Thursday, May 31, 2007

Gas prices and energy

It seems, at least for now, the feeling is that gas prices have peaked until July and August which is when there is most demand for gas.

There are the usual cries from Democrats to investigate the oil companies to see if there is price gouging. There will be the usual investigation with the usual result. The odd thing about this is do we really want gas to be cheap. Isn't the idea to reduce our consumption of gas to help in global warming. So in fact, high gas prices should be a good thing if it makes Americans re-think their driving habits. Makes them consider taking public transportation or deciding to buy a hybrid or a more fuel efficient car.

So the question is what to do to make Americans buy more fuel efficient cars.

What to do

I've been thinking on and off about this for a long time. What steps can be taking to make America energy independent. Make America independent in a reasonable time frame not the 20 or so years that most politicians talk about.

So let’s start with some assumptions:

1. That we are indeed in a war with the Islamic terrorists. That they do indeed want to destroy us.

2. Our dependence on oil helps to fund these terrorists and the states that support them. Would Iran be doing what it is doing today in the world without its oil revenue? The answer is pretty simple. No.

3. Oil and the revenue from oil are going to be used as weapons against us. Imagine if Iran decides it’s not going to sell any more oil. Or Saudi Arabia is taking over by extremists. How long do you think oil would be flowing to the US?

4. So becoming energy independent is in reality a national security issue.

Why hasn’t a politician pitched the move to energy independence that way. Military officials have raised the issue of energy dependence being a question of national security. Perhaps because to really go after this problem and solve it in a reasonable time frame would call for some sort of sacrifice on the part of the American people. And that seems something politicians are extremely reluctant to call for. After all America is at “war” in Iraq yet the only people that this has consequences for are the members of the military and their families. The Iraq war is certainly not having an impact on the average American’s life.

Then there is the question of where to start. It is a huge problem becoming energy independent. I think the way is by small steps across the board.

Here are a few of my ideas:

Give a $15,000 tax credit for buying a hybrid car. The person would get $3,000 a year for 5 years.

Give a $10,000 tax credit for HEV (high efficiency vehicle). The person would get $2,000 a year for 5 years. Now what exactly is an HEV? An HEV would be a car that had a high EPA mileage rating. The EPA is now recalculating the mileage standards to better reflect how people drive today. Having said that I’d say an HEV would need to get somewhere between 35-40 miles per gallon to qualify for the tax credit.

These tax credits would apply to new or used cars that meet the criteria.

Ok so there are tax credits for hybrids. There are actually tax credits now for hybrids. There not nearly as much as my proposal. More importantly just about no one knows about them.

So the word needs to get out about this. The government should go out to Hollywood and ask Mr. Lucas and Mr. Eastwood and Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Coppola and Mr. Scorsese etc to direct commercials about the hybrid and HEV tax incentives. At the same time ask Mr. Pitt and Mr. Damon and Mr. Clooney and Ms Roberts and Ms Sarandon etc to appear in the commercials. Once they are done the government goes to the commercial networks and says the eight hours the Academy Awards are on there will be one of these commercials on every hour. And one every hour that the Super Bowl is on. In fact every hour during prime time there will be one of these commercials on each of the broadcast networks. If they have problems with say we are at war and if you don’t like it then will pull your licenses. The media blitz would not just be on TV. It would be on radio. There would be attempts to put it on the cable stations. There’d be billboards and adds on buses and trains and subways. Those annoying ads you have to sit through when you go to movies they’d be there too. It would be a campaign that everyone would know about.

The federal government would make a commitment to increase the number of hybrids and HEV that it leases. The goal would be over five years to have 50% of the leased vehicles be hybrids or HEVs. This could apply to state and local governments as well. You could also encourage such actions as making all taxis hybrids as is being done in New York City. The goal in New York City is to have all cabs be hybrids by 2012. This would easily be duplicated in cities across the country. The hybrid technology is perfect for taxi cabs as stated in one story:

Automakers said hybrids are uniquely well-suited to be taxis. Many of them, like the Ford Escape, run solely on battery power while stopped or at low speeds, so they don’t cough exhaust while navigating through city traffic. At higher speeds, the gas-powered drive system kicks in and the two work together.

