Thursday, September 29, 2005

Targeting DeLay

Click on title above for link to National Review editorial in support of DeLay.

"Good time" at Autzen

Some one on the educk forum posted this report on their "game day" experience when the University of Oregon Ducks played U$C in football last Saturday at Autzen Stadium in Eugene Oregon. Sometimes in the heat of wins and losses we lose the perspective of how much fun it is to go to an Oregon game and it is especially fun when it is a family experience. The post is as follows:

"At the risk of sounding out of place on the board, I had a really good time on Saturday. I get to make about one pilgrimage a year to Autzen and it was (almost) everything I could have asked for.

A gorgeous day.

A legendary crowd. Biggest of all time. I know, I know, those folks could have been back in their seats at halftime, but come on . . . I watched the OSN replay -- it was like a South American soccer crowd. There was one continuous roar for all of the first half and a decent part of the 3rd quarter, until they got their 2 TDs. I was at '94 Oregon-Arizona; '86 and '87 Oregon-Washington; 2000 Oregon-UCLA. This was as good or better a crowd. My 10-year old was wearing a green and yellow wig and screaming his guts out, and had to keep checking to be sure it was okay keep make raspberry noises toward the neighboring SC fans.

An opponent for the ages. Even if they lose this week this SC team is already in the history books. They could be on the cover before it's all done.

A game. I kept telling people all week; "well at least we'll get to yell before the game starts." I knew there was a very real possibility we'd get smoked from the outset. Well we didn't. We had hope. Winning would have been better, but it was still pretty cool. A comparable experience to the '95 Rose Bowl.

A future. We can go toe-to-toe with the big boys. For everybody here who thinks that every loss is the beginning of the end, consider the following. Think to yourself who you consider the elite college FB teams. See if I missed anybody, while I recap the worst of their last 10 seasons.

Alabama: 6-6, 4-9, 7-5, 3-8, 7-5, 4-7
Florida: 7-5, 8-5, 8-5
Florida State: 9-3, 10-3, 9-5, 8-4
Georgia: 8-4, 8-4, 8-4, 5-6, 6-6
Iowa: 7-5, 3-9, 1-10, 3-8, 7-5
LSU: 8-5, 8-4, 3-8, 4-7
Michigan: 9-3, 8-4, 8-4, 9-4
Nebraska: 5-6, 7-7
Tennessee: 8-5, 8-4
Notre Dame: 6-6, 5-7, 5-6, 5-7, 7-6
Ohio State: 8-4, 7-5, 8-4, 6-6
Oklahoma: 7-5, 5-6, 4-8, 3-8, 5-5-1
Penn State: 4-7, 3-9, 5-6, 5-7
Miami: 9-3, 9-4, 5-6
USC: 6-6, 5-7, 6-6, 8-5, 6-5, 6-6
Texas: 9-5, 4-7, 8-5
Texas A&M: 7-5, 4-8, 6-6, 7-5, 8-4, 6-6
Va. Tech: 8-5, 8-4, 7-5
Washington: 1-10, 6-6, 7-6, 8-4, 7-5, 6-6

Many Trojan fans think their current streak will continue indefinitely. It won't -- simple as that. The 5th year seniors on their current team played against our '01 team. The 5th year seniors on THAT team were completing their 31-29 run.

I like to wonder what the true freshman, mostly redshirts, will have to say about Saturday's game when they look back in 2009?

I distinctly remember Joey talking about he and the other true freshmen watching wide-eyed during the '97 Oregon-Arizona season-opener (a night game) and wanting to recreate that electricity for themselves. I suspect that the recruits in attendance and the true freshman on this year's team took something positive from the USC game.

I think Duktape said it all in his post, below about negativity in fans. What are you folks seeking? Even in the down years, those 45 hours or so of actual Duck gametime are right at the top of my list of favorite recreational activities. I work hard all week (except maybe while writing this) and I treasure my Duck games. I love my chance to second-guess the people who coach football for a living. I couldn't coach as well as they do, but the chance to MMQ them is cool.

I had a good time. My wife and son had a good time. I suspect most of the others there did, to"

Chief Justice John Roberts

Click on title for link to C-Span tally of vote in the US Senate confirming President Bush's nomination of John Roberts as Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.

DeLay's prosecutor offered "Dollars for Dismissals"

Click on title for link to news story on National Review Online by Byren York, on how Tom DeLay's prosecutor offered to dismiss criminal charges against Sears corporation return for a donation to an anti corporate organization favored by District Attorney, Ronnie Earle. He also points out that Earle attended a democratic fundraiser in Dallas on May 12 and publicly talked about the DeLay . This is a prosecutor who is abusing his power!

Monday, September 26, 2005

Stanford Here I come!

