Friday, March 31, 2006

It's Only Humor....Seriously!

"A Christian Scientist from Beal
Said although I know pain isn't real,
When I sit on a pin
And it punctures my skin
I dislike what I fancy I feel."
~ Unknown

Does anyone know if someone who works for the Christian Science Monitor has to be a member of the Christian Scientist Church? Probably not, I guess, but if they do...

I wonder if Jill Carrol, the Christian Science Monitor reporter who was just freed after months of captivity by extremists in Iraq, was really kidnapped? Christian Scientists don't believe anything is real so maybe she imagined all that.

Even if she really was, she said she was well treated. But maybe they tortured her but she doesn't believe she really was. Or maybe she thought she was being tortured but really wasn't. She says she wasn't hit or threatened but maybe she was. After all, Christian Scientists say that pain isn't real, it's only an illusion.

Ok, It was just a thought.

Blogger Buddy Tech wrote a post naming many of the plays he has been involved in over the years. One of the plays he mentioned is a play called "Night, Mother". It is a play about a girl who announces to her mother, right out of the blue, that she's going to kill herself that very night. That's near the beginning. The rest of the play is pretty much her mother trying to talk her out of suicide.

It was a movie, too, which I saw, starring Ann Bancroft and Sissy Spacek as Mother and Daughter. What I remember better than anything else about that movie was part of this line:

"Mama, I know you used to ride the bus. Riding the bus, and it's hot and bumpy and crowded and too noisy, and more than anything else in the world, you want to get off. And the only reason in the world you don't get off is it's still fifty blocks from where you're going. Why get off right now if I want to? Because even if I ride fifty more years and get off then, it's still the same place when I step down to it. Whenever I feel like it, I can get off. Whenever I've had enough, it's my stop. I've had enough."

I think of all the reasons ever given to commit suicide, that is the most logical. Sometimes you just get tired of riding the bus, you know?

Ok you're probably wondering why I seem so depressed. It's because I am. My girlfriend of over a year told me last night that she's seeing another man. I said, "Well, why don't you try rubbing your eyes, or something?"

But then I caught her in bed with another guy. I was crushed. I said, "Get off me, you two".

You know, a lot of girls go out with me just to further their careers. Damned anthropologists.

Ok, I'm done. I'll get serious tomorrow. Right now I'm tired. Good night.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

An Explanation for Little Miss Chatterbox

"The way to procure insults is to submit to them: a man meets with no more respect than he exacts." ~ William Hazlitt

Little Miss Chatterbox expressed concern the other day in a comment she made on my post about the fight between Sean Hannity and Alec Baldwin. I seem to have left the impression that I disapprove of the way Sean Hannity handled himself in the argument.

I do.

But I want to add this caveat: I like Sean Hannity. I believe his heart is in the right place. I believe him to be genuinely concerned with injustice in all facets of American life.

He expressed disapproval for the Kelo decision, and often features guests on his show who are honest hard working Americans yet are in danger of losing their homes and/or businesses due to that controversial decision.

Just yesterday, a caller, a gold star mother, mentioned that she and 11 other gold star mothers were planning a trip to Iraq and had raised $40,000 already and only needed $20,000 more. Without hesitation, Hannity promised her he would write a check out for $10,000.00 to assist them.

He is not just a partisan hack, as some commentators have suggested. If he believes the Republicans, or even President Bush, is making a mistake, he will say so. He was solidly against the President on the Ports deal, as well as the Harriet Miers nomination. He often complains about what he calls President Bush's out of control spending, also.

He doesn't agree with President Bush about the guest worker program and has no problem explaining his position of opposition.

These are many of the multiple reasons that his is the second most listened to radio program in America.

This is what I have against him, some of which I touched on in my previous post about the Baldwin v. Hannity fight:

He often interrupts callers on his show whom he disagrees with, and doesn't let them finish their comment. He shouts them down and sometimes even calls them unflattering names, and makes unfounded accusations. As in the brouhaha the other night, often he fails to control his temper and his arguments degenerate into an immature insult trading session.

Many Hannity apologists would say, and often do, that he is merely responding to worse ad hominen attacks upon him, and that is undoubtedly true.

However, I believe trading insults with Liberals only serves to cheapen him and give his opponents something to reference when accusing Republicans and Conservatives of indulging in trash talking and mean spiritedness. This is the reason I at least try to be respectful when discussing volatile subjects with those who disagree with me.

I believe we, as Conservatives, need to be respectful when debating issues of ideology with our political opponents.

Try to look at it this way:

If the pastor of your church made a point, every sermon, to instruct his congregation about living your life in such a way as to glorify God, you would expect him to set the example, wouldn't you? After all, the way to make the non-believers want to have that intangible thing that you have, because they can see the Love of the Lord in your everyday walk with Christ, is to "live your faith".

If your pastor was seen drunkenly frequenting bars, or soliciting prostitutes, or simply cursing out another driver from behind the wheel of his car, how much credibility would he then have in the community?

When Hannity is on the air, he represents Conservatives. He must be respectful at all times, otherwise he will get the reputation of being someone with a narrow prejudiced viewpoint and his credibility suffers. And, because he carries the standard of the Conservative Republicans, he creates an impression of intolerance for other viewpoints that all of us less articulate Conservatives ultimately have to answer for.

Hannity is an important voice in American politics, and an influential one. He must not lower himself to the level of the imbeciles with whom he argues. How can he convince the fence sitters that the Republicans are actually the compassionate ones with that kind of behavior?

Resorting to the same behavior as the lunatic fringe on the left reflects negatively on all of us.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Andy Card Resigns

"I wish you well and so I take my leave, I Pray you know me when we meet again." ~ William Shakespeare

I read this article yesterday on AOL news. It begins:

“White House chief of staff Andy Card has resigned and will be replaced by budget director Joshua Bolten, President Bush announced Tuesday amid growing calls for a White House shakeup and Republican concern about Bush's tumbling poll ratings.” (my emphasis)

Does anyone besides me see anything missing from this article? Here’s a hint:

It doesn’t say why. Why did Andy Card resign? It really doesn’t say. It assumes. It suggests. It may be misleading about why. But it really doesn’t say.

This is the Liberally biased media’s typical manipulating of the facts. There was no indication anywhere in that article that Card resigned because of sagging poll numbers or Democrat pressure tactics. Except the AP’s leap of logic.

That may be exactly why he resigned, but there are no actual facts to back that up at this time. I suspect we may never know the true reason for his resignation until the book comes out. You know, the book that Card will inevitably come out with in a couple of years after Bush is out of office.

The article goes on to say, “Alarmed by Bush's declining approval ratings and unhappiness about the war in Iraq, Republicans have been urging the president to bring in new advisers with fresh ideas and energy. Bolten has been with Bush since his first campaign for the White House. There was no immediate indication of other changes afoot.”

Again, This is mere supposition on the part of the AP, but I think there is more to it than just supposition. This, I believe, is wishful thinking on the part of the Liberal media. They want so badly to be able to report that a Conservative couldn’t handle the Left’s attacks, that they jump to that conclusion.

Opponents of Bush have leapt upon the bandwagon as well. Before the ink is even dry on the letter of resignation, Chuckie Shumer gleefully proclaimed victory saying, "The good news is the administration has finally realized it needs to change its ways“, while warning, “but the problems go far deeper than one staffer. "Simply rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic by replacing Andy Card with Josh Bolten without a dramatic change in policy will not right this ship."

Savor your victory, Chuckie, and quick, before the real reason he resigned comes out.

Then, the AP goes once again to the well to add this unnecessary statement:

“The move comes as Bush is buffeted by increasing criticism of the drawn-out war in Iraq and as fellow Republicans have suggested pointedly that the president bring in new aides with fresh ideas and new energy.”

That is blatant partisan reporting, in my humble opinion. The criticism is not increasing. It has been constant since he won the 2000 election. The left clearly can’t get over the fact that he won.

He might have resigned because of pressure from the Democrats, but let’s consider this before we jump to conclusions:

According to the AP article, “Associates said that Card, who was secretary of Transportation and deputy chief of staff for the first President Bush, had wanted to establish himself as the longest serving White House chief of staff. He would have had about another seven months to go to beat Sherman Adams, who served as President Dwight D. Eisenhower's chief of staff and will keep the longest-serving distinction.”

On the surface it may seem to some that Card was giving up while still short of his goal, and that would lend credence to the idea that he was forced to resign, but there is another way to look at this. No one lasts very long on this job. Clinton’s chief of staff didn’t. Neither did Carter’s. Or Reagan’s, or Johnson’s, or Nixon’s. If you look at it that way, he must have been a very good chief of staff and there is nothing to suggest otherwise. It is not unusual for a President's chief of staff to resign before finishing his term.

