"Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller

Wednesday, September 24, 2003
On Wesley Clark: (Probably the first of many comments)

Wesely Clark has thrown his hat into the democratic presidential circle. Damn its getting crowded in there. However, the silence of the military on his candicacy is deafening. Its almost like listening to the response to the Monty Python's Holy Grail narrator statement:

Narrator: "And there was much rejoicing"
Faint crowd response: "Yay."
(Note lack of exclamation point.
For the full effect, here is the audio link.

Where there is military comment, it is not favorable. Retired General H. Hugh Shelton had the following response on whether or not he would support Clark's run:

"I've known Wes for a long time. I will tell you the reason he came out of Europe early had to do with integrity and character issues, things that are very near and dear to my heart. I'm not going to say whether I'm a Republican or a Democrat. I'll just say Wes won't get my vote."

Shelton is a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a 38 year veteran with 2 tours in Vietnam and a Green Beret. His ribbons take up most of his uniform. I'll take him at his word as someone who knows Clark's military credentials.

Hey, Wes, when someone like Shelton makes this kind of comment, people listen.

On Dennis J. Kucinich:

Some of you may be asking, “Just who the hell is Dennis J. Kucinich?” Perhaps I should substitute ‘most’ for ‘some’. If you don’t live in Ohio’s 10th Congressional District, don’t feel bad. Hell, if you do live in that district, you may never have heard of the guy. OK, enough suspense. Like most democratic members of the House and Senate, Dennis J. Kucinich is running for President.

Here are the top five reasons Ted Kennedy will show up sober on the Senate floor before Dennis J. Kucinich becomes president:

5. How the hell do you pronounce Kucinich?
4. Did he actually pay money for that rug? (bottom left corner of the page)
3. Ted Kennedy makes more sense even after his morning fifth of Jack.
2. He’s unidentifiable outside of Ohio.

And now, the number one reason why Dennis J. Kucinich will never move to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is

From the September 24, 2003 edition of the Washington Post, buried in the middle of a huge article criticizing Bush’s UN performance, is the following quote:

Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), another presidential candidate and a vocal opponent of the war from the outset, demanded a pullout from Iraq as "the only way to ensure true peace and stability in the region."

Now, Dennis, let me get this straight. We just went in there, fought a war, liberated a wholly oppressed country, and deposed a dictator. Now you want us to pack up the infantry, load the tanks back on the ships, and leave. Never mind the fact that Iraq is literally surrounded by militiant Islamic wackos just waiting for a place to base terrorist ops from. Does the concept of ‘power vacuum’ mean anything to you? How exactly, Dennis, is this supposed to create stability? Is there something in the water there in Cleveland, or is your skull just a tad thicker than the average moron?

Normally, I wouldn’t give people like Dennis the time of day or waste valuable blogspace on his naïve ignorance. But, after checking his presidential website, I decided the quote above is probably the most profound thing ever to leave his vocal cavity.

Dennis, your village called. They want their idiot back.

Here endeth the lesson.

Tuesday, September 23, 2003
On the many problems of the French:

Bret Stephens has an excellent piece on the woes of the French and France in general. I agree with all but one sentance - Bill Clinton didn't fix welfare, he merely signed the bill passed by the Republican congress - the same bill which he had vetoed on two prior ocassions.

Peter Brown writes an excellent letter to the French president. Its in english, which offends the french to no end, so who knows if good old Jacques will be able to read the thing.

OK, enough French bashing - for today anyway.
Thursday, September 18, 2003
On Ted Kennedy:

Be it here resolved that prior to any interviews given by Ted Kennedy that the former be required to submit to a brethalyzer test. No weight shall be given to his words if the results are higher than .20. For Teddy, he can only get that low just before his breakfast of Jack Daniels and Stoly.

