Monday, November 29, 2004

Democrat Dirty Tricks

Thanks to the Instapundit For pointing us to this story.

SPEAK OUT AND BE FIRED: More McCarthyite crushing of dissent in John Ashkkkroft's Alberto Gonzales' America!

Why does it always seem to be the Democrats who are behind the dirty tricks and cheap stunts.  Mary Laney tells how the Democrats attempt to destroy those who interfere with their quest for power.


This is the story of a military veteran whistleblower. He spoke out against someone he thought was dangerous for the nation, talked to local newspapers, and appeared on talk shows. In return, he was vilified by reporters, threatened by a political operative, fired by his company, and now he's broke. His name is Steve Gardner. He's also known as "The 10th Brother," as in Band of Brothers. He's one of two members of Sen. John Kerry's 12 Vietnam swift boat crew members who refused to stand with Kerry at the Democratic Convention. The other man remained silent. ... Gardner's story is one that bears telling. He volunteered for the Navy, enlisting on his 18th birthday in February 1966. After training, he was shipped to Vietnam and served for two years as a gunner in the swift boat division. His superior, for four months, was none other than Lt. j.g. John F. Kerry. "I had confrontations with him there. He nearly got us rammed by the VC one night because he wasn't watching the helm. I heard the motor coming close, turned on the spotlight, and the boat was only 90 feet away, coming fast. The VC was aiming an AK47 at us. I shot him out of the boat. We pulled a woman and a baby off the boat. Kerry wrote it up that we captured two VC and killed four more on the beach. None of that was true. The only thing true on Kerry's report was the date. The woman was catatonic and wouldn't call her baby VC and there were no VC on the beach. If we had seen that report before Kerry sent it up the chain of command, he would have been court-martialed and never allowed to run for office. And that's just the San Pan incident. There was much more. He is a self-aggrandizing bold-faced liar. I believe he caused the extension of that war." Gardner told this story and others to radio stations and he wrote a piece for the local paper. Then, he says, he received a phone call from John Hurley, the veterans organizer for Kerry's campaign. Hurley, Gardner says, asked him to come out for Kerry. He told Hurley to leave him alone and that he'd never be for Kerry. It was then Gardner says, he was threatened with, "You better watch your step. We can look into your finances." Next, Gardner said he received a call from Douglas Brinkley, the author of Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War. Brinkley told Gardner he was calling only to "fact check" the book -- which was already in print. "I told him that the guy in the book is not the same guy I served with. I told him Kerry was a coward. He would patrol the middle of the river. The canals were dangerous. He wouldn't go there unless he had another boat pushing him." Days later, Brinkley called again, warning Gardner to expect some calls. It seems Brinkley had used the "fact checking" conversation to write an inflammatory article about Gardner for The article, implying that Gardner was politically motivated, appeared under the headline "The 10th Brother." Twenty-four hours later, Gardner got an e-mail from his company, Millennium Information Services, informing him that his services would no longer be necessary. He was laid off in an e-mail -- by the same man who only days before had congratulated him for his exemplary work in a territory which covered North and South Carolina. The e-mail stated that his position was being eliminated. Since then, he's seen the company advertising for his old position. Gardner doesn't have the money to sue to get the job back. "I'm broke. I've been hurt every way I can be hurt. I have no money in the bank but am doing little bits here and there to pay the bills," he said. All the millions of dollars raised by Gardner and his fellow Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, and all the proceeds from John O'Neill's book, Unfit for Command, go to families of veterans, POWs and MIAs. And, even though Gardner is broke and jobless for speaking out, the husband and father of three says he'd do it all over again. He says it wasn't for politics. It was for America.

Its really a said state of affairs that things like this happen.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Bamboo Floors Part 2

I started laying the bamboo floors,in fect I'm finishing up the first, and largest room. It looks real nice so far, sorta like a bowling alley. We bought the wood at Equality was able to negotiate some because we were buying so much. We bought bamboo flooring for two houses (2500 sq. ft.) so we got a little bit of a break We purchased natural vertical grain. This wood is a little darker and grainier than most of the bamboo. This is a good thing it gave the wood more texture without the darkness of the carbonized product. However one has to be careful some of this stuff is considerably lighter and one needs to be careful how you blend it in. Otherwise The odd colored board sticks out pretty dramatically.

