July 31, 2007

Everybody’s Bitchin’…

…about the price of gas being over $3.00 a gallon at the pump, the cost of heating a home in winter and water year round with natural gas, and the cost of electricity going up as consumption increases, Democrats and Republicans alike. I’ve heard a vicious, nasty, ugly rumor that many on the left blame George Bush. Can you believe that? I mean, Democrats blaming Bush for something. Preposterous!

How could they? It is, after all, the Democrats who are responsible for the lion’s share of our dependence on greedy, terrorist producing countries for oil. They’re the culprits behind energy resources and capabilities laying fallow within the boundaries of U.S. territory and good old American know-how.

I ran across this spot-on commentary by Pete Du Pont in yesterday’s (30 July 07) Opinion Journal, titled Just Drill, Baby that literally brims over with information.

America’s domestic oil production is declining, importation of oil is rising, and gasoline is more expensive. The government’s Energy Information Administration reports that U.S. crude oil field production declined to 1.9 billion barrels in 2005 from 3.5 billion in 1970, and the share of our oil that is imported has increased to 60% from 27% in 1985. The price of gasoline has risen to $3.02 this month from $2 in today’s dollars in 1985.

Washington politicians will tell you this is an “energy crisis,” but America’s energy challenges are far more political than substantive.

First, we are not running out of oil. In 1920 it was estimated that the world supply of oil was 60 billion barrels. By 1950 it was up to 600 billion, and by 1990 to two trillion. In 2000 the world supply of oil was estimated to be three trillion barrels.

I can testify, personally, on the heady days of the late 1970s, when I worked in the offshore “oil patch” for awhile out of Louisiana. I say “heady” because every other week was seven days of party time on “the beach” (in Nawlins) between weeks on the rigs. Back then there was an oil boom in the Gulf of Mexico. Somewhere in the very early 1980s, the oil companies capped most of the wells in favor of keeping our domestic oil in reserve and buying from the Arabs.

Depending on the Mooslims for our main sources of energy and transportation fuel is pretty dumb when there are alternatives. Lately, OPEC went so far as to cap the amount of oil they produce in order to keep prices up.

And there are alternatives.

The U.S. has substantial supplies of oil and gas that could be accessed if lawmakers would allow it, but they frequently don’t. A National Petroleum Council study released last week reports that 40 billion barrels of America’s “recoverable oil reserves are off limits or are subject to significant lease restrictions”–half inshore and half offshore–and similar restrictions apply to more than 250 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. (We consume about 22 trillion cubic feet a year.)

Access to the 10 billion barrels of oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Reserve has been prohibited for decades. Some 85 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas exist on the Outer Continental Shelf, but a month ago the House again, as it did last year, voted down an amendment that would have allowed the expansion of coastal drilling for oil and natural gas. All of which leaves the U.S. as the only nation in the world that has forbidden access to significant sources of domestic energy supplies.

Just as we’re the only country on earth that permits rampant violation of our borders and permits our immigration laws to be made a mockery of, we are the only nation in the world that has forbidden access to significant sources of domestic energy supplies.

Then there are all the other energy ideas Congress wishes to adopt–better energy efficiency for washers, driers, boilers, motors and refrigerators; greater fuel efficiency for cars; and more use of wind, solar and geothermal power generation. Good ideas all–especially more fuel-efficient automobiles–but not substantively or immediately very helpful in meeting the challenge of increasing America’s energy supplies to keep our economy, jobs and prosperity increasing.

To do that we must build many more nuclear power plants and increase our drilling for oil and gas. The NPC report says it takes 15 to 20 years from exploration until production begins, and it costs $3 billion to build an average 120,000-barrel-a-day oil refinery. That is just the opposite of the current congressional policy of reducing oil use, blocking access to existing domestic oil reserves, not increasing nuclear power generation, and touting ethanol as another subsidy for farmers.

Ah, ethanol, ahem…

I’ve already posted on the reality behind the ethanol lie in the past. Evidently, Mr. Du Pont feels the same way I do about it.

