Friday, April 30, 2010

American Soldiers in Afghanistan Parody Lady Gaga's "Telephone"

If you do not stick around until at least 1:40 you will miss the group effort.

Video embedded below.

Obama - "Countries Like Europe"

Everyone makes mistakes, and it is very clear what Obama meant to say, but why is it that Obama's slip ups are not reported on while Republicans are hounded for theirs?

Video embedded below.

Satellite Balloon Launch Goes Horribly Wrong

Thankfully no one died, though there were a few close calls. Year of work were obliterated in a few seconds because of an erroneous forecast.

Video embedded below.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Obama - "I do Think at Certain Point You’ve Made Enough Money"

Video embedded below.

Three Year Old Arrested as Suspected Terrorist

What ever problems we think we have with terrorist, they must pale in comparison to France who had to arrest a three year old boy they suspected might be a terrorist. That, or they really have some really incompetent law enforcement people.

"A three-year-old was arrested as a suspected terrorist and held at a French police station for more than two hours, it emerged today.
Police officer claimed they were carrying out routine vehicle checks before arrested both father and son.

They were taken to Juvisy Police Station where, after 20 minutes, they were split up.
Daniel’s mother then arrived at the station and Daniel was finally released after two hours, but local social services said he was in a ‘severely traumatised state after his ordeal.’

A spokesman said: ‘He can’t sleep and he’s crying constantly. He’s a terrified little boy. The whole thing has been an absolute nightmare for him.’

Illegal Immigrants Plan to Leave Arizona Because of Arizona's New Immigration Enforcement Law

Gibbs, Holder, Napolitano, and Obama have all criticized Arizona's New Immigration Enforcement Law without fully reviewing it. A legal challenge from them and others is almost guaranteed once they do finish. With Illegal immigrants saying they are planning on leaving because of the law, does that mean the supporters can claim victory?

"Many day laborers like Diaz say they will leave Arizona because of the law, which also makes it a state crime to be in the U.S. illegally and directs police to question people about their immigration status if there is reason to suspect they are illegal immigrants."

Police in Full Riot Gear Called in For Quincy Tea Party Rally

The president's safety is important, but calling in the riot police on the peaceful Tea Party Protesters outside is ridiculous.

Video embedded below.

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Harry Reid (D) - 'Republican Filibuster of Wall Street Bill is Anti-American'

Video embedded below.

Faster then you can say hypocrite...

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Army Now Fighting a War on Power Point Slides

For a larger version head to the source. This kind of thing is so ridiculous, you do not know if you should laugh or cry.

Picture embedded below.


'When we understand that slide, we'll have won the war,' General Stanley McChrystal, the US and NATO force commander, remarked wryly when confronted by the sprawling spaghetti diagram in a briefing.

afghanistan power point graphic

Baffling: The PowerPoint slide shown to US commanders shows security, economic and political conditions in Afghanistan. The dark blue arrows represent Afghan National Security Forces with the enemy in red. Other arrows highlight corruption, tribal favouritism and drug trafficking

PowerPoint has become public enemy number one for many US officers who find themselves battling slide presentations rather than insurgents.

Some have gone as far as to declare all-out war on the software after the military command was over-run with mind-numbing 30-slide presentations."

Chris Matthews (MSNBC) - 'Palin Aspiring to be a Professional Ignorant'

I still can not figure out if Matthews actually believes this of if he is just doing it for attention.

Video embedded below.

NASA Unveils 'Compelling Evidence of Life on Mars'

It is not actual evidence of life, but evidence that points to life. It may take a while to get back and verify, but space if it is confirmed space could soon be a much more crowded place then we previously thought.

"A special mission to the Red Planet has revealed the likely presence of a form of pond scum - the building blocks of life as we know it.

NASA unveiled the results of the recent Opportunity and Spirit probes sent millions of miles through the solar system to discover signs of extraterrestrial life.

The results are so promising boffins have already planned a host of other missions to discover whether there is extraterrestrial life in the universe.
But the NASA boffins said the recent missions have gone further than any others in proving there is life on Mars.

They were particularly excited about the discovery of a sulphate called gypsum which, it has emerged recently, is found in large quantities among fossils in the Mediterranean.

Jack Farmer, researcher at the Arizona State University, in Tempe, Arizona, said he was "optimistic" there was - or had been - life on Mars.

Another of the scientists Bill Schopf, researcher at the University of California in Los Angeles, added: "One, thanks to Opportunity and the rovers and orbital imaging it is clear that there are literally vast areas of Mars that are carpeted with various sorts of sulphates, including gypsum.

Obama Criticizes Arizona's Immigration Law Before Review Has Been Completed

We had Gibbs, Holder, Napolitano, and now Obama who have either voiced concern or criticized a bill that the agencies have not finished reviewing. Obama's criticism/concern is actually not true by most people's reading of the bill; at least not in the way in which he described it. I suspect that is a conclusion he and his people will come to when they finish reviewing the bill. You would think he would have learned from his 'I do Not Have All The Facts, But The Police Acted Stupidly' incident.

Video embedded below. (skip it 4:40)

Holder And Napolitano Voice Criticism And Concern Over Arizona Immigration Law, Before Review Was Finished

Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano both voiced concern and criticism over Arizona's new immigration law. The review of the bill has not been finished by the Justice Department or the Homeland Security Department. Basically it is the same thing Gibbs did and Obama's 'I do Not Have All The Facts, But The Police Acted Stupidly'.

"Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano were critical Tuesday of Arizona's new law on immigration and Holder said the federal government may challenge it.

Napolitano said the new state law could siphon federal money and staff from hunting down dangerous immigrants.

The critical comments by the nation's top law enforcement official and the Cabinet secretary responsible for preventing terrorist attacks on U.S. soil came four days after Arizona's governor signed a law designed to crack down on illegal aliens.

