Archive for the Heros Category

May 9th – Victory Day

Posted in Culture, Heros, Thumbs Up! on May 9, 2011 by DaMook

Order of VictoryToday is Victory Day for much of Europe – celebrating the end of World War II. My father-in-law, who turns 90 on June 25th, is a decorated veteran of the Soviet Red Army. Twice wounded, the second of which took him out of action before his unit reached Berlin, he was assigned to an artillery unit of the 1st Ukrainian Front under the command of the legendary Marshal Georgy Zhukov. For the Red Army, the cost of victory was immense.

Victory Day is a big deal in Russia – kind of like our Independence Day. Surviving veterans are treated with honor as “Heroes of the Soviet Union.” Being a huge fan of WWII history, it was particularly fascinating to hear my father-in-law’s war stories.

Congratulations Konstantin Nikoliavich Panteleeyev!

The Sticky Note campaign

Posted in Cool Stuff, Culture, Economy, Heros, Take back America, The Regime, Thumbs Up! on May 4, 2011 by DaMook

Sticky Note Been to a gas station or grocery store lately? How’s that hopeNchange thing working out for ya? If you’re frustrated with high prices on just about everything, here’s a way to vent that frustration and get a message out (story here).

This time around, the Tea Party is taking action to draw attention to the fact that Barack Obama is gouging Americans by making sure gas prices are high by causing war in Libya, not opening Alaska to drilling and saving our national energy reserves to power Chinese tanks after China’s inevitable invasion of the U.S. We spoke with Chris Lotto, Arizona activist and co-creator of the “The ‘Hope and Change’ Sticky Note Campaign,” a movement that places anti-Obama sticky notes on gas pumps.

Last Saturday afternoon, Lotto, who lives in Phoenix, launched the Facebook call to “Purchase a pad of large sticky notes. Write on each one, “How’s that Hope & Change working out for you?” Every time you stop to fill your vehicle with gas, place your sticky note somewhere on the pump before you drive away. DO NOT be destructive in ANY way! Place your sticky note somewhere, so as not to impede the next customer’s ability to read the pump’s digital readout.”

By the end of this week, the page had over 8,000 fans who had sent out over 50,000 invites to join and dozens of pictures were rolling in of notes placed on gas pumps from Ohio to Wisconsin to Texas.

Hmmm. Sounds like fun. Here’s a related site for “Liberty Guerillas.”

Part of the charade employed by the existing Regime is to continue to make people believe that they are alone in their dissent and/or dissatisfaction with the ruling class. They need to isolate you and make you feel YOU are the outlier. A recent example is the derision lobbed at those who questioned Obama’s background and credentials.

This has been written about extensively in various professional military training manuals. It has also been the subject of many papers, dissecting the evolution of an underground movement that overthrew an entrenched Regime, where to outsiders, the “sudden collapse” of an oppressive regime catches them by surprise, when in fact, it was predictable all along.

The reason for the “sudden collapse” is that the group knowledge finally reached a tipping point, where the “dissenters” realize that they are the MAJORITY, not the minority as the Regime would have them believe.

Sticky notes, as advocated at gas pumps and on stores shelves, represent what is known as “Counter propaganda”.

It will be interesting to see if this gathers momentum and has any legs.

The sticking-political-messages-on-other-people’s-commodities tactic shows no sign of abating. It’s a long way to 2012, and the GOP proper has completely lost control of its constituency, so everyone should prepare for what’s probably going to be the most ugly election in recent history, and, with every free surface in the nation plastered with neon squares, I mean literally ugly.

We live in interesting times, folks…

Rainbow Poo – coming soon to a bowl near you

Posted in Cool Stuff, Heros, Thumbs Up! on May 2, 2011 by DaMook

As your dog knows, there’s a lot of information in poo. If you own a dog, you’ve probably noticed that they just have to sniff every pile of poo they encounter. A healthy sniff or two reveals a lot about the animal that left it. Human poo is no different and according to this story (from Discovery News), scientists have found a way to make use of it to diagnose health problems.

Though its certainly not filled with gold, turns out there is a pot at the end of the rainbow, and it’s made of porcelain.

For years, sagely, health-conscious individuals have read the contents of toilet bowls, seeking oracles of good or bad health. But never before has this practice been more colorful.

