Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth

Isn't that supposed to be Disneyland?


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.