Arizona's new law is subject to potential abuse, Holder told a news conference. The law -- which takes effect this summer - allows police to question anyone about their immigration status if they have reason to suspect they are in the country illegally, and makes it a state crime if they are.

The Justice Department and the Homeland Security Department are reviewing the state law.

Immigration Protesters vs Tea Party Protesters

The double standard is pretty obvious.

Video embedded below.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Container Missile System (Club-K)

Imagine you are truck driver minding your own business and transporting your container cargo to its destination when you stop for a quick coffee break. As you sit in the dinner sipping your coffee you glance out the window at your truck only to see the top rising up revealing four missile launchers. The Club-K Container Missile System (their website) could make such a scenario is possible. The premise is simple enough, turn what looks like container cargo into a clandestine loaded missile launching platform.

Such a system would be extremely difficult to detect and extremely difficult to keep track off. Instead of needing to destroy missile launch platforms in your enemies territory, and tracking/destroying missile launch vehicles, every shipping container could be a potential missile launcher. What is worse, it is not just the shipping containers on your enemies' territory. It could be a container they have shipped to a neighboring country or even into your country.

There may be some hitches with the technology. While it does not specify, I imagine if you were driving down the highway and it was activated it may cause the truck to crash or tip potentially neutralizing it. Similarly, if the container has another container stacked on top of it, the device may not deploy. Still, those potential problems are not nearly serious enough to take away from the benefits of such a system.

If you want to buy one, you may be forced to ask Russia. The United States equivalent system appears on the verge of being axed.

Video embedded below. (via)

Greece’s Credit Rating Cut to Junk by S&P

Greece is getting squeezed as its credit rating is now considered 'junk' by S&P. This is not a surprise; indeed it is the inevitable result of run away deficits. The United States would do well to take notice.

"Greece’s credit rating was cut three steps to junk by Standard and Poor’s, the first time a euro member has lost its investment grade since the currency’s 1999 debut. The euro weakened and stock markets throughout the region plunged.

Greece was lowered to BB+ from BBB+ by S&P, which also warned that bondholders could recover as little as 30 percent of their initial investment if the country restructures its debt. The move, which puts Greek debt on a par with bonds issued by Azerbaijan and Egypt, came minutes after the rating company reduced Portugal by two steps to A- from A+.

The turmoil comes as European Union policy makers struggle to agree on measures to ease the panic over swelling budget deficits. Leaders of the 16 euro nations may hold a summit after the Greek government’s decision last week to tap a 45 billion- euro ($60 billion) emergency-aid package failed to reassure investors, a European diplomat and Spanish official said.

Noah's Ark Found?

That is what Turkish and Chinese explorers are claiming. They believe enough that they have found it that they are applying UNESCO World Heritage status to protect the site so a major archeological dig can be had. We may be able to figure out if it was circular soon.

"THE remains of Noah's Ark have been discovered 13,000ft up a Turkish mountain, it has been claimed.

A group of Chinese and Turkish evangelical explorers say they have found wooden remains on Mount Ararat in eastern Turkey.

They claim carbon dating proves the relics are 4,800 years old — around the same time the ark was said to be afloat.

Cleavage Apparently Does Cause Earthquakes

What started as joke, may have actually proved the power of the female anatomy. An Iranian cleric blamed a major earthquake on woman dressing 'immodestly'. With the intent to prove the cleric wrong, Jennifer McCreight planned a "Boobquake" where woman were encouraged to dress scandalously. That took place yesterday. You know what else happened yesterday, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan. McCreight claims that it was not their fault because Taiwan was outside of the 'Boobquake time zone'. Coincidence? The scientist in me says we need a larger sample size and further experimentation.

"Boobquake, a day of action that calls on women worldwide to dress scandalously and prove wrong an Iranian cleric who blames natural disasters on immodest cleavage, has started disastrously, reported Monday.

At 11am (local time), a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit Taiwan, no doubt causing thousands of Boobquake fans to hastily button up.

Although Boobquake founder Jennifer McCreight, of Indiana in the U.S., has claimed that the quake does not count because it happened outside her Boobquake time zone, she admitted on her blog that the wobble was significant, but not unusual.

“On avg, 134 magnitude 6-6.9 earthquakes occur annually,” she wrote on her Twitter feed, before following it up on her blog with: “If we get many of a similar magnitude in the next 24 hours, we might start worshipping the power of immodesty.”

Medicare Actuary And CBO Says ObamaCare Will Increase Expenses

That is increase expenses over what it would have been had the Democrats done nothing. We did not have to wait long for that. I will just stand back now and collect my fair share of the apologies from being attacked for saying what was true all along. Ok; my fair share is pretty small, but even if it was not I would not hold my breath waiting.

"President Obama's health care overhaul law will increase the nation's health care tab instead of bringing costs down, government economic forecasters concluded Thursday in a sobering assessment of the sweeping legislation.

A report by economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department said the health care remake will achieve Obama's aim of expanding health insurance — adding 34 million Americans to the coverage rolls.

But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the president's twin goal of controlling runaway costs. It also warned that Medicare cuts may be unrealistic and unsustainable, driving about 15% of hospitals into the red and "possibly jeopardizing access" to care for seniors.
A separate Congressional Budget Office analysis, also released Thursday, estimated that 4 million households would be hit with tax penalties under the law for failing to get insurance.

The U.S. spends $2.5 trillion a year on health care, far more per person than any other developed nation, and for results that aren't clearly better when compared to more frugal countries. At the outset of the health care debate last year, Obama held out the hope that by bending the cost curve down, the U.S. could cover all its citizens for about what the nation would spend absent any reforms.

The report found that the president's law missed the mark, although not by much. The overhaul will increase national health care spending by $311 billion from 2010-2019, or nine-tenths of 1%. To put that in perspective, total health care spending during the decade is estimated to surpass $35 trillion.


