Monday, December 19, 2011

A U.S. Spy Plane: The Latest Spoils of Iran's War Against the West

The Islamic Republic of Iran has committed its various acts of war on the United States of America over the last thirty years. There is the Iranian plot to blow up the Saudi ambassador in a Washington, D.C. restaurant in October of 2011; there is the IED production which led to the deaths and maiming of countless U.S. soldiers; there is the training of insurgents in Iran to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan; there is the continuous kidnapping of American citizens; there is Iran's support of terrorist organizations with direct responsibility for attacks on U.S. citizens and interests. And now, because they have somehow nabbed one of our unmanned spy planes, allegedly over their airspace, they say the U.S. has committed an act of war against them.

They are, and have been in a state of war against the U.S. and the West since 1979.

So, on December 08, 2011 Iran's government revealed that it has in its possession a top secret, United States stealth drone, known as the RQ-170. They have displayed it on Iranian TV for all the world to see. (There are anti-U.S. banners covering the landing gear. Why? Are they hiding something there?) If it is legit, they will surely try to reverse engineer it, and perhaps ask for China or Russia's help to do so, if they haven't already sold it to one of those countries. And they have laughed at and mocked President Obama for asking for it back.

Is the President worried about this? He doesn't appear to be. (Have fun in Hawaii, Barack.)

My first question is, why didn't this UAV have a self-destruct mechanism? My second question is, why don't we go get it or go destroy it so that the technology doesn't benefit our enemies?

I really hope there's more going on here than meets the eye.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Everything Is Not Steve Jobs' Fault

Steve Jobs of Apple Computer has been gone just a couple of days now and already the well-deserved kudos he's received for a life of innovation are being marred by undeserved and ugly criticism of his company's manufacturing policies in China. Steve Jobs is not responsible if people who work at his plant in China commit suicide. I am not responsible if I buy an iPhone or a MacBook. The worker who takes his own life is responsible for that decision. Despite the fact that it is a communist country, these people work in modern factories with lots of amenities, not gulags.

So now according to some it's blood diamonds, blood Levis, blood Thinkpads, and blood iPhones? Where does it stop? What is the limit of the buyer's responsibility for worker oppression? Apparently we have to crochet our own TVs and churn our own eggs. I'm not buying it. The consumer in the U.S., Uruguay, Indonesia, New Zealand, and France (and every other consumer country) isn't responsible for every worker in China and vice versa. Of course, companies should do their due diligence. And Apple has, according to some sources. But there is such a thing as personal responsibility. That is something that the Occupy Wall Street crowd doesn't appear to buy into.

The workers in China in 2011 can take responsibility upon themselves and form their own labor unions if they are unhappy with their working conditions. How arrogant and patronizing liberals are to think that the almighty U.S. can wave its omnipotent scepter of guilt and make things better for the plebes "over there". We don't have to form or export unions from the U.S. for the workers in China! They are intelligent and industrious people - ascending in the world to their own credit. And if the Chinese workers looking for the union label run into trouble with their communist Chinese government, they can overthrow it and form a democracy, or reform it to an undiluted communist one if they prefer. Revolution's not easy, but it's been done before. It's up to them to make their labor conditions better, if they are truly bad.

At the very least, the Chinese Foxconn/Apple workers should quit their unpleasant jobs and go home to their families before they consider jumping off the top of the company dormitory to their deaths.

Let's not blame Steve Jobs for all the world's injustices, nor even for this one. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide wouldn't have jobs but for him and Apple. That is a fact. Is every human endeavor perfectly good or perfectly bad? No. Never has been; never will be. People aren't perfect. Companies aren't perfect. Political systems aren't perfect.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Fires of Mayan Doom

The following allegory is not about Mayans, global warming, or the destruction of trees, though the second two figure prominently in the story.

It is the year 2012. The Mayans with their calendar of doom have been proven right in a way that could never have been predicted. The Earth is now facing a catastrophe unrivalled in its history, which could indeed mean not only the end of civilization, but of life on Earth.

