Thursday, July 31, 2008

Man Blind from Birth Knows How to Paint!!



"The picture you are looking at was painted by a man who has never seen a tree. He's never seen a person carrying a pail. He's never seen a mountain or a flower. He's never seen anything, because he was born without eyes!"

Esref Armagen of Turkey, has captured the attention of the art world with his vivid paintings, which he creates using a device called the "Sewell raised line drawing kit." Lines rise off the paper as little puckers, which he can trace with his finger. He learned about concepts such as color, shadow, and shading from conversations with friends. He was featured in a Discovery Channel special called "The Real Superhumans."

Hat tip: Xoom the truth

Here We Go Again



Sadly, we have to drag out the Obama Race Card once again. "Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. Its divisive, negative, shameful and wrong," McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said.

This has been the hot topic of the day on talk shows such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Their interpretation is that Barack Obama is getting desperate. One can say many things about Sen. McCain, but at least he's not a racist, and has been doing everything in his power to restrain the attack dogs of the Republican Party.

EDITORIAL COMMENT: We sense that the American people are yearning for a leader who can reassure the public that things will work out in the end, and who literally is comfortable in his own skin. Freaking out when the news media have been handling him with kid gloves all along is not exactly the way to inspire public confidence.

John Hawkins weighs in on this hot topic at Right Wing News.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

AFP Colorado, a Grassroots Movement Ready for Takeoff

When I heard that AFP [Americans for Prosperity] Colorado was holding a town hall meeting in Colorado Springs this evening, I believed that it would be a prime networking opportunity - and I was right!

The following panelists addressed a near-capacity audience: Jim Pfaff, Americans for Prosperity; Paul Prentice, PhD, Limited Government Forum, UCCS Economist; Colorado Rep. Marsha Looper; and Colorado Rep. Bob Gardner. The second part of the program was given over to questions and comments from the audience.

There appears to be a groundswell of public support for the following positions:

1. Arbitrary legislative and bureaucratic restrictions are driving up energy costs, diminishing the world food supply, and cheating the public of hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of high-paying jobs in the energy industries.
2. Environmentalism has become a control issue, and is more about imposing socialism and making the people more dependent on government than about preserving our environment.
3. Science is almost incidental in the current controversy over climate change. Many thoughtful scientists do not agree with the dogma, and the high priest of global warming, Al Gore, is not even a trained scientist!
4. Our elected representatives are doing a poor job of serving the public interest. They're either sabotaging development of existing energy sources, or not fighting hard enough for the interests of the entire United States.
5. England, France, Japan, and other countries are well ahead of the USA in using nuclear power to generate electricity. But then, none of these countries produced hyper-traitors like Jane Fonda, who made a stupid movie called "The China Syndrome."

The town hall meeting went well, encouraging its organizers to start planning even larger events in the future. And I was impressed enough to add AFP Colorado to my blogroll, effective immediately.

Ho-Hum

Usually, in presidential campaigns, I don't pay much attention to polls (except for the big one in Nov.), but today's Evans-Novak Political Report (written by Tim Carney while Robert Novak is in the hospital) is worth a little comment or two.

"The usefulness in national polls is in getting rough ideas of a candidate's popularity, and more importantly as a judge of momentum. It is on this latter score that Obama needs to worry. On June 4, Rasmussen Reports released its first daily tracking poll of the general election (3,000 likely voters over three nights, with a margin of error of +/-2%), and it showed Obama 47%, McCain 45%. Fifty-seven days later, the Wednesday, July 30 poll showed Obama at 48% to McCain's 46%-virtually no movement. In the interim, neither candidate has shown movement outside the margin of error.

"The first observation to draw is that voters aren't paying close attention, and so minimal movement is to be expected. This is important: It's still too early to foresee the outcome of the race.

"But the deeper significance of these national poll numbers is the way in which Obama lags his party and has failed to break 50% nationally, even while all the breaks go his way."

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Much has been made of the "bounce" that Obama's recently-concluded world tour gave to his campaign, but more sober observers have noted that the rise, if any, does not live up to the hype, and his campaign ought to be concerned about the fact that his poll numbers are not as high as Gore in July 2000 or Kerry in July 2004. That leaves him with a much smaller margin for error, and one slip-up may be just enough to do in his bid for the presidency. In this way Sen. McCain could, like Inspector Clouseau, back into a solution while appearing to be headed in the wrong direction.

Gasp! McCain Almost as Clueless as Obama on Taxation

The Wall Street Journal has an article, "McCain's Tax Blunder," in which George Stephanopoulos, raises a question about Social Security, "You're a longtime supporter of the private accounts, as President Bush called for them." Wishing to further distance himself from President Bush, when he could have drawn an equally useful contrast with Barack Obama, Mr. McCain didn't even own up to his support for private retirement accounts, simply saying, "I am a supporter of sitting down together and putting everything on the table and coming up with an answer."

The wandering candidate also put his chief economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, in an uncomfortable spot. Back in June, the McCain campaign went after Mr. Obama's proposal for a Social Security payroll tax increase on income above $250,000. A President McCain, his adviser then said, wouldn't consider a payroll tax increase "under any imaginable circumstances." So much for that.

It is the unchanging position of this blog that now is not the time to even think about raising taxes in general and Social Security taxes in particular. In a period of economic uncertainty, it is wisdom for the government to inspire public confidence by exercising fiscal discipline and to hold the line (or better yet, reduce) existing taxes. Liberals cling to the fallacy that the public has an infinite capacity to be exploited for tax revenues, even more tightly than we conservatives cling to our guns and our religion! Unless the public is continuously reassured that their hard-earned money is being used wisely, the size of the underground economy will increase and tax evasion will become an art form.

UPDATE: One of my correspondents, whose opinion I respect, has rushed to the defense of Sen. McCain. I inserted his e-mail and my response in "Comments."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tributes Pour In for Rush Limbaugh


Rush Limbaugh is the gold standard of talk radio, and Human Events has seen fit to celebrate his 20th anniversary by running a series of tributes this week.

UPDATE: Today, on his radio show, Rush counseled a disgruntled Democrat, Mrs. Lakoff (rhymes with), who "felt raped" because her candidate, Hillary Clinton, didn't win. He brought up the case of the 12-year-old girl in Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita" who was raped by Humbert Humbert, yet returned to his bed. 'You see,' Humbert tells the reader, 'she had absolutely nowhere else to go.'

Ever felt the same way about the party of your choice, whether Republican or Democrat? There are millions of Republicans who still have faith in the Constitution and limited government, and numerous Democrats who believe in God, country, and family values, who are beginning to realize that the leaders of their respective parties are selling them down the river because they have been corrupted by the mad pursuit of the ring of power (to use an analogy from "Lord of the Rings"). That's why I gave Col. Riley of Patriots Revolt a platform to disseminate his ideas on this blog.

Because I Can



This is not an endorsement of any presidential candidate, but an opportunity to take a swipe at the New York Times for infringing on Sen. McCain's First Amendment rights. Whether you like him or not is irrelevant and immaterial; he is as much a public figure as Barack Obama (whose views on Iraq were published by that newspaper), and the people have a need to know where he stands on the issues.


Sen. McCain's NY Times Op-Ed
By GOPUSA Staff
GOPUSA News
July 22, 2008

HOUSTON (GOPUSA News) -- Below is the op-ed by Sen. John McCain that the New York Times refused to print. An op-ed by Sen. Barack Obama regarding his plans for Iraq was accepted by the New York Times.

-------

Op-ed by Sen. John McCain

In January 2007, when General David Petraeus took command in Iraq, he called the situation "hard" but not "hopeless." Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80% to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation now is full of hope, but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

Progress has been due primarily to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Senator Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent. "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there," he said on January 10, 2007. "In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

Now Senator Obama has been forced to acknowledge that "our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence." But he still denies that any political progress has resulted.

