Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Flap About Flour

I know I should really treat this seriously, but I would be really embarrassed about reporting plain baking flour as a suspicious substance.
In the end, it was plain white baking flour, leftover trail markers placed by a local group of runners. "We have determined that these were clues left by organizers of a race to help runners know they were following the correct trail," said Dick O'Connell, U.S. Marshal for western Arkansas. "In what's called a 'hash run,' runners follow markers of things like flour or shaving cream to navigate."

Maybe I'm a bit naive but I really don't think terrorists are going to hit Fayetteville. Instead of hauling out all the emergency personnel I would have gone up and figured out for myself what it was. Yeah, people are telling the officers they did a good thing by calling out hazmet, but I know that a lot of people are snickering behind their backs.
No criminal charges are likely because there was no malice or mischief involved, Gabbard said. "We did suggest that future routes avoid federal properties, and they've said that authorities will get a heads-up next time they're setting up a course," he said.

I might also suggest that people get a grip and don't over-react.

Take That Tax Man!

It's amazing to what lengths the government will go to get taxes from people.
A new department policy this year has made Halloween jack-o'-lanterns subject to the state sales tax, and many Iowa pumpkin growers are feeling tricked.

Guess they’ll next be taxing popcorn and cranberry garlands at Christmas. Then there's those gingerbread houses and sugar cookie decorations. What about that imaginary jolly man’s milk and cookies that are left out on the mantle? And the apples left on the porch for his reindeer?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Fayetteville, No Increased Property Tax

The Fayetteville City Council voted no on raising the property taxes. At the Ward 4 meeting last night we discussed the tax. Shirley Lucus and Lioneld Jordan said that most of the calls they've received were against it. A quick show of hands also indicated that most of us weren't in favor of it either. Lioneld said that they haven't even seen the budget yet and that there might be things they could eliminate. He mentioned $10,000 for a city council retreat. Yeah, that really needs to go. Also mentioned was that Fayetteville was going through an adjustment right now and the sales tax from Sam's Club and the Malco Theater could make up the difference next year. If they raised the tax and the sales taxes went up the city wouldn't reduce the property tax. The city would get use to the increased tax money and continue to spend at that level. If the city council makes some adjustments to the budget and watches it carefully next year I think they can get people to approve a tax increase if it's needed. They are just going to have to work to keep people informed on what's happening to it.

Forest Hills Development on Wedington Drive

A new development is going in on Wedington Drive. I guess the place to build developments is on Wedington. The developers presented their project at the Ward 4 meeting last night. This development will have retail stores on Wedington itself with condominiums, townhomes and single family homes south of the retail stores. Wal-Mart is planning to put in a Neighborhood Market as the major store in the development. I've been hoping for a Neighborhood Market, so that'll be really nice. Of course, most of the concerns about the development is about the traffic, or the flow of traffic in and around the development. Wedington is going to be really, really congested.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Diaper Donors

If there is any way to get money from people, politicians are going to find it. With all due respect to Senator McCain, it is darn near impossible to stop improper campaign contributions. People are going exploit any loophole they find effectively and enthusiastically.
Although campaign finance laws set a limit of $2,300 per donor per campaign, they do not explicitly bar donors based on age. And young donors abound in the fundraising reports filed by presidential contenders this year.

I'm waiting for these families to start using their pets as donors. Heck, if they get caught the politicians just return the money.

Under the Weather

I've been a bit swamped at work this week. There's a lot I trying to catch up with. I've been dragging some of my work home. So, instead of blogging I've been working on quality improvement reports. Tigger wasn't feeling all that well Tuesday. He didn't eat at all that day and just slept. He's usually trying to get outside or getting me to give him a treat. Anyway, he's better now, just a 24 hr bug. Wednesday morning he jump on the bed trying to get me up to get him his breakfast.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