I just received confirmation that I will fly on the University of Oregon team charter airplane when the Ducks play Stanford in football this Saturday at Stanford in Palo Alto, California. We leave from Eugene on Friday. The game on Saturday is at 2 pm (PDT). Two years ago I was able to fly on the team airplane to Seattle for the Duck game with Washington. I will be staying at the team hotel Friday night and will travel with the team in a bus motorcade to the game and after the Ducks win, back to the airport for the team charter flight back to Eugene. The President of the Oregon Club of Southern Oregon was invited and could chose one guest. He chose me because of my work here in Southern Oregon on behalf of the Ducks. More to follow. Go Ducks!

"Live for Today"

I am not a big Notre Dame fan , in fact I don't like them unless they are playing the Washington Huskies, but here is a heart warming story some one emailed me about last Saturdays win by Notre Dame over the Huskies in Seattle.

Charlie Weis doesn't usually let anyone else call plays on offense. He made an exception for 10-year-old Montana Mazurkiewicz.
The Notre Dame coach met last week with Montana, who had been told by doctors weeks earlier that there was nothing more they could do to stop the spread of his inoperable brain tumor.
"He was a big Notre Dame fan in general, but football especially," said his mother, Cathy Mazurkiewicz.
Weis showed up at the Mazurkiewicz home in Mishawaka, just east of South Bend, and talked with Montana about his tumor and about Weis' 10-year-old daughter, Hannah, who has global development delay, a rare disorder similar to autism.
He told Montana about some pranks he played on Joe Montana -- whom Montana was named after -- while they were roommates at Notre Dame.
"I gave him a chance to hammer me on the Michigan State loss, which he did very well. He reminded me of my son," said Weis, whose son, Charlie Jr., is 12 years old.
Weis said the meeting was touching.
"He told me about his love for Notre Dame football and how he just wanted to make it through this game this week," Weis said. "He just wanted to be able to live through this game because he knew he wasn't going to live very much longer."
As Weis talked to the boy, Cathy Mazurkiewicz rubbed her son's shoulder trying to ease his pain. Weis said he could tell the boy was trying not to show he was in pain.
His mother told Montana, who had just become paralyzed from the waist down a day earlier because of the tumor, to toss her a football Weis had given him. Montana tried to throw the football, put could barely lift it. So Weis climbed into the reclining chair with him and helped him complete the pass to his mother.
Before leaving, Weis signed the football.
"He wrote, 'Live for today for tomorrow is always another day,"' Mazurkiewicz said.
"He told him: 'You can't worry about tomorrow. Just live today for everything it has and everything you can appreciate,'" she said. "He said: 'If you're (in pain) today you might not necessarily be in pain tomorrow, or it might be worse. But there's always another day.'"
Weis asked Montana if there was something he could do for him. He agreed to let Montana call the first play against Washington on Saturday. He called "pass right."
Montana never got to see the play. He died Friday at his home.
Weis heard about the death and called Mazurkiewicz on Friday night to assure her he would still call Montana's play.
"He said, 'This game is for Montana, and the play still stands,'" she said.
Weis said he told the team about the visit. He said it wasn't a "Win one for the Gipper" speech, because he doesn't believe in using individuals as inspiration. He just wanted the team to know people like Montana are out there.
"That they represent a lot of people that they don't even realize they're representing," Weis said.
When the Irish started on their own 1-yard-line following a fumble recovery, Mazurkiewicz wasn't sure Notre Dame would be able to throw a pass. Weis was concerned about that, too. So was quarterback Brady Quinn.
"He said 'What are we going to do?'" Weis said. "I said 'We have no choice. We're throwing it to the right.'"
Weis called a play where most of the Irish went left, Quinn ran right and looked for tight end Anthony Fasano on the right.
Mazurkiewicz watched with her family.
"I just closed my eyes. I thought, 'There's no way he's going to be able to make that pass. Not from where they're at. He's going to get sacked and Washington's going to get two points,'" she said.
Fasano caught the pass and leapt over a defender for a 13-yard gain.
"It's almost like Montana was willing him to beat that defender and take it to the house," Weis said.
Mazurkiewicz was happy.
"It was an amazing play. Montana would have been very pleased. I was very pleased," she said. "I was just so overwhelmed. I couldn't watch much more."
Weis called her again after the game, a 36-17 victory by the 13th-ranked Fighting Irish, and said he had a game ball signed by the team that he wanted to bring to the family on Sunday.
"He's a very neat man. Very compassionate," she said. "I just thanked him for using that play, no matter the circumstances."

Friday, September 23, 2005

Game 4: Oregon vs U$C: Loss : Ducks 3-1

You want the score? Read the newspaper! On to Stanford next Saturday at Stanford. Beat the Indians ... er that's right they bowed to political correctness many years ago.... beat the "Trees" Go Ducks

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Band of Brothers III

Click on title for link to a news story in the student newspaper at Willamette University, the Willamette Collegian, about a speech there by World War II vets of the unit featured in the HBO series Band of Brothers.The speech was sponsord by the Willamette College Republicans.

