UFA announces new leadership

United Fishermen of Alaska, the state's largest commercial fishing organization, today made two big announcements:

• Julianne Curry is taking over as executive director, effective tomorrow.

• Arni Thomson has stepped down as UFA president, effective today.

Here's a news release with more details and photos.

2013...Isn't half of that an unlucky number?

Well, here we are. At the precipice of another year looming before us,  I look back on 2012.

In January, I took a month's leave of absence after having been in Nigeria for the last half of 2011. It took a lot out of me and I needed the time to rest and recuperate. In February, I went back to the UK and began work on a project that was headed to Sakhalin Island, Russia. In April, I returned to the U.S. and was assigned to assist the Venezuelan oil company, PDVSA, with their Dragon project that would be a major gas production field off the coast of Trinidad. From May 15 to June 15 I was in Trinidad babysitting a bunch of 36" pipe deep in the jungle of  that tiny island. I remember the safety orientation upon entering the pipe yard. We were told to never approach the pipe that was on the ground without looking inside first...from a distance. It seems the crocs and the vipers like to get inside of them. Great. After that, I was assigned to help GE Vetco with an Angolan project. I was based in Houston, generating documentation in their engineering department.

The last week of September, my wife and I went on a long planned vacation to the Bahamas. On the day we got back, I was informed that I no longer had a job. I thought, "Man, you guys could have told me that before I left and spent $6000." Anyway, during the two weeks I was unemployed, I finished my sci-fi novel while networking and looking for a new job. A good friend of mine hooked me up with a guy who hired me...at nearly half the rate I was making before...as a Sr. Inspector for Det Norske Veritas (DNV). It was almost enough to keep the wolves away, but with my wife taking a job with a local supermarket, we were able to make ends meet with us only having to take out a thousand dollars a month from savings to compensate. It was straight contract, with no medical insurance or other benefits, but what I needed the most at the time was money.

Another good friend gave my resume' to one of his good friends who pushed it up the line. After two interviews and a little negotiating, I was offered a position with a major oil supplier at a little better than I had been making before losing my job in September. I start on January 7.

So, that brings us to 2013. Thirteen is just a number, but it is equated with bad luck by the more superstitious among us. I don't know what this year will bring, but I know one thing. There is no such thing as luck. There is such a thing as probabilities. There is such a thing as odds. But there isn't a thing such as luck. Luck is what YOU make if it's within your mental make-up and physical abilities.

I saw where a person in my tax bracket will probably have to pay an additional $6000 in payroll taxes in 2013 if Congress et al can't come to some sort of agreement today. The terrorists are offering a bounty on U.S. Ambassadors. Iran is still saber rattling over the Strait of Hormuz. North Korea is still being an irritant. The Chinese continue to build up their war machine. Syria, they say, could become another Somalia...just what Israel needs. Europe is still in economic crisis. Mexico's dead count continues to rise. Poverty abounds...disease is rampant...weather patterns are increasingly unpredictable...prices on everything is soaring...all the U.S. port longshoremen are threatening to go on strike...and 2013 seems to be set up to be quite an interesting year.

Millions and billions of people will celebrate its coming. There will be fireworks and parties and well wishes all around. Some people won't make it through the first day of 2013. Many won't make it through the year.  Many more will be born into it, come to adulthood in it, enter puberty with it, laugh...cry...mourn...and be ecstatic about new things and old. As for me, I'll just get another year older...if I'm one of those who makes it to 2014. If 2013 happens to be my last, I don't think I will like that. Who wants to have a partial, unlucky number on their tombstone? 2014 would suit me better. Kind of has a ring to it. Don't you think?

Big trouble off Kodiak

The drilling platform Kulluk and two tugs. USCG photo

Shell and the U.S. Coast Guard are fighting like crazy to save a mobile offshore drilling platform that's broken free from tow boats in a stormy Gulf of Alaska south of Kodiak Island.

Responders are thinking about taking the platform, if they can regain control of it, to safe anchorage in Marmot Bay.

Here's a state situation report issued at 5 p.m.

And here's a unified command website with updates, video and photos.

Countdown to relief?

As politicians in Washington, D.C., struggle to avoid the "fiscal cliff," they're also weighing another important matter: a $60.4 billion supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 1) aimed primarily at providing relief for Northeast states hit by Superstorm Sandy.

The Senate voted 62-32 on Friday to pass the bill.

Now it's up to the House. Time is short. The bill dies without action before the new Congress is seated Thursday.

So what does Alaska care?

The bill includes $150 million in aid for fishery disasters the Commerce Department has declared this year in several states and territories including Alaska, for its recent poor Chinook runs.

Some say the Sandy bill is loaded with questionable items, such as "$150 million for fisheries as far away from the storm's path as Alaska."

Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski is just fine with using the Sandy bill as a vehicle for Alaska relief.

Chinook salmon catch a break

Deckboss was reviewing a recent federal fisheries report and found a very interesting chart (below) on Chinook salmon bycatch in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands trawl fisheries.

As you can see, it shows bycatch has been much reduced in recent seasons. Use the tools in the lower right corner to enlarge the chart.

What Is A Man?

Men have been under attack since at least the 1960's. At times, it has been deserved. At others, not so much. There are good men, and there are bad men. There are men's men, and then there are weak, limp wristed men. There are men of high thoughts and great ambitions, and then there are men with little thought and no ambition. And, of course, there are men stuck in between.

All the diverse sections of society have their own definition of what a 'man' is. I don't care to hear them. I don't care to discuss them. I'm also not interested in what your idea of a 'man' is. In my opinion, it's probably wrong anyway.

There is an old joke that asks, "Do you know why men die before their wives?" The comical answer is, "Because they WANT to." The reason it's humorous is because it probably has some fact to it. My grandfather on my dad's side was a good man. He worked hard and provided for his family as best he could. My grandmother was a horrid shrew who harped on him constantly. Upon my high school graduation, he came to our house while she was out. The poor man handed me a roll of dimes for a graduation present. He said to me, "I had to sneak out to give you this. Don't tell your granny I gave it to you." I heard...and I must admit I was never able to substantiate it, that he died in his easy chair while she was standing over him with one of her vile tongue lashings. He probably died because he wanted to. For those on that side of my family who might read this...keep a lid on it. She didn't like us and we didn't like her. End of story.

A man is a weak creature. Yet, he is asked to carry a large burden. I am not saying it is larger than a woman's, so don't even go there. I've already said he is weak. He may be strong physically, but he is weak, to some degree, in every other category. If you don't believe me, then stop singing the song in church that states, "I am weak, but thou art strong." Okay?

What is it that makes a man where he can look in the mirror and truthfully say, "I'm a real man." ? Now, I know that Hollywood is make believe, and people can't change their entire lives around in two hours. But one of my favorite movies of all time is 'Scent of a Woman', with Al Pacino, made back in 1992. The climax comes when Al Pacino's character, Colonel Slade, comes to the defense of a young man at a high end prep school. He has been accused of being a witness to some vandalism. His family is poor, and he is facing expulsion from the school. Pacino gives one of the most rousing speeches I have ever heard on film to save the young man's educational career. In one part of the speech, Pacino says there is one thing he knows about Charlie, and that is he won't sell anybody out to buy his future. The reason he said this is because Charlie confided in him that the Headmaster had offered him a bribe to inform on his fellow students, and that if he didn't comply, he would be expelled. But, it was the next thing he said that I believe defines a man. He said the following, "Now I have come to the crossroads in my life. I always knew what the right path was. Without exception, I knew. But, I never took it. You know why? Because it was too damned hard."

