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News from North of the Border

us-politics

Despite being fully integrated economically the media seems to ignore stuff north of the 49th parallel. I live a few hundred miles south and get the CBC on TV. I warn you that this report is disturbing. First, if you are crossing a border into the USA you are a suspect. Immigration and Customs Enforcement […]

OTB Latenight – Pet Shop Boys

movie-popcorn-filmstrip

This song has been covered by many groups. The Village People sued to keep their version not-free, so the Pet Shop Boys do an equally good version. Lots of Commie symbolism. As a westerner this song has meaning that wasn’t intended by the authors. It is Horace Greeley. I wrote in my 2002 journey when […]

PNW Winter in June: Not Since 1894

The weather has been blustery Now almost a week and a half into June, the weather is acting like winter or early spring. A vigorous area of low pressure has been bringing showers, thunderstorms and strong winds to the region. But even stranger is the snow. Numerous winter warnings and advisories are up for the […]

American Soldiers’ Views are Illegal?

us-politics

“Surprising Political Endorsements By U.S. Troops” – ABC News Why not “Government Employees Cannot Participate in Partisan Political Activity”? Or how about government employees are not allowed to state who they support politically? How about government employees are NOT allowed to vote? How about UNION government employees are not allowed to vote? Though the military […]

Utah: Behind the Zion Curtain

Just when post-Mitt Romney everyone says Mormons are normal, Wine coolers to be banished from grocery stores SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Gov. Jon Huntsman has signed a bill into law that will ban wine coolers from grocery stores. Huntsman says he doesn’t like the law, but he signed it Wednesday because it also increases […]

Celebrity Endorsement Face-Off Obama vs Clinton

movie-popcorn-filmstrip

David Schmader takes a clever look at the celebrities endorsing Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: via roving correspondent Richard Gardner

Next Up, The WA Caucus AND Primary

us-politics

Guess it isn’t over until it is over, at least for the Democratic Party. WA State has Caucuses on Saturday, and a primary vote on Tuesday (you have to sign a statement saying you are only doing one, and not for the other party. Clarification, you can caucus and vote in the Primary, so long […]

PNW Snow – A State of Emergency

As I’m writing this, there is no dependable land route out of the maritime Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Portland). All Interstates are closed. I-90 costs $20M/day in economic costs per day it is shut down. I-5 and I-84 are also closed. These are ALL the interstates highways serving the PNW. We are isolated. The US highways […]

RIP, Julia Carson (D-IN)

A Congresswoman from Indiana has died. I’ll readily admit I was not familiar with her (like another 300 members of Congress). I came across her death searching for Fort Carson on Google. She seems respectable person . Then I came across the hagiography from the Brady Bunch I consider the Brady Campaign to be loathsome […]

Military Soft On Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

military-soldier-sunset

Wow, some Military Members are Gay. “60 Minutes” must be scrambling for ratings in its latest “don’t ask, don’t tell” report. A gay soldier says he disclosed his sexuality to his superiors, even offering graphic proof, and was neither discharged nor reprimanded, despite the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on homosexuality. What, the military […]

Unhappy Thanksgiving for the USS Kitty Hawk Strike Group (UPDATED)

USS Kitty Hawk Photo

At the last minute, Chinese officials have REVERSED course and pulled long-approved permission for the USS Kitty Hawk and accompanying vessels to conduct a port visit in Hong Kong over Thanksgiving. Instead the family members that flew there at their own expense will be without their Sailors, while the Sailors will be aboard their ships […]

(Military) Home is Where the Heart IS

For a military family, where is home? You move every three years, possibly to other countries (Korea, Japan, England, Germany, Germany, Germany [because so many were stationed in Germany]). Maybe the Philippines, maybe diplomatic schools in Burkina Faso. I lived in Iceland. The children have disruptions of changing schools. But for some, it doesn’t matter […]

Por que no te callas

Juan Carlos’ words conquer the net The reporting on the Summit of leaders of the Latin Countries is exceedingly horrible. Five words – “Why don’t you shut up!” – have catapulted King Juan Carlos, the Spanish monarch, to Internet stardom, and driven Spain’s relations with Latin America to a new low. ORLY? A new low? […]

When Cows Fly

movie-popcorn-filmstrip

Since today was an election day (I voted, did you?) I guess that the normal “when pigs fly” must be adjusted to “when cows fly” to accommodate the hyperbole of the local elections. In this case a young cow flew (fell?) off a cliff onto a moving minivan. A Chelan County fire chief says a […]

