Saturday, February 28, 2009

UN Conference on Racism

This helps me feel more confident that the new administration will support Israel.

I'm a big fan of support for Israel. We don't have many loyal allies. They are pretty reliable.

Ours vs. Theirs

Is the President is trading one set of lobbyists for another?

Big Renewables replaces Big Oil?
Big Labor replaces Big Business?

You see my point. I could be wrong.....but I'm not.

Iraq Drawdown

The Beer: I'll be brewing a Liberty Ale today. The Pale awaits transfer and "fining". In homebrewing, fining is the process of using (unflavored) gelatin to remove very fine particles, further clarifying the beer.

The Bicycle: Tomorrow begins March. The Madone is ready, as is the rider, for the first day above 40 degrees.

The VRWC: If Darth Pelosi and Lynn Woolsey and Dennis Kucinich don't like it, it is probably a good plan. Democrats remain invested in defeat. President Obama is smart enough to realize that if Iraq becomes a bloodbath like Southeast Asia after Vietnam, he will have a bigger problem. Further, I suspect he was advised that 50,000 troops would be a sufficient force to deter Iranian ambitions in the region.

Rush: 2112

A friend of mine sent me this yesterday:

I was listening to Rush's 2112 album in the car the other day. I've listened to the title track countless times before, but suddenly the lyrics just jumped out at me. Ironically, I think they might have been just as accurate had they titled it "2012" instead.

...'The massive grey walls of the Temples rise from the heart of every Federation city. Ihave always been awed by them, to think that every single facet of every life is regulatedand directed from within! Our books, our music, our work and play are all looked after bythe benevolent wisdom of the priests...'

We've taken care of everything
The words you hear,
the songs you sing
The pictures that give pleasure to your eyes
It's one for all and all for one
We work together, common sons
Never need to wonder how or why

We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls

Look around at this world we've made
Equality our stock in trade
Come and join the Brotherhood of Man
Oh, what a nice, contented world
Let the banners be unfurled
Hold the Red Star proudly high in hand

We are the Priests of the Temples of Syrinx
Our great computers fill the hallowed halls
We are the Priests, of the Temples of Syrinx
All the gifts of life are held within our walls

Just a song, right?


Tuesday, February 24, 2009


The Beer: The Pale Ale is being racked to the secondary.

The Bicycle: Cold and crappy. I'm dyin' here.

The VRWC: Was today's market bounce caused by Bernanke's comments? Or by Bargain Hunters?

Personally, I'm in agreement with many that we are far from the bottom.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ethanol's Demise?

The Beer: The Pale Ale is still in the fermenter. Very slow when it's cold. Ordered ingredients for Liberty Ale today.

The Bicycle: Deekawife v3.0's hybrid is clean and ready. 6-8" of snow and 20 degrees postpones its debut.

The VRWC: I don't necessarily see this as a bad thing.

Ethanol from corn is a bad idea as I've indicated any number of times here. Even those who advocate for corn based ethanol recognize it's little better than a wash for energy. The same article indicates it is worse for fuel consumption than gasoline. Here is another take. In addition, at what point did we decide it was a good idea to put our food supply in our gasoline tanks? Starve ourselves and the rest of the world to punish the evil Oil Companies? Let's cut off our noses at the same time.

I realize that corn-based ethanol is probably here to stay, wrong-headed though it may be. And Karma will get me if I take joy in the woes of another. But suffice it to say, if the economics don't work, let it die.

Of Course.....

I guess this is the end for Humans.

Except for this.

And this (oops).

And this.

Call me crazy, but I think I'm seeing a "full court press" on this. I think the acolytes of AGW realize a sea-change will come soon (maybe by 2010). If they can't get their agenda in place by then, they may not be able to at all. After all, there's been no net warming for 10 years and will possibly show a cooling this year. It is now necessary to scare the unthinking into forcing the agenda.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Battered American

More exceptional work from VDH.

H/T: neo-neocon.

