Balustrade’s Blog

April 29, 2009

30 Seconds Over Manhattan

Filed under: Uncategorized — balustrade @ 6:35 pm

By now its no longer breaking news, the fly-boys over at the White House thought it’d be super-duoer cool to buzz lower Manhattan in a 747 being tailed by two fighter jets.  The metaron’s version of the events left something to be desired.  Gibbs replied to questions from the Press, they should contact the White House.  A line made even nuttier seeing as he’s the White House Press Secretary.

Reminds me of the time I tried to get a mortgage from my credit union.  The very helpful person going through the application said I would need to include my last two CU statements.  I cheerfully replied “that should be easy, it’s you.”  To which the stunned agent replied “No, you need to officailly request the last two statements.”  To which I, in my own irreverent manner replied “Okay, I officially request copies.”  At that point, she knew she wasn’t getting anywhere and moved on.

But I digress.  Back to the flying aces in NYC.  And the dunces in DC.

As the full story slowly leaked out, it appears there’s a special office in the White House in charge of Presidential jets.  There really isn’t a single jet named Air Force 1.  What ever plane the President happens to be on is officially Air Force 1.  And there are actually two of them, the plane carrying the President and a decoy.   Some one in that office thought it would be neat to “update” the stock of photos of the jet cruising through one of the world’s most recognizable sky lines.

Update the stock?  Update the stock?  UPDATE THE STOCK!  You mean they already have shots?  Why in the hell would they go through all this effort for no reason?  That’s very telling.  And what was the cost of this little junket?  I hear just this side of a cool half million.  Now that’s what I call watching every penny, nice going President!

Of course, once the metatron finally got the talking points from Rham, he called forth to the press, the President knew nothing about it and was mad as hell.  The President didn’t know about it?  If one of the President’s jets is out taking joy rides, the other one ain’t going anywhere.  And now we’re supposed to believe the President has no idea when he absolutely can’t fly anywhere?  I mean, it’s not like the President’s travel schedule isn’t carefully planned out to the most minute details.

The reason I bring that up is to counter an incident a few weeks ago on Easter.  Navy SEALS took out three Somali pirates.  When that news came out, Gibbs was practically atwitter with excitement about how deeply involved in every aspect of the mission President Obama was.  So, when things go right, the Obamaster is in hip deep, when its a train-wreck, the President didn’t have a clue.

Look for that to repeat ad nauseum for the next four years.

And lastly, let’s have a little look at what happened in NYC, shall we?  Thousands of citizens scared shit-less, running for their lives.  That must have been fun.  I live in NY, not the city, but pretty far upstate, and I can’t even imagine what sheer stupidity it took to pull this off on a Monday morning. I know, I know, the fly boys notified the Police, the mayor’s office and the FCC.  But even if word had managed to “leak” out to the public, how many other people might not have heard and assumed the worse?

So, we have a President who either knew about it and is now lying, or didn’t know what’s going on with his own staff.  We have an administration that thinks nothing of blowing almost half a million dollars while they are in the process of borrowing trillions.  We have fly boys who could care less about what this spectacle would look like to innocent civilians working in high rise office buildings.

But most of all, we have an administration that is so in love with it self, the lives of we ‘little people’ are at best an inconvenience, at worst, a distraction.

How’s that hope for transparent change?

April 21, 2009

Momentary Lapse of Reason

Filed under: Uncategorized — balustrade @ 5:23 pm

Sorry for the delay between posts. Last week we finally found what we thought was the perfect puppy for our family. He was half rottweiler, half mutt, small enough to fit in a large coffee mug, and so damn cute it’d make a mad Mullah giggle.

Unfortunately, he also had a birth defect. He was diagnosed yesterday with Prota Cavel Stunt, a defect with the blood vessels leading blood to and from the liver. Essentially it wasn’t working, his blood was not being purified, and poisons built up in his system till it started destroying his internal organs.

On the vets recommendation, we had him put down.

So there’s a lot going on at the moment. He may have been a half pint, and only around for about five or six days, but it was enough to leave a huge paw print on my family’s heart.

RIP little guy….

April 15, 2009

One lump or two?

Filed under: Uncategorized — balustrade @ 8:37 pm

The media is most interesting to watch (or in my case, listen to) today. Cool new word of the moment: tea parties.  The MSM on the left, yawns, sneers, snickers, and generally ignore them, while the big guns in the New Media on the right are reporting on the second (peaceful) Revolution.

