October 10, 2012

Malala Yousafzai

This. This, not some thirty year old woman at Georgetown University trying to change the Catholic faith. This fourteen-year-old girl in Pakistan shot by the Taliban. This girl who wrote about and fought atrocities. This girl for whom Pakistan created an award, the National Peace Award, and gave it to her last year. This girl who was nominated for the International Children's Peace Prize. This girl whose school bus was stopped by two men with pistols who came on board and asked which one of the girls was Malala Yousafzai and then shot her in the head. This is the front line of the "War on Women."

September 13, 2012

Yemen, Reuters Photo

Reuters:  Protesters break the windows of the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen September 13, 2012.

August 1, 2012

Lauren Mitchell Band at the Palladium July 20, 2012 - I'll Sing the Blue...

Video produced by Sevens member Mike Roberts down in Florida.

June 21, 2012

Gigapixel Camera

DARPA (The Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency), has developed a gigapixel camera. That means one shot of the camera can capture far more data than your eyes do.  Most of our current digital cameras are 10 to 12 megapixel cameras... even now, at 10-12 megapixels, I find I can just take a picture of an area and later zoom in and crop the picture to an area I'm interested in, rather than zooming and framing the picture... with a gigapixel camera each shot could contain hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands of fine smaller images.  You could take a picture of the crowd at Times Square and later zoom in on each person's face.

A revolution in media is needed now, to hold all the data.

June 20, 2012

1988 vs. 2012 Fort Wayne Temps

Date Temp 1988/2012
05-24-1988 82.9 / 89.1
05-25-1988 75.0 / 91.9
05-26-1988 77.0 / 93.0
05-27-1988 82.9 / 96.1
05-28-1988 87.1 / 96.1
05-29-1988 90.0 / 95.0
05-30-1988 91.0 / 87.1
05-31-1988 93.0 / 79.0
06-01-1988 93.9 / 57.0
06-02-1988 93.9 / 73.9
06-03-1988 72.0 / 81.0
06-04-1988 75.9 / 81.0
06-05-1988 86.0 / 81.0
06-06-1988 91.9 / 79.0
06-07-1988 93.0 / 84.0
06-08-1988 93.0 / 86.0
06-09-1988 69.1 / 89.1
06-10-1988 73.9 / 93.0
06-11-1988 82.9 / 93.0
06-12-1988 90.0 / 86.0
06-13-1988 95.0 / 81.0
06-14-1988 96.1 / 86.0
06-15-1988 97.0 / 91.0
06-16-1988 96.1 / 95.0
06-17-1988 84.9 / 88.0
06-18-1988 91.0 / 95.0
06-19-1988 93.9 / 95.0
06-20-1988 93.9 / 94.0
06-21-1988 100.9 / 94.0
06-22-1988 102.0 / 85.0
06-23-1988 99.0 / 88.0
06-24-1988 91.9 / 93.0
06-25-1988 106.0 / 81.0
06-26-1988 82.0 / 82.0
06-27-1988 84.0 / 91.0
06-28-1988 87.1 / 106.0
06-29-1988 88.0 / 94.0 91 mph derecho winds knocks power out
06-30-1988 82.9 / 90.0 (no power)
07-01-1988 82.9 / 94.0 (no power)
07-02-1988 84.9 / 93.0 (no power)
07-03-1988 91.0 / 99.0 (no power)
07-04-1988 97.0 / 100.9 (power restored)
07-05-1988 98.1 / 101.0
07-06-1988 99.0 / 101.0
07-07-1988 100.9 / 103.0
07-08-1988 102.0 / 90.0
07-09-1988 100.9 / 91.0
07-10-1988 100.0 / 90.0
07-11-1988 91.0 / 92.0
07-12-1988 88.0 / 93.9
07-13-1988 89.1 / 92.0
07-14-1988 93.9 / 90.0
07-15-1988 99.0 / 92.0
07-16-1988 100.0 / 98.0
07-17.1988 98.1 / 99.0
07-18-1988 88.0 / 95.0
07-19-1988 86.0 / 84.0
07-20-1988 87.1 / 81.0
07-21-1988 82.9 / 85.0
07-22-1988 84.0 / 91.0
07-23-1988 84.9 / 92.0
07-24-1988 86.0 / 83.0
07-25-1988 86.0 / 92.0
07-26-1988 82.9 / 85.0
07-27-1988 86.0 / 86.0
07-28-1988 93.0 / 84.0
07-29-1988 93.0 / 84.0
07-30-1988 91.0 / 88.0
07-31-1988 89.1 / 85.0
08-01-1988 95.0
08-02-1988 95.0
08-03-1988 93.9
08-04-1988 93.9
08-05-1988 91.0
08-06-1988 91.0
08-07-1988 90.0
08-08-1988 90.0
08-09-1988 90.0
08-10-1988 91.0
08-11-1988 89.1
08-12-1988 91.9
08-13-1988 91.9
08-14-1988 91.0
08-15-1988 91.9
08-16-1988 95.0
08-17-1988 98.1
08-18-1998 98.1
08-19-1988 75.9
08-20-1988 82.0
08-21-1988 82.9
08-22-1988 80.1
08-23-1988 79.0
08-24-1988 80.1
08-25-1988 82.0
08-26-1988 82.9
08-27-1988 77.0
08-28-1988 73.0
08-29-1988 73.0
08-30-1988 75.9
08-31-1988 78.1
09-01-1988 79.0
09-02-1988 82.0
09-03-1988 82.9

