Friday, December 29, 2006

Way to Go ... South Medford High!

To night the South Medford High Panthers beat Lake Oswego at a holiday basketball tournament in the Portland area. Last year the two teams met for the Oregon State Championship and South Medford lost. Tonight they met again and South won the game. Way to Go Panthers. Lake Oswego has a star player name Kevin Love who will be going to play basketball at UCLA. South has a star player, Kyle Singler, who will be going to DUKE. They are the best basketball players to come out of Oregon in a long long time. Only recruiting rules prevent me from telling you where I wish they were going.

Holiday Trip

Our son and daughter are home for the Christmas Holidays. Our son had to work to earn some money for graduate school, so our daughter an I took an overnight trip to Eugene to watch an Oregon Duck Basketball game at "The Pit" against the University of Portland. She was able to see them play earlier in the year when they played Georgetown in Washington DC. However, she has not been to "The Pit" for several years and wanted to see one more game before they eventually build a new basketball arena. (we hope) The Ducks were playing Portland in a pre non conference game. It is normally hard to get tickets to the Ducks in Eugene but with the holidays the students were not on campus so I was able to get some tickets. We had a good time. We drove up Thursday morning and went to the Duck shop and I got a new Duck coat. We had lunch at a campus hangout and then checked into the New Oregon Motel. It's across the street from the U of O and I have been staying there for almost 50 years. I stayed there when I was a kid with my parents when we would go to Eugene to see the Ortodonist as Coos Bay did not have one. We went to several book stores and also checked out Best Buy for DVD's. The Ducks won the game and it was fun being back on campus. After the game we went to Track Town Pizza for an after game pizza. On Friday after a stop at Borders Books we drove home. It was a fun getaway and it was special to do it with our daughter.

Saddam Hussein Will Not Be Ringing In The New Year, 2007


SADDAM HUSSEIN WILL NOT BE RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR, 2007. HE WAS EXECUTED TONIGHT BY THE IRAQI PEOPLE FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. HE HAS JOINED , HITLER, MUSSOLINI TOJO,MAO,AND STALIN IN THAT HELL RESERVED FOR EVIL MEN. MAY CASTRO SOON JOIN THEM! .....A WIN FOR THE GOOD GUYS!!..... THANKS, GEORGE W. BUSH FOR MAKING IT POSSIBLE. YOU DID WHAT NO ONE ELSE HAD THE COURAGE TO DO!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

GERALD FORD RIP



A nice man who did his duty when America needed him. I still remember the dark days of Watergate and the man who stepped into the breach and held things together. Gerald Ford, Rest in Peace

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Day 26 in the search for a University of Oregon AD

Ron Bellamy, the sports columnist. of the Eugene Register Guard newspaper today suggested in light of Oregon's loss in the Las Vegas Bowl it would not be a good idea for Mike Bellotti to be BOTH Head Football Coach and Athletic Director for the University of Oregon.He was very critical about the Football Program and said:

Something needs to change, arguably in the personality of the program, but certainly in its performance, and Mike Bellotti will have to figure out what, and how, and how quickly.

It will continue to be, by the way, more than a full-time job. So forget that speculation about Bellotti serving as both football coach and as athletic director, because it wouldn't work, under the best of circumstances.

These aren't those.


I agree completely. We need a full time Football Coach and next year will tell whether Bellotti should continue or be gone.

On the other hand what with the need to raise funds for a new basketball arena we need a full time Athletic Director.We also need a full time AD to watch over the football program due to it's dismal performance this year which is become an alarming trend! ( 4 bowl losses in a row)

To read Bellamy's entire column click on the title above for a link.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Update: Day 25 in the University of Oregon AD Search

Earlier today someone on one of the educk message boards, "Open Season" mentioned that Oregon might be interested in the Louisville Athletic Director in that he held people accountable. I didn't think much of it until I later today read from the Associated Press that Louisville TODAY gave a two year contract extension to Louisville AD Tom Jurich after several schools (not named) had made overtures to Louisville about Jurich.Click on the title above for a link to a Sporting News story on the contract extension. He may be thanking Oregon for the extra money and contract extension?

Louisville, Kentucky? Rich Brooks is the head football coach at the University of Kentucky and is mentioned as a potential AD candidate at Oregon as is Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart. What a coincidence, three potential candidates all in Kentucky..... developing....Update Brooks and Barnhardt both got contract extensions today too "in principle" Another coincidence? Developing...... I wonder if they too can thank Oregon for their contract extensions....????? An agreement "in principle" is not necessarily binding.

Let's have a Hootenanny


Enough of Duck football for a while. Yesterday I discovered that on January 23 they are releasing a three DVD set called the "Best of Hootenanny" the folk singing TV show from the early 1960's. I loved the show. Here is a description of the show from
Wikipedia:
"Hootenanny was a musical variety television show broadcast in the United States on ABC from April, 1963 to September, 1964. The program was hosted by Jack Linkletter. It primary featured pop-oriented folk music acts. It was taped before a live audience at a different college campus each week. Some of the popular acts that appeared on the show included The Limeliters, the Chad Mitchell Trio, and the Smothers Brothers."


Amazon.com has this to say about the DVD set:

By 1964 the Beatles had arrived in America, essentially ending the folk music craze that had started only a few years before. Hootenanny would soon be replaced by Shindig! All of the videotapes of Hootenanny are lost--most likely erased and recycled during a time when no one imagined folk music would matter again. But fortunately the shows were preserved on kinescopes, films made from a television monitor. These kinescopes of Hootenanny form a musical time capsule of the short-lived era in American popular music--in between Elvis Presley and The Beatles--when folk music was all the rage.
More than 80 songs including: Froggie Went A-Courtin', He Was A Friend Of Mine, Midnight Special, C.C. Rider, Cottonfields, Turn Turn Turn, If I Had A Hammer, Wayfarin' Stranger, Wimoweh and Ole Blue

With performances by:
Eddy Arnold, Hoyt Axton, Leon Bibb, Theodore Bikel, The Brothers Four, Bud & Travis, The Carter Family, Johnny Cash, The Chad Mitchell Trio, The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, The Clara Ward Gospel Singers,Judy Collins, The Coventry Singers, Dian & The Greenbriar Boys, The Dillards, Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, Bob Gibson, Ian & Sylvia, Joe & Eddie, The Journeymen, The Limeliters, Trini Lopez, Miriam Makeba, Herbie Mann, MinstrelsThe New Christy Minstrals , Richard & Jim, Jimmie Rodgers, The Rooftop Singers, The Serendipity Singers, Mike Settle, The Simon Sisters, The Tarriers, The Travelers Three, Doc Watson, Josh White, Jr., Beverly White, Marion Williams

And comedy by:
Woody Allen, Bill Cosby, Vaughn Meader, Louis Nye, Jackie Vernon


One half of the "Simon Sisters" was Carley! What a great time. No one has seen these shows since the early 1960's. I remember when I was in high school we had a "Hootenanny" over at the North Bend Junior High gym and they even brought in some folk singers from far away Eugene, Oregon. The Folk Music era was way too short.

To order your own three DVD set click on the title above for a link to the Amazon.com web page :)

Las Vegas Bowl Disaster! (updated 11/1/07)

(Update... Welcome educk premium users)

Original Post as follows:


John Canzano, sports columnist for the Portland Oregonian newspaper is "right on" today in his column about the Ducks. To read his column click on the title above for a link. A few quotes from his column:

It was unacceptable. It was embarrassing. It was a total failure.

Not the football game.

The performance of the losing head coach afterward.

Oregon was outclassed Thursday night on the football field at Sam Boyd Stadium. Brigham Young laid a 38-8 back-alley whipping on the Ducks in the Las Vegas Bowl.

You saw it. I saw it.

Then, after it mercifully ended, Oregon coach Mike Bellotti sat around with a pair of dispassionate eyes, speaking with a flat, hollowed-out voice, refusing to own the moment. When asked where the passion was, Bellotti said, "You'll have to ask the players." .....

Ducks fans who supported the program by coming to Las Vegas, paying $50 per ticket, several hundred dollars in airfare, more money for hotels, rental cars, gas and meals should be immediately offered a subsidization. Instead, Bellotti, who should have asked for forgiveness (it's his program, right?) offered to his followers a meek and unsatisfying, "Come back next year, we'll do better." .....

Droves of fans in green and yellow left the stadium midway through the third quarter, presumably because getting drunk and inhaling half a pack of cigarette smoke while losing a couple of hundred bucks in the casinos beats standing around in the cold watching your team stare blankly.

Can't say I blame a single Ducks defector.....

"Where's the heart?" a Ducks fan leaning over the railing of the stadium asked.

Oregon would have been better off politely declining the Las Vegas Bowl invitation and saving everyone the time. But Bellotti's reaction to the non-performance goes down as an alarming development....

It's poor form, Coach.

It's also your program, Coach.

You still want it, right?



UPDATE: NOVEMBER 1, 2007

Sometimes Canzano is correct and sometimes not. Back in December of 2006 he was "Right on." about the Vegas Bowl. In November of 2007 his latest blogs about his his press box experience at the U$C game is an attempt to make it all about him. This time he is very wrong. In my opinion, the tough love the players and coaches got from their fans after the Las Vegas Bowl in part gave them the incentive to work hard during the summer and spring of 2007 and the success we see to date is the result. I still have a bad taste in my mouth over the Las Vegas Bowl and I never want to see us repeat it.... there was no excuse for it. But enough about the past "just win the day".... Beat ASU on Saturday! Let's go Ducks!

Check out my current posts by clicking on the title above for a link... the old link to Canzano's column is dead on the Oregon live end.

Day 25 in the University of Oregon AD search

LAS VEGAS -- Oregon coach Mike Bellotti said Thursday he had no timetable for deciding whether to pursue the university's soon-to-be vacant athletic director position.

"I haven't even talked to anybody about it, and I have no information or anything like that," Bellotti said.

Bellotti is considered a top candidate for the position. He has said that he is interested in the job, but that he would not give up coaching football to oversee the department.

This month, athletic director Bill Moos announced his retirement effective April 1, 2007.

