Monday, August 31, 2009

Beating his drum....

....like it owes him money. Heartfelt congratulations to the very talented Liam, a young man who of late has been moonlighting with an old man Pipe Band. Liam, a lad of 13, recently participated in the North American and World Championship with his snare drum. Not sure how he fared in the Worlds but he placed first in North America with his drum in the grade two's.

Reverend Wrong

A Phoenix-area pastor has started to draw protesters to his congregation after he delivered a sermon titled, "Why I Hate Barack Obama," and told his parishioners that he prays for President Obama's death.

Pastor Steven Anderson stood by his sermon in an interview with MyFOXPhoenix, which reports that the pastor continues to encourage his parishioners to join him in praying for the president's death.

"I hope that God strikes Barack Obama with brain cancer so he can die like Ted Kennedy and I hope it happens today," he told MyFOXPhoenix on Sunday. He called his message "spiritual warfare" and said he does not condone killing.

Two wrongs don't make a right. However, two Wrights apparently make a wrong. What the hell is this "Reverend" thinking? To pray for someones death? Certainly to put it in the hands of the Almighty eg. "thy will be done" but to pray he gets brain cancer? It is guys like this that give conservatives and Christians a bad name. Seems to be cut from the same cloth as those folks who protest at soldier's funerals. I dislike what the Rev. Wright had to say during the election cycle. I dislike what this guy has to say just as much. Just my opinion.

The rest here.

Masochism

Sorry. Just need to whine electronically a bit. Starting graduate school. What was I thinking?

Zombies

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pray for Vocations

Dose of reality

ISLAMABAD — A contestant on a Pakistani reality TV show drowned while performing a challenge for the program, a spokeswoman for the show's sponsor said Sunday.

Pakistani contestant Saad Khan, 32, was swimming across a lake while wearing a 15-pound (7-kilogram) backpack when he called out for help and then disappeared underwater, according to Fareshte Aslam, information officer for Unilever Pakistan, the show's sponsor.

The rest here.

Deluded? Denial?

I am just about done with this whole Ted Kennedy thing. It is time for him to become a) a saint in the liberal political world and b) a historical footnote to the rest of us. But before I am done I wanted to share with you something I just read. Posted online somewhere (I think at the Boston Globe) is a story about a letter Kennedy had President Obama hand deliver to Pope Benedict when the two recently met. The contents up until now had not been disclosed.

At the committal service for Kennedy, Cardinal McCarrick read the contents of that letter. Do you find this sentence from the letter as nutty as I do?

“I have always tried to be a faithful Catholic, Your Holiness, and though I have fallen short through human failings, I have never failed to believe and respect the fundamental teachings.


You're kidding me, right? Can I have a Shah....as if? I guess there really are no atheists in fox holes.

The rest of it is here.

Tinkering

Some things are just amazing. For those of you like me who are on the approach to fifty looking back at the things civilization has accomplished in the last half century are mind boggling. I remember in grammar school when the teacher spoke in breathless awe about the invention of the electron microscope and the worlds it would open to the scientific community. Really awe inspiring stuff. In that vein check this out.

Scientists from IBM used an atomic force microscope (AFM) to reveal the chemical bonds within a molecule.

'This is the first time that all the atoms in a molecule have been imaged,' lead researcher Leo Gross said.

In the image above the hexagonal shapes of the five carbon rings are clear and even the positions of the hydrogen atoms around the carbon rings can be seen.

To give some perspective, the space between the carbon rings is only 0.14 nanometers across, which is roughly one million times smaller than the diameter of a grain of sand.

Holy smoke! It took me a bit of pondering to realize just how important this type of research is. But then it got me a bit worried too. I mean, are we tinkering with stuff we have absolutely no business screwing with? Does a scientist having a bad Monday morning perhaps wield the power to cause all of us to have six eyed grandchildren? Well, we survived the A Bomb (so far) and the moon landings. Fingers crossed everyone.

The rest at the link.

Someday

Someday I am going to go to Mass that has guitar music one too many times.

Stupid green thumb

With the exception of certain foods that should not be changing color, I love green. Grass and garden are two of the biggest treasures that I possess. Despite a busy schedule I do everything in my power to make sure that those organic life forms in my kingdom thrive and are looking spiffy.

So I am compelled to ask. What the hell happened this year. Despite diligent crop rotation all of my produce is anorexic. Tomatoes with thin skins, undersized jalapenos and stunted egg plants. The lawn, well....it used to be sod. Soaked with more chemicals than the Love Canal my poor lawn is being over run by hordes of marauding weeds. Damn!

Too much rain? Too much heat? Gardeners stupidity? AAAaaarrrrghhh! Enough whining I suppose. I will gird my loins, suit up and continue the fight. It is a fight to the end. A death match between me and these insipid interlopers.

Why do I have this picture in my head of me with a sod cutter in the spring? Sigh.

Julie and Julia

Last night the planets were in line. Thanks to a busy work schedule and a planned sleep over both kids were out of the house. So my wife and I indulged in an interpersonal rarity in our lives. We went out to dinner and a movie.

For those of you without children you are probably chuckling about someone gushing about an activity so mundane that it would barely merit mention around the water cooler on Monday morning. But I assure you that the experience was enchanting.

Faced with some scheduling dilemmas for our little junket we elected to first hit the movie and then catch a late dinner (again, something we haven't done since the early nineties). The evenings entertainment, Julie and Julia.

What a great movie. Charming, funny and very entertaining. It took about 45 seconds to forget you were watching Meryl Streep and through the magic of Hollywood you were immersed in the fascinating life of Julia Child. Without a doubt, a winner through and through.

Followed up by some delicious Portuguese food and ample amounts of sangria the night was perfect. We will have to do it again in a year or two.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Perpetual Adolescence

When you read quite a bit you get spoiled. And while an unapologetic news junkie I get tired of boilerplate writing in the sphere of media. So I find myself frequenting opinion pieces. I read from both sides of the aisle (though I usually save reading the liberal skew on things for when I am too continent) and appreciate most those pieces that are factual as well as opinionated.

For your consideration please visit The American Spectator to read Daniel J. Flynn's assessment of the Ted Kennedy legacy. It will give you much to ponder. It was enlightening and sad at the same time.

Saturday Morning Cartoons


Found at Big Girl Pants.

Kennedy legacy.....humor?

An audio interview about the legacy of Senator Ted Kennedy. Who knew he was such a funny guy. Check it out on the blog of the Battling Barrister of the Left Coast.