Oil, natural gas and nuclear power are the indispensable energy resources to insure the prosperity of America’s economy. But that is not what the congressional leadership thinks. So if we mustn’t drill offshore for oil or natural gas, or build nuclear power plants, what is the politically correct action Congress intends to take?

Increasing ethanol subsidies for farmers is at the top of the list. Ethanol is a politically hot energy substance produced from crops like corn, soybeans, sunflowers and switch grass. Current law requires 7.5 billion gallons to be produced by 2012; the new Senate bill would increase that to 36 billion by 2022.

But ethanol is not a good gasoline substitute. It takes some seven gallons of oil to produce eight gallons of corn-based ethanol–diesel fuel for the tractors to plant and harvest the corn, pesticides to protect it, and fuel for trucks to transport the ethanol around the country. So there is not much energy gain, nor with all the gasoline involved does it help with global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. And ethanol yields one-third less energy per gallon than gasoline, so that mileage per gallon of ethanol-blended auto fuel is less than gasoline mileage.

Ethanol is a politically popular subsidized product. Producers get a 51-cent-a-gallon subsidy and are protected from international ethanol imports by a 2.5% tariff and an ethanol import duty of 54 cents a gallon. These subsidies have brought more than 100 American ethanol refineries into operation, and another six dozen are going to be built, which has nearly doubled the price of corn, raised the cost of beef and other corn-fed livestock, and increased the cost of milk and corn syrup for soft-drink manufacturers.

(Above emphasis mine, though I will add that I disagree with Mr. Du Pont’s intimation regarding man’s activities having any effect on climate change, ie nor with all the gasoline involved does it help with global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, though the Goremongers might give it some thought)

It’s quite obvious that the reason a large number of these people we elect to the Senate and the House pursue lifelong careers in politics is because they wouldn’t last a week in the private sector…at least as businessmen and businesswomen. Corporate shareholders wouldn’t stand for being bankrupted by incompetents the way we Americans tolerate these idiots bankrupting our country, creating unnecessary inflation and squandering our taxes.

July 26, 2007

If They Really Want To Socialize Medicine,

this is very definitely the way to go — as a state project, not a federal affair.

When Louis Brandeis praised the 50 states as “laboratories of democracy,” he didn’t claim that every policy experiment would work. So we hope the eyes of America will turn to Wisconsin, and the effort by Madison Democrats to make that “progressive” state a Petri dish for government-run health care.

This exercise is especially instructive, because it reveals where the “single-payer,” universal coverage folks end up. Democrats who run the Wisconsin Senate have dropped the Washington pretense of incremental health-care reform and moved directly to passing a plan to insure every resident under the age of 65 in the state. And, wow, is “free” health care expensive. The plan would cost an estimated $15.2 billion, or $3 billion more than the state currently collects in all income, sales and corporate income taxes. It represents an average of $510 a month in higher taxes for every Wisconsin worker.

Employees and businesses would pay for the plan by sharing the cost of a new 14.5% employment tax on wages. Wisconsin businesses would have to compete with out-of-state businesses and foreign rivals while shouldering a 29.8% combined federal-state payroll tax, nearly double the 15.3% payroll tax paid by non-Wisconsin firms for Social Security and Medicare combined.

Talk about ruthless mathematics…

Given the trial and error (hit or miss?) process that seems to accompany the regular dose of Murphy’s Law whenever government descends and the inevitable resulting demand for additional funding via taxes collected from We, the People, I am reminded for some reason of dominoes.

In countries whose citizens “benefit” from socialized medicine, taxes are well beyond oppressive by American standards — and all too much of that is due to the cost of their government administrated health care.

By the time a healthy taxpayer is done being taxed, he/she will have been charged more of his/her hard earned pay by the government than it might have cost for a private HMO — or because he/she is in satisfactory or better physical condition, been, quite simply, ripped off: Perhaps he/she hasn’t felt the need for medical coverage just yet. But he/she must be protected whether he/she likes it or not.

Hmmm…that sounds awfully like a personal choice that belongs exclusively to said taxpayer, not unlike to wear or not to wear a motorcycle helmet, strap on a seat belt, order a blood-rare burger, etc, etc…

But it doesn’t strike me as anything the framers of the U.S. Constitution would have endorsed.

