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31 July 2008

Swimming, Ctd.

The swimming yesterday was fantastic. The weather was just right -- and when the Pajama Wife got home from work, we went to a REAL pool for some daddy-taught swimming lessons.

The name of the game today is repeat -- with better results.

Sour

In summation:
Virtually all candidates, including Obama, distort their opponent's record. But McCain has gone beyond reasonable bounds. The self-described "happy warrior" in the 2000 presidential campaign has turned sour in 2008, and the candor and straight talk that once made him such an attractive candidate are rapidly disappearing.
Agreed. What happened to the candidate of 2000? Where is the insurgent senator from Arizona who promised to change politics and the way that campaigns were run? Was McCain's defeat at the hands of a sleazy oil-man from Texas so damaging to his psyche that the formerly good senator has now resorted to the same types of tactics that defeated him?

I must say that even though I have decided to support Barack Obama for president -- until now I have respected John McCain as a decent man and good politician.

That respect is quickly diminishing.

Weak

Hey Barack -- I love you man, and I'm pulling for you to win the election. However, I have to say that this ad is SUPER-weak.

Granted, you play the cards that you are dealt -- but you must have a pretty stinky hand to be putting up an ad like this. Where is the pizazz? Where is the pop? Even though McCain's attack ads are ridiculously uninformed and/or exaggerated, at least they are somewhat catchy (if not corny). Your ad sounds like... well... it sounds like John McCain reading a teleprompter.

Yes, it's that boring.

[See the ad in question after the jump]

Karl Rove In Contempt

WHEEEEE!

Although, I don't expect that anything REAL will actually happen. George W. 'takes care' of his friends (see: I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby).

What's He For?

McCain keeps attacking Obama. Seems pretty negative to me.


McCain's Backfire

Yikes:
With the exception of an occasional interview, [John Weaver, a close friend of McCain and former campaign staffer] has, by his own account, bit his tongue as McCain's campaign has adopted a strategy that Weaver believes "diminishes John McCain."

With the release today of a McCain television ad blasting Obama for celebrity preening while gas prices rise, and a memo that accuses Obama of putting his own aggrandizement before the country, Weaver said he's had "enough."

The ad's premise, he said, is "childish."
Not good. When your closest allies are starting to criticize the campaign, it might be time to rethink the overall strategy.

It's Computer-Crack

Uh-oh. I'm hooked.
The main types of Internet addiction are cybersex, online affairs, online gambling, online gaming, compulsive surfing and even eBay addiction, Young added.
What? No blogging?

Troop Deployment Cuts

It's not a timetable -- but at least it gives our fighting men and women a little break. However, we need to remember that this applies to Iraq and not Afghanistan:
[Bush] said that as of Friday, U.S. troops deployed to Iraq in the future would serve shorter combat tours, 12 months instead of 15 months, as conditions improve in the war zone.

Funny Of The Week

Last week I posted about the congressional debate over 'don't ask, don't tell'. Jon Stewart takes it and runs with it.

30 July 2008

P.M. Swim

You won't hear much more from me this afternoon. It's a B-E-A-utiful day outside, so the kids and I are going to take a dip in our pool.

Oh, and before you go thinking that I'm some kind of rich-guy-with-a-pool-in-his-yard, my pool looks something like this.

At least my feet will get wet.

Mail Bag

A forward e-mail sent to me by a friend:
Thoughts from across the pond
An email from Ireland to the brethren in the States...a point to ponder despite your political affiliation:

We, in Ireland, can't figure out why people are even bothering to hold an election in the United States! On one side, you have a pants wearing woman lawyer, married to a lawyer who can't keep his pants on, who just lost a long and heated primary against a lawyer who goes to the wrong church who is married to yet another lawyer who doesn't even like the country her husband wants to run.

Now...On the other side, you have a nice old war hero whose name starts with the appropriate "Mc" terminology married to a good looking younger woman who owns a beer distributorship.

What in Lord's name are ye lads thinking over there in the colonies??
Ah... stereotypes.

Happiness Is...


Training wheels.

Sad

This kind of crap can ruin a career/reputation. I hope it's not true.

Then again, this is the Enquirer that we're talking about...

Worse For Stevens

You know that things are REALLY bad for Ted Stevens when the National Review editorial board starts talking like this:
...Stevens has disgraced himself and his office. If he steps aside now, the politics will take care of themselves. The eventual nominee will have distinguished himself by winning an open and competitive primary. A party appointment would look calculated and unprincipled, and the candidate would be weaker for it. Stevens should allow the voters to pick his replacement. He should resign, and the sooner the better.
Head nod: Patrick Appel

That Media Bias

Media bias indeed:



Wasn't the McCain campaign saying something about unfair treatment? That the media is biased towards Obama?

Give me a break.

Obama Must Hate America

Charlie Crist just made an appearance on Morning Joe and would not definitively say that 'Obama would rather lose a war to win an election'. I think this is admirable seeing as how Crist is an ardent McCain supporter and John McCain apparently has no problem saying those words himself.

However, Joe Scarborough kept pressing Crist. Finally, Scarborough asks something to the effect of, "Do you, the governor of Florida, actually think that the Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama wants America to lose the Iraq war?"

Crist's answer? "I don't know."

Shameful.

29 July 2008

McCain's New Ad (And How It's Completely Wrong)

You have to forward to 4:08 in the clip. Andrea Mitchell explains the context and factual errors in John McCain's new ad attacking Barack Obama's support of our troops.



Simply ridiculous.

Here is the FactCheck.org page about this topic.

More Of The Same

When the presidential primaries were both finished, and John McCain and Barack Obama were the respective party nominees, I was pleased because I knew that this campaign season would be different. I knew that there would not be any trivial attack advertising or character assassination because both Obama and McCain are honorable men.

