Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Another Sign of the End Times?

We have already seen "hell freeze over" when the Eagles had their first reunion concert in decades. The Wall Street Journal's "Best of the Web Today" ran this amusing story:

When Pigs Fly

We got a chuckle out of this Associated Press dispatch from Indio, Calif.:

Have you seen this pig? It's huge, inflatable, features the word "Obama" and it has lost its way in the California desert.

Organizers for the Coachella music festival announced that the gigantic blowup swine, released into the night sky during Roger Waters' headlining set Sunday, was still out there--and they want it back.

The festival is offering a $10,000 reward plus four Coachella tickets for life for the safe return of the pig, according to spokeswoman Marcee Rondan.

As tall as a two-story house and as wide as two school buses, the pig was led from lines held on the ground Sunday as Waters played a version of Pink Floyd's "Pigs" from the 1977 album "Animals." Then it just floated away.

"It wasn't really supposed to happen that way. I don't have the details," Rondan told The Associated Press.

As for safety concerns, Rondan speculated, "Because it's inflatable, as it loses air it becomes less and less dangerous."

This may be the perfect metaphor for the Obama campaign!
UPDATE: A Reuters story reports that the tattered remains of the inflatable pig ended up in La Quinta, CA.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Whose Side Are They On?

Much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, it is my sad duty to mention the NewsMax article about the DNC releasing an anti-McCain ad.

"The Democratic National Committee has sparked outrage among veterans and others across the internet by running an anti-John McCain ad that shows U.S. soldiers being blown up...."

You can see the DNC ad Click Here Now

News to Bring a Smile to Your Face

A must-see photo from

Also from the same source:

"Print circulation continues on its steep downward slide, the Audit Bureau of Circulations revealed this morning in releasing the latest numbers for some of the country's largest dailies in the six-month period ending March 31, 2008. When a full analysis appears it is expected to find, according to sources, the biggest dip yet, about 3.5% daily and 4.5 for Sunday. . . . The New York Times lost more than 150,000 copies on Sunday. Circulation on that day fell a whopping 9.2% to 1,476,400. The paper's daily circulation declined 3.8% to 1,077,256."

Circulation at the WSJ, meanwhile, is up. USA Today, too. What could be the difference?

The following chunk of chocolate goodness appeared in CNN:

"Scientists in the UK are seeking 150 women to eat chocolate every day for a year in the cause of medical research.

"Women taking part in the study must eat one bar of chocolate a day.

"The trial, at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, eastern England, will test whether a natural compound found in cocoa, the main ingredient of chocolate, could cut the risk of heart disease among women with diabetes...."

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Where's the Democrats' Energy Plan?

"Two years ago today, the then-minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, said that the Democrats had a common-sense plan to lower gasoline prices," he said. "That was $1.25 ago and two years ago, and yet we've not seen this plan that will lower gasoline prices in any way, shape or form." - House Minority Leader John Boehner

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Nightmare Scenario

Jerry Pournelle, in The View from Chaos Manor, has this ominous observation to make:

"The top leadership of both parties has been overtaken by the Iron Law, and there seems little to be done about it.

"And meanwhile the Democrats seem to be drifting toward the concept of prosecution of former office holders by criminalizing policy differences. That's a certain formula for civil war; perhaps not immediate, but inevitable. The absolute minimum requirement for democratic government is that the loser be willing to lose the election: that losing an election is not the loss of everything that matters. As soon as that assurance is gone, playing by the rules makes no sense at all...

"We live in interesting times. Be afraid."

The following comment by Mark Lardas, writing to on 25 April 2008, shows what can happen if a general or political leader is forced to the wall by his opponents:

"The best example of what happens when you criminalize political opposition is the Roman Civil War.

"Gauis Julius Caesar was a republican to the core. He believed in the Roman Republic, and its unwritten constitution. When his political opponents, the Optimates, made it clear that they were going to prosecute him and either exile or execute him, the moment Caesar set down his military command they made war inevitable. Especially since it was clear that they were not interested in following the law, except at their convenience.