Perhaps he is unaware that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, "Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress." Even more heartening has been progress that's not measured by the benchmarks. More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought against the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists. Nor do they measure Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki's new-found willingness to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City-actions that have done much to dispel suspicions of sectarianism.

The success of the surge has not changed Senator Obama's determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. In a New York Times op-ed and a speech this week, he offered his "plan for Iraq" in advance of his first "fact finding" trip to that country in more than three years. It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all of our troops out within 16 months. In 2007 he wanted to withdraw because he thought the war was lost. If we had taken his advice, it would have been. Now he wants to withdraw because he thinks Iraqis no longer need our assistance.

To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Prime Minister Maliki has endorsed the Obama timetable, when all he has said is that he would like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops at some unspecified point in the future.

Senator Obama is also misleading on the Iraqi military's readiness. The Iraqi Army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year, but this does not, as Senator Obama suggests, mean that they will then be ready to secure their country without a good deal of help. The Iraqi Air Force, for one, still lags behind, and no modern army can operate without air cover. The Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning, logistics, command and control, communications, and other complicated functions needed to support frontline troops.

No one favors a permanent U.S. presence, as Senator Obama charges. A partial withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five "surge" brigades, and more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as Afghanistan, without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

But I have also said that any draw-downs must be based on a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timetable crafted for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Senator Obama.

Senator Obama has said that he would consult our commanders on the ground and Iraqi leaders, but he did no such thing before releasing his "plan for Iraq." Perhaps that's because he doesn't want to hear what they have to say. During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I have heard many times from our troops what Major General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of coalition forces in Baghdad, recently said: that leaving based on a timetable would be "very dangerous."

The danger is that extremists supported by Al Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback, as they have in the past when we've had too few troops in Iraq. Senator Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. I find it ironic that he is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the "Mission Accomplished" banner prematurely.

I am also dismayed that he never talks about winning the war-only of ending it. But if we don't win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president. Instead I will continue implementing a proven counterinsurgency strategy not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan with the goal of creating stable, secure, self-sustaining democratic allies.

UPDATE: Here's a fascinating glimpse into a parallel universe, courtesy of Neal Boortz.

MCCAIN GETTING BETTER MEDIA COVERAGE?

Barack Obama made an appearance at the UNITY conference for minority journalists. Apparently black journalists are equally as frustrated with the media coverage of the campaign, but in a different way. Les Payne, a founding member of the National Association of Black Journalists and an editor at Newsday, sat on one of the panels at this conference. When asked whether it was appropriate for journalists to clap for Barack Obama, here's what Mr. Payne had to say: "The total duality of it gets to me ... There's no question that mainstream journalists completely adore McCain and cover him favorably ... Now it is: You cannot do what we do routinely . . . and have been doing for a century ... You have been writing favorable stories about [President] Bush for eight years. This is a serious problem and one of the reasons why this organization was founded." So there you go. According to a black journalist, it is McCain who is getting all of the adoration from the media, not Barack Obama.

OK ... I'll have some of what he's drinking.

Monday, July 28, 2008

What Is He Thinking?

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert granted full amnesty to several terrorist leaders, confirming his dubious status as the lamest Prime Minister in the modern history of Israel. Among the criminals he released was Nasser Abu Aziz, second-in-command of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. This man has the blood of at least 10 Jews on his hands, including an American who happened to be visiting at that time, Daniel Wultz of Florida.

WorldNetDaily has more stomach-churning details.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Militant Muslim Threat Facing China


For China, Islamic terrorism has been a back-burner issue - until recently. Lately a series of bombings blamed on Muslim Uighurs from Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in NW China prior to the Beijing Olympics has forced the Chinese government to pay attention. A confrontation could start as early as the 8th of August, especially in light of this Reuters news story quoted in Jihad Watch:

A group calling itself the Turkistan Islamic Party released a video threatening the Beijing Olympic Games and claiming responsibility for recent deadly explosions on two Chinese buses, a terrorism monitoring firm said.

IntelCenter, a US-based terrorism monitoring firm, said the group had released a video entitled "Our Blessed Jihad in Yunnan," featuring a statement by the group's leader, Commander Seyfullah, threatening next month's Olympics.

"Despite the Turkistan Islamic Party's repeated warnings to China and international community about stopping the 29th Olympics in Beijing, the Chinese have haughtily ignored our warnings," IntelCenter quoted Seyfullah as saying.

"The Turkistan Islamic Party volunteers who had gone through special preparations have started urgent actions."

Word to the wise: One national policy dating from the days of the imperial dynasties that the Communist government will enforce is that they will fight to defend any land regarded as Chinese territory, and move against any threat to their national security. It may not happen today or tomorrow, but once they get going, heads will roll.
More information on threats from the Turkestan Islamic Party from the Washington Post/MSNBC.

German Reporter Melts Like a Puddle in the Presence of the Divine Obama!

I still have trouble believing this story from Bild am Sonntag magazine, even after I read it:

I worked out with Obama!
He curled 32 kilo dumbbells next to me +++ Barack is top fit +++ He didn’t sweat at all
By Judith Bonesky

As thousands waited at the Sieges Saule monument in Berlin to hear Obama’s sensational speech, a BILD reporter met Barack all alone – in the gym! Here's the incredible account of Judith Bonesky’s meeting…

It's 16:02pm and I’ve been training in the gym of the Ritz Carlton hotel in Berlin. A man in a suit approaches me and says: "Barack Obama is about to come and train ...“ Shortly after half past four and he actually arrives! Barack Obama is wearing a grey t-shirt, black tracksuit bottoms – and a great smile!

"Hi, how’s it going?“ asks Obama in his deep voice. My heart beats. "Very good, and you?" I say. Obama replies: "Very good, thank you!"

Obama (with toned arms and a strong back) puts on his headphones for his iPod to listen to pop music. He hums quietly. Then he jumps on a fitness bike. He pushes three times on the pedals – but then can’t be bothered with it.

He goes and picks up a pair of 16 kilo weights and starts curling them with his left and right arms, 30 repetitions on each side. Then, amazingly, he picks up the 32 kilo weights! Very slowly he lifts them, first 10 curls with his right, then 10 with his left. He breathes deeply in and out and takes a sip of water from his 0,5 litre Evian bottle.

Shortly before five o’clock Obama comes over and sits directly next to my cross-trainer on the mat. First he does 10 sit-ups, then stretches. Then he looks at his watch and says to his bodyguard: “It’s time, let’s go.” Quickly I ask: “Mr. Obama, could I take a photo?”. “Of course!” he answers, before asking my name and coming over to stand next to me.

“My name’s Judith” I reply. "I’m Barack Obama, nice to meet you!” he says, and puts his arm across my shoulder. I put my arm around his hip – wow, he didn’t even sweat! WHAT A MAN!

Excerpts from "Patriots Sound the Alarm to Washington to listen to the People "


From an article by Felicia Benamon:

Disgruntled Republicans and conservatives...are you disgusted with John McCain as the Republican nominee? Democrats, are you annoyed and tired of Barack Obama?

Colonel Harry Riley, US Army Ret. had a hand in putting together the Patriots Revolt website. He says that from the response he’s gotten, people want to see their politicians "stand up for just the masses. Not for special interests.”

“This has struck a chord...so many people are throwing up their hands… they don’t like any of the presidential candidates,” he continued.

Patriots Revolt addresses concerns of all Americans who wish to hold to traditional roots. Sadly, the Republican Party, which held true to those conservative values and traditions, has sold out to elitism and globalism.

“The Republican Party has abandoned Republican principles… forgotten about their roots," Col. Riley adds. Riley goes further to explain that regardless of party, Americans can find a home at Patriots Revolt.

Col. Riley stressed, “This is not about party name, it’s about founding principles and the moral rudder of America...we are taking a stand.”

