Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Flaccid Liberal Male; Afraid of Hillary, Afraid of Sarah, Afraid of WOMEN!

From the instant that word began seeping out of John McCain's presidential campaign that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was his pick for the Vice Presidential nomination, attacks on her went straight to the personal and gender levels.

We heard left-wing commentary, purportedly by women who had been backing Hillary Clinton, saying they won't back McCain simply because he has selected a woman for VP. That progressed to asinine skits like the one on the John Stewart show in which a ditsy woman claims she WILL vote for Palin because they both have vaginas. These are just two examples of the non-stop irrelevancy passing as commentary on selecting Gov. Palin.

Today, it went a step further when Fox News Sunday liberal commentator Juan Williams said he never again wants to hear conservatives "complain about affirmative action." Aside from being a venal and really stupid comment, these snide shots at Palin just prove a fear of the female gender, primarily by those males who continually espouse "equality."

Every so often they try to cloak their comments in camouflage about her "lack of experience," but it is poor camouflage and the not-so-subliminal message is "she can't do it. She's just a woman."

The fact that most of these commentators couldn't keep up with Sarah Palin in a marathon, and couldn't bait their own hooks much less match in her fishing or hunting, is left unsaid by their media cohorts. But I smell fear on the liberal left, and most of it is coming from sissified dandies whose primary contribution to humanity is bitching about the color of their competitors' ties, or where they sat at the last DC gala.

This isn't the first time I have noted this disparity between liberal talk and liberal reality. Remember back in July 2007 when Fred Thompson was still in the race for the Republican presidential nomination? Thompson's wife Jeri is younger than him, attractive and her background includes solid accomplishments as a political strategist.

But the liberal media continually short-changed her abilities in favor of reporting on her appearance. Williams got into it on Fox News Sunday back then too. Remember when he labelled Jeri Thompson as "the trophy wife?"

And let's not forget the anointed one, Mister Sensitivity himself, Barack Obama, referring to a female journalist as "sweetie," back in May, after saying the same thing to a female factory worker in Pennsylvania in April!

According to the liberal thought process it apparently is fine for Barack Obama to have no foreign affairs or executive government experience because he has picked Joe Biden to be his VP running mate. (We aren't supposed to talk about Biden's so-called foreign affairs experience amounting to hiding out in college copying other people's work without attribution during the Vietnam War.)

Well, to be fair, I guess I should point out that Biden made it to the US Senate in 1973 just in time to pull the rug out from under the South Vietnamese and set up the fall of Saigon, most of Southeast Asia, and the deaths of millions slaughtered by the communists.

But John McCain, who has more foreign affairs experience in his big toe than Biden and Obama combined, selects a woman as his running mate and suddenly it is all about her "experience."

The left doesn't complain about their presidential candidate having zero experience in anything but Chicago politics as long as he has a DC insider on board.

But Sarah Palin is not supposed to be able to claim any knowledge or growth from her experiences that would qualify her for the second-in-charge position? As governor, Palin is commander-in-chief of the Alaska National Guard which has sent infantry troops to the Middle East war zone, where she has travelled to inspect their progress.

Alaska's Army National Guard's aviation units also served in and suffered combat losses in Iraq. Alaska also maintains a state militia, the Alaska State Defense Force which reports to Governor Palin as Commander-in-Chief.

Shouldn't that account for something? Do her detractors honestly think that she can't sit down with the nation's military leaders and make informed decisions based on their input on how we should proceed with matters involving the War on Terror?

Do they think that American voters don't understand that running a commercial fishing business in the waters of the Bering Sea has given her some insight on international fishing regulations with Canada and Russia just for starters? Do you think she is unaware of international laws of the sea?

The truth is she has proven executive experience on both the municipal and state levels. Anyone who thinks Palin's being mayor of a small town before she became governor is irrelevant has not sat in the mayor's chair and reviewed the encyclopedia of federal regulations and mandates that every municipality in America has to deal with today.

I think that of all the inane comments that have been made about her selection, FOX News commentator Mort Kondracke wins the boobie prize - so to speak. Friday night on Special Report Kondracke claimed that Obama has more experience than Palin because Obama has spent the last two years "running for president."

Fellow Special Report panelist Bill Kristol had to restrain himself from laughing out loud as he noted that Kondracke's comment was classic "inside the beltway" rhetoric. Only in DC could someone spending all their time running for office - as opposed to actually serving - be considered "experience."

Kristol and Fred Barnes, editors at The Weekly Standard, were way out in front on the Sarah Palin pick, and it is obvious from statements other commentators have made that jealously in not figuring this out, or being on the inside, is at work here too.

But what I like best was McCain's comment when introducing Palin as his running mate Friday. He said that she had shaken up the "old boy network" in Alaska when she disclosed and dealt with corruption in the state GOP. She did, didn't she?

And now a much bigger bunch of Good Old Boys is scared stiff she will weaken their grasp on power and shake things up in DC just like she did in Alaska. Personally, I find this funny as hell; nearly as funny as the spectacle of so many "power brokers" peeing their pants.
Friday, August 29, 2008

It's Sarah Palin For VP! A Great Day For America! Except For Obama The Clueless

It is now official and Alaska's Governor, Sarah Palin, is John McCain's choice as running mate. If elected she will be the first American woman to make it to the top (almost) of the Executive branch of our government and the glass ceiling will have a huge crack in it.

I wrote about her yesterday as a possible choice for running mate, after I talked with a number of colleagues about the Democratic ticket and what the GOP could do to offset the Obama-Biden team.

Most of the male front-runners received ho-hum reviews, but when I asked if they were inclined to vote for a woman vice president there was a palpable uptick in excitement. There was a caveat that they wanted a strong, no nonsense woman who could step up in a time of need.

From the first whispers this morning that it was beginning to look like Sarah Palin the phone started ringing, and the discussions were very, very positive.

There is much to be said for Sarah Palin including her depth as a principled chief executive, and a conservative activist who makes no excuses for her beliefs.

There also is plenty to be excited about concerning her family, including her husband, a stand-up guy who was a commercial fisherman, a member of the steel workers union, and four time champion of the Iron Dog, Alaska's longest distance snow machine race.

Considering that late Thursday night the Democratic Party nominated a black man and a white haired guy for their team, and Friday morning the Republican Party nominee, a white haired guy, named a woman for their team, this should have been a day of historic firsts.

Except that Democratic nominee Barack Obama's staff reacted with about as much class as guttersnipes when they heard the news about Sarah Palin.

Obama's Democratic attack dog machine immediately began questioning her capabilities based on inaccurate information including the lie that her executive experience amounted to just two weeks as mayor of a small town in Alaska. Actually, she spent two terms on the Town Council, then was elected mayor - for full terms you dipsticks - then ran unsuccessfully for Lieutenant Governor before she turned the Alaska Republican Party on its ear and unseated just about everyone to become Governor.

Tell me again, please, exactly what kind of experience does Obama have?

Obama's junkyard dogs sent out the word that she didn't have the capabilities to be commander-in-chief - this from a guy who never served in the armed forces, whose running mate hid out in college and law school during the Vietnam War.

Meanwhile Sarah Palin's son is in the Army and headed for Iraq in two weeks!

Barak's team came across like classless boors, walking around in a snit because the GOP outmaneuvered them and stole the headlines the day after his "Speech That Shook The World." Obviously Obama was ticked off that he was supposed to be all but anointed President due to his incomparable verbalizations the previous night, and Gov. Palin went and stole his thunder.

Welcome to real world politics there BO. You don't have the cloak of your primary supporters to wrap around you any longer and your best moment in this campaign has already come and gone.

Here's five cents worth of free advice. The next time you are running for president and you encounter a major disappointment, try taking the high road. For instance, Obama could have gone on national television today, congratulated the GOP for picking a woman for the VP slot, and made the point that now the race is historic in both parties.

He then could have welcomed Gov. Palin to the race, and Biden could have made a statement that he was looking forward to meeting her in the debates.

