Friday, March 28, 2008

And so it begins - Fitna the Movie

Very disturbing images (close your eyes during them). It must be shown, though, to see the kids being taught to hate and kill from infancy. It must be shown to publicize the sanctified calls for terror and murder against the infidels and Jews. It must be shown to shout out that we will not bow to Muslim intimidation! That we live by free speech, even if that free speech disagrees with you. We are a free country and you can not take my freedom away!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Context: Iraq fighting not bad news

Know your context before reporting that the recent spate of fighting in Iraq is due to ethnic tensions, that the fighting is worrisome and is foreboding for future US troop withdrawals. It's not. Michael Yon is on the ground there and understands the situation and the big picture.
MICHAEL YON EMAILS: "It's important to contextualize the fighting in Basra. That the Iraqi Army apparently is fighting JAM is important; a largely Shia Government of Iraq is in command of the Iraqi Army. The Iraqi Army is fighting Shia militia. This is not bad news."

Dude, Where's my nuke?

From the WSJ's Morning Brief:
The Defense Department mistakenly shipped secret fuses for Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles to Taiwan more than 18 months ago and did not learn that the items were missing until late last week, Pentagon officials acknowledged yesterday, deepening concerns about the security of the U.S. nuclear arsenal six months after the Air Force lost track of six nuclear warheads for 36 hours when they were inadvertently flown on a B-52 bomber between bases in North Dakota and Louisiana. Defense Secretary Robert Gates learned of the erroneous shipment on Friday and informed President Bush, but officials waited until yesterday -- after Saturday's elections in Taiwan -- to disclose the incident.
Why didn't Taiwan let us know?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Who knew? Hulu!

Well, the internet is quite an amazing place. Firstly, there are tons of free e-books at Wowio (they just put ads on the fist pages of the pdf ebook). Now you can watch TV episodes and a handful of really good movies - free and pretty good quality (480p). Hulu. Hmm.. I guess all of the good domain names were already taken.

EXTREMELY strong language warning... But this clip must be embedded for the good of all mankind.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Far out product placement

You can't buy this type of product placement - at least not for a terrestrial price. From BAB:
BABloggee and webmaster of the fantastic What’s The Harm? website Tim Farley pointed out to me that NASA has released an incredible picture of the Space Shuttle Endeavour:

The picture was taken from the space station using a telephoto, and the linked page goes to a huge 1.6 Mb picture that’s 1200×800 3000×2000 pixels. It’s really quite stunning!

… but Tim also pointed out to me that you can see something sitting on the window console:

Now THIS is a true speech on race

It seems that even as far as we have come, the world's efforts to unite us all and end racism only seems to divide us further. Rather than defend some nutjob's wacked out racist tirades, why don't we cultivate the potential of the individual to become great and rise above platonic differences? Why don't we strengthen America with what made her great in the first place - freedom!
Let freedom ring. And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring - when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children - black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics - will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Gray skies are gonna clear up?

Cramer thinks so! And since he has made more millions than I have, his opinion carries a little more weight. I think he may be right, if the Fed and Bernanke behave themselves.

This huge oversold market may have finally hit bottom, Jim Cramer told viewers of his "Mad Money" TV show Tuesday.

"Last Tuesday's rally was not the bottom of this market," he said, "but today's rally was." Cramer cited several reasons why he now feels the markets has finally reached a sustainable bottom.

  • First, there was a significant change in attitude in Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's comments Tuesday when he said his agency is prepared to do whatever it takes to turn the economy around.
    Cramer: NYX Buyback Means Bottom Is Near

  • Mortgage bonds traded higher Tuesday. "These low rates will signal re-fi madness," he said.
  • The fabulous numbers posted by both Goldman Sachs (GS - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr), a stock which he owns for his charitable trust Action Alerts PLUS, and Lehman Brothers (LEH - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) signal that not all financial stocks are damaged.
  • There's now a president dealing with banks and brokerages that go under, and that people needn't be worried about losing their life savings.