Scientists have genetically engineered E. coli bacteria to work safely as a biosensor that can detect the presence of toxins and secret an indicator pigment. The synthetically engineered bacteria (which has had its bad bacteria parts removed) could be used to test water or air samples for pollutants such as arsenic or carbon dioxide. Arsenic in the water, the sample turn blue, for example. But that’s not all.

By the year 2039, the scientists — who hail from Cambridge University –think that their so-called E. Chromi could be mixed in with a special probiotic yogurt, which when eaten, would colonize the bowels and release pigments in the presence of diseases such as cancer, stomach ulcers and salmonella. If your poo was green, for example, you might have an ulcer, or if it turned orange, you may want to get tested for colon cancer.

The scientists designed E. Chomi using standardized sequences of DNA, known as BioBricks, and inserted them into E. coli bacteria. In 2009, they won the Grand Prize at the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM). Since then, the original team from Cambridge University in the UK has joined with designers Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg and James King to explore the possibilities of their technology.

Awesome!

Lemonade Day – a lesson in government regulation

Posted in Culture, Government Folly, Heros, Nanny State, Take back America, UGH! on May 2, 2011 by DaMook

lemonade standOnce upon a time a kid could set up a lemonade stand virtually anywhere and make a few bucks. Sadly those days are over as you are now subject to government harassment and even prosecution should you try it now. In many areas you need a business license and Health Department inspection to set up a simple lemonade stand. But wait, there’s hope. You can do this one day a year on Lemonade Day. That’s right, one day a year many cities will allow this so that kids can “learn and appreciate” entrepreneurship. Actually, it’s a lesson in government regulation (story here from the LA Times).

My 8-year-old recently got the lemonade stand itch. So we started laying plans to enrich her college fund by enticing passers-by with white chocolate-pistachio cookies and juice from organic lemons. Fortunately, our property backs onto one of the busiest paved urban trails in America, bustling on weekends with cyclists, rollerbladers and pedestrians. Visions of dollars danced in our heads.

Googling for the perfect lemonade recipe, we soon found a site promoting a May 1 “national” event called Lemonade Day. This event, organizers say, is an “initiative designed to teach kids how to start, own and operate their own business — a lemonade stand.” What better day to begin building our lemonade empire?

After shopping for her raw materials, I gave my kid a bedtime primer about starting a business. How much profit do you make after expenses? How should you promote your business? Give the customer a great product. She soaked it up and went to sleep all inspiration and smiles. Then I got to thinking about something I hadn’t discussed with her: government regulations.

The author relates a three day odyssey of contacting various government agencies about setting up a simple lemonade stand. The bottom line was that under normal circumstances, a simple child’s lemonade stand was out of the question. They would allow it, however, for Lemonade Day.

What the Lemonade Day organizers should teach the children, said the health official, is about the importance of learning and obeying the government regulations that prohibit lemonade stands.

If we had made it past the health and parks departments, my kid would have been stymied by zoning laws that prohibit lemonade stands in residential neighborhoods. Overcoming that barrier, we would have hung our heads at the daunting costs of business and vending licenses, not to mention taxes.

Lemonade Day is promoted as a way to “inspire a budding entrepreneur!” But it is actually a dispiriting lesson about how hard it now is to become an entrepreneur, whether you’re an adult or a child. It is about how even the most harmless enterprise, the humble lemonade stand, has been sacrificed on the altar of government regulation.

“Obeying the government” – that’s the real lesson here. The author handles it well.

Learning to be an entrepreneur “starts with a lemonade stand,” say the organizers of Lemonade Day. But they don’t want to talk about the regulations that make it impossible for my kid to become a lemonade stand entrepreneur. They tell me it is “silly” and “beside the point” to focus on the regulations. I am told that Lemonade Day is about kids learning to “give back to their communities,” “do better in school” and “open bank accounts.” It is not about something so self-serving as making a profit by selling a good product. That is the old American way, but the new way is living with rules that banish the lemonade stand to one government-approved day a year.

What are my kid and I going to do on Lemonade Day? We are going to set up a stand in one of the permitted locations — in a park or at one of the approved sponsors — with hundreds of other kids doing the same thing. But our “secret ingredient” is that we will hand out leaflets explaining why operating a lemonade stand makes my kid and yours not just a hopeful entrepreneur, but an actual lawbreaker.

Next year they should rename it Regulation Day.

It makes you wonder if America can survive this assholery…

Spending cuts – how about this approach?

