Archive for the Thumbs Up! 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!

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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!

Mini crossbow – I want one!

Posted in Cool Stuff, Humor, Thumbs Up! on April 25, 2011 by DaMook

Not sure if you can actually order one of these, but I WANT ONE!

How long before the government steps in and squashes this guy?

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.

Sierra mountains buried in global warming

Posted in Climategate, Cool Stuff, Thumbs Up! on March 31, 2011 by DaMook
SierraSnowblast

Buried in global warming

So much snow has fallen this winter in California’s Sierra mountains that the drought declaration, issued in 2008, has been rescinded (story here).

A drought that loomed over some of California’s most fertile farmland officially ended Wednesday after a winter of relentless mountain storms that piled snow up to three stories high and could keep some ski resorts open until the Fourth of July.More than 61 feet of snow has fallen in the Sierra Nevada high country so far this season, second only to 1950-51, when 65 feet fell, according to records kept by the California Department of Transportation. And more snow is possible in April, raising the prospect of an all-time record.

When it melts, the snow will bring relief to hundreds of communities and many farms that provide fruits and vegetables to the nation.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday repealed a statewide drought declaration made in 2008 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who called for a state of emergency in February 2009 after three years of low water levels.

Brown acted after state officials reported the water content in the Sierra snowpack at 165 percent of normal for this time of year. That is one of the wettest winters since 1970, according to the state Department of Water Resources.

The record snowfall will not only provide a respite from the drought but will also allow ski resorts to stay open longer.

Seasonal snow accumulation records already have been set at some ski resorts, including Squaw Valley USA near the north shore of Lake Tahoe, Heavenly Mountain Resort on the lake’s south side and Mammoth Mountain, the sprawling Eastern Sierra resort that attracts Southern California skiers and snowboarders.

At Squaw Valley, home of the 1960 Winter Olympics, ski patrol guides had to create tunnels just to reach their warming huts, and avalanches broke out windows at two lift stations, said Wes Schimmelpfenning, a 68-year-old patrolman who has worked there for 48 years.

Nearly 59 feet of snow has fallen there so far this winter, beating the old record by 29 inches.

Squaw is extending its season through Memorial Day, while Mammoth, with a peak elevation exceeding 11,000 feet, might remain open through Independence Day.

Well, California needs something good to happen once in a while…

Karma: Man named Cokayne arrested for…what else, dealing drugs

Posted in Culture, FAIL, Humor, Thumbs Up! on March 29, 2011 by DaMook

Now, who couldn’t have seen this coming (story here from the Washington Post).

The story you are about to read is true. The names have not been changed because otherwise it wouldn’t be that interesting.

The Fairfax County police on Tuesday arrested a man named Kevin Lee Cokayne and charged him with dealing drugs.

The police were looking to acquire Cokayne, so they went to a house on Franklin Farm Road in the Herndon area and found Cokayne in a rented apartment in the basement, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in court .

As the undercover detective walked downstairs and discovered Cokayne, the detective asked if he could search the apartment. That was no good for Cokayne, who told the detective, “I don’t see why you want to waste your time for an eighth of weed. It’s a misdemeanor,” according to the affidavit. So the cops got a search warrant for the home of Cokayne.

But apparently Cokayne was selling marijuana, not cocaine, the court documents indicate. Police found a safe with marijuana, a wooden box with marijuana, two jars containing marijuana, a smoking device with marijuana, a digital scale, and “records and documents for Kevin Cocaine [sic],” a search inventory reveals.

Cokayne, 24, was charged with two felony counts of distributing marijuana. On what appears to be his Facebook page, he has a picture of an eight-ball. We could not make this up.

LOL!