Monday, October 26, 2009

A Timely Death

Many people are said to die "untimely" deaths, but Jeffry Picower, a billionaire who profited immensely from his friend Bernie Madoff's scam, escaped prosecution by having a massive heart attack and falling into his swimming pool. His body was found by his wife around noon on Sunday, according to ABC News.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Color of His Skin Doesn't Matter, but the Thinness Does

More disturbing reports on the Obama Administration's hypersensitivity to journalists who refuse to toe the party line and ask too many probing questions.

At the end of a Rich Lowry article in the National Review we see the following comment: "their problem is not that Fox isn't a real news organization, their problem is that it is."

Donald Sensing in the "Sense of Events" blog declares:

FoxNews Channel is not the real target, and the rest of the media need to wake up to the crosshairs on them, too

Here's a thought about the White House's attack on FNC that I have not seen other commentators offer. The attack is directly out of the Saul Alinsky playbook, who in his work, Rules for Radicals, wrote that one of the rules of "power tactics" is to,

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and 'frozen.'...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"Not Evil Just Wrong" Slams Environmentalists

The Washington Independent published an article about a movie that made a big splash in conservative circles last Sunday, when it was premiered on over 7,000 screens in all 50 states. Some of the venues were small, of course, but in Colorado Springs, promoters used the Pikes Peak Center auditorium, attracting a healthy crowd of around 1500. The producers of this documentary did amazingly well, considering the fact that Hollywood refused to touch (or distribute) this film, and that they had a budget of under $1 million to work with. For more information, and to order the video, visit

Sheep of Amherst, MA Propose Inviting Guantanamo Wolves to Live Among Them

Check out the beginning portion of this Boston Globe article:

The western Massachusetts university town of Amherst is mulling a resolution urging the Congress to release cleared Guantanamo Bay detainees into the United States and calling for the town to welcome those detainees into the community.

The town's Select Board voted 2-1 Monday night to endorse a warrant article titled, "Resolution to Assist in the Safe Resettlement of Cleared Guantanamo Detainees."

"The United States has a long history of being a place of refuge and asylum for persecuted people. There's nothing new about this," said Gerry Weiss, one of the two selectmen supporting the resolution. "This is the tradition of the United States...."

10 Worst Places to Live (Update)

The bottom line is, it depends on who is compiling the list.

The Christian Post has a list of 10 worst places for persecution, with North Korea being #1 for the sixth year in a row. Saudi Arabia, Iran, the Maldives, Bhutan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Laos, Uzbekistan, and China (in that order) round out this list. of Canada has a list of worst cities/countries in specific categories:

Pollution: Urumqi, China
Corruption: Somalia
Dictatorship: North Korea
Personal security: Iraq
Homicide rate: El Salvador
Inflation: Zimbabwe
Gender gap: Yemen
Life expectancy: Swaziland
Literacy: Mali
Freedom of speech: Eritrea

BBC compiled this list of bottom 10 cities:
Tehran, Iran
Douala, Cameroon
Harare, Zimbabwe
Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Phnom Penh,Cambodia
Lagos, Nigeria
Karachi, Pakistan
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Algiers, Algeria
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"First They Came for Fox News..."

Claudia Rosett provides food for thought on Pajamas Media, which makes you wonder about the Big Media's instinct for self-preservation:

The Sunday morning talk shows just brought us White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod opining to George Stephanopoulos, on ABC’s “This Week,” that Fox is “Really – not news — it’s pushing a point of view.” Axelrod advised that ABC and other non-Fox outlets take his cue and expunge Fox from the brethren of news services: “And the bigger thing is that other news organizations like yours ought not to treat them that way, and we’re not going to treat them that way.” Meanwhile, on CNN’s “State of the Union,” White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel was hammering home the same message, that Fox “is not a news organization so much as it has a perspective,” and urging “More importantly is not have [sic] the CNNs and the others in the world basically be led in following Fox, as if what they’re trying to do is a legitimate news organization… .”

This would be a very good moment for all those other news organizations — CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, the newspapers and the news web sites – to offer President Obama the perspective that it is utterly inappropriate for White House personnel to be opining publicly on the overall fitness of specific news outlets. The president has sworn to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” That includes protecting free speech, not dispatching White House staff and advisers to hold forth publicly as media critics denouncing news outlets they don’t like...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October 21 is Babbling Day

This is what the Holiday Insights Web site has to say:

What's all the chatter about over this special day? Well, on Babbling Day, we celebrate those of us with a glib tongue. You know them when you hear them. They're talking gibberish. They never stop talking. They babble on and on. They can turn a simple one sentence statement into an endless dissertation.

