Friday, July 24, 2009

The Left Hates Police...

Sgt. Crowley is an honest guy, just trying to do a very difficult job.

Police Report

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sarah Palin to resign as Governor of Alaska

Gov. Palin resigns

This is an interesting development. Many people, wrongly in my opinion, have a low opinion of Governor Palin. I believe that this has been mostly crafted by the mainstream media, who will always side with Liberalism, and against Conservatives. I think she has a role in the future of conservative American politics; I hope that she will take this time to fill in the holes in her experience base.

I wish her, and her family, the best.


Monday, June 22, 2009

Accomplishing Unfinished Business

When I wrote about my first trip down the Stafford Creek drainage here,, it was just a matter of time before I returned to finish what we glimpsed on our last trip: an additional 1.2 miles of trail dropping 1,000-feet.

I arrived back in the Teanaway in the early afternoon, and scored a nice camp spot near the trailhead. I gave the dogs time to run around, setting up camp and doing a final check on the bike. I pedaled off towards the trailhead at about 3:00.

I noticed a lot of cars in the parking lot and wondered if all these people were on my descent route. Well, it was late in the day and most of them would be out by the time I came screaming past. I rode all the trail I could and pushed through the gnarly rock gardens. At times I resorted to packing the bike on my back, which was actually easier than pushing. I kept moving higher, passing exiting hikers, wondering what this new stretch of trail would hold.

When I reached the junction, I took time to rest for a few minutes and look around. Within the tumbling roar of snowmelt-laden Stafford Creek, I could hear the lilting burble of small seasonal runoffs entering the trail. The day was sunny but cool, with a breeze that removed the sweat quickly and prevented me from really wanting to linger for very long. After a shot of energy gel, I moved off into unknown territory.

As I climbed, I studied the trail, looking back often to gauge lines of descent through certain obstacles. Surprisingly, I encountered two parties coming down the trail; we exchanged pleasantries and moved in our separation directions. The terrain began to flatten out, and I wondered if I was near the top. However, I did not feel the telltale breeze or see the mountains I expected to be able to see from the vantage point I was seeking. Upwards through a rock garden, the terrain revealed a neatly hidden alpine meadow about 1.5-acres in size. I heard voices, and saw a party camping at one end. My path skirted around the opposite side and upwards onto an open barren slope. At the top of this slope, I changed directions, crossed a small gully and climbed to the ridgetop.

From this pass, I could see the Stuart/Enchantment Range: McClellan Peak, Little Annapurna, Dragontail Peak, Colchuck Peak, Argonaut, and Sherpa. Mt. Stuart was mostly obscured by Sherpa Peak and clouds. I drank it in for 10 minutes and prepared for the descent.

Riding solo in alpine environments always brings with it an air of caution: the trail holds plenty of objective dangers, there is no one to rely on in case of injury, it is a long way to anywhere. I was glad I had decided to wear my T.H.E. full-face helmet, as it was going to be difficult to hold back in attacking this beautiful trail. Pushing off, the trail delivers right off the bat with a quick buff track, a short climb, and smooth fast hardpack interrupted by a few smooth turns before dropping into a technical rock garden. Shooting out along the meadow, I built up speed, took a hard righ-hander, scrubbed some speed into a left-hander and dropped into an alpine pinball machine.

The rest of the trail, down to the junction, was a mixture of rock gardens and buff alpine trail. A good time, for sure. After the junction, I pointed it downhill and enjoyed the sweet singletrack. I passed a few hikers and had to repair one flat, but it was a good ride.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Senator Gregg's Plan of No Plan for Healthcare Reform

Senator Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) wrote an Op-Ed today about his plan for Government Healthcare. What is miraculous about Mr. Gregg's plan is, it will not increase the size of goverment. You know how I know? It says so in the title of his article.

Senator Gregg has the 'R' behind his name, but I am guessing he is not too much on the Conservative side of the Party. He calls his plan 'CPR' (for Coverage, Prevention, and Reform). Cute, right?

CPR—Coverage, Prevention, Reform—is a plan I have proposed that sets up a system where every American will be required to purchase meaningful health insurance...For those who may not be able to afford this plan, you will have assistance getting coverage. [emphasis mine -ed.]