Here’s another reason he might have resigned: “Card did not immediately disclose his plans. His resignation immediately prompted questions about whether he would return to Massachusetts to run for governor or perhaps challenge Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., who currently faces no major GOP challenge for re-election this fall, or Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., whom he helped defeat as the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee and who faces re-election in 2008.

Card, a Holbrook native, served as the state representative from his hometown from 1975 to 1982.”

Maybe he thinks he can unseat Kennedy in Massachusetts.

Not likely, in my opinion, since the media already has decided he is a failure. It has to be hard to overcome the political smear campaigns mounted by the press.

By the way. For those of you who think I get my opinions from talk radio- My favorite talk radio host is Laura Ingraham, and she thinks Card resigned for exactly the reason the media implies he did. I don't. So there.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

And In This Corner...!

"I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me." ~ Dave Barry

I have said before I don't usually read the e-mails that Newsmax sends me. They are too right wing. I am right wing, too, but when I read the news, I want it unvarnished and non-partisan so I can make up my own mind.

Yesterday, however, when I was home for lunch, I checked my e-mail and found this intriguing line in the subject line of a Newsmax e-mail:

"Alec Baldwin v. Sean Hannity in Radio Donnybrook"

I had to open that one!

It seems Alec Baldwin, the actor, was a guest on a WABC radio program that airs on Sunday nights, with the host, Brian Whitman. While on air, and discussing various Liberal issues with which the actor was concerned, and taking phone calls from listeners, Sean Hannity called.

I understand that Mr. Baldwin is exploring the possibility of becoming a talk radio program host, and this was an opportunity the network afforded him to see what he could do. The following is part of what was said:

HANNITY: Alec, I wanted to give you an official WABC welcome considering you were supposed to come on my program last week and you didn't show up. What happened?

BALDWIN: No, I wasn't supposed to come on your program, Sean Hannity.

HANNITY: No, actually you were supposed to come on the program because a deal was made with your agent that if you were going to come on with Brian, first you'd come on with me.

BALDWIN: I wouldn't dream of coming on your program, Sean Hannity. I'm here with Brian. I'm here with a really talented broadcaster.

HANNITY: [Crosstalk] that you are, you don't tell the truth.

BALDWIN: Why would I want to come on the show with a no-talent, former construction worker hack like you?

HANNITY: Are you the guy that said of our vice president, while we're at war, while we're leading troops in harm's way - are you the reckless, third-rate Hollywood actor who said that Dick Cheney is a terrorist? Are you the guy . . .

BALDWIN: Yes I am.

HANNITY: ... Who said to stone Henry Hyde to death? Are you the guy who said our president is a CIA mass murderer? I wanted you to come on the program and defend that, you gutless coward.

BALDWIN: At first I thought this was a joke. But you can hear all the acid venom spewing hatred. It is Sean Hannity.

The exchange got even hotter when Mark Levin joined in.

LEVIN: We've only just begun - are you 40 or 50 pounds overweight now?

WHITMAN: Oh, C'mon now . . . .

HANNITY: Once and for all you need to be challenged. You want to call our vice president a terrorist - fine. You want to talk about stoning people to death, say it on my program. If you want to be irresponsible and call our president a mass murderer while he's at war leading troops in harm's way ...

BALDWIN: And what are you gonna do about it, Sean Hannity?

HANNITY: You don't have the courage to answer questions.

BALDWIN: And what are you gonna do? And what are you going to do about it, Sean Hannity. If I come on your program, what are you going to do?

LEVIN: He's going to show that you have a two digit IQ - that's what he's gonna do.

BALDWIN: What are you going to do?

LEVIN: I just told you - you've got a two digit IQ.

BALDWIN: And who's that - who's your little cabin boy there with you.

LEVIN: I'm not a cabin boy, butt-boy.

BALDWIN: What are you doing there, cabin boy? ... I now dub you Sean Hannity's cabin boy.

LEVIN: And you know what you are? You're "Brokeback" Alec.

The confrontation continued to spiral out of control, with Whitman intermittently trying to make peace and Baldwin repeatedly urging him to move on to other callers.

BALDWIN: Listen, Sean - you incredibly ignorant boob from Long Island ...

HANNITY: Oh, ouch, Alec.

BALDWIN: No, no, no, you've spoken, let me talk, Sean. Cause you've been spewing your ...

HANNITY: You're a third-rate Hollywood egomaniac.

BALDWIN: You're a no-talent, ignorant fool from Long Island. You should go back to building houses in Hempstead.

LEVIN: Why was your [former] wife [Kim Basinger] so pissed off at you, anyway?

WHITMAN: Now, c'mon guys.

BALDWIN: OK. We're done. [Gets up and leaves the studio]

WHITMAN: Come back. Come back. Alec? They're gone. Alec? Alec has walked out of the studio. Alec, please come back.

Now, doesn't that sound like two 6 year olds fighting over who got the biggest half of the chocolate bar? It certainly doesn't sound like grown up professional people.

OK. I've said it before. Sean Hannity can sometimes be rude and mean spirited himself. And he was this time, as well. What really infuriates me about him is, he continues to insist that only Liberals are like that. They are for the most part, in my opinion, but so is he. Hannity makes the assertion that Liberals are mean spirited in such a way as to imply that he doesn't do the same, but he most certainly does, as this transcript clearly shows.

I think it hurts your reputation when you lower yourself to the level of an abusive opponent. That's why I at least try to stay respectful when discussing ideology with those with whom I vehemently disagree. And yes, ER, sometimes I am not successful.

To be fair, Hannity did start off politely. Baldwin drew first blood.

On the other hand, Mark Levin makes no such claim. He is unapologetically rude. But he is funny. I listen to Levin's show every night, if there isn't too much static. The only stations that I can get that carry his show while making my nightly run are WABC out of New York City, and WMAL, out of Washington DC, which is probably a little over 100 miles from where I am when his show is on. I don't know how far New York is from me but it is quite a bit further than Washington.

If any of you can get Mark Levin's show on your local stations and haven't listened to him yet, you really should listen to him at least once. Yes, he is rude to Liberals, but he is a brilliant man. And, as I said, funny. For instance he announces that the phone number to call in on is 1-800-381-3811, and the special line for Liberals is "One eight hundred three eighty one, thirty eight eleven". Same number. He just says it differently.

Anyway, I listened to Hannity's show and he played the recording of the argument, but it was hard to understand at times because he played sounds of the theme from "Psycho" and the sound of a baby crying during the argument. I wanted to hear Levin's version of the event but it was not a good night for long distance radio. Too much static.

Overall, I thought the whole thing was too funny not to share.

Update: I was re-reading this and it reminded me of a great line from one of my favorite movies, "My Favorite Year" Here is a brief description to put the line in context:

Alan Swann, a 1950's "Swashbuckler" movie star, is drunk, and decides to repel down the side of a high rise condominium in New York City by fire hose. In his drunkeness, he slips and finds himself dangling several stories above the street. Two wealthy indutrialists are enjoying cocktails and conversation on a balcony during a fancy cocktail party, immediately above where Swann is hanging. Got the picture? The conversation goes like this:

"Remember that actor...What is his name?...Oh Alan Swann, that's it!"

"Yes, what about him?"

"Well, I think he's beneath us."

(here's the line) "Of course he's beneath us. He's an actor!"

Monday, March 27, 2006

Illegal Immigration

"The law hath not been dead, though it hath slept." ~ William Shakespeare

I just finished listening to Lores Rizkalla's radio show on streaming audio from Radio KRLA out of Los Angeles. Lores is a long time blogger buddy of mine who has risen above the rest of us poor saps toiling in utter obscurity to get her own radio program, and it is really gaining popularity.

This morning, one of her guests was David Horowitz, Conservative (who used to be Liberal) author of "Dangerous Professors" or "The 101 most Dangerous Academics in America", but the topic that dominated the first hour of her show was the topic about illegal immigration.

I want to go on record here to say that I am not against immigration per se. I am against illegal immigration. Well, I don't suppose that makes me any different than the majority of Americans. Except you start to wonder when you discover that 500,000 people marched in protest of the introduction of a bill that would further restrict illegal immigration in L.A., and then I say to myself, "What is wrong with this picture?"

Listen: I take my son over to Frederick, Maryland (home of Hood College, where they just elected the nations first female Homecoming King, but that's a subject for another post) on occasion so he can go skateboarding in the skate park they have over there, which is situated in a very nice public park that has a lot of amenities, like the aforementioned skatepark, soccer fields, picnic shelter houses, basketball courts, and two outdoor street hockey rinks, wherein Hispanics (I use the term Hispanics because I don't really know if they are all Mexicans or if they are from various Latin American countries) from all over town gather to play a kind of outdoor indoor soccer game.

