Friday, July 30, 2010
Today a friend and I drove the three hour drive up Interstate 5 to Eugene for our appointment to pick our season ticket seats in the new University of Oregon basketball arena,nicknamed "Matt Court." Our appointment with the Athletic Department was set for 10 am so we left Medford about 6:30 am. What a perfect summer day to get out of the office. When we got to Eugene we drove around "Matt Court" which is still under construction. We then drove around campus. For a summer day there were a lot of young people walking around. We then drove across the Willamette river to Oregon's football stadium, Autzen Stadium for our appointment. They had marked parking spaces reserved for people there to pick their seats in back of the "Mo Center." We then took the elevator up to the third level of the sky suites at Autzen Stadum and were directed to a sky Suite overlooking the football field. We checked in and were offered drinks and snacks. They had sample seats to try out and a large screen TV of the selection room which shows the selection board (large seating chart)by a live web cam on the board from the selection suite down the hall. As people picked and reserved seats they would put red stickers on the seat to show it was taken. We were able to ask Athletic Department staff, who were in the room, questions and see detailed diagrams of all three floors of Matt Court.We checked out were the elevators, restrooms and snack bars were located on the concourse for the third level where we were going to pick seats. While waiting we check out the new turf on Autzen stadium and the fact they had taken off the old painted diagrams around the base of the stadium in perpetration of repainting it. A Athletic Department Staff member then came over and told us she would guide us through the process. We talked to her till it was time to walk down the hall to Nike's Phil Knights Suite to do the actual picking. Once we got there we were put in another holding area till it was time to go to the big board for our pick. My wife back in Medford was able to watch on the web cam and saw the back of my hat as I picked our seats in the Midcourt Terrace on the side facing the Oregon Bench. We were able to get aisle seats.They then put red stickers on the board where we had picked seats and we talked briefly to some of the staff we knew. We were then taken down the hall to another suite to make a deposit on the seats.
We then waked over to the Mo Center "Duck Shop" to do some shopping. They did not have what I wanted so they called the other "Duck Shop" stores in Eugene and found what I was looking for over at The Duck Shop" at the Valley River Center Mall. We drove over there and from there we drove through downtown Eugene and then went to the Nike store at the Oakway Mall on Coburg Road. From there we went to the Duck Shop at the campus bookstore on campus. We then had lunch at Track Town Pizza across Franklin Blvd from the under construction Matt Court. Many of the construction workers from the arena construction were there having lunch. It's nice to see construction workers able to work in this economy. After lunch we drove the three hour trip back to Medford.
It was a great day!
To see the live web cam of the seating board as well as a web cam of the actual construction click on the title above for a link to mactomatt.net. You may have to do some addition clicking but there is a lot of information about the new Matthew Knight Arena named for Phil Knights deceased son. Thanks Phil for all you do for the Ducks!
After a long wait it's finally becoming a reality. Go Ducks!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Regardless of the merits of the Arizona illegal immigration law and the court decision preventing part of it from being implemented, Andy McCarthy of National Review Online is right when he says"
The upshot of it is to tell Americans that if they want the immigration laws enforced, they are going to need a president willing to do it, a Congress willing to make clear that the federal government has no interest in preempting state enforcement, and the selection of judges who will not invent novel legal theories to frustrate enforcement. They are not going to get that from the Obama/Reid/Pelosi Democrats.
In other word if the American public truly want illegal immigration stopped they will not get it from the Congress or President we now have!
If the Democrats want an open boarder with Mexico then they should have the courage to pass a law to that effect. What they are now doing is having anemic border enforcement with a cynical wink to the the Mexican American community in the United States to keep voting for the Democrats. It reminds me of the crooked sheriff in the western town who looks the other way when gambling and prostitution is going on in their town because of the kickbacks they get from those illegal enterprises.
From Casablanca (not a western but a good illustration of the point)
Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
[a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]
Croupier: Your winnings, sir.
Captain Renault: [sotto voce] Oh, thank you very much.
Captain Renault: Everybody out at once!
The lead column in today's Wall Street Journal is by two Democrats, Pat Caddell, who served as a pollster for President Jimmy Carter and Doug Schoen, who served as a pollster for President Bill Clinton, and is the author of "The Political Fix" (Henry Holt, 2010). They confirm what I have discovered and learned about President Obama:
Rather than being a unifier, Mr. Obama has divided America on the basis of race, class and partisanship. Moreover, his cynical approach to governance has encouraged his allies to pursue a similar strategy of racially divisive politics on his behalf.
I might add they don't spare the Republicans either. These are two savvy "middle of the road" guys who's opinions I respect on politics even if they are Democrats.
This is an important column and is must reading for anyone who loves America. to read the entire column click on the title for a link.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Dennis Prager has an excellent column today on why the Left hates Conservatives. For the last week I have been thinking the same thing after reading the comments of the JournoList email list. I was amazed at the personal venon expressed against Conservatives. I have often expressed my dislike of liberals like Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama or Teddy Kennedy but I have never wished them anything but good health and a long life. This is the opening to Prager's column:
Of all the recent revelations to come out of JournoList, an e-mail list consisting of about 400 liberal/left journalists, perhaps the most telling is the depth of their hatred for conservatives. That these journalists would consult with one another in order to protect candidate and then President Obama and in order to hurt Republicans is unfortunate and ugly. What is jolting is the hatred of conservatives on display, as exemplified by the e-mail from a public-radio reporter expressing her wish to personally see Rush Limbaugh die a painful death — and the apparent absence of any objection from her fellow liberal journalists.