And, he's exactly right...or, at least...the screenwriter was. There are too few men today who will risk it all for what is right. They wring their hands at the hardness of it. Our world has become filled with males who will not rise up because it may mean their careers or their standing in the community. They allow tyrants, both big and small, to run over them without so much as a whimper. They acquiesce to the status quo for fear that to do otherwise might get them labeled as a troublemaker. I know a tale of two music leaders in two different churches. In one, the people murmured against their song leader...who was a long time friend of the pastor. To save his job, he let the song leader go and surrendered to the mob. In the other church, the same thing happened, but in this one the song leader wasn't a long time friend of the pastor. Yet, the murmuring didn't have any weight. The man had not done anything wrong scripturally, morally or communally. The pastor refused to make the man step down simply because he wasn't doing what the mob wanted him to do. Both of them were let go. I was the song leader in the first one...and the pastor in the second.

At one time I worked for a certain company where the President/Owner was certifiably insane. I didn't know this at first, but soon came to realize it. I won't go into great detail, but the client for the project I was managing had gotten 45 days behind on a $1.2 million dollar invoice. The President was furious that he couldn't get them to pay, so I was ordered to fly to their office and get his money. I spent three days with the client. We never argued, never yelled, never acted unprofessionally. At the end of the third day, all 1.2 million hit the bank before I boarded my plane to come home. That was on a Friday, and I thought about it all weekend. I decided that 1.2 million dollars was enough money where I shouldn't have to take any flak for just one day. I got up that Monday morning and looked my wife straight in the eye. I said, "Honey, now when I come home today...I may not have a job. At least for today, I'm not taking any shit from this guy." She advised that whatever I decided to do was all right with her. I made it until nearly 2:30PM. Not once did he thank me...ask me how I did it...or even mention it at all. I had already asked the finance manager if the president had been informed of the receipt of the money, and he said he told him the moment it hit the bank. At 2:30, he began to rail at me about something that was insignificant...as it usually was... and that's when I informed him that nothing he was saying really surprised me because he hadn't made a correct decision on this project since I had been there. That statement was when I effectively quit, but I was in for a surprise. The man turned blood red in the face and pointed at the door, screaming at me. "You wanna step outside!" I smiled and advised him that I certainly did, because I had been wanting to whip his ass for the last two months. I walked out and upon entering the hallway I turned around to see him still standing there. Except, he wasn't looking like a warrior now...he was actually trembling. He incorrectly assumed that because it was his business and he was lord of all he surveyed, that I would cower in submission upon his outburst. The fact is, one should never invite a man outside whose last name is Coward. Such a man fought all the way through school just to prove he wasn't. I said, "Are you coming?" To which he replied, "Why don't you just get on outta here."  I did, but not until I walked back in the office and shamed him with a barrage of verbal indictments and epithets. These were not spoken softly and lasted about five minutes. I called his bluff, and he turned out to be a whimp. I, on the other hand, turned out to not have a job. But, it didn't matter. We didn't starve and I ended up with a better job, anyway. What mattered was that I did not allow somebody to run over me simply because he thought he could. What mattered was the 1.2 million came with an additional price to that person. The price of treating one with respect...or suffering the consequences if he didn't. I have it on good authority this idiot stayed in his office for the rest of the week behind a closed door, too embarrassed to show his face to those that worked for him because he had been shown to be a lamb...instead of the lion he pretended to be.

I relate these stories because I live by a code. I treat everyone with respect, until I am disrespected. I don't care if it's my boss, a congregation, the client, a crowd or a mob. No man is better than me, and I am no better than any man. If doing the right thing means living under a bridge, then so be it. Now, please do not misunderstand me. I have not always done the right thing. But I try very hard to do it. There are really no grey areas when it comes to right and wrong. It is either black or white. Everything...ultimately everything...can be reduced to right and wrong. I firmly believe that.

If a man truly attempts to do that which is right, and gives it his all, no matter the possible cost or negative result...then that is what makes him a real man. He is kind when allowed to be...respectful when respected...loving of family...strong with his children...supports those who depend on him...stands by his friends...protects his own and those around him...and stands up to petty tyrants...no matter the cost. In fact...he won't even take into account the cost. He will simply try and do...what's right.

Outlook is good for Upper Cook Inlet sockeye

Here's the 2013 forecast for Upper Cook Inlet sockeye salmon.

It calls for a harvest of 4.9 million fish by all user groups. That's well above the 20-year average of 3.8 million.

Tour operator sues over new observer program

A Southeast Alaska sportfishing outfit called The Boat Co. has filed this lawsuit against the federal government seeking to block the expanded fishery observer program taking effect in the new year.

The suit says the revamped observer program isn't adequate to address "massive" bycatch of halibut and Chinook salmon in the Gulf of Alaska.

The Boat Co. describes itself as a nonprofit "cruise fishing operation" that allows clients to sportfish on skiffs deployed from two tour boats, the 145-foot M/V Liseron and the 157-foot M/V Mist Cove.

The suit argues planned observer coverage levels on commercial fishing vessels aren't adequate to collect quality bycatch data and make sound management decisions to "arrest the recent declines in the highly valuable halibut and Chinook populations."

These declines have affected The Boat Co.'s business, the suit says.

If I Could Only Get The Support

I would love to get elected to Congress for just one term. One two-year term is all I would want. My objective would be to harass them all in their offices, berate them from the House floor, call them out in news conferences and vote against every tax increase, entitlement package and pork barrel bill. I would introduce legislation to cut allocations of money to ALL foreign nations, cut spending for frivolous projects, and to cut out their special 'insurance' and paydays for life. It would be the most glorious two years of my existence and I would shame them all. None of my bills would pass and none of my votes would be on the winning side, but I guarantee you that every last one of those cretin usurpers would HATE me and throw the wildest party at the end of my term. I would vow not to run for re-election and I would keep that vow...unlike the other powermongers among them.

I can see it now. I would be deemed the Mad Hatter from Texas. The Texan Maniac. The Insane Incumbent. Those are only the ones that can be printed. There would be no sacred cows in Washington. I would demean the president, the senate, and the representatives on both sides of the aisle. For once, we would have a working man who really knows the people of his constituency and would speak for them with rage and angst that would equal the blasts of heat from a fiery hell. I wouldn't be some high-falutin' rich cat that has infected those most hallowed halls of what once housed honourable men who truly sought what was best for the American people. These parasites on our society would loathe every moment of coming to work, fearing every second they were there that I might come in with my bombastic style and dive right in to their miserable comfort zone and tell them exactly what the American people think of them. I should know, because I am an American people.

They dither and dather and pontificate and obfuscate and defecate over one another like snakes in a mad, sexual frenzy and all they seem to be able to do is bring us further under control of their cold and clammy clutches. All they seem to be able to do is chip away at our way of life and suck out as much blood and money as they can take into their bloated and cavernous maws. All they seem to be able to do is reduce us further into a cattle pen, keeping us caged up while they get stronger as rulers and throw away the honor of being our representatives.

Oh and how they would shun me. I would be put on the worst committees. Given the worst detail. Kept out of the loop. Yes, when it would come to my time for speaking on the floor, it would be empty. They would schedule me to speak at 3AM and all would be gone. Yet, my words would ring out. I would make sure at least one reporter was there and I wouldn't care how he reported on me. He could be as caustic as he wanted to be about how worthless a congressman I was. For the media is just as sick and twisted as our government is. They are as deeply embedded between the sheets with these dictators as any two dollar whore. The whole lot of them are.

Would be that God would find it in his will to grant me the support necessary to enable me to point a gnarly finger at the likes of Sheila Jackson Lee, Dianne Fienstein, Harold Reid, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, and the rest of that traitorous lot and rain down on them the very fires of the righteous indignation that should be coming their way every single day they sit on their thrones and look down their noses upon us...the very ones who put them there in the first place. We might not be able to cast them out, but all it would take is one person with no thought of power, no thought of re-election, no thought of becoming like them...to cast them down with the power of speech into the pit of judgment and call them out for what they are...liars, usurpers, traitors, parasites and an enemy of the people they claim to serve. I would even attack the Supreme Court, for they too have lifted themselves up to rule over us. (NOTE: I understand some of the above are senators, but I would get to them, too.)