Perhaps a book burning next?


Maybe we will take all of the guns from the peasants. Why not even regulate churches as was proposed not too long ago?

I don't want to sound like a survivalist weenie but this story made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.

A Senate bill would offer President Obama emergency control of the Internet and may give him a "kill switch" to shut down online traffic by seizing private networks -- a move cybersecurity experts worry will choke off industry and civil liberties.

Details of a revamped version of the Cybersecurity Act of 2009 emerged late Thursday, months after an initial version authored by Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.V., was blasted in Silicon Valley as dangerous government intrusion.

"In the original bill they empowered the president to essentially turn off the Internet in the case of a 'cyber-emergency,' which they didn't define," said Larry Clinton, president of the Internet Security Alliance, which represents the telecommunications industry.

"We think it's a very bad idea ... to put in legislation," he told FOXNews.com.

The rest at the link. I think its time to go bury a few things around the yard just in case.

Orthodoxy takes a hit

Bishop Joseph F. Martino is expected to resign as head of the Diocese of Scranton next week, sources within the diocese confirmed to The Times-Tribune....

Some of you may remember that Bishop Martino took several unpopular stands in his Diocese. In all of those issue his Excellency was a standard bearer of Catholic doctrine. It will be a sad day when he leaves. We need more Bishops like him who are not afraid to point out what is right or wrong no matter how unpopular or unflattering.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Mother's prayer answered

A young woman surfaced claiming to be a missing girl who was kidnapped 18 years ago from a school bus stop, and police in Concord, Calif., say they're "very confident" that her story is true.

Authorities have two people in custody and are reportedly searching the home of a registered sex offender after a woman came forward identifying herself as Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was abducted in 1991.

Jaycee was taken from a bus stop when she was 11 years old, minutes after she left her South Lake Tahoe home.

There could be not better news for this family. Here is the rest of the story.

No shocker here!

The refusal by ABC and NBC to run a national ad critical of President Obama's health care reform plan is raising questions from the group behind the spot -- particularly in light of ABC's health care special aired in prime time last June and hosted at the White House.

Anyone who doubts that there is a liberal bias in media, particularly television should really consider some shock therapy. Let me get this straight. My children can be assailed by television ads about condoms and any other variety of things that those of tender years should be shielded from but should someone want to present an opposing view to the Almighty.....I mean President Obama it is rejected out of hand. The very thought is unAmerican and they should be deeply ashamed.

The rest of this disgusting matter is detailed here.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Backyard engineering

One of the many nice things about not being trapped in a cubicle forty hours per week is the ability to witness man's triumph over nature. After leaving an EMS assignment earlier today I encountered such a triumph. What to do when you lack adequate sunlight to grow delicious Jersey tomatoes? Suffice to say life presents few challenges that cannot be overcome with a bit of sweat, some ingenuity and a good circular saw. Perhaps a bit of understanding wife thrown in for good measure.

Church Musicians

During the morning blog surf today I came across a video that made me think of my friend the Maestro and his legions of colleagues known to us under the generic term, Church Musicians.

An interesting specie these folk.

Knowledgeable of my shortcomings I make it a habit of taking pause to acknowledge and appreciate talent. Particularly talents I would give my eye teeth to have. Musicians in general and particularly Church musicians fall in to this category.

As an old school guy who is too young to retain first hand knowledge of Pre Vatican II liturgy I spent most of my formative years struggling through week after week of guitar strumming folk Masses. It was a rare treat when for some reason our family could not make the 9am and had to attend the 10:30 high Mass with Choir and organ accompaniment. Good music has always made any liturgy I have attended that much more prayerful and special.

Over the years I have had the privledge to meet a good many of these intrepid women and men who after years of dilligent practice of their craft have scrupulously guarded our treasury of sacred music against all enemies, both foreign and domestic. They are all horrendously underpaid for their talent and most often are forgotten as an important component of the Church community.

The video reminded me of the years of preparation and ongoing work necessary for these good people to offer their craft. We too often take for granted their dedication and relegate their efforts to the background. So as you watch this time lapsed video of the assembly of a pipe organ at the Pontifical College Josephinum remember the years of work your pastoral musicians must endure to keep sacred music alive and well in the Twenty First Century.

Kennedy

Since I started to write this blog I have had occasion to ponder how I would treat certain incidents. One of those incidents has come to pass today with the death of Ted Kennedy.

It is wrong to take joy in the passing of one human being from this world to the next. For his actions on this Earth, Kennedy, like all of us, will be judged. Certainly both pundits and historians will dissect the minutiae of his life but judgement of his actions is the province of the Almighty.

Some will praise him as the "Liberal Lion" of the US Senate and others shall deride his very existence for being a driving force behind the ease of obtaining abortion on demand in our beloved country. There are merits in both assessments I'm sure.

In my never ending quest to "walk the walk" I will take pause today and offer a short prayer for the repose of his soul. I hope that at the hour of his death he recognized his sins, particularly against the unborn, and sought forgiveness. I will also take time to remember the victims of his misdeeds beginning with Mary Jo Kopechne. May their souls and the souls of all the departed rest in peace.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Marine gives history lesson

Semper Fi

Great endorsement

HAVANA (Reuters) - President Barack Obama is trying to make positive changes in the United States, but is being fought at every turn by right-wingers who hate him because he is black, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro said on Tuesday.

The rest is here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Early to get excited about numbers but....

New polling shows Democrats are failing to connect with a key group of voters. According to a recent Gallup Poll, a whopping 70 percent of independents now disapprove of how the Democrat-controlled Congress is doing its job, while just 22 percent say they approve. The poll of 1,010 adults was taken Aug. 6-9 and had a 4-point margin of error.

The article is at the link.

Obama slays the Anteater?

Well it wasn't long before they stepped over the line, was it?

In an effort to reduce the spread of HIV, public health officials are considering the promotion of “universal circumcision” for all baby boys born in the United States.

The move comes after officials analyzed the results of several studies that show in African countries hit hard by HIV, men who were circumcised reduced their infection risk by half...

But Dr. Peter Kilmarx, chief of epidemiology for the division of HIV/AIDS prevention at the CDC, told the Times that any step that could stop the spread of HIV must be given “serious consideration.”

“We have a significant HIV epidemic in this country, and we really need to look carefully at any potential intervention that could be another tool in the toolbox we use to address the epidemic,”

If this isn't way over the top nothing is. Liberals versus Conservatives. Haves versus have nots. And now helmets versus anteaters. How do the folks from the NRA put it? They can have it when the pry it from my......oh, never mind. The rest of this nonsense at the link.


