Tuesday, December 28, 2004

NY1 News: Top Stories - Fatal Car Accidents Decline To 90-Year Low

NY1 News: Top Stories - Fatal Car Accidents Decline To 90-Year Low

Add to that statistic that the City had half the population then as it does today, and it's even more amazing!

My Way News - Purported Bin Laden Tape Calls for Boycott

My Way News - Purported Bin Laden Tape Calls for Boycott

Now why would he do that if his aim was to be ruthlessly pro-Arab - Muslim? Clearly he is not. Bin Laden and friends are neither pro-Arab or pro-Muslim. They are anti-West; anti-America. That's it plain and simple. The bastards just hate us, and all that we stand for. It's ironic to think that the two countries that Arabs have the most rights are Isreal and Iraq. Go figure? Try to vote in the "wonderful" Egypt. Why you can vote for whomever you choose so long as it's the "president." Sounds like Ford and his cars, "you can buy a model T in any color you choose so long as it's black!" That may not be an actual quote there, but you get my point.

CNN.com - Pentagon: Rumsfeld misspoke on Flight 93 crash - Dec 27, 2004

CNN.com - Pentagon: Rumsfeld misspoke on Flight 93 crash - Dec 27, 2004

I want to make a short comment on this. I was stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio when these attacks took place. I saw two National Guard F-16s take off after the Towers were hit, and before Flight 93 crashed. They landed later with the same number of missiles they took off with, and they were the ones who flew near the flight. I was able to confirm that by means available to me at the time. I had gone outside my office many times as I was talking to various family members on my cell phone, and saw the jets take off and land. Both my father and stepmother worked at the time within 2 blocks of the towers, and fortunately were competely unharmed. By the way, the jets went full afterburner for takeoff, and kept their maximum speed as they flew to PA. The sonic boom startled me as they broke the sound barrier less than a minute after take off! It's something I'll never forget!

As another side, I've always looked at plane crashes, particularly those from air combat which is an interest of mine. I did join the Air Force after all. When a plane is blown up in the sky from a missile, you get an impact like the Pan AM jet that was blown up by the Libians over Lockerbie Scotland. The wreckage there did not dig a hole in the ground. When a plane noses in to the ground, as has happened to many an aggressive military pilot (or one with simple bad luck), they dig a big hole in the ground from the impact. That's what happened in PA. Cut and dry, and I did hear that our pilots did have the permission to shoot it down if necessary. They just didn't have to.

New York Daily News - Business - Sirius , XM radio scale Yule heights

New York Daily News - Business - Sirius , XM radio scale Yule heights

I haven't made up my mind on this satellite radio thing, but what I'm thinking is that I probably will go and do it. I know one of them came out with a small portable version of the device, and that sounds good to me. I'm not sure which network to go with, but I think the one with Baseball is the one for me. I like Stern, but not as much a baseball! I don't know.

What do you all think?

U.N. official slams U.S. as 'stingy' over aid - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - December 28, 2004

U.N. official slams U.S. as 'stingy' over aid - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - December 28, 2004

This is just amazing. This author is one of those people that blow my mind. What right does she have to tell me what to do with my money? Before I get deep into my diatribe, I should take a step or two back, and build my case.

First quote....

The Bush administration yesterday pledged $15 million to Asian nations hit by a tsunami that has killed more than 22,500 people, although the United Nations' humanitarian-aid chief called the donation "stingy."

Okay, so the author calls an instant donation of $15 million, which is $5 million more than the next hightest doner, stingy even though we gave the first cash before we even knew the extent of the damage. Perhaps this is ignorance, but in this country, Congress holds the purse strings. They still have to approve any spending. The author is from Norway, perhaps she doesn't know that. It's reasonable since I don't know how the government of my grandfather's birth nation operates either. Still, the President did divert several Navy assets (aircraft and ships) to the region to help. It's a good thing Uncle Sam is all over the place, huh?

Second Point....
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell hinted that the $15 million U.S. offer was only the first installment of a larger aid package to those countries devastated by 30-foot waves triggered by a massive underwater earthquake.
"We also have to see this not just as a one-time thing," he said. "Some 20-plus thousand lives have been lost in a few moments, but the lingering effects will be there for years.
"The damage that was caused, the rebuilding of schools and other facilities will take time," he added. "So you need a quick infusion to stabilize the situation, take care of those who have been injured, get immediate relief supplies in, and then you begin planning for the longer haul."

My point is, DUH, more's comming!

Point 3
"Even before the crisis in the Asia-Pacific region and the Indian Ocean, the demands for food aid were stretching capacity: demands in Sudan, demands in West Africa, demands in other areas hit by drought and fighting," State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said.
"So even though we're giving a lot, the demand is very high," he added. "We're going to have to look at, as we move forward, what we can do to meet that demand."

