Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Alec Rawls of Error Theory Blog has posted the best reason to stop Elena Kagan from sitting on the highest court in our land. Alec doesn't post often, but every post of his is well worth the time it takes to read and digest. He's doing God's work on behalf of the 9/11 families - especially those involved in the Stop the Flight 93 Memorial. To read the post on Kagan, click here.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Giant Cleanup Ship Met with Puny Response from Bureaucrats | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.
The problem is not simply the Jones Act; it’s also that our Environmental Protection Agency may squelch the ability to use this giant ship.
The second problem is that the ship would gather spilled oil, separate the water from the oil, and discharge the water back into the ocean so its tanks could be filled with oil. Our EPA has a problem with that, because the discharge would retain a minor amount of oily residue. To EPA, any residue greater than 15 parts per million is impermissible. They elevate perfection above the need for speed.
Someone please tell the EPA that the oil spill in the Gulf is a major environmental disaster, and they should get out of the way so it can be cleaned up.
A NATO Event
When our oldest son Bob (at the time a U. S. Navy Commander) was on a two year assignment as Amphibious Advisor to the Dutch Royal Navy in Den Helder, the Netherlands, he and a few Dutch Naval Officers went aboard the USS Kearsarge (LHD 3), a helicopter and Harrier jet carrier, for a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) exercise, in 2000.
As luck would have it, one of the ports visited by Kearsarge was Naval Station Mayport, just up the beach from our home. Bob was able to get home for a very short visit before the ship left port to continue the exercise, and he told me what time the ship was expected to leave the basin at Mayport the next day. No mention was made of my kayak. Knowing the trip from the Navy basin to the sea buoy would take approximately half an hour, I left our beach more than an hour before Kearsarge was to depart the basin, and paddled out toward the sea buoy. I arrived at the buoy before there was any sign of Kearsarge in the channel, and must have circled that buoy 30 times before finally Kearsarge (running behind schedule) appeared at the far end of the channel, steaming toward me. I knew Bob was on the bridge deck with many other U.S. and foreign naval officers, but was not able to see any of them clearly (the bridge of Navy ships entering and leaving ports is always way over-populated, which is the main reason son Tim left the Navy to sail in the Merchant Marine, where the bridge at such times is considered a mob scene if more than two people are on it). Despite being unable to distinguish the identity of the many unformed sailors on the ship, all of whom were waving at me, I waved back from my kayak with unfeigned exuberance.
I sat at the buoy until Kearsarge passed me and was nearly out of sight on a northeasterly heading toward Norfolk. On my arrival home, there was an email from Bob (sent from the ship) calling our sea buoy rendezvous one of the highlights of his navy career. It certainly was one of the highlights of my kayaking career.
One of the amazing coincidences in my life occurred much later, in 2007, when the Navy’s Program Afloat for College Education (PACE) hired me as an adjunct English instructor. There were 281 active navy ships at the time, and my first assignment was a two-month deployment on the USS Kearsarge, LHD-3, in the Persian Gulf.
USS Kearsarge (LHD 3)
(Click to enlarge)
Monday, June 28, 2010
Donald Rumsfeld participated in the unveiling of his official portrait on Friday at the Pentagon. The portrait commemorates his service as our 21st Secretary of Defense. Excerpts from his remarks at the unveiling were posted yesterday at the Heritage Foundation Blog: The Foundry.
Donald Rumsfeld: America Remains the Greatest Republic Ever Established | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.
Here are some excerpts from those excerpts:
Yet, America remains the greatest republic ever established, with the finest military ever assembled, and still stands as the brightest symbol of humankind’s best hopes and aspirations. And that, I would add, is not something for which we need to apologize to anyone – here or abroad.
Some might ask how our country has endured? Well, it should be no mystery. It is because we are a free people, blessed with a free political and a free economic system –
The night satellite image of the Korean Peninsula, my favorite as many of you know well, captured many miles above the earth, tells the whole story.
Below the 38th parallel, South Korea is bathed in the light of dozens of cities, monuments to that nation’s freedom. In one of the most successful economies in the world, millions of South Koreans go about their work, creating opportunity and prosperity for themselves and their families.
North of the DMZ is darkness. There live exactly the same people, with the same natural resources. But those millions of Koreans labor not for themselves or their families, but for a regime that enslaves them.
