“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Is Barack an American Patriot?

The word patriot comes down from the Greek, patrios 'of one's fathers,' Latin, patriota 'fellow countryman,' and from patris, 'fatherland.' It means a person who vigorously defends his country from enemies and detractors.


Dear Friends:

My name is Joe Porter.

I live in Champaign , Illinois . I'm 46 years old, a born-again Christian, a husband, a father, a small business owner, a veteran, and a homeowner. I don't consider myself to be either conservative or liberal, and I vote for the person, not Republican or Democrat. I don't believe there are "two Americas " - but that every person in this country can be whomever and what ever they want to be if they'll just work to get there - and nowhere else on earth can they find such opportunities. I believe our government should help those who are legitimately downtrodden, and should always put the interests of America first.

The purpose of this message is that I'm concerned about the future of this great nation. I'm worried that the silent majority of honest, hard-working, tax-paying people in this country have been passive for too long. Most folks I know choose not to involve themselves in politics. They go about their daily lives, paying their bills, raising their kids, and doing what they can to maintain the good life. They vote and consider doing so to be a sacred trust. They shake their heads at the political pundits and so-called "news", thinking that what they hear is always spun by whomever is reporting it. They can't understand how elected officials can regularly violate the public trust with pork barrel spending. They don't want government handouts. They want the government to protect them, not raise their taxes for more government programs.

We are in the unique position in this country of electing our leaders. It's a privilege to do so. I've never found a candidate in any election with whom I agreed on everything. I'll wager that most of us don't even agree with our families or spouses 100% of the time. So when I step into that voting booth, I always try to look at the big picture and cast my vote for the man or woman who is best qualified for the job. I've hired a lot of people in my lifetime, and essentially that's what an election is - a hiring process. Who has the credentials? Whom do I want working for me? Whom can I trust to do the job right?

I'm concerned that a growing number of voters in this country simply don't get it. They are caught up in a fervor they can't explain, and calling it "change".

Change what?, I ask.

Well, we're going to change America , they say.

In what way?, I query.

We want someone new and fresh in the White House, they exclaim.

So, someone who's not a politician?, I press.

Uh, well, no, we just want a lot of stuff changed, so we're voting for Obama, they state.

So the current system, the system of freedom and democracy that has enabled a man to grow up in this great country, get a fine education, raise incredible amounts of money and dominate the news and win his party's nomination for the White House - that system's all wrong?

No, no, that part of the system's okay - we just need a lot of change.

And so it goes. "Change we can believe in." Quite frankly, I don't believe that vague proclamations of change hold any promise for me. In recent months, I've been asking virtually everyone I encounter how they're voting. I live in Illinois , so most folks tell me they're voting for Barack Obama. But no one can really tell me why - only that he's going to change a lot of stuff. Change, change, change.

I have yet to find one single person who can tell me distinctly and convincingly why this man is qualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief of the most powerful nation on earth - other than the fact that he claims he's going to implement a lot of change.

We've all seen the emails about Obama's genealogy, his upbringing, his Muslim background, and his church affiliations. Let's ignore this for a moment. Put it all aside. Then ask yourself, what qualifies this man to be my president? That he's a brilliant orator and talks about change?


Friends, I'll be forthright with you - I believe the American voters who are supporting Barack Obama don't have a clue what they're doing, as evidenced by the fact that not one of them - NOT ONE of them I've spoken to can spell out his qualifications. Not even the most liberal media can explain why he should be elected. Political experience? Negligible. Foreign relations? Non-existent. Achievements? Name one. Someone who wants to unite the country? If you haven't read his wife's thesis from Princeton , look it up on the web. This is who's lining up to be our next First Lady? The only thing I can glean from Obama's constant harping about change is that we're in for a lot of new taxes.

For me, the choice is clear. I've looked carefully at the two leading applicants for the job, and I've made my choice.

Here's a question - where were you five and a half years ago? Around Christmas, 2002. You've had five or six birthdays in that time. My son has grown from a sixth grade child to a high school graduate. Five and a half years is a good chunk of time. About 2,000 days. 2,000 nights of sleep. 6, 000 meals, give or take.

John McCain spent that amount of time, from 1967 to 1973, in a North Vietnamese prisoner-of-war camp.

When offered early release, he refused it. He considered this offer to be a public relations stunt by his captors, and insisted that those held longer than he should be released first. Did you get that part? He was offered his freedom, and he turned it down. A regimen of beatings and torture began.

Do you possess such strength of character? Locked in a filthy cell in a foreign country, would you turn down your own freedom in favor of your fellow man? I submit that's a quality of character that is rarely found, and for me, this singular act defines John McCain.

Unlike several presidential candidates in recent years whose military service is questionable or non-existent, you will not find anyone to denigrate the integrity and moral courage of this man. A graduate of Annapolis , during his Naval service he received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross. His own son is now serving in the Marine Corps in Iraq . Barack Obama is fond of saying "We honor John McCain's service...BUT...", which to me is condescending and offensive - because what I hear is, "Let's forget this man's sacrifice for his country and his proven leadership abilities, and talk some more about change."

I don't agree with John McCain on everything - but I am utterly convinced that he is qualified to be our next President, and I trust him to do what's right. I know in my heart that he has the best interests of our country in mind. He doesn't simply want to be President - he wants to lead America , and there's a huge difference. Factually, there is simply no comparison between the two candidates. A man of questionable background and motives who prattles on about change can't hold a candle to a man who has devoted his life in public service to this nation, retiring from the Navy in 1981 and elected to the Senate in 1982.

Perhaps Obama's supporters are taking a stance between old and new. Maybe they don't care about McCain's service or his strength of character, or his unblemished qualifications to be President. Maybe "likeability" is a higher priority for them than "trust". Being a prisoner of war is not what qualifies John McCain to be President of the United States of America - but his demonstrated leadership certainly DOES.

Dear friends, it is time for us to stand. It is time for thinking Americans to say, "Enough." It is time for people of all parties to stop following the party line. It is time for anyone who wants to keep America first, who wants the right man leading their nation, to start a dialogue with all their friends and neighbors and ask who they're voting for, and why.