Emphasizing the need to see the will of the people hold government accountable for their actions, Riley said, “It takes a measure of backbone, courage, guts… however one describes bucking the system, and charting an ‘uprising’ in America to stop the ‘criminal rape of For the Democrat, Republican, or Independent, etc. who is dissatisfied with the choices for president (better yet, if you are dissatisfied with the way the choices were picked) Patriots Revolt needs to hear from you.

It’s time to rock the boat.

Visit patriotsrevolt.com if you’ve had enough.
our citizens.’”

UPDATE: Gordon Bishop, a regular columnist for Ether Zone, has announced the formation of the American Liberty Party.

Third Party Watch lists names and Web sites of third and independent parties.

Bush Is Guilty of Four Counts of Heresy - No, Five Counts of Heresy! Says Mike Gravel

Posted at Free Republic on Saturday, July 26, 2008 10:40:42 PM by Red Steel

Former Democratic candidate Mike Gravel says President George W. Bush should be taken to The Hague for war crimes rather than being impeached.

In a Monday video conference with Press TV, the former Alaska senator said President Bush does not 'deserve' to be impeached for invading Afghanistan and Iraq, which has resulted in the loss of 'millions of lives'.

"An Impeachment just means you would only take away his (Bush's) presidency. Well, he is almost done (with) his presidency. What really needs to happen is that these people have to be held accountable for the crimes they have committed," the 78-year-old Democrat said referring to the US president and Vice President Dick Cheney.

"If you impeach president and vice president, Nancy Pelosi is going to become president; that is not going happen," Gravel added.

Gravel is an outspoken advocate of impeaching Bush and Cheney over the disinformation campaign they have led in support of their go-to-war policies.

"There is a lot of very good news that makes me tremendously hopeful that we as a nation are starting to wake up and insist our congressional representatives act to make impeachment happen now," he had said in a statement in January after congressman Dennis Kucinich announced plans to introduce articles of impeachment against President Bush.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Payback to Some of Our Loyal Supporters


On the left sidebar, between the Blogroll and Site Meter, you will find something new: a link to the Patriots Revolt Web site. It was started by Harry Riley, COL, USA, Ret., who recognizes the fact that millions of Americans have lost all patience with the corrupt careerists who dominate all levels of government and both major political parties. I know, on this blog, it is redundant to call anything "shameless," but it's about time we stood up for the principles, the people, and the Constitution that all contributed to our greatness. I wrote the following reply to the individual who brought "Patriots Revolt" to my attention:

In my opinion, conservatives will eventually have to form another party, and let the country-club Republicans and RINOs revel in their own irrelevancy. Even in the low-tech days of the 1850s, the Republicans displaced the Whig Party with amazing speed, sending it to join the bleached bones of other political parties in just a few years. Because true independents like Gov. Ventura and Sen. Lieberman get treated like political orphans, it is best that they have some kind of organization to back them up. Win or lose, I don't think that Sen. McCain can stop this trend from happening, as most of the elements for a mass revolt are in place, like logs in a bonfire waiting to be lit.

UPDATE: Col. Riley also maintains a blog at: http://www.independent-patriots-for-america.com/

Speaking Truth to Power on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

A Wall Street Journal editorial describes how a small minority of Senators exercised some sanity in dealing with the Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac problem. "Senator Jim DeMint has slowed the bill by requesting a commitment from his colleagues that sometime in the future, they would hold a vote on barring Fannie and Freddie from lobbying." And Sen. McCain made the following statement: "Receivership may indeed by the only option if a regulator can't get the far-flung activities of these two under control."

I summarized the situation to a friend by writing, "In a low-budget horror flick, the villain will be laughing diabolically and saying, 'I have created a monster!!' In this case, there are two of them, and they are textbook examples of how not to run a business. As subsidiaries of the federal government, it takes an act of Congress to effect any significant changes of policy to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and they lack the flexibility to lay off people, trim expenses, close out unprofitable operations, and control risks that private enterprise would have. In this case, spending millions of dollars on lobbyists is not an exercise of the right to petition, but a conflict of interest. I agree that receivership is the only recourse left to cut their losses and salvage what is left."

Friday, July 25, 2008

John McCain Comes Out Swinging!

The Power Line blog ran McCain's most stinging criticism of Barack Obama's position on the war in Iraq today. Speaking in Denver, Colorado (a state that could be pivotal in the upcoming election), he said:

"Senator Obama and I also faced a decision, which amounted to a real-time test for a future commander-in-chief. America passed that test. I believe my judgment passed that test. And I believe Senator Obama's failed....

"Senator Obama told the American people what he thought you wanted to hear. I told you the truth.

"Fortunately, Senator Obama failed, not our military. We rejected the audacity of hopelessness, and we were right. Violence in Iraq fell to such low levels for such a long time that Senator Obama, detecting the success he never believed possible, falsely claimed that he had always predicted it. ... In Iraq, we are no longer on the doorstep of defeat, but on the road to victory.

"Senator Obama said this week that even knowing what he knows today that he still would have opposed the surge. In retrospect, given the opportunity to choose between failure and success, he chooses failure. I cannot conceive of a Commander in Chief making that choice."

Read the whole speech.

EDITORIAL NOTE: The reason we are being so complimentary to McCain is because throughout most of his campaign he has NOT been articulate in defending his positions and putting down Obama when he has the chance (which comes often enough). No one's going to hand him the presidency - he will have to earn it.

Two Contrasting (But Not Conflicting) News Stories



We are saddened to announce that virtual-reality pioneer Dr. Randy Pausch, 47, passed away earlier today at his home in Virginia of incurable pancreatic cancer, which was diagnosed in September 2006. Living longer than many of his doctors expected, he inspired millions with his "Last Lecture," which in expanded form became a best-selling book. He is survived by his wife, Jai, and three children, Dylan, Logan and Chloe.

Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, the Blogosphere is abuzz with the report that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama canceled a visit to wounded Soldiers at Landstuhl Medical Center, Germany, because he wouldn't be able to use the inevitable video footage as campaign material.

Peter Kirsanow has a few choice words on National Review Online.
Check out additional coverage and reader comments on Free Republic.
Blogs for Victory is on top of this story too.
On the other hand: Politico.com reports that the Dept. of Defense advised the Obama entourage against visiting our troops at the military hospital in Landstuhl.

Disenfranchising the Military - An OLD American Tradition

Robert D. Novak is one of the latest to bring up this unpleasant topic, which should have seen the light of day years ago.

Rep. Roy Blunt, the House Republican whip, on July 8 introduced a resolution demanding that the Defense Department better enable U.S. military personnel overseas to vote in the November elections. That act was followed by silence. Democrats normally leap on an opportunity to find fault with the Bush Pentagon. But not a single Democrat joined Blunt as a co-sponsor, and an all-Republican proposal cannot pass in the Democratic-controlled House....well, you ought to read the rest of the article at: http://www.creators.com/opinion/robert-novak/the-soldier-voting-scandal.html.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chuck Norris Speaks Out on the "N-Word"



Chuck Norris, in the Human Events article, "What the Bleep?!" has some choice words to say about blacks who indiscriminately use the "N-Word." Here are two paragraphs, but I recommend you read the whole thing.

Jesse Jackson (on an off-air mic before "Fox & Friends") and Whoopi Goldberg (and another host on "The View") have raised the cultural language debate to a new level: Who has the right to say the N-word? Their answer: Blacks can, but whites can't. Unfortunately, this derogatory debate has degraded into Don Imus on steroids....

This is more than a race issue and far more than a debate over freedom of speech. When will we learn that just because we can say something doesn't mean that we should? Once again, we're confusing liberty for licentiousness. It is a classic example of what happens when a society leaves its moral absolutes: Everything becomes culturally relative, with each deciding what's right in his own eyes. Language is one more infected arena in America's societal degradation.

