Good Morning Campers!
Those of you who’ve been paying attention probably realize that I’ve been at school all week, as a matter of fact, I’m writing this from my hotel room. I’ve been at the Fishers Fire Dept (big round of applause for those guys, they were tremendous hosts!) where I’ve been taking FEMA’s L449 Class. Well, just so you know, L449 is called ICS 100 through 400 Train-the-Trainer. And in a nut shell, it means that I am now a certified FEMA instructor. Ain’t that somethin’!
So, other than that, it’s been a pretty slow week around casa de dragon. There are a couple of things that I want you guys to remember as you go through today’s ezine. First of all, remember that the videos need to be watched from the website. http://dragonlaffs.com
and please remember to give us a rating before you leave the website. The stars are right there over the header picture. Which today, includes a picture of me, landing on the roof of the Fisher’s Fire Deptment and getting ready for class! I know, it’s a really good likeness of me and I look really handsome.
Thank you, thank you….now, how’s about we get on with this cookout, shall we?
This is truly fantastic. I highly recommend opening it up to full screen and turning up the volume….and remember….you can only see the videos by going to the website at http://dragonlaffs.com
Flying Over the Earth at Night
Video Credit: Gateway to Astronaut Photography, NASA ; Compilation: Bitmeizer (YouTube);
Music: Freedom Fighters (Two Steps from Hell)
Explanation: Many wonders are visible when flying over the Earth at night. A compilation of such visual spectacles was captured recently from the International Space Station (ISS) and set to rousing music. Passing below are white clouds, orange city lights, lightning flashes in thunderstorms, and dark blue seas. On the horizon is the golden haze of Earth’s thin atmosphere, frequently decorated by dancing auroras as the video progresses. Thegreen parts of auroras typically remain below the space station, but the station flies right through the red and purple auroral peaks. Solar panels of the ISS are seen around the frame edges. The ominous wave of approaching brightness at the end of each sequence is just the dawn of the sunlit half of Earth, a dawn that occurs every 90 minutes.
The White House was urged by the U.S. Senate Tuesday
to reveal who leaked sensitive national security secrets
to the New York Times. Yesterday we learned conclusive
proof that Muammar Khadafy and Osama bin Laden are
dead. They both registered to vote in Chicago.
The U.S. is calling for fair elections in Cambodia.
To which the Cambodians are saying “You first!”
Mitt Romney had trouble remembering the word doughnut
while ordering breakfast at an Iowa diner counter last
week. He needs to work on that. It’s considered a sign
of cultural respect toward police and labor unions to
know how to pronounce their soul food.
This is the perfect visual rendition of what it’s like to try and leave FaceBook.
John Edwards was reported to be considering returning
to politics in North Carolina. Don’t bet against him. Any
man who can talk a widow out of a million dollars and
use it to hide his pregnant mistress from his dying wife
while running for president, then convince his jury he
did nothing wrong has, what lots of people call,
good people skills.
What a great idea! LOL. I’m gonna have to try that with someone! If I can work it out I’ll show you guys the finished product.
This is how Lethal ends up with so many cats.
If her husband believes that, then I’ve got a bridge to sell him. Low miles, only driven across by a little old lady on Sundays. Or maybe some ocean front property in Wyoming.
Could that be our own leprechaun hiding behind his hand? Nah! There wouldn’t be that many full glasses. He’d of had 4 or 5 of them emptied before the last one was poured!
There are two sides to every story.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is in movie theaters
about a young Lincoln who swings his ax to kill zombies.
Hollywood can’t just appropriate great men and use them
for horror movies. What’s next, Robert E. Lee: Assistant Football
Coach at Penn State?
The Southern Baptist Convention held their national convention
in New Orleans this past week. They don’t believe in
drinking or smoking or dancing or pre-marital sex. The convention
is the worst thing to hit the New Orleans economy
since Hurricane Katrina.
More colleges are offering four year degrees in three years
to cut back on tuition costs. Students like the idea of getting
out a year earlier. The only reason to have a fourth and even
fifth year of college is when the draft is in effect. Which brings
up the question from student athletes, “What’s a degree?”
Mitt Romney will address the NAACP Convention in Houston
in July. It’s courageous for a Republican to speak before
that strongly Democratic group. When you spent the Vietnam
War in Paris you have got to take your combat experience
wherever you can get it.
USA Today released a poll showing confidence in the
U.S. public schools at an all-time low. There’s also no confidence
in churches and banks and TV news. Civilization is the process
of realizing that except for your astrologer and hair stylist,
you can’t trust anyone.
The Southern Baptist Convention last week elected Reverend
Fred Luther their first black president in history. Whites fell in
love with Luther’s ministry when black and white congregations
had to worship together in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The
White House didn’t waste any time Friday blaming the
racial harmony on George W. Bush.
This is just too much the sweetest thing! If this doesn’t bring at least a smile to your face or a tear to your eye, then got check yourself in to maintenance cause you’re broken!
And of course, as should be expected, someone had to parody this great video…
Okay, even though it’s in really bad taste, you have to admit that it’s funny as hell!
As many of you know, our dear green friend and fellow laff-miester, Lethal Leprechaun lives in southern Texas. I got an email from him the other day…
“Hey Impish, you’re never going to believe what happened to me, today. I was almost a hero! Yup, I was walking down along the border this morning and I saw a Muslim extremist fall into the Rio Grande River! It was awful! He was struggling to stay afloat because of all the guns and bombs he was carrying. I didn’t know what to do!
