And I’m Off!

26 07 2009

I’m off again for the UP, where I’ll probably stay until the second week of August.  I fully intend to make use of Naubinway’s internet cafe…I’ll have a lot to post about since I plan on takin day trips to places like the Great Lakes Boat Building School in Cedarville.  I’ve also got a lot of Wagoneer pics to put up now that everything is more or less put back together.

Until then, enjoy this unnecessarily high resolution picture of Naubinway!

It's kind of like a desolate, highly seasonal Caribbean paradise

It's kind of like a desolate, highly seasonal Caribbean paradise

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What’s up with all the Birth Certificate stuff lately?

23 07 2009

I had mistakenly believed that the whole “Barack Obama is a secret Kenyan” theory died down after he was sworn in, but over the past week it seems to have inexplicably bubbled to the surface again.  I’ve been getting chain emails about it from several sources, it’s been debated and mostly shot down (again) on numerous blogs, and even Chris Matthews saw fit to mention it the other day on Hardball.

I’m left wondering why.  Obama’s the President—I doubt that there would be an un-swearing in ceremony if it was discovered that he came from Kenya or outer space; in fact, if anything, it would make his Historic Climb to the Top even more inspiring! or something.  And don’t forget that his stepping down would leave Joe “the Sheriff” Biden as our Commander in Chief (or, barring that, Speaker Pelosi), assuming the order of succession was followed accurately.

Not to mention that there’s plenty of evidence that he was indeed born here.  Like this birth announcement from the Honolulu Adviser (read about it here):

Unless they altered every survivng copy of the paper, in which case I'm padlocking my refrigerator.

I’m inclined to believe my eyes in this case, unless they altered every surviving copy of the paper.  In which case I’m padlocking my refrigerator.

Besides, it’s not like Obama’s poll numbers are untarnished.  Far from it; he’s in trouble in a lot of ways, and Carter comparisons are becoming more and more mainstream.  The way to “retake” DC in 2010 and 2012 is to attack the Administration’s policies and offer a positive alternative, not try to delegitimize the President on the basis of citizenship.

There is one obvious and legitimate question that those demanding proof of citizenship do ask, however: where exactly is that birth certificate?  A computerized birth record and a newspaper clipping are strong evidence, to be sure—but presenting the damned certificate would end debate.  So why doesn’t he do it?

Because he’s a politician, of course!  Look at the Machiavellian political minds in his Administration: Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, and, of course, the Lightworker himself.  Surely one of them knows that (any unintentional racist coding aside) if you give your opponents a long enough rope, they’ll hang themselves with it; that’s just what those questioning Obama’s citizenship are doing.

I’m sure the Bamster has several copies of his birth certificate filed away somewhere, all quadruple-notarized and stamped with a shiny metallic gold seal of authenticity.  Hell, he probably uses copies as place mats in the White House.  But as long as people keep attacking his legitimacy instead of his idiotic policies, he has no incentive to release the goods.

And I’m not the only one who thinks that that particular political ploy, not his country of origin, is the real conspiracy here.  David Codrea at the War on Guns Blog (worth reading if you value your 2nd Amendment Rights) says something very similar in this post.

Obviously, you’re entitled to think, say, or believe whatever you want.  But keep in mind that the apparent lack of a birth certificate could serve Obama and his Administration far more effectively than those that question his legitimacy, particularly if he were to release his certificate right before re-election (making everyone questioning him look like a pathetic kook).  Attacking his ideology and policies is more prudent and is proving to be fairly successful on its own.





Wanna buy a t-shirt?

21 07 2009

Sure, mankind may have landed on the Moon forty years ago this weekend—but something else happened that doesn’t get quite the same magnitude of celebration as Apollo 11.  Nothing coming to mind?  Here’s a hint: it involves Ted Kennedy, a car, ten feet of water, a brisk moonlight swim, and using your family’s political connections to avoid prosecution.

That’s right!  The so-called Chappaquiddick Incident took place on July 18, 1969, and it’s widely believed that the Kennedy family staged the Moon landing two days later as part of an elaborate cover-up.  And while there are probably hundreds of moonshot-themed articles of clothing out there (not that I checked), there’s only one t-shirt inspired by Teddy’s midnight dip that’s I’ve been able to find.

But don’t bother looking for that shirt—I’ve designed a better one (maybe).  It’s more colorful and far more subtle; check it out below.

Rough draft.

Rough draft.

Tasteless?  Probably, but so is leaving a young woman to die in an upside-down car and then not bothering to mention it to the police .  It’s a rough draft, mind you; I’ll probably clean it up and maybe change the colors.  If you want one, send me an email (graham.kozak@gmail.com).  I’m only half-joking.

Oh, and I’m getting better at the ukulele.  Just letting you all know.





It’s here!