Apparently, I was wrong.
...McCain is pressing his case against a candidate with no military experience — thanks in part to a subterranean smear campaign that’s tapped a nerve with some voters who don’t see Obama as entirely American.
McCain is increasing appearing as just another politician. Instead of drawing on the differences between him and his opponent, McCain is highlighting his own negativity by running ads that accuse Obama of dissing American troops or blame Obama for the high price of gasoline.

It seems to me like this is the same old Washington that I thought we would be rid of with a McCain vs. Obama presidential race. I have to admit that I'm sorely disappointed in John McCain. He is (or I thought he was) so far above this type of campaign behavior.

A Note For Dubya

Via the Omnipotent One - a nice little video short:



Love the background music.

Corruption Abound

Things are looking pretty bad for Ted Stevens (R-AK):
Prosecutors said Stevens received more than $250,000 in gifts and services from VECO Corp., a powerful oil services contractor, and its executives. From May 1999 to August 2007, prosecutors said, the 84-year-old senator concealed "his continuing receipt of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of things of value from a private corporation."
It's no wonder that Americans get fed up with politicians in Washington.

I know it's been sparse lately - we had family in town for a long weekend. Things are finally getting back to normal. Quasi-regular posting shall resume in 3... 2... 1...

26 July 2008

Saturday Morning Cartoon

It's Saturday Morning. Finish that bowl of Alpha-Bits and let's watch some cartoons!


25 July 2008

Playing Risk

B-Diddy ponders the reasoning for the NBC/WSJ polling data that says 55% of Americans think Obama is a more risky choice than McCain:
So what does this say to you and I? 55% of the country thinks Obama will be riskier than McCain. George Bush has a 25-30% approval rating...Republicans are outnumbered in registration of voters by large margins and Democrats are on the rise.

BUT...55%...more than half...believe Obama is a risk. And why!?
There is a very simple answer to that question: familiarity.

Barack Obama is new to the national political stage. I know that some folks (I'm looking at you B-Diddy) think that this is a negative quality, but regardless of how you spin it, it's a fact. Therefore, when 'average Joe American' is asked which of the two candidates is more 'risky', the answer is quite obvious. [side note: I'm curious how the pollsters phrased that question... how do you qualify risk?]

This phenomenon can also be the explanation for all of the press coverage of Obama's whirlwind globe trotting in recent days.

McCain has been there, done that--when it comes to 'fact finding trips' and the like. Because Obama is a fresh face, when he goes out gallivanting around, the press finds it interesting (and it garners ratings for the networks). As I've mentioned before, I highly doubt that it's a result of a 'liberal media bias'.

The bottom line is that, as more Americans become familiar with Barack Obama--his 'riskiness' number will start to fall. No big deal here--sorry to disappoint you B.

Germans Love Obama

Obama's full speech from Germany yesterday:

I See Obama, I See France

I just finished watching the press conference with Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Believe me when I tell you that, while Obama has been getting dogged by right-wing criticism, he looked and sounded presidential when appearing with Sarkozy.

I'm anxiously awaiting the response from the talking heads (I'm looking at you Rush).

'This Man's Army'

Oh, give me a friggin' break.
[Elaine] Donnelly treated the panel to an extraordinary exhibition of rage. She warned of "transgenders in the military." She warned that lesbians would take pictures of people in the shower. She spoke ominously of gays spreading "HIV positivity" through the ranks.

"We're talking about real consequences for real people," Donnelly proclaimed. Her written statement added warnings about "inappropriate passive/aggressive actions common in the homosexual community," the prospects of "forcible sodomy" and "exotic forms of sexual expression," and the case of "a group of black lesbians who decided to gang-assault" a fellow soldier
It takes a real special kind of bigotry to say those things. Read the whole article -- you almost feel bad for Donnelly.

200,000


Impressive.

The rest of the world does not harbor bad feelings for our country -- they harbor bad feelings for George W. Bush and his administration's policies. I'm going to comment more on this later...

Apparently, Germans love Barack Obama almost as much as they love David Hasselhoff.

------
Photo: Tobias Schwarz/Reuters

Shallow Thoughts With Craig Crawford

I thought that Craig Crawford's holiday ruminations were entertaining:
-- Apparently, every day was Casual Friday for Barack Obama in the Middle East. Hey, if the Age of Obama is about nuking the necktie, I'm on board.

-- Randomly catching television video (usually without sound) I must say that McCain ought to stop awkwardly laughing at his own jokes. His weird facial contortions make it difficult to tell whether he is laughing or crying.
...and what's with that weird plastic grin?

'Aaaahrn City'


The Pittsburgh skyline from the Lemont restaurant at dusk. Awesome.

It was a beautiful weekend for a wedding.

My congrats to Dave & Beth. I hope you guys are enjoying your honeymoon.

24 July 2008

Movie Madness


Despite having an insane week comprised of sick daughters and groomsman duties, I did have the opportunity to hang out with the Pajama Brother. Whenever my brother and I get to spend time together, it is usually spent either watching or discussing movies.

This weekend was no different. On Sunday afternoon/evening, the bro and I got out to our very own double-feature.

1::: at 4:40 p.m. on Sunday, we caught a matinée showing of Wanted, the most recent flick starring Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy and Morgan Freeman.


Please believe me when I tell you that this. movie. rocks. A great adrenaline rush of a film. Oh, sure--I could poke some pretty large holes in the plot (the Loom Of Fate, for example), but that's not what made this movie great. This movie was fun because it had guns. Lots of guns. Remember The Matrix? Wanted employs a similar "bullet-time" effect.

While I am not a huge fan of Jolie, her character was something more of a supportive role to James McAvoy's. This made her much more tolerable. Bottom-line: Wanted is a popcorn-eating, Coca-cola sipping, shoot'em up movie that I'm guessing just about any guy's guy will enjoy.

2::: Following the violent escapades in Wanted, the Pajama Brother and myself hit College Avenue in State College, Pennsylvania for some dinner. We grabbed a quick bite at Five Guys and then it was back to the cinema. The 8:00 p.m. showing of The Dark Knight was packed. So packed that when we arrived back at the movieplex with our pre-paid tickets--20 minutes early--we were still some of the last people to enter the theater.