However, it will never happen. Our entire nation has been so pussified that real men...on a grand scale...do not exist any longer. There are only individuals...a few pockets...men's men here and there and not enough to take them by storm in the very snake den they live in.  No, the American voter is a stupid bunch and that's why those in Washington look at us like sheep. The American voter doesn't want to send in a warrior who will break the status quo like Moses did the Ten Commandments. They want to send in somebody who will get along and get something done. So, how's that been working out for the American voter so far? Eh? It's about time an honest to goodness un-housebroken slovenly loose lipped maverick who didn't care what any of those trollops thought about him was elected to office and sent there for one purpose, and one purpose only. And that would be to cause as much havoc and hell as possible in two years' time. It would be magnificent if it could happen. Absolutely magnificent.

New Podcast Up With Dom Flemons!

We have a new podcast up at John's Old time Radio show..part 2 of grammy winning Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops..Songsters. It's free so enjoy!

All 16 episodes are up on iTunes and are free including the 5 part podcast with Robert Crumb which was done in France.

John's Old Time Radio Show

NY Journal: Liberalism Run Amok

Yeah, great idea to publish the names and addresses of law abiding citizens who have a permit to own a handgun in two places in New York. Shame on you people for legally and lawfully owning a handgun. How dare you?  Now, just like pedophiles and other sex offenders, we know who you are and we know where you live. The only problem with that is...so do the criminals in your area.

What idiot doesn't know that burglars read newspapers? The first place they go to is the obituaries. They find when funerals are going to take place so they can visit the home of those who are off burying their loved ones. They also glean the Want Ads to see who has what on sale they can make a quick buck off of. Sometimes they go to the people's homes and just rob them then and there. They peruse the news section to see who got sick and who got hurt and went to the hospital and find out where they live while they're in the hospital. The newspaper is a great place to find an easy mark so these no-gooders can ply their trade. How do I know? I used to work for a Sheriff's Department...and we know these things.

Now, the New York Journal has made it even easier. Hey Crook! You want a gun? Just go to Bob Doogie's place at 112 Groverton, Rockland, New York. He's got a Glock .41 that would fit your hand perfectly. Just case the place and wait til everyone's gone to work and go right in and get it.  Hey, Crook Number 2! You want to rape somebody? Well, at 3261 Richmond Hills, Westchester, New York, there's a fine little filly by the name of Shelley Do-Right that lives there and guess what? She doesn't have a gun. Wait until around 3AM, when you know she's in a deep sleep, creep in and nail her! It's that easy.

But Wait! There's more!! Why only do one at the time when you can make a night of it!  Find one home that does have a gun that is next door to one that doesn't have a gun. You can kill two birds with one stone...to steal a phrase! The New York Journal invites all you criminal types to subscribe to our publication and we'll almost open the gawldurned door for ya! All you have to do is send $15.95 for a six month subscription and we'll give you all the information you need to get in, get out, and carry away the goods and/or nail the goods while you're there!!!

That's what the New York Journal is all about. Community service! We don't just help those who are good citizens...we help the scum as well. That's how we can honestly say we're an equal opportunity newspaper.

That's the main problem with liberals. They don't think. They believe they are sooooo smart and sooooo above everyone else on the brain chain, they end up hurting the very people they 'say' they are trying to protect. Many non-gun owners in those areas have written to the Journal mad as hell, saying that the paper has now possibly made them vulnerable to the criminal element there. At least some people have a modicum of sense up there.

Some of my own liberal friends firmly believe they are so much smarter than me, yet I can at least see the forest, in spite of the trees. I doubt the idiots that work for the NY Journal even know what a tree is, much less a forest. Shame on the gun owners? No, shame on them. I hope they lose every subscriber and have to shut their doors. It was irresponsible and dangerous to the people they 'say' they serve. And if you disagree with me on this....as Greg Gutfeld says...you're worse than Hitler.

Christmas Is Here...OPEN THE HAM!!!

There are many things you may not know about the Honey Baked Spiral Cut Ham.

First, it is cut by a master butcher who is not allowed to touch the carcass until after thirty years of training in Nepal. Two monks are assigned to train the individual during a grueling 23 hours a day ritualistic regimen on just how to hold the knife. This goes on for five years. After that, he is trained to butcher hummingbirds with a battle axe, shaving the breast meat from the bird in 1mm thick sections. This takes fifteen years to perfect. The next step is training the master butcher on respecting the pig and those who will enjoy the feast it will bring. Many hours of meditation and living with pigs, eating with pigs, wallowing in the mud with pigs, etc. are inflicted on the trainee so he will become one with the pig. For ten years he lives with the pig until finally able to take the test of the master. He is handed a silver butcher knife...for only a solid silver knife may be used to excise the ham from the carcass that is designated to be a Honey Baked Ham. With expert precision he carves the ham and reverently hands it to his monk masters for their inspection. If there is one mistake...one error...one slip of the knife...the butcher is shamed and driven from the monestary naked and covered in pig blood. If he passes, the silver knife is his and he may leave to carry out his most sacred mission.

One might suspect the pigs are chosen by Master Pig Stock Selectors, but this is not solely the case. In fact, the honor is believed to be so lofty, pigs from around the world freely volunteer to be Honey Baked Hams. Only a willing sacrifice is allowed to be a Honey Baked Ham, and it is only then the Master Pig Stock Selectors review the volunteers to see if they are worthy to be numbered among the few, the proud...Honey Baked Hams. Each swine must meet the highest standard, the least amount of body fat, the best skin and soft to the touch. If selected, their hindquarters are stamped "HBH Approved" and they are then moved to the Palace of Pig Farms in Hawg Valley, Iowa for the six month purification process. Those that are rejected are sent to Chicago for sausage that will be fed to the peasants.

Once the ham is cut, it is delivered to the Master Chef of Pig Meat Cooking. This man cooks no other meat...only the pig. This person's training is even more in depth than that of the butcher. It is only after fifty years of intense training under the most brutal conditions before he is trusted with the task of preparing the ham. The nature of this training is top secret and is reported as being so cruel we can't describe it here. Suffice it say he who puts heat to the ham is a great master who deserves our utmost respect for his sacrifice.

After the ham has been cooked to absolute perfection, it is carefully wrapped by a Master Ham Wrapper. This person has undergone the least training, only five years, but has had to go through a thorough background check. As you can see in the photo below, it is wrapped in 24K gold leaf.

The gold leaf is 99.999% pure, for only the best gold may touch the flesh of the ham. The one you see here weighs 8.625 pounds and has been spiral cut by a 100% pure platinum blade, operated by the Master Pig Ham Spiral Blade Cutter. This person has undergone fifteen years of training to perfect the spiral cut of this...the most preferred ham.

This ham is presented to the purchaser with hands most delicate. Armed guards accompany the one who is fortunate enough to afford such a treasure as he leaves to get into his car. Many tragedies have occurred without such security measures, and the Honey Baked Ham company makes sure its clientele is protected after receiving it.

Once home, it is required that seven sticks of incense be lit for the unveiling of the ham. A white, silken robe must be worn by he who undresses the ham. Its nakedness must be respected when the beauty of its meat is revealed. Behold the photo below!!!

Yes, 8.625 pounds of the most delectable pig meat to be found anywhere on the planet. Nay, THE UNIVERSE!! It feels close to sacrilege to even view it in all its unmitigated glory, much less to touch or...dare I say...consume it.  Yet, this photo alone does not do it justice. For it is the honey glaze that is applied during the cooking process that brings this ham to be referred to as the creme de la creme of pig meat.

