Nemo me impune lacessit

No one provokes me with impunity


No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.

Article 1, Section 9, Constitution of the United States

If this is the law of the land...why in a republic (little r) and as republicans, do we allow mere POLITICIANS to the right to use a "title of office" for the rest of their lives as if it were de facto a patent of nobility. Because, as republicans, this should NOT be the case...just saying...

The Vail Spot's Amazon Store

Monday, January 30, 2012

Buycott Israel

via Legalinsurrection, comes this, 
IsraellyCool has come up with a great Buycott poster highlighting companies which do business with Israel and which deserve our support.

Please support those companies who support Isreal...after all, Israel is the ONLY functioning democracy in the middle east.  Additionally, they are the only ally we have who supports America in the region.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Newt Against The Media

The MSM is against conservatives in a visceral's a great example...

The MSM has a hatred of conservatives...and will do what ever than can to ensure that their preferred GOP candidate, Mitt Romney, wins the GOP primaries...but...Newt has the balls to fight back.  I"m not a very big fan of his, but he has the stones to kick the media in the teeth.  That's why he won the South Carolina primary.


Media Bias: Duh!

Here's why Mr. Romney will not be the next president of the United States...

He's NOT electible.  Despite the media's and GOP establishment's desires, he can't poll above 25%.  The "base" of the GOP just doesn't trust him.

Via 1389 blog.

Why Newt Won South Carolina

All the "elite" pundits and columnists can't really explain why Newt won yesterday's GOP South Carolina primary.  What it comes down to is simply this:

Here's another reason why Newt got the roars,
And where did the crowd roar? They roared when some premise of liberalism or some particular liberal was taken apart. No Republican on Republican crime was rewarded. Even Mitt, no favorite of the red meat crowd, got his loudest moments when he finally decided to support capitalism with some fervor. Newt of course got the big reaction over the week by attacking liberal members of the media who were either attacking conservative beliefs on the whole (Juan Williams and the race card) or protecting Obama by attacking Republicans' personal lives (John King)].[Ed, emphasis is mine]

Republicans and conservatives are tired of being labeled as stupid, racist bigots by the heavily biased media and hypocritical Liberals. That's why Newt won. He's the only candidate who knows who the "enemy" is and is willing to attack them head on. That's why his compaign keeps rising from the dead...because, paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, "...we can't spare this man, he fights..."
But more importantly, Newt won because while he was campaigning, he talked to the voters on substance, not the empty platitudes that Romney and the rest used.   Additionally, Newt was smart enough to use the anger to the GOP "elites" that Romney embodies, and
Gingrich's success here in South Carolina shows more than just a skepticism toward establishment Republicanism. It also shows a hunger for real substance in the campaign, for a candidate who will talk to voters and give them more than phrases like "I believe in America." Mitt Romney's team of seasoned campaign professionals may not think Newt Gingrich has any business playing a deciding role in the race. But they better believe it, and they better take seriously what the Gingrich challenge represents -- before it's too late.
 Something none of the other candidates have picked up on.  If 60% of the electorate, in the Republican party are picking "Not Romney" you'd think the GOP Establishmen would stop trying to ram the son of a bitch down our throats.  After all, except for a bried 4 day period, Romney hasn't polled above 25% for SIX LONG YEARS!!!!!

Why I hate BLogger...

Why do I hate blogger? This week it won't let me update my blog roll.  I can't understand why...but the past couple of days, when I'm trying to update-add, it won't allow it.  I've been trying to add this blog {} to my list, but the FUBAR system that is blogger, won't let me.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The following comes from Hillsdalle College's Imprimis news letter. I don't often repost whole articles by other writers, unless they submit it to me and request that I post it. In this case, the author makes points far better than I.

January 2012
Charles Murray
American Enterprise Institute
Share this Issue:
Do We Need the Department of Education?
Charles Murray is the W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. He received his B.A. in history at Harvard University and his Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has written for numerous newspapers and journals, including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Weekly Standard, Commentary, and National Review. His books include Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950-1980, What It Means to Be a Libertarian, and Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America’s Schools Back to Reality. His new book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, will be published at the end of January.The following is adapted from a speech delivered in Atlanta, Georgia, on October 28, 2011, at a conference on “Markets, Government, and the Common Good,” sponsored by Hillsdale College’s Center for the Study of Monetary Systems and Free Enterprise.

