12/31/09

New birds gallery

We just posted another birds gallery:

Birds of Northern Otero County

“… simply another sycophant …

… in the noisily agreeable chorus of yes-men.”

That’s from our latest He Said/She Said, and it derives from a quote that Leece uses in her email sig block. It has to do with the press not doing what its supposed to do:

“Journalists belong in the gutter because that is where the ruling classes throw their guilty secrets.”

- Gerald Priestland

One of the reasons we have such an empty suit for a president is the lack of real reporting by the mainstream media. They are in such a love-fest with Obama they can’t see that the emperor has no clothes. Want some examples? Here ya go:

Nine stories the mainstream media missed

Note that these stories weren’t deeply buried. Bloggers had them for days before the MSM ever covered them, if it ever covered them. It’s a head-in-the-sand, butt-smooching mindset at work.

12/30/09

"Heck of a job, Barry!"

Like, wowsers! That’s almost like Rich Galen’s “Nappy, you’re doing a heck of a job!”, isn’t it?

But it isn’t from a right wing extremist like Beck or O’Reilly or Cheney or even Sara Palin.

It’s from the New York Times! Yes … it’s from one of Obama’s primary PR firms, the New York Times!

And even further off the probability scale, it’s written by … Maureen Dowd! Yep. That Maureen Dowd.

Here’s the article:

Heck of a job, Barry

in which she gives her take on The Crotch Bomber, and the pathetic response by Obama, Napolitano, and TSA.

Taking on Cheney

The White House “replied forcefully” to former Veep Dick Cheney’s rather scathing comments about the Obamanian response to The Crotch Bomber.

“It is telling that Vice President Cheney and others seem to be more focused on criticizing the Administration than condemning the attackers,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer wrote on the White House’s official blog. “Unfortunately too many are engaged in the typical Washington game of pointing fingers and making political hay, instead of working together to find solutions to make our country safer.”

It’s really telling that the White House is replying more forcefully to Cheney than it is to The Crotch Bomber. Certainly, Pfeiffer’s language was more ‘forceful’ than Obama’s, which was laced with ‘alleged’ and other niceties designed to protect a case against a criminal defendant. Obama and his henchmen are still dealing with these guys as though they are criminals.

They are not.

They are … terrorists. They are non-uniformed combatants waging war against the United States.

Meanwhile, TSA seems to be expending more effort at harassing bloggers than in deterring terrorists:

TSA going after bloggers who wrote about security directive

It seems that the ridiculous response of Janet Napolitano’s minions in TSA ended up in some blogger inboxes. TSA wants to know who leaked the documents. But … the docs are not classified. Which means they are in the public domain anyway. TSA claims the docs are ’sensitive’. But … the procedures described within the docs would have been obvious, indeed, are obvious, to passengers. If you weren’t following the latest bureaucratic mangling of security measures, take a read of Judith Miller’s Are Latest TSA Regulations “Too Stupid for America”?

But we can sleep tight, friends and neighbors … TSA agents are tracking down the leakers as we speak, and Granny Goodcookie is getting her torso patted down as she returns from Christmas with the grandkids.

Galen on Janet

Rich Galen has a good commentary about The Crotch Bomber, aka The BVD Bomber, aka The Whitey-Tighty Bomber, and Janet Napolitano’s typically foolish comments about all that.

Janet, as we all know, is secretary of Homeland Security, the one who refuses to call a ‘terrorist’ a ‘terrorist’, accepting the Obmanian ‘extremist’ or ‘man-caused disaster’ terminology as though that makes it different.

The Bomber, in all his guises, is the fellow who tried to blow up the airplane coming into Detroit.

Galen’s commentary is entitled “Nappy, you’re doing a heck of a job”. He draws the title from George Bush’s remark to Michael Brown, then head of FEMA, after the trip to New Orleans: “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job.”

As Galen points out, we all know that was more of that smoke and mirrors and wishful thinking. “Brownie” sucked at his job, and it showed. FEMA, by the way, comes under DHS. Yup. It’s Nappie’s baby.

Just as Napolitano sucks at her job, and it shows.

Nappie said this, of the bomber:

“One thing I want to point out is that the system worked. Everybody played an important role here. The passengers and crew of the flight took appropriate action.”

As we all know, Nappie has backpedaled ferociously on that one. Obama delayed his comments for a few days after the incident, and didn’t really say anything until Nappie had a chance to backtrack and complain that her comment had been taken out of context. It had not, of course, but she said it had been, and with this particular regime, saying it’s so makes it so. Just ask Press Secretary Robert “Giggles” Gibbs.

Galen notes:

# According to Napolitano the system that “worked” had allowed Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (UFA), a guy from Lagos, to take time out from sending me spam e-mails about how I had won the Nigerian national lottery because my e-mail address had been selected out of the 87 trillion e-mail addresses on the planet and if I would just send (1) a signed copy of a check showing my account and bank routing number, (2) a credit card number (including the security code and expiration date), and (3) the last four digits of my social security number, he would be happy to send me the $125 million which is now sitting in a bank in Cote d’Ivoire in an account with my name on it.

# That same guy went to terrorist band camp in Yemen where he learned how to:

# Put on a pair of panties which had a very powerful explosive sewn into them;

# Talk his way onto airplanes in Lagos and Amsterdam having paid only cash and having only a small carry-on even after his father had told U.S. authorities that his son was crackers;

# Get the seat most likely to set the plane’s fuel on fire, and;

# Inject a liquid into his … well where the explosives were located, which was supposed to blow the plane out of the sky.

# That’s the system which Secretary Napolitano thinks worked.

I think Napolitano would really prefer that people be prohibited from saying anything she deems to be ‘negative’. Perhaps Nappie can come down here and be in charge of the Chamber of Commerce.

Here’s Galen’s website:

Mullings – an American CyberColumn

12/28/09

Well, wowsers!

Despite the redirection to the Wordpress blog, we're still getting a lot of hits here. So ... we're going to start cross-posting for our reading public.

Thanx and a tip of the hat to all our visitors for keeping the numbers up ...

" ... a sharp-dressed man ..."

In the investigation of 'the crotch bomber', that's who our security watchdogs are on the hunt for ...

Passport-less bomber helped to board plane by sharp-dressed man

A Sharp-dressed Man ...



And Janet Napolitano, who so authoritatively told us that "the system worked", has since backtracked and admitted her security watchdogs screwed the pooch.

Obama, having waited three days before making any comments of consquence, has directed his security minions to 'keep up the pressure on those who would attack our country'. Well, in case you were wondering why Obama usually waits a few days before making any comments on anything that might be controversial ... that's to give his henchmen and accomplices time to backtrack on previous poorly-conceived statements, make noises about being taken out of context, and all the other spin-meistering and two-stepping at which the Obamanians excel.

A point proven

So ...

Absolut Images pulled their advertising from the Tribune-Democrat. The understanding here is that this was done in retaliation for Leece and I having had the unmitigated gall to call a spade a spade, and to Ask Questions.

Like ... "Why is it OK for business owners to 'get the best price' by shopping somewhere other than locally, but not OK for customers to do the same".

We continue to ask the question, which continues to remain unanswered:

Why is there a double standard?

The owner of Absolut Images proves our point about the double standard. He has pulled his advertising from the Tribune-Democrat, thereby deciding 'not to shop locally'. He did that because he is dissatisfied with the Tribune-Democrat. But it's more than that. It's more than just going out of town to do some shopping. He is deliberately trying to damage another local business. He is negatively affecting local jobs. The advertising account managers at the Tribune-Democrat work for commissions. Absolut Images has directly damaged the income of an employee of the Tribune-Democrat, one who had nothing whatsoever to do with the articles that have driven the bug up his butt. And he did that just before Christmas. Did you know that the employee in question has two kids?

What was his point? What point does he think he made? Consider this:

The Tribune-Democrat is a local business. It has a couple of dozen employees. It has a payroll of over half a million bux annually, according to various online sources. That's 24 customers that Absolut Images just aggravated beyond reason. Absolut Images just screwed over one of their co-workers. Does anyone think that any of them are going to buy anything at Absolut Images? Do you really think that any member of their families is going to buy anything at Absolut Images? And do you think those couple of dozen no-longer-in-the-customer pool local residents are going to tell their friends "You should really shop at Absolut Images"? By the time they get done badmouthing that outfit, people will be willing to travel to Colorado Springs to avoid shopping Absolut Images.

