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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Week Before Christmas


It's the week before Christmas, my shopping's complete.

I've got bags and boxes surrounding my feet.

My letter is written and ready to fly,

My Christmas cards sit on the table nearby.

There's still all the cross-country traveling at hand,

Gift wrapping I'll finish, only after I land

In New York, for a Christmas just like days of old,

With memories that shimmer like California gold.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Automotive Purgatory



I have owned/driven only two vehicles since 1979.

When I began shopping for a new car last month ago, I remembered why.

It is a place of unique torment, becoming a car shopper. Even in these troubled economic times, most dealers will try to haggle every last dime out of the deal. Perhaps it's worse nowadays, since the dealerships are so hungry for customers.

Holy shock absorbers, what a nuisance! Under the current grim circumstances in the auto industry, you would think dealers would try not to be so annoying, but I suppose they can't help themselves.

Since I make the decision for this major purchase only once every fifteen years, I tend to do my research well in advance, figure my budget to the dollar, and know exactly what I'm looking for. However, nothing has changed for the better in the automotive sales world since my last purchase, in 1993. The straightforward communication of facts is meaningless to a salivating car sales rep.

It was as though I was speaking an ancient dead language, and I'm the only person left in the world who understands it. I suppose that was fair, since salesmen quickly discovered that the words "for only one thousand more" were not computing with me.

Even though I explained that I have a blank check from my bank, "not to exceed" a certain amount, eager dealers tried to tack on extra charges. I also received "urgent" phone messages in my blackberry--on Saturday morning. Shame on me for being foolish enough to hand out my business cards, but it made sense to me that the dealers should be able to reach me during the workday. Saturday is not a workday for me, but apparently that fact is irrelevant to a car dealer intent on strapping me into one of his orphaned inventory.

Today, I made my decision and emerged from automotive purgatory into the serenity of new car ownership. Well, new to me, anyway; after driving a 1993 Saturn all these years, a 2005 "pre-owned" car sure feels new. I saw; I liked; I bought (after a test drive, of course). I'm going to collect my used car--excuse me, I mean my "pre-owned vehicle"--tomorrow.

After my experiences of the past month, I'm quite sure I'll be good to go for another fifteen years. I bought a Honda Civic with low mileage, so a decade-and-a-half should be no problemo.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Political Fatigue


As the Brits would say, I've "gone off" national politics and have been avoiding the topic since the election, in case you haven't noticed. That's because I'm feeling a bit war-weary after the years-long presidential campaign, I'm bored by partisans both left and right, and I'm tired of hearing about corruption.

So today's news about Illinois' governor is instantly exhausting. Why? Because this latest dirty political scandal will now be flayed by the media to the last juicy bone until we're even more sick of it than we were of Rev. Wright.

This is one American who feels like wiping the chessboard clean and starting over from scratch, beginning with new local representatives, proceeding to the state level and all the way to federal officials.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Evil Is As Evil Does

Last week, a Canadian critic reprimanded me for failing to understand that Muslims feel “vulnerable.” Au contraire, they project tremendous cultural confidence, as well they might: They’re the world’s fastest-growing population. A prominent British Muslim announced the other day that, when the United Kingdom becomes a Muslim state, non-Muslims will be required to wear insignia identifying them as infidels. If he’s feeling “vulnerable,” he’s doing a terrific job of covering it up.
~ Mark Steyn

Face facts, dinosaur media types. Militant Muslims are the bad guys. The problem is not President Bush, or American foreign policy, or the big bad United States. The problem is evil, as perpetrated by Muslim radicals. Extremist madmen (and women) in the Muslim community who want all Westerners dead--especially Jews and Americans, as evidenced by the horrific India attacks--are the problem.

It is positively psychotic for any member of the MSM to act like the Bombay terrorist attacks were America's fault. Today, Pearl Harbor Day, is a good time to examine how the bombings and murders are being portrayed. Can you imagine a newspaper in December 1941 reporting that the Japanese were feeling "vulnerable"? That the "vast majority" of them were "moderate"?

No? Well, neither can I. That's because it makes zero sense. And no one in the media at that time was stupid enough to present anything but the facts. Let's toast the good old days of journalism, long gone and sorely missed.

Steyn concludes:

I wrote in my book, America Alone, that “reforming” Islam is something only Muslims can do. But they show very little sign of being interested in doing it, and the rest of us are inclined to accept that. Spread a rumor that a Koran got flushed down the can at Gitmo, and there’ll be rioting throughout the Muslim world. Publish some dull cartoons in a minor Danish newspaper, and there’ll be protests around the planet. But slaughter the young pregnant wife of a rabbi in Bombay in the name of Allah, and that’s just business as usual. And, if it is somehow “understandable” that for the first time in history it’s no longer safe for a Jew to live in India, then we are greasing the skids for a very slippery slope. Muslims, the AP headline informs us, “worry about image.” Not enough.

The West worries too much about calling evil what it is, when it happens. We do so at the peril of our existence. I wonder if, at this point, we have time enough left to figure that out for ourselves.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

No Comparison


As longtime readers know, I'm an addict of the Fox television show "24." So when I missed "Redemption," the two-hour prequel to the new season that aired November 23, I was disconsolate.

Then, through the magic of Google, I realized that I could watch all one hour, 27 minutes of the two hours (well, it's two hours "real time"--including commercials) on my computer.

So tonight I made my cup of tea, tucked a throw pillow into the desk chair, fired up my computer and settled in to watch the show. It was customarily engrossing, brutal, and suspenseful, but I have learned, the hard way, that on-computer viewing will never rival the comfy living room sofa-and-television combo. I have a backache, a crick in my neck, my eyes are scratchy, and a vague headache threatens.

Still, these minor complaints are nothing to what our fictional hero Jack Bauer had to endure in the space of 90 minutes. Holy machete, Batman. I'll stop there to avoid playing the spoiler for those of you who still have "Redemption" TiVO'd and ready to go.

Yahoo recently had a blog face-off between Jack Bauer and James Bond. I'm incredulous that James Bond won. I mean, James Bond has been around on film since I was a kid. How many actors have played Bond? A half dozen? One as immeasurably dull and perfect as the other?

However, there is only one blood-spitting, fist-splitting Jack Bauer!

I don't even bother with 007 flicks. I think I saw a couple back in my high school days, but they bored me. Tuxedos? Martinis? Sex and fancy cars? Phooey. Give me dirty, gritty, hell-bent-on-good-triumphing-at-any-cost Jack Bauer any day, with his perpetual 4-day beard and his highly creative renegade ways. I'm one of legions of Bauer fans who agree, as evidenced by this link to "24 Reasons Why Jack Bauer rules.

