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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Someone Thought This Was Necessary

For some reason beyond my ability to understand, this just passed in the Senate. Then again, they are liberals... all things equal and all that, I supposed.
Calendar No. 715110th CONGRESS2d Session

S. RES. 511

Recognizing that John Sidney McCain, III, is a natural born citizen.


April 10, 2008

Mrs. MCCASKILL (for herself, Mr. LEAHY, Mr. OBAMA, Mr. COBURN, Mrs. CLINTON, and Mr. WEBB) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

April 24, 2008

Reported by Mr. LEAHY, without amendment


Recognizing that John Sidney McCain, III, is a natural born citizen.

Doing Something

Remember not so long ago when I posted about people's need to "do something," even if it didn't really accomplish anything? Well, today, we did something.

Soldiers' Angels is a great organization.
Soldiers' Angels is a volunteer-led 501(c)(3) non-profit organization providing aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard and their families. Founded by the mother of two American soldiers, we are an international organization with members in all fifty U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and several friendly countries who support America's men and women in uniform. We were incorporated in the state of Nevada in June of 2003.

We are a continually-evolving, grassroots organization comprised of nearly 200,000 volunteers in over twenty different teams and programs who have developed unique and effective ways to support members of the U.S. military. To date, our volunteers have sent tens of thousands of care packages and hundreds of thousands of letters to deployed service members; we have supplied the wounded with our First Response Packs directly at the Combat Support Hospitals in Iraq and Afghanistan and the major military hospital in Germany, as well as provided care and comfort to those in stateside military and VA facilities; we have provided emergency aid to military families in need; we have partnered with the Department of Defense to provide voice-controlled/adaptive laptops to over 2,600 severely-wounded servicemembers; we have provided flights to soldiers on leave or in emergency situations, and to their families wanting to be with them up return from overseas; we have provided Level III KEVLAR armored blankets to give personnel extra protection in their vehicles when it was needed; we help to honor the families whose loved ones have paid the ultimate price for our freedom and safety. With the assistance of our generous supporters , the many volunteers of Soldiers' Angels have accomplished this and much, much more on behalf of the grateful citizens of the United States of America.

Our slogan, "May No Soldier Go Unloved," encapsulates the motivation behind Soldiers' Angels. By working together and sharing a common vision of service, the volunteers of Soldiers' Angels continue to demonstrate active care and concern for veterans, the wounded, deployed service members, and their families.
Currently, there are almost 400 military personnel waiting for adoption. What does "adopting a soldier" entail? A letter a week and a couple of small care packages a month for the length of deployment.

I can do that. In fact, my kids can do that. They will be very involved in this adoption, and they think it's a great idea.

Anyone else going to join us?

But I Thought It Was Such a Calm Sport

Earlier this season, someone had a lacerated carotid artery, and now a lacerated spleen. What's up with hockey these days?

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Sean Avery.

Placing the Blame

A quick check on gas prices in the Austin area shows prices anywhere from $3.29 to $3.61. (In comparison, Dallas prices are $3.39-$3.69, and St. Louis prices are $3.49-$3.81, with Belleville prices around $3.75. Right there, you see the problem with multiple blends and far stricter "pollution controls" that don't actually do much to help the environment... but I digress.)

Do any of you remember back in '06 when Nancy Pelosi promised that, if the Democrats controlled Congress, gas prices would fall? Let's take a look at this handy dandy chart I found at Gateway Pundit.


That shows the national average gas price. Interesting, no? But I thought San Fran Nan had a plan. They were going to bring down the price of gas. They promised! (I'm sure their plan had something to do with capping profits and getting rid of tax breaks for oil companies. God forbid they ever contemplate doing something like actually studying the situation and applying common sense solutions. That would... make sense.)

The knee-jerk reaction when you ask people how to fix the situation is "drill for more oil!" We could drill more oil (we have fields that are not being drilled at all for various reasons). There's no reason to bring that oil to the surface right now, though. And there's no real reason for OPEC or Canada or anyone else to boost drilling. What are we going to do with it? The United States can't even refine all of the oil we need today- we have to import refined petroleum products because our refineries are working at 100% every day and they still don't get it done.

We need more refineries. We do need more drilling (it's not like we don't have plenty to drill), but not until we have the infrastructure to deal with the increased crude. That's not going to happen until we, as a nation, tell the environmentalist whackos to SHUT UP.

Then again, we also need more nuclear power plants (clean energy, folks... clean energy), but that's another post.

Go and read this and this. Check out the links and graphs and maps they used. Then come back and tell me, with a hint of intellectual honesty, that the Democrats care about our country's energy needs.

Today In History

Let's see what happened on this day in history.

Wednesday's Hero

This Weeks Hero Was Suggested By Mary Ann

Wednesday Hero was started to put a face to the men and women of the American Armed Forces and what they do for us. Vary rarely has there been a member of a foreign military profiled. In fact, in the two years Wednesday Hero's been going on it's only been done once before. Here's the second.

Lance Corporal Matt Croucher
Lance Corporal Matt Croucher
24 years old from Birmingham, England
40 Commando Royal Marines
Royal Marines

L/Cpl Matt Croucher is not only one of the bravest men alive, he's also one of the luckiest men alive. On the morning of February 9, 2008 L/Cpl. and his unit were searching a compound near Sangin in Afghanistan that was suspected of being used to make bombs to be used in attacks on British and Afghan troops. Walking in the darkness among a group of four men, Croucher stepped into a tripwire that pulled the pin from a boobytrap grenade. His patrol commander, Corporal Adam Lesley, remembered Croucher shouting "Grenade!"

