Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The American People didn't drop the ball. The feckless President did and it is about time he takes responsibilty.

The NY TIMES is such a repository of self righteousness, it's amazing that the smell coming from their HQ isn't mistaken for a Pig Farm.

Exhibit A - OPED by Nicholas D. Kristof titled " Did WE Drop the ball on Unemployment?"

The NY TIMES lists the following on Mr. Kristof's Bio -

"Mr. Kristof grew up on a sheep and cherry farm near Yamhill, Oregon. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College and then studied law at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, graduating with first class honors."

Well I am unsure what he learned at either Oxford or Harvard BUT I can tell you this -

WE (as in the American People) didn't drop the ball on unemployment, HE (as in the feckless idiot in the White House) dropped the ball. The average working man had the ball dropped on him.

While the fool that was elected in 2008 spent the better part of the last 2 1/2 years diddling around with Nancy Pelosi's vision of America, the average American has been taking it in the neck...The PRESIDENT dropped the ball. CONGRESS dropped the ball.

One of the key tennants of LEADERSHIP is when you are in charge, you take RESPONSIBILITY for what happens when you are in charge. RESPONSIBILITY is a word that has never been in the President's dictionary as he is CLUELESS about what needs to be done. That is why we are in the mess we are in. He and his minions wasted 2 1/2 years blaming everything on anyone else. Mr. Kristof is one of those media cheerleaders that propped up the President in getting elected, and he was wrong then, and he is wrong now.

Mr. Kristof, with all due respect, get a clue. WE (the American people) didn't drop the ball. The feckless & ineffective pol sitting in the White House screwed up and he needs to be adult enough to own up to it. And he DOES NOT deserve a 2nd term to further muck things up. He can go back to Harvard or Chicago and charge $100K a speech for anyone dumb enough top listen to whatever comes out of his empty head.

Op-Ed Columnist - NY TIMES
Did We Drop the Ball on Unemployment?
Nicholas D. Kristof

WHEN I’m in New York or Washington, people talk passionately about debt and political battles. But in the living rooms or on the front porches here in Yamhill, Ore., where I grew up, a different specter wakes friends up in the middle of the night.

It’s unemployment.

I’ve spent a chunk of summer vacation visiting old friends here, and I can’t help feeling that national politicians and national journalists alike have dropped the ball on jobs. Some 25 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed — that’s more than 16 percent of the work force — but jobs haven’t been nearly high enough on the national agenda.

When Americans are polled about the issue they care most about, the answer by a two-to-one margin is jobs. The Boston Globe found that during President Obama’s Twitter “town hall” last month, the issue that the public most wanted to ask about was, by far, jobs. Yet during the previous two weeks of White House news briefings, reporters were far more likely to ask about political warfare with Republicans.

(I’m an offender, too: I asked President Obama a question at the Twitter town hall, and it was a gotcha query about his negotiations with Republicans. I’m sorry that I missed the chance to push him on the issue that Americans care most about.)

A study by National Journal in May found something similar: newspaper articles about “unemployment” apparently fell over the last two years, while references to the “deficit” soared.

When I’m back on the family farm in Yamhill, our very closest neighbor is one of those 25 million. Terry Maggard worked on a crew detecting underground gas, electrical or cable lines, and after 15 years on the job he was earning $20 an hour. Then at the outset of the recession in late 2008 his employer fired him and the other old-timers, and hired younger workers — who earned only $9 or $10 an hour.

Terry has been knocking on doors everywhere, including at McDonald’s, but nobody wants a 56-year-old man. “The only call I got in two years was one asking if I could be a French chef,” he recalled, laughing. “I said ‘Oui.’ ”

Mais non, the chef’s job did not come through. So although Terry earns some money breeding Pomeranians, his wife is now the main income earner. She worries that her job at a community college may be in jeopardy as well, and their standard of living has plummeted.

“It’s been a 100 percent change in my lifestyle,” Terry said. “I used to grill rib-eye steaks on the barbecue. Now I grill hot dogs. And I can’t tell you the last time I went out for a meal.”

My next neighbor beyond the Maggards is Elmer McKoon, 64, who used to work full time in construction, and more recently as a janitor. His company slashed the staff in 2008, but a kind boss kept Elmer working one night a week so he could keep his health insurance.

Another friend, Jeff, who was fired this year after 28 years in his job, notes that the biggest impact isn’t the economic hit but the psychological one. Jeff, who didn’t want his full name used for fear it would hurt his job hunt, said he wakes up and feels a stab in his gut as he realizes that he has nowhere to go that day — and has lost his family’s health insurance as well.

“I don’t have the career that I know, and if someone gets sick then I’m homeless as well,” he said.

Unless more people are working, paying taxes and making mortgage payments, it’s difficult to see how we revive the economy or address our long-term debt challenge. While debt is a legitimate long-term problem, the urgent priority should be getting people back to work. America now has more than four unemployed people for each opening. And the longer people are out of work, the less likely it is that they will ever work again.

President Obama is saying the right things lately about creating jobs. But he is saying them far too meekly, and his jobs agenda seems anemic — while the Republican Congress is saying the wrong things altogether.

There are no quick fixes to joblessness, but Washington could temporarily make federal money available to pay for teachers who are otherwise being laid off. We could increase spending on service programs like AmeriCorps that have far more applicants than spots.

We could extend the payroll tax cut, which expires at the end of December. Astonishingly, Republicans in Congress seem to be lined up instinctively against this basic economic stimulus. Could the Tea Party actually favor tax reductions for billionaires but not for working Americans? Could we have found a tax increase the Republican Party favors?

Mr. Obama, with 25 million Americans hurting, will you fight — really fight! — to put jobs at the top of the national agenda?

Next time use a manila folder Minister....

This shows that Politicians acting stupidly is not an American phenomenon....It appears that it is just as prevalent on both sides of the pond.

Next time, don't be such an idjit and use a opaque envelope or a manila folder....unless you WANT TO tell the whole world what you're planning.....

Minister's blunder with memo outside No.10 reveals UK Government 'welcomes' Afghan president stepping down By Ian Drury
UK MAIL - 31st August 2011

Gaffe: Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell leaves Number 10 without covering up his confidential briefing notes

A Cabinet minister risked a diplomatic row yesterday by accidentally revealing a secret Government memo welcoming the departure of Afghanistan's president.
Andrew Mitchell was photographed clutching a confidential briefing paper saying Hamid Karzai's decision to step down would improve the country's prospects 'very significantly'.

In a humiliating blunder the International Development Secretary inadvertently displayed the file, marked 'Protect – Policy', as he left a meeting at No 10.
His gaffe threatens to heighten tensions between Britain and the Afghan government. The relationship is rocky because of Mr Karzai's repeated failure to do more to stamp out corruption in his regime.

The memo, held in a see-through folder, also revealed concerns of Afghanistan being 'destabilised' if the international community continued to suspend aid money.
Mr Mitchell was snapped leaving Downing Street following a meeting of the National Security Council in which ministers discussed the war against the Taliban.

The timing of the slip-up is especially sensitive because it comes as Britain prepares to start pulling many of its 9,000 combat troops out of Afghanistan.

The briefing papers commented on Mr Karzai's plan to step down when his second term ends in 2014 – the same year Nato hands over security responsibilities to the Afghan government.

Mr Karzai was controversially re-elected in 2009 following an election marred by allegations of fraud and vote-rigging.

He has now been forced to say he would abide by the country's constitution and not seek a third term amid claims he was plotting a rule change so he could remain in power or anoint a relative.

He has infuriated the West and is unpopular among fellow Afghans. He has also been criticised for giving power to family and tribal members.

Mr Mitchell's secret papers said Karzai's decision improved Afghanistan's political prospects 'very significantly', adding: 'We should welcome Karzai's announcement in private and in public.'

A Government spokesman said the papers were of a routine nature and had no 'significant sensitivity'

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Two great upcoming CAR SHOWS in SE Massachusetts

As the Summer season winds down, I am glad to be back home to take in a few Car Shows in the Southeastern Massachusetts area. Car Shows are a great social experience and you get to meet many others who share interest in classic cars.

