Thursday, July 31, 2008

Broadcast of some Oregon games up in the air!

It's only one month till the University of Oregon's first football game of the season and it's up in the air as to who will broadcast the games of the OSN (Oregon Sports Network). These are the broadcasts of games that are not on cable or broadcast networks such as ABC of Fox Sports Northwest. In the past, these games have been on the three Oregon TV stations owned by Chambers Communications in Eugene, Bend and Medford. These stations also show same day replays of Oregon football games. In addition, they have produced and broadcast the "Coaches Shows," pre game programs and special programing on the Oregon Duck in football, basketball and track. Living in Medford, I am now concerned we may not get these broadcasts in Medford ! How did this come about......

The University of Oregon this summer signed a new media deal:
The University of Oregon extended an agreement for its for multi-media marketing rights with Oregon Sports Network and IMG College in a ten-year, $67.14 million deal.
The multi-media rights agreement will include management of TV and radio rights and programming, advertising, licensing video boards and signage.

Under the deal, IMG-OSN will provide $4 million upfront for capital investment in video boards and signage in a proposed new basketball arena, Autzen Stadium and the new baseball park. They will also guarantee the UO $56.22 million in cash over ten years, $2.5 million for the right to market the naming opportunity for the new baseball field, and $8.42 million for production services and infrastructure for video board and game day presentations, programs, ticket purchase and other trade.
UO Athletic Director, Pat Kilkenny, said: “The partnership between OSN and IMG College provides the university with the service and existing partnerships of a long-time local partner, combined with the strength of a national and international sales and management leader. "As we move forward with the proposed arena and baseball stadium facilities, as well as the enhancement of our football program to maintain self-sufficiency, marketing efforts are crucial for the revenue success we are committed to delivering”.

The new rights fees are more than double the existing contract.

BUT, as a result Chambers Communications released this press release today:

(Eugene, OR – 7/31/08) Chambers Communications announced today that new contract language just received from IMG Communications for Oregon Sports Network programming has caused Chambers to not renew its affiliation with OSN for locally produced coverage, live games and special interest shows highlighting University of Oregon athletics on Chambers’ television stations KEZI-Eugene, KOHD-Bend, and KDRV-Medford.

“Chambers Communications has a long history of providing viewers throughout Oregon with unprecedented coverage of University of Oregon athletics,” said Scott Chambers, President. “It is clear from the contract language that the University of Oregon, through its partnership with IMG, now has a business model for rights and programming that no longer has room for the local and statewide broadcast television partnership, viewers or advertisers offered by Chambers’ three ABC affiliates throughout the state.”

Recently, Chambers Communications finished its second successful five-year Agreement with OSN. Under the terms, the company’s three ABC Network broadcast stations produced and/or distributed more than 100 hours of University of Oregon athletic programs per year, including live football and basketball games, pre and post game programs, special coaches’ shows and pre and post season specials.

On January 7, 2008, after lengthy negotiations, Chambers Communications received a signed letter of intent from OSN for a new five-year agreement under similar terms of the previous agreements. In February 2008, the University of Oregon negotiated an exclusive sports representation arrangement with IMG, giving the company exclusive rights over University or Oregon sports inventory, including games, television programs, signage, and stadium game programs. Through numerous discussions between Chambers and the University, there was no indication that terms of the signed letter of intent would be significantly changed.

This past Friday, July 25, 2008, approximately four weeks before Oregon’s first football game, Chambers Communications received a contract offer from IMG outlining new terms. Included in the contract were substantially increased rights fees, restrictions on sponsors, significantly reduced company and sponsor benefits and the elimination of Chambers-produced programs featuring University of Oregon Athletics or coaches, except for live games.

“In the best interest of the company and its advertisers, Chambers Communications has no option but to reject the terms of the IMG contract,” said Dana Siebert, Chambers Chief Operating Officer. “Chambers Sports and our three ABC broadcast affiliates throughout Oregon will cease affiliation with the Oregon Sports Network effective July 31, 2008, the expiration date of the current five-year contract.”

Chambers Communications, headquartered in Eugene, Oregon, is the parent company of Oregon ABC affiliates KEZI 9 in Eugene, KDRV 12 in Medford, KDKF 31 in Klamath Falls and KOHD 51.1 in Bend, with newsrooms in Roseburg, Corvallis and Coos Bay; Chambers Sports, an Oregon-based regional sports company; Chambers Cable of Sunriver, Oregon; Chambers Productions, a full service film and video production company based in Eugene, Oregon; and CMC.NET, an Oregon-based internet service provider. Chambers Communications is based in the Chambers Media Center, the most technologically advanced soundstage and production facility between Hollywood and Vancouver, BC.

UPDATE: (Friday AM) Click on the title for a link to the Register-Guard front page story. For me, and other Duck fans in southern Oregon, the big question is if KDRV channnel 12 in Medford is not going to do these broadcast who will? We do not have Comcast Cable in Medford and are limited to Charter Cable. A 67 million dollar deal for the Athletic Department is great but not if Oregon fans in Medford, Bend , Eugene and other cities and towns in Oregon can not get the games or other shows about the Ducks. We no longer have a DAF (Duck Athletic Fund) office in Medford..... will we now lose some of our Oregon Duck TV programing? I have confidence that the folks that run the Athletic Department will find a viable solution. If not, there will be some might mad Ducks in southern Oregon!

Time Magazines' Joe Klein goes off deep end !

Joe Klein on June 24th, 2008 wrote this about some Jewish Americans:
The notion that we could just waltz in and inject democracy into an extremely complicated, devout and ancient culture smacked--still smacks--of neocolonialist legerdemain. The fact that a great many Jewish neoconservatives--people like Joe Lieberman and the crowd over at Commentary--plumped for this war, and now for an even more foolish assault on Iran, raised the question of divided loyalties: using U.S. military power, U.S. lives and money, to make the world safe for Israel. And then there is the question--made manifest by the no-bid contracts offered U.S. oil companies by the Iraqis--of two oil executives, Bush and Cheney, securing a new source of business for their Texas buddies.

Later that day, Klein added this response to his critics:

You want evidence of divided loyalties? How about the “benign domino theory” that so many Jewish neoconservatives talked to me about--off the record, of course--in the runup to the Iraq war, the idea that Israel’s security could be won by taking out Saddam, which would set off a cascade of disaster for Israel’s enemies in the region? As my grandmother would say, feh! Do you actually deny that the casus belli that dare not speak its name wasn’t, as I wrote in February 2003, a desire to make the world safe for Israel? Why the rush now to bomb Iran, a country that poses some threat to Israel but none--for the moment--to the United States…

This is what Joe Klein wrote on July 30th, 2008:

In any case, Wehner will spend the rest of his life trying to Lady Macbeth his role in this catastrophe. But the blood won't wash. I suggest that he read the forthcoming book, In A Time of War, about the sacrifices of the brilliant soldiers who comprised West Point's class of 2002. Their loyalty and sense of duty is a precious resource we dare not waste. It was a sin to send them into an unplanned war of choice with equipment ill-suited to their mission. If Pete wants to know why I'm angry, he should think about the lives his President so carelessly wasted and ruined...and now Pete and his pals are pushing for another ill-conceived war, against Iran.

I once suggested that Wehner spend some time emptying bedpans at Walter Reed in penance for his horrific performance in the White House. I still think it would do him a world of good to step down from his Ivory Tower at the--don't laugh--Ethics and Public Policy Center and get a whiff of the reality of his ideology as it is lived by those who've been maimed by his policies.
The Decline of Joe Klein
A good political columnist gone wrong.