Question for Ted: Have the decades in the Senate improved your lifeguarding skills?
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
On "Machismo":

Check out Jay Nordlinger's piece in todays Wall Street Journal. Its enough to make the girly man types cringe.
Friday, September 12, 2003
Something somebody passed on to me. Worth a second reading:

I sat in my seat of the Boeing 767 waiting for everyone to hurry and stow their carry-ons and grab a seat so we could start what I was sure to be a long , uneventful flight home. With the huge capacity and slow moving people taking their time to stuff luggage far too big for the overhead and never paying much attention to holding up the growing line behind them, I simply shook my head knowing that this flight was not starting out very well. I was anxious to get home to see my loved ones so I was focused on "my" issues and just felt like standing up and yelling for some of these clowns to get their act together. I knew I couldn't say a word so I just thumbed thru the "Sky Mall" magazine from the seat pocket in front of me. You know it's really getting rough when you resort to the over priced, useless sky mall crap to break the monotony. With everyone finally seated, we just sat there with the cabin door open and no one in any hurry to get us going although we were well past the scheduled take off time. No wonder the airline industry is in trouble I told myself. Just then, the attendant came on the intercom to inform us all that we were being delayed. The entire plane let out a collective groan. She resumed speaking to say "We are holding the aircraft for some very special people who are on their way to the plane and the delay shouldn't be more than 5 minutes. The word came after waiting six times as long as we were promised that "I" was finally going to be on my way home. Why the hoopla over "these" folks? I was expecting some celebrity or sport figure to be the reason for the hold up.........Just get their butts in a seat and lets hit the gas I thought. The attendant came back on the speaker to announce in a loud and excited voice that we were being joined by several U. S. Marines returning home from Iraq!!! Just as they walked on board, the entire plane erupted into applause. The men were a bit taken by surprise by the 340 people cheering for them as they searched for their seats. They were having their hands shook and touched by almost everyone who was within an arm's distance of them as they passed down the aisle. One elderly woman kissed the hand of one of the Marines as he passed by her. The applause, whistles and cheering didn't stop for a long time. When we were finally airborne, "I" was not the only civilian checking his conscience as to the delays in "me" getting home, finding my easy chair, a cold beverage and the remote in my hand. These men had done for all of us and I had been complaining silently about "me" and "my" issues. I took for granted the everyday freedoms I enjoy and the conveniences of the American way of life I took for granted others paid the price for my ability to moan and complain about a few minutes delay to "me" those Heroes going home to their loved ones. I attempted to get my selfish outlook back in order and minutes before we landed I suggested to the attendant that she announce over the speaker a request for everyone to remain in their seats until our hero's were allowed to gather their things and be first off the plane. The cheers and applause continued until the last Marine stepped off and we all rose to go about our too often taken for granted everyday freedoms......... I felt proud of them. I felt it an honor and a privilege to be among the first to welcome them home and say Thank You for a job well done. I vowed that I will never forget that flight nor the lesson learned. I can't say it enough, THANK YOU to those Veterans and active servicemen and women who may read this and a prayer for those who cannot because they are no longer with us. GOD BLESS AMERICA! WELCOME HOME! AND THANKS FOR A JOB WELL DONE !!!!! This is a ribbon for soldiers fighting in Iraq. Pass it on to everyone and pray. "We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world."
Friday, September 05, 2003
On the NFL Gala on the National Mall:

For those of you who may have missed it, yesterday was opening day for the NFL. It was kicked off by a concert featuring Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin, and Britney Spears.

Memo to Britney: Your 15 minutes are *up*!!

I’m sure a good time was had by all. The President got a good laugh with the immortal phrase, “are you ready for some football?” The ‘Skins actually won their opener, no doubt shocking many a Jets fan. It was billed as a salute to the military – those in uniform got front row seats. I say more power to them. They deserve it.