Sheriff Joe where are you?

Sounds like a job for the man from Maricopa County. After a large riot in a medium security prison in Kentucky a fair amount of the complex was destroyed by an arson fire set by the inmates.

During the riot, the inmates set fire to a number of buildings. Cochran said six buildings — the kitchen, multipurpose area, sanitation, visitation area, canteen and medical services — were total losses. The rioting stopped after a Kentucky State Police special response team fired tear gas.

Probably nothing a winter spent in tents wearing pink underwear and eating baloney sandwiches could not cure. The rest at the link.

What government run health care is really like

CHARLESTON, W.VA. (AP) - At least 1,200 veterans across the country have been mistakenly told by the Veterans Administration that they suffer from a fatal neurological disease.

The link.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Now I get it!!

I have been struggling for months trying to understand how spending trillions of dollars will pull us out of our economic slump. Despite the cadre of economic experts trotted in front of the cameras by the Obama administration my meager math skills have failed me. I just can't seem to grasp what they are saying. Then I found this fellow and his explanation. Now it makes sense.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Holy Smoke!

For Catholics the years since Vatican II have been conflicting. Especially for those among us who lean toward the old "high Church" liturgy versus the guitar strumming tambourine thumpers accustomed to folk Mass and the like. This is likely to rock some folks, particularly those who decided that the last few Popes did not really embrace the dictates of the Second Vatican Council.

Found over at Rorate Caeli I found the following to be very interesting.


ROME The document was delivered to the hands of Benedict XVI in the morning of last April 4 by Spanish Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

The Cardinals and Bishops members of the Congregation voted almost unanimously in favor of a greater sacrality of the rite, of the recovery of the sense of eucharistic worship, of the recovery of the Latin language in the celebration, and of the remaking of the introductory parts of the Missal in order to put a stop to abuses, wild experimentations, and inappropriate creativity. They have also declared themselves favorable to reaffirm that the usual way of receiving Communion according to the norms is not on the hand, but in the mouth.

Cañizares, is also having studies made on the possibility to recover the orientation towards the Orient of the celebrant, at least at the moment of the eucharistic consecration, as it happened in practice before the reform, when both the faithful and the priest faced towards the Cross and the priest therefore turned his back to the assembly.


Good news indeed! Grateful thanks to the learned and informed folks at Rorate Caeli. They are a dependable source for news like this and they are worth a visit.

Dear Mr. President

In the crackling fires of hell department


OMAHA, Neb. — A Nebraska man who stole a painting of the Virgin Mary to finance an abortion for a teen he raped has been convicted of first-degree sexual assault and felony theft. Here is the link.

Contrast

On an infrequent trip to the mall yesterday (the only place I can find my sugar free licorice of choice) while my wife and daughter were in one of the stores I decided to take a few minutes and blend in to the wall board and do a bit of people watching. Among the many sights available on a late Saturday afternoon at the mall the following two stood out to me.

1) A mom with two kids in tow. One boy (about six) was obviously blind. Dark glasses, white cane. Well behaved lad and clearly bridling under his mom's protective wing. My first impression, this mother is not going to let this child be a wuss. Loving but no nonsense, this kid will thrive and have a very productive life. How do I know this? No ESP here. Mom obviously is going to make sure of this.

2) Mother walking the mall talking loudly on a cell phone wearing pants that were painted on. Either that or the fabric that was stretched so tightly over her caboose it should have been used to construct space shuttles and submarines. Six feet behind her eating a pretzel bigger than his head was her equally well fed eight year old whining and carrying on as if someone had just tried to remove his liver with a salad spoon because he wanted to buy a game for his Nintendo while she obliviously continued on her way. I guess the clicking of her stiletto heels on the tile drowned out the noise. We will be seeing the two of them in the Juvenile Bureau before long. Guaranteed.

If I could only pick lottery numbers like this.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Red sky at night, sailors delight

Perspective

Found this over at the Digital Hairshirt and shamelessly stole it.

joseph stalin
see more Political Pictures

History repeats itself

Is this the same vast right wing conspiracy that the Clintons cited? Or is it the same group of people who did not believe her version of socialized medicine was right for this country that are just a little older, wiser and more vocal? You be the judge.

President Obama took to the conservative airwaves Thursday to charge that Republican leaders are engaged in a vast right-wing conspiracy to kill health care reform in order to repeat the 1994 mid-term takeover of Congress, which followed the defeat of President Clinton's reform plan.

The obligatory link.

It isn't me

Voters, it seems, want to understand a little more about what ObamaCare will mean for them, what it will do to the doctor-patient relationship, and what it will cost future generations in higher taxes and, yes, rationed supply.

Rather than examine the public’s concerns, the plans’ inconsistencies or the sheer irresponsibility of trying to ram something this big and complicated through Congress without a small-scale trial, the Obama administration is pointing fingers. Lots of them. Most of the targets are just plain silly.

Check out Caroline Baum's dissection of the blame game here.

You know there is trouble in paradise....

.....when George Stephanopoulos seems to be getting nervous.

....the best short term antidote is a solid 2 week vacation. Give everyone a chance to cool down and hope the economy's slow mend continues. More than anything else, that's the key to post Labor Day success.

Yes, that is the answer. But I think voters are thinking of something a bit longer. You can listen to George here.

In the bad career move department

MIDLAND, Texas — An embarrassed Sheriff Gary Painter fired one Midland County deputy and suspended three others without pay after a scantily dressed waitress holding a rifle posed for photographs on the hood of a patrol vehicle.

Round Rock officers were dispatched to the restaurant after someone reported the waitress with the weapon, which had been given to her by one of the deputies who had been attending a training session near Austin.

The incident occurred last week in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant, which promotes its "fun, friendly and sometimes flirty atmosphere!"

Well honey, its like this. Me and the guys.........the link here.


Justice denied

It is hard to be unambiguously pro life. Like everyone else I suppose my gut reaction to mass murderers is that they should be executed. But as I have said in previous posts, it is easy to talk the talk and well...you get the picture.

However, that in no way means that any mass murderer should be released from custody. Ever. Yet the Scottish government did just that.

Hours after the Scottish National Party administration in Edinburgh announced its decision to free him, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi, the only man convicted of the 1988 atrocity, flew home to a hero’s welcome in Tripoli.

