Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My, How Quickly the Silver Doth Tarnish!

The rumor mill is cranked up to overdrive while I recall my rusty skills from the 70's. No jackrabbit starts, minimize braking, coast as much as possible and keep it smooth.

I drove to Seymour from Sevierville this afternoon to pick up my daughters from school. Gas on Byd's creek was $2.49 this AM. As I went by this afternoon, they were up to $2.89. I talked to my brother who was in Seveirville and he said most stations were at $2.99. This was around 4PM. Then I tapped into the rumor mill to find out what was going on, i.e. I called my sister. According to her sources (she should be part of the CIA so she could show them how it's done), Gas is already being rationed at the wholesale level, and Pilot Oil has gone from 4 distributers supplying gasoline to one. Also according to her source, the word from Channel 8 news is that gas will be $3.50 plus by morning, and that distribution and refinery shortfalls will have many if not most pumps in East Tennessee dry by Saturday.

Now for my contribution to the rumor mill. I talked to the owner of the Exxon station near my house ($2.79) He said they were going to sell out the gas they had at that price before raising it, which made me a customer for life. I said I'd heard rumors of $3.50, and he didn't agree or disagree, but I got the impression that I was in the right ball park. While there, another guy spoke up who'd just come from Straw Plains. According to him, only one station still had regular gas; the rest were out. Another guy had just come from Sevierville and said there were stations at $3.20 While I was at the station, all 10 pumps were going full speed and had been for several hours.

Update 7:40PM I just got back from Boyd's Creek rd and the station that had gas at $2.89 is now at $3.09. And the Exxon that was $2.79 is now $3.29.

Posted by Rich
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Explain This to Me Please

Fred Phelps protests at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq ans says that God is killing our soldiers because we won't outlaw homosexuality. For this, he is rightly called a hatemonger, and worse.

Environmentalist idiots like Robert F. Kennedy Jr and Ross Gelbspan speak the day after Hurricane Katrina and tell us that Gaia is killing American citizens because President Bush did not sign Kyoto. For this, they are called farsighted and wise.

Except by me. Opportunistic lying ghouls is about the nicest thing I can say about them.

Posted by Rich
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Something Worth Noting

The devastation in New Orleans has little to do with Katrina, and more to do with the failure of two levees. Let me repeat that; Katrina did not cause the devastation in New Orleans; there's plenty of damage along the Gulf Coast to blame on her. New Orleans is in trouble because the levees failed, flooding the city after the hurricane had passed.

This is an important distinction to remember when we hear in the coming days (Oops, I was too pessimistic. It only took hours.) about how the destruction of New Orleans was all Bush's fault for not ratifying Kyoto.

It also might be good to remember that no climatologist is suggesting that Katrina was caused by global warming. Instead, the concensus is that we are near the peak of a natural 30-40 year cycle of hurricanes.

Of course, activists can't get outraged by a natural cycle, so I doubt you'll hear this much in the news, which is why I point it out now.

Posted by Rich
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Movie Quotes

OK, two quotes left from last week, the easy one and the hard one. I guess clues are in order.

Quote 1 "Dyin' ain't much of a livin' boy."
Clue: Once kissed an orangutan. Also dumped Sandra Locke. If that doesn't make you question his sexuality...
Quote 2 "If you push hard enough, you might hit the pool.
Clue: One of Dar Robinson's greatest stunts.

New Quote:
"It's not fair!"
"You keep saying that. I wonder what your basis for comparison is?"

Posted by Rich
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Trying to find a silver lining

On Gas Prices:
  • Gas prices are high enough now that alternative energy sources may actually be competitive, which will stir research and development.
  • I wanted to spend more time at home with the kids anyway.
  • It's good for the long term economy. Here's my thinking. Interest rates were lowered to nearly 0% to bring us out of recession. We had to lower them so far that there are no more bullets for that gun, unless we crank 'em back up. High gas prices will have an inflationary effect, allowing the Fed to get interest rates back up to where saving becomes attractive again, and credit costs will discourage overspending on the part of the people.

On the Iraqi Draft Constitution:
  • That it exists in the first place
  • The fact that it isn't exactly the way we want it is proof that the Iraqis are running their own country

Posted by Rich
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Racism in the MSM

Katie links to it.

No excuse for this. None at all. If I were in New Orleans right now, I'd be grabbing food and water anywhere I could find it. That's not looting; that's surviving.

Posted by Rich
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Friday, August 26, 2005

Cindy Sheehan:  Poster Child for the Anti War America Left.

Yesterday, I asked a simple question: Did Cindy Sheehan really say that America was not worth dying for?

The answer is yes, she did.

