Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hooray! My Blog Has Over 10,000 Site Visits!!!

Many thanks to the loyal readers who have been coming to this blog to see news and opinion that are often hard to come by elsewhere. We often scoop the big media when it comes to hero stories and positive news from Iraq & Afghanistan, making the connection between toilet lore & politics, and mental health coverage.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Robert Gates Has Some Good Ideas Also

Time Magazine has this article about the Secretary of Defense as "the bureaucrat unbound." Here's an excerpt:

"After a quietly impressive career in government that has spanned more than 30 mostly Republican years, Robert Gates is suddenly seeming almost, well, charismatic. He reeks authority. He is, according to several sources, the most respected voice in National Security Council debates. The President is said to love his unadorned manner. Much of which is attributable to the fact that, in the self-proclaimed twilight of his public career, Gates has emerged as that most exotic of Washington species — the bureaucrat unbound, candid and fearless. He tells members of Congress what he really thinks about their pet programs. He upends Pentagon priorities, demotes the military-industrial hardware pipeline and promotes the immediate needs of the troops on the front line. He fires high-ranking subordinates without muss or controversy — an Air Force secretary and chief of staff who didn't agree with him on the need to end production of the F-22 aircraft; the commandant of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, who presided over disgraceful conditions; even a well-respected general like David McKiernan, a conventional-warfare specialist unsuited for the asymmetrical struggle in Afghanistan...."

Sean Paige Comes Up with an Idea

Sean Paige, in his blog, Local Liberty Online, has proposed that the City of Colorado Springs conduct a referendum to put the second USOC (United States Olympic Committee) deal on the ballot this fall, in light of the fact that the outcome of the first has been so disastrous.

"Rank and file citizens I’ve heard from seem supportive, not surprisingly. A number of city insiders, on the other hand, seem wary, based on the assumption (questionable in my view) that voters would automatically reject any second version, or that USOC will take its bats and balls and go elsewhere, in a huff, if we stoop to asking voters what they think on the matter.

"Such a referendum would be undignified, even humiliating, for the USOC, according to this argument. But it pales in comparison to the indignities suffered by the city and the USOC as a result of the original deal, which was negotiated in secret and rammed through with virtually no public process (or due diligence) by the current City Council, minus one. Compared to the debacle this City Council helped design, a public debate would seem downright dignified...."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Chuck Norris Writes About the Most Tragic Event in His Life

You should read his column:

"The single most tragic event of my life took place in 1970. It was the day I heard my younger brother Wieland was killed in Vietnam. It was a day like no other. No family should have to feel what my mother, my other brother (Aaron) and I did that day..."

Obama Unveils Supreme Court Nominee

In a shrewd political move to find a replacement for outgoing Supreme Court justice David Souter, President Obama has selected Judge Sonia Sotomayor. She is the first Hispanic nominee for the nation's highest court, and her success story is the most compelling since Clarence Thomas'.

UPDATE: Politico has an article detailing why the choice of Judge Sotomayor is such a slick decision on Obama's part. The Republicans are not in agreement at to how to approach her nomination hearings, are anxious to avoid overplaying their hand and alienating millions of Latino voters, and probably don't have enough votes to even start a filibuster.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tribute to Small-Town Heroes; The Real Reason We Celebrate Memorial Day

Rick Moran has the following pearls of wisdom to offer (and more):

"I have lived in urban, suburban, ex-urban, and now rural America in my life. But this singular fact of existence dominates the pace of life in the small towns that dot the landscape of the prairie and imbues the people with a deep respect for the land and the Lord’s bounty that is reaped as a result of hard work, sweat, and good luck.

"Perhaps it is no accident then that so many of America’s fallen hailed from towns with place names that are familiar only to those who live but a stone’s throw from where these heroes grew up...."

Enough to Give a Man a Case of Beard Envy

Check out the latest World Beard and Moustache Competition in Anchorage, Alaska.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Another Blindingly Obvious Observation: Raise the Taxes on the Rich, and They Will Move Away

Here's a news story from yesterday's Patriot Post:

Income Redistribution: Rich Vote With Their Feet
Speaking of higher taxes, Americans are saying good-bye to higher taxes -- literally. According to a study recently conducted for the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), from 1998 to 2007, more than 1,100 people per day -- many of them high-income earners -- moved from the nine highest-income-tax states primarily to the nine no-income-tax states. For example, after New Jersey implemented its "half-millionaire" tax hike in 2005, the state lost 4,000 half-millionaires. And as billionaire Tom Golisano recently wrote in The New York Post, his move from the Empire State to the Sunshine State will save him more than $5 million annually in state taxes.

