Thursday, November 13, 2008

My Yearly Political Test Results...

You are a

Social Liberal
(63% permissive)

and an...

Economic Conservative
(68% permissive)

You are best described as a:

Libertarian










Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

Friday, October 31, 2008

From The Daily Beast... Great Honest Comment on Palin

Excerpt from:

So Long, Democrats
by Wendy Button



Governor Palin and I don’t agree on a lot of things, mostly social issues. But I have grown to appreciate the Governor. I was one of those initial skeptics and would laugh at the pictures. Not anymore. When someone takes on a corrupt political machine and a sitting governor, that is not done by someone with a low I.Q. or a moral core made of tissue paper. When someone fights her way to get scholarships and work her way through college even in a jagged line, that shows determination and humility you can’t learn from reading Reinhold Niebuhr. When a mother brings her son with special needs onto the national stage with love, honesty, and pride, that gives hope to families like mine as my older brother lives with a mental disability. And when someone can sit on a stage during the Sarah Palin rap on Saturday Night Live, put her hands in the air and watch someone in a moose costume get shot—that’s a sign of both humor and humanity.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Don't. Mess. With. Texas. ::: North Texas school district will let teachers carry guns

North Texas school district will let teachers carry guns

HARROLD, Texas — A tiny Texas school district may be the first in the nation to allow teachers and staff to pack guns for protection when classes begin later this month, a newspaper reported.

Trustees at the Harrold Independent School District approved a district policy change last October so employees can carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings, provided the gun-toting teachers follow certain requirements.

In order for teachers and staff to carry a pistol, they must have a Texas license to carry a concealed handgun; must be authorized to carry by the district; must receive training in crisis management and hostile situations and have to use ammunition that is designed to minimize the risk of ricochet in school halls.

Superintendent David Thweatt said the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff's office, leaving students and teachers without protection. He said the district's lone campus sits 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target.

"When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that's when all of these shootings started. Why would you put it out there that a group of people can't defend themselves? That's like saying 'sic 'em' to a dog," Thweatt said in Friday's online edition of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Thweatt said officials researched the policy and considered other options for about a year before approving the policy change. He said the district also has various other security measures in place to prevent a school shooting.

"The naysayers think (a shooting) won't happen here. If something were to happen here, I'd much rather be calling a parent to tell them that their child is OK because we were able to protect them," Thweatt said.

Texas law outlaws firearms on school campuses "unless pursuant to the written regulations or written authorization of the institution."

It was unclear how many of the 50 or so teachers and staff members will be armed this fall because Thweatt did not disclose that information, to keep it from students or potential attackers. Wilbarger County Sheriff Larry Lee was out of the office Thursday and did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment, the newspaper said.

Barbara Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Association of School Boards, said her organization did not know of another district with such a policy. Ken Trump, a Cleveland-based school security expert who advises districts nationwide, including in Texas, said Harrold is the first district with such a policy.

The 110-student district is 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth on the eastern end of Wilbarger County, near the Oklahoma border.

From my buttery dead hands... UK: Is this the end for popcorn? Cinemas ban the 'noisy, messy' snack

Yeesh... there are really people who think this way:

Is this the end for popcorn? Cinemas ban the 'noisy, messy' snack

[excerpt]

Daniel Broch, owner of the renowned Everyman Cinema Club, said that he is aiming to provide a more sophisticated service for cinema-goers.

He has already banned popcorn from his 17-venue empire, instead offering made-to-order canapes and a waiter service.

He vowed: 'I will de-popcorn every new venue I acquire. It has a disproportionate influence on the space in terms of its overwhelming smell, the cultural idea of it and the operational problems created by the mess it produces.'

The company brochure even features an endorsement from Sir Paul McCartney describing it as 'too posh for popcorn'.

Nicolas Kent, artistic director of the award-winning Tricycle cinema and theatre in London, added: 'Popcorn is horrible stuff and I won't have it anywhere near my cinema.

'It's a form of junk food and that encourages junk entertainment. Its smell is all-pervasive, it makes huge amounts of mess, and it distracts and annoys people intensely.'



Popcorn does all that? All by itself? By all means yes! ban it along with all those guns that kill people on their own too.

Once again, a reminder... the sun never sets on the insanity in England.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Don't. Mess. With. Texas. ::: Texas asks no delay of execution | SCOTUSblog

Texas asks no delay of execution | SCOTUSblog

The state of Texas urged the Supreme Court on Monday to allow it to go ahead on Tuesday with the execution of Mexican national Jose Ernesto Medellin, arguing that he has several times received all of the review of his case that American or international law requires. But, the state added, if there are other foreign nationals in Texas who have not had the same review of their treaty-based claims, the state will join in to make sure that it happens.

Medellin’s lawyers have asked Justice Antonin Scalia, as Circuit Justice for the area that includes Texas, to postpone his execution until the Supreme Court can act on new appeals by his counsel. Scalia has the authority to act on his own, or to share the decision with his colleagues.

The Medelllin case has gained high visibility as a running dispute between Texas, the government of Mexico and the World Court over the state’s duties toward death-row inmates under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. In two filings on Monday (found here and here), the state insisted that “proceeding with Medellin’s execution fully complies with international law.” Medellin is scheduled to die by lethal injection for his part in a gang rape and murder of two teenaged girls in Houston in 1993.

In both of the state’s Monday filings, Texas said that it “acknowledges the international sensitivities” presented by a 2004 World Court ruling that Texas failed to provide Medellin and other Mexican nationals accused of crime in that state with access to a diplomatic officer from their home country.

The state also noted that Justice John Paul Stevens, in the most recent of two Supreme Court rulings in the Medellin case, had commented that it would be only a “minimal” cost to Texas to obey the World Court ruling.

Because of both of those considerations, the state said, “in future proceedings” involving Mexican nationals covered by the World Court ruling who have not had review of their cases as required by that decision, the state would support any such inmate’s plea for review in federal court. “The State of Texas will not only refrain from objecting, but will join the defense in asking the reviewing court to address” such an inmate’s claim that violation of Vienna Convention consular rights caused legal prejudice during his prosecution, the state said.

As for Medellin, the state argued, he has had that review, several times, and no court has yet accepted his argument that his case was prejudiced by the violation of his Vienna Convention rights.

Medellin’s lawyers have argued, and continue to do so, that he has never had the kind of review the World Court decision mandates. State courts, they noted, have refused to consider his Vienna Convention challenge because he did not raise it while his case proceeded in state courts, but did so only after being convicted. The state Court of Criminal Appeals gave that reason last Thursday in refusing to put off Medellin’s execution and in declining again to require review of his Vienna claim.

The state of Texas has been under some pressure from Bush Administration officials to take steps to assure that Medellin and other Mexican nationals obtain the review required by the World Court.

In addition, last Friday, Democratic leaders of the House Judiciary Committee urged Texas to delay Medellin’s execution to give Congress time to consider proposed new legislation to implement the World Court decision. Their letter to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, provided to the Supreme Court Monday by Medellin’s lawyer, can be found here.

The state’s top legal officers, who filed responses opposing both Medellin’s petition for certiorari (docket 08-5573) and his petition for an original habeas writ (docket 08-5574), as well as his request for a delay of execution, contended that the Court should not postpone the execution merely because one member of Congress had introduced proposed legislation.

“Nothing in the Constitution, statute, or case law,” the officials argued, “authorizes relief based on legislation that has been introduced but not enacted — especially not where Congress has taken no action in the over four years since [the World Court decision], and where there is no remote, let alone reasonable, expectation that both Houses of Congress will approve the legislation. Nor does any rule of law exist to determine how much 9more) delay is needed to further confirm that no action is indeed forthcoming.”

