Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Weekend before the Super Bowl

Last weekend was the weekend before the Super Bowl. Since college football ended a few week ago I have only had the NFL playoffs to get my football "fix". However last week end was the "dead weekend" (no football) before the Super Bowl. What was I to do! Well, Saturday I put together a scrap book of our Christmas trip to Disneyland and the Holiday Bowl with pictures and other memorabilia I picked up on the trip. It was fun, to relive the trip. On Sunday I helped my wife redecorated our living room. Our living room looked like the "70's". If you remember the living room of Alex P Keaton , my hero, played Michael J Fox from the early 80' ,TV series, Family Ties you get the idea. Lots of plants and tiffany lamps. Well, we left the 70's and are now into the "Mission or Lodge look" inspired by the lobby of Disney's Grand Californian Hotel at Disneyland. I like it a lot. Now,what will I do the weekends after the Super Bowl!


President Bush will give his State of the Union speech tonight to Congress in the House Chamber up on Capital Hill. Every time I hear the term "State of the Union" the spoken lines from the play "The Devil and Daniel Webster" by Stephen Vincent Benet rings in my mind that I first heard on a record ( yes, a record) when I was in grade school many yeas ago. It went like this:

"It's a Story they tell in the border country, where Massachusetts joins Vermont and New Hampshire. Yes, Dan'l Webster's dead--or, at least, they buried him. But every time there's a thunderstorm around Marshfield they say you can hear his rolling voice in the hollows of the sky. And they say that if you go to his grave and speak loud and clear, "Dan'l Webster--Dan'l Webster!" the ground'll begin to shiver and the trees begin to shake. And after a while you'll hear a deep voice saying, "Neighbor, how stands the Union?" Then you better answer the Union stands as she stood, rock-bottomed and copper-sheathed, one and indivisible, or he's liable to rear right out of the ground. At least, that's what I was told when I was a youngster"

So George W Bush..... how stands the Union?

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito

Today, the United States Senate confirmed Judge Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court. The left wing of the democratic party could not even sustain a filibuster. Good day for America, bad day for the left wing of the Democratic Party and the Main Stream Media.

Friday, January 27, 2006

John Wayne and the Democrats by Richard Cohen

The latest poll is not good for the Democrats. I am not talking here of the one showing President Bush's approval rating inching up..... I'm talking about the recent Harris Poll showing that John Wayne is one of the most popular movie stars of 2005. The one thing he and the Democratic Party have in common is that they are both dead.
Wayne was the quintessential anti-Democrat. Never mind if he was a Republican, which he was. What matters most is that everything he stood for -- from support for the Vietnam War to antipathy to the 1960s' and '70s' counterculture -- was in consonance with GOP positions. More important, though, his iconic man-on-horseback image has been adopted by virtually the entire Republican Party. As a boy, Newt Gingrich tried to walk like Wayne. Now the entire GOP does.
The Harris people tell us that Wayne, tied for third with Harrison Ford, is a particular favorite of men. Tom Hanks (No. 1 two years in a row) is beloved by women and both Wayne and Hanks are the choice of conservatives. (Liberals chose Johnny Depp and Southerners picked Brad Pitt, but he still finished out of the running at No. 11. On the other hand, he got Angelina Jolie which is, as they say, tres jolie.....
But it is Wayne who both fascinates and, as usual, commands. He personifies the gender gap, the virtually habitual way white men vote Republican. There are many reasons for this -- Democratic feminism, affirmative action, etc. -- but one of them surely is that the John Wayne-style of the GOP appeals to the cowboy in most men. Even I, Eastern dude that I be, dispatch some awfully mean hombres in the occasional daydream, and if I'm going to seize a beachhead, I'd rather follow the Duke than, say, Johnny Depp. Sorry, my man, but that's the way it is.

You can scan the length and breadth of the Democratic Party and not find any breadth, and no Wayne figure either. It is certainly not Hillary Clinton or Al Gore or John Kerry or Mark Warner. None of them seem to have what it takes to appeal to white, male voters. But if you should happen to be in room 241 of the Russell Senate Office Building, you'll find Wayne galore: pictures of John McCain in various Arizona settings. He's a two-fer -- a military hero and a Westerner. Democrats, beware.....
Wayne still reigns because he evoked qualities that Americans -- especially American men -- like. In that blur of movies and life, he was strong on defense, strong on strength, violent with enemies, gentle with women, always fair, articulate with a shrug of the shoulder, and he knew just how to walk. He played cowboys and soldiers, almost always the hero. In the Harris Poll, he's ahead of Julia Roberts, Clint Eastwood, Mel Gibson, George Clooney, Sean Connery and Sandra Bullock. Democrats take note. The Duke is still king.