THE CASE FOR the Department of Education could rest on one or more of three legs: its constitutional appropriateness, the existence of serious problems in education that could be solved only at the federal level, and/or its track record since it came into being. Let us consider these in order.
(1) Is the Department of Education constitutional?
At the time the Constitution was written, education was not even considered a function of local government, let alone the federal government. But the shakiness of the Department of Education’s constitutionality goes beyond that. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution enumerates the things over which Congress has the power to legislate. Not only does the list not include education, there is no plausible rationale for squeezing education in under the commerce clause. I’m sure the Supreme Court found a rationale, but it cannot have been plausible.
On a more philosophical level, the framers of America’s limited government had a broad allegiance to what Catholics call the principle of subsidiarity. In the secular world, the principle of subsidiarity means that local government should do only those things that individuals cannot do for themselves, state government should do only those things that local governments cannot do, and the federal government should do only those things that the individual states cannot do. Education is something that individuals acting alone and cooperatively can do, let alone something local or state governments can do.
I should be explicit about my own animus in this regard. I don’t think the Department of Education is constitutionally legitimate, let alone appropriate. I would favor abolishing it even if, on a pragmatic level, it had improved American education. But I am in a small minority on that point, so let’s move on to the pragmatic questions.
(2) Are there serious problems in education that can be solved only at the federal level?
The first major federal spending on education was triggered by the launch of the first space satellite, Sputnik, in the fall of 1957, which created a perception that the United States had fallen behind the Soviet Union in science and technology. The legislation was specifically designed to encourage more students to go into math and science, and its motivation is indicated by its title: The National Defense Education Act of 1958. But what really ensnared the federal government in education in the 1960s had its origins elsewhere—in civil rights. The Supreme Court declared segregation of the schools unconstitutional in 1954, but—notwithstanding a few highly publicized episodes such as the integration of Central High School in Little Rock and James Meredith’s admission to the University of Mississippi—the pace of change in the next decade was glacial.
Was it necessary for the federal government to act? There is a strong argument for “yes,” especially in the case of K-12 education. Southern resistance to desegregation proved to be both stubborn and effective in the years following Brown v. Board of Education. Segregation of the schools had been declared unconstitutional, and constitutional rights were being violated on a massive scale. But the question at hand is whether we need a Department of Education now, and we have seen a typical evolution of policy. What could have been justified as a one-time, forceful effort to end violations of constitutional rights, lasting until the constitutional wrongs had been righted, was transmuted into a permanent government establishment. Subsequently, this establishment became more and more deeply involved in American education for purposes that have nothing to do with constitutional rights, but instead with a broader goal of improving education.
The reason this came about is also intimately related to the civil rights movement. Over the same years that school segregation became a national issue, the disparities between black and white educational attainment and test scores came to public attention. When the push for President Johnson’s Great Society programs began in the mid-1960s, it was inevitable that the federal government would attempt to reduce black-white disparities, and it did so in 1965 with the passage of two landmark bills—the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Higher Education Act. The Department of Education didn’t come into being until 1980, but large-scale involvement of the federal government in education dates from 1965.
(3) So what is the federal government’s track record in education?
The most obvious way to look at the track record is the long-term trend data of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Consider, for instance, the results for the math test for students in fourth, eighth and twelfth grades from 1978 through 2004. The good news is that the scores for fourth graders showed significant improvement in both reading and math—although those gains diminished slightly as the children got older. The bad news is that the baseline year of 1978 represents the nadir of the test score decline from the mid-1960s through the 1970s. Probably we are today about where we were in math achievement in the 1960s. For reading, the story is even bleaker. The small gains among fourth graders diminish by eighth grade and vanish by the twelfth grade. And once again, the baseline tests in the 1970s represent a nadir.
From 1942 through the 1990s, the state of Iowa administered a consistent and comprehensive test to all of its public school students in grade school, middle school, and high school—making it, to my knowledge, the only state in the union to have good longitudinal data that go back that far. The Iowa Test of Basic Skills offers not a sample, but an entire state population of students. What can we learn from a single state? Not much, if we are mainly interested in the education of minorities—Iowa from 1942 through 1970 was 97 percent white, and even in the 2010 census was 91 percent white. But, paradoxically, that racial homogeneity is also an advantage, because it sidesteps all the complications associated with changing ethnic populations.
Since retention through high school has changed greatly over the last 70 years, I will consider here only the data for ninth graders. What the data show is that when the federal government decided to get involved on a large scale in K-12 education in 1965, Iowa’s education had been improving substantially since the first test was administered in 1942. There is reason to think that the same thing had been happening throughout the country. As I documented in my book, Real Education, collateral data from other sources are not as detailed, nor do they go back to the 1940s, but they tell a consistent story. American education had been improving since World War II. Then, when the federal government began to get involved, it got worse.
I will not try to make the case that federal involvement caused the downturn. The effort that went into programs associated with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 in the early years was not enough to have changed American education, and the more likely causes for the downturn are the spirit of the 1960s—do your own thing—and the rise of progressive education to dominance over American public education. But this much can certainly be said: The overall data on the performance of American K-12 students give no reason to think that federal involvement, which took the form of the Department of Education after 1979, has been an engine of improvement.
