Thursday, July 14, 2011

Where Were You In 1977?...From Paris

Me?  I was a happy, carefree teenager, slathering on baby oil and iodine, sun bathing on the deck.  1977 was also the year this lovely Valentino ad appeared; moments still cute, sweet and carefree.

A very Brave Man

Iranian Pastor Sentenced to Death Could Be Executed if He Doesn’t Recant, Says Verdict


Iranian evangelical pastor Yousef Nadarkhani has been sentenced to death for apostasy. (Christian Solidarity World)

Iran's Supreme Court says an evangelical pastor charged with apostasy can be executed if he does not recant his faith, according to a copy of the verdict obtained by a religious rights activist group.

Christian Solidarity World says Iranian-born Yousef Nadarkhani, who was arrested in 2009 and given the death sentence late last year, could have his sentence suspended on the grounds that he renounce his faith.

Those who know him say he is not likely to do that, for if he were disposed to giving it up, he would have done it long ago.

Christian and human rights groups say apostasy isn’t even codified in Iranian law.

“From a human rights perspective, you can’t criminalize someone’s choice of religion, much less execute them for that,” says Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.

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Remarkable story today

Amateur leads first round of The Open Championship at -5

-- 20-year-old amateur Tom Lewis played his opening round in his first major championship with Tom Watson. By the way, Lewis' father named his son after Tom Watson.

-- On the 18th hole, it was hard to tell who was happier with Lewis' performance: Watson or Lewis

--Amateur leading the Open after first round has not been done in over 30 years.

-- Watson: "He could be my grandson. I just had to smile inside to watch him play. I didn't play particularly well myself, but I certainly was impressed by the way he played."

Delusional. In a psychotic stupor. Disconnected from Reality etc etc.

A reader’s response to this post:

He is irrational


Obama: ‘Convinced’ Job Losses Prove $830 Billion Stimulus Worked

He believes the stimulus "saved millions..."

Posted by Bill Roberts

The Feds budget has gone up 30% in three yers/ and your budget has…?


The Obama deficit this year may reach $1.29 trillion. (The Captain’s Comments)

Barack Obama and Democrats also added over One Trillion Dollars to the Federal Budget in the last 4 years.

That’s at least a 30% increase in federal spending in just 3 years.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, review

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Unlike the tedious first part, the last Harry Potter film is concise, rousing and frequently moving.

Things are done differently in Louisiana

'I'm only as old as the woman I feel': Ex-governor appears after jail release with blonde fiancée 51 YEARS his junior

Together: Trina Grimes Scott, 32, left, is engaged to former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards, 83, who has just finished an eight-year jail term

Former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards, 83, who is engaged to Trina Grimes Scott, 32, attended his first public event on Tuesday since completing an eight-year jail term for corruption. He was befriended by Miss Scott during his time in jail followed by six months in home confinement, which he finished this month. They became engaged despite the age gap, but he said at an awards dinner: 'A man is only as old as the woman he feels.'

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

New rule for WH press corps: stop asking questions when you see the President

Most transparent administration evah!

Tax Delinquent Geither Demands Debt Payment on Time

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Court revives NC's challenge to Voting Rights Act

NC town had voted to hold nonpartisan elections, a move Justice said discriminated against black voters

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Uh oh!

FBI reportedly looking into allegations that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp sought to hack into the phones of 9/11 victims.

all politics

If default would be a catastrophe, why is Obama opposed to a short-term deal that would avert it?

Perpetual campaign.

There will be no default. There will be cuts. The question is how much and where?,

Bernanke Warns Against Deep Cuts...
Admits bondholders will still get paid after deadline...

If Reid wants him out, I am glad he is there

While House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has earned praise for holding the line against tax increases during White House debt-reduction talks, Democrats say he's slowing down the process, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calling telling him to get out of the way and 'let the grown-ups get to work.'

