Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Adventures Of Hillary Hood

On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton made a statement that said much to define who she is and what she stands for. From CBS comes the specific details:

Sen. Hillary Clinton outlined a broad economic vision on Tuesday, saying it's time to replace an "on your own" society with one based on shared responsibility and prosperity.

The Democratic presidential hopeful said what the Bush administration touts as an "ownership society" really is an "on your own" society that has widened the gap between rich and poor.

Putting politics aside for a moment and taking a close look at these particular words gives us all an opportunity to examine her political and economic ideologies, with some much needed scrutiny and tells us much about how an economic system might look like, under a Hillary presidency. I also think it's extremely important to note that this economic view is not much different than what we have expected from Democrats (in general) over the years, one that began in a troubled time known as the Great Depression (the New Deal) and was exacerbated by LBJ's "so-called" Great Society.

One thing we must all consider in this is, FDR inherited an economy with 25% unemployment. And while the causes of this tanked economy can be debated into eternity, the fact remains that something had to be done as a means of emergency intervention. If not, there was the strong probability that suffering was going to become even more widespread than it already had become. In no way was public assistance intended to become a way of life like many people have made it, in the years that have followed.

If we contrast the New Deal with the Great Society, we will see a very different set of economic circumstances. When LBJ and his staff of liberals were propelled into what was perceived at that time to be a mandate for economic change (as a result of the 1964 election), they immediately enacted tax cuts that were originally proposed by JFK before his death. The unemployment rate in 1964 was around 5.2%, not the staggering 25% left in the lap of FDR three years after the Stock Market Crash of 1929. (The rate in 1963 was 5.7%.) And while the Great Society promoted programs that many felt were needed at the time, there was a lot of pork that was unnecessary and many felt were a hindrance to the improvement of the lives of the poor and underprivileged.

It can be argued that with Johnson's program came even lower unemployment rates. Unemployment bottomed out in 1969 at a meager 3.5%. But with that low rate came sky-rocketing inflation (5.46% in 1969). In fact, from 1965 to 1966 the nation watched inflation grow from 1.59% to 3.01%. It almost doubled and right at the time when Johnson began implementing his welfare state. Coincidence?

Although Jimmy Carter was not known for his coined economic phraseologies like FDR and LBJ, many of his programs were deemed directly responsible for inflation topping out at 13.58% in 1980 and an unemployment rate of 7.1 %, in the same year. And if you were in the workforce at this time, you no doubt remember that your cost of living increases were nowhere near 13% annually. Add to this a prime lending rate topping out at 20% in early 1980, and you have the makings of an economic disaster.

So, looking at giveaway programs coupled with high tax rates intended to level the playing field for all, we see that the ideology being promoted my Hillary has already been tested and tried by many before her, with some pretty harsh results. At the times this country has leaned more towards socialist policies, people were not helped (as was the intention), but were hindered as an unintended consequence.

When the lending rate was high, so were the payouts by banks in savings, money markets, and CDs. This did not encourage growth, because it was more advantageous for a rich man to put his money into savings than it was to invest in a new enterprise that would create jobs and more opportunities for those that were part of the labor force. Instead of building a new business or adding on to an existing business or industry, it was stashed in a bank and only created wealth for the select few that had the money and capital to create and produce. (If that's not enough to convince you, consider the former Soviet Union and China. Neither could effectively meet the needs of their populations until after the economies were shifted towards free-market enterprise.) Add to that this concept: There are many that look at socialist programs as a means of enslavement and nothing more than a modern-day version of feudalism (not to mention Jim Crow), with the masses dependent on government for their well-being (and not the individuals, themselves). And quite frankly, from where I sit, I agree with them.

This is precisely why, I am not an active proponent of more government control, but less. I say this because from where I sit, the more government can control in our lives, the more we will depend on them. The more we depend on them, the more they will fail us. Therefore, with this in mind, we must ask ourselves this all-important question: With more control yielded to government and more dependency resulting from that yielding, coupled with less potential for freedom of opportunity/self-sufficiency, where else could we turn when that government fails us, if not ourselves?

Can anyone see why I am very wary of proposed wealth re-distribution as a commonly promoted theme, especially when there is a Democratic President and Congress serving simultaneously?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Web Hopping Made Easy

Having a full slate of things to do over the long holiday weekend severely cut into my ability to blog in the manner that I have become accustomed to doing. But needless to say, I will take a weekend entertaining my soon to be three-year old grandson, any day of the week. And as a result, my slipping in and out of cyberspace moments were infrequent and short. However, I have managed to come across a few things that might be worthy of a look, should you choose to do so.

From the IHT comes this op-ed piece comparing and contrasting the philosophical differences of Europe and her "renegade" child, America.

From the BBC comes this article that isn't getting much attention from the media here in America right now, despite the fact that it is a significant development in Iranian-American relations.

From the AP comes this article, one that every radical gay activist in America needs to read and consider the next time they are tempted to criticize the treatment of gays, here in America.

The next time someone is tempted to make a fuss over the perceived loss of rights and silencing of dissent in America, they should take a look at this article, from Reuters.

Happy reading.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Ladies And Gentlemen: Start Your Engines

The onslaught of fans and traffic has been going on here in Indy, for a couple of days now. It's affected many things here where I live. One thing is the increase in traffic congestion, on and off the road. On the road is expected, but the newer thing is the increased hi-speed internet traffic that my local internet service provider has had to accommodate. So, as a result, my service is slower than usual and if I can get this post out before I throw something at the monitor, it'll be a minor miracle.

I'd like to take a moment and share a couple of things about the race, you may or may not know about this year's and past races.

The first thing to note deals with this year. There will be three women starting this year's race. I won't bore you with details, but you can read more about it in the Indy Star.

The second thing deals with the past and present. An interesting piece can be found here, from yesterday's Star.

Tony George has lived most of his life in Indianapolis, but he also feels like he is at home in this city, where he occasionally works in his late grandfather's Hulman & Co. downtown office.

Terre Haute has long been regarded as part of the Indianapolis 500's extended family.

The connection forms the backbone of Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which will host the 500 on Sunday for the 91st time. It shows in the Speedway's employees, their backgrounds and their influences, past and present.

In a rare moment of self-disclosure, I recently wrote a post that chronicled a portion of my life and world, with Terre Haute being mentioned as one of the many stops. Hulman and Company was one of the companies I worked for, while I was at that stop.

