Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I Love English Bulldogs

Our first "child" was an English Bulldog! I still miss her. Her name was "Winnie" and she was named for Winston Churchill. It's hard to figure when my love affair with English Bulldogs started. Was it when I saw one in the World War II home front movie "Since You Went Away" where the family pet was a Bulldog? Was it when the Bulldog came to represent Winston Churchill and his "never give in" spirit ? Was it because it was the mascot of my High School.... the North Bend Bulldogs ? I can't remember when I did not love English Bulldogs. Bulldogs snore, slobber and pass gas. They as a rule do not live long. A vet once told me they are the least physically sound of any dog. I love to watch the early videos of our kids when they were young. You can always see Winnie in the middle of everything snorting. We bought her in a small town near Salem, Oregon when she was just a few weeks old and she sat in my lap as my wife drove us the four hour trip back to Medford. I do miss her!

In last few weeks I have been reminded of my love many times. Two weekends ago I ran into a friend who owns an English Bulldog, in the parking lot of the south Fred Meyer store here in Medford. She had the dog in the back of her van and he was a very big massive Bulldog male. We stopped and talked about our mutual love. A few days later she called me at my office and we talked again about Bulldogs. She told me if we wanted another one to give her a call because she had lots of contacts. I then received an English Bulldog card in the mail from her. Today I was talking to some folks who mentioned they had an English Bulldog and it was their third. Then while looking out my office window today there was an English Bulldog in the back of a truck. Is all of this "a sign" !

I would very much to get another English Bulldog. My wife, while she loved Winnie, is not as excited as I am about getting one for the reasons set forth above. What with the kids grown up and moved away it's nice to just have a cat (Gabbie) because of their low maintenance. You can leave for a weekend or a week and just have some one come by and feed the cat. Also, Gabby doesn't like dogs..... so we may have to wait till Gabby goes to "cat heaven."

Before I die I want another, English Bulldog.

Wiley Wickre's new hair cut

(Our daughters new dog)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"We are in deep, deep gumbo."

Liberal New York Times columnist Bob Herbert:

It’s getting harder and harder for most Americans, looking honestly at the state of the nation, to see the glass as half full. And that’s why the public opinion polls contain nothing but bad news for Barack Obama and the Democrats. The oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, the war in Afghanistan and, above all, the continuing epidemic of joblessness have pushed the nation into a funk. All the crowing in the world about the administration’s legislative accomplishments — last year’s stimulus package, this year’s health care reform, etc. — is not enough to lift the gloom.

Mr. Obama and the Democrats have wasted the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity handed to them in the 2008 election. They did not focus on jobs, jobs, jobs as their primary mission.........

Fifteen million Americans are unemployed, according to the official count, which wildly understates the reality. Assuming no future economic setbacks and job creation at a rate of 200,000 or so a month, it would take more than a decade to get us back to where we were when the Great Recession began in December 2007. But we’re nowhere near that kind of sustained job growth. Last month, a measly 41,000 private-sector jobs were created.

We are in deep, deep gumbo.

To read the rest of Mr Herbert's column click on the title for a link.

President Obama has lost Conservatives, Republicans, Moderates and Independents. Looks like the Liberals are now jumping ship..... can you say "Jimmy Carter."

Monday, June 28, 2010

The mistake I had to have !

On Saturday I was at the South Fred Meyer store, here in Medford, and there it was, on the 50% off bargain table. It was an officially licenced,framed and matted picture, of an Oregon Duck football game at Autzen Stadium in Eugene Oregon. In the upper left hand corner is the licensed red Rose Bowl logo with the words "Rose Bowl Bound 2010." At the bottom in a cut out of the matting are the words "Civil War 2009 Oregon 37 OSU 33 On to Rose Bowl." The picture shows the Oregon Duck players in their "throwback" uniforms with yellow pants in a huddle near the sidelines with a great view of crowd on the North side of Autzen Stadium. It's a beautiful day with blue sky and the fans are dressed for shirtsleeve weather. With a magnifying glass I even found yours truly in section 13 row 20, wearing my Oregon hat, white short sleeve shirt and Oregon sweater vest and standing next to me is the big guy from Portland I sit next to at the games wearing his "throwback" Oregon jersey.