More About Cowards

I had to link to this. I can sum up how I (and most white people I know) live in Graham's words:

I’ve got a lot of black friends who have accomplished great things in the arts and music world, in the business world, the legal profession, the medical profession…and not one of them has ever expected anything from me other than to be a good friend. I celebrate the achievements of all my friends with love and support and good cheer, and with absolutely no patronizing overt or subliminal addendum of how wonderful you did all this “and you’re a black man, too! Amazing!” I don’t compartmentalize my friends based on their skin color, ethnicity, religious affiliation, political leanings or sexual preference. We’re all just people, period.

I will not apologize for that or for some percieved racial sin of my ancestors.

Kinder, Gentler Gitmo?

Funny how a new administration changes things.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Stealthcare is Coming

That they are meeting in secret is appalling (but not surprising). But this part is rather disturbing:

“While there was some diversity of views,” it said, “the sense of the room is that an individual obligation to purchase insurance should be part of reform if that obligation is coupled with effective mechanisms to make coverage meaningful and affordable.”

Why should there be an individual obligation to purchase health insurance? You might argue that the uninsured are a burden on the system and you would be correct. But that's a problem because hospitals must take people. In addition, Medicare/Medicaid pay only a small fraction of the total cost for those not on private insurance. It's a problem of collectivism, not healthcare.

And what if I don't want insurance and am willing to pay out-of-pocket? Not only is it forbidden, “There seems to be a sense of the room that some form of tax penalty is an effective means to enforce such an obligation, though only on those for whom affordable coverage is available,” said the memorandum, prepared by David C. Bowen, a neurobiologist who is director of the health staff at the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Are you sure this is what you want? Seriously, is it worth being strong-armed? This is giving up fundamental liberty for security. We will deserve (and get) neither.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I Don't Think I Like That Tone of Voice

AG Eric Holder claimed we are a "nation of cowards" when it comes to discussing race. My gut reaction was to tell him what to kiss and when. But after carefully spending some time thinking about it, I realized it wasn't what he said, but how he said it.

Holder is correct that the subject of race needs discussion in this country, but it's not because we are cowards. For most of my lifetime, any honest discussion of race has been distilled down to "racists" or "victims of racism". Any dissent from this orthodoxy has been de facto banned.

Three examples:

  • During my stint in the Navy, more than once I was subjected to a race relations course. It was handled very poorly. Generally speaking, a Black enlisted man, usually a Chief Petty Officer, stood in front of the class and told us we were all bad because we were White. Or at least that's what I took from the class.

  • I also recall my college political science class. We had a guest lecturer - an African Studies professor - who told us there were only two choices in the discussion of inequality of outcome. Either you believed that it was because of racism or it was because Blacks were stupid. I was incredulous at this statement because I had worked with many people over the years (I went to college in my 30's) who were fine, upstanding, competent, successful and ....Black. But dissent from the professorial dogma brought the dreaded "racist" label.

  • I had a job in an office setting. One of the secretaries (that was back when it wasn't a demeaning job title) was Black. I wouldn't say we were friends, but we had a friendly, professional relationship. One day, I was called into my bosses office and told I had made racist statements to her. I asked what they were and was told to sit down and shut up. I asked if I could talk to my accuser. Nope. The entire office had to sit through sensitivity training. I never found out what it was I said or did.

The racial extremists and PC pimps have effectively shut down any real discussion of race. There can be no discussion of how the welfare system has destroyed Black America. There can be no discussion of why the Black family has been torn apart by poorly-thought-out programs. There can be no honest discussion of the culture of violence and failure in the Black community.

OK Mr.Holder, put your money where your mouth is and let's start talking.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Where's the Optimism?

How far have we fallen? I'd argue the success of the Left is in their ability to make us believe the worst. Everything has become a crisis. Whether AGW (Alleged Global Warming), the Alleged Peak Oil, or the recession (allegedly the worst economy since the Great Depression).

What has happened to the optimism that made America great? The people of this country always believed their best days were ahead. Now this? What is more disturbing than the article itself are the comments. Somehow it's virtuous for the United States to become a third-world nation? I got news. NO, IT'S NOT!