General Paul Tibbets, Pilot of Enola Gay, RIP

military-soldier-sunset

Brigadier General Paul Tibbets, best known as the pilot of the Enola Gay that dropped the Little Boy atomic bomb onto the Japanese war-supporting city of Hiroshima, has died at the age of 92. In recent years he has made the news about being unrepentant over what some vocal (revisionist) critics consider a war crime. […]

National Toast: Drink a Beer for Michael Jackson

movie-popcorn-filmstrip

No, not the one-gloved one, the late beer and scotch-drinking Michael Jackson. We are talking about The Beerhunter here. As a fitting wake for the top writer of malted beverages, on Sunday September 30, at 9PM EST (OK, the USA is still on Daylight Savings, so maybe add or subtract one, or drink a beer […]

Dilemma: Privacy is More Important than Life?

Adults are adults, and sometimes need to get away from each other. Police are not supposed to be referees in personal relationships. But sometimes that is taken to extremes, as just happened near Seattle, WA, where the King County (Seattle is in King County) Sheriffs Department took 8 days to start looking for an accident […]

Secretary of Agriculture Johanns Resigning to Run for Senate

us-politics

Former Nebraska Governor Mike Johanns (R) will reportedly be resigning from the Cabinet in order to run for the Nebraska Senate seat being vacated by Chuck Hagel. Johanns resigned as Nebraska’s Governor at the start of the second Bush Adminstration (Jan 2005), after being reelected in 2002 with 69% of the vote. U.S. Agriculture Secretary […]

No Titles of Nobility

Somehow a fundamental basis of the US Constitution (Art I, Sect 9) is being ignored by a US Congressman. That is OK, he is now a knight. A Knight of Lesotho. Jim McDermott, congressman and doctor, has added another title: knight. McDermott, D-Wash., was knighted by the king of Lesotho during an Aug. 22 ceremony […]

Murderabilia – Congress looks at law to help foil sales of grisly collectibles

money-investing

People collect all sorts of things, stamps, coins, velvet Elvis paintings, & old manuscripts. And some collect murderabilia, a term I had not heard before. Round and chrome, it looks a lot like an average hubcap from a vintage VW Bug. But this one is special. And it’s for sale. It’s off the 1968 Beetle […]

Bodybuilder Performs Smackdown on Serial Bank Robber [-y suspect]

In a suburb north of Seattle, a serial bank robber (I won’t say robbery suspect, though the newspaper does) had the misfortune of having an amateur competitive bodybuilder in the chosen bank who decided to be a good member of society and stop the robbery, whereas most would just be sheep and look for cover. […]

“Rule of Law” Operations in Iraq

military-soldier-sunset

Like I imagine most of the folks reading the blog, I read the comments of Brookings Institute’s Michael O’Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack’s A War We Might Just Win (NYT, Jul 31) with a grain of salt. Some say they saw a Potemkin village (Irrelevant Exuberance – Phil Carter) while others are quoting them extensively as […]

Voyage of the Damned – The Nation’s Cruise

newsman

Not my headline, but rather that of the alternative Seattle Weekly to describe The Nation’s all Liberal cruise to Alaska, with prices from $2600 to $8400. Focus cruises are proliferating, started by The National Review decades ago. The cruise departed Seattle last Saturday. Of course it was the success of The National Review’s cruise that […]

Edwards’ Butt Hurts — RAGBRAI

us-politics

Drudge has a headline Edwards bikes with Lance Armstrong: ‘The biggest problem is my butt hurts.’ This is an occasion where context is necessary, and as a multi-year veteran of the annual craziness of crossing the non-flat state of Iowa (AKA northern end of the Ozarks, and this year is relatively flat) on a bicycle […]

Admiral Eugene Fluckey, Medal of Honor and Four Time Navy Cross Recipient, RIP

Admiral Eugene B. Fluckey

The word “hero” is getting attached to many things since 2001. Sometimes it isn’t just doing something as an individual, it is being the one making the decisions affecting the lives of 50 or 100 men, as well as oneself. That is what true leadership is. Rear Adm. Eugene B. Fluckey, one of the greatest […]