One big problem...... they used the wrong picture! It's from a different game!It's NOT a picture from the Oregon State "Civil War" game. The Ducks did not wear YELLOW pants at that game. They wore WHITE pants. The "Civil War" game with Oregon State was played on Thursday night on DECEMBER 3, 2009 and take it from me, it was not sunny shirtsleeve weather. In fact, the picture is from the Oregon vs Cal game on Saturday, September 26th, 2009 on a bright sunny day when the Ducks beat Cal 42 to 3 in a game televised by ABC TV in an afternoon game.

Below is a picture ACTUALLY taken at the end of the Oregon vs Oregon State "Civil War" game of two happy fans who have just found out they are "Rose Bowl Bound" Go Ducks ! However despite the error the picture is now hanging on my office wall with other "Rose Bowl Bound" pictures (including the one below) but with this explanation taped on the back for the sake of history.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

ALBUM: "Peter Paul and Mary"

Yesterday I was looking for a record (vinyl)cover in my record collection to frame and hang over my CD collection and CD player in a corner of our bedroom. I had been shopping with my wife at a local craft store and saw they had glass covered frames for record covers and I needed the perfect cover to bring my music collection together. I ended up picking the above album cover from Peter Paul and Mary's first album. I picked it for a number of reasons: first, I liked the look and colors, it has a warm look; second, it was one of the first albums I purchased in 1962 after switching over from 45's; third, I like most of the music on it; and fourth, it conveys the feeling of the early folk era in New York's Greenwich Village. There are musical artist I like better but this album has always had a warm spot in my heart and whenever I look at it the cover has always brought a smile to my face. The picture was taken on front of the brick wall on the stage of The Bitter End in New York City. Just last summer I walked by The Bitter End on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village when our daughter took her mother and I on a trip to New York City. I had to make my "pilgrimage" to Greenwich Village as part of sites of the city. I have the CD too. This is what Wikipedia says about the album:

Peter, Paul and Mary is the first album by Peter, Paul and Mary, released in 1962. It's one of the rare folk albums to reach US#1 - staying for over a month. The lead-off singles "If I Had a Hammer" and "Lemon Tree" reached numbers 10 and 35 respectively on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.

At the Grammy Awards of 1963, their recording of "If I Had a Hammer" won the Best Folk Recording and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal Grammies.

Track listing
Side One

"Early In The Morning" ( Noel "Paul" Stookey[1])
"500 Miles" (Hedy West)
"Sorrow" (Peter Yarrow, Noel Stookey)
"This Train" (Peter Yarrow, Noel Stookey)
"Bamboo" (Dave Van Ronk)
"It's Raining" (Paul Stookey, Peter Yarrow, Len Chandler)
Side Two

"If I Had My Way" (Rev. Gary Davis)
"Cruel War" (Peter Yarrow, Noel Stookey)
"Lemon Tree" (Will Holt)
"If I Had a Hammer" (Pete Seeger, Lee Hays)
"Autumn To May" (Peter Yarrow, Noel Stookey)
"Where Have All the Flowers Gone" (Pete Seeger)

This is how reviews the album:

The debut album by Peter, Paul & Mary is still one of the best albums to come out of the 1960s folk music revival, a beautifully harmonized collection of the best songs that the group knew, stirring in its sensibilities and its haunting melodies, crossing between folk, children's songs, and even gospel ("If I Had My Way").... Peter, Paul & Mary, which hit the top spot on the album charts as part of a 185-week run, is the purest of the trio's albums, laced with innocent good spirits and an optimism that remains infectious even 40 years later

(click on the title for the rest of the review)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Oregonian:"Portland massage therapist who accused Al Gore of groping confided in a friend shortly after the 2006 incident"

Tonight The Oregonian is braking this story about the allegations Al Gore committed sexual assault against a massage therapist in 2006 while he was in Portland, Oregon staying at an upscale hotel after giving a speech at the Rose Garden. To quote the Oregonian the states largest newspaper
A close friend of a Portland massage therapist who accused former Vice President Al Gore of groping her says the therapist told her soon after the 2006 encounter that she'd been violated and assaulted by "someone in the higher ups."

The newspaper identifies the friend as Donna Burleigh. To read the rest of the news report click on the title for a link.

Quite frankly I was very skeptical of this story when it broke on The Drudge Report and the National Inquirer yesterday. The delay of the alleged victim in reporting the alleged crime and her canceling three interviews with the Portland police gave her credibility problems. However this corroboration of her story by a friend as reported by a mainstream media outlet give it more credibility. I still have doubts about the alleged victim . It will be interesting to see if other women around the country start coming out with similar stories. This happened with Oregon Senator Bob Packwood. One woman went public with allegations of sexual advances on behalf of the Senator and all of a sudden lots of similar stories started to surface.

