Friday, September 30, 2011


I'd love to read some discussion from someone other than the MSM and Media Matters on the merits/shortfalls of Herman Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan...

Woodstock 2011

At first, I was going to use of of the pictures of the 'protesters' occupying Wall Street as a 'Caption It.' Then, I had to point out this one sign, because I just know the girl thought it was so clever...and it's so NOT. But as I was scanning through all of the thing kept coming to mind...

When I was 15 or so, I remember asking my mom why her and my Dad hadn't attended Woodstock...her response has always stuck with me as an 'Ah Ha!' moment:

"We had jobs."

Succinct and poignant.

My parents might not have been HIP, but they certainly weren't HIPpies. They have always been hard working, tax paying, showering members of society.

And that's what I kept thinking as I looked at this 2011 Petrouli crowd...Always complaining about society, yet never willing to do more than hoist a nonsensical placard to change it...

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Guest From the Left: J. Marquis

The Odds are Slim

It's very unlikely he's going to run. But if Chris Christie did throw his hat in the Republican ring he would find out quickly he's already failed several Tea Party litmus tests.

Five Things Conservative Voters Would Hate About Chris Christie

(You can read J.Marquis daily at Major Conflict)

Guest From the Right: Free0352

The Most Powerful Political Ad I've Ever Seen

I don't know who team Perry hired to make this, but I'm going to find out and apply with their company. This is hands down the most effective political ad I've ever seen. It reminds me of the trailer for Dark Knight or some other big budget superhero movie. A teaser trailer for a President? Yes, that's what this is. If advertisement is the weapon with which political campaigns are fought, then this is a thermonuclear ICBM with MRV capability.

The O in Obama is for ZERO. Voters will remember that, and that after all is the whole point of advertising.

It's a brilliant ad with a powerful message. My old political mentor was a local Judge who has won many local elections. He always told me that a campaign is like a story you tell the voters. This ad tells the story of a nightmare anti-Presidency, utterly failed, who has lead a country into a crushing ruin he is solely responsible for. This anti-President has left the nation devastated, in a state of emergency... panicked and terrified. It quotes Obama taking credit for this economy, and then asks you to take a very hard look at a very broken, empty, hollow America. Then rises a new leader called from the ether, a heroic figure from the West, a cowboy who is riding to our rescue. He's new, he's strong, he's brave and ready to confront this anti-President. He doesn't want to lead America, he IS America. It ends with ever faster cuts of the montage, with a logo and a resurrected United States. What does the logo say? Not Perry for President.

No, it says - Perry. President.

He has arrived. Confident isn't the word. Bold isn't the word. The word I'm looking for... preordained. Confidence? Isn't that what America needs and lacks so much of right now?

This ad strikes not at the heart of Obama but the heart of the viewer. It's visceral, designed to produce two emotions. Fear -if not dread - and hope. It paints Perry as an almost messianic figure, riding in to save the day. It paints Obama as totally out of touch, ignorant, and responsible for an empty, decomposed America. And you have to ask yourself this, if Perry is HOPE against this anti-President, then Romney and Bachmann must be anti-HOPE right?

Somewhere Mit Romney and Michelle Bachmann are throwing up in a toilet somewhere having just seen this. They know they are finished. This ad demonstrates one thing and it demonstrates it perfectly. Rick Perry is the man who can beat Obama. After seeing this Republicans will be asking "Mit who?"

Look, Rick Perry isn't Jesus, and as impressed with the ad as I am politics is like a sport to me. I'm immune to the emotional ploys - and this is a very emotional ad. I appreciate this ad not for it's message (though I do like the message) but for how awesomely effective it is. I want to make things like this for a living one day. It's an art, and you have to admit an ad like this is a masterpiece no matter what team you root for. With a team that can make this... You are looking at the next President of the United States folks.

President Zero?

Wow. What a million dollar idea! If I had thought of that, I'd be rich! If the copy writer who came up with that one worked for me, he or she would be getting a raise.

(You can read Free daily at John Galt for President)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

2012 Add Ons?

Would Your Current 2012 Pick Change if Christie or Palin Entered the Race?
Maybe free polls 

Christie's words say no, but his speech last night from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library said yes. Palin says she's still weighing her options.

We know Palin would be a strong Conservative candidate. But, what about Christie? Are Conservatives panicking over Perry's tuition for illegals' children remarks so much that they're forgetting that Christie sits on the man-made global warming bus?

And how about the elephant in the room here. I know no one wants to talk about it, but in an American with skyrocketing child obesity and Christie just too big to be President of the free world? This is a man that's not 20 lbs overweight, but most likely in the 'obese' or 'morbidly obese' category. Obama can hide his smoking from America's youth, but Christie isn't afforded that cloak for his weight...

I'm just wondering if this might be one of those be careful what you wish for situation for Republicans...

Obama's Back To School Speech

This is the letter that was sent home with my 7th grader and my 5th grader at the beginning of this week. Notice the last paragraph:

"We are aware that there may be some parents or guardians who do not want to have their child view the speech. If you do not want your child to participate in this scheduled event, please notify your child's principal prior to the broadcast. The building principal will make provisions for an alternative activity for your student."

Though I am certainly no fan of Obama, I take issue with this option for a few reasons...

1) I believe we should teach our children to respect the of 'Office of the President' even when we vehemently disagree with the policies/ideology of a specific president. Giving young children the means to 'opt out' of listening to the President speak sends a complicated message to an impressionable mind. (What would we be saying if students were able to opt out of Bush's talks to the nation after 9/11?)

