Sunday, April 30, 2006

"United 93" and John Wayne's "The Searchers"

My son and I saw the movie "United 93" this weekend. I had the same reaction I did on 9/11. We need to get those bast**ds and kill them one by one. I remembered on 9/11 a scene from the Searchers. There is a graveside funeral for John Wayne's brother, sister in law and nephew that where were killed by Comanche Indians and there home burned. The two daughters of the family have been take by the Indians. Ward Bond a Texas Ranger and a preacher is delivering a prayer at the funeral service and John Wayne says it all "Put an amen to it........ There's no more time for praying...AMEN! Wayne wants to go after the Indians to kill them and he doesn't want to waste any more time. He starts out with a "posse" but eventually they all give up except for Jeffrey Hunter. Wayne spends years in his relentless search. Kinda like George W Bush. Most of our allies and the liberals have dropped out of the war on terrorism but not George W Bush. Wayne will not stop his quest to find Chief Scar ( Osama Ben Laden) You get the point! In any case I keep seeing that cemetery scene with Wayne and the rage he feels and that is the rage I have for the terrorist. United 93 is a movie every one should see and it does justice to those brave freedom fighters who saved our Capitol Building that day. Common citizens who will be remembered as we remember those who died at the Alamo.

Another thing from 9/11 that will stay with me is watching a United Airlines flight fly over our home. That morning after they had ordered every flight to land I went out to get my newspaper, in my driveway, and looked up and saw a United Airlines airplane come over our house at a very slow speed in it's approach to the Jackson County/ Medford airport. I wondered "do those people know yet what has happened." It was so sad watching that plane.

Last Weekend in April

On Saturday my wife and I drove the three hour trip up I-5 to Eugene for the Oregon Ducks Spring Football game. It started out as a nice day at Autzen but got cold and windy in the second half. I got to go to the Duck Shop and bought two Tee shirts at $2.00 each and a nice gray pull over that says "Oregon" on it in Green letters. Had hotdogs at the game. The Oregon running game looked good but the passing game was not very good. Dixon is the better QB. Lief had three interceptions.Nice crowd. It's good to see a gatering of Duck fans. After the game we drove to Salem and checked into the Shiloh Inn. It is very nice. We took our son, a senior at Willamette University, out to the Ram for dinner. My son and I dropped my wife off at the motel and the two of us went to see "United 93" at a movie theater. The movie started at 10:05 . It was very good and vary intense. I will post more on it later. Sunday we went by my Son's apartment and packed up some of his personal property to take back to Medford. He will be graduating in two weeks and we wanted to take a load of stuff back now because we will have limited room in the cars at graduation. We then had a nice drive home. We stopped in Springfield and spent about 45 minutes in Best Buy. We listened to my Zen mp3 player through our car stereo on the way up and back. Now I have to wait almost four months to the first Duck game in September.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Good News for Rush!

Click on the title above for a link to a news story about Rush Limbaugh's diversion agreement which gets rid of the political persecution of Rush by a Florida DA who is a Democrat and partisan hack.. Ruch can sometime be a "blow hard" but he is a lot of fun and the liberals hate him. I wish you the best Rush.

: From National Review,
"We are former federal government attorneys. We've collectively spent decades in law enforcement and believe passionately in its professional, non-political, non-partisan mission. Thus' it's with outrage that we note that, rather than quietly dropping this embarrassment of an investigation, the state attorney, Barry Krischer-a politically active liberal Democrat-has insisted on filing a charge which he well knows will never be tried. Insisting' that is, on further media churning of an allegation of doctor-shopping that he'll never prove...
Rush is a decent, generous, honorable guy who has been dragged through the mud, at great personal embarrassment, solely because he is a conservative icon. When he wakes up tomorrow, he'll still be a conservative icon. And Barry Krischer will still be a disgrace."

Andrew C. McCarthy, a former chief assistant U.S. attorney in New York, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. Mark R. Levin, a former Justice Department attorney and chief-of-staff to U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, is president of Landmark Legal Foundation.


Friday, April 28, 2006

George W Bush on Singing the National Anthem in Spanish

Bush Says:
One of the things that's very important is, when we debate this issue, that we not lose our national soul,... I think the national anthem ought to be sung in English, and I think people who want to be a citizen of this country ought to learn English and they ought to learn to sing the national anthem in English....I think people who want to be citizens of this country ought to learn English....

I am a supporter of comprehensive immigration ... I think most Americans agree that we've got to enforce our border. I don't think there's any question about that."

I love the guy!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Oregon Ducks Spring Football Game

Yes, my wife and I will drive the three hour up I-5 to Eugene and the three hour trip back for what is really a glorified scrimmage. But where are you going to find college football in April? Then there will be four long months to the first game a game against Stanford on September 2. Go Ducks!

EUGENE, Food for Lane County will be among the beneficiaries when the University of Oregon kicks off its annual football Spring Game beginning at 2 p.m. Saturday in Autzen Stadium.

For the third year in a row Oregon's athletic department is requesting a donation of three non-perishable food items as admission from everyone who attends Saturday's Spring Game, with all proceeds to be used to restock the Lane County food bank.

The Ducks will be divided into two equal teams for the intrasquad scrimmage. Dennis Dixon will quarterback the Green team led by defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti, while Brady Leaf will be under center for the White team coached by offensive coordinator Gary Crowton.

The first half will consist of two 15-minute quarters under normal game-type conditions while a running clock will be imposed for the final two quarters.

Kickoffs will occur to begin each half while the two teams will punt in the first half only.

Parking for the scrimmage also will be free of charge, with Entries 2 (Martin Luther King Blvd.) and 5 (Leo Harris Parkway) into the Autzen Stadium east parking
lot to open at 11 a.m. Access into the stadium will be allowed at 1 p.m.

Oregon,s final football workout of the spring will be televised live statewide by Comcast 14 and will replayed at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. In addition, the Comcast 14 telecast will be available live on the internet on the athletic department's official website,, through its subscription service O-Zone. The Spring Game also will broadcast on the radio live by KUGN (590 AM) in Eugene, KXL (750 AM) in Portland and KZZR (1230 AM) in Burns.

As part of the day's activities, the Oregon Duck Shop in the northwest corner of the Moshofsky Center will offer a series of specials in conjunction with the Spring Game, including a large clearance rack with 30 percent discount on selected merchandise, a Spring Game t-shirt as well as a special embroidered "Oregon Football" hat.

Where's the outrage over the new Mc Carthyism?

David Reinhard of the Portland Oregonian is one of my favorite columnist. Today he has a real winner :
If you're part of the America that believes we're in a war and that this war on terror is not one of those metaphorical wars (the war on drugs or obesity), the firing of CIA official Mary McCarthy is a big story. If you're an old-fashioned sort who thinks government workers shouldn't leak classified information to the media in the middle of a war, leaking operational secrets probably seems outrageous, even traitorous. But, if the war on terror is just one story among many or if national security leaks advance your political and professional interests -- well, who cares?

Oh, you have to cover the story, but don't get carried away. Give it short shrift. Don't turn this into an extended carnival of breathless verbiage a la Abu Ghraib or Valerie Plame-Joe Wilson or other stories-of-the-month. Do all you can to rehabilitate the leaker. ("Colleagues Say C.I.A. Analyst Played by Rules" was The New York Times' headline.)

Such kid-gloves treatment comes when you're profiled by papers that have just won Pulitzer prizes by taking it upon themselves to publicize top secret programs and damage U.S. national security in the middle of a war. You're cast as a woman of principle, a dissenter with a "higher loyalty," rather than someone who may have violated her secrecy oath and damaged national security in wartime. But it's deeply offensive. Instead of gussying up McCarthy or brushing off the story, we ought to see a little outrage and an effort to connect the dots? McCarthy has denied she leaked the secret CIA prisons story, but her case is ripe for investigation. The CIA's been conducting its own covert op against the Bush White House for years, with leaks the weapon of choice. Leak probes are notoriously difficult, but now we have a name, and that name is telling.

