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... stuff from the past!

News...

We are scheduled to have Kevin Ford shear the flock on Saturday, February 14th.  If our frigid weather continues, we will be a good surrogate for Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep, whereby we'll be frantically knitting sweaters for the whole flock!  Anyone interesting in blade shearing should drop by for a visit.  Just give us a heads up if you are planning to come by.

Last vestige of winter hovers over the valley... be gone!

Harbingers of spring...

Last year, Shearing Day came on Tuesday, February 13th, another interesting time here on the farm.  ‘Bust’ was a bit ahead of the remaining expectant ewes and thus missed the indignity of being sheared while in her delicate state!  Dora pitched in to help clean up her twin girls, just minutes old when this photo was snapped (we know this is an old picture, but Ron can't bring himself to delete it!).

 

To check out some neat happenings down this way a while back, click on the thumbnail image below to get a close-up look!

Silos


Purple Mountains Majesty

Purple Mountains Majesty... a morning view from our Great Room!

 

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival

See you at the Thirtieth Annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival next year!  May, 2004 - Howard County Fairgrounds, Maryland.  Click the logo above for current festival information.


Media coverage...

“Wool, Wool Wool...” The News - Gazette, Lexington, Virginia, June, 1999, click the link to see an abstract of the article.

CEJRLJGazette.jpg (7884 bytes)

 

Year 2000 Corriedale Stud Ram Gallery

Saville110 Saville110
Saville 110, ACA541343

Sold to Trillium Hills Farm, Finncastle, VA

Twin, born April 11, 1995

Saville 110, ACA541343

Sire: DW400, ‘Stylesetter Legacy’ ACA525730, National Grand Champion Ram

Dam: VL&WC 93-75 (ACA531845)

Saville 168 Saville 168
Saville 168, ACA549981

Sold to Bryce Walker, Oneida, TN

Twin, born March 11, 1999

Saville 168, ACA549981

Sire: Saville 104, Big Ed (ACA541339)

Dam: VL&WC 93-05 Springlea line (ACA531816)

 

Spin-Off magazine, Spring 2001 issue, page 28, featuring a skein of Elizabeth's handspun white corriedale yarn.

Handspun corriedale skeinSpin-Off, Spring 2001issue

and Ramblings...

Each year, we shear our flock in mid-February, gathering the wool despite the fact that winter frequently continues to linger on... we like to have the ewes shorn early to get a good look at their condition before the lambs start to come in the following month or so. We can then adjust the feeding regimen accordingly.  For a different perspective on Gathering Wool, read Tondalaya VanLear’s reflective essay, reprinted here with the kind permission of the author and roanoke.com Weekly Magazine.


It seems to me... (Archived Rants!)

Winter 2008

As we are stepping gingerly into a new year, 2009, this old National Review essay dated 25 September 2001, written by Peter Ferrara, deserves another read...

"What Is An American"

Ferrara, Peter, "What Is An American," National Review, 25 September 2001.

You probably missed it in the rush of news last week, but there was actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American. So I just thought I would write to let them know what an American is, so they would know when they found one.

An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German, Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Mexican, African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or Arab, or Pakistani, or Afghan. An American may also be a Cherokee, Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, or one of the many other tribes known as native Americans.

An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist, or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to worship as each of them choose.

An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs claiming to speak for the government and for God.

An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each man and woman to the pursuit of happiness.

An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about every other nation in the world in their time of need. When Afghanistan was overrun by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September 11, Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in Afghanistan. The best products, the best books, the best music, the best food, the best athletes.

Americans welcome the best, but they also welcome the least. The national symbol of America welcomes your tired and your poor, the wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed.

These in fact are the people who built America. Some of them were working in the Twin Towers in the morning of September 11 earning a better life for their families.

So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty tyrant in the history of the world. But, in doing so you would just be killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.

So look around you. You may find more Americans in your land than you thought were there. One day they will rise up and overthrow the old, ignorant, tired tyrants that trouble too many lands. Then those lands, too, will join the community of free and prosperous nations.

And America will welcome them.

Note:  The "What is an American?" article quoted above was not penned by an Australian (or a dentist), but by Peter Ferrara, an associate professor of law at the George Mason University School of Law in Northern Virginia. Mr. Ferrara's commentary was originally published in the National Review, 25 September 2001.

Notes:

Ferrara, Peter, "What Is An American," National Review, 25 September 2001.

First appeared in Snopes, 29 March 2002 - original

Last updated: 7 March 2008, reformatted

 

Spring 2008

An interesting assessment of Barack Obama, from Capitalism Magazine...

An Old Newness
By Thomas Sowell
Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Many years ago, a great hitter named Paul Waner was nearing the end of his
long career. He entered a ball game with 2,999 hits -- one hit away from the
landmark total of 3,000, which so many hitters want to reach, but which
relatively few actually do reach.

Waner hit a ball that the fielder did not handle cleanly but the official
scorer called it a hit, making it Waner's 3,000th. Paul Waner then sent word
to the official scorer that he did not want that questionable hit to be the
one that put him over the top.

The official scorer reversed himself and called it an error. Later Paul
Waner got a clean hit for number 3,000.

What reminded me of this is the great fervor that many seem to feel over the
prospect of the first black President of the United States.

No doubt it is only a matter of time before there is a black president, just
as it was only a matter of time before Paul Waner got his 3,000th hit. The
issue is whether we want to reach that landmark so badly that we are willing
to overlook how questionably that landmark is reached.

Paul Waner had too much pride to accept a scratch hit. Choosing a President
of the United States is a lot more momentous than a baseball record. We the
voters need to have far more concern about who we put in that office that
holds the destiny of a nation and of generations yet unborn.

There is no reason why someone as arrogant, foolishly clever and ultimately
dangerous as Barack Obama should become president -- especially not at a
time when the threat of international terrorists with nuclear weapons looms
over 300 million Americans.

Many people seem to regard elections as occasions for venting emotions, like
cheering for your favorite team or choosing a Homecoming Queen.

The three leading candidates for their party's nomination are being
discussed in terms of their demographics -- race, sex and age -- as if that
is what the job is about.

One of the painful aspects of studying great catastrophes of the past is
discovering how many times people were preoccupied with trivialities when
they were teetering on the edge of doom. The demographics of the presidency
are far less important than the momentous weight of responsibility that
office carries.

