“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Obama- Know a Man by his Friends

You really have to surrender all manner of common sense to believe that Barack Obama is anything but a left wing Afro-centric radical. Now that the Democrats have tied their future to this man, the examination as to who he is can begin. The exposure to the American public will expose the rift in just how far the US has moved to the left. Will the American people buy the friend, darling and messianic visionary love child of the American Radical Left?


Obama's associations may haunt bid

Sunday, June 8, 2008

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP)Washington Times Who's Tony Rezko? William Ayers? Few Americans know, but they probably will by Election Day.

Both men have ties to Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, and may well show up in even more anti-Obama ads than they already have.

These days, presidential candidates can expect to have every personal relationship, new or ancient, investigated, and if there's political hay to be made, a version of the details is quickly out. All candidates have their associations questioned, but it's especially true for Mr. Obama, still a newcomer to the national scene. Voters haven't had years to form impressions based on what he has said or the legislation he's supported.

Associations already have produced one crisis for Mr. Obama — the furor over the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., his spiritual mentor. Here are brief descriptions of some other people who may show up in ads, debate questions and Internet chatter over the coming months.

Antoin Rezko: "Tony" Rezko is a businessman who has helped raise campaign money for Mr. Obama and many other Illinois politicians. He was convicted Wednesday on 16 of 24 counts involving mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and aiding and abetting bribery.

The charges have no connection to Mr. Obama, but Rezko is tied to the Illinois senator in other ways.

Rezko and his family donated at least $21,457 to Mr. Obama and helped raise over $200,000 more, though not for his presidential bid. He also advised Mr. Obama on the purchase of a new Chicago home and, in his wife's name, purchased a vacant lot next door to the new Obama home when the seller wanted to dispose of both properties at the same time. Rezko then sold a slice of the property to Mr. Obama.

Mr. Obama has donated Rezko's contributions to charity and says it was a mistake to work with Rezko on buying the house.

William Ayers: Today, Mr. Ayers is a university professor and a member of Chicago's intellectual establishment. Forty years ago he was a member of the Weather Underground, a radical group that claimed responsibility for a series of bombings, including at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol.

Mr. Ayers was a fugitive for years with his wife, fellow radical Bernadine Dohrn. But after surrendering in 1980, the charges against Mr. Ayers were dropped because of prosecutorial misconduct.

Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers served together on the board of a Chicago charity and were co-panelists on at least two academic panel discussions and an academic testimonial — two of them at the University of Chicago. In the mid-1990s, when Mr. Obama first ran for office, Mr. Ayers hosted a meet-the-candidate session for Mr. Obama at his home.

Emil Jones Jr.: Mr. Jones, the president of the Illinois Senate, amounts to Mr. Obama's political godfather and was an important part of his longshot victory for U.S. Senate in 2004. He helped the little-known politician meet the right people, and he picked Mr. Obama to handle high-profile legislation during the two years leading up to the election.

Mr. Jones is known for steering state money to a few favored institutions, including some that employ his relatives. Several of his relatives have gotten state jobs, and his wife's government salary jumped 60 percent after he became Senate president. He has played an important role in blocking ethics legislation in Illinois.

Rashid Khalidi: Mr. Khalidi is a Palestinian scholar and author on Middle Eastern affairs who has called Israel a racist state bent on creating "an apartheid system." He's also a friend of Mr. Obama.

They met while both were teaching at the University of Chicago and living in the same neighborhood. Mr. Obama and his wife sometimes had dinner with Mr. Khalidi and his wife, Mona. The Khalidis hosted a political fundraiser for Mr. Obama in 2000, and the Woods Fund charity gave money to the Arab-American Action Network, run by Mrs. Khalidi, while Mr. Obama served on the charity's board.

Mr. Obama has said they hold very different opinions on Israeli issues, though Mr. Khalidi praised Mr. Obama as "the only candidate who has expressed sympathy for the Palestinian cause" and for his willingness to hold talks with Iran, which has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map."

The Rev. Michael Pfleger: Father Pfleger, the white, longtime pastor of a mostly black Catholic parish in Chicago, has been protesting everything from gun shops to Jerry Springer. Mr. Obama has referred to him as a spiritual adviser and used him as a political supporter.

