Nov 7, 2009

The White House Muslim ties

(click on picture to see video)

...thanks to all who sent me the video link

Nov 6, 2009

Fort Hood casualties more shocking than those from war zones

The deaths at Fort Hood felt a world away

You hit a what? It was too big for roadkill

It's not unusual to see a deer or a cow crossing Oklahoma's rural highways. But an elephant?

An Oklahoma couple sideswiped a wayward elephant on their way home from church.

The elephant escaped from the Family Fun Circus at the Garfield County Fairgrounds after being spooked causing a vehicle accident Wednesday night as it ran along the U.S. 81 bypass in Enid, Oklahoma.

The couple in the SUV were not injured.

The elephant suffered a broken tusk, a hurt leg and bumps, bruises and scratches and was taken to the vet school at Oklahoma State University after colliding with the SUV.


Many in U.S. want laws against texting while driving

A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that nearly all Americans say sending a text message while driving should be illegal, and about half say texting while behind the wheel should be punished at least as harshly as drunken driving.

Ninety-seven percent support the prohibition of texting while driving, an unusual level of agreement for any topic. Eighty percent also support a ban on talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving.

Why zero in on texting while driving when there are dozens of other ways for a driver to be distracted besides cellphone use?

Some people can text without looking at the keypad. Their response to an anti-texting law would be: you’re not my BFF so MYOB.

It is not uncommon to see a driver with a newspaper or magazine propped up against the steering wheel.

What about applying lipstick or other makeup while driving or anything else that requires a lot of time using the rearview mirror?

And what about the girl on busy I-5 in Los Angeles scooting past you with her foot propped up on the steering wheel while painting her toenails as she puffs away on a cigarette? That’s when you realize you’re not back in South Dakota on Route 281 between Redfield and Aberdeen.

Do we need separate laws covering all possible driving distractions? Can’t they all be prosecuted under our present careless driving laws?


Report: Obama insensitivity after shooting

A report at the link below says:

President Obama didn't wait long after Tuesday's devastating elections to give critics another reason to question his leadership, but this time the subject matter was more grim than a pair of governorships.

After news broke out of the shooting at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas, the nation watched in horror as the toll of dead and injured climbed.

The White House was notified immediately and by late afternoon, word went out that the president would speak about the incident prior to a previously scheduled appearance.

The cable station cameras went to Barack Obama for the presidents comments -- but he did not appear until 5 p.m.

The situation called for not only his trademark eloquence, but also grace and perspective. We saw neither.

But instead of a somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion, viewers saw a wildly disconnected and inappropriately light president making introductory remarks.

At the event, a Tribal Nations Conference hosted by the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian affairs, the president thanked various staffers and offered a "shout-out" to "Dr. Joe Medicine Crow -- that Congressional Medal of Honor winner."

Three minutes in, the president spoke about the shooting, in measured and appropriate terms. Who is advising him?

The report goes on to say, “Anyone at home aware of the major news story of the previous hours had to have been stunned. An incident like this requires a scrapping of the early light banter. The president should apologize for the tone of his remarks, explain what has happened, express sympathy for those slain and appeal for calm and patience until all the facts are in. That's the least that should occur.”


= = = = = = = = U P D A T E = = = = = = = =

There is another report here titled, “Our clueless Commander in Chief” also dealing with Mr. Obama’s reaction to the horrific shooting at Fort Hood where twelve soldiers were murdered in cold blood and thirty others were wounded.

Spectacular fork lift accident video

(click on picture to see video)

The accident happened in a warehouse in Moscow filled with glass bottles of vodka and cognac.

After a few seconds of driving slowly around, the driver’s foot seems to slip on the accelerator and he goes hurtling into the bottom of a huge stack of shelves.

The driver apparently escaped with minor injuries to one of his legs. Reports of the monetary loss range from $100,000 to nearly $200,000.

Can help find new jobs for Russians? Just wondering...

Man in breathalyzer costume cited for DUI

A 20-year-old man in a breathalyzer costume found himself blowing into a breathalyzer after police in southwest Ohio stopped him on Halloween night. He was driving the wrong way on a one-way street with no headlights.

Oxford police said they found an open container and a partial case of beer in the front seat and beer in the trunk when they stopped the man, James P. Miller, of Cincinnati.

Police said Miller was cited on charges including operating a vehicle while intoxicated, underage possession of alcohol, having an open container and a fake ID and a one-way street violation.


111 New Bureaucracies in the Pelosi Health Care Bill

House Republicans find 111 new 'bureaucracies' in the health care bill pushed by Nancy Pelosi.

The photo shows House Minority Leader, John Boehner with the1,900 page bill.