UPDATE: What uncanny timing! Arkansas is obliged to perform a product recall on hundreds of offending license plates (see illustration below):

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

McCain's Vulnerabilities on Foreign Policy


Slate.com isn't exactly a bastion of conservative thought, but Fred Kaplan, in "How Much Does John McCain Really Know About Foreign Policy? Not as much as he'd like you to think," raises some valid points the presumptive Republican nominee needs to consider, if he is to remain a serious contender for the presidency. One example:

"It may be time to reassess this narrative's premise—or to abandon it altogether and simply examine the evidence before us. Quite apart from the gaffes, in formal prepared speeches, McCain has proposed certain actions and policies that raise serious questions about his suitability for the highest office. As president, he has said, he would boot Russia out of the G-8 on the grounds that its leaders don't share the West's values. He would form an international 'League of Democracy' as a united front against the forces of autocracy and terror. And though it's not exactly a stated policy, he continues to employ as his foreign-policy adviser an outspoken, second-tier neoconservative named Randy Scheunemann, who coined the term "rogue-state rollback" and still prescribes it as sound policy."

EDITORIAL COMMENT: Although I disagree with Kaplan's interpretation of other events, I have to admit that the paragraph above cannot be easily dismissed. My military experience has taught me that the right combination of civilian and military brainpower can make even the most bone-headed general or politician sound brilliant. Whether McCain - or Obama - see the light and assemble a foreign policy team to help him make wise decisions, or whether they delude themselves into thinking they can do it all, remains to be seen.

Elvis Sighting in the Roman Empire!!!



A Daily Mail article out of England describes how a sculpture bearing a remarkable resemblance to Elvis Presley is up for auction. It dates from the Roman era (2nd century A.D.).

"The Roman Elvis is in fact a genuine marble acroterion - a kind of architectural ornament often found for decoration on the corners of a sarcophagus, a stone tomb or burial chamber...."

A spokesman for Bonhams said: "It is perhaps the strangest item in the sale, certainly to modern eyes.

"Fans of the King of Rock 'n Roll, seeing this face from the distant past will be forgiven for thinking that their idol may well have lived a previous life in Rome!

"Looking at this face with its Elvis-like quiff, strong jaw and nose, one is inevitably led to the thought that the human face for all is diversity and subtlety has after all an ability to repeat itself."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

You Know You're a Loser When...

Yes, it's OK to indulge yourself in a self-righteous smirk when you read this Newsday.com story about 3 men who ran out of gas while attempting to steal a piece of furniture from a Goodwill store. :-)

The Cookeville, TN Herald-Citizen offered these additional details:

It happened in the early morning hours of Sunday after the three allegedly loaded up a recliner chair on the back of a truck and were about to leave the parking lot on S. Jefferson Ave.

Someone saw them and called police.

Cookeville Police Officer Josh Ward responded and said he found the truck stalled there in the parking lot.

"It was occupied by Randall Earl Fulton, Michael Earl Wiggins, and Craig Dean Curry," Officer Ward's report says. "I spoke with Mr. Fulton, who stated that he picked up the recliner from someone on 9th St., but did not know the name or address."

Officer Chase Mathis arrived, and he spoke to Curry, who allegedly "stated that all three of the occupants in the vehicle had taken the recliner from the drop-off point at Goodwill and had placed it into their vehicle, attempting to take the recliner without paying for it," the report says.

For the mother lode of stupid criminal stories, check out DumbCrooks.com.

McCain's Gaffes Interpreted as Senior Moments

The liberal news site, Politico.com, describes how 71-year-old Sen. John McCain's many critics have been piling upon him every time he has a memory lapse or slip of the tongue.

"Just in the past three weeks, McCain has also mistaken 'Somalia' for 'Sudan,' and even football’s Green Bay Packers for the Pittsburgh Steelers." They have been more lenient when Barack Obama misspeaks. Such is life in the combat zone of presidential politics, where examples of chivalry are rare and no prisoners are taken.

UPDATE: It must be a slow news day at The Guardian when they run an article about John McCain accusing the media of being biased toward Obama, who is currently on a superstar tour of Europe, the Middle East, and Afghanistan.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Artist Still Going Strong at Age 112


Frank Calloway of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who spent half his life in mental institutions, creates vibrant drawings using the simplest of means: crayons, ball-point and felt-tipped pens on long rolls of butcher paper. There are few records of his life before he was admitted to the hospital for schizophrenia in 1952. It wasn't until the 1980s that he took an art class and discovered that he had artistic talent. His favorite subjects are scenes from his childhood and youth. For more information about this artist, click here. The Birmingham News has some pictures of Calloway and his output here.

All Actions Have Consequences



As we can see, the New Yorker cartoon lampooning the Obamas is no exception.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Satire, or Slice-of-Life?



The Onion ran an article describing Time magazine's latest cover article on Barack Obama. Here are some excerpts:

NEW YORK—Hailed by media critics as the fluffiest, most toothless, and softest-hitting coverage of the presidential candidate to date, a story in this week's Time magazine is being called the definitive Barack Obama puff piece.

"No news publication has dared to barely scratch the surface like this before," columnist and campaign reporter Michael King wrote in The Washington Post Tuesday. "This profile sets a benchmark for mindless filler by which all other features about Sen. Obama will now be judged. Just impressive puff-journalism all around."

The 24-page profile, entitled "Boogyin' With Barack," hit newsstands Monday and contains photos of the candidate as a baby, graduating from Columbia University, standing and laughing, holding hands with his wife and best friend, Michelle, greeting a crowd of blue-collar autoworkers, eating breakfast with diner patrons, and staring pensively out of an airplane window while a pen and legal pad rest comfortably on his lowered tray table...

The following example is cited to show how much research went into writing this piece of froth:

"My editors told me that if I wanted to uncover the most frivolous, trivial information on Obama, I had to be prepared to follow the puff," Sherwood said. "That meant that not only did I have to stay and watch Sen. Obama play endless games of basketball with city firemen to show readers how athletic and youthful he is, but I also had to go to NBA shooting experts to learn what aspects of his jump shot are good and what parts are great."

You must read the whole thing! Little Green Footballs has acquired over 750 reader comments so far.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Get a Piece of Seattle History for at Least $89,000



We have maintained that toilet lore and politics are closely related, and nowhere is this more evident than in Seattle, WA, where the city has given up on their public toilet experiment (5 toilets at $1 million apiece) and is selling them on eBay. These automated toilets are similar to what I saw in the streets of Paris: they were designed to open after 10 minutes of usage. But they turned out to be more trouble than they were worth - they cost $360 a day just to maintain, became clogged with trash, and failed to prevent defecation and urination on the street. Respectable citizens avoided them when they became known as hangouts for prostitutes and drug users. One Right Wing News reader reported, "Brit Hume just showed a viewer email from some chick who said she used to smoke crack in one, but she won't go in there anymore because it's so disgusting."

Question of the day; So far, no one has shown an interest in buying these high-tech toilets, but even if they were all sold, will the city discontinue the surcharge to sewer bills that was supposed to pay for them? (***DEAD SILENCE***)

Source: Right Wing News

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Popular 18th-Century Cartoon Gets 21st-Century Makeover

Vice President, Oscar Winner, Nobel Laureate, and now...Boogeyman!



Is there ANYTHING that Al Gore can't do? Here's an excerpt from a Human Events article about the ripple effect he has had on an impressionable young mind in Australia:

Australian doctors have published in a medical journal the case of a 17-year old held for observation, suffering the first observed case of “climate change delusion phenomenon” (CCD). It seems that he suffered from fears that “due to climate change, his own water consumption could lead to days to the deaths of millions of people through exhaustion of water supplies.” This particular product of modern education techniques “was referred to the inpatient psychiatric unit at Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne with an eight-month history of depressed mood…He also…had visions of apocalyptic events.” Where ever would he get such an idea?

