Sunday, December 27, 2009

Heavy {UP}Lifting

I chanced upon a nice little blog last night that is trying to provide good advice to peeps. It's called The Wisdom Wall and it's filled with some very cool thought-provoking fodder. Check it out.

I found it to be quite uplifting, as I'm currently in full post-holiday funk mode. I needed the visit. I'm having a helluva time with a pinched nerve in my hip joint (I think) that is controlling my every waking and sleeping physical (and now, mental and emotional) moment. My usual escape from this kind of trouble is artsing and crafting, but I seem to have lost my focus and motivation for that, temporarily (I hope!).

As a funny aside, I have to admit that if I had only one wish to come true at this moment, I would be hard-pressed to decide between alleviating this pain and getting my creativity mojo back! Folks, that's what I call hard-core love. Well, either that or just plain idiocy. Yes, I know, I need to definitely wish for no more pain, I get that....

Anyway, there are some posts at The Wisdom Wall, in the archives, that list some awesome quotes by famous people. I happened upon an appropriate one for me by the late financier and statesman, Bernard Baruch:

In the last analysis, our only freedom is the freedom to discipline ourselves.

This is so true, isn't it? Even in America, the land of the free. So, I'm gonna once again work on Mind over Matter to try to get my mojo back and my spirits raised up. I'm gonna look in the mirror, smile, and say: Lie to me, honey. Hit me, baby, one more time.

It's worked before more times than I can remember, so I'm hoping I'll get lucky again.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

How are YOUR holidays going?




Need some smiles right about now? Check out these giggle moments -- even if they are at others' expense, that's what the holidays are for, others, right? {Snort}

Check out Ugly Christmas Sweaters and Bad Holiday Outfits at StyleList. Yes, of COURSE, celebrities are modelling them...

And, what would the holidays be without some JibJab?


Farting Elves 12 Days of Christmas

And, my favorite video of all lately:

Sarah Palin does William Shatner Doing Sarah Palin on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien Friday, December 11th
This was AWESOME! I caught it live, having channel-surfed over to Conan at just the right moment. For you unknowings, Shatner's had a recurring role on the show reading passages from Palin's book, her Twitters, anything he can get his hands on frankly, replete with bongos and bass fiddle accompaniment. Well, Fate came avisiting Mr. Shatner (whom I love a lot) on Friday's show right after he'd finished an excerpt from "Going Rogue". Sarah walks out in a surprise appearance carrying Shatner's autobiography, and she took the stool and read from his book. Touche'!

IT WAS AWESOME! And she was on her game, pitch perfect! The audience LOVED IT! And they walked off the stage arm in arm. Those are the TV moments I live for, and CONAN, not DAVE, delivers them.

With all that, I can safely say my holidays are going great! You?

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


68 years ago. Most of those who survived have passed on now. Very few remain.

That makes it harder to remember the lessons they learned for us.

Today's global allies can be tomorrow's enemies.

We must remain ever vigilant no matter how others may say about us.

I hope we never forget.

Tiger Woods has really disappointed me, but that's usually what happens when *we* as a celebrity-crazed culture behave like Gladys Cravitz on steroids 24/7. Everyone is human. What bothers me the most is that he seems to be a serial womanizer / playboy. He missed his calling as an infamous merchant marine. Can't help wondering what his Dad would say were he still alive...

I seriously want Harry Reid to be censored for his recent remarks on the Senate floor, trying lamely to connect opponents of his health care legislation as racists. Does he really think people still take him seriously? He's like the old batty aunt, except he's an uncle. He needs to face facts that his bill sucks. He can't make everyone like it. When are people gonna stand up and demand an end to race-baiting? The only good thing about it is, keep it up. It just angers that many more voters who will vote against you in 2010. I hope so, anyway.

On a frostier note, if possible, it snowed here in the Houston area Friday, the earliest snow we've ever had. It only lasted a few hours. It continued to snow, but it turned to water when it hit the ground. It's been rainy ever since. I'm getting tired of it.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Not Plugged In Lately

I've kinda gotten unplugged from daily cable news lately since beginning my current low-carb diet regime on Nov. 19th. Still on it and going strong. And now The Hubster is in on it. Since he does the cooking, this is nothing but fantabulous for me. ;-)

I see things that rip me a new one daily in our politics, but I've had a lot of work and chores lately. Been arting a lot, too. I take it in but then I don't spit it out here.

I'm pretty okay with Obama's position on the war and am now certain he was forced to do all that postponing in hopes of appeasing his angry left base. Well, *forced* as a subjective verb here, because he chose to do it, but it was a political force. I still think he is missing the op of a lifetime to swing to the middle and capture up more support than he'd lose, but I have to assume he finds that distasteful at present. He is still dancing with what brought him (barely), but he wants to change the dance card up.

The polls continue to show me that people are slowly and surely waking up to see that Obama is not controlling the govt'l pursestrings and that Pelosi and Reid do. Duh. This was like 50% of the reasoning behind my compromise vote for McCain.  If they are not stopped, we will be owned by China like cabana boys.

Things are moving so fast and changing so much, aren't they? And everything is shadowy, no clear or crsip definitions of silhouettes, even. All murky soup.

The Hubs finally finished his special project and now is off until the 10th. What joy. I have him underfoot 24/7. But he does cook my meals and then he goes shopping and does the lawn (our front yard looks like some kind of weird mulching experiement with thick layers of leaves) and will put up the outdoor decorations.  Sounds like a lot, but he's done nothing but work and sleep for 1 year and 2 months. He's actually excited to have the honey-dos. I can always stay up all night and sleep all day if things get testy or grumpy, lolol. ;-)))

We are getting some really cold weather down here around Houston. Down into the 30's, then 20's during the upcoming week. Wows! I think Friday we even might have some snow for like 2 seconds. Last year on the 10th, it snowed like 2 inches and stuck. I'll have to be prepared to take some photos of this year if it gets interesting.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks



Thanks to all of you who read this blog.