You can find the complete transcript of her remarks here. (Thanks to Michael Silence)

This is the relevant passage:
I take responsibility partly for my sons death, too. I was raised in a country by a public school system that taught us that America was good, that America was just. America has been killing people, like my sister over here says, since we first stepped on this continent, we have been responsible for death and destruction. I passed on that bullshit to my son and my son enlisted. Im going all over the country telling moms: This country is not worth dying for. If were attacked, we would all go out. Wed all take whatever we had. Id take my rolling pin and Id beat the attackers over the head with it. But we were not attacked by Iraq. {applause} We might not even have been attacked by Osama bin Laden if {applause}. 9/11 was their Pearl Harbor to get their neo-con agenda through and, if I would have known that before my son was killed, I would have taken him to Canada. I would never have let him go and try and defend this morally repugnant system we have. The people are good, the system is morally repugnant.

It's very clear when reading the entire passage that she was referring to America and not Iraq when saying "this country."

So this is how the darling of the anti-war left thinks of her own country; a morally repugnant system responsible for death and destruction ever since it began.

But no, she doesn't hate America.

Our public schools are nothing but propaganda mills teaching blind faith and obedience to authority.

But no, she doesn't hate America.

The attacks of 9/11 were somehow our own fault, based on some misdeeds that were blanked out by the applause (I'll bet you $20 the missing statement had something to do with our support of Israel. Any takers?)

But no, she doesn't hate America.

And it only gets worse. As Cindy gets rolling, she becomes even more vitriolic and hateful:
If he thinks that its so important for Iraq to have a U.S.-imposed sense of freedom and democracy, then he needs to sign up his two little party-animal girls. They need to go this war. They need to fight because a just war, the definition of a just war, and maybe you people here who still think this is a just war, the definition of a just war is one that you would send your own children to die in.

Yeah, nothing gives you credibility like insulting your opponents children. Besides, last time I checked, we didn't send anybody's children to die. Our armed forces are all adults and all volunteers. Casey Sheehan volunteered for the army, re-enlisted, and volunteered for the rescue mission where he died, even though his assigned billet was a non-combat billet. Nobody "sent" him anywhere.

What theyre saying, too, is like, its okay for Israel to have nuclear weapons. But Iran or Syria better not get nuclear weapons.

Sweetheart, Israel is not known for hijacking planes, blowing up restaurants and school busses, or other rather uncivilized acts of random violence. Nor do they show a pronounced tendancy to indulge in random takeovers of their neighbors. In short, it appears that Israel is a country run by adults, instead of spoiled children.

We are waging a nuclear war in Iraq right now. That country is contaminated. It will be contaminated for practically eternity now.

????? We dropped nukes on Iraq? What alternate dimension (dementia) is this woman living in?

Its okay for Israel to occupy Palestine, but its yeah and its okay for Iraq to occupy I mean, for the United States to occupy Iraq, but its not okay for Syria to be in Lebanon. Theyre a bunch of fucking hypocrites!

Anti-Semitism is ugly to see, isn't it? Israel doesn't occupy Palestine because Palestine is not a country and never has been one. It's a label applied by the British to describe the section of the Ottoman empire they controlled following WW1 that includes most of the Middle East. The British portioned out the territory, creating countries to best take advantage of the natural resources.

And finally, in her conclusion, she loses all semblence of rationality
And we need to, we just need to rise up. We need a revolution and make it be peaceful and make it be loving and lets just show them all the love we have for humanity because we want to stop the inhumane slaughter.

A peaceful and loving revolution? Show me one in the history books. Anywhere. And if you want to stop inhumane slaughter, overthrowing a dictator who murdered and tortured his own people at a higher rate than even the suicide bombers have been able to achieve might be a good start. Instead, Cindy wants us to pull out, thereby guaranteeing more "inhumane slaughter on an unprecedented scale."

And this is the leading spokesperson for the anti-war movement. If you want to kow whether someone is antiwar or anti-american, just show them the speech and ask them if they agree with Cindy, or are embarrased by her.

Posted by Rich
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Thursday, August 25, 2005

“A Country Not Worth Dying For”

A local paper has a letter to the editor attributing this quote to Cindy Sheehan. I haven't been able to find a direct source through google, although I did turn up a comment on an Arianna Huffington post and another comment on Right Wing News that also attributed this to Ms Sheehan. Does anybody have a link to the actual quote? I don't want to go off on this woman unless I know for a fact that she really said it.

Posted by Rich
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Blogging from Bristol…sort of

Expect the next few days to be light folks. I'm busier than I've been in a long while.

My brother and I are camping in Bristol for the Fall races, but I have 2 football games to announce back here in Kodak. So, I drove up to Bristol yesterday, set up the campsite (pics to come) and we went to the truck race. After the race, we hung out at the campground and visited with folks, then crashed about 3am. This moring, I drove back home to finish writing the program for the game, print it, and put together a CD of stadium tunes. Around 3, I'll head over to the field and prep for the game, which starts at 5:30. After that, it's home to bed.