Of course on Thursday the Oregon Ducks lost the Las Vegas Bowl game to BYU a team that showed the heart the Ducks lacked.
Hey, it looks like he has a full time job coaching football if he is to bring the Ducks back from the disaster this season became.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Las Vegas Bowl BYU 38 Oregon 8

BYU Fans have a right to be very proud of their team.... they have HEART!

The Oregon Duck team is an embarrassment to all Duck Fans. With the exception of a few, mainly on defense, they have no HEART. They are soft,undisciplined and not motivated. Now they can be home for Christmas and New Years and watch on TV, teams that have heart and want to play football. The Oregon coaches and players should issue an apology to all Duck fans. The team and coaches have a right to a long cold winter and some tough love from their fans. The coaches need to look deep within themselves. The status quo is not acceptable and if next year there are similar results then changes in the coaching staff need to be made. As far as I am concerned the coaches have only one more year to turn things around or there will need to be changes at the very top. I don't claim to be an expert on football but I do know the bottom line. The bottom line is :

2002 Seattle Bowl.......Wake Forest 38, Oregon 17( I was there)
2003 Sun Bowl ........ ... Minnesota 31, Oregon 30
2004 ..........No Bowl for Oregon...................
2005 Holiday Bowl........Oklahoma 17, Oregon 14(I was there)
2006 Las Vegas Bowl ....BYU 38, Oregon 8


No matter how good this year is in recruiting, the results of this season will not be forgotten by me for a long time. I will be a Duck fan till the day I die but I never want to see another game or season like this.I have been giving them the benefit of the doubt too long! No More! Leadership starts at the top!

Go Ducks!

GAME DAY

A gathering of those zany Oregon Duck fans. One hour and counting........ Gooooooooooo Duuuuuucks !!!!!! Beat BYU in the Las Vegas bowl!

GAME DAY UPDATE

The game will start today at 5 pm, PST on ESPN. Go Ducks Beat BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl. Three hours and counting.......

GAME DAY

Aye, Oregon Ducks,play with real heart and you may lose, quit and play without heart, and you'll go home for Christmas and watch those that want to play football... at least for a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and and beat BYU, that they may take a win , but they'll never take... OUR HEART Go Ducks Beat BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl!

GAME DAY


Duck Fans, saddle up and ride to the sound of guns!

LET'S GO DUCKS! LET'S GO DUCKS! LET'S GO DUCKS!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Lincolnian Christmas 1863, 2006 By Michael Novak


Wars are often darkest just before the light. In our day, we must pray for military leadership committed to making Baghdad secure, and Iran and Syria quite afraid. Even conceived of in these limited terms, we need top generals committed, as in 1864, to victory. Many Americans will not believe it can be done. That’s the way it was in 1777, when historians estimate that as many as two-thirds of all Americans in New York and New Jersey had come to support the British. During the meandering carnage of 1863 and 1864, many Americans also gave up hope. Americans ought never to forget Abraham Lincoln’s dark year, just before the sun of victory surprisingly broke through. Contemplating the sacrifices that so many hundreds of thousands had made to keep the Union whole, Lincoln did not believe that the God who gave us liberty when he gave us life, could in the end disregard the sacrifices of so many. That is how Lincoln held on in 1864. As did Washington (and even Tom Paine) before him in the darkest days of winter 1777. Those prayers of Washington and Lincoln would not be bad for Christmas 2006, either.

To read the entire article click on the title above for a link

Las Vegas Bowl!



Less than 24 hours till the start of the Las Vegas Bowl. Oregon Ducks vs the BYU Cougars on ESPN Thursday December 21st at 5:00 pm PST. Go Ducks!

Christmas Cards



This year my wife and I went into a Hallmark Store and found two Christmas cards for our children that were perfect. For our son we found a card with a "It's a Wonderful Life" theme. Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed are on the front of the card. When you open the card an electronic device inside the card plays a recording of Jimmy Stewart saying a line from the movie about how he will lasso the moon for Reed. If you remember the movie they are coming home from a dance after having fallen into a swimming pool under the dance floor that some pranksters caused to open while Stewart and Reed were dancing. The card for our daughter is a card with a "White Christmas" theme with Bing Crosby and the other characters from the movie on the cover. Open the card and you hear Bing sing White Christmas. These are our children's favorite Christmas movies and the cards were perfect. Marry Christmas!

The University of Oregon Releases The Leland Report....Sort Of ! ( Day 23 in the UofO's AD search)

Ron Bellamy in today's Register Guard has a column about the Leland Report. A few quotes from that column:
Former Stanford athletics director Ted Leland, hired by the University of Oregon as an "independent expert" to evaluate the UO athletic department earlier this fall, provided an oral report that was "overall very positive," UO president Dave Frohnmayer said Tuesday....

Leland presented separate oral reports of his evaluation to Frohnmayer and athletics director Bill Moos but ultimately wasn't asked to submit a written report, they said, even though his contract stipulated that he would do so. Which suggests that Frohnmayer and Moos have such good memories that, after paying Leland to conduct what was an admittedly significant evaluation, they didn't need to have him write any of it down.

Or, perhaps, that they were concerned that what Leland would have written would have been far more candid - or informative, disconcerting, disturbing, you pick the word - than Oregon wanted to see in print and subject to the state public records law....

In late November, in his 12th year at Oregon, Moos announced his resignation, effective the end of March. As part of the resignation agreement, he will receive close to $200,000 per year for 10 years, the settlement financed by a group of donors, most prominently San Diego-based Pat Kilkenny.

By then, I would suggest, Frohnmayer had come to believe - with the encouragement of some donors, and probably without much debate from Moos - that Nike co-founder Phil Knight would not help finance a new basketball arena as long as Moos remained AD, thereby rendering Moos an impediment to the progress of his department...


Both Frohnmayer and Moos said Leland's evaluation - "I would never call it an investigation," Frohnmayer said - was not an attempt to provide evidence of whether Oregon had reason to fire Moos for cause, or to help shape the size of his settlement package....

Upon completing his research, Leland was to prepare a written report, "summarizing the consultant's advice and recommendations," by no later than Nov. 30.

For that, Leland was to be paid $2,300 per day of work, not to exceed $30,000....

Frohnmayer said Leland also mentioned the importance of "long-term donor cultivation" and said Leland saw Oregon's relationship with Nike as "good for the University of Oregon, good for the state of Oregon, and he underscored the value of building and maintaining strong long-term relationships."....

As Leland was conducting his examination, Moos said, he thought "this may be my Last Hurrah here anyway, and I hope this comes back positive, because I'd hate to leave thinking I was not held in favor by the people I'd been leading for 12 years, so I felt good about it, at its conclusion."

Nevertheless, the report, "glowing" as it was, clearly didn't convince Frohnmayer that it would be in Oregon's best interests to convince Moos to remain as athletics director.

Nor that it was something that would be prudent to have in writing.


To read Ron Bellamy's entire column click on the title above for a link. Ron Bellemy has the same scepticism I do. If things were so good why not hold Bill Moos to his contract or pay him more to stay. Why pay him twice what he would have received under his contract to leave? The real reason Moos is leaving is Phil Knight will not donate to the new basketball arena until Moos is gone. This may be unspoken by Knight but it's true. I put the blame for this in Moos's court or lack thereof......what a terrible pun!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas Card From Our Daughter


This year our daughter, who lives in Washington DC, sent us one of the best Christmas cards we have ever received. It is a painting of "The White House Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, December 1941." The card was produced by the White House Historical Association. The painting on the front of the card was of Christmas Eve 1941 just weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the U.S. entry into World War II. The Christmas trees is shown in front of the White House and on the portico speaking to the crowd is FDR and Winston Churchill. Churchill had come to Washington DC to coordinate the war effort with FDR and was staying with Roosevelt at the White House.

There is a lot of detail of Churchill's visit in the new book "Franklin and Winston, an Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship" by Jon Meacham managing editor of Newsweek and a very good read. An interesting passage from the book:
The prime minister's hours kept Roosevelt up later than he was accustomed to. Churchill would wander into the President's bedroom at any hour if he had something to talk over..... The late-night conversations were fueled by war and drink... Winston... ate and thoroughly enjoyed, more food than any two men or three diplomats;and he consumed brandy and Scotch with a grace and enthusiasm that left us all open mouthed in awe....


That night they spoke to the crowd in front of the White House and to the nation on the radio. Jon Meacham described the night as follows:
There was a vast crowd, the voices drifted across the keen night air, the carols--old and yet for ever new--were sung in an atmosphere mellowed by the lights and the shadows... the voices of the President and the Prime Minister rang out with a message of hope and courage...
Roosevelt introduced Churchill as "My associate, my old and good friend" Churchill said:
I spend this anniversary and festival far from home....Here in the midst of war, raging and roaring over all the lands and seas, creeping nearer to our hearts and homes, here, amid all the tumult,we have tonight the peace of the spirit in each cottage home and every generous heart. Therefore we may cast aside for this night at least the cares and dangers which beset us, and make for the children an evening of happiness in a world of storm. Here, then for one night only, each home through out the English-speaking world should be a brightly-lighted island of happiness and peace.... Let the children have their night of fun and laughter... before we turn to the stern tasks and formidable year that lie before us. Resolve that by our sacrifice and daring these children shall not be robbed of their inheritance or denied their right to live in a free and decent world.


According to Meacham, Eleanor Roosevelt had been worried that FDR would have a bad Christmas because it was the first Christmas after his mothers death but the influx of guests and increasing work made it practically impossible for him to think too much about any personal sorrow.

Churchill had heart palpitations during the ceremony and Churchill was sad to be apart from his wife Clementine at Christmas.

The Christmas Card out daughter sent us is one I will aways treasure. The White House Historical Association will not let me post the picture on the card on this blog but by clicking on the title above it will take you to the picture on their web site. If you look closely you will See FDR and Churchill. Thanks, Marry Christmas, and have a safe trip back home to Oregon .

Monday, December 18, 2006

Movie: "The Queen" *****


Sunday night my son and I went over to the Varsity Theater in Ashland to see the late showing of the Movie "The Queen." I give the movie 5 * our of 5 *. It has not yet played at Tinseltown in Medford at the multiplex theater and it is a shame. It has been showing in Ashland since at least Thanksgiving weekend and is now in the small theater down the alley in back of the main Varsity Theater.

