Saturday, January 31, 2009

Another Blast From The Past

They started their career in the shadow of the Beatles. But when the Beatles were kaput, they assumed the title of "the kings of rock and roll". While the Beatles were the four lovable moptops that even some mothers loved, these guys were the bad boys. They were the original punk rockers, long before punk was ever dreamed of.

I saw them in 1994, on one of the largest stages I had ever seen a concert on, in my life. That was when their concerts were events and anyone that liked rock music had to see them once. Today, I am not so sure how they are faring. I am sure they still sell out most stadiums they play in, but Jagger's voice was not the best to start with and it's a cinch that it's even more worn now.

Nevertheless, they were an entertaining group in their day and I liked their raunchy style. Their career has spawned a myriad of styles that somehow maintain that raunch, as a base or foundation. Rock, jazz, funk, and even country were fused into a unique style that has been an influence in many other artists. Here are a few of my favorites by the Rolling Stones.

Here is a little tune from 1971 that satirizes country just a bit. It's called Dead Flowers:

From 1989's Steel Wheels album comes this song entitled, Mixed Emotions:

One of their classic albums was one from 1969, called Let It Bleed. This is a live version that came on it, one of their signature songs of the ages, You Can't Always get What You Want:

Finally, another live version of another classic. This one came off of the 1968 release, Beggar's Banquet. Here is Sympathy For The Devil:


Friday, January 30, 2009

Fresh Faces: Meet Mike Pence

I thought I'd try something a little different here and see how it goes. Here is the first installment of the new PYY feature, called Fresh Faces.

As Democrats take their turn at screwing things up even worse than they already are, Republicans must take the opportunity to reevaluate their approach to governing. They were entrusted to run the country by calling for less government, less spending, lower taxes, and balancing the budget. But once elected, they didn't carry through very well. They didn't lead, they followed. They did not act, they reacted. They had the majority of both Houses of Congress and the White House, but failed to deliver the goods.

If they are to regain power in the near future, they will need to hone the message only a little. More importantly, they will need some fresh faces that can articulate that message. They need someone that can convince people that if they are given another chance, they will carry out their promises. They must have spokespeople, who will not allow themselves be Dem Lite. They will need to draw a definite distinction between their ideology and philosophy and that of the Democrats.

One of the rising stars on the national scene is Rep. Mike Pence (IN-6), the current Republican Conference Chairman. He is not my Congressman, but I wish he was. If you get time, take the time to listen to him speak in this video. The speech is 15 minutes long and is followed by a short Q&A session:

This one is quite a bit shorter. Here is a recent House speech on the stimulus package that just passed the House:

Keep your eye on him. He's very smart and is squeaky clean, up to this point in his career (in relation to the vast majority of politicians).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Real Stimulus Compromise

I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh, but occasionally do read his articles when he writes them. The reason I do not listen to him is not nearly as important as judging the content of his message. I do not always agree with him. But when I do, I do.

The Obama Administration and Congressional Democrats would love nothing more than to cut off his voice. Because he is opposed to the Obama stimulus, so they have chosen to single him out for the purpose of making him a red herring. They want the red herring, because they cannot debate the merits of this package. They cannot debate the merits, because there are none.

Like Limbaugh, I believe this is nothing more than an attempt to make the people think they are doing this for them, when it's nothing more than payback to special interests (something they accuse the GOP of, at every opportune moment). It's garbage, because it is not going to create any jobs (except for the in the government). And jobs are the one of the Democrats' main causes, come election time. Remember election time? Jobs this and jobs that? Jobs, jobs, jobs?

The Democrats want to make people like Limbaugh the argument, instead of about what it needs to be. Besides testing the waters for a fairness doctrine debate, they want to make people think bipartisanship is going along with the Democrats' ideas in lock-step, without concerns or reservations. Opposition is not tolerated in progressive circles without brazen shout-downs, and it does get ugly so get ready.

The Democrats's idea of bipartisanship is all their way, but true bipartisanship involves compromise. Limbaugh has put them to the test with this proposal:

Fifty-three percent of American voters voted for Barack Obama; 46% voted for John McCain, and 1% voted for wackos. Give that 1% to President Obama. Let's say the vote was 54% to 46%. As a way to bring the country together and at the same time determine the most effective way to deal with recessions, under the Obama-Limbaugh Stimulus Plan of 2009: 54% of the $900 billion -- $486 billion -- will be spent on infrastructure and pork as defined by Mr. Obama and the Democrats; 46% -- $414 billion -- will be directed toward tax cuts, as determined by me.

Then we compare. We see which stimulus actually works. This is bipartisanship! It would satisfy the American people's wishes, as polls currently note; and it would also serve as a measurable test as to which approach best stimulates job growth.

I say, cut the U.S. corporate tax rate -- at 35%, among the highest of all industrialized nations -- in half. Suspend the capital gains tax for a year to incentivize new investment, after which it would be reimposed at 10%. Then get out of the way! Once Wall Street starts ticking up 500 points a day, the rest of the private sector will follow. There's no reason to tell the American people their future is bleak. There's no reason, as the administration is doing, to depress their hopes. There's no reason to insist that recovery can't happen quickly, because it can.

Because it's Limbaugh, this has no chance to succeed. Because it involves giving back to the people directly, the Dems will not support it. They won't support it because they think they know better than us. It's just another way to keep us all dependent on them, so we will re-elect them. And as long as they can stack the deck in their favor, they retain their power over us and can shout down every good idea that promotes individual liberty and freedom.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Close Dilemma Of The Third Kind

I started a vacation I had planned a couple of months ago, on the chance the Colts made it to the Super Bowl. Those of us that follow the NFL, all know that the plan backfired.

I was to have a doctor's appointment today. It had to be canceled last week so I really need to get to it, if at all possible. The problem is the weather, there is a foot of fresh-fallen snow out in my yard right now and the roads are a mess. Meanwhile, we are waiting for word on whether Bro. Al and the First National Church Of The Planetary Thermal Message & Trust will get to preach at today's Congressional hearing on global warming.

So, here I sit on vacation day one and cannot go back to bed. I must sit here in limbo, waiting to see whether the doctor can even make it in to the office, before I determine if I can.

I truly hope Rev. Gore gets a rash. And I hope it's one that cannot resolved by over-the-counter creams and medications. (Of course, I am most certain that he will call it a "heat" rash, from global warming.)

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Climate Entreaty

Drudge has so keenly pointed to the weather forecast for the DC area, coming up this Wednesday. Ironically, it's the same day Brother Al Gore's traveling global warming show was to hit Washington, he is to make his case in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Now, you Gorites can call me superstitious if you like. You can call me an idiot, a heretic, or whatever makes you feel good. Really, I don't care. But as you do it, stop, give a little pause, and think about this. If you recall, this happened last year too. They were set to rip into this, full bore.