Look at this, America is helping everybody already. Oh, yeah, we're bastards. Does anyone even offer to help us when we have a problem? I don't remember international aid coming in when Florida was hit by a few hurricaines in like what 9 weeks? Oh, but we're stingy. Right, okay.

Now we get to the fun stuff as my fur is going to get up, and I get really colorful...
But U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland suggested that the United States and other Western nations were being "stingy" with relief funds, saying there would be more available if taxes were raised.

So, Jan Egeland thinks he understands economic policy since he's at the post for humanitarian affairs. Okay, Jan, tell us how to run our economy. What's that raise taxes so the governments of the world can give away their citizens money to those less fortunate? Hmmm, that sounds like wealth re-distribution. Why I thought the Commies lost the Cold War? I must be mistaken. Actually, they put on new clothes and ran amuck. Socialism, after all, was invented in the west. Engles was an Englishmen, i think. I know he and Lenin came up with in in England. But, I digress... My point here is that ol' Jan there makes the mistake that so many do, thinking they know better how to handle my stuff than I do.

What proof of that, here's this statement of his...
"It is beyond me why are we so stingy, really," the Norwegian-born U.N. official told reporters. "Christmastime should remind many Western countries at least, [of] how rich we have become."
"There are several donors who are less generous than before in a growing world economy," he said, adding that politicians in the United States and Europe "believe that they are really burdening the taxpayers too much, and the taxpayers want to give less. It's not true. They want to give more."

This is really two statements, but worth putting together. What Jan illustrates here is two distinct kinds of ignorance. The first is that America, and the West in general, is not only Christian. Some of us are Jews, Muslim, Hindu, Buddist, and other religions that I can't even think of. Still, what's wrong with being rich and powerful. Rich is protection. Think about this fact. When Hurricane Andrew hit Florida, and I forget the exact number, but less than 100 Americans died in an area that has millions living in it. When a similiarly powerful, class 4 or 5, hurricane hit Central America (or even Galvaston Texas about 100 years ago) more than 10,000 people died. What does that tell you? Rich people have the means to survive, so so strengthing the economy of the world is how you best save lives.

The second related point is the fact that he believes that I want to give more of my money to charity. Is that so? Do I feel guilt? Of course I don't, that's ridiculous! I give of my choice, and actually I do choose to give some of my income to charity. That's my business, and my decision. Why tell the government to take it from me, and give it to who they think deserves it. I'm and intelligent being, and can think for myself. Perhaps my charity is to my nephews whose parents earn less than I do. Perhaps I'll give to the families of my former bothers and sisters in arms who have lost their lives. Perhaps I'll give it to my house of worship, the Red Cross, or some children's fund. The point is that it's my choice to give or not; let alone to whom.

Americans are already the most charitible people on the planet, and we deserve some credit for that. 300 million can only do so much!


one last point....
Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse reported that a tsunami alert system in Hawaii that warns Pacific countries about devastating tidal waves detected the earthquake that led to the destruction across Indian Ocean nations.
But the absence of an alert system in Asia meant the information could not be sent out fast enough.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, established in 1949 after a huge wave killed more than 150 people in Hawaii, issued a bulletin at 3:14 p.m. local time or 8:14 a.m. in the affected area, when it detected an earthquake off Indonesia.
The NOAA's information bulletin said there was a possibility of a tsunami near the earthquake's epicenter, but that no destructive threat existed in the Pacific. The huge tidal waves instead swept across the Indian Ocean, killing people in 10 countries from Indonesia to Somalia.

We're the bloody ones who warn the rest of the world about this stuff anyway. That's not a cheap system to monitor. Do we get any credit for that?

Quake rattled Earth orbit, changed map of Asia: US geophysicist

Quake rattled Earth orbit, changed map of Asia: US geophysicist

Yeah, but perspective here... The orbit slowed 3 micro-seconds. That's 3 millionth's of a second. That's barely recordable by computers!

The islands moved a lot, but only 66 feet or so. This isn't a major realignment of the map. Heck, GPS, unaided by a ground based signal, will only get you better accuracy than that. Granted on a good day it will get you to within a few feet, but really. This isn't like the New Madrid earthquake of the early 1800s that moved the Mississippi. That was a big deal.

The tsunami is the real story here.

Monday, December 27, 2004

USATODAY.com - Poll shows troops in support of war

USATODAY.com - Poll shows troops in support of war

What does that tell you? Those who know the most about the war, and have the most to lose with it are the ones who support it the greatest. That's because this is a just war! It was sold to the public on somewhat of a shaky ground, but it's still the right thing to do. We are, and have, done a good thing in Iraq.

