Feb 5, 2011

Cairo demonstrator with makeshift helmet

An Egyptian anti-government demonstrator protects his head with a kitchen pot

Cars stranded on Lake Shore Drive, Chicago

A scene from across America this week

Thousands flock to rice paddy crop circle in Indonesia

People gather to see the 70-meter-wide crop circle that appeared over last week in a rice field in Sleman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Thousands of curious onlookers are flocked to central Indonesia to look at the facture which looks like an intricately designed flower following rumors it was formed by a UFO.

Feb 4, 2011

Masked model at Fashion Week

A model wears a creation by Alexandre Herchcovitch during the Sao Paulo Fashion Week in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Unusual style! Looks like the model is ready for "look like a bandit" day.

She would look right at home with the protesters on the streets of Cairo.

Cairo protesters - from camels to burka's

Falling ice at Super Bowl site injures 7

Seven people were injured -- one critically -- when ice fell from the roof of Cowboys Stadium this afternoon.

Five of the seven people were taken to area hospitals.

Photo shows the Cowboys Stadium surrounded by snow.

"The ice and snow melting off of the Cowboys Stadium roof has caused several sliding snow falls onto the plazas,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in an e-mail sent to the Dallas Morning News.

The accident forced officials to shut all but one entrance to the stadium, the Dallas Morning News reports.


Endless stream heading for US border

Central American migrants ride on top of a northern bound train during their journey toward the U.S. border.

America crushed by snow and ice of Global Warming

From a report at the first link below:

As the deadly two-day blizzard finally passes, huge swathes of America must now brace for more snow and ice over the next three days as a storm brewing in the South and Texas is projected to move north by Saturday, dumping even more snow on top of already record-setting accumulation totals.

Snow is expected to fall over parts of Texas with rain over Louisiana, which will turn to snow over the mid-Atlantic and Northeast. A separate snowstorm will blow over much of the West, just as Chicago is recovering from its most damaging snowstorm in decades.

This week's storm was so catastrophic that buildings were crushed under the weight of the ice and snow.

At the second link below Al Gore claims that this snow and ice is actually caused by 'global warming.'

Remember Al Gore? He is the so-called climate guru who refuses to debate his climate science. He won't allow reporters access to his climate lectures. He relies on the friendly liberal media to give him a pass without challenging his climate science.

At the third link below is a report about a climate scientist in the UK who claimed that Europe would soon not see snow again and that children would grow up not knowing what snow was like.

Didn't Al Gore and the UK climate scientist remember the warnings in the 1970's about a coming ice-age such as the Time Magazine warning about another ice age.


The "crushed by global warming snow and ice" report is here.

The Al Gore claim that this snow and ice is actually caused by man-made global warming is here.

The claim (with link) that "children in the UK would grow up never knowing what snow was like" is here.

The 1974 Time Magazine 'another ice age' report is here.

New York City smoking ban in parks and beaches

Many believe the Big Apple has become a nanny state.

Smokers have just one message for Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council members: butt out of our business.

"We’re outside. We should have freedom to smoke."

The smoking ban will cover 1,700 parks and 14 miles of public beaches plus boardwalks, marinas and pedestrian plazas.


Obama's electric car hits roadblock:American car buyers

CNN reports on a study that shows:

Barack Obama's goal of putting 1 million electric cars on U.S. roads by 2015 could run into a huge roadblock -- the American consumer.

Photo shows a Nissan Leaf getting a battery charge.

According to a report released by researchers at Indiana University, automakers are unlikely to manufacture enough cars to reach the president's goal because of a potential lack of buyer demand.

Nissan and General Motors, makers of the Leaf and Volt, respectively, already have the capacity to produce enough cars to meet the goal. Serious questions remain, however, about the level of desire among potential buyers worried about cost, ease of use and likely resale value.

If electrics are so good why not make state and local police drive them as a test to see how reliable they are and how their performance stacks up.

If they want the country to go green, start with all police vehicles switching to electrics to prove to everyone if they are reliable and robust enough.


Feb 3, 2011

Reporters banned when Obama signed treaty with Russia

The START nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia was promoted heavily by Barack Obama.

However, when it came to signing the document, the White House refused to allow reporters or TV cameras in the room.

Still photographers were the only representatives of the free press permitted to record the historic moment.

If this was a good treaty, it would have been signed in front of several dozen reporters and photographers with Pelosi, Reid and the Russian ambassador standing behind him.

One commenter wrote: "This START treaty with Russia is more like a surrender document. The signing would be more appropriate on a Russian battleship with Obama and our Joint Chiefs of Staff bowing to our new overlords."