The movie is a docudrama very much like an expanded episode of West Wing. It deals with the relationship between Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister Tony Blair at the time of Princess Diana's death in an auto accident in Paris. The Queen wants a private funeral and wants to keep a "stiff upper lip" about the whole think. The British public on the other hand are deeply affected by the Diana's death and want a State Funeral. Diana at this point was no longer a member of the Royal Family and technically was not entitled to a State Funeral. The Royal family stays on vacation at their Vacation home in Scotland hunting on the very large estate and the British public is upset by the seeming lack of public sorrow by The Queen and rest of the Royal Family. Tony Blair has just been elected British Prime Minister and has yet to establish much of a relationship with the Queen. His wife and some of his staff are anti Royal. Blair sticks up for The Queen but realises The Queen has made a major PR mistake that could jeopardise the monarchy in the UK and works to turn things around. Prince Charles is sympathetic to Blair's point of view but comes across as a wimp. The Movie is very well done and the actress who plays The Queen is her and should win an Academy Award nomination. The movie could have easy become an anti royal movie about how the monarchy in England has lost touch with the public mood but the movie presents a balanced approach to the crisis. I personally thought both the British Media, public, and the American media and public over reacted to Diana's death. She was a beautiful airhead who gave up her duties as princess to run around the world and became a playgirl. Her death was tragic but not something we needed to dwell on 24/7. On the other hand The Queen was too isolated to fully understand the grief of her people. There were a number of scenes that were very powerful and I will get this movie on DVD when it is released. This movie should be in wider release and hopefully when the Academy Award nominations come out that will happen. Run don't walk to the nearest theater showing this movie.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Old Movies



Anyone who has read this blog for any period of time know I love old movies. Columnist Bill Varble in today's Medford Mail Tribune newspaper writes of some of the difficulty finding old movies at the video store. He writes:
I was unable to find DVDs of such Robert Altman classics as "MASH," "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" or "Nashville" at a video store. These aren't silents or art films or obscure, independent pictures. They're modern classics from the 1970s.

A young woman working in the store did not know the films. She explained that what drives the rental business is "new releases," or films within the first year or two of their theatrical runs.


I have found the same problems when I go to the DVD stores in an attempt to locate classic films. Most of the young clerks have no idea who or what I am looking for.

Varble continues:

My generation grew up in part with the classic pictures of an earlier time, the heyday of the studio system. Some were commercial junk, just like now. The best filtered to the top.

How did they become part of our world? Because they were still being shown on television. These days there's no shelf life. With cable, you don't see the classics unless you watch Turner Classic Movies or belong to Netflix or have the luck to live near a video shop with a respectable classics section.



So true, I discovered most of the old classic films on the Late Late Movie on TV. I can still remember staying up much too late discovering old classics like "Since You Went Away" and "Sergeant York" which I just got on DVD. I remember the Sunday/Saturday afternoons watching John Wayne in Rio Grande or Fort Apache on TV. It was only later I learned that some of the best John Wayne films were directed by John Ford


Varble quotes a college professor, who he is in email contact with, as saying about the younger generation:

"When I talk to a student who IS aware of the virtue of older films, I ask why they watch and appreciate older films. The answer is usually that their parents loved older films and so they were exposed to a lot of interesting stuff while they were growing up."


My children, having me as a father, have been exposed to a lot of old films. The biggest hurdle I had to overcome with my kids was convincing them that some of the best movies of all time are in black and white.I can still remember "Oh we don't want to watch that because it's in black and white." Now they love old movies as much as I do. Last night after we got home from a Christmas party my son went down to my "Movie Room" and I found him watching one of his and my favorites "It's a Wonderful Life" and yes it is in Black and white. We stayed up till midnight watching that film. Our Daughter loves "Mr Smith Goes to Washington" which is also in black and white. She now lives and works in Washington DC and I can't help believing that my introducing her to that film in her youth, at least partly, led to her present occupation. Note both of these films star Jimmy Stewart and were directed by Frank Capra.

Varble, ends his column with:

I suggest going out and renting all the Bogart pictures you can find, along with W.C. Fields, Mae West, the Marx Brothers, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Hitchcock mysteries and John Ford westerns and John Huston melodramas and anything by Frank Capra and John Ford and Billy Wilder.


I sure agree about John Ford and Frank Capra. For a link to my DVD collection on DVD Aficionado click on the title above)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Midnight at the Jackson County Internation Airport in Medford Oregon

Last night I spent midnight at the Jackson County International Airport in Medford Oregon. Our son was coming home for Christmas and had a flight on Horizon Airlines from Seattle to Medford that was to arrive in Medford at 7:25 pm. However because of a storm in Seattle with power outages that flight was canceled. He then got a new flight on Horizon that was to arrive at 12:20 am. That flight made it but not his luggage. He had checked his luggage in Grand Forks North Dakota when he left there and then he went on to Minneapolis. He then flew from Minneapolis to Seattle. However because they canceled the flight from Seattle his luggage didn't make it. We then had to wait in line for about half an our to be able to report the lost suitcase and didn't make it home till 2 am. It's amazing how many people are at the airport at midnight. There were at least three flights arriving at that time of night. On the other hand it took us three hard days of driving to drive to Grand Forks North Dakota last summer and he made the trip by airplane in one day and we all take it for granted. He is safe at home for Christmas.

Oregon Ducks......Just Win the Vegas Bowl!


This week the University of Oregon Ducks introduced their new football helmet they will wear in the Las Vegas Bowl on Thursday December 21. The game will be broadcast on ESPN nationwide at 5:30 pm PST. The color of the new helmet has been described by some as the color of bird droppings or by Ron Bellamy as the color of "bile" Today Ron Bellamy of the Eugene Register Guard newspaper in his sports column ends by saying "Forget the fashion statements, Oregon. Just go beat somebody." In his column Bellamy points out:

"It's often said that timing is everything, which is why it would show incredibly bad taste for Oregon to break out new helmets for the Las Vegas Bowl, even if the helmets were ordered months ago.

Unless Oregon is operating under the theory that the new headgear will make BYU players convulse in laughter, or simply break into convulsions, and, heck, it might.

Put it this way: Your teen-age kid knows that the day the report card comes home with three Ds isn't the day to show you the new chrome hubcaps, or that latest tattoo.


Has the athletic department forgotten the situation here? The Ducks are in a bowl game that is so far away from being a New Year's Day bowl game that it's not even post-Christmas.

They've lost five of their last seven Pac-10 games, at 7-5 overall and 4-5, just their third losing league record in 12 seasons under coach Mike Bellotti.

They've committed 30 turnovers, most in the Bellotti era and most since the 1993 team had 31 turnovers, that total in 11 games. They've given up 129 points off turnovers, 41 in their last two games."

In Oregon's last three games - the losses to USC, Arizona and Oregon State - out of a possible 180 minutes the Ducks actually had a lead for a total of seven minutes and 22 seconds, period.


I have not been happy with my Ducks this season as they sometimes didn't give 100% effort and basically under performed. So Ducks it's time for redem yourselves and gain some self respect! If not, there is a BYU team that wants to win this game real bad . DUCKS! ....NO MORE SEATTLE BOWLS WIN AGAIN IN VEGAS!

(To read the rest of Bellamy's column click on the title above for a link.)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Search for Oregon Athletic Director (Day 18)

One week ago today Ron Bellamy of the Eugene Register Guard reported:


"Oregon brought former Stanford athletics director Ted Leland to Eugene to produce a State of the Cas Center report.

According to sources, Leland spent two days interviewing UO coaches, athletics administrators and donors, to assess the athletic department under Bill Moos.

Presumably, he presented his evaluation, the good and the not, to UO president Dave Frohnmayer.

A question: Had Moos, by then, already determined that he was moving on, and the purpose of this was to leave an objective outside analysis for Frohnmayer and the next AD?

Or did Leland's findings have an effect on Oregon's decision to seek close to $2 million from donors to forge a resignation agreement with Moos?

(The Register-Guard has requested a copy of Leland's report under the state's open records law.)"

To date there has been no word from the Register Guard or the University of Oregon on the Guard's request under Oregon's open records law. When the Register Guard requested a copy of the termination agreement between Bill Moos and The University( where Moos was guaranteed almost $2 million dollars) it was released less than two days after it was requested by the Register Guard and placed on the Guard's website. Why the 7 day delay on the Leland Report? Is the University claiming some sort of privilege or exception to the open records law? Why no report from the Register Guard on the results of their request? Will the candidates for the AD position be able to review The Leland Report before they accept a job offer? Developing

A Good Day!

Our son is coming home from Graduate School today for the Christmas Holiday Break. We haven't seen him since August when he left for his job as a graduate teaching/research assistant in the History Department at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. My wife received an email from him and he as already has his old summer job back as a cashier at a local retail store for the Christmas Break so he can earn some money before he goes back to school in January. When we ask him what he wanted for Christmas among other things were the DVDs of "Jefferson In Paris"( a wonderful movie about Thomas Jefferson when he was our ambassador to France) and "Young Mr Lincoln" starring Henry Fonda and of course "DIRECTED BY JOHN FORD". I love both of these movies. As you can see, we are very proud of him.

It looks like this Christmas Season what with the comings and goings of our family we will be spending a lot of time at the Jackson County International Airport picking up and dropping off family. BTW, it's not easy to get from Grand Forks, North Dakota to Medford, Oregon. You have to take a flyght from Grand Forks to Minnneapolis and then to Seattle and then from Seattle to Medford.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Search for University of Oregon Athletic Director (Day 17)

Click on the tite above for a link to a nice story from the Contra Costa Times about Jim Bartko formerly of the University of Oregon athletic Department and now at Cal. Jim has been mentioned as a candidate to be the new Athletic Director at Oregon to replace the departing Bill Moos. I don't know if Jim is interested in the job but Oregon SHOULD be interested in him.

Arlington At Christmas




Lest we forget!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

University of Oregon Athletic Director Search (Day 16)

Is some one from Tampa Bay Florida interested in the Job of Athletic Director? Hockey... Arena Football? As Drudge says...developing?