Maybe last year, you thought it to be a coincidence the hearings were iced out on the very day they were to commence. And if we are realistic, I think one could have safely made that argument back then. (I have seen some odd coincidences over my many years. )

Once, yes. But twice? Maybe, just maybe, maybe we should consider that somebody, just might be trying to tell somebody, something. It's not too hard to grasp, is it?

Folks, I think this is starting to look like the early makings of a pattern. So as I appeal to the benevolence and compassion of progressives everywhere, I would like to specifically ask Al's faithful to please lay off of this garbage at least until May. I, for one, am sick of this winter weather and I'd like for you all to shut up until it is over. The weather they will be getting there on Wednesday is the weather I am getting on Tuesday.

Is this too much to ask?

If it is too much of a burden to impose and not feasible at this time, consider that you do your argument and cause, a great disservice.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blowout Remorse Or Damage Control?

Far be it from me to question someone's personal faith, but I do have a bone to pick.

You may have heard about the recent girls' basketball game in Dallas, involving Dallas Covenant and Dallas Academy. Covenant beat Academy by a score of 100-0.

Dallas Academy's girls' basketball team was defeated in a blowout by Covenant School 100-0. Now officials from The Covenant School say they are trying to do the right thing by seeking a forfeit and apologizing for the margin of victory.

"It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened," Kyle Queal, the head of the school, said in a statement, adding the forfeit was requested because "a victory without honor is a great loss."

That's right, 100-0.

And to show how penitent Mr. Queal felt, the school has put up a statement on their website to confirm this:

Statement Regarding Dallas Academy Game

The Covenant School, its board and administrators, regrets the incident of January 13 and the outcome of the game with the Dallas Academy Varsity Girls Basketball team. It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened. This clearly does not reflect a Christ-like and honorable approach to competition. We humbly apologize for our actions and seek the forgiveness of Dallas Academy, TAPPS and our community. The school and its representatives in no way support or condone the running up of a score against any team in any sport for any reason. The school’s board members, Head of School Kyle Queal and Athletic Director Brice Helton have acted to ensure that such an unfortunate incident can never happen again.

Covenant school officials have met with and personally apologized to Dallas Academy Headmaster Jim Richardson and Athletic Director Jeremy Civello and wish to extend their highest praise to each member of the Dallas Academy Varsity Girls Basketball team for their strength, composure and fortitude in a game in which they clearly emerged the winner. Accordingly, The Covenant School has contacted TAPPS and is submitting a formal request to forfeit the game recognizing that a victory without honor is a great loss.

Kyle Queal
Head of School

Todd Doshier
Board Chair

Seems like they are sorry, right? It does on the surface, but I still have a problem with this.

I have no problem with wanting to win ballgames. That's the goal of any team in any sport. It's why players play. You give it your best shot, play your hardest, and hopefully you can win some games for your effort. It's not about Academy losing, someone has to lose. It's part of the maturation process. But to purposely set out to humiliate another team is quite another story.

But even at that, this is not my problem with how this scenario has played out heretofore. If we look at the date of the article and the Covenant School's apology more closely, we see somewhat of a gap of time that has still not been addressed.

The game occurred on Jan. 13 and the apology happened on Jan. 22, nine days after the fact. Coincidentally, the 22nd is the same day this story went national. If the feelings of remorse were truly genuine and consciences were feeling a bit guilty, shouldn't the apology have come on Jan. 14, 15, or at least by the 16th?

Like I have already stated, I am not questioning anyone's faith here. Those that read this blog with any regularity know, this is not the kind of blog that engages in "Christian-bashing", for I am one, myself. I am only pointing this out to demonstrate something that we have all heard before.

To simplify it, I will form it into a rhetorical question for public or private consideration. The reader of this can then do their own spiritual analysis. Are they really sorry, or are they sorry they got the bad publicity and are seeking to do damage control?

Sunday Reflection: The Pleasing Of The Eye

When I was a mere private in the U.S. Army (once upon a time long ago), 50% of our inspections were based on "eye wash".

Sarge didn't always have time to dig everyday, because the training schedule was often too loaded for him to spend too much time on one thing. The time spent in the morning doing PT, taking showers, eating chow, and squaring the areas away before work formation went fast and other things needed to be done, in order to properly to get ready for the day ahead.

He understood that looks are only important, in that, it gives an initial positive first impression. He knew that underneath it all, there were minds that needed knowledge and job skills that needed more improvement. But every now and then, when Sarge was aware of a possible hold-up for some reason or another, he'd take a little more time to dig. The deeper he'd search, the more flaws he'd find. The deeper one must search to find flaws gives a strong indication of how thorough of a job has been done.

Once, in one of my units not long after I had arrived, we had a new First Sergeant who wanted to hold an inspection of the barracks. It was billed as a room inspection, which meant it was to be closed locker. Lockers were to be secured and the troops were to be waiting in their rooms by their bunks. My stuff was thrown in the locker, in an effort to keep clutter out the sight of his eye. The locker was secured, the room was clean, and the bunk was tight.

When he arrived to my area, he ordered me to open my locker and the mess was plainly visible to anyone that was in the room. He left my area unhappy, and later the entire unit was informed that we would be reinspected that evening. (As it turned out, I was not the only one that had their locker in gross disarray. Remember, the entire unit had been informed this was to be a "closed" locker inspection.)

This particular first sergeant was soon to become known as First Sergeant HB (House Beautiful). His concentration on the barracks being as clean as a surgery suite was a good thing for when the Annual General Inspection (AGI) came around. No one in the entire battalion had better looking billets, than we did. And it was noted as such, by the inspection team.

However, this is not the only job an AGI team has when they visit. There are many other areas which must be examined to determine how ready a unit is, should they find themselves in combat. The serviceability of unit equipment, the preciseness of military paperwork which ensures accountability of the equipment, and a soldier's knowledge of their job and basic military affairs are just as, if not more important, than having eyewash in the barracks.

But because this First Sergeant was fixated on eyewash, this particular unit ended up failing the overall inspection. In his mind, the superficial far outweighed the underneath. By focusing on cleanliness almost exclusively, he was not properly prioritizing. He thought the pleasing of the eye (and not the soundness of the heart) was what determined how many people will end up alive, if the balloon ever went up

What am I getting at here? Let me first throw one more analogy out, before I come to the main point of this post.

