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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)


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August 17, 2005
The President is a Biker
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics

President Bush invited some journalists along for a bike ride last weekend.

USA Today reporter Sal Ruibal went along and filed a huffing and puffing report. The president is in pretty good shape, you know.

Bush invited me and a few other reporters for a mountain bike ride on his 1,600-acre Texas ranch Saturday.

His escapades on the bike have been well documented: an over-the-handlebars crash here at the ranch and a wet-pavement wipeout in Scotland that injured a pedestrian policeman.

But the truth about the Biker-in-Chief is that the man can really ride. Over the course of a two-hour Tour de Crawford, Bush humbled every rider in Peloton One with a strong and steady pace over scorching hot paved roads, muddy creek crossings, energy-sapping tall grass and steep climbs on loose and crumbling rock.

"This is not a race," he insisted at the start of the ride. "This is a chance for me to show you a little slice of heaven, as far as I'm concerned. You know, some guys go on their ranch and ride horses — I like to ride my ranch on a mountain bike."

Now, this is some important information about Sal:

Sal Ruibal is a 51-year-old sportswriter for USA TODAY who has covered the Tour de France six times and ridden most of the Tour's mountain passes. He is an experienced mountain bike racer who finished fifth in the Masters category at the 2002 World Championships of 24-Hour Solo Mountain Biking.

This is what Sal says it is like to ride with the president:

...there is one rule: don't pass the president.

No problem. Keeping up with Bush — whose fitness level was recently rated in his annual physical exam as being in the top 1% of men 55 to 59 — was as difficult as any race I've entered.

I started out riding next to him at the beginning of the ride, but when we left the dirt trails and hit the rolling asphalt the pace accelerated to more than 20 mph, which is pretty good for road bikes but absolutely blazing for heavier, knobby-tired mountain bikes. And did I mention that the only factor mitigating the mid-80s temperatures was a very strong headwind?

Turns out the Commander-In-Chief is also the Biker-In-Chief and apparently the Commander-In-Shape as well.

But this little frolic was a warm-up for next weekend apparently:

WACO, Texas — President Bush gets to hit the trails with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

Armstrong told ABC's This Week on Sunday that he'll travel to Crawford, Texas, on Saturday to ride mountain bikes with the president. "It's a dream scenario for me," Armstrong said.

It also must be a dream scenario for Bush to ride with Armstrong, a fellow Texan and cancer survivor who last month won his seventh Tour de France.

Armstrong is impressed with how seriously Bush takes the sport: "I know people who have ridden with him. I can tell you he's one very competitive guy. Very competitive, there's no talking. A few minutes of warm-up time, a little chitchat, then you go."

Wouldn't you like to be able to keep up with that ride?


Pulled by Emcee on August 17, 2005 at 12:12 AM
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August 16, 2005
Please Pass the DDT
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, Science

Would it be surprising to you that the banning of DDT was based on faulty science, fraudulent research and that the ban continues today largely because of eco-ideaology?

A New York Times article of January of this year, titled It’s Time to Spray DDT proclaimed what long ago became the obvious, that “the evidence is overwhelming: DDT saves lives.”2  The American Council on Science and Health printed an article in 2002 entitled The DDT ban turns 30 – millions dead of malaria because of ban, more deaths likely.3  In 2003 Front Page Magazine ran an article entitled Rachel Carsons’ Ecological Genocide, similarly concerned with the DDT ban, and employing that loaded word “genocide”.4  And in his popular novel, State of Fear, Michael Crichton also espoused this view, describing the DDT ban as “arguably the greatest tragedy of the 20th century.” He continues, “since the ban, two million people a year have died unnecessarily from malaria, mostly children. The ban has caused more than fifty million needless deaths. Banning DDT killed more people than Hitler.”

Read the whole article.

Now, ask yourself. Is there anything else going on in our world today that could be analogous?

h/t LifeSite.


Pulled by Emcee on August 16, 2005 at 11:59 PM
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August 15, 2005
The TIME Has Come
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, Satire, Science

<satire>

To the inculcated proletariat:

TIME magazine had a perfect opportunity to appropriately portray the obviously Chimpy McHitlerburton inspired comments last week by the Resident Shrub, but instead, they chose to commit the ultimate heresy.

The Gradualist Collective, also known as the New Inquisition, provided a proper submission for the TIME cover when we discovered that they were doing a 'story'...

Timecover20002

and this image and caption clearly captures the nature of what is going on - if you are going to say anything at all. It's best to be silent, but if you can't because of public exposure, you certainly must use ad hominem attack - it's a tried and true strategy - because we certainly can't engage with the opposition - that's like giving credibility to miracles.

However, our worst fears have been realized. It is apparent now that TIME magazine itself has been infiltrated by the cretinous horde because they actually allowed the enemy to speak...

...Continue reading "The TIME Has Come"

Pulled by Emcee on August 15, 2005 at 05:28 PM
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August 13, 2005
Hey! Canna Lily get a minute?
Filed in: Current Affairs, Photography

So, I'm feeling a little like Eddie Murphy's character in Dr. Dolittle - 'cept it's the plants that are talking to me. First it's the Nandina while I'm trying to shoot the heather.