Megrahi, a former Libyan intelligence agent, has terminal prostate cancer and has less than three months to live. Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice minister, said freeing him showed Scotland’s “humanity.”

Despite his illness, Megrahi, 57, managed to walk unaided up the steps of the plane at Glasgow airport, his face hidden by a white baseball cap.

After he left Scottish soil, Megrahi, who has served just eight years of a 27-year sentence, released a statement protesting his innocence and expressing his “sympathy” for the families of the 270 people he was convicted of killing.

Any wonder why crimes like this continue to occur? The link.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

T minus 24 hours and counting

Then summer vacation is officially over.

Tick, tick, tick

Charlie Cook, one of the best political handicappers in the business, sent out a special update to Cook Political Report subscribers Thursday that should send shivers down Democratic spines.

Reviewing recent polling and the 2010 election landscape, Cook can envision a scenario in which Democratic House losses could exceed 20 seats.

Let us hope that Mr. Cook is accurate. The rest at the link.



Buffalo Bill won't you come out tonight?

I am not inclined to culinary adventure. But after almost four months without any red meat and the end of summer vacation breathing down my neck I had a serious desire for a nice steak. As fortune would have it I made the trek this week with the lovely Mrs. Copper to the local grocer. While perusing the meat aisle I noticed a two pack of Bison steaks. Dare I? Then I saw the two dollar off coupon affixed to the outside of the tasty delicacy and decided now was the time.

Salt, Pepper and garlic and a loving short roast under my recently acquired gill presses and it was done.

Not bad but in my zeal to erase all "game" flavor I cooked it a bit too much. Rather than the usual seven to eight minutes per side I think five would have been a bit better. Nonetheless it was delicious accompanied with some grilled shrimp, cucumber salad from the Dirty Copper garden and a nice cold beer. While I will not be running out to buy Ostrich burgers any time soon I think Bison, like all of Gods creatures has a place, right next to the mashed potatoes and gravy.

Econ 101

A top Obama ally predicted Wednesday in an interview with ABC News that Democrats will lose their congressional majority in next year's midterm elections if they fail to put a health-care reform bill on President Obama's desk. "I think we're talking losing control of Congress," said Andy Stern, the president of the Service Employees International Union. [The failure of health-care reform] would totally empower Republicans to kill all change."

"It's hard to imagine the Democrats convincing the public that Republicans are to blame for health-care reform going down when the Democrats have such large majorities," he added. "After last year's promise of change, voters will start feeling buyer's remorse."

I think he is right. I also think that they are too late. That aside something else occured to me as I continued to read.

Stern, who was invited to sit with the Obama family during the president's inaugural parade, is watched closely on health-care reform not only because of the labor muscle he wields as the head of the 2-million member SEIU......

Now, if he wields that much labor muscle how about a bit of basic economics. If he has two million members why don't they wield their collective purchase power and offer a health plan through their union that is affordable to its members?

Because you need muscle to force someone else to pay for it.

The rest at the link.

There is a way I can agree with Michael Moore.....

other than having half of my brain sucked out with a straw. All you have to do is take a quote out of context.

As for the congressional Democrats, what a bunch of losers -- weak, scared, stupid...

The rest of the interview is at the link. I won't be insulted if you choose to ignore it.

Must be talking about posture

President Obama hits the airwaves Thursday, speaking with a right-leaning radio talk show host in what will be his first comments on health care since he signaled last weekend that he is willing to abandon a government-run option -- a move that has riled liberals who insist it must be included.

Obama and Philadelphia-based Michael Smerconish will broadcast from the White House. While Smerconish is generally considered conservative, he supports abortion rights and endorsed Obama last year.

Clearly they cannot be speaking of his political leanings. He must slouch to the right when sitting in his chair. Now I understand the confusion. Conservative genius William F. Buckley arguably the father of modern conservative politics routinely leaned to the right when seated in a chair.

Equating the two is erroneous and misleading. Seems to be a matter of routine in Washington these days.

The link.

Liar, liar pants on fire

Maybe Artificial Intelligence is not all it's cracked up to be.

With the development of killer drones, it seems like everyone is worrying about killer robots. Now, as if that wasn't bad enough, we need to start worrying about lying, cheating robots as well.

In an experiment run at the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems in the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale of Lausanne, France, robots that were designed to cooperate in searching out a beneficial resource and avoiding a poisonous one learned to lie to each other in an attempt to hoard the resource. Picture a robo-Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

A learned behavior. I guess the Psychologists of the Skinner school feel validated. The rest at the link.

Hmmmmmm

Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty

Though party insiders tend to be more familiar with the two-term governor’s record of balancing his state’s budget three times when facing deficits without raising taxes, he is emerging as a key GOP voice.....

More here at Politico.com. I think I am going to have to keep an eye on this guy. Balanced budget......no tax increase? Is it possible?

Yes Joe, we know.

The latest Joe Biden clever quote.

"He's the president, I'm the vice president. We've got the pecking order in this administration right," Biden said. "I know George Bush, and he's no Barack Obama."

That is becoming more and more obvious. The rest at the link.

Remind you of anything?


Could be any one of hundreds of town hall meetings held during the summer Congressional recess. I wonder if they have gotten the message yet?

Til death do us part?

The rough economy is inflicting hardship on people even in death.

Coroners and funeral directors in several cities say the number of people seeking government-paid funerals, cremations and burials is spiking. Most counties and states will use public money to cremate or bury people who are too poor to pay for private services.

"People just aren't in a position to pay $7,000 for a private funeral and burial," says Lt. David Smith of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office, where the number of people seeking county burial has nearly doubled since last year.

I tend to take a more utilitarian view of funerals (apologies to my friend Carmenucc [yes I know the spelling is grammatically incorrect] ) and absent the celebration of Mass will be happy with a cost effective disposal of my mortal remains. But I understand that many people have a need to have a more spectacular send off. If you can afford it and that is what you really want, knock your socks off. But like anything else in life, you may want a Ferrari but can only afford a Hyundai. The rest at the link.

Package check

A female runner accused of being a man tonight took gold in the 800m World Athletics Championship.

South African Caster Semenya, 18, had to take a gender test after doubts were raised about her sex.

But despite the furore, she easily took gold in the final in Berlin.

The teenage sensation has sparked controversy over her strikingly muscular physique.

Today officials at the world athletics body, the IAAF, revealed that it ordered her to take a gender test three weeks ago.

Article is here.

