Sunday, August 30, 2009
EARLY in 2002, Eric Holder, then a former deputy attorney general, said on CNN that the detainees being held at Guantánamo Bay were “not, in fact, people entitled to the protection of the Geneva Convention,” particularly “given the way in which they have conducted themselves.”
Six years later, declaring that “Guantánamo Bay is an international embarrassment,” Mr. Holder said, “I never thought I would see the day when ... the Supreme Court would have to order the president of the United States to treat detainees in accordance with the Geneva Convention.”
So what changed?
A lot of things, of course, but most of all, our national political climate...
What changed? Well, now what changed other than the (D)/(R) in power? The opening theme of this piece of ... hackery tells you just exactly how this writer is going to operate. You asked, Hack (I don't know that Joe whores his skills, my apology), so I'll give the actual answer, Available Information is what changed. In "early 2002" torture programs were unknown, lies about the make up of the detainees were flowing from the (R) BushCo - worst devils of all Satan's devils, rather than most were innocent of any such thing, Saddam was going to treat us to mushroom clouds and poisons were everywhere in Iraq, Cheney, et al, were lying their asses off about Saddam flying the planes into WTC... Finder were you both deaf and blind? Or is this just an example of you right wing torture apologists trying to re-write history on the assumption that we all are deaf, blind, and STUPID?
It isn't as though the NYT editorial board had to exactly dig through this piece of crap to get to the problems with it - I have cut nothing from the opening. It seems that the ability to type makes all points equal - he said, she said news/opinion.
He goes on to talk about the BushCo DOJ review in 2005 and gives us this:
Mr. Holder’s decision, then, implies that justice wasn’t done five years ago probably because high-level officials in the George W. Bush administration put their thumbs on the scale of justice. This seems unlikely.
"Seems unlikely? Because he's a true believer in BushCo? WTF, Over? In the face of the uproar over the BushCo politicization of the DOJ he proposes that that it seems unlikely? Damn, it seems unlikely that the moon isn't composed of green cheese - see, I typed it so it has validity. The Earth was created 6,000 years ago, some people believe that so it must be worthy of consideration...
Lacking reliable witnesses or forensic evidence, they made the only call they could have made: not to prosecute. In our nation of laws, that’s exactly the way you want government prosecutors to behave.
No, it is not. In the face of further information I want them to get to the damn bottom. Reliable witnesses excludes anyone who didn't conform to the expected and desired conclusions is apparently his measure. Asking the participants under oath and threat of imprisonment for perjury is an exercise in finding the truth, not a political cover story.
The prosecutors in this case had to abide by the Justice Department’s ruling, in August 2002, that no agency interrogator would face prosecution for exceeding the guidelines as long as he acted in “good faith” and didn’t have “the specific intent to inflict severe pain or suffering.” Not an easy distinction to make, surely, when the work you’re told to do seems to be designed precisely to inflict pain and suffering.
Nuremberg. How ignorant does one have to be to miss this? Anything else I might write is just pointless piling on.
Now imagine that you’re a C.I.A. interrogator in some dank “black site” prison, facing a terrorist you honestly believe had something to do with the attack that killed 3,000 of your fellow Americans and might very well know about the next one. You’re under extreme pressure to extract information from the guy.
And the guidance you’ve been given from Washington is maddeningly illogical. “Walling” (slamming a prisoner into a wall) is legal, but not revving a power drill near his head. “Cramped confinement” — locking someone in a dark box for 18 hours a day — or depriving him of sleep for 180 hours is O.K., but firing a gun in the next room is not. Waterboarding a prisoner is legal, but blowing cigar smoke in his face may be a crime.
This was the murky world in which these interrogators operated. No jury in America would have convicted them at the time they were being investigated. Not even close.
The world and our lives are a very murky place, we frequently face decisions that don't have a clear legal statement and yet we persevere. We also find that juries are extremely reluctant to ignore LAW. There are some very infrequent cases of juries ruling in the face of the law, yes, there are and they are so rare as to cause a complete uproar in the media. It is not politics to expect an adherence to over 200 years of US policy and ideals in regard to torture, there may be a philosophical or idealistic element to that but it is not a matter of the (X) after a candidate's name. If it becomes such a matter, then something is very wrong with the (X) Party that thinks such a thing is disposable and they need to be held accountable, not apologized for or justified.
The employees and contractors in question — having been assured by their employer that they would no longer be facing prosecution — presumably accepted the administrative sanctions, relying on the Justice Department decision to end the criminal inquiry.
For the government now to turn around and prosecute them without any significant new facts coming to light would be, legal experts tell me, a violation of the principle of estoppel.
It was pretty clear that the Nazis had no reason to fear prosecution, they did after all have government sanction... "Estoppel" is a nice sounding word, all legal and fancy and thus persuasive - assuming you ignore history and legal actions taken in front of the entire world.
The process that Mr. Holder has unleashed threatens to undermine one of the basic principles of our government. For a new administration to repudiate a consequential legal decision in an individual case made by the previous administration serves to delegitimize our government itself, which is, after, all premised upon institutional continuity.
Two proper nouns: Germany, Japan.
Whatever Mr. Holder’s motive for reopening these cases — whether a well-intentioned desire to provide the American people with the “reckoning” for the “abusive and unlawful practices in the ‘war on terror’ ” that he demanded last year, or a more cynical political calculation — the consequences will be grievous.
It would be grievous to stop doing whatever it takes to get people to talk? Finder writes fiction novels and just to keep him up to speed, 24 is also fiction. Over two hundred years of US history in this regard is not fiction and the world's regard for us in this matter is also not fiction - unlike this piece of hackery.
For many years the NYT was considered the paper of record for the US. That started to fall apart in the face of their fellating the BushCo following 9/11 and their 'reporters' making up stories out of whole cloth and the slow drip drip of right wing accusations of liberal bias, but this policy of printing any damn thing as an OpEd is scarcely a route back. The WSJ had a reputation for OpEd wankery and it seems the NYT believes the WSJ was onto something. It might pay them to realize that Rupert was able to pick up the WSJ cheap for a reason.