It should be reported that no charges were filed against Al Gore and the Portland Police closed their file.

On the other hand what married man in public life would late at night invite a female message therapist to his hotel room with no one else present ?


Al Gore's side of the story from New York Magazine:

According to a source friendly with the Gores, Al Gore confirmed that he received a therapeutic massage in his hotel room that night, and likely from the therapist making the accusation. But, the source said, Gore remembers getting a massage without incident and the therapist leaving on good terms.

Basically, we find ourselves in a classic he said/she said situation, and it appears that we'll never know the truth of what happened that night. Does the masseuse's request that the National Enquirer pay her $1 million for the story tip the scales at all? You decide.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

General Petraeus: Good Choice !

As much as I dislike President Obama he made the right choice in firing General McChrystal and replacing him with General Petraeus.

Interesting comment by Victor Davis Hanson over at National Reviews blog "The Corner:"

A final note: It is one of ironies of our present warped climate that Petraeus will face far less criticism from the media and politicians than during 2007–8 (there will be no more “General Betray Us” ads or “suspension of disbelief” ridicule), because his success this time will reflect well on Obama rather than George Bush. It is a further irony that Obama is surging with Petraeus despite not long ago declaring that such a strategy and such a commander were failures in Iraq. And it is an even further irony that he is now rightly calling for “common purpose” when — again not long ago, at a critical juncture in Iraq — Obama himself, for partisan purposes on the campaign trail, had no interest in the common purpose of military success in Iraq.

Book: "Losing Mum and Pup" by Christopher Buckley*****

For Fathers Day our son gave me a gift certificate to Barnes & Noble and when I saw this book there,just out in paperback, I knew I had to get it. This is Christopher Buckley's loving, bittersweet memoir of losing both of his "larger than life" parents in one year. His mother was a New York City socialite and his father was Bill Buckley (William F. Buckley Jr) the author, founder of National Review Magazine, lecturer, columnist, conservative commentator , TV host of "Firing Line" and a hero of mine. I have had a poster and now a picture of him hanging on a wall in my home for the last 41 years. I have read most of his books and met him many years ago when he gave a lecture at Oregon State University. A small group of us even had a private dinner with him before the speech. I had read an excerpt of this book online from the New York Times some time ago and was afraid this would be another "Mommy Dearest" type of biography showing my hero with feet of clay. However, this is not the case. The book covers the period when both of his parents became ill thorough their deaths and memorial services. A period of just over a year. There are many flash backs to their earlier life. It is always sad to watch your parents deteriorate at the end. The trips to the hospital..... their helplessness...... the end..... the funeral home..... the service..... the finalizing of their financial affairs and disposing of their personal belonging.

The book has humor, and is touching. Christopher has inherited his parents wit and while his parents were not perfect, and he had his difficulties with them, the love was always there.

Aging baby boomers will find comfort in this book in dealing with the mortality of their parents. No mater how famous, important or rich people are, the end can be very hard on them and their family in dealing with the indignities of losing control over their body as it marches toward death.

Christopher writes that in losing both parents "this story has a larger-than-personal dimension, it is an account of becoming an orphan." and the realisation that "your next!"

Near the end of the book he writes:

Orphanhood proceeds........ It comes in waves, my fellow orphans will probably inform you. One moment you're doing fine, living your life..... then in the next, boom, there is is. It has many ways of presenting...Sometimes it comes in the form of a black hole inside you, sucking the rest of you into it; other times it's a sense of disconnection, as if you had been holding your mother's hand in a crowd and suddenly she let go, and now here you are, not alone, exactly, but it feels alone."


My favorite antidote from the book is that Bill Buckley set up a Google "news alert" for his name so he received an email from Google with links to any news story about him and he received a lot !

Second favorite, up till his death he used "Wordstar" for his computer word processing program on which he wrote his books including the one on Reagan he was working on when he died. For you young people it was a software program from the mid 1980's.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Full Rolling Stone Magazine article about General McChrystal

Click on the title above for a link to the full Rolling Stone Magazine article on General McChrystal.

I have now read the entire Rolling Stone Magazine article. Everyone who knows me or reads this blog know that I am not a fan of President Obama but you will not hear me criticising the President for firing the general. I like General McChrystal and his strategy for Afghanistan but I also believe in the "Chain of Command" and it was stupid for him to allow himself and his staff to talk about their criticism of the President to the Rolling Stone reporter. As I write this I don't know if the President will actualy fire the General but he is justified in doing it.