What about the education of the disadvantaged, especially minorities? After all, this was arguably the main reason that the federal government began to get involved in education—to reduce the achievement gap separating poor children and rich children, and especially the gap separating poor black children and the rest of the country.
The most famous part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was Title I, initially authorizing more than a billion dollars annually (equivalent to more than $7 billion today) to upgrade the schools attended by children from low-income families. The program has continued to grow ever since, disposing of about $19 billion in 2010 (No Child Left Behind has also been part of Title I).
Supporters of Title I confidently expected to see progress, and so formal evaluation of Title I was built into the legislation from the beginning. Over the years, the evaluations became progressively more ambitious and more methodologically sophisticated. But while the evaluations have improved, the story they tell has not changed. Despite being conducted by people who wished the program well, no evaluation of Title I from the 1970s onward has found credible evidence of a significant positive impact on student achievement. If one steps back from the formal evaluations and looks at the NAEP test score gap between high-poverty schools (the ones that qualify for Title I support) and low-poverty schools, the implications are worse. A study by the Department of Education published in 2001 revealed that the gap grew rather than diminished from 1986—the earliest year such comparisons have been made—through 1999.
That brings us to No Child Left Behind. Have you noticed that no one talks about No Child Left Behind any more? The explanation is that its one-time advocates are no longer willing to defend it. The nearly-flat NAEP trendlines since 2002 make that much-ballyhooed legislative mandate—a mandate to bring all children to proficiency in math and reading by 2014—too embarrassing to mention.
In summary: the long, intrusive, expensive role of the federal government in K-12 education does not have any credible evidence for a positive effect on American education.
* * *
I have chosen to focus on K-12 because everyone agrees that K-12 education leaves much to be desired in this country and that it is reasonable to hold the government’s feet to the fire when there is no evidence that K-12 education has improved. When we turn to post-secondary education, there is much less agreement on first principles.
The bachelor of arts degree as it has evolved over the last half-century has become the work of the devil. It is now a substantively meaningless piece of paper—genuinely meaningless, if you don’t know where the degree was obtained and what courses were taken. It is expensive, too, as documented by the College Board: Public four-year colleges average about $7,000 per year in tuition, not including transportation, housing, and food. Tuition at the average private four-year college is more than $27,000 per year. And yet the B.A. has become the minimum requirement for getting a job interview for millions of jobs, a cost-free way for employers to screen for a certain amount of IQ and perseverance. Employers seldom even bother to check grades or courses, being able to tell enough about a graduate just by knowing the institution that he or she got into as an 18-year-old.
So what happens when a paper credential is essential for securing a job interview, but that credential can be obtained by taking the easiest courses and doing the minimum amount of work? The result is hundreds of thousands of college students who go to college not to get an education, but to get a piece of paper. When the dean of one East Coast college is asked how many students are in his institution, he likes to answer, “Oh, maybe six or seven.” The situation at his college is not unusual. The degradation of American college education is not a matter of a few parents horrified at stories of silly courses, trivial study requirements, and campus binge drinking. It has been documented in detail, affects a large proportion of the students in colleges, and is a disgrace.
The Department of Education, with decades of student loans and scholarships for university education, has not just been complicit in this evolution of the B.A. It has been its enabler. The size of these programs is immense. In 2010, the federal government issued new loans totaling $125 billion. It handed out more than eight million Pell Grants totaling more than $32 billion dollars. Absent this level of intervention, the last three decades would have seen a much healthier evolution of post-secondary education that focused on concrete job credentials and courses of studies not constricted by the traditional model of the four-year residential college. The absence of this artificial subsidy would also have let market forces hold down costs. Defenders of the Department of Education can unquestionably make the case that its policies have increased the number of people going to four-year residential colleges. But I view that as part of the Department of Education’s indictment, not its defense.
* * *
What other case might be made for federal involvement in education? Its contributions to good educational practice? Think of the good things that have happened to education in the last 30 years—the growth of homeschooling and the invention and spread of charter schools. The Department of Education had nothing to do with either development. Both happened because of the initiatives taken by parents who were disgusted with standard public education and took matters into their own hands. To watch the process by which charter schools are created, against the resistance of school boards and administrators, is to watch the best of American traditions in operation. Government has had nothing to do with it, except as a drag on what citizens are trying to do for their children.
Think of the best books on educational practice, such as Howard Gardner’s many innovative writings and E.D. Hirsch’s Core Knowledge Curriculum, developed after his landmark book, Cultural Literacy, was published in 1987. None of this came out of the Department of Education. The Department of Education spends about $200 million a year on research intended to improve educational practice. No evidence exists that these expenditures have done any significant good.
As far as I can determine, the Department of Education has no track record of positive accomplishment—nothing in the national numbers on educational achievement, nothing in the improvement of educational outcomes for the disadvantaged, nothing in the advancement of educational practice. It just spends a lot of money. This brings us to the practical question: If the Department of Education disappeared from next year’s budget, would anyone notice? The only reason that anyone would notice is the money. The nation’s public schools have developed a dependence on the federal infusion of funds. As a practical matter, actually doing away with the Department of Education would involve creating block grants so that school district budgets throughout the nation wouldn’t crater.
Sadly, even that isn’t practical. The education lobby will prevent any serious inroads on the Department of Education for the foreseeable future. But the answer to the question posed in the title of this talk—“Do we need the Department of Education?”—is to me unambiguous: No.

