October 31, 2008

Making a list, Checking it Twice

From ABC, the length of the list of things Senator Obama has promised to deliver if he's put into the White House is astounding.

Just today in Sarasota, Fla., the Democratic presidential nominee said that he'd:

  • "give a tax break to 95 percent of Americans who work every day and get taxes taken out of their paycheck every week";
  • "eliminate income taxes on Social Security for seniors making under $50,000";
  • "give homeowners and working parents additional tax breaks";
  • not increase taxes on anyone if they "make under $250,000; you will not see your taxes increase by a single dime –- not your income taxes, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains tax";
  • "end those breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas";
  • "give tax breaks to companies that invest right here in the United States";
  • "eliminate capital gains taxes for small businesses and start-up companies that are the engine of job creation in this country";
  • "create two million new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling roads, and bridges, and schools -- by laying broadband lines to reach every corner of the country";
  • "invest $15 billion a year in renewable sources of energy to create five million new energy jobs over the next decade";
  • "reopen old factories, old plants, to build solar panels, and wind turbines";
  • build "a new electricity grid";
  • "build the fuel efficient cars of tomorrow";
  • "eliminate the oil we import from the Middle East in 10 years";
  • "lower premiums" for those who already have health insurance;
  • "if you don't have health insurance, you'll be able to get the same kind of health insurance that members of Congress give themselves";
  • "end discrimination by insurance companies to the sick and those who need care the most";
  • "invest in early childhood education";
  • "recruit an army of new teachers";
  • "pay our teachers higher salaries, give them more support. But ... also demand higher standards and more accountability";
  • "make a deal with every young person who's here and every young person in America: If you are willing to commit yourself to national service, whether it's serving in our military or in the Peace Corps, working in a veterans home or a homeless shelter, then we will guarantee that you can afford to go to college no ifs ands or buts";
  • "stop spending $10 billion a month in Iraq whole the Iraqis have a huge surplus";
  • "end this war in Iraq";
  • "finish the fight and snuff out al Qaeda and bin Laden";
  • "increase our ground troops and our investments in the finest fighting force in the world";
  • "invest in 21st century technologies so that our men and women have the best training and equipment when they deploy into combat and the care and benefits they have earned when they come home";
  • "No more homeless veterans"; and
  • "no more fighting for disability payments."
Why wait for Christmas?  Obama Claus is on the loose!

The Meaning of American Pie

October 28, 2008

Bluffton and Norwell in State Band Finals

Tigers and Knights are marching on


We shall see next week whether polling has been accurate.  If not, will anyone remember to ignore the polls next time?

October 24, 2008

Norwell finishes out against Concordia

Concordia 35, Norwell 14 -- Norwell finishes off at 2-8 on the season.

Why is the news so full of...

Why is the news so full of things that haven't happened? I mean, they all call it "news," but it isn't, is it. The papers and the networks write and write and talk and talk about polls showing what the news might be in another week. Senator Obama might win, he might be winning, there might be big news in another week. The papers and the networks write and write and talk and talk about the possible temperature in the future, about the possible rise in the ocean waters. The temperature is going down now and the oceans aren't pouring over their banks, but they might, there might be big news in another fifty years.

I even heard on the radio this afternoon that the Dow Jones average might have lost over a 1000 points today -- it only lost 321 points, yes, but this reporter said the Dow very well might have lost over 1000 had the selling continued at the early rate. What kind of crazy reporting is this? News about not only things that might happen in the future, but news about what actually didn't happen. And polling... endless polling until people stop talking or start lying to the pollsters.

Sometimes don't you just long for the days when it took awhile for the news to make itself known across the country? Polls couldn't be news then -- who would want to read about a poll taken weeks ago when the election is already over. Back then, the news was more about what had happened and a lot less about what was about to happen.

When all reports are about what's going to happen, people get upset when it doesn't play out the way it was played up. If Senator McCain wins the election (which he easily might, just by carrying the same states President Bush did in 2004), Democrats will demand answers -- and they won't demand them from the folks who predicted the news instead of reporting it; they'll demand them from the courts and from Congress because they are being assured, today, that the unowned future is theirs, as if the future were a public bridge being sold to a gullible tourist.

October 20, 2008

30 years of Warming goes Poof

An article discussing why the Earth is cooling against all hype that it is warming.  Some quotes:

  • the number of climate change skeptics is growing rapidly. Because a funny thing is happening to global temperatures -- they're going down, not up
  • worldwide manmade CO2 emission each year "equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere's CO2 concentration ... This results in a 0.00064% increase in the absorption of the sun's radiation. This is an insignificantly small number.
  • while manmade emissions may be having a slight impact, "variations in global temperatures since 1978 ... cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide."

And then, of course, there is the graph at the top, showing that we have cooled all the way back to 1978.

