Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com The Barnyard: June 2007

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Weekend Rambler

Hey, the foothills have a draw especially with old style saloons, time for a cold one.
150 years later, North San Juan, arresteted decay
Dang, I never thought of this.
They ain't quite Paul Potts but they are Americana at its best, enjoy the Redneck Tenors.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Frolic: Updated With Video

Stop the presses, Mitt Romney once strapped his dog carrier on the roof of the family stationwagon on a family vacation back in '83 (ht:Hotair) and the loonbats are screaming this should be a reason for him to withdraw from the nomination. Only the wackiest of moonbat liberals would find this a story, geez if this all their best dirt diggers can come up with he must really scare the bejeebers out of them. He is squeaky clean as it gets. They are calling this animal cruelty but these are the same nuts at PETA that don't eat meat and compared chicken slaughtering to the Holocaust. He built a windscreen for it and I am sure the dog was quite happy with the view and smells, heck, where I am from, dogs still ride loose in the back of trucks. I see absolutely nothing wrong with transporting a dog in that manner and would do the same if need be. A far sight better than this clip.

Now real news, two car bombs have been found in London, Allahpundit at Hotair has the scoop, thank the Lord they got disarmed, one was in the busy nightclub district, the other had apparently been towed for some reason to a city towyard and reports indicate there maybe a third. If I were the Brits I'd start deporting a bunch of Muslims and their radical clerics.

Mike Yon has a couple new dispatches up from the battle for Diyala and Operation Arrowhead Ripper as does Bill Roggio. Michael Totten is always worth reading if you are interested in the Middle East, give these guys a tip in their paypal accounts if you are able. Mike T is trying to get to Iraq and Mike Yon's expenses are ongoing. One thing is for sure Yon is going to have mountains of pictures and notes of which to write a compelling history of the war if he survives to sit down and write it, keep him in your prayers for our soldiers as well. We are kicking tail and the citizens like our new strategy though it is more dangerous for the soldiers, getting out of the armored vehicles and talking to the residents using a surgeon's scalpel instead of a butcher's cleaver approach that we had used initially. Now I only hope congress doesn't turn off the lights before the surgery is complete. There is lots of good news coming from Iraq if you look beneath the blood on the frontpage but you will never see it in the MSM because it does not fit the narrative of a failed Republican war that they have been trumpeting since before it even started.

Kathleen Parker has a good essay posted comparing two faces we all know, "Rage Boy", the ubiquitous enraged Muslim and Paul Potts the Brit singing sensation, "The Beauty and the Beast". She puts an interesting spin on it.

For some Friday evening fun, some more Penn&Teller.

Update: The airshow at the local airport is this weekend, a few blocks from my house, I will head over and get some pictures of some vintage warplanes. A couple Flyboys from Beale AFB, always come by for a ground rumbling show and a little fun time in their birds, amazing stuff. They were practicing this afternoon, dang, that looks like fun, an old boss had a trick biplane and he used to take us up and try to make us sick doing tricks, best roller coaster I've ever been on, LOL.

Update: Here is the source of the Mitt Romney dog story, it is in part 4.
Update: Trader Rick has something to ponder up.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Hattip American Citizens

The shamnesty jamdown has failed, 53-46, and the thanks goes to all the folks that fried the Senate's phonebank.
Our next target is the Fairness Doctrine, a move by the left to shut down free speech radio particularly conservative talk radio, losers can't handle the free exchange of ideas and talk so they seek to censor it so only their voice will be heard. One troll likes to call me a brownshirt when I enact comment moderation but won't comment when it is down because it knows it has no basis in fact just emotional retoric.
I must say I have regained a little pride and respect for my party over the last few weeks, they are showing some backbone finally. They need to keep it up and we can retake Congress as the Pelosi/Reid combo has produced the lowest approval rating in congressional history. I am so disappointed....

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

For The Fun of Dihydrogen Monoxide

I promised this video a while back, remember this is a toxic, dangerous substance that takes many thousands of lives every year and comes in many deadly forms including the dominate greenhouse gas....

Yet it is the basic ingredient of life, I gotta love the Al Gores and other loonatics, Ms. Cindy, that go so overboard as to become fools and court jestors.
So here is some more fun from Penn and Teller.

Wednesday Wanderings

The latest Barnyard bloomer, an asian lily, it is about eight inches across.

Michelle Malkin has followed the Immigration debate in the Senate and live blogged it for the rest of us and reports that this zombie of a bill may finally be killed once and for all untill we see true border security, interior enforcement, the clearance of existing backlogs of legal immigrants, deportation of criminal illegals and a reliable easy to use employment ID verification system. Second and just as important we need to help the Mexican government reform its market system to improve the lot of its people so they don't leave and instead have the incentive to stay and work in their own resource rich country and take it back from the drug cartels and organized crime that is rampant. There is a mini-war going on along our border between rival cartels, Mexican Army(often impossible to tell apart from the cartels) and our Border Patrol that we do not allow to fight, go figure.
Hotair has lots more with some fun and revealing videos as well of some Semate 'elites' making fools of themselves.

