September 30, 2010

A Bluegrass Day in the Life

This is my life this week in Nashville - listening to music.

Set against the cold gray cement backdrop of the Nashville convention center, or crammed into the sitting room of a hotel suite, bands showcase their talents and get together to jam with their friends.  The guys in the video all have jobs with other bands, but occasionally get to do an acoustic show together under the name Three Ring Circle.  They, obviously, are professional musicians and are a joy to listen to.  I spend a great deal of time avoiding the less-than-professional pickers.  A girl can only take so much twang.

September 29, 2010

It's the ego, stupid

Spending my week in a hotel means I get to read the colorful USA Today publication, rather than my usual rag.  I'm not too familiar with the journalists that write for USA Today, but enjoyed this morning's editorial by Don Campbell, entitled 'The Obama makeover'.  In the editorial he outlines six things that he thinks Obama needs to do to change course, lest he be the one term president that many of us are hoping for.

Campbell thinks that Republicans getting control of the house will work in Blowie's favor, explaining that voters don't like the 'spectacle of the all-controlling Democrats ignoring public opinion'.  He goes on to say that Blowie needs opponents with power to share the blame for the state of things.  Problem with that is the damage is done.  He has been trying to blame Bush since he was inaugurated, turning around and blaming a Republican majority House will seem like more of the same, IMHO.

Campbell's second point is to replace career politicians on his Cabinet.  No worries, they are dropping like flies anyway.

Third, the author says that Blowie needs to be more pragmatic and less of an ideologue, expanding his base beyond blacks, public union employees and academics.  'He can afford to offend the crazy left in order to broaden his appeal among moderates and independents'.  But he won't...

For the fourth point, Campbell says the president needs to change his image and describes Blowie as a narcissistic, condescending, elitist, pedantic scold who thinks he knows what's best for people who are too dumb to realize it.  Pretty much nailed that one. 

The fifth suggestion is that Obama should cut back on TV appearances as they only serve to remind people why they have lost faith in him.  I don't see that happening.  See point four above.

Campbell's final suggestion is for Obama to get a sense of humor.  Blowie thinks he is a laugh riot, see point four, again.

If one were to believe these six points to be the blueprint for re-election, I could feel secure that Blowie is on his way out the door.  Just as Campbell notes, Obama's biggest political obstacle is himself, and the chances of any material change to his character are unimaginable.  See point four.

September 28, 2010

Welfare Slots

Michigan is considering a bill that would prevent welfare recipients from using their public assistance debit cards at casino ATMs.

Setting aside the usual arguments about the welfare system, this seems like something of a no-brainer.  Why, then, would people have an issue with it?

While I am sure that creating an account and issuing a debit card is more efficient than checks, who is it that thinks that the average welfare recipient should be given cash to spend as they see fit?

I know that good people fall on hard times.  I don't think that responsible people who find themselves in a bad spot would be the ones railing against strict controls on how public assistance money is to be spent.  It's the ones who have been working the system all their lives that have a problem with control.

Clowns at the Michigan Department of Human Services and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice say the law would 'suggest that (recipients) are gambling' and that laws such as these 'stigmatize people collecting benefits'.  As well they should.

Before passing similar legislation in California, the L.A. Times reported that during a seven month period, welfare recipients had used their debit cards to withdraw $1.8 million from casino ATMs.  Ignoring the asshats that would claim that some of those people are casino employees just using the ATM at work, what other reason do people have to use the ATMs at a casino?

Our overly politically correct mindset is destroying the community of this nation.  Decades ago, a community knew who was poor but tried hard, who drank their paycheck, who beat their wife, who was a good man but had fallen on hard times.  Communities provided their own charity, doling it out more effectively and responsibly than any government agency could ever hope to do.  If the ladies league or church group cobbled together a few bucks to give to a family, only to see that Mr. Jones gambled it away, they certainly wouldn't make that mistake again.  They would probably find a way to give some hand me down clothes to little Johnny and drop off some food every now and then - but they wouldn't give them cash to squander.

Is it too late to go back to community-based charity?

September 27, 2010

How to Be A Democrat

Sorry I was a slacker yesterday.  Busy day, Sunday dinner commitments and then getting ready to leave town and prepare Mr. Harper to be me for the week.  More on that soon.
I got this from a friend:
How to Be A Democrat
Virtually anyone can be a Democrat. Just simply quit thinking and vote that way. But if you want to be a GOOD Democrat, there are some prerequisites.

Consider the list below to see how you rate.

1. You have to believe the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.

2. You have to believe that the same teacher who can't teach 4th graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.

3. You have to believe that guns, in the hands of law-abiding Americans, are more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology, in the hands of Chinese communists.

4. You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.

5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical, documented changes in the earth's climate, and more affected by yuppies driving SUVs.

6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural.

7. You have to be against capital punishment but support abortion on demand.

8. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.

9. You have to believe that hunters don't care about nature, but loony activists from Seattle do.

10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.

11. You have to believe the military, not corrupt politicians, start wars.

12. You have to believe the NRA is bad, because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good, because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.

13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.

14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, General Robert E. Lee or Thomas Edison.

15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides aren't.

16. You have to believe Hillary Clinton is really a lady.

17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn't worked anywhere it's been tried, is because the right people haven't been in charge.

18. You have to believe Republicans telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and sex offender belongs in the White House.

19. You have to believe that homosexual parades displaying drag, transvestites and bestiality should be constitutionally protected and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.

20. You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the Chinese is somehow in the best interest of the United States.