May we all be blessed with what we need for a fulfilling life.

~~~~~




Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hindenburg of Hope, Chernobyl of Change



It sounds a bit callous, but I've been sitting in this front-row seat, waiting for this to happen. Not happily, although my frustration at times mixes with anger to produce a certain amount of Mr. Hyde ironic laughter. And I don't want to jump any guns, but I do think the bloom is finally sliding off of the Obama Rose.

Allow me to get this over with: Told ya. ;-)

I don't have much right now to be happy about on the homefront, what with living through the last vestiges of a flu relapse as The Hubster struggles to survives the last few weeks of a 15-month special project that's behind schedule. He came home last night with the news that they took dinner orders for Thanksgiving Day, which means they are working. He's been on 13-hour, 13-day, 1 day off shifts ever since August of 2008. That's right, 2008. He has been a real trooper, but the minute the end date was announced, it got harder for him, understandably. He's about ready to kill a few subcontractors who are holding up the start-up (as usual...why are subcontractor always dumb-asses? They've never done their jobs on time in the 20-plus years Hubs has worked among them. Just going by personal experience...).

Anyway, I digress. Point is, things have been less bleak mood wise around here, so I've taken special interest in the news lately, and have noticed a sort of mudslide occurring, one that has a donkey embossed on it. I'd be glad to elaborate.

1. Investigative reporting finally did its job uncovering systemic and systematic overstatements in the O administration's recovery job numbers. My, my, my. Let's see, who's in charge of that? Oh, yeah, Biden is, remember? I should have known, too, as this story broke within days of him jawing off to Sarah Palin that energy is a little more complicated than drill baby drill. Hey, Biden, may I suggest you forget about drills and get a damn calculator and some truth serum?

The O admin is blaming their grossly overstated jobs created or saved numbers on "human coding errors". Well, lemme tellya. That's hard to believe when all of the errors are overstatements. Just a fact of statistics: law of averages says that some will be over, and some will be under, and if all are in one direction, then fraud should be suspected. You can ignore my accounting expertise and just think about a checker at the store. Honest errors are one where one night she will be over and another she will be short.

Anyway, that's just one more way the O team plays us for fools. Here's the truth about this: they lied and made up numbers to try to fool us, and they got busted. I love how it went down. It bubbled up from locals who complained that the stats didn't make sense to their local papers, who then began investigating and pushed their findings upward until a few big newspapers couldn't ignore it.

2. Don't blink, but Obama is giving interviews to Fox. Yep, you read that right, but it is stunning, isn't it? This, just weeks after labelling them a non-news network. Mm. Mm. Mm. He's in trouble and in an earlier day he might have been able to bullshit the masses, but nobody who watches Fox is believes him anymore, so I really wonder why he's even bothering. Maybe someone needs to tell him that when you diss tea party patriots as unpatriotic and when you diss people's news networks as mere opinion cable even though they have broken most of the big political news this year despite being shunned by you, people don't exactly continue to trust you, much less continue to listen to you.

3. The NYC terrorist trial decision deferred to Eric Holder continues to not be a good idea at all. New Yorkers are divided on it, but the polling continnues to show a strong majority of them do not want those terrorists tried in Manhattan. I could add in the brilliant idea to move the Gitmo prisoners to an existing facility in Illinois as well. That's going over like a lead balloon as well.

4. Obama got nowhere with China. But hey, he got a trip abroad out of it and he got to be out of town when Holder announced #3. China even asked him what was up with health care and how much was it gonna cost! I loved it. Like, HELLO, you cannot afford it, half-white man. We are your creditors, so we know! I felt like telling the Chinese they were just blowing smoke because Obama doesn't listen or else he just stupidly believes that reality will play out like it looks on paper. Ah, the simple trust of naiivete mixed with the certainty of inexperience. That's our President!

I wouldn't be surprised if the Chinese didn't strong-arm him, though, because the second he got back here, he began warning in interviews we will see later this week that we cannot sustain our debt levels much longer.

DUH! Like, you couldn't have come up with that before all the spending you did and continue to push? He apparently does not have the balls to call off the Healthcare bill, so Pelosi and Reid must be bossing him around. Sigh. This is exactly why I supported McCain. I guess the brakes will be put on after...when? Dems continue to push transportation bills, additional jobs stimuluses, and all their pet projects. People, there is a direct correlation there.

5. Now we know why Obama decided to go pick up his Nobel instead of attending the Climate Change conference: we are apparently not going to sign onto those Helsinki accords. I have to giggle at this, because I'm pretty sure that his Nobel was awarded as a blatant bribe to sign on. And Obama's still going to accept that prize. Wow. That's audacity. Europe is falling out of love, too. Editorials over there are calling him the enemy of mankind now. I kinda wish those Swedish guys would Indian-give the Nobel, like announce there was a tally mistake and he didn;t really win it. It would almost be merciful.

6. Crap and Tax is also in peril. The Senate has made noises that it'll be next year before they tackle it, and it's generally assumed that means the House bill that was passed is just gonna die quietly. Now, this is good news to me, because I have been 150% against it from the get-go.

7. He's also not going to be able to close Gitmo by his deadline, because (and I love this) "it's not as easy as he thought it was gonna be". This really deserves another DUH!, but I don't want to over-do it. Yet, he won't use the court facilities we spent millions on to build down there to try the 9/11 suspects. Sigh #2. Democrats must just have a gene that makes it impossible to not spend money, ya know?

8. And this is my personal favorite: a government panel of experts under HHS has determined that women are getting screened for breast cancer too often to be cost-effective. Now, the reason I love this is the timing of it and the bigger lesson we should all get from it. Just as we are about to have government healthcare rammed down our throats, this comes out and causes a firestorm of objection. And, the most astute among us advise, hey get used to it. This is what government healthcare control will be like. HELLO? Did I mention this has caused a firestorm of adament objection? As in, well I'm screening anyway! No thanks! I'm eerily reminded that we have that option right now and we won't have the right to defy those experts if Pelosi and Reid have their way. This is a parable of premonition if there ever was one.

8. Okay, I'm tired, but there is more. I have to stop for now, but I'll leave you with my favorite news story this morning. I'm still watching Morning Joe on MSNLSD, and today they had Norah O'Donnell out in Michigan at Sarah Palin's first stop on her book-signing tour. Norah was incredulously amazed at the crowd there. It was like it had occurred to her for the first time that Palin had supporters apres election. I was laughing and rolling my eyes at the same time. The ostrich-like pretensiousness of the Eastern liberals and media is just awful. Do they even see themselves in the mirror? Does insulting other Americans make them feel superior and more secure? Newsweek's cover with Palin in hot pants was just beyond the pale. Even if it were okay to use a photo in a news magazine that was taken posing for Runner's World (and it's not), it's just one more pice of evidence of their hatred of real Americans.

And real Americans are voting out incumbents, talking back, protesting, not approving in polls. Ya think there might be a correlation?

Friday, November 13, 2009

The best and the worst

This, my friends, is the BEST:

Tiger's Bedtime Story Accenture Ad

I frankly needed a smile before my bitch-rant. This is my favorite commercial right now. When it comes on, I stop whatever it is I'm doing and watch...and by now I've seen it probably 4 dozen times. Still watching it. Why?

First, to see Tiger's sheer joy on his face at the end of it, when he says "He kicked his butt." To me, the daughter of a drama instructor and director, Tiger communicates perfectly...let me emphasize...PERFECTLY to all children what's so good about competing to win. He makes the prize of winning, or atleast a job well done, a tangible thing. Preparing to win. Following through. And Winning. Hell, he communicates it to all adults, too. He raises the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare to new heights as an allegory for success. For the first time in my 53 years, I saw the tortoise as a Player: a buff athlete determined to exploit his strength in order to win. Before, I just thought of him as an symbol of Good against Evil.

I raised a daughter through 9 years of softball and 4 years of dance team, and I've never seen a more effective persuasion. Nobody ever read that bedtime story to me that way. And I suspect I am not alone by a large margin.

The commercial is clear, concise, not an ounce of fat on it. Endearing scenario, excellent script, and may I say that even though Tiger's diction could use some training, he has a raw photogenic and communicative talent. The camera loves him. And that killer smile that he seems to guard protectively, not letting it out just for any old reason. Good strategy, for it makes that smile a precious thing.

