Friday, August 31, 2007

Blogging at 800

This marks the 800th post in Pushing Back the Frontiers of Ignorance history.
But lest you assume I am doing this just to make another post, there is a history lesson.

I don't think many of you were around well nigh (sept. 14, 2004) 3 years ago when a friend of mine started this place, under the name of 'What in the World is Going on?' Those were a more light hearted time in the blog sphere, and with our blog.
Alas, all things must end, and she moved on to the highly successful Beauty from the Heart.
I changed the name at some point after that, and began a daily bid to push back the frontiers of ignorance.

Thanks for staying with me through this lackadaisical (blog-posting-wise) summer!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Smoking, at 100

Story: "An iron-lunged pensioner has celebrated her 100th birthday by lighting up her 170,000th cigerette from a candle on her birthday cake.

Winnie Langley started smoking only days after the First World War broke out in June 1914 when she was just seven-years-old - and has got through five a day ever since.

She has no intention of quitting, even after the nationwide ban forced tobacco-lovers outside.

Speaking at her 100th birthday party Winnie said: "I have smoked ever since infant school and I have never thought about quitting."

That is dedication.

In other news, we have 2 presidential canidates deciding that we need a national ban on smoking. Not like that would be an egregious breech of personal freedoms, or anything.
Hilary Clinton: "Asked at an Iowa forum on cancer whether banning smoking in public places would be good for America, Clinton replied, "Well, personally, I think so. And that's what a lot of local communities and states are starting to do.""
Mike Huckabee would support a national ban on indoor smoking as well. This is unfortunate, I expected more from a republican canidate.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Kansas City, home again

Ok, so I'm back for real now. School starts tomorrow, and that will most definitely affect my posting rate. But, I'll try to regain a steady pace.
And pictures aren't working for posting right now, but a fast recap.
Stayed in KC for three nights, visited 'Worlds of Fun' and nauseated myself with the rides, then visited Arrowhead Stadium for a Preseason NFL game with the Chiefs and the Saints.
The next day (Friday), we visited the Harley-Davidson Plant, and I whacked a former Marine's truck with our vehicle, and we then went to a Royals baseball game.
And then fireworks. Golly, Fireworks.

The next morning, we started driving home. And now we're back home after a nice dinner in Oklahoma City.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City

Ok, so its been a long time since I've posted, but I'm back. For now. :D

I must say, coming back online and seeing ya'll's discussion on my drinking choices, be it Old Style, Pinot Noir, or Welches. Still, I'll stick with my Vault and Water.

So, Recap:
We drove to DeVry university and parked on Wednesday night last week. From there, we took the shuttle over to Wrigley Field. It then rained for an hour and a half, so I sat there listening to podcasts waiting for the game to start. The atmosphere at this stadium, and the exuberance of the fans, not just towards the Cubs, but just for
the game of baseball was great. Cubs lost, and the Reds won. But the Hot Dogs were fantastic, and the people were great, and the stadium definitely has its charms. As one of the other people said, everybody should make a trip to Mecca once.

The next day, we went down and just walked the downtown area of the city, topping it off with a dinner at Pizzera Uno. Good stuff, if rather expensive and crowded.

The next morning, we drove over to a small rural town outside of St. Louis, and stayed Friday night. Our friends from Texas were moving in this weekend, so we helped with that.
That was Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Tuesday, we took off to St. Louis for a Cardinals game.
After parking, which is far less expensive in St. Louis then in Chicago, we walked over to Busch Stadium and took a tour of it. Sat in the dugout, and realized that if your rich and have $28,000 to spend on seats, there are simply incredible seats to have.
I hadn't realized it before hand, but the Cardinals are second only to the Yankees in number of World Series rings.

After the tour, we took off to the St. Louis Arch and Jefferson Expansion Memorial. At first, I was indifferent to visiting this, but after being there, I can do nothing but recommend it. The arch itself is magnificent from both the outside and on top. But the real star of the place, in my mind, is the museum underground. Starting with Lewis and Clark, and carrying through the rest of our manifest destiny to the conquering of a continent, it was a brilliant display. I was there for an hour, and managed to make about 15% of the way through.