OK, this is where it gets uncomfortable, but…first observed case? Sure, and I just swerved from the first observed case of road rage. Good grief, you could have padded the walls at last year’s Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony. Bring the giant butterfly nets to any college campus, and call avant garde “artist” Christo to surround the European continent in bubble wrap, stat, because this mania long-ago reached epic proportions....

EDITORIAL NOTE: No, this is not the first time I heard this report, but I liked the way it was phrased. Someday, when scientists try to classify this strange mental disorder, they would be torn between placing it with schizophrenia (because the sufferer lives in an alternate reality) or with Bush Derangement Syndrome (notable for how often the patient shouts obscenities, notably the four-letter word "Bush").

Reid Has Fixed the Blame

In a piece on the country's sour mood, the Austin American-Statesman's Ken Herman quotes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) with his explanation for Congress' lowest-ever approval ratings, which a recent Gallup poll placed at 9%.

Reid's response: Congress' low approval ratings are Bush's fault.

The Statesman's Herman quotes Sen. Reid:

"Any time, I repeat, any time you have a president that is down so, so far in poll numbers, it drags down a city council member," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. "It drags down any elected official, including us, and we recognize that."

Quoted in "The New Editor."

EDITORIAL NOTE: When will Congress accept responsibility for anything? When I went on Google, it called up 39,300 references to the search terms "Reid" and "blame Bush."

Frank J. Strikes Again!

Check out his latest in the continuing parallel-universe series, "In My World." The following is an excerpt from a presidential press conference. Since the Rumsfeld Strangler wasn't present, not a single reporter lost his life.

"Are you going to drill in ANWR?" a reporter asked.

"Why wouldn't we? Who would stop us? Moose? Eskimos? We can handle them. I'm thinking we'll also drill in Canada. I hear they have oil there and they don't have any use for it because they're not technologically advanced enough."

"Will we be drilling in Iraq?"

Bush looked confused. "There's oil there?"

"What about research into alternative fuels," another reporter asked.

"I have a clock that runs on a potato," Bush said. "It's pretty neat."

"I mean how about paying others to do research into alternative fuel?"

"Oh. Well, we're doing that. The drill we're using in Yellowstone runs on ethanol. With research like that, we'll be able to continue to drill for oil even if we run out of oil."

"What about alternative fuels for cars?"

"It's has always been the position of my administration that that is gay." He checked his watch. "I'm getting tired of this. Is my presidency over yet?"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oh Wow! Obama Has the Solution to Nuclear Proliferation


Little Green Footballs reported that Sen. Barack Obama will get rid of nuclear weapons by making sure that the United States sets the example in complying with nonproliferation treaties.

Two goals of his administration would be to secure all loose nuclear material during his first term and to rid the world of nuclear weapons, Obama told an audience before a roundtable discussion at Purdue University.

Obama said adhering to nonproliferation treaties would put pressure on nations such as North Korea and Iran.

Hat tip to the Snugg Harbor blog for the Obama campaign button design.

Observations on Depression

Francis W. Porretto, in a rather lengthy post at Eternity Road, had this to say about the subject of depression:

I don't watch a lot of television -- sporting events, mostly, and almost always with a book in my hands -- but I've seen a certain commercial far too frequently not to take notice: a pseudo-public-service-pitch about depression. The thrust of these spots is to get people who are having a blue day or week to see a doctor and get some palliative drug. They make no mention of what depression, one of the most frequently abused words in the English language, really is: a reduction in emotional responsiveness.

Depression is not melancholy. It is not irritability or upset. It's a temporary insusceptibility to being prodded. Calluses over one's emotional nerve clusters, if you will. Calluses grow in response to irritation; increased irritation, for instance from someone misguidedly trying to poke a depressive out of his state, only makes them thicker.

Owing to our hyper-therapeutic culture, most people have the exact wrong ideas about depression. Here are a few facts:

Depression is not lethal. [Editorial note: I don't agree with this statement, having known too many people who killed themselves while in the depths of depression.]
It has no consequences that engender increased risks to the sufferer. [Actually, it can affect any organ or system of the body.]
It used to be called "moodiness."
It is always temporary, and usually brief. [That may be, but Americans are more impatient than ever about putting up with any kind of pain, and want a quick fix.]
The most effective treatment for it is letting the sufferer be.
The least effective treatment for it is nagging.
Most important of all, it is far more often than not a rational response to being pestered or overburdened -- quite literally a survival reaction to certain kinds and amounts of stress. [It could also be a symptom of something much larger, or even a side-effect of a medication prescribed by a psychiatrist!]

I wrote in to say:

Thank you for reminding me to get some more pills to lower my blood pressure. ;-)

I have been dogged by depression all my life, and am aware of its effect on the rest of my health. But I have come to regard it as God’s way of hitting me on my thick head with a 4x4 and telling me in no uncertain terms that I have limitations, need to slow down, and learn some humility.

This flies in the face of an entire library of self-help books, but I am optimistic most of the time despite their advice. There are times I would love to look someone in the eye and shout, “DON’T tell me what kind of day to have!!!” Human potential is wonderful, but not limitless. The universe, for all practical purposes, is infinite, and so is the liberal’s faith in Americans’ willingness to accept more and more taxes. There is no limit to human stupidity or the ambition of bureaucrats to grow and increase the budgets of their operations. But for the rest of us mortals, we have to do the best we can with what we have.

As Americans we have the right to pursue happiness, but the fact is, there is NO GUARANTEE that will will find it. At least we are ahead of those countries that don’t give their subjects even that basic right.

Posted by Bloodthirsty Warmonger (url) on 07/15/2008 at 01:42 PM

Getting the Dialogue on Race Started Up Again

La Shawn Barber's blog stirred up the pot when she wrote about why blacks aren't exactly flocking to the Republican Party, even when they share our traditional values. Some excerpts:

I’m only one black American among millions, and I’m no authority on black people, nor do I speak for black people.

But I can provide insight.

Back in 2004, Republicans were trying to appeal to black voters. Newt Gingrich and the rest wanted to secure at least 25 percent of the “black vote.” Dream on! I poured a bucket of water over their piddling flame. Won’t work, I said. I explained my reasoning in “Why Courting the Black Vote Won’t Work,” which was published in the Washington Times.

Unlike some black conservatives and Republicans I know, I don’t think the party should appeal to voters based on skin color. I criticize white Republicans when they do it, and I’m disappointed when right-leaning blacks encourage them to do it....

“Historically speaking, the Republican Party has a far better record on race than the Democrats.”

Bravo, Bruce [Bartlett]. But if you or any other white Republican think all these facts will suddenly change black people’s minds, you’re destined to be disappointed. Democrats know they’ve got an eternal lock on 90 percent of the “black vote.” All they have to do is continue to promise black Americans bigger and better government programs and handouts (so-called affirmative action, set-aside contracts, and other entitlements qualify as handouts to me), and encourage them to blame third parties for their troubles. (And I’m talking about blacks as a group here.) No grand theories. Along with reasons I mentioned in that 2004 article (federal government as savior, for example), it is that simple. Only my opinion…

Living up to American ideals like fierce independence, radical liberty, brazen individuality, and an unfettered pursuit of happiness is just too scary and challenging for some people. They’d rather sup from the enabling teat of a system that has contributed to their condition.

The reader comments (too many to list on this posting) represent a wide variety of points-of-view, and show that the root causes defy any simplistic explanations.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Refreshing Insights from a 34-Year-Old Congressman



Adam Putnam of Florida's 12th Congressional District, has started to show some leadership when it comes to dealing with a matter that affects all of us: energy prices. He compares what's been done to the stages of grief, and proposes that we launch an all-out, multi-pronged attack on the problem by encouraging production and creating incentives rather than disincentives. Read all about it at Investor's Business Daily.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Lion on the Loose East of Colorado Springs?