September 25, 2010

Mapping race

A digital cartographer, by the name of Eric Fischer, created maps of 102 cities that show the residents' race and ethnicity by location. You can look at all of the maps on his Flickr site.

On the maps the people are represented by these colors; Red is White, Blue is Black, Green is Asian, Orange is Hispanic, Gray is Other, and each dot is 25 people. Mr. Fischer used data from the 2000 Census.

Clearly, our nation remains divided along racial lines. So much for the great half white half black hope and his rainbow nation.

Dallas, TX

Fort Worth, TX

Washington, D.C.

September 24, 2010

See Rahm Run

(Michael) Sneed hears rumbles CTA board Chairman Terry Peterson, who was Mayor Daley's campaign manager four years ago -- and was considered a possible mayoral contender -- has reportedly signed on to manage Rahm Emanuel's mayoral bid.

With the Chicago mayoral race comes a prime excuse for Rahm Emanuel to leave the White House.  A June report of Emanuel leaving the WH early were summarily dismissed by Rahmbo at the time, but now seem prescient:
"I would bet he will go after the midterms," said a leading Democratic consultant in Washington. "Nobody thinks it's working but they can't get rid of him – that would look awful. He needs the right sort of job to go to but the consensus is he'll go."

 Run, Rahm, run.

September 23, 2010

America can 'absorb' another 9/11?

According to Prez Blowie, that which only kills several thousand of us and scares the crap out of the rest of us, makes us stronger.

In a new Bob Woodward book set for release on Monday, Blowie contends that our nation can 'absorb' another massive terrorist attack:
The book depicts the contentious debate the Obama administration endured to craft a new strategy in Afghanistan. According to the Post, Obama spent the bulk of the exhaustive sessions pressing for an exit strategy and resisting efforts to prolong and escalate the war.
Despite warnings of another attack, he suggested the United States could weather a new strike.
"We can absorb a terrorist attack. We'll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger," Obama reportedly said.
Are you fucking kidding me?  3,000 American lives equate to 'weathering' a terrorist attack.  Excuse me, Mr President, would you mind explaining that to their families?  What's next, the observation that a terrorist attack would create jobs?  I am sure you have already thought of that, you stupid tool.

Despite the horrifying revelation above, I am quite gleeful that the Woodward book is coming out.  The Obama administration gave Woodward an impressive level of access to the White House while he was researching his book.  In typical fashion, the administration arrogantly assumed that they would be able to do what no other administration has been able to do since Watergate - control what Woodward writes. 
Judging by the excerpts in the NY Times, 'Obama's War's', will not paint an overall flattering picture of the current leadership.
But there already are reasons to believe that the portrait will not be entirely what the White House team bargained for and that Obama — far from mastering his competing groups of advisers — will be seen as tugged and pulled by them and by his own deep misgivings about the Afghan war and its chances of success...
...The New York Times, reporting Tuesday night that it had obtained a copy of the Woodward book before publisher Simon & Schuster’s official release, said it shows how aides “spent much of the last 20 months quarreling with one another over policy, personalities and turf.”
The Times article recounts several examples, culled from the Woodward book, of mistrust and malice among the Obama team. For example, Vice President Biden reportedly called Richard Holbrooke, the administration’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, “the most egotistical bastard I’ve ever met.”
Oh, the beauty of the timing of this book, five weeks before election day.

September 22, 2010

Velma the CFO

This is one of those columns that I don't have much personal commentary to add to it.  I think he just about covers it all.  From Dick Morris on The Hill, yesterday:
The MSNBC cameras unwittingly — and probably unwillingly — captured a Joe the Plumber moment during Monday’s town hall meeting called by President Obama to discuss the economy. Expressing the frustration of tens of millions of Americans on a day during which the economists called the recession over, Velma Hart, a self-described CFO, wife, mother and veteran, expressed her “deep disappointment” with Obama’s economic record — to his face.

“I’ve been told that I voted for a man who said he’s going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. I’m one of those people, and I’m waiting, sir. … I’m waiting, but I don’t feel it yet.”
She spoke quite eloquently and knowledgeably.  Unfortunately for 'us', I don't think that a majority of Blowie's supporters are as informed and intelligent as Velma the CFO.  Stop and appreciate the contrast between 'Joe the Plumber', blue collar white guy with an ax to grind about small business taxes and now, 'Velma the CFO', a black female white collar executive starting to waver in her hope that anything will change under this president.
Calling herself “exhausted” by the rigors of the task of defending Obama, she lamented that she and her husband had thought the “franks and beans” era of their lives had drawn to a close but said she hears it “knocking” at the door. She finished with a heart-rending question to Obama, asking if anxiety is to be her “new reality.”


This cry of distress coming from an African-American supporter of Obama’s will echo in each of our hearts as the fall elections approach. When we were in the midst of a recession, even the Great Recession, we came to expect high unemployment, much like those in the tropics expect a storm during the rainy season. But we are like those who are experiencing daily rain in the dry season now that the recession is over and unemployment hovers around 10 percent. Is this, indeed, to be our “new reality”?