Also of interest is the fact the military OPPOSES the draft. Democratic Rep. Charles Rangle of my own state of New York would be wise to observe this fact. It was HE and not the Republicans that tried to force it on the military and the country over this past summer; and sadly many other times. Odd, considering he represents, Harlem I believe, which is one of the poorest parts of NYC and the Nation in general. That is not a region of the country, neither is my native New York, known for supporting the military; regardless of what happened here a few Septembers ago. As a matter of fact, he would do well to remember the riots against both the Vietnam and Civil War draft that tore the City apart. The latter dramatised in the movie Gangs of New York. Nevertheless, the draft is a useless drain on the military. Want proof, ask someone who was drafted in Vietnam. There are pleanty of those men around. My father volunteered, and was lucky enough to be posted in the US. He had a fair time, and did not look poorly on his service. Draftees are unhappy, and unmotivated. Their only alternative is jail. They make poor soldiers, because all they want to do is to get out when their time is up. I don't question their combat abilities, integrity, or honor. It's only that they will most likely not stay in the service longer then they have to; which is shorter than the time the military would need to recoup their investment. All resources spent on training and equiping them are wasted, as they will leave the service as soon as they can. The exception to this are those drafted during a war like WWII when those men had a different motivation; the survival of our Country. All things said, my point is there and valid.

The next part that I want to comment on is the fact that they correctly see Congress as the problem with the armor issue. Congress hold the purse strings, and could add money specifically for the armor if they choose to. They could order Pentagon to put a portion of it's funds toward that.

Lastly, let me speak of Abu Gharaib. Most soldiers think that it's the fault of those who did it. I was told every year that I was responcible for my actions if I followed an illegal order; especially implied ones. This has been true ever since Vietnam; probably since the fallout of the Mai Lai incident, but that's just my guess. The folks in charge of the prison should bear the lion's share of the blame and punishment.

ABC News: China Army Will 'Crush' Any Taiwan Independence Move

ABC News: China Army Will 'Crush' Any Taiwan Independence Move

This is something to be nervous about. It's been coming, and has been ignored by American Media.

They say they will crush any indepencence move. What stands in their way? The Taiwanese military is there, but the real shield is you and me. That's right, Nixon promised American protection to Taiwan (back then it was called Formosa), and our Navy still patrols the narrow sea lane between the island and the mainland.

Let's hope that missile defence shield gets up and running soon, or we'll have to stand by while China takes Taiwan. Don't think they won't do it. Unlike us, they are willing to take horrendus losses to meet their goals; both military and civilian losses.

OpinionJournal - From America With Love

OpinionJournal - From America With Love Ukraine really has a chance here. A American woman married to the newly elected pro-Western president of Ukraine. That country, which some of my ancestors fled for America roughly 100 years ago, has a real chance. Like the author of this article, I do not agree with the cynics. Yes, the country is rife with corruption, but events of the scale of this election have a way of being a crucible by which new nations are born.

America has had it's share of crubilbles too; the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Civil Rights Movement. Each time, the nature of the country changed in dramatic ways even though the composition of the people did not. These events can change the mind and the soul of a country. The War of 1812 made us feel something of a nation as opposed to being a tight group of nation-states. The Civil War made us into Americans as much as the great Lincoln invented the modern version of politician; check it out, he was a master of gerrymandering, but I digress. The Civil Rights movement shook the soul of our country, and forced us to move to the place where our Promise is much closer to being a reality.

Yes, such an event has happened here. This is on par with those great events in America's past. The protests enveloped not only the capitol but in most of the cities and towns. People fought back and fought the corruption and intimidation. They did not accept an outcome that they knew was a fraud. Russia's arm is shortening. The battle for the soul of that great nation is yet to come, but more likely to come if those on her borders find Democracy.

Security and freedom can only come from a strong liberal economy. The Cold War proved that the West could match the military industrial output of the Russian block, but that the East could not match the output of the West for everything else. Our people are happier, because our people have more freedom. I speak with the reverence of a religious figure, but is it not so? Doctrine is doctrine. Our way is better, and it's good to see it spread. Much better to be bloodless in Ukraine than with the blood being shed in Iraq. Still, many gallons of blood have been spilt over the years under communism.

With an American co-pilot, and peacfullly revolutionized soul, Ukraine has a real chance. It remains to be seen if enough can change, but there is hope. Ukraine is not Russia, and they always were the conquered ones. Now, the people have a shook the ground and the greats have heard their voices. They will not easily give up the ground they have taken.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Activists Dominate Content Complaints

Activists Dominate Content Complaints
This is not good!!!

Monday, December 06, 2004

The Lompoc Record - First missile interceptor to be installed at VAFB

The Lompoc Record - First missile interceptor to be installed at VAFB

Anyone feel safer? Quite opposite from the sentiment of my words, it actually is a little comforting to me. It's the Chinese missiles that make me nervous, though.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

WFTV.com - News - Packing Plant Fire Sends Melted Butter Flowing Out Of Facility

WFTV.com - News - Packing Plant Fire Sends Melted Butter Flowing Out Of Facility
Now this is a recipe for fun!!!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

MSNBC - Self-cleaning coating for clothes developed

MSNBC - Self-cleaning coating for clothes developed This is pretty damn cool if you ask me!