But NOOOOOOOO! Obama gets his nose all out of joint, his staff get all huffy and show exactly why they haven't got what it takes on any level to be staff for a future President of the United States. Later on Obama tried to cover his tracks, but frankly, the damage was done. Too late.

But wait. This is Barack Obama. The guy who spent the last 8 months trashing Hillary Clinton. The guy who has had some real issues relating to women, including journalists.

Well, if there is a positive note for the Democrats I guess we should be relieved that Obama didn't call Sarah Palin "Sweetie."

Thank God It's Friday and that Damn, er, Dem Convention is Over

Is it the weekend yet? Can I stop avoiding the television? Has Obama's speech for the ages come and gone?

Good. I am as tired as a human being can possibly be of the interminable spectacle known as the Democratic Convention in Denver. Had it not been pre-planned and tightly arranged right down to denying the delegates their moment in the sun to voice their votes, it might have been worth watching.

But this convention was anything but spontaneous, it merely corroborated what many Americans of all political persuasions have been saying about the Democratic nomination process for months now - it was and is a media event. The Associated Press declared Obama the winner of the Democratic primaries before the voting was over, and omitting that Obama never got a clear majority of committed delegates.

Hillary Clinton's forces never gave up their fight for a floor vote right until the very minute that the former first lady used a parliamentary tactic to suspend voting at the convention and declare Obama the winner. That was just after several states that had voted overwhelmingly for Clinton bypassed the count so his delegate count would never been seen on national television as trailing Clinton's.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is NOT democracy.

The buzz this morning was supposed to be about Obama's speech for the ages. But John McCain, who is the acknowledged Republican candidate and won't be subjected to a floor fight in Minneapolis St. Paul next week, has successfully usurped Obama by focusing media attention on his coming Vice President selection.

FOX News and CNN were both giving far more coverage to McCain's possible VP selection being one of the women I wrote about yesterday, and as of mid-morning had eliminated all the male front-runner who have been all the rage for the past several weeks,and declared the Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska is McCain's pick.

That not only is a great move for the Republican Party, it is a great move for America, and knocked discussions of Obama's speech right off the airwaves. Goodbye bounce. FOX was giving 100 percent coverage to McCain's coming announcement.

Speaking of FOX, there are some things I do in my life that could come down to routines. One of them is watching Special Report with Brit Hume at 6 p.m., because I trust the man and consider him to be the premier television anchor man on the American media scene today.

That being said, even though Hume was on vacation for two weeks, with Bret Baier ably substituting for him, and even though I was one of those FOX viewers who was waiting for Hume's return, I stopped watching his show during the convention.

Note, I did not stop watching when Bret Baier substituted, because Baier as I noted above is a tremendously competent substitute for Hume and probably is in the running to replace Hume if, as was reported a few weeks back, Hume retires at the end of his current contract.

This had nothing to do with Hume, or the panel of commentators I enjoy watching each night on the second half of his show. This had everything to do with the fact that his show was broadcast from the convention and it was convention overkill. Every bleeding nuance of every bleeding movement by every bleeding delegate, candidate, spokesman, wannabe, hanger-on, and so-called insider was interviewed ad nauseum all day, every day, and I simply could not stand another second of it!

What did we get from all this? Who knows? I didn't bother watching Obama's speech because I certainly am NOT undecided about who will get my vote and there is nothing he can say that would change my mind. I was moved, truly, no kidding, by Juan Williams's emotional comments when Obama actually got the formal nomination, due to the historic significance of a black man being nominated to run for president by a major American political party.

But that guy? There have to be at least a thousand African-Americans or black Americans if you prefer, in both parties who are better qualified, have more experience, and have fewer skeletons in their closets than Barack Obama!

As a creation of the MainStream Media there is far more about Obama that we don't know than we do, and the glimpses we are seeing aren't reassuring. But, that will change very soon now, won't it?

Labor Day is next Monday, which signals the beginning of the fall political campaigns which means things will get really active, very soon. So maybe I can return to some of my routines. But for now, the weekend awaits, the Dem convention is over, and I for one am tremendously relieved.
Thursday, August 28, 2008

What If McCain Picks A Woman VP?

Well, what if McCain does select a woman as his running mate? Personally, I think it would be the death knell for the Democratic campaign, based of course on the assumption that his selection is a good one and can stand up to campaign scrutiny.

I've heard the same point made by quite a few of my veteran friends - male veterans - and if you can convince that crowd, I think the American voter is more than ready for a woman in one of the top executive posts.

There are at least two Republican women, and one business Chief Executive Officer whose names have been mentioned as possible VP selections, but the MainStream Media, well, actually, all the media, have given them short shrift.

They are Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and former eBay Ceo Meg Whitman.

All are pragmatic, accomplished leaders who have set firsts with their elections and careers. They have shown they have a tremendous grasp of the issues, aren't afraid to step up when the going gets tough, and all could step into the president's role should anything happen to McCain.

On a purely political level they also would certainly draw large numbers of Democratic women voters to the GOP in response to Barack Obama's disrespectful treatment of Hillary Clinton. Then there's the stage-managed sham called the Democratic Convention that was engineered to cloak the closeness of the Democratic race between Obama and Clinton.

But there is another issue that should be addressed regarding the Republican Party and its relationship to the voters. An esteemed colleague spoke with me about this issue just this morning and I have learned to heed her advice.

The fact is, she said, the GOP looks old, stodgy, stuck in its ways. Even though Obama has close relationships with a convicted felon, and an anarchist with a history of bombing the US Capitol, the mainstream media has made sure that most Americans don't know this unless they are Internet savvy.

Thus Obama comes across as young, fresh and energetic, even though he is simply another political hack, produced by the Chicago Democratic political machine operated by the Daley family for decades. It helps the GOP somewhat that he selected Joe Biden as his running mate, another Democratic politician who hid out in college and law school during the Vietnam War, but now acts like a bad ass.

Biden's just another career Washington insider with a lot to answer for regarding his relationships with lobbyists, not to mention taking credit for other people's work.

But that still doesn't alter the fact that many people don't take time to really study a candidate's background before deciding who they will support. Unless the opposing campaign can get sufficiently detailed, yet sufficiently brief, materials into voters hands with a reasonable assurance they will be read, it is difficult to offset the duplicity of the media.

So let's take a minute to look at our Republican women and see what they have to offer.


Hutchison was first elected to the US Senate in 1993 in a special election, making her the first woman Senator from Texas. In 1994 she was re-elected to a full six-year term.

In 2000, Hutchison received more votes for her re-election to a second full term than any other statewide candidate had ever received. Voters overwhelmingly returned her to office in 2006.

In the Senate she was elected as chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, making her the fourth-highest ranking Republican senator and the highest ranking Republican woman. Hutchison also serves on the Republican National Hispanic Assembly (RNHA) National Advisory Committee.

She is former Chairman and now Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and is a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.

On immigration she supported funding for an additional 1,500 Border Patrol agents to strengthen enforcement of immigration laws. In 2004, she helped pass the National Intelligence Reform Act, which included provisions she authored to ensure greater screening of air cargo.

Senator Hutchison's great-great-grandfather, Charles S. Taylor, was friends with Thomas Rusk of Nacogdoches, the first Texan to hold the Senate seat she currently occupies. Taylor and Rusk both signed the Texas Declaration of Independence.

Senator Hutchison graduated from the University of Texas and UT Law School. She was twice elected to the Texas House of Representatives and in 1990, she was elected Texas State Treasurer.


Sarah Palin made history on Dec. 4, 2006, when she took office as the 11th governor of Alaska, the first woman to hold the office.
Since taking office, her top priorities have been resource development, education and workforce development, public health and safety, and transportation and infrastructure development.

She created Alaska's Petroleum Systems Integrity Office and created a Climate Change Subcabinet office to prepare a climate change strategy for Alaska.

Governor Palin is chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission and was recently named chair of the National Governors Association (NGA) Natural Resources Committee. She has served as chair of the Alaska Conservation Commission, and as president of the Alaska Conference of Mayors.

Palin has lived in Alaska since 1964. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in communications-journalism at the University of Idaho in 1987.