To hold otherwise, they argued, “would be to license a single member of the House of Representatives to enjoin the administration of criminal justice by a sovereign State. The Court has already held that the President of the United States, alone, cannot give domestic legal effect to [the World Court decision] and override Texas law. A fortiori, one member of the House of Representatives cannot do so.”


Solzhenitsyn ::: Godlessness, The First Step to the Gulag

"Men Have Forgotten God"
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn



More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.

Since then I have spent well-nigh fifty years working on the history of our Revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous Revolution that swallowed up some sixty million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened.

What is more, the events of the Russian Revolution can only be understood now, at the end of the century, against the background of what has since occurred in the rest of the world. What emerges here is a process of universal significance. And if I were called upon to identify briefly the principal trait of the entire twentieth century, here too, I would be unable to find anything more precise and pithy than to repeat once again: Men have forgotten God.

The failings of human consciousness, deprived of its divine dimension, have been a determining factor in all the major crimes of this century. The first of these was World War I, and much of our present predicament can be traced back to it. It was a war (the memory of which seems to be fading) when Europe, bursting with health and abundance, fell into a rage of self-mutilation which could not but sap its strength for a century or more, and perhaps forever. The only possible explanation for this war is a mental eclipse among the leaders of Europe due to their lost awareness of a Supreme Power above them. Only a godless embitterment could have moved ostensibly Christian states to employ poison gas, a weapon so obviously beyond the limits of humanity.

The same kind of defect, the flaw of a consciousness lacking all divine dimension, was manifested after World War II when the West yielded to the satanic temptation of the "nuclear umbrella." It was equivalent to saying: Let's cast off worries, let's free the younger generation from their duties and obligations, let's make no effort to defend ourselves, to say nothing of defending others-let's stop our ears to the groans emanating from the East, and let us live instead in the pursuit of happiness. If danger should threaten us, we shall be protected by the nuclear bomb; if not, then let the world burn in Hell for all we care. The pitifully helpless state to which the contemporary West has sunk is in large measure due to this fatal error: the belief that the defense of peace depends not on stout hearts and steadfast men, but solely on the nuclear bomb...

Today' s world has reached a stage which, if it had been described to preceding centuries, would have called forth the cry: "This is the Apocalypse!"

Yet we have grown used to this kind of world; we even feel at home in it.

Dostoevsky warned that "great events could come upon us and catch us intellectually unprepared." This is precisely what has happened. And he predicted that "the world will be saved only after it has been possessed by the demon of evil." Whether it really will be saved we shall have to wait and see: this will depend on our conscience, on our spiritual lucidity, on our individual and combined efforts in the face of catastrophic circumstances. But it has already come to pass that the demon of evil, like a whirlwind, triumphantly circles all five continents of the earth...

In its past, Russia did know a time when the social ideal was not fame, or riches, or material success, but a pious way of life. Russia was then steeped in an Orthodox Christianity which remained true to the Church of the first centuries. The Orthodoxy of that time knew how tosafeguard its people under the yoke of a foreign occupation that lasted more than two centuries, while at the same time fending off iniquitous blows from the swords of Western crusaders. During those centuries the Orthodox faith in our country became part of the very pattern of thought and the personality of our people, the forms of daily life, the work calendar, the priorities in every undertaking, the organization of the week and of the year. Faith was the shaping and unifying force of the nation.

But in the 17th century Russian Orthodoxy was gravely weakened by an internal schism. In the 18th, the country was shaken by Peter's forcibly imposed transformations, which favored the economy, the state, and the military at the expense of the religious spirit and national life. And along with this lopsided Petrine enlightenment, Russia felt the first whiff of secularism; its subtle poisons permeated the educated classes in the course of the 19th century and opened the path to Marxism. By the time of the Revolution, faith had virtually disappeared in Russian educated circles; and amongst the uneducated, its health was threatened.

It was Dostoevsky, once again, who drew from the French Revolution and its seeming hatred of the Church the lesson that "revolution must necessarily begin with atheism." That is absolutely true. But the world had never before known a godlessness as organized, militarized, and tenaciously malevolent as that practiced by Marxism. Within the philosophical system of Marx and Lenin, and at the heart of their psychology, hatred of God is the principal driving force, more fundamental than all their political and economic pretensions. Militant atheism is not merely incidental or marginal to Communist policy; it is not a side effect, but the central pivot.

The 1920’s in the USSR witnessed an uninterrupted procession of victims and martyrs amongst the Orthodox clergy. Two metropolitans were shot, one of whom, Veniamin of Petrograd, had been elected by the popular vote of his diocese. Patriarch Tikhon himself passed through the hands of the Cheka-GPU and then died under suspicious circumstances. Scores of archbishops and bishops perished. Tens of thousands of priests, monks, and nuns, pressured by the Chekists to renounce the Word of God, were tortured, shot in cellars, sent to camps, exiled to the desolate tundra of the far North, or turned out into the streets in their old age without food or shelter. All these Christian martyrs went unswervingly to their deaths for the faith; instances of apostasy were few and far between. For tens of millions of laymen access to the Church was blocked, and they were forbidden to bring up their children in the Faith: religious parents were wrenched from their children and thrown into prison, while the children were turned from the faith by threats and lies...

For a short period of time, when he needed to gather strength for the struggle against Hitler, Stalin cynically adopted a friendly posture toward the Church. This deceptive game, continued in later years by Brezhnev with the help of showcase publications and other window dressing, has unfortunately tended to be taken at its face value in the West. Yet the tenacity with which hatred of religion is rooted in Communism may be judged by the example of their most liberal leader, Krushchev: for though he undertook a number of significant steps to extend freedom, Krushchev simultaneously rekindled the frenzied Leninist obsession with destroying religion.

But there is something they did not expect: that in a land where churches have been leveled, where a triumphant atheism has rampaged uncontrolled for two-thirds of a century, where the clergy is utterly humiliated and deprived of all independence, where what remains of the Church as an institution is tolerated only for the sake of propaganda directed at the West, where even today people are sent to the labor camps for their faith, and where, within the camps themselves, those who gather to pray at Easter are clapped in punishment cells--they could not suppose that beneath this Communist steamroller the Christian tradition would survive in Russia. It is true that millions of our countrymen have been corrupted and spiritually devastated by an officially imposed atheism, yet there remain many millions of believers: it is only external pressures that keep them from speaking out, but, as is always the ca se in times of persecution and suffering, the awareness of God in my country has attained great acuteness and profundity.

It is here that we see the dawn of hope: for no matter how formidably Communism bristles with tanks and rockets, no matter what successes it attains in seizing the planet, it is doomed never to vanquish Christianity.

The West has yet to experience a Communist invasion; religion here remains free. But the West's own historical evolution has been such that today it too is experiencing a drying up of religious consciousness. It too has witnessed racking schisms, bloody religious wars, and rancor, to say nothing of the tide of secularism that, from the late Middle Ages onward, has progressively inundated the West. This gradual sapping of strength from within is a threat to faith that is perhaps even more dangerous than any attempt to assault religion violently from without.

