Sunday, April 29, 2007

Here's a fascist too. . .

I'm just on a fascist kick, I see them everywhere!

Of course, one can only take their fascism so far alone, but with a movement, i.e. global warming, fascism can be extended for years. While its unlikely to have the full blown murderous fascism that many try to label on Bush, other less violent forms of fascism can flourish.

Sometimes fascism is what is needed. If the population is stretching resources, then isn't it fair to acquiesce to command policy in order to alleviate the potential problems?

Where does it end? I dunno, buts its an interesting drama. I think this environmentalism can be great for U.S. economic concerns even . . . if the politicians don't screw it up.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Experience proves that the man who obstructs a war in which his nation is engaged, no matter whether right or wrong, occupied no enviable place in life or history. Better for him, individually, to advocate 'war, pestilence, and famine,' than to act as obstructionist to a war already begun."

Ulysses S. Grant

Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant. Vol. 1, p. 68

presented by Right Sarcasm University

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Legendary Author Dies

David Halberstam Dies.

For people unaware of this man's work, the link above provides much background. David Halberstam wrote 21 books.

Reid, Bush, and Peace

The Bill, The War, Bush & Reid

The disconcerting actions by the politicians is bad, ours shouldn't be.

I have no beef with anyone wanting peace. I feel no responsibility to try to convince anyone to change their mind, I can't blame anyone for feeling anything. As to myself, I want victory. There are a number of reasons why I want victory.

But that is not why I write today.

I have another argument to make, and that is that Harry Reid is not fit for his position as Senate Leader. I don't make this case on his party affiliation, and not solely as a peace proponent. It is his insertion of pork to a war spending bill, and his declarations of defeat prior to the actual fact. Thus standing in the unenviable position of being a high ranking government official who has given hope to the enemy.

For all that Bush has done, didn't do, or could of done differently, you can say surely that he hasn't given hope to the enemy. A new reason maybe, but not hope. Harry Reid gives them hope.

If Reid is truly against victory, er the continuation of the war, there is a better way to go about things. There better be. This approach didn't work in Vietnam, why would it work now? I can see that both sides could learn something from Vietnam.

Its folly to assume that only one side(read Bush) needs a history lesson, or that only one side is repeating the mistakes that afford me the luxury of reliving the biggest blight on my country's record even though I was still in diapers at the time.

If that were all, Reid would only be guilty of rashness, impatience, and ignorance. But by inserting pork into an otherwise clean position - - his time line provision-- Reid is showing an arrogance in using his position, and this issue, to enrich someone with government largess while real American lives are at risk.

Of course, this gives Bush more than one reason to veto the bill. Tomorrow they'll have an elaborate dinner to talk about their differences. Or maybe not. All the while voters, who again I have no problem with, are allegedly clamoring for a "new direction." Some even dying.

I would only hope that the people who wish for an end to this war are aware that their feelings are being leveraged for self aggrandizement.

Isn't that one of the problems you had with Bush?

Quote of the Day

"True opinions can prevail only if the facts to which they refer are known; if they are not known, false ideas are just as effective as true ones, if not a little more effective."

Walter Lippmann (1889 - 1974) American Writer, Editor

Liberty and the News(1920)

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Monday, April 23, 2007

If I were concerned about fascists, I'd watch this guy

Far be it for me to call anyone a fascist, especially here in the US where we have all these wonderful checks and balances to assure nothing gets done in DC. But if I were to place anyone one the watch list it would be Al Gore.

Hell, this guy not only has Hollywood friends, he owns a news station. He can control the movies and the news. Yet that seems not to stir much concern.

This is a guy who tried to have the votes counted in Florida until he won, and when he didn't he went to teach journalism. What better way to assure good press next time around? Seems to be working. . . .

He's got a cause, global warming. He's positioned his cause in a way that he proclaims its a moral cause, its dire, and anyone who opposes it is akin to evil, and that the matter is settled -- he's right!

We must fear the Republicans who want dirty water!