Authorities called off a search for a red-maned lion which 3 witnesses reported seeing about 15 miles east of Colorado Springs, somewhere between Peyton and Calhan. One of them took a grainy picture with a cell-phone camera, but so far search dogs have not been able to find a scent, and none of the four wildlife sanctuaries in the area report any missing lions. If there really were a lion, it would probably find a place to sleep during the day and come out at night to feed. A profile of a real lion is shown on right, so that you can make a side-by-side comparison.

UPDATE: Many people suspect that the animal may be a large dog rather than a lion. But if a local rancher reports that one of his cows or steers is missing, we can probably conclude that it is a lion after all.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Now We Know Why Walmart Changed Its Logo

With just one cartoon, Ken Catalino explained why Walmart removed the hyphen or star between the two syllables of its name and adopted a 6-ray orange starburst.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Farewell to Tony Snow (June 1, 1955-July 12, 2008)



Ever since a relapse of colon cancer claimed the life of former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow earlier today, accolades and tributes have been pouring in from all over the world (except for the usual suspects at cesspools such as the Daily Kos, the L.A. Times, and even the Associated Press).

"Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of our dear friend, Tony Snow," President Bush said in a statement. "The Snow family has lost a beloved husband and father. And America has lost a devoted public servant and a man of character."

Whether as a political commentator, presidential spokesman, or a patient valiantly battling cancer (and raising money for cancer research) to the very end, Snow commanded respect for his hard work, undying optimism, enthusiasm, and sense of humor.

Right Wing News ran one of many eulogies.

So did Rick Moran at Pajamas Media.

To give one an idea of the man we're going to miss, here's an excerpt from a commencement address he delivered at the Catholic University of America on 12 May 2007:

Last summer we were in Crawford, Texas, with the president. And you know the president has this love of riding a bicycle off-road. It’s a treacherous and crazy thing, plunging down the hills, over seeming cliffs, ravines, up rocks. He loves it. Well, I said, “I might like to try that sometime.” I was just, you know, trying to make nice. I was trying to kiss up to the boss.

So the first time out at the ranch, he said, “Snow, you ready to ride?”

I looked around and said, “Well, I don’t have any shorts, sir.”

And so he said, “Hey, Jerry, do you got shorts?”

“Yes sir.” Hands out a pair of shorts.

“Well, all I have are these running shoes,” I protested.

“They’ll do.”

He hands off a t-shirt so off we go. Now, again, it’s an adventure because the president, being aerobic in everything he does, plunges into this with absolute incredible vigor, and I thought I was doing all right at the beginning. I’m chuffing along at the back of the pack, respectfully (and also because I was the worst rider). But there was always that lingering fear. At one point he says, “Okay, you’re going to need your brakes here. It’s straight down, it’s boulders. Oh, and the other side, it’s a cliff. Watch out.”

We finally get to this place where the road parts. You go off-road and there’s a drop of about 15 or 20 feet, it rises up again and then goes around the curve. The president goes down and goes “Woo hoo!” Person behind him goes down and goes “Woo hoo!” I’m in the back and I go “Waaaah.” But there I am.

Okay, where am I? The limits of the abilities. Which side of the line am I on? Well, I go down. It’s great! I’m going full-speed. And then all of a sudden coming up a tree appears right in the middle of the path. Ooof. Everybody hears it.

“Snow, you okay back there?”

“Yes sir. Just hit a tree.”

“Okay, well come on then.”

I made the rest of the trip with a wobbly front tire which had been bent up in the encounter.

The point’s simple. When a chance presents itself, take a prudent and interesting risk. If it doesn’t work out, that is okay. Don’t worry about that, either. You see, God presents blessings in unexpected packages. Don’t overlook them. Remember: no guts, no glory.

McCain Learns Obama Survival Trick: Throwing People Under the Bus

Right Wing Nut House has this to say about Sen. Gramm: "Phil Gramm is still one of the smartest men ever to serve in the United States Senate. This despite his clueless statement that the US is in a 'mental recession' and that Americans are a bunch of “whiners” about the economy."

Choice reader comments:

7. Gramm is not my favorite person, but he is sure right about one thing, there are an awful lot of people whining for the government to bail them out of the mess they got themselves into. Stupid and insensitive remarks? More like the truth, brother. Which is exactly what most of the whiners don’t want to hear. - mikeyslaw

11. #7 is right. Where was the government when the oil industry in Texas fell into the crapper? When dozens of town in Texas, that depended on the oil industry to keep them surviving fell into not much more than ghost towns?

Michigan has been in decline for as long as I can remember. Remember Michael Moore’s “Roger and Me” movie? Full of propaganda, it was an attempt to show the decline of Michigan and how the goverment was doing nothing to help.

But what are the property tax rates in Michigan? How much is the state income tax and state sales tax? Do the brain surgeon’s in Michigan not understand that you cannot tax yourself out of poverty? Perhaps not since that seems to be the Democrats answer to everything.

The Texas economy was in the tank in the early 80’s becuase it relied on the oil/cattle industry for support. No one cared. Now CNBC lists Texas as the #1 state for business with very little economic downturn, low taxes (we don’t have state income taxes) and a state budget surplus. Perhaps if Michigan wants to do something about it’s economy, it should take a trip south.

And what does Michigan, Ohio and Pennslyvania all have in common? They are union controlled states with union bosses too stupid to make it in the business world on their own. So they drag down the industries that those states do have. - retire05

12. Hate to disagree but Gramm was dead on the money. He should have been a bit more specific about exactly WHO the whiners were – that would be the MSM and the Democrats.

There is ALWAYS someone on the short end of the stick economically. We’ve all seen hard times. The answer is to get out and solve your own problems. If the plant closes and you lose your job you hustle up a new one or move or get some more training. We do have a substantial safety net (unemployment, retraining funds, etc) for anyone with will and drive.

So times are not as flush as they have been the last couple of decades; they are by no means fatal for anyone with some energy. The conomy has to do some cycling or we’d be stuck with a bunch of dumb ideas that didn’t get weeded out.

Let’s get on with it. - Whitehall

Go to Where the Money Is

Newsmax.com ran an article about Bradley LaShawn Fowler, a gay man, suing two publishers of Bibles, Zondervan and Thomas Nelson, because he was offended by their use of the word "homosexual." [opinion light goes on] Maybe he's taking this route because the odds of winning a big jackpot through litigation are higher than playing the lottery. [/opinion] "Fowler, who is representing himself in both lawsuits, claims the publishers are misinterpreting the Bible by specifically using the word homosexuals, which made him an outcast from his family and contributed to physical discomfort and periods of demoralization, chaos and bewilderment."

The two publishers defended themselves by saying, “We rely on the scholarly judgment of the highly respected and credible translation committees behind each translation and never alter the text of the translations we are licensed to publish.”

UPDATE: Another sign of the end times, from Reuters.

"An Italian court has ruled the government must pay 100,000 euros (79,981 pounds) in damages to a man who was told to retake a driving test because he was homosexual.

"When 26 year-old Danilo Giuffrida told doctors he was gay at his medical examination for military service, they passed the information to the transport ministry, who told him he must repeat his driving test or have his licence withdrawn due to his 'sexual identity disturbance.'

"Giuffrida agreed to re-take his test, passed it for a second time, but the ministry renewed his licence for just one year rather than the usual 10 years because of his homosexuality....."

When a Foreign Object Is Stuffed Down Your Throat, the Gag Reflex Sets In

While many Americans are becoming resigned to the choice between McCain and Obama in this presidential election, some groups are pushing for an alternative. One of them, PATRIOTS REVOLT, is seeking to engineer a brokered Republican convention which will reject John McCain as unelectable and propose an alternative as the nominee.

I don't endorse either candidate, and while I disagree with Obama on most issues, I can't help but notice the excitement he brings to personal appearances. The same cannot be said about McCain's effect on Republicans. He's just what the doctor ordered for a bad case of insomnia, and often creates the impression that he really doesn't want the job. As a Senator he knows he can hide behind 99 of his colleagues; as President he will be subjected to incredible pressure from all sides and be held responsible for every decision (or lack thereof).