Then there is what I call the gas guzzler tax. There would be a minimum mileage threshold. I would put it at 20 miles per gallon. Any vehicle that did not reach that threshold would have a tax of $1,000 added to the price for each mile per gallon it was below the threshold. Take a Hummer which gets 11 miles to the gallon. It falls 9 miles per gallon below the threshold. The sticker price would go up $9,000. The money would go into the social security fund or better yet the Veteran’s Administration. Now for small businesses buying trucks there would be an exemption.

The final aspect of the plan is regarding the price of gas itself. No serious change in American driving habits is going to happen unless the price of gas is address. The problem is that it is too low. Fuel efficient cars will never catch on unless gas costs more. I’m not for putting a 50 cent tax on each gallon of gas. I think a better way to do this is to set a floor for the price of gas and to raise that floor over time. Let’s say the floor is set at $2.00 a gallon. The price of gas would never go below that level. If for some reason it did, a tax would kick in that would raise the price to $2. Any money made from this tax would go to either social security or the VA. Each year the floor would be raised by 10 cents. I’m not sure how practical this would be but there has to be some sort of stick to force people to use more efficient cars.

This again would be just a first step. There are many other areas to explore. But it seems to me what politicians are proposing today just aren't enough to really do much to solve the problem. I think I've come up with a pretty good first step.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My next vacation

Forget about going back to New Zealand. Been there done that. I mean it was an incredible wonderful trip but you can only get so much of that right.

Or going to Europe and seing the works of the great masters or all that wonderful architecture or historical places. After all over there are all those godless secular humanists anyway.

No for my next vacation I’m going to Petersburg, Kentucky to see the Creation Museum. Follow this link to see a story in USA Today.

It would be funny if it weren’t so scary at the same time.

To think what these people would do if they gained power in this country. Oh yes I forgot they already have through George Bush that big booster of creationism.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Now here's something to make you laugh

Poland to probe if Teletubbies are gay

Didn't Jerry Falwell do this once already?

Here are a couple of just precious quotes from the article:

Ewa Sowinska, government-appointed children rights watchdog, told a local magazine published on Monday she was concerned the popular BBC children's show promoted homosexuality.

and this . . .

"At first I thought the purse would be a burden for this Teletubby ... Later I learned that this may have a homosexual undertone."

Then it seems more rational head prevailed:

But in a sign that the government wants to distance itself from Sowinska's comments, Parliamentary Speaker Ludwig Dorn said he had warned her against making public comments "that may turn her department into a laughing stock."

I think we're well past the laughing stock stage.

More about the story here.

I guess the jokes got to her. Her office issued this statement:

Her spokesperson announced that Sowinska "hasn't asked and won't ask" psychologists to investigate whether "Teletubbies" promote homosexuality in young viewers."They are fictional characters, they have nothing to do with reality, and the bag and scissors and other props the fictional characters use are there to create a fictional world that speaks to children... We are not going to deal with this issue any more."

Perhaps it shouldn't have been dealt with in the first place.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Just one more

I couldn't resist putting up one more.

To smile again

Something to end the weekend on that puts a smile on your face and what better way to do so than with a Peanuts cartoon. Click the image to see a larger view.

Same BS different day

I'm sitting outside in my back yard reading the Sunday newspaper. And I read this article.

In it there's talk about what to do after the surge. Supposedly the Bush administration is starting to figure out what to do after the surge. That in all probability there will be a reduction of troops from 150,000 to 100,000 which means there will still be a whole lot of American troops in Iraq. But the story ends this way:

And if the troop increase does not lead to political progress, as many U.S. officials fear, then by early next year there will be little reason to maintain the current level of forces. So, although the White House remains far from a final decision, military planners anticipate that the U.S. troop presence in Iraq could be reduced in 2008.

Could be reduced or maybe not. Have we not heard this over and over and over again from this administration. IF conditions on the ground warrant it there will be a reduction in troops. I believe this has been said about every six months since 2003. I've yet to see any reduction. Which begs the question why will this time be any different.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Those we've lost

Sgt. Robert J. Montgomery Jr.

Staff Sgt. David C. Kuehl

Staff Sgt. Kristopher A. Higdon

Spec. Michael W. Davis

Memorial Day, Part II

Two must read articles in the Post about soldiers. One is the return of a soldier the other is fear of farewell. Then there is an interactive gallery about the soldier who returned and reaction from his father.

One of these guys is coming back from his second tour of duty in Iraq that's Sgt. Andrew Snow he's 22. Look how young he looks in the pictures. The other other soldier is Alex Brownstein who is going back for his second tour in July. He is 21. His second tour will be 15 months instead of the normal 12 in order to support the surge.