Today’s demonstrations and protests, and the predictable whining of those on the left, are a picture perfect, made to order, example of my view of the current (and probably for some time) American politics.

In America we like to slice things up as “either” and “or,” a binary choice. You’re either a democrat or a republican, you’re either a liberal or a conservative, you either are for the little guy, or you want to see the little guy crushed.

I guess on some level it does make life easier, after all when there’s only two choices, how hard can it be to pick either one or the other?  Definitely cuts down on the number of talking points to regurgitate.

But the real split in American politics – and I’m sure this goes back, probably to the turn of the twentieth century – is between the cowards and the courageous.

Now before you get all huffy and move on, allow me to explain. My experience in this life has been there are indeed two strains of thinking in America and American politics. On the one hand you have those who think life sucks, the game is rigged against them, and if some one doesn’t come along and promise them the moon, then they don’t stand a chance in this world. I’ll call them cowards. On the other hand you have people who look at life and think, you know, this is going to be tough, its going to be painful, there will be ups and downs, but damn it, I’m going to win. I’ll call them the courageous.

Normally pundits and talking heads carve up ‘either/or’ as the right and the left. But that’s not entirely correct. There are cowards on the right, and there are (or at least used to be courageous on the left – though the democratic party’s modern liberal movement has done its best to run them out of the party on a rail). Apparently they’ve decided its easier and cheaper to make false promises to ‘chicken littles’ than try to come up with a sound, reasonable argument. That and there’s plenty of voters on the verge of tears from the terror of the unknown future, and their votes are just as valid.

That’s how I see this new phase of American politics shaping up. One the one side you have citizens who are just sure, no matter what, they’re going to end up losers unless they can figure out some way to rig the game in their favor (enter the slimy politician who promises to rig it in their favor, just keep those votes coming). On the other hand you people who are ready, willing, able to take what ever life throws at them, and rightly view those rigging the game for some one else, at their expense.

I’m not sure where this will all end up, but I like the way the contours are changing. Because the cowards can’t win this one in the long run.

See, it’s a lot easier to convince some one who’s wracked by irrational fear that, while life is tough, it can be done, than to to take a rational person and convince them the only way to live their life is to run around in circles backwards, waving their arms, and screaming “SAVE ME! SAVE ME! SAVE ME!”

Think of it this way, if there are ten people standing on ledge, ready to commit suicide, and you’re able to convince two of them to come back inside, you may only have a success rate of 20% – but you got that 20%. The other 80% is hopeless anyway.

On the other hand, if your game plan for future success is to Convince some one that 30% unemployment and 20% inflation is actually an improvement, you’ve got quite a job on your hands.  Notice I said convince, not prove.  That’s not an accident.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting any huge, seismic shifts in the next couple of years, I’m not that irrational. But what I do see is there are people from all political stripes in on these tea parties, not just radical right, as the radical left is trying to portray.

No, its a very slow process, I’m sure it will out last my life time. But it is a start.

I hope what I’m seeing is the beginning of “either, or” and now “or, maybe…..”

Tax Cheating for Dummies by Tim Geithner

Filed under: Uncategorized — balustrade @ 8:06 pm

At the top of the hour news break, ABC radio had a sound byte from our glorious leader. He said he wanted to reform the tax system (read: tighten the screw DC has shoved up our collective ass a few more turns) because – and get this – because it’s too complicated for most Americans, and the few who do understand it, cheat on their taxes.

Got that? Not only are we stupid, but smart people cheat on taxes.

When was the last time this guy held a cabinet meeting?

April 13, 2009

Gonna Buy me a dog…..

Filed under: Uncategorized — balustrade @ 8:52 pm

I’m listening to Hannity at the moment, and he’s got some wacko caller on the line who’s fed up with the President’s lies. Which one in particular finally tipped the balance?

He promised to get his kids a shelter dog, and instead got one as a present from “The Swimmer“. One of those little, hairy things my cat eats for dinner.

There are more than enough reasons to have strong reservations against the current administration. If you need some examples, read my earlier posts.

But come on, this is ridiculous. Some guy gives his family a dog for a present, and because he accepts the gift, he’s a schmuck?

