Friday, October 31, 2003
On Mustangs and the American Way:
I own a Ford Mustang. Not a classic one from the Lee Iacocca days at Ford – and by that I mean 1964-1969 models. Those were classic cars. Then, for some reason, Ford lost all sense of reason on the Mustang and entered into a dark period in American car making history. The Mustangs produced from 1970 to 1994 were truly mediocre at best.
In 1994 the inspiration began to return with the redesigned body style and has gotten progressively better with each passing year. My model is a black 1999, V6, five speed. Why Mustangs are made with automatic transmissions remains a mystery to me. I drive it, normally faster than the legal limit as often as I can.
Mustangs are required by the automobile space-time continuum to have an earsplitting stereo. To have otherwise would violate the principles upon which the American automobile exists. Why have I include this in my blog today? Because yesterday, in the bottom of a long forgotten box I found a tape I made in another lifetime – before the advent of CDs. This tape is entitled “Traveling Music”. On it you will find tunes from long forgotten bands like Def Leppard, Journey, Bad English, The Eagles, and others that I can’t even remember. The tape rocks.
Now, picture in your mind a Mustang roaring down a freeway thumping the Top Gun Anthem. Tell me, is there anything more inherently and undeniably American than that?
I think not.
Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
On the Culture War:
If you have an hour or two to spare today, check out Brian Anderson's piece in the autumn edition of City Journal. Aside from nailing the mainstream media to the proverbial wall, he has some really funny insights into what he sees as a shifting tide in American politics and perhaps culture as well. It's a long article, but well worth the time to read.
Monday, October 27, 2003
Normally I don’t vent twice in one day. I don’t even particularly like Joe Klein either. Oh, well. Any given Monday.
Klein has a piece in today’s Time Magazine on the Detroit Federation of Teachers successful campaign to keep a millionaire citizen from doing something good for the public school system. Why, pray tell, would teachers look a $200 million gift horse in the mouth?
The answer, gentle reader, is they didn’t. Well, most of them didn’t. The union did. They have their reasons, none, I repeat, none of which are valid. Looks to me like the leadership of the DFT is far less interested in the education of the children than they are their own power base.
Keeping children in failing, crumbling, and otherwise squalid educational institutions is a crime.
Here endeth the lesson.
Normally I wouldn’t give Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the time of day. But her comments regarding the recent round up of undocumented (insert illegal) cleaning contractors at WalMart stores across the country.
Her Highness Pelosi said, and I quote lest I be accused of making this up, “"It instills a great deal of fear in people who are only trying to earn a living and put food on the table for their family.” She then referred to the Friday police raids as “terrorizing”.
Why is it that I feel compelled to state the obvious? Oh, I forgot. Ms. Pelosi is from San Francisco and they do things different out there.
Memo to Nancy: The people rounded up in these raids have broken the law. They are therefore, by definition, criminals. That, my dear Congresswoman, is why they live in fear. I realize you depend on these people to get yourself elected, but again, that is not my problem. As a former California Taxpayer, your policies and also those you espoused during your visit south of the border, are some of the many reasons why I no longer live in the Golden State.
I have no problem with immigration so long as it is legal and sanctioned by state and federal government entities. Those people who choose to circumvent the immigration process should be served with a one way bus ticket back to the country of their origin. Period. The enforcement raids are not terrorizing acts. They are the act of enforcing existing law. If that is terrorizing to you, Nancy, get used to it.
Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, October 23, 2003
On the Rummygram:
I remember very little of the history of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. That being said, I do remember one bit of information about Cesar. It is said that when Cesar would ride down the streets of Rome, looking over the greatness and glory of the seemingly invincible institution that was the Roman Empire, a servant/slave would sit next to him.
The job of this servant was simple. While Cesar looked out upon his success, the servant was to whisper in his ear the following phrase:
All honor is fleeting.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (hereafter referred to respectfully as “Rummy”) has come under scrutiny in the past few days regarding a memo he sent to four members of his team. The memo was not for public airing and, having seen the way Rummy casually eviscerates hapless members of the DoD press corps I feel sorry for the sap who leaked the memo.
The memo, or Rummygrams as they are known inside the Pentagon, contained several questions Rummy asked about the ongoing war on terror. The press spins this as evidence the Bushies have no compass when it comes to conducting the war on terror. As usual, I find myself in diametric opposition to the press filter.