"Caesar was not given a choice between going to war and destroying the republic or preserving it by going quietly to his doom. He could see that the republic was doomed no matter what his choice was. He could either start a civil war or let Rome slide into a tyranny run by the Optimates. Given that choice, let the dice fly and hope you can put the pieces back together after you win. At least, you can die trying.

"The Democrats remind me of the Optimates in many ways. William Clinton seems like a 21st century version of Pompey Magnus. That Bush has not played Caesar is a tribute to two things: George W.'s fundamental decency, and the fact that the United States is yet not in as bad a shape politically as the late Roman Republic."

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bumper-Sticker Wars

Much as we like to criticize "bumper-sticker slogans," the presence of bumper stickers on cars does indicate a certain level of commitment, especially this early in the presidential campaign. Here in Colorado Springs, CO I have seen a few Hillary stickers, more Obama bumber stickers, and not a single one advertising Sen. John McCain. And I live in the leading Republican stronghold in Colorado!

Here's what a couple of my correspondents had to say about how the presidential race is shaping up:

On 4/23/08, <> wrote:

Click here: - Newsmax, Zogby Poll Hits Bulls-Eye in Pa. Poll

What this news media doesn't tell you are some facts about the voting in Pa.

The Democrats voted and the Republicans stayed home. Democrat voters showed up with over 2 million voting. The Republicans was just over 1 million.

Ron Paul and Mike Huckebee received about 26% of the votes even after McCain received the required delegates and the GOP Leadership endorsed him

Independent voters could not vote in Pa which is many would have supported Ron Paul. Pa. is home headquarters of the Constitution party.

Semper Fi,

His buddy Matt chimed in:


It has been like that in every state. The democrats are showing up 2:1 to the republicans. McCain is kidding himself if he thinks he can win in November. I actually think this is the perfect time for republicans to support a third party. Since McCain has no chance at winning, the argument that conservatives should vote for McCain to prevent Hillary or Obama from winning is moot. The dems are going to win, and that is that. We as conservatives can throw our support to a real conservative candidate on a third party ticket. Realistically a third party won't win this time either, but neither will McCain. I hate to be pessimistic, but we are going to have a democrat in the white house no matter what. The real question is whether or not we strengthen the alternative parties. If the constitution or libertarian parties can get a significant percentage of the popular vote then they can have guaranteed ballot access for the next election. That will help to break up the Dem/Rep monopoly. Maybe then in our lifetime we can see a Constitutionalists or Libertarian in the Whitehouse. One thing is for sure though, if we keep doing what we have been doing, we can't expect anything to change.

Tu ne cede malis,

Of course, I could not resist writing a comment of my own:


So maybe I wasn't too far off the mark when I said earlier that this election is the Democratic nominee's to lose. John McCain, whom I have nicknamed the "Manchurian Candidate," has been far more patient and conciliatory towards Democrats and liberals than to Republicans and conservatives, and as far as I know, he has not held out an olive branch to the southern states that Gov. Huckabee swept. This is the region he will absolutely have to hold on to in order to stand a chance, since the Democrats appear to be ahead on both the east and west coasts. Americans love a winner, and have nothing but contempt for someone who has "loser" written all over him.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Judged by the Company You Keep

Well, it's official: Hillary Clinton won the Pennsylvania primary by a comfortable margin (around 10%), despite the fact that she was far outspent by her rival, Barack Obama. I believe that securing the center helped put her over the top - Obama's long-standing associations with radical friends was enough to make even his loyal supporters in the African American community nervous.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

First They Drive You Nuts, Then They Practice Damage Control

Friday's Investor's Business Daily had an intriguing editorial on what to do when those eco-freaks drive you into a state of panic: visit an eco-therapist.

What's clear is that Western society has achieved such a level of prosperity that some of us have the time and energy to let ourselves be consumed with worry and guilt over a problem that may very well be imaginary.

Let no one say that this world of abundance has come at the expense of the environment. Despite the psychoses, our earth is a cleaner, more livable place than it was even 40 years ago.

Don't think so? Then take a look at a government report (start with that actually measures air and water quality, and wetlands gains.