Copyright © 2012 Hillsdale College. The opinions expressed in Imprimis are not necessarily the views of Hillsdale College. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided the following credit line is used: “Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.” SUBSCRIPTION FREE UPON REQUEST. ISSN 0277-8432. Imprimis trademark registered in U.S. Patent and Trade Office #1563325.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Dutch" Ruppersberger, MD-2 (D)

I just tried to contact my Congressman, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger. According to the Baltimore Country, Maryland supervisor of elections, I'm in his district. You can tell he's a Democrat because he's set up his website to refuse any and all zip codes. I tried several times to enter various zip codes + 4's, to send him an email...protesting his support of SOPA, but couldnt' get through. When I called his office to voice my objections...I got voice mail. Feel free to call this elected scoundrel, who hides from his constiuents at any of the numbers below. I plan to do so all day long tomorrow.

Washington, DC
2453 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-2002
Phone: 202-225-3061
800-877-8339 (voice/TTY)
Fax: 202-225-3094

Timonium, MD
The Atrium
375 West Padonia Road, Suite 200
Timonium, MD 21093
Phone: 410-628-2701
800-877-8339 (voice/TTY)
Fax: 410-628-2708

DC Staff List:
Tara Linnehan Oursler Chief of Staff
Cori Duggins Deputy Chief of Staff
Ann Jacobs Legislative Director
Walter Gonzales Senior Policy Advisor
Deborah Haynie Director of Special Projects
Jaime Lennon Press Secretary
Lauren Gring Military Legislative Assistant
Justin Brower Legislative Correspondent

District Office Staff:
Tara Linnehan Oursler Chief of Staff
Cori Duggins Deputy Chief of Staff
Jennifer Riggs District Director
Carol Merkel Scheduler
Michael Baker Outreach Director
Lynn Yates Constituent Liaison
Walker Coale Constituent Liaison
Jessica Facini Constituent Liaison
Danielle Akwara Constituent Liaison/Staff Assistant

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Blogger Assistance Needed...

Zilla of the Resistance needs help. I hope that you can help her. Having been on the receiving end of someone else's generosity, I hope that you, out there in the interwebs, will hit her tip jar as hard as you can.

Newt Gingrich: Working Isn't Racist

Slam dunk: via LegalInsurrection & Instapundit

Thursday, January 12, 2012

DNC Chair Blames Tucson Shooting On Tea Party

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), whom I'm ashamed to admit is Jewish (as am I) blames the Tea Party for the Tucson shootings last year. 
“We need to make sure that we tone things down, particularly in light of the Tucson tragedy from a year ago, where my very good friend, Gabby Giffords — who is doing really well, by the way, — [was shot],” Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chair said during a “Politics and Eggs” forum this morning. “The discourse in America, the discourse in Congress in particular . . . has really changed, I’ll tell you. I hesitate to place blame, but I have noticed it take a very precipitous turn towards edginess and lack of civility with the growth of the Tea Party movement.”
Video here:

Ms. W-S, has forgotten a very basic fact of the Tucson shootings...Mr. Lougher was a DEMOCRAT!!!!!!! How often in the OWS "encampments" were there rapes, assaults and murders? Dozens? How many assaults, murders and rapes were there at Tea Party gatherings? The only assaults came from union thugs assaulting Tea Partiers...Debbie, wake up and stop being stupid.

