Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Nancy Pelosi in the Buff

You're actually thinking I would post such a thing? There are plenty of other things to satisfy your cravings for an unintended exposure.

What about this? And this?

Sorry, I can't help but think about Nancy Pelosi losing her buff when I see these videos.

Inspired by: The Other McCain, a blogging icon.

Monday, June 28, 2010

What Are You Doing for the 4th of July?

I don't have an agenda, I don't have an itinerary. I only know this: I will celebrate the 4th of July with friends and family as I have done my entire life. Granted, my family is invited to an annual pool party (killer balloon fight) which will subject me to water basketball and diving-board antics, but the bottom line is that we all gather to celebrate.

I remember a 4th of July party at my sister's cottage on Wamplers Lake in Michigan. As tradition dictated, her husband led the parade on his lawnmower around the neighborhood. Kids were dressed in patriotic attire and we ended up at a house that was blaring the National Anthem. I think it segued into The Alan Parsons Project, but I digress. The fireworks started at dusk from beyond the beach. Boats gathered from all over the lake to get ready to watch the display. If I remember correctly, my brother-in-law spent close to 2 grand on fireworks that year, the last official year of the display. We prepared the various displays by gluing them to sheets of plywood curing the late afternoon. We then took those sheets one by one out into the water and placed them on saw-horses that kept them just above the water line.

The reason I mentioned that this was the last "official" display is that the budget for the fireworks kept increasing every year. That particular year, however, saw the budget busted. A particular firework display went awry and caught a neighbor's boat cover on fire. Although the boat was saved, it cost almost $500 to replace the cover. Oh well, I guess all good things must eventually come to an end.

What do you do? I wonder what Sarah Palin will do?

I suspect that you and I, Sarah Palin, and the rest of our families will do pretty much the same thing. We'll honor the event of our independence and celebrate in whatever way we can, hoping to avoid budget-busting accidents.

Drop me a comment and let me know about your favorite 4th of July!

4th of July Fizzle

I look forward to this year's 4th of July. Although it's something we look forward to every year, this year has special meaning. We celebrate our independence from tyranny while we also entertain the prospect of having that tyranny re-visited on us by the powers-that-be in Washington.

When I was a kid and you tried to light a firecracker that didn't go off, you said it "fizzled". What a great metaphor for our current political climate. Obama and his ilk have tried to light a path to socialism and are being met with growing resistance from the electorate.

Michael Barone has a great piece on National Review Online titled "Why Obamacare is Unpopular". In it, he says something that belies the liberal talking points about government-run anything:
One hundred years ago, most urban Americans rented rather than owned their homes. Many had no bank accounts, and few had significant financial assets. Elites worried that this proletariat might rise in revolution.

In this America, the progressives argued that the Founders’ vision was obsolete. Property rights should be subordinate to human rights. Government should regulate economic activity and “spread the wealth around,” as Barack Obama told Joe the Plumber.

Their problem is that the America of the progressives and New Dealers no longer exists. Government home-finance programs helped make us a nation of homeowners. Technological progress and deregulation improved transportation and communications and made the necessities of life less costly, enabling citizens to accumulate significant wealth in their working years.

But we still live in an America like the America of the Founders and unlike the America of the progressives and the New Dealers, in which a majority of citizens are or have every prospect of becoming property owners. And a nation of property owners is less willing to plunder the property of others in search of some promised gain than a nation in which most people don’t and will never own significant property.
In other words, the headlong plunge into affordable housing has created a nation of property owners unlike any time in our history. Granted, there are many that have used the incentives of the federal government to gain in the short-term, but what of the others, the ones that established new-found ownership?

Owning property establishes roots. It defines a culture that is interested in creating a legacy for its family and its country. It is anathema to the prurient interests of liberal politicians and socialists that prey on dependence. That ownership mentality is now transforming into an electoral tsunami that may result in the biggest shift of governance in our lifetime. Said another way, we may finally see socialism fizzle.

The fun of the 4th of July was being able to light those fireworks under your parents' watchful eyes. The "fizzle" didn't deter you from having a wondrous time. It won't this year either.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Rick Barber Campaign Ad, a Must See

Wait to the very end. I cracked up!