Margaret Cushing Whitman, known as "Meg" was President and CEO of eBay from March 1998 to March 2008. She also has worked in politics and is known to have political aspirations of her own.

Forbes magazine estimated her worth at $1.4 billion in 2007. She is one of only seven women to have been repeatedly ranked among the world's most influential people by Time magazine.

Whitman was born in Long Island, N.Y., and attended Cold Spring Harbor High School in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. She earned her Bachelor of Economics from Princeton University and her MBA from Harvard Business School in 1979.

Prior to eBay Whitman was in charge of global management and marketing of Playskool and Mr. Potato Head at Hasbro Inc. She also was president and CEO of Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD), and was an executive at the Stride Rite Corporation and the Walt Disney Company.

Whitman was a supporter of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, and after Romney left the race, Whitman joined McCain's campaign as a national co-chair.

Now, when we consider a vice-presidential nominee, one of the things we have to determine is whether they will be able to fill the president's shoes in a national emergency and can they be an effective commander-in-chief?

I'd say that any lady who grew up in Texas, is a descendant of one of the founders of the state, and set a number of firsts in a previously all-male environment such as Kay Bailey Hutchison can probably handle the role. Anyone who can stand tall in corporate America and succeed as Meg Whitman has should not have a problem in D.C.

And, Sarah Palin, who grew up in a state as remote and wild as Alaska, and also set firsts through her election, certainly should be able to look Vladimir Putin dead in the eye and not blink. Palin likes the outdoors, runs marathons and enjoys hunting and fishing. But there is a better barometer of the strength of her backbone.

When the federal government announced it was going to enact regulations declaring the polar bear, which has a growing population, as endangered due to some unproven and futuristic claims about global warming, Palin filed a lawsuit telling the feds to back off.

Oh, and Governor Palin is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. Yeah, she can handle Putin.

I don't know what is in John McCain's mind regarding his vice presidential choice. But the Republican Party is light years behind the Democrats who first put Geraldine Ferraro up for the post in 1984.

Women have been showing they can handle leadership posts around the world for centuries, but still haven't broken the glass ceiling in presidential politics here in the good old US of A. I believe it is high time that we stop being a stodgy old, "we do it this way because we've always done it this way" party and stop conceding that portion of the battlefield to the Dems.

We are falsely portrayed as not accessible to younger voters, many of whom are agree with our basic tenets of smaller government, less regulation and lower taxes. We also haven't done much to show the female voters that we really do believe in what we preach - equality.

John McCain projects a certain image. It is what he is. Some believe it is an image of knowledge and strength while others will try to make his age a negative issue.

We don't need two John McCain's on the same ticket - he is certainly capable of carrying his own share of the load.

But imagine what it would do, not just image-wise but in reality, for our party, and certainly for our presidential campaign team, if McCain was standing side-by-side with a Senator like Kay Bailey Hutchison, a Governor like Sarah Palin, or a CEO like Meg Whitman as his running mate and vice-presidential nominee.
Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Myth of Beer! Lower the Drinking Age

Controversy is brewing - pun intended - over a common sense proposal by a large number of American university professors to lower the drinking age nationwide to 18 years old. As was to be expected there is considerable opposition to this proposal especially from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

In the interests of full disclosure, in two weeks I will begin my fourth year of fall classes as an adjunct professor of communication at the University of Hartford. That has nothing to do with my position on this issue so I am throwing up a Dead End sign to keep this discussion on track.

I totally agree with the concept of lowering the drinking age, and I say that from the vantage point of having dealt with varying drinking ages and regulations across the country when I was a Marine in the Vietnam era. I also have dealt with the drinking age as the father of two children who have gone through the process of learning about alcohol in our society - including sleepless nights when they are out in a vehicle and you can't relax until they are home safe - and as the brother of a teen who was killed in a car accident in which alcohol may have been a factor.

As I see it, the biggest problem with alcohol in American society is that we have made it into the stuff of myths, bigger than life, taking on an importance far beyond reality. If you drink you are cool, you are sexy, you are grown up, and you are well rounded. If you don't drink you are less interesting, you have "issues," you are a stick in the mud, in short, you are a nerd.

That is the myth. Reality is drunken binges becoming a way of life on and off college campuses, that result from an absence of common sense when we talk about booze. As a country, we have an aversion to talking about the down side of alcohol, possibly fearing a return of the Carrie Nation days and taking booze away from responsible drinkers.

We talk only in hushed whispers of alcoholism; unprotected, promiscuous sex; transmission of sexual diseases; unplanned and unwanted pregnancies; loss of productivity; loss of standing among peers on the job, at home and and in the community; alcohol induced violence; broken marriages; ruined childhoods; and yes, deaths, disabilities and destroyed lives from drunken driving.

But we emblazon billboards, television ads and slick magazine pages with beautiful women who are just waiting for you to take a sip of whatever drink they are peddling before they strip off their evening gowns and offer themselves up for every fantasy that pleases the viewer. Ads aimed at women are just as suggestive with male hunks waiting inside every singles bar to share an aperitif as a prelude to sweeping the heretofore unappreciated women off their feet and straight to a lifetime of love and happiness.

Is there any social activity that can be enjoyable without a cooler of iced-down alcoholic beverages prominently displayed in the foreground?

I heard a discussion on this issue today and the case was made that if we can expect young men and women to join the military, fight and die for their country, even vote for our political leaders, they should be able to drink. The counter-point is that we train young men and women in the military, but we don't train them to drink.

Well, then, it obviously is way past time to start. We require drivers education courses before we allow teens to get behind the wheel. Why on earth don't we require equally intensive alcohol education classes?

I joined the Marines shortly after my 18th birthday, and in my home state of New York I was allowed to drink anything I wanted. I actually had my first beer outside of the house when I was 16 or 17, and my father had given me sips from his pilsner glass as long as I could remember.

But after boot camp and infantry training I was sent to Jacksonville, Florida for six months of basic aviation electronics training. There the drinking age for all forms of alcohol was 21 so I wasn't legally allowed to drink anything.

I spent one long weekend at home during that period and used it as a time to ingest as much alcohol as I could get my hands on since, compared to my peers who weren't in the service, I was way behind on adult development and bar stories. At least that's the way it seemed at the time.

I also made every effort to acquire booze when off base in Florida, because in the barracks the over-21 Marines who could drink were seen as real men who could pick up women on liberty, while the rest of us were mere boys. I once found a six pack of Schaeffer beer, my favorite beer from my New York days, in a 7-11 store near the naval base. Since I couldn't buy it myself, I enlisted the help of an older Marine who got it for me.

I ended up sitting on the railroad tracks sharing the beer with a Marine friend and we nearly got run over by a train. That wouldn't have happened if we were in a seedy bar drinking legally and trying to pick up trashy women.

Later, at the helicopter base where I was stationed in North Carolina, we had squadron beer parties, bosses nights at the enlisted club, and myriad excuses for drinking. The myth that you couldn't be a man if you didn't drink was alive and well in those situations.

That myth also included the caveat that you weren't a real man if you couldn't hold your liquor, meaning you were expected to drink all night long and stay on your feet. In retrospect, those who pushed the "drinkers are real men" myth actually were developing alcoholics who were really, really obnoxious when they were drinking, which was most of the time.

Also, in North Carolina I could legally drink beer, but not stronger alcohol which wasn't served in bars, but which could be purchased at liquor stores. On the way to Vietnam I could drink in Louisiana, but not in California, but I could in Hawaii where I and about two dozen friends spent six hours hammering back shots on Hotel Street, Honolulu, which was our last stop before Quang Tri and the war.

In Vietnam the only reward we ever received for a job well done was beer. It was doled out to lower ranking enlisted Marines when it was available, and we would fly cases of beer to the hilltop fire bases so the infantry could have one on occasion too. That beer was usually cheap, and hot, but it didn't matter, it was beer and it was coveted far beyond its true value.

In the rear areas, beer and other forms of alcohol were readily available and a lively black market existed supplying travellers from remote areas with booze to bring back to the forward combat bases.

