Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Since we lived in Virginia (93-96) and attended in person, the Sunday night National Memorial Day Concert at the Capitol has become a family tradition. Last night was no exception. It was exceptional -- best ever! If you missed it, tune in next year. On PBS.

See tributes to the fallen here and here.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Double standard? How dare me!

Victor Davis Hanson has learned a lot from our media.

Ideology not so much, now competence

Michael Barone notes Obama has already lost the majority of the public on ideology. Now he's losing their confidence in his competence. This echoes Peggy Noonan's latest columnn: "He was supposed to be competent." And Don Surber opines the president has faced 4 crises, and failed each time.

In the words of Vizzini in "The Princess Bride": "You were supposed to be this great thing."

Expectations were unrealistically high for Barack Obama. No one (except the real Messiah) could have met them. No surprise he has failed. If we are now disillusioned, shame on us for being "illusioned" in the first place.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


While the rest of the country is cinching up its belt, the Obama administration has increased government spending like it has a no-limit credit card.

While consumer debt is on the way down, in 16 months the Dems have increased the national debt fourfold.

And in the new era of "smart diplomacy," we have made friends of our enemies and enemies of our friends.

So: if you were intentionally trying to undermine the United States of America as a world power and destroy its economy, what would you do differently than the Obama administration in the past 16 months?

The thrill is gone

"Idiotic cerebral meritocracy."

That's Chris ("I felt this thrill going up my leg" when I heard Obama speak) Matthews' description of the Obama administration's response to the BP oil spill crisis.

The whole quote: "“. . . this idiotic cerebral meritocracy has got to step aside and let the people who do things take over . . .”:

The Anchoress has all the links. Read the whole thing including the links -- and watch each video. Including this (life is full of irony):

UPDATE: Like King Canute, Obama can't actually change the tides.

Friday, May 28, 2010

TGM 13 Dec 26 - 28 May 09

One year anniversary of my dad's death.

"What thou hast borne shall bear thee up to God."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Apple overtakes Microsoft as world's biggest tech company

Wow. Nearly bankrupt in the 90s. Ironically, Microsoft came to Apple's aid (purchased stock, as a PR ploy by both companies -- Microsoft was still facing antitrust claims). Whodathunkit?

The admiral and the president

WaPo: Congressman Joe Sestak says the White House offered him a job to drop out of the Senate race against Arlen Specter. The White House denies anything inappropriate happened.

Sestak doesn't retract, wins the primary.

The Eric Holder Justice Department declines to appoint a special prosecutor. Big surprise there.

If Sestak retracts, his political career is over. If White House admits, it's three felonies. A way out? Hmm.

Even their guys are now asking questions. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: The latest (28 May 10).

Pitchforks at the gate

SEIU thug protest at banker's home.

The aftermath:
Has Captain Civility or his flack-in-chief been asked about this yet by any reporter, incidentally? Not that they’re obligated to answer for every sin committed by every crank on their side of the aisle; that privilege is reserved for Republicans. But after all the demagoguery about teabaggers gone wild coupled with all the finger-wagging at conservatives about disagreeing without being disagreeable, you’d think he might have thoughts on his closest union crony sending a rampaging horde to intimidate a banker at his home. But then, this is the guy who once told a group of financial CEOs, "My administration is the only thing between you and the pitchforks."
Pitchforks all around.

Read the whole thing at Hot Air.

Bad news for Obama approval: trending south

A big owie: 22 point spread - worst of his presidency. And Sestak matter is heating up. And if BP doesn't plug the hole ...

Some devastating polls for Democrats

End of a triple play: Barone to Barone to Barone. Democrats who voted for Obamacare are in trouble. A Republican leads the incumbent Democrat governor in Oregon! Pigs are flying.

Down in the polls, Dems at war with themselves

Barone: "What we're seeing here are attempts to scramble out of trouble by members of a party whose big government policies have proved, to their surprise, to be highly unpopular. Some move left, some move right, some just run around." Read the whole thing.

The gathering revolt against government spending

Michael Barone spells out why incumbents of both parties are in trouble.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Free press

Life is full of irony.

Obama signs a freedom of the press bill, then refuses to take questions from the press.

The president has not had a real news conference since 22 July 2009 (nearly a year). Heh.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Change we can believe in

Specter's loss makes it 0-4 for Obama: Deeds (VA), Corzine (NJ), Coakley (MA), and now Specter (PA) -- Democratic candidates in blue (or purple) states the president campaigned for -- who lost.

