Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Obama and the Revved Wright
Unfortunately, Obama waited too long. Despite his well chosen and appropriate words, the press conference looks more like a political maneuver than anything else.
Lemonade and Heavy Handed Authority
Absent-minded professor dad buys lemonade for his kid at a baseball game. Turns out it's a Mike's Hard Lemonade.Quick question: What was more harmful to the kid - drinking the Mike's Hard Lemonade or being separated from his parents for two days, his father nearly a week? If you have to think about this one, go to the back of the class.
After a guard spots the bottle, the kid is whisked away to the hospital in an ambulance (!) where they found no trace of alcohol in his blood about 90 minutes later. The doctors said he was OK to go, but instead he wound up in foster care. It was "two days before the state of Michigan allowed Ratte's wife, U-M architecture professor Claire Zimmerman, to take their son home, and nearly a week before [dad Christopher] Ratte was permitted to move back into his own house."
Everyone involved seems to have come down with a serious case of "just following orders":
The police state continues to grow.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
UGA vs UT
Already this year, one professor was placed on administrative leave and another resigned after investigations into allegations of sexual harassment.Of course, if the Supreme Court judge was a liberal black, the protesters would quickly be labeled racist.
Whatta 'bout dem Dawgs!
Disclaimer: The preceding is based on actual events but intended to disgruntle certain UGA alumni, especially one named Patrick. :-)
Saturday, April 19, 2008
"antipathy to people who aren't like them"
Spending another day today watching my daughter play basketball in a tournament near Cincinnati, I thought again of the make up of the population of Maysville, KY. With a population of 10,000, Maysville is the largest town for 45 to 90 or more miles depending in which direct you go. This simply points out that Maysville is a rural town, not a bedroom community for a large nearby city.
My daughter's team is exactly 50/50 black/white. Everyone gets along just fine, parents and kids. Of all the teams I saw play today, my daughter's team was the most racially balanced. Most teams were either all white or all black. But from that small town....
I've pointed out before that my daughter's boyfriend has a black stepfather and black step siblings. She has friends whose father is Hindu and mother is Catholic, an interesting mix.
Mitsubishi has an auto radio assembly plant in Maysville with the accompanying Japanese managers living here. There are a sizable number of Mexicans in the area who work in farms plus a few who have restaurants and a Mexican grocery store. Also, as I've mentioned before, some Chinese live here. There are two Chinese restaurants.
Some of those who "aren't like" us are the Amish. The Amish presence has increased significantly over the past 10 years. They farm, sell baked goods, furniture, build, etc. Others like them because they are hard working and honest. They're goods and services aren't the cheapest but they are among the best. No one harasses and intimidates the Amish as depicted in the Harrison Ford film "Witness."
I doubt that Maysville is much different from a lot of other small towns across the country, even in Pennsylvania. I'm certain that Barack
One factor that integrates small towns naturally is that small towns are small. In larger metropolitan areas, schools become segregated by the population they serve. The suburbs have lots of predominantly white schools and the inner cities predominantly black. In Maysville, only one public elementary, middle and high school serves the entire city and county. There is a small Catholic school and a smaller Christian school also. (Non-Catholics in Maysville treat Catholics with more respect than Bill Maher does. Of course, Bill Maher has an excuse, Catholics aren't like him.)
In small towns people rub elbows with everyone else. You can't hide in your gated community (Maysville has none) and go to the exclusive shopping centers where the undesirables won't be. The richest people in town (one has a Bentley), often live within a 5-10 minute walk from the poorest. The entire older area of Maysville is only about 3 miles long by a half mile wide. In the large metropolitan areas, the rich liberals are insulated by miles from the poor. Yet, elitist liberals, like Barack
Not getting along is a difficult task. Getting along is easy. But Hollywood has painted small towns in a negative light for years in movies like "Footloose." I guess it makes them feel good to belittle others.
Liberals have a new popular book, What's the Matter with Kansas?. It makes the liberals feel good to believe there is something wrong with Kansas and the rest of small town America. Believing such, the liberals avoid the painful introspection that would uncover what it wrong with liberals.
