Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The RNC this week is attempting to put together a resolution condemning the support of "socialist" policies by president Bush and some members of the House and Senate. The resolution is a chance for the RNC to stand on record against the bailouts and possible future 'stimulus packages'. But what of it? Is this a signal that the RNC will start taking back policy control of a party that has been hijacked for the last eight (if not 12) years by power brokers and religious zealots? Or is this simply what it appears to be; a non-binding statement attempting to shed blame for the actions that so clearly cost them control of the country?

This may very well be a solid step in the right direction for the RNC but I can't imagine it making even the remotest splash if it is limited to the bailout votes and to future inevitable 'stimulus'. If the RNC wants to get it's feet back on the ground and it's cards back in the game it must start with a complete and full scale disavowal of the anti-liberty policies of the Bush administration. They cannot in good conscience pretend to be outraged at the 'socialism' of the current economic situation, when they were never outraged at "No Child Left Behind", or the Patriot Act, or the largest expansion of non-military federal spending by any administration in the history of the world. It's ridiculous.

I have to applaud the RNC for this attempt to take back control of the Republican party from the power-hungry celebretards that have been in the drivers seat. But I can't applaud much, this gesture might have meant something at say, the convention. Now broken, beaten and out of power this simply looks like a weak attempt to shrug off blame for the mistakes for which they have been consciously complicit all along.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another Ebay Auction Lost

Why do people always sneak in and out bid me in the final two seconds of every ebay auction I participate in? This is ridiculous.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Rules Driving

Although we are experiencing frigid temperatures in the mid 60's here in sunny Southern California, some of you out there are in the midst of actual winter. As I remember winter quite fondly and am very jealous I thought I would share a few tips for the road in these difficult conditions.

Driving in snow and ice can be a very frightening proposition particularly if you haven't done it before. But there are many things you can do to ready yourself and to make your winter driving experience safe and maybe even fun.

1. Slow Down: It seems like such and obvious point but it's often the point people forget first. One thing that people tend not to realize is that it is much easier to work your way up to an unsafe speed than it is to come back down from said speed. The reason is that if you are prudently applying force to the drive wheels of the car they will maintain some grip on the road as they are spinning. Stopped wheels, on the other hand do not continually work to hold the road.

2. It takes very little force to move a car in the wrong direction: Several years ago we had an ice storm at my parent's house. The neighbor up the hill (an experienced winter driver) pulled his car out of the garage and into the driveway to warm it up and wait for his wife so that they could drive to work together. Sitting in the driveway in park reading the newspaper he realized he felt the strange sensation of movement. When he pulled the paper down to look outside he realized that a slight cross breeze was pushing his 3500lb car sideways. Before he could react his car was pushed over an embankment and flipped over into his front yard. While parked he managed to flip and total his car. I tell this story to illustrate a point, that driving your car is all about applying force to make changes. Turn the wheel and the momentum of your car is creating force one way while the wheels are translating force in a different direction to cause you to turn. On slippery ground often the slightest force can put you into a troubling slide.

3. Know your car: Do you have front wheel drive or rear wheel drive? Do you have all wheel drive, perhaps four wheel drive? is your car heavier in the front or in the back? What kind of tires do you have and how to they work on ice? Do you have anti-lock brakes or not? All these things and more will drastically effect the way your car handles on slick surfaces. If you haven't driven in these conditions you should get yourself to a large empty parking lot and practice. Learn how your car stops and turns at different speeds. Practice safe braking techniques and learn how to control a slide.

