Monday, January 31, 2011

Because you're not a real American if you don't believe in God.....

In recent years, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) has introduced a House resolution calling for the United States to recognize that it is a "Judeo-Christian nation." Another Forbes resolution called on the federal government to recognize that "the Holy Bible is God's word." Now he wants the feds to acknowledge that "In God We Trust" is the nation's official motto. Which it already is. But Forbes also wants the slogan plastered everywhere, as his resolution demands it appear "in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions." The resolution has 24 House cosponsors, including two Democrats.
H. Con. Res. 13: Reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the official motto of the United States and supporting and Reaffirming "In God We Trust" as the official motto of the United States and supporting and encouraging the public display of the national motto in all public buildings, public schools, and other government institutions.

Your tax dollars at work!

GOP Family Values

Rape is only really rape if it involves force. So says the new House Republican majority as it now moves to change abortion law.

For years, federal laws restricting the use of government funds to pay for abortions have included exemptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest. (Another exemption covers pregnancies that could endanger the life of the woman.) But the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act," a bill with 173 mostly Republican co-sponsors that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has dubbed a top priority in the new Congress, contains a provision that would rewrite the rules to limit drastically the definition of rape and incest in these cases.

With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to "forcible rape." This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible. For example: If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion. (Smith's spokesman did not respond to a call and an email requesting comment.)

Given that the bill also would forbid the use of tax benefits to pay for abortions, that 13-year-old's parents wouldn't be allowed to use money from a tax-exempt health savings account (HSA) to pay for the procedure. They also wouldn't be able to deduct the cost of the abortion or the cost of any insurance that paid for it as a medical expense.
As for the incest exception, the bill would only allow federally funded abortions if the woman is under 18.
The bill hasn't been carefully constructed, Levenson notes. The term "forcible rape" is not defined in the federal criminal code, and the bill's authors don't offer their own definition. In some states, there is no legal definition of "forcible rape," making it unclear whether any abortions would be covered by the rape exemption in those jurisdictions.

Mother Jones

h/t Alternate Brain

Abu Muqawama on Egypt

Hey, I'm not trying to get all Edward Said on the readership here, but I do have one small request: can we all agree to stop using European historical analogies to describe what is taking place in Egypt? It's not Europe in 1848 or Eastern Europe in 1989 or France in 1789: it's Egypt in 2011.
What is taking place in Egypt today is the result of sui generis social, political, cultural and even geographic phenomena. When we use "western" frames of reference to make sense of what is taking place, by contrast, we a) sound really freaking narcissistic and b) fail to take those local phenomena seriously and thus miss a lot of what is going on.
Egypt has been doing this civilization thing, it occurs to me, for quite some time. Maybe even longer than Western Europe (by, oh, a few thousand years or so). So let's take Egypt and the Egyptians seriously -- on their own terms.
Abu Muqawama

Friday, January 28, 2011

At least I found something we can agree on

I've been rather hard on the crop of 'tea party' candidates, as they are by and large Republicans in Libertarian clothing. Transparently so. But I found something to agree with Rand Paul on:
Interviewer Wolf Blitzer then asked about foreign assistance, asking if he wanted to end "all foreign aid." Paul said yes, and Blitzer asked him about aid to Israel.
"Well, I think what you have to do is you have to look," Paul said. "When you send foreign aid, you actually [send] quite a bit to Israel's enemies. Islamic nations around Israel get quite a bit of foreign aid, too.
"You have to ask yourself, are we funding an arms race on both sides? I have a lot of sympathy and respect for Israel as a democratic nation, as a, you know, a fountain of peace and a fountain of democracy within the Middle East."
Blitzer pressed, "End all foreign aid including the foreign aid to Israel as well. Is that right?" he asked.
Paul answered, "Yes."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snow Day!

What is with this fetish of Republicans?

Why do they feel the need to exhort "American Exceptionalism" in every breath they draw? Is there some form of underlying guilt because they know they could be working to make this nation more exceptional instead of just their party? Is it the tacit knowledge that they know we aren't acting exceptionally, so if they keep chanting the mantra like a cult, it will distract citizens from that fact?