Peter Wehner on National Review Online gives an excellent review of Joe Klein's descent into anger and hate for fellow Americans.


A final word (I hope) on the tone and personal nature of Klein’s attacks these days. It is both somewhat startling and slightly depressing. He once was, after all, one of the best political columnists in America, in possession of an elegant pen and keen insights. But somewhere along the way, something went off track. He is still of man of impressive talents as a writer, if, as we have seen, obvious limitation as a foreign-policy thinker and commentator. But Klein’s passions gave way to anger, which in turn has given way to hate. It not only clouds his judgment; it sometimes dominates it. And when that happens, it cannot have a good ending — as, unfortunately, we are witnessing.

— Peter Wehner, is a former deputy assistant to the president,
and is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

(Te read Peter Wehner's entire column click on the title for a link)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

McCain Should Pick Romney, And Soon !

Jay Cost of Real Clear Politics has an excellent analysis of why John McCain should pick Mitt Romney for his Vice Prescient. He writes in part:

slow and steady is a better strategy the earlier it begins. That's why I'd put Romney in place now, even if it results in a less momentous convention. I'd get Romney out there today, acting as an effective critic of Obama, offering editorial comment to all of the grand images we're bound to see between now and Denver, giving voice to the silent doubts voters still seem to have about the Democratic nominee. The idea here is that McCain cedes some of the boost he might otherwise get from his convention in return for laying the groundwork for a late-stage surge.

To read the rest of Jay Cost's column click on the title for a link. It is worth a read.

I like Mitt Romney and hope McCain picks him.

Did Obama Accuse McCain of Running a Racist, Xenophobic Campaign ?

The above is the headline from ABC NEWS reporter,Jake Tappers's blog. A few quotes from Jake Tapper:

Then in Union, Mo., this evening, Obama seemed to specifically accuse McCain and the GOP of peddling racism and xenophobia.

Obama said that "John McCain and the Republicans, they don’t have any new ideas, that’s why they’re spending all their time talking about me. I mean, you haven’t heard a positive thing out of that campaign in ... in a month. All they do is try to run me down and you know, you know this in your own life. If somebody doesn’t have anything nice to say about anybody, that means they’ve got some problems of their own. So they know they’ve got no new ideas, they know they’re dredging up all the stale old stuff they’ve been peddling for the last eight, 10 years.

"But, since they don’t have any new ideas the only strategy they’ve got in this election is to try to scare you about me. They’re going to try to say that I’m a risky guy, they’re going to try to say, 'Well, you know, he’s got a funny name and he doesn’t look like all the presidents on the dollar bills and the five dollar bills and, and they’re going to send out nasty emails....."

I've seen racism in campaigns before -- I've seen it against Obama in this campaign (more from Democrats than Republicans, at this point, I might add) and I've seen it against McCain in South Carolina in 2000, when his adopted Bangladeshi daughter Bridget was alleged, by the charming friends and allies of then-Gov. George W. Bush, to have been a McCain love-child with an African-American woman.

What I have not seen is it come from McCain or his campaign in such a way to merit the language Obama used today. Pretty inflammatory.

To read the entire post on Tapper's blog click on the title for a link. It was only a matter of time as to when the Obama campaign would use the race card! Obama was supposed to be the "post racial" candidate. Yeah right!

Jake Tapper is ABC News' Senior National Correspondent based in the network's Washington bureau. He writes about politics and popular culture and covers a range of national stories.

Obama "played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck," McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said in a statement. He called Obama's remarks "divisive, negative, shameful and wrong."

"I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."

"This is the moment . . . that the world is waiting for," he told House Democrats Tuesday night, per The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman. "I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."
Barak Obama as quoted in the Washington Post

Red China will censor the Internet for journalist at the Olympics

On Wednesday - two weeks after its most recent proclamation of an uncensored Internet during the Summer Games - the International Olympic Committee quietly agreed to some of the limitations, according to Kevan Gosper, chairman of the IOC press commission, Reuters reported.

International Olympic Committee.........What a bunch of cowards!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Republican Convention 2008

As a political junkie who has memories of Republican Conventions going back to 1952,(I was very young) I am starting to get excited for the Republican Convention in The Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St Paul this summer set for September 1,2,3 and 4th. The convention will open on Labor Day so I will be able to stay home and watch "gavel to gavel" coverage on C-Span and FOX NEWS. The Convention has released this press release:

SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Maria Cino, Chief Executive Officer and President for the 2008 Republican National Convention, today announced the program block schedule for the upcoming Republican National Convention. The program blocks are as follows:

Monday, September 1: 2:30 - 10:00 p.m. CDT* (12:30- 8:00 p.m. PDT)

Tuesday, September 2: 6:20 - 10:05 p.m. CDT (4:30- 8:05 p.m. PDT)

Wednesday, September 3: 6:20 - 11:20 p.m. CDT (4:20- 8:05 p.m. PDT)

Thursday, September 4: 6:20 - 10:15 p.m. CDT (4:20-8:15 p.m. PDT)

*Note: there will be a 30-minute break at 6:30 p.m. CDT

"We are pleased to announce the official block schedule for the 2008 Republican National Convention and are confident this year’s compelling program will be one of the most exciting in GOP convention history," said Cino. "The convention will showcase Sen. John McCain and his vision for America to the 45,000 convention participants joining us from around the country and the millions more participating from home."

About the Republican National Convention
The 2008 Republican National Convention will be held at Saint Paul's Xcel Energy Center from Sept. 1-4, 2008. Approximately 45,000 delegates, alternate delegates, volunteers, members of the media and other guests are expected to attend the convention. Minneapolis-Saint Paul is expected to receive an estimated $150-$160 million positive economic boost from the four-day event. For more information about the 2008 Republican National Convention, please visit our website at and join our social network sites on

Click on the title for a link to the conventions web site. They even have a neat time lapse video showing the transformation of the hockey arena into a conventions site. More updates on this blog as soon as the official schedule is released.

John Bolton Endorses McCain

ARLINGTON, VA — U.S. Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign today announced that former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton has endorsed John McCain for president. Ambassador Bolton issued the following statement on his endorsement:”John McCain was very active and supportive during my confirmation hearings to be the U.S. Ambassador to the UN. His belief in me at that time was a testament to his courage to fight the liberals in the Senate and vigorously advance American interests at the UN.

“I whole-heartedly endorse John McCain for President because when he takes office in January 2009 he will be prepared immediately to lead us. John will not need on the job training.

“American conservatives will have a President they can be proud of in John McCain.”

Why are the Democrats who control Congress afraid of a vote on offshore drilling ?

Because they know the American people would rather have offshore drilling than high gas prices and reliance on totalitarian governments for oil!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sad News.....

Sad news today. 77 year old political columnist, Bob Novak was admitted to a Hospital in Boston where he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. In a written statement given to his publisher, Novak said: “Doctors will soon begin appropriate treatment. I will be suspending my journalistic work for an indefinite but, God willing, not too lengthy period.”

His memoirs, entitled Prince of Darkness: Fifty Years Reporting in Washington, were published in July of 2007.

I have been a political junkie since the Kennedy Administration and there is one columnist I always read and that is Bob Novak. Sometimes he may get it wrong but Novak is an "old time columnist" who actually does reporting as part of his column. I sometimes disagree with his conclusions but I always find him interesting. Take care Bob and get well soon. We need your insight during this Presidential campaign.