June 19, 2012

Vice Presidents

What, in the history of the vice presidency of the United States, would lead a successful senator or a governor to accept that position? I think it has become a dead-end position, a place where politicians at the end of their careers can go to be the back up in case of disaster.

June 11, 2012

Ben Smith on Norwell Sports

Ben Smith, in his article, Rich Farmland in Ossian yields athletic success, writes a very nice article on how well the boys and girls baseball, football and basketball teams programs have done and  the great athletes that come out of Norwell, including Miss Basketball Jessica Rupright, Colts quarterback Chandler Harnish, and Oakland A's picture Jarrod Parker.

June 5, 2012

We don't elect Restaurateurs

A culture that redefines food choices as moral issues will demonize the people who don't share the tastes of the priest class. A culture that elevates eating to some holistic act of ethical self-definition - localvore, low-carbon-impact food, fair trade, artisanal cheese - will find the casual carefree choices of the less-enlightened as an affront to their belief system

James Lileks on Michael Bloomberg's decision to try to limit the size of drinks in NYC.  Read the whole thing.

May 16, 2012

Hidden Carbon Tax

seven such states with RPS mandates saw their rates soar by an average of 54.2 percent between 2001 and 2010, 
more than twice the average increase experienced by seven other coal-dependent states without mandates

Robert Bryce's Manhattan Institute article "The High Cost of Renewable-Electricity Mandates" is a good read.  More than half the states have seen their cost of electricity increase (skyrocket, in fact) as they pass laws forcing their power companies to provide higher and higher percentages of power from renewable sources.  At the same time, many states are providing tax breaks to renewable energy companies and renewable energy efforts by normal companies, so the taxpayers have to 1) pay more for energy and 2) make up tax shortfalls from companies that avoid millions in taxes through renewable energy loopholes and subsidies.

In 2011, California passed a mandate that 33% of their energy would come from renewable sources by 2020... they did no cost benefit analysis.  As these mandates continue to be passed, even during this long recession, more and more of the poor are tapping state and federal programs to help them pay their power bills, so not only do power companies pass all these costs on to customers, get greater and greater profits from renewable energy subsidies, but the less than half of America who pay taxes, have to pay more.

Additionally, as the EPA forces older coal plants out of business, many of the Midwest states without mandates, like Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, etc, will be seeing their rates pushed up as the costs are passed along; not to mention that the end-users are also being forced to pay for smart meters being added to their homes to the tune of several dollars every month for years.

All in all it is just a state and national energy policy mess costing the taxpayers increasingly billions of dollars.

May 15, 2012

Freedom in Decline

"when the leader of the third-biggest party in one of the oldest democratic legislatures on earth has to live under constant threat of murder and be forced to live in "safe houses" for almost a decade, something is badly wrong in "the most tolerant country in Europe""

Read Mark Steyn on The Spirit of Geert Wilders... 

March 14, 2012

Last Chance Iran?

A report in the Haaretz (Israel) newspaper is out saying Secretary of State Clinton has asked her counterparts in Russia to warn Iran that military strikes are months away unless they negotiate away from their nuclear ambitions.  This isn't to say that the strikes would come from the United States... but if it comes to that, it will add yet more fuel to the volatile summer election campaigning.  

March 12, 2012

Guns and Contraceptives

Let's say you're a pacifist, and you belong to a pacifist religious organization. Maybe it's the Mennonite Central Committee, the Jewish Peace Fellowship, Pax Christi or any of numerous Quaker groups.
Let's say your organization needs a new staffer and you hire me because I'm a perfect fit for the job and an all-around wonderful human being.
Imagine that at some point during my tenure with your organization, a right-wing president and Congress so advance the cause of a citizen militia, as it existed in the Founders' day, that a law is passed mandating employers to provide employees with free guns if the employees wish to have them....
But this analogy is a near-perfect fit. Guns and contraceptives are consumer products that we all have the right to use, but the use of one or the other violates some faith-based organizations' doctrine.
There's one small difference between them, though. The right to bear arms is actually articulated in the U.S. Constitution, while the right to health care is not...