Then we have this character using the nick "LJSupporter" making threats over on the comments section of the Tribune-Democrat:

Great rebuttal, concerning last weeks he said , she said. she said , who by the way , works for the paper, needs to remember that its the LOCAL stores, that pay her salary. He said, who by the way works for the city of La Junta, needs to realize that its the Local Stores, that pay taxes, which in turn , pay him.

Aside from the fact that LJSupporter has no idea how taxes are collected, passed through, paid, etc ... why exactly do we need to remember what he says we need to remember? Is that a threat? Are we supposed to wet our pants, quaking in fear for our jobs? It's a perfect example of how many of La Junta's business people have no real idea of the global economy in which we operate. LJSupporter should understand that we have a global readership that extends far, far beyond the Tribune-Democrat's subscription empire. Leece's articles and commentaries are picked up now on a regular basis by the home corporation, which owns on the order of 500 newspapers, almost all of which are online. Our blogging audience extends far, far beyond northern Otero County. Do you really want two pissed off writers taking you on in the global tourism market?

LJSupporter is a fool. All he and his pal at Absolut Images have done is prove our point better than anyone else could have, in any other way.

With LJSupporter's way of thinking, no wonder our population has dropped like it has, and no wonder the downtown shopping area is drying up. Is this "LJSupporter" really the best the La Junta business community can come up with?

"LJSupporter". What a pathetic moniker. You buffoon ... it's people who think like you who are killing our town, you and your tired old ways of thinking.

She said: Local shopping takes planning

He said: "... dangerous ground ..."

Shopping local: Contempt of Customer

Shoppin' local

and of course, our cowpoke's comments:

Buying local is about community

Congressional whores

From Michael Ramirez:

Amateurs

Shoppin' local: Contempt of customer

Well ... Sherry Allen, local shopping supporter, has missed the point completely in her recent letter to the editor.

For those not familiar with Allen, she writes a folksy little column wherein she goes on about 'local color'. It's fairly popular. In this column she frequently takes shots at city slickers and anyone else who doesn't have cow poop on their boots and who might not be familiar with the latest calf-pulling techniques. City slickers are portrayed as bereft of any vestiges of common sense or useful knowledge, while the cow manure crowd are portrayed as sensible, down-to-earth sons and daughters of the soil, etc, patiently tolerant (on the surface) of tourists and other buffoons.

Allen manages to undermine all the work that Ron Davis and Action 22 and the Bonds with their Explore Southeast Colorado website have done and are doing to promote tourism. Don't get it? Try this little scenario:

John and Jane Doe are a couple of CCIE's from a major networking company up in Boulder. Yep. They're probably tree-huggin' Democrats who voted for Obama. They pull down between them a couple of hundred grand a year. They have some 'disposable income' and they have recently discovered bird watching. They wouldn't know a calf-puller or a plasma cutter from a boot-scraper. They're driving their Lexus SUV through The Smile Hi City when Jane says to John ... "What a quaint little village. Shouldn't we stop?" To which John replies, "No m'dear, I've researched this area and they seem to dislike people like us. The local paper carries a column that ridicules people like us on a regular basis. Let's go on to Kansas."

Yep. An arm-chair shrink might wonder at the inferiority complex that drives such ridicule, but that's for another story.

In her letter, Allen goes on about how there is all this cool stuff available in this area. Tack stores. Western wear. Plasma cutters. That sort of thing. Huh. Thing is, a goodly number of the people who live in northern Otero County don't ranch, don't farm, and don't have cow crap on their boots. Not that there's anything wrong with cow crap on your boots, mind you. So they don't share Allen's shopping tastes. Don't believe that? Take a look at all the Eddie Bauer, Land's End, Dillard's, JC Penney, and other shipping bags that are coming into town every day on USPS and FedEx and UPS. Those are what we call 'clues'.

The one thing that Allen didn't bring up, presumably because she either missed it completely or has no way of dealing with it, is that 'do as I say, not as I do' mindset we mentioned.

So we will ask it again: Why is it acceptable for local business owners to shop outside the local area in order to 'get the best price', but it is not OK for their customers to do the same?

Then we have that illustrated even better by the fellow that runs Absolut Images. He was on the radio the other day going on about shopping local. He holds the view that no one should be allowed to say anything 'negative' about La Junta. "Especially at Christmas".

I'm not sure what he means by 'negative'. Apparently it means that if you question him shopping in Pueblo while he tells you that you cannot, you must be 'negative'.

But check the attitude of this guy. He doesn't want your opinion. He is not interested in your view as a customer unless he approves of it. In other words, his attitude is, "When I want your opinion I'll give it to you. Until then, shut yer effin' mouth."

He's pulled all of his advertising from the Tribune-Democrat in retaliation for us daring to question that 'do as I say, not as I do' attitude held by local businesses.

Who did he hurt by that? Well ... for one, he pretty much destroyed the Christmas of the kid who handled that advertising account. They work on commission. Waydago, Ballard. Kill off those local jobs. What are you going to do now? Advertise with the Pueblo Chieftain?

You see, it's that same mindset. It's OK for Ballard to express his discontent with local business - in this case the paper - but if you the customer feel some discontent ... shut yer effin' mouth; when Ballard wants your opinion he'll give it to you.

That's Contempt of Customer. Unfortunately, it seems entirely too prevalent in The Smile Hi City. And that's a big reason why you see all those incoming shipping bags on USPS, UPS and FedEx trucks.

Contempt of Customer. What a great plug for The Smile Hi City.

Oh ... another thing. We have this twit:

LJSupporter: Great rebuttal, concerning last weeks he said , she said. she said , who by the way , works for the paper, needs to remember that its the LOCAL stores, that pay her salary. He said, who by the way works for the city of La Junta, needs to realize that its the Local Stores, that pay taxes, which in turn , pay him.

This clown apparently has no idea of how the sales tax works. He seems to have the idea that the sales tax comes out of the pockets of the business owners. It does not. It comes out of the pockets of customers. People like you and me. Business owners just pass it through. So when you have a bunch of business owners driving customers away with that Contempt of Customer snottiness ... that's why sales tax is down. LJSupporter's abysmal ignorance and insular, provincial, hick-from-the-sticks mindset is exactly why the downtown area is on the skids.

Nelson throws Reid under the bus

Ben Nelson, Nebraska's prize political whore, is now backpedaling on his main pimp, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Though he defended the exemption as a "fair deal," he said he never asked for the full federal funding that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ended up granting his state. Nelson said he instead asked that states be allowed to refuse an expansion of Medicaid.

"This is the way Senate leadership chose to handle it. I never asked for 100 percent funding," he said.

Nelson has maintained that the only reason he even brought up Medicaid was that Nebraska Republican Gov. Dave Heineman put him up to it.

Not only is Nelson a political whore, he's a spineless little weasel as well. Note that he is also tossing Heineman under the bus.

But Heineman is tossing that little pot of dog poop right back in Nelson's lap:

After Nelson sent a letter to the governor offering to kill the Medicaid deal, Heineman acknowledged that he and other governors had "expressed concern" about the state burden for Medicaid patients. But he rejected any suggestion from Nelson that he asked for the kind of deal Reid struck.

"Under no circumstances did I have anything to do with Senator Nelson's compromise," the governor said in a written statement. "The responsibility for this special deal lies solely on the shoulders of Senator Ben Nelson."

Liars, self-seeking, pandering liars, all of them.

Other senators, a little slow on the uptake, are now getting on their knees and offering to politically fellate Senator Harry:

"Three senators came up to me just now on the (Senate) floor, and said, 'Now we understand what you did. We'll be seeking this funding too'," Nelson said.

Congressional pissants

Those pathetic buffoons that we were dumb enough to have elected to represent us in the United States Congress are whining and crying about having to 'work' Christmas Eve to pass that legislative abortion they call 'healthcare reform', and that a substantial majority of Americans call something else. Something with a lot of four-letter descriptors in the unofficial title.

Our CongressClowns 'work' 3 days a week, and then only when they are in session, as Rich Galen notes this morning.

Galen goes on to note that there are about "15 million" Americans who would love to have to work on Christmas Eve. Those people are our unemployed friends and neighbors.

It would be nice to keep those friends and neighbors in our prayers, and keep in mind that Christmas is a fine opportunity to try to live up to Christ's New Commandment, and to try to demonstrate the thought expressed in 1 John 4:17, and to offer whatever help we can rather than abdicating that responsibility completely to the government. In fact, we should offer up some prayers asking ... no ... begging ... for divine guidance for those self-serving pissants up on Capitol Hill.

I would suggest that we all have bigger fish to fry than having hissy fits over "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas" and whether or not God is on our nickels or Obama wearing or not wearing a flag pin.

