lobsters, and land organisms that didn't rely on the sun for life - like fungi.

Eventually plants returned, but the conditions that led to the ascension of the dinosaurs did not return and neither did Tyrannosaurus Rex. Instead, we got liberals and cheating scientists who are gathering in Denmark this week to completely redraw the map of human existence based on their fabricated claims that humans, in the last one hundred of their entire 5,000 years of civilized existence, are changing the planet's climate because we create or emit too much carbon dioxide!

Consider for a moment if you will, that the earth's atmosphere is 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, and the remaining one percent is argon, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, ozone, water vapor, methane, carbon monoxide, helium, neon, krypton and xenon. We never hear about that do we? I mean, that all the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is only a small part of 1 percent of the total?

What we do hear is that carbon dioxide levels have doubled, or tripled - which still makes them a minuscule proportion of the overall, and of what has existed previously in the earth's development. Yet, as a result, we are supposed to believe that sea levels are going to rise to the point that we all will drown, unless we stop producing, stop advancing, in other words, stop everything that marks modern humans.

Look, I don't like pollution either. Want me on board? Talk to me about noxious chemicals spewing from smokestacks and hazardous chemicals being dumped into our streams, rivers, oceans and ground water. I'm with you on that. But carbon taxes? Redistribution of wealth to people we have been giving free stuff to for decades? Was anyone around to tax the herbivores in the Jurassic age because they produced more carbon and methane than the carnivores? No. But those that worked the hardest, evolved the most intelligently, and kept a wary eye on the meat eaters, survived for 185 million years! They didn't have to deal with committees of self-anointed gas wardens.

President Obama is scheduled to appear at the last day of the global warming conference in Denmark. If he really believes he represents all Americans then I would ask him to ask these people who have been caught skewing the numbers and obscuring contradictory data - Climategate - just what they think they are going to accomplish? How can we possibly believe people who say the earth is warming due to human interference when they use a shrinking North Polar Ice Cap as evidence, yet neglect to talk about the vast chain of very active undersea volcanoes called the Gakkel Ridge - running from Greenland to Siberia - right under the polar ice cap?

Did you ever put an ice cube into a cup of warm water? What happens? Oh, hell yes! It melts.

Go Google Gakkel Ridge and see what you learn. You'll find that scientists worldwide have known since 1999 that active volcanoes and thermal vents exist all along this underwater ridge. But did you see a big media splash on in? No, neither did I.

Why not? I'll tell you why. Because any real scientist who has studied the long-term history of the earth and its inhabitants knows full well that massive climate changes have been going on for hundreds of millions - hell billions - of years, and the earth has both warm and cold cycles. An upward trend in temperatures for a few years or even a few decades means nothing, especially if it is accompanied by increased sunspot activity.

Similar for a downward temperature trend, especially if it is accompanied decreased sunspot activity. And more to the point, virtually all of the really big changes in the earth's climate have occurred without one whit of interference from human beings. Real scientists know there are always things happening on a global scale, but humans don't have that much impact on most of them, and that is not newsworthy.

But now we have this unspeakably arrogant group of self-anointed pseudo-intellectuals trying to pull the wool over humanity's eyes by claiming that this pissant species with less than 5,000 years of "dominance" on this planet not only is changing the climate all by itself, but that only the members of this select group know what to do to stop it, and "rectify" it.

Supposedly only they know just how many factories to shut down. Supposedly only these "geniuses" know just where to draw the line on carbon production to keep the earth exactly as it is. This is not about global warming or climate change. This is about wealth distribution, shutting down the most productive so the least productive, those who usually would become evolutionary asterisks, can "catch up."

Let's think for a second about what also might happen if these clowns succeed in manipulating the atmosphere. What if they succeed temporarily and take too much CO2 out of the atmosphere? Know what we'll get then? Another ICE AGE! Then who are we going to see for compensation?

There isn't enough arable land under cultivation to feed the entire earth even now. There should be but the human population is growing, and we need all the forests and grasslands and ocean algae we can get to produce enough oxygen to keep us all breathing and growing.