Just the power to nominate federal judges to trial courts and appellate
courts across the country, including the Supreme Court, can have an enormous
impact for decades to come. There is no point feeling outraged by things
done by federal judges, if you vote on the basis of emotion for those who
appoint them.

Barack Obama has already indicated that he wants judges who make social
policy instead of just applying the law. He has already tried to stop young
violent criminals from being tried as adults.

Although Senator Obama has presented himself as the candidate of new things
-- using the mantra of "change" endlessly -- the cold fact is that virtually
everything he says about domestic policy is straight out of the 1960s and
virtually everything he says about foreign policy is straight out of the
1930s.

Protecting criminals, attacking business, increasing government spending,
promoting a sense of envy and grievance, raising taxes on people who are
productive and subsidizing those who are not -- all this is a re-run of the
1960s.

We paid a terrible price for such 1960s notions in the years that followed,
in the form of soaring crime rates, double-digit inflation and double-digit
unemployment. During the 1960s, ghettoes across the countries were ravaged
by riots from which many have not fully recovered to this day.

The violence and destruction were concentrated not where there was the
greatest poverty or injustice but where there were the most liberal
politicians, promoting grievances and hamstringing the police.

Internationally, the approach that Senator Obama proposes -- including the
media magic of meetings between heads of state -- was tried during the
1930s. That approach, in the name of peace, is what led to the most
catastrophic war in human history.

Everything seems new to those too young to remember the old and too ignorant
of history to have heard about it.


Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of Basic
Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy.

 

Thomas Sowell

Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow
The Hoover Institution
Stanford University
Stanford, California 94305

    

Winter 2007

 

News Flash...

"NEW ORLEANS - Hurricane Katrina's victims have put a price tag on their suffering and it is staggering — including one plaintiff seeking the unlikely sum of $3 quadrillion.

"The total number — $3,014,170,389,176,410 — is the dollar figure so far sought from some 489,000 claims filed against the federal government over damage from the failure of levees and flood walls following the Aug. 29, 2005, hurricane."

 

What a crock... when you live in a toilet bowl, you shouldn't be too surprised that occasionally the bowl gets flushed!

 

    

 

Winter 2005

... that the whole truth about the furor surrounding the Zacarias Moussaoui sentencing trial is missing a critical element.

“I don’t think in the annals of criminal law there has ever been a case with this many significant problems,” U.S. District Court Judge Leonie Brinkema said.

What Judge Brinkema fails to admit is the fact that the missing element in this case has to do with the incompetence of the Federal jurist sitting on this case and not the Government's prosecutors.  The judge in this case has done everything in favor of Moussaoui short of parading the promised 62 virgins before him in her court!

P.S.  Prosecutors successfully overturned an unfavorable ruling from Brinkema in 2004. The 4th Circuit overruled her decision to exclude the death penalty then as a sanction for the government’s refusal to allow defense access to key al-Qaida witnesses in U.S. custody.

    

Fall 2005

... that the President seems to have been extraordinarily lucky, or perhaps even cunning, with his nomination of Harriet Mier to replace re­tiring Sandra O'Conner.  Quite interesting! It certainly seems that the nomin­ation has disarmed many on the Democratic side of the Senate!  Of course there will be many on both sides who will retain their positions not­withstanding any facts, e.g., Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, or Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, but it will be fun to see if Mr. Bush has really pulled off a supreme hat trick, or simply muddied the waters.  We will be watching closely the coming Senate Hearings on Miss Mier... very inter­esting indeed!

P.S.  Muddied waters indeed...  R.I.P., Harriet!

   

 

Summer 2005

... The latest push from our pseudo legislators, i.e. the courts, includes the incredibly outrageous recent decision of the Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New London.  If you missed this one, catch this... local governments can seize citizens homes and businesses against their will for private development.  That's right, "for private development."

It will be up to the various state legislatures to dam and plug this eminent domain loop hole, since the U.S. Congress and the Federal Courts have denied the respect for private property rights as a fundamental building block of our nation.  Even when the issue is in the public interest, government should be obliged to error on the side of the property owner. In such cases, might is not right! The following article of interest, which predates Kelo v. City of New London, is reprinted from the Farm Bureau News, August 2005:

 

April 2005

Eminent domain addressed, but ‘still long way to go’

By Mark Cramer

Something is better than nothing—and while Virginia landowners didn’t get all they were asking for with a pair of proposed bills in this year’s General Assembly, Farm Bureau leaders and legislative staff say the passage of HB 1820 and HB 1821 represented a step in the right direction.
 

Both bills were sponsored by Del. Terrie L. Suit, R-Virginia Beach, at Farm Bureau’s request and addressed eminent domain concerns for landowners. Specifically, the bills covered landowner notification prior to entry by the condemning authority; and fair compensation for acquired land by a condemning authority. Both bills overwhelmingly passed in the Senate and House chambers, though neither as originally written.
 

HB 1820, as passed, requires condemners to either post a notice of intent to enter property or make an in-person delivery to the owner in person, as well as delivering it via certified mail. The bill also stipulates that a landowner may attempt to recover damages, if they occur, from an entry. If legal action is necessary and results in a judgment awarding the owner a figure that exceeds the condemner’s final written offer within a prescribed period of time by 30 percent of more, the court may award the landowner reasonable court costs and attorney and expert witness fees as well (for up to three expert witnesses). Those costs may also be awarded a landowner if the court finds that the condemner maliciously, willfully or recklessly damaged his property.
 

“We still have a long way to go,” said Susan Rubin, Farm Bureau legislative specialist.
 

Suit echoed Rubin’s sentiments, but noted that having the bills amended in committee was better than not getting them out of committee at all.
 

While Farm Bureau initiated both bills, they ran into opposition from the Virginia Department of Transportation, as well as some utilities and local governments. Meanwhile, many Virginians presented in committee first-hand accounts of eminent domain run-ins.
 

Earl Game, owner of Game’s Farmers’ Market in Newport News, had to “fight (VDOT) like a dog” to get the fair market value for his property when the department built the Hampton Roads Center Parkway in 1999. Game’s store was in the way of the six-lane highway where it was scheduled to intersect Harpersville Road.
 

“The state’s initial offer (for the portion of Game’s property paved over) was a little more than $24,000,” he said. “I wouldn’t agree on the settlement, so we went to court. I’ve got a $5 million-dollar-a-year business here; they were going to give me $20,000, $25,000, but it was going to cost me $150,000 just to do the electrical work needed from the disruption.”
 