Allah has this Silky Pony Edwards feature. Just for fun since I am an Annie fan.

And for referrence is this "Hardball" setup by Chris Matthews, attacking Ann's right to free speech. Thanks to Matt Lewis at Townhall for this one. Oh Waaaa, whiney loonbat, "shutup, stop criticizing us" oh the irony, they can dish it out but they sure can't take it. Go Annie Go!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Must Read Alert

I am so disappointed in the 'most open and ethical House in history', heck only 14% of America approves of the Pelosi/Reid affair. This ought to raise your hackles a bit as well from Dick Morris at Townhall.

Tuesday Tidbits:Updated!

A little more on the Tahoe fire, to get an idea of just how bad, this is Mapquest's aerial image of the area. The fire started just below the bottom center of the picture and grew to the north, pretty much everything to the left of the road almost to the lake has been burned, pretty much the center half of the image in now ash. This was a really nice mountain retreat area and the residents blame the loony environmentalists for blocking fuel reduction programs under the guise of caring for Lake Tahoe, now with a major watershed fried beyond quick recovery the damage will take decades to come back if it can.
A healthy alpine forest is rather open and park like in feel as regular small fires keep undergrowth and flammable duff under control. They are not dense jungles and aren't meant to be, the stringent fire prevention policy of the last half century have caused many of our forests to become grossly overgrown. These alpine forests should have 25-30 mature trees per acre not the 100 that are present currently, you cannot let "nature" take its own course then eliminate fire without cutting and clearing done some other way or the results will be catastrophic as this fire and the recent SoCal, Georgia and Florida fires clearly prove that. True I hate to see stumps and slash piles but I prefer that to piles of ash and the black sullen spires of a dead forest. They have finally quit trying to fight the natural backcountry fires and just let nature take its course as fire is very much a part of nature.
I have seen well managed and ill managed forests following logging roads all over the Sierra, found some surreal camping spots that way, and understand proper land management through a combination of thinning and prescribed burns. Hey bumping along for hours in four wheel drive does have a purpose and benefit and I should mention that my buddy Andy who owns the cabin is certified in Forestry, and the rest are arborists. The next trip up will be to finish and expand the defensible space around the cabin.
Update: The latest from KCRA does not sound good, the winds have picked back up and the blaze jumped a fireline. They do a really good job with local news.

Of about a dozen homes on his street, Neal Cohn's was one of just two that was spared from the flames. He attributed its survival to the fact that he regularly removed fallen pine needles from his property, a practice that is banned and subject to fines by the regional planning agency, which says their removal exposes bare soil and causes erosion, a prime culprit in Lake Tahoe's declining clarity.

Now what are the loonbat environuts going to say about erosion into Tahoe? Its President Bush's fault, wait and see. Here is another Ca blogger's take on the matter.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Monday Meander

Well the "baby monster" I mentioned in last night's update has morphed another ten fold and taken out almost two hundred houses and growing into a terrible monster fire. It is burning to the North-east of Myers and spreading fast. Dang this area is surreal in its beauty and now charred rubble.
The good news is the winds have calmed and reversed giving the air assault a chance . KCRA3 has the best coverage of the Tahoe fire,

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Weekend Roundup: Updated

It was a great trip though I was unable to make some side treks.
On the road and what will be a busy mess this weekend, the North shore of Lake Tahoe and a quick leg stretch at a public launch.

This was taken about noon Friday and the skies are clear, they are black with smoke on the far shore as I type. The fire on the News burns there and kept me from returning the route I had chosen as it was right through what is now a true hell for the many residents. I know the area where the fire is burning very well and in the dense Jeffery Pine forests that dominate this fire will rage. Their needles and pine cones are some of the best fire tender there is and they are thick on the forest floor. I saw no signs of it though on my return back the northern route, though it has grown my a magnitude of ten since I came through there. I had heard of a fire near a town I would have gone through so I called off that side route. Anyway it was a gorgeous drive over the top.

The only bad part was traffic was brought to a complete stop for utility work for about 15 minutes but we had a great view with a sliver of the lake and a cool breeze. It is 250 miles one way with only about 10 on an interstate, my route is back country the whole way, two lanes and curvy.

Bridgeport Valley and Lake

A closer view

Finally off the paved stuff to some classic Sierra washboard dirt and only 8 miles to go, time for a cold Sierra Nevada Summerfest pale ale. We x-country ski and snowshoe in from here in the winter, welcome to the High Desert spring, its green. It is a bad wildflower year, low snow levels this year. I have seen these same mountains still white in July.

Yeah, finally here, the USFS says we have too much contrast of color and need more neutral tones and says we must repaint, poo on them.

Time to relax on the deck with a beer and cigar and absorb the view.

That is after a little walk to stretch the legs, we have summited the prominent peak in view. It is unnamed, we call it the Green lake Pyramid, that was a fun climb.