Imperceptibly, through decades of gradual erosion, the meaning of life in the West has ceased to be seen as anything more lofty than the "pursuit of happiness, "a goal that has even been solemnly guaranteed by constitutions. The concepts of good and evil have been ridiculed for several centuries; banished from common use, they have been replaced by political or class considerations of short lived value. It has become embarrassing to state that evil makes its home in the individual human heart before it enters a political system. Yet it is not considered shameful to make dally concessions to an integral evil. Judging by the continuing landslide of concessions made before the eyes of our very own generation, the West is ineluctably slipping toward the abyss. Western societies are losing more and more of their religious essence as they thoughtlessly yield up their younger generation to atheism. If a blasphemous film about Jesus is shown throughout the United States, reputedly one of the most religious countries in the world, or a major newspaper publishes a shameless caricature of the Virgin Mary, what further evidence of godlessness does one need? When external rights are completely unrestricted, why should one make an inner effort to restrain oneself from ignoble acts?

Or why should one refrain from burning hatred, whatever its basis--race, class, or ideology? Such hatred is in fact corroding many hearts today. Atheist teachers in the West are bringing up a younger generation in a spirit of hatred of their own society. Amid all the vituperation we forget that the defects of capitalism represent the basic flaws of human nature, allowed unlimited freedom together with the various human rights; we forget that under Communism (and Communism is breathing down the neck of all moderate forms of socialism, which are unstable) the identical flaws run riot in any person with the least degree of authority; while everyone else under that system does indeed attain "equality"--the equality of destitute slaves. This eager fanning of the flames of hatred is becoming the mark of today's free world. Indeed, the broader the personal freedoms are, the higher the level of prosperity or even of abundance--the more vehement, paradoxically, does this blind hatred become. The contemporary developed West thus demonstrates by its own example that human salvation can be found neither in the profusion of material goods nor in merely making money.

This deliberately nurtured hatred then spreads to all that is alive, to life itself, to the world with its colors, sounds, and shapes, to the human body. The embittered art of the twentieth century is perishing as a result of this ugly hate, for art is fruitless without love. In the East art has collapsed because it has been knocked down and trampled upon, but in the West the fall has been voluntary, a decline into a contrived and pretentious quest where the artist, instead of attempting to reveal the divine plan, tries to put himsef in the place of God.

Here again we witness the single outcome of a worldwide process, with East and West yielding the same results, and once again for the same reason: Men have forgotten God.

With such global events looming over us like mountains, nay, like entire mountain ranges, it may seem incongruous and inappropriate to recall that the primary key to our being or non-being resides in each individual human heart, in the heart’s preference for specific good or evil. Yet this remains true even today, and it is, in fact, the most reliable key we have. The social theories that promised so much have demonstrated their bankruptcy, leaving us at a dead end. The free people of the West could reasonably have been expected to realize that they are beset · by numerous freely nurtured falsehoods, and not to allow lies to be foisted upon them so easily. All attempts to find a way out of the plight of today's world are fruitless unless we redirect our consciousness, in repentance, to the Creator of all: without this, no exit will be illumined, and we shall seek it in vain. The resources we have set aside for ourselves are too impoverished for the task. We must first recognize the horror perpetrated not by some outside force, not by class or national enemies, but within each of us individually, and within every society. This is especially true of a free and highly developed society, for here in particular we have surely brought everything upon ourselves, of our own free will. We ourselves, in our daily unthinking selfishness, are pulling tight that noose...

Our life consists not in the pursuit of material success but in the quest for worthy spiritual growth. Our entire earthly existence is but a transitional stage in the movement toward something higher, and we must not stumble and fall, nor must we linger fruitlessly on one rung of the ladder. Material laws alone do not explain our life or give it direction. The laws of physics and physiology will never reveal the indisputable manner in which the Creator constantly, day in and day out, participates in the life of each of us, unfailingly granting us the energy of existence; when this assistance leaves us, we die. And in the life of our entire planet, the Divine Spirit surely moves with no less force: this we must grasp in our dark and terrible hour.

To the ill-considered hopes of the last two centuries, which have reduced us to insignificance and brought us to the brink of nuclear and non-nuclear death, we can propose only a determined quest for the warm hand of God, which we have so rashly and self-confidently spurned. Only in this way can our eyes be opened to the errors of this unfortunate twentieth century and our bands be directed to setting them right. There is nothing else to cling to in the landslide: the combined vision of all the thinkers of the Enlightenment amounts to nothing.

Our five continents are caught in a whirlwind. But it is during trials such as these that the highest gifts of the human spirit are manifested. If we perish and lose this world, the fault will be ours alone.

(World copyright ©1983 by Aleksander Solzhenitsyn; translator: A. Klimoff; reprinted by kind permission of the author.)

Friday, August 01, 2008

LOL... Obama Admits Not Experienced Enough to be Prez

Obama's Top Ten Flaws That Will Cost Him in November

...if he makes it to November. I think his flaws are so bad he may not get the nomination. (I'm aware that seems ridiculous at this point...)

Anyway, this is an EXCELLENT article.



Obama's Top Ten Flaws That Will Cost Him in November
John Hawkins
Friday, August 01, 2008

In an election cycle where Republicans are reviled and the GOP candidate, John McCain, seems to inspire less excitement than a Droopy marathon on the Cartoon Network, it's hard for some people to understand how the race is still close. After all, Barack Obama is drawing record crowds and generating the sort of wild-eyed loyalty from the press that hasn't been seen since Guyana, right before they broke out the Kool-Aid -- and yet, on paper, this race is a coin flip.

Why is that? Because this race is turning into a referendum on Barack Obama and quite frankly, he has absolutely nothing going for him besides the fact that he's young, good looking, black, and does a great job of reading the speeches his handlers have prepared for him. Once you get beyond those paper-thin qualifications for office, Obama is nothing but a mass of flaws, bad character traits, and left-wing agitprop. While the press lauds Obama as if he just cured cancer and invented a car that runs on lawn clippings in the same day, everyone else can't help but notice...

The Snobbery: If little girls are made up of sugar, spice, and everything nice, then Obama is made up of arugula, personal presidential seals, and hubris. Never before has a candidate with so few accomplishments to his name looked so far down his nose at the American people.

The Phony Idealism: Silently, there must be a lot of liberal Democrats kicking themselves today because all during the primaries, the race was portrayed as a battle between Barack Obama, the idealist and Hillary Clinton, the pragmatic, say-anything-to-win candidate. Then, the moment Obama captured the nomination, all of those precious ideals flew out the window and Obama started shifting his positions farther and faster than Hillary Clinton ever did. So much for the candidate who was supposed to be a "new kind of politician."

The Anti-White Racism: Obama spent 20 years going to a virulently anti-white, anti-American church while he used Jeremiah Wright -- who's the moral equivalent of David Duke -- as a spiritual mentor and a sounding board. This is not a man who looks kindly upon what he refers to as "typical white people."

The Lack of Patriotism: Rather famously, Obama refused to hold his hand over his heart for the national anthem and publicly made a point of not wearing a flag pin -- and then had the "audacity" to complain when people quite naturally questioned his patriotism. Since then, Obama replaced the American flag on his plane with his own symbol and made a point of running down his country and calling himself a "citizen of the world" while he was overseas. Is having a President who loves his own country too much to ask? In Obama's case, apparently so.

His Liberalism: Although Obama has attempted to shift to the center since he captured the Democratic nomination, his record is one of radical liberalism. In fact, he was ranked as the single most liberal senator in 2007 by National Journal, actually supported a complete ban on handgun sales, and wants to hand out 845 billion dollars to foreign nations as part of an effort to "elimin(ate) extreme poverty." If you would be thrilled to have a President who is as liberal as Michael Moore or Keith Olbermann, then Barack Obama is your man.

