July 02, 2007

Carnival of the Insanities

Drive over to Dr. Sanity's Place, she has the Carnival of the Insanities up and it is delightful. Click on the Link or click on the Picture for a short drive over.


Posted by GM Roper at 05:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 08, 2007

Banned In China - This is NOT a Good Thing!

Blogs in the conservative (and perhaps some of the liberal) Blogosphere have been posting little diagonal bars on their blogs that say "Banned In Red China." How stupid of the Chinese I thought, banning blogs is as stupid as forcing Internet companies to conform to their paranoia about the Internet. Then, it struck me: "What is it that the Chinese Communist government fears the most?" Simple really, ideas! For the ruling class in China knows that it can enslave its people, but never their minds, never their yearning for increased autonomy, improved living conditions, a better way of life; freedom

Ideas such as freedom, universal rights, one man one vote, end of governmental terrorism, freedom to travel and to think and to print your thoughts; all these and more are feared by the oligarchy that is China today. And yet, there are those fellow conservatives who relish the idea of being banned in China and display that banner on their websites.

I don't understand that. I've believed, since the early days of the Goldwater bid for the Presidency that conservatives have better ideas than liberals. That so called progressivism and liberalism is so much more about "I know better than you what is better for you," than it is about human growth, dignity and etc. In other words, from my perspective, conservatism is a better political ideology than liberalism or progressivism.

So, it seems to me that conservative bloggers would want their words to get to the "common man" in China, to further inculcate in that individual the ideas that man is inherently free, that we are endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights; life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That the "government" is too often the problem and not the solution, especially in Red China. With our words, there will be ideas and with ideas, the formation of a sense that the Chinese can begin to assert themselves. That is what happened in Tiananmen Square in 1989 a group of students believing that there was a "better way of life" and erecting a "Statue of Liberty" proclaiming their desire to be free. The idea was so upsetting to the ruling class of China that the demonstration was put down with soldiers and tanks. This is the power that the idea of freedom has in China, and why it is so feared.

So, fellow bloggers, be not proud that you are banned in China, be angry because your words will not have the chance to help lead a people to freedom and you don't get to play a big part in the rise of eventually a free Chinese people.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:48 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

December 10, 2006

Bits and Pieces!

It is early Sunday morning, the stars are still out and the coffee is ready. So, looking around the blogosphere what do we find today?


Dr. Sanity is up for a Weblog Award "Best Individual Blog" Go and vote for her, she is not only a fellow mental health professional, but one neat lady and a good friend since I started blogging.

Stop The ACLU is also up for an Award "Best of the Top 250 Blogs" Jay is always ready to take down the ACLU for its crazy positions.

And of course, my good friend and fellow Texan Texas Fred is up for Best New Blog Fred has a unique voice (literally as well as figuratively) and has been a guest on GM's Corner on internet radio many times.


I was recently interviewed by my good friend Jeff Blanco over at Louisiana Conservative. Jeff is a great friend, and was constantly there supporting me in the early fight against cancer. Jeff's blog is a good one to add to your list of must read blogs.


Cinnamon Stillwell has a terrific post up at her blog concerning the threat of anti-semitism at AMERICAN colleges and universities. Go read!


I found this over at Mike Austin's The Return of Scipio.

A commander-in-chief who refuses to command. A Congress that is unable to govern. A political class that has lost the will to defeat Americas enemies. An entire subset of our own nation that actively works for her defeat.

Of what use is the ballot if the only men who come to power are of this type? We seek Andrew Jacksons yet find only Benedict Arnolds.

We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings be fruitful.C. S. Lewis
Posted by GM Roper at 05:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

November 24, 2006

Reconnecting with an old friend

I sent out a bunch of Thanksgiving emails and links to my reasons to give thanks and lo and behold one of my old blog friends re-connected. I didn't ever remember him being on the long list of e-mails that I sent out, but I'm glad he was. I first blogged about him here. William used to blog as the Bronx Pundit but has changed to William Dipini, Jr. Take a minute and drop by, Will has some good things to say and I like the way he says them. So, back on the Blogroll you go William, now, damnit, stay put you hear?

Posted by GM Roper at 08:08 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

November 17, 2006

A Little Place Called Wow!

I've just come from a little place called "WOW." It's not a real place, it's a place where one can sit and be in total awe of the written word, and when you are done with that reading, you sit back, eyes bright and shining, face just a little flushed, maybe even a little ringing in the ears.

Such a place is the one I just traveled to. The blog of my good friend the Assistant Village Idiot, whom I call AVI. He wrote Not Their Tribe and, friends, it has been a long, long time since I've read something so powerful. Go, now, read. I have commanded. And by all means, leave AVI a comment on this great piece of thinking and writing.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:45 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

October 28, 2006

Cry Me A River!

In England, a hospital that could no longer afford the 18.50 (about $34.84) for a cremation of aborted fetuses children is burning the body in the same incenerator that is used to burn garbage and trash.

One local woman, who asked not to be named, said after the heartache of deciding to have an abortion she was mortified to find the hospital had used the same furnace they burn rubbish in to incinerate her terminated baby.

She said: "I am furious and very hurt. Imagine my horror when I discovered that my baby was incinerated in the same furnace as the hospital rubbish."

So, let me get this straight. You don't care enough about your fetus child to carry it to term, but you care how the product of your choice is disposed of? Cry me a river lady, cry me a river!

A tip 'O The GM Derby to Jeff @ A Little More To The Right

Posted by GM Roper at 04:11 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

September 11, 2006

The Path To 9-11: The Left Is A Comedy For Our Times

The subject of 9-11 is frought with pathos. It is both a sad remembrance and an act of war. But, on the 5th anniversary of this tragic day, the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) has decided to show a production of a "Docu-Drama" called "The Path To 9-11". Now, in and of itself, that is nothing remarkable, the history of the socalled "docu-drama" is long and comical for its historical inaccuracies and/or outright fiction, witness the productions of "Death Of A President" in England for example (which many have defended on the grounds of "free speech").

Yet, let a shibboleth of the left be challenged (Clinton was a terrific - though perhaps oversexed president) and watch the fur fly. The reaction of much of the left is almost comical, nay, it is entirely comical and I'll take a few snippits from here and there to prove my point.

First up my friend Marc Cooper (a self identified "progressive") posts "The ABC's of Panderning" in which he states:

L.A. Times media columnist Tim Rutten perfectly nails the shameless shlockmeisters at ABC who think it's just spiffy to capitalize on the pain of the 5th anniversary 9/11 to broadcast one more manufactured piece of dreck -- a two part "docudrama" on the Twin Tower attacks powered by blatant right-wing spin.
Now, Marc is a friend of mine, and my 'blogfather' if you will and I highly respect him and his blog (though that does not apply to some of his more vociferous commenters). But gee could the rhetoric be more appalling, could the prose be a little more turgid? Understand please, as a progressive, Marc is no friend of the Bushes or the Republicans, but having said that, he is no friend of the Democrats either.

More amusing (if that is indeed the word) are some of the comments from that blog entry. This one for example:

NeoDude Says:
September 9th, 2006 at 9:14 am

When has Right-Wing Nationalists (SALUTE!!!), in any Western tradition, not exploit a national tragedy?

Oh gosh, "Right-Wing nationalists." Codewords for fascists perhaps? Oh, the humanity!

How about this one (if you are a fan of conspiracy theories you will LOVE this one):

r. l. c. Says:
September 9th, 2006 at 10:14 am

It really is obvious what happened here. These projects don’t get made overnight and when ABC Entertainment (NOT the news division) OK’ed this Bush was riding high - just been reelected and had increased majorities in both houses of Congress. And what were the pundits saying? Why the GOP wiould be ruling the roost for a long time to come and the Dems were in “Disarray” (a town near Vegas, I believe). So why not get in bed with right wing crazies? They would be in position to help the Mouse with issues like Intellectual Property and Media Ownership. Its not personal, just business.

(Hell Robert Iger was a Clinton Contributor, as were a lote of ABC/Disney Execs)

Sure the Dems would complain but what could they do? Well its now two months from an election that will probably produce a tsunami for them and the miniseries don’t look so hot now does it? That is what happens when you listen to experts!

Can you say "off base?"

But Marc's commenters are rational compared to others (although that is obviously not saying much). For example, Ann Althouse has a terrific post on some of these left-wing rantings here and she has a link pointing to something called "AMERICAblog" with some suggestions to sue, boycott etc Disney, ABC and Apple because of the so called docu-drama. A sample:

Certainly we're going to be live-blogging the show, Sunday and Monday. I'd appreciate those of you in Australia and New Zealand, if the show does air there shortly, please give us feedback as to what they cut and what's still in the show? It will give us a window as to what defamatory material Disney/ABC insisted on keeping in the show, which will help the lawsuits and our organizing.

Secondly, when the show airs in the US, if Disney/ABC still run it, I want to be sure a number of us are live-blogging it to list the defamation and the errors. If Disney/ABC insist on making a cartoon out one of the blackest days in America history, then we will hold them responsible."

Aren't these the same guys who "demand" freedom of speech on campuses and other venues? Does that apply only to speech from their side? Funny, I thought that speech was free for ALL OF THE UNITED STATES. I guess not. But I digress, as funny as the posting is, some of the comments (over 380 of them) are even funnier (or would stranger be a better word choice?) For example, this little bon mot:
I think iTunes is a really good place to hit Steve Jobs and Apple. It is direct and to the point, and it is not platform-based.

It is OUTRAGEOUS that they are offering this as a free download.

They would notice immediately if there was a slack-off in sales.

I have already written to Steve Jobs and the iTunes crew about this.
samia | 09.09.06 - 6:38 pm |

Wow, but this is mild compared to:
It appears that the governments use of the MSM for propaganda distribution is becoming extremely transparent. If we, as Americans, cannot stop this from happening, or becoming any worse, then we have lost the control of our public servents, and more drastic actions must be taken. Boycotts/leaflets/emails/videos/ demonstations etc.
Joe Danger | Homepage | 09.09.06 - 6:43 pm |"
Joe Danger, what a nom-de-pixel that is. Ok lets see, the government controls the MSM enough to make it a propaganda arm of the Bushies. So, how did the NYTimes sneak by with those "expose's" of our efforts to listen in to Al Qaeda or monitor financial transactions? Hmmmmm?

OK, how about this one:

As well as an organized and long-term boycott of Disney and ABC, we should use this opportunity to call for reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine.
nervesofsteel | 09.09.06 - 6:50 pm |"
OK, now that really is scary. The fairness doctrine was less about fairness than it was a way to silence the broadcasters (radio and TV) from airing any "political" speech because the so called doctrine would allow opposing views time on air. General Managers would have a scheduling nightmare and we'd loose talk radio and have to go back to elevator music. No thanks! One more reason not to elect Democrats or liberal Republicans. Oh, and by the way, the above commenter's nom-de-pixel is "nervesofsteel" More like "nerves-of-tinfoil." What a frightened little bunny!

The latest (well, maybe not the absolute latest) lefty "talking point" (I'm being generous here you understand) is that this is NOT the same as Michael Moore's fatuous "Farenheit 9/11" which everyone now says was a "polemic." A polemic?

po·lem·ic (p-lmk): adj : of or involving dispute or controversy [syn: polemical] n 1: a writer who argues in opposition to others (especially in theology) [syn: polemicist, polemist] 2: a controversy (especially over a belief or dogma)
Really, seems to me that at the time many on the left didn't see any controversy at all, it was truth and a terrific slam on the Bush Administration (note: Marc Cooper, always his own man, saw it different and the vast majority of his commenters agreed - at the time, not now; now it's just a polemic).

Again, I digress, the whole point of this little exercise is to point out the utter insanity of the left in regards to this docudrama. Reminds me of the "revised" words of the Bard: "The left doth protest too much, methinks."

Cross posted at The Real Ugly American

Update, I've only scratched the surface of the left's response to "The Pathway to 9-11" but James Joyner at Outside The Beltway has looked at how "The Left Remembers 9-11." It's an excellent read and I'm in awe of his article.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:04 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

August 27, 2006

Palestine, Refugees and Honesty

In a series of threads on this Blog and on Marc Cooper's blog I've engaged an ideological opponent who writes under the name of Ahmed. Ahmed resents the support that I have given Israel in the war against Hezbollah and has accused me of a variety of things, not the least of which is xenophobia (a morbid or irrational fear of strangers) and of being less than honest:

Woodruff i was asking Gm Roper about a specific but very important claim he made which ive argued is not only totally false but also quite revealing in its dishonesty and historical ignorance
The issue being discussed was the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians at the re-establishment of the State of Israel and the Arab treatment of Jews at the same time. I maintained at the time that while some 600,000 + Palestinians left Israel some 1,000,000 plus Jews were expelled from Arab lands.