20 07 2009

Ukulele showed up today, right on schedule.

I make grass skirts look good.

I make grass skirts look good.

Too busy practicing for real update.  Will write more tomorrow.





The Science (Fiction) Czar

18 07 2009

Imagine you’re the nation’s most powerful elected official, and you’re trying to fill out your administration’s appointed positions.  You have presumably thousands of qualified, willing individuals who would be more than eager to put their careers aside and serve their country to the best of their ability—yet you somehow manage to pick pass over hundreds of suitable persons in favor of the one with the most checkered past.

I call this puzzling phenomenon the Geithner Conundrum.  Everyone is well aware of our Treasury Secretary, the only man with the intellectual heft and financial acumen needed to save the country’s economy or something, and his tax issues.  Poor Tom Daschle’s tax indiscretions actually cost him the HHS spot.  Statistically, at least one of his appointees had to have paid their taxes, right?

That man—perhaps the sole taxpayer in the entire Executive Branch—is John Holdren, Obama’s Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (colloquially, the Science Czar).

Don't be decieved by the friendly-looking beard.  This man is a nut.

Don't be deceived by the friendly-looking beard. This man is a nut.

True, the man paid his taxes.  No one can deny that he has impressive academic and professional credentials, either.  But he did kinda sorta co-author a 1977 book calling for mass forced sterilization under the tender, loving iron fist of a “Planetary Regime” to combat the rather unfounded problem of overpopulation.  No, that’s not a joke—take a few minutes to digest the contents of that link.  It’s pretty incredible stuff.

A lot of it seems too ridiculous to take seriously.  Birth control in the water supply?  That’s straight out of a bad middle-school level dystopian sci-fi novel.  So is the naming of the so-called “Planetary Regime” that would oversee population growth (or lack thereof) and resource management.  Couldn’t he have at least given it a believable name, like the United Nations or something?

Before you rush to Holdren’s defense by claiming that his words are being taken out of context, make sure you’ve read the section in the above link on just that.  The daring, mysterious blogger who broke this story, known to the world only as “Zombie,” provides entire pages of the book in which these outrageous statements are made, Ecoscience, to contextualize them.

Again, I question why exactly Holdren had to be picked to fill the Science Czar slot when there are countless other qualified academic types that could have done the job at least as well that didn’t, you know, advocate forced abortions at one point.  Best case scenario: Obama’s administration sucks at thoroughly vetting candidates.  Worst case scenario: they saw what he wrote and just didn’t care.

Even Holdren adequately recanted his chilling statements on population control during pre-appointment hearings (whether he did is a matter of debate), the fact stands that he was swept up in a sensationalistic theory that demanded immediate and poorly though-out action.  Overpopulation was apparently as big of a concern to academics in the 1970s as Global Warming Climate Change is now, and thirty years later, the hand-wringing over apocalyptic scenarios is laughable.

Holdren thought a U.S. population of 280 million was a tipping point, and we are still quite comfortable at 306 million plus right now.  If climate change is indeed human caused, we will adapt—just as we adapted to the supposed crisis of “overpopulation,” with no human culling or returns to the stone age required.

We should all watch this Holdren fellow carefully.  It would be hard to believe that he still concerned enough about overpopulation to start dumping the Pill into our water supplies, but his academic history indicates that he is prone to subscribing wholesale to untested (and indeed, largely untestable) theories.  Just substitute climate change for overpopulation and you’ll see why there is still cause for alarm.  Thirty years ago, he wrote books about what he thought needed to be done.  Now, thanks to Obama, he is in a position to actually put his ideas into action.





Out for the night

17 07 2009

I spent the day helping move my Grandpa’s belongs from one senior living facility to another.  He needs more care than the original facility could provide (for the moment, at least), hence the move.  It ended up taking a bit longer than expected, but I’m sure the experience gave me great, deep insight that I’ll come to appreciate with some perspective.

Honestly, though, I didn’t mind helping make the move—it’s just that I can’t stand assisted care facilities.  To be fair, both of the facilities, past and present, are very nice, and I’m glad he is able to enjoy the sense of community they aim to provide.  Were he at home, he’d have far fewer chances to interact with people.

It goes without saying that my mother and her siblings want the best for their father, but I wish there was some better way to provide the care and attention he needs.  This modern world, for all of its conveniences, doesn’t leave many option for the elderly.  Medicine can extend lives, but it still can’t cure heartbreaking illnesses like Alzheimer’s.  And there’s no family farm for my Grandpa to retire to.

Anyway, I can’t offer any solutions, but I selfishly hope my parents are too stubborn to let anyone care for them in their old age so my sister and I won’t have to deal with it.

Also, I overcame my Samson Complex  and got my hair cut the other day.

It always feels kind of like this...

It always feels kind of like this...