Sebelius Admits Admin Has No Clue How Much The High Risk Pools Will Cost

Another surprised to be looking forward to thanks to ObamaCare passing. Though, I will not really be surprised when the cost turns out to be significantly more then we were told; nor should anyone who was paying attention.

Video embedded below.

Orszag (Obama’s Budget Director) Says ObamaCare Creates a Rationing Panel to Control Health Care Levels

If I did not know any better I would think Orszag was talking about death panels...

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Geithner - "I Never Had A Real Job"

Head to for the clip. If you listen close, he seems to admit that he still does not.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Gibbs - 'Department of Justice is Still Reviewing Arizona Law, But it is Fundamentally Unfair'

Gibbs is talking about Arizona's new immigration enforcement law, but if you hear a certain 'I do Not Have All The Facts, But The Police Acted Stupidly' ring to it you are not alone.

video embedded below.

Jesus Seen From Space

This is even better then letters seen from space.

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Spotted ... Jesus

Obama Calls on 'African-Americans, Latinos, And Women' to Help in 2010

Guess this means Obama wants Asians, Native Americans, and med to vote for the Republicans. What is with the racial politics...

Video embedded below.

Israeli Researchers Unveil Small-Lightweight Hydrogen Storage System

If hydrogen power transportation is the future, this new hydrogen storage tech could be in your future car. (via)

"Researchers in Israel say they've come up with a very novel way of storing hydrogen. Gone are the bulky, super-insulated tanks that can keep coffee hot for 28 days. The Israeli team has figured out a way to pack hydrogen into glass filaments that, once completed, will be slightly thicker than a human hair. The glass hairs, or "capillaries," are then bundled into a glass tube, 370 at a time, forming a "capillary array," about the width of a drinking straw. The scientists say that 11,000 of these arrays will fuel a car for 240 miles. Not bad considering they'll also take up less than half the space and weight of a conventional hydrogen storage tank. "We have shown new materials that can store more hydrogen than any other system," says Dan Eliezer, chief scientist of C.En Ltd., the company based in Geneva, Switzerland, where the Israelis are developing their invention."

North Korea Accused of Sinking The South Korean Ship

This story just got a lot more interesting, and a lot more dangerous. Last month a South Korean ship sank killing dozens. The incident, which was widely to believed to be an accident, may have actually been an attack. Technically speaking the United States has been at war with North Korea since the Korean War but have not had a serious exchange of fire in half a century. A break out of hostilities would likely prove costly for the Americans stations on the DMZ, and certainly for South Korea who face the real prospect of having their capital turned to rubble; even if nuclear weapons do not come into play.

"North Korean soldiers believe a South Korean warship that sank last month was hit in a premeditated military operation approved by leader Kim Jong-Il, a South Korean activist said on Wednesday.

Pyongyang has denied it was responsible for the mystery blast near their disputed sea border, which left 46 sailors dead and further stoked tensions between the neighbours.

The suggestion that the North may have been responsible came as South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak called the communist North the world's "most belligerent" state.

Choi Sung-Yong, a campaigner for the return of South Koreans abducted by Pyongyang, told AFP: "Despite Pyongyang's denial, many North Korean soldiers believe a torpedo sank the ship."

Choi said his claim was based on a telephone conversation with an unnamed North Korean army officer. South Korean officials refused to comment.

Seoul has so far refrained from pointing the finger at the North over the sinking of the 1,200-tonne Cheonan on March 26 and said only that an "external explosion" was the most likely cause.

Mystery US Military Spacecraft

I like me a good secret military program to make the imagination go wild. The United States retires the SR-71 Blackbird replaced by ... nothing officially. The most successful spy plane ever built, never shot down, still holding various air speed records decades after its launch; then just retired for no apparent reason. Enter the Aurora, a yet to be announced but theorized replacement to the Blackbird.

Mystery secret space craft ... it has some possibilities.

Video embedded below.

National Security Adviser General James Jones Tells a Joke Depicting Jews as Greedy Merchants

Am I being to sensitive; the White House does not seem to think so.

"Was the Joke Anti-Semitic? Well, the White House must have thought so. The White House transcript sent to reporters after the event conveniently began a couple of minutes into the speech. The video of the event posted on the Washington Institute Web site started right after the Joke, you can even hear the end of the laughter.

Its interesting that the same President that sees racism in the legitimate actions of the Cambridge Police and the State of Arizona, hides the anti-Semitic prose of its National Security Adviser.

Video embedded below.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Good Samaritan Dies Because no One Bothered to Help Him

A man lies bleeding on the street, and for an hour and a half no one bothers to call for help. These people were in no danger, nor would have been by calling. One even takes out their phone. Do they call, nope, just snap a picture and are back on their marry way. How was this good Samaritan injured, saving a women from her attacker. Stories like this really irk me because I hope in the same situation I too would step in. I do not think I could stand by and watch, as a women was brutally attack, I do not think I could even just call the cops and wait for them to get there. I am not suicidal by any stretch of the imagination, but that does not mean a paralyzing fear of getting involved thinking they are about to pull out two Uzis.

Video embedded below.

Obama Develops a Southern Accent

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American's First President Failed to Return Two Books in 1789

Before anyone starts nit-picking, let me be clear by saying American's first Constitutional President. George Washington has amassed a $300k late fee for failing to return the "Law of Nations" and a volume of debate transcripts from Britain's House of Commons. The library is not pursuing the fine, instead hoping to retrieve the books; neither of which is likely.

"Washington failed to return two books in 1789, which have been accruing overdue fees.

He was supposed to return the books after a month, but failed to do so.

"We're not actively pursuing the fines," said Mark Bartlett, the head librarian of the New York Society Library. "But we would be very happy if we could get the books back."