At the end of the Yahoo face-off, the question is posed: "Which operative would you rather have saving your life?" My answer is, of course, the one I contorted myself into an office chair to watch for almost an hour and a half.

Bauer. Jack Bauer.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My Bailout Plan


Dear Members of Congress:

The astute among you (please God, a few of you are) may be aware that hard-working American citizens have taken quite a hit in their assets lately. Between the real estate crash and financial meltdown, most of us will be hopping to the tune of an alarm clock for a decade or so longer than we had hoped or planned.

Unless, of course, you assist us with easy cash. You seem to have the federal checkbook at the ready for every Ford, GM, and Chrysler that strolls through the chamber holding out empty pockets, so let me present my personal bailout plan.

Being conservative, I estimate my handout--excuse me, bailout--at a measly $50,000. A nice, round number, a bit less (actually, a lot less) than what I've actually lost, but oh, piffle, it's only money, right? And such a tiny sum! I would think you could scrape up $50,000 out of the annual Capitol Hill breakfast budget.

Anyway, in exchange for a modest $50,000 reimbursement for my mental distress at watching my life savings evaporate due to rampant corruption within government and without, I propose the following Ten Point Plan:

1. Continue to drive my 1993 car until the wheels fall off.

2. Wash said car myself, passing by the fund-raising kids who accept any donation.

3. Watch only my $8.99 (+tax) per month, unlimited Netflix, omitting any bargain matinees.

4. Watch said Netflix on my 1990 TV until it dies, then buy a used, cheap, pre-flatscreen set.

5. Keep wearing my 2001 leather jacket instead of buying a new one on sale.

6. Stop the quarterly manicures--such extravagance!

7. Allow my newspaper subscription to expire; there's nothing but bad news, anyway.

8. Stay out of Target, even if all my brands are on sale.

9. E-mail friends and family for birthdays, instead of sending cards.

10. Tell my kids to bring their own food when they visit me for Sunday dinner.

No doubt I'm overlooking numerous areas of profligate waste within my personal budget, but I hope you'll agree that the above-noted proposals are a productive start to justifying my bailout. I look forward to your prompt response, hopefully before you adjourn for your next six-week holiday.

By all means, feel free to send my check C.O.D. I'll pay for it; I always do.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thankfulness

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues,
but the parent of all others.
~
Cicero

There's a great deal of bad news these days. Terrorist bombings, banks failing, industries in financial straits, city and state governments in dire straits, unemployment rising...I could go on, but we all know the gloomy picture.

So what is there to be thankful for? More than we realize. Start with your family, proceed to your health, and keep on counting. You'll be amazed at how many blessings grace each of our lives, whether we pause to acknowledge them or not.

To be thankful for what one has is to be content in life. An "attitude of gratitude" is a blessing in itself. Anyone can attain a grateful state of being; it just takes some cultivating. The wise among us invest the time and energy to do so.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Take the Quiz

This is tragic.

Ordinary citizens scored only 49% on this civics knowlege quiz posted by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute. More upsetting is the fact that elected official scored even lower, at 44%.

Take the quiz and see how you do. (I got a 78.79%...still a dreadful score!)

While I don't agree politically with actor Richard Dreyfuss, I think he is really onto something vitally important with his Civics Lessons. I hope this good and timely cause gets the attention it deserves.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Out of Gas

These days, not too much in the news has the power to amuse me, but I laughed out loud when I read that the "Big 3" CEOs from Detroit flew into town on their private jets to make their plea for taxpayer money.

Oops. Maybe the Beverly Hillbillies pickup truck would have been a tad too far in the other direction, but don't you think the big shots might've had more luck in Congress if they had carpooled to Washington in a Ford Escape-Hybrid SUV?

Taking a private jet to ask for a handout is like wearing a 10-carat diamond ring in a soup line. It's kind of a jarring, what's-wrong-with-this-picture moment.

The planned vote on aid to the auto industry has been canceled, as of tonight. Well, too bad, but thankfully some neurons are firing in Washington. Things are tough all over, and probably will be for a very long time. The auto industry has ignored every harbinger of automotive doom in the last 35 years, starting with the 1973 oil embargo. Why should their stupidity, laziness, and/or greed get preferential treatment in the current crisis?

Like most Americans, my retirement fund is down 35%, and there's no place I can go for relief except back to work in the morning. Every morning. For many, many more years. At the rate the economy is sinking, I'll probably be carried out of the copy room one day, feet first...when I'm in my 70s or 80s.

Again like most Americans, I've managed just fine in life without stepping foot on a private jet. Money's never been much of a presence in my life, and it's even less likely to be in the future. But, unlike the Big 3 CEOs, I'm well acquainted with how to run on empty.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Qualifications?

So, do you think Barack Obama would pass muster if he stood in line for a job within his own administration? Based on this questionnaire, which applicants for a position in the Obama administration must complete, it's doubtful he would qualify. That third section, Relationships and Affiliations, would be a bridge way too far.

Having been put through an 18-month wringer to obtain a security clearance when I worked in the defense industry, I find it particularly amusing that Obama probably would not qualify for a clearance if he was applying as a rank-and-file government employee. But as president, he is automatically--quite magically--granted one.

I suppose he can still be fussy about his underlings. He's on the right track if he's showing more discretion as president than he did during his ascendancy to the office.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Innundation

I'm soaked through with Obama news,
I'm sloshing through tales of Michelle.
I'm sick of hearing Sarah squawk
Around the clock, as well.

On John McCain, the hour is past
For all and every late night show.
And the time has come to hear the last
Of that plumber, name of Joe.

I'm done with this election year,
Of bias, flood, and saturation.
In two months, we'll all drown, I fear
In a Sea of Inauguration.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day


Americans, indeed all free men, remember that in the final choice a soldier's pack is not so heavy a burden as a prisoner's chains”

A heartfelt "thank you" to all of our United States veterans, in every branch of our military armed forces on this Veterans Day.

Special thank-yous to my brothers Ken and Jim, my cousins Mary and Kerry, my uncles Bill, Jack, and Joe, my friends Dave, Rick, and yes, another Mary.

Thank you to my hometown heroes, the fatigue-clad neighbors I wave to as I walk my dog, Riga, each morning. I watch them climb into their trucks, driving off to report for duty at the nearby base, and I pray they will remain safe.

Thank you to every man and woman who has served our country in uniform. You are the treasure that we, as a nation, should take the greatest pride in. I can only hope that our voluntary military will stay strong and continue to attract the best of our young people under an Obama administration.

