Monday, December 31, 2007

Chelsea Clinton doesn't do Interviews.

Even though Hillary Clinton has been using her daughter Chelsea to gain support in Iowa, she's insisted that reporters steer clear of Chelsea.No interviews.No exceptions.
According to an article by Beth Fouhy on the MYWAY website, this ban includes interviews with 9 year old fourth graders.
Sydney Rieckhoff, a "kid reporter" for Scholastic News, has posed questions to Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls as they've campaigned across Iowa. When the kid approached Chelsea recently, she got a different response. When asked a question, Chelsea told the little girl reporter,
"I'm sorry, I don't talk to the press and that applies to you, unfortunately."
Evidently, the Clinton campaign wants Chelsea to simply smile and shake hands. They say it's to protect her privacy but, when you dive into the world of politics you forfeit that protection. It's more likely that Bill and Hillary don't want Chelsea making embarrassing comments like other politicians' family members have been known to do.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Jonesin' for a Kwanzaa Movie ?

Believing that someone's been jonesin' for a Kwanzaa movie,Boston-based independent filmmakers Jibril Haynes and Nicole D. Parker released their new production "Kwanzaa with the Jones's".
The Boston Globe says,
"The film tells the story of a wealthy, and apparently flourishing, African-American family in the suburbs. Each member, though, has issues that set him or her apart from the others, and the family is largely ignorant about its heritage. A friendly spirit comes to the father in a dream, showing him how the seven principles of Kwanzaa can help him to better nurture his family."
I wonder if Deborah Jones celebrates Kwanzaa or how she will receive the movie.
Kwanzaa is the invention of Maulana Karenga.Karenga, also known as Ron Everett was once convicted of felony assault and false imprisonment.
According to an article in The Dartmouth Review,
"On September 17, 1971, Karenga was sentenced to one to ten years in prison on counts of felonious assault and false imprisonment. The charges stemmed from a May 9, 1970 incident in which Karenga and two others tortured two women who Karenga believed had tried to kill him by placing 'crystals' in his food and water.
A year later the Los Angeles Times described the events: 'Deborah Jones, who once was given the title of an African queen, said she and Gail Davis were whipped with an electrical cord and beaten with a karate baton after being ordered to remove their clothes. She testified that a hot soldering iron was placed in Miss Davis' mouth and placed against Miss Davis' face and that one of her own big toes was tightened in a vice. Karenga, head of US, also put detergent and running hoses in their mouths, she said.'"
Of the trial, the same article goes on,
".... shooting at UCLA caused Karenga to become deeply paranoid and spurred his bizarre behavior. At his trial, the question of Karenga's sanity arose. The psychiatrist's report stated, 'This man now represents a picture which can be considered both paranoid and schizophrenic with hallucinations and delusions, inappropriate affect, disorganization, and impaired contact with the environment.' The psychiatrist observed that Karenga talked to his blanket and imaginary persons and believed that he had been attacked by dive-bombers."
Happy Kwanzaa.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Dalai Lama "aint no ho".

In a recent interview, Canadian PM, Stephen Harper spoke of his meeting with the Dalai Lama by saying the Dalai Lama "aint no ho".
Well, that's not an exact quote. According to a Reuters article, Harper said, "You know, he's not a call girl".
I felt I had to translate his comment into American English for my readers who are not fluent in Canadian.
China considers the Dalai Lama a separatist and presses world leaders to avoid meeting with him. China condemned Harper for "disgusting conduct" in October after he met the Dalai Lama in his parliamentary office with television cameras and photographers present.
The Chinese were none too happy a few years back when Dalai Lama met with U.S. President George Bush. In an article from China Daily, in 2003, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said,
"The Dalai Lama is not simply a religious figure; he is a political figure living in exile who has long been committed to separatist activities and to undermining national unity."
Of course, other than talking, Western leaders will do very little to free Tibet from China's control. It's all a question of money.This year, our trade deficit with China averages about 20 million US Dollars a month. ( the figures at that link only go to Oct. of this year )
In an all out economic war with China, the U.S. would probably lose.We couldn't survive without the junk we buy from China.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Alabama Man Wins Georgia Lottery.