But…back to the issue at hand –

What we have here is a state experimenting with socialized medicine. While I brook none of that bullshit on a federal level, I am a fervent believer in states’ rights; If a collection of idiots living within the confines of their own political subdivision exercise their voting rights to elect leaders of the socialist persuasion, so be it. Look at California.

For that matter, look at what the left is trying to do in Wisconsin (damn, I’d love to deliver a “cheesy” pun, but who wants to kick a state when it be about to be “down”?).

Moving right along,

There’s absolutely no mystery why our greatest complaints are in the arena of government-delivered services and the fewest in market-delivered services. In the market, there are the ruthless forces of profit, loss and bankruptcy that make producers accountable to us. In the arena of government-delivered services, there’s no such accountability. For example, government schools can go for decades delivering low-quality services, and what’s the result? The people who manage it earn higher pay. It’s nearly impossible to fire the incompetents. And, taxpayers, who support the service, are given higher tax bills.

Oh — kay!

Before we buy into single-payer health care systems like Canada’s and the United Kingdom’s, we might want to do a bit of research. The Vancouver, British Columbia-based Fraser Institute annually publishes “Waiting Your Turn.” Its 2006 edition gives waiting times, by treatments, from a person’s referral by a general practitioner to treatment by a specialist. The shortest waiting time was for oncology (4.9 weeks). The longest waiting time was for orthopedic surgery (40.3 weeks), followed by plastic surgery (35.4 weeks) and neurosurgery (31.7 weeks).
As reported in the June 28 National Center for Policy Analysis’ “Daily Policy Digest,” Britain’s Department of Health recently acknowledged that one in eight patients waits more than a year for surgery. France’s failed health care system resulted in the deaths of 13,000 people, mostly of dehydration, during the heat spell of 2003. Hospitals stopped answering the phones, and ambulance attendants told people to fend for themselves.

So now, we have problems on both the buy side and the sell side of government run healthcare.


I don’t think most Americans would like more socialized medicine in our country. By the way, I have absolutely no problem with people wanting socialism. My problem is when they want to drag me into it.

That has got to be the single most perfect definition of belief in the rights of Americans that I’ve ever seen. What happens to we believers in the Constitution once that great document has been violated and pissed upon by our very Congress?

The long and the short of it should be that we can thank our lucky stars that this entire exercise is as it should be, a single state event. The only problems I can envision there are the inevitably tragic probable results for Wisconsin taxpayers and what they would invite: FAILURE.

Failure attracts today’s liberal-ruled Democrats — while socialism has long since proven itself a blatant mistake, these so-called intellectual elites, followers of eco-socio-economic theories based solely on Utopian fantasies, want to repeat this same failure.

On the other hand, ownership of immense bureaucracies also attracts the Democrats, and the number of bureaucracies that would emanate from a parasitic healthcare core would constitute tax money negligently flushed down the commode of liberalism. So what’s new?

July 20, 2007

Should I Laugh Now…

or wait ’til later?

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Thursday blamed the Republican minority for sinking congressional approval ratings, calling recent poll results “a referendum on Republican obstructionism.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) blamed President Bush.

Schumer told reporters that Republicans - who earlier this week blocked a Democratic amendment that would have mandated a troop withdrawal from Iraq, and who in June blocked a comprehensive immigration reform bill - are frustrating Americans who are hungry for change.

That is hilarious!

From the time George W. Bush took his first oath of office as President of these here United States, the Democrats have aggressively obstructed his every agenda, with the notable exception of the amnesty bill a couple of weeks ago, a shared interest of the White House and the Democrats. Even now, they’re in hot pursuit of his nominee for Surgeon General, fighting any chance of confirmation tooth and nail — the Surgeon General for G-d’s sake, an almost entirely ceremonial position!

And all this purely in the name of partisan politics, screw the interests, will and even the safety of the American people.