From the report at the link below:

The White House Correspondents Association protested the White House’s decision to refuse to permit reporters access to the event, in addition to the dearth of press briefings since the crisis in Egypt began to unfold, a crisis in which President Obama continues to celebrate the great freedoms and openness enjoyed in this country.

No openness during the signing of the START treaty!

Something is very wrong when the President of the United States signs a document with an unfriendly foreign power behind closed doors!


Credit card rates at record highs

According to a CNN Money report credit card interest rates are now hovering near record highs, at an average rate of 14.72%. And if your credit is bad enough, you could even end up with a rate as high as 59.9% APR.

That's because while the CARD Act helped crack down on certain fees and requires more disclosures, it didn't cap every credit card holder's worst enemy: interest rates.

Sure, the new rules prevent banks from raising most interest rates retroactively, but there's no limit on the rates they can charge new customers.

Rates are going up because card issuers know that once you get a card they can't raise the rates, so they're raising rates at the start to ensure they get the revenue from that interest.

First Premier Bank offers a Gold MasterCard with a whopping 59.9% rate for those people with "less than perfect credit", according to its website. And that rate is actually down from the 79.9% rate it originally charged!

Some of the interest rates above are unconscionable. Breathtaking, actually.

Besides a couple of debit cards, we have two credit cards -- one Visa and one MasterCard. However we pay almost no interest on either of them.

There was a time several years ago when we had credit card balances but that was when interest was much lower. Now our Visa and MasterCard get paid off every month just as soon as the statement arrives.


Playing chess amid Cairo turmoil

Cowboys Stadium amid layer of ice

This AP photo taken with a fisheye lens shows a layer of ice outside Cowboys Stadium during preparations for NFL football Super Bowl XLV.

Photo: walking to Cairo airport

Tourists make their way to the Cairo airport.

Red lanterns for Chinese Lunar New Year

A worker lays out newly made red lanterns to dry at a lantern factory in Jishan county, Shanxi province.

The lanterns are being prepared for New Year celebrations and the coming Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls on February 3, 2011.

Newspaper for the iPad debuts

Is Rupert Murdoch's newspaper for the iPad the future of journalism?

It's the only newspaper for the iPad only with a subscription cost of 99cents a year.

Described as the first subscription-based national daily news publication built from scratch specifically for the iPad, The Daily was unveiled Wednesday at a news conference in New York City, as a beaming News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch cradled the tablet on stage like a proud papa.

After first thanking Apple CEO Steve Jobs for being "a champion of The Daily from Day One,' the uber-publisher said the first iPad-only newspaper would be a game-changer for the news-seeking masses around the world.


Feb 2, 2011

Get Internet access when your government shuts it down

Internet access was cut off in Iran recently and now Egypt has cut off Internet service and mobile phone service for everyone in that country.

And now the Obama administration has put the 'kill switch' legislation back on the table.

A report at the first link below is titled, "As Egypt goes offline US gets internet 'kill switch' bill ready."

So what will you do when the federal government cuts off our access to the Internet?

A PCWorld report at the second link below offers suggestions and instructions in case Obama shuts down our Internet.

The report is titled, "Get Internet Access When Your Government Shuts It Down."

Link here and here.

Looks like the new teleprompter glasses just arrived

Punxsutawney Phil predicts quick end to winter

That fat rodent from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania predicts a quick end to winter.

No word if Punxsutawney Phil agreed to put that in writing.

Happy groundhog Day.


Report: Police at Cairo airport demanding bribes

From a report at the link below describing the scene at the Cairo airport:

Airport staff were scarce, food supplies were dwindling, flight information was non-existent -- and some policemen even demanded substantial bribes before allowing foreigners to board their planes.

Cairo Airport was in complete disarray, overwhelmed with over 18,000 stranded passengers, tourists said Tuesday as they detailed a litany of woes. As they spoke, dozens of evacuation planes arrived from all over the world to handle the surging exodus of foreigners and Egyptians amid growing anti-government protests in Cairo.

Much more here.


A young lion yawns as it enjoys the warm sunlight at the zoo of Zurich, Switzerland

Did Obama sink ObamaCare in 2008?

In the video below Obama is talking to Ellen DeGeneres comparing mandatory healthcare purchase to mandatory home buying.

Now the exact same thing is an integral part of his signature achievement - ObamaCare!

