Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Krista Branch

I found this song a while back: "I am America". I liked it, and held onto the link, You might like it as well. I may buy the T-shirt she sells on her website.

Krista sings motivational and patriotic songs; they are worth listening to as well as this one. Here is another one: "Remember who We Are" another great song and a great title.

Krista has a powerful voice and I love her eyes (and I do mean her eyes). She looks a lot like Linda Carter in this video and if you know me you know I love her!!

Krista's home page is right here.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Radio Check

Lots of banter out there regarding the Call Sign of a certain Naval Aviator (story here). It even drew Lex into the discussion and he has several stories about his time in and around the bizarre ritual of naming Naval Aviators. Everyone that comes here regular knows I was a naval aviation ground pounder. While I had the opportunity to ride onboard the occasional War Hoover flight I was not one of the brothers that wore wings on their chest. Still and even I like what I did and would not trade it for a life of flying.

We had our share of odd Call Signs in ole VS-31. My first S-3 flight was piloted by a "Major Two-Dog", he was our Maintenance Officer and I was aboard for a maintenance call for a computer that would only fail while airborne. We also had a "Sun Dance" and a guy they called "Bullpup". The most odd was a Pilot we had that went by the call sign "Elsie" as in the cow on the cover of glue bottles.

All us guys in maintenance never knew how the names assigned and never did we use them except when that particular person was not around. Another interesting side note, we had enlisted aircrew in our squadron (about a dozen or so). They also flew however they were not given call signs. I guess they were not on the radio enough to warrant getting one. Too bad because our crop of AW's were a gas!!

Anyhow, the whole bent on this for me was to steer the occasional reader to Dos Gringos website and to their song "The Legend of Shaved Dog's Ass", which is a really cool call sign!! Enjoy!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Friday, August 13, 2010

SSA Birth Day

Let's all not celebrate at once Folks!! Today in 1935 the President signed into law the Social Security Act enabling Congress to spend yours and my hard earned money on items that they deem more important than "Old-Age Benefits". Today, that SSA pays out more money than it takes in every year by $41 Billion dollars, there is no real trust fund and those who retire in the near future must pray there are enough works making payment for them to draw monetary benefits.

Yeah, I am bitter. The Government was never meant to handle my retirement and in a perfect world I would have an option to join the sheepale and put my money at the disposal of the Congress of the USA or take my money and be responsible for my own "Old-Age Benefits". Just recently the Board of Trustees for Social Security and Medicare presented the public with their actuarial report for 2010 which predicts a rosy picture for SSA. What a pack of lies, when you look at who the Trustees who put together the report you have to laugh but it makes you understand why they paint such a nice picture for SSA's future. They are all political appointee's of the Obama administration and the Managing Trustee is none other than Timothy "Turbo Tax" Geithner! Yep, the Sectary of Tax Dodger Treasury himself. Its no wonder that the American Academy of Actuaries put out their own report highlighting the assumptions used by the Trustees to project the financial condition of SSA. Look at that here, but it ain't pretty. They put people in jail for running ponzi schemes (can you say Bernard Madoff) but not the Sectary of the Treasury.

This fund will soon be broke, penniless and not able to provide even modest payouts. They are already talking about raising the employee and employer participation rate, increasing the retirement age by 7 to 8 years and doing means testing (allowing benefits payouts to only those that have nothing instead of those who only ask for their money back).

But, 75 years ago today the Do-Gooders struck once again removing a little bit of what made Americans different then other peoples of the world, self reliance and personal responsibility. This trend has continued to this day with more and more people just waiting for the Federal Government to wipe their Ass.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Iron Curtain – Berlin Wall

Today is the day back in 1961 that the Berlin Wall was started in what was then East Germany or more properly, the Eastern Sector of Berlin. At first the barrier erected were simple obstructions that prevented the free movement of people between Eastern Sector Berlin the open and free Western Sector of Berlin (and then escape further to Free Western Germany or other countries in Europe that were open to refugees). No one it turned out wanted to into the Eastern Sector except maybe spies but a lot of civilians (almost 4 million) had streamed out of Eastern Berlin and the Russian (known back then as the Soviet Union) controlled Eastern Block countries.