ABC "elects" New President

The ABC network was unable to elect Al Gore or John Kerry, so now they are forced to "elect" a fictional President they like in the new TV series Commander In Chief. Click on the title for a link to the Drudge report on who they are using to promote the show. Eleanor Clift, Gwen Ifil and Helen Thomas. If they like the show it will not be on my viewing list. Oh thank heaven for FOX News. And the broadcast networks wonder why they are loosing viewers.

Tailgating Not as Easy as it Cooks!

Bob Welch's column in today's Eugene Register Guard. Click on title for link to Column on how tailgating has changed at Duck games.

Band of Brother's II

I drove over to the Josephine County Fairgrounds in Grants Pass last night to a Republican fundraiser hosted by Don Malarkey and Buck Compton two of of the Band of Brothers featured in the HBO mini series. I met both of them and Vance D Day the new Chairman of the Oregon Republican Party. They gave a very moving presentation. They played parts of the DVD of the series and the veterans talked about their experiences during the war and showed lots of pictures from their private collection. Malarkey talked about meeting Ike and Churchill before D- day and that Ike, when he found out Malarkey was a student at the University of Oregon before the war, asked him the score of the last Oregon vs Oregon State football game. Click on the title above for a Eugene Register Guard story about the presentations they are making on their trip around Oregon. I got both of them to autograph my DVD set of Band of Brothers.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Band of Brothers

Tomorrow night I am going to Grants Pass to meet and listen to a speech by two of the veterans who were part of the unit featured in the HBO series Band of Brothers. The series was based upon Stephen Ambrose's best selling book of the same title . The HBO series and the book both follow the men of Easy Company of the 506th Regiment of the 101st Airbone Division during WWII. It starts off with training in the United States and then takes them to England, the D Day air drop, the Market Garden campaign in Holland , the Battle of the Bulge and the capture of Hitler's home in the Alps. The two veterans are Don Malarkey and Buck Compton. Both men were featured in the HBO series and their parts were played by some of the main actors . I don't get HBO but bought the DVD and have watched the entire series at least three time and have read the book. In my opinion it is the best movie on WWII. It is even better than Saving Private Ryan.My son, a student at Willamette University in Salem Oregon got to meet the veterans last Sunday when he introduced them when they spoke at Willamette. Click on the title "Band of Brother" for a link to his blog which contains his introductory remarks.

Coach K visits Medford, Oregon

South Medford High in Medford Oregon has a highly recruited Junior basketball player named Kyle Singler.(he also plays football) He was being recruited even as a sophomore. Last year Ernie Kent, the head basketball coach at the University of Oregon showed up for one of his high school games. Two weeks ago Ernie Kent came back to Medford and sat with Kyle's Dad at a luncheon meeting of the Medford Linebackers, a group of community members that support local high school sports. Medford is the hotbed of high school sports in Oregon. This last Tuesday coach Mike Krzyzewski aka Coach "K" of Duke ( yes, the one in North Carolina a long way from Medford Oregon) showed up to visit South Medford High School where Kyle Singer is a student. Click on to the title "Coach K visits Medford, Oregon" above for a link to the newspaper story of his visit in the Medford Mail Tribune.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Bush Offers a Hand up not a Handouts

Michael Barone in the Real Clear Politics web site as usual offers a clear analysis of Bush's speech from New Orleans and the need to rebuild the city. Click on the title above for a link to the article and or go to

Donna Brazile Likes Bush Speech!

Donna Brazile a high level Democratic operative from New Orleans who worked to defeat him thought George W Bush's speech from New Orleans was from the heart . Click on the headline above for a link to her comments.

College Memories

In my trip to Eugene for the Fresno State game with the Oregon Ducks( see post below) I arrived early and was unable to check into my motel room early so I walked across the street and around the campus and re lived my college days. I don't know why but when I go back to campus there is always a flood of memories of when I was a college student over 30 years ago. I was at the University of Oregon from 1967 to 1974 with a detour to the US Army for 2 year. I can walk by a building, tree or bench and can remember a day or event like it was last week. I remember my first week on campus back in 1967. I had spent my first two years of college at a community college (SWOCC) and I was really ready for a real college experience. I was so happy to be away from home and I was so alive. There is a lot of new construction on campus. As much as that is good, there is a part of me that wants the campus to remain as it was in 1967 when I first arrived. They have added a new entrance to Hayward Field (Track Field) that is much like a "hall of Fame" Very well done! There is a large picture of Steve Prefontaine, the great Oregon runner, who I knew from Coos Bay . I will be going back up there next week for the U$C game. I like to stay at Motels on Franklin Blvd so I can walk across the street to the campus. I even went by my old apartments where I lived my Senior year and the apartment I lived in the three years I was in Law School. Back to work.

Ducks are ranked # 24

In this weeks AP college football poll the Oregon Ducks are ranked number 24 in the nation. Unfortunates their next game is with the number 1 U$C Trojans. Go Ducks deflate the Trojans!