Virgin Queen Bees are artificially inseminated with microscopic paladium needles so her horde of pristine worker bees can be genetically enhanced to produce their honey from the rarest flower in the world...the Middlemist Red. It exists in only two locations...a greenhouse in the UK, and in a garden in New Zealand. The bees are granted special access once a year to gather this most precious of pollens so they can then create the finest honey tasted anywhere. It is then applied to the ham by naked 18 year old virgins, their skin as white as paper, lightly singing druidic songs of worship to Mother Nature. It is only then, when the finished product has been carmelized to the meat, that you can see such a wonderful sight as this....

What beauty! What majesty! What succulence! Upon its consumption, the bone shall be blessed by the Pope himself and then used in a large pot to create a masterpiece of pinto bean delight. The flavor from the bone shall permeate the bean so each bite will cause a deep reflection on what once was, and what had been...an epicurean lifetime experience. And now you know why the Honey Baked Spiral Cut Ham is famous throughout the galaxies. Have a merry, merry Christmas. I know I will.

Merry Christmas!

High-Wheel Santa (Louis Prang)
Merry Christmas to Everyone from the Kennebec Valley Bicycle Club!  May you all have a fine year of cycling ahead!

This past year we had a terrific calendar of rides, most of which had fine weather and were really well-attended - one of our best years ever!  Many, many thanks to everyone who volunteered to lead rides and who helped out in many other ways - we couldn't have done it without you.  I also want to note that several of our "regulars" - due to circumstances unforeseen and otherwise - were unable to ride with us this year: I want you to know we missed you all, and we hope you can make it back and ride with us again in the coming year!

Winter Events coming up: we will once again schedule a Ride Planning Pizza Party sometime in late January or early February, most likely at the offices of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine in Augusta.  If you could send along to me any preference for evenings that you could (or could not) make a meeting, I'll try and sort through the responses and arrange a date fro us to meet.  If the Old Farmer's Almanac predictions are correct and we get substantial snow this Winter, we might also try to schedule a snowshoe/x-country ski event, too - just to keep your cross-training honest!  And if the OFM is full of baloney, and we have a few opportune mild days, we may try to stir up a club ride or two at the last minute.

Facebook: as I already administer two other work-related Facebook pages, I'm considering whether it would be manageable to set up a KVBC Facebook page to help get ride notices out and attract new riders.  If you are already on Facebook, please let me know, so I know what kind of member participation might result - I wouldn't want our "outreach" to exclude our current membership.

Club Dues: there is a concern that the League of American Bicyclists might be forced to raise next year's club insurance rates for member clubs (such as KVBC) but right now it looks as if the club can absorb the increase without raising our membership dues.  We had some good fortune that the insurance fees have been quite modest and have held steady over the past few years - and that we've never had to draw on the insurance!

May you all have a safe and enjoyable year a'wheel next year!

We Need to Declare War on Canada!!!!

We have put up with this diabolical neighbor of the North long enough! Just the names of their provinces (Quebec, Saskatchewan, etc.) is enough to march our troops across the border and force them to succumb to our military might. But, NAY...there are far worse things...far worse atrocities...that beckon the call to arms. It seems there is a tiny island between New Brunswick and Maine that is the subject of renewed calls from both sides of the border to settle a territorial dispute once and for all.

Machias Seal Island is a flat, treeless piece of rock located about 19 kilometres south of Grand Manan Island and 16 kilometres west of the Maine coast at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy. The island is a sanctuary for many kinds of seabirds including the Atlantic Puffin and draws visitors from around the world to observe them in the summer. There are no permanent human residents on the island, just pairs of lightkeepers who spend 28 days at a time maintaining a lighthouse operated by the Canadian Coast Guard. The original lighthouse was built by the British in 1832, and a lighthouse has been maintained there ever since.

YOU SEE!!! They have already invaded our piece of itty bitty rock out in the ocean. We forced the British from it and now these nasty Canadians have put two troops...TWO!!!...on our most precious and God given soil. And, it isn't the birds we must save, but the 720 square kilometers of water around the island that is ours also.

Both Canadian and U.S. lobster fishermen work these waters. Why should we share our delectable lobsters with these cretins!? Why should our lobstermen have their livelihoods reduced by these robbers of the sea!?

Margaret Thatcher sent a flotilla of warships and warplanes to the Falklands, why should we not send every carrier group, every plane, every warrior we've got to Machias and secure it for the great United States of America as she did for the paltry...uh...er...great United Kingdom?

What if some valuable resource is discovered in the grey zone around Machias Seal Island? What if some other contingency that we can't imagine now of strategic importance comes along? (Not my question...but I used it anyway.) What if we find super squillion amounts of oil there? What if we find massive gold deposits beneath the rock of this island? What if we find Atlantis there? What if, what if what if?????

A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said ownership of the island and surrounding waters is clear as far as Canada is concerned: they are Canadian. How audacious! How belligerent! How impudent! We must recall our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and reposition them for the great push into Canada. Tanks, missiles, planes, rifles, bullets, ships and soldiers must be dispatched immediately before these nasty invaders from the uttermost North decide they want New York, too!!! 

Wait a minute. On second thought....


My 2013 Predictions

I predict the current record holder for oldest person in the world will die in 2013.

I predict that Nancy Pelosi will only get uglier in 2013.

I predict that Barack Obama will be inaugurated to his second term as President in 2013.

I predict that a plethora of celebrities will speak on a plethora of issues as if we care what they have to say...in 2013.

I predict the Palestinians will fire at least one rocket into Israel in 2013.

I predict that Princess Kate Middleton will have a child in 2013.

I predict Greece will ask for more money from the European Union in 2013.

I predict my Western novel, Hell's Gunman, will be released in 2013.

I predict cold weather for Russia in 2013.

I predict there will be unrest in the Middle East in 2013.

I predict Iran will continue to be a pain in the neck in 2013.

And finally, I predict Houston will have a hot summer in 2013.

Remember, the Bible says the test of a true prophet is that what he says will come true with 100% accuracy. Watch and learn people, and be very afraid if I speak a prophecy about YOU!!!!!

Random Thoughts

I think a woman shouldn't marry the man who was convicted of murdering her twin sister. Seems like a bad 'life' move to me.

Kudos to the two guys who escaped from a Chicago jail by using the time honored method of sheets tied together. It showed they were remarkably ingenius, brave or desperate, and actually pulled it off without hurting anybody. Even if you're against 'em, you gotta admire 'em.

It is almost a certainty that if I hear 'Fiscal Cliff' one more time...I'm going to jump off of one.

Happiness is a Honey Baked Spiral Cut Ham. I'm sure of it.

If you have an employee in Iowa that you find irresistable...sexually...it's okay to fire that person. At least that's what the high court there ruled. This is a blow to good looking people everywhere, and I think they should all come to Texas. Especially the women.

I was sad to hear of Lee Dorman's passing. He was the bass guitar player for Iron Butterfly. Yes, many the time I listened to In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, puffing on a doobie, and wondering..."What the hell does that mean, anyway?"

Miss Venezuela Irene Sofia Esser Quintero, a Miss Universe contestant, was asked by one of the judges, "If you could make a new law, what would it be?" Her answer was thus:
"I think that any leys there are in Constitution or in life, are already made. I think that we should have, uh, a straight way to go in our similar, or, eh, in our lives as is this. For example, I'm a surfer, and I think that the best wave that I can take is the wave that I wait for it. So please do our only, eh, law that we can do. Thank you Vegas!" People are making a big deal out of this, panning this poor girl and making a mockery of her. I ask you, all you red blooded American males...would you mock this?????