The glue is my nemesis. It is sticky gooey crap that gets all over the place. Removing it off ones body is an upleasant task. The stuff has a strange affinity for arm hair. Strangely enough the stuff seems to come out pretty well in the laundry. Soap and water is also a help in removing it from ones person.

The job is going slower than I had hoped, but it isn't too bad. Andy and Equality have helped me and we are moving along pretty good. The pros finished ruok's floor in 2 days, in 2 day's I will have finished The family room and kitchen. So far it all looks good.

Ruok's contractor originally offered to do our floors for over $4,000 just before we started he offered to do it for about half that. We refused the offer. He had mentioned at another time that he thought he would end up wirh the job, "because thats how it is with computer guys".

Friday, November 26, 2004

Kemah's Mayor King on WCID 12 and KVFD Battle

Kemah may be close to resolving its its differences between the water board, and its volunteer fire department. Perhaps this letter posted on the Jabo Bayou Times from Mayor William King, has something to do with it.

A number of residents have called or e-mailed and asked me to comment on the on-going feud between WCID No. 12 and the KVFD. I have been reluctant to enter this fray because our citizens voted several years ago to transfer responsibility for fire protection from the cities to WCID No. 12. I have been attempting to respect the WCID No. 12’s jurisdiction in this regard. However, the level of this dispute has reached such an absurd level and I feel compelled to speak out on these issues.

First, let me say that I am deeply appreciative of the men and women who give their time and risk their personal safety to protect my family and home from a fire. These individuals donate untolled hours in training, maintaining the equipment and conducting the business of our fire department. They roll out of bed in the middle of the night, regardless of the weather, and rush to help our fellow citizens in danger. I cannot imagine a more selfless or meaningful contribution to the welfare of our community than what these men and women are making on a regular basis.

Second, I am no expert on firefighting; however, I have had the occasion to observe the conduct of our volunteer firefighters on numerous “tone-outs” since I have been mayor. On each occasion that I have observed I found their conduct to be competent, professional and effective. In fact, I had a hard time believing that they were volunteers and not professional firefighters. Any dispersion on the KVFD’s competence or professionalism for political purposes is abhorrent and should be condemned by this entire community. I find such dispersions particularly offensive when they come from individuals who sleep soundly under the protection afforded by our volunteers as they brave the perils and hardships of firefighting.

Notwithstanding my admiration for and appreciation of the KVFD, I will say that I believe the fire protection fee charged on our water bills is a tax. In my opinion, the expenditure of tax money should be the responsibility of elected officials, in this case, the directors of WCID No. 12. Whether we like or dislike the individuals who currently occupy those offices, they have been, nonetheless, duly elected and charged with the responsibility of overseeing funds collected by WCID No. 12. Similarly, I believe that assets purchased with tax money should be owned by a public entity and not a private corporation, albeit a non-profit one. Therefore, I agree with WCID No. 12 that the directors should have the final say on the KVFD budget and that all equipment purchased with the mandatory fire protection fee should be in the name of the WCID No.

However, I will hasten to add that it is beyond my comprehension to understand why either side in this dispute would care so passionately about either of these issues. Yes, I think the title to the equipment should be in WCID No. 12’s name. But what difference does it really make one way or the other? A more disciplined review of KVFD’s expenditures might lead to some reductions. But the fee is only $4. What are we going to do; cut it to $3.50? To tear this community apart over these issues is something of which both sides should be ashamed.

On the issue of a full-time paid chief, I have mixed emotions. Clearly, at some point as the community grows, we need to start having some full-time paid staff. And I think we are either at that point or very close to it. However, I do not think that the first staff person should be chief. So long as most of the men and women risking their lives to fight our fires are volunteers, I think they should have the right to select their own leaders. If we are going to ask them to charge into a burning building, they should be selecting whom they are going to follow into that building.

I will not in this space attempt to enumerate my thoughts on all of the other issues, but rather conclude with this:

It is not acceptable to me, nor do I believe to the vast majority of this community, that WCID No. 12 “fire” the KVFD and start over with a “new” department. To do so, would a slap in the face of the men and women who have sacrificed so much for this community and would, in all likelihood, seriously compromise our fire protection for a protracted period of time. It is a proposition which I do not believe this community will tolerate.

On the other hand, I want to say to the members of the KVFD, that you should not abuse our loyalty to you and our gratitude and respect for your service by taking reasonable or arbitrary positions in the manner in which our fire protection effort is structured. I would encourage you to focus on the issues that really matter in the determining your ability to provide fire protection and not get hung up on legal details that, at the end of the day, will not keep one house from burning down.