Unseen until it was too late, and unimagined by scientists, a large, rogue, gas giant planet passing through the solar system has wreaked havoc on the planetary system at large. Dubbed “Goliath” by astronomers, just one of the devastating effects engendered by Goliath is its disturbance of the usually tranquil asteroid belt. This has caused a shower of asteroids towards the inner solar system and out towards Jupiter. Earth’s moon has so far received the brunt of this violent asteroid shower in Earth’s neighborhood, but this fortune is by no means guaranteed to continue.

However, the worst effect of Goliath’s rampage through our solar system and the real crisis for Earth is that the passing gas giant planet caused just a slight change in Earth’s trajectory through space. This slight change dragged Earth off its usual course and resulted in a new orbit for humanity’s only home.

Where Earth’s average distance from the Sun had always been 93 million miles, its new average distance to the Sun is now 145 million miles – putting us 60 percent further away from our source of life sustaining heat. This orbit is very nearly where Mars had orbited the Sun until this earlier this year. Unfortunately for Mars, but lucky for Earth, Goliath passed by Mars close enough to eject it and its moon from the solar system forever, leaving plenty of space for Earth’s new path around the Sun. Consequently, Earth’s year has also become 200 days longer.

As the news gets out to the public, many of Earth’s scientists and leaders freak out, not to mention the public. Some of these policymakers paint the worst possible outcome for Earth’s future – the extinction of all life within a few years. Still other respected scientists paint a more moderate picture – a cooler planet, but still livable, due to the moderating effects of the world’s oceans and the planet’s latent interior heat. These moderate voices say that we can expect longer, harder winters, cool summers, and no more hot tropical areas on the planet. But life can go on and humankind can adjust, as it has during climate changes in its past.

To show the panicky public that something is being done, a disaster summit is convened including presidents, prime ministers, and scientists from all nations. Bold and radical ideas are presented in an effort to deal with humanity’s imminent extinction.

This is what the president of one nation said in an address at the World Disaster Summit of 2012 at the United Nations in New York City. “We must use global warming to save mankind and all other life on the Earth. If we get enough carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels, we can maintain the Earth’s average temperature and avoid this catastrophe.”

Another leader from a northern country, pounded his fist on the podium during his reply, “What about the pollution? My scientists say that there will be a 900 percent increase in lung cancer deaths from the increased hydrocarbon burning. And where is our oxygen for breathing going to come from? The increased burning of all these fossil fuels will use up a lot of the Earth’s oxygen as well.”

The other president responded, “Well, of course a few more people will die, but we’re talking about saving the planet here. Every struggle of humankind has involved sacrifice. As far as the oxygen goes, my scientists say that ocean vegetation produces more than enough oxygen to sustain life on the planet.”

At the month long summit, the arguments go back and forth like this, until finally, the global warmers win the day and plans are drawn up for all countries to drastically and immediately increase their carbon dioxide emissions. For the plan to work, each country is given a 30-day target to meet, and a 565-day target to meet (the length of Earth’s new orbital year).

Industrial and personal carbon emissions are to be increased. Energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs are banned, as are conservation, wind turbines, and solar power. More fossil fuel power plants are to be built, while nuclear power plants will be taken offline whenever possible. But according to computer models, these actions are not enough. At the Disaster Summit, it is decided that to get global warming really going, four strategically chosen countries, would each have to build (with the help of all nations) a mountain-sized bonfire within their borders. Canada, Brazil, Russia, and Congo were chosen for their distribution around the globe and for their proximity to what would be the bonfire’s main fuel source – wood.

Canada and Russia had no trouble getting their huge bonfires going. Satellite photos from space showed significant smoke and cloud formation as a result of the monster fires. At the start, the fires in Brazil and Congo are smaller than hoped for because of their wetter climates and weaker industrial capabilities.

The fires consume the trash of dozens of countries and anything else that can be burned. Ad hoc bonfires and forest fires are started in other countries as well. Recycling has ended. But the main fuel for the fires, trees, are disappearing at an incredible pace in an effort to keep Earth warm and stave off human extinction.

There are those leaders and scientists who say that we must burn all the available trees in the shortest amount of time to fend off the looming disaster. This will create the most CO2 the fastest, helping to retain more of the Earth’s invaluable heat. There are still others who say that we must be more prudent if we are to keep the fires going for a long time. “We must plant trees, and allow the trees to seed the ground naturally, replacing themselves. Done correctly,” one scientist said, “We can actually increase the number of trees on the planet and even mitigate some of the toxic effects of the fires.”