In its latest attempt to portray the Democrats' reform package as an unwieldy expansion of federal government in the health care sector, the House Republican Conference circulated what it called a list of "new boards, bureaucracies, commissions and programs" created in the House health care bill.

With 111 new bureaucracies and agencies one can understand why many are saying the Pelosi health care bill is a bill we just can’t afford to pay.

More of the basic story here.

A list of the 111 new agencies can be found here.

Nov 5, 2009

The DWI motorized chair is back on eBay

Click here for the story behind the now famous DWI chair from Proctor, Minnesota, a town of about 3,000 population near Duluth.

The chair was forfeited by the original owner and builder of the motorized chair and became the property of the Proctor Police Department.

Proctor put the chair up for auction on eBay last week with a starting price of $500. The chair quickly jumped to over $43,000 until the auction was killed by eBay because of false representation.

The first auction listing is shown above one day before eBay killed the sale. The description said it was a La-Z-Boy chair. Since it was not a La-Z-Boy brand chair, eBay had no alternative but to cancel the auction.

The town of Proctor then put the chair back on eBay. The new auction number is
The first auction number was: 150384476487. The new auction number is: 150385696050.

This time around the price of the chair is not climbing nearly as fast as it did last week. The graphic below shows the current auction two hours before close with the price at $10,099.99.

And forget shipping -- the winning bidder is required to pick up the chair in Proctor, Minnesota.

The chair (shown above along with Mr. Anderson) was powered by a Briggs & Stratton engine from a lawnmower. It has headlights, a stereo, cup holders, a nitro­us oxide power boost system, drag racing style steering wheel, a parachute and other custom options, including different power levels.


Republicans rally against Health Care Bill

Republicans hosted a rally against Democrats' health care reform, calling on those who attend to track down their elected representatives in Congress and put pressure on them to think twice about voting for the more than $1 trillion health care overhaul.

House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio told the crowd gathered on the lawn near the West Front of the Capitol, “This bill is the greatest threat to freedom that I have seen.”

Photo shows Georgia Congressman Tom Price holding a copy of the nearly 2,000 page Health Care Bill.

The demonstrators came to Washington by plane, bus and other means to send a message to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., as they press ahead with health care legislation.


Pittsburgh Steeler Hines Ward named dirtiest NFL player

A report at the link below says:

It's accurate to say that there aren't a whole lot of players around the league who like Hines Ward. When he's not going over the middle to catch passes, he's always looking to lay a hit on an unsuspecting defender.

The NFL even passed a new rule after Ward broke linebacker Keith Rivers’ jaw last year.

So it's no surprise to learn that Ward has been voted as the NFL’s dirtiest player in a survey by Sports Illustrated.


Drunk driver calls 911 to report herself

A 49-year-old Wisconsin woman called 911 and told the operator, "I don't want to hurt anybody. I'm drunk."

Clark County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Jim Backus said Monday that Strey's call on Oct. 24 led deputies to cite her for misdemeanor drunken driving with a blood-alcohol level double the legal limit to drive. She makes her first court appearance Dec. 10.

Backus said drunken drivers reporting themselves is rare.


Hillary tries to boost Muslim ties

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (pictured) offered aid on Tuesday to boost ties with the Muslim world and urged Israel, the Palestinians and Arab countries to move beyond recrimination in the search for peace.

After a weekend of heated words about the perceived U.S. tilt toward Israel on the issue of settlements on the occupied West Bank, Clinton said it was important for all sides to "be careful about what we say" and avoid angry rhetoric.

Clinton's speech unveiled a modest new set of aid proposals aimed at building on President Barack Obama's promise in a June address in Cairo to make a "new beginning" on Washington's strained ties with the Islamic world.

More here.

Hillary meets tribal people in Pakistan

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton chats with Pakistani tribal people during her meeting with them in Islamabad, Pakistan. Clinton came face-to-face Friday with Pakistani anger over U.S. aerial drone attacks in tribal areas along the Afghan border, a strategy that U.S. officials say has succeeded in killing key terrorist leaders.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton chats with Pakistani tribal people during her meeting with them in Islamabad, Pakistan. Clinton came face-to-face Friday with Pakistani anger over U.S. aerial drone attacks in tribal areas along the Afghan border, a strategy that U.S. officials say has succeeded in killing key terrorist leaders.

Hillary strives for Middle East peace

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Nov 4, 2009

Autumn in Washington, DC

The Washington Monument can be seen through two oak trees on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Woman, daughter hold signs admitting theft

Fifty-six-year-old Evelyn Border and 35-year-old Tina Griekspoor stood outside the court for 4 1/2 hours Tuesday.