Hat Tip: The Other McCain

Home to Reason

In what could be described as the antithesis of reason, political correctness has emerged as the religion of politics. In addition, the ideology of religious neutrality has replaced the conviction of religious belief. Those still clinging to their religious beliefs are ridiculed as backward and lacking intellectual honesty. Political correctness knows no religion, it only know the expediency of "reasoned" neutrality.

Wherein lies the abuse of reason for the acceptance of religious neutrality? It lies in the form of man's inclination to abuse God's will. It lies in God's gift of free will and in granting us the ability to decide our own fate. Without the influence of God in our life, we have become the wandering masses of Israelites after their flight from Egypt. Although Moses gave them the Ten Commandments, they spurned His influence and were destined to roam throughout the desert as their penance....for forty years!

What was the consternation among the Israelites? What is it about the Ten Commandments that causes anyone to take pause?
"And God spoke all these words, saying: 'I am the LORD your God…

ONE: 'You shall have no other gods before Me.'

TWO: 'You shall not make for yourself a carved image--any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.'

THREE: 'You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.'

FOUR: 'Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.'

FIVE: 'Honor your father and your mother.'

SIX: 'You shall not murder.'

SEVEN: 'You shall not commit adultery.'

EIGHT: 'You shall not steal.'

NINE: 'You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.'

TEN: 'You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's.'
These 10 simple rules are the bedrock of Christian society and they challenge us every day. We must constantly strive to live our lives with these rules in mind. That's all we really need. The rest is all about attorney fees.

What do you think Sarah Palin prays about? What should we all pray about?

Lord God, give me strength to live up to your Commandments.

Quid Pro Quo, NRA?

Per RedState, some disturbing news about 2nd amendment rights:
The organization recently collaborated with the left to obtain a carve out of the DISCLOSE Act, legislation designed to silence bloggers and outside interest groups like tea party activists. This was a first amendment issue and the NRA gladly took a position and campaigned for its members to take a position on the DISCLOSE Act.

One of the NRA’s chief arguments was that it needed the carve out to be effective in its advocacy of Second Amendment issues. But here’s the problem: these internal Senate emails confirmed by NRA Board Members show that the National Rifle Association’s management team has explicitly and directly told the NRA’s board they are prohibited from testifying about second amendment issues during the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings.
So, it appears that the NRA was willing to appeal to lawmakers to give it an exclusion from the DISCLOSE Act in exchange for remaining quiet during Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings.

If this is all true, what has come of the NRA?

Jan Brewer to Obama: Do Your Job!

President Obama, Arizona and the nation are waiting for you to do your job.

If the embedded video is not working. You can also see it here.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Bard of Conservatism

I ran across a reference to "Bard" a few days ago. We all know how it it relates to Shakespeare, but I find that it applies equally to Sarah Palin on many different levels.
Per Wikipedia: ...the term "bard"...acquired generic meanings of an epic author/singer/narrator, ...or any poets, especially famous ones. For example, William Shakespeare is known as The Bard.
William Shakespeare composed multiple narratives (plays) that helped describe and define the culture of his time. His plays are considered classics by anyone that studies them. They still entertain us today in countless theaters and give us insight into the culture to which they relate.

Sarah Palin has traversed a similar path. She defines the rugged individualism of Alaskan life and uses its metaphors to describe the American experience. We relate to her because of our own experiences, which allows us to embrace she and her experience as our own.

She speaks the language of the "commoner", which Shakespeare perfected in his works, to the chagrin of his fellow playwrights. Sarah is no different, coming under assault by the bastions of elitism, which I can't begin to link.

Sarah spoke a simple truth in her remarks at CSU-Stanislaus. She spoke of conviction and patriotism, as defined by our history, but mandated by education. Her remarks spoke of a simple refrain: teach them what happened, not what the scholars say it means.

We are bound by tradition, in our families, our communities and our sense of country. We ask only to be heard and respected by what we have lived by and what we believe our future should be. We are born into a conservative lifestyle, and we hear the call of the Bard of Conservatism, and we like what she says.

