Monday, November 12, 2007

Somewhere, Heinrich Himmler Is Smiling

Deputy Director of National Intelligence Donald Kerr says Americans need to redefine privacy.

Perhaps Mr. Kerr believes that War, Freedom, and Ignorance are worth rethinking, as well.

Note to Mr. Kerr: my Glock holds eighteen reasons to respect my privacy. I'd be happy to share them with you.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New Revelations on Israeli attack on the USS Liberty

A number of accounts document that Israeli pilots identified the USS Liberty before attacking it. Israel disputes this account, but to a man all of the sailors on board and a number of senior intelligence officials privy to the intercepts of the pilots say Israel knew it was attacking an American ship. [READ THIS ARTICLE!]

read more | digg story

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Time For A New Declaration

Still Rebels, Still Tories

Scroll down for a particularly enjoyable thought by William of Orange County.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

It's Not Terrorism When We Do It

From today's Los Angeles Times:

Moreover, the suspected plan to use consecutive car-bomb explosions last week in London, targeting police and rescue personnel as they arrive at the scene of the first explosion, evokes the tactics of insurgents in Iraq.

Or perhaps it evokes the tactics of the governments of Great Britain and the United States in the WWII firebombing of Dresden, in which the second wave of bombers (RAF) and the third wave (USAAF) timed their attacks to catch rescue workers in the open.
It's Not A War Crime When We Do It

67 years ago today, Winston Churchill launched an unprovoked attack on the naval fleet of an Allied country. 1,300 French sailors died in the attack.

Attack on Mers-el-Kébir - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For a further debunking of this horrid tyrant, see Ralph Raico's excellent and thought-provoking Rethinking Churchill.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Lew Rockwell Watches The Democratic Debate... you don't have to.

On the other hand, a Ron Paul/Mike Gravel independent ticket would be much more interesting (and better for the country) than the run being coyly suggested at by Mike Bloomberg, statist creep and political opportunist extraordinaire.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Army Wants To Enlist Illegal Aliens Quickly As Recruitment Falls

DefenseLink News Article: Officials Hope to Rekindle Interest in Immigration Bill Provision

The obvious argument in favor of this proposal is that the immigrants will have earned the right to citizenship by their willingness to Put On The Uniform And Serve Their Country(TM). I have two issues with this:

  1. They will most likely not be serving "their country," i.e., the land and the people. They will be serving the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex, which profits handsomely, in both money and power, from provoking and continuing quarrels between nations.
  2. As they will have learned to closely associate Big Government (public assistance, public schools, public hospitals, G.I. Bill, etc.) with their own economic self-interest, they will not be reluctant to turn their guns on American citizens if ordered to do so.

The historic precedents are there. The Whiskey Rebellion affected the entire Western United States, but only in Western Pennsylvania did the Federal government have a cadre of wealthy bureaucrats willing to collect taxes. Similarly, when Abraham Lincoln went to war against the South, on behalf of his agenda of  subsidies to politically-favored industries, high protective tariffs, and  Federal control of the money supply, he recruited foreigners as mercenaries, with promises of citizenship and wealth if they would just shoot some of the native-born.

Once again, freedom will be squeezed between welfare and warfare. Will we ever learn? Do we even care?

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Feds » Feds

Professor Clyde Wilson, pithy and eloquent as usual.

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Here are two excellent articles on the current "immigration reform" fiasco:

Dobbs: Give it a rest, Mr. President -

Chain of Fools: Nepotism as Immigration Policy

Unfortunately, both authors overlook the considerable role of welfare in the current pattern of immigration. On net, today's immigrants -- legal and illegal -- are tax consumers, not tax producers. Their families receive tax-funded education, health care, food, housing and general assistance subsidies. They have become a powerful voting and lobbying bloc for increased subsidies, which translates (in any language) into higher taxes and bigger government.