I have visited several times since, deepening our acquaintance and trying out the menu. My last visit was this weekend with riding buddy George and I got some pictures as well as some more experience with the menu. I caught Shawn and Angie outside setting up for a wedding reception and they gave a pose.
****Click Pics for full size****
The place has three elements, a formal dining area, pub, and a wrought iron enclosed patio. The patio and restaurant are both at ground level with stairs leading from each down to the basement pub. The pub is a comfortable mixture of vinyl and carpeted flooring with wood and stucco walls broken into three sections, the bar area, a pool table area and a living room themed area. The bar/lounge is well stocked with liquor and beers and expert barkeeps.
All three pub areas are equipped with TV screens generally tuned to sports. The essence of the place is reflected by the living room themed area, comfort and amiability. The aim is clear, the customer can relax in a friendly well appointed place and spend time enjoying it.
The formal restaurant is broken into several separated dining areas each containing around four or five tables. Once again the comfort level of the customer is the concern, you are never in a large area surrounded by many strangers, rather a level of intimacy is struck, with the comfortable surroundings of wood, plaster, and carpeting. There is no intention of moving customers in and out, there is, rather, every attempt to encourage staying and enjoying your time.
The wait station is central to the dining areas, a second one pictured behind. Again wood and glass dominate, making it a decorative statement as well as the functional station that it is.
Since I am not a drinker, I can only comment that the iced tea is quite good with frequent refills. They do have an extensive library of drink menus in case someone decides to play stump the bartender.
While I make no pretense to write for ratings services, I have eaten at quite a few four and five star restaurants and food is one of my favorite things in life. Yes, I can cook and yes I have worked, in my younger years, in a four star restaurant so I'm not an ignoramus on the subject of good food. This is really the point of this article, Mackey's has good food. I have not eaten every item on the menu, it is extensive. I have had two of their sandwiches, including an absolutely excellent steak sandwich and their prime rib dinner, half rack dinner, and a taste of George's chicken dinner. The prime rib has a dry rub of primarily rosemary and garlic rather than the traditional pepper run, the ribs are glazed with an in-house Guiness rib sauce, and the chicken breasts are stuffed and glazed with another in-house Guiness light sauce. All the beef is aged and of top quality, the prime rib was very nearly fork 'cut-able' while remaining firm and while the ribs had a nice crust the meat was quite tender and juicy. The light sauce crust on the chicken preserved its moisture while creating a nice contrasting texture. All the rubs and sauces are unique in flavor and subtle enough to not overpower the quality of the cuts. The vegetables were at the right level of crisp and cooked. At each dinner I have had the salads which are a nice mixture of lettuces, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheeses, and croutons. I only use Italian dressing on salads and over the years I have had a lot of opportunities to have various types and brands, Mackey's is a traditional Italian of real quality.
With the world of advertising exaggeration it would be pretty easy to take Shawn's comment about a Commitment to Excellence with a pretty large grain of salt. If decor and service were the extent of that, he'd have something; but in the end the food and drink are the real measure - that is the real expense and effort in an eating establishment. What you have at Mackey's is the real expression of such a statement, the complete package combining friendliness, comfort, and unique and excellent food. What a great find out in Eastern Oregon on the Idaho border.
You can find them at Mackey's Steakhouse and Pub. Ontario, OR is on I-84 about 70 miles west of Boise, ID and Mackey's is only a handful of blocks off the Interstate with both off street and on street parking. You will find Shawn and Angie and their employees warm and friendly hosts to a great eating experience. If you happen to bring an interesting bike or hotrod, Shawn is an enthusiast so mention it to him. Live music is presented on select weekends, see their site.
(If you think I'm exaggerating, it was worth a 150 mile round trip ride for this last visit) ((OK, I love to ride and all...))
Friday, August 28, 2009
I don't know how much is about this black guy Obama squatting in the White House and how much is about loss of power and how much is about economic fear; but things have gone beyond politics. The Confederate Party of Republicanism can't match me for staunch support of the 2nd Amendment but I'll be damned if I can think of anything stupider than carrying a gun to a Presidential event as an ordinary citizen. It is stupid on too many levels to address adequately but two reasons ought to be sufficient for anyone capable of opening a box - One, you tell every level of government to take a very close look at you and Two, you distract the Secret Service and other responsible people from their job.
Birthers and Teapartiers engage in absolute erratic behavior, there is a birth certificate and we are the most lightly taxed industrial nation around, especially the wealthy amongst us. The facts are there for anyone who wants to look at them, it is neither rocket science nor particularly time consuming. Apparently, just saying it makes it so - no major news organization is willing to notice that the government is taxing people to death, an illegal alien is running the place, the government is going to kill Gramma and Gramps and idiot politico's disadvantaged children. For pete's sake, the Bush Administration DOJ, Secret Service, CIA, NSA, ad nauseum couldn't figure out that Obama isn't a citizen?
Some people have too much time on their hands this summer or the heat has cooked the two live brain cells they have. I'm just plain tired of it and crabbing about it to my readers doesn't help. Harley Davidson, however, does.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
I don't make heroes out of politicians and Sen Kennedy had enough of a past to disqualify him from any pantheon I might form. That said, there are enough of the wealthy and wannabes out there that cannot see that a large portion of society is left out of our system that he stands out as one who not only could see them but made and active effort to improve their lot. I won't go into the issues where I've disagreed with him, there are some, but looking at his record and contrasting it with fellow Party members like Baucus and opposition Party members like ... well hell, all of them is informative.
I had hoped that in light of his efforts that he would have a chance to to vote for and see passed a real health reform bill. It is clear that wasn't to happen and now I have to wonder if such a thing will happen within my lifetime. This could have happened for Teddy and now it looks as though those of us who also see a broken system that could be fixed won't see any more than another defeat at the hands of lies and fear mongering and name calling.
