Monday, August 31, 2009

End to Two Grim Fairy Tales




Andrew Breitbart the founder of the news Web site breitbart.com and co-author of "Hollywood Interrupted: Insanity Chic in Babylon - the Case Against Celebrity." has written a column that compares media coverage of Edward Kennedy and Michael Jackson. It is well written and so true! A few quotes:


With the deaths of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy and Michael Jackson, the summer of '09 marked the merciful ends to Camelot and Neverland, iconic American fairy tales whose story lines should have come to merciful ends long ago when their charismatic protagonists took dark and irredeemable turns.


************

My condolences go to the Kennedy and Jackson families, who should not be stained by the sins of their kin.

************

The supporters of Mr. Kennedy, and to a lesser degree Mr. Jackson, elevate and promote "social justice" and "economic justice" as the highest human goals. Upon the deaths of Mr. Jackson and Mr. Kennedy, the media continue to erase their ugly backgrounds hoping their eternal celebrity can serve these collective ideals.

But the rubes - those of us skeptical of moral relativism, media manipulation and the cult of celebrity - prefer "justice justice."

Only when the "elite" among us begin to see things like us - and not in the unrealistic fairy tales crafted by our liberal betters - will Americans begin to live happily ever after.


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

Transcript of Dick Cheney on 'FOX News Sunday'



**************

CHENEY: Chris, my sort of overwhelming view is that the enhanced interrogation techniques were absolutely essential in saving thousands of American lives and preventing further attacks against the United States, and giving us the intelligence we needed to go find Al Qaeda, to find their camps, to find out how they were being financed. Those interrogations were involved in the arrest of nearly all the Al Qaeda members that we were able to bring to justice. I think they were directly responsible for the fact that for eight years, we had no further mass casualty attacks against the United States.

It was good policy. It was properly carried out. It worked very, very well.

****************

WALLACE:Republicans have made the charge before, do you think Democrats are soft on National Security?

CHENEY: I do, I've always had the view that in recent years anyway that they didn't have as strong of advocates on National Defense or National Security as they used to have, and I worry about that, I think that things have gotten so partisan that the sort of the pro defense hawkish wing of the Democratic party has faded and isn't as strong as it once was.

WALLACE: Now that he has been in office for seven months, what do you think of Barack Obama?

CHENEY: Well, I was not a fan of his when he got elected, and my views have not changed any. I have serious doubts about his policies, serious doubts especially about the extent to which he understands and is prepared to do what needs to be done to defend the nation.

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

Sunday, August 30, 2009

"Moderate Voters Misread Obama" by Steve Chapman



Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune:

Among independents, Obama beat John McCain by an 8-point margin. The reason John Kerry lost and Obama won, as Democratic pollster Douglas Schoen has noted, was not liberal voters: They voted for both in the same proportion. The difference was that while Kerry had a 9-point edge over his Republican opponent among moderates, Obama carried them by 21 points. Obama also did significantly better among conservatives than Kerry.

************

His promise of change was eloquent enough to motivate the left wing of his party but vague enough to make him acceptable to people in the middle.

**********

But the 44th president apparently thought he had a mandate for the expansion of federal power and responsibility, which he has used on everything from bailing out automakers to showering the economy with stimulus dollars to trying to overhaul health insurance. He and his allies have therefore been surprised to face a surge of angry opposition, including some based on wild flights of paranoia.

What they forgot is that the surest way to mobilize American political opposition, irrational as well as rational, is to enlarge the government's role in our lives...

***********

One symbol used by the colonies in their revolt against the king of England was a coiled rattlesnake above the slogan: "Don't tread on me." Obama may be learning that, even for elected leaders, it's still good advice

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

Thursday, August 27, 2009

AD Mike Bellotti in Medford Last Night


Click on the title for a link to the Medford Mail Tribune story about Mike Bellotti speaking last night to the Oregon Club of Southern Oregon about his new job as Athletic Director for the University of Oregon. It was a nice evening in Medford Oregon and it was nice to meet and talk to Mike. It's always fun to get together with other Ducks! The college football season is almost here Go Ducks!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kennedy R.I.P. by Jonah Goldberg



Posted on "The Corner" on National Review Online by Jonah Goldberg:

I'm staying mostly silent about Ted Kennedy for reasons that should be obvious. There was obviously a good side to him. He cared greatly about his causes. He was personally charming. He worked tirelessly and nurtured many careers. I could go on, but others more passionate about the man can say it better.

But here's one tip for liberals outraged that anyone would speak ill of the dead in regard to Kennedy. Such protests are fair for the moment. But they lose all legitimacy the moment liberals try to use his memory to steam roll a health-care bill through Congress. If they want to invoke his memory or legacy as a reason to pass their partisan version of health-care reform, that is their right. But they should not then say that nobody should dare criticize Kennedy. That's not making an argument for health-care reform, that is simple bullying and I see no reason why opponents of the Democratic push should cave in to it.


It didn't take long:

Ailing Senator Robert Byrd, today isssued the following statment:

In his honor and as a tribute to his commitment to his ideals, let us stop the shouting and name calling and have a civilized debate on health care reform which I hope, when legislation has been signed into law, will bear his name for his commitment to insuring the health of every American.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fouad Ajami:"Obama's Summer of Discontent"



If you want the 2008 Presidential election and what has followed summed up in one article click on the title for a link to a Wall Street Journal column by Fouad Ajami. Professor Ajami teaches at the School of Advanced International Studies, at Johns Hopkins University. He is also an adjunct fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. For copyright reasons I can't post the entire article but if you only read one thing about politics for the next year this is the article to read. A few quotes:

*****************

The man was elected amid economic distress. Faith in the country's institutions, perhaps in the free-enterprise system itself, had given way. Mr. Obama had ridden that distress. His politics of charisma was reminiscent of the Third World. A leader steps forth, better yet someone with no discernible trail, someone hard to pin down to a specific political program, and the crowd could read into him what it wished, what it needed.