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights

An article on the Financial Crisis by author Orson Scott Card

Isn't there a story here?  Doesn't journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout?  Aren't you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefiting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?

I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal.  "Housing-gate," no doubt.  Or "Fannie-gate."

Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting sub-prime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.

October 19, 2008

Powell endorses Obama

Ex-General, Ex-Secretary-of-the-State Colin Powell endorsed Senator Barack Obama for President this morning... he seemed none to happy with the McCain camp going negative on Obama's past. 

This is a big endorsement.  My only disagreement with General Powell is that McCain has been hamstrung throughout the campaign by a national press corps that is willing to say and print anything and everything about McCain-Palin and anyone remotely connected to them, while ignoring similar coverage of Obama-Biden.  I mean, the NYT has gone to town, printing front page stories about false accusations of a McCain affair, stories about McCain's wife's past addictions and endless analysis into the Palin family and Alaskan politics.... but they have printed nothing similar about Obama's past illegal drug use, Chicago politics, or his past associations.  With the table slanted so far in one direction, McCain has often had to play the part of the press in this campaign, to his own detriment, at times.

October 18, 2008

Norwell 35, Columbia City 6

The Knights end the season with Victory, beating Columbia City 35-6 and going 2-7 on the season.

I guess that keeps our 1975 "one victory" season untied and unequaled.

October 17, 2008

Palin Rally Notes

I was not at the GOP Palin Rally at the Verizon Center in Indy today, but apparently she drew somewhere between 15 and 20 thousand people into the Center (I didn't think it could hold that many, but the official capacity goes up to 24,000). Here are some sites reporting on what it was like:

Update: Terre Haute says over 25,000 were at the rally




Call me Ahab

Saving Social Security

From Reason TV, via Instapundit

Norwell defeats Bluffton

There's nothing like a good "Norwell defeats Bluffton" title to make your Friday.  This time, it was girls volleyball in straight sets.

Notice that the news is from a Bluffton based Blog named "On the Beat in Bluffton" by Jerry Battiste.

October 10, 2008

100 Economists

100 Economists (included five Nobel Prize winning Economists) have released a statement saying that, ""Barack Obama's economic proposals are wrong for the American economy." The proposals "defy both economic reason and economic experience."

Read the linked statement for more of the details... we'll see if Senator Obama can come up with a hundred of his own.

ABC: Ballot Battle in Indiana

October 9, 2008

Just a reminder

Just a reminder that yes, the Dow is down... but think about it over time, not in the little snippets of graphs you'll see played on the news to make everyone more scared (and more likely to tune in).

Voter Registration Problems in Lake County

County rejects large number of invalid voter registrations

CROWN POINT | Lake County Republican Chairman John Curley wants a federal investigation into hundreds of voter registrations bearing fictitious signatures or the names of dead and underage people.

"Fraudulent applications are the workings of ACORN groups operating from Milwaukee and Chicago who are getting out the vote for Obama. I'm Republican, but I want everyone who should vote to vote. But I want a clean election," Curley said at a Wednesday news conference.

Lake County elections officials acknowledged they have found problems and had to reject a large portion of the 5,000 registration forms turned in recently by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, an activist group that conducted registration drives across the county this summer.

An ACORN spokesperson couldn't be reached Wednesday for comment. Telephones to ACORN offices in Gary, Indianapolis, Chicago and Milwaukee were reported to be disconnected.

ACORN is under fire in in most of the battleground states.  If you look at their registration effort, most of their focus has been in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida (they've registered about 865,000 names in those three states); they have registered only 23,000 people in Indiana.  Personally, I'm not quite sure how much of a danger the fraudulent registrations are -- I mean, even if you register fake names/addresses, you have to keep track of those fake names and addresses and find people to pretend to be those fake names and have those fake addresses.

I find it more likely that these ACORN workers are paid by the registration form, so they make up names and addresses -- and fake signatures (as is the case in Lake County where 5000 signatures seemed to be written by the same hand).  Their intent is to make money by turning in forms, not to come back on election day with fake voters to stuff the ballot box.  One thing this does do, though, is push the number of registered Democrats (ACORN seems to focus on heavily Democratic areas for their voter turnout efforts) way up and this figures into the polling companies -- which weight their polls based on registration numbers.

In short, (and we'll find out on November 2nd) the polls could be way off because of both fake registrations and Rush Limbaugh's "Operation Chaos" (where he prompted Republicans to register as Democrats to vote for Hillary in the Democrat Primary).  Thus, based on registration numbers, Gallup and the other polling agencies overpoll Democrats -- they poll 45 Democrats, 35 Republicans and 20 Independents out of every 100.  The more Democrats you poll, the further ahead the Democrats in the poll (and vice versa).