Hopefully they will get the race in today, it's raining at the track right now. If they do get it in and you are planning to watch "The Greatest Spectacle In Racing", enjoy it for me. It's blacked out here and I am in no mood to fight drunken crowds at my age.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Another Blast From The Past

One hit wonders are the subject of this week's "Blast From The Past" post. Everyone has a favorite, here are a few of mine:

Whenever I hear this one-hit wonder, I think back to the time when one of my best friends in the world and I used to hang out in his poster-filled room, pondering the various things of the universe, as only a teenager would. Here is King Harvest's, Dancing in The Moonlight from 1973:

The next one-hit wonder was one that came from a Dutch band, The Shocking Blue. Here is their one big hit, Venus:

In the late 70s, Europe's music scene was certainly a unique experience. And when I listen to Driver's Seat by Sniff 'N' The Tears, it takes me back to those days when I lived and worked in what was then, West Germany:

And finally, who could forget this classic In The Year 2525, by Zager & Evans:


Addendum: For a couple of other obscure tunes from the past, check out AC's Fore Left.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Haste Makes Waste

There's an old saying that goes: Marry in haste, repent at leisure.

Marriage is a decision that too many take lightly today and when rushed without giving the consequences an adequate amount of thought, the aftermath can be disastrous. In fact, there are other important decisions made today that carry with them, grave consequences if not thought out rationally and intelligently. Voting to send troops to war is one of them. So if I may, allow me to modify this old saying a bit to: Vote for war in haste, repent at leisure.

Today, we see two prominent candidates for the Democratic nomination for President doing what I feel is just that.

John Edwards, who voted for the decision to go to war twice (once in Afghanistan and once in Iraq), has said the following today:

"We need a post-Bush, post-9/11, post-Iraq military that is mission focused on protecting Americans from 21st century threats, not misused for discredited ideological purposes," Edwards said in remarks prepared for delivery. "By framing this as a war, we have walked right into the trap the terrorists have set—that we are engaged in some kind of clash of civilizations and a war on Islam."

There is no war on Islam. President Bush has made this clear from the very beginning. Never have those terms been used to describe this conflict. In my view, this is a gross misconception being advanced by Mr. Edwards, for nothing more than political purposes. The truth of the matter is, we are in a war against a radical ideology that seeks to destroy those that do not bow to the will of those, who wish to advance that radical ideology.

But even more importantly, the former senator has reversed his stance on a vote that he obviously did not think through, at the time it was being debated. I have said before and I will not back down on this one iota- the time to debate the validity and usefulness of this war was before the votes were cast. It's easy to stick your finger into the wind (after the fact) and determine that popular support for the Iraq campaign has dwindled. But to be one that voted in haste and now wishes to repent at leisure, significantly waters down his argument greatly.

The next candidate we have guilty of this action is Hillary Clinton. She voted for both resolutions, as well. (You can click on the previous links to the votes, if you have any doubts.) But now, she feels the need to reverse herself in the midst of the storm and really hopes that Americans will buy into her sudden change of heart, right alongside Mr. Edwards. Today, it is being reported that she has written a letter to Secretary Of Defense Robert Gates demanding that he put together a plan for withdrawal.

That's fine, I suppose it is her right to voice her opinion and she should not be condemned for that. But how far does that get her, when she also voted in haste and is now repenting at leisure? How far does it get her, when we now see that the next troop funding bill will not include language for a specific timetable, for withdrawal?

Now, I know, one can always say they were wrong and certainly has the right to change their mind (which is often done in marriage). But when we take a good look at the real situation here, what I see is plain and obvious.

Both Sen. Clinton and Mr. Edwards voted for both measures to use force, because it was politically expedient to do so at that point in time. The same can be said for Sen. Kerry and a host of others, now pressing for withdrawal. But in my view, they now are looking at the political winds that have obviously shifted and are willing to throw away their votes, as if they never meant them. Had they only known the fallout, I am sure they would have voted against these measures back then. But they didn't. But now they claim to have the answer and their version of the answer is to wash their hands of the entire situation with no thought to the potential fallout.

Look, if someone was against the war(s) from the beginning, that's one thing. I feel they and they alone have an argument. But if they voted for the war and now seek to quit without thinking through the potentially grave consequences of doing so, how much sense does that make?

Sure, if that were to happen and the whole Middle East plunges into a violent conflict as a result, it will be easy to blame it all on George Bush. In fact, that's been the MO from the beginning. And do not get me wrong here, it was his administration that was responsible for bringing it to Congress. But if there were any misgivings of misunderstandings about what it meant, the time to air them was then. By doing all of this now after the fact, is highly counterproductive.

To repent at leisure now, will certainly render the deaths of the soldiers and marines that have been killed during these two conflicts for naught, and they too will be easily blamed on George Bush. But what about those that didn't use their check and balance, at the time the troops were in Kuwait? How much should they escape when the blame is passed around?

Here's the point I am trying to make:

If you want to escape the unintended consequences of your decisions, the only way to avoid it is to make better decisions when they are presented to you. Making poor decisions in haste, because it is a popular thing to do at the time, is a sure way of making a mess of things down the road. And once you have made a commitment to that poor decision, you owe it to yourself to see it through, when it involves the lives of so many people. To say, "I quit", then take your ball and go home, will not solve the problem of your bad decision.

The Dems in Congress are in a position of authority now. They are on a co-equal basis with the GOP and the Administration. They are not in a position to dictate terms to the President. But instead of that, they should be pressing for specific solutions that can speed up the process sufficiently enough that a safe and honorable withdrawal can be done. Threatening, demanding, and repenting in leisure over a vote they made in haste, will not solve anything. It will not tame the violence, it will not get the Iraqis to take more responsibility for their own security, and it will not bring more peace to the world.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

President Sarkozy Sounding Like He Means Business

It's been no real secret how I felt about former President Jacques Chirac. (See: Here and here , if you are new or unsure.) Imagine now just how I feel about the new French President, who realizes the seriousness of the Iran nuclear situation and is willing to make his views emphatically known.

From the Jerusalem Post comes an article, which gives us all a strong indication of just how serious he considers Iran's program to be:

French President Nicholas Sarkozy called Wednesday for sanctions on Iran to be tightened if the country does not adhere to the West's demands to cease its nuclear agenda.

If Iran attains nuclear weapons, Sarkozy warned, a road to an arms race will be paved that could endanger Israel and southeast Europe, he said during an interview with a German magazine.