When I tire of watching my son try various skateboard tricks (did I mention he's very good?), sometimes failing and sometimes succeeding, I often wander over to the hockey rinks and watch the soccer games. Over time, I have had many opportunities to speak to some of the participants. They speak and understand little English, but my Spanish comprehension is usually good enough to facilitate some semblance of conversation.

What I have found are some very nice people. They are hard working, hard playing, industrious, decent, friendly, law-abiding people who just happen to be from another country. This, in and of itself, doesn't make them bad people. I don't know if they are illegal or not and I haven't asked. Nor should I, if I want to keep enjoying the games.

Point 1: Whether they are nice, decent, hard working, law-abiding good people is irrelevant if they are illegal. All illegal immigrants should be deported. The very designation, "illegal" makes them criminals. I would truly hate to see my new-found friends be deported, but if they are illegal, they must go.

Point 2: This illegal immigrant problem wouldn't be nearly as bad as it has become if (a) it wasn't so damn difficult to get into this country legally, and (b) if El Presidente Vincente Fox wouldn't encourage them to jump the border.

Point 3: There is no way we can control whether someone from a middle eastern country (read Iran, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Whatever) saunters across our southern and northern borders(don't forget Canada) carrying a parcel that contains something that will cause massive amounts of destruction both to infrastructure and humans.


1: Reform and refine the process of legal immigration. Some who want to immigrate here legally wait years, sometimes decades, for the go ahead to enter legally. There simply is no need for all this red tape. If we can streamline the process to where it only takes a few weeks, or better yet, a few days to approve an entry visa or whatever, how many prospective immigrants would opt to do it the legal way? Especially if...

2. We go ahead and spend the funds necessary to actually build a real wall across the borders, and man them with real people with real guns and real authority and real technology to track and arrest the illegals who still, after all these precautions, manage to sneak across anyway. I find it rather insane that we can find one cow in an obscure, nondescript field somewhere in Wyoming that has mad cow disease, but we can't find millions of illegal immigrants living right under our collective noses.

OK. We know why neither Democrats or Republicans don't seem to want to take the lead in implementing better methods of protecting our borders. So the only thing we can do from where we sit in our homes is to contact our representatives in Congress up to and including the President and demand some action. Any action.

Our votes count. Let's make sure they understand that

Sunday, March 26, 2006

An American Taliban?

"Bigotry and intolerance, silenced by argument, endeavors to silence by persecution, in old days by fire and sword, in modern days by the tongue" ~ Charles Simmons

I have very strong feelings about the plight of Abdul Rahman, the Afghan citizen who is currently in jail in Afghanistan, and facing execution for the crime of being a Christian. But, possibly for the first time, I am at a loss for words. I can't seem to articulate exactly how I feel. So, here is another opportunity for my readers to look inside my somewhat chaotic mind and watch my thought processes develop, as it were. They are developing, hopefully, as I type.

To begin with, I am thinking what a courageous man this is, to stand firm in his faith in the face of religious persecution, knowing that he will very likely be put to death just because he chooses to believe in Jesus Christ.

But is it courage or faith? I think it is faith.

Then, I wonder how I would react in similar circumstances and I must confess, I don't know, and the very fact I don't troubles me deeply.

I also don't know how I feel about the fact that President Bush seemingly has no plans to step in and involve himself in this matter, and do something, anything to free Mr. Rahman. And now, I'm re-reading that last line and I'm thinking, "Some of my readers are going to think I've totally lost my mind if I don't know how I feel about this."

But the fact is, to intervene in this case would be dictating how another country prosecutes it's own laws. Afghanistan was freed from the tyranny of the Taliban by the United States and our allies, and a new democratic form of Government was installed. But that government has it's own Constitution and it isn't the same as ours. Their Constitution does not mandate separation of church and state. Islam is the official state religion there. That's a fact.

Mr Rahman has violated the official law of Afghanistan by refusing to practice the state religion.

So, I don't know how I feel. On the one hand, it is absolutely a tremendous injustice, and on the other hand, I think the Afghan Government has the right to execute this man if it believes he has broken their laws.

I had promised myself I won't get into theological matters on this blog anymore as it leads to confrontation and strife regarding certain doctrines of various faiths and, as we are seeing in Afghanistan, religion can be a very explosive emotional issue. But I can't help recalling what Jesus Christ had to say about religious persecution. That it is to be expected and we should glory in the fact that we are persecuted for His name's sake.

I recall how the early apostles were persecuted and jailed and tortured for their faith and for preaching the gospel. They would kneel and pray and sing hymns in their jail cells, and upon release (if they were not put to death right away) would go on their way rejoicing that they had been found worthy of being persecuted for their belief in Jesus Christ.

My mother, who is a devout Christian, and Sunday School teacher, wrote a short play one time (for her Sunday School class) based on the question, "If it were illegal to be a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?" Mr. Rahman apparently has demonstrated that, beyond a doubt, there is enough evidence to convict him.

So, now you know where I get my penchant for writing short plays to illustrate points from time to time.

Another thing that occurs to me at this point, and I know I will get some flack for, is this:

I believe this is what America is coming to. There are organizations in America actively campaigning to remove every last vestige of Christianity from America, and will not stop until the word, "Christian" will be an archaic word, with which no American will be familiar.

There are the various Atheist organizations, obviously, that would like nothing better than to eradicate Christianity entirely. But there are other organizations that seemingly have the same purpose, but have a more subtle, but equally oppressive agenda. Like Americans for the Separation of Church and State and the ACLU, to name a couple. There are many more. Some more radical than others. Yet all of them seem dedicated to bringing about what can easily be described as an "American Taliban".

This could be the beginning of the end. Or, more accurately, the oft repeated phrase, "The End Times", as described in the books of Daniel and Revelations and mentioned in various other books in the Bible.

For many Americans, there is a belief that the apocalypse is at hand. Some believe it has already arrived, here, in America. But I don't. As I stated, I believe it could be the beginning of the end, but it is not the end. Not for America.

But certainly for Abdul Rahman.

Which brings me back to the question I would ask of my Christian readers, and to myself:

If it were illegal to be a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

Because soon, it may be.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy." ~ Ernest Benn

Recently, there have been several comments made here and on other sites accusing Bush of being a liar. I asked for proof that Bush lied and I was obliged by a couple of commenters with links to sites that seem to suggest Bush did indeed lie.

I was also told by ER to get a life. More specifically, what he said was, "Mark. Get. A. Life." (funny)

If I didn't have a life, I would have time to look further into these sites I was linked to, in order to verify the veracity of the accusations found therein. But since I work for a living, (and not on the computer, either) I will simply make some brief observations based on personal experience and a bit of seemingly ignored (by the MSM) news out of Iraq that appears to disprove at least one allegation that Bush lied.

Now, understand that I start with the premise that, personally, I don't believe Bush lied about anything. I respect him. I believe he is a man of integrity.

Some of the "evidence" that has been presented to me has to do with economic statistics. Here is an observation about statistics from my personal experience:

When I was just starting in my new position as assistant manager of a marketing office in Kansas City, one of the most important things I learned from my mentor, (one of the very best managers in the company, which is a nationwide corporation) is that one can use statistics to support any theory. I became pretty adept at manipulating the statistical findings in personnel reports, business projections, etc, anything that made me look good and my rivals look bad. Without having to change them. I even used an obscure, usually non-essential statistic regarding a thing called "lead ratio" as an excuse to fire a hard working, but non-producing employee, who, incidentally, later became my wife.

I can be ruthless, if need be.

The point is: Statistics can be used to prove any allegation, no matter how ridiculous it seems on the surface. So, without delving much deeper into those statistics than I have time to do, I will simply dismiss them, until they can be proven more definitely.

Now. As to the allegation that Bush lied about his belief that Iraq and al-Qaida were linked, as has been asserted by his detractors:

From ABC news:

A newly released prewar Iraqi document indicates that an official representative of Saddam Hussein's government met with Osama bin Laden in Sudan on February 19, 1995, after receiving approval from Saddam Hussein. Bin Laden asked that Iraq broadcast the lectures of Suleiman al Ouda, a radical Saudi preacher, and suggested "carrying out joint operations against foreign forces" in Saudi Arabia. According to the document, Saddam's presidency was informed of the details of the meeting on March 4, 1995, and Saddam agreed to dedicate a program for them on the radio. The document states that further "development of the relationship and cooperation between the two parties to be left according to what's open [in the future] based on dialogue and agreement on other ways of cooperation." The Sudanese were informed about the agreement to dedicate the program on the radio.
The report then states that "Saudi opposition figure" bin Laden had to leave Sudan in July 1996 after it was accused of harboring terrorists. It says information indicated he was in Afghanistan. "The relationship with him is still through the Sudanese. We're currently working on activating this relationship through a new channel in light of his current location," it states.