The former president, who died in December 1799, borrowed two books from what was then the only library in Manhattan – "Law of Nations," a dissertation on international relations, and a volume of debate transcripts from Britain's House of Commons.

Obama Backs Down on Sudan

Obama initially switched to engagement, but has apparently switched moved past quite resignation to open capitulation. Not a surrender in the sense that they have defeated us, but giving up notions that they should not be able to get away with genocide. (via)

"Until he reached the White House, Barack Obama repeatedly insisted that the United States apply more pressure on Sudan so as to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe in Darfur and elsewhere.

Yet, as president, Mr. Obama and his aides have caved, leaving Sudan gloating at American weakness. Western monitors, Sudanese journalists and local civil society groups have all found this month’s Sudanese elections to be deeply flawed — yet Mr. Obama’s special envoy for Sudan, Maj. Gen. Scott Gration, pre-emptively defended the elections, saying they would be “as free and as fair as possible.” The White House showed only a hint more backbone with a hurried reference this week to “an essential step” with “serious irregularities.”

President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan — the man wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity in Darfur — has been celebrating. His regime calls itself the National Congress Party, or N.C.P., and he was quoted in Sudan as telling a rally in the Blue Nile region: “Even America is becoming an N.C.P. member. No one is against our will.”

Memo to Mr. Obama: When a man who has been charged with crimes against humanity tells the world that America is in his pocket, it’s time to review your policy.

Bill Ayers Claims The Weather Underground Was Not a Terrorist Organization

Those bombs they planted; um, part of some elaborate show? Does he really think anyone is going to believe this?

Video embedded below.

Democrat Pushes to Eliminate 'Navigable' Restriction From The Clean Water Act

A Democrat is pushing to eliminate the word "navigable" from the Clean Water Act. He claims that navigable was never meant to be a restriction in the bill written four decades ago. Without the restriction, what would prevent the federal government from regulating the puddle that forms in your lawn or driveway after it rains? The answer is nothing.

Video embedded below.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Google Street View is Logging WiFi Networks And Mac Addresses

Google's Street View cars are scanning and logging WLAN networks and Mac addresses in Germany, and the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection is not happy about it. Google has not published the data it has collected, at least not yet, but people have some privacy concerns. The information could be used to connect a virtual identity with a real one.

"Google's roving Street View spycam may blur your face, but it's got your number. The Street View service is under fire in Germany for scanning private WLAN networks, and recording users' unique Mac (Media Access Control) addresses, as the car trundles along.

Germany's Federal Commissioner for Data Protection Peter Schaar says he's "horrified" by the discovery.
Spooks have long desired the ability to cross reference the Mac address of a user's connection with their real identity and virtual identity, such as their Gmail or Facebook account.

Other companies have logged broadcasting WLAN networks and published the information. By contrast Google has not published the WLAN map, or Street View in Germany; Google hopes to launch the service by the end of the year.

Remember in November

It is a good ad, but if you watch closely you will notice the debt clock is off by more then $2 trillion. The number they use is more then $2 trillion less then it actually is. Given the message is a 'worry about the unsustainable debt' one, I have to assume it was a mistake.

Video embedded below. (Via)

Update (5/5/2010): Remember in November (Part Two)

Arizona Governor Signs Immigration Enforcement Bill

Obama has voiced his displeasure for the bill, and a court challenge either by the federal government or interest groups (or both) is likely. My thoughts are in line with Glenn Reynolds (see below). While not settled, it seems likely that the state is trampling on a federal issue. That said, the state's counter would be since the federal government is shirking on its responsibilities it is forced to act. Either way Arizona would win; the federal government reclaims its responsibilities or acknowledges that it will not giving the state free reign.

"ARIZONA’S IMMIGRATION BILL: I think that Krauthammer is right that it’s a response to the federal government’s failures, and I also agree with people who say it’s likely trumped by the Supremacy Clause — Congress has plenary authority over immigration, and though it’s not entirely settled — is there a “dormant immigration clause?” — that’s the way to bet. But it occurs to me in light of Krauthammer’s comments that there’s another clause in the Constitution that may be relevant: Article IV Section 4:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.

Were I representing Arizona, I’d argue that the federal government is in default on its “protection against invasion” responsibility, and that this empowers the state to resort to self-help. Not sure how that would play out, but it would make an interesting law review article. And a fun oral argument.

Video embedded below.

SEIU And Friends - Chant "Raise My Taxes!", But They Really Mean Raise Yours

SEIU and some of their 'friends' had a pro tax hike rally in Illinois. They were chanting "Raise My Taxes!", but that is not what they really meant. Once the video switches to interviewing individuals it becomes very clear that the tax hikes should be on 'people with a certain income'. Translation, bilk the rich; raise 'their' taxes, not ours.

Video embedded below.

William Shatner and Lin Yu Chun Duet

Allahpundit calls it the "campiest thing blogger’s ever seen". Assuming I get his meaning, it is pretty high up there.

Video embedded below.

Second Navy SEAL Cleared in Iraq Abuse Case

The second Navy SEAL has been cleared in the Iraq abuse case (first). Supporters of the SEALs are hoping that this will persuade the processor to drop the charges against the third. As I said before, this is the right outcome, though the charges should not have been brought in the first place.

"A U.S. military judge has cleared a Navy SEAL of wrongdoing in the alleged beating of a prisoner suspected of masterminding the grisly 2004 killings of four American contractors in Iraq.

The military says the judge found insufficient evidence to convict Petty Officer 2nd Class Jonathan Keefe on charges of dereliction of duty.

More Buzz Tips

If their continuing effort to make Buzz easier to use and more useful, Google has another round of tips for their service.