Sarah Palin at CSU-Stanislaus

This is a defining speech from Sarah Palin. It is, in my mind, one of her very best. Share this with any skeptics. I believe that this speech will define Sarah Palin for many years to come.

A Pathway to Fiscal Sanity

As the federal budget balloons out of control, I ponder what could be done to reign in spending. Moreover, what would the consequences be of cutting off funding here and there?

Let's take, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or sometimes USEPA) is an agency of the federal government of the United States charged with protecting human health and the environment, by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress. The EPA was proposed by President Richard Nixon and began operation on December 2, 1970, after legislation establishing it was passed by Congress and signed into law by Nixon. The agency is led by its Administrator, who is appointed by the president and approved by Congress. The current administrator is Lisa P. Jackson. The EPA is not a Cabinet department, but the administrator is normally given cabinet rank. The agency has approximately 18,000 full-time employees. Proposed Budget for FY 2011: $10 Billion
Sounds like a drop in the bucket, right? Well, what exactly does the EPA produce? In a word, regulations. What do regulations produce? Increased cost to the American taxpayer. My proposal is both a 90% reduction in staff and budget.

How about the US Department of Education?
The United States Department of Education, also referred to as ED or the ED for (the) Education Department, is a Cabinet-level department of the United States government. Created by the Department of Education Organization Act (Public Law 96-88), it was signed into law by President Jimmy Carter on October 17, 1979 and began operating on May 16, 1980.

The Department of Education Organization Act divided the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare into the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. The Department of Education is administered by the United States Secretary of Education.

It is by far the smallest Cabinet-level department, with about 5,000 employees. The agency's official acronym is ED (and not DOE, which refers to the United States Department of Energy). It is also often abbreviated informally as DoED. FY 2011 Proposed budget for FY 2011: $222.7 Billion, which includes $173 Billion for loans and grants.
My proposed budget: $0. Defund this monstrosity. Give the task of educaton back to the States.

Next, the IRS.
In July 1862, during the Civil War, President Lincoln and Congress created the office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue and enacted an income tax to pay war expenses (see Revenue Act of 1862). The position of Commissioner exists today as the head of the Internal Revenue Service.

The Revenue Act of 1862 was passed as an emergency and temporary war-time tax. It copied a relatively new British system of income taxation, instead of trade and property taxation. The first income tax was passed in 1861:

* The initial rate was 3% on income over $800, which exempted most wage-earners.
* In 1862 the rate was 3% on income between $600 and $10,000, and 5% on income over $10,000.
* In 1864 the rate was 5% on income between $600 and $5,000; 7.5% on income $5,000-$10,000; and 10% on income $10,000 and above.

In 1906, with the election of President Theodore Roosevelt, and later his successor William Howard Taft, the United States saw a populous movement for tax reform. This movement culminated in February 1913 with the ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution: "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

This granted Congress the specific power to create a direct income tax. By February 1913, 36 states had ratified the change to the Constitution. It was further ratified by six more states by March. Of the 48 states at the time, 42 ratified. Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Utah rejected the amendment; Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida didn't take up the issue.

In the first year after ratification of the Sixteenth Amendment, no taxes were collected--instead, taxpayers simply completed the form and the IRS checked it for accuracy. The IRS's workload jumped by ten-fold, triggering a massive restructuring. Professional tax collectors began to replace a system of "patronage" appointments. The IRS doubled its staff, but was still processing 1917 returns in 1919.

After microfilm, the 1960s onward saw massive computerization efforts.

In 1990, the IRS began to use the public Internet for electronic filing. Since the introduction of e-filing, self-paced online tax services have flourished, augmenting and sometimes replacing tax accountants to prepare returns.

In 2003, the IRS stuck a deal with tax software vendors:

* The IRS would not develop online filing software.
* In return, software vendors would provide free e-filing to most Americans[10].

In 2009, 70% of filers qualified for free electronic filing of federal returns.[11]

In 2010, more than 66% (98 million) of tax returns are expected to be filed electronically.