The new color, I don't know, it will take some getting used to, while they were painting a few of us gathered rock and redid the foundation on the left end. Our rock work of course looks great while the painters, well, they ran out of paint, nearest store, 90 miles. We had more work than expected so my side trips got cut out this trip but I secured my access to the cabin.

Cap'n Andy's Dutch Oven Kitchen, he insists all meals cooked up there are done old school and we eat well.

Cap'n Andy at work

The old sign still stands
Big Joe tending to the elk steaks, corn, beans and biscuits in the ovens.

Of course the smores come out once the fire gets hot.

Grown men muscling Little Joe away from the best marshmallow roasting spot. That is a fortunate young man, he has a good dad and experiences like this to grow on. Most kids his age don't get to hang with a bunch of old guys talkin' huntin' and fishin' constantly mixed with tall tales and war stories. I don't think I heard a swear word all weekend, a group of gentlemen, I'll call it cabin etiquette, words like that just don't fit in God's country even while cases of beer and wine vanish. I have never seen one irresponsible act in the decade I have been a member of the cabin club, it is an honor to have this access, though I can camp for free a couple hundred yards away. This kid learned a bunch just as I did in similar trips at his age, what us old guys are like behind the scenes, overgrown kids, fart jokes, tall tales, some work and lots of fun.
There was a couple of Scout troops camped nearby in the group camp and Little Joe got loads of fun catching trout in front of the city boys till we told him to go show them how, turns out they were from near where he lives in SoCal. We got alot done for a rather uncoordinated effort, I needed all the tools I took out of my truck to save weight,LOL, figures.

I had to stop and snap these couple pics in opposite directions from the same spot just outside Bridgeport, the South-westerly view, the Sawtooth Ridge providing the background.

The view to the North-east, Bridgeport lake a slim sliver in the middle, Gayle will know this view as it looks towards Yerrington, about an hour away. Some of the best trout fishing anywhere can be found in that lake if you time it right. I have left several times with a five trout limit over 10 lbs., grin. I can attest to the fine taste of the beef you see be raised here, though elk has passed both lamb and beef in taste for me, time to get that .300 mag. I have been wanting and line up a trip or two.
Update: The fire is not in wilderness area, it is in a resort summer home area this does not look good, it is a baby monster that could go really bad. I do not have anything beyond local NBC. The area is overgrown despite the number of houses, the survivors had defensible space and properly built homes.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Thursday This and That

Looking forward to the cabin, I need a vacation from the house and computer. It should be fun, the rest of the guys are basically urban lumberjacks from one of the largest city tree contractors in California. We'll knock the work out quick then its time to break out the fishing gear and guns and have some fun.

I see the GOP is finally growing a spine and fighting back on shamnesty and over spending through hidden earmarks and pork amid the tanking approval ratings of Pelosi's congress. Good, it's about dang time and our base does not seem to be as divided as the MSM would like us to believe and the DNC's appears to be in deep disarray between the disparate groups that form their coalition from the far left to the more sensible centrists.

Speaking of the MSM, MSNBC has this story about "journalists" for major news groups that gave to political groups or nominees, guess which party dominated in the MSM, the democrats of course including three at FOX.
Tony Blair's speech about the MSM can be found at OPJ online and is a must read.

Trent Lott needs to know when to shut his trap and quit insulting goats, I take personal offense at these remarks. (Hattip: Hotair)

Sen. Minority Whip Trent Lott, R-Miss., was talking to reporters Wednesday about the immigration bill, when he said, “If the answer is ‘build a fence’ I’ve got two goats on my place in Mississippi. There ain’t no fence big enough, high enough, strong enough, that you can keep those goats in that fence.”
“Now people are at least as smart as goats,” Lott continued. “Maybe not as agile. Build a fence. We should have a virtual fence. Now one of the ways I keep those goats in the fence is I electrified them. Once they got popped a couple of times they quit trying to jump it.”
“I’m not proposing an electrified goat fence,” Lott added quickly, “I’m just trying, there’s an analogy there.”

He has clearly spent too much time in the Washington fever swamp and not enough time tending his goats. Maybe he should be brought home by the Mississippi voters.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Wednesday Wanderings

Townhall fox MKH has linked this hilarious video from National Lampoon, the most politically incorrect group ever, only they could go here and get away with it.