This community has too many recent wounds from the elections, the annexation battle, anonymous mailers, etc. to now have another be self-inflicted over our fire protection. Both sides need set aside the hurt feelings and their pride, and concentrate on what is best of their constituents and fellow citizens.

William E. King
Mayor, City of Kemah
1411 SH 146
Kemah, Texas 77565

Nearest I can tell the Fire Department lost it all.
The standoff between the Kemah Volunteer Fire Department and Water Control and Improvement District No. 12 may be coming to an end, fire department sources said.

Kemah Fire Chief John O’Neil said the department approved a contract Thursday that they believe the water board will support.

The one-year contract establishes a nine-member emergency services board that will serve as the board of directors for the fire department. The board will consist of two members from the fire department, one of which will be O’Neil, as well as two water board members and five residents from Kemah, Clear Lake Shores and Lazy Bend.

O’Neil said the emergency services board would be given the task of hiring a full-time paid fire chief, which the water district wanted and the volunteer fire department has agreed to in the new proposed contract.

The new board and the transfer of ownership might just be a positive thing. The paid Chief that is responsible to the board, is not such a great thing. The fire department is a group of volunteers, to expect them to respect and obey orders from an appointed chief that is not one of them is just too much. The Kemah Fire Department got an infusion of much apreciated money by their association with the water district.

Two axioms have been proven here.
  1. No goverment money comes without strings attached
  2. All goverments at all levels will attempt to seek as much power they grab.
The Fire Department and the Kemah citizens would have been better served if this could have been resolved without an appointed Chief. Accountabilty is fair enough, complete control is more than the Water District 12 deserves. The district will be well advised to remember that their Fire Department represents a very large voting block., not only themselves, but they can easily influence others.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Republicans Also have Huge Appetite for Pork

The new budget laden with pork passsed by a Republican controlled Congress and expected tobe signed by our Republican president. I can understand a deficit caused by the Iraqi war and the new programs instituted by the War on Terror since 9-11, but this pork is rediculous.

The spending plan awaiting President Bush)'s signature is packed with them, doling out $4 million for an Alabama fertilizer development center, $1 million each for a Norwegian American Foundation in Seattle and a "Wild American Shrimp Initiative," and more, much more.
They also raised the ire of Sen. John McCain , R-Ariz., a pork-barrel critic who took to the Senate floor to ask whether shrimp are so unruly and lacking initiative that the government must spend $1 million on them.

"Why does the U.S. taxpayer need to fund this `no shrimp left behind' act?" he asked.

McCain isn't known to be amongst the most conservative of Republicans is asking the Questions. Is Alabama's fertilizer interest in our national interest? If its so important, why isn't the industry paying for it?

Among items in the package: $335,000 to protect North Dakota's sunflowers from blackbirds, $2.3 million for an animal waste management research lab in Bowling Green, Ky., $50,000 to control wild hogs in Missouri, and $443,000 to develop salmon-fortified baby food.
Sen. Richard Shelby (news, bio, voting record), an Alabama Republican who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, won dozens of special items for his state — enough to fill 20 press releases.

We are paying to study animal shit?

In one aimed at northern Alabama, Shelby took credit for the $4 million budgeted for the International Fertilizer Development Center. "In addition to the important research conducted at this facility, the facility employs numerous Muscle Shoals-area residents,"
Missouri Republican Sens. Kit Bond and Jim Talent and Republican Rep. Jo Ann Emerson on Monday announced federal money for three-dozen projects in southern Missouri, including $50,000 for wild-hog control.

Ohio Reps. Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a Democrat, and Steven LaTourette, a Republican, boasted about $350,000 for music education programs at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Nicole Williams, a spokeswoman for Tubbs Jones, said another lawmaker requested the money but Tubbs Jones supported it. With a deficit in Cleveland's public school system and music education among the programs getting cut, the museum aid could benefit the city as a whole, Williams said.
Alaska Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Ted Stevens claimed credit for channeling federal money to the state's salmon industry, including money to research use of salmon as a base for baby food.

"The goal is to increase the market for salmon by encouraging the production of more `value-added' salmon products," Murkowski's office said.

Michigan's two Democratic senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, let it be known they had won $4 million for an environmentally friendly public transportation system in Traverse City.