Now, contrast that with the flip-flopping, waffling, and downright obstinate nature of the former French leader and you'll see just why I was so hard on past French policy. From the IHT comes this article which demonstrates clearly, just how utterly incompetent Chirac really was in the world arena:

President Jacques Chirac said in an interview that an Iran that possessed one or two nuclear weapons would not pose much of a danger, adding that if Iran were ever to launch a nuclear weapon against a country like Israel, it would lead to the immediate destruction of Tehran.

What M. Chirac failed to understand is quite simple, if you put in terms of how to best deal with a child. If you send mixed signals to a child, you risk having no consistency and therefore, setting clear-cut boundaries will be next to impossible to enforce.

Later, from the same article we see what I mean here:

Chirac said repeatedly during the second interview that he had spoken casually and quickly the day before because he had believed he was talking about Iran off the record. Finally, he admitted that he had made a mistake. "It is I who was wrong and I do not want to contest it," he said. "I should have paid better attention to what I was saying and understood that perhaps I was on the record."

Even later in the same article:

Chirac explained that it would be an act of self-destruction for Iran to use a nuclear weapon against another country. "Where will it drop it, this bomb? On Israel?" Chirac asked. "It would not have gone off 200 meters into the atmosphere before Tehran would be razed to the ground."

When quizzed further about this last remark here's what he had to say:

In the second interview, Chirac retracted his comment that Tehran would be destroyed if Iran launched a nuclear weapon. "I take it back of course when I said, 'One is going to raze Tehran,'" he said. "It was of course a manner of speaking."

Are you dizzy yet? I know I am.

Thankfully, we now know where the French leadership stands on this issue. I know I couldn't take much more of the Chirac Open Tennis Tournament, without risking serious damage to my neck muscles.

Is Ethanol The Answer?

Much of the emphasis in the energy sector these days is directed towards getting out from under the thumb of Middle Eastern oil sheiks, who seem to enjoy the lavish lifestyles at the expense of the world's dependency on oil. Add to that the environmentalists and their desire to see carbon emissions drop and you see the stage being set for a new and innovative fuel source that can be found right here in the Midwest, ethanol.

Sounds like a win-win, doesn't it?

But not so fast.

A couple of months ago, a post by Mustang at Social Sense addressed this very subject with some startling findings that many in the energy sector are not taking into consideration. You can read it here. And today, we see another convincing "not so fast", The Many Myths of Ethanol written by ABC's John Stossel.

If you read these two pieces and are still not convinced that ethanol is a bad idea, allow me to throw one more fly into your ointment:

If you want to see a major disaster here and elsewhere in the world, just watch what is likely to happen in the corn belt, this year. All of the signs are pointing towards a drought. And if we as a nation (or we as a world) are dependent on a fuel source that is dependent on the weather, think of the potentially catastrophic repercussions a poor crop of corn would have on the economy, in any given year.

As much as I would love to see us out from under the oppressive grips of ME oil barons and guys like Hugo Chavez, I would highly caution people to think this thing through before jumping on the bandwagon of the environmentalists' latest cause, too soon.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Back From Nashville

Well, we survived the Nashville scene without too much difficulty. The main purpose of the trip was to attend the wedding of Mrs. Sunsett's youngest nephew.

Somehow, originally, we had been given the impression that the wedding would take place across the street in an art museum. So I did some research and found that the Frist Center For The Visual Arts was, in fact, located across the street from the hotel. As luck would have it, I love art museums. So naturally, I was very excited and began looking forward to it almost immediately. I even looked up the museum's website to see what exhibits would be there. Being a huge fan of paintings, I was immediately drawn to the one marked Matisse, Picasso, and the School of Paris.

"Brilliant", I thought to myself. (I am more of a fan of Impressionism than I am of Fauvism or Cubism. But nevertheless, I was still excited.)

The wedding was on Sunday, but we arrived on Saturday afternoon. The plan was to find someplace to eat with a local flavor, and then find a night club with some up and coming wannabe country band, after we made an appearance in the rehearsal reception in my sister-in-law's suite. The wedding party was to have dinner, first. In the meantime, we thought we'd eat while they were eating

We decided to go to a longtime, well-praised and liked, Nashville staple called Jack's Bar-B-Que (a few blocks away) for some authentic Tennessee BBQ. It was supposed be one of the best BBQ joints in the land.

It wasn't.

Then came the news that the rehearsal dinner was running late, so the 8:30 reception in the suite was moved back, to 10:00 or so. When we finally got to the reception, we learned the disappointing news that the wedding was NOT going to be at the Frist Center, but at a local art gallery three miles away.

"Okay", I thought. Maybe this was going to be a pleasant little gallery in a nice atmosphere, with a local avant-garde touch of style.

Wrong again.

The art gallery was okay, not much creativity from where I sat. The neighborhood was dilapidated and the gallery was housed in what looked to be an old body shop. The wedding was held in the back of the gallery (where all of the paint cans, easels and many other art supplies and equipment were stored).

So to summarize the chain of events of the weekend (which has been officially categorized as a "comedy of errors") :

The dinner at Jack's was highly disappointing, we had no time to check out a local honky-tonk, I didn't get to see the Frist Center (with the fine exhibits that it had to offer), and the wedding was held in a garage in 80 degree heat.

But all was not lost, I suppose. I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express that night.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Another Blast From The Past

Well, the Mrs. and I are heading down to Nashville for the weekend. So to celebrate the trip, here's a minor hit from the 60s band The Lovin' Spoonful, Nashville Cats. (As an added bonus, Flatts and Scruggs do their version after the "Spoonful" do theirs. So be sure to listen to both for a contrast in musical styles of both songs.)

If bluegrass happens to be your cup of tea, I'll throw in Foggy Mountain Breakdown for good measure (absolutely free).

He's not from Nashville, but there's never a bad time for Willie Nelson. Country is not my favorite genre, to be sure. But I love Willie, and especially this tune here, Angel Flying To Close The Ground:


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Another Blogroll Addition

I am in one of my periodic busy stretches again, but I want to take a moment and welcome a long time regular here at PYY to the blogosphere. Mary Ellen and I have had some passionate arguments over the last year on many of the political issues of the day. But, just because we disagree on almost everything, does not mean we are bitter enemies. Not in the least.

So, I ask my readers to meander on over to her new site, The Divine Dem and give her a look when you get a moment. (Maybe you can even leave her a comment so she'll know you were there.) If you are a liberal Democrat, you'll find a lot to agree with. If you are not, you will find much to debate about. But no matter your political persuasion, you will find her sincere in what she believes in.