DWE — Driving While ‘Embracing’

law-scales-justice-flag

Bringing you my local news, I have problems categorizing this as embracing. I also wonder about a specific state law against embracing, when a simple driving while distracted would suffice, same as with cell phones. A state trooper was patrolling Interstate 90 near Bellevue Way last week when he noticed a sport utility vehicle drifting […]

General Pace to Step Down as Chairman of Joint Chiefs

military-soldier-sunset

In a surprise move, The Secretary of Defense is replacing the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS), Marine General Pace, with Navy Admiral Michael Mullen. This is being done for political reasons, rather than job performance. General Pace is the only Marine to hold the position of CJCS. Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates […]

Uncle Sam Might Want You…

military-soldier-sunset

If you are a retired DoD employee (civilian or military) for Project Minerva, not that I’m sure what Project Minerva is (don’t bother with the link, all you get is a DoD emblem and a login). Google is no help as this is not the PS2 videogame Gamespy: Project Minerva, nor “Minerva is a modular […]

Apple iRACK Video

military-soldier-sunset

MadTV did a Steve Jobs parody video on the “Apple iRACK.” It’s from March 10th but I hadn’t seen it until this morning: It’s clever although, like most of these things, belabors the point. Via OTB Roving Correspondent Richard Gardner.

Costco Return Policy: Too Much of A Good Thing

money-investing

Costco is limiting its greatly generous return policy by adding a time period on electronics returns, and is adding optional warranties to electronic purchases. ‘A few jerks’ prompt retailer to alter rules on electronics” Costco Wholesale Corp.’s liberal return policy on most consumer electronic products is being reined in. The Issaquah-based [WA] retailer has begun […]

Recognizing the Medal of Honor

us-politics

While there are current arguments that the Medal of Honor has become a posthumous event only, sometimes bureaucracy (and stupidity, we won’t talk about the TSA here) is in the way of honoring those who have been awarded the Medal of Honor. It turns out in Oregon, there is only one Medal of Honor recipient, […]

Iraqi Kurdistan = Booming

travel-suitcase

From Michael Totten, we have this Sunday’s 60 Minutes amazing 12 minute program on Kurdistan (heavily recommended if you have 12-minutes free) (Note, if that does not work it is the video labeled Kurdistan Strives for Autonomy here) CBS, in its infinite wisdom, does not allow you to pause the video, nor easily link a […]

Policemen Outlawed in Washington State

us-politics

Firemen too. Horrible sexist terms, not gender-neutral. It’s almost official: There soon will be no more firemen or policemen in Washington. And they’re vanishing with barely a whimper. The state Senate voted 41-1 on Friday to get rid of all references to “fireman” and “policeman” in a state law about public employee pensions and replace […]

Recent U.S. Migration Data

As a follow-up to James’ Candidates From Nowhere post yesterday, the Charlotte [NC] Observer has an interesting (time-wasting?) interactive graphic of US county-to-county moves (moves in and out of counties, though you have to toggle between the two) based on 2000-2005 IRS tax returns, confirming we are a mobile society. The data shows most moves […]

Army Ranger Bank Robbery = Political Statement?

us-politics

Or, as the Seattle Times says, “If I did it, it was political.” Even the Seattle newspapers don’t buy it. A short summary is that in August four US Army Rangers performed a military-precision-type robbery on a Bank of America branch in South Tacoma, Washington, near Ft. Lewis, the largest Army base on the West […]

Cheating the Hangman’s Noose? Saddam Conviction Appealed

military-soldier-sunset

At the deadline, Saddam Hussein’s lawyers did the expected thing and filed the formal appeal of his conviction. But there may be a method behind the dragging out of the appeal, and of the trial itself. Iraqi law prohibits the execution of anyone 70 or older, which Saddam will be on April 28. Kommersant Moscow […]

Another Republican Resignation – He’s proud but tired of battling slavery

travel-suitcase

What do Belize, Saudi Arabia, Burma, North Korea, and Uzbekistan all have in common? They are among the dozen nations on the US State Department’s list of Tier 3 nations for human trafficking. Slavery, that is. Ambassador John Miller (a former Congressman from Seattle) , the head of the State Department’s Office to Monitor and […]

Overdue Rental Car? Or Lucky to be Alive? PNW Floods

intellectual-invention

In case you missed the 7/24 news reports last week, the Pacific Northwest got slammed by the “Pineapple Express,” a series of relatively warm major storms that blasted Oregon, Washington, and BC*. These storms gave torrential downpours of rain, rather than the seasonally expected snow, causing massive flooding. But imagine you were just a tourist, […]