Gov. Brown cites Egypt to make case for tax hike

Proving that he is a tax-and-spend liberal from the 'old school', Jerry Brown (pictured) is citing the unrest in Egypt the Mideast to make a case for his tax hikes.

Citing the pro-democracy unrest in Egypt and Tunisia, Gov. Jerry Brown called it “unconscionable” that GOP legislators are vowing to block his attempt to ask voters to extend tax hikes to balance the budget.

“When democratic ideals and calls for the right to vote are stirring the imagination of young people in Egypt and Tunisia and other parts of the world, we in California can’t say now is the time to block a vote of the people,” Brown said in his first State of the State address in nearly 30 years.

He said the budget has tough choices but that the people “have a right to vote” on the package.

Did he once mention that tough choices should be made to cut spending instead of raising taxes? How long before even more businesses and individuals leave California?


Feb 1, 2011

Bill would require all South Dakota citizens to buy a gun!

It's a good thing I wasn't having my morning coffee when I read the headline, shown above, in my old home town newspaper the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. Some of the coffee may have spewed out of my nose ruining the newspaper!

Five South Dakota lawmakers have introduced legislation that would require any adult 21 or older to buy a firearm “sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense.”

As it turns out the sponsor of the bill knows it will never pass. He is forwarding the bill to make a point.

South Dakota State Republican Congressman Hal Wick (pictured) of Sioux Falls is sponsoring the bill and knows it will be killed. He said he is introducing it to prove a point that the federal health care reform mandate passed last year is unconstitutional.

If a law can force citizens to buy health care insurance, why can't a law force citizens to buy a firearm?

“Do I or the other cosponsors believe that the State of South Dakota can require citizens to buy firearms? Of course not. But at the same time, we do not believe the federal government can order every citizen to buy health insurance,” he said.


Hitching a ride

A lamb rides on the back of a motorcycle near Havana, Cuba.

Judge used Obama's own words against him

The photo shows Obama signing ObamaCare into law in March, 2010 surrounded by many of the lawmakers who helped cram the 2,000+ page bill down Americans throats.

Federal Judge Roger Vinson struck down the entire health care law as unconstitutional on Monday.

In ruling against President Obama's health care law, federal Judge Roger Vinson used Mr. Obama's own position from the 2008 campaign against him, when the then-Illinois senator argued there were other ways to achieve reform short of requiring every American to purchase insurance.

The footnote was attached to the most critical part of Judge Vinson's ruling, in which he said the “principal dispute” in the case was not whether Congress has the power to tackle health care, but rather whether it has the power to compel individual citizens to purchase insurance.

The judge ruled that because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void.


California governor Jerry Brown pushing tax hikes

All during the campaign for Governor of California, Jerry Brown's opponent kept bringing up ways to cut spending. That was the one thing Meg Whitman kept harping on and outlining ways to get it done.

Californians instead listened to the bogus story of Whitman's illegal maid and elected the former tax-and-spend liberal Governor Jerry Brown (pictured).

On Monday Jerry Brown said Californians should decide whether they want to pay $12 billion more in taxes to help plug the state's massive budget shortfall.

Brown, who just started his third term after serving as California's governor in the 1970s and 1980s, has laid out a plan to solve the state's $25.4 billion budget shortfall that hinges on voters approving an extension of tax hikes first passed in 2009 to address an earlier shortfall.

That didn't take long. In less than one month he is back in Sacramento raising taxes.


Lake effect ice

There's lake-effect snow -- and now there's lake-effect ice.

A lighthouse in Cleveland has become encased in a thick layer of ice thanks to chilly temperatures and lake spray kicked up by a major storm on Lake Erie.

This photo shows the Cleveland Harbor West Pierhead Lighthouse almost entirely encased in ice.

The left was unprepared for ObamaCare ruling

From a report at the link below:

Liberal pundits who have consulted liberal law professors about liberals' great achievement -- ObamaCare -- are pronouncing the ruling by Judge Roger Vinson to be much to do about nothing.

They call it " curious," "odd," or "unconventional."

These are complaints, not legal arguments. And they suggest that the left was totally unprepared for the constitutional attack on their beloved handiwork.

After all, the recent mocking by the left of conservatives' reverence for the Constitution suggests they are mystified that a 200-year old document could get in the way of their historic achievement. They are truly nonplussed, and so they vamp, not with reasoned analysis but with an outpouring of adjectives.

They truly were unprepared for the ruling.

Will they be equally unprepared for the verdict from the Supreme Court?


Democrats bipartisan seating killed State of Union speech

The Kumbayah "Coke with 2 straws date night" at the State of the Union speech was a bit much.

