Sunday, April 27, 2008

Barack Obama Does the "Side Step" on Fox News Sunday

Every once in a while when commenting on the actions of a political figure, I can't help but refer to the movie "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."

Its stars include Burt Reynolds, Charles Durning, Dolly Parton and Dom DeLuise among others and I don't refer to it out of any connection with prostitution, but rather out of a connection with politics. ... OK, let me rephrase that.

I refer to the Best Little Whorehouse in Texas not when a politician is involved in extracurricular sexual activities, but when a politician is avoiding direct questions and trying to leave an impression that may not be real.

In the movie Charles Durning does a great number called The Side Step, that includes the lyrics, "Oooh, I love to dance a little sidestep, now they see me now they don't, I've come and gone. And ooooh I love to sweep around the wide step, cut a little swath and lead the people on."

That is exactly what Barack Obama did on his Fox News Sunday interview with Chris Wallace. Obama had ducked the interview for more than two years and finally agreed to it only when Wallace began running a time clock every week showing how many days Obama had been avoiding him. I guess with the recent criticism over Obama refusing to debate Hillary Clinton in North Carolina the Illinois senator figured he better do something a bit more aggressive.

But when he finally did the interview, Obama played it safe.

That is the best I can come up with after an interview that ran for a half-hour plus.

He is nice, non-threatening, self-assured, post-racial, genuinely concerned about the anti-white comments made by his former Pastor Jeremiah Wright, and really, really folks, far removed from any ideological association with unrepentant 1960s era radical Weather Underground member Bill Ayers, who bombed government buildings and now teaches his leftist philosophy as a professor of education at the University of Illinois. (Just makes you want to run right out and sign your kids up for that college doesn't it?)

Nope, none of that bad stuff. Barack is just as sweet as honeysuckle and concerned as a human being can possibly be about the fate of the human race.

He did do a lot of things right. He came across as honest, down to earth, even made the point that his rich upbringing makes it difficult to connect with some of the folks who have taken umbrage at his comments about guns, religion and bitterness.

In fact, Obama was so vanilla in his appearance that the panel of commentators who commentated on his interview after it was over really couldn't put their fingers on anything that was remarkable about it, except that it was unremarkable.

From a public relations standpoint you have to score big numbers for Barack's PR, media relations and communications people. Obama obviously thought this was hostile territory, otherwise he wouldn't have ducked the interview for so long.

Thus to come away from it unscathed means someone, or a team of someones, did one hell of a job preparing him for the worst so he came off looking so, well, vanilla, when he actually did the interview.

Maybe someone with more time and better electronic gear than I have can spend today rerunning the segment to see if there are any usable sound bites in it, but frankly, I think there would be far more work involved than possible rewards.

No, Obama's media and communications team did a very good job preparing for his interview with Wallace, and that is about all I can say for it. Wallace did not go easy, or loft softballs to Obama either.

He asked about Rev. Wright several times, he asked about Ayers, he asked about the Clintons, he asked about John McCain, tax cuts, and I don't know what else. Wallace ran the spectrum of Obama issues, and Obama deflected them with nothing remarkable one way or another.

There is one area that I might find some disagreement but it isn't about Obama, it is about Rev. Wright. The good Reverend did an interview Friday night in which he claimed he is being unfairly criticized for his anti-white rhetoric from the pulpit.

The Reverend claims that the media is only showing snippets and sound bites of what he really said, and is deliberately leaving a false impression.

Fox News did the responsible thing and posted one of the Reverend's sermons on the network website in its entirety, offering viewers the opportunity to watch it and decide on their own.

I watched it. I found it to be particularly offensive, in many areas hateful, un-Christian like, full of outright racism, lacking in historic perspective, and pretty much exactly as the media portrayed it.

I didn't see an effort to go forward and do better in the area of race relations, I saw an effort to keep a congregation locked in the biases of a bygone time. But, hey, that is just my impression. You don't have to take my word for it, watch the video yourself.

Barack continually referred to Rev. Wright as "my former pastor," which makes the point, and of course he (the Senator) has been seen on the news a lot lately wearing a USMC t-shirt and playing basketball. That image rebuilding video goes a long way in offsetting the dismal performance Obama did when bowling for blue-collar workers in Pennsylvania.

I guess the t-shirt is to show support for the troops, particularly Marines, unless he got it from the Utah State Motorcycle Club. We'll have to explore that in another column.

So that's it. Another sterling performance by another American politician who wants to be president of the United States but isn't too interested in the electorate seeing too much of what he is like behind the veil.

But at least Chris Wallace can get on to other things without referring to his Barama'o'meter every week. The clock stopped at 772.

On the other hand, the Juliet Huddy clock is now at 462 and ticking, even though Fox News did a 10-minute segment of The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet Saturday afternoon. Little Brother is watching.
Saturday, April 26, 2008

Song birds, Juliet Huddy, and Other Rare Sightings

There comes a day every spring when I awaken to the sounds of dozens of song birds greeting the dawn.

It is a particularly nice day, predictably coming as it does at the end of winter, and proclaiming to everyone and everything in earshot that spring is at hand.

The advent of the spring songbird concert isn't sudden, it grows on you gradually. Some birds arrive early, some later on, and they just kind of show up. One day they aren't here and the next day they are. No news release, no TV promos, nothing. Birds don't exactly hire advance men to announce their arrival.

Rather, there is just an awareness that something is different and then you realize that you are not alone in the growing light of pre-dawn. It is nice to awaken this way, especially considering that the songbird melody will last for the better part of six months before they take flight to warmer climates again.

It is reassuring.

There are always birds around my house, both inside and outside, since my family and I make it a point to feed those that winter over. We provide various kinds of seeds and suet during the cold months, but we cut way back on the feeders in the spring and summer, preferring to plant seed bearing flora that attracts robins, bluebirds, finches, cardinals, orioles and many other varieties.

In addition to providing sources of food for both the seasonal and year-round residents, we are strong on organic gardening so you won't find much in the way of pesticides, herbicides or any of the other "cides" in our yard, that could harm avian reproductive processes.

We also hear from owls, hawks, eagles, turkeys and buzzards fairly regularly and we occasionally get a glimpse of a rare species.

It can get pretty noisy around here when all the species are going full tilt but I am never inclined to close my window and shut out the sounds. I guess it's because in the back of my mind I am aware that while one side of the cycle brings us life and hope, there will be a day in the future when I awaken to silence, or at best just the screech of blue jays, and I am on notice that winter is coming and I too will have to adjust my routines.

So I take what I can when I can, and appreciate the song birds, common and rare, for what they bring to my life, even if it is temporary.

Another Rare Sighting

Speaking of rare sightings, I saw Juliet Huddy on the Fox News channel about a week ago. It was a Saturday and she appeared during the afternoon with Mike Jerrick, her co-host on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, which airs in some markets - but not all.

The Morning Show went on the air in January, 2007 through Fox and MyNetworkTV. Huddy and Jerrick have hosted other news shows in the past, notably DaySide and Fox and Friends Weekend, both on the Fox News Channel.

In February 2007, the show was syndicated to ABC, NBC, and CBS affiliates in cities where a MyNetworkTV or FOX station doesn't carry it. On January 23, 2008 The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet was renewed for a second season.

That is all very nice if you happen to live in a market where you can see Juliet, but unfortunately I don't.

Which is why I should point out that it has been 460 days since Juliet left the fans of the Fox News network for her syndicated morning show and there still are lots of us who want her back where we can see her regularly. I did send an email to my local Fox station manager pointing out that Juliet has a fan base in his broadcast area, and he did send back a very nicely worded rejection slip. But so far, no Juliet after 460 days.

You probably are wondering why I am making this point, so I will explain myself.

First, this is not meant to disparage any other hosts or hostesses on Fox. There are some first-rate talents on that channel from early morning til late night.

That having been said, which is redundant but who cares, Juliet Huddy is one of those people with that special "something," in her case a likability and approachability that many work for but never achieve.

As I have said on this site before, I became a fan when Juliet went out on the sidewalk in downtown Manhattan when she was co-hosting a Fox & Friends show, grabbed a basketball and swished 10 straight foul shots. You watch a performance like that and you get the feeling you could hang out with this person and not feel self-conscious.