Merry Xmas.

Shoppin' local

"Shopping local" is a big deal.

It's difficult to support an economy - for example, in a small town - without that 'shoppin' local'.

Merchants are always going on about "shopping local".

Chambers of Commerce are always going on about "shopping local".

It gets to the point that if you are seen outside your "local" area, you almost want to apologize for your effrontery.

But here's the thing:

How many of the merchants who exhort us all to "shop local" actually do so, themselves? How many of them take the cheapest way out? And how does that play?

We recently looked at an article in the Raleigh News and Observer, about how crab pot manufacturers in coastal North Carolina were adapting to changing market conditions. How? By converting old crab pots into ... Christmas trees. It's a great article.

It even goes into why there is a surplus of crab pots, and why crab pot manufacturers were going out of business, and why crab 'fishermen' and other types of local seafood snaggers were having real hard times. It really has nothing to do with the economy.

It's because local merchants are screwing them. The local merchants, the same ones who extoll the virtues of North Carolina seafood, who expect the crabbers to 'shop local' - don't shop local themselves. They don't buy North Carolina seafood. They buy it from overseas. Not only is it not 'shopping local'; it isn't even shopping American.

And they seriously expect the local people to patronize their places of business.

But it gets even better.

The area where all this is happening is home to the North Carolina Seafood Festival.

Yeah. You got it. They are touting North Carolina seafood to the tourists, but they are feeding them Taiwanese shrimp and Malaysian crabcakes.

Ain' t that a kick in the butt.

So the local businesses are killing off jobs by not shopping local ... yet they expect those erstwhile customers to support them.

How's that set with them?

Not well.

But it gets even better ...

Here in southeastern Colorado, which is some seriously prime beef-raising country, we have heard a lot about how the Army is going to destroy the ranchers' way of life. Their heritage. Their lifestyle.

Dozens of businesses have pledged support. The Army has been run out of town on a rail.

How many of those local businesses that pledged support use local beef? How many of them get their beef through Sysco? How many of them actually 'shop local'?

Well ... Black Jack's Saloon, down in Trindad, serves up excellent steaks, provides a great atmosphere, and is well worth a visit. But the last time we had lunch there, they were using Sysco, not the local ranches, as a source of beef.

Doesn't say much for local beef, does it? About as much as the NC Seafood Festival says for NC seafood.

How about here? How many of the merchants who want us to 'shop local' actually shop local themselves?

This is one of those "the emperor ain't wearin' no clothes" things. I can practically guarantee you that we'll get all kinds of hate mail, to the tune of "'you're a public employee! you work for us! you owe it to us to shop local! you should be fired!"

I know this from past experience.

It's unfortunate that this is the reaction. It's a 'business as usual' reaction, and it doesn't fix anything. It's a failure to recognize the effects of that 'global economy'. Think about it. Businesses are going global. A restaurant in La Junta can buy shrimp, fish, or other seafood cheaper from sources on the other side of the world than it can from the Gulf coast or the south Atlantic coast. Think of the transportation system that supports that. Think of the communication systems that allow orders to be processed across oceans and continents, and across language and cultural barriers.

Yet our business community on the local level expects customers to continue to shop a 1955 market model.

It isn't going to happen, and the longer merchants continue to expect it to happen, and the longer merchants continue to dream of 'how it used to be', the worse the local economy is going to get. More businesses will dry up, more jobs will be lost, more people will move away.

When are the expectations of the small town commercial sector going to match the shopping habits and practices into which their customers have been forced? The global economy has changed the way they do business. It has also changed the way their customers shop. When are they going to recognize this and adapt to it?

And when are they going to stop blaming the customer for their lack of adaptation?

Ben Nelson: Political whore

Ben Nelson sold out, just like Mary Landrieu, the other most notable political whore in DC:

Nelson secured full federal funding for his state to expand Medicaid coverage to all individuals below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Other states must pay a small portion of the additional cost. He won concessions for qualifying nonprofit insurers and for Medigap providers from a new insurance tax, and was able to roll back cuts to health savings accounts.

Nelson, a so-called 'moderate' Democrat, has been posturing over abortion. He doesn't want Federal funding for abortion. Sure. But his main reason for holding out has nothing to do with abortion; it has to do with how big a bribe Obama and Reid could pimp him with.

"Full Federal funding for Medicaid coverage ...".

Our own pair of jokers, Udall and Bennet, haven't managed to hold out for anything. They're just lockstep with the rest of the lemmings. You'd think if they're going to crap all over the country, they'd at least hold out like Nelson for some of that 'free Federal munny'.

But no ... perhaps they are just too stupid to figure it out.

Tea time ...

Here's an interesting item:

Tea Party Movement evolves as political force

What started as a conservative protest klatch has evolved into a political force with enough muscle to potentially alter the course of the 2010 mid-term elections.

The "tea party" movement that gained steam shortly after President Obama took office is seeing a surge in popularity with a string of candidates and officials willing to take up its cause and a political infrastructure that's starting to mirror that of an actual political party.

and

The Rasmussen poll spelled out the kind of vote-splitting trouble the tea party movement could stir if it forms a third party. It showed that 23 percent of people would pick a "Tea Party" candidate on a congressional ballot without knowing who that candidate is, while just 18 percent would pick the Republican. Thirty-six percent would pick a Democrat.

I'd sure vote for a Tea Party candidate over a Republican. And for sure over a Democrat.

Here's an even more interesting tidbit:

The Republican Party would prefer to invite tea partiers into the fold rather than run against them in general elections, and this may force a change in the makeup of the GOP itself.

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele said his hope is that "we can all come together."

"This is the conservative party of the country," Steele said. "We offer that ... political infrastructure, if you will, if you want to run for office or if you want to be involved politically. This is the best place to do it."

Talk about missing the boat. Steele and his compadres still think the Republicans matter.

They don't. Not in Congress, and not to a lot more voters than Steele seems to understand.

In that respect, Steele and the Republicans have much in common with Obama's press secretary, "Giggles" Gibbs. You will recall that Gibbs MTV'd the Gallup poll that showed Obama's numbers tanking.

I like Tea.

"... adapt ... improvise ... overcome ..."

Here is a great article on how the little people are coping with The New World Order:

Crab-pot makers turn traps to trees

Crabbing has been part of North Carolina's seafood fishing industry for generations. Now, the New World Order is flushing that way of life down the toilet. Note the comments in the article:

"... At 66, Harvey has seen his fishing net business dry up, watched crab-pot demand fall from 3,000 to 300 a year and lived to see the landmark Sanitary Restaurant and Fish Market in Morehead City serve shrimp from Taiwan ..."

and

It's not just crabs. Geraldine Gaskill watched fishermen at Cedar Island pull in buckets of boatloads of scallops last season only to go begging at the restaurants in Morehead City and Beaufort. "They can get it cheaper off the Sysco truck," she said.

and

"Our crab cakes, they come from Malaysia," said David West, a chef at Sanitary Restaurant who makes trees part time for Fisherman Creations. "It's all pasteurized. Don't get me wrong. The seafood is good.

"It's just not local."

It's just not local.

The Sanitary Restaurant and Fish Market is one of coastal North Carolina's premier seafood restaurants. Or it was. We won't be going there on our next visit.

It is also one of the sponsors of ... The North Carolina Seafood Festival ... which takes place every year in Morehead City.

This is the mission of the NC Seafood Festival:

* Promote the positive social and economic impact of the seafood industry on the citizens of North Carolina;
* Educate the public about seafood and its importance to the state economy;
* Publicize the wide variety of seafood indigenous to North Carolina and provide the opportunity for people to enjoy it;
* Boost tourism and recreation in eastern North Carolina in the non-summer months;
* Establish a scholarship program for educational pursuits related to the seafood industry;
* Provide the opportunity for North Carolina non-profit, civic, church, and educational organizations to raise funds through participation in the festival.


Yet the seafood businesses and related businesses sponsoring this thing don't serve NC seafood. Because they can buy foreign seafood cheaper through Sysco.

Well I guess that's good business.

Until the tourists find out.

See? Another example of business owners going on about 'shopping local' ... yet the business owners don't shop local themselves. I pity that poor guy at Sanitary who let the cat out of the bag. I wonder if he still has a job.

I don't think we'll be spending any tourist bucks in Morehead City any time soon.

I can tell you that there is no comparison between real Core Sound shrimp and crabs in Davis, North Carolina, and farm-raised Taiwanese shrimp and Malaysian crab cakes in Morehead City, home of North Carolina's so-called 'seafood festival'.