High taxes are not only the antagonist to population retention but are also the toxin that kills economic growth. When the University of Colorado's Barry W. Poulson examined reasons for states' prosperity or lack thereof from 1964 to 2004, he found "a significant negative impact of higher marginal tax rates on state economic growth." The ALEC study confirmed this, finding that from 1998 to 2007, states with no income tax created 89 percent more jobs and boasted 32 percent faster personal income growth than high-tax states.

Still, liberals cry for tax hikes on the rich to alleviate state budget deficits. It turns out that by talking with their feet, the "rich" are saying, "No thanks."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

If These Traits Don't Apply to You, Then You Will Not Be Offended

This op-ed piece by John Hawkins on bears repeating:

The Six Problems With Modern Liberalism
by John Hawkins
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

1) You really didn't learn everything you needed to know in kindergarten: Liberals love to think of themselves as sophisticated, nuanced intellectuals, but the truth is they have a kindergartner’s view of the world. If it has been defined as "nice" to people they like, they're for it. If it has been defined as "mean" to people they like, they’re against it -- and that is about as deep as it gets. Unfortunately, that lack of adult perspective isn't so cute in political leaders who are making life and death decisions that may still have ramifications fifty years from now.

2) "Liberals hate religion because politics is a religion substitute for liberals and they can't stand the competition." -- Ann Coulter: Somewhat ironically, given the hostile relationship that has developed between the Left and Christianity, liberal beliefs have more in common with religious doctrine than a political agenda. There is no significant debate on the Left about the aims of their agenda -- and the only "sins" believers can commit against their religion are no longer being politically useful, deviating from doctrine, or worst of all, cooperating with conservatives in some fashion. No matter how much evidence piles up that big government doesn't work, that welfare destroys families, and that socialism doesn't bring prosperity, it makes no impact on liberals because their dogma is based on faith, not logic.

3) "It is not human nature we should accuse but the despicable conventions that pervert it." -- Denis Diderot: There is no dream more eternal in the liberal heart than completely remaking human nature. If we could all just care about the person across the world as much as we do our families, we could live in a utopia! Unfortunately, in practice, human nature tends to be quite a bit more difficult to subvert than in the liberal imagination. That's why, despite more than 5,000 years of human civilization, very little progress has been made in this area – but, oh, the Left is still trying. One day, if they just spend enough money on the right government programs, all the wars will end and everyone will be living in identical million dollar mansions while we spend our days humming tunes from the latest Woodstock Tribute Album.

4) "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when at first we practice to deceive." -- Sir Walter Scott: Like freaky religious cults, liberals have become adept at hiding their more abhorrent views from the public until it's too late. It’s common to see liberals adamantly deny that they hold a position over and over again only to completely switch sides the moment they have one more vote than they need to pass legislation. Whether it's lying about their opponents or what they believe, honesty is certainly not considered to be the best policy on the Left.

5) "Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye." -- Matthew 7:3-5: Despite the fact that liberals love few things better than to cry "hypocrisy," there is a rather bizarre disconnect between what modern liberals seem to believe about themselves and how they behave. Liberals believe that they're compassionate, but only with other people's money. They tie themselves in knots trying to come up with valid reasons why terrorists hate the United States, but they never give a moment's thought to whether the people who dislike them might have a point. They pat themselves on the back for helping minorities, but never stop to consider that liberal policies have done more damage to black Americans in the last fifty years than the KKK could have done in a millennium. Somehow, stunning hypocrisies of this sort, which are too numerous to recount without doing a whole other column, never seem to be bother anyone on the Left.

6) "Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do." -- Benjamin Spock: It's great to have a healthy self-image, but there's not much to be said for thinking you're smarter than the collective wisdom and traditions passed down through human history just because you happen to read the Daily Kos. Unbecoming arrogance of this sort permeates modern liberalism. The most grave of decisions are undertaken by the modern Left without the slightest regard for the potential consequences. Past disasters created by similar bouts of whimsical thinking, of which there are many, are treated as acts of God untethered from mere human decision making and prompt no self reflection whatsoever. That's because to the modern liberal, the real world results of their policies are secondary in importance to the amount of positive self-esteem generated by supporting that policy.