A judge ordered VDOT to compensate Game to the tune of $800,000—more than 30 times the original offer. That was not only for the land, but it also considered the cost of renovations to the market and its parking lot from the subsequent road construction.
 

“The front entrance to the store was right on the intersection,” Game explained. “They backed off adding one of the lanes they’d planned, and I reworked my parking lot and put up a couple of new entrances.
 

“I felt like I had no rights, like VDOT was telling me, ‘This is the law, so we can do it,’” he continued. “I’m not against eminent domain per se, if you need my property for the public good. But I should be reimbursed so I can put my business back in shape after they’re done with it.”
 

“We haven’t addressed all the situations that need fixing,” Rubin said, “but we are appreciative of the progress made with the passage of this legislation that begins to address landowner issues.”

The issue:
Eminent domain refers to the ability of government agencies to acquire private property for public use. Because many Farm Bureau members are landowners, Virginia Farm Bureau has a long-term interest in monitoring eminent domain-related legislation and voicing the concerns of farmers and other property owners to elected officials.

The bills:
 

HB 1820 – Eminent domain; right of entry to inspect
Modifies the provisions associated with a condemner’s entry onto property by
 

(i) expanding the information provided in the initial request for permission to inspect and strengthening delivery requirements;
 

(ii) requiring that the notice of intent to enter be posted or otherwise delivered to the owner in person, in addition to being sent by certified mail; and
 

(iii) providing that if the owner files an action to recover damages caused by entry and is awarded judgment in an amount 30 percent or more than the condemner’s final written offer within a prescribed period of time, or if the court finds that the condemner maliciously, willfully or recklessly damaged the owner’s property, the court may award the owner reasonable court costs, attorney fees, and fees for up to three expert witnesses testifying at trial.

HB 1821 – Eminent domain; acquisition of property.
Modifies the provisions associated with acquisitions under eminent domain by
 

(i) requiring that a state agency’s acquisition of real property be conducted in accordance with provisions that are only precatory under current law, including that the state agency establish an initial amount that is no less than the agency’s approved appraisal of the fair market value of the property and that no owner can be required to surrender possession until the state agency pays the agreed purchase price or deposits funds with the court, and
 

(ii) providing that if an owner is awarded at trial as compensation for the taking of or damage to property an amount that is 30 percent or more greater than the amount of the petitioner’s written offer within a prescribed period of time, the court may award the owner reasonable appraisal and engineering fees, and reasonable fees and travel costs for up to three expert witnesses testifying at trial. The cost award provisions do not apply to cases involving easements valued at less than $10,000 or to cases in which a petition in condemnation or certificate of take or deposit was filed prior to July 1, 2005.

Virginia Farm Bureau logo

We need to pressure our legislators to restore those rights under the Constitution whereby, once again, private property rights are assured as a fundamental building block of our nation.

   

 

Spring 2005

... our Virginia state legislature is on the right track.  They are part-time legislators who, after several weeks at the capitol, have to return home and get about doing a full time job, unlike our "professional" federal legislators.  Our "won't do anything" Senate is a prime example of where the founding fathers really missed the mark!   Wouldn't it be great if we only had them making mischief for a few weeks instead full time?  Sad to say, the only thing they seem to be capable of is filibustering, threatened or imagined.  Too bad we can't really concoct a true filibuster and run them out of town as the buffoons they truly are!

    

Fall 2004

... that I must be confused.  We are about to run the tab on our country's cost for the liberation of Iraq to somewhere around $130 Billion, more or less, to carry things through the next twelve months.  At the same time we are pouring billions into Iraq, OPEC manipulators (primarily the Saudis) are driving up the price of oil by reducing their production to offset the fact that we are bringing the Iraqi oil production on line!  We not only pay to rebuild the infrastructure in Iraq, but we get the benefit of paying escalated oil costs back home for our trouble!  What is wrong with this picture?

    

Spring 2003

... that the buffoons, collectively known as the United States Senate, manage to find ways to exceed their own perfidy.  The shenanigans regarding Judge Charles Pickering wasn't bad enough.  There apparently wasn't enough precedence in the fact that Pickering was confirmed to his current position on the 5th Circuit by a unanimous vote of the same "like him today, hate him tomorrow" Senate or the fact that the American Bar Association ruled him completely qualified for his appointment to the Court of Appeals.  They simply would not let the nomination move out of committee, knowing the nomination would carry the majority if reaching the floor of the Senate.

The estimable democratic Senate leaders, chagrined at finding they lost control of the Senate in the last election, never spent a second trying to understand the loss.  Instead, they launch a new tactic of filibustering judicial nominees.  Knowing full well that the most recent nomination of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals, just as in the case of Charles Pickering, would carry the required majority votes if reaching the floor of the Senate.  Unfortunately the only way that the nomination can proceed is if an around-the-clock filibuster is forced.   The advocates of the supermajority believe that a real filibuster is not contemplated at this time.  Regrettably there is no spine to be found in the current Senate leadership, because only with a real filibuster will there be a chance to win.  With no cloture vote, the Estrada nomination is set aside while the Senate conducts other business.  Clearly a circumvent of the Constitution, which is trumped by the arcane Senate rules... but let us not let a little thing like the Constitution get in the way!

    

November 2002

...that the hypocrisy of the "War on Terror" continues unabated.  The latest fiasco regards Yemen's admission that the recently discovered shipment of Scud missiles was, indeed, headed for that country.  Meanwhile, their Scud (and, apparently, cement) supplier, the totalitarian Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is busily cranking up its capacity to produce more nuclear bomb grade material.  We should reflect on the fact the Yemen is a country that has, in the past, slugged it out using similar Scud missiles during civil strife between its Northern and Southern forces.  And let's not forget that other little incident, the bombing of the USS Cole!  With "friends" like these, we should be less concerned about scrutinizing Iraq and ponder a policy that conveniently looks the other way when more blatant violations go unchallenged with nothing more than a wink and a nod!

    

August 2002

... that as the national security cloak envelopes the White House and the "Select" Congressional Intelligence committee, it brings to mind the TV show, "Get Smart" with the 'Cone of Silence,' descending around agent Maxwell Smart, the Chief and Agent 99 as they plotted the undoing of their arch enemy organization, Chaos?  We still have just one question to ask those hiding under the cone,  "Whatever happened to Eric Rudolph?"