It is no wonder that after Vietnam and after the service alcohol continued to occupy a position far above most other facets of modern life. But military service wasn't the only breeding ground for a warped view of alcohol's importance. College campuses, factories, construction sites and business offices all were and are equally complicit in advancing the myth that life without alcohol is not worth living.

I was born and raised in a blue-collar home, and a blue-collar community, and for years it never even occurred to me that lunch could be enjoyable without a beer. But when I graduated from college and entered the white-collar working world I found little difference in attitudes toward alcohol, only in their choice of beverage and the social status or stigma it conveyed.

Wine snobs may look down at martini sippers, who may look down on blue-collar workers slugging back boilermakers, but the only real difference between them is the packaging and distilling methodology of their preferred beverage.

Alcohol maintains an equally solid place at office parties, country clubs, and neighborhood bars alike. Virtually every form of sporting and entertainment event on the American scene advertises alcohol, and the not-so-subliminal message is that without alcohol, the event can not be fully enjoyed.

Yet we do little to nothing to prepare our youth for the onslaught of pressure to be an alcohol consumer. Why are we not requiring students to learn, really learn, about the effects of alcohol? I figure high school would be an appropriate time to start this teaching, since it is the time that there seems to be the most pressure to conform.

We have seen plenty of news reports over the years about children bringing drugs and alcohol to elementary and middle schools, but it is in the high school years that the highest percentage of students will be away from parental supervision for the first time, and they should not enter the world of alcohol unprepared.

If a 16-year-old drunk gets an elevated status in his world - high school - by bragging about being "wasted" over the previous weekend, and "blowing chunks" due to intoxication, why as adults do we not offset this romanticized scenario?

Why don't we require high school students to view videos of weekend alcohol bashes featuring campus big shots looking like total asses? Why are we not showing impressionable students what happens to young women who are trivialized, subjected to groping, and sometimes far worse, due to the alcohol induced attacks by their classmates or reduced awareness due to alcohol consumption on their part?

Alcohol is ingrained in our society for better or worse. But there are ways to learn about alcohol that can show appreciation for a fine wine, a good blend or single malt scotch, what constitutes "sipping whiskey" and why sipping is the preferred method to drink it, or teaching about microbrewing as an honored profession.

Enforcing the concept of moderation, denying the drunken lout the infantile status that accompanies binge drinking and bragging about hangovers, has to be a far better approach than what is in place now - literally nothing.

We are in denial as a nation if we think that we can legislate appropriate use of alcohol. All we really do with that approach is give alcohol a myth-like status that makes attaining it, and abusing it, even more attractive.

Every adult I have ever known who had a problem with alcohol or other forms of substance abuse formed his or her attitudes about drinking in high school. Universally those attitudes were childish, romanticized, distorted and led to similar issues in adulthood.

We are in a war with alcohol, and we are ceding the most important part of the battlefield. We are the adults, but we are in denial.

It is way past time to stand up to our own responsibilities, but it is not too late.
Saturday, August 23, 2008

Sullivan Notes: Energy Issues Don't Go On Vacation! Joe Courtney: This Is No Time For Fiddling Around!

When Congress was debating whether to extend its session into August to work on the nation's pressing energy issues, Connecticut's 2nd District Congressman, Joseph Courtney, stood tall and cast the decisive vote … to head out on vacation.

"Party hearty!" became the official slogan of Congressional Democrats as they raced Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for the exit door. Courtney and his fellow Pelosi minions were hard on her heels as they fled to the mountains, beach resorts, and foreign vacation spas.

The Democrats quickly forgot any aspect of their duties to the country at large, not to mention their home districts. Republicans on the other hand, office holders and candidates alike, including Connecticut's 2nd District challenger, retired Navy Captain and U-Boat commander Sean Sullivan, stayed at their posts.

As his opponent basked in the waning summer sun and the first chill breezes of autumn hinted at the need for heating fuel that will soon be upon us, Sullivan studied the situation in depth. He issued a series of position papers outlining not just the difficulties we face, but possible solutions as well.

At a press conference in Enfield in mid-August Sullivan discussed some of the options that will ease the both the price and supply issues, including: Lifting the offshore drilling ban; Building more oil refineries; Building more nuclear power plants; Providing tax credits to consumers making energy efficient purchases.

Sullivan has more than a passing familiarity with energy needs. The years he spent learning the systems necessary to keep a nuclear submarine running for months on end with no external support serve him well in the civilian world.

Those systems included the nuclear reactor; seawater to oxygen conversion to provide breathable air during extended submerged periods; electrical generation and more.

As Democrats, imitating the proverbial grasshoppers, dance and fiddle the summer away, Sullivan and other Republicans are delving into the energy issue working to develop solutions.

There are myriad ways to compare our choices in the November election to determine who will represent us in Congress for the next two years, but the difference between Sullivan's response to solving the nation's energy needs versus Courtney's really tells us all we need to know.

Sullivan, who spent a lifetime in service of his country, took stock of the issue, and immediately set to work on finding solutions. He applied his extensive knowledge of energy systems and energy requirements in the US Navy's submarine service to civilian energy needs. He looked for common areas where solutions long in use for the military can be modified and applied to the wider needs of the country. His opponent did … nothing.

There are two major lessons we can learn from the incumbent's response to a matter of national urgency when compared to the challenger's.

First, Joe Courtney obviously cares more about his standing in the Washington D.C. fraternity known as the Democratic Caucus than he does about the issues facing his constituents in Connecticut's 2nd Congressional District.

When Congress reconvenes in mid-September, the national debate on energy solutions may be no further along, but Republicans in and out of Congress will be well prepared to offer realistic solutions, while Democrats can only offer more political rhetoric and stonewalling.

Also, while Courtney and his pals fiddled away the summer, other issues arose, such as the Russian invasion of the former Soviet republic of Georgia. It will take Sullivan's work ethic and knowledge of the wider world outside of the Washington social scene to effectively tackle these issues, and make the 2nd District safe and energy independent.

There is far too much going on in the world and in our country to take a cavalier approach to serving in Congress. This is no time to be fiddling around.
Friday, August 22, 2008

Rocky Roads Ahead in Denver; Obama, The Ice (Wo)Man Cometh!

The Democratic National Convention is upon us and for sheer entertainment value, this is shaping up to be better than the Olympics - way better.

We have protest groups, we have warehouse-sized jails waiting for the protest groups, we have a divided party, we have the ho-hum story of who will get picked to run with Barack Obama, assuming that he survives a floor vote, and then we have the lawsuit!

What's that you ask? Lawsuit?

Why, yes! The lawsuit! It was filed in federal court in Philadelphia Thursday, August 21, 2008, (that's yesterday) by a prominent Democrat, who just happens to be a Hillary Clinton supporter. The lawsuit alleges that Obama has not proved he is really a US citizen, and therefore could possibly be ineligible to run for the highest office in the country.

Now, this issue has been circulating for as long as Obama has been at the forefront of the Democratic race. Pamela Geller at the Atlas Shrugs weblog has been reporting on the discrepancies in Obama's birth certificate for quite some time now. Other investigative bloggers across the political spectrum have been chasing this story with the due diligence reminiscent of the days when the media actually reported the news instead of serving as publicity shills for their favorite candidate.

The lawsuit is listed as: Civil Action No. 08-cv-4083 Philip J. Berg, Esquire, vs. Obama. It seeks a Declaratory Judgment and an Injunction preventing Obama from continuing his candidacy. It claims that he does not meet the qualifications to be President of the United States.

Listed as the reasons why Obama should not be allowed to continue with his campaign include allegations that he:
1. Is not a naturalized citizen; and/or
2. Lost his citizenship when he was adopted in Indonesia; and/or
3. Has dual loyalties because of his citizenship with Kenya and Indonesia

Additional information that further explains the reasons behind the suit state that Berg filed it because he is looking out for the best interests of the Democratic Party, and for the rest of us too. I for one am tickled pink, so to speak, no pun intended, that a prominent Democrat is so concerned about my welfare that he would file a lawsuit on my behalf.