What can I say about this movie that hasn't already been said? (and said very well, I might add)

I went into this movie thinking that it was going to be good--but I have to admit that I thought the media hype over Heath Ledger's performance was a bit too much. I thought, 'Oh sure, he's a good actor. But everyone is saying all of these great things because he passed away earlier this year.' I thought that all of the Oscar talk was premature and probably over-hyped.

Boy was I wrong.

Heath Ledger took this film to the next level. He was the Joker in this flick. Period. Ledger took elements of what we--the audience--knew of the Joker (from the TV series, comics and the Jack Nicolson variation) and combined them with his own brand of twisted dramatic characterization and troubled comedy. Blunt: the Joker is one f**ked up dude. Ledger really brought that out. If Ledger doesn't win an Oscar, I'll be shocked. And, I normally don't give a hoot about the Academy Awards.

Christian Bale was great as Batman (again), as was Michael Caine as Alfred and Morgan Freeman ably played Lucious Fox once more (yes, in case you didn't notice, that was two movies with Morgan Freeman in one day. Love that dude). Aaron Eckhart played Harvey Dent/Two Face--and left me surprised at the end of the film (I won't say why as not to spoil anything).

The other notable item about The Dark Knight was it's running time: two hours, thirty minutes. Long. Friggin'. Movie. And I loved every minute of it.

3:: On Monday evening, after the Pajama Brother returned home from work, we watched Jumper on DVD. He owns the film and had been recommending it to me for some time--so we decided to fire up some oven pizza and watch. I don't have a lot to say about the film, except that it was entertaining. After watching The Dark Knight the day before, it was difficult to get truly excited about Jumper. All I can really say is that Hayden Christiansen surprised me with a moderately strong performance. After seeing him in Star Wars, Episodes II and III, I had my fears.

Now, if I could only score some tickets for Step Brothers...

Obamacan Blitz

The Hill:
Barack Obama’s campaign is talking with Republicans who have endorsed his presidential bid, seeking to coordinate a publicity blitz together.

The campaign recently held a conference call with a small group of officials who are or who have previously been identified with the Republican Party, according to sources who were on the call.

The initiative to highlight the backing of “Obamacans” is in its infancy. But campaign events featuring Republicans praising Obama are seen as an effective counterpunch to Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-Conn.) aggressive backing of Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) White House bid.
Interesting...

That New Yorker Cartoon

By now, you've likely seen the infamous cartoon from the cover of the New Yorker magazine. If you haven't, you can see it here.

It has been beaten to death in the media, but I wanted to add my two ¢.

Three words: Big. F**king. Deal.

Oh sure, one could argue that both of the Obamas could/should be offended by the cartoon because it portrays them as something they are not (i.e. Muslim, terrorists, flag-burners, et al), but I think Jon Stewart said it best:
Obama's camp initially agreed that the cartoon was, "tasteless and offensive". Really? You know what your response should have been? It's very easy, here, let me put the statement out for you: 'Barack Obama is in no way upset about the cartoon that depicts him as a Muslim extremist. Because you know who gets upset about cartoons? Muslim extremists--of which Barack Obama is not. It's just a f**king cartoon.'
You can't argue with that kind of logic.

It's a magazine cover folks. Let's keep the distractions from the real issues to a minimum, shall we?

Conversation

I just had a phone conversation with B-Diddy about a great many things political.

One of the main cruxes of our discussion is the coverage of Barack Obama's trip abroad. I have to agree with him that the media hype surrounding Obama's international tour is getting a bit out of hand. Granted, the rest of the world seems to love this guy more than Obama Girl does--but then again, look at what the international community has had to endure for the past eight years.

Where I part ways with my conservative friend is this notion that because Obama is getting some serious wall-to-wall media coverage on the trip, there is a 'left-wing-media-conspiracy' against John McCain. Bullshit.

The reason that Obama is enjoying a media 'bump' (not to be confused with a terrorist fist-jab) is not a product of his liberalism. It is a product of the fact that Barack Obama makes for a good news story. John McCain has 'been there, done that'. How many fact-finding trips has McCain been on in the last eight years? A bunch. Barack Obama is fresh and new. Obama is the iPhone 3G to McCain's brick phone. The bottom-line is that Obama is a more flashy news story--not that there is a media bias towards McCain. Covering Obama's trip will help to increase ratings which will, in turn, increase ad revenue.

But, the 'liberal media' tagline always drums up conservative support. Honestly, when I type that, in my mind I hear Rush Limbaugh saying it. *shudder*

Call me a sucker for the old days, but didn't the media LOVE Senator McCain back in 2000 when he was the 'refreshingly honest' candidate? I don't think that we heard him claiming bias then, did we?

Back

After a long week away from my writing, I am back and ready to give out my opinions--whether you want them or not.

I also must point out some real dissent coming from someone out there. Simply check out the comments on this post for proof. I'm really getting some folks riled up. Nice.

It's good to be back. Sleeping in my own bed, using my own bathroom, etc. Traveling is nice. Visiting with friends and family is great. But, at heart, I'm a home-boy. I would much rather relax on my couch than live it up at some nightclub in the city.

Oh, and I'll be posting some pictures from my travels to the Steel City soon, but until then--I've got a lot of ground to make up.

19 July 2008

Saturday Morning Cartoon

I'm coo-coo for Cocoa Puffs. Here's your cartoon:

17 July 2008

Wedded Bliss

I'll be out of town for the next couple of days. I'm a groomsman in a childhood buddies' wedding that is taking place in Pittburgh. I'm excited to go back to Steel Town. The nuptuals are sure to be a great time, but alas I will not be blog-vailable.

I'll return next week, likely with pictures of the blushing bride & groom. Snoogans.

15 July 2008

Vomit To The Max

Thank you to all of the well-wishers from my post yesterday.

The fever has subsided - but the words of the day today are 'stomach virus'.