Ahmed took umbrage at my characterization of the differences and claimed that I was being dishonest and historically ignorant. Woody, my blogging partner rose to my defense with the following:

When G.M. gets back in circulation, he can take this up further with you. But, rest assured, he discusses issues honestly and intelligently. If you dispute his facts, then clear those up. If you dispute his honesty, then that "fact" of yours is wrong. [emphasis added]

Ahmed, will, I'm sure, be understanding if I disagree with his assessment. But he has a point of sorts, there is a lot of misunderstanding about what happened at the founding of Israel, what happened to both Jewish and Arab refugees and what the history says, especially since I'm being accused of being historically ignorant. Well, Ahmed, here are a few facts. You will, no doubt, dispute the source of these, but there are numerous citations to back up the quotes as you will see, some Israeli sources, some Arab sources and some United Nations sources, but all with substantial agreement that a substantial number of Arabs left the burgeoning state of Israel for a couple of reasons, but were not forced out at the point of a gun or by the evil Israeli IDF thugs in jackboots. So, lets begin the recitation shall we.

Continue reading "Palestine, Refugees and Honesty"
Posted by GM Roper at 09:29 AM | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

August 07, 2006

Best Of Me Symphony Is Up At The Owners Manual

The 140th Edition of the Best of Me Symphony is up at The Owner's Manual, with a Frank Zappa theme no less. Gary Cruse does an excellent job of introducing some mighty fine reading. Go scope it out.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:38 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 06, 2006

12 Rules for Navigating in GM’s Corner

As I have said many times before, cruising the internet is fun, especially following links from one site to another to another and to another. Early this morning at around Oh-Dark-Thirty, I was looking up an e-mail address for my young friend Peter who was our guest from Germany when he was a foreign exchange student. I came across an email from my co-blogger Woody that led me to a post by my friend Marc Cooper on his old typepad account which led me to a post by a commenter which led me to a post by Dean Esmay, a noted liberal blogger. Scrolling around Dean's World I came across Dean's 12 rules and found them to be so delightful, I thought I'd adapt them for GM's Corner. So, without fanfare, here are the "12 Rules for Navagating in GM's Corner (with all appropriate apologies to Dean Esmay):

Periodically, I feel the need to remind people of a few things:

1) This web site exists for the sole purpose of publicizing and discussing whatever interests me, whenever it interests me, for whatever reason it interests me.

This includes whatever quirky whim strikes my fancy, at whatever time it strikes my fancy.

By the way, we've been talking about you, and we think you're getting paranoid. I hope you can deal with that.

2) "Conservative" means the following:
A.) Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from preconceived notions of some “Reality Based” world/Point of View.
B.) Favoring proposals for openness and honesty in government, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others except when those ideas and behavior intrude on the lives of others against their wishes (e.g., the tenets of islamo-fascism); broad-minded within the limits of being tolerant as noted above.

That is a Platonic ideal I strive toward, not a paradigm I claim to represent. If at any time you think I fail to meet that ideal, I invite you to say so. The more polite you are in saying so, the more seriously I'm likely to take you. But I ain't Socrates, and I ain't Bill Buckley. You'll just have to live with that.

3) If my definition of "conservative" doesn't fit in within the confines of what Al Frankin or Michael Moore tell you that "conservative" means, well, too freakin' bad. It's GM’s Corner, baby. You're just living in it.

4) So long as people remain reasonably civil, and make reasonable efforts to avoid ad hominem attacks, I'm willing to let them say damn near anything they want here.

5) I'm more tolerant of personal attacks on me than I am toward contributors. But I make no claims to perfection in either area. I do my best. But, I'd really rather you direct your heat toward ideas you don't like, rather than people who chafe your buttocks.

6) Don't get upset if you find me arguing with you. Don't get upset if several people argue with you. If you hang out here long enough, you'll find this can happen to anyone, at any time. Consider that you might be wrong, or, stand your ground and explain why everyone else is wrong.

There have been several times where I myself have been the only one defending my position against a dozen or more people who thought I was totally wrong. Other than hiring gypsy witches to put curses upon them and their progeny, I exacted no revenge at all unless they were so egregious I was forced (forced I tell you, yeah, that's my story and I'm sticking to it) to ban them (and even then, sometimes they use different ailiases and or IP addresses to get around the ban - that's ok, it only means that they were pretty clever at the time, not to say dishonest if you take my meaning.)

7) I freely confess to this completely arbitrary standard: people I'm familiar with will be cut more slack than people I'm not familiar with. Is that fair? Well, no. But I won't put up with trolls, or people who are abusive solely for the purpose of being abusive. My judgment on that point will, without apology, be tempered by how familiar I am with you and/or your writings.

Who's the final judge? Hey. It's GM’s Corner, baby.

8) I'll yank absolutely anyone's chain if I think they've crossed a certain line. Is the line always obvious, or set in stone? Nope. But regulars to this establishment respect it.

9) The longer you're here, the more slack you'll be cut. However, no one except my wife gets infinite slack.

So, does this mean I'll let The Assistant Village Idiot or Civil Truth or Marc Cooper or Texas Fred or Rick Calvert or Dr. Sanity or even Woody chew me out more than someone I'm not familiar with? Yep. Also, does that mean I'll let Shrinkwrapped or Too Many Steves or dougf rant more than I will someone I don't know at all? Yeah, it does. Them I've seen in action. You, I probably haven't.

Fair? Get your own web site, and we'll talk about fair.

10) Other than a few donations to fight my cancer that I've gotten now and then from readers, I get nothing for this. So, you know, if you don't like what you find here, don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out.

11) There is no 11. [for an explanation of this, I forthwith give you some of the comments on Dean's 12 rules]

There is, in fact, an 11. I can understand why you choose not to mention it publicly, but to deny its existence is just COLD.

Posted by Gary Utter on September 22, 2003 at 3:52 AM

The first part of rule 11 is that you don't talk about rule 11!

Posted by Dean Esmay on September 22, 2003 at 4:10 AM

In fact, it is forbidden even to refer to "the rule between Rule 10 and Rule 12."

Or "the rule six down from Rule 5." Or "the rule whose number is a palindrome."

But "the rule that proclaims its own nonexistence" is permissible in certain very limited circumstances.

Posted by McGehee on September 22, 2003 at 9:49 AM

12) Argue. Tell me I'm wrong. Tell everyone else they're wrong. Play in GM’s Corner. Just remember whose it is. If you don't like it, you can appeal to GM, or you can just leave, and to be honest, I'd rather you left because I seldom grant appeals (big grin inserted here).

A tip 'O The GM Derby to Dean Esmay

Posted by GM Roper at 05:16 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

July 31, 2006

Best of Me Symphony is UP!

Best of Me symphony is up at The Owner's Manual... this one features JRR Tolkein and couldn't be more fun. No, I don't have an entry there, but Tolkien is and has been a favorite of mine for over 40 years. Go, read and have some fun.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 22, 2006

There Are Moms and There Are Mothers And They Aren't The Same

Crusing through the blogosphere today I went to another mu.nu blog, Ace of Spades HQ. Ace has some unusually good reporting and this one was no different.

It seems as though Dakota Fanning's Mom Mother (cause she damn sure ain't no Mom) has decided to let Dakota star in an upcoming film called Hounddog. Dakota plays a 12 year old who gets raped because Mother has decided that the role had "Oscar" written all over it. Furthermore, Dakota gets to appear damn near nude with just her panties on. Cinematical says:

Though it's been done before, I was still somewhat shocked to read Dakota's mother and agent liked the explicit scenes, thinking they had Oscar written all over them. While that may be true, who in their right mind wants to see a 12-year-old girl stripped naked and raped on screen? Would you want to pay ten bucks for that?
Well, who would? Pedophiles would, I'm sure, and those who are into child pornography if even only to pleasure themselves. It is damn sure not a movie I would want to see, nor should any self respecting parent.

A tip 'O The GM Derby to Ace of Spades HQ

Posted by GM Roper at 05:46 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

July 14, 2006

What Does A Living Wage Look Like?


The Democratic Party and the left (not always the same thing) have been agitating for a substantial raise, to a "living wage" the federal minimum wage law. Currently, and for many years, the federal minimum wage has been $5.15 an hour and the generic left (in which this time I'm including the Democrats) would like to see that raised. I've seen suggestions ranging from $6.00 an hour up to $12.00 an hour. When anyone suggests that price increases passed on by businesses and or job loss from small firms may result, the outcry typically is that Republicans and Conservatives (again, not necessarily the same thing) hate the poor and don't want the rich to have to pay anything out of their pockets. And, depending on the blog you go to, the language to describe generic conservatives (this time I'm including Republicans) is a whole lot worse.

Well, the fact of the matter is that there will be a tradeoff. Companies, large and small will either have to raise prices and/or lay folk off in order to keep profit margins within the realm of feasibility. What's that you say? No they won't? How silly, of course they will. No politician is going to pass a law limiting profit (unless it's big oil and a windfall profits tax - and you see how well the last one worked) because they know that the funds for re-election come essentially from the pockets of investors and owners of small and large businesses. So, ask for the moon, you have as much a chance of getting that.

But, I digress, back to the issue of the minimum wage. Many states and localities have already passed minimum wages for residents in their respective political subdivisisons, so why aren't the generic leftists prodding them for increases and the rest of the country to catch up? Simple really, again politics. To effectively "buy" votes for the Democratic Party, there needs to be a national stage for Democratic politicians to run from.

It just won't do to have a bunch of Democrats touting a higher minimum wage as a local issue (although they are doing so for state wide initiatives). Ahhhh, but "The Democratic Party forced the administration to raise the minimum wage can be a national cry and be much more effective. But, that is still not the whole answer.

The rest of the answer lies in the amount of the raise. If $9.00 an hour is "OK" but not where it should be, why stop at $9.00, or $10.00 or even $15.00? Let us go all the way to $30.00 an hour for all entry level jobs, regardless of skills, education, or experience. Those don't matter anyway, because a minimum wage is just that... the minimum that you can pay someone for work received. But, you know, I've never had a generic lefty say "OK, you bet, let's do it." They all say something along the lines of "Don't be ridiculous." But, I'm not being ridiculous! If that, or some other figure exceeding a figure of say $18.00 an hour is what it takes to reach the "livable wage" criteria, why heck, lets do it.

If we did however, while the Democrats could claim victory for that election's pandering, it wouldn't hold up over the long term. No, not even close, in fact the resulting economic displacement and chaos would be horrendous. You see, the Democratic party really doesn't give a damn my dear, about the "little guy" they only want policies that insure his vote. Look at all the "grand coalition" of special interest groups called the Democratic Party and where they are today. The Democrats ruled congress and the senate from 1954 through 1994, with a single exception of the U.S. Senate on the coattails of Ronald Reagan's landslide, and that only lasted a couple of years. Are those groups substantially any better off now than they were then? Blacks? The Poor? The Hungry? The Homeless? Labor? Or, as it seems to me the Dems are running on the same issues that they have always run on? Except of course when a Democrat is in the White House. Whole different ballgame then friends.

So, why not raise the minimum wage all the way at one time? Because they want to use that issue again, and again, and again. $7.00 an hour now, in a couple of years, another $0.75 then another a dozen years after that. Each time decrying the lack of a livable wage. Yeppers dearly beloved readers, a platform they can run on forever, and never be held accountable for. No wonder the horses haven't been to the smithy since '33, same old tired platform, same old tired policy.

Thoughtful comments from generic lefties requested. No vitriol please or I'll take your comment down.

More on the Minimum Wage and other egregious fibs from my good friend Donald Luskin on my blogroll, who writes "The Conspiracy To Keep You Poor And Stupid." By the Bye, if Luskin isn't on your favorites list, he ought to be.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:08 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

July 11, 2006

Advice For Novice Bloggers

One of the better writers out in the blogosphere is Sister Toldjah (She has been on my blogroll for some time) who has written an exceptional bit of advice to new bloggers. If you are thinking about blogging and need a little good advice, check her post out. You won't go wrong. She has another equally good post here.

UPDATE: My friend Raven also has some excellent advice for Novice Bloggers here.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:29 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

July 10, 2006

The Best Of Me Symphony is UP

The Best of Me Symphony is up over at "The Owners Manual." Some very good reading including one of my pieces. Go on over and take a gander at some of the older posts, but posts that are very good and that you may have missed.


Posted by GM Roper at 05:22 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


Enough already! I've had it! Knock it off! I am sick and tired of Americans, Europeans and others comparing their political opponents to Nazi's. It is rampant in the blogosphere, it is rampant in political advertising, it is rampant in the MSM and it is absolutely disgusting. The latest is in Michigan where some political action committee is attempting to lure the black vote away from Gov. J. Granholm but by using Nazi Images. This is not acceptable to anyone with any degree of rationality. Richard (Dick) DeVos, the Republican candidate for Governor has condemned the ad as has the incumbent Jennifer Granholm. The folks that placed the ad, Voice the Vote defended the ad:

Political consultant Adolph Mongo helped put the ad together and defended the use of the Hitler image.

“Nobody is saying that Granholm and Hitler are the same person; it’s just telling a story,” Mongo told the Detroit Free Press.

“Black voters are not getting any love from Jennifer Granholm and the Democratic Party and that’s what this ad is about,” Nataki Harbin, Mongo’s stepdaughter and the PAC’s treasurer, told The Detroit News."

