Monday, June 30, 2008

Weasley - Arianna - web modified

``I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president,'' Clark said, referring to the incident that led to McCain's being taken prisoner of war in Vietnam. Andrew Sullivan
Wesley Clark is now and always has been a Clinton-type, but this is pretty revolting. This kind of personal attack was repulsive coming against Kerry from the far right. And it's repulsive the other way round. Both Kerry and McCain served their country honorably; and their records should be revered, period. You can make an argument against McCain's foreign policy experience and judgment on its merits. Do it and leave this crap out of it.
Is this a Clark "own goal" or Obama's? (Own goal is the soccer term for accidentally giving your opponent a goal, e.g., the advantage.) Keep it up General. Your country needs your best effort. Manipulation note: Gen. Clark asks if riding in a jet qualifies one to be president. Riding in a jet? He wants you to think McCain was dozing in seat 23C. Not. He volunteered (I think) to pilot his fighter/bomber into harm's way. Cheap trick, Wesley.

☁ ☀ ☁ ☀ ☁ ☀ ☁ ☀ ☁

Right Is Wrong: How the Lunatic Fringe Hijacked America, Shredded the Constitution, and Made Us All Less Safe Ariana Huffington covered her entire book in the title. Why pay for the longer version?

FDR and Obama

The controversy du last week was the "Presidential" Seal that Senator Barack Obama used at a campaign event. Tempest in a teapot. But did you see anything familiar about the modification? Neither did I. But historians recognized the symbol of one of President Franklin Roosevelt's largest programs to combat the Depression of the 30s. Just the stylized eagle. The NRA was to improve the economy by making it more efficient by collectivizing it. Yes, collectivizing. In the 1930s they did have the lesson of the complete failure of the Soviet Union's and China's collective efforts. FDR assigned two of his top aids - Rex Tugwell and ? - to organize it. And organize it they did. From top to bottom and east to west they encouraged small businesses to join together for efficiency. Forming companies, trading associations, marketing coops and ... cartels - legal cartels. There were price and other controls - shortening hours of work, raising wages arbitrarily. There were codes for nearly everything including hair tonic!! It is estimated that it increased the cost of doing business by 40%. In the six months after the law took effect, industrial production dropped 25 percent. The organization included enforcement. General Hugh Johnson was assigned to encourage the reluctant. Did he know the difference between encouraging and forcing? Violators were labeled enemies of the state for not displaying the Blue Eagle. Boycotts were allowed and encouraged.
A New Jersey tailor named Jack Magid was arrested and sent to jail for the "crime" of pressing a suit of clothes for 35 cents rather than the NRA-inspired "Tailor’s Code" of 40 cents.
But his rewards for those who joined was probably worse. Goon squads roamed the cities looking for violations and the penalties were Soviet, including jail and boycotts. Enforcement squads were allowed to break down doors without a warrant to find people violating the codes against .... working at night. To learn more read Amity Schlaes' book The Forgotten Man Tip: American Thinker Have you noticed I am writing more? During my medical leave I have more time for blogging. And I am enjoying it. I want to investigate the effects of the NRA and other FDR stimulus programs. There was a second dip in 1937 that was close to the one that called for all of this.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Socialists except when they benefit

The workers at television and radio are very liberal - socialist? No, but not far from it. But when they benefit from the evil capitalist economy they will fight for it. They will strike for it. Consistent? No. Our friends at No Pasaran have the story ¡No PasarĂ¡n!:
Staff members at public radio and television stations staged a strike earlier this year against the plan.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

✵✵ 787 Power On ✵✵

We have been hearing for a year about this critical milestone being delayed. It arrived to the sound of one hand clapping. AVIATION WEEK:
Boeing has finished the long "power on" sequence of tests of the 787's electrical systems, an essential step in its drive for the aircraft's first flight, which is expected in late October, or by yearend at the latest. Besides its breakthrough in the use of composite structures, the 787 is commercial aviation's most "electric" airplane. Electric power is distributed in a network throughout the aircraft rather than being concentrated in an electronics bay behind the cockpit. Additionally, an electric system powers cabin environmental controls instead of the traditional bleed-air pneumatic system fed by the engines. So Boeing's power-on check-out, which began June 11, ...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Obama shakes down the oil companies

Senator Barrack Obama wants to stop the oil companies from profiting on the high price of oil. On June 9 he backed a special tax to punish them for providing gasoline, oil products and everythig else that can be made from crude oil. Punish them for selling to me? But it is a market transaction: big coil doesn't force me to buy from them. And the can't. He want to protect me from the big, evil world, assuming that I can't or won't fend for myself. Uh... distinguished Senator Obama, I am an adult. But I have seen this movie before with different characters. The regulators always gain. Oh, they have pure motives.... but they always gain. It's a coincidence. But the cartoon is mislabeled. It's not Big Oil that is doing the shake down; it is the US Congress shaking down the oil companies. But they got it right about the guy who just by pure chance was in the right place at the right time to grab some cash - not that he intended this. Yahoo News Hot Air - Michelle Malkin
For later research: Obama asserted that offshore oil exploration would --in the very best scenario-- take five years to drive down the cost of gas 3 or 4 cents, but that an investment of 250 billion dollars five years ago would have produced an engine that didn't require fossil fuels. Obama's Fantasy Islands