He then give three possible answers for the hatred:
1. " conservatives believe that those on the left are wrong, while those on the left believe that those on the right are bad."
2."when you don’t confront real evil,( Communism or Islamic terror) you hate those who do." ( I inserted the words in parenthesise)
3."the Left’s utopian vision is prevented only by the Right."
To read the rest of Denis Prager's column click on the title for a link.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
This Summer I have been using my Netflix account to watch each episode of the British TV series "Foyles War." It's a detective series set during World War II in the South of England. Each episode is a self contained murder investigation and the episodes are in chronological order corresponding to the progress of the war. I have always been interested about life in England during World War II and each episode blends fact with fiction. I learn something new about the war in each episode.
According to Wikipedia:
The programme is set during, and after, the Second World War in Hastings, England, where Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) attempts to catch criminals who are taking advantage of the confusion the war has created. He is assisted by his driver Samantha "Sam" Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks) and Detective Sergeant Paul Milner (Anthony Howell).
Foyle, a widower, is quiet, methodical, and very observant and is frequently underestimated by his foes. Many of his cases concern profiteering, the black market, and murder. Foyle often comes up against high-ranking officials in the British military or intelligence services who would prefer that he mind his own business, but he is tenacious in seeking justice.
The stories are largely self-contained. There are some running strands, mainly involving the career of Foyle's son Andrew (played by Julian Ovenden), a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force, or Foyle's continuing relationships with cameo characters.
Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) is a somewhat lonely and sad figure who does his duty in an understated British way. He served in World War I and his wife, the love of his life, died between the two wars. They only had one child, a son, who at the beginning of the war left Oxford to join the RAF and is a Spitfire fighter pilot who fights in the Battle of Brittan. Foyle worries about his son but you can only see it in his eyes because he is not one to show emotion. Most of his sons friends in the RAF have "bought it" and he is one of the few who remains from the start of the war.
Foyles assistant, Detective Sergeant Paul Milner (Anthony Howell) lost his leg in Norway in the early part of the war when England tried to prevent Germany from taking over that country in a bungled attempt that met with disaster. Foyle goes to the hospital where Sergeant Milner is convalescing, and feeling sorry for himself, and talks him into coming back to work for him with his new prosthetic leg.
Foyle doesn't drive so the Transport Department has assigned him Samantha "Sam" Stewart (Honeysuckle Weeks)as his driver. She is always available for comic relief as she tried to "help" with Foyles investigations.
Each episode features a interesting fact about the war. One episode deals with how England medically treated RAF pilots who were burned in combat . Anther deals with the neo Nazi movement in England. You learn how England removed all the street signs in Southern England and advised citizens to hide or destroy maps so as to confuse an invading German Army.
Click on the title for more information about the series.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
"In Going and Coming (1947), ..... Rockwell shows how the proliferation of automobiles after World War II helped to create a new type of family vacation. (left: Going and Coming , Saturday Evening Post cover, August 30,1947, oil on canvas, 16 x 31 1/2 and 16 x 31 1/2 inches, © 1947 Curtis Publishing Company. From the permanent collection of the Norman Rockwell Museum at Stockbridge, Norman Rockwell Art Collection Trust)"
I love this Norman Rockwell painting. My wife has a "Rockwell" calender on the wall over her office computer and this is the calender picture for "July." As a kid in the 1950's some of my favorite memories are of family car vacations to places like Yellowstone National Park and to Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota. My dad and I did not have a lot in common but we both enjoyed a good road map and would spend time together plotting out our trips. As a kid I had a little cardboard suitcase where I would store all the road maps. I loved "roadside attractions" such as The Sea Lion Caves, The Prehistoric Gardens or the old ghost town of Calico.
Now that our kids are adults I miss our summer car vacations where we would take the kids to places like Yellowstone or Mt Rushmore. My favorite trip was when we went to Monument Valley on the Utah/Arizona border on our "Southwest trip" with stops in Las Vegas, The Grand Canyon, Santa Fe, and Old Tuscon Studios. Yes, the picture of me above under "My Profile" is from that trip to Monument Valley. We also took trips to Seattle and Victoria Canada and of course to Disneyland and University of Oregon football Bowl games. My only regret is we should have taken more car trips. I always had the dream of a cross county trip. My guess is I would have enjoyed it more than the family.
If you look closely at the picture you will see "grandma" in the very back seat. That reminds me as a kid my mother's uncle, "Uncle Herman", would often accompany us on our car trips. Uncle Herm liked to chew tobacco and one night we stayed at a motel in southern Utah and he could not find a store that sold chewing tobacco and he was ready to take a bus out of there so he could get to a place where it was sold. Herm would sit between my sister and I, in the back seat, to keep us from fighting. He loved cameras and was always taking pictures.He always wore a hat like the dad in the picture above. Yes, the picture brings back lots of memories.