This country – which has treated me so well, and which offers so much opportunity for us all – exists and prospers because the members of the United States armed forces, have stepped forward and volunteered to protect it. In a very real sense, America is their gift to the future …
Sunday, June 27, 2010
“La Vie En Rose”, the lyrics for which were composed by the famous French songstress, Edith Piaf, was also the title of a movie produced in 2007, which is based loosely on the life of Piaf. The title translates literally to "Life in Pink." The music was written in 1946 by Louis Gugliemi, who also wrote “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White.” The song was made famous by Edith Piaf, but the English version by Louis Armstrong is a personal favorite.
If you want to hear how Edith Piaf performed her signature song, here you go:
Have a Beautiful Sunday.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Click below to listen to a man who will make you believe there really is hope that some people who run for high office actually understand that spending money we don't have will be our ruin. Chris Christie is more than a breath of fresh of air; he just could be the next Ronald Reagan. The interview with Neil Cavuto is 30 minutes, but if you missed it when it aired live this week, try to make the time; you'll be impressed.
Fox News Exclusive: Governor Chris Christie
Elena Kagan (that's her on the left), President Obama's current nominee to become an Associate justice on the U. S. Supreme Court, was criticized by Robert Bork for her admiration of the Chief Justice of the Israeli Supreme Court, Aharon Barak. According to Bork, Aharon Barak is "the poster child for judicial activism." "...Barak is not shy about what he is doing—he has openly said that he believes his job is not interpreting Israeli law, but doing 'justice' and advancing democracy, despite his lack of any constitutional warrant."
Of course, had Robert Bork been more into judicial activism instead of defending his strict judicial philosophy of originalism when nominated by President Reagan in 1987, he might have spent the last 23 years sitting on that same high court, and the country would be better for it. Bork, though, was and is a man of principle, so he refused to compromise his principles before the senate judiciary committee, but even before the senate hearing the well had been poisoned by, among others, Ted Kennedy in what became known as the most scandalous (and libelous) televised speech ever delivered on the senate floor. Here's a sample of Kennedy's speech:
"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the Government, and the doors of the Federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens."
John Yoo, law professor, author, and former justice department official in the George W. Bush administration, gives more details on the Bork criticism of Kagan in this post on The Enterprise Blog.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
That's former Senator Barack Obama "questioning" General Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker back in 2007. It had to be tough for a career military man, with combat experience, to sit there and be dressed down by a senator whose life experience consisted of community organizing. One also remembers the full page ad in the New York Times paid for by Obama's biggest supporter George Soros, the money man behind MoveOn.Org, that called General Petraeus, General Betray Us just prior to his above testimony on the "surge" in Iraq. You might also recall how Obama was almost alone in refusing to acknowledge the success of the "surge." It would be difficult to ascribe that reluctance on the part of Obama to anything but blatant partisan politics: it was on George Bush's watch so it couldn't have been successful.
Now here is Obama yesterday after he accepted the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal:
Funny how, when it's his war, Obama recognizes the tremendous worth of General Petraeus. All it took was an administration run by Democrats for General Petraeus to regain his well-deserved reputation. Petraeus has to be one of our greatest patriots to stand there next to Obama and Biden with a straight face. God bless him and grant him continued success in our defense.
This article published by the New York Times provides a fair summary of events surrounding the "resignation" of General McChrystal.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
What at first seemed just another lie by this administration to further its agenda, has actually deteriorated into a war of them versus us. After Interior Secretary Ken Salazar added two paragraphs to a 44 page report by a panel of seven experts, recommended by the National Academy of Engineering, indicating the experts agreed with his recommendation of a six-month moratorium on drilling in the Gulf, he got caught and exposed by the experts. Of course, the moratorium went into effect and all off-shore drilling was halted. Yesterday, a federal judge in Louisiana ruled against the government in a lawsuit brought against the moratorium by the "small people" whose lives were virtually wrecked by the decision which had been based on the altered report. The judge stated: "an invalid agency decision to suspend drilling of wells in depths of over 500 feet simply cannot justify the immeasurable effect on the plaintiffs, the local economy, the Gulf region, and the critical present-day aspect of availability of domestic energy in this country."
That should be the end of it, right? It should be, but the government now says it will appeal the ruling by the judge. Should an appeal be filed, the adjudication of the lawsuit could take much longer than the original moratorium.