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

WA high in tech rating

Enduring Lessons for the Intangible Economy Washington ranks high among the states for high-tech and research jobs and companies. The Milken Institute devised the ranking system in order to encourage what it has found best foster prosperity. The State Technology and Science Index looks at 77 unique indicators that are categorized into five major components: Human Capital Investment Research and Development Inputs Risk Capital and Entrepreneurial Infrastructure Technology and Science Work Force Technology Concentration and Dynamism Milken Institute in California
The first release of the State Technology and Science Index in 2002 spawned a growing recognition of the importance of intangibles in the economy. This updated 2008 edition builds upon the lessons learned and expands on the contributions of human capital formation and commercialization of intellectual property. The 2008 State Technology and Science Index was made possible in part through the generous support of Goodwin Procter LLP.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Gunga Dan

Dan Rather brought his illustrious career to a dramatic high by exposing President Bush's time in the National Guard to be about like everyone else's. If different it was that as a pilot he put in 2 years full-time in training - not sure if it was contiguous or in several stretches. He put in more time, not less. But Rather knew more. He produced documents that showed that he skipped scheduled drills and was absent for long stretches that current records showed him present. And Rather's coup de grace was producing copies of signed originals. The nation was stunned. For 12 hours. The same evening a blogger, Robert Johnson, replicated the documents in Microsoft Word. He even replicated the fonts used in the 1960s, 40 years before. How could Johnson do that and so what? He did it with the default settings of Word. If Johnson could replicate them in less than 12 hours, could someone else have done the same thing during the 12 months build up of the election campaign? The top journalist in the country of the decade might be brought down by a lower-ranking peer, but not by a guy in his pajamas. This spark started the fire that spread rapidly. Weeks later Rather was defending himself. Then an investigation. Then Dan wasn't fired; he quit. Before they could do it. Then ... he sued his employer. Some might have thought that the 2004 election scandal would have ruined the career of Dan Rather. Instead, he was given his own show at HDNet.

Accuracy in Media
Now, four years later, Rather’s show, Dan Rather Reports, offers viewers a glimpse into what the former CBS news anchor considers good reporting: not citing sources, overlooking conflicts of interest, and sensationalizing material to promote marxist class-warfare perspectives. All this is touted as news, even when Rather relies solely on anecdotes and ignores publicly-available statistics.
That's the Dan some of us got to know over his 2 decades on the throne and others did in 2004.
“And college admissions also strike at some of the most controversial issues facing the country—questions of race, wealth, privilege, and economic class,” said Rather in a recent episode of his show, Stress Test. “Fact, fiction, or hard to tell that the current system clearly favors wealthier students?,” he asks his star guest, Lloyd Thacker. Thacker answered yes. Lloyd Thacker is the President of the Education Conservancy, a non-profit which opposes the growing commercialization of higher education. Aware of Thacker’s activist agenda, Rather describes him as an activist who “leads a movement to change the status quo,” starting with the ranking system. Like Thacker, Rather is intent on demonstrating that the system of higher education is broken and governed by elitist, wealthy interests. Rather claims that these views are widely shared among the educational community. “The process of applying to college has become so tortured and demanding that many people—students, teachers, and experts—say the system is broken,” he asserts. But Rather’s “analysis” amounts to little more than the repackaging of quotes and the careful casting of Thacker’s supporters as independent sources. The mother he interviews is reacting to one of Thacker’s speeches. Rather doesn’t deign to show the question she’s actually answering, however.
Another dimension:
Other sources promoted by Rather have given large sums of money to Thacker’s organization. Three of the four college presidents invited to Rather’s roundtable discussion preside over schools which donated between $2,500 and $5,000 dollars to the Education Conservancy. Two of these four colleges, Earlham College and Kenyon College, have staff on the Education Conservancy’s advisory board. Did Rather know this beforehand? “Thacker is supported by contributions from over a dozen universities and foundations and one recent success was this May 2007 letter labeling the current ranking system misleading...,” he said during the show. Clearly, Rather had some prior knowledge of Thacker’s financial backing.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Ukrainian 'genocide by starvation'

The Soviets have tried to hide this for decades. Who is hiding it now? This Soviet crime must see the light of day. Times Online :
Grigori Garaschenko remembers seeing his classmates starve slowly to death in a famine that killed millions of people in Ukraine. A neighbour driven mad by hunger killed her six-year-old daughter and began to eat her, he said, after Soviet soldiers confiscated all the food in their village during house-to-house searches. Mr Garaschenko, 89, is one of the few remaining survivors of the famine of 1932-33. Now, 75 years on, Ukraine wants the world to recognise that what it calls the Holodomor was a deliberate act of genocide by Stalin's Soviet Union.
On the same note. One of the most shocking events of history that I have recently discovered was the deliberate plan of Vladimir Lenin. After the Bolsheviks gained control of most of Russia they began the policy of "the battle for food." Battle for food? It means in the areas that still resisted, which were all agricultural, they stole the farmers' crops until the region gave in. Everyone, but those previously loyal, suffered until they gave in. Of course the tactics of making even those cooperating to suffer was because they put pressure on their resisting neighbors. So many people say that it was only Stalin who deliberately killed his own people - "death by government" - wrong.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Democrats starting to act cornered in global warming battle

