Friday, January 30, 2009

Ft Lauderdale, Florida- "Go Nazi Germany!"

The above rally was filmed January 13, 2009 at Ft Lauderdale, Florida. The video is almost 10 minutes long but bears watching. You will see and hear:

Nazi salutes
"Jesus killers"
"Hitler should have finished the job"
"Go Hitler"
"Go Nazi Germany"
"Go back to your ovens"

(Keep in mind that Hezbollah has always been suspected of involvement in the bombing of the Marine Corp barracks in Lebanon killing over 200 Marines although it was before they actually declared their existence.)

And you wonder which side is right in this conflict?

This is what is taking place right on the streets of US cities. It is beyond disgusting. And this is being directed to our own American Jewish citizens-on our soil.

and in Toronto..........."Hitler Didn't Do a Good Job"

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Pro-Hamas Rally at UC Irvine

Amir Abdel Malik Ali at a previous appearance at UCI.

Today, I was caught quite by surprise to learn at the last minute that the Muslim Student Union was having another anti-Israel rally at UC-Irvine. In fact, I just happened to read an e-mail that Imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali was speaking at the flag poles at 12 noon. I was already 10 minutes late! By the time I arrived, Ali was already 20 minutes into a one hour talk. After the speech, I spoke with him for about 20 minutes. (Note) Ted Bleiweis of the Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism heard the entire speech and will be reporting on it as well.

Ali's speech was the standard, fiery anti-Israel rant that he always gives, spiced with anti-American rhetoric, calling George Bush an idiot, and referring to certain blacks-and Mahmoud Abbas as "poop-butt Uncle Toms" (I think I have that right.) He even praised Hugo Chavez. Near the end, he called upon the Muslim students in the audience from other countries to spread the word back home to boycott all American products. How patriotic!

When his talk concluded at 1pm, I approached and asked if Ali was taking questions. I was told no, but that I could speak with him directly. So I walked over and introduced myself. We then proceeded to have a civil but spirited debate on various points for about 15 minutes as some 30 or so students gathered around to listen in. My question was this; in recent anti-Israel demonstrations in Ft Lauderdale, Los Angeles and other places, some demonstrators had made comments such as,"Go back to the ovens", "you need a bigger oven", "long live Hitler", "Hitler rest in peace". Further that some posters had contained swastikas over the Star of David. I asked him if he would condemn those expressions. He replied in the affirmative except for the swastikas over the Star of David, which he considered a means of equating what the Israels are doing to the Palestinians to what the Nazis did to the Jews. (Later in the discussion, I suggested that he let his audiences know in his speeches that references to Hitler and ovens were wrong.)

I also called his attention to the mock wall that was back at the scene and that last year, it had contained a caricature of Ariel Sharon in the old Nazi style of depicting Jews (Der Stuermer). He said he was not aware of it. (Apparently, it had been on the wall earlier that morning, but had been taken off according to a statement made by a Muslim student to a Jewish professor-who relayed it to me.) I also reminded him of his last appearnce at UCI when he had referred to Obama's Jewish advisors, "Rahm Israel Emanuel, Madelyn Albright and David Axelrod-a Zionist". He stated that they were indeed "Zionists". My point was that he himself had made remarks that could be interpreted as anti-Semitic (which brought up an exchange over who is "Semitic"). He pointed out that he had never made negative remarks about Jews-only "Zionist" Jews, at which point, I noted sarcastically that putting the word "Zionists" in front of it made it all right.

The debate went back and forth about Israel, the US, Middle Eastern Jews who were driven out of Arab countries after 1948, etc. He asked if I supported Israel, I stated that I did and supported Israel's right to exist and defend itself. I pointed out to him that at no time, does he ever talk about peace between the Israelis and Palestinians or a negotiated settlement with two states, which is actually the policy of the US Government. As I asked that question, he nodded in silent acknowledgement.

I also expressed to Ali that, in my opinion, he was poisoning the minds of his young audience, leading them to believe that America was an evil country. When I expressed my love for America, he told me America was an empire, and asked me if I believed that (I said no). There was also an exchange over the meaning of Zionist, which I still consider an imprecise term. When he mentioned that there was a "witch hunt" on-going in the country against people who believed like he did, I reminded him that no one was dragging him off to jail for his statements. He replied that people in America were being arrested and held without charges in some cases for saying something in mosques. He brought up the name of Sami al Arian, and I responded that al-Arian belonged in jail, and if released, should be deported.

One thing I have learned about Ali is that he believes in conspiracies. He believes that the FBI was involved in the murder of Martin Luther King and "influenced" the Nation of Islam to murder Malcolm X (previous talks). When I raised the question of the almost one million Jews driven from Arab lands after 1948, he passed it off as happening because some unspecified people had arranged to move them to someplace which I believe he was referring to Israel.

As I said, the conversation was civil and the students listened silently. As I left, a young man said to me that if I favored peace why did I support the IDF's actions in Gaza. My reply to him was to imagine if the Cuban Government were lobbing rockets into Miami-what would the US do? His answer?

"We would deserve it."

My response to that was simply if that is what he believed, there was no point for further discussion.

So that was pretty much it as I recall the conversation. Depending on your point of view and bias, you might have different opinions on who carried the day and made the best points. Ali, though he believes in some far-out conspiracies, is a formidable adversary. In our final exchange, he told me that the government was destroying America, at which time I stated that I agreed with him on that point, but for entirely different reasons. With that, I told him I had to teach a class and I looked forward to our next encounter. Whether anyone else stepped in to challenge him, I don't know.

What Hamas Teaches the Children of Gaza

This film is from Palestinian Media Watch. It shows what Hamas is teaching the children of Gaza. I suggest that those of you who feel the need to protest Israel in the streets of America for fighting Hamas (and Hizbollah) take a few minutes to watch this video. Hopefully, it will give you pause.

Let's Play, "Name That Martyr"

Which is the below persons does not belong on the list?

a Martin Luther King
b Mahatmas Gandhi
c Nelson Mandela
d Rod Blagoyevich

Here's a clue.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Disturbing News From Algeria

Algiers, Algeria

There are disturbing reports being released to the news media regarding a CIA station chief in Algiers, Algeria, who has been accused by two women in that country of having raped them after lacing their drinks with knockout drugs at parties during the past year.

According to an affidavit in support of a search warrant filed in Alexandria, Virginia by a State Department investigative agent, Andrew Warren, ex-CIA station chief in Algiers, is being investigated for at least two sexual assaults. Warren has been reassigned back to the US pending the results of the investigation.