Merry Christmas!

Lou Dobbs of CNN Writes:

Merry Christmas! That's right, Merry Christmas. Whether you're Christian, Jewish, Muslim, agnostic, pagan, barbarian or whatever, Merry Christmas!It's what most of us say in this country come this time of year. It's about who we are, where we are and where we've been. And all the namby-pamby, little sensitive darlings among us who can't handle this verbal assault on their delicate senses should immediately begin seeking emergency psychiatric care.

This week we were treated to the spectacle of an easily offended and highly offensive rabbi who walked into an airport, gazed upon Christmas trees all around him and suddenly was overwhelmed with an immense, and apparently irresistible, urge to sue the management of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport because nowhere among all the Christmas trees was a single menorah. Rabbi Elazar Bogomilsky of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement of Seattle even delivered to the airport's management a draft of a lawsuit he would file if they didn't sprinkle menorahs around the Christmas trees.

Political correctness in this country reached an entirely new level of absurdity .......

As CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin told me, "The Supreme Court has held since 1984, the famous 'Reindeer Rule,' that if a symbol of Christmas is mostly secular, like a reindeer or a Christmas tree or Santa Claus, that is not a violation of the separation of church and state."......



To read the rest of Lou Dobbs aricle click on the title above for a link.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Munch Google

The front page of the Google Search engine today commemorates Edvard Munch's Birthday, a Norwegian painter who died in 1944, and who painted pictures that are best forgotten.If you want to see a bunch of Munch's ugly paintings just type "Munch" into the the Google search engine for "Images" and you will see what I mean. Google can commemorate Munch's birthday on their home page but do nothing for Memorial Day or Veterans Day. In order to come up with an "antidote" for having looked at Munch's paintings I typed "Norman Rockwell" into Google Images. By the way Google, Rockwell's birthday is February 3 and I will be watching for a commemoration.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Is the "Black Dog" back ?

Jed Babbin On the Real Clear Politics web site:

Winston Churchill's black dog is back. It visited him often, depressing him but never forcing him to give in. The black dog lives in a darkened chamber that some now would push us into. We walked into it on the path out of Vietnam, and were trapped in it for years. It's the same darkened room: too little light to see anything clearly, but just enough to see the outlines of objects. The black dog is there, growling, circling, ready to gnaw on our character and resolve. We know that once we're in, there's no way out because the walls are smooth, there are no windows and there's no doorknob to grab. This is the cell Defeat lives in. Those of us of a certain age remember it well. When last we entered the cell it was 1975, and the black dog was just a puppy, big enough only to bite our ankles. We came out when Ronald Reagan opened the door in 1980. Standing at the threshold now, we can sense that the black dog has grown. Now it may be able to knock us down, and the friends that will be shoved into the room behind us may be killed by it. There's no Reagan coming down the hall behind us. If we go in, we're going to be trapped in the room for a long time. Please, Mr. Bush. Don't push us through this door......


We must win in Iraq!

To read the rest of the column click on the title for a link.

Jed Babbin was a deputy undersecretary of defense in the George H.W. Bush administration. He is a contributing editor to The American Spectator and author of Showdown: Why China Wants War with the United States (with Edward Timperlake, Regnery 2006) and Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe are Worse than You Think (Regnery 2004).

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas Holiday Movies

On of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is that Hollywood releases a bunch of good movies this time of year. What with the Holiday schedule there is lots of time and opportunities to take in a good movie with the whole family. This year both of our adult children will be home and we will probably see several movies together. There is nothing like spending Christmas Day afternoon and New Years Eve at the local cineplex with the family and a good movie. This year the movies I would like to see in the order of priority are:

1. The Good Shepherd...... a semi fictional story of the early days of the CIA based at least in part on fact.

2.Dream Girls..... a semi fictional story about Diana Ross and the Supremes.

3.The Queen...... about Queen Elisabeth and Prime Minster Tony Blair and how they deal with the death of Princess Diana.

4.We Are Marshall....about the death of a college football team in an airplane crash and the rebuilding of the team . (get my football Fix)

5.The Holiday.... a chick flick about two women who trade homes in England and California and find love.

Sorry Mel, Apocalypto is not on my list. I am sure I will watch it as some point maybe on DVD

I have already seen Bobby and Casino Royale (James Bond) and recommend both.

Of course my favorite all time Christmas movie is "It's a Wonderful Life" with Jimmy Stewart. "White Christmas" with Bing Crosby is a family favorite and I love Chevy Chase in National Lampoons "Christmas Vacation." There is so much in that movie that reminds me of me and our extended family from Christmases past. All are part of my DVD library.

Victory in Iraq

We need more troop in Iraq not less! Robert Kagan and William Kristol in the Weekly Standard write:
It's all up to the president now. The James Baker public relations blitz will of course continue, and the members of Baker's Iraq Study Group will go to book signings and be regulars on morning TV, and maybe even go on a nationwide tour like the Rolling Stones. Alan Simpson will continue to underline the gravity and earnestness of the group's endeavors by insisting that anyone who disagrees with him (like, say, John McCain and Joe Lieberman) has "gas" and "B.O."--subjects about which, unlike the military situation in Iraq, he probably has real knowledge and expertise.

But as the James Baker-Alan Simpson Steel Wheels tour and vaudeville act drags on and ultimately passes into well-deserved oblivion, the problems that they failed seriously to address will remain. And responsible people in Iraq, in the Pentagon, and in the White House will have to decide, very soon, how to achieve the president's goal of creating a stable, secure, and democratic Iraq. The president's military and political advisers are reviewing options now. Presumably, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is taking a fresh look at the situation in Iraq and is open to any strategy that has a chance of succeeding......

THE WEEKLY STANDARD has been calling for a substantial increase in American forces in Iraq since the summer of 2003. More troops could have helped dramatically then, as almost everyone, including Gates in his Senate testimony, now agrees. Almost everyone now agrees more troops could have made a big difference in 2004 and 2005, too. And a rapid and substantial increase in American forces in Iraq remains key to solving our predicament today.

But isn't it too late? And are there troops to send?

No, it's not too late. And yes, the troops exist. We have addressed both these questions in recent weeks. Our colleague, Frederick W. Kagan, has written extensively in these pages and elsewhere on why 50,000 additional troops are needed in Iraq, what exactly they would do, and where they would come from...

Beyond these generals and other military officers, an increasing number of political leaders support an increase in force levels in Iraq. First and foremost has been Sen. John McCain, who has long called for an increase in troops to Iraq and continues to believe it is the only workable answer. He is joined by Senate Armed Services Committee members Joseph Lieberman, John Cornyn, and Lindsey Graham. A new addition to this camp is the incoming House Intelligence Committee chairman, Rep. Sylvestre Reyes. The man who will have about as big a role as anyone in reviewing the course of Iraq policy over the next two years has recently called for an increase in American forces in Iraq of 20,000 to 30,000 troops "for the specific purpose of making sure [Iraqi] militias are dismantled."


(To read the entire analysis click on the title for a link)

Phil Knight Interview ( Day 13 of Oregon's AD Search)

The Sunday Oregonian has a long interview with Phil Knight on a number of subjects. Below are several areas of particular interest to Duck fans.

Oregon Football
Knight brushes off -- even relishes -- some rumors of his meddling, such as one that he suggests plays to football coach Mike Bellotti. Knight laughed at another story making the rounds, one alleging that he was in the replay booth for a controversial call in Oregon's favor during a game earlier this season against the University of Oklahoma.

"Every now and then I give Mike Bellotti a play -- but he hasn't used any of them," he quipped. "The time he starts taking my advice on what to do in football is when I quit donating."

Bill Moos & New AD

He similarly brushes off suggestions that he masterminded last month's resignation of athletic director Bill Moos, with whom Knight clashed in recent years.

Knight said he sharply disagreed with Moos at times, particularly with regards to previous track coach Martin Smith, whose leadership so angered Knight that he and some other alumni temporarily cut off donations to the program. But he maintained that he had nothing to do with Moos' decision to step down, offering in a half-joking tone that "maybe I made his life so miserable" Moos wanted to leave.
But Knight said his up-and-down relationship with Moos during the past 12 years was largely positive. "I had a lot more favorable dealings with him than unfavorable," Knight said. "As I told him, the ratio is something like 12-to-4 of favorable versus unfavorable. And that's better than most of the people at Nike."

He said he is not one of the donors contributing to the $1.8 million financial package that Moos will receive over the next 10 years as part of his resignation agreement.

It remains to be seen how much influence Knight might wield in the selection of a new athletic director. The Nike chairman said he expects the administration will probably "let me know what they're doing, and if I don't like it, I'll say so. But at the end of the day it is (UO President) Dave Frohnmayer's choice, and that's fine."

(In the audio portion of the interview available on-line Knight says the AD job will get "lots of good applicants" because it is a good job what with the increased Athletic Department budget. He says they will get a lot of outside people to apply but based upon his experience at Nike it might be better to hire from inside... he says this in a joking manner)

Basketball Arena


Suspicions about Knight's influence-by-innuendo also percolate with regard to the stalled project to build a new basketball arena to replace aging McArthur Court. Frohnmayer announced the project in 2003 with Knight's financial support. But there has been little progress, sparking questions over whether Knight is holding back funding over displeasure with Moos or men's basketball coach Ernie Kent.

Knight, however, said Moos had overly ambitious plans for the arena from the beginning.

"His original thinking was to throw everything but the kitchen sink in there," Knight said, including 24 luxury suites and an alumni center. "It was way more than what anybody was willing to pay."

The university scaled it back, and Knight and other donors committed to the project but it stalled over the university's unwillingness to issue bonds to finance the gap between private donations and higher-than-expected project costs. He remains willing to donate under "certain conditions," which he declined to detail.
"My degree of influence is somewhat overstated," he said, rebutting accusations that he withholds or grants money as a way to achieve results. "I just don't think that's right at all."
(To read the entire interview click on the title above for a link)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Leland Report ( day 12 in the search for a new AD at Oregon)

Yesterday Ron Bellamy in the Eugene Register Guard in his column disclosed the following:
Oregon brought former Stanford athletics director Ted Leland to Eugene to produce a State of the Cas Center report.