Sen. James Inhofe has been the Senate's leader combatting global warming for years. Now, as the rising price of gasoline starts to change the game, he says the Democrats are "Running on Empty" Human Events

What a difference three years makes: In 2005, I led the charge against a massive global warming cap-and-trade bill. It was a lonely battle with few GOP members willing to join me on the Senate floor to publicly oppose it. Fast forward to June 2008: Not only was I joined by dozens of GOP Senators, but nearly 30% of the Democratic Senators rebelled against their leadership and opposed the Boxer Climate Tax Bill. In the end, Senator Boxer only had at most 35 Democratic Senators willing to vote for final passage on the largest tax bill in U.S. history. The Boxer Climate Tax Bill was so thoroughly disowned by Democratic Leadership that proponents of climate taxes will now be forced to start from scratch next year.

"Thank you, Senator Inhofe. You have been one of my heros since I first heard of you in the Congress in the min-1990s." Congressmen are able to stop a bill without reason when enough of them support the effort. The list of such sponsors was secret from the beginning of time until then. Inhofe lead the charge to end the secrecy of the list and it was successful. It enabled a substantial improvement in governance by its decrease in secrecy. National Review

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Annual salaries up 5% in Washington the State

We are still growing, getting richer and complaining. One-year growth in salaries was 5% in 2007 to now average $44,721, which is $860 per week. This is lower than last year's 5.4 per cent. Lower? Yes. Seattle Times June 12, 2008
Officials at the Employment Security Department say these numbers show the state's economy has remained strong while other parts of the country have experienced slowdowns.
You don't say! We hire very smart people to have the honor of being WA bureaucrats.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Albert Gore, Jr. uses energy of 19 households

The Tennessee Policy Institute (TCPR) is following the events in Tennessee and doing an excellent job. For all of Albert Gore, Jr.'s talk of everyone conserving energy, he hasn't gotten his own message. His own home in Nashville is a mansion - no problem there - that is an energy hog. TCPR is keeping track. In the past year, while he is drumming for everyone to use less energy he is using 10% more. Now his home is using the same energy as 19 average households. TCPR compared Gore for one year to the average for ONE MONTH and got the spectacular figure of 232 homes. Let's calculate it to compare for the same time period, one year: One YEAR electricity consumption kWh: Albert Gore's home = 213,210 Average home = 213,210/232 x 12 = 11,028.1034482 How many average homes = Albert/Average = 213,210/11,028 = 19.33 average homes One MONTH electricity consumption kWh: Albert Gore's home = 213,210/12 = 17767 Average home = 213,210/232 = 919.01 How many average homes = Albert/Average = 17767/919.01 = 19.33 average homes USING THE SAME TIME PERIOD FOR Albert and average American households, Albert uses enough electricity to power 19.33 average homes. Albert Gore's actions certainly speak louder than his words. Keep up the good work, TCPR.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

US Senate outsources its restaurant. Minorities suffer.

No, President Bush didn't perform this cruel act, the Democrats in the US Senate did. Doesn't outsourcing cost American jobs? So why are the caring Democrats doing it? Via Rush
Dianne Feinstein has ordered the Senate dining room to go private. It's losing money; It loses millions. The food's lousy and if they don't go private, Senator's lunch prices will go up 25%. The House already did it. Here's the sad story, ladies and gentlemen, and this is in the Washington Post today: "Year after year, decade upon decade, the US Senate's network of restaurants has lost staggering amounts of money -- more than $18 million since 1993, according to one report, and an estimated $2 million this year alone, according to another." We're talking about Senate restaurants. "The financial condition of the world's most exclusive dining hall and its affiliated Capitol Hill restaurants, cafeterias and coffee shops has become so dire that, without a $250,000 subsidy from taxpayers, the Senate won't make payroll next month." Now, keep in mind, this is who we are told is best suited to manage our energy policy, to manage our healthcare. They screw up every major thing they try because they are not the best qualified. "The embarrassment of the Senate food service struggling like some neighborhood pizza joint has quietly sparked change previously unthinkable for Democrats. Last week, in a late-night voice vote, the Senate agreed to privatize the operation of its food service, a decision that would, for the first time, put it under the control of a contractor and all but guarantee lower wages and benefits for the outfit's new hires. The House is expected to agree -- its food service operation has been in private hands since the 1980s -- and President Bush's signature on the bill would officially end a seven-month Democratic feud and more than four decades of taxpayer bailouts," for Senators to dine. "Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chairman of the Rules and Administrations Committee, which oversees the operation of the Senate, said she had no choice. 'It's cratering,' she said of the restaurant system. 'Candidly, I don't think the taxpayers should be subsidizing something that doesn't need to be. There are parts of government that can be run like a business and should be run like businesses.'" So they're going to privatize it. "In a letter to colleagues, Feinstein said that the Government Accountability Office found that 'financially breaking even has not been the objective of the current management due to an expectation that the restaurants will operate at a deficit annually.'" Oh yeah, just like the federal government does. But Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), speaking for the group of senators who opposed privatizing the restaurants, said that 'you cannot stand on the Senate floor and condemn the privatization of workers, and then turn around and privatize the workers here in the Senate and leave them out on their own.'" You know, he's got a point. The Democrats are being a little inconsistent here. They argue against the privatization of anything in government that would make it run better, but now all of a sudden in the Senate dining room, a different story. You know what one of the key factors here is? Senate opposition to privatization melted when faced with this choice. "Feinstein made another presentation May 7, warning senators that if they did not agree to turn over the operation to a private contractor, prices would be increased 25 percent across the board." These are the people that you are being told can best administer your healthcare? They can't even run their own restaurants at a profit and we have been paying for these people to eat? Do you know how many millionaires there are in the United States Senate, particularly on the Democrat side? Do you know how many? It's an astounding number.
WA Post