Whoa. This sounds like a page from the ObamaCare Plan. Someone needs to remind Mr. Gregg that Republicans are usually in favor of more individual liberty, and less government (thhough not lately, I will grant). I would like Mr. Gregg to show me, in the United States Constitution, where the Government is stipulated to mandate such things to citizens. And then there is that crafty phrase "...meaningful health insurance..." Is that like 'common sense gun control'? Who decides what health insurance plans are 'meaningful'? Oh, right, the Government. Well, if the Government has to sit around and analyze all the available health insurance plans, won't that take some manpower? That sounds expensive. What is the source of that money?

Further, by rewarding employees for taking part in employer-sponsored programs, which often include programs to help people quit smoking, fitness club membership options, and affordable access to programs like Weight Watchers, CPR creates incentives that will motivate Americans to take control of and improve their personal health.

Ah, so there is some reward or incentive. Who doles that out? Maybe...the Government? And, what is that 'reward'? Mr. Gregg does not say. All these ideas about 'taking advantage of employer-sponsored programs' sounds great. However, Mr. Gregg fails to realize, or accept, that one cannot legislate human behavior or lifestyle changes...UNLESS, you begin to limit the options available. That does not sound good. The sad fact is, a vast majority of Americans are not, and will never be, motivated to take control of their habits and improve their personal health. They just are not, and that is their RIGHT. The Declaration of Independence recognized every man's right to 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness'. It did not specify what those entailed; we are each free to decide our own version of happiness to pursue, under the understanding that we do not limit the rights of another, in doing so.

Reform starts with paying for quality, not quantity. According to a study at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, as much as $750 billion is spent each year on procedures or health-related services that don’t necessarily help patients get better. For example, when discharging patients, hospitals have an obligation to provide patients with a care plan to ensure they don’t end up readmitted. However, Medicare pays more to hospitals when a patient ends up back in the hospital. And physicians are paid more when they order more tests, procedures and office visits, whether you need them or not.

While I cannot speak to how the Dartmouth study was done, I will say that certain procedures and practices are ordered in an effort to establish the exact nature of a given patient's problem. While the practice of medicine is called a 'science', it is never necessarily an exact one. Lest we forget, also, that a significant portion of the $750 billion identified in the Dartmouth study constitutes wages for nurses, doctors, physician assistants, ultrasound techs, et cetera. Another glaring fact, that no one seems to want to address, is that doctors must order certain tests in order to show due diligence. In this litigious society, one must be considerate of the fact that a court of law may be reviewing the decisions you made, regardless of the industry in which you operate. Maybe if there were some control on torts, we would see malpractice insurance rates drop, which might lead to lower costs.

We can respond appropriately to the health care crisis that faces millions of families by focusing on providing coverage for everyone, ensuring prevention becomes part of your health care plan, and reforming inefficiencies in the system at the same time we address the future economic security of this country.

Senator Gregg has already lost the battle. He has become, in Lenin's words, 'a useful idiot' of the Leftist Machine. I contend that there is no 'healthcare crisis'. The only crisis exists in the minds of socialists who want to gain more control over the rights and freedom of America's citizens. THAT is their crisis - they do not have enough control. In the title of his piece, Mr. Gregg explicitly states that "health reform [is] possible without growing government." Yet, in his conclusion, he uses the words "...providing...ensuring...reforming inefficiencies...address future economic security..." These are verbs. Action words. These activities require men and women to take action, do research, compile data, perform interviews, and write reports. How is all this going to happen? How is Mr. Gregg going to make everything all better, and not increase government involvement? He does not say. He does not have to say. He just needs to publish his op-ed and feel warm and fuzzy. Well, Mr. Gregg, you are not some private shmoe from the backwoods of New Hampshire. You are a Senator, sir. Your job is to uphold the Constitution, not pontificate, blather, and draw little hearts and flowers all over the page. What is the meat of your proposal? If you believed in your proposal, I am sure that you would give us the hard facts. Instead, you dribble the same tired bromides which we get from the Left. Buck up, sir, and do the hard work; don't pat our heads just so it makes it easier to slip the knife between our ribs.

Read the full article here

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words...

