22 November 2010

A&M Student Leader Gets It Right

The Student Senate earlier this month endorsed a bill that condemned
allowing illegal immigrants to pay the same tuition rates as Texans. The measure
was vetoed by student body president Jacob Robinson, who says the Student Senate
is meant for the betterment of each student.

Backers of the plan failed Wednesday night to secure two-thirds of the Student Senate vote to override Robinson's veto, with the final vote 34-25. The bill would have represented the official stance of the A&M student body, but it had no standing on the tuition policy.

It will be interesting to see if the bureaudummies at Texas A&M listen to the will of the students.

21 November 2010

Bernanke Blames China For Currency Policies

That sounds alot like a debtor who gets in trouble and blames the bank.

When Ben Bernanke talks, the world stops to listen. Early Friday morning,
the Fed chairman spoke at a European Central Banking Conference in Frankfurt,
where he defended his policy of quantitative easing and accused China and other emerging markets for undervaluing their currencies and causing global imbalances.
Bernanke also called for more fiscal stimulus but for being mindful of the

Bernanke seemed to lay blame for the so-called "currency wars" on
China and other fast-growing emerging economies. "Currency undervaluation by surplus countries is inhibiting needed international adjustment and creating spillover effects that would not exist if exchange rates better reflected market fundamentals."

Someday, the government will realize what citizens already know about budgets and spending.

20 November 2010

Geeks Trap Antimatter

Scientists may have been able to capture elusive atoms of antimatter, but don't expect that to lead to interstellar rocket engines or powerful bombs anytime soon.

Even as they announced the important advance in studying antimatter, they emphasized that science fiction uses of the stuff - like propelling the starship Enterprise in "Star Trek" or fueling a bomb in Dan Brown's book "Angels and Demons" - remain in the realm of the imagination.

This stuff is over my head but I think it's pretty neat. Middle school kids in Japan are probably playing with this stuff in the cafeteria by now.

Drayton McLane Is Selling The Houston Astros

He may as well be selling a 1972 Ford Pinto.

McLane has owned the Astros since 1992. He has been the most successful
owner in the history of the franchise and one of the most successful owners to
ever grace the professional sports scene in Houston.

From 1993 to 2010 the Astros own the fourth-best record in the National League.

Since then they suck bad. This might explain trading away all of the solid talent over the past few years. But then again, wouldn't a team with solid talent be worth more?

19 November 2010

Trump To Consider Presidency For 2012

About the issue, Trump said, "It could be fun because I'd like to see some positive things happen for the country. I'm going to make a decision probably by June."

Why the hell not? How much worse could things be? Seriously. Think about all of the things that are so screwed up right now and then put Trump or Palin or someone else behind the wheel and see what various decisions might have been over the last 2 years.

Quote of the Day

"Elected office holds more perks than Elvis' nightstand."
-- Dennis Miller

18 November 2010

Seasick Steve sings Hobo Low

The World's Oldest Champagne

168 bottles of champagne have been salvaged from a 200-year-old shipwreck in the waters off the Aland Islands near Finland.

The bottles recovered are Veuve Cliquot and Juglar. Richard Juhlin, a champagne geek, has sampled them and reports, "An accent of mushrooms merged with sweet notes of honey."

The divers originally said the bottles were believed to be from the 1780s but experts later dated the champagne to the early 19th century. The exact years have not been established.

French champagne house Perrier-Jouet, a subsidiary of Pernod Ricard, has earlier stated that their vintage from 1825 is the oldest recorded champagne still in existence.

Some of the bottles will be sold at an auction, where Juhlin said they could fetch more than $70,000 apiece.

Real News

Ted Koppel wrote a piece about Bill O'Reilley and Keith Olbermann being the death of "real news".

O'Reilly and Olbermann are both squealing like little girls so he must have struck a nerve. I think Ted Koppel is right. There is no such thing as news any more. You can watch MSNBC and then switch over to Fox and figure reality is somewhere in the middle. It's a shame that you can't watch a "news" program without thinking about what their agenda might be.

I used to watch Nightline most of the time. When Koppel left, I remember feeling bad about it. Like, "Where am I going to get the news now?" It felt good to have Ted Koppel talking to me about what was going on in the world. You can't say that about anyone on tv now. Except Jim Lehrer.

Keith Olbermann is an idiot and so is Bill O'Reilly. They deserve to be locked in a soundproof room with one another.

Clown Robs Woman On Commode

"This character in a clown mask threw open my bathroom door, I was on the
, so it was kind of a surprise," 70-year-old Jacqueline Cutright said.
Cutright said she lost $28, about $1,000 worth of costume jewelry and her
Ford Escort after the man broke into her Akron home early Saturday morning.

Police said 22-year-old Cory Buckley got into the home through the basement
window, ransacked the house and found Cutright's prescription medications.
"I said 'This is my blood pressure medicine, you want some of that?' 'No.' I
said 'This is medicine to help me sleep. You want something to help you sleep?'
He said no, he wanted OxyContin and money," she said.