Last month, he visited Trinity United Church of Christ, Mr. Obama's church at the time, and preached a sermon in which he mocked Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton as expecting to win the presidential nomination because she was white. Mr. Obama, who condemned the remarks and resigned from the church, was not nearly as close to Father Pfleger as he was to Mr. Wright.


  1. My Mamma always taught me that I would not be judged by my associates.

  2. KJL Revues "Don’t Mess with the Zohan"

    Full disclosure:
    I’ve been to Happy Madison’s Culver City offices and I’ve seen the ping-pong table. I’m partial to these smart, good guys with their love of country, astute awareness of the world they live in, and dedication to entertaining both themselves and others. They know the power of humor and of not taking themselves too seriously — and they’re not afraid to take it to the most un-p.c. of places. “Shut up and make people laugh” might be their motto, and explain a lot of Zohan.

    If you’re looking for a serious movie, Don’t Mess with the Zohan is not for you, as the movies’ ads might already have made clear. But if you want to laugh, can handle some cringing, and don’t want to completely leave behind the reality of war in the holiest of lands, Zohan is fresh, fearless, and fun.

    “Lather. Rinse. Save the world.”
    There have actually been more ridiculous diplomatic efforts in the real world.
    When Zohan’s mother announces to her fighting son,

    “They’ve been fighting for 2,000 years, it can’t be much longer,” we, along with Zohan, know it will be quite a while yet.

    So in the meantime — Muslims, Jews, Christians, all — why not sit down for a few laughs?

  3. I am looking for the photo showing our newly pinned lapel honoring or celebrating the American side of his heritage.

    No saluting boy scout in uniform here.

  4. "As the pastor of what he describes as an "African-American Catholic Church," Father Pfleger is the Archdiocese of Chicago's version of the Rev. Al Sharpton. Granted, he's not as flamboyant as the Reverend Al, but he is media savvy and he makes for good news copy. He has gone toe-to-toe with Chicago's Cardinal Francis George, and on at least two occasions it was the cardinal who blinked. In February 2003 Father Pfelger announced that at Sunday Mass on February 9 he would hand over the pulpit to Rev. Sharpton, who at the time was chasing the Democrats' presidential nomination. In response, Chicago Catholics deluged Cardinal George's chancery office with phone calls and emails objecting to a Catholic pastor turning Sunday Mass into a whistle-stop for a pro-abortion political candidate. Cardinal George issued a statement saying "making a case of this invitation at this time would be a futile gesture and a waste of effort."

    It may strike some readers as odd that a cardinal cannot bring one of his own priests to heel, but when it comes to Father Pfleger, Cardinal George knows something about wasted effort. November 2001 marked the end of Father Pfleger's third six-year term as pastor of St. Sabina. It is the policy of the Chicago archdiocese to limit its priests to three terms as pastor of a parish; Father Pfleger was told to get ready for a new assignment. But Father Pfleger countered that Cardinal George's predecessor, the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, had promised he could remain at St. Sabina as long as he wished. When the Chicago chancery officials repeated the Chicago rule -- no more than three terms as pastor, no exceptions -- Father Pfleger threatened to leave the priesthood. Other men might have let him go; Cardinal George caved. As of this writing, more than five years after his showdown with his archbishop, Father Pfleger is still pastor of St. Sabina.

    As the Sharpton incident suggests, Father Pfleger enjoys the company of controversial characters. A month before Rev. Sharpton climbed into St. Sabina's pulpit, Harry Belafonte -- at Father Pfleger's invitation -- stood on the same spot and denounced Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice as the "house slaves" of the Bush administration. Speaking in 1999 to the Tampa Tribune, Father Pfleger said of the Rev. Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam and notorious for speaking hatefully of whites and Jews, "I believe he is the man who can bring us together... as Christians, Jews and as Muslims." In his biography posted on the St. Sabina parish website, Father Pfleger lists among his honors a Distinguished Service Award presented to him by the Nation of Islam. Apparently Father Pfleger and Minister Farrakhan are still close -- around New Year's Day 2007 the priest visited the ailing minister shortly before Farrakhan underwent 12 hours of surgery to treat an undisclosed medical condition..."