I don't know what shame or guilt Ted Kennedy may have felt or deserved, what I do know is that he dedicated himself to public service rather than the accumulation of wealth and power. The opponents of his efforts show no shame or loss for their abhorrent behavior while denigrating Ted and his brothers for their shortcomings. The loss of the promise of that family is stunning in its depth and breadth, we can only acknowledge their efforts and dedication with admiration and let be their failings as paid.
Goodbye Teddy, fare thee well.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
You start with what you really do want, like single payer and in the fray with those who only want to turn the consumer into even more of a mark for HealthInc you lose it but their fear that that single payer is a serious player drives them toward something like the public option. If you start with the public option where do you have to go? Into the tank with HealthInc is where you go.
The Republicans will not play the negotiation warfare game, they don't care and simply throw a nuke - NO! Nothing will do except to further enrich HealthInc. Mutual self-destruction is their game and the country can go hang. They are disposable, the ones who count are the so-called Blue Dog Democrats. These folks are of two minds regarding HealthInc, one is the beau coup ducats they get from them and the other is how the hell to pay for it and not kill HealthInc in the process. The part they're willing to talk about has not squat to do with the big part, money in their coffers.
While I'm pretty sure Pres Obama doesn't like to play this way, I'm also pretty sure Rahm doesn't mind suggesting to a recalcitrant Democrat that a truly ugly Primary fight could be made and stunning silence from the White House wouldn't be good. That works with somebody up in '10. There are a lot of not pretty facts regarding some legislators that could be public rather than under the radar. In any Senator's wish list of projects there are high profile ones that could go unfunded by the Executive Branch, whatever an earmark might indicate. Positions on Committees, including Chairs, are not lifetime appointments like the Supreme Court, they actually can be revoked.
The Congress is one third of our form of Federal Government and is frequently under served in that regard. It is also subject to pressure and the fact that such an ability exists does not make it an unequal partner, simply one that can be pushed to be responsible. Aw hell, get out the sledgehammer - you know - Don't force that son, get a bigger hammer...
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Nope. They out appear (D)s on "news" programs, their opinions are treated with respect by media, their lies are not challenged, and they are courted by "bi-partisan" advocates. They are now the go-to people in regard to HealthInc. Think about this, their accomplishments in regard to health care amount to sinking the Clinton Administration attempt to do something, out sourcing into the toilet VA care, and now they're in the driver's seat on Health Care Reform. Yes, the party of ignorance, cronyism, and the destruction of the working class is important to your health. You do remember that they ran Congress and later both that and the Presidency and the thought that HealthInc sucks never crossed their little minds.
It might seem to reasonable people that defeat has consequences. It appears that isn't so, it appears that the defeated get to run the damn show. What the hell? The voters did not approve the Republican agenda, they rejected it in large measure. These people were judged to be LOSERS. So now the cronies win again? How in the hell am I supposed to persuade people that the political process matters? You may not have to shut up when you lose but you sure the hell don't get to run the show.
Persuade others? Who is supposed to persuade me?.
Some polling has shown the state as a toss-up state, that probably also predated the socialism mantra. Ya know that no self-respecting TexAssan would support such a thing. Some do support such stuff - probably not really real Texassans though. It never pays to forget that most Confederate dead died in support of a system that they not only didn't benefit from but were actually economically disadvantaged by - sound familiar? Doing the bidding of their betters. No, I don't even want to visit.
Monday, August 17, 2009
The Corporate Insurance types are making money hand over fist off the current system. These ideas will turn the taxpayers of the US into the indirect of the same bunch rather than screwing them up front and in plain sight. I will be quite clear - I will not give those rat bastards a cent other than at point of a gun.
By now it should be clear that the US Senate is a directly owned subsidiary of Investment Banks and HealthInc. You may actually cast a vote that keeps them in their job or gets them a job but the idea that you are represented by that bunch is ludicrous, despite the couple with an actual backbone and the interest of their fellow citizens. Now you get a paint job at best and at worst a gun to your head to give more money to those who care nothing for your health. The very richest corporations and CEOs will get what they want and you can go hang. Now that the banks have gotten their paws in the public till and are making record profits again have you gotten a reasonable loan? Maybe you think something different is in the offing with HealthInc?
I am approaching the end of my tether with this crap. The public option was no more than a half-assed dress-up game to get votes and kind of address the problem. Get this straight, I pay for the seniors to have socialized medicine while they act as shills for the HealthInc to make sure I cannot have health insurance without enriching the rapists of HealthInc through tax dollars and they finance Senators' elections so HealthInc and Investment Banks can root in the trough. You get the bill.
Every time someone goes bankrupt due to medical bills you get to pay for it, insured or not. Every time you write a check or your or someones employer writes that check for HealthInc you pay for it. That car you bought - you paid for HealthInc to screw an auto maker. You are getting nailed coming and going and it makes no difference how much you make unless you're one of the rich. This system is an indirect taxation on the public for the sole purpose of keeping HealthInc rich and able to buy elected officials. NOBODY in their right mind or engaging in honesty is unaware of this, make no mistake, whatever ideology your Congressperson espouses they know this.
Why should I give a damn about the 2010 elections and whether there is a (D) or (R) after a name? It is clear that many of the Democrats are as owned as the CPoR bunch. What difference in the world does it make to have my handful of Oregonians acting as though the citizenry counts when Congress just cannot seem to understand it enough to pass something that actually does something? I worked pretty hard to help elect one of the seat changes in the US Senate that made 60 votes and what I get is the self-congratulations that my guy is not an asshole in a body controlled by assholes??? That's no more than an exercise in masturbation. I have better things to do.
The stock market fell badly today, unless you were a HealthInc biggie, Investment Banks just made out as well as CEOs - you got screwed. Something different, eh?