If Obama is a proud American why is he reluctant to show it?

The Wall Street Journal's 'Best of the Web" has an interesting point on something Obama left out of his Berlin, speech last week:

The Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby notes a telling omission from Obama's big Berlin speech--specifically, from the portion discussing the 1948 Berlin airlift:

Not once in his Berlin speech did Obama acknowledge Truman's fortitude, or even mention his name. Nor did he mention the US Air Force, or the 31 American pilots who died during the airlift.
Indeed, Obama seemed to go out of his way not to say plainly that what saved Berlin in that dark time was America's military might. Save for a solitary reference to "the first American plane," he never described one of the greatest American operations of the postwar period as an American operation at all. He spoke only of "the airlift," "the planes," "those pilots." Perhaps their American identity wasn't something he cared to stress amid all his "people of the world" salutations and talk of "global citizenship."
Whether this was a strategic decision or Obama's own instinct, it does underscore the differences between the American and European views of the world--differences that neither were created by President Bush nor would disappear under a President Obama.

(American airplane delivers food to Berlin to break Soviet blockade of the city)

Doesn't this fit in with his reluctance to wear an American Flag pin?

McCain Leads by 4 Points

Republican presidential candidate John McCain moved from being behind by 6 points among "likely" voters a month ago to a 4-point lead over Democrat Barack Obama among that group in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. McCain still trails slightly among the broader universe of "registered" voters. By both measures, the race is tight.
The Friday-Sunday poll, mostly conducted as Obama was returning from his much-publicized overseas trip and released just this hour, shows McCain now ahead 49%-45% among voters that Gallup believes are most likely to go to the polls in November. In late June, he was behind among likely voters, 50%-44%.

The poll, taken Friday through Sunday, showed a surge since last month in likely Republican voters and suggested Obama's trip may have helped energize voters who favor McCain.

Why John McCain is fit to be Commander In Chief

Remarks By John McCain At The American GI Forum

July 25, 2008 ARLINGTON, VA -- U.S. Senator John McCain will deliver the following remarks as prepared for delivery at the 2008 American GI Forum of the United States National Convention in Denver, CO, today at 11:30 a.m. MDT (1:30 P.M. EDT):

Thank you for that kind introduction and warm welcome. I want to begin by talking about an issue in this campaign that I know concerns you as it concerns all Americans: the war in Iraq. Thankfully, the news from Iraq today is much more encouraging than I could have reported to you last year.

Eighteen months ago, America faced a crisis as profound as any in our history. Iraq was in flames, torn apart by violence that was escaping our control. Al Qaeda was succeeding in what Osama bin Laden called the central front in their war against us. The mullahs in Iran waited for America's humiliation in Iraq, and the resulting increase in their influence. Thousands of Iraqis died violently every month. American casualties were mounting. We were on the brink of a disastrous defeat just a little more than five years after the attacks of September 11, and America faced a profound choice. Would we accept defeat and leave Iraq and our strategic position in the Middle East in ruins, risking a wider war in the near future? Or would we summon our resolve, deploy additional forces, and change our failed strategy? Senator Obama and I also faced a decision, which amounted to a real-time test for a future commander-in-chief. America passed that test. I believe my judgment passed that test. And I believe Senator

Obama's failed. We both knew the politically safe choice was to support some form of retreat. All the polls said the "surge" was unpopular. Many pundits, experts and policymakers opposed it and advocated withdrawing our troops and accepting the consequences. I chose to support the new counterinsurgency strategy backed by additional troops -- which I had advocated since 2003, after my first trip to Iraq. Many observers said my position would end my hopes of becoming president. I said I would rather lose a campaign than see America lose a war. My choice was not smart politics. It didn't test well in focus groups. It ignored all the polls. It also didn't matter. The country I love had one final chance to succeed in Iraq. The new strategy was it. So I supported it. Today, the effects of the new strategy are obvious. The surge has succeeded, and we are, at long last, finally winning this war.

Senator Obama made a different choice. He not only opposed the new strategy, but actually tried to prevent us from implementing it. He didn't just advocate defeat, he tried to legislate it. When his efforts failed, he continued to predict the failure of our troops. As our soldiers and Marines prepared to move into Baghdad neighborhoods and Anbari villages, Senator Obama predicted that their efforts would make the sectarian violence in Iraq worse, not better.

And as our troops took the fight to the enemy, Senator Obama tried to cut off funding for them. He was one of only 14 senators to vote against the emergency funding in May 2007 that supported our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He would choose to lose in Iraq in hopes of winning in Afghanistan. But had his position been adopted, we would have lost both wars.

Three weeks after Senator Obama voted to deny funding for our troops in the field, General Ray Odierno launched the first major combat operations of the surge. Senator Obama declared defeat one month later: "My assessment is that the surge has not worked and we will not see a different report eight weeks from now." His assessment was popular at the time. But it couldn't have been more wrong.

By November 2007, the success of the surge was becoming apparent. Attacks on Coalition forces had dropped almost 60 percent from pre-surge levels. American casualties had fallen by more than half. Iraqi civilian deaths had fallen by more than two-thirds. But Senator Obama ignored the new and encouraging reality. "Not only have we not seen improvements," he said, "but we're actually worsening, potentially, a situation there."

If Senator Obama had prevailed, American forces would have had to retreat under fire. The Iraqi Army would have collapsed. Civilian casualties would have increased dramatically. Al Qaeda would have killed the Sunni sheikhs who had begun to cooperate with us, and the "Sunni Awakening" would have been strangled at birth. Al Qaeda fighters would have safe havens, from where they could train Iraqis and foreigners, and turn Iraq into a base for launching attacks on Americans elsewhere. Civil war, genocide and wider conflict would have been likely.

Above all, America would have been humiliated and weakened. Our military, strained by years of sacrifice, would have suffered a demoralizing defeat. Our enemies around the globe would have been emboldened. Terrorists would have seen our defeat as evidence America lacked the resolve to defeat them. As Iraq descended into chaos, other countries in the Middle East would have come to the aid of their favored factions, and the entire region might have erupted in war. Every American diplomat, American military commander, and American leader would have been forced to speak and act from a position of weakness.

Senator Obama told the American people what he thought you wanted to hear. I told you the truth. From the early days of this war, I feared the administration was pursuing a mistaken strategy, and I said so. I went to Iraq many times, and heard all the phony explanations about how we were winning. I knew we were failing, and I told that to an administration that did not want to hear it. I pushed for the strategy that is now succeeding before most people even admitted that there was a problem.

Fortunately, Senator Obama failed, not our military. We rejected the audacity of hopelessness, and we were right. Violence in Iraq fell to such low levels for such a long time that Senator Obama, detecting the success he never believed possible, falsely claimed that he had always predicted it. There have been almost no sectarian killings in Baghdad for more than 13 weeks. American casualties are at the lowest levels recorded in this war. The Iraqi Army is stronger and fighting harder. The Iraqi Government has met most of the benchmarks for political progress we demanded of them, and the nation's largest Sunni party recently rejoined the government. In Iraq, we are no longer on the doorstep of defeat, but on the road to victory.

Senator Obama said this week that even knowing what he knows today that he still would have opposed the surge. In retrospect, given the opportunity to choose between failure and success, he chooses failure. I cannot conceive of a Commander in Chief making that choice. A new hope is rising in Iraq today. Across the country, Iraqis are preparing for upcoming provincial elections. And security has improved enough to permit the Iraqi government to begin seriously providing services and opportunities to the Iraqi people. This progress is encouraging but reversible if we heed those who have always counseled defeat when they now argue to risk our fragile gains and withdraw from Iraq according to a politically expedient timetable rather than the advice from the commanders who so brilliantly led this stunning turnaround in our situation in Iraq.