Give her a look, will you?

$2.9 Trillion, For What?

WARNING: Foul Mood Diatribe Ahead


Intriguing, isn't it? But that's the figure the Democrats in Congress have agreed on. 2.9 trillion dollars of the people's money being spent with only one thing in mind, buying votes.

During the last election campaign I seem to remember deficit spending by the GOP being an enormous issue (as it should have been). I know, they say that this will eliminate the deficit and even create a surplus by 2012. And on the surface, this is good.

But here, we see a record budget being discussed and nothing offered to Social Security, nothing to Medicare either. All these years, they have been taking SS taxes out of my checks But yet today with this budget, we are no closer to fixing a problem which is only going to get worse, especially as the baby boomer generation (of which I am a part of) gets ready for retirement.

No, Congress raided the SS funds a long time ago and this current group sees no reason to put the damned money back, so I can have a little of it when I am ready for it. To me, that's extortion.

Before you get all worked up on this, rest assured that I don't expect to live off SS, I am not an idiot. I have seen this coming for years and so have many others. Mrs Sunsett and I have other things in place. Plus, I have skills that I can use to work until I drop dead if I have to. But in true governmental fashion, they have found it quite practical to ignore the coming crisis, thinking that if they ignore it, it will go away.

Well, it won't.

If you are a young person, what do you care, right? You probably haven't paid into the system nearly what I have, so I wouldn't expect you to give a piper's damn about any of this. But let me break this down for you.

1. Be prepared for your parents to come and live with you because they cannot afford to live on their own. So, when you are shopping for a house, make damned sure you have a spare bedroom (or two, if your parents are divorced), so that guys like me can have a place to live during the golden years of our lives.

2. Be prepared for us to sit in your house, eat your food, and tell you how to run your lives and raise your kids, because that's what we do when we live with you.

3. Be prepared to pay for our medical bills because the illegal immigrants have thoroughly drained the healthcare system by then, and not paid a dime towards it in the process. (Have you checked your out of pocket expenses on your plan lately? Whew. Imagine what that's going to look like when we get too old to afford medical care.)

If you do not want to see these things come to pass in your lifetime, too bad. If this is not want you want, I'd highly suggest you get ready to lobby your elected representatives and threaten them with termination. Or, prepare to have your taxes increased to European rates in order to pay for the millions like me that were merely hoping to buy a few groceries and a few pills, with the paltry sums of return that we have expected to receive from a failed and depleted system. Prepare for that to be your lot in life, just so your elected officials can throw it all away, like it's candy being thrown at you at a parade.

And while I am venting my feelings here, consider this article from the Politico.

Democrats are wielding a heavy hand on the House Rules Committee, committing many of the procedural sins for which they condemned Republicans during their 12 years in power.

So far this year, Democrats have frequently prevented Republicans from offering amendments, limited debate in the committee and, just last week, maneuvered around chamber rules to protect a $23 million project for Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.).

On Wednesday, Democrats suggested changing the House rules to limit the minority's right to offer motions to recommit bills back to committee -- violating a protection that has been in place since 1822.

We all know just how important Murtha's projects are, don't we? Mr. "Dodge-The-Abscam-Indictment", himself, is the king of pork barrel spending and we wouldn't want him to not get his, would we? But that's not the half of it. To tell you the truth, I expect this from a guy like Jack. He was cut in the mold of Dan Rostenkowski and Jim Wright, two guys that paid heavily for their crimes. But, Jack gets off scott-free because of his stance on the war.

No, what really gets my goat is the hypocrisy of it all. Remember this one?

House Democrats' anger at heavy-handed Republican tactics reached a new level yesterday, with the chamber's top Democrat asking the House speaker to embrace a "Bill of Rights" for the minority, regardless which party it is.

And later in the same article we read:

Pelosi's document, which she vows to honor if Democrats regain the majority, says: "Too often, incivility and the heavy hand of the majority" have silenced Democrats and choked off "thoughtful debate." She called on the majority to let the minority offer meaningful amendments and substitutes to important bills; to limit roll-call votes to the normal 15 minutes rather than keeping them open to round up needed votes; and to let all appointees to House-Senate conference committees participate in meetings and decisions.

"When we are shut out, they are shutting out the great diversity of America," Pelosi said in an interview. "We want a return to civility; we want to set a higher standard."

And while we are it, what about this one right after the election?

With their votes, the American people asked for change. They cast their ballots in favor of a New Direction.

They called for greater integrity in Washington, and Democrats pledge to make this the most honest, ethical, and open Congress in history.

The American people called for greater civility in how Congress conducts its work, and Democrats pledge to conduct our work with civility and bipartisanship, and to act in partnership - not partisanship - with the president and Republicans in Congress.

.............We will honor that trust, and we will not disappoint.

How's that for hypocrisy? How's that for lying right to the faces of the American electorate and then doing whatever the hell they want, in spite of the fact that they made the promises. How's that for the media and the American electorate letting them get away with it?

Mark my words, here. There's a damned good reason the most recent Gallup Poll shows Congressional approval ratings below that of the President. And what you are reading here in this post is not even half of it.

Way to go Nancy, that's showing us how it's supposed to be done. Enjoy the barbecue, we are paying for. And tell Jack to go easy on the sausage, I worry about his health.

Anyway, thanks for reading, have a good day, and I promise I will try to be in a better mood tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Welcome To The PYY Blogroll

I have been remiss in adding to the PYY blogroll as of late, so I would like to introduce my readers to some new blogs recently added to the exclusive PYY Blogroll.

Many times new blogs start up with a ball of fire and yet, they manage to fizzle out after a short time. But this blog looks like it's going to make it. It's a team blog with three different writers. They are thinkers and good writers of what they think. Please visit Praesidium Respublicae and leave a comment or two, if you so desire. I think they will appreciate it greatly.

Now that the French election is over, gone is French Election 2007. But not to fear, the same blogmeister is now running his new blog called, Politique. It centers on French politics from an American perspective. It is not a French-bashing site (or else I would not bother to link to it). It is informative and well-written. Check it out, when you get a moment.

Last but certainly not least is a blog that centers on life in one of the former Soviet Republics, Belarus. In addition, it chronicles a harrowing experience by the administrator five years ago, in Poland. If you get the time read the experience and the other posts contained within. It's run by an American ex-patriot who used to comment here on PYY frequently and we all wish he'd come back soon. Check out Being Had.