The global warmers scoff at this and argue that more trees would be counterproductive to the idea of increasing carbon output and they outlaw the idea of allowing regrowth of forests, despite the fact that the fuel that feeds their bonfires will soon be gone. “We need the carbon now. Earth needs the CO2 blanket now. We must burn all the trees as fast as we can. This is what the computer models tell us will save the planet.”

Thus, no action is taken to protect the remaining trees, except by rebellious individuals and organizations who illegally plant trees wherever they can get away with it. But the government pillage of the forests is too effective. At the pace that trees are being consumed by the fires, it is projected that they will all be gone by July 47th of 2013. UN projections, based on computer models, are that average world temperatures will be stabilized by that time.

However, despite all human activity to the contrary, the average world temperature is dropping by two degrees Celsius per extended month. No hurricanes have been generated through 2012, less tornados were spawned on the United States mainland, the aurora borealis has all but disappeared, and snow fell last week for the first time ever on the islands in the Caribbean. There have even been fewer reported earthquakes in 2012.

In the middle of 2013, when the Earth’s surface is completely denuded of trees, the fuel for continuing the greenhouse gas bonfires (and the main source for building homes) will largely be gone, perhaps forever. The Earth will never be the same. But the gamble is that the atmosphere will at that time have sufficient greenhouse gases in it and enough of a permanent cloud cover to keep the Earth warm enough to support life indefinitely.

At least that’s what the computer models say.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Things Autocratic Capitalistic Countries Are Doing Right That the United States Is Not

I understand the thinking of President Obama and the others on the political left. I understand the logic behind the Buffett Tax. It is playground bullying times a trillion. If Timmy Turner has more marbles than the other kids on the playground and a bully takes Timmy’s extra marbles to make it fairer to everyone else, that’s the Buffett tax. That’s the death tax and the millionaire tax.

The Buffett rule, or tax, is the Obama administration’s latest nomenclature for the millionaire tax, and is named after Warren Buffett, a wealthy billionaire who is in arrears with the IRS over unpaid taxes, but who thinks people like him should pay more taxes to the U.S. treasury. Makes sense, right? The Obama administration apparently thinks that if a tax is named after a rich man, (thereby giving it the Millionaire Seal of Approval) that Americans will hop on board and agree to increasing the tax burden on all those shiftless wealthy people.

The problem with millionaire taxes (and higher taxes in general) is that they may bring in a little more revenue in the short run, but at the expense of money that would have stayed in the economy generating economic growth and job creation.

Why are citizens who make more money and who already pay more taxes than I do responsible for paying a larger share of their income to support the government? They are not.

It is class envy. It is class warfare. It is playground redistribution. It is neo-Marxism.

I paid roughly $10,000 in taxes to the federal government last year. My neighbor, Bob, made a million dollars last year and paid the federal government roughly $200,000. Twenty times what I paid. Who on Earth can say that my neighbor isn’t paying his fair share? He paid what 20 people making my salary pay in income tax! Good for him!

But that’s not good enough for Progressives, and liberal Democrats like Barack Obama. You see, they want Bob to pay $396,000 on his million dollar earnings. Thirty-nine times what I am paying! Because Bob is successful, they want him to pay what 39 average tax payers pay in taxes. And, they want to take away as many deductions from him as they can so that he has a harder time lowering his tax burden than I do.

I think Bob is paying his fair share. He is paying MORE than his fair share. He is an “engine” in the economy of the community. What would be truly fair, in the spirit of American fairness, would be a flat tax, or a Fair tax that would involve everyone paying SOMETHING to the U.S. treasury, including the 47% of Americans who now pay nothing in federal income tax. Russia has a 13% flat tax that everyone pays and that has been very successful…. Russia!

No one person should have to pay a higher percentage of his or her income than another person to the federal government. Check it: In the small island nation of Singapore, everyone is capped at $2500 of their income, no matter how high their income is. And this is an autocratic government. (However, the country does have many other taxes that the U.S. does not.)