SOTU not exceptionalist enough?

If there's one thing President Obama did go on about a bit about in the State of the Union, it was American exceptionalism -- as the National Journal's Ron Fournier noted at some length. Two who didn't entirely notice were Speaker John Boehner and Kathleen Parker. From Parker-Spitzer:
BOEHNER: Well, they -- they've refused to talk about America exceptionalism. We are different than the rest of the world. Why? Because Americans have -- the country was built on an idea that ordinary people could decide what their government looked like and ordinary people could elect their own leaders.
And 235 years ago that was a pretty novel idea. And so we are different. Why is our economy still 20 times the size of China's? Because Americans have had their freedom to succeed, the freedom to fail. We've got more innovators, more entrepreneurs, and that is exceptional but you can't get the left to talk about it. They don't -- they reject that notion.
PARKER: Why do you think that is?
BOEHNER: I don't know. I don't know. I don't know if they're afraid of it, whether they don't believe it. I don't know.
It should also be noted that Obama called Boehner Speaker of "The Greatest Nation on Earth."

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Palinography

Penned by my debate colleague at America's Debate and writer Jeff. Visit his blog The Domino Theory.
The right-wing meme of Palin as victim of the Left has become a viral virus of the mind that stands up to any serious examination of its merits about as much as Two Girls One Cup. I am not about to help you spread the infection.

I do not grant the premise Palin is remotely any sort of "target." She is a just a politician--albeit a spectacularly unaccomplished one---and what she is undergoing are the same slings and arrows every politician desiring the national spotlight has to endure.

If she can't stand the heat of the scrutiny she scurry on back to Wasilla with her unemployed husband and their brood and stop poisoning the American body politic with her venomous demagoguery.

I am weary of this whiny woman and her sycophantic sympathizers whose obsessive need to defend this amazingly failure of a politician from her own bile and stupidity have created this "Sarah Palin is a victim" myth and cry "UNFAIR!" if anyone doesn't want to buy into her narcissism and victimization.

The problem with the "Palin-as-victim" schtick is she already tried that last Wednesday morning and it went over about as well as a loud, smelly fart at a funeral. She expressed very little in the way of sympathy for the actual victims--those gunned down by Jared Loughner--but cried a river of crocodile tears over the perceived victim---namely herself.

As far as this "underdog" thing, that's a dog that ain't gonna hunt. Not when you've quit your day job paying you a measly $125,000 to make somewhere north of $12 million in speaking fees, appearances and ghostwritten books.

That puts you in the company of the top dogs, not the underdogs. Sarah Palin is among America's elite, a little fact she would probably prefer not sharing with the rubes who buy her lousy little books and labor under the delusion she's still just plain Sarah.

Feeding this troll of a topic that "Palin is a target" serves only to move the goalposts. Most of Palin's problems fall on her own stupid little head. She says and does terrible things and then wonders why terrible things happen to her.

A friend of mine could have explained it to her.

Anyone who has a problem with Sarah Palin being discussed in connection with this tragedy can take away an important lesson for future reference: if you depict or allude to violence against a specific individual and that individual is later shot in the head, it is very likely that, whether or not you think it's fair, you are going to come up in discussions about the incident. That's not "blood libel" - it's just a fact. So anyone who does NOT want to be connected to a tragedy should avoid using violent imagery against individuals in public debate - if for no other reason, they don't want people looking at them sideways if violence happens to occur. 

Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse

As anyone who knows me knows, I have been fascinated by the Zombie genre of books and movies [mostly books, because the movies have by and large been crap....still hoping for World War Z to be screen-written]. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I use the term Zombie Apocalypse as a catch-all for any catastrophic breakdown of society.