The Bill is expected to be signed by President Bush who hasn't seen a spending bill he didn't like.

When Bush first took office, he vowed to cut pet projects from the federal budget, but the president has yet to veto a single spending bill. He is expected to sign the new plan as well.

Obviously the Republicans aren't going to to any better at restricting goverment than the Democrats. If the Republicans are going to be the party of inflicting their interpertation of 'Christian Values' and favor big goverment spending, its going to be hard to support them anymore. W should remember the big issue that Clinton beat him over.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Elena Gives us a History Tour

The folks at No Treason pointed us towards a remarkable young lady who shares her explorations. First she shared in photograph and narative about her motorcycle rides through the desolate area near Chernobyl.


I travel a lot and one of my favorite destinations leads North from Kiev, towards so called Chernobyl "dead zone", which is 130kms from my home. Why my favorite? Because one can take long rides there on empty roads.

The people there all left and nature is blooming. There are beautiful woods and lakes.

In places where roads have not been travelled by trucks or army vehicles, they are in the same condition they were 20 years ago - except for an occasional blade of grass that discovered a crack to spring through. Time does not ruin roads, so they may stay this way until they can be opened to normal traffic again........ a few centuries from now.


Her latest explorations she shares a fascinating look at Kiev's history of defending itself with the aid of a wall built most likely during the early 11th century at the request of King Yaroslav(he built upon the fortification work begun under the reign of Volodymyr Svyatoslavovich in the late 10th century). It includes photos documenting the WWII era bunkers that were built into the existing Serpent's Wall. Through her eyes and narative she takes us on a tour of of tragedy, and courage.  A remarkable young lady, who tells a remarkable story.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Radio Host Calls Rice 'Aunt Jemima'

I don't get it. She is smart, well brilliant really and this talk show host Calls Condoleezza Rice 'Aunt Jemima'

John Sylvester, the program director and morning personality on WTDY-AM in Madison, said in a phone interview Thursday that he used the term on Wednesday's show to describe Rice and other blacks as having only a subservient role in the Bush administration.

Rice has served as President Bush (news - web sites)'s national security adviser and was named this week to replace the departing Colin Powell (news - web sites) as secretary of state.

Sylvester, who is white, also referred to Powell as an "Uncle Tom" — a contemptuous term for a black whose behavior toward whites is regarded as fawning or servile.

He said Thursday night that he was referring to remarks by singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte that the price of admittance for blacks to the Bush White House was subservience.

As for Rice, "they're using her for an illusion of inclusion," he said, adding that he feels her history as national security adviser showed a lack of competence.

Meanwhile a Milwaukee had his talk show taken off the air all of last week after he used word "wetback" to refer to undocumented Mexican immigrants, instigating protest and objections all over the place.
On last Wednesday's show, Belling said:

"You watch the voter turnout on the near south side, heavily Hispanic, and compare it to the voter turnout in any other election, and you're going to see every wetback and every other non-citizen out there voting."

Refering to Illegal Mexican aliens as wet backs does not seem so offencive. Perhaps I'm insensitive, or just don't know what it feels to be an illegal alien. In the meantime the guy that called Rice 'Aunt Jemima' gets away with it. The guy that calls illegal aliens 'wetbacks' gets suspended. I don't understand.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Gmail has POP and Email Forwarding

I got the little red "New Features" on my Gmail account yesterday. This makes gmail pretty viable for almost anyone. Setting up the POP account will enable one to use Gmail in the traditional way yet, still call up the web site to do the google searches and keep the 1 gigabyte of email storage. I will be setting it up just on my pocket PC and my Outlook account. This will give me access to all my email via Wi-Fi.

Maybe someday Forté will get its shit together and get Agent 2.1 into Beta and Released. This version is supposed to have multiple POPs, I've been forced to use Outlook because of the Contacts, and PIM functions which is very important to me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Birth Rate for Young Teens Lowest Since 1946

The Birth Rate for Young Teens Lowest Since 1946

CDC researchers said the drop in births among girls aged 10 to 14 might be a sign that programs emphasizing abstinence and other forms of birth control were having an impact on this high-risk group.

They noted that the downward trend in births occurred despite a rise in the number of girls in this age group.

We keep reading and seeing how our kids are going down the tubes, this is good news. It looks like a lot of parrents are doing a good job.
"A number of surveys have shown that in recent years fewer teenagers are sexually active, and they seem to be acting more responsibly," said Fay Menacker, a CDC statistician and one of the authors of the study.