October 8, 2008

Starling Clouds

Flocks of Starlings in Denmark make formations in the air... click on the pic for a larger image.

Sports Roundup for 10-8-2008

The Banner rounds it up, including this

The Norwell Lady Knights battled back to force a fifth and final game Tuesday night against the East Noble Lady Knights but came up short losing 3-2 in Northeast Hoosier Conference volleyball at Norwell.  East Noble won 23-25, 25-11, 25-10, 23-25, 24-22.

Lauren Klansek led Norwell's hitters with 11 kills. Haley Chaney added eight, while Lindsey Dahn and Amanda McAfee each had seven. Andrea Vogel added five and Kelsey Kline three. Vogel also had five blocks and Chaney three.

Mallory Bushee had 32 set assists and Elizabeth Ault had 49 digs. Rachelle Rodenbeck had 18 digs, Cassie Rice 17, Bushee 16, McAfee 14 and Breanna Wilson 10. Ault and Kline each had one ace serve.

Also, the boys Tennis Team came up short in the Regionals, but had a great season.

Kudos to Wells County EMS

EMS Daily News has a nice article about the Wells County EMS crews

At the end of September, however, Wells County EMS was in the spotlight not only here but across the state. Indiana's Emergency Medical Services Commission honored Wells County EMS with the 2008 Paramedic Provider of the Year. The prestigious award recognizes Wells County EMS for its contributions to patients and employees.

With four stations around the county, 41 employees (including 21 paramedics) and five ambulances, these men and women responded to 3,016 emergencies last year, which averages out to more than eight runs each day.

But their work in the community extends far beyond responding to 911 calls. Wells County EMS officials created a program to put Automatic External Defibrillators in city and county police vehicles to give officers the tools they need to save a life in case they arrive to an emergency scene before paramedics. Police have saved lives because of the AED program Wells County EMS implemented here.

Its for all of these reasons and more that Wells County EMS personnel have earned and deserve a big pat on the back from us. We commend them for a job well done and thank them for always looking ahead to make Wells County a safer place to live.

Read the whole thing, it includes the amazing 2006 crash into the beehive-tree on 1050N just north of Ossian.

2nd Debate Scorecard

October 6, 2008

50 Great Art-House Videos

The 50 Greatest Art Videos on YouTube, including the Beatles rooftop performance, Streisand's first appearance on TV, The Who and Jimi Hendrix smashing their instruments, and many more.

China Doll

Just because I like it...

Norwell Band Advances

Bluffton, Norwell advance to marching band sectional at Lafayette Jefferson High School Oct. 18

The Norwell “Marching Knights” began their campaign for a 10th successive ticket to the State Finals by winning a gold rating. The Knights took the caption awards for Best Music, Best Visual and Best General Effect.

Over the past nine years, the “Marching Knights” have won three State Championships from their nine appearances in the finals. In order to repeat that success this year, they still must progress through the Regional Champs at Lafayette, the Semi-State Champs at Pike High School on Oct. 25, and the State Finals on Nov. 1.

This Saturday, the “Marching Knights” travel to Carmel High School for the Carmel Invitational.

Quite a Speech...

Wishful thinking on Meet the Press

No, there's no bias on NBC...

October 5, 2008

Congratulations Knights

For winning their first, ever, Tennis Sectional

NORWELL 4, HUNTINGTON NORTH 1 : The host Knights dominated the Vikings to win the school's first boys tennis sectional title.

Jason Isch won a three-setter at No. 1 singles, beating David Ballard 3-6, 6-2, 6-2.

CBS Joins the AP, says all criticism is Racist

CBS has joined the Associated Press. They are in agreement that any criticism of Barack Obama is racism. Just what was the racist remark Sarah Palin made against Barack Obama? Well, here it is:

"Our opponent ... is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he's palling around with terrorists who would target their own country," Palin told a group of donors in Englewood, Colo. A deliberate attempt to smear Obama, McCain's ticket-mate echoed the line at three separate events Saturday.

"This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America," she said. "We see America as a force of good in this world. We see an America of exceptionalism."

Can you believe the racist content of her remarks! Palin is talking about William Ayers, who bombed Federal buildings in the 60's to protest the Vietnam war. Ayers worked with Obama on several educational initiatives in Chicago and Ayers hosted Obama's coming out party when he first started out in politics.

Because McCain/Palin points out that Obama is closer to Ayers (who is a white man) than Obama's past remarks claim, because McCain/Palin point out that Obama is friendly with a domestic terrorist who said he "didn't do enough" back then when he bombed the Pentagon and the Capital, well, it's clear isn't it, that McCain/Palin are racists.

What's clear is not that McCain will regret this Ayers/Obama tack (as CBS claims in the link at the top), but that CBS and AP will regret their racists harping -- should Obama become President, I suspect all news organizations will end up having "RACIST" tacked to their forhead whenever they criticize an Obama Administration.

