Yet Another Obama Lie

“We Need More Teachers.”

Really? Really?

From Cato-At-Liberty[*1]

How many is enough? One teacher per family? Hey, that’s a good idea. But we already have that.

It’s called homeschooling.

A lot of what Obama says sounds good at first because he’s mastered the technique of a forceful and authoritative tone. Unfortunately, so much of what he says is simply utter bullshit. And, increasingly, people are catching on to this sad fact.

He keeps saying that he hasn’t communicated enough. That is of course something else that isn’t true. He’s communicated plenty. What he hasn’t tried so far is TELLING THE TRUTH. I’m afraid that’s because he wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him in the ass.

The “Waste” part of “Waste, Fraud, and Abuse”

New Yorkers outraged as bureaucrats order city to change lettering on every single street sign[*1]

Of course, knowing how Democrats work, Fraud could be at work here too. Somebody’s nephew probably has a sign-making company and needs some business.

The additional cost to the city, if any, will be “marginal” because it receives a steady stream of state funding for routine sign repairs and replacement, DOT spokesman Seth Solomonow said.

Oh, that’s OK then. It won’t be the New York City taxpayers who pay for the signs. It will be everybody else in New York State paying for them. And, of course, through the generosity of the Federal Government, every taxpayer in the United States gets to contribute to this, too.

Hey, that’s more than fair, isn’t it?

You know you’re getting obsessed with politics when:

Time to take a short break, I think, from today’s posting frenzy . . .

Karl Denninger is really starting to scare the bejeesus out of me . . .

His latest: Avoidance Will Not Work[*1] :

Bernanke doesn’t have this under his control. He wants you to think he does, but he does not. His “nuclear option” forces him to monetize roughly thirty trillion of rolling debt. If he does it, the currency instantly collapses and the government very well might go with it.

Geithner definitely doesn’t have this under his control. The Government can only give him that control by ceasing deficit spending. We’re talking about a 50% cut in the Federal Budget – including entitlements. Are you willing to accept that? You’re going to have to be – because ultimately, that’s going to have to happen.

And Obama doesn’t have this under control at all. His only mantra? Spend more money we don’t have. Pure insanity – the very reason we’re in this mess.

No, folks – the power and choice is yours, but if you choose not to act – here and now – once that line is crossed it isn’t going to make a damn bit of difference what you do.

Your wealth – all of it – will be lost.

Yep. Bejeesus. Scared. Totally out. Gimme a beer.

We Are So Screwed.

Moron, The Clown Congress

Isn’t it nice to know that the current, 111th Congress, has earned a name? Not many Congresses have aspired to a label. Most of them have been content with a number. Of course, we had the original ones, the Continental Congresses, which formed the United States of America in the first place. Few others, even the momentous post-Civil War Reconstruction Congresses, the Progressive Congresses before the First World War, the New Deal Congresses of the Great Depression, and the Civil Rights/Vietnam War Congresses of the 1960’s did not really coalesce around a single identity which could be described with a single name.

But the Congress elected with Obama in 2008?

The Clown Congress.

Unable to govern, the Democrats turn to Stephen Colbert[*1]

A Congress Of, By, and For Clowns.

Let’s throw the Clowns out this November, what do you say?

The 2010 – 14-Day Alaskan Adventurer Cruise, Main Page

This is the front page for our journal of our Alaska cruise on Holland America’s ms Amsterdam from August 22 through September 6, 2010.

Here are the individual posts, collected all in one handy location for your reading pleasure. As we travel, we’ll be adding posts so you can follow our journeys.

(Click the Read More to see all the post links . . .) Part 1, Seattle, WA and at sea
Part 2, Ketchikan, AK
Part 3, Sitka, AK
Part 4, Skagway and Glacier Bay, AK
Part 5, Anchorage and Homer, AK
Part 6, Kodiak, AK
Part 7, Hubbard Glacier, AK
Part 8, Juneau, AK
Part 9, Victoria, BC, Canada

The 2010 – 14-Day Alaskan Adventurer Cruise, Part 9

The 14-Day Alaskan Adventurer Cruise, August 22-September 6, 2010, Holland America Amsterdam

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Nine

September 3 (Friday, Day 13, Juneau, Alaska, continued) –

Baked Alaska

Snookums, Filbert, Charlotte and Gary ate in the dining room in order to enjoy the Master Chef’s Dinner. It started 15 minutes earlier than our normal dining time and the waiters sang, danced and juggled. Everyone received the same first two courses and we had to choose our appetizer, soup and entrée. Everyone got baked Alaska for dessert and that was paraded around the dining room. It was a fun time and even Filbert, who hates the parade of waiters that occur on some cruises, enjoyed the dinner.