As others dived for cover, Croucher did something nobody expected. He lay down on the grenade to smother the blast. Lesley got on the ground, another man got behind a wall, but the last member of the patrol was still standing in the open when the grenade went off.

"My reaction was, 'My God this can't be real'," said Lesley. "Croucher had simply lain back and used his day sack to blunt the force of the explosion. You would expect nine out of 10 people to die in that situation." L/Cpl. Croucher was that 1/10. Not only did he survive, amazingly he only suffered shock from the blast and a bloody nose. He was saved by the special plating inside his Osprey body armor. The backpack he was wearing was thrown more than 30ft by the blast.

"I felt one of the lads giving me a top to toe check. My head was ringing. Blood was streaming from my nose. It took 30 seconds before I realized I was definitely not dead," said L/Cpl. Croucher.

For his actions that day, L/Cpl. Croucher was in line for the Victoria Cross, the highest award for a British Serviceman, but it has yet to be awarded.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Here are some links to get the mind moving this morning:

Biofuel Insanity:
Ever wonder where I get my news links? Not really? Oh, well, I need to give credit where credit is do, so here are all the places I may wander to in order to locate the articles that I link to (some more than others, of course, and not usually all on the same day). That doesn't include the blogroll- I get stuff from other bloggers at times, too. (Check out all the links on my blogroll... good stuff.)

Today In History

More posts later today- here's something to get you started.
On this day in history:
1429 Joan of Arc entered the besieged city of Orleans to lead a victory over the English.

1861 Maryland's House of Delegates voted against seceding from the Union.

1862 New Orleans fell to Union forces during the Civil War.

1945 Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler married his longtime mistress Eva Braun in a Berlin bunker. The couple killed themselves the next day.

1945 American soldiers liberated the Dachau concentration camp in Germany.

1997 A worldwide treaty to ban chemical weapons went into effect.

1997 Astronaut Jerry Linenger and cosmonaut Vasily Tsibliyev went on the first U.S.-Russian space walk.

2002 A year after the loss of a seat it had held for over 50 years, the United States won election to the U.N. Human Rights Commission.

2004 A national monument to the 16 million U.S. men and women who served during World War II opened to the public in Washington D.C.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Little Common Sense For Your Friday

Baldilocks linked to this video yesterday, and I ended up watching all five of his videos. He's good... (Slight language alert, some videos more so than others, and a content warning on the gay marriage/abortion video because, well... think about what he's talking about.)

Black & White on the Grey Matters 2 (War)

He asks those who say they support the troops and not the war what they think they're supporting?
"You cannot separate the person from the mission and still call them soldiers. They're one. You cannot separate the two. In doing such a job, there will be a transaction of death by presidential order."
Preach on! Preach on!

Telling It Like It Is

Fred! Thompson was interviewed by Sean Hannity for last night's show. Money quote? "Very few people today on Capitol Hill have any credibility."

He went on to say that Senator McCain has a track record that he can fall back on. The problem with that is most conservatives aren't very happy with that track record.

Day of Silence

Today, in schools around the country, kids will actually be quiet in class. Unfortunately, it's not a sign that schools have instituted sane discipline measures. Far from it. The kids are silent in "solidarity" with the gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender students. uh... um... yeah, I'm bordering on speechless here.

The "Day of Silence" has been around for a few years. Every year, I shake my head in sad resignation that our country has truly gone to hell in a handbasket. What I find odd is that the GLSEN group who started DoS claims that gay students have to remain silent to avoid bullying and harassment. Now, students who believe that homosexual behavior is a sin are the ones who must be silent, fearing reprimand for daring to speak their mind.

Matt Barber has a great piece on about DOS and The Day of Truth. There are truths the homosexual community refuse to face- their lifestyle kills. Leave morality out of it a moment- gay men's life expectancy is up to 20 years shorter than straight men. Facts are facts.

Here, in our little schoolroom, today is not a day of silence. In fact, I think it might just be a day of discussion. (h't to HDD)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

And The Clock Rolls Back to... 800?

Muslim clerics and... um... "scientists"... want to get rid of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in favor of Mecca Time.
Muslim scientists and clerics have called for the adoption of Mecca time to replace GMT, arguing that the Saudi city is the true centre of the Earth.

...The call was issued at a conference held in the Gulf state of Qatar under the title: Mecca, the Centre of the Earth, Theory and Practice.
I wasn't aware that there were Muslim scientists. I mean, if Allah is a capricious god not held to rules, then science is meaningless to Muslims.

But wait! There's more.
The meeting also reviewed what has been described as a Mecca watch, the brainchild of a French Muslim.

The watch is said to rotate anti-clockwise and is supposed to help Muslims determine the direction of Mecca from any point on Earth.

It goes backwards, does it? Maybe Mark Steyn is right.

Can We Disown Him?

Tony Zirkle is reaching out to just about everybody for votes. When I say everybody, I mean it.
U.S. Congressional candidate Tony Zirkle is facing criticism from one of his primary opponents, and a host of people on the Internet, for speaking at an event over the weekend that celebrated Adolf Hitler's birthday.


...He also told WIMS radio in Michigan City that he didn't believe the event he attended included people necessarily of the Nazi mindset, pointing out the name isn't Nazi, but Nationalist Socialist Workers Party.
Uh... Mr. Zirkle, what in the world do you think NAZI means???? I mean, ok, they're not German, but they have every other word correct.

