Oct 3, 2009

Is it the weekend yet?

Kinderdijk LED illuminated Dutch windmills

The Historic Dutch Kinderdijk lighted windmills near Rotterdam, Netherlands get a makeover using colorful low energy LED lighting.

Oct 2, 2009

Boys dressed as Mahatma Gandhi

Schoolchildren dressed as Mahatma Gandhi take part in a cultural event on the eve of Gandhi's 140th birthday in Bhopal, India.

Time Magazine photo

UK media: Obama Olympic failure adds doubts about his presidency


The Times Online reports:

There has been a growing narrative taking hold about Barack Obama’s presidency in recent weeks: that he is loved by many, but feared by none; that he is full of lofty vision, but is actually achieving nothing with his grandiloquence.

Michelle, Barack and Oprah could only accomplish getting Chicago eliminated in the first round.

Back to the Times Online article:

Chicago’s dismal showing today, after Mr. Obama’s personal, impassioned last-minute pitch, is a stunning humiliation for this President. It cannot be emphasized enough how this will feed the perception that on the world stage he looks good — but carries no heft.

Michelle and Oprah before their stunning defeat.

Obama and Chicago Mayor Daley unhappy after learning they were eliminated in the first round.


Mandrill eats ice cream at Netherlands zoo

A mandrill savors an ice cream treat in a zoo in Rhenen during the heat last summer.

On really hot days the zoo animals were given frozen dessert to cool them down.

Anti-Obama highway signs around the country

Is this just the beginning?

Mexican President seeing red in the UK

The President of Mexico Felipe Calderon inspects guards on Horse Guards Parade in London on the first day of his state visit to Britain earlier this year.

White House priorities

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Democrats chip away at Patriot Act during terror threats

A report at the link below says:

You might not have heard, but some key parts of the nation's most important anti-terrorism law are set to expire in December.

When the Patriot Act was originally passed in the days following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress put time limits on three of its most far-reaching provisions:

1. "Roving wiretaps," which allow investigators to keep up with suspects who use dozens of cell phones to avoid being traced.

2. Business records authority, which lets investigators ask a special national-security court for access to records of a suspect's dealings with private businesses.

3. The “lone wolf" provision, which allows investigators to track individual terror suspects even if they are not a member of a terrorist group, like al Qaeda.

Congress renewed those provisions in 2005 and now must give them another four-year renewal, or they will disappear.

Some Democrat lawmakers have long wanted to weaken the act, and now, with big majorities in the House and Senate, they have their chance.

But the renewal debate just happens to come at a time when recently uncovered domestic terror plots -- most notably the Denver shuttle bus driver and his colleagues caught with bomb-making materials and a list of specific targets in New York City -- are highlighting the very threats the act was designed to counter.

Republicans are fighting to keep the law in its current form.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) echoes the conservative view by saying he is very worried that we could end up weakening the act when we should be considering what we can do to make it stronger.

By weakening the Patriot Act, Democrats in Washington may just become allies of the terrorists. Terrorists will not be nice to us just because we are nice to them.


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Oct 1, 2009

Sarah Palin’s book an immediate top seller

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (pictured below) has completed her memoir and it is ready for the printer.

The book is called, "Going Rogue: An American Life" (cover is shown at left).

Two days after the release date was announced, it became the top seller at both Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

Politico.com has an article at the link below that reports about the Palin book that has “taken off like a rocket.”

HarperCollins will print 1.5 million copies for the book’s first run, the same number that was printed for late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s memoir "True Compass."

Kennedy’s book, published earlier this month, currently stands at number six on the Amazon list.

A publishing industry source told POLITICO that they "cannot remember a non-fiction book taking off like this in the pre-order market. It became number one only a couple of hours after nothing more than a date announcement. It is truly unprecedented."

Much of the 400-page book is based on journals Palin kept during her vice-presidential run.

Palin backers hope the book will help prevent the leftist media from incorrectly framing the discussion about what she believes and stands for.

It should slow them down when it comes to what they allow our country to hear and see about Sarah.

From a Lucianne commenter:

While ACORN was busy committing nationwide vote fraud on behalf of Democrats, the media was busy investigating Sarah Palin's daughter.

