Thursday, February 28, 2013

You may never look at a hamburger the same way again!

Can this article keep me from eating my favorite food, the bacon cheeseburger?

I don't think so!

6 Things In Your Burger That Are Grosser Than Horse Meat at Popular Science here.
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Is the Joe Kennedy-Hugo Chavez oil alliance now missing one member? (Video)

Update March 5, 2013: Yes it is!

Another rumor about the death of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chaves is circulating which brings my thoughts to poor Joe Kennedy! 

Now why would I relate the eventual death of the Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez to a story about Joe Kennedy?

Because Joe Kennedy has consistently elevated the Venezuelan dictator to a position of goodness that most likely few people living under his reign would necessarily agree with.

In fact, in a 2010 IBD article, Hugo Chavez was describes in this way:

'...Ever since Chavez became president in 1999, Venezuelan cities have become hellholes in which murder rates have more than quadrupled. At 233 per 100,000, or one murder every 90 minutes, the rate in Caracas now tops that of every war zone in the world, according to an official National Statistics Institute study released Wednesday.

In fact, crime is the defining fact of life in today's Venezuela. About 96% of all murder victims are poor and lower-middle class, the very people Chavez claims to represent. "Don't venture into barrios at any time of the day, let alone at night," warns the Lonely Planet guide to Venezuela to hardy adventure travelers.

By contrast, the murder rate in cartel-haunted Juarez, Mexico, is 133 per 100,000, with Mexico's overall rate 8 per 100,000, about the same as Wichita, Kan. Colombia, fighting a narcoterror war since 1964, has an overall rate of 37 per 100,000, slightly higher than Baltimore at 36.9. The overall U.S. rate is 5.4.

Make no mistake, a murder rate like Caracas' is a crime against humanity. The absence of personal security renders all other human rights moot. By coincidence, that's just what Chavez seeks to eliminate as he turns his country into a Cuba-style socialist state. Instead of Castroite firing squads or Stalinesque gulags, Chavez outsources the dirty work of socialism to criminals while throwing dissidents in jail and threatening to censor newspapers...'

So Joe, thank the people of Venezuela for how you perceive their shipments of oil, but do not waste your kind words on a dictator who was discussed using the words in the article above.

And, if the rumors of the death of Hugo Chavez are in fact accurate, poor Joe is going to have to reshoot this commercial!

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Must-see Hannity-Ellison sequestration 'debate' video plus 'Give a man a fish' Democrat Party-style!

But first, in honor of Rep. Keith Ellison who is a member of The Socialist Party of America (source), an updated version of 'Give a man a fish' that the new Democratic Party can very much relate to!

Original version: 

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.

2013 Progressive Revision: 

Give a man a welfare check, a free cell phone with unlimited free minutes, free internet, cash for his clunker,food stamps, section 8 housing, free contraceptives, Medicaid, ninety-nine weeks of unemployment, free medicine, and he will vote Democrat the rest of his life…even after he's dead.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Video: 1400 Days Later: Pass a Budget!

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Watcher's Council 'God help us all' Edition!

Chuck Hagel has been confirmed as Secretary of Defense while John Kerry has already been confirmed as Secretary of State!  

Result? In an extremely dangerous world the United States has been weakened even more by Barack Obama while Republican's continue to play right into his hands.

Thoughts? Watching the moves and listening to the rhetoric that emanate from this President I continue in my attempt to determine what his endgame is for our country.

Conclusion? Unfortunately, any way that I do the calculations, the answer may not be very good for any of us.

And now without further ado, for the week of February 25, 2013, the article nominations from the Watcher's Council!

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

FAQ about the Tomb Guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns!

If you ever wondered about the men and women who serve as Tomb Guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns, here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions (FAQ)!

After receiving an email that went through a laundry list describing the Tomb Guards who march at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier located within Arlington National Cemetery, I began to wonder.

Some of the answers sounded a little farfetched so I decided to go to the source. From, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions:

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Guard rotation work? Is it an 8 hour shift?

Currently, the Tomb Guards work on a three Relief (team) rotation - 24 hours on, 24 hours off, 24 hours on, 24 hours off, 24 hours on, 96 hours off. However, over the years it has been different. The time off isn't exactly free time. It takes the average Sentinel 8 hours to prep his/her uniform for the next work day. Additionally, they have Physical Training, Tomb Guard training, and haircuts to complete before the next work day.