But suppose the earth did warm up a few degrees, and the sea levels rose a few meters. Don't include the North Pole ice cap in your calculations because that is sea ice and as anyone with even a smidgen of education knows, 90 percent of it is underwater, it expanded when it froze, and if it thaws the seas will go down, not up. (To really see a big increase in sea levels, Antarctica has to melt, but that isn't happening. In fact, lots of data shows it is getting colder, with more, not less ice.)

But just for kicks, if the earth did warm, and the seas went up a few meters, would we come out ahead if we lost a few oceanfront condos owned by rich communists, but gained millions of acres of tillable land on which to grow food for billions of people? Interesting concept.

Oh, and one last thought. What do you think would have happened back in the Mesozoic Era if a committee of lesser carnivores approached a Tyrannosaurus Rex and complained that he was getting too much of his kills and that he should redistribute the meat with them because they weren't as big and powerful as he was? What would his response have been if they whined that he wasn't being fair because he wouldn't share?

Yeah, something like - What?
Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Terrorism is Back on the Menu Boys! Exit Strategy is Nonsense; Congress Suddenly Cost Conscious!

General Stanley McChrystal, who was put in charge of the war effort in Afghanistan by commander-in-chief and chief executive Barack Obama, reported last summer that he needed between 40,000 and 60,000 additional troops in Afghanistan to get the job done and put the kibosh on the Taliban (pronounced Tahl-ee-bahn by the president) once and for all.

After months of indecision the president announced last night that he will send the general approximately half of the maximum number that was requested. The president-in-chief apparently is basing his decision on the concept that if the general really needed 30,000 he would ask for twice that amount figuring that if his request was cut in half, he could still get the job done.

OK, whatever.

There is plenty of second-guessing and criticism going on around the country after the president's speech last night, with much of it coming from Mr. Obama's own party. Some say that sending more troops to the area will "destabilize" it. What? I thought there was a war and fighting and all sorts of unpleasantness going on there. How is that stable? Good grief. I am so sick of hearing hand-wringing whiners determine our foreign policy based on "What ifs!"

Nonetheless, an additional 30,000 troops will be going to Afghanistan - that's pronounced AFF-GAN-I-STAN - and it is a safe bet that properly applied they will in fact put a smack down on the Taliban. The military will be able to use the new troops in numerous ways, not the least of which is as a blocking force if the Taliban are forced out of hiding in the mountains of western Pakistan. (Unlike Aff-gan-i-stan Pakistan is pronounced PAHK-EEE-STAHN by Mr. Obama. I don't know why.)

The big fly in the troop surge ointment is that the president in chief also said they will be in AFF-GAN-I-STAN for no longer than 18 months, and then they are our of there. That is bad, very bad. It amounts to telegraphing your punches, which as anyone who has ever followed boxing, wrestling, mixed martial arts, cage fighting, other forms of structured fighting or even street brawls is aware, you never ever do.

But Mr. Obama did it, so that means our troops will have to get busy and get busy very quickly. Many commentators and gas bag politicians are saying they won't be needed or used until the spring because winter is descending on the mountains of eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan which in their world means no fighting until April.

Allow me to retort. (Pulp Fiction)

Winter weather should not mean an end to our troops doing what our troops do best, which is to kill the enemy. In fact, we should be mounting surprise operations in the middle of the worst of it to keep the Tahl-ee-bahn off guard.

I would recommend some reading of Scottish history - prior to the Union of the Crowns - in which Scottish patriots marched all night over snow-covered highlands to attack British troops who were garrisoned and sleeping deeply, secure in the belief that no one but savages would march and fight during a Highland winter.

Even if our forces can't launch major offensive actions due to the difficulties posed by heavy snows, closed passes and roadways, and plunging temperatures, both the Army and the Marine Corps have plenty of cold-weather-training graduates who can harass the Taliban all winter long. (Reading up on the German offensive called the Battle of the Bugle in WWII might give our planners some good ideas.) Keeping the terrorists off balance and fearful during a period when they had planned on getting much needed rest and resupply is a great strategy and a doable tactic.