According to sources, Leland spent two days interviewing UO coaches, athletics administrators and donors, to assess the athletic department under Bill Moos.

Presumably, he presented his evaluation, the good and the not, to UO president Dave Frohnmayer.

A question: Had Moos, by then, already determined that he was moving on, and the purpose of this was to leave an objective outside analysis for Frohnmayer and the next AD?

Or did Leland's findings have an effect on Oregon's decision to seek close to $2 million from donors to forge a resignation agreement with Moos?

(The Register-Guard has requested a copy of Leland's report under the state's open records law.)


In addition to the question posed by Ron Bellamy I have several of my own as follows:

1. Will the University of Oregon disclose the Leland report under the state's open records law or will the Register Guard have to go to court?...Who will win?

2. Who asked for the Leland Report in the first place? Dave Frohnmayer has close contacts with Stanford... was it him? Dan Williams?

3. What was the reason for the report?.... to send a message to Moos?..... to set up Bill Moos?...to help pick a new AD?

(to read Ron Bellamy's entire column click on the title above for a link)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Senator Gordon Smith becomes a Rino!


My United State Senator Republican Gordon Smith of Oregon who has previously supported the war in Iraq in a crass political move yesterday in a speech on the Senate floor joined the "cut and run" crowd on Iraq. Smith is up for reelection in two years and knowing the anti war mood in Oregon decided he would rather remain in the Senate than stand on principal. His overnight "conversion" will not fool anyone and all he has done is alienate the Republican base which will lead to his defeat in two years. Better to have stood on principal and go down in defeat than "sell out" in a vain attempt to hold his seat. Rino (Republican in name only) Lincoln Chaffee in Connecticut learned that when he was defeated last month in his reelection campaign. His defeat was one of the Republican bright spots during the mid term elections. Now Gordon Smith is a Rino.The Main Stream Media will give him plenty of publicity because there is nothing they like better than a turncoat Republican. In the last few weeks I have received two call from the Smith campaign asking for a donation. Hell will freeze over before he gets a donation from me.

Oregons Search for an Athletic Director ( Day 11)

Ron Bellamy of the Eugene Register Guard newspaper has two interesting points on the search for a new Athletic Director at Oregon,

Leland Report: Bellamy writes:
"Oregon brought former Stanford athletics director Ted Leland to Eugene to produce a State of the Cas Center report.

According to sources, Leland spent two days interviewing UO coaches, athletics administrators and donors, to assess the athletic department under Bill Moos.

Presumably, he presented his evaluation, the good and the not, to UO president Dave Frohnmayer.

A question: Had Moos, by then, already determined that he was moving on, and the purpose of this was to leave an objective outside analysis for Frohnmayer and the next AD?

Or did Leland's findings have an effect on Oregon's decision to seek close to $2 million from donors to forge a resignation agreement with Moos?

(The Register-Guard has requested a copy of Leland's report under the state's open records law.)"


Tom Jernstedt:

Bellamy in the rest of the column suggest that Tom Jernstedt, NCAA Senior Vice President, be looked at as a potential candidate for the Duck's new AD. He is a Duck himself and in the past worked for the Oregon Athletic Department.

(for a link to the entire Ron Bellamy column click on the title for a link)

There is no substitute for Victory in Iraq!

Shelby Steele of the Hoover Institution writes in the Wall Street Journal a great analysis of why it is important for the United States and the world for us to win in Iraq.He ends the article with the following:

Only reluctant superpowers go to war with a commitment to fight until they can escape. So today the talk is of "draw-downs," "redeployments," etc. But all these options are undermined by the fact that we simply have not won the war. We have not achieved hegemony in Iraq, so there is no umbrella of American power under which a new nation might find its own democratic personality, or learn to defend itself. We have failed to give "peace in the streets" to the people we are asking to embrace the moderations of democracy. Without American hegemony, these "draw-downs" and "redeployments" are acts of outrageous moral irresponsibility, because they cede hegemony to the forces of menace--the Sunni insurgency, the Shiite militia, the Islamic extremists, the wolfish ambitions of Iran. It was America's weak application of power that made space for these forces to begin with. To now shrink the American footprint further would likely offer the country up as a killing field and embolden Islamic radicals everywhere.

For every reason, from the humanitarian to the geopolitical to the military, Iraq is a war that America must win in the hegemonic, even colonial, sense. It is a test of our civilization's commitment to the good against the alluring notion of menace-as-power that has gripped so much of the Muslim world. Today America is a danger to the world in its own right, not because we are a powerful bully but because we don't fully accept who we are. We rush to war as a superpower protecting the world from menace, then leave the battle before winning as a show of what, humility? We confuse our enemies, discouraging them one minute and encouraging them the next.

Could it be that our enemies are really paper tigers made formidable by our unceasing ambivalence? And could it be that the greater good is in both the idea and the reality of American victory?


(To read the rest of the analysis click on the title above for a link)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Boomer Radio

I have found a great Internet radio station called "Boomer Radio" that I listen to as I cruse the Internet. They have several "channels" but my favorite is the "Acoustic Cafe" which plays a smooth blend of Singer-Songwriters and Acoustic Rock.To quote their web site: "This is the perfect mix for your workday
or those quiet moments at home. Rediscover the music of:
Simon & Garfunkel, Boz Scaggs, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell,
Carole King, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and more." It's totally free but does have commercials.
According to their web site they will be soon , debuting many new channels of programming. Their plans
are to offer more than 20 channels of music and information. They expect the new
programming to occur in two phases. Here is what they have planned in Phase one:


"Cruisin' Oldies" - Pre-Beatles Oldies featuring Elvis, Chuck Berry, The Drifters, Jan &
Dean and more.

"All-Hit Oldies" - From the Glory Days of Top 40 Radio - The Beatles, The Four Tops,
Tommy James & The Shondells and others

"Back to the 70s" What a great decade of music! We'll feature a broad mix of Pop,
Rock and Disco.

"Adult 80s" - This is not your typical 80s music channel. We'll be spotlighting the best
Adult Artists including Fleetwood Mac, Gloria Estefan, Steve Winwood and Cyndi Lauper.

"Soft Oldies" - Many of the best Oldies never get played on the radio, because they're
a bit on the mellow side. This channel showcases performers like Roberta Flack, The
Carpenters, The Fifth Dimension, Kenny Rogers and others.

"Vintage Rock" - This is definitely the soundtrack of the Woodstock Generation. We
take you back to a time when FM radio played Jimi Hendrix, Iron Butterfly, The
Chambers Brothers and The Jefferson Airplane.

"The Lush Life" - Some music is timeless. This channel features "Pop Standards"
performed by Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Harry Connick Jr., Diana Krall
and others.



I love it. (To go to their web site click on the title above for a link.)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

December 7, 1941....."A day which will live in infamy"



From a article by Victor Davis Hanson of the Hoover Institution


On Dec. 7, 1941 - 65 years ago this week - pilots from a Japanese carrier force bombed Pearl Harbor. They killed 2,403 Americans, most of them service personnel, while destroying much of the American fleet and air forces stationed in Hawaii.

The next morning, an outraged United States declared war, which ended less than four years later with the destruction of most of the Japanese empire and its military.

Sixty years after Pearl Harbor came another surprise attack on U.S. soil, one that was, in some ways, even worse than the "Day of Infamy."

Nearly 3,000 people died in the Sept. 11 attacks - the vast majority of them civilians. Al-Qaida's target was not an American military base far distant from the mainland. Rather, they suicide-bombed the United States' financial and military centers.......To defeat both Japan and Germany, we averaged over 8,000 Americans lost every month of the war - compared to around 50 per month since Sept. 11..And after Pearl Harbor, Americans believed they had no margin of error in an elemental war for survival. Today, we are apparently convinced that we can lose ground, whether in Afghanistan or Iraq, and still not lose either the war or our civilization.

Of course, by 1945, Americans no longer feared another Pearl Harbor. Yet, we, in a far stronger and larger United States, are still not sure we won't see another Sept. 11.


(To read the entire column click on the title above for a link)

Gene Bleymaier as Oregon AD ( day 10 of the AD search)

According to a good source with contacts inside the University of Oregon Athletic Department, Oregon is looking at Gene Bleymaier Athletic Director at Boise State as a replacement for Athletic Director Bill Moos. I have known this source for many years and know he has contacts in the Athletic Department. To read more about Bleymaier click on the title above for a link to the Boisey State web site.

James Kim's Body Found!

All of Southern Oregon mourns today the death of James Kim the California tourist who along with his wife and two children took a "short cut" Thanksgiving Weekend through the mountains of Southern Oregon from I-5 near Grants Pass Oregon to Gold Beach Oregon on the Oregon coast and got his car stuck in a snow drift on a remote forest service road. His wife and children stayed with the car and were found safe two days ago. James Kim who left his family to try and find help was found dead in a remote canyon. All of our sympathy is with the Kim family, friends and coworkers.

Thanks to all the search and rescue folks for all they have done. It's easy to forget in this peaceful corner of the world that nature can be beautiful but also can be dangerous.

You think Nature is some Disney movie? Nature is a killer. Nature is a bitch. It's feeding time out there 24 hours a day, every step that you take is a gamble with death. If it isn't getting hit with lightning today, it's an earthquake tomorrow or some deer tick carrying Lime disease. Either way, you're ending up on the wrong end of the food chain. Jeff Melvoin, Northern Exposure, Bolt from the Blue, 1994

Monday, December 04, 2006

Oregon Athletic Director Search (Day 7)

Just for the record all information posted on this subject is from media and Internet souses. I have not talked to or corresponded with any of the potential candidate's about their interest and have no "insider information."