Since winning the Congressional majority, they’ve thrown almost every iota of effort into continuing to attack Bush and the Republican Party, seeking subpoenas and indictments at every turn for invented transgressions, and continuously hammering away at their cut-n-run ambitions for Iraq. Otherwise, they have made little effort to do the job they are payed to do, that of governing the nation.

Now that their chickens have come home to roost in the form of performance poll results that border on a no-confidence vote, they have the chutzpah to whine that the Republicans (and of course Bush, for whom they always save some blame) are “obstructing” them. It’s all the GOP’s (and Bush’s) fault!

They cite two cases:

The Republicans’ steadfast refusal to support the Democrats’ Iraq surrender agenda and the Republicans’ steadfast refusal to grant amnesty to twenty million criminals who are trespassing in our country.

“The American people are demanding change,” Schumer said. “The one thing standing in the way is the Republicans in the Senate.”



by @ 6:00 pm. Filed under Assholes, Democrats, Liberal Hypocrisy, Politics As Usual

July 19, 2007

There They Go Again

I can’t caution enough against the successful propagandizing power of the liberal mainstream media, which never stops working to misinform the public on every issue that can be politicized to make George Bush the Snidely Whiplash of global politics.

Now the Democrat controlled Congress, which is running on fumes in the perceptions of American voters, is also fair game, because they’re not browbeating hard enough to convince their Republican colleagues to support the Iraq Cut and Run agenda.

Here’s some hydro-Couric acid courtesy of Newsbusters, for example.

In my opinion, the most WTF!!!?-earning line in the entire article is,

As Couric pointed out how “nearly three out of four Americans say the troop surge is not working, that it’s having no impact, or actually making matters worse,”

…citing “a CBS/NYT opinion poll”.

The operative question here is, of course, how the hell do three out of four Americans know anything about what the troop surge is doing?

The answer is they don’t, but the media is feeding them the usual liberal political disinformation which, for three out of four Americans, is probably the only source of news in town. ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, NPR, NYT, etc, etc…, and they think they know. And of course, what they think they know but don’t forms their opinions.

It really sucks big green donkey… well, suffice it to say that it is somewhat frustrating when one realizes that the lion’s share of U.S. public opinion is compiled via the process of lying to the people and then polling them based on the same lies. Garbage in, garbage out.

There’s a disturbance in the Force First Amendment. It has been created by unscrupulous political partisans taking fraudulent advantage of a perfectly wonderful Constitutional right in an effort to engender opinions among the American public without giving us all the facts. This is not reporting, it is marketing.

In many ways, it’s like news being replaced by spam.

For a breath of fresh air, however, regarding the troop surge, Kimberly Kagan weighed in on the subject in a WSJ Opinion Journal piece back on 11 July, which I had been saving to spring when I thought we’d heard enough defeatist MSM/ Congressional Democrat mallarkey re “the surge”.

In Washington perception is often mistaken for reality. And as Congress prepares for a fresh debate on Iraq, the perception many members have is that the new strategy has already failed.

This isn’t an accurate reflection of what is happening on the ground, as I saw during my visit to Iraq in May. Reports from the field show that remarkable progress is being made. Violence in Baghdad and Anbar Province is down dramatically, grassroots political movements have begun in the Sunni Arab community, and American and Iraqi forces are clearing al Qaeda fighters and Shiite militias out of long-established bases around the country.

This is remarkable because the military operation that is making these changes possible only began in full strength on June 15. To say that the surge is failing is absurd. Instead Congress should be asking this question: Can the current progress continue?

Read the entire article here.

by @ 11:51 am. Filed under Assholes, Liberal Agendas, Lying Propaganda And The Media

July 18, 2007

“La Reconquista”, Indeed

The very idea of Mexico reclaiming the U.S. southwest is one of the dumbest I’ve ever heard –

La reconquista, a radical movement calling for Mexico to “reconquer” America’s Southwest, has stepped out of the shadows at recent immigration-reform protests nationwide as marchers held signs saying, “Uncle Sam Stole Our Land!” and waved Mexico’s flag.

– nothing to do with the possibility or lack thereof of its eventual success, but what could be expected if these ambitions ever did come to fruition.