How many steps does the Guard take during his walk across the Tomb of the Unknowns and why?

21 steps. It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.

How long does the Sentinel hesitate after his about face to begin his return walk and does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time, and if not, why not?

He does not execute an about face. He stops on the 21st step, then turns and faces the Tomb for 21 seconds. Then he turns to face back down the mat, changes his weapon to the outside shoulder, counts 21 seconds, then steps off for another 21 step walk down the mat. He faces the Tomb at each end of the 21 step walk for 21 seconds. The Sentinel then repeats this over and over until he is relieved at the Guard Change.

Why are his gloves wet?

His gloves are moistened to improve his grip on the rifle.

How often are the Guards changed?

The Guard is changed every thirty minutes during the summer (April 1 to Sep 30) and every hour during the winter (Oct 1 to Mar 31). During the hours the cemetery is closed, the guard is changed every 2 hours. The Tomb is guarded, and has been guarded, every minute of every day since 1937.

Is it true they must commit 2 years of life to guard the Tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives.

No, this is a false rumor. The average tour at the Tomb is about a year. There is NO set time for service there. The Sentinels live either in a barracks on Ft. Myer (the Army post located adjacent to the cemetery) or off base if they like. They do have living quarters under the steps of the amphitheater where they stay during their 24 hour shifts, but when they are off, they are off. And if they are of legal age, they may drink anything they like, except while on duty.

Is it true they cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives?

Again, another false rumor.

Is it true after two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as Guard of the Tomb, that there are only 400 presently worn, and that the Guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin?

The Tomb Guard Identification Badge is awarded after the Sentinel passes a series of tests. The Badge is permanently awarded after a Sentinel has served 9 months as a Sentinel at the Tomb. Over 500 have been awarded since its creation in the late 1950's. And while the Badge can be revoked, the offense must be such that it discredits the Tomb. Revocation is at the Regimental Commander’s discretion. But you can drink a beer and even swear and still keep the Badge. The Badge is a full size award, worn on the right pocket of the uniform jacket, not a lapel pin.

Are the shoes specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet?

The shoes are standard issue military dress shoes. They are built up so the sole and heel are equal in height. This allows the Sentinel to stand so that his back is straight and perpendicular to the ground. A side effect of this is that the Sentinel can "roll" on the outside of the build up as he walks down the mat. This allows him to move in a fluid fashion. If he does this correctly, his hat and bayonet will appear to not "bob" up and down with each step. It gives him a more formal and smooth look to his walk, rather than a "marching" appearance.
The soles have a steel tip on the toe and a "horseshoe" steel plate on the heel. This prevents wear on the sole and allows the Sentinel to move smoothly during his movements when he turns to face the Tomb and then back down the mat.
Then there is the "clicker". It is a shank of steel attached to the inside of the face of the heel build-up on each shoe. It allows the Sentinel to click his heels during certain movements. If a guard change is really hot, it is called a "smoker" because all the heel clicks fall together and sound like one click. In fact, the guard change is occasionally done in the "silent" mode (as a sign of devotion to the Unknowns"). No voice commands - every thing is done in relation to the heel clicks and on specific counts.

How many times will a Soldier be on duty during the shift?

Each Relief (team) has a rotation during the 24 hour work day. This rotation is dependent on the number of Soldier-Sentinels who are proficient enough to guard the Tomb. The standard is 3-4 qualified Sentinels, 1-2 Relief Commander/Assistant Relief Commander, and 1-2 Sentinels in training. Generally, the Sentinel will be on guard duty for a tour and have two tours off in between - then go out for another tour. However, in extreme cases, Sentinels have been known to go back-to-back for the entire 24 hour shift.

How do the Soldiers get to and from the quarters without being seen?

Most wear civilian clothes - although the short, tight haircuts tend to give us away.

There is a small green shack next to the Tomb. What is it for?

"The Box" is used primarily during wreath-laying ceremonies for the Sentinel to retreat to while flowers and Taps are being presented. There also is a phone with a direct line downstairs to the Tomb Guard Quarters - this is used in times of emergencies or just to notify the next shift of something.

Has anyone ever tried to get past the Tomb guards, or attempted to deface the Tomb?