He says he'll talk to anyone who asks about the dangers of pornography and prostitution.
"That's the risk you have to take to get your point across," Zirkle said. "If the Black Panthers or the Jewish Zionists want me to speak about these issues, I'll do it."
You know, that's laudable. He's still a moron. And, yes, he's a Republican.

On This Day in History

Here's a new potential feature at YRW- On This Day in History. Be honest, though- is it something y'all want to see?

On this day in History:

1564 This is the generally accepted birthdate of the English poet and dramatist William Shakespeare. He died on the same date 52 years later.
1779 Anglican clergyman and hymnwriter John Newton wrote in a letter: '"What Thou wilt, when Thou wilt, how Thou wilt." I had rather speak these three sentences from my heart in my mother tongue than be master of all the languages in Europe.'
1789 President-elect George Washington and his wife moved into the first executive mansion, the Franklin House in New York City.
1908 President Theodore Roosevelt signed an act creating the U.S. Army Reserve.
1938 Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia demand self government
1954 Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit the first of his 755 major-league home runs in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. (Aaron's career total is second only to Barry Bonds.)
1967 Soyuz 1 launched; Vladimir Komarov becomes 1st in-flight casualty when its parachute lines became tangled and the parachutes failed to open properly upon return to Earth
1985 The Coca-Cola Co. announced it was changing its secret formula for Coke. However, negative public reaction later forced the company to resume selling the original version.
1992 McDonald's opened its first restaurant in Beijing.
1993 Labor leader Cesar Chavez died at age 66.
2007 Boris Yeltsin, the first freely elected Russian president, died at age 76.
Oh, yeah, and it's Michael Moore's birthday. Hide the cake.

Wednesday's Hero

Cpl. Markbradley Vincze Hands Out Backpacks To Iraqi School Children
Click To Enlarge

U.S. Army

Cpl. Markbradley Vincze gives students from al-Raqhaa School backpacks in the Monsouri area of Iraq. Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1-76th FA, 4th BCT, 3rd Inf. Div., delivered backpacks, soccer balls and notebooks.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Little Late For Me

Where were these when my kids were little?

I guess the question is whether or not the kids really want to wear them.

Earth Day

Woohoo. It's Earth Day. It's time for environmentalists to get a bunch of free press. It's time for the media, politicians, and the school systems to preach the party line. And it's time for many Americans to make some token gesture out of fear and manipulation. Yippee skip.

I'm all about practical, responsible conservation. It's just stupid to intentionally pollute our planet. I mean, we have to live here. I am against Earth-first, humanity-last, capitalism-never attitude that environmentalists tend to have. Then again, I'm also against reacting to every random theory that comes around without any scientific backing. (Sure, for every "he said" we have a "she said" and vice versa. Every time the environmentalists give X scientific information, then the skeptics come back with Y. It's a never ending cycle... kind of like climate change... but I digress.)

There is this theory going around that I really agree with. While some people are hard-core environmentalists as their sole "cause," many are late comers to this form of activism. When it became clear that the Soviet Union was failing, communists around the world needed to find another way to channel their efforts. They latched onto environmentalism as their cause du jour, and they poured their Marxist ideologies into the movement. I mean, seriously, is it just a coincidence that many of the proposals that environmentalists put forward to save the world have some kind of socialist or communist undertones?

Then again, as TC points out, is it just a coincidence that Earth Day is on Lenin's birthday? Yup, like he said (and I've heard over and over again- it's a great analogy)- environmentalists are watermelons- green on the outside and red on the inside (and I'd like to carry on the analogy by saying, "and they're gross and disgusting.")

UPDATE: Well, well, well... perfect timing on this article. It almost sounds like... what's that word? Oh, yeah... science. Still, it might not be the case. It does make my ideas for common sense conservation and not extremism seem even more common sense, though.

UPDATE 2: In honor of Earth Day, here's a book I'd love to read (once I finish reading this). And here are a few links to some environmentalism news articles.

Wars of Independence

OK... I goofed. I totally missed that yesterday was the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto (the battle that ended the Texas War of Independence). Sam Houston's forces made mincemeat of Santa Ana's troops in all of 18 minutes. This is also where "Remember Goliad!" and "Remember the Alamo!" became famous.

I'd say, "Have a Shiner and celebrate!" but... I'm not a huge Shiner fan. (h't The Corner)

Also, since we're talking about wars of independence, let's chat a moment about the Revolutionary War. It's the topic of this article, which makes the argument that the war was the greatest example of a counter-insurgency failure ever. Interesting read.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

And They Said She Couldn't Drive

Danika made history in Japan today. Very cool.


AP photo

Now if she could just win one over here...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Seismology 101

By now, everyone has heard about the earthquakes in Illinois today. Some of the Cotillion members were chatting about it, and I offered to explain the difference between a San Andreas fault-type earthquake and a New Madrid fault-type earthquake. Someone took me up on it, so I wrote something up. Then it was suggested that I put it on my blog. So... here it is, with a few more details and a couple of links.

First of all, here's a link from the USGS that all kinds of nifty info on earthquakes. From the world's least reliable source for facts, we have pages on earthquakes, the San Andreas Fault, and the New Madrid Seismic Zone.

In a nutshell, an earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. (That's straight from the wiki page on earthquakes.) They can be caused when tectonic plates run into each other, pull away from each other, slide against each other, or some combination of those (those are tectonic or interplate earthquakes). They can also happen at cracks in a plate, where stress builds up and is then released (intraplate earthquakes). Then again, volcanoes and even nuclear bombs can cause earthquakes (or seismic activity, at least).