Just in time for Christmas, I have a heartwarming story from I.N.N. about an Alabama man that recently won $20 million in the Georgia lottery. The man, Bud Tugley, lives in nearby Cedar Bluff which makes the story even more special for me.
I'm providing a link to the I.N.N. website so everyone can read this touching story for themselves. I'm sure everyone who reads the story will want to email the link to all their friends. We can all use a bit of Christmas cheer.
Alabama Man Wins Georgia Lottery.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Is El Rushbo following my lead ?

Has Rush Limbaugh been reading my blog?
Back in October, I wrote a piece called Giuliani clashes with Romney.
In that post, I opined that,because we Americans are so obsessed with appearances, Mitt Romney would forge ahead of then front-runner Rudy Giuliani based on the obvious fact that Romney is taller, has more hair and looks better on television.
On Rush's show from yesterday (Dec. 17) Rush spoke of the importance we place physical appearance and how it will help determine who Americans will elect President.
His comments followed Drudge posting a particularly unflattering photo of Hillary Clinton on his website.
El Rushbo ends that monologue with this,
"Let me give you a picture, just to think about. I'm not even going to answer the question for you, just want you to think about this. The campaign is Mitt Romney versus Hillary Clinton in our quest in this country for visual perfection, hmm?"
The transcript of the monologue can be found here.

Evolution versus Creation.....really?

It seems that now-a-days everyone has an agenda when reporting the news.We're often given only selected details in place of facts.So,I feel that I should put in a disclaimer at the beginning of this post, lest someone mistakenly believe I have a dog in this fight.
In the battle between the Evolutionists versus the Creationists, neither side completely describes my views on the subject.I am a Catholic and believe the Church's view to be the most reasoned.I believe in God but I don't look at Genesis as a history book or scientific manual.The book, like quite a number of books in the Bible, was written by a poet and mystic. The book was not intended to give an exact description of creation.
I don't have a problem with "evolution" per se. It is the (so-called) skeptic's removal of God from the picture that I find disingenuous.
I came across a story on another blog jamesmcinerney.blogspot.com/.
His head-line was provocative , to say the least, as was the headline at the link he provided, Evolution vs creation row ends in stabbing .
The story tells of the death of Scottish backpacker in New South Wales in January, 2006. According to the news story, Rudi Boa was killed by Alexander Christian York following a drunken argument over evolution.Mr.York was found guilty of manslaughter, rather than murder, and was sentenced to five years in prison.

"Mr Boa and his girlfriend Gillian Brown arrived in Australia from Scotland at the end of 2005 and went to Tumut to pick fruit as their first port of call on a round the world holiday.
York had been in the country since April 2005.
The Scottish couple and York, neighbours at the caravan park, were becoming friends and spent the night of January 27 drinking at the Star Hotel in Tumut.
However, towards the end of the night, an argument between York and the pair about creationism versus evolution escalated into a shouting match at the pub.
The couple, both biomedical scientists, had been arguing the case of evolution, while York had taken a more biblical view of history."

There seemed to be something missing in the story, so I Googled the name "Rudi Boa" and came across a few more articles.
Although the argument over creationism did occur, the argument was not the focal point of the earlier news reports. Making the argument the point of the story is the "journalist's" way of drawing attention to his piece.
I eventually came across a website that gave a transcript of the legal judgment in the case, Regina vs York.
Judge Adams' decision seems more appropriate after reading the transcript. We have a tragic story of a life cut short and a man in prison due to bad tempers and alcohol.The earlier argument could have just as easily been about football.....the evolution/creationism bit was beside the point.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Another Assault on Christmas.