And now some random silliness.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

One lump or two?

Barney Frank taking his lumps at a town hall meeting. Arrogant, slobbering and just a living breathing example of why he and his cronies need to be shown the exit door of the Capitol.

Two words. Representative Democracy. If you can't figure it out, out is where you should go. He seems to forget, he works for us.

Shell game?

This one is going to cost, plenty. From the Drudge Report today.

The mourners knew it wasn't Tex.

Nearly everyone who passed the silver casket at Tindley Temple United Methodist Church yesterday morning whispered to each other. That's not Tex, they said. But the corpse was wearing his blue suit and black boots.

On Monday night, Roberts' wife, Janie Holsey, and others went to check the body at James L. Hawkins Funeral Home, at 1640 Federal St., and told a female employee: "This is not my husband."

But family members said the woman at the South Philadelphia funeral home insisted: "That's how they look when they die."

The director, whose name was not available, said: " 'I'm sorry, it was a mix-up....

Meantime, the funeral home found Roberts' remains, and rushed them back to the church. When an assistant opened the door of the hearse, mortified relatives screamed at the sight.

"The casket had tilted and his leg was hanging out," said Wearing, who believed they drove so fast, hitting bumps, that the casket opened.

Would you be surprised if you were to find a follow up story where several dozen lawyers were killed in the ensuing stampede trying to get business cards to the family?

Ad Hominem

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama, trying to regain control of the health-care debate, will likely shift his pitch in September, White House and Democratic officials said, as he faces pressure from supporters to talk more about the moral imperative to provide health insurance to all Americans.

The president is expected to present a more emotional appeal during a conference call Wednesday with liberal religious groups. A senior White House official said the message would be tailored to the groups' moral emphases, although he cautioned the president's message to religious groups may not herald a broader shift in themes.

Will turning on the tears work? Let us all try this. No Mr. President. We cannot afford your health care toy. Use the same voice you would when your six year old makes unreasonable demands at the local toy store.

The link.

Another good reason to be Pro Life

You can release someone from prison. You cannot make them less dead.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut judge has dismissed murder and rape charges against a man who spent two decades in prison before DNA testing showed he could not have committed the crimes.

Kenneth Ireland, of Wallingford, appeared in New Haven Superior Court on Wednesday. He had been released from prison Aug. 5 when Judge Richard Damiani granted him a new trial.

Ireland was 20 years old when he was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the 1986 rape and murder of Barbara Pelkey, a mother of four. Her nude body was found at the Wallingford manufacturing plant where she worked alone at night.

The rest at the link.

Antique Anti Catholic Bigotry

For some reason I can't directly link to this page but if you want to see what was going on in this country in the not too distant past stop over at McNamara's Blog and check out one in a series of anti Catholic Propaganda. For you history addicts out there this blog is a good daily stop.

Morality check

In my usual visceral way I know from an almost cellular level that the ObamaCare program is wrong in a great many ways. Fiscally, and politically it is the wrong choice. But I began to think that morally my opposition to the idea might be leading me down the wrong path. As luck would have it Fr. Phillip, a most learned and insightful Dominican Friar has posted on this very topic and it is worth a read.

Here's the very basic question I ask when evaluating any reform of the health-care system: what are the moral principles that stand under the proposed system and drive its inevitably tough choices?

Given the answer to this question, I ask another: what system of laws, regulations, incentives, etc. will be used to implement these moral principles?

In the current debate it seems to me that the proposals under review are based on a highly objectionable utilitarianism; that is, the reforms proposed rely on a variety of cost-benefit analyses that require those making medical decisions to commodify human life. If those making the decisions are not the ones who will suffer the consequences of the decisions made, then the utilitarianism in use becomes nothing short of immoral.

The Friendly Friar has excellent credentials and is a good place to start if you have need of introspection on this topic. For my money I will rely on the likes of Father Phillip rather than Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Seems to be the safer bet.

Need some anger to start your day?

Well, then if you follow this link to my favorite battling barrister of the left coast the Diginatrix you will find her usual insightful treatment of a topic. In this case another episode of a Judge legislating from the bench. For those of you prone to rage you might want to hold breakfast off until an hour after reading this.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Does he sound a bit nervous, or demented?

AARP has lost over sixty thousand subscribers in the last month due to their support of ObamaCare. President Obama's poll numbers are gliding into the sewer. More Americans identify themselves as some brand of Conservative rather than liberal. And now ladies and gentlemen, the Democratic Party's voice of reason.



Sorry Howard, your mandate was an illusion. No taxpayer in his or her right mind wants to pick up your tab. And not one of us wants to kill the President. We hope that at the end of his four year term he enjoys good health and long life on the lecture circuit while he watches the people that fund the Government rebuild the country and get it back on the path to prosperity. Its really quite simple.

Self reliance


A group of Durham residents taking aim at speeders with the threat of a paintball gun said Tuesday that they are "amazed and gratified at the reaction."

The group, Angry Neighbors With Paintball Guns, posted signs at strategic locations throughout the city, warning motorists to slow down or risk being shot at with a paintball gun.

The rest here.

Monday, August 17, 2009

They only come out at night

Earlier in the summer I began to take nightly walks in an effort to return to some level of physical fitness. It is a really enjoyable thing to do. Traffic disappears, the night falls still and with the exception of other folks running or walking there are precious few souls out and about. But there are exceptions.

While I haven't had any UFO sightings or interrupted a crime in progress I have run in to some pretty unusual characters here and there. So far I have twice seen people cutting their grass in the dark. I am not talking on the headlight equipped John Deere at twilight. I am talking full on bats flying in the sky darkness.

Not to be outdone however there was on one of my earlier jaunts a salty old fellow I spotted from a block or two away. He was seated comfortably on some sort of cushion and was diligently hacking away at something. Turned out that this guy trims his lawn near the driveway with a meat cleaver. Better than dismembering hitchhikers I suppose but still kind of out of the norm.

Its nice to cruise by my parish around nine when the clock tower chimes and resonates throughout the downtown. And in a quasi creepy way its convenient to be walking past the cemetery at about the point I want to slow down to a more reasonable pace.

I don't know what other adventures await while I continue my nightly cruises but look forward anxiously to the cool of autumn and a change a scenery.

Does this explain the back peddling?

Democrat Barbara Boxer's quest for a fourth term in the U.S. Senate may give Californians a chance to pass judgment on Washington in the Obama era: Do voters approve of the early performance of the Democratic president and Congress? Or is it time to restore more power to Republicans, in this case to a controversial former Silicon Valley CEO making her first run for elective office?