Proposed budget for FY 2011: $13 Billion.
My proposal is a national sales tax. Forget about tax returns, forget about deductions. If you buy something, 15% goes to the US government and that's all they get. In other words, defund the IRS. Hire 100 people to administer the collection of the tax.

While we're at it, let's overturn Obamacare and get the US Government out of healthcare.

Mandate an annual audit of the Federal Reserve and put both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into receivership. Re-invent the Glass-Steagall Act, prohibiting the combination of Investment Banks and Commercial Banks. Dispense with the nonsense of "reforming" Wall Street. The US Government if too invested in its success to regulate it in any meaningful way.

Re-design the Commerce Department. I'm sick and tired of filing all those redundant and intrusive questionnaires every month on behalf of the company I work for. These reporting requirements create a huge toll on business. In addition, overturn Sarbanes-Oxley, another idiotic monstrosity that punishes business to atone for the abuses of Enron and Worldcom.

I could go on and on, but at least I've proposed a start.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

10 Reasons Why Sarah Palin Would Make a Good President

U.S. News and World Report just published a survey on the top ten reasons why Sarah Palin would make a good President. I have revised their top ten list to suit my fancy (my additions in bold italics):
1. Unbending Conservative
Palin is a long-time, unbending Reagan conservative who has committed to cutting taxes, eliminating some unnecessary regulations, and generally shrinking the intrusiveness of government.

2. Military Hawk
The mother of a soldier in Iraq, Palin is becoming a military hawk. She has repeatedly threatened Iran with sharp language, and Constitutionalists some think know threats work when backed up by military strength. And don't forget that she can shoot an elk at 400 yards, so she can back up those threats.

3. Oil Drilling Advocate
The former governor of Alaska is a strong advocate for an all-inclusive energy policy. She wants to produce more domestic energy and buy less overseas. Democrats see her as tough on that issue.

4. Respect of Governors
As governor, she had the respect of other governors and worked well with the state legislature. She will might bring a new type of leadership that ends the unproductive and bipartisan approach to governing from Washington.

5. Revive Saturday Night Live
Let's face it: Palin impersonators are funny becoming boring, and her presidency would certainly help revive throttle Saturday Night Live's ratings if Tina Fey returned to play Palin.

6. Friend of the Working Class
She identifies with working class Americans more than more wealthy, elitist candidates and presidents. It's not uncommon to see her enjoy working with assisting her husband on his fishing boat. Or Hunting and fishing for that matter are her passion.

7. Advocate for Disabled Children
Her last youngest child was born with Downs Syndrome and that has made her she is a passionate advocate for disabled children life, a job that presidents normally pass off to the first lady.

8. First Woman President
Just being the first woman president would likely bring massive changes to how the Oval Office is handled and how foreign leaders view the United States, especially in light of her ability to handle and use firearms.

9. Boost Conservative Media
As a foe of the liberal media, she might will boost conservative bloggers and center-right alternative media like Fox News to mainstream media levels eliminating any possibility of resurrecting some type of Fairness Doctrine.

10. Fashion Statement
She would likely spark a whole new fashion a renewed sense of quiet elegance in the nation, with without regard to it being Carhartt, and Cabela's, taking over from J. Crew and or Gap.

Needless to say, I don't subscribe to U.S. News and World Report. Does anyone?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day in Obamaland

I just finished entertaining my bride's parents for Father's Day. Okay, I was being feted as well, although I insisted on cooking the hamburgers on the grill. That's normally my task and I relish it. Today, however, I had to fire up the grill when the temperature outside was 102+ degrees. Texas can be nasty in the summertime. Athough the house was comfortable and cool, my outdoor task had me sweating as I said grace at the table before dinner.

My son is 17 years old, which is a very significant age to me. I lost my father to heart failure when I was only 16 and he was 48. Every new day I spend with my son is one that I was denied with my father. That fact never leaves me.

I yearned for my Dad's counsel when I was in college and as a young adult trying to find my way in society. I found others to advise me, but I was always left with the feeling "what would Dad have said?" To this day, I still dream about him as if he was still here. The dreams are not a regular occurrence, but when they happen, I don't forget them.