I'm told consumerism is bad. I'd argue that American consumerism is the great equalizer. Europe and Japan relied on American largess and consumerism to rebuild after WWII. Without American consumerism, places like Taiwan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, even China have nothing. Zip, zilch, nada. American dollars have fueled world economic growth for nearly a century. Without American wealth, there is no charity. There is no disaster assistance. The United Nations has no money (not necessarily a bad thing).

The current economy is, in many ways psychological. Herd mentality. A large part of the way out is our leaders telling us everything will be ok. It may take time, it may take work, but "all we have to fear, is fear itself". "America's best days are ahead".

Sunday, February 15, 2009

More Stimulating Obamanomics

The Beer: Pale Ale using Amarillo and Chinook hops. In the fermenter, in the bathtub, with the door shut. It's a little chilly for fermentation in the basement, but the second bath gets plenty warm. I figure 2 weeks to bottle. I have bottles for about 6 batches of beer. Maybe I'll do it all.

The Bicycle: A lot of people don't care for Lance Armstrong. After all, how can anyone be that good without doping? Emotionally, I question. Intellectually, he hasn't been caught so maybe he is that good. Or maybe he's that good, if you know what I mean. Either way, there's no evidence other than his performance. Not enough. I tried to embed the video, but apparently, I'm not real good at it. Go to and locate the Lance Press Conference video. It's pretty good.

The VRWC: In the hoopla of all the pork in the stimulus bill, many of us have lost sight of the real problem. Congressman Paul Ryan puts it in perspective.

According to the CIA World Factbook, the national debt is about 61% of GDP, or about $8.7 trillion. One can argue that "it's Bush's fault" because we are at war. OK, whatever. It is what it is. The United States is the 23rd highest debtor nation in the world. Adding roughly $2 trillion to the debt between TARP and the porkulus bill, we are raising the debt to nearly 74% of GDP. That makes us the 16th largest debtor, just behind Sri Lanka (assuming, of course others aren't borrowing at the same rate). Now add in all the "bad paper" the Feds will absorb and this gets ugly.

If there were no other option, I'd be fine with the increase in debt. But this all could have been done for much less. Now we've saddled future generations with a debt that may never be repaid. Especially if Ryan's predicitons come true.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Death of Federalism and the Republic

The Heritage Foundation states it clearly.

A few questions of my own:

Why did the President, who is supposed to be the leader of his party, allow Pelosi and Reid to write this without his input? Or did he think this porkfest was a good idea?

What happened to parlimentary procedure? Where was the reasoned debate on this bill? Where was the public input?

Who is going to finance this sort of debt?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday (belated) Sarah

Some good Sarah Palin stuff from Kevin.

The End of Capitalism?

The authors are optimistic, it appears.

I'm not-so-much. The recurring theme is that government has learned its' lesson. I don't necessarily believe that. Power not only corrupts, it also blinds. I believe governments are so blinded by their ever-expanding role (and power) that the lessons so well laid out in this piece will fall on deaf ears.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


The only thing worse than our current healthcare system.

Do you want healthcare from the same caring, compassionate people who bring you the DMV and IRS?

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

Markets tanked today. Right after Geithner spoke. Huh...amazing, ain't it?

Here's a rant for ya:

"The president is willing to do whatever it takes, with Democrats or Republicans to make sure that he gets something on his desk quickly that gets help to the hands of the American people."

It ain't looking that way to me. Two words...."I Won".

Obama says the bill is crucial to avoid economic catastrophe.

What happened to, "All we have to fear is fear itself"? Is everything a catastrophe? A calamity? The end of the world as we know it? Have these people no shame?!?!?!?!

"It's a little hard for me to take criticism from folks about this recovery package after they've presided over a doubling of the national debt," Obama said.
"I'm not sure they have a lot of credibility when it comes to fiscal responsibility."

This comment is just childish. "You did it, that makes it ok for me". My 2-year-old grandson thinks that way. NO IT DOESN'T!!!!!!