Instead of driving ourselves up the proverbial wall over greenhouse gases, old-growth trees, pesticides, polar bears and plastic bags, maybe we should work toward becoming even more prosperous and spreading that prosperity around the world.

It seems that capitalism is the only economic system that can afford cleanliness.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Gibson, Stephanopoulos Slammed for Asking Searchng Questions During Debate

Last night's Democratic presidential debate between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia drew record ratings (10.7 million people) and an incredible number of criticisms, according to an AP/MSNBC news article.

"The questions were tough and fair and appropriate and relevant," [George] Stephanopoulos told The Associated Press. "We wanted to focus at first on the issues that were not focused on during the last debates."

The criticism comes with the territory, he said. "It's one more sign of how engaged people are over this election," he said.

Will Bunch, a Philadelphia Daily News writer, posted an open letter to [Charles] Gibson and Stephanopoulos on his blog. He wrote that he was so angry that "it's hard to even type accurately because my hands are shaking." He said the ABC newsmen spent too much time on trivial matters that didn't concern most voters.

"By so badly botching arguably the most critical debate of such an important election, in a time of both war and economic misery, you disgraced the American voters, and in fact even disgraced democracy itself," Bunch wrote.

EDITORIAL NOTE: We believe that it was only fair for these two seasoned journalists to bring up the questions they did, since the public, regardless of party, wants some straight answers on questions such as Obama's association with Rev. Wright and Hillary Clinton's whopper about her adventure in Bosnia. Reaction of conservative talk show hosts was generally favorable, since they had become weary of the softball questions previous moderators had directed to Democratic presidential candidates.

Dick Polman makes some incisive observations in his RealClearPolitics roundup of the debate.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Whatever Happened to Nervous Breakdowns?

Forty or 50 years ago, people suffered from "nervous breakdowns." This was more like a semantic fig-leaf that covered a multitude of mental disorders, addictions, or toxic life situations. An MSNBC article covers the history of this now-quaint phrase.

“I haven’t heard that term in years,” said Mike Fitzpatrick, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, a national advocacy organization based in Arlington, Va. “’It’s from another era.

”The term — a vague catch-all phrase that could mean anything from a psychotic episode to having a bad day — is not a medical term, doctors say, but it was a popular one that was gentle, non-specific and therefore non-threatening, and could serve as a cover.

The list of people reporting that they had it is long and distinguished, and include the names of the following celebrities:

Judy Garland
Frances Farmer
Rosemary Clooney
Lana Turner
Marilyn Monroe
Howard Hughes
Vivien Leigh
Rita Hayworth
Patricia Neal
Betty Hutton
Agatha Christie
Poet Anne Sexton
Zelda Fitzgerald, wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald
In 1966, the Rolling Stones released the song "19th Nervous Breakdown."
Oscar-winning Pedro Almodovar directed the 1989 movie "Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown."

Nowadays people are more inclined to be frank and call their problem by their actual names, such as depression, bipolar disorder, addiction, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, etc.

Monday, April 14, 2008

A Sure Sign That Sen. Obama Is Under Pressure

The following map drawn by cartoonist Lisa Benson is a take-off on the controversial ad for Absolut Vodka that ran for a short time in Mexico:

If You Bought Only One Book About the War in Iraq...

This is what "A Soldier's Perspective" has to say about this recently-published book by an embedded reporter who has been in Iraq longer than any of his competitors:
Michael Yon needs your help. I'm only a little less than halfway through the book myself, but it's AWESOME!! Michael Yon is a former SF NCO and currently an independent journalist embedded with American troops on the front lines. He does what MSM reporters are too cowardly to do.
Our Soldiers are turning defeat and disaster into victory and hope. But we could still fumble—if the American people don’t hear the truth now. There remain serious perils in Iraq and this is a time for action.
...Please click on “Handout for Bookstores and Libraries” below. This will open a printable one-page handout that can be given to any local bookstore manager, librarian, or military exchange. (Or all three if you can.)

The handout will tell bookstores and libraries everything they need to order Moment of Truth in Iraq. But what will really motivate retailers and librarians is you, the reader, a member of their community, requesting the book. ...To make this appeal at even more effective, please give a copy of the flyer to a friend or family member and ask him or her to do the same.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Be Careful What You Wish For (Cont.)