Should they make it a movie? Actually a pretty tough question to answer when you take things into consideration... What do y'all think? I guess we'll see as this video goes viral.
Meanwhile President Bush vetoed stem cell legislation again, good. The argument is not about stem cell research which the government funds, it is about embryonic stem cell research and the creation and destruction of the very beginning of human life to harvest these cells and our tax dollars would subsidize it. That is not right and Kudos to President Bush for the veto proof veto. I am not an expert but all the major advancements I have seen in stem cell research have come from adult stem cells, umbilical and placental fluids, and recently from out own skin that do not require cloning or destruction of an embryo. Of course this has nothing to do with actually helping people it is more about breaking down the barriers to eugenics and the control of life from birth to death, think Huxley's "A Brave New World". This is typical of the secular left, devoid of God they seek to take His Hand and control life. I just believe in the sanctity of the greatest gift, Life. Check out this site from Regent University, you will have to do some clicking to get all of the site but it is worth it. The text is here if you prefer to read. My prolife friends will want to check it out.
Just Like the embryo destruction program we are told is for our good, the Global warming cloud is being shot down, turns out it was a hydrogen filled gas balloon, Al Hindenburg Gore. Last seen over the Himalayas and losing altitude due to cold temperatures. The left does not want to help us nor do the Muslims, they want to control us, tax us and make us their serfs by removing private property rights. The only interest the left have in the people is their money and ability to hold power through serfdom welfare tactics. The left wants to control the poor and middle class so that they will remain in power by killing the folks we rely on , small business, big business and energy so that we will turn to them for relief so they can tax the productive some more. It don't work and the left is fixing to get slapped and hard. America does not like taxes or blatant liars and the Dems are proving to be taxers and liars about it, spenders and hiding it, go Nancy go, ride that donkey.
Dang, I just pictured San Fran Nan mounting a donkey, keep it clean but send your best photoshop. If I knew how I would, Ms. Gabor in "Green Acres" comes to mind.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Diamonds in the Rough

Kevin McCullough at Townhall had this video a couple weeks ago and it blew me away, I do not watch these competitions but was delighted to see the second video. Friends meet Paul Potts, performing one of the most beautiful pieces of music written, Nessun Dorma. This Brit doughboy has some serious pipes

And then this news, he wins and deservedly with a voice like that, he is going places he never dreamed of. From what little I know it takes a lot to blow Simon Cowell over backwards and thats what he did, watch has Simon's eyes flash immediately up as Paul begins to sing, in total surprise.And then to win Paul delivers this performance under the heavy finals glare. Enjoy!

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Good One:Updated

and again

For Amy and her fellow milwives, y'all are the best!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Weekend Roundup:Updated

Down in the meadows with team Volcano on a previous trip, the cabin is about a mile that way, Mt.Gabbro is the prominent peak, Yosemite National Park just beyond the saddle in the distance.

Our local jungle gym/bouldering site, we have some really nice routes put up, v4 for those that know or care with some cool full dynos, that is a flying leap for a hold for those that don't know.

There is lots and lots of good trout fishing as well in the meadow, rainbow, brown and brook with some real lunkers lurking, a buddy pulled a 22" brown out a couple years ago and I have caught one of each in three casts. Yumm, my taste buds are tingling already just thinking about fresh trout for breakfast.

The cabin, this is for newer readers older ones have seen it before, the USFS wants us to change the color before the 99 year lease will be renewed along with some other things. We will kiss their tail to keep this lease for sure, of all the cabins up here, this one by far gets the most use. I am just a friend of the owner but I have free use access besides there is ample free camping near by as well as a NFS campground.
Many thanks to my readers and their support for my amateur efforts at photo-journalism, combining two hobbies I enjoy, and yes I consider bloggers that take their posting seriously and cover a topic or topics journalists. Big trip coming up next weekend to the cabin for spring maintenance and a coat of paint and I intend to hit a few historic sites other than the cabin itself, as my route will take me through the Mother Lode region, along the North and East shore of Lake Tahoe down through the Carson Valley to Bridgeport and on return I might take the southern route around the South and West shores. Spurs I plan on taking are a ride back in time to Bodie and a visit to the Cartwright house of "Bonanza" fame, that should be fun. Hey Dragon Lady any other side trips you might suggest since you know the region? Usually I drive through intent on my destination and in a hurry to get there, rushing through some of the most beautiful areas of California and Nevada after a long days work and at night. I plan on poking this time because I own my time and a big contract just came through, grin, besides it is far more fun to stop and smell the roses or relax in a natural hot spring. Friday Frolic and the Rambler will be missing this week but the Roundup should make up for it.

Update: Dragon Lady has posted this video and as a Metallica fan I am hootin' and hollerin',LOL.

Rock on America, Rock On!!!

Update:My buddy, Amy, has some great posts up and the following videos are in her hattip jar.

The Palistinian woman makes it clear,"It is one thing when they are killing Jews and another when they kill their own people",just listen.

Rock On Amy Rock On!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Weekend Rambler

Today's destination and the semi-ghost town of North Bloomsfield, there is so much history tucked into these foothills. This is the site of the largest hydraulic mining operation in California from the 1850s till the 1880s when farmers in the valley were able to stop the destructive practice because of silted up rivers and streams.

The damage is obvious and 150 years later this is what it looks like. The natural treeline is visable. Some of you may remember a "Big Valley" episode when Audrey was kidnapped and held by hydraulic miners working on the Barkley's land. This is very much the region that show was filmed. I loved "Big Valley" and "Bonanza", an excuse to head to Tahoe's North shore where it was filmed, and all Westerns in general as a kid, still do, and now I am exploring where it happened, fun, eh? I love to watch the old and new westerns and pick out places I have been to or backdrops I can recognize. I love to explore and in an area this beautiful and full of history, it is impossible to resist the urge.