Spend this day babbling like a baby, if you must. As for me, I will spend it by a babbling brook.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rep. Lamborn Holds Town Hall Meeting in Colo. Springs

Congressman Lamborn addressed a standing-room only crowd at the Stargazers Theater today, and finally got it right. This time there was enough room to accommodate everyone who wished to attend. According to a Colorado Springs Gazette article, around 450 people were present, and of these, around 10 percent consisted of hecklers more interested in drowning out Lamborn than presenting any compelling arguments in favor of the poorly-named "single-payer option." There is nothing optional about the socialized healthcare scheme that the Obama Administration is trying to ram through Congress, as failing to sign up for it could result in imprisonment of up to one year and a hefty fine. Moreover, Republican efforts to include tort reform have been shot down in flames.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Was Rush Shafted, or Delivered from Disaster?

The Left, as Diana West at reminds us, NEVER lets slip an opportunity to slime the king of talk radio, Rush Limbaugh. Everyone knows that he is keenly interested in sports, and one would think that he should have the right to invest in any athletic team he desires. And yet he has been rebuffed in his efforts to enter into a partnership that is interested in buying the St. Louis Rams. That may not be altogether a bad thing, if the investors are trying to move the team to Los Angeles, the largest major city in the United States without a professional football team. L.A. has not had a good track record of supporting and holding on to their teams, so I consider bringing another one in to be a gamble of the first magnitude.

UPDATE: Rush Limbaugh has a chance to explain his position in the Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Think Twice Before Sending Your Gold Jewelry to Cash4Gold

The Consumerist Web site has this sad tale to report:

A class action lawsuit (PDF) was filed against Cash4Gold in California federal court last Friday, accusing the company of a "massive scheme to defraud tens of thousands of consumers throughout the nation," and racketeering.

The lawsuit says there are two specific promises that Cash4Gold makes and breaks: 1) that there is a 12-day return policy and 2) items sent in will be handled with the highest care. Cash4Gold breaks the first, claims the lawsuit, when checks are received by customers either after the return period is over or close to it, or when the company melts the jewelry before the expiration of the return period - allegedly a frequent occurrence.

Cash4Gold breaks the second when it "repeatedly 'loses' the items sent," frequently blaming the mail service for "an absurdly high number of 'lost' items," according to the suit.

The lawsuit says, "These promises are lies. In a massive scheme to defraud tens of thousands of consumers throughout the nation, Cash4gold breaks both of its well-publicized promises with abandon, all the while committing a series of other frauds and misconduct, including attempts to silence former employees who dare to expose this fraud...."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hit Broadway Musical Breaks New Ground

“Next to Normal,” winner of 3 Tony Awards, was the subject of the following rave review in the New York Times:

No show on Broadway right now makes as direct a grab for the heart — or wrings it as thoroughly — as “Next to Normal” does. This brave, breathtaking musical, which opened Wednesday night at the Booth Theater, focuses squarely on the pain that cripples the members of a suburban family, and never for a minute does it let you escape the anguish at the core of their lives.

“Next to Normal” does not, in other words, qualify as your standard feel-good musical. Instead this portrait of a manic-depressive mother and the people she loves and damages is something much more: a feel-everything musical, which asks you, with operatic force, to discover the liberation in knowing where it hurts.

Such emotional rigor is a point of honor for “Next to Normal,” sensitively directed by Michael Greif and featuring a surging tidal score by Tom Kitt, with a book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey. With an astounding central performance from Alice Ripley as Diana Goodman, a housewife with bipolar disorder, this production assesses the losses that occur when wounded people are anesthetized — and not just by the battery of pharmaceutical and medical treatments to which Diana is subjected, but by recreational drugs, alcohol and that good old American virtue, denial with a smile….

A description of the numerous changes that were made to the play is followed by this statement: “…the creators of “Next to Normal” realized they had something of authentic and original value beneath the formulaic flourishes. For the retooled version, first seen at the Arena Stage in Washington in November, they made the decision to toughen up and to cast off the last traces of cuteness. This meant never releasing the audience from the captivity of its characters’ minds. That decision has transformed a small, stumbling musical curiosity into a work of muscular grace and power.”

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Five Catholics Elevated to Sainthood, Including Father Damien

VOA News reports that "19th century Polish archbishop Zygmunt Felinski, two Spanish monks, a Dominican, Francisco Coll y Guitart, and a Trappist, Rafael Arnaiz Baron, a woman, Jeanne Jugan of France, who founded the order of the Little Sisters of the Poor in the 18th century, and Father Damien" were all declared saints in a canonization Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI before an audience of tens of thousands.

The Belgian priest Jozef De Veuster, better known as Father Damien, was elevated to sainthood for his work with leprosy patients on the Hawaiian island of Molokai in the 19th century. His work was described during the ceremony.

Father Damien, said a Vatican official, was unanimously recognized for his work despite abuse by the civilian authorities and withering public opinion. He died of leprosy in 1889.