The people running those restaurants and businesses, and that sham called the North Carolina Seafood Festival should be ashamed of themselves.

"... the Way and the Truth and the Life ..."

"Steve", one of our readers, has made this comment to the "Obama hosts White House Muslim Day of Prayer" post:

I find it amazing that folks tend to defend Muslim worship … but it’s the dastardly Christians that are just so evil. Christians are continually labled as hypocrits and many are; it’s just odd that no one points out the hypocricy of the “religion of peace”. Except perhaps this lady:
http://stevex09.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/wafa-sultan-debating-islamic-cleric/

"Steve" is in error on a couple of fronts. First, we here at Blogger Central have made a number of posts, some of them downright scathing, on "The Religion of Peace". Searching WritingPlaces will demonstrate this. Second, many other bloggers, such as Michelle Malkin, have posted repeatedly on "The Religion of Peace", and have correctly used the term as a facetious slapdown of Islamic fundamentalism.

But that's the small potatoes.

What is more disturbing about "Steve's" comment is his apparent distaste for 'defending' Muslim worship. From his other comments, we presume that "Steve" is a Christian, or at least identifies himself as one. We also presume from an admittedly limited context and syntax that "Steve" is an American (a politically incorrect term used by middle-aged white gasbags such as myself to identify citizens of the United States). We are also presuming that "Steve" is white, also based on that context and syntax. I suppose that makes me racist middle-aged white gasbag as well as just politically incorrect. But we can discuss my social inadequacies some other time.

"Steve's" viewpoint is a sterling testimonial for the concept of separation of church and state, and a sterling testimonial as to the lack of understanding of those 'American values' that American 'Christians', especially white ones, like to go on about.

"... defend Muslim worship ..."

Yes, "Steve", I will defend Muslim worship, just as I defend your Christian worship, no matter how hypocritically unsavory I often find both to be. That's part of those "American values", and it's part of why I spent all that time in the armed forces of these United States, and it's part of why I spent all those years as a police officer, cleaning up society's messes and wiping the tears of victims of violence and rage, of intolerance and hate ... all of which, , incidentally, were always justified as 'righteous' by the inflicters thereof.

Islamic worship in these United States is one of those God-given rights, even though which God is at play is somewhat murky. Generally, Islamic worship in this country is in fact peaceful. Generally, Christian worship in this country is in fact peaceful.

If Christians want to have one of those "Million Man" marches in Washington, DC, why shouldn't they?

If Muslims want to have a Muslim National Day of Prayer in Washington, DC, why shouldn't they?

Muslims have their fringe groups in this country, just as do Christians. Are they representative of all Muslims?

After all, the White Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan or whatever they call themselves can hold rallies. After all, Fred Phelps and his perverted, hate-mongering "Christians" can insult veterans and their families, and spew hate-filled invective as they wish. After all, the Reverend Wright can spew his version of "Christian" love, along with all the rabble-rousing garbage from Reverend (what a joke) Jesse Jackson and his ilk. All in the name of Christ. Are these people representative of all Christians?

What is the difference between the White Christian Knights of the KKK bombing black churches, and members of the Sword and the Shield of Allah blowing up crowded buses? Both are driven by religious perversion.

Where we see the real lunacy of Islam is overseas, in the Middle East and in other countries that do not have a foundation in Rule of Law. Where we see the real lunacy of Islam is in the Islamic republics; in those countries where government is driven by, controlled by, religion. Where we see the real lunacy of Islam is where a corrupt culture perverts the religious teachings, where morally corrupt clerics drive the hate based on selective extractions from the Koran. We see the same mindset with the likes of Fred Phelps and his selective extractions from the Bible. The difference is that in this country, people like Phelps cannot get a sufficient hold to be more than an aggravation, or in the case of the KKK and its version of Christianity, any more than a series of criminal episodes. It is the rule of law and the separation of church and state that keeps it so. It is rule of law and the separation of church and state that keeps Christians in check. A "Christian Republic" is as much an insult to God as is an "Islamic Republic". God save us from 'selective literalists'.

"... true and saving religion consists in the inward persuasion of the mind, without which nothing can be acceptable to God." - John Locke

"... God is not pleased when people believe because they have to. God wants people to believe because that is what they desire." - Alicia Gossman-Steeves

The concept of separation of church and state prevents them from going any further than ranting their mindless rhetoric and spamming the world with it. Whenever a religion, any religion, gains control of a government, or even sufficient influence if not official government status, religious lunacy will prevail. Even with Christianity. The hints of it are in the irrational spamming that started this discussion with "Obama hosts White House Muslim Day of Prayer", a series of lies and factual error deliberately designed to stir that lunacy. The truth of it lies in the history of Christianity, whenever Christianity has been able to drive the government. The hands of Christians down through the ages are not anointed with the Blood of the Lamb, but are dripping the blood of innocents ... just as we see dripping today from the hands of Islamic fundamentalists. Do we really want that kind of thinking, driven by irrational religious zealotry, willing to spread lies, willing to oppress and browbeat anyone not seen as a True Believer in The One True God, as the power behind our government? Don't we have enough trouble with the secular government we have? Does anyone really think the type of attitudes and behaviors we are seeing from American "Christians" are morally superior to what we have?

Christ is ".. the Way and the Truth and the Life ...". He is the Light of the world. His followers would do well to remember that. If they ever truly understood it. From the frenzied, hateful rhetoric being spread in his name by those followers, I don't think they do. The decline of the Christian church in America is not due to the influence of an immoral liberal left but rather to the example set by America's 'Christians" ... the Pharisees of modern times.

Obama hosts National Muslim Day of Prayer at White House!!!

Yeah, that's what the "Christians" are spreading around on the Internet now, in a spirit of Christian love as they move to celebrate the birth of Christ. Unfortunately, like pretty much all of the crap that the Christian Right spreads around, it is exactly that. Crap.

It is true, however, that The Obamessiah is guilty as charged by our self-righteous moral watchdogs. He did in fact cancel the National Day of Prayer service:

Obama cancels National Day of Prayer service

For once, he did the right thing. While Truman inaugurated the National Day of Prayer, it is only Bush and Reagan who made it an official White House religious service. An 'ecumenical service'.

Obama observed:

"For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and non-believers."

Which is true. Bush invited Protestants (who have a lock on the One True God, who is, after all, a registered Republican if I understand Dobson correctly), Catholics (who are not really 'real' Christians if I understand the position of many Protestants correctly, being but one step removed from Mormons, JW's, and other heathen pretenders), and Jews (whom we all know about from those paragons of Christian values, the KKK - "bringing a message of hope and deliverance to White Christian America" - and Fred Phelps of www.godhatesfags.com).

Of course, when he canceled the service, the Christian Fundies went alpha sierra, throwing fits, gnashing their teeth in presumably literal as well as figurative sense, and exuding hate and discontent, all in Christ's name. I'm not sure who they decided to boycott and drive out of business, but I'm sure they must have drawn a Target on someone. They always do. (waiting now for someone to point out that Christ Targeted, with premeditated malice aforethought, the money-lenders in the temple ... so boycotting Godless heathen wishers of "Happy Holidays" is somehow Scripturally justified ...).

Meanwhile ... where were we ... ah ... the Godless heathens who are ruining our Christian nation ...

Obama and the National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer Task Force, a privately funded organization that focuses on mobilizing the Christian community, says it's disappointed in this year's toned down observance, but other groups say the president needs to go a step farther -- and ignore the day altogether.

"It's not his job to tell people to pray," said David Silverman, national spokesperson for the organization American Atheists.
"We are very happy he did away with the George W. Bush-era celebrations and party, but we wish he wouldn't do it at all. ... When church and state are separate, separate is separate," he said.

Well ... that raises another stink, doesn't it. Silverman, like many of his brethren, has difficulty with that 'separation' thing. He sees it as black and white (no relationship to the KKK and Fred Phelps thing mentioned earlier), when in fact it is not. For more on this, I direct your attention to:

A 'non-religious' Christmas, which examines the difference between 'de-religiousing' a religious holiday in the name of political correctness and the state endorsing religion

and

Separation of church and state which led Stan Riley to a state of emotional apoplexy and caused him to pass judgment on Leece's 'fitness' as a 'Christian' for having dared to fail to accept his sanctimonious position on the subject: "I thought you were at one time a Nazarene ..."... thereby demonstrating the pastorate's capacity for pompous asininity.

