28 March 2008

Constitutional Lesson

For all who say "The Constitution does not give you a right to ________________."

I would like to draw your attention to the following:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

In other words, it's there.

What the Constitution does NOT allow, however, is to let you have the Government enforce your "rights" for you. The Constitution does not allow the Government the power to rob the evil hated rich to finance your personal cause of the day. The Constitution does not allow you the right to use the Government to infringe upon the rights of others.

You have the right to privacy, health care, housing, etc. You do NOT have the right to demand that the Government provide them for you because the Constitution does not allow the Government the power to do so.

The Constitution is a document that spells out the powers and limitations of the GOVERNMENT, not the People.

I have often said that the Constitution does not allow you the right to be free from being offended. In light of the above, allow me to modify my statement.

The Constitution does not allow you the right to infringe upon my freedoms in order to keep you free from being offended.

Thus endeth the lesson.

23 March 2008

Happy Easter

And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the [mother] of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.

And very early in the morning the first [day] of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.

And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.

And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.

And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.

But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.

And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any [man]; for they were afraid.

The Gospel of Mark, Chapter 16, Verses 1-8, King James Version

22 March 2008

Delayed Gratification

Navy Master At Arms Petty Officer Second Class (SEAL) Micheal A. Monsoor, who was mentioned in this post, will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for services rendered on September 29, 2006.

LCBrendan at Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler notes that none of the news networks, save Fox News, saw fit to mention this. No one is surprised.

This will be the fourth MOH awarded during the Global War on Terror. The others were awarded to SGT First Class Paul R. Smith USA, CPL Jason L. Dunham USMC, and LT Michael P. Murphy USN.

Remember these names.

SFC Paul R. Smith, US Army

CPL Jason L. Dunham, US Marine Corps

LT Michael P. Murphy, US Navy

MA2 Micheal A. Monsoor, US Navy

Well Done, shipmate.

Attention to port!

Hand! Salute!




RE- cover!

Carry on. Carry on.

Photo from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society

Black Gold

I stumbled upon this report from Barking Moonbat Early Warning System. They report that a Georgia man has discovered the secret to making oil from waste.

J.C. Bell from Tipton GA has found, through four years of research, how nature converts biomass (dead rotting stuff) into oil by way of bacteria. He has started his own company, Bell Bio-Energy, Inc., and has patented his work. He anticipates that by October 2009 his company will be busily converting grass clippings, sawdust, and corncobs into oil. This oil will be refined into gasoline, kerosene and diesel fuel by the same processes that are used with natural crude, with the added bonus that there is no sulpher to contend with.

His is not the only company that is involved with this type of research. A company called LS9 has genetically engineered our old nemesis E. Coli to produce complex hydrocarbons (that would be oil) out of fatty acids.

A company called Amyris is working on doing the same thing with microbes. And Craig Venter, the guy that led the private effort to map the human genome, is genetically engineering DNA to produce hydrocarbons out of high levels of CO2, as are found in the smokestacks of coal fired electrical generating plants.

I have long opined that the future in automotive technology will be the hydrogen powered fuel cell driving an electric motor, but I would have no problems being wrong about that. The technology that would produce oil out of waste products would be infinitely preferable to using our own food sources for energy, as is being done with ethanol production, and the ability to continue to use the existing infrastructure that has been developed for oil is a nice feature as well.

The highest plus on the list would be the ability to once and for all separate ourselves from the mess that is the Middle East. Eliminate our need for their oil and they can go back to killing each other until the last one dies and we are no longer plagued with them. OPEC has been playing this game with us far too long, it's past time to deal ourselves out.

21 March 2008

Better Than A Good Day At Work

That's what I have officially had.

It didn't start off all that well.

We got into the fishmobile and had no brakes. So, we had to make a run to the parts store and get another new master cylinder.

While I was doing that, the UPS guy showed up with another carberator for the Rampage, which has been plagued with idle problems since the charcoal canister went bad. So, I put it on and have the exact same problem.

So, into the fishmobile we went and off to the first fishing hole. As we pulled up, I saw a big splash in the water. We stopped right there and went to the lake to put some worms in the water.

Several times a large splash would announce that another of God's creatures had lost it's bid for survival. We even saw him once, he was large and greenish and on the other side of the lake. Try as we might we could not entice him with our offerings of drowning worms. Off to the next fishing hole.