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Getting Ready for Christmas

This weekend my wife and I continued the process of getting ready for Christmas. We put up our tree and decorated inside the house last weekend.... the Saturday after the Oregon vs Oregon State game. This weekend we went early Saturday Morning to the Festival of the Trees at the Armory. People from the community decorate trees and auction them off to raise money for a local hospital. After the auction the trees are kept on display for the weekend. After some Christmas shopping we came home and spent about four hours raking leaves...lots of leaves.Sure wish the kids were home to help. :) On Sunday we put up our outdoor lights. We put up about 30 strings of lights and seven light up figures such as a snow man and Santa. Sure wish the kids were home to help.:) If you saw National Lampoons Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase you get the picture. It was hard work but looks nice for the kids when they come home for Christmas in a few weeks. In the next few weeks we need to get out our Christmas cards, and do the rest of our shopping. This is a very busy time of the year. Mary Christmas.

How to Win in Iraq? "Needed in Iraq: 28% more John Wayne"


Andrew Longman, whoever he is, has an interesting solution how to win in Iraq that makes more sense than anything we can expect in the Baker Report. He writes in part in WorldNetDaily:

First, the No. 1 rule in Islamist-Arab politics is … kill the head guy. He who kills the head guy becomes the new head guy. Brutal, unpleasant, but true. So? The USA does not have legitimacy in the eyes of the Shia rebellion because it hasn't killed Muqtada al Sadr outright. Because he is still around they believe he must be more powerful. So they follow him. Put a cruise missile through his window and he becomes instantly less popular......


Next, the fact is when you waffle and promise troop reductions in the press, the terrorists take heart, swap Jane Fonda DVDs, stick it out and attack you. So, announce that there will be 5,000 troops arriving new, every month, because the president enjoys crushing insurgents and he shows the video of them getting wiped out at home. The inevitability of the failure of the insurgency must be hammered home to the insurgents so they are crushed and have no hope....

Continuing, you don't plead sweetly in the press for Iran and Syria to, pretty please, quit doing unhelpful things. Here is what you do instead. You tell both countries that the borders will allow crossings at only two or three points of contact. You station massive numbers of Iraqi troops there, then American troops behind them. Everything that goes through the border is searched by both. Then you tell Syria and Iran that anything and everything crossing into Iraq at an unapproved border location will be blown off the map. ....

Continuing, the American forces should, wherever possible, be put on search and destroy missions for insurgents, and the day to day wandering the streets should be given to Iraqis. They should continually and insistently using crushing force, putting up with nothing, finishing each job decisively. Bombs should fall on insurgent headquarters often. When the insurgents sue for peace, the U.S. should double operations and keep them up for a month before considering offers. The U.S. should not show favoritism when coming across insurgent groups fighting each other – the U.S. should kill them all. Eventually people will realize: Quitting the insurgency means participating in 5 percent annual GDP growth … and being alive. Why not try anything once? .....

We don't need some tweedy self-congratucrat trying to burnish his man-of-the-century vitae. We just need 28 percent more John Wayne.


Gee,I love that kind of talk! To read the rest of the column click on the title above for a link. So lets "saddle up" and do what is necessary to win in Iraq. We need a little more of the John Wayne in the Searcher and a little less of Jim Baker.

Rich Brooks to Oregon? (Day 6 in the Oregon AD search)

They are talking about a contract extension for Rich Brooks as Kentucky head football coach now that he has gotten them in a bowl game however the Kentucky Sports Report over at scout.com says"

"The only possible sticking point could be Brooks’ ties to the West Coast. The University of Oregon will be searching for an athletics director, which could send Brooks back to the school where he began his head coaching career."


While I like Rich Brooks and believe he is a good football coach I believe his personality is "to prickly" to be a good AD.

I already have added him to "my comprehensive list" on a post below)

(Click on the title above for a link to the story)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Left Wing Google!

Google does it again. Yesterday Google had a red ribbon on their main search engine page commemorating World Aids Day. Now, there is nothing wrong with that; but, the same folks at Google refused to commemorate Veterans Day or Memorial Day. Yes, those San Francisco Liberals! ( Bay Area is close enough) Hay Google how about a yellow "Support the Troops Ribbon"!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Ron Bellamy: "Truth Takes a Holiday with Moos Exit"

Ron Bellamy sports columnist for the Eugene Register Guard has a brutal column today on how the University and Bill Moos misled the press about the resignation of Bill Moos as Athletic Director. At a press conference held by University President Dave Frohnmayer and Bill Moos, AD, on Monday of this week no one mentioned that Moos was receiving almost 2 million dollars to leave the UofO early. They talked about Moos wanting to spend more time with his family and return to Eastern Washington.They said nothing about the University paying Bill Moos almost 2 million dollars to leave early. Part of the column is as follows:


One of my failings as a journalist is that I have an addiction, bordering on pathological, to believe that people are telling me the truth.

It's an occupational hazard, and you'd think that after more than 30 years in the business I'd have gotten over it, but I haven't.....

when athletic director Bill Moos says he's leaving Oregon to go spend time with his family and raise cattle in Eastern Washington, and when Dave Frohnmayer sings his praises, it doesn't occur to me that my first question should have been to ask the University of Oregon president just how much Moos is being paid to go away.

Turns out, close to $2 million, over 10 years.

I apologize for not asking a question that clearly needed to have been asked when Oregon announced Monday that Moos is resigning, effective the end of March.

Because the settlement agreement is the smoking gun:......

"Moos and University agree it is in the best interests of each for Moos to end his employment with the university ..." before the expiration of his contract in June 2008, the resignation agreement said.

.....You wonder if, as they left the press conference, Frohnmayer or Moos thought of the line from "Animal House," filmed at Oregon: You screwed* up. You trusted us.

And they're surprised that reporters get so damn cynical.
*As somewhat of an expert on Animal House this is not the word used as Bellamy had to clean it up for a family newspaper.The first time I read it and without the correct word it just did not ring true!

(To read the rest of the column click on the title above for a link)

A Great Duck ....Pat Kilkenny & the Basketball Arena


One Duck who has always been there for The University of Oregon Athletic Department and the Ducks is Pat Kilkenny. It's easy to become cynical about today's world of high finance in college sports but Pat Kilkenny has always been there when the Ducks have needed him and he deserves our thanks. The Oregonian today summarizes the help he has given the Ducks. Kilkenny paid $1.5 million in planning costs for the proposed basketball arena to replace McArthur Court. He did this knowing it could be just a lot of fancy drawings if the arena was never built. He basically did it to help "jump start" the process after the old plan of building an arena next to "The Pit" died. Now the San Diego Insurance executive has put up much of the funding for the nearly $2 million settlement agreement with Athletic Director Bill Moos to as he said facilitate "a fitting ending for a person who served the university well."
Kilkenny said he was not involved in negotiations over the settlement agreement with Moos. He was approached only recently about whether he could help financially.... and as we know he answered the call.(see post below) Kilkenny said "I'm not sure the last two years have been what anybody wanted including Bill" While there is no direct link between Moos resignation and the arena project Kilkenny said "I don't view this as anything other than constructive......I don't see how anybody else could view it as anything other than constructive." Some have said that Nike's Phil Knight would not contribute to the new basketball arena till Bill Moos was gone as AD because of their past disagreements.

The Oregonian sports story by Ken Goe and Rachel Bachman point out the settlement agreement with Moos calls for him to receive nearly twice what he would have been paid had he stayed at Oregon for the remainder of his contract which runs through June 2008.

Regardless, we Ducks all owe a big thanks to Pat Kilkenny and if the new basketball arena is built he will have been a big part of getting it done.

( To read the Oregonian sports story that this post is based upon click on the title above for a link)

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Interesting Fact on DVDs

40% of DVD's sold in the United States are sold at Walmart. One of my guilty plesures is the $5.50 DVD Bin at Walmart. All of the DVD's piled in a one large bin. It's like digging for gold.

Oregon Athletic Director Search Continues.......(Day 3)

Today the Oregonian Newspaper has is a report that Mike Bellotti will not give up his job as Head Football Coach to become Oregon Athletic Director. "If that was a condition, I would not even consider it." he said."I'm a football coach first." I guess this rules out the Jeff Tedford rumor that Tedford would become Head Football coach and Bellotti would become AD. I still do not think Bellotti or any one else can do justice to BOTH jobs. Considering Oregon's football season Bellotti needs to devote his undivided attention to football and we need to hire a full time AD.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bill Moos paid almost 2 Million to leave Uof O AD

The Eugene Register Guard tonight is reporting in an update that University of Oregon Athletic Director Bill Moos is being paid almost 2 million dollars over ten years for leaving his job as Athletic Director. The money is cumming from a small group of donors that include Pat Killkenny. No state funds are being used. The Register Guard will have the complete news story in tomorrows print edition. (Click on the title above for a link to the Reister Guard news story) This is Big! It appears that Bill Moos was paid off to get rid of him. What is the rest of the story?

UPDATE: the Eugene Register Guard has now placed on-line the contract between Bill Moos and the University of Oregon regarding his resignation as Athletic Director.It can be found by clicking on the title above.

Oregon 57, # 18 Georgetown 50

The University of Oregon men's basketball team beat Georgetown 57 to 50 in Washington DC tonight. The last few year have not been good for Oregon Basketball but tonight the team seeded to come together and fought hard down the stretch. Way to go Ducks. Our daughter who lives and works in Washington DC went to the game and my wife saw her on TV wearing her Duck gear when they showed a shot of some Duck fans at the game during a time out. After the game we went to a preview scrimmage basketball game for the South Medford Panthers. Senior Kyle Singler, who has signed a letter of intent to Duke looked awesome. Junior, Michael Harthum could not miss from the 3 point line. Hope to follow them to the state tournament at Mac Court in March. While at the scrimmage bought our South Medford season tickets.Go Ducks... Go Panthers!

Oregon's Athletic Director Search Continues.... Frohnmayer issues a Gag Order.... Tedford in the Picture?

According to Aaron Fentress in the Oregonian today a "directive had been issued by the university that nobody was to discuss the process or candidates involved in the search for Moos' replacement other than university President Dave Frohnmayer"

The Oregonian also said there had been speculation that should Bellotti become AD that Jeff Tedford would become head football coach at Oregon. "Tedford told a Cal publicist Tuesday he was unaware of the pending turnover in the Oregon athletic department."