And as always, thanks you all so much for reading PYY.

Breaking News: Jerry Falwell Is Dead

Jerry Falwell has died.

I will not mince words here, I wasn't his biggest fan. I didn't agree with much of his political ideology and did not see eye-to-eye with him in the theological realm, either. But with that said, I feel sorry for those that were closest to him and understand the grief they must now bear, with his loss.

I never wish death on anyone, no matter how I feel about their politics. I never see anyone's death as a cause for celebration. Even when Saddam was hung, I didn't feel a bit good about it, despite the fact that he was a horrible monster that slaughtered innocent blood, on a whim.

But as sure as I am about today being Tuesday, there will be those that celebrate it. Despicable, they are.

News In Brief (And The Usual Opinionated Commentary)

From the PYY news desk:

Early Minn. Senate Polls Show Coleman With Wide Margin Over Franken

Despite Norm Coleman's drop in popularity, Al Franken is way behind. Important to note is the fact that Franken still has to win his primary. But early polls show that if he were matched up with Coleman, the incumbent would win hands down with a 52% to 32% margin. That leaves 16% of the vote up for grabs. Even if Franken were to take all of the 16% (which is very unlikely), he would still lose. I sense a Stuart Smalley skit here.

Secularists In Turkey Flex Political Muscle

By now, you have all no doubt heard of the rallies that drew what some claim to be about 1.5 million people to protest what they see as the Islamization of their government. Turks have grown accustomed to separation of church and state, in the years since Ataturk. And even though Turkey is overwhelmingly Muslim, there are many that would prefer religion to be a matter of conscience (to be adhered to willingly, and not legislated).

I say, bully for them. In my opinion, religion has no business in any form of government, because there are no two religions alike. And although I am Christian, I do not want a Christian government here either. There too many denominations to accommodate all and besides, this aspect of life is best left up to the individual to believe a certain way, or not.

Putin Compares America To Third Reich

This happened a few days ago, but let's look at it a little closer.

Putin has problems with his own opposition and has dealt with protests in a pretty rough way. Both the EU and US are distancing themselves from the bold moves that he has made of late, most of which involve the loss of freedoms for Russians and the increasingly hostile rhetoric coming out of Moscow. Opponents of his policies have a way of getting dead. The people are getting restless.

But one thing will fix all of that in Putin's eyes: A new Cold War. The old principle of inventing an enemy to unite the people is being used here. It appears this is a gamble he's willing to take.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Anti-Semitism In Europe: Myth Or Reality?

If you ask Europeans about anti-semitism or anti-Jewish sentiment, there are those that will downplay it as though it is something of a myth or is simply over-exaggerated. They may cite some polls here and there like one in this report, showing favorability ratings of French views on Jews as being:

Very Favorable 28%

Somewhat Favorable 53%

Unfavorable 11%

Now, at a glance it doesn't look so bad in France, does it? But if we take a glance at this article, we see quite a different picture from the French, themselves.

Two thirds of French people think that anti-semitism is on the rise in France, despite recently released government statistics illustrating a downturn.

Among the 1,005 people polled for the weekly magazine Paris Match on 2 and 3 March, 64 percent said they think the problem has increased, with more marginally women than men recognising the recent upsurge in anti-Jewish hatred.

To France's credit, they have tried to fight anti-semitism. But despite it's best efforts, it's very difficult to reverse attitudinal trends simply by enacting laws forbidding them.

Currently, in most of Europe, it is against the law to deny the Holocaust. Here is one case from last year, worthy of some consideration.

An Austrian court has sentenced the British historian David Irving to three years in prison for denying the Holocaust while in Austria in 1989, dismissing his argument that he had changed his views.

While I think this law goes way too far, I think it is somewhat of a sign there is a consensus among those in power; they do not want to go back down the road taken by Germany in the early part of last century (one that led to the systematic slaughter of people, simply for being Jewish). The reason I say this is because you cannot legislate attitudes or morality. And if someone has an offensive attitude, I feel it's best to allow them the right to express it, so that the rest of us can see who it is and use it as a teaching tool for others that are forming their opinions (especially young people, in the formative years of their lives).

But this attitude is certainly not limited to France. In this article published today in the Jerusalem Post, we see there is cause for concern in other countries in Europe, as well.

Thirty-nine percent of Europeans believe Jews have too much power in the business world, while 44% think Jews have too much power in international financial markets, according to the results of a survey published by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Monday.

The survey of five European countries - France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and Poland - showed that a large number of Europeans continued to harbor anti-Jewish attitudes, holding on to the classical anti-Semitic canards and conspiracy theories that have haunted Jews through the centuries.

If this poll has any measure of accuracy at all, 44% is a rather large number. Another interesting thing to note is, four of the countries surveyed are predominantly Catholic.

But, if that is not enough, here's another fly in the ointment from the same article:

The survey also showed that large portions of the European public continue to believe that Jews still dwell too much on the Holocaust. Overall, 47% of those surveyed thought the statement was "probably true."

On one hand we have the "powers that be" prosecuting those that deny the Holocaust and on the other, we have people that think Jews ruminate too much on the subject. One must pose the question: How much of this is due to the ridiculous law or more plainly, is this a backlash of that law?

But back to the Catholic issue.

Historically, Jews in Europe have suffered persecution and discrimination, because of early church views that Jews were guilty of crucifying Christ. It matters not that the church teaches that Christ willingly laid down his life for all of us, they still bore then and still bear today, the brunt of that event:

In addition, 51% said they believed Jews were more loyal to Israel than to their country and 20% of those surveyed continue to blame Jews for the death of Jesus.

And if that is not enough, there's this little issue of Israel's existence and its resolve to defend itself, from those that seek to destroy it:

Meanwhile, 25% said that their opinion of Jews was influenced by Israel's actions and of those, 52% said their opinion of Jews was worse as a result of the actions taken by Israel.

How many times have we all heard that being anti-Israel is not the same as being anti-semitic? I know that I have personally read and heard this argument before. And while this may be the case in some people's view, this point bears out that it is not necessarily true in all cases.

Here's the point, I want to make in all of this.

Being something is never a cause to hate. And while some people's attitudes are offensive, they should have the right to express them. But equally, those that are the targets of such hate speech certainly have the right to form their own opinions and express them, as well. In the grander scheme of things, words of hate are bad enough (this much is true), but they are preferable to acts of hate. It is there, where we must concentrate our efforts.