A few months back when i visited my friend Mustang, we were chatting and half glancing at TV. I don't remember the movie's title, but it was based on something written by Evelyn Waugh. We didn't watch the entire film, but there was one scene that stood out and made an impression on me.

Dan Ackroyd's character was that of a powerful man who had something one of the younger characters wanted (a job, maybe?). As the young man sat in front of an ornate desk in a large office, Ackroyd's character read him some portions of the riot act, but this particular part stood out. He asked the young man what kind of insect he wanted to be. Did he want to be a butterfly, something very majestic, beautiful to look at, but produced nothing? Or did he want to be a bee, not very sightly, but hard working and very productive?

As I think back to that movie scene and that First Sergeant's desire to be the butterfly, it causes me realize that looks are superficial and not always an indication of how squared away an individual actually is, on the inside. Please understand that I am not saying appearances and cleanliness are not important, but some of the most intelligent people I have ever met in this world did not look like they were. They were not formally educated and many times worked with their hands. Their fulfillment came when they produced something of value, something they would not have been ashamed to sign their name to.

Ackroyd's character may have seen through the young man and made a determination that he only wanted a job, for status purposes. Looking and acting important seems to be fashionable, in the younger generation today. But I wonder, what will happen someday when the worker bees with stringent work ethics retire or pass away, leaving the world to these youthful butterflies?

So today in your reflections, ask yourself some things. Are you a butterfly or a bee? Do you want a car that looks good, or runs well? Do you value appearances or depth of spirit? The eyes are but one of the senses, there are four others to consider.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Another Blast From The Past

Last week, we featured some early 70s music. This week, I felt like staying in this period, because this era produced some of the best songwriting in the history of rock. The following tunes are products of this period of musical renaissance, and are likely buried deep in the vaults of someone's old 45 rpm collection:

Gallery - It's So Nice To Be With You:

Albert Hammond - It Never Rains In Southern California:

Bill Withers - Use Me:

Sugarloaf - Green-Eyed Lady:


Friday, January 23, 2009

Just The Beginning

Reports are beginning to surface, about the growing frustration of the media trying to gain some access to the new President. It seems that Politico is one of those outlets, affected.

President Obama made a surprise visit to the White House press corps Thursday night, but got agitated when he was faced with a substantive question.

Asked how he could reconcile a strict ban on lobbyists in his administration with a Deputy Defense Secretary nominee who lobbied for Raytheon, Obama interrupted with a knowing smile on his face.

"Ahh, see," he said, "I came down here to visit. See this is what happens. I can't end up visiting with you guys and shaking hands if I'm going to get grilled every time I come down here."

Pressed further by the Politico reporter about his Pentagon nominee, William J. Lynn III, Obama turned more serious, putting his hand on the reporter's shoulder and staring him in the eye.

Alright, come on" he said, with obvious irritation in his voice. "We will be having a press conference at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys - that's all I was trying to do."

Maybe it was announced before hand this was just a meet and greet. And maybe it wasn't.

We already know that Team O has certain favorites they like to pick and maybe Politico is soon to be relegated to the status of Fox News, who rarely (if ever) gets to ask a question at a press conference.

But as we look further, we learn that even some mainstream reporters like Bill Plante have had some complaints about access.

A growing media frustration with Barack Obama’s team spilled into the open at Thursday’s briefing, with reporters accusing the White House of stifling access to his oath re-do and giving Obama’s first interview as president to a multi-million dollar inauguration sponsor.

Veteran CBS newsman Bill Plante was one of the most vocal critics, questioning the White House’s handling of Wednesday night’s second swearing in – which was covered by just a four-reporter print pool that didn’t include a news photographer or TV correspondent.

He also asked new press secretary Robert Gibbs why ABC, which paid millions to host the DC Neighborhood Ball, was granted the only inauguration day interview with President Obama – a move he equated to “pay to play.”

“We have a tradition here of covering the president,” said Plante, who is covering his fourth administration.

Presidents get used to it and learn to ignore the questions, when they are not prepared to answer. They WHPC used to shout all kinds of questions to Reagan as would walk to the helicopter or some other destination; he would simply smile and point to his ear, as if he couldn't hear them.

For someone who left no stone unturned when vilifying President Bush for secrecy and not being forthright with the American people, we are seeing some disturbing trends early on. The press always is in question mode, no matter what the occasion. Team O had better get used to it or those who played an enormous integral role in his election could turn on him sooner than anyone expects, making the first 100 days a little rockier than expected.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Parsing Some Quotes From Obama's Inaugural Address

The Complete Text Of Obama's Inaugural Address

I finally have had some time to read over the text of the inaugural address. Here are a few things that stood out:

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

A potshot at the outgoing Administration, if there ever was one. AC at Fore Left found some more online, if you care to see more. Someone needs to tell the new staff, the campaign is over and they have already won.

Meanwhile, we continue:

As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake. And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.

There is one thing we all have to recognize whether we are willing to, or not. Under George W. Bush we have been attacked on our soil, only once. From that point on, none, nada, zilch.

Part of that success is from wiretapping, something I am not particularly pleased about because of the precedent. But beyond that apprehension, it is safe to say that whatever methods GWB was willing to employ, it worked. And for this, we can be thankful. If we deny this an any way, shape, or form, we fool no one.

We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.

I thought this was his strongest statement. But I can only hope that he means it. Somehow, I cannot imagine that his idea of defeating an enemy is anywhere near, the way I imagine it.

We'll see how he responds the first time he has to bomb the hell out of something, and the world cries for the innocent civilian casualties. We'll see how he handles Afghanistan and its neighbor Pakistan, a nation that doesn't police its own territory.

Remember, he campaigned on concentrating the effort on winning in Afghanistan and holding Pakistan accountable, for not keeping the terrorists that saturate the border region in check. We'll see how that plays out, now that he's in the driver's seat.

To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society’s ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

The hand is stretched out, but I will not hold my breath on this one.

Obama can say what he wants. The leaders of Iran, Venezuela, and other hostile nations can say what they want. But until I see good faith from them, I cannot imagine anything good will come out of this.

Good luck with getting them to unclench their fists, Mr. President. Many have tried before you and many have failed. Some have offered everything, except for Jerusalem, and it still didn't work. Their fists are still clenched. Even when they briefly unclench them, they re-clench them behind their backs where no one will see them.

It's going to take much more than words in a speech to persuade killers to stop killing. Killers kill, that's all they know how to do. This is true of the individuals and groups. beside this, it's not prudent to believe those with severe anti-social personality disorders. Not only do they kill, they lie too.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Caroline Kennedy Pulls Out

Hot off the press comes this story.