This just in: Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D AR) forced into a runoff. She voted yes on Obamacare, while Arkansans are 2-1 against it.

Here's the White House's expected spin: "This isn't about dissatisfaction with the performance of the 44th President. Oh no. This is about demanding change in Washington - the very same change, by gum, that Barack Obama has been working so hard to bring about!"


As Mr. Bennett says in Pride and Prejudice: "You may think that, Mary, if it gives you comfort."

No comfort come November. Americans are voting against Washington. "Washington" now means President Obama -- and incumbents who have been going along.

Our ancestors shed blood carrying flags with the slogan, "Don't tread on me." Message from the tea party: "We're coming to take our government back."

UPDATE: Fred Barnes agrees: not anti-incumbent, anti-Obama.

Left, right, and wrong

Sometimes the script gets in the way. Jonah Goldberg has a story about a university's standard racial outrage v. silence in the face of a Muslim student's support of bigotry and genocide at UCSD. Money quote: "This endorsement of genocide is brought to you by Aristotle." You've got to read the whole thing.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

NJ governor setting example for feds

The Hill has the story of how a Republican governor in a very blue state is cutting taxes and government spending. Amazing concept!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Hope" and "change"

Glenn Reynolds posts:
HOPE: U.S. posts 19th straight monthly budget deficit.
The US government suffered a wider-than-expected budget deficit of 82.69 billion dollars in April, the Treasury Department said Wednesday.

It was nearly four times the deficit chalked up a year earlier and the largest ever recorded in April.

Most analysts had expected the April deficit, the 19th consecutive month of federal red ink, to be about 52 billion dollars.
Unexpectedly, it was over half again as high as expected. Go, analysts!
Both betide this hope for a change:
POLL: Americans want lower spending, not higher taxes.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Bennett loses Senate seat at Utah GOP convention

Link to a story here.

Part of what Richard Fernandez has to say about it means:
The Tea Parties represent an asymmetric threat to political organizations optimized for party-line warfare. The threat is no longer across the aisle but outside the building. As such, two possibilities suggest themselves. The first is that the Washington elite will circle the wagons, bury their minor differences and concentrate on keeping the money and power flowing to the capital. A threat from outside the building is after all, a threat to everybody inside the building. The other possibility is that enough members of the elite will realize that jig is up and strive to accommodate themselves to the new reality. In the coming months we are likely to see both gambits. Some politicians will opt to tap the tide; others will seek to master it.

That new reality is driven by economics. The real problem is that Washington — and Brussels globally considered — is running out of Other People’s Money (OPM). The Tea Parties are not the cause but the expression of the underlying problem. By all the standards of power the Tea Parties are a nothing. But that is to misunderstand their nature. The political elite can infiltrate the Tea Parties, revile it in the press and put it down as hard as they can, but like the weighted doll it will rebound incessantly because the deficit, unemployment and the declining confidence in the elite system will keep pushing it up. The Tea Parties are the elite’s dark political dual. The only way they can vanquish the doppelganger is to leave the stage themselves.

The evolution of the Tea Party “threat” in the media has followed the classic trajectory of recognizing asymmetric threats: it was at first dismissed, then denigrated, then patronizingly understood and is now going through the stage of being set up as a national security threat boogeyman, when as it turns out, its main effect so far has been to eliminate a three-term Republican candidate for Senator. At some point the Washington insiders will understand they are facing a real, bona fide political challenge. But although the elite may go out clinging with their fingernails to the carpets of their offices their real enemy will always be not the Tea Partiers but the repo men. It’s the lack of money that will be their ultimate downfall.
The times they are a changin'.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Smart diplomacy

We had zero terrorist attacks in the U.S. for eight years following 9/11.

We've had four terrorist attacks in America in the fifteen months since Obama became president in January 2009:

• a deadly shooting attack by Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad on a military recruiting center in Little Rock, Arkansas in May 2009 that killed a US soldier and injured another;

• the terrorist massacre shooting attack by Nidal Malik Hasan in Fort Hood, Texas in November 2009 that murdered 13 and injured scores of others;

• the failed Christmas day terrorist "underpants bomb" attack on a US airliner bound for Detroit by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab; and

• the failed Times Square SUV bombing by Faisal Shahzad last Friday in NYC.