For fun watch the Chevy Chase movie National Lampoon's Family Vacation for a very funny satire on family car trips with a lot of truth thrown in.
Monday, July 19, 2010
One of the things I am looking forward to this month is a three hour trip up I-5 to Eugene to help pick out our seats, for our new season basketball tickets, in the new University of Oregon Basketball arena, Mathew Knight Arena aka "Matt Court". The University Athletic Department has set up specific appointments for all season ticket holders to pick out their seats in order of their donation status ie the bigger donors go first and the little donors like us go near the end.
In the past I have not bought season basketball tickets because of the difficulty traveling three hours from Medford to Eugene, through four mountain passes, in the dead of winter, for a Thursday night basketball game. However,this year with the opening of Matt Court I helped form a group of 5 guys who are going together and buying two season tickets which we will share under a lottery system. We have put together an elaborate contract between us and when the season tickets arrive we will divide them up between the 5 members. We will draw numbers out of a "hat" an whoever gets #1 will pick the game of his choice and get the two tickets for that game and then the guy who pulled #2 out of the "hat" will pick the next game until everyone has one set of game tickets. We will then do it again in rotation until all the game tickets are chosen. Members can give or sell their tickets under the rules of the contract but they can not give or sell "Civil War" tickets with Oregon State to any Beaver!
The University has a web site showing what seats have been taken and which seats are still available (somewhat like an airline website where you choose your seats on a commercial airline when buying an airline ticket). However, the University requires we go to Eugene and pick out our seats at a sky suite in Autzen Stadium,
the football stadium,(Phil Knight's suite) since Matt Court is still under construction.
It should be a fun trip and we may be able to go to the "Duck Shop" after we have picked out our seats. Lunch at Track Town Pizza??? It will be great to get out of the office for a day! Basketball in July! Go Ducks!
Friday, July 16, 2010
Former Oregon head football coach and just retired Kentucky head coach Rich Brooks on Rob Mullens Oregon's new Athletic Director:
“a man with backbone and talent.”
That's quite a complement coming from Rich Brooks who is known for his steadfast determination.
Click on title to read more
On a personal note it's somewhat ironic on the day I take my son to the airport here in Medford, Oregon to fly back to graduate school at the University of Kentucky my University of Oregon Ducks get a new Athletic Director from the University of Kentucky (see post below)
Here is the press release from the University of Oregon:
EUGENE, Ore. – (July 15, 2010) – University of Oregon President Richard Lariviere announced today he has chosen Rob Mullens – deputy director of athletics at the University of Kentucky for the past four years – to become director of intercollegiate athletics at the UO.
“Rob Mullens brings a deep reservoir of experience to the University of Oregon,” Lariviere said. “He has played key roles in managing large and complex organizations at the University of Kentucky and the University of Maryland, and those universities have flourished as a result. His management and financial expertise will be invaluable to the UO as our athletics department continues to thrive and secures its place as one of the preeminent programs in the nation.”
As deputy director of athletics, Mullens managed day-to-day operations of Kentucky’s 22-sport athletics department, with an annual operating budget of $79 million. His background is in accounting and auditing, and he has promoted sound fiscal management and self-sufficiency at the University of Kentucky. During his total of eight years at Kentucky, the athletic department’s operating budget has expanded by nearly 70 percent. Fundraising for the department has hit record levels each of the past seven years.
Mullens replaces longtime UO administrator and faculty member Lorraine Davis, who came out of retirement to serve as interim athletics director after Mike Bellotti resigned in March to become a college football analyst for ESPN television broadcasts. Mullens will begin his duties at the UO on or before Sept. 1.
Prior to being named deputy director of athletics at Kentucky, Mullens served as the university’s executive associate director of athletics from 2002 to 2006. He served at the University of Maryland from 1996 to 2002, starting as assistant director of athletics for business and ultimately as executive senior associate director of athletics and chief of staff.
He was senior athletics business manager at the University of Miami (Fla.) from 1994 to 1996, and prior to that he was an accountant/auditor at Ernst & Young in Raleigh, N.C.
“Much will be expected of Rob Mullens as the university’s new athletics director, and based on his track record I am confident that he will be very successful at the University of Oregon,” Lariviere said. “Rob has been asked to develop a clear vision to maintain and advance the UO’s competitive advantages in fundraising, facilities development and recruitment and retention of student-athletes and staff. He will insure that the athletics department remains financially self-sufficient, while at the same time promoting an environment that helps each student athlete to succeed in the classroom as well as the field of competition.
“This is a period of important growth and change for the athletics department. A new basketball arena will open within a year and additional improvements are on the way for other athletics facilities. It will be Rob’s role to not only oversee and promote future advances for the department, but to nurture the individual programs that will fill those outstanding venues.”
Mullens went to school at West Virginia University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in sport management. He and his wife, Jane, have two sons. He enjoys running and golfing.
About the University of Oregon: The University of Oregon is a world-class teaching and research institution and Oregon's flagship public university. The UO is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), an organization made up of the 63 leading public and private research institutions in the United States and Canada. The University of Oregon is one of only two AAU members in the Pacific Northwest.