Caroline Kennedy has told Gov. David Paterson that she is withdrawing her name from consideration to replace outgoing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the U.S. Senate, The Post has learned.

Kennedy cited "personal reasons," according to sources.

Just as Nixon used the phlebitis excuse, she is reportedly using the sick uncle excuse.

On Wednesday she called the governor, David Paterson, who is making the selection of who should succeed Senator Hillary Clinton. Her concerns about Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s deteriorating health (he was hospitalized after a seizure during the inaugural lunch on Tuesday ) prompted her decision to withdraw, this person said. Coping with the health issues of her uncle, with whom she enjoys an extraordinarily close bond, was her most important priority; a situation not conducive to starting a high profile public job.

Who does she think she's fooling here? A recent poll is showing NY voters favoring AG Cuomo.

No folks, her ego is bruised. That's why she wants out.

Paterson was going to have no choice but to appoint Cuomo, if he wants to be win another election in the state. By appointing Cuomo, it eliminates a very potent threat in the primaries. Cuomo may have considered running against him, had he not given in.

By Caroline bowing out, it allows her save some face while suffering rejection in private.

News In Brief (And The Usual Opinionated Commentary)

Here some news stories being circulated, after the big day:

Stocks Plunge During Inaugural Celebration

What a bash it was, but elsewhere was not all glitter.

The greater part of the stock market's performance on a given day is usually a reaction. Since all we heard on the news channels Tuesday was about the "historic" nature of this occasion, I wouldn't think it too hard to guess that at least some of this was in reaction to the uncertainty of our future.

Will President Obama spend like a drunken sailor and rubber stamp every piece of pork sent to his desk? It sure sounds like it. But after all is said and done, one must ask where all of this money is going to come from? That's what the stock market is asking.

Presidential Approval Ratings Soar

Much of the commentary, on most of the networks I heard, was reserved for the incoming President's numbers and the contrast with the outgoing's figures. But for anyone that cares to remember, nary a President has completely maintained their ratings for their entire term(s). Party has made little difference in this area, both Democrats and Republicans have left office with dismal numbers before Obama. Even Kennedy and Reagan (two of the most revered) were trending down, after such high percentages earlier on in their terms.

The Gaffemaster Takes His Oath

Joe Biden, who has put his foot in his mouth many times in his lengthy career, has taken the oath for Vice-President. I believe the man will entertain well, as he does not realize how much people will enjoy him a modern-day court jester. He loves to hear himself talk and he will not disappoint himeslf.

Even his wife can't keep her mouth shut. In the pre-inauguration promotion tour, she told Oprah that the new VP had his choice between Secretary of State and Veep. It was rather embarassing, because Obame had said that Hillary was his only consideration for that position.

My problem is not that she slipped up or that Mrs. Clinton's feelings are hurt. My concern is that if they can't keep the harmless things sensitive, how can we trust them not to spill the beans when something important comes along?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Words From A Race Baiter

I didn't see it, I had something vitally important going on at that moment in time. But here are the words of Rev. Joseph Lowery at the inauguration:

"We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right."

All in all, it was just another brick in the wall.

Inauguration Day, 2009

I was going to put a short piece together for the inauguration, out of respect for what Mr. Obama has accomplished and for the Office of the Presidency, itself. But in my readings last evening, I found one that pretty much reflects my feelings on the upcoming day and the days that will certainly follow.

Robert at Conservative Convictions has said it, as well as anyone can.

This day belongs to Mr. Obama and those that supported him. To all of them I say congratulations and enjoy. Enjoy, because this is what you worked so hard for. Savor this short moment as long as you can. For today is the present, it is the here and now.

Tomorrow, today will be history and the real work will begin. It will be the American people that will bear the fruits of that labor, whatever it may be.

PYY will be there throughout the next four years, every step of the way and watching intently. Mr. Obama will always receive the respect that is due him, for the office he holds. But his policies and proposals will be scrutinized intensely, if they do not represent the convictions of this author.

In all of this, one thing will be certain. He will not receive the same hateful, disrespectful, rude, and nasty treatment that George Bush received from the Left. I will not lower myself to the same gutter.

Again, I say enjoy this moment. It will pass quickly.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Monday AM QB

Arizona 32 - Philadelphia 25

This game was a tale of two halves, the first for the Cardinals and most of the second for the Eagles. Both teams played one hell of a game and proved they belonged in the Conference Championship.

When you have a team with the ability to strike fast, early, and often, there is always the chance that same team will get a tired defense late in the game. This happened to Arizona. Eventually the opposing defense will make adjustments and that team will have to make their own adjustments. Such was the case for Philly.

Except for the no-call pass interference on the Eagles' last drive, they had every chance to tie or win it, in the end. They controlled the entire second half, except when it counted. The last Cardinal drive was what showed me that Arizona is for real.

Pittsburgh 23 - Baltimore 14

The Steelers seem to be just that much better than the Ravens. I didn't see the second half. But if it followed the lead of the first, it was a Steel clamp that kept Flacco and the Baltimore offense from running their game.

The cost of this game remains to be seen, as Hines Ward injured his knee in the first half. To what extent that injury will play in two weeks, remains to be seen. I am sure they will be doing an MRI, today.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Another Blast From The Past

When I was a new teenager at 13, it didn't take much to entertain us. Hitting our mother or father up for a couple of quarters to spend at the convenience store down the road was not uncommon for us, and was a great way to kill some time on a Saturday.

We'd get some cheese popcorn and coke or some chocolate milk and Hostess cupcakes (or whatever we were in the mood for at that moment in time). Then we would sit on one of the hills behind the store, talking about life and our dreams for the future. (Not that anyone knew anything about it, mind you, but we thought we did.) And although this was one of those typical awkward ages, it certainly was a good time in my life. One of the things that always takes me back to those days is, when I hear something by Three Dog Night.

They had a string of hits in the late 60s and early 70s, one right after the other (and then, poof, they went away and were relegated to doing nostalgia tours). Whenever I hear them today, it always reminds me of those carefree days, when I didn't know a damned thing about anything, and had no real responsibility on this planet (except for keeping my room straight and cutting the grass).