   

July 2002

... that the quote of the year goes to National Public Radio and ABC correspondent Cokie Roberts, discussing the newly announced Department of Homeland Security and where they are likely to house their 170,000 employees:

 "...probably West Virginia..." 

Right on, Cokie!!!  It would bring new meaning to the slogan, "Mountain State,"  that is, "Mountains of Bureaucrats State," compliments of the state's senile, senior senator and undisputed king of pork, Robert Byrd!

In the interest of objectivity, I should point out that I was born in Charleston, West "By God" Virginia.

    

June 2002

... that the hypocrisy of the war on terror continues.  The Administration's recent junket to Europe and Russia has been highlighted by "U.S. expressions of concern" over Russian support to Iran in developing a nuclear reactor facility.  The same type of reactor that the same concerned U.S. is obliged to provide to North Korea.  A strange dichotomy at opposite ends of the Axis of Evil!  Meanwhile Iraq, third in the Axis of Evil troika, hides comfortably behind the impenetrable oil shield, supported by most major European governments.  Big oil turns out to be a far more effective shield than the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative could ever come up with!

   

... meanwhile, that the finger pointing about who knew what, when and where, regarding the September 11th terrorist attack, is classic American Monday-morning-quarter-backing at its best.  I keep asking the same simple question with regard to the competency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Where is Eric Rudolph?  End of message!

    

May 2002

... that now that the Administration has succumbed to pressure from the Arab oil sheiks and has validated the terrorist Arafat, we can abandon the hypocrisy of the “war on terror” and get back to solving the countries economic woes and rebalancing the budget!   The obscene farm bill, which calls for a seventy five percent increase in spending, is a pure and simple play to garner votes during the upcoming 2002 elections.  It won't make a nickel's worth of difference to the success or failure of farming in this country, although it will enrich the profits of the big agri-business conglomerate operations... who needs it?

   

... that as the economy continues to founder, guess what the local and state politicians are up to in the face of declining "bubble economy" revenues.  If you say, "Making hard decisions about doing without and cutting expenses" (as do most families facing economic hardship), you loose!  Have you looked at your property tax bill lately?  No, you say?  Too, bad... you loose again!

    

April 2002

... that the suspected hypocrisy of the Bush “War on Terror” burst to the surface recently with the decision to have Secretary of State Colin Powell meet with Arafat during his wasted sojourn to the Middle East.  The famous “You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists,” pronouncement was suddenly as vacuous as some of Bill Clinton’s famous utterances: “I didn’t inhale… I didn’t have sex with that woman!” 

Why would Bush do something so inexplicable as to agree to a meeting with the head of a terrorist regime second in evil only to Bin Laden’s Al Qeda?

In a word, oil!  As soon as the Arab oil card was played, the Bush administration folded its hand and pushed away from the table.  The irony is that the oil card was played by the premier ‘tin horn’ of the Arab league, Saddam Hussein!  But make no mistake about it, the war on terror is over. The sacrifices made by the American people over the months following September 11, were summarily cast aside by simple, incontrovertible greed.   Oh sure, there will be plenty of rhetoric about how this action was necessary to stabilize the situation in the Middle East, but let’s not kid ourselves, folks.  We’ve been totally hoodwinked.  There is big money in this pot and we were not up to the ante! 

Arafat is a terrorist, pure and simple.  That is all he has ever been or understands.  My hat is off to the Israelis.  They have a tough row to hoe in a part of the world where there is little sympathy for democracy.   They now find themselves in an even more untenable position, with the U.S. back peddling on Arafat and his terrorist colleagues, leaving the Israelis to hang out and dry.  We seldom hesitate to pull the democracy pistol out of our holster and fire off a few shots, but friends, when it gets time to really put up or shut up, as in the case of big oil, don’t look over your shoulder and expect to find us standing tall behind you.  It isn’t going to happen!

Too bad!

    

March 2002

... that the quote of the week, if not the century, is from former President Clinton.  In response to a question from Newsweek's Jonathan Alter:

If you had to do it all over again, would you pardon Marc Rich?


"Probably not, just for the politics. It was terrible politics. It wasn’t worth the damage to my reputation."

Reputation?  What reputation, Bill?

   

... that those pompous buffoons, a.k.a. the U.S. Senate, have managed to somehow sink to new lows with the recent action by the Judiciary Committee to kill the nomination of Judge Charles Pickering to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.  The Judiciary Committee, a select committee of the aforementioned collection of buffoons, is comprised of such luminaries as "Plagiarizing" Joe Biden, "Chappaquiddick" Ted Kennedy, Diane "You have to love those Guantanamo Bay detainees" Feinstein and is chaired by Vermont's Patrick Leahy, who rose to that estimable position through the perfidy of his colleague, Vermont's other Senator, "Turncoat" Joseph Jeffords, who didn't have the gumption to resign and run for reelection as an "independent" candidate!  He failed to show his constituents the same courtesy that Senator Phil Gramm provided his fellow Texans when he switched from the Democrat party to join the ranks of the Republicans.

There apparently wasn't enough precedence in the fact that Pickering was confirmed to his current position on the 5th Circuit by a unanimous vote of the same "like him today, hate him tomorrow" Senate or the fact that the American Bar Association ruled him completely qualified for his appointment to the Court of Appeals.  Oh no, they had to attack his character... why should we not be surprised.  It seems that Pickering is a racist, and everyone knows that you can't loose with that line of attack.  Of course, they  conveniently ignored the facts that Pickering stood against the Klu Klux Klan in Mississippi at a great personal risk to himself and his family and is well thought of by the minority community in his home state.  Why even the seemingly senile Senator Robert Byrd, himself a former card carrying member of the Klan, voted for his confirmation to the 5th Circuit.  Byrd's Senate colleague must have thought this earlier endorsement of Pickering was somehow a substantiation of their racist claims against him!  Why else would they have snubbed the "Dean of the Senate?"  It seems that you can't have an honest disagreement on affirmative action without being painted with the racism brush! 

But even that wasn't thought to be enough, oh no... they further decried him as "violating the canons of judicial conduct" when he was troubled enough by a hate crimes (cross burning) case to inquire about the prosecutor's motivation in cutting a deal with the key perpetrator at the expense of two lesser participants in the affair!  Clearly, the behavior of a racist.  This Judiciary Committee coup de grace was administered in the face of the most incredible fact of all... that given the opportunity, Pickering would almost surely have been confirmed by a vote of the full Senate!  Perhaps buffoons is a word too kind...