I would love to know the ages of the team that conceived this ad. I suspect strongly that they are young, probably in their late twenties, early thirties, but no older. Everything about the ad is the new version of the traditional. GenX ad creatives would have ridiculed the traditional and that would have been the message and said, meh, buy us anyway. At least we can laugh at ourselves.

But not this. This takes the tradition and puts a new, more useable spin on it. It respects the old while changing it to new. This is Millenial / Gen Y creative stuff. I can just feel it. And since Tiger, at 29, is of that generation, it might even be coming from his own vision. I would not be surprised.

I'm a sucker for commercials. I bend over backwards to give them a fair shot, yet few of them ever really pass my muster. This one trampled all over me and leaves me screaming, Do It Again! Here's the direct link to it on Best Ads TV.

XXXXXXXXXXXX

Now to the Bad. What is it about the Obama Administration that leaves one feeling as if on a roller coaster ride conducted by a drunk driver and it never stops?

It definitely causes me to pick my battles, lest I spend 24 hours a day taking issue.

Today Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the 9/11 terror suspects (I'm not even gonna use their names because I'll screw them up) will not be tried by a military court, but in a criminal New York City court.

On the face of that news, you may be like, so what? Okay. And if you are a Leftie who has been in perpetual salivation mode for --- what? --- 3-4 years to see Dubya, Cheney and Rove hung from the highest trees because of Gitmo and waterboarding, then today was the Friday the 13th from Heaven. (Or, Allah smiled on you, take your pick.)

But if it's stuff like this about Obama that makes your blood boil, then you are livid at this news. Here, the Left is thinking, okay, there is zero chance these suspects will not be comvicted, so let's get a 2fer out of it. Obama is down in the polls, and what does he and his do when that happens? Why, they throw their Leftie base a bone! And this bone is called the Use the 9/11 Victims and Their Families to Punish Bush. Win-win in their eyes, and no downside.

However, the Right is worried. If they are actually worried about Bush/Cheney?Rove being punished and proven wrong, then I have absolutely no sympathy with them. Personally, I think Bush skirted the rules right along the line enough to do what he thought was needed while everyone around him, including Democrats in Congress, sat by and watched. It was a technical win as dispicable as what Obama's people are doing now.

But punishing Bush for skirting the rules is not my dog in this fight. Stopping that kind of politcial behavior is my more worthy cause, no matter how tempting it is to turn the tables and do it better. To me, to do what Holder announced today is to spit in the face of the victims and their families, for it will surely bring needless sensationalism and a circus atmosphere to what should be swift, sure and approriate justice. Those brave souls, our fellow citizens, deserve no less from us, in their memories.

And given what happens a lot in our criminal courts today (and New York is not a conservative bastion), there is a real possiblity these jokers could go free or get off on a technicality, something that military courts don't do an awful lot of. And at the least, the trial could end up being completely focussed on Bush and torture instead of what it should be focussed on: the events on the morning of September 11, 2001.

So, to me, it's not worth the risk of those things happening. Once again, an ADULT would know this is not appropriate. Tempting, yes. Politically expedient, yes. Good governance? In a textbook, maybe. But not in real life. The official argument (which if you do like me and start my day with MSNLSD as Mark Levin calls them, so by noon you know the Democrat talking points by heart) is that New Yorkers should sit in judgment of those who wronged them, and the Supreme Court has ruled in a way that can be interpreted to support this.

But we were all wronged on that day. It's bigger than NYC. America was terrorized. New Yorkers breathed in the smoke and had their buildings toppled and their friends and loved ones killed, but we all felt the fear and uncertainty, for weeks. It has not been the first time I think the SCOTUS has missed the point. And I will never ever be able to accept, much less condone, the ruthless nature of Barrack Obama and his team. At some point, it has to be asked, do the ends justify the means? And I am not talking about waterboarding.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A New Definition



Our house is nearly flubug-free (knock wood) and I finally felt like blogging again. I've been following the horrific Fort Hood massacre and it really brought home to me how much I've evolved in my beliefs about national defense and terrorism.

First, let me say my prayers are with all the victims' loved ones and I'm thankful for their service. Second, as we've learned more about the alleged shooter, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, I keep remembering how I felt when it was discovered that some of the 9/11 hijackers had taken flying lessons in Florida and had operated right under the radar of the FAA and all their instructors. Remember that? You should, for the parallels are numerous. Third, my mind then goes to a what-if -- what if the next incident of domestic terrorism comes in over the border with Mexico. Will we just oh-well that, too? So, that's my mindset. A decade ago, I would have been dissing someone who thought like that, in favor of the more European *oh, well, c'est la vie.*.

The big point of controversy surrounding Hasan seems to center around what made him do it, and if he should be given any sympathy for it. Many on the Left say that he had an illness, a form of secondary Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, and intimate that it wasn't his fault. Those on the Right say, Balderdash.

I say, agreed that he had PTSD, but mine is a new definition of an alternate acronym: I say he may well have suffered from secondary (traditional) PTSD, but it turned into Pre Terrorist Stress Disorder, or PTSD. You can take your pick, and I do believe that traditional PTSD is a very real disorder and one that can strike a civilian as well.

But the bottom line was that he became a terrorist on our dime on our soil. He massacred American soldiers. And, he's still alive, so it is even more complicated because he will be tried and punished if found guilty. So this is why we have to get this right: is there ever any circumstance that makes it okay or excuseable to massacre American soldiers on American soil? I say no on first blush, but I will be listening carefully to his trial defense. For now, though, I side with the Right, who says that excusing Hasan's behavior is political correctness gone mad.

I have only one thorn in my rosebush, and it's that I don't believe he acted alone. By that, I mean that the US Army is guilty, too. Not the soldiers, the System. A system and its administrators that would ignore alerts, complaints, warnings from its members for fear they'd be labelled politically incorrect -- I say they are just dangerous to Americans as the CIA that was asleep at the wheel on 9/10/2001.

There are approximately 1,000 Muslims serving in the U.S. Military while we are fighting their religious brothers. None of them should be fighting over there. They can do their duty on our shores as long as they agree to be monitored if they choose to stay in the military. I'm tired of this bullshit. Because, what the hell are we fighting overseas to protect our land from if we allow on-soil terrorism to be a civil right? There's a whole lotta messed-up happening, and it ain't in my head.

***

Now, for a channel change. Check this out:

My God - that's what I live! And, hey, just as an aside, I'm totally agreed on Austin-Roundrock being the top spot. That's the only other place I'd rather live in Texas. Well, not Austin anymore, the traffic has become such a bummer dragging down an otherwise idyllic oasis, but Roundrock, a few miles up the road from Austin, is like where I live adjacent to Houston, all the benefits and none of the consequences of big city congestion.

Anyway, this proves to me why, when the rest of the world is up to their chins in recession and misery, we seem to be able to save more money than ever before and my husband #1 job wish is to work less hours. I'm going to cease and desist feeling guilty about it, because when they report on areas of the country that are hurting, I pay close attention and fire up Google to read more. I'm constantly amazed at all the local taxes people pay in these places, all the rules they have to follow, all the luxurious their local gov'ts enjoy. I'll take my state's and countty's more bare bones approach to governance, and apparently it's a good strategy in bad times. You don't believe or agree with me? Then tell me why the top 5 Forbes cities are all of the major metropolises of Texas? No other explanation. Use us as a model of state government, before it's too late.

Yes, Texas is a right-to-work state, as are the majority of Forbes' list with 7 to 5 union states, and 23 RTW cities to 7 union cities. Hmm, mere coinkydink? I think not. Too much to cover and not enough time to get into a debate on that at this time, but the end results applied to the economy favor RTW states. Taking a macro-look, union states may offer better wages, but in many of those places, you want it, you have to sit on a list and risk dying before landing a union job. Plus, there is a direct geographical correlation between strong union labor and inflationary standards of living that bust and destroy if times get rough. Meanwhile, we're like the Energizer Bunny, we keep going right along. And, Hubs and I do live frugally, but I can assure you I never miss a meal and could have whatever I wanted if I wasn't so cheap that I won't buy it. My 3-bedroom brick home was devalued by about 10% for about six weeks earlier this year and now it's about 15% more valuable than a year ago. My husband is a union member of probably one of the biggest unions in the state, an AFL-CIO subsidiary, but it operates mainly as a defensive protection for due process. It knows its place, as we say down here. Moderation being the key is still a good axiom.