Now, in the discussion of the difference between San Andreas and New Madrid quakes, we first need to define the seismic zones. The San Andreas fault is the place where two tectonic plates slide against each other. Every now and then, as they move, they'll get stuck, and when they "unstick" is when an earthquake occurs. (this is my "explain it to a kid version", not a geology term paper, ok?) The New Madrid seismic zone is more of a series of scars and mini-faults than a meeting of two plates. Bazillions of years ago, according to geologists like my uncle, the North American plate made two attempts to break apart. These periods of activity led to rifts and scarring of the plate. There is a main rift (basically along the Mississippi, more or less) but it's as active as a plate/plate fault would be.

Within the rifts, lots and lots of sediment piled up. When everything gets rumbly in the seismic zone, the sediment kind of acts like water (the energy travels like the ripples in a pond when you toss a rock in.). Or, imagine one of those big gongs (I got this example from someone on Gatewaypundit- it's a great explanation). You whack it, and it vibrates... and vibrates... and vibrates... it just keeps going and going.

Instead of a quick SNAP and tremors for a couple hundred miles or so (the Great San Fran earthquake- ~8.0 give or take on the Ricther scale- was felt from Oregon to LA), New Madrid quakes are more rolling, like an ocean wave (the 1812 New Madrid quake- ~7.9 on the Richter scale- was felt in New Orleans, houses were destroyed 150 miles away in St. Louis, and there were reports that sidewalks were cracked in Washington, DC.)

I have no idea how many earthquakes occur along the San Andreas (a bunch, I'm sure.) People just don't think about earthquakes in the middle of the US- that's where you're supposed to have tornadoes, right? Well, in the past 30-some-odd years, there have been thousands of quakes in the general area, but most of them are too small to feel. The problem is that, if there is a big quake along the main rift, it will probably take out a city.
There you have it. Keep in mind that all of this came from Geo1005 at the University of Oklahoma more than 15 years ago, curious research from time to time, and fact-checking some numbers this morning. If I'm WAY off, please gently explain it to me in the comments. I'm not a geophysicist, and I didn't stay at Holiday Inn Express last night.

Wizbang Caption Contest

I don't usually link to these, but this week they are pretty funny. (Well, if you know enough about Catholics and you take out all the KKK and pedophile references, that is.)

Here's the photo:


My favorite caption so far? Either "And the Padre's Take the Field!!! Play Ball!!" or Stepping up to the plate, number XVI, Ratzinger.

Go read them all. Most of them are humorous. Add your own.

Obama Sings Mellencamp

When Barry sings "Small Town," the lyrics aren't quite what I remember.

And, um... yeah... it's a blog written by a bunch of aliens. No, not people from another country, but the other kind. It's just good to know that they're conservative aliens, right?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I Offer This Tidbit...

... of liberal genius (found at a recent Olympics protest) without comment. Frankly, it speaks for itself. (h't to Og)


Sometimes It's OK To Rejoice In Death

If these reports are true, I can't tell you how happy I will be.
A senior Taliban commander who became a hero to Islamic militants for his role in shooting down a U.S. helicopter in 2005, killing all 16 special forces troops aboard, has been killed by Pakistani security forces, officials and Taliban militants tell CBS News.

Mullah Ismail, a notorious Taliban commander from the Afghan province of Kunar, was killed in a shootout with Pakistani police as he traveled with a kidnapped trader, a local police officer said Wednesday.

...Ismail became a hero for al Qaeda and the Taliban after his group hit a U.S. Navy MH-47 Chinook helicopter in late June 2005, apparently with a shoulder-fired rocket. The helicopter was one of four aircraft ferrying special forces into the area on a reconnaissance mission.

It was considered a lucky shot from an inaccurate weapon; but it left eight Navy SEALs and eight Army air crew from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment dead.
Some of you who have been around here for a while might remember this post that I wrote about that "lucky shot." A friend of mine lost her step-brother because of this monster.

For the families who lost loved ones because of Ismail, I hope this gives you a measure of peace. For Petty Officer Luttrell, I hope the movie holds true to the book you wrote to honor your comrades.

And for the peace of excrement, Ismail, I hope he's enjoying that little corner of Hell that was carved out just for him.

You Say It Like It's a Bad Thing

h/t to Alabama Improper

The Caffeine Click Test - How Caffeinated Are You?
Created by OnePlusYou
That reminds me... I need a warm up on the coffee... brb...

A Quote For You To Ponder

Ponder the reality of this statement. And which side of the ideological spectrum brought us far too close to Uncle Joe's dream. And how we just let it happen.
America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within. - Joseph Stalin

Some Morning Humor

Here's a funny to start your morning. Nice to know these guys have a good sense of humor.


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Do Something!

This video, according to HotAir, is "the all purpose, thoughtful, socially-conscious power ballad."

It will make you want to... I don't know... do something.

Seriously, don't you think this perfectly describes people's desires to do something for a cause, no matter how useless? You (the general, generic you) feel better because you did something. (I include myself in that stereotype. I've done things for no better reason than it made it appear that I was doing something for the cause, even when whatever it was I did was only contributing to the cause in my delusion of grandeur.)

Am I saying you should never get involved in a cause or take a stand? No. Not even close. (To quote Aaron Tippin, you've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything.) I'm saying that too many people will do some small random act that has no impact just to get the warm fuzzy that comes from doing something. If you're serious about getting involved, then make your actions serious.

Leave a mark. Don't just do something.