   

February 2002

... that our far western friends in Washington state are rapidly overtaking their southern neighbors in California as the most bizarre thinkers in the country.  To wit, the latest revelation coming out of the University of Washington, a study revealing how terrible and ruinous it is for children to be subject to incompetent care by family and friends, most particularly, their grand parents.  One of the study's anchoring claims espoused is that the more educated the individual, the more likely they are to choose "professional" day care over family based day care...  I didn't see any attempt at correlation between education and mobility.  Many professionals go to where the jobs are, frequently far from home and caring family members.  Thus they have limited choices.   As one grandmother so aptly points out, given the choice, who do you think would provide more nurturing to the child,  a paid provider or someone with a true interest in the child's upbringing?  In their quest for the perfectly formed, politically correct and sterile society we find, gathered together, far too many people with sterile minds... welcome to "Pleasantville!"

   

...that the Federal Court in California scheduled to hear the farcical pleading regarding imagined Constitutional protection for those illegal combatant detainees being held in Guantanamo Bay, should hear first from the family of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl about just how his Constitutional rights were afforded to him. Incidentally, why am I not surprised that this suit has been filed in California?

   

... that a truly bizarre situation has emerged, where our old friend the Governor of California is frantically trying to renege on the energy contracts he was so anxious to sign just a few months back.  Was he ever an NFL coach?  No matter... suck it up Governor, you made the deal, now you live with it!

    

January 2002

... that once again the tyranny of the minority has struck another blow or two for political correctness.  This time, according to some members of the Boston City Council, they are offended by the use of the pejorative term "minority!"  Meaning "less then" rather than "more than!"  The good news for these beleaguered folks is that at the present pace of illegal immigration (from a total of about 3.5 million in 1990 up to somewhere around 8.7 million in 2001, they won't have that much longer to be offended. Meanwhile some other local politicians are busily removing a portrait of George Washington from their city hall... too many folks getting the mistaken idea that this country was founded by a bunch of old white men.  I must have read about the wrong Philadelphia Convention.  I should be more careful in the future!

Then, closer to home, the Virginia House of Delegates was brimming with post-Sept. 11 patriotism on the first day of the 2002 session, when it approved a proposal to start each daily session by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and a salute to the state flag. Two days later, on Jan. 11, the delegates learned through a newspaper article that the state flag salute was written in 1946 by a member of a Confederate heritage group.  Now, despite having voted for the rule, black (albeit minority) lawmakers say the salute evokes painful memories of a segregationist past and they want it discontinued.  They must have gone through a regression therapy session during the intervening two days!  Fortunately, a modicum of sanity prevailed and the legislature voted to continue the pledge and salute.

And finally, no more of this heretical business of saying a non secular prayer before the evening meal at Virginia Military Institute.  Any fool knows (and if you don't then the American Civil Liberties Union will point out to you) that this is tantamount to the Government enacting a law establishing a religion!  And it is well known that the Constitution of the United States (Amendment I) forbids that.

While I was off reading about the wrong Philadelphia Convention, I did note that those particular poor old misguided white men had placed the following preamble in front of their Constitution:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Another misconception on my part... apparently the correct version (and I've really got to get busy and find out where and when the real ethnically balanced and politically correct group of founding fathers actually met) goes like this:

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the Entire World (my emphasis added).

The Entire World!  Of course, this is obviously why some people are so concerned about the fact that those illegal combatant detainees being held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba are being denied their Constitutional rights.  I'm a little slow, but I finally get around to figuring out what's really going on... just give me a little time.  And we used to complain about the Soviets rewriting history!

   

December 2001

... that in our country's zeal to bring Osama bin Laden before the bar of justice, we should ask ourselves a couple of questions.  Whatever happened to Eric Rudolph?  What if Theodore Kaczynski had been an only child?  Answer those two questions and then you have a better perspective on our chances of getting the "evil one!"

Okay, for those who aren't remotely current with the news...

Hints:  Eric Rudolph - allegedly connected to the Olympic bombing and those of several clinics in the Atlanta area.

Theodore Kaczynski - convicted Uni-Bomber who evaded capture for eighteen years or so...

    

November 2001

... that in these anguishing times, we really do need to keep things in perspective. I’ve had this uneasy feeling over the past several years that, basically, our country was going to hell in a hand basket. Too much attention to political correctness, too much reading into our Constitution things that are not and were not ever intended to be there.  New freedoms for a few that hamstring the rest of us… freedom from being offended… freedom from religion… special rights for specific groups instead of equal rights for all groups, that sort of thing.  We are an imperfect country in an imperfect world, yet there are those that expect perfection in everything we do.  On September 11th, I fretted even more. Instinctively, I wanted our leaders to strike back at this insane terrorism… to crush those who would dare attack us here on our shores, but the reality is that you can’t fight the insanity that struck out at us that horrible day.  You have to disarm it.

This country affords everyone who reaches its shores the opportunity to realize their own hopes and ambitions.  We don’t define those things for anyone. It is the individual who defines for themselves, rightly or wrongly, those things to which they aspire: even if those aspirations abide in hatred for the rest of us. What the rest of us need to do is step back and take a long hard look at our own intolerance. I’m not talking about racial divisions, or ethnic and religious differences. I’m talking about intolerance toward the basic concepts of this country.  Freedom of things… not freedom from things! If you don’t like what ‘Old Glory’ represents, then close your eyes or turn away when it goes by.  Don’t try to banish it from view by the rest of us.  If you don’t agree with another’s opinion, that’s fine, hold your own, but don’t try ramming yours down their throat.

Ours is a representative democracy… one of our country’s many imperfections. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all voice our individual opinions regarding every issue at hand? But we can’t. We elect representatives to do that for us. We can only hold them responsible at the ballot box, whether we think they have failed in either their official or private capacities. That’s the beauty of this little piece of imperfection. We get to set the standard for them to follow.  It is a specious argument to say that an elected official shouldn’t be held accountable for his or her personal behavior, that somehow that behavior is private.  Not true.  We voters get to set the standard and we can enforce it at the ballot box! Being responsible is hard, and in our country, the hardest part is accepting it in the first place.  The tendency is to blame everyone else… the media is too biased or ‘big business’ controls everything, or Hollywood is making our children too violent.  That’s just plain hogwash. The truth is that most of us are just to damn lazy to keep ourselves informed.  We frequently make decisions based on half-truths, ‘sound bites’ and flat out lying from many of our politicians. It’s easy to throw your hands in the air and say, “It is no use, to hell with it!” I’ve done it myself, many times.