Cutright said she thought Buckley was going to take a silver bracelet that a friend had given her, but he gave it back. "The bracelet said a mother holds her children's hands for a while but their hearts forever, which I think is lovely, and when he read
that he gave it back to me," she said. "That's when I thought 'This man's not
going to hurt me.'"

After two hours of tearing the house apart, Buckley took off in Cutright's car, police said. As police raced toward him, Buckley rolled the car twice, crawled out of the window and made a full confession after his knife dropped from his pants pocket onto the pavement in front of the arresting officer's feet, police said.

"I thought about doing ninja stuff to him but I thought no he's faster than I am so, I more or less just sat there on the lid," Cutright said.

Now that's odd. She was home alone, and yet she closed the bathroom door.

Not Guilty

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani was acquitted Wednesday of all but one count of
conspiracy-related charges in a landmark civilian trial involving the first
Guantanamo detainee to be tried in civilian court.

Ghailani was convicted by a federal jury on a charge of conspiracy to destroy buildings and U.S. property in connection with his role in the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

The trial had been widely considered a testing ground for the Obama
administration, which has said that it could try some terrorism suspects outside
military tribunals and in civilian courts.

One juror was a holdout on the majority of the charges and had asked to be excused from the jury. One juror.

Lets remember that trying these terror cases in civil court was the bright idea of Eric Holder and Barack Obama. The only question I have is, "Can we still execute him?"

17 November 2010

The Medal Of Honor

This is a cool story. Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta has been awarded the Medal of Honor. In 9 years of war, this is only the 8th Medal of Honor awarded, and the first to a living recipient.

On Oct. 25, 2007, then-Specialist Giunta and his team were on a mountain ridge in Afghanistan's violent Korengal Valley when they were ambushed by the Taliban. He took a bullet stopped by a protective vest as he helped pull one soldier to safety. Then he went forward to help the sergeant, Joshua Brennan, who had been walking point. Two Taliban were carrying Sgt. Brennan away. Spec. Giunta shot the Taliban and brought Sgt. Brennan back. Sgt Brennan later died of his wounds.

Giunta's humble nature make this an even more amazing story. This is the type of character we should be looking for in our elected officials.

Surprisingly Foul Reviews for Rangel

I'm actually surprised editors and the like have some not so nice things to say about Charlie. After all, he's been re-elected every 2 years since the Ford administration. Wouldn't you just be ashamed if he was your rep? Here in Texas, at least we had the sense to force DeLay out when we figured out he was a crook. From NPR:

If the ethics committee members held their tongue in judging Rangel's
performance, some newspaper editorials were less reticent.

The New York Times was harsh:

Mr. Rangel chose to grandstand. In remarks drenched in self-pity, he cited his 50 years of public service, his military record, his love of country. In a bid to discredit the proceedings, and likely verdict, he actually suggested that the committee was trying to deny him a lawyer, as if its members had anything to do with his predicament. ...

Mr. Rangel is not facing expulsion or criminal charges. About the worst that can happen to him is a reprimand. The lawyer acting as the committee’s “prosecutor” said Monday that Mr. Rangel had been sloppy in his finances and in following reporting rules, not corrupt.
We think that the 13 ethics charges against the congressman — including the acceptance of four rent-stabilized apartments and the failure to pay taxes on a chunk of his income — are more serious than simple sloppiness. But if he had apologized to the House and accepted his knuckle-rap, he would have been spared the hearing. Now he has raised even more questions about his fitness to represent his district.

The Daily News said Rangel's "attempt to play the victim of a congressional
investigation that has deprived him of constitutional rights just won't wash":
Rather than take responsibility for paying attorneys - as nonpoliticians must when called before Congress - Rangel asked for time to fatten his coffers again. In effect, he asked an ethics subcommittee to play according to his calendar and the well-being of his bank accounts.
No one gets that privilege.
In keeping with his steadfast insistence that Rangel's Rules are different from everyone else's, he charged: "The committee has deprived me of the fundamental right to counsel and has chosen to proceed as if it is fair and impartial and operating according to rules, when in reality they are depriving me of my rights."
Wrong. No one took away Rangel's rights. He surrendered them by walking out when the panel, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, proceeded without him.

The New York Post editorial was especially scathing:
Shed no tears for Charlie:
He's a sad old man, but he brought it on himself. ...
It was Rangel's own behavior — over the course of years — that triggered the trial in the first place. ...
All that's certain is that a 40-year congressional career is ending in well-earned obloquy. Given that the GOP takes over the House in
January, it's unlikely that Charlie Rangel will ever again be in a position to
abuse the public trust.

The Post's Charles Hurt wrote that "in this town of showmen, liars and big-time con artists, there has never been a more splendid vaudeville show":
It was a comedy of errors yesterday filled with surprise and farce and tragedy featuring a stunning dramatic performance by Charlie Rangel that would strain the acting abilities of the most accomplished Shakespearean player.