It also indicates the discussions were substantive, in particular that bin Laden was proposing an operational relationship, and that the Iraqis were, at a minimum, interested in exploring a potential relationship and prepared to show good faith by broadcasting the speeches of al Ouda, the radical cleric who was also a bin Laden mentor.

This, from one of the news organizations that wants to undermine the Bush administration as badly as any Liberal.

I don't know about you, but that would seem to indicate that Bush didn't lie about that. I understand there is additional evidence within other just released documents that Saddam had WMD's, as Bush stated.

Listen. I don't want war any more than you do. I want the troops to come back home just as much as you do. But I also understand that sometimes war is the only option left after negotiations have failed. And after Saddam thumbed his nose at numerous calls for full disclosure, I believe war was the only option left to us. If I thought there was any other way to make the world safer, I would add my voice to those who protest. I did it during Viet Nam.

I am unapologetic then, and unapologetic now.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Laura Hits A Home Run

"People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news." ~ A. J. Liebling

OK. I admit it. I love Laura Ingraham!

The other day, Laura Ingraham made an appearance, along with James Carville, on NBC’s "Today" which was being guest hosted by Liberally biased newsman David Gregory. After viewing the interview, I thought Laura had acquitted herself admirably, but I had no idea how well.

The following is a partial transcript from the interview:

Gregory: "Right. But Laura, Laura what's your take on this, because obviously the White House has made a determination that speaking about the war candidly as they can is what's important now and yet it's clear that the President's having a hard time being heard."

Ingraham: "Well here, here's what I think David. I think with all the resources of networks like NBC. The Today show spends all this money to send people to the Olympics, which is great, it was great programming. All this money for Where In The World Is Matt Lauer? Bring the Today show to Iraq. Bring the Today show to Tal Afar. Do the show from the 4th ID at Camp Victory and then when you talk to those soldiers on the ground, when you go out with the Iraqi military, when you talk to the villagers, when you see the children, then I want NBC to report on only the IEDs, only the killings, only, only the reprisals. When people are on the ground whether it's recently, David Ignatius of the Washington Post, whether it's recently..."

Gregory: "Okay but, but Laura let's be, hold on, let's be..."

Ingraham: "Let me finish David because you got, you guys are, no, no, let me finish, let me finish..."

Gregory: "Wait a minute Laura! Wait a second! If you want to be fair. First of all the Today show went to Iraq. Matt Lauer was there, he reported there."

Ingraham: "Did he do a show, did you do a show from Iraq?"

Gregory: "Okay and we, and we've got a bureau there so..."

Ingraham: "Yeah. David, David to do a show from Iraq means to talk to the Iraqi military to go out with the Iraqi military, to actually have a conversation with the people instead of reporting from hotel balconies about the latest IEDs going off. It is very difficult in Iraq. People are struggling..."

Gregory: "And you, and you think Iraq is safe enough to, have you been there long enough to venture outside the hotel balconies?!"

Ingraham: "David, yes I did. I wasn't in a hotel balcony I was out with the U.S. military and it can be done in any part of the country. It is dangerous in the Sunni triangle..."

Gregory: "So, so Lau-..."

Ingraham: "...but NBC and networks of the United States..."

Gregory: "...Okay hold, hold, Laura, Laura, I get, I get, I get the point. I get the, I get the anti-network point. James the argument is that the media simply..." [Carville laughs]

Ingraham: "It's not funny."

Gregory: "...doesn't get it. But, but Iyad Allawi who's the, the Prime Minister, former Prime Minister said there's a civil war."

Carville: "Right, right. I think he's the former Prime Minister, we'll just stipulate for the moment that he's on the ground. Okay? He's somebody on the ground."

Ingraham: "No he actually isn't, James."

Carville: "Excuse me Laura, excuse me for speaking while you were interrupting. Now we can stipulate he's on the ground. 72 percent of the American troops say they want to get out of there within a year. I assume that they're on the ground also. Alright?...Now the truth of the matter is we're there. It's not the media's fault that we're there. It wasn't the media that said that we would be greeted as liberators. It wasn't the media that said it was in the last throes. It's the administration that's made this policy. Why don't they come to us instead of bashing the media and blaming everybody and say, 'Look we're gonna change our policy. We're gonna bring people together. This is what we're gonna do.' Because this, all this, 'it's all the fault of NBC that this,' there are 80 reporters have been killed over there."

Let me just interject here, No one charged that the media is at fault for the negatives being reported. She is simply saying that if they are going to report on the violence, they should balance each report with the positives, too.

Gregory: "Let me, let me redirect this guys. Let me redirect this to, to get off the media point."

Ingraham, mocking: "Yeah let's, let's get off the media."

(LOL! I love it!)

She then added, “The Iraqi military is taking over the battle space. The Iraqi military is stepping up. The Iraqi people are starting businesses across the, across the country with all of the threats of reprisals and all of the difficulty. That stands for something. That should be celebrated and that should be covered. The IEDs, yeah, cover it, cover the bombs, cover the difficulty but give a broad picture of what's happening in that country. It's a disservice to our troops and it's a disservice to everything that this country's about."

Laura has recently returned from Iraq, where she spent time on the ground with the troops, interviewing them on live radio, and getting the news from the horses mouth, so to speak. I listen to her show every day, and I can say that before her trip to Iraq, she was supportive of the war in Iraq, but after she came back, she had a renewed commitment to create awareness that the war is going much better than the media has been portraying. She has become much more passionate in her support of the troops.

As far as the Today show Interview went, if it were a prize fight and I had to judge her performance, I would probably have judged the fight 7 rounds to 5 with Laura getting the victory.

But apparently, she hit a home run. I never would have guessed it based on what I heard.

Suddenly, most of the major news networks are scrambling to report on something other than the latest IED bombing. They are actually starting to report the positives as well.

Additionally, talk shows across the board, both radio and television, are all talking about the sudden realization that there is indeed positive stories coming out of Iraq, and not just death, destruction, and hopelessness. As if this was not known already.

Instead of 24/7 destruction, Americans are learning there is construction going on there, too. Laura Ingraham fueled an awakening that so far, appears poised to change the way in which reporters report the news from Iraq.

I personally heard Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Don Imus, and Mark Levin talk about the issue on their shows yesterday.

In contrast, Richard Belzer, Hollywood actor and has been comedian, who stars in the television program, “Law And Order”, made some really asinine statements on Real Time with Bill Maher, regarding the troops on the ground in Iraq. He said, (and I paraphrase, because I didn’t see the show and I don’t have a transcript) that the soldiers in Iraq don’t know what’s really going on over there, because, unlike Belzer, they don’t read 20 newspapers a day.

Personally, I find it hard to believe that Belzer reads even one newspaper a day, except for the comics, let alone 20.

Can you believe that arrogant twaddle? Belzer, who has never made the trip to Iraq to see for himself, actually believes that newspaper reporters are better informed on how the war is progressing than the troops that are actually fighting the war!

It will be interesting to see, if in the future, the news media will start reporting the war responsibly for once.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Keep It Civil

"Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain - and most fools do." ~ Dale Carnegie

I was home for lunch yesterday and didn't have time to peruse all the blogs on my blogroll, nor to make any comments on them. But one of the blogs I did read had these extremely offensive words in it:

"It's no fun picking on the alleged president. Like makin' fun of a Special Olympics kid. Wait -- that's an insult to Special Olympics."

Let's explore this hateful comment:

Number 1. Obviously, it is fun for this particular blogger to pick on the President, or the blogger who said it wouldn't have. It would seem to me that he takes a huge amount of pleasure disrespecting not only the President, but all who revere him as well.

Remember, it is the Liberals who claim that Conservatives aren't tolerant.

Number 2. "Alleged president"? Webster defines "Alleged" as:

(adjective) 1 : asserted to be true or to exist ; 2 : questionably true or of a specified kind : SUPPOSED , SO-CALLED ; 3 : accused but not proven or convicted

Does Mr. Blogger remember the 2004 Presidential election results? George W. Bush won. There is no argument about that fact. It is a fact. He got more votes. He won. Even that crybaby John Kerry, who Mr. Blogger no doubt voted for, conceded George W Bush beat him fair and square. In spite of all those dead people who voted for Kerry in Ohio.