What looks increasingly likely is that Boxer will be in for the re-election fight of her career. While she has yet to announce her candidacy, all signs point to a run by Republican Carly Fiorina, the charismatic ex-chief of Hewlett-Packard who was ousted from her job in 2005 and last year served as a top surrogate for John McCain's presidential bid.

The article is here.

The sleeping giant is stirring

According to new data released by Gallup on Friday, conservatives outnumber liberals in all 50 states--including President Obama’s home state of Illinois--even though Democrats have a significant advantage over Republicans in party identification in 30 states.

The rest of these encouraging numbers can be found here.

Libs on the run

After reading quite a few news reports today it has become plain that the Obama administration is looking to cut its losses in their efforts to bring socialized medicine to this country. In an article here it is plain that there is major disagreement between the fringe, who want to give all of your money away, and the main core of the administration who are now realizing that the public outcry against their idea threatens their continued public service.

Even the President of the Canadian Medical Association recognizes that the Canadian method (that which is pointed to as a great idea by the Libs) is imploding and unworkable. A system that is not providing optimum care to patients.

There are signs of retreat on all fronts. But don't be lulled in to a false sense of security. There is still a clear intent in Washington to force most of you to pay for a health care plan that is expensive, unworkable and will be a drain on our country for generations. Keep writing to your elected representatives and make it clear that this is one bill that you don't want to pay.

Congrats Maggie!!

Moments ago I received a picture on my phone that I wanted to post right away. I am always in awe of people that I am privileged to know who achieve great things. Case in point Maggie O. I first met Maggie a few years ago when I joined my first Pipe Band. She played tenor drum and her little sister and Dad were pipers. Long story short, she aspired to attend the US Coast Guard Academy. After completing the HELL of Swab Summer today she received her shoulder boards indicating her rank as a fourth classman and is now an official part of the student body of the academy. I spoke to her Dad a few nights ago and he related to me a story about the Eagle Challenge. As some of you might know the Coast Guard operates the 295 foot three masted sailing ship (one of only two in government service) as part of its academy training program. At the end of Swab Summer, Maggie and her classmates participated in a ten day 'Capstone' cruise off the coast of the north east. Maggie was one of a very few of her mates that climbed the main mast and placed the Coast Guard standard on the top. No easy task. So congrats again to Maggie. I know her Mom, Dad and sister are very proud of her. As am I.

Simple concept

Thanks to Medium George for this one.

Just a good Summer day

Here in Central Jersey you know when Summer is in full swing when our PBA hosts our annual picnic. After months of preparation on the part of the co-chairman, several days of hard labor in the spacious kitchen at the Knights of Columbus and a 0700 set up time for a one o'clock event it always turns out to be a great day. Our members and families do all of the cooking and a few thousand of our friends and supporters stop by for an afternoon of hot dogs, ribs, corn and the obligatory golden nectar that flows forth from the big white refrigerated truck.

The event has grown larger each of the thirty five or so years we have hosted. Thanks to the generosity of local businesses, generous town folk and die hard attendees we do a good amount of fund raising for ourselves and many deserving local organizations.

There were dozens of kids with painted faces running from the rock climb to the mechanical bull, the Red Knights opting to have their picnic at ours to help with the cause, and friends and family just taking the time to connect, relax in the shade and enjoy a great Summer day.

Of course what would any event be without a little freaking out. As a rookie I can remember my first picnic with our PBA twenty five years ago. Newly married, no kids. Now as I walked around to say hello to different pockets of people hear and there instead of congratulating them on the arrival of a new son or daughter I found myself wishing them well on the arrival of a first grandchild. This when I can remember their children at the same age.

Instead of wistfully mourning my lost youth however I took refuge with our Pit Crew over at the rib pit. After some lengthy exposure to 400 degree coals, 34 degree beer and good company I finally landed at home. Sober as a judge, covered in grease from head to toe and already looking forward to my twenty sixth year under the trees at the park enjoying a Summer day the way is was meant to be spent.

I remember some years ago a guy running for public office made some deriding comments about our department being a lot like Mayberry PD unlike the large urban department he worked for. At the time I took a great deal of offense to the remark. But you know, there is really nothing like life here. So Mayberry it is. I like it here, warts and all.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Choices


Lets be serious. I am only human.

While I have my favorite haunts, Denino's in Aberdeen. Outstanding, authentic New York Pizza!

Quid pro quo

From my good friend the Colonel who through divine providence still cannot traverse the trap door in to Saint Mary's bell tower thus rendering enemies both foreign and domestic safe.......for the moment.

Like most folks in this country, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to get that paycheck in my case, I am required to pass a random urine test (with which I have no problem). What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test.
So, here is my Question: Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them?

By the time I get to Woodstock

OK, so Bob Dylan wasn't there. In fact I just read that he pulled out of his appearance at the legendary concert forty years ago because his son was sick. It was interesting that he was reportedly peeved because there were too many hippies showing up and the venue was very close to his home. Apparently this was more than he could bear.

Interestingly enough however, a somewhat timely piece from the local paper today tells a funny story of Mr. Dylan's encounter with the local police at the Jersey Shore. Neither of whom had a clue who he was.

SOUTH JERSEY — Rock legend Bob Dylan was treated like a complete unknown by police in a New Jersey shore community when a resident called to report someone wandering around the neighborhood. Dylan was in Long Branch, about a two-hour drive south of New York City (only if you are on a three legged horse and stuck in traffic) on July 23 as part of a tour with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp that was to play at a baseball stadium in nearby Lakewood.

A 24-year-old police officer apparently was unaware of who Dylan is and asked him for identification, Long Branch business administrator Howard Woolley said Friday.

"I don't think she was familiar with his entire body of work,'' Woolley said.

In defense of this young officer I would have to say that if I had occasion to encounter a more contemporary artist I would have been just as clueless. But for goodness sake, it was Bob Dylan. Though at this point Willie Nelson probably looks younger.

I am getting old. I don't like it. Damn kids.

The rest is at The Home News Tribune.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Can't tell the players without a POGROM

No, it is not a misspelling. I found this story today on Drudge and in my view it is the start of something disturbing. It has been foretold by many a pundit and now, like the growing socialism in this country, it is a reality.

Students, teachers and local pastors are protesting over a court case involving a northern Florida school principal and an athletic director who are facing criminal charges and up to six months in jail over their offer of a mealtime prayer.