  • Stocks such as Nucor (NUE - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) and CSX (CSX - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr), which both hit 52-week highs Tuesday, signaling the economy isn't as bad as is being reported.
  • Momentum names like Intuitive Surgical (ISRG - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr), First Solar (FSLR - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr), Google (GOOG - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) and Apple (AAPL - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) are showing signs of life for the first time this year. Cramer reiterated a buy on Apple.
  • The markets will bottom in part to the VISA IPO, which was priced at $44 a share Tuesday evening. He anticipates the IPO will prove lucrative for those able to get in and will instill some confidence back into the market.
  • The market has bottomed because the market rallied despite Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's disappointing rate cut.

  • Monday, March 17, 2008

    Forget the dollar, the sky is falling.

    Well, I sat here this morning pontificating how much money I could have made had I shorted Bear Stearns (I'm not an investor, though, and I don't have any money to play with). I also am so frustrated at having been sure over six months ago that the dollar would fall, yet being too chicken (or conservative?) to act on it.

    Well, now I'm done with the dollar. I'm done with house prices. What I'm talking about is the collapse of the US economy. I am Chicken Little and I would like to let you know that the sky is falling.

    The U.S Federal Reserve has officially thrown it's hat into the ring of the 'credit crisis' and is behaving like just another investment firm. Sure the Fed would be the biggest investment firm out there, but the moment it began acting like a puny bank and not the Federal Reserve of the richest and most powerful country on the planet, it began the decline to its own demise. And when the Fed goes, we all go.

    Sorry for this doom and gloom. But there was hope even with a weak dollar. There was hope even with $10 a gallon gas. But there is no hope when the Fed goes down.


    One could almost hear the panic in the Fed's announcement yesterday, that it was taking extraordinary weekend action ahead of today's resumption of trading in Asia to "bolster market liquidity and promote orderly market functioning." First, the Fed board unanimously authorized the Federal Reserve Bank of New York open its bank-lending facilities to non-bank securities firms, starting today. For at least six months, these securities dealers will be able to borrow from the Fed using "a broad range of investment-grade debt securities" as collateral [ed.- aka b.s. paper-backed nothingness], and they will benefit from the same discount rate charged to banks [ed. - sounds just like the 0% mortgages that started this craziness]. Secondly, the Fed lowered the discount rate by a quarter percentage point to 3.25% -- just one quarter point above its target federal-funds rate, which affects a broad field of mortgage and other consumer loans. Those decisions mark "one of the broadest expansions" of the Fed's lending authority since the 1930s, The Wall Street Journal notes, adding that the sharp market downturns in Tokyo, Hong Kong and elsewhere that ensued suggest "additional steps might be needed to calm markets." [ed. - there are no steps left. You can only go to 0%, and you subsequently will run out of money 'bailing' people out] The Fed's next scheduled meeting is tomorrow, when it is expected to again lower the federal-funds rate by at least half a percentage point [ed.- HOLY $HIT!!!].

    Almost as an afterthought, the Fed statement adds that "the Board also approved the financing arrangement announced by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and The Bear Stearns Companies Inc." But as the New York Times reports, that amounts to approval of a $30 billion credit line that engineers the takeover [ed.- nope. It's not a credit line. JPMorgan borrowed the funds needed for the purchase from the Federal Reserve to buy Bear Stearns at a firesale price. Shouldn't the funds have come from non-governmental sources? WTH is going on? The Fed is supposed to lend for basic overnight transactions, not long term buyouts!!]. This sum is aimed at helping J.P. Morgan deal with the mortgage-backed investments and other soured debt that no one wants to buy and that got Bear Stearns -- and so many others -- in trouble [ed. - so let me get this straight. Rather than let Bear Stearns pay for it's own bad business deals, the US Federal Reserve is financing the purchase of those very same bad business deals. Again, WTH?]. It sure isn't needed for the acquisition itself. J.P. Morgan is paying about $236 million, compared with Bear Stearns's stock-market value of about $3.5 billion as of Friday, after its initial bailout, and the $20 billion it was worth in January 2007, as The Wall Street Journal reports. Once customers and trading partners started fleeing Bear Stearns last week, it was left with what the Journal calls "a horrible choice: sell the firm -- at any price -- to a big bank willing to assume its trading obligations or file for bankruptcy." Or as one person involved in the negotiations tells the paper: "At the end of the day, what Bear Stearns was looking at was either taking $2 a share or going bust."