A very good friend of mine, JP Bender knows this woman, and has said in the past she's "dumber than dog shit". Actually, he said much,much worse, but I figured that wouldn't offend as many people. He was working on a lengthy story, when he became very ill, not too long ago, and couldn't finish it. I hope that sometime, in the near future, I can finish it for him.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Yard Sign...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Social Justice, Explained

Here, via SmallDeadAnimals & Instapundit is a great video that explains what "Social Justice" really is:

Tax Plan Comparison of the 2012 Presidential Candidates

Via YidWithALid is a great graphic comparing the tax plans of all of the 2012 presidential candidates.

Monday, January 09, 2012

The Newt vs The One...

While many of those who read this blog know, I'm not a big supporter of Newt Gingrich, because of some of his actions in the past, I do greatly admire that thus far, he's not participated in much of the GOP candidate bashing that some of the other Republican candidates have.  I do admire him for that.  He has kept in mind that the real opponent is the man who currently occupies the office of the, a reader who doess supports Mr. Gingrich has taken the time to gather some information on him and sent it to me...though she asks for annonyminity, I'll publish her information here with her name...
I saw your comment at DaTechGuy's blog, brought there in an Instalanche.
At first, I , too, thought that there was no one in the Republican field whom I could support. I have spent the last year or so watching Newt's speeches. I now support Newt, and I actually will be voting FOR him, enthusiastically, and not just against Obama, if Newt is the nominee in the general election.
Each of us must make up our own mind. I hope it's ok that I'm taking the liberty of sending you the links below to speeches by Newt. It took me ages to find all these speeches, wading through YouTube. So I want you to have them in one convenient place, in case you are interested. I offer these links to you in case you would like to know what there is to support about Newt.
I have been a student of Quality Improvement for many years, and I love the idea of applying Lean Six Sigma methods to create continuous improvement in government. I think Newt is right when he says that we have turned the economy around twice before, with Reagan and in 1994, and it is actually not that hard to do -- lower taxes to the "sweet spot" on the Laffer curve, simplify regulations and make them fair, make government use common sense and quite scaring our business owners half to death, and also praising people who display the work ethic and actually create jobs! I also agree that we need to enforce the 10th Amendment and send power back to local communities. I also agree with re-balancing the power among the three CO-EQUAL branches of government, and reining in the courts when they make rulings like, it's unconstitutional to say "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. I also agree that we should have an Environmental Solutions agency to replace the EPA, which most recently has been promulgating rules against dust on Iowa farms and in Arizona, and I think OSHA needs to become a helper to our builders and display some common sense for a change. 
So -- anyway, I SO agree with you about Romney and his unelectability. I think the current administration is hoping and planning for Romney to be the nominee, and they are going to run over him with a tank. That's what OWS is all about. I think Romney is all set to be overwhelmed by the money they have raised. I am infuriated by the Republican Establishment. All of the Republicans who have ignominiously lost to Democrats in recent years have now endorsed Romney!! At Conservatives4Newt I saw a comment: "The one who couldn't beat McCain has now been endorsed by the one who couldn't beat Obama!"
I hope these links turn out to be of some value to you. If you like them, having them in a list will save a lot of time.
Newt's proposals in these speeches have given me hope that we can take our country, that we love, and restore constitutionally-based rule of law with integrity, accountability and transparency (all government spending except for national security made public on line; committee meetings on C-SPAN). Newt wants to make the government responsive again to the will of the AMerican people. Newt's plans all require the active participation of the American people. Newt is trying to awaken and help focus the power and genius of the American people, as happened with Reagan. (To me, the astonishing thing has been to watch the Republican Establishment trying to destroy Newt's candidacy; including some people I would never have expected it from. What a wake-up call this has been for me.)

