Thursday, June 11, 2009

YouTube - Jon Voight speaks about "This False Prophet Obama"

YouTube - Jon Voight speaks about "This False Prophet Obama"
I apoligise in advance for hosting a baldly political event.

Here is Jon Voight's speach to the Republican Senate/House Fundraising Dinner, as hosted on YouTube.

Before you view the 10-minute video, here are just a few of the Voight quotes that you will hear:
  • "I'll tell you what scares the hell out of me, because everything that Obama has recommended has turned out to be disastrous."
  • "We were the Liberators of the entire world, and we are becoming a Weak Nation."
  • '... we, and we alone are the right frame of mind to free the world from this 'Obama Oppression'.
(I report, you decide.)

More information about this speech is available from Newsbusters dot com

(Voight was later interviewed by Bill O'Reilly. That interview is available here.)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Weekend at Bernie's

SWMBO (Sandie) has 4 sisters, and one of them is named Nancy. Nancy's husband is named Bernie. They have a cabin in the woods ... actually, more sagebrush than trees ... just out of Sister's Oregon.

Nancy has been one of SWMBO's most constant supporters since SWMBO came down with lung cancer. She has taken SWMBO on overnight trips to see a nationally recognized Oncologist in Seattle; she has taken her to, or driven her home from local doctor appointments and chemotherapy treatments. Nancy has also called SWMBO at least once a day to check on her, gone shopping for her, and one time last year Nancy and Bernie completely replanted SWMBO's annuals garden with new plants while SWMBO was at a 4-hour Chemo session.

And this weekend, Nancy and Bernie offered the weekend use of their cabin in Sisters for SWMBO and me to 'retreat' for a quiet 2-day holiday in the mountains.

Of course we took them on their generous offer, and we had a wonderful 48-hour "down-time" vacation. Very romantic, except that while we were shopping in Bend on Saturday she found a Dan Brown novel and I found Lee Child's latest Jack Reacher novel "Gone Tomorrow", so perhaps you can understand that we spent much of the rest of the weekend reading. That doesn't make it any less a Romantic Getaway; we both love to read, and reading on the front porch of a cabin in the wilderness is one of the best ways to be together. (No, not the very BEST way, but part of "being alone together" that helps a serious long-term relationship grow.)

SWMBO went there with a plan.

About 5 years ago we went to the cabin as part of our participation in the 2003 USPSA Nationals match. We both served as Range Officers for this and the subsequent Nationals at the same COSSA range venue. During those matches, we invited several of our friends ... many of whom were also serving as Staff Match, and some who had chosen to only participate as competitors.

One year we served Geek-Hot Spaghetti, and the other year we had a barbeque.

This time, SWMBO decided that the ageing BBQ grill (Propane, one grill) had about completed its expected tour of duty and it was time to retire it in favor of a new, much more versitile and useful BBQ grill.

Accordingly, we set out this Saturday morning to the Home Depot, located 11 miles away in Bend.

There we found a very nice (and not terribly expensive) 4-burner propane BBQ grill with an extra warming-oven compartment. The best part about it was that it fits neatly in the back of my Ford Exploder.

We got it home, called Nancy's daughter Tanya begging for help unloading the grill onto the front porch of the cabin. Tanya, SO Jeff, and Jeff's father Dave showed up a couple of hours later (after Jeff and Dave finished a day's fishing ... they offered us some trout to initiate the BBQ but we declined) and with very little help from us the pulled the 42" high grill out of the back of the Exploder and toted it up the six steps to the front porch. There's no way that SWMBO and I could have carried that massive grill up the stairs by ourselves without dropping and denting it several times by ourselves.

When we left the cabin the next day, we had wheeled the BBQ, under it's grey plastic cover into the house to a temporary resting place against the breakfast counter by the kitchen island. SWMBO left a note explaining that this was a gift meant to express our mutual gratitude for Nancy and Bernie's continuing support during the past year.

We can't wait for them to come up to the cabin from Albany next weekend, and discover the surprise gift.


Here's the part which relates to the Shooting Sports:

While we were in Bend, we stopped off at the Sportsman's Warehouse in Bend. SWMBO wanted to get replacement sunglasses (hers had deteriorated ... the finish on the bows were painted on, and had chipped off), and I was looking for primers, and additions to my Emergency and Medical kits to carry in the Exploder.

We went to the counterman in the Hunting and Fishing counter and asked him if he had any primers for sale. (We had made a cursory visit to the appropriate aisles and found the cupboards nearly bare.)

The counterman spent ten minutes explaining that "Primers are the hardest to find reloading component in the world just now".

He went on to illustrate that even loaded ammunition was hard to find and dear at any price. He recounted high-end .22 ammunition selling at $20 per box of 50. They got some 9mm 'defensive' ammunition in a couple of weeks before ... only two cases ... and they were sold out by noon. The shipment had arrived in the morning, there was no advertising except word-of-mouth, and they were priced much higher than the .22 ammunition. Still, they lasted less than three hours. Once customer was reported as having bought two boxes of the .22 ammunition "to shoot at woods rats". Certainly the lowest quality ammunition would have served his purpose, but he couldn't find them at all, let alone at a lower price.

And when ammunition, or components ARE available, the retailers are 'rationing' them. They won't sell more than two boxes of loaded ammunition (for example) to a single customer.

Again: they don't advertise. They don't have to. They can't meet the public demand for ammunition or components, anyway.