I have no idea whether you'll find my little ramblings of personal racing travails of interest, but it is what I've got and you're free to ignore it. It isn't a new content preview, just something...
This mess starts with Pre-Race Parking.
I had already decided I wouldn’t waste anymore money buying into the Consolation Races … right. I asked my pit neighbor I’d made friends with to talk me out of doing something as stupid as throwing more money at a losing cause – he declined, being irresponsible enough to be a drag racer. I walked up and bought in having had the third best losing dial in out of 32. Hours later after the Pro-Mods, AA Fuel, and AA Fuel Funnies ran and created some track cleaning issues, the Consolation Race was cancelled.
I loaded the car on the trailer and headed home.
Gus was happy to be home and now I’ve sketched my play time for you.
First elimination run was about an hour later, once again I roasted the tires but the launch told me I was in trouble, the car virtually stood still and turned an abysmal time of 13.68 versus my 13.49 dial and I lost. I bought into the Consolation race because I was pretty sure I knew what the problem was, over heated tires. The buy in race didn’t happen until about 3:30 and I had, as far as I could tell, every thing correct to run. I did a moderate burnout, waiting until the engine was pulled down slightly by increasing traction and rolled into the stage. I knew I was a touch late on the light but was astonished to find myself sitting still and then the tires bit – hard. Previously the car had felt lazy leaving, this time I was bounced off the seat back and the engine wound fast to the shift point and I was bounced again. This particular combination put me through the traps at .04 too quick with a horrid light, since I was sitting still spinning the tires. Needless to say that was a loss.
These tires have got to go away, never to be under this car again. At the end of this race they will be almost new tires and at $240 each a loss of significant dollars but they are pointless. I know a tire that will work and I will order them sometime Monday. If I propose to do this I might as well give myself some sort of chance and that will cost another $500 or so to do. The new wheels are enough of an investment that I am pretty much forced into continuing. It isn’t as though I need much encouragement to continue.
Tomorrow is Sunday, day four and I no longer am taking this the least seriously. I have no expectations of the car or the race so it just does not matter, I get to make a time trial pass and at least one elimination pass and that will be for the fun of it. The car is gassed up, the tires are holding air and all the parts beyond the rear tires are functioning properly so fun is what it will be.
Driving on racing tires is an iffy proposition at best and since I didn’t have enough air in my tank to get the rears above 15 pounds I went about 45 miles per hour, a nuisance to drivers wanting to drive the speed limit of 65. I bought filters and got air and then grocery shopped. I do believe I’d rather have been racing. I have the entire day to what ever I choose to do other than drag race. Cooking seems to be on the agenda.
Second time trial the tires spun again despite lowering the pressure and heating them up more. Somehow I pushed the car through the lights and went red. This pass was only about a half second slow, still horrid but ground gained. The 60 foot time was 0.20 slow which is bad.
Time for eliminations, lowered the tire pressure some more and thought I cooked them pretty good. I got tire spin on the launch and a little late on the light, late enough that it isn’t competitive. For the dial in I assumed I’d hook and the dial was too fast. None of my existing data works for the car running this slow. I am disappointed. I also lost.
They just called my name for the consolation race, for the top 32 closest to their dials, a bunch of bad numbers since mine wasn’t close. I paid to enter it; if nothing else I need data for the next three days. I’m waiting.
I went two rounds on the others’ red lights. My lights were not good, but alright. I built data but on the third round I looked at the calculator and disbelieved it but decided to hedge and go towards it. Wrong, I cut a better light than my opponent but my dial was too fast and his was too close so I lost by .17 seconds. This was one time that my inclination, which was to copy the last run time was better than the machine. Had I followed that I would have won by about the margin I lost by. What this added up to was 6 runs in competition and that is fun. Tomorrow I should be better and I can only hope that the car doesn’t act any stranger than now. My left rear tire is losing air, I can find nothing in the tire, and my air tank might last.
The Racer Appreciation Party followed end of racing and it was, as usual, a fairly goofy affair. With the end of competition beer was flowing pretty liberally as the track gave away prizes drawn from tech cards. Those who were drawn and hadn’t stuck around were counted and by crowd proclaimed, ‘Out’a here!” There were a fair number of valuable prizes and winners who wished to have a case of Pepsi (it is Pepsi Night Fire) were required to do push ups or sing a Christmas song. Sensible ones chose push ups. The capper prizes were Entry Certificates for next year’s Night Fire drawn by tech cards for each registration. No, I didn’t win anything but Gus was a huge hit especially with kids and women. Time trials start at 8:30Am Friday.
The race schedule is four days, Thursday through Sunday and I’ll be caring each day. I has …issues. Gus the Pyrenees came along so he needs to be dealt with before anything else, food, water, shade, chain. With the motor home pulling a car trailer it is about a 2 ½ hour drive and by clock that’s 3 ½ hours. Gates open at 8AM race day and time trials begin at 9:30 so the very latest I could leave on Thursday would be 5AM my time and I’d be seriously pushed to get things done by time trials. Thrashing around in that kind of rush makes for a scattered mind and clear concentration is called for. It isn’t just navigating an over powered machine, there are lot of things that take clear thinking and concentration to accomplish well – and that is the point. Air pressure on the slicks has to be just right for track temperatures, the burn out has to put just the right amount of heat into the tires for the surface, the car has to be in a specific position at the starting lights, and then you have to catch the tree just right. If you’re distracted or out of routine these things start going wrong. Spinning tires on the line kills your ET (elapsed time) and cutting a bad light puts you behind at the start. Being a day early and ready race morning is a swell idea.