I'm going to show off my 1963 Willys Jeep which will be sporting a brand new set of military tires from Summit Racing, which offered them a good $ 20 cheaper than Coker Tires.

There are two car shows of note upcoming in SE Massachusetts in September -

Spindles Auto Club - 31st Annual Car Show and Swap Meet

Sunday, September 4, 2011 - (Labor Day Weekend)
Marshfield Fairgrounds
Marshfield, Massachusetts
Route 139 and 3A

For Info Call: 781-335-9754
All Makes and Models Welcome

Participant Gate Opens at 7 AM
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Spectators)

CARS & COPTERS - Sunday, September 18, 2011
Rain date: Friday, September 25, 2011
Plymouth Municipal Airport
Plymouth, Mass.

New England's most unique charity car show began in 2009 as a spin off of Boston Cars and Coffee. There are few events that can boast 750+ cars, there are even less that can do so and manage to get you up close to a dozen different helicopters. Cars and Copter's home can be found at The Plymouth Municipal Airport.

Since our event in 2009, Cars and Copters has become the largest event that hosts.

With the help of Driven Perfection, Heliops LLC, Plymouth Municipal Airport management, B and L Productions, and The Beantown Sound, presents an event opened to all makes and models of cars and motorcycles to benefit The Jimmy Fund in honor of Ricky Hoffman.

Ricky was our special guest in 2009 and sadly, he lost his battle to brain cancer shortly after. All proceeds from the show support Dr. Kieran's Pediatric Brain Tumor Research at Dana-Farber.

Contact: Rebecca Freedman
Phone: 617-632-5008
Facebook: Cars and Copters

(Pictures below are from last year's Cars & Copters show)

Monday, August 29, 2011

A big case of Karma catches up to an Afghani Terrorist

Schadenfruede - (German) scha·den·freu·de. noun, often capitalized \ˈshä-dən-ˌfrȯi-də\ - Deriving pleasure from the agony of others

In most cases, "schadenfreude" is not something one should a case such as this, it is a richly enjoyed case of " Sux to be you Dude..."

Karma has a way of happening, and it looks like it caught up to this Terrorist. Awesome.

Suicide bomber strikes near US base in Afghanistan
Internatioanl Times

KABUL: A suspected suicide bomber driving an explosives-laden vehicle detonated Sunday while driving towards Afghanistan's biggest US-run military base, authorities said.

The explosion appeared to have happened prematurely on a road about five minutes' drive from Bagram Air Field, 50 kilometres (31 miles) north of the capital Kabul, the interior ministry said.

"Again the enemies of Afghanistan failed to achieve their goal. A suicide bomber with his bomb-filled car detonated before reaching his target," the statement said.

The Taliban claimed credit for the bombing but said it targeted a convoy of "American spies".

Sunday, August 28, 2011

2012 Porsche Cayman R.....Hot wheels

I understand that for many car enthusiasts, having A/C makes their experience cooler on warm days. For me, A/C was nice to have when it is 115 out (like when I was in the Middle East) but the rest of the time, it is just a "power rob".

I would be willing to go without the A/C if I could dirve something like the new 2012Porsche Cayman R....All I can say is it looks realy sweet.

Some Porsche Purists Like It Hot, and They’re Sweating to Prove It

2012 Porsche Cayman R

WHAT IS IT? A two-seat midengine Porsche that has been lightened, lowered and lettered.

HOW MUCH? Base price, $67,250. As tested, $85,100, including PDK dual-clutch automated manual transmission, ceramic brakes, Sport Chrono package and Sports Exhaust System.

WHAT MAKES IT RUN? A 3.4-liter direct-injected flat 6 producing 330 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.

HOW QUICK IS IT? Quite quick: Car and Driver magazine clocked a 0-to-60 m.p.h. run in 4.2 seconds. Top speed is 174 m.p.h.

IS IT THIRSTY? The federal mileage rating is 20 city/29 highway m.p.g. with the PDK transmission or 19/27 m.p.g. with a conventional 6-speed manual.

ALTERNATIVES Lotus Evora S, Chevrolet Corvette, Nissan GT-R, Audi TTS.

I CAN’T remember the last car I drove without air-conditioning — let alone a sweltering $85,000 Porsche.

But while an August heat wave in New York brought new meaning to the term “triple-digit car testing,” the Cayman R was worth every drop of perspiration expelled in its parboiled cabin.

While a two-seat movable sauna may not be your idea of fun, some Porschephiles may find the Cayman R is right in their comfort zone. Buyers have the option of deleting the air-conditioning and the basic radio; the price is the same with or without the frills. Or they can pay extra to add fancier audio components or even a navigation system. But the point of this purist version of the standard Cayman is to carve away fat and reveal the lasting beauty of bare-bones performance.

Like its philosophical twin, the 2,811-pound Boxster Spyder convertible, the Cayman R seems intended to perk up sales of an aging model. As with the Spyder, this Cayman R is no cynical, surface upgrade, but a sports car whose advantages were apparent from my first go-round at the Monticello Motor Club northwest of New York City.

The Cayman’s flat 6 squeezes out 330 horsepower at 7,400 r.p.m., only 10 more horses than the Cayman S. But this 2,855-pound fighter drops 121 pounds from the S version, substituting such weight watchers as aluminum doors and front luggage lid, carbon-fiber seat frames and Porsche’s most feathery 19-inch wheels — the set weighs about 88 pounds. The result is a car roughly as quick as a Corvette Grand Sport but with superior balance and handling, aided by the matchless midengine layout.

The body was lowered by 0.79 inches and the suspension was stiffened. A fixed rear wing helps reduce aerodynamic lift. That wing, unfortunately, looks tacked-on and incongruous.

Nostalgic Porsche lettering scrawls along the lower body sides, evoking models including the 911 R of 1967. Another historical link is forged inside, where utilitarian fabric straps have replaced the door handles. Cute, but it strikes me as a retro affectation.

The racing seats are ideal for the track or the twisties, though the backrests are not adjustable. For everyday use, their hip-crunching entry reminded me of squeezing into an elementary school desk. This being Porsche, buyers can pay for less confining, more adjustable seats.

My deep-blue Cayman came with the optional Sport Chrono package and the PDK transmission. I prefer the 6-speed manual, but the PDK makes the car quicker, and it features a launch control that automatically drops the clutch for perfect takeoffs.

This Cayman also features proper shift paddles, not the maddening up-and-down buttons found in some other Porsches.

The Sport Chrono includes a lap timer, albeit one that is too complicated. But what makes it a must-have option are push-button settings that bump up the throttle and redline, goose the PDK into snappier operation and activate the optional Sports Exhaust system.

Ceramic composite brakes, at a wallet-busting $8,150, come into their own only on track, where they stand up to all-day torture with no trace of fade.

Like the Boxster Spyder, the Cayman R makes a clear case: if you’re willing to sacrifice some comfort, or scoff at it outright, these are the versions you’ll want.

The Cayman tugged on my hands and heartstrings on the track, accompanied by Sam Schultz, Monticello’s track director, who happens to be a professional Porsche racer.

During my stint on the 22-turn course, the Cayman reminded me of its most winning quality: no matter your driving skills, the car is always predictable and forgiving, yet fast and sophisticated enough to satisfy the experts.

Proving the point, I traded places with Schultz, who casually knocked out a few dazzling laps. “It’s so neutral and balanced,” he said, playing the car like a fast bluegrass fiddle. But he did flag the PDK’s annoying tendency to downshift unexpectedly in the middle of a turn, which upsets the car’s poise.

This Porsche also feels bulletproof. After an intense workout at the track, I drove the Cayman R home through rush-hour Manhattan, as laid-back as an orthodontist in a 911 — except for keeping the windows wide open to force some superheated air inside. (Call me a wimp, but I’m not ready to revisit the pre-A.C. era for the sake of 29 pounds.)

Cool breeze or not, people who prefer Porsches stuffed like a foie gras goose will run screaming from the Cayman R. But if they choose, say, a 911 coupe or even a 911 S — which cost a respective $12,700 or $25,600 more — they won’t be able to shake their stripped-down cousin.