This is not good, this is not right. This bill will cripple our economy for years to come and give our children not only a debt that can't be repaid, but also inflation the likes of which we have never seen.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Futures Lower

I'm not buying this. At least, not the reason.

I'm betting markets tank tomorrow. Wall Street knows this "stimulus" bill is bad for business, the economy and the country. This isn't about "Bad Bank".

The Democrats may have overplayed their hand here. Specter, Snow and Collins have given the Democrats an effective "Super-Majority", but most Americans are now wary of what comes out of Congress.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

This is awesome!

PETA is trying to indoctriate our children into calling fish,"sea kittens" so they won't eat them. Today a guest arrived from the site Click the link above and enjoy!

H/T to the anonymous visitor.


Another piece by VDH that hits it where it lives.

He paints a rather bleak picture of life under the Obama administration unless you are a "taker". If you live at taxpayer expense, this is the administration you want. If you are a responsible taxpayer...well...too bad. You're screwed.

Reich Doesn't Get It

Reich clearly misses the boat here.

Go back about 50 years, when America's middle class was expanding and the economy was soaring. Paychecks were big enough to allow us to buy all the goods and services we produced. It was a virtuous circle. Good pay meant more purchases, and more purchases meant more jobs.

What he fails to recognize is that 50 years ago, the US economy was all that remained in the still-smoldering ruins of WWII. Yes, it was nearly 15 years later, but the rest of the world was still struggling. There was little to no competition for US goods, so paying Union wages was no big deal. Nearly everything Americans needed was made in the US. Not so today. We purchase much from overseas manufacturers who make goods less expensively, in part at least because they pay lower wages.

The way to get the economy back on track is to boost the purchasing power of the middle class. One major way to do this is to expand the percentage of working Americans in unions.

This is patently and demonstrably untrue. Business in this country is stuggling mightily. US goods are non-competitive on the world market. The wage and tax structure in this country is out of step with most world markets, the EU being an exception. But the EU is also non-competitive.

In August, 65,000 Verizon workers, represented by the Communications Workers of America, won wage increases totaling nearly 11 percent and converted temporary jobs to full-time status. Not only did the settlement preserve fully paid healthcare premiums for all active and retired unionized employees, but Verizon agreed also to provide $2 million a year to fund a collaborative campaign with its unions to achieve meaningful national healthcare reform.

Verizon layed off 2700 at the end of Q3/2008 and is planning more. You tell me.

The Hart poll I cited tells us that 57 million workers would want to be in a union if they could have one.

While only anecdotal evidence, I can tell you that many of the Unionized workers at my employer would rather not have a Union. The onerous work rules are part of it, the dues, another. Some blame the Union for layoffs.

We tried to penalize employers that broke the law, but the fines are minuscule.

Then raise the fines. Hell, ya do it for everything else. OSHA, EPA, why not Labor?

Employee Free Choice Act - Here is the crux of the matter. This act removes the secret ballot. It's not about free choice, it's about allowing Unions to strong-arm people into joining.

Unions are not inherently bad. Unfortunately, in a global market, they render business non-competitive. A better alternative is to ride out these bad times and allow global wages to rise, making US goods a better value overseas. It happened in the past, it will happen now. We have the most motivated, most talented and best trained work-force in the world. Overseas manufacturers are coming here as their goods become less-competitive when made overseas. It will continue and we can see better days ahead. Reich's plan will only prolong the agony.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


The Beer: I'm ready to start my summer brewing season. I was able to obtain Amarillo and Chinook hops, so I ordered the ingredients for my Amarillio Pale Ale. I lifted the recipe from a kit and made some enhancements. I should be brewing next weekend.

The Bicycle: It's certainly warm enough to ride today, but as cold as the streets are, there are some wet and slick spots. But Pitchers and Catchers report at this week. A sure sign. I should be on the road in 4-6 weeks.

The VRWC: The dirty little secret is that Conservatives are at least as good environmental stewards as Leftys. We just believe we should go about our business quietly. While I'm not a Green fanatic, I believe there are some things worth doing. Some tips:

In addition to the articles' points on paint, use it up. Even if you have a scrap piece of plywood, you can paint it, let the paint cure out and then it can go in the trash. And residue left in the container can be left to cure out and the container disposed of as trach or recycle.

