Incompetence Factor 
I started re-reading Animal Farm and ran across this:

"The pessimists failed to allow for the stupidity and incompetence factor among people who would run the totalitarian states."

- Russell Baker, from the preface

He, of course, was talking about the Soviet Union but this quote can be applied to America today. Democrats got their wish and annexed another segment of the population into perpetual dependency. Even without being a totalitarian state (yet), the people see only the promise of another handout but cannot see the "incompetence factor" within it.

Businesses, of course, are subject to this factor too. However, when a business fails or misleads or hurts someone or is just plainly run by stupidity and incompetence, mechanisms exist to combat this. People stop buying their products. Government shuts them down or legislates them out of business. Government is meant as the fallback, not as a the primary. Once government is primary in some venue, no fallback exists anymore. Dependence is assured and with dependence comes power, not from the consent of the governed as intended by our Founding Fathers but rather from those giving the handouts. Perhaps we can rewrite Baker's quote:

"The pessimists failed to allow for the stupidity and incompetence factor among the voters who would chose their leaders."

Forty-five years and running we've been doing this - voting for leaders who promise handouts and entitlements. Authoritarian control (listen to Rep. John Dingell admit it) can fall under the guise of good intentions and the voters suckers buy it every time. Once we get our handout from the government, they own us and when they eventually display their stupidity and incompetence, we cry like the dependent little brats we've become.

Existing entitlement programs like Society Security and Medicaid are broken due to mismanagement and due to leeches sucking the system dry. The incompetence factor comes into to play when those in congress cannot say 'no' to another group who wants part of it. Then, who suffers? Those the system was meant to help.

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Handouts. To paraphrase a famous line, eventually we will run out of other peoples' money. Actually, we already have but let's continue to tax and spend and flush money away. Idiots.

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Violence 
Funny how these stories just didn't get the coverage that recent stories about assumed conservatives acting in anger about this health care handout do.

via Instapundit:

REMEMBERING WHEN G.O.P. Offices Were Vandalized: An apparent mob of vandals attacked the North Carolina Republican Party headquarters, causing minor smoke damage, breaking windows and leaving vulgar messages, police said. I dont remember a national panic over this, or over the bullet-riddled Bush/Cheney headquarters.

Then there was this episode. And, of course, this: A group of protesters stormed and then ransacked a Bush-Cheney headquarters building in Orlando, Fla., Tuesday, according to Local 6 News.

But those represented the righteous indignation of oppressed lefties, rather than the dangerous violence of nasty righties.


Remember the media outcry from these events? Me neither.

How about this Vietnam Vet's home being vandalized? Didn't hear about that one, either. Or this one, either: "Mary Landrieu: I'll Punch Bush, 'Literally'". Classy. Somehow, this didn't seem to be big news either.

Media bias? Nah.

And let's not forget who makes up a majority of protesters at G20 summits or who commits ecoterrorism. Hint: if they vote, they weren't voting Bush/Cheney or McCain/Palin, that's for sure.

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The Plan 
Week two is in the bag: I'm following Hal Higdon's 15-K training plan for the 10 mile run I am doing in May. I've followed the schedule almost to the letter except that I have switched days for certain things just because of my schedule. But I have done everything on the list and nothing more and nothing less.

I bought a new pair of running shoes to coincide with this training, too; Asics Gel Foundation 8. The ITBand pain has all but disappeared. I did a few weeks of physical therapy and have some exercises I do to stretch that thing out. I was wearing a Cho-Pat knee strap too but my past few runs have been sans Cho-Pat and I haven't had a problem. Granted, the training regimen, at this point, calls for less miles than I was running before, but I want to do this right and not just complete the 10 miler, but do it in a respectable time and without injury.

Back to the shoes: it's too early to say if I have found the right running shoe for me but I really dig these Asics. I've tried Saucony and Brooks but I wasn't totally convinced either of their motion-control shoes were best for me. Once I put about 100 miles or so on the Asics, I'll know if I've found what's right for me. Since I need wide shoes, my choices are limited because only a few makes offer wides.

So far, so good. The weather seems to be getting better and running season is in full bloom.

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President's Day 


Happy 278th George!

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201 


Happy Birthday Abe!

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Teleprompter Overdependency 
Bush may have said "is our children learning" which, of course, sounds foolish (but at least he didn't say it again within 30 seconds), but this BHO misspeak insults a lot of people.