Get a grip people. Get a grip.

One last point, I’m currently looking for a new dog myself. My loving, trusty, companion, finally succumbed to old age a month or so ago. My family is heart broken. I insist my daughter understand, we’re not looking to replace “Stella.” You replace batteries, not life-long companions. Stella goes down in our own family history as “our” dog for 14 years. Those are some pretty big paw prints to fill. I’m optimistic.

But I sure as hell ain’t getting some little rat-dog thing like Kennedy gave them. If there’s crap going on out in front of my house, late at night, I want a dog that will get their attention, not crack them up.

Give me a nice Rottie mix. Can’t get a full bred one, I’ll lose my home owner’s policy. That’s bad enough, but if I lose that, there goes my discount for my auto insurance. And that I can not tolerate. (I’m kidding.)

I’m gonna buy me a dog!

April 11, 2009

But he’s killed less people than Stalin!

Filed under: Uncategorized — balustrade @ 12:04 pm

Was watching this on the net and it suddenly occurred to me. 

When debating Obama’s absorption of the private sector into the government’s ‘gimp,’ a modern liberal’s first talking point is Bush and the GOP’s whorish theft of We The People’s private property.  And granted, that’s a more than valid point.  Any big spending, neo-con right wing pundit who cries foul about democrat spending with a straight face should have their head examined, but it’d be a waste of time, since there wouldn’t be anything to inspect.

But by employing this talking point, they’re actually saying that Bush was almost as bad as Obama is now. 

That’s a defense?

April 10, 2009

Swift boat vets for booty

Filed under: quick thoughts — balustrade @ 11:00 pm

Why do I picture Johnny Depp on Capitol Hill?

Delegating Morality

Filed under: Uncategorized — balustrade @ 8:59 pm

It’s almost the end of the work day and I’m getting ready to log off.  Hannity is shot-gunning callers (my term, not his, running through as many calls, as fast as fast as he can, to close out the show) and he got a particularly interesting one that he dwelled upon.  A younger sounding lady who gives a perfect example of what’s wrong with modern liberals, democrats, and apparently 52% of our fellow citizens, give or take a few million.

The crux of her argument was, she was a decent person, didn’t want to see people suffer, didn’t want people living in abject poverty, thought its unfair people go to bed hungry, so, using her superior morality, she voted for, and supports, democrats in general, and the President in particular.

Don’t get me wrong, she was quite pleasant, polite, respectful – traits in short supply in the modern left – and she listened to what Hannity had to say.  I give her credit.  The standard template for the left is to scream unsubstantiated allegations loudly enough to drown out every other voice, declare victory, then go home and have an ego orgasm over their obvious superiority.

I think that’s what caught my attention.  Call it unfounded hope, call me a dreamer, but I still believe some of these people can be reached.

And on the surface, she’s got a good argument.  She’s nice, she wants to help people, she wants life to be better for all.  Her problem is voting democrats to obtain that goal.  The truth does not lie in a surface argument, it’s in the dirty, hard to calculate, and ever boring facts.

It is my opinion that delegating one’s obligation to the poor of the world to the democratic party is a fallacy.  First off, it won’t work, because the left’s idea of helping people is to slowly and completely smother them with government regulations.  That ain’t going to help any one.  But on another level, it does not absolve a single democratic voter and/or supporter of their real, moral obligation to help the less fortunate.

That’s the key.  Voting democrat gives them that nice, personal, satisfying feeling that they have made a difference.  That’s not enough.  Well, actually they’re causing more pain and suffering, but besides that, its wrong to believe that once they pull that lever in November, they are free from worrying about what they can do to help for a year, or at least until the next year’s campaign season starts up. Then they’ve got to ‘fight’ for the caring candidates, just so they can get another yearly fix.

That’s plain wrong.

It’s well known from a variety of studies that conservatives are much more charitable than modern liberals.  (Full disclosure, I’m not a conservative, I’m my own weirded-out interpretation of libertarianism.)

Does any one remember Al Gore writing off used underwear donations on his tax returns?  What could they possible be worth?  After all, I’m assuming Gore’s mega plan to save the universe includes using less toilet paper.  A nickel?  Maybe.  And going through the pain staking process to document a monetary amount that small.  I wonder how much he paid his accountants to figure out the verifiable worth of his used underwear?  Imagine what he could have done with that cash?  But that’s my point.  It made more sense to him.