April 12, 2008

Carl Bernstein’s View: A Hillary Clinton presidency
Posted: 11:01 PM ET

What will a Hillary Clinton presidency look like?

The answer by now seems obvious: It will look like her presidential campaign, which in turn looks increasingly like the first Clinton presidency.

Which is to say, high-minded ideals, lowered execution, half truths, outright lies (and imaginary flights), take-no prisoners politics, some very good policy ideas, a presidential spouse given to wallowing in anger and self-pity, and a succession of aides and surrogates pushed under the bus when things don’t go right. Which is to say, often.

And endless psychodrama: the essential Clintonian experience that mesmerizes the press, confuses the citizenry, confounds members of both parties in Congress (not to mention the Clintons themselves, at times) and pretty much keeps the rest of the world constantly amused and fixated.

Such a picture of Clinton Redux is, by definition, speculation. But it is speculation based on the best evidence at hand...

Source: Anderson Cooper blog
I tend to agree with Carl Berstein's assessment, as most people reveal very early in their careers what their leadership style will be like.

Heston on Winning the Culture War

By: Charlton Heston

The following is a speech NRA President Charlton Heston gave to the Harvard Law School Forum on February 16, 1999. It is well worth re-reading.

Source: NewsMax,

I remember my son when he was five, explaining to his kindergarten class what his father did for a living. "My Daddy," he said, "pretends to be people."

There have been quite a few of them. Prophets from the Old and New Testaments, a couple of Christian saints, generals of various nationalities and different centuries, several kings, three American presidents, a French cardinal and two geniuses, including Michelangelo. If you want the ceiling repainted I'll do my best. There always seems to be a lot of different fellows up here. I'm never sure which one of them gets to talk. Right now, I guess I'm the guy.

As I pondered our visit tonight, it struck me: If my Creator gave me the gift to connect you with the hearts and minds of those great men, then I want to use that same gift now to re-connect you with your own sense of liberty...your own freedom of thought...your own compass for what is right.

Dedicating the memorial at a Gettysburg, Abraham Lincoln said of America, "We are now engaged in a great Civil War, testing whether this nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long endure."

Those words are true again. I believe that we are again engaged in a great civil war, a cultural war that's about to hijack your birthright to think and say what resides in your heart. I fear you no longer trust the pulsing lifeblood of liberty inside you...the stuff that made this country rise from wilderness into the miracle that it is.

Let me back up. About a year ago I became president of the National Rifle Association, which protects the right to keep and bear arms. I ran for office, I was elected, and now I serve...I serve as a moving target for the media who've called me everything from "ridiculous" and "duped" to a "brain-injured senile, crazy old man." I know...I'm pretty old...but I sure Lord ain't senile.
As I have stood in the crosshairs of those who target Second Amendment freedoms, I've realized that firearms are not the only issue. No, it's much, much bigger than that.

I've come to understand that a cultural war is raging across our land, in which, with Orwellian fervor, certain acceptable thoughts and speech are mandated.

For example, I marched for civil rights with Dr. King in 1963 - long before Hollywood found it fashionable. But when I told an audience last year that white pride is just as valid as black pride or red pride or anyone else's pride, they called me a racist.

I've worked with brilliantly talented homosexuals all my life. But when I told an audience that gay rights should extend no further than your rights or my rights, I was called a homophobe.

I served in World War II against the Axis powers. But during a speech, when I drew an analogy between singling out innocent Jews and singling out innocent gun owners, I was called an anti-Semite.

Everyone I know knows I would never raise a closed fist against my country. But when I asked an audience to oppose this cultural persecution, I was compared to Timothy McVeigh.

From Time magazine to friends and colleagues, they're essentially saying, "Chuck, how dare you speak your mind. You are using language not authorized for public consumption!"

But I am not afraid. If Americans believed in political correctness, we'd still be King George's boys - subjects bound to the British crown.