We awoke today to a much happier and more alert daughter. Then about an hour ago we had the nastiest diaper that I've ever seen smelled. I won't go into details. A mere 20 minutes ago, she decided that the best way to show her love for mommy was to vomit all over her. Now the Pajama Wife is sitting on the floor of our bathroom with our daughter - both of them mostly naked - in anticipation of a second wave of... fun.

I'll be absent from the blog yet again today. Sorry gang. When I return (hopefully tomorrow) I have a ton to talk about.

14 July 2008

Merchandise, Merchandise, Merchandise


Just got the package in the mail. Merchandise city baby.

My t-shirt (yes, men's XL - what can I say? I'm robust) and 'vote for change' car magnet. It feels like my birthday.

Wheee!

Sick Day

I have so much to say today... but unfortunately, my daughter has a crazy fever. She bested 105º last night, which warranted a visit to the local ER. The Pajama Wife and I were up waaaay past our bedtime. The docs at the hospital said that she does NOT have Meningitis (thankfully), and that it's likely a simple virus that is hitting her hard.

While the fever isn't quite as horrible this morning, our little girl is still very sluggish and mopey (if that's a real word). I will post when if I am able to today - and hopefully my daughter will be feeling better in the next few days.

Here's to sick toddlers!

12 July 2008

Mail Bag: A Preview

I will address some reader comments next week. I cannot right now, as I am typing this from my in-laws' computer. Needless to say, this got my panties in a bunch:
Was the country in worse shape in the 90's - The answer is YES.
No my friend, you could not be more wrong. As I said, I'll talk more about in on Monday.

For now, I bid you all a fond weekend.

Saturday Morning Cartoon

Can't get enough of Super Golden Crisp.... cartoon time!

11 July 2008

Hard Wuerk


-M.Wuerker, Wuerking Drawings

Environmental Procrastination

I guess we'll have to wait for the new year (2009) for some action on new emissions standards.

What is it with Bush and the environment? Does he really think that it's 'no big deal'?

10 July 2008

We Have Become A 'Nation Of Whiners'

Phil Gramm must need a reminder that people listen to what he says.
The [Washington] Times quoted [Gramm] as saying: “You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession. … We have sort of become a nation of whiners. …

“You just hear this constant whining, complaining about a loss of competitiveness, America in decline. … We've never been more dominant; we've never had more natural advantages than we have today.”
I understand what you are talking about Mr. Gramm; in the scheme of the entire world, America is doing just fine.


However, I must also say that gas prices are at an all-time-high, grocery prices are on the rise, a college education requires a loan (for most families) and our military is fighting two different wars--one of which many believe is a needless war.

So, Mr. Gramm, you'll have to excuse us 'little-folk' when we occasionally complain about the state-of-affairs in our country--particularly as it relates to the economy. I'm a father of two kids on one income and my family simply cannot afford a second car. Oh, we can afford to buy one--and insure it--we simply cannot afford to pay for the gasoline in a second vehicle. This means that I'm essentially stranded at home with my kids every day. If (Heaven forbid) there were to be an emergency, I would have to wait for an ambulance...

Granted, my story is relatively tame compared to someone who cannot afford to put food on their dinner table--much less a second family vehicle. My point is this: Mr. Gramm, most Americans are not the vice-chairman of some highfalutin investment bank. Most of us average people are having a tougher and tougher time making ends meet each month.

But, for you Mr. Gramm, we'll shut up now. You can go back to your tennis and yacht club and we'll stop bothering you with our problems. We are so sorry to have inconvenienced you with our occasional complaints.

There's A Sag In Your Pantaloons

... now reach for the sky!

Three months to a full year in jail and $500.00 in fines... for this:


I guess there weren't enough real criminals for law enforcement officials to worry about in Michigan.

Truth To Political Spectrum

While so many pundits and policywonks claim that Barack Obama is a liberal who is making a 'move toward the center', Rude Pundit is on the mark as usual:
Anyone who actually listened to Obama and read about his positions knew that he was, at best, slightly to the left of moderate (in today's right-warped political belief continuum). Those who believed he was a liberal savior were actually just reacting to the right wing's portrayal of him as "the mostest liberalest Senator" or some such shit, as in "Well, hell, if Bill O'Reilly says he's the mostest liberalest, then he's the candidate for me." We on the left often make this mistake: to see ourselves only as reflected in the conservative nutzoid mirror.

More From McCain's Carly Fiorina


Remember Carly Fiorina? I posted about her yesterday. Today, the L.A.Times hits Fiorina hard for her statements regarding McCain's policy stances on women's issues:
"Let me give you a real, live example, which I've been hearing a lot about from women. There are many health insurance plans that will cover Viagra but won't cover birth control medication. Those women would like a choice," [Fiorina] said.

But as the abortion rights group NARAL Pro-Choice America was happy to point out, McCain twice voted against measures that would have required insurance companies to cover birth control -- in 2003 and 2005.

The Republican said Wednesday that he did not recall those votes. "It's something that I had not thought much about," he added.

A campaign aide who refused to speak by name said the Arizona senator opposed all mandates.

It is not the first time that Fiorina has taken some license with McCain's positions. Recently, Newsweek magazine reported, she told women in Columbus, Ohio, that McCain "has never signed on to efforts to overturn Roe vs. Wade," the landmark Supreme Court decision confirming the right to abortion.

Actually, according to his campaign website: "John McCain believes Roe v. Wade is a flawed decision that must be overturned, and as president he will nominate judges who understand that courts should not be in the business of legislating from the bench."
My guess is that Ms. Fiorina's name has been removed from that oft-rumored spot on the VP shortlist.

------
Photo: Charles Dharapak/AP

Jesse Jackson's Remarks (With Video)

I'm not going to take the time to embed it. You can watch the clip--and get good commentary here.

As this story is all over the Internet, I'm not going to comment on it anymore.

More Scary Sh*t From Iran

Check please:
The weapons have "special capabilities" and included missiles launched from naval ships in the Persian Gulf, along with torpedoes and surface-to-surface missiles, the broadcast said.