Looks like a good hire ! A "green shade" accountant who knows about athletics. I watched his press conference yesterday and I like him. He has "heartland" values" and personality. He called Nike's Phil Knight on his way to Eugene from Portland for his press conference. Good start!Let's Go Ducks !
Ron Bellamy of The Register-Guard has some quotes from Greg Byrne one of my original choices to fill the job:
Arizona AD Greg Byrne, whose father, Bill, served as Oregon’s AD from 1984 to 1992 and who served on the staffs at Oregon and Oregon State before working at Kentucky for three years — Byrne and Mullens were the nucleus of Barnhart’s original management team in Lexington — said Mullens is “very smart. He’s very organized and detailed. He’s very good in working with people.
“He’ll be great at delivering a message, whether that’s a message to the fans externally, or to a student-athlete, and he will also have the challenging discussions that have to take place as far as being a leader.
“I think he’s going to bring stability,” Byrne continued. “I think he’s going to bring a creativity, which Oregon obviously has done a great job of, and he’ll be able to continue that. He’s great with the finances and will be able to create a vision and plan for managing the finances correctly long-term.....
“I trust him absolutely, implicitly with the numbers, there’s no question about that. But make no mistake about it, Rob Mullens will build relationships, and he will be very good about that.”.....
“I’m sure he’ll be very good working with Phil,”(Knight) Byrne said. “My time around Phil is that he always likes smart, hard-working people, and Rob will certainly be that.”
To read the rest of the column including quotes from Rich Brooks and Chip Kelly click on the title for a link
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There's a battle outside ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'.
From Rich Galen's Mullings column:
What follows will be considered nothing less than heresy by other children of the '60s (who are now IN our 60s), but the irony is too perfect to ignore.
The poet laureate of our generation was a guy named Robert Allen Zimmerman, better known to some as Bob Dylan.
Of all the poems he set to music, one of my favorites was "The Times They are a'Changin'" which was a plea to "mothers and fathers," "writers and critics," and "Congressman, Senators" to (in the latter group) "please heed the call." ....
Here's the headline on the Washington Post's web page about their new poll:
Majority Favors GOP Control of Congress
The explanatory graf reads:
"A new Washington Post/ABC poll found those most likely to vote in the midterms prefer the GOP over continued Democratic rule by a sizable margin of 56 percent to 41 percent."
Calling a 15 percentage point chasm a "sizeable margin" is like calling the Deepwater Horizon spill an "oil leak."
To read the rest of the column click on the title for a link.
But, to quote from the first Star Wars movie in 1977 when other freedom fighters were fighting an "evil empire" :) Republicans:"Don't get cocky."
Friday, July 09, 2010
I knew a lad who went to sea and left the shore behind him;
I knew him well; the lad was me and now I cannot find him.
– from the opening chorale
From the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB)
semi-documentary dramatization of five weeks in the life of Vice Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey, Jr., from his assignment to command the U.S. naval operations in the South Pacific to the Allied victory at Guadalcanal
"There are no great men, only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet." Fleet Admiral William F. 'Bull' Halsey Jr.:
Last week I discovered that one of my favorite movies of all time was on DVD but could only be purchased from Amazon.com under their "burn on demand" program where they only make the DVD when the movie is purchased. They are doing this with select classic movies that may not have a broad audience. So I ordered it and it arrived yesterday. I first saw the movie at a drive in movie theater with my parents in 1960. After watching it last night I can only say that after 50 years it is still an outstanding and moving movie experience. The movie was directed by Robert Montgomery who was in the navy during World War II and stared in John Ford's "They Were Expendable" about PT boats in the Pacific during the war. Bull Halsey is one of my favorite military leaders of World War II. He had his faults but he was a real warrior. I remember when I saw this movie as a kid I was a little disappointed there were no battle scenes in the movie but I appreciate it even more now. The semi religious cappella choral music soundtrack adds a lot to the movie and gives it a feeling of honor you don't see in movies today and might be a "turn off" to a younger more cynical audience.
The Gallant Hours is a 1960 American biopic docu-drama about Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey and his efforts in fighting against Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto and the forces of Imperial Japan in the Guadalcanal campaign in World War II.
The black & white film was directed by Robert Montgomery, who also did uncredited narration, and stars James Cagney as Halsey. Featured in the cast are Dennis Weaver, Ward Costello, Vaughn Taylor, Richard Jaeckel and Les Tremayne. The screenplay is by Frank D. Gilroy and Beirne Lay, Jr. and the unusual a cappella choral score was composed and conducted by Roger Wagner, although the theme song was written by Ward Costello.
The film was produced by Montgomery and Cagney, the only film made by their joint production company, and released by United Artists on June 22, 1960.
The Gallant Hours depicts the crucial five-week period in October–November 1942 after Admiral Halsey (James Cagney) took command of the beleaguered American forces in the South Pacific, which became a turning point in the struggle against the Japanese Empire during the Second World War. The story is told in flashback, framed by Halsey's retirement ceremony in 1947.