While Obama was absorbing Rev. Wright's anti-American hate sermons, the media was investigating Sarah Palin's infant son, Trigg.

While the media was whitewashing the hateful lunacy of Bill Ayers and Rashid Khalidi, they were investigating Sarah Palin's wardrobe expenditures.


Texas town shuts down police department

The Police department gets the boot in the small west Texas town of Marfa.

The police chief and two officers will be terminated when the police department shuts down October 1.

"It's all about consolidation. What we're trying to do is run our community as efficiently as possible," said Marfa mayor, Dan Dunlap.

According to the mayor, the city will save $90,000 a year by hiring the Presidio County Sheriff's Office to replace the local police department.

Although the police department will disappear, the police chief may still have a job if he agrees to take a position mandated by state law: the town marshal.

The job of town marshal in Marfa is part-time, and only pays $4,000 a year.

Marfa has a population of about 2,100.


Saturn doomed after Penske pulls out

General Motors announced Wednesday it would shut down Saturn after the Penske Automotive agreement to acquire fell apart.

Penske, citing concerns of whether it could continue to supply vehicles after a manufacturing contract with GM ran out, ended talks with GM Wednesday to acquire the brand.

GM CEO Fritz Henderson said in statement that Saturn and its dealership network will be phased out.

In June, GM and Penske agreed to take over the Saturn brand and related dealerships, although GM would produce the vehicles for a limited period of time.

GM said Saturn vehicle owners can still go to their Saturn dealer for service and would be able to go to a certified GM dealer for service once Saturn dealerships are closed.


Dan Rather’s lawsuit against CBS dismissed

Dan Rather (pictured) filed a lawsuit in 2007 claiming CBS made him a scapegoat when the network came under intense criticism over a September 2004 "60 Minutes II" story challenging George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

Immediately after the story aired, questions were raised about the accuracy of the reporting.

Rather, who narrated the disputed piece, became the target of fierce criticism from conservative partisans who believed the story was an attempt to influence the 2004 presidential race.

The episode forever tagged Mr. Rather with the phrase, “fake but accurate.”

Six months later, Rather stepped down from the anchor chair he had occupied for nearly a quarter of a century -- a departure he said was not voluntary.

Rather's suit alleged that management at CBS and its then-parent company, Viacom, shifted blame to him to pacify the White House and that on the day after Bush was re-elected, he was informed he would be removed as anchor of the CBS Evening News.

Now the appellate division of the state Supreme Court found "the complaint must be dismissed in its entirety and that a lower court erred in failing to do so."

The ruling was unanimous.


Sep 30, 2009

Man ordered to quit smoking after starting fire

Let the punishment fit the crime.

A 19-year-old Hawaii man started a restaurant fire with a flicked cigarette.

He pleaded no contest to starting a restaurant fire.

The judge ordered the 19-year-old to stop smoking for a year.


Obama will listen to Gen. McChrystal first time since troop request

Barack Obama apparently has been too busy to listen to his commanding general in Afghanistan - until now.

Fox news reports:

The president is attending the first in a series of Afghanistan strategy sessions with his national security team, amid concerns that he's not acted quickly enough to address the challenges of that country and is downplaying advice from Gen. Stanley McChrystal (pictured).

President Obama will hear from his top commander in Afghanistan on Wednesday for the first time since the general warned that America's mission in the unstable country will likely fail without more troops.

The security team includes top military and diplomatic officials with whom Obama has been in regular contact. But McChrystal, who will join the private meeting via video feed, has talked with Obama only once since taking over U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan over the summer.

The meeting, via video feed, will finally give General McChrystal to a chance to tell Obama personally why he asked for more troops more than ten days ago.

Mr. Obama has only talked to Gen. McChrystal once since taking over U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Possibly Mr. Obama has been too busy trying to promote a 2012 Chicago Olympics than to be bothered about his war in Afghanistan.

The White House announced Monday that the president will travel Thursday night to Copenhagen to make a personal appearance before the International Olympic Committee to promote Chicago as the host city for the 2016 Summer Games.

Link here and here.

