Thursday, May 31, 2007

Follow Up: A Failed Presidency

Cut and run. No, I'm not talking about Iraq - I refer to President Bush's former supporters. The blogosphere on the conservative side is abuzz with near universal condemnation of the immigration compromise bill (actually, it's an immigration amnesty bill). People are offended and angry with the President and are jumping off the sinking ship that is this presidency.

Just look at some of the comments posted on's forum:

Posted by: Jebediah, 5/31/2007 7:45:50 AM

MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY!!!!!!!!!! Can't begin to tell you how disgusted we are with George Bush on this one, and are POSITIVE this total unwillingness to protect the S. border is connected to his North American Treaty pact with Mexico and Canada re: trade and that superhighway. Why on EARTH should we trust this man on the borders when he has done nothing to fortify them over the past 6 years.

Posted by: intrepid, 5/31/2007 7:50:25 AM

I voted for King George twice and am now sorry I did.

Posted by: MainelySane, 5/31/2007 8:01:23 AM

...Obviously, there is no longer a difference between Republicans and Democrats. For me, this immigration "reform" bill has finally caused me to see the light. I vowed in the past to NEVER EVER vote for a Democrat again. I'm beginning to think the same of Republicans. I worked for Bush's election and re-election. I worked phone banks for him. If HE doesn't care about the sovereignty of our nation, then we're in deep trouble. If Congress doesn't care about the sovereignty of our nation, then we're in deep trouble. When NEITHER of them care about the sovereignty of our nation, we have no nation. We need no laws. We need to be willing to protect ourselves.

Posted by: TiminPhoenix, 5/31/2007 8:30:53 AM

I now question him and thus myself on everything he has said.

All he has done is cause the one third that still supported him, is to wonder if he has been as big an idiot on other things. And if he was, perhaps we were as well.

He doesn't deserve support, because all the good he has done, will be completely negated by what he does now.

A Captain that plugs a hole on the port side of his ship (the War on Terror), while not only ignoring, but actually widening a hole on Starboard side, is still going to sink his ship.

Posted by: Seething Citizen, 5/31/2007 9:13:38 AM

I worked very hard, personally, for the election and re-election of President Bush. What a colossal blunder. This man is an impostor, a fraud. Today, I would only vote to impeach him. If he had had his way, we would have two totally incompetent buffoons, Alberto Gonzales and Harriet Miers as our latest Supreme Court justices. He has spent like a drunken sailor, signed McCain-Feingold into law and supported his friend, Johnny Sutton, the rogue persecutor of our own Border Patrol. And now he gleefully insults his former most loyal base.

Well there you have it. These are the nicer comments I have read on this predominantly conservative forum. While there are things I admire about President Bush I can't help but be supremely disappointed now. He has squandered everything his reelection should have bought him. Perhaps his extreme inarticulateness has made us misunderstand his rationale for supporting this immigration policy, but I doubt it. I think we "get it". It is no wonder that EVERYONE who leaves his administration is disaffected enough to write an unflattering book.

Jan 2009 can't come fast enough...


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Losing It: A Failed Presidency

Jimmy Carter is really the last person who should be criticizing George W. Bush. But the rest of us certainly can. Particularly those who stood by and defended him against an onslaught of mostly undeserved scorn and irrational hatred.

Bush has failed. Not a complete failure mind you, but a failure just the same. Sure the economy is pretty good. We have very low joblessness, lower(ed) taxes and by most measures a dynamic society continues to hum along under this President. With all political leaders you can only hope the few good things they do outweigh the things you don't like. The bitter and the sweet. Lately it has been his supporters who have been puckering up...

This week witnessed the straw that broke the camel's back among his loyal supporters. He has offended and sickened the last of the the true believers with his brow beating of those in his own party who oppose the immigration amnesty bill. So now along with the Democrats we are counting the days until this presidency ends.

We, mind you, are not abandoning the things that make us center-right politicos like keeping taxes low(er) and supporting the free market system against the tide of socialism. We believe liberty and justice doesn't come in the form of another government program. We believe in judges that interpret the law not create it. We believe in taking the fight to the enemy and aggressively asserting our role in an unruly world. These are areas Bush has kept the faith.

We defended him time and time again against the juvenile liberals and his Democratic rivals on his foreign policy decisions and the baseless blame-letting for the Katrina aftermath and even 9/11. But we can't defend this turd of an immigration bill. We swallowed hard on his "No Child Left Behind" policy that dumped billions more into another federal bottomless pit. We cried for means testing for Medicare Part D but the administration caved in. We cringe whenever he panders to the Global Warming crowd and quietly cheer when he defends our progress towards a cleaner environment through a strong economy. But we won't accept this stinky immigration bill.

