Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Public Service Announcement

In an effort to provide readers with valuable information to help them succeed in all aspects of life, The Yank presents the following as a public service to help you get ahead in the competitive world of business.
Five Minute Management Course

Lesson 1:
A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor. Before she says a word, Bob says, "I'll give you $800 to drop that towel."
After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob. After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.
The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, "Who was that?"
"It was Bob, the next door neighbor," she replies.
"Great!" the husband says. "Did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?"
Moral of the story: If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.
Lesson 2:
A priest offered a Nun a lift. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg. The nun said, "Father, remember Psalm 129?"
The priest removed his hand, but, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, "Father, remember Psalm 129?"
The priest apologized, "Sorry sister, but the flesh is weak." Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way. On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It said, "Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory."
Moral of the story: If you are not well informed in your job, opportunities for advancement will pass right by you.
Lesson 3:
A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out. The Genie says, "I'll give each of you just one wish."
"Me first! Me first!" says the admin clerk. "I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world." Puff! She's gone.
"Me next! Me next!" says the sales rep. "I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas, and the love of my life." Puff! He's gone.
"OK, you're up," the Genie says to the manager. The manager says, "I want those two back in the office after lunch."
Moral of the story: Always let your boss have the first say.
Lesson 4:
An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, "Can I also sit like you and do nothing?"
The eagle answered, "Sure, why not." So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.
Moral of the story: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.
Lesson 5:
A turkey was chatting with a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey, "but I haven't got the energy."
"Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull. "They're packed with nutrients." The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally, after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree. He was promptly spotted by a farmer who shot him out of the tree.
Moral of the story: Bull shit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there.
Lesson 6:
A little bird was flying south for the Winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and shit on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was. The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy. A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate. Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.
Morals of the story:

  1. Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.
  2. Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.
  3. And when you're in deep shit, it's best to keep your mouth shut!


Hat-Tip: Raybo

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ebony And Ivory (NSFW!!!)

Hat-tip: Vilmar
CAUTION: NSFW!!!! (Not Safe For Work), or folks with Victorian or Puritanical sensibilities, and DEFINITELY NOT APPROPRIATE FOR CHILDREN!!!

This is self-explanatory. Scroll down...

Keep scrolling....

Scroll some more....


Boobs Or Bombs?

I heard about this while driving to work this morning, and I don't know what to say:
SYDNEY (AFP) - The Australian military Sunday defended its decision to pay for some female sailors to have breast implants, saying the operations were not carried out for cosmetic reasons.

Australian Defence Force spokesman Brigadier Andrew Nikolic did not say how many women had had the taxpayer-funded operation.

But he said the military would consider paying for plastic surgery for personnel where there were medical, dental or compelling psychological or psychiatric reasons.

Any suggestion that breast operations were carried out to make the women "look sexy" were not only wrong, but insulting, Nikolic said.

"Under defence policy we do consider the holistic needs of our people, both physical and psychological," he said.
Wait, I DO know what to say.

Are you fucking kidding me?!?!?!?!?!!!! "Holistic needs?" What kind of ridiculous, inane, touchy-feely, free-to-be-you-and-me, moonbat bullshit is that? If a woman is that unstable that her "self esteem" is predicated on whether or not she's got a nice set of jugs, she doesn't belong in the military. Or how about this as an alternative?: Instead of just giving-in to perpetuating the "women as sex objects" stigma that the feminists have been harping on about for the last 40 years, why not spend the time and money on counseling to help a woman deal with her "holistic needs" on her terms - not based on the phallocentric, media-driven objectification of women which contributed to her low self-esteem to begin with?
"For psychiatric or psychological reasons, this has been recommended after a medical evaluation," he told state radio. "It's not being done because someone just wanted it."

It's good to know that your hard-earned tax dollars are being spent on silicone boobs so military gals can look and feel like "Lara Croft, Tomb Raider" rather than bombs and bullets, despite what the ADF mouthpiece says. I'm sure Al Quaeda is quaking in its collective burqa now. (To be fair, I believe the US military has implemented a similar policy, and my views apply to them, too.)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering 9/11...My Way

No doubt that the web will be flooded with 9/11 tributes to the fallen and the tragedy that was that fateful day. I am taking a different approach. Rather than mourn the deaths of our own on that day, I will celebrate the death of the enemy. While Iraq was not involved in any real direct, tangible way, our men and women are there now, fighting those who hold the same desires and beliefs of the scumbags who flew those planes into the World Trade Center: radical, fundamentalist muslims on the jihad. They are the enemy, and any chance our forces get to kill any of them gives me cause to rejoice. Here are a couple of videos that put a smile on my face. Up first, a revisit to an "oldy but a goody" where a few insurgents meet death from above.