It looked as if, this year, things might be different. Maybe this would be the year the assault on Christmas would ease up a bit.
According to a recent story in Reuters , Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims in Britain joined with the Equality and Human Rights Commission to issue a statement urging Britain's Christian community to enjoy Christmas without worrying about offending non-Christians.
Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said,
"That's why I asked leaders in different religious communities to join me in saying:It's time to stop being daft about Christmas. It's fine to celebrate and it's fine for Christ to be star of the show.".
He also said,
"Let's stop being silly about a Christian Christmas," referring to a tendency to play down the traditional celebrations of the birth of Christ for fear of offending minorities in multicultural Britain.
But, as religious leaders were issuing this statement, it seems, they had forgotten to include the environmentalists. Their assault on Christmas continues.In a BBC NEWS report Manchester, England researchers calculated the production, processing and transportation costs of the traditional turkey dinner in Britain.Researchers estimate a dinner for eight generates 20kg (44lbs) of carbon dioxide emissions.They arrived at the total emissions figure by assuming one third of the UK population eats a typical Christmas meal.
According to the BBC NEWS story, project leader professor Adisa Azapagic, from the University of Manchester, said:
"Food production and processing are responsible for three quarters of the total carbon footprint, with the largest proportion - 60% - being related to the life cycle of the turkey.
"All stages in the supply chain have been considered, including raising the turkey, growing the vegetables, food storage, consumer shopping, cooking the meal at home and waste management.
"This includes the emissions of carbon dioxide due to energy consumption along the turkey supply chain and the emissions of methane and nitrous oxide generated due to the agricultural activities to raise the turkey."
So now, we learn that having your Christmas dinner leaves an enormous "carbon footprint".
I wonder when some scientists will calculate the "carbon footprint" left behind from the same Christmas dinners in the U.S.
The Left will stop at nothing in denigrating the traditions of Western civilization. To them,if you try to enjoy the traditional family get-together you'll be destroying the planet.
We all know this craziness isn't limited to Britain....it's going on here as well.
There's a story on the Alliance Defense Fund website about city officials in Mount Pleasant, Michigan changing the name of its Dickens Christmas Festival to “Dickens Holiday Festival” after the local school district enacted a policy banning the word “Christmas.” The Mount Pleasant School District enacted a policy that purportedly bans the use of the words “Christmas,” “Santa,” and “nativity” so that a festival named after Charles Dickens’ classic book, A Christmas Carol, has to be renamed a ‘holiday’ festival.
I received an email from my sister-in-law that sums up the situation:

To All My Democrat Friends:
Please accept with no obligation, implied or explicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2008, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

To My Republican Friends:
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Barack Oblivion


Not so long ago,the Presidential campaign of the Democratic Party's latest wunderkind, Senator Barack Obama, was in trouble. It was as if Hillary were unstoppable and his chances of winning the election were vanishing faster than a box of Krispy Kreme donuts at police headquarters.

Then, along came Oprah.

Now, everywhere he goes, people flock to see him.
Of course, the crowds only come to see Oprah. It's unlikely that Obama could have drawn 25,000 people, as he did in South Carolina, without her.

Surprisingly, un-presidential, he's becoming too dependent on her and it looks as if she's the one who's running the show.

Going to Obama's website, you'll see more Oprah and less information about where the man stands on the issues. While Ms. Winfrey may have the power to propel an author's book sells through the roof with her endorsement, I think a Presidential campaign will prove to be different. Like the "Rock the Vote" campaigns of previous elections, in the end,very little will change. The Democrats won't take any votes from the Republicans. Obama may take a few voters from Hillary's camp, but not enough to win the nomination. He isn't as well known as Clinton and it's unlikely the Democrats will trust the election to a relative new comer.

He may return again to run again in 2012, but, by then, the bloom will have fallen off the rose.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Kanada ?