This bill IS amnesty and there's nothing good that will come of it. Nothing. Here is what will happen...

The people who "come out of the shadows" will not stay in the low wage jobs that keep them hidden from public view. They will move into government jobs where they can get "free" benefits. The jobs they leave will need to be filled and where do you think those people will come from. This bill is going to be a NEON sign inviting people from all over the world to break our laws. What would make anyone think that a new set of enforcement laws will be upheld any better than the old enforcement laws? We have government agencies and municipalities as well as many churches who openly defy the current illegal immigration laws - and these so-called tougher laws are suddenly going to make them all fall into compliance?

Most Americans including the center-right (former) Bush supporters believe in vigorous immigration for the continued vitality of this country. We are, however, a nation of laws with borders and a common language and culture. Our culture is not Mexican, it's not Christian, it's not Asian, it's not Muslim - it is all of these and more. It is the American melting pot and it's beautiful. No where on Earth has such diversity been such a success. It is a success not because any one dominates the other it works because its complimentary.

So, contact your congressmen and demand that before another visa or green card is issued we secure our borders FIRST and we can talk about the rest later.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sunny Skies Cannot Elude U.S.

Thank Heaven for Victor Davis Hanson. Not only is he a scholar and an uber historian he is a first rate "clarifier". Now there's a title you almost never see bestowed on anything except a bottle of shampoo. Hanson writes about history as well as the here and now with a clarity we now take for granted. And so today it is asked - "Mr. Hanson, is the the Sky falling on America?"

Simply put when it comes to the inevitable and forthcoming decline of the United States (the new Rome) you and I are being led down the deadwood path by our collective noses. Take a minute to read this recent article by VDH and ease your mind.

America is being tested. We have been tested before.

Underestimated by Hitler and the Emperor of Japan a young but brave America emerged victorious and assumed the leadership of the free world. Even after the Vietnam War and the "malaise" of the Carter years America persevered. We stared down the "mighty" Soviet Empire and did not blink. We now face a world that has learned (with the help of the media) to use the United States as the global scapegoat. Theocrats, thugs, dictators and spineless elected elitists can hide their own incompetence and immorality behind a veil of righteous anti-Americanism. This while millions of people from these same countries plow threw our borders and our laws to get here.

We have work to do, yes, but we always will. We get better even as we are told we are getting worse. Chin up America. It gets harder and harder to take the crap we see on CNN and the nightly news, but we all know that good news does not sell and the editorial mantra "if it bleeds, it leads" has never been more true.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day 2007

As one who came of age in the late 70's when the draft was long over and the lure of the military was at its lowest I never served my country in uniform. I never regretted it one way or the other. In those days I was working on my dream of becoming a rock star and boot camp was the furthest thing from my mind.

As the current war drags on and the debate and the casualties mount I couldn't hold the men and women who now serve in higher esteem. God bless them all.

When we look back at this time in history through the filter of that great cleanser called time all of us will have a lot of soul searching to do. Depending on the state of the world at the time will we be satisfied that we took the battle to the enemy of our civilization and won or will we be facing the reality of a feeble effort that left us divided, torn and immersed in a world governed by sharia law?

Whatever fate befalls the world we can be assured that our military, the men and women of the United States Armed Services came to the call and fought with honor. They did this in the shadow of nation as ill-served by the press as it was by the civilian leaders who either didn't play it to win or were intent on the pulling the rug out from under them.


Friday, May 18, 2007

Gas Prices: What the F$@&%CK

I admittedly am no expert in the mad cap world of crude oil futures. Friends, the price of gas at the pump in these parts is well over $3 a gallon now and it's becoming painful. The knee jerk response is to blame those greedy oil companies (and indeed they are making a pretty penny in this environment) but I suspect there is a lot more to it than just some fat cats conspiring to screw us all.

