It’s Friday.

But Sunday is coming. 

Happy Easter everyone. 

 
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March 29th, 2013 by exurbankevin

$3.8 Million Dollars to reduce “Human-Elephant” conflict.

My kids and I can’t go to Luke Days because of the sequester but we’re still spending tons of cash of things like this.

The federal government is looking into the serious issue of the “conflict” between humans and elephants. To help out on that important issue, the government generously gave $3.8 million of your tax dollars to study the matter.

The princely sum was awarded in 2011 and 2012 for the African Elephant Conservation grant and was sent to “any African government agency responsible for African elephant conservation and protection and any other organization or individual with demonstrated experience in African elephant conservation.”

Hmmn, I have a great way to end human-elephant conflicts that costs LOTS less than 3+ million dollars.

It’s called a Browning lever-action rifle in .300 WinMag. 

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Yeah, that’ll end any “Human-Elephant” conflict right quick, in favour of the humans. 

 
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March 28th, 2013 by admindude

Call Senator McCain and remind him who put him in office.

9651_10151634718386833_1353068293_nI just sent this to Senator McCain’s office via his online contact form, and I urge everyone reading this to call office at 202-224-2235 and/or contact him online and tell him to listen to Arizonans, not Michael Bloomberg’s K Street lobbyists. 

Dear Senator McCain, 

I am a contributor to KFYI.com and a staff writer at Exurbanleague.com, a popular Arizona political blog. 

I urge you to vote against  any bill in the Senate that would limit my ability to protect my family and myself from an increasingly dangerous world. 

I was at the 2009 NRA convention when someone in the audience at the US Airways center called out “We still love you, John!” as you were about to speak. 

We still love you, John, but that can change. 

Please respect the desire of the people who put you in office and vote “NO” on any bill that would limit our natural right of self defence.

With respect,
Kevin Creighton
AKA ExurbanKevin
www.exurbanleague.com

 
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March 28th, 2013 by admindude

The Republican Party is (still) Doomed to Extinction

Or not. 

Consider these recent posts from around teh interwebs.

The Obama Era

“The (Iraq) war’s strategic incoherence — which will ultimately doom the entire Middle Eastern project — the Bush administration’s adamant unwillingness to push back against the rising Democratic tide, and the president’s failure to provide for any semblance of a succession, and leaving the field to a superannuated and unpersuasive John McCain, led directly to the Obama ascendancy, and all its attendant (and forthcoming) ills.” 

The New Republic returns to its Progressive roots as a cheerleader for state power.

“The great irony is that The New Republic is repudiating contrarian neoliberalism precisely when we need it most. Obama proposes in his State of the Union address to jack up the minimum wage to $9 an hour, and instead of surveying the vast skeptical academic literature, or asking (pace Charles Peters) whether such liberal gestures are “more about preserving their own gains than about helping those in need,”TNR columnist Timothy Noah declares, “Raise the Minimum Wage! And make it higher than what Obama just proposed.” The president announces in the same speech a plan to create universal, federally funded preschool, and instead of reflecting on the well-documented failures of the K–12 system, Jonathan Cohn congratulates the president, because “first somebody has to start the conversation.” A more accurate take: First somebody has to ignore the conversation of the previous four decades.

In the spring of 2010, liberal commentators began advancing a meme that the conservative movement’s intellectual wing was heading toward “epistemic closure,” shutting out any viewpoints that didn’t match their skewed version of reality. Paul Krugman and Eric Alterman deploy the term readily to mock the closed-minded groupthink of their opponents. Like a lot of partisan insults, the closure crack contained some truth: Witness the conservative-journalism freakout in February over a group, called “Friends of Hamas,” that eventually turned not to exist. But it was also a reminder of the Pendulum Rule of politics: You quickly become that which you criticize.” 

The Republican Party Might Not Be Quite Dead Yet

Any Republican efforts at reinvention face this dilemma: While staunch conservatives help keep GOP lawmakers in office, they also help keep the party out of the White House. Quite simply, the Republican Party has to appeal to a broader cross section of the electorate to succeed in presidential elections.

This has practically reached the status of conventional wisdom these days. Republicans are doomed because they don’t appeal to the young, or to Hispanics, or to women, or whatever. Their core base of pissed-off white guys is shrinking, and they’re inevitably going to shrink along with it.

That makes sense to me. And yet….there’s something about it that doesn’t quite add up. Republicans control the House, and no one seems to think that’s going to change in the near future. (And no, it’s not just because of gerrymandering.) On the other side of Capitol Hill, Democrats seem genuinely concerned about holding onto the Senate next year. As for the White House, Republicans have only lost two presidential elections in a row, both times in years where the fundamentals favored Democrats. And they continue to hold outsize majorities in state legislatures and governor’s mansions.

These don’t seem like the markers of a party so far outside the mainstream that they’re doomed to extinction. Frankly, they seem to be holding on fairly well.”

Rand Paul Wins Conservative Straw Poll 

“Conservative activists chose Tea Party favorite Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky as their pick to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2016, at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside Washington, D.C., on Saturday.”

How Do We Win Arguments in a Fragmenting Culture?

“Our electorate, and the culture, feel really fragmented right now. You can be in a bubble and not know it. It used to be if you wanted to know what was on everybody’s mind, you watched the evening news and looked at the front page of the newspapers. Now to the extent these programs tell you what the ‘big news’ and ‘big issues’ are, they reveal what is on the mind of the rapidly aging audiences for those products; the rest of the population is scattered in a million different directions. There are very few moments where a lot of us are looking at the same place at the same time.”

So to recap: 

  • Because of their unified hatred of the Iraq War, there’s been “epistemic closure” (whatever THAT is) within the Democrats, not the Republicans 
  • Rand Paul’s success coupled with Marco Rubio’s popularity proves there’s a lively and ongoing debate about the future of the Republican Party with the GOP itself 
  • Democrats are starting to notice this. They’re also starting to notice that the GOP holds the majority of seats in local governments, from Governorships all the way down to state legislature seats 
  • The electorate is dividing itself into smaller and smaller niches 
  • The Tea Party is advocating for smaller and smaller government 

How do we deal with smaller and smaller niche markets? We do it by making government small enough to meet the needs of the one, not the many. Then the question becomes which style of government is better at that sort of thing: The opportunity-driven, free-market world of economic conservatism, or the top-down, one-size-fits all Obama-style socialism? 

I remember  a “Doonesbury” strip from the mid 70s, where Ginny Slade discovers her bid for Congress is being threatened by another woman running as a Republican. Ginny exclaims in frustration, “Doesn’t she know her party is dying!?” 

Less than five years later, Reagan was sworn into office. 

The future belongs to the Republicans. All we have to do is realize it. 

 
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March 27th, 2013 by exurbankevin

On Marriage Equality

8371_10200675539441564_1219932311_n“Western culture is a complex combination of the Judeo-Christian tradition and the Greco-Roman. These two traditions are in conflict and so we have this terrible tension going on in our culture, particularly about sex and aggression. Much of our artwork — the titanic achievements of Michelangelo or Picasso or Rubens — is wrestling with the inner conflicts of our tradition. So the greatness of western art is not due to western myopia — it is due to the neuroticism that’s built into the western brain.” 

– Camile Paglia 

And the neuroticism was on full display outside of the Supreme Court today as the justices debated the legality of California’s voter initiative banning gay marriage. 

Me? I don’t have a dog in this fight. My vow’s weren’t before a judge, they were before God and my family. The Supreme Court could rule that “marriage” can happen between adults and consenting lawn furniture, and I still won’t think it’s the same as the vows my wife and I took 15 16 years ago. 

I agree with my fellow KFYI blogger Thomas Purcell: Just why is the government in the marriage business anyways? Why does the IRS care about who I love and do not love? If civil marriage is about taxes, inheritance and benefits, isn’t that already covered under contract law? To paraphrase Tina Turner, what’s love got to do with THAT? 

Can we Christians pause for a second from our talk about the “sanctity of marriage” and take a look at what marriage looks like inside the sanctuary? Are we REALLY in a position to throw truckloads of stones at others when the percentage of our marriages that end in divorce is hovering around 40%? Sure, that’s better than society at large, but what if it was “Sure, only 40% of Christians cheat on their taxes”? Would we still endorse Dave Ramsay if that were true? What if we Christians lowered our divorce rate by 10%? Would that have a bigger impact on the state of family life in America than allowing 10% (or less) of the population to marry? 

And that’s not all. What if the body of Christ cared as much about the shocking number of one-parent households inside the inner-city Afro-American community  as we care about banning gay marriage? How would THAT change the nature of the discussion about the American family, the GOP, and the gay marriage debate? 

The gay marriage debate is good and proper and needs to be had. But at the end of the day, is this the hill that social conservatism is willing to die on? 

 
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March 26th, 2013 by exurbankevin

This one goes out to Mike Bloomberg

Mike Muir saw this one coming a long, long time ago.

“On Meet the Press Sunday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg indicated that Americans should get used to the idea of having their freedom’s limited by government, particularly when their actions affect themselves or others.

“I do think there are certain times we should infringe on your freedom,” Bloomberg said, citing laws banning drinking and driving or carrying guns on airplanes .

But Bloomberg suggested that he was willing to avoid outright bans on certain behavior, although he asserted that part of government’s role was dissuading citizens from making bad choices.

‘All we’re trying to do is educate. And then hopefully, if they understand they would be better off with one product or another,’ Bloomberg insisted.( emphasis mine) 

And I go “wait, what are you talking about, WE decided? MY best interests? How do you know what MY best interest is? How can you say what MY best interest is? What are you trying to say? I’M crazy? When I went to YOUR schools, I went to YOUR churches, I went to YOUR institutional learning facilities? So how can you say I’M crazy?”

 
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March 25th, 2013 by exurbankevin

$50k a year to remember the Maine.

Look, I get that we owe our military veterans a huge debt. They’re willing to die for our safety, and I think we should honour and reward their service as much as we can. 

But paying out $20 million a year in benefits to spouses and families of veterans… of World War One? Is that really what we need to be doing in a world where airshows are cancelled because of budget cuts?

World War I, which ended 94 years ago, continues to cost taxpayers about US$20 million every year. World War II? US$5 billion. 

Of the 2,289 survivors drawing cash linked to WWI, about one-third are spouses and dozens of them are over 100 years in age. 

Some of the other recipients are curious: Forty-seven of the spouses are under the age of 80, meaning they weren’t born until years after the war ended. Many of those women were in their 20s and 30s when their aging spouses died in the 1960s and 1970s, and they’ve been drawing the monthly payments since. 

And before some Democrat wanders by and goes on a rant about how THEY support the troops, and the GOP doesn’t, just to be clear, it’s AMERICAN troops that I’m talking about here, not Turkish, Russian or Canadian. 

I know how tough it is for you all to tell one from military from another. After all, they all look alike to the Democrats

 
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March 20th, 2013 by exurbankevin

Canaries in the coal mine

Katie Pavlich has a great article up on Townhall warning us not to get complacent about the Cyprus savings seizures

As a reminder, the United States government has been eying and researching how Americans use their 401k plans for quite some time now. Recently we saw the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggest the government help “manage” retirement plans.

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is weighing whether it should take on a role in helping Americans manage the $19.4 trillion they have put into retirement savings, a move that would be the agency’s first foray into consumer investments.
“That’s one of the things we’ve been exploring and are interested in in terms of whether and what authority we have,” bureau director Richard Cordray said in an interview. He didn’t provide additional details. 

You people. You’re just like children. You can’t be trusted with your money, you need the government to watch it for you. 

And in case you were wondering what the future of medical care looks like under Obamacare, Canada is showing the U.S. what it’s future looks like

“I had my first appointment with my family doctor for my feet in 2002,” she says. “The original problem was my bunions. They rub in your shoes and you can’t walk properly. They are very sore. My family doctor made me an appointment to see a foot surgeon in Halifax to get the problem fixed.

“That was 11 years ago.”

In what seems like a parody of complaints over medicare waiting lists, Wendy Berringer is still, 11 years later, waiting for that appointment. Her would-be foot surgeon, an otherwise staunch defender of public healthcare, says there is nothing he can do about it, not when Ms. Berringer’s foot problem isn’t life and death — and not when his waiting list is 3,500 names long — and not when he is the only foot and ankle man in the entire province. 

An ELEVEN YEAR wait for bunion surgery. Canada has a single-payer health care system: The government decides how much health care should cost, and pays doctors accordingly. If you don’t want work for what the government says you’re worth, you don’t become a doctor, you do something else. 

This is the future of America. Fortunately, there’s still time to change the future. 

 

 
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March 19th, 2013 by exurbankevin

Test liveblog

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March 18th, 2013 by KevinC

Space Cowboys

I was wandering by the TV display in a local electronics store a couple of years ago, and was accosted by an older gentleman who couldn’t believe that Obama was willing to let the Space Shuttle program go away. He went on and on about his conservatism and told me (at length) how the cancellation of the Shuttle was proof that this country was headed in the wrong direction. 

I saw things differently.

Sure, I’m going to miss the shuttle. Like most Americans my age, I remember EXACTLY where I was when I heard that the Challenger had blown up (Northbound Mill Ave, waiting to turn left onto Southern). I grew up enamored with the space program and knew so much about it, I could (and did) correct my grade-school teachers on it. 

But I grew up.

I still love space exploration, but I don’t think it’s the government’s place to provide the rides anymore. Consider this analogy. Commercial air travel in the U.S. didn’t really happen before the 30’s, and came about because of prior experience with government-funded air mail routes. It wasn’t government-run airlines that moved people and cargo across the U.S., but it did start with government-run air mail that started with planes left over from World War One and then improved upon them. 

Space travel is, right now, where air mail was 100 years ago. We’re using, for the most part, boosters left over from Cold War ICBM‘s to deliver small but valuable cargo to government-approved destinations. Improved production techniques and better rockets are coming, but they’re coming very slowly. NASA and the .gov need to get out of the way of private business and turn space over to the people who want to make it profitable.

Why is spending billions and billions of dollars on a manned space program better than spending billions and billion of dollars on amnesty for illegal immigrants or congressional junkets? Sure, the Shuttle was nice, but it was designed in the early 70’s, was horrifically over-budget and didn’t really work as lift vehicle OR a people carrier. Costs too much, doesn’t really do the job it was supposed to do. Sounds like a government program to me! 

And I’m not talking about scientific exploration here: I’m all in favor of poking around and finding out new knowledge. my family went to ASU’s Open Door Night this month, and we saw live pictures from the Moon as the LRO flew over Tycho Crater.

Cool.

Instead, what I’m talking about are the day-to-day operations of throwing stuff into space like satellites and astronauts. Governments can fund the exploration, but they can’t fund the exploitation.  NASA is the sole gatekeeper and accountant for such things now, it’s time to turn them into the FAA of space and let  space travel  really (pardon the pun) take off. 

 
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March 15th, 2013 by exurbankevin