OK, fine, tell them that the Democratic party has used the black vote for its own purposes without any real benefit to blacks, outline your proof; but damn it, you don't have to use one of the most heinous regimes in history to do it; and you ARE using a Hitlerian imagery to do it say that Granholm is like a Nazi denying it just makes you look stupid.

In fact, the reality is that Nazi accusations are so rampant in the political process we have Godwin's Law:

Godwin's Law (also Godwin's Rule of Nazi Analogies) is a mainstay of internet culture, an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990.

It states:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."
Godwin observed that people had increasingly begun to compare anyone and anything they mildly disliked with Hitler and/or Fascism.

Godwin has stated that Godwin's Law does not dispute whether, in a particular instance, a reference or comparison to Hitler or the Nazis might be apt. It is precisely because such a reference or comparison may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued, that hyperbolic overuse of the Hitler/Nazi comparison should be avoided. Avoiding such hyperbole, he argues, is a way of ensuring that when valid comparisons to Hitler or Nazis are made, such comparisons have the appropriate impact.

Although in one of its early forms Godwin's Law referred specifically to Usenet discussions, the law is now applied to any threaded online discussion: electronic mailing lists, message boards, chat rooms, and so on."

In an article on being compared to Hitler, Beautiful Atrocities notes:


Rick Santorum compares Democrats to Hitler

Robert Byrd compares Republicans to Hitler

John Glenn compares Republicans to Hitler

Martha Stewart compared to Hitler

The Gallery of Bush=Hitler Allusions

George Soros: Worse than Hitler

Dick Durbin Compares Nazi Holocaust (6m dead), Stalin's gulag (18m dead), & killing fields of Pol Pot (2m dead) to Gitmo (0 dead) [Note, there are many more links in this article, go read them all]

Then there is this photo(?) of Bush:

In all, you can do a Google search using the search phrase "Comparisons To Hitler" and find over 4 million, yes, that is MILLION entries and that is only one search engine. It is disgusting.

Yesterday, my blog friend Joerg Wolf corrected a misconception regarding Hitler imagery and the "Deutschland Uber Alles" and did a great job. Joerg, as a German National is understandably upset that there are still misconceptions regarding Nazism and Hitler and that those sobriquets are still applied to the Germans and German character. I agree with Joerg, as does any rational human. However, if you read the article and then the comment thread, you will find that the comments rapidly devolve from the "misconception" to the war in Iraq. What the heck is going on here? Cannot people stay on thread, can't any political discussion about a single topic stay on topic. I'm not saying that there is no right to comment on any blog about anything you want to, but geeze folks, how long before one of the commenter’s, or Saddam H. or Joerg is compared to a Nazi? How long will that thread go on before some one makes an accusation that someone in the thread is a secret fascist?

I spent many years in Germany as a child, in fact, I was born there. Indeed some of my most vivid memories of Germany were bombed out and burned buildings, the shells still standing in Frankfurt, Bad Nauheim, Stuttgart and other places. Of seeing concentration camps and understanding how far an anti-human regieme can go. It is not pretty folks, not pretty at all and the current trend to compare anyone's political stripes to that of Hitler is abominable.

It has to stop, and it has to stop now.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:08 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

July 09, 2006

Clearing Up A Misconception

Recently, the British paper "The Independent" published an article on the World Cup Games in which Germans, waving Israeli flags sang the German National Anthem:

When it came to the national anthem and its opening line "Deutschland, Deutschland über alles", so often accompanied by uncertainty and shoe-gazing, much of the 65,000-strong crowd rose to their feet and joined in, as did the national team.
This in turn was picked up by The Winds of Change and Instapundit. Well, just goes to show you can't believe everything you read in the paper.

Joerg Wolf, writing in Atlantic Review does an excellent job of letting people know that the German National Anthem is the THIRD stanza of a song written in 1841:

"Deutschland über alles" ('Germany above all') is not the national anthem, but the first stanza of the Deutschlandlied (Song of the Germans) written in 1841.

Because the Nazis misused and reinterpreted the first stanza, Germany's national anthem consists now only of the third stanza of the Deutschlandlied, i.e. the crowd was singing "Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit" ('Unity and rule of law and freedom').

In fact, singing the first stanza, "Deutschland über alles", is associated with the Nazis only.

As someone who was born in Germany, and still has strong ties to the wonderful peoples there, and who occasionally disagrees with their foreign policy, I'm glad that Joerg has made the effort to clear up the misconception. It is a great article, go read it all, drop Joerg a note or a comment and tell him GM sent you.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 03, 2006

Elections in Mexico: Too Close To Call?

Mark In Mexico was up much of the night providing live coverage of the Mexican Presidential Elections. Go on over and take a gander. He'll have more up today and he does an excellent job of reportage. Thanks Mark.

UPDATE, Mark has a new post up here. Calderon may have won, AMLO is protesting saying he won. This could get really sticky... go read Mark's stuff and put it on your favorites or bookmarks. This issue is muy importante por Los Estados Unidos. I've got him on my blogroll if you want to use that instead. Either way, he is keeping us current. A sample:

Well, it's starting. Based upon what I have seen and heard this morning, this is going to get nasty and AMLO is the demagogue that his political opponents have been portraying him to be.

He just concluded an interview with Televisa where he claims he has won and will not accept any other result. He said, unbelievably, "Go to the IFE and see the results. They have declared me the winner." That's not even close to the truth. The IFE's results show that Calderon leads AMLO by about 1.5 percent of the vote and the IFE is not declaring anyone the winner and will not until at least Wednesday. Calderon has been forced to respond. Calderon also suggests visiting the IFE where the federal elections board has him with a 1.5 percent lead over AMLO. That is true.
AMLO is stoking the fires of a popular revolt, ala Chavez.

That popular revolt has already manifested itself in Oaxaca. The president of the state's IFE has been kidnapped by some striking teachers' union members. They are accusing him of changing vote totals to benefit the PRI. In addition, some of the votes here in the capitol city of Oaxaca de Juarez were taken to the headquarters of the Policia Preventiva so they could be counted in a secure environment. The teachers attacked the PP headquarters and took votes, election officials and police as hostages. I don't know where those people are now."

Posted by GM Roper at 06:03 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Newly Discovered Blog: Jeremayakovka

Discovered a new blog (new for me that is) and I've decided to add it to my blogroll. Go on by and take a look at Jeremayakovka and tell him GM sent you.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:50 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 01, 2006

Newly Discovered Blog

Couldn't sleep tonight, got up and started at the top of the blog roll and worked down. Came across a comment on a post in one of the blogs I read and Recommend and came across a new blog (only a week old) with the interesting URL that includes the words Kali Mom. Well, I just had to go look and found Vox Rodentae written by Kate Hennessy and Kate does a great job. Please drop by, tell her GM sent you and drop a comment encouraging her to keep it going.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:01 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

June 24, 2006

June 24, 1948: The Berlin Airlift

In January, 1948 England and America decided to combine their two sectors in Berlin creating a business zone called Bizonia. The purpose was to assist the Germans in reconstruction, and it was decided that if the German's had a bigger hand in the process, the process would proceed faster.

The Soviets however, were staunchly against the merger, seeing the embryo of a new German state, which they both feared, and which would, given the freedom of the west, soon outclass the Russian efforts in the east. Russian opposition however may have created the German state sooner than anticipated. France, England and America decided in June of '48 that a new German Federal Republic would be established by 1949 at the latest. Stalin was incensed.

Continue reading "June 24, 1948: The Berlin Airlift"
Posted by GM Roper at 08:42 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 23, 2006

Kelo Revisited; At Least On The Federal Level

My good friend Robert Bidinotto who writes the extremely readable Bidinotto Blog has alerted us to a new Executive Order overturning, at least at the Federal Level, Federal taking of property for commercial uses. As Robert noted: "Just when I give up and start ranting against George W. Bush for all his betrayals of limited-government principles, he redeems himself with something like this:"

Way to go President Bush, and way to go Robert for finding this.

UPDATE: Ilya Somin at the Volokh Conspiracy has some thoughts that this might not be what it appears to be:

Read carefully, the order does not in fact bar condemnations that transfer property to other private parties for economic development. Instead, it permits them to continue so long as they are "for the purpose of benefiting the general public and not merely for the purpose of advancing the economic interest of private parties to be given ownership or use of the property taken."

Unfortunately, this language validates virtually any economic development condemnation that the feds might want to pursue. Officials can (and do) always claim that the goal of a taking is to benefit "the general public" and not "merely" the new owners. This is not a new pattern, but one that bedeviled takings litigation long before Kelo. Indeed, the New London authorities made such claims in Kelo itself and they were accepted by all nine Supreme Court justices, including the four dissenters, as well as by the Connecticut Supreme Court (including its three dissenters)."

OK, maybe back down a rung or two?

Posted by GM Roper at 09:15 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

June 19, 2006


I got this from Abbagav and I shamelessly copied all of it. This is important folks, if you are a blogger, you too are needed.

D.C. Roe wants to honor the fallen of 9/11 and needs your help and mine:
I have a project and I need the help of a few bloggers to make it work.

2,995 bloggers.

September 11, 2006 will mark the 5-year anniversary of the attacks that killed 2,996 innocent people on American soil. A few months ago I started wondering what, if anything, I would write in my blog that day. A remembrance? A tribute? Anything I came up with seemed shallow, cliché, not enough.

What has he decided to do? What does he need from us?

I’d like 2,995 blogging volunteers to help me with a tribute to the victims of 9/11. If you’d like to participate, you’ll be assigned the name of someone who was murdered on September 11, 2001. Then on September 11, 2006 you’ll post your own tribute to that person. It can be anything you want it to be: a photo tribute, an essay, a remembrance, a poem…it’s up to you. Then link back to a page I will create which will give the names of all 2,996 victims and links to the blogs that will remember them that day.

But, and this is critical, I don’t want any of us to remember the murderers. Do not refer to the terrorists. Or their organization. Or their goals. Let them fade into nothing. Let them be forgotten. Remember those worth remembering.

As Abbagav says:

I'm going to participate and I hope you'll consider it too. The project is just getting started and can still use our help.

If you want to participate, signups are being accepted through comments on either of two blogs: D.C. Roe or 2996. You can also sign up by email to dcroe05-at-yahoo-dot-com. D.C. is making the assignments; although, if you have a name you'd really like to honor, it probably wouldn't hurt to request it. A list of names and participants assigned so far is available here.

When we say "never forget" we have to start by remembering.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:24 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

June 07, 2006

And The Winner Is

The race to replace the disgraced Randy Cunningham in California's 50th district has been decided by the voters of that district:

A former Republican congressman narrowly beat his Democratic rival early Wednesday to fill the House seat once held by jailed Randy "Duke" Cunningham, one of several contests in eight states closely watched as a possible early barometer of next fall's vote.

Republican Brian Bilbray emerged victorious after a costly and contentious special election race against Democrat Francine Busby, a local school board member.

"I think that we're going back to Washington," Bilbray told cheering supporters. He will serve out the remaining seven months of Cunningham's term and get a boost for the November election.

With 90 percent of precincts reporting, Bilbray had 56,130 votes, or 50 percent. Busby trailed with 51,292 votes, or 45 percent."

It is being called a "close" finish, but a 5 percent difference is not all that close, other important elections have been decided by much less a margin. To our loosing friends on the Democratic side, our condolences. To the winning Republican in a district that is safely in Republican hands as before, you should have done better had you pushed a more conservative agenda. To the pundits that say that the Dems didn't really have much of a chance? Yeah! Woulda-shoulda-coulda. I fully expect the Dems to say it wasn't much, didn't count for much, didn't have much of a chance and generally down play the loss that they invested so much time and big bucks in. I can see it all now.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:54 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

June 03, 2006

Server Problems

I apologize to all my readers for problems getting the site. Our server at munuviana was attacked and the head honcho pulled it off the internet before it crashed entirely. Moving everything over to another server almost caused a different kind of problem.

Too, some of you have posted comments (or at least tried to do so) and gotten really weird messages... that was part of the problem also, at least as the server blacklist was concerned.

Again, I apologize, back to "normal" now I think.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

June 02, 2006

Ace is the Place!

Ace who blogs at Ace of Spades wonders why the Left is so INCENSED about Jeff Goldstein. I wondered too of course because at mu.nu Ace is a legend and I'm a legend in waiting at mu.nu (and yes, this is another GREAT MU.NU BLOG) then I read Ace's post and got the answer. A sample:

This conceit, usually wholly undeserved, of practically every leftist in the world is what makes leftism so intoxicating for the intellectually insecure, and what makes leftists so easily led and manipulated. It's an attractive doctrine for those who wish to conceive of themselves as intellectual and brilliant, for it provides an instant short-cut to the equivalent of an MIT education. If you simply believe these things we tell you to believe, you are one of Us, one of the Intellectually Elite, one of the Cultural Vanguard. Just as giving oneself to Christ, and believing in His power, and accepting the need for and gift of His redemption, instantly makes one "saved" and enters one's name in the Book of the Heaven, so too does accepting leftist tropes and core beliefs make one one of the Secular Elect.