1. Dec. 2, 2011 -- Polk County Iowa GOP dinner --

2. June, 2010 -- "MICHIGAN MUST CHANGE OR DIE" Mackinac Policy Conference - 45:51

3. Dec. 3, 2011 -- Staten Island TEA Party -- PART I, PART 2, PART 3 Q & A

4. Oct. 27, 2011 -- The College Board --

with Paul Gigot and Joel Klein "The Future of American Education."
6. August 17, 2011 -- 24:57 "Strong America Now"

7. 2009 David Horowitz Weekend "Liberty or Death" --

This link takes you to parts 1 - 5 of the speech. The meaning of the 2004 election, the 2006 election, the history of the beginnings of America and the sacrifices of George Washington and other Americans. 

9. SOUTH FLORIDA CONSERVATIVE ON YOUTUBE -- about 24 minutes -- September 24, 2011 -- (This video stops rather abruptly. I can't find a part 2 if there is one. Gingrich is speaking to conservatives in South Florida, including people with Cuban heritage.)
10. VALUES VOTERS SUMMIT -- October 26, 2011 -- 22 minutes --
11. IOWA FAITH AND FREEDOM COALITION FALL BANQUET -- October 22, 2011 -- 27:27 minutes --

So, feel free to follow the links posted here. I'm not completely comfortable with Newt...mainly because of some of his stands in the past. On the other hand, he's never really pretended to be someone or have positions that are different today from what he's said, done or supported in the past. Like many of the other candidates this time around have. On the other hand, in aa historic election that will literally change the direction this country is going in, this has to be the weakest field of candidates that the GOP has fielded in decades...I just wish a real leader had come forward in stead of the group of...idiots and morons that we have to choose from this time.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Media Bias...

Newt brings up a valid point...something the media aides and abets in often...

via The Other McCain

Alice Gate: Is Obama Clueless? Edition 932

In yet another example of just how much the Obama Administration care little about the rest of the country, in 2009, they threw and extraordinarily elaborate "Alice In Wonderland" costume party in the White House. But, they tried to keep it secret from the public.   They should have understood that things like this will always come out.
A White House “Alice in Wonderland” costume ball — put on by Johnny Depp and Hollywood director Tim Burton — proved to be a Mad-as-a-Hatter idea that was never made public for fear of a political backlash during hard economic times, according to a new tell-all. 
“The Obamas,” by New York Times correspondent Jodi Kantor, tells of the first Halloween party the first couple feted at the White House in 2009. It was so over the top that “Star Wars” creator George Lucas sent the original Chewbacca to mingle with invited guests.
“White House officials were so nervous about how a splashy, Hollywood-esque party would look to jobless Americans — or their representatives in Congress, who would soon vote on health care — that the event was not discussed publicly and Burton’s and Depp’s contributions went unacknowledged,” the book says.

More pictures here...
However, the White House made certain that more humble Halloween festivities earlier that day — for thousands of Washington-area schoolkids — were well reported by the press corps. 
The elaborate parties, the excessive vacations...these things are begining to show just how tone deaf this President really is...
“Fruit punch was served in blood vials at the bar. Burton’s own Mad Hatter, the actor Johnny Depp, presided over the scene in full costume, standing up on a table to welcome everyone in character.”
This was a time when the unemployment rate was nearly 11%...and they spent money like this?  But then, this was before the Spanish vacation, or the Martha's Vinyard and Hawaii vacations.  I guess this man is really entitled to this...but what is even more gaulling is that the media hasn't covered this at all.  You have to get British media for a clear and evenhanded coverage
As is tradition, the Obamas handed out treats to Washington, D.C. school children earlier in the day, and while that event was covered heavily by the press, their later festivities were very actively kept secret.
This isn't the change voters were looking for...but's the subhead in the British Daily Telegraph: 
The White House covered up an Alice in Wonderland-themed Halloween party staged by film director Tim Burton and actor Johnny Depp for fear of creating the wrong impression during a recession
This man must go

Photo via

Goldbrand Custom Trailers

I posted a link some time ago about a boat builder from Sweden, who lived here in the US for a while.  He caught the motorcycle touring bug and after he moved back to Sweden, decided to build his dream motorcycle touring trailer.  In his own words...
Hi my name is Tony Guldbrand and I live in Sweden and are currently riding a 1999 GL 1500 Goldwing. I get the question WHY in regard to my trailer, Why have a trailer behind the bike? Well the idea for the camper was born back in 1991 when I was in Snyder TX, USA. I bought my first Goldwing in Lubbok TX. a maroon GL 1100 1980. I had only race bikes until then, but when my wife and I was going to FL on a motorcycle the Honda CB 900 was NOT an option. I soon found out after buing the Goldwing, that the packing space on the bike was NOT only for me, the wife found out real soon that she could pack A LOT OF THINGS, so we needed more packing space. Due to our job back then in Yachting the trailer had to wait but the idea was born.