So, Salazar should go back to Colorado and crawl under a rock, but he won't. He's just one of so many in this administration who will always justify any nefarious act on their part if it advances the agenda of the Left - their constituency.
The story was first reported by Fox News, on June 11, 2010, and the Hidenblog posted a follow-up today.
A good summary of the fiasco to date was provided yesterday (after the court ruling against the moratorium) by Reuters.
We're spending a lot of time and money that could more prudently be spent on stopping the leak because Ken Salazar believes, as do most liberals, that the ends justify the means (if the ends are the ends favored by the Leftist agenda).
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Surprise From The Deep
My trips to the sea buoy all follow pretty much the same pattern. If getting through the surf is difficult, and I get drenched with seawater on the way out, I stop just past the surf line and straighten out my attached water bottle and other provision bag, and blow the water off my sunglasses before the drying salt stains the lenses.
I then take up a heading of about 60 degrees and start my daily rosary using my fingers on the paddle to count the Hail Mary’s of each decade. I contend that nowhere on earth is one closer to his God than while praying the rosary at sea in a one-person kayak. Those rosaries, recited in my mind on the way to the sea buoy, are always offered for my family, friends and neighbors in need of prayers for one reason or another, and for such special intentions as the safety of our troops defending our freedom in foreign conflicts: Desert Storm, the Global War on Terror (Afghanistan), and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Unlike the current administration in Washington, I always pray for VICTORY.
My rosary is often interrupted by outside stimuli: dancing dolphins, sunning sea turtles, leaping tarpon, and the occasional shark. I have never encountered a whale on my way to or from the sea buoy, but whale encounters are documented elsewhere in this opus.
The biggest surprise during one of my trips was at first perceived as an illusion. Because of sometimes-heavy traffic in the area of the buoy and through most of the channel, one must constantly keep one’s head on a swivel. This one particular day on my way to the buoy, I remember concentrating on the west end of the channel as there was a tug and barge heading out followed by our gambling ship, which makes two trips per day to assist those determined to throw away their hard earned money in an attempt to get something for nothing. Anyway, I know I spent too much time facing west that day, and, after realizing that fact, I turned back toward the east to check for traffic from that direction. I almost fell out of my kayak when I spotted what honestly appeared to me as a tall cylindrical building coming out of the east and heading straight for the sea buoy, toward which I was headed from a southwesterly direction. It could not have been more than two or three minutes since I had checked that particular area of the ocean and seen absolutely nothing, so I could not understand how a building could now be occupying that same area. I kept on my course and the building appeared to be determined to beat me to the buoy. I do not recall how long it took for my mind to close on reality and realize that the building I was racing was actually the conning tower of a submarine. It shouldn't be necessary to report that I was soundly beaten to the buoy, partly because I altered course to get closer to the south boundary of the channel to be in a better position and closer proximity to the submarine to observe her as she passed me on her way into Mayport. There was a small group of men standing on the conning tower as the sub passed me going in the opposite direction, and we exchanged waved greetings. I’m sure they were as surprised to see me, as I had been surprised to see them.
It's been my dream since then that one day a submarine will surface from directly beneath me and ferry me into Mayport. Hasn't happened yet.
(click to enlarge)
Monday, June 21, 2010
The inestimable Andy McCarthy is interviewed in the above video by Will Cain of National Review. It's now past the point where Turkey can be considered an ally of the United States. In fact the recent turmoil over the humanitarian flotilla fiasco off the coast of Israel was choreographed by Turkey, and that was just the beginning of what could possibly turn in to WW III should that Iranian ship headed to Israel achieve its objective.
Andy McCarthy wrote an extended article on the problem of Turkey's return to Islam for the paper edition of National Review, which can be accessed here.
Two previous posts on this Blog discussing the emerging Islamization of Turkey can be found here, and here.
Everyone is familiar with the slogan used by Las Vegas to attract tourists:"What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas."
That should tell you what kind of tourists Vegas is trying to attract.
Sanibel Isand, Florida, on the other hand, has its own slogan which was observed, and photographed, by Anastasia this past week (see above). If you have young children and are looking for a vacation spot, the choice should be easy. (We just got back.)