2) This is a "pep rally" speech about doing good in school and giving parents an option to pull their child gives it a political connotation it shouldn't have. Last year everyone made a huge deal over this speech claiming that Obama would tout socialism, etc...but it was just your standard 'work hard, stay in school' speech.

3) If you choose to pull your child, you have now labeled them for the teachers and the administration as to what political party their parents are affiliated with. God forbid your school houses teachers that have the same belief about the Tea Party that Morgan Freeman has... Now they think YOUR child is the son/daughter of a racist Nazi...

I was tempted to talk to the Elementary school principal about this when I was at the school yesterday, but to make my point I would have needed to stress that I am not an Obama supporter --therefore negating my attempts not to label my 11 year old as being the son of a proud, right-wing nut job.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dear Morgan Freeman

I hate when politicians et al are forced to apologize for something they've said..and I normally disdain those claiming to be so offended by whatever utterances were in question...

BUT, for one of the first times in my political life I am truly offended by not only your words, but you as a person...Because of the fact that I believe YOU BELIEVE the bullshit that you are spouting.

YOU SAID: "[The Tea Party's] stated policy, publicly stated, is to do whatever it takes to see to it that Obama only serves one term," Freeman noted. "What underlines that? 'Screw the country. We're going to whatever we can to get this black man outta here. It is a racist thing. [The Tea Party agenda] just shows the weak, dark, underside of America. We're supposed to be better than that." -Morgan Freeman, "Piers Morgan Tonight" 9/23/11

Do you for one minute think that Right-leaning political groups didn't publicly state that their mission was to make Bill Clinton a one-term President?!

Do you not think that if Hillary, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden or John Edwards would have won in 2008 that the Tea Party wouldn't be 100% committed to making them a one-term President?

Do you think for a second that the ACTUAL racists in America only reside on the right hand side of the aisle? (The only person in my life that threw around the N-bomb like he was saying any other word was a TOTAL LIB!)

Besides the fact that you refuse to let simple things like FACTS cloud your judgement (Herman Cain is a Tea Party favorite you ass!), YOU are perpetuating racism with your irresponsible and uniformed remarks.

Have you ever been to a Tea Party rally? I dare say you haven't. Both the Tea Party gatherings that I have attended prominently featured African American speakers and both had African American participants.

I am disgusted by you and your hypocrisy when it comes to race. And you'll be rich with a soap box regardless of what I do...but I will not watch you on screen again because you sicken me.

Cain responds to Freeman:
"Most of the people that are criticizing the Tea Parties ... about having a racist element, they have never been to a Tea Party. I just think that it is sad that they're so short-sighted in really understanding what the whole Tea Party citizen movement is all about," he continued. "I'm not offended by it, because it doesn't slow down my momentum. It doesn't slow down the reaction that I get from people.
So, name-calling is something that's going to continue in this, because they don't know how to stop this movement. And this movement is making a big difference in politics, because a lot of the traditional Democrats are moving to the center or moving over to vote for conservatives. They're taking another look at a Herman Cain." (source)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Guest Post by Foxy Wizard

Why I agree with Rick Perry regarding in-state tuition

For the past few decades, the Federal Government has done nothing to curb illegal immigration. It has not enforced it's own laws, nor given states the resources to control it. In fact, the Obama Administration sued Arizona for passing a State Law attempting to enforce the very laws the Federal Government was not enforcing.

This is a problem for border states such as Texas. The illegal aliens are here. They have been here for years, decades even, and many children, brought into this country illegally, have lived in this country most of their lives. These children grow up, graduate from High School, and in some cases serve in the military. They know no other home besides the USA.

Here's a typical scenario. Johnny, Jose and Jerome grow up together and go to the same school together. Jose's dad is a landscaper who is here illegally. Jose is the older brother, born in Mexico. His younger brothers and sisters are born here, and are US citizens as a result of that. Most everyone knows Jose's Dad is here illegally, but nobody cares. He's a good guy, and does their lawn for cheap. He works hard, and doesn't cause any problems. He owns a little house, pays property taxes like everyone else. All three graduate from High School together. He applies to one of our fine state schools.

In Texas, all three pay in-state tuition for their education. He does not qualify for Federal grants or loans, so he has to pay cash. Jose is not getting a free education. He is simply paying what his friends are paying, without the advantage of student loans.

(Financial Aid qualifications here)

We Texans felt that, rather than create a permanent, uneducated underclass, we would allow those students an opportunity to further their education, so we voted into law a bill that mandated just that.

I support Rick Perry's willingness to allow children of illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition as the best solution available given the Federal Government's failure to do it's job. I am a Texan, and believe it is my State's right to vote on such an issue as a solution to a problem. We did. It passed. We don't need people from other states telling Texas how to run our State.

Most Ridiculous Story of the Weekend...

Yes, even more ridiculous than Obama's fiery speech to the Congressional Black Caucasus (Take of your slippers and put on your marching shoes!)...

The MOST ridiculous story is about a school cooking competition. One team's signature creation was a huge taco that came with nachos and a drink for $5. Their posters featured the school mascot (an Eagle) standing with his hands on his hips and the slogan, "You have to be macho to eat my taco."

"Students were caught off guard Wednesday when Dave Bolt, vice president of educational services, told students to remove the posters and change the slogan based on a "significant number" of student complaints.

"When sexual harassment charges or accusations are brought to our attention, we have a responsibility," Bolt told students Wednesday. "We have to protect this environment from the things that are offensive to others. In this case, the flier was the item they were offended by. Easy remedy: Create a new flier, one that does not have a sexual connotation to it." (source)

Sexual harassment? The Man and I and some friends spent Saturday night at the hockey rink debating WHAT the taco represented... And at first I was horrified for these kids that had spent weeks on their business model only to have to scrap it...