Just think about their ages and what we've asked them to do. Also think about what we've failed to do to make their mission easier and safer.

Memorial Day Part I

1st Lt. Andrew J. Bacevich

This being Memorial Day weekend I think this is a very appropriate story.

I cannot for the life of me even begin to imagine what it would be like to loose a child. Let alone a child in a war that you as the parent vehemently opposed. Mr. Bacevich ends his piece by saying:

I know that my son did his best to serve our country. Through my own opposition to a profoundly misguided war, I thought I was doing the same. In fact, while he was giving his all, I was doing nothing. In this way, I failed him.

I have to disagree.

In no way did Mr. Bacevich let down his son.

He raised his voice as best he could to call into questions policies that were and are vastly flawed.

In fact, it is we the America people who've let down his son.

We are at war and the only people who have sacrificed anything are the men and women in the military and their families.

The credit card company knows best

An interesting story in the Post today about credit card companies. Consumers definitely have a love/hate relationship with them. The individual stories are very telling in the Over the Limit section.

That brings me to my recent experience with one of my companies. Thursday in the mail I got a replacement card. The one had I was about to expire. No big deal expect for the fact that the number on the card had been changed.

This is a card from Bank of American. I have two cards from them because recently Bank of America bought out MBNA. So I had to figure out which card was being replaced. Again no big deal. Then I read something in the letter that was sent to me by Bank of America:

To ensure uninterrupted service remember to update this information anywhere you use your credit card for automatic payments or purchases, including Online Banking, and provide it to the appropriate merchants. [bold was in the original]

I don't use this card for any such purchases but then I started thinking about it. What at huge pain in the ass if I did use the card. I didn't ask for a new number and was only informed that a new number had been issued when the card arrived. I started thinking about all the places you might have to go and change this information. First I thought well what if I paid all my utilities with the card that would be: gas, electric and water. Then other household type items: internet, cable, local and long distance telephone and then the cell phone. So without thinking very hard I'd come up with 8 places that I'd have to go and change the information. How nuts is that?!

Then I started to think a little more what about on-line accounts like Amazon or BMG or MacConnection or the Kennedy Center. Further let's say for instance you charge all the magazines you get and they auto re-new so you don't have to deal with all those bills in the mail. It's very possible there are places the credit card number could be that you'd only use rarely and might not think of.

This morning I called up and cancelled the account.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Back to Iraq

I haven’t said much recently on the subject. The administration now seems to think that maybe the Baker-Hamilton report actually hasd some good ideas in it. This from a story in the Washington Post:

Although the president was initially tepid to the panel’s report last December, Bush said its ideas now appeal to him because they offer “a kind of long-term basis” for stabilizing Iraq. “I believe this is an area where . . . we can find common ground with Democrats and Republicans,” he said.

Yes Bush “won” the show down with the Democrats on timetables but I believe this will be the last such victory on this issue unless in three months there is a complete and total turn around in Iraq.

This also from Bush:

“As it provides vital funds for our troops, this bill also reflects a consensus that the Iraqi government needs to show real progress in return for America’s continued support and sacrifice,” Bush said, alluding to the bill’s setting of benchmarks for the Iraqi government to achieve security and political reconciliation.

How many times over how many months will we hear this line. Wasn’t this what was said when the surge was announced, wasn’t this what was said around the time the Baker-Hamilton report was announced. Once again this points to the fact that for all the talk without some sort of deadlines for progress the U.S. is in an open ended committment to Iraq.

And while we continue this little dance:

The U.S. military also announced Friday that six U.S. soldiers were killed in a series of attacks across Iraq in recent days. The deaths put May on pace to be one of the deadliest months for U.S. forces here in years.

And further good news:

Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr appeared in public for the first time in months on Friday, delivering a fiery anti-American sermon to thousands of followers and demanding U.S. troops leave Iraq.

This is from a story at USA Today.

So Happy Memorial Day everyone

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sam’s medicine

Oh this is such a fun thing to do. I’m very glad I decided to get the liquid form of this because the pill would have been a super pain in the ass. As it is the liquid is just a pain in the ass. I did like how the doctor said all you have to do is lift the side of Sam’s lip and squirt the liquid in. Yes and that is sooooo easy to do. It’s easy to do at the doctor’s office because Sam is scared out of his whits. He took up his usually position when we go to the vet and that is hiding in the sink. There was a cabinet door open (the cabinet being above the sink) which Sam tried to crawl up into.