Further information making the rounds with the news on the lawsuit identifies Berg as a former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania; former Democratic candidate for Governor and US Senate; former Chairman of the Democratic Party in Montgomery County; and a former member of the Democratic State Committee. He now practices law in Philadelphia.

Let's not kid ourselves here. This is just one of the many fronts opened up by the Hillary Clinton forces to try to wrest the nomination away from Obama at the Democratic convention. That also doesn't alter the fact that there are serious questions about Obama's origins and whether he is indeed eligible to run for president.

If we go back to columns I wrote crunching the numbers at the end of the Democratic primary process you will see that Obama never did get enough committed delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot - unless a significant majority of the uncommitted super delegates support him.

Usually the super delegates can be counted on to support the candidate with the clear majority, but Obama doesn't have that clear majority and lately he has really been slipping in the national polls when compared to John McCain. The truth is, even though McCain doesn't have universal support within the Republican ranks, the more people learn about Obama the better they like the Republican nominee.

Despite all the rhetoric and unity crappola that has been on television and in the Democratic Party news outlets - also known as the mainstream media - Hillary's supporters want her in and Obama out. They not only believe they have been shafted through the Democrats' nomination process (I agree, they have) they also believe that their candidate has a far better chance of beating McCain in a general election.

Of course, the GOP really doesn't want Hillary running against McCain as it would make for a much tougher race, according to some forms of conventional wisdom. That thinking goes down a road that says McCain is just waiting until after Labor Day and after the GOP convention to really begin unloading on Obama.

Even though they have traded shots at each other's records and stances, the real campaigning won't get rolling until the fall when most people are back from vacation, kids are back in school, routines are re-established and people begin paying close attention to the candidates.

Once that happens, it is quite possible, perhaps even likely that Obama will slip further and further behind McCain, probably to a point from which he can't recover. Democrats who are supporting Hillary Clinton know this and are attempting to head McCain off at the pass.

But that is all in the distant future.

In the just around the corner future we have the Democratic Convention in Denver. I am going to spend more time watching late night re-runs on this than I did watching women's beach volleyball in Beijing, which is really saying something.

I was watching Fox News Channel this morning and they were doing previews of what is coming to Denver, and all I can say is - hold on to your hats. My favorite protest group, and there really is a cornucopia of protest groups to choose from, has to be Recreate 68.

For me to recreate what I was doing in 1968 I need to be in Southeast Asia, standing inside a CH-46 helicopter Super D model, manning a .50 caliber machine gun, shooting at North Vietnamese communists, and hanging out with my Marine buddies afterward.

But for these folks to recreate 1968 all they have to do is run amok in an American city where the Democratic Party is holding a national convention to formally select a candidate for president. They need bags of feces to throw at the conventioneers, and they probably should have a lot of bandages too. The bandages would be for use when the Denver police finally lose their patience and act the way the Chicago police did in 1968 - meaning smashing the daylights out of feces throwing protesters.

Denver's security precautions are so extensive the city looks like an armed camp. Oh yeah, it also is against the law to drag bags full of human feces around for either fun or profit! One would have to assume that extends to animal, mineral, vegetable, fish or insect feces too.

So, my recommendation for this weekend and onward is to stock up on your favorite beverages, adult or otherwise, get some pizzas, some ice cream, some snacks, junk food, stuff you can cook quickly in a microwave and settle down in front of the television.

This should be a non-stop show and with any luck we'll have riots, mass arrests, tear gas, water cannons, cops and maybe even the National Guard with fixed bayonets - just like in 1968. Do you feel that too? I mean the lump you get in your throat, and the tear that forms in your eye when you look back fondly on an earlier and happier time in your life?

You know, philosophically I am a Republican, but I have to admit, those Democrats sure know how to have fun.
Monday, August 18, 2008

Obama Whine: "McCain Had Better Answers; Life's Not Fair!"

Can you believe the nonsense coming out of the Obama campaign after he got his clock cleaned by John McCain in a joint "town hall" appearance Saturday?

Both were invited to participate in a forum sponsored by the Rev. Rick Warren's Saddleback ministry, whereby they would both answer the same questions, posed by Warren. There was one caveat - that they would be isolated from each other, interviewed separately, and not hear the other's answers.

By every account under the sun McCain was quick, clear, experienced and better in every definition of the word.

Conversely, Obama was himself, as defined in myriad appearances where he does not have a script and a teleprompter in front of him, nor plenty of time to practice the delivery of a speech written for him, down to each gesture and nuance. In short, he was dismal, halting, confusing, confused, and ineffective.

So, supposedly being a stand-up guy with a lot of street experience under his belt, does Obama say, "Hey, I had a bad night, I'll have to work on my communications skills?"

Not a chance. He acts like a born loser, and uses the loser's time-tested methodology for dealing with a humiliating, embarrassing performance in which sheepishly uncertain was the best description for his actions.

He blames the other guy, makes up a cheating scandal, finds excuses under every rug, and has his "people" running amok the next day explaining why he can't think on his feet or communicate in any forum unless someone else scripts his every statement.

Obama is just getting worse and worse the more we see of him. He is so much like so many other people who didn't do what they should have done when they should have done it, but can never own up to their own shortcomings.

People like Obama, through repeated incidents of inaction when decisive action was required, doom themselves to a lifetime of blaming someone else for their failures. Talk to them for 10 minutes and you will hear that they actually did much better than presumed, but their deeds weren't properly reported, or their nuances weren't understood by the uneducated masses.

What tripe.

I have seen this many times, and always have felt a sense of bemusement mixed with pity. Why can't such people simply be honest about themselves?

They didn't do what they should have done to achieve a level of greatness simply because they lack the capacity for greatness. They can spend the rest of their lives trying to explain away their inaction at times when action was not just needed, but often required.

Yet, all the talk in the universe doesn't erase the simple and most basic of truths, that they are not on the same level as those who do act when action is required. This lack of character leads to habitually complaining of being ignored, overlooked, not understood, not appreciated, or victimized.

Often forgotten is that those who do act when action is required often suffer the consequences as much as reaping the rewards. Doing nothing is safe, but you don't get any medals, and no one sings your praises afterward.

Obama simply doesn't have the capacity for greatness. It has nothing to do with his race, his political party, his philosophy or his intellect. It has everything to do with his relying on his handlers to tell him what to do, when and how to do it.

He did not prepare for this race as he should have, by taking the time to fully develop as a person, a politician and a leader.

Obama allowed his Democratic handlers to convince him that he needed only to show up, read some well-prepared speeches with some well-developed flair and the American voters would swoon over him and vote him in by a landslide. He counts on the media to create a non-existent power base, and to fool the voting public into believing he is the acclaimed and anointed selection of his party.

Nonetheless, every time Obama makes an unscripted appearance his handlers spend the next several days attempting to convince the voters of what he really meant, versus what he actually said. Failing that, they invent a story.

This time they are claiming against all common sense that McCain was given advance knowledge of the questions he would be asked. McCain actually was sequestered, with no ability to hear the questions that were asked to Obama first, unless you believe in a form of conspiracy theory that has black helicopters hovering overhead, relaying the advance information to a tiny headset implanted just behind McCain's ear.

Think about that a while, and I'll ponder the fact that no matter what McCain knew or didn't know, it didn't change the fact that Obama showed he is notoriously unable to think on his feet or rely on non-existent world and life experiences to answer unscripted questions. He only comes across well when someone gives him a script and the forum to deliver it without surprises.

The obvious problem here is that you can't script world or domestic emergencies and the President of the United States must have a basis from which to make emergency decisions without making matters worse.

What really happened this past weekend is that Obama showed he lacks the capacity for true leadership, the ability to think on his feet in an unscripted moment. In the terminology of the Marine Corps world I once inhabited, his performance was, and is, "unsatisfactory."

That rating doesn't qualify anyone to be President of the United States.
Thursday, August 14, 2008

Putin: Latter Day Stalin, or Hitler? Georgian President is NOT Saddam!