Monday, June 16, 2008

Can a disk crash be a positive experience?

Can a disk crash be a positive experience? One day in early June the hard disk on my Black MacBook crashed. It returns from repair tomorrow after less than a week and only two days out of my possession. My lost time in the 5 days so far is not more than one hour. I didn't even realize it crashed for 10 minutes of computer use. Before I upgraded to OSX 10.5 Leopard people recommended to buy an external drive and install a working 10.4 system and move the entire disk content to it using Carbon Copy or its successor. I bought a tiny La Cie 160 GB firewire disk; firewire only because my Mac's firewire plug sits idle while the 2 USBs are overloaded. Doing this gave me a disk that will start my Mac and other and has all my files, system, and the system preference I chose as of April 17, 2008. So when poor Mac froze on my birthday June 9 and I powered down to restart it restarted to 10.4 and 4/17/08 files without asking. I saw one clue so subtle it went past me. Not having noticed, I went about my routine. Then when Google Earth was the active application I hit propeller H to hide it, but nothing happened. Tried again. Looked at the upper-right corner of the screen to change Spaces work space, whatever it's called. But the number on black background was missing. What? Could it be? I am looking at the screen of a Mac running 10.4, not 10.5! How could that be? Uh.... The internal hard disk symbol is missing in the desktop. * * It's running on the La Cie drive! I decided on a few temporary work rules - I created a folder named today's date; only store files there. - Don't synch iPod, because it has current information and that would move it back 2 months. - Create a file to contain names of folders and files changed or to check to see if they have. Total time lost so far - around 20 minutes. The additional time was just "Remember, I can't save this in the regular space" 10 times a day for 5 days. A Routine repair. I made one trip to the Apple store with an appointment, so no time waster. I got to keep Mac until the part arrived. It will be in the shop for two days if I get it back today. And during those two days I attached La Cie to our daughter's white Macbook and didn't lose a step. Couldn't I restore my files backed up by Time Machine? If the interruption were longer, or stopped my work, or Mac was toast I could have restored from my latest Time Machine back up and continued with 6/9/08 data. I didn't investigate how, since I didn't need to. I am sure it would have required doing the restoration on another disk. I call this a positive experience because learning how safe I am has more value than the 59 minutes I lost. Update:
My recovery time was about the same plus an hour because I didn't search hard enough for the required menu selection, which took about an hours.
The only error I found resulting from the recovery - knock on wood - was transitional. Mail on first starting said it was doing an automatic import... 4,000, 9,000, 14,000, CRASH. After this happened 3 times I did a work around. I restarted to 10.4 for mail; to 10.5 for everything else. I set up some temporary files to help me remember what was needed from the other OS. And I had distinctive background colors to help me remember where I was. Then after 3 or 4 days, when I set about to research the problem and chase down the solution, I tried Mail in 10.5 and it worked. End of recovery.

Father's Day - Harvey Roys, MD

OK. A little late. I did a triple June 15 - 3 social events with only one hour of rest. That was too much for me in my current weak condition. Back to singles and doubles. My father-in-law was a leader in medicine and the church in the Seattle area for 50 years. He improved many lives in both areas. Harvey Roys, Jr., MD turned 90 on May 25. The only degree he was ever awarded was MD. He was in college in the late 1930s preparing for medical school when the U of Oklahoma took bright young men like him into medical school after 3 years of college. He got the MD in 1943, did one year internship, then into the Army. Dr. Roys's unit traveled by train to Seattle and embarked on a troop ship. "Where are we going?" "Can't tell you." A week or so later they woke to see Diamond Head! A short stop on their way to The Battle of Okinawa. He worked in a field hospital. But don't think his job was easy. Seeing ugly, painful tropical skin diseases, he chose to specialize in dermatology. He traveled to New York City with his new bride Ruth Jacobson of Seattle for training. He quickly was board certified and became a "go to" guy: When you don't know what you are seeing or need a second opinion go see Harvey Roys. Adjunct Prof at the University of Washington Medical School. Private practice from about 1950 to 1987, then he worked with family practitioners, teaching them about skin diseases. Retired around 1995, but he will always care for people and try to improve their lives, i.e., be a medical doctor. Active in the Southern Baptist Church, he was soon in demand for "pulpit supply," which is filling in for sick or vacationing pastors. He started 3 or 4 churches in the Seattle area - Lake Washington Baptist in Lake City, Seattle, Bothell First Baptist and one in Juanita/Kirkland. He was the senior pastor at Brooklyn Avenue Baptist Church in the University District of Seattle in the 1960s; I attended once or twice as a college student. He continued preaching until about age 75. I am preparing an entry about how his most positive qualities made him a preacher and vice versa.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Honor to Tim Russert