Yes, there's something about Mary. She was no ordinary career CIA officer. First, she served on the National Security Council staff in the Clinton White House. The man who hired her was Rand Beers, who went on to become John Kerry's foreign policy adviser in 2004. Indeed, she replaced Beers as special assistant to Clinton when he moved to another job. She was hired by Sandy Berger, national security adviser who later pleaded guilty to stealing documents while preparing to testify before the 9/11 Commission. There are still more dots to connect. The New York Times noted McCarthy's $2,000 campaign contribution to John Kerry, but the dollars didn't end there. "JustOneMinute" blogger Tom Maguire looked at the public records and discovered McCarthy had donated $5,000 to the Democratic Party in the key 2004 battleground state of Ohio. Fascinating, no?

All of which may suggest motive. Or maybe not. She may have leaked for the highest of reasons; and her motives, partisan, professional or constitutional, may reflect those of a leaky subculture at the CIA.

In the end, however, her motives don't really matter. Even if she leaked classified material for the highest of reasons -- she believed something was an affront to the Constitution or the wrong weapon in the terror war -- it couldn't make those actions understandable and even noble. She violated her secrecy agreements if not the law.

Ah, but what about President Bush's "leaking" of classified information through "Scooter" Libby? Isn't there a double standard here? We've heard a lot of this chitchat lately. Democrats have given it a go in the Sunday talk show segments on Mary McCarthyism, but this really is a reflection of just how retrograde our polarized debates have become.

When any president decides to declassify classified information -- and presidents have the inherent authority to do so -- the information is no longer classified. In brief, there's a difference between a president declassifying material and unauthorized government workers deciding, on their own and in secret, to declassify top secret programs. Also, Bush declassified material in the National Intelligence Estimate in order to correct the misrepresentations Wilson was making about his trip to Niger -- misrepresentations the declassified NIE material, the Senate Intelligence Committee and the British Butler Commission reports establish. That's why The Washington Post called the Bush-Libby leak "a good leak."

Oh, two more perhaps connectable dots: McCarthy and Wilson were on the National Security Council staff at the same time. For anyone interested

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Movie "Elizabethtown" on DVD

Last night I watched the movie on DVD. In October of 2005 I saw the movie in a theater and really liked it Click on "October 2005" link to your left on this page and it will take you to the two posts I made then about the movie. It is rare that I like a movie more on a second viewing but I liked "Elizabethtown" even more after viewing it again. The same was true for me of "The Graduate" from 1967 one of my all time favorite movies. The music of Elizabethtown is great. I had hoped the dvd would expand the cross country trip at the end of the movie but it only shows on "special features" an "out-take" of one of the cross country trip scenes. Guess I will have to wait for the "Directors Cut" release whenever and if they decide to re release the movie again in DVD. A fine, fine movie to be treasured and a nice addition to my DVD library.

Pulitzers For Aiding Terrorists by Max Boot

ON JUNE 7, 1942, shortly after the Battle of Midway, the Chicago Tribune carried a scoop: "Navy Had Word of Jap Plan to Strike at Sea." The story, written by a correspondent who had seen intelligence reports left in an officer's cabin, reported that the U.S. knew in advance the composition of the Japanese fleet. It didn't say where this information came from, but senior officers privy to the U.S. success in breaking Japanese codes were apoplectic at this security breach. The Justice Department convened a grand jury to consider whether to charge the Tribune and its flamboyant owner, editor and publisher, Col. Robert McCormick, with a violation of the Espionage Act of 1917.

No charges were brought, in part because military officials were unwilling to share classified information about intelligence gathering. But the Chicago Tribune was reviled by other journalists for betraying national security, and no other publication followed up its revelation.

Poor Col. McCormick. He was a man before his time. Today, he would have been hailed as a 1st Amendment hero, and his newspaper would have been showered with accolades. That, at least, is the only conclusion one can draw from this year's Pulitzer Prizes, which reflect a startling degree of animus toward the commander in chief in wartime.

It is hard to see how media apologists can deny their political bias when no fewer than four prizes were given at least in part for Bush-bashing. These included awards to Mike Luckovich, the left-wing cartoonist of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, who routinely portrays President Bush as a malevolent dolt, and Robin Givhan, the catty fashion critic of the Washington Post, who devoted an entire column to ridiculing Vice President Dick Cheney's attire at an Auschwitz ceremony.

There's nothing wrong with caustic criticism, but two of the award winners went further, into areas that may hamper our battle against Islamist terrorism. The Washington Post's Dana Priest won a prize for revealing the existence of secret CIA-operated prisons in Eastern Europe, and the New York Times' James Risen and Eric Lichtblau won for revealing the existence of a secret program to intercept communications between terrorists abroad and their domestic contacts.

The full repercussions of these security breaches remain unknown because, just as in 1942, intelligence officers are loath to publicly reveal the harm done to their activities. But there is no doubt that these were among the government's most tightly held secrets and that, despite personal pleas from Bush, both newspapers decided to publish them anyway — to the approbation of their peers.

This would seem to lend support to the more overwrought critics on the right who imagine that the media are dominated by an anti-American cabal. Having written for major newspapers for years, I have never found any Al Qaeda moles in the newsroom. What I have found is that journalists feel more bound by their duty to their profession than to their country and that their highest professional calling, as they see it, is to preserve a halo of "objectivity" by not choosing sides in any controversy.

No one working for the mainstream media today would refer, as Ernie Pyle did during World War II, to "our soldiers," "our offensive," "our predicament." Today it's "American soldiers," "the military offensive" and (most damning of all) "the president's predicament" — as if this were Bush's war, not ours. Just as newsies no longer identify in print with our troops, so they are careful to use impartial language about our enemies. Reuters has gone so far as to all but ban the use of "terrorist," which is considered too judgmental.

An unwillingness to play favorites makes sense when reporting on most topics. Mainstream reporters shouldn't choose between Republicans and Democrats or Microsoft and its critics (though in practice they usually do). But is studied neutrality really the right posture when covering a battle against monsters who fly hijacked aircraft into office buildings?

Los Angeles Times media columnist Tim Rutten, in defending the Pulitzers, claimed that critics "don't want an unbiased news media, they want a press that reflects their bias."

Right. I want journalists to cover the present struggle as a fight between good and evil. And when the good guys — that would be U.S. officials — say that certain revelations would help the bad guys, I want them to be given the benefit of the doubt. So, I suspect, do most Americans.

The problem with the mainstream media — and a big part of why their audience is declining — is that this is seen as a "bias" to be resisted at all costs

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Delivery of Recorded Music

On thing about getting old is you remember how things used to be. The playing of recorded music has evolved in my life time. When I was young there were still some "78 RPM" records around. However it was mostly 33&1/3 RPM albums and 45 records ( the ones with the big hole in the middle) The evolution in my lifetime is as follows:

Record Albums Good sound unless scratched which was easy to do. Had to play one record at a time unless you used a record changer which caused the records to get scratched. I still like the album cover art and miss it. The CD cover art is too small.

45 Records Usually, just one song on each side. My first 45 was "Solder Boy" by the Sherells. When I was a kid I liked them better than albums because you only played the "hits" and not all the other "misses" they put on the album.

8 Track You can play it in your car! Continuous play and easy to use. When I was a teenager I got a 8 Track player for Christmas and spent all of Christmas Day installing it in my car with the help of my friend Tom Muscus. Then we drove around town listening to music. I saw a guy at Payless Drug Store, in the music department, a few days later and he told my there was nothing as good as playing Simon and Garfunkel in your car..... he was right.