If someone is found guilty of an act of violence against someone merely because they are who they are, then the penalty should be severe enough to discourage others from doing the same thing. Everyone has the right to live their lives as they see fit, as long as they do not infringe on others' rights. But even more importantly, we have to recognize the problem, before we can fix it. And clearly from all of the data I have seen, there is a problem in Europe that many Europeans either refuse to accept, or try to explain away with some feeble reasonings, by using obscure polls that are not necessarily reflective of the real situation.

Hypocrisy Reigns Supreme

The Guardian is reporting that an AP-Ipsos poll shows that the numbers for Congress have just caught the President's. As you might guess, they are both on the way to the tank.

People think the Democratic-led Congress is doing just as dreary a job as President Bush, following four months of bitter political standoffs that have seen little progress on Iraq and a host of domestic issues.

As time wears on, people have been seeing that the Democratic-led Congress is not getting the job done. But really now, what else did we expect? After all, they are politicians. They say anything to get elected and then they dodge the bullet by blaming the President. They said they would clean up corruption, they would work a longer week, and would force George Bush to pull the troops out of Iraq. They claimed they wanted healthcare for everyone and wouldn't use earmarks.

Well? So far, all we have seen is a power struggle. We've seen calls for the resignations of administration officials. We've seen a bill sent to the President that they knew he wouldn't sign and they could not override. But in all of that, we haven't seen any willingness to get things done, like they claimed last fall when they were making their sales pitches to the American people.

Way to go Democrats. That's showing us.

And while we are at it, what the hell is getting into Republicans these days? Have you read this one from WND?

While some evangelical Christians are defending the presidential candidacy of Mormon Mitt Romney from an attack by Al Sharpton, another prominent pastor is going further in his condemnation – saying a vote for the former Massachusetts governor is a vote for Satan.

That's the word from Bill Keller, host of the Florida-based Live Prayer TV program as well as

Add this to the other idiotic statements made by the "so-called" Christian leadership.

First, we had James Dobson saying Fred Thompson is not a "Christian. We have everyone asking Rudy about his stand on abortion. (The MSM does it primarily to throw controversy into the GOP race, but the evangelical right does it as a litmus test.) And now we have this moment of judgmental haughtiness.

Have you forgotten there is a war on here? Have you all forgotten there is a porous border and a flow of illegal immigrants that will eventually crash our healthcare system and possibly a few that want to harm us? That's what we have to be concerned with here, not whether someone is the specific kind of Christian each of us feels ought to be in charge (or not).

We do not need to be worrying about abortion either. We all know the GOP candidates are forever promising the world when it comes to repealing Roe V. Wade, yet they never do.

What's wrong with focusing on the important issues of the day?

Besides that, what difference does it make who is what? I am not Mormon, I do not agree with the Mormon doctrine. But, I do not care about a candidate's specific denomination. I only care about what he is going to do to make this a better country. I am not hiring him to be my spiritual leader.

Way to go Republicans. That's showing us.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

To all readers of PYY that are mothers, I want to take a moment and wish all of you a Happy Mother's Day. Good mothers are special people that give their heart and soul for their children. They deserve this special day to be honored, mainly because many have given the best years of their life to ensure that their children are clothed, fed, safe, and warm. Every time a mother gets up in the middle of the night to comfort a sick or scared child, every time she wipes a snotty nose, she gives of herself and sacrifices something she would otherwise be doing at that moment.

To all the moms, I hope your special day is a great one.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Another Blast From The Past

There was a uniqueness about Roy Orbison that is difficult to describe. He had this sort of esoteric mystique about him. He was definitely ahead of his time when he debuted in the 60s. He came and went, waited, and then came back again. But that's not the crazy part. He did it with the same style and magic that he did, the first time around.

Here is one of those comeback hits. It's a remake of Diana Ross's "You Got It", with Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne (from ELO):

Of course no tribute to Roy would be complete without his all time biggest hit, "Oh,Pretty Woman" (long version for all of you aficionados):

In 1982, Van Halen did a remake of it (and did it quite well, I might add):

Roy inspired many artists that followed him. But of all of the artists I have heard, Chris Isaak is the one that comes immediately to mind. Here is a an Orbisonesque kind of tune that just happens to be one of my all-time favorite songs, "Wicked Game" (WARNING: Video is a bit risque):



PYY makes all corrections as soon as a mistake is brought to the attention of yours truly. As snarky as it was, one commenter has pointed out that Diana Ross's "You Got It" and Roy Orbison's, was not the same song. My apologies for any confusion.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Does Milestone In Belfast Bring Cause For Optimism In Middle East?

I ran across an interesting editorial in the IHT (originally published in the Boston Globe), entitled Old Foes, All Smiles In Belfast.

Milestones toward peace in Northern Ireland seem to arrive every six months, but until now they have not produced the breakthrough that would bring tranquility. This time, however, the amity between Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionist Party seemed genuine as they restarted the provincial government Tuesday. If these old adversaries can get along with no more than the usual friction among coalition partners, the conflict really is over.

There was a time when one would have never believed that peaceful co-existence was even possible between these two sides, much less form a government. If you are old enough, you know that peace in Northern Ireland had as much chance of happening, as Germany being reunited. Regular reports of bombings and other attacks were commonplace and there was a sense of hopelessness that permeated the entire process, for years. One way to understand it is, it had gone on for so long, you forgot who started it.

Although I understood it in an intellectual sense, in a functional sense, I couldn't understand how Christians could hate each other so much. Seeing Catholics and Protestants live and play together here in America, it just wouldn't register as a worthy cause, in my book. As I spent my two years in what was then West Germany, I saw Catholics and Protestants doing much the same.

But as I grew older and read more about it, it became clearer that this was one of the last battles between the Roman Catholic Church and the "heretics" that split the Church. The struggle began with the Reformation. But if this holds (like it looks like it's going to), this will mark the end of that struggle and will demonstrate that the Roman Church has completely accepted the division of Christendom in the western world.

From the beginning of time, religious differences have caused great political gulfs between people that are not much different otherwise. This country is but one example, but the implications here are more enormous than the peace itself. And while I am sure there are many old-timers that have have not (and will not) put aside their animosities toward each other, there is a new generation that has not adopted the tone that would have made this remarkable event impossible, in years past.

Today, in both Northern Ireland and Ireland, a new generation of Protestants and Catholics live, work, and play with another without the stigmas that were once attached to associating with one another. They even marry.