UPDATE: Joseph Farah, editor of WorldNetDaily, has started a "none of the above" movement for those who are dissatisfied with both major-party candidates.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Best Coverage. Ever. Of the Iranian Missile Launch.





Thanks to the magic of Photoshop, we have unforgettable images like this. One of the four missiles in the original photo failed to launch, but the second picture is what they visualized in their wildest dreams. Hat tip: Little Green Footballs.

A Warning from Tom Segel

EDITORIAL NOTE: This epistle is being posted, not as an attack on Barack Obama, but as a WORD OF CAUTION to be very suspicious of any media effort to stampede us into doing anything without thinking.

Thomas D. Segel
Tom@thomasdsegl.com
956-423-3126

For more material by Thomas D. Segel, visit his Web site at www.thomasdsegel.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Can America Afford Another Failed Marriage?
500 words

Harlingen, Texas, July 8, 2008: When I view what is happening to
America during this presidential election campaign, I can’t help but
feel our country is headed toward one of those failed marriages we all
know occur all too frequently.

Men and women, the world over, have become the wreckage of such
relationships. Most of you know what happens. One person tries to
woo another person. He or she says all the right things, makes all
the right moves, and has a song to sing that is filled with all the
right lyrics. This person presents a wonderful appearance and the
sweetest sounding of voices. The other party is deeply smitten.

Now for the individual who is so deeply charmed by this courtship, all
who voice opposition or concern become harsh and unbelievable. It is
only after the marriage vows and a short honeymoon have taken place
that reality starts to rear its ugly head.

Soon that innocent partner starts to look at things below the surface
in the character and conduct of this new mate. The right things are
no longer spoken. The right moves have become distorted. That sweet
song now resounds flatly and that long admired appearance and
wonderful voice have disappeared forever.

Barrak Obama’s courtship of America strikes me as one of those
relationships many of us used to warn our friends and loved ones to
turn away from before they were severely burned.

It also brings back to mind that most of those warnings went
unheeded. The wooed party embraced with affection the one initiating
the courtship. For all too many who entered into such dangerous
relationships the end result was extreme pain, financial ruin,
emotional scars, lost faith, and tattered lives that would take
decades to repair. It was only after everything had crashed and
burned that they turned back to you with the words, “I should have
listened to what you were telling me.”

By now all of America knows Obama is courting it. The things any
country or any person in a new relationship do not know about him now
become an important, if not the supreme issue. Is everything he says
the truth, or is he presenting those right words and right moves just
to woo the country? Is his song really sweet, or is it the same old
lies coated in a gloss to capture our hearts? Will accepting him and
what he says result in all of us being faced with a fraud and a
charlatan dressed in a Brooks Brothers suit?

Failed marriages are filled with the pain of cheating, falsehoods,
frauds and philandering. Some even experience the trauma of multiple
crimes. Many of these relationships have reeked such havoc on the
other partner that recovery was next to impossible. At this
precarious time in our country, can America really afford another
failed marriage?

Semper Fidelis
Tom Segel
tomsegel@sbcglobal.net

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A New Standard for Chutzpah

The standard example of chutzpah used to be the man who killed both of his parents with an axe, then threw himself at the mercy of the court because he was an orphan! Step aside, dude, since this real-life incident from the British paper the Telegraph is sure to turn your stomach. Here's the first half of the article:

Josef Fritzl, who locked his daughter in a cellar dungeon for 24 years, has asked permission to leave his prison cell after admitting he can no longer stand being cooped up.

Fritzl, 73, kept daughter Elisabeth locked in a windowless cellar in Amstetten, Austria, and fathered her seven children before being caught by police. Three of the children had never seen daylight before being released.

Now, after just two months of incarceration and despite his fear of being attacked by fellow prisoners, he has demanded his right to 30 minutes exercise every day.

Fritzl has now twice had half-hour walks, protected from other inmates by a close guard of prison officers....

Shocking News: Sometimes Foreigners Have Kind Words for Americans!

MESSAGE FROM THE POLISH TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN TO THE U.S. TROOPS -
Subject: 4th of July Greeting

Dear Friends

Two hundred and thirty two years ago, when your forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence, they changed the history of the world. Thanks to their sacrifices the world realized the true meaning of freedom. Independence and freedom are powerful words in your country as they are in Poland. When the United States gained independence, Poland was in the process of slowly loosing portions of its borders to its neighbors. We appreciate your efforts towards a unified and independent United States of America because we know how difficult it is to regain freedom and independence. Today we can be very happy with living in independent countries. Today we fight together for freedom for people in other countries, like here in Afghanistan.

4th of July and Independence Day are identified in our country with aspiring to freedom and that is why we are so happy that we can celebrate this day with American soldiers signifying our common goals for peace and freedom.

Today we wish you and your nation a peaceful and happy day.

Polish Soldiers Polish Military Contingent Afghanistan
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

Top Ten List of Fuel-Efficient Cars

Now that the price of gasoline has reached $4/gallon, many Americans are ready to switch to vehicles that provide good gas mileage. Here's what Car & Driver/MSN has to say:



First Place: 2008 Toyota Prius (left)
City: 48 mpg
Highway: 45 mpg
Combined: 46 mpg
Base Price: $22,160



Second Place: 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid
City: 40 mpg
Highway: 45 mpg
Combined: 42 mpg
Base Price: $23,270

Third Place: 2008 Smart Fortwo
City: 33 mpg
Highway: 41 mpg
Combined: 36 mpg
Base Price: $12,235

Fourth Place: 2008 Nissan Altima Hybrid (available only in California and 7 eastern states)
City: 35 mpg
Highway: 33 mpg
Combined: 34 mpg
Base Price: $26,140

Fifth Place: 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid
City: 33 mpg
Highway: 34 mpg
Combined: 34 mpg (Ratings from 2008 model year)
Base Price: $25,860


Sixth Place: 2009 Volkswagen Jetta
TDICity: 30 mpg
Highway: 41 mpg
Combined: 34 mpg
Base Price: $22,640

Seventh Place: 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid
City: 34 mpg (est)
Highway: 30 mpg (est)
Combined: 32 mpg (est)
Base Price: $29,000

Eighth Place: 2008 Toyota Yaris
City: 29 mpg
Highway: 36 mpg
Combined: 32 mpg
Base Price: $12,210

Ninth Place: 2008 MINI Cooper/Clubman
City: 28 mpg
Highway: 37 mpg
Combined: 32 mpg
Base Price: $18,700

Tenth Place: 2008 Honda Fit
City: 28 mpg
Highway: 34 mpg
Combined: 31 mpg
Base Price: $14,620

UPDATE: If you are interested in purchasing a new hybrid automobile, your name may end up on a waiting list. Manufacturers report that they have trouble keeping up with the demand for these vehicles.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Motivational Posters for Democrats

First we had despair.com turning the motivational posters you see in many offices on their heads. And now this, courtesy of the pictorial blog, Doug Ross @ Journal. Behold the following free samples:



New DNA Tests Clear Parents, Brother of JonBenet Ramsey

This is an ongoing unsolved murder mystery that we in Colorado have been following for over 11 years:

According to KNBC.com, "Citing new DNA tests, prosecutors on Wednesday cleared JonBenet Ramsey's parents and brother in the 1996 killing of the 6-year-old beauty queen and apologized to the family for casting the cloud of suspicion that hung over them for more than a decade.

"Colorado TV station KUSA reported the announcement Wednesday afternoon. The Denver station also reported that the newly discovered evidence does not match anyone in the law enforcement database to the slaying.

"'My first thought was obviously I wish Patsy Ramsey was here with us [she died of ovarian cancer in 2006] to be able to at least share vindication of her family,' said L. Lin Wood, an attorney for the Ramsey family.

"'There are many people in this country, if not around the world, that also owe John and Patsy Ramsey and Burke Ramsey (their son) an apology,' he said.

