Saturday, May 31, 2008

Democrat Party .... don't count all the votes in Michigan & Florida!

Can you say Red States!

Obama Resigns from his Church ! (UPDATE)

Reported on CNN and FOX NEWS.............. "How Convenient!" ......................It took him 20 years! "too little too late" "closing the barn door after the horse has escaped" First he threw his pastor under the bus now he is throwing his church of 20 years. Yes, How Convenient!

Jennifer Rubin of Commentary Magazines Blog:

Imagine if the roles were reversed and John McCain had attended a white separatist church for twenty years. Would his resignation after two decades cure the concern that he had lived some sort of weird double life, cavorting with racists but talking about equal opportunity in his public life? I would imagine he’d have been forced out of the presidential race by now.

So the question remains: was Obama the least observant church congegrant on the planet (racism and anti-Semitism at Trinity? No!) or a hypocrite? Let the voters decide.

Victor Davis Hanson at NRO online:

When the crowd rises to its feet to shout approval of a racist like Wright or Pfleiger it is not because of sudden public attention, but because they wish to hear such racist scape-goating that apparently serves as some sort of collective catharsis. And Obama apparently, despite his much praised "candor" about race, cannot or will not address why his own congregation and new minister would applaud a nut like Pfleiger. (Such an exegesis might really call for a landmark speech about race in a way in which Obama's past politically expedient attempt was not).

Crosby,Stills & Nash at Britt in Jacksonville, Oregon Sunday Night

They look a little older now as we all do. The Medford Mail Tribune on Friday said in it's entertainment section "It would be difficult to convey to somebody unaware of Crosby, Stills and Nash....if such a person could be found.... that trio's impact on the generation that came of age in the late 1960's and early 1970s. What's not difficult to understand, but perhaps no less remarkable, is that the group is sill making music, and still in demand, 40 years on." At least to we aging "Baby Boomers" who attended college during that era.

I love the music so I will brave the expected "Bush Bashing" and all the folks with Obama buttons and Bumper stickers on their Subaru's (Replacing the Volvo as the car of choice for the upscale PBS crowd )and will attend the concert and will report back after the concert. Only, my conservative nature prevents me from wearing a "Shut up and Sing" button. I do love their music of my youth.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Duffin for the Ducks 2008

Working all day at the RVCC for the Ducks!

UPDATE: And a good time was had by all!

(Saturday morning the day after) On Friday I arrived at the Rogue Valley Country Club about 8:15 AM and met up with other volunteers and unloaded my car of the items needed for the silent and oral auctions. We moved it all up to the second floor of the club house to where the dinner auction would be held. We then set up for the golf tournament registration. "IowahawkDuck" and I each brought our 8 feet high blow up Oregon Ducks and set them up in the registration area. I had printed up an information flyer on the oral auction so I distributed them to the 30 or so golf carts that would be used that day so the golfers would be able to get an advanced look at what would be in the auction. I then put them on the tables for the golfers lunch on the RVCC's veranda. We sold the golfers "mulligans" while they registered. "Iowa" and I then had lunch and were joined by some of the golfers and Jim Bartko of the Oregon Duck Athletic Fund. After lunch we cleaned up the registration area as the golfers hit the course and moved the 8 foot blow up Ducks to the RVCC Ball Room. "Iowa" and I then spent a hard 3 1/2 hours setting up the Ball Room for the Dinner/Auction with most of the time setting up the silent auction of 67 items. I then drove by the office and picked up my wife and rushed home for a quick shower. My wife and I returned to the dinner about 5:00 PM and helped coordinate the ladies who handled dinner registration along with the folks who were helping me with the oral and silent auctions. Before we left the house we had a snack as we are always too busy to eat at the dinner. While the oral auction was being conducted we closed the silent auction in three stages and moved the silent auction items from the Ball Room to the cashier room and helped the ladies who had changed from working on the dinner registration to now working as cashiers for the auction. It was also my job to convey to the cashiers the results of the oral auction. After the oral auction was over I helped the cashiers deliver the oral and silent auction items to the winners. After the dinner we packed up all of our equipment and were out the door of the Rogue Valley Country Club about 9:30 pm. During the day I had met a lot of nice Duck fans and had some very good help from "Iowa," my wife, and a lot of other volunteers. We had a lot of people who worked on the Golf Tournament portion of the event led by "Dave S". Don't have the final figures but hopefully we raised some funds for the University of Oregon.

AS I said below this is the second year we have held this event without a staffer from the Duck Athletic Fund being stationed in Medford. Hopefully by next year they will have reopened their office in Medford. During the day a number of Duck fans came up and asked me when are we going to get some one back down here? Now that things have settled down in Eugene over the building of the Basketball arena maybe they can give some priority to this issue. I know that a good DAF representative in Southern Oregon/Northern California could develop some good friends for the Ducks. We volunteers in Southern Oregon have tired to pick up the slack but we are only performing a "holding" action. Who is the next Jim Bartko or Greg Byrne who will come to Southern Oregon and build on the foundation they left?

Regardless, we will be back for Duffin 2009! Let's Go Ducks!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Priest and Obama Ally Mocks White People from Obama's Church's Pulpit

YOU MUST SEE THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO BY CLICKING ON THE TITLE ABOVE FOR A LINK (The description below does not do it justice)

According to Jake Tapper of ABC NEWS the youtube video shows:

"Father Michael Pfleger, a fiery liberal social activist and a white reverend at an African-American church -- St. Sabina’s Catholic Church on the South Side of Chicago -- is a longtime friend and associate of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, having known him since the presidential hopeful was a community activist. In September, the Obama campaign brought Pfleger to Iowa to host one of several interfaith forums for the campaign.Their relationship spans decades. Pfleger has given money to Obama's campaigns and Obama as a state legislator directed at least $225,000 towards social programs at St. Sabina's, according to the Chicago Tribune.
A new Youtube video making the rounds shows Pfleger speaking at Obama's church, Trinity United Church of Christ, just last Sunday, mocking Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, for having cried in New Hampshire, suggesting that she wept because she thought as a white person and wife of a former president she was entitled to the presidency.

......... After being introduced by Obama's church's new pastor -- Rev. Otis Moss -- Rev. Pfleger talks about the importance of taking on "white entitlement and supremacy wherever it raises its head."

"Rev. Moss, when Hillary was crying, and people said that was put on, I really don't believe it was put on," Pfleger says from the pulpit. "I really believe that she just always thought, 'This is mine! I'm Bill's wife, I'm white, and this is mine! I just gotta get up and step into the plate.' And then out of nowhere came, 'Hey, I'm Barack Obama,' and she said, 'Oh, damn! Where did you come from? I'm white! I'm entitled! There's a black man stealing my show!'

Pfleger then mocks her crying, much to delight of the crowd, many of whom stand up and applaud.

YOU MUST SEE THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO BY CLICKING ON THE TITLE ABOVE FOR A LINK< (The description above does not do it justice)

Obama attended a church for 20 years were racism is acceptable...... what does Obama really believe?

(Picture on top is of Father Michael Pfleger & Louis Farrakhan)

The Obama campaign took the Pfleger endorsement off their Web site, but Google still has a cache. The following from the Obama Web site is something the Obama campaign does not want voters to see, just as it "disappeared" the Wright testimonial.

Father Michael Pfleger
Senior Pastor, St. Sabina Church, Chicago, IL
I’m concerned by issues of poverty and issues of justice and equal access and opportunity especially when dealing with children and education and healthcare. Also, the war in Iraq is non-negotiable: end it! The faith community has to be a prophetic voice to bring us to where we ought to be as a country. Its voice should call every individual to be their best and not assimilate into anything less. Obama is calling back those who have given up and lost hope in the political system both young and old in the belief that we can fix it. He has the intellect for the job and I haven’t heard anyone since Robert F. Kennedy who is causing such an emotional and spiritual awakening to the political possibilities.