The Democrats are gleeful over the missteps of Christine O’Donnell. Too many leading Republicans do not realize all our fates in the midterm election are tied to her. If the Democrats can discredit her, they can discredit all of those like her and raise doubts about dozens of GOP candidates who would otherwise be victorious. If the grassroots Tea Party is foisting unqualified candidates upon us, and if our very own party leaders think this is true, what a weapon we are handing to the Democrats. Those Republican leaders who would criticize the O’Donnells of our party must realize that she is here to stay, she is one of us now, and she deserves all our support. Fortunately, the grass roots knows this fact and has showered her campaign with donations and support.
See the GOC post about double standards and the hypocrisy displayed by the left.
But the juxtaposing of the O’Donnell-witchcraft story and the Velma-the-CFO story on the same day speaks to a more profound point: As Democrats line up to savage the likes of Sarah Palin, Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle and Rand Paul, they fail to realize that this election is not about them. It is about us. It turns not on their biographies, but on our misery. We have watched one of the most activist presidents in history, blessed with the most compliant of Congresses, pass program after program, virtually without modification or even significant amendment, all the while assuring us that they would lead us out of recession and into recovery. Now that the recovery is supposedly upon us, we realize, to our dread, that it may be a future of permanent unemployment, just as they have in Europe.
Permanent unemployment.  If the recession ended in June 2009, one could surmise that wherever we are now, is about as good as it is going to get.  Yet Blowie and the Dims just spend, spend, spend, not planning, much less saving, for a rainy day, despite the monsoon raging outside.  Not building an economy or creating jobs, but destroying and preventing the free market from righting itself.
This is the agony that impelled Velma the CFO to speak out. It is a deeply personal distress and speaks to each of our expectations for the rest of our lives. If the candidates who dabbled in witchcraft as children or who preach an overly strict personal morality are the ones who back cuts in government spending, a reduction in the deficit, no higher taxes, an end to government takeover of our healthcare system and no cuts in Medicare, then we will vote for them anyway.

Were the election more academic, were it waged on issues of less personal moment to each of us, it would be different. But who can ignore the witchcraft being practiced, not by high-schoolers, but by legislators in Washington hoping to summon prosperity from the other side by spending us into oblivion and taxing us to death? That is the witchcraft that worries all of us.

And worries Velma the CFO.
And it had better scare the shit out of anyone who cares about America, their livelihood, and that of future generations.  Change must begin in November. 

I Fought For You video

Because everyday should be "Thank a Veteran and a Soldier Day".

September 21, 2010

Get your groove on

Do you remembah, the 21st night of September...

September 20, 2010

Hillary's Hair Clip

Ugh. I am, by no stretch of the imagination, any sort of fashionista. I do, however, know that shiny silver plastic hair clips of any sort do NOT belong in the hair of anyone who is: a) at the United Freaking Nations, b) over the age of sixty (unless used to keep hair away from face while removing makeup, or while gardening) and/or c) the Secretary of State.

There has to be some underlying story to this debacle. I really cannot imagine Hillary owning such a pedestrian hair accoutrement. Was she punked?

FOD: Lies Edition

I weigh 105 pounds.

The highlights in my hair are completely natural.

I have never called in sick unless I was really, truly, sick.

Your ass never looks big in those jeans.

Global climate disruption is a tangible, serious threat to the world.

I love the Dallas Cowboys.

Size doesn't matter.

Michelle Obama is a lovely, classy woman.

I wasn't aware that I was exceeding the speed limit, officer.

The recession ended last June.

September 19, 2010

The Pool Report Parable

An early morning pool journalist issued a brief report on the Obama Family's morning activities:

Sent: Sun Sep 19 09:01:22 2010
Subject: Sunday pool report 1

The first family left the White House on foot this morning for the 9am choral holy eucharist service and sermon at St John's Church Lafayette Square.

The Obamas walked out of the residence at 8.49am and crossed the park to the nearby Episcopal church.

The president was wearing a dark suit and held Sasha Obama's hand. She was wearing a blue dress and cream cardigan. Michelle and Malia Obama were wearing cream-colored dresses. (Check photos for accuracy of descriptions. It's sunny and pool was at a distance.)

The service sheet doesn't indicate what the sermon is on but the gospel is Luke 16:1-13, which ends 'You cannot serve God and wealth.'

Lafayette Park and Pennsylvania Avenue in front of White House were closed to the public.
I happened upon the link at Drudge, and the article is not attributed to a specific journalist.  

Luke 16:1-13 is called many different names, 'Parable of the Dishonest Steward' and 'Parable of the Prudent Steward', among them.  If those titles seem to be at odds with one another, and you are not familiar with the passage, you might be a little confused.  In the parable, the steward, having been caught squandering his master's resources, has been fired and told to turn over the financial records of his mismanagement.  Before turning over the records, he goes to his master's largest debtors and reduces what they owe, thinking that such treatment might result in one of them giving him a job.  What he did was dishonest, but shrewd, and the manager commends him for it.

The Obama parallels are stunning.  Many people, Biblical scholars among them, interpret the passage to mean that it is a good idea to use worldly wealth to gain friends and influence people (as long as you are doing it to the glory of God).  They somehow gloss over verses 10-12:
 10"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?
It is foolish to think that Blowie will see any self-truths in the parable.  If anything, I am sure he sees himself as the master, if not the messiah. 

September 18, 2010

Eye on the prize

I received an interesting invitation in my email box this morning:

Do you want to make a difference and help Shift the Balance of Power in Washington D.C.?

Conservatives need to win 40 seats in order to fire Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.

One of those key races is Conservative Jesse Kelly vs. Pelosi Puppet Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona's 8th District, representing Tucson, AZ.

Come meet Jesse Kelly when he comes to North Texas on September 28th.

ABOUT JESSE KELLY:  Jesse and his wife, Aubrey, are raising two young sons in Marana, Arizona; a town just northwest of Tucson.