There's a lot of evil in this world. That should be readily apparent to all of us by now. And when faced with that evil as we are now, I want a man who knows the cost of war on his troops and on his citizens. I want a man who puts my family's interests before any foreign country.

I want a President who's qualified to lead.

I want my country back, and I'm voting for John McCain.

Another point of view.


  1. Suicide Attack at Pakistan Arms Plant Kills 60 People

    The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday outside the largest military ordnance plant in Pakistan.

  2. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on Thursday outside the largest military ordnance plant in Pakistan.

    Gosh, if only the Pakis didn't bitch so much when the CIA takes these guys out with Predators, I'd feel sorry for their misfortune.

  3. We feel their pain, but why do they love it so much?

  4. Westhawk - If it is to survive, NATO needs to do more

    It is no surprise then that “New Europe” is now the most frantic to find a viable defense for itself. “New Europe” has traditionally looked to “Old Europe” for an alliance. But Old has repeatedly betrayed New, and looks set to do so again.

    According to the CIA Factbook, the combined population of the former Warsaw Pact/USSR countries in eastern Europe and the Caucasus (excluding Belarus) is 162.5 million, compared to Russia’s 140.7 million. Combined GDP for this group is $1,290 billion, compared to Russia’s $1,286 billion. In theory at least, the now-free countries in eastern Europe and the Caucasus have the combined population and economic output to rival Russia. And this does not take into account Russia’s defense responsibilities in central Asia, against China, and in the Pacific.

    “New Europe” will find a way to defend itself. Breaking away from NATO might be the answer. Is this the outcome leaders in Berlin, Brussels, Paris, and London want?

  5. Slade,
    Sometime when you're around, I'd like to discuss if Barry deserves the "Marxist" label, or not.

  6. A Multitude of Good Georgia Links

    ``It looks like they're relocating from urban areas to different positions that would enable them to control the country's economy,'' Saakashvili said. Russian troops still hold all entrances to Gori, a major crossroads between east and west Georgia, and won't allow Georgian officials into the city, Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said by phone.

    NATO Relations...

  7. AFGHANISTANFriendly Fire May Have Killed French -
    Say's "NATO Aircraft"
    Could that be anybody but us?
    Sure hope that does not turn out to be the case.

  8. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, speaking on CNN, questioned whether Medvedev's promises of a pullout can be trusted.

    ``First, his troops were going to be out on Monday, then his troops were going to be out on Wednesday, now his troops are going to be out on Friday,'' Rice said. ``I'm beginning to wonder if the Russian president is ever going to keep his word, or can he keep his word, or what is going on there?''
    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is visiting Russia, said he ``understands'' Russia's military response in Georgia.
    `` We think this was a reaction to a provocation from the Georgian side.''

    ``We would like once more to express our support for the Russian position in the recent conflict and the situation around Abkhazia and South Ossetia,'' Assad said during a meeting with Medvedev in Sochi. ``We understand the essence of the Russian position. The position is clear and logical.''

    Obama Adviser Meets With Syria

    Tony Badran, an expert on Lebanon and Syria for the Defense of Democracies, was not surprised Kurtzer was meeting with the Syrians. He likened the meeting to other informal lobbying efforts done on Syria’s behalf.

    “It’s not a secret that the Syrians are openly banking on Barack Obama,” Badran told the Sun.

  9. Barry's a commie and a citizen of the world.

  10. New Hampshire: Obama's Big Lead Now Down To A Virtual Tie

    The presidential race in New Hampshire is now a toss-up. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state finds that Barack Obama's once-double-digit lead over John McCain is down to a statistically insignificant one-point lead, 43% to 42%.

    Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows Barack Obama attracting 45% of the vote while John McCain earns 42%. When "leaners" are included, it's Obama 48% and McCain 46%.

  11. Slade, I am sure that Soros is the greatest thinker of the age and, with Ayers and Doryn are the minds behind BHO. Sure. - MH

    I feel like a tennis ball. The turning of the screw as patterns and trends evolve into Grand Conspiracies.

    No, I don't think Obama is an unreconstructed Marxist. Or constructed for that matter.

    But yes, I am concerned - to the point that I support McCain - about liberal policies and trends - generic and specific.

    The generic coming out of "new" concepts like "creative capitalism". I'm very glad that somebody knows what it is because I sure as hell don't. But it smells a lot like social engineering on the taxpayers dime.

    The specific coming out of Georgia as the world gets treated to the very real consequences of market failure in Russia, as some (Wretchard) speculate about the role of economics in taming State aggression.

    Even more specific (from BC again, someone posting as "S"), I very much agree that opening the markets was the first step (my view) to an irreversible decline in the standard of living in this country. The specific structural weaknesses in credit, housing, and finance will - I think - work themselves out but the long term picture is bleak - more so than I previously thought.

    Getting creative with capitalism is not the answer, nor was I suggesting that. I and am suggesting that Democratic proposals tend to be counterproductive, based on ideological lineage and experimentation, while Republican proposals tend to be simply corrupt, as conservative principles degenerate into vehicles for opportunistic and short-term gain. There is no vision. Politics has become detrimental to the health of our country.

    I try to keep a lid on the personal stuff but I can even see it in my writing - syntax and grammar - gloomy, short and to the point. I used to write in byzantine syntax. No more. Can barely hold a thought long enough.

    As far as Obama is concerned, I'm not a member of Jenny Craig but I'm still carrying an extra ten pounds. Does that mean I'm fat?

  12. Hewitt astounds me by labeling Corsi a fringejob, yet he writes and speaks approvingly of the phoney pig Warren.
    ...the latest in a long and neverending line of "religious" con artists.

  13. "As far as Obama is concerned, I'm not a member of Jenny Craig but I'm still carrying an extra ten pounds. Does that mean I'm fat?"
    That may not be byzantine, but it ain't straight talk.
    - Big John

  14. Slade,
    1. Have you read "Radical Son?"

    2. could I ask your approximate age?