    - American Spectator

  5. I definately will not vote "Pfleger for President".

    I'm convinced.

    Now how about an inch for inch committment.

    For every inch dedicated to anti-Obama, fun as it is ...
    We committ an inch to pro-McCain!

    Let's extoll the benefits of Carbon Cap & Trade!
    Comprehensive Immigration Reform!
    McCain Feingold Campaign Reform!
    Saving ANWAR from Drilling!
    Saving Florida from drilling!

    Let's discuss Mr McCain and his family ties!

    Or let US become positive in our message

    Let's listen to Newt, the only Republican, still alive, to have led a Conservative movement to a successful climax.

    Let's go positive!

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. So, now that I'm convinced to vote against Obama ...
    and I know John ...
    and it is so hard to be ...
    pro McCain

    Go Bob Barr !!!

  8. Rat, we have to quit meeting like this. Another dilemma. * Rufus reckons we need to let the barn burn down and rebuild. The problem is simply stated: How much irreversible damage can be done by a McCain or Obama presidency? There is an easy and pragmatic answer.

    Obama would come in with complete control of the entire government and will pack the court. Every old left winger on the bench will retire and Obama and friends will choose. That is permanent damage.

    McCain will control neither the House nor the Senate.

    I rest.


  9. McCain will control neither the House nor the Senate.

    Americans prefer divided government. It doesn't matter who's in charge of what, so long as one is not in charge of all. So that gives me hope that McCain will get over the top in November.

  10. In a year when "hope" is the byword, I still have hope that sanity will prevail as the facts about global warming override the hysteria. I have hope that people will come out of the Obama trance prior to the election.

    My better half says that Obama will be the next President. She may be right if people are lured onto the rocks by the temptation of more freebies from Big Brother and the prospect of immediate withdrawal from Iraq.

    The war and healthcare. "No more the one and all of the latter, please."

  11. Here's the problem:
    "Global warming has nothing to do with climate or science. What it is all about is the great, historic class struggle between working people and the ruling classes.

    Global warming is a great excuse for a massive expansion of government power. "

    Read the rest
    ht: Tiger at Observanda.

  12. It's official

    I have started the local Ohio Chapter of "Democrats for McCain"

    BO has a stink about him....

  13. That's great WiO, keep us posted on the progress.

  14. doug said...
    My Mamma always taught me that I would not be judged by my associates.


    I was always taught you are judged by the company you keep...

    typically those who have a problem with that have felons, murderers and rapists as friends.

    It is not guilt by association but rather if you lay down with dogs you get up with fleas...

    BHO has slept with dogs for 20 years... he is either a dog or at best a flea carrier

  15. John O'Sullivan:


    John McCain is probably the only Republican who could win the presidency in a year when almost any Democrat should beat almost any Republican. Voters prefer Democrats to Republicans by 15 per cent.

    Even if McCain makes it to the White House, their opponents may win the Senate majority sufficient to override a presidential veto. McCain might well campaign in the final days on the theme "Help me to restrain a rampaging Democrat Congress".

    He could make such a pitch persuasively because he has spent the past eight years restraining the Republican Congress. McCain has repeatedly voted with Democrats against his own party on tax cuts, election finance, immigration, and much else.

    Thus, he appeals to those voters who like a "maverick" and who would vote against any Republican representing continuity with George Bush. That potential support gives McCain a chance of winning - he is currently only a few percentage points behind Obama.

    Unfortunately, many Republicans are annoyed with someone who apparently loves sticking his finger in their eyes. They may not vote for a Democrat, but they may not turn out for McCain either. And the same independent voters who admired McCain have been flocking to Obama since he won the opening contest - largely over the Iraq war.

    In other words, party divisions are splintering. Both candidates need to assemble a new electoral coalition. In this, Obama is having as much difficulty as McCain. His coalition includes first-time voters, blacks, the higher educated and upper-income independents. But is he losing such Democratic staples as Hispanics and the white working class?