BUT, then I read one of the kid's response to the controversy:

"Quite frankly, after having the sexual connotation explained to me, it has taken the enjoyment out of cooking," student Bob Henshaw said. "I feel that I have been irreparably harmed, in as much as I will never be able to prepare or consume another taco again without envisioning the vulgar image which is now forever etched into my mind. It saddens me to know that our school officials are prepared to violate the rights of the many to appease the few."

Now I don't know what's worse, the tools that complained about the poster to begin with...or this doucherocket that can never make a taco again?

In other news...we had tacos for dinner last night and they were hot, sloppy and delicious. :)

Caption It...

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Finally Watched An Entire Debate...

The Flyers V. Redwings preseason game wasn't I watched the Fox/Google debate.

And then (unfortunately) I watched Frank Luntz's focus group afterwards. Do you know how we all keep asking where these so-called Republicans that like Mitt Romney so much are? Well, apparently they are in FLORIDA. They were totally pumped over the empty suit and decisively thought he won the debate.

Was I watching the same debate? I get such a bad feeling from that guy. He's like a game show host that will say anything. Say what you will about George W. Bush, but I always felt like he went to bed at night with America and Americans well being weighing heavily on his mind. I don't get that sense with Mitt at fact, I feel Mitt goes to bed with Mitt's well being weighing heavily on his mind. I thought on substance it was a tie between Gingrich and Cain.

I should have jotted down notes last night because it's early and I've only had 2 cups of coffee, but I guess what actually stuck in my mind could be more telling that on-the-spot notes.

Mitt Romney: SO, yeah, I pretty much said what I had to say about him. Something nice? His suit and tie were impeccable. He's so stiff and so rehearsed. WILL NOT vote for him. Hey, if people sat out McCain, I can certainly sit out Romney with no guilt...

Rick Perry: Lost points with me last night (sorry Free). BAD suit (was it grey or brown? Bleh.) And, the less vapid reason...his logic on educating the children of illegals. Both he and Romney get too quippish with each other and it's a bit yenta-ish and emasculating for me.

Michelle Bachmann: How I long for a strong female candidate, but is not Michelle. I do like and respect her, but I don't want someone that is gaffe-prone as the first female CIC. She's smart and attractive, but a bit too reactionary. The vaccines cause retardation comments sealed the deal for me.

Newt Gingrich: Should probably be the nominee. He's so intelligent. A wonderful orator. And just the right amount of sassy. But he'll never be because he's an easy mark and one well done commercial by about cheating on his wife with cancer and a homewrecker being first lady and he loses the entire women's vote. It's a shame. I love how he refuses to engage in bashing the other candidates --it shows he wants Obama out more than he wants a victoy for himself and I dig that.

Herman Cain: I LOVE him. I love his history and his frankness. I love his dedication and his willingness to lay out a tangible plan instead of just blowing out stock PC answers. Newt and that would be good...Newt and Palin would be good too...

Ron Paul: Sean Hannity summed it up last night when he expressed his frustration that those of us with Libertarian leanings are totally with 95% of what Ron Paul says...but then he comes out with crazy, pre-9/11 isolationist ideals that flies in the face of all we've learned over the past 10 years. In a few years Rand might have a shot, but Dad's a little too kooky.

Rick Santorum: I know a retired police officer that used to drive him around when he was in Philly and he says he's a decent guy. I liked his answers last night. He seems to always really know what he's talking about and never looks caught off guard. Unfortunately, the gay community has named something very disgusting after him and I think that precludes him from ever being President.

Gary Johnson: Obviously the 'shovel ready' comment was good, but that's all I remember about him for the entire evening and that's not good. What color was his tie?

John Huntsman: Was he the one in the yellow tie or was that Gary Johnson? That can't be good...

I was feeling good about Perry, but am a bit crestfallen today.

I will not campaign for Romney. I will not blog for Romney. I will not vote for Romney. Sigh.

No Caption Needed...

(Photo Credit: zombietime)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Troy Davis Wasn't Innocent

Whether he was the one that actually pulled the trigger and shot Police Officer (and former Army Ranger) Mark MacPhail in the face and heart, Troy Davis was definitely in the gaggle of hoodlums that was attacking a homeless man whose cries for help were what Officer MacPhail was responding to when he met his untimely fate. The fact that 22 years of appeals were denied --including one last night that the highest court in the land rejected --leads me to believe that the evidence in its entirety is pretty conclusive...

That being said, I am not a fan of the death penalty when there is no DNA evidence.

And Troy Davis declaring he did not kill Officer McPhail with his dying breath didn't help me feel better about an execution at the end of a circumstantial evidence case. I just keep telling myself regardless of whether he pulled the trigger...he was kicking the shit out of a defenseless homeless man. His nickname was RAH (Rough as Hell). He was not innocent.

The Innocence Project has exonerated 250 people based on DNA testing.

Every time I complain to a lawyer friend about our legal system and how a bloody knife under the suspect's pillow is inadmissible and the jury will never hear it because the cops only had a warrant to search under the covers and not under the pillow....they tell me that this is the case because America wants to ensure that the innocent will never be convicted. That we err in the side of caution and would rather have 10 gully men go free than one innocent man be locked up.

But it seems to me like we have innocent men serving 25 years AND guilty men going free.

And the Innocence Project can only take cases in which DNA evidence ever existed or still exists (can be discarded after 10 years).