I have great respect for Tim Russert. His politics were 179 degrees from mine, but he earned my respect by being straight, truthful and being tough with my political opponents, indeed, in every guest. He asked tough questions to every guest, no matter their political orientation. And he didn't do "Barbara Walters interviews," where the interviewer asks the most appropriate tough question. The guest replies with his/her standard answer number 42, which is "Every thing is Bush's fault;" the interviewer says Thank you and then reads the next question on the sheet. No, Tim followed up when they dodged the question and again and again. Always respectful, but never giving up. He was the best DC newsman, only Brit Hume and Fred Barnes of Fox News are in the ballpark plus the late Michael Kelly who died in the Iraq War - a journalist in the line of fire. Our prayers are with his family.

Flag Day

Today we celebrate our glorious flag. Have you placed your Jeep in a flag formation today?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Biofuels - promise collides with reality

Biofuels - Another False Start in State's Climate Strategy The US is racing to dramatically increase the use of ethanol and other biofuels in order to reduce the production of greenhouse gases. The United States government and most, if not all, states are increasing requirements and incentives to increase the use of ethanol, biodiesel and other bio fuels. What is the record? Are greenhouse gases being reduced? Is the use of imported oil being reduced? What is the impact of diverting corn from food and animal feed to generating ethanol? Todd Myer of The Washington Policy Institute has an op-ed in the Tacoma News-Tribune
After only a couple of years, the U.S. strategy on biofuels and climate change has a clear record: dramatically higher food prices and an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Government programs have encouraged farmers to use marginal land to produce fuel crops, increasing carbon dioxide emissions in the process, in an effort to receive subsidies or the high prices such crops now fetch due to government mandates. Now, this state is poised to follow those damaging policy footsteps. Washington legislators of both parties saw biofuel mandates and subsidies as a way to send taxpayer dollars to farming communities and to prove to environmental activists that they were serious about climate change.
Now that the damage caused by those policies is obvious, Washington politicians should re-examine their policies and follow a strategy that harnesses the promise of biofuels without creating the truly damaging unintended consequences we are seeing. In 2006, the Legislature passed a series of laws designed to promote biofuel production. This year, two percent of all diesel and gasoline sold in the state must contain biofuels. Those numbers can rise to five percent for diesel and 10 percent for gasoline if the governor determines Washington has the capacity to produce part of that amount.
The negative side effects of requiring ethanol are appearing already. What is the rush? We can study the proposals to anticipate the side effects. And to estimate the value versus the cost of these changes. What do you think? Leave a comment.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

US Oil is off limits by act of Congress

The sheiks in oil country thank the Democrats. Click to enlarge. This map show areas of US off-shore territory where oil exploration and production is allowed by Congress in green, where it is prohibited by Congress in red. Yellow is non-US territory. Land areas are not color coded. Mark J. Perry at Carpe Diem has more. Why is so much of US oil country off limits? Please leave a comment.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Thank Senator Cantwell for the high price of gasoline

Editor, Seattle Times 6/9/08 Thank Senator Cantwell for the high price of gasoline. The Democrats promised lower energy prices if they were elected in 2006. They were given control and the price of gasoline has doubled since then. Honorable Senator Cantwell is responsible because she voted for every bill that outlawed or limited US oil production or otherwise caused energy prices to rise and against every bill that would. There is oil in the US that she is preventing the use of - off Alaska and the US East Coast and several on-shore locations. She voted yes on disallowing an oil leasing program in Alaska's ANWR. (Nov 2005) She voted yes to designate sensitive ANWR area as protected wilderness. (Nov 2007) Senator Cantwell has supported every tax and restriction that increases the cost to the consumer: - Biofuels - requiring more biofuels allows less flexibility, which raises prices. - The 2007 energy bill included price controls. Price controls have a perfect record - 100% - for increasing prices. Yes, price controls - despite good intentions cause higher prices. - Energy Independence means restricting the sources of energy. Restricting sources causes higher prices. She is proud of her own Clean EDGE Act of 2006, which "leads the way to energy independence." - Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008. Raises taxes on 5 US oil companies, but exempts Venezuela President-for-life Hugo Chavez's Citgo. True. Michelle Malkin. Update.
Question for Senator Cantwell: How does blocking oil exploration, drilling and production in and off-shore of all 50 states reduce our dependence on foreign oil? Question for Senator Cantwell: Companies pass on tax increases to their customers. How will doubling the taxes on domestic oil cause lower prices to us consumers? Will Senator Cantwell change and take action to lower, rather than raise, gasoline prices? Truly, Ron Hebron Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

Monday, June 09, 2008

Get off the road

I am trying to get somewhere. Get out of my way. Gas is over $4 per gallon and you have been crying in pain over it. You can't afford to drive. I can, so get out of my way. Why is does the traffic increase at the same rate that the complaining about gas prices increases? Sit at home with a walker looking out the window for 8 weeks with me and watch traffic. Saves energy.