Ruth Ann Daily, Food and Weapons, they're my rights, too

March 7, 2012

The Right to Resist

For those who wonder about Indiana's Congress working on a law to allow people in their own homes to resist the police... the 68 year-old's Life Alert alarm went off. Paramedics and Police responded. When he told them he was fine and refused to open the door, the police broke it down and shot him dead.

March 1, 2012

Rest Andrew

Fiery the angels rose,
and as they rose deep thunder rolled
around their shores:
indignance, burning with the fires of Hell
and Bostons Angel cried aloud,

"Why trembles honesty
and like a murderer, seeks refuge?
Why do the generous tremble
and leave their joy to the idle,
to the pestilence that mocks them?"

So cried he, rending off his robe
and throwing down his scepter,
and all thirteen Angels
descended down on the land of America,
flame folded roaring fierce.

- William Blake


In the dead of night, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) administratively reclassified airport security screeners as Transportation Security Officers. The TSA then moved to administratively upgrade TSO's uniforms to resemble those of a federal law enforcement officer. They further completed the makeover with metal law enforcement badges. Not surprisingly, government bureaucrats at the TSA left out one crucial component during the artificial makeover – actual federal law enforcement training as is required of Federal Air Marshalls.

In order to help rein in the TSA I introduced H.R. 3608, the Stop TSA's Reach in Policy Act aka the STRIP Act. This bill will simply overturn the TSA's administrative decision by prohibiting any TSA employee who has not received federal law enforcement training from using the title "officer," wearing a police like uniform or a metal police badge. At its most basic level the STRIP Act is about truth in advertising.

Though their heart is in the right place with the STRIP act, if passed it will probably just end up costing more money by forcing TSA to recruit and train tens of thousands agents.  The whole thing should be removed from federal hands and replaced with a set of guidelines for State and Local authorities to handle. 

February 27, 2012

President Karzai answers President Obama

Live on national television yesterday in Afghanistan, Afghani President Karzai responded to President Obama's hand-delivered note of apology for U.S. soldiers burning some Korans that had been used by prisoners to pass information.  "We call on the US government to bring the perpetrators of the act to justice and put them on trial and punish them."

President Obama's letter to President Karzai has not been released, but in Karzai's televised response, he said, ""The US government says that such an act was carried out because of ignorance and lack of knowledge.  This incident happened as a result of the ignorance of the US military officer about our vision about Islam and not recognizing the Koran. It was not deliberate."

Sounds like the Commander in Chief really has the backs of our enlisted men, doesn't it.  

February 24, 2012

Where are we headed?

Pennsylvania Judge, after letting off an immigrant who attacked a man for insulting the Prophet Muhammad:

Before you start mocking someone else's religion you may want to find out a little bit more about it it makes you look like a dufus and Mr. (Defendant) is correct. In many Arabic speaking countries something like this is definitely against the law there. In their society in fact it can be punishable by death and it frequently is in their society. ... What you have done is you have completely trashed their essence, their being. They find it very very very offensive. I'm a Muslim, I find it offensive. But you have that right, but you're way outside your boundaries or first amendment rights. This is what, and I said I spent about 7 and a half years living in other countries. when we go to other countries it's not uncommon for people to refer to us as ugly Americans this is why we are referred to as ugly Americans, because we are so concerned about our own rights we don't care about other people's rights as long as we get our say but we don't care about the other people's say

The attack was caught on video (included here), which the judge also disallowed into evidence.

The Obvious Untruths in the President's Energy Speech

The Five Biggest Whoppers in President Obama's Energy Speech

February 22, 2012

January 31, 2012

The Washington Post: The President's Power Grab

Obama's decision [to force Catholic and other religious institutions to provide birth control and early abortion drugs or else drop insurance for their employees altogether] also reflects a certain view of liberalism. Classical liberalism was concerned with the freedom to hold and practice beliefs at odds with a public consensus. Modern liberalism uses the power of the state to impose liberal values on institutions it regards as backward. 

The President's Power Grab, by Michael Gerson

January 26, 2012

January 24, 2012

15 Questions

John Hawkins lists 15 Questions the Press would ask the President if he were a Republican, covering Fast and Furious, Solyndra, Union money, Health Cost 'miscalculations,' the Price of Gas vs Jobs vs the Keystone Pipeline decision, etc.

And regarding the questions being asked of Republicans in the recent debates, there was a great comment on Instapundit about that:

Reader John Williams writes regarding why the moderators are asking such pointless questions: "Because a serious moderator asking intelligent questions would make the candidates seem serious and intelligent. Add to that, it would connote that the presidential election is important and who we choose is a serious, if not vital, decision that must be carefully considered. As long as they can make the Republican debates look like a circus and the candidate chosen seem irrelevant, the better chance theircandidate has of squeaking out a second term."