But unionization is not the only factor by far as to why we are doing so well down here.  Some other reasons aren't so brag-worthy. We spend less on education than most states. A larger than normal percentage of Texans don't have health insurance. And our utility bills and insurance premiums are the largest in the nation. Nothing's perfect. But, we don't create public troughs to right these injustices. We just suffer them. Not cool, right? But, in the end, bottom lining it, where's the beef, what's the diff? Not much, people.

People without insurance go to our emergency rooms, those of us who do have it pay more when we go. Those of us who go a lot get screwed, but frequent emergency room visits are not the average patient norm. Sure, we all griped about it, before we saw the Pelosi/Reid/Obama Solution. Now, we will suffer what we have now just fine, thank you very much.

In a way, this convoluted health care legislation is to me a federalized version of life in all of those unionized and taxed American cities and states that aren't doing so hot right now. And ditto on steroids for the Crap and Tax legislation. I don't want any of it because the medicine will make us sicker than the chronic condition.

It's like black-white race relations. What if this -- right now, today -- is as good as it's gonna get? Ever? No matter what else we do or try to manipulate it toward perfect? What if the health care system we have now is the best that a democratic republic can produce? And what if continuing to EPA our environment instead of destroying our present economy and consumer structure to try to create another one that looks real good on paper, what if what we have right now is the best in the long run?

Which brings me right back here to where I live, in the #2 best job spot in America. I also live in the epicenter for petro-chemical production, and the big breath of air I just took is not that much worse, not that different than the one you just took, no matter where you are. Hey, remember bio-fuels? It's supposed to be part of the cornerstone of Obama's new green economy, right? Well, back that polluting truck up. Yeah, turns out it has quietly disappeared from the spotlight. Wanna know why? Turns out its promoters kinda forgot to factor in the pollution the animals and the deforestations cause in the process of producing the fuel. The Amazon rain forest is being destroyed by it. That's a lot worse than any pollution being done by fossil fuel refining here where I live.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Moderates Live On!

Election Night and the Living is Easy...

Well, well, well. Looks like the moderate wing of the GOP is still desired by the People. I present as evidence one Governor-elect Chris Christie of New Jersey. He's no right-winger, but he is the winner. And that Hoffman dude in upstate New York that Sarah Palin endorsed? He lost. All that bru-ha-ha and all he's left with horseshoes and hand grenades.

I cannot wait to hear how Glen Beck spins it. Probably along the lines of "...it's better that the Democrat won than the GOP-endorsed candidate." Man, that tact is getting to be redundant. And it doesn't work, except to give Beck and Limbaugh a never-ending reason d'etre. Oh, that's maybe the real goal, ya think?

Anyway, I spent the evening watching the returns on MSNBC because, well, I wanted to see if anyone cried or freaked when the GOP started winning in New Jersey and Virginia (they have a new GOP governor, too, one who is a bonafide conservative but his focus is jobs and the economy, and it's indeed telling that he played his campaign to appear to be as moderate as possible). It was highly entertaining, lemma tellya.

The moment the NJ race was called for Christie, Howard Fineman became speechless and called it stunning. I was stunned at how quickly he and Lawrence O'Donnell went into mop-up mode, blurting out like a half dozen times how polls showed this was not a referendum on Obama. Oh, okay. Don't you folks know by now that people are not going to admit to any dislike of Obama because they don't want to be tattooed as racists? Which means that his favorable ratings are probably inflated, too. But, I digress because this wasn't any kind of criticism on him, oh no.

MSNBC was johnny-spot at excusing away any meaning in last night elections. Except for Chris Matthews, God love him. He blurted out what I just said about people telling pollsters what sounds good and nice and fair, stopping O'Donnell dead in his tracks as he repeated the poll findings for the 100th time. It was great.

The really ugly part, however, was how MSNBC, once they knew that Corzine had lost to Christie, proceeded to trash and denigrate Corzine as a candidate that was so bad nobody could help him. You may have heard that Obama and Biden made 3 trips to campaign for Corzine. I guess Corzine got thrown under the bus, huh?

And then of course all the Repugs think it's the beginning of the Second Political Coming, which isn't right either. To me, this was the infinite wisdom of the People saying no to the Obama-Pelosi-Reid spending spree that is leaving too many unemployed and worried about the enormous debt and size of government. And since there are only two choices at the ballot box, it's a game of tennis. Back and forth until somebody starts acting right. That means the ball is in the GOP's court but does not guarantee a victory or even a score. They'll get the same treatment if they screw up.

See, right-wingers are not the only people who can enact some Tea-partying. They don't hold a patent on it. They made a lot of hay this week saying the whole situation in New York proves that the party should not be big-tenting and reaching out to moderates. But the truth was that the national GOP's only crime was trusting the local NY GOP people, who were the real idiots for thinking they could run a copycat candidate instead of a real Repug. Dede Scozzafava, that's her name. And she wasn't even chosen by a primary of the people up there. The local party bosses chose her, and she was truly left of the Democrat running.

My point in all this is that the right-wingers scooped this up and made it out to be a national reflection on moderates. Wrong. That was completely a local F-up of trying to outwit the witless. So do not be fooled. And this incident proved that Palin knows how to swoop in and do a *Rush* job on people, too. That's upstate New York. What is conservative to them is heavy Leftie anywhere else.

That's not to say that those NY'ers aren't ticked off at the way things are being run either. Hoffman came pretty close to winning being that he was a last-minute 3rd party candidate. I forget the exact percentages, but Dede still got like 6% of the vote and if those had gone to Hoffman, he'd have won. What that says is that more poeple voted GOP than Dem. Which is all part of that anger and tennis volley.

Be on the lookout on MSNBC and on Fox at how the two sides try to play the election results. Because Matthews has it pegged, I think. He explained how when the right-winger runs he is defeated. When the moderate runs, he wins. That was true in NJ, faux-true in VA (the GOP winner went to great pains to paint himself moderate and downplay his right-wingedness), and true in NY, obviously. Even out in CA, in the race to fill Ellen Tauscher's seat, the conservative right wing GOP candidate was behind as I type this, and that district is one of those rarities in CA in that it's not liberal.

Let me hammer home my point here: if the country was clamoring for right-wing leadership like Beck, Rush, Laura, Sarah and Ann are jabbering about, then Hoffman would have won, the VA winner could have outed his right-wing self, and Christie in NJ would have had a harder time (cuz you know some of those right-wingers are happy to stay home and not vote). Don't buy the B.S. explanations. BOTH parties have a lot to be worried about and frankly, I hope it stays that way. Heck, even Bloomberg barely won re-election and I'd say he's pretty dang popular.

Oh and P.S. -- the younger voters who elected Obama totally crapped out. Did not show up. That was icing on the cake to me. I can only hope it means they've wised up about voting for a novice just cuz he be cool. {EYEROLL} But actually, it probably means they still have no clue what it takes to be a serious, responsible voter.

The Mirage of a Congressional Thermo-Fix:

The Left wants us to believe that all scientists of any merit are solidly behind the theory of manmade climate change being something that needs to be aggressively solved now and that Congress has the guts and brains to do that. Turns out that one of those guys who won a Nobel for this kind of thing is trying to tell us that ain't necessarily so:
BILLINGS- As debate over climate change legislation heats up on Capitol Hill, the Director of the University of Montana’s Climate Change Studies Program, and a co-author of a Nobel Prize winning report, says cap and trade legislation could ruin the US economy.

During a Wednesday morning interview with statewide radio talk show host Aaron Flint on “Voices of Montana,” Dr. Steve Running said any climate change solution needs to involve all nations.

“We have to have all the major nations in agreement on future progress,” said Running.

Running is a co-author of the Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and founder of the Climate Change Studies program at the University of Montana.