In his book, "The End of Sanity," Martin Gross writes that "blatantly irrational behavior is rapidly being established as the norm in almost every area of human endeavor. There seem to be new customs, new rules, new anti-intellectual theories regularly foisted on us from every direction.

Underneath, the nation is roiling. Americans know something without a name is undermining the nation, turning the mind mushy when it comes to separating truth from falsehood and right from wrong. And they don't like it."

Let me read a few examples.

• At Antioch College in Ohio, young men seeking intimacy with a coed must get verbal permission at each step of the process from kissing to petting to final copulation...all clearly spelled out in a printed college directive.
• In New Jersey, despite the death of several patients nationwide who had been infected by dentists who had concealed their AIDS, the state commissioner announced that health providers who are HIV-positive need not...need not...tell their patients that they are infected.
• At William and Mary, students tried to change the name of the school team "The Tribe" because it was supposedly insulting to local Indians, only to learn that authentic Virginia chiefs truly like the name.
• In San Francisco, city fathers passed an ordinance protecting the rights of transvestites to cross-dress on the job, and for transsexuals to have separate toilet facilities while undergoing sex change surgery.
• In New York City, kids who don't speak a word of Spanish have been placed in bilingual classes to learn their three R's in Spanish solely because their last names sound Hispanic.
• At the University of Pennsylvania, in a state where thousands died at Gettysburg opposing slavery, the president of that college officially set up segregated dormitory space for black students.

Yeah, I know...that's out of bounds now. Dr. King said "Negroes." Jimmy Baldwin and most of us on the March said "black." But it's a no-no now.

For me, hyphenated identities are awkward...particularly "Native-American." I'm a Native American, for God's sake. I also happen to be a blood-initiated brother of the Miniconjou Sioux. On my wife's side, my grandson is a thirteenth generation native American...with a capital letter on "American."

Finally, just last month...David Howard, head of the Washington, D.C. Office of Public Advocate, used the word "niggardly" while talking to colleagues about budgetary matters. Of course, "niggardly" means stingy or scanty. But within days Howard was forced to publicly apologize and resign.

As columnist Tony Snow wrote: "David Howard got fired because some people in public employ were morons who (a) didn't know the meaning of niggardly, (b) didn't know how to use a dictionary to discover the meaning, and (c) actually demanded that he apologize for their ignorance."

What does all of this mean? It means that telling us what to think has evolved into telling us what to say, so telling us what to do can't be far behind.

Before you claim to be a champion of free thought, tell me: Why did political correctness originate on America's campuses? And why do you continue to tolerate it? Why do you, who're supposed to debate ideas, surrender to their suppression?

Let's be honest. Who here thinks your professors can say what they really believe?

It scares me to death and should scare you too, that the superstition of political correctness rules the halls of reason.

You are the best and the brightest. You, here in the fertile cradle of American academia, here in the castle of learning on the Charles River, you are the cream. But I submit that you, and your counterparts across the land, are the most socially conformed and politically silenced generation since Concord Bridge. And as long as you validate that...and abide are - by your grandfathers' standards - cowards.

Here's another example. Right now at more than one major university, Second Amendment scholars and researchers are being told to shut up about their findings or they'll lose their jobs. Why? Because their research findings would undermine big-city mayors...pending lawsuits that seek to extort hundreds of millions of dollars from firearm manufacturers.

I don't care what you think about guns. But if you are not shocked at that, I am shocked at you. Who will guard the raw material of unfettered ideas, if not you? Who will defend the core value of academia, if you supposed soldiers of free thought and expression lay down your arms and plead, "Don't shoot me."

If you talk about race, it does not make you a racist. If you see distinctions between the genders, it does not make you a sexist. If you think critically about a denomination, it does not make you anti-religion. If you accept but don't celebrate homosexuality, it does not make you a homophobe.

Don't let America's universities continue to serve as incubators for this rampant epidemic of new McCarthyism.

But what can you do? How can anyone prevail against such pervasive social subjugation?
The answer's been here all along.

I learned it 36 years ago, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., standing with Dr. Martin Luther King and two hundred thousand people.

You simply...disobey.

Peaceably, yes. Respectfully, of course. Nonviolently, absolutely.

