Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Well, it was a 2 day drive to Ft. Lauderdale Florida, and from there, we took the early boat to the Grand Bahamas Island. That picture there is the sunrise in Ft. Lauderdale. The boat ride was nice, and a 5 star breakfast and lunch was provided with the trip.
I finished This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti on the ship.
Once on land, we checked into the resort and relaxed. The next day, we took a tour around the island on a tour bus, with others from the resort.
The people there are so friendly, it was incredible. Even with each other, they were kind, not just to the tourists.
That beach there is Xanadu, the closest one to the resort. We went snorkeling in 4 different beaches, and that was one of them. The next two pictures are from the snorkeling. I chased a big 4ft long fish for a couple hundred feet, then we came back into shore later. We looked at the fish chart, and I was chasing a baracuda around. Thats my wisdom of the sea in action...
It also rained that day, and the bugs come out after the rain, and I swear I got 200 bites on me. While at the resort, I read Executive Orders, by Tom Clancy, a 900 page hardback with size 9 font.
We left after a week, and took the boat home again. That sunset picture is from the boat, and the sun is setting. After that picture it was really stormy, so we went in and watched the Heat beat the Pistons. That was a fun part of vacation, being able to watch the Mavricks play in the playoffs, because the resort had cable, and we don't at home.
Anyways, we drove home for 2 more days, and now we're back.
The Bahamas as a Nation:
This place rocked, and not just because of the wonderful weather, ocean, and people. They are very libertarian. No Income Tax, No Sales Tax, and No Property Tax. All government income is off of import duties.
They don't have any welfare either, so the government is minimal. The bahmian citizens are not allowed to gamble, so they can't blow their money.
No seat belt laws, very few traffic laws, and no alchohol laws. The prison systems are very rough, no TV, basic foods, and not many comforts. Basically, the way they ought to be.
On sundays, about 90% of the people are in church, predominantly babtist.
Its a great place, and they recover well from huricanes. I would love to go back.
Also, if the formating is messed up, I apoligise. WYSIWYG isn't working right.
In an interview with the Guardian today, the former vice-president calls himself a 'recovering politician', but launches into the political fray more explicitly than he has previously done during his high-profile campaigning on the threat of global warming.
Denying that his politics have shifted to the left since he lost the court battle for the 2000 election, Mr Gore says: 'If you have a renegade band of rightwing extremists who get hold of power, the whole thing goes to the right.'"
Yeah. If only that were true. The Education bill, the farm bill, the FEMA spending, the medicare bill, and the highway bill are not the products of a radical right wing, but of a liberal domestic view. Aside from cutting taxes and the war on Terror, there is very little this administration has done to further the right wing agenda.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
'She ought to be a big component of the fall campaign,' said Ed Rogers, a Republican strategist and lobbyist. 'There are some Democrats who make really good bad guys.'
Ms. Pelosi, the California Democrat and House minority leader, lends herself to easy caricature by Republicans. She is an unapologetic liberal, with a voting record to match (the Republican National Committee chairman, Ken Mehlman, said she was neither a 'New Democrat' nor an 'Old Democrat' but a 'prehistoric Democrat'). She is wealthy (married to an investment banker, she has assets listed at more than $16 million). She represents San Francisco, which Republicans love to invoke as a hotbed of counterculture decadence and extremism.
'Is America ready for Nancy Pelosi's Contract With San Francisco?' asked Representative Ric Keller, Republican of Florida, posing a question that, one imagines, could form the basis of many Republican advertisements this fall."
Yeah, she would be awsome. Ya know how Kerry tried to appear moderate, but only became a flipfloppin idiot? Pelosi could do the same thing, or she could spread her message of liberalsim, which does not win.
Good for republicans, the wanna be speaker is.
Monday, May 29, 2006
Memorial Day is today. I'll still be in the car headin home, but for the rest of you, go enjoy yourselves. Its what they fought and died for. I should be back full time tommarow.
Anyways, heres a great video. My Uncle just graduated from basic training, and his regiment loved this song.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Less than two months before Mexicans elect their next president, many fear the country is teetering on the edge of chaos - a perception that could hurt the ruling National Action Party's chances of keeping the presidency and benefit Mexico's once-powerful Institutional Revolutionary Party, whose candidate has been trailing badly.