Helpful Tips from David Letterman

“Top Ten Dumb Guy Ways to Save Gas”:
10. Put it on the endangered species list (Kokomo, IN)
9. Push your car to work (Houston, TX)
8. Drive only at night (Bethany, OK)
7. Drive in reverse until tank is refilled (Blaine, WA; this guy probably experiments with playing country music records and tapes backwards)
6. Stop showing up for work every day (Rock Falls, IL)
5. Only drive downhill (Mounds View, MN)
4. Take the wife’s car (Hoffman, Estates, IL)
3. Fill the car with helium gas to make it lighter on the road (Camp Hill, PA)
2. Try to be in Oprah’s audience every day—she’s gotta be giving gas away soon (Ridgefield, CT)

And the NUMBER ONE way to save gas...

1. Take your wife and mistress out to dinner at the same time (Nashville, TN).

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Food 4 Thought from "Black & Right"

Bob Parks' blog posting starts with these words:

I felt the following quote requires some further commentary…

"I'm confused as to why any African American would be a Republican in this day and age."
— Robin Wright-Jones, (D) Missouri State Representative

With all due respect to Representative Wright-Jones, I can't understand why more blacks haven't jumped the Democrat ship....

Check it out. One of the enduring mysteries of American politics is why blacks (and Jews) automatically vote Democrat year after year, even when THEY ARE CUTTING THEIR OWN THROATS in doing so.

Bush Didn't Lie After All!!!

Yesterday's Investor's Business Daily has op-ed pieces about Big Media suppressing the following good news from Iraq:

1. The removal of 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium from Tuwaitha.
2. How Americans and Iraqis working together have reduced the numbers of Al-Qaeda in Iraq by 90% We are winning the war, but can still lose the peace.

3. American Thinker ran the following article about the case of the incompetent ambassador: how Joe Wilson somehow missed the sale of enough uranium to make 142 nukes and went on to publish a self-serving book attacking Bush.

Monday, July 7, 2008

What to Expect out of a Drunk

When I was young and impressionable, I used to believe in the old saying, "in vino veritas" (in wine, truth) - in other words, that alcohol was the poor man's truth serum. Not so. You can't expect someone who's totally smashed to give an honest answer to questions such as,

1. Are you sure you can drive home safely?
2. I'll give you some money for a taxi ride home. Can you promise not to buy any more drinks?
3. Are you rich? popular? successful?
4. Can you sing? (at a karaoke or open-mic show) - this I can personally attest to, as I used to run a karaoke show twice a week while stationed in Korea. The more they drank, the better they thought they could perform!!!
5. Did you start the fight?
6. Are you married?
7. Are you trying to hide any drugs from me?
8. Can you show me your driver's license?
9. Do you think you can pass this field sobriety test?
10. How many drinks did you have before you left the bar?
11. Will you stay away from the biker gang in the corner and not pick a fight with them?
12. We just got the DNA test results back from the lab. Now tell me, did you father that child?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Lou Barletta: Taking Action Against Illegal Immigrants



One of my many correspondents concerned about the illegal immigrant problem sent me this encouraging article, which demonstrates that we don't have to take it in the chin anymore, and that we can do something to protect our country, our women and children, our property, and our jobs from illegal aliens. I wrote the following comment:

Totally cool! I don't run too many articles about illegal immigration on this blog, but plan on using this one. My position is that we need to get serious about enforcing existing legislation and standards. Our current situation is all messed up: we are altogether too lax in securing our borders, punish policemen, sheriff's deputies and Border Patrol officers who are just trying to do their jobs, and push for mass amnesty when illegal aliens take advantage of this opening and overwhelm our country by the millions.

After turning around Hazleton, PA, Mayor Barletta has set his sights on a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Read the Team America Web site for an account of his outstanding achievements to date. The same organization also endorses:

Paul Broun (GA)

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Jason Chaffetz (UT)

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Duncan D. Hunter (CA)

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Doug Lamborn (CO)
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Tom McClintock (CA)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Lowlifes Steal Tools Being Used to Build Home for Paralyzed Vet

The Rocky Mountain News ran the following article today that started with these words:

PARKER — The Home Depot in Parker has offered to replace tools stolen from the home being built for a quadriplegic veteran on the Fourth of July.

Matt and Tracy Keil had the tools stolen after thieves broke into storage units on their home site in Parker and made off with homebuilding supplies and volunteer homebuilders' tools.

The site was clearly marked as the newly built home for a veteran sponsored by the national organiation "Homes for our Troops...."

We cannot thank Home Depot enough for their generous contribution, which will enable the Keil family to complete their new home.

One reader comments:

When you steal from someone, you steal more than just material goods. You steal their trust in other people. I just don't see how anyone could choose such a "vocation." Shame, shame on the thieves who violated this family who has already endured way more than their share of hardships.

That being said, the media coverage of this story will likely bring some "Good Samaritans" out who will restore the family's faith in humanity. Thanks to the RMN for alerting the community about this. (writer who used the alias "Mytwosense")

UPDATE: On Monday, 7 July, Matt and Tracy Keil went to Home Depot to replace $2000 worth of tools they lost last Friday. This follow-up story appeared in the Rocky Mountain News.

Was This Photoshopped, or Is It a Genuine Portrait of Gen. Clark?

Hat tip: Little Green Footballs blog



UPDATE: Michael Medved has a few choice words to write about Gen. Wesley Clark.

Apple Fans' (Short for Fanatics) Tribute to Bill Gates on His Retirement

Source: Joy of Tech - Click on image for enlarged cartoon.

Navy SEAL Receives Well-Deserved Hero's Sendoff



A FOX News article illustrates how Petty Officer Michael A. Monsoor was honored by his fellow Navy SEALs: they affixed 45 SEAL tridents on his casket before his burial at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA. Monsoor laid down his life in Ramadi, Iraq, when he threw himself on a grenade, saving the comrades on the same rooftop that they had been assigned to secure. He was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

UPDATE: I stand corrected - the number of tridents on the casket was just the beginning, and a SEAL who was present wrote to explain that many more were added. Here is what President Bush had to say during the Medal of Honor award ceremony on 8 April 2008:

"Perhaps the greatest tribute to Mike's life is the way different service members all across the world responded to his death. Army soldiers in Ramadi hosted a memorial service for the valiant man who had fought beside them. Iraqi Army scouts -- whom Mike helped train -- lowered their flag, and sent it to his parents. Nearly every SEAL on the West Coast turned out for Mike's funeral in California. As the SEALs filed past the casket, they removed their golden tridents from their uniforms, pressed them onto the walls of the coffin. The procession went on nearly half an hour. And when it was all over, the simple wooden coffin had become a gold-plated memorial to a hero who will never be forgotten."

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Mother of All Reenlistment Ceremonies :-)




Bob Krumm reports the following good-news item from Baghdad:


How are you spending your 4th of July holiday? While most Americans probably slept, 1,215 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines raised their right hands and committed to a combined 5,500 years of additional service during the largest reenlistment ceremony in the history of the American military. Beneath a large American flag which dwarfed even the enormous chandelier that Saddam Hussein had built for the Al Faw Palace, members of all services, representing all 50 states took the oath administered by Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of Multi-National Forces Iraq.

Historian William Forstchen, quoted by Newt Gingrich, said that this was one of the largest, but not the largest of mass reenlistment ceremonies.

"Lump in throat time. ... I suspect it is not the largest single re-enlistment in American history. In the spring of 1864, tens of thousands of Union volunteers, who had signed up for three years service in 1861 were up for discharge.

"They had served with honor and distinction, they had every honorable reason to take their discharges and go home, but if they did so, the cause of the Union would be in jeopardy. They knew with utter certainty what awaited them if they signed up again ... and what might be lost if they did not. Over 30,000 of them reenlisted ... that action, as much as any other, saved the Union."