4. Braking: Experts suggest you should at least double the amount of space you give yourself to stop or re-act. Under normal conditions you should leave yourself two car lengths for every 10 miles an hour. For ice make it at least four car lengths. When applying the brakes it's important to know if you have abs. Anti-lock brake systems respond to slippery conditions by stuttering the brake pressure at a high rate of speed. This allows the wheels to continue turning which helps maintain grip on the road, while slowing the vehicle down. If you do not have abs you should practice pumping your brakes in order to get the same effect. Pumping the brakes allows the wheels to slow while still moving and maintaining some level of control. But remember pumping the brakes when you do have abs will only disable the abs. Resist all urges to panic and lock up your brakes this will most certainly cause you to lose all control. An important note for those of us with SUV's four wheel drive is not four wheel stop. Four wheel drive will increase the mobility of your vehicle but once you take your foot off the gas and start to apply the brakes you are back in a regular car again.

5. Turning: In ice and snow turning is a tricky proposition and I will first remind you of rule 1... slow down. The important thing in a turn under these conditions is to maintain the movement of your wheels. This means slow down before the turn and then take your foot off the brake and apply some pressure to the gas on your way through the turn. With front wheel drive this is relatively simple as the front wheels are pulling the car through the turn. With a rear wheel drive vehicle this as with many other parts of ice driving, is more complicated. If you add too much gas to the rear wheels you can fishtail, over-steer, or simply push hard enough to break the turn wheels' grip on the road causing a slide. Prudence is a virtue here. If you have four wheel drive or awd this is where things are the best for you, in a slippery turn you should see driving force on all four wheels helping maintain stability through turns.

6. The Slide: The slide is the thing that keeps many a driver in the house next to the fire with hot cocoa in this kind of weather. When you begin to slide almost universally your instincts are wrong. The first thing you must concentrate on once the vehicle has lost traction and is sliding is returning control of the vehicle. Many many people have gotten in trouble with the instinctive reaction to try and stop everything. The brakes are not your friend in a slide. Experts say you should steer into a slide and apply some gas to re-establish grip with your tires, then steer your way to safety. This is where that parking lot practice session will be invaluable, learning how much gas is the right amount to maintain grip and how much is too much makes all the difference.

7. Smooth Moves: One overall piece of advice throughout your winter driving experience is that all of your moves should be smooth and steady. Panic reactions are learned in your countless hours of dry, safe conditions and simply do not work on ice. The brakes are a useful tool but more often than not they will get you into trouble.

8. Be Prepared: After the first snow you will find (as some friends of mine recently did) that snow chains and traction tires are out of stock quickly. If you live or travel in wintry areas buy a full set of chains and learn how to use them. You may not ever find yourself in a position to need them but boy are they a lifesaver if you do. And again practice, practice, practice.

9. Pay Attention: Maybe this should be rule 1.

Driving in bad weather can be very stressful but a few simple things will help to make it a safe and enjoyable part of your year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Vilsack to Head Ag. Dept

With this morning's announcement of the appointment of Gov. Vilsack as sec. of Agriculture the Obama administration is signaling at least one if not a whole string of bad policy directions. For starters Vilsack, the Gov. from the great state of Iowa is and always has been firmly in the jacket pocket of the giant corporate protectionist corn lobby. He's spent more time on Monsanto's corporate jet than many of the execs that run the company. He is an outspoken advocate for the pro-ethanol policies and subsidies that are currently choking food supplies around the world. He stands in direct opposition to small family farms and protecting the rights of small farms to grow genetically un-modified foods should they choose. As if that wasn't enough as Gov. he showed himself and outspoken advocate of eminent domain and even attempted to veto a law restricting Iowa's eminent domain to areas that were slums. Apparently he was very disturbed that anyone would hem in the government's power to arbitrarily take viable homes and businesses away from citizens.

This is not only a poor choice by the Obama camp for the USDA, it also signals a willingness for them to hop into bed with big corporate interests right off the block. It lends no credence to the lip service paid throughout the campaign to protecting the small farm and resisting the sweeping corporate agribusiness lobby. Iowa and the corn lobby have had too large a strangle hold on this government for a great many years and this may prove the biggest step they have made against us since they pushed higher tariffs on imported cane sugar.

"Oh there's nothin halfway
about the Iowa way we treat you,
when we treat you,
which we may not do at all."