Jesse is a project manager for his family's contracting business where he oversees multi-million dollar infrastructure projects.

From 2000-2004, Jesse served in the United States Marine Corps. In 2003, he was deployed to Iraq, where he led a squad of infantry Marines in combat. In true Marine fashion, he was among the first in the nation to challenge Obama and the radical liberals in Washington by announcing his candidacy for Congress in April 2009.

Jesse Kelly has been shaking things up ever since. He recently upset a former State Senator in a hard-fought primary. Now Jesse's battling Democrat incumbent Gabrielle Giffords, who voted for Obamacare, the Stimulus bills, bailouts, Cap and Trade and the out of control Pelosi Budget.

This battle could very well be the one that shifts the balance of power in Washington. Join other North Texas Conservatives in welcoming the future Congressman Jesse Kelly.

Jesse has been endorsed by many conservative state and national leaders, including Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Mark Levin, Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Congressman Mike Pence. He has surrounded himself with local business professionals, free market economists and physicians in order to craft the best possible policies for our nation.
Why in the world would an Arizona Congressional candidate take the time to travel to North Texas to campaign?  Has he heard how well, comparatively, Texas has weathered the recession?  I clicked on over the Mr. Kelly's website only to discover that his Texas jaunt is not something he is advertising.  How would you justify that to your electorate?  Mr. Kelly's tagline is: "Limited Government, Fiscal Sanity, Free Market Solutions", I suppose campaign fundraising in Texas is one of his 'free market solutions'.

I have a general distaste for this type of activity.  I don't think that the anti-Obama administration coattails are big enough for state representative candidates to ride across state lines.  What disturbs me more is that local political activists/fundraisers are so overly confident in their Texas election crystal balls, they think that their resources can be thinned from lining the pockets out of state candidates.

Sure, sure, the pollsters are all but guaranteeing a majority switch in Washington come November, but this country's political mood turns on a dime.  Now is not the time to be overconfident and take our eye off the ultimate prize - a one term presidency for Obama.

September 17, 2010

September 16, 2010

The goofy things I do

To get my kids to school I have to cross a widely divided highway.  It actually is the site of a future highway, so the existing roadway is what will eventually become the frontage road, and the current median area is where the highway will one day go. 

Each morning on the way to school, I reach the first stop sign where I will be crossing the southbound side of the highway.  I stop, look to the left and cross when it is clear.  I travel the length of the median area and stop to wait for the northbound traffic to clear, looking to my right.  This side is usually backed up, so it is a matter of waiting for three lanes worth of cars to do the right thing and stop before they block the intersection.

Everything goes the same in reverse when I am returning home, except once I get to that southbound side, I always look BOTH ways.  I can't explain it.  I know that traffic is only coming from one direction.  I don't look both ways going to school.  I just can't help but look to the right and left on my return trip.

I suppose it is better safe than sorry, as some moron could be traveling the wrong direction.  But that logic would seem to apply at both intersections.  I can't figure out why it is an uncontrollable habit only one time out of four each morning.

September 15, 2010

Parents of the Year Award, Friday Night Lights version

I think we have reached the end of a local saga, the Daxx Garman football eligibility fiasco.  Let me catch you up:

Daxx is a high school quarterback.  A darn good one apparently as he committed to Arizona before his senior year.  Daxx played QB as a junior at Jones High School in Jones, Oklahoma, last fall.  The team did quite well, winning their district title.

In January, it came to light that Daxx, who lived in Choctaw, OK at the time, had been attending Jones High School without his parents having actually filled out the paperwork to transfer him to that school district.  Daxx was deemed ineligible and the Jones HS football team had to forfeit six district games and their district title.

In February, Daxx showed up in Southlake, Texas, and enrolled at Southlake Carroll HS.  The SC Dragon football team is a powerhouse, winning three 'national' championships and multiple state 5A titles.  Despite being the new kid on the block, Daxx got the starting QB job.

High school football is big business in Texas and the University Interscholastic League (UIL) has thick policy manuals that attempt to keep the sport fair.  As one would imagine, the UIL prohibits changing schools for athletic purposes.  If a student is deemed to have moved for athletic purposes, they have to sit out one full year of eligibility.  Some people actually do that, moving their kids to a school where they think they will get noticed by scouts.  They sit out the 9th grade year and still have three years of eligibility.  In addition to the residency thresholds, UIL rules require that a player must have been eligible to play at the last school he attended.

Naturally, the UIL doesn't seek to punish kids who move for a bona fide reason.  Many people talk about the glory days of Odessa Permian football and how many dads magically got job offers in the oil fields and had to move the family there.  The UIL has very specific guidelines for determining if a move is bona fide.  Among them are the requirement that the move must be a total and complete family move, with the prior residence being sold or on the market, all furnishings and personal affects moved to the current residence, mail received in the area of attendance, etc.

Someone tipped off a local investigative reporter that maybe Daxx had moved here for athletic reasons.  My bet is that it was the kid who worked hard for three years to become the starting QB his senior year only to be displaced by Daxx.  Here are the revelations uncovered by the investigation:

The house in Southlake is a rental.  The family home in Choctaw was listed for sale the day that the investigative reporter asked about it - in August, not February when they 'moved'.  The real estate agency photos on the Internet show toothbrushes at the sinks, clothes in the closets, all furniture in place.  The reporter filmed Mr. Garman checking the mail and coming to and from the business he owns and operates in Oklahoma City.  The reporting team followed him from work to the home in Choctaw and then to the gas station where he was filling up his boat with gas, they asked him what he was doing in OKC, when he supposedly lived in Southlake?  His response was that it was none of their f*cking business and he threw a bag of ice at the cameraman. You can watch video of it here, the ice incident is right in the middle.