The original simple barriers were later replaced with an actual 12 foot tall wall that ringed the Western Sector of the city (87 miles worth) sealing off any hopes of people leaving the east to the west. This would be expanded upon with demolition of buildings near the border and the construction of more than 100 guard towers, an open lane and yet another fence on the inner perimeter. This created a kind of no man's land or a Free Fire Zone between the two. Between 100 and 200 people were killed trying to escape the east through these barriers.

I wonder why? Was not the communist run socialist paradise not good enough for them?

The whole of the Iron Curtain was used to seal the Eastern Bloc countries off from the West, entrapping people to live in the Centrally Planned communist run countries. Although each country had its own head of state, they were considered puppets of the masters in Russia. The Cold War was fought here and on the high seas as well. Most of the Cold War was a spy or covert war but it did heat up every once in a while. Usually it was someone sprinting across the no man's land attempting to get into the West.

There were no instances of people trying to escape the West into the East.

Pictures here and some history here. Picture above taken from "The Lost Border" by Brian Rose with my thanks!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

First to Fight

A little know fact but to maybe the Native American community but today is the anniversary of the end of what is traditionally known as the first Indian war here in the America's by the assassination of the leader of the Indian revolt. The year was 1676 but the fighting started between loose bands of Indians and British Colonists (living in what is now Rhode Island) a year earlier. The exact cause of the fighting is still in dispute and claims of murder and cattle killings abound. But what is known is that Colonists put to death Indians who were incriminated in the murder of a native convert who was sympathetic to the English. It made no sense but the English needed to make a statement, thinking the Indians would return to their villages. However, the popular leader of the Indians, known as Metacom used these events to bolster his cause to unite the many Indian tribes and rise up against the white pestilence English. It ended when Metacom was killed or more properly assassinated ending the bulk of the fighting that threatened to end the Eastern colonization of North America. Known as "King Phillip's War" for Metacom who was the leader of the Pokanoket Indians and successfully rallied the Wampanoag Federation of Indians.

King Phillip was the name applied by the English to Metacom who's father helped the original Plymouth Pilgrims survive their first winter. This favor was returned with the bloody fighting that ensued some 55 years later. There were massacres on both sides most notable among them was the "Great Swamp" massacre conducted by the English against the Narragansett Indians. More than 500 native's were killed, most were women and children. Another shame is that Indians taken prisoner by the English were either executed or taken to Bermuda and sold as slaves.

Hard fighting lasted a mere 18 months however it was two more years before an actual treaty was signed. This little know war set the stage for future relations with the Indians and is generally considered the reason why so many Indian Tribes would ally themselves with the French during what became known as the French and Indian War.

The English would never fully trust the Indians nor would the Indians trust the English in their dealings together.

There were other wars with the natives here on the East Coast (the fighting with the Powhatan or the Pequot pre-date this war) but this one had the momentum and organization between Tribes to have an actual impact to colonization in what is known as New England (Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

However it failed. Today you can go to a casino in Connecticut operated by what remains of one of these tribes. Most of the other tribes have since become extinct.

More here and here.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Paying the Freight

My daily read over at Capre Diem and I found two items that I knew in my heart but had not statistics to nail to. The good Professor Perry has a rich graphic on the sky rocketing College tuition problem and actual figures on what costs the government mandates when you employ someone and its effects on small business.
Tuition Bubble:

As a debtor to a huge college loan (the same as my first house in fact), I had always felt that the Student Loan Guarantee program actually hurts this country more than helps. The reason is simple supply and demand violated by government meddling. First, if someone can't afford tuition they don't go to school or they go where they can afford. Under the "normal" rules of supply and demand, the school that priced itself out of the market (by high salaries or by handing out scholarships to moron athletes) they would suffer and have to do something. You know, make themselves more competitive. If someone steps in and mucks with this very delicate system like, let's say guarantee's the loans for anyone that wants' to go to school, no matter what the costs! Well then there is no motivation on the school to hold down those costs. The result:
Yeah, look at that curve; it's like the space shuttle climbing into orbit. Just can't wait for the crash!! It frosts my shorts that the average semester costs to go to an average school here today, is more than what it costs for a whole degree back only 20 years ago. And as long as the government continues to guarantee the loans that line will continue to climb up or until a crash occurs. Can't happen soon enough as far as I am concerned, especially now that the Executive branch convinced the Congress to take over that market completely, they can steer these loans to only those people they want and into fields they think the country requires. Can anyone say, Central Planning? Yep
Employment Pain:
The good Professor Perry points us to a Wall Street Journal story about what it costs to actually create a job today, what with all the mandates pressed down from that holy pedestal of Congress and the Administration. They detail a 33% surcharge to employ anyone in this country all attributable to government program requirements. That's a whopping high number. In a salary of $44,000.00 it costs the employer a total of $74,000.00 once all the taxes, fee's and surcharges are added into the mix. And this includes all sorts of stuff like Unemployment, Social Security, Medicare and all other sorts of rules and regulations. It's worth the read and makes you wonder who in his right mind will spend that kind of money in overhead to hire someone for what amounts to be a minimum wage job.
The sad part is that the Democrats and PresBO are not done with their work and continue to whittle away at our once dynamic business and industrial base. One job at a time.
BT: Jimmy T sends.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Stray Voltage – Part 2

More stray thoughts to contemplate if you have the time.

Government Motors – the Volt

I heard today that a Camel is a horse designed by a committee, well the Volt is the Green Car designed by the ruling Political Class!! It has virtually no redeeming value except to slow down the flushing action occurring in the once great state of Michigan. A state run by Democrats and Unions I'd like to point out. The Volt at a mere $41K is way more expensive than the Nissan Leaf ($33K) but less than half as much as the Tesla all electric car (at $100,000 bucks) so it fills a vital niche. Of course don't go factoring in all the subsidies and bailout money that GM required to stay on its feet long enough to put this beast out. Those costs factored in and this is one expensive vehicle. Rumor is that GM will only make 10,000 of them and considers this as a kind of prototype-production run. They have a lot of work to do, the range is horrible, the cost is way out of line and of course the styling and its interior layout leads a lot to be desired. But what do you expect from the Motor Company run mainly by Government Bureaucrats and Union leaders. We only have ourselves to blame for giving government this kind of power.

Social Security

Almost no one is talking about this, but I found this interesting article in the New York Times of all places. I don't know when the last time it is that they complained about the Social Security issues facing the nation but my guess is that it has been a long time. They had an interest in getting Democrats elected and bringing up Social Security during the election process would have complicated that effort. Now with the die case towards the Republicans taking over congress or at the very least control of the House, the Social Security problem becomes their problem and it is now time to beat on them with it. Had they been on board 4 or 5 years ago when Bush wanted to privatize a portion of total as a test case we could be looking at maybe a real definitive way to save this benefit for future generations. But instead, the liberals running the MSM helped bury the issue and now we have it rotting out under us. Who will be getting benefits payments remains to be seen. This is one program that is in dire straits. I don't know that it can be saved.

Working for the Man – The Leftist Man

Some cross-posting between different Blogs regarding a Washington Post article about the Bush Tax Cuts, that article Five Myths about the Bush Tax Cuts. Bruce McQuain takes it apart point by point here. The smartest point to be made is in the Legal Insurrection posting by William A. Jacobson and I'll quote "These Democratic talking points reflect the fundamental disconnect: It is not your money. I think the American people understand that point. The government works for us, not the other way around. You either believe it, or you don't. The Democrat Party doesn't."