It is fundamentally unfair in a nation that is supposed to be fair, and provide a level playing field to expect Bob to pay a higher percentage of his income to the federal government than I do. That is not fair, it is punishment for being successful. The progressive income tax (where one person pays 0%, another person pays 25% and another pays 39% of their incomes) is government theft from people who have been successful, or lucky in their lives.

Why take away the incentive for Bob to spend his extra dollars on boosting the U.S. economy by buying expensive products and services, which provide jobs, or hiring extra employees for his business?

President Obama, if you want to spur consumer spending, excite the economy, and jump start job growth, you need to cut federal spending. You also need to cut the corporate income tax (which at 40% is among the highest in the world -- even the communist-capitalist-dictatorship Red China has a lower corporate income tax). You also need to make permanent the Bush tax rates, and level the tax burden playing field so that everyone has “skin in the game.”

Perhaps Congress should pass a special tax on all people who think they and others aren’t being taxed enough. I think a 90 percent rate would be fair.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquake in New York City Metropolitan Area and Beyond

Today New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and much of the eastern half of the U.S. and even Canada felt an unusually strong shaking of the earth that this region is not all that comfortable or familiar with. The earthquake's epicenter was near Mineral, Virginia and registered a 5.8 on the Richter scale. Most quakes in this region of the continent are usually much less noticeable than this one was.

I didn't time it, but the shaking seemed to go on for around thirty seconds or so. At my office, it wasn't strong enough to knock things down. But it was definitely a new experience for many of us. The quake only caused limited damage to some buildings near its epicenter in Virginia.

Office buildings in New York and New Jersey emptied themselves out as if they were all having simultaneous fire drills, including the one I work at in Parsippany, New Jersey. In our building, many of us remained inside, wanting to get back to work. But building security, showing an abundance of caution asked everyone to wait outside. After twenty or thirty minutes, we went back in. It was nice a nice break to get out in the summer sun for a little while and talk.

While this quake was disconcerting and worry inducing for parents and families, and even a little awe inspiring considering the power involved, we can be thankful that it was not worse than it was. Hopefully the involved faults have had their pressure relieved for another 50 years or so.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Obama Administration Gives Administrative Amnesty to People in the U.S. Illegally, but Not Committing Other Crimes

It's called selective enforcement of the laws of the United States of America, and it is not something the director of the Department of Homeland Security or the Executive office should be engaging in - and especially not announcing it to the world. "Oh, we won't be enforcing these particular laws, so... you're good." The people behind this outrage are sworn to uphold the laws and Constitution of the U.S. I state here and now that it's treacherous and treasonous, because it erodes the rule of law and the power of Congress and the Constitution. It is plain circumvention to support a liberal political intention. What they could not get through the legislative process last year, because it was unpopular, they have initiated by executive fiat.

Why can't the liberal numbskulls in this country get it through their heads that illegal is illegal? Why also do they insist on calling illegal aliens (or illegal immigrants) just plain immigrants, as if they had gone through the same legal process of getting into this country that legal immigrants do? Or they are often referred to as "undocumented" immigrants, as if they somehow overlooked getting a visa or passport, or as if some bad Tea Party person came along and stole these poor, downtrodden people's documents. It really is like we're in Bizarro World!

Do we want laws that enforce the borders of our country or not? If it is OK for people to come to the United States and stay at will, then change the law to reflect that idea. But as it stands now the laws make it illegal for foreign nationals (aliens, as they are called to the left's annoyance) to come into this country without asking whether they may do so. What's wrong with that? And do you know why we don't make it legal for people to cross the border at will and stay here legally? Because the vast majority of Americans want border security and additionally don't want to throw their tax dollars away supporting every down-on-their luck poor person that breaks into this country expecting to get rich. We just cannot afford it.

But this "rule change" from the Obama administration is going to make coming here illegally MORE ATTRACTIVE to people outside this country, since it is now de facto okay for them to do so. There won't be consequences for being illegal. And the burden on the taxpaying citizens of this country will increase.

On top of not pursuing the illegal immigrants, they will be allowed to apply for work permits, which will allow them to compete legally for jobs with the 30 million Americans looking for work. Good news for job hunters! Not.