At this point, it has been alleged that while stationed at the American Embassy in Algiers, Warren drugged at least two Algerian women at parties, had sex with them while they were in an unconscious state and video-taped the incidents. It is suspected that there may be more than the two who have come forward. At this stage the case is still in the investigative stage with grand jury testimony expected to follow.

Obviously, this bodes ill for any efforts to improve relations with the Muslim world-one of President Obama's stated goals. Both the women in question are Muslim in a country faced with a serious problem of Islamic extremism. The idea of at least two Muslim women being raped by an American in Algeria is cause for tremendous concern. That the suspect was the CIA station chief multiplies the problem. The one thing that may alleviate the problem is that Warren himself is a Muslim convert.

Geo-political considerations aside, rape is a heinous crime. Without prejudging Warren's guilt or innocence, it can only be hoped that this case will be fully investigated by the appropriate authorities and justice done. This case will be attracting more attention in the days, weeks and months ahead. It goes without saying that the American Government is once again going to be under the magnifying glass in the Muslim world.

It could not have come at a worse time.

The "Stimulous Package"- Oinkers Aweigh!

"Now that's what I call stimulation."

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan. That's what this obscene boondoggle of a spending bill that is winding its way through Congress has been named. For one thing, any time you see the government using the term "investment"-or in this case-"reinvestment", it's time to hold on to your wallet. Translation= tax and spend.

Of course, President Obama and the Democrats are telling us that the purpose of this bill is "to stimulate the economy". They tell us that the situation is so urgent that the bill must be passed immediately. Translation= We want it passed before it is held to public scrutiny because it is so flawed that if the people could really understand what the bill is about, they would never accept it. This is the same reasoning that we heard about the urgency to confirm Tim "Turbo-Tax" Geithner as Treasury Secretary and get him working to save the American economy-this the man who used Turbo-Tax do do his taxes and wound up owing the Government over $34,000.

Today, the bill, now totaling some $825 billion, passed the House with all Republicans voting against it along with a dozen Democrats.

As I write this piece, I am gazing down the list of proposed expenditures. What this is is simply a massive spending/welfare bonanza-and for what?

* Note that there may have already been changes in the below expenditures as the bill goes through Congress.

The first thing I see is some 140 billion going to Infrastructure; roads, school construction and repair, upgrade parks. That doesn't sound too bad, but then I think about how the folks in Congress are going to be fighting to get bridges and federal buildings built in their districts so they can get their names on them. Robert Byrd (D-WV) of course, is the master of this. There must be a few hundred bridges, schools, roads, highways, and public restrooms named after him in West Virginia. John Murtha (D-PA) isn't far behind.

The Infrastructure heading also lists 2.25 billion dollars for the HOME Investment Partnerships Program Block grant "to enable state and local governments, in partnership with community-based organizations, to acquire, construct, and rehabilitate affordable housing and provide rental assistance to poor families."

Then there is 5 billion dollars to the public housing capital fund "to enable local public housing agencies to address a 32 billion backlog in capital needs-especially those improving energy efficiency in aging developments."

2.1 billion for full-year payments to owners receiving Section 8 project-based rental assistance.

Neighborhood Stabilization Fund- 2.25 billion for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes.

How about the Homeless Prevention Fund 1.5 billion for homeless prevention "activities"?

How about 1.4 billion to the National Science Foundation (NSF) for scientific research, infrastructure and competitive grants?

So much for the "Infrastructure". Now we move to Education and Training.

There is 13.9 billion to increase the Pell Grant maximum award and pay for increased program costs..........

There is 13 billion to "help close the achievement gap and enable disadvantaged students to reach their potential."

Under Training, we see the following:

A total of $3.4 billion for "job training including formula grants for adult, dislocated worker and youth programs".

Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants- $500 million for state formula grants "to help individuals with disabilities prepare for and sustain gainful employment.

Employment Services Grants-$400 million to "match unemployed individuals to job openings through state employment service agencies and allow states to provide customized reemployment services."

Under Energy, we see a total estimated expenditure of 51 billion "to provide INVESTMENTS in the development of "clean, efficient, American energy......."

More specifically, $40 billion to the Department of Energy to do whatever they do to develop "clean, efficient, American energy."

2.6 billion to "replace older motor fleet vehicles owned by the Federal Government, with alternative fuel automobiles that will save on fuel costs and reduce carbon emissions." (New G-cars for federal employees).

$6 billion for "Green Buildings" to repair federal buildings using green technology...."

$1.3 billion for grants or loans to "owners" for energy and green retrofit investments. (What owners?)

$613 million to DOD for energy efficiency upgrades and construction of "alternative energy projects" including wind and solar power..."

400 million for rural businesses initiatives including development of renewable energy.

* At this point, the reader might want to take a breath and ask, "What is being stimulated here?".

But there is more.

Under the Heading, Protecting the Vulnerable, we have;

$16.5 billion for additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly the Food Stamp program).

500 million for Special Supplemental Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). 150 million for food banks.

Helping Children-
$4.6 billion to increase investments in early childhood programs.


Community Development Financial Institutions- 250 million "to immediately provide capital to qualified community development financial insttuions (CDFIs) to invest in the development of under served communities."

Social Services Block Grant- 400 million for "states and local non-profits to deliver critical services to unemployed and low-income individuals struggling with the effects of the recession."

Under Health (total expenditure-16 billion dollars)

- $5 billion to "jump start efforts to computerize health records..."

This is not a complete list of the expenditures, and the final bill will probably look different in some ways. I think you get the idea however that this is not only a gigantic pork barrel scam, but it also reflects more government involvement in our lives, a return to government welfare-and has little to do with stimulating the economy. It is nothing more than a huge government spending program that would make Lyndon B Johnson blush.

"I heard that Fousesquawk!!"

And who is going to pay for this 800 plus billion dollar program? We are, that's who. There is only one way to pay for all this irresponsible government spending, and that is by raising taxes.

I would urge you to follow this bill and pull up the latest version on-line as it proceeds to final passage. It's our money, folks.

Still "Bushed"

It is the year 2050. Keith Olbermann, now retired and residing at the Happy Valley "Retirement Home" sits and waits......and waits.....

"I won't be here long. George Bush is coming to take me home. Is he here yet?"

"He's coming, Mr Olbermann. He's coming".

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Barney Frank and OneUnited Bank

Barney Frank

Not surprisingly, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) is back in the spotlight. This time, the chair of the Financial Services Committee is attracting attention for interceding with the Treasury Department and arranging 12 million dollars in Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds to be directed to OneUnited Bank of Massachusetts-even though the bank doesn't seem to meet the guidelines for bailing out banks.