The bipartisan seating during the speech was a plan to hide the fact that Republicans outnumber Democrats during any joint-session seating.

As a result of the bipartisan seating Obama received subdued reaction at best.

There was even less excitement behind Obama as Biden fell asleep and Boehner looked like he had indigestion.

And we thought the speech was a failure because it was endlessly droning, pointless and predictable.

Details here.

Jan 31, 2011

Democrats claim Gov Kasich ignores blacks in cabinet hires

The writer of the article at the link below is accusing the newly elected Republican Governor John Kasich (pictured) of ignoring blacks when selecting his cabinet.

One of the problems with the Democrat Party in recent years is the misguided conception that a disproportionate number of blacks should be appointed to prominent political positions.

Kasich has said he does not dwell on "metrics," such as race, and doesn't "look at things in terms of quotas." A spokesman said Kasich offered cabinet posts to two African Americans, but they declined.


Federal judge strikes down ObamaCare law

A federal judge in Florida struck down Obama's landmark healthcare overhaul as unconstitutional in the biggest legal challenge yet to the federal authority to enact the law.

U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, appointed to the bench by Republican President Ronald Reagan, ruled that the reform law's so-called individual mandate went too far in requiring that Americans start buying health insurance in 2014 or pay a penalty.

The judge said "Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications."


Looters pillage Egyptian antiquities warehouses searching for gold

Looters have pillaged a number of warehouses containing ancient Egyptian artifacts, stealing and damaging some of them looking for gold and other treasures.

On Friday, looters broke into the Cairo museum, home to the world's greatest collection of Pharaonic treasures, smashing several statues and damaging two mummies, while police battled anti-government protesters on the streets.
The culture, monuments, temples and pyramids of ancient Egypt have left a lasting legacy on the world and are a major draw for the country's tourism industry.


Trump: Mideast Explosion Could Destroy OPEC, Lower Oil Prices

At the link below is a video interview with billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump (pictured) who lashes out at China, OPEC, Obama’s Middle East dealings, the president’s State of the Union address and more.

Trump claims that a complete Mideast explosion could destroy OPEC and lower oil prices.

Love him or hate him otherwise - Trump really does make a lot of sense in his interview.


Report Obama swaps Iraq and Afghanistan

Hit with a tough question about his administration’s policy in Afghanistan and Iraq last Thursday, Obama made a 'muddled mess' of his plans for withdrawing troops from the region.

Obama swapped “Iraq” for “Afghanistan” when he answered a question on YouTube about whether he still believes soldiers need to die in the wars there.

“As I said, we will be out of Afghanistan by the end of this year,” Obama said, a fairly significant misstatement of his administration’s Afghanistan policy, which doesn’t call for a troop withdrawal until 2014.

How can a President thread his way through the current Mideast crisis if he can't keep Iraq and Afghanistan straight in his mind?


What could go wrong with an Internet kill switch?

The Obama administration is considering an Internet kill switch.

Under the guise of protecting us from cyber crime terrorism, Democrat Senator Jay Rockefeller sponsored a bill to give the president the right to “order the disconnection” of “critical infrastructure information systems or networks.”

That went nowhere, but now there’s Senate bill 3480, the Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010. As its sponsor, Senator Joe Lieberman, told CNN, the bill will allow for the president to order Internet service providers to “disconnect the American Internet from all traffic coming in from another foreign country.”

But isn't this just another attempt, as Jay Rockefeller tried in 2009, at a government control grab. Take away computer interaction and you have much more control over the country.

It's not as simple as a 'kill switch' however.

The title of this report is,
What could go wrong with an Internet kill switch?

The answer is - plenty.

Turning off the Internet could shut down financial networks, and it wouldn't be easy to turn them back on.

Constructing such a switch would be extremely difficult. Borders are porous. Data packets originating in, say, Iran or China can enter the U.S. in many different ways—via satellite or submarine cable or packet radio, or routed through other countries. And packets can be “spoofed,” or assigned a forged IP address, which means there’s no foolproof method to be sure which packets are from home and which from abroad.

More here.

Jan 30, 2011

Food staples starting to run out in Egypt

As discontent and resentment fuel demonstrations, there is one vital staple in short supply: food.

The 9-day unrest has paralyzed daily life in Egypt with many grocers closing shop and inconsistent food shipments.

Egyptian President Mubarak has ordered a curfew in Egypt to be extended from 3 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Monday, further stifling normal life in the embattled nation.