"But we need them to do the jobs Americans refuse to do." Well, if starvation were the alternative to working, I'll bet more Americans would be interested in those jobs. But we provide another way out for the indolent and the self-indulgent, at the expense of the industrious and the thrifty, and we call it "progressive" and "compassionate." And it's not just "menial" jobs that Americans are turning down in favor of life on the dole.

Ending the Welfare State, including that great, sacred cow known as "public education," would go a long way toward making open borders a feasible proposition. It also would put Americans back to work, restore the family to its proper place in society, return decency and civility to our communities, free up private funds to provide meaningful assistance to the truly needy, and restore the value of education. As an added bonus, ending the Welfare State would choke the life out of its symbiote, the Warfare State.

End Welfare. Do it now, for the children.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Perfidious Albion

Yesterday, I marked the 40th anniversary of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty.

To be fair to the Israelis, this war crime had its precedent, as so many others did, in a war crime perpetrated by America's other Great Ally, Winston Churchill. I refer to his attack on the fleet of an allied nation (France) at Oran, 3 July 1940, that resulted in the deaths of 1,300 French sailors.

Attack on Mers-el-Kébir - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Do As We Say, Not As We Do

2 Charged In Laotian Overthrow Plot

We're looking at conspiracy to murder thousands and thousands of people at one time. -- Assistant U.S. Attorney Bob Twiss
Shock And Awe, anyone?

The United States cannot and will not provide safe harbor to those plotting to overthrow foreign governments of countries with whom we are at peace. -- McGregor Scott, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California
ROFLMAO! Where has this guy been? Hawaii, Iran, South Vietnam, Guatemala -- what happened to those coup plotters?

For a more extensive discussion, see Stephen Kinzer's book, Overthrow.

Monday, June 04, 2007


Congressman Ron Paul will be a guest on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" tonight at 11:00 pm ET.

The third GOP presidential debate will be held tomorrow night at 7:00 pm ET in New Hampshire. CNN will broadcast the debate with Wolf Blitzer as the moderator.

Did you never notice how people no longer say, "We're a free country?" Instead, they merely say, "We're the freest country in the world," as if favorable comparisons with Cuba, Zimbabwe, Iran, and North Korea were good enough. If you care at all about restoring freedom in this country, go to Ron Paul's Campaign Website now and sign up.
Camera Notes

I've posted some photo equipment on eBay, as a result of my recent experience shooting daily in Vietnam. Here's what I've found:

The Pentax K100D is a great camera, no doubt. The K10D, however, motivates me to move up for several reasons. First, as an old film-and-darkroom guy, I value post- processing and prefer to shoot in RAW format whenever possible. The small buffer of the K100D forces me into JPEG mode more often than I would like. Second, the K10D has more of its manual overrides on buttons; the K100D buries them in menus. Third, the K10D dispenses with the "idiot" modes and replaces them with truly innovative and useful shooting modes. Other nice upgrades include the K10D's weathersealing and sensor dust removal functions.

The Tamron 70-300mm Di zoom (effective length 105-450mm) is a decent lens, especially at the price. Nits to pick (for me) were:
  • Autofocus slow - tends to hunt
  • Lack of clutch in focusing mechanism - risk of damage to lens if you forget to switch to manual focus when attaching or removing lens hood
  • Weight and bulk - I didn't really find much use for the 200 - 300mm range, or the macro. The 50-200mm would be a better choice for my use
That said, I probably would not be selling it if I weren't scraping together the money to buy a K10D. It's a good lens to have in your bag

The Metz Mecablitz 36 C-2 is a non-dedicated unit. It will not interface with the camera manufacturers' various TTL flash modes. Used properly, however, it delivers very consistent results at a fraction of the cost of a dedicated unit. It also is less likely to be fooled by highly reflective backgrounds. The trade-off is a bit of a learning curve (the instruction manual is excellent) and a certain amount more manual adjusting. I did learn to use it fairly efficiently, but I still think I could work faster with a dedicated unit. Trade-offs to everything, as I said. I'll buy the Pentax AF540FGZ.

So, now you know.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Do You Use FLONASE Nasal Spray?