Now, the things the left wants you to believe are not easy to believe. It's hard to believe that, for example, taxing work and investment will not reduce work and investment (especially when one simultaneously believes that taxing the use of gasoline or other energy will reduce the use of gasoline or other energy). Nevertheless, while it may be difficult to believe these things, it's certainly easier to simply give in and believe these things than to, say, earn a Ph. D. in literary theory or semiotics or even something stupid like science or engineering. "

Now, go read the whole thing, and the comments and come back here and comment. And leave a comment at the Ace of Spades too while you are at it.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:35 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

May 29, 2006

A Treat For All

Cao of Cao's Blog has a special Memorial Day Movie up. Go see it here

Posted by GM Roper at 02:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

American Idol?

My Phriend Phin at Phin's Blog has been listening to a different version of American Idol

Drop by and see how bad it could be.

Posted by gmroper at 06:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 28, 2006

A Rose Is A Rose Is A Rose

My Mom used to call me Prince Rainier; she wanted me to grow old with Grace! (gleefully stolen from the routines of Red Skelton). But one can grow old with grace as evidenced by the following:

I have absolutely no idea if this is a true story, but it was sent to me by a former student and a good friend. So, sit back, read and enjoy!

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.

I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being.

She said, "Hi handsome. My name is Rose.

I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?"

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, "Of course you may!" and she gave me a giant squeeze.

"Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?" I asked.

She jokingly replied, "I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids..."

"No seriously," I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

"I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!" she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.

We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this "time machine" as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went.

She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At! the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet.

I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.

Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, "I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know."

(this cracked me up!)

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, "We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.

We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.

If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.

The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets."

She concluded her speech by courageously singing "The Rose."

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives.

At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.

I challenge you to put Rose's principles to the test, laugh, love, play, dream big, have no regrets for things not done.

Linked to Woman, Honor Thyself

Posted by GM Roper at 09:00 PM | Comments (4)

History Test

Please pause a moment, reflect back, and take the following multiple choice test. The events are actual events from history. They actually happened! Do you remember?

1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was shot and killed by
a. Superman
b. Jay Leno
c. Harry Potter
d. a Muslim male extremist between the ages of 17 and 40

2. In 1972 at the Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by
a. Olga Corbett
b. Sitting Bull
c. Arnold Schwarzenegger
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran was taken over by:
a. Lost Norwegians
b. Elvis
c. A tour bus full of 80-year-old women
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

4. During the 1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon by:
a. John Dillinger
b. The King of Sweden
c. The Boy Scouts
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
a. A pizza delivery boy
b. Pee Wee Herman
c. Geraldo Rivera
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

6. In 1985 the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in his wheelchair by:
a. The Smurfs
b. Davey Jones
c. The Little Mermaid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

7. In 1985 TWA flight 847 was hijacked at Athens, and a US Navy diver trying to rescue passengers was murdered by:
a. Captain Kidd
b. Charles Lindberg
c. Mother Teresa
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

8. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
a. Scooby Doo
b. The Tooth Fairy and The Sundance Kid
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the first time by:
a. Richard Simmons
b. Grandma Moses
c. Michael Jordan
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

10. In 1998, the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
a. Mr. Rogers
b. Hillary Clinton, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems
c. The World Wrestling Federation
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

11. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two were used as missiles to take out the World Trade Centers and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers. Thousands of people were killed by:
a. Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
b. The Supreme Court of Florida
c. Mr. Bean
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

12. In 2002 the United States fought a war in Afghanistan against:
a. Enron
b. The Lutheran Church
c. The NFL
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

13. In 2002 reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by:
a. Bonnie and Clyde
b. Captain Kangaroo
c. Billy Graham
d. Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40

12-13 correct = Conservative, Proud, Probably Republican and A History Buff.
10-11 correct = Conservative, Proud, and A History Buff.
07-09 correct = Probably a bit too Progressive for most readers of this Blog.
05-06 correct = Progressive or liberal, unable to learn from history.
03-04 correct = Not at all able to learn from history, asks "Why do they hate us?"
00-02 correct = Your name is either Kennedy, Murtha, Pelosi, Reid, Zinni or perhaps Zarqawi or you are a member of that group of raggamuffins called Al Qaeda.

Nope, ......I really don't see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you? So, to ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners will no longer be allowed to profile certain people. They must conduct random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, secret agents who are members of the President's security detail, 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips, and Medal of Honor winning and former Governor Joe Foss, but leave Muslim Males between the ages 17 and 40 alone lest they be guilty of profiling. Let's remind this to as many people as we can so that the Gloria Aldreds and other dunder-headed attorneys along with Federal Justices that want to thwart common sense, feel doubly ashamed of themselves -- if they have any such sense. As the writer of the award winning story "Forrest Gump" so aptly put it, "Stupid is as stupid does."

Posted by GM Roper at 02:48 AM | Comments (40) | TrackBack (0)

April 21, 2006

Nothing To Do With Politics

Michael Barrett, that wonderful guy who designed my site, who contributed the Fight On ribbon and who is the author of the terrific blog "Slobokans Site 'O Schtuff" has a new endeavor. It's called Retromental-Time-Capsules and is a series of interviews with everyday people, capturing the essence of history as seen through the eyes of not the professional historian, but the people who lived it.

I urge you to go listen. You won't be disappointed.

Michael, you done good brother, you done good!

Posted by GM Roper at 07:26 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

April 20, 2006

Renaissance Man

If you are lucky in life you will have many, many friends. Some are close, some are stodgy, tried and true. Some are weird, some are WYSIWYG. And sometimes, if you are very lucky and very good at picking such a friend when they do come by, you will find one who is all of the above.

Such a friend of mine is a fellow by the name of, well, I'll call him Tom short for Thomas which is good because that happens to be his real name. I first met Tom in May of 2001 when I began some consulting work for an adolescent substance abuse treatment center. Tom was the director of operations. We soon became more than just nodding acquaintances, but not quite friends. Over the years however, a true friendship developed between me the wiser and younger and him the slightly older (he'll never see 59 years old again). Tom is a world class practical joker, but never the mean sort. Once, he took my picture and unbeknownst to me treated it with his many digital skills on Photoshop and making my head a perfect Chia Head. The kids in the facility noted that it really wasn't like me because I had this "great big bald spot" on the back of my head. One adolescent looked at the photo, then at me, then back at the photo and thought I could cover up the bald spot if I used Miracle Gro. Nice kid. Tom got a laugh out of that, and still does as a matter of fact.

In the very early part of our relationship, there was a fire alarm set off by one of the tar pots used in re-roofing the building. The fire department came out with the captain in one of the largest fire trucks I have ever seen in my life. I walked up to him to explain that it had been a false alarm but before I could even introduce myself he asked (in a rather ticked off voice) "Who's in charge here?"

Since I was only a consultant I pointed to the Director of Operations and said he is. Again in a stern and ticked off voice the Fire Captain asked "What's your name?" Tom, with out batting an eye or any sign of being dishonest said "George M. Roper" Thanks Tom!

Tom is also one of those guys that likes to do nice things for his friends when he is not pulling jokes. When I was diagnosed with cancer, Tom was there with encouragement, prayers and friendship. He visited me in the hospital every day that I was there and those visits were deeply appreciated. Tom commiserated with me when my hair started falling out because of the chemo-therapy and talked about having to cover my head when outside so the glare wouldn't blind pilots flying nearby. But he also took a photo and treated it with kindness, respect and true friendship. He put it up on the web and if you want to see what I really look like, click here. I told Tom that every time I watched it, I got a little weepy eyed. Initially he said only "Yeah!"

But telling stories of Tom's practical jokes and digital skills is not the purpose of this post, telling you about this great guy is.

Tom had a rough childhood, mother died of cancer when he was very young, dad was kind of cruel and abusive. Tom ran away from home at about 15 or so and lived in a car for a couple of years. Encouraged to join the Army by a judge who didn't think Tom was a bad boy (note: The judge didn't ask ME!!!) he enlisted and served with distinction.

Over the years, Tom has worked in a number of industries, most notably the exciting field of Art. Now, I'm not a serious connoisseur of art, but "I know what I like." I have a "chopped" Dali print, a number of signed and numbered prints of Itzchak Tarkay. But I digress, Tom has forgotten more about art than I will ever know. And so, he has opened his own online shop to sell quality art prints and posters. Works by Da Vinci, Picasso, Dali and Van Gogh. Works by Ansel Adams, Frieda Kahlo and Diego Rivera not to mention Andy Warhol and Monet. Great pieces at great prices. So, I've added a link to the jpeg at the upper left and if you click on it, it will take you to his site. I've also added a blogad in the side bar on the right. Browse around and see if you don't see something you like.

Full Disclosure: I don't get a nickel from Tom if you buy something, but I think that if you do, I will be very appreciative.

So, in part, this is to get even with you Tom, but in a big part it is also to tell you what a great friend you are.

Tom, I have to see you 5 days a week, but that is ok, I can take some anti-nausea medicine when I get home! ;-)

UPDATE: Tom, who in my world is King Digital is also an Ambassador for Coffee Cup software. He gave me a mini-cd with all kinds of cool programs a lot are free and the rest are available at substantial discounts. If you would like a copy of this CD, send an email with your name and address to this link, you won't regret it.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:59 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

April 16, 2006

Who Killed The Easter Bunny?

I first posted this last year at Easter Time. But I think it a good idea (small i) to post it again as a reminder of how much PC is invading our lives. Enjoy and comment please.

eb.bmpWho Framed Roger Rabbit was a fun movie, a blend of "toons" and people. Bugs Bunny Cartoons were even funnier, hapless Elmer Fudd trying to do Bugs in, never succeeding, never even coming close. Roger came out on top. So always did Bugs. Alas my children, the Easter Bunny did not! The Easter Bunny was murdered by P.C. Secularism - politically correct secularism.
E. Bunny Born A.D.200 (approx)- Died A.D.2005, R.I.P.

Rabbi Marc Gellman writing in Newsweek notes that:

"Palm Beach has become the Wittenberg of America. Now, in its most audacious act of spiritual correctness and mythical animal abuse, the Florida town is nailing the Easter Bunny to the doors of The Gardens mall."
Oh the horror, that poor bunny. Rabbi Gellman obviously is Jewish, so why is he concerned about the Easter Bunny - an overtly Christian symbol of the rebirth of Jesus The Christ? Simple, as I have said before, this is an attack on faith and the good Rabbi is not about to make the mistake of Martin Niemöller - he is speaking out now.

Gellman goes on:

"The minority attack on the most benign religious symbols in our culture recently crested in the Ten Commandments case now before the Supreme Court, a display which is supported by almost 80 percent of Americans surveyed, according to one poll. Apparently dissatisfied with taking a position that only 80 percent of the public detest, the enlightened owners of The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach County have apparently succeeded in finding a case which will rally 100 percent of Americans against them.

They have now hunted down and killed, like a mangy dog … the Easter bunny! This follows the bah humbug performance during Christmas time in which America’s marketing geniuses demanded that their employees say “Season's Greetings” rather than the incendiary and divisive “Merry Christmas.” Henceforth and forever more, shoppers at The Gardens mall will be greeted by the Garden Bunny and his pagan entourage who will no longer conduct Easter egg hunts in the mall, but rather spiritually generic egg hunts."

Garden Bunny, GARDEN BUNNY! Children have, for centuries, delighted in the idea that an "Easter Bunny" spends time and effort to deliver and hide Easter Eggs. Now, I know, and you know (as adults) that there is no such thing as an Easter Bunny in real life. We (again as adults) know that this is a pagan symbol of renewal and spring etc. borrowed probably from the Germans. Holiday.net has an excellent, if brief, history of the erstwhile rabbit here

: "The bunny as an Easter symbol seems to have it's origins in Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 1500s. The first edible Easter bunnies were made in Germany during the early 1800s. And were made of pastry and sugar

The Easter bunny was introduced to American folklore by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s. The arrival of the "Oschter Haws" was considered "childhood's greatest pleasure" next to a visit from Christ-Kindel (Christ Child) on Christmas Eve. The children believed that if they were good the "Oschter Haws" would lay a nest of colored eggs."

Gormet Sluth has a delightful tidbit on the Easter Egg (was that a pun?...ed.):
"NO! Martha Stewart did NOT invent this tradition. Eggs symbolize rebirth, new life, etc. etc. Egyptians, as well as Persians used to dye eggs and give them as gifts to symbolize the renewal of life. (This has to be true, because I read it on the web). And then, sometime after that, Martha discovered it...."

Couple the above with this:

"The ancient Saxons celebrated the return of spring with an uproarious festival commemorating their goddess of offspring and of springtime, Eastre. When the second-century Christian missionaries encountered the tribes of the north with their pagan celebrations, they attempted to convert them to Christianity. They did so, however, in a clandestine manner.

It would have been suicide for the very early Christian converts to celebrate their holy days with observances that did not coincide with celebrations that already existed. To save lives, the missionaries cleverly decided to spread their religious message slowly throughout the populations by allowing them to continue to celebrate pagan feasts, but to do so in a Christian manner.