Doing even a little research on the Internet will wake you up to one important fact: the oil business is complicated. The reasons we are paying through the nose are legion. Here's the short list in no particular order:

- Demand
- Crude prices
- Tight refining capacity
- Emerging industries in China and India
- Nationalization of the oil companies in Venezuela, Nigeria and Russia
- Hurricane Katrina
- Boutique winter blends in the US
- Ethanol transport problems
- Wall Street speculators
oh yeah, I almost forgot - good old greed

Because of tight supplies of refined product even as crude supplies recover and prices have come down from the near $80 a barrel we still suffer mightily at the pump. According to Michele Markey of the Apache corporation very little additional capacity is expected to come online in 2007. The largest planned expansion will begin in 2007 at Marathon’s Garyville, La., refinery; however, this 180 thousand barrels per day (MBpd) expansion will not be completed until 2009. Also , there have been a larger-than-normal number of refinery shutdowns in the last couple of months, both planned and unplanned. U.S. refinery turnarounds shut down 1.5 MMBpd of capacity last month. Maintenance projects have curtailed 500 MBpd so far this month.

We need more refineries, no? Because the last American refinery was built nearly 30 years ago - with only a single new one now in the works - the pain at the pump is unlikely to disappear soon.

A large number of refineries in and around the gulf coast are still not up to pre-Katrina levels. Another hurricane in that region could send prices even higher. Hurricane season is right around the corner...

The nationalization of oil companies is a huge problem not just for the Western oil companies being asked to leave (and leave billions of invested infrastructure) but for all of us as output drops and there is that much less crude on the global market. Venezuela oil export revenues have fallen off as they struggle to keep capacity up in the wake of nationalization under Chavez.

Nigeria is another situation that puts a clamp on the global oil market. Western oil companies are being squeezed out just as they had succeeded in getting Nigeria in the game as a major crude supplier. Chevron announced recently it was withdrawing hundreds of workers and contractors from Nigeria's offshore waters. The company production has already been cut by 57,000 b/d due to the militant attacks.

Events in Nigeria lead toward more violence and the prospect of more companies taking action similar to Chevron's. Total oil production shut down in Nigeria now is about 815,000 b/d, nearly a third of the country's effective production capacity of 2.5 million b/d.

Nothing good will come of the continued nationalization of the oil business. Nation-states just don't possess the expertize that oil companies do. Efficiency suffers and so does the environment. In the end the promise of a better life for the poor in these countries never materializes as their world becomes a polluted cesspool.

One might ask "if demand is so high why aren't we seeing lines at the gas pumps like back in the 1970's?" Well, as of right now we are using 99% of every drop that is refined. Lines at the pump are just one crisis away.

We could drive less, I guess. We could start buying more fuel efficient cars. Nothing wrong with these things. But there is a lot of oil out there. Lots and lots. Oil should be $20 -30 a barrel and $1.30 at the pump. The high price problem is mostly artificial and political.

Ultimately we should get behind high tech solutions that will take oil out of the picture. High prices will spur this kind of development along - and that is the silver lining in this dark cloud that follows to the corner gas station every few days.


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sometimes The Cure is Worse Than the Disease

The Global Warming crowd is going into overdrive right about now. They know that bloom is soon to fall off the rose. They sense that their window to infect as many gullible people with the "fever" is going to close. There is a push to get legislation passed, corporations shamed, and politicians of all stripes on the bandwagon. However, the very things that are going to save the world are going to kill the movement.

Take the push to ban regular incandescent light bulbs. The compact fluorescent bulbs that are the so called answer to reducing your carbon footprint contain significant amount of dangerous mercury and will require a Superfund designation should you accidentally drop one on your floor. These things should not be tossed out cavalierly lest we pollute the ground water near the landfill. The other consideration is that the U.S. does not manufacture these bulbs - they are made only in China. What a nice jobs program for China. They also cost considerably more and the claim of a longer life is not guaranteed since I know several people who have reported that they have had them simply quit working without warning.

The current love affair with ethanol by corn growers and politicians alike is threatening to raise food prices and potentially lead to more human suffering in poor countries when food becomes scarce and/or too expensive. This is not something that can be brushed away easily or morally. Is it right to turn food into fuel for our cars while poor people go hungry? Already the cost of meat and dairy is rising right here in the U.S. where we have an excess of affluence. Do farmers really care what there corn is used for after they sell it? Not likely, nor should they. But the politicians who are creating sweetheart subsidies for ethanol better think about it...

Along with the serious there is the goofy: take Sheryl Crow, please! Her idiocy is hardly worth mentioning except to point out the utter foolishness and hypocrisy of the celebrity class. She travels around with and entourage of semi tractor trailers and giant SUV's to perform her 1000 megawatt rock concerts and has the nerve to ask us little people to use just one sheet of toilet paper per visit to the bathroom - I can't even blow my nose with one sheet and my ass is a whole lot bigger than my nose.