If so, have I got a tip (pun intended, as you'll see) for you!

FLOVENT is the same corticosteroid, but in a pressurized aerosol for asthma sufferers. If you've ever squirted FLONASE up your beak, only to have most of it run out because your nasal passages were so inflamed, you'll appreciate the value of a better delivery system. So, here's the tip:

1) Call your doctor and have him/her change your prescription from FLONASE to FLOVENT;

2) Cut the tip off a baby bottle nipple;

3) Pull the wide end of the nipple over the mouthpiece of the FLOVENT inhaler;

4) Shove the small end of the nipple up your nose and fire; I usually do two shots up each nostril, so I alternate right - left to give the first shot some time, usually about one minute, to work.

I wish I could take credit for this discovery but I got it from my allergist, who wishes he could take credit! I've been doing this for about a month now, and am having the best results ever. My nose now actually works!
The Real Global Warming Threat

Having dismissed with the trivial stuff, such as giving Incurious George a blank check for his illegal and immoral war on Iraq, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi jetted off to Greenland and Germany to deal with the really important stuff -- aggrandizing the state (and herself) by flogging the "climate change" scare.

If she really wanted to do something about the effects of hot air on the environment, Pelosi would fasten a strip of duct tape securely across her mouth and never take it off!

The K10D Book

I made the switch to digital single-lens reflex (D-SLR) last year, with the purchase of a Pentax K100D. Prior to that, I had 25 years with a Nikon FE 35mm SLR.

I used the K100D daily in the course of a five-week family vacation in Vietnam. There's a lot to like about this camera, as this image shows, including size, weight, image quality and in-body shake reduction.

However, the lack of readily-accessible manual controls and the small RAW buffer got me thinking about upgrading to the newer K10D.

I began researching the K10D in earnest upon my return. After lurking a bit and posting a few questions at PentaxWorld, PentaxForums, and Digital Photography Review, I was pretty convinced I was on the right track.

Along now comes Yvon Bourque and his self-published PENTAX K10D - Everything you need to know... and then some. This little gem of a book goes beyond the instruction manual and gives a practical photographer's perspective on the camera and its use. Besides his own, lifelong experience in photography, Yvon actively mines the discussion forums for other users' ideas, experience and suggestions. Oh yes, and he's a heck of a nice guy to deal with, too.

The book is bigger than the manual and is coil bound so it lies flat for easy reference, especially useful when you're holding the camera in your hands and walking through the controls and settings.

If you have a K10D, you need this book. I ordered mine in advance of the camera (still getting the $$ together as I write this) and I'm glad I did. I'm not affiliated with the publishers and don't get a commission; I just like the book. Big thanks to Yvon and his wife for producing it.

As for my K100D? You'll find it on eBay until June 10.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Welfare-Warfare State Thrives

Those who still delude themselves that there is some fundamental difference between the Welfare Party and the Warfare Party, should consider the following:

Bush Wins War Money, Dems Win Pork

War is the health of the State.
Randolph Bourne

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More Orbitz Grief

I called Orbitz again today, to get the funds released that they encumbered for a flight they cannot provide. They assured me that they faxed the release to my bank yesterday, but they would send another one today.

Well, the funds still are encumbered. My bank says they've never received anything from Orbitz. I still can't book a flight.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Orbitz Suckz

I tried to book a flight on Orbitz yesterday. In a classic bait-and-switch, the lowest priced flight was rejected: "Not a valid flight. Please choose another."

I selected the next flight, about $4.00 more. "Your bank refused the charge." What the heck?

I logged onto my bank account. Sure enough, Orbitz had placed a hold on the account in the amount of the first, "invalid flight" fare total. Since I was attempting to book an overseas flight for the family, my second attempt exceeded my daily limit on my debit card.

I called Orbitz to obtain an immediate release of the funds. They promised me they would do it today. Do I need to tell you that the funds are still encumbered?

So, here I am: no flight, no funds, and a lot of time wasted. Thankz, Orbitz.