I dunno much for certain, who does? But if I were out there screaming about how Bush is a fascist, I'd also be concerned about this guy. Why wouldn't you?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

NASA to release 3D images, check this one out!

NASA is going to release 3D images taken by the Stereo spacecraft. . . Check out this photo. Amazing.

Here is a link to for more information, including links to where you can see more of these images as they are released.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Fascist Question Part 2

As I continue the dialog with myself concerning fascist,

This whole notion that G.W. Bush is a fascist doesn't pass the smell test in a number of ways. Harry Reid's comments are just the latest to undermine any arguments for this label. What kind of fascist, in the position that Bush is in, would not fight back his critics?

Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow to some kind of headline on the Drudge Report reporting on Bush's new found testiness, but I doubt it. So be it.

In any event, maybe most of the critics who use the 'fascist' terminology don't really understand what it means, and are just venting about issues they don't understand.

But I think they should know what the words mean that they use, still I think also that a heck of a lot of people actually think this man, Bush, is as bad a human being as Adolf Hitler or Benito Mussolini.

For those that do, may I ask, what filters do you use -, who informs you of what is going on in the world today? Just curious.

I'm just curious because I think that to believe that about someone, that he is a bad person along the lines of Hitler, really ought to be supported by proof that is conclusive, and that proof just doesn't exist.

But some people do even more than think, they write about it as fact for everyone to beware of. They hope we all will be as vigilant and observant as them.

We got to beware of the tools fascist use to control populations. . . .

I'd say the biggest concern we have is whether the fascist have taken over the words and images that are prevalent today. It is certain that one approach for the evil in this nation to subjugate us is by controlling our thoughts and feelings through the pictures and papers.

This creates a mood, a national spirit. If in power, all the imagery should be glorious. If aspiring to power, they'd want to present doom and gloom. Propagate pessimism. A real dictator wants to be loved, not hated. Feared maybe, but respected.

Any fascist would want to take over film and TV so that he or she could influence the types of movies and shows that people can watch. Its text book really, control the mass media. Bush has all kinds of ties to Hollywood? If not, who does and should we be concerned then?

The next step to totalitarian rule is to silence the critics. One way is simply do away with critics. Its tried and true, utilized by dictators throughout the ages.

I was doing a mental search of all the ex-cabinet members, Generals, or civil administrators who left the Administration, and gosh I think they are all still alive. Some even wrote books and appeared regularly on Imus(you can't be serious if you think Bush got rid of Imus).

Not even a Ron Brown type accident in a war zone, which there are many more zones to play this out in today.

Not one 'suicide', in a park no less, by a close associate of Mrs. Bush.

Not one death, unless I'm wrong, and if I am wrong what does that mean? People die all the time in administrations. But not in this fascist one? Go ahead and look it up, all kinds of peopled died during the Clinton years. John Tower died during the first Bush Administration.

I'd make sure, if I were a fascist with power, that all stories about me are positive. Damn near mythical, if I had my way. I would never let them see me make a mistake, misspeak, appear clumsy. And absolutely the last thing that I'd let happen is to be asked a tough question.

Another important imagery, would be to associate with the 'right' people, the 'in' crowd. Globetrotters. Movies Stars. Darlings of Wall Street. So be on watch for slick politicians who fit this bill. Remember the fascist are alive today in the good ole USA.

To assure allegiance we have got to be aware of a false cause. For Hitler it was the Jews destroying German society. For others it was capitalism, or a monotheist religion. For Bush its terrorist. Ah, they really do kill people like us don't they? So wouldn't it be legit to fight back?

OK, Bush has his gay battle, I'll concede that.

Now I retire to my book, Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth. I really got increase my pledge of carbon offsets to compensate for all the electricity I'm consuming blogging.

Quote of the Day

"He who fears he will suffer, already suffers from his fear."

Michel Eyquen Montaigne(1533 - 1593) French philosopher, essayist

Bk III, Ch. 13

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Quote of the Day

"There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it."