****************

In contrast,(with Ronald Reagan) there is joylessness in Mr. Obama. He is a scold, the "Yes we can!" mantra is shallow, and at any rate, it is about the coming to power of a man, and a political class, invested in its own sense of smarts and wisdom, and its right to alter the social contract of the land. In this view, the country had lost its way and the new leader and the political class arrayed around him will bring it back to the right path.

Thus the moment of crisis would become an opportunity to push through a political economy of redistribution and a foreign policy of American penance. The independent voters were the first to break ranks. They hadn't underwritten this fundamental change in the American polity when they cast their votes for Mr. Obama.
******************

Those protesters in those town-hall meetings have served notice that Mr. Obama's charismatic moment has passed. Once again, the belief in that American exception that set this nation apart from other lands is re-emerging. Health care is the tip of the iceberg. Beneath it is an unease with the way the verdict of the 2008 election was read by those who prevailed. It shall be seen whether the man swept into office in the moment of national panic will adjust to the nation's recovery of its self-confidence.


Again, read the entire column by clicking on the title for a link. Best thing I have read, in a long time, that explains whats going on in this country.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Cheney On Obama White House: can we trust them to protect us?



Former Vice President Dick Cheney gave The Weekly Standard a statement Monday night about the CIA documents and the coming Justice Department investigation.

"The documents released Monday clearly demonstrate that the individuals subjected to Enhanced Interrogation Techniques provided the bulk of intelligence we gained about al Qaeda. This intelligence saved lives and prevented terrorist attacks. These detainees also, according to the documents, played a role in nearly every capture of al Qaeda members and associates since 2002. The activities of the CIA in carrying out the policies of the Bush Administration were directly responsible for defeating all efforts by al Qaeda to launch further mass casualty attacks against the United States. The people involved deserve our gratitude. They do not deserve to be the targets of political investigations or prosecutions. President Obama’s decision to allow the Justice Department to investigate and possibly prosecute CIA personnel, and his decision to remove authority for interrogation from the CIA to the White House, serves as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many Americans have doubts about this Administration’s ability to be responsible for our nation’s security"


UPDATE:




A statement from Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman on AG Holder's decision to name a prosecutor to investigate and potentially criminally charge CIA interrogators:


I respectfully regret this decision by Attorney General Holder and fear our country will come to regret it too because an open ended criminal investigation of past CIA activity, which has already been condemned and prohibited, will have a chilling effect on the men and women agents of our intelligence community whose uninhibited bravery and skill we depend on every day to protect our homeland from the next terrorist attack. Career prosecutors in the Department of Justice have previously reviewed allegations of abuse and concluded that prosecution was not warranted, with the exception of one CIA contractor who has already been convicted. President Obama has established clear guidelines to ensure that past abuses are not repeated and has stated his desire to look forward rather than backward.

“We cannot take for granted the fact that our homeland has not been attacked since September 11, 2001. That has occurred only because of the constant vigilance and unflinching efforts by those brave individuals in our military, civilian homeland security and counterterrorism agencies, and the intelligence community. These public servants must of course live within the law but they must also be free to do their dangerous and critical jobs without worrying that years from now a future Attorney General will authorize a criminal investigation of them for behavior that a previous Attorney General concluded was authorized and legal.”

Eating our own!


U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Mich., the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, issued the following statement after the Department of Justice released portions of a CIA IG report on terrorist interrogation and Attorney General Eric Holder announced he was naming a prosecutor to investigate CIA officers engaged in counterterrorism:

"At the same time the situation in Afghanistan is getting decidedly worse and the Taliban is advancing, the Obama Justice Department is launching an investigation that risks disrupting CIA counterterrorism initiatives. This is the last thing that should happen when the president is sending more troops into harm’s way, and the nation’s top military officer, Admiral Mike Mullen, said over the weekend that al-Qaeda still remains a threat to America and our interests abroad.

"Attorney General Holder should know that as he increases the focus on America’s past counterterrorism efforts, he is distracting from the CIA’s current counterterrorism efforts. Having recently been forced to drop cases due to prosecutorial misconduct at DOJ, the attorney general argued that these were rare instances and not part of a broader problem. The same can be said of the CIA, where the agency initiated the investigation, reported cases of misconduct and disciplined the officers involved.

"It is important to note that incidences of inappropriate, unauthorized conduct cited in the 2004 IG report were dealt with. The unauthorized conduct has been exhaustively reviewed in the past, including by the committee. That the Obama administration apparently is planning to reopen these cases after thorough review by nonpartisan prosecutors raises serious questions.

"President Obama has said repeatedly that he wants to move forward, but his Justice Department seems intractably stuck in reverse. The message from the administration is completely confused, and the men and women at the CIA who we ask to protect our nation have been left in the lurch.

"The attorney general needs to stop his zealous attempt to make this out to be a systemic problem, when unlike cases such as the 2001 Peru shoot down, the CIA IG did not find evidence that there was a systemic problem. Disgruntled lawyers at DOJ, having lost the debate that America’s counterterrorism efforts should be focused on prevention not prosecution, need to put an end to this bureaucratic turf battle.

"The American people have made it clear, they want the CIA to focus on exactly what its mission should be—disrupting and defeating our nation’s enemies and preventing the next attack."


"Doom marches on"

Don't worry, be happy !