I always enjoyed her show on Fox News, and I prefer to get my news from someone with whom I connect, even if it is over the airwaves.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have never met, spoken to, done business with, exchanged phone numbers, letters, emails or had any form of communication with Juliet Huddy.

But I also should point out that more than a year ago I wrote about Juliet's shift to the syndication arena, expressing my dissatisfaction and the hope that eventually I would be able to find her show in my market, which hasn't happened yet. And please don't tell me to look for her on the networks - I don't trust the networks, and I don't watch network news.

Anyway, ever since I wrote about Juliet last year, my website analysis program tells me that she has never gone out of favor with people who view this site. In other words, when I check the Keyword category, to see what issues or people are drawing readers here, Juliet Huddy is continually listed in the top percentages - even though I haven't written about her in more than a year!

So in a way, since the purpose of writing these columns is to draw people to the site, where I hope they will be interested enough to purchase a copy of Masters of the Art, A Fighting Marine's Memoir of Vietnam, Juliet Huddy has actually been helping sell my books by proxy.

Thus the least I can do is return the favor and make a plea to Fox to either get her back on the Fox News cable shows regularly, or help get her nationwide exposure.

I don't think that is too much to ask. Obviously, if I am writing about her she has a fan base that is not being considered. And if she keeps coming up on my keyword searches, people are very interested in her and what she is doing.

So what do you say, Folks at Fox? How about paying attention to the wants and needs of your loyal viewers?

I noticed that Barack Obama is going to appear on Fox News Sunday to face up to Chris Wallace tomorrow after more than 770 days of ducking an interview on that show.

I'll point out again, that it has been 460 days since Juliet Huddy was last a regular on Fox News. Your viewers are well aware that the Fox lineup is constantly being changed, toyed with, altered and switched.

So next time you get the urge to change things around, how about working out something with Juliet so she can be back in the lineup?

And ... don't make us wait 770 days.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Chickens Roosting on a Double-Digit Smackdown; Obama's Indiana Speech Scores an Easy 'A'

It looks like the chickens came home to roost in the national Democratic Party. Right on top of Barack Obama's head.

Hillary Clinton, who was all but counted out of the Democratic race for the presidential nomination a month ago out-polled the self-anointed nominee by 10 percent in Pennsylvania's Democratic primary Tuesday and suddenly the tables have again turned.

Obama didn't wait around for the bad news. He flew off to Indiana where he gave a speech that I would have scored an easy 'A' if he had given it in one of my college classes. It was full of hope and fire, and never-give-up determination, delivered with an intensity that had the crowd all but forgetting what was going on slightly to the east.

But the reality of Tuesday night was that Hillary Clinton trounced him, and did so in many previously solid Obama demographics to boot.

There was an ocean of explanations on the news Wednesday morning, in addition to the spin from the Obama machine that "it don't mean nothing." Obama vows to recapture his momentum in North Carolina and Indiana, but that means a lot more work than he had originally thought, and a lot more money.

Obama outspent the Clinton campaign in Pennsylvania by a gazillion dollars to one, but despite his claims early in the day Tuesday, all that money did not turn the primary around. In fact there was a fair amount of evidence that some of the over spending actually hurt him.

He should have asked his advisers to take a look at the unsuccessful campaign waged against Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman when the enormously wealthy Democrat Ned Lamont spent millions of his own and other people's money in a failed attempt to oust him. Lamont kept pouring more and more into the campaign, but the gap was as wide as the Mississippi on election day.

Money helps a campaign, there is no doubt about it, in terms of getting your message out to the voters. But it also shows you can't buy all the votes. When people have made up their minds, and a candidate has done more to alienate the voters than attract them, money stops being the deciding factor.

Obama lost not because of money, and not because of race, although that's what the national Democrats want us to believe. He lost because instead of showing himself to be a collected, competent leader who happens to be black, he is instead a black man who never endured the abuses of the pre-civil rights era, but is all too willing to join in on blasting modern day white Americans for events that occurred a century before most of us were born.

Rather than being a 'post-racial' product of the United States upper middle class, Obama has shown himself to be a puppet of the race-baiting, white-guilt proponents who believe that true leadership is keeping most of their race dependent on the welfare system, caught in an endless cycle of hatred, self-loathing and economic dependence on the government.

Barack Obama could have, and should have, shown that while he is aware of past abuses, he is looking forward to a better America where equality is a real concept not just a word that politicians throw around to feel good about themselves.

But when his past associations - and yes they do matter - came back to haunt him, Obama could not let go.

Many people have a hard time with misplaced loyalty. It is difficult to walk away from what you once believed. But Obama didn't have to walk away. He could have acknowledged his past, and made the point that he has moved on, instead of trying to justify it.

His further lapses, questioning gun ownership, religion, and not jumping all over Pastor Jeremiah White's obnoxious comments about Italians, just added fuel to the fire.

I'm not sure how he thinks people in Indiana are less prone to take umbrage at his stances than people in Pennsylvania, but it will be interesting to hear. But regardless of what position or tactic he employs there is one itsy-bitsy but ever so important political concept that he should remember.

Politics is numbers, from beginning to end. You need more than the other guy and you try to build coalitions that add up to more than what your opponent can accumulate.

In the world of presidential politics, African-Americans account for one-eighth of the population, and in the general election, no more than than portion of the total vote. There are other voting blocs, and they can all help or hinder the final outcome.

But in the United States of America today, seven-eights of the electorate is NOT African-American. And in one form or another Barack Obama has managed to insult or disparage a big chunk of that non-African-American voting bloc. You can't get elected president of the United States if seven-eighths of the voters are not on your side.

Someone in his campaign should have told that to Barack Obama before he let a firebrand minister and ill-conceived prejudices do his talking for him.
Friday, April 18, 2008

No Mea Culpa For McCain. Hillary Nimrod? Barack the Whiner!

In a recent campaign appearance Republican Senator and presidential candidate John McCain was asked about his support for victory in Iraq, as opposed to the 'choose to loose, retreat to defeat' positions taken by both Democratic contenders.

McCain prefaced his answer by making the point that he abhors war. Or hates it, or detests it, or thinks it is awful, or something along those lines.

Which got me to thinking, why on earth should a man who actually fought in a war, and will bear the scars of his service for the rest of his life, have to justify himself to the media or anyone else?

Saying he supports victory in Iraq does not mean that he is a warmonger, or that he loves violence, or that he can't wait to drop the next big one. It means he wants our country to win the War on Terror everywhere we are fighting that war because to lose is simply unthinkable.

I'm not saying he should start off his answer by speaking to the glories of war. We don't need to hear a future president say "War, God I love it! You never feel more alive than when you are on the battlefield, that close to death." No we don't need that.

McCain, more than most people, and certainly more than the Democratic presidential contenders, knows from harsh, brutal personal experience what happens when vicious animals, whether they are Vietnamese communists or Islamo-fascists, get control of the government and the populace.

You either submit to slavery, or you die, but death may not come quickly or easily.

McCain was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967, and held as a prisoner-of-war in Hanoi for more than five years until the POW release of 1973. He can tell you everything you need to know about being on the receiving end of torture, brutality and total disregard for humanity.

So why does he have to preface his remarks supporting victory in the War on Terror, including in Iraq, with a disclaimer that he hates war?

Possibly because the mainstream media has done such a bang-up job of convincing America that anyone who wants our country to remain free, and does not want to submit to Islamo-fascism, must therefore be a warmonger.

I have met thousands of veterans over the years, and have been to numerous reunions of the units I served with in Vietnam, as well as other military gatherings. I can tell you from my personal experiences, that if anyone at these gatherings started talking about how much he enjoyed combat, the rest of us would have some serious suspicions about that person's claimed service, or mental acuity.

That is because if you are a veteran, you probably know someone who died in combat, and you probably would rather that person still be among the living. People who have trained for combat know that it is brutal, indiscriminate, and that those who survive are fortunate. People who have been there shouldn't have to explain themselves to people who have not.

The truly naive, no make that idiotic, point of all this carping by the Democratic candidates and the mainstream media is that if the United States ever did lose the War on Terror, including Iraq, one of the first of our assumed freedoms to go right down the drain would be freedom of the press! Think not?