I said that the surge has succeeded, and it has. That is why the additional surge brigades are almost all home. I said we can win, and we will. I'm confident we will be able to reduce our forces in Iraq next year, and our forces will be out of regular combat operations and dramatically reduced in number during the term of the next President. We have fought the worst battles, survived the toughest threats, and the hardest part of this war is behind us. But it is not over yet. And we have come too far, sacrificed too much, to risk everything we have gained and all we could yet gain because the politics of the hour make defeat the more convenient position.

Because of the choice we made and all the surge has accomplished, the time will soon come when our troops can come home. But we face another choice today. We can withdraw when we have secured the peace and the gains we have sacrificed so much to achieve are safe. Or we can follow Senator Obama's unconditional withdrawal and risk losing the peace even if that results in spreading violence and a third Iraq war. Senator Obama has suggested he would consider sending troops back if that happened. When I bring them home in victory and with honor, they are staying home.

Senator Obama might dismiss defeat in Iraq as the current President's problem. But presidents don't lose wars. Nations do. And presidents don't fight wars. You do, the men and women of the greatest fighting force in the history of the world. The sacrifices you've made deserve to be memorialized in something more lasting than bronze or in the fleeting effect of a politician's speeches. Your valor and devotion have earned your country's abiding concern for your welfare. When our government forgets our debts to you, it is a stain upon America's honor. The Walter Reed scandal recalled not just the government but the people who elect it, to our responsibilities to those who risk life and limb to meet their responsibilities to us.

Those who have borne the burden of war for our sake must be treated fairly and expeditiously as they seek compensation for disability or illness. We owe them compassion, knowledge and hands-on care in their transition to civilian life. We owe them training, rehabilitation and education. We owe their families, parents and caregivers our concern and support. They should never be deprived of quality medical care and mental health care coverage for illness or injury incurred as a result of their service to our country. As President, I will ensure that those who serve today and who have served in the past have access to the highest quality health, mental health and rehabilitative care in the world. The disgrace of Walter Reed will not be forgotten. Nor will we accept a situation in which veterans are denied access to care due to great travel distances, backlogs of appointments, and years of pending disability evaluation and claims. In addition to strengthening the VA, we should give veterans the option to use a simple plastic card to receive timely and accessible care at a convenient location through a provider of their choosing. I will not stand for requiring veterans to make an appointment to stand in line to make an appointment to stand in line for substandard care of the injuries you have suffered to keep our country safe. Whatever our commitments to veterans cost, we will keep them, as you have kept every commitment to us. The honor o f a great nation is at stake.

Let me close by expressing my gratitude for the contributions Hispanic-Americans have made to the security of the country I have served all my adult life. I represent Arizona where Spanish was spoken before English was, and where the character and prosperity of our state owes much to the Arizonans of Hispanic descent who live there. And I know this country, which I love more than almost anything, would be poorer were we deprived of the patriotism, industry and decency of those millions of Americans whose families came here from Mexico, Central and South America.

When you take the solemn stroll along that wall of black granite on the national Mall, it is hard not to notice the many names such as Rodriguez, Hernandez, and Lopez that so sadly adorn it. When you visit Iraq and Afghanistan you meet some of the thousands of Hispanic-Americans who serve there, and many of those who risk their lives to protect the rest of us do not yet possess the rights and privileges of full citizenship in the country they love so well. To love your country, as I discovered in Vietnam, is to love your countrymen. Those men and women are my brothers and sisters, my fellow Americans, an association that means more to me than any other. As a private citizen or as President, I will never, never do anything to dishonor our obligations to them and their families.

No story better exemplifies the sacrifices Hispanic Americans have made for our country than the story of Roy Benavidez. I have told it before, and this won't be the last time I tell it. All Americans need to hear it. Roy Benavidez was the son of a Texas sharecropper, a seventh grade dropout who suffered the humiliation of being constantly taunted as a "dumb Mexican." He grew up to become a master sergeant in the Green Berets, and served in Vietnam. He was a member of that rare class of warriors whose service was so honorable and brave they are privileged to wear the Medal of Honor. He was decorated by Ronald Reagan, who said that if the story of his heroism were a movie "you would not believe it." On May 2, 1968, in an outpost near the Cambodian border, Sergeant Benavidez listened on his radio as the voice of a terrified American, part of a 12 man patrol surrounded by a North Vietnamese battalion, pleaded to be rescued. Armed with only a knife, Roy jumped into a helicopter and took off with a three-man crew to rescue his trapped comrades. When they arrived at the battle, the enemy was too numerous for the helicopter to evacuate the surrounded soldiers. It had to land seventy-five yards away from their position. After making the sign of the cross, Sergeant Benavidez jumped out of the helicopter as it hovered ten feet above the ground, and ran toward his comrades carrying his knife and a medic bag.

He was shot almost immediately, but he got up and kept moving. A grenade knocked him down again, shrapnel tearing into his face. He got up and kept moving.

Reaching the Americans' position, he found four men dead, and all the others badly wounded. He armed himself with an enemy rifle, and began to treat the wounded, distribute ammunition and call in air strikes. He was shot again. He then ordered the helicopter to come in closer as he dragged the dead and wounded aboard. After he got all the wounded aboard, he ran back to retrieve classified documents from the body of a fallen soldier. He was shot in the stomach, and grenade fragments cut into his back. He got up and kept moving, and made it back to the helicopter.

The pilot was shot and the helicopter crashed. Roy pulled the wounded from the wreckage and radioed for air strikes and another helicopter. He kept fighting until air support arrived. He was shot several more times before a second helicopter landed. As he was carrying a wounded man toward it, a North Vietnamese soldier clubbed him with his rifle and stabbed him with a bayonet. Sergeant Benavidez fought him hand to hand, to death. After rescuing three more soldiers, he was finally flown with them to safety.

Bleeding profusely, and completely immobile, a doctor thought him to be dead. Roy was placed in a body bag, before anyone discovered he was still alive. He spent a year in hospitals recovering from seven serious gunshot wounds, twenty-eight shrapnel wounds, and bayonet wounds in both arms.

It took thirteen years for Roy Benavidez to receive his Medal of Honor. But it didn't seem to matter to him. He stayed in the Army. The war, and his forgotten heroism never embittered him. He spent his retirement counseling troubled kids, encouraging them to stay in school and off drugs.

"I'm proud to be an American," Roy Benavidez said as he lay dying in a San Antonio hospital ten years ago. May God bless his soul. And may Americans, all Americans, be very proud that Roy Benavidez was one of us. I wouldn't want to live in a country that didn't recognize how much we needed such a good man.

I prefer to live in a bigger place. I prefer to live in a growing America, as proud of its variety as it is of the ideals that unite us. I prefer to live in a hopeful country. I prefer to live in Roy Benavidez' America.

Thank you very much.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Obama not fit to be Commander in Chief !

Barak Obama while in Germany had the chance to to visit American troops wounded defending American freedom without reporters or cameras being present. He instead chose to speak to a crowd of Germans with all the cameras rolling.

Navy pilot John McCain who spent five years being tortured in the Hanoi Hilton in North Vietnam had a chance to go home early. He instead refused a chance to walk out ahead of his fellow POWs.