He added, “If the US passed a cap and trade and other countries did not, it wouldn’t work. It would ruin the US economy and it wouldn’t save the climate either. So this is a global issue, the global climate statistics are global in nature, global carbon emissions are global in nature, and we really have to have an international consensus of what to do. That is going to stretch our international diplomacy to its limit, there’s no doubt about that.”

This is Reason #2,901 why Congressional reform efficacy will just be a mirage.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Boys Club?



It seems that there's a debate going on about whether our President is a so-called "good old boy". Betcha never thought that would happen, but it has.

Obama's golf pals are all men. So are his basketball pals. I wasn't paying attention to how it all first got started, but NBC's Savanah Gregory asked him in an interview if he thought he shouldn't be playing with a co-ed group (paraphrasing heavily here). To wit, he replied that idea was quote-unquote Bunk.

Well, many talking heads weighed in and people are generally all over the place on it but a slight majority so far have agreed that it is a faux-pas on his part. The idea is that women are once again being left out of the networking circle and out of the decision-making circle. The ladies of The View mostly thought so, except for Whoopie, who just thought it was silly. (Bunk, perhaps?)

Here's my take. I actually think that Whoopie made a good point when she noted that no other President has had to have a co-ed sporting cadre to prove he's a feminist. That is true. And, I really don't have an opinion on it one way or another. To me, it's kind of a non-issue, because I'm thinking that if Obama wants you in those circles, he'll call ya and you don't have to play golf to be wanted. Which is kind of the opposite of the way the Good Old Boys did it back in the day.

According to Fox Business anchor Cheryl Casone, who appeared to debate this on The Factor, all the financial deals are being done between Good Old Boys at the strip joint and the steakhouse. At least Obama isn't hanging out at those places.

Actually my apathy about this has a lot to do with my theory that Obama is hen-pecked. Maybe that's not quite the right word (down here in the South we say 'pussy-whipped'), but what I think is that Michelle wears the pants. Most definitely. And while I generally cheer on that kind of thing among the common folk like me, in my President it's not a comforting trait. In him or her.

But let's just assume that he is pecked or whipped. Now, wouldn't he want to just get away from all that occasionally and play with the boys? Just boys? I don't see that as unreasonable. After all, and let's keep assuming that Michelle calls all the shots she can, if there are women in the group, how's he gonna explain this to her? Remember a while back when that story came out that during the campaign women kept grabbing his ass? And that Michelle gave him the silent treatment? Lord knows what would have happened had he been asking for it! I thought giving him the silent treatment for being groped was a bit much. Our First Lady might be the Jealous Type. So, how does he escape all of that, especially since he's also saving the world and all that?

That's what I think. If he wants to get away from all the women who manage his life and his politics, then I'm not going to demand that he do that with more women. I think he's kind of a joke in the situation, but I don't think he's really being a "Good Old Boy". I don't even think he talks shop on his golf outings.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What I Read


The old adage says, you are what you eat. If that's true, then, because reading feeds your brain, you are what you read to a certain extent. At the least, I think it informs this blog's reader a bit as to my political mindset to know where I get some of my brain food on that subject.

So, I thought I'd blog tonight about what and who I read for political info on a daily or consistent basis. Let me just reiterate: I was a card-carrying Democrat my entire life until last year. I now call myself a moderate or centrist, not so much because I changed in my beliefs as much as my party left me, and I do mean LEFT me (literally).

The people I choose to read and the places I read from were not fed me by anyone's list or philosophical expectations. I've found my list by trial and error, meaning I have read a wide divurgence from left to right and quit reading where the intent seemed cubbyholed, stereotyped, too predictable or just plain boring and vapid. What remains isn't written by people ideologically identical to me; rather, be they left, right, middle or all over the place, they make me think and they win me over sometimes.

On any given day, my first trip is to USA Today. My reason: I've found they give the best snapshot of the pulse of America in general and overall. I peruse their top stories and move on.

Next, I usually check out my main Leftist literature: The Daily Beast. I like how they have created their summary pages, which are stories from the Big Box Lamestreamers (WaPo, NYTimes, Wall St Journal, LATimes) and I like reading Meghan McCain's blog which is published there, as well as occasional reads of other blogs. Reading the Beast enables me to avoid HuffPo and Daily Kos in order to get the Left-ish perspective.

Then, to get a bit of conservative with chutzpah, I surf to the NY Daily Post. I confess to a Page Six weakness, which is gossip, but I generally find their take on issues to be a good counterpoint to the Left without getting too far right.

The three sites above usually give me a broad view. My next stop is for a broad stroke of politics. For that, I first go to Drudge and read the headlines, then I go to Politico and surf around.

Then it is on to specific writers, columnists and essayists. Not all of these folks publish daily, but my list includes Charles Krauthammer, David Brooks, Camile Paglia, S.E. CuppMargaret Hoover, Peggy Noonan, and Craig Crawford.

When I have the time or need, I also check out the Times of London and the Daily Telegraph, The Weekly Standard, Michelle Malkin, and Breitbart .

Krauthammer's my go-to guy, my favorite of the columnists. I always enjoy Paglia and she doesn't write frequently enough for my taste. And I like the young women columnists Hoover (Herbert's granddaughter) and S.E. Cupp for their fresh perspectives.

Well, there you have it. No matter your beliefs, I encourage everyone to develop their own lists in order to stay informed and help develop where you stand on the issues that affect us all.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Repeat Play-ah



I'm sorry (not really, but it sounds good) for not having blogged here in 6 days, but every damn day I sit down to type and the beef's the same.

It's always something to rag on Obama for.

Now, he may totally deserve it, I usually think he does or I wouldn't feel the need, but that's not the point. Point is, I get so tired of it. How much longer again?

THREE YEARS!?!?!?!?!? WTF?

Oh, jeez, I'm either gonna have to lower my standards to where I like play-ahs and posers...or, I'm going to have to learn to like disliking them  and not worry about seeing America sink into economic ruin due to their policies.

I think either option is an extreme injustice, yet, such is life. Right now, I'm ticked off over a few things, but I'll just mention one now. President Thin-skinned would rather issue Executive Order # We-Don't-Need-No-Stinkin-Freedom-of -the-Press than just suck it up (criticism of him on Fox News). Don't ever believe this guy does not believe his own press. I really don't know any women that vain. Wow.

Let's see, why is he doing this? The excuse is that Fox is just one long conservative GOP talk show, and nothing could be futher from the truth. Anybody who is not a weenie knows the way to beat any negative press is to engage, engage, engage. Put in so many requests to appear on Fox that Dizzy wouldn't see Dean in front of him with his eyes open.

Why won't they just do that? Gosh! Oh, okay, because then they'd have to admit...well, they in fact did admit this yesterday...that it's just the 5pm and 9pm time slots that swing that way. Beck and Hannity. Still, they're not gonna get on there and engage.

Lazy whiners.

Oh, yeah, okay, we took a shot at destroying Freedom of the Press because we don't like being criticized because it's making sense and we're losing support. But it didn't work because it was a cheap shot, but oh well. NEXT campaign-mode dirty trick !

 You know what irks me more than anything? It so reminds me of two little brats in the back seat of the car hitting each other. And as the Mom, I have to referee, and all I hear is, "He hit me first!"..."No, he hit me first!"

And once again I find myself plaintively wailing, "Where are the grown-ups?"

Oh, that's right. We told them to go home last Nov. 8th.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I dunno I dunno I dunno

I really like Meghan McCain, even still after her latest misstep, but I still haveta chuckle about it because she completely stepped in it and frankly it stinks. It was a totally "Oh No U Di-in't" moment. First, she posted this photo on Twitter:


Now, I look at that and see very nice but frankly generic boob cleavage (like I can't see the same or worse after 15 minutes of watching tv or going to my local gas station or mall). I look a little longer and it hits me that maybe she is making a sarcastic statement about her cleavage and Warholian 15 minutes of fame? Or maybe I'm hot for Andy?

But, my reactions were obviously in the minority. Meghie's photo caused so much of a stir on the Nets that CNN's Jeannie Moos even had a go at it and her and Miley, to wit:



One thing I wanted to add was that I say you go, Meghie and Miley. Both of ya. I personally liked Miley's rap message, paraphrased, that she was tweeting about pimples, living her life for people and not moments. This is pretty much why I've so far avoid Twitter like the plague and closed my Facebook account. Heck, I have enough trouble being bossed around by blogging! It's reassuring to know that others find this troubling as well.