"Here are three things that have rolled out over the last couple weeks, one as recently as today:

1. Deliver interesting posts to your inbox. Sometimes you're really interested in a certain conversation and would like to get it delivered to your inbox. You used to have to comment on a post in order to get updates sent to your inbox. Now, you can set the post to be delivered to your inbox regardless of whether or not you've participated. Click the down-arrow in the upper right-hand corner of a post, and select "Deliver to my Inbox."

2. Disable comments. If a conversation you've started has run its course, you can opt to prevent further comments. For example, we just closed comments on this post soliciting questions for our SXSW panel since the talk happened over a month ago.

3. Favicons for shared links. When you share a link in Google Buzz, we now grab the favicon associated with that page so it's easier than ever to see the source (in this case, Blogger).

Five Guys (Revisited)

I went to Five Guys today for a late lunch and had what may have been my first problem with the place; they put cheese on my burger. As far as problems go it is pretty low on the list, but I did not want cheese on my burger. I walked back to front and told them that there was not supposed to be cheese on it. The man took my took my slip to see what was supposed to be on the burger, apologized for their error, and told me he would make me a new one. That is where most restaurants would have stopped, but not Five Guys.

The man re-wrapped the cheeseburger, put it in a bag, and insisted I take it. This was not a take it so we do not have to make you a new burger, it was a take it even though we are already in the process of making you a new one. I sat back down to wait for the new burger, and within a minute the man was over at my table asking if there was anything else I wanted; 'do you want some more fries, grill cheese, hot dog, a soda...'. I told him that I already had a drink, that there was no way I was finishing the fries I already had, and that I would just wait for my burger. Rare is the service that is so accommodating that brushes up against being annoying.

The new burger was ready a few minutes after that which came out perfectly. When I finished it and left I had a cheeseburger and a lot of left over fries to give to someone who needed it on my lengthy walk back to my apartment.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Machine That Turns Itself Off

And that is all it does.

Video embedded below.

Jon Stewart - 'Obamacare is Derogatory'

It does not look like Stewart is joking when he says that Obamacare is derogatory. Does that mean ReidCare, PelosiCare, and RomneyCare are also derogatory? None are derogatory, they are descriptive terms to let you know what you are talking about. If I were to ask you what you thought about health care reform/overhaul you would either have to assume I was talking in generalities or ask me to be more specific. Instead of saying 'what do you think of Reid's version of changing our health care system' it is much simpler to say 'what do you think of ReidCare'.

If it is derogatory, what exactly is impugned; Obama by association to the health care changed or the health care by association with Obama? Neither really makes sense unless you want to stretch the notion of derogatory to somehow mean using an issue to attack someone politically. If that is your standard then all Democrats are being impugned by any mention of the Healthcare bill, runaway deficit spending, tax hikes...

Video embedded below. (jump to 2:00 for the exchange)

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
John O'Hara Pt. 2
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

"If “Obamacare” is derogatory, who or what is being derogated? Is this “health care reform” being impugned by its association with Obama? Or is Obama being insulted by associating him with it? Presumably Jon Stewart is in favor of both. So where’s the disparagement? Which one is being brought down by the other?

Stewart likens this phrase to using “teabaggers” to describe members of the Tea Party. Is he really comparing Barack Obama, the President of the United States, to the practice of dipping one’s testicles into another person’s mouth?

First Navy SEAL Cleared in Iraq Abuse Case

Lets start with a bit of a recap;

Video embedded below (Warning - Graphic Content).

From what I have read about the incident, the SEAL being cleared was the right outcome.

"A U.S. Navy SEAL was cleared Thursday of charges he covered up the alleged beating of an Iraqi prisoner suspected of masterminding the grisly 2004 killings of four American security contractors.

A six-man Navy jury found Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas not guilty of dereliction of duty and attempting to influence the testimony of another service member. The jury heard too many differences between the testimony of a sailor who claimed he witnessed the Sept. 1 assault at a U.S. base outside Fallujah, Iraq, and statements from a half-dozen others who denied his account.

Smiling and composed as he left the courthouse at the U.S. military's Camp Victory on Baghdad's western outskirts, Huertas said he felt vindicated.

Bertha Lewis - 'Tea Party Movement Worse Than Jim Crow And Worse Than Internment'

You come to hear the ACORN head promote socialism, but stick around for the beyond over the top attacks on the Tea Party and Conservatives.

Video embedded below.

Andrew Klavan - The New York Times Answer Man

Video embedded below.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Healthcare Pop Up Video

The Democrats say they are happy for the coming elections to be about the recently passed HealthCare overhaul. The Republicans are happy to oblige.

Video embedded below.

Steele (R) - 'African Americans Do Not Have a Reason to Vote For The GOP'

How does Steele still have his job?

"The Republican Party has not given African Americans a good reason to vote for the party, Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele said Tuesday night.

"You really don't have a reason to, to be honest -- we haven't done a very good job of really giving you one. True? True," Steele said at DePaul University, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Steele, the first African-American chairman for the RNC, said the GOP has lost its historical link to African Americans.
He said the GOP's strategy of appealing to white, male voters in the South alienated minorities and ultimately proved ineffective when Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992."

Three Bisexuals Are Suing The National Gay-Athletic Organization For Discrimination

A national gay-athletic organization deemed three bisexual men were not gay enough for the league. The organization is a private group and as such may have the right to discriminate, but this is pretty ridiculous.

"Three bisexual men are suing a national gay-athletic organization, saying they were discriminated against during the Gay Softball World Series held in the Seattle area two years ago.

The three Bay Area men say the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance in essence deemed them not gay enough to participate in the series.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle accuses the alliance of violating Washington state laws barring discrimination. The alliance organizes the annual Gay Softball World Series.

Beth Allen, the alliance's attorney, said the lawsuit is unwarranted and that the three plaintiffs "were not discriminated against in any unlawful manner."