Ken Mehlman Out as RNC Chair

newsman

The post mid-term purge continues, with Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman leaving at the end of his term in January. Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman, whose party lost both chambers of Congress in the midterm elections, will step down from his post when his two-year term ends in January, GOP officials said Thursday. […]

US Senate: Of the People, by the Millionaires

us-politics

Up in the Progressive Northwest state of Washington, the sole state-wide Senate debate occurred, and there were THREE candidates in the debate. Yes, the Libertarian (Guthrie) was there too, but only because he donated over $1M to his cause. The other candidates are Maria Cantwell (D), former sort-of Real Networks exec who cashed out at […]

Seismic Activity in North Korea (um, nuke)

It looks like North Korea has blown up a nuke, wild guesses as to the magnitude (as I’m writing this, about 5). Not a surprise, hopefully underground Monday, 10:30 AM Korea time (was underground). This was a SMALL detonation, and could have been lots of TNT, 550 tons equivalent of TNT, though the USGS hasn’t […]

Beer Disaster in Yakima Washington

movie-popcorn-filmstrip

Four percent of the nation’s hop harvest went up in smoke, rather than into beer yesterday as the S.S. Steiner warehouse in Yakima burned. If this were oil, we could expect a massive price increase of hop-using products (um, mostly beer, rejected stuff goes into soaps and such). Even worse, hops aren’t exactly fungible as […]

Venezuelan Foreign Minister Detained by US?

travel-suitcase

In yet another strange story revolving around the visit of the tyrant, umm (sorry, can’t figury out the strike-through coding) President of Venezuela to the United Nations, now the Foreign Minister of that country is having immigration problems, and even the glorious New York Times dismisses him a merely an “Aide” in the headline (Try […]

Oops, “Fertility clinic gave sperm to wrong woman”

law-scales-justice-flag

“Fertility clinic gave sperm to wrong woman” Legally, this one is a grey area. PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A fertility clinic that gave sperm to the wrong woman is now defending itself from a donor upset over the pregnancy. A man receiving treatment at the Oregon Health & Science University clinic was attempting to father […]

China Continues Espionage Against the USA, Pt II

military-soldier-sunset

Last November came the reports of the arrest of a Chinese spy ring in California. Today comes a follow-up from Bill Gertz of the Washington Times entitled Fumbled China spy probe an intelligence failure and the details aren’t very good on either side. This is the first of 3 articles. It sounds like a Mad […]

Gasoline Could Drop to $1.15/Gallon

money-investing

Probably not as that is the lower end of the estimate, but a well-respected oil industry analyst says expect gas prices to plunge. Oil prices are more than the basic supply and demand curves, including future expectations such as unrest in oil producing regions and hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico. The recent sharp drop […]

The Reform Party isn’t Dead (yet?) – Florida

us-politics

This evening (for me, after midnight for the East Coasters) I saw a commercial on CNN for the Reform Party Candidate for Governor of Florida, Max Linn. Shades of Ross Perot, and Jesse Ventura. And considering that I’m over 2300 miles from Tallahassee FL, I must wonder if it is money well spent (1:30 AM […]

Steve Irwin, The Croc Hunter, RIP

Steve and Terri Irwin

The good die young in this case, Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin has been killed in a stingray attack near Cairns on Australia’s far north coast. It was believed Irwin had been swimming off the coast of Cairns when he was stung. “It is understood he was killed by a stingray barb that went through his […]

UPDATE: Hate Groups Infiltrating U.S. Military?

military-soldier-sunset

Two months ago, Dr. Joyner related the report that the US Army is a bunch of hate-group/neo-Nazi/gangland thugs, and said it was BS. Finally, on Monday, the Provost Marshall (Chief of Police) of Fort Lewis (WA) finally refuted the AP story, though it isn’t so clear, as this isn’t a black-and-white issue. There is little […]

Evil Protestants – Georgetown U. Ejects Private Ministry Groups

church-state-street-signs

Guess what, Georgetown University is a Jesuit Catholic School Protestant groups that have been ministering to Georgetown University students on campus for years say they are stunned that the Catholic university has decided to eject outside ministries from campus, a decision that affects only Protestant organizations. Georgetown’s Protestant chaplaincy, part of the office of Campus […]

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