On the other hand, I agree with the Generals statements, even if he should not as a military man expressed them about his Commander in Chief.

In 2012, we the American people will get the opportunity to fire the Commander in Chief in the Presidential election.

Although President Obama is no Lincoln I am reminded of the insubordination of General George McClellan during the American Civil War.

Bill Kirstol of the Weekly Standard writes:

If Stan McChrystal has to go—and he probably does—it will be a sad end to a career of great distinction and a low moment in a lifetime devoted to duty, honor, and country. But the good of the mission and the prospects for victory in Afghanistan may well now demand a new commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

While there are obvious issues of civil-military relations exposed by the general’s cringe-inducing quotes in the “Runaway General” article in Rolling Stone—and while his staff appear to be off the leash entirely, a command climate for which McChrystal is responsible—the original source of the problem is above the general’s pay grade.

So McChrystal should not be the only one to go. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and “AfPak” czar Richard Holbrooke should likewise either submit their resignations or be fired by President Obama. Vice President Biden and his surrogates should be told to sit down and be quiet, to stop fighting policy battles in the press. The administration's "team of rivals" approach is producing only rivalry.

Most of all, the commander-in-chief must take command. Barack Obama’s commitment is famously and publicly uncertain. No one—not his lieutenants, nor his cabinet, nor his generals, nor the American people, nor our allies, nor the Afghans, nor our enemies—can be sure whether the president wants to win the war or just to end the war.

The McChrystal contretemps creates an opportunity to right many of these wrongs; the White House should not waste this crisis. Anything less than a clean sweep will leave the war effort impaired.

Just a thought..... what military officer in his right mind would let a reporter from Rolling Stone magazine have such access ? Why not just invite MSMBC !

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Obama's thuggery is useless in fighting spill" by Michael Barone

Thuggery is unattractive. Ineffective thuggery even more so. Which may be one reason so many Americans have been reacting negatively to the response of Barack Obama and his administration to BP's Gulf oil spill.

Take Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's remark that he would keep his "boot on the neck" of BP, which brings to mind George Orwell's definition of totalitarianism as "a boot stamping on a human face -- forever." Except that Salazar's boot hasn't gotten much in the way of results yet.

Or consider Obama's undoubtedly carefully considered statement to Matt Lauer that he was consulting with experts "so I know whose ass to kick." Attacking others is a standard campaign tactic when you're in political trouble, and certainly BP, which appears to have taken unwise shortcuts in the Gulf, is an attractive target.

But you don't always win arguments that way. The Obama White House gleefully took on Dick Cheney on the issue of terrorist interrogations. It turned out that more Americans agreed with Cheney's stand, despite his low poll numbers, than Obama's.

Then there is Obama's decision to impose a six-month moratorium on deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf. This penalizes companies with better safety records than BP's and will result in many advanced drilling rigs being sent to offshore oil fields abroad.

The justification offered was an Interior Department report supposedly "peer reviewed" by "experts identified by the National Academy of Engineering." But it turned out the drafts the experts saw didn't include any recommendation for a moratorium. Eight of the cited experts have said they oppose the moratorium as more economically devastating than the oil spill and "counterproductive" to safety.

This was blatant dishonesty by the administration, on an Orwellian scale. In defense of a policy that has all the earmarks of mindless panic, that penalizes firms and individuals guilty of no wrongdoing and that will worsen rather than improve our energy situation. Ineffective thuggery.

And what about the decision not to waive the Jones Act, which bars foreign-flag vessels from coming to the aid of the Gulf cleanup? The Bush administration promptly waived it after Katrina in 2005. The Obama administration hasn't and claims unconvincingly that, gee, there aren't really any foreign vessels that could help.

The more plausible explanation is that this is a sop to the maritime unions, part of the union movement that gave Obama and other Democrats $400 million in the 2008 campaign cycle. It's the Chicago way: Dance with the girl that brung ya.

Or the decision to deny Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposal to deploy barges to skim oil from the Gulf's surface. Can't do that until we see if they've got enough life preservers and fire equipment. That inspired blogger Rand Simberg to write a blog post he dated June 1, 1940: "The evacuation of British and French troops from the besieged French city of Dunkirk was halted today, over concerns that many of the private vessels that had been deployed for the task were unsafe for troop transport."