But when told how to think or what to say or how to behave, we don't. We disobey social protocol that stifles and stigmatizes personal freedom.

I learned the awesome power of disobedience from Dr. King...who learned it from Gandhi, and Thoreau, and Jesus, and every other great man who led those in the right against those with the might.

Disobedience is in our DNA. We feel innate kinship with that disobedient spirit that tossed tea in to Boston Harbor, that sent Thoreau to jail, that refused to sit in the back of the bus, that protested a war in Viet Nam.

In that same spirit, I am asking you to disavow cultural correctness with massive disobedience of rogue authority, social directives and onerous law that weaken personal freedom.
But be hurts.

Disobedience demands that you put yourself at risk. Dr. King stood on lots of balconies.
You must be willing to be endure the modern-day equivalent of the police dogs at Montgomery and the water cannons at Selma.

You must be willing to experience discomfort. I'm not complaining, but my own decades of social activism have taken their toll on me. Let me tell you a story.

A few years back I heard about a rapper named Ice-T who was selling a CD called "Cop Killer" celebrating ambushing and murdering police officers. It was being marketed by none other than Time/Warner, the biggest entertainment conglomerate in the world.

Police across the country were outraged. Rightfully so - at least one had been murdered. But Time/warner was stonewalling because the CD was a cash cow for them, and the media were tiptoeing around it because the rapper was black.

I heard Time/Warner had a stockholders meeting scheduled in Beverly Hills. I owned some shares at the time and decided to attend.

What I did there was against the advice of my family and colleagues. I asked for the floor. To a hushed room of a thousand average American stockholders, I simply read the full lyrics of "Cop Killer" - every vicious, vulgar, instructional word.


It got worse, a lot worse. I won't read the rest of it to you. But trust me, the room was a sea of shocked, frozen, blanched faces. The Time/Warner executives squirmed in their chairs and stared at their shoes. They hated me for that.

Then I delivered another volley of sick lyric brimming with racist filth, where Ice-T fantasizes about sodomizing two 12-year old nieces of Al and Tipper Gore.


Well, I won't do to you here what I did to them. Let's just say I left the room in echoing silence. When I read the lyrics to the waiting press corps, one of them said "We can't print that." "I know," I replied, "but Time/Warner's selling it."

Two months later, Time/Warner terminated Ice-T's contract. I'll never be offered another film by Warner, or get a good review from Time magazine. But disobedience means you must be willing to act, not just talk.

When a mugger sues his elderly victim for defending herself...jam the switchboard of the district attorney's office.

When your university is pressured to lower standards until 80% of the students graduate with honors...choke the halls of the board of regents.

When an 8-year-old boy pecks a girl's cheek on the playground and gets hauled into court for sexual harassment...march on that school and block its doorways.

When someone you elected is seduced by political power and betrays you...petition them, oust them, banish them.

When Time magazine's cover portrays millennium nuts as deranged, crazy Christians holding a cross as it did last month...boycott their magazine and the products it advertises.

So that this nation may long endure, I urge you to follow in the hallowed footsteps of the great disobediences of history that freed exiles, founded religions, defeated tyrants, and yes, in the hands of an aroused rabble in arms and a few great men, by God's grace, built this country.

If Dr. King were here, I think he would agree.

Thank you.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Gen. Petraeus' Latest Appearance Before Congress, As It Should Have Been Reported

The IMAO blog has done it again! Its unconventional way of describing how Congress' grilling of General Petraeus went warmed the cockles of my defective but incurably neocon heart. :-)

Some excerpts:

Mugging for the cameras, Senator and leading presidential candidate Barack Obama suggested what he called 'a practical exit strategy'. "When I was in high school - back when they still called me Barry and I looked even more like Urkel than I do now - people used to tape 'kick me' signs on my back. This proved to be a very effective method of getting people to kick me. So why don't we just put 'don't shoot me' signs on the backs of our troops and run away?"

Petraeus pointed out the obvious flaw in Obama's theory, noting that the 'don't ask me stupid questions' sign Petraeus had worn to the hearings had been a 'dismal failure'. However, he DID encourage Obama to wear 'kick me' signs at every opportunity in the future.