The Baby Boom Generation......"The Me Generation"

One of my favorite columnist is Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.Today he has a column about we baby boomer that should be read. Among other things he writes this about the "housing bust:"

For the past five years, we fretted over a "housing boom" that had priced an entire generation out of the market. In response, government and lending agencies got "creative" by relaxing standards to allow shaky "first-time" buyers into the red-hot market of high-priced homes. Home-improvement TV shows proliferated on how to "flip" houses and buy "no-down-payment" properties.

When the bubble inevitably burst, cries of outrage followed about how "they" (never "we") caused a "depression" in housing. Our leaders shrieked about greedy lenders and incompetent regulators who foreclosed on us -- never that the American people themselves caused much of the speculation problem, or that housing prices are finally becoming affordable again for new couples

He ends his column by writing:

Sociologists have correctly diagnosed the perfect storm that created the "me" generation -- sudden postwar affluence, sacrificing parents who did not wish us to suffer as they had in the Great Depression and World War II, and the rise of therapeutic education that encouraged self-indulgence.

Perhaps the greatest trademark of the 1960s cohort was self-congratulation. Baby boomers alone claimed to have brought about changes in civil rights, women's liberation and environmental awareness -- as if these were not prior concerns of earlier generations.

We apparently created all of our wealth rather than having inherited our roads, schools and bountiful infrastructure from someone else. And in our self-absorption, no one accepted that our notorious appetites created more problems than our supposed "caring" solved.

Our present problems were not really caused by an unpopular president, a spendthrift Congress, the neocon bogeymen, the greedy Saudis, shifty bankers or corporate oilmen in black hats and handlebar moustaches -- much less the anonymous "they."

The fault of this age, dear baby boomers, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.

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

BTY the cost of a first class stamp when many early baby boomers were born was 3 cents! (see picture above which is a current stamp)

No recession.... darn it! (sarcasm)

In the last quarter (January-March 2008) the United States economy grew by 0.9% in gross domestic product.In the quarter before the economy grew by 0.6%

The new statistics did not meet what analysts consider the definition of a recession -- two straight quarters of a shrinking GDP.

You had to read the Associated Press news story on the improving economy very closely to get the above information because it ran against the Main Stream Media's bias in favor of Barak Obama and the media's believe the more bad news they can report on the economy the better it is for their "Rock Star" Obama! (to read the AP story click on the title for a link)

There is even good news in Oregon as reported in today's Oregonian:

The good news is that Oregon's economy is expected to continue performing better than the United States economy as a whole......

Presenting their quarterly forecast, state economists said the flatness of the economy so far has not made a major dent in the income taxes that Oregonians pay - and that fund education and state services. The state is still projected to finish its current two-year budget cycle with $143 million left over in mid-2009.

...... it doesn't add up to a recession, says state economist Tom Potiowsky. "If you wanted to call it a recession, it's an extremely shallow one," he said. "But I wouldn't call it that yet."

The Oregonian's reporters reported it in a very begrudging fashion.

While there are problems with the economy due to over speculation in housing values caused by very loose lending practices the real problem is the fear caused by the constant drum beat of the Main Stream Media that over emphasis everything negative in a conscious attempt to help Barak Obama! To quote another Democrat, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." The MSM is doing a good job of creating that "fear" but some times "facts" get in the way.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

For "30 Pieces of Silver"

Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has written an alleged "tell all" book about his experiences inside the Bush Administration that should be titled "For 30 Pieces of Silver." The man should be ashamed of himself and to paraphrase James Carville this Judas has been marked for all the world to see.I hope he enjoys his "15minutes of fame" with the liberal press because he will never work for a Republican again and should spend the rest of his life wondering in a political wilderness! No one right or left will trust this man. He brings all new meaning to "rats deserting a ship"!George W. Bush deserved better. If President Bush is to be faulted it is for hiring this incompetent ingrate

UPDATE: Rich Galen one of my favorite blogers and political consultants makes his points about Scott McClellan:

It was generally known in Washington that McClellan was such an ineffective spokesman that he would have done better to tack the talking points he had been given to the briefing room wall and leave, rather than waste the press corps' time hectoring him for an hour-or-so every day.

I have, on rare occasion, been offered a book deal to write about a former boss. My response has always been (and will always be): When you make the choice to take someone's money you have, in effect, signed a contract to be loyal. Nothing, short of a grand jury subpoena, should be able tempt you to break that contract.

The good news about McClellan's book is found in a paragraph in a Fort Worth Star-Telegram piece by Ken Herman:
"Democratic Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida said that McClellan should testify before the House Judiciary Committee to tell what he knows about the White House role in the leak of a CIA operative's name."

How poetically judicial would it be if a big chunk of the money McClellan was paid to have this book written ended up in the hands of attorneys he had to hire to advise him in Congressional testimony which was only made necessary by the fact he put his name on this book?

Bob Dole speaks for me in his letter to Scott


There are miserable creatures like you in every administration who don't have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues. No, your type soaks up the benefits of power, revels in the limelight for years, then quits, and spurred on by greed, cashes in with a scathing critique.

In my nearly 36 years of public service I've known of a few like you. No doubt you will "clean up" as the liberal anti-Bush press will promote your belated concerns with wild enthusiasm. When the money starts rolling in you should donate it to a worthy cause, something like, "Biting The Hand That Fed Me." Another thought is to weasel your way back into the White House if a Democrat is elected. That would provide a good set up for a second book deal in a few years.

I have no intention of reading your "exposé" because if all these awful things were happening, and perhaps some may have been, you should have spoken up publicly like a man, or quit your cushy, high profile job. That would have taken integrity and courage but then you would have had credibility and your complaints could have been aired objectively. You're a hot ticket now but don't you, deep down, feel like a total ingrate?


There he goes again!

If any one still cares about what Oregonian columnists Steve Duin thinks about the University of Oregon click on the title above for a link to a dissection of his latest anti Duck column about the lack of dorm rooms and the new basketball arena on 'Jay's" blog "Duck Sports News Blog" titled "At the Oregonian Opinion Trumps Facts." One of the facts Duin fails to disclose is that the incoming freshman who will not get a dorm room on campus are the ones who failed to file their application by the due date. It's kind of like complaining that you didn't get your season football tickets when you filed you application after the due date. But that would assume that people are responsible for their conduct! An interesting concept!

"The Way We Were" Director Dies

Sydney Pollack, the movie director, died of cancer on Monday at 73. Pollack directed many good movies including "Out of Africa," Jeremiah Johnson," and "Three Days of the Condor"; however, the movie I will remember is "The Way We Were." It's one of my favorite movies. How can a conservative Republican like me like a movie with Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand about a girl who was a member of the communist party? It's hard to say! Maybe I enjoyed watching Streisand's characters political passion! Streisand can sing and the song "The Way we Were" ranks up there with "People." If she would only "shut up and sing." When my wife to be and I were first dating while I was in law school, she came up to visit me at the University of Oregon in Eugene for a football weekend and after the game we went to see a "sneak preview" at the Oakway Mall Cinema. They didn't advertise what the sneak preview was and we paid our money and went into the theater and had a seat. We were with another couple and one of them went to the snack bar and found out the name of the movie and came back and told us it "was the new Barbra Streisand movie" which I had read about in Newsweek the week before. The movie, the song, were wonderful and I went down and bought the record album the next week. A few weeks later I took my folks in North Bend to see it again. I love the movie and have it on DVD. In watching the movie on DVD, with the commentary track on, Sydney Pollack talks about how he downplayed the political aspect of the movie and highlighted the love story against the protest of Streisand. Thanks, Sydney.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day 2008 (UPDATED)

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Today the Eugene Register Guard has an editorial it borrowed from the Roseburg newspaper on What Memorial Day used to be like.

Memorial Days past
In years past, when the Civil War veteran was a common sight at patriotic festivals, Memorial Day was a real holiday, rivaled only by the Fourth of July. The late Charles Stanton, for many years editor of the Roseburg News-Review, recalled what it was like in the days of the Grand Army of the Republic.

If you’re an old “greybeard” like myself, perhaps you dimly recall how we used to celebrate Memorial Day.

