Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ducks Basketball in April !

The University of Oregon Duck are the last Pac-10 team still playing. On Friday night they will play Creighton in the third game of the best of three in the College Basketball Invitational Championship at Matt Court in Eugne.

The Ducks guaranteed themselves and Altman a winning season, now 20-18, in which few expected the Ducks’ win total to reach double digits of 10 wins this season. The Ducks were picked 10th in the conference in the Pac10 media pre-season poll. Altman's last losing season was 1996 when his second Creighton team finished 14-15.

Of the 54 coaches who started gigs at new schools this season, 14 have collected 20 wins including Altman.

Ducks outscored Creighton 20-7 to take a 14-point lead into halftime, thanks to a 19-2 edge in points off turnovers. Bluejays guard Antoine Young, who had 27 assists and zero turnovers entering the championship series, had four turnovers in the half.

As Oregon stretched its lead to 21 points early (17:53) in the second half, their margin in points off turnovers grew to 26-2. Young couldn’t get the offense going, and when he managed to get the ball into 270-pound Gregory Echenique, the Ducks were usually there to collapse on him and strip the ball away.

The crowd of 7,875 reached a crescendo when Teondre Williams’ breakaway dunk put Oregon up 52-33 and Garrett Sim followed with a fast-break layup.

When the Ducks weren’t scooping up turnovers and sprinting downcourt, Joevan Catron (game-high 18 points) was cleaning things up around the basket, making sure he would play his 133rd career game. And Malcolm Armstead (14 points, 6 assists) was shredding the beleaguered Creighton defense with his penetrations and soft layins off the glass.

The absolutely final game of the season will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Matthew Knight Arena – the deepest into the calendar year either team has gone. Oregon has never played basketball in April until this Friday.

Creighton will be looking for its first road win since Jan. 9, as Wednesday night’s loss was its eighth in a row on the road.

Not bad for a team that last Summer had to cancel a trip to Europe because they didn't have enough players to put on the court.

Monday, March 28, 2011

"How Democrats View the World" by George Weigel

George Weigel a distinguished senior fellow at Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center has an interesting column on National Review online about the Democratic Party's foreign policy views since the Vietnam War. He writes:

Those ideas have a precise and definable origin: They first emerged when the New Left challenged the Truman/Acheson/Kennedy/(Scoop) Jackson Democratic consensus during the Vietnam War. In softer forms, they then became the new orthodoxy among Democratic foreign-policy mandarins like Cyrus Vance and Warren Christopher. Despite the fiascos to which these ideas led during the Carter and Clinton administrations (cf. the Iran hostage crisis and the American inability to prevent genocide in the Balkans), and despite the efforts of some in the old Democratic Leadership Council to change the intellectual template of Democratic foreign-policy thinking, these bad ideas have shown a remarkable resilience. They remain operative at all levels of the Obama foreign-policy team

He then articulates eight characteristics of this Democratic view of the world:

1. Conflict is not the normal political phenomenon that it was assumed to be for millennia....

2. Peace is not a matter of a rightly ordered and law-governed political community; rather, “peace” is a state of mind that can be willed into being.....

3. The notion that the United States should actively seek to shape world politics is pernicious, not for the old isolationist reason that it’s bad for us, but because we tend to be bad for the world......

4. The use of armed force is almost always a bad idea and reflects, not the intractability of certain situations to other forms of conflict-resolution, but a failure of imagination and will on the part of U.S. policymakers.....

5. The present state system should be replaced by some form of international governance, in which multilateral and international bodies play the leading role.....

6. The primary responsibility of U.S. policymakers is to advance the construction of a multilaterally organized and run international order, not to defend and advance the interests of the United States.......

7. With the Cold War (which was in no small part Harry Truman’s fault) now over, there is no power, group of powers, or ideology that poses any grave threat to the United States.....

8. We are not the indispensable nation. There is nothing morally or politically distinctive, much less special, about the American democratic experiment in ordered liberty. So there is no distinctively American approach to world politics, and the United States ought not seek any distinctive role in 21st-century world affairs.....
That is the skeleton of his column. Read the column by clicking on the title for a link to get the real meat of it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Hard Truths on Libya

By Victor Davis Hanson of National Review

A ruler like Qaddafi is part Milosevic, part Saddam, part Noriega, and part Kim Jong Il. They stay in power for years through killing and more killing (to paraphrase Dirty Harry, “They like it”), and they do not leave, ever, unless the U.S. military either bombs them to smithereens or physically goes into their countries and yanks them out of their palaces. Period. They most certainly do not care much for the concern of the Arab League, the U.N., or a contingent from Europe, or a grand verbal televised threat from a U.S. president — again, even if his name is Barack Hussein Obama and he is not George Bush.