The bond between a father and son is primordial. It cannot be diminished, although there are always examples of estrangement that seem to suggest otherwise. I think of those cases as aberrations, not really being the real example of most male's experience. After all is said and done, we have but one father, right?

Maybe not. President Obama has issued a proclamation regarding Father's Day. In it, he makes the following statement (emphasis mine):
Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by a father and mother, a single father, two fathers, a step father, a grandfather, or caring guardian.
I must have failed biology. I thought you could only have one father. Shouldn't we expect more from a learned President than pandering to the wicked masses on the meaning of fatherhood?

I am appalled!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Tea Party Takes a Hit

I first have to tell you that I attended my first Tea Party on April 15, 2009 in Denton, Texas. I blogged about it here. At that time, it wasn't really a movement, it was more of a theme that could be brought to bear anywhere that anyone wished it to be. I then attended a July 4th Tea Party at Southfork Ranch, just outside Dallas. I blogged about that here, here and here.

So what have I done after those events? I've gotten involved in blogging and blogging groups to support the basic goals of the Tea Party and I've thrown my support behind Sarah Palin. From a Tea Party standpoint, I haven't had much further involvement due to the fact that I live in a very Red county in a very Red state. I don't have the means or motivation to travel outside my local environment, so I have to do what I can from here.

So, you might ask, what does that have to do with the Tea Party? Actually, it has a lot to do with it. I have never thought of the Tea Party as a political party, I've only thought of it as a gathering of like-minded individuals. Somewhere along the way, groups of people have decided that the Tea Party theme needed to be organized into a political power. With the advent of the first Tea Party convention in Nashville, we now have been advised of multiple Tea Party conventions going on elsewhere around the country. These events are being organized by different groups, all vying for Tea Party supremacy, aka, political power.

I believe that we're starting to see the results of the Tea Party movement becoming a political organization. Recent polling suggests that the Tea Party is starting to lose favor with the general public, but the Tea Party was never about gaining public acceptance as much as it was about providing an outlet for dissatisfied citizens to vent their concerns about government largess. The fact that local organizations have been able to leverage the Tea Party moniker to influence politics in their regions only helps the conservative cause. It has also inspired countless political newcomers to take the plunge and get off the sidelines. That is a good thing.

What doesn't help is when right-leaning political pundits impugn the Tea Party movement as just another political stunt that can't possibly have an impact on our changing government. I was dismayed by a recent article at the American Thinker blog that basically said the Tea Party is too late to effect any change in the direction of our country. I beg to differ as does, apparently, the Associated Press. (Go figure!)

Is it better to do nothing and throw up our hands in surrender or should we keep fighting the fight? If the Tea Party movement inspires civic-minded individuals to go the Washington to help turn back the tide, isn't that a good thing? Maybe, just maybe, we've reached the tipping point where we now have the start of some real conservative activism that could put an end to the socialist experiment once and for all.

Even if the Tea Party as political movement has taken a hit, its underlying theme has not.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hitler and the Vuvuzela

If you're a fan of these parodies, this is really funny.

Hat Tip: The Right Scoop

You Had Us At Hello

Hat Tip: Conservatives4Palin

Sunday, June 13, 2010

When Does It Stop?

Headline from the Washington Post:
Obama pleads for $50 billion in state, local aid

President Obama urged reluctant lawmakers Saturday to quickly approve nearly $50 billion in emergency aid to state and local governments, saying the money is needed to avoid "massive layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters" and to support the still-fragile economic recovery.

In a letter to congressional leaders, Obama defended last year's huge economic stimulus package, saying it helped break the economy's free fall, but argued that more spending is urgent and unavoidable. "We must take these emergency measures," he wrote in an appeal aimed primarily at members of his own party.
I say "No Mas"! If state and local governments have to rely on federal bailouts, they will never make the tough choices back to solvency. Obama is an enabler of bad government management. He needs to be shown the door.

Small Business PAC

Here's an idea. SB-PAC - Small Business Political Action Committee.