Californians are leaving their State at the rate of 225,000 per year. The reason is that they are the most taxed people of any State in the Union. I believe they shouldn't be allowed to leave. They made their own bed by re-electing cretins like Jerry Brown. The people in Nancy Pelosi's district re-elect her by landslides every two years which goes to show ya how brainless Californians are when it comes to electing their leaders and representatives. We shouldn't be building fences between the U.S. and Mexico. We should be building a fence around California and shooting anyone who tries to get out.

I'm so glad I survived the Mayan Apocalypse. It was tough going...but I pulled through.

My plan is to be a millionaire by the end of 2015, if I live that long. It's a good plan. It has nothing to do with the lottery. And, it lies in the fact that I have discovered an untapped resource with endless amounts of money. No...I shan't tell you what it is. It's mine.

No matter my personal thoughts on Christmas...I wish you all a good one and I hope you get all the toys you want. Well...not really. But, it was nice of me to say so.

However, there is one that I really meant that for. That would be Tracy Barnes. She's had a tough go for some time now, and she could use a break...a BIG break. A wonderful woman, a great mother, and one who has a genuine heart of gold. I hope her children grow up to realize how much God has blessed them with her. No amount of good fortune would be enough for them all, and I wish them the very best.

And, that's it for today. I have to go get my Honey Baked Spiral Cut Ham. Yum...Yum.

Fish company landlord fined for asbestos violation

The location cited in this press release is the corporate headquarters for Copper River Seafoods in downtown Anchorage.

Coming Jan. 1

Here's a news release from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game about the impending expansion of the federal fisheries observer program.

Despite a lot of squawk out there, this thing is looking like a go.

Bah Humbug!!!

I hate this time of year. Everybody is off work and taking up my space at the mall...the theatre...the roads...the restaurants. I was at a restaurant last night with a friend of mine and we couldn't hardly talk for the 'Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow'...'Rudolph'...'Dreaming of a White Christmas'...and the most infernal of them all, 'Frosty the Snowman' songs blaring from the house sound system. Grrrrrrrr.

TV commercials are so blessed happy and cutesy with the fake snow, garland, Santa hats and stupid elves while they shout at you about the latest sale and all you have to do is send them your money. They also think we're sooooo stupid. Have you seen the commercial about the garden hose that looks all crinkly until you turn the water on and it suddenly balloons out from 2 inches to a gazillion feet long??? Watch carefully when they show it crinkle back up after turning the water pressure off. THEY'RE RUNNING THE FILM BACKWARDS!!!!! It doesn't do that! At least not like they're trying to sell you. Then there are the car commercials. Puh-leeeze. Yeah, honey...look outside. See that brand new Audi with the big red bow? That's for YOU sweetheart. Yeah, honey...look outside. See that brand new Mercedes with the big red bow? That's for YOU sweetheart. Let's see, the median income in this country is what? Around $38,000 per year? Give me a break. Most likely, "honey" is going to hear, "Hey, babes...hope ya like the deep fryer I gotcha down at the Bass Pro Shop. This thing here will make it a lot easier for ya to cook all that catfish I catch down at the river."

This is also a dangerous time of year. Every 'Al Capone Wannabe' is out there to steal your purse out of the shopping cart, or hijack your car after you stuff the trunk with Christmas junk, or hold you up for what precious little is left in your wallet, or break in your house to steal everything under the tree, or RUN A FRIGGIN' FILM BACKWARDS TO FOOL YOU INTO BUYING THEIR FRIGGIN' GARDEN HOSE!!!!

Anyway, Scrooge had it right. Bah, humbug to all this madness. It's not a religious holiday anymore, so I don't know why all the atheists don't just shut up. Oh sure, there's the manger scenes out there but I doubt 90% of the people in this country could name half the players. It's a commercial holiday, a reason to party, a reason to play hooky from work, a reason to get drunk, a reason to engorge yourself (like I'm going to do with my Honey Baked Spiral Cut Ham!!!), a reason to avoid family...or go see family...but it's not a reason to think about a Saviour being born...at least not anymore.

We haven't put a up a tree in my house and we're not going to put up a tree. We aren't exchanging gifts...to ANYBODY. All we bought was my Honey Baked Spiral Cut Ham that we're going to eat off of for the next three weeks. (I love my Honey Baked Spiral Cut Ham). No decorations, no garland, no wreaths, no nuthin'.

And don't get me started on Christmas cards. Whoever dreamed those things up...if he/she is still alive...should be drawn, quartered and the parts sent to the four corners of the Earth as a warning to anybody else should they have the same kind of idea. The Christmas card you get from me will be the first one and I suggest you don't hold your breath.

I'm very thankful that Chistmas carolers are pretty much a thing of the past. Nowadays, if you start singing on somebody's front yard without being invited, you're likely to get shot. I always hated how you had to come outside and stand there, listening to them with this big stupid smile on your face while wishing the whole time they would just shut up and leave. The only thing worse was being one of the singers. It was you who were trespassing and while singing you were silently praying the people inside wouldn't start shooting at you.

The only thing worse than Christmas is New Year's Day. Another round of parties, drinking, and celebrating the new year like it has any hope in hell of being better than the last. For those who plan on staying up and partying all night to ring in the new year, I have one question. HAVEN'T YOU BEEN PAYING ATTENTION???!!!!!

A very good year

Eye-opening compensation levels at some of Alaska's six Community Development Quota companies are old news. But still interesting.

The example cited most often is that of Morgen Crow, executive director at Coastal Villages Region Fund. He made $475,000 in 2011, according to the company's latest annual report.

You might be surprised at who ranked second and third behind Crow on Coastal's list of top-paid personnel.

They were Robert Thelen, skipper of the Coastal-owned crab boat North Sea ($356,582), and Owen Kvinge, skipper of another company crabber, the Arctic Sea ($347,502).

Why Would Anyone Want to Keep an Assault Rifle?

In 1973, my dad sold his old Datsun pick-up truck for $100 dollars and a Universal .30 Caliber carbine semi-automatic rifle. It came with a five shot and a ten shot clip. It's referred to as the M1. It weighs 5.2 pounds, has a full length of 35.6 inches with a barrel length of 18 inches. It has a gas operated, rotating bolt action and its rate of fire is 850 to 900 rounds per minute...if it was a fully automatic rifle. It became a standard firearm for the U.S. military during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War and was produced in several variants. It was widely used by U.S. and foreign military, paramilitary and police forces, and has also been a popular civilian firearm. It was also the same type of weapon my dad carried as a United States Marine Corporal in WWII when he went to the Pacific to fight the Japanese.

This was the weapon of choice by Charles Whitman. The sniper who climbed into the tower at the University of Texas campus on August 1, 1966, killing 13 and wounding 32. He was a crack shot and the police were outgunned. If not for citizens coming to their aid with their own firearms, Whitman might not have been subdued as quickly as he was. But, I digress...which is common for me.

This particular weapon is in the category of 'assault' weapon. It's the only one of this kind I have in my possession. I have used it to kill on three occasions. In 1974, our german shepherd, Zeus, had heartworms that infected his lungs and caused them to rupture. He was in terrible pain and bleeding from the mouth. It would have taken me an hour to get him to the vet, so I chose to end his life as quickly as I could. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. It was 1977 when a stray dog came up to the house. It was frothing at the mouth and snarling; snapping at the air and acting very aggressive. It took two rounds to kill him. The veterinarian was called out and he took the animal for study. He was confirmed to have rabies two weeks later after his head was sent to Austin for evaluation. In 1978 I downed an eight point buck at 71 yards with this rifle, hitting him right between the eyes. He dressed out 103 lbs and provided us with some great steaks and deer sausage. I haven't fired it since.