William James (1842 - 1910) American psychologist, philosopher

The Varieties of Religious Experience(1902) Lectures 14 and 15

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Fascist Question

One of the points on the left that I have been trying to 'get' for years but still haven't 'gotten' is this inclination to label the Bush administration 'fascist.' To go even further, many people spew forth phrases that haven't been used to describe a head of state since 1944. Besides 'warmonger,' which I don't necessarily agree with but can understand why the usage, I have trouble understanding the basis for these comments. In fact, it appears to me that for the most part, labels attached to Bush would more readily adhere to his domestic opponents.

Let's look at 'fascist' for a moment. Because a fascist is someone who supports fascism, we must look to the meaning of fascism first to ascertain whether G. W. Bush is one, or as I suggest, his opponents would more fit the bill. defines:

Fascism: a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

If a definition were like the ingredients label on a side of a package, where the first item indicates the majority of content, then a fascist must be a dictator with complete power, and that obviously is not the case with our current President. George Bush couldn't dictate his way out of a cabinet meeting where there was disagreement on the definition of "amnesty."

Take a quick look at history and you'll realize that beyond the tax cut and the two wars there is scant evidence of any exhibition of dictatorial powers that would strike fear into democracy loving citizens, unless you count suspending funding for abortions in third world nations as fascist -- I'd categorize that as cutting the fat from the foreign policy budget.

But the Guantanamo prison camps are beyond the scope of the constitution! Not so, says the Supreme Court. I wouldn't agree the constitution applies to foreigners who could kill thousands of us en route to 21 virgins either.

I can't say at this point that the Administration's domestic opponents are tyrannical, yet. In fact, this is the one facet of my argument that his opponents are more 'fascist' that has the weakest supporting evidence. Which depending on how you view politics is either a good or bad thing.

Well, Nancy Pelosi seems to have designs on forging her own foreign policy, which would be unconstitutional, but aside from Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, I don't see liberals ever criticizing their own, which is a topic of another column and a major weakness.

Forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism. This criterion for a fascist, when forcibly applied to this President, stirs such emotions in me that I have a hard time suppressing my laughter. There hasn't been a critic that was denied a voice in this country since the Clinton Administration. Seriously, can you, because I can't, name one voice that has been silenced by this President? Joe Wilson? Bob Woodward? Nancy Pelosi? Harry Reid? Pat Buchanan? John Kerry? Al Gore? Me? You? Rush Limbaugh? Don Imus?(strike that).

You can pick any card caring member of the GOP off the street and I guarantee that that person has shown more starch in his support of the Administration's policies than the man who lends his name to those policies.

In fact, the mere presence of this post, as well as the freedom to walk the street for millions of domestic opponents across this nation belies this notion that G.W. Bush is some kind of fascist.

I was once told that Bush and John Ashcroft were going to install a theocracy in this country. That kind of statement has many siblings, and they are all illegitimate.

We all know of the countless conservative voices who were drowned out by the left and its lackeys for such heinous crimes as patronizing an old man who never won the presidency 40 years earlier, or suggesting the press wants a black quarterback to succeed, or that a Speaker of the House is engaging in 'bad behaviour.' Is not 'forcibly suppressing opposition' applicable when the liberals coalesce against the enemy du jour?

Regimenting all industry, commerce, etc. Sometimes we all wander out to left field and we look around and realize we are all alone. I admit that I am having trouble coming up with examples that defie that perception that Bush is a fascist, besides noting his lack of anything that would garner such a label. But that is not an indicator that I am weak in my hypothesis. The grounds for calling Bush a 'fascist' is so flimsy that I am having trouble finding substance of proof in order to disprove that substance.

Besides the revitalization of Haliburton, which I would like to point out the general lack of competition in that industry, I'm having trouble finding one segment of our economy that Bush has either helped or harmed, beyond cutting taxes, to warrant the 'fascist' label.