Pickens' Plan

A man who has gotten (obscenely) wealthy off of oil who wants to rid our nation's dependence on said petroleum product.



I've been seeing the commercials on cable news outlets. It's an interesting proposition--whether you agree with his plan or not.

Stay Away From My Balls

Ouch:
Apparently unaware of a hot microphone, Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, made a crude and disparaging remark along the lines of wanting to rip Obama's genitals off in reference to how Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., might be alienating African-Americans with various moral instructions.
Ah, the classiness of the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

More Video

Those Ads

That's right kids--I've sold out.

Well, not really. In case you haven't noticed, I have decided to place some advertising on the blog. I know that I'm not going to get rich or anything--but I figured that a couple extra dollars each month wouldn't hurt. It would at least pay for my domain registration each year (I hope!).

I viewed the blog first thing this morning and the first ad that I saw was a Barack Obama smear sponsored by HumanEvents.com (I've written about them before). This brought me to the realization that I need to make a short statement on advertisers:
The Pajama Pundit neither endorses or necessarily condones the products and/or services offered by advertisers that appear on ThePajamaPundit.com.
Anyway, if you are so inclined to click the sponsors (and perhaps give me a fraction of a penny), I would greatly appreciate it. If not, then please continue to enjoy my prose. I hope that you will all continue to come back frequently.

Ink'd Up

Warming up for November.



For the record, the McCain tat is pretty rad. I like the tribal look.

09 July 2008

Ignorant E-mail: A Response

The following is an e-mail, in it's entirety, that I received yesterday. Please hold laughter and/or applause until the end. Oh, and fair warning: this sh*t is looooooong:
WILL HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF???

Now that the two primary Presidential candidates are clearly identified, with major differences in their experience, background and platform, it is important to look back to see if history is destined to repeat itself.

I just received an email from Dr. Larry J. Tracy, a friend of mine for over 50 years, that I want to share with you. His message is titled "The Frog Theory." He explains why we never see danger until it is too late.



THE FROG THEORY

If you drop a frog in boiling water he will leap right out. If you slowly heat the water he will be content until it's too late to get out. That is exactly how history works. It moves slowly and we never really see any danger until it's too late.
Remember how suppressed workers were before unions came along? The unions leveled the playing field. Unfortunately, over a long period of time the pendulum swung too far. Slowly, businesses and factories closed and jobs left the country. We were comfortable and didn't see the change coming. We blamed everyone except ourselves for what happened. We weren't alert to how slow things change over time.

World War II, and the Korean War, demonstrated how powerful a united nation could be. Our nation, and our families, were united. The father was the head of the family and the President was the head of the nation. Both were highly respected. We were content and happy.

We were good at fighting a hot war but we were unprepared to fight a cold war with the communists in the 50's. They knew they couldn't change us but they didn't care. Their philosophy was to wait it out and capture the minds of our children. They loaded our colleges with many of their professors and waited. It didn't take long to see the results.

The 60''s ushered in the radicals, drug culture, student protesters, and the Vietnam War. The aim of the cold war was to divide and conquer. They divided our families and the nation. The secret to defeating a polite and respectful people is to scream. The louder and longer you scream the better your chance of winning. Radicals are masters at this form of attack. They know if you constantly scream and repeat a lie it will eventually become the truth.

The media, and Hollywood, hammered us with hate America themes and stories. Our service men, and women, were jeered, cursed, and spit on. Even the people, who latter wanted to become their President, thrashed them. We lost our first War in history. There was no hero's homecoming for our fighting men and women.

The Reverend King, who was raised in the old school, peacefully changed the race issue and united the people. When he died the new breed of leaders like the Jesse Jackson's, Lewis Farakon,'s Al Sharpton's, and Rev. Wright's put a lid on his efforts and turned racism into a money making machine.

Corporations were green-mailed by threats of protests, product boycotts, or endless lawsuits. Every issue, large or small, became a race issue. The public recoiled in fear of being called a racist. Their voices were silenced because one word could cost you a career, get you fired, or get you sued.

Even politicians buckled under to the pressure. The Florida legislature issued a formal apology for having slavery 200 years ago. They were thanked by being asked for compensation. There is no end in sight for this kind of nonsense. America didn't capture slaves and bring them to America. Their own people sold them to slave traders from several nations. This knowledge doesn't stop the screamers. History is what it is and you can't change it. There have been many tragic events in history. You acknowledge them and move on.

They divided our nation into two separate Americas. We now have Americans, and African-Americans, although Africa has nothing to do with being an American. You can be one or the other but not both. You are what you were born to be. You do not subordinate our country to any foreign nation. It's equivalent to flying the African flag above the Stars and Stripes. If you hyphenate two countries America always comes first.

This election year could be the turning point in our history because the frog theory has come into play. It's time to step back and look at how the country has slowly changed since the cold war started. Don't get caught up in all the hype.

George McGovern was the first Presidential candidate to test the waters with college students. The Clinton's played a big role in his campaign. It was the worst campaign ever run. He was crushed in the election.

Step two was to infiltrate all the information vehicles such as radio, newspapers, magazines, TV and movies. They were quite successful at that. Jimmy Carter was the first President to demonstrate the leadership skills of the far left. Weak military, high taxes, runaway inflation, 19% mortgage rates, and plain incompetence ended his career in Washington. Iran, a small country at the time, took American hostages and kicked sand in our face. By negotiating from weakness Carter could not get the hostages released.

The big benefit of the Carter years is that they were followed by the Reagan years. The nation got a clear look at the difference between a weak nation and a strong nation. Every student should know this difference. When Ronald Reagan took over the hostages were quickly released, taxes were lowered, inflation dropped, mortgage rates dropped, and the military was strengthened. Russia quickly waved the white flag and waited for another Democrat term.