They held signs that read: "I stole from a 9-year-old girl on her birthday! Don't steal or this could happen to you!"

Holding the signs was in exchange for no jail time.


Obama magic has faded

Professor Glenn Reynolds puts the New Jersey and Virginia election results in proper perspective.

Jon Corzine has been a terrible governor even by the undemanding standards of terribly governed New Jersey.

Creigh Deeds, though he looked good to Democratic Party recruiters not long ago, turned out to be an undistinguished campaigner, more driven by the concerns of Washington Post editorialists than of Virginia voters.

The elections underscored Obama’s political weakness just one year after his triumphant victory over Republican moderate John McCain.

One Lucianne commenter compared Mr. Obama’s popularity to the Furby craze of a few years ago.

Furby was that the fuzzy little chatting best-friend toy that nearly everyone wanted. People would stand in line at 3 a.m. or pay any price to get one.

Then, after finally getting what they wanted, they found out the "mindless chattering" of their beloved toy was driving them crazy, and they put the coveted trophy at the bottom of a dark closet so they didn't have to listen to its constant babble.

That's what happens when smart people get caught up in a short-lived craze!

In New Jersey and Virginia, where Obama won handily one year ago, you could take his 2008 mandate along with a buck-fifty and get a cup of coffee most anywhere in Richmond or Trenton.

Link to the Harlan Reynolds report here.

Republicans win NJ and VA governors races

From a report at the link below:

Republicans swept to victory in the New Jersey and Virginia governor's races Tuesday, scoring a pair of decisive wins in states that voted for President Obama a year ago.

In Virginia, Republican Bob McDonnell (upper photo) beat Democrat Creigh Deeds by a huge margin, heading up a successful GOP ticket. McDonnell's victory ends eight years of Democratic control of the governorship.

In New Jersey, Republican Chris Christie (lower photo) beat out Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine, even though Obama campaigned heavily for the incumbent in the closing days of the race and the state has not elected a Republican governor since 1993.

The victories could spell trouble for Democrats' legislative agenda in Washington and stand as harbingers of GOP gains in the 2010 midterm elections. Republicans claimed the races Tuesday served as a collective rebuke of Democrats' policies on Capitol Hill and at the White House.


Wedding chapel on wheels

Rev. Darrell Best says, as far as he knows, he has the fastest church in Illinois.

Best owns a 1942 fire engine converted on CMT’s 'Trick My Truck' to a motorized wedding chapel.

The rolling chapel has stained-glass windows and a pipe organ that offers brides and grooms a sense of adventure.

Rev. Best said he wanted to give people without a church a chance for a special service.

For $2 per mile, plus a $200 fee, he'll drive the church anywhere.


Wildlife officer loses alligator at show and tell - oops!

Officials say a Florida Panhandle Fish and Wildlife officer lost a 5-foot alligator after bringing it to his daughter's school for show and tell.

Searchers scoured a wooded area surrounding the school last Friday afternoon. The alligator jumped out of the man's vehicle Friday morning. The animal's mouth was taped.

Fish and Wildlife Spokesman Stan Kirkland says alligators have "amazing" jumping ability and that allowed it to escape.


Report: stunning Republican win in New Jersey

The photo at right shows former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie the governor-elect of New Jersey.

A report at the link below says:

By defeating Corzine, former U.S. Attorney deals big blow to President Obama, who carried the state easily in 2008.

In the end, all the stumping in the world from the President of the United States wasn't going to stop regime change in New Jersey's highest office.

The report says 38 percent of Corzine voters said their vote for Gov. Corzine was to express support for Obama, while 59 percent said Obama was not a factor.

The three visits to New Jersey by Obama didn’t really seem help that much. The photo above shows Barack Obama with defeated New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine.


Nov 3, 2009

No flu shot shortage for Guantánamo detainees

Prince Charles and Camilla touring Canada

Britain's Prince Charles and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall began an 11-day tour of Canada Monday. The coast-to-coast tour will take in 12 cities.

While Charles, 60, has visited Canada 15 times, the trip is a first for his wife, Camilla.

Prince Charles has described the trip as a chance to meet as "many Canadians as possible" but a recent opinion poll showed that a large majority of Canadians are apathetic about the visit.

Just one in five people said they would make an effort to see Prince Charles "if he was nearby."

So why the 11-day trip to a country that is lukewarm to the visit?

Perhaps it’s because Charles need something to do while waiting for his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, to die so he can begin his life’s work.

The photo above shows Charles and Camilla in Scotland a couple of years ago. She seems to be telling him, “Oh Charles you’ve got ever such lovely knees.”


