It’s Not A National I.D.

It’s a Federal Driver’s License.  You recognize the difference, right?

No?

The rationalization for this plan, of course, is the same as that for any authoritarian program…a centrally mandated, controlled, and issued driver’s license will make it more difficult for con artists, drug traffickers, illegal immigrants, or terrorists to gain access to identification that could compromise our security. 

You feel better about it now, don’t you?  No?  This should help:

By 2014, anyone seeking to board an airplane or enter a federal building would have to present a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, with the notable exception of those more than 50 years old, Homeland Security officials said.

It’s funny.  They keep calling it a “driver’s license,” but they never mention anything about driving.

Chavez Brokers Deal For Hostages

From the Christian Science Monitor, two higher priority hostages have been released, and others may be forthcoming. The article doesn’t say what Chavez offered to secure their release.

Interesting. Show of hands–who here thinks Chavez promised FARC something juicy (hmm…what could a militant group want?) in return for making him look like a hero and undermining Colombia’s current administration?

Uribe had little choice but to allow the fiery leftist leader – who’s called him a “puppet” and “lapdog” of Washington – to organize a new mission, but demanded it be done discreetly and “with respect for the Colombian government.”

The Missus is Colombian, but has lived in the U.S. since she was a child and has limited knowledge about what goes on there. We’re encouraging her dad to start blogging, mostly as a way to get him to document all the great stories he has about growing up in the middle of the jungle in Colombia and the vast knowledge he has of the history and culture. We had a very short discussion over Christmas about this very situation. He has a lot of insight, and I wish we could have talked about it a little more or I’d have had a little less to drink :). No worries though, I’ve already sent an email asking for his comments, and with his permission I’ll post his response.

But at the same time, according to observers, Colombia could see an increase in FARC attacks throughout the country. “They will try to demonstrate that despite the setback and despite their willingness to release hostages, they are still powerful,” says Mr. Bagley.

It’s really too bad that most of what we hear about Colombia in the U.S. leads to the conclusion that there are kidnappers on every corner and snipers on every roof waiting to pick off any gringo that may stumble by. I’ve only visited once, but everyone I encountered was extremely friendly and anxious to dispell that myth. There was never a time when I didn’t feel completely safe. Admittedly, I was in a city the whole time. The mountains and jungles are more treacherous, even for Colombians. That’s unfortunate as well, because from everything I’ve seen in photos and heard from people who have been, these areas are absolutely beautiful.

***UPDATE–Here’s the response my father-in-law sent on how he surmises the situation

The situation that has presented to the world through the media is real, however the conclusions drawn from this is completely unreal.
Since the previous liberation attempt was a complete disaster to Chavez they had to come through with something to save face, especially when the FARC admitted that the Colombian President was stating the truth about the child, while at the same time Chavez was blaming the Colombians for the intermission in the liberation process . All the political representatives had egg on their face with this backfire to Chavez .

1. Fact : The leftist guerrillas are under direct control of foreign governments, Cuba.
2. Fact : Chavez is the apparent heir of Fidel.
3. Fact : This was a complete publicity stunt in favor of the guerrillas with the leftist figures to give it a political backing to the guerrillas showing a human side which they do not have.
4. Fact : The Colombian government was pressured into this farce by the French and European community which are looking to obtain the freedom of Ingrid Betancourt, freedom that will not happen for now. She is a big ace that the guerrillas hold for their advantage. She might be used in the next publicity stunt concocted in Cuba to further the Chavez agenda in Latin America.
5. Fact : This was a complete washing of Chavez ‘s face by the guerrillas through the orders of the puppet master ” Fidel Castro”

Was That Wrong?

A buddy at work and I were talking today about the whole Cynthia Finch situation and how ridiculous it is that she actually thought for a second her actions could be okay.  It reminded us of the episode of Seinfeld in which George Costanza gets busted by his boss for having sex with the cleaning lady in his office.

As his only defense, he acts as though he has no idea this was inappropriate.  Here’s a clip.

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George got fired by the way.

Finch Addresses County Commission

Hat tip to mbradley for pointing us to the video of Wednesday’s meeting.  If you aren’t local, this is hilarious.  If you are, it’s truly sad.

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WARNING:  multiple instances here of the pot calling the kettle…uh…cookware.

You can just feel/smell the love here, can’t you?

Story in the KNS.

Exit Polls Explanation

Everyone is wondering what went wrong yesterday in New Hampshire.  How could the polling be so far off from the voting?  Was it WaterworksGate?  A guy who was actually there with boots on the ground may have the answer.

They are sick and tired from being dismissed. They are sick and tired that all the male candidates are being called by their last name but the woman is being called by her first name.

From his account, it was pretty obvious what was happening on the streets.

About THE Ron Paul Article

The article that appeared today in The New Republic was, of course,  designed to be a hit piece–do maximum damage on an important day.  Having said that…

It’s pretty obvious after reading that newsletters that Ron Paul is telling the truth when he says he didn’t write it.  It’s funny, but I worked with a guy during the mid-90s that wrote newsletters/pamphlets and posted them around campus to “piss off as many people as possible”, and it sounds like something he would have written.

Having said that

Claiming “moral responsibility” may be admirable, but it isn’t enough.  If Ron Paul has a hope of saving his campaign and reputation he’s going to have to name the person who wrote the newsletters.   The kind of person who would write things like this under Dr. Paul’s name in the first place isn’t the kind of person who would come forward at this point and claim responsibility.

If Ron Paul doesn’t name names soon, he’ll look like he’s protecting this person at the very least.

Can You Define Conflict of Interests Again?

From the KNS:

Cynthia Finch, Knox County’s senior director of Community Services, will give up control of the county’s grants programs so she can continue serving on the boards of nonprofits that receive grant funding, the mayor’s office announced today.

The remarkable thing about this story is that she actually had to be told by her superiors that it was inappropriate to represent entities seeking funds while having control or influence over the funds they were seeking!

A memo sent Friday notified Finch and her subordinates in the Community Development Department they would no longer be allowed to serve on the boards of nonprofits that seek federal or locally funded grants issued by the county.

The new policy comes in the aftermath of a U.S. Housing and Urban Development report that found the county distributed $840,000 in “questionable” federal grants to nonprofits with connections to Finch and other county grants officials.

Only in Louisiana Knoxville.  What would happen at your job if you did that?  Hell, my company canned a guy (rightfully so) a couple of years ago for taking a $125 Best Buy gift card from a supplier.  I guess they could have just given him less work and let him keep his salary along with the gift card as punishment, but what kind of message would that have sent?

Hopefully some of that investigative reporting I posted about earlier today is in the works.

The Pilot Announced…

the plane was going to crash.  They were headed for sure doom.  A lady stood up and said, “Before we crash, is there any man on this plane that can make me feel like a real woman one last time?”

A man promptly removed his shirt and said, “Here, iron this.”

I just thought I’d throw that out there.