Unfortunately for my paranoia, I'm increasingly convinced that such a break down will occur in my lifetime. Whether it will come from civil strife, economic collapse or the walking undead is anyone's guess....but our foundation of society is appearing more tenuous with each passing day. Now, I'm not off the deep end with this paranoia as many are; I can't really be termed a "prepper" in the true sense, but I like to think I do what I can to maintain a modicum of self sufficiency should the fabric of our society come asunder.

I stock enough food and water to last a couple of months with rationing; I own firearms and continue to acquire ammunition; I try and find ways to provide for energy requirements should the power grid fail; and most importantly, I like to know the capabilities of my neighbors.

I am fortunate enough to live in a small, somewhat off the beaten path neighborhood in a small town, near a vast forested region rife with game and fresh water. I have neighbors who try to be as self sufficient as myself with varying intensity. I have a neighbor who is also my family physician. In short, I am better off than most should it come to the worst. But what about you? Take a simple inventory of your standing should the power fail, or government support collapse, or a natural or man-made catastrophe occur.

Do you have any food and water stocked? Medicine? What about those items people tend to take for granted like toilet paper or feminine hygiene products? Are you capable of defending yourself? Can you count on banding together with any neighbors or family for protection and resource sharing? Can you produce heat or power to cook and stay clean?

Something else to consider is a bug-out plan. Although I fantasize of escaping to Costa Rica and living like a king, the truth is that if society collapses, it will be sudden and dramatic. Flight canceled. We do however, live within walking distance to an enormous National Park, where one could literally lose themselves in; so I suppose Big Meadows is far more likely than Costa Rica for me.

Finally, I see a sad shift in society today, one that I suppose should be inevitable, given the leaps in technology and our reliance on it. Skills. No, not Skillz Napoleon. Skills. Can you hunt or fish? Make anything with your hands? Handy around the house? Know your way around a toolbox? If not......please don't come knocking on my door unless you're laden with beer, coffee or are able to restock my ammo supply. Too many people today are analysts, or traders, or agents, or in sales. There's nothing wrong with that per se, but if you have no useful skills outside of the contemporary job marketplace, what are you going to do if the shit hits the fan? I joke about the fat and out-of-shape being valuable because the Zombies are going to eat them first....and we can use them as bait....but the general premise applies in reality. If you cannot make any attempt at taking care of yourself, you are going to be reduced to being a leech [I do make an exception for swimsuit models of course...morale is always a consideration].

Just some random musings....if we don't become a police state, we're bound to become a failed state. Call me a pessimist, but the news isn't getting any rosier.

An appropriate quote for the day

The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." Patrick Henry

So what exactly constitutes American culture???

Arizona's proposed S.C.R 1010:


            Subject to voter approval, constitutionally prohibits courts from considering international law or legal percepts of other nations or cultures when making judicial decisions.


Article VI of the Arizona Constitution outlines the requirements pertaining to the judicial department.  It establishes judicial power, jurisdiction and authority, composition, qualifications, duties and process.  Judicial power is vested in an integrated judicial department consisting of a Supreme Court, appellate courts as provided by law, a superior court, and courts inferior to the superior court as provided by law and justice courts.


1.      Requires courts, when making judicial decisions, to uphold and adhere to the laws of the U.S. Constitution, Arizona Constitution, U.S. Code, Federal regulations, established common law, Arizona laws and rules and if necessary, the laws of another state within the U.S. provided the laws in the other state do not include international law.

2.      Prohibits Arizona courts from considering international law or legal precepts of other nations or cultures when making judicial decisions.

3.      Makes conforming changes.

4.      Requires the Secretary of State to submit the proposition to the voters at the next general election.

5.      Becomes effective if approved by the voters and on proclamation of the Governor.
Aside from being likely may be interesting to see the law of unintended consequences invoked should this bill pass.

Socialized Medicine from the Founding Fathers....who knew?