Unusual for a war film, The Gallant Hours has no battle scenes; all the fighting takes place off-screen, and there is an emphasis throughout the film on logistics and strategy rather than tactics and combat. Fundamentally, the film becomes a battle of wills and wits between the dogged Halsey and his brilliant Japanese counterpart, Admiral Yamamoto (James T. Goto). For dramatic effect, the mission to kill Yamamoto is made contemporaneous with the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal; in fact it took place five months later, in April 1943.
Also somewhat unorthodox is that scenes depicting Japanese staff officers were performed in Japanese, with only summary translations provided by the narrator, which are remarkably even-handed in their characterization for an American feature film of this period.
Director Robert Montogomery had served under Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey as a Commander in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and came up with the idea of making a film about Halsey when he attended the 75th birthday celebration honoring the Admiral in 1957. Montgomery and his good friend James Cagney acquired the rights to Halsey's life story later that year, and formed a production company, Cagney-Montgomery Productions, to make the film. Montgomery had started directing on 1945's They Were Expendable, substituting for John Ford when Ford was ill, and made his credited directorial debut in 1947 with Lady in the Lake. He had also produced for television before, but The Gallant Hours was the first feature film he both directed and produced. It turned out to be his last involvement of any kind in film and television, as producer, director or actor. Cagney's foray into production was also his first, and his last.
The voiceover narration technique Montgomery utilized was similar to what he had done in Lady in the Lake, although in that case the narration was in the first person. What is striking about the narrative in The Gallant Hours is the degree of detail provided to introduce both main and minor characters to the audience, even sometimes indicating the manner of their death in the near future. Also unusual is that both American and Japanese characters are treated in a neutral and even-handed way.
The production team utilized the services of three technical advisors in making the film – Captain Joseph U. Lademan, Captain Idris Monahan, and James T. Goto, who not only was the Japanese advisor but also portrayed Admiral Yamamoto in the film.
For James Cagney, The Gallant Hours was "a labor of love, a tribute to that wonderful man Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey" for himself and his long-time friend Robert Montgomery. Cagney praised Montgomery because he "steered away from big battle scenes and roaring guns. We concentrated on Halsey himself, trying to convey some of the tension of high command" in the film.
In researching his role as Halsey, Cagney interviewed many men who had served under the Admiral, including two interviews with the admiral himself, but he found the role a difficult one, despite the physical similarities between the two men. Cagney was very concerned that he not impose any of his usual acting mannerisms on the character of Halsey – on the other hand, despite having met his subject several times, he didn't try to imitate Halsey's mannerisms either. As Cagney biographer John McCabe noted: "The film would be utterly boring wthout Cagney's thoughtful performance. Nowhere in his career had he been called on to do so much by doing so little."
There was one aspect of Halsey's personality neither the script nor Cagney touched on in any way: his reputation as a "sea dog", with "a girl in every port". Halsey's nickname "Bull" was supposedly conferred on him by his fellow officers not for his toughness in combat, but for his off-duty exploits ashore.
The Gallant Hours was Cagney's last starring role in a dramatic film. Thereafter he starred in a comedy, One, Two, Three, in 1961, and appeared briefly in Ragtime in 1981.
The Gallant Hours was filmed in black & white at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios in the spring of 1959, with some exterior scenes shot in San Diego. The film employed a new construction technique to make the interior battleship shots easier to light: the sets were hung from overhead grids to enable them to swing in and out as needed. Working titles for the film were "Bull Halsey" and "The Admiral Halsey Story".
It had its world premiere in Washington, D.C. on 13 May 1960, sponsored by the Navy League, and was released generally on 22 June 1960 in New York City.
The real "Bull" Halsey
*Vice Admiral Halsey was at sea in his flagship, USS Enterprise, during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Upon learning of the Japanese attack, he was rumored to have remarked, "Before we're through with 'em, the Japanese language will only be spoken in hell." Halsey's contempt for the Japanese was well-displayed throughout the war to the officers and sailors under his command in very successful campaigns to boost morale. One such example was the slogan attributed to Halsey, "Kill Ja*s, Kill Ja*s, Kill More Ja*s!" The more of the little yellow bastards you kill, the quicker we go home! During the first six months of the war, his carrier task force took part in raids on enemy-held islands and in the Doolittle Raid on Japan. By this time he had adopted the slogan, "Hit hard, hit fast, hit often." (*edited by me for current sensibilities and from Wikipedia)
Halsey's greatest blunder was at the navel battle of Leyte Gulf when he took the Japanese bait and went after their "decoy" fleet and left the landing troops under General MacArthur vulnerable to another Japanese fleet that was only beaten off with airplanes from some small "jeep carriers."
Thursday, July 08, 2010
My talented wife combined her passion for quilting with my passion for the University of Oregon Ducks to make this quilt and carrying bag that was auctioned off at the Annual Duffin Fore the Ducks Dinner Auction here in Medford to raise money for Oregon's student athletes. Now I want her to make me one so I can get warm while watching Duck football on TV in November and December and basketball in the winter. Go Ducks!