Basically, he's taken his boatbuilding skills and applied them to his trailer.  It's a great little vehicle.  It has a small electrical motor to raise it and lower it.  I has a double bed..and a great deal of room in a very small package.

Here's an interior view, this folds down into a double bed...there's storage beneath the benches:

Planned features INCLUDED in the target weight of 100kg (220 lbs) is.
  • Wheels
  • Axle
  • Lights
  • Hardwere like hinges, doorhandle, nuts and bolts, electrical wiring, interrior lights, switches, vents
  • Hydraulic or pnumatic "expanding" with manual override feature
  • 12 Volt Battery
  • Toilet with foldable hardwalls that will be automaticly raised with the rest of the walls and roof, custom cabinet in "bathroom" with mirror and make up lights for the lady :-)
  • 12 volt floor heating
  • 1 table inside that will be used as support for bed at night
  • 1 outside table that will be intergrated in wall and folded down when needed with custom downlight to light up table. Table is NOT movable to "eat" 20' away from the camper. ALL due to wheight saving.
  • 1 dvd/tv approx 10'' display that can be vieved outside OR inside without moving it. Uniqe solution is planned.
  • MP3 player
  • AM/FM radio with 2 speakers used either with tv, radio or MP3 player.
  • A safe just inside the door for wallet, keys, mobilephone etc.
  • Under the safe there will be shelves for shoes, just to get them of the floor. 3-5 pair
  • Refridgirator with a freezer. The fridge can be acessed from the outside and the inside. I want to be able to get my breakfast easy while allready sitting down outside
  • Overhead cabinets with curtains behind to cover windows, front and back in camper
  • Outside showerhead (just to get that road grime off and to wash my hair) I can either carry 1-2 gallons of water with me or fill it from a lake once I arrive on site. It all depends on how much extra weight I want to haul around. It adds up fast :-( some way of heating the water is in planning stage. propane/12 volt, candles, solarpower???
  • Showercurtain with removable "bracket"
  • Slide out stove on the side of the trailer with drawer for silverwere, plates, glasses etc.
  • Enough plates, glasses, cups, cutlery, pots for 2 people (possible 4 people)
  • 2 chairs (possible 4) to be stored under the trailer, double floor so the chairs don't get dirty
  • skylight (bigger than on #2)
  • Storage in the front "wind deflector" for helmets, leather and boots. I might install a 110-230 volt dryer to dry wet clothes. depends on wheight. In any case I want to store "BIG" clothes outside the trailer.
  • Cabinet with 3-5 drawers for clothes
  • Hamper
  • Trash can
  • The interrior is going to have a luxury feeling. I have built many "yacht interiors" that are low weight so I want the same in the camper.
  • under bed storage that can be accesed from the outside too so the bed can be made even if something is needed, central locking on outside doors
  • Burglar alarm with battery backup.
  • 8-12 support legs under the camper. I'm looking in to making them hydraulic due to weight. Regular "legs/jacks" are to heavy
  • Matress 130-140 cm (51-55'') x 2-2,10 meters (78-82'')
  • Linnen, pillows
I've been talking to the owner for a couple of years now...if I could get enough interest, I'd liscense build his design let me know if you're interested.

Here's his web site Goldbrand Trailers.  and Facebook page...both have a large number of pictures of all three of his prototypes.

Mitt Romney & 25%

I've held off commenting on the GOP candidates for a while. Its not that I don't have very strong thoughts on them, but I wasnted to see what voters had to say before I actually put my 2 cents in. Ok...with Iowa under our belts and New Hampshire are my thoughts.

While he may have won the Iowa Caucuses by a slim 8 votes (there are doubts about that as well), Mitt Romney has a 25% problem. He can't seem to rise above that level of approval...out side of New England. In New Hampshire, he's at 40% according to recent polls, but that doesn't really mean much. He's been campaigning in NH for almost a decade, and spent upwards of $100 million dollars in that time.