The ink was barely dry on the PPACA when the first of many lawsuits to block the mandated health insurance provisions of the law was filed in a Florida District Court.
It turns out, the Founding Fathers would beg to disagree.
In July of 1798, Congress passed – and President John Adams signed - “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.” The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance.
Keep in mind that the 5th Congress did not really need to struggle over the intentions of the drafters of the Constitutions in creating this Act as many of its members were the drafters of the Constitution.
And when the Bill came to the desk of President John Adams for signature, I think it’s safe to assume that the man in that chair had a pretty good grasp on what the framers had in mind.

Note, that I'm not necessarily a fan of any government run health care, but I did find this insanely ironic....

The Folly and Hypocrisy of Political Correctness

And the dozens of A-list stars in the front rows and the 17 million Americans who tuned in certainly got it. For some, Gervais's lambasting of those present felt, as Robert Downey Jr said, mean-spirited with sinister undertones.

Most of the targets were obvious. Charlie Sheen likes a drink, check; octogenarian Hugh Hefner gets engaged to 24-year-old blonde, check; some famous scientologists might be gay, heard that; The Tourist is not a great movie, think we noticed that.

Indeed, the jokes that reportedly caused backstage scowls - even, according to some, strong language as Gervais stayed off camera for a still-mysterious hour or so - were jibes at the organisers, an exclusive cluster of largely greying male reporters known as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

"You can roast any celebrity you like. Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp can take it. And Ricky can be rude about creationists on his HBO [cable channel] specials, because only the coastal elites can afford to watch HBO anyway," says an NBC executive. "And it's pretty routine stuff for a New York or LA club. Lenny Bruce paved that way 40 years ago, although he suffered for it.
"But only a Brit would be naive enough . . . no, arrogant and stiff-necked enough, to flip off God in a family-oriented TV show that is going into the American heartland on the sabbath. We did not think we had to tell Ricky that."

What caused real grief at NBC, the network that broadcasts the Globes, and among those of the organisers who leaked that Gervais had "crossed a line" was the presenter's final quip as he exited.

"Thanks for everyone in the room for being good sports, to NBC and the Hollywood foreign press, thank you for watching at home," he said. "And thank you, God, for making me an atheist."
The US has 210 television market areas, or regions. By the Monday morning NBC bosses had had their ears bent by managers from dozens, ranging from the liberal Bangor, in Maine, to the deeply conservative Corpus Christi, in Texas. The problem was Gervais's final flourish, and they questioned why NBC had not "bleeped" it out as it would swearing. The truth was, NBC did not see it coming.

I guess political correctness is only applicable for the far right to charge against anything they don't care for.....

Monday, January 24, 2011

Eugene loves their Ducks.....and so do I.

The 10 Commandments and your Public Schools

A school district in southwestern Virginia is re-posting copies of the Bible's Ten Commandments in all county schools, despite concerns that doing so is unconstitutional.

The five-member Giles County School Board voted unanimously to restore the framed, 4-foot-tall, biblical texts after parents and local ministers complained about their removal from the district's five schools and its technology center. The decision was made even though the board's attorney advised that such Christian displays represent unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.
Wash Times

I simply don't understand. There is no statute, regulation, ordinance or code that prohibits or restricts an individuals right to practice the mainstream religion of their choice [I'll leave aside smaller belief systems that involve peyote, marijuana, etc..].

What motivates fervently religious people to be desire images or reminders of their faith to be placed on property that belongs [theoretically anyway] to the populace as a whole? Why is the prohibition on mandatory prayer in school viewed as an attack on their religion? I say 'their' because I simply don't see Hindu's, Muslims, Jews, etc...up in arms over that subject. Is there some sort of internal restriction that I'm not aware of, that prevents students from praying silently to themselves during school, or praying before or after school?

What is the need to make sure everybody knows that the Christian religion exists? Are there merit badges? Extra credit points?

I really don't get offended when I see a public display of religion, but I cannot understand the vitriol and offense by those who are stopped from ensuring their faith is anywhere one may see. Would they feel the same way if government decided to endorse and advertise certain commercial items? Wouldn't that be similar?

Your Public Schools in action

Mid-Del parent Lydia Fox said Tuesday her 7-year-old son was suspended Friday for fidgeting in class.

