All posts by Liberty

Blogging is something I do for myself. I've been blogging since Sept. 2003, mostly about politics, guns, and observations about the word around me.

Michelle goes on Vacation.

Michelle Antoinette

Michelle seems to be enjoying her European vacation on the Mediterranean, and just because hubby has screwed up the economy doesn’t mean she can’t take a little time off.

Michelle Obama today faced a fresh wave of attacks over her lavish break in Spain with 40 friends, which could easily cost U.S. taxpayers a staggering £50,000 a day.

The First Lady has been lambasted for her extravagance at a time when the economy is still struggling. One blogger went so far as to brand her a modern-day Marie Antoinette.

And her critics will be further annoyed when they learn that the president’s wife had a Spanish beach closed off today so that she, her daughter and their entourage could go for a swim.

Spanish police cleared off a stretch of beach at the Villa Padierna Hotel in Marbella after the Obamas had finished a busy day of sightseeing.

Read more:

Court Strikes California Prop. 8

Judge Vaughn Walker, the openly gay chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that California’s Proposition 8 is unconstitutional.

Judge Walker based his ruling on the following:

An initiative measure adopted by the voters deserves great respect. The considered views and opinions of even the most highly qualified scholars and experts seldom outweigh the determinations of the voters. When challenged, however, the voters’ determinations must find at least some support in evidence. This is especially so when those determinations enact into law classifications of persons. Conjecture, speculation and fears are not enough. Still less will the moral disapprobation of a group or class of citizens suffice, no matter how large the majority that shares that view. The evidence demonstrated beyond serious reckoning that Proposition 8 finds support only in such disapproval. As such, Proposition 8 is beyond the constitutional reach of the voters or their representatives. He concluded that religious perceptions are not constitutionally significant and that “religious leaders may determineindependently whether to recognize a civil marriage or divorce” but that recognition or lack thereof has no effect on the relationship under state law. In addition, “marital status affects immigration and citizenship, tax policy, property and inheritance rules and social benefit programs.” However, individuals do not generally choose their sexual orientation and “marrying a person of the opposite sex is an unrealistic option for gay and lesbian individuals.”

Although I don’t have a problem with who marries who, It seems odd that a case like this gets decided, by an openly gay judge. We all know that this will go to the Supreme Court and proposition 8 will ultimately approved by a 5-4 vote. What ever happened to deciding a case on what the constitution says. Is there a clause there, about gay rights? Over at Rhymes with Right, Greg thinks the judges opinion is tainted.

The judge in the case had an actual conflict of interest. After all, as a gay man in a long-term relationship living in California, striking down Prop 8 benefits him personally, as it allows him to marry that partner if he chooses and thereby accrue the benefits of marriage otherwise unavailable to him. In short, he had a personal interest in the outcome of this case that went beyond the mere question of “do I agree or disagree with Prop 8?” The equivalent would be a black judge with school-aged kids living in Topeka deciding Brown v. Board of Education. Even if his reasoning in the decision were unassailable, his personal situation would be loaded down with personal interests at odds with those of one side of the case — and the appearance would be so improper as to argue against his presiding in the case even if he were a paragon of judicial impartiality capable of setting aside those personal interests.

It would be nice if our courts actually started ruling on actual law rather than just personal morality opinion.

Tea Party Poll

Pajamas Media did a survey, on peoples opinion of the Tea Party.  While the leftist are trying to paint the Tea Partyers as Racist extremist, It looks as though most people aren’t buying it.

Given your current knowledge of the Tea Party Movement and their positions on the issues, would you say that you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose the Tea Party Movement?

  • 27% Strongly support
  • 27% Somewhat support
  • 13% Somewhat oppose
  • 28% Strongly oppose
  • 5% Not sure

This Question shows that there is a lot of support for the Tea Party at 54% of the polled. Could it be that those who are calling the Tea Party gfolks extremist are themselves the ones who are out of touch and have the extreme views.

Do you consider yourself part of the Tea Party Movement or do have any close friends or family members who are part of the Tea Party Movement?

  • 9% You are a Member of Tea Party
  • 21% You are not member of the Tea Party but have friends or family who are
  • 66% You no ties to the Tea Party
  • 4% Not sure

Interesting, but I don’t know what it all means. Afterall there really isn’t much of a formal organization called the Tea Party.   I think the question might have been better phrased, “Have you attended a Tea Party event?”

How strongly do you agree with the statement “The Tea Party Movement is racist?

  • 16% Strongly agree
  • 19% Somewhat agree
  • 16% Somewhat disagree
  • 36% Strongly disagree
  • 13% Not sure

What is disturbing is the 35% that actually believe that the movement is racist. The Teapartyers, don’t have a social agenda. They are about limited government and spending.  While the Tea Party may attract peoples who are socially conservative the movement itself does not put forth a united front on issues such as immigration, and equal rights. If the Leftist want to be taken seriously they are going to have bring the debate to the real issues. The problem is that know they will lose, when the discussion to real issues and solving problems.