By the way, when is the NCAA going to ban the Trojans from tournament play. Isn't the name "Trojans" demeaning to people of Greek ancestry? Yes, I know Troy was in what is now Turkey. But it was a Greek city state. In any case why is it demeaning to have athletic teams named after American Indian tribes but my ancestors from Norway love the Minnesota Vikings. The NCAA is way out of line in their attempt to ban Indian team names.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Christmas at Disneyland

"When you wish upon a star" Candy Cane Inn. Developing........

America Stereotyped Again by Media

Click on the above heading for a link to a Times of London column by Gerald Baker about how the media has again gotten it wrong about the true character of many Americans.

Game 3 : Oregon vs Fresno State : Ducks Win 37 to 34

The Ducks pay Fresno State at home in Eugene on Saturday September 17. Because of my volunteer work for the Duck Athletic Fund I have been invited to view the game from one of the new Sky Suites on the South Side of Autzen Stadium built courtesy of Phil Knight. Each year the Oregon Club of Southern Oregon sponsors a golf tournament and dinner auction we call Duffin for the Ducks. I run the dinner auction and this is one of the things the Duck Athletic Department does to say "thanks." I did this last year for the Arizona game. The sky suites are like a nice living room with three rows of seats looking out on the field. They have two TV in the suite for replays. They furnish sandwiches, pizza, popcorn and other snack. The refrigerator is also filled with soft drinks and adult beverages. Along with access to the sky suite comes access to the stadium club under the new south side of Autzen Stadium ( again thanks mainly to the generosity of Phil Knight of Nike) which is very nice with plush carpets and free popcorn and more adult beverages. The club is very large with many TV monitors with college football games from around the country. There are two airport type lounge bars one at each end of the club.They even have a fancy gift shop with "high end" duck stuff. There are large two story high windows overlooking the woods along the Willamette River. Normally I would have to donate a lot of money to have access to the club. It's something fun to do once a year. The rest of the time I spend it out in the elements with the "true" fans. Unfortunates my wife will not be with me this year as she is going to Portland, Oregon for a Neil Diamond concert at the Portland Rose Garden Saturday night. The Rose Garden is where the Portland Trailblazers play. She has been a Neil Diamond fan since I met her over 30 years ago. She got these tickets long before I was invited to the sky suites. She will pick up my son in Salem and will go with him and my sister who lives in Portland. Shaun Harris , a friend of mine will go to the game with me. Hope it is a good game.... will file a game report when I get back.Go Ducks!
GAME UPDATE: I am back from Eugene and the Ducks are now 3 an 0. The Ducks beat number 23 Fresno State before a sell out crowd of 58,201 at Autzen Stadium in Eugene Oregon.
The Bulldogs scored the first 17 points in the first half but then Oregon came back with a no huddle offense and in the 2nd quarter took a 20 to 17 point lead at half time. The Bulldogs tied it with a field goal to open the second half. Oregon then took a ten point lead but had to survive an on side kick by Fresno State to hold on to a 3 paint victory. Kellen Clemens passed for 332 yards for the Ducks. A very good college football game. A fun night in Eugene! Next game Number 1 ranked U$C at Oregon. GoDucks!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Dick Morris on Katrina Politics

As usual Dick Morris in his column gives a good analysis of Katrina Politics and how it will ultimately help George W Bush. Click on headline above for a link to the column.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

There's No Hearing Here!

Rich Galen has a good column on the Judge Roberts hearings in the US Senate. It starts out as follows:

"The Senate Judiciary Committee began its hearing on the confirmation of
Judge John Roberts to be Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court on Monday.
Like so many other things in Washington, the word "hearing" in the US Senate
has absolutely nothing to do with the act of listening. It has everything to do
with talking"

(to read the entire column click on the heading above "There's No Hearing Here" above.)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Flags of Our Fathers

The following is a true story verified by the folks who run the Urban Legends web site . (Click on the title above to go to their web site.)

Each year my video production company is hired to go to Washington, D.C. with the eighth grade class from Clinton, Wisconsin where I grew up, to videotape their trip. I greatly enjoy visiting our nation's capitol, and each year I take some special memories back with me. This fall's trip was especially memorable.

On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima memorial. This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the most famous photographs in history-that of the six brave men raising the American flag at the top of Mount Surabachi on the Island of Iwo Jima, Japan during WW II. Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and headed towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base of the statue, and as I got closer he asked, "What's your name and where are you guys from?

I told him that my name was Michael Powers and that we were from Clinton, Wisconsin.

"Hey, I'm a Cheesehead, too! Come gather around Cheeseheads, and I will tell you a story."