54% is a Good Thing?

54% of Seniors in Atlanta high schools will graduate on time this year. Dang. I checked on Austin's grad rate- a pathetic 58.2%. And people wonder why we homeschool.Photobucket

Denny has a great rant on education and success in life. It is definitely a worthy read (language warning alert is in effect). I could quibble with him on a couple of points, but he's pretty close to spot on.

Money isn't the answer to the public school systems' problems. Scrapping the entire system is the answer.

(In case you were wondering, Austin Independent School District spends ~$10,400 per student per year, if you use budget/student body numbers. Here at my little school house, we spend, when all is said and done, somewhere in the area of $1000 per child per year. Then again, it's probably not a fair comparison, since my goal is to have my kids taking college level courses- if not classes at ACC- their Junior year.)

Wednesday's Hero

Maj. Mark E. Rosenberg
Maj. Mark E. Rosenberg
32 years old from Miami Lakes, Florida
3rd Battalion, 29th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division
April 8, 2008

Mark Rosenberg grew up in South Florida. "All boy," his aunt, Madelyn Rosenberg, remembers. "Very active, but very lovable." As long as she can recall, Maj. Rosenberg wanted a military career like his father, Burton Rosenberg, had.

He attended New Mexico Military Institute and entered the Army in 1996. Later, he met a woman, Julie, and they
married one day after his sister's wedding. He and Julie had two boys, now 3 and 22 months. They settled in Colorado near Fort Carson, where he was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division.

Maj. Rosenberg was on his second tour of duty when the Humvee he was riding in was struck by an IED in Baghdad.

"He would say he's over there to do a job," Madelyn Rosenberg remembered. "He loved what he was doing."

brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Politics in Texas

Since I have that "Bloggers for Cornyn" button in the sidebar, I probably need to check in on politics in the Lone Star State once in a while. Here's what's going on with the Senate race right now.

Recently, both campaigns posted their first quarter fundraising numbers for 2008. Senator Cornyn had $2.2 million for the quarter and $8.7 million on hand. Not bad. Rick Noriega, on the other hand, brought in a whopping $478,000+ in the quarter, and about $330,000 in cash as of March 31st. (Mr. Noriega's campaign has said that they'll need about $5 million to compete until the election. Um... good luck with that, Rick.)

Here are a few links about the campaign. (After reading all three pieces, I'm still trying to figure out how being 20 points ahead means you're polling poorly. Maybe I'm just not nuanced enough to get it.)

You know, I'm not a "Blogger for Cornyn" just because he has an "R" after his name. Seriously, I can't stand the way a whole lot of the Republicans have become nothing more than RINOs. John Cornyn has fought against the RINOs whenever he could. And I'm not against Rick Noriega just because of the "D" he proudly sports. I'm against him because I've read his stand on the issues, and I don't agree with him on almost every subject. That takes talent.

PS: Is it just me, or is the "en español" button on Noriega's site highly offensive?

Making Mountains Out Of...

... uh... ok, maybe that's not such a good title for this post, but that's as good of a title as any.

There's this parody going around. It's called "My Wall Street Journal." Here's the cover:


OK, some of that is funny. "Bush Abolishes Death and Taxes." That's good stuff. And that photoshop of Hillary is awesome.

What's the problem? you ask. Well, there's a sketch of Ann Coulter (in the style, sorta, of the WSJ's sketches of their writers). In this sketch, she's in her birthday suit except for a thong.

Some people are in an uproar over the sketch, saying that's it's outrageous and offensive and ... well, you get the point. Sure, it's in poor taste. Duh. Kind of the point. Here's a thought- they probably did that with the purpose of offending us pesky, humor-impaired conservatives. But most of us can take a joke. No, really. Maybe, if we just ignore them, they might just go away.

But, you know who might just be a little upset with the sketch? Ann herself. I mean, she'd kill for that body. (She's quite the beanpole and has expressed a desire for something vaguely resembling curves.)

Now, granted, if a conservative had drawn a sketch like that with a liberal pundit as the subject (uh... presuming they could find one they'd want as a subject) , I'm 99.9% sure that the liberal side of the blogosphere would be screaming about sexism and all that fun stuff. They're not known for their ability to take a joke, ya know?

Ignore 'em. If Ann wants to address it, that's her call. Otherwise, just ignore them. They'll go away.

(h/t to Ed at HotAir)

He Got Game?

Yes, it would appear to the casual observer that today is "Bash Barak Day" at YRW. Not really- he's just making it easy today.

Next up on the hit parade is this video (h/t to AP at HotAir).

Go ahead and watch it- it doesn't take long and it's informative, if only to show you how much two "journalists" can drool over their favorite candidate.

You can learn something about a person by playing a sport with the person. The amount of knowledge depends on the sport. (You can learn a lot about a person by playing a round of golf with a person. Other sports, the amount of time needed may vary.) Some sports speak for themselves (runners are usually highly disciplined, for example). What you learn might be the subtle things? Does the person you're observing get easily discouraged? Are they quick to anger? Are they respectful toward officials and other players? Do they take a lot of "do overs"? Do they make excuses for bad plays/moves? Those behaviors can tell you a lot about a person.

Watching that video sure didn't tell me much about Obama. (Seriously- they showed the same 15 seconds over and over. Is that all the film they got on the pick-up game???) I thought it was kind of cool that he played in the high school state championship in that hotbed of basketball talent known as Hawaii.

It did tell me one thing, though. I'm pretty sure my kids could take him in Horse.

