Tuesday, October 28, 2008
We haven't been to a football game this year, but we did get to go to see the Volleyball girls play. They're awesome.
This is the floor of The Coliseum where they play their home games.
I had a few shots of the girls, but the light was so low they look terrible, so I'm settling for posting the floor.
Well, come now. You knew a Husker fan participating in the Ruby Tuesday postings would eventually have to do something on the UNL teams didn't you?
And Bo Pellini wasn't available to pose.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Obviously I am not usually an everyday poster, but there is just so much out there...I may make an exception this week.
I'll admit I used to be a Howard Stern fan. In the early 2000's I stopped listening to him for political talk radio. But you have to listen to this piece he recently did. Its great. I must warn you there is swearing, but you will be surprised at the outcome (maybe not).
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I found another great article linked from Drudge, written by Charles Krauthammer. I thought I'd share with you all. It sums up nicely my thoughts. Again, I am no huge personal Mccain fan. He bungled the gang of 14, is weak on immigration and is a Global Warming Alarming. He wan't my first choice, but he's our nominee (a republican nominee, not a conservative nominee). I find it hard to believe that we can actually elect this guy. Now I sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I can't imagine a Reid, Pelose and Obama run government.
Email it to your friends in swing states if you wish.
By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, October 24, 2008; A19
Contrarian that I am, I'm voting for John McCain. I'm not talking about bucking the polls or the media consensus that it's over before it's over. I'm talking about bucking the rush of wet-fingered conservatives leaping to Barack Obama before they're left out in the cold without a single state dinner for the next four years.
I stand athwart the rush of conservative ship-jumpers of every stripe -- neo (Ken Adelman), moderate (Colin Powell), genetic/ironic (Christopher Buckley) and socialist/atheist (Christopher Hitchens) -- yelling "Stop!" I shall have no part of this motley crew. I will go down with the McCain ship. I'd rather lose an election than lose my bearings.
First, I'll have no truck with the phony case ginned up to rationalize voting for the most liberal and inexperienced presidential nominee in living memory. The "erratic" temperament issue, for example. As if McCain's risky and unsuccessful but in no way irrational attempt to tactically maneuver his way through the economic tsunami that came crashing down a month ago renders unfit for office a man who demonstrated the most admirable equanimity and courage in the face of unimaginable pressures as a prisoner of war, and who later steadily navigated innumerable challenges and setbacks, not the least of which was the collapse of his campaign just a year ago.
McCain the "erratic" is a cheap Obama talking point. The 40-year record testifies to McCain the stalwart.
Nor will I countenance the "dirty campaign" pretense. The double standard here is stunning. Obama ran a scurrilous Spanish-language ad falsely associating McCain with anti-Hispanic slurs. Another ad falsely claimed that McCain supports "cutting Social Security benefits in half." And for months Democrats insisted that McCain sought 100 years of war in Iraq.
McCain's critics are offended that he raised the issue of William Ayers. What's astonishing is that Obama was himself not offended by William Ayers.
Moreover, the most remarkable of all tactical choices of this election season is the attack that never was. Out of extreme (and unnecessary) conscientiousness, McCain refused to raise the legitimate issue of Obama's most egregious association -- with the race-baiting Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Dirty campaigning, indeed.
The case for McCain is straightforward. The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism. An apocalyptic soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger of fragmentation. A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism. Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.
Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who's been cramming on these issues for the past year, who's never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of "a world that stands as one"), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as "the tragedy of 9/11," a term more appropriate for a bus accident?
Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign policy thinker in the United States Senate? A man who not only has the best instincts but has the honor and the courage to, yes, put country first, as when he carried the lonely fight for the surge that turned Iraq from catastrophic defeat into achievable strategic victory?
There's just no comparison. Obama's own running mate warned this week that Obama's youth and inexperience will invite a crisis -- indeed a crisis "generated" precisely to test him. Can you be serious about national security and vote on Nov. 4 to invite that test?