Exactly how is Bush's Presidency in question? George W. Bush is President. He will be President until January of 2009, providing you don't lose your tenuous grip on sanity, and assassinate him.

Eat your sour grapes, or leave them rotting on the vine, but get over it, and learn to live with it.

Is Mr. Liberal blogger in denial? It surely appears so.

Number 3. "Like makin' fun of a Special Olympics kid. Wait -- that's an insult to Special Olympics."

Once again, the implication that President Bush is stupid. Or retarded. I have noticed this is a typical argument of Liberals when they have no argument. Just call their opponent stupid. It gets a lot of laughs from the uninformed, ignorant masses, like Hollywood celebrities, but it is far from a valid argument.

They called Reagan stupid, too, but he won the cold war, while the Liberals were insisting he was getting America into nuclear jeopardy. So who was stupid again?

This particular blogger likes to boast of his college degrees, as if that somehow makes him smarter and more credible than us simpletons who are so far beneath the intellectual stature of the Liberal elites.

President Bush got his degrees from Yale and Harvard. Following this Liberals reasoning, that would make Bush much smarter than him.

So which is it? Is a formal education synonymous with intelligence, or can one have a formal education and still be stupid? You can't have it both ways.

During President Bush's time in office he has endured numerous unfounded accusations and unfair criticisms, just to name a few:

!. He was accused of complicity in the torture of enemy combatant prisoners at GITMO. Unproven.

2. He was accused of planning to attack Saddam even if no evidence of WMD was found. Disproved

3. Liberals were scared to death that John Bolton might go to the UN, and destroy all the "progress" they have made. Bolton is doing a great job now. Even the Democrats are happy with him.

4. He has been accused of failing to adequately protect New Orleans from a natural disaster of which he had no control over. Turned out the brunt of the blame fell on a Democrat Mayor and a Democrat Governor.

5. He has been accused of racial discrimination. Proven false.

6. He has been accused of unwarranted domestic surveillance. Explained ad nauseum. He did not wiretap Americans. He wiretapped terrorists, which is completely within his rights as chief executive.

7. He has been accused of trying to outlaw stem cell research. Unproven.

And on and on and on. Accusations abound. All have either been proven false or remain unproven or unprovable.

On the other hand, B.J. Clinton did absolutely, with no question whatsoever, commit perjury before a Grand Jury, which qualifies as a high crime and/or misdemeanor according to the Constitution, and is an impeachable offense.

I know this post is lengthy, and I apologize for that, but I have one more thing to say to that unscrupulous blogger:

I wasn't blogging at the time, but I never personally insulted President Clinton when he was president. I did say I didn't believe a President who can't control his own sexual urges could be trusted with the capability to blow up the world. That is opinion. I also said he lied. That is fact. I never called him stupid. Quite the contrary, I often said he is a brilliant man. He has the morals of a rabbit on Viagra, but he is a brilliant man. I never personally attacked him. I have respect for the office of the President. No matter who is in the Oval office.

If you hate Bush, go ahead. But don't engage in baseless, unfair personal attacks and accusations. You are better than that.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Massacre Of Iraqis By U.S. Marines

"Evil when we are in its power is not felt as evil but as a necessity, or even a duty." ~ Simone Weil

I read this on AOL yesterday:

Videotape Leads to Pentagon Probe of Iraqi Deaths
Military Investigates Marines' Role in Incident That Killed 15 Civilians

WASHINGTON (March 20) -- A bloody videotape shot by a local Iraqi journalism student has prompted the Pentagon to launch a criminal investigation into an incident that left at least 15 Iraqi civilians dead in the city of Haditha

The details of what happened four months ago in Haditha are just now coming to light with the release of the videotape by an Iraqi organization called Hammurabi Human Rights.
The tape shows the bloodied and bullet-marked homes that had been allegedly stormed by the Marines, and includes comments by local residents.
"This is my father," a boy says on the tape. "He didn't do anything wrong. Why did they kill him?"

The video shows the bodies of some of the dead, including one of three children killed.
"These are children," one man on the tape says. "Are you telling me these are terrorists?"
It all started Nov. 19 when a roadside bomb hit a convoy of 12 Marines in Haditha, killing 20-year-old Lance Cpl. Miguel Terrazas.
The official press release said simply: "A U.S. Marine and 15 Iraqi civilians were killed yesterday from the blast of a roadside bomb."

While I wasn’t exactly shocked by this, I was saddened by the news that some of our soldiers had committed a war crime, but then I looked closer.

But before I looked closer, the very first thing that crossed my mind was, “Wow, that Cpl Terrazas must have been a very well liked individual to have an entire squad of his peers retaliate so forcefully“

Then, I realized that some things about this story just didn‘t make very much sense. For instance, an entire squad retaliated against innocent civilians because of one soldier’s death? Aren’t our soldiers trained a little bit better than that? Aren’t they trained on how to recognize the enemy as opposed to civilians?

Another thing that makes me scratch my head:

The tape was shot by an Iraqi journalism student. Could it be this journalism student was creating a story a la Jayson Blair? One well done fraud could make his career.

I will admit that is something of a leap in logic, but it is a possibility, however tenuous.

Then the headlines lead us to believe that there was a video tape that showed marines in the act of killing people, but it doesn’t. It shows nothing more than the aftermath of a massacre. There is nothing, other than eyewitness testimony, that supports the tapes claim that marines committed the murders. I wonder how many of the interviewees are terrorist sympathizers, if any.

But then, there’s this:

Military officials now acknowledge the Iraqis were not killed by the bomb -- but, they now say, by crossfire as U.S. Marines stormed the surrounding homes.
The military did not launch an investigation until two months after the incident, when Time magazine showed officials the video and eyewitness testimony.

That would indicate that there is indeed something to this story. I won’t dismiss it out of hand. I am just saying there are some questions as to the veracity of the story.

"We launched an investigation of our own with the help of a human rights group," said Aparisim Ghosh, a writer for Time. "We spoke to some eyewitnesses. And it turns out all the people killed were killed by the Marines in small arms fire and, in a few instances, by an explosive that was tossed into the home by the Marines themselves."
Senior Pentagon officials would not comment on the details of the case but said they take the allegations very seriously, which is why they've launched the criminal investigation.
It still is not clear the Marines used excessive force, but the locals seem to have made up their minds.

But Time magazine? I don’t trust them. And the AP adds, "It still is not clear the Marines used excessive force". Well, maybe they did, but maybe they didn’t. Time will tell.

According to a military spokesman, the Marines involved still are deployed in Iraq.

I will say this:

If it turns out that the story is true, and these marines are guilty of just what this story says they are, they need to be held accountable. I don't want to believe it. It would be unconscionable. Aside from the unjustified deaths of innocent men, women, and children, this could turn into a political nightmare for the Bush administration. And he certainly doesn't need any more bad press concerning this war. He has enough of that already.

Also, I find it interesting that the media shouts this kind of news from the rooftops while not saying a word about the continual atrocities committed on innocent people by terrorists on an every day basis. Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg could not be reached for comment.

If there is a lesson to be learned, it is this:

Don't believe everything you read.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

At Last. Spring!

"Tis Spring, and a young mans fancy lightly turns to thoughts of what the dirty old man has been thinking of all year long." ~ Isaac Asimov

As I write this, it has been officially Spring for a little more than 12 hours. Otherwise known as the vernal equinox.

I love Spring. Most people celebrate New Years day on the first day of January. I celebrate it on the first day of Spring, because to me, Spring represents a new beginning, a fresh start.

It is a time when green buds swell on the trees and flowers bloom and new blades of grass begin to emerge from the previously frozen ground.

In higher elevations, winter snows begin to melt and the resulting streams run down the mountains, forming crystal clear pools and unmuddied lakes of ice cold water.

It is the day that I exorcise all the dormant demons that I buried beneath the dead leaves the previous summer. It represents to me a new awakening, when I can put mistakes of the past behind me and resolve to make positive changes in my life. Each Spring is a fresh start.

Wait. Was that me, waxing poetic?

Speaking of wax, I don't care what your wife or girlfriend says, bikini waxes are painful. I don't recommend getting one. Especially if you are a man.

Don't ask.

That's a whole other kettle of fish. And speaking of kettles of fish....well, never mind. All I have to say about that is if you add an old fashioned manually cranked egg beater and a SCUBA wet suit to those things, you can have a very interesting party.

But I digress.

Speaking of eggs, It has been said that at high noon on days of the vernal equinox, you can place an egg on it's end, and it will stand there, on end, unassisted, for a few seconds. I never have tried it, because I don't know if they are referring to high noon GST or EST or EDT, or even PST.