Character counts!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Movie: "Mamma Mia!" 5***** out of 5*****

Perfect Summer movie for those over 35 years of age. I loved it and bought the sound track CD on the way home from the movie. I will get this movie in Blu Ray DVD as soon as it is released. The movie is a musical based on ABBA music sung by the actors in the movie. It stars Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan. The movie takes place on a Greek Isle and was filmed there. The story centers on Streep's daughter who is getting married on the island in a few days. Her mother is an American who owns a run down hotel on the island. Her mother conceived her daughter on the island in her hippie days twenty years before. She was involved with three men that summer and doesn't know for certain which of the three is her daughter's father. Her daughter reads her mother's diary and invites all three men to her wedding unknown to Streep -her mother.

I did my yard work early this morning so we could go to the 1:20 showing at Medford's Tinseltown. Some may call the movie a "Chick Flick". If so, it is a "Chick Flick" for old chicks. The theater was almost full and I saw very few young people and not a lot of men. Except for me, it looked like the men that were there were dragged by their wives. The movie is almost non-stop music with one musical production number after another. I am familiar with ABBA music and the movie improved on the music although not every one of the actors is a good singer. Pierce Brosnan is a terrible singer but when he sings it is endearing. The musical numbers are full of life, humor, fun , energy and with beautiful scenery in the background. The high spots are "Dancing Queen", "Momma Mia" and if you have an older child "Slipping Through My Fingers" will bring tears to your eyes. I went to the movie with high expectations and the movie exceeded those. My wife, who rarely wants to see a movie again at the theater, said spontaneously that she would like to see it again at a theater before it goes to DVD. Our 20 something Son was less enthusiastic abut the movie. Meryl Streep is perfect as the aging Hippie mother. Julie Walters and Christine Baranski are very good as her girlfriends who come to the island for her daughter's wedding. The three possible fathers are Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Stellan Skasgard. Amanda Seyfried is cute as the daughter. My only criticism was the print they had at Tinseltown had a scratch that was annoying and at some points was grainy. This is unacceptable for a movie that has only been released for a little over a week.

A perfect summer movie. I love the musical "South Pacific...... well ths is "South Pacific" on steroids! A great memory for the Summer of 08!

(Click on the title for a link to a youtube video of the musical number "Dancing Queen" from the movie)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Security Guard Confirms Late-Night Encounter Between Former Sen. John Edwards, Tabloid Reporters In Beverly Hills Hotel

FOX NEWS has broken the Main Stream Media's "black out" of news about the allegations that John Edwards had a secret meeting with a woman other than his wife at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California earlier this week. The Los Angles Times even sent a memo to their blogers that they were not to report on the story on the newspaper's blogs.

Well, Fox News did some original investigative reporting and got an interview with one of the security guards at the hotel who confirmed much of the report in the National Inquirer. FOX NEWS even has a picture of the restroom door where John Edwards allegedly locked himself "in" to avoid reporters until the security guard, interviewed by FOX NEWS, could rescue him at about 2 in the morning. John Edwards was not a guest at the hotel but the reporters reportedly were checked in guests of the hotel. Click on the title for a link to the FOX NEWS report.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Olympic Hypocrites

The International Olympic Committee has bared athletes from Iraq from participating in the Peking ( I like the old spelling) Olympics because of "political interference" by the Iraq government. Oh, and the Red Chinese Government does not interfere with their Olympic Committee! Ya, right! There are going to be a lot of "good" stories from this Olympics.

Obama Has Time to Go Sightseeing But Not Meet Wounded Troops

Picked this up at the Weekly Standard Blog

Obama Has Time to Go Sightseeing But Not Meet Wounded Troops
Ed Morrissey notes a Der Spiegel report that Obama is skipping his planned meeting with U.S. troops in Germany:

++ Visit to US Military Bases Cancelled ++

1:42 p.m.: SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that Obama has cancelled a planned short visit to the Rammstein and Landstuhl US military bases in the southwest German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. The visits were planned for Friday. “Barack Obama will not be coming to us,” a spokesperson for the US military hospital in Landstuhl announced. “I don’t know why.” Shortly before the same spokeswoman had announced a planned visit by Obama.

Certainly there could be circumstances that justify this, but Obama said this morning: "we've got some down time tonight. What are you guys gonna do in Berlin? Huh? Huh? You guys got any big. plans? ...I've never been to Berlin, so...I would love to tour around a little bit."

Summer of 08

The Rogue River 'Hellgate" Jetboat Dinner Excursion.

Yesterday, my wife and I took off from the the office early and picked up our son at home and drove to Grants Pass for a dinner cruse on the Rogue River. My wife's birthday is still weeks away but we wanted to celebrate it before our son leaves for Kentucky for graduate school in a few weeks. We got to Grants Pass and got our tickets and looked around the large gift store with home decoration items and then had some ice cream while we waited for the cruse to start. We then got on the boat with about 50 other people and headed down the Rogue River to "Hellgate." It was a nice day but not too hot.
(My wife and I on the boat)

Once on the river and into the "wilderness" the Presidential campaign seemed a million miles away. The people on the boat were from all over with about 60% from Oregon and the others from other states. There were some business men from Mississippi and our son even met some ladies from North Dakota and Minnesota. The driver kept up a constant commentary we had heard before.( We have taken this trip several times) At the start of the trip you see the "Million Dollar" homes that have river frontage in the Grants Pass area. You then head into the "wilderness" area and the driver does some "circles" with the boat to get everyone wet. We saw an American Eagle and other birds.

We then sailed through Hellgate" and saw where a number of movies have been made including John Wayne's "Roster Cogburn" with Katherine Hepburn. We then turned around and went back through "Hellgate" again and stopped at a lodge type building high above the river called the "OK Corral" for dinner.

(Son below the "OK Corral" dinner spot)

We sat outside on a large outdoor veranda and were served family style at tables where there were name plates for each group or family. They served a
BBQ Dinner of chicken and ribs. They included beer and wine and a nice desert.
(Our Son and I)

(Son and Wife as we go back to the boat)

We then headed back to the boat for the trip to Grants Pass and of course were gotten wet again as the boat driver caused the boat to stop quickly or turn on a dime. When we got back to Grants Pass we bought a picture of all of us on the boat taken by the Excursion Company. Since our son and I had beer with dinner my wife drove us home.

Summer is good!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Democratic ticket and the John Edwards affair

Byron York writing in "The Hill" comments on allegations that John Edwards had an affair with a woman and had a child with her and was caught this week with her and the child at a hotel in Beverly Hills at the Beverly Hilton at 2:30 in the morning and when confronted by a reporter hid in a hotel bathroom till hotel security came to his rescue. To read his article click on the title for a link. A few quotes:

There’s been a lot of talk lately that former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) will have some sort of role in the Obama administration, if there is one....

.......Now the Enquirer has published a new story under the screaming headline SEN. JOHN EDWARDS CAUGHT WITH MISTRESS AND LOVE CHILD......

What will happen now? Well, we probably won’t hear as many mentions of Edwards as a possible key player in an Obama administration.

Why isn't Edwards denying he was at that hotel at 2:30 in the morning? I might add a hotel where he did not have a room!

Congratulations Son !