Then in the spring when the large offensive actions are launched, the Taliban fighters will not be rested and won't be ready to fight back as effectively as they would with a full winter of recuperation behind them. Since the president has made the grievous error of announcing a withdrawal date, the Taliban now have the option of simply hiding until we go away, and then emerging stronger and more determined than ever.

Thus, our forces need to kill a whole bunch of Taliban fighters, tens of thousands of them if that many exist, and they need to do it quickly. Throughout the winter the Taliban should be constantly badgered by cold-weather snipers, unmanned observation and attack drones, and small unit ambushes backed by artillery and Marine air for close-in support.

In the spring, summer and fall they should be mercilessly hounded and destroyed. Knowledgeable military leaders and veterans believe that a long-term counter-insurgency strategy is the best plan for achieving peace and stability in Afghanistan. It is obvious that there will be far less urban warfare, and far fewer opportunities to use massive armor formations, since the mountains pose a major obstacle to armored forces - in addition to limiting the use of helicopters above certain altitudes.

The best strategy would have been a massive buildup of forces to kill as many Taliban as possible, combined with a long term counter-insurgency force.

Presumably, eliminating the Taliban will eliminate the Al Qaeda operatives and leaders who are hiding among them, and this is crucial to offset the president's error of announcing a withdrawal date. By most accounts that was done to appease the anti-war faction of the president's party which is exactly the wrong reason to make any decision that affects our troops. Unfortunately the president was once again playing to political factions and not thinking about the overall effectiveness of his strategy.

First he took away the option of applying overwhelming force by giving only half of what was requested, and then by refusing to commit to victory regardless of how long it takes he took away the option of wearing the enemy down through time and unsustainable losses. The president's two actions taken together could combine to also deny our troops a victory, even though victory is absolutely possible under numerous scenarios.

So the troops will have to start right away and begin killing as many Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters as possible. Thus, in 18 months, the Taliban, like the Viet Cong in Vietnam 40 years ago, will no longer exist as either a political or military entity.

Oh, and can you believe the corrupt US Congress is talking about the cost?! The fathead spendthrifts who are spending trillions upon trillions of dollars on fake "stimulus" money, and a takeover of the national health insurance industry, are suddenly getting a dose of fiscal responsibility? Yeah, I agree. That would be a great laugh if it was really funny instead of being the latest example of out-of-control, out-of-touch hypocrisy.

I'll tell you what though. Out in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan, American troops are dug in looking across the border to Pakistan, waiting for reinforcements, waiting for relief, and hoping to get the green light to put an end to this once and for all. They aren't laughing. You can bet the farm that they aren't laughing.

Neither are most of the American voters back home who support them.

To Hell With Government Controlled Health Insurance - Pass Amendment 28

Thanksgiving is over, Congress is back in session, and the world is spiraling downward into a millennium of darkness and misery. But if you believe a bevy of leftist bimbettes who have been popping up on FOX News all morning, we should all just put our faith in the government of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama.

They claim that government is our friend and government will take care of us, and government will do everything for us if we just put our faith in government. I even heard one of Harry Reid's stooges call a woman who was offering an opposing viewpoint a Liar on one of the Fox morning shows. Obviously the left is going hysterical and pulling out all the stops to force us to once again mindlessly accept government mandates as good and inevitable.

Sorry Charlette. The great sleeping giant of American public opinion has been awakened, is aware and is not happy. Trusting that bunch of lame-assed dipsticks in Congress is no longer an option. But there are a few things that could bring some level of respect back to the table.

How about this? The proposed amendment to the US Constitution below has been streaking around the Internet for the past several weeks, so much so that I have received it from no less than a dozen separate places. None of the sources forwarded it from someone else in my address book, so I have concluded that wherever it originated, the proposed 28th Amendment has really caught fire.

How about if we put everything else on the back burner and put this on an emergency basis? With the exception of getting more troops to Afghanistan there are no emergencies pending. Yes you blithering morons who blabbed about "defeat" on all of the Sunday talk shows, we can too win there!