Last week, the press got a copy of the family's lease agreement for the rent house.  Of all the boneheaded ways to document your intent, the family had actually added a clause that said they could break the lease if Daxx was not accepted on the SCHS football team.  Clearly, this family was just shopping school districts so their kid could play ball.

The investigation, rightly so, caught the attention of regional UIL officials.  An eligibility hearing was held in late August and Daxx was ruled ineligible.  During this time, the family spread the rumor that they had moved to Southlake to be near a cancer-stricken family member.  No such person has been identified.

His family appealed the decision to the state UIL board and yesterday, during the hearing, the family claimed that they left Oklahoma because they received death threats after the situation there.  The state board unanimously denied the appeal.  Daxx Garman's high school football career is effectively over.  In Texas and Oklahoma public schools, anyway.  Time is running out on the short high school season, but there is probably some private school out there who would shelve their integrity and let the kid play.

I don't know this kid, but I have seen more than enough of his father on the news.  Everyone says Daxx is a good kid.  Even so, he had to have some idea that what he was doing, both in OK and here, was wrong.  It cost one team their season.  If these revelations had come to light any later, it would have cost SCHS some or all of their season.  Regardless of the kid's part in this scheme, the parents are, at best, the world's greatest enablers;picking up and moving their entire family (Daxx has siblings) so that one kid can play football.  At worst they are ruthless, conscienceless, vulgar people who don't think twice about promoting and prostituting their kid no matter the cost to others.

September 14, 2010

A rose by any other name

When the crunchy granola soccer moms have an abbreviation for you, it's time to change the name.  In commercials and mommy blogs, high fructose corn syrup has become HFCS and is verboten!

Naturally,  the corn producing industry is responding to the nutritional concerns of these harpies by debunking their claims with facts changing the name of the offending product to 'corn sugar'.  A move that apparently requires the involvement of the FDA, which will certainly demand a couple of studies, ten or twelve Power Point presentations during 8 or 9 hearings on the matter, requiring a dedicated team of 14 staff members.  Hey!  Job creation!  Blowie must be behind this.  Does Michelle know?  She is anti-fat kid and banned HFCS from the White House kitchen.

While reading this article I was reminded of the endless fields of rapeseed that covered the farmland around our house in Germany.  The yellow pollen from the plants coated everything for weeks.  Not much fun for allergy sufferers or housecleaning fanatics.  If you look hard enough at some of the higher-end grocery stores with a good selection of imported items, you can find rapeseed oil.  But Crisco and Wesson are making a pretty penny on the same product since changing the name to 'canola'.

I, personally, like calling 'em as I see 'em.  Take Calvin's favorite cereal, Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs - any parent buying it knows exactly what they are getting into with that name, now that is truth in advertising.

I suppose I can sympathize with the corn producers, they are being wrongly blamed for a childhood obesity issue that has much more to do with laziness, video/computer gaming and an educational system that long ago abandoned vigorous physical activity during school hours.

I took my driver's license test in a Datsun.  I don't think that the company's name change to Nissan had much effect on their sales.  But, I am not so sure I would have found out all this information if  'Google' had stuck with their original name; 'BackRub'.  I 'BackRubbed' it, just sounds wrong - but only marginally better than using 'Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web', now known as 'Yahoo'.

September 13, 2010

Deport me

Obama is a prick.

I am hoping to get banned from the U.S. and I hear that is what it takes for a British teenager.  I figure I have slightly more resources than the teen, and a much bigger mouth - so surely I am more of a threat to Blowie's administration.

Isn't it funny that our Constitution guarantees freedom of expression for all people, but in this case, it apparently doesn't apply to a British teen sending a drunk email to the White House.  Throughout the amendments that we so vehemently defend, the word is people not 'citizen'. 

This past week I heard several notable legal experts and Constitutional scholars argue opposing views as to the definition and delineation of 'people' versus 'citizen'.  One of the views being that all people in the US are protected by our Constitutional rights, not just American citizens.  
One of the basic arguments involved the search and seizure of laptop computers at the border.  It seems that Constitutional rights are forsaken at the border, no matter your citizenship.  Americans returning to the US, as well as visiting foreigners are subject to search and seizure of their electronic devices.  US Customs can use decryption devices and keep the devices indefinitely.  Ponder this comment from Chair of the Judiciary Committee Sen Patrick Leahy (D-VT):
"It may surprise many Americans that their basic constitutional rights do not exist at our ports of entry..."
Apparently what I need to do is travel outside of the US and then try to return with my 'Obama is a prick' sentiment loaded on my laptop and cell phone.  It's not that I don't love my country, I just don't want to be here until he is gone.  I really can't afford to move abroad on my own, so I am looking for the government assisted relocation plan.

September 12, 2010

It's Go Time

The NFL season begins and with it, the chorus of, "...daddy...Daddy...DADDY...DADDY!!!.  Mom, Dad isn't answering me."

Mr. Harper can tune out the world when his beloved Cowboys are on TV.   

Our house-divided rivalry starts early this year.  Right out of the box, my Redskins will be defeating his cowboys.  He is already trying to cover his butt, having said that he thinks I might be right about the game's outcome, even though he thinks the cowboys have a better team.