If it hadn't been that the bombs built by the terrorists in the last two attempts did not go off (i.e., their stupidity or pure dumb luck), hundreds of people would have been killed, and more injured.

As MatchDoctor noted after the Christmas day bombing attempt: "Apparently, President Obama's gestures -- announcing the closing down of the Guantanamo Bay detention center that houses more terrorists, engaging the terrorists in dialog, and telling the terrorists the date that we will surrender in Afghanistan so they won't be so angry at us -- has not achieved the desired effect."

And each time, government authorities urged the public not to jump to any conclusions about this being Islamic terrorism or that these individuals were acting in concert with others.

Indeed, it's ironic that NYC Mayor Bloomberg, for example, after suggesting that the Times Square bombing attempt could have been perpetrated by some right-wing extremist who disagreed with the president's policies, self-righteously proclaimed that the city "will not tolerate any bias" or a backlash against NYC Muslims.

Liney's 4x400 relay team takes Region; on to State!

At the Region 8 track meet at Westlake High School in Saratoga Springs today, our daughter's relay team took first and will be going to State. Go Caroline and go TBirds!

All 3 Navy Seals acquitted of Iraqi detainee abuse

Some people believe "military justice" is an oxymoron.

As an Air Force ADC (Area Defense Counsel) for a year and a half, I had 21 trials. 14 were guilty pleas, and 7 litigated (i.e., where my clients pled not guilty). Of my litigated cases, I had 2 outright acquittals, 4 partial acquittals, and one conviction reversed on appeal. (That reversal was from one of my partial acquittals; I had one case where my client pled not guilty and was convicted of everything -- our theory in that case was that he was telling the truth, and the three witnesses against him were lying).

Civilians generally do not understand that, to avoid unlawful command influence, military defendants actually have more rights than civilian defendants.

However, it sounds like the detainee abuse case involving 3 Navy Seals was a weak case to begin with. All three turned down nonjudicial punishment (meaning, they were first offered administrative punishment). If their commander, or the convening authority, thought there was strong enough proof for a court-martial, they would have preferred charges and gone to a general court-martial in the first place. The fact that the 3 were acquitted should inspire more confidence in a military justice system that works.

David D. Anderson - 6 May 1937-19 May 2008

My father-in-law would have been 73 today. His obituary:

“Say ‘yes’ to life!”

David Dean Anderson died unexpectedly on 19 May 2008 at the age of 71 in Provo, Utah. Dave suffered a cardiac arrest after biking to and working out at a local gym. Dave had a cheerful disposition even in the face of great difficulties and chronic pain. One of his greatest legacies was his example of living life to the fullest. After surviving corneal transplants, quadruple bypass surgery, three back surgeries, two hip replacements, a near-fatal E. Coli infection, and prostate cancer, for his 70th birthday he paraglided at the Point of the Mountain. Since age 70, he has summited Mount Timpanogos (11,749 feet), hiked multiple times to the “Y” and the top of Squaw Peak, flown an ultralight over the family farm in St. Johns, Michigan, biked with his two younger brothers through Zions and Bryce, and ridden a toboggan towed behind his son’s pickup truck in Sedalia, Colorado.

Dave was born 6 May 1937 to Dale and Caroline Anderson in St. Johns, Michigan, the oldest of five children. He graduated from St. Johns High School, was in the first graduating class (1959) of the United States Air Force Academy, did post-graduate work at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and retired from the Air Force as a colonel after 22 years of distinguished service. Dave was serving as the commander of the Air Force’s largest intelligence wing when he retired. Following his retirement, Dave served as a program manager for Lockheed Missiles & Space Company, and was later a real estate broker in Colorado for 25 years, including as a co-founder of The Anderson Team. Dave was president of the Falcon Quarterback Club, and a diehard Air Force fan.

He was a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and served faithfully in many callings including as a bishop (four times), high councilor, and Gospel Doctrine instructor. Most recently he was serving as a Sunday School counselor, instructor, and high priests instructor. He and his wife of nearly 49 years, Robin Tracy, served an 18-month proselyting mission for the Church in the Houston, Texas mission from 2005-2006, after which they moved to Provo, Utah. After their move, Dave had season tickets to both Air Force and BYU football games, and quickly became a diehard BYU fan (but never at the expense of his beloved Air Force).