California Fires

I've gotten a e-mail from my uncle who lives in San Diego.
We are quite safe at 20 to 30 miles from any of the fire fronts and most of that is urbanized area with lots of fire hydrants along the streets. I don’t feel any potential threat at all. Our worst problem is that some of the power lines that feed the city are down and they say we are to cut back on use to prevent overloading the remaining lines.
I’m sure that the media is in the usual hyper mode of broadcasting, looking for any small bit of sensationalism to expand into headlines. But no, not all of San Diego is in flames. This is not to minimize the size of the fire and the horror for those who are living trough it. The fire of ’03 was said to be the biggest to ever hit the state and 200 homes were lost. So far, on Tuesday morning, they say that this fire has claimed 1000 homes. The 100,000 acres of fire is big, but it is less than 4% of the area of the county, and much of it is hillside brush land. Consider that some of the homes lost were on “Twisted Ranch Road”. Some people chose to live out in the ‘boonies’ hidden back in the hills. The evacuation of 300,000 people is a huge effort, although I’m not certain that all who were directed to go, have really done so. The evacuation areas comprise about 4 times the size of the actual fire areas. The concerted effort of evacuation is somewhat an over reaction to the failures during the ’03 fire where they ignored the danger in its early stages. But some of the people who stayed behind in ’03 to try and save their homes were the ones who died. 16 died in the ’03 fire, 1 has died this year.
We are safe and secure with our worst issue is the smoke in the air that they say is unhealthy for too much exercise so we rest for a few days.

I've lived in L.A. for 8 years and there were always a fire danger. One year one of the fires was close to where I lived. I watched the fire from my balcony. I've hiked those hills and canyons many times. They are very steep and covered with trees, bushes, and grass. It was almost always really dry. Even the hills I hiked by the coast were dry. When you get those Santa Ana winds whipping through those canyons it's darn near impossible to stop any fires.
Definitely need to pray for the protection for those fighting the fires and those supporting them and that those darn Santa Ana winds would subside.

Bill Clinton, Force Poor People to Contribute

President Clinton, in a speech this weekend, bemoaned the fact that people with little money in their pockets aren't giving enough of it away.
More people without deep pockets need to give to charity, former President Bill Clinton said Monday to a group of people who donated the most money in the nation last year. "I think it's important for us to keep trying to find ways to get more people involved in this kind of work in an intelligent way," Clinton said in an address to the Slate 60 conference held at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library.

Yeah, he really wants us to donate to his own charitable foundation. I wonder how much money he pays himself for running that foundation. Yup, us little people with less money really need to feel like our donations also could make a difference in the pockets of people like Clinton who run these foundations. Give us a break! We know that our money mostly ends up paying for administrative costs rather than any one that actually needs it.
Not only are we suppose to put on money in Clinton's pocket but he wants to turn schools into child labor camps. Yeah, force those kids to work on government and private projects.
Clinton suggested that middle school students be required to participate in community service projects and that each American high school form its own non-governmental organization and pick its own project, whether its in the neighborhood or across the globe.

I really think it's the parents job to teach their kids about giving and volunteering their gifts and talents for the benefit of others. The government has no business forcing kids to work on local community projects. Giving or volunteering needs to been done freely without coercion.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Harry Reid/Rush Limbaugh Smear Letter

Ok, I admit it. I've been watching Rush's letter on E-Bay for the past hour. Like everyone else I've been entranced by how high the bidding has gone. Rush's comments about how serious bidders work makes me think he's done some E-Bay shopping too.
The bidding is over! Amazing! I never thought that the bidding would go so high. This auction was an absolutely brilliant idea. Rush has taken on the Senate's abuse of power and has turn it to a positive. Harry Reid and the other 40 Senators have been thoroughly embarrassed. Heh! Reid even tried to horn in at the last hour. He still hasn't the decency to apologize to Rush!
I don't expect our own Senator Blanche Lincoln to match the bid but the least she could do is to make a donation to the The Marine Corp - Law Enforcement Foundation. I've made my donation.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Eli, Treed!

Um, could some one get me down?