Palin endorsed by L.A. President of N.O.W.

October 3, 2008

What Just Happened?

The End of an Era

The End of an Era -- a nice article about where we find ourselves.

Well, what's done is done... Bailout Bill passes

263-171 -- the sweetened bailout bill has now passed the House and the Senate... on to the White House now for the President's signature.

I'm just a bill.
Yes, I'm only a bill.
And I'm sitting here on Capitol Hill.
Well, it's a long, long journey
To the capital city.
It's a long, long wait
While I'm sitting in committee,
But I know I'll be a law some day
At least I hope and pray that I will
But today I am still just a bill.

Parker's 1st Season

Jarrod Parker building on a solid foundation

The Arizona Diamondbacks' first pick (ninth overall) in the 2007 Draft and a late sign that summer, Parker just completed his first pro season at Class A South Bend, just a two-hour drive from his hometown of Ossian, a suburb of Fort Wayne with a population of roughly 3,000.

The debut was, by anyone's estimation, a hugely successful one.

In 24 starts, Parker went 12-5 with a 3.44 ERA, tying for third in the system in both wins and ERA, striking out 117 over 117 2/3 innings while showing impeccable control with only 33 walks.

A nice article... read the whole thing.

Norwell Homecoming Tonight

Events slated at Norwell homecoming

Fans and alumni coming to Norwell's homecoming football game Friday night [against Dekalb] are invited to take advantage of several events taking place during the evening. Game time is 7 p.m. The events are as follows:

• Girls basketball pork chop dinner 4-6:30 p.m. in the high school cafeteria;
• Tailgate party from 5-6:30 p.m.;
• Class floats on display outside the stadium from 6-7 p.m. (instead of at halftime);
• Norwell dance team performance before the game;
• Norwell Marching Knights halftime show;
• Parade of the classes at halftime;
• Coronation of king and queen at halftime.

VP Debate Scorecard

Katie's Restaurant

BIDEN: Can I respond? Look, all you have to do is go down Union Street with me in Wilmington or go to Katie's Restaurant or walk into Home Depot with me where I spend a lot of time and you ask anybody in there whether or not the economic and foreign policy of this administration has made them better off in the last eight years.

Oops... Katie's restaurant wasn't on Union Street and hasn't been "Katie's" for about 20 years.

Say it ain't so, Joe, there you go again pointing backwards again."

ps:  picture of Senator Biden at the Home Depot was from "The Keebler" on Flickr.

Joe won that debate

I like Rich Hailey's take on the VP debate last night (read the whole thing, but here's a bit): 

Joe won his debate, totally eviscerating President Bush. Unfortunately, Bush wasn't actually at the debate, so it was kind of an empty victory, but Joe takes 'em where he can get 'em.

Joe was also very adamant that he and Obama will end the war in Iraq. If only I could be sure that they were just as adamant about winning it.

The O'Biden plan for ending the war appears to be to cut off funding and move the troops to Afghanistan. And Darfur. And Pakistan. Ending a war by starting two more...it's almost as if Obama was a neocon or something.

Gov. Palin flabbergasted Joe when she corrected his mistakes on Afghanistan policy, when he claimed that the commander of the forces on the ground there said the Iraqi surge strategy wouldn't work. It turns out she knew more about what the general said than Joe did, and he was reduced to repeating irrelevant numbers.

By the way, if you watched you saw Senator Biden repeated saying we spend more in three weeks in Iraq than we have in seven years in Afghanistan.  According to the Congressional Research Service, spending on the war in Afghanistan since 2001 has been $172 Billion.  Spending in Iraq is, as the Democrats repeatedly mention, a little under $10 Billion a month.

CRS Report for Congress:

The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War
on Terror Operations Since 9/11

Covers FY2001 - FY2009
Afghanistan war $172 billion (8 yrs)
Iraq war $653 billion (6 years)

Let's just take average / year / week

AF: $21.5 billion / yr
IR: $109 billion / yr

3 weeks of IR $6.3 billion
7 years of AF $150.5 billion

Fewest Sunspots in a calendar year since 1954

From the NYT:  The Sun has been strangely unblemished this year. On more than 200 days so far this year, no sunspots were spotted. That makes the Sun blanker this year than in any year since 1954, when it was spotless for 241 days.

With 90 days left to go yet this year, the Times may have to revise that headline.

October 1, 2008

Dave Ramsey's Three Steps

I was listening to 100.1 FM, which is the old Bluffton Station, but seems to have switched to talk radio recently.  A guy named Dave Ramsey was on, talking about common sense things the government could do to fix this financial crisis... he made a lot of sense and I see this morning that a lot of folks have picked up the ideas and are promoting them.  Here they are (the ideas are inside the second step):

Three Steps to Change the Nation's Future