Playboy Meets a goddess

Charlie Sheen’s ‘Goddess’ Strips Down in Playboy

Ever wonder what Charlie Sheen’s like in the sack?

Yeah us neither, but Bree Olson’s talking about it anyway.

Bree Olson, one of Charlie Sheen’s former “goddesses,” made her escape from Sober Valley Lodge last April and now is telling her tale (and baring her bod) in the August issue of Playboy.


Obama Hosting Big Bucks Birthday Fundraiser Day After Debt Ceiling Deadline

AP Graphic
By Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times

President Obama returns to Chicago on Aug. 3 to mark his 50th birthday with fund-raisers at the Aragon Ballroom, with tickets ranging from $50 a person to $35,800 per couple, which includes VIP seating at a "Birthday Concert" where celebs will be performing and a dinner with the president.

The fundraiser at the Aragon, the historic ballroom in Uptown, will be one of the biggest third quarter events, expected to draw in national supporters. Obama's 50th birthday is Aug. 4.

A very predictable poll.

All that bowing and apologizing didn't help?

President Obama has failed to live up to the expectations he created in the Arab world, according to a new poll released by IBOPE Zogby International and the Arab American Institute Foundation. The poll also noted that most Arab countries view the U.S. less favorably today than they did during the last year of the Bush administration.

World’s Strongest Crawler Crane – 73 stories high.

World’s Strongest Crawler Crane Can Raise the Roof—off a Stadium

Take, for example,Houston's Reliant Stadium. Its 1,000-ton roof takes several minutes to slide open and closed. Bah! With an LR13000 crawler crane on hand, that roof could pop off like a bottle cap.

A crawler crane is like any other incredibly huge land crane, except its base is a set of tracks—like you'd find on a really enormous tank. Builders of massive structures adore them because, unlike stationary cranes, crawlers can move around job sites (with or without loads) and are quick to set up. Double bonus: the treads also act as a stable lifting platform.

The LR13000 is the single most powerful crawler crane in the world. Officially, it has a maximum lifting capacity of 3,000 tons at a distance of 12 meters. Not content with official numbers, LR13000 successfully lifted 3,371 tons in November 2010. Take that, spec sheet! It's rumored to be preparing to lift 3,750 tons when construction of its new "Power Boom" is complete. Who knew competitive crane-lifting was, like, a thing?

The LR13000's hook block alone weighs 111 tons and measures 9.7 meters in length. Its main boom can be anywhere from 60 to 144 meters long (one-and-a-half football fields, with room for a concessions stand on either end). Its maximum hook height? 270m, the height of a 73-story building. What's more, the LR 13000 is the only crawler crane this size that can work without derrick ballast (a 1,500 ton stack of shipping container-sized, concrete counterweights—25 tons apiece— attached to to its ass). Powering this monster are dual Liebherr V8 diesel engines cranking out a combined 1360 horsepower. The crane's cables are equally impressive at 52 mm thick (about two inches). Each has an individual lifting capacity of 62 tons.

Doing what O does best, raising money, at $35,800 a head.

obama 50th.pngLogo for the Obama Aug. 3 birthday fund-raiser.

WASHINGTON--President Obama returns to Chicago on Aug. 3 to mark his 50th birthday with fund-raisers at the Aragon Ballroom, with tickets ranging from $50 a person to $35,800 per couple, which includes VIP seating at a "Birthday Concert" where celebs will be performing and a dinner with the president.

The reason? No one really hurt that badly by shut down, other than state employees. Did not work like the Dems thought. Lesson here for all to see.

Gov. Dayton Agrees to Republican Budget to End Minnesota Shutdown

Special session could be called within three days

ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton sent a letter Thursday to House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, saying he "reluctantly" agrees to accept the Republican budget proposal from June 30 if it will end the government shutdown.