We tried several more spots with the same results, so when it got dark we packed it in (along with our remaining five undrowned worms) and went to have supper with the Southern Cruisers.

Not a bad way to waste a day.

Picture from http://www.fishing-pics.com/

12 March 2008

Another Hero

19 year old medic from Texas takes care of her Soldiers, and does so at great risk to herself. She will be awarded the Silver Star for her actions.

She is SPC Monica Lin Brown. The official military statement says her "bravery, unselfish actions and medical aid rendered under fire saved the lives of her comrades and represents the finest traditions of heroism in combat."

When I see stories like these, I am comforted. As long as America produces these sorts of young people, we will be fine.

Well done Doc.

The only photo I could find was an AP photo, not included because of the AP's douche-baggery.

Once More

So once again a scumbag politician gets caught with his hand in the cookie jar so to speak, and once again the scumbag drags his wife on stage with him as he admits to his scumbaggery.

Just once I'd like to see the wife sucker punch the scumbag in the shortribs, maybe throw a kick or two in for good measure, while starting her rant with words to the effect of "You lying cheating miserable BASTARD!!!!!!!!!" and ending up, while being dragged off by two large men in cheap suits as he is lying there trying to get his breath back, with "You will be hearing from my LAWYER you SONOFABITCH!!!!!"

That's the one that would get my vote for President.

07 March 2008

Train Them Right

My oldest daughter is a constant source of amusement and pride.

I'm amused by her because she will claim that she has no talent at all. Her brother is a pretty good mechanic, her sister is artistically gifted, but she can't do anything, so she says.

The reality is a bit different, of course. She is a talented mother, problem solver and all around good example, among other things.

It is necessary to know the choices she has made (choices that I would have not made for her), the predictable results, and the way she chose to deal with them.

First of all, I am a relative latecomer in her life, and when I showed up she made it quite clear she had no use for me and couldn't understand why her mother did. I was required to prove myself to her, primarily I was required to show that I was here for the long haul and wouldn't bail when things got tough.

I'm happy to say I passed her tests.

She left the house at a young age, before finishing school, to marry a man that was supposed to take care of her. She got a couple of kids that she couldn't afford out of the bargain, and that's about it.

Instead of becoming a welfare queen, she realized where she went wrong and set about correcting her deficiencies. Step one was admitting to me that she was wrong and I was right.

"Say that again?" I said, "Speak clearly and into the mike."

"Don't push your luck, old man" she replied. Spunk she has, in truckloads. Which is one of the reasons I admire her.

She moved back in, got her GED, and moved back out. She enrolled in college, applying for the financial aid on her own. She worked two jobs, paid the bills, cared for her children, and went to college full-time without government assistance.

"Why not," her mom wanted to know. "Because Dad wouldn't take it" she replied.

She worked at a convenience store and has been robbed four times. The last time she is clearly shown on the video fighting with her attacker, trying to take the gun away from him. Perhaps not a wise thing to do, but she had decided she had enough. It surprised him so much that when he got away from her he immediately left.

"You could have been killed" I pointed out. "I know, but I just didn't think about it at the time. He made me mad" she answered.

She has since reconciled with her hubby, making sure he had learned the valuable lesson that she didn't need him and would toss him out unless he shaped up. Which he has. He has admitted that she is an inspiration to him, and that she made him want to be worthy of her.

Of course I told him that in my eyes he never would be. He has a daughter. He understands.

She has also started her own house cleaning business and will be graduating sometime next year, if all goes well. She will hopefully be able to find gainful employment in her chosen field when she is done.

There have been times when she has gotten down and just wanted to quit, but her pride wouldn't let her. She knows that nothing is free, and she does what she has to in order to reach the goals she has set for herself.

She is an inspiration to me as well, and I am humbled when she says she gets it from me.

This is one of the reasons I am constantly annoyed by the whiners that say you can't make it in America these days. You can make it, but you have to put some effort into it. The results are directly proportional to the effort.

I am not "lucky" that I have a job that pays well with good benefits. I sacrificed and did what I had to in order to gain the skills that make me employable. Nothing I did is beyond anyone else.

I pity the poor fool that calls her "lucky" when she is able to get a good paying job with benefits in her chosen field. What she lacks in articulation she makes up for in pure energy, and her chosen path has been considerably harder than mine.

If you want to be successful, the first step is to get up off your ass.

06 March 2008


Once upon a time, I don't remember where, I read about sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs.

I'm not going to explain the difference, I will instead direct you here to read about it.