I have my doubts, but I'm trying to keep hopeful. Because, as President Eisenhower also stated, "Pessimism never won any battle."

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Happy Birthday, Marine Corps


Monday, November 10, 2008, marks the 233rd anniversary of the United States Marine Corps. The Corps is older than the country.

Happy birthday to our homeland heroes. I'm fortunate enough to claim a few of your veterans in my family.

Thanks for your service, Jim, Mary, and Kerry. I don't know how you did it, but I'm certainly proud you did.

Semper Fi.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hope, Change, and Reality

The 2008 presidential election is, thankfully, over. My candidate did not win. Although I'm disappointed, I'm far from despondent.

I may be more conservative than the average, middle-aged, white working woman. But first and foremost, I'm an American. It's always exciting to watch our political process play itself out, with all the attending drama and fanfare that accompanies election night.

But last night was especially thrilling, because with the election of Barack Obama, America has chosen its first president of African descent. There is no denying the triumphant significance of this moment in our history. America may screw up enormously, as we did with slavery--but, given enough time and opportunity, America also rights its wrongs in a lavish way.

As an American of Irish descent, I understand the struggle of the social underdog. Thus, I watched the joyful reactions of African-Americans with a fraternal sense of happiness and an awareness that the prophetic message of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered when I was a schoolgirl, was unfolding before my eyes.

Also as an American, I want our new president to succeed. He tells us that change has come. Soon, he will need to tell us what that means. The reality of the coming changes may be counter to what the 56+ million Americans who voted for John McCain want. The new president may be surprised at various times during the coming four years to find he is not the most popular man on the globe. But criticism comes with the job, as any of his predecessors will confirm. Obama's term will be no exception. His charisma can't protect him from that reality.

Obama needs to shoulder the tremendous burdens he has sought so aggressively to carry. He should not look back. There should be no pointing over his shoulder at the previous administration. Obama needs to own his own presidency. How effectively, and how gracefully, he can do so will define his success.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Election Eve-Eve

How are you feeling about the election? Had enough yet? If you're like me, you're done.

Here are my stats:

Media saturation level is up by 23 points. Tolerance for the networks' Democratic cheerleading is down by 75%. Weariness with the whole repetitive, tedious, nasty process has already achieved a blowout victory.

Pending decision to trash TIME magazine immediately upon arrival, without a single glance, it is 10% undecided. My decision not to renew my subscription has already won in a landslide.

Don't forget to vote.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth


Isn't that supposed to be Disneyland?

Nope.

The happiest place on Earth is the baseball diamond after a home team wins the World Series. It's impossible to watch the winners' antics and not smile.

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies, who tonight won their first world championship since 1980 against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Although I always feel bad for the losing team, I do think the 10-year-old Rays have a few more seasons to play before they've truly earned their World Series chops. Ask any Boston or Chicago fan; they'd probably agree with me.

So revel in your joyful moment, Phillies. But be careful not to foul up your celebration in a preventable error--that's Brad Lidge and his golden arm on the bottom of that dog pile.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Scary Stuff

Just in time for Halloween, audio of a 2001 radio interview with Barack Obama. Even then, he was planning his frightening redistribution of wealth strategy.

He even uses the term "redistribution of wealth" in his interview. He also refers to "economic justice." Obama isn't too impressed with the "constraints placed by the founding fathers" on the U.S. Constitution. He terms it a "charter of negative liberties." What we "can't do" is the Constitution's focus in Obama's reading, "not what the government can do on your behalf."

So how is this man who believes that our Constitution is a such a flawed document going to be able to swear an oath to preserve, protect and defend it?

When you peek behind that mask, what's visible could scare the booties right off you.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A Noteworthy Date


October 25 is the feast day of St. Crispian, a third century Christian martyr. Crispian is also known as Crispin, both names no doubt derived from his Latin name, Crispianus. He was a shoemaker who was beheaded in Rome in the year 286 and is the patron saint of cobblers, leather workers, and weavers.

St. Crispian is perhaps most famous for his many mentions in Shakespeare's play, The Life of King Henry V. The great battle at Agincourt took place on October 25, 1415, and is immortalized in Henry's rousing speech to the troops prior to the fight.

That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made,
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man's company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is call'd the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say, 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:
'Then will he strip his sleeve and shows his scars,
And say, 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day. Then shall our names,
Familiar in his mouth as household words,
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England, now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

You've got to hear it to appreciate it. Listen to Kenneth Branagh delivering this goosebump rendition from his 1989 film. Nowadays, one might identify this as the "Band of Brothers" speech, since the title for that classic HBO television series leaps directly from the closing lines of Henry's soliloquy to his troops.

I hadn't realized that today was St. Crispian's day until I did my research this evening. How fortuitous that I decided to take a peek at the Church calendar. Today's honoring of Crispian the saintly cobbler renders me much more at peace with the three pairs of shoes I bought this afternoon.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mark on Joe

It wouldn't surprise me to discover that most of these subprime homeowners got Joe in to plumb their subprime bathrooms. Next thing you know, the entire global economy goes down the toilet. Coincidence?
~ Mark Steyn

Not surprisingly, Mark Steyn has the most entertaining analysis I've read of whole "Joe the Plumber" phenom. Treat yourself to a moment of levity and read it.

Whenever the news gets too depressing--and lately, that's often--I can always count on Mark for a chuckle.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Voter Must-See

Since MSM refuses to do its job, American voters are on their own in their search for facts on Barack Obama. This link should provide some frightening clarity. Before you vote in this crucial election, please take the time to watch it.

As the video points out, Obama is fond of decrying Bill Ayers' "despicable acts" that took place when he "was eight years old." Obama conveniently omits the fact that after 9/11/01, when Ayers lamented that America makes him "want to puke" and that he hadn't done enough bombing in America, Barack Obama was 40 years old. Obama remains in a continuing association with Ayers.

MSM has never called Barack Obama on those facts, and they never will. It's up to the voters to do the research and make the call on November 4.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Mysterious Polls

I've been wondering about the veracity of the election polls for months, and this article by Fr. Jonathan Morris seems to confirm my doubts.

How do we know the polls are accurate? Are people really telling pollsters who they're voting for? Or are they afraid to speak publicly about their views?

Think about it. According to the far lefties, if you're for McCain, you're a racist. Lefties won't accept policy differences--if you're not voting for Barack "The One" Obama, you're a bigot. End of discussion.

Whatever happened to the altruistic liberal call for peace, tolerance, and understanding? Aren't we all supposed to accept each other's "choices"? Oh, I forgot. In the leftist universe, such magnaminity applies only to abortion and gay rights.