Was Bush's 'ecumenical' service sufficiently diverse to present the counter-argument that he - as President - was not endorsing a specific religion, and using his influence to peddle same? I would think so, but what do I know, being a simple-minded Separatist myself, and not a learned 'selective literalist' student of Scripture, who can pick and choose what Biblical aspect is going to be shoved down everyone's throats today.

As for the Muslim ceremony at the White House ... unfortunately for the Rumor Mill, Obama did no such thing. But on September 25, Muslims organized their own "National Prayer Day", which was held without White House sanction outside the White House, actually over on Capitol Hill, on public property. The nerve of those people, exercising that First Amendment thing. You would think they would know their place as second- or even third-class citizens, not being, like, you know, 'Christians' (aka 'real' Americans) and go back to their mosques or whatever.

When The Obamessiah canceled the service at the White House on the real National Day of Prayer, some of our local pastors, in a fit of Christian understanding and love, threw royal shit fits here in town, taking their own opportunities to politicize Christ and religion. But that's another story for another time ...

Go in peace, swaddled in Christ's love and forgiveness. Would that it were that easy ... it's 12 days to Christmas, and like many Americans, I am sick to death of 'Christians'.

11/2/09

Last Post

OK ... we're outa here. No more posting to Blogspot; we're moved over to

Writing Places @ Wordpress.com

We think Wordpress gives us a better look, and it's easier to manage.

This blog will stay up, but it will be inactive.

Thank you one and all for your visits over the years.

And another one ...

Over on WordPress:

Golfers score a hole-in-one!

New one over on WordPress

Here's another commentary on Tamarisk Hills over on our new blogsite:

Hi Times at Tamarisk Hills Golf Course ... again

Yep. We're abusing the golf association. Again. Shame on us. We're just so ... negative.

10/29/09

"Cash for Clunkers": another Obama Bust

We spent $3 billion on Obama's "Cash for Clunkers" program.

Obama and his henchmen pimped it to nearly orgasmic heights of economic ecstasy.

Edmunds says it was a bust.

Edmunds' report on 'Cash for Clunkers'

I can't wait for "Giggles" Gibbs to start taking potshots at Edmunds. How dare they question The Emperor's New Clothes?

How to raise campaign funding

From the Democratic National Committee, over on Barack H. Obama's my.BarackObama.com website:




DNC uses flag desecration to raise funds



What can you expect from a White House that sells itself to the highest 'donor':

Democratic donors rewarded with White House perks

Of course, the Orchid Office denies it all:

White House pushes back

Meanwhile, the Orchid Office is taking shots at AP now, over their article on the White House's fact-stretching about jobs:

Number of jobs credited to the stimulus overstated by thousands

Further meanwhile ... anyone heard anything decisive from the Orchid Office about that 'splendid little war' in Afghanistan? Otherwise known as "Obama's Splendid Little War"?

Quack!

The 'consumer option'

That's what Nancy Pelosi is calling it. Apparently, we don't call it 'the public option' now. Now, it's the 'consumer option'.

Other than the name change, it still quacks. It's still a duck.

It's like 'terrorism'. Remember when the Obamanians did away with that? We no longer have 'terrorism'. We have 'man-caused disasters'.

Of course, they've kind of back-pedaled on that one a bit, and today you will hear Obamanians use the 'T-word'.

But for the present, we no longer have a 'public option'. It's a 'consumer option'.

Harry Reid may be backing off some on his 'HarryCare' bill, given that Joe Lieberman has flatly refused to vote for it so long as it has the '... option'. Several Blue Dogs are hemming and hawing over it as well. Harry doesn't have the votes to get HarryCare through the Senate.

So this morning, Pelosi is dragging 'PelosiCare', with the 'consumer option', out for a dog and pony show.

Stand firm, Joe. Stand firm, Blue Dogs. Send 'em back to the drawing boards in their secretive little back rooms. Note that the back rooms are no longer 'smoke-filled'. That's politically incorrect ... unless, of course, you are ... the President.

"You lie, Joe!"

No ... not Joltin' Joe, our beloved Gaffer-in-Chief.

Not Joe Wilson, though there is some poetic justice here.

No ... that's the left's reaction to Joe Lieberman's opposition to HarryCare, and presumably PelosiCare. Bill Jacobson has it over on Legal Insurrection:

Dems to Leiberman: "You lie!"

An excerpt:
  • Hullabaloo: "But it always seemed absurd to me to trust good old Lieb since he's become a bitter, angry, resentful, creepy, arch conservative, vengeful old fuck (which isn't all that different than he always was, but he used to be a little bit constricted by his religious image.)"
  • Crooks and Liars: "Can we strip this traitor of his chairmanships already?"
  • DownWithTyranny!: "Of course the loathsome snotrag lies with every breath he draws. He's wholly owned by the Moneyed Interests.... Okay, the gloves are off. Now that the little bug has taken his stand, it's time to squash him."
  • Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money: "his office should be transferred to a broom closet somewhere in Camden."
  • Emptywheel: "He is either completely ignorant about health care works (unlikely, for a Senator from Connecticut). Or, he’s lying his ass off as to his rationale."
  • mcjoan at DailyKos: "Lieberman doesn't care, and knows that Politico and AP and WaPo and any number of outlets don't care, so he'll keep on lying."
  • Bill Scher at HuffPo: "Lieberman Lies About the Public Option."
  • MyDD: "Joe, you ignorant war-monger, you."
  • OpenLeft: "Liar."
Like ... wowsers. What a nice bunch of people, hmmmm? And this is the bunch that threw the big hissy fit over Joe Wilson's "You lie!".

10/28/09

Livin' large in Obama-land

David Slaughter is running against incumbent Jackie Abrams over in Ward 1.

Mr. Slaughter is apparently of the opinion that it is the responsibility of the taxpayer, of the city administration, to cart visitors around the area.

This view seems to stem from the experiences of the Australian Visitor, a lady who saved up for a number of years to come visit Bents' Old Fort, and who ran into a number of 'issues' during her trip. Most of the 'issues' she suffered were demonstrably the result of her own lack of planning and research for the trip. We draw from Slaughter's website:

La Junta currently has 3 buses that service our area on a year round basis. Usually this works well but as a example early this year we had a visitor from Australia who for the last 10 years saved her money so she could come and visit Bents fort. When she finally got to Colorado shortly after a severe hail storm to find that there were no rental car's available.

This visitor to our lovely city paid someone in Denver $500.00 to bring her from Denver to La Junta, and then upon arrival was unable to find a rental car, so she ended up riding a borrowed bike (thanks to Beth Klob) from downtown La Junta to Bents Fort and back in 90 degree plus weather. That situation is totally unacceptable.


So, because one visitor planned so poorly, we are to fund through tax bux a shuttle service to Bents' Old Fort and other such sites?

Tell me ... when you plan a trip, do you not check out local transportation? Availability of rental cars? Local eateries? Local accommodations? That sort of thing? I once arrived in Denver after a violent blizzard ... yet it never crossed my mind that the Denver city government owed me transportation or a place to stay.

Consider this: Why doesn't the Chamber of Commerce take it upon themselves to organize a shuttle service? You know, like motels do. Airport shuttles, that sort of thing. The local government doesn't run those. And, how many tourists actually show up around here with no transportation? And why, if visitors and tourists are so important, is the best the business community can do is give our bedraggled tourist a borrowed bike and tell her to hump it on out there on her own?

I thought this was The Smile Hi City, priding itself on good ol' small town neighborliness and hospitality.

Was it really that hard to find someone to cart the woman out to the fort and wander around for a bit? Where's all that old Wake Up Breakfast bonhomie? Just what about the situation is so 'unacceptable'? The fact that the lady rode out there in the heat, thanks to her own lack of planning, or the fact that none of the promoters of The Smile Hi City could -so it seems - make the effort to show a visitor some of that down home Smallville hospitality? OTOH, I've talked to several people who would have taken the Austrialian Visitor out to the fort, and enjoyed the opportunity... had they but known. Leece and I would have; we love Bents' Old Fort. We would have piled the Visitor and the kids in the van and had a 'cultural exchange'. We could have swapped recipes for Wallaby Stew for recipes for Prairie Dog Curry. We could have sung "Waltzin' Matilda" together, and "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road" and so on. But that's all another story ...

Jackie Abrams, on the other hand, has invested heavily in the community, keeping the Book Stop open, and serving on the Airport Board. Did you know that the last Airport Fun Day was funded entirely by sponsors, and the city's tax revenues allocated for the event were not required? The Airport Board and Ms. Abrams had a lot to do with that. The golf course should do so well...