More cats at Friday Ark

The Expanded S-CHIP, Dead

Thank God, the attempt by the Democrat Party to override the President's veto died. Hopefully this sends the message to the Democrat Party that we don't want socialized national health care. Yeah, Nancy Pelosi let the cat out of the bag on the Democrat's true intent. She argued today that we should follow every other industrialized nation in providing government coverage for all children, thus revealing the real agenda behind this S-CHIP expansion.

The Republicans are actually planning to do something about saving the children’s health care program. They are introducing an alternative to the Democrat's S-CHIP. It will be based on the on proposed by the Heritage Foundation. It calls for the re-authorization of the S-CHIP for uninsured children in families with incomes at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. Second, it calls for child health care tax credit for families with incomes between 200 percent and 300 percent of the FPL. Lastly, adopt a "federalism" health care initiative, helping the states find more efficient ways of using existing federal and state funds to increase insurance coverage.

Hopefully the Democrats won't bring any more national health care legislation at least until the Presidential election is over. I hope the Republicans get their act together so we don't have to face Clinton in the White House again.

TB Infected Illegal

I think this may be part of the the terrorists plot. Just keep sending illegals across the border infected with a highly contagious, drug resistant disease. You can kill hundreds or thousands of Americans.
I believe I know where this guy could be hiding. He could be in one of these safe houses designed for illegals crossing the border.
Inside the small solar-powered structure migrants can find water, some food and a touch screen. Drawing upon traveler graffiti, pictograms, and the Mexican tradition of ex-voto painting, migrants are invited to use the interface and share something about themselves and their journey with the homeowner and anyone who's interested. Migrants can either draw, write messages, or make a pictogram from ready-made graphical icons.

The only thing that's missing is the vending machine for the fake drivers license, social security cards and birth certificates.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Up Again!

Somehow I didn't receive the brand new, up and running notice from these guys.

OneUps, Playing the Music of Games

One of our local bands is getting some national coverage.
On the first night of this year’s Penny Arcade Show in Seattle, scores of gamers gathered to hear the OneUps. Not many in the audience had ever heard of the seven-piece video-game cover band from Fayetteville, Ark.

Yeah, I didn't know there was such a music genre. The things you learn.
It was a particularly sweet moment for OneUps founder Mustin, who also plays bass and keyboards. He had been working a long time to get the band — and video game music — the respect he thought it deserved. But until that night, their gigs hadn’t really drawn much of a crowd.

Congratulations guys, hope you have a long run of success. Here's a sample of their music, playing at Scarpino's.

Finding the Right Shoes

I have been on a quest to find some shoes. As I'm growing older my feet are getting flatter and it's getting hard to find shoes that fit. It's also very hard to find a really nice looking professional shoe that isn't a high heel. I managed to find some Merrells that fit the bill, except they were a little tight. I took them to the College Shoe Repair and got them stretched to fit. Duane was really nice taking them back a couple of times until I was satisfied. Then, he didn't charge me for them. Thanks Duane!

President Bush, Rogers, Arkansas

I was fortunate enough to be one of the people invited to hear President Bush at the John Q. Hammons Center. He started by announcing 49 months of consecutive job growth. He spoke about putting policies in place to help small business and that running up taxes was the worse thing to do for small businesses. Congress, he said, was planning to add a $205 billion increase to the budget and in order to pay for it they would have to raise taxes. He complained that Congress has yet to send him an appropriation bill to sign. He said that there was going to be a "Fiscal Showdown" in Washington.
The rest of the time President Bush took questions from the audience. He defended his veto of the S-CHIP saying it "sounds like nationalized medicine". He said the program should provide for the poor children that the current S-CHIP isn't providing for instead of expanding free health care to the upper middle class. He believes that people should be offer a private insurance they can afford.