Cassette Tape Smaller than 8 Tracks and better sound. I still use them but less and less. I only switched over to CD's a few years ago and not in my car until last year when I bought a new car with a CD player. My kids though we were in the dark ages because we did not have a CD player and would play cassettes in a 8 track player with a converter attachment. I still have some 8 Track tapes but we sold our 8 track player at a garage sale. The cassettes would wear out with use and the tapes would distort the music or clog up the player.

CD's Better sound, easier to find the song you are looking for on the CD and more durable than tape.

Digital Music-MP3/ipod See my post below. I miss the album art but it is the way to live in your own little world of music anyplace. I like being able to buy music on line without having to buy an entire album and run around town looking for it.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

MARY MCCARTHY, is the the C I A leaker but None Dare Call it Treason


At the time of her dismissal, Ms. McCarthy was working in the agency's inspector general's office, after a stint at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, an organization in Washington that examines global security issues.

Public records show that Ms. McCarthy contributed $2,000 in 2004 to the presidential campaign of John Kerry, the Democratic nominee. and $5000 to the Ohio Democratic Party ( remember Ohio was the state that put Bush over the top)

She was always of the view that she would rather not get her hands dirty with covert action," said Michael Scheuer, a former C.I.A. official, (until now and against her own government)

on Thursday she was stripped of her security clearance and escorted out of C.I.A. headquarters, government officials said, after failing a polygraph examination and confessing that she had disclosed classified information to reporters, including material for The Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize-winning articles about secret C.I.A. facilities in Eastern Europe used to interrogate captured Al Qaeda members and other terror suspects.


National Security Advisor Samuel R. Berger announced on
June 16, 1998 the appointment of Mary O'Neil McCarthy as Special Assistant
to the President and Senior Director for Intelligence Programs.

She succeeds Rand Beers in that post, an announcement by the office of
the White House Press Secretary said.

Mary McCarthy had been Director of Intelligence Programs on the
National Security Council Staff since July 1996. Previously, said the
White House, Mrs. McCarthy served as the National Intelligence Officer
for Warning from 1994-1996 and as the Deputy National Intelligence
Officer for Warning from 1991-1994. She began government service in
1984 as an analyst in the Directorate of Intelligence of the Central
Intelligence Agency.

McCarthy has a B.A. and M.A. in history from Michigan State University
and an M.A and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.


the CIA fired an officer who acknowledged giving classified information to a reporter, NBC News learned Friday.

The officer flunked a polygraph exam before being fired on Thursday and is now under investigation by the Justice Department, NBC has learned.


John Gibson: The Secret War Against George Bush

On Friday, the CIA busted one of its own and charged him - or her - with leaking classified information.

While this guy or gal goes to jail, over at The Washington Post, reporter Dana Priest is still admiring the brand new Pulitzer Prize sitting on her mantle, for writing about what this very leaker told her: the secret prison story.

It was last November when Priest published a story in The Washington Post that the U.S. was maintaining a secret array of prisons where American intelligence could interrogate Al Qaeda-types who had been captured on the field of battle or picked up off the streets, wherever we could find them.

Coincidentally, on Friday, the European Union's anti-terrorism chief told a hearing that he had not been able to prove that secret CIA prisons really existed.

Whether they existed or not, the CIA spook evidently told Dana Priest something about secret prisons that qualified as leaking classified information. So it's off to Stony Lonesome.

All reporters would love to win a Pulitzer. Few know how it feels. Fewer still know how it feels to win one of the top prizes in the profession, while somebody goes off the prison so you could win your prize.

What is really going on here is the secret war by CIA-types against President Bush and his policies. This is the group inside the CIA - think Valerie Plame - who think their opinions and analysis of the world should trump whatever it is the president thinks. If the president goes against their opinion, they call The New York Times and start leaking embarrassing stuff.

It's a war against Bush, waged by Americans.

It's wrong, it's illegal and people are going to start going to jail. That's good.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

2006 Oregon Football Schedule

Sat, Sep 02 Stanford Eugene, Ore.

Sat, Sep 09 Fresno State at Fresno, Calif.

Sat, Sep 16 Oklahoma Eugene, Ore.

Sat, Sep 30 Arizona State at Tempe, Ariz.

Sat, Oct 07 California at Berkeley, Calif.

Sat, Oct 14 UCLA Eugene, Ore.

Sat, Oct 21 Washington State at Pullman, Wash.

Sat, Oct 28 Portland State Eugene, Ore.

Sat, Nov 04 Washington (Homecoming) Eugene, Ore.

Sat, Nov 11 USC at Los Angeles, Calif.

Sat, Nov 18 Arizona Eugene, Ore.

Sat, Nov 25 Oregon State at Corvallis, Ore

Duck Football Tickets

Yesterday I renewed my two season football tickets for the fall 2006 season at the University of Oregon. It's getting so I need to take out a second mortgage on the house to buy these tickets. In addition to the ticket costs I have to make my annual donation to the University of Oregon Athletic Fund for the right to buy these tickets. The seats are on the 20 to 30 yard line behind the Oregon bench. The seats are in good old section 13. We have been sitting there for about 15 years. My kids were young when we first got these seats .... a few inches of bench.... not theater style seats. We see the same people around us year after year. I have watched them grow "Old." I only see these people 6 times a year during football season... it's sort of like "Same time next year." This year my son will probably be going to grad school in the Midwest so I will miss going to the games with him and having Chinese food or Pizza after the game. The spring game is in about 9 days... I can hardly wait! This season Stanford, Oklahoma ( time for revenge for the Holiday Bowl)Portland State, UCLA, Washington (hate them) and Arizona will be coming to Autzen Stadium to play the Ducks. Go Ducks!

Special Report With Brit Hume

Special Report with Brit Hume is my favorite TV news program and I watch a lot of TV news programs. I watch it every night on FOX NEWS. What makes it so special is Brit Hume. Liberal Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post has written a fairly balanced profile on Brit that can be found by clicking on the title above. If I was on a deserted Island and could only watch one TV program a day this is the one I would pick.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hank Worden

Hank Worden was a western character actor and a member of the John Ford Stock Company and appeared in 14 John Wayne movies. He is best remembered as Mose Harper in John Ford's The Searchers and as "The Parson" in John Waynes The Alamo. He played a slightly off simpleton who I loved . Clint Eastwood used him for some of his films in the last years of Worden's life. Click on the title above for a link to the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) page for Hank Worden for more information.

"Gabby" Hayes

On of my favorite western character actors was George "Gabby" Hayes. He played a sidekick to Roy Rogers and Hopalong Cassidy. He played a cranky and crotchety oldtimer who had expressions such as "yer durn tootin'" "durn persnickity female", "young whipper snapper" and "Yessiree Bob"

Les Adams has identified that he was in about 190 sound era films, and that total includes 146 westerns and a couple of serials. His work at Republic Pictures, which amounted to 68 films, occurred during the period from 1935-1947 - and most of these were doing sidekick duty to Roy Rogers and Wild Bill Elliott.

Click on the title above for a link to a great website devoted to "Gabby" Hayes which has additional information about his life..

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys


Rich Galen on Don Rumsfeld

Donald Rumsfeld has been many things:
Active Duty and Reserve Naval Officer
Congressional Staffer
Member of Congress (elected four times)
Assistant and then Counselor to President Nixon
Ambassador to NATO
Chief of Staff for President Ford
Secretary of Defense (Youngest ever)
CEO of G.D. Searle
CEO of General Instruments
Secretary of Defense (Oldest ever)

Here's what Donald Rumsfeld has never been:
Sufferer of fools

it should not be lost on us that anyone who rises in opposition to the Bush Administration is given a platform, a microphone, and a TV camera to give their opinions the widest possible release.