The “Boys of the G.A.R.” (Grand Army of the Republic)spent a week or so erecting a platform and draping it with bunting. The site was the park or picnic grounds. All towns had such a gathering place in those days.

Early in the morning farmers began arriving, carrying their families and well-filled hampers of food in four-seated hacks drawn by teams resplendently groomed for the occasion.

The populace assembled on the board walks of the main street.

Then came the parade!

Behind the grand marshal, mounted on a spirited horse, came the Colors and the Color Guard, followed by the Silver Cornet Band.

The G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) came next, its straggling ranks thinning noticeably from year to year. Next in line were the younger and more stalwart veterans from the Spanish-American War.

Preceding the hose reel companies in the next section was the fire department’s float, with its queen, half prostrate, before the traditional white cross.

The procession wound its way to the cemetery, where, in the early morning hours, a committee of veterans had placed flags at the graves of departed comrades. A solemn ceremony at the grave of the unknown soldier commanded respectful attention, and then spectators dispersed to place their by-now-wilted flowers upon the resting places of their own kin.

Then the race was on for The Grove, where picnic lunches, visiting, horseplay and the surreptitious tilting of bottles filled in the time until the overworked Silver Cornet Band struck up the “Washington Post March” from the platform.

There followed a brief concert, closing with a patriotic medley, after which the town’s mayor, or some dignitary selected for his sonorous voice, delivered Logan’s General Orders. A sixth-grader, with much prompting, stumbled through Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.” Then came the pièce de résistance: a tear-jerking, flag-waving, eagle-screaming oratorical masterpiece by an imported speaker......

Perhaps the years have dimmed my memory. I was only a child when Memorial Day was a holiday that still called forth widespread observance. Perhaps it was celebrated differently in your town. Maybe I’ve missed some of the events of the day as I first knew it.

But celebrations in late years bear little resemblance to those of long ago. Our modern observance of the holiday reverts to the practices of more primitive and heathen people.........

Where we once gathered in sincere tribute to those who had given their lives in the service of their country, we now leave such things to a very few of the faithful who still cling to the old mores. The rest of us worship the gods of pleasure.

The Adams Chronicles

Before there was the HBO Series on John Adams, before there was the book "John Adams" by David McCullough, there was the 13 hour 1976 PBS mini series the " The Adams Chronicles." The series ran as part of Americas Bicentennial celebration. Back in 1976 I faithfully watched all 13 hours on TV. This was back in the "old days" before consumer VCR's, so I didn't record the series. Between last night and today I watched all 13 hour of the mini series for the first time since 1976 and it is still wonderful. I had plans this three day weekend to stain the decks around our house but what with the rainy weather those plans were scraped. The min series came out on DVD a few weeks ago and my daughter gave me the DVD set for my birthday. The series covers four generations of the Adams family including the two US Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams. If you love American history this mini series will take you from the American Revolution up through the 1890's. It tells how the Adams family sacrificed their own self interest in service of their country. There are love stories,tragedies, sadness, happiness, accomplishments and it is all true. Watching four generations come and go gives you a great perspective on your own mortality and you realise that some things you think are important at the moment are not important at all. I had a great day! Yes, I will get the HBO series when it comes out on DVD in a few weeks and I have read David McCullough's book. Thanks for the present.

(To read more about the mini-series click on the title for a link to it's IMDB page)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

"North to Alaska" (1960)

A "shout-out" to some members of our family!

In the movie "North To Alaska" Sam (John Wayne) and George (Stewart Granger) strike gold in Alaska. George sends Sam to Seattle to bring George's fiance back to Alaska. Sam finds she is already married, and returns instead with Angel (Capucine). Sam, after trying to get George and Angel together, finally romances Angel, who, in the meantime, is busy fighting off the advances of George's younger brother, Billy (Fabian- a rock star of the time). Frankie (Ernie Kovacs who had a very funny TV show at the time) is a con man trying to steal the partner's gold claim.

Almost everything I learned about the world I learned from watching John Wayne movies! (tongue-in-cheek)

Alaska was purched by the United States through the efforts of Abram Lincoln's Secretary of State, William Seward. it was at the time referred to as Seward's Folly." According to Wikipedia:

Seward's most famous achievement as Secretary of State was his successful acquisition of Alaska from Russia. On March 30, 1867, he completed negotiations for the territory, which involved the purchase of 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 km²) of territory (more than twice the size of Texas) for $7,200,000, or approximately 2 cents per acre. The purchase of this frontier land was alternately mocked by the public as "Seward's Folly", "Seward's Icebox", and Andrew Johnson's "polar bear garden". Currently, Alaska celebrates the purchase on Seward's Day, the last Monday of March.

(To read more about the movie click on the title for a link)

The Rev. Wright Connection Still Haunts Obama

By Michael Barone
As Barack Obama makes his slow but steady way toward the Democratic nomination, the assumption in the admiring precincts of the press corps is that voters have dismissed as irrelevant his longtime association with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. But that may prove as mistaken as the assumption, back in 1988, that voters would not be impressed by Michael Dukakis's 11-year support of a law granting weekend furloughs to convicts sentenced to life without parole, an issue brought up in the primaries by Al Gore but largely ignored in press coverage at the time.

Evidence for this comes in the exit polls from the West Virginia and Kentucky primaries on May 13 and 20. In both, about half the voters -- and these are voters in the Democratic primary -- said that they believe Obama shares Wright's views either somewhat or a lot. And slightly under 50 percent of these voters said that Obama is honest and trustworthy.


Which leads me to ask why these voters declined to say Obama is honest. When have they seen him lie or being caught in a lie? The response to the question on Wright may provide the answer. They know that he attended Wright's church for 20 years. They know that he said, both on March 18 when he refused to renounce Wright and on April 29 when he did renounce him, that he was not aware of his pastor and spiritual mentor's incendiary comments. Yet half of these voters also think that, despite those statements, Obama agrees with what Wright has been saying.


Most reporters are liberals, whose circles of friends and acquaintances have included people with views not dissimilar to those of Wright or William Ayers,(picture above) the unrepentant Weather Underground bomber with whom Obama served on a nonprofit board and at whose house his state Senate candidacy was launched. Such reporters don't find these views utterly repugnant or particularly noteworthy. But most American voters do. And they wonder whether a candidate who associates with such people agrees with them -- or disbelieve him when he says he doesn't.

Though most in the press won't admit it, that's a problem -- for the Obama candidacy and for the whole Democratic Party once it nominates him.

Michael Barone, the editor of the Encyclopedia of American Politics is one of the smartest political observers in the country and I trust him a lot more in his analysis than most

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

Friday, May 23, 2008

John Wayne on DVD

Click on the title above for a link to the best website on the Internet for information on John Wayne movies on DVD and his filmography in general.It's just been updated to cover the new release of John Wayne's "The Big Trail" on DVD in two disk special edition in the wide screen longer version of the movie. A widescreen movie in 1930! An earlier addition on DVD was not wide screen and was the shorter version of the movie. This movie with a cast of thousands was the first time John Wayne stared in a movie. It was shot in widescreen with special cameras and had to be shown in theaters with special projectors. Due to the cost and the start of the 1929 depression the widescreen technology did not catch on and as a result the movie was about 20 years ahead of it' time technology wise. Unfortunately the sound is typical for an early "talkie". I got my copy earlier this week from It's hard to believe John Wayne ever looked so young.