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In other weird news, this whole Ban Rush from NFL football ownership kinda just drips with hypocracy, if you ask me. And I'm far from alone here. The double (triple? quad? quint? hex?) standards prompted one witty commenter to poetize:

The NFL and the media doesn't mind--
people who rape or sexual assault women
people who torture and muder dogs
people who are drug dealers
people who are pimps
people who beat their wives
people who commit dui manslaughter
people who owe millions in child support
Yet Rush Limbaugh is just sooooooo horrible.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Climate Change Contrarian, Part 2



The late Michael Crichton's 2005 speech "The Case For Skepticism on Global Warming" to the National Press Club in Washington D.C. (see my 10/14 blog entry) is closely aligned to everything I believe on the topic of global warming and the way the activists approach solving it. Specifically, Crichton says:

~ the summary of this speech is as follows:   Michael's detailed explanation of why he criticizes global warming scenarios. Using published UN data, he reviews why claims for catastrophic warming arouse doubt; why reducing CO2 is vastly more difficult than we are being told; and why we are morally unjustified to spend vast sums on this speculative issue when around the world people are dying of starvation and disease.

~ he admired the late New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and he is so correct. You should read the entire entry on Moynihan here. Moynihan was so prescient. Among his firsts was promoting both the concepts and dangers of acid rain and the greenhouse effect while in Nixon's cabinet. He also identified the dumbing down of the American public school student (remember "Why Johnny Can't Read?") and also that the Welfare system encouraged single-parent households. That Crichton calls him a hero and approaches his intellectual logic towards public policy as Moynihan would should tell you that Crichton is someone to be listened to intently.

~ he was deeply committed to the environment, considering it our shared life support, but he recognized as I have that our scientists are basing their findings on speculation. In other words, they have left the Scientific Method behind once they continue on to speculation of their findings and then regard them as conclusions. I myself became aware more and more at least a decade ago that statistical analysis and the rigor of statistical testing was being abandoned in polls. This made me very nervous, because science is nothing without these principles and processes. Crichton said that adding the additional subjectiveness of politics has corrupted much of these findings. Were he alive today, I've no doubt he'd be doing 2 things: speaking out boldly about it, and writing a new bestseller about it. He'd do both to alert us and hopefully educate us.

~ I love it that he brought up how everyone in the 1970's just KNEW another Ice Age was upon us...like in the next 10-20 years. Seriously, scientists everywhere were alarming us all, we had to DO something. Well, it's been almost 40 years now and where is the Ice Age? Crichton's point: in 2030, people are gonna be asking, well, where's the Heat?

~ In his speech, he lays out several examples of where so-called scientific results have been skewered by speculation by the scientists or, worse, by journalists writing about the science. It boils down to applying logic, stepping back and looking at the big picture by people who know about the subject. This is coincidentally the main arguments of the many scientists you and I never seem to hear from who think we are overdoing the warming threat.

~ he alludes to several ideas that people seem to be forgetting, like can we now do what's necessary to impact life 100 years from now? His example of Teddy Roosevelt in 1900 not being able to speculate in detail a solution to today's problems is right-on. This means therefore that WE do not have the right tools right now to impact stuff we don't even know will exist 100 years from now, much less 400 years from now (the global warming damage is a 400-year trend).

I've posted here before about, that even if the science was conclusive beyond doubt that the warming was here, was doing damage and would be even worse than Al Gore wants you to believe, who has proved that we can actually reverse it or even materially affect it? We are just urged to DO things, and those things are remarkably close to a political agenda. Hmmm.... This is what Crichton meant by complexity theory in nature, and the problem with applying a linear-based solution to climate when it follows a nonlinear complex function.

~ Crichton also made a wonderful point about, if we don't let the drug companies government-test the drugs they invent in order to pass FDA approval, then why are we letting the very scientists who came up with the current global warming scenarios and speculative solutions test them for scientific rigor? Are you willing to start letting Bayer tests its own drugs? I didn't think so. Why are we just blindly believing all this?

~ I love his section on there being no balance in nature and the role of mankind in it. I watched a very good piece on The History Channel about Niagra Falls' geography and changing forms, and how it is speculated to change so drastically, all because of nature only. Nothing we did. We often lose our smarts believing that nature doesn't change, but nothing could be further from the truth. What if this is the natural way it's wanting to change by raising the temps almost a degree overall? And are we gonna try to change the sun's effect on us while we are at it? Because listen, the sun plays a huge role in all this and last time I checked, it was powerful enough to do its own thing and that thing changes. Yes, even the sun.

Most of what Crichton reminded his listeners in this speech was not very comforting. Remember how Jurassic Park wasn't very comforting either? Science -- pure D science -- doesn't comfort, or alarm, it only records and most of the time does not predict, especially when non-linear complexities must be dealt with. The original 1995 IPCC report conclusively said that no conclusions long term could be drawn. Then it was corrected by one scientist to make it more of a solutions-based report, even when those solutions had not been proven. And that brings us to today. Crichton died only a year ago, so he hasn't missed much so far. This is another reason I trust him. Still another, I think like he did. I'm famous for "Wait, not so fast" or "Let me ask a dumb question" that sometimes turns out to be the disproving point. Something inside my brain sees inaccuracies in logic every day.

Crichton referenced Mark Twain, who said " Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." This is great advice when dealing with any issue, but especially good advice for scientists. I wish more of them thought like Crichton did.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Climate Change Contrarian

Thursday, October 15th is Blog Action Day and this year's theme is Climate Change. I plan to take part in that, but I will be blogging to remain skeptical about our ability to contain CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases in material enough ways as to offset climate change effects. I'll be taking that viewpoint, as the other 99% of participants will be posting to believe and take action. This is why I'll be the Climate Change Contrarian.

I thought I would post a few pre-event pieces and thereby avoid one humongous blog entry. I'll start by explaining basically where I stand after doing a lot of reading and a fair amount of research on it. I've also previously stated that what has happened in our atmosphere and what is being reported about our current atmospheric conditions is absolutely true. Where I differ is in the logic of the predictions of what it all means. And, when I compare what I believe with others who have written about it, I find that my beliefs are very closely aligned with those of the late scientist and author Michael Crichton.

You may be saying, wait. You mean the guy who wrote ER, The Andromeda Strain and Jurassic Park? Yes, that'd be him.

If you think Crichton was just a writer, you need some edumacation. Checking out his official website would be helpful. While you are there, be sure to read his biography. You will see he was a medical doctor and additionally, had expertise in public policy of medicine, computer modeling, anthropology and human endocrine and immune systems. He understood thoroughly how to assess good research and he knew the perils of predictions based on statistics interpreted by political idealogues.

Also on his website are copies of his various white papers and speeches. One in particular is germaine to our conversation here. I highly recommend it to everyone, especially those of you who fervently believe we must act drastically and comprehensively to save the planet from greenhouse gases, and we should have started yesterday. I grew up being taught that to really know your subject you must know the opposition's best argument, so here it is:

The Case For Skepticism on Global Warning

Read it and come back for a discussion on Thursday...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lately...

Lots of stuff happening this past week...

First, the Nobel Peace Prize. It was over the top and I can't complain because it was a great chuckle. They are within the rules for awarding it to Obama, and he didn't ask for it that we know of. I'd be really harsh expecting him to give it back. He totally does not deserve it, but geez, what else is new. Seriously?

Second, I have finally made some progress in what I can stomach viewing on MSNBC. I now watch Morning Joe, Dylan Rattigan and Doctor Nancy, and then it is noon. Andrea Mitchell is on next and she makes me ill, so that's when I turn it to Fox FNC.  Martha and Chase, Shep, Neil Cavuto and then Beck. That's my new weekday background noise on the TV.