One question came from a dairy farmer who complained about the cost of corn and about the enforcement of illegal immigration laws. President Bush said that he agreed with people that we should enforce our immigration laws and protect the border. He sounded very angry that the comprehensive "amnesty" bill was defeated. It sounded like he was very sympathetic to the farmer because he wanted to cut costs by hiring the cheap illegals to work his farm. One of the last questions came from our very own Mayor Dan Coody. Yes! He was there! Well, you expect him to be invited but you don't actually believe that he'd show up. Anyway, he ask a question about his favorite subject, economic sustainability. President Bush said that we needed to grow our economy and still have a sound environmental policy. He said we needed to focus on new technology to help. He said we can't be a good steward of the environment if we're broke.
President Bush does really well at this type of venue. While I don't always agree with him, I did enjoy hearing him speak.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Catherine Forsythe, Prayers

My thoughts and prayers go out to Chris Muir and his family. I am so sorry that Catherine has lost her battle with cancer. May God extended an over abundance of mercy and grace to your family as you go through this difficult time.

Nobel Peace Prize, The True Winners

Oh, well said! Bravo! I couldn't have come up with a better list of people better deserving of the Noble Peace Prize instead of Al Gore. I can't think of anyone less deserving of the Prize than that man.
These men and women put their own lives and livelihoods at risk by working to rid the world of violence and oppression. Let us hope they survive the coming year so that the Nobel Prize Committee might consider them for the 2008 award.

Here! Here!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Fall Weather is Here

At last, the Autumn temperatures are here. No more warm and muggy afternoons. Eli loves to sleep the afternoon away on the front porch. That way he can take a little snooze and still watch out for that cat across the street.

Tigger joins Eli on the front porch taking the other chair. He's a little more distracted by the traffic in the street.

More cats at Friday Ark

Fayetteville, Taxes Slam

So, we have the city of Fayetteville, the Fayetteville School District and Washington County all considering increasing the property tax millage. I just wonder what these politicians are thinking? Do they really think people are going to want to pay a triple slam in property tax increases. People aren't going to be particularly happy with more taxes especially after just receiving an assessment change from the County Assessor. Mayor Coody may be complaining now about the current reduction in sales tax revenues, just wait until people start paying these taxes. The sales tax revenues could dip even lower.

Al Gore Chasing the Medal, Inconvenient Untruths

Well, it appears that Al Gore is probably going to get the Nobel Peace Prize. The Prize Committee continues it's new tradition of selecting people who have done more to bring misery to the people of the world.
I wonder what Al's speech is going to be like. "Thank you, Ladies and Gentlemen, for this Award which I so richly deserve. The film "An Inconvenient Truth" will hopefully kill more poor than either Jimmy Carter or Yasser Arafat have. I am please at the news that already food shortages have hit places like Mexico, France, England and even the U.S. I am especially please with the shortage of food grains, countries will be sending less food to poverty stricken people in Africa and Asia. Who knows how many millions more people will starve to death. I am not at all worried about that stupid English Judge who caught on to my lies. I'll still be able to infiltrate the system and spread my lies to the little children."

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Yawn! Another Debate

O God! Another debate! The big news, Fred Thompson debuts. Most people were hoping that Chris Matthews would act like an ass. Some one must have told him to act civil. Too bad he didn't, it would have liven up the debate. I scrolled through some sites live blogging. I like that better than actually watching it. Live Blogging comments here and here

Monday, October 08, 2007

One Billion Bulbs

One Billion Bulbs Instapundit Readers Bulbs Change Statistics

I was reminded by Glenn's boasting that I needed to add a few more bulbs. One thing I have discovered about these bulbs is that they take about 30 secs to brighten to their fullest. If you have a room that you need instant bright light don't put change to one of these lights. I tried to put one in my bathroom and found I was fumbling around in dim light.