Marine Shot Dead Wounded Unarmed Iraqi Prisoner on Film

I saw the edited film on Fox News, a Marine Shot A Wounded Iraqi Prisoner It is shameful and there is no excuse. This Marine hopefully will spend a long time in prison.
A Marine can be heard saying on the pool footage provided to Reuters Television: "He's fucking faking he's dead. He faking he's fucking dead."

"The Marine then raises his rifle and fires into the man's head. The pictures are too graphic for us to broadcast," Sites said. No images of the shooting were shown in the footage provided to Reuters.

The report said the Marine, who had returned to duty after being shot in the face a day earlier, had been removed from the field and was being questioned by the U.S. military.

Sites said the shot prisoner "did not appear to be armed or threatening in any way."

No doubt until this point this Marine was exemplary. He was wounded and in a very tough job. No doubt that these peolpe wanted to kill him. Regardless there is no excuse. He crossed the narrow line between being a warrior and a murderer.

Strangely, I haven't seen much outrage over this, there hasn't been much blogged about it. In fact it doesn't even seem to have been widely blogged.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

A One Post Blog

Actually its a two post Blog, She did a follow up of her original posting. Open Letter To The Democratic Party is an articulate posting from a disenfrachised potential Democrat. Certainly not only a must read for for Democrats, but for Republicans also. She offers some great advice. I wish I could have posted my thoughts as eloquently. Read the comments also, they are almost as good.

This is a great example of someone who has something to say, and found the ease, and availability of blogger to allow one to express themselves. No Software, No Webspace required. It took her jiust a few minutes to create the blog.

Gmail launches POP access Beta

Gmail launches POP access
Gmail started offering POP access to some of it’s users. There is no information on how they decided which user gets it and which doesn’t (same with if/how many invites each user get to distribute). This function has already been enabled by lots of third party tools, but has been expected from Google themselves for quite a while.

I don't know how widespread nor how quickly they will impliment it to its users. There are some programs available that will act as a gateway to import email into ones desktop. I'm looking forward to checking it out, but I'm getting used to Gmail's web interface and I don't know how much I will use it. The biggest advantage to a pop account for me will be the integration of Outlook's contact datatabase. When/If it becomes available to me, I will surely test this feature. What I wonder about is, "what is in it for Google?" Using Gmail for a pop account will not allow them to use their targeted advertising.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

CBS News Fires Producer

CBS News Fires Producer Over Arafat Special Report
CBS News has fired the producer responsible for interrupting the last five minutes of a hit crime drama with a special report on the death of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, a network source said on Friday.

Word of the dismissal came a day after CBS apologized to viewers for breaking into "CSI: NY," one of its top-rated shows, on Wednesday night.

Yet no firings over the RatherGate memo affair
Will Rather -- or Sixty Minutes producer Mary Mapes -- be fired? Some people are speculating that Schieffer may be named as Rather's replacement.

Regardless, I think that it's important for CBS to take this as seriously as Schieffer promises. Because, as Mike Goodwin writes, this election was devastating for media credibility:

Apparently the news division at CBC has lost some stroke within CBS itself, but Mary Maples and Dan Rather have more stroke than some of the minor producers. Seems as though error from the fired producer was a lot smaller than thew carefully planned and orchristrated frauud of Dan Rather and Mary Mapes, and the Rathergate affair did a lot more damage to CBS' credibility and ratings than breaking into CSI.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Good-Bye Yassar, We Ain't Gonna Miss You

The Instapundit Asks

"Wild Crowds, Gunfire Force Hasty Arafat Burial:" If the Palestinian "authorities" can't even organize a funeral, how are they going to run a country? The answer, judging from past experience, is "miserably, violently and with massive corruption."

I noticed the huge mass of people. How easy it would have been for the Isreali's to have caused massive caualties. The Palastineans only had to themselves to fear. We can be Sure that no mass demonstration of Jews in Isreal will ever be left alone and in peace by the Palastineans. The real shame is that the Palastineans have mor freedom than the Jews, because the Palastineans will never show restraint or humanity.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Bp makes its Pitch for Bay Crossing LNG

Public hearing on LNG terminal draws a crowd

A public hearing on a proposed liquefied natural gas terminal on Pelican Island attracted about 300 island residents and stakeholders to the city's convention center Wednesday.