Yesterday our son received a check from the "Congressional Quarterly" for two articles he wrote for a book they are publishing on Abraham Lincoln. Our son, a graduate student, who is working on his PhD in History wrote an article on Abraham Lincoln and his Secretary of State, William Seward. The second article was on Lincoln and the anti slavery movement. Previously he received a check from another publication he wrote for on the Civil War and slavery. Congratulations Son, your Mom and I are proud of you! A few years ago his Mother and I, for his birthday, gave him the 6 volume set of Carl Sandburg's "Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and The War Years in hardback." Best present we ever go him.

Washington Post Editorial Critical of Obama on Iraq

Mr. Obama in Iraq
Did he really find support for his withdrawal plan?

THE INITIAL MEDIA coverage of Barack Obama's visit to Iraq suggested that the Democratic candidate found agreement with his plan to withdraw all U.S. combat forces on a 16-month timetable. So it seems worthwhile to point out that, by Mr. Obama's own account, neither U.S. commanders nor Iraq's principal political leaders actually support his strategy.

Gen. David H. Petraeus, the architect of the dramatic turnaround in U.S. fortunes, "does not want a timetable," Mr. Obama reported with welcome candor during a news conference yesterday. In an interview with ABC, he explained that "there are deep concerns about . . . a timetable that doesn't take into account what [American commanders] anticipate might be some sort of change in conditions."

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who has a history of tailoring his public statements for political purposes, made headlines by saying he would support a withdrawal of American forces by 2010. But an Iraqi government statement made clear that Mr. Maliki's timetable would extend at least seven months beyond Mr. Obama's. More significant, it would be "a timetable which Iraqis set" -- not the Washington-imposed schedule that Mr. Obama has in mind. It would also be conditioned on the readiness of Iraqi forces, the same linkage that Gen. Petraeus seeks. As Mr. Obama put it, Mr. Maliki "wants some flexibility in terms of how that's carried out."

Other Iraqi leaders were more directly critical. As Mr. Obama acknowledged, Sunni leaders in Anbar province told him that American troops are essential to maintaining the peace among Iraq's rival sects and said they were worried about a rapid drawdown.

Mr. Obama's response is that, as president, he would have to weigh Iraq's needs against those of Afghanistan and the U.S. economy. He says that because Iraq is "a distraction" from more important problems, U.S. resources devoted to it must be curtailed. Yet he also says his aim is to "succeed in leaving Iraq to a sovereign government that can take responsibility for its own future." What if Gen. Petraeus and Iraqi leaders are right that this goal is not consistent with a 16-month timetable? Will Iraq be written off because Mr. Obama does not consider it important enough -- or will the strategy be altered?

Arguably, Mr. Obama has given himself the flexibility to adopt either course. Yesterday he denied being "so rigid and stubborn that I ignore anything that happens during the course of the 16 months," though this would be more reassuring if Mr. Obama were not rigidly and stubbornly maintaining his opposition to the successful "surge" of the past 16 months. He also pointed out that he had "deliberately avoided providing a particular number" for the residual force of Americans he says would be left behind.

Yet Mr. Obama's account of his strategic vision remains eccentric. He insists that Afghanistan is "the central front" for the United States, along with the border areas of Pakistan. But there are no known al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, and any additional U.S. forces sent there would not be able to operate in the Pakistani territories where Osama bin Laden is headquartered.While the United States has an interest in preventing the resurgence of the Afghan Taliban, the country's strategic importance pales beside that of Iraq, which lies at the geopolitical center of the Middle East and contains some of the world's largest oil reserves. If Mr. Obama's antiwar stance has blinded him to those realities, that could prove far more debilitating to him as president than any particular timetable.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

John Edwards out as a VP option for Obama?

John tell us it isn't true!

UPDATE:See Byron York's comments on National Review online by clicking on the title for a link.

UPDATE: Rush Limbaugh talks about the story on his radio program today 7/23/08. Will the Main Stream Media pick up this story?

UPDATE: EDWARDS RESPONDS: 'I don't talk about these tabloids. Tabloid trash is full of lies.'

Obama Stutters for 7.5 Minutes

Barkak Obama the "inspiring speaker" stuttered today for a total of 7.5 minutes during a 40 minute press conference in Jordan on his "Obama World Tour 2008." Rush Limbaugh on his radio show recorded the press conference and strung together today all the "uhhhhhhs" and "Ummmmmms" with out repeating any and it went on for 7.5 minutes or 18% of the 40 minute press conference. Will post a link to the recoding as soon as it is placed on line. (see below)It was very funny..... Just like David Letterman's bits on President Bush.

Obama: uh, uh, uh, you know, uh, uh, uh, uhh, is...? Uh, is of -- of their work, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, we, uh, uh, I called, uh, uh, and I'm -- I'm -- Uh, with, uh, uh, as, uh, that, uh, and uh, uh, um, uh -- And we have to do this, uh, uh. As -- as well as, eh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh. Well, uh. I, uh, uh, uh, um. We, uh, and, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh. Uh, now, uh, right now and then identify if -- if, uh, you want to, uh, uh, uhhhh. Ummmm. That's -- that's a bunch. Umm, so let me tick these off. Um, it is true that, uh, uh, uh, uhhh, uh, uh. What, uh, uhhh, uh, and, uh, uh, in I-iraq, uh, uh, are seen as, uh -- and so, uh, uh, uhhh, uh, uh, and if I was -- i-if I were in his shoes, uh, uh, uhh, and so, uh, a, uh, um, uh, from some -- someplace else, uh, theeee, uh -- and, uh, t'see, uhhh, that, uhhh --


I now have it. Click on the title for a link to the audio.

Victor Davis Hanson: "If one were to take Obama's recent deer-in-the-headlights comments, stutters, pauses, contortions, and false starts when asked about the surge, and put them into the mouth of Dan Quayle, well, case rested..."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Obama's " Three NEW Press Secretaries!"

Thanks Shean Hannity for the quote.

Get your Obama World Tour 2008 Tee Shirt

John McCain's Guest Essay banned by the New York Times!

The New York Times published a guest essay by Barka Obama less than a week ago. When John McCain submitted a rebuttal for publication the New York Times refused publication. Check out the Drudge Report for details by clicking on the title for a link. Can you say "Media Bias!" John McCain's Guest Editorial rejected by the New York Time is set forth below in it's entirety. So read what the New York Time did not want you to see!

In January 2007, when General David Petraeus took command in Iraq, he called the situation “hard” but not “hopeless.” Today, 18 months later, violence has fallen by up to 80% to the lowest levels in four years, and Sunni and Shiite terrorists are reeling from a string of defeats. The situation now is full of hope, but considerable hard work remains to consolidate our fragile gains.

Progress has been due primarily to an increase in the number of troops and a change in their strategy. I was an early advocate of the surge at a time when it had few supporters in Washington. Senator Barack Obama was an equally vocal opponent. "I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there,” he said on January 10, 2007. “In fact, I think it will do the reverse."

Now Senator Obama has been forced to acknowledge that “our troops have performed brilliantly in lowering the level of violence.” But he still denies that any political progress has resulted.

Perhaps he is unaware that the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad has recently certified that, as one news article put it, “Iraq has met all but three of 18 original benchmarks set by Congress last year to measure security, political and economic progress.” Even more heartening has been progress that’s not measured by the benchmarks. More than 90,000 Iraqis, many of them Sunnis who once fought against the government, have signed up as Sons of Iraq to fight against the terrorists. Nor do they measure Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki’s new-found willingness to crack down on Shiite extremists in Basra and Sadr City—actions that have done much to dispel suspicions of sectarianism.