Duffin For The Ducks 2008

Next Friday, May 30th, The Oregon Club of Southern Oregon has their annual golf tournament and dinner auction at the Rogue Valley Country Club here in Medford, to raise money for University of Oregon Athletics. A bus from Eugene will bring down coaches, including head football coach Mile Belotti and administrators to golf with Southern Oregon Duck fans. While everyone is out golfing I and some other fans will set up for the silent auction that goes with the dinner and oral auction Friday night at the Country Club. This is the 23rd year we have had this event.For the first 21 years a paid staffer of the Duck Athletic Fund, stationed here in Medford, has helped us organize and run the event. However, the Duck Athletic Fund (DAF) moved their regional office and the paid staffer to central Oregon at Bend, We keep getting promises they will send another staffer to Southern Oregon and reopen the office but to date that has not happened. Therefore, for the last two years the event has been organized and run by a small group of volunteers here in Medford with long distance support from the DAF. It's always hard work to organize and and run a golf tournament and dinner auction but it's also a lot of fun and for a worthy cause. Go Ducks!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

John McCain Responds to Obama on Veterans Bill

It is typical, but no less offensive that Senator Obama uses the Senate floor to take cheap shots at an opponent and easy advantage of an issue he has less than zero understanding of. Let me say first in response to Senator Obama, running for President is different than serving as President. The office comes with responsibilities so serious that the occupant can't always take the politically easy route without hurting the country he is sworn to defend. Unlike Senator Obama, my admiration, respect and deep gratitude for America's veterans is something more than a convenient campaign pledge. I think I have earned the right to make that claim. "When I was five years old, a car pulled up in front of our house in New London, Connecticut, and a Navy officer rolled down the window, and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. My father immediately left for the submarine base where he was stationed. I rarely saw him again for four years. My grandfather, who commanded the fast carrier task force under Admiral Halsey, came home from the war exhausted from the burdens he had borne, and died the next day. I grew up in the Navy; served for twenty-two years as a naval officer; and, like Senator Webb, personally experienced the terrible costs war imposes on the veteran. The friendships I formed in war remain among the closest relationships in my life. The Navy is still the world I know best and love most. In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home to the country they loved so well .

"But I am running for the office of Commander-in-Chief. That is the highest privilege in this country, and it imposes the greatest responsibilities. It would be easier politically for me to have joined Senator Webb in offering his legislation. More importantly, I feel just as he does, that we owe veterans the respect and generosity of a great nation because no matter how generously we show our gratitude it will never compensate them fully for all the sacrifices they have borne on our behalf.

"Senators Graham, Burr and I have offered legislation that would provide veterans with a substantial increase in educational benefits. The bill we have sponsored would increase monthly education benefits to $1500; eliminate the $1200 enrollment fee; and offer a $1000 annually for books and supplies. Importantly, we would allow veterans to transfer those benefits to their spouses or dependent children or use a part of them to pay down existing student loans. We also increase benefits to the Guard and Reserve, and even more generously to those who serve in the Selected Reserve.

"I know that my friend and fellow veteran, Senator Jim Webb, an honorable man who takes his responsibility to veterans very seriously, has offered legislation with very generous benefits. I respect and admire his position, and I would never suggest that he has anything other than the best of intentions to honor the service of deserving veterans. Both Senator Webb and I are united in our deep appreciation for the men and women who risk their lives so that the rest of us may be secure in our freedom. And I take a backseat to no one in my affection, respect and devotion to veterans. And I will not accept from Senator Obama, who did not feel it was his responsibility to serve our country in uniform, any lectures on my regard for those who did."The most important difference between our two approaches is that Senator Webb offers veterans who served one enlistment the same benefits as those offered veterans who have re-enlisted several times. Our bill has a sliding scale that offers generous benefits to all veterans, but increases those benefits according to the veteran's length of service. I think it is important to do that because, otherwise, we will encourage more people to leave the military after they have completed one enlistment. At a time when the United States military is fighting in two wars, and as we finally are beginning the long overdue and very urgent necessity of increasing the size of the Army and Marine Corps, one study estimates that Senator Webb's bill will reduce retention rates by 16%.

"Most worrying to me, is that by hurting retention we will reduce the numbers of men and women who we train to become the backbone of all the services, the noncommissioned officer. In my life, I have learned more from noncommissioned officers I have known and served with than anyone else outside my family. And in combat, no one is more important to their soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen, and to the officers who command them, than the sergeant and petty officer. They are very hard to replace. Encouraging people not to choose to become noncommissioned officers would hurt the military and our country very badly. As I said, the office of President, which I am seeking, is a great honor, indeed, but it imposes serious responsibilities. How faithfully the President discharges those responsibilities will determine whether he or she deserves the honor. I can only tell you I intend to deserve the honor if I am fo rtunate to receive it, even if it means I must take politically unpopular positions at times and disagree with people for whom I have the highest respect and affection.

This veteran stands with John McCain

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

History Will Redeem Bush

By Ed Koch former Mayor of New York

We are now getting down to the homestretch as we wrap up the Democratic primary and begin the race to the November general election. We will be electing the next president of the United States, and almost everyone expressing an opinion, informed or uninformed, believes the Democratic candidate will be Barack Obama.

I am a supporter of Hillary Clinton, but I too believe the odds of her defeating Barack Obama are overwhelmingly against her. It looks as if Senator Obama will prevail in the Democratic primary before or at the Democratic convention.

His rise has been phenomenal and swift. I believe a major attraction for Democratic voters is his optimistic personality, a strong desire for change and racial reconciliation. I believe the U.S. has indeed entered its Golden Age in which discriminatory views are rapidly breaking down. The result is that there is virtually no bar to the election nationally and locally of minority candidates, whether they be black, Hispanic or Jewish, and that gender bias in the selection of candidates, whether or not Hillary prevails, has been thoroughly defeated for elections to come. So our efforts now should be devoted to nominating and electing the best candidates available, particularly for president of the United States.

Anyone who knows me is aware that I am a proud American and a proud Jew who, while not religiously observant, fiercely loves and defends his faith. It has become fashionable for Americans in general, Jew and gentile, to hold President George W. Bush up to derision. As I believe many readers and listeners of my commentaries know, I crossed party lines in 2004 to support the President's reelection, saying at the time that I did not agree with him on a single domestic issue, but I did believe he was the only one running who appreciated the threat of Islamic terrorism to American values and Western civilization and was prepared to wage a war to defend those values.

I have no regrets for having made that decision and helping the President to win a second term. Today, according to the most recent CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey, "71 percent of the American public disapprove of how Bush is handling his job as President, an all-time high in polling." His position can be compared with that of Harry Truman who left Washington unpopular and alone in 1953. Today, with the passage of time, most historians and certainly the American people, see Truman in a different light, primarily for his willingness to stand firm against Soviet aggression, whether against Greece or South Korea, and proclaim the Truman Doctrine, effectively defending the free world from Soviet efforts to expand their hegemony. Like Truman, George W. Bush, in my view, will be seen as one of the few world leaders who recognized the danger of Islamic terrorism and was willing with Tony Blair to stand up to it and not capitulate.

In the days of Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and an organizer and supporter of terror, Western European countries led by France, Germany and Italy, had understandings with Islamic terrorists that if the terror was confined to acts against Israel, the European countries would allow the terrorists to function without challenge. What those European countries came to understand was that they could not buy peace by offering up Israel as a sacrificial lamb, because the ultimate goal of the supporters of Osama bin Laden, and other jihadists throughout the Islamic world, was and remains the reestablishment of the caliphate (or Islamic religious rule) in all Muslim lands, including in any nation that was once under Muslim rule, e.g., Spain. If successful, this would place one billion, 400 million Muslims under one theocracy.

As part of their master plan, the jihadists intend to bring the West to its knees, and to replace moderate Arab regimes, e.g., Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf states and Turkey, with Islamic republics, ultimately to become part of the reborn caliphate.

For most of Osama bin Laden's career, the destruction of Israel was not a priority. However, this has now changed as the jihadists believe that Western countries have grown weary of unending war and may be convinced to offer Israel up as a sacrificial lamb.

Recently, President Bush went to Israel to celebrate its 60th birthday as a nation and addressed its parliament, the Knesset. He said, "Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have an obligation to call this what it is: the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

Bush's remarks were heavily criticized by leading Democrats, particularly Barack Obama, who said, "Now that's exactly the kind of appalling attack that's divided our country and that alienates us from the world."

Really? Is it wrong to call the philosophy supporting negotiating at the highest levels - President to President without pre-conditions -- with the terrorists and radicals by its rightful name - appeasement?