I asked in my last column what Russia's true intent might be regarding its invasion of Georgia, appropriating portions of that country, taking over at least one port city, then allowing looting and murder of civilians, all based on trumped-up claims of protecting its citizens from rampaging Georgians.

Other than using Georgia as a military practice round for its next expansion effort, it seems that Russia didn't really get much from the invasion, unless it was a prelude to something larger.

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer had an answer right away: the next target is the Ukraine, the gateway to western Europe.

Since Krauthammer is one of America's premier commentators on both foreign and domestic affairs, his ability to discern where Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is headed next is well worth considering.

(Yes, I know that Putin has a title other than dictator, but we're dealing in reality here. Putin and Putin alone is in charge in Russia which makes him a dictator. Argue with Putin, the former head of the communist secret police and you'll end up dead, which pretty much defines him.)

The Ukraine is an historic target of Russian communists. An estimated 10 million residents of that country were starved to death in the 1930s in late communist murderer Joseph Stalin's drive to take over all of Europe. Stalin created a fake famine by drastically increasing the amount of grain the Ukraine farmers were required to donate to the Soviet system, insuring that there would not be sufficient food stores to feed the Ukrainian populace.

He enforced that decree using troops and secret police to ferret all who attempted to horde enough to feed their families, killing them when they were discovered. It even was a crime to not be losing weight.

Russian communists downplayed the results of the famine, maintaining that "only" six to seven million people died slow, horrible deaths from starvation in 1932-1933, but independent sources have put the ultimate death toll at 10 million. Regardless of the extent of the holocaust that engulfed the Ukraine, the communists gloried in its effects on the population, because it ended resistance to communism.

Western news organizations at the time all but ignored the famine in their unceasing drive to portray communism as the one form of government that would truly make everyone equal.

The comparison to journalists today is obvious, since many of them are trying to portray the Russian invasion of Georgia as analogous to the US response to Saddam Hussein supporting terrorists building bases in Iraq from which to attack the US. The comments in the mainstream media are so ludicrous they would be laughable if it wasn't for the fact that people are dying.

Here are a few comparisons to consider. Georgia did not invade a neighboring country as Iraq did when it attacked Kuwait and subjected its citizens to pillage, rape and murder until driven out by an international coalition.

Georgia did not attack its own indigenous population with guns, armor and poison gas as Saddam did to his own people. Georgia did not invite known terrorists into its country to build training camps to attack Russia. Georgia did not provide sanctuary, security and assistance to known terrorist mass murderers such as Abu Nidal and Abu Al Zarqawi as Saddam Hussein did.

Georgia did not violate dozens of United Nations resolutions aimed at preventing development of a nuclear weapons program, nor did it violate an oil-for-food program by paying hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to heads of state and high level officials in countries across the world - including Russia!

The truth is, except for those of the communist mindset, there is very little real comparison between Russia's invasion of Georgia and the United States' intervention in Iraq. Not that the truth stops Barack Hussein Obama's spokespeople from again claiming the US was wrong in Iraq - the war we are winning, which he also said was not possible - not does the truth have any relevance to many in the mainstream media.

But for all the talk in the past eight years about Vladimir Putin and his goals for Russia under his dominance, the truth is in his actions, which thus far are mimicking Stalin - or Hitler for that matter, who attacked the same eastern European countries from his base in Germany.

Rather than being a devout nationalist who merely wants Russia to take is rightful place on the world stage following the fall of the Soviet empire, it is obvious that Putin wants to re-establish that empire, with him in charge. To the people of Eastern Europe who have suffered under both Nazi and communist systems in the recent past, it probably doesn't make much difference which political system's label most appropriately defines their attackers.

The differences between Nazi and communist philosophies are hard to discern anywhere except in a classroom. In practice, they both rely on murder, forced labor, mind control, propaganda and concentration camps to enforce their will on the populace.

Putin's lies are no different from Stalin's lies that were no different from Hitler's lies or Mao Tse Tung's lies or Ho Chi Minh's lies or Pol Pot's lies or Fidel Castro's lies or Hugo Chavez's lies. They all claim they are going to change the status quo for the benefit of the weak, the poor and the downtrodden. But all they really do is take control by force of arms, renege on the promises they made to their supporters, and then murder those who object to being used as dupes and puppets.

That is not opinion. That is historically documented fact.

So, what are we going to do about this? The world stood by and did nothing when Stalin's communist armies took over the countries of Eastern Europe one by one. Journalists of that time lied and produced propaganda for the communists, who murdered millions upon millions of innocents, just as today's alleged journalists are producing propaganda for Islamo-fascist terrorists and Putin's thugs.

Are we going to stand by and let history repeat itself? Are we soon going to be in another cold war with millions of people once again subjected to the excesses of communist debauchery as we were from the 1930s to 1990?

So far we've seen little in the way of direct response to the Russians except for some relief shipments. There has been a lot of talk from various world leaders, but that is eerily reminiscent of the talks that European leaders had with Hitler in the 1930s.

Back then entire countries were swallowed up first by the Nazis and then by the communists as the fortunes of war shifted away from Hitler. Listening to the commentary from that time and comparing it to the modern commentary reveals that both have a similar definition: appeasement.

Vladimir Putin knows this and is milking it for all it is worth. When he went fishing with his shirt off a while back he was sending a message to the other leaders on the world stage - they are golfers and country club members, he is a street fighter.

Then may look down on Putin and think he has no means of effectively hurting them, but he knows better. He was flexing his muscles to let them know he believes he can beat them, but they just smirked and saw him as a classless, ineffective buffoon.

Nonetheless, Putin will land a series of shots that individually don't amount to much, but as they continue to pile up will hobble the west and bring its leaders down to his level. Then, just as the realization dawns that they are hurting and in danger of losing to him, Putin will hit them low and dirty with a shot that effectively will take the prima donna western countries right out of the fight.

And as the west grovels in pain, its effete diplomats bad mouthing Putin for being "a dirty fighter," he'll stare down at them from the winner's circle, his face the picture of contempt, and sneer "Da! But I won!"
Monday, August 11, 2008

McCain Was Right About Putin; And Russia Is Just Warming Up!

When President Bush met Vladimir Putin for the first time in 2001, Bush said, "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue.

"I was able to get a sense of his soul."

Obviously when he looked into the window on Putin's soul the shades were pulled down and Bush saw only what Putin wanted him to see.

John McCain on the other hand, said he looked into Putin's eyes and saw the letters KGB, the Russian secret police and terror organization Putin headed until the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990.

Now Russia, under Putin, has invaded the sovereign land of Georgia, one of those former Soviet republics that went independent as fast as it could in the 90s. Georgia became a US ally, and has been petitioning to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Unfortunately, membership did not come fast enough.

Putin travelled to China last week for the opening of the Olympics, as did Bush, and while the cat (Bush) was away the mouse (Putin) revealed that it was never a mouse, but rather a mountain lion and pounced.

Initial reports from China said Bush and (Ras)Putin had a very testy exchange of words before Putin headed home to cheer on his troops as they smashed through Georgia's outer defenses. The mad Russian initially claimed he was sending in troops to support people in Georgian provinces who really wanted to be part of Russia but were being restricted by the Georgian government.

But by mid-morning Monday - east coast US time - Russia had continued its offensive and fighting was reported in portions of Georgia that were not in dispute a week ago.

This shouldn't surprise anyone. Putin has been planning this move for years, McCain has been warning about it, and Putin's feigned friendship with Bush was just the starting point to throw him off guard. There is a major pipeline for oil and natural gas running through the disputed territory. Putin has long shown he wants control over energy sources.

Why do you think Russia made such a big deal of the US talking with former Soviet republics about installing anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe to guard against a potential attack from Iran? I'd say it had much more to do with Putin worrying that Eastern Europe would be able to protect itself from Russia.

Putin has been working step by step for most of this decade to reinvent the old Soviet Union and the attack on Georgia is proof. Commentators have said Putin is no longer a communist, but rather a nationalist who was merely consolidating his power in Russia and had no intent of reinventing the old Soviet Union.