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

Charles Krauthammer: "Marcel My Brother"

If you have spent any time at all on this blog you know I am a big fan of Charles Krauthammer, a columnist in the Washington Post. He is also a regular on FOX NEWS..... particularly Special Report with Brit Hume my favorite FOX NEWS program. If you click on the title above it is a link to today's Washington Post column by Charles Krauthammer. It's not about politics or foreign policy, it's about Charles Krauthammer's brother Marcel and its about family and about remembering our youth.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

College Football Year Round Activity for Fans

Those that think college football is only a fall diversion, think again. For a true fan of college football or a fan of a particular college team it is a year round hobby. This is one of the bye products of the internet. The last college bowl game was played almost a month ago but the college fan internet sites have never been busier. It is "letter of intend" time. For the uninitiated "Letter of Intend Day" this year is Wednesday February 1, 2006. That is the day high school seniors who are very good football players will sign letters of intent that they will play football at a specific college and in most cases receive a full ride scholarship. College fans spend most of January trying to predict what 17 year old high school males will do on letter of intent day. There are internet sites that rate kids just like movies with a scale of one * to five***** stars and list "oral" commitments before "Letter of Intent Day" (more in a later post).
After letter of intent day is over , spring football practice starts in April and May in which there will be daily reports on fan internet sites followed by a "Spring Game ( intersquad game) in which thousands of fans will attend. The game will be analyzed for weeks on the internet until the football magazines come out in June and July. The summer will be spent predicting, on the internet, a starting lineup and a depth chart for the fans favorite team as well as predicting which games the team will win. Fall practice starts in August and the first games of the season will start in late August and will continue till the last Bowl game in early January. God, I love it

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

South Medford High Basketball

The South Medford High School Basketball team is rated by AP as the #1 team in the state of Oregon. In today's Portland Oregonian there is a nice article by their prep sports reporter about South Medford and it's trip to Portland Saturday night to play the best team in Portland the # 3 Jefferson Democrats. He writes:

I cast a vote in The Associated Press high school basketball poll -- have for three years now.
Last week, I was part of the minority, one of three voters around the state to cast my No. 1 vote for Lake Oswego. The other seven voters penciled in South Medford at No. 1.
I know Lake Oswego's guard play has been inconsistent. And the team has a tendency to stand around and watch superstar Kevin Love do his thing (who can blame them?). But I have given the Lakers the nod atop my weekly ballot all season because I figured Love would will take the Lakers to the championship, especially considering their title-game collapse last season.
But after watching South Medford travel 275 miles north, enter one of Oregon's most intimidating venues and barely blink, outmuscling, outhustling and outplaying Jefferson on Saturday, I admit that the majority of AP voters had it right. South Medford is the best team in the state.
The Panthers defeated Jefferson 80-69. But, really, the game wasn't that close. South Medford led by as many as 15 points in the fourth quarter......

To read the rest of the column in the Oregonian click on the tilt above for a link

Monday, January 23, 2006

"John & Abigail Adams"

Tonight, I just finished watching a TV docudrama on PBS, yes PBS, on John & Abigail Adams which is part of the American Experience series. It was excellent and very effecting. I have recently read David McCullough's "John Adams" and the docudrama covers much of the same information but in a way that bring the story to life . Ted Mahar of the Oregonian wrote a review of the docudrama that is right on. His review in part states:

John & Abigail" is informative and affecting. John's life with Abigail is unimaginable. She was the one person he could completely trust and get along with. He had a talent for alienating even his allies, yet she was devoted to him. Despite the wide geographical spaces in their togetherness, they literally could not live without one another. She died before he did, and he remarked that it was not as awful as his voyages to Europe to prop up his country. This time, he said, they wouldn't have to wait so long to be reunited.
It is rare to have a hanky handy when watching a historical docudrama, but it's not a bad idea for "John & Abigail."

To read the rest of Mahar's review click on the title above for a link.

As David Mc Cullough says at the end of the docudrama.... who would believe a novel in which Jefferson and Adams, the fathers of the Declarations of Independence, both die on it's 50th anniversary? No One would belief it. Adam's last words are "Jefferson lives," but of course he had died a few hours earlier. All of the dialog of Jefferson, Adams and Abigail is based upon their letters. The docudrama near the ends goes in to the letters that went back and forth between Jefferson and Adams in the winter of their lives. Old friends/old enemies, this is better than any fiction anyone could write. A love/hate relationship between Jefferson and Adams and a love story between John and Abigail. It was a magical two hours. These people were not perfect, but they were great and we are privileged that such men and Abigail Adams were part of this country's heritage and history.