Then show me one totalitarian government, whether it be a communist dictatorship, Islamo-fascist dictatorship, or the regular old, "I'm in charge 'til someone knocks me off" dictatorship, where journalism is practiced freely and without fear of repercussions. Go ahead. I've got time.

The fact is, everywhere that totalitarianism rules, journalists are an endangered species. That rule of nature would hold true in our country if we lost to the Islamo-fascists, and effete journalists who think they could go on pumping out their version of propaganda without let-up would be the first to go.

Think about it. It's true.

And the next time John McCain talks about war, and why we must win in Iraq, and everywhere that terrorism rears its ugly totalitarian head, listen to what he says instead of imposing an arbitrary and pointless rule that he has to disavow war before he can speak about victory.


Function: noun
1: a descendant of Ham represented in Genesis as a mighty hunter and a king of Shinar
2: not capitalized: hunter
3: not capitalized slang: idiot, jerk

Let's get it right out front that I am talking about the first two meanings of Nimrod here, capitalized or not, meaning hunter. The third probably derives from Bugs Bunny cartoons and it is not my intent to imply anything from the slang version of the word nimrod. We are talking hunter, nothing else.

I am bringing this up because Hillary Clinton, who is not exactly seen as a friend of Second Amendment proponents - the right to keep and bear arms - now claims that she actually is an accomplished hunter.

Not necessarily experienced, because I can only find two references to her actually going out hunting, but accomplished because she says on one of her outings she shot a "banded" duck.

To most people familiar with ducks that is not a breed. In environmental circles a "banded" duck is one that has a band placed on it after it has been captured in one location, and wildlife experts in other locations keep track of its migrating habits by registering the band number when it shows up somewhere else.

Unless someone shoots it on the way from one place to another. Someone like Hillary Clinton.

I personally have never heard of a species called a "banded duck," and can't find reference to one either. It could be a local colloquialism, possibly referring to ring-necked ducks, but we don't get any help here from Mrs. Clinton's comments.

I was drawn to her story because while I once raised ducks, I am neither experienced nor accomplished as a duck hunter.

In fact, I only went duck hunting once in my life, in the fall of the year I returned from Vietnam. I went with my brother and some of his friends, using a borrowed 12-gauge shotgun.

We got up very, very early, went out to a spot on a river where ducks were known to congregate, and waited in near blackness for dawn. The other guys did this a lot and they had decoys and duck calls and all the associated gear.

I had just come from an environment where hunters and hunted changed places on a second-by-second basis, but to make things even for me, the Marine Corps had issued me an M-2, .50-caliber machine gun, which shot about 500-600 rounds per minute, so you got lots of second chances if you missed with the first shot. In fact, flying into a hot zone in a helicopter, shooting from a side window, which was my job, meant you had to deal with constantly changing angles, speeds and elevations, pretty much ensuring that you would use multiple shots on one target.

That doesn't happen much in hunting because often, if you miss on the first shot, the target heads for safety immediately.

Did I tell you that you aren't supposed to shoot ducks if they are sitting on the water? Did I tell you that they fly very, very fast?

So, in my one time at duck hunting I wait for hours until it gets light, then sunup, then well into daylight, until finally, one lone duck comes into sight, circles the decoys, adjusts for the crosswind and starts to come in for a landing. I was given first shot, which I took ... and missed.

The duck in question hit the afterburner, accelerated like a jet fighter, and crossed right in front of a row of hunters all of whom also opened up, all of whom also missed! Remember that scene in Dances with Wolves where Kevin Costner rides his horse down the line of shooting soldiers and they all miss? Yeah, just like that.

Score Duck 1, Nimrods 0.

So to hear that Mrs. Clinton whacked a duck on her first shot when she had little to no experience ... that is pretty remarkable.

Don't take my word for it. Here are hers:

"I've hunted. My father taught me how to hunt. I went duck hunting in Arkansas. I remember standing in that cold water, so cold, at first light. I was with a bunch of my friends, all men. The sun's up, the ducks are flying and they are playing a trick on me. They said, 'we're not going to shoot, you shoot.' They wanted to embarrass me. The pressure was on. So I shot, and I shot a banded duck and they were as surprised as I was."

I also found a passage on the Internet that says it was:

"Around Christmas, 1988, I went duck hunting with Dr. Frank Kumpuris, a distinguished surgeon and good friend of mine, who invited me to join him, his two doctor sons, Drew and Dean, and a few other buddies at their hunting cabin. I hadn't shot much since my days at Lake Winola with my dad, but I thought it would be fun. That's how I found myself standing hip deep in freezing water, waiting for dawn in eastern Arkansas."

I am not going to fall into a male chauvinism trap here and try to discredit Mrs. Clinton's hunting story just because she got a duck and I didn't. But, to hear this story, you get the impression that she thinks a banded duck is a species, not a migration issue.

I'd like to hear more about it. What kind of shotgun did she use, what size shell - meaning the load, not the gauge - and what kind of duck was it? Please, don't say banded. Was the duck on the fly, or had it landed? Did she use a retriever, or go get it in a boat? Did she field dress the duck on the spot herself? Or did she hand it to one of the men she was with, asking them to do the dirty work for her?

These are the kinds of things hunters talk about when they are successful, so a few simple questions and answers would be very helpful here.

The mainstream media probably would have asked those questions already if they didn't have such an anti-firearms and hunting bias that they wouldn't know the stock from the barrel.

But then again, maybe Barack is right, maybe Hillary is this century's Annie Oakley!


Since I just spent several paragraphs questioning Mrs. Clinton, I should at least give her a few kudos where they are warranted.

By all accounts she trounced Barack Obama in their debate on ABC television Wednesday night.

I didn't see it because I was watching Kristy Lee Cook getting booted off of American Idol, which means I won't be watching that show for the rest of the season. There were at least three other contestants on that stage who can't hold a candle to her ability, and that means I don't need to watch the show anymore because from here on out it will be less than it could have been.

Anyway, while I was engaged in that venue, Mrs. Clinton was slamming Barack on his background and his associations. The commentators also didn't hold back, and finally asked some questions that should have been asked months ago, not that they got any credit for doing their jobs.

I think it is 'Hillaryous' that the left, left, left-wing media is ripping the ABC moderators because they didn't do the usual job of tossing softballs. What a hoot! A candidate for president actually had to explain his points of view, his background, and why he thinks hanging with terrorists is cool!

The next day, Barack responded to his beating by whining that the debate wasn't fair because it went on for 45 minutes before he was asked any substantive questions that "the American people" want discussed.

Oh, really? Well, speaking just for myself, I want to see reruns of the debate, because if I am going to spend my night watching that kind of show, I'd prefer to see the fur fly! We can get stroking and pit-a-pat any day on the afternoon TV shows, like Oprah.

Debates should be a blood sport. And I am being absolutely non-partisan here.

I'd sure want to know it if John McCain was drinking buddies with Timothy McVeigh.

But we are not supposed to question Barack Obama's association with a member of the 60s Weather Underground who bombed government facilities and people and teaches college students today that his only regret is not doing more? I thought equality meant "equal."

Note to Obama: quit whining. For God's sake man, get yourself a backbone. I realize you come from an upper-class background and don't have much of a handle on how to deal with a real fight. But the fact is, even heavyweight champs lose a round or two on the way to winning the title.

Get back up on your feet and get in there. Stop with the "It's not fair," nonsense.

Life isn't fair. The world isn't fair. If you think the terrorists, the communists, the Russians, or any other potential enemies are going to play "fair" you are definitely in the wrong business.

Whining is not becoming. Keep this up and people are going to start thinking that your dismal display of bowling prowess was more reflective of your true capabilities than we first believed.

Suck it up and hit back, or go home.
Monday, April 14, 2008

Hillary Does Shots! Obama in the Gutter? Arm Wrestling Next?

I don't know about the rest of you but I am of the opinion that the Democratic primary race has finally found its groove.

Way to go Pennsylvania!

In their efforts to appeal to the "common man" both Democratic candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, have been out in blue collar country, which bears little if any resemblance to blue state country, trying to mix and mingle as if Saturday night honky-tonkin' comes as naturally to them as Brie.