Every party must have a pooper and evidently this one had several. “Activists” (I love that phrase) decried the use of the Mall in a commercial setting. They got bent out of shape because ‘for-profit’ corporations (the horror, the horror) had their logos all over the place. Listening to them, you’d think Abe Lincoln was outfitted with a pair of giant Reebok tennis shoes. The organization, the National Coalition to Save Our Mall, claims to have 1,500 members nationwide. I myself counted 1,500 people just in the vicinity of the 50 yard line.

I hate to point out the obvious, but football fans, Aerosmith fans, and yes even Britney Spears fans are Americans. Its our mall too. If you allow every two bit, rag tag, foul smelling group with an ax to grind on to the mall to protest timber policies in Alaska, then you better shut the hell up about a party where people are actually happy to be there. If NOW’s female gang rallys, Louis Farakan’s 700,000 man march, and People for the Ethical treatment of Food (ooops, Animals) can hold their picnics on the mall, then you’d better make room for my SUV and the tailgate party that comes with it.

The National Coalition to Save Our Mall needs to get a life. Period.

Here endeth the lesson.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003
On Where I Was the Day the Earth Stood Still:

One week from today, almost to the minute that I write this, two years will have past since the world as I knew it changed forever. The major media outlets, as well as the blogosphere, will be brimming with retrospectives on September 11th. As for myself, I will be in Oklahoma City. Preliminary inquiries indicate OKC may not have discovered the internet yet, so I’ll post my retrospective today.

In the early (and I mean early) morning hours of September 11, 2001, I was trying to fulfill a New Year’s Resolution. Living in Los Angeles at the time, I was on a Nordic Trak at 0545. I was, as was my morning custom, listening to an early morning news talk show hosted by Hugh Hewitt. Nominally conscious even though my heart was racing, it took me a few minutes to filter out the phrase, “a great tragedy has happened in New York City.”

Leaving my Nordic Trak, I stumbled into the living room and turned on MSNBC. The screen slowly materialized, I watched in stunned disbelief as the second jet slammed into WTC Tower 1. My wife, awakened by my exclamation, joined me in the living room and we watched NBC’s Pentagon Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski as his entire office shook with the impact of yet a third airliner. We watched together as Tower 1 collapsed upon lower Manhattan. Somehow in the midst of all of this, I left for my office located just a few miles from LAX.

I was in a donut shop (so much for the Nordic Trak) when Tower 2 fell. Arriving at my office, I called my father and left him a short message – “Someone has been reading their Clancy.” I filtered through what news I could get access to. Planes were still in the air. A plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. Hijacked planes were headed west. Air Force One was a target. I sat in my office exchanging emails with the oldest friend I have in this world (oldest as in time known, not chronological age lest she smite me in a blog) and wondered when the other shoe would drop.

Part of me is still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

LA is a geographic continent and a cultural world away from New York and DC. Angelinos are used to having their world turned upside down by Mother Nature’s quake faults on a semi-regular basis. That said, even earthquake hardened Angelinos were shocked at the rubble. For weeks after the event, KFI radio put a haunting phrase at the top of each hour’s broadcast:

It could have just as easily happened here.

To the best of my knowledge, I did not know anyone (personally) who perished in the early morning hours of September 11, 2001. Even so, did the terrorists change my life? Yes they did. You see, my son – then just four years old – was full of questions when I came home later that afternoon.
“Daddy, did you see the buildings fall?”
“Yes, son, I did.”
“Why did they fall? Those buildings were *big*!!!
“Yes, they were.”
“Well, son, you see some bad men crashed planes into them, and the buildings burned and fell.”
Then with a quivering lip and concerned eyes that only a four-year-old can produce, “Daddy, are there bad men on your planes?”

Four-year-old boys shouldn’t have to deal with that kind of thought process. That, gentle reader, is why Osama ‘Binny’ Laden can take the following words, uttered first by FDNY Firefighter Mike Moran at Madison Square Gardens, to heart:

“Osama bin Laden, you can kiss my royal Irish ass!!”

Here endeth the lesson.

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