South Medford Basketball

For me this is the quiet time of the year. College football is over and it is dark, fogy and gloomy outside here in Southern Oregon. We have had a lot of rain this year. The one bright spot is South Medford High School Basketball. South Medford usually has a good basketball team but this year they are exceptional. They are rated # 1 in the state of Oregon. They are a very tall team and are led by junior Kyle Singer Who is being recruited by a large number of high profile colleges. Lute Olsen of Arizona showed up for a South home game, two weeks ago, and the head coach of Kansas showed up last week. Duke very much wants Singer and coach K has already made one trip to Medford and I would not be surprised if he returns for a game. However this is not a one man team and the other starting players all will play at the college level. My wife and I have season tickets and attend all of South Medford’s home games. Last Friday we traveled to Ashland for South’s game there. Ashland High has an old gym that reminds me of Mac Court at the University of Oregon. A place I love. One of the problems South Medford has is the level of competition here in the Southern Oregon Conference. South has the ability to run over most of the teams in Southern Oregon. Then when South gets to the State Tournament they are not ready for the increased level of competition. As a result coach Murphy took the team to Portland (5 hr trip each way) this last weekend (after the Ashland game) to play Jefferson High the #3 team in the state on Saturday night. South won by 11 points against a good inter city team. My son who is attending college in Salem Oregon went to the game with a friend and enjoyed himself. My wife and I sat at home and listened to the game on the South Medford radio broadcast. Tuesday South goes to Roseburg one of the better teams in the Southern Oregon Conference. Hope they don’t get over confident because Roseburg could beat them they did last year.

One of the things I like about small town high school basketball is the atmosphere. Lots of people show up for the 7:PM games. There is a band, cheerleaders and the student section. I even love the snack bar where I can get a coke for $1.00 and popcorn for $1.00. Admission is only $5.00 for adults. Where else can you get so much for your entertainment dollar? If I lived in a big city like Portland, Sacramento or LA I could end up spending $100.00 for a pro basketball game for my wife and I, and the players wouldn’t play half as hard as these high school kids. As it is, I spend maybe 12 to 15 dollars for a night out of fun. May even stop by Dairy Queen after the game for some ice cream.. I sometime wonder why there aren't more people at the games! My children have long since graduated from high school but I still love the games.

AP Report: Surveillance program could have detected al-Qaida before 9/11

In a wide-ranging defense of the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance program, the government's No. 2 intelligence official said Monday that the spy agency's operations are not a drift net over U.S. communities.
Gen. Michael Hayden, the former NSA director, described the 4-year-old program as narrowly targeted, using the same tools and techniques employed to decide whether to drop a 500-pound bomb on a terrorist target.
"Had this program been in effect prior to 9/11, it is my professional judgment that we would have detected some of the al-Qaida operatives in the United States," Hayden said in an appearance at the National Press Club.

To read the entire news story click on the link above.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Karl Rove.... I love him!

Karl Rove addressed members of the RNC Friday ( Jan 20,2006) at the winter meeting. The following are excerpts of his remarks:

Think how much has been achieved by our Republican Party in the last 40 years. It has gone from a minority party with little influence to one that is broad and inclusive, self-assured and optimistic, forward-leaning and dominant.
Four decades ago, the Republican Party was relegated to the wilderness - and today Republicans control the White House, the Senate, and the House; a majority of governorships; and in the last several elections, more state legislative seats than in 80 years.
More importantly, we have seen the rise of a great cause. Three Republican Presidents and Republican Congressional majorities have achieved a tremendous amount in two-and-a-half decades. The Cold War was won - and today we are winning the war against Islamic fascism. Millions of people who lived in tyranny have been liberated - and freedom is spreading across the globe. Republicans rebuilt our national defenses; cut taxes and spurred economic growth; ended "stagflation;" limited government's growth; reformed welfare and insisted on accountability and high standards in education; took important steps to protect and strengthen marriage and the family; and stood up against judicial activism and for constitutionalism.
But there is much more to be done. Today I will devote my remarks to ideas that should occupy our minds and energy in the months ahead.
Our success springs from our ideas. A quarter-century ago, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat, wrote, "of a sudden, the GOP has become a party of ideas." It was true then - and remains true today. We are the party of ideas - and "ideas have consequences."
Ideas - a party's governing philosophy, should be at the heart of our political debates - because they are a deciding factor in elections. That was certainly the case in 2002 and 2004 - and it will be true in 2006. The Republican Party has an agenda to run and win on.
Let me stipulate a few important things. Our opponents are our fellow citizens, not our enemies. Honorable people can have honest political differences. And we should strive for civility and intellectual integrity in our debates.
At the same time, Democrats and Republicans have deep differences about our nation, where it is going, and what needs to be done to make it stronger, better, and safer. Those differences should be debated this year - openly, publicly, passionately.
If they are, our ideas will prevail in the hearts and minds of Americans. And so today I want to talk about three issues: national security, the economy, and the courts. There are many other topics we need to address - but these should be at the center of our attention.
America is at war - and so our national security is at the forefront of the minds of Americans. President Bush has established a remarkable record. He is winning the war against terrorism, promoting liberty in regions of the world that have never known it, and protecting America against attacks.
The United States faces a ruthless enemy - and we need a commander-in-chief and a Congress who understand the nature of the threat and the gravity of this moment.
President Bush and the Republican Party do. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for many Democrats. This past year, we have seen three successful elections in Iraq. The Iraqi Security Forces are increasing in size and capability. Iraq's economy is growing. And the terrorists in Iraq are now increasingly divided and turning on each other. In the words of the Commander of the Multinational Corps in Iraq: "2005 has been a historic year in Iraq, and it marks the rebirth of an ancient nation."
Yet we now hear a loud chorus of Democrats who want us to cut- and-run in Iraq - with one radical position being an immediate stand down of U.S. troops in Iraq and withdrawal by the end of April.
It is important to understand the consequences of pulling out of Iraq before our work is done and victory is won. Abandoning our Iraqi friends would signal the world that America cannot be trusted to keep its word. We would undermine the morale of our military by betraying the cause for which they have sacrificed. The tyrants in the Middle East would laugh at our failed resolve, and tighten their repressive grip. We would hand Iraq over to enemies who have pledged to attack us again and again as they did on 9/11. And the global terrorist movement would be emboldened and more dangerous than ever. To retreat before victory has been won would be a reckless act - and this President will not allow it.
This is an issue worthy of a public debate.
Another is the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act tore down the wall that prohibited law enforcement and intelligence authorities from sharing information about terrorist threats. And the Patriot Act allowed federal investigators to pursue terrorists with tools they already used against other criminals. If a tool is good enough to use to track down drug dealers, or organized crime, or Medicare fraud, then it is good enough to bring terrorists to justice.
In 2001 Congress passed this law with a large, bipartisan majority - including a vote of 98-1 in the Senate. The Patriot Act has protected the United States from attack and saved American lives - and yet the Democrat leader in the Senate, Harry Reid, recently boasted that Democrats had "killed the Patriot Act."
Republicans want to renew the Patriot Act - and Democrat leaders take special delight in trying to kill it. This is an issue worthy of a public debate.
Because of a New York Times story, our enemies now know that in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to intercept communications where one of the parties is outside the United States and there is a reasonable basis to conclude the conversation involves a member of, or someone affiliated with, al Qaeda.
The purpose of the NSA surveillance is to protect American lives - and the President's actions are both legal and fully consistent with the Fourth Amendment and the protection of civil liberties.
Congressional leaders from both parties have been briefed more than a dozen times regarding this program. Every 45 days or so, it undergoes a thorough review, after which the President decides whether to reauthorize it. Courts have consistently recognized an American President's constitutional authority under Article II of the Constitution to order warrantless searches. And the power to order warrantless searches rests on years of bipartisan legal consensus. In the words of President Clinton's Associate Attorney General John Schmidt, "President Bush's post-Sept. 11, 2001, authorization to the National Security Agency to carry out electronic surveillance into private phone calls and emails is consistent with court decisions and with the positions of the Justice Department under prior presidents ... Every president since FISA's passage (in 1978) has asserted that he retained inherent power to go beyond the act's terms."