Hurricane Irene arrives or is it Hype-icane Irene

Hurricane Irene arrived this morning to New England with more HYPE than anything else. Like most cases of weather in New England, they build up the storm to biblical proportions, and then it arrives with a "thud" of all hype and no storm.

Southern areas were hit harder and the storm has caused 10 deaths to date. Many were storm related like one man who dies when his home caught fire due to wind related downed powerlines.
I would rather have the storm be a dud as that way no one gets hurt and there is no damage to homes and such but the media shouldn't play this up like it will be the "Storm of the Century" when they likely know it will be just another basic storm by the time it hits ther greater New England area.

We reguarly get 30-50 mph winds here with coastal storms so the weather bears watching but this storm was a bigger issue for those down south than here in southern Massachusetts.

Get Real: Hurricane Irene Should Be Renamed "Hurricane Hype" OP-ED

Over the years the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has employed the world’s best experts on Atlantic tropical cyclones, from “Dr. Bob” Simpson, to the mediagenic Neil Frank and on to the current director, Bill Read.

The lifesaver-in-chief was probably Frank, who indefatigably crisscrossed the nation educating the public to the dangers—hidden and obvious—that accompany these curiously seductive weather systems. His era was one of many innovations, including extensive use of satellites, and tailoring the “names” of storms to the culture where they roam in order to attract attention.

One of Frank’s nightmare scenarios goes like this: A strong hurricane threatens a heavily-populated resort area with few escape routes, such as the North Carolina Outer Banks. Vacationers reluctantly abandon their $20,000/week palaces on Pine Island for 36 hours in an immobile SUV conga line, drenching tropical showers, and no toilets. The storm falls apart or unexpectedly turns away from land. Lotsa folks rent for more than a week, so they return, an equally strong storm shows up, and they don’t leave. The title of this movie is “how to die in a 10,000 square foot house-boat”.

We have just lived through something pretty close to this nightmare. Last April 27, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 41 died because they disregarded a weather warning.

While the number of strong tornadoes is hardly changing (there may even be a slight decline), the number of tornado warnings has increased exponentially as Doppler radar picks up twisting circulations embedded in thunderstorms that could produce a ground tornado.

The number of false positives has so cheapened the currency of tornado warnings that few now bother to interrupt their work when one is given. While the very good forecasters at the National Weather Service were not at all happy when veteran TV meteorologist James Spann blamed a large number of Tuscaloosa deaths on the very high false alarm rates, he had a point.

Now on to Hurricane Irene:

Up until now (Friday evening) Irene has been very similar to 1985 hurricane Gloria, though a bit weaker. But the level of hype—because of its projected path near all of the I-95 major cities—is similar to that of 26 years ago.

When Gloria proved less deadly than expected CBS’s Dan Rather—a serial hurricane hyper who made his career on 1961 Hurricane Carla—he yelled at poor Neil Frank on live TV

What had happened is that the night before landfall, Gloria took a sudden 40-mile jog to the east. The cyclone slid harmlessly east of the big cities, showing her weaker western side instead of the destructive northeast corner.

Irene has put on a remarkably similar show. Within the limits of forecasting error, Irene’s projected path makes it was impossible to rule out a major disaster. But, as a dangerous Category 3 storm within two days of land, something similar to what happened to Gloria occurred. Instead of going slightly off course, the power of her winds dropped markedly, at least as measured by hurricane hunter aircraft. Because it is prudent to not respond to every little tropical cyclone twitch (such as Gloria’s jog or Thursday’s wind drop), the Thursday evening forecast was virtually unchanged, the Internet went thermonuclear, and the Weather Channel’s advertising rates skyrocketed. From that point on, it became all Irene, all the time. With this level of noise, the political process has to respond with full mobilization. Hype begets hype.

A day later, the smart money is still riding a very Gloria-like track, but with a cyclone that will be weaker than projected (and hopefully kill fewer than the eight people who died in Gloria) though power outages east of where the center makes landfall (probably on Long Island) may be extensive.

As I complete this, there’s another tropical depression out in the Atlantic, and a couple more on the way in the very near future. Suppose one of these takes a similar path, except that it improbably threads the needle of the Mid-Atlantic Bight and makes landfall immediately to the west of New York City as a Category 3 storm. How many people will the hyping of Irene have killed?

That’s how Hurricane Hype followed by Hurricane Insanity leads to hurricane death.

I see a solution, in all places, in Washington DC, where a group of crackerjack weather forecasters, led Jason Samenow, have set up the Capital Weather Gang ( It’s become the go-to group for potentially severe winter storms here (including hurricanes), and, because they are serving a smaller community than, say, NHC, they aren’t under the massive scrutiny of a politicized media. Is it time for similar diversity to develop all over the high-stakes world of tropical cyclones?

Or would that be an abject disaster? Consider if there are five competing hurricane forecasters, four suggesting evacuation while the fifth says “stay put”, and the fifth one is wrong. Surely most people would choose to stay, with disastrous results. Given the nature of the Internet, such an experiment is sure to run in the near future

Saturday, August 27, 2011

An Apple product a day.....Made Steve Jobs the best at what he does..

Apple is the most valuable company in the world. They achieved this because they gave people what they wanted before people knew they wanted it. Steve Jobs made it happen by pushing the envelope in ways that would get most of us fired.

Even with all the success, his health is still something he has to deal with like anyone else.

What's next for Apple? iwonder, idon'tknow, ihope more great products.

Steve Jobs Broke Every Leadership Rule. Don't Try It Yourself.

Nocera observes in The New York Times today that Steve Jobs;

“violated every rule of management. He was not a consensus-builder but a dictator who listened mainly to his own intuition. He was a maniacal micromanager. He had an astonishing aesthetic sense, which businesspeople almost always lack. He could be absolutely brutal in meetings: I watched him eviscerate staff members for their “bozo ideas.” . . . He never mellowed, never let up on Apple employees, never stopped relying on his singular instincts in making decisions about how Apple products should look and how they should work.

Likewise, Adam Lashinsky recalled in Fortune a few months ago the moment in 2008 when Jobs gathered the team that had developed the MobileMe e-mail system and demanded to know

“Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?” Having received a satisfactory answer, he continued, “So why the fuck doesn’t it do that?”

For the next half-hour Jobs berated the group. “You’ve tarnished Apple’s reputation,” he told them. “You should hate each other for having let each other down.”

Lashinsky went on to observe that “to Apple’s legion of admirers, the company is like a tech version of Wonka’s factory, an enigmatic but enchanted place that produces wonderful items they can’t get enough of. That characterization is true, but Apple also is a brutal and unforgiving place, where accountability is strictly enforced, decisions are swift, and communication is articulated clearly from the top. . . . Apple’s ruthless corporate culture is just one piece of a mystery that virtually every business executive in the world would love to understand: How does Apple do it?”

Not according to the usual rules, that’s for sure. In the words of Jeffrey Pfeffer, a Stanford University professor, “Most books about leadership read like the Scout manual: CEOs and top managers should be authentic, considerate, sensitive, and modest, as well as creative, smart, and strategically brilliant. All true – but not very useful in the real world, where the person in the corner office might be as approachable as the junkyard dog. Exhibit A: Steve Jobs.”

There’s a reason Steve Jobs is Exhibit A, and not even B or C. It is because his exceptional and unique vision and certainty of what he saw excused his tyrannical behavior. Or, no, they didn’t excuse it but made it necessary. And the power of his personality and the sweep of what he achieved meant that even after all his punishment of disappointing staff and others, all his berating of many of those around him, people at Apple were heartbroken to see him step down from the chief executive’s job this week.

Go ahead and behave the way he did yourself, as a CEO—as long as you’ve got all of Steve Jobs’ charisma, revolutionary vision, and innovative genius, along with his relentless drive and temper.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Loyal K-9 Pal mourns his master, US Navy SEAL Petty Officer 1st Class Jon T. Tumilson

I arrived home late yesterday after spend 5 days traveling from Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan to Boston, via stop-overs in Kuwait and Ft. Benning, GA. The relief for my safe return by family & friends is obvious.