Egyptian state-run Nile TV has set up a hotline for citizens to call in and report bread shortages. There has been no other indication of what the Egyptian government is doing to address the crisis.


Report: as Egypt burns Obama parties

As Egypt continues to burn... Islamic radicals escaped from prison, the Muslim Brotherhood joined Elbaradei on the street, and socialists continued to mobilize protests in Cairo... Barack Obama watched basketball and partied on Saturday.

As thirty years of United States Middle East strategy teeters on collapse, Barack Obama spent Saturday night at a going away party for David Axelrod who is leaving the administration to set up Obama's reelection campaign in Chicago.

But didn't Obama go around the Middle East bowing to Arab leaders?

And didn't he give a speech to the Muslim world in Cairo in June, 2009? That should have taken care of everything right?

Barack Obama's mention of "nearly seven million American Muslims" in the course of his rambling and complex six-thousand-word speech to the Muslim world from Cairo symbolized the whole message.

Jimmy Carter has gone down in history as the President who lost Iran.

Barack Obama will go down in history as the President who lost Egypt.

Link here and here.

Hillary Clinton's biggest problem dealing with leaders in the Middle East

(click on cartoon to enlarge)

Rep Kucinich settles out of court for olive pit incident

When news hit the wires two days ago about the Dennis Kucinich (pictured) lawsuit because of an olive pit, the story failed to mention that the incident happened three years ago!

Before settling today, Kucinich was seeking $150,000 in damages, plus interest and costs, from Restaurant Associates, which manages the cafeteria, and three other businesses that stock and help run the operation.

The suit said that Kucinich “sustained serious and permanent dental and oral injuries requiring multiple surgery and oral procedures” and claims Kucinich has sustained other damages, “including significant pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment.”

Yes, yes - can't forget the "loss of enjoyment" part.


Don Imus: Rachel Maddow is a coward gutless sniveling worm

Don Imus

C'mon Imus, why don't you tell us what you really think?

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Don Imus slammed Rachel Maddow on his Fox Business Network show on Wednesday.

Imus took Maddow to task for not defending Keith Olbermann immediately after the news broke that he was fired from MSNBC.

Imus knew that Maddow owed her MSNBC job to Olbermann yet she turned her back on him when he was fired.

“Having nothing to do with her politics, she is a gutless coward and I’ll tell you why. . . . for this woman, who owed her job to him – she’s live there with Bill Maher, a lot of people watch that – terribly influential program – not to offer a defense of Olbermann, in spite of what you think about Olbermann, is unconscionable. . . she’s awful. She’s the worst kind of coward and gutless, sniveling worm.”

Facebook has new security mechanisms - Locking the barn after horses stolen?

From a recent CNN report:

Facebook is adding new security features, which come after a pair of high-profile cracks in the site's defenses that surfaced this week.

You know it's bad when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had his public page on his website hacked this week.

Facebook is adding new security features, which come after a pair of high-profile cracks in the site's defenses that surfaced this week.

One new mechanism is called "social authentication." To combat spam and prevent strangers from weaseling into your account, the system will sometimes show the user a friend's headshot and ask to match a name to that face.

This multiple-choice photo quiz is a new take on a common Web system called Captcha.

Older methods show a graphic of squiggly letters and asks you to type those on the keyboard. It's used for verifying that a site's user is a human being and not a computer program looking to exploit systems.

More here.

Electric car cold weather shortcomings

Something to think about before buying an electric car if you live in a cold climate:

All batteries deliver their power via a chemical reaction inside the battery that releases electrons.

When the temperature drops the chemical reactions happen more slowly and the battery cannot produce the same current that it can at room temperature. A change of ten degrees can sap 50% of a battery's output.

In some situations the chemical reactions will happen so slowly and give so little power that the battery will appear to be dead when in fact if it is warmed up it will go right back to normal output.

Photo shows a Chevy Volt charging.

Now, if the cars were cheaper than gas-powered cars of equal performance, these cold-weather risks might be acceptable. But electrics are substantially more expensive than cars of greater capability - and will be for years to come.

Why is it that 'greenies' continue to push one of the least green technologies available. The materials that make up the battery are toxic, the methods used to mine them are toxic, crashes will release spills that create environmental issues, and recycling the material will create vast new waste streams that can kill water sources.

My personal experience with electric vehicles? Several years ago I drove one nearly every weekend during the summer months and it got me from the 1st tee to the 18th green nearly every time without recharging.

There is a report at the second link below detailing a trip in an electric Mini Cooper from London to Edinburgh that took longer than a stagecoach did in the 1830's!

Link here and here.