John Hawkins is a professional blogger who runs Conservative Grapevine, Right Wing News, and Right Wing Video.

Monday, May 18, 2009

"The Hamburger from Hell"

While passing through Amarillo, TX on Thursday evening [14 May 2009], we stopped at the Coyote Bluff Cafe, mainly because Bill K. had heard about the "world's hottest hamburger," and wanted me to try it out. So I did, and went down the following checklist:

1. Generous layer of jalapeno and habanero peppers - YES
2. Flavor sneaks up from behind - YES
3. Tears roll down the face - YES
4. Sweat forms on forehead - YES
5. Tongue feels as though an army of angry fire ants were marching across it - YES
6. Difficulty breathing - YES
7. Irritation of esophagus and other parts of the digestive tract - YES
8. Visions of dark tunnels, angels, or bright lights - NO
9. Flashback of events in one's life - NO
10. Out-of-body experience - NO

Yes, it was spicy enough to qualify as an attempt on my life, but I was able to endure it much better once the pain subsided & the endorphins kicked in.:-)

One reader of my Facebook page asks: "What did you rate it? on a scale of one to five for heat and overall taste?"

My answer: Heat = 4.75; Taste = 4.0, I guess, but my taste buds were fairly well burned out and I had to judge it on texture & moistness.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Stressed-Out Soldier Kills 5 in Iraq!

An unidentified American soldier killed five other troops in a psychological counseling center in Camp Liberty, Baghdad on Monday, the bloodiest case of military fratricide since the start of the Iraq war six years ago.

UPDATE: In a related development, the Washington Times ran a reader poll, and got the following result as of 7:50 CDT, 12 May 2009.

Do you think the U.S. military is doing enough to treat combat veterans suffering from mental issues caused by battle?

Response / Percent / Votes
Yes - 18% - 73 votes
No - 66% - 257 votes
Undecided - 14% - 55 votes
Other - 1% - 4 votes

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Currahee! Gen. Petraeus Helps Lt. Brennan Come Out of a Coma

(Left) Lt. Brennan with Gen. Petraeus

Lt. Brian Brennan, who lost both legs to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan and suffered acute brain injury, a collapsed lung, internal bleeding, a ruptured spleen, multiple compound fractures of his left arm, and a shattered femur bone, was in a coma when Gen. David Petraeus visited him at Walter Reed Army Medical Center last June. The only way the general could get him to respond was to utter the battle cry "Currahee!" (Cherokee for "We stand alone."), motto of the famed "Band of Brothers" Regiment.

“That’s when he kind of sat up in the bed as best he could,” said Jim Brennan, Brian’s father.

"Like he was saying, ‘I’m in here, I’m in here.”’ Said his mother Joanne Brennan.

“All of a sudden, the lieutenant, his stumps are banging up and down on the sheets. His head is moving around and very clearly responding to his unit’s nickname,” said Petraeus. “For three weeks, he had not responded to the voices of his family, but that Band of Brothers motto brought him back from the living dead.”

His hometown, Howell, NJ, has pitched in to help his family by building a 1,000-square-foot handicapped accessible addition to his parents' home, and a Brian Brennan Stands Alone trust fund has more than enough money for the Brennan family's needs and will undertake to help the families of other wounded warriors.

See Hot Air for the video.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Joe the Plumber Continues to Stay in the News

We include a rare quote from the Huffington Post to describe Joe's latest controversy:

"Joe the Plumber, aka Samuel Wurzelbacher, sat down for an lengthy interview with Christianity Today to discuss his views on the future of the Republican party. Wurzelbacher took the opportunity to speak out against gay marriage, which he says is wrong. The unlikely conservative spokesman went so far as to say he doesn't allow openly gay people 'anywhere near' his children."

Concrete Persuaders

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Montana Passes Gun Manufacturing Legislation - and Reprimands the Federal Government for Not Following the Constituion!

Check out Montana House Bill No. 246.


More Evidence that Humans Were Descended from Pigs

Chuck Norris Saves the Day Again

A picture of Chuck Norris has brought burglaries in a Croatian bakery to a screeching halt!

The sign says: “This shop is under the protection of Chuck Norris.”

Now the bakery hasn't had a single burglary for more than a month.