Nothing is wrong with Kansas. The Kansases simply don't like liberalism and the "better than thou" elitist liberals who want to ram it down their throats. Grow up and get used to it.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Elitist Obama, Elitist Liberals and George Will
When a supporter told Adlai Stevenson, the losing Democratic presidential nominee in 1952 and 1956, that thinking people supported him, Stevenson said, "Yes, but I need to win a majority." When another supporter told Stevenson, "You educated the people through your campaign," Stevenson replied, "But a lot of people flunked the course." Michael Barone, in "Our Country: The Shaping of America From Roosevelt to Reagan," wrote: "It is unthinkable that Roosevelt would ever have said those things or that such thoughts ever would have crossed his mind." Barone added: "Stevenson was the first leading Democratic politician to become a critic rather than a celebrator of middle-class American culture -- the prototype of the liberal Democrat who would judge ordinary Americans by an abstract standard and find them wanting."You can easily see the "I'm right and if you don't agree or understand, you're stupid/evil attitude" so common in today's liberals.
But even more so does Will sum up the current elitist liberal attitude.
The emblematic book of the new liberalism was "The Affluent Society" by Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith. He argued that the power of advertising to manipulate the bovine public is so powerful that the law of supply and demand has been vitiated. Manufacturers can manufacture in the American herd whatever demand the manufacturers want to supply. Because the manipulable masses are easily given a "false consciousness" (another category, like religion as the "opiate" of the suffering masses, that liberalism appropriated from Marxism), four things follow:Essentially, the elitist liberal's position is because I'm more educated/intelligent/insightful/aware then you I have the right to impose my belief system and government on you.
First, the consent of the governed, when their behavior is governed by their false consciousnesses, is unimportant. Second, the public requires the supervision of a progressive elite which, somehow emancipated from false consciousness, can engineer true consciousness. Third, because consciousness is a reflection of social conditions, true consciousness is engineered by progressive social reforms. Fourth, because people in the grip of false consciousness cannot be expected to demand or even consent to such reforms, those reforms usually must be imposed, for example, by judicial fiats.
Read some of the comments at this liberal blog to get a good feel of the elitist attitudes.
Re. when people vote their pocketbooks, they vote Republican. They want to be rich and beautiful and drive nice cars and live in big houses just like Republicans. They don't want to be living in Section 8 housing on welfare and foodstamps handed out by Democrats. Besides, Republicans are better businessmen (emphasis on men). They will know how to fix things.Yep. The poor ignorant masses are putty in the hands of the master manipulators of the vast right wing conspiracy.
Plus, they won't vote for Democrats because they will raise taxes (it's guaranteed, just ask any Republican) to pay for frivolous stuff like education and health care that creates a smart, healthy work force that is good for business and attracts investment. That kind of stuff is too complicated. A check in the mail from the U.S. Treasury, now THAT'S something a fellow can hold in his hand and understand, before spending it at Wal-Mart.
Most politicians get in trouble for lying.
Barack Obama gets in trouble for telling the truth.
All of this didn't start in a vacuum. It started in 1972 with Roe vs Wade. And the case can be made that it even started earlier following Goldwater's defeat in '64. That was when the Conservative think tanks started going and in '72 they glummed on the abortion/ERA topics. The book by Thomas Frank "What's the Matter With Kansas" does an excellent job of documenting how the Right did this by aptly manipulating the social and religous concerns/fears of small town America.
A sure bet is that Barack
Are small town people bitter? No. Bitter is not the right word. Resentful better fulfills the need. People I know in my small town are resentful that rich big wig politicians keep promising everything and delivering nothing. They are resentful that idiotic Senators and Representatives promote corn ethanol that drives up food prices when anyone with half a brain could see that outcome. They are resentful that the government increasingly encroaches on their rights.
They are resentful that they are labeled as bigots and racists when they object to illegal aliens taking their jobs. They are resentful because they have watched their jobs outsourced due to free trade agreements.
They are resentful that they are ridiculed by elitists for their religious faith or for practicing the thousand year old tradition of hunting and fishing or for owning a gun for whatever purpose. The Constitution doesn't specify that guns may only be owned for a particular purpose.