We shouldn’t fear terrorism, that’s not the enemy. The enemy is our own apathy.  We need to get informed and stay informed about the issues and hold our elected representatives responsible for their actions as well as their inactions.  If you don’t want terrorism in this country, force the politicians to protect our borders… nothing in the Constitution prohibits that.  But like it or not, once an individual reaches our shores they have the same rights and responsibilities as the rest of us… no more, no less. But, other than our own citizens, no one in the world is entitled to be here in this country if we choose to keep them out… there is no Constitutional freedom from exclusion.  But once here, every individual is included and protected like every other citizen!  Even if they want to blow us to hell!  That’s the tough part to swallow, but there it is.  The Roman Empire was in decline for longer than our country has been in existence. Apathy brought down the Roman’s empire, just as sure as apathy took down those buildings in New York City on September 11th!  We passed the buck.  Well friend, the buck stops right at your feet and mine, so let’s bend over and pick it up!  November elections are just around the corner...

   

July 2001

... that I must have it all wrong, but I believe that I heard that the good Governor of California had entered into long term energy contracts to buy power at about $1.38 per unit, but that they have such a surplus now that they are forced to resell it at about $0.34 per unit.  Nice job Governor!   And shame on those money grubbing producers...

   

... that the country is busily eliminating ineffectual welfare programs from every nook and cranny and I applaud that effort.  However, it seems that the Senate's Kennedy, McCain et al, proposed "Patient's Bill of Rights" is a giant step backward.  It should be entitled the "Lawyer's Welfare Bill."   Let's see how much support they could muster for a bill that limits all legal fees to say six percent of any patient's award.  That would be consistent with the level of fees typically charged for a real estate transaction to sell your house, for example.   And let's go it one better... the loser gets to pay for the winner's legal costs, say actual expenses up to a limit of six percent of the damages sought.  That should cool some of the ardor for frivolous actions.

What seems to escape everyone pandering to this issue is the fact that health care insurance programs are a service provided at some cost, mostly borne by employers.  Such service is not a Constitutionally guaranteed right!  Drive the cost through the roof with unfettered legal assaults and punitive damages and soon we will find that lots of folks are no longer interested in providing that service.  Then what?

    

June 2001

... that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has capitulated to our friends out west like a frustrated parent in the face of a two year old child's tantrum in a toy store... give 'em anything they want, just to shut them up!  Of course, they want us to believe that their problems have nothing to do with inept attempts at government control of a scarce energy commodity.  "It is all the fault of the producers," they say.  Well my friends, you can count on one thing.  If there was no one out there willing to pay "exorbitant" prices for energy, the producers would lower their prices.  When you can't produce enough of your own energy, you have to buy from someone who does and when there are more buyers than sellers, guess what?  For a group who constantly touts itself as being on the leading edge of the country's thinking, wouldn't it be nice if Californians were on the leading edge of accepting responsibility for their own actions and stop trying to blame everyone else?

   

... that it would be a good idea to ask if those who object so vociferously to genetically modified plants and related scientific breakthroughs would also be among the first to warmly embrace the return of cholera, smallpox and scarlet fever.  Why do I think not?

   

... that if there was ever a case for congressional term limits, Vermont is the poster child.  Here is a state with a population less than some counties in this country, yet its two Senators control two of the most powerful committees in the United States Senate, Judiciary and Energy!  Not only are these 608,827 citizens of Vermont holding the rest of the 283.3 million of us hostage, their socialist positions are so far from the main stream of the country's thinking that they could almost be declared a province of Communist China.  Only Cambridge, Massachusetts is more left-leaning and they have Harvard University to blame!  Arcane Senate rules compound this seniority problem by providing cover for the rest of the pompous gaggle, perpetuating this control freak's paradise.  Every time I hear about the "sense of the Senate," I automatically substitute,  nonsense.  What a collection of buffoons... but sadly, they are the cream from America's political landscape!

   

May 2001

... that the N.A.S.A. should pull its head out and congratulate Dennis Tito for his perseverance in fulfilling his dream to go into space.  First of all, Dr. Tito is no fool.  He is a very bright fellow and a former engineer with N.A.S.A.'s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.   N.A.S.A. seems to hold a grudge against Dr. Tito who chose to forsake his scientific career to seek his fortune as an investment expert:  a decision that certainly paid dividends (no pun intended).  After throwing innumerable obstacles in the path of Dr. Tito's quest to go into space, N.A.S.A. Administrator Dr. Dan Goldin is now threatening the Russian Space Agency with cost claims for alleged interruptions to work on the International Space Station resulting from Dr. Tito's visit.  Perhaps we should implore former President Clinton to parse the word "international" for Dr. Goldin.  The International Space Station is a joint venture among several nations... it is not N.A.S.A.'s private sand box.  Get a life Dan.  Dr. Tito's recent adventure has done more to promote the space program than anyone I can recall, including that boondoggle by an over-the-hill Senator/Astronaut!

N.A.S.A. is well known for its arrogance, a trait which has tarnished many of its extraordinary accomplishments.  If you want to go around making cost claims, Dr. Goldin, perhaps the rest of us taxpayers should send you a few... there was of course the Challenger disaster, followed by the myopic Hubbell Space Telescope and more recently the Mars mission wherein the spacecraft didn't know whether to calculate in english or metric units and, in the resulting confusion, crashed itself into the surface of the Red planet!   Nice work Dan.  As the old saying goes, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.  Get with it, Dan, embrace Dr. Tito's adventure and thank the Russians for their practical common sense and congratulate Dr. Tito for having the "right stuff" to make his dream come true!

    

April 2001

... that the following book is an interesting read:

War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism is Harming our Young Men, by Christina Hoff Sommers, available from amazon.com books.

This book tells the story of how it has become fashionable to attribute pathology to millions of healthy male children. It is a story of how we are turning against boys and forgetting a simple truth: that the energy, competitiveness, and corporal daring of normal, decent males is responsible for much of what is right in the world. No one denies that boys' aggressive tendencies must be checked and channeled in constructive ways. Boys need discipline, respect, and moral guidance. Boys need love and tolerant understanding. They do not need to be pathologized.