This tiny bank in Massachusetts is the only minority-owned bank in the state. The bank's capital has been depleted, and it suffered a loss of $54.3 million from its holding of preferred stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It is currently under a cease and desist order from the FDIC for its unsound practices in lending and executive compensation. The bank has been ordered to cut financial ties to a California-based liability company that possesses a beachfront home in Santa Monica worth 6.4 million. The bank also pays for Porsche for the personal use of its president Kevin Gohee.

So why did Frank personally intercede on OneUnited's behalf and steer 12 million to the bank? According to Frank, it would have been tragic if the only black-owned bank in Massachusetts were allowed to fail. He also stated that it was not OneUnited's fault that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ran into problems.

It has been reported by the Wall Street Journal (1-27-09) that in addition to Frank, one other member of Congress was contacted by the bank for assistance. That would be Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA). Just coincidentally, Waters' husband, Sidney Williams, was a director of the bank until this past spring. Just a coincidence, mind you.

However, I am confident that President Barack Obama, in his promised era of change and transparency, will clean up this behind-the-scenes process that is anything but transparent.

Besides, Barney Frank is on the job.

The Hypocrisy of Maxine Waters

Representative Maxine Waters, (D-CA)

There are few people in Congress more odious than Maxine Waters (D-CA). A member of the Congressional Black Caucus, Waters, who represents a district on the outskirts of LA, specializes in racial politics. One of her favorite issues is racial profiling, yet she also paints herself as a drug warrior trying to protect the inner city from the scourge of drugs. In that vein, in 1996, she launched into an attack on the CIA based on allegations that the agency was facilitating the flow of cocaine into inner city neighborhoods. Yet, her "concern" about the drug problem is contradicted by her intervention in a DEA Houston drug investigation in 1999.

Following a 1996 article in the San Jose Mercury that alleged the complicity of the CIA in the crack epidemic of the 1980s in Los Angeles, Waters called for an investigation. The Justice Department was unable to find any evidence to support the allegations. Not satisfied, Waters dragged CIA Director John Deutch to a "town hall" forum in South Central Los Angeles to answer the charges in a hall full of hostile community members who verbally abused Deutch. (Security for Deutch was extremely heavy due to the volatile nature of the event.) Waters,having already convicted the CIA, stated at the time the following,

"I’m gonna make somebody pay for what they’ve done to my community and to my people."

Of course, the allegations proved groundless.

Waters' outrage about drug trafficking did not extend to DEA's Houston office in 1999when she learned that they were investigating a certain James Prince, the head of Rap-a-Lot Records in Houston's Fifth Ward. The years-long investigation was being conducted by the local task force composed of DEA and Houston PD drug investigators.
Prince contacted Waters in August of 1999 stating that he feared his life was in danger from DEA. He claimed that he and his associates had been followed, stopped and intimidated by DEA agents on numerous occasions. As a result, Waters, on August, 20, wrote a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno, a letter that was forwarded to DEA and on to the Houston Field Office. Waters' letter alleged racial profiling, racial slurs and harassment.

At this point it might be fair to ask why Prince chose to contact Waters, who represented a district in California as opposed to his own Texas representative. Answer? Well, it seems that Prince was a childhood friend of Waters' husband (Sidney Williams). That's why.

But I digress. After Houston Special Agent in Charge Ernest Howard received the letter, he informed the task force officers (DEA-Houston PD) that the investigation against Prince and his organization was being shut down. Subsequently, the lead DEA investigator, Jack Schumacher, was transferred to a desk job. An internal DEA (OPR) investigation was started into the agents' behavior which exonerated them. Not surprisingly, the agents and officers reacted with surprise followed by anger.

One of Prince's recording artists, Brad (Scarface) Jordan, subsequently cut a record, "Look me in my eyes", mocking DEA and claiming that they (Rap-a-Lot) had been able to kill the case.

Eventually, as the news became public, Congressional hearings into Waters' conduct ensued. In 2000, all the involved law enforcement personnel including Schumacher, Howard and then-DEA Administrator Donnie Marshall were subpoenaed to the House Committee on Government Reform chaired by Dan Burton (R-IN). Transcripts from the hearings of December 6-7, 2000 can be read at the site below:

It is here that accounts differ. The agents testified that Howard had mentioned a letter and politics as being the reason the case was being shut down. Howard (who is also African-American) testified that the reason he intervened in the investigation was because he did not want to subject his agents to false accusations and public/media abuse. He also testified that the case had not actually been closed, but that he had dictated that no further "pro-active" investigation (undercover, surveillance, ect) be conducted without prior authorization. Yet, he later sent an internal agency e-mail to HQs explicitly stating that the case had been closed due to political pressure. In his testimony, Howard stated that he had worded the message in that manner as to cause an immediate response from his counterparts in HQs so that he could "vent his anger". In his testimony, Marshall denied that DEA would close any case due to political pressure.

Much of the questioning in the hearings broke down along partisan lines. While Burton (R) wanted to get to the bottom of the mess, some of the Democrats, like Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD), seemed more interested in defending Waters, who Cummings referred to as the most courageous drug-fighter in Congress-someone who had put her life on the line. Schumacher was questioned about the number of shootings he had been involved in during his law enforcement career and how many people he had killed.

In effect, Marshall, Howard and other DEA managers testified that Waters had not ordered them to terminate the investigation and that the investigation was still on-going. And that was the end of that. As we all know, Maxine Waters is still in Congress today. Not surprisingly, Waters was listed on the 2005 and 2006 lists of the "Most corrupt members of Congress" by the organization, Citizens for Responsibility for Ethics in Washington (CREW) for her "exercise of her power to financially benefit her husband, daughter and son."

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Rebuttal to Fitna

In reference to my posting of Fitna, in the interest of fairness, I am also posting a rebuttal to Geert Wilders' film. You will note that it is labeled part 1 and deals with Qu'ranic verses. I am still trying to locate the other part(s)of this rebuttal. In the meantime, part 1 is below.


I wrote recently on the pending prosecution of Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who is accused of making anti-Muslim expressions including the film he produced, Fitna. This movie is about 17 minutes long and focuses mostly on the Muslim immigrant situation in The Netherlands. The movie does, however, contain images from 9-11, the London subway attacks and the Madrid train bombings. It takes violent quotes from the Qu'ran and shows film clips of radical imams preaching death and destruction to Jews and other non-Muslims. It is graphic, disturbing and not for the weak of stomach.