To figure that out, we need look no farther than Mexico’s history and the track records of their political leadership from the beginning until now.

If these idiots had their way, our southwest would only join the rest of Mexico, inheriting, eventually, its profound corruption and widespread poverty.

Then the usual suspects would resume sneaking in across the altered borders, and the same old immigration debate would once again be recycled, seeking any solution that doesn’t involve enforcing the law.

On another note…

In the event that any readers decide they would like their own geographic change of pace, Brenda has emailed me a novel way to go.

by @ 6:26 am. Filed under Opinion

July 16, 2007

This Is Way Beyond Unforgiveable

Whenever I read or hear of a hole in our national security network, I tend to rant about it here, sometimes, depending upon its level on the stupidity scale or the negligence index, rather spiritedly. Often when the flaw involves both the Transportation Security Administration and the protection managers employed by U.S. airports, I can’t help but express some grim humour and/or make sarcastic remarks.

I’ve spoken my piece on chemical plants being located inside population centers, the lackluster realities of nuclear power plant security, airport security vulnerabilities due completely to incompetence and irresponsible management, idiots with federal licenses to possess explosives yet no seriously enforced obligations to ensure the security of same, therefore no security, period, and quite frankly, I can only opine that neither the government nor key private sector firms care even a fraction about security compared to their concerns about the “bottom line”.

One thing I’ve learned on my journey through life is that you can never honestly, or at least accurately, say that you’ve “seen it all”. Just as you utter the words, something rather unexpected comes along.

Unfortunately, this same rule applies to the respective depths of human imperfection. I’d say that this unmitigatedly stupid, negligent, unbelievably boneheaded state of affairs proves that just when you think you’ve seen government incompetence at its worst, you’re proven wrong.

Undercover congressional investigators posing as West Virginia businessmen obtained a license with almost no scrutiny from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission that enabled them to buy enough radioactive material from U.S. suppliers to build a “dirty bomb,” a new government report says.

Isn’t that nice to know!

Using a post-office box at Mail Boxes Etc., a telephone and a fax machine, the undercover investigators from the GAO obtained the license “without ever leaving their desks,” the report says.

After counterfeiting copies of the license, the GAO undercover agents ordered portable moisture density gauges, which contain radioactive americium-241 and cesium-137 and are commonly used at construction sites to analyze the properties of soil, water and pavement. The investigators ordered 45 gauges — enough to build a bomb with enough radioactive material to qualify as a level-3 threat on the International Atomic Energy Agency’s scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the most hazardous.

3, on a scale of 1 to 5. At least we’ve achieved the middle ground, here. Whew!

The GAO undertook the sting operation at the request of Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), the top minority member of the Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations, which since 2003 has been examining security gaps at the NRC and other federal agencies that could leave the country vulnerable to biological or nuclear attack.

Thank you, Senator Coleman. It’s good that we have a few Republicans around to mind the shop while all the Democrats in Congress are too busy serving subpoenas and pushing a multitude of Constitutional envelopes in their single-minded endeavors to indict Republicans, from the President to the guy who sweeps, for anything they can sneak through the realms of truth and logic, to donate a few minutes of their time to doing what they’re paid to do and governing the country.

Coleman and other critics say the NRC essentially has ignored warnings for years and has done too little to remedy problems that would make it easier for someone to make a dirty bomb. Coleman called the NRC’s efforts since June 1 “baby steps” that are insufficient and particularly outrageous because the agency has taken so long to act despite having been warned of serious flaws for more than four years.

Not to be outdone,

NRC commissioner Edward McGaffigan Jr. said in an interview yesterday that the agency, while concerned about any security weakness, has had to allocate finite resources to what it thinks are the biggest potential threats to public safety. He said terrorists have looked for relatively simple ways to cause massive death and damage. Devices such as the moisture gauges, he said, pose a relatively low-level risk because they require a vast amount of work to fashion into a dangerous weapon.

The pitiful excuse that “Devices such as the moisture gauges pose a relatively low-level risk because they require a vast amount of work to fashion into a dangerous weapon” is indication enough that the man is nothing more than a career bureaucratic cockroach.