Getting ready to go was a major PIA. The car trailer had to have construction equipment off loaded and organized and the motor home .,, well yes, issues. No tail lights is a problem, and having turn and brake lights isn’t enough. Naturally that’s complicated and any step forward seems to involve a couple backwards, things like losing the head lights I ha in the process of not getting tail lights. Grrr. The engine battery is fine, but the coach batteries are both dead and I find that one won’t take a charge so it’s replaced. I can’t get the refrigerator to start, it is both 110V and propane powered and I need the propane to go and it won’t. I keep trying to get it started all the way to Firebird and can’t so my groceries consist of potato chips, nuts, coffee and some soda pops that I’ll either drink warm of figure out a way to ice down. Except that while setting up camp I discover that a gas valve is in the wrong position and the thing starts right up – I’ll have cold drinks but unless I want to leave the track and drive 15 miles each way I have nothing to eat except concession stand food, pretty tasty but pretty spendy.
Gus is happy a pig in mud, he’s with his Dad and the car noise isn’t bothering him. I was worried about making him miserable with al the uncapped headers, considering his life on construction sites I don’t know why I worried. It’s hot so he’s made mud in his chest from drooling while lying in the dirt, chest and forelegs , not a pretty addition but he doesn’t care. He’s made friends with the neighboring campers, some I know from previous races.
More issues make themselves apparent. It looks like I’ll be going to town anyhow since the motor home needs the fuel filter replaced. It wasn’t apparent driving in town, but once on the freeway hauling a trailer the thing started running out of gas to the engine and the cofounded auxiliary generator can’t pull fuel through the plugged up filter and I really have to have that thing some of the time. I suppose I’ll get groceries since the market is right down the street from the parts store. When to do this can be a major question since elimination rounds will go until 10:30PM and if I’m still in I can’t leave. I don’t have real hopes in that regard, I haven’t raced in four years and I’ve made a sizable change to the car’s setup. Practice is a darned good idea if you want to stay good at a complicated skill. At $400 entry this is an expensive race and against good drivers and cars from all over the West but it has the advantage of being 4 races for one trip and I get rotten mileage towing at freeway speeds along with other costs. Things should come back pretty quickly but the first day is going to require copious amounts of luck to stay in for long.
I can’t sleep, an unfamiliar bed, strange sounds, heat, and just plain excitement are conspiring to keep me awake. After two hours dedication to the concept of sufficient sleep I’m up writing this diary. This is a fine way to be at the top of my game at 9:30AM, up at 3:15 – at least I won’t have the guilt of leaving my readers out of the fun while I can’t post due to no connection. Now, another shot at sleep
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
As more Americans delve into the disturbing details of the nationalized health care plan that the current administration is rushing through Congress, our collective jaw is dropping, and we’re saying not just no, but hell no!
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
These are the opening 2 paragraphs of her statement, none of which backs away from this nonsense.
On Monday August 10th Sarah made this statement in regard to health care reform:
Also this week, Alaskans will join Senators Murkowski and Begich in town hall meetings to discuss the current health care legislation. There are many disturbing details in the current bill that Washington is trying to rush through Congress, but we must stick to a discussion of the issues and not get sidetracked by tactics that can be accused of leading to intimidation or harassment. Such tactics diminish our nation’s civil discourse which we need now more than ever because the fine print in this outrageous health care proposal must be understood clearly and not get lost in conscientious voters’ passion to want to make elected officials hear what we are saying. Also this week, Alaskans will join Senators Murkowski and Begich in town hall meetings to discuss the current health care legislation. There are many disturbing details in the current bill that Washington is trying to rush through Congress, but we must stick to a discussion of the issues and not get sidetracked by tactics that can be accused of leading to intimidation or harassment. Such tactics diminish our nation’s civil discourse which we need now more than ever because the fine print in this outrageous health care proposal must be understood clearly and not get lost in conscientious voters’ passion to want to make elected officials hear what we are saying. Let’s not give the proponents of nationalized health care any reason to criticize us..
Does this seem a bit confusing or maybe contradictory? I'm rather unsure how "Let’s not give the proponents of nationalized health care any reason to criticize us" works in relationship to this bald faced lie, "my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s 'death panel'”. If you're going to get into the crazy land of 'death panels' assertions to your fringe audience it would seem a little tough to say, "we must stick to a discussion of the issues and not get sidetracked by tactics that can be accused of leading to intimidation or harassment" rather than scream at any Congressional member who was backing any such ideas. It would seem a bit tough to get citizens to go along with these civility ideas when Republicans as self-important as our favorite lizzard Newt to say:
"The bill is a thousand pages of setting up mechanisms," he said. "You are asking us to trust turning power over to the government, when there are clearly people in America who believe in establishing euthanasia, including selective standards."
There are clearly people in America who believe the moon landing was a hoax, that Obama is an alien, that Saddam did 9/11, that all kinds of really stupid things are actually fact, like death panels so what exactly is Newt proposing? That these people run the country? That the government should freeze because idiocy is rampant in some circles? Some people advocate euthanasia, well some people belong to the KKK and some even belong to the GOP, or rather CPoR. Aw geeze...
Monday, August 10, 2009
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Why yes, she is comfortable and the claws full of Carhart Ducks she's got says so. I like her enough to let her get away with it. She's good enough mannered about it that if I put the recliner foot down she gets down on her own. I was never much of a cat person, she decided I should be, so I am.
She is not the least shy around strangers, but she will either immediately like them or not. My riding pal George came over the other day and she saw him for the first time, two minutes later she was on the couch next to him with her paws in his lap. He has no cats, just a bunch of dawgs and he's no quieter than I am. (I'm not)
A cat picture just because...
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This view shows the skinny fronts and DOT slicks rear. These are Weld Draglite wheels, 3.5x15 front and 6.5x14 rear mounting 4.5x15 Hoosier skinnies on front and 9.25x14x26 Hoosier Pro DOT slicks rear. I didn't weigh the fronts, but tire and wheel can be carried with my little finger.