Yet some leading Democrats have made wild and reckless and false charges against the President, and some even call for his removal from office.
Let me be as clear as I can: President Bush believes if al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why. Some important Democrats clearly disagree. This is an issue worthy of a public debate.
At the core, we are dealing with two parties that have fundamentally different views on national security. Republicans have a post-9/11 worldview - and many Democrats have a pre-9/11 worldview. That doesn't make them unpatriotic, not at all. But it does make them wrong - deeply and profoundly and consistently wrong.
The economy is a perennial election-year issue - and this year will be no different. Americans will also have a choice between two vastly difference approaches - and that's very good news for Republicans. For the American economy is the strongest in the world - and it is growing faster than any other major industrialized country.
Our economy grew more than 4 percent in the third quarter - above the average in the 70s, 80s and 90s. We have added almost four-and-a-half million jobs in just over two years. Employment is near an all-time high. The unemployment rate is below 5 percent - below the average in each of the past 3 decades. Core inflation remains low. The national homeownership rate remains near a record high. Sales of new and existing homes each reached a new record in the third quarter of 2005. Real disposable personal income is up. Since the start of 2003, the Dow is up more than 25 percent and the NASDAQ is up more than 50 percent.
Productivity is also up. From 1973 to 1995, productivity in America grew at 1.4 percent, doubling our standard of living every 50 years. But over the past five years, productivity averaged 3.4 percent, doubling our standard of living twice as fast. And the more productive our workforce is, the faster incomes go up.
In 2005, the American economy turned in a performance that is the envy of the industrialized world - and we're heading into 2006 with a full head of steam.
The economy's record is important - but so are the philosophies that animate the policies of the two parties' policies.
President Bush believes the role of government is to create an environment where the entrepreneurial spirit flourishes and where small businesses can grow - where people can dream about owning their own home and have it become a reality.
The President doesn't believe government creates wealth; he believes that is done by American workers, farmers, and entrepreneurs. And the President believes the American economy grows when the American people are allowed to keep more of their own money, so they save and invest and spend as they see fit.
President Bush, like President Reagan before him, is pursuing pro-growth economic policies. President Bush has been one of history's great tax cutting Presidents. He has cut taxes for every American who pays taxes, and cut taxes every single year he's been in office. He's cut taxes on income, on small businesses, on dividends, and on capital gains. The President doubled the child credit. He reduced the marriage penalty. And he put the death tax on the road to extinction. These tax cuts help explain why the economy is so strong.
The Democrat Party, on the other hand, has an allergy to tax cuts. Sometimes it seems as if they never found a tax cut they were for or a tax increase they were against. Many Democrats seem to view higher taxes as more than an economic policy; they see it as a sign of virtue. They believe taxes should be raised in times of prosperity and times of economic slowdown; during war and during peace; in even years and odd ones; during days of sunshine and days of rain. They believe every day is a good day, and every occasion a good occasion, to raise taxes.
We Republicans strongly dissent - and we will make our tax cutting record an issue in the 2006 campaign.
To those Democrats who want to take the money out of your pocket by opposing making the tax cuts permanent, our response is: No You Don't. To those Democrats who want to raise your taxes in order to increase the size of government, our response is: No You Won't. And to those Democrats who say they can spend your money better than the American people can, our response is: No You Can't.
Let me turn, finally, to the Courts. Recently, the American people have witnessed something like a national seminar on judicial philosophy. On one side of the divide were eight Democrat Senators: Kennedy, Biden, Leahy, Schumer, Durbin, Kohl, Feinstein, and Feingold. On the other side of the divide were two extraordinary judges: John Roberts and Samuel Alito.
The contest wasn't even close. The Democrats talked a whole lot longer - but John Roberts and Samuel Alito spoke a whole lot better.
Judge Roberts and Judge Alito demonstrated they possess brilliant legal minds and outstanding legal temperaments - and showed they belong, without a doubt, on the United States Supreme Court. Right now John Roberts serves as Chief Justice - and in a few days Sam Alito will join him as an Associate Justice.
It's also worth noting the old special interest playbook doesn't work anymore. Every effort to smear the name of these good men blew up in the face of those making the malicious charges. Some Committee members came across as mean-spirited and small-minded - and it left a searing impression.
For example, in Senator Kennedy's opening statement alone, he misrepresented Judge Alito's views in cases regarding claims of race discrimination in employment; Judge Alito's record on executive authority and voting rights; his membership in a Princeton alumni group; his recusal obligations in Vanguard cases; and his judicial record.
Ted Kennedy attempted to smear Samuel Alito, a man of sterling character, as a bigot. It was an ugly display - but one that backfired in the face of Judge Alito's inquisitors. As Peggy Noonan put it in her Wall Street Journal.com column today, "I don't think Democrats understand that the Alito hearings were, for them, not a defeat but an actual disaster."
The debate now moves to the Senate floor. Judge Alito has majority support and will be confirmed. Let us hope the debate the American people witness is something the Judicial Committee hearings were not - decent, fair-minded, and dignified. The American people have seen more than enough smears, attacks, and misrepresentations leveled against Judge Alito