Along with the family, my three 4-legged children were overwhelming joyful upon seeing me. They are the truest companions as they show unbridled joy at our daily return home, and know that we miss them when we are gone. Dogs have an inate ability to know our true emotions and they respond in like kind.

Here is another display of loyalty, and it should be no surprise to me our anyone else who values our
K-9 pals for all they do to enrich out lives.

Loyal Dog Mourns, Lays at Casket of Fallen Navy Seal -

The dog of slain Petty Officer Jon Tumilson refused to leave his side during the Navy SEAL’s funeral earlier this week in Rockford, Iowa. The heartbreaking photo taken by his cousin, Lisa Pembleton, shows Tumilson’s dog Hawkeye lying by the casket.

Navy SEAL U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Jon T. Tumilson was among the 30 American troops killed August 6 when Taliban insurgents downed their Chinook helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade. At his funeral in Iowa, his dog Hawkeye paid his last respects, walking up to the casket, lying down in front of it, and heaving a sigh.

Pembleton wrote on Facebook that Hawkeye was Tumilson’s loyal pet who wouldn't leave his master’s side during the funeral in Rockford, Iowa.

“I felt compelled to take one photo to share with family members that couldn't make it or couldn't see what I could from the aisle,” Pembleton wrote.

Thanks to our friend Maria Goodavage at Dogster for sharing this with us

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Man of the People" Slick Mitt Romney to bulldoze $3.8 Million sea-side home to quadrupule it's size

Glad to see the economy isn't slowing Slick Mitt down.....Is this what we need, a guy who has no real idea what it's like for the average American Family ?? We already have a President like that now.....He's on Martha's Vineyard living it up while families are trying to figure out how to keep food on the plate....including the families of our Servicemen & Servicewomen, many who don't make enough to keep the cupboards full....

Let's find a better candidate than Slick Mitt as we already have one elite idiot foisted on us by the Dems, we don't need another from the GOP ! Especially one who made his millions by closing businesses where average American held good jobs so Slick Mitt & his pals could move those jobs overseas.....

Romney plans to quadruple size of Calif. home
By Philip Rucker | The Washington Post – Sun, Aug 21, 2011

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is planning to nearly quadruple the size of his $12 million California beachfront mansion.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor and the nominal front-runner for the GOP’s 2012 presidential nomination, is planning to bulldoze his 3,009-square-foot home facing the Pacific Ocean in La Jolla, Calif., and replace it with an 11,062-square-foot home, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.
The Union-Tribune reported late Saturday that Romney has filed an application with the city for a coastal development permit, but that no date has been set to consider the project.
A Romney campaign official confirmed the report, saying the Romneys want to “enlarge their two-bedroom home because with five married sons and 16 grandchildren it is inadequate for their needs. Construction will not begin until the permits have been obtained and the campaign is finished.”
In 2008, Republican presidential nominee John McCain was criticized and mocked when he said he was unsure how many houses he and his wife, Cindy, owned. The answer was eight.
Since then, perhaps sensing that the issue could be a liability for him, too, Romney began consolidating his real estate portfolio. Romney and his wife, Ann, sold for $3.5 million the 6,500-square-foot colonial home in Belmont, Mass., where they raised their sons. They also sold a 9,500-square-foot home at the Deer Valley ski resort near Park City, Utah, for close to its $5.25 million asking price, according to a 2010 Associated Press report.
The couple still maintain a vacation home along Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, as well as a townhouse outside Boston that they consider their primary residence.
Romney, who made part of his fortune as co-founder of Bain Capital, a private equity firm, and his wife have personal financial assets worth as much as $264 million, according to disclosure documents filed with the Federal Election Commission this month.
Romney’s campaign said “a more accurate range” of his estimated wealth is between $190 million and $250 million.
The Romneys have spent considerable time at their home in La Jolla, a wealthy beach enclave in San Diego. Two of their sons, Matt and Craig, as well as several grandchildren live in the area. And Ann Romney, who has multiple sclerosis, has access to horse-riding in California. She believes that riding and the warmer weather have a therapeutic effect.
The Romneys purchased the single-story residence at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac three years ago, according to the Union-Tribune. The Spanish-style home, facing a white sand beach, has three bedrooms and 41 / 2 bathrooms and was constructed in 1936. The newspaper reported that the home was once owned by former San Diego mayor Maureen O’Connor and her husband, Bob Peterson, founder of Jack in the Box, a fast-food chain.
At a book-signing in California last year, Romney told reporters that he bought the home because “I wanted to be where I could hear the waves. As a boy, we spent summers on Lake Huron and I could hear the crashing waves at night. It was one of my favorite things in the world. Being near the water and the waves was something I very badly wanted to experience again.”

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Getting there is not 1/2 the fun.....KUWAIT

Made it outta Bagram....finally !

Last night the "locals" sent their best greetings to the camp....

People were injured and some stuff got tore up.

Glad to be done with it. Now, gotta do the Kuwait Visa stopover...

Basicly, pay $3 KD (about $15) for the privilege of flying through Kuwait....

HIGHLY overpriced if you ask me.... the next stop will be the USA !<
And BEER !

Saturday, August 20, 2011

You can't get there from heah...

The phrase " You can't get there from heah.." is something a tourist hears from the locals in northern New Engalnd, especially Maine when asking for directions.

I got treated to the AFGHANISTAN version of this today when I went to get my flight outta here.

156 seats on the plane, I was passenger #157.

So I get to experience one more day in Bagram before making my trek home...
(Insert sound of pissed off Bostonian using his favorite cuss words here)

President Doofus is on vacation along with the Congress. Meanwhile the war goes on here 24/7.

Hope tommorrow is a better day for getting on the freedom bird for the start of the long ride back to the right side of the pond...."

Inshalla" (local expression in the Middle East which translated meaning "If God wills it" )

Just asking for a little help here....Hopefully, Sunday AM will work out better for me.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Boston Bound....

The time has come for me to head home from Afghanistan.

This was ahead of schedule but like the last time, it is not a difficult thing as I will be heading back to Boston, friends & family. Working here can wear you out as one might imagine as we are on a 7 day a week, 12+ hour a day schedule. I am glad to say soon I will be back home where I belong.

Posting here will be sporadic as one can imagine with the number of stops it takes to get from this side of the world and back to the right side of the pond.

The family and friends have been notified and there will be time to catch up on things once I get there. I feel there might even be a few cold beers that need my attention.

All for now. I will resume my regular ranting and raving upon landing back at home base.

I am sure that the news will continue to provide plenty of things to post about once I am back at the homefront.

K-9 Soldier "CUJO" gets the care he needs as he is medevaced out of Afghanistan

I am glad to see our K-9 Soldier "Cujo" got some TLC for his battle wounds. Poor Pup !

Our K-9 Brothers deserve nothing less as they make a big difference out here for the troops.

Military Working Dog Medevaced with Shot Paw
by Glenn Anderson / MILITARY.COM August 16, 2011

As some of you Kit Up! readers may have seen — last week sent two of the editorial staff to Bagram, Afghanistan to look at the USAF’s Aeromedical Evacuation teams and the various phases of care delivered to our combat wounded.

Thanks to the USAF’s Air Mobility Command we caught a ride from Ramstein to JB McGuire / Dix / Lakehurst and I got the chance to chat with some of the flight crew about the things they’ve seen and experienced in their job.

It turns out that just two days earlier they had a very special guest on their C-17 – this military working dog is named Cujo and while the crew didn’t know a lot of details about what happened to him they told me he had been shot in the leg a few days earlier and was given the same professional and competent level of care as his human colleagues during his med-evac. He is expected to make a full recovery.


The Boston Globe features stories told in brilliant pictures called " The Big Picture"

This photo essay is a few years old but displays some startling pictures of Afghanistan. Click on the enclosed link for a closer look.

Many have asked me, what does it look like there ??

This will show you in esquisite detail....

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blame Game

Sharks like the " all you can eat buffet" in Chatham, MA

Hooper: Mr. Vaughn, what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It's really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks, and that's all. Now, why don't you take a long, close look at this sign.
[refers to the graffitied billboard]

Hooper: Those proportions are correct.