If you're wondering about 15s front and 14s rear it is about rolling friction front with the taller tire tripping the light a tad later than a shorter one and the rears use a short wheel to give sidewall to the 26 inch diameter tire which is as tall as the car will allow. Taller and wider would be better for contact patch but won't fit this car. (8.30 inch tread)
The Draglites are a nice looking wheel and they are light, very light. They are specifically labeled competition not street and clearly curbing one would break or bend it badly. It was much more than simply ordering wheels and mounting them, the studs that mounted the street Cragar SS were much too short for the Welds' hubs. This meant installing 2.5 inch studs and complicating that was that the stud knurls were larger than the existing holes, on the rears only slightly but requiring drilling that I could do. The front rotors are 3rd generation Camaro and had metric studs, much larger knurls were required than the holes to use all SAE thread studs; so much so that I took the rotors to the NAPA shop to have them drilled and pressed.
Then the fun started, one rotor was under spec for resurfacing so a new one ordered and then they broke the good one, wait for another new rotor and another stud order. I got my rear axle hubs drilled out and mounted the streets on open lugs I had to order - more wait. Went and got the tires mounted and during install a front couple front nuts galled on the studs requiring breaking them to get them back off. Order studs again and wait. Finally we have what you see here and the car is awaiting loading on trailer.
That is another story, I spent 6 hours today unloading the car trailer's load of construction equipment and finding a place for it to live in my inadequate space. You don't want my day, I'm beat. There was some real heavy and some real awkward stuff on that trailer - not to mention just a flat lot of stuff. The car is now aboard.
The object is Firebird Raceway's Nightfire, 4 days of racing and in pit camping. I'll be running NHRA Pro bracket, at that elevation 13.99 sec to 7.50 sec with no electronics. I foot brake, oh well. There will be cars from all over the west along with Pro Mods, AA Altereds, and Nitro Cars. It is a blast and the air reeks of tires and fuel and treats for the ears.
Depending on density altitude, which is a factor of barometric pressure, humidity, and temperature, the car should run right at or below 13.00 seconds this time of year. If DA were to get close to sea level the car would get into 12s. Wish me luck, with various disasters occuring I haven't been out for 3 years, lots of missed practice.
If you're thinking, "How hard can that be with a street car?" I'll explain. I'll need to get off the line with no more than 0.020 seconds slower than perfect to be competitive. If I get the tire pressure right and the burnout right the car should go the first 60 feet in 1.70 seconds (0-45 mph in the length of 4 street lanes width) and if all shift points are right out the end of the 1/4 mile (1320 feet) in 13 seconds flat at about 107 mph. With these light tires and wheels the car may have both front tires in the air coming off the line, if I can get the rear tire pressure right and the burnout right. The burnout softens the tire compound to make it sticky, too little and the tires are too hard and slip, too much and the tires get greasy and slip. There's a lot to go wrong and you get one try to beat the other guy or you're done. Then there is the little matter of the dial in, in brackets you predict your ET and if you're quicker than that you lose, because the timing lights are staggered, if you both run perfect you'd reach the end in a tie despite running against a faster or slower car.
Win or lose it'll be a blast, but it sure is a lot more fun to go rounds and I've seen it go more than 6 rounds to get to finals. The best I've ever done at Nightfire is semi-finals, but I'm also just about the only dedicated street car running, the rest are dedicated race cars. There is a difference. A large one. I'll take an actual camera.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
"This is a scary time in Washington," he said. "It's a very frightening time. I see Barack Obama is creating an enemies list of people who oppose this miserable health care plan. I think that's frightening. That's from a guy that can't even show a long-form birth certificate. I think we all ought to be prepared to fight that."
This is the opposition?
Friday, August 07, 2009
We have thrown into that mix a politically driven toxic waste, health care reform opposition. It was toxic enough when it involved just the term socialism, but it has advanced quite a ways since. National debt is no longer the talking point, it has become a Nazi program with euthanasia for the elderly, sick, and disabled promoted by people with the agenda of ruining the nation. This mantra is spouted by "respectable figures" like Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the fake grassroots organizations of K St. It is said with authority and by people held in some esteem by a particular group. Sarah Palin refers to "Obama's death board" and Rush quite openly makes Nazi comparisons. The proposition being that the program is composed of truly vile actions taken by truly vile people against the defenseless by big government with an agenda.
The pictures and sound are everywhere as townhalls become increasingly chaotic and rage is showcased. There is the illusion of a mass movement of crushed citizenry in revolt against the faceless oppressors highlighted by the black face of Obama. People are being motivated by everything from racism to confusion with ignorance as the most common factor and rage as the result.
If one wished to mine very fertile ground for a couple people with serious issues that could end in murder these would be the tactics and the place for it. I would guess that it is a near certainty that someone or some will take these as their cues to commit a crime that is not only justified but that will have approval for having as its target someone not only deserving in this context but responsible in a larger sense for all that ails this nation - and the individual in action.
Rep Broun (R-GA) won't be packing the gun but his finger will be on the trigger, along with the rest of the irresponsible cretins playing at this political terrorism. Ginnning up imaginary devils to scare hell out of people is terrorism, the shouting isn't but when the shooting starts it will be. Some poor sick SOB will have had all his buttons pushed in this environment and an innocent will suffer. Yes, it will be a gun because bombs take way too much complicated preparation and time and the perpetrator will feel justified enough to desire to be present.
I can hope to be wrong and I do, but reason tells me that the outcome won't be happy. It can be hoped that such a person will be caught or otherwise short-circuited but that's a lot of wishing going on. The deliberate lies, hate speech, and fear mongering are going to have a result beyond the political inconvenience of some Democratic members of Congress. The really scary question is whether that is by design with some. Keep in mind that regardless of whether or how much blood is spilled these assholes will get re-elected, get their media salary, or get their corporate masters' wage without recrimination or consequences ... that'll be reserved for their accomplice and his victim.
I am scarcely the only one who sees this on any side of this debate and that should inform you as to their ethics and morality and the cost they're willing to make someone else pay. I don't have a broad enough range of expletives to tell you what I really think about these ... people.