  15. "...the latest in a long and neverending line of "religious" con artists."
    Yet saddleback/brokeback was still the best forum we'll see this cycle!
    Don't say much about the MSM, do it?

  16. No and no.

    But I've read some of Gitlan, Hayden, and Berman if that counts.

    I made a similar (non-intellectual) journey except I was never as far left nor as far right as Horowitz.

    But given the current level of non-performance in government - hearing more and more from many people saying we get the government we deserve - I just have a bad feeling about all of it.

    As I said I think Obama is a work in progress. Whether that is comforting or alarming depends on your assessment of his inclinations.

  17. "But I've read some of Gitlan, Hayden, and Berman if that counts."
    Did you ever buy into any of it, or hang around folks who did?

  18. ...I guess the second para anwers that.

  19. but then you add "(non-intellectual)" and leave me slightly confused.

  20. Barkeep, some hemlock please.

    No one tells you, except the brave few elders who are willing to speak up, that the real struggle of old age is not bad health or reduced circumstances. The real struggle is with Despair. This is a confrontation which cannot be dispensed with, and to it you will bring the same characteristics you brought to those earlier struggles. Our encounter with old age will be no different from the way we navigated earlier uncharted territory, except…

    Except that some of us — those who have accumulated enough inner wealth to accept what cannot be changed — will simply go into that good night with the same grace they lived through the earlier rough spots.

    Hope and change.

    Bouncing Dead Cats.

    Despair and Grief.

    The real deal.

  21. Shielded Teen Faces Charges
    Immigrant, 19, protected from possible deportation by S.F. officials, is held in vicious stabbing.
    Gutted the Pig, he did.
    Meanwhile, in Artesia (LA) ANOTHER 17 year old riding his bike is murdered by yet another illegal gang-banger.

  22. Doug -

    No to the intellectual buy-in.

    I don't consider myself an intellectual or an academic. Raised blue collar union Democrat. Even family agrees that the unions imploded. Reminded of Lech Walesa (sp?) in Poland - started out good - but fell just as hard as they all do.

    It seems to me that the markets are proving themselves - good and bad - which means I should logically support government which stimulates the engine of wealth creation. And I do - in principle.

    But - IMO - under Republican leadership and facilitated by stupid or equally corrupt Democrats, the regulatory structure of markets has been systematically destroyed starting with Reagan. Chickens coming home to roost big time.

    (In that I am in complete agreement with this Cedarford person.)

    It ain't your father's Democrat anymore. I still *believe* in government-sponsored *safety nets* but unless and until government can learn how to administer the bureaucracy the way a business is managed, I would just as soon stay away from the game.

    Man cannot Govern Himself.

    I grew up hearing that.

    Proof enough.

  23. Obama now has teleprompters @ "Townhall" Meetings!

  24. In case anyone missed it: May-Treanor and Walsh beat China yesterday to take home their second gold in women's beach volleyball - a close game in the pouring rain.

    What millions of NBC viewers saw in their immediate post-game interview - and which I've not been able to find at NBC's site - was the infectiously exuberant, flag-draped pair thanking George W. Bush.

    Having long since grown cold on Mr. Bush, even I got the warm fuzzies. I hope it gets wide replay. You know. For old time's sake.

    "opportunistic gain"

    One wonders what other kind there is.

    Accidental, perhaps.

  25. Sloppy me.

    Something about the current crop of Republicans that's over the line.

    I've made this caveat many times. I - and most Americans - have large tolerance for mistakes and even overt fraud. It comes with the territory. Yell, scream, do something.

    This is too much.

  26. This is too much.

    Thu Aug 21, 12:29:00 PM EDT

    The first step, of course, is in correctly, precisely identifying "this" "something."

  27. "In case anyone missed it: May-Treanor and Walsh beat China yesterday to take home their second gold in women's beach volleyball - a close game in the pouring rain."
    I pay no attention to Ms Walsh.

    On sadder note:
    Japan beat our softball dream team.

  28. (possibly the LAST Olympic Softball game)

  29. Of course you don't.

    Re the IOC: I thought it was just baseball. That is unfortunate.

  30. McCain turns Bush on Iraq war surge
    President now praises senator's foresight

    Joseph Curl (Contact)
    Thursday, August 21, 2008

    EXCLUSIVE: Washington Times

    Sen. John McCain, who watched from a prison camp as America failed to deploy the overwhelming force necessary to win the Vietnam War, seized the moment after Republicans lost Congress in 2006 to push President Bush not to make the same mistake.

    Mr. McCain sent a private letter to Mr. Bush on Dec. 12, 2006, that challenged the president to show the "will" to win the Iraq war by deploying 20,000 troops into Baghdad and the Sunni Triangle to beat back a growing insurgency.

    The letter was the climax of a 3 1/2-year effort to persuade the president to send more troops to Iraq. The former Navy pilot, who had his arms repeatedly broken during nearly six years of captivity, couched his argument in the terms born of the Vietnam War.

    "The question is one of will more than capacity," wrote the senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. "If we are not willing to provide the troops necessary for victory, however, victory itself will be impossible."

    Mr. McCain, whose letter is made public here for the first time, added that "surging five additional brigades into Baghdad by March" was the answer.

    Mr. Bush, who had resisted Mr. McCain's call for a troop surge for years, now praises him for persisting in his argument that expanding the war in Iraq was the way to win it.

    "John recognized early on that more troops would be needed in order to achieve the security necessary for the Iraqis to make the political progress we're seeing now," the president told The Washington Times this week.

    "He supported that action even though many said it would hurt his campaign [for president]. He didn't care about popularity; he cared about success for our troops and our country. And now that the surge has worked, it proves that John's judgment was correct."

    Mr. McCain's push to increase troops in Iraq began five years ago this month, just after his first visit to Baghdad and three months after Mr. Bush had proclaimed the end

  31. well, ya, sure, rule with an iron fist - that's the ticket! More troops in Iraq, More troops in Afghanistan....More troops in Poland, More troops in Georgia....

  32. You understand I'm only here because Rat's on potty break and I had my associates stuff mat into a trunk and drive him around for a couple of weeks.