Finally, the $20 billion escrow fund that Obama pried out of the BP treasury at the White House when he talked for the first time, 57 days after the rig exploded, with BP Chairman Tony Hayward. It's pleasing to think that those injured by BP will be paid off speedily, but House Republican Joe Barton had a point, though an impolitic one, when he called this a "shakedown."

For there already are laws in place that insure that BP will be held responsible for damages and the company has said it will comply. So what we have is government transferring property from one party, an admittedly unattractive one, to others, not based on pre-existing laws but on decisions by one man, pay czar Kenneth Feinberg.

Feinberg gets good reviews from everyone. But the Constitution does not command "no person . . . shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law except by the decision of a person as wise and capable as Kenneth Feinberg." The Framers stopped at "due process of law."

Obama doesn't. "If he sees any impropriety in politicians ordering executives about, upstaging the courts and threatening confiscation, he has not said so," write the editors of the Economist, who then suggest that markets see Obama as "an American version of Vladimir Putin." Except that Putin is an effective thug.
Follow Michael Barone on Facebook

Michael Barone, The Examiner's senior political analyst, can be contacted at His columns appear Wednesday and Sunday, and his stories and blog posts appear on

Human error and corner-cutting by BP seem the main causes of the spill. Given the industry's previously strong safety record, Obama's six-month moratorium on deepwater drilling isn't justified and should be shortened. It's not industry lobbyists that sustain fossil fuels but the reality that they're economically and socially necessary. A candid president would have said so.

Robert Samuelson, Washinton Post


It's finally Summer. I love it and the best part of Summer is the few weeks between June 21 and the 4th of July. It's the time when the entire summer is before you . There are always three mile posts on the march to summer; Memorial Day, school letting out with graduations and finally June 21 the official beginning of the season. Other than Christmas the 4th of July is my favorite holiday. Almost every year we go to Ashland, Oregon for their old fashioned parade and band concert in the park. The concert is always preceded by the reading of the Declaration of Independence. I then go home and play my DVD of the musical movie "1776", a home BBQ and then fireworks. This year for the 4th our adult son will come home for a few weeks. He has taken up long distance running and has signed up for the 4th of July run over in Ashland just before the parade. We look forward to his coming home.
I do love Summer!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bob Dylan Scrapbook 1956-1966

Today I received an early Fathers Day gift from my wife. A used, but in very good condition, copy of the Bob Dylan Scrapbook 1956-1966. This is how describes the scrapbook:
Created as a companion piece to Martin Scorsese's PBS documentary No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, The Bob Dylan Scrapbook, 1956-1966 is a visual and educational treat for old and new Dylanphiles alike. Written by Robert Santelli, the director of Seattle's Experience Music Project and curator of the museum's Bob Dylan's American Journey exhibit, the book is very well researched and presented in a scrapbook format filled with removable reproductions, including handwritten lyrics of "Gates of Eden," "Blowin' in the Wind," and "Chimes of Freedom," programs of Dylan's historical performances, various bits of memorabilia, and endless amount of photographs. The Bob Dylan Scrapbook, 1956-1966 will provide the new Dylan fan with loads of background information and anecdotes that were left out of Scorsese's film. Lifelong Dylanphiles will likely know Dylan's late 1950s to mid 1960s history already, and will be enchanted by the endless reproductions that are strategically placed throughout the book. If that wasn't enough, the book also includes a 45 minute CD of 18 interviews, ten of which appeared in the No Direction Home documentary. If you ever want to open someone up to the world of Bob Dylan there is no better place to point them to this incredible trifeca: No Direction Home: Bob Dylan on DVD, No Direction Home: The Soundtrack (The Bootleg Series Vol. 7) on CD, and this wonderful book. --Rob Bracco

Christmas before last a bought a similar book like this on Oregon Football from Costco. I also saw this book at Costco several years ago but it was way too expensive. However this used copy was very reasonable and had all the removable memorabilia reproductions. I love the program of his 1963 appearance at Carnegie Hall (I have the CD) as well as the cardboard stand up cut out of Dylan which was used for a promotion for one of his albums back in the 60's. There is even a CD of various interviews over the years. I already have the companion Martin Scorsese PBS documentary "No Direction Home" on DVD and the companion CD of the music.

Click on the title to get your new or used copy from I highly recommend it if you are a Dylan fan.