Fever thermometer in use on a Malaysian bus passenger

A Malaysian health worker checks the temperature of a passenger in an effort to detect the presence of swine flu inside a bus in Kuala Lumpur.

The Malaysian government has launched an awareness campaign urging the public to remain vigilant against the swine flu and advising them to take 'H1N1 kits', including face masks and hand sanitizes, with them when visiting relatives during the coming festive season specially when travelling in public transport during the Islamic Eid-al-Fitr holidays.

New York health care workers face mandatory flu shots

Until this year, the choice to forego the flu vaccine was up to the employee. Not this year.

Several hundred health-care workers, civil libertarians and members of anti-vaccine groups on Tuesday railed against a mandate that medical professionals get seasonal and swine-flu vaccines.

Health-care workers in the state of New York say they shouldn't be forced to get a vaccine that they don't believe has been tested appropriately as a condition of keeping their jobs.

The state health commissioner said their arguments are baseless.

There are reports that some employees at institutions where vaccines are mandated have retired or been fired because they refuse to get the vaccine.

More of the story here.

War caskets ignored by media with Obama in WH

Remember how the media focused attention on the war dead while George W. Bush was in the White House? Many newspapers showed running totals of the war dead - often on the front page.

And then came Nightline’s Ted Koppel (pictured) who read names of dead Iraq war servicemen. Reading the names occupied the entire expanded 40-minute news show. This was done to lesser degrees on other liberal biased TV programs.

Honoring the war dead seemed like a noble idea on the surface. However, honor was not their intent. The intent was to call attention to the war dead in a manner that would reflect badly on Bush.

They were playing politics with fallen war heroes.

Now that Bush is no longer in the White House, the media has lost interest in showing caskets of war dead or reading their names.

Two servicemen tend to flag draped caskets about to be unloaded from an Air Force plane at Dover, Delaware.

Until a couple of months ago they were still featuring information about servicemen killed while Bush was in the White House!

From the article at the link below:

"These young men and women are heroes," Vice President Biden said in 2004, when he was senator from Delaware. "The idea that they are essentially snuck back into the country under the cover of night so no one can see that their casket has arrived, I just think is wrong."

In April of this year, the Obama administration lifted a press ban, which had been in place since the Persian Gulf War in 1991.

Media outlets rushed to cover the first arrival of a fallen U.S. serviceman, and many photographers came back for the second arrival, and then the third.

But after that, the impassioned advocates of showing the true human cost of war grew tired of the story. Fewer and fewer photographers showed up.

When the first caskets arrived after press coverage was allowed there were 35 media outlets on hand to cover the story.

Two days later there were 17 media outlets there.

Fast forward to ... Sept. 2, there was just one news outlet -- the Associated Press -- there to record it.

The situation was pretty much the same when caskets arrived on Sept. 5, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 22, 23 and 26.

There has been no television coverage at all in September.

The press hordes that once descended on Dover are gone. The media had no interest in honoring the war dead.

The war in Afghanistan belongs the current president now and there is no media enthusiasm for reporting the increasingly high number of war dead on Mr. Obama’s watch.


Sep 29, 2009

Soda pop tax to help pay for ObamaCare

Congress is considering new federal taxes on soda pop and other sugar drinks to help pay for ObamaCare.

The taxes would pay for only a fraction of the cost to expand health-insurance coverage to all Americans and would face strong opposition from the beverage industry.

They also could spark a backlash from consumers who would have to pay several cents more for a soft drink.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based watchdog group that pressures food companies to make healthier products, plans to propose a federal excise tax on soda, certain fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks and ready-to-drink teas. It would not include most diet beverages.

On one side of the debate are those who say that sugar drinks are harmful and the government should discourage its use.

Others say such a tax would unfairly hit lower-income Americans and wouldn't deter consumption.

The main beverage lobby that represents Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc., Kraft Foods Inc. and other companies said such a tax would unfairly hit lower-income Americans and wouldn't deter consumption.

"Taxes are not going to teach our children how to have a healthy lifestyle," said Susan Neely, president of the American Beverage Association.


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Who whooo

A group of striped owls sit at the Animal Hospital at the Niteroi Zoo, Brazil.