In foreign policy President Bush has earned the title as one of history's Great Liberators - and in domestic policy he will be seen as one of its Great Reformers. Much has been achieved - and much more remains to be done.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Alito and Revolt of the Counterestablishment by Rich Lowry

"It is no accident that in Judge Samuel Alito’s famous 1985 application for a job in the Reagan Justice Department he mentioned his membership in two organizations: the Federalist Society and the now-notorious Concerned Alumni for Princeton. Both were founded as a dissent from liberalism’s grip on academe. What were initially the rumblings of a powerless conservative counterculture eventually gelled into an effective conservative counterestablishment.

CAP is long-since defunct, although its model of conservative activism/journalism — often in alliance with conservative alumni — thrives on campuses around the country. The Federalist Society has gone from a tiny, embattled group when it was founded in 1982 to a steppingstone to countless careers in government, on the bench and at law schools. Liberalism still dominates the elite universities, but that means much less than it used to, thanks to the counterestablishment that has nurtured and credentialed the likes of Samuel Alito.
At his hearings, Alito didn’t seem counter- anything. He is sober, intelligent, and thoughtful. He is the opposite of a bomb-thrower, but when he entered Princeton University in 1968, that made him a dissident.
Alito mentioned this fact in his opening statement. He was from a middle-class family in Trenton, N.J., and was shocked at what greeted him at Princeton: “I saw some very smart people and very privileged people behaving irresponsibly, and I couldn’t help making a contrast between some of the worst of what I saw on the campus and the good sense and decency of the people back in my own community.” Alito joined the ROTC, which was thrown off campus, forcing him to go to Trenton State College for his ROTC work. In their wisdom, Princetonians firebombed their own ROTC building.
“Conservatives lived quiet lives of desperation,” is how one Federalist Society lawyer describes the environment on campus at this time. A conservative with intellectual or public-policy interests in the late 1970s surveyed a bleak environment. The universities, the law schools, the federal government and the courts were held by the left.
But then, the values Alito had grown up with struck back with Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980. What was most important was not that conservatives had gained power, but what they did with it. The Reagan Justice Department set out to grow the counterestablishment. It identified bright young conservatives and prepared them for bigger things. It hired Alito, then got him a gig as a U.S. attorney, knowing that might prepare the ground for becoming a judge.
Twenty years later, he is about to assume a seat on the Supreme Court...."

To read all of Rich Lowry's column click on the title above

60's Cultural divide Still visible in Alito Hearings!

Columnist John Leo finds the cultural and campus wars of the 1960's still visible in the Judge Alito Senate hearing this last week. He writes in part:

"Consider the narrative line for Samuel Alito's life. It's perfect. He comes from a white ethnic community that valued family, tradition, patriotism and the Democratic Party. By the time he arrived at Princeton, an outsider in a high-status student body where Catholics were still rare, the cultural revolution was under way and the most strident of the '60s people were acting like swine ("very privileged people behaving irresponsibly," as he politely put it). He found their values alien.
As columnist David Brooks wrote last week in The New York Times: "The liberals had 'Question Authority' bumper stickers; the ethnics had been taught in school to respect authority. ... Alito wanted to learn; the richer liberals wanted to strike. He wanted to join ROTC; the liberal Princetonians expelled it from campus."
The values gap was opening wide, and Alito was on track to leave the Democratic Party. Or more accurately, the party was about to leave him and millions of future "Reagan Democrats." In the summer after Alito graduated, the McGovern revolution transformed the Democratic Party...."

Te read the entire column click on the title above.

Back to the 60's with Judge Alito

In the last few days there have been several columns in the press by conservative columnist on Judge Alito's experiences at Princeton in the 1960's. Michael Barone of U.S. News And World Report has one of the best;. he writes in part:

"In his opening statement to the Judiciary Committee, Judge Samuel Alito told the senators where he comes from. First, Hamilton Township, N.J., the modest-income suburb of Trenton, where he grew up.
"It was a warm, but definitely an unpretentious, down-to-earth community," he said. "Most of the adults in the neighborhood were not college graduates. I attended the public schools. In my spare time, I played baseball and other sports with my friends. And I have happy memories and strong memories of those days, and good memories of the good sense and the decency of my friends and my neighbors." All positive memories.
Then Alito described Princeton, "a full 12 miles down the road," where he attended college. "And this was a time of great intellectual excitement for me. Both college and law school opened up new worlds of ideas." Still all positive. But then he sounds a negative note: "But this was back in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was a time of turmoil at colleges and universities. And I saw some very smart people and very privileged people behaving irresponsibly. And I couldn't help making a contrast between some of the worst of what I saw on the campus and the good sense and the decency of the people back in my own community...."