    What was it that McCain said about being offered a deal as a POW because his father was an admiral? He turned it down; it was a violation of the Code. But that wasn't the best part of the story. The best part of the story was the admission that he was glad he didn't know at the time that the war would go on for another three years.

    I love that story.

  33. Ash, this the last word on that:

    "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more." Luke 12:48

  34. An aged man is but a paltry thing,
    A tattered coat upon a stick, unless
    Soul clap its hands and sing, and louder sing
    For every tatter in its mortal dress,
    Nor is there singing school but studying
    Monuments of its own magnificence;
    And therefore I have sailed the seas and come
    To the holy city of Byzantium.

  35. The dems are getting frantic already. Saying McCain can't count high enough to number his houses. Which are mostly condos, I read. And mostly his wife's money. I call this nasty and frantic.

  36. Bobal: The dems are getting frantic already. Saying McCain can't count high enough to number his houses.

    I expect a federal limit on the number of homes one family can own to become a law under Obama. Southern California and Martha's Vineyard to be excepted.

    Trish: Of course you don't.

    Well look who slithered back in here, the lesbian-hater who calls people "Habu".

  37. Now love one another while I'm gone, this is my commandment to you. Got to go to a meetig. Later.

  38. Rush is hoping for Obama/Bayh so we can drive around with stickers that say Obama/Bye!

  39. "Of course you don't," was a response to Doug's remark that he doesn't pay any attention to Ms. Walsh.

    Lesbian-hater. Yes, well, if only they'd dress better.

  40. A quick read of the world press on Russia, Georgia and NATO:

    No one has a clue.

  41. This is too much.

    I visited home base for a few days and asked the patriarch what he thought of the campaign. He just looked glum and gloomy. I asked him what he thought of Romney. His face lit up like a firecracker. "He's a liar!" This person stops at traffic lights 3:00 in the morning.

    "This" - as a first cut - is integrity, or lack of it. Aside from structural regulatory issues that will be repaired eventually, I wouldn't tinker much with any of the institutions - except for the life tenure of the Supremes. In the absence of war as a drain on national resources, we still have social problems that require attention. So we will pay attention.

    But none of what we do will make any difference until integrity becomes cool again.

    The trick is to do that without turning into a warm steaming species of smug piss and scandalous scolds.

    Call it honor.

    Call it whatever was missing that allowed Ted Stevens to keep his job when the Republicans were warned.

    Playing nice with others isn't all it's cracked up to be, but playing nice with other's "stuff" is important.

  42. Barry is running on the promise of taking stuff from some to give to many.
    (wonder where he got that?), grandmom, "dad" Gus, "the commie organizer,"
    columbia, Harvard, Pepperdine...
    See, I didn't even mention the Rev.

  43. the best part the other day was when whover desert rat is said that McCain was poiled and theat the tim ehe spent as a POW was just a speed bump in the road.

    not a sole challenged him. i guess all you think being tortured is just a speed bump in life.

    that or you are all afraid of the poster

    any way you cut it it showed no guts

  44. Too Much Stuff lyrics

    Artist - Delbert McClinton

    Album - One Of The Fortunate Few

    Lyrics - Too Much Stuff

    Big house, big car, back seat, full bar.
    Houseboat won't float. Bank won't tote the note.
    Too much stuff. There's just too much stuff.
    It'll hang you up, dealing with too much stuff.

    Hangin' out on the couch puttin' on the pounds.
    Better walk, run, jump, swim. Try to hold it down.
    You're eatin' too much stuff, too much stuff.
    It'll wear you down, carrying around too much stuff.

    Hundred dollar cab ride, fogged in, can't fly.
    Greyhound, Amtrak, oughta bought a Cadillac.
    Too much stuff. Too much stuff.
    It'll slow you down, fooling with too much stuff.

    Well, it's way too much.
    You're never gonna get enough.
    You can pile it high
    but you'll never be satisfied.

    Rent a tux, shiny shoes, backstage, big schmooze.
    Vocal group can't sing, won awards for
    Too much stuff. Too much stuff.
    They just keep on going, rolling in all that stuff.
    Got hurt, can't work, got a lot o' bills,
    But the policy don't pay 'less I get killed.
    Too much stuff. Too much stuff.
    Just my luck, counting on too much stuff.


    Running back can't score till he gets a million more.
    Quarterback can't pass. Owner wants his money back.
    Too much stuff. Too much stuff.
    You know, you can't get a grip when you're slipping in all that stuff.

    Women every which-a-way messing with my mind.
    You know, I fall in love every day three or four times.
    Too much stuff. Too much stuff.
    It'll mess you up, fooling with too much stuff.

    Yeah, too much stuff. Too much stuff.
    Too much stuff. Too much stuff.
    You never get enough 'cause there's just too much stuff.
    You know you can hurt yourself, fooling with too much stuff.
    Yeah, it'll tear you down, fooling with all that stuff.

  45. Peter Grynch:
    "What so many are failing to see is that Russia fears arms in Poland NOT because it is afraid Poland will invade Russia, but because it would make Poland harder to invade.

  46. Trish: Lesbian-hater. Yes, well, if only they'd dress better.

    Me, I don't want my lesbians dressed at all.

  47. Francis: not a sole challenged him. i guess all you think being tortured is just a speed bump in life.

    What torture? That was just enhanced interrogation techniques.

  48. - Russian Checkpoint plan revealed -

    RUSSIA plans to establish a long-term presence inside Georgia and one of its breakaway republics by adding 18 checkpoints, including at least eight within undisputed Georgian territory outside the pro-Russian enclave of South Ossetia, a Russian military official has revealed.

    The checkpoints would be staffed by Russian troops, the official said. Those in Georgia proper would be supplied from South Ossetia, which is seeking independence.

    The plan would put the border between Georgia and South Ossetia, and a small chunk of Georgia proper, under Russian control.

    Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of the army general staff, said one of the positions would be just outside the Georgian city of Gori, which is on a crucial juncture of the main east-west highway.
    ht - Dan

  49. Iraqi Tanks were just enhanced armed speed-bumps in the Desert Storm.

  50. Francis: that or you are all afraid of the poster

    I'm not afraid of that poster, I'm afraid of this poster.

  51. - Blame all but Russia; American Infighting -

    The more Russia promises to leave Georgia, the more it seems to stay put. One reason may be that Putin keeps counting on us to be either confused, contradictory or angrier at ourselves than at Russia over his latest aggression. And given our inability to speak with one voice, he seems to be absolutely right.
    - VDH

  52. Hope Rufus doesn't see those Magic Solar Energy Beans.

  53. Some idiot was bragging about getting 43 mpg in his "Smart""Car."
    We got 50 mpg with our 1981 4 Door Chevette/Mitsubishi Diesel!

  54. Fair Warning?
    Sometimes life just sucks.
    NFL's Gene Upshaw Dies
    Ex-Raider star and longtime head of the NFL player's union got a cancer diagnosis last Sunday.

  55. The day started out with the gloomy news of a poor man meeting an untimely death on a California beach but the clouds cleared up and its been a wonderful day at the EB.

    Francis, I don't think anyone's afraid of Desert Rat. He's set in his ways and there's no point in trying to change his mind. Go back through the threads and you'll see that we tried. He simply hates John McCain. I try not to pound my head against a wall.

    Good to hear from you, Trish. Long time no see!

  56. The current Dem tactic seems to be to ascribe dirty political tricks to the McCain campaign. With the recent story that Obama lied about his Illinois vote against partial birth abortion, operatives like Bob Beckel tried to turn the tables against McCain by indignantly insisting that it is beneath contempt to suggest that Obama is in favor of infanticide.

    Strong rhetoric to deflect the criticism and the facts.

    The Obama speech about staying above the gutter politics and chiding McCain to do the same is another example of what I think is a concerted action. Deflect criticism and redirect the focus. But McCain has not to my knowledge ever questioned Obama's patriotism. Unfortunately most of his audience doesn't know that or care. The Obama is sliding toward a tactic of demonising McCain. Okay, plenty of people have been demonising Obama, but to my knowledge, the McCain has not.

  57. The Obama.

    The McCain.

    The whit.

    The Doug.

    The bobal.

  58. Rush says if Barry wants to talk houses, bring it on!
    ...plenty of questions and facts about the Obama/Rezko Homestead.

  59. Francis -

    This site has two posters who hate McCain's guts. It is personal.

    Blogging anonymity coupled with visceral emotions is a Molotov cocktail. Most of the posters on this site are older, including the two in question, but in younger participants, the anonymity encourages the kind of juvenile repartee and bombast that most of us try to outgrow - as soon as possible. [see DailyKos site for an example of the hyperbole]

    I keep a [medium] distance from the fist fights. Others don't.

    But your call on the statement in question is spot on. In my case, my brain must have been saturated.

    Too much information - and too little of it making much sense.

    But you are free to speak at any time.

    Footnote: Desert Rat gets some kid glove treatment out of deference for his depth of knowledge and ability to make and sustain an argument, which means he can speak for himself, which he either will or won't.

  60. Francis,
    Oh the joy ...

    Where to begin, it's not even worth it.

    Maverick did not crash the wall and die, in Vietnam. He survived a harrowing experience and has been well rewarded for it. Many others faced worse and recieved far less in return for their sacrifice,

    His wife's money is tainted, by murder, extortion and organized crime.

    But his story plays well and he resides in a MSM cocoon of easy listening.

    Vote for whom you please, I certainly will.

  61. The decision to schedule an address by Lieberman, the 66-year-old independent from Connecticut who caucuses with Democrats in the Senate, recalls 2004 when former Sen. Zell Miller, a Georgia Democrat, spoke to the GOP convention.

    Miller criticized the Democratic ticket as weak on defense, but Lieberman said that's not his intention.

    "I'm going to the Republican convention not to attack the Democratic candidate, but to explain to the American people why I support John McCain," Lieberman told the Associated Press in Tbilisi, capital of the Republic of Georgia. "Sen. McCain asked me to do it, and I strongly support him."

    GOP Convention

  62. Rat--In the Moscow city plannig office today I noticed an old western photo on the wall. Circa 1883--taken in Hunter Hot Springs, Montana--some of the folks in the photo

    R.R. Crew
    Wyatt Earp
    Teddy Roosevelt
    Doc Holiday
    Morgan Earp
    Butch Cassidy
    Bat Masterson
    Judge Ray Bean (?) can't read my own writing
    Glen Grenbough
    and sundry others including a couple more Crews

    Said the photo had been authenticated by so-and-so

    Can this be right. Can all those fellows have been at Hunter Hot Springs, Montana, 1883?

    Looked authentic to me.

  63. Bob,

    Butch hid out from the law one time in the canyons of the Ellensburg/Cle-Elum/Roslyn area. I think more near Roslyn.

  64. Hannity has pledged $1,000 (one thousand dollars) to Obama's 1/2 brother living in a hut in Kenya, and, he is thinking about a telethon to raise money for the lad, as the Christian Obama doesn't seem to care if he lives or dies. Kid's living on $1.00(one dollar) a month.

  65. Mel's Hole is outside of Ellensburg. Dad and I almost bought some land there once. Mel's Hole(C2C with Art Bell) had no bottom. Unfortunately, Mel seems to have vanished from the earth, as Art has asked him to call back, and he hasn't. He might have fallen in. In which case he may still be falling. The Mel's Hole routine was one of the funnier ones Art did.

    Mel's Hole

  66. The land we looked was on Manastash Ridge. At the time we didn't know anything about any Mel's Hole. Dang!

  67. No mention of Holiday in Montana, in 1883. He was reportedly living in Leadville CO. Doc has several bouts with pneumonia, which compound his TB and leave him incredibly emaciated and weak: his normally slim 155 lb. body down to an incredible 122 lbs.