His Changing Position On The War in Iraq: In one of the most ironic twists of the campaign, Obama beat Hillary Clinton by being so stridently anti-war in Iraq, but his latest ever-shifting position essentially mirrors that of John McCain. Although Obama is still promising a timeline, he is saying he could leave 50,000 troops in Iraq and that the withdrawal is "entirely conditions-based." Although the lefties are biting their tongues, you know they must be seething that they've been sold down the river on their biggest issue -- or maybe they just assume he's lying, which is entirely possible.

His Inexperience: Obama has never served in the military, the House, or as a governor, was first elected to the Senate in 2004, and his battle with Hillary was the only tough campaign he has ever been in. In other words, if he's elected, he would be one of the least worthy candidates ever to make it to the White House. If we had another 9/11 on his watch or even if one of those infamous 3 AM emergency calls that Hillary campaigned on were to come in, would you rather have Obama or McCain handling it? For that matter, would you rather have Obama or a random person picked out of the phone book handling it? Neither Obama nor the random person from the phone book would have much relevant experience, but at least the random person would probably be humble enough to realize it and ask for help, unlike Obama.

The Poor Judgment: This is a guy who stayed in a racist church and stuck by a bigoted reverend for 20 years, grotesquely leaked his Western Wall prayer to the press, and blew off a visit to see wounded troops while the whole world was watching him overseas. In other words, even when it comes to matters of mere politics, this is not a man who can be trusted to make wise decisions. So, how can we trust him to make good policy decisions for the country?

He's Gaffe Prone: When John McCain makes mistakes, the media tries to portray him as senile. But Obama makes dumber mistakes than George Bush, more mistakes than Dan Quayle, and that's despite the fact that he spends far less time talking to the press than McCain. So, what's his excuse for thinking that we have more than 57 states, claiming America's "fallen heroes" were in the audience listening to him, and his claim that "'10,000 people died' in the Kansas tornadoes when the death toll was really only 12?" Dan Quayle’s notorious potato(e) error, which was used to forever portray him as a drooling moron, wouldn’t even qualify as one of Obama’s top five mistakes.

His Fuzzy Platform: Obama's positions on guns, the war in Iraq, taxes, FISA, and public financing, among other issues, have shifted faster than a cheetah chasing a greyhound through an obstacle course. Since he doesn't have much of a record to go on, seems to have very poor judgment, and he doesn't have a solid platform to stand on, how are people supposed to know what he will do when he gets in the White House?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My Prediction of the Day? Delta Airlines is about to go down

I've read three stories about Delata Airlines today ::: prices going up for baggage, a dead woman found in a bathroom, and a woman with MS having to cral off of a plane (and still missing her connector.)

Just terrible.


(By going down I mean bankruptcy, of course...)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Middle Finger To The NYTimes... DON'T MESS WITH TEXAS!

Just when you think they couldn't sink lower... (oh all right all right... of course they could...) the NYTimes publishes the following story with what they must believe is a relative of the victims':

Texas Turns Aside Pressure on Execution of 5 Mexicans

HOUSTON — Despite pleas from the White House and the State Department, as well as an international court order to review their cases, Texas will execute five Mexicans on death row, a spokeswoman for the governor said Thursday.

The first of the executions — that of José Ernesto Medellín, 33, convicted in the 1993 rape and murder of two teenage girls here — is scheduled for Aug. 5.

The decision by Gov. Rick Perry to allow the executions is the latest twist in a long-running battle between Mexico, which has no death penalty, and the United States over the fate of 51 Mexicans facing capital punishment in several states, including 14 in Texas.

On Wednesday, the International Court of Justice at The Hague ordered a review of five of the Texas cases after Mexico complained that the convicts, all men, had not been allowed a chance to talk to a Mexican consul after their arrests, as required under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

But that argument holds little sway in Texas, a place with a long history of upholding the death penalty and of telling other governments to mind their own business.

“This ruling doesn’t change anything,” said Mr. Perry’s spokeswoman, Allison Castle. “This is an individual who brutally gang-raped and murdered two teenage women. We don’t really care where you are from; you can’t do that to our citizens.”

The ruling went further than a 2004 decision by the international court, which again sided with Mexico, ordering a review of all 51 cases to determine if a consul’s intervention might have changed the outcome.

...

Mr. Perry, a Republican, stood firm, saying the Supreme Court ruling in March had freed Texas to go ahead with the executions, starting with that of Mr. Medellín, one of six young men that a jury found had raped and strangled Elizabeth Peña, 16, and Jennifer Ertman, 15, in a park one night.

Mr. Medellín was 18 at the time and had lived most of his life in Texas; he signed a confession in English.

A spokesman for the Mexican Embassy in Washington, Ricardo Alday, accused Texas of “an irreparable breach of international obligation” if it did not delay the executions until Congress could act on Mr. Berman’s bill.

A lawyer representing Mr. Medellín, Donald Francis Donovan of New York, said he would seek such a delay in Texas state court.

“Everyone agrees that the U.S. made a deal here,” Mr. Donovan said, “and for Texas to breach that deal when it was made by the people of the United States as a whole would not be right.”

For relatives of the murdered girls, questions about international relations seem irrelevant.

“This has nothing to do with the World Court; it has nothing to do with the U.N.,” said Jennifer’s father, Randy Ertman. “This has everything to do with what Mexico wants, not what Texas wants. The people of Texas want the death penalty.”

Ashley Marchand contributed reporting.


So that victim's relative's picture that accompanied the article... one of the parents of the raped and murdered girls (who, by the way, WERE KICKED TO DEATH!)? No, no of course not. It's a picture of the poor rapist and murderer's granny. And she looks so sad.

: |

Here two more quotes from the (real victims') dads:

Randy Ertman, father of Jennifer, a 14-year-old girl Medellin raped and murdered, criticized the World Court for attempting to intervene.

“The world court doesn’t mean diddly,” he said. “This business belongs in the State of Texas. The people of the State of Texas support the execution. We thank them. The rest of them can go to hell.”

Adolfo Peña, father of Elizabeth, a 16-year-old girl Medellin also raped and murdered, concurred with Ertman.

“I believe we’ve been through all the red tape we can go through,” he told the Houston Chronicle. “It’s time to rock and roll.”

Starbucks Closings ::: Women and Minorities Hit Hardest!

There's a long-standing, running joke -- and a personal fave... that a predictable NYTimes headline would be "World Ends: Women and Minorities Hit Hardest".


Guess no one told it to the folks at the Chicago Tribune.

Cafe closings hit minority areas


Starbucks lists 18 shops in, near city

By Barbara Rose and Wailin Wong

Chicago Tribune reporters

July 18, 2008

Starbucks has identified 18 stores in the Chicago area among the 600 nationwide targeted to close through March 2009, including several in minority neighborhoods that had counted on the green-and-white medallion to signal rebirth.

...

The closings include stores in largely minority areas in the south suburbs as well as neighborhoods on Chicago's South and West Sides. "Starbucks became symbolic of a community that was changing and in transition," said Earnest Gates, executive director of the Near West Side Community Development Corp. "To take that away, it's a blow to a community."

Word began spreading in North Lawndale about a week ago that the Starbucks at Roosevelt Road and Homan Avenue, open about 18 months, was on the closing list. That outlet, as well as another one slated for closing at East 95th Street and Stony Island Avenue, were built as part of Urban Coffee Opportunities, a venture between Starbucks and Earvin "Magic" Johnson's urban development firm to bring cafes to minority areas.

"It's horrible it's closing down," Phil Jackson, associate pastor at Lawndale Community Church, said of the location in his neighborhood. "We can't stand for that place to be closing down. It's jobs. We've got college students working there, adults that have management skills that can be seen and observed by Starbucks. They could run their own store one day."

Jackson said Starbucks must have known the store would need time to prosper.