James Bradley just happened to be in Washington, D.C. to speak at the memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good-night to his dad, who had previously passed away, but whose image is part of the statue. He was just about to leave when he saw the buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and received his permission to share what he said from my videotape. It is one thing to tour the incredible monuments filled with history in Washington, D.C. but it is quite another to get the kind of insight we received that night. When all had gathered around he reverently began to speak. Here are his words from that night:

"My name is James Bradley and I'm from Antigo, Wisconsin. My dad is on that statue, and I just wrote a book called Flags of Our Fathers which is #5 on the New York Times Best Seller list right now. It is the story of the six boys you see behind me. Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He enlisted in the Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team. They were off to play another type of game, a game called "War." But it didn't turn out to be a game. Harlon, at the age of twenty-one, died with his intestines in his hands. I don't say that to gross you out; I say that because there are generals who stand in front of this statue and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to know that most of the boys in Iwo Jima were seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen years old.

(He pointed to the statue)

You see this next guy? That's Rene Gagnon from New Hampshire. If you took Rene's helmet off at the moment this photo was taken, and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a photograph. A photograph of his girlfriend. Rene put that in there for protection, because he was scared. He was eighteen years old. Boys won the battle of Iwo Jima. Boys. Not old men.

The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike Strank. Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the "old man" because he was so old. He was already twenty-four. When Mike would motivate his boys in training camp, he didn't say, "Let's go kill the enemy" or "Let's die for our country." He knew he was talking to little boys. Instead he would say, "You do what I say, and I'll get you home to your mothers."

The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from Arizona. Ira Hayes walked off Iwo Jima. He went into the White House with my dad. President Truman told him, "You're a hero." He told reporters, "How can I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only twenty-seven of us walked off alive?"

So you take your class at school. 250 of you spending a year together having fun, doing everything together. Then all 250 of you hit the beach, but only twenty-seven of your classmates walk off alive. That was Ira Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes died dead drunk, face down at the age of thirty-two, ten years after this picture was taken.

The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop, Kentucky, a fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. His best friend, who is now 70, told me, "Yeah, you know, we took two cows up on the porch of the Hilltop General Store. Then we strung wire across the stairs so the cows couldn't get down. Then we fed them Epson salts. Those cows crapped all night."

Yes, he was a fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at the age of nineteen. When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to the Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother's farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the morning. The neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away.

The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John Bradley from Antigo, Wisconsin, where I was raised. My dad lived until 1994, but he would never give interviews. When Walter Cronkite's producers, or the New York Times would call, we were trained as little kids to say, "No, I'm sorry sir, my dad's not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is no phone there, sir. No, we don't know when he is coming back."

My dad never fished or even went to Canada. Usually he was sitting right there at the table eating his Campbell's soup, but we had to tell the press that he was out fishing. He didn't want to talk to the press. You see, my dad didn't see himself as a hero. Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, 'cause they are in a photo and a monument. My dad knew better. He was a medic. John Bradley from Wisconsin was a caregiver. In Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died, and when boys died in Iwo Jima, they writhed and screamed in pain.

When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said, "I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who did not come back. DID NOT come back."

So that's the story about six nice young boys. Three died on Iwo Jima, and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7000 boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps. My voice is giving out, so I will end here. Thank you for your time."

Suddenly the monument wasn't just a big old piece of metal with a flag sticking out of the top. It came to life before our eyes with the heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero. Maybe not a hero in his own eyes, but a hero nonetheless.

To read more read James Bradley's book Flags of Our Fathers... a very good read! Clint Eastwood is now turning the book into a movie for release in 2006

On a personal note my children and I visited the Iwo Jima Memorial, at night, last summer and as always it is very moving. I try to go there every time I go to DC.

On Iraq, Short Memories

Robert Kagen has a good column in Mondays Washington Post. Click on the title above for a link to the column.

1776 (Part II)

When Washington got to New York he was not sure where the British would attack or even if the British would attack the City. He divided his small army between Manhattan Island and Brooklyn on Long Island. (No Brooklyn bridge) the British sailed 400 ships into New York harbor. This was quite a site for a city of 20,000 most on the lower end of Manhattan Island. Brooklyn was mostly woods and country. The British landed near what is now Coney Island in lower Brooklyn and and in a surprise out flanked the American forces in Brooklyn forcing Washington to retreat to Manhattan by Boat with what was left of his army. The city could not be defended because the British Fleet controlled the sea and the rivers around Manhattan Island. Washington retreated to what is now Harlem and then on to White Planes. At each place he fought another battle and lost. Washington then retreated into New Jersey. The Americans had lost battle after battle and could not stand up to the British. The American army had been chased out of New York, it had poor and untrained officers and was it's number were dwindling down to a few thousand. The British offered an amnesty to those who had wanted independence if they would pledge loyalty to the crown.. Many American took the pledge. Even two member of Congress made the pledge. Washington's Army moved across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania and Congress evacuated Philadelphia in fear of a British attack. Thomas Payne said "These are the times that try men's souls. the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis , shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now , deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."If the British had pressed on they could have crushed Washington's Army and won the war; but, they retired to New York for the Winter and left outposts of troops in New Jersey. Washington then crossed back over the Delaware River to attack a British outpost in Trenton New Jersey on the day after Christmas . He captured 900 Hessian troops and a "small victory" but it gave the Americans the hope to carry on the war. Thus ended 1776 both the year and the book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves history. I have read many books on the American Revolution but David McCullough brings it to life and doesn't gloss over the difficulties that faced Washington and those Americans who wanted independence. He also demonstrates that the English were well English. They may have been in part priggish but they were civilized and for the most part conducted themselves with honor and civility considering the nature of the other countries of the world at that time. In fact England with all its faults was probable the most democratic country in the world at that time. The Americans just took it to the next level. It would take us many years and a civil war to move it even further.