This photograph makes me laugh: Mrs. President Obama ought to know by now that cameras are ALWAYS on her. You cannot let the mask slip, 'Chelle. I have always said that Michelle Obama was one angry, racist, individual (okay, I didn't use 'individual').

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sultan Knish's 'Prostitution of Peace'

I was impressed by the clarity and succinctness of Sultan Knish's take on the current drive for "peace." Check it out.

If you believe the current regime of diplomats and pundits, peace is something that can be obtained for the right price. Where peace once meant the mutual cessation of war, peace has now become something that can now be bought and sold.


We live now in the era of the prostitution of peace. Love doesn't enter into it. Brotherhood doesn't enter into it...No, peace has become something that the brute, the thug and the monster offers to the civilized world in exchange for weapons, power and international stature...

The pimps pander, the prostitutes pose with their weapons and bombs and the tricks put up everything they have certain that this time it will be different. A toast is made. "To peace!" Peace in our time. Peace in no one's time.

Check it all out here

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Taxes will save us," cries the Government.

I found it interesting that these two articles came out on the same day:

Obama Administration looking at VAT

"With budget deficits soaring and President Obama pushing a
trillion-dollar-plus expansion of health coverage, some Washington policymakers
are taking a fresh look at a money-making idea long considered politically
taboo: a national sales tax....

'There is a growing awareness of the need for fundamental tax
,' Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said in an interview. 'I think
a VAT and a high-end income tax have got to be on the table.'

See what Mr. Conrad did there? Okay, replace the word 'tax' with 'healthcare'. I have long held the belief that the desire for 'comprehensive healthcare reform' is not born from a knowledge that the system is truly broken, per se. The desire for 'reform' comes from ideologues who believe that the Government should run it. Looking at it from this standpoint, you can see why they would call for reform of the current system (they don't have enough control of it). So, too, Mr. Conrad is calling for tax reform not because the tax system has stopped working (according to my weekly paystub it is working too well), it just is not bringing in enough money to do all the things the Big Government types want to do.

"A VAT is a tax on the transfer of goods and services that ultimately is borne by
the consumer. Highly visible, it would increase the cost of just about
everything, from a carton of eggs to a visit with a lawyer...'Everybody who understands our long-term budget problems understands we're going to need a new source of revenue, and a VAT is an obvious candidate,' said Leonard Burman, co-director of the Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution...'It's common to the rest of the world, and we don't have it.'"

So, in a time when tax revenues are down, which is an indicator that individual earnings are down, the Left is recommending MORE taxes to heal the budget "problems." What Mr. Burman fails to even consider, learned though he may be, is that the United States does not have a budget problem, it has a spending problem. Congress needs to stop spending. Mr. Obama needs to stop making promises. The problem is that no budget would be big enough to sate the spending dreams of this president or this Congress.

"It [VAT] punishes spending rather than savings, which the administration
hopes to encourage. And the threat of a VAT could pull the country out of
recession, some economists argue, by hurrying consumers to the mall before the
tax hits."

More social engineering: crack a whip over the heads of the masses to force them to do what they do not appear to want to do on their own. As a bonus, plan to rake in a bunch of cash by hoping that consumers will make poor spending decisions out of fear. Who the hell thinks this stuff up? Is it no wonder that economics and the Federal Government result in a fiasco?

Most lawmakers are still looking for "a painless source of revenue" to overhaul
the health-care system and dig the nation out of debt, Burman said.

There it is: "overhaul the healthcare system." Bingo. Government wants to overhaul a system from what it is, to something they can completely control. It seems to me that if people have less personal income coming in, it would be a bad idea for the government to take more of it from them...

Tax Revenue down 34%

"For example, 6 million people lost jobs in the 12 months ended in April — and that means far fewer dollars from income taxes. Income tax revenue dropped 44% from a year ago."

More people out of work...dollars stretched thinner in America's homes...what should we do to raise more money for Government Programs? Hmmm...raise taxes? BRILLIANT! Not really. Taking more money from already cash-strapped Americans will only reduce the amount they can afford to spend on staples, not to mention to ocassional luxury item. Or worse, more Americans will resort to living on credit, thus increasing consumer debt levels.