Ye olde school house and town meetin' place, built solid, as the largest room in the town it had many functions from school during the day to evening socials and dances at night.

Next door is the Catholic Church, this is my kind of church building, simply a place to meet. The antique glass didn't allow a decent picture of the interior but it is perfectly quaint.

A water cannon, the biggest sent an eight inch solid jet of water 200 feet to erode the mountain into sluice boxes to capture the gold.
A muddy hole across the street from the Church.
A remaining house/cabin, about 10x15

Another one, both could be made livable really quick as a huntin', an fishin' cabin.
No wonder the miners wound up here, the local saloon, card tables at the rear and keep it clean sign, note the scale to weigh the gold dust on the back counter to the right.
This will be a new focus of the Barnyard, can't do war and politics all the time, to dedicate either the Rambler or the Roundup, my choice, to posting some California history. I live at the entrance to gold country, it is a fascinating journey and I hope you will return to explore it with me.
I believe we have a cabin trip planned for next weekend for spring maintenance and I will try to make it into Bodie, another ghost town, in the "High Plains Drifter" region.
This is fun blogging for me, do my readers enjoy it? Let me know, I want to know, I have thousands of pictures of my explorations of California waiting to be scanned in. Should I do it myself or take the negatives to Walmart to have discs made? I need a new scanner, any suggestions as to the best for photo work? I have used HPs up to this point and have been happy, any reason to change?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Frolic:Updated

(hattip:Woman Honor Thy Self) So tiny and in need of Dad.

Ahh, The US Open has teed off and Oakmont is winning, not the players the course. It is brutally penal with bunkers and knee deep rough and anything can happen over the weekend as the pressure builds. Sunday should be fun with doubles and triple lurking and few birdies to be had, the leaderboard will be busy for sure.
I find it interesting that the E-mail that Lisa posted below was sent out on the same day that Mitt Romney spoke at the National Right to Life Conference. The speech is here and here is an excerpt. Here are a couple other links you may wish to peruse, here and here.

"I am humbled to be standing among the many who have toiled for the pro-life movement for so long, when I arrived at this place of principle only a few years ago.
I appreciate the decades of dedication and the effective advocacy of people like Jim Bopp, the Special Adviser to my campaign on life issues.
I know that it is not time but conviction that unites us.
I proudly follow a long line of converts – George Herbert Walker Bush, Henry Hyde, and Ronald Reagan to name a few
I am evidence that your work, that your relentless campaign to promote the sanctity of human life, bears fruit.
Consider the double standard at work here, by the way. When a pro-life figure changes to pro-abortion, they get praised for their courage. But when someone becomes pro-life, the pundits go into high dudgeon."

Could that e-mail have come from the McCain or Brownback campaigns? Patrick Ruffini seems to think so and note that McCain snubbed another conservative convention while Mitt is winning friends at these appearances. He is so ethically clean and such a perfect example of a successful business and family man this is all they have to attack him, and it is a very weak attack at that.
Big Fred sent in a video message.

Update Shock: House passes Tancredo measure to deny emergency funds to sanctuary cities. (234-189). This should send a message to the Senate and is a major victory for Tom. Looks like the House Reps. are hearing loud and clear from their constituents, enforce the damn law before we will even consider an amnesty or Z-visa or worker-program. 9 GOP voted against 48 Dems voted for, it appears the issue splits their party more than ours, Nancy has a problem herding cats other than by fattening them with rich pork broth.
Rep. John Campbell reports that the RSC has enough votes to sustain any spending veto by the President as the Dems have marked up appropriation bills with thirty thousand(30,000) earmarks and tried to hide them. Minority leader Boehner reports that the GOP has managed to thwart them at this sneak attack. Has the elephant found its spine?
Update: The multi-talented crew at HotAir have their new Vent posted and it is definately one of their best ever. I hope they release the embed code, this is great.
Comedy Hour Update: Dragon Lady Gayle has Fractured Friday posted and as always worthy of a visit, good conservative humor is hard to find and she tracks it down, so does Patty and her pals at This That and Froghair.

Single Issue Groups Will Ruin This Country

An email I got today:


ABC News: Romney's Pro-Life Conversion: Myth Or Reality?

After "Epiphany" on Abortion, He Named a Pro-Choice Judge and Supported Stem-Cell Research

By Rick Klein and Jake Tapper

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has long cited a November 2004 meeting with a Harvard stem-cell researcher as the moment that changed his long-held stance of supporting abortion rights to his current "pro-life" position opposing legal abortion.

But several actions Romney took mere months after that meeting call into question how deep-seated his conversion truly was.

Within two months of his epiphany on this issue, Romney appointed to a judgeship a Democrat who was an avowed supporter of abortion rights. In May 2005, Romney also declared his support for a House bill lifting President Bush's ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research -- a bill he now says he opposes.