The President was accurate in my opinion in recalling the specter of Neville Chamberlain's pre-World War II efforts to satisfy Adolf Hitler. Those efforts responded to Hitler's siren call that all he wanted was the Sudetenland, with Chamberlain responding, "yes," and returning to Britain waving a paper and announcing, "peace in our time." Must we really learn the terrible lesson of Munich all over again seventy years later?

Israel and the Western world are in great danger from a declared enemy that knows no limits when it comes to achieving its goal of destroying Western civilization and spreading militant Islam through threats and terrorism throughout the world.

The danger to Israel comes not from any unwillingness of its citizens to fight. They are willing to fight the enemy, and Israel is willing to suffer the deaths of its young men and women in battle to preserve its values and its very existence. The Western world appears in many parts of Europe in particular to have lost its self confidence and willingness to stand and fight an enemy willing to continue the war until victory is achieved and their goals met. When one side loses its resolve to fight and win and the other retains its resolve, that side which has lost its courage will look for ways to appease and entice the enemy to bring the war to a conclusion. If the enemy says, understanding the weakness, "give us the Sudetenland," and later says "give us all of Czechoslovakia," as we know from history, such demands will be met. Bin Laden, recognizing the willingness of some in the Western world to give up today's Czechoslovakia - Israel - in two messages within the past few days, has emphasized his demand that Israel be delivered to the jihadists, saying, "To Western nations...this speech is to understand the core reason of the war between our civilization and your civilizations. I mean the Palestinian cause. The Palestinian cause is the major issue for my (Islamic) nation. It was an important element in fueling me from the beginning and the 19 others with a great motive to fight for those subjected to injustice and the oppressed."

In fact, in most prior bin Laden threats, Palestine and Israel were rarely mentioned. Shrewdly, bin Laden, believing that with the war-weariness rising in the U.S. and Europe, and anti-Semitism escalating in Europe, there are fertile grounds to make Israel the new Czechoslovakia.

The reason I believe history will redeem President George W. Bush is that he is one of the few leaders on the planet today who understands the larger picture. He has not lost his courage and vision of the future. He knows what calamities await the world if it engages in appeasement and deserts an ally in order to buy an illusory peace. We will recognize his worth long after he is gone.Ed Koch is the former Mayor of New York City.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Democrats and Our Enemies

May 21, 2008; (Published in Wall Street Journal)

How did the Democratic Party get here? How did the party of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy drift so far from the foreign policy and national security principles and policies that were at the core of its identity and its purpose?

Beginning in the 1940s, the Democratic Party was forced to confront two of the most dangerous enemies our nation has ever faced: Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. In response, Democrats under Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy forged and conducted a foreign policy that was principled, internationalist, strong and successful.

This was the Democratic Party that I grew up in – a party that was unhesitatingly and proudly pro-American, a party that was unafraid to make moral judgments about the world beyond our borders. It was a party that understood that either the American people stood united with free nations and freedom fighters against the forces of totalitarianism, or that we would fall divided.

This was the Democratic Party of Harry Truman, who pledged that "it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."

And this was the Democratic Party of John F. Kennedy, who promised in his inaugural address that the United States would "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of freedom."

This worldview began to come apart in the late 1960s, around the war in Vietnam. In its place, a very different view of the world took root in the Democratic Party. Rather than seeing the Cold War as an ideological contest between the free nations of the West and the repressive regimes of the communist world, this rival political philosophy saw America as the aggressor – a morally bankrupt, imperialist power whose militarism and "inordinate fear of communism" represented the real threat to world peace.

It argued that the Soviets and their allies were our enemies not because they were inspired by a totalitarian ideology fundamentally hostile to our way of life, or because they nursed ambitions of global conquest. Rather, the Soviets were our enemy because we had provoked them, because we threatened them, and because we failed to sit down and accord them the respect they deserved. In other words, the Cold War was mostly America's fault.

Of course that leftward lurch by the Democrats did not go unchallenged. Democratic Cold Warriors like Scoop Jackson fought against the tide. But despite their principled efforts, the Democratic Party through the 1970s and 1980s became prisoner to a foreign policy philosophy that was, in most respects, the antithesis of what Democrats had stood for under Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy.

Then, beginning in the 1980s, a new effort began on the part of some of us in the Democratic Party to reverse these developments, and reclaim our party's lost tradition of principle and strength in the world. Our band of so-called New Democrats was successful sooner than we imagined possible when, in 1992, Bill Clinton and Al Gore were elected. In the Balkans, for example, as President Clinton and his advisers slowly but surely came to recognize that American intervention, and only American intervention, could stop Slobodan Milosevic and his campaign of ethnic slaughter, Democratic attitudes about the use of military force in pursuit of our values and our security began to change.

This happy development continued into the 2000 campaign, when the Democratic candidate – Vice President Gore – championed a freedom-focused foreign policy, confident of America's moral responsibilities in the world, and unafraid to use our military power. He pledged to increase the defense budget by $50 billion more than his Republican opponent – and, to the dismay of the Democratic left, made sure that the party's platform endorsed a national missile defense.

By contrast, in 2000, Gov. George W. Bush promised a "humble foreign policy" and criticized our peacekeeping operations in the Balkans.

Today, less than a decade later, the parties have completely switched positions. The reversal began, like so much else in our time, on September 11, 2001. The attack on America by Islamist terrorists shook President Bush from the foreign policy course he was on. He saw September 11 for what it was: a direct ideological and military attack on us and our way of life. If the Democratic Party had stayed where it was in 2000, America could have confronted the terrorists with unity and strength in the years after 9/11.

Instead a debate soon began within the Democratic Party about how to respond to Mr. Bush. I felt strongly that Democrats should embrace the basic framework the president had advanced for the war on terror as our own, because it was our own. But that was not the choice most Democratic leaders made. When total victory did not come quickly in Iraq, the old voices of partisanship and peace at any price saw an opportunity to reassert themselves. By considering centrism to be collaboration with the enemy – not bin Laden, but Mr. Bush – activists have successfully pulled the Democratic Party further to the left than it has been at any point in the last 20 years.

Far too many Democratic leaders have kowtowed to these opinions rather than challenging them. That unfortunately includes Barack Obama, who, contrary to his rhetorical invocations of bipartisan change, has not been willing to stand up to his party's left wing on a single significant national security or international economic issue in this campaign.

In this, Sen. Obama stands in stark contrast to John McCain, who has shown the political courage throughout his career to do what he thinks is right – regardless of its popularity in his party or outside it.

John also understands something else that too many Democrats seem to have become confused about lately – the difference between America's friends and America's enemies.

There are of course times when it makes sense to engage in tough diplomacy with hostile governments. Yet what Mr. Obama has proposed is not selective engagement, but a blanket policy of meeting personally as president, without preconditions, in his first year in office, with the leaders of the most vicious, anti-American regimes on the planet.

Mr. Obama has said that in proposing this, he is following in the footsteps of Reagan and JFK. But Kennedy never met with Castro, and Reagan never met with Khomeini. And can anyone imagine Presidents Kennedy or Reagan sitting down unconditionally with Ahmadinejad or Chavez? I certainly cannot.

If a president ever embraced our worst enemies in this way, he would strengthen them and undermine our most steadfast allies.

A great Democratic secretary of state, Dean Acheson, once warned "no people in history have ever survived, who thought they could protect their freedom by making themselves inoffensive to their enemies." This is a lesson that today's Democratic Party leaders need to relearn.