Sorry, but that is where we are and where we’ve always been, so we can either quit, as in Lebanon and Somalia; send in the Marines to take charge of postwar stabilization, as in Afghanistan and Iraq; target Qaddafi and bomb him incessantly until he is broken, as in Clinton’s Balkan air campaign; or schedule a multiyear, Iraq-style no-fly zone, with ample latitude to bomb now and then to carve out sanctuaries within Libya. Those are the options, and one will be chosen one way or another, even if the president thinks he can once again vote present on all of them.

(Click on the title for a link to his entire column)

This is like the movie "The Wind & the Lion"(1975) directed by John Milius, but Barack Obama is no Teddy Roosevelt.

Poor Peggy Noonan

Former Reagan speech writer and Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan made a big deal of endorsing Barack Obama after John McCain picked Sarah Palin as his VP pick. Now,she is disappointed in her choice.In her column today she writes:

no one, really, sees President Obama as the kind of leader you'd follow over the top. "This way, men!" "No, I think I'll stay in my trench." People didn't hire him to start battles but to end them. They didn't expect him to open new fronts. Did he not know this?......... he seems incompetent and out of his depth in foreign and military affairs......... I cannot for the life of me see how an American president can launch a serious military action without a full and formal national address in which he explains to the American people why he is doing what he is doing, why it is right, and why it is very much in the national interest.

To read the rest of her column click on the title for a link.

She is right, but why didn't she see this coming? She like many American were fooled by his smooth talk. Now, we know it was on the teleprompter and not in his mind. And she thought Sarah Palin was not ready for "Prime Time"!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Big Weekend in D.C.

This is a big weekend in Washington D.C. for our adult children.

Our son is running on Saturday in the 26 mile "National Marathon" that will wind it's way through all sections of our National Capitol. Way to go !

This same weekend our daughter is singing as a member of the Congressional Chorus on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in a concert of 1930's music called "Stompin at The Savoy." "Break a leg!"

Wish their mother and I could be there and good luck to both of you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hungry i Reunion DVD

Last Sunday my wife and I went by the local flea market at the National Guard Armory here in Medford and I found the above treasure for $5.00 used. As I have posted before in the early 1960's as a kid late at night in Coos Bay, Oregon I would listen to Ira Blue on KGO radio from the Hungry i in San Francisco. Little did I know that 30 years ago they had a reunion concert for events that took place about 50 years ago in San Francisco and that it was put on DVD 6 years ago. Here is the description from ( Click on title for link to amazon):

San Francisco's world famous nightclub provides the setting for this 1980 reunion of the stars who made their debut there. During the 1950s and 1960s, San Francisco's hungry i nightclub was the main breeding ground for rising comedy talent. The hungry i reunion features interviews with comedy greats including Bill Cosby and Phyllis Diller and star-studded performances of classic comic monologues from Mort Sahl, Jonathan Winters, Ronnie Schell, Jackie Vernon and the incomparable Professor Irwin Corey. The show also features rare footage of the legendary Lenny Bruce, in performance. The club was also famous for its folk-singing sessions and two regulars, the Kingston Trio and the Limeliters are on hand to perform some of their classic hits. As a bonus- this special edition DVD includes an entire 30 minute, never-before-seen performance by the revolutionary Mort Sahl, live at the hungry i.

I loved Mort Sahl and his sophisticated political humor. In reading his wikipedia page I learned he taught a class recently at Claremont McKenna College.

Here is what I posted a few years ago:

In the early 1960's Coos Bay was a fairly isolated place on the Oregon coast. If you had cable TV you got the the three networks and an independent station from Portland that featured Portland Wrestling and old movies. There were three radio stations that played music and a newspaper.... the Coos Bay World and on Sunday we got the Portland Journal. There was no Internet, or cable news channels. My parents were fairly strict and even late into our teens we had a time we had to be in bed on school nights much earlier than I believed was necessary. I have always been a "night owl". However, I had a radio with a earphone jack and so I would late into the night listen to KGO radio from San Francisco broadcast live from the Hungy i with Ira Blu as the host. According to Wikipedia:

The hungry i was a legendary San Francisco nightclub operated in the mid-1950s and early 1960s by Enrico Banducci at 599 Jackson Street in the North Beach district. The hungry i was instrumental in launching the careers of singer Barbra Streisand and comedians Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Jonathan Winters, Professor Irwin Corey, Woody Allen, Dick Cavett, Phyllis Diller, the Smothers Brothers, and Joan Rivers.