Yet, he can't get above 25%. That should have alarm bells going off with the Republican "elite" leadership in and out of Washington. But it doesn't. He's the annointed favorite. Look at it from the opposite view, 75% of GOP voters don't like him. That's shocking. For over a year, we've been flailing about, flitting from one candidate to the next, tryiing to find, NOT ROMNEY. In DC...they don't see that. But, it could be the "elite" party leadership is sadly out of touch with the base. They keep talking about "electability", yet that's a myth.
But if 75% of GOP voters want someone else as the nominee, doesn't it follow that Mitt will have trouble getting that all vote in the fall if nominated? ...
That's from Mike's America blog.and goes to the heart of the issue. Most of the rank and file don't like him, don't want him and won't vote for him, because at heart, they just don't trust the flip-flopping SOB. Mike Walsh in NR said recently,   
 As I said on the most recent NR cruise, if Romney is the nominee, he will lose. He has no idea what Axelrod & Co. are capable of, nor of the depths to which they will stoop to destroy him. They will attack him as a flip-flopper, as a panderer, as a rapacious and heartless one percenter, and, yes, as a Mormon. They will damn him with faint praise as a liberal accomodationist, as the spiritual father of Obamacare. He’s a gentleman in a mug’s game, and this is no time for gentlemen.
He hasn't yet taken an issue that he's not flipped in since he was governor of Massachusetts, one of the MOST LIBERAL STATES IN THE COUNTRY. A conservative there is a liberal pretty much everywhere else (excepting the West Coast or NY).    Another Micheal (Greene this time from the Boston Herald, Romney's back yard).
I’m ready to sell out, too. Like you, I’m ready to abandon my conservative principles, ignore Mitt’s big-government legacy and his obvious disdain for the right — if it means a guaranteed winner in November.

But before I lift my conservative skirts for another H.W. Bush/Dole/McCain moderate because I’m supposed to suck it up and “back a winner,” is it asking too much to expect the guy to, you know, win something first?
No, Mitt did not “win” Iowa. Winning is not getting eight more votes than a guy who, until recently, was best known as the victim of a campaign on Google to turn his last name into a disgusting sexual reference (trust me — you don’t want to know).
Winning is not spending 12 months and $10 million in Iowa in 2008 to get 30,021 votes, then campaigning another four years, spending another $2 million  . . . and getting just 30,015 votes.
Four years ago, Romney could blame his lackluster 25.1 percent on the fact that he’d never run before and faced formidable opposition: a longtime U.S. senator, a successful two-term Southern governor, a Tennessee movie star.
But this year, Romney is running against the cast of a bad TLC network reality show — and he’s still at 25.1 percent!
How do you go from running against McCain, Huckabee, and Thompson to running against Perry, Bachmann and Paul and getting fewer votes? When one foe is an angry former speaker who’s been married three times, took money from Freddie Mac and shares a name with a Star Wars villain, you should be running up the score.
And no, don’t say “it’s just Iowa.” Have you checked the latest polls? Less than 48 hours after Iowa, Rasmussen’s national poll had Mitt at just 29-21 over Rick Santorum. In South Carolina — which has picked every GOP nominee since Reagan — Romney’s stuck at 20 percent and he’s losing in Florida, too.
No doubt newer surveys will reflect rising Romney strength. But the fact is that Mitt vs. The GOP Klown Kar should be a cakewalk.
He was for health care before he was against it...and that's a huge problem. While I support his stance purely on 10th Amendment grounds alone(the states have the constitutional power to enact such legislation), the fact that he was the architect of the MA health care debacle (and steeply rising prices there), it will be difficult for him defend his position nationally. I'm predicting today, that if Mitt Romney is the GOP nominee, he will lose in November's general election.

From Mike's blog,
Republicans have the unfortunate habit of nominating the guy who came in second in a previous contest. That's how we got Bob Dole and John McCain. Neither of which had the stuff it takes to fight it out with the political thuggery that will be headed our way in a few months. Apparently, I am not the only one who worries whether Mitt would be the best nominee just because he came in second last time around! But I'm glad to know that guys named Mike seem to be making a lot of sense!
...and that's the problem, instead of picking winners, we in the GOP tend to go with last round's loser.  Mitt Romney will lose

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Riding Home To Skye...

Incredible video...amazing riding...and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Edinborough to Skye...

Steven Crowder's Top Political Debacles of 2011

Here's video of Steven Crowder's top political debacles of 2011.


I really like Steven, he's funny but at the same times offers up insightful views of current political events. If he were anything but a conservative, he'd have his own TV show...a la "Bill Maher"...but since he's not, he's stuck on FoxNews and"> .

Hat tip:  The Other McCain