More after the jump . . .

The baked Alaska parade passes behind Charlotte

After dinner the four of us went to the Future Cruise Consultant since Snookums and Filbert had convinced Gary and Charlotte to go on a Transatlantic cruise that they had already signed up for. While there, Gary and Charlotte signed up for another Baltic/Transatlantic cruise, too, and then convinced Snookums and Filbert to go on it. So, both couples signed up for future cruises while on this cruise! Snookums and Filbert signed up for one and Gary and Charlotte signed up for two. (Well, Snookums and Filbert actually signed up for two since they signed up for an Amazon one on the first day of the cruise that they had been planning on signing up for anyway. You get extra perks from Holland America if you sign up for a cruise while ON a cruise and since you can still shop around for the best price from any travel agent, it’s a good deal.) All in all, it was a great day and a fun evening.

September 4 (Saturday, Day 14, At Sea) –

We slept in and enjoyed a room service breakfast on the balcony. It was sunny and nice. There was a special lunch at 11 AM for past cruisers that we all signed up for. Snookums, Filbert, Charlotte and Gary were going to meet Mom, Dad and Judy so that we could all sit together but Mom, Dad and Judy wanted to attend Lorna Luft’s morning interview so we were going to attend lunch in two smaller groups. However, while Snookums, Filbert, Gary and Charlotte were waiting in the crowd of people for the dining room to open, they spotted Mom so the five of us ate at the same table. We later saw Judy and Dad eating at another table. We had three other women at our table and they were part of the bridge group. A company sponsored a bridge cruise for serious bridge players so there were a bunch of people on the ship that played in bridge tournaments most days and attended lectures. We got our Holland America tiles at lunch. Other than that, it was a non-event. But, we had to go in order to get our gift of the tile. HAL gives a tile on every cruise and usually they somehow represent the type of cruise or the ship. This tile, though, was HAL’s normal blue “Delft” style and had two ships on it. It wasn’t too memorable.

After lunch Snookums spent time on the balcony reading her book and Filbert took a nap. After a bit, Snookums put on shorts and a t-shirt since it was so warm on the balcony! She wasn’t expecting to sweat on an Alaskan cruise, but she did. After 3 hours on the balcony it was time for dinner. Tonight was formal night and Filbert and Snookums decided to not dress up so they went to Lido for dinner with Gary and Charlotte. It was a pretty low energy day, but a good one. And the weather couldn’t be beat!

September 5 (Sunday, Day 15, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) –


Today was our last full day on the ship. We docked in Victoria at 4 PM. We were all packed by then, but first we met with Dee and Shelby. They are the ones that won the $100 at the Skagway Alaska Shirt Company store. They are bridge players on the cruise. They wanted to buy us drinks as “thanks”. Snookums was glad to hear that they spent a total of $102 which meant they only spent $2 out of pocket for their free loot. We found out that Dee used to teach at Metro State in Denver and loves sports and already knows that the Women’s Final Four will be played in Denver in 2012. Snookums told her that she would keep her informed of the volunteer opportunities. Shelby bought a jacket that she’ll wear skiing (they both live near Denver). Shelby’s 59-year old husband doesn’t cruise but trains for ironman triathlons and plays baseball on a traveling team. We had a nice visit and they were very appreciative of us telling them that they were the winning cabin.Packing didn’t take too long. It’s always easier to pack to go home than it is to pack for the cruise since you just have to pack everything that’s in the cabin. We accumulated more things on this cruise than any other. Among other things, our “haul” included 3 t-shirts (two free Alaska ones and a Sarah Pale Ale one), a “Time Bandit” hoodie and book, a $15 ¼ zip fleece that Snookums bought on the ship, two free Ketchikan coffee mugs, two free Ketchikan baseball hats, our sea otter piece of art, a bar of glacier silt soap, a jar of kelp marmalade, free Alaska tote bags, free “trinkets” from the Alaska State Fair, and an empty bottle of Rogue Captain Sig’s Northwestern Ale. We definitely had more items to take home than we came with which was very unusual for us. However, it all got packed and we left the ship at 4:15 to see Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Since this was our last night on the ship, we decided to be back in time for our 5:45 dinner time. We took the 2-mile waterfront walk to the Inner Harbour and saw the ivy-covered 1908 Empress Hotel and the Legislative Buildings. There was a classic boat show in the harbor and lots of old, fancy wooden boats were on display. There were street artists and vendors, too. It was a very lively place and very beautiful with lots of flower baskets and pretty flora. We walked back to the ship and saw Mom waving at us from their balcony. We made it to dinner with one minute to spare.

