Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Questions, Exactly.

Victor Davis Hanson, of the National Review, also has questions of the American public and media.

If anyone wants to be a fervent supporter of the President, great. He's my President also, unlike the last one, who some folks felt was not theirs. If anyone wants to blindly believe every single thing that falls from the President's lips, well, I think they have some real problems, but, they can do that, too. That's what this country and constitution is about.

If anyone wants to blatantly ignore every single talking point from the 2008 campaign, to turn away from the "...fierce moral urgency..." of the desperate need to crush the sitting President (Bush) and continue, almost unchanged his (Bush's) every program without outcry or even comment...then those folks are cowards.

Cowards, because it is now apparent that it was all about beating Bush, a President who wasn't even running for office. Cowards, because every chance to investigate the man who became President was forestalled, put on the back-burner, ignored, or shouted down by cries of racism, or lies.

Cowards then, and more surely, now.

Monday, May 18, 2009

If You Don't Buy A Ticket, How Will You Win?

I have been active with the local Friends of the NRA committee for three years. We have a pretty good group of men and women. Our annual dinner/auction/event has placed well within the top seventy-five FNRA events nationally for the last several years. This year was no exception.

Part of our successes are that we do some vigorous planning, long before the annual event. We order our prizes, select the levels of the prize packages, and start deciding on what goes into the bucket draws, the silent auctions, and the live auction event.

We also have a pre-event drawing. This year we had twenty-one guns in a reload drawing. In a reload, a winning ticket gets put back into the pot. Theoretically, one person could win all twenty-one guns, but I would not want to be on the committee that had that occur. The pre-event needs to sell x amount of tickets to cover the costs of the guns involved and more tickets sold, the better the net at the end of the event.

Well, I waited until the last day to buy two tickets for myself. We sold every ticket printed and had folks calling all the committee members trying to find more. I had ordered two tickets after I sold a book and did not keep any for myself or Debi.

The day of the pre-event drawing, we had all the guns on display, a crowd of about 130 waiting for the results. Right in the middle of the draw, Brad Krueger, the FNRA field representative for Alaska, called my name. I figured that he was having a laugh at my expense, since I was talking to one of the guests and not paying any attention at all. No, he was really calling my name as a winner of one of the guns.

This one:

A Ruger LCP, in .380 caliber. Six rounds in the magazine, plus one in the chamber. So small it really does hide in the palm of my hand. It just so happens that Wal-Mart, less than one hundred yards away from the site of the drawing, had Remington Bonus packs of ball .380 (250 rounds for $67.00)

And to think that I almost didn't even bother to buy a ticket.

(Photo taken from Ruger's webpage)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bailout Accounting

"No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time." (Article I, Section 9, Constitution of the United States)

If this paragraph in the Constitution is to be believed, all anyone should have to do is ask for an accounting of where the Mother of All Bailouts (MOAB) is actually spending money. I guess I'm just naive enough to think that the Constitution is what drives the train in government.
This accountability clause seems pretty up front. Cut and dried. Black and white. No argument.

I want an audit, with trail, and with paperwork.

Does this make sense to anyone but myself?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Web Comics: Harmless or Massive Time Sinks?

I have a few web-based comics that I check on regular if not daily basis. Some are still in production, and one is all archive material.

Today's link is to xkcd. I'm not a physics/math/science nerd by any stretch of the imagination, but this comic continuously hits my funnybone and my curiosity.

Make sure to check the mouse-over texts.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Quote of the Day, Friday May 8th, 2009

"Never blame a legislative body for not doing something. When they do nothing, they don't hurt anybody. When they do something is when they become dangerous." -- Will Rogers

W-a-a-h versus Hard Choices

Victor Davis Hanson of National Review Online: Americans Want It Both Ways

Something has got to give. We can move forward with regrets, or we can puddle ourselves crying that it's all just not fair!
Regrets can be dealt with, crying and handwringing gets us nothing but scratchy eyes and red, swollen hands.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Young Women and Men in Richmond

A young woman from here in Ketchikan is headed to Virginia Commonwealth University in the Fall. Just like a thousand or more from all over the world and Virginia.

I came of age in Virginia, in Richmond, during the mid- to late- seventies. I spent a lot of time in Richmond, downtown, WestEnd, and across the River (The James River to you foreigners). Kat is headed there, at almost the same age I was when I left.

I miss Richmond still. Oh, not all the time, but every now and then, especially when I need some sunshine to break up the two weeks of continuous rain here in KTN. But, as Jeff Cooper so aptly put it, the past is another country. We cannot get there by car, or foot, or aircraft. It is so remote, so far over the horizon of memory that it is only available through nostalgia. What we learned then and lived through is what makes us now, but we can no more open the door and walk in to that time than we can visit the Paleozoic. It was just thirty years ago. How far off can that be?

Gas was about fifty-five cents a gallon. The drinking age was eighteen. What we consider muscle cars were new, not antiques. Our parents were our age, doing exactly what we are doing today. World War II was thirty years over and we all knew veterans, perhaps our Dad or uncles.
Viet Nam was still reeling, a fresh wound in our memories, and we probably didn't know anyone who had served there. The Apollo missions were over and we had no idea what or where was next. The shuttles hadn't launched yet.

But what I learned was the power of place. I loved Richmond then, and within the bounds of memory, I love it still. Richmond was a Southern city, covered in the mantle of history, wrapped in a soft focus of gauze that made even the shade on Monument Avenue seem timeless. (Sad to say, I can no longer remember the sequence of monuments as you went downtown, from the far
WestEnd to the Capitol.) Richmond was home, and I have run into quite a few folks in the intervening years that have no place that fits that word. How do you place yourself in the greater world if there is no memory of place? Heck, I still carry a small Virginia flag with me, thirty-one years later. If asked, I am a citizen of these United States. If asked to narrow that down, I am a Virginian, living in Alaska.

Kat, you are going about as far from KTN as you can go and remain on this continent. It is not the same city that I left. It never will be and it never was. Like any place in this world, it has changed, I have changed, we have all changed. Hopefully you will find the Richmond that is timeless. School will take your time and focus, that's why you're going there, but you will find the time to seek out the larger world outside of VCU.

Richmond is good place to do this...if I remember correctly.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

So Far, So Dry

We here in Ketchikan will never complain about too much sun.
Five straight days of sunshine. Five! My feeble memory says that that is more than we had all last Summer, and it is still Spring.
Oh, joy. My solar panel of a scalp is glowing with happiness.