According to Wilders' critics, the film has the effect of inciting anti-Muslim sentiment. It definitely argues that Europe is being overrun by a hostile population that, in the name of militant Islam, would destroy all our freedoms if it takes over, particularly in regards to women.

So is the film racist, Islamophobic, or whatever label you might want to apply? Or is it factual, merely presenting an unpleasant reality that many would rather not face? It should be pointed out that Wilders' film uses the words of radical Islamists themselves.

The question that should be asked is whether Fitna paints all Muslims with the same brush, or is it unfair to the millions of peaceful Muslims all over the world? Perhaps, yet is it wrong to point out the violent and hateful segment of the Muslim world that is out there? Is it unfair to all Muslims worldwide to make a film about the militants who are dedicated to death and destruction? Or more to the point; should the film be censored or banned and Wilders prosecuted?

In the interest of dealing with those questions, I think it is better to let each viewer decide. Condemn the film if you will. Condemn me for showing it. What one cannot escape is the simple fact that this film deals with the signature issue of our time. We have to deal with it. (There is a rebuttal film to Fitna, which I am also posting separately.)

Here is Fitna

Campus Journalism at UC-Irvine

Being a big critic of the media, I try to cut a little slack when it comes to college newspapers. Though they tend to be heavily slanted to the left, I expect that and am generally willing to understand the occasional examples of unprofessionalism. After all, they are still learning their craft. Yet, I don't think their flaws should be completely ignored. After all, they are the future journalists of America, and they are a product of their journalism schools as well. The one campus newspaper I get a chance to read regularly is that of UC-Irvine, where I teach. It is called New University.

In past years, there was more of a balance in their editorial writing, at least in my opinion. Presently, however, it is pretty much left-wing, Democratic dogma-bash Bush and adore Obama. Below are some excerpts from this week's edition.

The front page story is entitled, "A Candle for Gaza" and reported on a candlelight vigil last Wednesday night organized by the Society of Arab Students. The full article can be found at:

According to the article, "the overall message was of non denominational mourning". The article also stated that the remembrance (for the victims of Gaza)"lacked the noticeable accusatory edge of previous Gaza-themed events on campus."

Or did it?

In addition to the candles, there were speakers. The moderator, SAS president Aayah Fatayerji gave casualty figures.

"As of last night, the death toll has been raised to 1,312 civilians, of which 580 were children" (numbers that have been strongly challenged in recent days).

Taher Herzallah, a student from UC-Riverside who has family in Gaza, asked, "Where is the humanity"? He then went on to describe the "brutal murder" of three members of his family who were killed when the building they were in was hit by an Israeli bomb. "Where is the humanity when human rights and relief organizations are bombed by Israel and the Palestinians are put to blame?"

Apparently, there were no candles lit for the innocent Israelis killed by Hamas rockets launched into southern Israel. In fact, the Jewish group on UCI's campus, "Anteaters for Israel", was not invited to participate in the event (which the article mentioned along with a statement by the AFI president expressing sadness at the loss of life).

Obviously, this was a one-sided event. Yet, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Manuel Gomez showed up to say a few words to the audience. I will quote the article below.

"Gomez also cited the tragedy of the Gaza situation, but emphasized the potential for international change with Barack Obama’s inauguration the day before."

'For almost a decade now, Americans have been repeatedly warned that we are … at war. However, yesterday we celebrated a new vision not only for ourselves, but hopefully for the entire world,' Gomez said. 'This is a vision that begins with preparing for peace. I want to believe that this is more than words. I want to believe that we are indeed on the precipice, on an important international paradigm shift away from conflict and war to one of dialogue, diplomacy and peace.'

If that's all he had to say, Gomez must have taken care to walk a middle line here. (Many critics charge that he has been insensitive to Jewish complaints of anti-Semitic hate speech on campus on the part of the Muslim Student Union and their speakers.)

But in other news:

Last Thursday, Lani Guiner spoke at UCI. You remember her, don't you? She was nominated by Bill Clinton to be Deputy Attorney General. Then it came out that her affirmative action agenda and past writings were so far to the left even Clinton threw her overboard, rescinding her nomination. The title of the article was, "A cry for diversity". Again, I wasn't there, but according to the article, Lani is still Lani.

I want to add here that those were news articles. The lead editorial (by the Editorial Board) was devoted to that favorite liberal bogeyman, Fox News. The focus of the article (I think) was how the network would do under Obama as opposed to when Bush was president.

Now I am not going to get exorcised because the campus newspaper wants to blast Fox News (my favorite news channel). But consider this language:

"It seems as if Sept 11 was the push that Fox News needed to get its slimy head completely out of the womb and into the ass of Bush Jr." The "editorial board" then goes on to blast Bill O'Reilly by bringing up his famous on-air meltdown and fully quoted his use of the F-bomb.

Then there is the weekly feature of New University- "Douchebag of the Week", sort of like Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" routine. This time, it was another shot at Fox News and their coverage of the inauguration.

As I said before, I don't expect to see my point of view featured much in a campus newspaper. Forget the fact that they may be a few conservative students at UCI (and I suspect there are plenty) whose views are mocked by the New University. What I do find ridiculous is the fact that many of the young writers have to resort to bad language in their writing. Is this what they are learning from their journalism teachers? Are there any adults in charge over there?

If you think the New York Times is bad now, wait until these young rascals take over.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Celebrity Endorsements-Rep. Henry Waxman for Turtle Wax

Rep. Henry Waxman says,

"Folks, with summer fast approaching, you want to keep your dome bright and shiny. So do like I do. Keep that dome always looking great with Turtle Wax! It's guaranteed to give your dome a shiny, fresh off the House-floor look. Won't chip or peel. And-it won't run off in the rain."

"Accept no phony imitations. Give your dome the treatment it deserves. Use Turtle Wax!"

Celebrity Endorsements- William "Cold Cash" Jefferson for Frigidaire

William "Cold Cash" Jefferson says,

"Folks, don't let your hard-earned cash go to waste. Do like me. I keep my cash safe and secure with Frigidaire."

"Frigidaire has a freezer compartment with a capacity for up to $90,000. And if those pesky FBI agents come a-calling, it'll just look like ordinary frozen broccoli. So take it from old "Cold Cash" himself. Keep your cash in Frigidaire."

Celebrity Endorsements -Barry Bonds for Wheaties

Hey kids! If you want to hit homers like Barry Bonds, you better start eating your Wheaties!

Barry Bonds before he started eating his Wheaties

Barry Bonds after he started eating his Wheaties

So if you want to be a home run champ like Barry Bonds-you better start eating your Wheaties!