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Liberal Mort Zuckerman:
The hope that fired up the election of Barack Obama has flickered out, leaving a national mood of despair and disappointment. Americans are dispirited over how wrong things are and uncertain they can be made right again. Hope may have been a quick breakfast, but it has proved a poor supper. A year and a half ago Obama was walking on water. Today he is barely treading water. Then, his soaring rhetoric enraptured the nation. Today, his speeches cannot lift him past a 45 percent approval rating.
There is a widespread feeling that the government doesn't work......
It is clear that the magical moment of Obama's campaign conveyed a spell that is now broken in the context of the growing public disillusionment. Obama's rise has been spectacular, but so too has been his fall.
Mr Zuckerman is the publisher and owner of the New York Daily News since 1993 and, as of 2007, is the current editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report. According to Wikipedia: "Since the late 1970s, Zuckerman has donated more than $68,000 to American political candidates with $42,700 going to Democratic politicians and $24,000 to independent interests...... Zuckerman has been known as a Democrat and a supporter of liberal causes...."
To read the rest of Mr Zuckerman's column click on the title for a link.
Monday, July 05, 2010
Friday night my wife and I went out to the Medford Jackson County "International" Airport to pick up our son who came from Kentucky for a visit.
Saturday he and my wife went to Winco to stock up on our food for the weekend. I went by a coworkers home to perform a wedding ceremony for some relatives of hers. My son and I then drove over to Ashland to pick up the race packet for his 6 mile race on the 4th. While there we used Duct Tape and an old tablecloth to reserve a space for us along the 4th of July parade rout in Ashland. The folks of Ashland have a quaint tradition of doing this, and believe it our not, people respect your "claim." We then stopped by my favorite CD Music store and then we drove over the 6 mile run route. We then drove back to Medford and went to bed early to get ready for the race.
Sunday (July 4th) we got up early about 5:30 AM and headed over to Ashland for the run and parade. On the way I played my favorite patriotic music on the cars CD player. We parked up above Lithia Park and walked down through the area where they were setting up the food and craft booths on our way to the 6 mile run start. We dropped off our sand chairs at our reserved spot on the parade route and waited for our son to start the race. I got a picture of him as he was getting ready and one when he was heading toward the finish line at the end of the race. He had a good time and I am proud of him. He has lost about 60 pounds since Christmas and he looks good. While he was running I sat on my sand chair on the parade route and just watched people. After the race we watched the good old fashioned 4th of July Parade with a "Liberal" twist. Ashland as I have said many times is a liberal bastion in conservative southern Oregon. Ashland it is a retirement community of upper middle class baby boomers interested in "the arts.". It's the home of the Oregon Shakespearean Festival and Southern Oregon University. I refused to go over there for the 4th of July two years ago because of the proliferation of Obama signs everywhere. I found the uniformity of opinion and lack of political diversity indicative of the "group think" found on many university campuses across America.Well, now most of the Obama signs are gone and those that remain are faded. It has the feel of a party that has ended but a few party goers refuse to go home. The parade was fun in spite of the many Democrat politicians and liberal political interest groups. After the parade we waited around for the raffle for the run participants. Our son won a gift certificate to a local pizza parlor. We then walked over to Lithia Park and got there in time to hear a Shakespearean actor recite the Declaration of Independence at the band shell and hear the Ashland City Band play Stars and Stripes Forever. All in all a good day. We then drove back to Medford where my wife had prepared a great July 4th dinner.
Today,July 5th, our son and I are going to take down an old patio cover on our back deck and put up a new gazebo in it's place.
Saturday, July 03, 2010
*****IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776*****
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
— John Hancock
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
Friday, July 02, 2010
Oregon State Representative Dennis Richardson sent me this email newsletter in which he gives the best analysis I have seen of Oregon's financial crisis.
Oregon's Financial Status
My name is Dennis Richardson and I'm an Oregon State Legislator. I write this newsletter for Oregonians interested in our State and what can be done to improve it.
I believe Oregon's future depends on an informed citizenry.
Today's newsletter focuses on Oregon's financial status. As we look forward to the 2011 Legislative Session, it is crucial to anticipate the fiscal challenges we face.
The seriousness of Oregon's financial situation becomes apparent when we consider the following:
1. Oregon Spending has grown 46% in two budgets. The "All Funds" revenues include funds from every source--general fund revenues, other taxes, fees, lottery revenue, debt, federal money, etc. In the past two budgets, Oregon's total "All Funds" budgets have increased 46%, from $41 billion to $60 billion. (Click Here.)
2. $1.6 Billion of "One-Time Money" used to balance current budget. The "General Fund" revenues include personal and corporate income taxes, tobacco, insurance, estate taxes and some revenues from liquor, fines & fees. To balance Oregonâ€™s current 2009-11 General Fund & Lottery Fund (GF/LF) $14.4 billion, the Legislature cobbled together $1.6 billion in "one-time money," that will not be available to help balance the upcoming 2011-13 budget. (To see the source of the $1.6 billion, Click Here.)
3. Expected revenues down $891 million; Governor orders 9% cuts from agency budgets. Since the close of last year's Legislative Session, the official State Revenue Forecast has decreased every quarter and is currently $891 million less than at the close of session. (Click Here.) As a result, the Governor has ordered a 9% cut in state agency budgets in the final 12 months of the 2009-11 biennia. The cuts will total $577 million, and the consequences to education, public safety and health and human services will be profound. (To see which programs are being cut, Click Here.)