Welcome to the family: "Wiley Wickre"

Our adult daughter has adopted a dog she has named "Wiley Wickre."
The dog was found in West Virgina and was originally named "Moonshine" but she changed the name to fit his personality. Congratulations and welcome to the family.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Movie: "Taking Chance" (2009) *****

On Saturday I had to go to Costco for my wife and while there I, as I usually do, I checked out the DVD section and there it was...... a copy of the HBO movie "Taking Chance"(2009) that I reported on here last November when I had rented it through my Netflix account. I debated buying it but ended up getting it and after re watching it last night, I know I made the right decision. I can't remember a movie that has had such an effect on me since "Old Yeller" when I was a little kid. It is a welcome addition to my video library. Here is what I posted last November:

Last night I watched the movie "Taking Chance" a movie I rented from Netflix. Taking Chance is a 2009 HBO movie that is a historical drama based upon the experiences of Lt. Col. Michael Strobl (Kevin Bacon) escorting the body of a Marine, PFC Chance Phelps (posthumously promoted to LCpl), back to his hometown in Montana from the Iraq War.

The film was selected for showing at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and premiered on HBO on February 21, 2009 and is a very good movie. I recommend you have some tissue available when you watch it because it is very emotional.

The movie is based upon a detailed report written by Lt.Col. Michael Strobl (Kevin Bacon)about his trip from Dover Delaware across America to a small town in Montana for burial. In his report he details the reactions he received from ordinary Americans. It makes you proud to be an American . Click on the title above for a link to his report

The movie has home videos of the real Chance Phelps in the "Special Features" portion of the DVD as well as interviews with his real parents and sister.

If you haven't already, click on the title to read the detailed report of the real Marine Corps officer who took Chance home. It helps put things into perspective.



Saturday, June 12, 2010

" I can't suck it up with a straw"

"Even though I'm president of the United States, my power is not limitless,
So I can't dive down there and plug the hole. I can't suck it up with a straw. All I can do is make sure that I put honest, hard-working smart people in place ... to implement this thing."

President Barack Obama

The man may be able to read nice sounding speeches off a TelePrompter but the man is no leader.

Imagine Franklin Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor saying: " I can't go out to the Pacific and fight the Japanese or use a straw to raise those navy ships on the bottom of Pearl Harbor...."

Or Winston Churchill saying during World War II when England stood alone and England faced an invasion from Hitler: "I can't personally fight them on the beaches or the landing fields to stop a German invasion"

Or Ronald Reagan saying during the height of the cold war with the Soviet Union: "I can't personally stop the Soviets from threatening every American city with their missiles or prevent an invasion of Western Europe with my pop gun..."

This is what FDR did say after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor:

"No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory."

This is what Winston Churchill did say when England stood alone and faced the threat of a German Invasion in 1940:

"If this long island story of ours is to end at last, let it end only when each one of us lies choking in his own blood upon the ground."

This is what Ronald Reagan did say when he went to the Berlin Wall"

"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall."

FDR,Churchill and Reagan were leaders! President Obama is not!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Jeremiah Masoli Gone !

Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was kicked off the Oregon football team today after being cited with Driving While Suspended and Possession of Less than one oz of Marijuana by the Springfield Police Department. He was already on court ordered probation after he plead guilty to Burglary II last winter and was given "misdemeanor treatment" and probation with a community service requirement plus restitution. As a result he had been suspended by coach Chip Kelly for the 1010 season which would have allowed the potential Heisman Trophy candidate a chance to pay in 2011 for his final season of eligibility.

Don't let the door hit you on the way out ! What a fool !

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Obama Talks Tough ????

President Barack Obama said:

"I don't sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar, we talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers, so I know whose ass to kick."

Kind of reminds me of Bob Hope trying to act tough as a cowboy!

Monday, June 07, 2010

D-Day 66 Years ago Yesterday

Due to other commitments, I missed commenting on this yesterday. On June 6, 2010 it was 66 years since the allied forces led by the United States and Britain crossed the English Chanel to Normandy in Northern France to start the liberation of France and Europe from the occupation of Hitler and Nazi Germany in World War II.

*******************************************************************************156,000 American, British and Canadian troops met heavy resistance from the German forces defending the area, but were able to punch inland, securing safe landing zones for reinforcements. The German failure to successfully defend the Normandy area from the Allied liberation forces in essence doomed Hitler's dream of a Nazi controlled "Fortress Europe" and marked the beginning of the end for Germany.