Last night I gave Sam his first dose of his medicine. To start off with the bottle has one of those child proof caps on it. It took me about five minutes to get the thing open. In part because I’m not good at opening those caps in general and specifically because the bottle was very small. After wrestling him to the ground well between my legs as I was sitting on the couch I squirted the medicine in his mouth. I’m not sure how much he got. This morning I was a little more cleaver. I wrapped Sam in a blanket. It was much easier to control him that way. I put the syringe near his mouth and waited for him to open up. And believe it or not he did open up. He got a much bigger dose of the medicine this morning.

I don’t think he liked it all that much. He went upstairs and hid underneath the bed. He was not a happy cat. I gave him a little treat which he ate. I then got his new toy and after awhile he played with that. He was, however, still underneath the bed when I went off to work.

And I get to give this stuff to him eight more times. My weekend is going to be action packed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

My day off

I took the day off today to run some errands.

Sam has had as we say in my family distress in the lower track for the past few days. What with all the crazy stuff about pet food and what not I decided the best thing to do was to take him to the vet. I called on Monday when I got home from work and got a 9 am appointment today.

I figured I needed to leave around 8. That would give me plenty of time to catch Sam get him into his carrier, drive over to the vets and then find a parking space. Well it couldn't have worked any better. I'd brought the carrier up early in the week. While Sam was out this morning, I moved the carrier up into the front bedroom. I closed all the closet doors so there would be no place to hide. Sam came in from outside. At just about 8, I scooped him up from the couch and took him upstairs. He had very little time to resist. Believe me for a small 12 pound cat he put up a great deal of resistance.

The ride to the vet even in rush hour was not bad at all. I found a parking place about two blocks from the office. I ended up being about 20 minutes early which was just fine by me. Better early than being late.

The vet saw Sam. She gave him a thorough examination. She thought he just had distress in the lower track too. I got an antibiotic that will calm down his digestive track. In essence I was given pepto to give to him. We decided that best way to give it to him would be in liquid form. The pill was not small and I could not see me getting Sam to take even a small pill. I give him the stuff twice a day. This should be interesting and messy. I should see results in a couple of days I was told.

I got back to my house around 10.

I then proceeded to the main task that I had planned for the day and that was getting my car inspected. It took my around a half hour to get down to the place. The first line I was put in was not moving at all. I was directed to another line and then it promptly stopped moving. But after being there a little over 15 minutes it was my turn. It took another 15 minutes to inspect the car. I was done. The car had passed inspection. I was heading home at about 11:20. I stopped off at the grocery store to pick up some stuff and was home around 12:15.

A rather successful morning if I do say so myself.

Taxation without representation

There are many things to enjoy about living in DC.

This is not one of those things. If you live in DC you have no one with voting power who represents you in Congress. Thus the heading of taxation without representation. But there's a further rub. Washington is a Federal District which in essence is governed by the Congress. This means Congress has to approve most legislation. It also means that at any time a member of Congress can step in and decide to halt legislation passed by the city council. The most recent case in point is the take over by the city of the public schools. Here's the story in the post. It seems that yesterday after frantic negotiations the Senate passed the plan.

It would be nice if Congress would keep its nose out of our business but that certainly won't happen. The most notorious abuse of this power was exercised over the issue of repealing the sodomy laws in DC. The Senator who always blocked it was Jesse Helms. Finally one year it came up and Mr. Helms let it go. I find it ironic that a southern states rights Republican thought it would be ok for the federal government to interfere in a local decisions. That just goes to show the hypocrisy of these conservatives.

In this case alls well that ends well but it shouldn't have happened in the first place.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The back garden

I finished up the back garden this weekend. At least I finished planting the flowers. There are still some odds and ends that have to get done. I have to throw out the dirt I dug up from the front yard. Mostly it was clumps of clay. Also I need to do a little more mulching and then I should be done unless of course I'm not which I find is often the way with gardening.

Sam out enjoying the morning.

Sam contemplates a daring escape. But then thinks better of it.

This is the exact moment when two huge dogs round the corner into the alley. They are taking their owner for a walk which is the correct way to describe it. The guy really has a hard time keeping the dogs in control. If I'm out walking in the morning and happen to see them coming down the side walk on my side, I always cross to the other side of the street.