Ruthie the Riveter

Mom is Ruthie the Riveter - truly. Born in Seattle, my mother-in-law attended Roosevelt High School. She was 14 when the Pearl Harbor attack was conducted. When she turned 16 the Sandpoint Naval Air Station, 5 miles away, (now Magnuson Park) hired her. They trained her to buck rivets, then she worked weekends during school and full-time during school breaks. She graduated from high school the week I was born in June, 1945. In August, 1945, Japan surrendered, everyone celebrated, went home and never went back. If you think you know Ruth, please leave a comment.
Off the wall: After Ruth married Harvey they moved to New York City for his specialty training. She got a job on the office of a clothing firm. On occaision a customer wanted to look at a sweater outside the normal showings by models, so Ruth would put it on for show. Ruthie the Sweater Girl.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

We took Mom's car away this week

We took Mom's car away this week. One of the hardest decisions is when and how to get elderly parents off the road. You can leave it to law enforcement in this state. But if mom asks who turned her in they will tell her!! Might as well do it myself, most conclude.
My mother-in-law has had only one accident in my memory and no injuries. But the close calls were multiplying and - worse - she didn't realize when she had one. Her Cadillac de Ville was weekly gaining scratches from the posts in the parking garage where she lives. The accident was hitting a stopped taxi with its door open and gave the Cadillac a yellow scratch the entire length of the car. She didn't stop because her husband was in the hospital; she couldn't! HIt and run. Isn't that a crime? We tactically discussed if a neighbor would be willing to be the squealer. No, she moved over a year ago. They have no recent incidents to back up their claim. So we worked directly with her. We talked about what she knew - what had happened - and how we felt - afraid. I have been learning that the emotional approach works with the elderly. As their senses get weaker their world gets smaller, but the people in it get more important. And reasoning no longer connects in their brain. An emotional appeal - like "there are kids in your neighborhood; you would feel terrible if you hurt one" or "we are afraid" - becomes stronger. As we were getting close the mountain fell. She was diagnosed with one of the severe permanent cognitive damages. When the doctor told her and my wife the news my wife asked if she should stop driving. To her astonishment he took Mom's side. Then he turned quickly; he couldn't believe my wife was going to let her mother drive away 20 minutes later. He told her that she had to stop driving and when she started the new medication she must stop the same day. But she might conveniently forget and go driving away! We have to take the car away. We went through options of who would get the car and with it the duty to give her rides every week. The only brother in the area declined, so we were designated. And when we gave her a ride she will be confused and ask to go to our home to drop us off, so she could drive home. So we decided to replace the Cadillac immediately. We took it to the dealer she bought it from. Since we were driving another car we also wanted to trade - 2 for 1 - we told them in complete detail about the damage to the car. They already knew!! Every time she took it there for service they noted the damage; last time the week before! This is very, very hard for her. She loves to drive; she loves to go wherever she wants. Who doesn't? And with my broken pelvis keeping me out of the driver's seat for 2 months, she sincerely knew she was helping us by driving. She is one of the most positive people I ever have known: she never has a negative word to say except about her daughter's and granddaughters' weight!! Monday, June 2, 2008, the "new" 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix came to our house and Tuesday the Cadillac went to Doug's Northwest Cadillac Hummer. She was willing to help us by driving it there. So we have a car that better suits our needs: better, though not high, gas mileage; more maneuverable; sun roof, as important as wheels. And she will be just as comfortable in it as in her de Ville. We tell her every day, "Mom, there is nothing wrong with your car. This car suits our needs better." And we ask "do you need a ride today?" Please leave a comment with your experiences.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Disk in outer space

This morning my Mac was frozen. After doing a hard restart it started in OSX 10.4. Thank God that before upgrading to Leopard OSX 10.5 I bought a LaCie Firewire disk and loaded it with OSX 10.4 and my entire disk backup. So I am running, but with data from April 19, 2008
Very limited posting until my disk returns.
Upcoming features:
We took Mom's car away this week
My sister's mural at Summit K-12 school

Friday, June 06, 2008

A tax I can support - Fat-gas tax

"The Economic Impact of Obesity on Automobile Fuel Consumption" This is James Glassman's idea, though I can't find the original source without paying at High Beam.
...the Fat-Gas Tax is a variable rate gasoline tax determined by Body Mass Index on an individual basis. You pay for your gasoline purchase by debit or credit card and the tax is added automatically. Imagine a simple, single tax that can help avert global warming, de-fund Arab terrorists, save scarce natural resources, reduce pollution AND remedy the government's approaching funding crisis for Medicare (by heading off the coming diabetes epidemic, etc.) ... save private individuals billions of dollars of medical costs from avoided heart attacks and strokes and blood pressure medication prescriptions ... make the general population lean and good looking ... and improve your sex life too! That's the Fat-Gas Tax.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Tony Rezko found guilty - Barack Hussein Obama's chief politcal fixer