In any case, Allen said, the alliance is a private organization and, as such, can determine its membership based on its goals.

New $100 Bill

It kind of looks like a Euro. The one thing I never understood about changing what used to be good old fashion 'green backs' was that the old money is still legal tender. Even if the new bills are counterfeit proof, what stops people from counterfeiting the old currency?

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Fordham Player Makes a 'Superman Leap' to Avoid Being Tagged Out at Home

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Note on Obama's Tax Return Regarding The Nobel Peace Prize Money

Obama announced that he was going to donate the $1.4 million Nobel Peace Prize money to select charities. Obama has done so. What is of interest is the way in which he did it. Instead of accepting the winnings and taking it as income before donating it, he opted to have it transferred strait to the charities. This is not bad, indeed it was probobly the more economically rational of the choices, but some argued that it had the potential to be more politically detrimental. The downside of doing it this way is that Obama can not show on his public tax return that he took the prize money and donated it to charity. The Obama administration concluded rightly in my opinion, that it would easy enough to explain why it would not appear on his tax forms and ultimately not be a serious problem.

"As an alternative to taking the Nobel Prize money into income and donating the proceeds, Professor Aprill noted, Code § 74(b) allowed the president to transfer money directly from the Nobel Prize Committee to a charitable or governmental recipient without the amounts becoming part of his gross income. Professor Aprill doubted that Obama would avail himself of this option for reasons of public relations. She wrote:

[I]t seems to me, that even if the 50% AGI limit were a problem, the President would nonetheless decide not to use § 74(b) because he would as a political matter need to show both that he took the Nobel Prize money into income and that he made charitable contributions of it on his publicly disclosed tax return -- the tax benefit of § 74(b) would be too great a public relations detriment to him. That is, using § 74(b) might look to the public...that he was somehow sheltering income.

This week the president posted his 2009 tax return online. The White House noted that the Code allows the recipient of Nobel Prize proceeds to donate the prize income directly to charity, and that this was what Obama did. In other words, President Obama relied on Code § 74(b) to exclude the Nobel proceeds from his gross income.

The White House explained that, under the circumstances, the president did "not have to recognize the prize as income on his federal income tax return." The White House also explained that the president was not permitted to take a charitable deduction on the value of the prize since it was not included in his income.

White House Closed Lafayette Park, Prevents Reporters From Recording an Anti-Obama Gay Protest

After the uproar the administration blamed the incident on Parks Police and said they had nothing to do with it. The protest followed Obama being heckled by a gay rights activist during one of his speeches.

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Geico Voice Actor Fired After Insulting The Tea Party Protesters

I believe that what people do on their person time should not have any bearing on their professional lives; but there is an exception. The exception is if what they did during their personal time has the potential to have an effect on their professional life and/or their employers.

"Actor Lance Baxter, otherwise known as "D.C. Douglas," currently known as the man who informs you how much Geico can save you on car insurance, left a message last month with FreedomWorks in which he asked the group how many "mentally retarded" people it had on staff and what it would do when a tea partyer "killed someone." On April 14, FreedomWorks put his voicemail online.

Today, Douglas reports he's been dropped from Geico's campaign.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Satellite Based Speed Camera 'Traps'

England is testing out speed cameras based on satellites. The system appears to work by noting the location of a vehicle at two different times, and does calculations to see if the vehicle could have gotten as far as it did without breaking the speed limits. Moving past privacy concerns, which are a serious issue, it would be more useful in enforcing speed limits. Instead of people speeding along, then slowing down when they know a cop is around (there are various things which do alert people to the presence of traps) and then speeding up again; this would force people to drive within the limit the entire time. There seems to be an obvious problem though. If they are not constantly tracking the car, how could they tell the difference if it was speeding around in a circle or driving normal speed. It also requires 'perfect timing'. If it should take you five minutes to get home, you speed and get there in three, but the camera registers your car every ten minutes, it would be unable to tell that you sped home.

"A new type of speed cameras which can use satellites to measure average speed over long distances are being tested in Britain.
The `SpeedSpike’ system, which calculates average speed between any two points in the network, has been developed by PIPS Technology Ltd, an American-owned company with a base in Hampshire.

Details of the trials are contained in a House of Commons report. The company said in its evidence that the cameras enabled "number plate capture in all weather conditions, 24 hours a day". It also referred to the system's "low cost" and ease of installation.

The system could be used for "main road enforcement for congestion reduction and speed enforcement", and could help to "eliminate rat-runs" and cut speeds outside schools, it added. It could also reduce the need for speed humps.

The development of speed cameras has raised concerns about expanding state surveillance.

Tea Party Movement is More Diverse Than The New York Times Board of Directors

Do not hold your breath that all the people calling the Tea Party racist because 'there are not enough black people at the events' will hold the same for the New York Times. (via)

"Meanwhile, I am eagerly awaiting a correction on this from Mr. Blow:

A New York Times/CBS News poll released on Wednesday found that only 1
percent of Tea Party supporters are black and only 1 percent are
Hispanic. It’s almost all white.

It's almost all white and he has the pictures to prove it.  Ooops, my bad - that was a link to the NY Times Board of Directors, which seems to be utterly free of any Hispanic, black or Asian presence. 

Anyway, the NY Times poll reported the Tea Party as 89% white, which makes them a lot more diverse than the Times Board.  And contra Mr. Blow, the Tea Party is reported to be 3% Hispanics.  That won't change his point (as if anything would) but it would be nice to see the Times present the correct figures."

White Liberal Assumptions

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Lunar Craters May be Electrified

On humanities next trip to the moon, getting a cool drink of water (cold enough that it is solid ice) from the lunar craters may be more difficult then previously imagined. Astronauts or machines may have to contend with the creator being electrified. The problem intensifies because the solution, being grounded, is not easy on the moon and you could end up being charged for more then a minute and a half.