Pet Peeve Notice

I've seen a new word around today, and yeah, it's got my dander up. What's the word?
AAARRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!! That bugs me. It bugged me during the Clinton administration, and it still bugs me now.

What "that"? I hear you ask. The "that" of which I speak is the need to label any scandal as _______gate. Filegate. Travelgate. Spygate. Memogate (also known as Rathergate). Tunagate. (Think I'm joking? Here's a partial list of all the-gates out there.

There was this one scandal called Watergate. It had nothing to do with water. No, really. It was the name of a hotel which was the setting for the start of the scandal. There is only one -gate scandal and, believe it or not, it happened over 30 years ago.

Can we please stop with the gate business? PULEEZE????

He Keeps on Digging

I'm doing this from memory. No, I don't have any links right now. I'll try to find them to help y'all connect the dots. (UPDATE: here's the transcript of the whole nightmare.)

Yesterday, we were driving across The Fruited Plane back to the Lone Star State, and we were listening to Maha Rushie. He played an audio clip from a "compassion seminar" (how very... liberal sounding) that Senators Clinton and Obama attended over the weekend. Senator Obama tried to explain what he was talking about when he referred to all those "bitter" folks in Pennsylvania who cling to guns and religion, etc. I don't think he helped his cause much.

I'm paraphrasing, but he basically said that, when times get tough, "those people" only have "their families, their faith, and their traditions." Not that there's anything wrong with those things, of course, he quickly added. It's just that there's nothing else there for them.

Uh... Senator Obama, what's wrong with having "only" those things? If you have your faith, your family, and your traditions as your support system, everything else is unimportant. Those things, the things you put so little stock in, are the only things that are truly important. Who you are as a person is determined by those things that you seem to look down upon. Who you work for or how much money is in the bank doesn't determine who you are. Or at least they shouldn't.

(UPDATE: I read in the transcript where he said, "Well, first of all, you know, scripture talks about clinging to what's good. And so it's very important..." Uh, Senator, that's not even close to what you meant. You told those liberal donors in San Francisco that the folks in rural Pennsylvania "cling to their guns and their religion" in a tone that suggested that it was a very bad thing. Sorry to burst your bubble there, Senator.)

(One could argue that tradition isn't even all that important, which is neither here nor there.)

You can get a new job, Senator (even if it means moving for those who live in small rural communities where the mill closed down). You can find a new place to live if your circumstances change. What you do (your job) isn't nearly as important nearly as important as who you are (your character).

Senator Obama went on to say that these poor folks who only have their family, faith, and traditions to fall back on are upset because they don't feel like government is listening to them. Here's a hint, Senator- most people want government OUT of our lives, not thrust into it all the time. The original concept of our country did not include the federal government sticking its nose into every nook and cranny of our lives. It was all about limited government and personal responsibility. We lost that somewhere along the way.

I might go into the rest of this "seminar" later, but I wanted to get this out while I was thinking about it.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Another One Glances at Sanity

Carl Bernstein has joined the vast right wing conspiracy freak show.
Welcome, Carl! What will a Hillary Clinton presidency look like?

The answer by now seems obvious: It will look like her presidential campaign, which in turn looks increasingly like the first Clinton presidency.

Which is to say, high-minded ideals, lowered execution, half truths, outright lies (and imaginary flights), take-no prisoners politics, some very good policy ideas, a presidential spouse given to wallowing in anger and self-pity, and a succession of aides and surrogates pushed under the bus when things don’t go right. Which is to say, often.
But... but... Hillary is a VRWC plant.

I'm so confused. Oh, wait. It's the Democrats. It's so clear now.

They're all nuts.

(h/t to Ace's place)

Here's a Guess

If I were a betting woman, I'd wager that President Calderon is a liberal.

Why would I say that? Because he obviously believes that rules are meant for other people, but not for him (or, in this case, for other countries' citizens, but not Mexico's). Or maybe he doesn't actually think the Mexicans who cross into the US are actually leaving the country.

Either way, he screams liberal to me.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Why, Yes I Am!

Yes, I am a typical white gun-toting, God-fearing, bitter redneck. Why do you ask?

More Obama Goodness Reality

Here's some more- also courtesy of Beth @ MVRWC:

TNR Online | The Agitator
At the heart of the Alinsky method is the concept of "agitation"--making someone angry enough about the rotten state of his life that he agrees to take action to change it; or, as Alinsky himself described the job, to "rub raw the sores of discontent."
Barack Obama: The making of a candidate --
Eight part series focusing on Obama, from his background to his political career
The not-so-simple story of Barack Obama's youth --
The life stories, when the presidential candidate tells them, have a common theme: the quest to belong.
Barack Obama : : Change We Can Believe In | Michael Blackburn's Blog: BAM!
Official Website of Barack Obama 2008 Presidential Campaign
Barack Obama | Lavender Newswire