Tomorrow morning, I'm back off to Bristol, for qualifying and the Busch race, and some fairly extensive partying. I'll be back here Saturday for the next football games, then back up to Bristol Saturday evening for the end of the race and more extensive partying.

Obviously, this schedule leaves little time for blogging.

But I'll take lots of pictures and post them when I get back.

Posted by Rich
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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Army Recruitment/Re-enlistment Levels

First time enlistments are running a bit behind, another product of a burgeoning economy, but re-enlistments, even from soldiers in combat zones, are running ahead of expectations.

What does it mean when the guys in the thick of it, closest to the action, at risk, on the ground and looking at things with their own eyes, decide to stay for another hitch?

They must believe in what they're doing.

Apparently, they haven't been able to watch the news and don't realize just how miserably they are failing. Unaided by the editors and gatekeepers of the MSM, they're left with seeing the results of their efforts with their own eyes. They see the new schools, the new sewers, the clean drinking water, the new voters, the new government; they see the birth of freedom taking place right in front of them and think they are doing some good.

Poor deluded bastards.

Just wait till they get back and Ted Rall and Molly Ivins and the rest of the harpies show them how all along they've been raping and pillaging and repressing the Iraqis. They'll be devastated to learn the truth, won't they?

Or maybe they'll just kick some more butt and speak the real truth to power.

Posted by Rich
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Pat Robertson Speaks

He called for the US to assasinate the Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez.

Imaine that, a man of God calling for the murder of a world leader. It's almost unthinkable, isn't it? I mean, when has the like ever occurred before?

Oh, wait.
  • Mullah Omar
  • Osama Bin Laden
  • Ayatollah Khomeini
  • Shaykh Hammoud al-'Uqla al-Shu'aybi

Quite the list there, Mr. Robertson. Comfy in that company?


Posted by Rich
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Movie Quotes

Quote 1: (easy) "Dyin' ain't much of a livin', boy."
Quote 2: (harder) "Now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that."
Quote 3: (hardest) "If you push hard enough, you might hit the pool."

Posted by Rich
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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

To Spank or Not to Spank?

That is the question.

I've got many friends who are aghast at the fact that I believe that corporal punishment is an appropriate form of discipline for a child.

"You can't hit a child," they say, "All you're teaching them is that violence is an acceptible way of enforcing your will on somebody who is weaker than you. You have to find methods of correction that don't involve physical aggression, like Time Out."

Yeah, that's just the message I want to send to my kids. "If you don't behave, I'll be very disappointed in you and send you away from me for awhile." Like a 5 year old has any concept of time whatsoever. It's obviously less cruel to substitute life long fears of abandonment for a few minutes of mild physical discomfort, isn't it.

"OK, maybe Time Outs are a bit harsh, but grounding is OK, right?"

Oh sure, grounding is great. Except there probably aren't many 4 year old kids who would even realize they're being grounded. It's not like they're going to be hitting the malls anytime soon anyway.

"OK, grounding a toddler may be a bit ineffective; what about limiting TV or video game time, or taking away a favorite toy?"

Ah, sensory deprivation, the classic behavior modification technique.

In fact, let's do a quick review here; physical isolation, sensory deprivation, removal of cherished objects, and fear of abandonment by the world. Why does this list sound so familiar?

Oh yeah, it's how we tortured prisoners at Gitmo.

Imagine that.

Posted by Rich
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Monday, August 22, 2005

Buying Gas

Not only do I have to pay in advance for the privilege of pumping my own gas, now it looks like I'll have to take a breathalyzer test as well.

So, if gas clerks are liable for selling gas to a drunk, what about if they sell gas to a pot head? Or a meth user? How about if they sell gas to me when I've only had 2 hours sleep in 3 days? Are they still liable? Should we really be requiring some kid making minimum wage at a convenience store to determine whether or not the average citizen is competent to drive?


Posted by Rich
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More Anti-War Nonsense

Katie Allison Granju links to former "soldier" who has a burning question he'd like to ask:

A young man (or his parents) needs to ask himself: Would I kill a kid to preserve my country? That question should be asked of all soldiers who enter the military. Just as important is the second question: How does killing a kid preserve my country?

Would I kill a kid - each soldier should ask himself - would I shoot a woman? Would I ruin a house with machine gun fire? Would I burn a row of shops? How about an entire town? Would I level a town if my commander ordered? Would I napalm a town? (Fallujah was napalmed but US officals[sic] deny it). Would I fire into an unruly mob of civilians? Would I fire into an approaching car without knowing who is inside?