"To some of the senators, this must have seemed a jarring note. For them, universities like Princeton are places where young people are trained to renounce the racism, sexism and all the other evil -isms that are thought to be endemic in places like Hamilton Township. But Alito, a man of the highest intellectual ability and deep learning, sees the contrast another way. Witnessing radicals shut down a college and bomb university buildings, he saw the left-liberalism of the campus as an attack on one of civilization's highest institutions. And he did not think that campus radicals had higher moral standing than the middle-class people among whom he had grown up.
The late 1960s and early 1970s were a time of cultural conflict, a battle between what I have called the beautiful people and the dutiful people. While Manhattan glitterati thronged Leonard Bernstein's apartment to celebrate the murderous Black Panthers, ordinary people in the outer boroughs and the far-flung suburbs of New Jersey like Hamilton Township were going to work, raising their families, and teaching their children to obey lawful authority and work their way up in the world.
The glitterati in the 1970s seized and still hold the cultural commanding heights of our society -- the universities, the media, the Upper East Side of Manhattan and the Westside of Los Angeles. But, as the success of Sam Alito shows, they have not entirely won the hearts and the minds of the people...."

"Our universities today have become our most intellectually corrupt institutions. University administrators must lie and deny that they use racial quotas and preferences in admissions, when they devote much of their energy to doing just that. They must pledge allegiance to diversity, when their campuses are among the least politically diverse parts of our society, with speech codes that penalize dissent and sometimes violent suppression of conservative opinion..."

"It's interesting that Sen. Edward Kennedy tried to charge Alito with racism and sexism because he once belonged to an alumni group critical of Princeton. Evidently in Kennedy's mind, dissent from campus orthodoxy is prima facie evidence of bigotry.
Judge Alito, I think, is a better example of the things that American universities before his time stood for: intellectual excellence, free inquiry, civility in the face of disagreement, commitment to patriotism...."

To read Michael Barone's entire column click on the title above.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Battle of Princeton ....Or how Ted Kennedy became a joke!

Great column in the Wall Street Journal regarding the Alito hearings in the US Senate and how the Democratic smear tactics have failed.

"The grand hulk of Ted Kennedy ranted that he wanted to subpoena the papers of former National Review publisher William Rusher to get to the bottom of Samuel Alito's membership in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton. At this moment, one sensed that perhaps at last the ghost of Robert Bork had finally been laid to rest. Borking was once a Democratic smear tactic. This week--amid intellectually exhausted and politically befuddled Democrats--it became a laugh track."

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

PS Back in 1972 as a law student at the University of Oregon I picked up William Rusher at the Eugene airport when he came to town to give a speech at the University of Oregon. I got to drive him to his events , introduced him at his speech and took him to dinner after the speech. I and several other students took him back to his motel room and watched a taped broadcast of his TV show "The Advocates", which was broadcast that night on TV, in which William Rusher and a guy by the name of Michael Dukakis argued a case on public policy in a mock trial format.As I reacall the show was on PBS.

Terrorist Win in Steven Spielberg's Movie Munich

Charles Krauthammer, the Washington Post columnist, gives his take on Steven Spielberg new movie Munich . The movie is about the Israeli retaliation against Palestinian terrorist who were responsive for killing 11 Jewish athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich. The Movie shows how the Israeli government hunted down the terrorist and killed them one by one. The Israel's are not portrayed by Spielberg in a favorable light. To quote Krauthammer:

" Munich, the massacre, had only modest success in launching the Palestinian cause with the blood of 11 Jews. ``Munich,'' the movie, has now made that success complete 33 years later. Munich'' now enjoys high cinematic production values and the imprimatur of Steven Spielberg, no less, carrying the original terrorists' intended message to every theater in the world. "

To read the entire column click on the title above for a link to Krauthammer's complete column.

The Israel's were right and Bush is right to hunt down terrorist and kill them one by one and no movie however well made can change that. Israel is at war against terrorist and so is the United States.... and we will both win!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Michael Medved

Michael Medvid has a column on why the most popular movies are not the ones Hollywood likes to make and how the argument the Hollywood is only making the movies the public wants to see is false. He states in part:

"Meanwhile, the radically different list of top Oscar contenders is dominated by adults-only, controversial fare, with "Brokeback Mountain," "Munich," "Syriana," "Good Night and Good Luck," "Capote," and "Transamerica" leading the way."

"The movie establishment honors precisely those releases that fail to connect with mainstream audiences: edgy message movies from a liberal perspective."