And how will he pass it? Well, how has he fared on the only two significant foreign policy tests he has faced since he's been in the Senate? The first was the surge. Obama failed spectacularly. He not only opposed it. He tried to denigrate it, stop it and, finally, deny its success.
The second test was Georgia, to which Obama responded instinctively with evenhanded moral equivalence, urging restraint on both sides. McCain did not have to consult his advisers to instantly identify the aggressor.
Today's economic crisis, like every other in our history, will in time pass. But the barbarians will still be at the gates. Whom do you want on the parapet? I'm for the guy who can tell the lion from the lamb.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Very interesting Article I found. I dug this up based on reading the Rasmussen poll weightings. They typically weight 39.7% Democrat and 33% Republican. Giving Credit to the Wizbang Blog for this article. In summary, this ain't over til its over! Having a degree in Statistics and Marketing I know how weighting works. But one will never know the truth until we actually vote. Just so we are clear, I am not huge Mccain fan, but he's better than Obama. Regardless of who wins, the country is going left after the election just as it has gone left under Bush (It saddens me to say that). At any rate, a very good read below.
The ABC News/Washington Post released a poll today, which claims that Barack Obama is leading John McCain for President by 9 points. If that is so, just why is Obama so angry and short-tempered these days? A number of possibilities come to mind, but the most likely answer for me is that he knows those numbers are bunk. As Kim Priestap noted, the people running the poll weighted the responses by a 38-28 margin, with 29% listed as independent(question 901). But when they ask whether folks lean more towards the republican or democrat parties, it becomes a 54-38-07 weight (question 904). This is critical to the poll's meaning, because the 52-43 Obama lead (Question 3) was extrapolated from the "net leaned vote"; in other words 54% of the response used was from democrats, versus 38% from republicans, and only 7% from independents.
The ABC/WP poll also did not break down support by party ideology, depriving the curious a simple way to see what folks really though within internal demographics. They also neglected to break down support by any other demographics, something which further degrades any claim to validity in the poll. I used the internal supports from the Gallup and Pew polls to reverse the calculations and found an interesting revision which shows what I consider a clearer picture, but for here I will just say that the ABC News/Washington Post poll shows what kind of problem Barack Obama really faces; the reality does not match the poll projections. Obama has a serious weight problem, and I don't mean his cholesterol levels.
Every opinion poll taken this year has been weighted to show more democrats than republicans. There is some historical justification for that, but only to granting the democrats about 3 more percent of any respondent group. The weighting in polls produced by media sponsors, however, has at times been much heavier in democrat proportions, the ABC/WP poll being an egregious example. There is simply no rational basis for presuming that one party would be overwhelming in its representation. As an example, in 1984 Ronald Reagan absolutely crushed Walter Mondale, yet the republicans only represented 35% of the voters in that election. There have been minor fluctuations, but for more than three decades, party affiliation has been largely stable and predictable. There is simply no rational basis for claiming that either major party would have more than 39% of voters, or less than 32%.
Barack Obama is certainly capable of winning this election. He has a ton of money, the media is a team of Obama cheerleaders, and the public mood is desperate. But the polls released to the public do not reflect the actual level of Obama's or McCain's support, nor do they show an accurate pattern of support growth over time, or properly relay the time and source of momentum shifts and changes in support. When the polls are reverse-engineered and nominal weighting restored, it becomes clear that Barack Obama is depending on a three-tier plan for the election:
1. Barack Obama must collect at least 90% support from democrats nationwide; or
2. Democrats must make up at least 43% of the voters with present aligned support levels; or
3. Obama must collect at least 55% of independents' support with present aligned support levels.
At this time, there is no evidence that any of the three conditions exist in fact. This is a serious problem for Obama with just the election a little over a month away.