The success of the surge has not changed Senator Obama’s determination to pull out all of our combat troops. All that has changed is his rationale. In a New York Times op-ed and a speech this week, he offered his “plan for Iraq” in advance of his first “fact finding” trip to that country in more than three years. It consisted of the same old proposal to pull all of our troops out within 16 months. In 2007 he wanted to withdraw because he thought the war was lost. If we had taken his advice, it would have been. Now he wants to withdraw because he thinks Iraqis no longer need our assistance.

To make this point, he mangles the evidence. He makes it sound as if Prime Minister Maliki has endorsed the Obama timetable, when all he has said is that he would like a plan for the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops at some unspecified point in the future.

Senator Obama is also misleading on the Iraqi military's readiness. The Iraqi Army will be equipped and trained by the middle of next year, but this does not, as Senator Obama suggests, mean that they will then be ready to secure their country without a good deal of help. The Iraqi Air Force, for one, still lags behind, and no modern army can operate without air cover. The Iraqis are also still learning how to conduct planning, logistics, command and control, communications, and other complicated functions needed to support frontline troops.

No one favors a permanent U.S. presence, as Senator Obama charges. A partial withdrawal has already occurred with the departure of five “surge” brigades, and more withdrawals can take place as the security situation improves. As we draw down in Iraq, we can beef up our presence on other battlefields, such as Afghanistan, without fear of leaving a failed state behind. I have said that I expect to welcome home most of our troops from Iraq by the end of my first term in office, in 2013.

But I have also said that any draw-downs must be based on a realistic assessment of conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timetable crafted for domestic political reasons. This is the crux of my disagreement with Senator Obama.

Senator Obama has said that he would consult our commanders on the ground and Iraqi leaders, but he did no such thing before releasing his “plan for Iraq.” Perhaps that’s because he doesn’t want to hear what they have to say. During the course of eight visits to Iraq, I have heard many times from our troops what Major General Jeffrey Hammond, commander of coalition forces in Baghdad, recently said: that leaving based on a timetable would be “very dangerous.”

The danger is that extremists supported by Al Qaeda and Iran could stage a comeback, as they have in the past when we’ve had too few troops in Iraq. Senator Obama seems to have learned nothing from recent history. I find it ironic that he is emulating the worst mistake of the Bush administration by waving the “Mission Accomplished” banner prematurely.

I am also dismayed that he never talks about winning the war—only of ending it. But if we don’t win the war, our enemies will. A triumph for the terrorists would be a disaster for us. That is something I will not allow to happen as president. Instead I will continue implementing a proven counterinsurgency strategy not only in Iraq but also in Afghanistan with the goal of creating stable, secure, self-sustaining democratic allies.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

"Movie "Flags of Our Fathers" revisited (Still 5 *****)

Two years ago I saw the movie "Flags of our Fathers" directed by Clint Eastwood at the theater. About 6 months later I purchased the DVD. Last week I purchased the blu ray edition of the DVD at Costco and watched it last night. The blu ray looks great! The movie really stands the test of time. What I wrote two years ago still stands:
A movie for the ages! Some movies are not to be judged by the gross take of the opening weekend and this is one.Long after the last member of "The Greatest Generation" is long gone and the "Baby Boomer Generation" is only a memory to their grandchildren people will be watching this movie. Based upon the book by James Bradley of the same title the movie tell the story of the six men who raised "Old Glory" on Iwo Jima and the picture that became a monument in Washington DC. The author of the book is the son one of those men. The movie is told in flashbacks between the US Bond tour the three survivors took during the war to raise money for the war and the battle of Iwo Jima. This movie ranks with "Saving Private Ryan" in it's realistic depiction of a World War II battle. Suffice it to say it is a good thing CNN was not there because if people knew the true nature of the carnage and "fog of war" there would have been a call to try negations with the Japanese. As you can tell I loved the movie and It will be in my DVD collection when it is released. This is a movie to pass from generation to generation to show that freedom is not free and to bring to life the sacrifice of those who have gone before.

For many years I have had a poster of John Wayne's "Sands of Iwo Jima" to the right of my big screen TV.A great movie but this is better.... yes I had to say it. "Flags of our Fathers" is directed by Clint Eastwood and this movie should get the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director if there is any justice in this world. My only criticism is the music. I would have liked a better score but apparently Eastwood did the score himself. Some people may be put off by the jumping forward and back in time but I think it adds to the movies dramatics effect. This is not a movie for only one viewing.... it should be viewed again and again. Thanks Clint.

For more information on the movie click on the title above for the IMDB (Internet Movie Data Base) page on the movie. For more information on the war read William Manchester's "Goodbye Darkness" an autobiographic account of his service in the US Marines in the Pacific during World War II.

After rewatching the movie I would withdraw my crisicism of the music. It is understated but very good and melancloy.

What an antidote to the "Dark Night!"

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Dark Knight 1* out of 5*****

I hated it! I could not wait till it was over. I kept looking at my watch for the last hour. It all started when our son suggested we go to Medford's Tinseltown Friday night, after work, to see he movie. The movie opened this weekend to almost universally good reviews. I was planing on avoiding the crowds and waiting a few weeks before seeing the movie but our son's enthusiasm for the movie made me change my mind and our son went down Friday morning and got tickets for the 7:00PM showing.
The night started off bad when I found almost all of the previews for coming attractions to be very unappealing. The previews were for the most part were nothing but quick cuts from the movie that tell you very little about the movie other that it has a lot of action.I long for the previews of the 1950's and 1960's. Even the new James Bond movie looked unappealing. Then the "Dark Night" started. It's a dark movie in which evil is always one step ahead of inept law enforcement. The movie gave me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach! One of the few reviewers that didn't like the movie said: "The Dark Knight is the sentinel of our cultural abyss." I guess that is why at the end of the movie many of the large, most young, audience at our movie clapped .... and they weren't clapping because the movie was finally over.... they actually liked the cynical view of the world as expressed in this movie. Movie reviewer Armond White writes Director "Christopher Nolan panders to hip, nihilistic tendencies, forgetting that superheroes are also meant to inspire hope." To read the rest of his excellent review click on the title for a link. I give the movie one star rather than O because of the good production values and generally good acting. Unfortunately they are wasted !

The view this movie takes is summed up by the following line of dialog spoken by one of the movies few hero's turned villain:"You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." Not the way I see the world!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Barack Obama, Says one thing...Does another...

Picked this up from my son's blog:

Barack Obama, Says one thing...Does another...
I thought I would add a little more partisan flavor back to my blog, so here's an effective critique that I came up with for Obama.

Barack Obama pledged that he would accept public funding, yet now he turns it down.
Says one thing... does another...

Barack Obama pledges to be a post-partisan candidate, yet the National Journal ranks him as having the most liberally partisan voting record.
Says one thing... does another...

Barack Obama claims that he floats above the old divisive game of racial politics, yet for 20 years he sat in and contributed $40,000 towards a church that spewed racial hatred into his community.
Says one thing... does another...

Barack Obama claims that he is going to bring government reform and end corruption, yet he received a special real-estate deal from a slumlord and convicted felon.
Says one thing... does another...

Barack Obama claims to be a proud American, yet he holds his own event in the home of political friends who committed acts of terrorism against the United States and have never repented.
Says one thing... does another...

Barack Obama claimed that he would renegotiate NAFTA, but sent surrogates up into Canada to reassure their government that he had no intention of doing such.
Says one thing...does another...

Words may matter, but so do actions. Can we really trust Barack Obama?