Monday, December 15, 2008

I'm Trying to Figure Out How the Republicans Lost

There must be some reason that people lost faith in the Republican party... Could it be the war? The Patriot Act? Hmmmm any ideas anyone?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Holy men

The more we see and hear it appears that the president elect has clean hands in the senate seat auction debacle. While to some it seems unreasonable that the giant Obama Chicago machine could possibly be free of ties in this case I can't help but wonder what would motivate them to be involved. I just don't see it and in fact I can only imagine scenarios in which it benefits the Obama camp to put the early pinch on efforts to manipulate them for money or influence. I could be wrong but I only predict any involvement from their camp proves to be on the up and up. There is no possible motivation for Obama or his emissaries to sit down and negotiate with a big fish in the Chicago pond after the victory and fund raising magic they have just completed. There's nothing that the Obama camps stands to gain from engaging in that kind of discussion. There is a place where they would stand to gain significant ground and that is through the intense and obvious denial of these efforts. It may not turn out to be the truth but I can picture a scenario where Rahm Emanuel is the catalyst behind this explosive situation, in that he may have handed this case over to the prosecutor. Obama comes out looking like a golden god of anti-corruption politics without ever really working on it, Rahm comes out with a credit in any future questions about his mobster-like style, and the team gets to hand a massive and very public ass kicking to the corrupt and influential left wing machine. This includes of course the honorable Reverend Jesse Jackson who may very well prove to be the long term loser in this mess.

The honorably Rev. Jesse Jackson and his similarly honorable son had much to gain and no history of scruples to protect them. Look for trouble in that camp as I'd imagine an embattled governor looking for a deal. I'm sure he's more willing to roll on the honorable Reverend than Karin Stanford.

I could be wrong this is all mystic prediction, but I'd bet even odds that the honorable Rev. and his family are talking hard with the lawyers and aren't any less sure than I am about their involvement in this debacle.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

32 Republicans that Voted FOR the Auto Bailout

Barton (TX), Buyer, Camp (MI), Capito, Castle, Ehlers, Emerson, English (PA), Frelinghuysen, Hoekstra, Hunter, King (NY), Knollenberg, LaHood, LaTourette, Lewis (KY), Manzullo, McCotter, McCrery, McHugh, Miller (MI), Murphy, T. , Porter, Ramstad, Regula, Rogers (MI), Ryan (WI)Smith (NJ), Souder, Upton, Walsh (NY), Young (AK)
awesome ad

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Chicago Politics are the Best in the World

Once again the Illinois political machine has brought graft and corruption to the front pages of the political world. The Governor of Il. was allegedly trying to sell the United States Senate seat soon to be vacated by President Elect Obama. Among other crimes included in a three year investigation by the FBI. Gov. Blagojevich seems to have spent a significant amount of time, effort and influence to silence his detractors in the press as well.

This isn't an isolated incident as we all know. The Chicago political scene has long been a breeding ground for corruption. And it doesn't just effect things locally. I have it on good authority that a large part of the Alaskan political corruption that Gov. Palin claims to have cleaned up was funded and organized with Chicago mafia money.

It's no wonder that particularly the left wing of the Chicago political world doesn't want to play by the same rules that the rest of us follow; they have a long history of just that and the political ideology to justify it to themselves. They started a lifestyle of large scale criminal ignorance of law during prohibition when of course it made sense. The tradition carried on in a strong way with the radical left during the 1960's. Chicago bred such fantastic political criminals as Saul Alinski and of course Jesse Jackson.

I'm not sure what it is about Illinois that makes this kind of thing in bulk but it seems pretty obvious that the leading export from that state is political corruption.

Hey where did the President Elect start his career?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

See... It happens.

This hunter should have had a bigger rifle and perhaps this kind of business could be prevented.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Blurred Lines

The Pentagon has finally funded it's long time desire to use the US Millitary against it's own citizens. More to come.