SO, in a perfect world there would be no scumbags that killed little kids and cops, but in a lesser perfect and civilized world I wish we could always have 100% irrefutable DNA evidence in a capital case AND that it would be carried out within 2 years of conviction and sentencing.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Forgive Student Loan Debt? What Say You?

While surfing around the other night, a petition floating out there in cyber space caught my interest:

Want a Real Economic Stimulus and Jobs Plan? Forgive Student Loan Debt!

"Forgiving the student loan debt of all Americans will have an immediate stimulative effect on our economy. With the stroke of the President's pen, millions of Americans would suddenly have hundreds, or in some cases, thousands of extra dollars in their pockets each and every month with which to spend on ailing sectors of the economy. As consumer spending increases, businesses will begin to hire, jobs will be created and a new era of innovation, entrepreneurship and prosperity will be ushered in for all. A rising tide does, in fact, lift all boats - forgiving student loan debt, rather than tax cuts for corporations, millionaires and billionaires, has a MUCH greater chance of helping to rise that tide in a MUCH shorter time-frame. The future economic success of this country is wholly dependent upon a well-educated, prosperous middle class. Instead of saddling entire generations with debt from which there is no escape, let's empower the American people to grow this economy on their own!

Therefore, we, the undersigned, strongly encourage Congress and the President to support H. Res 365, introduced by Rep. Hansen Clarke (D-MI), seeking student loan forgiveness as a means of economic stimulus."

I have to be honest --there's a part of me that this really appeals to (and not just the part that has unpaid student loan debt)...

The Left claims that all the tax breaks benefit THE RICH --and I feel that most entitlements reward people that have screwed up. Get pregnant at 14...get free college. Get addicted to heroin...get free methadone and then get free college. Don't have a job...get free food and free housing.

This could finally be a 'stimulus' that just rewards everyday folks. 'The Rich' have probably paid theirs off already and the poor probably went for free to begin with --so it's the middle class Joes that went to school but are now trying to raise their families that this would help...

You have to the end of the day to talk me out of signing...

G-Free Baby!

A few weeks ago I posted about being shunned from the 'Hottest Women Bloggers in New Media.' I know I need not say this to those of you who have frequented here for the last few years...but I did this in a spirit of fun. I could care less that I wasn't on the list, nor do I think my blog is big enough to warrant my inclusion. It was supposed to be funny and intended to direct attention to some of my fellow WOMEN Bloggers.

There was something good that came from the post though. An unwitting troll subsequently paid me the best compliment I've had in a long time. He (actually quite possibly a she) wrote this:

Maybe that's because 1) if YOU call yourself hot, then you probably aren't; 2) If you need someone to talk about how hot you are, then you probably arent; and 3) If you post a photo as your profile pic that is probably 15-20 years old, then you probably WERE but aren't.

Let's re-read that last line:

"If you post a photo as your profile pic that is probably 15-20 years old, then you probably WERE but aren't."

My sis took that profile picture at my mom's 4th of July BBQ 2011. Just over a month before the comment was left.

So, THANK YOU troll for saying I look 15-20 years YOUNGER than I am!

But, the reason I bring this up is to tell you why: NO GLUTEN!

I have been Gluten-Free for 8 months and it's changed my life.

Aches, pains, headaches, bloating, stomach aches, lack of energy...all things I lived with forever and thought were normal --ALL GONE.

I felt so good that The Man was jealous and he went Gluten Free almost 3 months ago and has had the same incredible results.

You know what, on second thought...if I look 20 or 25 years old at 40 with three kids...I should be on that F-ing list! ;)

Caption It...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Guest from the Right: Free0352

He Cost You Your Job

Now he wants your boss' job

You know Liberals? They're all about the equality. Everyone under Obamanomics will be equally miserable.



Just got done reading a particularly DEVASTATING article in the Chicago Tribune.

When your home town newspaper disowns you... well... that's gotta be a clue right?


Recommended Reading

(You can read Free daily at John Galt for President)

Guest from the Left: J. Marquis

Now You're Talking

Good to see the president getting mad and drawing a line in the political sand. It's time to force Republicans to explain why they want to protect the rich and raise taxes on the middle class.

Obama Launches a Revolution

(You can read J. Marquis daily at: Major Conflict)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Meet Stephen Siller

One thing I have really appreciated about all the 9/11 remembrances over the past 10 years is the chance to get to know the personal stories about so many of those that were killed that day. There are SO many stories of courage and emotional fortitude, but each year there always seems to be one story that really sticks with me. This year it was STEPHEN SILLER. I can't seem to get him out of my thoughts...

"By the time Stephen Siller was 10 years old, he had already lost both parents. Although he went through a period of struggle, because of the love of his siblings and the values instilled in him by his parents, he grew up to be an extraordinary individual. More than most, he knew that time was precious and accomplished much in his 34 years.

On September 11th, firefighter Stephen Siller had just gotten off the late shift at Squad 1, Park Slope, Brooklyn. He was on his way to play golf with his brothers on that bright clear day when his scanner told of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers. When he heard the news, he called his wife Sally to tell her he would be late because he had to help those in need. He returned to Squad 1 to get his gear, then took his final heroic steps to the World Trade Center. When Stephen drove his truck to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, it was already closed to traffic . With sixty pounds of gear strapped to his back, he ran through the Tunnel, hoping to meet up with his own company, Squad 1.

Stephen was first and foremost a loving husband and father to five children. He was also a dedicated fireman, devoted brother, loyal friend and committed neighbor. His life brought great light to those around him.