Yes, that is the reason why we now guard the Tomb. Back in the early 1920's, we didn't have guards and the Tomb looked much different (see attached picture). People often came to the cemetery in those days for picnics during which time some would actually use the Tomb as a picnic area (probably because of the view). Soon after, 1925, they posted a civilian guard; in 1926, a military guard was posted during cemetery hours; and on July 1, 1937, this was expanded to the 24-hour watch. Since then, the ceremony has developed throughout the years to what we have today. Today, most of the challenges faced by the Sentinels are tourists who want to get a better picture or uncontrolled children (which generally is very frightening for the parent when the Soldier challenges the child).

What happened to the soldier that was in the Tomb from the Vietnam War?

The remains of the Vietnam Unknown Soldier were exhumed May 14, 1998. Based on mitochondrial DNA testing, DoD scientists identified the remains as those of Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie, who was shot down near An Loc, Vietnam, in 1972. It has been decided that the crypt that contained the remains of the Vietnam Unknown will remain vacant. (Further Background) (News Article from the Department of Defense)

What is it like to guard in bad weather?

The guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (we call ourselves "Sentinels") are completely dedicated to their duty of guarding the Tomb. Because of that dedication, the weather does not bother them. In fact, they consider it an honor to stand their watch (we call it "walking the mat"), regardless of the weather. It gets cold, it gets hot - but the Sentinels never budge. And they never allow any feeling of cold or heat to be seen by anyone.

Do you guard in a blizzard or a bad thunderstorm?

YES, BUT the accomplishment of the mission and welfare of the Soldier is never put at risk. The Tomb Guards have contingencies that are ready to be executed IF the weather conditions EVER place the Soldiers at risk of injury or death – such as lightning, high winds, etc. This ensures that Sentinels can maintain the Tomb Guard responsibilities while ensuring soldier safety. It is the responsibility of the Chain of Command from the Sergeant of the Guard to the Regimental Commander to ensure mission accomplishment and soldier welfare at all times.
It was erroneously reported that during Hurricane Isabel, the Sentinels were ordered to abandon their posts for shelter and that they refused. No such order was ever given. All proper precautions were taken to ensure the safety of the Sentinels while accomplishing their mission. Risk assessments are constantly conducted by the Chain of Command during changing conditions to ensure that soldier welfare is maintained during mission accomplishment.

Do you guard all night long, even when the cemetery is closed?

The Tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In fact, there has been a Sentinel on duty in front of the Tomb every minute of every day since 1937. And the Sentinel does not change the way he guards the Tomb, even at night when there is no one around. The Sentinels do this because they feel that the Unknown Soldiers who are buried in the Tomb deserve the very best they have to give.

How many Sentinels have been female?

There have been 3 female Sentinels.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

In death, how do you measure a life?

In other words at the end of our journey when our legacy is written in stone, what is it that will define our lives?

Is ones legacy based on the permanence of the granite or marble marker that tells the chronological and family story about who the person lying there was? Born on a certain date and died on a certain date. The husband or wife to someone and perhaps a father, brother or sister as well.

Or is something else entirely more important than some physical marker when determining our true legacy and a measure of our lives?

Isn't the story of our lives is defined by what is permanently engraved into the hearts and minds of those who knew us best, those who knew us on a superficial level and those who knew us not at all and who only learn about us through the story's of others?

Isn't it there where who we were is ultimately decided.

This past week I unfortunately had to travel to the funeral of my uncle who passed away at the age of 90.

He had lived a long life and after his wife had passed away 6 years ago he most likely had lost some of his will to live.

None of that, however, has to do with my point. My point is that it took the death and subsequent eulogy of this man for me to learn what kind of a human being that he truly was.

That this was the case was my fault as I was either too busy, too disinterested or too swayed by familial politics to make the effort. Oh I knew his general resume, knew he was a good guy and I knew that when I had a medical question that I could reach out to him, but that was the extent of our relationship.

Driving home I asked myself how many other people are in my life with whom I maintain this kind of cursory and surface level relationship?

For it was only after my uncle had died that I learned how much more there was to the man that really mattered. How many lives he touched and what he meant to so many people.

People spoke of the fine and noble attributes that he possessed and the empathy and caring that he expressed to all. They spoke to the type of father and husband that he was along with the spirituality that he possessed which included the asking of questions and his tireless journey to try and find answers.

Of course his upbringing, schooling and success as a doctor were discussed but again only in the context of defining the man that he was and not the honors or money that he received.

Driving home it all made me feel as if I had missed an opportunity to know, really know, a special person.