    He was reported to be in Dodge City, in June of 1883, with a litney of gunfighters
    in June 1883 he returned to Dodge City with Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson and Charlie Bassett and other well-known gunfighters such as, M. F. McLain, Neil Brown and W. F. Petillion. ...

    So if a photo was taken, of the assembled crew, it'd have most likely been in Dodge City, at Luke Short's Long Branch Saloon.

  68. This is the famous photograph, dated 1883, that purportedly shows a gathering of famous Old West characters all in one place - at Hunter's Hot Springs, Montana. Shown left to right in the order of the photo's annotations are: 1. (Unidentified) 2. Wyatt Earp (standing) 3. Theodore Roosevelt (seated) 4.) Doc Holiday 5. Morgan Earp (brother of Wyatt Earp - standing) 6. "Liver Eating" Johnson 7. Butch Cassidy (standing) 8.) Sundance Kid (seated) 9. (Unidentified) 10. Bat Masterson 11. (Unidentified) 12. Harry Britton 13. (Unidentified) 14. Judge Roy Bean 15. Ben Greenough. Researcher Jason Leaf says the photo itself is genuine - that is, it hasn't been doctored - but it's the identify of the men that is in question. (Photo courtesy of Jason Leaf)

    The story of a vintage photograph and the man who became obsessed with unraveling its secrets

    By Jerry Brekke
    Montana Best Times, February 2003 issue

    Two-and-a-half years ago a co-worker handed Jason Leaf a photograph. It was a copy of a 19th century photo of a group of 15 men posing on the front porch of a hotel. What made the the print remarkable was a list of names identifying the men.
    Wyatt Earp, Teddy Roosevelt, Doc Holiday, Morgan Earp and Montana mountain man "Liver Eating" Johnston were listed, along with Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, Bat Masterson, Harry Britton, Judge Roy Bean, and Ben Greenough. Noted, too, is a place and date: Hunter's Hot Springs, Montana - 1883.
    If the names are to be believed, the image is the largest assemblage of Old West celebrities ever pictured in one group.
    Leaf, a 44-year-old Vancouver, British Columbia resident, was skeptical. But a story in a local newspaper began to change his mind.
    "Within hours of receiving a copy of the Hunter's Hot Springs photo in May of 2000, I viewed a copy of the famous 'Fort Worth Five' 1900 photograph in my local paper, which had just come into the news because the original had sold for $80,000 at auction," said Leaf recently.
    The "Fort Worth Five" photograph is an image of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid posing with other outlaw members of the Wild Bunch in a Fort Worth, Texas studio.
    "Comparing the real Butch and Sundance from the Fort Worth Five image to Man 7 and Man 8 in the Hunter's Hot Spring's photo, compounded with finding out from the historical record that both Butch and Sundance were in southeast Montana in 1886, led me to lend credence to the whole list of names," said Leaf.
    In July of 2001, Leaf went public with his research, posting it on a Web site he designed titled, "Who Are Those Guys?" at www.huntershotsprings. org. The site features comparison photos of the supposed celebrities and frequent updates of information from viewers that are both critical and supportive of Leaf's opinions about the picture.
    Largely because of his Web site, by the end of 2001 Leaf had uncovered at least five different lists of names written on copies of the photo identifying the mystery men. They range from recent Internet auction copy of the picture - which the seller dated 1886, apparently as a result of Leaf's research - to a copy of the photo whose list of names is believed to date from 1944.
    Discoveries made during a trip to Montana provided new insight into the Hunter's Hot Springs photograph's clandestine history. In Livingston, historian Doris Whithorn, who aided and encouraged Leaf's long-distance investigation, provided what might be the first known public reference to the photo.
    It was an April 23, 1964 article in The Park County News headlined, "Who Remembers T. Roosevelt, W. Earp, Bat Masterson, Liver Eating Johnston, Ken [sic] Greenough at Hunter's?" and includes the photograph and a plea to the readership for help identifying the pictured men.

    Hunter Hot Springs Mystery Photo

  69. Make no mistake! This is a US-Russian geostrategic power play that has little to do with Georgia or any other European country.

    The bear is being baited and its neighbors are being told to take sides else risk being pummeled. With most of the former Soviet republics having turned against it along with the US, the EU, NATO and the UN Security Council, the nuclear-armed bear is being cornered and will have to adopt a siege mentality to survive.

    Putin once accused the Bush administration of trying to take over the world. He might well be right.

    Don't Bait the Bear

  70. Slade i guess everyone is afraid of a bully. it is natural even if most of it is hot air chest thumping i've read him. he is a person who uses two unconnected points to make some type of illogic stew. these types are ususally afraid of something. thats why they bully and others whip out.

    wish i could vote but i'm not a US citisen.

  71. Will the youngsters please stand up?
    Bike Fetish

  72. Nikkei 225 futures traded at 12,785 in Chicago from 12,750 in Osaka yesterday after crude oil rose by $5.96 to $121.61 a barrel. The contracts are down 18 percent since reaching a record $147.27 on July 11.

    Japan's 10-year yields had a correlation of 0.68 with the Nikkei 225 in July, compared to 0.50 in June, according to Bloomberg data. A value of 1 means the two moved in lockstep.

    The 1.5 percent bond due in June 2018 closed at 100.77 to yield 1.41 percent yesterday, according to the Bloomberg Yen Bond Fixing Price. The level is an average rate set at 6:30 p.m. in Tokyo by Daiwa Securities SMBC Co., Nikko Citigroup Ltd., Mizuho Securities Co. and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Co.

    Stock Indexes to Gain

  73. Market's due to go up. Buy now.

  74. August 20, 2008
    Bloomberg Offers Windmill Power Plan

    In a plan that would drastically remake New York City's skyline and shores, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is seeking to put wind turbines on the city's bridges and skyscrapers and in its waters as part of a wide-ranging push to develop renewable energy.

    The plan, while still in its early stages, appears to be the boldest environmental proposal to date from the mayor, who has made energy efficiency a cornerstone of his administration.

    Mr. Bloomberg said he would ask private companies and investors to study how windmills can be built across the city, with the aim of weaning it off the nation's overtaxed power grid, which has produced several crippling blackouts in New York over the last decade.