    There is growing tension between Hispanics and blacks, and because an Obama victory could be seen as a triumph for blacks, the prospect pushes some Hispanics towards the Republican. But the Hispanic vote is less than a quarter of the white working class vote. It would be more serious for Obama if white workers rejected him massively - and far more damaging to America if they did so out of racial prejudice.

    Neither seems to be the case. White workers have been shifting to the Right since Richard Nixon's victory in 1968, so a Democrat can lose their support yet win overall. Recent polls show Obama losing white workers to the Republicans by smaller margins than Al Gore in 2000 or John Kerry in 2004. By that test, race has not harmed him here - he is doing better than previous Democrats.

    Indeed race has probably helped him overall. Many more Americans are likely to vote for Obama to demonstrate (to themselves as well as others) that they are free of racism than will vote against him from bigotry. And the media coverage of Obama as rock star implies that voting against such an emblem of hope may itself signify racism. That is a real threat to McCain, and one difficult to counter.

    But if Obama gains from race, he is threatened on another front. He had been gaining more and more votes from whites until his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, emerged to dominate the news with cranky anti-American sermons. That aroused fears that Obama was not a shaper of a post-racism America, but more radical, less trustworthy, and - worst of all - anti-American.

    American patriotism, strong in all classes, is universal among blue-collar workers. McCain, a war hero, is its embodiment. And by taking too long to disavow Wright, Obama sowed doubts about his own patriotism that still linger. If not dispelled, those are McCain's single best hope of achieving a win against the odds.

  16. Excellent link rufus. That was great reading.

    Funny how Saddam used the electrical grid to reward the pliant and punish the unfavored.

    It's OK if you are doing it as part of the democrats Great Leap Forward.

  17. Cato Sunday:

    Get Ready for the Oil-Price Drop

    by Alan Reynolds

    Alan Reynolds is a senior fellow with the Cato Institute and the author of Income and Wealth.

    Added to on June 6, 2008

    This article appeared in the New York Post on June 6, 2008.

    The price of crude oil has jumped as high as $135 lately, up from $87 in early February. The news encouraged some Wall Street analysts to suggest oil might approach $200 before long. In fact, that's quite impossible: The world economy can't handle current energy prices, much less a big increase.

    Which in turn means that oil prices will fall.

    Market analysts often claim oil prices are almost entirely determined by supply. Demand is said to be insensitive ("inelastic") to price. The standard example is that many Americans have to drive to work and most gas-guzzling SUVs will still be on the road even if the affluent few can trade theirs for a Prius. Whatever the price, we'll pay it.

    Nine out of 10 previous postwar recessions began shortly after a big spike in the price of oil.

    This idea rests on two fallacies. The first is to exaggerate the United States' importance when it comes to ups and downs in worldwide oil demand. In fact, America is using no more oil than we did in 2004.

    The second fallacy is to greatly exaggerate the importance of passenger cars in the United States. It's true that Americans are driving less and buying four-cylinder cars - but that's not where we should be looking for serious "demand destruction."

    Two-thirds of petroleum in the United States is used for transportation - but half of the transportation sector's fuel flows into commercial trucks, trains, buses, airplanes and ships. As a result, only 44 percent of each barrel of oil is used to produce gasoline in this country, and some of that gasoline fuels business - delivery vans, landscapers' trucks, fishing boats, industrial and farm machinery, etc.

    Most crude oil is used to produce diesel fuel for trucks, ships and trains, heavy fuel oil for industry, aviation fuel, asphalt, home heating oil, propane, wax, and innumerable petrochemical products ranging from detergents and drugs to synthetic fabrics and plastic.

    In short, a huge share of crude oil is used to produce and distribute industrial products. That explains why the price of oil is extremely cyclical - that is, it tends to rise during economic booms and fall during contractions. It dropped 44 percent in the last recession (from November 2000 to November 2001), 48 percent from October 1990 to January 1992 - and 71 percent from July 1980 to July 1986.

    Oil prices have a huge impact on producers' cost of production - profits and losses - not just on consumers' cost of living.

    Firms that can't raise prices will find profit margins squeezed - and will have to cut back on production and jobs. Even if some producers of energy-intensive products can raise prices enough to cover higher energy costs, they'll nonetheless sell fewer of their products because of those higher prices. So they too will have to cut back on production and jobs.

