I am working on the template of this blog today in order to chase down some problems that have developed with my template and widgets.

Macon County Commissioners

Coverage of the meetings of the Macon County Board of County Commissioners.

Franklin Town Board of Aldermen

Coverage of the meetings of the Franklin Town Board of Aldermen.

Macon County School Board

Coverage of the meetings of the Macon County School Board.


Photos from my photoblog.

nullspace for future use

nullspace for future use


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

National Situation Update: Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'll be posting the FEMA National Situation Updates from time to time. 

See the source for today's report.

The threat level in the airline sector is High or Orange. Read more.

Homeland Security Threat Level: YELLOW (ELEVATED).

National Weather

West: A strong cold front is pushing through the region. Behind the front temperatures will drop up to 25 degrees below average and snow levels to will drop to 6,000 feet in the Colorado Rockies by tonight. Accumulations of one to two feet of snow are possible forecast at elevations above 8,000 feet in northern Utah by tomorrow. Sustained winds of 15 to 30 mph with gusts over 50 mph are likely from Montana to Arizona. The winds will contribute to critical fire weather across the southern half of the region.
Midwest: The Plains however will heat up due to southerly winds which will also transport Gulf of Mexico moisture into the region. The frontal system dropping out of out of the Rockies today combined with the moisture from the Gulf will produce severe thunderstorms (gusty winds, large hail and even tornadoes) in the central Plains. Severe thunderstorms could develop in western Kansas and spread east-northeast into Iowa and Missouri.
South: Under high pressure most of the region will be cool and dry. The frontal boundary across southern Florida will produce a few thunderstorms and moisture flowing off the Gulf of Mexico into Texas will also produce thunderstorm activity. Fire danger will remain high over northern Florida due to low humidity levels.
Northeast: The circulation on the backside of a low over Eastern Canada will produce cool temperatures and scattered precipitation.  Most of the precipitation will be in the higher elevations of New York, western Pennsylvania, and northern New England. (NOAA's National Weather Service, Various Media Sources)

Tsunami Strikes American Samoa

  • A magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck at 1:48 pm EDT Tuesday, Sep 29, 2009 approximately 140 miles southwest of American Samoa.
  • Capitol city of Pago Pago hit with significant tsunami wash of 5.1 feet with lower heights seen elsewhere.
  • Western District of American Samoa is without power--estimated at a minimum of 30 days to repair.  More than half of the Eastern District is without water and power.
  • Fatalities and injuries have been reported.
  • LBJ Hospital has power and water and is operational.
  • Significant damage to infrastructure including power, water, and industry.  Total extent unknown-on-the-ground assessment on-going.
  • Road washouts and debris are prevalent.  The bridge leading to the town of Leona has been repaired and is open to emergency traffic only.
  • USGS reports numerous aftershocks ranging from 4.8 to 5.8 magnitude.
  • AS EOC reports 15 shelters open, and 2,690 displaced persons.
  • Damage assessments are currently being completed.
  • The seaport at Pago Pago is operational.  The USN is sending the USS Ingraham to provide as-needed support-arrival time estimated at 1900 local time 30Sep09.
  • Main airport on American Samoa reported by the FAA to be cleared of debris with both runways operational.
  • Hawaiian Airlines is planning a humanitarian flight coordinated with American Samoa later on 30Sep09 (tentative 1500PST). (Region IX Spotrep, USGS)
Federal Response
Region IX
  • RRCC at Level 1 (24/7) with all ESFs
  • A modified IMAT (White Team) is deploying to American Samoa at approximately 0600 PDT, Wednesday, 30 September, 2009.
    FEMA Headquarters:
  • FEMA NRCC is at Level 1 (24/7) with selected Emergency Support Functions (Region IX, FEMA HQ)

Tropical Storm 18W

4:00 am (EDT) the remnants of TS 18W were located approximately 63 miles west-northwest of Guam, tracking west-northwestward at 21 knots over the past six hours. TD 18W has completely dissipated as it crossed over Guam, degenerating into linear convergence. The energy associated with this system will continue to track west-northwest towards Typhoon 19W (Parma) and will eventually be absorbed. This was the final warning on this system by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
Guam is back to Condition of Readiness (COR) 4. COR 4 (normal day to day activities).
Federal Response:
Region IX
A modified IMAT (Blue Team) is deploying to Guam on Thursday, 1 October.
RIX LNO deployed to Guam OCD in response to TD 18W. Small IMAT team to deploy to Guam OCD in response to TD 18W. IMAT team will arrive today.
Region has three personnel in place with Guam Office of Civil Defense with MERS Commo and IT support en route.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says that tsunamis are generated when there is any large, impulsive displacement of the sea level. They can also be triggered by landslides into or under the water surface, or by volcanic activity and meteorite impacts. Tsunamis can range in size from a few inches to more than 100 feet.
Largest Tsunami in Recorded History
July 9, 1958: Regarded as the largest recorded in modern times, the tsunami in Lituya Bay, Alaska, was caused by a landslide triggered by an 8.3 magnitude earthquake. Waves reached a height of 1,720 feet in the bay, but the tsunami did not cause much damage. It sank a single boat, killing two fishermen.
Deadliest Tsunami in Recorded History
In 2004 nearly 230,000 people in 11 countries were killed in a series of tsunamis that struck after an earthquake in the Indian Ocean . Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand were among the hardest hit. The estimated 9.0 quake was one of the largest quakes recorded on a seismograph. The tsunami traveled as far as 3,000 miles to Africa with enough force to kill people and destroy property. Media reports put the size of the waves as high as 50 feet. (NOAA, USGS)