Urgent, maybe, priority, maybe, but emergency no. Only our troops are facing life and death issues and they need everything we can give them. So, read the proposed amendment, and then we'll talk a bit more.

Amendment 28

Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators or Representatives, and Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.

What I like about this amendment is that it puts into words what should be obvious to all American citizens even if they do serve in Congress. We are supposed to be a representative democracy where Congress does not RULE but rather SERVES.

It is obvious that many people in the ruling party in Congress have forgotten how our government is supposed to work, and instead are applying their own regulations. It is obvious that many in our government have forgotten or never learned that we are a society that does not have formal classes that rule the masses.

We are a society where people who are born to material riches can squander their inheritance and they will in fact fall to the bottom. They have no birthright that guarantees them a standard of living and a place in society no matter how worthless they are as individuals.

By the same token, a person who is born to penury can rise to the top levels of this country and no one can take that away from them, except of course the government which is constantly trying to dumb down our most productive people.

We repeatedly hear the Office of Propaganda - also known as the Mainstream Media - harping about how Congress is going to pay for its latest mind-numbingly stupid idea by "taxing only the rich."

THE RICH do not constitute a specific class in America. THE RICH, for the most part, get rich by very hard work, putting in long, long hours on the job that themselves come after extraordinary efforts at meaningful eduction. That is how individuals become rich and people who put in that much time and effort at education and work should not have the fruits of their labors ripped from them because a bunch of other people who don't want to work that hard, whine about not getting their "fair share."

We have no classes in America. We have levels of society that are fluid and borderless, with citizens moving through them in exactly the direction their efforts take them. Work hard, keep an eye on what the government is doing - because it rarely is doing anything productive - and rely on yourself rather than banks, the stock market and especially the government, and you will do well.

Get involved in drugs, alcohol, gambling and other nefarious activities and you'll eventually trip and fall. But the great thing is that even bad fortunes can be reversed if you go back to the basics and learn from your mistakes.

So, think about that for a moment and then take a long hard look at the US Congress. Here we have a group of less than 700 people out of 300 million, who think that simply by winning a popularity contest they suddenly become wise beyond all others, and privileged as well.

They take our tax dollars without asking a word about our opinions, they commit our unborn great-grandchildren to lifetimes of fiscal slavery by squandering trillions of dollars that they don't have. They limit our basic constitutional rights under virtually every Article and Amendment and they do it without so much as a thought to what we think, even though their job is to do OUR bidding, not their own.

So how about this Amendment 28? It would require Congress to do for and unto itself what it does unto us. I like it. I like it a lot. I like it every bit as much as I like terms limits.

Let's table the debate on the government taking over health care insurance - that's what they are really doing. Congress is not debating Health Care. We have excellent health care in America, the best in the world. It can always improve, but it still is pretty damn good.

Congress and the Obama Administration are nationalizing health INSURANCE because it is a great way to take taxpayer dollars without calling it a tax. Believe me, Congress is just finding a new way to tax us by claiming it is going to provide universal health care.

We already have universal health care as I have written before. No one in America is denied medical care when they need medical care. If they go to a clinic or emergency room the law requires that they be treated, and the taxpayers are already picking up the tab.

All that will change under Harry Reid's proposal, or Nancy Pelosi's proposal or Barack Obama's proposal is that the government will collect the premiums (taxes) and it will be mandatory to pay, rather than voluntary as it is now.

So let's give ourselves a break from the stress and frustration that the classless Congress is heaping upon us. Let's start calling our Senators and Representatives and impress upon them our determination that what is good for us, is good for them. Or else.

11 months to Judgment Day.
Thursday, November 26, 2009

What Am I Thankful For Today: Let's Start With Good Kids and PilotsNPaws!

Several years ago I realized that my lawn will never be used as a practice putting green, but instead will always be a haven for dogs and kids.

That doesn't mean it isn't mowed regularly, or that I don't rake the leaves in the fall. I do the required maintenance each year, and put down some lime and fertilizer from time to time as necessary.