NO MORE SEATTLE BOWLS WIN AGAIN IN VEGAS, LETS GO DUCKS!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Weekend at Bernie's Update

Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro said on Tuesday that he was not well enough to attend the opening of several days of events celebrating his 80th birthday.

"I'm not in medical condition to be there," Castro said in a statement read by a presenter to thousands of supporters from dozens of countries at the start of a gala in Havana's Karl Marx theater that was to mark the opening of the celebrations.

VIVA LAS VEGAS !


The Oregon Ducks are going to the Las Vegas Bowl. Oregon will make its 14th post-season appearance in the last 18 years when the Ducks (7-5) meet Mountain West champion Brigham Young (10-2) in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 21.

The announcement of the pairing was made in an official announcement Tuesday by officials of the Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl and the Pac-10, in conjunction with the two participating schools.

The Las Vegas Bowl will be televised live on ESPN with a 5 p.m. (PST) kickoff at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Other Pac-10 bowl pairings finalized Tuesday were Oregon State to the Sun Bowl, set for Dec. 29 in El Paso, Texas, and California to the Holiday Bowl, on Dec. 28 in San Diego. In addition, UCLA will play Florida State in the Emerald Bowl on Dec. 27 and Arizona State will go to Honolulu to meet the host Warriors in the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24.

NO MORE SEATTLE BOWLS WIN AGAIN IN VEGAS....LETS GO DUCKS

Conspiracy Theory

John Canzano in today's Oregonian sees a conspiracy in Bill Moos, Jim Bartko and Dave Heeke all leaving the University Of Oregon's Athletic Department in "a calender year." He says Moos before he announced he was leaving had cut staffers ,cut annual raises and cut cushy bonuses.He ends the column as follows:
After watching the purging in the department and the recent budget struggles of the rest of the university, the feeling among the holdovers has to be this; "they must know something we don't know."
(To read Canzan's entire column click on the title above for a link)

Potential Oregon Athletic Director Candidates

In this mornings Oregonian a few names were "kicked around" as replacements for Bill Moos.

Dave Heeke..... AD at Central Michigan and former Asst. AD at Oregon.

Jim Bartko......Asst AD at Cal and former Asst. AD at Oregon.

Greg Byrne......Asst AD at Mississippi State formerly at Oregon

Mike Bellotti....Oregon head Football coach

Vin Lananai.....Oregon Track Coach

Rich Brooks.....Head Football Coach at Kentucky, former oregon coach ( added 11/30/06)

Mitch Barnhardt..... AD Kentucky, former Oregon State AD (added 11/30/06)

Gene Bleymaier.......AD Boise State (added 12/6/06)

Tom Jernstedt........NCAA Senior Vice Prsident (added 12/8/06)

I will update this list as there are developments. Go Ducks!

Sounds like Football Coach Mike Belotti wants to also be Oregon AD

These quotes from this mornings Eugene Register Guard:

Mike Bellotti, the UO football coach, acknowledged "a brief conversation" with Frohnmayer about the opening.

"I'm sure that will continue after the bowl game," Bellotti said when contacted while recruiting. "Right now, I'm more looking at (the football) program. I've got a lot of things going on right now."

Asked if he had definite interest in the position, Bellotti said "I don't even know that yet," and predicted "there will be a lot of people who will want this job."

Bellotti was hired as football coach three months before Moos took over the department. He is the only Oregon head coach who wasn't hired by Moos, but the two have worked closely and Bellotti had great praise for the departing director, and what he did for football.

The question that naturally follows is whether Bellotti feels one person can be football coach and director of athletics.

"I would say probably," Bellotti answered. "It's been done before."

Rich Brooks did both at Oregon from 1992 to 1994, when Bellotti was the offensive coordinator for the Ducks.

"He did some good things (as the director)," Bellotti said. "He was good for the department."

Bellotti said he felt Brooks gave up the director's job because he "got more tired of the personalities and the politics" than the workload. Bellotti said he also felt that football didn't suffer from Brooks holding both jobs.

"We did our thing. I don't remember any change at all," Bellotti said in how the staff worked.

Bellotti may talk with Brooks, now the football coach at Kentucky, and Barry Alvarez, the athletic director at Wisconsin who was also the head football coach in recent years before retiring from coaching and concentrating on the one position.

"I know that Barry, when he did (both), he was very comfortable with it," Bellotti said. "He said (making it work) was all based on having great people around him."

Phil Knight on the Departure of Bill Moos as Oregon AD

In this mornings Eugene Register Guard sports columnist Ron Bellamy quotes Nike's Phil Knight on the departure of Bill Moos and the selection of a successor:

"They're really at kind of a crossroads," Nike co-founder Phil Knight said. "This next choice is going to be really important. I know they're going to weigh it pretty heavily. I think they're going to try to find a way to where they don't get rushed into something. I think they're leaning toward an interim AD, so they don't get rushed into a permanent choice, because the choice is so important.

"Over the last 12 years, the department has grown up a lot. Now it's kind of a question of whether it grows up some more, or goes back the other way."


Had Moos become an impediment to the building of a new arena? Perhaps, in the short term, but that's speculation. Asked Monday if in some way he'd pushed Moos out, Knight said "for sure I didn't." Did he have any influence over Moos' departure?

"I know there wasn't any direct influence," Knight said. "Indirect, I suppose I made his job a little harder. It may have made Spokane look better faster than it would have otherwise, I don't know."
Knight said the topic of the arena "hasn't come up in a while, and I haven't thought about it for a while. At some point it will be revisited, but I don't know where I am on that right now."

Moos and Knight saw each other at halftime of Friday's Civil War in Corvallis. By then, Knight knew of Moos' yet-unannounced decision - the AD had told some folks, including football coach Mike Bellotti, who'd told his assistant coaches, so word was spreading. The two shook hands.

"I told him we had a lot of interactions over the 12 years, and there were a lot more positives than negatives, and he agreed," Knight said. As Moos put it: "He said `We've had some great times.' And I said, `Boy, have we.' "

Knight said that Moos "can look back on his 12 years with considerable pride," and that's true. It took a special person to get Oregon from there to here; it will certainly take another to get Oregon from here to a future in which Oregon athletics climb higher.

(To read Ron Bellamy's entire column click on the title above for a link)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Good By Bill Moos


The following is the official University of Oregon press release on Bill Moos stepping down as Athletic Director


University of Oregon athletic director Bill Moos to step down

EUGENE, Ore.-(Nov. 26, 2006)-University of Oregon President Dave Frohnmayer today announced that UO athletic director Bill Moos will step down after nearly 12 years in the post. Frohnmayer and Moos made the joint announcement after a series of conversations initiated by Moos about the future direction of the University of Oregon athletics program and Moos' professional and personal goals. Per President Frohnmayer's request, Moos will continue serving as the athletic director until March 2007.

"It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as the University of Oregon's athletic director for the last 12 years," said Moos.

President Frohnmayer expressed his appreciation for the leadership Moos has provided to the University of Oregon athletics program and noted his success in a variety of areas including building the athletic department into one of the few self-sufficient athletic programs in the country.

"Bill has clearly demonstrated that it is possible to create a financially sound, self-sufficient athletic program while also creating a supportive environment for our student athletes. The University of Oregon has been successful, partnering with university donors, in building athletic facilities which are state of the art for Division I athletic programs. I greatly appreciate the progress that has been made during Bill's tenure as athletic director," said Frohnmayer.>
"Bill and I agreed this was a good time to reflect on that progress and look closely at what it will take to be successful over the next decade. Together we reached the decision that now was the appropriate time to make this change," said Frohnmayer.>
"As my family and I considered our future, it became apparent that the time was right to enter into a new chapter in our lives. Though we will miss our many friends, we will forever savor the memories we shared with them," Moos said. "I am proud of what we have accomplished and feel that the program is in solid shape."

"I owe so much to this place and I will reflect with fond memories on my years at the University of Oregon. I am extremely grateful to my coaches and staff and to the many donors who believed in the vision and helped to build the blueprint that has made Oregon one of the premier athletic programs in the country," said Moos.

The university and Moos have reached an agreement in principle that includes Moos staying on as athletic director until March 31, 2007.

Frohnmayer said that the university will begin a selection process immediately with the goal of identifying a candidate prior to Moos' departure.


I have not been a big fan of Bill Moos. I believe he was able to do a lot with Phil Knight's money such as the indoor practice facility, and the expansion of Autzen Stadium. However when he and Phil Knight had their public spat he was unable to get Knight on board for a new Basketball Arena. Knight and Bill Moos got into their spat over the handling of the ouster of ex-track coach Martin Smith. Knight took particular offense at how Nike was left to be perceived as behind the dismissal. Smith had done little to further Oregon's deep distance-running tradition.

Asked for a comment then by the Oregonian newspaper, Knight sent it a statement saying, "Bill Moos had 10 chances to make the right decision ... and missed every one of them. It's hard to be that perfect." Then when the Athletic Department's main "go between", Assistant AD, Jim Bartko, left Oregon for Cal the main contact to Phil Knight was gone. A real loss for Oregon. I also will never forgive Bill Moos for his attempt at becoming AD at the University of Washington when Barbra Hedges was forced out. He came to Oregon saying he wanted to make Oregon the premiere school in the Northwest and then tried to move to Washington when there was an opening making a mockery of everything he had done before. Thus,in my opinion it was time for Moos to go. I do believe Moos made this decision on his own.... he was not shoved out. He wants to see his son who graduates from high school in June play college football probably at the University of Idaho. In the end it was best for Bill Moos and best for the Ducks. So Bill go to your ranch in the Palouse in Washington State, spend time with your family , and Oregon lets build a new basketball arena.

Searching for Victory in Iraq: Why the Baker-Hamilton Commission Ought to Visit Mount Vernon by Newt Gingrich



The Sunday before Thanksgiving, Callista and I took some friends to Mount Vernon to see the new education center. It is an amazing tribute to George Washington and the creation of America.

We watched a movie about George Washington's crossing the Delaware on Christmas Eve and surprising the Hessians (German mercenaries) on Christmas Day in Trenton. As I watched, I was struck by the amazing difference between the attitude of the Father of our Country and the current attitudes in the city that bears his name.