BC Legislature
Empress Hotel
Flower bed at the hotel

Charlotte, Mom and Dad were at the table when Filbert and Snookums walked in. Mom said that Judy went on a walk, too, but said she would be back for dinner. Judy arrived around 5:55. We all knew that Gary wasn’t going to be joining us since he had been talking about eating in Victoria’s Chinatown practically the entire cruise. He wanted wonton soup! We had a nice dinner and everyone went back to their cabins.

Gary came by Snookums and Filbert’s cabin around 9:30 to say goodbye and to tell us about Chinatown. He was disappointed in it since he remembered it being more than two blocks long and now it is around one block long. But, his soup was good. We said goodbye and looked forward traveling together on the Transatlantic cruise we signed up for.

September 6 (Monday, Day 16, Seattle, Washington) –

We woke up to a cloudy, wet day, which means it was a typical day for Seattle. After a leisurely breakfast we went to Mom, Dad and Judy’s suite at 8:30 to leave the ship. Holland America lets you stay in your room until it’s time for you to leave which is nice. Some cruise lines make you wait in public areas until it is your turn to leave. We exited the ship for the last time, got a porter to haul our luggage and went to find a cab to take us to the airport. The cab company didn’t have any full-size vans in its line so the dispatcher ordered one but didn’t know how long it would take. In the meantime, Snookums went to the private vehicles to find out how much they charged to go to the airport. All the drivers wanted $65 but Snookums found an SUV-driver that would take $50. Sold! We piled in the SUV and got to the Midwest gate by 10 for our noon flight home.

The ride home

Our flight left on time and Jean, Snookums’s sister, was at the Kansas City airport to pick us up. Milly, Jean’s daughter and therefore Snookums’s niece, was visiting home over Labor Day and was catching a Midwest Airlines flight back to New York City. Her flight left one hour after our flight landed so we knew we would get to see her for a few minutes. Mom and Dad talked to Milly (their granddaughter) while Filbert and Snookums loaded the minivan. We drove Jean to her home and dropped her off and then went to Mom and Dad’s and dropped everyone else off. Then Snookums and Filbert took Dad’s minivan to their house. They got home by 6:30 PM.

After some basic unpacking, mail sorting, eating and showering, they were in bed by 10 PM. It was a completely no-hassle day to end a super-duper fantastic trip. Snookums has been on 30+ cruises and this was her second best one ever, after the 67-day Asia/Australia cruise in 2008. The Alaska weather was great, the wildlife and sealife were awesome, the views were stunning and we had calm cruising while traveling 3,930 nautical miles averaging 17.4 knots. In all, it was stupendous!

The 2010 – 14-Day Alaskan Adventurer Cruise, Part 8

The 14-Day Alaskan Adventurer Cruise, August 22-September 6, 2010, Holland America Amsterdam

Text by Snookums, Pictures by Filbert

Part Eight

September 3 (Friday, Day 13, Juneau, Alaska) –

Morning in Juneau

Judy, Snookums and Filbert met at 8:15 in order to go on the Whale Quest and Mendenhall Glacier tour. We took a 20-minute bus ride to Auke Bay and drove by Wal-Mart and also had an excellent sneak peak of Mendenhall Glacier which was stunning. 40,000 people live in Juneau and most of them are government employees since it is the state capitol of Alaska. Juneau is accessible only by airplanes or boats. No roads lead to Juneau.

More after the jump . . . We drove by the governor’s mansion on the hillside and the capitol. We got to Auke Bay and boarded a catamaran in order to search for humpback whales. Snookums had her tights on under her pants and several layers on top and was ready to stand outside to search for whales. We saw a helicopter in the air with a huge basket underneath it. It looked like it was carrying cargo but no one could tell what.