Neither has really hit the bulls eye, but in my entirely informal and unscientific method of measurement the former First Lady and New York State Senator is way ahead of the Illinois Senator in this area.

Barack managed to lose momentum, poll points, and respect when he made the egregious error of trying to bowl with the guys, apparently having never done it for real. Or if he did, it was once and so long ago that he didn't remember how to do it. Or maybe he just watched it on television and said "Hey, I can do that. It's easy!" Yeah, that must have been it.

Hence his total score of 37 our of a possible 300. And while no one would have expected him to score a perfect game, or even bowl 200, he should at least have hit something in the mid-150s or so. But he threw gutter ball after gutter ball, and if you don't know what that means, you can't be president either!

The other thing about bowling, besides knocking down pins, is your approach to the foul line. You start several steps back, advance confidently, swing your arm back - the one holding the bowling ball - and then forward to release it in a smooth, but powerful underhand maneuver just as your get to the line.

But you are supposed to do it looking manly at the same time, not as if you are tiptoeing through the tulips. Barack didn't quite pull that last part off, as well as missing most or all of the pins most of the time.

From there he went on to serve food to people at various places, which didn't sit well with my impression of looking presidential either.

Hillary meanwhile, went out to the local Sack O' Suds and hammered back a Crown Royal neat - or straight up - or unadorned with any thinners like fruit juice or soda for you yuppies, and chased it with a draught beer. Whoa baby! And when I say she hammered it back, I'm not kidding!

Next to Hillary, Bill Clinton is looking more and more like a first lady all the time.

But what of all this posturing? Most voters know that none of the candidates really holds blue collar status, and I for one don't expect them to be punching a time clock for the next four years.

I care that they can grasp the intricacies of little things like not being able to pay your mortgage or power bill if you lose your job, and that unemployment payouts are embarrassing as well as temporary.

If they can understand that if someone out in the real America goes too long without an income, through no fault of their own, they will lose their home and car, and probably their family too, then they have grasped all that is necessary. Loss of income, buying power and pride in self, by the way, is the cause of bitterness, and most people don't join the National Rifle Association nor the local church to ease their anger over economic issues, as Sen. Obama suggested in a gaffe that was at least as bad as his bowling.

I don't mind the candidates getting out and mingling, but as long as I have been alive and watching I have never thought that any president or presidential contender really felt all that comfortable out in my neck of the woods - which is probably why none of them ever come here.

But, if they want to pose and posture as "working folk" that's OK by me. But they have to stick with the program and can't just dabble.

Hence, I am now proposing that to put an end to all this rhetoric and rhetoric about rhetoric, the best way to settle the Democratic nomination is to set up an arm wrestling match between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama.

It should be best two out of three, match rules, no proxies or substitutes.

I don't want anyone to accuse me of throwing the outcome, but my money is on Mrs. Clinton, two straight, no more than 30 seconds to pin Obama, either hand, both times.

Hey, don't go giving me a ration about Obama's manliness. I've seen him bowl.
Sunday, April 13, 2008

Congress Babbled, Terrorists Struck, American Troops Died April, 2008; Remember 1st Battalion, 27th Marines, 4-13-1968

In Washington D.C., last week, members of Congress again held public "hearings" to interrogate Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker on the progress of the War on Terror in Iraq.

If national security really was the purpose behind these interrogations, they could have been held behind closed doors, but national security had little to nothing to do with what transpired in Congress last week. It was all about political posturing by Senators and Congressmen who differ with President Bush on his approach to the War on Terror and will use any means they have to push their agendas, especially in a presidential election year.

It has been documented that every time American politicians go public with their criticisms of the war, the enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan do everything they can, including suicide missions, to kill as many American troops as possible. The terrorists may be nothing more than rabid animals, but they are sophisticated enough to know that the bloodier their actions, and the more American casualties they cause, the more the media will pay attention to them.

This strategy is intended to pressure the Bush Administration into withdrawing, which will give the terrorists free rein to take control of Iraq, terrorize the neighboring states, and reestablish the terrorist network that American and allied forces have been successful in destroying over the past five years.

The terrorists have willing accomplices in Congress. They know this. Under the guise of political differences the terrorists' allies intend to dismantle America as we know it and replace with ... something less.

Thus far the Bush Administration has been steadfast in its pursuit of its goals to eliminate the terrorist forces, and despite some missteps and setbacks it has been successful. There is plenty of reason to believe that we will prevail. But you wouldn't know that to hear the anti-war forces in Congress talking last week.

Gen. Petraeus came supplied with facts and figures, statistics, charts and graphs showing exactly what has happened in the past year. But he may as well have appeared naked for all the good it did.

The hearings were held, the choose to lose, retreat to defeat statements were made, and Iraqi nutcase Muqtada Al Sadr, hiding safely in a fortified bunker in Iran, ordered his religious zealots to attack Americans. Iraqi Army forces stood up to Al Sadr - well 93 percent did, but the media focused on the 7 percent that didn't - naturally.

Al Sadr's forces were bashed in Basra, bloodied in Baghdad, and blitzed in between. Al Sadr has since been running around like a chicken with its head cut off, threatening one day, cajoling the next, offering a truce on one hand and holy war on the other. In other words he is acting like an inexperienced loser who doesn't have the wherewithal to know what to do so he is trying everything at once.

But while Al Sadr dithered, and members of Congress postured for the media, 19 American troops lost their lives. We know this because after months of NOT reporting American casualties, since they had dropped off considerably from a year ago, there now was some bad news to share so the media was all over it.

Nonetheless, American and Iraqi forces have dealt yet another blow to the terrorists, whether they are Islamo-fascist Al Qaeda members or homegrown zealots loyal to Al Sadr. But victory rarely comes without a price and this week that price was 19 American lives, in renewed terrorist attacks that coincided directly with anti-war posturing by members of the American Congress.

Who do I go see about that? When and where will a national leader emerge who has the backbone and other physical attributes to call this what it is - aiding and abetting the enemy, treason - and stand up to it? Are the lives of our armed forces so expendable, and the people who serve looked down upon with such disdain, even by those who claim to support the military and the war, that 19 lives can be tossed aside so callously?

It is shocking to see what happened in Iraq last week, and to understand the cause of it. It is shocking to see so many so-called leaders sitting on their hands and doing nothing about it.

Shocking, but not surprising.

I say that because I see little difference in the way Congress is acting now, and the way it acted in 1973 when it gave away all the victories American and allied forces had won in Vietnam. The actions of the US Congress, not the military, enabled the communists to go on a murderous rampage in Southeast Asia, killing millions.

For the previous decade American and allied troops had successfully battled communist forces, armed and supplied by the Soviet Union and China, and had driven them to the point of surrender. In the previous decade American forces had not lost a single major engagement and had put a horrendous beating on the communists, who ultimately lost approximately 1.5 million troops.

That is when Congress stepped in and threw all the victories down the drain. That is when Washington told the world that the lives of American troops are expendable if they conflict with political agendas.

That is what some politicians think. That is not what I think, and I am sure it isn't what most Americans think.

And just to drive that point home, I would like to thank my brother Marines Dane Brown and Bruce Bley who served in the First Battalion, 27th Marines in Vietnam, for remembering a deadly day in their unit's history

Forty years ago today, on April 13, 1968 the 1st Battalion, 27th Marines, fought a bloody battle with North Vietnamese Army troops near Hue City. The Marines were continuing the destruction of communist forces that began in the Tet Offensive and were eliminating enemy troops that a month earlier had occupied Hue City. The North Vietnamese murdered thousands of civilians before being overrun.

Following the NVA defeat at Hue, the remnants of their attacking forces were pursued and destroyed by American forces. As they continued to engage NVA units, the Marines of 1/27 came under heavy enemy automatic weapons, small arms and rocket fire and were temporarily pinned down. The fight cost the Marines 26 dead, and 46 wounded, but helped to clear the area of remaining NVA/VC forces.