It’s pretty short, but it grows back fast.  I have to remember to withhold judgement on any haircut for a few days, because, as my sister said, guys always look terrible when they first get their hair cut.

I’m out for the night, since I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be in the Lower Peninsula and I’d like to remind my friends that I exist.  Tomorrow, I’d really like to write down my thoughts about the intellectual indiscretions of Obama’s Science Czar—be sure to check that out.  It’s pretty surreal.





My plug for Downsize DC and limited government

16 07 2009

I was going to put this in my main post from yesterday, but it was getting a little long.  I also wanted to vet the site/organization linked below thoroughly so I didn’t use my clout in the blogosphere, which is (with nearly forty views per day) considerable, to promote a bunch of crazies.

There’s a nifty little organization called Downsize DC that stands pretty much for what their name suggests—pruning the Federal Government back to its pleasantly proportioned Constitutional limits.

They’ve got a couple of solid pieces of proposed legislation that they’re promoting, found in their Campaigns section.  For example:

•Forcing bills to deal with one coherent issue—no slapping totally unrelated riders on at the last minute to win votes

•Requiring Congress to write and enact legislation instead of allowing unelected Executive Branch bureaucrats to craft mandates and regulations

•Ending ethanol subsidies

•Mandating that Congressmen (fine, Congresspeople) actually read bills before they can vote to pass them—they call it the “Read the Bills Act” (RTBA)

There are a couple of more controversial Campaigns listed—auditing the Federal Reserve, lifting the prohibition on drugs such as marijuana, and working to reestablish a gold standard, for example—that you may not agree with, though I happen to.

There is one common thread that ties many of their bills, including the RTBA (I dare you to find one flaw with this proposal), together.  Besides downsizing DC, of course.  And that uniting theme is slowing down the pace of the Federal Government.  Though Jedi mind tricks like constantly telling you that THERE IS A DIRE EMERGENCY OF GALACTIC PROPORTIONS AND WE NEED TO RUSH THIS WAR AND PEACE-SIZED BILL THROUGH CHOP CHOP OR ELSE THE WORLD WILL BE TORN ASUNDER AND ALSO THERE WILL BE PLAGUES OF LOCUSTS may have clouded your mind, stop and think for a minute: in a sane world, would any public servant acting on behalf of the people who sent him to Washington (and who pay his salary) support a piece of legislation released for review such a short time ago that there is no way that anyone could have possibly read and digested it?

I know that last sentence was really long, but seriously, ponder its profound depth and innumerable nuances for a bit. Because passing bills before they could be read happened with the so-called stimulus economic stabilization package, and it also happened with cap and trade (there wasn’t even a copy of the 300 page amendment on the floor of the House to be reviewed).  I have a feeling that the same thing will happen with whatever health care plan is being drafted in the pits of Mordor at the moment as well.  It’s all rather insulting to my sensibilities.

Our government is designed to work slowly and methodically, something that I wish civics classes would emphasize.  I like to compare it to clockwork.

I can't possibly be the first one to make this analogy.

I can't possibly be the first one to make this analogy.

See, the Constitution is deceptively simple.  If the Framers wanted efficiency, they could have established a monarchy.  But they took a wiser path and created a subtle system of checks and balances to slow down government to a measured, controllable pace. When working as intended, each branch of the government slowly ticks along, opposing the other two branches while still working with them towards a common goal, which is effective governance.  But when the friction holding each branch in check is eliminated in the name of expediency or necessity, the entire machine disintegrates.

Maybe this anecdote will drive the point home:

I have a 1928 “suitcase” Victrola that I occasionally use to play my 78s.  When I first got it, I completely disassembled it to grease the wind-up motor all of its gears and, because I don’t ever really know precisely what I’m doing, disconnected the mainspring and main drive gear from the rest of the system.  Now, the mainspring wasn’t fully wound, so it wasn’t able to turn the turntable.  But it wasn’t fully unwound, either.  With no friction preventing the spring from unwinding, it released all of its energy in a matter of seconds.  The main drive gear revved up to hundreds of RPMs and actually separated and took off into the air (TOTALLY AWESOME, RIGHT?).  I ducked and covered, fearing decapitation or at least minor cuts on my neck.  The gear actually landed on the other side of the room (undamaged, fortunately) after splattering a horizontal band of black grease on several of my walls, some of which still remains there to this day. Yes, this really did happen, and yes, I did manage to reassemble the Victrola.

Since the 1930s, our government has been behaving more and more like the unregulated mainspring/whirring gear of death combination than the carefully crafted piece of clockwork that a bunch of dead, white, bigoted, slaveowning, chauvanistic, Holocaust-denying, and otherwise totally irrelevant men drafted more than two centuries ago.

It’s not too late to reverse the damage.  All the mechanisms exist, and groups like Downsize DC exist to help set them back into motion.