The club also featured folk singers such as Peter,Paul & Mary and The Kingston Trio.The comedians or singers would often stop by the Radio booth and visit. A very cosmopolitan world for a kid in Coos Bay.

50,000 watt radio Station KGO would broadcast live from the Hungy i and its voice would pierce the dark winter nights to isolated Coos Bay and brought a different world to me of hip comedians and folk music that I love to this day.

KGO was one of the first "talk radio" stations. According to Wikipedia:

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Liberal Way of War (UPDATED)

Ross Douthat in today's New York Times on the war in Libya:

...the Obama administration has delivered a clinic in the liberal way of war.
Because liberal wars depend on constant consensus-building within the (so-called) international community, they tend to be fought by committee, at a glacial pace, and with a caution that shades into tactical incompetence. And because their connection to the national interest is often tangential at best, they’re often fought with one hand behind our back and an eye on the exits, rather than with the full commitment that victory can require.

(Click on title for link)


President Truman refused to allow Douglas MacArthur to bomb North of the Yalo River (China) as thousands and thousands of Red Chinese "volunteers" are killing American soldiers and marines in North Korea.


President LBJ personally picks bombing targets in North Vietnam to prevent civilian casualties and refuses to impose a naval blockade on North Vietnam as American boys are being killed by North Vietnamese soldiers in the swamps of South Vietnam.

In IRAQ (First Gulf War)

President George H.W.Bush after pushing the Iraqi's out of Kuwait refuses, on the advise of his coalition partners and his liberal advisers (Colin Powell), to drive on Baghdad and leaves Saddam Hussein in power. His son President George W. Buch has to finish the job!

IN SOMALIA (Battle of Mogadishu... "Black Hawk Down")

President Clinton's liberal Secretary of Defense, Les Aspin, refuses to give American forces sufficient armored vehicles for a "peace keeping mission" and American boys are dragged through the streets of Mogadishu.


Any strategy by President Barack Obama that leaves Moammar Gadhafi in power is a failure. He will comeback to haunt the United States ! Gadhafi will wait out the "no fly Zone" and after the coalition has lost interest he will still be in power. This is the man who is responsible for the killing of the airline passengers on Pan Am 103over Lokerbie Scotland and the killing of two American GI's in a Berlin nightclub. He has killed thousands of his own people and needs to be "taken out." Any strategy that does not do this is a failure and waste of American resources and possibly American lives. We have been here before !

As General Douglas MacArthur said:



Congressman Allen West of Florida a 22 year Army Veteran:

I am concerned that President Barack Obama has not provided a clear and defined mission for the United States involvement in Libya. From the very beginning, President Obama has had no clear direction for Libya. The time to take military action should have been two weeks ago, at the onset of this situation, when the U.S. may have been able to remove Moammar Qadaffi from power.

This Obama administration has not defined the end state. Is it as a humanitarian issue to protect civilians or is the objective to ultimately remove Moammar Qadaffi from power? If it is to protect civilians, isn’t the ultimate way to protect the people of Libya to remove Moammar Qadaffi? As a 22-year Army veteran, I can tell you that we cannot protect civilians or remove an oppressive leader from power from 30,000 feet in the air.

The United States must define who these “rebel” force leaders are and who is supporting their force with weapons, ammo, and resources? Finally, we can’t ignore the financial cost this no-fly zone will have on America- specifically the cost of using tomahawk missiles with no clear target.

We have seen operations without a clear objective before; the Balkans, Somalia, Lebanon, and we got caught up in civil wars, with no clear understanding of how to stop them. We have now opened up a new combat front with no clear objective or end state. I call on President Obama to explain to the American people what is the final resolution to the United States involvement in Libya.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Song of the Day......" Please Come to Boston"

"Please come to Boston" for the springtime by Dave Loggins

("One if by sea and two if by land"....... The British are coming, the British are coming)

("Old Ironsides"..... USS Constitution)

(Bunker Hill)

Yes....."Please come to Boston for the springtime" The Cradle of Liberty !