The anti-Bush flavor-of-the week is Donald Rumsfeld.

To read the rest of Rich Galen's column click on the title above for a link

Gabby the Cat

Last week we were at a party and someone said "Freedom is the kids moving out and the dog dying" Well if that is the case, then my wife and I are "free." Our youngest child is graduating from college in a few days and our dog died two years ago. However, we still have Gabby the cat. Gabby is a Seal Point Siamese female who adopted us about 7 or 8 years ago. She was a stray who was hanging around the outside of our house. I tried to pet her and she would not let me. After a few weeks I got down on my "all fours" and was able to get near her to pet her. She was so thin when I touched her I immediately got some old dry cat food out of our garage to feed her. She was then ours for life. It had been several years since we had a cat and our dog hated cats. Therefore she lived in the garage and later in our family room in our half basement. It was always a pain keeping the cat and dog apart. Once we had to rescue her from the jaws of our terrier. However about two years ago the dog died and Gabby now has the run of the house. Gabby got her name from "Gabby Hayes" the old western character actor. She loves to "talk". We don't have a dog but Gabby is almost like a dog. She follows me around the house all the time. She greets me when I get home from work. She lays on the back of the sofa as I watch football games or movies on my Big Screen TV. She even watches me get ready for work every morning. She loves to sit in my lap as I cruise the internet. She sleeps between my wife and I at night in our bed. She is a very loving cat who has lots of personality. She has helped fill the void of not having the kids at home and not having a dog. She is afraid of dogs so we will probable not get a dog until she passes on. Thanks Gabby for adopting us.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

New York Post: Flight United 93

April 16, 2006 -- With the release of transcripts from doomed Flight 93, the nation last week was re minded of the elemental nature of the war that began in earnest on 9/11 - and of the inspirational heroism of the Americans who were among the first to fight in it.
Flight 93 went down in a Pennsylvania field after a fierce struggle between passengers and the terrorists who had hijacked the aircraft.

Had it been allowed to complete its deadly trajectory - perhaps to the White House or the Capitol - the toll surely would have been far higher.

The plane's passengers refused to let that happen. The terrorists announced they had a bomb and demands, trying to fool those aboard into thinking that it was a traditional - what a quaint concept - hijacking and that the plane would return to the airport.

But that wasn't to be.

Two passengers' throats were slit. And, as the recording played at the sentencing hearing of 9/11's 20th hijacker, Zacarias Moussaoui, makes clear, events in the cabin were harrowing, with the killers barking commands: "Shut up!" "Sit down!"

A woman desperately begs for her life. "Please, please, please," she cries. "Please, please, don't hurt me . . . Oh God . . . "

She repeats, "I don't want to die, I don't want to die, I don't want to die."

Her voice is not heard again.

A minute later, a voice in Arabic says, "Everything is fine."

Throughout the transcript, too, there are references to the terrorists' perverted religious sensibilities. "In the name of Allah, the most merciful, the most compassionate," a voice says in Arabic.

Presently, passengers learned from cellphone calls what had happened at the World Trade Center. In mortal peril and with hope ebbing, they acted.

"In[to] the cockpit," a voice directs. "If we don't, we'll die!"

These were average, everyday Americans, unaccustomed to violence and untrained to fight.

The terrorists were cold-blooded killers - ready to do anything to fulfill their mission.

For decades, until now, passengers on hijacked airplanes had been instructed to comply with orders; doing so saved their lives.

Not this time.

Not on Flight 93.

The immortal words of one heroic passenger, Todd Beamer, became a rudely awakened nation's rallying cry: "Let's roll," he said, as these instant soldiers - America's first in the War on Terror - resolved to retake the plane.

The nation, too, stiffened its spine and swiftly joined the battle.

"Tonight, we are a country awakened to danger," President Bush told the world in an address before Congress nine days later. "Our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done."

Bush warned Americans not to expect "one battle but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen."

Did America have the resolve?

You'd best believe it. Said Bush, famously: "We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail."

Four and a half years later, as a violent and complicated situation drags on in Iraq, some Americans desperately seek to go back to sleep.

There's been no attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, so they assume that the war is over, that the threats have passed.

Fat chance.

Like it or not, this is an age of preemption. Be it Iran, Iraq, al Qaeda or any other hostile party, the rule today must be: Act before it's too late.

The courageous souls of Flight 93 figured that out. They gave their lives in the battle, saving others - for which America should be forever grateful.

And they set the painful but noble tenor of a new day.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Movie: "United 93"

Today my wife and I saw a preview for the movie "United 93" the United Airlines airplane that crashed in Pennsylvania on 9/11. That was the airplane that was headed for the United States Capitol Building and crashed when it's passengers confronted the terrorist in an act of courage that will be remembered as long as there is a United States of America. I will see the movie when it opens on April 28th but I must admit I was very emotionally effected by the preview and the movie will be hard to watch. However I think it is important that we never forget their courage and the evil of the terrorist. I hope the movie does them justice.

Movie: "Thank You For Smoking" *****

Run don't walk to the nearest theater showing "Thank You for Smoking". It's a very funny movie with biting satire. It's about a lobbyist for the smoking industry in Washington DC, his young son, a liberal senator from Vermont, and an attractive reporter. It's a movie about politics and Washington DC that Jonah Goldberg of National Review and liberal Roger Ebert both like.The screenplay is based on a novel by Christopher Buckley (son of William F. Buckley). Roger Ebert admired it for it's literary "Style" and "Satire". I liked it because not all the conservatives were bad and not all the liberals were good and the message was choices in life are good and that is what freedom is all about. Government can not do everything and we need to rely on our selves. Specific things I liked about the Movie:
1. Scene from Sands of Iwo Jima with John Wayne.
2. Picture of Winston Churchill on wall in one characters office.
3. Picture of Bella Abzug (absurd) in Liberal Senators office ( he is not a nice person!)
4. Talking about Jimmy Stewart in "Mr Smith Goes to Washington" and Olie North in the same conversation
5. Sam Elliot as the Marbro Man
6. Dennis Miller as a TV talk show host
7. Robert Duvall as the czar of the tobacco industry
8. The song by the Kingston Trio during the closing credits
9. The song during the opening credits
10. The bar where the lobbyist meet and their conversations.
11. The relationship between the lobbyist and his son.
12. The Joan London TV talk show scene.

To read Jonah Goldberg's review click on the title above for a link.

Rumsfeld Stays.....Deal With it!

What kind of U.S.Military officer,General or otherwise, retired or otherwise, publicly criticizes his superiors in the chain of command while his former troops are engaged in combat with the enemy? Have these men no loyalty to their men, the cause,and the corps? Where is their honor ? They shame the uniform they once wore!Duty, Honor, Country and Loyalty.

A Mad Man Who Must Be Stopped!

From the Associated Press: The president of Iran again lashed out at Israel on Friday and said it was "heading toward annihilation," just days after Tehran raised fears about its nuclear activities by saying it successfully enriched uranium for the first time.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called Israel a "permanent threat" to the Middle East that will "soon" be liberated. He also appeared to again question whether the Holocaust really happened.

"Like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihilation," Ahmadinejad said at the opening of a conference in support of the Palestinians. "The Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm."

On Tuesday, Ahmadinejad announced that Iran had successfully enriched uranium using a battery of 164 centrifuges, a significant step toward the large-scale production of enriched uranium required for either fueling nuclear reactors or making nuclear weapons.