Next, a jihadi playing with a mortar gets more than he bargained for. (Hat-tip: BobF)

At first it may appear that the mortar "backfires" on him, but he is actually hit by one of our own mortars or rockets, probably because he stayed in one spot for too long and fired too many rounds from the same spot, giving our guys a pretty good fix on his position. Aloha, snack bar, motherfucker! May the piss of allah be upon you.

Some Good Advice

Michael Yon is a good source when it comes to news about Iraq. Now a free-lance reporter with his own blog, Yon is also a former soldier with the US Army Special Forces, and he has spent probably more time in Iraq than just about any other reporter; certainly more than the lame-stream media types. Yon also spends as much time with Iraqis as he does with the men and women of the armed forces, so he gets a good balance of information about "what's going on." His latest dispatch concerns the Petraeus Report released today. Specifically, Yon's dispatch today concerns the reporting on the Report, of which, I'm sure, all the talking head/bobble-head dolls on TV are all over like a bad rash, telling you what they and their plethora of "experts" think. Yon offers us all (although his advice seems more directed at journalists) some good advice:

Don’t Ask Me What I Think about the Petraeus Report
Ask the battalion commanders.

By Michael Yon

Weeks ago, as the deadline for General David Petraeus’s progress report on the war loomed, journalists were already asking me what I thought of it. Then, as now, I do not know what to think of the report since it is not yet published. Even this coming week, after listening to the general’s testimony before Congress, I will have to read the report and transcripts numerous times, sleep on the information, and reflect on it in light of my own observations of the situation in Iraq. The outcome of the war in Iraq, and to some extent the greater War on Terror, will largely depend upon our decisions today. The outcome is too important for quick words. Many will try to be the first to report on the report, and their reports likely will be the most unreliable.


But here is a hint to journalists who are seeking truth — good or bad. There is one group of officers whose input has invariably proved both relevant and revelatory for me in compiling my work: battalion commanders who are commanding infantry or special operations units. Special operations people are unlikely to go on record, but the special operations people that I’ve talked with tend to be very knowledgeable and frank, and their input on background is critical. As for the infantry battalion commanders, they are the proverbial sweet spot. Battalion command sergeant majors can be excellent, too, but they often will not go on record. Battalion commanders will tend to be willing to go on record, and will tend to talk to journalists.


So, while the BC (Battalion Commander) position is just right, talking with only one or two may not give the most accurate portrayal because they will tend to be focused on their own environment. Therefore it’s necessary to talk with numerous BCs. It’s important to get British input, but though their military is extremely competent, they can be more difficult to get on record. So, I would suggest that to audit the upcoming report, reach out to about ten BCs from around Iraq: Nineveh, Anbar, Diyala, Baghdad. Check the cities of Basra, Samarra, Tikrit, Kirkuk and others. While some BCs may be guarded, others will be shockingly frank, and in aggregate, a reporter can begin to develop a feel for the place as seen through an excellent perspective. Additionally, they will be drawing on the reports of those who are not always going to tote someone’s party line.

Caveat emptor: Do not merely rely on the Public Affairs Office (PAO) in Baghdad to ask for introductions. They might stack the deck. Search the web and you can find which units are where, and with that you can figure out ways to reach out to the units without a middleman. The BC will still likely clear any conversation with a journalist with their PAO, but now you have short-circuited any PAO attempt to give you a “happy tour.” I guarantee that if you get ten battalion commanders to talk, the result will not be a “happy tour,” but a realistic feel from the people who know.

Will his advice fall on deaf ears? Most probably. Far too many lamestream media journalists are too full of themselves and their own biases to let advice stressing objectivity get in the way of their agendas. Keep this in mind when reading your favorite newspaper or watching your favorite TV news outlet.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Weekend Rant: The US Doesn't Need Middle East Oil!

We hear it all the time: Discussions about finding or developing another source of energy to replace oil. Whatever that source may be will not come to the fore until the supply of crude is nearly exhausted. The same goes for the coal industry and why there hasn't been one nuclear power plant built in the US for 30 years. Also, as I have said on numerous occassions, the US doesn't need Middle East oil! That is a straw man argument that has been repeated so often - by the left and the right - that people just assume it's true. The US gets roughly 19% of its imported oil from all Mid-East oil-producing nations - COMBINED - and that's about the same as it gets from Canada, the largest single-nation supplier of oil imported into the US. Look at the map (courtesy of Gravmag/Gibson Consulting) below for the breakdown. I strongly encourage readers to visit their site which contains a wealth of information.

For more current data, go to the Energy Information Administration. The numbers haven't changed much, and Canada is still the largest single-nation supplier of imported US oil.