David Letterman's scandal: I think he should be fired for it, but knowing him, he probably has a contract clause exempting him from enforced good behavior. Criminal charges like were attempted against Clinton? If the shoe fits, but as he and Katie Couric are generally credited with carrying water for Obama during the election (remember their one-two punch hit on McCain?), so they both get light treatment.

I know he's a very bad boy, but Rush Limbaugh's comment about Obama's Nobel - "the  Ego has landed" - was too dang funny. Just sayin... and bad boys are bad, and bad. Roman Polanski bad? No, not that bad.

This whole Leftist defense of Polanski is another over-the-top oddity. Loved Mark Steyn's reply to when Whoopie said it's not rape-rape. Steyn said, no Whoopie, it isn't rape-rape. It's rape-rape-rape-rape. Priceless. Even Bill Mahr actually sense in his firm rejection of apology for Polanski.

I watched the most fascinating debate this past week between Sean Hannity and Michael Moore on Hannity. First off, Moore was utterly charming at best, disarming at worse. I was almost shocked, and wondered why...have I been led to believe worse of him all these years? Because either that is true, or he has the talented ability to morph into different temperments and personalities. I saw tremendous campassion about many different topics, but one issue still puzzles me. Hannity continually hammered him about his millionaire status whilst defaming capitalism in his new movie. And every time he flumbled a response into a nonresponse. He had nothing. It's a very convincing argument for hypocracy. All in all though, great debate.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Song lyric prophesies...



I dare you to read these songs lyrics like you would a poem, and not feel like they were written about our national politics today:

Well I don't know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain't right,
I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you.


Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you,
And I'm wondering what it is I should do,
It's so hard to keep this smile from my face,
Losing control, yeah, I'm all over the place,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.


Well you started out with nothing,
And you're proud that you're a self made man,
And your friends, they all come crawlin,
Slap you on the back and say,
Please.... Please.....


Trying to make some sense of it all,
But I can see that it makes no sense at all,
Is it cool to go to sleep on the floor,
'Cause I don't think that I can take anymore
Clowns to the left of me, Jokers to the right,
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you.


Well you started out with nothing,
And you're proud that you're a self made man,
And your friends, they all come crawlin,
Slap you on the back and say,
Please.... Please.....

Well I don't know why I came here tonight,
I got the feeling that something ain't right,
I'm so scared in case I fall off my chair,
And I'm wondering how I'll get down the stairs,
Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you,

Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you,
Stuck in the middle with you.

~ music and lyrics by Joe Egan and Gerry Rafferty aka Stealer's Wheel band, 1972.

Monday, September 28, 2009

What's great about America


The following was originally printed in the National Review on September 25, 2001. I am 3 days late commemorating its 8-year life, please excuse.

I am usually one of those who don't care for the average knee-jerk patriotic essay, but I very much believe this one is not like that. It made me think. The point of view in this essay stirs the soul of America.

I'm not sure that as a nation of people we are as selfless as the essay makes us out to be, but then I realized that even if we are not -- even if we meddle, subside, defend bad or questionable regimes in other countries, and we have and do -- this essay describes the fabric of America and how it is really the fabric of the world.

I believe this essay is a good checklist for Americans. I mean, when you want dissent stifled, read this. But I also think the essay could stand to be updated and I might email the author and ask if he has considered doing that. I'm uncomfortably aware that this was written before we began the counter attack on glodal terror, and I am wondering if the essay would change because of that. I know I have changed. I am more of a warrior about defense than I used to be, so the part of this essay that deals with the way we act in the worlds seems too placating to me. I find my reaction fascinating, because I am not alone, and I think it shows what 911 did to us in a lasting way and that it is an open gate that cannot be closed back. What do you think? Email me.

What Is An American? A primer.

By Peter Ferrara, an associate professor of law at the George Mason University School of Law.


September 25, 2001 9:20 a.m.

You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper there an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American.


So I just thought I would write to let them know what an American is, so they would know when they found one.


An American is English…or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani, or Afghan.


An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them choose.


An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.


An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God-given right of each man and woman to the pursuit of happiness.


An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need. When Afghanistan was overrun by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan.


An American does not have to obey the mad ravings of ignorant, ungodly cruel, old men. American men will not be fooled into giving up their lives to kill innocent people, so that these foolish old men may hold on to power. American women are free to show their beautiful faces to the world, as each of them choose.


An American is free to criticize his government's officials when they are wrong, in his or her own opinion. Then he is free to replace them, by majority vote.


Americans welcome people from all lands, all cultures, all religions, because they are not afraid. They are not afraid that their history, their religion, their beliefs, will be overrun, or forgotten. That is because they know they are free to hold to their religion, their beliefs, their history, as each of them choose.


And just as Americans welcome all, they enjoy the best that everyone has to bring, from all over the world. The best science, the best technology, the best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best athletes.


Americans welcome the best, but they also welcome the least. The national symbol of America welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed.


These in fact are the people who built America. Many of them were working in the twin towers on the morning of September 11, earning a better life for their families.


So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo and Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty tyrant in the history of the world.

But in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

So look around you. You may find more Americans in your land than you thought were there. One day they will rise up and overthrow the old, ignorant, tired tyrants that trouble too many lands. Then those lands too will join the community of free and prosperous nations.
And America will welcome them.

************


Starbucks recently unveiled its latest growth path, and I cannot wait. I am finally jazzed about a Starbucks product, and it is.... instant Starbucks coffee that is not freeze-dried (freeze-drying is why most instant coffees taste gross). Its brand name is Via, and it's apparently getting great reviews for its taste. Here is a really good informative review, I thought.

I will try their instant coffee. I'm hoping it truly will taste like real coffee.

In fact, I just ordered some.

I would love to not have to use a drip coffee maker (my second machine recently broke after 2 months and I refuse to buy another one, and have you checked the costs of most of them lately?) or a French press (mine makes a better tasting coffee without boiled water, but leaves gross sludge in the bottom of my cup and cleaning out the grounds is gross, too).  I have tried some of the instant coffee selections on my grocery shelf, but so many are flavored up.

Trust me, I'd love to sip flavored coffee all day long, but after I had to get 6 cavities filled 18 months ago (including 2 hair-line ones that my dentist says were directly caused by drinking coffee with cream in it), I have to limit my everyday intake to black coffee with sweet n low. I occasionally splurge on a McDonalds Iced Latte with sugar-free vanilla, but only once a week or so.

My order should be here October 5th - a week from today. I cannot wait!

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beck-zilla Explains It All

Well, yesterday a little bit defiant Glen Beck explained what he called his "Hillary remark" that he made on Katie Couric's webcast Tuesday.

If you missed his explanation, you can catch up here , here or here.

Being that I usually always ingest Beck with a little skepticism, what he said did not surprise me. I can even see where he is coming from. However, if you thought Beck was not a conservative, he has now left no doubt that he indeed is one.

Here's the one thing:  let's forget his frog boiling for a minute and concentrate on the narrative of his analogy. He explained that Obama has galvanized the opposition much better than McCain ever could. He said to think about boiling a frog. If you put the frog in tepid water and then bring it to boiling, the poor frog never knows what has hit him and he boils. This example has the frog as the American people, the water as The March Into Liberalism (an evil), and the temperature is McCain. In other words, McCain would have brought us to Liberalism so slowly we would not even notice, thereby becoming complacent and falling right into it.