Ms. Abrams is looking at ways to get things done without looking for government handouts. She's doing more than just looking ... she actually does get things done. Mr. Slaughter, on the other hand, thinks the government should do it.

Recently, we had the Ace of Spades take city council to task for not giving them more, even though the city has been supporting their rodeo grounds activities for years. It wasn't enough, and they came to council throwing a fit. Over the wrong bit of land as it turns out, but what the hey, facts just get in the way.

Then we had the golfers, we still have the golfers, throwing hissy fits over their country club action and the taxpayers not doing enough to support their fun in the sun.

Now we have Mr. Slaughter, opining that the city should be providing tax revenue funded transport for whatever tourists happen to dribble into town.

I didn't know that Otero County and The Smile Hi City had gone for Obama. Apparently I missed it, and we've been all this time ... livin' large in Obama-land ...

10/27/09

Coming to grips with the vital issues of the day

"Why ... on the eve of the most important domestic policy debate in a generation, are the president's advisers talking about Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Fox News?" he wrote. "America needs ... Barack Obama to change the tone and go back to attacking problems rather than personalities."

White House bid to marginalize critics is backfiring


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is on track to exceed last year's fundraising by more than $10 million, thanks in part to the Obama administration's decision to target the pro-business group, according to the organization's president.


Ya think?

Time to get off the pot ...

An editorial from the Chieftain:

Time to act

I don't think this is a case of a president trying to appear 'measured'.

I think this is a case of a superficial suit, full of glib promises and catchy slogans and not much else, finally coming to face reality.

His left wing moonbat base is going to go nuts if he ups the ante in Afghanistan. That's really what has him worried. He's fudging on everything that he promised during the campaigns, is still campaigning, and is focused more on Glenn Beck and FoxNews than on taking care of the business of the nation.

"I won't risk your lives unless it is absolutely necessary," Obama told service men and women at Naval Air Station Jacksonville on Monday. He promised a "clear mission" with defined goals and the equipment needed to get the job done.

Yeah yeah yeah ... we've all heard that before. What's next? "The light at the end of the tunnel"? Nope. That's been used. "Peace with Honor"? Nope. That's been used. How about "Mission accomplished"? Nope ... that's been used. How about "The troops will be home by Christmas"? Nope. That's been used so many times in so many wars it's an inside joke.

Let's see ... what vitally important military policy can our commander-in-chief come to grips with ... ah ... how about "Don't ask, don't tell". More superficial crap that has the leftie moonbats in a tizzie but contributes nothing of consequence ... other than to Obama's "Dig me, am I cool or what?" mindset.

Obama's "splendid little war"

"Splendid little war".

That was a term used in the early days of Vietnam, back before the big US troop buildups. You'll find it used in Sheehan's "A Bright Shining Lie".

Obama continues to blame Bush for Afghanistan.

Glenn Beck continues to go nuts over Afghanistan - and pretty much everything else Obama is trying to pull.

Obama's liberal base is foaming at the mouth over the war, and a lot of other things as well.

Meanwhile, we have this:

Official resigns in protest over Afghan war

"I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States' presence in Afghanistan," Hoh wrote in his resignation letter, dated Sept. 10 but published early Tuesday. "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end."

The move sent ripples all the way to the White House, the paper said, where officials immediately appealed for him to stay out of fear he could become a leading critic.


Why does Matthew Hoh's letter send 'ripples' all the way to the White House?

"We took his letter very seriously, because he was a good officer," Holbrooke said in an interview with the newspaper. "We all thought that given how serious his letter was, how much commitment there was, and his prior track record, we should pay close attention to him."

Somebody should pay close attention to him. "Somebody" should probably quit screwing around with FoxNews and start paying attention to things like the war(s), the economy, healthcare, jobs, and a whole lot of other things.

Perhaps "Giggles" Gibbs and the rest of the Obamanian henchmen are so focused on Glenn Beck because, like Hoh, Beck is correct in much of his assessment of just how far up their collective backsides the Obamanians have stuck their heads. I'm finding it hard to believe that here I am, saying "Beck is right", because heretofore I've classed him as one of the far out whackjobs, along with Ann Coulter. But he's making more sense these days, even if, unlike Hoh's rather measured and thoughtful commentaries, Beck is a ranter.

In any case, it isn't Bush's war, and it isn't Bush's economy, and it isn't Bush's problem any more.

It all belongs to Barack H. Obama, and it's about time he quit his 'Dig me, am I cool or what?' campaigning and urinating away mountains of money and got down to actually doing something useful.

10/26/09

Selling out

Here is a good editorial from the Chieftain:

Save our towns

Interestingly enough, at the 'meet the candidates' gathering a couple of weeks ago, not one of the candidates for the Swink school board had a clue about how re-valuing land - as the result, for instance, of taking it out of production as the result of a water sellout - would affect school budgets.

Pace's proposed bill will be one to watch.

Fact-checking Obama's claims

The Obamanians are claiming that the health insurance industry is making 'obscene' profits (Pelosi) while the 'bodies pile up' (Soros' MoveOn.org).

Is that true?

No.

As is usually the case, the Obamanians think you and I are too stupid or too lazy to figure it out.

Here's an interesting article:

Health insurers profits

Of course, that's from Fox, and as we all know from the Obamanians' latest rants, Fox is hardly a news network, like MSNBC and other 'unbiased' sources.

Obama needs a boogieman to jam this health care fiasco down our throats. For the moment, that boogieman is the health insurance industry.

10/25/09

The sophisticated Europeans ...

Remember how the Europeans embraced The One?

That seems to be changing:

Barack Obama must stop campaigning and start governing

Essentially, however, Mr Obama won because of his persona – post-racial, healing, cool, articulate and inspirational. In a sense, therefore, his greatest achievement in life is being Barack Obama. Or the campaign version, at least.

Therein lies the problem. While campaigning could centre around soaring rhetoric, governing is altogether messier. It involves tough, unpopular choices and cutting deals with opponents. It requires doing things rather than talking about them, let alone just being.


A-yup.

Then we have this, from unabashedly left-winger liberal apologist Clarence Page:

Obama outs Fox, but reveals a big flaw

Surely President Barack Obama and his advisers don't really think that their feud with Fox News will do anything but enhance the cable network's viewership. A deeper problem is what the flap reveals about Team Obama, which seems to be more comfortable with campaigning than governing.

I'm not happy about that. It does not fill me with glee to see Fox News star Sean Hannity joyfully replaying Obama's 2004 come-together speech about how we're "not red states or blues states" but "the United States of America" and asking where is Obama's promise now?

I don't agree with Hannity on much. He's only a tad more serious-minded as a news clown, in my grumpy view, than his colleague Glenn Beck. But, as much as my wife might run from the house when she hears me say it, Hannity's right on this one.


"News clown"? Sean Hannity? Ummmm ... that's a bit harsh. I'd agree if Page had stuck with Glenn Beck.

Ah well. Speaking of news clowns, I have to go watch Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, and Keith Olbermann. Talk about 'fair and balanced'...

Here's more on this from Bill Jacobson, over on Legal Insurrection:

What if he can't?

10/23/09

"The Chikaga Way"

"They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's the Chicago way."

–Jim Malone,"The Untouchables"

That's the Obama and Rahm Emanuel Way.

The Bullies of the Orchid Office. Obama and Emanuel.

The Chicago Way

An excerpt:

In recent weeks the Windy City gang added a new name to their list of societal offenders: the Chamber of Commerce. For the cheek of disagreeing with Democrats on climate and financial regulation, it was reported the Oval Office will neuter the business lobby. Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett slammed the outfit as "old school," and warned CEOs they'd be wise to seek better protection.

That was after the president accused the business lobby of false advertising. And that recent black eye for the Chamber (when several companies, all with Democratic ties, quit in a huff)—think that happened on its own? ("Somebody messes with me, I'm gonna mess with him! Somebody steals from me, I'm gonna say you stole. Not talk to him for spitting on the sidewalk. Understand!?")

The Chamber can at least take comfort in crowds. Who isn't on the business end of the White House's sawed-off shotgun? First up were Chrysler bondholders who—upon balking at a White House deal that rewarded only unions—were privately threatened and then publicly excoriated by the president.

Next, every pharmaceutical, hospital and insurance executive in the nation was held out as a prime obstacle to health-care nirvana. And that was their reward for cooperating. When Humana warned customers about cuts to Medicare under "reform," the White House didn't bother to complain. They went straight for the gag order. When the insurance industry criticized the Baucus health bill, the response was this week's bill to strip them of their federal antitrust immunity. ("I want you to find this nancy-boy . . . I want him dead! I want his family dead! I want his house burned to the ground!")