It's true that it's more perilous today than it was even four years ago to wear your vote on your sleeve. Not too many yard signs in the neighborhood--who wants their house vandalized? I've seen even fewer bumper stickers on the road. Nobody wants to wake up in the morning to a car that's been keyed. People have become justifiably hesitant about making their views known. Those who disagree are no longer merely vocal; they are physically forceful, and often personally destructive, in expressing their disapproval.

What will come of this furtive and reticent atmosphere? I don't know, but I suspect the election results will be surprising in ways as yet unpredicted.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Found: A Founding Father



Facts are stubborn things...
~ John Adams, second U.S. president

This weekend, I finished watching the remarkable television series, John Adams.

Although I've known since 2nd grade that Adams was our second president, I knew little else about him. Abigail Adams was more far familiar to me, thanks to a book about American heroines that I read in grade school.

John Adams, brought to life by Paul Giamatti's outstanding performance, was a complex man of intelligence, virtues and foibles. His writings contain some of the pithiest quotations in early American history; some are eerily relevant today.

For example, in 1814, Adams wrote that "Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There was never a democracy that did not commit suicide." Any number of current events would seem to validate that statement.

It is an odd coincidence of history that both Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on the same date: July 4, 1826--the 50th anniversary of the United States. Although I had learned that fact somewhere during my formal education, I had forgotten it. Upon reflection, it seems almost a heavenly blessing on the new nation. After half a century, the Founders' work was done; the young country was well established and poised to grow on to greatness.

As John Adams noted, "facts are stubborn things." While watching this film depiction of the life of one of our most significant Founders, I was reminded of the bravery, commitment and determination of the first Americans. Their sacrifices and hard work gave us all the advantages we Americans enjoy today. It's worth our time to remember them.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Rocking Interview

This John Roberts/CNN interview with Hugh Hewitt is the reason Hewitt is my favorite talk radio host. Hugh always has his facts down cold and makes his point with logic, clarity, and an unfailingly pleasant manner.

But don't take my word for it, watch and decide for yourself.

And oh, that book Hugh mentions to John Roberts, The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright? You still have plenty of time to read it before Election Day. It's a page-turning, burn-the-midnight-oil book that every American voter should read.

I've read it. Twice.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Worth Seeing


In one scene during An American Carol, the lefty documentary maker Mike Malone and the ghost of Gen. Patton are watching a college anti-war demonstration. The general defines "demonstration" as young people repeating something they don't know in a loud voice.

If there's a more apt description, I've yet to hear it.

At that point, I noticed at least one young couple get up and walk out of the movie theater. As a once-upon-a-time anti-war demonstrator, I could sympathize: the truth can hurt.

An American Carol
is not a laugh-a-minute movie; it's heavier on message than humor. But it has its steady stream of chuckles. In an early scene spoofing the terrorists, the jihad leader calls out "Mohammed!" and about fifty men pop up from behind scattered rocks. There's a large helping of "Three Stooges" style slapstick, and a fair share of bathroom humor that sometimes misses its mark.

Overall, it was worth seeing simply for the breath of fresh air that a rare, pro-American Hollywood movie provides. As they were during the Great Depression, pro-American films during our country's current troubled times might be a positive idea. What's the harm in reminding ourselves that we already have and enjoy blessings that most of the world's countries are still struggling to obtain?

Towards the end of the film, there is a respectful nod to 9/11 and an effective homage to our fighting troops down through the centuries. The final scene mirrors the conclusion of "Casablanca," my favorite movie of all time.

Director David Zucker took a chance in making this film
. If Americans would like to see more movies made with the same perspective, it deserves widespread support. As stated, it's worth seeing--especially to watch JFK climb in and out of a widescreen TV.

Friday, October 03, 2008

The Two Sides of "Gotcha"


"There's a time, too, when Americans are going to say, 'Enough is enough with your ticket,' on constantly looking backwards, and pointing fingers, and doing the blame game. But for a ticket that wants to talk about change and looking into the future, there's just too much finger-pointing backwards to ever make us believe that that's where you're going."

~ Sarah Palin to Joe Biden, Oct. 2, 2008


The problem inherent in taking pains to make someone look stupid was apparent at last night's vice presidential candidate debate.

Sometimes--usually, in fact--mean-spirited efforts come back to bite you in the butt.

After the MSM hatchet job perpetrated upon Sarah Palin over the last couple of weeks, Mr. & Mrs. America were probably expecting her to arrive at the podium holding a drool cup. Not hardly. As is her wont, Sarah excelled at being Sarah, something that career politicians and "journalists" of the left-leaning persuasion have yet to come to grips with.

She made sure she spoke her piece, without the deficit of MSM's "filter," to use her diplomatic term. Gwen Ifill, her new book touting "the age of Obama" scheduled to debut on Inauguration Day, was stymied from tormenting Palin with the unending "gotcha" questions MSM has pelted her way with unfettered delight.

Did you watch Charlie Gibson's interview? Disgraceful. Gibson was the one MSM anchor person I liked and was able to tolerate for my occasional dose of network news. I had thought him the most fair, but that's over. I had my "a-ha moment" as he disdainfully grilled Sarah Palin, endeavoring to make her look as foolish as possible before a national audience. Some "host"--spare me his hospitality! Gibson is a leftwing snob like the rest of MSM. I haven't watched him since those two nights he looked down his professorial nose at Palin--and I won't, ever again.

As for the Katie Couric debacle, well, I never watch Katie. (Excuse me, I did watch her on her first broadcast. That will suffice for the remainder of my lifetime.)

Did Palin answer every debate question? No, but then neither did 35-year Senate veteran Biden. Do you think Biden would be able to explain to Katie Couric, in 90 seconds or less, which Supreme Court decisions he dislikes? Rhetorical question, but it doesn't matter, since Biden won't be asked that question by MSM--ever.

No one in MSM will follow up with Biden to ask what the heck he was talking about when he said that FDR went on television after the 1929 stock market crash to talk to the American people. It so happens that Hoover was president at the time, and TV was a decade away.

Details, details! But if Palin had dropped a clunker like that, the nation would have been plunged into a 3-day, 24/7 news cycle screaming the dangers of her ignorance.

But last night, Sarah had her chance to speak directly through the camera, into our living rooms. She did so with cheerful confidence and smiles of relief, as if to reassure America, "This is who I really am, and I'm really just like you."

Note to MSM: Gotcha.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The End of the House of Ruth


For God's sake let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings!
How some have been deposed, some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed...