The exact number of men on both sides who died that day will probably never truly be known. Different sources cite different numbers of Allied, U.S. and German casualties:

--John Keegan, American Historian and Author believes that 2,500 Americans died along with 3,000 British and Canadian troops on D-Day

Above Omaha Beach (see picture above) is The Normandy American Cemetery which
contains the graves of 9,387 of American military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. On the Walls of the Missing in a semicircular garden on the east side of the memorial are inscribed 1,557 names.

The United States and Britain liberated Europe and all we ask the French for was a little land to bury our dead.The white rows in the picture above are the white crosses of the American dead.

The determining factor in the battle for Normandy was not some ingenious and innovative military strategy conceived by high-command officials and their advisors. Coupled with a good amount of luck, it was the bravery and will of the men that set foot on those blood-stricken beaches. A handful of stoic individuals had no choice but to improvise from the originally practiced tactics since once the first wave of invading troops landed, all organized deployment of infantry had been shattered. Under constant fire and with the images of dead soldiers that they had once commanded in front of them, they somehow turned the tide of the battle to the Allies' favor and, by doing so, changed the course of the war and history. They fought fiercely and overcame one of the most formidable defenses ever assembled.

Reaching the Beaches

The seas were rough, much too rough for the small assault crafts that scurried them towards the shore. The boats rocked back and forth as their square hulls but into every wave. Water poured over the gunwales, soaking the men to the skin, as they huddled together, shivering from the cold and from the nervous tension. Many of them became seasick.

The engines of the boats produced deafening diesel whines. Shells screamed by them as the destroyers behind them attempted to pound the coast with enough force so that the Atlantic Wall behind Omaha Beach would be weakened. Allied aircraft accompanied the raining shells as they too tried to dismantle Nazi forces on the beach. The men on the boats could never expect anyone to survive such a bombardment, after all, the German guns were even silent.

Then, just as the shore seemed to become slightly more visible, the German guns opened fire. Artillery and mortar shells crashed down, sending geysers of sea water streaming into the air. The boats, trying to find paths around the obstacles, were clear and targets from positions atop the beachhead. Many boats were destroyed, the others encountered machine gun fire that rattled against the ramps and the sides of the boats.

Once the boats' bottoms scratched the sand beneath them, the ramps were lowered. Some ambitious German machine gunners fired directly at the boats that had just lowered their ramps. Desperate soldiers struggled to get off the boats and into the water but dead bodies were in their way. Soldiers lined in columns within the crafts were hit by bullets that had passed through the bodies of the soldiers in front of them. Those that made it to the water faired only slightly better.

They plunged into the water to discover that it was neck-high and even above their heads in some cases. Many were unable to control their submerged since they were carrying nearly seventy pounds of ammunition and supplies. Bullets traveled through the water to hit them while they tried to remove some weight. Some drowned trying to reach the surface of the water.

Not all was lost at disembarkment though. Many men managed to reach dry land. Still the beaches were not inviting and provided little cover.

The Beaches and the Sea Wall

Obstacles for the amphibious boats and dead bodies provided for some cover from enemy fire. Staying in the water made death inevitable since the Germans were spraying the waterline with interlocking arcs of machine gun fire. The only alternative was to move as far inland as possible: the sea wall.

It must be taken into account that virtually all of the infantrymen were dropped far from their designated areas. The strong winds and vicious weather that had hampered the ships in the English Channel altered the anticipated current along the beach at Omaha. Most of the men that made it to the beach were actually displaced. Not only did they have to deal with the incoming fire, but they also had to somehow re-orient themselves now that the landmarks they had expected to see were nowhere in sight.

Commanding officers that were lucky enough to reach the beach had to assume the command of many disorganized groupings of soldiers that had washed ashore without their commanding officers. Even on the sea wall, the position was precarious. Even then, they were not adequately covered. Like the boat and the beach, the sea wall was a dangerous place to be and the place to go was through the minefields and the barbed wire onward to attack the German gun stations.

One of the most famous quotes to come out of "Bloody Omaha" came from Colonel George Taylor:

"Two kinds of people are staying on this beach, the dead and those who are going to die. Now let's get the hell out of here"

Freedom is not free !

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Quote About Bob Dylan

"The first time I heard Bob Dylan I thought of him as something of a civil war type, a kind of 19th-century troubadour, a maverick American spirit. The reediness of his voice and spareness of his words go straight to the heart of America"

Gregory Peck 1997

I think that really explains my love of Bob Dylan's music.

Anti-Semitism Raises it's Ugly Head

This week long time White House "reporter" and now columnist Helen Thomas made the following anti-Semantic comments:

Q: Any comments on Israel?