Al-Qaeda has long since proven that it is capable of long-term precision planning (see 11 Sep 01) and more recently we’ve learned that terrorist organizations belonging to the Religion of Peace® are well staffed by professionals with advanced degrees. Applying logic to this, we must conclude that there are also plenty of people in the ranks of the Pedophile’s Disciples who know how to use a soldering iron to technological advantage and/or possess other high-tech skills that can be used, through double or triple staffing and a concentration of combined expertise, to render the “vast amount of work” required a short term job.

Speaking as a security professional (semi-retired), I am most alarmed by the lie — yes, and I mean lie, that has emerged from the mouth of a government agency.

“My sole concern, our sole concern, has been the safety of the American people,” he said.

Bullshit! His sole concern has been keeping his expenses down in order to please the beancounters whose backsides he must sample in order to maintain his own career momentum.

When 50,000 or so of his fellow Americans vaporize and a few hundred thousand more succumb to the horrors of radiation sickness, perhaps he’ll be one of the lucky people who are outside the radius of the event. Good for him. On the other hand, maybe he and his family will be dwelling within the hot-zone.

A little gambling, there…with our lives.

Our own government is going to get us killed.

by @ 6:37 am. Filed under Unbelievable!, WTF!!!!?

Spam Spam Spam Spam….

Although minor amounts of spam comments and trackbacks sometimes make it through, I must register my profound thanks to Akismet, which in the last few hours denied access to its 100,000th (ONE HUNDRED THOUSANDTH!) spambot attack over a period of a mere 6 1/2 months!

by @ 4:08 am. Filed under Recommended, Technology, The Internet

July 15, 2007

Nostalgia, Of Sorts

I lived in New York during the summer described in this article.

At the time, I was employed in the Loss Prevention Department of a national discount department store chain, working directly for the comptroller of loss prevention, a man named Murray. I spent most of my time travelling out of state, but I happened to be in New York at the time of the blackout, and Murray called me at home the morning after the lights went out to ask me to head over to our South Bronx store and see what kind of shape it was in after the looting of the night before.

I called a co-worker and asked him if he’d like to join me, and the two of us drove over to see what we could see.

The store in question was a three storey building that had contained $16,000,000.00 worth of merchandise (this was 1977, so you may well imagine the dollar value back then vs the amount of inventory involved).

When we arrived, we found that the looters had been quite thorough, they had absconded not only with every last piece of merchandise, but they’d also taken the cash registers, the display racks, the mannequins… in fact, the only screw-up we could ascertain was that they had forgotten to take one shoe from one mannequin (we didn’t sell shoes, but where there was one, there was a pair).

We spent the next several hours in the home office dealing with the paperwork necessary to officially close the store — if those animals had to rip us off like that, we certainly weren’t going to restock the store and carry on with “business as usual”.

Then there was the Son of Sam, of course. Some cops stopped me on the way home from work one night — I was doing a week’s relief for the manager of our Fordham Road store, who was on vacation — for a search of my briefcase and I — and I was somehow required to visit Queens Central Homicide the next day, which was based in the Ozone Park precinct, to talk to one of the detectives on the Son of Sam case and look at composite sketches. Yay! One closely resembled a friend of mine who couldn’t possibly have been the psycho SOB, so I kept my own counsel. Good thing, as he wasn’t David Berkowitz.

The NYPD folks were pretty desperate to catch the mutt, and it was indubitably a day of rejoicing for many when they snatched him up on something so mundane as a parking ticket. But at least they got him, and thank G-d for that.

But all in all, it was a summer we New Yorkers won’t completely forget — at least those of us who are old enough to remember…

by @ 5:09 am. Filed under Uncategorized

July 14, 2007

For Quite Some Time…

…I’d been having a serious craving for a dinner of knockwurst, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes.

In Charlotte, the closest I could come to real knockwurst (at least, after much searching) was a pre-packaged product from New Jersey sold at the deli counter in one of the city’s more gourmet oriented supermarkets, and that hardly passed muster — it was the wurst worst I’ve ever had and shaped more like slightly fattened, short hot dogs than any knockwurst I’d seen before.

Here in Chicago, however, I figured I had a much better chance of finding the real thing, given the historic German population and the variety of foods one is more likely to encounter in a big, diverse city like this one.

Even so, I began my search with a paucity of even near success until I found a place a block from Lincoln Square, at 4661 North Lincoln Avenue, called the Lincoln Quality Meat Market.

The establishment is really small, but has what can only be called an incredible selection of fresh meats, including a large selection of homemade sausage that is guaranteed to please everyone who crosses their threshhold (except perhaps a vegan or general purpose vegetarian — those folks are on their own). There’s a whole lot more, just read their list of fare at the above link. I will be visiting them shortly regarding their cut-to-order filet mignon.

Back on topic, feeling somewhat like a little boy in a candy store, I was thrilled to discover that they sell their own homemade knockwurst, and that it is the gen-u-ine article. I bought a bunch of it, and guess what I had for dinner! We’re talking YUM!

They also feature andouille sausage (although whoever makes up their signs insists upon spelling it “andulie”, but you can’t win ‘em all), for which I developed a major affinity when I lived in Nawlins years ago.

I used the andouille in some gumbo a couple of nights ago.

Now, I can cook many good things, but gumbo, which I love beyond description, is not one of them. For that, I relied upon my old standby (the same many New Orleaneans use when they aren’t up to a lengthy cooking project), Zatarain’s. Zatarain’s products, available in supermarkets all over the country, are the closest “instant” products I’ve yet to find to foods one encounters in Nawlins, wherein dwells some of my all-time favorite cuisine.

So with a large bowl of Zatarain’s Gumbo with Rice and andouille sausage, I sat in front of the TV and watched a DVD of a film I had wanted to see since its release (I haven’t been a major movie-goer in years), Tears of the Sun, with Bruce Willis and Monica Belucci.

The film is about brave men (in this case, U.S. Navy SEALS) who defy both orders and almost certain death in following the courage of their convictions, and concludes with the Edmond Burke quote, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to stand by and do nothing”.

What grabbed me was the realism of the murderous and unspeakably evil acts of the Nigerian rebels and soldiers as they slaughtered innocent men, women and children for no sane reasons whatsoever, and did so with apparent joy, raping and killing without compunction.

We read about this penchant of Africans to conduct their “affairs of arms” thusly all the time (just look at Dharfur, for example), as a corrupt, do-nothing United Nations (spit!) and people everywhere scream their outrage — I heard some enraging stories decades ago from friends on the less conventional end of things who had hired out their military experience and skills fighting communist insurrection in places like Rhodesia (Zimbabwe since) and Angola — and little if anything gets done about it.

I, myself, have always been an optimist, and I try to understand everybody’s point of view before passing judgement, but I can also be extremely hardnosed and often ruthless when events warrant it, yet it is totally beyond me to accept the atrocities some so-called human beings perpetrate on their fellow man as anything short of grossly unforgiveable.

From the satanic deeds of the Third Reich (the very fact that the German people, all economic and other explanations notwithstanding, were capable of what they did to the Jews, including relatives I consequently never had the pleasure of meeting and those I did meet who had concentration camp numbers tattoed on their arms, and millions of others, bespeaks volumes about the contents of their souls), to the more modern acts perpetrated by Islam, the North Vietnamese, Pol Pot and these monsters in Africa who possess neither any value on human life nor any iota of the concept of mercy, I feel only intense despair and the total conviction that unmitigated, outrageous extremes are the only solution in all too many cases.

One of the things that really aggravates the living hell out of me is the aggression against Turkey by the PKK.

These assholes are so wrapped up in their own stupid millieu that they feel they have to pick a time when the U.S. and our allies are battling to stabilize Iraq to antagonize the Turks into an invasive and well justified military action. If I were the head honcho in Ankara, I’d already have a few thousand troops in northern Iraq, supported by jets bearing napalm.

Then there are Islamic terrorist activities everywhere on the planet from Indonesia to the former Soviet Socialist Republics, the MidEast and Southeast Asia, western Europe to the Balkans.