With this seemingly hopeless situation becoming hopeful, it gives us all a glimmer or faint ray of hope (if you will) that someday we could theoretically see peace in the Middle East. The situations are very different in a lot ways, but in one sense they are aren't. Semitic people with differing theological beliefs are at war for a strip of land in which they must both live. Yet, like the situation in Northern Ireland a couple of decades ago, they find it impossible to do so.

But somewhere along the line, something will have to give. Someone will have to reach out and make a concerted effort, the other will have to accept it. The military wing of the Palestinians will have to give way to a political process, similar to the one that NI had to endure to get to this point. But more than anything, someone will have to be so sick of the violence and not be willing to glorify it any longer. They will have to work out differences with dialogue, not bullets, bombs, or rockets.

But rest assured, the ME will be a much tougher sell. For one thing, the gulf between the two religions is far greater. If you have ever been to both a Catholic and Anglican mass, you will not notice much difference in either. Same God, same Christ, different political structure. One runs from the Vatican and one runs from London. The ceremonies are very comparable too.

In Judaism and Islam, the theological focus of the two religions is very different. Islam has it's messiah (or prophet), Judaism still awaits theirs.
The religions are both monotheistic and claim their roots from Abraham. But where it really separates is in the cultural realm. Israel is far more westernized and secular. That, within itself, is cause for condemnation from a large percentage of Palestinians.

Today in Palestine, there is a Mickey Mouse character that teaches bigotry, hatred, and war to a new generation of children. (Check out Fore Left for details and the video.) At some point, for peace to have any spark of a chance, this kind of activity must be stopped and respect must be substituted for calls for to annihilate Jews (and Americans). At some point, for an opportunity to arise, there must be a willingness to stop demanding all or nothing.

I realize there are those that will think I am being naive about this whole thing. And frankly, I really can't say that I blame you (for I am the chiefest of skeptics, myself). But to those that may think that I am (and are old enough to remember), tell the truth now. Did you ever think that Germany would be reunited and the Berlin Wall come crumbling down the way it did? Did you ever think Northern Ireland would see peaceful days such as the ones they see today?

I didn't.

A Standard Of Incompetence

Rarely do I post about local stories unless they have national or international importance. But, I cannot let this one go untouched.

Meet Dr. Peggy Hinkley, Superintendent of Warren Township Schools in Indianapolis. The school district does not have much information about her on their web site like other districts. Except for her educational background, it's pretty much lacking in information. Maybe that's because she has this knack for seeing her district in the news, mostly in a negative light.

Back in March, it was revealed that two sixth graders had sex in a shop class with the teacher present. (You may note that the incident occurred in November, but it wasn't brought to light until March.) This incident hit the local and national news with a fury, with a lot of attention coming from Bill O'Reilly.

Today, we see Dr. Hinkley's MSD Warren Township back in the news, with this article from the Indy Star.

On the day a Warren Central High School senior was formally charged with raping another student, Superintendent Peggy Hinkley vowed to do everything possible to ensure student safety.

This is easy for her to say now. But where I come from, reactive is never preferable to proactive. This incident, coupled with the sixth grade sex in shop class scandal, is giving the distinct impression that Dr. Hinkley is an extremely ineffective leader and would do better to sit somewhere on an advisory board, one that meets once a fiscal quarter and has no authority to make policy.

But that's not the half of it. A local attorney and radio talk-show host Abdul Hakim-Shabazz has a list of things that should be considered in making the determination of incompetence of not only Dr. Hinkley, but the entire Warren Township School Board.

Here is his interview with Bill O'Reilly back during the Raymond Park Middle School incident:

PYY is highly appalled that this current leadership is still in place after this incident alone. But if that's not enough, we now have the rape allegation to add to a long list of incidents that would (or at least should) require some kind of intervention to spark some directional change. And it must start at the top. By that I mean, Dr. Hinkley needs be fired. If not, the School Board must be put on notice by the citizens of Warren Township that they will not have a job very long, if she is allowed to continue as chief administrator of that district.

We ask our students to strive to maintain high standards of academic excellence. How can we expect them to do this, when all they can see is the low standard of incompetence from those that are charged with teaching them?

So, do you think that will solve the problem alone? If you do, think again.

If you looked at that list of incidents from Abdul's website, you will remember reading about the janitor that molested the 7 year old. Well, he had his sentencing yesterday. Here is what the Indy Star reports, on this:

Aaron K. Giroud had faced up to eight years in prison, but Marion Superior Court Judge Robert Altice instead gave him a two-year sentence, plus two years on probation. Altice said his clean criminal history and extensive medical problems justified the more lenient sentence.

If idiot judges do not want to protect our children (as evidenced by this light sentence) while in school, then it is imperative that school administration officials do so before they get to the judiciary system.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Quote To Ponder

I am back in a busy stretch again, so posting is light today.

I have posted this quote a couple of times in the past. But I have to say, I rarely tire of it because there is much truth to it.

There are three classes of intellects: one which comprehends by itself; another which appreciates what others comprehend; and a third which neither comprehends by itself nor by the showing of others; the first is the most excellent, the second is good, and the third is useless.

Niccolo Machiavelli

Here at PYY we have had all three at one time or another. But I have to say, the overwhelming majority have been in the first two classes. Those in the third class have been so very rare and they rarely return. So I want it to be known, I do appreciate all of you that grace this site on a regular basis.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Some French Election Stats

Here are some early demographics from the French election held Sunday:

Women voters.

Sarkozy 52%

Royal 48%

According to this article, Royal miscalculated the gender issue. Instead of focusing on specific programs and ideas, more voters felt she used her gender as bait. Knowing that I lack a deep in-depth knowledge of the French electorate, I cannot say much more than that. But to bring this home, I would caution the American electorate against using the gender issue as the sole reasoning for supporting Hillary. I think it's shallow and if the French election is any kind of indication, it's not particularly a successful strategy.

French Ex-patriot voters.

Sarkozy 53.99%

Royal 46.01%

Link to numbers. (HT: SuperFrenchie)

This was pretty fairly predictable. Many (but not all) have left France for more economic and business freedom and Sarko was their man, pretty much from the beginning. It wasn't an extremely wide margin, but if Royal were to have won this particular vote, I think she would have won. (I don't base this on numbers, just political intuition.)

Some post-election statistics.