Mr. Lieberman is an Independent Democratic senator from Connecticut. This article is adapted from a speech he gave May 18 at a dinner hosted by Commentary magazine

Hillary wins Kentucky "Big Time"

CNN and FOX NEWS both project Hillary Clinton over Barak Obama in Kentucky's, primary with 21% of precincts reporting. Again, in spite of the media's telling the democrats of Kentucky that Barak Obama is their Presidential Nominee the majority of Democrats in Kentucky said NO and exit polls show 66 % of those voting for Hillary will vote for John McCain in the Fall. The emperor in fact has no clothes! The presumptive nominee of the Democrat Party is running 35 points behind with 89% of the Precincts reporting

CNN reports from exit polls: Nearly 55 percent of Democratic voters said Obama shares the most controversial views of Wright and those voters went for Clinton

Ted Kennedy..... "Cancerous Brain Tumor"

A news report:
A cancerous brain tumor caused the seizure Sen. Edward M. Kennedy suffered over the weekend, doctors said Tuesday in a grim diagnosis for one of American politics' most enduring figures.

The Massachusetts Democrat as a malignant glioma in the left parietal-lobe, according to doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, where Kennedy, 76, has been undergoing tests since Saturday after having a seizure at his Cape Cod home.

The usual course of treatment includes combinations of radiation and chemotherapy, but Kennedy's treatment

Anyone who knows me or has read this blog for any time will no I am no fan of Teddy Kennedy....... but this is not something I would wish on any one short of a tyrant and Teddy with all his faults is not a tyrant. I feel very badly for him and his family.

All Eyes on Kentucky and Oregon

Today Kentucky and Oregon will hold their presidential primaries between Hillary Clinton and Barka Obama. Hillery is expected to win in Kentucky and Obama in Oregon. I predict that Hilary will win by a bigger margin in Kentucky then Obama will will in Oregon. I also predict the mainstream media that is in love with Obama will ignore that fact and will again anoint Obama as the winner and will make further calls for Hillary to withdraw from the race.

Oregon has vote by mail which I hate. I miss going to the polling place on electron day and voting. I therefore refuse to vote by mail but this morning (election day) I filled in my ballot and will drop it by the Jackson County Election Department of the County Clerks' Office on my way home from work. It's interesting that Oregon and Kentucky have primaries on the same day this year because our family has close ties with Oregon and will soon in addition have lose ties with Kentucky.

On days like this it is embarrassing to be an Oregonian. When I saw that picture of 73,000 people in Portland that turned out for an Obama rally I am reminded why I will never live in the Portland area. It's called "Beirut West" and a Republican can not travel to downtown Portland without setting off a riot. Yes, the liberals believe in "free speech" (sarcasm). Guess how many people turned out for an Obama rally in Kentucky...... "O"..... because he didn't have a rally. unfortunately the United States is becoming balkinized.

Obama's Unique Appeasement Style

By Caroline Glick in the Jerusalem Post

....."Increasingly, the Western world has attitudes rather than policies."

The latest attitude to be flouted as policy is indignation. Specifically, Democratic Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama's furious indignation at President George W. Bush's address before the Knesset last week where he celebrated Israel's 60th anniversary and extolled the US's alliance with Israel. Beyond praising the Jewish people's 4,000 year-old devotion to the Land of Israel and to liberty, Bush used the speech to warn against those who think that Iran and its terror proxies can simply be wished away through appeasement.

As the president put it, "Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided. We have an obligation to call this what it is - the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

To Israeli ears, Bush's words were uncontroversial. Israel is beset by enemies who daily call for its physical annihilation and while doing so, build and support terror forces who attack Israel. For most Israelis, the notion that these enemies can be appeased is absurd and deeply offensive.

The only strong reaction that Bush's remarks provoked in Israel was relief......

From an Israeli vantage point then, it was shocking to see that immediately after Bush stepped down from the rostrum, Obama and his Democratic supporters began pillorying him for his remarks. Most distressing is what Obama's reaction said about the Democratic presidential hopeful.

OBAMA'S RESPONSE to Bush's speech was an effective acknowledgement that appeasing Iran and other terror sponsors is a defining feature of his campaign and of his political persona. As far as he is concerned, an attack against appeasement is an attack against Obama.

Obama and his supporters argue that seeking to ease Iranian belligerence by conducting negotiations and offering military, technological, military and financial concessions to the likes of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who refers to Israel as pestilence, daily threatens the Jewish state with destruction, and calls for the eradication of the US while claiming to be divinely instructed by a seven-year-old imam who went missing 1100 years ago is not appeasement. Indeed, Obama claims that conducting direct face-to-face negotiations with the likes of Ahmadinejad is the right way to be "tough."

But is this true? Obama recalls that US presidents have often conducted negotiations with their country's enemies and done so to the US's advantage. And this is true enough. President John F. Kennedy essentially appeased the Soviet Union during the 1962 Cuban missile crisis when he offered to remove US nuclear warheads from Turkey in exchange for the removal of Soviet nuclear missiles from Cuba.

But there are many differences between what Kennedy did and what Obama is proposing. Kennedy's offer to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was made secretly. And the terms of the deal stipulated that if its existence was revealed, the US offer would be cancelled. More importantly, Khrushchev was open to a deal and was ready to give up the Cuban nuclear program. And - most importantly of all - Kennedy deployed military forces and went to the brink of war to make the alternatives to negotiation credible.

Obama has repeatedly stated that unlike Kennedy, if he is elected president, he will not openly threaten war while being open to private talks. Instead, Obama intends to surrender the war option while conducting direct, public negotiations with the mullahs. So from the very beginning, he wants to undermine US credibility while giving Ahmadinejad and his murderous ilk the legitimacy that Kennedy refused to give Khrushchev.

Far from exerting force to strengthen his diplomatic position, Obama has pledged to withdraw US forces from Iraq where they are fighting Iranian proxies, cut military spending and shrink the size of the US nuclear arsenal.

SINCE THE definition of appeasement is to reward others for their bad behavior, and since the US has refused for 29 years to reward the Iranians for their bad behavior by having presidential summits with Iranian leaders, Obama's pledge represents a massive act of appeasement. And since it is Iran's illicit nuclear weapons program that would bring a President Barack Obama to the table, his policy would invite nuclear blackmail by other countries by signaling to them that the US rewards nuclear proliferators.

But even if Obama and his supporters were right and negotiating with the ayatollahs was not by its nature an act of appeasement, the question remains whether it would be possible to reach a deal with them that would not endanger US interests or US allies a la Neville Chamberlain at Munich.

Since the EU-3 began negotiating with the Iranians four years ago, the Iranians have made clear at every opportunity that while they welcome negotiations, they will never give up their nuclear program. Over the weekend, Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei again repeated that there is no deal that anyone can offer Iran that would move the regime to give up its nuclear aspirations and nascent arsenal. So there is no deal to be had.

Iran's support for terrorism and its nuclear aspirations make confrontation with the US inevitable. Since there is no way that in the midst of presidential negotiations the US would confront Iran, by pushing for such summitry, Obama is conceding to Iran the US's right to choose when and how the confrontation will begin.

IN MANY ways, Obama and his allies call to mind the influential American newspaperman H.L. Mencken. In the 1920s and early 1930s, Mencken was the most influential writer in the US. He was an anti-Christian and anti-Semitic agnostic, a supporter of Germany during World War I, and a fierce opponent of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. He also opposed American participation in World War II.

In his biography of Mencken, The Skeptic: A Life of H.L. Mencken, Terry Teachout argues that the reason Mencken did not think it was worth fighting Hitler's Germany was because Mencken simply couldn't accept the existence of evil. He could see no moral distinction between Roosevelt, who he despised, and Adolf Hitler who he considered "a boob."

There are strong echoes of Mencken's moral blindness to Hitler's evil in the contemporary Left's refusal to understand the nature of the threat posed by Iran and its terror proxies. And Bush made this clear in his speech to the Knesset when he said, "There are good and decent people who cannot fathom the darkness in these men and try to explain away their words. It's natural, but it is deadly wrong."


Obama's policies are not based on facts, but on his attitude. And his attitude, like Mencken's in the 1930s, is based on a naïve and arrogant belief that the worst thing that can happen is to have someone who talks about evil in the White House.

Peter Osnos, Obama's former publisher told the Times that Obama's meteoric rise to the pinnacle of politics is due in large part to his gift as a storyteller. In his words, "It's almost all based on these two books, two books not based on a job of prodigious research or risking one's life as a reporter in Iraq. He has written about himself. Being able to take your own life story and turn it into this incredibly lucrative franchise, it's a stunning fact."