The Sanibel Sisters
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Interesting piece on Classical Liberal Blog today talking about Sharron Angle's plan to replace social security with private accounts (that's what "W" was trying to accomplish for the younger folks). Angle is the lady who is scheduled to knock Harry Reid off his perch come November.
Here's a bit of it:
Look people. There is no money. Not in the social security "trust fund," nor anywhere else for that matter. Let me say it again, THERE IS NO MONEY!
The politicians promised you they'd put your savings away for your retirement. Heck, they confiscate the money from your paycheck before you can even put your hands on it! But they didn't save it, nor invest it. They spent it! Every single penny.
Social Security does not save or invest a single penny of your "contribution." Instead, they take your money and use it to pay current retirees. If there's any money leftover, it goes to fund the general budget of the federal government - welfare, war, you name it. The government is simply betting that it can continue to collect enough in taxes to keep the Ponzi Scheme going.
C'mon ... You don't need to be a financial guru to understand how risky an "investment" like that is!
Dear Friend in Christ,
Tell me the questions you ask, and I'll tell who you are. Catholic philosophy is the key to life .. earthly and Eternal. Please watch this episode of the Vortex and pass it along to as many friends and family as possible.
God Bless you and your loved ones,
~senior executive producer, RealCatholicTV.com
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Just received this information via E-Mail from healthreformscam.com:
An early draft of the new health care regulations indicates that 51% of Americans could lose their health care plans under ObamaCare (see the Investor's Business Daily story here.
This contradicts the promise repeatedly made by President Obama that "if you like your health care plan, you can keep it."
Recent financial projections also show that the federal deficit reductions that were supposed to be a major benefit of the plan have been all but erased by higher cost estimates. It seems that many of President Obama's promises are coming unraveled even before ObamaCare goes into effect!
1. Sign the petition calling for Congress to repeal and replace ObamaCare will REAL health care reform at this website.
2. Help educate others by forwarding this message to your friends and neighbors.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
John Sexton of Verum Serum, and Donald Sensing of Sense of Events provided clear analysis of last night's speech by President Obama on his plan to wean our country off her dependence on oil - and not just foreign oil.
Here's John Sexton:
Guess what form of power was never mentioned in tonight’s speech? If you guessed nuclear, you win a prize.
So here we are in the midst of a terrible downturn, with 10% unemployment (much higher if you count discouraged workers) and Barack Obama wants us to give up on fossil fuel for alternatives that, at present, can not conceivably sustain our economy. He slathers this idea in enough platitudes to choke Mary Poppins and hopes nobody notices that his plan is long on hope and short on specifics.
And here's Donald Sensor:
In last night's address, President Obama set a course to "transition away from fossil fuels." Then, invoking between the lines William James' "moral equivalent of war" (Obama used a lot of martial language tonight), he said,
The one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is too big and too difficult to meet. You see, the same thing was said about our ability to produce enough planes and tanks in World War II. The same thing was said about our ability to harness the science and technology to land a man safely on the surface of the moon.
Okay, just who was saying those things about American industrial capacity during World War II? Who said that about President Kennedy's 1962 speech in which he committed the country to send manned missions to the moon?
Answer: nobody in either case. No industrialist or military logistician after the Pearl Harbor attack thought that American (sic) could not produce the war materiel necessary for victory. If anything, they underestimated the country's production capacity.
So I am very skeptical of this call to an industrial equivalent of war or the space program. Look what happened to the space program once the moon was reached. It lost its focus and dribbled along through the Shuttle years and now we have no spacecraft at all to fly. Yet a government focus on a handful or fewer of "favored" (i.e, politically connected) technologies is the wrong way to go. All it will do is make everything more expensive, rarer and less efficient. But that is where we are headed.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
The final post on Abby Sunderland's aborted attempt at circumnavigation. Her parents, according to several media reports, have been trying to cash in on Abby's adventure. Even if true, that should not taint the valiant effort made by Abby in pursuit of her dream to sail solo around the world.