Clinton took over Carters uncompleted social programs. He weakened the military and tried to pass large government programs. An Intern derailed his Presidency. While he was tied up with his personal problems his lawyers ran the country. He passed up three opportunities to take out Osama Bin Laden. This eventually cost us the loss of our Twin Towers, thousands of American lives, and got us involved in a war with Iraq.

By the end of his term the left had captured a large share of the media and it flexed its muscle in 2000. The hate Bush campaign got off to a roaring start. The brainwashing theory of repeating the same story over and over again was launched.

There were endless stories about our evil nation and its President. Top-secret plans were leaked to the press and printed for the entire world to see. Hollywood cranked out documentaries about the evil Bush administration and our evil military. They laid the groundwork for the next election. The ACLU flooded the courts with lawsuits and the Democrat party became a law firm. Almost every incumbent, or his or her spouse, is a lawyer.

They now have the perfect candidate because they can squash criticism by playing the race card. If you don't like Obama, or criticize him, you are a racist. They can hide his inexperience and background by turning him into a rock star and singing change and hope. They don't tell us what kind of change, or how it will be done, only that you should hope for the best. By keeping the hype going they don't have to put anything of substance on the table.

The only thing we really know about Obama is that his wife has never been proud to be an American. They want us to believe that his liberal college professors, Rev. Pfleger, his ties to radicals Bill Ayer and Lewis Farakon, and listening to the Rev. Wright's hate talks for 20 years, had no influence on his thinking. If they didn't, then who did? He wasn't in business and didn't see fit to serve his country. These people launched his political career and their organizations received earmarks in return for their campaign donations and political help. They must have had some influence. Rev. Wr ight's church received over $15 million. That's only one small local church. Think on a national scale.

The change being promoted is a change back to the Carter years. It started in 2006 when the lawyer party took over. There have been endless lawsuits and investigations in retaliation for the Clinton years. It keeps the lawyers busy but does nothing for the economy. The economy has been in a downward spiral since they took over.

Returning to the Carter years of high taxes, high inflation, and a weak military is not the change we are looking for. We cannot cower to a bunch of crazies whose only goal in life is to kill us.

The old sage's (over 50) will have to play a big role in this election. The young people simply don't know what the aged know. The advantage of aging is the knowledge you accumulated. You know what United States means. You know what the seldom-heard word respect means. You know how wonderful freedom and independence is. You know the difference between a strong and a weak nation; and you know what it takes to keep it strong. You know history because you have lived it.

Although the old guard is dying off, and getting too tired to fight, they have to muster one more charge. If they don't, our children, and grandchildren, will never know the joy and freedom that is the bedrock of our country. The heat is slowly being turned up and the water is getting hot. The old frogs better start jumping before it's too late.
Wow. So, if you are still with me, here are some thoughts.

It's difficult to even begin to rebut this intensely obtuse and uninformed screed. It might be easier to argue that President Bush is the greatest leader that our nation has ever seen--and that is an increasingly tough sell to be sure.

The overall message in this e-mail can be simplified to one easily digestible sentence: Democrats bad, Republicans good.

The author (whomever Dr. Larry J. Tracy is--as my Google search turned up zilch) seems bent on reliving the 'good ole days' of yesteryear when men ruled the household and country, and black folks knew that they should not ever voice concerns over something as inane as civil rights. The heady days of a simpler time when the only real enemy you worried about was that commie-pinko-bastard who was teaching your kid about evolution in that college classroom.

Well, those days are long gone--and so are the morals and values associated with them. We are a new nation, a different nation. It's time to face the fact that we are a progressive society. Whether you like it or not, over the generations our nation has become more liberal. Eeeeek! Liberals!

Think about it: when the pilgrims first landed at Plymouth Rock, were the women-folk wearing mini-skirts and tube-tops? Hell no. In fact, my best guess is that a woman would have been burned at the stake for wearing a pair of pants, much less the aforementioned skimpy outfit.

How about slavery? Remember that gem? At the time (prior to the Emancipation Proclamation), it was socially acceptable to have an African slave living and working in your home. You could literally buy and sell other people. Now, call me crazy--but I would argue that we as a nation and a people have made some significant progress since then.

I think that the most troubling aspect of this piece is that the writer appears to suggest that Barack Obama's racial and ethnic background is part of the myriad of problems that have plagued our society.

I could go on and on about this stuff, but I'll leave you with these final questions: What is wrong with Democrats? Why is it that Republicans want to demonize Democrats (and liberals in general)? Was our country any worse off in the 1990s than it is right now?

Killing Iranians


Come on John! You should know better than this! You are turning into a walking joke - and one that is not funny.


Ah, I remember the good old days of 'Bomb, bomb, bomb... bomb, bomb Iran' when your veiled threats (pronounced 'jokes') were just that--veiled. But now, Senator McCain, you have escalated from disguising your threats, to plainly saying "maybe that's a way of killing them".

Hardy-har-har-har. I'm in f**king stitches. You'll have to excuse me for thinking that a person running for the highest office in the f**king world might want to chose his language a little more carefully. Honestly, it truly frightens me to think of someone spewing this kind of bile might--in a few short months--be sitting across from some of the other most powerful people in the world.

Think of it this way: If Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were talking to reporters and he said, "I simply want to destroy America and all that inhabit that foul nation... oh shit, that's on the record. I'm just kidding." How would John McCain react?

Yeah.

Rhetoric like this and the faux Beach Boys' tune are not the way that a true diplomat speaks--publicly OR privately. And a true leader wouldn't talk like this to the friggin' press.

Notable Quotable

"Liberals learn about conservatism from David Brooks, but conservatives learn conservatism from Rush. And we're talking two entirely different conservatisms." -Ezra Klein

'Why Is That Offensive?'


That's a good question.

In John McCain's defense, I'm sure that it was not he who ordered Ms. Kreck removed from the event in Denver.

However, I must admit that we've seen this type of behavior from presidential candidates before. Why is it that - in a country that touts the First Amendment as an important aspect of our freedom - when someone voices dissent (and a particularly docile dissent at that), that a political candidate and his organization would overreact in such a manner?