4. Oregon is an income tax dependent state, yet 10.5% unemployment remains the norm. Ninety-three percent of General Fund revenues come from Personal and Corporate Income Taxes. Yet, since 2008 Oregon's official unemployment rate has averaged more than 10.5%. More than 200,000 Oregon workers are officially unemployed and tens of thousands of others are jobless and without benefits. Since 2007 Oregon's private sector has lost 154,000 jobs. (Click Here.) It is illogical to believe income tax revenues will substantially increase when so many workers are out of work and so many businesses are out of business.
5. $2.7 Billion of "new revenue" required to maintain Current Service Level in 2011-13 Budget. Notwithstanding successive reductions in revenues in each of the four quarters since the close of session in June 2009 (Click Here.), the cost to maintain state government's Current Service Level (CSL) continues to rise at an unsustainable rate. The anticipated increase in spending necessary to maintain our state's CSL in the 2011-13 budget after various adjustments will require $2.7 billion more than the amount needed for 2009-11. In other words, $2.7 billion of additional revenue will be needed in 2011-13, assuming revenues increase to compensate for the $1.6 billion in one-time money used to balance the current 2009-11 budget. ( Click Here.) To keep in perspective the magnitude of this $2.7 billion of addition revenue needed for 2011-13, we should remember that as a result of decreasing income tax revenues, the forecast for our current budget has decreased $891 million since the 2009 session ended.
In short, Oregon's revenues are dropping like a rock, while Oregon's expenditures are skyrocketing -- Oregon has an unsustainable level of spending.....
Why is Oregon in such dire financial straits? A primary reason is the unsustainable growth in government expenses, and especially in the expanded hiring of government employees. Most of the state employees I know are dedicated and hard-working. The problem is not with the state employees as individuals, it is with the increase in hiring and the costs to maintain such a large work-force. Consider the ramifications of the following statement. According to the recently released Final Report of the Governor's Reset Cabinet, three of every four General Fund dollars is ultimately spent on payroll or benefits.
With the private sector continuing to lose jobs, how can we pay for thousands of new state workers? As Oregon's public sector hired additional 4300 government workers since November 2007, workers in the private sector have not fared so well.
As our state government expands its overhead, the number of jobless Oregonians who no longer pay income taxes continues to grow. Just since the March 2010 Forecast, nearly 15,000 more jobs have been lost.
The Capitol and its surrounding buildings have been described as "one square mile surrounded by reality." The reality for most Oregon families and private sector businesses is this-- times are hard and cutting back on expenses is a fact of life.
Such has not been the case in our State government. At a time when the State should have been prioritizing its spending it has expanded "non-essential" agencies and programs--sometimes at alarming rates.
In my opinion, the highest priorities for state spending should be to the following:
1. Ensure public safety;
2. Provide care for the health and well-being of Oregon's most vulnerable citizens, who cannot care for themselves; and
3. Ensure that Oregon's students receive a quality education.
In contrast, consider the growth of spending between 2005-07 and 2009-11 of the following state departments and agencies: State Agency/Dept. 2005-07 2009-11 % Change
Dept. of Energy $102.8 m. $259.5 m. +152%
St. Dept. of Lands $19.7 m. $33.2 m. +68%
Dept. Environmental Quality $303.4 m. $401.3 m. +32%
Dept. Human Services (DHS) $10,000 m. $16,000 m. +60% (+ $6 billion)
Ore. Dept. Of Trans. (ODOT) $2,881 m. $4,073 m. +41% (+ $1.2 billion)
PERS $6,805 m. $10,488 m. +54% (+ $1 billion)
Governorâ€™s Office $10.9 m. $17.2 m. +58%
(Source: Leg. Fiscal Office 2009-11 Budget Highlights Update. (Click Here.)
Where does the money go when there are such huge increases in budgets? Most of the increases in the budget for the Department of Human Services have gone to pay the increased demand for benefits. Nevertheless, since 3 out of 4 dollars are related to payroll expenses, they certainly are a primary factor in escalating costs.
Recently I was joined on an Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) program by a public union representative and union employee. Both passionately (and erroneously) stated that government workers earn substantially less than their private sector counter-parts. If such a disparity were true in the past, it certainly is not true today. There is a concerted effort to misinform the people by repeatedly saying public workers are paid less than private sector workers. On average, Oregon State government workers earn more per year than their private sector counter-parts.... The growing disparity between public and private compensation is most obvious in the areas of retirement and health benefits--100% of Oregon's state workers' benefits are paid for by Oregon taxpayers.
As discussed in a previous newsletter, State workers after 30 years are retiring at 58 with life-long retirement annuities that pay 80% of the employee's highest salary and would cost more than a million dollars if purchased from a private annuity company. Such expensive retirement benefits are paid entirely by the State. When such State workers add their Social Security benefits at age 65 to their PERS retirement annuities, they often are receiving more money when retired than they earned while employed. The cost to state taxpayers to fund the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) will increase in 2011-13 by 60% in PERS-related expenses and consume between $400 - $500 million from high priority State services. (Click Here.)