First up is a mellow little tune that most oldsters like myself, will certainly remember. It's called, Out In The Country:

This next song was their first Top Ten hit and peaked at #5 on the US charts. This video performance was later on, in one of those "nostalgia tours". It features an orchestral accompaniment. It's simply entitled, One:

One that our good friend Greg will most certainly loathe, due to the partial reference to one of his most despised QBs in the NFL, Eli Manning. Here is one of my favorites called, Eli's Coming:

Finally up is my all-time favorite Three Dog Night tune. I used to sing this song a lot, partially because it was a good song and partially because the words of the refrain referred to a dream of mine. Up until that moment in time, I had never been to Spain or anywhere else in Europe (and I so wanted to go see where my ancestors roamed the earth). But less than seven years later, I was able to experience that which I sang about, as a young teen. Here is Never Been To Spain:


Friday, January 16, 2009

USA Today: American People Believe Obama Will Succeed

From the USA Today comes a poll that indicates many people in this country have some high (and maybe even unrealistic) expectations about Obama's ability to deliver this nation and heal the land.

Americans are as down as they've been in decades about the state of the country and its polarized politics, even as they express soaring confidence that Barack Obama will be able to turn things around. A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds stratospheric expectations for the incoming president that his own supporters acknowledge may be unrealistic. A majority of those surveyed say Obama will be able to achieve every one of 10 major campaign promises, from doubling the production of alternative energy to ensuring that all children have health insurance coverage.

This is like sheep being led to the slaughter and cattle being led to the packing house.

We will have a Treasury Secretary who didn't know to pay his taxes, an Attorney General that didn't know the extent of the charges against Marc Rich before he stuck his neck out for him, a CIA Director with no intelligence experience, and a Secretary of State whose husband has accepted questionable foreign donations for his foundation.

How can he possibly fail?

(If this wasn't so damned sad, it would qualify for the Friday Funnies section.)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Coverage Of The 2009 Inauguration: Another Example Of Liberal Media Hypocrisy

On January 20, 2005, the liberal entity also known as Salon published this piece by Eric Boehlert, a former Salon contributor.This article criticizes another one, which had been published in the NYT only four days prior.

The tone of the Salon piece is quite critical, as are the words. The argument is not unreasonable in some respects. But in others, it fails the test. So to start the thinking process, let's look at this snippet from the Salon piece:

This week's inauguration story came ready with two interesting news angles: the huge cost (in contrast with the dire situation in Iraq) and the unprecedented security. And in both cases, the political press corps, as has been its habit under the Bush administration, showed little interest in prying. In the days and weeks leading up to the event, the press has largely treated inauguration criticism as partisan and silly, making sure to give Bush backers lots of time and room to defend the unmatched pomp and circumstance.

Despite the sniping partisan tone (which one would can expect from this publication), I don't find it unreasonable to question why there was even the slightest hint of a frivolous celebration. In a time of war, I find nothing wrong with holding more modest significant government events, the inaugural ceremony included. It could have been done quietly, without a parade, without an inaugural ball, and certainly without spending a fortune.

But if the criticism was good back then, when it was George Bush on center stage, one would think it is only reasonable to apply this same standard, to the upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama.

Enter, this article from the DC Examiner.

In 2005, with an estimated 300,000 in attendance, the second inauguration of President Bush cost the city more than $17 million, some of which was reimbursed with federal funds. This year, officials estimate nearly five times that many people for the swearing in of President-elect Barack Obama

It is even being reported abroad that this one is going to break the bank.

Barack Obama's inauguration is set to cost more than £100m making it the most expensive swearing-in ceremony in US history.

The President-elect will take less than a minute to recite the oath of office in front of an estimated two million people in the US capital next week.

But by the time the final dance has been held at one of the many inaugural balls the costs for the day will be a staggering £110m.

Now, a reasonably ethical person who has the slightest hint of integrity would expect another critical op-ed piece castigating this inauguration, in the same manner the one in 2005 was. Right?

Well, here is the opinion page of today's Salon, and frankly I find nothing that even brings up the 2009 inauguration. What you will find includes (but are not limited to) the following articles:

Why The US Has Already Lost In Afghanistan, by Ann Jones.

Greening The Stimulus, by Bill McKibben.

Al Franken Stole The Election? Prove It Or Shut Up, by Joe Conason.

Remember this: Up to this point on Jan. 15, there's still time for them to do it. But I doubt they will and I will be greatly surprised if they do.

We certainly will not see Boehlert have the guts to do the same in this instance. He is well-known as a senior fellow from Media Matters, a current writer for the Huffington Post, and author of the book, Lapdogs: How The Press Rolled Over for Bush. In other words, he is nothing more than a Bush-hating, leftist hack.

Again, I must stress, we expect this kind of thing out of the liberal media. But what is most disturbing is this article from the AP.

So you're attending an inaugural ball saluting the historic election of Barack Obama in the worst economic climate in three generations. Can you get away with glitzing it up and still be appropriate, not to mention comfortable and financially viable?

To quote the man of the hour: Yes, you can. Veteran ballgoers say you should. And fashionistas insist that you must.

"This is a time to celebrate. This is a great moment. Do not dress down. Do not wear the Washington uniform," said Tim Gunn, a native Washingtonian and Chief Creative Officer at Liz Claiborne, Inc.

"Just because the economy is in a downturn, it doesn't mean that style is going to be in a downturn," agreed Ken Downing, fashion director for Neiman Marcus.

And if anyone does raise an eyebrow at those sequins, remind them that optimism is good for times like these. "Just say you're doing it to help the economy," chuckled good manners guru Letitia Baldridge.

See the double standard? What's worse now is, not only are we still at war, the economy is in shambles too. This is twice the problem that GWB faced in 2005; yet, some of the people that stand to make some money are talking the glam and the glitz up, for their own selfish greedy reasons. And they say Republicans are full of greed.

Back then, it was a waste of money in dire times. But now, it's good to do this because it creates a spirit of optimism. You can call it whatever you want, I call it hypocrisy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

News In Brief (And The Usual Opinionated Commentary)

I apologize for not having written anything of any marginal value lately. As it turns out, some things beyond my control have garnered much of my attention. So, as it turns out, this is an optimal moment in time for the usual trusted standby feature, in which I can half-ass my way through the post.

Obama Attends Conservative Dinner Party; Causes Media Whispers

I swear, sometimes I think there is nothing better to do in the world of the press, than to drum up controversy when there is none. If this is true and Obama did visit the home of George Will for a gathering, what's the big deal?

Personally, I see it as a positive. But let there be no doubt, there will be many on the left who might be a bit worried about this development. On the same token, some on the right may be tempted to read further into this than is required for basic comprehension and understanding.

The only way we are going to know how Obama is going to govern is going to come after he is inaugurated and starts signing or vetoing the ham, sausage, and bacon sandwiches that Congress will be delivering to his desk. But what a slap to the face of his base of supporters it will be, if he compromises with the right. Those who hate conservatives with every ounce of their beings will feel betrayed, and the same group may turn on him in the future.