I don't use herbicides or bug killers because I don't want poison seeping down into the ground water, or affecting living creatures above ground either. I also like the look of hundreds of dandelions each spring. My grandmother used to make dandelion wine and used the greens for salads, but I don't.

I just like to see all those yellow flowers spread out amongst the green grass, nearly as much as I like the daffodils that burst through the late snow each year to let me know that warmer weather is on the way.

Today, with a house full of family, many of whom are children, I am reminded that I will always occupy a place in society that never will be pristine or perfectly groomed. But my part of the world still has its purpose and fulfills certain missions, one of which was evident from the joyful way my grandchildren exited my daughter's car upon arrival yesterday.

I'm sure that part of their joy was happiness at being out of the car after navigating several hours of holiday traffic, but they also know that once here they can run and play with very few rules other than the usual - no sharp sticks, no hitting, play nice with each other and the dogs, etc.

If they get muddy, so they get muddy. We can always do another load of laundry. If they fall down, they'll pick themselves up and start over. Dogs will bark, children will yell and holler and the lawn will endure some more wear and tear.

The front and back lawns both have paths worn in them from the dogs doing their daily patrols, alerting me to other people, other dogs and other animals. If the not-so-gentle patter of little feet create another path or two, so what? In the spring I can always buy another bag of grass seed.

It is obvious that the grandkids are thankful for their freedoms this Thanksgiving Day, and I am thankful that I have a good family here, good family out in the wider world, and a home for them to return to on occasion.

There are four generations under this roof today, starting with my mother, then my wife and me, then my daughters, then the grandchildren.
The oldest and the youngest taking a break together.

But we are missing one part of the family, and while I would love it if he were here, there is a higher calling at work today.

My son Kevin, who lives in Florida and is a commercial airline pilot - or was until the industry tanked - has a different type of mission today. As I write this, he and his girlfriend are flying his four-seater Cherokee from Tampa Bay to Panama City, and then to Mobile, Alabama, to pick up a female German Shepherd named Gretta who is narrowly escaping euthanasia.

No one wanted Gretta, and she was due to be put down, but a rescue network that in this instance required the cooperation of nine different people matched up Gretta with a lady in the Tampa Bay area who had a place for her, but not the means to get her from Louisiana to Florida.

Enter PilotsNPaws and my son, who told me yesterday, "I can't go on that site too much because I'd be doing rescues every day."

Kevin and his girlfriend have been rescuing unwanted dogs for years now and he has flown German Shepherds to new homes in the past. They haven't done this on Thanksgiving though, but when I asked him about giving up his holiday his response was "I can't rescue them all but I can sure try." Then he added, "I can eat turkey tomorrow."

When he touches down in Mobile, he will meet a like-minded person who also is taking time this Thanksgiving Day to drive Gretta to the airport where she will board, get both back seats all to herself and begin the final leg of her journey home. I am immensely proud of his part in this endeavor.

It is a tradition on my part to take a moment on Thanksgiving Day and remember back to 1968 when I spent the day flying as a machine gunner with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 161 HMM-161, delivering turkey dinners to Marine infantrymen along the DMZ in Vietnam, and others along the Laotian border.

I always drink a toast to those Marines I flew with, the grunts on the ground who benefited from our efforts, and those of my friends who did not make it home. I also take a moment to thank all who are serving our country, and who have served, at home and abroad, making sure that the freedoms that far too many Americans take for granted are kept intact.

Those traditions will continue today, and every Thanksgiving Day as long as I am able. But today I also am thankful for other traditions enjoyed by my family, and while some are welcome for their familiarity others are equally welcome for their originality.

Next spring I will reseed parts of my lawn and remember that dogs and kids had a great time wearing out the grass. Meanwhile, in Tampa Bay a lady who needed a dog, and a dog who needed a lady will be enjoying their time together because for all that is wrong with this world, there also are many people like my son who put things into proper perspective, and share a portion of their lives so future Thanksgivings will have special meaning for others.

Happy Thanksgiving!