But anyway, that trick can be facilitated much easier by boiling the egg first. Then, with a rapid downward motion, bringing it down forcefully upon a hard flat surface, thereby smashing one end flat. It will then remain standing unassisted, for the remainder of the day, or until someone picks it up, peels, and eats it.

Incidentally, eggs have had a substantial influence on scientists and other visionaries through out history.

Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand were not convinced that the world was round, even after Columbus showed them an egg. Perhaps he would have had an easier time of persuading them had he not broken and fried it first.

And then there was the time that an egg fell out of the tree and hit Sir Isaac Newton on the head and led to the discovery of gravity, after which, a great many eggs have since fallen and made quite a few messes.

Ok, I know it was an apple, but that doesn't fit in with my subject, and I can't think of any other times when eggs contributed to great discoveries.

Never mind.

Have a wonderful Spring.

Monday, March 20, 2006

How Has The War Changed Us?

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." ~ John Stuart Mill

Recently, I received this e-mail:

Hey Mark:

Shaun Mullen here from a small blog called Kiko's House ( I stumbled on your blog this morning and noticed your post on supporting the troops (which I do, and not just because I'm a veteran) but not the war. Good stuff.

I'm asking readers of my blog and others in the know to comment on the following on the third anniversary of the war in Iraq:

How has the war changed the U.S.?

I'd love for you to put together a few well chosen words.

Thanks in advance and keep up the good work, Shaun

The words, "but not the war" sent up a red flag for me, but, nevertheless, I clicked the link to his blog. I couldn't get in. It wouldn't load except for just enough for me to see he is plainly a raving Liberal. So, no thanks. I won't be commenting at his place. If I want to be attacked and abused by left wingers, I will comment over at ER's place.

Remember, he says he supports the troops but not the war, however, in one of his many posts for Sunday, the 19th, he writes:

"[T]he military and Bush administration deserve to be skewered -- and then some -- for condoning what is clearly a policy of allowing torture."

The military deserves to be skewered? Oh yeah, he supports the troops.

What I saw when I linked over there, as far as my server would let me, was a diatribe against South Dakota for outlawing abortions. Obviously Mr. Mullen hasn't read too many of my blogposts, or he would know just how passionately I believe in the right of unborn babies to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

They can hardly do that if they're dead.

I noticed then, that he wasn't afraid to use the oft repeated bumper sticker phrases that are so popular among the leftists, like "back-alley solution", and "repression of women's reproductive rights".

By the way, That phrase, "reproductive rights" when referring to abortion is about as disingenuous a phrase as the phrase, "I support the troops but not the war". Especially when he admits that he thinks American troops should be "skewered".

Killing unborn babies is not reproductive, whether it's a right or not. It is counter-reproductive. Has Mr. Mullen ever considered what the word "reproductive" means? How is one re-productive if they are preventing the reproduction?

The word is abortion. Don't be afraid to say it.

What he is advocating is not reproductive rights, but the right to kill innocent babies. And no one has that right.

No one.

But I will admit that he is a very good writer, and could very likely "skewer" me with words, which, admittedly, is another good reason why I won't be commenting on his blog. His profile says he is an award winning writer and editor. I am flattered that someone of his status would think that my humble opinion is worth soliciting.

As for my "putting down a few well chosen words":

I rarely choose my words well. Usually, when I sit down to type out a post on my blog, I have only a germ of an idea of what I want to comment on, but I definitely don't have any well-chosen words in mind.

But, since he asked so politely (which I appreciate, mind you, as so few leftist appear to have the capacity to be polite), I will put down a few not-so-well chosen words regarding how the world has changed since the war on terror began 3 years ago:

I don't know.

To paraphrase Will Rogers, "All I know is what I read in the papers, and on blogs, and hear on the radio and television". My view of the world is pretty much confined to my little corner of western Maryland and central Pennsylvania.

With that in mind, I can only speak for myself.

I've changed. I am more aware of how tenuous a hold we have on our own mortality. But it wasn't the war that changed me so much as the attacks on September 11, 2001. Suddenly we realized we are vulnerable to outside forces of absolute evil. No more thinking that we, as Americans, are unassailable.

I don't like or want war, but I think that fighting this war is essential to the overall safety of Americans. Consider how much worse things would be if we hadn't mounted an assault on the forces of evil in the middle east. How many more 9/11 type attacks would there have been here in America?

I also think, that even if Bush had lost the election and Kerry was now our President, we would still be waging war against terrorism. In spite of what Kerry and the other Democrats who now say they oppose the war say, I think in a time of crisis such as this, Americans who love freedom rise to the defense of the country.

Even Liberal Democrats.

The present opposition to the war they are displaying is simply, as far as I'm concerned, political in nature. The Democrats believe that opposing this war is their ticket back to political majority in the Congress and the Presidency. And as long as they have backers such as Mr. Mullen in the major media, they may be on the right track. I have stated before that the majority of the American people are more concerned with just trying to chase the American dream than they are with politics. And that is the hope for the Democratic party. That the everyday American stays ignorant about the consequences of voting for someone who may put America in danger.

I do think the world is safer since we removed the murderous dictator Saddam from power and put Osama bin-Laden on the run. When bin-Laden is pre-occupied with saving his own hide, he has less time to plan elaborate attacks on America.

I absolutely believe it is necessary to fight them over there to prevent having to fight them over here. I do believe if we cut and run, that it would encourage the terrorists to bring their Jihad to our shores. We would prove bin-Ladens assessment that we are indeed a paper tiger.

What leader, with only a modicum of common sense, wouldn't take advantage of what would seem to be retreat to chase down his enemy and finish them?

Overall, I would have to say the world, in general, is better off.

Hmmm, maybe I will comment over at his place.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Liberal See, Liberal Do

"O wad some Power the giftie gie us To see oursels as ithers see us! It wad frae mony a blunder free us, An’ foolish notion: What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us, An’ ev’n devotion!" ~ Robert Burns

I was going to discuss this topic anyway, and then I read, over at Daffy’s place, my good friend Tug’s assessment. Sometimes it’s downright frightening how much alike we think.

Tug said, “One reason that America, and the Left especially, are so willing to believe that the President would be willing to sell America off to the highest bidder is because of the example that the former President Billy Bob Clinton set.

He let the Chinese buy ports, both on the Left coast, and at both ends of the Panama Canal, and he sold missile technology to the Chinese which allowed them to construct Nuclear Missiles capable of striking the American homeland.

Watch very carefully.


He used the IRS and the Justice Department to illegally spy on his political enemies.

He put cronies and former business partners in charge of Government agencies.

He lied to the American public.

He started Wars on foreign soil for purely personal reasons.

He took campaign donations from inappropriate sources.

He sold his Presidential influence. (To the highest bidder.)

If you want to see what your opponent is capable of, just watch what he accuses YOU of.”

Now, I’m no psychologist or sociologist, but I have observed throughout my 54 years on planet Earth, that people generally expect others to think and behave the way that they themselves do. What I mean by that is we all tend to measure the actions of others by whatever standard we possess ourselves. For instance, if I tend to be distrustful of people, I expect others to be distrustful, also. If I immediately like people, I expect others to immediately like me, too.

It is simply human nature.

Speaking from my own personal experience, I believe I can offer a pretty good example:

When I lived with my family in Kansas City, Kansas, we owned our own home for a while. It was a very nice home for the price but it was in a less than favorable location. Our home was broken into several times. One of those times, I caught the perpetrator in my house, and held him until the police arrived. But, the damage had been done in a previous robbery. We had $1,000 deductible insurance and the total losses were approximately $1,000.00. So, we were out a television set, and the best stereo I ever had, and my daughter had lost some cash, that she had earned working at Cracker Barrel.

Still, having been raised in a Christian home, I trusted people, overall.

Then, I lost my job, and it took a while before I finally found another one, and consequently, we lost the house. Then we had to either move into the projects or under a bridge somewhere.

We chose the projects.

It was while we were living in the ghetto that my observations of human behavior was modified into a hypothesis, to wit:

I began to notice that almost all of my neighbors removed the license tag from it’s place on the back bumper to inside of the car, facing out the back window. Why? Because they didn’t want their tag stolen.

What made them think someone might steal their tag?

Simple. If they had found themselves in a position where they needed a tag and couldn’t afford to go purchase one right away, they thought nothing of stealing a tag from someone else’s car themselves. If they would do it, they reason, so would everyone else. Generally speaking, they were almost all extremely distrustful of one another. Not that there is anything wrong with that attitude, given the environment in which it is fostered. It is, as I stated, human nature to adapt to one’s environment accordingly.