As it happened, the pagan festival of Eastre occurred at the same time of year as the Christian observance of the Resurrection of Christ. It made sense, therefore, to alter the festival itself, to make it a Christian celebration as converts were slowly won over. The early name, Eastre, was eventually changed to its modern spelling, Easter."

We see a history of an innocuous symbol that delights children and if it offends adults, those adults have a lot more problems than is recognized.

However, the good folks at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach have decided that someone entering their precious mall may be "offended" by an "EASTER" Bunny. Offended, right! For Pete's Sake, offended by a bunny. Pardon me while I have a severe attack of nausea. I'd be willing to bet dollars to day old donuts that if we took a poll of 100% of Americans we would find less than 5% would be "offended" by an Easter Bunny's presence in The Gardens Mall. The make up of that 5% would be fairly predictable also. Most of the ACLU, Athesists, Islamo-Fascists, a fairly hefty number of the radical left wing of the democratic party and those who decry Halloween as a feast of the devil when the true meaning is to "scare away" bad spirits prior to All Saint's Day the following day.

P.C. run amok. Rabbi Gellman goes on:

"So in the pursuit of that neutrality which seems to regard all religions with equal contempt, I offer up some suggestions to the mall owners of south Florida as to their next targets:

Passover matzohs blur the constitutional line separating cracker and state, and should be renamed “Getting-the-hell-out-of-Egypt flat bread.” Also public greetings of “Happy Passover” should be replaced with, “Glad you (or we) got the hell out of there.” For those who feel uncomfortable saying “hell,” please feel free to substitute “heck.”

For our Muslim brothers and sisters we have good news for you too. Ramadan, the month-long fast, will also be a forbidden word because of its religious overtones. Instead of wishing each other “Ramadan Mubarak” (Happy Ramadan), Muslims in Palm Beach County should be asked, at least while they are shopping, to wish each other “Happy no-lunch month.” After you say it a few times, the Palm Beach official in charge of language purification tells me, it has a rather nice ring to it—especially in Arabic."

If you believe, as I do, that this unremitting attack on faith is not stopped, nothing you believe will be safe. It will be ridiculed or ignored as quaint or worse as "un-American."

The Good Rabbi ends with a prescription that each of us should really take to heart:

"Look, the way we greet each other speaks the truth of our roots and our hopes and our joys. You cannot translate these religious and cultural traditions without perverting and distorting and ultimately killing them, and if some child or some adult (almost universally it is the latter) feels deeply offended and marginalized, well then they need to: first, get a life, then send money for tsunami relief, then try to end the slaughter in Darfur, then go out and buy an energy-efficient car, and then try real hard to understand that bumping into your neighbor's customs and faith ought to bring you a sense of warmth, curiosity and compassion—not fear, not revenge and not God help us, Baxter the Garden Bunny. I know this is a long fight and somewhere buried in this insanity, someone must feel that there is some worthy social, constitutional, and moral principal at issue, but I remain both flummoxed and amused at the irrational hatred of religion and religious symbols in our culture—a hatred which remains the last socially acceptable prejudice of our time.

To those who agree with me—both of you—I say, keep up the fight against the insane secularizers of Palm Beach. Remember, it's a bunny-eat-bunny world out there."

So, who REALLY killed the Easter Bunny? Easy, you and I did. We did it just as Martin Niemöller said:

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak out for me."

You see, we didn't speak out. We didn't speak out when the radical left, the MSM to the extent that they didn't call "foul," and the secularists declared war on faith and its symbols.

Happy Easter everyone, enjoy it while it is still legal.

Update: Ogre at Ogre's Politics and Views has a new posting regarding the Colorado Supreme Court throwing out a conviction because a juror read a bible. You thought the above was just a joke, I meant it when I said enjoy it while it is still legal.

Posted by gmroper at 07:05 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

March 30, 2006

Frustrated Doc Sanity

One of my very favorite People in the blogosphere is having a tough day and is feeling out of focus; been there, done that, got the T-Shirt and for damn sure know how she feels. Go on over to Dr. Sanity give her a shout and a pat on the back. The blogosphere needs her and she is really good people!

Posted by GM Roper at 05:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

March 29, 2006


Glen Reynolds Grandmother, Charlsie Farrior passed away yesterday at the age of 91. Glen, after all the links you have provided for so very many blogs, inlcuding this one, please accept our condolences.

If you wish to drop the Instapundit an e-mail here is his e-mail address: pundit@instapundit.com

Posted by GM Roper at 07:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 20, 2006

AVI Strikes, Pundits of Polls Cringe

Regular readers of this blog have come to know (and appreciate) The Assistant Village Idiot, known to most of us, well, at least to me as AVI. AVI is one of those of us that Dr. Sanity calls members of the Psychbloggers (and by nefarious others as PsychSphere or Psych-O-Sphere), but I digress.

AVI has a new post up regarding the recent polls showing President Bush down to numbers in the 30's and discusses the punditocracies belief that this shows that Bush is (wait for it)........... DOOMED!!!

The money grafs:

Presidential approval poll numbers are especially deceiving. When Bush had 85% approval, he didn’t have 85% approval in the sense that he would garner 85% of the vote if the election were that day. It wasn’t a vote. In the same way, his 35-40% approval now doesn’t mean that’s how many votes he would get today. Because there is no vote today. It is the job of the political opposition to try and create a bandwagon mentality, giving people the idea that there is general dissatisfaction with the way things are, so why don’t you, John and Mary Public, get on the winning side with all the smart people?

It doesn’t mean we have to believe them. You would think this is obvious. But as commenters around the blogosphere know, references to Bush poll numbers frequently come up as evidence that “he’s wrong…everyone knows it…he’s not listening to the people…he’s tone deaf…only the blinkered are still supporting him…” Balderdash. Among those who disapprove of how the war is being handled, some think it should be prosecuted more forcefully. Some think it’s not going well but don’t necessarily think some other president would handle it better. Even among his supporters, much of the support is tentative. Neither the 61% who think it’s handled wrongly nor the 39% who think its handled well are solid numbers. Both disguise a variety of opinions by cramming them into an either-or option, when no such either-or option is necessary. We’re not voting for George Bush this week.

Go and read the whole thing.

Pehaps it is time to promote AVI to CVG - Chief Village Genius

Posted by GM Roper at 07:42 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (2)

March 19, 2006

Gulag Nation - Black Spring

Foul deeds will rise, though all the earth o'erwhelm it, to men's eyes.
Marc Cooper rightly takes the left to task for the lack of blogging about the 3rd anniversary of the arrest and subsequent trial/imprisonment of 75 persons in Cuba. Arrested as anti-revolutionaries for handing out library books. Library books for Pete's Sake!

More impotantly, this issue has also escaped much of the MSM and the right blogs as well. Everybody is pointing to the 3rd anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. But anti-war demonstrations have turned out to be more anti-American and/or Anti-Brittish/Australian demonstrations or just plain ole I hate Bushychimpmchitler. But this post is not about Iraq, it is about our friend Fidel in Cuba.

The Crime:

Between March 18-20, 2003, authorities rounded up about 100 dissidents and independent journalists.

Of those, 75 were quickly tried and sentenced to between six and 28 years in prison, including Cuba's best-known female dissident, economist Martha Beatriz Roque. Of those, 15 were gradually freed between April 2004 and December 2005.

Black spring is reported in a few blogs, newspapers, but not much else. And this is a shame, because it highlights the utter hypocracy of both the Castro regime in it's cry against the United States, and our supposed stand for human rigthts.

What do I mean by this? Simple. If we are to be the "City Shining On The Hill" then we also must condem the totalitarian forces that beset the peoples of the world. I'm probably going to be declared a heretic by my fellow conservatives, but I think that the way to bring Castro and his band of thugs down is to increase contact and trade with Cuba. Russia wasn't changed by the ability of the Communist government to control it's people, Russia was changed by the inability to keep up with the freedoms of the west. Likewise, the Cuban people if given free access to freedom as proposed by free trade, access to real information as opposed to contrived and controlled information of the Cuban government will opt for more freedom not less. In this, our refusal to deal with the people of Cuba has been a total failure. Cuba needs access to the benefits of a free society, and that and that alone will change the Cuban government.

Others reporting on the third anniversary of the Castro crackdown include: Wall Street Cafe, Uncommon Sense, Blog for Cuba, Marathon Pundit, Cuba Net and Babalu Blog.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:51 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

March 11, 2006

Milosevic is Dead!

Slobodan Milosevic was found dead in his cell this morning. According to the Wall Street Journal he apparantly died of natural causes. Milosevic was on trial in the Hague for crimes against humanity by leading his country to slaughter tens of thousands from a would be break-away provence. Milosevic frequently and vociferously denied guilt. One would suspect that Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Mao and others would claim the same.

I don't know whether to be happy that the world is better off without one more madman or to mourn the fact that justice is denied. Perhaps the only justice meted out here was when his immortal soul found itself condemed to hellfire.

According to the WSJ:

A figure of beguiling charm and cunning ruthlessness, Mr. Milosevic was a master tactician who turned his country's defeats into personal victories and held onto power for 13 years despite losing four wars that shattered his nation and impoverished his people.

Mr. Milosevic led Serbia, the dominant Yugoslav republic, into four Balkan wars, but always managed to emerge politically stronger. The secret of his survival was his uncanny ability to exploit what less adroit figures would consider a fatal blow.

Each time he would bounce back, skillfully reinventing himself in a series of political transformations -- as a devout communist, a reform-minded nationalist, and again as a communist at a time when most of the world had abandoned Marxist ideology.

He once described himself as the "Ayatollah Khomeini of Serbia," assuring his prime minister, Mr. Panic, that "the Serbs will follow me no matter what." For years, they did -- through wars which dismembered Yugoslavia and plunged what was left of the country into social, political, moral and economic ruin.

But in the end, his people abandoned him: first in October 2000, when he was unable to convince the majority of Yugoslavs that he had staved off electoral defeat by his successor, Vojislav Kostunica, and again on April 1, 2001, when he surrendered after a 26-hour standoff to face criminal charges stemming from his ruinous rule.

Few will mourn his passing, and certainly not this blogger!

Insta-Update: Austin Bey has more, and it is well worth reading

Posted by GM Roper at 09:52 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

March 07, 2006

Where the Hell is the MSM on this?

Sometimes the MSM does it's job. Most of the time it doesn't. Here it didn't:

Remember that kid, Farris Hassan, the 16-year-old from Florida, who went to Iraq a few weeks ago to allegedly find out for himself what conditions were like for Iraqis and to satisfy a requirement for this journalism class he was taking?

Remember also how his parents were all distraught not knowing where he was?

Remember how the media praised him for being so brave?

Would it surprise you to learn that NO NETWORK JOURNALIST took the initiative to do a little research?

Further, would it surprise you to learn that his parents KNEW where he was because they helped him get his ticket?

Would it surprise you to learn that his school has no such journalism class?

Would it surprise you to learn that his parents sent a note to school saying he'd be gone during that period?

Would it surprise you to learn his father was arrested for forging 2,000 Iraqi passports and was probably attempting to forge more?

Has it occurred to you that the student and his family may really be prospective terrorists in sheep's clothing?

Click this link and read about it because you WON'T hear it on the network news!

The MSM... Ain't they special?

Special H/T to JC - a regular reader

Posted by GM Roper at 04:07 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

March 05, 2006

Tolerance - Redefined


Jackie Mason and Raul Felder penned (pixilated?) a scathing indictment of the Muslims who practice Islamofascism, their anti-semitism, and their totatl irrationality. A sample:

The Muslims have pronounced their verdict. The cartoon man has been found guilty. The real crime is, of course, not being a Muslim. Now that they have established the crime, they have also pronounced the sentence. Even if you never saw or heard of the cartoon, you deserve to be hit with rocks, your car wrecked, and your embassies destroyed because you are an infidel — and incidentally, there are no appeals. There was even television coverage of a Muslim religious leader screaming in some unintelligible language. However, on the bottom of the screen the translation appeared. This religious leader was shouting that whoever drew the cartoon should have his hands cut off. This hardly seems for us to be a reasonable penalty for somebody taking a piece of paper, picking up a pen, and drawing something.

Ending with:

Everyday Muslim and European newspapers insult and degrade Jews as animals and rodents, which is not only insulting but, additionally, encourages the hatred of Jews. But did you ever hear any Jewish authority anywhere demanding that we find any of these cartoonists so that we can choke them to death or cut them up. Did you ever hear of an Israeli death squad searching for a cartoonist? If the Jewish people applied the same insult standard requiring a death sentence no Muslim would be safe now, anywhere in the world. Could you picture a Jew deciding that he has the right to kill but you have no right to draw an insulting picture?

Nobody has ever died from a cartoon [until Muslims began the killing]. If the worst thing the Nazis ever did had been to draw cartoons of death camps instead of putting Jews in them, six million Jews would be alive today. When was the last time any country decided to kill a Muslim anywhere in the world because they felt insulted? But the Muslims have created a new international law called the "insult law." This means they have the right to kill you whenever they please, and you have no right to do anything about it. If a Muslim were walking down a street in Israel with a picture of an insulting cartoon in hand, no Israeli would threaten his life. They would be too busy celebrating the fact that it was a cartoon and not a bomb.