Living in the Dallas area as a Redskins fan is hard enough.  Living here with all of the media hype declaring that the cowboys will be the first team to play in a Super Bowl in their own stadium is nauseating.  I would love nothing more than to see those big dreams soundly put to rest in the opening weeks of the season.

September 11, 2010

9 years

September 10, 2010

Stop Stealing My Stuff!

Credit where credit is due, that is the new catch phrase from a John Jay Myers campaign video, friend of my friend The Whited Sepulchre.

Not that I think he is really stealing my stuff, but the Grouchy Old Cripple has blogged about the same subject as me, three times in the past four days.  Great minds...

...but just so we are clear, I posted first in every instance. 

In the interest of staying one step ahead of Denny, I offer a Friday blonde joke:
A blonde calls her boyfriend and says, "Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can't figure out how to get it started."
He asks, "What is it supposed to be when it's finished?"
The blonde says, "According to the picture on the box, it's a tiger."
Her boyfriend decides to go over and help with the puzzle. She lets him in and shows him where she has the puzzle spread all over the table.
He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says, "First of all, no matter what we do, we're not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a tiger."
He takes her hand and says, "Second, I want you to relax. Let's have a nice cup of tea, and then....." he sighed, "we'll put all these Frosted Flakes back in the box."

September 9, 2010

I heart Chris Christie

Chris Christie rocks.  There are no two ways about it.  The man tells it like it is.  I hope he will change his mind and run for a higher office in 2012.

I saw this on JammieWearingFool, who I found through the links on Bergheim Follies who has the linky things that show the titles of posts on other blogs.  I need to figger out how to do that.   Anyhow, check out what JWF had to say about this.

My governor has good hair, but I doubt he would ever look as hot to me as Gov Christie does putting this whiny bitch in her place.  I love teachers, mind you, but this woman was acting like a petulant child with her head tossing, and (I'm sure) eye rolling. 

Guru Billy

Whenever we go to Wingstop I pick up a Dallas Observer at the door, to read during the 14-17 minutes that it takes for our 50 wing family pack to be prepared. I used to read the Observer when I was younger as it has the most comprehensive club and music listings. It still does, but as with most "alternative" newspapers, it has a decidedly left slant to area news and politics, so the articles aren't terribly interesting to me.

As the area's premier "alternative" rag, it includes what the mainstream newspapers won't - "alternative" personal and retail advertising. Some are quite entertaining to read. This one isn't kinky or anything, but is refreshingly honest:

September 8, 2010


Keeping busy monitoring the water near the one low collector point around my back door...have to bail it out before it starts to seep in around the base plate.  We are still an hour or more away from a break in the rain.  I hereby dub today FHD.  Hermine go away.
UPDATE: We have a bit of a break now.  It is a steady rain, but not a torrential downpour like it was for 6+ hours.  No water in the house!  I built an incredible little dam out of bricks that diverted the water away from the back door.  I also stood in the pouring rain and cleared a culvert pipe that is supposed to drain a swale above the back porch, immediate relief in the amount of water coming toward the house.  I don't normally procrastinate house and yard projects, but I was waiting for cooler fall weather to rework the slope, as a couple of years of rain has caused some silt accumulation and altered the drainage. 
My kids went to school this morning, just minutes before they closed the only access road - in both directions.  Luckily my oldest appreciates my sense of humor.  When she sent a panicked text asking what would happen, I replied that I hoped she liked what they had to eat in the school's walk-in.
I just want to say how proud I am to live in an area/state that allows first responders to rescue pets.  I am confident that none of these brave heroes would ever put a human life (other than their own) in danger while doing it.  It warms my heart to see all of the rescues on TV, and see that they are carrying dogs down the ladder.  I am sure that other places probably have policies against it and would reprimand their public servants for using municipal resources to do it.  Thank God I live in Texas.

September 7, 2010

The Meltdown

Lately I have been appreciating the world view of Blowie and his presidency.  It is interesting to see what the outside world thinks of our leadership.  Much of Europe has decidedly fallen out of love with him over the past year and it is fun to read about.

It is important to note that the very same stories that Fox News and the right get lambasted about, are headlines in other parts of the world.  Case in point, this Washington-based U.K. writer picked up on a phrase that Blowie uttered about not treating him like a dog - even though Blowie has frequently described himself as a 'mutt'. In the article he makes this astute observation, which had me close to peeing my pants:
The remark is also a bit odd because one of the most ridiculous bonanzas of media puffery surrounding the Obama administration (the organic vegetable patch was a close second) was the unveiling of Bo the First Dog. Obama milked it for months.
'...Ridiculous bonanzas of media puffery....' BWAHAHAHA!!!

British journalists have been penning some pointed articles about how the future of this administration looks, and if you didn't know better, you would think you were reading the best of  Breitbart or Drudge.

I landed on Niles Gardiner's story in the U.K. Telegraph about the latest polling numbers.  I loved this article.  Niles can turn a word.
This week’s historic Gallup poll will have sent a shiver through the White House at the end of a summer of discontent, and is yet another key indicator that President Obama is likely to end up a lame duck president following the mid-term elections in November.
The imagery is great, 'sent a shiver through the White House'.  Oohhhh, I hope so.  I crave anything or anyone who can cut this president to the quick, take him down a notch or two.  His stunning arrogance is what I believe to be the driving factor in all of his ridiculous decisions.

