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Friday, March 06, 2009

A Fair Wind and Following Seas

North America's 1st female ship captain dies at 93
The Associated Press
BANGOR, Maine - Molly K. Carney, who as Molly Kool was the first woman in North America to become a licensed ship captain, has died at her home at the age of 93.

I don't blame Nick Tucker for being pissed!

Letter: Nick Tucker angered by governor's "disrespect"

Johnny on the Spot

John Moller interview with Alex DeMarban at The Tundra Drums

Blog response of the week!

Uh Oh, White House Seeks Economic Advice From Twitter

Twitter cofounder and CEO Ev Williams is headed to the White House today.
The administration invited him to join a “young business leaders" summit to discuss the economic crises.
As Ev himself puts it -- in a Twitter message, of course -- "[this] must mean they're *really* out of ideas."
A reminder: With 6 million members and 700% plus growth, Twitter makes no money in the US. (It sells some ads in Japan).

Tom Genin said:
Mar. 06, 9:16 AM
Tell them that they should look at the brilliant marketing ideas of Home Depot. For the first time ever, I saw Home Depot selling gun safes. Where are they being to portable electric generators. We are so screwed.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Blessed Be the Peacemakers

Black Christian News reports:
Franklin Graham says Arrest of Omar al-Bashir Threatens Chaos in Sudan

"In a shocking statement Tuesday, American evangelist and relief organization head Franklin Graham said he prefers the Sudanese president - who is facing an international arrest for crimes against humanity - to remain in power.
Despite his egregious and inexcusable involvement in the Darfur genocide and attacks on Southern Sudanese, President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has displayed some willingness to cooperate and work towards peace, Graham argues in his opinion piece posted in the New York Times on Tuesday."

"I can't say anybody's starving, but people are doing without."

Here's a link to yesterdays Alaska News Nightly story Rural Alaska seeks long term solutions to economic challenges featuring Ann Strongheart and Victoria Briggs.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I told you I like high speed rail

Here's a socialist euro nation to emulate in that regard:
Spain's High Speed Trains Faster Than Planes
NPR's Jerome Socolovsky explains how the Spaniards are doing it right!
With my oldest son about to deploy to Afghanistan with his Marine Corps unit, I found this NPR Morning Edition story interesting:
'Gamble' Author: Iraq War Only Halfway Over

This just in

from our own Correspondent

Looking for all the world like the sweating floor manager on the late afternoon shift at Larry Flynt's Hustler Club in an unbuttoned shiny black shirt and undersized sport coat, Rush Limbaugh leaned his meaty hands on the lectern at the CPAC conference and slipped a greasy dollar bill into the G-string of the writhing conservative dead-enders packed into the garishly lit Omni Shoreham in Washington DC.

Jowls rolling like thunder from the right via CNN's unfortunate high-definition feed, Limbaugh took control of the sad and tattered remnants of the mainstream conservative movement, and urged continued allegiance to the noble Lost Cause of Reagan, metaphorically carrying his rebel-yelling followers into the hills like modern-day Quantrill's Raiders standing firm against change.

If there's any doubt that the GOP's own Paulie Walnuts  is now firmly in command of the Party of Lincoln, the "breaking news" style coverage of Limbaugh's bellow-cose rant dispelled the notion. CNN, for one, went wide - with the kind of uninterrupted live footage usually reserved for Presidents and Popes, followed by a panel of analysts to weigh and consider the import of the speech to this republic of ours. There were other dancers on the stage, to be sure - including Ward Connerly, Ann Coulter, Phyllis Schlafly and Karl Rove - but only Limbaugh's hour-long ramble (he went over by 30 minutes) garnered opposition leader status. "As the movement searches for a front-and-center spokesman to provide inspiration and direction, Limbaugh's refusal to tilt toward the center may place him out front in a Republican Party already suffering from a disappearing moderate wing," wrote Tom Schaller in Salon.

Limbaugh is a showbiz talent, and he is taking full advantage of this moment of rudderless, thoughtless spinning in circles by Republicans to seize the stage in full-throated opposition to the overwhelmingly popular new President - and virtually everything he stands for. In rooting publicly for Barack Obama's failure, Limbaugh may be leading the conservative movement to a smaller, fringe-like existence in the halls of power - but it will be an existence that he can easily dominate.

Leading gullible Republicans into the hills of guerrilla ideological resistance during the nation's toughest economic crisis in 80 years constitutes a gift of incredible political proportions for the Obama Administration. Instead of principled point-by-point opposition by a chastened party of experienced professionals ready for tough dealings at the bargaining table, President Obama is blessed with clownish truculence and pure rejectionism - embodied in the Republican response to the President's forceful Congressional address by Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a moment of excruciatingly tone-deaf ideology rescued only by the attention lavished on its shockingly poor delivery.

President Obama, of course, is aware of this lumbering and clumsy gift from the right - so much so that he sent chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to Bob Schieffer's CBS studio this morning to declare Limbaugh "the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party."

And it's that blustery intellectual force that convinces Republicans like Jindal and Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi that their political futures are enlarged and brightened by a nihilistic refusal of Federal funds to their own communities. "White kids on dope," jibed conservative Rod Dreher, one of a small cadre of right-wing commentators to take on the Limbaugh lemming movement, the willful ignorance of the current crisis and the nation's ultimate rejection of a failed a humiliated party leadership. "No need to return to first principles and recalibrate policies to account for new realities," wrote Dreher. "Just find a better messenger for the same old same old. You begin to see why nobody inside that bubble could grasp what a flop Bobby Jindal's reheated Republican mush of a speech was going to be ahead of time."

Rush Limbaugh is right about one thing: President Obama is indeed on a mission of reinvention. That much was clear from his speech on Capitol Hill last week - and even clearer in his budget proposal. And, as Limbaugh undoubtedly knows, the President holds the whip hand for the foreseeable future. So Limbaugh plays to that loss of power in his audience, and in a speech that referred bizarrely to "slave blood" and a defense of John Thain (who seems to literally be asking for a set of numbered orange duds from Andrew Coumo) and the spending habits of bail-out bankers, he laid on some false concern for Obama:

"President Obama is one of the most gifted politicians, one of the most gifted men that I have ever witnessed. He has extraordinary talents. He has communication skills that hardly anyone can surpass. No, seriously. No, no, I'm being very serious about this. It just breaks my heart that he does not use these extraordinary talents and gifts to motivate and inspire the American people to be the best they can be. He's doing just the opposite. And it's a shame. [Applause] President Obama has the ability -- he has the ability to inspire excellence in people's pursuits. He has the ability to do all this, yet he pursues a path, seeks a path that punishes achievement, that punishes earners and punishes -- and he speaks negatively of the country. Ronald Reagan used to speak of a shining city on a hill. Barack Obama portrays America as a soup kitchen in some dark night in a corner of America that's very obscure. He's constantly telling the American people that bad times are ahead, worst times are ahead. And it's troubling, because this is the United States of America."

Yes, Rush this is the United States of America. And your timely and spectacular gift to the President is much appreciated indeed.

(editors note: This is what I get for telling m2k I thought Limbaugh's speech was "invigorating" LOL)

Discuss quietly amongst yourselves

I kick myself every time I see what originated as a sci fi plotline inside my tiny head years ago makes the headlines:

Russian general says U.S. may have planned satellite collision

The concept of autonomous robotic orbital (and suborbital) vehicles is by no means far fetched. Ever wonder what all those USAF-sponsored classified shuttle missions were all about? Yeah, me too.