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Disembodied Robot Mouth

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Apple's Next iPhone

Most of the tec world seems to think it is legit. If it is, it could be one of the biggest screw ups Apple has had in a log time if not ever. The new iPhone looks phenomenal, now all they have to do is dump AT&T.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Conyers (D) - 'Teabaggers Rational Abilities Are Compromised'

Conyers (D) should spend his time actually reading the bills he votes on instead of casting disparaging remarks against a group of people that see their country headed in a troubling direction and are tying to stop it before it is to late.

Video embedded below. (via)

European Union Declares Vacationing a Human Right

I can understand the right to freedom; and inherent in that a right not to be held captive by your government without legitimate cause. How does that become a right to tax payer money to take a week relaxing on the beach with a frozen drink in your hand? (via)

"The European Union has declared travelling a human right, and is launching a scheme to subsidize vacations with taxpayers' dollars for those too poor to afford their own trips.

Antonio Tajani, the European Union commissioner for enterprise and industry, proposed a strategy that could cost European taxpayers hundreds of millions of euros a year, The Times of London reports.

"Travelling for tourism today is a right. The way we spend our holidays is a formidable indicator of our quality of life," Mr. Tajani told a group of ministers at The European Tourism Stakeholders Conference in Madrid on April 15. Mr. Tajani was appointed to his post by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The plan -- just who gets to enjoy the travel package has yet to be determined -- would see taxpayers footing some of the vacation bill for seniors, youths between the ages of 18 and 25, disabled people, and families facing "difficult social, financial or personal" circumstances. The disabled and elderly can also be accompanied by one other person. The EU and its taxpayers are slated to fund 30% of the cost of these tours, which could range from youth exploring abandoned factories and power plants in Manchester to retirees taking discount trips to Madrid, all in the name of cultural appreciation.

"The commission is literally considering paying people to go on holiday," Mats Persson, of pro-reform think-tank Open Europe, told Britain's News of the World. "In this economic climate, it's astonishing that the EU wants to bribe people with cheap holidays."

Mr. Tajani said the program will be piloted until 2013, and then fully launched.

Obama Skips Polish Funeral And Plays Golf

Please note the 'and', not a 'to'. The volcano that has been causing havoc all week in Europe's air space prevented Obama from attending as planned. While that 'excuses' Obama from not attending, perhaps playing golf instead was not the best idea. At least that would have been the tone of the story if it was Bush instead of Obama...

"A massive volcanic plume covering most of Europe forced President Obama to cancel a Sunday trip to Poland to attend the funeral of the nation's president. But the last-minute change left an opening in his schedule, so the president headed to the links for a round of golf instead.

On a cool but sun-drenched Sunday, the president and three golfing companions went to Andrews Air Force Base to play 18 holes. It is the 32nd time Mr. Obama has played golf since taking office Jan. 20, 2009, according to CBS Radio's Mark Knoller.

Klein - 'Beck And Palin May be Committing Sedition Against US', Heilemann - 'Limbaugh Too'

Dissent is no longer patriotic; at least not until the Republicans are back in control.

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Congress May be Fined Because of Its HealthCare Law

Funny things happen when you do not read the bill, nor understand what you are voting on. It is almost as if someone pulled a prank on Congress, except they appear to have pulled it on themselves. (via)

"Congress may be fined tens of millions of dollars a year under its own health-care law, in part because the bill dumps members of Congress and their staffs from their current health-care plans.

But no one really knows for sure what the bill does, not even the experts. For instance, exactly who qualifies as an “employer” — and therefore is subject to fines up to $3,000 per employee — is undefined in the bill.

If Congress were subject to a $3,000 fine for each of its employees, it would need to shell out approximately $50 million each year to Uncle Sam. Congress’s research arm, the Congressional Research Service (CRS), informally confirmed the possibility to Republican aides.

EPA Contest Seeks Videos Promoting Government Regulations

Is this really an appropriate use of tax payer money; paying citizens to convince other citizens on the 'benefits of federal regulations'?

"President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency is encouraging the public to create video advertisements that explain why federal regulations are "important to everyone."

The contest, which ends May 17, will award $2,500 to the makers of the video that best explains why federal regulations are good and how ordinary citizens can become more involved in making regulations. The videos must be posted on YouTube and can be no more than 60-90 seconds in length.

Time-Lapse Image of The Spread of The Ash From The Iceland Volcano

This volcano has shut down air travel to much of Europe for days and caused the need to govern via iPad.

Video embedded below. (Via)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Building Not Found

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Gates’s memo Indicates White House Does Not Have a Plan For Iran if Diplomacy Fails

The memo is as obvious as it is ridiculous; not that you would know it from the response the administration has put out. Obama has shown a clear unwillingness to do anything but attempt a diplomatic solution and apply a few sanctions. The alternative is a military strike, and even if he does not think he will exercise it there is no reason not to have the plan in place.

"Pressed on the administration’s ambiguous phrases until now about how close the United States was willing to allow Iran’s program to proceed, a senior administration official described last week in somewhat clearer terms that there was a line Iran would not be permitted to cross.

The official said that the United States would ensure that Iran would not “acquire a nuclear capability,” a step Tehran could get to well before it developed a sophisticated weapon. “That includes the ability to have a breakout,” he said, using the term nuclear specialists apply to a country that suddenly renounces the nonproliferation treaty and uses its technology to build a small arsenal…

Mr. Gates’s memo appears to reflect concerns in the upper echelons of the Pentagon and the military that the White House did not have a well-prepared series of alternatives in place in case all the diplomatic steps finally failed.