Romney's Campaign Narrative

The November 2004 meeting is a crucial part of Romney's campaign narrative, as he explains why he backed away from his long-standing support for abortion rights shortly before he began his quest for the presidency.

"It struck me very powerfully at that point, that the Roe v. Wade approach has so cheapened the value of human life that someone could think it's not a moral issue to destroy embryos that have been created solely for the purpose of research," he said at a campaign stop earlier this year in South Carolina. "I said to my chief of staff, and that's been two and a half years ago, I said to her, 'I want to make it very clear that I'm pro-life.'"

But just two months after he switched his position on abortion, Romney nominated a Democrat who ran for the state Legislature as a "pro-choice" candidate to a perch on a state district court.

A "Pro-choice" Candidate

Matthew J. Nestor, a long-time Democrat who headed the Division of Securities under the Democratic secretary of state, was confirmed in March 2005 to serve in a lifetime post on the Somerville District Court.

When he ran for a state representative's seat as a self-described "conservative Democrat" in 1994, Nestor made clear that he considered himself "pro-choice," according to news reports from the time.

Romney aides note that Nestor was a career prosecutor who was not outspoken about his political beliefs. In addition, they say, Romney viewed posts in district courts -- which deal with criminal and civil matters but rarely if ever decide issues of constitutional rights -- differently than he did appellate court judgeships.

"The two main considerations were experience and having someone who was going to be tough on crime and able to handle the incredibly hectic pace of a busy district court," said Peter Flaherty, Romney's deputy campaign manager and a deputy chief of staff while Romney was governor. "Matt Nester's credentials and qualifications for a district court post are unimpeachable."

The Role of Judicial Appointments

Few issues are as important to social conservative activists as judicial appointments. Romney and the other major Republican candidates have vowed to appoint "strict constructionist" judges to federal courts if elected president -- presumably, though not certainly, judges who would be open to reversing Roe v. Wade.

And no legislative issue has been more compelling to anti-abortion activists in recent years than the fight over funding for embryonic stem cell research, which has passed the House and Senate twice and likely faces its second presidential veto next week.

Both issues are likely to get more scrutiny in the campaign, including at the National Right to Life Convention which kicked off Thursday morning Kansas City, Mo., and where Romney is set to speak Friday. The very first presentation to the convention was entitled "How the Politics of Embryonic Stem Cell Research Has Corrupted Science."

Romney's appointment of a judge who supports abortion rights is likely to sound alarms with many social conservatives, who view issues of judicial appointments as critical to candidates' fitness to serve as president, said Keith Appell, a Republican strategist who is not aligned with any of the presidential candidates.

"This would appear to be evidence that he bowed to political pressures instead of following his supposed judicial philosophy, and that's what the conservative base of the Republican Party is very leery of," Appell said. "If you espouse a certain judicial philosophy, your appointments should reflect it."

If he was still taking actions that appear to reflect his old, "pro-choice" views after November 2004, it raises an important question for Republicans, Appell said. "It's part of Romney's challenge: How many epiphanies have you had?" he said.

A Romney Flashpoint

Romney's shifting positions on abortion have become a major flashpoint in the Republican presidential campaign. He ran for Senate in 1994 and governor in 2002 promising to protect abortion rights, but disavowed that view as he began preparations for a presidential run.

This week, the campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., blasted Romney for saying in May 2005 that he was "absolutely committed to my promise to maintain the status quo with regard to laws relating to abortion and choice" -- six months after his position changed on abortion.

The quote came in the context of Romney's veto of a Massachusetts law providing state funding for embryonic stem-cell research, which the Romney campaign highlighted in its response to the McCain attack.

Romney's Position on Stem-Cell Research

But while drawing attention to that veto, the Romney campaign also showed another issue that Romney has changed positions on -- his support for the federal bill lifting the ban on funding embryonic stem-cell research.

"The United States House of Representatives voted for a bill that was identical to what I proposed," Romney said at a State House press conference in May 2005. "They voted to provide for surplus embryos from in vitro fertilization processes to be used for research and experimentation. That's what I have said I support. That's what they have just supported."

Romney then explained that he issued his veto because the state bill went farther than the federal bill since it allowed human cloning and the creation of embryos for the purpose of research, as opposed to using discarded embryos from in vitro fertilization.

"What is done in Washington is consistent with what I have said I support which is using surplus embryos from fertilization processes," he said then. "So it would be helpful if people pointed out that in fact what the U.S. House of Representatives is doing is exactly what Governor Romney proposed."

Scarcely two years later, former governor Romney now says he would oppose that House bill.

Romney's presidential campaign explains that when he was declaring his support for the House bill, he was focused on which kinds of embryonic stem cell research it would have allowed, and was not talking about taxpayer funding, which the Massachusetts bill did not address.

"While the governor opposes federal funding for that particular research," says deputy campaign manager Flaherty, "he does encourage and support federal funding for alternative methods to obtain pluripotent stem cells, like directory programming and altered nuclear transfer."