Indeed, it is stunning. And frightening. It says that in a world in which evil men are combining and preparing for war and genocide, good men are preparing for pleasant chitchat with their foes because they have come to prefer attitude to substance. It is a world in which indignation can be summoned as readily (and perhaps more easily) for partisan political attacks as for delusional dictators‚ open preparation for genocide. And it is a world in which it is more important to discuss "healing" emotional wounds than devising policies capable of coping with an ever-more-dangerous international coalition of murderers.

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

Monday, May 19, 2008

Duck Men Win Pac 10 Championship in Track!

TEMPE, Ariz. – Oregon barely stayed ahead of UCLA early in the day, and then held off hard-charging Arizona State late with a big performance in the 5,000 meters to successfully defend its men’s Pac-10 track and field title Saturday at Joe Sellah Track at Sun Angel Stadium. The Duck women built on steady performances throughout the meet’s second day to claim third place -- their best showing finishing second in 1996.

It was the men’s fourth conference title in the last six seasons. (Click on the title for a link)

Let's see, the Ducks win the NATIONAL NCAA Title in cross country last fall and now the Pac 10 Championship in Track. The Olympic Trials in Field and Track are returning to Eugene this summer after a long absence. Now what was the controversy about getting rid of Martin Smith as head coach track coach and bringing in Vin Lananna. Yes , it's all Phil Knight's fault (sarcasm). Go Ducks .... Eugene Oregon, Track Town USA is back!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

America tighten your belt!

Barak Obama in Roseburg, Oregon:

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,"

Friday, May 16, 2008

John McCain to Obama ...... your weak!

"Earlier today, Senator Obama made a few remarks I would like to respond to. I welcome a debate about protecting America. No issue is more important. Senator Obama claimed all I had to offer was the 'naive and irresponsible belief' that tough talk would cause Iran to give up its nuclear program. He should know better. I have some news for Senator Obama: Talking, not even with soaring rhetoric, in unconditional meetings with the man who calls Israel a 'stinking corpse' and arms terrorist who kill Americans will not convince Iran to give up its nuclear program. It is reckless to suggest that unconditional meetings will advance our interests."

"It would be a wonderful thing if we lived in a world where we don't have enemies. But that is not the world we live in, and until Senator Obama understands that reality, the American people have every reason to doubt whether he has the strength, judgment, and determination to keep us safe."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Appeasement in the Air ? (Update)

President George W Bush before the Israeli Knesset ( their Parliament):

Some seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along," the President said to the country's legislative body, "We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is –- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history."

No one who prays to the God of Abraham could strap a suicide vest to an innocent child, or blow up guiltless guests at a Passover Seder, or fly planes into office buildings filled with unsuspecting workers,"

Joe Biden:

"This is bullshit, this is malarkey. This is outrageous, for the president of the United States to go to a foreign country, to sit in the Knesset . . . and make this kind of ridiculous statement.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:

"beneath the dignity of the office of the president and unworthy of our representation" at the celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary.

Kind of defensive aren't they!

In the CNN/YouTube debate in early July,Barak Obama was asked, “Would you be willing to meet, separately, without preconditions, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea, in order to bridge the gap that divides our countries?” Obama replied, “I would,”

UPDATE: John McCain joins in on the debate:

Maybe one of the reason you saw such a vociferous reaction from friends on the other side of the aisle is that it is highest degree of naiveté and inexperience that anyone would want to sit down with face to face talks with the Iranians – who just a few days ago declared Israel is a stinking corpse – who send weapons across the border into Iraq. In Lebanon we see a proxy war between U.S. and Iran. Hezbollah is a proxy for the Iranians. All I can say is if Obama wants to sit across the table with a country where they declare Israel is a stinking corpse — what is it he wants to talk about?

It enhances prestige of a nation that is terrorist sponsor and is directly responsible for the deaths of young Americans.

I look forward to having that debate with him and taking it to the American peop

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Movie:"I'm Not There" ***

Being a big fan of Bob Dylan I wanted to see this movie. However My wife is NOT a big fan so I waited till it came out on DVD and got my copy in the mail from NETFLIX just before we left for North Dakota ( see post below). I didn't have time to see it until we got back and after having seen it I must say I was disappointed. Wikipedia's synopsis of the movie is very accurate:

The film intercuts stories featuring different actors playing characters based on the life or the legend of Bob Dylan. Marcus Carl Franklin, a young black actor, plays a (fictional) version of the 11-year old Dylan, who calls himself "Woody Guthrie" and escapes from a juvenile correction center by hitching a ride on a train, carrying a guitar labeled "This Machine Kills Fascists." Christian Bale plays Jack Rollins, a version of Dylan as a young folk singer with a political conscience, and who later becomes "Pastor John," a version of Dylan the born again Christian, here singing gospel songs in a small town church. Cate Blanchett plays Jude Quinn, a version of Dylan at the height of his fame in the 1960s, when his original fan base was rejecting him as a sell-out. Ben Whishaw plays a version of Dylan as a young rebel who calls himself after the poet Arthur Rimbaud. Heath Ledger plays a character named "Robbie Clark", a fictional Hollywood actor presented as best known for his performance in a film about Jack Rollins (the character played by Bale); he also represents Dylan the divorcé, estranged from his wife Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg). Richard Gere plays the elderly Dylan as an aging Billy the Kid in a surreal Wild West town, who defeats an even more elderly Pat Garrett (played by Bruce Greenwood).

The storylines are shot in different film stocks and styles. The scenes featuring Woody Guthrie, Robbie Clark and Billy the Kid are in color. The scenes involving Jack Rollins/Pastor John are shot on 16mm color stock, and are framed as a documentary with interviews from people who knew him describing his transformation. Jude Quinn's scenes are in black and white, and use surreal imagery based on those in Federico Fellini's 8½ (1962).[2] Arthur Rimbaud's scenes are shot on very grainy black and white stock.

The sequences with Cate Blanchett are the best and the worst are those with Richard Gere. I will watch any movie about the folk scene in New York's Greenwich Village in the early 1960's.

In the movie, Julianne Moor, plays a Joan Baez type character who is interviewed about the fictional Dylan. In real life Joan Baez helped Dylan in his early years and was his girl friend. In the documentary "No Direction Home" an older Joan Baez is interviewed and this interview I assume was the basis for the fake interviews in "I'm Not There." The movies is not for the average movie goer and only for hard core Dylan Fans. One of the most disappointing things about the movie was the soundtrack. You are better off playing "The Essential Bob Dylan" CD. After watching the movie I re watched my DVD of the Dylan documentary "No Direction Home" which is much better than the movie if you want to learn more about Bob Dylan. I give the movie *** stars out of 5.

West Virgina Primary Results ... or... Emperor Has No Clothes

All week the folks of West Virginia had been told that the Democratic Race for Presidential Nomination was over and Obama had won. Well, the Democrats in West Virgina didn't like the media's choice and almost 75% voted for someone else. 67% voted for the "loser" Hilary Clinton and only 26% voted for the "Winner" Barak Obama. The "unbiased" Associated Press headline this morning is "Clinton's W.Va. victory does little to slow Obama." On to Kentucky and Oregon!

Republican Strategist Rich Galen in his "Mullings" online column wrote this last night:

I did a phone interview with a newspaper reporter yesterday afternoon and after sparring for about 20 minutes, the reporter finally asked me "and you can answer this off the record, if you want" whether I thought America was ready to elect a Black President.

I said (on the record) that America was ready for a Black President, but I didn't think it was ready for this particular Black man (Obama) to be President.

I reminded the reporter that Obama has been in the US Senate for three years and has been running for President for two of them.

Remember, that Hillary Clinton said at the debate in Cleveland this past February that Obama
"chairs the Subcommittee on Europe. It has jurisdiction over NATO. NATO is critical to our mission in Afghanistan. He's held not one substantive hearing to do oversight, to figure out what we can do to actually have a stronger presence with NATO in Afghanistan."