    Mr. Bloomberg did not specify which skyscrapers and bridges would be candidates for windmills, and city officials would need to work with property owners to identify the buildings that would best be able to hold the equipment.

    But aides said that for offshore locations, the city was eyeing the generally windy coast off Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island for turbines that could generate 10 percent of the city's electricity needs within 10 years.

    "When it comes to producing clean power, we're determined to make New York the No. 1 city in the nation," Mr. Bloomberg said as he outlined his plans in a speech Tuesday night in Las Vegas, where a major conference on alternative energy is under way.

    He later evoked the image of the Statue of Liberty's torch, saying he imagined it one day "powered by an ocean wind farm."

    But the mayor's proposal for wind power faces several serious obstacles: People are likely to oppose technologies that alter the appearance of their neighborhoods; wind-harnessing technology can be exceedingly expensive; and Mr. Bloomberg has less than 18 months left in office to put a plan into place.

    Turning New York City into a major source of wind power would likely take years, if not decades, and could require a thicket of permits from state and federal agencies. Parts of New York's coastline, for example, are controlled by the federal government, from which private companies must lease access.

    Mr. Bloomberg is known for introducing ambitious proposals that later collapse, as did his congestion-pricing plan for Manhattan.

    But aides said he was committed to developing alternative energy sources in the city, and wanted to jump-start the discussion now.

    "In New York," he said in his speech, "we don't think of alternative power as something that we just import from other parts of the nation."

    Asserting the seriousness of his intentions, aides said, Mr. Bloomberg met privately with T. Boone Pickens, the oil baron who is trying to build the world's largest wind farm in Texas, to discuss possibilities for such technology in New York.

    And on Tuesday afternoon the city issued a formal request to companies around the country for proposals to build wind-, solar- and water-based energy sources in New York. "We want their best ideas for creating both small- and large-scale projects serving New Yorkers," Mr. Bloomberg said.

    Rohit Aggarwala, the director of the city's Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability, said that turbines on buildings would likely be much smaller than offshore ones. Several companies are experimenting with models that look like eggbeaters, which the Bloomberg administration says could be integrated into the spires atop the city's tall buildings. ""You can make them so small that people think they are part of the design," Mr. Aggarwala said.

    "If rooftop wind can make it anywhere, this is a great city," he said. "We have a lot of tall buildings."

    Creating an offshore wind farm, he said, requires "pretty much the same level of difficulty as drilling an oil rig, but you don't have to pump oil."

    "You could imagine going as much as 15, 20, 25 miles offshore, where it's virtually invisible to land," he said.

    Mr. Aggarwala said that developing renewable energy for New York would take considerable time. "Nobody is going to see a wind farm off the coast of Queens in the next year," he said.

    But "the idea of renewable power in and around New York City is very realistic," he said. "The question is what type makes the most sense and in what time frame. That is what we are trying to figure out."

    The city has experimented with wind power before. It put a turbine on city-owned land at 34th Street and the East River several years ago, but found that the technology was not efficient enough to expand.

    The mayor's plan includes the widespread use of solar panels, possibly on the roofs of public and private buildings. One proposal is to allow companies to rent roofs for solar panels and sell the energy they harvest to residents.

    The city is already using tidal turbines under the East River that provide energy to Roosevelt Island. That technology could be widely expanded under the mayor's proposal.

  75. Bobal, up on Cougar Mountain near Renton there's a hole like that, covered with a big grid of rebar you can safely walk on. My brothers and I call it "Satan's Barbecue Pit". I dropped a stick into it and never heard it stop sliding. It's an air shaft for a coal mine that's about 1,400 feet deep, at least that's what they say. I think it's bottomless. I found the mummy of a a dead cat under my porch been there for at least ten years. Maybe I'll take it up there and drop it in, see if it don't come wandering back.

  76. It's been a good day, and Trish is back to boot.

    Hopin' Matoosula stays civil.

  77. Thanks, Rat, that's interesting. I was a little sceptical. Seemed like too many cool dudes in one place at the same time. I'll write a letter to the folks at planning, saying I'll offer $15,000 for it, and see what they say:)

  78. I best add "if it's authentic."

  79. Igor looks to be all biked out. "Most hated man"

  80. Francis - next week at Democratic Convention in Denver will be an opium den for the political junkies. Rumors swirling about who will be left standing after Obama, Hillary, and Al Gore stop circling their wagons. Gonna be a week to remember.

    Carter to give the opening address I see. Bad move. Very bad.

  81. ...near Renton there's a hole like that, covered with a big grid of rebar you can safely walk on.

    You'll find those around big hydro projects, also. I think they're used as surge chambers to take the water hammer out of the flow from upper reservoirs before it enters the penstocks on it's final slide toward the turbines. Spooky if you stumble on one not knowing what it is. Glad yours was grated.

  82. Why don't those folks in New York City simply build a nuclear generating plant, the morons, instead of putting beanie propellers on all the buildings?

  83. Hopin' Matoosula stays civil.
    Why would you say that? Was I ever uncivil towards you?

  84. If the mummy lost her baby, why would you do that?

  85. Bloomberg's plan lasted 24 hours.

  86. Trish, I checked out Bill Bryson's "The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way"

    I'll give you a report.

  87. Wife just read Thunderballs Kid.

  88. Fukuda Corp., a Japanese general contractor, fell by a record in Tokyo trading after the company reversed its profit forecast.


    Its net loss more than doubled to 4.5 billion yen in the six months ended June 30 from a year earlier, Fukuda, based in Niigata, northern Japan, said yesterday.

    Fukuda stock has fallen 38 percent this year compared with a 18 percent drop in the benchmark Topix index.

    Builder Reverses Forecast

  89. INL engineers unroll golden 'solar skins'

    Posted: Monday, August 18, 2008

    Some of the biggest problems with solar energy, according to many energy experts, are that most solar panels are expensive to build, often unwieldy to install and produce energy intermittently and inefficiently.