It's many long years since I was a fervent Yankee fan, but well do I remember the heyday of Mickey Mantle. I attended my first major league baseball game at Yankee Stadium, at age eleven. The vast expanse of emerald outfield was my first glimpse into the revered sports cathedral that was Yankee Stadium, and I remember the sight like it was yesterday.

The day before yesterday, Yankee Stadium followed Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig into the mists of history. A bigger, "better" venue will be constructed close by. But the legendary "ghosts" of Yankee Stadium, will they follow the team from their hallowed ground into the new stadium? Time will tell. I, for one, am dubious. I think moving the stadium seriously messes with Yankee mojo--and I think the negative chi started this season.

For the sake of all my loyal Yankee fans "back East," I do hope I'm wrong. I hope the Bambino and the Iron Horse will smile down upon the new Yankee playing field. I hope that Phil "Scooter" Rizzuto's oft-cited "wind," that almost magical outfield force, will follow the team to mysteriously assist those wavering long balls over the wall.

Game over; thanks for the memories.


There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;--
Turn whereso'er I may,
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Michael's Day


Two years ago today, MA2 Michael Monsoor (SEAL), threw himself on a grenade to save his fellow fighters. He died of his injuries a few minutes later.

It was September 29, 2006, the feast day of St. Michael the Archangel.

Regular readers may recall I have described the popular tradition of "name days" in many European cultures. In Latvia, the feast day of the saint that bears your name carries greater significance than your birthday. In fact, considered among the best blessings at death is to die on your name day. Latvian tradition says that such favored souls proceed instantly into heaven.

Appropriately enough, Michael the Archangel is also the patron saint of soldiers and sailors. Earlier this year, President Bush presented Michael's Medal of Honor to his parents at the White House. That was a poignant and fitting moment honoring the brave sacrifice of a truly great young man, one who has gone on to even greater glory beyond our understanding.

On this Michaelmas, MA2 Monsoor, we your grateful countrymen salute you.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Legend Leaves Us

People stay married because they want to, not because the doors are locked. (video link)

If you don't have enemies, you don't have character.

~ Paul Newman, 1925-2008


Sadly, we learned this weekend that the media whispers of Paul Newman's approaching death from cancer were true. As was his practice in the many important undertakings of his life, he didn't talk much about it; he just went ahead and did it.

Paul Newman was not your garden variety celebrity. In fact, he went to extremes to avoid the trappings of his worldwide fame. Aside from his enormous success as an actor, Newman became an accomplished race car driver, after his interest was piqued while filming Winning.

Although he himself did not publicize his numerous charitable and philanthropic activities, they became well known through his many admirers and associates, as well as by the success of these endeavors. Perhaps most famous is the line of "Newman's Own" salad dressings and other foods. All proceeds, after taxes, are donated to his charities, including the Canary Foundation, for research on early detection of cancer; the Hole in the Wall Gang, for children with life-threatening illnesses; and HELP USA , to educate and assist homeless people.

Newman also created The Scott Newman Center in memory of his son, who died of a drug overdose in 1978. The foundation fights drug abuse through education, assists in recovery, and provides a haven for survivors of abuse.

This is an impressive legacy of meaningful philanthropic achievements from a man who wasn't expected to do much more than just show up and take off his sunglasses. Paul Newman could have simply strolled along the red carpets of his lifetime and still have been remembered as a brilliant actor and towering icon of the entertainment world.

For Newman, the star-strewn pathway was not enough. He chose a more challenging road of hard work and sacrifice behind the scenes to leave the world better than he found it. With his passing, we lose a talented and treasured American actor. But by far the larger loss is that a kind and thoughtful man, of generous heart and bold action, leaves us behind.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Phoning It In


...just call my name; I'll be there in a hurry;
you don't have to worry...

Call me on the line
Call me, call me any, anytime
Call me my love
You can call me day or night
Call me

~ Blondie, Call Me


I'm still in a state of disbelief over this statement by Obama, linked here. Call him if needed?? "If I can be helpful"??

If needed!!

Excuse me! A sitting U.S. senator, his salary paid by the increasingly-strapped taxpayers, dismisses the $700 billion--BILLION!--bailout proposal with a wave and a sniff as he announces he thinks his presidential campaign should continue. After all, he notes with overweening superiority, the president's job includes doing more than one thing at once.

Sure thing, you condescending rookie. It also includes knowing how and when to set priorities. John McCain has run circles around Obama in this area, but the junior senator from Illinois is too busy maintaining his pompous persona to even realize that fact. And by the way, Trainwreck Obama, you're not president--thank God. You're a U.S. senator, and you can't be bothered to do your current job.

And the U.S.A. is expected to trust this self-important jackass to run the whole enchilada?

Lord protect us if the dithering, clueless Obama gets elected. Putin, Chavez, Ahmadinejad, and all their sorry ilk, are virtually salivating with glee at the prospect. Charge up your cell phones, fellow Americans. It's going to be a long and frightening conversation--without much action--if Obama wins.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Beyond Faith


"Once I was thrown into another cell after a long and difficult interrogation. I discovered scratched into one of the cell's walls the creed "I believe in God, the Father Almighty." There, standing witness to God's presence in a remote, concealed place, recalled to my faith by a stronger, better man, I felt God's love and care more vividly than I would have felt it had I been safe among a pious congregation in the most magnificent cathedral."
~ John McCain, Faith of My Fathers

Among many gripping passages in John McCain's book, Faith of My Fathers, the above quote drew tears.

During the slow, ongoing process of sorting through Pete's belongings, I found McCain's book. I remember Pete reading it shortly after its publication in 1999. In view of current political events, I decided now is a timely moment to read it.

There is no doubt that John McCain has been tested in ways few of us can imagine, let alone survive. While reading, you can't help putting yourself in McCain's place and asking that imponderable question, "How would I do under those conditions?" In all honesty, I must say I have no idea what would become of me.

The book is a glowing love letter to his grandfather and, particularly, his father. I had not known, before the current presidential campaign, that his father had been CINCPAC (Commander in Chief Pacific) during McCain's imprisonment. McCain's father had to order bombings near his son's prison, a heavy load for any father to carry. One touching passage describes how the senior McCain had been seen each Christmas walking to the farthest edge of the DMZ's tarmac and spending time alone, looking north, towards his son's place of imprisonment.

Another moving chapter told the story of a fellow POW who had saved scraps of red, white, and blue cloth and stitched a makeshift American flag inside his shirt. The POWs would recite the Pledge of Allegiance to it each day. When the guards discovered it, they dragged the prisoner outside and beat him brutally. When thrown back into the cell, he had broken bones, a punctured eardrum, and was nearly unrecognizable.