In contrast, I had grown up in a home in which I had been taught that stealing is wrong. It never occurred to me that someone might steal my tag. On the contrary, I reasoned, because stealing is wrong, no one would attempt the theft of my tag.

I wouldn’t do it, so others wouldn’t either.

I actually had my tag stolen once, and I immediately contacted the police department, filled out the appropriate reports, and paid for a replacement tag. And then placed it in it’s proper spot on the back bumper. Still believing in the honesty of people.


Yes. But that is human nature. We measure the actions of others by our own standards of behavior.

Which brings us back to Tug’s assessment of the Democratic mindset.

They keep talking about President Bush committing high crimes and/or misdemeanors, and about impeachment or censure. They say he is unequivocally guilty. Yet, they have no concrete evidence of any wrongdoing.

In some cases, they even mischaracterize the alleged “crimes”. They keep calling the NSA surveillance program “Domestic surveillance”, for instance. Of course, it is not that at all, and they are fully aware of that fact. They just choose to use semantics to intentionally misconstrue what the program really does, in a calculated effort to misinform the mostly naïve sector of American people.

And it’s not hard to trace this mindset back to it’s origin.

Bill Clinton committed high crimes and misdemeanors while in office. That fact is not in dispute. Democrats equate what they allege Bush has done with what Clinton really did.

They say, for instance, that Bush lied about the reason for invading Iraq, and while there have been charges alleging that the intelligence was wrong, there is no evidence that it was, or that he intentionally lied to the American people. At worse, we could concede that he may have been mistaken, but there is no evidence that he lied.

On the other hand, there is no doubt that Clinton lied, both to the American people, when he stood before the nation and looked into the cameras and said, with a straight face, “I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky”, and when he made the same statement in front of a Grand Jury, which constitutes perjury by all definitions, especially legal.

So, when the Democrats accuse Republicans of deception and malfeasance, etc, it is only because they measure them with the same standards, or lack of standards that they themselves possess.

It is human nature, but it is still inexcusable.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Wichita State Shocks Seton Hall

"For when the One Great Scorer comes
To write against your name,
He marks-not that you won or lost-
But how you played the game."
~ Grantland Rice

Wichita State University's Basketball team showed America that the lowly Missouri Valley Conference belonged in the prestigious NCAA Tournament with an impressive 86-66 win over Seton Hall on Thursday. Seton Hall was seeded 10th in the East regional bracket, as opposed to Wichita State's 7th seed.

Even though Seton Hall was seeded lower than the Shockers, Media Basketball "experts" had been dismissing the smaller, less publicized Missouri Valley conference teams as irrelevant, as if they weren't in the same class with the likes of the Big East, ACC, Big 10, PAC 8, Big 12 conferences, etc. Indeed, Seton Hall was one of 8 teams from the Big East conference represented in the tourney.

I am an alumnus of Wichita State, but for the sake of the Missouri Valley Conference, I will be rooting for all 4 of the teams represented in the tournament from the Missouri Valley. Hopefully, they will attain some measure of credibility with the elitist sports media.

I watched the game via CBS online streaming video feed, and I have to say, if one had merely listened to the game rather than watched it, one might think that Seton Hall lost the game rather than Wichita State won it. The announcers at Big East friendly CBS were definitely biased in Seton Halls favor, and actually seemed almost heartbroken at Seton Halls poor showing.

Just for fun, I looked up what the New York Times had to say about the game, and it was, as I expected, reported as if it were a surprise that the upstart Shockers won so handily.

Here is part the first paragraph from the Times article:

"The seeding favored No. 7 Wichita State going into its first-round N.C.A.A. tournament game against No. 10 Seton Hall on Thursday at Greensboro Coliseum. But surely, Seton Hall had the resume to pull off this mild upset. It was the Missouri Valley Conference versus the Big East, after all."

(I just discovered how to change the color of the font, so I thought I would put that quote in Shocker gold)

The fact is that the game was well played on both sides. It was one of the cleanest and most sportsmanlike basketball games I have seen in quite some time. Wichita State simply out played the Pirates.

Wouldn't it be a slap in their collective faces if there was an all Missouri Valley conference final four?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Saint Patrick's Day

"Then Father Murphy, from old Kilcormack,
Spurred up the rocks with a warning cry;
"Arm! Arm!" he cried, "for I've come to lead you,For Ireland's freedom we fight or die."
~ Irish Folk Song (Author unknown)

Today we celebrate St. Patrick's day, a day traditionally celebrated by consuming massive quantities of alcohol along with generous helpings of corned beef and boiled cabbage. Today, as we say, we are all Irish. Ireland and St Patrick share a rich tradition and history. It is a tradition that any free thinking, freedom minded American can appreciate. Ireland, like America, was once ruled by the British Monarchy, and, like America, had to fight for its eventual freedom.

My heritage is Scottish, and the Scots too, share a common bond with Ireland. In many ways, Ireland symbolizes the sheer determination that it takes to free oneself from the yoke of oppression, And Saint Patrick's tumultuous life mirrors the struggle that created such a strong and independent people.

I found the following Bio of Saint Patrick. It is long but well worth the read:

The Life of Saint Patrick

The Patron Saint of Ireland was born into either a Scottish or English family in the fourth century. He was captured as a teenager by Niall of the Nine Hostages who was to become a King of all Ireland.

He was sold into slavery in Ireland and put to work as a shepherd. He worked in terrible conditions for six years drawing comfort in the Christian faith that so many of his people had abandoned under Roman rule.

Patrick had a dream that encouraged him to flee his captivity and to head South where a ship was to be waiting for him. He travelled over 200 miles from his Northern captivity to Wexford town where, sure enough, a ship was waiting to enable his escape.

Upon arrival in England he was captured by brigands and returned to slavery. He escaped after two months and spent the next seven years travelling Europe seeking his destiny.

During this time he furthered his education and studied Christianity in the Lerin Monastery in France. He returned to England as a priest. Again a dream greatly influenced him when he became convinced that the Irish people were calling out to him to return to the land of his servitude.

He went to the Monastery in Auxerre where it was decided that a mission should be sent to Ireland. Patrick was not selected for this task to his great disappointment. The monk that was selected was called Paladius, but he died before he could reach Ireland and a second mission was decided upon.

Patrick was made a Bishop by Pope Celestine in the year 432 and, together with a small band of followers, travelled to Ireland to commence the conversion.

Patrick confronted the most powerful man in Ireland, Laoghaire, The High King of Tara as he knew that if he could gain his support that he would be safe to spread the word throughout Ireland. To get his attention Patrick and his followers lit a huge fire to mark the commencement of Spring. Tradition had it that no fire was to be lit until the Kings fire was complete, but Patrick defied this rule and courted the confrontation with the King.

The King rushed into action and travelled with the intention of making war on the holy delegation. Patrick calmed the King and with quiet composure impressed the King that he had no other intention than that of spreading the word of the Gospel. The King accepted the missionary, much to the dismay of the Druids who feared for their own power and position in the face of this new threat. They commanded that he make snow fall. Patrick declined to do so stating that this was Gods work. Immediately it began to snow, only stopping when Patrick blessed himself.

Still trying to convince the King of his religion Patrick grasped at some Shamrock growing on the ground. He explained that there was but one stem on the plant, but three branches of the leaf, representing thblesseded Trinity. The King was impressed with his sincerity and granted him permission to spread the word of his faith, although he did not convert to Christianity himself.

Patrick and his followers were free to spread their faith throughout Ireland and did so to great effect. He drove paganism (symbolised by the snake) from the lands of Eireann.

Patrick was tempted by the Devil whilst on a pilgrimage at Croagh Patrick. For his refusal to be tempted, God rewarded him with a wish. Patrick asked that the Irish be spared the horror of Judgement Day and that he himself be allowed to judge his flock. Thus, the legend that Ireland will disappear under a sea of water seven years before the final judgement, was born.

Patrick died on March 17th in the year 461 at the age of 76. It is not known for sure where his remains were laid although Downpatrick in County Down in the North of Ireland is thought to be his final resting place.

His influence is still felt to this day as Nations the world over commemorate him on March 17th of every year.

The Irish National Anthem

The Soldier's Song is the National Anthem of Ireland. It was written in 1907 by Peadar Kearney, but was not widely known until it was sung both at the GPO during the Easter Rising of 1916 and later at various camps where Republicans were interned. Soon after, it was adopted as the Irish National Anthem, replacing God Save Ireland. The second and third verses are hardly ever sung, just as we Americans rarely sing the 2nd and 3rd verses of our own national Anthem. In fact the chorus itself is sometimes sung on it's own.

