September 28, 2008

I Love eMusic

There is so much cool stuff to discover. I have found so many new bands that are my "new favorite" that I can't keep track of them. If you subscribe they usually give you about 50 or 75 free downloads just for trying them out. There is also a free daily download plus you can seach for albums that have free tracks on them. The price is right as well. You can be a "Basic" subscriber for $11.99 a month and get 30 downloads. That's less than .40 cents per track!!

One thing to be conscious of is that eMusic promotes independant artists and labels. You can find some mainstream stuff but you might as well go pay more at iTunes if you're looking for Top 40 fluff. This site is for adventurers looking for something new to listen to. A band or a sound or a style unheard by you before. It's like going on an expedition and making a discovery every time you log on.

Click the post title to check it out.

Newsweek Columnist Sam Harris Displays Sexism, Religious Bigotry

Elitist bigot Sam Harris believes Sarah Palin is not qualified to run as a candidate for VP because, in a nutshell, she is a regular person and has religious beliefs. Her beliefs are tantamount to lunacy.

He writes, " If anyone could make Christian theocracy smell like apple pie, Sarah Palin could."

Why is it whenever a candidate on the right has religious beliefs of any type they are steering our country towards a fanatical religious theocracy? I hear no fears from the left that Obama will do that. He supposedly has a twenty year association with a racist extremist pastor and nobody bats an eye. This pastor stands in the pulpit preaching "God Damn America" and no one on the left flinches. The reason? The left are in agreement. Obama only distanced himself from Pastor Wright when he absolutely had to because the story was mushrooming out of control. When he did finally speak out he made it sound like this was the first time Wright ever made any inflamatory remarks by saying, "Obviously, whatever relationship I had with Rev. Wright has changed as a consequence of this". What would "this" be? The exposure of Wright as a racist. You cannot attend a church for twenty years and not know something like this about your pastor. The left was defending Wright the entire time. In fact an editorial in the Kansas City Star calls the concern over Jeremiah Wright's racist sermon's a "made-up issue"

Harris deems Sarah Palin to be ignorant because she expresses confidence. Yet if an elitist, Harvard educated male unswervingly said, "I'm ready, willing and able", Harris would be seen cheering in the crowd. He would not be asking, "Why is he so willing to do the job?" Here he provides a ridiculous scenario as an example of his viewpoint.
"What is so unnerving about the candidacy of Sarah Palin is the degree to which she represents—and her supporters celebrate—the joyful marriage of confidence and ignorance. Watching her deny to Gibson that she had ever harbored the slightest doubt about her readiness to take command of the world's only superpower, one got the feeling that Palin would gladly assume any responsibility on earth:

"Governor Palin, are you ready at this moment to perform surgery on this child's brain?"

"Of course, Charlie. I have several boys of my own, and I'm an avid hunter."

"But governor, this is neurosurgery, and you have no training as a surgeon of any kind."

"That's just the point, Charlie. The American people want change in how we make medical decisions in this country. And when faced with a challenge, you cannot blink."


Harris displays a frightening stance on Palin's minor daughter's pregnancy.
He espouses a position that a mother should not have any control of her minor daughter's unplanned teen pregnancy. The only topic he touches on is abortion. One track mind.
"We know, therefore, that Palin believes that she should be the one to decide whether her daughter carries her baby to term. Based on her stated position, we know that she would deny her daughter an abortion even if she had been raped."


He goes on to explain that she is ignorant because she is a regular person.
"What doesn't she know about financial markets, Islam, the history of the Middle East, the cold war, modern weapons systems, medical research, environmental science or emerging technology? Her relative ignorance is guaranteed on these fronts and most others, not because she was put on the spot, or got nervous, or just happened to miss the newspaper on any given morning. Sarah Palin's ignorance is guaranteed because of how she has spent the past 44 years on earth."


Read the whole editorial by clicking here.

September 27, 2008

"A Little Help From My Friends"

A picture of something not seen too often. Usually the Coast Starlight is headed by two Amtrak GE P42DC locomotives. Apparently one had some trouble. Union Pacific loaned Amtrak an EMD SD70M to possibly complete the trip to LA or to get to the next location that had available Amtrak motive power. They obviously would not want the Starlight to be stranded on their mainline interrupting their flow of freight traffic.

A Basic Human Right - The Pusuit Of Happiness

Unless you live an Islamic nation like Iran. Instead, they just kill you if you try to find happiness or disagree with them.

Leftists say we have nothing to fear from Iran trying to use nuclear power for it's countries energy needs. We need to have a dialog with them. We need to understand them.

Right.

A country run by neanderthal fanatics who could care less what the rest of the world thinks shouldn't be within a hemisphere of a nuclear reactor.

Click the post title for the full story.

Where Did This Financial Crisis Come From?

Essentially any and all Washington politicians are to blame for not really doing something before it was too late. However, we can specifically blame Bill Clinton. I know, I know, here comes the "Clinton hasn't been in office for eight years! Why do you always try to pin things on him" response.

Here's how the seed of this debacle was planted.