For the entire AP report click on the title above for a link.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Movie "High Noon" & Iran

The situation in Iran is very much like the 1952 western movie High Noon. In High Noon Gary Cooper is the town Marshall who just married Grace Kelly. He is retiring as Marshall and heading out of town for his honeymoon when he learns that a gang of desperadoes, he put in prison, are out out and headed to his town for revenge. They will arrive on the Noon train. His wife wants him to leave and not fight. Cooper wants to stay as he knows the gunslingers will follow him wherever he goes and staying is the honorable thing to do. He asks the town folks to help but they all have various reasons why it's not their fight and he ends up alone to face the gang . It's kind of like the situation with Iran. George W Bush plays to part of Garry Cooper. Grace Kelly plays to part of the liberals who want to run. The cowardly town folks are the nations of the United Nations who refuse to help and the desperadoes are played by Iran . Do not forsake me oh my darling...... Is it High Noon yet?

Target Iran by Gen Thomas McInerney

MILITARY OPTION AGAINST Iran's nuclear facilities is feasible. A diplomatic solution to the nuclear crisis is preferable, but without a credible military option and the will to implement it, diplomacy will not succeed. The announcement of uranium enrichment last week by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad shows Iran will not bow easily to diplomatic pressure. The existence of a military option may be the only means of persuading Iran--the world's leading sponsor of terrorism--to back down from producing nuclear weapons.
A military option would be all the more credible if backed by a new coalition of the willing and if coupled with intense diplomacy during a specific time frame. The coalition could include Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, Britain, France, and Germany. Solidarity is important and would surely contribute to potential diplomatic success. But should others decline the invitation, the United States must be prepared to act.
What would an effective military response look like? It would consist of a powerful air campaign led by 60 stealth aircraft (B-2s, F-117s, F-22s) and more than 400 nonstealth strike aircraft, including B-52s, B-1s, F-15s, F-16s, Tornados, and F-18s. Roughly 150 refueling tankers and other support aircraft would be deployed, along with 100 unmanned aerial vehicles for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, and 500 cruise missiles. In other words, overwhelming force would be used.
The objective would be, first and foremost, to destroy or severely damage Iran's nuclear development and production facilities and put them out of commission for at least five years. Another aim would

be to destroy the Iranian air defense system, significantly damage its air force, naval forces, and Shahab-3 offensive missile forces. This would prevent Iran from projecting force outside the country and retaliating militarily. The air campaign would also wipe out or neutralize Iran's command and control capabilities.........

To read the rest of the article click on the title above for a link

Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney (Ret.) served as assistant vice chief of staff of the United States Air Force.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Favorite Web Sites

Some of my favorite web sites: (Real Clear Politics - links to current news articles and opinions from a conservative point of view) (Free Republic- Conservative web site - "Republic I like the sound of that word" John Wayne in the Alamo 1960) (Headline story's) (educk - Oregon Duck fan web site) (Official Oregon Duck web site) All about DVD's) (More about DVD's) (My DVD collection) (Best movie site ever!) (John Wayne fan site)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Torpedo Squadron (1942)

Movie Director John Ford was at Midway a few days before the famous World War II naval battle. In addition to the Academy Award winning Documentary "Midway" he also made a second documentary called "Torpedo Squadron". No one has seen the entire film except the producers and a few families . Ford was on the island of Midway during the battle in 1942 and personally supervised, or himself filmed, the action there. Others of his crew were at sea aboard U. S. Aircraft carriers stationed north west of the island. A good deal of color footage was shot. By happenstance, some of the footage focused on the pilots and crew members of Torpedo Squadron 8 on the U.S.S. Hornet. Some of the pre battle shots showed them as a group, and others showed them as individuals, going about their business, laughing and joking around their airplanes. The Navy men flew obsolete torpedo planes, called Devestators. Because of what Clausewitz called "the fog of war," they arrived at their targets unescorted by fighters and all 14 the torpedo planes were shot down. Of the 40 crew members of the torpedo squadron there was only one survivor. Of course, Ford knew this when he was assembling the film, so among the opening credits is a plaque reading, "In Memoriam." This the last film taken of the men of the spuadron before they were to die in battle.
Ford saw to it, or tried to see to it, that copies of the film went only to the families of Torpedo Squadron 8. Only 30 copies were made. Some few minutes of the film can be seen in a TV production, "John Ford Goes to War," now on DVD. ( some of this information comes from a post by Robert Maxwell on the IMDB)

To see pictures from that documentary click on the title above for a link to a web site where the web site creator obtained a copy of the documentary from the daughter of John C Waldron the squadron commander who was killed with the rest of his squadron.

Herman Wouk in his novel "War and Remembrance" has listed the members of torpedo squadron 8 and two other torpedo squadrons from the U.S.S. Yorktown and U.S.S. Enterprise and said this about the naval aviators that attacked the Japanese aircraft carriers that day.

"So long as men choose to decide the turns of history with the slaughter of youths--- and even in a better day, when this form of human sacrifice has been abolished like the ancient superstitious, but no more horrible form--- the memory of these three American torpedo plane squadrons should not die. The old sagas would halt the tale to list the names and birthplaces of the men who fought so well. Let this romance follow the tradition. These were the young men of the three squadrons, their names recovered from an already fading record." Wouk then lists the names and home town of all of the crew member in the three squadrons with those who died outlined in black. It is the most haunting section of his great novel.

All together, these three torpedo Squadrons lost 33 pilots and 45 radiomen-gunners that day. The slow obsolete American torpedo planes were slaughtered by Japanese Zeroes and AA fire. Herman Wouk had this to say: "In a planned coodinated attack, the dive-bombers were supposed to distract the enemy fighters, so as to give the torpedo planes their chance to come in. Instead the torpedo planes had pulled down the Zeroes and cleared the air for the dive-bombers. What was not luck, but the soul of the United States of America in action, was this willingness of the torpedo plane squadrons to go in against hopeless odds. This was the extra ounce of martial weight that in a few decisive minutes tipped the balance of history." The Japanese lost four aircraft carriers and the U.S. lost the Yorktown in this naval battle fought from the air. The Japanese attack on Midway failed and it was the turning point in the war in the Pacific.

Facing Down Iran by Mark Steyn

This is a must read article. It gives a good analysis of the situation in Iran and it's recent history. It has a chilling conclusion as follows:

"Once again, we face a choice between bad and worse options. There can be no "surgical" strike in any meaningful sense: Iran's clients on the ground will retaliate in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, and Europe. Nor should we put much stock in the country's allegedly "pro-American" youth. This shouldn't be a touchy-feely nation-building exercise: rehabilitation may be a bonus, but the primary objective should be punishment--and incarceration. It's up to the Iranian people how nutty a government they want to live with, but extraterritorial nuttiness has to be shown not to pay. That means swift, massive, devastating force that decapitates the regime--but no occupation.
The cost of de-nuking Iran will be high now but significantly higher with every year it's postponed. The lesson of the Danish cartoons is the clearest reminder that what is at stake here is the credibility of our civilization. Whether or not we end the nuclearization of the Islamic Republic will be an act that defines our time."

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

One benefit of Bush's low poll ratings is he can do what is necessary ! The Churchill of our times! The war in Iraq is coming to a close.....the war against terrorism is now moving to Iran!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Trip to Redding

Today my wife and I made a three hour trip down I-5 to Redding California for a memorial service for a relative on my wives side. The service was at a veterans cemetery near Redding and was a military ceremony with a gun salute and the playing of taps. The deceased was a veteran of both the Navy and Air Force and had been in the military most of his adult life. I didn't know him but there is something about the playing of taps that is so sad. After interment we went to the decedent's sons home and had a chance to spend some time with my wives older brother and his wife. It was her father who had died. They live in Maryland and so we don't get to see them very often and that was at least one of the reasons we attended. Their teenage son also came out. We spent some time talking to the wife of the deceased who told us of their life of together.. They met in England in the early 1950's and lived all over the world. Before they met she had lived as a young girl in Africa with her parents. She had gone there to avoid the blitz in England during World War II. In my profession I talk to many older folks and am always amazed at the interesting lives many people have led. Almost everybody has an interesting story and you just have to get them to tell it. I told her she needed to write a book about her life and then she told me she was writing a novel. She was a sweet lady.