I disagree. People who are communists in their hearts and souls never stop being communists. They believe that communism is the only true and proper form of government for all humanity and their belief in the Communist Manifesto requires that they continue the struggle for their entire lives.

We have known for decades, going back to the 1930s and 1940s, that we have had communists in our Congress, in our State Department and in our military, and we still do. We have domestic communist organizations agitating against the war in Iraq, against our military and against democracy.

Do you see the leaders of Code Pink preparing to fly to Georgia to stand in front of invading Russian tanks? No you don't. Do you know why? In the first place, communists world wide support Russian expansionism.

In the second place despite all the rhetoric that domestic communists throw at US forces, they know the Russian military will roll over anything and anyone that stands in its way, and it doesn't give a damn about human rights violations, nor does Putin.

There will be no consequences for Russian commanders who level towns, villages and cities and every living thing in them, unless they fail to level said communities and every living thing in them.

Why do you think Russia has been arming Iran, supplying it with nuclear fuel and highly sophisticated anti-aircraft missile systems? It sure looks like a diversion to me. Keep the US focused on the War on Terror and the possibility that Iran's nutcase leader will develop a nuclear weapon, then hit somewhere else.

But here is another thought. Georgia is just a minor piece of Russia and RasPutin's overall puzzle.

Georgia is in fact, practice. Why? Because unlike the United States the Russian Army has not had much real combat experience since it left Afghanistan nearly 20 years ago. It has fought against the Islamic rebels in Chechnya, but that isn't a big enough war to get sufficient combat experience for a large segment of troops.

The United States, Great Britain, and other countries that have been helping us in the War on Terror, including Georgia by the way, have what is called a "blooded" army. In other words, we have in-depth combat experience and a huge pool of combat veterans if they are ever needed.

By invading a couple of Georgian provinces, the Russians get a couple of quick and relatively easy victories. By continuing their attack into Georgia, even though Georgian authorities have called for a cease-fire, the Russians are giving their troops a stiffer challenge, which they will gladly embrace since they still are riding a combat high after their victories of the past two days.

Meanwhile, George Bush dallied in China, Vice President Dick Cheney issued a strongly worded warning, and Condoleezza Rice has been told to make it clear that if the Russians don't stop this and stop it this instant there will be consequences.

All of which Putin is laughing off as his tanks, ships, bombers and troops continue the slaughter in Georgia.

On the American presidential campaign scene Barack Obama is on vacation in Hawaii and issued a position paper. One of his advisers told Fox News on Monday morning that the US has no right to say anything about Russia invading Georgia, because after all we invaded Iraq when its leaders didn't want us there.

Wow! Talk about no clue whatsoever. The same Obama spokesman then claimed that both McCain and Bush are responsible for Bush's foreign relations policies. In the Obama campaign rhetoric the presence of a murderous despot, Saddam Hussein, who invited terrorists into his country to rebuild their terrorist network to launch further attacks against the United States after 9-11 corresponds to a peaceful country that hasn't harmed anyone.

I think Obama wants to use appeasement as a reason to sit down and be the next American leader to look into Putin's soul. That has to be the definition of clueless.

McCain on the other hand accurately defined Russia's invasion of Georgia as a moral and strategic crisis. He wants Russia isolated, the invasion halted, and Russia punished.

McCain can't do much about it right now, and won't be able to do anything unless he becomes Commander in Chief.

Meanwhile, what we should be determining, is what Putin really is up to. Georgia is practice. Just practice. It gives Putin a little more land, it gives his troops some limited combat experience, but just enough to make them willing to go for more.

The question is where? And when? And what the hell are we going to do about it? This is just the first step, and for anyone who was not alive or has forgotten the brinksmanship that went on for decades during the Cold War, I guarantee you, we do not want to go back to that era.

The communists murdered an estimated 100,000,000 (that's one-hundred million) people from 1917 to the end of the Soviet Union, and state sponsored deaths continue in China and the remaining communist countries to this day.

Believe me, we don't want to turn back the clock.
Friday, August 08, 2008

A Wake Up Call For America! Get Thee To DC!

I received this from our stalwart GOP representatives who are holding out in the US Capitol while Nancy Pelosi is out signing books - well a few of them anyway. Very few people seem interested in her opus on power tripping. Judging from the way people are talking out on the campaign trail, I wouldn't be too smug if I was an incumbent Democrat right about now. Read, enjoy, and pass on please.

Open Letter to Speaker Pelosi

August 4, 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The following letter was just delivered to Speaker Nancy Pelosi on behalf of the American people and the Republican Conference requesting that she reconvene the House and allow a vote to provide relief to Americans suffering because of skyrocketing gas prices:

On Friday August 1, 2008, at 11:23 a.m., your Democrat majority in the House of Representatives adjourned the House for five full weeks.

House Republicans believe that Congress should not go on vacation until we take action to lower gas and energy prices for struggling American families.

For the last two months we and our House Republican colleagues have used every tool at our disposal to try and get you and your Democrat majority to vote on legislation to lower gas and energy prices by expanding environmentally sound domestic production of oil and natural gas, improving energy efficiency, and encouraging the development of alternative energy technologies.

Many of the proposals we have asked you and your Democrat majority to allow us to vote on are bipartisan proposals that we believe would enjoy the support of a majority of the Members of the Congress. Yet because you and your Democrat Leadership personally oppose these proposals, you are not allowing them to come up for a vote. This past Sunday, you even told George Stephanopoulos that you will never allow this vote to occur.

In protest of you and your Democrat majority not allowing an up or down vote on producing more American energy, we and our House Republican colleagues were prepared to take to the floor on Friday, August 1, 2008, and speak to the nation. Rather than allowing that to happen you and your Democrat majority adjourned the House, turned off the television cameras, shut off the microphones and turned out the lights. Nearly 50 House Republicans remained on the floor of the House in defiance speaking to those citizens gathered in the galleries and to the media.

Today we have again returned to the Capitol to continue speaking to the thousands of Americans from all across our country who are visiting the Capitol. We would have preferred if instead we were joined by our colleagues to have a true debate on this issue that ended in an up or down vote.

We think it is unconscionable that Congress has gone on vacation before we have addressed the high gas prices that are crippling our economy and hurting millions of families. We are asking that you reconvene the House from your five-week vacation and schedule a vote on legislation to increase American energy production. Let us be clear, we are not asking for a guaranteed outcome, just the chance to vote.

Signed by: John Boehner, Republican Leader; Roy Blunt, Republican Whip; Adam Putnam, Republican Conference Chairman; Eric Cantor, Chief Deputy Whip; and Members of the House Conference
Thursday, August 07, 2008

"Poodle" Larson, Pelosi Burning Bridges to America; Are Books Next?

If you look on Congressman John Larson's web page you'll see that he crows about being the #5 Democratic power broker in the US House of Representatives.

He is in fact a big noise in Congress, and he often is seen in the company of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, literally shadowing her.

His stances reflect her stances, his positions reflect her positions, and you never hear him speak out of sync with the speaker. John Larson follows Nancy Pelosi so closely that he has been nicknamed Pelosi's Poodle.

A case in point was their recent joint excursion to Iraq where they supposedly were reviewing the progress made in the war. They found what everyone else found, that our troops are winning and winning big, the political milestones are well on their way, and the Iraqis are taking over more of their own security every day.

But Larson and Pelosi couldn't bring themselves to admit that they just might have been wrong on that issue, so Pelosi claimed to widespread derision that our troops aren't winners, it only appears that way because "Iran let them win."

Even though that was a ridiculous, disdainful comment, well deserving of a retort from even her closest confidants, Larson stood meekly in Pelosi's shadow and said nothing. Yet he claims he supports the troops. Hypocrite or what?

Now, Larson, again following Pelosi's lead, has gone on vacation, while she is out on a book signing tour. Local papers in his native Connecticut, which regularly give him free advertising, have featured Larson fiddling while Congress burns, metaphorically speaking, showing him partying as his constituents worry about their energy bills.

Meanwhile, the country's energy issues have not gone away, despite minimal declines in the price of crude oil which have brought the price of gas at the pumps down to the $4.00 per gallon level. Yes, down to FOUR DOLLARS PER GALLON level!