Isn't it time to provide a voice for all those mom-and-pop businesses out there? After all, Main Street business provides the fuel to our free-market economy. In Washington, they seem to think that if you're not on Wall Street or sequestered in Silicon Valley, you can't possibly have an impact on our economy. I call BS on that.

Small business is the life-blood of our economy. Apple Computer started in Steve Jobs' garage. That was back in 1975. Gerald Ford was President and Jimmy Carter was about to become the buffoon of the 20th Century. Apple went public in 1980, after Ronald Reagan was elected President. They haven't looked back since and now stand as one of the most valuable companies in the U.S., by measure of market capitalization.

How does this happen? It's called the free-market. Nurture it, support it, invest in it! The only thing small business doesn't have is its own PAC. That needs to change.

Thomas Friedman's Stubbed Toe

I must admit that every time I read one of Thomas Friedman's columns, I usually bust out laughing. This latest one takes the cake, however. He posts a friend's letter to the editor of The Beaufort Gazette in South Carolina, which he precedes by saying "It is the best reaction I’ve seen to the BP oil spill — and also the best advice to President Obama on exactly whom to kick you know where":
I’d like to join in on the blame game that has come to define our national approach to the ongoing environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. This isn’t BP’s or Transocean’s fault. It’s not the government’s fault. It’s my fault. I’m the one to blame and I’m sorry. It’s my fault because I haven’t digested the world’s in-your-face hints that maybe I ought to think about the future and change the unsustainable way I live my life. If the geopolitical, economic, and technological shifts of the 1990s didn’t do it; if the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 didn’t do it; if the current economic crisis didn’t do it; perhaps this oil spill will be the catalyst for me, as a citizen, to wean myself off of my petroleum-based lifestyle. ‘Citizen’ is the key word. It’s what we do as individuals that count. For those on the left, government regulation will not solve this problem. Government’s role should be to create an environment of opportunity that taps into the innovation and entrepreneurialism that define us as Americans. For those on the right, if you want less government and taxes, then decide what you’ll give up and what you’ll contribute. Here’s the bottom line: If we want to end our oil addiction, we, as citizens, need to pony up: bike to work, plant a garden, do something. So again, the oil spill is my fault. I’m sorry. I haven’t done my part. Now I have to convince my wife to give up her S.U.V. Mark Mykleby.
What's truly laughable is not the content of the letter, but Friedman's analysis of it:
I think Mykleby’s letter gets at something very important: We cannot fix what ails America unless we look honestly at our own roles in creating our own problems. We — both parties — created an awful set of incentives that encouraged our best students to go to Wall Street to create crazy financial instruments instead of to Silicon Valley to create new products that improve people’s lives. We — both parties — created massive tax incentives and cheap money to make home mortgages available to people who really didn’t have the means to sustain them. And we — both parties — sent BP out in the gulf to get us as much oil as possible at the cheapest price. (Of course, we expected them to take care, but when you’re drilling for oil beneath 5,000 feet of water, stuff happens.)
What cracks me up is his use of the word "we". He assigns blame by saying that "we" are merely identified by party affiliation, Republican or Democrat. He never talks about "we" in the context of working Americans, far removed from the excesses of Wall Street or the crony-capitalism that defines Washington.

Thomas Friedman is so far out of touch with mainstream America that he can only imagine that the solutions must come from the same quarters as those that created the problem: Washington and Wall Street. He goes on to say:
That is why we have to solve the big problems in our control, not postpone them or pretend that more lobby-driven, lowest-common-denominator solutions are still satisfactory. A crisis is a terrible thing to waste, but a reprieve and a breathing spell — which is what we’re having right now — is a really terrible thing to waste. We don’t want to look back on this moment and say: How could we have gone back to business as usual and petty political gridlocks with all those black swans circling around us? Then we will really kick ourselves.
I have a simple solution. Why not get Washington and Wall Street out of the way of the real propellants of our economy: small business. Silicon Valley started out just that way, so why should we not expect something that might transcend it? How about ushering in a little recovery through tax cuts and spending freezes? Our economy might just find an answer to Friedman's "crisis" that makes today seem like a stubbed toe.