It seems to me that the McCain campaign would have been better off allowing Ms. Kreck and her band of pea pod-clad mysterians access to the event to 'protest'. They weren't making much noise and their actions would not likely have attracted any large amount of media attention - surely not on the national level.

But, enter the Freedom-Of-Speech-Squashing-Campaign-Entourage and voilà - it makes the national cable news.

Hard Wuerk


- M.Wuerker, Wuerking Drawings

[translation: "After me, the flood!"]

More Smear E-mails

I got another Obama smear e-mail forwarded to me by a friend yesterday. He didn't know that it was false. HuffPo debunks the message here:
The email, presented as a June 29 op-ed (replete with The Times' font, layout, and Dowd byline) presents the "shocking" revelation that Obama's prodigious Internet fundraising apparatus is really driven by wealthy financiers from -- you guessed it -- "Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other Middle Eastern countries."
The moral of the story: when you get a salacious e-mail attacking a political candidate (ANY political candidate), research it yourself by going to said candidate's website. If it checks out and you feel so inclined, pass it on to friends and family. If it doesn't check out, reply to the sender and inform them that they have been duped.

Star-Studded Senate Race

'The Body' is back baby!
In an interview with NPR's David Welna that ran today former Gov. Jesse "The Body" Ventura, Ind-Minn., says he will run for Senate, challenging incumbent Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., whom Ventura defeated for governor in 1998, as well as Democratic nominee and former Saturday Night Live humorist Al Franken.

Unbelievably Scary


Saber-rattling at it's worst.

------
Photo: Reuters

McCain In 2004

senator John McCain as the guest speaker at the Council on Foreign Relations in 2004:
MODERATOR: Let me give you a hypothetical, senator. What would or should we do if, in the post-June 30th period, a so-called sovereign Iraqi government asks us to leave, even if we are unhappy about the security situation there? I understand it's a hypothetical, but it's at least possible.

MCCAIN: Well, if that scenario evolves, then I think it's obvious that we would have to leave because— if it was an elected government of Iraq— and we've been asked to leave other places in the world. If it were an extremist government, then I think we would have other challenges, but I don't see how we could stay when our whole emphasis and policy has been based on turning the Iraqi government over to the Iraqi people.
Senator McCain should read the headlines coming out of Iraq...
BAGHDAD, July 8 -- Iraq's national security adviser said Tuesday that his government would not sign an agreement governing the future role of U.S. troops in Iraq unless it includes a timetable for their withdrawal.
Head nod: Sullivan

'Those Women Would Like A Choice'

Some questionable breakfast conversation at a McCain campaign event yesterday:
Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard chief who is now the Republican National Committee's "Victory Chairman," was discussing consumer-driven health insurance at a breakfast with reporters when she proposed "a real, live example which I've been hearing a lot about from women: There are many health insurance plans that will cover Viagra but won't cover birth-control medication. Those women would like a choice." For effect, the woman frequently mentioned as a possible McCain running mate repeated: "Those women would like a choice."

Silence filled the meeting room at the St. Regis Hotel. "I don't know where I go after that," said the moderator, Dave Cook of the Christian Science Monitor.
Check please.

E-Mail

I got an e-mail last night from a relative. It warrants sharing with my readers. It's long and will require much analysis from Yours Truly - but I'm going to try to squeeze it in today.

Despite the humidity.

08 July 2008

No Surprises Here

As if you didn't see this reaction coming...

Despite the Iraqis calling for a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal, the AFP is reporting:
"The US government and the government of Iraq are in agreement that we, the US government, we want to withdraw, we will withdraw. However, that decision will be conditions-based," State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos said.

Red And James Lipton

Inside The Actor's Studio meets Hellboy:



I must say that the ad campaign for Hellboy II: The Golden Army has been quite impressive.

What Will It Take?


-Daryl Cagle, Cagle Cartoons

[click to enlarge]

Obama Needs A Dog

According the the Associated Press, pet owners prefer McCain.

Ugh.

Head nod: TPM

My Question As Well

I've been asking the same questions as Dave Weigel at Reason for some time now:
Seriously, what is it about Obama that induces this Flowers for Algernon IQ dip on the right and in the Hillary Clinton insurgency? This stuff is on the fringe, but sometime reason contributor and Politico editor David Mark has a story out about conservative activists digging into Obama's audiobooks to find incidents of him cursing and quoting a Jeremiah Wright sermon. But... why? Because George Allen's offensive against Jim Webb's novels was so damn effective?

Don't Misunderestimate Pat Buchanan

Is that even a real word?
With 68 percent of Americans believing George Bush has done a poor job, and 82 percent saying the country is on the wrong track, the election of 2008 will turn on one issue: Barack Obama.

If Sen. Obama can convince the people he is "one of us," and not some snooty radical liberal from Chicago's Hyde Park, who looks down upon white America as a fever swamp of racism and reaction, a la the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the senator will be the next president.
A 'snooty radical liberal...who looks down upon white America as a fever swamp of racism and reaction'? Geez Pat, why don't you tell us what you really think. It's not like you are putting words in Senator Obama's mouth or anything...

Phone Call Between Obama And Bill Clinton



Head nod: Donklephant

Notable Quotable

"Getting more people to buy porn was probably the last thing Bush had on his mind when he came up with his 'stimulus package,' but we'll take it." - Jillian Fox, spokeswoman for LSGmodels.com

As it turns out, people are buying more than just gas and groceries with their stimulus checks. Sooooo, I guess that we Americans are interested in stimulating more than just the economy.

[Aw, come on! That was a gimme!]

Remeber Those Timetables?

Way back when - it was the Democrats who were calling for a timetable for withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.

Look who is calling for timetables now.

Is anyone listening?

Contradiction

It's another hot, hazy and humid day here in the 'T' of Pennsylvania. It's already approaching 80 degrees - outside (it's probably warmer here next to my computer).