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Two Americas in Congress

There's a "dual standard, one for most members and one for African-Americans," said one member of the Congressional Black Caucus, speaking on the condition of anonymity. This is in response to ethics charges being brought up against Charlie Rangle and Maxine Waters. Couldn't happen to two more deserving members of the house except maybe that ass-bandit Barney Frank or that Winer guy from New York (you would think the two of them would hook up or something eh). Oh hell, there are a bunch of them that need to be drowned in that swamp Nancy Pelosi promised to drain. I guess that's a hard job with so many of her fellow Dem's clogging the drain.

Read more: Here

That's all for now!!

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Beginning of the End – 3 August 1492

Started this day in 1492, Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain on a mission to discover a new trade route to what was known back then as the Far East (India and China). He would land in what are known today as the Bahamas and what they, the Europeans would call the "New World".

Now being part Native American I do not look upon this day or the actual holiday celebrated as Columbus Day (12 October) as a good thing. Anyone that knows the real truth about "American" history knows that there was a flourishing civilization here in the America's (both North and South) that did not need "Discovery". In North America alone it is estimated that there were between 5 and 20 million Natives liveing here when Columbus stepped ashore on El Salvador (here is a link that tries to explain the large split in numbers). In a short 308 years that population would be as few as only 260,000.

That's right, an actual Genocide occurred here in the "New World" at the hands of the many Europeans that would come here. Now to be fair, not all of this was the evil killing of those who would not convert to Christianity (and there was plenty of that) or even those who would not leave a particularly nice area and were killed off for those lands (re. the Pequot War). No the majority were killed by disease brought here from the "Old World" that the Natives had no immunity to. Measles, Influenza, Small Pox, Whooping Cough, bubonic plague and several others did the dirty work but end result was the same.

The few to survive the genocide today live in abject poverty; they have been completely debased having no power to speak of and a future as bleak as the last 200 years have been.

And "they" celebrate the arrival as if it was a good thing. Not me.

BT: Jimmy T sends.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Start of a New Age – the Atomic Age

Photo from: Trinity

August 2nd, 1939 a letter written by a prominent scientist and sent to the U.S. President would trigger events that would change the world as we knew it at the time. It would end 6 years later in the now more or less famous expression "Now I am become death, destroyer of worlds" uttered by J. Robert Oppenheimer. Oppenheimer was the civilian administrator of the "Manhattan Project", he was the chief scientist and conducted the activity of several hundred scientists situated in more than a dozen sites around the country. Major General Leslie R. Groves actually ran the project coordinating the construction of many dozens of sites of extreme complexity, he coordinated security with his own force of MP's and coordinated the activity of what would become the 509th Bomb Squadron which would carry the first two atomic bombs into action some 6 years later.

But on this day, Albert Einstein wrote to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on behalf of his good friend and fellow scientist and refugee Leo Szilard who had developed on his own the idea of the "Chain Reaction". Believing that the Germans were working on a chain reaction explosive device, Szilard pressured his friend Einstein to write the letter of introduction. From this letter Einstein described "A single bomb of this type carried by boat and exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory."

The President would heed the warning from Einstein and establish the "Uranium Committee" that would be the start of the eventual "Manhattan Project."

Significant to these events but lost on most is the fact that this letter and several others written later by Einstein and also by Szilard are their only activity with the building of the Atomic Bomb here in the United States. Most people think of Einstein as the father of the Atomic Age however in my opinion this is not true. J. Robert Oppenheimer or Enrico Fermi or even Edward Teller are more properly the "father" of this whole new age in humanity. The funny part of Einstein's participation, again lost to most is the fact that his letter triggered the development and later he would write to the new President Truman urging him not to use the devastating new weapon.

How the worm turns, it seems the Germans were many years behind in their development of their bomb, conducting only "heavy Water" experiments when the war ended. The Japanese were even further behind. The Russians however were right on our heels owing mostly to the numerous spies who were infiltrated into the Project from merry ole England, a place that before the great War was friendly to communists. They in turn were sent to the U.S. to help with the "Manhattan Project" and leaked what they learned to what would become the Soviet Union.

But today, that letter of introduction written by Einstein started humanity on a road that we cannot depart. For good or bad.

BT: Jimmy T sends.