Some people don't want to live in suburbs with $300,000 houses. Some people don't want to live in big cities. Some people want to live in small towns where every where they go they see a friend, where every where they go they get a smile and a friendly, genuine handshake. Or out in the country where, looking out the back window, they see a creek or a farm that provides food for those elitist snobs.
People from large cities may think they understand small town or country life. I doubt they do. Moving to my small town from a metropolitan area of nearly 500,000 where I grew up, it took me 10 years to become fully adjusted. Now I'd rather live here in a tent than in a mansion in the city. Plus, I'm much less likely to run into an elitist liberal snob in small town America.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Obama: Elitist Race Hustler
You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, a lot of them — like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they’ve gone through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, and they cling to guns, or religion, or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.After all the hate speech we've heard Obama's pastor, Jeremiah Wright, Obama dares to insult the religion of the people who make up the core of this country as well as snicker at their practicing their constitutional right to own a gun.
Another wonderful statement by Obama in the same speech:
When people tell me they've all stressed about racial discord, well, you know, try slavery for a while.Has Obama tried slavery? Has anyone living in the United States been legally enslaved? What does this guy who grew up in Hawaii and attended Ivy League schools know about slavery that a factory worker in Pennsylvania doesn't? Whose life is closer to that of a slave? Who lives the life of the ultra privileged jetting around America and the world and someone else's expense?
William Kristol wrote a wonderful piece in the New York Times today regarding Obama's comments.
It’s another thing for an American presidential candidate to claim that we “cling to ... religion” out of economic frustration.Obama's statament, "antipathy to people who aren’t like them," especially aggravates me. His condescending arrogance, like his ignorance of real people's lives, knows no bounds.
And it’s a particularly odd claim for Barack Obama to make. After all, in his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, he emphasized with pride that blue-state Americans, too, “worship an awesome God.”
But Obama in San Francisco does no courtesy to his fellow Americans. Look at the other claims he makes about those small-town voters.
Obama ascribes their anti-trade sentiment to economic frustration — as if there are no respectable arguments against more free-trade agreements. This is particularly cynical, since he himself has been making those arguments, exploiting and fanning this sentiment that he decries. Aren’t we then entitled to assume Obama’s opposition to Nafta and the Colombian trade pact is merely cynical pandering to frustrated Americans?
Then there’s what Obama calls “anti-immigrant sentiment.” Has Obama done anything to address it? It was John McCain, not Obama, who took political risks to try to resolve the issue of illegal immigration by putting his weight behind an attempt at immigration reform.
Furthermore, some concerns about unchecked and unmonitored illegal immigration are surely legitimate. Obama voted in 2006 (to take just one example) for the Secure Fence Act, which was intended to control the Mexican border through various means, including hundreds of miles of border fence. Was Obama then just accommodating bigotry?
As for small-town Americans’ alleged “antipathy to people who aren’t like them”: During what Obama considers the terrible Clinton-Bush years of economic frustration, by any measurement of public opinion polling or observed behavior, Americans have become far more tolerant and respectful of minorities who are not “like them.” Surely Obama knows this. Was he simply flattering his wealthy San Francisco donors by casting aspersions on the idiocy of small-town life?
That leaves us with guns. Gun ownership has been around for an awfully long time. And people may have good reasons to, and in any case have a constitutional right to, own guns — as Obama himself has been acknowledging on the campaign trail, when he presents himself as more sympathetic to gun owners than a typical Democrat.
This past weekend I watched my daughter's basketball team play in a tournament. Looking out on the court the girls are nearly 50-50 black/white. The parents and relatives all sit together. My favorite guy to talk to and sit with is a black man. He's insightful, intelligent and straight forward.
The girls get along on and off the court. When they have sleepovers, all are invited.
My daughter's boyfriend came to watch. His step-father, with whom he lives, is black. Black and white children live in the same household in a nice middle class neighborhood in Maysville, Kentucky, population approximately 10,000. This is not considered strange or unusual. We're all happy and get along.