Then it was the Canna Lilies...

Dsc_09680001

Part of it is that they were definitely getting a little parched out there in the heat with only a bucket worth of water to keep 'em going.

Dsc_09690002

They just thought it was unfair for the heather to show off in the sunlight without them being able to as well...

...Continue reading "Hey! Canna Lily get a minute?"

Pulled by Emcee on August 13, 2005 at 11:20 PM
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A brief study in heather
Filed in: Current Affairs, Photography

I ventured as far as the red heather in the front yard yesterday.

Dsc_09530005

Well, I call it red heather. It isn't quite Phyllodoce breweri because the individual cockles are more elongated. I suspect it is just a domesticated variety.

Dsc_09510004

They make a very nice hedge or border plant and produce brilliant blossoms in the late summer into early fall...

...Continue reading "A brief study in heather"

Pulled by Emcee on August 13, 2005 at 05:05 PM
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Zoom without the churn
Filed in: Current Affairs, Science

Maybe, like me, you are very fond of the incredible photos taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and you download the really big images so that you can zoom in like this on the Whirlpool Galaxy: M51:

M51zoomfull

But maybe, like me, you don't like the churn - or crashes or messing with your capture program - it causes your machine to open and zoom around in a 105 meg jpeg file.

Well, thanks to the folks at the Ewell Observatory, and Richard Bennion in particular, there is an interactive version of the Hubble M51 photo here.

Hubbleheritage

This paired down version of the photo allows for really good panning and zooming around the image and can yeild some pretty good captures...

...Continue reading "Zoom without the churn"

Pulled by Emcee on August 13, 2005 at 01:46 PM
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August 12, 2005
County elections office gets beefed up
Filed in: Current Affairs, Politics, WA Governor's Race

Seattle Times' opening paragraph for this story:

King County Executive Ron Sims has temporarily reassigned two veteran managers to help run this fall's elections and will seek $500,000 to pay for a "turnaround team" that would make longer-term changes in the dysfunctional election operation.

Heh. They said dysfunctional.

Guess that's one term they could use to describe the most egregious affront to liberty in the elections process seen since Mayor Daley's Chicago syndicate.


Pulled by Emcee on August 12, 2005 at 12:02 AM
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August 11, 2005
Oregon Terrorist Training...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Domestic Terror, Politics, War on Terror

Tucked away in the Seattle Times this week is an ominous story about the reach and connectedness of terrorist organizations and the threat that apparently assimilated Islamic fanatics bring to our shores.

A federal complaint unsealed yesterday offers new details into a failed plan to set up a jihad terrorist training camp outside Bly, Ore.

The complaint, filed June 20, charges British citizen Haroon Rashid Aswat, with offering material support to terrorists, knowing his efforts would be used to "kill, kidnap and maim persons and damage property in a foreign country."

The camp was initially promoted by James Ujaama, a former Seattle resident who was sentenced to two years in federal prison in return for his cooperation with federal investigators.

The complaint unsealed yesterday alleges that the camp was to seek fighters from the United States and London to wage jihad — or a holy war — in Afghanistan. The camp was to offer training in archery, combat, martial arts, rifle and handgun handling, all in a secure environment in a "pro-militia and fire-arms state," according to a fax cited in the unsealed complaint. Sources have said that Ujaama wrote the fax.

Note this: Aswat: British citizen - in Oregon, US. Setting up a training camp to import trainees from the US and Britain and export terror to Afghanistan.

So, how did they nab this guy:

Aswat was taken into custody in Zambia last month in connection with the London transit bombings. British officials want to question him about 20 phone calls reportedly made on his South African cellphone to some of the four bombers who killed 52 people in the London attack, Zambian officials say. But it is unclear what — if any — involvement Aswat is alleged to have had in those attacks.

Aswat: Likely involved in the London terror.

Despite the apparent 'lack of success' they were subjects of interest years ago:

During the fall of 1999, the ranch drew scrutiny from Southern Oregon law-enforcement officials.

"There were reports of gunfire and of a large group of suspicious, or unusual, people there," Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger said in a 2002 interview.

While we attempt extradition of Aswat from Britain, we would do well to collectively ask ourselves honestly: Can we really pretend that there are no sleeper cells operating in this country?


Pulled by Emcee on August 11, 2005 at 11:55 PM
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For Craig
Filed in: Art, ok maybe that's too strong a word, Current Affairs, Photography

Sometimes when you can "see" the path - even the parts that are fearsome, it makes it easier to take each step. This is what I thought of when you said what the Life Bridge looked like to you ...

Lifebridge0001


Pulled by Emcee on August 11, 2005 at 06:19 AM
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August 10, 2005
Visual learning...
Filed in: Current Affairs, Photography

The Lifecycle of the Common Blackberry:

(*Long essay follows about blossoms, stamens, pollen, seed pods, and berry development.*)

Or:

Dsc_08310001

I prefer the latter.

This does not diminish my joy that Mrs. Hapke now has full use of the vowels and consonants again.


Pulled by Emcee on August 10, 2005 at 09:23 PM
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