On the way home we stopped at a lodge on top of Siskyou Pass, called Calihans and had a nice dinner by the fireplace and listened to a folk singer who was perfoming live at the lodge. A sad but sweet trip.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Washington Post: Bush's Good Leak

Washington Post Editorial
PRESIDENT BUSH was right to approve the declassification of parts of a National Intelligence Estimate about Iraq three years ago in order to make clear why he had believed that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons. Presidents are authorized to declassify sensitive material, and the public benefits when they do. But the administration handled the release clumsily, exposing Mr. Bush to the hyperbolic charges of misconduct and hypocrisy that Democrats are leveling.


The affair concerns, once again, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV and his absurdly over-examined visit to the African country of Niger in 2002. Each time the case surfaces, opponents of the war in Iraq use it to raise a different set of charges, so it's worth recalling the previous iterations. Mr. Wilson originally claimed in a 2003 New York Times op-ed and in conversations with numerous reporters that he had debunked a report that Iraq was seeking to purchase uranium from Niger and that Mr. Bush's subsequent inclusion of that allegation in his State of the Union address showed that he had deliberately "twisted" intelligence "to exaggerate the Iraq threat." The material that Mr. Bush ordered declassified established, as have several subsequent investigations, that Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth. In fact, his report supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium.

Mr. Wilson subsequently claimed that the White House set out to punish him for his supposed whistle-blowing by deliberately blowing the cover of his wife, Valerie Plame, who he said was an undercover CIA operative. This prompted the investigation by Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald. After more than 2 1/2 years of investigation, Mr. Fitzgerald has reported no evidence to support Mr. Wilson's charge. In last week's court filings, he stated that Mr. Bush did not authorize the leak of Ms. Plame's identity. Mr. Libby's motive in allegedly disclosing her name to reporters, Mr. Fitzgerald said, was to disprove yet another false assertion, that Mr. Wilson had been dispatched to Niger by Mr. Cheney. In fact Mr. Wilson was recommended for the trip by his wife. Mr. Libby is charged with perjury, for having lied about his discussions with two reporters. Yet neither the columnist who published Ms. Plame's name, Robert D. Novak, nor Mr. Novak's two sources have been charged with any wrongdoing.

As Mr. Fitzgerald pointed out at the time of Mr. Libby's indictment last fall, none of this is particularly relevant to the question of whether the grounds for war in Iraq were sound or bogus. It's unfortunate that those who seek to prove the latter would now claim that Mr. Bush did something wrong by releasing for public review some of the intelligence he used in making his most momentous decision.

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

U.S. Is Studying Military Strike Options on Iran

An interesting report today from the Washington Post on US plans to take out another part of the "Axis of Evil" .... Iran. I don't think diplomacy will work and if Iran gets nuclear weapons we may be looking at Armageddon! THERE LEADERS ARE CRAZY! Parts of the Washington Post article are as follows:

My sense is that any talk of a strike is the diplomatic gambit to keep pressure on others that if they don't help solve the problem, we will have to," said Kori Schake, who worked on Bush's National Security Council staff and teaches at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

Israel is preparing, as well. The government recently leaked a contingency plan for attacking on its own if the United States does not, a plan involving airstrikes, commando teams, possibly missiles and even explosives-carrying dogs. Israel, which bombed Iraq's Osirak nuclear plant in 1981 to prevent it from being used to develop weapons, has built a replica of Natanz, according to Israeli media, but U.S. strategists do not believe Israel has the capacity to accomplish the mission without nuclear weapons

two main options are under consideration, according to one person with contacts among Air Force planners. The first would be a quick and limited strike against nuclear-related facilities accompanied by a threat to resume bombing if Iran responds with terrorist attacks in Iraq or elsewhere. The second calls for a more ambitious campaign of bombing and cruise missiles leveling targets well beyond nuclear facilities, such as Iranian intelligence headquarters, the Revolutionary Guard and some in the government.
Any extended attack would require U.S. forces to cripple Iran's air defense system and air force, prepare defenses for U.S. ground forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and move Navy ships to the Persian Gulf to protect shipping. U.S. forces could launch warplanes from aircraft carriers, from the Diego Garcia island base in the Indian Ocean and, in the case of stealth bombers, from the United States.

To read the rest of the Washington Post article click on the title above for a link.

All other news story's pale in comparison to this subject. The survival of civilization! There are no good choices.


Tonight on the History Channel is Antietam. It's about the the bloodiest day in U.S history: 23,000 casualties on both sides, nine times the Normandy D-Day casualties. It occurred on September 17 1862 during the American Civil War. It's part of the History Channels series "10 Days that Unexpectedly changed America".

This morning as I was reading the Sunday Oregonian I turned ,as I always do, to Ted Mahar's column in the TV Click Section. If you are as big a news junkie as I am you learn to look for columnist that have the same interest as you . Ted Mahar of the Oregonian is one . Many years ago he was the Oregonian's movie critic and I loved his reviews. He has a keen interest in John Ford as I do. In any case he said this about the Antietam documentary : "By September 1862, the Confederacy had solidified it's territory and had a smoothly operating government. the North was close to disarray, seemed to be losing the war and feared that France and England were ready to throw in with King Cotton, the 1960's equivalent of Big Oil today." Robert E Lee moved his Confederate army north around Washington DC to cut it off from the rest of the North and bring the war to an end. The North countered by sending George B McClellan and the Federal Army of the Potomac, north from Washington. The two army's met in Maryland near the town of Sharpsburg along Antietam Creek. After a day of very bloody fighting the killed or wounded for the North were 12,410 and for the South 10700. Although , neither side gained a decisive victory Lee was forced to with draw to the South and England did not recognize of the Confederate government. The battle also gave President Abraham Lincoln the opportunity to issue the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 declaring free all slaves in states still in rebellion. Lee again tried to move north the next summer and failed at a place called Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. Lincoln, in 1864 won reelection to the presidency after beating McClellan, the Democrats nominee ,who ran on a plank of "cut and run" to end the war. The war continued till 1865 and a victory for the North to preserve the Union and free the slaves. Some things are worth fighting for.

Antietam is on at 9-10 Pm( West Coast time) tonight.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

ABC News: Bush & Cheney have power to release classified information!

According to John Cochran of ABC News:

"In 1988 the Supreme Court ruled that the president had the right to determine who should and should not have access to classified information. Then in March 2003, around the start of the war in Iraq, George Bush expanded that power to include the vice president.
So, barring a court challenge, it appears that both Bush and Cheney have the power to say what is and is not classified."

For rest of the ABC News report click on title above for a link.

For the text of the Executive Order click on the following link:

A tempest in a teapot.