Tax and Spend?

The last paragraph hits in on the head.

This goes to the President's leadership. He failed to take control of the stimulus issuie and allowed it to be run by Pelosi. The depth of debt that this bill generates is beyond comprehension.

We cannot "debt" our way out of this mess. It's what got us here in the first place. It's not the tax cuts, either. It's the inability of politicians (both sides) to keep from spending everything available. Tax cuts have been shown 3 times now (Kennedy, Reagan and Bush 43) to increase federal revenue, but Congress, the Executive and the States keep spending it on pork (I know, it's "pork" to me, but it brings jobs to your community).

If we are to get out of this mess, reduced government spending and tax cuts at the margins will do it. The Pelosi-written Obamulus pork-pile will not.

The Black Sphere

I "Blogrolled" this guy, but it's at the bottom of my list. Stop in and see him. He has some really great stuff.

Fairness Doctrine Rears It's Ugly Head

Any questions?

Some bloggers have blown off the idea that the Democrats would return to the "Fairness Doctrine". I think it's pretty clear what they intend. Silencing talk radio is certainly on the table. And I believe bloggers are next.

But it also goes to something I've believed for a long time. Your average Lefty is, IMHO the same person who as a child sucked at stuff like dodgeball and "tag". They'd run home to mommy and mommy would tell them how unfair life was to them and they should be allowed to win. The rest of us had to suffer them while we were either good at what we were playing, got good at it or found something we were good at. We went on to have successful, productive lives. They went on to be liberals. Liberals are bent on making the rest of us pay for their unhappy childhood.

Friday, February 6, 2009

No Surprise Here

The only surprise is that Campbell Brown would report it. Note that she singled out Republicans first, though.

But the fact is, the M.O. is the same. Playtime with OPM (Other Peoples' Money). Human nature is such that if it isn't yours, you are less likely to take good care of it. Unless their are consequences to abusing it. Obviously, for Congress there are no such limits.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

How The Chosen One Fights Terror

This will be the first terrorist to be freed under some Lefty judge when his trial comes up in the US.

The Barbarians are at the gate.

Dionne and Dowd

Some unusual honesty and candor from Maureen Dowd.

EJ Dionne could take a lesson.

While Dionne is happy to cast aspersions on Republicans for the near-collapse of the "stimulus" bill in the Senate, Dowd is more pragmatic. Republicans (and Democrats) are hearing from constituents. If they weren't, this would be a done deal. Support for this package is ridiculously low from both the Red and the Blue. OK, less support from Republicans and Independents. Dowd seems to recognize this, Dionne doesn't.

The bill is so laden with pork, I don't know how anyone can support it. The fact that "only" 64% of Democrats support the plan (but only 16% oppose? What happened to the rest?) is an indicator. The Left is still in Obama-Love, so any opposition at all is striking.

Start over. Screaming, "catastrophe" doesn't make it so and rings hollow. So much wolf-crying. If we're going to have a stimulus, let's do it right and not saddle generations with unpayable debt.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Chosen One?

H/T to K. Carpenter at Stepping Right Up.

This is a very well-thought-out piece by the ever-well written VDH.

For someone who the media make out to be all-knowing and all-seeing, The Chosen One is having a bad first couple weeks.

This Bears More Scrutiny

Perhaps it's only coincidence or my view is a little off or I'm missing a time-stamp. Is it me? Or does it appear that every time The Chosen One offers a policy statrement, the stock market tanks?

Today, the market opened higher, but turned as soon as he made his statement regarding executive salaries. later in the day, he made the claim of "catastrophic" consequences if the stimulus bill doesn't pass soon. The market turned sharply lower.

Am I the only one who sees this?

Edit 2/05/09 0347

OK, it's a kook-freak theory along thee lines of Global Warming. But it's an interestng observation, right?