BS, err, I mean Barbara Streisand once asked us to hang our clothes on the line to dry to save on gas and electricity while she flies around the country on a private jet spewing copious amounts of CARBON into the air that my children breathe! Hypocrite.

I think we all need to do what we can to conserve, as the Vice President said: conservation is a personal virtue. We should not wantonly waste energy or anything for that matter. We also should not apologize for the life we have created for ourselves in this great country.

Slowly the truth about the motives of the "Climate Change" weenies is coming to light as the science is increasing clear that said climate change is perfectly natural. Capitalism is the target - therefore the United States - but world government is the goal. The United States stands in the way and they know it. The thing that makes the United States so mighty is the ability to turn energy use into wealth and prosperity. Global Warming is aimed directly at energy use. I seriously doubt that if by magic tomorrow we discovered a pollution free and endless supply of energy that the assault on the American way of life would cease.


Friday, May 11, 2007

What We Don't Know

Why is the Sky Blue?

Here is a really nice compilation of many of the big questions science has not answered. Once again impresses! (Wired is second only to for cutting edge stuff!) Some of these questions will never be definitively answered and for some it's just a matter of time. I think the curious among us will really enjoy it, others may say what's the difference. I mean what does it really buy you to know why the sky is blue?

Curiously enough we actually know the answer to this one!


Thursday, May 10, 2007

No Soup For You PBS

I used to be a regular supporter of my local PBS station in St. Paul. I put up with all of Bill Moyers one sided exposes' and an endless barrage of Global Warming gibberish. Lately I have been screening the calls that come from KTCA and tearing up the weekly letters pleading for money. I feel justified, of course, those of us who fall into the anti-socialism category and hail from the center-right of the political spectrum have always had to grin and bare three quarters of what gets aired on PBS. It is true that some of the programming on the public station is second to none. I love the apolitical Antiques Roadshow and Austin City Limits as well as some of the NOVA episodes and the other science related documentaries.

Today I sent a comment to PBS via their web site (which I am sure they will neither read nor heed) threatening to withhold any future contributions. Due to a confluence of events I have officially had enough of PBS. After commissioning and paying for the filming of an important documentary called "Islam vs. Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center" CPB is refusing to air it, and worse, refusing to release the film so that it can be aired elsewhere. Yet, I saw in the paper today that the local PBS affiliate is airing yet another worn out, tired old diatribe about that current and important topic - The Spanish Inquisition. We all know that what happened 700 years ago in a small section of Europe is of far more relevance than a global jihad taking place right now right here in our own country.

PBS, CPB and the left wing media in this country reflexively malign Christianity in every possible way but refuse to even discuss the insane and murderous practices of Islamists in every corner of the world.

This important film tells the story of courageous anti-Islamist Muslims all over the world who have no voice inside their own culture and because of the actions of PBS they will have no voice here in America either. The theo-totalitarian ideology known as Islamism threatens their very lives. These moderates are being maligned, intimidated and threatened with death. Thes people deserve to have a chance to show a different side of Islam. To read more about this controversy click here...

PBS and the general media are gripped in mortal fear and steeped in the dogma of political correctness. So afraid to offend they can't bring themselves to face the truth. The truth that Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson (and George W. Bush) are not Satan's servants and that just possibly Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar and the late Saddam Hussein are (were).

You can lend a voice to the cause and pressure PBS to either play this film that our tax payer money funded or release the film so it can be aired. Sign the petition if the mood strikes you.

I'm afraid Americans do not understand what is going on or what is at stake - and without the media on the right side it's possible they won't until it is too late. These sort of programs need to be aired without the prejudice of political correctness. And the media and many self loathing Americans have got to stop scapegoating Christianity when it is radical Islam that threatens civilization. All I can say is for those of you who think this is hyperbole and alarmism I hope you're not too attached to your head.


Saturday, May 05, 2007

Scotland Calling!

Here is my latest painting. Inspired by a photo by Reinhold Klein it was the most ambitious painting I've done - or at least it was the largest painting I've attempted to date. The canvas is a sturdy 2 X 3 feet! The Cloch Lighthouse is easily one Scotland's most beautiful lighthouses. The contrast of the symmetry and sharp lines of human architecture opposed to the scrabble of leafless tree branches is what drew me to the photo. I hope you Enjoy!

Be sure to Click on the image to see a larger version

"Cloch Lighthouse"
24" x 36"

Be sure to visit my online art gallery and see many more of my paintings at