Read more: Dayton Agrees to Republican Budget to End Minnesota Shutdown

Hanson on Obama's bluff

Victor Davis Hanson:

I’m not the world’s greatest poker player, but I thought the point of bluffing was not to tell the other players that one was bluffing? “Don’t call my bluff” seems a plea for mercy, not a threat, as in, Don’t expose the fact that I have no cards to play.

Every week or so, we get a small glimpse into the strange world of Barack Obama — inflating tires instead of drilling, trading in all those 8-mpg cars, tuning up (points?) our cars, confusing Memorial Day with Veterans Day, a finished border fence, Cinco de Quatro, corpse-men, etc. — that could be the sort of understandable slips that result from a grueling 365-days-a-year speaking and campaigning schedule, except for the fact that between 2001 and 2008 we were told, one, that such declarations were windows into a clueless presidential mind and soul, and two, that Barack Obama was the cool sort of Ivy League lawyer who was going to bring competence, fluency, and intelligence back to the presidency, a sort of Lincoln in Brooks Brothers pinstripes.

The problems add up

Over a Fifth of Navy Ships Aren’t Ready to Fight

  • More than a fifth of the Navy isn’t ready to sail or fight, at a time when demand on the fleet is off the charts. And the number of unready ships is likely to rise as Navy officers try to fix their chronic readiness woes.

According to statistics released by Rep. Randy Forbes, the Virginia Republican who chairs the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee, 22 percent of Navy ships didn’t pass their inspections in 2011. In 2007, just 8 percent of ships were rated as carrying junk equipment or insufficient spare parts. And more than half the Navy’s deployed aircraft — the F/A-18 Hornets, the jamming EA-18G Growlers, the P-3C Orion surveillance plane — aren’t ready for combat.

The Navy’s surface fleet goes into the water banged up. Its aircraft carriers, frigates, destroyers spend nearly 40 percent of their deployment time with “at least one major equipment or systems failure,” according to a chart Forbes released at a hearing on Tuesday. That can include “anti-air defenses, radar, satellite communications, or engines.” Let’s not forget that even the new ships are disintegrating.

And the demand on the Navy is huge. Consider the last year at sea. U.S. Navy ships and aircraft performed support missions for Iraq and Afghanistan. They helped with disaster relief after Pakistani floods and a Japanese tsunami/earthquake. They fought Somali pirates and spearheaded an ongoing war in Libya.

Social Security’s Big Lie

INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: Obama Exposes Social Security’s Big Lie.

In trying to score political points against the GOP by warning that retirement checks were in jeopardy if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, President Obama exposed the fraud at the heart of Social Security. . . . Obama beat everyone, however, with his scaremongering claim that Social Security checks are at risk if he doesn’t get his way on the debt ceiling. “I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on Aug. 3 if we haven’t resolved this issue,” he told CBS News, “because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.”

Wait! What happened to Social Security’s “guarantee”? You know, the iron-clad assurance of Social Security benefits in exchange for paying into the program your whole working life? It’s something Democrats constantly talk about, particularly when attacking Republicans who propose privatizing the program.

The Disappearing Recovery

What if that first-quarter growth rate of 1.8% is a portent of the U.S.'s long-term future? What if below-normal U.S. GDP is, as the Obama folks like to say, the new normal?

Robert Lucas, the 1995 Nobel laureate in economics, has spent his career thinking about why economies grow, and in particular about the effect of policy making on growth. From his office at the University of Chicago, Prof. Lucas has been wondering, like the rest of us, why, if the recession officially ended in the first half of 2009, there hasn't been more growth in the U.S. economy. He's also been wondering why this delayed recovery resembles the long non-recovery years of the 1930s. And he has been thinking about the U.S. and Europe.

Here is the lecture's provocative final thought: "Is it possible that by imitating European policies on labor markets, welfare and taxes, the U.S. has chosen a new, lower GDP trend? If so, it may be that the weak recovery we have had so far is all the recovery we will get."