Just so this doesn't become a matter of statistics, the names of the Marines of 1/27 who died that day - courtesy of the Virtual Wall - are:
A Company:
SSgt Glennis R. Kellams, New Albany, IN (Silver Star)
Cpl Kenneth M. Watson, Toledo, OH
LCpl Richard L. Embrey, Warren, AZ
LCpl Stephen J. Hinds, Osseo, MN
Pfc Raymond Armstrong, Cleveland, OH
Pfc Frank W. Atherton, Templeton, PA
Pfc Robert C. Healey, Trenton, NJ
Pfc Kenneth L. Hinnant, Johnson City, TN
Pfc Larry C. Hopper, Ontario, CA
Pfc Jerry A. Snipes, Albemarle, NC

B Company:
2ndLt Alan A. Kettner, Springfield, MN
Cpl James E. Hodge, Macksburg, OH
LCpl Terry L. Fuhrman, Fort Wayne, IN (DoW 14 Apr 68)
LCpl Alfred V. Whitmer, Morenci, AZ
Pfc Roger A. Boomsma, Arcadia, CA
Pfc Douglas L. Long, Savannah, GA
Pfc Barry D. Lord, Findlay, OH
Pfc Paul L. Whitthorne, Memphis, TN
Pfc William W. Wilson, St Marys, WV
Pvt Ray T. Comfort, Northumberland, PA

C Company:
Cpl Joseph C. Reid, Baton Rouge, LA
Pfc Donald L. Mansfield, Rockland, ME
Pfc William G. Parker, Detroit, MI

H&S Company:
SSgt Fred J. Hayes, Walnut Creek, CA (Silver Star)
HN3 Robert L. Dodsworth, Franklin, IL
HN Richard E. Cawley, St Joseph, MO

Semper Fi Marines, may you rest in peace.

If my job in life is to be a communicator, then communicate this: 40 years ago today 26 Marines were killed in one action, in one operation in Vietnam, giving everything they had to the concepts of freedom and democracy that were disregarded and betrayed within the next five years by Washington politicians.

And last week 19 Americans were killed in action in Iraq, largely because a similar bunch of self-absorbed political blowhards would rather posture for the cameras and the rest of the media, pursuing their own political agendas in public instead of asking their questions in closed meetings.

So tell me, Mr. and Mrs. Politician, how does it feel to be responsible for the deaths of 19 Americans? How does it feel to have their blood on your hands?

Do you have any inkling that the deaths of these heroes will forever impact those they left behind? Do you understand that for friends and families there will always be a gap where those who were killed should be?

Or don't you even think about it at all?

Tell me, which of you will ever admit that you were wrong? Which of you will act to ensure that Congress will never again publicly discuss ongoing military operations while our troops are in danger?

Who among you will go to the families of those brave troops who died while members of Congress openly undermined their positions, to say you're sorry and beg their forgiveness?

I won't hold my breath waiting for an answer.
Friday, April 11, 2008

American Idol Does NOT Need Bono's Subliminal Political Ads

The Fox television hit show American Idol took a break from whittling down this year's group of contestants Wednesday night to run its second annual "Give Back" charity segment.

The show's host, judges and various celebrities joined to call attention to poverty stricken areas of America and the world, primarily Africa and Appalachia. This coincides with a charity fund drive, telethon actually, that reaps tens of millions of dollars that are used to help the impoverished.

The effort was so successful last year that it was repeated this year. I consider it a worthy effort and support it wholeheartedly.

Now, here is why I am writing about it.

On Thursday's show, which went back to the regular format of removing contestants after telephone voting by the public, there also were some videos from the Give Back show, and cameo appearances from celebrities urging Americans to donate to help the needy.

So far, so good. These appearances included taped messages from all three major party presidential contenders, starting with Hillary Clinton, then John McCain and ending with Barack Obama. These messages basically were along the lines that you will hear in any campaign appearance.

Still, so far, so good.

But then Bono, the lead singer for the group U2, who has an additional career addressing the world's ills and calling attention to issues such as AIDS, all worthy causes, came on right after the political spots. Normally I wouldn't think much of it, but Bono commented that the generosity shown by Americans in the American Idol endeavor is an example of the "new" America that he is looking forward to seeing emerge after the November election. What? "New" America?

What is this guy talking about? Why does this matter?

Two reasons.

First, after the Indian Ocean Tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004, the United States of America was harshly criticized in Untied Nations and elsewhere as pikers for supposedly not making much in the way of contributions to tsunami relief.

This, even though American military personnel were among the first multi-national forces on the scene after President Bush authorized an entire aircraft carrier task force to steam to the affected area. This task force brought with it Marines for security, medical facilities, helicopters and transport aircraft, food, water and damn near anything else that was needed for emergency relief.

This ladies and gentlemen, cost the American taxpayers millions of dollars per day.

American charities such as the Red Cross also swung into action and individual Americans donated millions upon millions upon millions of dollars for direct tsunami relief. In the long term, former presidents Clinton and Bush went on a national tour and cut television commercials raising even more money for tsunami relief.

On the governmental level USAID, as noted on its website, worked in five primary areas providing food assistance, medical care, shelter, water, and water purification and sanitation support. Within six hours of the disaster USAID had mobilized staff to head to the region, generated disaster declarations which unlocked immediate funding to support emergency services and provided $4 million in immediate relief funding to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

Although the US government, through the military and USAID, was on the scene and working with local, national and international agencies to provide immediate and long-term relief, Andrew Natsios USAID Administrator, publicly asked Americans who wanted to help to "offer their kind and generous donations to the various charities and non-governmental organizations who are working in the affected countries in this effort." That is how it is done in America. By individuals and groups, not just the government.

Meanwhile by early 2005, American private-sector contributions already passed $360 million and on the way to an estimated $700 million, according to figures released January 11 by the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. American corporations and nongovernmental organizations contributed cash, supplies, and services.

All told, far more than one billion dollars of assistance in direct cash contributions, supplies and military assistance was pouring in from Americans - individuals, corporations and the government.

So don't tell me that we need a "new" America that somehow is going to be more generous than the "old" America. Americans are and have been the most generous people in the world, and saying that somehow past efforts to help others across the globe haven't measured up is just plan slanderous and Bono owes this country an apology!

So what gives with this "new" America? Well, who in the political race is preaching a similar message. Yes, you guessed it, none other than Barack Obama, who is calling every single day for "change." Change means something "new" doesn't it? And Barack is the one guy who is using this terminology day after day after day.

Change is new, new is change, the two are interchangeable and I don't think for an instant in a taped segment that Bono was just being flippant.

It is obvious to me that he was trying to give the impression that Americans have not been generous and that under a new "changed" administration we will be. This may have been intended to be subliminal, but it was pretty obvious.

I'll tell you what I'd like for a change. Entertainers who entertain and keep their noses and agendas out of American politics. If they want to declare for a candidate and provide in-kind donations of concerts or whatever, that is their business, but subliminal "vote for my guy" messages? Please. America can see through that nonsense.

It probably was not by chance that Bono's comments favoring Obama came in the same week that Elton John, campaigning for Hillary Clinton, blasted Americans who aren't backing her as "misogynists" (women haters). Sir Elton would do him and us a big favor if he just checked out what fellow Englishman Roger Waters had to say about Margaret Thatcher before he goes calling us names.

The fact is, while residents of some countries like Merry Olde England pay even more in taxes than US citizens, they rely on their governments to take care of messy problems like international disaster relief. Here, in the dour old United States, we try to keep a lid on government, difficult as that may be, but when someone needs help we rise up as one to do as much as we can.

When the true figures for tsunami relief were tallied, the United States of America was way, way out in front of its detractors, not by government fiat, but by the basic good and generous nature of its citizens.

So I don't need Bono or Elton John or any other foreign mercenary coming to my country telling me directly, subliminally or otherwise, what I should be doing with my money or where my vote should be directed. And I especially don't need Bono telling me that I need a change to something "new."

Forest Whitaker and his wife Keisha Nash did a much better job of showing the harshness of poverty in Africa without the political ramifications. Politics isn't necessary when you are confronted, as was the case in this segment, with conditions that are beyond deplorable.

We Americans are touchy about mercenaries, regardless of what else they do with their time.