Fox said her son, Patrick Riley, who is in first grade at Parkview Elementary, was asked to go home after he formed a gun with his hand and started to pretend he was shooting at a wall.School leaders said Riley was misbehaving during the assembly."Him (Riley) and a little girl were just getting bored at an assembly and doing some target practice at the wall," Fox said.Parkview Elementary said in an official statement that "a student has repeatedly used his hands to simulate a gun and act as if is shooting fellow students."However, Riley said he did not point his make-believe gun at anyone.
Fox said she was outraged at the reason why her son was suspended."One of the things I've always been able to brag about Oklahoma is that common sense still rules here. Unfortunately, I don't think I can say that anymore," Fox said.Fox said she met with the school principal on Tuesday. She said they decided to "agree to disagree” on the matter.Parkview Elementary said Riley was not suspended anymore.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Journalists Guide to Firearms

Posted on Lightfighter, but in the Team Room, so no linky.

Wise words from strange quarters

Who knew? Maybe it will catch.....
[Grover] Norquist said conservatives recognize the weakness of the arguments for the war, which is why they don't often make them.
He scoffed at the notion that fighting two wars was making American stronger. "Being tied up there does not advance American power," he said. "If you've got a fist in the tar baby Iraq and you've got a fist in the tar baby Afghanistan, then who's afraid of you?"
Norquist, the spirited leader of the anti-tax wing of the Republican Party, also noted that the cost argument alone is a potent one against the war.
The Congressional Research Service estimates that total Afghan war funding in fiscal year 2011 will hit $119 billion, up from $19 billion in 2006 -- and all that in a country with an annual gross domestic product of less than $12 billion.
Norquist said the question for those who want to reduce government spending is this: "If you don't take $10 billion out of the occupation of Afghanistan, you're going to take it out where?"
He said the debate about the war in Afghanistan should include discussion "about the vast expenditures of cash, the vast expenditures of other people lives, and the opportunity cost" of money and effort that could be expended elsewhere.
"It seems to me that it has been more expensive than not. And it has made America weaker than otherwise," he said.

Invoking the Law of Unintended Consequences

Mimicking proposed legislation in several other states, Rep. Leo Berman (R-Tyler) suggested a constitutional amendment prohibiting Texas courts from enforcing, considering or applying religious or cultural law. Though the joint resolution itself does not specify ‘Sharia Law’ ­­­– the practices governing Muslim life, including family, work and religion – it falls under the umbrella of banned rules.
“A lot of federal courts are referring to international courts and laws of other countries. We want to make sure our courts are not doing this, especially in regards to cultural laws,” Berman said. “If that includes Sharia law, then so be it.”

Hey, knock yourself out Leo. I support the proposed Amendment. If a law or regulation is based on religious tenets, yet has no secular value, it should not stand. If the Amendment passes, I think more than a few lawmakers, in their zeal to criminalize Islam, will find themselves having to accept civil liberties to American citizens who don't pass their religious tests.

20 Years Ago Yesterday

I had witnessed the air armada flying overhead to pummel Baghdad during the opening salvo of Operation Desert Storm. My company of the 101st Airborne Division was guarding the Wadi-al-Batin against a theoretical preemptive ground attack by the Republican Guard.

Damn...I feel old.

50 Years Ago Today

Marks the anniversary of Dwight D. Eisenhower's Military-Industrial Complex Speech in 1961. Ironically, though I am a critic of what we can now term the Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex, I am part of the machine.