Southeast Flooding

Current Situation
  • Recovery efforts in the Atlanta metro area continue.
    Federal Response
  • FEMA NRCC is at Level 1 (24/7) with selected Emergency Support Functions due to the tsunami in American Samoa.
  • The NRCC continues to monitor the situation.
    FEMA Region IV:
  • RRCC Status:  Level III from 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. EDT. The Watch Unit is at 24/7
  • Region IV has seven (7) LNO's in the GEMA EOC; FCO, Dep. FCO, Operations Chief, IA, PDA coordinator, PA and SBA.
  • Joint FEMA, GEMA and local government officials continue conducting preliminary damage assessments.
  • PA PDAs have been completed in 15 counties.
  • PA PDA Teams will assed five counties yesterday.
  • Partial PA PDAs have occurred in two Counties.
  • Disaster Recovery Centers:
    DRC  Intake  Services Delivered
    Cobb County  374   952
    Cherokee County  80   438
    Douglas County (Fixed)  82   304
    Douglas County (Mobile)   302   324
    Joint Field Office:
    The FEMA-1858-DR-GA JFO, will be located at: 4360 North East Expressway, Atlanta, Georgia  30340
    Critical Infrastructure (CI) Key Resources (KR)
  • Wastewater:
    o The influent pump stations for Heard County and the two Douglasville-Douglas County Wastewater Systems were damaged by the flood and the plants are out of service.
    o Trion's wastewater treatment plant's sludge handling facilities were damaged. The plant is still in operation.
State and Local Agencies

  • The State Emergency Operations Center is activated to Level II.
  • Fatalities Reported To Date: 9 Fatalities in total
  • Injuries Reported To Date: None Reported
  • Shelters: 173 Total Residents Remain in 3 Shelters (ARC)

Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG)

No activity (FEMA HQ)

Tropical Weather Outlook

Tropical cyclone formation is not expected during the next 48 hours.
Eastern Pacific
A broad area of low pressure located a few hundred miles south-southwest of the southern tip of Baja California continues to produce a large area of disorganized showers and thunderstorms. Conditions appear favorable for gradual development of this system during the next day or so as it moves west-northwestward around 10 mph.  There is a medium chance (30 to 50 percent) of this system becoming a tropical cyclone during the next 48 hours.
Central Pacific
No tropical cyclones are expected through Thursday afternoon.
Western Pacific
Tropical Storm 20W (Melor)
At 5:00 am EDT the center of Tropical Storm 20W (Melor) was 650 miles east of Guam. Moving northwest at 16 mph. A decrease in forward speed is expected during the next 24 hours. Maximum sustained winds are 50 mph. TS 20W is expected to intensify throughout the forecast period. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center.
Based on the current warning this system will be at typhoon strength and pass just north of the island of Rota early Saturday morning (EDT) Oct 3, 2009.
Typhoon 19W (Parma)
Typhoon 19W (Parma) is not expected to affect U.S. Territories. (NOAA, HPC, National Hurricane Center, Central Pacific Hurricane Center and the Joint Typhoon Warning Center)

Earthquake Activity

No new activity (FEMA HQ)

Preliminary Damage Assessments

No new activity (FEMA HQ)

Wildfire Update

National Preparedness Level:  2
National Fire Activity as of Tuesday, September 29, 2009:
  • Initial attack activity:  Light (84 new fires)
  • New large fires:  2
  • Large fires contained:  2
  • Uncontained large fires:  8
  • States affected:  CA, OR, MT, WY, ID, and NV (NIFC)

Disaster Declaration Activity

On September 29, 2009, FEMA-1859-DR was declared for American Samoa as a result of Earthquake, Tsunami and Flooding that occurred September 29, 2009 and continuing. Individual Assistance, Public Assistance (Categories A and B), and Hazard Mitigation for all islands in the Territory of American Samoa have been authorized. The FCO will be Kenneth Tingman. (FEMA HQ)

Audio from Mark Levin Show 09-29-2009

Audio from Mark Levin Show 09-29-2009

I think that Mark Levin is the best conservative talk radio host in the nation, better even than Rush Limbaugh, and I have posted the audio from last night's show to share the magic of The Great One with you...especially the hilarious intro.