American Idol basically has a good thing going, both on its talent search and its poverty relief efforts. It shouldn't screw either up by bringing in politically motivated personnel or agendas.

We can get all the politics we need elsewhere twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Levin Again Displays Ignorance of Military Issues; Cross Examines Petraeus Like Criminal Defendant; Dems Use Troops As Pawns

We can only thank whatever deity we believe in that Michigan's Democratic Senator Carl Levin represents only a small portion of the American political landscape and that our system of government allows only one vote per person.

In his latest outrage perpetrated on the American populace, and especially the military, Levin again attempted to boost his political standing by using the blood and sacrifices of American troops to advance his political agenda and that of his cronies in Congress.

Levin's actions and statements in Congress during a public interrogation of Gen. David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker today represent another low point in American politics. I had believed that we couldn't possibly sink any lower than last year's similar interrogations that were opened with an advertisement in the New York Times paid for by one of Levin's benefactor's,, calling Petraeus a traitor.

But leave it to the American Congress to show the world that the best of America is not reflected in its government. No wonder it is so hard to get qualified people to run for office.

Petraeus and Crocker were supposed to be briefing Congress on progress in Iraq, an event that by any measure of concern for the troops should have been held behind closed doors, with no media present. This could not be more critical, considering it was only within the last couple of weeks that media reports have focused on a study directly linking anti-war statements in America with increased attacks, including suicide bombings, on our troops in Iraq.

Considering that Levin and his cronies did not close the hearings, it is apparent that Levin is willing to sacrifice American troops in order to prove some nebulous political point. To say that he has the blood of the dead and wounded on his hands is a classic understatement.

Levin didn't even wait for Petraeus to give a briefing. Instead, Levin opened the inquisition with his statement on his view of conditions in Iraq, even though Petraeus is there all day every day commanding our troops and Levin only goes there on government junkets. Then instead of discussing the issues with Petraeus, you know, like one American leader talking to another American leader, Levin went after the general like a small time night-court prosecutor hammering a repeat traffic offender.

What temerity. What arrogance. What a poster for term limits.

Who the hell cares what Levin thinks? We hear from this jerk every day of the week. He is one the Congressional leaders in getting his face on camera. He can run his sewer any day of the week and the American media, not to mention Islamo-fascist news outlets that see him as a prime recruiter of jihadists, will film him as long as he wants.

The substance of Levin's commentary is not worth recounting. It was blah, blah, failure, yada, yada, withdraw, natter, natter, Bush Administration. True to his party's talking points, Levin lied to the public by stating that military operations over the past year had accomplished nothing - this from a guy who like his cohorts, claims to support the troops, poor uneducated, non-performing losers though they may be, in his view - and then ignored continuing political progress.

The other lemmings on his committee apparently followed the party line and approved talking points. I don't know for sure because I stopped watching, but occasional news blurbs showed their lips moving so I can safely conclude they were still reciting their lines.

But beyond the obvious willingness of Levin and his assorted Congressional thugs to use American troops as pawns for their political purposes, the commentary today
demonstrates an insufferable ignorance not only of military tactics and history, but of basic American history.

For instance Levin's Lemmings harped on last week's fighting in which Iraqi troops took it upon themselves to launch an operation against terrorists running the show in Basra with backing from Iran. Even though the Dems have been yammering for years that they want the Maliki government to show signs of taking charge of his own country, they were critical of him when he actually did it.

Typical hypocrisy.

Then, rather than congratulating our new ally on the successes of that mission, carried out by 15,000 Iraqi troops without American infantry involvement, the Dems focused on an estimated 1,000 Iraqi police forces and some troops who had deserted rather than fight. It turns out that the police were local and their families were vulnerable to recriminations from terrorists.

But the truth is, every new army has bad moments as well as good when it is building its own image, and its own traditions of bravery and courage. Not everyone stands and fights when they should. Just look at Levin and his Congressional stooges.

How many desertions were there under Washington at Valley Forge? How many stood with him when facing the British in New York?

Don't know? Well here are a few excepts from research on America's Colonial Army at Valley Forge that I found on the Internet using a Google search that took less than one minute.

February 3, 1778
"Yesterday twelve deserters went over to the Enemy, viz. 10 sergeants, one corporal and a private from a Regiment of Artillery commanded by Col Proctor." (Stoudt, "Ordeal at Valley Forge," 115)

February 6, 1778
"Regarding deserters from this Army of last Tuesday, this same paper reports: "No less than thirteen sergeants and a corporal belonging to Col Proctor's Regiment of Artillery, in the rebel service, and a number of privates from other regiments, came to Philadelphia. The accounts they give of Mr Washington's Army are distressing beyond description." (Stoudt, 120-121)

February 7, 1778
"The spirit of desertion among the Soldiery, never before rose to such a threatening height, as at the present time." Washington to William Buchanan, Commissary General of Purchases of the Continental Army (Fitzgerald, Vol. X, 427)

February 12, 1778
Desertions were "astonishingly great." B.G. James Varnum to Nathanael Greene (Trussell, "Birthplace of an Army," 66)

February 18, 1778
"There has been no considerable desertion from this camp, to my knowledge within a few days past, nor have the Enemy made any number of Prisoners on the other side of the Schuylkill…" Washington to Nathanael Greene (Fitzgerald, Vol. X, 476)

March 31, 1778
"I hope a due attention will also be paid to keeping up a sufficient quantity of Cloathing, that the Soldiers may never be reduced to want and nakedness. Not only a loss from Sickness, follows the want of covering, but desertion to a very great degree. I am astonished, considering the sufferings the men have undergone, that more of them have not left us." Washington to James Bowdoin (Fitzgerald, Vol. XI, 181)

Total number of deserters from the Colonial Army under Washington at Valley Forge. Estimates put it at 1100 to 1200. More than the number who quit fighting in Basra last week.

Quite an eye opener wouldn't you say? Well, it is everywhere except in Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin's hearings in the United States Congress. Oh, the other 14,000 Iraqi troops kept right on fighting and did quite well according to reports from the scene.

You didn't hear much about that in Congress Tuesday.

How many setbacks have there been in American military operations across the centuries when tenacious enemies threw themselves at our forces, gaining a temporary advantage that was later reversed. Can you say Battle of the Bulge or Bataan?

This political posturing when our forces are fighting in the field is criminal. Recent studies have shown what most people with a double-digit IQ already knew instinctively, that there is a direct correlation between battlefield casualties and denunciations of war efforts on the floor of Congress.

To continue this charade when in possession of knowledge that it is a direct cause of American casualties is beyond hypocrisy. It is obvious that it is time to start holding some real hearings in Congress, not these fake kangaroo courts, and it is the Congress that should be on trial, for treason.

But that would require some backbone in the minority party. I don't see that happening either.

What I do see happening is a continuation of our successful policies in Iraq, and an eventual draw down of American troops as Iraqi forces get more experience and more confidence. It has happened elsewhere with our assistance and I am confident it can happen in Iraq too.

But it will happen in spite of Carl Levin and others of his Congressional ilk. Frankly I don't see anything happening in that part of American politics until the only law that really matters any longer is finally forced on that disgraceful collection of sponges and leeches:

Term limits, term limits, term limits.
Sunday, April 06, 2008

Is it Possible for Chris Wallace to Insult John Kerry's Intelligence?

Chris Wallace interviewed Massachusetts Senator, losing presidential candidate, and Barack Obama spokesman John Kerry on Fox News Sunday this week and showed two things: one, why Wallace is considered one of the premier hard news interviewers of our time; and two, why Kerry should be fired as an Obama consultant.

Anyone who reads this column with any regularity knows how I feel about Kerry, the disgraced Vietnam War embellisher who was a leading figure in the 60s and 70s movement to bring bring about the fall of Southeast Asia and the slaughter of millions of innocents at the hands of the communists.

Thus, when Fox ran the intro to the interview with Kerry I nearly switched channels. I'm not sure why I didn't, probably because Kerry always says something stupid and I hate to miss an opportunity to bash him.

Kerry immediately launched into a Bash John McCain routine, and immediately got himself into trouble with his infamous "flip-flop" technique of denying things he said yesterday if they don't jive with the point he wants to make today.