Rummy’s comments in this memo actually make me admire the man. He has the intestinal fortitude to continually reexamine this war and the means used by the US to prosecute it. He thinks outside the box – a rarity among Washington insiders. He is not afraid to raise issues in a forum where everyone else might not have the courage to do so.
One of the most important lessons I learned in business school was the Abilene Paradox. The inability for an organization to disagree with its current course and consider new and innovative options can and often is the downfall of that same organization or the failure of the overall mission. With due respect and reverence to the current and former leaders of the US Military, the Abilene Paradox was painfully evident in Vietnam.
Rummy’s job is to effectively follow the orders of the Commander in Chief. Last I checked, those orders were to prosecute the War on Terror and defend the United States from terrorist attacks. Any leader that is not open to new options, tactics, and polices should not wear the SecDef hat. The fact that Rummy encourages his people to constantly search for new, more effective, and better ways of fulfilling their mission just shows me his head is screwed on just right.
Here endeth the lesson.
Friday, October 17, 2003
On Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin:
As far as I can tell, I haven’t done much on religion in this blog. Personally, I believe religion to be a very private thing and I tire of those who wear their religiosity on their proverbial sleeve. I have religion. If you do, great. If you want to know more about mine, just ask. If you are an atheist, fine by me, just don’t expect me to go out of my way just to make sure you aren’t inadvertently exposed to the concept of God.
I, for one, and no, I’m not alone, am growing increasingly weary of the outright persecution of any public figure who happens to let their religious beliefs, specifically those of a Christian persuasion, show. Lt. General Boykin made some statements about his personal Christian beliefs that have caused quite a stir – at least as far as the LA Times is concerned. I’m not really concerned about what the LA Times thinks or prints. As an institution, the paper is growing ever more irrelevant with each passing publishing day.
Let’s get one thing straight here – people are free in this country to believe what ever they want and say whatever they want about anything they want. Everyone clear on that? Good. You don’t have to like them or what they stand for. If Lt. General Boykin wants to get up in front of a group of druids and proclaim that tree spirits inspired him in the capture of a Somali warlord, he has that right. We in turn have the right to look at him like he’s from outer-space. If this same General wants to proclaim publicly that aliens are responsible for W’s being in the Whitehouse – more power to him.
Just because someone makes a statement that offends you, or that you do not agree with does not give you the right to have said individual removed from the public square. General Boykin said some things that offended Muslims. Sometimes the truth hurts. One of the reasons radical Islam hates the United States is because we are, by all statistics, a majority Judeo-Christian nation. Say what you want, but deny the truth you cannot do. Boykin also stated he believed God put W in charge of the nation. In the immortal words of liberal Congressman Henry “Nostrilitis” Waxman, I ask “so what?” Does that change anything? Since when is the belief that a Supreme Being actually cares who runs the most powerful nation on the face of the earth a disqualification for military, public, or judicial service?
Boykin is charged with heading the effort to hunt down Binny Laden and Saddam. Let him do his damn job. You want to criticize his job performance? Go right ahead. But if you cross the line and call for his reassignment based solely on his personally held, publicly stated, and by the way constitutionally protected beliefs, be prepared for guys like me to stand up and call you a blithering, flaming, and ignorant idiot.
Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
In the past few days, Rush has proven one of the many corollaries to Murphy’s Law to be true. Not only will every thing that can go wrong, it will do so in the worst possible order for maximum effect.
I have but a few comments on the alleged and now admitted to drug use. I admire Rush Limbaugh and have been a loyal listener to his program since 1992. His admission to being addicted to prescription painkillers does nothing to change my admiration for him. He has an addiction. He is dealing with it. The circumstances that led up to this admission are questionable at best. Never the less, Rush doesn’t cry victim, nor ask for sympathy. This is his problem. He got himself where he is and needs help to get out of the hole he dug. Whatever consequences there may be for his actions, he will deal with them like a man. Of that I have no doubt.
I find questionable and suspicious the actions of the National Enquirer. It is a documented fact they sat on this story for more than two years. Conventional wisdom dictates if you have an explosive story, you print it. It the story lacks substance, credibility, or facts, you file it in the cylindrical filing cabinet. The source of the allegations, the housekeeper, has spun such a tangled yarn it is difficult to believe any of it. The sheer volume she alleges is mind boggling – but may be true. Either way, she’s in more danger of jail time than is the Maha Rushie simply because she’s the dealer. We frown much harder on dealers than users.