Barack Obama is using race to get votes. His arguments and comments are out of date and out of touch with reality. All my children have black friends but with the likes of Barack Obama teaching racial conflict while pretending to be a uniter, I wonder how long it will take until some begin thinking they shouldn't be friends.
Maysville has its share of immigrants. My church performs Spanish language Mass. While most, like myself, don't like illegal immigration, we have embraced Mexicans and other Hispanics as people. We have real Mexican restaurants. We have a Mexican grocery. Also, we have several local Chinese, and Japanese families. All are treated with respect and as friends.
Barack Obama has no idea of what the typical American's life consists. He's talking about race as if we're still in the 1950s or 1960s.
All this from the leading Democratic candidate for the presidency. The Democratic Party that former Democratic Party chair David Wilhelm claimed, "I remember asking my dad, an immigrant, why we were Democrats. He said, because they stand up for the little guy." Yeah, right.
Hillary Clinton looks better and better every day. We certainly don't need Barack Obama in the White House.
Ohio Legislator Supports Involuntary Servitude
Perform at least thirteen hours of volunteer service for the district each school year. However, if a student is enrolled in a joint vocational school district, the student's parent may perform any or all of that volunteer service for the joint vocational district rather than for the city, exempted village, or local district in which the student is also enrolled.I wonder what part of the XIII amendment Williams doesn't understand.
It's increasingly disturbing that politicians and other government types believe they have the right to tell us how to spend our free time, money, what words to use, how and where we can look, etc. In our country government is of, by and for the people, not to oppress and control the people.
Yet another step in the more and more frequent attempts to establish a police state.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Ohio Ex-Governor Richard Celeste Uses Post As President of Colorado College To Re-Assert His Bias Against Men
A satirical response to a feminist publication at Colorado College has landed the college and two of its students in the middle of a fierce debate over freedom of speech.This is the same Richard Celeste who has no problem with women who assault and kill their husbands. Celeste's words are just a cover up. His only interest is keeping the women happy. even if that means men dieing.
Chris Robinson and another student at the Colorado Springs institution decided to print "The Monthly Bag" after seeing copies of a feminist and gender studies newsletter, "The Monthly Rag," in restrooms around campus.
"It was a serious concern that this thing was posted anonymously and included in bold print the performance characteristics of a sniper rifle," president Richard Celeste said. "I had to take that as a threat."
"I have been a staunch defender of free speech on this campus since the day I arrived here," Celeste wrote in a blog published last week . "And I will continue to defend it. But first and foremost, I will do what I can to maintain the safety of this campus."
Hat tip to Instapundit.
Friday, April 11, 2008
An Open Letter to the AARP
On 12/17/07 you indicated you would contact me but no contact has been forth coming. I will not be renewing my membership as I will not support an organization that pretends to support "retired persons" but in fact in more interested in supporting female retired persons.
A Great Man Passes Away
Meeting Keith, he did not strike you as a great man. He seemed rather ordinary, almost nondescript. As co-manager of the local Kroger, where he began working in high school, his job was not glamorous or adventurous. In many ways Keith seemed a most ordinary man and in many ways he was. In many ways he was far from ordinary.
Keith demonstrated his greatness in his dedication and commitment to his family, community and God. I got to know Keith when my daughter began playing basketball. Keith coached her for a couple of years. Keith also has a daughter in the same grade as my daughter and they became close friends.
Keith treated the girls with encouraging words and lots of smiles for their successes. I soon discovered he had also coached his son's and other daughter's sports teams. He had helped found a girls fast pitch softball league.
I also learned that Keith was much of the reason that Kroger permanently had a concession trailer parked in front during the warm months of the year for civic groups, charitable organizations, sports teams, youth groups, etc. to raise money by selling hamburgers and hot dogs. In Boy Scout meetings, during fund raising discussions, one of the first things to be said by someone was, "I'll talk to Keith at Krogers...."
Keith's first thoughts always seemed to be, "How can I help?"