Stephen’s brother Russell wrote these words for Stephen’s Memorial which best expresses the effect of his life on all who knew him. “Like the comet Halle-Bopp that streaked across the sky a few years ago, Stephen’s light startled us all. When we thought it could not get any brighter, it got brighter still. Just when we were enjoying it so much, for it was so unexpected, so breathtaking, it shot across the sky and went well beyond us all, deeper into the mind of God.”

Stephen’s life and his heroic death serve as reminder to us all to live life to the fullest and to spend our time hear on earth doing good - this is his legacy." (source)

Each year there is a Tunnel to Towers Walk/Run in honor of Stephen. This year's will take place on September 25th.

RIP Stephen. Your dedication, loyalty and sacrifice is humbling.

Caption It....

Friday, September 16, 2011

Enough Said?

"I would be very pleased to see [Mitt Romney] win the Republican nomination." ~Jimmy Carter (source)

And in lesser reported news... Ron Paul gets the coveted endorsement of Barry Manilow. ;) (source)

Guest Post by Nathan

Let's keep our money in the economy, not flush it down a green drain!

This Hot Air post, "Green-jobs subsidies created 1 job for every $5.44 million spent" highlights the recurring fact that so-called Green Jobs are a big loser, and cost far more than they create in terms of employment.

According to the Washington Post, President Obama promised 65,000 jobs from the $38.6B loan guarantee. The guarantee has created just 3,545 "new, permanent jobs" after about half of the money has been spent. How much of it will ever be repaid, and is it a good investment (risk) of our tax dollars?

According to Princeton University economics professor and former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder, “There are good reasons to create green jobs, but they have more to do with green than with jobs.” Well said.

Real, productive, jobs actually generate money, they don't COST money. The private sector creates those "real" jobs via investment in products, services, and people which will be productive and generate a return. That's because the products and services are proven in the marketplace, and consumers are willing to buy them. For you government types, investments are "subsidies" with an expected return on that "subsidy." Investors won't put their money into unproven technology or ideas without a decent chance that they will get a return, that's why so-called "Green Energy" has always had to be subsidized.

So why aren't jobs being created in the US? Too risky and costs are too high. If the President, and lawmakers were to reduce the artificial costs (via taxes) of investment, and remove the burdens (costs) on the means of production by regulations, then investors will take risks, and jobs will result! Amazing!

How hard is this to understand? If I were to tell you that you will be taxed 50% every day, but only 20% Friday, what would you do? Most of us would work 16-24 hours on Friday, and look forward to having more income. Friday economic activity would probably equal all the other days combined.

(You can read Nathan daily at TDA Training)

Caption It...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Latest Debate

Did you watch the CNN/Tea Party Express GOP debate last night?
Some of it free polls 

If the election was held today, who would you vote for?
Michelle Bachmann
Rick Perry
Newt Gingrich
Rick Santorum
Herman Cain
Jon Huntsman
Ron Paul
Mitt Romney free polls 

Caption It...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Guest from the Right: Dana Pico

The Years of Shame by Paul Krugman

"Is it just me, or are the 9/11 commemorations oddly subdued?

Actually, I don’t think it’s me, and it’s not really that odd.

What happened after 9/11 — and I think even people on the right know this, whether they admit it or not — was deeply shameful. Te atrocity should have been a unifying event, but instead it became a wedge issue. Fake heroes like Bernie Kerik, Rudy Giuliani, and, yes, George W. Bush raced to cash in on the horror. And then the attack was used to justify an unrelated war the neocons wanted to fight, for all the wrong reasons.

A lot of other people behaved badly. How many of our professional pundits — people who should have understood very well what was happening — took the easy way out, turning a blind eye to the corruption and lending their support to the hijacking of the atrocity?

The memory of 9/11 has been irrevocably poisoned; it has become an occasion for shame. And in its heart, the nation knows it.

I’m not going to allow comments on this post, for obvious reasons."

The obvious reason being that you are a fornicating idiot. Dr Krugman, if you have the courage to write what you did, you ought to have the balls to listen to the reaction you’ll get.

The memorials at the site of the World Trade Center are not about politics and they are not about party. Yesterday, former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush stood side-by-side, along with Vice President Joe Biden, to dedicate the Flight 93 memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Today, former President Bush stood with President Barack Obama, at the ceremonies at “Ground Zero.”

Those ceremonies were noting the men and women lost to terrorism, and the bravery of the New York City Police and Fire Department as they tried to rescue the people in the World Trade Center. In Pennsylvania, we all honored the courage of the passengers of Flight 93, who, knowing that if they did nothing, many thousands more could die, took on the Islamists, bringing down the plane.

If I happen to step in a pile of dog crap today, I will have stepped on something more valuable than Paul Krugman.

(You can read Dana daily at: Common Sense Political Thought)

Guest from the Left: J. Marquis

Keep 'Em Coming

I'm okay with the death penalty. I think there are times when it's appropriate to kill a criminal.

But did anybody else get creeped out when the crowd at the GOP debate the other night began clapping spontaneously because Rick Perry has signed off on executing over 230

I kind of felt like I was watching a Kafka story.

(You can read J. Marquis daily at Major Conflict)


Tim Pawlenty endorses Mitt Romney.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years

Each year I force myself to watch all the 9/11 tribute shows and documentaries. I figure it's the least I can do. The families of those murdered on 9/11 (and the families of all the soldiers, airmen and marines that have been killed since then) have to live with all that grief each and every day. So, I feel I owe it to them all to be this raw at least once a year.