Some blame President Vicente Fox for a weak government. Others say rivals are instigating the violence to create that impression, hoping to hurt National Action candidate Felipe Calderon, who has a slight lead in recent polls.
A poll published Friday in Excelsior newspaper found 50 percent of respondents feared the government was on the brink of losing control."No wonder they're coming over the border illegally. The government has no control, the police have no respect for the laws, and if they do, the drugs lords make sure they don't last long. The labor unions take to the streets, and go to war with whoever is standing against them, much like the illegals in LA and Dallas, minus the crowbars and copbeating.
Anyways, Mexico appears to be nearing anarchy, which I'm not sure if thats a good or bad thing.
At least if there wasn't a government, they couldn't sue us.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
The White House dislikes the farm aid because it raises the price of a spending bill for the Iraq war and hurricane recovery. Beyond that, the farm money wouldn't give energy relief to every farmer, said Bush's agriculture secretary, Mike Johanns.
Farmers who don't get subsidy checks — fruit and vegetable growers and many others — "would be absolutely cut out," he said.
A check on federal spending? Its staggering how much we are spending on argiculture!!! I don't care why the increased spending check is happening, as long as it happens! What a waste of money! Even without the disaster aid, the government will spend an estimated US$17 billion (euro13.26 billion) subsidizing farmers this year. It will spend at least another US$3.6 billion (euro2.81 billion) on crop insurance, which covers unavoidable crop losses. Unlike subsidies, which go to the major crops, crop insurance is available for all kinds of crops, from avocados to macadamia nuts to sunflowers."
Even without the disaster aid, the government will spend an estimated US$17 billion (euro13.26 billion) subsidizing farmers this year.
It will spend at least another US$3.6 billion (euro2.81 billion) on crop insurance, which covers unavoidable crop losses. Unlike subsidies, which go to the major crops, crop insurance is available for all kinds of crops, from avocados to macadamia nuts to sunflowers."
Monday, May 15, 2006
"Barry Bonds is heading to the plate Tuesday night to try to hit the homerun that would tie Babe Ruth's total. And if he is fortunate to hit two — which would break Ruth's total — it will make Bonds the No. 2 all-time homerun hitter.
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig should be waiting for him at home plate to send him back to the dugout, back to the clubhouse, back home and not let him near a major league ballpark until the issue is settled once and for all whether Bonds arrived at this historic moment on the strength of arms and legs juiced up with illegal steroids.
I think it is obvious he did. I can't think of any serious person who doubts it. The book 'Game of Shadows' by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters is evidence enough for me. The reporters demonstrate with clarity and authority that Bonds got to where he is on illegal drugs.
He should not be allowed to break a hallowed baseball record by cheating."
In an era where steroids were not illegal, and any other player on the field could have used them, why in tarnation should he not recieve what he has earned? Babe Ruth played in his era, Barry Bonds is playing in his era.
Here's a question. Is the pitiching easier or harder then it used to be?
Are the parks the same size as they used to be?
Is the game the same it used to be?
Despite the pitching being harder, the ball parks being bigger, and the game over analysed to any detail, Barry Bonds is still hitting the home runs in this league. If he breaks the record, he has earned it.
He has already earned his way in to the Hall of Fame with his fielding and base stealing, and his slugging is just as impressive. Don't try to deny the acheivements of a great player.
Cross posted at Sporting News Daily.
In an era when other intelligence agencies try to hide those operations, the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, is proud of that domestic mission.
He said the work the agency did after hurricanes Rita and Katrina was the best he'd seen an intelligence agency do in his 42 years in the spy business.
"This was kind of a direct payback to the taxpayers for the investment made in this agency over the years, even though in its original design it was intended for foreign intelligence purposes," Clapper said in a Thursday....
After last year's hurricanes, the agency had an unusually public face. It set up mobile command centers that sprung out of the backs of Humvees and provided imagery for rescuers and hurricane victims who wanted to know the condition of their homes. Victims would provide their street address and the NGA would provide a satellite photo of their property. In one way or another, some 900 agency officials were involved.