I could list the industries that are targeted by liberals for their sins against the environment, but that would take too long for my purposes here, and there really isn't any doubt about the notion that liberalism is inclined to fix business through government intercession.

Finally, emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism. That is all so subjective isn't it? One mans aggressive nationalism is another's patriotic duty. The reality is that this President hasn't cloaked himself in the flag anymore than any of his predecessors. In fact, considering the external forces align against our flag, it may do well for Mr. Bush to be more nationalistic. But with the open borders, the free-trade agreements, and continued appeals to the United Nations first in foreign affairs matters, and the fact I missed the memo on it, I can't believe that we are dwelling in an ultra-nationalistic society akin to Germany and Italy in the 1940's.

As to racism, I'm going to leave that alone. My kids don't know anything about that, and that is what my nurture is attempting to instill. I hope they don't learn it from the people who are propagating so many other misconceptions today.

As to his domestic opponents, I wouldn't want to call such things as the rainbow flag, the AIDs ribbons and all its siblings nationalistic, but the emotional strings being tug are related -- to inspire loyalty to the cause.

Where are your loyalties? I think you're free to choose, unless I missed the memo on that too.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Quote of the Day

"There are no illegitimate children -- only illegitimate parents."

Leon R Yankwich(September 25, 1888 - February 9, 1975) U.S. District Court Judge

Decision, Zipkin V. Mozon (1928)

presented by Right Sarcasm University

We can all be wealthy

When I was a young man the question was asked, why can't a million people pay each other a buck and we'd all be millionaires?

Because you'd need a million dollars yourself silly.

But if we all just click each other's Ad Sense ads on our blogs, couldn't we all get a little bit of wealth?

Quote of The Day

"A hero is a man who does what he can."

Romain Rolland (1866 - 1944) French Novelist

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Monday, April 16, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Besides learning to see, there is another art to be learned -- not to see what is not."

Maria Mitchell (1818 - 1889) American astronomer

presented by Right Sarcasm University

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The 4th sign of the Apocalypse

It has been an essential element of my sensibilities that I carry along with me at all times a mental list of scenarios that would indicate to me the immediate on coming of the proverbial "End Time"s as prophesied in the Christian Bible. Number 4 on that list has always been to fear the ramifications of any agreement with Rosie O'Donnell on consecutive issues.

So with great trepidation I submit to you Ms. O'Donnell's blog where in you will read a long winded poem, maybe a haiku - exactly, I don't know. Near the end of that poem she writes,


i am registering as an independent
cause i am sick of both sides
cowardly silence

as democracy dies

prior to this caption she itemizes a number of sickness that prevail upon our land, and I was pleased to learn that she recognizes that both political parties are ineffective, willingly or unwittingly, to do anything to solve problems.

Early in the week, I agreed when she admitted that this nation's right to free speech is being severely challenged(my words), as stirred by the Imus controversy.

This Wheel's on Fire

This Wheel's on Fire: Levon Helm and the Story of the Band
Levon Helm with Stephen Davis
1993, 2000

Thirty years ago one of heck of a farewell concert took place at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. Performers who attended and played included Eric Clapton, Neil Young & Neil Diamond, Muddy Waters, Ringo Starr, Ron Wood, Van Morrison, Dr. John, Joni Mitchell, and Bob Dylan. The concert took place on Thanksgiving Day, 1976 therefore a turkey dinner and all the fixing were offered, including a vegetarian selection. Ball room dancing, with professionals mixed in to assure the right atmosphere, was encouraged and it was all recorded and directed by Martin Scorsese. But all of this was secondary to the big show, which was to bid good-bye to one of history's(even to this day) greatest bands ever assembled.

Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Garth Hudson, and Richard Manuel were The Band.

For anyone unfamiliar with who they were, I hope this lead-in will whet one's appetite to learn more about this great band who for years backed up Bob Dylan during one fabulous era of that legendary writer's career.

For anyone familiar with who they were, you surely need no hyping to be convinced that any book written by one of The Bands members would be worth your while.