Extortion: Russian Style

We've all been reading the news concerning the dispute between Russia and the Ukraine over natural gas prices. It seems this is becoming an annual event and every year we see the same old tired outcome.

The problem is that cutting off gas supplies to the Ukraine also causes those in Western Europe to suffer. Those that are paying the prices set by thuggish capitalists in Moscow must bear the burden, along with those for whom the action is originally intended. Simply put, Russia's way is to apply undue pressure through the EU.

Since this is becoming an annual occurrence, it would seem that the EU will need to form some strategies for the future. Ukraine's economy may not be able to bear the price hikes from their malevolent neighbors as easily as its western counterparts. So it would make sense for the EU to be the humanitarians they often chide the Americans for not being enough of, and help the Ukrainians make the payments. This would ensure the flow of gas for the short-term.

For the long term, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea for the EU countries to support a massive conversion to electric heat. It will be costly and may not be easy. But in the bigger scope of things, it will make Europe less dependent on Russia and decrease their ability to extort money from others.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday AM QB

With a lot on my plate this past weekend, there was no time to type out a cogent analysis of this weekend's games. So here is an open thread for Greg to gloat and others to comment on the results of this weekend's playoffs.

Suffice it to say that I am ecstatic that the most overrated team in the NFL had their asses handed to them. Rivers was his typical whiney-baby self, throughout the shellacking. I loved it when he kissed the dirt. Until next year, Phil.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

NFL Playoff Predictions: The Divisional Round (Saturday's Games)

Here is a brief analysis of the games to be played today:

Baltimore (#6) at Tennessee (#1) - 4:30PM EST

With two teams that will match up well, I think this will prove to be the toughest game for either team to win. Both are mirror images of each other. Efficient offenses with a "grind it out" running game with tough stingy defenses may make for a low score.

Both defensive teams like to "three and out" the opposition's offense. Both can create turnovers, give their offenses' great field position, and can even score at times. The key in this game will be field position. Both teams do not like to give up long drives, so a short field will be necessary for the team that wants to put points up.

My heart is with Tennessee, but my head is with Baltimore. Nevertheless, I do not count out the Titans to pull this one out. The Ravens have one of the best defenses I have ever seen in my years of watching football. But the Titans have the home field and their fans are ecstatic. The rest will be up to the players to play the game of their lives, and send Baltimore home to watch the rest of the playoffs. Tennessee must play hard and physical to win.

Arizona (#4) at Carolina (#2) - 8:00PM EST

The pressure is on the Cardinals in this one. Arizona's style of offense is based on the pass and QB Kurt Warner must have a good game, plus he's going to need to some help from the RB committee this team likes to use. Edgerrin James is fresh, from his lack of handing the ball during the regular season, so there's always the chance he can contribute. The problem with this is, Carolina's stingy defense is good at stopping the run.

Arizona's defense must also step back up tonight, they must play as well (if not better) than they did last week against Atlanta. The defensive game plan should be similar, because the Falcons and the Panthers both have similar offensive schemes. Like Tennessee and Baltimore, they have good running games and use ball control as a means to move the ball.

The outcome of this game should be decided by who plays their game best. Putting pressure on Warner is essential and covering receivers is imperative. WR Anquan Boldin is questionable and this is going to hurt Arizona. This means the Carolina secondary can focus more on Larry Fitzgerald, who has the ability to catch difficult passes when he is covered one-on-one.

Because I am an old man, I like it when old guys like Warner do well. For this reason, my heart in this one is with Arizona. But my head is with the Panthers. They are at home and I think they are much too strong and physical to lose this one.

Another Blast From The Past

This week I thought I'd let the music to the talking with no wordy introductions, just who and what. But before we get to that, just know that these songs were all hits in the 60s and remind me of listening to the old console radio we had in the family room, when we lived in San Bernardino (on KFXM 59 and KMEN 129). I was coming into the world of preteenship and these were the sounds that were popular with my friends and me.

The Grass Roots - Temptation Eyes:

The Cowsills - The Rain, The Park, And Other Things:

Dusty Springfield - Son Of A Preacher Man:

Booker T and the MGs - Green Onions:


Friday, January 09, 2009

Some Democrats Voicing Opposition To Obama Stimulus Plan

I like tax cuts as much as anyone, since I pay my share of them. But, I do have a couple of problems with Obama's tax cut proposal. One, it will most likely reward those that do not pay taxes and two, it will exclude those that pay the most. At least that is what he said when he was campaigning.

Two articles have been published concerning the subject, one from the WaPo and the other from the AP. They reveal a certain level of resistance from some Democrats on Obama's plan too, but for very different reasons than the ones I have given.

So what is their disagreement? There are different reasons given for not liking it, a few complaints may be valid. But as you may guess, some are weak and the same old tired excuses. Let's look at the AP article and see what it says. This is John Kerry's reaction:

Sen John Kerry, D-Mass., said, "I'd rather spend the money on the infrastructure, on direct investment, on energy conversion, on other kinds of things that much more directly, much more rapidly and much more certainly create a real job."

The key words here are, I'd rather spend the money.

Although he says he wants to spend it on infrastructure, he doesn't say the kind he wants to spend it on. Roads? Seems like we have enough of them already. Buildings? If so, what will they be used for? Offices? Offices for what? In case Sen. Kerry hasn't noticed, there are a lot of office units available for lease these days. Maybe (just maybe), this is because so many businesses have folded recently.

He also wants to spend the money on direct investment, another broad term. So it's only natural to ask, who will be doing the investing and what does he want them to invest it in? Will it be here or overseas? Will it be the government spending our money so they can keep the profits, so they can spend more? Does this mean that he wants to give people more money, to invest as they see fit? I rather doubt it. Government is addicted to spending and the power that comes with it, so it's not likely Kerry would want to empower the individual to make choices for him/herself. he knows better how to handle you money.

Maybe the next item on the Kerry wish list will enlighten us as to how Sen. Kerry feels our money should be spent, energy conversion. Does this mean he wants the companies in bed with Al Gore to receive our money, to make green products to combat a problem that hasn't been proven to exist? GE has been waiting in the wings for awhile now, they have done their part to advance the unproven theory. They want what is coming to them.

Of course the rest of the list is concluded with the all encompassing, other kinds of things that much more directly, much more rapidly and much more certainly create a real job. Now we are down to the nitty gritty here. if we think this one through, we can figure it out. How about throwing our money at anything that will create a union job?

What am I getting at here?

Congress loves our money. They will find anyway to get their hands on it and will use it to pay off their buddies that contribute to their campaigns. That's how the system works. And any proposal that gives money back to people, who paid it to start with, will be demonized. Any opportunity to create individuality is scoffed at and demeaned. Any hope that people can regain freedoms lost to those in government has been lost.