"We are not trying to examine an individual dwelling, for example, because what our mission is normally going to be is looking at large areas," he said. "It doesn't really affect or threaten anyone's privacy or civil liberties when you are looking at a large collective area.""
This doesn't seem like an invasion of privacy. I already thought they did this as a normal thing. And how is helping with search and rescue a bad thing after a hurricane? And another thing. Why is this story coming out now, many months after the 'domestic' spying started? Because there's a new guy up for CIA appoinment. This, and the idiotic phone stories about collecting the number of calls, who they were to, and what length they were being an invasion of privacy is stupid. I can get more information about some one who visits this blog then that.
Not that I'd do anything with it. :D
Friday, May 12, 2006
The Commerce Department reported Friday that the gap between what the country sells abroad and what it imports narrowed to $62 billion in March, the smallest deficit in seven months. It was a 5.5 percent improvement from February's $65.6 billion deficit which in turn had fallen from the all-time high of $68.6 billion set in January.
The back-to-back improvement in the trade deficit, something that last happened in October-November 2003, was certain to be welcomed by President Bush, who is facing increasing election-year attacks from Democrats who contend that Bush's free trade policies have put the nation in hock to foreign governments and cost millions of manufacturing jobs at home.
The trade deficit through the first three months of this year, even with the two months of improvements, is running at an annual rate of $785 billion, up by 8.4 percent from last year's record high of $723.6 billion."
Why is this happening? Because when our economy works, the rest of the world is better off.
As such, they've got more money.
So, they buy electric generators and industrial machines (read:robots and assembly lines), and computers.
I was listening to an interview with Michael Dell, the founder of Dell computers, and he was asked about forign markets. After the US, China and india are now the largest customers of computers in the world. A double digit growth in computer sales over there, in fact.
We're also exporting more food. Soybeans and Corn, because folks gotta eat, and there is no one in the world that can grow food like americans. Even when we do make ethanol and feed ourselves, we've got more then enough to sell to the world.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
The immigrants had been on their way to build a dairy farm in this town about an hour southwest of Phoenix. But after a traffic stop for a faulty brake light, members of a sheriff's task force targeting human and drug smugglers found they were not U.S. citizens. Now they were bound for federal custody.
Beginning Wednesday, more illegal immigrants coming through Maricopa County could meet the same fate as the sheriff's department beefs up its efforts to find illegal immigrants.
A 250-member posse that will operate similarly to the anti-smuggler task force will patrol the area for illegal immigrants who pay smugglers to cross through Arizona, the busiest illegal entry point along the 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border."
First of all, apart from the unbeliveably bias in the article, they don't mention that the Sherrif is arresting criminals until the very bottom of the 3rd paragraph.
Good stuff is happening out there.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
'People became much more bullish on Friday morning, and the fact they didn't sober up over the weekend is a very positive sign for the market,' Tower said. '
The Dow rose 55.23, or 0.48 percent, to 11,639.77. The index of 30 blue-chip stocks is 83 points from its all-time closing high of 11,722.98, reached Jan. 14, 2000."
Yesterday, the Dow was 140 points from setting a new record. Ya know what is really incredible about this? Due to the tax cuts, we have a record setting economy, despite 9/11, the Hurricanes, high gas prices and a war, we still have a rocking economy.
Monday, May 08, 2006
And why we're wasting time with diplomatic solutions, I don't know. Economic sanctions have not worked on Cuba, North Korea, and they didn't work on Saddam's Iraq. So why will they work with Iran? They have a lot of oil, and someone somewhere will buy that oil.
Friday, May 05, 2006
"Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is shown wearing American tennis shoes and unable to operate his automatic rifle in video released Thursday by the U.S. military as part of a propaganda war aimed at undercutting the image of the terror leader.
The U.S. command showed the footage to reporters...
Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, spokesman for the U.S. command, mocked al- Zarqawi as the previously unseen footage showed a smiling al-Qaida leader first firing single shots from a U.S.-made M-249 light machine gun. A frown creeps across al-Zarqawi's face as the weapon appears to jam. He looks at the rifle, confused, then summons another fighter.