If you're a Democrat or paid attention to Democratic politics you'd know that monolithic is as far from descriptive of Democrats as it gets. There is damned little that you could get those 60 to agree on. I don't know who thinks meaningful health care reform is going to get all 60 of those votes. I don't like the idea of an ideological litmus test for Democrats for the simple reason that very seldom does someone choose such a label without a pretty fair amount of congruence with the Party, lacking in some areas but darned important in others.
Senators Nelson and Baucus and some others might have ideological points I don't and that's not such a bad thing. What really sucks and I find offensive is their playing HealthInc's points while taking great whacking piles of their cash. If they propose to take the side of HealthInc mega-corps and investment banks over the general citizen's welfare then I cannot see Democratic congruence, all I see is mis-labeled Republicans. That the GOP has become the CPoR doesn't excuse a (D) from turning into a complete plutocratic tool.
So far what I see within the packages is a mechanism to enrich HealthInc. I will be clear, HealthInc bankrupting me by presenting alternatives I could not afford in the past makes it a damn sure bet that I will not send them one single dime of mine, mandates or not. It's not gonna happen. I might buy into a government plan, but if it is in any way connected to those rapists I'll consider it the same as them.
If Rahm doesn't like Democrats kicking Democrats he might want to think about something a bit past the existance of a (D) when it is entirely meaningless.
If Rupe would like to keep this loon on as a charity case I don't mind but having the Aussie make money off this cretin's lunacy is a bit much. While I find most of Rupe's line-up distasteful the excess that is Beck crosses into something entirely crazy and whether it is an act or sincere matters little. Some people are incited into really stupid and possibly dangerous behavior by Beck.
It doesn't cost you anything more than a couple minutes to try putting the squeeze on Glen.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
On the GOP side:
Blacks (poor or in particular uppity ones like a President)
Hispanics (short of pea-pickin kind) (or plutocratic serfs)
Gays (unless closeted Republicans or aides)
Non-evangelic Christians (Catholic exorcists excepted)
Scientists (except weapons research)
The Poor (except crackers)
The Left (that includes the middle from 40 yrs ago)
Socialists (Hitler was one, you know)
Smart people (somehow an elite)
Community organizers (excepting extreme rightwing)
The Democrat Party (they cannot be expected to spell)
The word Liberal (somehow fascistic communist inspired terror enabling friends of gay brown baby jesus killing abortionist welfare queens)
Health care advocates
Oh hell, I'm running out of venom and still it's the short list of devils and what is there for the other side of the ledger? What do you do with a list like this? Can you imagine the constant state of fear you'd have to live with - if you believed any of it.
That's the rub, to be a politico you'd have to rub shoulders with most of these people and know better, at least in a rational world you would. You might have to be disturbed to be the Confederate Party of Republicanism. You might have to care about the welfare of the general citizenry. I don't know, it must be extremely tiring and wearing to be in such a state most of the time.
Damn, grow up - such a list includes about 80% of the population and it isn't that bad giving a damn that their lives don't suck.
My riding buddy George and I took a loop that included Union, OR where we took an iced tea break. Pictured are my Screaming Eagle Springer Soft Tail and George's Anniversery Deuce. The Deuce is a very cool bike, the frame has a soft tail but is stretched somewhat to allow the saddle to be lowered (about 2 in lower than mine) and it has a greater fork rake to balance the longer frame.
(sometimes when you ask for something - you get it)
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These were all shot from the saddle of the Harley, so the day one of these takes a tumble the road way will be the targer and one can only hope to not be the bullseye. This is the back end of nowhere and I know of nothing that notes it as special so I thought I'd share it. It's a nice ride so stop by and I'll show you the way - bring a scooter.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Main Entry: bi·par·ti·san
Pronunciation: \(ˌ)bī-ˈpär-tə-zən, -sən, -ˌzan, chiefly British ˌbī-ˌpär-tə-ˈzan\
: of, relating to, or involving members of two parties ; specifically : marked by or involving cooperation, agreement, and compromise between two major political parties
— bi·par·ti·san·ism \-zə-ˌni-zəm, -sə-\ noun
— bi·par·ti·san·ship \-zən-ˌship, -sən-\ noun
I'm sure you could find other definitions that are more expansive, but the idea would be the same, the two parties reach an agreement that is probably mutually unsatisfying but actually does something. You will note that TWO is the operative word. When the two involves one with a strong majority you would expect that what the minority could best hope would be to have enough input to mitigate their concerns - not that their way was the only way.
President Obama campaigned on changing the tone in DC and reaching out to the GOP. What he got was the CPoR (Confederate Party of Republicanism) and weird looniness and obstruction. Despite having many amendments added into all the large bills the House CPoRs all voted "Nay," and no more than a couple CPoR Senators voted "Yea," and then both Houses of the CPoR complained that they had been disrespected and entirely cut out of the process. The media aids and abets this crap and actually asks if Obama has failed his promise.
So far the Democrats have not required the CPoR to meet in a basement or cut their power or called them terrorist enablers. So far the Democrats have allowed them to enter amendments. All this despite a much larger majority than when the CPoR (then known as GOP) did actually do that to Democrats. The President invites them to talk, his minions do not publicly call them rude names and they whine. In fact, some of them see fit to try to officially placate the birthers.
Now you have to understand that I don't think all Republican ideas stink, just most of them and the ones I do agree with I find their support to be no more than duplicitous hypocrisy. I'm real tired of the theme of including people who will not act in good faith as some measure of bipartisanship. These people are behaving like cretins and marginalizing them is not bad politics. If they offer amendments with no intention of voting for a measure there is absolutely no reason to vote for them short of that amendment actually improving effects of such a bill. Watering the thing down is not an improvement. Being able to claim that the (CPoR)s had input without some real improvement is stupid. I also really don't care the those wearing a (D) and acting (CPoR) get marginalized.
I do not have any loyalty to simply wearing a (D), my loyalties lie with an agenda of social and economic justice, not initials. I have the good fortune to live in OR where at the national level the only (CPoR) proudly wears that label - Greg Walden. I might from time to time disagree with some approaches our (D)s take, but they are clearly (D)s.