My suggestion to La Raza, Robert Menendez(D) NJ, Janet Napolitano, and every other illegal alien supporter, if you don't want to break up families, then suggest they don't do something that's illegal in the first place. Don't rob a bank, don't commit tax fraud, don't commit document fraud, and don't break into a sovereign nation expecting that the citizens of that nation will look the other way.

Let's get out of Bizarro World before it becomes the New World Order.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

2012 Presidential Primary Update

Things are looking good in the Republican primary race for the 2012 presidential election. After an ornery second debate on Fox News last week, Governor Tim Pawlenty has left the race and Governor Rick Perry of Texas has entered it. Pawlently placed third in the Iowa straw poll, which Michele Bachmann won by a small margin over Congressman Ron Paul.

After an errant Tweet by a staffer, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has once again reaffirmed that he is not going to enter the race, much to columnist Ann Coulter's dismay.

Governor Sarah Palin remains cagey about her plans as far as running for president in 2012. To date, she has not denied or affirmed. But to all appearances she is certainly acting as if she could jump in at any moment.

Real estate developer and reality show Don, Donald Trump is still threatening to throw his hat in for 2012, but I think he will be content with Governor Perry's candidacy and will choose to stay out. However, if Mr. Trump doesn't like the eventual primary choice, then don't rule out an independent run for president from Trump. And though he believes he would pull voters from Obama in the general election, he would also split the conservative vote. It would probably be a disaster for the Republicans and lead to Obama's reelection.

Rick Santorum and Herman Cain are both still in the race, and they are both great conservatives, but neither appears to have the traction that Bachmann, Romney, or Perry have. I believe they will be the next candidates out of the race along with Newt Gingrich. Newt would be a smart and effective president and get the country's economy turned around, but he can't get conservatives to coalesce around him, much less the independents and Democrats he'd need for the general election.

Ron Paul's ideas resonate with blue collar Republicans, and young voters like no Republican since Ronald Reagan. However, he does not appeal to the broad base of conservatives or Republicans due to his drastic foreign policy and social ideas. He will likely stay in the race as long as he can to take advantage of the extremely visible platform that his ideas have as a presidential candidate.

On the other hand, Michele Bachmann is looking strong after her Iowa straw poll win despite the mainstream media bias against her and continuous, baseless liberal attacks. She looks poised and espouses a consistent recipe for dealing with the country's economic woes, as do most of the Republican candidates.

Presidential frontrunner, Governor Mitt Romney's poll numbers took a big hit this week due to the entrance in the presidential race of Governor Rick Perry. While Romney would make a fine president who would handle the U.S.'s economic woes much better than President Obama has, Governor Romney has some negative baggage that might make Perry more attractive to voters. We'll have to wait and see what kind of negatives come out on the Texas governor in the days ahead.

Is Ralph Nader running? LOL, jk.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

U.S. Thinks Pakistan Handed Over Pieces of Secret Helicopter to China

A Black Hawk Helicopter
Pakistan may have allowed a helicopter (used in the raid against Osama bin Laden) with secret stealth technology to be viewed by the Chinese government, according to the New York Times. And U.S. intelligence officials even believe that the Pakistanis may have allowed the Chinese to take a sample of the downed chopper.

As can be expected, Pakistan denies letting anyone see the helicopter and China denies any involvement. No surprise there. Pakistan and China are always denying things after sticking it to the U.S.

At the very least, it’s time we stop giving money that we don’t have to Pakistan. The U.S. gives that country billions of dollars a year and what we get is a haven for the Taliban who operate against and kill our troops from bases in Pakistan. We get Osama living in a compound in Pakistan for at least six years. We get begrudging help in the fight against the Taliban, all from a country that is filled with Islamic extremists that hate the West.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ann Coulter Opines About Norway Murderer

The following is a sobering article by Ann Coulter regarding the crazy Norway murderer and the news coverage about him. Apparently facts are fruits that The New York Times and other mainstream media outlets can pick and choose from, like they're at the fruit market.
New York Times Reader Kills Dozens in Norway - HUMAN EVENTS

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Stunning Australian Night Sky

The following is a beautiful night-time, time-lapse video of the Australian night sky including the Milky Way Galaxy. It is so stunning that it almost doesn't look real. Watch for sporadic shooting stars! (hat tips to the Blaze via Wired)

Ocean Sky from Alex Cherney on Vimeo.