While PERS benefits are a substantial drain on state revenues, Oregon state workers also enjoy similarly generous health benefits. Oregon is the only state that pays 100% of the group insurance premiums for both the employee's and his or her family's benefits. Presently, the monthly costs for those health benefits are $1,100 for medical, $80 for dental and $1 for life insurance--that's a total of $1,181 per month and it is all paid by the state. (Click Here.)
I have received estimates of the number of State employees ranging from 37,000 to 54,000. Irrespective of the actual number, if State employees who are covered by health benefits were required to begin paying Â¼ of their monthly group insurance costs ($1181 x Â¼ = $295.25), the savings to the State would be substantial. The total savings from having state workers pay a quarter of the cost for their group insurance benefits could free up between $262 million and $350 million for high priority State services in the next biennium.
It is time for State workers to pay their "fair share" of their retirement and health benefits -- and this also pertains to members of the Legislature and the Judiciary.
In conclusion, the Governor's Reset Cabinet states in its report that $1.6 billion of one-time money was used to balance the 2009-11 State Budget and that it will cost an additional $2.2 billion to $2.7 billion to maintain current service levels in the 2011-13 State General Funds Budget. The Reset Cabinet bases their calculations on the assumption that an economic recovery is under way and there will be sufficient "new revenue" in 2011-13 to make up for the $1.6 billion of one-time money consumed to balance our current budget. From the evidence, information and links above, I am much less optimistic.
In an average economy Oregon creates approximately 25,000 new jobs per year. Since November 2007 Oregon has lost 154,000 jobs, which includes the loss of 15,000 jobs in the past three months. Oregon's economy today is not "average," and even if it were, it would take more than six years merely to regain the jobs lost since 2007. In addition to the jobs lost, Oregon's expected tax revenues have decreased $891 million since the June 2009 "Close Of Session" Forecast.
Based on all of the above, I believe there is little chance the Governor's Reset Cabinet's expectation will be realized for enough "new revenue" to off-set the loss of the $1.6 billion in one-time funds expended in the current biennium.
Assume, for the sake of argument, that Oregon's revenue were to gain enough "new money" to make up for the $891 million in lost revenues since the close of session. The Legislature, in order to maintain Oregon State government's current service level, will still be facing both a $1.6 billion hole (to make up for the one-time money used to balance the current budget), as well as $2.256 billion in additional expenses set forth in the Cabinet's "Components of the 2011-13 Expenditures" box on page 26 of their final report. (Click Here.)
Added together the $1.6 billion hole and the $2.256 billion additional expenses total more than $3.8 billion needed to balance the 2011-13 budget. Since Oregon has a population of 3.8 million, per capita, in addition to all existing Oregon financial obligations, $1,000 for every man, woman and child in Oregon will be needed to balance the proposed 2011-13 budget.
When considering the dire situation in which Oregon finds itself, many have said, "At least we are not as bad-off as California." Oregon and the nation are laughing at California--the state with the basket-case economy.
But, wait a minute. How does Oregon's situation contrast with that of California? Both California and Oregon have greatly increased their number of state employees and related government expenditures. Both states have increased their social programs, their regulations and taxation of businesses and individuals; and, both states now have unemployment rates significantly higher than the national averages.
California has a top-end budget hole of $25 billion. California also has a population of 38 million. Thus, with a simple calculation, California's budget appears to have a per capita deficit of $658 per person. Oregon's budget appears to have a per capita deficit of $1,000 per person.
Who's laughing now? Not me.
P.S. Oregon is divided into 60 House Districts and 30 Senate Districts. Every Oregonian has both a State Representative and a State Senator. If you want your voice heard on Oregon's spending practices, contact your elected officials. If you would like to add your voice to my blog.
55 South 5th Street
Central Point, OR 97502
Tel: (541) 601-0083
Fax: (541) 664-6625
Our Son is flying home tonight for a two week visit. He is going to graduate school in Kentucky and we have not seen him since our Rose Bowl trip during the Christmas Holidays. He has been studying for his oral exams for his PhD in History and has taken up running since his Christmas visit. He has lost 60 lbs since we last saw him. He has signed up to run in the 6 mile run in Ashland on the 4th of July prior to their parade. It will be good to have him home. He loves Shakespeare and so we hope to take in a play over in Ashland at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival during his visit. We will also be celebrating his birthday before he goes back. I may even be able to talk him in to a visit to Donut Country and a late night movie at a local theater.
He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivatng and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people for whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the LIVES of another.......
At this very time too, they are permitting their chief magistrate to send over not only soldiers of our common blood, but Scotch and foreign mercenaries to invade and destroy us. These facts have given the last stab to agonizing affection, and manly spirit bids us to renounce forever these unfeeling brethren. We must endeavor to forget our former love for them, and hold them as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends. We might have been a free and a great people together; but a communication of grandeur and of freedom, it seems, is below their dignity. Be it so, since they will have it. The road to happiness and to glory is open to us, too. We will tread it apart from them,.....
It's almost here !
Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose; and in this, I think I speak the sentiments of America.—Thomas Jefferson, November 29, 1775
Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it."
— John Adams