After his cellmates helped him to his mat, everyone got quiet and tried to sleep. Before falling asleep, McCain glanced over to check on the beaten man.

Although his eyes were swollen nearly shut, he had picked up his needle and thread and begun sewing a new flag.

That is more than faith; it is sheer guts, raw courage, amazing grace, impressive strength, unimaginable perseverance and spiritual power, all qualities of character that, forged together, create the living soul of a nation. These are the heroes who have always stepped into the breach and, without fear or hesitation, taken the pain in our stead. These are the men I would trust with my own life, my family's life, and my country's life.

On November 4, I will be proud to vote for one of them.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Rallying Cry

If you're voting this year, read every word of Bill Whittle's NRO article, The Undefended City. It makes you want to stand up and fight.

Now, where have I heard that before?

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Matter of Conscience

Visit CatholicVote.com, linked here, to view a powerful video on the moral values choices that are at stake in this year's election.

You don't have to be Catholic to relate to the message.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Penniless Patriots



Like most Americans, I have been pummeled in this week’s Wall Street meltdown. My retirement account is hemorrhaging cash on a daily basis. I’m not employed at the moment, and the stock options I had been granted by my former company will expire in two weeks. The options are currently worthless, many dollars under water, and I have no reason to think they will surface enough for me to cash in even the smallest gain.

World famous and revered names in finance are falling in domino fashion. Few people doubt that there is more pain to come in the markets. Even for “experts,” there is really no telling when the bleeding will stop. Of course, the “experts” never saw this disaster coming. Or so they say.

I remember my late husband predicting, in 2004, that the financial market would crash. “This whole setup is going to implode,” he told me. He drew that conclusion from easy money funding the housing frenzy. Pete had worked outdoors for most of his career, in construction. He never took a business management course in college. But he had plenty of common sense, and he knew that the runaway mortgage free lunch could not continue without severe consequences.

So here we are. Bank failures, government bailouts, wildly erratic stock market, plunging retirement accounts, total uncertainty about the next shoe to drop. To me, it seems like a bad time to be talking about increasing taxes on anyone. Even those “patriotic” $250K-makers can’t afford it right now.

Who's Out of Touch?

On September 12, Barack Obama declared that John McCain is "out of touch" with everyday, hardworking Americans.

On September 16, Barack Obama attended a $28,500 per plate dinner on his behalf with the Hollywood glitterati in Beverly Hills. The Barbra Streisand concert after dinner was extra, to the tune of $2,500. The combination gala raked in $9-11 million for Obama, depending upon which report one reads.

John McCain spent September 16 at a voters rally in Vienna, Ohio. No charge.

On the basis of these two events, it's not difficult for me to draw a conclusion about which candidate is more out of touch with hardworking Americans.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Knowledge is Power


That we have not yet had another terrorist attack in the United States is remarkable, but it will happen. Al Queda keeps its promises.


I have heard Brigitte Gabriel interviewed many times on the radio, and she is always a compelling speaker. Hers is a riveting story of life under the hard fist of radical Islamic terrorism, escape, and triumph over adversity in her new home, the United States.

Now, through her writing, speaking engagements, and American Congress for Truth, she fights to keep her haven, the U.S.A., safe from the enemy she knows, from terrifying experience, will never stop seeking our destruction.

Author of Because They Hate, Gabriel's new book is entitled They Must Be Stopped. Although I have heard her discuss these works extensively in radio interviews, I have not yet read either book. But they are high on my must-read list.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

In a Perfect World

I think I may have posted this link, "What If Firefighters Ran the World?"once before. If I did, excuse me, but it's worth repeating.

It would be heavenly to see these guys run Congress for just one day. If only wishing could make it so!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering Reality

Misremembering is as dangerous as forgetting. If we must know one thing, it is that the Sept. 11 attacks were neither a natural disaster, nor the unfortunate result of human error. 9/11 wasn't the catastrophic equivalent of a 3,000-car pileup.

The attacks were not a random act of violence or insanity. They were a deliberate and brutal act of war committed by religious fanatics engaged in Islamic jihad against the United States, all non-Muslim people and any Muslim who wishes to live in a secular society. Worse, the people who perpetrated the attacks have explicitly told us that they are not done.
~ Debra Burlingame, sister of Capt. Charles Burlingame, American Airlines Flight 77

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Do Not Forget

Shanksville, Pennsylvania - September 11, 2001



Manhattan, New York - September 11, 2001

My country saved me and I cannot forget it. And I will fight for her as long as I draw breath, so help me God.

On the Mark

Mark Steyn, whose brilliant commentary is sorely missed during his leave, checks in with some customarily pithy comments on the continuing presidential campaign flaps. Check them out for a chuckle.

I can only hope that Steyn is working on another book--or two.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

No Lipstick Needed


"Class is an aura of confidence that is being sure without being cocky. Class has nothing to do with money. Class never runs scared. It is self-discipline and self-knowledge. It's the sure footedness that comes with having proved you can meet life."


That quote is from one of the late Ann Landers' more well-known columns. It seems to me that it applies to the Republican presidential ticket.

That's classy.
"You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig. You can wrap an old fish in a
piece of paper called change. It's still gonna stink. We've had enough of the
same old thing."

If that outburst was supposed to showcase his inspiring leadership skills, Obama sort of missed the bull's eye (or maybe I should say, moose's eye).

Write this down, Sen. Obama: Class never runs scared.

With or without lipstick.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Mary's Birthday


September 8 is the Catholic Church's traditional birthday observation for Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ. The roots of this feast day go deep into the misty nebula of early Church history. As is often the case in the Church's early years, there is not an overabundance of documentation. Yet the calendar reference has endured to this day.

For American Catholics, it is worth pausing to note her birthday in this vitally important year for our country. Mary, as the Immaculate Conception, is patron saint of the U.S.A.
I visited the Washington D.C. National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception as a pre-teen and vividly remember the sense of awe and wonder I felt looking up at the massive mosaic, Christ in Majesty. It's worth the time to visit this beautiful building next time you are in our nation's capital.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Yellow Journalism

Hmm, let's see...how many threatening associates have been swept under Barack Obama's political rug? Let me count the rogues:

Bill Ayers
Rev. Jeremiah Wright
Fr. Phleger
Tony Rezko
Louis Farrakhan

The left-leaning MSM steadfastly ignores these very relevant Obama connections. Obama is a friend of Bill Ayers, the American terrorist. For 20 years, he attended the church of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, anti-American preacher. He's associated with Fr. Phlegar, radical priest who ridiculed Hillary Clinton during his fifteen minutes of fame. He's a buddy of Tony Rezko, convicted felon and Obama campaign contributor. Obama also marched in the Million Man March with the oft-described anti-Semitic Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam leader.