Equality and I went to the convention center to find out whats going on. It was also an opportunity to see the new Galveston Convention Center.

We liked the convention center. It has a feeling of old fashioned granduer that is worthy of Galveston The glass open lobby area opens into an expancive view of the gulf. We were greeted by thes people who were passing out 3" Stop sign stickers emblazzoned with "STOP LNG" Apparently "STOP" is an acronym for "Stop Terminal on Pelican". I'm not sure that their goal is to prevent the building of Bay Crossing or whether they just want to ensure that it is built and run to the safest standards. We think that the terminal just may be a good thing for Galveston. It is to be built on the furthest side away from the island giving oit some distance from populated areas. However there there are some questions that just don't have answers yet. Such as:
  1. Where will the pipelines be run, under Galveston Bay? near the causeway?
  2. They suggest that there will be 50 permenent employees. Given that most plants operate with at least 50 percent adminstrative personal that work straight shifts. that leaves 25 Operational people that would be shift workers. 4 shifts, and that leaves only 25 or 6 people per shift That doesn't sound like many people to react to an emerency that could quickly turn catastrophic. Aid from local emeregency services would have to arrive from the main Island. Most of the Landyrs restraunts have more employees. Although we suspect that there may be as many as 150 full time contractors covering such things as maintenance security, and janitorial services.
  3. The access roads are narrow small roads, and access to Pelican Island is only available over the Navigation Commission's Draw Bridge. Galvestonians pay district taxes to cover operational cost of this bridge. Most Galvestonians rarely use this bridge, Most usage of this bridge during the construction will be for the construction of Bay Crossing.

It's going to be a long road till the first tanker pulls up to unload its cargo. We hope that BP and the regulatory agencys all do their jobs and give us the safest facility possible. We also want the the smallest impact on our lifestyle possible. We are a small island and we don't want anyone to change it to much.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Bloodsucking the Fisherfolks

Officials consider user fee for dike

Samuel Batiste estimates he's driven round-trip from Pasadena to the Texas City Dike a couple times a week for nearly 18 years.

“It wouldn’t be worth the money, even if all they charged me was a couple of bucks,” Batiste said while attempting to cast a line into the water Monday afternoon. “Why would I want to pay to come out here when there are so many other places I can go for free?”

What is it that local authorities feel they must charge to access a few choice fishing spots. The Tesac City Dike is a 5 mile mile stretctch that goes out into Galveston Bay, there is a couple small beaches where people can wade out and bathe and fish. Its nice, but to charge people to use it is silly. there are other places to go, and to charge will cause another very nice place to be underutilized. Many of the people that go here are not wealthy and families with small children aften find a nice place to go and get in a little fishing.

I went and met up with a few buddies at Seawolf park, a couple of weeks ago. They wanted $5.00 to park and $5.00 for each person to fish. What a rip off! Its not like they have supplied outstanding facilities and services. The bulkhead is very slippery, and someone has to pay for the guy to check the wristbands and make sure that all the fisherfolk paid up.

Bamboo All Over The Place

I do rant about Chinese trade and I do it fairly often. Today I received 105 boxes of bamboo flooring made in Communist Red China. I'm not very proud of myself for it but I guess we all have to make decicions that are best for us. Generally I do try to avoid buying Chinese, and I do resent the hypocrisy of treating China with most favored nation status, and the Cuban Embargo. My feelings on this is more about how we treat the Chinese as a goverment, than as a people. I don't feel much guilt about buying the bamboo. I just hope they don't turn the profits into another Scud missle.

Equality and I decided to put bamboo flooring here before we even bought this place. Its very nice looking, environmently friendly, and the cost should be recoverable when we eventually sell. The carpets here are old and coffee stained. The improvement should be dramatic.

This is going to be a learning experiance. We shopped for the wood for a year and attempted to learn all we can about installing it. Yesterday we got 4 pallets of it delivered right to our driveway. I recruited number 2 son to help me get this stuff in side. 105 boxes sure does fill up a living room. The costs scale up pretty fast. The installers want at least $3.00 a square foot to install this stuff. Thats about 1 Board!! So I'm attempting to do it myself. The glue to hold this stuff down is about $100 for a 4 gallon tub, This is the cheaper stuff. Some sales people were insistant that I needed $200 a bucket glue. I Maybe I can put any leftover glue into tiny bottles and I can sell it for 3-4 dollars a pop. Then there is the trim. You use "quarter rounds" to interface the wood to the wall. The problem is that the bamboo trim is pretty expencive. We will use cheap varnished pine, for the quarter rounds. T-molding, reducers and Thresholds will be bamboo, because its more visible and we don't need that much.