But, Obama supposedly did us the favor of his boiling water of Liberalism and requiring the frog (the American people) to be thrown into said water. He preferred it this way because we all know that frogs will jump right out unhurt.

Ya got that? Yeah. I think there was jumping, but it was Beck jumping the shark.

Included in his near-rant were his very real accusations against McCain: Progressivist philosophy, immigration amnesty, cap and trade support, and bailout funding. I agree with McCain on immigration amnesty in order to get into the system. Reagan's amnesty saved Social Security ten years later, plus it is physically and economically impossible to find and deport them all now. I disagree with McCain on cap and trade, but I really believe he would have gotten it greatly diluted and less destructive if it had passed under him. And I was not for bailout funding either, but McCain has said had he known how badly they were going to do it, he would have opposed that, so I accept that and do not hold it against him because an awful lot of people did the same or stood there like deer in the headlights.

I think Beck has been wrong-o bong-o from the get-go about McCain when it comes to the progressive label. Here's a test: the self-avowed progressive Hillary Clinton herself would not in a million years label McCain one, so Hello? Point of View here. From Beck's POV, BOTH of them are, hence Beck is far-right on this issue. Logic is a hard thing to dismiss. Trouble is, this issue affects all others in his POV. Apparently, if you are progressive about anything, then you are one? That's a flimsy stretch in my book. And, Beck's entire argument about Teddy Roosevelt's "evil" New Nationalism, IMHO, is hogwash. Is Back actually willing to be against child-labor laws? Back in that day? I suppose if one were so rigid that any tiny restraint on business was wrong, then yes. He should be concentrating on Wilson, who not only lied and misrepresented himself while campaigning with his New Freedom platform that he abandoned once he was elected, at least TR saw there could be monopolies that were good for us. Wilson was too rigid. All were bad.

Bottom line on this: Only a conservative Christian aka hard-right aka strict Constitutionalist would still choose Obama and all we have been through. I'm even more confident now that he is pretty much Rush on TV now. He may have some libertarian leanings on a few issues, but I'm thinking those are only those economic issues that Republicans believe in, too, like unrestricted and unregulated free markets. Beck is definitely not a moderate or centrist, and that, I think is his real hate-on with McCain, because McCain is a moderate. If  Beck is lying and he really is a Republican, then he does not want the party to be led by a moderate (too late for that, aka both Bushes).

All of this is backseat to the over-riding importance that McCain would have mitigated Pelosi and Reid better than Obama has. And he most likely would have been a one-termer, but that's a pure guess. Beck's popularity benefits from Obama more -- much, much more -- and I still will bet money here and now if we could be flies on the wall, we'd discover that's heavily at play here.

Which, as I said, not a cause for boycotting him. Just know what you are getting.  What Beck has done beneficial is that he has been a decent substitute for the news media, uncovering information that the Lamestream media has withheld.

It is always hard to coexist with someone who feels as if they should be your enemy, but if you are worse-off alone, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

I have to add, yesterday's on-air stunt and near-rant unsettled me a little. I guess I expect him to hold things together a little better and not be so...rigid. I see him now as less rational. And I feel myself not as open to him as before. Perhaps it is time for me to move on. I don't share his passion for his social conservatism. It's more than a little like I don't share the thirst for Obama's Kool-aid.

In vampire terms, Beck's blood is drying up for me. We shared issues but not loyalty oaths. And when one casket closes, another opens, right? LOL I've been noticing lately that MSNBC in the morning and daytime are getting a little more centrist. Apparently The Bottom Line has won out over there. I'm actually enjoying Morning Joe more than the Curvy Couch Fox Crew, and Dylan Ratigan isn't bad after that. I still cannot stand Chris Matthews so I may stay with Beck for now.

Now that we have that figured out, let me tell you where I went yesterday that gave me some well-loved stress-busting laughter and giggles. I happened upon a site called People of Wal-mart. It shows photos of Wal-mart shoppers, along with the occasional parking lot bumper sticker on shoppers' cars. You browse it by page and it goes on boringly and then all of a sudden, there is a hilarious photo. I'll cut you a break and give you links of some of the ones I laughed at: Oh..My..God, That's a First, All Smiles, Tails, and Tell Us How You Really Feel. Be sure to read the captions, cuz some of them are as funny as the photos. Oh, rated R, probably.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stuck between Barack and a Hard Right Case

It ain't easy being in between.

Especially on days like yesterday. The first headline I read is that Glen Beck told Katie Couric on her webcast that he thinks McCain would have been worse than Obama as President, and that he might have voted for Hillary over McCain, had she won the nomination.

Those of you who love Beck and share that belief: why do you think that? Cuz I think it's just crazy talk.

Listen, I get that this is what a majority of the hard right wing of the GOP believe. They (you) have an intense mistrust of McCain. I hear it said a lot it's because he is too moderate. I suppose it is because I've never looked at McCain from that viewpoint, so to me he is conservative. I'd like him to be more moderate, as a matter of fact. But when last November's vote was clearly a choice of lesser evils, and now every single conservative Christian I talk to seems to be distraught to the point of Tea Partying about Obama, I just need to know, what the hell where you thinking by staying home on Election Day? Because, you know what, you effectively voted for Obama! Have you figured that out yet? Time's running out. Try to understand that, please.

I'm not just whistling Dixie here. The demographics have now been studied, and they show that had all of you voted for McCain (holding your nose or whatnot), he would be President right now. Yup, that is indeed why Biden made his little verbal eruption ysterday about 2010 will either reinforce or mark the end to all he and Obama are trying to do. They know the demographics, and they have finally accepted the power of the protestors, and they see the handwriting on the wall. If every Republican and conservative actually votes next year, the Dems can be defeated. So now think about what Biden said. It was a reactionary comment to that information, and a call to keep their most liberal supporters loyal and active, because they cannot have any more defections from their base.

Here's a novel idea for those of you who agree with Beck's comment to Couric: quit doing what Rush Limbaugh tells you to. He, like Glen Beck, are first and foremost conerned about their own careers and relevance. Are either one of them your God? No, so quit following them as faithfully as you do our Dude in the Bible. I'm not saying to quit listening and watching. I'm saying, think about what they say with a skeptical mind and remember that their first loyalty is not to you, it is to themselves and their careers.

Although I rarely listen to Rush, I do watch Beck's tv show, but I don't just believe him blindly. I always do my own research. I have to confess that just do not get the logic in Beck preferring Obama or Hillary over McCain. I was a Hillary supporter, but the further I get from then, the more I realize that she was not very different at all from Obama, just a bit less Left. In fact, on a political number line, Obama would be the farthest Left, then Hillary, THEN McCain, basically in the middle-to-slight-Right. So is Beck saying he voted for Obama? That's not illogical to conclude.

How would things be worse with a President McCain right now, Beck? First, it has to be accepted as fact that we would have a Democrat majority in both houses of Congress regardless. This is a statistical fact, because of the races and where they were and who was running. So, we would have had maybe a few less Democrats, but not many. I can tell you that Pelosi and Reid would have been pushing the same things, but the veto pen would be out of ink by now, that's for sure. And since Republicans aren't McCain's best friends either, he might have been able to force them to come up with some better ideas to counter the Dems. Obama has no motivation or reason to do that, none. When bills are vetoed, and when the public weighs in vocally, it forces both parties to work together. Even if the same results happened, we would at least be feeling better that someone up there was trying to govern moderately, instead of so many of us feeling hopeless despair.

Let me just spell it out for you, one more time (since I got cyber-laryngitis last year trying to tell you): the 2008 election wasn't about choosing your ideal candidate, it was about choosing who could best mitigate the effects of Pelosi and Reid in power. Maybe you can see that now, after it is too late?

Now, here is the best part of the what-if McCain presidency: We'd not be having to worry about Bill Ayers, Reverend Wright, Valerie Jarrett, ACORN, Cass Sunstein, Van Jones, Communists, Socialists, and Cabinet Tax Cheats.

Man, that alone seems worth it to me. Dang. Think about it. I'm really tired of it, myself. But I will leave you with this. Were we not having to worry about all of those players right now, would Rush and Beck be as popular or as rich? Yep, ya can't trust anyone nowadays...