Meanwhile, part of my family was watching
batting practice. So we caught back up with each other, and the game started.
First of all, Busch Stadium is a great park, if the concessions are expensive.
Second, the fans are even better then the cubs fans. They don't boo their own pitcher.
Third, the Cardinals are a good team.
So the game was quiet until the 8th, and the Cards busted out a 4 inning to win the game.

And I decided I like Albert Pujols.
A. He hits Home Runs.
B. He fields well.
C. Nice Charity.

So now I'm in Kansas City, I'll come back later. Incidentally, Bush is here right now. I won't meet him, but it is the closest I've been since Election Day.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Still alive

Hey, Still alive. I'll be back in a few days. Thanks ya'll!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Obama on Afganistan

Story: "Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama came under fire Tuesday for saying that U.S. troops in Afghanistan are "just air-raiding villages and killing civilians." The junior senator from Illinois made the comment Monday at a campaign stop in Nashua, New Hampshire.

"We've got to get the job done there," he said of Afghanistan. "And that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there."

The comment drew a rebuke Tuesday from the campaign of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

"That is a very troubling remark on so many levels," said Romney spokesman Kevin Madden. "Most importantly, it's emblematic of Senator Obama's lack of experience for the job of commander-in-chief. But it's also an entirely inaccurate condemnation of the efforts of the men and women of the United States military who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.""

To quote Gino on Obama: "Brilliant Barack. Just brilliant. You never miss a chance to say nothing, do you."

Mitt, thank you for saying what needed to be said.

In other news, I'm having a great trip. Stopped in Oklahoma City, went to a Redhawks game, then stayed the night in the middle of some Illinois farm country, then went to the Lincoln museum in Springfield (If you ever go there, grab some hot dogs from 'Weinerdog' a few blocks away. Great stuff.), then spent the night at the Indiana Dunes state park. I'll spend the next two days in Chicago.

I guess its fitting to post with Obama in it, seeing as I am in his jurisdiction. And in light of that, this is a picture I took at Lincoln's museum. It is in the gift ship in the area set aside for biographies on Lincoln.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Perspective on Iraq

Approx. number of US murder victims in 2005:
16,500 (cite)

Approx. number of US highway fatalities in 2005:
43, 443 (cite)

Approx. number of US abortions in 2003:
1, 287,000 (cite)

Number of United States Soldiers Killed in Iraq from 2002-2007:
3,683 (cite)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Public Sees Media as Uncaring, Wrong

Story:" More than two-thirds of the Internet users said they felt that news organizations don't care about the people they report on; 59 percent said their reporting was inaccurate; and 64 percent they were politically biased.

More than half -- 53 percent -- of Internet users also faulted the news organizations for "failing to stand up for America".

Among those who get their news from newspapers and television, criticism of the news organizations was up to 20 percentage points lower than among Internet news audiences, who tend to be younger and better educated than the public as a whole, according to Pew.

The poll indicates an across the board fall in the public's opinion on the news media since 1985, when a similar survey was conducted by Times Mirror, Pew Research said.

"Two decades ago, public attitudes about how news organizations do their job were less negative. Most people believed that news organizations stood up for America... a majority believed that news organizations got the facts straight," Pew said in a report. "

People are smart, and I think most of us know when we're being lied to. Which only happens for 6 half hour periods each night on TV.
I do find it interesting that Internet users are more suspicious of media in general. Perhaps there is some credence to the theory of Seniors sitting around watching CNN and getting panicked, and then voting democrat because they have nothing else.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The surge is effective - Even in the MSM

Story: " The new U.S. military strategy in Iraq, unveiled six months ago to little acclaim, is working.

In two weeks of observing the U.S. military on the ground and interviewing commanders, strategists and intelligence officers, it's apparent that the war has entered a new phase in its fifth year.
The U.S. military, partnering in many instances with Iraqi forces, is now creating that security cushion—not everywhere, but in much of the north, the west and most importantly in key areas of Baghdad.

Sectarian killings continue and extremist groups remain a threat, yet they are being squeezed harder. The U.S. military has caught some momentum, thanks to the extra 30,000 troops—for a total of 159,000 on the ground—that Bush agreed to send as part of the new counterinsurgency strategy announced in January. The troops are interacting more with the local people and are protecting them more effectively."