    My recommendations? Dig a hole and crawl into it.

    Sunday, March 09, 2008

    Flying "A National Treasure" - the SR-71 Blackbird

    Here's a great piece written by one of the only 93 SR-71 Blackbird pilots. I quoted some poignant sections below, but I recommend you read it all.

    The Blackbird was a remarkable achievement in engineering and design resulting in the fastest airplane ever, with its first flight in 1962. With all of our great modern technology, we have not beaten her yet.
    Ironically, the plane was dripping, much like the misshapen model had assembled in my youth. Fuel was seeping through the joints, raining down on the hangar floor. At Mach 3, the plane would expand several inches because of the severe temperature, which could heat the leading edge of the wing to 1,100 degrees. To prevent cracking, expansion joints had been built into the plane. Sealant resembling rubber glue covered the seams, but when the plane was subsonic, fuel would leak through the joints.
    I came to the program in 1983 with a sterling record and a recommendation from my commander, completing the week long interview and meeting Walter, my partner for the next four years. He would ride four feet behind me, working all the cameras, radios, and electronic jamming equipment. I joked that if we were ever captured, he was the spy and I was just the driver. He told me to keep the pointy end forward.

    We trained for a year, flying out of Beale AFB in California, Kadena Airbase in Okinawa, and RAF Mildenhall in England. On a typical training mission, we would take off near Sacramento, refuel over Nevada, accelerate into Montana, obtain high Mach over Colorado, turn right over New Mexico, speed across the Los Angeles Basin, run up the West Coast, turn right at Seattle, then return to Beale. Total flight time: two hours and 40 minutes.

    One day, high above Arizona, we were monitoring the radio traffic of all the mortal airplanes below us. First, a Cessna pilot asked the air traffic controllers to check his ground speed. 'Ninety knots,' ATC replied. A twin Bonanza soon made the same request. 'One-twenty on the ground,' was the reply. To our surprise, a navy F-18 came over the radio with a ground speed check. I knew exactly what he was doing. Of course, he had a ground speed indicator in his cockpit, but he wanted to let all the bug-smashers in the valley know what real speed was 'Dusty 52, we show you at 525 on the ground,' ATC responded. The situation was too ripe. I heard the click of Walter's mike button in the rear seat. In his most innocent voice, Walter startled the controller by asking for a ground speed check from 81,000 feet, clearly above controlled airspace. In a cool, professional voice, the controller replied, 'Aspen 20, I show you at 1,742 knots on the ground.' We did not hear another transmission on that frequency all the way to the coast.
    The Blackbird had outrun nearly 4,000 missiles, not once taking a scratch from enemy fire. On her final flight, the Blackbird, destined for the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, sped from Los Angeles to Washington in 64 minutes, averaging 2,145 mph and setting four speed records.
    To keep from worrying, I glance outside, wondering if I'll be able to visually pick up a missile aimed at us. Odd are the thoughts that wander through one's mind in times like these. I found myself recalling the words of former SR-71 pilots who were fired upon while flying missions over North Vietnam. They said the few errant missile detonations they were able to observe from the cockpit looked like implosions rather than explosions. This was due to the great speed at which the jet was hurling away from the exploding missile.
    It is a race this jet will not let us lose. The Mach eases to 3.5 as we crest 80,000 feet. We are a bullet now - except faster. We hit the turn, and I feel some relief as our nose swings away from a country we have seen quite enough of. Screaming past Tripoli, our phenomenal speed continues to rise, and the screaming Sled pummels the enemy one more time, laying down a parting sonic boom. In seconds, we can see nothing but the expansive blue of the Mediterranean. I realize that I still have my left hand full-forward and we're continuing to rocket along in maximum afterburner.

    The TDI now shows us Mach numbers, not only new to our experience but flat out scary. Walt says the DEF panel is now quiet, and I know it is time to reduce our incredible speed. I pull the throttles to the min 'burner range and the jet still doesn't want to slow down. Normally the Mach would be affected immediately, when making such a large throttle movement. But for just a few moments old 960 just sat out there at the high Mach, she seemed to love and like the proud Sled she was, only began to slow when we were well out of danger.