Helen Thomas: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine. [She laughs] Remember, these people are occupied and it's their land and it's not Germany and it's not Poland."

Q: So, where should they go?

HT: "They should go home."

Q: Where's home?

HT: "Poland. Germany. And America and everywhere else"

I don't care how old she is.... she is a hateful anti-Semitic and she should be fired and no respectable newspaper should carry her column ! She is evil!

I never thought I would be quoting Clinton apologist Lanny Davis but he and I agree on this issue.

*Former Clinton attorney and White House spokesman Lanny Davis issued the following statement on White House correspondent Helen Thomas's incindiary remarks contra Israel. The statement is lightly edited for clarity:

Helen Thomas, who I used to consider a close friend and who I used to respect, has showed herself to be an anti-Semitic bigot. This is not about her criticisms of Israel. She has a right to criticize Israel and that is not the same as being an anti-Semite.

However, her statement that Jews in Israel should leave Israel and go back to Poland or Germany is an ancient and well-known anti-Semitic stereotype of the Alien Jew not belonging in the "land of Israel" — one that began 2,600 years with the first tragic and violent diaspora of the Jews at the hands of the Romans.

If she had asked all blacks to go back to Africa, what would the White House Correspondents Association position be as to whether she deserved White House press room credentials — much less a privileged honorary seat?

Does anyone doubt that my friends Ann Compton, head of the WHCA, and Joe Lockhart, who believe in the First Amendment right of free expression as much as I do, would be as tolerant and protective of Helen's privileges and honors in the White House press room as they appear to be if she had been asking Blacks to return to Africa? Or Native Americans to Asia and South America, from which they came 8,000 or more years ago? I doubt it.

Of course Helen has the right as a private citizen under the First Amendment to speak her mind, even as an anti-Jewish bigot — but not as a member, much less privileged member with a reserved seat, in the White House Press Corps.

* From National Review Online

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Medford Mail Tribune story on the Fitz Brewer Duffin Fore the Ducks

"Brewer to be honored at Ducks' tournament. Today's annual fundraiser golf tournament will be named after 'Super Duck'"

Click on title for a link to a nice story on the Oregon Club of Southern Oregon renaming their Golf Tournament and Dinner Auction in honor of Fitz Brewer

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Anti Israeli Sharks Sniff Obama's Weakness

Michael Goodwin in today's New York Post:
Weakness always begets aggression, and, like clockwork, Obama's repeated signals that he is weakening America's commitment to Israel are emboldening the Jewish state's enemies. From Syria to Iran to Lebanon, from Hezbollah to Hamas and the PLO, the wolves smell blood and are trying to gauge whether they can get close enough for the kill......

He should do what any American president would -- protect our friend and ally from the predators who want to devour it.

Read more: Click on the title for a link

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Barbara Bowerman, widow of famed UO coach dies at 96

Click on the title above for a link to the Oregonian's Obituary. What follows is what I posted on this blog 4 years ago:

He met his wife in 1928 at Medford High School* and in college she was torn between Bowerman and a football player at UCLA and she told both men she would marry the winner of the Oregon vs. UCLA game. I am not making this up. Bowerman's Oregon Ducks lost to UCLA but she married Bowerman anyway. The UCLA player became a movie producer and Bowerman after college went back to Medford as a football coach until World War II broke out. He became an officer with the 10th Mountain Division and saw action in Italy where he arranged for an entire German unit to surrender. After the war he returned to Medford as a football coach until he was hired by the University of Oregon as a football and track coach and as they say the rest is history

( *The building is now the home of South Medford High for a few more weeks before they move to their new campus for the next school year)

The Hollywood producer she could have married was Mike Frankovich who produced such moves as "Meet John Doe", "Bob&Carol&Ted&Alice" and John Wayne's last movie in 1976"The Shootist."

To read more about Barbara and Bill read the book "Bowerman And The Men of Oregon" The Story of Oregon's legendary coach and Nike's cofounder by author Kenny Moore. I highly recommend it.

The Turkish Government as Global Arbiter of Ethnic Violence - Victor Davis Hanson - The Corner on National Review Online

No one in Europe worried much about the constant shower of missiles from Gaza in the past. No one in Europe said a word when North Korea torpedoed and slaughtered South Koreans on the high seas. No one objected when the Iranians hijacked a British ship and humiliated the hostages.....

(Click on title for a link)

One hint to Israel... next time don't use paint ball bullets !