"The people in the community have to make it family, make it a part of their own, and sometimes that takes longer than a year and a half," he said. "For Starbucks to look at all the communities that are already suffering, and then to close the stores that they are closing is really kind of hypocritical. [They] started the store knowing what the community was all about. You come here so you can uplift the community."

Starbucks said in a statement that it used several criteria to identify stores for closing, including those that were not profitable and "not believed to provide acceptable returns in the foreseeable future." It also said "consideration was given to the impact of the current and anticipated economic trends."

"We have always aspired to put our people first," Starbucks said. "This makes our decision to close stores more difficult, because it disrupts the lives of the people who have worked so hard to deliver superior service to our customers."

Tribune reporters Sandra M. Jones and Susan Chandler contributed to this report.



I think some of these folks need to understand the nature of business. Businesses exist to make profits, to supply to a demand, not to "uplift" communities. That's the job of churches and charities.

Yeesh.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Tony Snow's Funeral: President Bush's Eulogy

President Bush Attends Funeral Service for Tony Snow
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Washington, D.C.

10:16 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Archbishop Wuerl, Father O'Connell, Mr. Vice President, members of the Cabinet and my administration, members of Congress, distinguished guests; most importantly, the Snow family, Jill, Robbie, Kendall, Kristi and Jim, and other family members; former colleagues of Tony. Laura and I are privileged to join you today to pay our final respects to a cherished friend.

Tony Snow was a man of uncommon decency and compassion. He was a devoted husband, a proud and loving father, an adoring son, a beloved colleague, and a wonderful role model and friend.

In a life that was far too brief, he amassed a rare record of accomplishment. He applied his gifted mind to many fields: as a columnist, newspaper editor, TV anchor, radio host, and musician. He had the sometimes challenging distinction of working for two Presidents named Bush. As a speechwriter in my Dad's administration, Tony tried to translate the President's policies into English. (Laughter.) As a spokesman in my administration, Tony tried to translate my English into English. (Laughter.)

Tony always gave me good and candid advice. He was a man of profound substance who loved ideas, held strong beliefs, and reveled in defending them. He took very seriously his duty to inform the public about what its government was doing during historic times for our nation.

In the White House briefing room, Tony worked to build a relationship of candor and trust with the press corps. On his first day at the podium, he told the gathered reporters this: "One of the reasons I took this job is not only because I believe in the President, but because, believe it or not, I want to work with you." Tony was the first working journalist to serve as the White House Press Secretary for nearly 30 years. He knew the job of a reporter was rigorous. He admired the profession -- and always treated it with respect. And the presence of so many members of the Fourth Estate here today attests to the admiration and respect that he earned.

Of course, Tony's adjustment from commentator to spokesman was not seamless. Ann Compton of ABC recently recalled that when you asked Tony a question, he would sometimes get going, and she would have to stop him and say: "Tony, wait, I asked what the President thought." (Laughter.)

Tony brought a fierce and challenging intellect to his duties. And he displayed an engaging wit. When a reporter asked a rather labored question about Congress, Tony did not answer it. The persistent reporter pressed him: "Are you going to just evade that question?" With a smile, Tony quipped: "No, I'm going to laugh at it." (Laughter.)

I believe the reason Tony was so good at his job is that he looked at the world in a joyful way. He was a proud patriot who believed in America's goodness, and an optimist who knew America's possibilities. He believed strongly in the wisdom of the American people. And throughout his career, he took a special pride in being a vigorous and unapologetic defender of our men and women in uniform. He supported their missions, saw honor in their achievements, and found every possible opportunity to highlight their character and courage.

Tony Snow, the professional, is a hard act to follow. Tony Snow, the man, is simply irreplaceable. Everyone who worked with him quickly grew to love him. We will always remember his wry sense of humor and abundant goodness. We'll also remember he was just a lot of fun. After all, he played six different musical instruments and was a proud member of a band called Beats Working. He may be one of the few people in history to have jammed on the South Lawn of the White House and with Jethro Tull. (Laughter.)

We remember Tony's thoughtfulness. No matter how busy he was, this was a man who put others first. He would go out of his way to ask about people's families. He would check in with friends whenever he heard they were ill. He'd reach out to others, sometimes strangers, who were struggling with cancer. Even when he was going through difficult chemotherapy sessions, he sent inspirational e-mails to a friend whose son was suffering from a serious illness.

We remember Tony's resilient spirit. When he received a second diagnosis of cancer, he did not turn to despair. He saw it as another challenge to tackle. He found comfort in the prayers he received from millions of Americans. As he told the graduates here at Catholic University last year, "Never underestimate the power of other people's love and prayer. They have incredible power. It's as if I've been carried on the shoulders of an entire army. And they made me weightless."

Most of all, we remember Tony's love of his family. There was no doubt for Tony Snow that his family was first. When Jill reached a milestone birthday, Tony had a huge celebration. He later said that he and Jill danced that night as if they were teenagers. He said he was the most fortunate man in the world to have shared love like that. So, today, Jill, our hearts are with you, and we thank you for giving Tony such a special life.

For Robbie, Kendall, and Kristi, you are in our thoughts and prayers, as well. We thank you for sharing your dad with us. He talked about you all the time. He wanted nothing more than your happiness and success. You know, I used to call Tony on the weekends to get his advice. And invariably, I found him with you on the soccer field, or at a swim meet, or helping with your homework. He loved you a lot. Today I hope you know that we loved him a lot, too.

I know it's hard to make sense of today. It is impossible to fully comprehend why such a good and vital man was taken from us so soon. But these are the great mysteries of life -- and Tony knew as well as anyone that they're not ours to unveil.

The day Tony was born was also the day that many of his fellow Catholics pay tribute to Saint Justin. Justin was also a gifted thinker and writer, and a powerful witness for the Christian faith. Because of his beliefs, he suffered many times of trial, and in the year 165 A.D. he was arrested. Before he received a sentence of death, he was asked: "If you are killed, do you suppose you will go to heaven?" Justin replied: "I do not suppose it, but I know and am fully persuaded of it."

Tony Snow knew that, as well. That brought him great peace. When talking about the struggle he waged so admirably, he said that no matter how bad times may sometimes seem, "God doesn't promise tomorrow, he does promise eternity."

And so today we send this man of faith and character and joy on his final journey. Tony Snow has left the City of Washington for the City of God. May he find eternal rest in the arms of his Savior. And may the Author of all creation watch over his family and all those who loved him, admired him, and will always cherish his memory.

END 10:25 A.M. EDT




Here is a link to the pictures at Yahoo.

Obama's Bitter Half... Still Not Getting It ::: Michelle Obama's $600 Earrings

Michelle Obama's $600 Earrings

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s wife, Michelle, complained the government’s $600 economic stimulus check was only enough to buy “a pair of earrings” while stumping for her husband.

“You're getting $600 - what can you do with that?” Mrs. Obama said in Pontiac, Michigan last week. “Not to be ungrateful or anything, but maybe it pays down a bill, but it doesn't pay down every bill every month. The short-term quick fix kinda stuff sounds good, and it may even feel good that first month when you get that check, and then you go out and you buy a pair of earrings."

She made these remarks at a “working women’s roundtable discussion.”

Although Mrs. Obama has been praised by fashionable outlets like Vogue magazine for her sense of style, her comments about $600 earrings reinforces an unflattering image of the Ivy-league educated Obama lawyers. They’ve both been called “elitist” several times though the course of the presidential campaign season.

Mr. Obama’s former Democratic rival Hillary Clinton called him at “elitist” for telling donors at a private fundraiser in San Francisco that “bitter” Americans in places like Pennsylvania “cling to guns or religion.”