Modern liberalism has transferred personal, moral obligations to government.  Their worshipers are free from the guilt associated with the dreary facts of the human condition.

As I said, they are wrong.  If they really cared, they wouldn’t stop there.  Actually, if they didn’t stop there, they might finally learn exactly “why” they don’t stop there.

April 8, 2009

The Absent Minded Professor

Filed under: Uncategorized — balustrade @ 9:35 pm

One of two purposes can be deduced when a politician relies on beating up someone of no consequence. They’re either a modern liberal or diverting attention. Now that I think about it, it could be both at the same time. For the last two plus months I’ve been listening to democrats, currently in power, bashing republicans, currently out of power. Now of course, vitriol-filled screeds from closed-minded, egotistical, bigoted, racist hate-filled modern liberals is nothing new for those affiliated with the party of love, happiness, inclusiveness, and, well, if they do say so themselves, the damn cool. The Democrat party has basically been running on a bait-and-switch platform for as long as I remember. Tell mindless sheep that if they vote “D” it’s proof they care, and then they ram it up the ass of every individual and organization who didn’t.

It’s obvious as to why. Just spend a few minutes debating any relevant issue and it’s all made clear. The modern liberal’s definition of debate is to scream louder than their opponent, drowning them out, hurling unfounded insults that have no relationship to the issue being debated, then declare they are right, and stride out in triumphant victory. Or as I like to refer to it, the “Animal House Defense*.”

* Patent Pending

Today Yahoo! says the AP said that Biden, for lack of anything intelligent to speak about, took the opportunity of a gathering of like-minded individuals and a hot mic to rail on one of the three current whipping boys for those sensitive, loving, caring, (did I say sensitive?), reasonable democrats. They are in no particular order: Bush, Cheney and/or Rush. In this case, Cheney. Now I’ve never met Cheney. He seems to be a bit of a hard ass**. And I won’t even try to justify what this supposedly ‘rugged individual’ refers to as “hunting“. But none the less, Mr. Richard Cheney is a private American citizen. He holds no office of power, no worlds are moved by his words. And lets face it, the VP is nothing more than being on deck in case Bush actually choked to death on that pretzel. Here’s what Professor Joe (who thinks “JOBS” is spelled with three letters) had to say about the private American citizen, one Mr. Richard Cheney: “Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday his predecessor, Dick Cheney, is ‘dead wrong’ when he says President Barack Obama’s national security policies are making the United States less safe. Biden said the exact opposite is true and added that President George W. Bush’s vice president was part of a dysfunctional decision-making system.”

Let me see if I have this right: Obama attended a NATO meeting “asking” for more troops for Afghanistan. He got 18 helicopters from the Dutch. He gave a speech where he talked about the Austrian language word for “wheeling and dealing.” Iran basically told him to step down, because they’re going nuclear, and they have their target. And on the day Obama calls for the end to nuclear weapons, with the US leading the way, Kim Jong Ill basically flips him the bird by launching a ballistic missile in the direction of the west coast. Years ago the modern liberal, and basically the entire left, changed the definition of “racist” to anyone who doesn’t agree with them. I think we’re starting to see the attempt to change the definition of “safe” from one where rogue nations are wary but hatefully respectful of America to where they walk all over us, spit in our face, and laugh out loud at America. I guess, technically, that is ‘change.’

**As a matter of fact, there are plenty of positions in America where a hard ass is exactly what you need. I didn’t say want, I didn’t say desire, I said need. I consider the President one of those offices. I never thought it applied much to the VP. But what the hell? It’s a dangerous world. Do you really want Captain Kangaroo or Mr. Rodgers staring down Putin during a nuclear stand off? A friend of mine had a work place accident that ended up in court. I asked him about his lawyer. He said he loved him. The lawyer was such an asshole that even he hated him. In other words, a brutal, violent, dirty fighting gladiator who’s weapon of choice is law. Exactly the kind of lawyer I want working for me when the legal steel cage match starts.

April 6, 2009

After the massacre…

Filed under: Uncategorized — balustrade @ 5:12 pm

Once again, I assure readers, this is not a religious  based blog, I am not attempting to proselytize.  The only reason religion is mentioned here, is because that’s where I got the information.