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Goracle

The Beer: I have 8 cases of empty 12 oz bottles and about 4 cases of pint bottles, but that's not what we're talking about today. Today, it's Limoncello. This stuff runs about $10-$16 per liter at your local liquor store. I made four fifths for the cost of a bottle of vodka, 10 lemons, 4 cups of sugar and 4 cups of water. A total of about $12. Assuming I use a reasonably good vodka.

Have fun with that.

The Bicycle: 45 minutes of trainer time today. Bleh.

The VRWC: He'll stop at nothing.

Clearly no lie is too big to tell, no exaggeration is too big. To make comparisons to Earth and Venus is no comparison at all.

...the Venusian atmosphere’s CO2 level is more than 2,557 times greater than the Earth’s. And since the CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere is increasing by only about 2 parts per million annually, our planet is hardly being Venus-ized.

Further: Gore’s incorporation of Mercury in his argument is equally specious because Mercury doesn’t really have any greenhouse gases in its atmosphere that would capture the radiation it gets from the Sun. As a result, the daily temperature on Mercury varies from about 840 degrees Fahrenheit during the day to about -275 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Mercury’s daily temperature swing actually belies Gore’s unqualified demonization of greenhouse gases, whose heat trapping characteristics tend to stabilize climate and prevent wild temperature fluctuations.

So much has been debunked, but we continue down a dangerous road of onerous regulation and Draconian governmental edicts on 50 years of (quite possibly bad) climate data. This is just bad policy. The Precautionary Principle run amok (as if it didn't already).

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Senators question Daschle's late tax filing. And they should. It seems rather convenient that he "found" his mistake at this particular time (although I suppose it could be argued that he or his staff went over this stuff once it appeared he might be a candidate).

As with Geithner, I'm not seeing a good enough reason to let this one go.

"President Obama wanted to have a very ethical administration starting out and so on, but I think he's seeing how hard it is to avoid these kind of problems," Kyl said. "And I just wonder, if President Bush had nominated these people, what folks would be saying about that."

On a similar note, I see Senator Feingold voted against Geithners' confirmation. Kudos. While I disagree with my Senator on almost anything, he made the right call.

Serpenthead vs.Rush

In the words of a friend of mine back in the day(John, if you read this, hat-tip to ya), "Texas Cage the Death".

Actually, I think Carville misses the point here. Limbaugh often takes an extreme view to make a point. The point here is the sheer amount of pork the Democrats jammed into this bill. Bridges are not falling down wholesale in spite of the headlines and Carvilles dreams (Mary, do something about that?). Cities are not flooding wholesale because the government isn't doing enough. Carville referenced two high-profile instances. OK. It's not that the New Orleans levees or the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis suffered from a lack of government funding. Both the bridge and the levees were underdesigned. Government spending would not have changed that.

If we had not spent "$350 million a day in Iraq", Saddam would still be there and, quite posssibly be maintaining a WMD program (before you tell me they didn't have any, recall the tons of yellowcake removed from Iraq and the gassing of the Kurds and Iranians). Further, had we pulled out when thee Democrats who voted to invade Iraq voted against it, a bloodbath would have ensued, making post-Vietnam SE Asia look like kid stuff.

If Carville wants a balanced budget, he should talk to his fellow party members. Criticize Limbaugh if you like James, but keep in mind that your side is making a big mess even bigger.

Local Pork

I expected better out of my county government. Ozaukee County has been, at least for Wisconsin, a beacon of fiscal restraint. Looks like some have been seduced by the dark side. I don't have too much problem with the highway projects, but the bicycle bridge (I'll be called a heretic for this), community building, library and park projects are just pork, plain and simple and will do nothing to stimulate the economy.

Washington County doesn't look to be faring any better.

• Washington County put forward a list totaling $10.3 million for various road projects.
• The Village of Jackson is seeking $10.3 million, $8 million of which would go toward building a new public safety facility house the police and fire departments.
• The Village of Richfield is asking for $3.81 million, including $1.5 million that would pay for remodeling the village hall.
• The Village of Kewaskum is seeking nearly $4.4 million.

I suppose it could be worse. Two words...Light....Rail.