Your Uncle Sam has put each and every one of you citizens of the United States $191,831 in debt for unfunded government liabilities. Click on the title for a link to the U.S. National Debt Clock and watch the debt climb. Of course this doesn't even take into consideration the cost of Obamacare. Don't Worry be happy our grand kids will have to pay it :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

34th Anniversary at Callahans


My wife and I celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary on Saturday night by going to dinner at Callahans Lodge high up on the Siskiyou Pass. We have been going to Callahans for at last 35 years and love the live music. Most nights they have a lone singer with a guitar and an electric key broad. He can sing most kinds of music but I Like him best when he sings folk songs. Three or so years ago the lodge burned down and they have now rebuilt it better than ever and it is a beautiful setting for dinner. In fact, we had dinner there the night before it burned down. They also have lodging and hold wedding out on their back deck and lawn. While we were there Saturday night we ran into Perry one of our best friend's son who was in a wedding party for a wedding that was going on at Callahans while we eat. We also got to meet his new wife and son. Robin, his mother, was also there for the wedding and came by our table. We have plans to take Robin back to Callihans for her birthday in October.

What with the wedding going on there were a lot of people there Saturday night. We were given a table in the bar near the singer. He asked if there was anything we would like him to sing and I requested "Follow Me" a John Denver song that was performed by a folk singer at our wedding. He also sang a Neil Diamond song for my wife and an Anniversary song. The singer is very down home and not at all a "Lounge lizard." He is very nice and a good singer and knows thousands of songs. The food was good and it was serendipitous to be having a 34th wedding anniversary and watching a young couple getting married at the same time. I hope they are still married and happy 34 years in the future.

After dinner we drove down I-5 to Ashland and stopped by Lithia park and went to the Perozzi Fountain where we were married 34 years ago. The weather was perfect and all in all a great summer night.

To find out more information about Callahans Lodge click on the title for a link to their web site.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Terrorists Go Scot Free


Andrew C. McCarthy has a column today on National Review online about the release yesterday by Scotland of a terrorist who was convicted in a court of law of killing 270 people, including 189 Americans. A few quotes:

There was precious outrage in some mainstream media quarters Friday over the Obama administration’s pusillanimous reaction to Scotland’s release of PanAm 103 bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi. But what were they expecting?

Megrahi has been transferred home to Libya. The release of the Lockerbie terrorist was said to be on humanitarian grounds, because Megrahi is said to be terminally ill. The action, though, was totally discretionary on Scotland’s part and could have been stopped by Britain.


**********


Obviously, the fecklessness of the Obama administration in response to Scotland’s release and Libya’s celebration of a terrorist who murdered 270 people, including 189 Americans, is outrageous. But the Obama administration is staffed with appeasers who all but ensure outcomes of this sort. What did we think the attitude of other countries was going to be when we put these folks in charge?



It should be noted that the killer of 270 innocent people got a hero's welcome when he returned to Libya. To read more of the column click on the title for a link.

" Doom marches on!"


"Virtuous motives, trammelled by inertia and timidity, are no match for armed and resolute wickedness. A sincere love of peace is no excuse for muddling hundreds of millions of humble folks into total war. The cheers of weak, well-meaning assemblies soon cease to echo, and their votes soon cease to count. Doom marches on.”
Winston Churchill

Happy Anniversary



This weekend my wife and I are celebrating our Wedding Anniversary. 34 years ago we were married outside in Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon at the Preozii Fountain. Congratulations to my wife for putting up with me for so long.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

You are never too old for Popsicles


Particularly on a hot day. It wouldn't be Summer with out them. It's 100 degrees in Medford, Oregon

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Dog Days of Summer


It's 104 degrees in Medford, Oregon at 4 pm.

"Where have you gone, Barack Obama"



Michael Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the New York Daily News, has a devastating column today on President Obama. Some Quotes:

Writing about his "campaign stops" for his health care proposals

It all seemed a campaign ritual, dulled by time and beleaguered by circumstance, prompting a flashback in my head to the Paul Simon song about Joe DiMaggio.

Where have you gone, Barack Obama? Where is the sunny-side-up young man who promised to inspire and unite an unhappy nation?

**************

Obama fatigue occasionally surfaced during the campaign, but this is different. He's the President, and if the country tunes him out, there is no Plan B. He's the rock star-turned-salesman, and everything in his administration depends on his stage act.

That the novelty is wearing thin is obvious. The danger is that the health care fiasco turns him into an unpopular and ineffective President.

***************

With stubborn wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and an economy still bleeding, you'd think a new President would have challenges enough. Yet Obama has plunged into the health care mess as though it is a battle of absolute necessity.

It isn't. It is his choice. And it is a mistake.

If he's the man we thought he was, he'll now choose to make peace, before the country concludes he's the mistake


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

John Wayne: America Why I Lover Her!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Gallup: Conservatives outnumber Liberals


Self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals in all 50 states of the union, according to the Gallup Poll. Nationwide, 40% identify themselves as conservative. 35% as moderate and only 21 % as liberal.

Even in Oregon Conservatives outnumber Liberals with 33% calling themselves Conservative vs 27% calling themselves Liberal with moderates the largest group at 37%. The bad new for Oregon is it is one of the most liberal states with only the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Vermont and Hawaii having a larger percentage of Liberals.

Click on the title for a link to the news story and detailed Gallup results.