As for the media frenzy over this issue, I have but one comment. Years ago a woman by the name of Gennifer Flowers came forward in the National Enquirer and claimed to have had a 12 year relationship with then Governor turned Presidential Candidate Bill Clinton (hereafter referred to as Wilhem von der Schliekmeister). In addition to her claim to have been diddled by der Schliekmeister for well over a decade was also an allegation that said Schliekmeister snorted cocaine like a Hoover vacuum cleaner – her description, not mine. So much so that he commented to her that his head itched – evidently a common reaction to sustained cocaine use. Add this allegation to the fact that George Clinton, der Schliekmeister’s brother, did prison time for cocaine trafficking and you have what would seem to be a major story for the press to gobble up.
You and I both know this never happened. Flowers was buried in the middle of the papers and the cocaine allegation was simply never mentioned.
Now, if you are to believe the housekeepers story about Rush’s drug purchases as reported in the Enquirer, should we not then also demand an investigation into der Schliekmeister’s fascination with long white powder lines on a mirror?
One final comment. When confronted with allegations of his addiction, Rush stood up, admitted his problem, and immediately took action to rectify the problem. No grand juries, no denials, nada. Compare that to der Schliekmeister’s behavior when confronted with his own illegal activity. Night and day difference. Der Schliekmeister is still trying to define what “is” is.
Here endeth the lesson.
Friday, October 03, 2003
On the National Enquirer:
Guys, if you hold of on publishing a story for *TWO YEARS*, it makes me think there is no 'there' there. Its not like you guys are famous for verifying your sources. Another 100k and the housekeeper would've sworn that Rush had a high quality meth production plant under his mansion.
On Rush, and the media’s double and triple standard:
I am, by definition and unapologetically so, a football fan. I bleed BYU blue and Denver Bronco Orange, and every now and then some 49’er gold. That being said, I’m also a defensive lineman, therefore I pay little attention to quarterback ratings, yards per carry, and the other mind numbing stats associated with the world’s greatest game. I like to see it played, but I have long since given up trying to follow individual players.
That being said, I’m sad to see Rush Limbaugh depart ESPN. He gave a fan’s perspective and added slicing wit to the jock-ocracy that is the world of commentators today. Allen Barra posted a detailed column as to why Rush was right about Donovan McNabb. I happen to agree with them both. I say McNabb’s sorry performance on the first Monday Night game of the season. His game was off, and he didn’t get the job done. Period. Yet the media insist on hyping him as one of the game’s top field generals. Sorry guys, he’s not. If he was white you’d be ripping him to shreds. That’s the truth. If you can’t handle it, go cover some less competitive and forgiving sport – shuffleboard comes to mind.
As for the media’s double and sometimes triple standard, I will only say this: All speech is not treated freely nor fairly. For example – I personally think Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and former (thank God) Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney are raging, blithering idiots that couldn’t find their collective asses with both hands and a searchlight. I cite one example to illustrate their extreme lack of anything resembling gray matter:
Jackson-Lee: When the Mars rover was sending back footage to JPL in Pasadena, Jackson-Lee was present – most likely for a photo op. She made the unfortunate mistake of opening her mouth and asking the head engineer when the rover would pan to the place where the astronauts planted the American Flag. You can imagine the uncomfortable silence followed by the explanation that astronauts had yet to visit MARS! Again, this only the most glaring one I can pick off the top of my head. Believe me, there are many, many more.
McKinney: In the days following September 11, a Saudi Prince came to New York. He presented Americas Mayor for Life Rudy Guilianni with a check for $10 million. Later, the Prince was quoted as hoping the attacks would make America realize the plight of the Palestinian people – roughly saying that America deserved to be attacked because of the way she treats the Palestinians. Rudy rightly tore up the check. Adam Sandler said it best when Operaman said “If you blame USA, stick your 10 million up your robe”:
McKinney, fresh from whatever planet she lives on, wrote a letter to the Prince, practically begging him to send her the $10 million, “to help the oppressed black people of America.” She wanted cash, and she was willing to forget the murder of 3,017 people to get it.
My point in citing these two examples? If I were to make them in any type of public forum, not thirty seconds would pass before the ACLU, NAACP, Jesse Jackson, and Louis Farrakan would demand my public execution. Not that they would try and defeat my arguments – that would be too hard because, well, I’ve done nothing but state the truth. They would demand my removal from the public square by calling me an insensitive, hate filled, racist.
Now, tell me good people, just where in my statements do you find anything racist?