This book provides not only a history of the early years of The Band, along with the early years of Levon Helm in particular, the history of the Last Waltz, and the post Waltz years, it also gives a history of so much of the early years of Rock 'n Roll.

In particular, Levon's childhood in Arkansas, his growth in music and all the local influences which shaped his style.

Ronnie Hawkins. A rambling musician who dominating the bar and club scene in Canada for many years and was also known well in the South. He was who gathered together the musicians who would later go out on their own, but first learned the ways of the stage under his tutelage. Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks were at a time the best at what they did.

Woodstock. Where it was, who came to live there and how their music developed, and of course the big concert.

Big Pink. Who said, "This album changed my life" which lead him to disband his own group which was in itself a historic combination of talent, and who was also denied entry into The Band.

Bob Dylan and Shangri-La

The story of The Last Waltz. Why it took place, how it came about, what was going on behind the scenes, who and why certain musicians were asked to perform. Back stage at the concert, the Bob Dylan issue, why this was the end of the Band and how Levon felt about all that.

The years following the Last Waltz. Why Robbie Robertson never toured with the other members again, the death of Richard Manuel, the fire in Woodstock at Levon's farm, and many attempts to re-capture the success of The Band.

And so much more, like the personal relationship and song development. The record contracts. The business side. The trivia.

Like Ragu, its in there.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Quote of the Day

"It's hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse."

Adlai Stevenson (February 5, 1900 - July 14, 1965) American Politician

present by Right Sarcasm University

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Quote of the Day

"There is no expedient to which man will not resort to avoid the real labor of thinking."

Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-792) English painter, writer

Quoted in Mason, Great and Mind-Liberating Thoughts

presented by:

Right Sarcasm Universty

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Another Kind of Civil Debate

Standards of Civility in the Blogosphere

One of the great tragedies of modern life is the lack of civility in discourse among people who have a platform to present their point of view.

Most people have suffered through, if only for a moment before clicking to another site, a blog or email that is laden with aggressively belligerent terms and even pictures. It has been a weakness of mine, in that when I read these writings, I get a little tempered myself. Not at disagreeing with the political views(which normally are the topics of such blogs), but at being subjected to such low class mud slinging. So when I came across this write up from the New York Times which presents the attempts by two innovators of the web to clean up the discourse I was simply happy.

To consider that in modern times, with this marvelous technology that allows us to reach millions and millions of minds with our thoughts and our words, many opt to degrade their otherwise poignant stanza's with such gutter terms as "idiots", "$#%-hole", "%$#@head", and other similar vulgarities is a real shame. We can put people in space, but we can't fill the space of people's minds with the vocabulary to disagree politely.

Personally, I suffered through a seemingly never ending series of e-mails with an individual that one would think was better educated than the image he presented with his uncivil terminology about anyone who simply disagreed with him. I put an end to that discourse not because I was unwilling to expose myself to someone's different point of view, but because I just don't have the time to suffer through, voluntarily I might add, such base attacks.

Additionally, it did nothing to help me improve my thought processes, which is what I want in an exchange. Anyone can tell me Bush is an idiot, I want to know why, as detailed as possible, so that I don't have to make the assumption about your mental acuity.

One of the ironies in all this angst that bloggers want to convey with their impoverished rantings is the real fact that all these politicians who stoke the anger, who incite the differences, are themselves dining richly, warmly, and comfortably with each other. While we, or at least some of us, are allowed to be controlled by them.

I don't let them lower me to incivility, and you shouldn't either.

Quote of the Day

"God must have loved the People of Power, for he made them so much like their own image of Him."

Kenneth Patchien (1911 - 1972) American writer

Some Little Sayings and Observations(March 1956)

Presented by Right Sarcasm University.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe."

John Milton(1608-1674)

Paradise Lost(1667) lines 648-649

Monday, April 9, 2007

Follow Up to Don Imus's Troubles

If you were reading about the trouble following Don Imus with regards to his
racial slur, you may find value in this video clip of Imus on Rev. Al Sharpton's radio program. Sarcasm aside, the Rev. and his call in guests do well in explaining their position.