A large delegation of some 500 people from Hawaii, including the bishop of Honolulu Richard Silva, traveled to Rome to take part in the ceremony. Among those present in the basilica was a group of elderly Hawaiian leprosy patients, sitting on wheelchairs.

Friday, October 9, 2009

President Obama Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize!

The Norwegian Nobel committee announced that Barack Obama will receive this year's Nobel Peace Prize for his "vision" and "inspiring hope" at the beginning of his presidency. Read CNN for one account. Nancy Gibbs in a TIME/Yahoo article says this recognition is the last thing he needs.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

When in Doubt, Suspect a Conspiracy

Conspiracy theories are great for people with too much time on their hands (and entertaining enough for the rest of us. has 10 of 'em.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Selective Morality at Work Again

US funds dry up for Iran rights watchdog
Obama White House less confrontational

The Boston Globe has this sad tale to relate:

WASHINGTON - For the past five years, researchers in a modest office overlooking the New Haven green have carefully documented cases of assassination and torture of democracy activists in Iran. With more than $3 million in grants from the US State Department, they have pored over thousands of documents and Persian-language press reports and interviewed scores of witnesses and survivors to build dossiers on those they say are Iran’s most infamous human-rights abusers.

But just as the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center was ramping up to investigate abuses of protesters after this summer’s disputed presidential election, the group received word that - for the first time since it was formed - its federal funding request had been denied.

"If there is one time that I expected to get funding, this was it," said Rene Redman, the group’s executive director, who had asked for $2.7 million in funding for the next two years. “I was sur prised, because the world was watching human rights violations right there on television...."

Sunday, October 4, 2009

One of the Last Tests of Manhood: Super-Concentrated Hot Sauce

The Sunday Times (U.K.) has the full story by Jeremy Clarkson:

..." It’s an American chilli sauce that was bought by my wife as a joky Christmas present. And, like all joky Christmas presents, it was put in a drawer and forgotten about. It’s called limited-edition Insanity private reserve and it came in a little wooden box, along with various warning notices. “Use this product one drop at a time,” it said. “Keep away from eyes, pets and children. Not for people with heart or respiratory problems. Use extreme caution....

"The pain started out mildly, but I knew from past experience that this would build to a delightful fiery sensation. I was even looking forward to it. But the moment soon passed. In a matter of seconds I was in agony. After maybe a minute I was frightened that I might die. After five I was frightened that I might not.

"The searing fire had surged throughout my head. My eyes were streaming. Molten lava was flooding out of my nose. My mouth was a shattered ruin. Even my hair hurt.

"And all the time, I was thinking: 'If it’s doing this to my head, what in the name of all that's holy is it doing to my innards?' I felt certain that at any moment my stomach would open and everything — my intestines, my liver, my heart, even — would simply splosh onto the floor. This is not an exaggeration. I really did think I was dissolving from the inside out....

"...Nothing was working. And such was my desperation, I downed two litres of skimmed milk — something I would never normally touch with a barge pole. I was sweating profusely as my body frenziedly sought to realign its internal thermostat. I felt sick but didn’t dare regurgitate the poison for fear of the damage it would cause on the way out.

"Even now, the following morning, I feel weak, shell-shocked, like I may die at any moment. And all I’d ingested was a drop.

"Limited-edition Insanity sauce is ridiculous. It’s made in Costa Rica, from hot pepper extract, crushed red savina peppers, red tabasco pepper pulp, green tabasco pepper pulp, crushed red habanero peppers, crushed green habanero peppers, red habanero pepper powder and fruit juice.

"Well, that’s what it says on the tin. But I don’t believe it. I think it’s made from uranium, plutonium, fertiliser, sulphuric acid, nitric acid, hydrochloric acid and ammonia, with a splash of mace. I do not believe it’s a foodstuff. It’s a weapon...."

Friday, October 2, 2009

Which Story Deserves Top Billing?

Seems like Susan G. Komen for the Cure has the more important announcement: October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Although heart disease is deadlier, breast cancer concerns all women, as they provide most of the patients of this disease.

The summer Olympics will make its first appearance in South America, as Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is selected as host for the 2016 games, according to this article in

Chicago was wiped out in the first-round of balloting, making Obama’s trip to Copenhagen seem not just unsuccessful but entirely ineffective. Rio grabbed the Games.

A few Democrats were glum, some conservative commentators were downright gleeful and the White House went into high gear trying to explain that Obama had no regrets about making the trip – despite the fact that it exposed that his high-wattage international popularity could only take him so far.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Heroism from an Unlikely Source

It gives us great satisfaction to run a feel-good story like this from

Cameron Aulner doesn't think of himself as a hero. The wheelchair-bound Colorado resident says he just did what anyone else would do when he saved a little girl from a child molester right in the Walmart where he works.

Witnesses say a man sexually assaulted a young girl inside a Walmart in Westminster on Sept. 19, picked her up and then tried to flee the store, KDVR FOX 31 TV reported.