So far all we've done is received some of the materials. We started removing some linoleum tiles, but we really haven't done much yet, There is furniture to move, including a piano and carpet to tear out. It will be at least another week befor I lay the first stick of bamboo. In the meantime this place is gonna be a wreck.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Smoking Bans Catching on.

The mostly owned Ferttita districts of Galveston and Kemah are waiting for Houston to decide on a smoking ban ordinance. Aparrently the Councils figure. Ripping off the wording of Houston's ordinance is the way to get a law that is consistant and legal. While we knew that Kemah was taking this aproach it is surprising to find that Galveston is.
Kemah Mayor Bill King said he and other council members are considering a smoking ban, but are waiting to see if neighboring Houston takes the move first. The item has been on the city council agenda twice, deferred both times while Kemah waits on its huge neighbor to the north.

Galveston’s city council has also discussed the possibility, although only informally, said Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas.

“Do I believe it will come up before council at some point in the future? The answer is yes, I do,” she said. “I believe we will wait until Houston passes theirs so that we have a policy we can look at and make it applicable to Galveston.”

Frettita doesn't seem to object to much and we wonder if its because all his restraunts have bars. This might be one more way to put the squeeze on the competition.

Officials with Laundry’s Restaurants, which owns a majority of Kemah’s eateries, said they would be OK with the proposed ban, as long as it mimicked Houston’s.

Last month, Houston Mayor Bill White announced that he was drafting an ordinance to ban smoking in restaurants, but not bars. White said he hoped to have it before the city council by the end of the year. King said Kemah would consider a smoking ban at that time.

“I feel like we need to follow Houston’s lead on this,” he said. “The thing you don’t want to do is create a difference in jurisdictions. Once Houston adopts theirs, I am going to propose adopting exactly what Houston adopted.”
Its strange to me that a bussiness doesn't object to being dictated how to operate by the local authorities. Its wrong,,,

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Some Tips for Democrats

The Democrats lost bigtime, and as I've posted earlier, they are in danger of being irrelevent on a national level. They need to reassess how they choose their candidates,and run their campains.

The Democrats need to tone down the emotional rhetoric. Early in the campain attacks on Bush were to prove self defeating. Calling Bush Monkey Man and the snears made because he is from Texas, made the Democrats petty and biggoted. Most Americans can identify with George Bush and his personality. He is one of us, poking fun at his flaws was poking fun at the rest of us. George potrayed an image of the Averege Joe, Kerry an image of blueblood elite. We all know that Bush has lived the life every bit al elite as Kerry, but Mid-America likes his Joe Shmoe image. We identify. The Democrats earlier jabs at Bush caused voter apathy towards the Democrats, by the time real issues were to be addressed.

Don't Nominate New England Senators. The last Senator to be elected was John Kennedy. The list of failed Senators since then is long. Mondale, Dole, McGovern, and now Kerry. Massachusetts polititions, have a bad negative connotation, and Kerry fit the stereotype quite well. Perhaps one can get away with selecting a senator, if the Senator has a record of moderation and accomplishment. Kerry barely even showed up for senatrial votes, and didn't have much of a record to run on despite 20 years in the Senate. Even though Gephart is a senator he at least had a record and might been electable.

Choose your issues carefully. Kerry homed in on the Iraqi war. There is some validity in his critisism, but he offered no solutions, other than his seeking help from other nations. This seemed unreasonable, The French and Germans responded with not only "No" but "HELL NO". Kerry could have offered some positive input, Such as supplying the troops with the equipment they need. Improvements for security for the troops that are needed. Or a public definition "Code of Conduct" describing in more detail how any POW's are to be treated. Kerry's plan for nationalized heath care was poorly described and not well thought out. The next Democratic nomminee might be better advised to have a plan to lower Medical Costs. the Plan could be wide encompassing. Lowering the costs of Pharmacuticals to what the Canadians and Mexicans have to pay. limmiting liability, and encouraging medical lab competition. These are issues that the Republicans haven't addressed well, and middle America will be willing to buy into. One of the problems Kerry ran into is that he was so inactive as a senator he never actively supported them in the past, even if though one can presume he had the opportunity.