The House Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, offered by Rep. Michael Castle, R-Del., was a short piece of legislation, amending the Public Health Service Act to require the Secretary of Health and Human Services "to conduct and support research that utilizes human embryonic stem cells" as long as the embryos met certain requirements: created for the purposes of fertility treatments, extra and never would have been implanted in a woman, donated for free from in vitro fertilization clinics, and destined to be discarded.

Other Questions Arise

Romney has faced other questions about his judicial appointments. A July 2005 Boston Globe analysis found that Romney nominated registered Republicans for only one-fourth of the 36 judicial vacancies he filled during his first 2 1/2 years as governor. The personal abortion views of most of those nominees are not known, since most had no previous judicial writings and were private citizens before becoming judges.

The Globe found that Romney's nominees included two long-time gay-rights advocates; one was a former board member of the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Bar Association. Romney had no opportunities to make appointments to the state's supreme court -- the panel that made Massachusetts the only state in the nation to recognize gay marriages -- during his four years as governor.

Romney aides point out that he was governing in a heavily Democratic state when naming judges. All judicial nominations are confirmed by the independently elected -- and all-Democratic -- Governor's Council, though the council has very rarely rejected any governor's selections.

"By virtue of the sheer numbers, the pool of Republican applicants is going to be significantly smaller," Flaherty said.

While acknowledging that he held a functionally "pro-choice" position before December 2004, Romney has also claimed to have governed from a "pro-life" standpoint throughout his term as governor.

"I believe people will see that as governor, when I had to examine and grapple with this difficult issue, I came down on the side of life," Romney said in a December 2006 interview with National Review Online. "I'm committed to promoting the culture of life."

Citing ABC news while implying the Mormon with 5 kids, 10 grandkids and one wife is pro-choice.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

If Mitt Romney Is Not Conservative:Updated

How did he assemble this stellar team of faith and values heavyweights? Here is a short list;

The Romney For President National Faith And Values Steering Committee Chairs:

- Dr. Robert Andringa, President Emeritus, Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, Arizona
- James Bopp, Jr., Romney For President Special Adviser on Life Issues, Indiana
- Barbara Comstock, Former Department of Justice Spokesperson and former Susan B. Anthony List Advisory Committee Member, Virginia
- Mark DeMoss, President, DeMoss Group Public Relations, Georgia
- Ovide Lamontagne, New Hampshire
- Chris Long, Chief Operation Officer, Foster Friess & Associates, Delaware
- Gary Marx, Executive Director of the Judicial Confirmation Network, Former Executive Director of the Virginia Christian Coalition, Bush-Cheney '04 Conservative Coalitions Director, Virginia
- George Seay, Co-Founder and CEO, Annandale Capital; Co-Founder and Chairman, Legacy, Texas
- Jay Sekulow, Constitutional Attorney and Supreme Court Advocate, District of Columbia
- Lou Sheldon, President, Traditional Values Coalition, California
- Matthew Spalding, Director, B. Kenneth Simon Center For American Studies, The Heritage Foundation, District of Columbia

This doesn't include vice chairs, Mitt has built quite an organization of highly committed people in the conservative movement that know the man, not the MSM narrative. (Hattip: Hugh Hewitt) Mitt is also a highly successful business man in the highly competitive and risky field of venture capitalism, the basis of our economy. I have had my eye on Mitt since he saved the Utah Winter Olympics, and my rare coblogger Lisa is in Boston, whom I have known since his gubernatorial campaign. She has been busy with BAR exams of late and the preparation needed for them so she has been absent but I would expect her back as the campaign builds this Fall. As I have said many times, I am with Mitt Romney through the primaries and then will throw in whole hog with the GOP nominee, no matter who it may be, all the top runners would be very good.
I have followed presidential politics quite closely for a long time, first as an independent libertarian and now as a crunchy conservative, meaning I take an individual initiative towards a cleaner planet, not a government one.
I cannot buy Al Gore's and the global warming zealots' arguments, my Godfather is a geophysicist, and I scoffed at them a few years ago when they were first brought up. It is nought but the latest Socialist scheme to rape the US economy for billions of dollars. I have to hand it to Bush for out maneuvering his Euro foes on Kyoto and now it is dead.
Biofuels is dead as sustainable energy, and we need to increase drilling and refinery capacity dramatically not only for domestic reasons but strategic ones as well. For all the pipe dreams of the moonbats out there the Hummer is in the end more economical than the Prious hybrid, besides the plant that produces its batteries is the biggest cause of acid rain in Canada. I drive a 4x4 PU for a reason, I like to go where they can't and my job requires it.
The Dems and the Greens remind me of Wile E. Coyote, their best laid plans always blowing up in their face, umm Bill Clinton suggesting sod roofs. No thanks, I use the same insulation the space station and NASA use and will install 21st century solar panels not third world mud on my roof. I have seen some really cool cave type 'ecohomes' in design and architecture magazines, in the right setting they are great but I am not putting a cactus garden on my roof, front lawn, sure. They are losing it as their arguments are ground into the dirt with facts.