Real Men Vote for McCain.... (Top Ten Reasons)

By Lou Aguilar

1. Barack Obama spent 20 years sitting in church while his preacher and others bad-mouthed the United States of America. Navy pilot John McCain spent five years being tortured in the Hanoi Hilton, and refused a chance to walk out ahead of fellow POWs with more seniority.

(To read the other 9 click on the title for a link)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bill Moos AD at University of Washington?

Is the University of Washington nearing an agreement with former Oregon AD, Bill Moos, to become their new Athletic Director ? The University of Oregon required him to sign an agreement with a "non compete clause" before he left in return for an almost 2 million dollar "golden parachute" Is Washington willing to pay the penalty clause to that contract? Click on the title for a link to a recent Seattle Times article on Moos and the University of Washington.

If he were to be hired before the Oregon vs Washington football game on Saturday,August 30th at Autzen stadium in Eugene it would make a big game even bigger. I am sure he would get a big welcome on his return to Eugene (sarcasm). Looking forward to Labor Day weekend! Let's Go Ducks beat the Huskies!

"Fox News and the National Review and columnists of every ilk"

SENATOR OBAMA: "It's infuriating, but it's not surprising, because let's face it: What happened was that the conservative press—Fox News and the National Review and columnists of every ilk—went fairly deliberately at her in a pretty systematic way...and treated her as the candidate in a way that you just rarely see the Democrats try to do against Republicans. And I've said this before: I would never have my campaign engage in a concerted effort to make Cindy McCain an issue, and I would not expect the Democratic National Committee or people who were allied with me to do it. Because essentially, spouses are civilians. They didn't sign up for this. They're supporting their spouse. So it took a toll. If you start being subjected to rants by Sean Hannity and the like, day in day out, that'll drive up your negatives."

Victor Davis Hanson on the National Review blog resonds:

"...this is disingenuous. First, Ms. Obama is the recipient of almost continuously positive attention and press coverage in the network news. In CNN's comparative profiles of the candidates, it dwelt on her accomplishments, while focusing on Ms. McCain's problems with prescription drugs, her privileged status, the circumstances of her meeting John McCain, etc.

Second, Ms. Obama, not on the prompt of the National Review, chose to play a highly partisan role, and, furthermore, publicly to indict American culture and life on the basis of her newfound prominence and exposure as a wife of a candidate, all in a way none of the other spouses of candidates in either party did with the exception of Bill Clinton — who not surprisingly was equally cross-examined.

Most observers, after all, will take offense when told by a potential First Lady that their country heretofore is not the sort of place to inspire pride, or is downright mean, or its people usually "uninvolved and uninformed". Most of us either did not know of Michelle Obama, or, to the extent we did, had a favorable opinion of her as a successful wife, mother, and highly educated and experienced career professional—until in a series of "raise the bar" sermons, she let loose a barrage of indictments against American culture. Once again the pattern proves the same: the Obamas spontaneously offer biting fundamental critiques on the unsoundness of American life and culture, from the important to the silly—whether our national temperament, or our supposed inability to speak a foreign language, or our diet, etc—and then the Senator recoils in anguish and hurt when any of the targets suggests that they are both wrong in their indictments and not especially the sort who can make the case America has been mean or unfair to its citizens.

It is the duty of all journalists to call Obama on his double-standard on every occasion he draws upon it, since we are seeing a dangerous messianic quality in which anything short of the accustomed adoration becomes "infuriating" and a sort of exemption from cross-examination on an always expanding array of topics is demanded."

(Click on title above for link to National Reviews blog)

"John Adams" nominated for 23 Emmys

The Emmy nominations were announce today and the HBO miniseries "John Adams" led all nominees with 23 nominations. They are:

1. Outstanding Art Direction For A Miniseries, Or Movie

2. Outstanding Casting For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special

3.&4. Outstanding Cinematography For A Miniseries Or Movie (2 Nominations)*

5. Outstanding Costumes For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special

6. Outstanding Directing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special

7. Outstanding Hairstyling For A Miniseries Or A Movie

8. Outstanding Lead Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie

(Paul Giamatti as John Adams

9. Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or A Movie

(Laura Linney as Abigail Adams)

10. Outstanding Makeup For A Miniseries Or A Movie (non-prosthetic)

11. Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup For A Series, Miniseries, Movie Or A Special

12. Outstanding Miniseries

13. Outstanding Music Composition For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special (original Dramatic Score)

14. Outstanding Single-camera Picture Editing For A Miniseries Or A Movie

15.& 16. Outstanding Sound Editing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special (2 Nominations)*

17.& 18. Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Miniseries Or A Movie (2 Nominations)*

19. Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special

20.,21.,22. Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Miniseries Or A Movie (3 Nominations)

(David Morse as George Washington)

(Stephen Dillane as Thomas Jefferson)

(Tom Wilkinson as Benjamin Franklin

23. Outstanding Writing For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Dramatic Special

Well done!

* Different episodes received an Emmy nomination

(Click on the title to order your DVD set from or get it at Costco as I did.)

In the Tank for Obama!

Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post proves my point:

"The three network anchors will travel to Europe and the Middle East next week for Barack Obama's trip, adding their high-wattage spotlight to what is already shaping up as a major media extravaganza.

Lured by an offer of interviews with the Democratic presidential candidate, Brian Williams, Charlie Gibson and Katie Couric will make the overseas trek, meaning that the NBC, ABC and CBS evening newscasts will originate from stops along the route and undoubtedly give it big play.

John McCain has taken three foreign trips in the past four months, all unaccompanied by a single network anchor"

Jim Geraghty, a columnist for National Review Online:

Jim Geraghty, a columnist for National Review Online, said: "the networks will be acting as a PR wing for the Obama campaign if they treat any of these photo ops as truly newsworthy breakthroughs."

(Click on the title for a link to the Washington Post column)

Three blind mice.... three blind mice.....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Mamma Mia !"

Have you ever seen a poster for a movie or a play and instantly wanted to see that movie or play you knew nothing about other than the poster?

Four years ago this summer I was in New York City with our daughter for the Republican Convention and I saw the above poster on the marquee of a Broadway theater and thought to myself I want to see that musical play. Move ahead to last summer. My wife and I are with our daughter in London and the above poster is posted all along the long escalators ride that takes you down to the subway or "underground" as it is called England. The musical was playing at a West End theater. Every time we went down or up the escaltor I kept seeing that poster and I kept telling myself "I need to see that musical." I don't know what there was but I found it infectious. I still did not know anything about it. Well, we didn't have time to see it in London BUT they have now made a movie of it and it will open here in Medford at Tinseltown on Friday. They changed the poster for the movie! Not good! In the last few weeks at other movies I have attended I have seen previews for "Mamma Mia" and now know more about it than the poster.

According to the IMDB it's about 20 year old Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) who has a problem. It's almost her wedding day and she doesn't know who her father is. It could be any of 3 of her mother's (Meryl Streep) *past* suitors. The only way to find out is to invite all three to her wedding on a Greek Island and see what happens. The music in this musical are the hit songs of the popular '70s group ABBA. Two of her potential fathers are played by Pierce Brosnan ( of James Bond fame) and Colin Firth. For more information about the movie click on the title for a link to the IMDB page for the movie. I think I will have time this week-end to finally see what the poster is all about.

( New poster for the movie.... NOT AS GOOD !)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

If Teddy Roosevelt were running for President again would you vote for him?

Click on the title for a link to a new John McCain TV ad titled "Love" narrated by actor Powers Booth. It is very powerful.