Did you hear of Obama's tight ties on the network news? EGO ADSUM
Barack Obama released a statement last night saying he was "saddened" that Tony Rezko, his old friend and top fundraiser, had been convicted on 16 out of 24 counts of fraud and political corruption by a Chicago jury. Previously, Mr. Obama felt compelled to donate over $150,000 in Rezko-linked campaign contributions to charity. But that probably won't be enough to erase Tony Rezko from the 2008 fall campaign as an issue. Mr. Rezko offered Mr. Obama a job back in 1990 just as he was leaving Harvard Law School. Mr. Obama didn't take it, but nonetheless became close to the Syrian-born political fixer. In 2005, Mr. Rezko was helpful in Mr. Obama's purchase of a large Hyde Park house by having his wife, Rita, buy the adjoining garden on the same day Mr. Obama closed his transaction. Mr. Obama has since said the move was a "bone-headed" mistake, especially since newspapers were already full of reports that Mr. Rezko was being investigated on charges he had corruptly influenced appointments made by Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Mr. Obama has yet to answer a lot of questions about his relationship with Mr. Rezko or his business partner, Iraqi-British billionaire Nadhmi Auchi. He claims the Rezko case simply highlights the need for more campaign finance reform laws. Yesterday, he issued a statement adding that the man convicted in a Chicago courtroom "isn't the Tony Rezko I knew." Hmmm... But Mr. Obama knew him as a close friend and ally for over 20 years as Mr. Rezko rose to become Illinois' top political fixer. Exactly which Tony Rezko did Mr. Obama know?

China is drilling for oil off Florida

China is drilling closer to Florida than the US is. Why? They need oil. We need oil. Why don't we use what we have? "So we can be energy independent." Better explain that to me. The same people who stop oil drilling in the US say they are trying to attain energy independence. Why does the US Senate outlaw using the oil we have? George Will:
Drilling is underway 60 miles off Florida. The drilling is being done by China, in cooperation with Cuba, which is drilling closer to South Florida than U.S. companies are.
And the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge:
ANWR is larger than the combined areas of five states (Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware), and drilling along its coastal plain would be confined to a space one-sixth the size of Washington's Dulles airport. Offshore? Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed or damaged hundreds of drilling rigs without causing a large spill. There has not been a significant spill from an offshore U.S. well since 1969. Of the more than 7 billion barrels of oil pumped offshore in the past 25 years, 0.001 percent — that is one-thousandth of 1 percent — has been spilled. Louisiana has more than 3,200 rigs offshore — and a thriving commercial fishing industry.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Voters approve zoning ordinance for Hyperion oil refinery

The voters approve a new oil refinery in South Dakota; the first new refinery in the US in 32 years. Sioux City Journal
Flashing a smile, Joyce Bortscheller briefly hugged Hyperion Energy Center executive Preston Phillips as she greeted him in the backyard of her home here. Bortscheller, president of the Elk Point City Council, had invited about 250 supporters to an outdoor barbecue Tuesday to await the returns for arguably the most important election in Union County's history. The big crowd didn't leave disappointed. As midnight approached, they popped the champagne corks, celebrating a hard-fought victory that keeps alive the county's chances of landing the nation's first all-new oil refinery in 32 years. By a solid 58 percent to 42 percent margin, county voters approved Hyperion's request to rezone 3,292 acres of farm land for a new classification, Energy Center Planned Development.
Why would they approve such an industrial site?
Supporters cited the once-in-a-lifetime economic opportunities the $10 billion project would bring. An average of 4,500 construction jobs would be required over four years. With the refinery up and running, Hyperion pledges to create 1,826 full-time jobs at hourly wages of between $20 and $30. "I think it would be a great opportunity for young people to stay in this area instead of leaving for other states," Kelly Hoekstra, 31, of Dakota Dunes said after casting a vote in favor of the rezoning.
We will all benefit from additional capacity, but the locals will benefit the most.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Oil in Montana/North Dakota

Let's use the oil we have. A new formation discovered in Montana, North Dakota, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Canada, might exceed the largest field in Saudi Arabia. Should Congress outlaw using the oil? Just kidding, but the way they think they would outlaw it in order to lower the price of gasoline. Bloomberg
...the Bakken formation, a sprawling deposit of high-quality crude beneath the durum wheat fields of North Dakota, Montana and southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The Bakken may give the U.S. -- the world's biggest importer of oil -- a new domestic energy source at a time when demand from China and India is ratcheting up the global competition for supplies and propelling average U.S. gasoline prices to almost $4 a gallon. And unlike the tar from Canada's oil sands, Bakken crude needs little refining. Swirl some of it in a Mason jar and it leaves a thin, honey-colored film along the sides. It's light - -almost like gasoline -- and sweet, meaning it's low in sulfur. Best of all, the Bakken could be huge. The U.S. Geological Survey's Leigh Price, a Denver geochemist who died of a heart attack in 2000, estimated that the Bakken might hold a whopping 413 billion barrels. If so, it would dwarf Saudi Arabia's Ghawar, the world's biggest field, which has produced about 55 billion barrels.
The challenge is getting the oil out. Bakken crude is locked 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) underground in a layer of dolomite, a dense mineral that doesn't surrender oil the way more-porous limestone does. The dolomite band is narrow, too, averaging just 22 feet (7 meters) in North Dakota. The USGS said in April that the Bakken holds as much as 4.3 billion barrels that can be recovered using today's engineering techniques. That's a fraction of the oil that Price said should be there, but it's still the largest accumulation of crude in the 48 contiguous U.S. states. North Dakota, where Bakken exploration is most intense now, won't become Saudi Arabia unless technology improves.
The US will rise to the challenge and change "unless" to "until" by finding a way to make the process cheaper and faster.