"Bi-partisanship" to Obama means you get to play if first you agree with him. Once you get past that little roadblock, then he'll give you some Wagyu scraps from the Orchid Office table.

Until then, you're The Enemy. You'll have Rahm Emanuel stabbing at the table screaming "He's dead! Dead! Dead!" in a psychotic frenzy.

And you'll know you've hit the Big Time when you get a rotting fish, presumably wrapped in the Chicago Tribune, delivered to your doorstep, compliments of The Obama Regime.

What a collection of thugs we have running the government.

"... a deliberate campaign to marginalize and ostracize recalcitrants ..."

That's how Charles Krauthammer describes the Nixonian tactics openly in play by the Obama Regime:

Fox wars: The 'post-partisan' president makes an enemies list

An excerpt:

Fox and its viewers (numbering more than those of CNN and MSNBC combined) need no defense. Defend Fox compared to whom? To CNN -- which recently unleashed its fact-checkers on a "Saturday Night Live" skit mildly critical of President Obama, but did no checking of a grotesquely racist remark that CNN falsely attributed to Rush Limbaugh?

Defend Fox from whom? Fox's flagship 6 o'clock evening news out of Washington (hosted by Bret Baier, formerly by Brit Hume) is, to my mind, the best hour of news on television. (Definitive evidence: My mother watches it even on the odd night when I'm not on.) Defend Fox from the likes of Anita Dunn? She's been attacked for extolling Mao's political philosophy in a speech at a high school graduation. But the critics miss the surpassing stupidity of her larger point: She was invoking Mao as support and authority for her impassioned plea for individuality and trusting one's own choices. Mao as champion of individuality? Mao, the greatest imposer of mass uniformity in modern history, creator of a slave society of a near-billion worker bees wearing Mao suits and waving the Little Red Book?

The White House communications director cannot be trusted to address high schoolers without uttering inanities. She and her cohorts are now to instruct the country on truth and objectivity?


The White House pool pretty much told Obama to take the Rahm Emanuel fish and shove it where the moon don't shine:

White House loses bid to exclude FoxNews

Obama also said:

"... I think the American people are a lot more interested in what we're doing to create jobs or how we're handling the situation in Afghanistan."

Yeah. We are. So far, Obama has neither created jobs, nor has he handled the situation in Afghanistan. His highly touted "plan" for Afghanistan, announced last spring with a fair amount of self-serving fanfare, has gone. Our "allies" are telling us to go fish until Obama comes up with some kind of a strategy. So far, all he is doing is waffling, shuckin' and jivin', and still ... still ... blaming Bush.

Jeez. It's your war, Barack ... you really gotta stop worrying about campaigning, and about FoxNews, and get with the program. That is, if you can figure out what your program is. And then, tell the rest of us what it is.

Oh ... here's another commentary on Obama's Nixonian approach to the press:

Time for Obama to Grow Up

10/22/09

The Tesla Tango

I'm thinking of buying a Tesla:



Yup.

Doncha think Leece and I'd look good, tooling down Colorado Avenue in that thing?

And we can, thanks to you.

You can pay for a good chunk of it. You and the rest of our Friends and Neighbors will contribute $42,000 toward the $109,000 sticker price.

Well ... that still leaves it at a fairly stiff price, one I don't think we'll really consider very seriously ... but Gosh Durn It, don't you feel warm and fuzzy that you and I and the rest of We the Taxpayers will be subsidizing, one way or another, a high end hundred thousand dollar car for wealthy enviro-whackos? These babies will be buzzing all over the Republic of Boulder ... and we'll be pushing our ten year old rust buckets around.

You gotta love the Obama Regime and the Ritter Raiders.

Colorado offering $42,000 tax break to Tesla buyers

10/19/09

High times at Tamarisk Hills

Here are some interesting tidbits about water out at Tamarisk Hills. The information is drawn from minutes of city council meetings; utility board meetings; rate schedules; budget sessions; articles from Tribune-Democrat archives. All of it is a matter of public record.

There are several 'government accounts', or 'government irrigation accounts' serviced by the city. Those accounts are the cemetery, the city's parks, OJC, and ... the golf course. None of the 'government accounts' are charged a facility fee to pay for the RO plant. But if you are a residential user, or a business user, you are charged that facility fee. Looking at my last water bill, I see that I was charged a 'facility fee'. I'll bet you were, too. But not the golf course.

The current rate for water is $1.80/1000 gallons for all city residential and business users, including government accounts. This is the 'commodity charge'.

In the 1990's, the golf course was using about 36 million gallons per year to irrigate about 36 acres. This does not include water used by or in the clubhouse.

In 2000, the water rate for all city parks, the ball fields, OJC, and the golf course was $0.64/1000 gallons. This was before the RO plant came on line. In 2000, the golf course used 39 million gallons of water.

In 2002, the rate went up to $1.16/1000 gallons for those users.

In 2004, rates were adjusted for the golf course and the cemetery to provide relief on the utility bills. Rates for the golf course were set at $1.16/1000 gallons for the first million gallons, after which the rate dropped to $.064/1000 gallons.The golf course was receiving a special, lower rate.

In 2004 the RO plant came online. At the same time, water use in the overall water system dropped because of the drought and watering restrictions in town. Water use at the golf course does not appear to have dropped at all during the drought.

In 2007, as the result of a rate study by the Utilities Commission, rates for city and industrial water were set at $1.35/1000 gallons. This applied across the board, to all customers in the city, not just the golf course. The special rate for the golf course was discontinued.

In 2008, the rate went to 1.45/1000 gallons for all city customers, including the government accounts, which, as noted, includes the golf course.

In 2009, the rate went to $1.80/1000 gallons for all city customers, including the golf course and the other government accounts. The golf course has not been subjected to any rate increases not suffered by everyone else ... and in 2004, they were given a special, lower rate.

From 2001 through 2005, the golf course used about 40 million gallons per year.

Since 2006, the golf course has used at or over 45 million gallons of water per year. In 2008, the golf course used 45.2 million gallons.

Water use at the golf course has increased by about 25% since the 90's, despite the city's investment in sprinkler technologies specifically designed to conserve water. This usage also increased during the drought years while other customers, limited by water restrictions, used less water. Rather than use the special lower rate authorized in 2004 to reduce the amount spent on water, the golf course actually used it to increase water usage.

The golf course has 36 irrigated acres. This does not count the clubhouse. Since the 1990's the golf course has increased water usage on those acres - there has been no increase in irrigated acreage - from 36 million gallons of water per year to over 45 million gallons.

In the last two years, the budget line item for water at the golf course has increased by 33%.

Tippy Martinez Park, Potter Park, City Park, Tiger Field, ball park on 22nd Street and Veterans field combined come to 76 acres, with a total water usage of 28 million gallons per year. The cemetery, with 38 acres, has been using about 10 million gallons per year.

Despite the City administration's investment in water conserving sprinkler technology, the golfers have increased their water usage consistently, by approximately 25%, since the 1990's. Their acreage out there has not increased, so they are not watering more land. Rather than suffering unilaterally applied rate increases, they have either been subject to the same rates as everyone else, or, as we see in 2004, actually given a break on water rates.

While residential and other business customers were given rate increases, at that time (2004) the golf course saw a rate decrease. When they got that rate decrease, rather than hold the line, they increased water use ... and then complained that they weren't being given enough in the budget to pay for their increased usage. City council responded by voting to increase that budget line item by 33% in the last two municipal fiscal years.

Yet the golfers want more, asking for another $30,000 at the last council meeting.

The fees for our kids' athletic programs went up 20%. Pool fees went up 17%.

How much have golf fees gone up?

It would appear that the golfers are absolutely clueless as to what has been going on regarding support for their playground.

Nonetheless, we expect to see them in front of council again this next Monday night, demanding more. Not asking, but demanding, as though it is only their rightful due.

Isn't it about time that council put an end to this foolishness? Right now the concessionaire is pocketing all of the money made from the restaurant, the pro shop, the cart and cart storage rentals, the apartment rental, and the driving range. The concessionaire is paying $1 per year rent for this city property - while the aircraft owners are paying nearly $10,000 in rent for the T-hangars - and the concessionaire's utility use is subsidized by the city.

The contract between the city and the golf association and concessionaire expires at the end of this year. Don't you think it's about time for a new contract, which allows the golf course to be run in a business-like manner?

The sun doesn't shine in Bent County ...

Apparently the crime wave over in Bent County has gotten completely out of control, with city council candidate Mike Diez reportedly calling for citizens to carry concealed weapons in order to compensate for the Las Animas Police Department's alleged inability to deal with crime in that Fair City.