Remembering Enrique "Kiki" Camarena

Enrique "Kiki" Camarena

DEA Administrator John Lawn comforting Mika Camarena, wife of Enrique Camarena

Yesterday, I attended the funeral of a former DEA colleague, Rich Gorman, in El Cajon near San Diego. Rich was a retired DEA agent who had served most of his career in San Diego and had earned a legendary reputation. Rich died of pancreatic cancer, which cut short a productive retirement in which he was continuing to work in drug law enforcement. To pay tribute, St Luke's Church in El Cajon was filled to capacity as old friends and colleagues came from as far away as Texas and Florida to say good-bye. For myself, having retired from DEA in 1995, I don't often see my old colleagues much any more, and now it is usually at events such as these.

On the program I noted a now-familiar statement which read that en lieu of flowers, donations could be made in Rich's name to the Enrique S. Camarena Foundation, Inc. The name of Enrique "Kiki" Camarena is never far below the surface at a DEA funeral. Due to the nature of drug enforcement work, virtually every old DEA agent knows the names of those who were killed in the line of duty- and often knew the lost agent themselves. I myself, personally experienced the death of one of my fellow-agents in Bangkok due to an accidental gunshot wound which occurred in our office (Bob Lightfoot). At Rich's funeral, I had the chance to meet a somewhat younger agent who had been wounded but survived a shooting in Los Angeles in the late 1980s that had claimed the lives of two other agents (Paul Seema and George Montoya), one of whom I had known from Thailand. (I was working in Pittsburgh when this happened.) Shortly before I retired, I was one of the first on the scene of a fatal traffic accident that killed a fellow agent in Quantico (Becky Dwojeski).

As much as those events affected me personally, no agent's loss hit DEA as an entire agency as hard as that of Camarena. I myself, did not know him. Yet, the circumstances of his death left a mark on me as it did every agent.

Enrique "Kiki" Camarena was a native of Calexico, a small town on the border across from Mexicali where he was born. After serving in the US Marines, he returned to Calexico, where he served as a firefighter and policeman prior to joining DEA. He was extremely popular, respected both as a person and as an agent.

In February 1985, Camarena, while stationed with DEA in Guadalajara, Mexico, was abducted off the street near the American Embassy by drug traffickers, aided by Mexican police officers. Taken to a house owned by drug trafficker Rafael Caro Quintero, he and a Mexican pilot who worked with him were kept for days and systematically tortured before being murdered. At times, a local doctor even brought them back to consciousness so that the torture could resume. Their bodies were later dumped in a field outside the state of Jalisco where they were eventually discovered.

The role in the actual murder and subsequent cover-up by Mexican police was a national scandal and reached right into the Mexican Attorney General's Office. Mexican police even facilitated the escape of Caro Quintero out of Mexico in spite of DEA protests. During the search for Camarena, US Customs Commissioner William von Raab took the extraordinary step of closing the border. Under President Reagan, tremendous diplomatic pressure was put on Mexico to find our agent and achieve justice. The case gained widespread publicity across both nations. Unfortunately, Caro-Quintero became something of a folk hero in Mexico, while Camarena was denigrated. Altogether, it was a disgraceful chapter in Mexico's history.

Eventually, Caro-Quintero was apprehended in Costa Rica and extradited back to an embarrassed Mexico, which tried him and sentenced him to a long term in prison. Other participants were identified and tracked down in both the US and Mexico for prosecution.

While I did not personally know Camarena, I, like all other DEA agents, followed the case closely. I was in Milan, Italy at the time. A couple in the State Department who had worked with Kiki in Guadalajara were then working in the Consulate in Milan, and I had the sad task of letting them know that Kiki's body had been found. Another colleague and friend of mine from our posting in Thailand, was then working in Istanbul, and Kiki's sister was his secretary. It was his duty to make the notification in the wee hours of the morning.

While the news of every agent's death impacted the entire agency, in the case of Camarena, it was the horrific circumstances of his death that left us all shaken and outraged. In response, Kiki's colleagues, many now retired, have worked to keep his memory and legacy alive in the American consciousness. As part of that, the Enrique S. Camarena Educational Foundation has been established to promote anti-drug education among young people, provide scholarships and honor the memory of fallen drug officers.

To learn more about the Enrique S Camarena Educational Foundation, Inc, go to their website at:

Kiki's son, Enrique Camarena Jr, has followed in his father's footsteps, having become a deputy district attorney for San Diego County.

Our News Media in Action

Tip of the hat to the great Don Martin

The Hijab- What is its Significance?

On a recent posting, I described an event at UC-Irvine hosted by the Muslim Student Union and made the observation that the overwhelming majority of the females in the audience were wearing hijabs-the headscarf that many Muslim women choose to wear. For this, I was taken to task by one of my readers as to why I even mentioned it. I answered the question, but I think the whole issue of the hijab merits a posting in itself because I have a lot of questions about it myself.

In light of world events involving Islam-or perhaps, I should say militant Islam, it seems to me that more and more Muslim women are choosing to don the hijab. Of course, in some parts of the Muslim world, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia and up until the removal of the Taliban, Afghanistan, the hijab has been mandatory, indeed Afghanistan mandated burkas and Saudi Arabia requires full-facial covering out of doors. On the other hand, in France, for example, the hijab has become so controversial, that the country has tried to ban it in certain public venues like school as an affront to the idea of assimilation.

To be specific, my question is why women wear the hijab. I invite any Muslim readers of this blog (and I know you are out there) to share their insight.

On the one hand, I have an admiration for female modesty-especially given some of the outrageous ways some Western women choose to dress-not that I am a prude by any means. I also think that the headscarf appears quite feminine and attractive in its own right-though I also think that long, black hair is downright beautiful to look at.

The choice of whether to wear the hijab or not I believe should be left to the woman herself and not dictated by other Muslim men who may or may not even be related to her. If the woman is forced to wear it, I think that is unfortunate.

But assuming the individual woman chooses to wear the head-covering, the question remains why? Is it truly because of religious piety? It is my understanding that the Qu'ran does not dictate it. Is there some other statement that the woman is making-especially in Western society? Is it a statement of militancy? Is it a statement that "I am different from you, and I reject Western society"? Is it a warning to non-Muslim men to stay away and not even think about making an advance? Or is it just because my family or peers insist on it?