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Saint Patricks Day

What better day to write about the soundtrack to Director John Ford's movie, The Quiet Man, which he made as a tribute to his ancestral home of Ireland.Of all the movie he made this is the one he loved and fought hardest to make. No one though it would be a hit and he had to agree to make another John Wayne western , Rio Grande,to compensate Republic Pictures Studios for the cost of the Quiet Man. Before production started on The Quiet Man he made Rio Grande with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara to test them out for their parts in The Quiet Man. They were magic together in both movies. In The Quiet Man, Wayne and O'Hara star in this movie of an American Boxer who returns to his family's home in Ireland and falls in love with an Irish lass.The soundtrack is available on CD and was recorded in Ireland by "The Dublin Screen Orchestra."A great soundtrack to a John Wayne movie.The movie was made in Ireland in the summer of 1951. John Ford won the Best Director Oscar for his direction and it also won a Best Cinematography Oscar.The Soundtrack was written by Victor Young. Ford insisted that the music aptly reflect the lush Irish locale and is full of Irish folk tunes.
If you watch Rio Grande, you will also note he tested some of the music for The Quiet Man in in that movie as well.

Now, we just need a restored copy of The Quiet Man on DVD because the present one is a poor transfer of the movie. In some ways the old VHS copy of the movie is better.

I can still remember watching this movie, for the first time, with my parent and sister, in the 1950's from the back seat of my parents car at a drive in theater. My dad liked the big fight at the end of the movie. I can still hear his laugh.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weird !

Tonight my wife and I went by the gym, to do our nightly half hour workout. I always take my iPod that has at least 750 songs on shuffle. I never know what songs will be played while I work out. The very first song was Joan Baez singing Bob Dylan's" A Heard Rain is Gonna Fall." I always finish up with 5 minutes on the rowing machine. Just as my 5 minutes is up the iPod starts to play Barry McGuire singing "Eve of Destruction." So I keep rowing and stop to get off the rowing machine and the very next song is the 1963 hit "Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto in the only Japanese language song to ever make the American top 100. Just Weird.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"The Whiniest President Ever"

Rich Lowry of National Review has an excellent column today about the presidency.He writes:

It was fashionable at the end of the 1970s, after a dreary parade of presidential failures punctuated by Jimmy Carter, to say the presidency had grown too unwieldy.

Then, Ronald Reagan proved them wrong. Today, people, including President Obama, have been making making the same mistake. Lowry ends his column with the following:

Today, as in the late 1970s, the job isn’t too big, nor is the country too powerful: The man is too small.

You got that right !

(To read the rest of Rich Lowry's column click on the title for a link)

"A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall"

The song that keeps playing in my mind today.

Maybe I will watch tonight my DVD of the movie "On the Beach"(1959) with Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner.

Friday, March 11, 2011

"Allahu Akbar!"

Bill Bennett:

Let us dispense with the nonsense that the U.S. government or the House Committee on Homeland Security is targeting or discriminating against a minority. As I point out in a book I have coming out later this month, there is one reason, and one reason only, that any of us speak of Islam in the context of terrorism, even as we know that most Muslims are not terrorists: When an adherent of the Muslim faith engages in an act of terrorism, he explains (or shouts out) that he is acting in the name of Islam.

From Wikipedia:

Islamist usageThe phrase is well known in the west for its ubiquitous use in Islamist protests, and in Islamic extremism, and has become iconic of Islamic terrorism.

After 9/11, the FBI released a letter reportedly handwritten by the hijackers and found in three separate copies on 9/11—at Dulles, at the Pennsylvania crash site, and in Mohamed Atta's suitcase. It included a checklist of final reminders for the 9/11 hijackers. An excerpt reads: "When the confrontation begins, strike like champions who do not want to go back to this world. Shout, 'Allahu Akbar,' because this strikes fear in the hearts of the non-believers." Also, in the cockpit voice recorders found at the crash site of Flight 93, the hijackers are heard to be reciting the Takbir as the plane plummeted toward the ground.[6][7][8][9]

When in March 2002 Maryam Mohammad Yousif Farhat of Hamas, popularized as "Umm Nidal" (and subsequently elected to the Palestinian Legislative Council),[10] learned that her 17-year-old son had been killed on a suicide mission in which he killed five teenagers, she celebrated by proclaiming "Allahu Akbar!" and giving out boxes of halva and chocolates.[11][12][13] In 2003, when Imam Samudra became the second Bali bomber from a violent Islamist group to be sentenced to death for his role in the 2002 Bali bombings that killed 202 people, Samudra greeted his sentence with chants of "Allahu Akbar".[14][15][16][17][18]