They didn't have them, for rifle or for pistol. Large, small or magnum; it made no difference. They didn't have any in stock, they had them on order, and they had no idea when the manufactureres could reasonably expect to fill outstanding orders.

He said he had "a reasonable stock of bullets". I found nothing but high-end small boxes of bullets. I did fine one 500-round box of .45-70 bullets from Laser-Cast on the shelves, but nothing for ordinary pistol calibers. (I was unwilling to check the price of these hard-cast bullets. I was afraid it would be too discouraging.)

Bottom line:

BBQ grills are available, in stock NOW, and selling for not much more than a case of .38 Super bullets from Montana Gold.

But you can't get .38 Super bullets. Or loaded pistol ammunition. Or the kind of rifle ammunition which is used in competition. Or their components, except (again) high-grade at premium prices.

I suspect that this is a trend. It has to do with the huge demand for military ammunition (which is the primary customer of ALL ammunition manufacturers). Our counterman friend explained that companys which once made "millions of rounds" of ammunition during a given period are now being asked the make "billions of rounds" in the same period ... and they are unable to meet the needs of the military, let alone set aside product for the general public.

"What we have here is a failure ... to communicate"

This weekend I received an email from a friend with the following video attached (not this youtube link, but the same video):

While this appears to be 'timely', the actual news story was reported by KATU ...

- By Melica Johnson and Web Staff

SALEM, Ore. - Some English-speaking firefighters are losing their jobs because of an Oregon state law that requires them to be bilingual.

The Department of Forestry enacted a law three years ago that requires them to be bilingual, but this year they're actually enforcing it.

2002 was such a devastating wildfire season, contractors were scrambling to find firefighters.

Hispanics often filled their needs on the fire lines.

Jim Walker of the Department of Forestry said "what we do know is 85 percent of the crew make-up is of Hispanic decent."

But many of the Hispanic fire fighters do not speak English. Walker says the language barrier is a concern.

Those concerns led the state to draft a new rule that all firefighting bosses speak English, and the languages of crew members who don't speak English.

Jaime Pickering, a squad boss overseeing 20 firefighters, says the rule means "job losses for Americans. The white people."

Because of the state's language requirement, Pickering can no longer work as a crew boss and supervise 20 firefighters, he can only manage a squad of four.

Pickering says that "if you have one Spanish guy on the crew, as an English crew boss, you can no longer be a crew boss, you have to step back to a squad boss, which is a demotion."

While the state made the rule change in 2003, it decided to strictly monitor the law this year as Hispanics continue to fill fire lines.
As I say, this was reported by KATU ... on June 22, 2006!

Yes, the story is over three years old.

Not only that, but the interpretation of the original story has been questioned by the Oregon Department of Forestry, in an un-dated article saying "This is not the case, here are the facts ..." (see the link).

A further blog article (June 26, 2006) on the "La Shawn Barber's Corner" Blog cites a Department of Forestry employee who also states categorically that:

"Rod Nichols, an information officer for the Oregon Department of Forestry, responded to the e-mail I sent Jim Walker. He said the story I linked to is inaccurate." The article goes on to hit several bullet-points disproving the accuracy of the original reportage.

But why is this ageing canard still circulating through the Urban Legend Mill?

Perhaps it's because of this article from this forum subject in under the topic heading "Oregon firefighters out of job becuase [sic] they speak english[sic]"
The topic was started January 15, 2008 and the last entry was date-stamped January 25, 2008. The original entry even embedded the video which (two years after the original article) was loaded to YouTube.

It is not my intention to criticize -- open forums are subject to a lot of misinformation, and in fact it may have been the general unwillingness of forum members to accept the validity of the charge which led it to an early death. (The forum topic, not the website; it's still going strong.)

Granted my websearch was not the result of a deep and intensive effort, I only looked at a few pages (less than 100 hits) under "Oregon firefighter supervisors' and "oregon firefighters speak english". Still, I found only the single 2008 forum entry which was more recent than the original 2006 KATU article.

Given that the references I found were overwhelmingly inclined to repudiate the charge, my guess is that it was a misinterpretation of a quote from a single person, which may not have been cross-checked for accuracy prior to press time. It's unfortunate that Fox News picked it up and ran an on-line report with no further accuracy checking.

Full Disclosure: I'm no better than KATU or FOX-TV. My fact-checking took me about ten minutes. On the other hand, I turned up enough information to doubt the article, and I'm only "a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writting" without "multiple layers of checks and balances". Fox and KATU are those "Professional Journalists" ... like Dan Rather. Granted, KATU did make one contact with a Forestry Department Official, but that resulted in the charges by a single quoted source with (arguably) his own axe to grind. Pardon the pun.

So why are you reading all of this after-the-fact commentary on a blown story?

Because after all these years, that misleading video is still making the circuits of email mass-postings, and every time I receive an email about an "outrageous situation" it's impossible for me to resist throwing the spotlight on it.

Here's hoping that my friends and family will take this to heart and do their own fact-checking before they forward bogus Urban Legends (or in this case "Forestry Legends").

Here's the Box Score:
  • A local news station to run a bogus story without confirming the facts: a reporter's career.
  • A network affiliate picking up the story and running it on Network TV without confirming the facts: undermines a MSM Network's reputation.
  • A lone blogger putting a stick in their professional eyes 3 years after the fact: priceless!