Don't eat your young. The Democrats were savage in their attacks on each other in the primarys and showed little support for their moderates. Great spokesman for their party like Lieberman and Gebhart could have been an asset to the Kerry Campain, but they were left out. The Democrats need the support of their Democratic moderates if they are going to ever elect a President again. Think about the Democrats that have been elected since Harry Truman. They were all concidered moderates while they were running.

The Democrat candidate should be himself. Herry fell into the Dukakis trap and tried to be at home in uncomfortable situations. The photo Ops of Kerry at his duck hunting forrays, made him look like a phoney, because at the time he was a phoney. Bill Clinton could pose as Joe sixpack because its more natural for him. If your not Clinton or Bush don't pretend to be them

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Lessons Learned on Voting Day.

Last night and this early morning have been quite revealing and educational.
  1. The Mainstream media is gutless and shameless in stretching out the drama the Presidential Vote should have been called at midnight. It was obvious to any fool that Ohio, Nevada Alaska Iowa, and New Mexico were going to Bush. The Media didn't have the guts to call it until Kerry himself had made the congradulations call to Bush. Fox News was as shameless as anyone.
  2. The Republicans are running the joint. They increased their control on the Governors Senators Congressman. Oh, Yeah, the president too. Nationally the Democratic party is officially dead. The shrill voices can be ignored. Perhaps they can find their Nirvana in Canada.
  3. It's pretty weird that that the liberal 3, Massachusetts, New York, and California want to have Democrats running the national executive office, but all three States are run locally by Republican Governors.
  4. Kerry does have some class, he didn't stretch out this thing, while those all around him were ready to slug it out. Even the media seemed to be willing accomplices. Kerry spared this country lots of agony, and hurt. He deserves credit.
  5. The country has yet to grasp libertarianism principles. 11 states voted that marriage is a union between a man and a women. No state rejected it. Yet 2 states passed medical marijuana laws. These states are willing to allow quite liberal use of medical marijuana. Alaska and Montana are both pretty conservative states. Bush might want read the writing on the wall on this one.
  6. Election campaigns suck especially when it is as long and intense as this one. I'm tired of it and am glad its over with. Its time to move on and look at other things. Real issues, real topics.
  7. The MSM are all using the same resources. thats why things like the exit polling has gone so wrong. It use to be that the networks did there own homework. Today its all pooled and only the analysis is different. When the product isn't competitive it degenerates. When everyone including your competitors has access to the same information it is not well guarded. It will leak because its not high valued.

Bush Wins

Its 05:47 and none of the Main Stream Media has the guts to declare this election in the can. Ohio is in the bag.
Bush got 2,794,346 votes and Kerrey got 2,658,125. Bush won by 136,221. There might be 175,000 provisional votes according to the most optimistic of Democrats. Many of these ballots will be found illegitimate. Its mathamatically inconceivable that Kerry can pull this off. The media lnows it and so does Kerry. None of the MSM will declare Bush the winner and Kerry is going to stall until he can figure out how to tie this up oin the courts.

While everyone knows it no one hus the guts to declare it. Its not even close Bush wins the Electoral College and the popular vote.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Collin Powell Knocks Taiwan

The Instapundit believes that someone in the administration needs to talk to Powell, but from what we've seen Powell is reflecting the administrations views. Bush and his administration has taken every opportunity to sellout the democracy of Taiwan in order to suck up to Communist Red China. Collin's words are not an aberration spewed from the Bush administratio, but just a continuation of their Red Cinese ass kissing policy.
In general, therefore, Powell's saying anything about Taiwan usually annoys a large swath of opinion on the island, if only because the Communiques, in as much as they address Taiwan at all, uphold a view of Taiwan-China relations that might have been acceptable to dictators in Taipei and Beijing at the time, but about which the Taiwanese themselves were never consulted, and which now is seen as hugely anachronistic.

This time around, however, was something special. In interviews on Tuesday, Powell spoke in unusually harsh terms on the topic of Taiwan's sovereignty. "Taiwan is not independent. It does not enjoy sovereignty as a nation, and that remains our policy, our firm policy," he said.

In Taipei this was regarded as the harshest, most decisive expression of this principle made for some time, at least during the administration of US President George W Bush. And it was a remark that managed to annoy just about everyone, irrespective of where he or she stood on the political spectrum.