The story goes on to detail last week's various poll results, showing an apparent Republican retaking of the House, increasing the number of GOP governors by eight, and, according to a RealClearPolitics averaging of polls, the Dims are perilously close to losing the Senate as well.
Could the Republicans win the Senate, causing a major upset? Judging by these polls that is now a distinct possibility, and would be nothing short of a political earthquake that may herald the defeat of President Obama himself in 2012.
Only a miracle can reverse the fortunes of the Obama presidency in the lead-up to the mid-terms, and Barack Obama has been notably short of miracles since taking office, whether political or economic. The good fortune which he possessed when winning the presidency has all but evaporated, replaced by mounting opposition to both his policies and left-wing ideology. According to Rasmussen, just 29 percent of likely voters now believe the country is heading in the right direction, a damning indictment of President Obama’s leadership of the country.
For a “transformational” president, this is devastating. Without the House of Representatives to rubber stamp his Big Government agenda, and the Senate in a likely stalemate, it will be impossible for Barack Obama to force legislation through in the final two years of his presidency. He will also be under immense pressure to cut the budget deficit and reduce government spending, as well as reverse his plans on health care reform, all of which go completely against his instincts. Bill Clinton, a far more skilful and pragmatic politician in many respects, survived the 1994 Democrat meltdown by moving to the center and working with the Right on some issues, a prospect that President Obama would find unpalatable.
Dare we hope?  And there you have it in the last sentence, Blowie would find it 'unpalatable' to have to gather his senses and actually craft some non-partisan legislation.   Arrogance. 
The Obama presidency is facing meltdown, and according to the polls is likely to be greatly weakened from November onwards, throwing a major spanner in the works of the ambitious Obama agenda to remake America. A conservative revolution is heading its way to Washington on a wave of anti-government sentiment, and looks unstoppable. Like Jimmy Carter before him, President Obama has succeeded in revitalising conservatism in the United States, and reawakening a sleeping giant. When Barack Obama spoke in his election campaign of bringing “change” to America, I doubt this is quite what he had in mind.
I am beginning to have some confidence that we might be able to stop this disaster in 2012.  As long as the 'sleeping giant' of conservatism and anti-big-government doesn't begin to fight within itself and destroy the tenuous hold it has on the voting public, we should be able to unseat this administration and salvage something of our great country two years from this November.

September 6, 2010

Tote board, Oh Yeah!

I turned on the TV this morning, hoping to catch a little news while I folded some laundry. As the picture came into focus, I was treated to the sight of some C list actress in a formal gown (at 7 am!) on stage in Las Vegas. Ahhh, Jerry's telethon.

When I was a kid, the telethon was unavoidable. There weren't many channels to choose from and I guess the other networks didn't even try to compete. I think I remember more A list celebrities and more professional acts. Not to belittle the jump roping team, Tony Orlando or 'America's Premier Doo-Wop Group, the Alleycats' on the screen right now, but...

I used to love it when Jerry would call for the timpani drum roll and then reveal the latest tote board number.

A lot older and a little wiser, I am wondering how relevant the telethon is. It now has the feel of a day-long infomercial - I half expected to see the 'Paid Advertisement' moniker in the onscreen guide.

Half-way through my basket of laundry the telethon was showing one of their famous vignettes of someone with ALS. After the video, they had the gentleman and his wife right there on stage. The gentleman's disease progression has left his speech nearly unintelligible and has caused him to be very emotional. A grown man sobbing inconsolably on stage, while no one can understand what he is trying to say, seems to be a pretty sad way to invoke the public's pity and open their wallets.

I started clicking around the internet, watching clips, reading stories. I was, somewhat startlingly, reminded of the telethon of my youth. I watched a horrifying clip of a 70's era show, featuring Jerry onstage with the MDA poster child. As that sweet boy sat there on stage in his wheelchair, Jerry, quite coldly, spoke of all the things the boy would never do or achieve. He spoke of the boy's defects and told the audience that he would never be normal. Well, that must have been an uplifting experience for that kid.

It didn't take much research to learn that several former MDA poster children have formed a group in protest of the MDA telethon's use of the 'pity approach' to raising money. They, rightly so, would rather be empowered to lead normal-as-possible lives and advocate for themselves, rather than be put on display like zoo animals in the metal cages of their wheelchairs. I read about Jerry's unfortunate attitudes and use of derogatory language used towards the very people he claims to love

I also found the BBB's latest report on MDA's use of their resources. Their CEO makes nearly $380,000 and there are over 1,200 more paid employees.  Hmmmm.

On the other hand, the telethon has raised billions of dollars for research to find a cure for muscular dystrophy related diseases and provided quality of life enhancing camps and programs for children with MD.

Seems to be a classic debate of 'does the means justify the end?'.  Here at Harper house, we will continue to put a few bucks in the fireman's boot and buy the shamrocks at the store each year, but we are turning the TV off.

I am left wondering, as Billy Gilman takes the stage, again, is where are the A-listers?  You know, the ones that claim to love the less fortunate children?  Where are Brad and Angelina and Madonna?   Charity begins at home, right?

September 5, 2010

Detroit shows Jesse some green love

From Michigan comes this sad ironic hilarious tale about Jesse Jackson's ride getting stripped:
Following the embarrassing news that Mayor Dave Bing’s GMC Yukon was hijacked by criminals this week, Detroit’s Channel 7 reports that the Reverend’s Caddy Escalade SUV was stolen and stripped of its wheels while he was in town last weekend with the UAW’s militant President Bob King leading the “Jobs, Justice, and Peace” march promoting government-funded green jobs.