"...(This) crisis can trace its roots to Bill Clinton’s signature on legislation making it easier for minority constituents with bad credit to obtain mortgages. In 1995, he had his Treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin, rewrite the lending rules for the Community Reinvestment Act, opening the flood gates of mortgage lending to unqualified borrowers.

This legislation, in effect, applied affirmative action to the lending industry, which is to say that the current crisis is NOT a “free market failure” but the result of socially engineered financial policy by the central government. The financial markets welcomed their new customers with open arms, fueling a real estate boom across the board.

These so-called “subprime mortgages,” which were offered at variable interest rates, were widely perceived as good investments. Investors used the high-risk instruments to secure assets in other markets fueling profits for investment banks and mortgage lenders. The subprime market thus expanded rapidly and the mortgage instruments were used by other firms as collateral for investments in stocks, commodities and the like.

Unfortunately, no one questioned the pell-mell regulatory system of oversight for these transactions until large cracks appeared in our economy’s foundation, the first being the collapse of Countrywide, the nation’s largest subprime lender. Then banks and mortgage lenders large and small began downsizing, dumping assets and closing their doors. Bear Stearns filed for bankruptcy. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, holders of trillions of dollars in mortgages, were bailed out with 200 billion taxpayer dollars. Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, and insurance giant AIG was given an $85-billion taxpayer prop to keep it solvent.


From an article at The Patriot Post by Mark Alexander

Ignored By The Mainstream Media

Very few media outlets have chosen to delve into Barack Hussein Obama's past in any meaningful sense. His association with a known terrorist and murderer who now is a professor at a midwest university is blown off as being merely an aquaintance. Do we not as rational humans choose who we will associate with? Of, course we do.

This series of Investor's Business Daily editorials reveals more than I have seen or heard in my purposeful attempts at research on Barack Hussein Obama. There is a warehouse worth of information that is not being disclosed to the public. The alphabet soup networks and their talking heads, newspapers and nightly newscasts all ignore the FACT that Obama is a socialist and it can be proven by his own voting records. I really think there should be some sort of test formulated for voter registration. Maybe even at the voting booth. It could go something like this -

a) Who is the current Secretary of State
b) Who is the current Speaker of the House
c) Who is the current Vice President

If you can't pass this simple test (and it is simple if you even remotely follow the news) you should not be allowed to vote. I know, people will howl at the thought of denying anyone the right to vote. I believe voters that are informed by nothing more than a 30 second soundbite on the incredibly biased 6:00 news or a glance at a typical left-wing newspaper headline have no business making life and death decisions for the country. I am not being alarmist when I say life and death decisions, I am being a realist. The individual who moves into the Whitehouse come next January will determine our course through these extremely dangerous times.

Why Aren't We Drilling Here??

Can someone tell me why we don't have oil drills in the ground in Montana and North Dakota? Click the post title for details.

Here's more information from the USGS.

September 25, 2008

Information On Obama NOT in the Mainstream Media

The bias is dripping from the alphabet soup broadcast and cable networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, etc). My favorite derogatory network nickname comes from Libertarian talk show host Neil Boortz regarding CNN. He a calls it the Chicken Noodle Network. I love it.

Very few references to the connection between former Weather Underground terrorist and Obama can be found on network news sites. The articles that do appear usually make a faux argument that Obama was a child when Ayers was involved in the terrorist organization. The premise is he was loosely associated with Ayers.

Not according to Obama's own words.

In his 1995 autobiography, "Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritace", Obama says he deliberately chose who he would associate with. He wanted to make sure that everyone knew where he stood politically. So to say that Ayers was an "aquaintance" is intellectually untrue.

This article from the Chicago Sun Times has some excellent detailed information in the comment section. It gives a detailed list of the Weather Undergrounds terrorist activities. Ayers has never denounced or apologized for his actions. In fact, in a 1981 interview with David Horowitz, he said "Guilty as hell, free as a bird. America is a great country".

This article from Hugh Hewitt's Townhall.com blog is a guest posting by Bill Dyer who is making the point that Obama himself said he would align himself with extremists back in 1995 when he wrote his autobiography.

I'm sorry, but this is not the kind of "hope" and "change" that I want for my country.

September 21, 2008

Here We Go Again

Muslims asking for preferential treatment. Fortunately JBS Swift & Co. had the stones to fire them. When you get hired for a job, you understand the hours that you will be working. My company doesn't pay me for my lunch, why on earth would they pay me for a prayer break at sundown! Here's the link to the article.

I've been at my job for 21 years and have arranged my personal religious holidays and events around my work schedule. Six months out of the year I don't attend church services because I have to work on Sunday. I don't walk out in protest. I understand that this is the configuration of my job and I make do.

September 20, 2008

Cutting It Close in Capitola, Ca.

These two surfers would catch a wave and ride it all the way in to about 50 feet from these rocks before bailing out. No thanks. I'll stay on shore and shoot the pics.

Surfer at Soquel Point - Capitola, Ca.

I took my wife and daughter to a baby shower for a cousin in Aptos. neither one of them wanted to drive the highway 17 over the hill. Can't say that I blame them. It's a horrible road to drive. I took the opportunity to take some pictures while I was over there. I wasn't going to come back over the hill for an hour just to turn around and go back to pick them up.