Black Theology (by Ron Rhodes)
An Obama Supporter Illustrates Why Obama Supporters Scare Us. A Lot. Really. | Lavender Newswire
A post on a blog was re-posted on another message board (which, because I genuinely like the board admin and don't want to embarrass him any more than
West Wing : The Other Side of Barack Obama - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News
Hillary Clinton is back: With triple victories on Tuesday night the fight for the Democratic nomination is tighter than ever. And her opponent's camp is fighting off a wave of negative publicity.
West Wing: Change You Can't Believe In - International - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News
The rise of democratic frontrunner Barack Obama signifies an alarming victory of style over substance. Not unlike the dot-com hype, his campaign promises more than he can deliver. The one thing his voters can count on is that they will ultimately be di...
MyDD :: Is Barack Obama the Messiah? Part One
Barack Obama: Joshua generation or "just joshin'?" Lies, more lies and damn lies by Andy Martin
Andy Martin analyzes Barack Obama's speech in Selma, Alabama
Barack Obama lies about his father's story in his Selma speech | Redstate
The Obama Myth: Factual Discrepancies to the Selma Claim
Larry Flynt's official website focusing on Hustler's intentions on issues such as free speech, individual rights, and civil liberties.
National Black Chamber of Commerce - Did Barack Obama Lie?
National Black Chamber of Commerce
An unlikely echo - Ben Smith's Blog -
Ben Smith's blog on the 2008 presidential race, with a focus on the Democratic candidates. Includes political new coverage of primary and election races, and in-depth blog posts and stories on Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, B...
The Obama Bargain -
Thoughts of a conservative genius mind: Deconstructing Obama
Obama's War
How Obama's position on the war has shifted--and why it means he's not the change agent he claims to be.
Republican • National • Committee
REV. JEREMIAH A. WRIGHT, JR.: Pastor inspires Obama's 'audacity' --
Obama's Church: Cauldron of Division
Erik Rush column
OK, Tell Me Again Why You Think Barack Is A "Uniter?"
Uniter? Not so much. Voted against John Roberts, one of only 22 Dem partisans to vote against him.
UCCtruths - United Church of Christ News and Information
Lots of information about Barack Obama here (lots of unrelated stuff too, so you'll have to look around).
The Truth About Obama -
What's wrong with Obama? - Haaretz - Israel News
Presenting the panel with 16 possible reasons for ranking him lower than others, we now know a lot more about the considerations leading the experts to think that Obama will not be as good as Clinton and McCain, as far as Israel's interests go.
Speaking truth to Power [Martin Kramer's Sandbox]
Samantha Power has a problem: a corpus of critical statements about Israel. These have been parsed by Noah Pollak at Commentary's blog Contentions, by Ed Lasky and Richard Baehr at American Thinker, and by Paul Mirengoff at Power Line.
The Swamp: Obama Archives
Obama blog at the Chicago Tribune
The Swamp: Clinton: Obama gave Canada 'wink-wink' on NAFTA
The memo, written by a Canadian embassy official and leaked to the AP, claims that the campaign's top economic adviser Austan Goolsbee assured him that Obama's anti-NAFTA remarks "should not be taken out of context and should be viewed as more about polit
The not-so-simple story of Barack Obama's youth --
Several of his oft-recited stories may not have happened in the way he has recounted them. Some seem to make Obama look better in the retelling, others appear to exaggerate his outward struggles over issues of race, or simply skim over some of the most pa
obamessiah's bookmarks on
More Details for the Obama Files - HUMAN EVENTS
Barack Obama, Nadhmi Auchi, Antoin
Mr. Obama’s Connections - HUMAN EVENTS
Memo to Sen. John McCain.
Obama's women reveal his secret
Asia Times Online. The Asia News Hub providing the latest news and analysis regarding economics, events and trends in business, economy and politics throughout Asia.
Obama once visited '60s radicals - Ben Smith -
In '95, he was in the home of William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, notorious figures from the Weather Underground.
Declarations -
No Agenda :: Barack Obama Archives
Insert No Agenda description here
Rev. Jeremiah White Jr. - Google Search
Obama’s Communist Mentor
Abortion-Rights Opponents Scrutinize Obama Votes On Abortion-Related Measures In Illinois Legislature
Abortion-rights opponents in Illinois are criticizing Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who is running for president in 2008, for votes he made on legislation while serving as a state senator,
Candidate Barack Obama
Trinity United Church of Christ (changed)
Trinity United Church of Christ (old)
Campaign '08: The Radical Roots of Barack Obama : Rolling Stone
Talk back: Does Obama have the stuff to get him to the White House?
Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly . INTERVIEW . Rev. Jeremiah Wright . March 9, 2007 | PBS
Richard Cohen - Obama's Farrakhan Test -
The magazine for Barack Obama's church said Louis Farrakhan 'epitomized greatness.' What does the candidate think?
Democratic Underground - My Seven Reasons for Turning Away From Obama - Democratic Underground
My Seven Reasons for Turning Away From Obama
Obama Supporter (Until I Did Some Research)
Exurban League: Oh, bama.
Barack Obama's Global Tax Proposal Up for Senate Vote
An eclectic mix of original analysis and coverage of news, pop culture, politics, the crime beat, the DC Journal, sports, entertainment, breaking weather and the issues of the day.
"Obama, Ahmadinejad, and Khalidi: An Axis of Evil"
Barack Obama - Council on Foreign Relations
Is Barack Obama the Messiah?
The American Voters - Barack Obama Platform, Political Debate, Candidate Platforms, 2008 Elections
Political discussion forum for US politics, elections, voting, and much more.
Interesting Times: George Packer: Online Only: The New Yorker
The New Yorker
James Kirchick: The Obama Doctrine | Contributors | Rhode Island news | | The Providence Journal
Providence Journal editorial contributors
Politics - Obama basic training -
Sacramento Bee -- Obama basic training Volunteers told to share personal conversion stories with voters - not policy views.: In a storefront on Q Street in Sacramento, Kim Mack told a crowd that spilled out onto the sidewalk how she came to back Barack...
Gateway Pundit: Barack Obama's Cousin Leads Opposition In Violent Kenya
The New York Times > National > Image >
Cristy Li: Obama Changes His Mind Flip Flops On Iraq
Free Obama's White Grandmother

Obama Link Dump

This is complete and total link dump, mostly courtesy of Beth C at MWRWC. This link fest is over 24 hours old, so I'm sure there are more out there by now, especially about Pennsylvania and those pesky rednecks. These links are provided almost without comment because, honestly, they pretty much speak for themselves.