For his part, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank had contempt for both sides:
This was but the latest act in the ongoing farce known as congressional ethics. Rules are so flexible, and enforcement so lax, that even instances that look like outright
influence-buying don't get prosecuted. And there's no sign that the situation
will improve, as key figures make noises about abolishing the new Office of
Congressional Ethics, a semi-independent body designed to make ethics
investigations more transparent.

Now comes Rangel, who seems determined to take down with him any remaining credibility of the ethics committee...
It's difficult to feel sorry for Rangel. He could pay for lawyers by selling off his
villa in the Dominican Republic. ... Or he could have maintained better relations with his legal team, rather than publicly rejecting their advice in a speech on the House floor.

Rangel will be the Harlem Rep until they haul his Depends wearing old bones out in a bag. But I have a feeling he won't be in charge of anything.

16 November 2010

Charles Rangel: Guilty

As I'm sure you've heard, Charles Rangel has been found guilty of House ethics violations. No big surprise. Also no big surprise is the "Charlie Rangel Show". What an ass. He obviously manages his legal and business affairs as "sloppy" (his word) as his finances. This is the guy who chaired the Ways and Means Committee which is charged with creating tax legislation. The idea that this was all a matter of sloppy book keeping doesn't smell well.

My question is, why the dog and pony show? Obviously that's all this is for Charlie. Show up for the cameras like a peacock, proclaim to be the cheated, abused victim and then leave in protest. Whatever happened to dignity? If you have no respect for yourself that's one thing but have some respect for the House and for the process. Take your lumps and get on with the next thing.

It's funny, nobody forgives Brett Favre for hanging on too long. Why does Charlie Rangel get a pass? Is there no one more qualified in Harlem? Of course there are; thousands probably. They just don't have the connections to get elected.

Hippies Do Stupid Things

I'm not a fan of hippies to say the least, and Neil Young is definitely a hippie.

Neil's hippie status rose when he bastardized his 1959 Lincoln convertible into a hybrid. The Lincoln, understanding how wrong this was, did the only honorable thing it could do. It killed itself. Most of Young's marijuana collection was also destroyed in the resulting fire.

California is unanimously wrong

What is it about California? Is it all those nut trees? Good God, how could one place be so completely screwed up in every imaginable way?

In a unanimous decision, the California Supreme Court has ruled that illegal immigrants are eligible for the same reduced tuition at public colleges and universities as legal in-state residents.

Why do ILLEGAL immigrants even get to register for school much less get a discount? And why has this issue gone all the way to the supreme court to be decided? And why did they get it so WRONG? Assuming the correct thing is to let these ILLEGAL immigrants register for school (which it's not), doesn't California need the money? The financial issue for the state is a serious issue but its not even the biggest. Why does a white citizen from Iowa, or a black citizen from Michigan have to pay more tuition to attend Cal State than a brown ILLEGAL immigrant from Guatemala?

Honey, scratch all the California colleges off the list!

15 November 2010

UK To Compensate Guantanamo Bay detainees

Yes, you read that correctly. A dozen terrorists, who have accused British security forces of colluding in their torture overseas, are to get millions in compensation from the British Government. Of course! Because then they won't hate us any more.

Islamic terrorists want to kill us all. They don't comprehend jail, courts, laws or even money. They want to convert or kill us all.

The McRib is Back!

Yes! Just like the Super Bowl or the World Series, some things are worth waiting for. McDonald's McRib sandwich is awesome.

But unfortunately, not every McDonald's has the McRib. To help you, here is a McRib locator.

Houston Has a Serial Murderer

Three women have been found murdered downtown recently. The proximity of the victim's location and the manner of death are all very similar.

Here is an October 12 story and here is another more recent. The public should be made more aware. Authorities will never use the words "serial killer" until they absolutely have no choice.
Godspeed to the detectives working the case and may the victim's families find peace.

Drugs Are Bad

Lee Renfro did more than illegally enter the Port Angeles Coast Guard base earlier this year. Undetected, the Navy veteran made it past a second watch shack on March 28, then boarded the 210 foot Coast Guard Cutter Active.
Renfro strolled into the Active's commanding officer's stateroom, took a
shower -- and smoked marijuana he had carried onto the cutter. He was
apprehended three hours later while still on the vessel, according to a Coast
Guard report. Coast Guard personnel described Renfro as being "confused
and incoherent".

On March 31, three days after he breached security at the Coast Guard base and boarded the Active, Renfro, 32, was found dead several miles away. An autopsy revealed Renfro died of hypothermia.

Return of The Whig

I've been away from blogging for a while now. Some of the absence was painful and some wasn't. I guess we all need a break from things every now and then.

A lot have asked what happened. The long answer is both painful and boring. The short answer is: life. No, it wasn't rehab. The issues on my plate aren't any different than the issues millions of others are dealing with and so I think we'll spare those who may visit here as an escape. This blog deals with current events, news and politics, and whatever else Septimus and I feel like sharing. For me, the current events, news and politics became a daily reminder of the struggles I've gone through. The Whig has had many followers and I hope most will be back.

I don't know what makes today the day, but today's the day.