For John McCain, the following conditions may result in victory, using the Obama plan as a template:
1. John McCain must collect at least 92% support from republicans nationwide; or
2. Republicans must make up at least 37% of the voters with present aligned support levels; or
3. McCain must collect at least 55% of independents' support with present aligned support levels.
From the internal support reported by the polls, Barack Obama is presently 6 points below the 90% support level in his party, while John McCain is presently 3 points below the 92% support level in his party. Democrats historically represent 38-39% (4 below what Obama needs) of the voter pool, while republicans represent between 35-36% (1 below what McCain needs) of the voter pool. And depending on the poll, Obama enjoys between 42 and 48 percent support among independents (7 to 13 below his need), while McCain enjoys between 45 and 56 percent support among independents (he may need as much as 10 percent, or he may have what he needs right now).
There are several significant events between now and the election. The debates between Obama and McCain are yet to come, and the fallout from the financial crisis could well affect voter opinion. But right now, Obama has a weight problem, in that the election proportion of democrats in the actual election is not going to nearly match what the media is pretending it will be. While some believe the spin on these polls is meant to dismay McCain supporters and encourage Obama supporters, in the actual case this distortion could well come back and hurt Obama's campaign.
Article can be found at:
Posted by DJ Drummond Published: September 24, 2008 - 2:07 PM
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
and a short story...
One evening at work not long ago, one of the off-duty teens who works at my store came charging in from the parking lot shouting, "Call 9-1-1!" He grabbed the fire extinguisher and raced back out. A parked car was in flames and he emptied the extinguisher on it. It wasn't long before the fire department arrived and finished putting it out.
Thankfully, no one was hurt.
It seems to me that Nick was surely in the right place at the right time. He knew exactly where to find the extinguisher and how to use it. I think he was actually on his way to a movie in the theater next door at the time. And he was willing to help.
He is a good representative of the kids we have working for us. They are a good bunch. They make me think that our future is in good hands.
Note: I tried to post a link to other Ruby Tuesday blogs, but it didn't work. Jim has one on his blog along with a very nice RT photo.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Found this great article online written by Lorne Gunter and published in the National POST. It was published this morning, 10/20/08. No editorial here from me, the article speaks for itself. I'll post a comment on it as far as where I stand. Link is also below.
In early September, I began noticing a string of news stories about scientists rejecting the orthodoxy on global warming. Actually, it was more like a string of guest columns and long letters to the editor since it is hard for skeptical scientists to get published in the cabal of climate journals now controlled by the Great Sanhedrin of the environmental movement.
Still, the number of climate change skeptics is growing rapidly. Because a funny thing is happening to global temperatures -- they're going down, not up.
On the same day (Sept. 5) that areas of southern Brazil were recording one of their latest winter snowfalls ever and entering what turned out to be their coldest September in a century, Brazilian meteorologist Eugenio Hackbart explained that extreme cold or snowfall events in his country have always been tied to "a negative PDO" or Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Positive PDOs -- El Ninos -- produce above-average temperatures in South America while negative ones -- La Ninas -- produce below average ones.
Dr. Hackbart also pointed out that periods of solar inactivity known as "solar minimums" magnify cold spells on his continent. So, given that August was the first month since 1913 in which no sunspot activity was recorded -- none -- and during which solar winds were at a 50-year low, he was not surprised that Brazilians were suffering (for them) a brutal cold snap. "This is no coincidence," he said as he scoffed at the notion that manmade carbon emissions had more impact than the sun and oceans on global climate.
Also in September, American Craig Loehle, a scientist who conducts computer modelling on global climate change, confirmed his earlier findings that the so-called Medieval Warm Period (MWP) of about 1,000 years ago did in fact exist and was even warmer than 20th-century temperatures.
Prior to the past decade of climate hysteria and Kyoto hype, the MWP was a given in the scientific community. Several hundred studies of tree rings, lake and ocean floor sediment, ice cores and early written records of weather -- even harvest totals and censuses --confirmed that the period from 800 AD to 1300 AD was unusually warm, particularly in Northern Europe.