Sales assistant Mirna Kovac said: "To be honest we just started it as a joke but it really has worked. Thieves haven't been anywhere near us for ages. People seem to respect him.

"Everyone around here has seen his films and he's quite a popular character, perhaps even among criminals, so they've decided to leave us alone."

UPDATE: Chuck Norris wrote his reponse to the above incident at

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Glenn Beck Declares That He, Rush, O'Reilly Are Being Targeted

This NewsBusters story has every indication of being a legitimate concern on the part of conservative voices, that the federal government has launched a campaign to nullify the First Amendment.

Call it an ominous warning, but Fox News Channel afternoon host and ratings sensation Glenn Beck is warning the government is strengthening its grip of power it's not going to stop at the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

"We've got a government out of control and I'm telling you, it is up to you to control it," Beck said. "These stories of corruption and abuse of power, I'm going to continue to bring them to you as long as I possibly can, and everybody else on this network is dedicated. But it seems like every week this network is filing another Freedom of Information Act request. Even with all the resources of Fox, the truth still can't be fully exposed without you. I ask you, please - help us. Meet us here every day. Tell all of your friends what you learn here. Spread it. E-mail me. Tell me what I'm missing. We will do the best we can to provide you with the information, but it is a little overwhelming."

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Obama Administration Alienates CIA (CYA) in First 100 Days

Jack Kelly, a reliable source writing in Real Clear Politics, has said that Barack Obama and associates have really stepped on it by certain decisions which the Central Intelligence Agency regards as threatening their interests.

The CIA's war against President Bush was motivated by ass covering, or by political partisanship. But with President Obama, it's personal.

Many are furious about his disclosure of explicit details of the interrogation methods used on some al Qaida bigwigs, and his waffling on whether or not those who employed them will be subject to prosecution.

Others are incensed by his decision to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, and to let some of those incarcerated there (17 Chinese Uighurs) loose in the United States.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held two hush hush meetings with CIA Director Leon Panetta and Democratic members of the Intelligence Committee last week.

"Her fear and frustration have apparently given way to panic after word reached her of the CIA's reaction to the damage she, President Obama and other Democrats have done to the spy agency in the last three months, wrote Jed Babbin, a former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense, in Human Events May 1. "Pelosi learned that her actions and those of President Obama have so damaged CIA morale that the agency's ability to function could be in danger."

School Suspends Korean Boy for Defending Self, Then Rescinds Suspension

This story was from the Globe and Mail of Canada:

A 15-year-old black belt [in taekwondo] who was suspended for breaking the nose of a classmate who racially abused him will return to school today after a sudden change of heart at the York Region board.

The reversal represents a dramatic victory for the Asian student, who was suspended a maximum 20 days last week. He had received a letter from the school board - later retracted - that said his principal recommended he be expelled from all schools in the region.

The 15-year-old will return to Keswick High School this morning with the suspension removed from his academic record and his upcoming expulsion hearing cancelled, the boy's father said yesterday. He still has to defend himself against a charge of "assault causing bodily harm."

Anxious to Avoid Toomey, Specter Runs Into Sestak!

Sen. Specter earns the World's Smallest Violin as [Joe] Sestak, a career military man and second-termer in the House (shown on the left of Hillary Clinton), a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy who retired from the Navy as a two-star admiral and holds graduate degrees from Harvard, says he's inclined to go for the seat, too. He is regarded as a strong contender along with Pat Toomey and former Governor Tom Ridge, according to "The Swamp."

UPDATE: Gov. Ridge announced today (Thursday, 7 May) that he has decided not to run for Senate in 2010. Whew!

Nephew of Rep. Murtha Makes Money from No-Bid Government Contract

Jabba the Hutt, or Rep. Jack Murtha. For purposes of this blog, the two characters are interchangeable.

This FOX News story hardly qualifies as news at all, like an article reporting that the sun rose in the east, or that water flows downhill.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

You Gotta Have Friends for a Long and Healthy Life

WebMD has the skinny on why friends contribute to your health and well-being:

"People with social support have fewer cardiovascular problems and immune problems, and lower levels of cortisol -- a stress hormone," says Tasha R. Howe, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Humboldt State University. "Why? The evolutionary argument maintains that humans are social animals, and we have evolved to be in groups. We have always needed others for our survival. It's in our genes. Therefore, people with social connections feel more relaxed and at peace, which is related to better health."

For more details, read the full article.