Maureen Dowd Blasts Media-averse Obama

Oh my, the natives of left-wing Washington are getting restless. In a telling New York Times op-ed piece dated last Friday, Maureen Dowd takes aim at Obama's distant and "frosty" relationship with the press:
The former constitutional lawyer now in the White House understands that the press has a role in the democracy. But he is an elitist, too, as well as thin-skinned and controlling. So he ends up regarding scribes as intrusive, conveying a distaste for what he sees as the fundamental unseriousness of a press driven by blog-around-the-clock deadlines.

The 21st-century press beast is a scary multimedia monster, caught up in the trite as well as the vital, and reporters rarely can be as contemplative as the cerebral Obama would like.

Sometimes on the campaign plane, I would watch Obama venture back to make small talk with the press, discussing food at an event or something light. Then I would see him literally back away a few moments later as a blast of questions and flipcams hit him.

But that’s the world we live in. It hurts Obama to be a crybaby about it, and to blame the press and the “old Washington game” for his own communication failures.
Hat Tip: Hot Air

We Con the World

YouTube has pulled this video parody from their website. Bet you can understand who it supports.

Hat Tip: HotAir

Saturday, June 12, 2010

DADT - The Shame of Political Correctness

As a conservative, I've wrestled with the idea of gays in the military. The mere thought of it makes me uncomfortable, for reasons I'll address later. For the moment, however, I want to focus on political correctness.

I've written about political correctness before, but not in the context of life-and-death consequences. I'm reminded of the phrase "He who hesitates is lost" as an antonym to the concept of political correctness. The phrase is generally attributed to the English poet Joseph Addison from his fictional play titled "Cato, A Tragedy".

After all, what is the consequence of political correctness if not hesitation?

There have been a number of articles done about women in combat. The Israeli army only allowed women to serve in combat units within the last 10 years. Has political correctness played a role in that?

Consider the other factors that appeal to basic human instincts. The Israeli's original position was that woman in combat units would generate an emotional reaction that could preclude men in the unit from acting on the basis of discipline, instead of a protective instinct. Has political correctness now dismissed any notion of that?

Now to the issue of gays in the military. As the Pentagon considers the role of women, so they also debate the role of gays. What is to be made of all this?

My concern goes back to my original thought about the phrase "he who hesitates is lost". Does political correctness preempt that? I doubt it. What goes through a commander's head when they have to make a decision about who to send into harms way? Do they consider the woman, the heterosexual with family or the homosexual? Is there a moment of hesitation that could spell doom?

Maybe I'm being overly cautious, but I feel like I'm being shamed into accepting a repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Am I wrong?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Debunking "Boob-gate"

The left-wing blogosphere has been all abuzz in speculating that Sarah Palin has undergone some kind of breast augmentation.

All because of this picture:

The claims are absurd. As evidence, I submit this picture (taken when Sarah visited the Alaskan troops in Kuwait during July of 2007, prior to their deployment in Iraq):

Need I say (or show) more?

Update: Sarah Palin shuts down the rumor on Greta Van Susteren's Friday night show.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Drummer John: Raise Your Game!

This is choice. John, you need to raise your game. This guy makes you look like a piker.

Hat Tip: Hot Air

Personal Reflections on John Wooden

I was a freshman in college at Indiana University in 1973. It was March and the NCAA tournament had reached the Final Four. I wasn't much of a basketball fan at that point in my life. My high school basketball team never advanced past the first round of the Indiana tournament, back when all schools played in the same tournament (think "Hoosiers").

I was doing my laundry in the dorm and wandered into the adjacent student lounge and over to the television, which had been left on. The lounge area was completely empty at the time. A basketball game was on and as I watched I realized that IU was playing UCLA in the Final Four semi-finals. Wow! I had no idea that my school's team was that good! UCLA went on to win the tournament with John Wooden as coach and Bill Walton as his star center.

I bought season tickets for basketball the next year and attended every home game at IU. During my junior year, IU went undefeated until the Regional finals, losing to Kentucky. My senior year, they went undefeated and won the NCAA tournament. That team is the last team in the NCAA to complete a perfect season and win the tournament.