But, after watching all that has transpired over the past few days I don't feel as if I have anything sufficient to post here today. So I will defer to someone I respect immensely...

Friday, September 09, 2011

"Pass This Bill Now"

"...But know this: the next election is fourteen months away. And the people who sent us here - the people who hired us to work for them - they don't have the luxury of waiting fourteen months. Some of them are living week to week; paycheck to paycheck; even day to day. They need help, and they need it now..." ~President Barack Obama, 9/8/2011

Most paragraphs, in the speech last night, began with the command "pass this bill." That's what most of the 'pundits' took from last night's joint Congress speech by the President. Obama said "Pass this bill," in a sort of obsessive incantation, seventeen times.

But what stood out most to me (and yes, I watched the speech in its entirety) was The President invoking GOD a few times (he's been doing it more and more lately). I was surprised none of the commentators made note of it. This is a President that began his term with an almost-disdain for God, religion and patriotic pride...and here he was yelling 'God bless you and God Bless the United Stated of America' over the clapping at the end of the speech with an obligatory flag pin in his lapel--all George W. Bush style.

To me, this is as insulting as the "clinging to guns and religion," because it's so obviously just campaign obviously actions and words born from polling and personal advisers...

(If you're interested, the text of the speech can be found here)

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Thursday, September 08, 2011

The Fate of the USPS

"The head of the U.S. Postal Service said in an interview that the organization will default -- perhaps as early as this winter -- unless Congress intervenes.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe's comments reflect a well-known reality that the Postal Service is in dire financial straits. The rise of email and online bill-paying has steadily eroded its profits over the years while labor costs soar. Donahoe is calling for a host of changes, including the elimination of Saturday delivery, to close a deficit projected to top $9 billion this year.

But he said Congress needs to step in to help keep the service alive.

"Our situation is extremely serious," he told The New York Times. "If Congress doesn't act, we will default."

According to The New York Times, the service will be unable to make a $5.5 billion retiree health care payment later this month and is expected to run out of money to pay workers and other expenses early next year. This could force a shutdown in delivery." (source)

I like the Postal Service. I consistently choose it over UPS and FedEx.

That being said, I don't understand how they could possibly be this broke. Yes, people stopped sending letters when email took over --but at the same time online shopping and Ebay took off. The letter was replaced by the package and they didn't take advantage. They should have partnered with Ebay from the get go... True, no one sends letters anymore, but who cares about losing the stamp sales when no one goes shopping anymore either. I spend WAY more on shipping costs than I ever did mailing letters and bills... Why doesn't the Post Master capitalize on that?! I wish I could buy it --I'd turn that business model around...

And if we're going to subsidize something, I'd much rather it be the Post Office -which I use everyday - than Amtrak -which I've NEVER used...

Never Forget!

Philadelphia Jeweler Steven Singer has teamed up for the 3rd consecutive year, with 1210AM's radio host Michael Smerconish to create the 9/11 Never Forget Pin.

I ordered mine this morning!

For a $10 donation, you will receive this 9/11 Never Forget Pin to help show your support.

In 2011, 100% of the profits will be donated to the Flight 93 National Memorial Fund.

Order yours now

In the past, they've donated 100% of the proceeds and successfully raised over $200,000. In an effort to produce over 100,000 pins and raise over 1 Million Dollars, Steven Singer Jewelers will donate 100% of the profits in 2011.

Click here to read more about the Flight 93 National Memorial Fund

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Guest from the Right: Free0352

A new Great Generation?

On the cover of TIME this issue... there it is. My generation being proclaimed a second Greatest Generation.

Even President Obama is in on the act.

The 9/11 Generation? I guess it's as good a name as any. I was born at the tail end of Generation X in 1979. However, I grew up more Nu-Metal than Grunge. We were tech savvy, introspective kids - we didn't have much in common with our weepy, overly socially conscious older siblings. The X'ers were individuals, we were almost collective joiners. If the Boomers had Woodstock, the X'ers had Kirk Cobain's death and a youth of unmatched prosperity they didn't appreciate and complained constantly about... we had Columbine and a certain stained blue dress. Nobody expected much from us beyond the hope we wouldn't become addicted to Ecstasy and blow each other away at school. The Boomers and X'ers screamed at the world, they wanted to be heard. We were quiet and withdrawn - encased in our computers off in la-la land. If Bob Dillon spoke to the world and Kirk Cobain screamed at it the best we could muster was a lengthy text message. We didn't want to be heard. As children of divorce when we grew to become young adults, we wanted to belong.

Then some of us went to war. Less than 1% of Americans serve today in the military. That's a pretty far cry from the WWII Generation, who even if they didn't go away to war stayed home and fed the arsenal of democracy and made huge sacrifices in austerity to see the war effort through. Back then celebrities sold war bonds, today they call us war criminals. Did this generation sacrifice. Well, 1% of them did.

Many Boomers lost their innocence in the jungles of Vietnam, forced into a war they had not interest in fighting via the draft. It was traumatic for all concerned, and veterans did their best to forget and civilians did their best to ignore them. We haven't been forgotten, we've been honored and thanked and taken care of better than our WWII forbears. We were even TIME's 2003 "Person" OF THE YEAR. When you thank us, we awkwardly thank you back and carry on. We don't expect all this, and wonder why the Vietnam veterans didn't get it. We wish you'd thank them.