It’s really surreal watching one of these horrendous events from the other side of the TV camera.  I remember vividly sitting in a bar after work in Poughkeepsie watching the news unfold concerning the Columbine massacre several years ago.  I don’t remember the exact date, but I do remember where I was.  Watching the terrified people, watching the names of the dead scroll across the bottom of the screen.   I remember even though it was in the US, I didn’t really feel much connection to the events.  And, to my surprise, I feel the same today.

Fourteen people in all lost their lives.  Twelve immigrants and two American teachers.  I personally didn’t know any of them.  I have found out since then a good friend of mine knew one of the teachers through their children, Bobbie King was a substitute teacher in the Windsor school district, in addition, by all apparent news reports, just an absolutely beautiful person.

I also learned where the ass-wipe lived who caused this horror, its about half a mile from my house.  And I have no idea if he attended Church, but if he – or his family – did, it was most likely at the same church I attend.  There is a small Vietnamese community and they have Mass twice a month in Vietnamese, so that’s most likely where they would attend.

I also learned he most likely purchased his guns at a local sporting goods store that I’ve shopped at before.

Like I said, surreal.

I wasn’t looking forward to Church yesterday, first off, because if the killer did attend my church, I wasn’t so sure I wanted to hear about it.  That, and being Palm Sunday, the Gospel reading is about five pages long, and I get tired of standing all that time.  I mean the pews are hard enough on the butt as it is.  But there’s no way my wife was not going, so off we went.  It was a surprisingly pleasant Mass, despite the 800 pound gorilla in the room.  When it came time for the homily, the facts started coming out.

The Deacon gave the obligatory sermon on the Passion, and then started weaving facts into it.  He was up in Windsor on a religious retreat (the clergy get Fridays off because they work all weekend) when they started hearing the first conflicting reports come out.  Before long the scope of the slaughter was becoming apparent.  He didn’t say or what it was, but he did say the Chaplin Corp. had been activated, so they all swung into action.

I do like the term Chaplin Corp., as the term has a non-denominational sound to it, as in, in times of great need, it doesn’t matter what religion a person believes.

The Deacon said he headed down to the Catholic Charities building a few blocks from the scene, the radio had been reporting authorities had been directing family members and friends there, to keep them away from the crime scene.  He said by the time he got there, the parish Pastor was already at work.  There were families and friends, hoping for the best, and fearing the worst.  The were huge language barriers because so many people involved were immigrants.  But they made do as best they could to help with grief counseling.

Since the police really didn’t know what happened, they had to treat every room as if it were booby trapped, and every person they encountered as a possible suspect.  The whole onslaught only lasted about ten minutes, but it took the police hours to secure the entire building.   When victims were found, they were moved to a county bus that was used as a mobile command center, checked over, debriefed, and eventually taken over to the Catholic Charities building to be reunited with their families.

The Deacon said it was an emotional roller coaster, as survivors trickled in.  Great joy at people finding their loved ones, crushing agony for the others who waited.  After a couple of hours the arriving victims slowed to a trickle.  Then Capt. Ziukski arrived with the grim news.  The ASA building was secure, and empty, there were no more survivors coming.

The clergy stayed with the remaining families for as long as they wanted the comfort.  Finally after several hours, the last person left.  Alone.

This is what CNN and the other whorish media doesn’t report on, thank God.  The last thing those vulnerable people needed was some news bimbo shoving a microphone in their face asking some brilliant question like “how do you feel?”  I’ve had that done to me in the past, and it takes great self control to shove that mic up their ass.  But it is also some what reassuring knowing that in times like these, there are people who’s only goal is to help.

At the end of Mass, the Pastor said a few words on the subject.  He mentioned that through out the day he saw well over a hundred parishioners from our Church in action.  Police, fire, emergency responders, EMTs, as well as people bringing in food, coffee, blankets, running errands, and in general doing what ever needed to be done.  Good people, helping others in need.

This will most likely be the last post that is centered on this topic, unless some huge new information comes out, but I doubt it.  It’s already starting to feel like yesterday’s news. ( As I said, its all so surreal. ) It’s almost all over now, except for the funerals, which have already begun, and the four victims still in critical condition.  But one last piece of good news, all four are expected to recover.

God bless them, and all who helped in what ever way they could.

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