One can defend Bush's example above. Bush may have really said "is...are children learning?" - having changed from the singular to the plural to agree with children. But, our current TOTUS cannot be defended other that to admit his addiction to the teleprompter. Smartest president ever, riiiight.

Everyone makes errors when speaking but the difference is that when it's the president, everyone usually notices. But with His Excellency in office, the solecisms are ignored. If Bush had said "corpseman" twice while over 100,000 men and women are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the press would have ripped him apart. But, Barry? Nope. He's got unlimited 'get out of jail free' cards.

Maybe I'm being too hard on him. Perhaps he never knew how the pronounce "corpsman" in the first place?

And you can be darn sure that John McCain can pronounce 'corpsman' properly.

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Portent 
Considering that Washington DC just set a December snowfall record and now was at ground zero of a monster storm that dumped 32.4" at Dulles and up to 40 inches in the Maryland suburbs, I wonder if someone is trying to tell Washington something? Another storm is forming out west and may hit the region by midweek. If this happens, surely something is amiss.

Maybe some entity is reminding us that we have little effect on weather and climate.

Maybe these storms are symbolic of how Washington is burying us in debt. Bush & Co. were amateurs at this compared to the current crop of buffoons.

Or, maybe it's just luck of the draw. Sometimes you get 65F days in February in Washington and sometimes you get a record-setting blizzard. The rebranding of "global warming" to "climate change" functions as good CYA for these kinds of things.

***

By the way, my Super Bowl XLIV prediction:

Saints 34
Colts 31

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Miss Me Yet? 


Maybe not a great, nor even good president, but the Bush years were pretty good. Sure, the media was pretty upset about the 2000 election and even moreso at the 2004 election, but Bush never wavered and, unlike our current prez, never declared war on those who disagreed with him or his policies.

Frankly, I still think it's more than a coincidence that the "economic meltdown" started shortly after McCain's announcement of Palin as a running mate and the bump that put him even with Obama in the polls. Someone **cough** **cough** Soros **cough** **cough** panicked and pulled a lot of strings. I think time will tell that what happened in September 2008 was an October surprise that got well out of hand.

Dubya, things were good during your tenure. With all the crap you took and all the things you did wrong, we did pretty well overall. Even with the inept congress that took office in 2006, the ship held together quite well - until it was sabotaged.

Am I conspiracy nut? Maybe, but no worse than those who blame <insert world problem here> on Bush.

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New Toy: Yaesu VX-6R 


I bought a Yaesu VX-6R handheld transceiver this week. I like it. Broadly, the features include: tribander with TX on 144, 220, and 440 ham bands, wideband RX, lithium-ion battery, submersible to 3 ft. (something I will not test intentionally), it's lighter and smaller than my VX-150, and many more features it will take time for me to familiarize myself with.

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Feelin' Groovy 
I did a three mile run on the treadmill at the gym last night. I wore a Cho-Pat knee strap that the doctor gave me and I still had some pain and running more than three might have been tough, but the strap worked. After the run and in addition to my usual IT-band stretches, I did some hip adductor exercises on one of the leg machines and that almost completely got rid of the pain. The pain came back a little after I left the gym but it wasn't as bad as it was from some other runs so I did another set of stretches about an hour before bedtime. This morning, the knee feels good.

The doctor referred me to a physical therapist and did not proscribe me from running. I will take it easy and cap my runs at three, unless the PT recommends otherwise, but I am feeling much better already and looking forward being able to do my first five and six mile runs of the year and eventually the 10 in May.

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Iliotibial Band  
I haven't been running due to injuring my IT band. The pain is in the knee but the band runs along the leg from the hip to the knee. In doing research on the causes of it, I have discovered that I am a prime candidate for this injury. I overpronate. I run up and down hills. Most streets are arced and since I run against traffic, that explains why it's only affecting my left knee. The bike paths arc in many spots, too.

So, I have done a few runs since the pain began but nothing more than two miles as that is when it flares up. I've been doing some stretches that concentrate on the band and just doing some walks to keep the body moving, albeit a little bit.

I don' think the shoes are failing but I may need insoles and I purchased an IT band compression wrap that is supposed to support the knee while running.

It's been too cold and snowy to bike too. Biking may be less demanding on the IT band but the weather has not been cooperative. I think I can layer up enough to bike once the temperature hits about 40F or so but those days have been quite rare of late.

I will continue to rest and do stretches and try a run in a few days. I still plan on running a 10 miler in May and a half-marathon in the fall.

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CBS Ad from 1966 


Awesome!

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