"It's supposed to be automatic fire. He's shooting single shots," Lynch said. "Something is wrong with his machine gun. He looks down, can't figure out, calls his friend to come unblock the stoppage and get the weapon firing again."
By contrast, the edited version which the militants posted on the Web showed what happened only after the fighter fixed the weapon _ a fierce-looking al-Zarqawi confidently blasting away with bursts of automatic gunfire.
His fellow fighters and associates appear similarly inept in the newly released footage. One reaches out to grab a just-fired weapon by the barrel, apparently unaware that it would burn his hand. The camera quickly pans to the ground and then away.
"His close associates around him ... do things like grab the hot barrel of the machine gun and burn themselves," Lynch said. "Makes you wonder" about their military skills."Hehe. Grabbing the barrel of a hot rifle? ouch.
Wearing american apparel and driving a pickup? Bad publicity.
Letting this film leak out? Priceless.
I hope Al-Jazerrea plays this around, or it's posted on the net.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Arpaio made the announcement just as 11 more illegal aliens were being booked in jail after a Ford Windstar with California plates and 16 people packed inside was stopped by a Sheriff's deputy early Tuesday morning on a traffic violation near Gila Bend.
Despite the growing controversy about illegal aliens nationwide, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office remains the only Arizona law enforcement agency willing to enforce a new state anti-smuggling law.
'There are so many illegals trying to make it into the county that it's overwhelming my deputies, so I have called on members of my 3000 member volunteer posse to assist,' says Sheriff Arpaio. 'It's not only illegals we find and arrest out there, we've also made some recent huge drug seizures involving illegal aliens including nearly 100 pounds of methamphetamine and approximately three pounds of heroin.'"
Wow. That last paragraph is disturbing. Not only should we be concerned about a terrorists just being able to walk straight into the country, but we've got a MASSIVE Drug problem coming over the border. And this would be even more aggrivated by the following:
"a bill decriminalizing possession of small quantities of marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine and even heroin for personal use, prompting U.S. criticism that the measure could harm anti-drug efforts
The only step remaining was the signature of President Vicente Fox, whose office indicated he would sign the bill, which Mexican officials hope will allow police to focus on large-scale trafficking operations rather than minor drug busts.
"This law gives police and prosecutors better legal tools to combat drug crimes that do so much damage to our youth and children," said Fox's spokesman, Ruben Aguilar."Yeah. Legalizing drugs makes much more effective enforcement, because there is nothing to enforce!!!
But thankfully, I read this this morning:
"Mexican President Vicente Fox refused to sign a drug decriminalization bill Wednesday, hours after U.S. officials warned the plan could encourage "drug tourism."
Fox sent the measure back to Congress for changes, but his office did not mention the U.S. criticism.
Fox will ask "Congress to make the needed corrections to make it absolutely clear in our country, the possession of drugs and their consumption are, and will continue to be, a criminal offense," according to a statement from the president's office."I don't know why this happened, but it's a good thing. Yesterday, I was conviced that the drug lords were taking over mexico, but now it appears the government still has a spine.
Although the prices may stay high with the narcotics being illegal, I can't imagine the drug lords would want to stay illegal.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
The United States says it wants Iran's nuclear standoff with the West solved diplomatically but has refused to rule out military action.
'We have announced that wherever America does something evil, the first place that we target will be Israel,' Revolutionary Guards Rear Admiral Mohammad-Ebrahim Dehqani was quoted as saying by Iran's student news agency ISNA.
The Islamic Republic has never recognized Israel and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for the Jewish state to be 'wiped off the map.'
Dehqani said naval wargames held in the Gulf last month 'carried the warning to those countries that threaten Iran, including America and the Zionist regime'.
Experts said the wargames, in which Iran said it had tested new missiles and torpedoes, were a thinly veiled threat that it could disrupt vital Gulf oil shipping lanes if it was attacked."
Yup. And we are going to wait around and trust that they won't misuse the nukes? Bad idea.
If they start a war with Isreal, Iran is not going to know what hit them the next day.