Within a few minutes the captain found some humpbacks and most people walked up to the open-air third deck. The humpbacks were pretty much just on top of the water so we saw their humped backs but they rarely did any dives so we didn’t see any flukes. The humpbacks weren’t very active and after about 15 minutes we continued our search. The naturalist said they were feeding while near the top of the water. They have to eat for about 22 hours each day.

Whale number 2175
Whale 2175’s identification book picture

We continued our cruise and saw a few more humpbacks here and there, but the captain decided to take us on a sea lion quest. We found a bunch of them, at least 100, on a small island. These were Steller sea lions and they are smaller than California sea lions. They stink the same, though! We also saw bald eagles on rocks and in trees and flying overhead. We watched the sea lions for awhile and then started heading back all the while looking for humpbacks.

Sea lions

Soon we found more humpbacks and these were VERY close to us. Even the boat’s captain had his camera out in order to get pictures. You know it’s a good excursion when the crew is taking pictures! There were four or five of them that would feed and dive and everyone got to the see the flukes many times and they were close to the boat. The weather was mostly sunny and nice.

Three whales (trust me)
Wet tail
Very close
One almost gone, the other going

Snookums bought kelp pickles from the boat’s cantina and gave them to Mom. She said that she is going to serve them at Thanksgiving. They were actually made in Sitka from the bull kelp that Sitka is known for, but since Snookums didn’t see any for sale in Sitka, she bought the pickles here. She got to taste them and they were sweet pickles and had a nice taste. They looked like pepper rings, or very large jalapeno slices/rings.

After the whale quest it was time for our 20-minute bus ride to Mendenhall Glacier. When we got there, we were given 1 hour and 10 minutes of free time. We should have only gotten 50 minutes, but we were ahead of schedule so our driver gave us an extra 20 minutes. When we got off the bus, Snookums asked the driver what three active people should do and he told us to hike to the waterfall. After following everyone to the Mendenhall Glacier viewing area, we decided to do our hike. It was drizzling now, but that didn’t stop us. We decided to bypass the visitor’s center since we wanted to see the glacier up close and personal. We started our hike and only ran into a few hearty people coming back. They all said it was worth it so we continued on the hardpacked trail. (We later realized that the trail was made out of packed glacier silt so it was almost like concrete and wasn’t muddy at all.)

When we got to the huge waterfall, Snookums and Judy had to taste the water to make sure it was fresh. It was! (Note – They did not experience any gastrointestinal issues later on, either!) None of us could believe how close we were to Mendenhall Glacier, which is a 12 miles longs and 1 ½ miles wide and is the most visited glacier in the world. We only had a few minutes to look around before hiking back to the bus. It was definitely a power hike, but well worth it. It was raining pretty hard by the time we returned to the bus, but we didn’t mind. We heard grumbling from some other passengers because of the weather, but we thought the sights were amazing and definitely would return, even in the rain. More time was needed at Mendenhall, that’s for sure.

A chunk of glacial ice
Glaciated bedrock
Glacier and waterfall
The waterfall expedition party

The tour bus returned to the ship and we got off a few blocks early in order to turn in our “free poncho” coupons at the Red Dog Saloon. After we got our free ponchos, we continued walking to the ship. Judy had to stop at one of the jewelry stores to get her free helicopter charm and was happy that she actually saw a helicopter today to make it the charm that much more memorable. We also had to stop at the Alaska Shirt Company to find out the winning cabin of the $100 in merchandise. It wasn’t us so when we got back on the ship we left a note for the cabin but never heard from them and our note was still on the door several hours later. They either got on the ship too late to go back out and claim their free stuff or else the cabin was unoccupied. Oh well.

We ate a late lunch of taco salads and then Judy and Snookums ventured out again to mail Judy’s postcards and to buy a Juneau paper. We managed to “win” $.75 in the first newspaper box we tried. We didn’t get a paper, but we came out $.75 ahead. We found another vending machine and bought a Juneau paper and a US Today. Then we went to the Glacier Silt Soap store and Snookums bought a $7 bar of decorative soap made out of smooth glacier silt. This will be used in the dragonfly bathroom at home. Snookums rarely, if ever, buys things while on trips so this must have been pretty special.

Mom, Dad and Judy ate a fast dinner in Lido since they wanted to go to both the 7 PM and 9 PM performances of Lorna Luft’s show. She is the daughter of Judy Garland and Sid Luft and the half-sister of Liza Minnelli.

Next: Baked Alaska!