Bob Novak 1931-2009


Legendary columnist and journalist Robert Novak died today. I will miss him. I knew this was coming but it is sad that he is gone. As a political junkie since I was a kid I never missed a Novak column. He was a voice of sanity on CNN in the days before FOX NEWS. I sometimes didn't agree with him but I always respected him and his sources. He was a columnist who actually did real reporting rather than just relying on opinion. Rest in Peace Bob. The Fighting Illini of the University of Illinois lost a big fan today.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement Tuesday regarding the passing of Robert Novak:

"For more than half a century, Robert Novak explained the politics and the personalities of Washington to readers across the country through a mix of tireless shoe leather reporting and the kind of keen insight that can only be gained through years and years of dedication to a craft. He was a Washington institution who could turn an idea into the most discussed story around kitchen tables, Congressional offices, the White House, and everywhere in between. Elaine and I extend our deepest sympathies to the entire Novak family.”

The following from an editorial today in the Chicago Sun-Times newspaper the flagship newspaper of his column:

Bob saw America as the inheritor, greatest manifestation and guardian of the best of Western civilization. He was introduced to those values at the University of Illinois through a freshman course on the history of Western civilization. Recalling that time in his 2007 memoir The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington, Bob wrote, “It was a golden moment for a 17-year-old boy from Joliet, leading to four years of exploration in the riches of our heritage: Plato, Aristotle, Chaucer, Castiglione, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Milton, John Donne, Hawthorne, Melville, T.S. Eliot — dead white men all. How barren would be my life without that background?”
(To read more click on the title for a link)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Happy Birthday!






Pretty nifty look whose...........

Long Weekend


My wife and I have had a very nice weekend.

Friday, after work we stopped by the Rogue Valley Mall to get the Sports Illustrated with the Oregon Ducks on the cover. Thanks to a tip from a friend we found it at Walden Books and got the last two copies. We then walked the full length of the mall and I found a Bob Dylan album I didn't have call "Real Live" from 1984 on sale for less than %5.00. It was recorded on a European tour and the audience really gets into a couple of songs that makes the album. I normally do not like Dylan's "live" albums but this is an exception along with a couple of others. We then went home and did our house cleaning and ended the day watching the blu ray copy of the movie "27 Dresses" we had checked out of the Jackson County Library. The movie was cute and the lead resembled someone we know real well!

Saturday, we got up early (for me on a Saturday) and did our yard work before it got too hot. For lunch I had hot dogs on the back deck. I then went to the Jackson County Library to pick up some movies I that had put on "hold" for me. After getting gas for the car I returned home and we watched a Netflix blu ray copy of the movie "Annapolis" ( OK but not very original..... can you say "Officer and a Gentleman") and then we watch a library blu ray copy of "Juno" which was very good. I ended the day watching several episodes of a BBC series call "The Edwardians." Good writing but poor production values... to be expected from an early 70's BBC program.

Sunday we got up and read the Sunday paper.... lots of liberal slant on health care. We then drove to Galice in Josephine County on the Rogue River to have lunch on the deck of the Galice Resort overlooking the Rogue. It was a perfect day and the place was not too crowded. It's a favorite stopping place for rafters on the Rogue.
They have fixed up the place but it still has that rustic woodsy charm. We both has burgers with fries and had a very enjoyable outing. On the way back we stoped at various lookout to watch the river and the rafters. We then stopped at a junk/antique store in Murphy and I found a "gem" for $2.00. A CD Soundtrack for the movie "Animal House," one of the greatest comedy movies ever made if not the best. Did I say it was filmed at the University of Oregon? We listened to the CD on the way back to Medford and every song remind me a great scenes from the movie. My favorite is when Stephen Bishop is singing a terrible folk song on the fraternity stairway with some coeds watching and John Belushi (Bluto) grabs his guitar and smashes it. You can hear the sound of the guitar being smashed on the soundtrack. There is dialog from the movie as an introduction to several songs including the Bluto "did we give up when the German's bombed Pearl Harbor" speech. Yes, a collectors item worth a lot more than $2.00. A good weekend.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Death Panels "debunked".... not so!




In this mornings Medford Mail Tribune I found this interesting quote from the Associated Press on page one.


Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin refused to retreat from her debunked claim that a proposed health care overhaul would create "death panels," as the growing furor over end-of-life consultations ......
(emphasis added)


"Debunked" by who..... the New York Times, Associated Press, the Medford Mail Tribune. The liberal media is deathly afraid of this issue because it will kill a government takeover of heath care and they know it. The liberal media who think the American people don't know what's good for them are engaging in a big smear on this issue to help out the Democrats and Barack Obama. To prove my point all we need to do is look at Obama's own words.

Barack Obama in an April 2009 New York Times interview, said a "very difficult democratic conversation" would have to take place regarding restraining the cost of end-of-life care:


THE PRESIDENT: So that’s where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues. But that’s also a huge driver of cost, right?

I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here.

DAVID LEONHARDT: So how do you — how do we deal with it?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think that there is going to have to be a conversation that is guided by doctors, scientists, ethicists. And then there is going to have to be a very difficult democratic conversation that takes place. It is very difficult to imagine the country making those decisions just through the normal political channels. And that’s part of why you have to have some independent group that can give you guidance. It’s not determinative, but I think has to be able to give you some guidance. And that’s part of what I suspect you’ll see emerging out of the various health care conversations that are taking place on the Hill right now.(emphasis added)

Sounds like DEATH PANELS to me.

I am a big advocate in allowing people the freedom to decide how they will leave this life..... however the decision should be theirs and not some bureaucratic "Death Panel" that tells them that at age 84 open heart surgery is too expensive. If we allow a government take over of health care there will be rationing and "death panels and I know it sure as the turning of the earth.