    Nine out of 10 previous postwar recessions began shortly after a big spike in the price of oil. Yet those recessions always slashed oil prices dramatically. People who have been predicting both a nasty US recession and $200 oil prices are contradicting themselves.

    Recent news reports have expressed surprise that the US economy appears much stronger than the famously gloomy predictions at the start of the year. Indeed, the surprising endurance of US manufacturing and exports is one reason oil prices rose as long as they did.

    But note that a US recession isn't required to bring down the price of oil. All that's needed is industrial stagnation or decline in many other countries.

    In the United States and Britain, industrial production is nearly flat - only 0.2 percent higher than it was a year ago. In many other countries, however, industrial production has dropped over the past 12 months. It's down by 0.7 percent in Japan, 1.1 percent in Austria, 2.5 percent in Italy and Denmark, 2.9 percent in Canada, 5.4 percent in Greece, 5.7 percent in Singapore and 13.3 percent in Spain.

    In April, industrial production also fell in India and China. Shrinking industry around the world shrinks demand for energy in general - and for oil in particular.

    When the price of anything gets unbearably high, it discourages demand. The resulting drop in sales, in turn, causes inventories to pile up and the price to come down. That has proven true of overpriced houses - and it will likewise prove true of overpriced oil.

  18. Price of diesel is partly a function of typical DC. policy.


    Environmental Restrictions

    Another factor given by the EIA is the transition to ultra lower-sulfur diesel fuels in the United States. New Environmental Protection Agency standards for diesel fuel sulfur content took effect in 2006, requiring that the sulphur content of diesel be reduced drastically, from a maximum of 500 parts per million to no more than 15 parts per million for 80 percent of all diesel sold for road use. By December 1, 2010, that standard will apply to 100 percent of on-highway diesel fuel. New sulphur standards for off-highway diesel fuel (such as fuel for generators, construction machinery and marine use) began to be phased in last year. The added processing is an expensive proposition, and the cost ultimately must be reflected in the selling price of the fuel.

    In 2001 the EIA estimated that the new standards for ultra low-sulfur diesel fuel would require refiners to invest from $6.3 billion to $9.3 billion, and they would increase highway diesel fuel prices by 6.5 to 10.7 cents per gallon between 2007 and 2011. The report also held out the possibility of even higher price spikes if the new regulation led to a production bottleneck.

    Surprise. The regulations DID produce a bottleneck. Not enough refining capacity with all the new gizmos needed to produce the 15ppm standard. More refiners are getting into the game because the margins are so high now, but it will take a couple of years before they are online consistently.

    Higher Taxes

    Finally, higher federal taxes account for 6 cents per gallon of the price difference at the pump. Gasoline is taxed at 18.4 cents per gallon, and diesel at 24.4 cents per gallon. That's been true for years and explains why diesel has sold for an average of 1.3 percent more than gasoline over the time period covered by the EIA's figures. It does not explain why the spread has gotten so wide recently, however. Again, the main factor is demand.

    China is also using diesel to make electricity. A six-unit combustion turbine station can suck up 55 million gallons in 24 hours. Since the earthquake, they are running the CTs and regular diesel back-up generators like gang busters.

  19. A word on the Colombian FTA:

    Should a strengthened Democratic Congress coincide with an Obama presidency, the FTA moves from "only mostly dead" to actually dead. As I have explained before, this constitutes giving the finger to our only ally on the continent, who will then turn to whom it can.

    But it gets worse. Colombia will now begin purchasing Russian helicopters and spare parts. Supply and demand has pushed the cost of the former out of their reach; and we cannot any longer provide necessary spare for the US platforms already in operation due to the requirements of our own forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Russia sells crap (we know, because we fly their crap) but it's affordable. And spare parts are plentiful.

    Latecomers to Colombia, they now have the opportunity to build a significant military relationship - one the US has spent decades cultivating, and which is the strongest component of a multi-faceted partnership.

    Should the FTA next year find itself more than "only mostly dead"
    we can write off our South American anchor. And it will not take long to feel effects.