But in order to prove the climate scaremongers' claim that 20th-century warming had been dangerous and unprecedented -- a result of human, not natural factors -- the MWP had to be made to disappear. So studies such as Michael Mann's "hockey stick," in which there is no MWP and global temperatures rise gradually until they jump up in the industrial age, have been adopted by the UN as proof that recent climate change necessitates a reordering of human economies and societies.
Dr. Loehle's work helps end this deception.
Don Easterbrook, a geologist at Western Washington University, says, "It's practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling," as the sun enters a particularly inactive phase. His examination of warming and cooling trends over the past four centuries shows an "almost exact correlation" between climate fluctuations and solar energy received on Earth, while showing almost "no correlation at all with CO2."
An analytical chemist who works in spectroscopy and atmospheric sensing, Michael J. Myers of Hilton Head, S. C., declared, "Man-made global warming is junk science," explaining that worldwide manmade CO2 emission each year "equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere's CO2 concentration ... This results in a 0.00064% increase in the absorption of the sun's radiation. This is an insignificantly small number."
Other international scientists have called the manmade warming theory a "hoax," a "fraud" and simply "not credible."
While not stooping to such name-calling, weather-satellite scientists David Douglass of the University of Rochester and John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville nonetheless dealt the True Believers a devastating blow last month.
For nearly 30 years, Professor Christy has been in charge of NASA's eight weather satellites that take more than 300,000 temperature readings daily around the globe. In a paper co-written with Dr. Douglass, he concludes that while manmade emissions may be having a slight impact, "variations in global temperatures since 1978 ... cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide."
Moreover, while the chart below was not produced by Douglass and Christy, it was produced using their data and it clearly shows that in the past four years -- the period corresponding to reduced solar activity -- all of the rise in global temperatures since 1979 has disappeared.
It may be that more global warming doubters are surfacing because there just isn't any global warming.
Friday, October 17, 2008
A FACE in the grass:
Here is some more of him:
And here are some of his half siblings:
Pretty cute, huh?
Note to some of my new friends: I share this blog with my friend Joe in Chicago. He is the one who got the new Hummer - I'm only wishing it was me! If you look at the bottom of the post, you can tell who wrote it. It says "Posted by Joe" or "Posted by Janell".
Happy Friday, everyone!
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
A couple of headless hats.
This one came with my truck from the dealer. I kind of like the falme effect it has going.
This one came from Peck Manufacturing in Herman, Nebraska. It's where my husband works. They make grain augurs and sell them through several implement dealers in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota and Illinois.
(Sorry, Paul. I know you'd rather see them on heads. If you and your first wife were here, I would have put you under these hats. They'd have looked much better.)
Friday, October 10, 2008
We begin a new series....
Posting pictures of things that begin with the letter "f."
Feel free to post a link to your own f-Stop Friday picture in the comments.
Keep it clean, please.
Here is my offering for the First f-Stop Friday:
The Fontanelle Town Hall
This is a sweet old building in the little village of Fontanelle. This town hall was used as a polling place and town board meetings up until the 1960's. Now I think it's on the Nat'l Register of Historic Places, but isn't used for anything.
I drive past this village every day on my way to work. I think the population is around 100. There are two businesses in this town that I know of: an ag fertilizer distributer and an apple orchard. Best apples on the continent.
Fontanelle is also the home of Camp Fontanelle. How many of you remember going to Methodist Church Youth Camp there?
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
My friend, Mark Lyon, is now a national celebrity.
Mark signed up to participate in "The Exteme Mustang Makeover." This was a competition where 100 horse trainers were each given a wild Mustang and 100 days to train it.
Mark won it hands down.
The link is to a video of his winning performance. You might be surprised to see that his saddle comes loose and he actually falls off during this performance, but watch the horse. When a saddle comes loose and slips to the side or under the belly, most horses will run off bucking and kicking until the saddle comes completely off - usually in several pieces, but Mark's horse stops and turns to Mark "awaiting further instruction," so to speak. This is a significant display of the trust this horse has in his trainer.