It also made me realize that in the end we will all end up returning to the earth and that the only true arbiter of who we were and of what we contributed aren't only those few people who stand up and eulogize us, but those whose lives we touched in some large or even small way.

The money, the power, the house and all of the other things we accumulate throughout our lifetime will no longer matter.

And all we will truly be is how those who are left behind will remember us in terms of who we were as a human being.

Uncle Milton, RIP!

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

How do you get 0 and 100 on the same test?

If you ask me this student should have gotten partial credit for ingenuity!

Click to make bigger

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John Brennan conspiracy theory: Does this man have an affinity for the Muslim Brotherhood? (Video)

Is there something going on within the Obama administration employee selection process that raises any caution flags of concern?

You better believe it! But, as is typically the case for those Americans still getting their news from mainstream media outlets, they most likely will know very little of the controversy.

Additionally the problem is that for so many of the same Americans it's the wonderment over who is wearing what dress tonight at the Academy Awards that will be as far as their intellectual curiosity goes.

And it may be this combination of the American people's disinterest combined with MSM complicity in the process that the Obama administration counts on when trying to push unqualified nominees, or worse, through the process.

Question: Should the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress be in agreement over the men and women slotted for key national security and foreign policy positions based on politics, or should it be a decision based on who will do whatever it takes to protect the interests of the United States and its people?

I know the answer to that question but given on what I have seen in the 4+ years of an Obama administration I am not convinced that they believe the same!

Consider for a second the background, ideologies and serious questions that:
  • swirl around so many members of the current Obama administration, 
  • surrounded czars who had to resign or potential czars whose vetting led to them to never having been brought on, and
  • some current nominees of Barack Obama for administration Cabinet posts!
Is there some systemic issue within the Obama administration decision making process that has led to a choice of people who may not have the best interests of the United States at heart?

One need only look to Chuck Hagel, still supported by Barack Obama and Democrat Senators, to see just how serious an issue that this is.

Chuck Hagel is a man who through his confirmation hearing alone has proven that he is not qualified to be Secretary of Defense and yet members of the Democrat Party, because of politics and not love of country, still stand behind him.

A perfect example is New York Senator Chuck Schumer who is still a Hagel supporter through the process of being willing and able to put his own political ambitions ahead of country and religion.

Oy vey!

Now watch these videos and decide whether you believe that John Brennan should be confirmed to head the CIA.

H/T Adina Kutnicki

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Back to the obvious Future: A U.S. taxpayer's view of Romney-Style vs. Obama-Style!

Taxpayer funded Obama family vacation home in Hawaii
Beating a dead horse? Maybe, but watching a disparaging Romney-Style video this morning still made my blood boil!

On the heels of Barack Obama's golf trip to Florida with Tiger Woods at the same time Michelle and the girls went to Aspen, home to the world's rich and famous, once again made me understand the difference between Obama-style and Romney-style (aka member communist politburo vs. capitalist).

Obama: Ostentatious lifestyle funded by the people!
Romney: Worked hard, took risks and created the lifestyle of a successful capitalist funded by his own earned wealth!

Final Thoughts!

Barack Obama's incessant rhetoric concerning the plight of the middle class belies the actual actions of this President who is living the lifestyle of the rich and famous on our dime!

If he had any actual feeling or empathy for the plight of the everyman perhaps he would stay home and play board games with the family around the White House fireplace!

At the same time Barack Obama's constant fear mongering about the effects of sequestration highlights the fact that what this President cares about is not the middle class but rather using the country and its people as pawns in some destructive political game!

Because the reality is that $82 billion in automatic spending cuts are merely a drop in the federal budget bucket and the places that any cuts would actually be made are at the discretion of the President who will seek to make them as painful as possible so that the American people will point their fingers of blame at the Republican Party.

Think for a second about the fact that the Hurricane Sandy relief legislation alone was packed with over $40 billion of pork! Why not just start the spending cuts there?

Buyer's remorse anyone?

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America's future? Best political poster crop yet!

There were two recent articles at The Political Commentator that contained political posters covering the issues of the 2nd Amendment along with a potpourri of seventeen political truisms

This crop may be better than both of those!

And when I say better I mean that they speak a message that's critical for those Americans who continue to believe what is said on NBC and CNN to hear and understand!

H/T Reader email

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Whose dog hasn't done something like this?

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