Wallace is not one to let that nonsense go unchallenged and he drove straight into Kerry's repeated misrepresentations of his previous statements. This included Kerry's denial that in 2004 he was considering McCain for a position in his administration if Kerry had been elected - possibly even Vice President.

Even though Wallace had dates and places where Kerry had made the previous comments, Kerry flat out denied their existence. Can you say "pathological?"

Basically, Kerry was on the show to make the not-so-subliminal connection between the words "John McCain" and "Wrong," which he repeated ad nauseum.

Wallace kept bringing up the inconsistencies, and flat out inaccuracies in Kerry's comments which didn't sit well with Kerry. The interview got to the point where Kerry fired back at Wallace, "You almost insult my intelligence," which was probably the most accurate thing Kerry said all morning.

This may be a debatable point, but since Kerry "almost" has intelligence, I believe it isn't possible to insult something that doesn't exist.

Kerry proved once again why America really dodged a bullet when it re-elected George Bush in 2004 and sent Kerry to the scrap bin of national politics. This guy changes his colors more often than a chameleon, and does it seamlessly.

Kerry apparently was on Fox News Sunday to stand in for Obama who has been evading an appearance with Wallace for more than two years now, to the point that Wallace is running a date meter every Sunday highlighting Obama's absence.

Apparently Obama is afraid to brace Wallace, which is unfortunate since Wallace may be tough, but he also is fair. I have seen him go head-to-head with Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, President Bush and Karl Rove to name a few. Some get angry with him, some, like Rove can match him point for point, issue for issue.

Hillary Clinton did pretty well in an interview with Wallace too, although her husband probably doesn't think too much of him or Fox News Sunday.

Basically, I see it as a matter of confidence in your positions. If Obama really thinks he is God's Gift to America, then he should do the show and explain to people like me just why he holds that belief. OK, maybe that isn't fair. Maybe Obama just thinks he is the best candidate to be President of the United States.

So, why won't he come on Fox News Sunday and show us why? I am not interested in any fluff interview on any network television show, nor on the Communist News Network. So if Obama wants to make points with me, using television talk shows as a medium, sooner or later he is going to have to sit down with Chris Wallace.

Otherwise I am forced to conclude that he isn't strong in his positions, doesn't have the courage of his convictions, is afraid of being exposed, and is willing to settle for surrogate "hit men" like Kerry to do the job Barack should be doing himself. But if he is going to continue on the road of hiring others to talk for him, it would be wise to get someone with a brain to appear in his stead.

Kerry obviously doesn't have one, and using a brain-dead loser as a spokesman for his campaign just isn't good politics.
Saturday, April 05, 2008

Most Politicians AWOL at anti-desecration rally; What Did We Expect?

With the exception of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a former Marine who is often mentioned as a possible candidate for Governor in 2010, Connecticut's political establishment boycotted, or perhaps I should say, was AWOL from a rally at New Haven's Veterans' Memorial Park Saturday.

The rally was arranged by former Marine James Bancroft to focus attention on repeated acts of vandalism against the park's monuments to Connecticut's veterans. Bancroft worked both the mainstream media and the Internet to publicize the event, which drew a moderate crowd of veterans and our supporters.

Blumenthal may have been the lone politico with the good sense to be there, but he also promised to see that crimes of desecration such as have occurred in New Haven and across the country are made felonies. I like that. So did those who attended the rally.

Blumenthal scored a grand slam today. He showed up, and he promised action. Based on his history, Connecticut's veterans can justifiably expect him to be true to his word.

The rally was sponsored by several pro-troop organizations including Gathering of Eagles, Eagles Up, and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Members of the Guardian Angels, many of them veterans too, also were out in force to support the rally and provide security.

Jim, my brother Marine, asked me to speak and I was proud to join a slate of speakers from the sponsoring organizations. The point was made repeatedly that acts of desecration are despicable and misguided at best. Below is the speech I delivered:

We are here today to express our outrage and draw attention to the ongoing desecration of veterans' memorials in New Haven and nationwide.

We are disgusted, dismayed, and disgruntled. We are angry.

But in the midst of our anger we must stop for a minute and ask ourselves, "What did we expect?"

We live in a country where less than 1 percent of the total population is serving in the military, holding the line against anarchy, terrorism, Islamo-fascism and resurgent communism. For this, the military is pilloried in the media on a daily basis.

We live in a country where less than 7 percent of the total population ever served in the military. And the bulk of America's veterans came home after serving to a country that either ignored the sacrifices of the Cold War and Korean War veterans, or assaulted the Vietnam veterans.

What did we expect?

We live in a country that knows about protests against the Marines in Berkeley and the bombing in Times Square, but hardly anything at all about dozens upon dozens of other similar incidents across the country. We live in a country that knows nearly nothing about the desecration of veterans' monuments nationally, including the Vietnam Memorial, that have been sprayed with caustic substances or paint, drenched in indelible ink, or smashed to pieces.

We live in a country where the US Congress shows complete disdain for two generations of veterans as it refuses to issue a Cold War Victory Medal, claiming it is too costly. In reality, Congress won't issue this medal because it would also recognize that 45 years of service in Korea, Vietnam, the Berlin Wall, along the Iron Curtain, the Bamboo Curtain and far flung outposts guarding and defending our freedoms were all part of one large major victory over world wide communism, not separate scattered, unsuccessful actions.

We live in a country where politicians routinely court the veteran vote and just as routinely forget us when they get elected. We live in a country, and are speaking in a city where illegal aliens have more rights than veterans who served.

What did we expect?

We live in a country where the bureaucracy that surrounds the Veterans Administration is so maze-like that veterans who are rated with service connected disabilities do not automatically receive treatment or compensation. Once a veteran has proved he or she served honorably there are only two questions that ever should be asked when they enter a VA facility. "Can I see your ID please?" and "How may I help you?"

We live in a country where year after year Congress fawns over the veterans while at the same time making treatment and compensation more difficult. But ask what Congress gets for medical benefits and retirement after spending one term in Washington.

You'll note that in reference to Congress I used the word "spending" not "serving."

What did we expect?

We live in a country where the excesses of the 60s are celebrated and looked back on with nostalgia. That is the era that gave us a multi-trillion dollar war on drugs that has no light at the end of the tunnel, and now is impacting a third generation of Americans.

That era's "free love" gave us a plethora of new sexually transmitted diseases, many that are drug resistant, some that are fatal, all of which create an enormous burden on our national health care system. Yet the people who created this quagmire are seen as giants of that era while the veterans who saved the world from communism are disparaged.

Meanwhile the media trumpets the cost of our military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan as though those are wasted dollars. The cost to support our military is not the cost of war - it is the price of freedom.

This is the same media that routinely banners American intelligence gathering methods and secrets on its front pages and evening news shows with impunity. The same media that ignores Congress openly discussing military strategies and tactics, even calling press conferences to disparage our military, all the while saying they "support the troops," they just don't like the war.

This is the same media that ignores the studies that show the statements made on the floor of Congress have a direct impact on the casualty rate in the war zones. These posers, embellishers, and collaborators should be on trial for treason not labeled as media heroes.

What the hell did we expect?

I don't like the conditions that brought us here today. None of us do.

But we do have recourse. I mentioned some numbers a minute ago, percentages of the American population who serve or have served.

Those numbers may not seem huge when compared to the overall population, but those numbers can impact any election from the local to the national if we put our heads together and vote collectively.

Nationally there are 25 million veterans. In Connecticut there are 300,000. If we vote together, along with our spouse or significant other, and influence just one other person, in Connecticut that equates to 900,000 votes. In the last election, the governor was elected with just over 700,000 votes. See my point?

Here is what I suggest. When you go back to your homes today, check out who is running for office in your town. Make a point to meet them, whether it is for local, state or national office.

Look in their eyes, shake their hands, ask the tough questions, and see what kind of response you get. If they are just talking, you'll know it. If they are sincere, that will ring true. We want people in office who understand that without the military, without the veterans, there would be no America, and all the other things they argue about would be moot. We want people in office who truly represent us, not just take pictures with us for their campaigns, and then forget us when they are elected.

After you have met these candidates, write a letter. Address it to the veterans in your community and express your concerns, straight out, no tiptoeing. Remember, we don't need the politicians, they have proved that many times over. But they need us.