Mayor Vaughn: Love to prove that, wouldn't ya? Get your name into the National Geographic

Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, SHARKS gotta eat..... At Least the people in Chatham are more rational than the mayor of Amity in the movie "JAWS"

Big Sharks are having an "all-you-eat" buffet as the population of seals in Chatham has climbed due to laws protecting the Seals.

I am smart enough to know that Mr. Shark can't tell if I'm a Seal until he has already bitten a piece outta me....not interested in giving him the opportunity. While no one has been killed by a Shark in Massachusetts since 1936, you don't want to be the one who helps break that record.

Businesses in Chatham are glad for the Sharks as it means many tourists and that is the name of the game this time of year for them.

Shark kill close to beach prompts more restrictions in Chatham
By Vivian Yee, Boston Globe Correspondent, and Martin Finucane, Globe Staff

Authorities in Chatham have banned swimming on east-facing oceanside beaches after more reports of great white sharks in the vicinity, including sightings of a shark killing a seal close to the beach.

The closures include North Beach, North Beach Island, and South Beach, the town harbormaster’s office said in a statement issued Monday afternoon.

“This updated closure is based on credible sightings over the weekend of shark activity close to the shoreline near the south end of North Beach,” the statement said.

Chatham Parks and Recreation Director Dan Tobin said visitors to North Beach Island and harbormaster staff had seen a great white shark attack and kill a seal close to shore.

“It was eaten by the shark,” he said. He said that although not many shark sightings had been reported over the weekend, “the proximity off the beach” prompted town officials to close the area.

Swimming at Lighthouse Beach is still banned from 5 p.m. to 9:30 a.m. daily and swimming remains banned when seals -- a favorite food of the fearsome great whites -- are within 300 feet. Tobin said Lighthouse Beach, a popular destination, remains open during the day because staff are able to patrol the water during those hours.

“Beach goers, mariners and swimmers should continue to pay close attention to their surroundings, and when swimming at Lighthouse Beach should not venture too far from shore,” the statement said.

Swimming is still allowed on south side beaches in Nantucket Sound and in all other areas, the notice to swimmers said.

Gregory Skomal, a state marine biologist, said he has not seen an increase in shark activity over the past few days, although a spotter plane pilot working for the state reported seeing great whites off Chatham on Aug. 9 and Aug. 12.

Shark sightings so far this summer have topped 35, he said, about the same as the number of sightings reported at this time last summer. But the number of sightings is not a reliable indicator of the number of sharks in the area, since the same shark may be spotted multiple times, he said

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

CAMP BASTION - The HQ for all British Forces in Afghanistan

Last year, I spent from May until September living at Camp Leatherneck in Helmand Province. Right next door is CAMP BASTION, HQ for the Brits in AFGHN.

I enjoyed spending time there and the writer of this article captures the feel of the place....You have to be there in the summer to experience the 120-125 Degree heat (that's in the shade by the way)

God love the Brits as they are " brilliant" and our best allies.

Inside Camp Bastion

It is home to 30,000 people, has its own airport, fire station and police force – and in six years has grown to a city the size of Reading. Nick Hopkins visits Britain's vast military base in the Afghanistan desert
Nick Hopkins,
Monday 15 August 2011

The planes tend to arrive at night, and if the sky is clear, the moon bathes the airport with an ethereal, ghostly light. A film of dust and sand covers the tarmac and shimmers silver in the dark, conjuring familiar images of lunar walks made by astronauts a generation ago.

This place, though, is not some other world, but Afghanistan. And the surroundings are not beautiful or charismatic. It is Camp Bastion: a brutal, functional, military city built from nothing in the desert, from which the UK has orchestrated its conflict against the Taliban for the past six years.

There is probably no place like it on earth. It has grown so much that the perimeter wall is now almost 40km long – making it roughly the size of Reading; and its airport is busier than any other in the UK, apart from Gatwick and Heathrow.

The Afghans will inherit it one day, should they wish. Otherwise it could turn into a vast, derelict Atlantis in the desert – no better monument, perhaps, to the west's invasion of a country that has been an enduring battleground over the past 30 years.

Nobody ever imagined this eight years ago when the British started looking for a safe place to fly supplies for the troops who were to be sent to the southern province of Helmand. The British didn't want to set up camp too close to any fighting, and they wanted somewhere flat, to build a landing strip for aircraft. They chose a place in the plains of north-west Helmand, where the Soviets had once had a small base, and dug a trench. The Soviets had recognised the area's strategic importance.

"It used to be a trading crossroads. And we can see everything around us," says Commodore Clive Walker, the Royal Navy officer who is currently in charge of the entire camp.

Though the land is arid, it also has boreholes filled with fresh water that has taken years to flow hundreds of miles from the peaks of the Hindu Kush to the underground aquifers in the middle of the desert.

The British decided to call the new camp Bastion – a reference to the huge earth-filled bags that have been used to define its boundaries. The bomb-proof bags are made by a UK company called Hesco Bastion, which was set up by a British inventor, Jimi Heselden. Heselden, who died last year, made a fortune selling his invention to the British military, and thousands of the bags now line the roads around this camp, and almost every other in the country.

The other ubiquitous building block of the city is the Iso freight container, the sort you see on lorries or the decks of ships at ports around the world. There are now 10,000 Iso containers at Bastion, almost all of them brought in by road through Pakistan, after being shipped from Europe or America to Karachi. By some estimates, it would take a decade to remove them all from Helmand, though many of them are likely to stay put.

Rather than bringing in water supplies from elsewhere, the British set up a water-bottling plant on site, drawing the water from the two existing boreholes. The plastic bottles are made at the plant, which provides one million litres a week for Bastion, as well as many of the other smaller bases and checkpoints across the province.

Most of the fresh food is flown in, with the rest coming by road. There is a central warehouse where most of it is stored – it is thought to be the second-biggest building in the whole of Afghanistan. With between 20,000 and 30,000 people on the base at any one time, the quantities needed to feed them are vast; 27 tonnes of salad and fruit come in every week alone. Convoys of lorries, with armoured support, thunder out of the camp most days to supply other bases, often leaving in the middle of the night to minimise the disruption to the villages and towns that they rumble through.

The base has become so big that it has eight incinerators and a burn pit to get rid of the rubbish. The camp also has its own bus service, fire station and police force. There are on-site laws and regulations too. One of them is the speed limit – 24kph (15mph). It is enforced by officers with speed cameras, who can leap out from behind containers, or from inside ditches, to catch anyone flouting the rules. Anyone caught speeding more than three times is banned from driving on the base. Though the limit is quite low, many of the military vehicles are so big, and the dust they churn up so blinding, that it is dangerous for them to be going any faster.

There aren't any pavements at Bastion, or street lights, so walking around at night can be perilous without a torch. The airport is busy day and night. It dealt with 2,980,000 pieces of freight in June alone, including 73,000 pallets of mail.

There isn't much in the way of nightlife – but there is a Pizza Hut takeaway restaurant that trades from inside a converted Iso. Customers can sit outside on pub-style benches. There is also a bar next door called Heroes, which has giant TV screens showing news channels from the UK.

For thousands of staff here, their lives revolve around huge air-conditioned gymnasiums. Bodybuilding has become a near obsession for many of the soldiers who live on site, who have little else to do once they have finished work. The gyms are busy from 5am. There are no weekends at Camp Bastion.

While the airport is the hub for flights in and out of the country, the heliport is busier. Every day, RAF Chinook, Sea King and Merlin helicopters run like buses, ferrying troops to and from the base. They are responsible for the bulk of the 600 movements undertaken across Helmand every day.

"We can take things by road, fly them in by helicopter, or throw it out of a back of a plane," says Commodore Walker. "It all depends what is being transported and where it is going. We used to have 60 or 70 vehicles leave the camp in convoys. But that was not good for relations with the local population. We try to go out first thing in the morning so the convoys don't disrupt the bazaars. We try to time them carefully."