As moderate Republican Senator Chuck Grassly of Iowa, who is working on a compromise health care bill, said:

"There is some fear because in the House bill, there is counseling for end-of-life," Grassley said. "And from that standpoint, you have every right to fear. You shouldn't have counseling at the end of life. You ought to have counseling 20 years before you're going to die. You ought to plan these things out. And I don't have any problem with things like living wills. But they ought to be done within the family. We should not have a government program that determines if you're going to pull the plug on grandma."



Wall Street Journal Editorial

Elderly Americans are turning out in droves to fight ObamaCare, and President Obama is arguing back that they have nothing to worry about. Allow us to referee. While claims about euthanasia and "death panels" are over the top, senior fears have exposed a fundamental truth about what Mr. Obama is proposing: Namely, once health care is nationalized, or mostly nationalized, rationing care is inevitable, and those who have lived the longest will find their care the most restricted.

***
Far from being a scare tactic, this is a logical conclusion based on experience and common-sense. Once health care is a "free good" that government pays for, demand will soar and government costs will soar too. When the public finally reaches its taxing limit, something will have to give on the care and spending side. In a word, care will be rationed by politics....


To read the rest click on the title for a link

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Obama," is a stranger to the country's heart and character."


Dorothy Babinowitz a member of the Wall Street Journal's editorial board wrote this today:

The president has a problem. For, despite a great election victory, Mr. Obama, it becomes ever clearer, knows little about Americans. He knows the crowds—he is at home with those. He is a stranger to the country's heart and character.

He seems unable to grasp what runs counter to its nature. That Americans don't take well, for instance, to bullying, especially of the moralizing kind, implicit in those speeches on health care for everybody. Neither do they wish to be taken where they don't know they want to go and being told it's good for them.

Who would have believed that this politician celebrated, above all, for his eloquence and capacity to connect with voters would end up as president proving so profoundly tone deaf? A great many people is the answer—the same who listened to those speeches of his during the campaign, searching for their meaning.


It took this battle over health care to reveal the bloom coming off this rose, but that was coming. It began with the spectacle of the president, impelled to go abroad to apologize for his nation—repeatedly. It is not, in the end, the demonstrators in those town-hall meetings or the agitations of his political enemies that Mr. Obama should fear. It is the judgment of those Americans who have been sitting quietly in their homes, listening to him.


To read the rest click on the title for a link

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

"Obama Pretty Blatantly Lies About Single Payer" (Updated)


Jim Geraghty of "The Campaign Spot" blog on National Review Online:

Obama Pretty Blatantly Lies About Single Payer at New Hampshire Town Hall ( August 11, 2009)

"I have not said that I am a supporter of a single-payer system," Obama tells the crowd in New Hampshire.

The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire, August 19, 2008: "Obama Touts Single-Payer System for Health Care":

Barack Obama said he would consider embracing a single-payer health-care system, beloved by liberals, as his plan for broader coverage evolves over time.

“If I were designing a system from scratch, I would probably go ahead with a single-payer system,” Obama told some 1,800 people at a town-hall style meeting on the economy.


(Click on title for a link)

UPDATE:

More Lies?


OBAMA: "We have the AARP on board because they know this is a good deal for our seniors,”

AARP STATEMENT: While the President was correct that AARP will not endorse a health care reform bill that would reduce Medicare benefits, indications that we have endorsed any of the major health care reform bills currently under consideration in Congress are inaccurate."

DUCKS make cover of Sports Illustrated


This from "Duck Feed" on goducks.com:

The magazine's annual college football preview features the Ducks among four teams that grace the cover, depending on your geographic location.

Oregon juniors Jeremiah Masoli and Jordan Holmes are the cover boys for the western U.S. and will be staring out from news stands and airport gift shops from Seattle to Tempe in August. Acclaimed SI photographer Peter Read Miller visited Eugene in July and shot the duo in the Moshofsky center.

The other three teams with quarterback/center duos on regional covers are Oklahoma State, Ole Miss and Penn State.


I hope this time it is good luck?

Winston & Robin


Robin Lawson of Ashland, Oregon died on Sunday of a rare brain disease..... he was 70years old. Robin Lawson was born Jan. 24, 1939 in England and spent his formative years there during World War II. He emigrated to the United States at 19. He became a "personality" in Southern Oregon where he was known as a jazz musician, TV and radio journalist and served for 8 years as an assistant to Republican Congressman Bob Smith.

He also had a long running one man show where he acted as Winston Churchill. A number of years ago I took our then 10 year old daughter to one of his shows put on at the downtown Medford Southern Oregon Historical Society Building. It was a wonderful show and we both loved it. I had started reading to our children some of Winston Churchill's books,in place of bedtime stories, when they were very young in order that they would share my admiration for Winston Churchill as the greatest person of the 20th Century. Robin's performance bought Churchill to life for our daughter. A few years after watching Robin Lawson's show our daughter did her own show as Winston Churchill at a 6th grade school program known as "Night of the Notables." I still have that picture of her with that unlit cigar, bowler hat and vested suite. She now works for a US Congressman in Washington DC. Summer before last she took her mother and I on a trip to England and we all went to Churchill's home at Chartwell and also went to Churchill's World War II Bunker in Whitehall where he and his war cabinet directed the war during the London Blitz.

A few years ago I was performing a wedding ceremony in Ashland and Robin Lawson was one of the guests. I wanted to go over to him to express my appreciation for his performance as Churchill. The ceremony started and I didn't get a chance. I now wish I had.

I don't' know if there is a Heaven; but, if there is I hope Winston and Robin are sitting by a fireplace in overstuffed chairs having cigars and brandy together.

(Click on the title for the Mail Tribune news story about Robin Lawson)

Monday, August 10, 2009

10 Questions on Government Health Care


10 question Senator Tom Coburn suggest you ask your Congressman and/or Senator about the government takeover of Health care.