First off, let's check into Mr. Herman's right to call himself a "soldier." According to him, he joined the Air Force as his best option to avoid the draft and Viet Nam.

Good thing he didn't choose the TANG, or liberal Democrats would want nothing to do with him, right?

Then, when assigned as a military policeman, whose job most likely would have been to sit on a Vietnamese airstrip guarding a plane, he stole a car and took off for Canada. Only he got too cold on the trip, ran out of gas and money, and went back, where he was arrested, placed in the stockade, got out, and was assigned as a driver stateside.

Not exactly compelling credentials, but on to his argument.

Its full of crap.

Let's rephrase his questions just a bit.

Are we willing to allow people to be enslaved to avoid war? Are we willing to allow innocent men, women, and children to be slaughtered in order to avoid war? Are we willing to allow men to be fed into paper shredders, women to be raped, tortured, and mutilated, children to be orphaned and imprisoned, just to avoid war?

Are we really that cowardly?

Let me make it a bit more personal. If you had to allow a child to die to prevent a war, would you? If so, would you kill the child to prevent a war? If allowing your neighbor's house to be firebombed would prevent a war, would you let it happen? Would you light the bombs yourself? What if the only reason for the firebombing was his religion? Would you still light the torch?

Now these are the true questions. This war was never just about WMD's no matter how much liberals like to spin it that way. Hell, I remember SKB making fun of the Bush administration over how many different reasons they used to justify the war. This war was in no small part a war of liberation for the Iraqi people.

Let's cut even closer to home. How many 9/11's are you willing to accept before war becomes necessary? Obviously one isn't enough because there are many who want us out of Afghanistan as well as Iraq. So how many does it take? 2? 5? One every 5 years? Or do you believe the question is irrelevant because we are to blame, that it is our corrupt foreign policy that provokes attacks and if we would just give the terrorists what they want, they'd leave us alone? If the latter is your answer, then you believe that we need to drop our support of Israel, and let that nation be wiped from the face of the earth.


I guess your hatred of violence depends on who is suffering it.

Let's get even more personal, shall we?

If you are attacked, do you have the right to fight back? Say you're an upper middle class person, raised in comfort and privilege. You've got a good life and you've never really had to struggle at all. And now you're being attacked by a couple of thugs who want what you have because they have nothing.

Do you have the right to defend yourself, using violence against their violence to protect what you have, or should you meekly surrender your watch, wedding ring, wallet, and keys because these poor fellows mugging you have had it so much worse than you? Suppose you go the latter route, and they decide to kick the living hell out of you for being "the man" or maybe just because they have a mean streak. Do you fight back then, or do you sit back and take the beating?

OK, y'all think I'm being ridiculous and exaggerating unduly, I know. Just about all of us would fight back to defend our property, and most of those who wouldn't would fight back to protect our lives, and the remainder are evolutionary nulls, dead enders who will cull themselves from the herd. But there is a point to this exercise.

Same scenario as above with one change; you are no longer the victim, but a bystander. Do you have a right to interfere, to stop the robbery and the beating? More importantly, do you have a duty to do so, whether by physically intervening, or calling on somebody else to do so? Our morals, ethics, and in many cases our laws say yes, you not only have that right, but you have a duty to intervene and to use violence as needed to protect another person.

But would you?

If not, and you're the next victim of these thugs, should you expect help from anybody else? Should you expect somebody else to risk their neck to save yours?

Here's the point. We're in Iraq right now stopping a brutal mugging that's been going on for decades. We let it slide in the past because "it wasn't any of our business." On 9/11 it became our business, not because Saddam was directly linked to those attacks but because we suddenly found out that we could indeed be the next victims. The threats coming from the Middle East were no longer empty ones. War rhetoric from Hussein could no longer be dismissed as the venting of a lunatic blowhard.

We were to be the next victim.

Fighting to protect yourself represents the most basic level of ethical behavior. You are stopping unethical behavior because it threatens you directly. The next level is when you stop unethical behavior because it threatens somebody you know, i.e. defending your family/friends. The ultimate level of ethical behavior is when you fight unethical behavior on the behalf of folks you don't even know.

Unfortunately, here in America, we fall very short of that level. On a personal level, we usually make the second level of ethics, but as a nation, it's the basic level all the way. We stick our necks out for nobody. After the Holocaust, we said never again. Tell that to the folks in Rwanda, the Balkans, and Darfur just to name a few.

We refused to deal with Saddam until the threat became personal. The scary thing is that so many of us still do not take the threat personally. Some of us believe that you can co-exist with evil, that the animals masquerading as men can be tamed if we just throw them enough meat. But like the idiot tourists who insist on feeding the bears in the Smokies learn, usually very painfully, eventually you run out of treats and bears dont understand All gone.

Posted by Rich
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