UPDATE: As of Sunday evening, November 29,2009, my son informed me that he had taken part in a weekend of rescues that resulted in saving 7 adult dogs and 11 puppies from euthanasia. He flew all over Florida, put in eight-hour flight days on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, met several other pilots and lots of rescue volunteers who were also part of the effort. They did well and I am proud of them all.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Simmons' Strength Evident with Shifts in Connecticut GOP Races; McMahon Vulnerable on Several Fronts

Jodi Rell's announcement that she won't be running for another term as Connecticut's governor has resulted in such a massive upheaval on the Republican political landscape that it probably can be measured on the Richter Scale.

Two contenders for the Republican nomination to oppose incumbent Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd have changed direction, opting in one case to go for the governor's slot and in another to run for a House of Representatives seat instead.

In both cases we are seeing common sense blended with astute political maneuvering, because in both cases the senatorial candidates were trailing GOP frontrunner Rob Simmons, the former Congressman from Connecticut's 2nd District who is maintaining a consistent double-digit lead over Dodd. Their decisions to abandon the senatorial race and head for greener pastures speaks volumes about Simmons' strength in his home state, and the fact that their chances are better in other races.

Even though Dodd is increasingly coming under fire from his own party, at this moment it doesn't appear likely that he will crumble under the pressure and step aside. Dodd is far too entrenched and far too powerful to fold his tents and slink away into the night. He also is getting solid support from President Obama and it is unlikely that he will lose that support.

Even if Dodd eventually does shrink from the fight, any Democratic replacement currently on the horizon will still attract sufficient voters that the GOP in turn requires a serious campaign from a serious contender who can step into the Senate without missing a beat. The next Senator from Connecticut must be able to enter the fray on issues of health insurance, banking, housing, the economy, and national defense with knowledge and the strength it brings.

The only Republican candidate who can offer the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities is Simmons, who also has such a solid background in foreign affairs, between his lengthy military service as an intelligence officer, as well as his work in the Central Intelligence Agency, that he will require virtually no break-in period.

Aside from Simmons, there are two contenders left in the race for the GOP nomination, Linda McMahon, former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, and Peter Schiff, a Fairfield County money manager. I mean no disrespect here, but while McMahon is spending heavily on advertising and still getting little to no traction, Shiff is barely on the radar.

Interestingly, in the most recent Quinnipiac University Poll, Simmons maintained his advantage despite the money spent by his opponents on campaign ads. Like McMahon, Tom Foley, a successful businessman and fund-raiser who was rewarded for his efforts to raise money for George Bush with the ambassadorship to Ireland, had instant access to millions of campaign dollars. But those millions could not launch him ahead of Simmons and Foley's camp announced yesterday that he now is turning his sights toward the Governor's seat.

Likewise, Connecticut state Sen. Sam Caligiuri has withdrawn from the senate race, and instead is entering the race for Connecticut's 5th Congressional District.

Leaving McMahon as the most serious challenger to Simmons. But McMahon, successful businesswoman and all around nice person that she is, is politically vulnerable on several fronts.

Let's forget for just a moment the seaminess of the world of professional wrestling, with its violence, repeated allegations of drug abuse, sexism and sexually oriented content that may attract some young voters, but likely won't help secure the GOP nomination.

McMahon has a lot of explaining to do particularly in convincing Republican voters, who will have the final say in the selection of a candidate to oppose Dodd, that she really is a Republican.

McMahon has a checkered history of political support, and until late this summer had given roughly as much money to the Democrats as she did to the GOP. But to actually show an even-handedness on her part, you have to track her political contributions all the way back to the late 1980s.

Then, when McMahon began to take fire for her financial switch-hitting she rushed to the bank account and wrote a $30,400 check to the National Republican Senatorial Committee! Wasn't that nice of her? I'm sure the national Republicans were happy to receive the donation, but does she really think Connecticut's GOP voters won't notice the hypocrisy? And lately, she has been dropping $500 to local town committees here, and $250 to local town committees there.

And this is supposed to buy her support?

Especially when she made pretty significant donations, well over $10,000, to various Democratic candidates and causes in the last three years, including - get this, to Rham Emanuel, the chief strategist and hatchet man for none other than Democratic President Barack Hussein Obama, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm!