Posted in Culture, Economy, Heros, Thumbs Up! on April 14, 2011 by DaMook

Thomas Sowell is a brilliant economist and social commentator. His commentary rarely contains invective and he generally presents a common sense, libertarian point of view. With all the talk (and no action) about spending cuts and getting the federal budget under control, Sowell presents a more rational approach. While his suggestions won’t eliminate the deficit, they present a path of least resistance to beginning the process that is so desperately needed. (more here)

My plan would start by cutting off all government transfer payments to billionaires. Many, if not most, people are probably unaware that the government is handing out the taxpayers’ money to billionaires. But agricultural subsidies go to a number of billionaires. Very little goes to the ordinary farmer.

Big corporations also get big bucks from the government, not only in agricultural subsidies but also in the name of “green” policies, in the name of “alternative energy” policies, and in the name of whatever else will rationalize shoveling the taxpayers’ money out the door to whomever the administration designates, for its own political reasons.

The usual political counter-attacks against spending cuts will not work against this new kind of spending cut approach. How many heart-rending stories can the media run about billionaires who have lost their handouts from the taxpayers? How many tears will be shed if General Motors gets dumped off the gravy train?

It would also be eye-opening to many people to discover how much government money is going into subsidizing all sorts of things that have nothing to do with helping “the poor” or protecting the public. This would include government-subsidized insurance for posh and pricey coastal resorts, located too dangerously close to the ocean for a private insurance company to risk insuring them.

This approach would not only circumvent the sob stories, it would also circumvent the ideological battles over whether to cut off money to Planned Parenthood or National Public Radio.

The money to be saved by cutting off agricultural subsidies to the wealthy and the big corporations is vastly greater than the money to be saved by cutting off Planned Parenthood or National Public Radio, much as they both deserve to be cut off.

And what about the 3rd rail programs like Social Security and Medicare? Most politicians have declared these “off the table” as far as discussions of budget cutting. But they can be modified as well.

Social Security and Medicare are supposed to be among the most difficult programs to cut without ruinous political consequences. However, it is not necessary to attack all the spending on these programs in order to make big savings.

Instead of attacking these programs as a whole, what is far more vulnerable is the compulsory aspect of these programs. If Medicare is so great, why is it necessary for the government to force people to be covered by Medicare as a precondition for receiving the money they paid into Social Security?

Many people with private health insurance would rather continue to rely on that, instead of being trapped in Medicare red tape. It is not a question of taking away Medicare but allowing people to opt out, saving the taxpayer from having to subsidize something that many people don’t want.

It is not a question of forcing people off Social Security either. But private retirement accounts can offer a better deal.

Even someone who retires when the stock market is down is almost certain to get a bigger pension from a decent mutual fund than from Social Security.

By giving young people the option, while continuing to honor commitments to retirees and those nearing retirement age, the sob story defense of runaway spending can be nipped in the bud.

Sounds simple. You have to wonder why no one is thinking in these terms.

Bank robber asked for ID – complies, busted, FAIL

Posted in Culture, FAIL, Heros, Humor on March 24, 2011 by DaMook

It’s probably safe to say that the vast majority of bank robbers are not among society’s deep thinkers. Most are out to make a quick score and are generally caught within hours (more here). Even those that are successful are eventually caught. Given the sophisticated security measures (silent alarms, cameras, armed guards, exploding dye packs, etc.) it doesn’t take genius-level intelligence to figure out that robbing a bank is not a path to financial security.

This is a tale of two people – a stupid robber and a courageous bank teller (story here).

A Dallas Wells Fargo bank teller risked her life and thousands of dollars on a bet that a robber at her window would be stupid enough to comply with her request that he show two forms of identification.But sure enough, her bet paid off! The robber, 49-year-old Nathan Wayne Pugh of Sachse, Texas, actually took the time to search through his pockets and wallet to produce the IDs — which turned out to be his Wells Fargo debit card and a state ID card. Then the teller stalled even more by very slowly copying the information.

Thanks to her efforts, authorities had ample time to arrive on the scene.

Pugh was apprehended when he tried to flee the bank with $800. He was later found guilty of bank robbery and sentenced to an eight year prison term. He was already on parole for two other aggravated robberies.

There’s no word on whether or not the teller was rewarded for her savvy risk. Regardless, she gets bragging rights and a great story to tell her kids.

Great story!