Above all else, though, the camp is a military base. The US Marines, and the Afghan security forces, have their own areas now, but the core of the base remains – and is run by – the British. Soldiers arriving from the UK for a six-month tour will stay at the camp for about a week before being deployed elsewhere. In that time, they will spend five days acclimatising to the heat or the cold. In summer the temperatures reach up to 55C. In winter, it will freeze.

One of the most surreal sights in the city is its Afghan village, a replica built by the British. It even has a small number of local residents who tend to a bread oven, riding motorbikes and selling food at a market. It is supposed to give the soldiers a better feel for what to expect when they go on patrol. There is also a training area designed to help them identify the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that have been used to such deadly effect by insurgents. There are tell-tale clues the soldiers need to learn; they can be taught about the different techniques used by the insurgents for planting IEDs, and how the villagers might be trying to warn them of their whereabouts. If an Afghan has stopped using a bridge to cross a stream or a river, there is often a reason.

Elsewhere in the camp, there is a kennel for the dozens of dogs that are used on patrols, and for sniffing out drugs and explosive material. One of them is called Charm – a german shepherd so big that he rarely has to raise growl to deter potential troublemakers.

The medical facilities at Camp Bastion rely on a taskforce of helicopters, which are controlled by Colonel Peter Eadie, the commander of the UK joint aviation group. In the past, patients were brought into the trauma unit at Bastion before major surgery could begin. Now, consultants fly out in specially adapted Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters to any emergency, so they can start work on the injured as soon as they set eyes on them.

"The system is one that has evolved over the years," says Eadie. "Countless lives have probably been saved this way. We take the hospital to the patient."

He can hope to get a helicopter from Bastion to an injured soldier in less than 19 minutes. And the most serious cases can be back in the UK in less than 24 hours.

All of this is beyond the capabilities of the Afghan security forces, and that situation is unlikely to change before the end of 2014, when Nato forces will have ended all frontline combat operations against the Taliban.

"The Afghans are starting to get themselves into a position to support their own troops but they cannot leap up to our level of technology overnight," says Walker.

How much of this remains when the British and Americans leave has yet to be decided. Even though the drawdown of British forces will be modest this year and next, Walker is already thinking about what equipment will be left in the desert, and what will be carted back home, to be put in storage.

"It took us eight years to get to this stage and now we have to start thinking about what to bring back," he says.

The huge canvas tents in which most people live will be repaired, folded up and returned to warehouses in the UK. Some of them sleep up to 32 people on bunk beds. Only VIPs and some of the pilots have better "tier 2" accommodation, which means they sleep in a prefabricated metal pod with has a hard roof rather than a soft one.

"The tents can be refurbished and put back on the shelf in the UK for the next time," he says.

How many of the 3,000 British military vehicles will return is less clear. Though bomb-damaged trucks and armoured cars can be entirely rebuilt at the workshops in Bastion, some of them are likely to remain in Helmand – they will have taken too much punishment to be of value again.

Walker is trying to look ahead without losing grip on the day to day, which remains the priority. Providing British forces with the right equipment, food, and first aid is a juggling act he performs every day. "If I don't get it right, we're in a bad place. We can't fail."

You tell'em kid....

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Company you keep......

Seems a Governor Rick Perry would like to alter history and forget that he was an ardent supporter of AL " THE SKY IS FALLING " GORE... GORE is top of the hypocrites list with his fake crusade to "save the earth" which is really his way to shill more money out of people's pockets.....

A picture says a 1000 words...We already learned not to listen to POLS who deny their past associations ( Like all the idjits that President Obama associated with before running for President)

It's hard to soar like an EAGLE when you flock with TURKEYS.....looks like PERRY is a bit of a TURKEY and less of an EAGLE than he alludes to be.... GORE is a Turkey and a gold plated liar. maybe if he kept his mouth sut for 5 minutes, it would lower all the co2 in the atmosphere.

Perry backed crusading Gore in '88
By: Bob King -
August 15, 2011 06:32 PM EDT

Texas Gov. Rick Perry may have forgotten a thing or two about the Al Gore presidential campaign he helped lead in 1988.

In an interview with an Iowa radio station on Monday, the Republican presidential contender explained his role as the Gore campaign’s Texas chairman by saying that “this was Al Gore before he invented the Internet and got to be Mr. Global Warming.”

But in fact, global warming was already a significant theme for Gore in 1987 and 1988 — long before his activism led to several books, a Nobel Prize and a part in an Academy Award-winning film. It was also well before the right gave him the "Mr. Ozone" nickname and talk radio heaped endless mockery on the future vice president.

Gore, then a young Tennessee senator trying to break out in a crowded Democratic field, mentioned the warming planet as one of his priorities for his presidential campaign in April 1987, according to news coverage at the time.

“He laid out a broad list of national objectives, from combating AIDS and Alzheimer's disease to curbing the ‘greenhouse effect’ — the threat to the Earth's atmosphere from the burning of oil, gas and coal,” The Los Angeles Times reported in covering Gore’s announcement. In May 1987, according to The Washington Post, his stump speeches included a call for the nation to “confront the emerging problems of the greenhouse effect and the threat to our ozone.”

Later that summer, Gore joined Republican Sen. John Chafee in calling for urgent action on climate change and the threat of coastal flooding.

Such was his reputation for green wonkery that, in a January 1988 profile in the Christian Science Monitor, an attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund said of Gore: ''I think it would be safe to say that he goes to bed at night worrying about things like stratospheric ozone depletion and global warming.''

So was all this unknown to Perry, who at the time was a Democrat trying to put Gore in the White House?

No, Perry spokesman Mark Miner said Monday. They just disagreed.

“The governor has always been a conservative and didn't agree with Al Gore on every issue, global warming being one of them,” Miner said in an email to POLITICO.

Perry has, of course, broken with Gore before. In a December 2009 speech to builders in Dallas, Perry said a lot had changed in the years since he worked on Gore’s campaign: “I certainly got religion. I think he’s gone to hell.”

In a 2007 speech to Californian Republicans, Perry said: "I've heard Al Gore talk about man-made global warming so much that I'm starting to think that his mouth is the leading source of all that supposedly deadly carbon dioxide."

LEADERSHIP LEARNING - On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs

Me ? I'm proud to have always been a sheepdog.....

My love of our K-9 companions knows no bounds because I share an understanding of what Dogs know instinctively, that some must stand ready to fight the Wolves....always.

On Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs - Dave Grossman - By LTC (RET) Dave Grossman, author of "On Killing."

One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me:

"Most of the people in our society are sheep." They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident." This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another. Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.

Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

"Then there are the wolves," the old war veteran said, "and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy." Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy?

You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

"Then there are sheepdogs," he went on, "and I'm a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf."

If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf.

But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed

Let me expand on this old soldier's excellent model of the sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. We know that the sheep live in denial, that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids' schools.

But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid's school. Our children are thousands of times more likely to be killed or seriously injured by school violence than fire, but the sheep's only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their child is just too hard, and so they chose the path of denial.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep. Any sheep dog who intentionally harms the lowliest little lamb will be punished and removed. The world cannot work any other way, at least not in a representative democracy or a republic such as ours.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn't tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. Some sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, "Baa."

Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

Look at what happened after September 11, 2001 when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?

Understand that there is nothing morally superior about being a sheepdog; it is just what you choose to be. Also understand that a sheepdog is a funny critter: He is always sniffing around out on the perimeter, checking the breeze, barking at things that go bump in the night, and yearning for a righteous battle.

That is, the young sheepdogs yearn for a righteous battle. The old sheepdogs are a little older and wiser, but they move to the sound of the guns when needed right along with the young ones.

Here is how the sheep and the sheepdog think differently. The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, most of the sheep, that is, most citizens in America said, "Thank God I wasn't on one of those planes." The sheepdogs, the warriors, said, "Dear God, I wish I could have been on one of those planes. Maybe I could have made a difference." When you are truly transformed into a warrior and have truly invested yourself into warriorhood, you want to be there. You want to be able to make a difference.

There is nothing morally superior about the sheepdog, the warrior, but he does have one real advantage. Only one. And that is that he is able to survive and thrive in an environment that destroys 98 percent of the population.

Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I'm proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, "Let's roll," which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers - athletes, business people and parents. -- from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men. - Edmund Burke

If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love.

But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior's path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, "Do you have and idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?"

Sunday, August 14, 2011

CHEVY channels the BATMOBILE in designing a Carbon Fiber Futuristic Concept Car....

Damn......this thing looks like it could lift off.

Mi-ray is Korean for ‘future.’ Does that mean the Mi-ray concept is going into production? Probably not, but clearly shows Chevy still has it in them to design cutting edge concepts that push forward the perception of people movers. The just-unveiled Mi-ray mid-electric concept was designed the GM Advanced Design Studio in Seoul, which is only fitting as the concept debuted at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show.

Duel front-mounted 15-kW electric motors are powered by a 1.6-kWh lithium-ion battery pack while a 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine is called upon during spirited bouts around town. A back projection systems is used for the instrument panel with a large touchscreen flowing down the center of the vehicle for additional controls. Of course there are more LEDs and carbon-fiber than what the real world requires, but this is after all just a concept. But maybe not for long. Uwe Grebe, executive director for GM Powertrain Advanced Engineering, states, “Many of the components in the Mi-ray’s propulsion system are a logical extension of GM’s current technology portfolio.”

SLICK MITT ROMNEY finished 7th in IOWA...and follows that up with fundraising in OSTERVILLE & NANTUCKET....

Slick MITT Romney finished 7th in IOWA with a grand total of 567 votes..... Gee, can't figure out why a guy worth between $190 Million to $250 Million would have trouble connecting with the people of Iowa....Maybe because they see you as a rich empty suit ??? (must be pretty fricking hard to figure out exactly how much $$$ you have when you have THAT much)

Well that is likely because the voters in IOWA saw right through his "shallow as piss on a flat rock" style and his slick used car salesman approach to speaking to the "common folk"

So how do you follow-up a drubbing in the heartland???

Go to the two most exclusive addresses on CAPE COD -

Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011

Mitt Romney
Attending a fundraiser
Osterville, Mass.

Mitt Romney
Attending a fundraiser
Nantucket, Mass.

He just doesn't want to shill to the "little people", he wants to suck up as much money as he can from the summer residents of OSTERVILLE & NANTUCKET, summer home of some of the richest people in the country....

What a putz...Now he is going to get a head-on challenge from Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann cleaned his clock in the heartland.....Sounds like Mitt over estimated about how popular he really is with the average Americans...

MITT - Get a clue....The Voters see right through your insincerity and empty pol act. You'll fit in with the other rich folks but the average Joe who hasn't got a raise in years sees you as one of the main reasons his life is rough as you got rich by shutting down businesses he worked for and selling off the pieces...

Romney was criticized earlier this year for telling a group of voters that he was “unemployed,’’ while he earned nearly $114,000 from being on the board of Marriott International.

Like I said, shallow as piss on a flat rock....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

An issue with Rick Perry's programs - "You're taking from the average taxpayer and giving to someone who has a connection with government officials."

Rick Perry jumps into the 2012 Presidential Race and many in the collective media get all pitter-patter as they want to see as much discord on the GOP side of things, giving hope to their liberal friends and POTUS.

Let us as a nation choose carefully on the GOP side as hucksters like SLICK MITT ROMNEY only embolden the MOONBATS that they will get Obama another 4 years.... If the wrong republican is put up against POTUS, it could cause people to be complacent....and all in the military know the adage, " Complacency Kills "

Perry is a POL and he has baggage (Texas sized baggage)...while this is a given, we really need to think twice before people give him a free pass. This article points out a serious issues that will make people worry that PERRY is just another " Say one thing, do another" POL.....we have plenty of them already and we don't need another one in the White House.

For a guy who runs himself as BEDROCK Conservative, this program sounds like a redistribution of taxpayer's $$$ to those who are connected....not good.

Rick Perry's Crony Capitalism Problem
The presidential candidate's signature economic development initiative has raised questions among conservatives.

By CHARLES DAMERON - Wall Street Journal

Gov. Rick Perry's presidential pitch goes something like this: During one of the worst recessions in American history, he's kept his state "open for business." In the last two years, Texas created over a quarter of a million jobs, meaning that the state's 8% unemployment rate is substantially lower than the rest of the nation's. The governor credits this exceptional growth to things like low taxes and tort reform.

It's a strong message. But one of the governor's signature economic development initiatives—the Texas Emerging Technology Fund—has lately raised serious questions among some conservatives.

The Emerging Technology Fund was created at Mr. Perry's behest in 2005 to act as a kind of public-sector venture capital firm, largely to provide funding for tech start-ups in Texas. Since then, the fund has committed nearly $200 million of taxpayer money to fund 133 companies. Mr. Perry told a group of CEOs in May that the fund's "strategic investments are what's helping us keep groundbreaking innovations in the state." The governor, together with the lieutenant governor and the speaker of the Texas House, enjoys ultimate decision-making power over the fund's investments.

Among the companies that the Emerging Technology Fund has invested in is Convergen LifeSciences, Inc. It received a $4.5 million grant last year—the second largest grant in the history of the fund. The founder and executive chairman of Convergen is David G. Nance.

In 2009, when Mr. Nance submitted his application for a $4.5 million Emerging Technology Fund grant for Convergen, he and his partners had invested only $1,000 of their own money into their new company, according to documentation prepared by the governor's office in February 2010. But over the years, Mr. Nance managed to invest a lot more than $1,000 in Mr. Perry. Texas Ethics Commission records show that Mr. Nance donated $75,000 to Mr. Perry's campaigns between 2001 and 2006.

The regional panel that reviewed Convergen's application turned down the company's $4.5 million request when it presented its proposal on Oct. 7, 2009. But Mr. Nance appealed that decision directly to a statewide advisory committee (of which Mr. Nance was once a member) appointed by Mr. Perry. Just eight days later, on Oct. 15, a subcommittee unanimously recommended approval by the full statewide committee. On Oct. 29, the full advisory committee unanimously recommended the approval of Convergen's application. When asked why the advisory committee felt comfortable recommending Convergen's grant, Lucy Nashed, a spokesperson for Mr. Perry, said that the committee "thoroughly vetted the company."

Starting in 2008, Mr. Perry also appropriated approximately $2 million in federal taxpayer money through the auspices of the Wagner-Peyser Act—a federal works program founded during the New Deal and overseen in Texas by Mr. Perry's office—to a nonprofit launched by Mr. Nance called Innovate Texas. The nonprofit was meant to help entrepreneurs by linking them to investors. It began receiving funding on Dec. 31, 2008, soon after Mr. Nance's previous company, Introgen Therapeutics, declared bankruptcy on Dec. 3. According to state records, Mr. Nance paid himself $250,000 for the two years he ran Innovate Texas. Innovate Texas, whose listed phone number is not a working number, could not be reached for comment. (Two phone calls left for Mr. Nance at Convergen's offices went unreturned.)

ThromboVision, Inc., a medical imaging company, was also the recipient of an award from the Emerging Technology Fund: It received $1.5 million in 2007. Charles Tate, a major Perry contributor, served as the chairman of a state committee that reviewed ThromboVision's application for state funding, and Mr. Tate voted to give ThromboVision the public money. One month after ThromboVision received notification that it would receive a $1.5 million state grant in April 2007, Mr. Tate invested his own money in ThromboVision, according to the Dallas Morning News. The Texas paper later found that by 2010 Mr. Tate owned a total of 200,000 preferred shares in ThromboVision.

According to a Texas state auditor's report, ThromboVision failed to submit required annual reports to the fund from 2008 through 2010, when the company went bankrupt. The report noted the tech fund's managers were "unaware of ThromboVision, Inc.'s bankruptcy until after the bankruptcy had been reported in a newspaper." ThromboVision's bankruptcy filing revealed not only that Mr. Tate had been a preferred shareholder in ThromboVision, but so had prominent Perry supporter Charles Miller, who owned 250,000 preferred shares in the company and has donated $125,000 to the governor's campaigns. Three phone calls and an email seeking Mr. Tate's side of the story went unreturned.