Along with him was this Mexican who was also struggling to stay afloat because of this huge-assed backpack full of drugs that was strapped to his back! It was really bad!
I knew if they didn’t get help, they’d surely drown! I was running up and down the bank, I didn’t know what to do.
Then I remembered! Not only am I a brave and honorable member of my beloved Ireland, I was also a responsible and upstanding Texan and it was my duty and responsibility to help all of those in distress. So I immediately informed the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, the Texas Rangers, and Texas Homeland Security!
As of this time I’m writing to you, it’s almost 1600 hrs and both of them have drowned. None of the authorities have shown up! Can you believe it? No one responded! I’m really sorry now that I wasted those 3 stamps!”
That’s alright my friend….you’re still a hero to me!
My wife is throwing out some of my baby things…
Here now is an opinion piece from factcheck.org. Check out their link. I’ve been to their wonderful website before, but this is such a good piece, complete in its entirety, that I just had to copy the entire thing. As you can see from the Editor’s note at the beginning, this is not the original posting of this piece, but I’ve left in all the links for your to peruse at your leisure. My question is….Why shouldn’t we expect the truth from our candidates?
If you wish to see the article in it’s natural habitat, the link is here.
Why the Truth Still Matters
Editor’s note: A version of this opinion piece by our director, Brooks Jackson, first appeared on the website of the United Kingdom’s Guardian newspaper under the headline “Fact-checking the truthiness of the 2012 campaign” and is re-posted here with permission.
Let’s face it, voters love to hear falsehoods.
Mitt Romney proclaims that President Obama’s health care law is a “federal takeover of the U.S. health care system,” and his supporters approve. Obama’s people nodded in agreement when the president said “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”
But both claims are false.
The truth about Romney’s claim is that the federal government accounted for 43.6 percent of all U.S. health care spending in 2009, before the law was signed, and government actuaries predict that in 2015, when the law is fully effective, that will rise to 47.4 percent. What’s more, much or most of that 3.8 percentage point increase would have happened anyway as the postwar baby boom generation reaches age 65 and goes on Medicare. So the law is no “takeover.” Rather, it’s a modest, incremental change in the existing system.
The truth about Obama’s claim is that under the new law, about 3 million to 5 million fewer persons will obtain health coverage from their employers — including some employees who will drop coverage voluntarily. And though it’s quite unlikely, the number could be as high as 20 million, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. So lots of people won’t be able to keep the plan they like, and will have to go shopping for another.
And these are just two of the bogus claims being fed to voters in the 2012 presidential election. Some other recent examples:
All those statements are false, or grossly distorted.
And there’s plenty more where those whoppers came from. Romney’s job-creation record in Massachusetts is either the best or worst in the nation, depending on which side is spinning the numbers. Similarly, his supporters exaggerate his record of job creation as head of Bain Capital, while Obama and his allies engage in lemon-picking Bain’s worst failures.
Both sides dissemble about the nation’s worst fiscal problems. Romney complains of huge deficits and rising debt and an “inferno” of spending he attributes to Obama, ignoring the fact that revenues are also low by historical standards. And Obama, while trashing Romney’s suggestions, proposes nothing to avoid a 25 percent cut in Social Security benefits that the system’s trustees say is looming in 2033 unless changes are made.
And all this is mild compared with the savage and malicious lies circulating on the Internet and in social media. It is not true, for example, that the new health care law will impose a 3.8 percent tax on the sales price of every home, or that it will require Medicare premiums to double, or that Muslims will be exempted from the requirement to obtain coverage.
Suffice to say, deceit is all too common in the 2012 campaign.
It’s easy to blame the politicians who say these things. And at FactCheck.org, we certainly don’t excuse them; we see our mission as holding politicians accountable for their falsehoods. But politicians aren’t the only ones responsible.
Consider: If unpleasant truths would get candidates elected, they would state them frankly. But they seldom do that, because so few of us in the public want to hear unpleasant truths. Stating such things is considered a gaffe.
Furthermore, humans naturally filter out evidence that weighs against what they want to believe. It’s called “confirmation bias,” and we all have it. So candidates tell us what we want to hear.
Political campaigns are not public-policy seminars. The candidate’s goal is not to inform, but to persuade and motivate. Candidates make false claims, and grossly exaggerate, because they believe that fires up their supporters and triggers the biases of potential supporters.
This has been going on for a long time. Lying to the public was common in the ancient Greek democracy 2,500 years ago. One classics scholar summarized: “In short, nothing aside from the knowledge of the audience and the limits of plausibility restrained the orator from inventing falsehoods and distorting the truth.” The same could be said today.
And yet, facts and truth still matter. It’s a fact that federal spending remains at its highest level relative to gross domestic product than at any time since 1946, however much Democrats resist and demonize attempts to restrain the growth of entitlements. It’s also a fact that federal revenues are at their lowest level since 1950, however much Republicans deny that tax cuts have contributed to the unsustainable deficits and growing debt they decry. If the U.S. is not to end up like Greece, both those truths must be considered.
Sensible voters can still decide elections – but they shouldn’t expect the unbiased truth from 30-second TV spots, or partisan talking points repeated endlessly on cable networks. But to be sensible, a voter must first ask, “Does that claim sound too good – or too much like what I want to hear — to be true?” That’s where the search for the sometimes unwelcome truth begins.
– Brooks Jackson