Journalist calls out media on bias – great post

Posted in Culture, Heros, State-run media, Thumbs Up! on March 18, 2011 by DaMook

This is a fantastic post by a self-described liberal journalist (Lee Stranahan) at the Huffington Post. Given the political tone over at HuffPo, I’m surprised that this got posted there. It has been picked up and linked by the conservative blogosphere.

Lee rightly points out that the leftist state-run media has completely ignored the plethora of death threats against republicans and conservatives – not only in Wisconsin, but everywhere. He’s upset by the level of vitriol displayed by liberals & progressives and he calls them out on it.

Why isn’t the mainstream media talking about the death threats against Republican politicians in Wisconsin?

Try to set aside whatever biases or preconceptions you might have for a moment and ask yourself why death threats against politicians aren’t considered national news, especially in the wake of the all too fresh shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other bystanders. And there hasn’t just been one death threat, but a number of them.

Here’s an example and it’s real. According to Wisconsin State Department of Justice, authorities have found a suspect who admitted to sending the following email:

I want to make this perfectly clear. Because of your actions today and in the past couple of weeks I and the group of people that are working with me have decided that we’ve had enough. We feel that you and your republican dictators have to die. This is how it’s going to happen: I as well as many others know where you and your family live, it’s a matter of public records. We have all planned to assult you by arriving at your house and putting a nice little bullet in your head. However, this isn’t enough. We also have decided that this may not be enough to send the message. So we have built several bombs that we have placed in various locations around the areas in which we know that you frequent. This includes, your house, your car, the state capitol, and well I won’t tell you all of them because that’s just no fun. Since we know that you are not smart enough to figure out why this is happening to you we have decided to make it perfectly clear to you. If you and your goonies feel that it’s necessary to strip the rights of 300,000 people and ruin their lives, making them unable to feed, clothe, and provide the necessities to their families and themselves then We will “get rid of” (in which I mean kill) the 8 of you. Please understand that this does not include the heroic Senator that risked everything to go aganist what you and your goonies wanted him to do. The 8 includes the 7 senators and the dictator. We feel that it’s worth our lives becasue we would be saving the lives of 300,000 people. Please make your peace with God as soon as possible and say goodbye to your loved ones we will not wait any longer. Goodbye ASSHOLE!!!!

After the Giffords shooting, authorities have to take this sort of threat seriously. The media should too, even if the disturbed person who sent that email was motivated by exactly the kind of rhetoric that’s been used by many liberals against GOP officials over and over again during the Madison protests. And there are more threats floating around the internet, in varying degrees of scary and credible.

Ignoring the story of these threats is deeply, fundamentally wrong. It’s bad, biased journalism that will lead to no possible good outcome and progressives should be leading the charge against it.

Stranahan himself has been a target of the vitriol from the left after posting comments on the situation in Wisconsin.

I’m not at all anti-union. (I’ve publicly supported unionizing the visual effects industry, for example.) I’m open to a good rational argument against the case FDR made but in discussions on Twitter and elsewhere, all I got in response from people on the left was anger and insults. I saw little light and felt much heat.

That tone of extreme hostility I experienced brings me back to the death threats in Wisconsin. Frankly, the bile and invective in that threat reminded me of the tone I saw directed at me from many so-called liberals because I committed the heresy of taking a different position from them on the issue of collective bargaining for public sector employees… based on something FDR said.

Is this really what liberalism has come to in 2011?

Uh Lee, while I’m glad you’re finally coming around, this is what liberalism has been for at least 20 years. This is not a recent phenomenon and it has only gotten worse, much worse, since the anointment of our dear comrade leader. This is Cloward-Piven, Saul Alinsky, Bill Ayers “community organizing” at its finest. Where’ve you been, pal?

Since working with Breitbart, my position on political issues hasn’t changed but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m deeply disappointed by the virulent, lockstep attitude I see on the left. My experience in the last few months tells me what I would not have believed possible; on any number of issues (including Pigford, by the way) I’ve seen liberals act much nastier and with less factual honesty than the conservatives… and this includes on issues where I disagree with conservatives.

Burying the death threat story is a clear example of intellectual dishonesty and journalistic bias.

There – he finally said it. At least he had the guts to point it out – something the rest of the gutless state-run media will deny to their death. Media bias? What media bias? It appears that his association with Breitbart may have led to this revelation of sorts. Good job, Andrew!