H/T to Vanderleun at American Digest

Posted by GM Roper at 06:44 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

March 04, 2006

I Want My Country Back

Rick Roberts of KFMB Radio gave a rant not too long ago entitled "I Want My Country Back." I found it while surfing the web and noted that Mr. Roberts gave permission for it to be posted at will. Thanks Rick, both for the permission and for saying what many of us feel.

I don’t mean to go off on a rant here, but here’s the bottom line, I want my country back.

I want my kids to be able to walk to the store or walk to school without being abducted by some 3-time convicted child molester. And the politically correct powers that be in this country just can’t seem to get over themselves with “CAN’T WE JUST HELP THIS PERSON!” No! You can’t. But they’re let loose to prey on more children.

I want my kids back. I want my country back.

I don’t agree with everything this President does. I’ve never agreed with anything 100% that any President has done or said.

You know, I was very young during the Vietnam War. So I probably missed that thing by a hair. I don’t know whether I would have agreed with that or not at the time. I was too stupid to have an opinion at that point and time even though I thought I did.

I want my country back.

I want some semblance of respect for authority, whether I agree with it all or not.

I want the Boy Scouts to be “boy” scouts, not boy and “we think she’s a girl” scouts. I want Girl Scouts to be “girl” scouts not Girl Scouts and “Bruce.”

I want my country back.

I want to be able to wake up in the morning knowing that I can walk outside without some gang-banger on parole taking my life.

Or being able to go down and purchase a car without having to worry about you know 90% of the parts being made overseas in some sweatshop.

I want my politicians, when they finally do get my vote, to do what the hell they said they were going to do in the first place.

I want the Abramoff’s of the world to be labeled what they…nothing more than organized crime in a better suit.

I want the Hollywood elite to make movies to entertain me. Not use their celebrity to sway me politically one way or the other.

Quite honestly, if you’re a has-been-pseudo-celebrity I want you to go away quietly, so that I can remember you fondly through your “artiste work” that’s left in the archives.

I want people to say something and when they say something look at me in the eye. And mean what they say. Not say what they think I want to hear. And then do what they want to later politically or any other way.

I want to be able to go out and work and make a decent wage and buy a home. Half the people that are listening to me right now can’t even afford to buy a house unless they’re working three jobs.

And I want America to be America. All of those opportunities, all of those things that made her great, I want those returned to the forefront. If you want to come to this country we welcome you with open arms. We simply ask that you abide by our laws. I don’t want you to snub your nose at our laws, then take advantage of our opportunities, and then cling to the constitution most of which you can’t even read because you don’t speak the language.

I want us to secure our borders because the country is worth securing. The people that live here are worth protecting.

I want my country back. I want my children back.

I want some semblance of what this country used to be.

It’s worth protecting. It’s worth defending.

I don’t recognize this country anymore.

Not politically, not philosophically, not spiritually.

Whether you like it or whether you don’t God was a part of building this great nation. To remove him is to take away the very foundation of what this country was all about.

I don’t care about your political correctness!

I don’t want to know your sexual preference!

I could care less about all of that. Stop making it the headline of the day!

That’s not America.

I want my country back!

And the only way I’m ever going to be able to get this country back is if I reach out to the brothers and the sisters that all feel the same way and we say “Hell No! You can’t have our country.”

It’s not for sale! Take the price tag off this country!

Take the price tag off the heads of our children!

Stop it already!

The politically-correct-psychobabble-hug-a-tree-experts ; You are not qualified to release sex offenders back into our neighborhoods.

The southern border, more than any other border, needs to be secured tomorrow. For all those that wish to come to this country to take advantage of her opportunity, to live under a constitution a living document that breathes in and out just like you do, this country is not for sale.

I should know. I’m one of the owners. You can’t sell it without my permission.

I want my country back!

Posted by GM Roper at 06:51 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)

March 02, 2006

Mohammad and the Jooooooos



H/T and a Big Thanks to Jeff of A Little More To The Right

Posted by GM Roper at 03:50 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

February 28, 2006

Manifesto Against The New Totalitarianism

Ed Morrisey of Captain's Quarters has posted a Manifesto from Agora who provided this from Jyllands-Posten. Agora has a multitude of links at the bottom noting the reaction of the Blogosphere.

Captain Ed and Agora believe that this Manifesto deserves the widest possible circulation. I agree. For those that do not believe that Islamism or Islamofascism is the greatest threat to world peace at the present time, please read this and ponder its message.

Together facing the new totalitarianism

After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.

We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.

The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values. This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field. It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.

Like all totalitarianisms, Islamism is nurtured by fears and frustrations. The hate preachers bet on these feelings in order to form battalions destined to impose a liberticidal and unegalitarian world. But we clearly and firmly state: nothing, not even despair, justifies the choice of obscurantism, totalitarianism and hatred. Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man’s domination of woman, the Islamists’ domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.

We reject « cultural relativism », which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of "Islamophobia", an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers.

We plead for the universality of freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit may be exercised on all continents, against all abuses and all dogmas.

We appeal to democrats and free spirits of all countries that our century should be one of Enlightenment, not of obscurantism.

12 signatures

Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Chahla Chafiq
Caroline Fourest
Bernard-Henri Lévy
Irshad Manji
Mehdi Mozaffari
Maryam Namazie
Taslima Nasreen
Salman Rushdie
Antoine Sfeir
Philippe Val
Ibn Warraq

Posted by GM Roper at 09:03 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (10)

A Post To Ponder

I couldn't write this well if I tried. Tom McMahon has written a Masterpiece If you don't go and read it, I will hunt you down and beat you senseless. I have spoken.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:13 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

February 08, 2006

Welcome Liberty Dog as New Contributor

It's my pleasure to introduce Liberty Dog as a new contributor to GM's Corner. G.M. and I recognized Liberty Dog's talent and ideas several months ago and think that you might appreciate the offering of a similar, but sometimes different, viewpoint--which remains always courteous. It is good timing and our good fortune that his schedule opened up when we most need him. We look forward to his continued participation even after G.M. returns. You can get to know Liberty Dog by reading his greeting and biography below and by reading his first post, which you can find below this entry. Until we can get a new identity set up on the system, I will post Liberty Dog's remarks under my name but with recognition and credit given to him at the end of each entry that he prepares. Please join me in welcoming Liberty Dog and make him feel welcome to our group of friends. He starts now.

Posted by Woody at 08:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 03, 2006

Guest Bloggers

Over the next several days and maybe weeks while I deal with the cancer, I'll have two really great guests (and of course Woody).

Flight Pundit of Flight Pundit was one of my earliest friends on the internet. Flight Pundit is a Marine and one hell of a good guy.

Raven of And Rightly So is also a long time friend, a fellow healthcare professional and a really nice lady. Both have graciously been willing to help out, so be sure and read carefully and comment frequently.


Posted by GM Roper at 09:30 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

January 23, 2006

The Press - Hoist On Its Own Petard

Scooter Libby is planning to subopena a number of journalists in his defense trial. This poses a series of tough decisions for the press for a number of reasons. Timothy Phelps has a lengthy (but worth the time) article in the Columbia Journalism Review regarding the background of the Plame case, including his own actions and the actions of others.

Of course, as a member of the press, Phelps is not happy about the possibility of two things. One, that Libby may call journalists for testamony, and two, that the press doesn't seem to have the "protections" under the first amendment that it did in the past. Phelps does acknowledge that there are indeed limits on the ability of journalists to protect sources, but decries the lessening of that.

It should be noted that much of the current brouhaha is of the making of the journalism profession. They were less concerned about the "leak" than about (in general) being able to hammer the Bush Administration for wrongs (real or perceived). In fact, two journalists, David Corn (The Nation) and Paul Krugman (The New York Times) raised a big stink about the illegality of "outing" Plame.

Even Phelps says she was in a role "undercover." However, nothing could be further from the truth. Undercover typically means assignment in the field, pretending you are something you are not in order to gather information necessary for our national security. Plame worked in a "secret" department of the Directorate of Operations, but was not "under cover" as she drove to work daily, was doublessly photographed many, many times by our adversaries (who ever they may have been) and even people in her neighborhood knew where she worked. Too, her "cover" had been blown years before and that is why she was pulled from the field.

The press demanded an investigation until finaly, someone in the CIA asked for an investigation. Usually, these requests don't go very far as Phelps acknowledges. This time, however, with the reporters and Democrats up in arms, Gutless Ashcroft recused himself and recused his deputy from looking into the matter and appointed a Special Prosecuter to look into the "outing" of Valarie Plame.

As we know, that investigation went nowhere, despite calls for Karl Rove to be frogmarched out of the White House. Libby in what must have been a non-compos-mentos moment lied about who he talked to or when or under what circumstances and as a result he is up on perjury charges. If found guilty, I hope they throw the book at him. What could he have been thinking?

But, I digress. The issue is that the press, so rabid in their attempts to nail the Bush Administration (and denying that is ludicrous on it's face) is now going to have to testify in the Libby trial. Too damn bad. The old saw that you need to be careful what you ask for, because you may not like what you get couldn't be more apt.

Libby's right to a fair trial trumps, it seems to me, any 1st amendment protection the predatory press has. Phelps may have said it best:

The prosecutor seems to have had the last word about the First Amendment, at least for now. “Journalists are not entitled to promise complete confidentiality — no one in America is,” he told Thomas F. Hogan, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Hogan agreed. Of course, we never did have the right to offer complete confidentiality in every circumstance. But as a result of this case and others in the pipeline, the question now is, Can we honestly promise our sources anything?"

A tip of the GM Chapeaux to James Taranto

Posted by GM Roper at 10:26 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)

January 17, 2006

It Is All About MOI

Oyster at Soy-Como-Coy has a very interesting post up pointing to this "birthday calculator."

Seldom able to resist this kind of stuff, I put in my birthdate and came up with this:

Your date of conception was on or about 28 December 1945 which was a Friday.

You were born on a Friday
under the astrological sign Virgo.
Your Life path number is 4.

The Julian calendar date of your birth is 2432083.5.
The golden number for 1946 is 9.
The epact number for 1946 is 27.
The year 1946 was not a leap year.
The year 1946 was the Chinese year of the Dog

The date of Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 21 April 1946.
The date of Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent) on your birth year was Wednesday 6 March 1946.
The date of Whitsun (Pentecost Sunday) in the year of your birth was Sunday 9 June 1946.
The date of Whisuntide in the year of your birth was Sunday 16 June 1946.

As of 1/17/2006 10:47:32 PM EST
You are 59 years old.
You are 712 months old.
You are 3,096 weeks old.
You are 21,669 days old.
You are 520,078 hours old.
You are 31,204,727 minutes old.
You are 1,872,283,652 seconds old.
Your age is the equivalent of a dog that is 8.48101761252446 years old. (You old hound dog, you!)

There are 246 days till your next birthday
on which your cake will have 60 candles

Those 60 candles produce 60 BTUs,
or 15,120 calories of heat (that's only 15.1200 food Calories!) .
You can boil 6.86 US ounces of water with that many candles.

In 1946 there were approximately 2.8 million births in the US.
In 1946 the US population was approximately 131,669,275 people, 44.2 persons per square mile.
In 1946 in the US there were approximately 1,595,879 marriages (12.1%) and 264,000 divorces (2%)
In 1946 in the US there were approximately 1,417,000 deaths (10.8 per 1000)

Your birthstone is Sapphire
The Mystical properties of Sapphire

Though not meant to replace traditional medical treatment, Sapphire is used for clear thinking. Some lists consider these stones to be your birthstone. (Birthstone lists come from Jewelers, Tibet, Ayurvedic Indian medicine, and other sources)
Agate, Moonstone, Lapis Lazuli

Your birth tree is

Lime Tree, the Doubt
Accepts what life dishes out in a composed way, hates fighting, stress and labour, tends to laziness and idleness, soft and relenting, makes sacrifices for friends, many talents but not tenacious enough to make them blossom, often wailing and complaining, very jealous, loyal.

There are 342 days till Christmas 2006!
There are 355 days till Orthodox Christmas!

The moon's phase on the day you were
born was waning crescent.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:45 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

January 08, 2006

Bloviation Continues


edward kennedy.jpgThe florid countenance to the left belongs to Senator Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) who has written a hyper-partisan screed and actually had it published in the Washington Post, (you of course, are not surprised that WaPo published it.) The title is quite interesting if you will; "Alito's Credibility Problem" which might be OK if it came from someone with some shred of credibility himself. Kennedy's frequent bombastic attacks on anything and everything coming from conservatives, Republicans or anyone/anything to the right of Kennedy have made him a laughing stock for anyone capable of rational thought.

Kennedy has made a name for himself based primarily on scandals ranging from his infamous drinking bouts, to him and Chris Dodd and waitresses, to weekend parties with cousins and of course to Chappaquiddick. It has not hurt him that he had a famous brother who got elected to the presidency.

Kennedy's frequent bombastic attacks ... on anything and everything coming from conservatives...