Monday, July 4, 2011

By Blade and By Bullet They Died -- A Revolutionary War Poem

Before the day that blood was shed,
the Revolution was plied with words said
by pen, by press, and by speech.
King George then had little to dread.

The words were easy to speak, and though noble,
earned no badge of courage.
With the king we had yet to see trouble.

But tyranny does not sit forever idle
when want of freedom rises like a tide --
nor yet does courage stay in the middle.
Tyranny’s fist clenches
A king’s ears and eyes become wide
Men are sent to Prison,  to Death,
Mowed down in the street.
And with that tyranny we collide.
By blade and by bullet men died.

Patriots pledge
to country, to neighbor, against the other side.
Courage blooms in the fight for the noble cause
because life is dear
and death men do fear.

Yet for the freedom of men and women,
and sons and daughters here
from a distant tyrant, or near
From the rule of an oppressive king,
Men and women will ride with bravery --
do battle to choose their destinies.

Many by blade and by bullet they died
Who sought a free country
for they and their families, some toiled and some cried
with courage their only guide,
But by blade and by bullet, they too often died.

copyright (C) Brian M.Holmes

Friday, June 17, 2011

June 13 GOP Debate Will Push 3 Candidates Down in the Polls

(AP Photo/Jim Cole)
On June 13, CNN held a Republican debate in New Hampshire and there were actually winners and losers (despite what you may have heard elsewhere) and I don’t just mean the moderator John King.

It’s now seventeen months until the 2012 presidential election and the fight for who will be the next president of the United States has begun in earnest. The discussion and debates between the candidates will hopefully enlighten the voters as to why they should not elect Barack Obama to another term as president. The Republican primary debates are an especially important forum for voters getting to know the candidates and the issues better. 

In my opinion, no one person really won the debate, though Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney came out looking the best. Businessman Herman Cain also performed well, though I really think his thin political resume is going to hurt him. My advice to Mr. Cain is to run for governor or senator first and then come back and run for president. He’d be a shoe-in then! 

Rick Santorum and Tim Pawlenty didn’t do themselves any favors in Monday’s debate for the simple reason that they have no charisma. You must have some charisma or likeability factor if you’re going to have a chance and they didn’t have it. Ron Paul was his usual self, sometimes making sense and sometimes expressing radical and untenable ideas.

If you are going to be elected president of the United States you need to have charisma, and/or political gravitas, and not hold radical positions that most people would disagree with. Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Mitt Romney have the charisma. Newt Gingrich doesn’t really have charisma, but he does have the political gravitas. Rick Santorum and Tim Pawlenty have zero charisma, so even though they have good political backgrounds they are not electable to the presidency. Ron Paul has a non-politician’s genuineness but he consistently supports ideas outside the mainstream and is frankly too old. So, he is also unelectable to the presidency.

So the only person up there on Monday with charisma, political chops, and no baggage was Michele Bachmann. In my view, the race will be between her and Mitt Romney, assuming that no one else throws their hat in the race.

You Won’t Have Anthony Weiner to Kick Around

I am extremely pleased that U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner from New York has done the right thing and resigned and this fantastically lame story is going away. To see all of these news organizations making anatomical connotations and jokes playing off of his name is sixth grade, childish stuff. While you’d expect it of the late night hosts, the Comedy Central windbags Stewart and Colbert, morning radio show shock jocks, morning radio "zoos", and Saturday Night Live, where you don’t expect or want to see it is on news talk radio, television news programs, and in newspapers. I feel like the adults have left the room and the middle schoolers have locked the doors and are in charge of the voice of the media. 

The quicker the always obnoxious Mr. Weiner disappears and this issue disappears the better. Now we have to hope that these pictures and texts were the complete extent of his Tweeting and Facebooking and nothing else rears its ugly head in this sorry political debacle.
And why does every political scandal have to be tagged with the suffix “gate”? Weinergate? Come on mainstream media, let’s get a little more creative. And how about growing up too.