Sam checks to see if the coast is clear.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Simpsons

The best show on TV and one of the funniest shows of all times celebrates its 400th episode tonight. Here's a story about it. And here's another story about it. And yet another.

I could rattle off a host of dialog from the show but I won't just sit down tonight and enjoy a classic TV show. One that will go down in history.

Lang Lang at the Kennedy Center

Here's a review of the performance.

I don't go to make performances by the symphony because I don't know the names of the many pieces that I enjoy. So this was a treat. There was a very beautiful opening piece by Enescu, Romania Rhapsody No. 2 in D major. The other piece of the opening half was City Scape by Jennifer Higdon. It was the Washington premiere of this piece and the writer was there. She took questions in the AfterWords segment too.

The second half was Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 which is one of my favorite classical pieces.

Again my seat gave me the vantage point of being behind Land and thus I was able to his hands play the piano. Here are just some random thoughts I wrote down on the subway ride back home on Friday night from the performance:

• How do you know when to have one hand move over the other? Yes it must have something to do with the notes you are playing.

• Sometimes Lang's fingers pounded the keys and other times they caressed the keys.

• When he wasn't playing, I noticed that his right arm and left kept time to the music.

• I was surprised how help his arms in relation to the piano for some reason I thought they would be closer to the piano.

• He stretched and arched his back at one point. What you see someone do at gym instead of a concert performance.

• There were times when his hands were a blur moving over the keys. It was genius.

There were balcony seats to the side and behind the orchestra. I think it would be very interesting to see a performance from there. The unfortunate thing is that there is only one performance left in the season. I think I might be going to it.

Sam has a new toy

I got Sam a new toy today. He really enjoys it as you can see.

Last home game

It was the last home game of the GW baseball team yesterday. They played Duquesne. Duquesne has scored two runs in the second inning. They had bases loaded with one out and hit into a double play. They didn't score any more runs for the game. In fact they only had a couple of hits after that. GW won 6-2. Unfortunately GW won't be going to the post season. There's always next year.

Senior day.

Odds and Ends

Everywhere a sign

I kid you not. On the side of a truck I saw this. It said Peed Plumbing. Not much else to add to that.

Song in my head

I was listening to the David Gray CD Life in Slow Motion while on the way over to friends. Now And Always came on and I just had to listen to it again. On the way back from my friends I must have listened to it have a dozen times. The end of the song is just incredible

Turn signals

I've come to the conclusion that turn signals no longer come as standard equipment on cars especially left turn signals. So few people seem to know how to use them. I guess they are now part an options package. Probably the option package called those who have a clue how to drive.

Feathered visitor

This little guy has been around for the last few days. It is young catbird. He is still learning how to fly. He can make short hops but that is about all for now. He can produce some very wonderful sounds and then can produce some that are really annoying. He seems to like staying around my front porch for some reason.

Friday, May 18, 2007

A sad day

It is always very hard to loose a pet especially when that pet dies before her time. That happened to my friend Art. Follow the link to his blog entry. He lost Saibh.

I am very lucky to say I got to meet her. I got to spend a good couple of weeks with her. Saibh was a wonderful dog. Very very friendly. And she was very helpful in sorting my socks and deciding that I had too many of them and some of them should be hers. I didn't mind in the least.

I know Saibh had a wonderful life because I know her two owners. I know they will miss her very much. I will too.

Lang Lang at the Kennedy Center

Lang Lang performed Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1.

It was amazing.

One of my favorite pieces of music of all time.

It was wow. It was amazing.

I was in row F. Got to see him play the piano.

It was wow. It was amazing.

More tomorrow when I can process everything because wow it was amazing.

Did I mention like wow it was amazing.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Gas again

No not that type of gas; I mean gasoline. Here’s a link to an interesting map that gives you the average cost of gasoline across the US. I’m not surprised that California has the most expensive gas. What with all the environmental regulations and the sheer number of people that are in the state. But I am surprised at the cost of gas in the midwest particularily in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin.

If you zoom in on the map you can get the price of gas at individual service stations. Clicking on the price gives you the name of the station, the adress, the type of gas and any other ammenities of the station. Why the internet can be incredibly useful at times.

Some place in San Francisco is charging $6.21 a gallon. What moron would pay that much money for gas. It looks like the average in that area is about $3.55 or so.

Well it doesn’t look like any of that stations I’m near are included on the map. But is a very cool interactive map.