"All your strategies are interesting," said Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), "but they all seem to result in an American victory. We want America to lose. Do you have any strategies that will make America lose?"

UPDATE: From the same source, the ideal way for President Bush to deal with ex-President Jimmy Carter's latest escapade, consorting with the enemy (Hamas) in Syria.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Lotto Winner Pete Kyle Joins "Broke in Three Years Club"

This cautionary tale appeared in last Saturday's issue of the British paper, The Sun.

Divorced Pete Kyle splashed out on luxury homes, flash cars and holidays following his jackpot — one of Britain’s biggest ever Lottery wins [£5.1million or about $10 million].

But now he is on the dole after squandering ALL of his massive fortune at the rate of £4,600 A DAY. Now he works as a caretaker at a grubby budget hotel.

What happened to Pete and his fortune prompted an earlier Lotto winner, Mikey Carroll, to write the following letter:

You outdid the Mikey

LOTTO Lout Mikey Carroll has blown almost his entire £9million Lotto fortune.
Here the 24-year-old writes a personal message to fellow winner Pete.

Well Pete, welcome to the club where no one wants to be a member. I have to take my baseball cap off to you — it seems you have managed to outdo the Mikey. My money may have lasted a bit longer, but we definitely have one thing in common, our taste in mates.

I had wondered where all my old mates had disappeared to. Now I know that they spend not only time with you, but spend all your money too!

They are great company though aren’t they?

And after the party is over at least they don’t hang on, oh sorry I mean, hang about for very long. I see you are living in a dingy hotel. I might just think about moving in with you — the sex shop and the tattoo parlour next door sound just up my street.

In fact, that hotel sounds like my old house which like our bank accounts is a total wreck. As for the family, well why live at home when it is far more fun to give money to complete strangers and wasters. After all I gave millions to my family members and it ruined their lives.

So at least your family owe you that, because you have saved them from a life of fighting over your affections, and what little money you have left.

Anyway, if you’re ever up my way pop in and see me.

Maybe we could go halvers on a meal.

Yours sincerely,

Gasp! "Cyanide Poisoning Document" Sounds So Ominous!!

Authorities searching the YFZ Ranch and temple belonging to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (not to be confused with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City) have turned up a "cyanide poisoning document," but did not offer any further details. It is unclear as to whether leaders of this polygamist cult were planning a Jonestown-style massacre, but law enforcement officials appear determined to examine every possibility.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What a Guy! Professor Randy Pausch's Life-Affirming Exit

Randy Pausch of Carnegie Mellon University is suffering from pancreatic cancer, and knows that his days are numbered. Instead of bemoaning his fate, he has issued a DVD of his "last lecture," and the transcript has been downloaded over 10 million times. Diane Sawyer of ABC News conducted an interview of him. Doctors gave him only six months to live, thus far it's been seven months since his final lecture.

For more information about his newly-published book, or to order a DVD, click here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Most Important News for Today

The most significant development is not the Kabuki drama between Gen Petraeus and Congress or the latest activity of Britney Spears, but another ominous sign that Iran still intends to build a nuclear bomb.

A FOXNews/AP article says, "President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced Tuesday that the country has started to install 6,000 new centrifuges to enrich uranium and for the first time has tested an improved centrifuge that works five times faster that the current version."

Some people in a position to know are skeptical. "U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, however, cautioned that the claim could not be immediately substantiated. Diplomats close to the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said Iran has exaggerated its enrichment advance, and has had problems operating the 3,000 centrifuges it already has in place. One diplomat cast doubt on Ahmadinejad's claims of a more advanced centrifuge." What remains clear in all this fog is the Iranians' determination to pursue their nuclear program in the face of world opinion.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Cartoonists' Views of McCain Candidacy

As a veteran of the U.S. Navy, Sen. John McCain lends himself to nautical images.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Charlton Heston Reaches the Promised Land