As this is posted, Imus has been suspended, so they may have proven their points to the right people.

I don't feel sorry for Imus, following his program over the years, he has
abused many people and sometimes those chickens come home to roost.

The winner out of all this may be George Bush because Imus was a constant
critic of the administration, his radio program is a powerful platform,
and his many guest usually presented a view that agreed with the host.
But since Bush is oblivious to his critics, it likely will amount to
nothing but a suspension for Imus.

Don Imus on the Hot Seat

Don Imus on the Hot Seat

If you have missed any of the controversy surrounding radio legend Don Imus and his comments on the Rutger's women basketball team, the above link will take you there.

With Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, or in other words the usual crowd, calling for his resignation or termination, this may be the first time that I've witnessed liberal democrats turning on their own. Alright, for those who listen to Don Imus I know that he contends he is a registered Republican, but most days his comments place him far to the left of center on issues.

With this event transpiring, the turning on an otherwise solid voice of the left, the harping of the right-wing talking heads must take heed in saying there is a double standard anymore, that Democrats get a pass on everything, while Republicans have their feet held to the fire on the most mundane of circumstance's(although he is a register Republican).

Again, I listen to Imus, and I like him for his sarcastic comments and terrific guests, but there is no doubt that he stood with the Sharpton's and Jackson's for many years, and to see those two respond in this manner is really principled for them, at last. Yet we shall see if they hold to these principles when one of their pet politicians slip up, including Mrs. Bill Clinton who once joked about the ethnicity of gas station owners.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Hand of Providence

Hand of Providence
Mary Beth Brown

Mary Beth Brown writes the fabulous story of the Faith of President Ronald Reagan in her work Hand of Providence. This story was interesting to me as I grew up in a strong Democratic area in Western PA where the only good thing one heard about Reagan was, well nothing.

I was quite a young man in the 1980's, and the personal life of a President wasn't something that was readily available then, there weren't all these media outlets that we have today. No Internet, no Amazon, and few book stores. Religiously speaking, the only thing I learned about Reagan back in those days was that each word of his name consisted of six letters so that you'd have Ronald Wilson Reagan = 666!

What a shame that there were people who propagated these type of characterizations to young and impressionable kids. But I never really bought into that silliness, though I'm sure many people did. Never the less, I knew very little about the personal life of my President in those days, since then I have learned a great deal through my reading of his biographies.

The faith of President Reagan, as chronicled in Brown's book, was immense and she has a wealth of documented words and letters from him to establish her thesis.

One such instance that reflected his faith was in a conversation with his minister who asked him if he knew Jesus Christ, and Reagan responded that he knows the man. There was an emphasis on the personal relationship he came to believe he had with Christ. In fact Mr. Reagan believed that he was saved numerous times by God, and was guided by angels in time of personal distress and grave health issues.

Brown also writes about the huge influence that Nelle Reagan had on her son, and how she was a loving and caring human being who allowed God a central role in her life. These beliefs and characteristics shaped her son who came to believe that God also had a plan for him, that He continued to save and guide him for a particular reason that was mostly unknown. In the mean time, the President instilled in his own children the same love of God and man that he was taught by his mother.

There were many times in Reagan's life that he thought he was saved for a reason. One major event being his miraculous recovery from the assassination attempt in 1981. After this occurred he writes of dedicating the rest of his life to God's plan, whatever that may be. This then led to a relationship with Pope John Paul II, who also made a miraculous recovery from an assassin's bullet. Together they secretly aided the Polish Solidarity movement and worked to weaken communism throughout the Soviet bloc.