The one comment- I have a feeling that 99.9% of these will never see the blazing spotlight flashlight of the MSM without more than a little prodding from the "new media." Just doin' my part, eh?

Obama’s Pastor Celebrates 9/11 (explicit)
Only 5 Days After 3,000 Americans Killed

Obama’s Racially-Divisive Pastor

Obama Disrespecting U.S. Flag and Anthem

The Audacity of Barack Obama

The Audacity of Barack Obama 2

Is Obama Wright? - Pastor Wright & Senator Obama

Obama’s Pastor - 9/11 Fault of Israel Association

Obama - Cult of Personality

Name Obama’s Accomplishments if you can #1

Name Obama’s Accomplishments if you can #2

Barack Obama: There Will Be Bamboozling

The Two Things Senator Obama Accomplished

The Jeremiah Wright Lifetime Achievement Award

Gaza Strip Palestinians Campaigning for Obama

Barack Obama: Doesn’t Want his daughters ‘punished’ with a baby

Quotes from Dreams From My Father:

Here's the granddaddy of links- 450 more Obama flips and flops:

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tagged With A Memoir

Kat tagged me to write my memoir- in 6 words.
The Rules:

1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you want.
3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to the original post if possible so we can track it as travels across the blogosphere.
4. Tag at least five more blogs with links.
5. Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.
Oh, my, this is hard. Hmmm... How about this?
Born anew, learning, loving, and training.
Now... who to pass it on to? Let me think... how about Christina, Russ, Spats, Delfts, and caltechgirl.

"We Do Not Know What Freedom Is..."

OK, I definitely don't agree with what this guy says about Sufi culture, but... besides that? Preach on, brother man!

Iraqi Political Tells the Truth

I hate to ask, but... what's the over/under on his fatwa and subsequent decapitation?
(h/t to Baldilocks)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Wednesday's Hero

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael T. Williams
(Click Image For Full Size)

Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael T. Williams, a kennel master with Task Force Military Police, 1st Battalion, 10th Marines, and his dog "Kitt", search for ordnance and firearms during a route reconnaissance operation through the western Anbar province of Iraq April 1. The dog handlers conduct operations in support of 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion to bring peace and stability to Iraq and its people.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

With a Twist

The music in this video sounds familiar, but I think I like this Marine's lyrics a whole lot better.

UPDATE: It's come to my attention that not everyone recognized the music in the song. It was originally a Dixie Twit song (the lyrics to the original song are linked above). Sorry for the confusion.


The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression has announced their annual Best Muzzle awards.

The big winner this year was the FCC with a lifetime achievement award. And no, that's not really a good thing.

Monday, April 07, 2008

I Blame The British

OK, so maybe they can't take all the blame for the modern day plague known as reality television, but they definitely have the lion's share.

Reality tv actually began with Candid Camera, so America started it. And we were also responsible for COPS (well, the writer's strike of 1988 is to blame, but... you know what I mean). We would have probably been perfectly happy making fun of stupid people and criminals (but I repeat myself), but the Brits couldn't leave well enough alone.

They gave us What Not To Wear... and Big Brother... and SuperNanny... don't forget Gordon Ramsey is all his glory... Pop Idol and Britain's Got Talent (precursors of American Idol and America's Got Talent)... Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?... Changing Rooms (their version of Trading Spaces)... Strictly Come Dancing (Dancing with the Stars)...

But you can't blame them for Survivor (Sweden) or Big Brother (The Netherlands).

And let us not forget the newest version of "reality tv"- the "documentary"- The Osbornes, The Real Wives of Orange County, The Surreal Life, Miami Ink, Deadliest Catch... the "real" lives 99.999% of the world never wants to live.

Why do I even bring this up? Those shows are dumbing down our planet, killing of brain cells faster than the local pubs.

And people wonder why I only watch a few channels on television (Food Network, SciFi, FoxNews, the sports channels) ... some days, I'm almost ready to chunk the tv all together. No, I'm not there yet... but some days...

Sunday, April 06, 2008


Charlton Heston passed away last night. He was 84 years old.

Here's one of my favorite Charlton Heston quote:
“Mr. Clinton, sir, America didn't trust you with our health care system. America didn't trust you with gays in the military. America doesn't trust you with our 21-year-old daughters, and we sure, Lord, don't trust you with our guns.”
Rest in peace, Mr. Heston.

Quiz Time

Here's a two-fer. I can't remember where I found them. They seem like they're the same... but they're not.

What Kind of a Liberal Are You?
created with
You scored as Neo-Con

You have been expelled from the Liberal family for daring to hold onto the values that made you a liberal in the first place. Now you're a dirty little Neo-Con who is worse than Hitler.



Hippy Dippy Liberal


Liberal Democrat Politician


Netroot Liberal


9/11 Truther Liberal


Academic Liberal


Hollywood Liberal


Mainstream Media Liberal


What Kind of Conservative Are You?
created with
You scored as Reagan Con

Reagan Con: You believe that America is the solution and not the problem, a strong defence, and the smiting of all those who stand against freedom. Your motto: "What would Reagan do?"

Reagan Con








Log Cabin-Con




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