The Marine Corps tells it's recruits it will change them. In fact it's part of the recruiting pitch. I joined because I wanted to reject the hyper-consumerist comfort based life my peers sought and test myself against all that the toughest of the tough could throw at me. My generation is very pain averse... so seeking out discomfort and pain was the ultimate act of rejection and rebellion. My generation suffered the highest divorce rates of any before it. My peers and I were young men raised by women. Most of my fellow Marines were looking for something masculine. The ultimate rejection of the female way of life forced on us at home, in school, and in popular culture. We were sick of everyone getting a trophy just for playing. We wanted to see what we were made of when mommy wasn't there to pick us up when we fell. The Marines were our own little Fight Club. It's mostly that way for Soldiers too.

I couldn't appreciate that change until after I graduated Boot Camp in the late 1990s. I remember coming home on 10 day Boot leave, feeling like I had gone home and the world had been flipped upside down; then realizing it was me that had changed. I could no longer relate to my peers. They were disorganized, slow, unmotivated and they whined constantly. Things didn't get much better over the years. As my first years of service went on I would intermittently return home and see fewer and fewer of my old high school friends because I was becoming less and less interested in them. It seemed the longer I was part of the Military Culture the more alien civilians became. It was like I was from strange foreign culture to them, and they to me. I was from Accountability, Responsibility, No-Excuses Land, they from somewhere else that involved MTV, video games and complaining. I found myself gravitating more to Vietnam and WWII veterans than people my own age, whom I had nothing in common with anymore.

Now after ten years we are coming home for real - for ever. Coming home and staying there. The military is drawing down in the next few years, 45,000 Soldiers alone will be forced out of the only home we've known for a decade. Likely many more will follow as the Air Force and Navy contract even more. Some veterans have done a tour or two, others as many as eight. Now we put down our gear and take off our uniforms and look around and find ourselves on that alien planet called America and wonder what to do now. We are not part of whatever this generation is called. We're it's aliens. Prodigal son's returned home. Very alien, very different.

No, The 9/11 Generation isn't special in and of it's self. But 1% of it is, because unlike our peers we don't consider ourselves special. We've been part of a team. Today we're banding together, taking care of each other as we did in war. In a way we're the newest wave of refugees from Iraq or Afghanistan - the places that have dominated every segment of our lives these last ten years.

You hear about the suicides ...which are indeed tragic... and other bad news; but not so much about the double amputee in the TIME article who BUILDS HOUSES WITH NO LEGS. We are taking our rightful place in America. We're running for Congress, starting businesses, we're in your neighborhood. Our peers whine about everything, they are slow and weak and complain constantly when they don't get a trophy simply for playing. But we're out there, under the radar now. Different. Alien. But like our Greatest Generation Grandfathers we might save you - though there are considerably fewer of us.

So is this over all, the Second Greatest Generation? Probably not. But we veterans - the tiny 1% might be. Maybe what America needs to save it, are a few veterans? Why not, they certainly did after WWII? Perhaps the Military loss is America's gain?

Soon thousands of disciplined, hard working, courageous, focused young people will be injected into the labor force or graduate college on the Post 9/11 GI Bill. America is a wreck and it's only going to get worse... but we veterans have seen failed states and anarchy and worse. This bad economy and chaos doesn't scare us. We've fixed broken countries before in far worse condition. We've carved Forward Operating Bases out of bombed out Iraqi buildings and Afghan mountains under fire. Ascended ladders unarmed and under fire to erect concrete barriers, burned our own biological waste, worked for four or five days without sleep, filled sand bags, killed people, buried our dead friends, and done back breaking manual labor in 140 degree sun. We don't have an "entitlement mentality," our greatest gift is our "NO EXCUSES" mentality. We've learned to do, and do it quietly, without thanks or complaint. We've learned the world isn't fair, and not to quit. In short, the war gave us the tools our peers lack to make it in this economy, or any economy. We reshaped the most volatile piece of geography on Earth, the United States should be easy in comparison.

So will whoever gets elected in 2012 save us? Maybe. But don't trust to that. Trust to that small, tiny 1% of young Americans. I have had the chance to witness them do things that defy imagination, both in work and in heroism. Wait to you see it in your neighborhood.

Maybe that's why we are startled by gratitude in the season of peace. To have pulled Saddam Hussein from his hole in the ground brings the possibility of pulling an entire country out of the dark. In an exhausting year when we've been witness to battles well beyond the battlefields--in the streets, in our homes, with our allies--to share good news felt like breaking a long fast, all the better since it came by surprise. And who delivered this gift, against all odds and risks? The same citizens who share the duty of living with, and dying for, a country's most fateful decisions. Scholars can debate whether the Bush Doctrine is the most muscular expression of national interest in a half-century; the generals may ponder whether warmaking or peacekeeping is the more fearsome assignment; civilians will remember a winter wrapped in yellow ribbons and duct tape. But in a year when it felt at times as if we had nothing in common anymore, we were united in this hope: that our men and women at arms might soon come safely home, because their job was done. They are the bright, sharp instrument of a blunt policy, and success or failure in a war unlike any in history ultimately rests with them. For uncommon skills and service, for the choices each one of them has made and the ones still ahead, for the challenge of defending not only our freedoms but those barely stirring half a world away, the American soldier is TIME's Person of the Year.

Time - 2003.

TIME may NOT have got the date on our return home right, but truer words were never spoken.

It's been a lot longer than any of us thought, and it's still not completely over. But now we are beginning to come home - and we bring with us our skills, our discipline, our hard work, and our heroism. It's as if all that was good in the post 9/11 Generation were encapsulated in this small band of brothers... the 1% that can change the tide... coming to a neighborhood near you. Things for America, are looking up.