Christmas 1994 was special for a number of reasons. First, our youngest son, Steve, who had been married on New Year’s Eve, 1993 came to Atlantic Beach for Christmas with his new wife, Anastasia. The second thing that made that Christmas special occurred on Christmas Eve afternoon. I remember looking out our kitchen window and seeing a pick-up truck pulling into our driveway with a green kayak sticking out of the truck bed. It was a 14 feet, 8 inch Ocean Kayak Scupper Pro Model – a real beauty. Cass had been at Aqua East, our local surf shop, just looking around, and found two Scupper Pros on sale for $500 each. She had no idea what a good deal she had found, but fortunately called Jim Stehr and asked him what he thought. As I recall being told by Cass later, Jim said, quite emphatically, “Grab it!” and she did. That was, as they say, the first day of the rest of my life at sea – almost.
It would be difficult to recount the many adventures experienced in my Scupper Pro, but I’ll try to provide at least the highlights of the 16 years since coming into possession of her. Chronology must give way here as the events to be described would be difficult to place even in the exact year of occurrence, let alone be given a specific date. Suffice to say, they have all occurred since the acquisition of the Scupper Pro, which is still my #1 boat.
Here's a good close-up of her:
Sea Buoy Trips
I could not even guess how many trips I’ve made out to the sea buoy, which marks the entrance to the St. Johns River channel leading into Mayport and Jacksonville. One year, when actually keeping count, I made 39 such trips, and was still employed at the time and so limited to mostly weekends to make the attempt. Needless to say, those northeast winds kept my kayak dry on many a weekend, but then there were some vacation days when the weather cooperated. There were days when the ocean was cooperative, but the visibility was poor, and on those days I often searched in vain for the elusive buoy. Another Christmas surprise helped in conquering hazy weather for the rest of my days. It was Christmas 2000, I think, when Cass surprised me with a GPS, which pretty much pinpointed the exact location of the buoy once I got the exact coordinates set up in the device. I also learned, for the first time, how far I had been paddling to the buoy: 5.5 miles from my home beach (on a heading of 60 degrees), so all those trips had measured out at 11 miles – except, of course, when I paddled much longer than needed and never found the target.
I’ve had a number of what might be called adventures involving my trips to the buoy, including some hairy confrontations with other vessels in the area. I’ve also had a lot of time to think, which is something, I honestly believe, that most of us never have enough time to do. I refer to those bouts of thinking elsewhere in here as ruminations.
For those who have never seen the sea buoy marking the entrance to the St. John’s River, the channel leading into Mayport Naval Station and downtown Jacksonville, here it is.
(Click to enlarge all photos)
Monday, June 14, 2010
This video was pulled from You Tube already because of threatened lawsuits from you know who. There are several takes on the video and the pulling of it by You Tube on the web today. The one that tells the whole story and provides links to other sites' analyses is from Scott Johnson at Power Line.
The cowardly action by You Tube will no doubt cause the video (saved on other sources) to go viral in a matter of days. Let's hope!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Mozart's Concerto for Horn in E flat was composed in Vienna sometime between 1784 and 1787. The Köchel number for the piece is 447, or K. 447.
Ludwig Alois Ferdinand Ritter von Köchel (1800 – 1877) was a man of many talents; he was a musicologist, writer, and composer. He is best known for cataloguing the works of Mozart and originating the 'K-numbers' by which they are known (K for Köchel). Here's a photo of him:
And here is the website of The Mozart Project, which will provide you with all you need to know about the man Professor Robert Greenberg calls "perhaps the most complete musician who ever lived."
Have a Beautiful Sunday.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Dear Friend in Christ,
Just who is responsible for the current problems in the Church? What are we to think when we see the difficulties in the Church today? Are the current bishops left dealing with problems from their predecessors? Watch this Vortex to find out!
God Bless you and your loved ones,
~senior executive producer, RealCatholicTV.com
Friday, June 11, 2010
That's Abby Sunderland on her demasted sailboat, Wild Eyes, in the middle of the Southern Indian Ocean. She was found earlier today by Australian Search & Rescue flying high above her, and a fishing boat in the area will reach her at approximately 2:00 AM, EDT tomorrow. The latest post on her Blog, obviously not made by Abby, is here.
Praise the Lord!
Just when you were thinking you'd heard it all, along comes Wilder Publications where they're adding the following caveat to their printed copies of our Founding Documents: “This book is a product of its time and does not reflect the same values as it would if it were written today.”
The caveat goes further, and adds: parents "might wish to discuss with their children how views on race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and interpersonal relations have changed since this book was written before allowing them to read this classic work."
Here's the whole story as reported by Fox News.