Obama - 'Support for Israel Must be Balanced Against Other American Interests'

This quote is getting a lot of play, but in itself it is not as bad as people are portraying it. Of course our support for anyone must be seen through the lens of our other interests. It is not our job to protect Israel if it means we will be destroyed anymore then the reciprocal of that statement is true. That said, our interests and Israel's interests are very much in line. The problem is not the statement, the problem is the inference of the statement. The inference being that Israel is about to get thrown under the bus (again).

"When Mr. Obama declared that resolving the long-running Middle East dispute was a “vital national security interest of the United States,” he was highlighting a change that has resulted from a lengthy debate among his top officials over how best to balance support for Israel against other American interests.

This shift, described by administration officials who did not want to be quoted by name when discussing internal discussions, is driving the White House’s urgency to help broker a Middle East peace deal. It increases the likelihood that Mr. Obama, frustrated by the inability of the Israelis and the Palestinians to come to terms, will offer his own proposed parameters for an eventual Palestinian state.

This is The Money You Could Have Saved if you Hadn't Voted For Obama

A great sign I missed at the New York Tax Day Tea Party.

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Obama - "Whether We Like it Or Not, We Remain a Dominant Military Superpower"

I like 'remaining a dominant military superpower' just fine. Getting sucked into conflicts however is not something I like.

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Man Found Guilty of Indecent Exposure For Being Naked in His Own House Acquitted

Erick Williamson, the 29 year old man arrested and then found guilty for being naked in his own house, has now been acquitted.

"A man charged with indecent exposure after two women said they saw him naked inside his own home was acquitted Wednesday by a Virginia jury.

Erick Williamson, 29, has argued since his October arrest that he should not be punished for being naked in the privacy of his own home.

Police and prosecutors, as well as the two women who testified against him, said he intended to expose himself and made no attempt to conceal himself in a residential neighborhood filled with children.

"It's really a weight off my shoulders after these last six months," Williamson said after his acquittal. "I think (the verdict) kind of sets the record straight. It was an innocent action."

In December, a judge in Fairfax County's General District Court convicted Williamson of misdemeanor indecent exposure, but imposed neither jail time nor a fine. Still, Williamson appealed his case to the county's circuit court, risking a maximum punishment of a year in jail to clear his name.

Governing Via iPad

In what is being described as the largest air shut down since World War Two has hit not spared government travelers. The Prime Minister of Norway was stranded, like most other travelers heading to Europe by the ash spewing volcano in Ice Land. He still has a country that needs running. Running Norway from NYC, no problem with his new iPad.

"All he needs is an iPad and and outlet to run Norway.

Jens Stotlenberg, the country's prime minister, was stranded Friday with thousands of other fliers at Kennedy Airport by a huge black cloud of volcanic ash that turned the skies over a large swath of Europe into a no-fly zone.

But that didn't prevent Stotlenberg from conducting the daily business of Norwegian government on Apple's newest gizmo in an airport lounge.

Obama Pokes Fun at Tea Party Protesters

Let me give this 'thank you thing' a try; thank you President Obama for record smashing deficit spending, going back on your campaign promises, and shoving legislation down throat of the majority who apposed in a hyper partition vote.

"President Barack Obama said Thursday he's amused by the anti-tax tea party protests that have been taking place around Tax Day.

Obama told a fundraiser in Miami that he's cut taxes, contrary to the claims of protesters.

"You would think they'd be saying thank you," he said.

At that, many in the crowd at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts stood and yelled, "Thank you!"

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tea Party Barbie

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Obama's End Run Around Congress

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"Congress has delegated so much power to the Executive Branch that this type of power grab is not only possible, it's legal and it's common:

That's from Americans for Prosperity, an advocacy group.

Jason Levin (Creator of Faces Investigation

Jason Levin, the creator of is facing investigation from the Beaverton School District and the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. Levin teaches at a Beaverton middle school. I think his actions were both foolish and counter productive. That said, assuming he did the work outside of his school and did not involve them, I do not think it is the school's place to punish him for political acts they do not agree with. It is not clear exactly what he is being investigated for. They mention specifically "neglect of duty" but also seem to indicate that it had something to do with people calling and complaining about him because he created the site. If indeed he is being punished for his legal political actions, that is wrong. It is possible though that there is just some unfortunate timing for Levin.

"UPDATE: The Beaverton School District has also launched its own investigation of whether Levin violated any conduct standards, said Maureen Wheeler, a spokeswoman for the school district.

Jason Levin, the Portland man who caused a ruckus over his plans to "infiltrate" Tea Party protests in an aim to discredit them, teaches in a Beaverton middle school and now faces an investigation by the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission.

Melody Hanson, the commission's director of professional practices, said Wednesday that the agency opened an investigation because "there was enough concern that there was some neglect of duty" on the part of Levin.

First Movie Showing Lightning Flashing on Another Planet

You can not tell from the clip but the planet is Saturn courtesy of NASA's Cassini spacecraft

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Obama Calls Himself 'Smart But Humble'

He did gives himself a "Good Solid B-Plus" for his first year.

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Drag And Drop Gmail Attachments And Insert Calendar Invitation

I am not a Google Calendar user, but the 'Drag And Drop' attachments should be a nice time saver. Picking out files one by one is tedious enough when there is only one to find. Once you start needing multiple files it becomes a real hassle. This new drag and drop method will make sending files much quicker and easier.

"I'm always looking for ways to save time. Suppose I want to attach some files to an email, and I already have a folder open containing those files.

I used to have to click "Attach a file," find the photos, click them, etc. Starting today, if I'm using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox 3.6, I can just drag and drop the files to attach them — easy as pie.

"Today, we're launching a new feature that brings tighter integration between Gmail and Calendar, making it easier to create Calendar events from within Gmail. When you compose an email message, there's now an "Insert: Invitation" link right under the subject line.

When you click it, a small window appears that displays your availability as well as that of the people you're emailing provided you have permission to see their calendars.
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