And now Iran is once again bee-essing the idiots at Turtle Bay by agreeing to talk turkey re their nuclear weapons program atomic energy ambitions.

But I’ll digress no further.

We continuously read and hear of mindless mass murder and downright genocide all over the world and then of diplomatic veneer or media apologism or blame cast on the victims, or of empty pledges by the U.N. or individual government spokespersons to proactively address the problems, but nothing ever happens other than additional or increased existing problems.

We have to face the facts: Whether they are based upon religion, political dogmas or both, the world’s problems of massive violence originate almost exclusively from sources on the African continent and southwest Asia, where murder, torture and mayhem are business as usual and human life counts for little, and spread from those locales to the rest of the planet, and no amount nor quality of diplomacy will ever serve as a permanent solution.

Civilized societies, decency and diplomacy will never break through the shell of barbarism that is shared by Islam and the inherently corrupt, violence as a lifestyle tribal mentalities of Africa.

It is my personal belief that no matter what we opine, legislate, say or do, the reality is that the final disposition of human co-existence on our planet, no matter what the individual dispositions of the myriad citizenries throughout the world may be, will be determined by a total encompassment of conventional and unconventional warfare and the deaths of billions of people.

Somehow, even utterance of the word “bummer” doesn’t cover it — so I’m going to sit back in my most excellent of swivel chairs (courtesy of Office Depot), sip some brandy and listen to the next two pieces of music in the playlist my computer is delivering, another study in complex diversity: Kiss Them For Me by the awesome Siouxsie Sioux and the Banshees followed by one of my favorite classical music pieces, Smetana’s Vltava.


by @ 2:28 am. Filed under Just Editorializing

July 9, 2007

Another Spot-On…

…Mark Steyn column addresses the jobs Britons won’t do.

Does government health care inevitably lead to homicidal doctors who can’t wait to leap into a flaming SUV and drive it through the check-in counter? No. But government health care does lead to a dependence on medical staff imported from other countries.


When the president talks about needing immigrants to do “the jobs Americans won’t do,” most of us assume he means seasonal fruit pickers and the maid who turns down your hotel bed and leaves the little chocolate on it. But in the United Kingdom the jobs Britons won’t do has somehow come to encompass the medical profession.

This particular set of chickens has come home to roost by unwitting invitation courtesy of Britain’s socialized medicine institution, the National Health Service, the same sort of program our very own Democrats would love to see inflicted upon We, the American People.

Aneurin Bevan, the socialist who created the National Health Service after World War II, was once asked to explain how he’d talked the country’s doctors into agreeing to become state employees: “I stuffed their mouths with gold,” he crowed. Sixty years later, no amount of gold can persuade Britons to spend their working lives in the country’s dirty, decrepit hospitals (they spend enough of their nonworking lives there, waiting to be seen, waiting for beds, waiting for operations). According to a report in the British Medical Journal, white males comprise 43.5 percent of the population but now account for less than a quarter of students at UK medical schools. In other words, being a doctor is no longer an attractive middle-class career proposition. That’s quite a monument to six decades of Michael Moore-style socialist health care.

Anyway, read the entire column, it’s on point and conveys a predilection of what we can expect from a like health care situation here in the United States. It’s what happens when government takes over what should remain a marketplace managed industry.

Of course, Mark Steyn has a flair for hitting the proverbial nail right on the head.

In his book America Alone, he details other demographic details of socialist Europe that are already being manifest in the news, such as this item, which the U.S. will eventually echo if we continue to subscribe to the Democrats’ birth control at all costs and damn the torpedos baby murdering abortion agendas.

And yet, as is forever the case, one of the greatest shortcomings of the American left is that they are totally incapable of learning from the mistakes of the socialist EU countries, who continuously provide us with perfect examples of what not to do and why, insisting instead upon forcing us to make the same tragic errors. They apparently believe that what fails miserably elsewhere will be a sure success here.

Go figure.

by @ 9:52 am. Filed under Great Commentary, The Fruits of Socialism