"Year after year, show business bases its most significant accolades on politically correct posturing rather than popularity, so it's high time to drop the stupid myth that says "Hollywood cares only about the financial bottom line."

For the rest of Medved's column click on the title above.

The above list of movies is also a good list of movies to avoid. I used to look forward to the Academy Awards show. But with each new year I have less interest. Where is John Wayne when you need him! The last great movie was Braveheart. Mel, when are you going to make another good one!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Send James Risen to Jail if he will not testify!

New York Times reporter James Risen who wrote news reports based upon illegal leaks of classified information about US intelligence gathering on terrorist should be required to disclose to a Grand Jury the sources of the leaks or go to jail. Michelle Malkin points out their is no exception in the law based upon the motives of the leaker of classified information. Click on the title above for a link to Malkin's column.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Christmas Vacation

We are back from our Christmas trip to Southern California. We had a good time at Disneyland and at the Holiday Bowl in San Diego. We had originally planed a trip to Disneyland for Christmas. We felt since our daughter now works and lives in Washington DC and our son is graduating from college this May that this may be one of the last times all four of us could go on a family vacation together. We all love Disneyland and have taken many family trips there so we agreed we would spend Christmas 2005, there. As some one once said about going to Disneyland: "I have seen the world and I don't like it" so I am going to Disneyland. After we had planed the trip to Disneyland the Oregon Duck's were invited to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego(college football) so we agreed to extend our trip a few days and go to San Diego. The details of the trip are as follow.


We left Medford a few days before Christmas and drove down I-5 to Anaheim. It rained very hard but we made it to the Harris Ranch and checked into a motel and had dinner at the Harris Ranch. The next day we drove on to Anaheim and checked in to the Candy Cane Inn right next to Disneyland. A very nice place I would highly recommend to anyone going to Disneyland. Our daughter flew in from DC and took a cab from the Orange County John Wayne Airport to join us. On December 24th, 25th and 26th we did Disneyland, Downtown Disney and Disney's California Adventure. As would be expected Christmas is a crowded time at Disneyland: however, we were able to do everything we wanted without long waits in line. I purchased the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2006 and followed its strategy and its Touring Plans. Disney's Fast Pass is a great tool to avoid long lines. We got there early each day. We saw three different Disney Parades, fireworks and Fantasmic. My son and I went on the roller coaster California Screamin. We had dinner Christmas Eve at the Blue Bayou Restaurant and at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel on Christmas Day. We even took of a couple of hours off and saw a movie at the multiplex at Downtown Disney... "Rumor Has It". We eat the day after Christmas at the ESPN Zone. We rode all the popular rides. The Candy Cane Inn was within walking distance but the Inn also had a tram to and from the park every half hour. While in line for Space Mountain a couple behind us asked if we were the Wickre's from Medford, Oregon. It turned out it was my daughter's choir teacher from middle school. This is a Christmas we will not forget!

Holiday Bowl

On December 27th we headed for Sand Diego. We checked into the Oregon team hotel The San Diego Marriott Hotel and Marina. Without charge we were upgraded to a room with a view of San Diego Bay. We could see two US Navy Aircraft Carriers in port from our roomÂ?. The USS Ronald Reagan and the USS Nimitz. What a site to see these instruments of American Power. At the hotel we ran into people from Medford, Oregon Athletic Department Officials, coaches and team members. There was even a woman groupie, my age, getting autographs from all the team members. Several nights we sat in one of the hotels lobbies and watched other bowl games on TV with other Oregon Fans. We walked down to the Gas Lamp District and had a beer and did some shopping. There were Oregon Fans everywhere. We went on a tour of the Aircraft Carrier USS Midway, which is now a museum. We went to an Oregon Duck Pep Rally at a park right on the bay the day before the game. We went to the Holiday Bowl balloon parade the morning of the game and then took a trolley out to the game. The Ducks Lost!!! The Holiday Bowl folks put on a great show with a US Navy jet fly over and lots of fireworks. In spite of the Ducks losing, in a close game, they shouldn't have lost we had a good time. Maybe some day all four of us will go to the Rose Bowl and Oregon will win. The day after the game we drove up to the John Wayne Airport so our daughter could fly back to DC. We then drove back to Medford and hit some bad rain storms along the way.

One of my favorite memories as a kid were our family vacations. This one, was my wife's idea and I will remember it a long time. Not for what we did but that we did it together one more time.

Only four months to the Duck's spring football game and almost a month to "letter of intent day" for new football recruits. Life is good!