Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Putin wants missile defense details

Barack Obama wants an arms control deal with Russia. Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wants details about our missile defense systems before any deal moves forward:
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia will build new weapons to offset the planned U.S. missile defense and urged Washington to share detailed data about its missile shield under a new arms control deal.
The hell of this is that Obama has already kow-towed to Moscow and scrapped the planned missile defense system deployment in eastern Europe, but in his eagerness to appease bad guys throughout the world, he'll probably agree.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Redefining racism

I've observed an emerging theme on the Left which says, in effect, that unless you wield power, you can't be accused of racism, the implication being that you have to be an establishment white male in order to be a racist. Just Google racism+prejudice+power and you'll see what I mean, but here's a sample:
Thus, from a macro perspective, only Whites as [a] group can be labeled as racist in society, for the socioeconomic system is structured in their favor.
Just for the record, here's what the dictionary says about the word:
rac⋅ism [rey-siz-uhm]
1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
I guess in broad terms, the second definition meets the power prerequisite, but it's really referring to institutional racism and not individual racism, so the argument that one must wield power in order to be a racist still doesn't hold water.

The real danger in this thinking is that according to this bit of multi-culti Leftist doctrine, a crazy white guy living in his mom's basement who decides to go out and torch a black church can't be a racist because he lacks power. The notion that he holds power just because he's white is, in itself, racist.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gadget review: Garmin nüvi 765T

As a long-time frequent traveler, I'm also a long-time automotive GPS user. The first one I had was a Garmin iQue, which was a Palm OS-based unit. It served me well for several years, but when Garmin introduced the nüvi line right about the time my iQue was starting to give out, I got myself a nüvi 350, which I reviewed here.

The 350 was a great device and served me well for over three years, but about mid-way through that period, the power switch started acting up and I had to send it to Garmin for repair. Garmin's service in this regard, by the way, is superb. The power switch on the 350 is a pressure switch and this problem cropped up again a few months ago, at which time I decided it was time to retire the unit and upgrade. A few weeks ago, my nüvi 765T arrived and a few minor quibbles aside, I couldn't be happier.

As one would expect, the 765T provides everything the 350 did, and then some. When I got the 350, I thought I'd never use the built-in MP3 player, but quickly found I couldn't live without it (see the 350 review linked above to see why), so of course I made sure this model included that feature (not all models in the nüvi line do). What this one offers that the 350 didn't (and that I'll actually use):
  • Wide (4.3") screen
  • Traffic alerts with re-routing
  • Bluetooth support for cell phone
First, the bigger screen. Just like TVs, bigger is better, especially with my aging eyes. 'Nuff said.

As for the traffic alerts, I'm not completely sold on this yet. During a drive to Raleigh, NC a few weeks ago (my first trip with this unit), it threw an alert for heavy traffic on I-85 near Henderson, NC. Having been through the area before, I know that it's traffic-prone, so I took the suggested reroute, which was a pleasant (and fast) enough ride. On the return trip, it threw the alert near the same area, but showed that the area I was driving through was heavy traffic and yet it was moving fine. I suspected that the traffic update service (which is broadcast on the FM band to the unit) was sending outdated traffic info. So clearly, this isn't a problem with the nüvi 765T, but rather the traffic service provider.

The Bluetooth feature - like the MP3 player in the nüvi 350 - was something I didn't figure I'd use since I already have a Bluetooth headset. But after trying it once, I find myself using it any time I'm in the car for any length of time. When you place or receive a call, the MP3 player pauses playback and mutes any turn announcements. Audio playback and turn announcements automatically resume when you end the call. As an added plus, the nüvi imports the call history log and the phone's address book. At least with my Blackberry...I haven't tried it yet with any other phones.

The 765T also provides an icon on the screen to let you know in which direction your next turn will be, something the 350 lacked. This is very useful and something I'd seen in other older units such as the Tom Tom and it always mildly annoyed me that the 350 lacked it.

Another nice thing about the newer GPS units is the absence of a flip-up antenna. I never had a problem with the antenna on the nüvi 350, but they are subject to breakage. An external antenna jack is provided for increased satellite reception.

One thing the 350 had that the 765T doesn't is a "bug" on the screen indicating north. I didn't think that was such a big deal, but I want it back! It seems that's something that Garmin could add through a simple software update.

One last thing...like my old nüvi 350, the 765T came with a suction cup windshield mount. I hate those things, and in fact, they're illegal in California. I long ago got a Garmin "beanbag" mount, which is a weighted mount that simply sits on the dash. It's well worth the few bucks and doesn't leave nasty marks on the windshield.

Note: I receive no compensation or promotional considerations for any gadgets I review here. Who would pay me for this drivel, anyway?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Santa takes advantage of "Cash for Clunkers"

Santa jumped on the Cash for Clunkers program this past summer and traded in his aging and energy-inefficient sleigh and eight tiny reindeer for a C-17 Globemaster and three presumably average-sized aircrew.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More candidates like this, please

Allen West is running for Florida's 22nd Congressional District seat in 2010...we need more men and women like this.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Obama breaks silence on Tiger Woods story

After two weeks, President Barack Obama has offered his views on the story everyone's talking about; the Tiger Woods sex scandal. Following is a transcript:
Well, now, uh, I don't have all the facts, but clearly Elin acted stupidly. She let that young billionaire just run around all over the place. I mean...what the heck was she thinking?
Asked if he would intervene personally to resolve the situation, the president said:
Uh, sure, why not? Maybe a round of golf at Andrews AFB between the three of us...sort of a golf summit. Or, hey, Elin's Swedish, right? Maybe a lutefisk summit in the Rose Garden?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Stupid crap that bugs me

Just caught a teaser for the upcoming local news show in which the anchor said "Pakistan" with the Obama-approved pronunciation "PAH-kee-stahn", and it made my eyelid twitch. I know it's a running gag on the right, but it bugs me beyond all reason.

Presumably they pronounce it that way because that's how a Pakistani would pronounce it, yet you never hear Obama or any of the other assclowns pronounce Afghanistan the way someone from that region pronounces it. For that matter, you never hear one of them pronounce "Germany" as "DOYTCH-lahnd".

Fucking poseurs.

Local music break

I haven't had time for blogging due to travel the last two weeks, so I'm going to ease back into it with something requiring less effort than the usual fare.

One of my favorite local bands is Honor By August, and this might be my personal favorite of their many great songs. "Johnny (Pass Me Another One)" is a poignant, heart-felt song and never fails to please when they play it at their shows.

The video up top is more or less the "official" video for the song. Below is another take on the song recorded when Honor By August played last month at the Colonial Tavern here in Fredericksburg. First, a little about this video.

A friend of ours, Young Devereaux, sits in on sax with the band just about every time they play here, and he joined them for "Johnny" that evening, and I'd recorded the whole show on a digital audio recorder I have which is great for capturing live performances. About a week later, Young mentioned to me that someone had evidently videotaped the show and put the "Johnny" track up on YouTube, but that the audio quality was pretty bad. More as an academic exercise than anything else, I downloaded a copy of the YouTube clip using savevid.com to see if I could marry up my audio track with the video. The clip below is the result.