As we see reported in The Bent County Democrat by intrepid girl reporter and editor Lola Shrimplin (shades of Brenda Starr and we hope she doesn't vapor-lock over that 'girl reporter' thing), the citizens of Las Animas bent the Las Animas Police Board's ears for an hour or so with concerns about crime.

Then ... Board President Janice LaSalle took the board into executive session, without announcing the statutory cite, the reason for the executive session, or a motion and second and subsequent vote by the board to have the session. Anyone who attends board meetings here in The Smile Hi City is well aware that all of those are requirements these days for going into executive session.

But the real corker, according to Shrimplin's article, is this:

No recording of the session was made.

"We can't record an executive session. That's why it's an executive session," LaSalle said when asked about a recording.

Is LaSalle really that ignorant? And what about reports that a non-member of the board - Clarice Ratzlaff -was invited to sit with the board members, and allegedly remained with the board for the duration of the so-called 'executive session'?

For LaSalle's edification, excerpted from 24-6-402, CRS: Meetings - open to public. :

(II) (A) Discussions that occur in an executive session of a local public body shall be recorded in the same manner and media that the local public body uses to record the minutes of open meetings. If a local public body electronically recorded the minutes of its open meetings on or after August 8, 2001, the local public body shall continue to electronically record the minutes of its open meetings that occur on or after August 8, 2001; except that electronic recording shall not be required for two successive meetings of the local public body while the regularly used electronic equipment is inoperable. A local public body may satisfy the recording requirements of this sub-subparagraph (A) by making any form of electronic recording of the discussions in an executive session of the local public body. Except as provided in sub-subparagraph (B) of this subparagraph (II), the record of an executive session shall reflect the specific citation to the provision in subsection (4) of this section that authorizes the local public body to meet in an executive session, the actual contents of the discussion during the session, and a signed statement from the chair of the executive session attesting that any written minutes substantially reflect the substance of the discussions during the executive session. For purposes of this sub-subparagraph (A), 'actual contents of the discussion' shall not be construed to require the minutes of an executive session to contain a verbatim transcript of the discussion during said executive session. The provisions of this sub-subparagraph (A) shall not apply to discussions of individual students by a local public body pursuant to paragraph (h) of subsection (4) of this section.

There is an exception to the 'recording' requirement:

(B) If, in the opinion of the attorney who is representing the local public body and who is in attendance at an executive session that has been properly announced pursuant to subsection (4) of this section, all or a portion of the discussion during the executive session constitutes a privileged attorney-client communication, no record or electronic recording shall be required to be kept of the part of the discussion that constitutes a privileged attorney-client communication. The electronic recording of said executive session discussion shall reflect that no further record or electronic recording was kept of the discussion based on the opinion of the attorney representing the local public body, as stated for the record during the executive session, that the discussion constituted a privileged attorney-client communication, or the attorney representing the local public body may provide a signed statement attesting that the portion of the executive session that was not recorded constituted a privileged attorney-client communication in the opinion of the attorney.

But according to Shrimplin, there was no attorney present, and in any case, LaSalle made the flat statement that the session was not recorded simply because it was an executive session. She made no claims of 'attorney-client' privilege.

10/11/09

The California Chief Justice; Chickens' Rights; Gay Rights

California's Chief Justice says the state government is dysfunctional:

California Chief Justice says state government is dysfunctional

An excerpt from this rather interesting article:

[California Chief Justice Ronald M.]George a moderate Republican, has been critical of the initiative process in the past, but his remarks to the national group signaled a sense of urgency and willingness to push for reforms.

George noted that in November, voters passed initiatives to regulate the confinement of fowl in coops and passed Proposition 8, which overturned part of a California Supreme Court ruling that gave gays and lesbians the right to marry.

“Chickens gained valuable rights in California on the same day that gay men and lesbians lost them,” George said.

George was the swing vote in the historic May 2008 decision to end a ban on same-sex marriage. Legal scholars said the 4-3 ruling he wrote would define his legacy. The George court is considered moderately conservative, and until the marriage ruling, cautious. The court has only one Democratic appointee.

10/10/09

Artwalk

The Artwalk was today. Unfortunately, the weather led to cancellations at the Barista and the Kiva. The visiting artist and performer were unable to travel because of black ice and other bad weather.

Nonetheless, there was a good crowd at Somewhere on San Juan.

Dan Ballard had an excellent slide show of his work, including the best shot of the ancient temple at Angkor Wat that I have ever seen. He even had one of the Bolovens Plateau in southern Laos. This area was known to US forces as the center point for Operation STEEL TIGER back during the war, and suffered some of the most intense bombing of the war. The main passes - Mu Ghia and Ban Karai - from North Vietnam into the Ho Chi Minh trail fed directly into this area. Ballard said that you could still see the craters from the bombing but that they were pretty much filled in with vegetation. His photo confirmed that Laos remains one of the most beautiful countries in the world, though as in Cambodia, leftover landmines continue to be a major problem.

Jeremy Manyik was also there. Tookie had the opportunity to chat with him about paints and composition of his artwork.

Here are some photos of patrons and artists:

Jeremy Manyik took the time to answer Toot Sweet's questions about paints and composition.


Tookie and the palette.


Tookie and a horse sculpture.


Patrons examine one of Manyik's paintings ...


While other patrons chat about artsy things ...


Leece chats with Nancy Bennett.


Plants outside the Kiva, covered with ice. The artist scheduled to visit had to cancel because of the weather.


More ice.


Next up: The Mennonite Relief Sale is at the Rocky Ford Fairgrounds next weekend. This is one of the most enjoyable events of the year.

The Golf Association Board

So while we've been hashing over the 'issues' surrounding the golf course, one group has been hanging pretty much in the background and not taking much heat.

That would be the Golf Association Board.

The relationship between the golfers, the concessionaires (the Chiaramontes), the city, and the Golf Association Board is somewhat convoluted. On the one hand, we have a contract between the city and "the concessionaires". That's the deal that gives them the dollar a year rent for all that city-owned ('taxpayer-owned') property; the subsidized utilities for that property; and which allows them to keep all of the profits from the pro shop, the restaurant, the cart shack rentals, the cart rentals, the driving range, and the rental of the apartment out there. Shoot, there might even be more.

But what is the board doing to smooth things out?

Not much. They're just letting it all ride. They apparently see nothing wrong with the way things are run out there. They don't see it as their responsibility to bring the golf course management more into line with the way other courses are run. They don't see it as their responsibility to see that the course and club are run as a business.

Nope. They apparently believe it is the responsibility of the taxpayer to fund their playground.

Their leader said, at the last council meeting, that they have been 'good stewards' of our tax dollars.

I obviously disagree with that statement.

The golf board has just been floating along, expecting We the Taxpayer to take the load for them. It's a lot easier to blame the city administration for so-called 'inadequate funding' than it is to take the heat for running the thing as a business, which would almost surely mean the golfers would end up paying more for their fun.

That seems to be coming to an end. The contract is up for renewal. The current contract expires at the end of this year. Will council approve 'more of the same'? Maybe, but I have my doubts about that. The golfers are a noisy bunch but there are a lot more people who are wondering why they've been coddled for so long. Remember - this isn't about closing the golf course or about letting it fall apart. It's about ending the taxpayer-subsidized playground atmosphere out there; it's about ending that sense of entitlement the golfers seem to have.

I would suggest that the board quit their collective whining and get to work on an arrangement, on a proposal to the city, that is more business-like and more professional. Otherwise, I would expect the city governing board - City Council - to end the current relationship, put out a real RFP, and hire a professional that can run that place as a business and not as some good old boys' Fun in the Sun private resort.

I would also suggest that the La Junta Chamber of Commerce pull its head out of wherever it has it stuck and get on the bandwagon to make that golf course pay for itself. That nonsense we had from Mr. Klob goes a long way towards explaining why the Chamber is so ineffective.

One more thing ... we city employees are not second class citizens. We pay our taxes, sales, property, and income. We even pay Governor Ritter's "fees" (yuk yuk wink wink nudge nudge). We have as much right as anyone else in saying what we believe to be wrong, as well as what is right, with our city. Even those of us who live in The Holy Land or in North La Junta or out in the country still pay a substantial amount of taxes into the City of La Junta; some of us own property in the city, and almost all of us shop there. With sales tax making up just under half of the city's fiscal intake and property taxes funding La Junta's schools, we really aren't interested in the attitude that we have to shut up and put up with this foolishness.