Send it to the weekly or monthly newspaper that circulates in your town. Do it again a few weeks later and again a few weeks after that. Do it all through the election cycle, and make sure the veterans in your community know that they are, or are not, being adequately represented.

If we work together we can do this! If we make national defense our number one priority and vote as a bloc, in our towns, our state, and our nation, we can bring about effective change that will positively impact not just us, but the entire country.

And if you have a politician in your community who gives lip service to support for the military and veteran community, but is really just full of hot air, go to their campaign headquarters on election night, when they have lost to someone who really does look out for veterans. You will find that candidate alone, despondent, wondering what happened to their house of cards.

Look the loser right straight in the eye, and ask:

"What did you expect?"
Friday, April 04, 2008

Support Connecticut's Veterans at Long Wharf, Saturday, High Noon

This is going to be short and to the point, but it is of vital importance if you truly consider yourself to be a patriotic American. If you are a politician, this especially concerns you.

The Vietnam and Korean War Memorial Walls in New Haven, CT have been desecrated on three separate occasions. On Saturday, April 5th, tomorrow, veterans and our supporters will be holding a rally at the War Memorial Park in New Haven, to focus attention on these deplorable acts.

Please stand with us. The rally takes place at War Memorial Park, Long Wharf Drive, New Haven, Saturday, April 5th, noon to 2 p.m. Take whatever road gets you to Interstate 95 in New Haven, Exit 46. Head toward the water. Look for the flags.

If it rains in the morning, as is forecast, we still will be there. We still will stand up for those who can not do it for themselves, and we still we speak out on their behalf.

This nonsense has been spreading across America for several years now and is just the tip of the iceberg. Memorials are being desecrated, damaged, destroyed. Covered in urine, feces, ink, caustic substances or smashed to vits. Recruiting offices are being damaged or blocked in attempts to prevent recruiters from doing their jobs.

The media has focused mainly on the Berkeley, California, City Council's attempts to prevent Marines from recruiting in their city, and the bombing in Times Square last month. But the pro-troop organization Move America Forward has documented dozens upon dozens more instances all across the country.

Numerous Internet researchers have similarly documented a tidal wave of attacks on veterans' memorials across the country. We can not allow this to continue.

Word to the politicians. If you go around saying you support the military, and you support veterans, it would be good to see you in New Haven tomorrow. Don't expect to speak or get a bunch of attention for yourself. We don't need people who talk but don't act.

But if you want to show your support for veterans, come to New Haven and do just that - support our veterans.

If you have question, contact my friend and Marine brother James Bancroft, Media Coordinator for the GATHERING OF EAGLES, Connecticut. He is at 860-989-7219.

Jim has worked with numerous organizations over the years in addition to the Eagles, including the Free Republic, Move America Forward, and Eagles Up. If you want to get an idea of what patriotism looks like, stop and say hello to Jim in New Haven tomorrow.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Hillary's "Never Give Up; Never Quit" From Rocky??? NO, NO, NO, NO! It's From Galaxy Quest!

In my world humor is as necessary as food and air, and I enjoy and appreciate those who can deliver humor well.

I rank actor Tim Allen right up there on the top tier of those who provide us with momentary respite from life's trials. His long-running comedy/slice-of-life show, Home Improvement, is entertaining a second generation of fans in my home, thanks to the marvels of syndication.

Allen also is enjoying a successful film career and among the funniest of his products is Galaxy Quest, a fully enjoyable spoof on Star Trek. And, before we go too far down that road, yes, I also am a big, big fan of Star Trek, in addition to Star Wars, The Last Starfighter, and others of that genre.

In Galaxy Quest Allen plays a nearly washed up actor who long ago starred in a defunct television series of the same name. He is most ably assisted in this role by none other than Alan Rickman of Harry Potter, Dogma, and Die Hard fame, Sigourney Weaver, Daryl Mitchell, Sam Rockwell, and "Tony" Shalhoub. In Galaxy Quest this ensemble has the unenviable task of appearing at "Quest" conventions, and supermarket openings recreating their roles from the long dead show.

A running gag in the movie is that the characters must keep repeating lines from the show, to the point that Rickman's character, who considers himself a serious actor, is in a state of severe depression over forever repeating "By Grabthar's hammer, by the sons of Worvan, you shall be avenged."

But the quote that matters most for our purposes today is one repeated by Tim Allen in his role as actor Jason Nesmith who in turn plays Commander Peter Quincy Taggart in the original show - "Never give up, Never surrender."

That snippet actually comes from a longer quote used in the make believe series, "As long as there is injustice, whenever a Targathian baby cries out, wherever a distress signal sounds among the stars, we'll be there. This fine ship, this fine crew. Never give up ... never surrender."

Now, let's turn our attention to Hillary Clinton and her "Never Give Up, Never Quit" comment in Philadelphia the other day, which she indirectly attributed to Sylvester Stallone's character in the Rocky films. Fans will remember that Rocky came from Philly and has a memorable scene running up the wide and high stairs to the art museum. Mrs. Clinton points out that he didn't stop running halfway to the top, and neither will she.

Those who didn't follow that series of films closely enough are forgiven for not realizing that Rocky got punched silly in that show, and spent most of the series quoting variations on the theme "Yo, Adrian!"

The simple fact is, I don't remember a "never give up, never quit" (or surrender if you prefer) quote in Rocky. Maybe you could find some dialogue in one of the films that equates to that general concept, but all I really remember from Rocky is the aforementioned "Yo, Adrian."

The point of that film may have been that the underdog can triumph, but I have to wonder, if Hillary takes a similar political beating before somehow emerging as president of the United States, will she be in any shape to answer any telephone, regardless of whether the call comes at 3 a.m. or noon? It seems to me that if you are going to use fictional movie characters to make a point about a political campaign you should at least use some that are more in keeping with your theme.

Rocky didn't start out to be the champion of the world, he was just looking for a payday. He was supposed to be a stooge, a warm-up fight for the real champion, and even though he did far better than anyone had ever supposed, he still lost in the end, disputed though that loss may have been.

Kind of like Al Gore.

At least in Galaxy Quest Tim Allen's character comes to the realization that while he has been acting a part his entire life, he can use his skills in that arena to do some universal good, and emerge as a better person along the way.

Kind of like Ronald Reagan.

Hillary's advance team should have done a lot better preparation for her in terms of linking her appearances to movie lines. Rocky just doesn't get it.

I suggest that for her next big line she arrange an appearance with California Governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. She can do it in a way that doesn't imply an endorsement, but does give her an opportunity to use another of Rickman's lines from Galaxy Quest, "I see you've managed to get your shirt off."

And if the good Governator upstages her she can always use "Oh, RIGHT! Of course! It's always about you, isn't it?!"

Frankly there are even better lines from Galaxy Quest that would be more in keeping with Mrs. Clinton's current role as presidential candidate.

I suggest reviewing some of the lines spoken by Sigourney Weaver, playing the actress Gwen DeMarco who is playing Lt. Tawny Madison, Hubba, hubba!

This is totally off the point, but let me say this about Ms. Weaver. We all know she is gorgeous and a tremendously accomplished actress, and if you think those two points should be rearranged be my guest.

But she has some scenes in Galaxy Quest, in which the obvious intent is to show cleavage, and actually the word 'cleavage' doesn't do justice to the the scenes or Ms. Weaver. In fact, I could freeze-frame some of her more notable scenes and lose an entire day in just staring at them, catatonic-like with my mouth open. I won't because of the absolute certainty that if my wife caught me she would roll up a newspaper and hit me on the nose with it, but still ... .

Back on message, there is one great line, among several great lines Ms. Weaver has in the film that Mrs. Clinton could use when she is under fire by her opponent, the media, party insiders and her husband.

When people are questioning her campaign, saying she should quit, saying perhaps she should just slip quietly back to the Senate and write her memoirs, she can fix them with that infamous Hillary ice-cold gaze, draw herself up imposingly, point an index finger straight at her tormentors and let loose with, "Look, I have ONE job on this lousy ship! It's stupid, but I'm gonna do it, OKAY?"


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