    But researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory have come up with a technology that may beat those problems called "flexible nanoantenna arrays" – specially treated polyethylene plastic sheets embossed with billions of gold, solar energy-collecting nanoantennas that can be inexpensively mass-produced and used as lightweight "skins" to power everything from hybrid cars to cell phones and iPods.
    Drawing on mid-infrared rays – which radiate naturally from the earth and are produced by some industrial processes – the arrays have demonstrated the ability to harvest up to 92 percent of the energy available at infrared wavelengths, night or day.
    "Every process in our industrial world creates waste heat," said INL physicist Steven Novack, who led the research team. "It's energy that we just throw away."
    The ability to absorb radiated energy from a multitude of sources also makes the arrays potentially useful as cooling devices – drawing off excess rays (in the form of heat) from electronics and even buildings.
    Researchers underscore, however, that the technology needs more development before it can channel collected infrared energy into useable electricity. Specifically, the hang-up is that infrared rays create alternating currents that oscillate trillions of times per second in the nanoantennas. Those currents need to be converted (or "rectified") to direct current before they can be used for power. Solving the problem would require rectifiers 1,000 times smaller than those currently available, and that would require new manufacturing methods.
    The research team, which also includes INL engineer Dale Kotter; W. Dennis Slafer, of Massachusetts-based MicroContinuum Inc.; and Patrick Pinhero, of the University of Missouri, presented its findings to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers at its Second International Conference on Energy Sustainability August 13 in Jacksonville, Fla.

  90. Francis, you don't know what a bully is around here, we've had the real thing once. Rat's a gentleman.

  91. That's really interesting Mat. Some Canadian company or university was working on something along that line too, but dang if I can remember the name. It seemed like it was some material you could paint on or spray on and it would capture energy, but I think it was just daytime. Ring any bells? I should start bookmarking stuff.

  92. Yes, I think it was on the UV spectrum, while this is on the IR spectrum.

  93. They already did that, bob

    The Indian Point nuclear power plant, with its two nuclear generating units, is situated 24 miles north of New York City, on the Hudson River

  94. The two reactors were built in 1974 and 1976. The plants are protected by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including a national guard base within a mile of the plant, as well as by specialized and highly trained private on-site security forces. Plant security across the country has been increased since 9/11. Nuclear plant security is tested by federal officials, including mock assault exercises overseen by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), to assess Indian Point's defenses in the event of an armed assault. In September of 2006, the Security Department successfully completed Force-on-Force exercises for the NRC.

    A test of the plant's alert sirens was held on September 13, 2006, with 154 of 156 sirens operating properly. Of the two failures--both in Rockland County--one siren sounded but did not rotate, and the other experienced a transmitter failure. Entergy replaced the current sirens with a $10 million high-tech warning system, scheduled for early-2007 - however, it missed the target date and the NRC proposed a $130,000 fine.[1]
    On May 2, 2007 the NRC announced that the "License Renewal Application for Indian Point Nuclear Plant [is] Available for Public Inspection". Entergy has formally begun the lengthy process of applying to have the operating licenses of each unit extended by 20 years.

  95. Metuselah: Yes, I think it was on the UV spectrum, while this is on the IR spectrum

    It's all one spectrum called the Electromagnetic Spectrum. IR is the octave below visible light, and UV is the one above it. The amazing thing is that the Earth throws off into the night sky exactly the same amount of energy in IR (or heat) that it receives from the day sky in visible light and UV. But in converting the few high-frequency (low entropy) photons to many low-frequency (high entropy) photons, carbon dioxide and water are converted into carbohydrates and oxygen, in some cases. In other cases, water vapor is lifted to high places behind dams. Or large masses of air are set to moving. The world is just a giant heat engine.

  96. Didn't know that. How is it then they are lacking in juice? If they are. Granted the eastern seaboard is really heavily built up. I'd think their electrical load couldn't grow much from where it's at now.

    I think that area shares juice with Canada, and Canada shares juice with us, the systems are intertwined.

  97. It's all one spectrum called the Electromagnetic Spectrum.
    American Heritage Dictionary (spěk'trəm) Pronunciation Key
    n. pl. spec·tra (-trə) or spec·trums

    1. Physics The distribution of a characteristic of a physical system or phenomenon, especially:
    1. The distribution of energy emitted by a radiant source, as by an incandescent body, arranged in order of wavelengths.
    2. The distribution of atomic or subatomic particles in a system, as in a magnetically resolved molecular beam, arranged in order of masses.
    3. A range of values of a quantity or set of related quantities.

    Eg. The spectrum of your intellectual brilliance is limited to the invisible range.

  98. Iraq Takes Aim at Leaders of U.S.-Tied Sunni Groups

    Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government is driving out many leaders of Sunni citizen patrols, which have been a major pillar in the decline in violence.
    So much waste could have been avoided sticking w/the Garner Plan.
    Instead, we set up half of this s....

  99. Barry's Buddy.
    (Records of the Dynamic Duo now under lock and key)
    Ayers Rocks
    Here’s a YouTube video of Bill Ayers describing his educational philosophy to Luis Bonilla-Molina, President of the Centro Internacional Miranda, a foundation created by Venezuelan decree
    Nº 3.818. Bonilla-Molina’s blog is at
    Here are more videos starring Bill Ayers.
    And you thought education was all about the ABCs.

  100. This comment has been removed by the author.

  101. Ok, I understand that this is distasteful. But speaking of interesting lies.

    This was posted over at free republic. A man named Phillip Berg "has sued Obama in Federal court. [The suit] might bring to light the headline topic that a African newspaper published back in the Early part of June 2008." The graphic is still there at this link... of the headline posted by the african newspaper.

    According to posters at FR: ", first African-owned U.S.-based professional newspaper to be published on the internet, is listed among the world’s hot sites by the international newspaper, USAToday.
    USAfrica has been cited by the New York Times as America’s largest African-owned multimedia company. 8303 SW Freeway, Suite 100, Houston, Texas 77074. Phone: 713-270-5500. Cell direct: 832-45-CHIDO (24436)"

    The suit brought by Phillip Berg contends that Obama was born in Kenya.

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