Peggy Noonan on Cap Weinberger

"Caspar Weinberger was buried at Arlington this week. He was a great man, a prudent warrior who two decades ago helped rearm America after years of confusion, loss and neglect. He hated war, having fought in World War II. It was enormously moving that Margaret Thatcher, that great lady, 80 and felled twice by strokes, journeyed from London to attend the funeral of this man who made such a difference in our national life and the world's life. Whenever I saw Cap Weinberger he seemed like a happy man. You can be happy when you know you are doing work you are supposed to be doing, work that helps the world, and human beings, and your country. The words that came to mind when I thought of Cap this week were: a life well led. What a great thing when you can know you've had that. "

Margaret Thatcher still the "Iron Lady"!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

April Love

The Movie "April Love" came out in 1957 and I can still remember watching Pat Boone walk down a country lane singing the song near the beginning of the movie. As a young kid, growing up in the 50s in a small town in southern Oregon, I though Boone looked so sophisticated,( ha). I saw it at a Saturday matinee . Every April I think of that movie and song. The Lyrics are as follows:

"April love is for the very young Every star's a wishing star that shines for you April love is all the seven wonders One little kiss can tell you this is true Sometimes an April day will suddenly bring showers Rain to grow the flowers for her first bouquet But April love can slip right through your fingers So if she's the one don't let her run away[Instrumental Interlude] Sometimes an April day will suddenly bring showers Rain to grow the flowers for her first bouquet But April love can slip right through your fingers So if she's the one don't let her run away"

Pat Boone plays a JD (juvenile delinquent) who is sent to live with his relatives who own a farm. He meets Shirley Jones and there is car racing and lots of singing . It is a sweet move in glorious color. Everyone in the movie is nice and it's is a happy movie like a walk in a park on a sunny day. I wish they would put it out on DVD. It's not great cinema but it left an impression on me. Click on the title above for a link to the IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base) page on the movie.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tom DeLay a Man of Consequence by Tony Blankley

William F. Buckley once said something to the effect the Conservative movement was too willing to leave it's wounded on the battlefield. I have for some time felt the same way about Tom DeLay. I have never been a big fan of DeLay but I loved him for his enemies and wished to "recover him from the battlefield." Tony Blankley has written a good column about Delay. He writes in part:

Republicans express sorrow, but are actually relieved not to have him (DeLay)as an albatross around their party neck. And as someone who has crossed paths (and sometimes swords) with Tom ever since I started as Newt Gingrich's press secretary in 1990, I am of mixed feelings.........

Politics is a necessarily tough business, and it is exceedingly rare that a party leadership post is given out of gratitude for past services rendered to the party. Whether it was Maggie Thatcher being thrown over as Tory Party leader and prime minister, Newt being forced out as speaker, or now Tom Delay being shown the exit -- parties have every right, and indeed a duty to its constituents, to mercilessly shed no longer useful leaders.
Even the immortal Winston Churchill was shown no gratitude by the British electorate after he had led them to victory in WWII and was then summarily defeated at the polls........

But if a party has a right to act ruthlessly in its self-interest, it also has a duty not to cave to the other party or its media allies. A party should get rid of its leaders on its own schedule -- not its opponent's. That is why last year, when Democrats were calling for Tom's blood, I wrote a rhetorically violent column urging the GOP not to throw him over. The GOP did stand firm with him then -- and, in fact, gave him a big party. These things are a matter of tribal pride.

Tom has served the Party magnificently over the last two decades -- both as a principled conservative legislator, and as a shrewd and tireless political operator. And he has had the good judgment to exit on his own two feet. Both the Party and the country are stronger and better for all that Tom Delay has contributed.
So as a not-always-ally, I wish him Godspeed on the next leg of his journey.

For the rest of Blankley's column click on the title aove for a link.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Duck Spring Football Practice Starts!

The University of Oregon Spring Football practice starts tomorrow Tuesday April 4th, 1006. The Spring game, and end of Spring practice, will then be on Saturday April 29th at 2PM at Autzen Stadium in Eugene. Click on the title above for a link to the Eugene Register- Guard story on Spring practice. An island of football before the football-less days of Summer. Go Ducks!

John Milius

Director John Milius is a disciple of my favorite Director John Ford. Milius has made some fine movies. A partial list is as follows:

Rough Riders (1997) About Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders. A TV movie but needs to be put out on DVD. I love it.Through his work, on Rough Riders (1997) (TV), he was instrumental in causing President Theodore Roosevelt to be posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for acts of conspicuous gallantry on San Juan Hill in Cuba during the Spanish American War.

Flight of the Intruder ( 1991) Naval pilot's inVietnam. Jane Fonda will not like this move but I do! One of the few movies about Vietnam that is not pro "cut and run" but more like "why won't they let us win!"

Red Dawn ( 1982) One of my favorite all time movies. About the United States partially under Communist rule and high school students in occupied America conduct gorilla warfare against the Reds. Liberals hate this movie. See poster above.

Conan the Barbarian (1982) Made Arnold Schwarzenegger a star....... and now Republican Governor of California.

The Wind and the Lion (1975) Brian Keith is a great Teddy Roosevelt as President. Candice Bergen... how did she get in there?

AS you can tell Milius is a conservative and was the inspiration for drag-racer John Milner (played by Paul LeMat) in American Graffiti

Wrote the line, "Go ahead, make my day", for Clint Eastwood's "Dirty Harry" character in Sudden Impact (1983).

Some of his favorites films are
Howard Hawks' Red River, Raoul Walsh's they Died With their Boots On, John Ford's The Searchers and They Were Expendable, David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia and Orson Welles' Citizen Kane.

For more on John Milius go to the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) by clicking on the title above for a link. Also see post below with picture.

John Milius & Arnold Schwarzenegger

This weekend I picked up "Conan The Barbarian" (1982) on DVD. The movie stars the current Governor of California, Arnold Schwaazenegger and is directed by John Milius.( picture to left)) Milius is a disciple of my favorite director John Ford (see posts below). The best part of the DVD is the commentary track with Schwaaszenegger and Milius, done in the last few years. For those that are unfamiliar with "Commentary Tracks" on DVDs they are commentary voice overs that run while the movie is shown. They are usually done by actors in the movie , directors, writers or others who made the movie or film historians. They usually describe how the movie was made and describe the history of the movie etc. Many are very dry and of interest only to film buffs. NOT THIS ONE! John Milius and Arnold are obviously together when the commentary was recorded. Many times the commentators are not together and their comments are spliced together. This is like watching the movie with two real characters. Milius is very literate and Arnold is well Arnold! To watch this macho movie with these two macho men is a kick. There is almost too much testosterone . Every time a cute woman appears in a bit part Arnold makes a comment "I remember her" There are comments about x-wives and problems with the IRS (Milius) and Arnold makes a few comments that are even too crude for me. He loves the "love" scenes. In any case it is like a couple of guys watching a movie with cigars and bourbon. Picture above is of John Milius "in character." Click on the title above for a link to the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) page for "Conan the Barbarian" and links to info on Arnold and John Milius.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Bill Bowerman in the Movies

The Oregonian newspaper article described in the post below about Bill Bowerman has a sidebar about movies in which Hayward Field ( University of Oregon Track Field) was a backdrop. You can access the article by clicking on the title above for a link.

As I have said before, my family and I were crowd scene extras in the movie "Without Limits" (1998). We spent a rare hot Saturday and Sunday in Eugene at Hayward Field as they filmed the movie. On Sunday, as they were getting ready to film a very old Bill Bowerman walked on to the track dressed in Oregon green. He was walking with a cane. The director,Robert Towne, stopped the filming and the crowd burst into applause as Bill Bowerman waved to the crowd. It was near the end of his life and was a very touching moment. Donald Sutherland played Bowerman in the film and I think did a good job. Picture is of Donald Sutherland as Bowerman and Billy Crudup as Steve Prefontaine.