  20. What a world.

    "Whitey" Domain For Sale.

    Make your bid now.

    WiO, glad to hear that somebody is doing something, rather than sitting on one's ass, like myself.

  21. It's an odd business. NATO and the EU get pushed practically to the gates of Moscow and the democrats will muck things up in our own backyard.

  22. These days, with vague Orwellian slogans like "change" and polling and a national media obviously in thrall with him, there seems to be an effort to ignore Obama's Chicago political connections, to consider him as having been hatched, perhaps immaculately from a floating soap bubble, spotless and clean to the world.

    Obama's Mettle Forged In A Dubious Furnace

  23. A stronger dollar might do more than anything to bring down the cost of imported oil.

    It's time to strengthen the dollar which means raising interest rates.

  24. this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow--

    which is my favorite Obamaline, so far.

    Steyn Not Arrested Yet, Still Writing

  25. I'm surprised he hasn't promised to part them.

  26. The waters being a symbol for chaos in the Bible, Obama is using some good biblical imagery here. The rising waters of doom...but there was Noah, who rode the waves, outlasted the flood, Noah who knew "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow". God held back the waters for the Hebrews but swamped the Egyptian. And Jesus walked on the waters and stilled the storm.

    I call him, Noahbama, Nobama, The Rainbow Man.

    'and God placed his bow in the sky as a sign...'

  27. 2164th wrote:

    "How much irreversible damage can be done by a McCain or Obama presidency? There is an easy and pragmatic answer.

    Obama would come in with complete control of the entire government..."

    One upside over the Dubya precedent is that Obama is a much smarter man. Hopefully that will make a difference.

    An interesting dilemma though - what is better; a government able to get things done or one frozen in gridlock? One guiding factor is - are you happy with the status quo?

  28. "...but there was Noah, who rode the waves, outlasted the flood"

    Let's do that then, bob.

  29. ☛ When we attacked Iraq, oil was $25 per barrel.
    ☛ We ran the Iraqis out of Kuwait and receive no compensation in the form of oil.
    ☛ We bailed out the Mexican economy and currency and received no compensation in the form of oil.
    ☛ We had the crown jewels attacked on 911. No disproportionate response.
    ☛ We saved the disproportionate response for Iraq.
    ☛ We fail at basic geography and have left the policy of the Americas to the Chinese.
    ☛ We ignored the true value of the dollar.
    ☛ We do not seem concerned about Chinese free trade, are bent on stiffing the Colombian deal, while Bolivia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Brazil and Chile are all making deals with the chicoms.

    ☎ This happened under a Republican president and Conress

  30. Elections are won and lost by what the non-political people do. We may just have to take our medicine.

  31. They are getting a little unhinged over there at Belmont.

  32. Trish goes to Colombia; The Colombians Come to the U.S.

    I think I'm beginning to understand why the Dems are so, adamantly, against the Colombia FTA. Did I mention that Bill Clinton/George Soros are major investors in Brazilian Cane Ethanol.

    Colombians to be Producing 100 mgy of Cane Ethanol in LOUISIANA within a year.

  33. With any luck, there'll be a mutual slaughter.

    Or someone will simply close the windows and turn on the gas.

  34. My theory on the election is simply that McCain would probably have more power to do destructive things than Obama would.

    As the Gay Girl, above, noted: The American people have a tendency to "split the ticket" in times like these. I'm betting that if Obama gets elected he will have a very obstructive 45, or 46, Republicans to deal with in the Senate.

    I'm afraid that if McNutz gets elected the 42, or 43 Pubs in the Senate will give up the ghost.

    As far as what they'll actually attempt to do, I just can't see much difference.

  35. "Should the FTA next year find itself more than "only mostly dead"
    we can write off our South American anchor. And it will not take long to feel effects."

    What do you think those will be?

  36. First and foremost: The last, necessary push against the FARC.

  37. We're standing on the shoulders of some true giants here; but they know which way the wind's blowing.

  38. (Actually, we're standing on Clinton's and GWB's shoulders, too.)

  39. (I don't think any American will ever write to thank them. But they oughta.)