Sometime later on I read, I believe it was in a comments section somewhere, someone saying he didn't believe all that stuff about sheep and sheepdogs.

Just like the moon landing, the earth as a globe, and the earth circling the sun, facts do not concern themselves with our ability or willingness to believe them. They just are, and they will always be, regardless of our feelings.

Some time ago I saw a video where a Marine was pontificating on the general public's inability to understand that cursing in boot camp is a relatively minor and trivial thing. His point was that training someone to be a warrior is not a nice process, and the cursing is the least part of it.

You can be transformed from sheep to sheepdog, but as the good Sargent said, it's not a nice process. Your entire worldview must be destroyed before your very eyes, your understanding of the world as a nice safe place full of fuzzy bunnies must be done away with and the understanding that the fuzzy bunnies exist only because the predators are being compelled to stay away must be drilled into you.

You must be brought to understand that the predators will stop at nothing to get their prey, it is how they exist. Then and only then may you be introduced to the concept of you as the shield that keeps those predators away from the fuzzy bunnies.

Something that the training leaves out is the fact that the fuzzy bunnies are largely unaware of the shield being in place, and that when they learn of the shield they are as fearful of it as they are of the predators - even more so in fact.

You see, they have never seen the predators, because the shield is there. Therefore they do not have to believe in the predators. The shield, however, is a real and tangible thing, something that they cannot ignore, and because of that they fear it.

Substitute "sheep" for "fuzzy bunnies", "wolves" for "predators", and "sheepdogs" for "shield" in the example, and the analogy is complete.

I highly recommend you read all of the essays at Bill Whittle's place because he explains all of this with the detail and elegance that I lack. Be prepared to spend a couple of days there.

Jack Nicholson's character in "A Few Good Men" explains this very well. Unfortunately, once again Hollywood has used it for a punchline. How ironic that they point it out in the movie. How ironic, as well, that Jack himself has used clips from that very film to endorse the Clinton candidacy. The height of that irony is most likely wasted on Mr. Nicholson. It was, after all, simply a role that he played.

I myself am a retired sheepdog, but I stand and salute all of you that are still out there, guarding that wall. Be you military, police or firefighter I salute you.

God bless you all for the jobs that you do.

Sheepdog and wolf image from Warner Brothers

05 March 2008

Random Thoughts

El Capitan and Lawdog are displaying their geekery.

I have never played dungeons and dragons. I was always too involved in the actual world to dive into the virtual one.

The South is experiencing a drought, and in most of North Carolina the drought is considered exceptional. Someone in the North Carolina state-house decided it might be a good idea to monitor water usage from wells, and so has proposed putting meters on them.

The ultimate goal is to collect taxes on this water.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't like taxes, but I realize that government must collect taxes for legitimate uses. It's just the legitimate uses that we have a difference on.

For instance, the car tax is supposed to maintain the roads. Fair enough. Property tax is used to support police and fire departments. OK again. I benefit from these services, so have no issues with taxes collected to cover them.

What about the water tax? Are you going to replace my water pump, or pump out my septic system? I think not. I'll just be paying for the privilege of keeping up my own systems. Thanks for nothing, but no thanks.

Now that Herself has won Ohio, and it is assumed Texas, it looks like a two horse race right to the end for the Democrats. What's particularly amusing is that the Hillary campaign pointed out Obama's biggest flaw - one that I have been pointing out as well - there is nothing there.

Remember "gravitas" during the Bush campaign? At least GWB had governorship experience from running Texas, Obama doesn't have anything. Or as Hillary said, “I think that I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. Sen. John McCain has a lifetime of experience that he’d bring to the White House. And Sen. Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.

Today on the drive home I listened to the callers answer the question "is the country in recession?" Most of them said they personally were doing well, but the country is sliding towards recession if we weren't already there.

The announcer reported that unemployment is still under 5%, inflation is low, and only 2% of mortgages are in foreclosure, despite what the media tells you about the mortgage crisis.

My question is, how can we be in recession if everyone is doing so well?

I think that's enough for now.

See The Light

The music world is a little darker this week. Canadian blues guitarist Jeff Healey has succumbed to the retinoblastoma cancer that took his eyes at the tender age of one.

Most people probably remember him from his appearance in the movie "Road House" with Patrick Swayze.

Jeff Healey died on the second of March, 2008.

Image courtesy of RAVE HD/Rainbow Media.