Dave and his family were sealed for time and eternity in the Salt Lake Temple. He is survived by his wife, Robin, and their 9 children: daughters Cynthia Madsen (Barnard), Carrie Athay (William), Dana Simonelli (Gabriel), and Lorelle Hauger (Brent); sons Gregory (Gerry), Peter (Stephanie), Dale (Mardie), Bruce, and Gabriel (Brooke); 12 grandsons, and 9 granddaughters; and a great-granddaughter due in August.

The family wishes to thank the Gold’s Gym staff, paramedics, and the doctors, nurses, and staff at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center for their heroic efforts attempting to save Dave’s life.

The Myth of the Menacing Militias

"Right-wing violence" is the dems' mantra and an MSM narrative. I'm still waiting for someone to point out an instance of "right-wing violence" in the past five years, or at a single Tea Party rally. It's a myth.

Remember Katrina...

Flooding in Nashville has killed 19 and caused $1B in damage. The Gulf coast states are facing an oil spill of potentially catastrophic proportions. And the southern border of the U.S. is a sieve for illegal immigration. A president can't do everything, but this president's lack of attention to the south is notable and seems to reflect a regional bias. Why? Apparently he doesn't care about Southern people.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

A Tale of Two Americas

Bill Whittle on "Afterburner" at PJTV. There's a lot right about the other half. (Interesting note: he mentions Provo, Utah and Welfare Square).


And now for something completely different... Make someone smile!

Follow the money...

The "Green Movement" decries the oil industry and profiteering. Of course, the "Green Movement" stands to profit from "global warming" via the growth of "green industries."

On a similar subject, this from Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit:
AND YET, THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING IS “MORE REGULATION:” Govt. Regulators Gave BP A Pass. “The Interior Department exempted BP’s calamitous Gulf of Mexico drilling operation from a detailed environmental impact analysis last year, according to government documents, after three reviews of the area concluded that a massive oil spill was unlikely.” Hmm. Who was President “last year?”

UPDATE: Related: Politico: Obama Top Recipient of BP Cash. “BP and its employees have given more than $3.5 million to federal candidates over the past 20 years, with the largest chunk of their money going to Obama, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.”

Is it that simple? Whose "reviews" concluded a massive oil spill was unlikely?

The global war on, well ... something

David Harsanyi in the Denver Post has it right. Partial quote:
"If I had to guess 25 cents, this would be exactly that," explained Mayor Michael Bloomberg — who has plenty of quarters to spare — during the investigation's early stages. "Homegrown, or maybe a mentally deranged person, or somebody with a political agenda that doesn't like the health care bill or something. It could be anything."

It could be anything, said the mayor of New York City. A mentally deranged person, perhaps? Maybe some crazy from the fundamentalist faction of around 56 percent of us who opposed health-care reform. After all, in the deep recesses of some imaginations, conservatives are not above murdering hundreds of tourists to make a point about Obamacare.

Or it could be something totally unanticipated! Like Faisal Shahzad, a 30-year-old naturalized American citizen from Pakistan, who was taken into custody at JFK Airport in New York as he attempted to escape to Dubai. A senior U.S. official said Shahzad already admitted to interrogators that he received (not very effective) bomb-making tips during his five-month trip to Pakistan. Reason dictates Shahzad wasn't upset about reconciliation.


If I had to guess 25 cents, I'd bet the administration makes no mention of fundamentalist Islam even when it reluctantly admits we're dealing with "terror."

Yet, such an obvious admission is neither a condemnation nor endorsement of any brand of foreign policy. It is neither a condemnation nor endorsement of the idealistic notion that we can "eradicate terrorism" nor the naive idea that a charismatic president can plead for friendship enough times that jihadists worldwide will be lulled into submission and awe.

After all, the administration has never been scared to call out despots and extremists, such as insurance companies, Wall Street executives, Tea Party activists and the Israeli government. This is the Department of Homeland Security that issued a report alerting us to potential violence from "right- wing extremists" who are ginned up about "illegal immigration," "federal power," and the Second Amendment. (So at least half of you qualify.)

Why not engage in one of those frank discussions the president is always pretending to have with the American people? How can we deal with a problem if we're not even allowed to honestly talk about it?
Read the whole thing.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Out of Africa: Jewels from Dakar

Our Kelly girl flew to Dakar with Dr. Marian Johnson yesterday. We were able to talk to her on Skype after they arrived at their hotel. They are interviewing goldsmiths and photographing Senegalese wedding jewelry in preparation for a Smithsonian exhibit. Here blog is here: Out of Africa: Jewels from Dakar. So far, so good.