Here is the Oregonian article by Jeff Baker:

"The story of Bill Bowerman and Steve Prefontaine has been told in two movies, and Hayward Field was the backdrop for another track movie featuring runner and author Kenny Moore:
"Personal Best" (1982): Robert Towne wrote and directed an uneven movie about two women pentathletes (Patrice Donnelly and Mariel Hemingway) who compete against each other and fall in love. The opening scenes were filmed at the 1980 Olympic Trials in Eugene, after Kenny Moore intervened for Towne and got Bowerman's approval.
Bowerman watched the movie with Moore and said nice things, then took them all back in an angry interview the next day in the Eugene Register-Guard. Bowerman hated the manipulative track coach played by Scott Glenn and had his name removed from the credits.
Towne ignored Moore's complete lack of acting experience and cast him as Hemingway's boyfriend. Moore, who displayed full-frontal nudity in a scene with Hemingway, defends "Personal Best" as a groundbreaking movie because of its lesbian theme.
"A great many women have said it changed their lives," he said. "Patrice Donnelly, who's as straight as they come, is a hero to a lot of lesbians."
"Fire on the Track" (1993): A documentary on Prefontaine written by Moore and narrated by Ken Kesey. Towne showed footage from it to Tom Cruise, who became strongly interested in developing a movie about Pre.
"Prefontaine" (1997): The Disney version of Pre's life stars Jared Leto as Pre and R. Lee Ermey as Bowerman. It was directed on a shoestring budget by Steve James ("Hoop Dreams"). Most reviews found it solid but too reverential toward its subject. "Did you know Jesus Christ was a distance runner at the University of Oregon?" wrote Jack Mathews of Newsday.
"Without Limits" (1998): Towne directed from a script he and Moore wrote. The core of the movie, the relationship between Prefontaine (Billy Crudup) and Bowerman (Donald Sutherland), is outstanding, and the location shooting at Hayward Field and at Bowerman's house demonstrates Towne's improvement as a director since "Personal Best." There are problems on the periphery: assistant coach Bill Dellinger is reduced to a caricature and there is no chemistry between Crudup and Monica Potter, who played Pre's girlfriend. Moore said scenes showing the complexity of their relationship were left on the cutting-room floor. "
-- Jeff Baker

The Man Who Invented Running

In today's Sunday Oregonian is a fine and long article about Bill Bowerman and The Men Of Oregon. Bill Bowerman was the track coach at the University of Oregon. Kenny Moore, one of his runners, has just written a new book called "Bowerman And The Men Of Oregon"

If you click on the title above there is a link to the article

The article in part states:

There's a statue of Bill Bowerman near the starting line on the track at Hayward Field. His head is cocked at an angle, he's holding a stopwatch and his expression is one of alert bemusement, as if what's happening in front of him interests him but doesn't engage his entire brain. There's more going on here than a track coach conducting a practice, and his posture shows it.

"The classic Bowerman pose," said his biographer, Kenny Moore.

The statue was erected within a year of Bowerman's death in 1999. It stands in front of a building named for him and is a symbol of his influence not only on Eugene and the University of Oregon but the wider world. Bowerman saw first what others didn't -- that anyone could lose weight and improve their health by jogging -- wrote a book about it that sold 1 million copies, invented a shoe that could help them do it, and co-founded Nike, a company that sold those shoes and the active lifestyle behind them.. Bowerman's impact on American culture is as significant and long-lasting as any Oregonian has ever made.

"If culture is what people do every day, then absolutely, he's done as much as anybody," said Moore, author of "Bowerman and the Men of Oregon: The Story of Oregon's Legendary Coach and Nike's Co-Founder" (Rodale, $28.95, 480 pages). "He was a war hero, a member of the Greatest Generation, an Olympic coach, the man who made Eugene the track capital of the U.S. . . . you can run down the list."

Moore's biography of Bowerman goes on sale next month and is sure to spark an already strong interest in Bowerman. At Nike, No. 11 on a list of 11 rules was "remember the man." Nike Chairman Phil Knight, who told Moore he might have started the company to please Bowerman, said he is often asked to describe Bowerman by those who never knew him. "Thank goodness for Kenny's book," he said. "Now I can just give them the book."


Bowerman was a football and basketball star at Medford High School. He played offense and defense for the Oregon football team and returned an interception for a touchdown against Washington. He coached football at Franklin High School and Medford High School and led the Black Tornado to three state championships in track.

He was offered the job as head football coach at Oregon in 1947 but turned it down after his mentor, Bill Hayward, told him football coaches lead miserable lives. He took the track job in 1948 and stayed until 1973. The Ducks won four NCAA championships under Bowerman and became famous for producing milers and fierce competitors, including Steve Prefontaine, the most popular distance runner in U.S. history


Every weekday morning, Dave Frohnmayer goes past the statue of Bowerman as part of what he calls a "power-walk" around the University of Oregon campus. Frohnmayer remembers Bowerman the track coach, but it's Bowerman the family friend that jogs his memory.

"Early in my life, I remember Bill and my dad having these rollicking conversations and putting our families in the car to go someplace," said Frohnmayer, the University of Oregon president. "Camping trips to Cultus Lake, just wonderful times."

Frohnmayer's father, Otto, and Bowerman were roommates in Medford and got married within two weeks of each other. The families lived two houses apart and remained close after the Bowermans moved to Eugene

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Spring is Here

Spring finally arrived in the Rogue Valley today and I mowed my lawn, between rain showers, for the first time this season. From now till November I will have to perform this weekly ritual of home ownership. I always wonder about those who hire a service to maintain their yard and then pay more money to a health club so they can get some exercise.

Monument Valley, One Of My Favorite Places

The New York Times has a travel story on Monument Valley. Click on the title above for a link. (You may have to register to get the story.) Excerpts from the article:

"But in Monument Valley, the mythic narrative is shared. Yes, John Wayne slept there. And shot other men on film there. And fell in love there. See: "Stagecoach," the first John Ford western shot in Monument Valley, circa 1939. Or "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," from 1949. Or better yet, "The Searchers," from 1956.

The Navajos allow the John Wayne story to exist as a curious asterisk; after all, he portrayed Indian killers. But they express an appreciation of Ford for his passion for their land.

The Anglo part of the story is concentrated at Goulding's Lodge, a hotel and museum about two miles off Highway 163, the main road to the valley. Without the Gouldings ,Harry and Mike, married but not Brokeback Mountain cowboys, for Mike was a Western gal with an odd nickname , Monument Valley would probably be just another anonymous cluster of wind-sculptured monoliths. While trying to run a trading post at the depths of the Great Depression, Harry Goulding heard that a Hollywood director was looking for the perfect Western backdrop for his next oater. Goulding showed up at Ford's office with pictures of Monument Valley, and after a three-day wait, won him over. At least that's the story they tell at Goulding's. Print the myth. Stagecoach was the first of the Ford and Wayne collaborations that would use the old Goulding tent camp as its headquarters and Monument Valley as its cinematic canvas. The setting is jaw-dropping...."


"Goulding's Lodge, just across Highway 163, has 62 rooms with views back at Monument Valley. Spring rates, through the end of May, are $145 for a double room. 800-874-0902,"

One of the best days of my life was spent at Monument Valley. Picture above is of me at John Ford's Points.

My DVD Movie Collection

I have my DVD collection of movies organized and cataloged on three separate web sites. Each site organizes them differently and has some features the other sites don't have. Also I like redundancy in case one site goes down temporarily or permanently. What can I say I am obsessive. To check out the collection click on the links below.

Does anyone pay any attention to John Dean?

The press loves to quote John Dean (of Watergate ill fame) whenever he attacks a Republican President. But since 1974 no one cares except the press! However, we love it when Howard Dean (Democratic National Chairman) attacks the President because he is a nut case.The press ought to pay more attention to Howard Dean and less to John Dean.

John Dean, is a classic example of the type of person Republicans tend to attract when they are in power. They have no ideology or loyalty to the Republican Party (RINO's ?)but they are picked because they appear to be ambitious, competent and well connected. They are like the sunshine patriot who will desert when things get tough. One thing I will say about Democrats they usually hang tough together in tough times. Clinton's Impeachment is one good example. In retrospect I have much more respect for G Gordon Liddy than for Howard Dean. (I felt just the opposite in 1974) They both broke the law but only one took his punishment like a man. There is a lesson there for Republicans.