Read a good analysis of that speech and the current status of his illustration:

Ike was right all along: The danger of the military-industrial complex

 In completely related news:

From the Pentagon to the private sector

In large numbers, and with few rules, retiring generals are taking lucrative defense-firm jobs

In almost any other realm it would seem a clear conflict of interest — pitting his duty to the US military against the interests of his employer — not to mention a revolving-door sprint from uniformed responsibilities to private paid advocacy.
But this is the Pentagon where, a Globe review has found, such apparent conflicts are a routine fact of life at the lucrative nexus between the defense procurement system, which spends hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and the industry that feasts on those riches. And almost nothing is ever done about it.
The Globe analyzed the career paths of 750 of the highest ranking generals and admirals who retired during the last two decades and found that, for most, moving into what many in Washington call the “rent-a-general’’ business is all but irresistible.
From 2004 through 2008, 80 percent of retiring three- and four-star officers went to work as consultants or defense executives, according to the Globe analysis. That compares with less than 50 percent who followed that path a decade earlier, from 1994 to 1998.
In some years, the move from general staff to industry is a virtual clean sweep. Thirty-four out of 39 three- and four-star generals and admirals who retired in 2007 are now working in defense roles — nearly 90 percent.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Message to the Mouth Breathing community

h/t Dusty

Reality based solutions need to trump idealistic wishing

If we are ever to see the end of combat in Afghanistan.....fighting an entity that did not attack the expense of destroying the entity that did.

From Foreign Policy, words right out of my mouth:
Advocates of the current U.S. counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan deploy false choices and flawed assumptions to defend the status quo. Proponents of "staying the course" delegitimize the pursuit of better options for ending this deadly nine-year war by reducing the debate to a dubious binary: maintain a long-term counterinsurgency (COIN) campaign against the Taliban or leave Afghanistan after ignominiously "cutting and running." It is time to reframe this public discourse over the costly status quo and consider a new way forward.
Vice President Joe Biden, who is currently in Afghanistan and headed to Pakistan shortly, has argued, among others, that a policy of "Counterterrorism Plus" will more effectively secure genuine U.S. security objectives. He's right.
This approach calls for a much smaller deployment of forces that would focus upon al-Qaeda, including continued drone attacks on al-Qaeda and international militants both in Afghanistan and Pakistan's tribal areas. Proponents of such a plan argue for continuing the training mission of Afghan National Security Forces with a dedicated focus upon sustainability as well as continued and long-term initiatives to develop civilian capacity in the Afghan government. Obviously, this implies a sustained -- albeit a different and perhaps smaller -- U.S. presence in Afghanistan. This is not "cut and run."
As a proponent of some variant of a "Counterterrorism Plus" approach, I argue that the U.S. enemies are al-Qaeda and international terrorist groups -- not the largely parochial Afghan Taliban. Clearly, the United States must deny al-Qaeda access to Afghanistan.  However, U.S. intelligence officials note that this goal largely has been accomplished: only 50 to 100 al-Qaeda operatives are presently in Afghanistan with many more in Pakistan. Yet Washington must work to ensure that Afghanistan does not again become an al-Qaeda sanctuary.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The inestimable Bill Maher

As a Constitutional patriot, I get mighty incensed at the ignorance and audacity of most tea party members. They've hijacked the Founder's values and principles in order to further the gains of the Republican Party. They should be ashamed of themselves. I am heartened that we still have people like Maher who can articulate this phenomena better than I.
And finally, New Rule, now that they’ve finished reading the Constitution out loud, the teabaggers must call out that group of elitist liberals whose values are so antithetical to theirs.  I’m talking, of course, about the Founding Fathers, who the teabaggers believe are just like them, but aren’t.  One is a group of exclusively white men who live in a bygone century, have bad teeth, and think of blacks as 3/5s of a person.  And the other are the Founding Fathers!
Now I want you teabaggers out there to understand one thing.  While you idolize the Founding Fathers and dress up like them and smell like them, I think it’s pretty clear that the Founding Fathers would’ve hated your guts.  And what’s more, you would’ve hated them!  They were everything you despise.  They studied science, read Plato, hung out in Paris, and thought the Bible was mostly bullshit.  And yet, here is a popular painting in wingnut America.

Yes, that’s Jesus with the Founding Fathers behind him, presenting the Constitution to America.  Either that, or it’s a settlement offer for that boy after he sued the rectory.