Hope and change? Yeah, right. We just changed the faces in the White House. The same old vultures eyeballing your wallet, pretty much remained the same.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A Funny

Sometimes it's the art that imitates life and there's nothing more artful, than a good joke. This is especially true when the joke speaks truth to power. Even though the post was written awhile back (after the election), I stumbled upon this one tonight. I am not sure how old the joke is, but I am sure you'll find it amusing.

The blog is Witnit and featured on the PYY blogroll.

News In Brief (And The Usual Opinionated Commentary)

Burris Still Unseated; Harry's Folly

It's becoming apparent Harry Reid has stepped into something, and it isn't good. Leave it to Harry to shoot his mouth off without knowing the law. As events unfold in this saga, it is becoming clearer that Reid has no legal basis in which to deny the seating of this guy, despite the fact a crooked governor under indictment appointed him. I predict he will be seated before too long and may cause some in Sen. Reid's party to privately question his ability to lead. This could lead to a new majority leader, which I have been calling for since he took that position.

Al Qaeda Vows Revenge
What a surprise! Al Qaeda is vowing revenge for the Israeli invasion of Gaza. Their entire existence has been based on revenge, why would we think anything different?

Obama To Talk To Chavez?

Sounds like it. But as troubling as it is, it shouldn't come as any big surprise. He said he would do it, now he plans to do it. Consider it done.

Tax Cuts The Way To Go

Hey, I like tax cuts as much as anyone. But I just read this op-ed from the Dallas Morning News and not one word was said about cutting spending. They alluded to it, in a roundabout way. But otherwise, the words "spending cuts" were not used. Again, no surprise here. All Obama and Congress have done since the election is talk about how they need to spend, spend, spend. Common sense should dictate that you cannot continue to spend into oblivion and reach any measurable goal, for the long term. No one is listening, no one cares.

Oil Prices Putting Squeeze On Chavez

Demand is low, supply is up, prices are low. This is precisely why Obama shouldn't engage with Brother Hugo. He is quickly becoming irrelevant. As his oil revenues go down, so does his ability to influence. In fact, now that prices are low, all oil-producing states are in a crunch. Good job, America. Conserve and keep the demand low. And remember, never ever buy Citgo gas.

And finally, here's an interesting essay on the propaganda component in the Gaza situation.

HT on this one: The Moral Compass

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Panetta Pick For CIA Post A Puzzler

Even the SF Chronicle is puzzled.

The reported selection of Panetta, 70, who was White House chief of staff under President Bill Clinton and previously director of the Office of Management and Budget, caused a flurry of head-scratching among former intelligence operatives and policy analysts Monday, mainly because Panetta has no real experience in either intelligence or foreign policy, the bread-and-butter of the spy agency.

Apparently, Obama wants to politicize an agency that has no business being politicized, either that or he owes some serious favors.

It's important to note that Panetta is a SF Bay native, imprinted with the prevailing ideology of the region. But as we read further, we can see that not all elected officials from the area are impressed with this appointment:

"I was not informed about the selection of Leon Panetta to be the CIA director," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who will chair the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in the 111th Congress. "My position has consistently been that I believe the agency is best served by having an intelligence professional in charge at this time."

I have always had a certain level of respect for Sen. Feinstein, not for her policies or positions on the issues, but for the way she has conducted herself. She is a lady and conducts herself in a highly professional manner, while many leftists have been uncouth and downright unprofessional, in their disagreements with the current Administration.

But now I can find another reason to respect her, as she appears to understand the importance of having in this position, someone that knows and understands intelligence as a discipline. If only she will follow through with this apprehension she has already communicated. There is no room for politics here, not in this area, not at this point in time of our existence as a nation. Talk is cheap, actions are golden.

Here's the thing, the best person to run anything specialized is someone that has worked in the field. Ideally, you want an engineer (maybe with an MBA) to run a huge engineering firm. If you are electing a county sheriff, you would prefer the candidate you support to have law enforcement experience. It's not hard to understand, is it?

What we are seeing here is the need for Obama to appease his leftist base, especially after antagonizing them by keeping Gates in the Defense Department. Their collective mouths dropped on that one, I am quite sure.

But this isn't the only reason he wants Panetta in this position. One major secondary gain he gets with this nominee is Obama's future ability to micromanage the agency. Picking someone that knows intelligence would not be as easy for Obama to control. The concern in this is, the agency's upper echelon may not keep the proposed director completely in the loop. This will make it difficult for Obama to have adequate oversight.

No one need say that Panetta shouldn't be part of the government, return favor or not. Return favors have always been part of the selection process, and they always will be. He is qualified to run something, just not something as important as this.

But here's a thought that the President-Elect should ponder in his musings. Richardson is history, why not give Panetta the Commerce job? His resume will support this appointment. Then, take another hard look at who needs paid back with the necessary credentials. Long story short, problem solved.

This will benefit his Administration in at least a couple of ways.

1. He will have a working knowledge of how things are and what is the reality of the situation, thus giving Obama the necessary knowledge to make his decisions. He doesn't need a political ass-kisser telling him what he wants to hear.

2. This saves the potential for embarassment later. If the upper echelon were to keep Panetta out of the know, there is a real risk of something blowing up with Panetta getting the blame for it. From a political perspective, this will also damage Obama's judgment. (Something, many of us questioned during the campaign.)

It's not too late to reverse this. If Obama faces opposition from enough of his own party, he will need to rethink it anyway. He may not have a choice and this isn't the way he wants to start off his term. But, he can minimize the damage by reshuffling this around. I do believe more people will respect him when he admits his error and corrects it. Even people that don't support him will be forced to give him credit, for a certain measure of humility (even if, it's only privately).

If he does not back away from this on his own, I hope Sen. Feinstein stands her ground. And I hope others join her. It's too critical of an area.

AC at Fore Left has some thoughts on this.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Monday AM QB

Arizona 30 - Atlanta 24

I am a bit surprised at the outcome of this one. I am not surprised Matt Ryan had some rookie jitters. But I am surprised that Arizona's defense was able to stop the run.

Understanding that Michael Turner lost a grandmother he was close to, his pure strength and athleticism should have been good for more. But give some credit to the defensive front line of the Cards, they worked very hard at reading the snap count. (This is something Ryan will need to work on.) They executed their plan very well.

But make no mistake here, the Falcons have already surpassed any expectations. It gives them something to build on, if they want to have a good run the next few years. As for Arizona, they can play the role spoiler well. They have a crafty veteran QB in Warner, who makes the best decisions of anyone at that position, in the game today.