At his visitation the evening before his funeral, I arrived at 5:45 PM. The line already stretched out of the church and down the block. My little girl, ex-wife and myself waited two hours to offer our meager sympathies to Keith's wife, three kids and other family members. Keith was only 49 years old, apparently dieing unexpectedly from complications from treatment for a brain tumor. The next day I heard it was well after 10:00 PM when the line finally ended.
Standing in line, I recognized many of the faces as employees at Kroger. Struck by the sadness and tears of those he supervised at work, I realized that Keith had touched many lives in the way he touched my daughter's. That even at work, he treated people in such a way that they loved him. The women standing in front of us had driven 50 miles from a Kroger Keith had helped open last year.
Inside the church a PowerPoint slide show displayed pictures of Keith, his family and the many activities in which he participated. A couple included my daughter. I felt honored. In many of the pictures, Keith stood in the background much as he did in life. For Keith it was never about him. He worked hard and spent hours helping others achieve their goals. He was happy to stand to the side and applaud their accomplishments.
Watching the pictures and listening to the eulogies at his church, where he was a deacon, it became increasingly obvious that Keith had helped many people this way, his children, other children, employees and co-workers and many others he never met.
Recognizing Keith's importance to their employees, Kroger closed their "open 24 hours a day" store for three hours in order that everyone could attend his funeral if they wished. Kroger also took out a full page ad in the local newspaper to honor Keith.
In this day when so many look to the government to make their lives better, I understand that we don't need better politicians, better laws, or whatever. We need more people like Keith. I hope and pray that Keith's family makes their way through this tragic time and continues to flourish and grow from the love he gave them. I also hope and pray that at least a few people feel about me when I die the way thousands feel about Keith.
Keith was a good friend to many. Thank you, Keith.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
But this post isn't about her, at least not any more.
The girls played three games on Saturday and three games on Sunday. Watching them I had a revelation concerning one of the girls and her father's negative impact on her level of play.
This fellow is a nice guy. He strongly supports his daughter's basketball efforts. She has a very nice goal in her driveway at home. She goes to basketball camps and all that. But he undermines much of this by his actions during games.
For the first two games he wasn't present because he had to work. Watching his daughter I thought that this was the best I had ever seen her play. And I've seen her play a lot! She seemed more focused, more confident and made few errors.
Then her dad showed up. He sat on the front row and during warm-ups began a continuous stream of advice and "coaching" which consisted of almost every basketball/sports cliche I've ever heard.
"Put on your game face."
"Play like you want to win."
"Watch the ball."
"Out hustle them."
"We need a three pointer."
"Make good passes."
"Make your shots count."
"Steal the ball and score."
"Be like the little engine and think you can."
"Take it to the bucket."
"We've gotta get a stop here."
ad infinitum for the entire game.
Needless to say, his daughter's level of play plummeted. At best he was a big distraction for her interfering with her focus on the game. He also showed through his "encouragement" that he didn't have confidence in her ability to go out and play well without his constant guidance.
Confidence plays a big role in sports and other endeavors. Helping others become confident is tricky business. I try to be realistic in my encouragement of my children but communicate to them that I firmly believe they can be really good if they want. When it comes to praise, they like understated recognition and praise but they do like it.
I wish I could say something to this fellow to help him realize that one of the best things he could do to help his daughter at this point is shut-up. But I doubt he would be very receptive and the overall impact would be more problems and no benefit for his daughter. Kind of sad. All well intentioned but self-defeating.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Fun With a SEAL
This exchange between Ventura and former Clinton official, David Wilhelm, had me laughing.
WILHELM: I guess as a former Democratic party chair, I need to take some exception to the notion that there is really no difference between the two parties. I think there is actually a pretty significant difference between the two parties. Whether it is on Iraq or whether it is on economic growth policies, or whether -- a party like the one that I once led, that has been the party of civil rights and Social Security and the New Deal and winning in World War II.All of Wilhem's political platitudes of crap whithered into nothing under the force of Ventura's direct, concise statements. How stupid is King's question about the programs working? If the Democratic programs worked, how come we still have so many poor? Duh.