Ed Whalen, writing in Bench Memos for National Review Online has done a credible job of slicing and dicing the utter leftist nonsense from Kennedy. A sample:

After a thorough investigation, the American Bar Association unanimously gave Judge Alito its highest rating (“well qualified”) on its criteria of “integrity, professional competence and judicial temperament.” But that hasn’t stopped Teddy Kennedy from cobbling together a nasty hit piece on Judge Alito (“Alito’s Credibility Problem”) in today’s Washington Post.

Kennedy’s attack is a jumble of distortions, inventions, and non sequiturs. In the interest of brevity, I’m going to refrain from revisiting Kennedy’s own credibility. Here’s a quick response to Kennedy’s five stated areas of concern:

1. Alito’s 1985 job application essay sets forth a classic statement of American principles: “I believe very strongly in limited government, federalism, free enterprise, the supremacy of the elected branches of government, the need for a strong defense and effective law enforcement, and the legitimacy of a government role in protecting traditional values. In the field of law, I disagree strenuously with the usurpation by the judiciary of decisionmaking authority that should be exercised by the branches of government responsible to the electorate.”

Kennedy asserts, without anything resembling an argument, that these views “raise serious concerns about [Alito’s] ability to interpret the Constitution with a fair and open mind.” He also claims that Alito tried to distance himself from those views by telling Kennedy that he “was just a 35-year-old seeking a job.” A well-informed source tells me that Kennedy’s quote is a concoction and that Alito has never tried to suggest that the 1985 essay was not a genuine statement of his views at that time.


What to make of the Senator from Massachusets? I'm not sure. It is obvious from the frequent gaffes he makes (even worse than the worst of the Bushisms) from the recent "Goldwater Presidency" (discussed in yesterday's entry "Bottle Of Wine..." a couple of posts below) to the hillarious stumbling almost drunken "Osama Obama" (he was trying to come up with Barack Obama) that Kennedy isn't hitting on all cylinders. Yet, the good people of Massachusets keep electing this embarrassment. He has been kicked out of school for cheating, he has been complicit in the death of a young woman, he has been a philanderer and yet...and yet, he keeps getting elected (along with the equally embarrasing, sloppy saluting, pseudo-hero, "the haughty, French-looking Massachusetts Democrat, who by the way served in Vietnam.") (and a tip of the GM Chapeaux to James Taranto). What can be wrong with the thinking peoples of Massachusets?

Abraham Lincoln said that you can "...fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time." Obviously, Kennedy and Kerry are trying to prove Lincoln wrong, I'd guess, when it comes to Massachusets politics.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:41 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (3)

December 31, 2005

Slightly New Element

Immediately to the right of this post, you will notice my old elephant with a new twist. The American Flag behind the elephant. That was done by the brilliant Espella Humanzee and I'm delighted with it. Thanks Espella! By the Bye, Espella has his prediction up for 2006. I can't help but agree!

Posted by GM Roper at 01:40 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

December 29, 2005


As Roger L. Simon noted: Bravo!! (read the whole thing.)

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December 27, 2005

'Twas The Night Before Hanukkah!

Once again, my coffee in hand and a smile on my face, I was scrolling through the blogosphere and chanced on a favorite site, The Winds Of Change. There, I came across this delightful takeoff on the Night Before Christmas. It was so good, I had to share it with you! It may be a day or two late, but it is well worth it. By the way, if The Winds of Change isn't on your regular reading list, shame on you!

'Twas the night before Hanukkah and all over the place There was noise, there was kvetching Soch ah disgrace!

The Kinderlach, sleeping,
uneasily felt
The chocolate rush
from the Hanukkah gelt

And me in the easyboy,
so stuffed with latkes,
I stretched the elastic
which held up my gatchkes

When up on the roof
(and it has a steep pitch)
A fat alte kakker
was making a kvitsch.
I jumped up real quick
and I ran to the door,
Was it a bandeet,
or only a schnorrer?

He wasn't alone;
he had eight ferdelach,
And called them by name
as he gave a gebrach:

"On Moishe, on Yankel, on Itzik, on Sam,
On Mendel, on Shmendrik, on Feivush, on Ham;
My kidneys are kvelling;
do you give a damn?"

He had a white beard
and payyes to boot,
And to keep out the cold,
he had such a nice suit!

A second from Peerless,
I could tell at a glance,
But the cut was okay,
and so were the pants.

He was triple XL,
a real groisser goof,
So I yelled out,
"Meshuggener! Get off from Mein roof!"
He jumped down and said
as he shook hands with me,
"Max Klaus is the name.
You have maybe some tea?"

So I gave him a gleisel,
while he shook his white mop,
Mutt'ring, "Always the same thing,
They're dreying my kopp!"

From Vancouver to Glace Bay,
Outremont to Reginek,
Every shmo in the world
hakks meir a cheinik!

They're screaming for presents,
and challah with schmaltz,
And from Brooklyn alone,
the back pain, gevaltz!"

So we sat and yentehed,
and we spun the old dreydels,
(He took all of my money,
and one of my kanidels)

He said, "Business is not bad,
a living I make,
But I'm getting too old
for this Hanukkah fake;

And the cell phones, you see
how my pacemaker dings?
For two cents I'd quit,
and move to Palm Springs!"

And he gave a geshrei
as he fled mit a lacht,
"Gut Yontiff to All,
Vey is Mir, Such a Nacht!"

(Author Unknown)

Posted by GM Roper at 07:37 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

December 25, 2005

The Meme Of Four

I don't do memes. I think they are frequently silly, time wasters and only occasionally funny. So far, I've passed on about 10 chances to participate, but this one was passed on to me by my blogfather Marc Cooper. Now, talk about the Odd Couple, Marc is a cussed, obstinate progressive with a superb ability to write, unfortunately what he writes about doesn't make any sense to a thinking individual (But hey Marc, you know I love you right?) On the other hand, I'm sure Marc feels pretty much the same about the things I write. That being said, I'll answer his Meme and Pass it on to Dr. Pat Santy who writes the marvelously readable Dr. Sanity. Are you listening Pat?

Four jobs you’ve had in your life: Gas Station Jockey, Retail Clerk in a Men's Clothing Store, Soldier, Counselor!

Four movies you could watch over and over: The first three Star Wars movies. The Lord of The Rings, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Greatest Story Ever Told!

Four places you’ve lived: Stuttgart, Germany; Alexandria, Virginia; Fort Amador, Canal Zone, Republic of Panama; San Antonio, Texas!

Four TV shows you love to watch: Oz; C.S.I.; Hill Street Blues; Boston Legal!

Four places you’ve been on vacation: (Other than Paris; Rome; Madrid; London): St. Petersberg, Russia; Stockholm Sweden; Bermuda and Jamaica!

Four websites you visit daily: My blogroll; Instapundit; Opinion Journal; and The Wide Awakes

Four of your favorite foods: Peanutbutter, Lettuce, Tomato and Miracle Whip sandwiches; Babyback Ribs; tenderloin steaks; any Mexican Dish!

Four places you’d rather be: On a deep sea fishing trip; on a cruise with my beloved wife; Las Vegas; exploring any ancient ruin!

Four albums you can’t live without: Any Mannheim Steamroller; Any Buddy Holly and the Crickets; The Kingston Trio, from the Hungry i; Sergei Rachmaninoff - The Complete Collection!

If you would care to leave your own answers in the comment sections, please feel free to do so!

Oh, and Woody has to do an Entry too (not a comment Woody - you don't get away that easy)

Posted by GM Roper at 03:30 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

December 23, 2005

Carnival of Christmas

The FIRST Carnival of Christmas is up! What a great idea!

Again, Merry Christmas!!!

Posted by GM Roper at 03:06 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

November 28, 2005

Germany And America - At A Crossroads!

a new carnival.pngIn 1946 yours truly was born in Germany, in the city of Bayreuth where my dad was part of the occupation forces and my mom flew over more pregnant than was allowed for travel at the time. {Yes, she lied about how pregnant she was). We returned stateside in 47 and went back in 53-57. My wife and I were in Berlin on 9-11. We hosted a foreign exchange student from Germany the following year. Germany and I have a history, one that I'm not willing to sever, now or ever.

German/American or Deutsch/Amerikanisch relations have, since the beginning of World War I have had a rocky relationship. Yet, our two countries are bound by more than just being adversaries, we share more common bonds than most people realize. From the first German settlers in 1683 through out the early and mid 1900's Germans came to this country in droves. My mother's father was born to German immegrants in Kansas and spoke only German until he was about 15 years old. Americans claiming German ancestry number more than 60 million, fully one fifth of our population according to the 2000 census. Our language is peppered with German words from "Cobalt" to "Waltz," from "Frankfurter" to "Sauerkraut." We have been friends, enemies and nodding acquaintences.

Our relationships hit a high note with German support following 9-11 and a sour note over Iraq and now tensions with Iran. According to the LA Times

Three years ago, Gerhard Schroeder whipped up German opposition to a U.S.-led war in Iraq to snatch an unlikely second term. This time, the chancellor is playing up the danger of a U.S. military clash with Iran...
But, Merkel was elected and Schroeder is not there any more. Does this portend a new change in the relationship between these two countries?

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from Jorge Wolf who, with a couple of other Fulbright Scholars write the Blog Atlantic Review and which I have linked to in the past. The Atlantic Review has highlighted the German-American dance from a German perspective and one has been decidedly lacking in the American side of the question. This post then announces a new Carnival for Bloggers from both sides of the Atlantic to compare notes, exchange ideas and offer you, our beloved readers a chance to catch up on all the current thoughts regarding German/American issues. In addition, the Carnival will be hosted on both sides of the Atlantic simultaneously. On this side, here at GM's Corner and in Germany at the Atlantic Review. Our goal is to foster dialog between Americans and Germans, between Liberals and Conservatives, between hardliners on both sides of the big water and between peacemakers on both sides.

Our initial Carnival will will be on December 11, 2005. That day was one of the darkest in our joint histories, the day in 1941 when Germany declared war on the United States. Jorge Wolf and I picked that day, not to commemorate the war, but to show the world that a new day is here, one that can be as lusterous or as dark as our two peoples are willing to make it. So, check out Atlantic Review regularly and join the conversation. Be tough in your comments there, as they will be here, but be polite and thoughtful too. We all have much to gain, and nothing to lose.

If you correspond with other blogs, please send them an e-mail letting them know of this new endeavor and they will have plenty of time to write an article about German-American Relationships. They can send the link to me at my e-mail address above in the sidebar. Thanks to all.


Welcome Instapundit readers please leave a comment if you like the Carnival idea, or even if you don't.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (3)

November 25, 2005

Bennington, Vermont, Meet Warren County, New Jersey UPDATED

As you know (or maybe not if you are here for the first time) I recently published several reports on Mr. John Daly (here, here and here), an adjunct professor at Warren County Community College in which he lambasted a conservative student for her politics and said "Real freedom will come when [U.S.] soldiers in Iraq turn their guns on their superiors." Daly, under pressure from around the nation resigned just a little while before the Board of the College met to decide what to do. Dr. William Austin President of the college promised that faculty and staff of the college would receive "sensitivity training" as to the rights of students to speak out and to hold political beliefs different from their professors.

Now comes news via Breitbart from the state of the Peoples Republic of Vermont (full disclosure, my wife has family that resides in Vermont) of an English and Social Studies teacher that used quizzes to poke at President Bush and those of us on the right. The headline is "Vt. Teacher Accused of Anti-Bush Quiz." The headline is incorrect as it turns out, it's admitted (but excused of course.)

A sample quiz question:

I wish Bush would be (coherent, eschewed) for once during a speech, but there are theories that his everyday diction charms the below-average mind, hence insuring him Republican votes." [emphasis added] ( For you lefties the correct answer is "coherent" - in case you went to a public school.)

Now, I don't know about you, but perhaps the question needs a significant re-write. How about:

"I wish the left would stop using their (lecturn and syllabi OR position and automobile) to advance their leftish causes and proclivities."(again, for you lefties, the correct answer is lecturn and syllabi)

The Principal, Sue Maguire noted that teachers "don't have a license to hold forth on a particular standpoint." She also noted that she is taking the complaint seriously.

The teacher, one Mr. Bret Chenkin, who has been teaching about 7 years states:

The kids know it's hyperbolic, so-to-speak," he said. "They know it's tongue in cheek." But he said he would change his teaching methods if some are concerned."
Let me see if I have this correct, the teacher will change his teaching methods if some are concerned? He didn't know that they would be? Hell no he didn't, he is a lefty and leftys always think that what they do is OK; well, for the most part, no doubt Bill Clinton knew he was doing wrong, otherwise he wouldn't have spent so much time and capital covering it up.

Oh, and while I'm at it the phrase "below-average mind, hence insuring him Republican votes" is insulting in the extreme. Not only to republican students in his class, but to me personally, I'll stack my IQ against his any day of the week. Creep!

Daly resigned, will Chenkin have the decency to do the same, or even the huevos to admit that he was flat out wrong? Don't hold your breath!

UPDATE: Professor Bainbridge agrees

H/T to Dr. Sanity

Posted by GM Roper at 06:56 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

November 24, 2005

For Immediate Release

Press Release From Warran Community College

For immediate release: November 23, 2005

Warren County Community College has always maintained its commitment to our students to provide a quality education. A recent event attracted national attention this past week. Statements were sent by an adjunct instructor to a student in response to her e-mail.