Whenever mention is made of them, all of these legitimate, pertinent stories are immediately dropped like hot bricks by the Obama media. They are swept under the rug, ignored, unreported, downplayed and covered up. Nothing to see here, folks, let's keep moving.

So much for "vetting" the candidate.

But the news of Sarah Palin's pregnant 17-year-old daughter? Well! Pull out the verbal bullwhips, MSM, and let's flay this story until every drop of Palin blood has soaked the ground.

This shoddy display gives new meaning to the term "yellow journalism." To me, that no longer indicates sensationalism and half-truths in the news. Today's yellow journalism, appropriately enough, is cowardly. The media that so carefully protects their fabricated left-wing darling are afraid of Sarah Palin. These brutal, highly personal attacks upon Palin and her family are the result of pure panic. The more lurid and disgraceful the media attacks, the stronger the reek of their fear.

Yellow, jaundiced journalism has rarely worn an uglier face than it does today in its deliberate trashing of Sarah Palin and her family. And it appears there is no end in sight.

MSM is apparently terrified that Americans might actually make up their own minds about which ticket is better qualified to win the presidential election. Ironically, the old media labors under the illusion that voters pay all that much attention to them in the first place.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Playing Catch-Up


There has been so much happening since I checked out for my son’s wedding, it’s difficult to know where to begin. But one must start somewhere, so I’ll just plow right in.

Sarah Palin

What a great pick from Senator McCain. It’s going to be an uphill climb now for the Democrats to effectively claim this is “Bush’s third term.” Can you imagine G.W. Bush ever choosing Palin as a running mate? No? I can’t, either. Stand aside for John “Maverick” McCain, always dependable for a surprise. I’m grateful this seems a positive one for American conservatives.

MSM has been quick to report that Palin’s husband has an alcohol-related traffic violation from over 20 years ago. I now hear that there are some other traffic citations on his record. Oh, I must sit down, I’m shaking in fear.

Although I was planning to vote for McCain in any event, my decision was without enthusiasm. With the arrival of Sarah Palin on the Republican ticket, I am energized and looking forward to Election Day.

On a number of levels, Palin is a brilliant choice. No experience? I beg to differ. She’s known as a reformer within her own party, she’s run a budget, held executive office, sent a son to the military, supports the Second Amendment and understands energy issues from an oil-rich state’s perspective. Palin has certainly walked the right-to-life walk by bearing her Downs syndrome child and also by supporting her pregnant teenage daughter’s choice to carry her baby to term. Sarah Palin is a tough lady who has made tough choices. She’ll be a formidable opponent for the Democratic ticket.

Hurricane Gustav

First, the good news: everybody got it. This time, the residents of the Gulf states, the local and state leaders, the relief and defense agencies and the Feds were all extremely proactive in anticipating the potential disaster presented by Hurricane Gustav. This is in stark and pleasant contrast to the man-made disaster that followed Katrina in 2005.

Now, the bad news: I’m weary of watching constant weather maps and empty rain-drenched, windswept streets and listening to boring reporters trying to find enough drama in Gustav to fill the TV screen on a 24/7 basis. Let’s move on, shall we?

RNC Convention

The event is appropriately low-key, considering the preparations for Gustav. Far from being a negative, the readjustment of convention activities in deference to conditions on the Gulf Coast should prove to be a blessing in disguise. The competency and effectiveness of advance plans and unfolding logistics for Hurricane Gustav are a refreshing counterpoint to the unrelenting harangues and finger-pointing over Katrina.

Besides, conventions are largely one-sided puff pieces designed to showcase the candidates in the best possible light. It is the upcoming debates that will tell the true story of the candidates and their readiness to lead. I, for one, can’t wait.

Oops, forgot the Olympics--must have been a Freudian slip. I never was a fan of holding the Games in Beijing. Anyway, due to wedding events I missed almost all of the Olympics, which was a small loss to me.

In any event, it's good to be back.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mahalo Nui Loa



There I am, the happy mom on the left, next to the proud groom and his beautiful bride. Thank you very much--mahalo nui loa--to all of our many well-wishers, online and off, who have so kindly shared my family's joy.

As I know from my previous two trips to the islands, one never does come all the way home from Hawaii. For now, Olympics and conventions just can't compete with the lingering afterglow. I'll get back to business in the next few days. At the moment, I'm still on Hawaii time...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Hawaiian Love Song



...for whither thou goest, I will go;
and where thou lodgest, I will lodge;
thy people shall be my people,
and thy God my God.


My son is getting married next Saturday, August 16. Because his bride was born and raised there, the festivities will take place in a magical beachside garden in beautiful Hawaii.

Much of Nicole's family, including her parents, still reside in Hawaii. Except for me, aka Mom, all of my son's family--including my now Bostonian daughter--live in the northeastern states, primarily New York. Most of my relatives have never been to Hawaii. But all of Matt's aunts and uncles, and many of his cousins, are making the substantial journey to the 50th state to celebrate this momentous occasion with us.

I see it kind of like Shangri-La meets Times Square. There could hardly be a starker contrast of cultures than our party mix of laid-back Hawaiian islanders and wound-up New Yorkers. Yet I have a feeling both families will have a similar approach to celebrating a wedding. Eat, drink, laugh, dance, have fun--what needs translating?

This is a huge milestone in our moving forward after Pete. So much has happened in our little San Diego family since Pete died. Kristine moved to the East coast last year for her job, Matt and I are both in the midst of career transitions, and now Matt is marrying his Nicole. Sometimes I feel as though I'm speeding away from Pete, watching him grow smaller in life's rear view mirror. The feeling is not as painful as it once was. I have learned that each of us needs to keep looking ahead if we are to be successful in traveling our own road.

People say, "Oh, he'll be there...he knows...he's watching" and similar remarks intended to comfort. I happen to believe they are right--he will be there. That doesn't change the fact that we will not be able to share a glance of pride or squeeze each other's hands as our son marries his island girl.

It's all right. I have learned how to do this. Pete's physical absence has woven itself into the new reality of myself and my children. He is our guardian spirit now, never forgotten, always present in our hearts, and we all take comfort in this new form our family relationship has taken.

As for eating, drinking, laughing, dancing, and having fun at Matt's wedding--well, let's look on the bright side. I'll just have to party for two.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

No Sale

Today we have made history, now let us make progress
~ Nancy Pelosi, November 2006


Michelle Malkin blows the whistle on "San Fran Nan" Pelosi in this article.