You can him out at his website, at a fan website and download audio from past shows.

Whoopie Goldberg Defends Child Rape and Convicted Child Rapist Roman Polanski

Read more at Fausta's Blog.

I will not record my thoughts on this truly despicable person or her support for child rape because I wish to keep this a family safe blog. I will say that had Roman Polanski raped a relative of mine, there would have been no place on the planet he could have fled to for safety.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

From the Wall Street Journal: The Neocons Make a Comeback

For those much-scorned neocons, none of this comes as a surprise. Neoconservatives generally take the view that the internal character of a regime usually predicts the nature of its foreign policy. Governments that are answerable to their own people and accountable to a rule of law tend to respect the rights of their neighbors, honor their treaty commitments, and abide by the international rules of the road. By contrast, regimes that prey on their own citizens are likely to prey on their neighbors as well. Their word is the opposite of their bond.

That's why neocons have no faith in any deals or "grand bargains" the U.S. might sign with North Korea or Iran over their nuclear programs: Cheating is in the DNA of both regimes, and the record is there to prove it. Nor do neocons put much stock in the notion that there's a "reset" button with the Kremlin. Russia is the quintessential spoiler state, seeking its advantage in America's troubles at home and abroad. Ditto for Syria, which has perfected the art of taking credit for solving problems of its own creation.

Where neocons do put their faith is in American power, not just military or economic power but also as an instrument of moral and political suasion. Disarmament? The last dictator to relinquish his nuclear program voluntarily was Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, who did so immediately following Saddam Hussein's capture. Democratization? Contrary to current conventional wisdom, democracy is often imposed, or at least facilitated, by U.S. pressure—in the Philippines, in the Balkans and, yes, in Iraq. Human rights? Anwar Ibrahim, the beleaguered Malaysian opposition leader, told me last week that "the only country that can stand up" to abusive regimes is the United States. "If they know the administration is taking a soft stance [on human rights], they will go on a rampage."

Source: Wall Street Journal (be sure to read the whole thing)

Lefties (including Ron Paul Lefties) are going to reap what they have sown in a weak American foreign many will have to die before they see the light? 60 million died because the West sought ways to appease Hitler. 

I hold that the people who are called Necons are the true torchbearers of Liberty and Conservatism.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Chicagoans For Rio 2016

Graphic Courtesy Chicagoans for Rio 2016

In response to the heavy-handed and thuggish tactics of the Chicago Olympic Committee, I am throwing my support behind Chigagoans who support Rio as the site of the 2016 Olympics. 

According to The Drudge Report, the Chicago Olympic Committee succeeded in getting the following report pulled from FOX TV in Chicago after airing only once...and ironically guaranteeing that even more people would see the video report...

Visit the Chicagoans for Rio website to find out more of the dark side of hosting an Olympic Games. 

Shame on the thugs at the Chicago Olympic Committee for their criminal attempt to control what news is reported.

Mark Levin Addresses an Ignorant Position of Glenn Beck

Here is audio from The Mark Levin Show regarding a recent ignorant statement from Glenn Beck:

Glenn Beck has been good for the conservative movement, especially the Christian Conservatives, but one of his latest statements reveals a type of ignorance that puts petty party and political objectives above what is good for America.

You can hear more greatness from Mark Levin weeknights...

Station Search
Podcast Archive (Levin is the real deal who makes his show archives available for free)

Get his latest book, "Liberty and Tyranny" a must-read for all those who love liberty and hate tyranny. 

I support both Glenn Beck and Mark Levin, but in this instance, Mark Levin is correct and Glenn Beck is wrong. I do think that Glenn has been sucking up to the idiot Ron Paul crowd.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Sea Launch from Seastead? Perhaps the Only Way!

At blog, they are trying to work out some way around the counter-productive international restrictions on the use of lunar and space resources. One commenter even suggested forming a micro-nation on Earth for purposes of space launch. Such a nation could refuse to sign the space treaties, and carry on unhindered by the idiocratic obstructionist tactics of the UN and the international community.

It is interesting that 
the Seasteading Institute is holding its annual conference in San Francisco on 28-30 September 2009. Because there is no more logical location for a space launching micro-nation than in the mid-ocean, near the equator. A seastead micro-state engaging in space launch, would be the ideal launching pad for a network of independent lunar and orbiting space colonies.