I found a spot at Soquel Point in Capitola that was a dead end street. It had "No Parking" signs posted but I think that was a formality. I pulled up a spot and was getting some decent shots of a couple of surfers. The waves were really crashing into the rocks.

September 18, 2008

Back To The Real World

The vacation in tropical paradise is over. I've been back to work for three days and I had to get sick. Here I was the only person in our family to take "Airborne" for the trip and I'm the one that gets sick! I'm sitting in my recliner blogging in my pajamas. No waves crashing in the background, no tropical birds chirping, no ceiling fan gently whirling in the warm air. Just the unemployed next door neighbor listening to rap/hip hop at unhealthy decibel levels and the guy across the street drinking a beer in his garage staring into our front window. The neighbors two doors down sitting on the couch on their front potch listening to loud mariachi music. I don't know why I would rather be in Hawaii than at home!

Our neighborhood has steadily degraded over the last few years. One neighbor has a pot card which gives him the right to grow six pot plants. I'm sure it's for his terminal illness that he struggles with every day. No...wait...that would be his laziness that he "struggles" with as he sells his medicinal pot to the neighborhood hoodlums. I hope I don't sound too acidic, but I really loathe the fact that he is obviously sponging off my tax dollars in some way. In the 22 years that I have lived in this location, I am not aware of him ever having a job other than delinquent or drug dealer. His live-in girlfriend goes to work every day. His two older brothers go to work every day. All of his neighbors go to work every day and he just bilks us out of our tax dollars for whatever "assistance" he is on.

Dirtbag

On a happier note, I will be a grandfather soon! Possibly mid-April of next year. I'm definitely way too young to be a grandfather. Although I can also say that about being a father as well. My daughter was born 10 days after my 20th birthday. I was deployed with the Navy at the time in Puerto Rico. I didn't get to see her for the first time until she was three weeks old. It seems hard to believe that she's old enough to have children! We were dropping her off at pre-school just a few short years ago. Time moves rather quickly and you really don't notice until there is quite a bit of it behind you.

I'll leave you with a very short video of what I had to leave behind in Maui.

video

September 08, 2008

Aloha! Part II



I took the above shot in the Iao Valley Park. I'm not sure what kind of flower but it's beautiful, eh? We are in the middle of seven glorious days on Maui. So far we have been to the Haleakala Crater,




the Iao Valley.



the Sugar Cane Train in Lahaina (Lahaina, Kaanapali and Pacific Railroad),



The engineer that operated this steam locomotive was a twenty-something woman!

September 01, 2008

Aloha!

Posting from the Outrigger in Waikiki! It's a beautiful hotel with really great service and amenities.
Our trip was mostly uneventful. One situation in LAX was a little tense. My wife and sister-in-law went to find a place to smoke after our flight from San Jose to LAX. My wife had her boarding pass with her but not her ID. My sister-in-law had to beat feet from the security check point to the boarding area to get her ID. My wife got through and returned to the boarding area in time to have our boarding numbers called!

Five and a half hours of flight is a long time! It's been a while since I've done that. We had a van pick us up and do the sardine squeeze to the hotel. They checked us in quickly and we went up to our rooms. My parents had a fruit basket and bottle of champagne waiting for them. It was sent by her neice Melody and husband Curtis. It was a nice touch.

After getting relatively settled in our rooms, we went to scope out the dinner situation. Waikiki is a twenty-something haven. The place is teeming with amped up "beautiful people". Most of the hotel restaraunts were filled with loud and boisterous youngun's just learning how to hold their liquor. Makes me feel like an old codger! I just wanted a place to eat that I didn't have to wait an hour and a half to get into and sport my own ear plugs. We ended up ordering Roundtable Pizza in the room! It still took nearly an hour but we could at least talk without shouting.

My wife and Sister-in-law had gone downstairs to smoke *see footnote*. My brother and I were going to run across the street to the ABC store to get some water. I wanted cerveza for the pizza as well. We didn't see them in the "smoking area". I said I would bet they were in the ABC Store. Sure enough! As we entered there they were shopping away. Fortunately no purchases were made since the 6 pack of bottled water and Corona came to $15.25, ouch! Most things are ridiculously iced so I'm really not surprised. That reminds me, at the Burger King inside the LAX boarding terminal, they had some of their meal combos priced at over nine dollars. Captive audience, right?

Slept fairly well. I'm not used to a regular bed since I have slept on a waterbed for the last 18 or so years. This morning we have our welcome breakfast where they will give us some tour/sightseeing information. They expressly said at the airport when picking us up "no timeshare". Nice to know they aren't trying to sell us anything. Today we are probably going to do some Pearl Harbor touring. Being Labor Day we will probably stay away from the Arizona and the crowds.

*footnote* - Smokers are mercilessly persecuted at airports and in Hawaii. Smoking is treated as a disease that should be exorcised from the planet. You actually sign an acknowledgement at hotel registration that you will be fined $250 for smoking in the room. The security at Honolulu International treated the ladies nearly as well as terrorist suspects when they were smoking in the wrong place outside. Security actually made them put out their cigarettes to walk across the street and smoke. Zieg Hiel!!!