The only time I ever pointed it at a human being was when I worked for the Hardin County Sheriff's Department in the mid '80's. It was around midnight when the deputy and I made a felony stop of two bad actors with rap sheets that involved violence. They pulled over and I stepped out of the cruiser and crouched behind the car door with the carbine on top of it. The two got out acting like they were angry at being stopped until they saw the barrel of that .30 caliber saying hello. Their attitude quickly changed and they were highly cooperative with the deputy.

It has been in my gun safe for over twenty years now. I took it out four weeks ago and handed it over to a gunsmith for cleaning, oiling and verifying the action was still sound. The gunsmith fired it several times. I never did. After that, I put it back in the gun safe.

This rifle is very special to me. My father died in October, 1999, one of the dwindling number of men that are often referred to as the Greatest Generation. He wanted me to have that weapon as a token of his pride in having served and for me to have a physical reminder of what it took to keep us free from tyranny. I only post this because I have been listening to the TV news and the radio news and reading the newspapers where the question keeps being asked..."Why does anyone want to keep an assault weapon?"

My answer is...well, I just told you. If these types of weapons are ever totally banned...not just for future sale, but made against the law to possess...I will tell you now that I will then be a criminal. I will not give it up peacefully. Not saying I'll shoot anybody...just saying it won't happen until after the fight. You can interpret that any way you like.

Got longline gear?

The Department of Fish and Game is looking to buy 400 skates of longline fishing gear. Here's the bid solicitation.

We're all doing great!

As noted previously here on Deckboss, the state is conducting a major performance review of the Community Development Quota program.

Launched 20 years ago, the CDQ program reserves a share of the lucrative Bering Sea fisheries for the benefit of disadvantaged Western Alaska villages. Six nonprofit companies manage fish and crab harvests on behalf of village groups.

A panel comprised of Alaska's commerce, labor and fish and game commissioners have been quietly conducting the program review.

Curiously, no public hearings have been held. The review presumably will wrap up around the end of the year, but who knows.

The state at least has seen fit to post review reports from the six CDQ companies.

These are essentially self-evaluations, with each company assessing its financial performance and success in creating jobs and opportunity.

Based on these reports, all the groups are doing just wonderful work out there.

The performance review does have some consequence. If a CDQ company is deemed to have underperformed, officials can take away as much as 10 percent of its quota and redistribute it among the other companies.

I only wanted you.

Murkowski names a new fisheries aide

Jay Sterne is the new fisheries aide for U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

Sterne takes the position previously held by Stefanie Moreland, who left in August to become fisheries adviser to Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell.

A press release today from Murkowski's office describes Sterne as "a 20-year veteran of fisheries and Arctic policy discussions."

Prior to Moreland, Arne Fuglvog was fisheries aide to Murkowski.

Fuglvog resigned from the job after admitting to a federal fisheries violation during his days as a commercial fisherman. He served five months in prison this year for the offense.

By way of background, Deckboss knows only a couple of things about Sterne.

In years past, he was involved in lobbying for Prowler Fisheries, a prominent commercial fishing company that belonged to the late John Winther of Petersburg.

And Sterne, you might recall, was among friends who wrote letters asking the judge to take Fuglvog's character and public service into consideration at his sentencing.

You Know What REALLY Burns Me Up???

The Houston sports media. All of 'em. Every last stinkin' one of 'em. They're all a bunch of hypocritical homers that won't come out and say, "Ya know...I was wrong. I didn't have the slightest clue of what I was talking about. Here I am in the business of supposedly knowing what I'm talking about, and I didn't have a friggin' clue."

Back in 2006, the Houston Texans had the number one overall draft choice. First pick. Numero uno. Nobody else in the league could take a pick ahead of them. They could've had anybody. And who did they pick? They picked a nobody. An unheard of guy named Mario Williams. Granted, the guy was built like a greek god, standing at 6 ft. 5 inches tall and weighing 295 pounds. He was fast, quick, athletic and showed all the skills one would expect to see for a defensive lineman at the scouting combine. Yet, the scouting report on the dude was he was lazy. He took plays off. He had no heart. And the Texans took him anyway.

From the beginning...the VERY beginning...I decried this move...this pitiful pick for a team that had so many holes they should have called them the Houston Swiss Cheeses. They were just coming off a 2-14 season. I wanted them to pick Jay Cutler because...as I had predicted early on....David Carr was a bust of a bust of a bust. The smart pick...financially speaking...would have been to pick the hometown favorite, Vince Young. Talk about packing in the spectators. But, I digress.

For each year I blasted Williams for not being the playmaker a number one overall should be. He was hurt every year by one nagging injury after another. Instead of taking just 'plays' off, he wound up taking quarters, halves and even complete games off. Most of the time you couldn't find him on the stat sheet with a search warrant. And, every time I would blast him, the homers would screech and scream and belittle my take on this worthless piece of football crap. The media would say, 'Well, it's what he brings to the game that can't be counted on the stat sheet.' What a load of crap. I started calling him The Mistake, and One Minute Late Mario.

His best year was his second. In that year, where he played all 16 games (and supposedly 'hurt' during most of that time but was such a team player he went out there and gave it his all...cough cough...) he had 43 solo tackles, 16 assisted tackles for a total of 59, 14 sacks, 1 forced fumble and 4 passes defended. That's in sixteen games.

Mercifully for us Texans fans (or, at least those of us who KNEW what he really was), they let him go to the Buffalo Bills and they signed him for $100 million dollars. What a drastic and monumental joke.

Meanwhile, the Texans took a guy in the first round last year at the 11th pick named J.J. Watt. Like Williams, he stands 6 ft. 5 inches tall and weighs 295 pounds. The main thing about him on the scouting report was that he had a diesel engine for a heart that didn't know how to quit and that he gave 100% on every down. I said to myself, "We'll see."

Now, in this his only second year, J.J. Watt is being mentioned in the same breath as Reggie White, Bruce Smith and Michael Strahan.  Compare his second year stats after only 14 games with those of 'Super' Mario above. Watt, in 14 games, has registered 62 solo tackles, 12 assisted tackles for a total of 74, 19.5 sacks (the record for one season is Michael Strahan's 22.5, so with 2 more games to go, Watt has a chance of meeting or exceeding it), 3 forced fumbles and 15 passes defended.

In 14 games this season (in which he was 'hurt' for the first few weeks) the great and glorious one-hundred million dollar man has the following: 32 solo tackles (30 less than Watt), 9 assisted tackles (3 less than Watt) for a total of 41 (33 less than Watt), 10.5 sacks (9 less than Watt), 2 forced fumbles (1 less than Watt) and 3 passes defended (12 less than Watt).

And guess what you hear on Houston's sports media when it comes to Williams and their constant orgasms over him when he was here? Crickets. Crickets. And more crickets. All I want is just one of 'em...only one of 'em...to have the cajones to say on the air or in print..."Ya know...I was wrong. Williams has no heart, he's lazy and when you compare him to J.J.Watt...well, you just can't. For a number one overall, the dude is a bust and Buffalo got taken to the cleaners." But, I could live a million lifetimes and not hear that. Because they're a bunch of hypocritical yahoos who think they know it all. Well, I don't know it all. But I sure pegged Williams when he came out the gate. The proof is in the pudding.

Don't Bother Shutting The Door

Yes, it's too late for that. The horse has gotten out and is stampeding across the land. There are many who will poo-poo this latest post...as they have many others. But, that's okay. We live in a world of many different thought processes, beliefs, traditions, cultures and points of view. What a boring place this planet would be if we all thought alike.