I have to assume this is not the last we will hear about gas prices. It’s a little less than two weeks before Memorial Day. I guess the question is how high can the price go before the end of summer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Gas prices

Gas prices reach a record high. There are now higher than they were after Hurricane Katrina.

On the same day the Bush administration announced a plan for reducing gas consumption by 20 percent over 10 years. This is in response to the recent Supreme Court decision that EPA does have the power to action to reduce pollution.

Bush signed an executive order directing federal agencies to craft regulations that will “cut gasoline consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles.” He ordered the agencies _ the departments of Transportation, Agriculture and Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency _ to have the rules in place by the end of 2008.

Wow a whole 20% in 10 years. Now that might be a little hasty after all. Maybe we should only make it 10% or even that might be too much of a burden. Maybe we should let the “market” solve this problem. What a joke. What a spineless worthless plan.

Let’s review a few facts here. This administration has said over and over again that we are in a global war against terrorism. After 9/11, irregardless of what is now happening in Iraq, I think we can all agree that that is what is happening. The debacle in Iraq is only making the situation worse. How are the terrorists able to operate the way they do? Because countries and individuals are supporting them with money. Where does that money come from? From oil. How is Iran able to fund Hammas, develop a nuclear program, and help insurgents in Iraq? Oil.

You want to really wage a war against terrorism then the first thing on the agenda would be to cut off their source of revenue. And that chief source comes from oil.

So becoming energy independent is not about less pollution or global warming or the environment in general it’s about national security. And reducing our consumption of gas by 20% over 10 years is pathetic. But then again the notion that we are at war is just that a notion.

A good long hard look has to be taken at our addiction to oil especailly foreign oil. Our lives may very well depend on it.

Same old story

Gas prices go up. Record levels reached. The news leads with the story.

There is the inevitable interview of someone at the pump filling up their tank bitching about the price. Ever notice how many times the vehicle being filled up is an SUV.

I think the question that should be asked to the person bitching is: “you realize of course the fact that you have a fuel inefficient vehicle is adding to the cost of gasoline.” If you’ve bought an SUV you shouldn’t be allowed to bitch about the price of gas.

No one held a gun to these people’s heads when they were in the car showroom and said you will buy the gas guzzler or else. The EPA ratings are printed in huge type on the car sticker. There’s no way you could not notice them unless you were blind.

I think, instead of asking them how they feel about the high price of gas, they should get a swift kick in the ass for contributing to the problem.

And we also sound like whinny brats because gas is much more expensive in Europe or Japan or New Zealand or . . .

One more for Mother's Day

From the genius of Charles Schulz:

A perfect end note for Mother's Day. Click on image for larger view.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day — Mom

On the Mall

This is an annual event on the Mall where all sorts of military vehicles are parked for people to take a gander at.

Bradley fighting vehicle.

The back of a Bradley.

This is a howitzer.

It was interesting to me that the entrances to the vehicles were so small. You have to do a great deal of crawling around to get around in these things.

Nothing like a Patriot Missile battery overlooking the Washington Monument.

Posing with the troops. There were many people doing this. I'm not sure I get it. I understand kids doing it in the tanks and other vehicles and even there here if they were kids but well they're not are they.

All the latest chemical protective suites.

Navy Seals

This is a mini-sub that a navy seals team would use to strike from. Talk about close quarters!

Some kids get camouflaged for their next mission.

I had to laugh

This was a quote that one of my grandmothers would use a great deal. And after reading this story that what I had to do: laugh. This is from Sunday's Post.

The upshot is that the guy ended up spending a day in jail because he walked his dog without a leash.

Here are the important lessons that he learned:

• I really, really never want to go to jail. There were some hard-core prisoners at the court, and it is my wish never to join them.

• I will never walk Henry again without a leash.

• Some officers follow the law to the letter. Perhaps it's easier than using common sense.

• Creating a ticket with correct information seems to be beyond the capability of the U.S. Park Police.

I've run into the problem with tickets having the wrong information on them too. In my case when I pointed this out I was told that they knew about the problem and at some point it was going to be fixed.

But after reading the article well I just had to laugh.

National Police Week May 13-19

I came across this by accident. I saw some of the Police Unity Tour near the metro as I was heading down to the Mall. The stop I got off at was Judiciary Square and the exit I used opened right on to the Memorial. To learn more about the Memorial follow this link.