S-CHIP And America's New Poor

You know, I thought that I was doing fairly well financially until I read the financial status of the Frosts. We were introduced to the Frost family by way of the Democrat's Saturday morning radio address. The Frost's son, Graeme, was pulling on the heartstrings of us heartless Republicans for not supporting the expanded S-CHIP. He and his sister were severely injured in a car accident and were financial supported from S-CHIP.
Well, the story could have ended there except a Freeper started investigating the Frost family. icwhatudo found that the Fosters weren't as financially distress as the Democrats presented them. Which led "icwhatudo" to question
One has to wonder that if time and money can be found to remodel a home, send kids to exclusive private schools, purchase commercial property and run your own business... maybe money can be found for other things...maybe Dad should drop his woodworking hobby and get a real job that offers health insurance rather than making people like me (also with 4 kids in a 600sf smaller house and tuition $16,000 less per kid and no commercial property ownership) pay for it in my taxes.

I am definitely less well off than the Frosts. They are sure living a lot higher on the hog than me, yet the Democrat Party expects me to pay for their health care costs. It is absolutely absurd to expand the S-CHIP to cover families in the upper middle class. The Frosts lack of insurance is not because of the lack of opportunity or resources but because the Frosts refuse to pay for it. They prefer some one else do it, while they enjoy life's luxuries.
This is the biggest problem with the S-CHIP. The new bill will cover more than 9 million kids at a cost of $60 billion. It will be paid for with a 61-cent hike in the tobacco tax. That tax will hit the poor hardest, they are the ones that can't afford the new tax. Since they can't afford it they will have to quit smoking, if they can. So, the expected revenue to cover the expanded S-CHIP program doesn't materialize. The program goes into the red and where do you think Congress is going to look for that money?
In addition, those it helps aren't poor. Under the new bill, families earning $83,000 a year could be eligible. If this bill were targeted at just the poor, President Bush and the Republicans wouldn't oppose it. But it isn't. It's a new, massively expanded middle-class entitlement that I am going to have to pay for.

Governor Beebe's Arkansas Global Warming Lie

John Anderson at The Citizen's Journal picked up a little untruth uttered by Governor Beebe on his weekly radio address. Beebe was spewing the global warming swill and John points out this quote
This was Arkansas’s hottest summer on record, and the evidence that our Earth is warming cannot be ignored.

John goes out to the National Weather Service and discovers
The Weather Service Reports that 2007 was the 12th hottest summer on record since 1880 and August was the hottest August since 1954 but not in terms of average temps, in contrast July was the coolest July since 2004.

Why would Governor Beebe state such an obvious error? Did he deliberately lie to scare people to agreeing to the proposals that his commission are going to come up with. They are undoubtedly going to make you give up something or cost you money (taxes). He could be just repeating information some one fed to him, in which case that person needs to be fired because he/she is totally incompetent. Of course, they could be relying on NASA for their data, but NASA has been having problems with Hansen's Y2K bug. Or else they could have been using those temperature reading devices that have been improperly located or badly constructed.
In any case, Governor Beebe is just vomiting up the global warming crap without any regard to the truth. It's amazing how blatantly they just make up with this alarmist claptrap and expect people to believe it.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Catnip High

I added more dried catnip to the scratching box. Tigger loves catnip! He had a really good time rolling all over the box, in between a couple of really good sniffs.

More cats at Friday Ark

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Saga of Red Oak Park Continues

Solving the erosion problem at Red Oak Park has been put on hold again. The Fayetteville City Council wants to hear more possible solutions to the erosion beside eliminating some trees. Dale Evans of the Game and Fish Commission has modified his solution to the erosion. It saves additional trees but a fair number will still come down. Carole Jone, Park Planner, said that of the proposed trees to be removed, 47% are already compromised and consider unsavable. The idea of having a retention pond at the south end was brought up but there isn't enough room for one and the erosion problem still needs to be addressed.
Aubrey brought up the idea of having the residents of all the neighborhoods put in a rain garden so that there would be little water draining into the park. It's a nice idea, but you can't force people to put in a rain garden. You have to get them to volunteer. That isn't going to be easy. It's hard enough to get people to mow their lawns. I can't imagine the problem of trying to maintain a rain garden. Another problem is the high number of rentals in the neighborhoods. The owners are not going to put in something that requires maintenance. The actually number of residents volunteering to put in a rain garden is going to be too few to solve the problem. However, it is worth it to help those residents who are interested in a rain garden. Any little bit helps.