Read that again: Jackson’s Caddy SUV was stripped while he was in town promoting green jobs.
But, of course.  This is the golden age of 'do as I say, not as I do'.
Add Jesse to the Al Gore-Tom Friedman-Barack Obama School of Environmental Hypocrisy. While preaching to Americans that they need to cram their families into hybrid Priuses to go shopping for compact fluorescent light bulbs to save the planet, they themselves continue to live large.

“We need an economy that creates employment that can't be shipped overseas,” the Green Rev wrote for CNN about the march. “Home-grown American labor will be installing windmills and solar panels. A green economy is not an abstract concept.”

Well, its certainly abstract to Jesse, but I digress.
“Even now, the only sector of the economy that has seen job growth during the recession is the green job sector. Time is of the essence.”

Actually, time long ago passed Detroit by because Jesse’ favored government mpg mandates and UAW wages stripped the Big Three’s ability to compete against non-union transplants. These jobs were real – unlike the artificial, government subsidized green jobs he shakes down the feds for today.
See this post of Jim's at Parkway Rest Stop for an excellent example of the American auto industry's subsidized-green-shake down.
Real jobs produced big, profitable SUVs like the one Jesse prefers to ride in. His SUV has been stripped by thugs – a fitting metaphor for what Jesse and his pals have done to the auto industry for the last 35 years.
Hey, man, they weren't 'stripping' his SUV, they were recycling it.  No, wait.  What is the current greenie word-of-the-day?  They were reusing reclaiming repurposing upcycling it.

September 4, 2010

To distract you from the latest presidential vacation...

Blowie headed to Camp David yesterday afternoon for the weekend.

This is his 15th trip to Camp David since taking office, totaling 32 days spent there.

Blowie ended a 10 day Martha's Vineyard vacation LAST SUNDAY.

Just days before the Vineyard Vacation, Michelle and Sasha returned from a trip to Spain.  While in Spain, they were received by the royal family.  Among them, Princess Letizia, wife of the heir to the Spanish throne.  Last April, Nicolas Sarkozy and the French First Lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy traveled to Spain, igniting media frenzy over who was the loveliest of First Ladies.  There was no such frenzy when Michelle Obama arrived.

To liven the mood, we will ignore the Wookie and instead behold the First Ladies of Spain and France:

Lovely from the front...
and the rear, pun intended.

September 3, 2010

Nobody watches that stuff anyway

Not that James Jay Lee's actions needed further invalidation, but I thought it was funny:

More funny graphs at

September 2, 2010

Big rocks or small ones


The great pussification of American football has been greatly aided by the obnoxious display of wealth adorning the heads and shoulders of many NFL players during games.  If I were a hulking lineman, you can bet your sweet ass that every time I tackled a pimped out opponent, I would take every opportunity to make them regret stepping on the field looking like a 'Tiffany's in the 'Hood' commercial.

Big, gaudy diamond earrings - I would rip them out.

Thick gold chains?  I would spend my playing time attempting to remove them through your neck.

Just last week as the kids began school, the P.E. coaches reviewed the basic rules for gym, among them: no jewelry.  Why?  Because it is easy for things to get caught on nets, racquets, fingers, etc.  It is a safety concern.  And it makes you look like a sissy girl to step onto the field or court, looking like a wannabe fashion plate. 

This is football dammit!  Leave it in the locker room.  You can get all prettied up in your blueberries and cream suit and bling after the game.

And while I am orbiting the subject;  Troy Polamalu's hair...I would wrap my hands in it and jerk with all my might each and every time I got near him. 

Polamalu is not alone, according to an article from one year ago, defensive lineman tend to have 'flowing locks'.  Last season, by their count, there were 49 defensive lineman with long hair.

What is it with the long hair and big jewelry?  Are they trying to compensate for something?  Too much steroid use and tiny balls?  It isn't attractive, men.  Just sayin'.

September 1, 2010

Excuse me, but I really don't care.

Okay, so I concede that I was an awesome bartender in the old school sense of the word.  Back in the day, I could mix up your drink or draw you a non-foamy headed beer, remembering what you drank and how you liked it if I waited on you more than once.  I knew who could handle their liquor and who needed to tap the brakes and eat some nachos every hour or so.  Maybe most important of all, I listened.

It isn't surprising that people open up and share the darkest corners of their life with someone after a few drinks.  Especially if that person is a good listener and can, on occasion, offer up a bit of friendly advice.  To my detriment, I usually put my regular customers' concerns above my desire to make a buck.  For example, I never thought twice about cutting people off and sending them home to their pregnant wives with some money still in their pocket on payday.  My boss got ticked off, but I never could find it in my heart to take advantage of careless drunks.  Mean drunks were another story.

I guess there is just something about me that puts some people at ease, even without the lubrication of liquor.  Today, my preschooler and I made a rare trip to Chik-fil-A for lunch.  One with an indoor play area.  I generally avoid this sort of set up for many reasons, including the number of children, snotty noses and stuck up soccer moms that are in attendance.  Shortly after meeting the minimum nugget quota and retreating to the play area, my kid befriended another little boy on the slide.  For the next 30 minutes, I was treated to the life story of his grandmother/guardian, complete with the dirty details of her custody battle with her son, the birth mother's meth habit and the names, ages and educational level of each of her other children.

I turned away from that conversation only to be regaled with the circumstances that brought another lady to the Chik-fil-A play area.  This included a story about her daughter's brain cysts (not tumors), a doctor who belittled another doctor for being from India, the morning's dentist appointment and an explanation about the non-breastmilk contents of the baby's bottle.  None of which was spurred by any question on my part.

I really gotta be more careful about making eye contact and offering up a friendly smile in public.