While watching the news of the latest, senseless massacre in my country, a selection of verses from the Bible kept coming back to me. I have studied the Book almost all my life. Not just read it...but intensely studied its pages from front to back and back to front. For those who do not have even an inclination to believe it, then what follows from here will either bore you to tears or make you laugh. Either way is fine with me.

Paul the Apostle wrote in Second Timothy, Chapter 3, beginning in Verse 1, the following:

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent (more on this later...my note), fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof; from such turn away. (Paraphrasing the following verse) For they are ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Now, I am not foolish enough to believe that all of the traits listed above never existed in the past. Of course they did. What hasn't existed in the past, on a global scale, is the prevalence of all that listed above. After all, there is almost seven billion people living here now, more than has ever existed on Earth. We are practically crawling over one another.

Paul goes on to write in the same chapter:

But evil men and seducers shall become worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

So, what we have after the lastest tragedy are many....many many many...who wish to find an answer so no such thing will ever happen again. More security, more guns, less guns, a government commission on violence and how to stop it, debates, debates on the debates, and talking heads from FB (of which I am one) all the way up to Congress and the 'news' media.

The fact is, if you believe the Bible, it is only going to get worse and worse. If every sword were to be beaten into plowshares...with the present governmental systems we have in the world...it would only get worse and worse. Oh, there may not be the massacres as was seen in Newtown, Ct. But it would still get worse and worse.

Please understand this is not a pro-gun post. I'm past that, now. This is a 'reality check' post. Those who become serial shooters or rampage shooters fall into the 'incontinent' category that Paul listed above. It doesn't mean what we take it to mean today, as being one who can't hold their bladder. It means something else entirely. It means lacking in self control, unable to control one's temper, unrestrained by consciensce, or any sense of morality or law. It can include those who have an unrestrained sexual appetite, an unrestrained desire to get high, and even an unrestrained impulse to commit crimes of a less violent nature.

According to the Bible, there will be one who will come and seemingly have all the answers. The world will flock to this person as the next great leader, surpassing all others in history. For three and a half years there will be an unparalleled peace, never before seen in mankind's existence. It will appear that man has found the answers to all his problems and that he has finally turned the corner on civility, equal rights and peace among nations. Yet, it will all be a lie. After that period, according to the Bible, there will be death on this planet of a scale you nor I can fathom. It will make WWII look like a fight between two grade school children.

But, as some of you may well know and have already figured out...the Bible is a book of myths and legends. It can't be taken seriously as any kind of roadmap on how we should live our lives and base our faith. It is old and out of date, needing to be placed on a shelf somewhere...out of the way...and looked at only as an oddity. God is dead, and man is supreme. We shall find our own way and do our own thing in our own time. Why should we heed what anyone said back in the first century A.D.? It cannot possibly apply to us. So, eat...drink..and be merry this Christmas and welcome in the new year with fervor and parties and a positive outlook on the condition of man. More laws will be passed and government will lead the way to a new prosperity, a new peace, and even a new beginning for our race. If God is involved, it will only be as a small part of our personal itinerary as we forge ahead. If he doesn't get up to date, we shall leave him behind. After all, we are ever learning. As far as the knowledge of the truth...each individual already has that sewn up in their own mind.

SantaCon is the devil!

Well even with a horrible hangover I walked around for hours and took some videos of the bars and drunk santas. EXTREMELY IRRITATING, they were. I missed Unsilent Night somehow but here are some pics and some somewhat tame videos of my walk around St Marks and Avenue A during the hell that is NYC's annual SantaCon.

Let's Compare

So, you want to do away with guns, eh? No more guns. Get rid of the guns. It's the guns, it's the guns it's the guns. Guns guns guns guns guns. Evil evil guns.

Nazi Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.  “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country.”
- Adolf Hitler, dinner talk on April 11, 1942

In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. By 1987 that figure had risen to 61,911,000.  “If the opposition disarms, well and good. If it refuses to disarm, we shall disarm it ourselves.”
- Joseph Stalin

China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952 10,076,000 political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated in Kuomintang China, and by 1987 another 35,236,000 exterminations were carried out under the Communists.  “All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party.”
- Mao Tze Tung, Nov 6 1938

Cambodia established gun control in 1956. Between 1970 and 1973, 2,035,000 “educated” people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated. During the short four years of its rule in Cambodia, Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge government murdered over 31 percent of the entire Cambodian population.
(“Guns, for what?”)” - Fidel CastroA response to Cuban citizens who said the people might need to keep their guns, after Castro announced strict gun control in Cuba.
Karl Marx promoted gun control. Hugo Chavez promotes gun control. Barak Hussein Obama promotes gun control. Nancy Pelosi promotes gun control. Ted Kennedy promoted gun control. Dianne Feinstein promotes gun control. And there are many, many more.
But, I am a staunch supporter of the founding fathers and what they had to say about guns.
A free people ought to be armed.”
– George Washington“No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government”
– Thomas Jefferson, 1 Thomas Jefferson Papers, 334
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.”
- Patrick Henry
“Arms in the hands of citizens may be used at individual discretion in private self defense.”
- John Adams
“To disarm the people is the most effectual way to enslave them.”
– George Mason, 3 Elliot, Debates at 380
“Americans have the right and advantage of being armed, unlike the people of other countries, whose leaders are afraid to trust them with arms.”
- James Madison, Federalist Paper #46
“Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.”
- William Pitt, Nov. 18, 1783
“The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.”
- Noah Webster, 1787
“To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.”
Then, we have the peaceniks...

“That rifle on the wall of the labourer’s cottage or working class flat is the symbol of democracy. It is our job to see that it stays there.”
- George Orwell

“If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.”
- The Dalai Lama, May 15, 2001, The Seattle Times

And look what Ghandi had to say....

“Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest. If we want the Arms Act to be repealed, if we want to learn the use of arms, here is a golden opportunity. If the middle classes render voluntary help to Government in the hour of its trial, distrust will disappear, and the ban on possessing arms will be withdrawn.”
- Mohandas K. Gandhi

And, what about Great Britain and the fact that its populace has been effectively disarmed? No, it is not a dictatorship, but the criminals are free wheeling as the populace are urged to not fight back. Take a look at this stat...

According to the UK government there were 2,164,000 violent incidents against adults in England & Wales in 2007/2008 (they use a fiscal year sort of reporting). For comparison, there were in the U.S. in 2005 approximately 5.2 million violent crimes against victims over the age of 12. Using 300 million as the population of the U.S. and 60 million for the UK gives crude rates of 0.017 for the U.S. and 0.036 for the UK. According to that comparison, violent crime is twice as frequent in the UK as in the U.S.

Do not agree with those in Washington who stand with the most vile dictators who ever lived and the most vile communist supporters that infected our planet with the filth of their thinking. Stand up for your rights and if the government comes for our guns, let them have them. But give them the bullets first.

Fiscal Cliff Results...Read 'em and Weep

Courtesy: Houston Chronicle

Mass Shootings: 50 Years In The Making

It was on the afternoon of August 1, 1966 when Charles Whitman went into the tower on the University of Texas campus, Austin and proceeded to kill fourteen people and wound 32 with precise sniper fire. An autopsy revealed he had a terminal brain tumor that most likely resulted in his maniacal behavior. The same cannot be said about those who followed in his footsteps.

I am no psychologist and am not formally trained to diagnose our society as a whole. As far as the latter, who really is? But I have lived almost six decades and have acquired much wisdom during that time. Am I wiser than most? Probably not. However, I know it is more than 'guns' to blame for the sudden increase and outright rash in idiots who decide to kill as many people as they can as quickly as they can. Consider the following:

1.  The removal of God, the Bible and prayer from our schools has not helped matters. Our children are taught...and not directly but by omission...that we are no more than physical creatures. There is a societal code to follow they are taught, but it lacks the spiritual morality needed to cause people to reflect on the long term consequences of their actions. If there is no final authority and if there is no hell or judgment in the afterlife...then there are fewer barriers to keep the floodgate of evil from being opened.