The blogosphere isn’t what it use to be

Everything changes, and anything as dynamic and shapeless as the blogosphere can only be expected to change and adapt.  The blogosphere was once a network of excitement, where ideas and thoughts were unconstrained. Brilliant thoughts spread virally with links and services like Technorati and Bloglines measured the impact of our words.  The Rathergate exposé led by Powerline and  Little Green Footballs, was the blogging community’s  finest hour, when they exposed a corrupt 60 minutes 2 as corrupt and biased.  The blogs by exposing CBS’s and Dan Rathers fraud had stopped the MSM from stealing the election.  

It was fun being a part of all of this, blogs had earned a certain respectability.  During the Hurricane Ike mass evacuation,  Blogs became the go to means to find out was happening.  The MSM didn’t have the means to get to the evacuation points to  find out how people were doing, and where the problems were. The MSM were coming to us to find out what was happening. Even this humble blog was referred to by the MSM.

So what has happened? Why have blogs moved out from such prominence? I think it’s a number of factors,  Many blogs have moved on. Little Green Footballs is now a host for guest bloggers, who are now a collection of leftist. Other bloggers have simply gone away. Other Blogs have gone comercial. individual bloggers compete for readership with conglomerate blog sites such as the Huffington Post.

What does it all mean? I don’t know. I’ll continue to post on a regular basis, but today its not about the blogosphere. Its about the reader who stops by and happens to read an article or perhaps leave a comment.

Thank you dear reader for stopping by, I hope you find something interesting, entertaining, or pause for thought.

Virus in Siemens SCADA/HMI Systems

Its hard to believe that anyone would put faith in a Industrial Process system running on Microsoft Windows. Eyecurrent, explains:

Microsoft has posted an advisory about a new virus that seems to be specifically targeting Siemens WinCC through a Windows security hole, although users of other software shouldn’t feel smug about that, because there might be other strains affecting systems from other vendors as well. According to reports, the virus spreads via USB, keys and fully patched versions of MS Windows 7 are vulnerable. This is NOT the familiar “auto-run” vulnerability, so you’re not safe just because you’ve turned that off.

The really interesting point is that this appears to be specifically targeting industrial controls, rather than just the usual attempts by spammers to take over home PCs for botnets. If you are using this type of software, this is probably a story to keep an eye on.

Here is a link to the Microsoft Security Advisory:

The saving grace is that these systems are typically firewalled and isolated from the real world.

Eating Gulf Coast Seafood

Doug Suttles says he would eat Gulf Coast seafood. I’m not sure that his appetite will be enough to restore the Gulf Coast fishing industry to its former self.

When asked by a reporter whether he’d eat the Gulf’s bounty, Suttles didn’t flinch.

“I absolutely would,” he told reporters after joining a flight over the Gulf to track the oil, which he insisted has dissipated dramatically.

“There’s been a tremendous amount of testing done by NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and the state agencies and the FDA and others. They’re not going to open these waters to either sport fishing or commercial fishing if it’s not safe to eat the fish,” he said.

“I have a lot of confidence in those agencies and I trust their recommendations and I would eat their food — the seafood out of the Gulf, and I would feed it to my family,” he said

Maybe he was asked the wrong question, Should he have been asked,” Would you serve Gulf coast Seafood to your pregnant wife or small children?”  While we haven’t seen much oil here in Texas, and I have no qualms about eating our delicious shrimp and other seafood, I will ask where the oysters are from before I devour platefuls of Half shelled oysters, or offer Redfish to my young nieces.

They don’t Understand Us

Sometimes it seems like the law makers and elected ones just don’t read the people.Maybe they don’t just don’t understand. Powerline posts, CITIZENS VS. THE POLITICAL CLASS ;

The most fundamental divide in American politics today is between mainstream citizens, a large majority of whom hold traditional, largely conservative views, and our political class, which tirelessly seeks to impose a very different regime on the rest of us.

This divide comes into sharp focus when Americans are asked whether more government spending is good for the economy.

This is a response to a new Rasmussan poll.

In official Washington, there appears to be a belief that policy makers must choose between helping the economy or reducing spending and deficits. A number of polling companies have even asked questions on the trade-off.

However, a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 28% of voters believe increased government spending is good for the economy. Fifty-two percent (52%) believe increased government spending is bad for the economy, while 12% say it has no impact. Eight percent (8%) are not sure.

This suggests that for 72% of voters, asking about a trade-off between cutting spending and helping the economy doesn’t make sense. A look at the demographics shows that the trade-off makes sense for only one group– the Political Class. Among that group, 67% believe increased government spending would be good for the economy.

Among other things, this data highlights a challenge in framing polling questions. If a question is asked in a way that doesn’t makes sense to most voters, it’s hard to put much value on the resulting data. It’s even more challenging when most in the Political Class don’t recognize the problem.

It’s class warfare, this is about two sides squaring off,  Perhaps the November elections will help the political class understand what citizenry is upset about.  A democracy can not ignore 72% of the people.

Rising from The Ashes deserted us, and I just couldn’t decide on the best way to to revive blog, or even if there was interest in it.  I had heard good things about WordPress and it seems that it was simular enough to Blogger,  that there should be a minimal learning curve. My hope is to post at least daily.  Topics will cover politics, guns, technology, Galveston  or basically just life as I observe it.