To which Obama responded: "Well, first of all, I became chairman of this committee at the beginning of this campaign, at the beginning of 2007."

He was too busy running for President to (a) do the things a Senator is paid to do, or (b) learn the things that a President needs to know.

Go figure.

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

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Phil Knight & Andrew Carnegie

Today as I was waking by the old Carnegie Library here in Medford Oregon I was thinking about how things never change. Andrew Carnegie like Phil Knight was a philanthropists who gave millions of dollars to public institutions. Carnegie to city's and Knight to the University of Oregon for a basketball arena and other projects. In both cases critics, such as Rachel Bachman of the Oregonian on Phil Knight, have complained there were strings attached to the donations.

In doing some research Andrew Carnegie adopted the "Carnegie Formula" that set requirements of communities accepting money for a library.For example, the community could not use the library for other functions other than a library and had to saddle itself with a commitment to " annually provide ten percent of the cost of the library's construction to support its operation. Then as now there were critics who were against accepting the money but today those libraries stand as monuments to Andrew Carnegie's generosity. The same will be said about Phil Knight !

The following information is from Wikipedia:

Carnegie libraries are libraries which were built with money donated by Scottish-American businessman Andrew Carnegie. Over 2,500 Carnegie libraries were built, including public and university libraries. Carnegie earned the nickname Patron Saint of Libraries.

Of the 2,509 libraries funded between 1883 and 1929, 1,689 were built in the United States, 660 in Britain and Ireland, 156 in Canada, and others in Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, the Caribbean, and Fiji. Very few towns that requested a grant and agreed to his terms were refused. When the last grant was made in 1919, there were 3,500 libraries in the United States, nearly half of them paid for by Carnegie.

Nearly all of Carnegie's libraries were built according to "The Carnegie Formula" which required the town that received the gift to:

demonstrate the need for a public library;

provide the building site; and

annually provide ten percent of the cost of the library's construction to support its operation.

The amount of money donated to most communities was based on U.S. Census figures and averaged approximately $2 per person. While there were some communities that refused to seek a grant, considering Carnegie's money to be tainted by his business practices, or disdaining the libraries as memorials to himself,

According to Dr Abigail A Van Slyck:

Andrew Carnegie's personal secretary and later secretary of the Carnegie Corporation of New York. From 1903 until 1911, Bertram reviewed every set of plans for a Carnegie-financed library building, and offered lengthy--and often quite pointed--criticism to the architect involved. In 1911, however, Bertram enhanced his own efficiency by codifying his advice on library planning into a pamphlet entitled "Notes on the Erection of Library Buildings." This pamphlet included both written advice and schematic plans, and was sent to municipal authorities along with notification that they had received a Carnegie grant.

The Oregonina's criticism of Phil Knights generosity is mild to some of the criticism of Andrew Carnegie. Allen Gardiner writes:

Others saw Carnegie's philanthropy differently. Many people, then as now, considered Carnegie a robber baron who had made his money off cheap labor, and the memory was still strong of the 1892 Homestead strike, in which Carnegie's hired Pinkerton guards fired on the striking miners in Homestead, Pennsylvania. Others considered it vulgar for Carnegie to immortalize himself by building libraries with his name on them all across the land.

The "robber baron" feeling was so prevalent in Kansas ninety years ago that almost as many people opposed receiving Carnegie libraries as were in favor of the grants. In Frankfort and Atchison the offer had to be refused because those cities simply could not or would not provide the amount of the annual budget. Atchison turned down a twenty-five-thousand-dollar offer in 1901, believing the money to be "tainted." The same sentiment was uttered in Goodland by one E. F Mercer, who spoke out bitterly against the building: "Carnegie's money was tainted [and he was] the foe of the working man."

Even harsher words were used in Pittsburg -- coal country -- where both miners and the Pittsburg Kansan editor were violently opposed to accepting a gift from Carnegie. After the building opened, the editor wrote: "[The money] was gathered in the blood and tears of the Homestead strike, where children starved, women wept and workmen were shot to death on the doorsteps of the shacks they had been driven from by Pinkerton's hired butchers. The editor of the KANSAN is not in favor today, nor any other day, of holding out clamorous hands for any of this tear-rusted blood-stained gold for library buildings."

Yes, Phil Knight donated substantial sums to the University of Oregon for non sports construction such as the major renovation of the "Knight" Library and construction of the "Knight" Law School Building named for his father.

Dwight Jaynes of the Portland Tribune has an good article on Phil Knight that's titled "Accept Phil Knight and the Strings." (click on the title for a link)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Trip to North Dakota

My wife and I visited our Son in North Dakota over a long weekend. Our son is getting his Master Degree in History in a few weeks so we though we would visit him before he leaves the University of North Dakota and moves to another University for his PhD. On Thursday at 5 am we boarded an airplane in Medford for a flight to Portland and then on to Minneapolis and then on to Grand Forks, North Dakota. The flights were uneventful and our Son met us at the Grand Forks "International" Airport and took us to a nice Holiday Inn Express near Best Buy. We had an early dinner at Arby's, did a little shopping at a Super Target nearby and then went back to the motel for an early night. We had been up since 2 am. On Friday he took us on a tour of campus and showed us the fancy Hockey Arena (picture above), took us by his campus office which he shares with other History Graduate Assistants and then to his apartment. We went into the Grand Forks Super Wall-Mar to meet one of his friends who works there and also ran into his main Professor. That night he took us to a downtown bar for dinner and drinks for a party being thrown by some of his graduate assistants friends. On Saturday another of his friend's accompanied us on a trip to the "big city" of Fargo. The day started out with a snow storm (yes in May) but the sun came out in the afternoon. We toured some used book stores, and had lunch at "Old Chicago and then went to the mall. That night we had dinner overlooking the Red River in Minnesota in East Grand Forks at a nice restaurant. We got to met several of our son's friends and they were uniformly nice and I know it will be hard for him to leave them when he moves on to work on his PhD. On Sunday he drove us to Fargo to catch a plane for Minneapolis. We had a three hour layover at the Minneapolis airport and had a nice Mothers day lunch at TG Fridays before we boarded a plane for Portland and then back to Medford, Oregon. We flew Northwest Airlines for the flights between Portland and Minneapolis and there and Grand Forks and I was not impressed. The planes for the most part were not kept clean and the service was poor. In the future all things being equal I will try and pick another airline. We got home tired about 11 PM and our cat was happy to see us. It was good to see our Son again and enjoyed meeting all of his friends. The people are very nice in the Midwest and but for the weather and lack on interesting geography it would be a nice place to live.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Boss Daley Alive in Gary, Indiana

Deceased mayor "Boss" Daley of Chicago who stole Illinois for John Kennedy in 1960 is alive and living a few miles away in Gary Indiana. Richard Daley was infamous for holding the vote in Chicago until the down state Republican vote had come in so he could see how many dead people needed to vote.Looks like the Obama folks are doing the same thing in Lake County where Gary ,Indiana is located.

UPDATE: Looks like they couldn't find enough dead people to vote.... the vote from Lake County finaly comes in after prime time on the East Coast and Hillary Clinton wins the Indiana Primary. On to West Virginia!

The Oregonian’s Cold War On Knight Just Got Hot

Click on the title to a link to a good review of the Oregonian Newspaper's war on University of Oregon donor Phil Knight.

The Oregonian just keeps losing and they can't stand it. Their main campaign against Phil Knight and the University of Oregon is the building of the new basketball arena. However, despite their best efforts the duly elected representatives of the people of Oregon have decided otherwise . The financing of the arena with the sale of 200 million dollars in bond backed by Phil Knight's gift of a 100 million dollar endowment passed both the Democrat controlled Oregon House of Representative and the Democrat controlled Oregon Senate by wide margins. The authorization was then signed by Oregon's Democrat Governor. So despite their best efforts the largest most powerful newspapere in the state of Oregon was not able to stop the new basketball arena. They are just sore they lost!