Woodstock Community, Approved

Last night the Fayetteville City Council approved the Woodstock Community off of Wedington Ave. I would image construction will start fairly soon. Yuck! Hank Broyles did make some changes to accommodate neighborhood concerns. Building heights were changed on those directly facing Wedington and 46th street. Actually only half of the building heights were change, but it was the ones facing houses across the street that were reduced. There are a number of changes for 46th street. There are going to be 2 speed tables installed (really smart idea) and an extended sidewalk on one side. I really appreciate the changes Hank has made. I'm still going to save money to move. I still think I'm going to have a hard time living next a commercial, high density community. By the time I've saved enough money I'll know for sure.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Fayetteville, Raising Taxes

Fayetteville is considering raising taxes, again. The City Council met Saturday to discuss the budget. What the NWA News reported on Sunday really ticked me off. More specifically what Mayor Coody is reported to have said ticked me off.
Allen said people see the city is "trying to clean up the sewer debacle, " and just passed 1 cent sales tax for transportation projects, so many think city officials simply can’t manage money.
Coody took offense to Allen’s use of the word debacle when speaking about the $ 186 million Wastewater System Improvement Project, which was originally scheduled to cost $ 120 million and be finished in September 2005. Coody described being more than $ 70 million over budget and three years behind schedule as the project’s " only hiccup."

Mayor Coody may consider the excessive costs of the project as "only hiccup"; however, Fayetteville citizens consider the $70 million over budget as another bite out of their wallets. Then then was this utterly ridiculous statement,
Of course, residents also have a certain level of culpability, Coody said. " If they would just shop in Fayetteville we would’t have to have these discussions, " he said.

Good Lord! Was there a ordinance passed that said Fayetteville residents could only shop in Fayetteville? We have less spending money in our pockets. Our budgets are being hammered with increased gas and food costs. I received my letter from the Assessor and I know that I am going to be hit with higher property taxes in the next couple of years. In addition, the city is discussing how high to raise the water and sewer rates. I am not going to have a whole lot less money to spend.
It was expected as shopping opportunities opened up in other cities those residents would shop in their city rather than drive to Fayetteville. The Mayor and the City Council knew this, they've discussed it. While they knew they were going to lose some revenue to other cities they were anticipating to generate some revenue from the new Sam's Club and Malco Theater. I think it is utterly ridiculous to expect Fayetteville residents to pick up the deficient left by people shopping elsewhere, particularly with less money available to spend.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Justice Clarence Thomas

I watched the 60 Minutes special on Justice Clarence Thomas. I haven't watched 60 Minutes in years, but I was really curious about Justice Thomas. CBS did a great job, they actually just let the man speak for himself. I was pleased that they didn't try to discredit him or put some one on that would smear him. I found Justice Thomas fascinating and inspiring. I can't wait to get his book.

Video 60 Minutes Part 1 and Part 2

Hillary Clinton's Baby Bonds

Whew! What a relief! These poll numbers on the Ms Clinton's "Baby Bond" proposal (60-27 against) are comforting. I was wondering if people were really interested in getting more "free" money from the Government without wondering how the Government got the money.
"I like the idea of giving every baby born in America a $5,000 account that will grow over time so that when that young person turns 18, if they have finished high school they will be able to access it to go to college, or maybe they will be able to put a down payment on their first home, or go into business."

What I don't understand is why she thinks everyone is entitle to have this money given to them. I worked my way through college. While I had some scholarships, grants and loans, I also worked. One year I had 3 part-time jobs. When I finally got a real salary I started saving my money. It took me 7 years but I had my down payment for my house. I thought working hard to get through college and saving your money for a house was what a person was suppose to do. There is no way that I'm going to let these kids be given a college education or a house on my hard work. Let them work for it themselves, just like everyone else has.