Listen to the chorus here.

A Soldier's Song

We'll sing a song, a soldier's song,
With cheering rousing chorus,
As round our blazing fires we throng,
The starry heavens o'er us;
Impatient for the coming fight,
And as we wait the morning's light,
Here in the silence of the night,
We'll chant a soldier's song.

Soldiers are we , whose lives are pledged to Ireland;
Some have come from a land beyond the wave.
Sworn to be free, No more our ancient sire land
Shall shelter the despot or the slave.
Tonight we man the gap of danger
In Erin's cause, come woe or weal
'Mid cannons' roar and rifles peal,
We'll chant a soldier's song.

In valley green, on towering crag,
Our fathers fought before us,
And conquered 'neath the same old flag
That's proudly floating o'er us.
We're children of a fighting race,
That never yet has known disgrace,
And as we march, the foe to face,
We'll chant a soldier's song.

Chorus :

Sons of the Gael! Men of the Pale!
The long watched day is breaking;
The serried ranks of Inisfail
Shall set the Tyrant quaking.
Our camp fires now are burning low;
See in the east a silv'ry glow,
Out yonder waits the Saxon foe,
So chant a soldier's song.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Feingold's Folly

"Clearly, Russ Feingold has cheese for brains." ~ Laura Ingraham

This is hilarious! Senator Russ Feingold made a complete ass of himself Tuesday on the Senate floor when he called for a censure against President Bush, which was followed immediately silence. Except for the sound of many Democratic feet scurrying for the exits in an attempt to distance themselves from Feingold as quickly as possible. The Democrats own propagandist, The Washington [Com]Post reports:

"Democratic senators, filing in for their weekly caucus lunch yesterday, looked as if they'd seen a ghost."

They went on to describe the various vain attempts to corral any Democratic Senator who might be willing to give them an assessment:

"I haven't read it," demurred Barack Obama (Ill.).

"I just don't have enough information," protested Ben Nelson (Neb.). "I really can't right now," John Kerry (Mass.) said as he hurried past a knot of reporters -- an excuse that fell apart when Kerry was forced into an awkward wait as Capitol Police stopped an aide at the magnetometer.

He served in Viet Nam, but apparently The Washington Post is more fearsome than any Viet Cong.

Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) brushed past the press pack, shaking her head and waving her hand over her shoulder. When an errant food cart blocked her entrance to the meeting room, she tried to hide from reporters behind the 4-foot-11 Barbara Mikulski (Md.).

"Ask her after lunch," offered Clinton's spokesman, Philippe Reines. But Clinton, with most of her colleagues, fled the lunch out a back door as if escaping a fire.

Feingold himself announced his proposal for censure, then left the chamber immediately thereafter, not even slowing down long enough to engage in a debate with Senator Arlen Spector, who couldn't resist taunting him.

Which reminds me of a line from "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" in which Mr. Lund, the blind owner/operator of the radio station where the Soggy Bottom Boys recorded their big hit, said, (paraphrased) "He sang into yonder can and skeedaddled!"

Feingold "skeedaddled".

I'm thinking that Mr. Feingold may have been having second thoughts after his announcement went over like a lead balloon.

And then, like a bad penny, showed up yesterday to accuse his fellow Democrats of "cowering", rather than joining him on trying to censure President Bush over domestic spying.

The Post goes on to say, "At a time when Democrats had Bush on the ropes over Iraq (So they think), the budget and port security, Feingold single-handedly turned the debate back to an issue where Bush has the advantage -- and drove another wedge through his party."

The statement contained within the parentheses is all mine. And remember, The Washington [Com]Post is a left leaning publication, so, coming from them, it is a stinging indictment of Feingold's rash actions.

By the way, I looked up the word censure in the dictionary, and this is what I found:

(noun) 1 : a judgment involving condemnation; 2 archaic : OPINION , JUDGMENT ; 3 : the act of blaming or condemning sternly; 4 : an official reprimand
(transitive verb) 1 obsolete : ESTIMATE , JUDGE ; 2 : to find fault with and criticize as blameworthy"

Basically, what Feingold and a couple of others want to do is tell President Bush, "Shame on you for trying to protect our country without asking us for permission first. Bad President! Bad boy!"

Well, I have to give credit where credit is due. At least Senator Feingold is doing something. That is more than can be said for the majority of Democratic Lawmakers.

In the end, the Democrats are hoping to bring an article of impeachment against President Bush. But then, they've been trying to find a reason to do that since the Clinton administration ended. The feel they "owe the Republicans one", in the words of blogger buddy, ER. Why else would they keep making up scandals, no matter how trivial? They are practicing the age old tactic of throwing all the fecal matter against the wall in hopes some of it will stick.

It won't happen, of course. Not unless the Democrats win back the majority in Congress in the upcoming Congressional elections. If they get the majority, they will have at least enough votes to start the proceedings. Getting a conviction will be a little more tricky. But then, I doubt they really want to remove Bush from office. They just want to even the score.

Sounds a little like kids on a playground fighting over which team gets to bat first, doesn't it?

So, Democrats like Feingold will keep trying and keep making asses out of themselves, and before you know it, the Bush Presidency will be history.

Kind of seems like a waste of tax payers money to me.

I wonder if the Democrats are officially embarrassed yet?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Life Or Death

"Justice consists not in being neutral between right and wrong, but in finding out the right and upholding it, wherever found, against the wrong." ~ Theodore Roosevelt

Someone help me understand something. Zacarias Moussaoui has pleaded Guilty for his complicity in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. He has admitted he took an active part in killing 3,000 innocent American men, women, and children. He wants to die.

What is the problem?

I couldn't find this story on the front page of AOL News. Nor did I find it in the Drudge report. I was looking for it because I heard a short blurb about it on the radio news. Eventually, I found it on Newsmax.

Why was I looking for this story in particular? It all goes back to why I started blogging in the first place. I hear things in the news occasionally that make me say, "What the....?" This is such a story.

I don't personally like Newsmax very much because they are as right wing as the New York Slimes is left wing, and I want impartial news if I can find it. But, since Newsmax got the story from the AP, I suppose it is pretty accurate. Not that it matters much, in this case. For what it's worth, I have copied and pasted part of the story here:

ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The judge in the Zacarias Moussaoui trial dealt a serious blow to the government's death-penalty case Tuesday, barring roughly half of the prosecutors' key witnesses because a federal lawyer improperly coached several of them on their testimony.

U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema rejected a Moussaoui defense request that she go further and dismiss the government's death-penalty bid for the al-Qaida conspirator outright. She put off resumption of the trial until Monday to give the government a chance to appeal.

Justice Department spokeswoman Tasia Scolinos said the ruling was being reviewed. While not addressing the likelihood of overturning it, she added that "it is important to remember" Moussaoui has pleaded guilty and at a minimum will be imprisoned for life with no chance of release.

Testimony from the barred witnesses was to make up about half of the government's case, prosecutors have said.

Brinkema imposed the sanctions after being informed that a lawyer in the federal Transportation Security Administration, Carla Martin, had urged seven witnesses from the Federal Aviation Administration to read trial transcripts and had prepared them for certain questions on cross-examination.

You can read more here if you are so inclined.

So, I ask again. What is the problem? He is guilty. The penalty for murder during commission of an act of terrorism is death. To further cement his fate, he has done some things that are intended to prejudice the court against him, including shouting in court, "Allah curse America. Bless Osama bin-Laden". That quote may be inaccurate since I am quoting him from memory, but it's close enough. You get the idea.

So why should the coaching of some witnesses make a difference?

Ok. I know there are legalities. I know there are proper rules of jurisprudence involved here. I know there are some who would insist that he has rights. But personally, I don't care about his rights. This animal deserves death and everyone knows it.

He didn't much care about his victims rights.

Actually, I am torn on the issue of whether to execute him or sentence him to life imprisonment without parole. On one hand, I think possibly we should keep him imprisoned the rest of his life. Then he would have to wait for his 72 virgins. That couldn't be a pleasant prospect for him. It would almost be torture.

On the other hand, we know there will be no 72 virgins on the other side. So maybe we should allow him to go there and see for himself how wrong he was. Yes, I think that is preferable.

I still remember Lone Ranger saying it might be a good idea to set up a video camera at the gates of Hell so we could see the expressions on the faces of those who find themselves entering, when all the time they thought they were doing God's work here on earth. I'm sure a video camera at the gates of Hell would make a great deterrent to terrorism.

I don't know about a camera at the gates of Hell. I think it would be better to position it where we could get a close up of the terrorists faces when they hear the words, "Depart from me, I never knew you."