1776 (Part I)

This Sunday I completed reading David McCullough's 1776. It is a wonderful book. Often in history it often assumed in retrospect that there was never any doubt of a particular outcome. However, that is often not the case. 229 years later it is easy to think that the United States independence was the natural outcome of the War for Independence. However in the dark days of 1776, and there were many dark days, we almost lost that war. The book deals almost entirely on George Washington and on the Continental Army's battles with the British. There is not much on the the Declaration of Independence. It is very clear that had Washington and his army lost the Declaration would have meant very little.

The book starts with the American siege of Boston. The British after Concord and Lexington were bottled up in Boston. The American Army could not get in and the British Army could not get out except by sea. Washington was given command of the army. Henry Knox, a former Boston book store owner, came up with idea of bringing the cannons from Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York to Boston to help the American Army. Knox selected 58 mortars and cannon. Three of the mortars weighed a ton each and the 24 pound cannon more than 5000 pounds. Altogether he move 120,000 pounds of cannon and mortars in the dead of winter from Ticonderoga to Boston. (No Mac trucks and few roads ) The Americans then placed the cannon on Dorchester Heights overlooking Boston and forced the British to evacuate from Boston by sea. So far so good. However the British were expected to next attack New York City and Washington moved his "rag tag" army from Boston to New York (to be continued in part II)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

1776 and Bush

I just finished reading David McCullough's new book 1776 and near the end is the following:

He was not a brilliant strategist or tactician, not a gifted orator, not an
intellectual. As several crucial moments he had shown marked
indecisiveness. He had made serious mistakes in judgment. but
had been his great teacher from boyhood and in this his greatest
test, he
learned steadily from experience. Above all, Washington
never forgot what
was at stake and he never gave up

Kinda like George W Bush!


Every year Richard Galen publishes his Back-To-School column about how fast children grow up. I love the line from Puff the Magic Dragon that goes:

"A dragon lives forever; but not so little boys. Painted wings and giant's
rings make way for other toys"

(For the full column click on the headline above "Back-To-School")

Good Weekend !

Oregon Ducks win (see below) and Washinton Huskies lose to Cal Bears. Quiet Sunday, listening to CD's (1960-1970 Folk Rock) and reading David McCullough's 1776.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Cloudy Day in Medford

It's a very cloudy day in Medford, Oregon and it could rain. Showers are forecast for the Ducks football game tomorrow in Eugene! Maybe Summer really is over.

Game 2: Oregon vs Montana: Win 47 to 24

Tomorrow, Saturday September 10th, the Oregon Ducks will play their first home game against the Montana Grizzles at Autzen Stadium. I will make the three hour drive from Medford to Eugene for the game. ( 3 hr up and 3 hr back) My son, a student at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon will make the 1 hr trip down from Salem to meet me there for the game. Even though my son wanted to and goes to a small liberal arts college he was raised a Duck and we enjoy the time together at the games I have had two season tickets for the last 15 years. When my children were younger they would take turns going with me to the games . Neither went to Oregon for college but both are Duck fans. My son when he was 6 years old flew with me to Shreveport Louisiana for the Independence Bowl in 1989. It was a real bonding experience. It was a very cold night in Shreveport and I was worried my son would get frost bite and my wife would kill me. In the end Oregon came from behind and won making us warm inside. At the time, it was Oregon's first bowl game since 1963. It had been a long dry spell with many losing seasons.The entire family went to the Rose Bowl in 1995 ( 1994 season) and the Los Vegas Bowl in 1997. My son and I drove for two solid days to Tempe Arizona for the Fiesta Bowl win over Colorado in 2002 (2001 season). My daughter who is now working and living in Washington DC is flying out later this fall to go with me to the Oregon/Washington game. A few years ago she met me in Tempe Arizona for a game against Arizona State. There is a bar in Arlington Virginia (across the river from Washington DC) where Oregon fans congregate in the DC area to watch on TV Oregon Duck games. When my son was in Washington DC last fall doing a "Washington Semester" at American University my two"Kids" would get together there to watch the Ducks. Someday we will all go back to the Rose Bowl! In the meantime my wife and I are going to the South Medford high school game tonight against West Lynn here in Medford. Go Panthers! Go Ducks!
Click on headline above for AP report on game. Ducks are now 2 and 0 , next up Fresno State in Eugene next Saturday , Go Ducks!