The Obama-will-turn-us-into-Europe argument is a staple of the administration's critics. Prof. Lucas's intelligent speculation, however, carries the case beyond dinner-party carping.

The baseline reality for any discussion of where we're headed is that from 1870 to 2008, the U.S. economy has had average GDP productivity growth of about 3% and about 2% on a per-person basis. Despite displacements—wars, depressions—we've always returned to this solid upward trend. From 1870 till recently, real income per person has increased by a factor of 12—"an ongoing miracle," Prof. Lucas notes, "mainly due to free-market capitalism."

The Obama economists like to argue that this recession was the greatest meltdown since the Depression. Prof. Lucas agrees. Most recessions, he says, are not very important events. This one, though, has taken U.S. GDP almost 10% off its long-term growth trend. The only downturn comparable to this in the past century is the more than 30% decline during the Depression.

TSA idiocy

Rumsfeld Patted Down


No one is immune to the probing hands of the TSA ... including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ... who got the pat-down at Chicago's O'Hare airport this afternoon ... and TMZ has the pics.

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A very good demonstration of technology.

See This Picture?

What if I told you that you could, online, zoom in right now and see any person in this sea of people close enough to identify them?

Well, you can. HERE. Big Brother is watching. Or here:


GWers want your pussy.

Cats, Not Cars, Cause…Climate Change?

Well, you can save your money and forget about buying that Prius. Because apparently cats, not cars, cause “climate change.” That’s the latest according to some research studies.

The problem is reportedly due to a cat “epidemic” in the U.S., where the entire feline population has tripled in the last four decades to some 600 million furry critters. The studies report that “global warming” prompts cats to breed like, well, rabbits, and once there’s an “overpopulation,” our furry feline friends start killing off eco-saving birds en masse.

Sounds like a lose, lose. Right?

MotherJones reports:

Domestic cats, officially considered an invasive species, kill at least a hundred million birds in the US every year—dwarfing the number killed by wind turbines. (See “Apocalypse Meow,” below.) They’re also responsible for at least 33 avian extinctions worldwide. A recent Smithsonian Institution study found that cats caused 79 percent of deaths of juvenile catbirds in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Bad news, since birds are key to protecting ecosystems from the stresses of climate change—a 2010 study found that they save plants from marauding insects that proliferate as the world warms.

Why England is doomed.

Courtesy: Cavendish

UK Mother Told She Couldn’t Breastfeed to Avoid Offending Muslims

A "multicultural building."

House Republicans looking for Fast and Furious twin

'Recent reports that similar programs included the possible trafficking of arms to criminal gangs in Honduras'

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Why we need to cut spending. 43 cents of every dollar the fed spends is borrowed.

Fast and Furious – a political set up from the get go.

Operation Fast and Furious: Designed to Promote Gun Control.

“Internal ATF emails seem to suggest that ATF agents were counseled to highlight a link between criminals and certain semi-automatic weapons in order to bolster a case for a rule like the one the DOJ announced [Monday]. . . . Operation Fast and Furious is looking more and more like a set up from the beginning.”

O is not serious. $2 Billion in spending cuts? That about one hour of federal spending. My daughter can cut her spending better than O can.

COMEDIAN-IN-CHIEF: “Here’s a joke for you: President Obama nearly bankrupts the country with his out-of-control deficit spending — then demands responsible fiscal leadership from the Republicans.”

Plus this: “How else to explain Obama’s adamant refusal to put some serious numbers on the table? The administration’s talks with the GOP leadership broke down over the weekend largely because the president is only willing to offer — wait for it — a grand total of $2 billion in real spending cuts in 2012. That’s it — $2 billion with a “b,” out of a projected deficit of more than a trillion dollars. No wonder Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that no solution to the debt problem is possible as long as Obama is in office.”