  40. Obama is standing on the shoulders of whacky ministers and priests who preach "Get Whitey" from the pulpit in sermons that have nothing to do with God, and on the shoulders of William Ayers and Louis Farrakhan and while he's standing up there he won't even say the pledge of allegience to the flag of the United States of America.

  41. We're all gettin' on the Peace Train.

    CARACAS, Venezuela (Associated Press) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez urged Colombian rebels on Sunday to lay down their weapons, unilaterally free dozens of hostages and put an end to a decades-long armed struggle against Colombia's government.

    Chavez sent the uncharacteristically strong message to the leaders of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, saying their ongoing efforts to overthrow Colombia's democratically elected government were unjustified.

    "The guerrilla war is history," said Chavez, speaking during his weekly television and radio program, "Hello President."

    "At this moment in Latin America, an armed guerrilla movement is out of place."

  42. NEW YORK (Associated Press) -- John McCain and Barack Obama rejected an offer Sunday from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ABC News to host the first proposed presidential town hall because they do not want it limited to one television network.

    McCain, the likely Republican nominee, last week asked his Democratic counterpart to join him for 10 meetings in the coming months, and campaign managers for both sides said they had agreed in spirit to schedule some type of joint appearances.

    But the campaigns rejected a formal offer outlined in a letter from Bloomberg and ABC News on Sunday that envisioned kicking off the town hall series with a 90-minute, prime-time broadcast from New York. The campaigns said the candidates want the meetings open for broadcast on all television networks or on the Internet, rather than be sponsored by a single network or news organization.

  43. Trish @
    Sun Jun 08, 11:55:00 AM EDT
    God does not have to damn America.
    We'll do it ourselves.

  44. Here we are, Doug.

    Not the worst of all places to be.

    Gene Healy said, and I've said before, that conservatives, and many libertarians, are temperamentally pessimistic.

    Add a crisis-driven media and what're you gonna do?

    That anything at all gets quite the miracle.

  45. Or as one Army NCO put it to me years ago, "It somehow manages to fly."

  46. Trish reminds me of a mid night breakfast a long time ago on one of the TAC outposts of the greatest empires ever.

    Four GIs on their second cup of coffee waiting for the shuttle to the Victor Alert Area overhearing some flight line mechanics, poses the question: "Did you ever wonder how these guys keep them flying?"

    A tech rep from McDonnell Douglas, fresh from the factory offers an aside, "If you knew the guys who built them, you would wonder how they got here in the first place."

  47. A "brick with wings."

    That may be us.

  48. The brick is still out there. In numbers.


  49. Nelson: Replace Electoral College with Middle School

    by Scott Ott for ScrappleFace
    (2008-06-08) —

    If legislation introduced this week by Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL, becomes law, the nation will never again elect a candidate like George W. Bush, who has served as president for seven years after losing the popular vote in 2000 to former Vice President Al Gore.

    That’s because Sen. Nelson’s bill would replace the Electoral College, which was designed to prevent a few populous states from dominating the rest, with a new institution tentatively dubbed “the Electoral Middle School.”

    “Many Americans, especially those educated in the public schools, would love to see us elect the president by popular vote,” said Sen. Nelson, “My proposal is all about popularity. The Electoral Middle School is a time-tested way to make sure that the right people get the attention they deserve.”

    As every American knows, becoming a popular kid in middle school has nothing to do with intelligence, ability, good values or hard work. It doesn’t even require broad-based support, the Florida Democrat noted.

    “You just need a critical mass of like-minded people to anoint you,” he said, “and presto! You’re popular. With the Electoral Middle School, we’ll be able elect endless generations of people like Barack Obama by simply ignoring the desires of the sparsely-populated ’states in the middle’ and just letting New York and Los Angeles decide.”

  50. Bobal: Nuclear explosion in China?

    Be sweet if the Olympics were cancelled due to fallout. Then China would go back to burning coal and we wouldn't have $5 diesel.

  51. Mormons Celebrate 30 Year Mark Of Blacks In Priesthood

    Joseph Smith wasn't the racist. It came originally from Brigham Young. Interesting article.

  52. Thanks for sharing, I will bookmark and be back again
    farmmachinery used