It would be a good investment of your time to read the article about the beginning of outward Christian persecution at the hands of the judiciary.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Time to man up

Oh boy are you guys going to love this. While cruising over at Digi's place she referenced a blog post she felt was appropriate. If you are a daisy, don't click the link. For any of you filled with apprehension here is just a little taste.

Men who cry make me want to puke. If you lost someone you love or something horrible happened to you I get it and if you are holding your brand new child in your arms I get it… but if you are crying because life is just hard or because you feel put upon by the world around you… FUCK YOU. Man the fuck up. Find your sack! It is like this vicious goddamn karma we are finally paying the price of feminism. Go team! Men are now total fucking bitches as a general goddamn rule.

This is an awesome, timely and accurate assessment of humanity from Demure Thoughts. Enjoy. And thank you Jen. You Rock!

Thou shall not steal!


This is just great!

A pair of sandal-clad nuns in Missouri chased down an armed robbery suspect and helped police put handcuffs on him, FOX4KC reported.

Sisters at Saint Francis of Holy Eucharist Convent in Independence, Mo., spotted a gun-toting man in their fields who turned out to be a suspect police believe is responsible for several burglaries in the area.

"We looked out the window and saw someone in the bean field. I thought it was someone hunting. He was dragging something with him," Sister Connie told FOX4KC. "He kept coming across the field...I saw he had a gun in hands, what I thought was a rifle, and he dropped it in the field."

When he realized he had been spotted the suspect set off on foot and was chased by a nun in flip-flops who goes by Sister Catrina.

Congrats to the Sisters on their collar. I am happy they were not hurt.

Saturday morning funnies


Thanks to Spike for sending me this one.

Weasel Watch

The town in which I live used to be home to many large industrial plants. In fact, when I was growing up if your Dad did not work at one of the big three (Dupont, Hercules or National Lead) you were looked at with some suspicion. Everyone in town had someone that worked in one of the three. When these companies downsized or left the area we were left with some unappealing tracts of land. For over two decades local officials from both sides of the aisle have been trying to redevelop the affected areas in to clean ratables for our town. Located on prime real estate, once developed these areas would be a financial shot in the arm to our now bedroom community.

Finally a deal has been inked and very successful development company has started transforming the area in to what we in the area hope will be a boom town of sorts. Enter now the enviro weasels.

SAYREVILLE — Two environmental groups, standing on the former National Lead Industries
property, announced a lawsuit against 11 parties for failure to properly clean the former 440-acre industrial site on the banks of the Raritan River."This site has been causing harm to the Raritan River and its inhabitants for decades," said Bill Schultz of Raritan Riverkeeper at a press conference held on the site earmarked for major development.

"It is about time for the bleeding of toxins from this site to the river to stop. All these
materials need to be removed and properly dealt with,'' said Schultz.

Robert Spiegel, executive director of the Edison Wetlands Association, described the Raritan River as "a river in recovery.'' He added, "But it will not recover until the
National Lead property is cleaned up.''

Mayor Kennedy O'Brien reacted angrily to the news that the environmental groups filed suit over property slated for major redevelopment, saying the environmentalists were out-of-towners who were trespassing yesterday on private property.

The press conference, said O'Brien, "Was a publicity stunt so they can get funding for their phony baloney jobs. They're denying the people of Sayreville tax remediation.''

For the record I am not an environmental expert by any stretch. I suspect the same is true for Mr. Spiegel though we have never met. The fact remains however that part of the development of these brown fields in to usable space involves remediation of the property. That's not the problem. The problem is that the remediation is not up to Mr. Spiegel's standards. I get the impression that until even the arrow heads left by the Leni Lenape Indians along the shores of the Raritan are cleaned up Mr. Spiegel will continue to be a pain in the behind and cause a lengthy and inordinate delay for much needed tax relief in our town.

I can't understand the logic behind his tactics. No clean up is better than one that does not live up to his expectations? Is not half a pie better than and empty plate? Shouldn't he shut his pie hole and leave the governance of our town to its residents and elected officials? Probably.

The rest of this story is here.

Profiling?

WILMINGTON, Del. — Delaware state police say they've received more reports of people being hit by blow darts.

The first report of a person struck by a blow dart was Tuesday morning when a 36-year-old bicyclist was hit in Pike Creek.

Would I be out of line to suggest they take a look at the local pygmie tribe first?


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Still trust the media?

This is a very informative and timely article from Fox News. I think it will help people understand how deep loyalties run toward the Democrats within the media.

News outlets that are focusing on the incendiary rhetoric of conservatives outside President Obama's town hall meeting Tuesday ignored the incendiary rhetoric -- and even violence -- of liberals outside an appearance by former President George W. Bush in 2002.

When Bush visited Portland, Ore., for a fundraiser, protesters stalked his motorcade, assailed his limousine and stoned a car containing his advisers. Chanting "Bush is a terrorist!", the demonstrators bullied passers-by, including gay softball players and a wheelchair-bound grandfather with multiple sclerosis.

One protester even brandished a sign that seemed to advocate Bush's assassination. The man held a large photo of Bush that had been doctored to show a gun barrel pressed against his temple.

Please take the time to read this very informative piece here.

He might be Pavlov's but not Obama's

Good morning Arlen

Maybe I am putting the cart before the horse but I am getting the impression that perhaps the movement against the proposed National Health Care plan is finally beginning to cause at least some of its congressional supporters to take a step back and evaluate their prospects of voter backlash. It would seem that conservatives and moderates, many of whom rolled over and piddled on themselves during the last national election have begun to wake up and realize that the Pelosi, Reid, Obama brand of neo socialism is just too much to bear.

Just yesterday former Republican and now Democratic Senator Arlen Spector was quoted as saying "There is more anger in America today than at any time I can remember.". Good one Arlen. Even in the midst of your geriatric obtundation you have realized that a) probably a bad choice to switch parties just for six more years on the government tit and b) your reelection bid is probably going to be anything but a cakewalk.

As the people that actually pay the bills in this country eschew the mainstream media for less conventional outlets like the blogosphere for updates on the debate "live from the trenches" it would appear that the wild swing of the political pendulum is rapidly returning from the galaxy of fringe liberalism. I hope it is in time to avert the tremendous financial disaster that threatens our children and grandchildren.

Markets readjust. But when the paradigm is shifted to add the albatross of more government entitlements recovery is not possible.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Are we conservatives still making this up?