And oh, yeah - he also walks through fire for him.
The four year old horse's name is Christian - because he truly is born again.
(The video is about 3 minutes)
Here is more info if you're interested:
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
1. I forgot to add the picture of my new Hummer! What do you think?
2. Please see the link below, its a must see regarding our current financial crisis!
I am sick and tired of hearing all this garbage about being Carbon Neutral. I am sick of hearing people talk about their own guilt they have for doing everyday things. I consider myself an average American, I get up everyday and go to work, have a wife, a son and a home with two cars and I keep my thermostat set to 70 degrees in the summer and 72 in the winter. But according to some of the Global Warming people out there, I am an evil polluter. I can't own an SUV anymore and keep my house nice and cool in the summer and "expect the world to stand for it". Since I am a sinner and apparently will be crossing the Global Warming River Styx when I kick the bucket, I thought I'd at least come clean and confess my sins to all of you. Here we go...
Bless me Al Gore (and LaDawn.. he he), for I have sinned. This is my first confession. "My Sins against the religion of Global Warming."
- I own two cars - Both are SUV's! Heather has a RX 350 and I recently traded my fuel efficient Audi A4 for a beautiful Red Hummer H3. I get a whopping 14 MPG (but I love the damn truck and so does little Joe.) I would never have bought a hummer had it not been for Leah Herrera. I rented one when I stayed at their house in May, ironically I liked it so much I bought it.
- I workout everyday - Working out is considered un-necessary by the Global Warming high priests. I burn electricity when I use a treadmill or a bike. I expend lots of my own energy which requires me to consume more to replenish my body which ultimately results in higher food consumption and more pollution and waste.
- I dry clean my work clothes
- We use a dryer for the rest of our laundry (not knocking those who enjoy hang drying, just those who do it for environmental reasons)
- Little Joe takes a bath every night - We fill the tub completely!
- I never unplug any appliances at night
- My wife works out
- I travel a lot - I am on a plane atleast once a month
- When traveling, I don't adhere to the plea to save the environment. I use my towels once and throw them on the floor to get replaced!
- Every light bulb in my house, with the exception of 2 are incandescent
- I only turn off my computer when I am on vacation. In other words, my computer is kept on for about 49 weeks per year.
- I drink bottled juices and waters - I try not to buy bottle water, only because its a waste not because of the environment. But I love Propel, Diet Pepsi Maxx and Fuze.
- I cut down 2 trees in my back yard this summer to make way for a fence. If that's not bad enough, the fence itself is a 6' privacy made of PVC!
- I breathe - Yes, every breath I takes emits harmful CO2 Pollutants into the planet. The occasional toot doesn't help the planet either.
- I barbeque about 3x per week
- I don't own an personal electricity meter to show much energy I or my appliances consume
- I love a good cigar!
- I am a Republican
What should I do for penance? Are these all bad things or do many of you do the same?
Thursday, October 02, 2008
....Guys, I could spend days formatting and properly explaining what happened, there are some gaps in my analysis, but I believe I captured the essence of what's going to affect all of us. Here are the facts and causes as I see it.
- The repealing of the Glass-Steagall Act
What is it: A law passed by Congress in 1933 that prohibited commercial banks from collaborating with full-service brokerage firms or participating in investment banking activities"
What did it do: It protected bank depositors from the additional risks associated with security transactions. The act was repealed in 1999 and the distinction between commercial banks and brokerage firms has blurred
Why is this important: If the trading of mortgage backed securities was limited to brokerage firms, it would not affect commercial banks as significantly
- Community Re-Investment Act of 1977
Requires banks to lend in Low-Income neighborhoods where they take deposits
- Affordable Housing Goals Set by Fannie and Freddie Mac - banks began to feel pressured to loan more and more money in low income neighborhoods and to people whom they would not otherwise lend money to. Not doing so meant tougher regulation and shakedowns from various government entities including but not limited to the senate banking committee
- Political Correctness - Loosening of credit and increasing homeownership was the thing to do. If you didn’t loan a certain percent in certain neighborhoods you would get shaken down by local (I hate to say it) community organizers and be labeled as racist on the local news.
- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - sometime in the 90’s, they began purchasing more and more high risk mortgages, the more they bought the more they were at risk of failure due to massive defaults. (it only takes about an incremental 2% of all homeowners to begin defaulting to cause a crisis like this)
- Democrats - I can't begin to write all this down, but Chris Dodd and Barney Frank have thier hands all over this
How this all ties together
- Every Mortgage purchased by Fannie and Freddie increased a bank’s liquidity. The bank’s credit limit would be tied in a mortgage, therefore not allowing it to make other loans (car’s, HELOC’s, etc)
- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would bundle individual mortgages they purchased into securities (Bonds and funds). Fannie and Freddie were not required to disclose the "mix" of mortgages in these securities. For example: Security X had 100 mortgages and 50% of them were high risk sub-prime.
- Fannie and Freddie would guarantee the securities against default and sell them to investors (commercial banks and brokerage firms). These now combined banks/brokerage firms are the same entities making bad loans. (Under Glass-Steagall they had to be separate)
- Fannie and Freddie also bought mortgages from banks and other lenders and hold them in their own portfolios. This market for mortgages (i.e. mortgage backed securities) allowed the lenders to make more loans by freeing up obligations / credit (fancy word used for it in the news is "increase liquidity")
- Remember the rules of banks, they are required by law to maintain a certain level of liquidity. I.e. if you have a $100 in deposits, you can only lend X% of that. Well, if you sold the loan, buy it back in the form of a security and hold it in your brokerage firm (which you happen to own) then you are free to make more loans against that $100 (more bad loans by the way). But they all end u in the same place.
- Big Mess. Some say caused by lack of regulation others say caused by too much regulation. I am on the too much regulation camp. Free markets dictate that many of the bad loans made would not have been made if not for affordable housing goals!
- Personal Experience: I've had 4 mortgages in my life: 1997, 2003, 2006 and 2007 (4 different houses). I remember my first mortgage (don't we all) at 25. I was well qualified for my 72K condo in westlake OH. But remember having to provide all by a blood sample to get the mortgage, this was before I signed any loan papers. Fast forward to 2007 and I was simply asked if I am willing to document my income!
So what does the bailout do
- Here is where it gets ironic, the 700 Billion Dollars congress will authorize the treasury to spend will be used to buy back all these bad mortgages sitting with banks and mortgage companies and brokerage firms (Market creation)As the gov’t buys them, they will free up the banks liquidity to make more loans and lines of credit. Which is what got us into this mess to begin with
- Why I don’t support it:
They say "credit will tighten" or "dry up". Who cares! This is absolutely true. But guess who it dries up for… it dries up for people who are not freaking qualified to begin with. Those with good credit can still get loans, the rate may go higher and it may be more difficult. The word difficult I use losely. This means it may take more than 15 mins to get a loan, heaven forbid it may take a day or two and an actual loan officer (live person) may have to review the application and you may actually have to document and prove your income.
- There are free market solutions out there, I'll get into those on a separate post
- Context: 700 Billion is enough cash to give every US citizen from 0 to 100 years old, rich poor, whatever (as long as you have a SSN) approximately $2,300. (I’ll hit that in a separate post)
I am sure many of you are glued to tv's watching this, but this is what I see. I will post on the solutions later. The bailout is a bad thing and a stupid thing, the GOP was smart not to back it and Mccain should grow a pair and withdraw support and leave OBAMA to push it. If it were so important the Dems can pass it without a single GOP vote. But they won't do that, they want to hang around the GOP's neck if it fails and take credit in the unlikely event that it actually works!
If Obama, the Lord Messiah and most merciful one (as Rush likes to call him) is such a uniter all he has to do is rally his own party and pass it and save the country. But the little political weasel man child won't do it because he knows it won't work!
Hopefully this is helpful