I think the answer depends on the individual. My perception tells me (perhaps, erroneously) that more hijabs are being seen in the US in light of recent events, and that this could be an ominous sign. There again, I could be completely off-base, and I welcome any enlightenment from Muslim readers, male or female.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rod Blagoyevich and Pearl Harbor

The USS Blagoyevich as seen from the air

Give credit where credit is due. Soon to be ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagoyevich has the testicles of an elephant. This man has now set a new record for chutzpah. The impeached governor has now told The Associated Press that Dec. 9, the day he got arrested, is to his family, "what Pearl Harbor Day was to the United States."

And it gets better. Blago added that it was "a complete surprise." then said just as the U.S. prevailed in World War II, he will prevail in fighting the charges.

Well, it may have been a complete surprise to him, but it sure wasn't to millions of other people in Illinois who knew this thing was coming down for the last 2 or 3 years. Heck, it wasn't even a surprise to me.

Of course, if Blago cuts a deal with prosecutors, this whole sordid affair may yet turn out to be a Pearl Harbor for others.

Friday, January 23, 2009

London, January 3, 2009-Protest at Israeli Embassy

Planning a trip to "Merry Olde England" this summer? Big Ben, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey? No thanks.

Where are those British soccer hooligans when you need them?

Abortion Funding Overseas

Hey, it's only money

President Obama has now changed the Bush policy of denying public funds to groups working overseas that in any way promote, give information about, or encourage abortion. Do I have that correct? This is not an issue I have followed much, but it apparently has gone back and forth like a ping-pong ball as we changed presidents. Very briefly, and without getting into details, I have a basic concern as an American tax-payer.

First of all, on the question of abortion, I am opposed to it. However, reality tells me that this is an issue that is settled country to country. I am guessing that most countries have laws against it though I hardly know the breakdown. My point is this; why are we getting so exorcised about helping women get abortions in other countries? What I mean is, let the laws of the country dictate what can or can't be done. Is it really the mission of the American government-funded by the US taxpayer- to get involved in family-planning in other countries-or our own country for that matter? I am not against charity for people in poor countries, but I say let the private charities handle it. Whether a woman in Ethiopia has or doesn't have an abortion is of no concern to me, and I sure don't want to have to pay more in taxes so America can get involved in it.

Of course, this will probably be hidden somewhere in that one trillion dollar "stimulus package" we are about to get hit with. And you wonder why your taxes are so high?

(I'll probably get it from both sides on this one.)

Random Shots in the Dark (10)

Almost lost in all the hubbub of the past few days are the following little tidbits designed to make our day:

Been watching the latest "Bachelor"? No, neither have I. My wife, however, is a faithful devotee, so I am exposed to snippets as I walk through the living room. Of course, it's the same old scenario. A bunch of catty young babes getting their 15 minutes of fame and mouthing the same old lines as all the previous babes. I have a word of advice for the latest Lothario, Jason or Jarred, or whatever his name is; get the hell outta there and jump on the next flight to Bangkok. That's right.

Real bachelors in Bangkok without roses. (Somebody better tell the old guy his girlfriend is a guy.)

Now that Obama has ordered the closing of Gitmo, the question now is-what do you do with these 250 killers? Bring them to US shores, you suggest? Say hello to the lawyers and judges. Heck, say hello to the terrorists themselves as they get out on bail and start showing up on your street corners. That's right.

Meanwhile, Change has come to America. Like having a Treasury secretary who uses Turbo-Tax and neglects to pay $34,000 of his "fair share". Like having a secretary of State whose part-time husband gets millions from countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Like having an attorney general who was involved in the pardons of Marc Rich and FALN terrorists.


Meanwhile, in Kalifornia, we still don't have a budget for 2009 (the fiscal year started July 1)as our Governator and legislature still try to raise taxes in a state with the highest income tax, highest sales tax, highest car tax in the nation and highest business tax in the West. Oh well. A few more months and we won't have to worry about the 2009 budget because fiscal year 2009 will be gone. No budget-no problem I always say. Dat's right.

"Budget? Ve don't need no schtinking budget."

The last three nights, I have flipped over to MSNBC and Keith Olbermann just to see what he is talking about since the new president arrived. George Bush, naturally. Looks like Krazy Keith and his band of agreers (Rachel Maddow, Eugene (Chuckles) Robinson and Richard Wolffe (that's two "f"s and and an "e", folks) are drafting up a world-wide indictment of Bush for war crimes. Looks like there won't be any Change in "Countdown's" format.

I wonder just how much of the Caroline Kennedy fiasco the New York Times will decide is "fit to print"(inside joke).

I still think Terry Bradshaw would have been a great pick.

What? Not from New York, you say?

Since when did that ever make a difference?

Not qualified, you say?

Since when did that ever make a difference?

Too dumb, you say?

Since when did that ever make a difference?

Too ugly, you say?

Now that makes a difference.

Meanwhile in Illinois, sculptors have been seen at the future mausoleum of Senator Roland Burris, carving tools in hand looking for space to insert the latest entry on his resume. God forbid this boob ever becomes president. Can you say.....

Hey, whatever happened to John Edwards?

Wrong picture.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Caroline Kennedy Mess- A National Embarrassment

Now that Caroline Kennedy has issued a sudden midnight withdrawal from Senate consideration, questions are arising-and will continue to arise in the days and weeks ahead. This can only be a massive embarrassment for Ms Kennedy, the entire process and the State of New York. The initial reports are ugly and will probably get uglier.

Tonight, the New York Post is quoting an anonymous source-close to Governor David Paterson- who is saying that a combination of factors led to Ms Kennedy's abrupt withdrawal; nanny problems, income tax problems and personal issues, which until further corroborated, are better left unsaid.

Tonight, all kinds of speculation are running amok as to how this unfolded. Some see the dark hand of the Clintons in derailing Ms Kennedy's drive to become the Senator from New York. To me, all of this is speculation. What is not speculation is that this does not speak well for our political system, at least as it pertains to appointments. First we have seen the sleazy process in Illinois, which has led to a criminal indictment of a sitting governor, now this cutthroat process in New York.

Pending the release of further information, I don't know whether to sympathize with Ms Kennedy or not. I don't think she was qualified to be a US Senator in the first place. I don't think she had the experience, nor do I think she acquitted herself well in her campaign to be appointed. She could not articulate why she should be a senator, nor could she articulate herself well at all. Her speech is riddled with verbal tics, like "you know, you know", which caused many to write her off, rightfully or wrongfully.