This book, while not being very long at 208 pages, is chalk full of personal notes, letters, and anecdotes from family and friends testifying the faith of the fortieth President of the United States.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Six Pack

"If there's an original thought out there, I could use one right about now."
- Bob Dylan
  • Prewar intelligence was wrong when it said that Iraq had WMD's and administration critics are certain of that validity. . . .Postwar intelligence says that Iraq had no ties to Al Quaida and administration critics are certain of that validity, how can they be so certain of what is right and what isn't?
  • If you listen to spin doctors, Democrats are alarmed about everything in this country except terrorism, while Republicans are alarmed about terrorism and nothing else. . .
  • According to Bush Bashers, W has done terrible harm to our international standing, as evidence of him not getting along with rogue nations and France, what do they think of Nancy Pelosi reaching out to the Syria's of the world while at the same time upsetting long time friend's like Israel?
  • Speaking of Pelosi, critics of Bush often say he has thrown the constitution out the window, what do they think of when Mrs. Pelosi has arguably violated the Logan Act and the Constitution when she conducted foreign policy in Syria?
  • If the science of Global Warming is not settled, why do proponents act as though it is, while the science of Free Trade has undoubtedly been settled a long time ago and opponents act as though it hasn't? Usually these are the same people!
  • When I read the profanity riddled post from some people on topics that are political, it makes me happy to know that I don't agree with them. Usually.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Quote of the Day

"The measure of success is not whether you have a tough problem to deal with, but whether it's the same problem you had last year."

-John Foster Dulles

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Al Gore's latest honorary degree

Al Gore's latest honorary degree

I assume these aren't the expatriated Americans who left after Bush got re-elected.

But seriously, the global warming movement needs a less political figure than Al Gore. He has too much hypocrisy in him. He was a Vice President with nothing but a book and a documentary laced with anti-Bush sentiment to back him. All the while George Bush has a ranch that, while never publicized, is years ahead of any homestead Al Gore has in terms of environmental efficiency.

I'm not saying anything about his sincerity, or global warming validity. In fact, I think this issue is a winner for American business, its the next IT, but I'm certain that for this issue to shake off some of its detractors, Al Gore has got to step back a little.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Cell Phones, and other things.

  • Last September my family turned off our cell phones, and the world didn't end. I was paying $70 a month for what? To talk to my wife more often was about it. Now I love my wife, but as it turns out, there really isn't much to say that can't wait. . . .
  • Reflecting on recent presidential modus operandi it seems that there was virtually no criticism that Bill Clinton wouldn't respond to, while our current President responds to virtually nothing.
Its an interesting approach for a President to let his critics define his term in office, but that is what Bush has opted to do. It may be hard for the Bush Bashers to pause for a moment and consider the lessons to be learned from him, but not responding to every criticism does have some merit.

Not reacting may have tempered the emotions of the Republicans. Considering the raging angst of the Democrats, it can be appreciated that one side has kept its cool. What if Bush did send out his lackeys to attack his critics at every turn? We've seen that during the 90's and consequently both sides were in a bitter mood. Polls show that Republicans are happier than Democrats today. I blame Bush for that.

  • For years we've been told how big money is bad in politics, that it corrupts politicians. Well, that is a decided different bent on how the recent release of campaign contributions have been reported. The impression I've been getting now a days is that more money is good. I suppose this impression will hold until the general elections, then well see what happens when the GOP out gains the Democrats. . . .
  • Two games into the new baseball season and the Pittsburgh Pirates are 2-0, A-Rod is taking curtain calls in the Bronx, and the Brewers are favored to win the NL Central. Three signs that the end is near.
  • Can you explain why wrestling is so big in this country? Fake wrestling that is. Men in underwear, watched mostly by men. Lest you smirk, I bet you knew Wrestlemania was this past weekend.
  • Should I assume Nancy Pelosi's congress has solved all our domestic problems now that she has time to visit rogue nations abroad? She is still the Speaker of the House isn't she? Where or what in her job duties require her to go anywhere outside of the U.S. except for a vacation?
  • A friend of my wife was telling me how the Bush's stole Florida in 2000, and that the government should not pay the Electoral College because they are robbers. . . thankfully I can't be embarrassed that he and I agree on much in way of politics. We do agree that the original Batman movie is a work of art, though. The 2000 elections? Thats old news, get over it!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Health Care Reform

Matt Miller, a political Columnist for Fortune magazine, and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, wrote an interesting column this past week concerning health care reform in this country. Unfortunately, like the flat tax, Social Security reform, etc., it will never see the light day.