In 2004, in an execution video of Nick Berg being beheaded in Iraq, as one man sawed off Berg's head the other captors shouted: "Allahu Akbar!".[19] And in the 2007 Fort Dix attack plot, a group of radical Islamists who were convicted of plotting an attack on the Fort Dix military base in New Jersey had videotaped themselves shooting weapons and shouting Allahu Akbar.[20][21][22] In 2008, Aafia Siddiqui yelled "Allah Akbar" as she fired at U.S. interrogators.[23][24][25][26]

During the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, witnesses reported that gunman Nidal Malik Hasan shouted "Allahu Akbar" before opening fire, killing 13 people and wounding 30 others.[27] And Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad smiled and said "Allahu Akbar" after receiving a life sentence in 2010 for his attempted bombing.[28][29]

"Gotta Ride Ride The Wild Surf"

I know the earthquake in Japan and the resulting Tsunami are very serious but every since I heard the news about the Tsunami warning along the West Coast of the United States I can't get this Jan & Dean song out of my mind.

Now this news report headline from AP......."California surfers waited in water for tsunami."

"Gotta Take That One Last Ride"

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Suze Rotolo RIP

Suze Rotolo, Bob Dylan's girlfriend in the 1960's, died February 25, 2011 at age 67. He met her when he moved to New York City's Greenwich Village at the height of the Folk Music scene of that era.

According to Wikipeda:

Dylan's separation from his girlfriend has been credited as the inspiration behind several of his finest love songs, including "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright", "Tomorrow Is a Long Time", "One Too Many Mornings", and "Boots of Spanish Leather"......They finally broke up in 1964, in circumstances which Dylan described in his "Ballad in Plain D".[9] Twenty years later, he apologised for the song, saying: "I must have been a real schmuck to write that. I look back at that particular one and say, of all the songs I've written, maybe I could have left that alone."

She will forever be immortalized as the girl on Bob Dylan's arm on the album cover of "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan". (Picture above) This was Dylan's second studio album released in May of 1963.

I can still remember where I was when I first saw the album cover. I was in high school in North Bend,Oregon near Coos Bay and saw the album at Pay Less Drug Store at the Pony Village Mall. Pay Less Drug had the largest record selection in the Coos Bay area and I remember looking at the album and thinking that Bob Dylan is a "cool guy" having a good looking "chick" on his arm there in New York City. It was and remains my favorite Dylan record album cover.

I do miss the large album cover pictures. The small CD's don't do the pictures on the cover justice.

Suze Rotolo dead...... I must be getting old!

(To read more about her click on the title for a link to her Wikipedia page)

Monday, March 07, 2011

Last World War I Vet Dies

Last week while I was out of town I read the news that the last U.S. Veteran of World War I had died. They are all gone now. When I was a young man the World War I vets were the grandfathers and the World War II vets were the middle aged fathers and my generation was the Vietnam War vets. This is what I posted some time ago:

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 1918 the guns fell silent along the Western Front and an armistice was signed ending World War I. "The war to end all wars." In Medford, in a park near the National Guard Armory, there are trees planted for each boy from Jackson County who died in World War I. There are a lot of trees. My grandfather, Lewis Holton and my great Uncle, Herman Bellach, both served under "Black Jack" Pershing in France in World War I. Like all the veteran's of that war they are now gone.

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

George M. Cohan wrote the song "Over There" just as the United States entered World War I and it became the anthem for the American soldiers going to France to fight the German "Hun"

Johnnie, get your gun,
Get your gun, get your gun,
Take it on the run,
On the run, on the run.
Hear them calling, you and me,
Every son of liberty.
Hurry right away,
No delay, go today,
Make your daddy glad
To have had such a lad.
Tell your sweetheart not to pine,
To be proud her boy's in line.
(chorus sung twice)

Johnnie, get your gun,
Get your gun, get your gun,
Johnnie show the Hun
Who's a son of a gun.
Hoist the flag and let her fly,
Yankee Doodle do or die.
Pack your little kit,
Show your grit, do your bit.
Yankee to the ranks,
From the towns and the tanks.
Make your mother proud of you,
And the old Red, White and Blue.
(chorus sung twice)

Over there, over there,
Send the word, send the word over there -
That the Yanks are coming,
The Yanks are coming,
The drums rum-tumming
So prepare, say a pray'r,
Send the word, send the word to beware.
We'll be over, we're coming over,
And we won't come back till it's over
Over there

I can still hear Uncle Herm singing this song which was a favorite of American Soldiers in France during World War I

Mademoiselle from Armentières
Par ley voo,
Mademoiselle from Armentières
Par ley voo,
Mademoiselle from Armentières,
She hasn't been kissed for forty years,
Hinky, Dinky Par ley voo.