Hat tip to Spicoli for sending me this one.

Riddle me this

Enough is enough. Representative so and so and Senator so and so have been taking their beatings at various public events. Good. That is the basis of representative democracy and these self aggrandizing omniscient bottom dwellers need to be called to task for their wholesale skip to my lou down the path of socialism.

Now the President is at a town hall meeting where not one person is challenging him on the problems with Nationalized Health Care. An auditorium full of toadies and cowards if you ask me. That may be the problem. They won't ask me, or you, or anyone who is going to wind up footing the bill for this folly.

Today the President said, "Where we disagree, let's disagree over things that are real, not these wild misrepresentations that don't bear any resemblance to anything that's actually being proposed," Obama said, trying to wrest back control over the debate.

Allright Mr. President. Be careful what you wish for. What brand of democracy or for that matter justice is going to force a National Healthcare system on the population and force the middle class to foot the bill. By what mandate do you feel you have the right to take from my family and give it to someone Else's.

Please don't misunderstand me. I believe in the absolute moral obligation to care for others through charity. It is the way I was raised. But the government is not a charitable institution. It is a self perpetuating money sucking monster that feeds on the futures of working class families.

So I have to ask, even if I know the answer and know that Mr. Obama will not give me the courtesy of a reply. By what right do you take my money, or alter my family's heatlh care to afford benefits to an obese person with carpal tunnel, a chronic alcoholic or just your garden variety slug who despite having two arms and legs that are in working order refuses to take one affirmative step to improving the position of his family through hard work? (cut to crickets chirping)

Better than a restraining order!

A man died when he was impaled on a large shard of glass after throwing a woman through the window of a shop in the West End of London early Tuesday morning.

The 30-year-old victim was seen arguing with the woman in the Regent Street area of London’s West End shortly after 2 a.m.

Witnesses told police he hurled the woman against the window of a branch of Banana Republic up to three times. After several blows, the glass shattered and the couple fell through, leaving the man fatally wounded.

Found this encouraging news in the battle against domestic violence at FoxNews.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The end of soft serve ice cream?

Found in TheLondonPaper.com: A London ice cream boutique will begin offering a Viagra like concoction to stimulate your libido.

Entitled The Sex Pistol, this bespoke creation is served as an ice cream cocktail and is packed with libido-boosting ingredients such as ginkgo, biloba, arginine and guarana. It’s served with a shot of the highly intoxicating La Fee Absinthe and is guaranteed to get your blood pumping. Customers are limited to one serving per person.

The rest at the link.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Did I miss the frost this morning?

After finishing my night tour this morning and in anticipation of a quasi vacation this week (I will only be working one of my full time jobs) I decided to run out and pick up a few things I needed for some projects I have planned this week and to satisfy the hunger of the large black dog. My second stop was the pet store which is located in a mid sized circa 1950's mall. You know the type. Large parking lot in the front and the two rows of stores are arranged so they are joined in the middle at a right angle.

As I eased the Millennium Falcon into her berth in front of my destination I looked across the lot and noticed that the Halloween store was stocked and ready for business. To add insult to injury, just prior to leaving the castle for this trip I was going through this weeks mail and found the first Christmas catalog.

For goodness sake. Its 90 degrees, a hundred percent humidity and the middle of August. Let me get caught up on my summer stuff before you do this to me!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Random silliness

Its Saturday morning and I just had a fond memory of watching the weekly cartoon fiesta with my siblings. In honor of many a fine childhood Saturday with my sister and brother here is some random stuff I found on you tube.



And of course who could forget Wonderama, first with Sonny Fox then with Bob Mcallister.



And of course as you got a bit older and wanted the crap scared out of you at night there was this favorite.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Nancy and Harry should read this just once

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Well this is just yummy

A felony suspect who tipped the scale at more than 500 pounds carried an unloaded 9mm pistol into city and county jails beneath flabs of his skin even though law enforcement officers repeatedly searched him, authorities said Thursday.

The rest here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It took 200 days

I was shocked, and still am frankly. When a majority of the electorate of this nation decided to put Barack Obama in to the White House I disappointed. Despite his charm and appeal he is the philosophical antithesis of almost everything I stand for. Yet I took solace in the belief that his very liberal policies would probably result in a return to Conservative rule sooner rather than later. This despite the fact that I believe the Republicans are still fractured and disorganized. Simply I felt that the American people would not be bamboozled a second time.

A clear benefit that I felt we achieved through Obama's election however was what I thought would be the capstone of our long march toward racial equality. We had elected a Black Man as President. African Americans had reached the pinnacle of political office in our great nation. I thought that perhaps having been around since the sixties I could say I had seen racism at both its zenith and demise in the course of my life. Apparently I am wrong. At least that is what Philip Kennicott of the Washington Post would have you believe.

In his article in today's edition Kennicott attempts to insert race in to an equation where it does not exist. Apparently it goes something like this. Obama + strict philosophical criticism by conservatives - even the most oblique reference to race = racism. I do not belief this is true. What I do believe is that Kennicott and other supporters of Obama know this presidency is in trouble and only 200 days in to his administration are throwing the race card right on the table.

The Joker's makeup in "Dark Knight" -- the latest film in a long franchise that dramatizes fear of the urban world -- emphasized the wounded nature of the villain, the sense that he was both a product and source of violence. Although Ledger was white, and the Joker is white, this equation of the wounded and the wounding mirrors basic racial typology in America. Urban blacks -- the thinking goes -- don't just live in dangerous neighborhoods, they carry that danger with them like a virus. Scientific studies, which demonstrate the social consequences of living in neighborhoods with high rates of crime, get processed and misinterpreted in the popular unconscious, underscoring the idea. Violence breeds violence.

It is an ugly idea, operating covertly in that gray area that is always supposed to be opened up to honest examination whenever America has one of its "we need to talk this through" episodes. But it lingers, unspoken but powerful, leaving all too many people with the sense that exposure to crime creates an ineluctable propensity to crime.

Superimpose that idea, through the Joker's makeup, onto Obama's face, and you have subtly coded, highly effective racial and political argument. Forget socialism, this poster is another attempt to accomplish an association between Obama and the unpredictable, seeming danger of urban life. It is another effort to establish what failed to jell in the debate about Obama's association with Chicago radical William Ayers and the controversy over the racially charged sermons of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Whether you love or detest Mr. Obama he should stand on his own merits. Race should have nothing to do with it. His detractors recognize this, why can't his supporters.

The rest is here.