Converts to Christianity in Iran; crack down

Christians in Iran? Yes, Christianity has been in the area of Persia for 2,000 years. But Islam has been systematically repressing and eliminating it. But now, due to distrust of the Islamic government, more people are taking huge risks to follow Jesus. World Tribune
Christian activists said Iranian police have launched a crackdown on Muslims believed to have converted to Christianity over the last year."We've got confirmed reports of groups of Muslim convert believers doubling in size in the last six months," Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA, said. Paul Marshall, a senior fellow at the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, agreed. Marshall said Iran has been experiencing a youth backlash against Islam, Middle East Newsline reported. "There are indications that with the deep unpopularity of the regime that people are turning away from Islam," Marshall said in an interview with the U.S. television network Fox. The activists said the crackdown was launched in May in the southern city of Shiraz. On May 11, Moeller said, at least eight people were arrested in Shiraz on charges of abandoning the Islamic faith. Such a crime was punishable by up to life in prison. One suspected organizer of Christian activity in Shiraz was identified as Mojtaba Hussein. The 21-year-old Hussein, believed to have organized house churches, remained in prison after his colleagues were released. "He [Hussein] may not be willing to give up the names of other Muslim converts," Moeller said. "He may not be willing to recant his faith himself." Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has proposed a law that would impose capital punishment on any Muslim who leaves his faith. Christian activists said many young Muslims, dismayed by the abuses of the Islamic regime, have been interested in Christianity and other religions.

The Singing Revolution

After being battered by invasions of Germany and the Soviet Union and 40 years as a "state" in the Soviet Union, Estonia turned against its masters. By singing. Singing? In 1985 General Secretary of the Soviet Union Gorbachov, needing to stimulate the Soviet economy, introduced his Glastnost and Perestroika progrem. This was the slightest reduction in the repression of the Soviet police state. May 14, 1988 at a music festival in Estonia during the performance of five patriotic songs, the people joined hands and started a tradition - of singing. The next month in Tallinn, then other locations. In September, 1988 300,000 people - a quarter of the population - joined to together to sing. And they began to speak of restoring independence. This "singing revolution" lasted 4 years. In 1991 Soviet tanks came intending to stop the Estonian progress toward independence. The Congress of Estonia proclaimed the restoration of the independent state of Estonia. People acted as human shields to protect the radio and television stations from the tanks. By these actions Estonia regained its independence without bloodshed. See The Singing Revolution Latvia and Lithuania At the same time the neighboring states Latvia and Lithuania also resisted by singing and regained their independence. See this history A movie telling these stories is currently in limited release in the US and Canada. For more information and screening locations/dates see:

The Singing Revolution


Sunday, June 01, 2008


Thank you

to both of my regular readers for your kind greetings following my accident. (Heidi is one of our daughters and Steve Beren a local political hero you will soon hear of.) Jim Miller of makes three. Thanks to everyone who visited, prayed, called and/or sent flowers. Thanks to our beach neighbors for mowing. In 25 years of bike riding I never imagined one fall could take so long to recover from. The standard expectation for this type of pelvis fracture, as I understand it, is 6 to 8 weeks until you can begin therapy and another 4 to 6 weeks until full weight bearing on the injured leg. In other words, that's 6 to 8 weeks of bed, walker and crutches. Never putting weight on the foot to exceed the leg's own weight and not going far, for sure. Then 4 to 6 weeks of torture. During that ordeal our grandchildren, daughter and son-in-law arrive for a week here and a week at Whistler, BC!!

I feel better

and stronger every day. I thank God that this happened. I will end my recovery a better person than I was on May 12. Special thanks ☞ to Dr. Laohaprasit (pastor) and our friends at New Hope International Church in Mercer Island, Washington, for love, prayers, visits, flowers, and other support. ☞ To my friends and coworkers at Boeing, especially retiree and now Microsoft director Keith Butler and Linda Carrig. She was informing me about the short-term leave on the very first day and helped us navigate the (won't say it in print) of Aetna; Boeing was no problem at all. ☞ To the staff of the Emergency Room/Trauma Center and ☞ the nurses, therapists and support people of wing 7 West of Harborview Hospital in Seattle. Ron Hebron, Seattle, WA, June 1, 2008