Prosperity is fragile

America The Broken. “America is broken and it’s no consolation that the rest of the world is broken along with it. I had to laugh when I stumbled, while web surfing, on a 2007 United Nations ranking for Ireland — whose debt rating has just been slashed to junk — as the fifth best country to live in. If it is, we’re all in a heap of trouble. For America is still Reagan’s shining light on the hill for everyone, like it or not. We are the daddy. We are the grown-up holding the world together. Everyone knows it even whey they lie about it or bemoan it. Only the grown-up is hurting now too. And the world is badly wounded because of it. It is against this background that we watch with particular dismay, maybe closer to horror, the budget debate in Washington.”

The Gov’t unemployment numbers have been consistently understated, according to the Gov’t.

Last week’s unemployment number revised upwards “from 418K to a whopping 427K.”

Keep that in mind when looking at this week’s number of 405K, described here as “probably totally bogus.” There’s probably some good news in spite of the bogosity, but watch for another upward revision next week. That seems to be the pattern.

chip bok

Steady in one direction

Perry: I’m comfortable that the direction I’m heading is the right direction

July 14, 1850: What a Cool Idea, Dr. Gorrie


1850: Florida physician John Gorrie uses his mechanical ice-maker to astonish the guests at a party. It’s the first public U.S. demonstration of ice made by refrigeration.

Time passes

'We waited 30 years for this': Father and son recreate picture of themselves watching first and final space shuttle launch

Father and son

Father and son Chris and Kenneth Bray have recreated a picture taken 30-years-ago at the launch of the first shuttle with the vehicle's final flight into the heavens last week. The self confessed astronomy buffs - who witnessed the inaugural 1981 Columbia launch and Atlantis' swansong - created the image as a tribute to NASA's mighty flying machine.

Note: it is already down…

POTUS: 'This May Bring Down My Presidency, But I Will Not Yield on This'

Advice to Liberals: Protected Class is only for immutable characteristics. (Those things you can not change: sex, race) or for items set forth in Constitution: Free Speech, Freedom of Religion. Not for choices we make.

San Fran Considers Making Ex-Cons a 'Protected Class'

Poker advice, never say this sentence.

Don’t Call My Bluff? Huh?

Featured imageTonight’s big news story is President Obama pushing back against Republicans who refuse to be intimidated by him: “Don’t call my bluff,” Obama says, by passing a short-term debt limit increase, which Obama says he will veto. It is a small point, but the Obama quote that the wire services are trumpeting makes no sense. If, in fact, he is bluffing, the Republicans should by all means call his bluff.

Obama to Cantor -- 'Eric, Don’t Call My Bluff'

Atheist are a bit self absorbed.

Austrian driver's religious headgear strains credulity

Driving licence of Niko Alm Having received his driving licence, Niko Alm now wants to get pastafarianism officially recognised

An Austrian atheist has won the right to be shown on his driving-licence photo wearing a pasta strainer as "religious headgear".

The Spoiled One? And the 405,000 unemployed ones.



JOBLESS WEAK: 405,000...

The Press continues to turn on O

America Tunes Out: Why is Obama such a bore? One historian blames Reagan.

Michael Goodwin of the New York Post “listened intently” to President Obama’s Monday press conference, but only “for 15 minutes or so.” That’s 15 minutes or so longer than the duration of our own intentness, but we did listen falteringly to the whole thing. By contrast, as the president “droned on,” Goodwin reveals that he “did something I never did before during an Obama appearance: I turned off the TV.”

“Enough,” writes Goodwin. “He is the Man Who Won’t Listen to Anybody, so why should anybody listen to him? . . . I will leave that unhappy duty to others. I am tired of Barack Obama. There’s nothing new there. His speeches are like ‘Groundhog Day.’ ”

Goodwin is dead wrong about that last point, and he owes Bill Murray an apology. “Groundhog Day” was a terrific movie. Apart from that quibble, though, we feel Goodwin’s pain, and we suspect most Americans do. The World’s Greatest Orator is almost always uninspiring, condescending, self-aggrandizing, peevish and grim.