   

... that the following little statistic is interesting:

The top 400 tax payers in our country pay more federal income tax than the bottom 40 million pay!

Source:  Special Report with Brit Hume, Fox News

   

... that on one hand, the republicans are saying that the tax cut proposed by the President is too small, but on the other hand the democrats are saying that it is too large and favors the wealthy.  Reminds me of Harry Truman's comment that what he really needed was a one armed economist!  Yet still, the President is saying that the tax cut proposed is just right!  Interesting... the democrat leadership seems to feel that their class attack against the wealthy isn't setting too well with the American public, so they have changed tactics a bit and are now claiming that we can't count on the ‘out year’ surpluses being as great as currently projected... even some republicans have climbed onto this bandwagon.  Well, can anyone ever remember when either a democrat or republican controlled congress hesitated to raise taxes when they felt it was in their interest?   So what's the big deal?  Pass the tax cut and six or seven years from now if the surplus has dwindled to nothing, the congress can do what they do best... next to spending our money, that is!

   

March  2001

... incredible that our friends out west are still at it.  The notion that the power utilities were forced to sell-off their generating capability to suit the state legislature's idea of de-regulation, then be forced to buy power at the market spot price, and then be forced to sell it to consumers at a losing fixed rate notwithstanding the mandated spot market price, isn't crazy enough!  Now these economic wizards want the power utilities to sell-off their last remaining asset, the transmission grid, to the state.  Why, you might ask?  Simple, so that the utilities can pay off the debt they incurred because the state mandated a below market consumer price for power!  Now, if you think things can't get any worse, just wait.

   

February 2001

... that a recent commentary by Kevin Phillips on National Public Radio regarding President George W. Bush's lack of a legislative mandate is the epitome of the ‘pompous ass’ syndrome.  Mr. Phillips very conveniently ignores the simple fact that in the recent election, both Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush received more of a mandate that did Mr. Clinton in either of the prior two elections... I must have missed Mr. Phillips’ commentary regarding Mr. Clinton's lack of a legislative mandate.  In their album Hell Freezes Over, the Eagles best summed up Mr. Phillips’ position... “Get Over It!”

   

January 2001

... that the good citizens of California have been bashing the power generation and utility companies out that way for at least the last twenty-five years or so.  Regulations are so onerous that no new power generation plants have been licensed or built during the better part of that period while, for example, the population in the LA basin has doubled!  Now that their chickens are coming home to roost, the good citizens are clamoring for the government to step in and force the utility companies to continue selling them electrical power at a prices below cost!  Now, you don't have to be Alan Greenspan to figure out that this arrangement isn't going to last too long before the utility companies go bust.  What then?   I think the operative biblical phrase is, “Sow not, reap not!”  Stop whining, its time to suck it up and pay the piper, folks!

   

... that most folks would object to playing a game where the rules change as the game goes along.  You might say its un-American!  But that appears to be what’s happening with the present hoopla regarding the recent presidential election.   Anyone who has moved about this country knows that the election process is radically different from community to community.  I’ve used a number two pencil to fill in my ballot in some polling places and in others, I’ve used fully automated ‘lever’ type machines.  It’s a local choice and if the choice is a method with inherent errors that will inevitably disenfranchise some voters, then its up to the voters in that locality to insist that better voting methods be implemented, but don’t try to do it in the middle of the election!  Get it done ahead of time.  Two million or so voters had ballots that were not counted in the past presidential election... many because they were careless or could not follow the simple directions... too bad, but learn to read or ask for help.   Others were not counted because the voting methods chosen by their election officials were inadequate; unfortunate, but a consequence of poor management of the process.  Get rid of those people and maybe the next time it will get managed properly.  But don’t try to divine the ‘intent’ of the voter after the fact... what a joke!  Just because we have a close election doesn’t mean that you can pick a few thousand ballots to hand count in one community without ignoring the hundreds of thousands in all the other communities that have just the same right to be counted.  Use a system that accurately measures and records every vote.  Throw out the systems that don’t work and get rid of the people that let this kind of thing go on in your local communities.  Hummm, I wonder how many of the whiners and complainers have ever volunteered to work in a polling place on election day?

You can not hand count one hundred million ballots and get a perfect result... good grief folks, its the twenty first century, lets get a universal system in place that can get the job done and knock off this whining and pontificating.  Don’t say it can’t be done... are there communities in this country without access to an Automatic Teller Machine?  Not too many is my guess... so why not have a similar type of voting machine, complete with ATM type voting cards?

   

... that if I hear one more talking head on the news programs talking about the ‘rule of law’ in this country I may throw something.  Don’t kid yourselves, we have no ‘rule of law,’ we have a ‘rule of lawyers!’

   

December 2000

Quote of the day:   

Do pregnant chads have the right to choose?

                                                Jeff Greenfield, CNN

   

November 2000

... incredible that so many folks continue wanting the Government to ‘take care of us.’  We need to accept responsibility for ourselves and our own actions.  There is a place for government in our lives, but not in every nook and cranny!  The President recently made a big announcement that the budget surplus for the next ten years is now projected to exceed two trillion dollars. That’s a lot of money, folks, and it belongs to us. Uncle just slips his hand into our pocket and takes it without so much as a ‘by your leave,’ then becomes indignant when we ask for some of it back!  The debate now is ‘how to spend the surplus!’   Don't know about you, but we sure could use a little of that surplus in our pockets hereabouts... Big Government just doesn't believe we can care for ourselves and that is the rationale for trying to take so much away from us: in the end, they just don't take our money, but our self esteem, our self respect and many of our freedoms.  Beware of the upcoming election ‘season of promises!’

   

... that the founding fathers must be rolling in their graves, knowing that their insightful constitutional protection for minority rights has been twisted and contorted into a tyrannical club wielded by many of those same ‘minorities.’  Witness the recent riots and violence at the World Trade Federation meetings in Seattle and the endless clamor for special interest legislation, e.g. ‘hate crimes.’  The Constitution is there to protect everyone's rights.   Violence is violence no matter what the cause or rationale.  There is no excusing it, and no need for special treatment on either side of the issue!

   

... that late at night, along the Presidential campaign trail, this pleading must heard echoing hauntingly:

A kiss, a kiss... the presidency for a kiss!