Gen. Washington had a long and painful summer and autumn of defeat in 1776. His American Army had been defeated across New York -- in Brooklyn, Manhattan and White Plains -- and then driven across New Jersey and forced to flee across the Delaware River into Pennsylvania.

Washington's forces had dwindled until he had only about 4,000 effective soldiers left. There were another 6,000 men present, but they were so sick they were unable to go into battle.

Faced with declining morale, rising desertions, the collapse of political will in the country at large and a sense of despair, Washington decided to gamble everything on a surprise attack. It would require a night crossing of an icy river against a formidable professional opponent.

But the most telling sign of Washington's mood as he embarked on the mission was his choice of a password. His men said "victory or death" to identify themselves.

What if There Had Been a Baker-Hamilton Commission Advising Gen. Washington?

That night crossing, immortalized in paintings of Washington's standing in the boat as Marblehead Fishermen rowed him across the ice-strewn river, led to an amazing victory on Christmas Day. That victory led to a surge in American morale and a doubling in the size of the American forces under Washington within two weeks. And that gave Washington the strength to win a second surprise victory at Princeton.

In two weeks, Washington had gone from defeated, hopeless bungler to victorious American hero and personification of the American Cause.

Imagine there had been a Baker-Hamilton Commission -- the group charged with assessing our options in Iraq -- advising Washington that cold Christmas Eve. What "practical, realistic" advice would they have given him?

Eleven Key Tests for the Baker-Hamilton Report

1. Will the Baker-Hamilton Commission make a real contribution in helping us win the war against the Fanatic wing of Islam? Or will it be simply one more establishment effort to hide defeat so the American political system can resume its comfortable insider games without having to solve real problems in the larger world? Here are 11 key things to look for in the commission's report:
Does the Commission Have a Vision for Success in the Larger War Against the Dictatorships and Fanatics Who Want to Destroy Us?
If Iraq were only a one-step process, the answer might be to leave. But the reality is that Iraq is a single campaign within a much bigger war and within a power struggle over both the evolution of Islam and the rise of dictatorships seeking nuclear and biological weapons to enable them to destroy America and her allies. If the Baker-Hamilton Commission does not take this into account, it is a dangerously misleading report.

2. Does the Commission Recognize That the Second Campaign in Iraq Has Been a Failure? This is the hardest thing for Washington-centric bureaucracies to accept. There was a very successful 23-day campaign to drive Saddam out of power. It used America's strengths, and it worked. The second campaign has been an abject failure. We and our Iraqi allies do not have control of Iraq. We cannot guarantee security. There is not enough economic activity to keep young males employed. If the Baker-Hamilton Commission cannot bring itself to recognize a defeat as a defeat, then it cannot recommend the scale of change that is needed to develop a potentially successful third campaign.

3. Does the Commission Recognize the Scale of Change We Will Need to Adopt to Be Effective in a World of Enemies Willing to Kill Themselves in Order to Kill Us?
We need fundamental change in our military doctrine, training and structures, our intelligence capabilities and our integration of civilian and military activities. The instruments of American power simply do not work at the speed and detail needed to defeat the kind of enemies we are encountering. The American bureaucracies would rather claim the problem is too hard and leave, because being forced to change this deeply will be very painful and very controversial. Yet we have to learn to win.

Learning to win requires much more than changes in the military. It requires changes in how our intelligence, diplomatic, information and economic institutions work. It requires the development of an integrated approach in which all aspects of American power can be brought to bear to achieve victory. Furthermore, this strategy for victory has to be doubly powerful. For three years, we have failed to build an effective Iraqi government, and we now have a shattered local system with many players using violence in desperate bids to maximize their positions. The plan has to be powerful enough to succeed despite Iraqi weaknesses and not by relying on a clearly uncertain and unstable Iraqi political system.

4. Does the Commission Describe the Consequences of Defeat in Iraq?
What would the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq look like? Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute recently offered this chilling picture:

"The pullback of U.S. forces to their bases will not reduce the sectarian conflict, which their presence did not generate -- it will increase it. Death squads on both sides will become more active. Large-scale ethnic and sectarian cleansing will begin as each side attempts to establish homogeneous enclaves where there are now mixed communities. Atrocities will mount, as they always do in ethnic cleansing operations. Iraqis who have cooperated with the Americans will be targeted by radicals on both sides. Some of them will try to flee with the American units. American troops will watch helplessly as death squads execute women and children. Pictures of this will play constantly on Al Jazeera. Prominent 'collaborators,' with whom our soldiers and leaders worked, will be publicly executed. Crowds of refugees could overwhelm not merely Iraq's neighbors but also the [Forward Operating Bases] themselves. Soldiers will have to hold off fearful, tearful, and dangerous mobs."

5. Does the Commission Understand the Importance of Victory?
Winning is key. We are in a power struggle on a worldwide basis with dictators who want to defeat us (Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea) and with fanatic organizations that want to kill us (al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, etc). In a struggle like this, the goal has to be to win. Anything less than victory is very dangerous, because it allows our enemies to gather more capabilities and prepare for more dangerous campaigns. Time is not on our side. Time is on the side of those seeking nuclear and biological weapons to use against the civilized world.

6. Does the Commission Define What It Means to Win, or Simply Find a Face-Saving Way to Lose? Winning is very definable. Can we protect our friends and hurt our enemies? Are they more afraid of us, or are we more afraid of them? The recent Syrian assassination of a Lebanese Christian leader who was pro-Western is a signal that they are not afraid of us. The North Korean decisions to launch seven missiles on our Independence Day and to set off a nuclear weapon were signs they have contempt for our warnings. The statements of Ahmadinejad (the Iranian dictator) and Hugo Chavez (the Venezuelan dictator) indicate how confident they are.

Today, the enemy thinks they are winning, and our elites seem to be seeking face-saving cover behind which to accept defeat. Does the Baker-Hamilton Commission have a proposal for victory or a proposal for accepting defeat gracefully? Will it offer a diplomatic deal allowing us to pretend we are okay while our enemies gather strength?

7. Does the Commission Acknowledge That Winning Requires Thinking Regionally and Even Globally? In Afghanistan, we are engaged in an Afghanistan-Waziristan war in which our enemies retreat into Waziristan in Northwest Pakistan and re-arm, re-equip, retrain and rest before coming back into Afghanistan. We will never win that war by engaging only in Afghanistan. In Iraq, the problems may require much more direct confrontation with Iran and Syria. In Lebanon, it is impossible to create a stable democratic government and disarm Hezbollah as long as Syria and Iran are deeply involved in killing Lebanese leaders and supplying Hezbollah.

8. Any Proposal to Ask Iran and Syria to Help Is a Sign of Defeat. Does the Commission Suggest This? Iran and Syria are the wolves in the region. They are the primary trouble makers. You don't invite wolves into the kitchen to help with dinner or you become dinner. The State Department Report on Terrorism in April 2006 said: "Iran and Syria routinely provide unique safe haven, substantial resources and guidance to terrorist organizations." It went on to say: "Iran remained the most active state sponsor of terrorism." It noted that in Iraq the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (an arm of the Iranian dictatorship) "was increasingly involved in supplying lethal assistance to Iraqi militant groups which destabilize Iraq."

How can the Baker Hamilton Commission seriously suggest that two dictatorships described like this are going to be "helpers" in achieving American goals in the Middle East?

9. Does the Commission Believe We Can 'Do a Deal' With Iran? The clear effort by the Iranians to acquire nuclear weapons and Ahmadinejad's assertion that it is easy to imagine a time in the near future when the United States and Israel have both disappeared should be adequate proof that the Iranian dictatorship is the active enemy of America. Couple that with the fact that the Iranians lied to the International Atomic Energy Agency for 18 years while trying to develop a nuclear weapon. Either this is a dangerous regime we need to fundamentally change, or it is a reasonable regime with which we can deal.

Presidential speeches and State Department documents clearly indicate it is a dangerous regime, yet there is a permanent Washington establishment desire to avoid conflict and confrontation by "doing a deal." In the 1930s, that model was called appeasement, not realism, and it led to a disaster. We need a Churchill not a Chamberlain policy for the Middle East.

10. Does the Commission Believe We Are More Clever Than Our Enemies?
The al-Assad family has run Syria since 1971. Hafiz Assad arranged for his son Bashar to succeed him. This family and its Alewite supporters represent a small minority of the Syrian people, but they maintain a relentlessly tough internal dictatorship that keeps power in their hands. In some ways, there are parallels between Bashar Assad and Kim Jong Il -- they both maintain family dictatorships with the support of a brutal system of internal controls. After 35 years of defying the United States, there is no reason to believe our diplomats are more clever than their ruthlessly survivor-oriented systems. Negotiating with them is an invitation to be taken to the cleaners and to extend the power, prestige and influence of our mortal enemies in the region.

Recent talk of reaching out to Syria has been met by the assassination of a Lebanese Minister and the intensifying of the Hezbollah blackmail tactics in Lebanon. Weakness from America leads to greater aggression from our enemies. The Baker-Hamilton Commission should focus on how to contain or defeat Syria, not on how to rely on them for help.

11. Does the Commission Recognize the Importance of Working With the Democratic Majorities on a Strategy for Victory? The Democratic victory in the 2006 election should not be used as an excuse to do the wrong thing. The Democrats are now confronting the responsibility and burden of power. Given the right information about Iran, Syria and Iraq, there is every reason to believe a bipartisan majority can be formed in both the House and Senate for a rational strategy for victory. Opposition to continuing the failed second campaign should not be translated into opposition to an American victory.

The Bush Administration should reach out to moderate Democrats and forge a bipartisan agenda for victory and, by March 2007, pass a bipartisan resolution for victory in Iraq and for stopping Iranian efforts to get nuclear weapons. That will set the basis for appropriations to continue the effort. The passage of a solid bipartisan bill in March would send a signal to the world that Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of defeating terrorism and defending America. That will dramatically lower the morale and confidence of our enemies.

These 11 steps would be a powerful basis on which to move forward in Iraq and in the world. What's more, they reflect the spirit of Gen. Washington when he chose "victory or death" as the motto of the campaign that led to the founding of America despite overwhelming odds.

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich