Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Polanski Double Standard

This news story has bothered me for 32 years! I could not understand why Hollywood and the arts community would continue to honor this fugitive from justice. The guy is a convicted criminal and because he is "talented" we are to overlook it? Not me..... I was overjoyed when they arrested him in Switzerland. Switzerland may be a "neutral country" but this is not about politics .... it's about right and wrong and they prosecute criminals even in "neutral countries." Bill Bennett has a good post on the "Corner" blog of National Review.

The Polanski Double Standard [Bill Bennett]

At a certain point, "shut up and sing," or "shut up and act," or "direct," or "produce," will not cut it. Before we are anything else, we are citizens and human beings. And no matter what our profession, we not only have to follow common bonds of decency but the common laws of civility, not to mention the civil and criminal laws too. That's not a tall order.

Here's the CNN squib:

Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar and Martin Scorsese have "demanded the immediate release" of fellow filmmaker Roman Polanski, who was arrested in Switzerland on a U.S. arrest warrant related to a 1977 childsex charge.

They were among 138 people in the film industry who signed a petition against the arrest.

Polanski was on the way to the Zurich Film Festival when Swiss police detained him in response to the American warrant.

The filmmaker pleaded guilty in 1977 to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor but fled before he could be sentenced. He settled in France, where he holds citizenship. Investigators in the United States say Polanski, then 43, drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl.

Let me repeat this last part: He drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl. And he plead guilty — but then fled the country.

One entertainer got it right, the singer Jewel. Here's a Tweet she sent out yesterday: "Polanski admitted raping a 13 yr old-whys every1 in the arts upset hes facing jail? cause hes a gifted director? what am i missing?"

Let me say one last thing about this. Time passed is not the issue, and neither is accomplishment in the arts — justice and the message we send is precisely the issue. As Mark Steyn notes, what are we going to do, start an "Artists United for Pedophile Rapists" movement here?

When scandals turned up in the Catholic church, the elites — as everyone — were rightly shocked. It was a major, several year story. And the abuses investigated, detailed, and condemned went back to 1950, 27 years earlier than Polanski's crime. Priests and parishes and archdioceses were punished and sued and even bankrupted. There is a major double standard here — not because that is what is wrong, but because what Polanski did was wrong and too many want to dismiss it and move on — because he's in the favored class of the elite.

Are these artists and other Polanski defenders really saying a child can be drugged and raped, a 13-year-old child mind you, and the consequence is time, for simply time — never mind fleeing justice — will heal that? This is a horrible message, and the artistic industry, so callous to claims about lyrics encouraging this kind of trashy behavior in the past, better get it right when the behavior is real and when the message they send is one that most people — rightly — abhor. You want to know why Michael Medved titled his book Hollywood v. America? It wasn't because of this case, but it might just as well be now. Who defends child rape? Well, now you know who.


Steve Loqez in the Los Angels Times has a column and quotes from the Grand Jury testimony of the 13 year old victim that will cause your hair to stand on end. He also writes about Polanski's defenders:

But I wish the renowned legal scholars Harvey Weinstein and Debra Winger, to name just two of Polanski's defenders, were here with me now. I'd like to invite Martin Scorsese, as well, along with David Lynch, who have put their names on a petition calling for Polanski to be freed immediately.

What, because he won an Oscar? Would they speak up for a sex offender who hadn't?

To hear these people tell it, you'd think Polanski was the victim rather than the teenager.

And then there's Woody Allen, who has signed the petition too.

Woody Allen?

You'd think that after marrying his longtime girlfriend's adopted daughter, he'd have the good sense to remain silent. But at least Soon-Yi Previn was a consenting adult.

I'd like to show all these great luminaries the testimony from Polanski's underage victim, as well as Polanski's admission of guilt. Then I'd like to ask whether, if the victim were their daughter, they'd be so cavalier about a crime that was originally charged as sodomy and rape before Polanski agreed to a plea bargain. Would they still support Polanski's wish to remain on the lam living the life of a king, despite the fact that he skipped the U.S. in 1977 before he was sentenced?

(Click on the title for a link to the LA Times article)

A pig in a tux is still a pig!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Sarkozy's Contempt for Obama

French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy is upset with President Obama because he believes he is naive about dealing with the Iranians and their development of nuclear weapons.Last week at the United Nations Sarkozy wanted to confront Iran over their having a secret site for building nuclear weapons. President Obama did not want this subject to "rain on his parade" because he wanted to give an uplifting speech on the world peace and getting rid of all nuclear weapons. Thus, the United States pressured Sarkozy to keep quiet until the Pittsburgh meetings over the weekend of the major economic nations. With all of this background it's interesting to read the speech the French Prime Minister gave at the United Nations Security Council meeting after Obama's "uplifting" speech on eliminating all nuclear weapon in some type of Utopian world:

France fully supports your initiative to organize this meeting and the efforts you undertook with Russia to reduce nuclear arsenals. But let us speak frankly – we are here to guarantee peace.( and not give naive speeches)
We are right to speak of the future, but before the future there is the present, and at present we have two nuclear crises.
The people of the entire world are listening to what we’re saying, to our promises, our commitments and our speeches, but we live in a real world, not a virtual world.(Sounds like a dig at Obama and his belief in a world that does not exist)
We say: reductions must be made. And President Obama has even said, “I dream of a world without [nuclear weapons].” Yet before our very eyes, two countries are currently doing the exact opposite. Since 2005, Iran has violated five Security Council resolutions. Since 2005, Secretary-General, the international community has called on Iran to engage in dialogue. An offer of dialogue was made in 2005, an offer of dialogue was made in 2006, an offer of dialogue was made in 2007, an offer of dialogue was made in 2008, and another one was made in 2009. ( But Obama wants to offer another hand!)President Obama, I support the Americans’ outstretched hand. But what did the international community gain from these offers of dialogue? Nothing. More enriched uranium, more centrifuges, and on top of that, a statement by Iranian leaders proposing to wipe a UN member State off the map.
What are we doing? What conclusions are we drawing? There comes a time when facts are stubborn and decisions must be made.(We need Obama to get some backbone)If we want in the end to have a world without nuclear weapons, let us not accept the violation of international rules.

I understand perfectly well the various positions of the different parties, but all of us may one day be threatened by a neighbour who has obtained a nuclear weapon.

Second, North Korea. It gets even better: they have violated all Security Council deliberations since 1993, and they disregard everything that the international community says, everything. What’s more, they are continuing their ballistic tests.

How can we accept this? What conclusions can we draw from it? I say that at some point, all of us – regardless of our positions in other respects – will have to work together to adopt sanctions and to ensure that the UN Security Council’s decisions are effective.
Finally, I share the opinion expressed by the President of Uganda and the Chinese President with respect to access to civil nuclear energy. We, the nuclear powers, must agree to technology transfers so that everyone can have access to this clean energy. I would add that this will make it possible to avoid deliberate confusion on the part of those who claim to be carrying out nuclear research for civilian purposes while they’re doing it for military purposes.

So, ladies and gentlemen, my dear colleagues, this is what I believe, in full support of what was decided in the resolution and in full support of President Obama’s initiative. What I believe is that by having the courage to strengthen sanctions, together, against countries that violate Security Council resolutions, we will give credibility to our commitment to a world whose future holds fewer nuclear weapons and perhaps, one day, no nuclear weapons.
(Comments within the parentheses are mine and not Sarkozy's)

Jack Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:

Nicolas Sarkozy was furious with Barack Obama for his adolescent warbling about a world without nuclear weapons at a meeting Mr. Obama chaired of the United Nations Security Council last Thursday (9/24).....

What infuriated President Sarkozy was that at the time Mr. Obama said those words, Mr. Obama knew the mullahs in Iran had a secret nuclear weapons development site, and he didn't call them on it.

Tonight on Fox News Jack Kelly reported that his sources are telling him that Sarkozy believes Obama is naive and egotistic. So egotistic that he believes that his personality will be able bring the Iranians around and so arrogant he will not accept any advise to the contrary. That if the United States will not lead there will be no leadership in a very dangerous world.
Doom marches on.

(Click on the title for a link to a Wall Street Journal take on the same subject)

Monday, September 28, 2009

You Mislead! Fact-checking Obama.

By Michael F. Cannon and Ramesh Ponnuru

It is a good thing that other congressmen did not follow Rep. Joe Wilson’s lead. If they yelled out every time President Obama said something untrue about health care, they would quickly find themselves growing hoarse.

By our count, the president made more than 20 inaccurate claims in his speech to Congress. We have excluded several comments that are deeply misleading but not outright false. (For example: Obama pledged not to tap the Medicare trust fund to pay for reform. But there is no money in that “trust fund,” anyway, so the pledge is meaningless.) Even so, we may have missed one or more false statements by the president. Our failure to include one of his comments in the following list should not be taken to constitute an endorsement of its accuracy, let alone wisdom

To read the 20 inaccurate claims click on the title for a link.

Michael F. Cannon is director of health-policy studies at the Cato Institute. Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor at National Review.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Canzano: Aliotti's smash-mouth defense leaves Oregon smiling

More on Oregon's win over the Cal Bears yesterday. The Oregonians Canzano has a nice column about Oregon's Defensive Coordinator Nick Aliotti. Oregon fans including myself have given Aliotti a lot of guff over the years for a "bend but don't break" defense that sometimes does both. No one should ever question Nick's effort because he gives everything he has in his job. It is always good when nice thing happen to good people. Click on the title for a link. A short quote from the column:

Said Phil Knight, as he exited the Ducks' locker room: "I'm in shock."

Feels good, doesn't it?

Aliotti has coached 25 players at Oregon who went on to play in the NFL. His defense led the country in tackles behind the line of scrimmage two years ago. But too often, his defenses haven't attacked enough or performed well enough, and so what we had on Saturday was a four-quarter smash-mouth symphony

2009 Oregon Uniform Tracker Win/Loss

Click on the title for a link to follow the Oregon Duck Football uniform changes through the 2009 season. This is just for fun! I vote we wear the throwback uniforms again!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Oregon Ducks 42, #6 Cal Bears 3

Just got back to Medford from the game. As the Oregon Offense was running up the score against the #6 Cal Bears a fan behind me was heard saying: "WHO ARE THESE GUYS!" about an Duck offence that before this game has been to be charitable inconsistent.Joey Harrington and his dad, also an Oregon QB, were at the game and were Honorary Captains.What a wonderful day at Autzen. What with the win , the throwback uniforms, the crowd and the weather it was the best of times. Congratulation to the team and coach it was a great day to be a Duck. Go Ducks Win the Day!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Oregon Ducks vs Cal Bears

The world is going to h*** in a hand basket, but it's time for a weekend of college football. This Saturday afternoon my Ducks will play the Cal Bears in Eugene for a ABC regional TV game. For this game the Ducks will wear "retro" uniforms similar to the ones they wore in the 1994 Rose Bowl season. Hope it brings them some luck. Win the Day! Lets Go Ducks!

No Health Insurance: Go To Jail !

Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to a year in jail or a $25,000 penalty,

Israel: "Yes We Can!"

The Israeli ambassador this morning on FOX NEWS.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Netanyahu & Churchill: "the unfortunate habit of civilized societies to sleep until danger nearly overtakes them."

Today Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a powerful speech at the United Nations sounding the alarm against Iran and it's acquiring nuclear weapons.His speech is a warning to Barack Obama and the world that unless the civilized world acts Israel will be required to act to save itself and the rest of the civilized world from an Iranian Holocaust.The speech:
Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Nearly 62 years ago, the United Nations recognized the right of the Jews, an ancient people 3,500 years-old, to a state of their own in their ancestral homeland.

I stand here today as the Prime Minister of Israel, the Jewish state, and I speak to you on behalf of my country and my people.

The United Nations was founded after the carnage of World War II and the horrors of the Holocaust. It was charged with preventing the recurrence of such horrendous events.

Nothing has undermined that central mission more than the systematic assault on the truth. Yesterday the President of Iran stood at this very podium, spewing his latest anti-Semitic rants. Just a few days earlier, he again claimed that the Holocaust is a lie.

Last month, I went to a villa in a suburb of Berlin called Wannsee. There, on January 20, 1942, after a hearty meal, senior Nazi officials met and decided how to exterminate the Jewish people. The detailed minutes of that meeting have been preserved by successive German governments. Here is a copy of those minutes, in which the Nazis issued precise instructions on how to carry out the extermination of the Jews. Is this a lie?

A day before I was in Wannsee, I was given in Berlin the original construction plans for the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Those plans are signed by Hitler's deputy, Heinrich Himmler himself. Here is a copy of the plans for Auschwitz-Birkenau, where one million Jews were murdered. Is this too a lie?
This June, President Obama visited the Buchenwald concentration camp. Did President Obama pay tribute to a lie?

And what of the Auschwitz survivors whose arms still bear the tattooed numbers branded on them by the Nazis? Are those tattoos a lie? One-third of all Jews perished in the conflagration. Nearly every Jewish family was affected, including my own. My wife's grandparents, her father's two sisters and three brothers, and all the aunts, uncles and cousins were all murdered by the Nazis. Is that also a lie?

Yesterday, the man who calls the Holocaust a lie spoke from this podium. To those who refused to come here and to those who left this room in protest, I commend you. You stood up for moral clarity and you brought honor to your countries.But to those who gave this Holocaust-denier a hearing, I say on behalf of my people, the Jewish people, and decent people everywhere: Have you no shame? Have you no decency?
A mere six decades after the Holocaust, you give legitimacy to a man who denies that the murder of six million Jews took place and pledges to wipe out the Jewish state.
What a disgrace! What a mockery of the charter of the United Nations! Perhaps some of you think that this man and his odious regime threaten only the Jews. You're wrong.

History has shown us time and again that what starts with attacks on the Jews eventually ends up engulfing many others.

This Iranian regime is fueled by an extreme fundamentalism that burst onto the world scene three decades ago after lying dormant for centuries. In the past thirty years, this fanaticism has swept the globe with a murderous violence and cold-blooded impartiality in its choice of victims. It has callously slaughtered Moslems and Christians, Jews and Hindus, and many others. Though it is comprised of different offshoots, the adherents of this unforgiving creed seek to return humanity to medieval times.
Wherever they can, they impose a backward regimented society where women, minorities, gays or anyone not deemed to be a true believer is brutally subjugated. The struggle against this fanaticism does not pit faith against faith nor civilization against civilization.

It pits civilization against barbarism, the 21st century against the 9th century, those who sanctify life against those who glorify death.
The primitivism of the 9th century ought to be no match for the progress of the 21st century. The allure of freedom, the power of technology, the reach of communications should surely win the day. Ultimately, the past cannot triumph over the future. And the future offers all nations magnificent bounties of hope. The pace of progress is growing exponentially.

It took us centuries to get from the printing press to the telephone, decades to get from the telephone to the personal computer, and only a few years to get from the personal computer to the internet.

What seemed impossible a few years ago is already outdated, and we can scarcely fathom the changes that are yet to come. We will crack the genetic code. We will cure the incurable. We will lengthen our lives. We will find a cheap alternative to fossil fuels and clean up the planet.

I am proud that my country Israel is at the forefront of these advances - by leading innovations in science and technology, medicine and biology, agriculture and water, energy and the environment. These innovations the world over offer humanity a sunlit future of unimagined promise.

But if the most primitive fanaticism can acquire the most deadly weapons, the march of history could be reversed for a time. And like the belated victory over the Nazis, the forces of progress and freedom will prevail only after an horrific toll of blood and fortune has been exacted from mankind. That is why the greatest threat facing the world today is the marriage between religious fanaticism and the weapons of mass destruction.

The most urgent challenge facing this body is to prevent the tyrants of Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Are the member states of the United Nations up to that challenge? Will the international community confront a despotism that terrorizes its own people as they bravely stand up for freedom?

Will it take action against the dictators who stole an election in broad daylight and gunned down Iranian protesters who died in the streets choking in their own blood? Will the international community thwart the world's most pernicious sponsors and practitioners of terrorism?
Above all, will the international community stop the terrorist regime of Iran from developing atomic weapons, thereby endangering the peace of the entire world?

The people of Iran are courageously standing up to this regime. People of goodwill around the world stand with them, as do the thousands who have been protesting outside this hall. Will the United Nations stand by their side?

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The jury is still out on the United Nations, and recent signs are not encouraging. Rather than condemning the terrorists and their Iranian patrons, some here have condemned their victims. That is exactly what a recent UN report on Gaza did, falsely equating the terrorists with those they targeted.

For eight long years, Hamas fired from Gaza thousands of missiles, mortars and rockets on nearby Israeli cities. Year after year, as these missiles were deliberately hurled at our civilians, not a single UN resolution was passed condemning those criminal attacks. We heard nothing - absolutely nothing - from the UN Human Rights Council, a misnamed institution if there ever was one.

In 2005, hoping to advance peace, Israel unilaterally withdrew from every inch of Gaza. It dismantled 21 settlements and uprooted over 8,000 Israelis. We didn't get peace. Instead we got an Iranian backed terror base fifty miles from Tel Aviv. Life in Israeli towns and cities next to Gaza became a nightmare. You see, the Hamas rocket attacks not only continued, they increased tenfold. Again, the UN was silent.

Finally, after eight years of this unremitting assault, Israel was finally forced to respond. But how should we have responded? Well, there is only one example in history of thousands of rockets being fired on a country's civilian population. It happened when the Nazis rocketed British cities during World War II. During that war, the allies leveled German cities, causing hundreds of thousands of casualties. Israel chose to respond differently. Faced with an enemy committing a double war crime of firing on civilians while hiding behind civilians - Israel sought to conduct surgical strikes against the rocket launchers.

That was no easy task because the terrorists were firing missiles from homes and schools, using mosques as weapons depots and ferreting explosives in ambulances. Israel, by contrast, tried to minimize casualties by urging Palestinian civilians to vacate the targeted areas.

We dropped countless flyers over their homes, sent thousands of text messages and called thousands of cell phones asking people to leave. Never has a country gone to such extraordinary lengths to remove the enemy's civilian population from harm's way.

Yet faced with such a clear case of aggressor and victim, who did the UN Human Rights Council decide to condemn? Israel. A democracy legitimately defending itself against terror is morally hanged, drawn and quartered, and given an unfair trial to boot.

By these twisted standards, the UN Human Rights Council would have dragged Roosevelt and Churchill to the dock as war criminals. What a perversion of truth. What a perversion of justice.
Delegates of the United Nations,

Will you accept this farce?

Because if you do, the United Nations would revert to its darkest days, when the worst violators of human rights sat in judgment against the law-abiding democracies, when Zionism was equated with racism and when an automatic majority could declare that the earth is flat.

If this body does not reject this report, it would send a message to terrorists everywhere: Terror pays; if you launch your attacks from densely populated areas, you will win immunity. And in condemning Israel, this body would also deal a mortal blow to peace. Here's why.

When Israel left Gaza, many hoped that the missile attacks would stop. Others believed that at the very least, Israel would have international legitimacy to exercise its right of self-defense. What legitimacy? What self-defense?

The same UN that cheered Israel as it left Gaza and promised to back our right of self-defense now accuses us -my people, my country - of war crimes? And for what? For acting responsibly in self-defense. What a travesty!

Israel justly defended itself against terror. This biased and unjust report is a clear-cut test for all governments. Will you stand with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists?

We must know the answer to that question now. Now and not later. Because if Israel is again asked to take more risks for peace, we must know today that you will stand with us tomorrow. Only if we have the confidence that we can defend ourselves can we take further risks for peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All of Israel wants peace.

Any time an Arab leader genuinely wanted peace with us, we made peace. We made peace with Egypt led by Anwar Sadat. We made peace with Jordan led by King Hussein. And if the Palestinians truly want peace, I and my government, and the people of Israel, will make peace. But we want a genuine peace, a defensible peace, a permanent peace. In 1947, this body voted to establish two states for two peoples - a Jewish state and an Arab state. The Jews accepted that resolution. The Arabs rejected it.

We ask the Palestinians to finally do what they have refused to do for 62 years: Say yes to a Jewish state. Just as we are asked to recognize a nation-state for the Palestinian people, the Palestinians must be asked to recognize the nation state of the Jewish people. The Jewish people are not foreign conquerors in the Land of Israel. This is the land of our forefathers.

Inscribed on the walls outside this building is the great Biblical vision of peace: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation. They shall learn war no more." These words were spoken by the Jewish prophet Isaiah 2,800 years ago as he walked in my country, in my city, in the hills of Judea and in the streets of Jerusalem.

We are not strangers to this land. It is our homeland. As deeply connected as we are to this land, we recognize that the Palestinians also live there and want a home of their own. We want to live side by side with them, two free peoples living in peace, prosperity and dignity.

But we must have security. The Palestinians should have all the powers to govern themselves except those handful of powers that could endanger Israel.

That is why a Palestinian state must be effectively demilitarized. We don't want another Gaza, another Iranian backed terror base abutting Jerusalem and perched on the hills a few kilometers from Tel Aviv.

We want peace.

I believe such a peace can be achieved. But only if we roll back the forces of terror, led by Iran, that seek to destroy peace, eliminate Israel and overthrow the world order. The question facing the international community is whether it is prepared to confront those forces or accommodate them.

Over seventy years ago, Winston Churchill lamented what he called the "confirmed unteachability of mankind," the unfortunate habit of civilized societies to sleep until danger nearly overtakes them.

Churchill bemoaned what he called the "want of foresight, the unwillingness to act when action will be simple and effective, the lack of clear thinking, the confusion of counsel until emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong."

I speak here today in the hope that Churchill's assessment of the "unteachibility of mankind" is for once proven wrong.

I speak here today in the hope that we can learn from history -- that we can prevent danger in time.

In the spirit of the timeless words spoken to Joshua over 3,000 years ago, let us be strong and of good courage. Let us confront this peril, secure our future and, God willing, forge an enduring peace for generations to come

The United States led by President Obama and the world will not act! Time is running out and doom marches on.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Obama at United Nations, "Wilsonian"... ...."with Woodstock-style utterances "

This from National Reviews blog "The Corner":

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton tells NRO that President Obama’s address to the U.N. was “a post-American speech by our first post-American president. It was a speech high on the personality of Barack Obama and high on multilateralism, but very short in advocating American interests.”

“It was a very naïve, Wilsonian speech, and very revealing of Obama’s foreign policy,” says Bolton. “Overall, it was so apologetic for the actions of prior administrations, in an effort to distance Obama from them, that it became yet another symbol of American weakness in the wake of the president’s decision to abandon missile sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, and his recent manifest hesitation over what to do in Afghanistan.”

“The most significant point of the speech was how the president put Israel on the chopping block in a variety of references, from calling Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegitimate to talking about ending ‘the occupation that began in 1967.’ That implies that he supports going back to 1967 borders,” says Bolton. “Obama has a very tough road ahead. He is frequently taking the side of the Palestinians, who don’t have a competent leader who can make hard decisions and compromises in the future.”

Just what we need in this dangerous world another Woodrow Wilson (sarcasm)

UPDATE: From Nile Gardiner Washington-based foreign affairs analyst and political commentator . He appears frequently on American and British television and radio, including Fox News Channel, CNN, BBC, Sky News, and NPR.

It’s always a bad sign when a US president gets several rounds of heavy applause at the UN General Assembly, as Barack Obama did this morning in New York. Needless to say, the loudest cheers from the gathering of world leaders came when he condemned the actions of a close US ally, Israel, in continuing to build settlements in the West Bank. You can always rely on attacks on the Israelis to generate the biggest roars of approval at any meeting of the United Nations, and Obama dutifully obliged....

Overall this was a staggeringly naïve speech by President Obama, with Woodstock-style utterances like “I will not waver in my pursuit of peace” or “the interests of peoples and nations are shared.” All that was missing was a conga of hippies dancing through the aisles with a rousing rendition of “Kumbaya”.....

his address today will go down in history as one of the weakest major addresses by a US president on foreign policy in a generation, by a leader who seems embarrassed, even ashamed, by the power and greatness of his own country.

This was an exceedingly dull, poor speech that overwhelmingly failed to advance US interests on the world stage, or project American values and principles onto the rest of the globe. As Barack Obama will eventually discover, soft power will only get you so far when you have to confront and defeat brutal enemies that seek America’s destruction.

To read the rest of the commentary from the Telegraph newspaper of the UK click on the title for a link.

Goodbye Summer of 09

It's 99 degrees in Medford today but the calender says it is Fall. The stores all have their Halloween merchandise out and even some are putting out Christmas. The college football season started three weeks ago and the kids are back in school. Yes, Summer is over and it won't be too long before I have to start raking leaves.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Braveheart on Blu-Ray DVD

This weekend I was able to watch one of my favorite movies, Braveheart with Mel Gibson, on Blu-ray DVD. Braveheart was one of the first movies I bought when I first got a DVD player and it looks great on Blu-ray. The battle scenes really pop out in high definition. You forget what a really fine movie this is. I must admit that the movie is full of testosterone.There is a reason football coaches like to show the movie to their team before big games.

One of my favorite quotes from the movie are when William Wallace is getting his men ready for the battle of Sterling:

William Wallace:I *am* William Wallace! And I see a whole army of my countrymen, here in defiance of tyranny. You've come to fight as free men... and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?

Veteran: Fight? Against that? No! We will run. And we will live.

William Wallace: Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take... OUR FREEDOM!
[Scottish army cheers]

However, yesterday while watching the movie I found out that William Wallace was a "tea party" demonstrator when he tells the Scottish Parliament nobles:

William Wallace:There's a difference between us. You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom. And I go to make sure that they have it.

Liberals would call him a "teabag er"

I bought the movie at Wall-Mart and the studio has a great promotion going on. If you already own the movie on regular DVD they will send you a $10.00 mail in rebate if you send them in the proof of purchase ( on the back of the DVD) for both the regular and blu-ray movies. I know there are a lot of people like me who have the regular DVD and are hesitant to buy it again in blu-ray and this gives them an added incentive over and above the great picture. They are also doing it for "Gladiator" and will do it for "It's a Wonderful Life" when it is released in blu-ray.

Afghanistan: Obama What will you do?

President Obama's commander in Afghanistan, General McChrystal in a secret report obtained by the Washington Post is telling the President the United States will lose the war in Afghanistan without more troops. Fancy speeches and staged PR events will not win the war. President Obama what will you do? You can't vote "present" anymore!Remember during the election campaign you told us this was the good war!To read the Washington Post report click on the title for a link.

If we are going to put American soldiers and Marines in harms way we need to give them the reinforcements they need and their commander requests.This is no time to risk American lives by placating the left wing of your party.

PS He will do what liberals always do since Vietnam...... he will cut and run. I hope I am wrong but unless he is willing to make a firm commitment to stand and fight and give our troops what they need he should not put American troops at risk.

From the Weekly Standard:

McChrystal leaves no doubt about what must be done if Obama is to keep his word -- more troops and very soon. The president cannot delay that decision any more -- not for the sake of his health care initiative or anything else. And in any case, as a matter of politics the best thing for Obama and the Democrats is to win the war. Yesterday Obama immodestly compared himself to some of the great presidents of American history. “Maybe you hear what people had to say about Abraham Lincoln, or what they had to say about FDR, or what they had to say about Ronald Reagan when he first came in and was trying to change our approach to government." That answer came in response to a question from George Stephanopoulos about the health care town halls during the August recess. But it wasn't legislative accomplishments that made those men great presidents. It was their decision to commit fully to the major conflicts of the day -- and to win decisively.

Health care reform won't make or break Obama's presidency. The way he conducts the war in Afghanistan will.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

DUCKS upset # 18 UTAH 31- 24

I had a nice trip to Eugene yesterday to watch my Oregon Ducks beat the Utah Utes in college football. On the three hour trip from Medford to Eugene I listened to my Peter Paul & Mary Cd "The Very Best of Peter Paul and Mary" which is very good.It rained during the first half of the game but I dried off in the second half. The Ducks showed a lot of heart in a sometimes ugly game in which the Ducks had three turnovers and a blocked punt. The defense played well and Oregon was able to establish a running game in the second half. Oregon's passing game was almost non existent. The Ducks are still a work in progress. Utah fans filled two and one half sections in their red ponchos.I know the game must have been disappointing to my Utah relatives including those who live in Eugene but still have their hearts in Utah. On the long drive back to Medford I listened on the radio as the Oregon State Beavers lost to the Cincinnati Bearcats in Corvallis. All in all a good day.

ROMNEY:“I'll bet you never dreamed you’d look back at Jimmy Carter as the good old days."

RELEASE: Governor Romney's address to the 2009 Values Voters Summit
Governor Romney today delivered a speech to the Values Voters Summit in Washington, D.C. Following are excerpts from the speech:

Romney on President Obama's first eight months in office:

“I'll bet you never dreamed you’d look back at Jimmy Carter as the good old days."

Romney calls massive new levels of debt "morally wrong" and proposes revisiting the stimulus to repeal unnecessary spending:

“Putting such a spirit-crushing, back-breaking debt burden on our children is unworthy of our national character. That is why I believe that this spending and borrowing is not just economically irresponsible, it is morally wrong.

To strengthen the economy and to create jobs, the President must stop trying to borrow this country out of a debt problem. I know there are people who are now talking about another stimulus bill for the economy. That’s the wrong answer. The right answer is to fix the stimulus we have—throw out the liberal, big-government programs and substitute incentives that will stimulate the private sector and actually create jobs. Don’t repeat the stimulus, repair the stimulus!"

Romney says Obama missed an opportunity in his speech to schoolkids to warn young people to marry before they have children:

"I for one was not unhappy that the President chose to address our schoolchildren. The Heritage Foundation, in a January letter to the President, reminded him that he is in a unique position to help our children keep from making a critical and life-altering mistake. And that is having children before they are married. Forty percent of all children are now born out-of-wedlock. Of course, there are wonderful single parents who do a heroic job raising children in difficult circumstances. But for the nation as a whole, we raise a stronger generation when they are raised by a Mom and a Dad."

Romney says reforming healthcare is a "good idea" but that the answer is not a new government insurance program:

"I think we can all agree that it is a good idea to reform healthcare. Healthier Americans will make a stronger nation. Insurance companies shouldn’t drop people when they get sick.
We need to help people with pre-existing conditions. I think insurance should be portable and affordable. Republicans have proposed several healthcare reform bills. And this Republican worked to reform healthcare in my own state. Not every feature of our plan is perfect, but the lesson it teaches is this: we can get everyone insured, without breaking the bank and without a government option—there is no government insurance in my Massachusetts reform. The right answer for health care is not more government, it’s less government."

(Click on the title for a link to the entire speech)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Seven Former CIA Directors Tell Obama to Rein in Holder

A bipartisan group, of former CIA Directors, including Michael Hayden, Porter Goss, George Tenet, John Deutch, Jim Woolsey, William Webster, and James Schlesinger. As they note at the beginning of the letter, these men have served presidents in that role for more than 35 years, and they "respectfully urge President Obama to exercise your authority to reverse Attorney General Holder's August 24 decision to re-open the criminal investigations of CIA interrogations that took place following the attacks of September 11." The letter in total is as follows:

September 18, 2009
The President
The White House
Washington, D.C.
Dear Mr. President:
We have served as Directors of Central Intelligence or Directors of the CIA for Presidents reaching back over 35 years. We respectfully urge you to exercise your authority to reverse Attorney General Holder’s August 24 decision to re-open the criminal investigation of CIA interrogations that took place following the attacks of September 11.
Our reasons for making this recommendation are as follows.
The post-September 11 interrogations for which the Attorney General is opening an inquiry were investigated four years ago by career prosecutors. The CIA, at its own initiative, forwarded fewer than 20 instances where Agency officers appeared to have acted beyond their existing legal authorities. Career prosecutors under the supervision of the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia determined that one prosecution (of a CIA contractor) was warranted. A conviction was later obtained. They determined that prosecutions were not warranted in the other cases. In a number of these cases the CIA subsequently took administrative disciplinary steps against the individuals involved. Attorney General Holder’s decision to re-open the criminal investigation creates an atmosphere of continuous jeopardy for those whose cases the Department of Justice had previously declined to prosecute. Moreover, there is no reason to expect that the re-opened criminal investigation will remain narrowly focused.
If criminal investigations closed by career prosecutors during one administration can so easily be reopened at the direction of political appointees in the next, declinations of prosecution will be rendered meaningless. Those men and women who undertake difficult intelligence assignments in the aftermath of an attack such as September 11 must believe there is permanence in the legal rules that govern their actions. They must be free, as the Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Senator Lieberman, has put it: “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.” Similar deference needs to be shown to fact-based decisions made by career prosecutors years ago.
Not only will some members of the intelligence community be subjected to costly financial and other burdens from what amounts to endless criminal investigations, but this approach will seriously damage the willingness of many other
intelligence officers to take risks to protect the country. In our judgment such risk-taking is vital to success in the long and difficult fight against the terrorists who continue to threaten us.
Success in intelligence often depends on surprise and deception and on creating uncertainty in the mind of an enemy. As President you have the authority to make decisions restricting substantive interrogation or any other intelligence collection method, based on legal analyses and policy recommendations. But, the administration must be mindful that public disclosure about past intelligence operations can only help Al Qaeda elude US intelligence and plan future operations. Disclosures about CIA collection operations have and will continue to make it harder for intelligence officers to maintain the momentum of operations that have saved lives and helped protect America from further attacks.
Finally, another certain result of these reopened investigations is the serious damage done to our intelligence community’s ability to obtain the cooperation of foreign intelligence agencies. Foreign services are already greatly concerned about the United States’ inability to maintain any secrets. They rightly fear that, through these additional investigations and the court proceedings that could follow, terrorists may learn how other countries came to our assistance in a time of peril. The United States promised these foreign countries that their cooperation would never be disclosed. As a result of the zeal on the part of some to uncover every action taken in the post-9/11 period, many countries may decide that they can no longer safely share intelligence or cooperate with us on future counter-terrorist operations. They simply cannot rely on our promises of secrecy.
We support your stated commitment, Mr. President, to look to the future regarding these important issues. In our judgment the only way that is possible is if the criminal investigation of these interrogations that Attorney General Holder has re-opened is now re-closed.
Michael Hayden
Porter Goss
George Tenet
John Deutch
R. James Woolsey
William Webster
James R. Schlesinger

Charles Krauthammer's Take On Missile Defense Abandonment In Eastern Europe

Transcript from last night's Fox News All-Stars.

On Obama’s decision to scrap the missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic:

This is all about the U.S. and Russia. What just happened today is that the United States unilaterally abrogated the security agreement with two close East European allies [Poland and the Czech Republic — so close that they had troops in Iraq and Afghanistan that supported us — at the behest and because of the pressure of the Russians.

Now, number one is the timing. Apart from the merits of all this, the idea that we should renounce, on the 70th anniversary of the Russian invasion of Poland, a security agreement that we had with Poland [because] of Russian objections is scandalously, indescribably amateurish.

Now, on the merits. If There is a secret agreement between us and the Russians that in return for our capitulation on this issue… the Russians, in return, have agreed in an ironclad way to give us strong support on extremely strong sanctions on Iran and to not send antiaircraft missiles into Iran, which the Israelis have said would precipitate an Israeli attack — if all of that has happened, then you could say this is a cynical deal, but perhaps you could support it the way that you would say we derecognized Taiwan in the Nixon days in order to achieve a strategic advantage in having relations with China.

The problem is there is not a shred of evidence of a deal. And if not, what this is is a capitulation to Russia. This is an earthquake in our relations with Eastern Europe and the beginning of their detachment from the American umbrella.

And it's the abandonment of serious missile defense.

It is a huge, huge setback.

On what the missile defense decision means for Eastern Europe:

This is going to be an historic day in the life of Eastern Europe. We have now declared that Eastern Europe — which had assumed that after the Cold War, had joined the West indissolubly and would enjoy its protection — is now in many ways on its own, subject to Russian hegemony and pressure.

And imagine if the Poles and Czechs are upset about this, how the feeling is in Ukraine and Georgia. The Russians announced earlier in the week that if a Georgian ship is found in Abkhazian waters, which was a province of Georgia, it will be seized. So it has annexed part of Georgia and it has escalated the war of words on Ukraine.

Under the Obama administration it is better to be an enemy of the United States than a friend. Just ask the Israelites, the Poles, the Czechs, the Ukraine and the Georgians.

And doom marches on!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mitt Romney: "Obama on Missile Defense: Alarming and Dangerous"

"It is with good reason that the American people are focused on the economy and domestic issues — we continue to lose jobs, amass record-breaking deficits, and the president is promoting a plan to add a trillion dollar health burden. But foreign-policy actions by the Obama administration deserve immediate attention.

President Obama has made a dangerous and alarming decision to shelve our missile-defense system in Europe. Facing the growing threat from Iran’s nuclear ambition, the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency has worked long and hard to secure a site for the system to thwart a potential strike against our European allies. Developing the missile shield could also have important implications for U.S. security. His decision is wrong in every way, despite his rationale:

* The administration says that our intelligence believes the threat from Iran is not as far advanced as it had originally estimated. First, our intelligence regarding Iran is far from reliable and certain. Our window into the country is cloudy, at best. Other foreign intelligence agencies have reached very different conclusions. And second, it makes no sense to try to time the construction, testing, and deployment of a defense system to the very hour when one might guess the nuclear threat will arrive. No one is that prescient. Using the most rosy scenario of Iran’s nuclear capabilities to schedule the establishment of our defense is dangerous in the extreme.

* The administration believes that by giving such a gesture of goodwill to the Russians, they will be more willing to give in to our request that they join in sanctions against Iran. Here, the president’s lack of negotiation experience may have come in to play. Yes, sometimes in a negotiation you give up something that is important to you, but you do that only when the other party has agreed to give you something you want even more. You don’t give before you get. But here it’s even worse than that: The president has taught Putin that when he blusters and threatens, America caves.

* The administration is also teaching our friends some very unfortunate lessons; the Eastern Europeans who have stood so valiantly with America and who took political heat for backing the missile-defense system have simply been brushed aside. They have to wonder why America is treating its foes better than it is treating its friends. It’s a question that also is surely being asked in Israel and Honduras.

* The administration’s discounting of Iran’s nuclear progress tells Israel that if it is to stop what its own intelligence may believe is an imminent threat, it may have to act alone — and precipitously.

Iran is not cooperating with the IAEA. It is rushing headlong towards nuclear capability — it may already have enough enriched uranium to build a bomb. And it may well have secured access to missile technology from other nations. North Korea is, of course, much further along. And Pakistan, a state threatened from within by jihadists, has extensive nuclear capabilities. In such an environment, it is alarming and dangerous for the president to walk away from our missile-defense commitments."

Obama Cuts and Runs on Missile Defense!

Editorial from National Review online.

President Obama knows how to put a smile on faces in Tehran and Moscow: This morning, he announced the abandonment of plans to develop a small missile-defense system in Eastern Europe.

This overturns one of the major diplomatic and national-security achievements of the Bush years. When George W. Bush came into office in 2001, the United States lacked long-range missile defenses. Today, Americans enjoy a rudimentary shield against North Korea as it strives to produce intercontinental ballistic missiles. There is no such protection for the United States or Europe against a similar threat from Iran, but agreements to build a powerful radar in the Czech Republic and to base interceptors in Poland had put NATO on a course for preparedness.

The decision to undo this progress is disappointing but comes as no surprise. Ablaze with ideological fervor, liberals have long fought missile defense, particularly since Ronald Reagan proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative. They’re reluctant to oppose deployed systems, which are popular with the public, but eager to take on programs in development. The Obama administration has continued this misbegotten habit by seeking to slash the funding for key missile-defense technologies. For months, the administration has hinted that today’s reversal was imminent.
a remarkable feat of doublespeak, Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have tried to portray the move as an embrace of missile defense that will enhance our security. Rather than focusing on long-range threats from Iran, they say, the United States now will concentrate on short-range threats.

That’s an example of short-range thinking. A robust system of missile defense never has demanded such trade-offs. Instead, it calls for a sophisticated architecture that counters threats in different forms. Intelligence estimates have forecast that Iran could develop intercontinental rockets by 2015. This morning, Obama and Gates insisted that these estimates are mistaken. If Iran has in fact slowed down its work in this area — a claim that national-security experts have questioned — it may have been in response to American determination to construct a NATO-approved system in Eastern Europe. Today’s announcement may persuade Tehran to reconsider and look for ways to exploit a new vulnerability. As Donald Rumsfeld once warned, weakness is provocative.

Neither Obama nor Gates wanted to say much about the 800-pound bear in the room: Russia. Moscow has criticized the deployment of missile defenses in Eastern Europe on the absurd grounds that ten interceptors pose an effective challenge to its own massive arsenal. All along, its real goal has been to weaken the influence of the United States and NATO in Eastern Europe and elsewhere. Our retreat on missile defense advances Russia’s goal. It betrays a pair of key allies, particularly the leaders who took political risks to support a plan that had met with some skepticism. Five months ago, at a speech in Prague, Obama saluted their efforts: “The Czech Republic and Poland have been courageous in agreeing to host a defense against [Iranian] missiles.” But those are mere words. Today’s actions speak louder. The president has sent a chilling message about American resolve in the face of Russian saber-rattling. Georgia, Ukraine, and the rest of the world have learned a disturbing lesson.

Another western leader sold out the Czechoslovakians..... remember him and the results !

And doom marches on!

Pelosi warns of political violence

Speaker Pelosi:
Well, I think we all have to take responsibility for our actions and our words. We are a free country, and this balance between freedom and safety is one that we have to carefully balance.

I have concerns about some of the language that is being used because I saw this, myself, in the late '70s in San Francisco. This kind of rhetoric was very frightening, and it created a climate in which violence took place.

So I wish that we would all, again, curb our enthusiasm in some of the statements that are made, so that understanding that some of the people -- the ears that it is falling on are not as balanced as the person making the statement might assume.

But, again, our country is great because people can say what they think and they believe. But I also think that they have to take responsibility for any incitement that they may cause.

Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said Pelosi crossed the line when she related the rhetoric of anti-gay protesters in San Francisco in 1978 -- the year Harvey Milk, the first openly gay member of the city's board of supervisors, and his political ally, Mayor George Moscone, were killed by former supervisor Dan White -- to that of contemporary conservatives while answering a question about the protests against President Obama's health-care proposals.

"The Speaker is now likening genuine opposition to assassination. Such insulting rhetoric not only undermines the credibility of her office, but it underscores the desperate attempt by her party to divert attention away from a failing agenda," Sessions said in a statement. "During one of the most important policy debates of our time, the American people have been completely abandoned by those elected representatives under her control. Voters are justifiably frustrated with Washington, and the Speaker's verbal assault on voters accomplishes nothing other than furthering her reputation for being wildly out of touch with the American people."

Pelosi and her allies in Congress can dish it out but they can't take it. Remember the rhetoric against George W. Bush and the war in Iraq?

Photos from Oregon's Win over Purdue

Click on the title for a link to some great photos of Oregon's game with Purdue last Saturday in Eugene. Go Ducks beat Utah this week!

Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and Mary ,RIP

There it was in this mornings paper. My wife pointed it out to me over breakfast. My first reaction was it couldn't be true. Mary was too young! She was 72. In my mind she will always be the pale skinny blond with long straight hair and a voice of beauty that would fill a room. Long before I was a fan of Simon & Garfunkel or Bob Dylan I loved Peter, Paul and Mary. Except for the early days of the Civil Rights movement, I never agreed with them politically but I bought all of their albums. They and the Kingstown Trio were my introduction to folk music. In the last six months I purchased their 2005 "The Very Best of..." album. My favorite album is their first pictured above on top just titled "Peter Paul & Mary." It was released in 1962 and I still have it on vinyl and now on CD. A very sweet album....I just played it a few days ago. I can remember listening to them being interviewed on KGO radio out of San Francisco in the late of night when KGO broadcast from the Hungry i and I was a young kid growing up in Coos Bay/North Bend. When the group broke up in the early 1970's I purchased her first album titled just "Mary." This last summer I downloaded it from .My favorite songs from the album is a cover of the John Denver song "Follow Me".I liked the song so much it was sung at our wedding. The Rolling Stone Magazine has a nice obit. Click on the title for a link and enjoy the You Tube video below. I will miss Mary but she left a long catalog of music that will be listened to for a long, long time and that is not a bad legacy. As Bob Hope would say "Thanks for the memories."

In the Summer of 1970 I was in Army Engineer Officer Candidate School at Fort Belvoir in Virginia. It had been a hard week of training and harassment by our TAC Officers and upperclassmen. We were tired, beat up and homesick. Late on a Sunday afternoon while in formation an upperclassman demanded we sing him a song. Our song leader lead us in the singing of "5oo Miles" which we all knew from having heard Peter Paul and Mary sing it on the radio and on vinyl. We were all feeling sorry for ourselves and never has a group sung the song with more feeling.I always think of that point in time, 39 years ago, when I hear that song.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

ACORN Scandal

National Review online Editorial:

No Joke
By the Editors

James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles, two guerilla documentarians, have accomplished what neither the Republican party’s sense of outrage nor the Democratic party’s sense of decency could: They have inspired the federal government to begin cutting its ties with ACORN, the shady “community activist” organization that helped bring Barack Obama to power.

The set-up was both risible and shocking. Mr. O’Keefe and Miss Giles, who look for all the world like young Republican country-clubbers dressed for a tasteless costume party, walked into a number of ACORN offices and managed to pass themselves off as a pimp and a prostitute. They informed ACORN staffers that they were looking to set up a whorehouse and to traffic some children into the country for the purposes of prostitution. ACORN’s official mission is to facilitate affordable housing and social services for low-income families, not to facilitate child trafficking, but the staffers responded with advice on getting on welfare, claiming their underage victims as dependents, evading law enforcement, cheating on their taxes, defrauding federal housing authorities, et cetera ad nauseam. One ACORN staffer advised Miss Giles to bury her illicit sex-trade earnings in a tin in her back yard.

Asked about housing assistance, an ACORN staffer explains: “Honesty is not going to get the house. That’s why you've probably been denied. . . . Don't say you’re a prostitute thing or whatever.” Similar sagacity followed.

This was not a single, isolated incident. Mr. O’Keefe and Miss Giles took their chinchilla cape and hot pants, respectively, to a number of ACORN offices: in Baltimore, Washington, New York City. The results were similar for each outing. Mr. O’Keefe says there are more and yesterday released another video, of a California ACORN office.

The Census Bureau has severed its relationship with ACORN, and House Republicans are pressing the Internal Revenue Service to do the same. The Senate has voted to deny any future Housing and Urban Development funding to the organization. (Whether Nancy Pelosi’s House will follow suit is not yet known.) Somebody in Washington must be forced to answer this question: Why would any government agency have anything to do with this motley crew? Heads already are rolling at ACORN, and they should be rolling in the offices of the government agencies that approved these relationships. HUD is bad enough, but letting ACORN within spitting distance of the IRS bespeaks defective judgment. The group is deeply tapped into Washington: ACORN relies on government money for some 40 percent of its revenue, and that fact is a national disgrace.

President Obama’s ties to ACORN are of long standing and are widely documented. ACORN, which ran a number of voter-registration drives rife with fraud (Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck being two notable registrees, along with one Mr. Jive Turkey of Ohio) is at its core a political operation, one that was an important presence in Obama’s community-organizing days, as well as in his campaign. The organization has enjoyed a degree of political protection in Washington: Rep. Barney Frank was called upon by the Consumer Rights League to investigate ACORN in his role as an overseer of housing and mortgage matters. He refused to do so.

ACORN now alleges that the videotapes were altered — but they fired the employees in question, which does not suggest gross distortion or an innocent misunderstanding. As more videos come out, this story will get worse. Not that this story is a story so far as the mainstream media is concerned: Outside of Fox News, which aired the videos, the media has abdicated on ACORN coverage. This is the sort of sting video that used to be the bread-and-butter of 60 Minutes and other investigative television journalism. Now they look on the story with contempt; Charlie Gibson sneered that it was the sort of thing better left to “the cables.”

This is serious business — advising people how to defraud the government in furtherance of child prostitution and human trafficking — but it took two twentysomething documentarians to get it on our national radar. We’d argue that Congress should investigate, but who would be put in charge? Barney Frank? Nancy Pelosi? A blue-ribbon committee selected by President Obama? By their fruits (and nuts) ye shall know them.

Patrick Swayze ,RIP

........My favorite Patrick Swayze - Jennifer Gray movie.........Director John Milius movie "RED DAWN"(1984) Wolverines!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

"Obama Is Pushing Israel Toward War"

While the United States is looking looking inward because of an economic and leadership crisis the problems of the world are not going away. The following is the first paragraph of an opinion column in today's Wall Street Journal on the dangers of a strike by Israel against Iran.

Events are fast pushing Israel toward a pre-emptive military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities, probably by next spring. That strike could well fail. Or it could succeed at the price of oil at $300 a barrel, a Middle East war, and American servicemen caught in between. So why is the Obama administration doing everything it can to speed the war process along?.....the longer the U.S. delays playing hardball with Iran, the sooner Israel is likely to strike

Click on the title to read the rest of the article. Doom marches on!

Jimmy Carter: has there ever been a worse former President ?

"I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American,"

Former president Jimmy Carter

President Obama is in trouble when his supporters are forced to resort to the race card! There is an old joke that goes “how do you know you are winning an argument with a liberal?” The answer is “He calls you a racist. ...


From a National Review online Editorial:

Jimmy Carter now has done to his ex-presidency what he did to his presidency, which is to say that he has, through his incessant moral preening, converted mere incompetence into something more unseemly. Mr. Carter thunders that those who oppose President Obama’s plans to nationalize the health-care industry, and those who oppose other elements of the president’s agenda, are doing so for reasons of racism

The facile accusations of racism are both banal and cynical. And they are right on cue: Wolf-cries of “racism!” are a way to smother debate, which is something that Democrats, who are losing the health-care debate, must find appealing right about now......

The inescapable conclusion is that Mr. Carter has defective judgment. We already knew that: We’ve known it since he clinched his fist and proclaimed energy conservation the “moral equivalent of war” while clad in a sweater. We’ve known it since his disastrous economic policies further impoverished the poor while he smugly posed as their champion. And he has gone from hammering nails into Habitat for Humanity houses to hammering what remains of his reputation to smithereens. The nation was poorer for his presidency and is poorer still for his emeritus shenanigans
(Click on the title for the complete editorial)

And, Charles Krauthammer's take:

You know, the accusation of racism is a sign of desperation by people who know they are losing the national debate, and they want to hurl the ultimate charge in American politics.

This is dealing from the bottom of the deck, and I agree that it is a disgusting tactic. It's done as a way to end debate. The minute you call somebody a racist, the debate is over. You don't continue….

Accusations of racism are the last refuge of the liberal scoundrel.

As for Maureen Dowd, imagining a word [“boy”] that wasn't said: Well, in my previous profession, I saw a lot of people who heard words that weren't said. They were called patients. Many of them were actually helped with medication.

The reason she won't be — and others who are hurling the [racism] accusation — is because it is a deliberate attempt to change the subject and discredit the opposition with an unprovable — and unproven — ad hominem.

She who Laughs Last.........

ABC new anchor Charles Gibson told a radio show on Tuesday he was not familiar with the ACORN scandal that has caused the U.S. Census to cut ties with ACORN and resulted in a US Senate vote to cut off all Federal funds to ACORN. Gibson told the Don & Roma show on WLS Radio "I don't even know about it.... so you've got me at a loss." Last week it was announced the Charles Gibson would be retiring from his job as anchor of ABC's World News Tonight. Not too soon !

Tto read more click on the title for a link)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"Directed By John Ford" (1973) (2006)*****

Wednesday night I watch a Netflix DVD of the Peter Bogdanovich Documentary,"Directed by John Ford", on movie director John Ford and it brought tears to my eyes. This documentary narrated by Orson Welles was originally released in 1973 and I first saw it in the late 1970's/ early 1980's when I recorded it on VHS off a PBS broadcast. It was updated by Bodganovich in 2006 and has just been released on DVD.It is by far the best documentary ever made on John Ford. I own almost every book written about the Director and have almost all of his movies released on DVD. The original 1973 version had John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda each separately telling funny stories about the man. I have heard these stories many times but re watching these segments of the documentary were special because they were recorded near the end of all three actors lives. The new 2006 version of the documentary has added extended comments by Maureen O'Hara, Harry Carey Jr, Walter Hill, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Clint Eastwood. The famous directors talk about how John Ford influenced them and about their first experiences watching his movies such as "The Searchers." There are two new sections to the documentary that were very special. First, an aging but still beautiful, Maureen O'Hara is showed reading something she wrote about John Ford recently and at the end she breaks down crying.The second, is Bogdanovich exploring John Ford's love relationship with Katheryn Hepburn. In 1936 Ford and Hepburn worked together when she stared in "Mary Queen of Scots" directed by Ford.They fell in love. As a Catholic, Ford would not leave his wife and the affair ended.For the rest of his life Ford and his movies were influenced by this real story of "love lost." This was before her affair with another Irishman, Spencer Tracey. Bagdanovich plays a 1973 tape recording made by Ford's grandson and biographer, Dan Ford, when Hepburn visited John Ford as he was dieing of cancer at his home near Palm Springs. At one point Dan "accidentally" leaves the tape recorder on an goes out to his car to get something. John Ford and Katheryn Hepburn thinking they are alone express love for each other and more.(see You Tube video of Bagdanovich's introduction (Part 1) and recorded conversation (Part II) Too bad the tape runs out because I wanted more. Watch and hear it yourself below.

In John Ford's most personal movie "The Quiet Man" (1952) John Wayne's character is named "Sean" which was John Ford's real first name. In the movie Wayne fell in love with Maureen O'Hara, whose character's name is "Mary Kate." Mary was the first name of John Ford's wife and "Kate" was Katherine Hepburn's nick name.

In the end the best part of the documentary is the clips from John Ford's movies which will be watched long after we are gone.Some of my favorites:

Stagecoach 1939
Young Mr Lincoln 1939
Drums along the Mohawk 1939
The Grapes of Wrath 1940
How Green Was My Valley 1941
The Battle of Midway 1942
They Were Expendable 1945
My Darling Clementine (1946)
Fort Apache (1958)
She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949
Rio Grande (1950)
The Quiet Man (1952)
The Searchers (1956)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

The documentary explores the themes that run through many of John Ford movies. Themes such as the family and the break up of the family by modern society; that death is not the end; and, the importance of rituals to society. Orson Welles points out that history is important in John Ford movies. "The personal story is always shown in perspective with the flow of history behind.... one man's vision of the world and the past."

"Victory in defeat. John Ford's history is filled with defeats, failure, last stands... their tragedy also their peculiar glory.... his hero's have most often been a man alone silhouetted against the moving backdrop of history"

Orson Welles


It's been a LONG week since that Thursday night game from Boise on ESPN. Well last night in Eugene the Oregon Ducks in their first home game beat the Purdue Boilermakers 38 to 36 in a roller coaster of a game that was not decided until the final minutes with Purdue failing to tie the game when they went for two points after a touchdown. The Purdue player caught the ball but was inches out of bounds. It was quite a night that saw rain on a hot summer night and lightning off in the distance.The Oregon defense kept Oregon in the game untill the Oregon offence could start clicking. It was an ugly win but it was a win. Oregon did improve but not enough. Hopefully they are work in progress. Utah is up next Saturday in Eugene for an afternoon game.

I went to the game on a bus sponsored by The Oregon Club of Southern Oregon. The Bus left Medford at 1 pm and stopped in Grants Pass to pick us some more fans. It was a good group on the buss and it was a fun trip to Eugene. We got to Autzen Stadium about 4:15 PM and the bus parked right across from the West Gate. I went over to the Casanova Center to the University of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame and took a look at the new exhibits for "Matt Court" the new basketball Arena that is being constructed. It was very impressive. From there I went to the "Mo Center" and the did some shopping in the Duck Store and bought a new hat. From there I watched some other of the games going on across the United States on the TV while I had a Diet Pepsi. I then walked around the rim of Autzen soaking up the atmosphere before I worked my way to my seat in section 13.It was a hot muggy day in Eugene and it stayed muggy even after the sun went down. It started to rain during the game but it was for the most part a fine mist that helped to cool us off. The heat, the crowd and the tension of the game made me hot and the rain felt good. The announced crowed was over 57,000. After the game I worked my way back to the bus and we arrived back in Medford at about 2:30 am Sunday morning. It was a quit trip home on the buss with most people sleeping. When I got home I was greeted by my wife and cat. All in all a full day. I will be there next Saturday for Utah! Go Ducks!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Night Lights:South Medford beats Lake Oswego

South Medford tonight beat Lake Oswego in high school football 21 to 7 here in Medford.At game time at 7 pm it was 95 degrees. By the time the game was over it was 78 degrees. A nice night for football. Lake Oswego and South Medford are both ranked in the top 10 in the state. South is now 2 and 0. Go South.

Just the Facts Obama, Just the Facts !

Thursday, September 10, 2009

L.A. Times: Obama's Speech to Congress on Health Care "Disingenous"

Editorial from the Liberal Los Angles Times:

Still, the president's comments about the savings available in Medicare were disingenuous, as was his assertion that a new tax on insurers would lead them to "provide greater value for the money" instead of simply passing the cost on to policyholders. Obama will have to come up with a more complete approach to paying for reform as the legislation moves forward. He claimed the plan as his own with this speech, but he left some of the hardest questions unanswered.

Definition of "disingenuous" from "
lacking in frankness, candor, or sincerity; falsely or hypocritically ingenuous; insincere.."

Monday, September 07, 2009

Sarah Palin, Karl Rove, and Bill Kristol Support Obama

If you have read this blog for any period of time you know I am not in agreement with President Barack Obama on many issues; but, the war in Afghanistan is an exception. I hope the President follows through on his announced policy. Here is a letter sent this weekend to the President by some prominent conservatives.

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. President:

The situation in Afghanistan is grave and deteriorating. This is in part the legacy of an under resourced war effort that has cost us and the Afghans dearly. The Taliban has retaken important parts of the country, while a flawed U.S. strategy has led American forces into secondary efforts far away from critical areas. However, we remain convinced that the fight against the Taliban is winnable, and it is in the vital national security interest of the United States to win it.

You’ve called Afghanistan an "international security challenge of the highest order, " and stated that "the safety of people around the world is at stake." Last month you told a convention of veterans, “Those who attacked America on 9/11 are plotting to do so again. If left unchecked, the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven from which al Qaeda would plot to kill more Americans. So this is not only a war worth fighting. This is fundamental to the defense of our people.”

We fully agree with those sentiments. We congratulate you on the leadership you demonstrated earlier this year when you decided to deploy approximately 21,000 additional troops and several thousand civilian experts as a part of a serious counterinsurgency campaign. Your appointments of General Stanley McChrystal as top commander and David Rodriguez as second in command in Afghanistan exemplified the seriousness of purpose you spoke about during the campaign. We are heartened to see that the much needed overhaul of our military operations has begun.
Since the announcement of your administration’s new strategy, we have been troubled by calls for a drawdown of American forces in Afghanistan and a growing sense of defeatism about the war. With General McChrystal expected to request additional troops later this month, we urge you to continue on the path you have taken thus far and give our commanders on the ground the forces they need to implement a successful counterinsurgency strategy. There is no middle course. Incrementally committing fewer troops than required would be a grave mistake and may well lead to American defeat. We will not support half-measures that repeat the errors of the past.

This is, as you have said, a war that we cannot afford to lose. Failure to defeat the Taliban would likely lead to a return of al Qaeda to Afghanistan and could result in terrorist attacks on the United States or our allies. An abandonment of Afghanistan would further destabilize the region, and put neighboring Pakistan and its nuclear arsenal at risk. All our efforts to support Islamabad’s fight against the Taliban in Pakistan’s tribal regions will founder if we do not match those achievements on the other side of that country’s porous northwestern border.
As you observed during the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, “You don't muddle through the central front on terror and you don't muddle through going after bin Laden. You don't muddle through stamping out the Taliban.” We completely agree. Having “muddled through” in Afghanistan for years, this is no longer a politically, strategically, or morally sustainable approach.

Mr. President, you have put in place the military leadership and sent the initial resources required to begin bringing this war to a successful conclusion. The military leadership has devised a strategy that will reverse the errors of previous years, free Afghans from the chains of tyranny, and keep America safe. We call on you to fully resource this effort, do everything possible to minimize the risk of failure, and to devote the necessary time to explain, soberly and comprehensively, to the American people the stakes in Afghanistan, the route to success, and the cost of defeat.

With the continued bravery of our troops, and your continued full support for them and their command team, America and our allies can and will prevail in Afghanistan.


Steve Biegun
Max Boot
Debra Burlingame
Eliot A. Cohen
Ryan C. Crocker
Thomas Donnelly
Eric Edelman
William S. Edgerly
Jamie M. Fly
David Frum
Abe Greenwald
John Hannah
Pete Hegseth
Margaret Hoover
Thomas Joscelyn
Frederick W. Kagan
Robert Kagan
William Kristol
Tod Lindberg
Herbert London
Clifford May
Robert C. McFarlane
Joshua Muravchik
Sarah Palin
Keith Pavlischek
Beverly Perlson
Danielle Pletka
John Podhoretz
Stephen Rademaker
Karl RoveJennifer Rubin
Randy Scheunemann
Gary Schmitt
Dan Senor
Marc Thiessen
Peter Wehner
Kenneth Weinstein
Christian Whiton