Mrs. Obama has similarly come under fire for saying her husband’s candidacy made her proud of her country for “the first time in my life” and encouraging women to “move out of the money-making industry into the helping industry” in Zanesville, Ohio—one of the poorest areas of the nation.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The sun never sets on the insanity in Britain: Pensioner arrested for chasing away youths with plank - Telegraph

3-year-olds that don't like spicy foods are burgeoning racists, commercials with puppies are off the air for being offensive to Muslims, and now yet another edition of "Arrest the Good Guy":


Pensioner arrested for chasing away youths with plank - Telegraph

A pensioner who used a piece of wood to chase away a gang of teenagers who had been throwing stones at his home is facing a jail term after being arrested and charged with possessing an offensive weapon.

Sydney Davis, 65, a father-of-two, dialled 999 when his home in the Pinehurst area of Swindon, Wilts, came under attack.

But when police failed to turn up over the next two hours he decided to take action himself.

He grabbed a section of wood from a broken-up sofa lying in his front garden and chased the youths down the street - just as police officers finally arrived.

Mr Davis, a retired builder, was astonished when police arrested him while allowing the gang to run to safety.

The householder now faces a court appearance and a potential prison term of six months if convicted.

Mr Davis, whose windows have been smashed five times in the last eight months, branded the law "a colossal ass".

He went on: "This is Britain gone mad. Just what in the world is this country coming to when the police arrest people like me for protecting their own property?

"The police say they want to reduce crime, yet they let evil little toe-rags like this off. Then they prosecute hard-working, upstanding residents like me.

"There is simply no way we can shake off this problem of 'Yob Britain' if the legal system fails to protect the everyday person".

Mr Davis' difficulties began on July 2 when a gang started throwing stones, stick, mud and eggs at a number of homes.

His wife, Pauline, 42, and their sons, Peter, seven, and James, five, cowered behind the sofa as the windows were hit by a flurry of missiles.

"My wife called the police at 6pm, but they just kept on throwing stones through my back gate.

"I left the back door open to stop them smashing it. Suddenly a really big rock came crashing into the kitchen. I just grabbed the wood, which was the nearest thing I could find, and chased them off.

"The police turned up just as I was chasing them. As a result I was arrested, but they didn't arrest any of them."

Mr Davis was handcuffed, taken to a local police station and later charged.

Wiltshire Police confirmed both the charge against him and the fact that no one else had been arrested in connection with the incident.

The householder is expected to appear before local magistrates later in the month.

Cancer's Unexpected Blessings | by Tony Snow

Cancer's Unexpected Blessings | Christianity Today | A Magazine of Evangelical Conviction

Cancer's Unexpected Blessings

When you enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death, things change.

Commentator and broadcaster Tony Snow announced that he had colon cancer in 2005. Following surgery and chemo-therapy, Snow joined the Bush administration in April 2006 as press secretary. Unfortunately, on March 23 Snow, 51, a husband and father of three, announced that the cancer had recurred, with tumors found in his abdomen—leading to surgery in April, followed by more chemotherapy. Snow went back to work in the White House Briefing Room on May 30, but resigned August 31. CT asked Snow what spiritual lessons he has been learning through the ordeal.

Blessings arrive in unexpected packages—in my case, cancer.

Those of us with potentially fatal diseases—and there are millions in America today—find ourselves in the odd position of coping with our mortality while trying to fathom God's will. Although it would be the height of presumption to declare with confidence What It All Means, Scripture provides powerful hints and consolations.

The first is that we shouldn't spend too much time trying to answer the why questions: Why me? Why must people suffer? Why can't someone else get sick? We can't answer such things, and the questions themselves often are designed more to express our anguish than to solicit an answer.

I don't know why I have cancer, and I don't much care. It is what it is—a plain and indisputable fact. Yet even while staring into a mirror darkly, great and stunning truths begin to take shape. Our maladies define a central feature of our existence: We are fallen. We are imperfect. Our bodies give out.

But despite this—because of it—God offers the possibility of salvation and grace. We don't know how the narrative of our lives will end, but we get to choose how to use the interval between now and the moment we meet our Creator face-to-face.

Second, we need to get past the anxiety. The mere thought of dying can send adrenaline flooding through your system. A dizzy, unfocused panic seizes you. Your heart thumps; your head swims. You think of nothingness and swoon. You fear partings; you worry about the impact on family and friends. You fidget and get nowhere.

To regain footing, remember that we were born not into death, but into life—and that the journey continues after we have finished our days on this earth. We accept this on faith, but that faith is nourished by a conviction that stirs even within many nonbelieving hearts—an intuition that the gift of life, once given, cannot be taken away. Those who have been stricken enjoy the special privilege of being able to fight with their might, main, and faith to live—fully, richly, exuberantly—no matter how their days may be numbered.

Third, we can open our eyes and hearts. God relishes surprise. We want lives of simple, predictable ease—smooth, even trails as far as the eye can see—but God likes to go off-road. He provokes us with twists and turns. He places us in predicaments that seem to defy our endurance and comprehension—and yet don't. By his love and grace, we persevere. The challenges that make our hearts leap and stomachs churn invariably strengthen our faith and grant measures of wisdom and joy we would not experience otherwise.

'You Have Been Called'

Picture yourself in a hospital bed. The fog of anesthesia has begun to wear away. A doctor stands at your feet; a loved one holds your hand at the side. "It's cancer," the healer announces.

The natural reaction is to turn to God and ask him to serve as a cosmic Santa. "Dear God, make it all go away. Make everything simpler." But another voice whispers: "You have been called." Your quandary has drawn you closer to God, closer to those you love, closer to the issues that matter—and has dragged into insignificance the banal concerns that occupy our "normal time."

There's another kind of response, although usually short-lived—an inexplicable shudder of excitement, as if a clarifying moment of calamity has swept away everything trivial and tinny, and placed before us the challenge of important questions.

The moment you enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death, things change. You discover that Christianity is not something doughy, passive, pious, and soft. Faith may be the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But it also draws you into a world shorn of fearful caution. The life of belief teems with thrills, boldness, danger, shocks, reversals, triumphs, and epiphanies. Think of Paul, traipsing though the known world and contemplating trips to what must have seemed the antipodes (Spain), shaking the dust from his sandals, worrying not about the morrow, but only about the moment.

There's nothing wilder than a life of humble virtue—for it is through selflessness and service that God wrings from our bodies and spirits the most we ever could give, the most we ever could offer, and the most we ever could do.

Finally, we can let love change everything. When Jesus was faced with the prospect of crucifixion, he grieved not for himself, but for us. He cried for Jerusalem before entering the holy city. From the Cross, he took on the cumulative burden of human sin and weakness, and begged for forgiveness on our behalf.

We get repeated chances to learn that life is not about us—that we acquire purpose and satisfaction by sharing in God's love for others. Sickness gets us partway there. It reminds us of our limitations and dependence. But it also gives us a chance to serve the healthy. A minister friend of mine observes that people suffering grave afflictions often acquire the faith of two people, while loved ones accept the burden of two people's worries and fears.

Learning How to Live

Most of us have watched friends as they drifted toward God's arms not with resignation, but with peace and hope. In so doing, they have taught us not how to die, but how to live. They have emulated Christ by transmitting the power and authority of love.

I sat by my best friend's bedside a few years ago as a wasting cancer took him away. He kept at his table a worn Bible and a 1928 edition of the Book of Common Prayer. A shattering grief disabled his family, many of his old friends, and at least one priest. Here was a humble and very good guy, someone who apologized when he winced with pain because he thought it made his guest uncomfortable. He retained his equanimity and good humor literally until his last conscious moment. "I'm going to try to beat [this cancer]," he told me several months before he died. "But if I don't, I'll see you on the other side."

