Thursday, March 28, 2013

TV News Story about our Son John Wickre

He became a marathon runner and lost over 100 pounds in less than one year . He was featured in a news story on WKYT TV in Lexington, Kentucky where he is a Doctoral candidate in the History Department of the University of Kentucky. Click on the link for the video.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

March Madness: Ducks to Sweet 16

Ducks beat St. Louis University to make it to the Sweet 16 in Men's Basketball  How Sweet it is!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Ducks Win Pac-12 Tournament Championship

Ducks Win Pac-12 Tournament Championship in Men's Basketball and are going to the "Big Dance" (March Madness).Congratulations! Let's Go Ducks!
The Football team wins the Fiesta Bowl and now the basketball team is Pac-12 Tournament Champion in their win over UCLA tonight.
A good time to be a Duck!

Update from Oregon Live:

You have to feel good for Oregon's seniors today, and for a guy like E.J. Singler in particular — an Oregon prep product who decided to stick it out through the transition from Ernie Kent to Altman in 2010 when so many of his teammates left the program. Having watched his brother, Kyle, lead Duke to a national title, this has to be a proud time for Singler and his family. I'm sure they'll be excited this afternoon

Friday, March 15, 2013

This Conservative stands with Dick Cheney & Rob Portman

Over the years my opinion on gay marriage has been evolving as I have become friends and had dealings with a number of folks who happen to be gay. My children, who are not gay, but are conservatives, have demonstrated to me that this is a generational issue more than a partisan one.  The statement of Senator Rob Portman of Ohio today as quoted below summarizes what I believe.

Statement of Ohio Senator Rob Portman:

I have come to believe that if two people are prepared to make a lifetime commitment to love and care for each other in good times and in bad, the government shouldn’t deny them the opportunity to get married.

That isn’t how I’ve always felt.......

Well-intentioned people can disagree on the question of marriage for gay couples, and maintaining religious freedom is as important as pursuing civil marriage rights. For example, I believe that no law should force religious institutions to perform weddings or recognize marriages they don’t approve of.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has said he supports allowing gay couples to marry because he is a conservative, not in spite of it. I feel the same way. We conservatives believe in personal liberty and minimal government interference in people’s lives. We also consider the family unit to be the fundamental building block of society. We should encourage people to make long-term commitments to each other and build families, so as to foster strong, stable communities and promote personal responsibility.

One way to look at it is that gay couples’ desire to marry doesn't amount to a threat but rather a tribute to marriage, and a potential source of renewed strength for the institution.

Over the past decade, nine states and the District of Columbia have recognized marriage for same-sex couples. It is understandable to feel cautious about making a major change to such an important social institution, but the experience of the past decade shows us that marriage for same-sex couples has not undercut traditional marriage. In fact, over the past 10 years, the national divorce rate has declined.

Ronald Reagan said all great change in America begins at the dinner table, and that’s been the case in my family. Around the country, family members, friends, neighbors and coworkers have discussed and debated this issue, with the result that today twice as many people support marriage for same-sex couples as when the Defense of Marriage Act was signed into law 17 years ago by President Bill Clinton, who now opposes it. With the overwhelming majority of young people in support of allowing gay couples to marry, in some respects the issue has become more generational than partisan.

The process of citizens persuading fellow citizens is how consensus is built and enduring change is forged. That’s why I believe change should come about through the democratic process in the states. Judicial intervention from Washington would circumvent that process as it’s moving in the direction of recognizing marriage for same-sex couples. An expansive court ruling would run the risk of deepening divisions rather than resolving them.

I’ve thought a great deal about this issue, and like millions of Americans in recent years, I’ve changed my mind on the question of marriage for same-sex couples. As we strive as a nation to form a more perfect union, I believe all ...ought to have the same opportunity to experience the joy and stability of marriage.

There is much that unites the Conservative/libertarian cause. We should not let our difference on Gay Marriage divide us or cut us off from those who share most of our views on  free enterprise, limiting government power, personal responsibility,  individual freedom, a strong defense  and the fight against the evil forces in the world. It comes down to an issue of freedom of the individual. People should be judged by their character and not their sexual orientation.


Friday, March 08, 2013

Douglas MacArthur relevant Today!

With a new Douglas MacArthur movie opening this week-end  nationwide, Tommy Lee Jones as MacArthur, it's appropriate to remember what  William F. Buckley had  to say about General Douglas MacArthur in 1964:

MacArthur was the last of the great Americans. it isn't at all certain that America is capable of producing another man of MacArthur's cast. Such men spring from the loins of nations in whose blood courage runs: and we are grown anemic. That is why so many have spoken of an age that would die with MacArthur. An age when, occasionally, heroes arose, acknowledging as their imperative the Duty, Honor, and Country which MacArthur cherished, but which the nation that rejected him has no stomach for, preferring the adulterated substitutes of the Age of Modulation, approved by the Pure Food and Drug Act and adorned by the seal of Good Housekeeping magazine
MacArthur grew up on the American frontier on a U.S. Cavalry post where his father was stationed.  His father had won the Medal of Honor in the American Civil War. (As an aside, Douglas loved John Ford westerns about the U.S. Calvary.) The main point is, Douglas was not that far removed from the frontier spirit that created this country.  It is therefore relevant that I think that some of the new leaders of the Republican party are Cuban decedents of those who where willing to flee  a tyrant and make a new start in America  and "in whose blood courage runs...." Too much of  present Republican leadership is from the "Age of Modulation".  America rejected MacArthur but some times, in times of major crisis, democracies  will turn to bold leaders such as England in 1938 turning to Churchill,  and will seek those "in whose blood courage runs."

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Senator Ted Cruz

Last night during the Rand Paul filibuster on the Senate floor Senator Ted Cruz came to the aid of Senator Paul and gave, with a few notes, a great speech I will not soon forget. He quoted Ayn Rand, Shakespeare (Band of Brothers speech from Henry V) Barry Goldwater, Supreme Court Justice Jackson, from the movie Patton and finally Ronald Reagan's 1964 speech in support of Barry Goldwater.

While watching the filibuster on CSPAN I was doing some household chores but when Senator Cruz started to speak I stopped doing anything else and was inspired in a way I have not been inspired since Ronald Reagan gave that speech in 1964. I saw that speech as a high school teenager and now many years later I couldn't believe what I was hearing and seeing. He is a intelligent, knowledgeable, well educated and inspiring Conservative that can give a great speech off the cuff. As I sat at my computer I was moved to tears as he spoke of freedom and that America is its last best hope on earth.

I was blown away when Cruz, who's parents escaped from Castor's Cuba, acknowledged Florida Senator Rubio, whose parents were also emigrants from Cuba when he started to  read the following from Reagan's 1964 speech:


Not too long ago, two friends of mine were talking to a Cuban refugee, a businessman who had escaped from Castro, and in the midst of his story one of my friends turned to the other and said, "We don't know how lucky we are." And the Cuban stopped and said, "How lucky you are? I had someplace to escape to." And in that sentence he told us the entire story. If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the last stand on earth.

Maybe it takes recent emigrants to America who have escaped tyranny to remind us how fragile freedom his in the history of the world

Since the election I and many conservatives, have become dispirited and fatalist that Americas' best days are behind her. Senator Cruz changed that. It was a transformative moment in American political history.

I stand with Senator Ted Cruz!