Was her desire to succeed Hillary Clinton derailed by vicious back-stabbing and rumor-mongering? Who knows? As painful as it may be for her personally, I would like to see the full-story come out. That way, the public can see how sausages are made in the State of New York-much as we have seen how sausages are made in the State of Illinois. We all know political reform is necessary in our country, but it takes public awareness to make it happen. Only when the public rises up and demands professionalism and decency in government, will real changes for the better come about.

Celebrity Endorsements - Michael Jackson for Toys R Us

Here is Michael Jackson for Toys R Us:

"With Valentine's Day approaching, there is only one place I go to find the perfect gift for "that special someone" that he will always remember. Toys R us."

Another Shameful Victory for the Universal Gutless Left

Geert Wilders

Cross-posted from Radarsite

From CBC News

"Amsterdam's Court of Appeal has ordered the prosecution of outspoken Dutch politician Geert Wilders for hate-speech, related to his anti-Islamic film, Fitna.

In a decision posted on Wednesday, the court called on public prosecutors to begin a case against the right-wing, anti-immigration politician over statements he made in interviews, in editorials and in his 15-minute film, released last March on the internet.

The court singled out Wilders for insulting comments likening elements of the Muslim faith to Nazism and calling the Qur'an "a fascist book."

"The court considers this so insulting for Muslims that it is in the public interest to prosecute Wilders," a summary of the court's decision said.

Commenting to Dutch media, Wilders called it a "black day for myself and for freedom of speech."

Wilders' short film, which drew widespread condemnation and protests in Muslim countries, intersperses violent, graphic imagery — including from the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States and the beheading of a Caucasian man – with quotations from the Qur'an, Islam's holy book.

It ends with text saying Islam "seeks to destroy our Western civilization" and a caricature of Muhammad, his head drawn in the shape of a bomb that explodes into a crack of thunder and lightning.

The title, Fitna, refers to a Qur'anic term for "strife."

Wednesday's decision overturns the one made by the Dutch public prosecutor's office last year. After a six-month investigation, the office had decided not to pursue a case against Wilders, saying his remarks did not amount to a punishable offence."

Fousesquawk comment: This is just an example of what is going on in The Netherlands, the most-screwed up county in Europe-a country that dares to tolerate the intolerable. This episode ranks alongside the time when a Dutch informer tipped off the Gestapo to Ann Frank's hiding place during the German occupation.* (After reflection- and a little scolding from the comments section- maybe that is a bit of hyperbole; they are not equal in degree.)

This is a country that lives in fear of its Muslim population, many of whom are young Moroccan punks that roam in gangs, assault Jews on the streets and even assault their teachers in the classroom. The blog "The Dutch Report" has a video of just such an assault in a city near Utrecht (I am still trying to get it up here.) You can see it here.

...and in Anaheim (January 18, 2009)

Anti-Israel counter-demonstrators at a pro-Israel march in Anaheim on January 18,2009

The swastikas on the posters are super-imposed over the Star of David (click to enlarge).

(Photos courtesy of the Orange County Independent Task Force on Anti-Semitism)

Celebrity Endorsements - Timothy Geithner for Turbo-Tax

"I saved over $34,000 in taxes while using Turbo-Tax!"

-Timothy Geithner, Treasury Secretary-designate for Turbo-Tax

Celebrity Endorsements - OJ Simpson for Hertz

"......and the best thing about renting at Hertz is the new express check-in, where you can do directly to your car without wasting time at the check-in counter- always important when you are running from the law."

-OJ Simpson for Hertz

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Reverend Joseph Lowery's Words at the Inauguration

"We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, where brown can stick around, when yella' will be mella', when the red man can get ahead, man- and when white will embrace what is right. Let all of those who will do justice and love mercy say 'Amen'. AMEN! Say AMEN."

-Reverend Joseph Lowery at the inauguration of Barack Obama, January 20, 2009

I don't want to pile on too hard on Reverend Joseph Lowery for his comments at the inauguration yesterday, but I do think some comment is warranted.

First of all, I respect what Lowery has done in his life as a veteran of the civil rights struggle, and, unlike some others, I would not call him a racist because of those remarks. (After all, he is a friend of Sean Hannity from the days when Hannity was a radio host in Atlanta.)

Yet, this is not the first time, Lowery has raised my eyebrows with his comments. Several years ago, he spoke publicly and dismissively about former segregationist governor of Alabama George Wallace (then-already deceased). Wallace, late in life, crippled and in poor health, had publicly repented his past as a segregationist and asked for forgiveness from black Americans-forgiveness that Lowery, a Christian minister could not extend. Instead, he mocked Wallace.

Then there was Lowery's disgusting reference to WMDs at the funeral of Coretta Scott King with President and Mrs Bush seated behind him. It simply was not the time nor the place.

Now this reference to whites embracing "right" as if it were in the future. Once again, it was neither the time nor the place. I wonder how all those white people in the freezing cold, people who had probably voted for Obama and were there to celebrate the day, must have felt. Did any turn around and go home?

I think it is time for Reverend Lowery to give some credit to American society for the changes that have been made in the past forty years which have culminated in the election of Barack Obama as our 44th president. Most of what we witnessed yesterday was uplifting and spoke well of what the nation has accomplished. Once again, Lowery's words were dismissive and out of place. I would like to think he is better than that.

Thank You, President Bush

Dear President Bush,

As you return home to Texas to enjoy your retirement, I think that it is entirely appropriate for one American to sincerely thank you for what you have done as president. Yes, your poll numbers are low at the moment. They are perhaps even lower around the world-in countries that don't do much to make this a better world yet love to bash our country. I do believe, however, that history will judge your presidency much kindlier than today's pundits. So I would like to thank you for what you did.

Thank you for protecting our country after 9-11.

Thank you for fighting back against Islamic terror.

Thank you for driving the Taliban from Afghanistan and giving the Afghans a chance to live in freedom.

Thank you for ridding Iraq and the world of Saddam Hussein and giving the Iraqis a chance to live in freedom.

Thank you for taking out two of the most brutal regimes in recent memory.

Thank you for doing what you thought was right in spite of public opinion polls and world opionion.

Thank you for being a strong leader.

Thank you for lowering our taxes.

Thank you for appointing sensible judges both to the Supreme Court and the federal bench.

Thank you for not lowering yourself to the level of many of your detractors in Congress and the media who called you every name in the book while you never lashed back.

Thank you for your commitment to fighting AIDS in Africa.

Thank you for commuting the sentences of ex-Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.

Thank you for having a White House and administration that wasn't filled with corruption like your predecessor's.

Thank you for being a good and decent man.

God bless you and Laura, President Bush.