His gift was to remind everyone around him that even though God doesn't promise us tomorrow, he does promise us eternity—filled with life and love we cannot comprehend—and that one can in the throes of sickness point the rest of us toward timeless truths that will help us weather future storms.

Through such trials, God bids us to choose: Do we believe, or do we not? Will we be bold enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in things that don't matter so that we might devote our remaining days to things that do?

When our faith flags, he throws reminders in our way. Think of the prayer warriors in our midst. They change things, and those of us who have been on the receiving end of their petitions and intercessions know it.

It is hard to describe, but there are times when suddenly the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, and you feel a surge of the Spirit. Somehow you just know: Others have chosen, when talking to the Author of all creation, to lift us up—to speak of us!

This is love of a very special order. But so is the ability to sit back and appreciate the wonder of every created thing. The mere thought of death somehow makes every blessing vivid, every happiness more luminous and intense. We may not know how our contest with sickness will end, but we have felt the ineluctable touch of God.

What is man that Thou art mindful of him? We don't know much, but we know this: No matter where we are, no matter what we do, no matter how bleak or frightening our prospects, each and every one of us, each and every day, lies in the same safe and impregnable place—in the hollow of God's hand.

Too too sad ... Rest in peace, Tony Snow... you were a good man.

FOXNews.com - Tony Snow, Former White House Press Secretary and FOX News Anchor, Dies at 53 - Politics | Republican Party | Democratic Party | Political Spectrum

Tony Snow, Former White House Press Secretary and FOX News Anchor, Dies at 53

Saturday, July 12, 2008




Tony Snow, the former White House press secretary and conservative pundit who bedeviled the press corps and charmed millions as a FOX News television and radio host, died Saturday after a long bout with cancer. He was 53.

A syndicated columnist, editor, TV anchor, radio show host and musician, Snow worked in nearly every medium in a career that spanned more than 30 years.

Click here for photos.

"Laura and I are deeply saddened by the death of our dear friend Tony Snow," President Bush said in a written statement. "The Snow family has lost a beloved husband and father. And America has lost a devoted public servant and a man of character."

Snow died at 2 a.m. Saturday at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Snow joined FOX in 1996 as the original anchor of "FOX News Sunday" and hosted "Weekend Live" and a radio program, "The Tony Snow Show," before departing in 2006.

"It's a tremendous loss for us who knew him, but it's also a loss for the country," Roger Ailes, chairman of FOX News, said Saturday morning about Snow, calling him a "renaissance man."

Related

Click here to watch Brit Hume's tribute to Tony Snow.

As a TV pundit and commentator for FOX News, Snow often was critical of Bush before he became the president's third press secretary, following Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan. He was an instant study in the job, mastering the position — and the White House press corps — with apparent ease.

"One of the reasons I took this job is not only to work with the president, but, believe it or not, to work with all of you," Snow told reporters when he stepped into the post in 2006. "These are times that are going to be very challenging."

During a tenure marked by friendly jousting with journalists, Snow often danced around the press corps, occasionally correcting their grammar and speech even as he responded to their questions.

"Tony did his job with more flair than almost any press secretary before him," said William McGurn, Bush's former chief speechwriter. "He loved the give-and-take. But that was possible only because Tony was a man of substance who had real beliefs and principles that he was more than able to defend."

As he announced Snow as his new press secretary in May 2006, Bush praised him as "a man of courage [and] a man of integrity." Snow presided over some of the toughest fights of Bush's presidency, defending the administration during the Iraq war and the CIA leak investigation.

"I felt comfortable enough to interrupt him when he was BSing, and he kind of knew it, and he'd shut up and move on," Snow said.

His tenure at the White House lasted 17 months and was interrupted by his second bout with cancer.

FOX Facts: Tony Snow's Battle With Cancer

Snow had his colon removed and underwent six months of chemotherapy after he was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2005. In 2007 he announced his cancer had recurred and spread to his liver, and he had a malignant growth removed from his abdominal area.

He resigned from the White House six months later, in September 2007, citing not his health but a need to earn more than the $168,000 a year he was paid in the government post. He was replaced by his deputy, Dana Perino, Bush's current press secretary.

After taking time off to recuperate, Snow joined CNN as a political commentator early this year.

At the White House, Snow brought partisan zeal and the skills of a seasoned performer to the task of explaining and defending the president's policies. During daily briefings he challenged reporters, scolded them and questioned their motives as if he were starring in a TV show broadcast live from the West Wing.

"The White House has lost a great friend and a great colleague," said Perino in a statement released to the media. "We all loved watching him at the podium, but most of all we learned how to love our families and treat each other."

Critics suggested Snow was turning the traditionally informational daily briefing into a personality-driven media event short on facts and long on confrontation. He was the first press secretary, by his own accounting, to travel the country raising money for Republican candidates.

As a commentator, he had not always been on the president's side. He once called Bush "something of an embarrassment" in conservative circles and criticized what he called Bush's "lackluster" domestic policy.

A sometime fill-in host for Rush Limbaugh, Snow said he loved the intimacy of his radio audience.

"I don't think you ever arrive," he said. "I think anybody who thinks they've arrived or made it, anywhere in the media — they're nuts."

Robert Anthony Snow was born June 1, 1955, in Berea, Ky., the son of a teacher and nurse. He graduated from Davidson College in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in philosophy, and he taught briefly in Kenya before embarking on his journalism career.

Because of his love for writing, Snow took a job as an editorial writer for the Greensboro Record in North Carolina and went on to run the editorial pages at the Newport News (Virginia) Daily Press, Detroit News and Washington Times. He became a nationally syndicated columnist, and in 1991 he became director of speechwriting for President George H.W. Bush.

"He served people, and we can learn from that. He was kind, and we can learn from that. He was just a good person," the senior Bush told FOX News.

Remembering Tony Snow

Snow played six instruments — saxophone, trombone, flute, piccolo, accordion and guitar — and was in a D.C. cover band called Beats Workin'. He also was a film buff.

"He was a great musician," Ailes said. "And he loved movies."

More than anything, said Snow's colleagues, he was a joy to work with.

"He was a lot of fun," his former FOX News producer Griff Jenkins said. "This is a loss of a family member."

FOX News Chief Washington Correspondent Jim Angle called Snow a "gentleman."

Snow is survived by his wife, Jill Ellen Walker, whom he married in 1987; their son, Robbie; and daughters, Kendall and Kristi.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

New JibJab: What We Call The News Video

I LOVE JibJab. Enjoy!


New JibJab: What We Call The News Video

Thursday, July 10, 2008

AJC: Obama's frequent regrets may make us sorry

Obama's frequent regrets may make us sorry


For the Journal-Constitution
Published on: 07/10/08

Barack Obama just may be the most regretful figure in American politics, no small feat for a freshman senator.

On Wednesday, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said he regretted allowing his young daughters to participate in a family TV interview with "Access Hollywood."

It was an abrupt shift from decision to regret, even for Obama. The family sat down for the interview on July 4, and the first segment ran on July 8. By the next morning, Obama was saying he regretted including his daughters, even before the other two parts of the interview could air.

I'm not sure why. The interview was nothing but happy public relations, revealing that the Obamas enjoy riding bikes together and that the senator isn't a big dessert fan. (Pies are an exception.)

I suppose there may be a handful of humorless activists out there somewhere carping that Obama was "exploiting" his kids for political gain, but that would be an absurd complaint.