Prior to IU completing their perfect season, there was only UCLA. I didn't think any team would ever match their success and so far, no team has. UCLA seemed to be on a different plane of existence. What sports fan can forget their dominance? UCLA began to fade into the background after John Wooden retired, although his teams became the gold-standard that would forever go unmatched. It left an impression on me that I have never forgotten, especially in light of the fact that IU came close for only one year.

I have a funny anecdote to tell you about John Wooden.

When I was growing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, we lived next door to an older couple that spent many, many summer days at our pool. Jim Zeiler was an engineer for the Indiana-Michigan Electric Company, having graduated from Purdue University, IU's arch-enemy in all things sports-related. His wife, Dort, was an avid Indy 500 fan, which I've written about before, here.

For a little background, when I was a pre-teen, Jim Zeiler was already planning for his retirement. He was building an A-frame house on Lake Tahoe, at Incline Village. He was going to need a Jeep to navigate the snowy winters and promised to let me drive it to Lake Tahoe for him. When I graduated from high school, he kept his promise. Although he didn't buy a Jeep (they were cheaper to buy out West), he bought one of his company's fleet vehicles to trade in on a Jeep in Nevada. My buddy and I drove the car out West after we graduated, traveling via Phoenix, LA, San Francisco, Reno and finally on to Lake Tahoe and his A-frame house.

When we arrived at their house in Incline Village, we were treated to hamburgers on the grill from the deck of the house, looking out through the Ponderosa Pines to Lake Tahoe. While we ate, Jim Zeiler shared some memories from his time at Purdue University, because both my buddy and I were planning on attending IU in the fall, as roommates. He told us about his roommate, who was a jock and played on the basketball team. As a prank, my neighbor sprinkled Cayenne pepper into his jock. Needless to say, the Cayenne pepper had the intended effect and his roommate was jumping up and down in pain, as my neighbor and others in the dorm howled with laughter.

His roommate's name was John Wooden.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Divorce Agreement for the Ages

I'm reprinting this from email. It's too good to not post.
Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:

We have stuck together since the late 1950's for the sake of the kids, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce.... I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has clearly run its course.

Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right for us all, so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.

Here is a model separation agreement:

Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a similar portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.

We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. We'll take the nasty, smelly oil industry and you can go with wind, solar and bio-diesel. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell (You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them).

We'll keep capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street. You can have your beloved lifelong welfare dwellers, food stamps, homeless, homeboys, hippies, druggies and illegal aliens. We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood.

You can make nice with Iran and Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peace-niks and war protesters. When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.

We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, political correctness and Shirley McClaine. You can also have the U.N., but we will no longer be paying the bill.

We'll keep the SUV's, pickup trucks and over-sized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru station wagon you can find.

You can give everyone health care if you can find any practicing doctors. We'll continue to believe health care is a luxury and not a right. We'll keep The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the National Anthem. I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute Imagine, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, Kum Ba Ya or We Are the World.

We'll practice trickle down economics and you can continue to give trickle up poverty your best shot.

Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag.

Would you agree to this? If so, please pass this along to other like-minded liberal and conservative patriots and if you do not agree, just hit delete. In the spirit of a friendly parting, I'll bet your actions will determine which one of us will need the other's help in 15 years.

John J. Wall
Law Student and an American

P.S. Also, please take Ted Turner, Sean Penn, Martin Sheen, Barbara Streisand, & Jane Fonda with you.

P.P.S. And you won't have to press 1 for English when you call our country.
Hat tip: Joanne Beers

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gene Simmons Goes Military

God bless Gene Simmons. I didn't think the "Kiss" front-man had it in him. I am happy to admit I was wrong.

Hat Tip: The National Review Online

Best Political Ad Ever...

I don't agree with Allahpundit about a number of things, but his take on this political ad is spot-on. The only thing that could have been added to the ad was the term "whup ass".

Adding that term would not make it the best, it would make it perfect.

Hat Tip: Hot Air