They key for Arizona to stay in the hunt will be the running game. They need all three of their RBs to deliver when their numbers are called. If they can do it, they will score points and they will be hard to beat. But with the running game, the defense will need to step up once again, and make the plays they need to, when they need to.

San Diego 23 - Indy 17

The Colts have no one to blame but themselves. With most of the blame, once again, lying squarely on the shoulders of the defense. No, SD did not win this game, the Colts handed to them.

Indy's defense played remarkably well up until the last drive of regulation and on the game-winning drive in overtime. Penalties accounted for three first downs and were uncalled for. They were the killer blows that put this in the hands of the Chargers, gift wrapped. The only thing missing was the card.

As I feared, SD was a tough match-up for the Colts. The Chargers' defense played exceptionally well, considering they have such a poor secondary. And as a result, the Colts' offense could never get into a real flow. They had to settle for what was given to them (and they were not in a very charitable mood).

Not to be overly critical of the defense, the Colts' absence of a running game was also a major factor in the final outcome. You cannot win in this league without the ability to force defenses to respect the run. Addai clearly does not have what he had in the SB season, Rhodes has aged, and the promising Mike Hart was delivered a season-ending injury earlier in the year.

I don't mind losing, except it was to the Chargers. I don't even mind losing to them, if the Chargers played better and earned it. What I hate is the fact that the Colts' are supposed to be better disciplined and make the plays they need to, when it counts the most. And in this game, it was the last drive of regulation and the next one, in overtime.

That's when the Colts imploded. That was the game. And that may very well have been the last of the Colts' dynasty.

SD gets to lose next week at Pittsburgh, they have never had a dynasty.

Baltimore 27 - Miami 9

I actually got tired and took a nap during this one. By the time I checked out, the Ravens were well on their way of keeping the Dolphin offense out of the end zone. As I expected, they were just too strong for such an inexperienced unit. Pennington can only do so much and can only play so well, given the fact that he isn't that great to begin with. He can win games, but as was the case with the Jets, he isn't a difference maker.

But give the guy some credit, he was highly instrumental in getting them to this point. The entire organization has undergone and attitude overhaul. This was another case of surpassing expectations and giving cause for an optimistic future.

Pennington won't be so bad, if he has someone that can run the ball well, to take some of the pressure off of him. he's not a Manning, he's not a Brady. His goal should be to emulate QBs like Kerry Collins, efficient in execution and prudent in decision making.

Baltimore is a team to watch. Tennessee is going to have to play hard and play smart. This Ravens defense is capable of shutting down anyone in the league. This will need to be a chess match, because overpowering them is not always an option. They fast and they are strong.

Philadelphia 26 - Minnesota 14

This one went as I thought it would, the Philly defense was just too strong for the Vikings. Holding Jackson to 164 passing yards and Peterson to 83 rushing was what the Eagles needed to do. Minnesota's defense was all that kept this from being a blowout.

McNaab did a good job of spreading the ball around. Anytime a QB has multiple targets, he can keep the opposing defense on their heels and keep them guessing. In football, this is what you need to do when the pass is the main weapon. The more hesitation you can cause, the more time it gives the receivers to get behind the secondary and get them out of position to make a play.

I think the Giants are going to have to play their best, next week. These two division rivals know each other well and McNaab is playing better than the last time they met.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Typical Responses

This Gary Varvel cartoon was published earlier this past week in the Indianapolis Star. While it is a humorous take on the events that are taking place at this time in Gaza, it speaks the truth of the situation.

Most that read this blog have no trouble seeing this for what it is. But there are many out there in la-la land, who see this as unprovoked Israeli aggression and are calling for it to stop. They do not take into account that Hamas has no desire for peace. They do not consider the fact that all Hamas had to do to prevent this reaction was to stop firing rockets into Israel.

This has the EU divided.

Sarkozy is condemning the Israeli response, which is what you would expect a French President to do (because it is tradition). But surprisingly enough, the Czechs are calling it what it is, defensive. And as you would guess, there are some vocal critics from the entertainment community calling for the end of hostilities.

London - Singer Annie Lennox and other celebrities are calling on Israel to stop its air attacks on the Gaza Strip.

Lennox said violence could never be a solution to conflict.

My questions to Ms. Lennox:

- Where the hell are you when the rockets are flying out from Gaza?

- Where are you when the rockets get dangerously close to nuclear facilities, threatening the entire region?

- Why is that you and others in your business are blind to the decades-old aggression of Hamas, but open to Israel's actions to defend itself?

But that's not all.

The ex-Eurythmics singer attended a press conference in London on Friday alongside activist Bianca Jagger, comedian Alexei Sayle and politicians including former London mayor Ken Livingstone.

Jagger called on President-elect Barack Obama to condemn the Israeli air strikes. Israel says it is responding to rockets fired from Gaza by the Hamas militant group.

Nice try Bianca, but Obama isn't President yet. Even he realizes it and is respectful of that fact.

"The president-elect is closely monitoring global events, including the situation in Gaza," his national security spokeswoman Brooke Anderson said in a statement after the ground assault got underway.

But she offered no further comment on the violence in Gaza and used a phrase repeated often by Obama and his aides: "There is one president at a time and we intend to respect that."

Senior advisor David Axelrod said Sunday that Obama is "committed" to achieving peace in the Middle East, in the only extended comments from the president-elect's team so far.

"Obviously, this situation has become even more complicated in the last couple of days and weeks... But it's something that he's committed to," Axelrod told CBS television.

Obama transition team officials told AFP the president-elect would not comment publicly in the coming days on the Gaza offensive, and the future president will likely keep silent on the issue until his January 20 inauguration.

As we read on, we see this silence is not sitting well with some people.

His muted response has already drawn the anger of some in the Middle East.

"The start is not good," said Khaled Meshaal, leader of the Hamas Islamist movement that has ruled Gaza since June 2007.

"You commented on Mumbai but you say nothing about the crime of the enemy (Israel). This policy of double standards should stop."

I can understand Meshaal's frustration. Hamas contributed to Obama's Presidential campaign and now they want a return on their investment. But it all leads back to the basis for all of this, which is the rocket attacks.

All it would take is a strongly worded statement which commits to halting them, and then actually living by that commitment. But keeping agreements is not part of the Hamas legacy and it never will be, as long as their charter calls for the destruction of their neighbor. So, why is anyone surprised when that neighbor wants to take out the infrastructure that is being used to advance violence against their civilization?

The same people have no trouble condemning Hitler's attempt to rid the world of Jews, but seem to lack the courage to condemn Arabs who want the nation of Israel eradicated.