If it has come to this, then may the Almighty help us... for we surely don't seem to be able to help ourselves!

   

November 2000

... that despite some pundit's ascertains to the contrary, we do have a choice in the coming election... it is rather simple:

On one hand we can vote for big government, which means big taxes.   In exchange for the big tax burden, the government will take care of us, even think for us, telling us how to live our lives, providing for all of our needs.  In some circles, this is called socialism.  There are lots of examples of exactly how successful this approach is.  Look at the Soviet Union (it was around here someplace the last time I looked) or communist China.  Closer to home there is our good neighbor, Dr. Castro's, Cuba.  Personally, I prefer to think of the big government approach as an economic form of slavery.  We just have to stand around with our hands out and ‘massa’ Uncle will provide.

On the other hand we can vote for smaller government, which implies smaller taxes.  But don't go pulling the lever for this approach ‘willy nilly.’  Understand that this choice means thinking for yourself and accepting responsibility for yourself and your actions.  You make your own choices and accept the consequences... no blaming someone else.  If things are bad, it will be because you let them be bad.  It won't be the government's fault, or big business's fault, or the labor unions or O.P.E.C.'s or anyone else's.  It will be your fault.   Terrifying, isn't it?

Our founding fathers made the idea of smaller government work, so why can't we?  Accepting this responsibility means that we are free to choose what we think is best for ourselves and our families and our local communities.  A vote is a powerful thing, but it has powerful consequences.  I choose smaller government.   I am ready to accept that responsibility.

   

November 2000

... strange that neither the Members of Congress nor the vast bureaucracy of federal employees belong to the Social Security program.  Isn't it curious that they all try to assure the rest of us that the Social Security safety net will be there for us when they don't even believe in it enough to participate?  There is an old saying: If you don't play the game, you can't make the rules! ”  Now there's a thought!

   

... odd that apparently most new television receivers must be manufactured without on/off switches.  My sets are all pretty old, so maybe it is so.   Thank goodness I have the old ones and can turn the damn things off when there is something that I don't like being broadcast!

   

December 2000

... that the following essay, The Americans, is worth reading!  A friend forwarded a less accurate version that is presently circulating around the Internet... that stimulated my interest.  What follows is a transcript of the original broadcast editorial made back during 1973 by the late Gordon Sinclair, and although the context relates to the Vietnam era, it is still worth reading today:

LET'S BE PERSONAL,    Broadcast June 5, 1973,  Station CFRB, Toronto, Ontario

Topic: The Americans

“The United States dollar took another pounding on German, French and British exchanges this morning, hitting the lowest point ever known in West Germany.  It has declined there by 41% since 1971 and this Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least-appreciated people in all the earth.

“As long as sixty years ago, when I first started to read newspapers, I read of floods on the Yellow River and the Yangtse. Who rushed in with men and money to help? The Americans did.

“They have helped control floods on the Nile, the Amazon, the Ganges and the Niger. Today, the rich bottom land of the Misssissippi is under water and no foreign land has sent a dollar to help. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy, were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of those countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

“When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

“When distant cities are hit by earthquakes, it is the United States that hurries into help... Managua Nicaragua is one of the most recent examples. So far this spring, 59 American communities have been flattened by tornadoes. Nobody has helped.

“The Marshall Plan .. the Truman Policy .. all pumped billions upon billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now, newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent war-mongering Americans.

“I'd like to see one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplanes.

“Come on... let's hear it! Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tristar or the Douglas 107? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all international lines except Russia fly American planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or women on the moon?

“You talk about Japanese technocracy and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy and you find men on the moon, not once, but several times ... and safely home again. You talk about scandals and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everyone to look at. Even the draft dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, most of them ... unless they are breaking Canadian laws .. are getting American dollars from Ma and Pa at home to spend here.

“When the Americans get out of this bind ... as they will... who could blame them if they said ‘the hell with the rest of the world’. Let someone else buy the Israel bonds, Let someone else build or repair foreign dams or design foreign buildings that won't shake apart in earthquakes.

“When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke. I can name to you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble.

“Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake.

“Our neighbours have faced it alone and I am one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles.

“I hope Canada is not one of these. But there are many smug, self-righteous Canadians. And finally, the American Red Cross was told at its 48th Annual meeting in New Orleans this morning that it was broke.

“This year's disasters... with the year less than half-over… has taken it all and nobody...but nobody... has helped.”



... I
m sure that the nay sayers, then and now, would question the motives of such American altruism.  I say, to hell with them... actions speak louder than words!   For more information relating to the origin of this editorial broadcast, visit the following link:

http://www.snopes2.com/quotes/sinclair.htm#add

where you can also hear a recording of this editorial by Gordon Sinclair himself!  

Please feel free to copy and e-mail this editorial to all of your friends, or just link them to this page, everyone should read it.

   

November 2000

…that the Florida state government continues to be unfairly pilloried over the election fiasco when the real problem lies not with voter disenfranchisement, but with inept local election officials and a small group of voters who are simply incapable of casting a proper ballot: if you can’t read or ask for help then shame on you, you’ve just disenfranchised yourself!  For some to mischaracterize voter incompetence as racism is the height of hypocrisy!  With ‘motor voter’ and other forms of ‘painless registration,’ most of the inconvenient barriers to voting have been removed… most, that is, except for stupidity!

By the way... the last I heard, a million or so absentee ballots were not counted in California since they wouldn't impact the outcome of the statewide presidential election... anyone hear howls about that?  So much for the popular vote myth!

    

…that meanwhile, our friends in California are still at it. Wanting to have their cake and eat it too, they are still desperately looking for a way to force the utility producers to sell power at or below cost so that they can live without rate increases.  How does artificially low pricing promote conservation?   Generally, in a market economy, when something gets too costly, folks figure out how get by with less of it!  That rule must not apply in California.  Compounding the problem, a recent Pacific storm blocked the cooling intakes to the Diablo Canyon nuclear power generating facility with kelp,  thereby reducing operating levels to about twenty percent of normal.  Perhaps kelp burgers, in lieu of good old-fashioned western beef, are the solution!  On the other hand, maybe crashing into walls while stumbling around in the dark might knock some sense into their heads! We can hope...

   

 

“It seems to me...” opinions are Ron's exclusively... Elizabeth, Dora, Gailen and the ‘boys’, the sheep and the rest of the critters hereabouts claim no responsibility for these ramblings!

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