Screen legend Charlton Heston, 84, passed away peacefully at his Beverly Hills home with his wife, Lydia, at his side.
His family said in a statement. "No one could ask for a fuller life than his. No man could have given more to his family, to his profession, and to his country."
The man who played Moses, the prophet who dared confront Pharaoh, had enough courage in real life to take on the gun-grabbers as president of the National Rifle Association. Unfortunately, the onset of Alzheimer's forced him to resign in 2003, after serving five years.
For more details, see this AP/Yahoo News article

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Dr. Bernanke Dares to Say the "R-Word"

Yesterday Dr. Ben Bernanke , bowing to the spirit of the times,
mentioned the possibility that we may potentially slip into a recession according to a Reuters article. But other experts, such as Warren Buffett, have been saying this for months.
"Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday conceded for the first time the U.S. economy may slip into recession, but said growth should pick up later this year as the impact of interest rate cuts and other emergency steps take root."
My own take is the following comment I wrote to a friend on this subject: "I confidently expect that if a Democrat is elected President, the liberal news media will back off and stop mentioning the dreaded "R-word," recession. The basic problems will still be unresolved: reckless mortgage lending, out-of-control government spending, [too much borrowing, not enough saving,] unwise trade policies, etc., complicated by higher taxes and more government interventions in the economic process. By then they won't have Bush to kick around anymore."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"Meet Me in the Stairwell," by Stacey Randall


MP3 audio at:

You say you will never forget where you were when you heard the news On September 11, 2001. Neither will I.

I was on the 110th floor in a smoke filled room with a man who called his wife to say 'Good-Bye.' I held his fingers steady as he dialed. I gave him the peace to say, 'Honey, I am not going to make it, but it is OK . . . I am ready to go.'

I was with his wife when he called as she fed breakfast to their children. I held her up as she tried to understand his words and as she realized he wasn't coming home that night.

I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor when a woman cried out to Me for help. 'I have been knocking on the door of your heart for 50 years!' I said. 'Of course I will show you the way home - only believe in Me now.'

I was at the base of the building with the Priest ministering to the injured and devastated souls. I took him home to tend to his Flock in Heaven. He heard my voice and answered.

I was on all four of those planes, in every seat, with every prayer. I was with the crew as they were overtaken . . . I was in the very hearts of the believers there, comforting and assuring them that their faith has saved them.

I was in Texas, Virginia, California, Michigan, and Afghanistan. I was standing next to you when you heard the terrible news. Did you sense Me?

I want you to know that I saw every face. I knew every name - though not all know Me. Some met Me for the first time on the 86th floor.

Some sought Me with their last breath. Some couldn't hear Me calling to them through the smoke and flames; 'Come to Me... this way... take my hand.' Some chose, for the final time, to ignore Me. But, I was there.

I did not place you in the Tower that day. You may not know why, but I do. However, if you were there in that explosive moment in time, would you have reached for Me?

Sept. 11, 2001, was not the end of the journey for you. But someday your journey will end. And I will be there for you as well. Seek Me now while I may be found. Then, at any moment, you know you are 'ready to go.'

I will be in the stairwell of your final moments.

- God

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Makes You Want to Go Out and Buy a Pair of Sneakers :-)

What was the outstanding news story for today? Was it the one about Sen. John McCain offering the job of press secretary to talk show host/blogger/author Hugh Hewitt? Was it anything the three leading presidential candidates said?

No, I saw this Reuters article, "Always Buying Sneakers? It's the Sign of a Leader: Poll" that got my attention.
Mindset Media, a media company that examines personality traits of different consumers, found that people who buy more than three pairs of sneakers a year are 61 percent more likely to have the qualities of a modern leader.

These qualities were defined as having ideas and vision, and a style with others that is both inclusive and decisive.

The survey of 7,500 people, using market research group Nielsen's online panel, found multi-sneaker buyers were 50 percent more likely to be very assertive and 47 percent more likely to be spontaneous.

Lauren Arvonio, a spokeswoman for Mindset Media, said sneaker buyers were more likely to fly by the seat of their pants.

"It is often said you can tell a lot about a person by the shoes they wear, and now we have some hard data to back that up," Arvonio told Reuters.

"What is interesting is that these personality traits held true across the board, regardless of age, income, or gender.".