The guy is running for president of the United States, for heaven's sake. Family members have been a constant in American politics for a long time. And Obama having his daughters at his side in a puffy little holiday interview should have been no big deal to anyone.

So what jumped out at me was how quickly Obama regretted his decision. And that, in turn, made me wonder how often the senator has regretted other choices. Answer: pretty often. (Googling "Obama" and "regrets" yields more than a million hits.)

In November 2006, Obama said he regretted buying property adjacent to his Chicago home from Tony Rezko, a longtime supporter and big-time fund-raiser who has since been convicted of mail and wire fraud, aiding and abetting bribery and money laundering.

In February 2007, as his presidential campaign was beginning, Obama said he regretted saying that the lives of American soldiers who died fighting in Iraq had been "wasted."

In April 2008, Obama said he regretted his choice of words when he told some well-heeled donors in San Francisco that "bitter" folks in Middle America who have lost economic hope "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them."

To be sure, these are choices worth regretting. Anyone can understand why Obama would regret his land deal with a convicted felon. And even liberal Democrats like Obama have been careful not to say American lives have been "wasted" in Iraq, even as they imply the same thing when they dismiss the war effort as corrupt, inept, unnecessary and worse.

Obama's most costly regret, however, may well prove to be his condescending shot at those decent, hardworking Americans he said were desperately clinging to God and guns and bigotry. It was a regret-worthy statement that said volumes about Obama's easy contempt for those in what elites call "flyover country."

Perhaps the American people are looking for a regretful guy this time around. After eight years of George W. Bush, whose dogged lack of regrets continues to exasperate his critics, perhaps this sort of intense self-scrutiny and navel-gazing will translate into electoral victory.

But I'm not so sure. After all, a lot of Americans understand that you don't get a bunch of easy do-overs in the Oval Office. You have to make tough calls, even when they may be politically costly.

I can't help wondering what Obama might regret in four years as president. What might he regret doing —- or not doing —- on the world stage? What might he regret saying —- or not saying —- to Putin or Kim Jong-il or Ahmadinejad?

Only time will tell. Depending on what happens in November, we may begin to find out next January. When we do, some voters may well have regrets of their own.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Leno on Green DNC

Democrats are preparing for their convention in Denver. They have hired the first ever director of “greening.” They say this will ensure everything about their convention will be green . . . including nominating a candidate who’s only been a senator for a couple of years.

Obama Wants Us To Learn Spanish? How About English?! Dallas County officials spar over 'black hole' comment

It's NiggardlyGate Part II!

Dallas City Hall Blog | The Dallas Morning News

A special meeting about Dallas County traffic tickets turned tense and bizarre this afternoon.

County commissioners were discussing problems with the central collections office that is used to process traffic ticket payments and handle other paperwork normally done by the JP Courts.

Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield, who is white, said it seemed that central collections "has become a black hole" because paperwork reportedly has become lost in the office.

Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, interrupted him with a loud "Excuse me!" He then corrected his colleague, saying the office has become a "white hole."

That prompted Judge Thomas Jones, who is black, to demand an apology from Mayfield for his racially insensitive analogy.

Mayfield shot back that it was a figure of speech and a science term. A black hole, according to Webster's, is perhaps "the invisible remains of a collapsed star, with an intense gravitational field from which neither light nor matter can escape."

...


Painful, eh?

Speaking of NiggardlyGate... found this tidbit as well, from the WaPo:

D.C. Mayor Acted 'Hastily,' Will Rehire Aide

...

The mayor said that an internal review had "confirmed for me that Mr. Howard did use the word 'niggardly,' but did not use a racial epithet" during a Jan. 15 discussion with two employees of the Office of the Public Advocate. "Niggardly" means miserly and has no racial connotation.

...


An "internal review"? Which consisted of what? Consulting a dictionary?

But back to Dallas...

Reading the comments at the original link, all citizens of The Big D seem appropriately embarrassed by the insanity... except for one commenter who had this gem to add to the conversation:

It's rude to use "black" in a negative context -- scientific, maybe, but rude.


We're so done.

But yeah, Barack, let's demand Americans learn Spanish... so we can be illiterate in
two languages!

Camille Time! (My Favorite Bestest Liberal!)

Camille is responding to letters in Salon this week, and I must blog this great snippet. It's in response to a gay man's disappointment with her using the term "turning gay", and, in her reply, she perfectly parses what has also been my understanding/gleaning from those around me who have chosen "alternative lifestyles":

I have said many times before that I do not believe homosexuality is inborn but that it is an adaptation to specific circumstances and possibilities. What many gay men are remembering as their innate gayness was in fact some other attribute (often an artistic gene) that may have led to a dislocation from roughhousing male bonding. The sex instinct, which comes later, is in my view heavily symbolic among human beings. (Post-structuralism, among its many pathetic flaws, is helpless with symbolism.)

Once the symbolism of erotic attraction is deeply implanted in the brain, it is almost impossible to change it (my note... "almost" impossible but not, NOT, totally). And in a just society, sexual orientation would not be subject to such pressures anyhow. Everyone, in my strong opinion, has the potential for bisexual response and expression. Hence I think both exclusive heterosexuality and exclusive homosexuality do need to be "explained." I understand the biological imperative of hormones, which drive male and female to mate and reproduce. But why is anyone entirely gay? It seems incontrovertible to me that at root there is indeed a dissatisfaction of some kind with the opposite sex, grounded in early experiences and reinforced in adolescence. There is not a single gay person whom I have known over the course of my life since high school for whom childhood factors played no role whatever in his or her adult choice. And yes, behavior is a choice, even if fantasy and imagination are uncontrollable.


One cannot help what thoughts one has, but to say that one cannot choose to act upon them, or not, destroys the basis for civilized life. (Think islamic societies where women must be covered up in order to protect them from otherwise uncontrollable men. We think, "Savages!"... and rightfully so!)

Monday, June 30, 2008

DemocRAT Bill Delahunt Sics al Qaeda On Fellow Congressman!

This is so disgustingly, outrageously beyond the pale. They need to censure this guy's tail. Yeesh!

(Love CNN's lameass headline title... this should spark anyone's ire.)

Democrat's al Qaeda comment sparks Republican ire - CNN.com

During a contentious House hearing on harsh interrogation techniques for terror suspects Thursday, Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-Massachusetts, was pressing David Addington, the vice president's chief of staff, about meetings he attended while serving as Cheney's chief counsel.

Delahunt asked repeatedly whether the topic of waterboarding, a controversial interrogation technique that simulates drowning, ever came up.

Addington replied that he could not discuss that because "al Qaeda may watch C-SPAN."

"Right," Delahunt responded. "Well, I'm sure they are watching, and I'm glad they finally have the chance to see you, Mr. Addington."

"Yeah, I'm sure you're pleased," Addington shot back.

"Given your penchant for being unobtrusive," Delahunt said of Addington's ability to stay behind the scenes.

Cheney spokeswoman Lea Anne McBride said "the congressman's comments were inappropriate," and Republican Rep. Steve King expressed outrage that Delahunt said he was happy about the staffer becoming a "publicly televised target" of al Qaeda.

"With Rep. Bill Delahunt's remarks inciting al Qaeda to violence, David Addington and his family will need protection until the war on terror is over," King, of Iowa, said in a written statement. "I wonder if Bill Delahunt is ready to guard Mr. Addington's home and family."


And, oh... in case al Qaeda missed C-SPAN coverage live, CNN was kind enough to provide al Qaeda with a picture of the subject. ARGH!

BUT DON'T QUESTION THE LEFT'S PATRIOTISM!


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