So, given that the Republicans have the final say in selecting a candidate, either through the party convention next spring, or through a primary next summer, how is she going to convince us that she won't be falling right in line with Obama's Long March to the far, far left of the political universe?

Even if, by some weird alignment of celestial bodies, McMahon does get the GOP nomination, she will have some explaining to do to offset the Dodd attacks. Dodd is hellbent on keeping his post and anyone who faces him must expect incessant attacks that will be vicious, and expensive to overcome - even for someone who is committed to spending tens of millions of their own dollars for a job that pays about $180,000.

We can certainly expect that Dodd will immediately take up the issue raised this month by the Journal Inquirer newspaper in Manchester - that McMahon accepted millions of Obama's stimulus money to keep her professional entertainment wrestling empire afloat. But WWE personnel still got the axe, so where did the money go? To the McMahon's personal savings accounts?

I don't know, but you can bet that Dodd will be asking that question - every single day.

America's voters are engaged, enraged, informed and not the least bit inclined to accept any candidate who is not solidly on the side of bringing some common sense back to Washington, D.C. Linda McMahon is to be commended for her interest in the American political system, but she has woefully little to offer in the way of solid GOP credentials.

The political planets are aligning, the landscape is settling, and if Linda McMahon wants to be part of this country's political future, it would be wise of her to find a somewhat less conspicuous position from which to launch her political career. There she can show by actions, rather than ads and campaign statements, that she really adheres to conservative values and is not just another Democratic plant hoping to keep the left in control of the country.
Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mr. Obama, Do You Have A Plan? Vanilla Fudge's Mark Stein Wants to Know!

It is said that once an administration becomes the object of ridicule, it is lost as far as public confidence is concerned.

The Obama Administration already has been ridiculed not only on the late night network talk shows during the week, but even on the left-leaning Saturday Night Live. The federal Office of Propaganda, also known as the Mainstream Media, has gone on the attack against its own base, assigning reporters to "fact check" comedy skits, when - if there was a shred of ethical behavior left in the Office of Propaganda - it should "fact check" itself. (Further evidence that the left is cannibalistic.)

Now, the concept of ridicule has moved out of the comedy circuit and into the wider world of entertainment. Mark Stein, a member of the late 60's band Vanilla Fudge has recorded and released on You Tube the video below, asking President Obama just what is going on. This is not a right-wing tirade, as the left wing labels virtually everything and everyone who has the audacity to question the president and members of his administration.

This comes right from the heart of Mr. Obama's base. He is disappointing a lot of people, but most importantly, he is disappointing those who put so much faith in his message of "hope and change." As everyone seems to be asking these days, "How's that working out for you?"

Somewhere along the line when Barack Obama got elected we apparently missed the new regulations that say he is untouchable and not to be treated like every other person who ever was president of the Untied States. Mr. Obama supposedly walks around in an aura - or maybe a bubble - and no one is supposed to reach inside.

When I received this video it had only been viewed 250 times. I don't necessarily agree with every line of lyrics, but I do agree with the overall theme. Now that I bring it to you lets get moving on passing it around. Sooner or later, we all deserve an answer to its central question.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Where is the "Health Care" Debate on Afghanistan? Lieberman Disappoints!

As this article goes to press, the US Senate is poised to debate the secretive, over-bloated, extraordinarily expansive, useless, exorbitant Federal Takeover of Health Care bill.

The point of today's debate is to overcome a Republican effort to shoot the bill down by the venerable strategy of filibuster, rather than allowing lame duck Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to ram it through against the wishes of the majority of American voters, according to every poll that is worth a damn and a few that are not.

The point of this bill, which will cost at least three generations of living Americans, in addition to the unborn, multiple trillions in additional taxes, fund abortions through tax dollars, and take away the right of self-determination on which medical procedures will be covered, is supposedly to give medical insurance coverage to about twenty million Americans who can't get coverage now.