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Democrats Use Human Tragedy to Raise Funds!

According to an AP news story: "A new Democratic effort to whip up indignation about the Bush administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina also tried to raise money for Democratic candidates.

Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat and the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, issued an appeal Thursday urging people to sign an online petition to fire the
Federal Emergency Management Agency's director over his handling of the Katrina response.
After an inquiry from the Associated Press, the DSCC quickly pulled down the page and said they would give the Red Cross any money raised by the anti-FEMA petition.
When recipients clicked on a link to the petition, the top center of the screen — above the call to "Fire the FEMA director" — had asked for a donation to the DSCC" (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee)

Have they no shame! (click on heading above for link to full AP news report)

"Football Season is Over"

There is a story on Drudge that Hunter S Thompson who committed suicide in February left a suicide note titled "Football Season is Over". Chick on the heading above for a link to the entire news story. It reads in part: "Douglas Brinkley, the presidential historian who is also Thompson's official biographer, writes that a Feb. 16 note may be Thompson's final written words. It reads:

"No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun _ for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax _ This won't hurt."

"Hunter left the note for his wife, Anita. He shot himself four days later at his home in Aspen, Colo., after weeks of pain from a host of physical problems that included a broken leg and a hip replacement. "

"Written in black marker, the note was titled, "Football Season Is Over."

"Brinkley writes in the magazine, on newsstands Friday, "February was always the cruelest month for Hunter S. Thompson. An avid NFL fan, Hunter traditionally embraced the Super Bowl in January as the high- water mark of his year. February, by contrast, was doldrums time"

I was never a fan of Thompson but understand his depression after the Super Bowl. I have the same feeling every year. Don't worry friends I will not be committing suicide. There is always next season! Plus, there is always Oregon's Spring Game in May. And my wife wonders why I drive three hours to a glorified inter squad scrimmage. Hay , consider the alternatives.

D-Day Museum Safe

Good news from New Orleans. From news report and the internet the National D-Day Museum is safe, it was not flooded. Click on the link contained in the heading above "D-Day Museum Safe" for a report from the museum director whose wife is a sergeant in the New Orleans Police Department and has been by the museum. My wife seems to think I am more interested in a darn museum than people..........What can I say I love history. The French quarter also appears to have escaped the flood.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Bush Personally Appealed for a Mandatory Evacuation

The BBC reports that President Bush called the Governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blancy,the day BEFORE the Hurrican hit and personally appealed for a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans The BBC report in part states:

"It was announced at a news conference by the Mayor Ray Nagin on Sunday 28
August,less than 24 hours before the hurricane struck early the next

The question has to be asked: Why was it not ordered earlier?

The Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco said at the same news conference
that President Bush had called and personally appealed for a mandatory

The night before, National Hurricane Director Max Mayfield

had called Mayor Nagin to tell him that an evacuation was needed.
Why were these calls necesssary?"

For the full BBC report click on the heading "Bush Personaly Appealed for a Mandatory Evacuation" above for a link to the news story.

Confirm Judge John Roberts

Click on the above title "Confirm Judge John Roberts" and it is a link to an opinion column written by my son for the Willamette Collegian, the student newspaper at Willamette Univeisity, in Salem Oregon, in support of Judge John Roberts confirmation to the U. S. Supreme Court by the U.S. Senate. John Wickre is a senior in the College of Liberal Arts and is majoring in History and Political Science.

"Race Hustlers"

Wesley Pruden, Editor in Chief of the Washington Times is "on Fire" in todays paper:

"George W. finally gets it -- in more ways than one. The tardy president was back on the Gulf Coast yesterday, bucking up the spirits of the damned and stiffening the resolve of the slackers"

"He's getting it as well from his critics, many of whom can't believe their great good luck, that a hurricane, of all things, finally gives them the opening they've been waiting for to heap calumny and scorn on him for something that might get a little traction. Cindy Sheehan is yesterday's news; she couldn't attract a camera crew this morning if she stripped down to her step-ins for a march on Prairie Chapel Ranch...."

"The race hustlers waited for three days to inflame a tense situation, but then set
to work with their usual dedication. The Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, our self-appointed twin ambassadors of ill will, made the scene as soon as they could, taking up the coded cry that Katrina was the work of white folks, that a shortage of white looters and snipers made looting and sniping look like black crime..."