The UN and other international organisations have become a caricature of human ineptitude. The new US president Obama is receiving the praises of bloody-handed dictators,
 while being mocked by steadier hands, such as French president Sarkozy. Sarkozy is correct, Obama is making a mockery of responsible leadership. Now that the US president has become the friend of third world dictators, there really is no hope for the UN, the G20, or any other international organisation. It is time for independent persons to begin thinking of genuine independence from the Idiocracy.

Source: Al Fin (please go read the rest of this important post!)

Weekly Presidential Address and Republican Address

I've been meaning to post these things but other things keep getting in the way. So, here goes...

President Barack Obama Delivers the Weekly Presidential Address


Prepared Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
September 26, 2009

This week, I joined leaders from around the world at the United Nations and the G-20 economic summit in Pittsburgh. Today, I can report on what we achieved—a new commitment to meet common challenges, and real progress in advancing America’s national security and economic prosperity.
As I said at the U.N., over the past nine months my administration has renewed American leadership, and pursued a new era of engagement in which we call upon all nations to live up to their responsibilities. This week, our engagement produced tangible results in several areas.
In Pittsburgh, the world’s major economies agreed to continue our effort to spur global demand to put our people back to work. We committed ourselves to economic growth that is balanced and sustained— so that we avoid the booms and busts of the past. We reached an historic agreement to reform the global financial system—to promote responsibility and prevent abuse so that we never face a crisis like this again. And we reformed our international economic architecture, so that we can better coordinate our effort to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
We also established American leadership in the global pursuit of the clean energy of the 21st century. I am proud that the G-20 nations agreed to phase out $300 billion worth of fossil fuel subsidies. This will increase our energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, combat the threat of climate change, and help create the new jobs and industries of the future.
In New York, we advanced the cause of peace and security. I joined the first meeting between Israeli and Palestinian leaders in nearly a year—a meeting that even nine months ago did not seem possible. And we resolved to move forward in the journey toward a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.
We also took unprecedented steps to secure loose nuclear materials; to stop the spread of nuclear weapons; and to seek a world without them. As the first U.S. president to ever chair a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, I was proud that the Council passed an historic and unanimous resolution embracing the comprehensive strategy I outlined this year in Prague.
To prevent nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists, the Security Council endorsed our global effort to lock down all vulnerable material within four years. We reaffirmed the basic compact of the global nonproliferation regime: all nations have the right to peaceful nuclear energy; nations with nuclear weapons have the responsibility to move toward disarmament; and nations without them have the responsibility to forsake them.
The United States is meeting our responsibilities by pursuing an agreement with Russia to reduce our strategic warheads and launchers. And just as we meet our responsibilities, so must other nations, including Iran and North Korea.
Earlier this year, we imposed tough, new, sanctions on North Korea to stop their efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction. And we will continue to stand with our allies and partners to press North Korea to move in a new direction.
This week, we joined with the United Kingdom and France in presenting evidence that Iran has been building a secret nuclear facility to enrich uranium. This is a serious challenge to the global nonproliferation regime, and continues a disturbing pattern of Iranian evasion. That is why international negotiations with Iran scheduled for October 1st now take on added urgency.

My offer of a serious, meaningful dialogue to resolve this issue remains open. But Iran must now cooperate fully with the International Atomic Energy Agency, and take action to demonstrate its peaceful intentions.
On this, the international community is more united than ever before. Yesterday, I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with our European allies in condemning Iran’s program. In our meetings and public statements, President Medvedev of Russia and I agreed that Iran must pursue a new course or face consequences. All of the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany, have made it clear that Iran must fulfill its responsibilities.
Iran’s leaders must now choose – they can live up to their responsibilities and achieve integration with the community of nations. Or they will face increased pressure and isolation, and deny opportunity to their own people.
These are the urgent threats of our time. And the United States is committed to a new chapter of international cooperation to meet them. This new chapter will not be written in one week or even one year. But we have begun. And for the American people and the people of the world, it will mean greater security and prosperity for years to come.

Georgia Senator Johnny Isaakson delivers the Weekly Republican Address

I couldn't find a transcript, so here is the descriiption left on the GOP You Tube Channel:

Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) delivers the weekly Republican address on the Health Care Reform bill that is currently being debated in the Senate Finance Committee. Senator Isakson also sends his condolences to the families of those who have lost their lives due to the recent flooding in Georgia.

Senator Isakson discusses how important this Health Care Reform bill is to the American people and how the Republicans have listened to what their constituents have demanded at local events and town hall forums.

Senator Isakson declares that "Americans are rightly concerned about the rush to pass a massive overhaul that will raise their taxes, lower their quality of care and put government between them and their doctor." And that "Republicans believe the key to reforming health care is strengthening the doctor-patient relationship by using choice and competition rather than rationing and restrictions to contain costs and ensure access to affordable health care."