Super-religious guy Glenn Beck likes to play dress-up as Thomas Paine.  Thomas Paine, an atheist who said churches were “human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind”.  John Adams said, “this would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it”. Which is not to say the Founders didn’t have a moral code.  Of course they did.  They just didn’t get it from the Bible.  Well, except for the part about it’s cool to own slaves.  It’s in there, folks, I didn’t make it up.

The Founders disagreed amongst themselves about that, and most issues.  But the one thing they never argued about was that political power must stay in the hands of the smartest people, and out of the hands of the dumbest loudmouths slowing down the checkout line at Home Depot.

And yet, Sarah Palin once said of Obama, “we need a Commander-in-Chief, not a professor of law standing at a lectern”.  How gay is that!  Well, I hate to break it to you, but:

Thomas Jefferson, lawyer.
Alexander Hamilton, Constitutional lawyer.
James Madison, lawyer.
John Adams, Constitutional lawyer.
They were not the common man of their day.  Ben Franklin studied scientific phenomena like lightning and the aurora borealis, and were he alive today, he could probably explain to Bill O’Reilly why the tides go in and out.
James Madison was fluent in Greek and Latin, and could translate Virgil and Cicero.  John Boehner can’t translate Fareed Zakaria.  And Thomas Jefferson was an astronomer and a physicist who founded the University of Virginia, played the violin, and spoke six languages.  Or as Palin would say, “all of them”.
 h/t Liberal Values

Friday, January 14, 2011

Oh my Ducks......

Due to the fact that I've been working heinously long days at Fort Drum, NY this week....and because of that, I missed the entire first half of the National Championship Game.......I haven't publicly pontificated on the saddening loss to Auburn.

I didn't break anything...I didn't cry and I didn't swear. My Ducks made it to the National Title game. They played well. They lost honorably.

I already got more than I could ask for from the season. The most depressing part is that I now have to wait a long seven and a half months until I can watch them in action again.

I still love my Ducks.....

The true state of knowledge in America

h/t Rucksack to Backpack

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

There will be no commenting on the Giffords shooting from this blog.

I am so disgusted by the use of this tragedy by Democrats and Republicans [and their accomplices in the media] that I am abstaining from any and all online discussions and debates over this topic.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Rest in Peace Major Dick Winters.....

Dick Winters, the former World War II commander whose war story was told in the book and miniseries “Band of Brothers,” has died. Dick Winters led a quiet life on his Fredericksburg farm and in his Hershey home until the book and miniseries “Band of Brothers” threw him into the international spotlight. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Don't f**ck with the Ducks!

A power ballad by Sebastian Bach. You'll'll'll QUACK!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Don't confuse Zombie's with Supermodels!

Because Allen said I needed to post more often.....

So is the Left soft on terror?

The GOP and the media would have you believe that, but take into account the statements made by the Bush Administration's former DNI and CIA Director:
While Vice President Dick Cheney and other prominent conservatives have faulted President Barack Obama for slacking in the war on terror, two top Bush administration intelligence officials are arguing that the White House has been just as tough - if not tougher.
"The new administration has been as aggressive, if not more aggressive, in pursing these issues because they're real," former National Intelligence Director and retired Navy Vice Admiral Michael McConnell said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union."
"You commend them for that?" host Candy Crowley asked.
"I do commend them for that," McConnell said.
Former Central Intelligence Agency Director Michael Hayden, a retired Air Force general, also argued that Obama's approach has been, by and large, the same -- regardless of campaign rhetoric.
"When one is in office, it's, as the admiral has suggested, when one is in office, that responsibility weighs pretty heavily. And so we've seen a powerful consistency between two administrations trying to deal with this problem," Hayden said. "Actually, I've seen it over two administrations, and I thank god every day for the continuity."
"Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you come from or what your political views might be, these threats are very real and very serious. And we have to -- have to deal with them in a very serious way," McConnell added.

This is not to imply that I agree with the past or current strategy against Al Qaeda, nor the manner in which our tactics and resources are being used; I simply have disgust for the political games which keeps the nation stagnant and stupid.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Your New Congress