Navy ship built with WTC steel visits NY

The new Navy assault ship USS New York, built in Louisiana with World Trade Center steel, arrived in its namesake city Monday with a 21-gun salute near the site of the 2001 terrorist attack.

An official commissioning ceremony is scheduled for Saturday.

The ship was scheduled to be built before the terrorist attacks.

About a year later, the announcement came that the ship would bear the name New York to honor the city, state, and those who died.

It is the latest in a line of Navy ships to bear name New York. The others included a Spanish-American War-era cruiser, a battleship that served in World Wars I and II and a nuclear submarine retired from the fleet in 1997.


Obamamania has turned to lukewarm support

Just twelve months after an election by a popular candidate, who famously appeared amid faux Greek columns and was lionized by adoring crowds, the luster has faded.

From a report at the link below:

A year on from a historic election, the spirit of popular goodwill that yielded America's first black president has retreated to tepid support for Barack Obama as he presses his change agenda.

Since then, Obama's visage has been everywhere, conspicuously on the streets of the nation's capital where millions of foreign and domestic tourists have visited over the past year, many of them snatching up poignant souvenirs.

What a difference a year makes.

A quick look around downtown Washington confirms that the Obama trinkets are still for sale, but more than one strategically placed street hawker have found little point in displaying the T-shirts, posters, and "Yes We Can" buttons bearing the new president's image.

"They stay in the truck," grumbled a vendor who identified himself as "Dick," as he pointed to a rusty vehicle behind him. "They don't sell anymore."

Indeed, Obama's honeymoon with the American people lasted less than six months.

After his inauguration in January, Obama's approval rating soared to 70 percent.

He very quickly charged into controversial programs to rescue the economy, including the manhandling of US auto manufacturers and pushing through a 787-billion-dollar stimulus plan.

In late April, at the end of the first 100 days in office, Obama still enjoyed more positive reviews than his predecessors in the previous 20 years.

His fall was soon to come as questions started simmering about the Mr. Obama’s ability to pull the US economy out of a nosedive.

In July, his popularity dipped even below that of predecessor George W. Bush in the same period of his presidency.

Since mid-October, it has hovered just above 50 percent, a "significant drop" from his earlier numbers, according to Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll.

"In general, this puts Obama's current ratings slightly below average for all US presidents since World War II," Newport told AFP.

A monthly approval index by Rasmussen Reports showed 29 percent of those polled strongly approve of Obama's performance, compared to 39 percent who strongly disapprove giving him an approval index of -10.

Mr. Obama had the worst poll rating drop in 50 years as reported here.

More here.

New Obama action figure - sort of

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

Our favorite is the 'blame thrower.'

Nov 2, 2009

World Cup giant slalom racer

Ted Ligety, of the United States, speeds down the course on his way to clock the second fastest time during the first run of an alpine ski, men's World Cup giant slalom race in Soelden, Austria.

A 50X copy of Mona Lisa unveiled in the UK

A giant copy of the Mona Lisa is unveiled in Wrexham, north Wales, October 28, 2009.

The giant version of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece measuring 58 feet across which is 50 times bigger than the original, is an attempt to produce the largest ever reproduction of the painting.


The economic recovery myth

Keeping her eyes on the ball

Lucie Safarova of Czech Republic, eyes the ball during a match against Jelena Jankovic of Serbia at the Kremlin Cup tennis tournament last month in Moscow.

Where did Madoff get his Ponzi scheme idea?

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

Nov 1, 2009

Dueling planes

Sean Tucker flies his Oracle Challenger bi-plane inverted over US Marine Corps Major Nathan Miller, flying F/A-18 Blue Angel No. 5, over San Francisco Bay last month.

The U. S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron Blue Angels and Tucker were preparing for two airshows on Fleet Week San Francisco 2009 festivities, which celebrate the area's long Naval history.

Worlds largest rubber band ball

The Guinness record rubber band ball is on its way to a Ripley's Believe It or Not museum.

Neighboors of 28-year-old Joel Waul came to see the “Waul ball” for the last time as the 10,000-pound ball was lifted by a crane onto a flatbed truck destined for one of Ripley's Believe It or Not museums.


Statesmen commemorate fall of Berlin wall

George Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev and Helmut Kohl met to commemorate the end of the Berlin wall 20 years ago. The ceremony was attended by 1,800 people.

Mikhail Gorbachev George bush Helmut Kohl are shown above at the anniversary ceremony.

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” American President Ronald Reagan famously demanded in 1987 in front of the Brandenburg Gate.

Berlin Wall did “fall” on November 9 of 1989 allowing free passage through all border crossings although it wasn’t officially demolished until the summer of 1990.


Sweeping ObamaCare legislation

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