I remember asking my dad, an immigrant, why we were Democrats. He said, because they stand up for the little guy. I think part of what Governor Ventura is saying, the parties have got to get back to that. The role of big money needs to be diminished. And we need to stand up for the little guy once again.
KING: Governor, wasn't the Democratic party generally regarded as the party of the little guy?
VENTURA: Yes, they might be. In the words of my buddy Charles Barkley, poor people have been voting Democrat for 50 years and they're still poor.
KING: You don't think the programs have worked?
Ultimately, the Democratic programs are designed to perpetuate poverty so the Democrats can have a base voting block they can depend on for votes. It's a "we'll give you just enough money to get by without really working if you'll vote for us" because we care SO much deal. Without poor people the Democratic party would vanish.
Ventura made some great points on the war in Iraq.
WILHELM: Well, out of control spending; let's begin with the unnecessary war in Iraq. But that's the kind of big issue that represents a fundamental difference between the two parties. And I guess that's the point I want to make. I do not believe that there isn't a dime's worth of difference between the two parties. This race is about big stuff this year.Again, Wilhem's political crap cut to shreds.
VENTURA: OK, now the Democrats are opposed to the war in Iraq? What about before it happened? Where was their spine then? They went along with it. They voted for it. They gave the president this carte blanche to go. And you know why they did it? Because they believed that it would be about a three-week war, gas prices would go down, and if they weren't on board, it would solidify the Republican position. They were gutless when it came to the war on Iraq.
And now, all of a sudden, at the eleventh hour, because it's gone bad now, now they're trying to tell us they didn't support it. The Democrats did too support the war in Iraq.
Republicans weren't completely spared from Ventura's wit.
KING: You want to respond, Jesse? You laughed when he said Obama. You don't think Obama can change?It's refreshing to hear someone just tell it like it is.
VENTURA: I think the only thing that is going to change is that your taxes are going to go up. Now let me categorize this.
MADDEN: With Obama?
HOLMES: I agree.
VENTURA: Both of them spend equally. The difference is the Republicans put it on the credit card, the national debt. The Democrats are more cash and carry. So it will be equal spending. It's just that now our taxes will go up.
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
But at the end of December I still felt an ache in my chest. Having worried about this for weeks, I decided to visit the emergency room over the New Year's holiday. After an ekg and x-rays, no problems were detected but the doctor suggested a stress test.
Procrastinating for two months, I finally made arrangements. I flunked the initial stress test due to an arrhythmia. I've known for many years that I have a slight arrhythmia but was told it was no reason for concern. But a Myoview stress test was scheduled.
I flunked it too and the doctor recommended an angiogram. We scheduled one for a few days later. I fretted over this and worried tremendously about my expected life span. Would I live long enough to see my 11 year old daughter graduate from high school? How many of my youngest son's football exploits would I be there to cheer? Would I see any of them marry and have children of their own or get to watch their careers develop?
Angiograms do have some dangers of reaction to the dye used or bleeding afterwards with a remote chance of death. I was reminded of the old values clarification exercise of "If you had X amount of time to live, what would you do?"
I quickly realized that I had pretty much done enough for personal pleasure, adventure, excitement, etc. to satisfy myself. The one thing I wanted was to be with my kids. Especially my two minor children who I strongly feel need me to be there for them until they grow up. I must admit that on more than one moment my eyes watered with sadness.
The process of the angiogram turned out to be painless and, thanks to the medications, even pleasant. The two nurses that cared for me happened to be mothers of friends of my youngest son. Friends every where, one of the happy conditions of small town life. After the angiogram was finished and I was barely emerging from the "relaxation" of the medication, I heard the doctor say, "Your heart is fine. You have the heart of a 10 year old." I managed a smile and a slight thanks.
Yesterday, I had the follow-up visit. Again, the doctor stated my heart was fine and he hoped his arteries were in as good as shape as mine. Nothing further needed.
I'm thankful for the wonderful doctors, nurses, medical facilities and treatments available to us in this day and this country. Most of all, I'm thankful that, barring unforeseen circumstances, I'll get to watch my children play basketball and football, graduate from high school and college, start careers and have families.
Thank you, Dear Lord.
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