Update: A 9/11 impact study and computer breakdown from Purdue University offers a solid glimpse of the structural damage suffered by one of the towers as the plane tore through it. Use the link in the left corner to see the video, Very interesting!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tuesday Tidbits:Updated

Its that time of year, the naked bike ride in San Francisco, Zombie has the lowdown. Planting my naked rear on a bike seat has to be at the very bottom of anything I would want to do but hey it is San Fagcisco, if gerbils are cool......

The lizardoids over at Little Green Footballs have pulled out this video of an interview with a British immigrant about her ex-husband's actions as a jihadi.

Meanwhile in the Middle-East, Michael Totten has much on what is going on between Lebanon and Syria, don't miss this great book interview with Barry Rubin and his "The Truth About Syria".
If you can throw a tip in his jar at paypal, he deserves it.
TownHall fox Mary Katherine has some pics up from the unveiling of the Memorial to The Victims of Communism and she has promised some video, the next Hamnation, hmm...?

Amy has this to add to tonights tidbits
Hey we do have some friends around the world, east of the iron curtain.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Whooooe Nellie, What is This?

The girl is on a tear, Michelle Malkin has uncovered a sneak amnesty that is used by congressman to give special rights to individual illegal aliens "for relief", including convicts, felons, and even an international jihadi wanted for murder in his home country, sponsored by a Democrat of course. Hmm, I doubt we would have ever heard of this story from the MSM, it takes a smart gal with gumption and conservative credo to break this to the public. Michelle is a true investigative journalist able to find and generate true reporting on her own with little help from the MSM, except FOX.

Are you aware that deportable aliens can circumvent immigration laws with the help of your member of Congress? Are you aware that more than 50 bills have been introduced in Congress this year that would grant special, private relief to individual immigrants fighting deportation? It's instant amnesty through special legislation. And it's been happening for years under the radar. Past and present beneficiaries have included smugglers, illegal aliens, and now a convicted murderer wanted in his home country for engaging in terrorist activity and participating in an assassination plot that left a prime minister and dozens of his family members dead. (More on him and his congressional sponsor in a moment.)

How does this happen and how can you find out if your member of Congress has sponsored such a bill?

You definately need to check out her full post! Do our elected officials have any desire to enforce the current laws? I am sad to say, it sure doesn't look like it. Thankfully the sane thinkers have enough votes to derail a bad immigration bill. We the people just want the law enforced as it is written and proof that it will continue to be enforced then we can discuss legalization and work visas.
Presenting the Open Border Oscars

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Weekend Roundup: Updated

Some flowers for the fine ladies that grace the comment section, new colors and blooms as the season progresses.

My glad's are starting to pop, many were already planted, just needed dividing. I have about a dozen different colors, the red ones are always first.

The calla lilly was here, the princess lilly, I planted. There is something very therapeutic about gardening, that odd sense of well being in the soul as you tend your gardens and are rewarded by the sustaining and visual fruits of that care. For me it is my time of prayer and thanks to the Lord for such gifts, a special connection to the land and His creation.
Meanwhile the Barnyard's favorite conservative babe, Michelle Malkin has a new Vent up at HotAir on the immigration issue, fun and informative, I bet she is a blast to work with. I can't find the code but when I do I will post it otherwise just follow the link. Anyway here she is with Bill O'reilly and Geraldo makes some pretty outrageous comments in response. The elite just do not get it !?! She gives it right back to Bill, I am glad she is such a great voice for us, Michelle for President.

Don't miss Dr. Spencer's 3rd installment of Blogging the Qu'ran as he dismantles Islam and the 'teachings' of Mohammed.
Update: My friend Angel has a great post up, check it out.
Fred and Sean Hannity, I can at least post this. I as a Romneyite would love Fred as a running mate.

Sen. McCain admits failed border security and that the government has let the people dowm in a townhall meeting with a literate constituency. We want border security, simple as that. We want our laws followed, nothing complicated about that.

My DragonLady friend pulls out a fun video and good commentary.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Weekend Rambler:Updated

Gold country visit, modern day time travel, removed from modern California, French Camp, Wells Fargo station, circa1860.

Gold Fever, I think I've got it as I head back up to Mother Lode country for a drive through exploratory up the 49 to Downieville, named for a mayor that threw a pan of gold dust in the street to get elected so rich were the placer digs in the region.

Covered bridge history, the bridges of Yuba county

Still in use today, but honk and turn on lights before entering, beautiful day use picnic area near by.

1853 to 1991, two VFWs, history in a microcosm.

I'll go back to this region often as it has a great story to tell and I am just scratching the surface. Plus I wanna find me some of 'dat der gold'!



And now
Hey,I am now a crawling amphibian in the TTLB network, I want to be a slithering reptile and I need your help to to do it, a few more links should do it.