    I loved that jet.

    Friday, March 07, 2008

    Heart-wrenching quote of the day

    “God picks the most beautiful flowers for his garden,” said the mother of 16-year-old Avraham David Mozes. “He (God) sees him as an angel, and we should thank him for the privilege of raising him for 16 years. Sixteen years of purity and integrity and kindness.”
    From Ynet via Israellycool.

    The names and ages of the victims:
    • Yochai Lipschitz, 18, of Jerusalem
    • Yonatan Yitzchak Eldar, 16, of Shiloh
    • Yonadav Chaim Hirschfeld, 19, of Kochav Hashahar
    • Neriah Cohen, 15, of Jerusalem
    • Roey Roth, 18, of Elkana
    • Segev Pniel Avihayil, 15, of Neveh Daniel
    • Avraham David Moses, 16, of Efrat
    • Maharata Trunoch, 26, of Ashdod.

    Thursday, March 06, 2008

    Police photos of the day

    From Dark Roasted Blend comes these two funny pictures of the police in action. Different caption ideas are welcome.

    "Feelin' lucky, punk?"

    "Nice kitty..."

    Wednesday, March 05, 2008

    Video: Blogger moved to tears by awesomeness of new machine gun

    Title of this post was directly ripped from HotAir. And I have to admit, I also misted up a little bit.

    Geert Wilders' movie is coming soon...

    Fitna the movie. It's all the rage.

    Proportionate Response

    Finally. After the unending complaints of the apartheid Zionist entity abusing the poor palestinians with "Disproportionate response", a Zionist resident of Ashkelon came up with a proportionate response. The only problem is that the police stopped him before he could respond. I'm not sure why they stopped him, though. It was proportionate...

    (Picture thanks to Atlas Shrugs)
    Ashkelon man builds homemade missile

    Ashkelon resident Moshe Nissimpor decided that the best way to halt rocket fire from Gaza - in light of what he terms the government's failure to do so - is some vigilante justice.

    Nissimpor developed a homemade 200-millimeter ballistic missile which he planned to launch from Ashkelon into the Gaza Strip.

    "From this day onwards, we will push back to the stone age every place which dares shoot missiles into Israel's sovereign territory," he said Wednesday. "It is time the world understood Israelis' lives are not expendable."

    "I'm afraid this is the only language the Palestinians understand, and this is the language in which we'll speak to them. I have many Gazan Palestinian friends who live as Hamas hostages. Once we bring an end to the rocket fire, Gaza's residents will also live in peace," he said.

    Nissimpor arrived at the Ashkelon Municipality building with the missile painted black and lettered "to Hamas, from the residents of Ashkelon" in red, and was planning to launch it.

    Ashkelon residents gathered round to cheer him on and protest the government's conduct, but at the eleventh hour, police stopped him from firing the missile and seized it.

    "I wish there were more 'crazies' like me in Israel," Nissimpor said as the crowd was dispersed by the police.

    Tuesday, March 04, 2008

    Go Jews! MacBook Air edition

    Via IsRealli comes the nifty fact that the song in that new MacBook Air commercial is by the Israeli singer Yael Naim. Sweet! Click the image to watch.

    Oh, and you can buy her song New Soul on iTunes, too.

    Monday, March 03, 2008

    S'derot - another must-watch video

    Have you seen the one of the little children running for the bomb shelters in kindergarten? Have you seen the one of the children singing at the top of their lungs while they wait for the rockets to rain down? Have you seen the boys playing basketball huddling against a wall because they are too far from a shelter?

    Well, now watch this. Watch the children sleeping on mattresses in their hallways. Watch the children running for their lives during recess. Watch the four-year-old screaming desperately for his lost Mommy. See the human side of the daily tragedy in S'derot and now in Ashkelon that those homicidal animals cause.

    Thanks to Sderot Media for everything they do. Click here to search Digital Irony for "Sderot" and see how far back this mess goes and how much the people of Sderot have gone through.