His reform centers around shifting the $500 billion that business now spends on health care to the government via a tax hike! All the while contending that this is a conservative endeavor, as well as providing universal coverage for all.

On paper its laid out quite doable, a little audacious mind you, but doable. However, as I lament with my colleagues often, the only audaciousness our government seems to take on is war. . . .

You can reach Matt Miller at for more information.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Environmentalism is big business

The most recent issue of Fortune magazine has a run down of the top green companies in business today. Sadly, it would probably be surprising for many people to read for the first time the multitude of organizations who have been practicing and innovating green initiatives without government mandate.

I have no doubt of the sincerity of anyone who wishes to bring about change in the global environment, from Al Gore to your next door neighbor who merely recycles. What I do have doubts about is whether many of the zealots have taken a moment to pay a little attention to what businesses are actually doing. This may mean shifting attention from the politico's and shrill voices who constantly harp of the imminent doom, and lack of action from government(read the Bush Administration).

Sometimes I read stories and posts regarding environmental concerns, and I wonder, how deep is the understanding of these people of where the action really is. For example, is a symbolic dimming of the lights in a major metropolitan area a meaningful step in combating reported global warming? Or is the daily practices of a major airline, efforts to increase fuel efficiency, and procurement policies more beneficial to environmentalist goals?

Well, we can answer that question individually, for some the symbolism may be more important, while for others getting business to change is paramount.

But most times, the headlines and the emotional reactions are tied to the symbolic with usually an implication that the symbolic is all that is being done in this world. But if you take the time to check out the news from the business world, your find that being green is big business today, and many, many companies are doing this without the politician's and government's meddlesome involvement.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Misquoting Jesus

Often time it is said that "this book will change your life," and undoubtedly many books, covering many topics, do have the power to alter one's way of thinking, and thus change your life.

Bart D. Ehrman, who chairs the department of religious studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, wrote Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why (Plus), which spent 9 weeks on the New York Times best sellers list. This is a book which could change your life. Although the change it could affect would not necessarily be a change that you'd be seeking. Maybe, maybe not.

Inside the covers of this easy to read, and some what short story of 250 pages, is an introduction to a field of scientific study called Textual Criticism. Evidently, there are enough discrepancies in the Bible that there have been scholars, working throughout most of the history of Christianity, who have endeavored to discover the original texts and words of this great book. The New Testament alone has more "disagreements" than agreements amongst the thousands of surviving manuscripts in collections around the world, the concern of this book is to educate the reader about some of these conflicts, why they are there, and who put them there.

To be sure, most of this difference in the text are meaningless, superficial misspellings and interpretations of ancient languages that do not alter the overriding theme of the books,
but there are others times when the changes are more meaningful, and the author does a terrific job of simplifying and explaining how scholars determine what is or isn't original.

Also, this book touches upon some of the historically significant distinctions and tenets of the various sects of Christianity and how the orthodox Christians altered text to serve their purposes. Again, not all examples of the differences in the scriptures are exposed, but enough, along with the prominent scribes and scholars who affected these changes, to either challenge your basic Christian beliefs or at least intrigue you enough to further studies.

I really enjoyed this book, not the least of which was the section of the book entitled "Plus," where many of the questions and concerns that formed in my mind while reading this book were addressed. Fascinating was the reality that all these discrepancies and errors are not exactly a well kept secret, Ehrman contends that throughout most of the history of Christianity, scholars and those in the know, knew about the problems in the text. As a matter of fact, most every Bible published today notes a significant number these instances of differences, they are in the footnotes, which of course no one reads!