But while Pelosi is out signing books and Larson is partying, Republican members of the House of Representatives have remained in DC, inside the House chambers. There they are pressing the issue that it is unconscionable for Democratic leaders to walk away from their responsibilities to the American public.

Nancy Pelosi is not the Speaker of the Democratic House of Representatives, they note, she is the speaker of the full house and her duties and responsibilities extend to the full house, and thus to all Americans. She obviously doesn't see things that way, nor do the other members of her 'leadership' cabal.

Even though the debate continues, Pelosi shut off the lights, the cameras, and even tried to prevent reporters from covering the ongoing revolt.

This is bridge burning at its worst. How can these so-called representatives come back to Congress in September and make believe Americans haven't spent the last month dealing with extraordinary gasoline prices, and will soon be dealing with extraordinary heating fuel prices?

The answer is they are in such as state of denial that they will believe whatever they want to believe. If they hide under the covers and don't peek out, no one can see them, right?

But the public can see them, and more and more are questioning Pelosi's motives and her arrogance. Pelosi's heavy handed totalitarian control of the House of Representatives has even led some to question whether she is more like Joseph Stalin or Adolph Hitler.

Frankly, I have never been close enough to her to see whether she has a mustache and if so, whether it represents Stalin's more than Hitler's or vice versa, but that really isn't the issue is it?

The issue is whether the Speaker of the US House of Representatives has gone power mad, and her minions, like "Poodle" John Larson, are following right along behind her on their leashes, mute and impotent, as she tramples all over the Constitution.

Shutting off the microphones, turning out the lights, pulling the plug on cameras and slamming the door on the way out to a book signing tour pretty much covers violating the First Amendment, doesn't it? If dozens of Republican House members want to continue a debate on energy, even in the absence of the Democratic majority, wouldn't it have been better to just walk out and let them talk?

Is her next move to shut down dissent? Pull an Obama on bloggers she doesn't like? Burn everyone else's books? Should I stock up on copies of my book to make sure she doesn't confiscate them and burn them in a big pile down on the National Mall?

Couldn't she have just said "Turn out the lights and lock the door when you're done?"

So what are we to assume considering that Pelosi (nicknamed Nazi Pelosi by her detractors) and her lackeys tried to stifle public debate on the most pressing issue currently before the American public?

Is she a communist? Is she a Nazi? Is she some totalitarian combination of the two? I guess we'd have to read all the writings on the "National Socialists," the Nazis, to determine if they resemble the liberal left wing socialists in America. Is this 1933 all over again? Is another Kristallnacht next?

Others note that the Communist Manifesto contains a number of positions that parallel the left wing of the Democratic Party. Death taxes, seizure of property and abolishing "free trade" are among the examples described to me.

As a Vietnam veteran who fought against the communists, and saw the havoc they wreaked on innocent populations, I resent this unprecendented assault on our Constitution. As the son of a combat WWII veteran who stood up to totalitarian efforts to rule the world, I see this as an unprecedented outrage!

When was the last time Congress shut down as abruptly as it did when Pelosi pulled the plug? People in the know say it was 9-11, and before that the War of 1812 when the British were on the edge of town.

Those examples certainly give us something to ponder as we enjoy the last weeks of summer, staying close to home because it is too expensive to travel anywhere. I wonder who is paying the freight for Pelosi's book tour?

I read that she isn't getting much in the way of buyers, but is attracting protesters! Didn't see that in the mainstream media. Did you?

By the way, do you know the title of her book? As it was described in Babalublog when she was in Miami last week Czarina Pelosi's book is "ironically and arrogantly" titled: "Know Your Power."

Talk about art imitating life. Do you think John Larson will invite me to his next party?
Friday, August 01, 2008

Call My Broker! Buy Exxon! "Chuckles" Schumer, Marxism Personified!

Exxon Mobil released its end-of-quarter report yesterday showing it made a healthy profit on its worldwide sales of energy products, and New York's Marxist Senator Charles "Chuckles" Schumer immediately sent out a call to nationalize the firm.

OK, Chuckles didn't really call for nationalization, but he certainly is headed in that direction what with his non-stop Marxist rhetoric. Can nationalization of the oil industry - already openly called for by one of his Congressional colleagues - be far behind when a man of his 'stature' repeatedly misconstrues the meaning of this news for his own agenda.

Considering that Exxon Mobil's profit results from sound business practices in an open market in which competition big and small is thriving, we should be rejoicing. I bet the employees are happy. I bet the stockholders are happy, and I have been remiss in not joining that happy group of dividend recipients.

In his boilerplate Marxist rhetoric criticizing the firm for doing well at its business, the Chuckster neglected to mention what most of the media also neglected to mention, that Exxon Mobil also paid nearly 300 percent more in taxes than the amount it received in profits. Also suspiciously absent from the reporting was any mention that Exxon Mobil made its profit - roughly 8.5 percent - the old fashioned way, hard work and a solid market share.

Let's take a look at the numbers that came out yesterday shall we? Exxon Mobil posted net income of $11.68 billion on revenue of $138 billion in the second quarter. That amounts to just under 8.5 percent profit.

The mainstream media propaganda machine immediately went on the offensive, making the point that Exxon's profit works out to about $1,400 a second.

Whoopeee! Jobs are secure and the economy will continue to rebound! But there is a much bigger question that must be, should be, yet was not asked. Did Exxon-Mobil make one penny of that profit through illegal or unfair business practices?

Did the profit margin posted by Exxon Mobil increase dramatically with the skyrocketing prices of gas at the pump? Uh, gee, no it didn't. And no, there are no massive investigations into Exxon's business practices.

Why not? Well, one could theorize that if an oil company doesn't get all the oil it refines into different products from its own oil fields, which it doesn't, that means it has to buy the oil from the oil field owners, usually countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Venezuela. That means Exxon Mobil has to pay more to acquire its basic product, thus its expenses increase as the price of oil increases.

If Exxon or any other company that sells gasoline left its prices stagnant as the cost of a barrel of oil increases, it would go out of business in short order.

That Exxon Mobil executives were smart enough to not let that happen just convinces me that I should be buying their stock. Did you notice the news last month that Exxon Mobil is selling off all of its gas stations in the US? Wonder why? My guess is taxes and fees reducing the cost effectiveness of that facet of its business.

Let's take a look.

Less widely reported but of equal importance to its profit is that Exxon Mobil paid $32.361 billion in taxes in the second quarter, which means Exxon Mobil paid almost $3 in taxes - $32.361 billion - for every $1 in profits - $11.68 billion. That's nearly 300 percent more taxation than profit-making.

Oh, and just in case the media forgot to make the comparison, that amounts to more than $4,000 in taxes per second. Do you think Chuckles Schumer can say "hypocrite." I bet a gallon of regular he can't spell it.

While we're on things that the media didn't mention, let's talk about the jobs Exxon Mobil provides here in the US and around the world. And let's not forget to point out that if you go to the Exxon Mobil website you'll find that it has a wide range of petroleum based products, not just gasoline. The site also has a drop down menu showing countries where they do business that will simply astound you.

The point is, some of the profit this corporation made last quarter came from US gasoline sales. But another chunk came from international business. This is a world economy. This is what everyone has been saying they want because it is good for everyone.

Now we get it, and the first thing the Marxist Party, er, I mean national level Democrats, try to do, is find a way to take even more money out of the employees' and stockholders' hands. If Exxon Mobil making a 9 percent profit gets their knickers in a wad, they should check the cost-to-benefits ratio posted by Congress.

Does Congress actually do a cost-to-benefits ratio? Well it should, and if it isn't in line with the American private sector, we should be able fire those responsible without waiting for the next election.

From everything I've seen thus far, Exxon Mobil made its money on volume not on unfair trade practices. Try putting Congress up to that standard.

Based on Chuckles Schumer's math and socialist position the government should be fining itself for taking so much money up front. There should be an investigation into where all those billions of tax dollars went.

I wonder how well Congress would do if its actions were subject to competition.


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