1. Will it increase health care spending by over 1 trillion dollars?

2. What programs will you cut and whose taxes will you raise to pay for health-care reform? How much will the United States have to borrow and for how long?

3. What earmarks or pet projects that you have sponsored will you sacrifice to help finance the cost of health-care reform?

4. Will you vote for a public option that requires taxpayer-funded abortion?

5. If the public option is so wonderful, will you lead by example and vote for a plan to enroll you and your family in the public option?

6. Will you vote for a plan that will allow a board of politicians and bureaucrats to override decisions made by you and your doctor?

7. If you support a “comparative effectiveness” board, what qualifies you, as a politician, to practice medicine? Have you delivered health care to a single person, much less entire classes of people you claim to represent, such as the poor, the uninsured, or children?

8. How will a government-run public option perform better than other failing government programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid, and Indian Health Care?

9. If increasing spending on health care was the solution, why hasn’t it worked yet?

10. Are you more committed to doing reform right or quickly? Would you consider backing a thoughtful alternative to the public option? If so, which one?

Be sure to ask the questions politely so they can not accuse you of being "un American."

John Boehner's statement on Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer's op-ed calling rowdy protesters "un-American"


U.S. House minority leader John Boehner's statement on Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer's op-ed In USA Today calling rowdy protesters "un-American"


“For months, House Democratic leaders have worked to silence any opposing views in this health care debate, both here in Washington and around the country where millions of Americans are struggling in this economy. Every poll taken in the last month shows that a majority of Americans are concerned about, if not outright opposed to, the Democrats’ plan because of the cost and consequences it would mean for their own health care. Each public forum should give every participant the opportunity to express their views, but to label Americans who are expressing vocal opposition to the Democrats’ plan “un-American” is outrageous and reprehensible.

“The American people deserve answers to basic questions about whether the Democrats’ plan will increase health care costs, add to the deficit, increase taxes on middle-class families and small businesses, put government between doctors and patients, force anyone to lose their current health coverage, kill jobs, promote taxpayer-funded abortion, or cut Medicare. The fact is Democrats have not been able to address the very real concerns the American people have.

“It’s time for Democrats to start listening. When we return to Washington in September, Democrats should scrap their costly plan and finally work on bipartisan reforms that give Americans what they are seeking: better access to affordable."

Strangestbrew's College Football Schedulizer



If your are "in" to college football click on the title for a link to the "Strangestbrew College Football Schedulizer" This website should be listed on your "favorites" or "bookmarked" for your Saturday's this Fall. You can get a list for your favorite conference or teams for each of the 15 weeks of the college football season along with what games are on TV, their record to date, the betting line etc. The games can be listed by starting time and can be programed for your time zone. You can color code your schedule by conference and have teams listed with their logo or helmets all in a nice color chart.This site is a MUST for college football fans.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Joe Giansante: "If we lose 8,000 alums in Medford, we’re picking up 50,000 alums in Seattle.”



With Oregon's 2009 football season less than a month away I thought I would repost an almost one year old quote from Joe Giansante of the University of Oregon Athletic Department. In a year nothing has changed! Most Oregon fans in Southern Oregon who have Charter Cable, satellite TV (The Dish/Direct TV) or get over the air TV have not gotten most Oregon Sports Network (OSN) programs for almost a year! We have missed football games,replays,coaches shows,many basketball games, baseball and track. For a year there has been no word on when we can expect to start getting the broadcast we had received for many years when OSN and Chambers Communications were cooperating. Now with the football season only weeks away it would be nice if this situation could be resolved!

The following is my post of almost a year ago (August 27, 2008)that outlines the problem:
The above quote is from an interview of Joe Giansante in a news story on the front page of the Eugene Register Guard Newspaper on the Television deal between the University of Oregon's Oregon Sports Network (OSN), IMG and Comcast SportsNet Northwest Cable TV channel. The problem is that large areas of Oregon including Medford do not have that channel available on non Comcast cable providers such as Medford's Charter Cable TV. There is a link to the news story by clicking on the title above. Joe is a heck of a nice guy and bleeds green and yellow but my guess is that is a quote he would like to take back. How many of those alums in Seattle pay Oregon taxes that support the University of Oregon. Yes, I know the athletic department is self supporting but it has to represent a University that is in this case a public university in the state of Oregon. Ah, to gain Seattle but lose Medford. Grants Pass, Klamath Falls, Roseburg and Bend! In addition, for every alumnus in Southern Oregon there are many more Duck fans who never took a class at the U of O because the Ducks are the home state team. I bet outside of the alumni there are not many Duck fans in Seattle! You fans in Eugene don't be too satisfied ...... under this deal you are only going to get the live games on OSN but not the replays, coaches shows etc. Let's hope this is a "work in progress"! To put Giansante's quote in context here are a few more quotes from the RG news story:


Giansante said the university believes that Comcast SportsNet is on the cusp of becoming the dominant regional sports network. “They have the (Portland Trail) Blazers, and now they have the Ducks, and everyone else who wants to be there are going to have to work around us,” he said.

Giansante acknowledged that the university is concerned about potential backlash from viewers who live in areas without over-the-air reception or who can’t afford cable. About 20 percent of the area TV market does not have cable or satellite, Giansante said. While the three football games to be shown on Comcast SportsNet include an over-the-air alternative, that won’t be true for all UO sports or contests.

Comcast SportsNet encountered a similar outcry when it landed the Trail Blazers broadcast rights, with games unavailable to viewers living in areas outside Comcast SportsNet’s reach.

“The tough thing is, we have fans everywhere who are equal in their passion for Oregon sports,” he said. “But when networks like these grow, these are the growing pains. If we lose 8,000 alums in Medford, we’re picking up 50,000 alums in Seattle.”


September 14, 2008 post


Today in an attempt to put pressure on Charter Cable in Southern Oregon, Comcast Sportsnet ran a full page yellow/black/green ad in the sports section of Medford's Mail Tribune, Sunday newspaper. The full page ad has a large picture of an Oregon Duck football player with number "00" and states: "DUCK FANS, DON'T MISS A MOMENT OF COVERAGE. TO GET COMCAST SPORTSNET CONTACT DIRECTTV, DISH NETWORK OR CHARTER BY CALLING 877-8CSNNW-9" The ad doesn't say how much Comcast Sportsnet is charging but I have talked to a source here in Southern Oregon who confirms $2.00 per Charter Cable subscriber per month is close. Typically Comcast will not allow a cable operator like Charter to put Comcast Sportsnet on a higher "Sports Tier" so only those that want it will pay the additional cable cost. If you polled most Charter customers in Southern Oregon, they would not want to increase their cable bill by $2.00 to get the Mike Bellotti show and a few Oregon football and basketball games that they used to get free. Hopefully there can be some compromise between Charter and Comcast... make it happen!

I called the number on the ad and reached a recorded message that said that the cable provider in my area did not have Comcast Sportsnet and then transferred me to Charter Cable where I get their regular recorded call menu of options for incoming calls.
Labels: Sports

Friday, August 07, 2009

Ducks Fall Football Practice Starts Today!


Fall Football Practice for the University of Oregon Ducks starts today. It will be 27days till the first game on Thursday September 3 for a night game, Labor Day Weekend, against the hated Boise State in Boise, Idaho on ESPN in a nationwide TV game. Oregon is looking for revenge for last years loss to Boise State and some cheep shots by Boise players during the game. This will be a BIG game. Let's Go Ducks!

The stores have all their "back to school" merchandise on display and the pace of the summer of 09 is speeding up.

It's going to be a Hot August!



I just picked this up from The Weekly Standard:


The statement from the Democrat National Committee:


"It's disgusting that rather than condemning this hate filled symbolism and mob activity, the highest echelons of the Republican party from Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck on down, are encouraging it - and that the likes of Michael Steele, Eric Cantor and John Boehner are fanning the flames of this is reprehensible. The repeated use of Nazi symbolism at community meetings by the Republican incited mob proves that these protests have nothing to do with health care, but rather that the Republican party is willing to sink to the lowest, most despicable levels to accomplish their goal of "breaking" President Obama. As we saw last fall, this is exactly the type of hateful tone that the American people overwhelmingly rejected and these Republican tactics will no doubt backfire once again."


Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard's responds:

When this statement went out two hours ago, Eric Cantor was in Jerusalem praying at the Western Wall -- not exactly an easy place from which to encourage Nazism. And by the way -- when you're putting out a quote about Nazis, it's probably best to stay away from the phrase "fanning the flames." What's next, accusing Republicans of gassing health care reform?

Obama: ‘Don’t Want the Folks Who Created the Mess to Do a Lot of Talking’



Earlier he wanted our friends and neighbors to snitch on us...... now, he wants to limit our First Amendment right to free speech. You don't believe it?.....click on the title for a link to a You Tube video of his speech in Virginia.

UPDATE: From National Review Online Blocg "The Corner"


American Caesar [Kathryn Jean Lopez]


Yesterday, at a rally for R. Creigh Deeds in Virginia, President Obama said: "I don't want the folks who created the mess do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess. I don't mind cleaning up after them, but don't do a lot of talking."

For Barack Obama, democracy appears to be a distraction. He really does seem to view himself as a Caesar.

Shortly after taking office, Obama held a meeting with governors. At the time, one person in the room relayed Obama's request that critics and skeptics of the stimulus plan keep their concerns to themselves. Just let me do it, was his attitude. He got pushback and he wasn't happy. He wanted democratically elected state governors to shut up so he could do as he pleased. He knows better and we should respect that, seems to be the attitude.

And if you disagree, you'll have Rahm to deal with.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

What is AARP afraid of?


Click on the title for a link to a You Tube Video of an AARP Town Hall Meeting on Health Care in Dallas, Texas on August 4, 2009 in which the AARP official only wanted to present one point of view. When they couldn't they took their microphone and went home. I am not a member of AARP and I never will be one!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

HORNBLOWER (Updated)





This last weekend I spent 14 plus hours watching the 8 movies on DVD of the "Hornblower" series from the A&E cable network. I have seen the set on sale at Costco a number of times and was put off by it's price. However, I found the Jackson County library had the set so I "checked it out." Unlike Netflix I could get the entire 8 DVD set at one time. A great way to beat the heat here in Southern Oregon by sailing the high seas with Horatio Hornblower and his fictional exploits during the Napoleonic Wars. Hornblower is the fictional British naval hero of a series of novels by C. S. Forester, written in the 1930's to the 1960's and later the subject of films and television programs. According to Wikipedia, Ernest Hemingway is quoted as saying, "I recommend Forester to everyone literate I know." and Winston Churchill stated, "I find Hornblower admirable." The 8 movies are each self contained movies of his life and not a mini series. The first movie starts with him being a young 17 year old midshipman and the last movie has him as the captain of a ship.

I first fell in love with he character of Hornblower when I saw the 1951 film "Captain Horatio Hornblower" which stared Gregory Peck in the title role and Virgina Mayo as the love interest at a drive-in movie theater with my parents. In that movie Peck plays Hornblower later in life as an older more experienced naval ships captain. He has that "stiff upper lip" quality I so admire in some Englishmen. About a year ago I bought that movie on DVD.

Gene Roddenberry was influenced by the Hornblower character while creating the Star Trek characters James T. Kirk. In fact one of the few things I find unrealistic about the Hornblower movies is he,as captain of his ship, always leads the on shore missions just as Captain Kirk does from the star ship Enterprise.

In the A& E series Ioan Gruffudd plays Horatio Hornblower and
Robert Lindsay plays Captain (and later Commodore and Admiral) Sir Edward Pellew. Captain and later Admiral Pellew is Hornblowers mentor and I particularly like the father/son relationship that develops between the two men. Gruffudd also is in the excellent movie "Amazing Grace" (2006) and plays the British slavery abolitionist William Wilberforce. He was also in the movie "Black Hawk Down."

On of my favorite quotes from the last movie of the series called "Duty:"

Admiral Sir Edward Pellew: You see things, sir, that others do not. One thing you do not question is your loyalty to your King. One day,
Hornblower, you'll fight for more than England.

Commander Horatio Hornblower: What is there more than England?

Admiral Sir Edward Pellew: [He pointedly does not answer]


At the 1980 Democratic National Convention, President Jimmy Carter was in the midst of his accepting the party's nomination for a second term, when he invoked the full name of the late Vice-President Humphrey. In doing so, he gaffed the name, referring to "Hubert Horatio Hornblower....Humphrey!" I remember watching that on TV and had a good laugh at Jimmy Carter's expense. I liked Hubert Horatio Humphrey but he loved to talk and I have no doubt that is what Carter called him in private!

Another movie that is on the same historical period is "Master and Commander"(2003) with Russell Crowe. I have that movie on Blu-ray DVD.

At the end of the weekend It was hard to take the Hornblower DVD set back to the library. It was like saying good-by to an old friend.

UPDATE:

Last night I re watched my copy on DVD of the 1951 film "Captain Horatio Hornblower" which stared Gregory Peck in the title role and Virgina Mayo as the love interest. It takes place at a time after the last movie of the A&E series and has a lot more meaning after you have the "back story" of the the A&E films. The 1951 movie has some "Hollywood" touches that are "corny" but for the most part it holds up very well and in some ways is more emotionally compelling. Virginia Mayo adds a lot! She was very beautiful. Nice love story.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Be Careful........Big Brother is Watching You!


Does the White House want you to turn in your friends and family?

This morning, the White House posted on their blog a note asking Americans to report anything they get or see about health care reform “that seems fishy.”

From the White House website…

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things/

There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to flag@whitehouse.gov.


Next.... they will be compiling an "Enemies List" and you may be on it!

Obama's Health Care vs.The Self-Employed


I am self-employed and no one provides me with health insurance.I go on the open market and purchase health insurance for my family. I am not alone. There are over 22 million Americans that are self-employed. As a result the following information from the National Association for the Self-Employed is of personal importance to me about the new Obama heath care plan:


Posted by Kristie Arlsan - Did you know that there are over 22 million Americans that are self-employed? And in this economy that number is growing larger every day. You would think that with so many Americans taking care of their families and creating jobs through self-employment, Congress would be certain to pay more attention to the needs of this growing demographic. Unfortunately, that is not the case, especially when it comes to health reform.

There are two items of importance to the self-employed that are glaringly absent from all of the reform proposals currently being put forth by Congress. One missing item is a fix for the deductibility of health insurance for the self-employed. Under the current tax code, corporations are able to deduct health insurance premiums as a business expense and to forgo payroll taxes on these expenses. In addition, their employees are able to pay for health coverage with pre-tax dollars. However, sole proprietors are unable to deduct premiums as a business expense. Since they do not receive this deduction, they are required to pay significantly more in self-employment tax, their payroll taxes. How much is the extra tax each year? The self-employed must pay 15.3% in self-employment taxes. A business owner paying $6,000 per year on health insurance must also pay $918.00 in additional self-employment taxes because of this inequality in the tax code, a substantial sum for the smallest of businesses. There is legislation in the House (H.R. 1470) and Senate (S.725) to level the playing field for the self-employed, yet these provisions have not been included nor offered as amendment to the larger health reform bills.

A second item that has been missing in action yet would greatly increase the affordability of health coverage for the self-employed and their employees is the expansion of Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). HRAs are a flexible benefit option that allows small business owners to reimburse employees tax free for out-of-pocket medical costs, including health insurance premiums. A key benefit of an HRA is that they do not require the business owner to purchase a group health plan. Thus, setting up an HRA can offer some financial assistance to employees of micro-businesses that are unable to afford group health insurance. Additionally, since cost is such a crucial factor for the self-employed, an HRA gives the owner consistency and stability in health benefit costs.

At present, sole proprietors are not eligible to participate in an HRA; an inequity that negatively impacts millions of business owners and employees. Improving Health Reimbursement Arrangements to allow the self-employed business owner to participate in the plan would likely significantly increase the number owners and employees of micro-businesses receiving health benefits and financial assistance with medical costs. Why is this so important to health reform? Due to their size, the self-employed will be exempt from the employer mandate included in health reform legislation. HRAs would be a great way for them to receive and provide to their employees some financial assistance for health care costs.

Regrettably, expansion of Health Reimbursement Arrangements is not on the radar screen of policymakers on the Hill. In fact, we have heard rumblings that Senate Finance may actually want to take away the tax deductibility associated with HRAs in order to help finance their health reform proposal.

Well, it is business as usual here in our nation's capital, where big business and in this case "larger" small businesses gets all the breaks and the self-employed are left paying the bill.