Flash Flood Watch issued for WNC Mountains Today and Tonight

Due to recent heavy rains and ground that remains saturated, the Greenville-Spartanburg Office of the National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for the region today and tonight. Here is the official announcement:

Flash Flood Watch


335 AM EDT SAT SEP 26 2009










You can find more updated information at the regional NWS Office website and via NOAA Weather Radio if you have one broadcasting in your area.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I accidentally posted a photo essay meant for my photo blog over here earlier about the Chestnuts in my yard. I have moved it to it's proper location. 
Check it out.

Mountain Heritage Day Events Moved to Higher, Drier Ground
Map of Venue

The Mountain Heritage Day at Western Carolina University has been moved to a drier location on campus from the now soggy field.

Details can be found on the WCU website.

For a limited time, you can download a PDF version and print out your own map.

Perceptions of Reality

Lefties are fond of trying to sell the public a grossly distorted perception of reality in their attempt to steer our society in the direction they want to it to proceed...toward socialism and total government control over every aspect of your life, what you eat, what you wear, and even what type of toilet paper you can use. 

In just one tiny arena of this conflict they wage against reality is who is perceived as popular and who is not, especially when it comes to one of their darlings...Keith Olbermann. 

Ask any Lefty, or any one off the street, who has the most viewers, Countdown with Keith Olbermann or The Glenn Beck TV Show...and I'd be willing to bet you the majority would say Keith Olbermann.

Why is that? 

Take a look at the way those in the media portray Keith Olbermann. He is presented (marketed, really) by them as a happening guy and always in a positive light. 

Contrast that with the way Glenn Beck is portrayed. As a crazy, out of control, even dangerous man who is manipulating his viewers. 

This is part of a technique designed to give people a false perception of reality. If they can convince enough people that it is so, eventually it may become so...and on the occasion when it doesn't, it is viewed as an unexplainable phenomena, or as the result of unfair manipulation. 

Here are the ratings for 5pm from Wednesday, when Glenn Beck is on the air:

5PM – P2+ (25-54) (35-64)
Glenn Beck– 2,874,000 viewers (728,000) (1,258,000)
Situation Room—790,000 viewers (224,000) (283,000)
Hardball w/ Chris Matthews—450,000 viewers (104,000) (230,000)
Fast Money—219,000 viewers (59,000) (111,000)
Prime News–314,000 viewers (107,000) (193,000)

and here are the numbers from 8pm (Prime Time) when Keith Olbermann is on from the same day:

8PM – P2+ (25-54) (35-64)
The O’Reilly Factor– 3,536,000 viewers (934,000) (1,544,000)
Campbell Brown – 671,000 viewers (253,000) (331,000)
Countdown w/ K. Olbermann – 904,000 viewers (331,000) (478,000)
Marijuana Inc. – 415,000 viewers (209,000) (194,000)
Nancy Grace – 957,000 viewers (358,000) (526,000)

See what I mean? Even Bill O'Reilly destroys  Keith Olbermann by a 3 to 1 margin in the time slot they share! Even in the coveted 25-54 age bracket, Olbermann is beaten handily by BOTH Beck and O'Reilly. 

Remember this the next time you are bombarded by Lefties (or the Propaganda Arm of the Left...the Media) who are trying to sell you a false perception of reality.

Ratings numbers provided by TV By The Numbers.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Full Text of Bibi Netanyahu's Speech to the UN Today
Updated with Full Video of Speech

I've updated this post with the full video of the speech:

The full text of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's speech to the United Nations:

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Nearly 62 years ago, the United Nations recognized the right of the Jews, an ancient people 3,500 years-old, to a state of their own in their ancestral homeland.
I stand here today as the Prime Minister of Israel, the Jewish state, and I speak to you on behalf of my country and my people.
The United Nations was founded after the carnage of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust.  It was charged with preventing the recurrence of such horrendous events.
Nothing has undermined that central mission more than the systematic assault on the truth. Yesterday the President of Iran stood at this very podium, spewing his latest anti-Semitic rants.  Just a few days earlier, he again claimed that the Holocaust is a lie.
Last month, I went to a villa in a suburb of Berlin called Wannsee. There, on January 20, 1942, after a hearty meal, senior Nazi officials met and decided how to exterminate the Jewish people. The detailed minutes of that meeting have been preserved by successive German governments. Here is a copy of those minutes, in which the Nazis issued precise instructions on how to carry out the extermination of the Jews.   Is this a lie?
A day before I was in Wannsee, I was given in Berlin the original construction plans for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Those plans are signed by Hitler’s deputy, Heinrich Himmler himself.  Here is a copy of the plans for Auschwitz-Birkenau, where one million Jews were murdered.  Is this too a lie?
This June, President Obama visited the Buchenwald concentration camp.  Did President Obama pay tribute to a lie?
And what of the Auschwitz survivors whose arms still bear the tattooed numbers branded on them by the Nazis? Are those tattoos a lie?  One-third of all Jews perished in the conflagration.  Nearly every Jewish family was affected, including my own.  My wife’s grandparents, her father’s two sisters and three brothers, and all the aunts, uncles and cousins were all murdered by the Nazis.  Is that also a lie?
Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium.  To those who refused to come here and to those who left this room in protest, I commend you.  You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries.
But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame?  Have you no decency?
A mere six decades after the Holocaust, you give legitimacy to a man who denies that the murder of six million Jews took place and pledges to wipe out the Jewish state.
What a disgrace!  What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations!  Perhaps some of you think that this man and his odious regime threaten only the Jews.  You’re wrong.
History has shown us time and again that what starts with attacks on the Jews eventually ends up engulfing many others.
This Iranian regime is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism that burst onto the world scene three decades ago after lying dormant for centuries.  In the past thirty years, this fanaticism has swept the globe with a murderous violence and cold-blooded impartiality in its choice of victims. It has callously slaughtered Moslems and Christians, Jews and Hindus, and many others.  Though it is comprised of different offshoots, the adherents of this unforgiving creed seek to return humanity to medieval times.
Wherever they can, they impose a backward regimented society where women, minorities, gays or anyone not deemed to be a true believer is brutally subjugated. The struggle against this fanaticism does not pit faith against faith nor civilization against civilization.
It pits civilization against barbarism, the 21st century against the 9th century, those who sanctify life against those who glorify death.
The primitivism of the 9th century ought to be no match for the progress of the 21st century.  The allure of freedom, the power of technology, the reach of communications should surely win the day.    Ultimately, the past cannot triumph over the future. And the future offers all nations magnificent bounties of hope.   The pace of progress is growing exponentially.
It took us centuries to get from the printing press to the telephone, decades to get from the telephone to the personal computer, and only a few years to get from the personal computer to the internet.
What seemed impossible a few years ago is already outdated, and we can scarcely fathom the changes that are yet to come. We will crack the genetic code.  We will cure the incurable.  We will lengthen our lives.  We will find a cheap alternative to fossil fuels and clean up the planet.
I am proud that my country Israel is at the forefront of these advances – by leading innovations in science and technology, medicine and biology, agriculture and water, energy and the environment. These innovations the world over offer humanity a sunlit future of unimagined promise.
But if the most primitive fanaticism can acquire the most deadly weapons, the march of history could be reversed for a time. And like the belated victory over the Nazis, the forces of progress and freedom will prevail only after an horrific toll of blood and fortune has been exacted from mankind. That is why the greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage between religious fanaticism and the weapons of mass destruction.
The most urgent challenge facing this body is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Are the member states of the United Nations up to that challenge? Will the international community confront a despotism that terrorizes its own people as they bravely stand up for freedom?
Will it take action against the dictators who stole an election in broad daylight and gunned down Iranian protesters who died in the streets choking in their own blood? Will the international community thwart the world’s most pernicious sponsors and practitioners of terrorism?
Above all, will the international community stop the terrorist regime of Iran from developing atomic weapons, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world?
The people of Iran are courageously standing up to this regime.  People of goodwill around the world stand with them, as do the thousands who have been protesting outside this hall. Will the United Nations stand by their side?
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The jury is still out on the United Nations, and recent signs are not encouraging. Rather than condemning the terrorists and their Iranian patrons, some here have condemned their victims. That is exactly what a recent UN report on Gaza did, falsely equating the terrorists with those they targeted.
For eight long years, Hamas fired from Gaza thousands of missiles, mortars and rockets on nearby Israeli cities. Year after year, as these missiles were deliberately hurled at our civilians, not a single UN resolution was passed condemning those criminal attacks.  We heard nothing – absolutely nothing – from the UN Human Rights Council, a misnamed institution if there ever was one.
In 2005, hoping to advance peace, Israel unilaterally withdrew from every inch of Gaza.  It dismantled 21 settlements and uprooted over 8,000 Israelis.  We didn’t get peace.  Instead we got an Iranian backed terror base fifty miles from Tel Aviv.   Life in Israeli towns and cities next to Gaza became a nightmare. You see, the Hamas rocket attacks not only continued, they increased tenfold. Again, the UN was silent.
Finally, after eight years of this unremitting assault, Israel was finally forced to respond. But how should we have responded? Well, there is only one example in history of thousands of rockets being fired on a country’s civilian population.  It happened when the Nazis rocketed British cities during World War II. During that war, the allies leveled German cities, causing hundreds of thousands of casualties.   Israel chose to respond differently.  Faced with an enemy committing a double war crime of firing on civilians while hiding behind civilians – Israel sought to conduct surgical strikes against the rocket launchers.
That was no easy task because the terrorists were firing missiles from homes and schools, using mosques as weapons depots and ferreting explosives in ambulances. Israel, by contrast, tried to minimize casualties by urging Palestinian civilians to vacate the targeted areas.
We dropped countless flyers over their homes, sent thousands of text messages and called thousands of cell phones asking people to leave. Never has a country gone to such extraordinary lengths to remove the enemy’s civilian population from harm’s way.
Yet faced with such a clear case of aggressor and victim, who did the UN Human Rights Council decide to condemn? Israel.  A democracy legitimately defending itself against terror is morally hanged, drawn and quartered, and given an unfair trial to boot.
By these twisted standards, the UN Human Rights Council would have dragged Roosevelt and Churchill to the dock as war criminals.  What a perversion of truth.  What a perversion of justice.
Delegates of the United Nations,
Will you accept this farce?
Because if you do, the United Nations would revert to its darkest days, when the worst violators of human rights sat in judgment against the law-abiding democracies, when Zionism was equated with racism and when an automatic majority could declare that the earth is flat.
If this body does not reject this report, it would send a message to terrorists everywhere: Terror pays; if you launch your attacks from densely populated areas, you will win immunity. And in condemning Israel, this body would also deal a mortal blow to peace.  Here’s why.
When Israel left Gaza, many hoped that the missile attacks would stop.  Others believed that at the very least, Israel would have international legitimacy to exercise its right of self-defense. What legitimacy?  What self-defense?
The same UN that cheered Israel as it left Gaza and promised to back our right of self-defense now accuses us –my people, my country – of war crimes?  And for what?  For acting responsibly in self-defense.  What a travesty!
Israel justly defended itself against terror.  This biased and unjust report is a clear-cut test for all governments. Will you stand with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists?
We must know the answer to that question now. Now and not later. Because if Israel is again asked to take more risks for peace, we must know today that you will stand with us tomorrow. Only if we have the confidence that we can defend ourselves can we take further risks for peace.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
All of Israel wants peace.
Any time an Arab leader genuinely wanted peace with us, we made peace. We made peace with Egypt led by Anwar Sadat.  We made peace with Jordan led by King Hussein.  And if the Palestinians truly want peace, I and my government, and the people of Israel, will make peace. But we want a genuine peace, a defensible peace, a permanent peace. In 1947, this body voted to establish two states for two peoples – a Jewish state and an Arab state.  The Jews accepted that resolution.  The Arabs rejected it.
We ask the Palestinians to finally do what they have refused to do for 62 years:  Say yes to a Jewish state. Just as we are asked to recognize a nation-state for the Palestinian people, the Palestinians must be asked to recognize the nation state of the Jewish people.   The Jewish people are not foreign conquerors in the Land of Israel.   This is the land of our forefathers.
Inscribed on the walls outside this building is the great Biblical vision of peace: “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation.  They shall learn war no more.” These words were spoken by the Jewish prophet Isaiah 2,800 years ago as he walked in my country, in my city, in the hills of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem.
We are not strangers to this land.  It is our homeland. As deeply connected as we are to this land, we recognize that the Palestinians also live there and want a home of their own. We want to live side by side with them, two free peoples living in peace, prosperity and dignity.
But we must have security.  The Palestinians should have all the powers to govern themselves except those handful of powers that could endanger Israel.
That is why a Palestinian state must be effectively demilitarized.   We don’t want another Gaza, another Iranian backed terror base abutting Jerusalem and perched on the hills a few kilometers from Tel Aviv.
We want peace.
I believe such a peace can be achieved.  But only if we roll back the forces of terror, led by Iran, that seek to destroy peace, eliminate Israel and overthrow the world order.  The question facing the international community is whether it is prepared to confront those forces or accommodate them.
Over seventy years ago, Winston Churchill lamented what he called the “confirmed unteachability of mankind,” the unfortunate habit of civilized societies to sleep until danger nearly overtakes them.
Churchill bemoaned what he called the “want of foresight, the unwillingness to act when action will be simple and effective, the lack of clear thinking, the confusion of counsel until emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong.”
I speak here today in the hope that Churchill’s assessment of the “unteachibility of mankind” is for once proven wrong.
I speak here today in the hope that we can learn from history — that we can prevent danger in time.
In the spirit of the timeless words spoken to Joshua over 3,000 years ago, let us be strong and of good courage.  Let us confront this peril, secure our future and, God willing, forge an enduring peace for generations to come.

Thunder Tech for 09-24-2009

I can't believe it has been three months since I've posted one of these. I'll blame it on Twitter because the feedback is almost instantaneous over there. So, let's ee if I remember how to do this...

Expresso Book Machine prints and bunds books in minutes

Source: Engadget

MIcrosoft Phone to compete with iPhone, complete with Apps store. Read more at
Gizmodo, from whence I swiped the photo.

Federal courts now offer hearings online as MP3 files

US federal courts are in the midst of a fascinating pilot program that could eventually bring MP3 digital audio recordings of court proceedings in a Montana federal building to an investigative journalist working in Boca Raton.

The courts already run the PACER system, which offers Public Access to Court Electronic Records. Theses are generally PDF copies of all documents (except those under seal) filed in federal courts across the country. As a tool, it's an amazing time and money saver for lawyers, journalists, and the public, despite the 8¢ per page charge for most documents which has proved controversial.
Source: Ars Technica

About 18 months ago Doug Ellison from created a flyover of the Columbia Hills on Mars using data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Spirit, the Mars rover. He's now done a 2.0 version to mark Spirit's recent birthday — she's been on Mars for 3 Martian years. Ellison made the skies a little hazier to mark the moderate dust storm that occurred recently and put Spirit in her current predicament, stuck in the sandy soil near Home Plate. Additionally, he added music and an intro credit page to avoid it being badly credited, (which happened when it was posted on Astronomy Picture of the Day in May of 2008) as well as a map at the end to show where Spirit has been all this time. If you saw the first version, this one is even better. If you haven't seen it before, prepare to be amazed.
Source: [Universe Today (visit them to see eben more goodies!)


NASA] Messenger to flyby Mercury for a final gravity-assist maneuver before entering orbt in 2011.

[] Australia's Worst Dust Storm in 70 Years

And lastly, I'll leave you with a video from NASA:

Source: [
NASA] Cassini Reveals New Ring Quirks, Shadows During Saturn Equinox

Monday, September 21, 2009

Franklin Power Plant

It has rained more or less the last 5 or so days, and this past weekend saw heavy rain in Macon County and throughout western North Carolina, and I wandered down to the Power Plant on the Little Tennessee River in Franklin and this is a brief video I shot while down there...

Counties now included in the warning are: Macon, Transylvania, western Henderson, Swain, Haywood, Buncombe, Madison and Jackson. The warning is set to expire at 5:30 p.m.

A flood warning means that flooding is imminent or has been reported. Stream rises will be slow and flash flooding is not expected, the weather service said.

Steady rain will continue today, threatening more floods across WNC. And the weekend will likely go down as one of the soggiest of the year.

Source: Asheville Citizen-Times

More information can be found at the National Weather Service.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Another ACORN Crime Scandal

Videos courtesy of Big Government.

What is up with all the ACORN employees so eager to help someone commit crimes? Especially crimes that involve underage girls (are they pro-child molestation?) and the sex trade (sex slaves).

I think it is apparent that ACORN is a criminal enterprise, and find it very telling that "news" networks like ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and MSNBC are virtually ignoring this activity. If this were an organization that was perceived as pro-Republican instead of being pro-Democrat like can bet that it would be the lead story on all the network news shows and the Democrat Leaders in the US House and US Senate would be calling for investigations from the mountain tops. 

Read more about this ongoing scandal at Big Government.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Meeting Beween Congressman Shuler and Haywood Co Democrats Becomes Heated

Haywood County Democratic leaders unanimously passed a resolution endorsing a public option for health insurance, the single point on which they disagree with their hometown Congress-man, U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler.
During a recent meeting between Shuler and Haywood County precinct officials, the issue became heated, though neither side will officially comment on the matter.
“It was just a disagreement,” said Doug Abrahms, a spokesman for Shuler’s office. “He (the Congressman) might have been a little frustrated with trying to convey his opinion about what he thought on healthcare. He feels there is too much focus on the public option as a litmus test. There are lots of pieces in the healthcare bill and even President Obama said that is just a piece of a much bigger bill.”
Likewise, Janie Benson, chairwoman of the county’s Democratic Party, would not publicly comment on what some called an outburst by Shuler at the political party meeting held in Waynesville before Congress reconvened.
“It was a private meeting between precinct officials and party leaders,” she said. “I’m disturbed so much of that meeting is out on the street. As he went out the door, the Congressman said he agreed with everything on the healthcare survey except the single payer option.”
The resolution unanimously passed by the county’s executive committee meeting expresses support for “a public option for health insurance to ensure universal health insurance coverage.”
“Every Haywood County Democrat I have talked to totally supports a public option,” Benson said, adding she didn’t watch President Obama’s address on the topic because she was at a political party meeting. She said Shuler has likely been confronted about healthcare from many sides during his month-long travels in the district.

Source: The Mountaineer (visit the website to read the entire article)

I find it funny that Congressman Shuler claims to have held many public meetings throughout the district.

I cannot recall one the public was welcome to attend in Macon County.

*cross-posted from Conservative Thunder.