And yet, I sit here and drink hot coffee. What is wrong with me?

Stick To The Town Hall Forums

McCain still needs a lot of work in front of that prompter.



Yikes.

McAuliffe Weighs In On Veeps

Former Clinton campaign manager Terry McAuliffe says Joe Biden:
Asked to guess Obama's running mate choice, McAuliffe picked Delaware senator and ex-presidential candidate Joe Biden, due to the Senate foreign relations committee chairman's 'international experience.'
A strong pick to be sure. However, I think that Obama should pick needs someone with military experience to counter that of John McCain's. That's why I thought that Jim Webb would be a great choice. Apparently, that's out of the question now.

Wolfson Joins Fox News


Howard Wolfson. You remember him, right? He's the guy who ran the communication department for the Clinton campaign and I think looks like Chris Elliot.

I can't really say that I'm all that surprised. First Lanny Davis went to the Dark Side - now he is followed by Howard Wolfson. I can see both of them sitting all high-and-mighty in their commentary and saying things like "Fox News was the only 'fair and balanced' network covering the Democratic primary". Ugh.

------
Photo: Cary Conover/New York Times

07 July 2008

Confusion

I'm confused.
Sen. Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, faces dissent from dozens of top fund-raisers and other supporters of former rival Sen. Hillary Clinton, who are angry over how she was treated during their bruising primary battle and are hesitating to back Sen. Obama.
...
The Clinton holdouts are typically most angry about what they say was the media's sexist treatment of Sen. Clinton during the campaign. And though few, if any, blame Sen. Obama directly, they fault the Illinois senator and other party leaders for what they say was failing to do enough to stop it. [my emphasis]
So, isn't that contradictory? How can you blame Barack Obama for 'failing to do enough to stop' some alleged 'sexist treatment' of Senator Clinton by the MSM? Even if there was some sexism involved (and I'm not sure that there was), how could Obama have put a stop to it?

This is a case of some sore losers looking for a reason to be angry at Senator Obama because their candidate (Clinton) didn't win.

Grow up people. Get in line behind a candidate. If you don't like Obama, that's fine - but I would argue that you should dislike his candidacy based on some actual issues - not the fact that he beat your favored candidate. If you don't like his policies and positions, then shut up and go support John McCain - despite the fact that his policy views are much farther away from Clinton's.

Sour grapes won't help you.

Simply Offensive

A new ad and accompanying image from the Christian Defense Coalition.

... and it's not a joke. They are serious.

Facebook For Barack Obama

In this age of "new media", the Internet has been crucial in political successes.

This year is no different.
As supporters started to join MyBo in early 2007, Mr. Hughes brought a growth strategy, borrowed from Facebook’s founding principles: keep it real, and keep it local. Mr. Hughes wanted Mr. Obama’s social network to mirror the off-line world the same way that Facebook seeks to, because supporters would foster more meaningful connections by attending neighborhood meetings and calling on people who were part of their daily lives. The Internet served as the connective tissue.

While many candidates reach their supporters through the Web, the social networking features of MyBo allow supporters to reach one another.
Grassroots. Real grassroots.

Bill Clinton For President (Again)

I wonder if this was typical of former president Clinton's attitude on the campaign trail?
[Bill Clinton] didn’t make his first pitch to one Pennsylvania super-delegate, Jason Altmire, until the afternoon of the Ohio/Texas votes. He sounded giddy, recalls Congressman Altmire. “ ’We’re going to win Ohio for sure, and Texas looks good, and we’re coming to Pennsylvania,’ he said. ‘Keep your powder dry. Don’t endorse anybody—just wait it out.’ ” The flattered first-term congressman said he was concerned that Senator Clinton might not play well on the top of the ticket. “President Bush won my district twice … ”

Clinton interrupted him. “How well did I do in your district?”

“You won it twice.”

“Well, there you go,” Clinton said, gloating.

There was silence for a while, and Clinton assumed he had won his case.

“With all due respect,” Altmire finally said, “you’re not on the ballot this year.”
Very interesting, but essentially what I had been expecting throughout Hillary Clinton's run for the presidency. The Clintons running for a 'third Clinton term'.

Head nod: Sullivan

04 July 2008

What The Fourth Of July Is All About

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776 The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

— John Hancock

New Hampshire:
Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts:
John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island:
Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut:
Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York:
William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey:
Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania:
Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware:
Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland:
Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia:
George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina:
William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina:
Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia:
Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton

Weekender


Out of town until Monday. Visiting some old friends and celebrating our nation's 232nd birthday. Hot dogs and burgers on the grill are the plan - with cold beers to wash it all down. Awesome.

Our country is a beaut, ain't she? I know that I complain quite a bit - but I do indeed love this place. I'm trying to instill that same love in my kids too.

Have a great weekend. Happy Fourth of July!

03 July 2008

That 'Secret Muslim' Thing

While there are still rumors floating around on the Internets that Barack Obama is a 'secret Muslim', the fact remains that he is not. He is a devout Christian.

But, the Explainer (Juliet Lapados) at Slate begs the question, "Are Muslims allowed to hide their faith?" What did she find?
Yes, if you're a Shiite; maybe, if you're a Sunni. According to Chapter 16, Verse 106 of the Quran, "Any one who, after accepting faith in Allah, utters Unbelief—except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith—but such as open their breast to Unbelief, on them is Wrath from Allah, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty." Shiites cite this verse to justify taqiyya, a religious dispensation by which persecuted Muslims may hide their beliefs. But Sunni scholars have a more equivocal take. Some reject taqiyya as unacceptable hypocrisy and evidence of cowardice: Muslims shouldn't fear other humans, only Allah. Others argue that concealment is warranted under life-threatening circumstances.
Interesting, to say the least.

Soccer Mom... And Dad


A link sent to me by Furious D. Video of the Obamas at their daughter's soccer game.

Stories like this really humanize the candidates. Anyone have something like this for McCain?

What Is Patriotism?


- Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

[click picture for larger version]

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