(You can read Free daily at John Galt for President)

Guest from the Left: J. Marquis

The Perry Paper Trail

It will be interesting to see how Rick Perry handles questions about his book in this next GOP debate.

It will be tough for him to say his statements have been "taken out of context".

Expiration Date

Man, if Sarah Palin was this much of a tease when she and Todd were dating, he must have had the bluest balls ever.

(You can read J. Marquis daily at Major Conflict)

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Monday, September 05, 2011

10 Years Later: Revising History

From LA Times OpEd: Listen up! Here's how Obama wants 9/11 observed by Andrew Malcolm

"You may have thought as a regular American citizen you were capable of marking the upcoming 10th anniversary of the deadly 9/11 attacks in your own quiet, sad way as you and your family choose.

However, in its infinite federal wisdom and one-size-fits-all philosophy, the Obama White House has drafted a set of detailed orders for how it wants the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks observed, both at home and abroad.

We're not kidding.

After weeks of quiet internal planning, two sets of guidelines were dispatched by the Democratic administration, one for American representatives to use abroad and another to all federal agencies at home.

Suggestions for elaborate programs including speeches and other ceremonies to mark the murder of nearly 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001, were discarded by the administration in favor of low-key appearances by President Obama and a few other officials.

They are to emphasize that the day's observances are "not just about us," an unidentified administration source told the N.Y. Times, which obtained copies of the plans ...
... and talking point documents. Of particular concern to Obama, The Times reports, is how the immediate post-attack sympathies for America in some foreign circles turned to anger at the U.S. responses on detention and interrogation by a certain U.S. president who immediately preceded Obama in the Oval Office.

Some 9/11 guidelines are common sense. U.S. diplomats, for instance, are reminded to acknowledge the ensuing losses and sacrifices of many nations to terrorist attacks during the past decade since 9/11. And there are the usual tribute reminders for military personnel, police and first responders, among others, for their ongoing community service and sacrifices.

However, other Obama administration guidelines are more striking, even strange. For example, officials are to "minimize references to Al Qaeda" because Osama bin Laden is dead and "Al Qaeda and its adherents have become increasingly irrelevant."

Wait, say what? Irrelevant? So, the nearly 100,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan are after who, Butch Cassidy?"

Read the whole piece.

(*About attached photo)

Friday, September 02, 2011

Guest Post by Eric Aves

The 10th anniversary of Sept. 11.

We have come to the 10th anniversary of the terrible events that forever linger in our thoughts and prayers. The impact of that day shook the world, where many of us can remember that day so well we can recall where we were, what we were doing, and our absolute shock when hearing about the first plane hitting the tower. All it took were 19 hijackers to murder 3,000 people, many Americans, as well as other nationalities.

This is a heart wrenching video of a little girl who lost her father that day. I found this while surfing you tube and thought I had to share this with others. It really takes precedence over our petty political squabbles, enlightening us to what's really important in life. I also found out her older brother enlisted because of that event when he was of age. It reminds us that no matter where we stand politically or ideologically, we're all Americans.

I remember that day as if it were yesterday. I was a sophomore in high school at the time, dressed up for homecoming week as James Bond! (it was dress as a movie character day). I'd usually walk to school, but my mother made sure my sister and I heard about the first plane hitting the tower as she drove us to school. Though a short drive I heard enough to understand the magnitude of this event. Instead of classes, my entire high school was ushered into the stage in our gym to watch the events unfold. We were a small school in a small town, if you were so inclined to ask, with only 98 kids in my entire high school. Nevertheless, many of us watched in shock and horror as people were leaping from the burning towers, the second tower hit, the news of the pentagon being hit, and the plane that would crash in Pennsylvania. I remember my fellow classmates and my confusion of the perpetrators until we had our history class. Our teacher explained who Osama Bin Laden was. as well as al Qaeda and who they were. That whole day seemed surreal, with the news that night before former President Bush came on and one thing I remember from his speech was from Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me."

Don't forget those firemen who died, as well as those who worked tirelessly the next few days.

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Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Killing Resumes Today...

Actually, I guess it was yesterday considering Japan is ahead of us... September 1st marks the day that the Japanese in Taiji resume killing 2000+ dolphins a day.

This is what ALa is REALLY doing on vacation...turning in to an Activist ;)

I took these pictures this morning on the Nags Head Dolphin Watch Tour. This was my way of illustrating that it would be more profitable for the Japanese to use their dolphin as a LIVE industry instead of the $400 a day they make from the mercury-filed meat...

This Shirt Saves Dolphins

Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians

Guest Submission from SoLow

Thought you might like this one… All this talk about the debt ceiling & everything else has a lot of people out here forgetting about what’s going on overseas. I just hope this is a true story…

He saved six soldiers’ lives — with a child’s toy

"When he needed a way to help ensure his brother would come home safe from tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ernie Fessenden didn’t resort to rocket science. Instead, he turned to toys.

Teaming up with local hobby store owner Kevin Guy, the Rochester, Minn., resident employed some good old-fashioned American ingenuity to solve the problem. And their simple invention, using a toy truck, has saved the lives of six soldiers...

...Chris had lent the model truck to a group of fellow soldiers who were going out on a patrol. They used the toy, which can go up to 30 miles per hour, to scout the area ahead of them for potential IEDs.

When the toy truck zipped out in front of the soldiers’ armored Humvee, it became enmeshed in a trip wire on the road that triggered what was estimated to be 500 pounds of explosives. The bomb exploded, but none of the soldiers was hurt..."

Guest Post by Proof

What ALa REALLY did on her summer vacation...

(You can read Proof daily at Proof Positive)