All told, the Dallas Morning News has found that some $16 million from the tech fund has gone to firms in which major Perry contributors were either investors or officers, and $27 million from the fund has gone to companies founded or advised by six advisory board members. The tangle of interests surrounding the fund has raised eyebrows throughout the state, especially among conservatives who think the fund is a misplaced use of taxpayer dollars to start with.

"It is fundamentally immoral and arrogant," says state representative David Simpson, a tea party-backed freshman from Longview, two hours east of Dallas. The fund "opened the door to the appearance of impropriety, if not actual impropriety."

In April, the state auditor's office called for greater transparency in the fund's management, and some legislators began looking for ways that the fund might be reformed. With the state facing a $27 billion budget shortfall in the last legislative session, Mr. Simpson filed a motion in the Texas House in May to shutter the fund and redirect the money to other portions of the budget. That measure passed 89-37 to cheers from the chamber. But the fund was kept alive by the legislature's conference committee. The fund currently has $140 million to spend, according to the governor's office.

Michael Quinn Sullivan, the president of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, sees in the Emerging Technology Fund a classic example of the perils of government pork. "The problem with these kinds of funds is that even when they're used with the best of intentions, it looks bad," says Mr. Sullivan. "You're taking from the average taxpayer and giving to someone who has a connection with government officials."

Mr. Dameron is a Robert L. Bartley Fellow at the Journal.

" They fly the empty plane so they can still get the money.." - Gov't pays for empty flights to rural airports

While I understand the need for transportation to rural areas, it is NOT proper for the FEDS to provide subsidies to companies to fly empty planes. We have plenty of places where there is no daily flights or transportation, and that comes part & parcel with living out in the Boonies.

With a need to make our tax dollars count, the idea that we pay $4,107 for EACH ticket that a small airline operates is a utter BOONDOGGLE. Think of all the other things we REALLY need that those tax dollars could provide like safer roads, border security or care for our aging Veterans.

Gov't pays for empty flights to rural airports

Associated Press

On some days, the pilots with Great Lakes Airlines fire up a twin-engine Beechcraft 1900 at the Ely, Nev., airport and depart for Las Vegas without a single passenger on board. And the federal government pays them to do it.

Federal statistics reviewed by The Associated Press show that in 2010, just 227 passengers flew out of Ely while the airline got $1.8 million in subsidies. The travelers paid $70 to $90 for a one-way ticket. The cost to taxpayers for each ticket: $4,107.

Ely is one of 153 rural communities where airlines get subsidies through the $200 million Essential Air Service program, and one of 13 that critics say should be eliminated from it. Some call the spending a boondoggle, but others see it as a critical financial lifeline to ensure economic stability in rural areas.

Steve Smith, executive director of the Jackson, Tenn., airport authority, also has seen empty or near empty flights take off, since the airlines get paid per flight, not per passenger. The subsidy amounted to $244 for each of the 2,514 people who flew out of Smith's airport last year, though few if any passengers knew that.

"They fly the empty plane so they can still get the money," Smith said.

The fight over the subsidies was a key sticking point that led to the recent political standoff in Washington that temporarily shut down the Federal Aviation Administration, putting thousands out of work for nearly two weeks. There were other disputes as well, such as a GOP proposal that would make it more difficult for airline workers to unionize.

Republicans got the EAS cuts they were looking for in last week's agreement - but with a major caveat. Subsidies to Ely, Jackson and 11 other communities are set to end, but Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has the authority to continue them if he decides it's necessary.

Rep. David McKinley, a Republican who came into office with tea party support, sided on the issue with Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a fellow West Virginian who has used his position as chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to support the current funding.

Flights out of Morgantown, W.Va., were among those targeted by other Republicans. A $1 million subsidy amounted to about $52 for each of Morgantown's more than 10,000 passengers last year.

McKinley describes himself "as a small government, free-market focused owner of a small business," but said airports that receive subsidies "serve as crucial engines of job creation for many small towns and rural areas."

The EAS was created to ensure service on less profitable routes to remote communities when airlines were deregulated in 1978.

A spokesman for the Department of Transportation did not respond to a request for comment about the program, which has grown in scope and cost. In 1999 the EAS served 89 communities - 68 in the continental United States, one in Hawaii and 20 in Alaska. Today, it serves 45 in Alaska and 108 elsewhere, and over the last 10 years the budget quadrupled from $50 million to $200 million.

The subsidies go to about a dozen airlines, but in 2010 almost one-third of the entire budget - $67.8 million -went to Great Lakes, which is based in Cheyenne, Wyo. The company did not respond to requests for comment.

Ely is an extreme case. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee said it is one of just three cities in the program that have subsidies higher than $1,000 per passenger. The others are Glendive, Mont., and Alamogordo, N.M.

Republicans targeted flights out of other cities such as Morgantown because they are relatively close to major airports.

Mike Coster, Ely's airport manager, said the location between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City is the most remote airport in the continental United States.

"We have no bus service here of any kind, no Greyhound or similar company," Coster said. "It's a small town."

Severin Borenstein, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley who helped design the EAS program, said Congress originally intended for the program to end after 10 years. He said the subsidies are a "big problem" in place like Ely, which averages one or two passengers per flight.

"I can see the argument for making some of them permanent, but the standards should be higher," Borenstein said.

"The real story with this program nationwide is that nobody is watching it," said Smith, the Tennessee airport official. "If there is a problem with airports and airlines not carrying enough passengers and not doing what they said they would do, it's because once the contract is issued, it's like nobody ever asked a question about it again."

Contracts are awarded through a competitive bid process, and generally last two years.

The program has plenty of defenders who point out the cost is tiny compared with other transportation subsidies.

According to a 2009 report from the Pew Charitable Trusts, highways got 76 percent of subsidies, mass transit 16 percent, aviation 6 percent and rail and maritime 3 percent. Pew estimates that transportation subsidies in 2008 came to about $45 billion, or $367 for every household in America.

Faye Malarkey Black, a vice president for the Regional Airline Association, said she believes few federal programs accomplish as much for $200 million as EAS does.

"They call it essential for a reason," she said. She said her industry group supports "common sense adjustments" for eligibility, but added that rural communities already struggle to attract and keep doctors and other professionals.

"If you take away air service, who wants to live in those communities?" she said.

Chadd Williams, a computer science professor at Pacific University, was flying back to Oregon from Morgantown after visiting family. He said a ticket to Morgantown typically costs him $75 to $100 more than one to Pittsburgh, about 75 miles away, but this time it cost about the same.

"It's very convenient to have this place," Williams said. He said his family sometimes drives to Pittsburgh, to pick him up, but "that's a stress on them, and it's difficult to get up to Pittsburgh on time with all the road construction. So it would be terrible to have this go away."

Flower shop owner Jim Coombs has been to the Morgantown airport seven times so far this summer to shuttle high school foreign exchange students to their host families. He'll be there seven more times to send them home.

The nearest international airport is about an hour and a half's drive north in Pittsburgh, but traveling there means time wasted in traffic and in Interstate 79 construction zones, not to mention the cost of gas and pricey parking versus free. Coombs says the fact that the northern West Virginia city has its own airport is a selling point for people considering jobs there.

"I think the people in Washington are the types that just think if it's not in a big area, it's not worth anything. They don't know what it's like here. They don't know what goes on here," Coombs said.

In Alamogordo, officials said number-crunching doesn't explain the full value of access to air transportation.

Saddled between southern New Mexico's Sacramento Mountains and the desolate Tularosa Valley, residents don't have any options for air travel other than twice daily, federally subsidized round-trip flights, said airport manager Parker Bradley.

"It doesn't have to do with airports closing. It has to do with the availability or lack of availability of transportation. That can be a very important thing for a community," he said.


Begos reported from Pittsburgh and Sainz reported from Jackson, Tenn. AP reporters Joan Lowy in Washington, Vicki Smith in Morgantown, W. Va., Carolyn Thompson in Buffalo, N.Y., Cristina Silva in Las Vegas, Matt Gouras in Helena, Mont., and Susan Montoya Bryan in Albuquerque, N.M., contributed to this story