Only 41% of voters favor ObamaCare

A Rasmussen poll shows support for ObamaCare hits a new low.

Just 41% of voters nationwide now favor the health care reform proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats.

That’s down two points from a week ago and the lowest level of support yet measured.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 56% are opposed to the plan.

For the first time ever, a slight plurality of voters now express doubt that the legislation will become law this year. Forty-six percent (46%) say passage is likely while 47% say it is not.

More here.

Land locked

Thai villagers make their way next to a boat trapped in a mass of water hyacinth in Tha Chin river, Nakhon Chaisi district, Nakhon Pathom province, Thailand.

Joe Wilson was right!

The National Review Online did some fact-checking after Congressman Joe Wilson blurted out, “you lie” during Barack Obama’s health care speech on capitol hill.

It is a good thing that other congressmen did not follow Rep. Joe Wilson’s lead. If they yelled out every time President Obama said something untrue about health care, they would quickly find themselves growing hoarse.

By NRO’s count, Mr. Obama made more than 20 inaccurate claims in that speech to Congress.

And that’s after excluded several comments that are deeply misleading but not outright false!

Link here to the article that lists all 20 of the Obama lies in the speech to Congress.

The Congressional Budget Office agrees with Joe Wilson

Clinton regurgitates the old “vast-right wing conspiracy” phrase

Clinton regurgitates the old “vast-right wing conspiracy” phrase
Remember the old “vast right-wing conspiracy” accusation originated by Hillary Clinton in the early years of the Bill Clinton administration?

During an appearance on Meet the Press last Sunday, Bill Clinton regurgitated that tired old phrase when prompted to by host David Gregory.

Hillary first used it in the early years of the Bill Clinton administration when she tried to put together a healthcare plan somewhat similar to ObamaCare. When her healthcare plan didn’t gain traction in a Republican Congress, she blamed a phantom “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

The liberal media found the phrase catchy, as well as potentially demeaning to conservative members of Congress.

Hillary later revived the phrase when Bill’s affair with Monica Lewinsky (pictured with Bill) made juicy headlines.

She blamed her phantom “vast right-wing conspiracy” for keeping the affair in front of the public. Hillary also used the phrase during the Bill Clinton impeachment.

She also revived that tired old phrase again during her ill-fated presidential campaign last year.

When has a phantom phrase received so much mileage?


Sep 28, 2009

Wackiest football fans...

Broncos topple Raiders 23-3
Are the Broncos that good? No.

Are the Raiders that bad? Yes.

Win or lose - it’s always fun to see the Raider fans in Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

Obama’s shallow, shadow speech at the UN

His shadow says it all.

Is it really Monday?

A seal pup raised at a seal research station in Norddeich, Germany pops its head out of a basket to peer at an unfamiliar world.

White herons in flight fight

German Chancellor Angela Merkel wins second term

Angela Merkel (pictured) became Chancellor of Germany in 2005 by defeating Gerhard Schröder.

With Merkel’s re-election, Germany becomes even more conservative.

A report at the link below calls it:

‘A bitter defeat’ for the top left-wing party, which had worst results since WWII.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel won a second term on Sunday, along with the center-right majority that eluded her four years ago — nudging Europe's biggest economic power to the right as it claws its way out of a deep recession.


Sep 27, 2009

Most fire trucks get water from hydrants

A fireman investigates a fire truck stuck in a sinkhole in the Valley Village neighborhood of Los Angeles.


A 2-year-old pug named Bentley competes in the fourth annual Helen Woodward Animal Center Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon in Del Mar, California.

New airliner design would seat passengers face-to-face

How would you like to sit facing another passenger on your next flight?

If British design company Design Q gets its way, airplanes of the future will seat passengers in an innovative—dare we say interactive—high-density configuration.

More specifically, they intend to essentially seat passengers face-to-face for the entire trip.

Just hope that passenger across from you waits to eat that limburger sandwich until after the flight.

What about passenger safety? Most airliner mishaps would thrust the passengers sideways when seated sideways in a Design Q airliner.

Military personnel are accustomed to travelling in rows facing each other as shown above, but will civilians buy tickets to fly in that manner?


How many TV show appearances this week?