Its working. Out of time, I'm on a different computer, my laptop is broken.
I'll be back later

Saturday, August 04, 2007

7 Arrested in Reporter's Murder

Story: "A day after a prominent newspaper editor was shot to death downtown, the police here on Friday arrested seven men and seized several weapons that they suspected were used in his killing and those of two other men.

Oakland police officials said they suspected that the men were part of a group operating “a very violent criminal enterprise” out of a neighborhood bakery.

The arrests came after a predawn raid by SWAT teams at the bakery, the Your Black Muslim Bakery, and three bakery-owned properties, where the police found several firearms, including the gun they believe was used to kill the editor, Chauncey Bailey, of the weekly Oakland Post.
One of seven men arrested on Friday was Yusef Bey IV, the son of the bakery’s founder, Yusef Bey, a well-known local black Muslim leader who died in 2003.
The police said the raid came after a lengthy investigation of other crimes, including two kidnappings on a single day in May, and two killings in July that occurred in the same north Oakland neighborhood where the bakery is located. The police had connected those crimes and put the bakery under surveillance before Mr. Bailey was killed.

“During our investigation, Chauncey Bailey was murdered, and it turns out that the evidence in that case also linked the same individuals we were looking at in the other two prior murders to that case,” said Lt. Ersie Joyner of the Oakland Police Department....

The bakery’s operators had been investigated by the police in the past. In 2002, the founder, Mr. Bey, was charged with rape, sodomy and lewd acts with a child under 14, stemming from accusations that he had fathered a child with a 13-year-old girl in 1982. Mr. Bey died of cancer in 2003 before his trial began.

In late 2005, several members of the group that operates the bakery, including the younger Mr. Bey, were charged in an attack at a small neighborhood grocery store, in which liquor bottles were smashed and other merchandise was destroyed. The attack was treated as a felony hate crime, the police said, because the store, which is owned by Muslims, had sold goods forbidden by Islamic law.
Lieutenant Joyner said that many residents of the neighborhood surrounding the bakery had been afraid of the Muslim group, whose members sometimes shot automatic rifles in the air in a show of intimidation. Other members of the group, the police said, flaunted their defiance of outstanding warrants on assault and gun charges.
By midafternoon, the bakery had been boarded up and closed by the city’s health department.

Sorry, that is an avalanche of information. Let me try and boil it down, in the event you didn't read it.
1. A newspaper editor, Mr. Bailey, was murdered by shotgun in broad daylight in downtown Oakland yesterday. These are the men responsible, or better put, suspected.
2. The SWAT teams took 7 of the 9 suspects down at their staging house/bakery, Your Black Muslim Bakery.
3. Yusef Bey IV is the only confirmed arrested suspect, and the likely ringleader.
4. Yusef and his band are considered responsible for two kidnappings and two murders in their neighborhood in the last year.
5. Yusef is the son of a 'local black Muslim leader', who was investigated in 2002 for lewd acts with a minor, rape and sodomy. He was also suspected to have fathered a child with a 14 year-old girl.
6. The band is also charged with attacking a rival grocery store for selling non-islam approved items.
7. Repeated reports of intimidation by fire-arms, and a refusal to follow fire arm policy.

Radical Muslim terrorists, or just another violent street gang, or possiblly something else?
And if guns are outlawed, then only outlaws will have guns.
I gotta run, I may edit this later. Something seems squirrly to me here.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ruskies claim Santa's domain

Story:" Russian explorers dived deep below the North Pole in a submersible on Thursday and planted a national flag on the seabed to stake a symbolic claim to the energy riches of the Arctic.
A mechanical arm dropped a specially made rust-proof titanium flag onto the Arctic seabed at a depth of 4,261 meters (13,980 ft) under the surface,
Under international law, the five states with territory inside the Arctic Circle -- Canada, Norway, Russia, the United States and Denmark via its control of Greenland -- have a 320 km (200 mile) economic zone around the north of their coastline.
"The aim of this expedition is not to stake Russia's claim but to show that our shelf reaches to the North Pole," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters in Manila, where he is attending a regional security conference."

What is up the Russians? I suppose leaving well enough alone with this issue just was not good enough.
Anyways, it'll all be melting soon anyways, so they may have a point, the early bird gets the worm.