I'd like to suggest you take a real look at two, Sen Jeff Merkley (OR-D) and Sherrod Brown (OH-D). They aren't alone, but rank as a couple of my favorites. I tried pretty hard to help Jeff get elected and I've watched Brown with great interest since I was mostly raised in Ohio and had reason to be pleased with that - at one time.
I'm leaving out people with real claims to attention for the simple reason that 535 is just too many people to comb through (sure, discount any (R) but that's still a lot) and also manage to bore you. Sen Merkley will probably see this, but it wouldn't hurt for readers to send kudos to these guys and others you may know of independently. Thanks Senators and all the rest of you in the trenches.
Tonight he returned from vacation to award BillO a Silver Worst Person for lying about his visit to Sylvia's Restaurant but gave Rupe a Gold for stifling BillO and declared (tongue in cheek??) solidarity with BillO in throwing off the Aussie shackles.
I am not a GE insider and I do not have media sources and even further I have no real information regarding KO's freedom of action as an employee of GE/MSNBC. What I did see was exactly the same behavior that marked the feud. I will point out to skeptics that KO's opposition to the BushCo Iraqi Adventure was directly counter to the interests of the military contracting arm of GE which is a large piece of its business. Imelt has been held up to public scrutiny in the matter of interfering with the news wing and Olberman's response may take him off that particular thorn but drops him right onto the one of not having control over a loose cannon named KO.
Unlike the GOP Republican tools at FauxNews, KO not only scorched the GOP as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Health Industry he kicked the snot out of the Democrats who refuse to act as though they aren't (R)s on this issue and pointed to their contribution record of benefit from that industry. That would be Democrats getting called out in no uncertain terms, including the promise that if they will not represent the people they can be replaced in a heartbeat.
Whatever his idiosyncrasies I find it hard not to like his show...
Saturday, August 01, 2009
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I had planned to ride from Gold Beach to Newport and cut directly east to Salem but after Thursday night with 40s temps and 40+ mph head winds followed by Friday afternoon in 50s with once again high head winds persuaded me to go east at Reedsport. I got warm and comfortable 10 minutes from the coast and hit an elk viewing area, Roosevelt Elk which are smaller than Rocky Mtn Elk we have here at home. Phone camera has no zoom.
quite sure he doesn't understand that his wet transfers and that the shaking it off really spreads the wet around and humans find that disagreeable.
He doesn't get many of these in a year, it isn't easy and a Pyrenees has a coat that is fairly much self cleaning.
I do believe you have put 'your money where your mouth is' so to speak and admire you for getting involved but to basically call conservatives a bunch of 'idiots' is to do nothing more than make people that don't believe the way you do oppose you just on that principle. Call me names and while I won't come kick your ass I will walk the neighborhoods and oppose your candidacy...good luck and good hunting.
Look folks, if you continually run your head into a concrete wall and do it in belief in lies and distortions that are easily debunked you are an idiot. I'm not going to apologize to "birthers" and "evul soshalized medsin" crowd and a great whacking percentage of Republicans that buy into their crap. I'd like the conservatives to point to one of their successful programs, other than managing to wreck our economy. The list of liberal success stories is quite long and are even now claimed by or ignored by conservatives. Things like SS, Medicaide, Medicare, and veterans programs were in pretty good shape until the conservatives started trying to turn them into private cash cows.
If you play in the Birther movement you are ignoring so damn many facts to fill an emotional need that it seems unsafe to let you wander around without a keeper. Whatever you might think of the federal intelligence organizations or federal law enforcement agencies a birth certificate is pretty damn simple. YOU ARE AN IDIOT
Teabaggers are one of my pet peeves, the US taxpayer (private or business) is one of the least taxed in the world while supporting a military with the largest percentage of GDP in the world. They squeal about socialism with no idea what that actually is would actually rather see their own jobs go than have a reluctant government save them. They tout Reagan and blow a gasket when Obama talks about returning to tax rates lower than Reagan's. They have no facts - only an emotional response to his Presidency.
Political scare emails fly all around the internet proposing truly stupid and inaccurate things as fact. The fact that it came to you in this little screen does not validate it, does not make stupidity fact. If it seems horrifying and most of your fellows aren't aware; it is entirely unlikely that it has anything to do with anything. Major media has its shortcomings, but ignoring really scary stuff isn't one of them - they love a big splashy story. They love it especially if it hits a big chunk of their demographics, like say euthanizing the elderly. If believe this crap anyhow, you are an idiot.
If you buy into the idea that something like ACORN is some corrupt political conspiracy you are ignoring that the electoral fraud of real consequence and real fact has been prosecuted against Republican operatives. Organizational fraud and governmental misconduct in electoral matters has been nearly the exclusive province of the conservative political orientation. Just for your information, ACORN flagged the questionable registrations which is why it was public, the law states they must be turned in - regardless. The Republicans have been prosecuted for things like throwing valid (it doesn't matter) registrations in the trash if they were Democratic. Florida disenfranchised huge numbers of voters, Democrats, on the basis of a Republican controlled SoS and research organization. You are an idiot. The talking points of the Republican Party as repeated by Fox News are not facts and they are debunked considerably more than any other major outlet. If it is your sole news source and political commentary source you are an idiot.
It has been proposed that I'm being gratuitously rude to people and that they won't take me seriously because I call them names. Let's be real damn clear, if you are being an idiot the chances you'll pay the least bit of attention to me are vanishingly small. If you don't like it, don't read this or stop being an idiot.
I do some self-censoring, I try to avoid profanity used for its own sake and I don't run sexually provocative content but I will call things by their proper names and being an idiot qualifies you for being called one - at the very least on that particular issue. If you find yourself being offended, you might stop to think just how offensive I find you and your adherence to stupidity. Yes, you and yours regularly call me considerably worse than I've ever called anyone.