Gary Fouse

Professor Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander- literary giant

"Roses are red,
violets are blue,
my car is green,
my house is orange"

I was reminded of the above while I listened to Elizabeth Alexander read her poem yesterday at the Obama inaugural. Now, let me confess at the outset that I know little or nothing about poetry, except that it is supposed to rhyme-or has that gone out of style? Frankly, I thought the lady was breaking down the upcoming Super Bowl game except she never mentioned who was going to win. I've heard more sensible prose in barrooms at closing time.

"One, two, three, four,
what time is it?"

The only time in my life I ever did any research about poetry was when I was writing my books about the languages of the former Soviet republics and Papiamentu, a creole language spoken in the Dutch Antilles. Since poets usually have a lot to do with the development and standardization of languages, it was necessary for me to learn about the important poets of those respective languages who played important roles.

Hopefully, such will not be the case for Ms Alexander. If this is an example of modern poetry, then it must rank alongside what modern art did to art and hip-hop did to music (destroyed them).

Check this one out and note it's message.

..."from this table, I’d spirit
his knives and cut out his black heart,
seal it with science fluid inside
a bell jar, place it on a low
shelf in a white man’s museum
so the whole world could see
it was shriveled and hard,
geometric, deformed, unnatural."

From "The Venus Hottentot"
(a poem about slavery in Europe)

Or these lines excerpted from "Neonatology":

“a soggy, bloody crotch, is.....

“sharp jets of breast milk shot straight across the room,

“is gaudy, mustard-colored poop, is.....

“postpartum tears that soak the baby’s lovely head.

“Shockingly vital, mammoth giblet,

“the second living thing to break free

“of my body in fifteen minutes.

“The midwife presents it on a platter."

As Lawrence Welk used to say, "Ah horrible, ah horrible ah".

That's how you get a PHD, folks. Yep, Dr Alexander has all the requisite degrees, honors and awards from the hallowed halls of academia-too numerous to list here on my humble little blog. She is a pal of Obama from Chicago and is now a professor of English and African-American Studies at ..ahem...Yale University.

"All rise!"

So now that Bill Clinton has dropped Maya Angelou on us, we get Elizabeth Alexander. Frankly, I'm up to here with poetry, especially after seeing all these dopey pro-Hamas rallies going on here in the States, you know, like...

"From the river to the sea,
Palestine will be free"

(Actually it sounds pretty good with a bullhorn-better than something about a baby being born.)

Hey, that rhymes! I'm a poet and don't know it.

Meanwhile, Back in Gaza, Hamas Honors the "Ceasefire"

No, folks, that's not fireworks in Washington DC. That is just one of 8 rockets fired into Southern Israel on Tuesday by those "freedom fighters" from Hamas.

Hold on There, Hillary!

"Who dares challenge my accession?"


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

Since I only have an afternoon class to teach at UC-Irvine, I was able to watch almost all of the festivities on TV from out here in Southern California. Now, at the end of the day, I want to write down my thoughts.

Though I am an Obama critic, there is nothing negative I can say about him tonight. He and Michelle have acquitted themselves beautifully today and with great grace. His speech was not the usual stem winder, rather it was short, sober and succinct. He is my president now, and in a time of great challenge for our nation, I wish him well. I can only hope that he will steer a middle course. If he does, I think he can have a successful presidency. We should all hope that his is a successful presidency. Does that mean I won't criticize him when I think appropriate? No, I will continue to exercise my freedom of speech, which this great country allows us to do.

Nevertheless, this was an historic day, and what left the most lasting impression on me was seeing the expressions on the faces of so many African-Americans in the crowd in Washington. One cannot help but be touched by that sight and what President Barack Obama means to them. I hope he will not let them down. Black America has so many challenges, but if this gives them the feeling that they can indeed make it in our country, then who can feel bad about that? Perhaps this will refute the messages of people like Louis Farrakhan, Jeremiah Wright and the New Black Panther Party. But who knows? Tonight Washington DC is a city celebrating across all racial lines. Can it last?

As I write this, I just watched him at the Commander-in-Chief Ball talking via satellite with a group of Illinois soldiers serving in Afghanistan and polling them on the important question-were they Cub fans or White Sox fans? (Obama is a White Sox fan.) Being a Cub fan, it brought a smile to my usually cynical face-especially when most of the troops said they were Cub fans.

There were a couple of bad moments. Of course, the first was the seizure of Senator Ted Kennedy that necessitated taking him to the hospital. Sadly, as President Bush appeared on the dais for the swearing-in ceremony, some nitwits on the west side of the Capitol began chanting that stupid "Na na, na na- hey, hey,hey-goodbye" chant. Bush, in his always graceful manner, ignored them. This is the man who had eggs thrown at his car in the first inaugural in 2001. This is the man who for eight years was called every name in the book by his political opponents. Today, as always, he bore it with dignity.

In that same vein, the incident was reported by some reporter for National Public Radio (NPR) with some degree of amusement. This from that "non-partisan", publicly funded radio channel. And just last night on MSNBC, that jerk Keith Olbermann was again calling on Obama to prosecute Bush for war crimes and conducting torture of the poor terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (he was waterboarded).

Then there was Her Royal Highness, Hillary Clinton, button-holing Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) at the luncheon in the Rotunda and engaging him in a heated conversation as to why he was insisting on an open debate and up or down vote on her confirmation hearing-as opposed to a rubber stamp acclamation. (Cornyn is concerned about the conflict of interest issue-as he and everybody else should be.)

But enough of the negative. I won't even go into a discussion of that awful "poet", Elizabeth Alexander and her rambling whatever-it-was she read. I had never heard of her, so I did a little Googling, and....if you've never read any of her "poetry" don't want to.

But enough of the negative. Congratulations to President Obama. What this remarkable man has accomplished is mind-boggling, and I wish him well in his presidency. This country needs him to be successful. I am not so jubilant about him as millions of others, but anyone who loves their country has to wish him well.

Can You Identify This Picture?

a Figure 8 stock car race
b Mid East peace process
c Congressmen at work
d West Virginia State Highway 1
e Jihadists on the road to Paradise
f UN diplomats looking for a parking place in NYC
g "Countdown" on Keith Olbermann

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Complete History of the Palestinian Nation













Great Moments in Canadian History

1944- Canadian troops landing at Normandy

1979- Canadian Embassy in Teheran hides American Embassy personnel and saves them from being taken hostage by Iranian barbarians

1992- Toronto Blue Jays win first World Series championship

2009- Canadian Immigration authorities turn William Ayres away at border and refuse him entry into Canada (OK, so that's not really William Ayres, but it happened anyway.)