"The first polls, no surprise, show the libels are not working. A Washington Post-ABC survey found that the president is not seen as the villain the nutcake left is trying to make him out to be. Americans, skeptical as ever, are believing their own eyes. "

Read the entire column at:

Summers Gone? NO

Every one is acting like Summer is over. My calendar shows that we have 15 MORE days and I don't want to give up any of them them. Of course, Labor day has come and gone. School has started for most public school children, some colleges have started , Congress is back in session and football is in full swing. I feel like the guy who is still at the party and everyone else has left. I always get ripped off from part of my summer, but not this year. Summer always starts late. This year the weather was rainy until almost the 4th of July. According to the calendar Summer doesn't start until June 21. Most Public schools did not get out until near that date. Therefore, I have had less than three months of Summer and I don't want to move on. As a confirmed news junkie I took most of the summer off from news. No, I still read the newspaper , watched Fox News and read the news on the internet. I just didn't have the news on 24 hr a day. I turned off the news channels and listened to music I haven't listened to in 30 years. I really enjoyed listening to those old tunes and converting my music from vinyl records to CD's . I think the election just burned me out on news. In any case, it's still Summer and it will be until September 22th. I will be wearing my shorts at Oregon's first home football game against Montana on Saturday. I love the Summer games at Autzen..... It's still Summer!

Monday, September 05, 2005

The Movie, The Constant Gardener

This weekend I went to see the movie The Constant Gardener based upon all the good reviews I had read. I should have known better! It was a very well done movie from a technical point of view; but, it was also a very Left Wing polemic that the Bush/Blair haters will love...... which is the reason it got such good reviews. An exception is this review from Megan Basham which I have linked:

In her review she states: "the Constant Gardener is so thinly disguises as a love story only the most pseudo of intellectuals could take it seriously.....the.... moralizing is so heavy-handed it negates its own stunning cinematography and a truly inspired inspired performance by Rachel Weisz..... Director Fernando Meirelles (City of God) makes certain his characters swing at every blame-America-first straw dog like they expect candy to come pouring out....Sound a bit radical? Not nearly as radical as some of Meirelles own statements, such as when he told a University of Texas campus paper about filming in Kenya, 'It was a great experience. Like an al-Qaeda training camp'......"

Don't go to the movie until you have read the review that's linked above.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Good Weekend !

It's always a good weekend when the Ducks win and the Washington Huskies lose. The Huskies lost to Air Force 20 to 17 in Seattle!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Great comback

The following is from an email I recieved today:

A Soldier tells about an incident in the grocery store he stopped at yesterday, on his way home from the base. He said that ahead of several people in front of him stood a woman dressed in a burkha. He said when she got to the cashier she loudly remarked about the US flag lapel pin the cashier wore on her smock.The cashier reached up and touched the pin, and said proudly,"Yes, I always wear it and I probably always will." The woman in the burkha then asked the cashier when she was going to stop bombing her countrymen, explaining that she was Iraqi. A gentleman standing behind the soldier stepped forward, putting his arm around his shoulders, and nodding towards the soldier, said in a calm and gentle voice to the Iraqi woman: "Lady, hundreds of thousands of men and women like this young man have fought and died so that YOU could stand here, in MY country and accuse a check-out cashier of bombing YOUR countrymen. It is my belief that had you been this outspoken in YOUR own country, we wouldn't need to be there today. But, hey, if you have now learned how to speak out so loudly and clearly, I'll gladly buy you a ticket and pay your way back to Iraq so you can straighten out the mess in YOUR country that you are obviously here in MY country to avoid.Everyone within hearing distance cheered.Pass this on to all your proud Americans .

I don't know if this email is a true story but as was said at the end of the Man Who Shot Libery Valance, a John Ford Western, when legend becomes fact print the legend.

High School Football

Tonight the South Medford Panthers will play Tigard a school from the suburbs of Portland at Fred Spiegelberg Stadium in Medford. My kids have long since graduated from South High but my wife and I will be there tonight cheering on the Panthers. There is nothing quite like small town high school football on a Friday night. If you have read the book or seen the movie Friday Night Lights you know what I mean. I will have my usual Hot Dog and soda for dinner in the stands as I watch the teams warm up. The Portland Oregonian Newspaper today has an article on the best Football League in Oregon and talks about the Southern Oregon Conference which has the major high schools in Southern Oregon. After picking the Southern Oregon Conference as the best in the state the new story talks about the passion of football in Southern Oregon. "with intangibles such as Spiegelberg Stadium the unique small-town passion of schools such as Grants Pass and Roseburg. It talks about this part of the state being the "hotbed of the state community and fan-wise. If you go to Grants Pass, you'll see a packed house. If you go to Spiegelberg Stadium, you'll see a packed house. The support and passion from the fans is amazing..." It ends with the following quote: "when someone heard me say the other day that we're playing at Medford, they said,'Whoa, that's like Texas down there." Well, it may not be like Texas, but it's as close to Texas as you're gona get in the state of Oregon."

Civil Order in America

The recent looting of stores in New Orleans shows that it is not just Third World countries that have problems when civil order breaks down. Remember Baghdad . The Wall Street Journal in an editorial in today's edition discuses just how fragile civil order is in America. Here is a link to that editorial: Another good reason for common citizens to have the right to own and bear guns! No one will loot my home.