It will NOT cover about 20 million other Americans. When you take the alleged 50 million Americans who don't have insurance now, subtract the 12 million illegal aliens who already get free medical care at emergency rooms and clinics, courtesy of US taxpayers, and the 20 million Americans who fund their own medical coverage because they figured out that they can save in the long run, the net impact of this bill is ZERO!

Yet it will cost TRILLIONS! That is a number followed by 12 zeros.

How about this? A decent family health care policy costs about $7,000 per year. So if you multiply $7,000 times the 20 million people who aren't covered - but still get medical care on demand courtesy of US taxpayers - it comes to 140 billion dollars. One hell of a lot of money I agree, but one hell of a lot less money than multiple trillions. So why don't we just pick up the tab for insurance policies?

It will save TRILLIONS!!! TRILLIONS!!!

And don't forget, no one in America goes without medical CARE! If you are sick and go to a clinic or emergency room they have to treat you even if you can't pay. It is the law! Signs are posted in emergency rooms all across the country in multiple languages saying you can't be denied care!

So what the hell are we debating this garbage for when we have troops in Afghanistan waiting for someone to remember that they won't be having a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas or a Happy New Year this year because the president and the Congress are sitting on one thumb, sucking on the other and playing SWITCH every other week?

This is not health care reform. This is a hostile government takeover of the medical and insurance professions and a bite out of individual freedoms.

How are people who who can't afford a private medical insurance policy now, suddenly going to be able to afford a public insurance policy from the government that many analysts say will cost more than private coverage? Where are these people suddenly going to get the money to pay for these policies, which they will be REQUIRED to do under the new law, and if they don't they'll face fines and prison time?

This is beyond hypocritical and beyond contradictory. It is an insult to every thinking American and further proof that Congress has gone haywire. I keep hearing that there is more cocaine inside the DC beltway than in the entire country of Columbia and this insanity gives a lot of credence to those claims.

Because these nutcases have to be high to even be taking this nonsense seriously. This is far more than nationalization of two more industries, this is communism at its purest.

We have troops under fire in remote areas of a remote land where another batch of nutcases hatch plot after plot to destroy us by fire, and the Congress is saying and doing nothing because the president can't make up his mind, despite the will of the public. But we have Saturday sessions on Nationalization of the medical and insurance professions because the greedy bloodsuckers who call themselves members of Congress have figured out they can bleed this country dry by passing these bogus bills.

And the biggest disappointment of all is Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman who rode to victory in the 2006 election - against his own Democratic Party and the Republicans - on the backs of Connecticut's veterans who saw him as an isolated voice of support in a cacophony of anti-military sentiment in Congress and the media.

The Hartford Courant reported this week: that some lawmakers including Sens. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) have indicated that while they may support a procedural vote to begin debate, they may not support the final bill. Underscoring the difficult road ahead, Reid spent more than an hour in his office Wednesday afternoon meeting with Nelson and two other Democrats wary of his health plan, Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.

I don't want indications from my senator. I don't want to hear what he may not do, because that implies he MAY do just the opposite. Senator Lieberman could vote for the filibuster, and put an end to this insanity today.

That would give voters some breathing room until next year's elections when we can throw these jackals out on their butts. Instead he is just toeing the Democratic Party line even though the Democrats have cast him aside like yesterday's fast food wrappers. He says he'll vote for debate but MAY vote against the final bill.

How about just shutting this farce down right now, going back to the hearings on the Islamic terrorist who killed 13 people in Ft. Hood, and making it very clear to President Obama that he needs to act on behalf of our troops in Afghanistan and I mean RIGHT NOW?

The media is concentrating on the three reluctant Democrats who say they oppose this bill, but are being bought off as we speak - with taxpayers dollars! A hundred million for Louisiana alone? Well, at least we know that Senator's price.

What did Lieberman get for letting his principles fall by the wayside? I know what he lost. He lost the support of the very people who put him in office last time, but won't be there for him next time.

Health care reform my rear end. There is no reform here at all and this is NOT about health care. This is an erosion of rights and liberties, and a massive effort to con a complacent, under-educated, dumbed-down populace that will quickly go from being a disorganized herd to an organized herd, and Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi are leading the way to the slaughter house.


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