If I were to compile a list of the ten strangest novels ever written, Franz Kafka's Amerika would most certainly make the cut. Kafka was never an easy read, but what makes this novel doubly bizarre - doubly Kafkaesque, if you will- is the fact that Kafka had never visited the United States. He had no first hand knowledge of life here. The work was strictly a product of his imagination.
I thought about that novel a few days ago as I read a number of blogs by folks living outside the U.S.- more specifically, Canada and Ireland.
In one blog, the topic turned to the recent shootings at a mall in Omaha, Nebraska.Naturally, the blame was laid upon the availability of firearms here.One Canadian girl said that she had wanted to move to the U.S. for the milder climate, but she was afraid to come here because of incidences such as this.I found that ironic since Canada is the home of the pig farmer-serial killer. His victims are believed to triple, if not quadruple, the number killed in the mall shooting. His method of killing was not an AK47 but strangulation.
An Irish blogger seemed particularly "cross" with Mitt Romney's speech on religion.It upset him to no end that Romney had overlooked atheists and was sure they would be discriminated against should Mitt be elected.
Give me a break.
Is it just a case of bad manners ? I would never suggest to anyone outside the U.S. how they should run their country or for whom they should vote.
Sure, this country isn't perfect, but some of these folks need to clean up their own house. If we are as bad as some would have us believe, then why is everyone trying to come here ?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A Puzzle.

This past June and July, the work I was doing on this blog was of a satirical nature.Starting with foreign-exchange-student-expelled and ending with democrats-converge-on-nc , it was an absurd story, which involved, among other things, an arm wrestling contest in Iceland between President George Bush and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Now, a part of that episode has been getting a rather large number of hits this past week and I'm at a loss to understand way. For some unknown reason, the post My Interview with an Icelander is getting a lot of attention. I know this because this blog is tracked by Google Analytics.
I also find it odd that whoever is hitting that post is not going to the other episodes in the story.
No one has left a comment and only one of the hits came from Iceland itself. Maybe someone will fill me in.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Mitt Romney's Speech on Religion in America

As a Catholic, I am very often uncomfortable with the influence that Protestant Evangelicals hold over the Republican Party and the Conservative agenda. It goes without saying that I find myself at odds with quite a number of their religious and theological beliefs. I share a few of their political goals, though certainly not all.I share the Evangelicals' views on abortion, though I don't understand why their pro-life stance doesn't include the abolition of the death penalty.
I cannot support their ideas on the teaching of Creationism or prayer in the public schools.
Now, it appears that some Evangelicals would have me believe that a vote for Mormon Mitt Romney would be a vote for a cultist and non-Christian.They say that the Mormons are not true Christians, never stopping to think that this Catholic may feel the same way about their Protestant views.
I have a theological bone to pick with both Protestants and Mormons, but that would not prevent me from voting for a qualified candidate of either religion.
Mitt Romney's speech on religion in America was the work of a true spokesman.......we need more like him in politics today.
Anyone who has not read the text of his speech can do so by going to this link. Romney's Speech.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Getting Inside the Candidates' Heads.

In an article published in the L.A. Times,neuropsychiatrist Dr.Daniel G. Amen suggests that, just as a presidential candidate's physical health can be taken into consideration during an election, a candidate's brain health should be a factor as well. He "want[s] our elected leaders to be some of the "brain healthiest people" in the land." and believes giving the candidates brain scans isn't off limits.
Behaviors such as, "Rudy Giuliani's messy personal life, John McCain's temper and Hillary Clinton's inability to seem authentic" can be evidence of underlying brain dysfunction.
Dr. Amen believes that both President Clinton and President George W. Bush have shown clear brain pathology. He says,
"President Clinton's moral lapses and problems with bad judgment and excitement-seeking behavior -- indicative of problems in the prefrontal cortex -- eventually led to his impeachment and a poisonous political divisiveness in the U.S. The prefrontal cortex houses the brain's supervisor, involved with conscience, forethought, planning, attention span and judgment.
One could argue that our current president's struggles with language and emotional rigidity are symptoms of temporal lobe pathology. The temporal lobes, underneath your temples and behind your eyes, are involved with language, mood stability, reading social cues and emotional flexibility."
If what he says is true....that certain behaviors can show evidence of brain dysfunction ("Sometimes people with messy personal lives have low prefrontal cortex activity associated with poor judgment; sometimes people with temper problems have brain damage and impulse control problems; sometimes people who struggle with authenticity have trouble really seeing things from someone else's perspective."), than we can do as we've always done when choosing a candidate; let's just look at past behavior.That should give a good indication whether or not the person has a problem with "poor judgment", "impulse control problems" or "trouble really seeing things from someone else's perspective". There's really no need to go to such extreme measures as brain scans.