If somebody (a president with the traits of Andrew Jackson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Barry Goldwater) had the balls to tell the EPA to get stuffed and reject any court decision that might rule in their favor, the US could drill in ANWR, re-fire the rigs (and build more) off the California coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, and import more oil from Canada (who, I'm sure, would be happy to sell it to us), thus becomming virtually self-sufficient in the oil department. At the same time the US could tell the Saudis it will buy their oil for $10 per barrel, and if the Saudis don't like it they can drink it. The EU and China would not be able to buy the difference in what the US buys if it were to stop buying Saudi oil, and that would bring the Saudis virtually to their knees. Considering, also, that the Saudis are the major financiers of the global jihad, wouldn't that be a good thing? I mean, hey, if we're in a "War on Terror," let's get serious and really hit them in the wallet.

I don't begrudge the oil companies for making a profit, but I am really tired of them propping up these rag-head oil pimps in the ME for no other reason than it's a good ol' boys' club that has been doing "business as usual" for the last 100 years or so. Despite the politics and ideologies involved, their arrangement is a comfortable one ($$$$), and rather than shifting focus on Canada and hanging the Saudis out to dry, the big oil companies make easy money with them. That is the only reason they don't buy more oil from Canada and invest more heavily in production and oil sands extraction there, regardless of EPA restrictions on domestic exploratory ventures.

Friday, September 07, 2007

An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

It's a concept known as vertical farming, the brainchild of Dr. Dickson Despommier, a professor of environmental sciences and microbiology at Columbia University.
Imagine a cluster of 30-story towers on Governors Island or in Hudson Yards producing fruit, vegetables, and grains while also generating clean energy and purifying wastewater. Roughly 150 such buildings, Despommier estimates, could feed the entire city of New York for a year. Using current green building systems, a vertical farm could be self-sustaining and even produce a net output of clean water and energy.

Despommier began developing the vertical-farming concept six years ago (his research can be found at verticalfarm.com), and he has been contacted by scientists and venture capitalists from the Netherlands to Dubai who are interested in establishing a Center for Urban Sustainable Agriculture, either independently or within Columbia. He estimates it could take a working group of agricultural economists, architects, engineers, agronomists, and urban planners five to ten years to figure out how to marry high-tech agricultural practices with the latest sustainable building technology.
I want to do some more reading on this subject, but at first glance I can find only benefits to such forward thinking. I am in favor of the "less pollution" approach to the environment and conservation, but those of you who belong to the CGW (Church of Global Warming /climate change) should also find this idea appealing.
...The professor believes that only by allowing significant portions of the Earth’s farmland to return to forest do we have a real chance of stabilizing climate and weather patterns. Merely reducing energy consumption—the centerpiece of the proposal Al Gore recently presented to Congress—will at best slow global warming. Allowing forests to regrow where crops are now cultivated, he believes, would reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as least as much as more-efficient energy consumption.
Also, with most of the population living in the large urban sprawls across the planet, doesn't it make sense to grow the food where those people live? That would greatly reduce the pollution costs associated with transporting and distributing goods for sale, what the CGW calls "carbon miles," and would still leave a niche for the traditional farmer to make a living selling his crops in the rural areas, which does not preclude him from employing the vertical farming method:
Depending on the crops being grown, a single vertical farm could allow thousands of farmland acres to be permanently reforested. For the moment, these calculations remain highly speculative, but a real-life example offers a clue: After a strawberry farm in Florida was wiped out by Hurricane Andrew, the owners built a hydroponic farm. By growing strawberries indoors and stacking layers on top of each other, they now produce on one acre of land what used to require 30 acres.
...or revolutionizing traditional farming by using robots instead of (in the US, anyway) third world indentured slaves from Mexico to pick their crops (how are you going to deal with that, you open-borders, liberal whackos?). More benefits:
...Growing crops in a controlled environment has benefits: no animals to transfer disease through untreated waste; no massive crop failures as a result of weather-related disasters; less likelihood of genetically modified “rogue” strains entering the “natural” plant world. All food could be grown organically, without herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers, eliminating agricultural runoff. And 80 percent of the world’s population will be living in urban areas by 2050. Cities already have the density and infrastructure needed to support vertical farms, and super-green skyscrapers could supply not just food but energy, creating a truly self-sustaining environment.
I see this as a common sense, win-win approach to solving real-world problems through innovation and technology, yet I'm sure that hardcore greenies and the CGW will object, if for no other reason than it would deny them many opportunities to despotically regulate economic production and reach deeper into our pockets for more confiscatory taxes, which is what they really want while they sell us the ruse of "saving the planet." I suppose they could always fall back on the Marxist mantra of "displacing and disenfranchising" a whole segment of the labor force, denying their "rights" to employment.

Hat-tips: Urban Grind and Vilmar

Monday, September 03, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

Here's wishing all Dads out there - especially mine - a Happy Father's Day!

My Dad and me, USMC bootcamp graduation, Paris Island, SC, 1969