Arrests for rioting 592

Vehicles burned 730

Police officers injured 28

For complete analysis from someone more in the know than me, give a look at Amerloque's post-election analysis. In the time I have come to know him in the blogosphere, he has proven time and again, he is a good and trusted source of information.


Read The Right Revolution For France by Dominique Moisi,
Sarkozy's Dangerous Strengths by Jim Hoagland,
Sarkozy Must Ring The Changes by Anthony Daniels,
and this editorial from the Telegraph for more perspective.

What Are Your Pants Worth?

Here's a real gem for your daily outrage moment.

Meet Roy Pearson. He is suing a dry cleaner for $65 million, all because his pants were lost.

A customer got so steamed when a dry cleaner lost his trousers that he sued for $65 million. Two years later, he is still pressing his suit.

The case has demoralized the South Korean immigrant owners of the mom-and-pop business and brought demands that the customer -- an administrative law judge in Washington -- be disbarred and removed from office for pursuing a frivolous and abusive claim.

Never mind the pants were later found, never mind that the dry cleaners have offered to settle for outrageous, unjust, and highly undeserved amounts just to make this go away. No, this jerk is still using the legal system to harass hard-working people. But the clincher is, this man's job is to render legal judgments and no doubt has had to toss out some frivolous complaints, during his tenure.

Apparently he has a history of frivolity, as can be seen here in his appeal of his divorce decree. (Hat Tip: Overlawyered)

From the court document:

Roy L. Pearson, Jr. (husband) appeals from a final decree of divorce awarded to Rhonda S.
VanLowe (wife) on the ground that the parties lived separate and apart without cohabitation for one
year pursuant to Code  20-91(A)(9)(a). Husband contends that the trial court erroneously:
1) granted the divorce based on a separation date of October 15, 1999, or October 21, 2001;
2) denied his request for sanctions pursuant to Code .01-271.1; 3) denied his request for spousal
support; 4) failed to grant him a reservation of future spousal support; and 5) awarded wife
attorney's fees. He also requests recusal of the trial judge on remand. For the reasons that follow,
we affirm the trial court on all issues except husband's request for a reservation of future support.

An attorney wanted spousal support, how ridiculous is that?

But now as the story grows some legs, the call from most decent people is for Mr. Pearson to be removed from his position, so he can pursue his dream of abusing the legal system, in private practice.

In my mind, he should not only be removed, but he should be disbarred, made to pay the dry cleaners' legal expenses, and given a prominent place in the Mike Nifong Memorial Hall of Fame for arrogant jerks that once had a law license.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Le Président Sarkozy

Most of you probably already know the results of today's French presidential election. I doubt many of you hit the PYY link for up to the minute news coverage. If you do, I have to say you are not quite right. But if you don't know the result yet, Sarkozy won.

I have to say that I am surprised by the results. In the back of my mind, I thought Bayrou's first round voters would swing towards Royal and there would be little turn-out by Le Pen's. I am not sure of the exact demographics, but it would appear that enough of them did turn out and swung it Sarko's way.

Now, the new president has chosen to claim a mandate.

"The French people have called for change. I will carry out that change, because that's the mandate I have received from the French people."

Before we get carried away here, the new leader must maintain support in the legislature to be most effective. Those elections are in June. So celebrating too long is not a viable option. Sarkozy cannot afford allow the left coalition to overtake the right, if he really expects to have a chance of making any real meaningful change.

If the French people vote the same way and give support to the new direction, I look for a long and tough battle towards reform, anyway. With the left being relegated to being the opposition, their voice would be heard, but their cries of disagreement would not necessarily be considered. If that turns out to be the case, I would expect to see more protests than under the Chirac government. That will be their only hope.

In the meantime, many are now taking a breath of collective relief that Royal didn't win. Not only do many Brits and Americans do so, but so does 53% of the French citizenry. In the end, it would appear that more people thought the nation needed to change directions, both at home and on the world stage.

From what I see, it's relatively simple. A vote for change? Yes. A mandate? We''ll have to wait for June 10 to answer that one.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Another Blast From The Past

Realizing that many may not have a particular taste for a lot of the music I have showcased in this regular feature, it's now time to demonstrate how wide my tastes in music really are. I have said many times before, I love rock music. And that includes going all the way back to the early days of rock and roll.

But that is not to say that I remember all of it, when the craze first hit. As a baby, you do not have an awareness of the Billboard Top 100, so to say that a lot of early hits were a part of my past would not be accurate, in the least. Many of the best songs in rock history do not bring back memories of a malt shop or a sock hop. Those are things best remembered by those a little older than me.

Take my good friend Mustang from Social Sense, for instance. Now here's a guy that will identify with the videos posted here. Since he came of age in this era, I will dedicate them to him and his cohorts. (Impish grin)

The first video is by an artist that blended the vocal style of a big band songstress with rock and roll. She made the transition from the genre that was so popular during her childhood to the new wave of music that was sweeping the nation, and she did it with class and ease. Many people do not realize just how many hits this lady had during her career. For those that don't, take a look here to see.

Here's Connie Francis with two of her biggest hits:


The next artist had his life cut ever so short, he needs no introduction:

The last artist also needs no introduction. Although he had many, many hits that he will be forever identified with, this one is by far the best song he ever recorded:


Cinco De Mayo

When I was younger, it was just another excuse to party. Many in America look at it as the Mexican St. Patrick's Day. One thing I always liked about it? Another excuse to listen to Herb Alpert:

Have a safe one. If you drink, don't drive. If you drive, don't drink.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Attention: 2007 Graduates

Yes, it's that time again. It's time for new grads to hear boring speeches full of BS and delightful half-truths on a wide-scale. Time to hear how to go out and get the world by its tail and change it for the better, en masse and ad nauseum. From coast to coast, sea to shining sea, it's time for college commencements to commence.

I moved my son out of his dorm today, thinking about how fast his freshman year went. My son even mentioned how fast it seemed to go (now that it's over). We all got through it somewhat unscathed, but we did experience a change of major after the first semester (glad it was done early though).

But as I reflected after I got him back to his mother's house safe and sound (with more junk than he went up with), I began to think back just a year ago about his graduation from High School. I thought about how fast it went and began to think ahead to 2010, when he gets his degree. Most likely, it will be here before I know it. They grow fast.

Anyway, since it's that time of year, I'd like to once again link to Neal Boortz's famous commencement speech that no one will ever hear at any graduation (at least not with any real expectation that they will be invited to address one, ever again). If you haven't read it, I recommend it.