Remember when Pelosi began as Speaker of the House? She was going to be sure her reign incorporated "integrity...civility...bipartisanship." Instead, she has shut down the Capitol, jetting off on vacation, spewing her high-heeled carbon footprint on the Republicans who have remained behind in Washington to work on the energy crisis.

Pelosi has had her day making history but has effectively squashed any glimmer of progress. Her political and personal goals, ambitions and agenda always trump any concern "the American people" might have as they endeavor to keep their cars on the road. She has made a dysfunctional, unmitigated mess of Congress and is completely unconcerned.

Anyone planning to buy Pelosi's new book should first check out that famous bridge in Brooklyn that's up for sale. The bridge would be a better deal.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Getting Energized

I'm trying to save the planet.
~ Nancy Pelosi

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi must have been in a serious hurry to “save the planet” during her five week vacation. She literally shut out the lights and cut the microphones as she left several Republican members of the House of Representatives behind in the darkened chamber. These legislators are taking a stand on the issue of oil drilling, forgoing their summer recess in favor of demanding relief for American citizens who are suffering high prices at the gas pump. Pelosi, of course, wants none of it.

If this remarkable protest session continues all week, as the Republicans have promised it will, perhaps the MSM will be coerced--or shamed--into giving the matter some measure of media coverage.

Pelosi doesn’t want a vote on oil drilling, because she knows she’ll lose. Most of the American electorate is very clear on this issue—drill fast, drill now, drill more, get us the oil quickly, and push the prices down. It’s simple, Yankee ingenuity-style action. But Pelosi has her far left-wing environmentalists to keep happy, and Barack Obama to protect, and she’s not going to budge. It’s “her” House, after all. She will decide if there will be a vote. There hasn’t been this degree of flagrant abuse of power since—well, Watergate.

The majority Democrats, led by the dug-in Pelosi, are stuck with a tuned-in electorate who understands the problem all too well. Pelosi doesn’t need to worry about gas prices, but most voters do. Her obstructionist tactics will backfire. All the children she frets about breathing “the planet’s” dirty air must also be transported to and from school and other activities each day. And these gasping children are ferried about primarily by parents (and voters) who can ill afford $4 per gallon gas.

Pelosi needs to do her primary job as a responsible American legislator first and worry about “the planet” later--preferably after she's tossed out as Speaker. We’ll be happier “citizens of the world” after we start drilling for more domestic oil.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Fueling the Mystery

Democrats are on vacation, paid
By donations U.S. voters made
Through every dollar that was taxed,
Congress rides on taxpayer backs.
As they cruise in their black sedans,
Driver up front, cell phone in hand,
They marvel that the price of gas is
Prompting angst among the masses:

“Of course the cost must go up and up,
Why don’t they just get a tune-up?
Stop complaining, keep tires inflated
Driving to work is overrated!
Let them take the train, or take the bus.
Little folks don’t need a plane, like us.”


Incredulous at our discontent,
They’ll wonder where constituents went
When, come November, votes will score
For those who’ll drill, and drill some more.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Cross Again



For the past nineteen years, this is the debate that will not die in San Diego. I hope the latest legal ruling will help to euthanize the Mt. Soledad Cross controversy at last--but I'm not betting the rent.

Text of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution :

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

No one is required to visit, acknowledge, approve of, or even look at the Mt. Soledad Cross. Logic dictates that government has safely avoided an "establishment of religion" in this case.

As to "free exercise thereof," pertaining to religion, here's a news flash for the anti-Cross atheists--Christianity counts. Christians are free to exercise their rights in expressing their religious views. No one is barred from objecting, or suing, or hampering press coverage, as the past nineteen years have proven.

Easter sunrise services on Mt. Soledad are famous, popular, packed, "peaceably assembled," and completely voluntary. My husband attended services there on a couple of Easter mornings many years ago. Although I've never attended a service there, no one in black boots has ever beaten down my front door at midnight.

"Free exercise thereof." Hmmm. So, maybe the system works?

Certainly the cantankerous atheists in town have exercised their rights to "petition the government for a redress of grievances." However, since the Mt. Soledad Cross clearly is not violating the First Amendment, they have been unsuccessful in their obsession to remove it. I join fellow San Diegans who support the Cross--by the astounding majority of 75%--in prayer that the disgruntled atheists will now just sit down and shut up. Amen.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

In a Nutshell


The Obamessiah went touring

To bask in the crowds so alluring.

He promotes new world order

And, with no thought to border,

Decrees the U.S. needs his curing.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A New Creation Story

Very, very clever article. Gerard Baker captures the sacred aura in highly creative fashion.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Always a Chuckle

...it's always a bad practice to say "always" or "never"...
~ Barack Obama, July 22, 2008, in Jordan


As always (oops), Obama expounds upon his imaginary accomplishments in a speech delivered in Israel:

Now, in terms of knowing my commitments, you don't have to just look at my
words, you can look at my deeds. Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S.
Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment
from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't
obtain a nuclear weapon.

Um, excuse me. Not only is the Banking Committee not "his" committee--Obama's not even a member. What was that again about "deeds," Senator?

Right now, a winning Republican strategy would be to keep the teleprompter in storage and let this megalogmaniac keep talking unplugged. Let Obama's highly entertaining, magical history tour go on and on. He's a gaffe a minute.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Israel is a strong friend of Israel
~ Barack Obama, July 22, 2008

If John McCain had made a gaffe like that, the Obama campaign would never let us hear the end of how "confused" the war hero candidate is.

But I dare you to try to find any coverage of this, except in the blogosphere. I heard the audio on Laura Ingraham this morning, which is the only way I know it happened. This will never be repeated by the MSM cheerleaders on Obama's grand Surrender Tour. Their sacred duty is to protect the Obamessiah from the slightest negative coverage.

As to the possible psychological implications of such a goof, is Obama really telling Israel "you're on your own"? As always, we really have no idea where Obama stands on this (or any) issue. Let's hope that we--and Israel--don't have to find out the hard way.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Favorite Bumper Sticker


This is the best bumper sticker I've seen this summer.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Far From In the Bag

Americans are beginning to notice Obama's elevated opinion of himself.
~ Charles Krauthammer

If people aren't comfortable with idea of Barack Obama as commander in chief it can definitely prevent his election.
~ Larry Hugick, pollster for Princetone Survey Research Associates


There's plenty of food for thought in a couple of meaty pieces on Obama's lean credentials: Charles Krauthammer's, "The Audacity of Vanity" and Michael Hirsh's "Ich bin ein Commander." I'm ready to make some popcorn and watch the pratfalls on the Barack-star's premature victory lap around Europe.

By the time it's over, it might be Eur-OOPS!