2.  Dr. Benjamin Spock and those of his ilk that followed have done more to damage our children than any serial shooter. I grew up in a time when corporal punishment was the norm. When I got paddled in school, I remembered it. When I got the belt at home, I did everything I could do to make sure it didn't happen again. You can't be 'friends' with your children before you are a parent. There have to be rules and punishment to follow when they are broken. I was never beaten...but I was whipped. I am thankful my parents had lines that were not to be crossed. It made me mindful of societal lines and not just my liberty, but the liberty of others. You also can't start disciplining your children at the age of 12. You have to start at 2, or younger. When a child grows up thinking the world revolves around them and that everyone they come in contact with owes them the same obeisance they received at home, it's a recipe for trouble.

3.  We have rapidly become a society of 'victims'. Nothing is your fault...you are accountable for nothing...it's always the evil of someone else that has brought misery upon you and therefore...they must pay. The only problem is 'they' are hard to identify...so the serial shooter just shoots anybody since all are to blame. Self estimation is a thing of the past. If I am poor, it is the rich man's fault. If I am unemployed, it is the employed's fault. If I drive a pitiful car, it is the Mercedes driver's fault. If my wife is fat and doesn't look like Beyonce', then that's Beyonce's fault. Rarely does anyone take thought that maybe their present condition is a product of THEIR past choices. Thus, when someone who has a screw somewhat loose in their brain, they snap and decide to kill all those who have made them the victim.

4. Let me call it 'Celebrityism'. People in our country worship celebrities. Why this is I haven't a clue. If I like your music, I listen to it...but I don't want to be your friend. If I like your athleticism, I'll watch you play...but I don't want to come over for dinner. If I like your movies, I'll watch them. But I don't want to be seen with you. Further, I don't want to be famous like them, or famous at all. But there are myriads and myriads of people out there who want to be famous. They want to put their personal stamp on the world and be recognized as someone 'special', someone important, someone to be remembered. Then, when that doesn't happen, and they can't be famous...then they opt for being infamous. In their twisted minds...brought on by celebrityism...by having their name and picture shown on national news stations, they will finally have become somebody, even if it's a hated somebody.

5.  The church...the Christian church...is also to blame. The church has allowed its influence to be watered down and corrupted and silent when come under attack. The church is to be the preservative of our society, to keep it from spoiling. Yet, hard preaching has become a thing of the past in most congregations. Hard doctrine is almost extinct. Islam is the fastest growing religion in this country that was founded on Christian principles, and still we have people who want to defend it instead of rebuke it for what it has become. Don't wring your hands and shed your alligator tears over these recent twenty children who were slaughtered at their school. We, as Christians in this society, also have their blood on our hands for being so weak minded and so weak willed when it comes to our faith. If all you want to do is look at the pleasant aspect of Christianity, then how long has it been since you really took a good, long look at the cross? It isn't something that's pretty if you look at it for what it really was. Maybe if the Christians of America preached the blood and the gore of the cross with all the fervence of a fanatic, then perhaps there would not be so much blood and gore in that school in Connecticut. For when we get people to focus on the blood of Christ, they don't even allow a second's thought to enter their mind about spilling the blood of innocents. Yet, we would rather listen to the false prophets and teachers of our day, like Joel Osteen, who falsely claim that everyone's all right and everyone's going to be okay and that all you have to do is reach within to find the inner power to succeed in life. What hogwash and outright drivel with lots of spittle spraying out between their lying lips.

Yes, the list below was fifty years in the making by all of the above. Like it or not, and belive it or not. Get ready for more of it...because most of you will claim it's all blah blah blah. I bet the twenty sets of parents in Connecticut won't think so. But, it didn't happen to you...did it? So, go on about your business and have a Merry Christmas.

Oak Creek, Wis.: A white supremacist shoots six people and a responding policeman at a Sikh temple before shooting himself in the head in August 2012.

Aurora, Colo.: Lone gunman kills 12 and injures 58 at a July 2012 screening of “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Oakland, Calif.: A former student at a Christian college fatally shoots seven people and injures three in April 2012.

Copley Township, Ohio: A man in a family dispute uses his handgun to shoot and kill his girlfriend and six others in August 2011.

Geneva, Ala.: Eleven victims, ages 18 months to 74 years old, are killed by a lone gunman in a violent family feud in March 2009.

Omaha, Neb.: A 19-year-old man shoots nine people at a department store in December 2007 before cops kill him.

Blacksburg, Va.: A student at Virginia Tech kills 32 classmates and wounds 25 before committing suicide in April 2007.

Red Lake, Minn.: A 16-year-old boy kills 11 people, including his grandfather and his grandfather’s girlfriend, in a shooting spree in March 2005.

Columbus, Ohio: A deranged fan shoots a Pantera guitarist at a concert as he performs onstage, then fires at fans, killing four people in December 2004.

Wash., D.C.: Two deranged snipers go on a spree, killing 10 people around D.C. and Virginia in Oct. 2002.

Columbine, Colo.: Two senior students invade their school in April 1999, killing 12 students and one teacher and injuring 21, before committing suicide.

Killeen, Texas: An unemployed man drives a truck through a packed cafeteria and fatally shoots 23 people and injures 20 before killing himself in October 1991.  (NOTE: Since Texas' enactment of a concealed handgun law, there have been no further 'public' rampages like this. Fort Hood was an army base with the act committed by an army major. Notice he didn't go out in public and try that crap.)

Jacksonville, Fla.: A man angry over a repossessed car storms into the agency in June 1990 and over two days shoots 11 of its 86 employees before killing himself.

Sitka herring fishery humbled

The Department of Fish and Game today announced a preliminary quota of 11,055 tons for the 2013 Sitka Sound sac roe herring fishery.

That's a big comedown from the 2012 quota of 28,829 tons. Seiners failed to catch anywhere near that amount, ending the season with 13,534 tons.

Lubchenco leaving

Jane Lubchenco reportedly will step down in February as head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA is the parent agency of the National Marine Fisheries Service.

You knew this was coming

The Alaska congressional delegation is asking federal regulators to partially delay the 2013 implementation of the expanded fishery observer program.

The request is entirely predictable and expected.

For many years, large trawlers and other fishing vessels operating off Alaska have carried observers — typically, young biologists — to record what is caught where.

The data they gather is critical for proper management of the fisheries.

Come the new year, the program is expanding. It means hundreds of smaller boats, such as longliners targeting halibut and sablefish, will have to carry an observer on at least some of their fishing trips.

Now that implementation is upon us, we're getting an outcry — and politicians jumping in as they often do when new federal regulations come down.

Organizations such as the Sitka-based Alaska Longline Fishermen's Association have raised a litany of reasons why the expanded observer program will unnecessarily burden the operators of smaller vessels.

A press release on U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski's website lays out some of the gripes.

The bottom line seems to be that some fishermen simply don't want an extra body aboard.

Would you?

It will be interesting to see if the National Marine Fisheries Service gives in to the congressional pressure and delays the program.

Deckboss really doesn't care either way.

But if observers are deployed as scheduled, he'll sure be interested to see an honest accounting of what really comes up on all those hooks.

MoRus Musuem Grand Opening!

Well, the MoRus Museum at Csquat opened up with a bang on Saturday! I was there at 3pm for the ribbon cutting that Rosie Mendez did which was a chain made of duct tape, til the huge dance party that lasted into the wee hours of the morning. There were slideshows, marching bands, Reverend Billy and his choir, poetry, speeches and I only got a few videos and photos as it was overwhelming!

An insanely fun day/night and everyone should show support by stopping by and checking the place out!