The College became aware of the impact of the instructor’s comments when it was inundated with local and national opinions from the public. Responding to that, the Board of Trustees and administration moved as quickly as possible to review and address the issue. A board meeting was scheduled for last night to present the issue to the Board; however, while the administration was preparing for that meeting, the adjunct instructor Mr. John Daly submitted his resignation. The Board of Trustees voted to accept his resignation at last night’s meeting.

President Dr. William Austin made clear that the community college is now reviewing and drafting tolerance policies for all employees and we will include this training in our next staff development day.

President Austin also appeared this morning on Radio WRNJ 1510 AM to assure the community that the College will move forward with a sense of enlightenment and resolve with its education mission and also apologized to all whom might have been offended by the incident. He added that, “We are fortunate to have so many brave men and women fighting for our freedom. This Thanksgiving is an opportune time to thank them for their courage and pray for their safe return.”

As my dear friend Lt. Col. T. Curtis, USMC (Ret) noted:
One weasle resigned and another weasle was forced to claim he is in support of (conservative) students AND the men and women who actually wear the uniform of their country, which I am confident neither of these weasles can claim."

"Imagine the email, letters, phone calls that were pouring in from all over the country AND world! I'll bet WCCC was amazed and shaken. WE, THE PEOPLE....won another one!" [emphasis added]

Posted by GM Roper at 05:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

November 23, 2005

Much To Be Thankful For

A number of years ago, when my father was still alive, I sent him a letter for father's day thanking him for all that he had given me and all that he had taught me. My brother, Bert, read that letter when he did my dad's funeral several years later. Bert called it a letter of Thanksgiving.

As a people, we have much to be thankful for.
I am thankful for my first wife of 27 years before she succumbed to asthma.
I am thankful for my present wife who loves me, for my daughter who was a delight to raise and is a joy to be with.
I am grateful for my Mom and Dad, who loved me in spite of my shennigans and missteps.
I am grateful for my sister Pam for all that she was and for each of the 45 years of her too short life.
I am grateful for my two brothers Bert and Doug and I am grateful for the rivalry and the good times we have shared.
I am grateful for my Grandparents, long gone for too many years, but never forgotten.
I am grateful for my Aunt Laverne and Uncle Jimmy and my two cousins and for my Aunt Betty.
I am thankful that Almighty God is in my life, is a presense in all that I do and who showers me with blessings I do not deserve.
I am grateful for Tom, a true friend at work and a partner in laughter.
I am grateful for my co-workers for all that they provide for the kids we work with.
I am grateful for the adults and adolescents that I counsel; for from them I learn much, and to them I give something to make their lives a little better.
I am thankful for the brave men and women who volunteer for our armed forces, and for those who give of them selves as volunteers in schools, hospitals, and bell ringers in front of stores.
I am thankful for political friends and enemy's; friends because they validate what I know to be true, enemy's because they make me think and reason and not accept something from my side just because it's from my side.
I am thankful for LivingDot.com that hosts my site and for the fine work they do when I screw up something.
I am grateful for Michael, for his design work and unstinting sharing of himself on this blog.
I am grateful for the 1st Amendment that mandates that the government allow me to say what I want.
I am thankful for friends like Marc Cooper and Michael J. Totten; for friends like Lt. Col. Tad Curtis (USMC-Ret.) and Gus Kennedy from Communities in Schools and so many many more, too numerous to mention.
I am thankful for people who listen to what I have to say even when they disagree.
I am thankful for the opportunity to do what I want for a living in this wonderful country.
I am grateful for my Church and for my two pastors, and the members of the church who always have a cheery "Good morning George" each and every Sunday morning.
I am eternally grateful for my beloved students who have taught me as much (or more) as I have taught them.
I am grateful for my enemys because they make my friends that much more valuable and appreciated.
I am grateful to Almighty God for the blessings bestowed on this country and on any good person.
I am grateful to be an American, through no behavior of my own.
I am grateful for all of the friends I have made in the blogosphere, even if we don't always agree, I am richer for knowing them.
I am grateful for Woody, who shares with me a vision of what a good blog should be and whose humor and wisdom are not to be sneezed at.
I am grateful for all of you who comment on the blog, even if I disagree with your comments.
I am also grateful that despite all of our collective and individual problems in this country, we are still the "Shining City on the Hill" beckoning to others, a torch of liberty shining in the night.

Ranting Profs has a terrific list also with a side serving of humor. Ogre has a compendium of Thanksgiving posts up.

linked at Cao's Blog, at Ogre's Views, at Jo's Cafe, Right On The Right, at Robinik at Michelle Malkin

Posted by GM Roper at 08:20 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (2)

November 21, 2005

Blog Site Hijacked!

Kender, who writes at Kenders Musings has hijacked Stop The ACLU for some nefarious reason. Says Kender:

I have decided to hijack this site and play with this whole trackback party thing. There is no particular reason for doing this other than I feel like doing it, and once Jay notices this he is sure to call me up and say “Kender? What’s the deal?”

I am going to blame it on copious amounts of cold medication and lack of sleep.

Linked at STACLU

Posted by GM Roper at 06:39 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

November 15, 2005

Showcase for Newly Discovered Blogs, v1.0

Again, it is my pleasure to tell you about a new blog. I discovered this one, not exactly new to the blogosphere, but new to me, and I hope to you. Ethan Wallison writes Room 12a and does one hell of a smashup job of it. Wow, clear, concise, and politics that agrees with mine (not that that is a requirement you understand.... no, but it helps doesn't it...ed). From his "about me" section:

Room 12A is the official Web log of Ethan Wallison, a ten-year veteran of Washington political reporting, most recently with Roll Call, where he was White House Correspondent. But let’s not make such a big deal of it. Most White House reporters would find more action covering their sofa cushions with thick plastic. Mr. Wallison recalls feeling dejected that no one phoned to tell him about Valerie Plame, and still wonders why this information was wasted on nitwits who judged it irrelevant. He also wonders how many of those who delighted in the public humiliation of Jeffrey Gannon also bored their friends with earnest rants about the “invasiveness” of the Patriot Act. But he digresses. Mr. Wallison left daily reporting in the summer of 2005 to find greater adventure abroad. He currently resides in Kiev, Ukraine, but may just pick up and move somewhere else at any moment. He’s kind of just that way.

“Ethanistan” was a cute play on words until Mr. Wallison got carried away and decided, in contravention of all laws of physics and human reason, to wedge it into Room 12A. Now he spends a good deal of time puzzling over what to do with it, but expects that it will become a real asset in the future."

Go, read, enjoy and tell him GM sent you but you'll have to do it by e-mail as he doesn't yet have comments and trackbacks, Otherwise I'd trackback to him just to let him know I've put this post up.

Cheers and good reading!

Posted by GM Roper at 12:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 10, 2005

Bloggers Need YOUR Help... Not Tomorrow - TODAY!!!

There is a threat to your favorite blog, whether it be a lefty blog, a righty blog or THIS blog. From The Online Coalition comes this snippit:

You haven’t heard from us in a few months – but we’ve been working hard to protect your freedom to speak online. And now we need your help.

Right now – there are TWO bills in Congress that will affect bloggers – one good, one bad. The bill that deserves our support is HR 1606 – The Online Freedom of Speech Act.

The other bill – HR 4194 – is a substitute offered by those most interested in regulating the internet. Its supporters are engaged in an aggressive campaign to pass this legislation in Congress, in an effort to muddy the waters and distract Congress from passing real protections for bloggers. They're so terrified of your freedom to speak your mind that they've actually compared giving freedom to bloggers to the scandal involving Scooter Libby in the White House. No, we're not making that up.

Read the whole thing. Write your congressmen in no uncertain terms. Put a notice on your blog, send e-mails to friends letting them know. Do something or this media that we love will change and not for the better. If you really value the First Amendment, do this now!!!!

This is so important, that even Mike Kempansky of Redstate.org and Markos Moulitsas Zúniga of DailyKos.com (good gawd, whoda thunk I would ever link to Kos) have jointly signed the letter below to the congress critters of the US:

November 9, 2005 Dear Member of Congress,

As bloggers from the right and left, we don’t often agree on much. But when it comes to free speech online, we couldn’t agree more. We urge you to oppose H.R. 4194, the Shays-Meehan "Internet Anti-Corruption and Free Speech Protection Act of 2005". We oppose H.R. 4194 primarily because despite claims by its supporters - it does not in fact offer adequate protections for speech and political activity online. In particular:

• It would stifle technological innovation. H.R. 4194 would not adequately protect Internet activity which is not “blogging”, such as already-widely used technologies like podcasting, wikis and peer-to-peer networks, let alone the technologies of tomorrow. In the face of regulatory doubt, no one will want to invest in emerging technologies to enhance citizen participation not clearly protected by the law; and

• It offers no guidance as to the treatment of group political activity, potentially treating all group websites that discuss federal candidates as political committees, with voluminous filing and disclosure requirements, so long as members spent $1000 on server and other costs, an easily-reached amount;

• Its alleged protection to incorporated bloggers offers no real protection. In comments filed before the FEC, supporters of H.R. 4194 have stated explicitly that those websites which endorse, expressly advocate, and urge readers to donate funds to the election of preferred candidates do not qualify for protection under the law. In other words, rather than protecting popular sites like DailyKos.com or FreeRepublic, H.R. 4194 would actually force them to seek counsel and comply with voluminous campaign finance law requirements, stifling and chilling grassroots political activity across the Internet. For those members committed to extending the BCRA rules and regulations to the Internet, it would be preferable to pass no bill at all rather than H.R. 4194, which would only chill free speech and technological growth, and instead wait for the Federal Election Commission to complete its current rulemaking process.

Better still would be to pass H.R. 1606, the Online Freedom of Speech Act. H.R. 1606 would preserve the status quo which governed the 2004 election cycle, during which none of the fears now trumpeted by H.R. 4194’s supporters came to pass. Moreover, as FEC Vice Chairman Michael Toner has stated, the charge that H.R. 1606 would somehow allow federal candidates to coordinate with corporations and unions to spend soft money funds to purchase Internet banner and video ads on behalf of candidates “has no legal foundation.” As he has explained:

The FEC's regulation exempting the Internet was based on its interpretation of the statutory definition of “public communications” in the McCain-Feingold law. However, neither the FEC's regulation, nor the Hensarling bill, in any way touches the broad statutory prohibition found at 2 U.S.C. Section 441b that bars corporations and unions from making expenditures in connection with federal elections.

The purpose of campaign finance law is to blunt the impact of accumulated wealth on the political process, but this is does not occur online. While wealth allows a campaign or large donor to dominate the available space on TV or in print, there is no mechanism on the Internet by which entities can use wealth or organizational strength to crowd out or silence other speakers. Any citizen who wants to establish a website that discusses political matters can do so within five minutes, and their words are instantly available to hundreds of millions of users on an equal basis with every other site.

Moreover, one need not invest millions of dollars to reach people on the Internet. The most popular Web sites are often the cheapest ones, many using the free Blogger.com service to publish their thoughts at no cost at all. Content is king on the Internet, and the idea that accumulated wealth could have a corrupting influence online demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of how the medium operates or how citizens approach it. In sum, the Internet now fulfills through technology what the rest of campaign finance reform attempts via law – and this occurred under the legal regime which H.R. 1606 seeks to codify. We urge you to proceed cautiously, and steer clear of additional restrictions like H.R. 4194 until real corruption becomes evident. At that point, Congress and the Federal Election Commission will still be around, and can prevent actual problems, and not merely hypothetical ones. Before considering support for H.R. 4194, ask yourself this question: if everything its supporters are saying is true, why did no one take advantage of these “loopholes” in 2004? We urge you to oppose H.R. 4194.


Markos Moulitsas Zúniga

Michael Krempasky

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November 09, 2005

One Year Old ~ And Still Growing

And what a year it has been. In the spring of 2004 I was reading daily a couple of blogs. Roger L. Simon, Instapundit, Michael J. Totten, NRO-The Corner and a few others. I read the on-line versions of several newspapers (still do in fact) including the Washington Post, the Washington Times, and the Op-Ed pages of the New York Times.

One afternoon, reading Michael Totten's blog, I found a mention of a "new" blogger by the name of Marc Cooper with a hint that this was a "progressive blogger" worth reading. So I sauntered on over there (as much as one can "saunter" on a keyboard) and hid in the weeds for a few weeks before commenting. Before I knew it, I was a fairly regular commenter from the right, engaging the silliness of the left on occasion, but also having an occasional e-mail exchange with Marc Cooper. In September or October of '04, I began to think "I could do this, I can maybe start blogging."

I looked at a lengthy number of blogs over the next few months, in between reading up on the views of the left and right over the then upcoming election. Knowing that I didn't know a lot about platforms, blogging costs if any or other such minute I asked Marc about it. Now, one of the things I've found about the blogosphere is that while bloggers may be furious enemies politically, they can be quite helpful to newbies. So it was with Marc. Right after the election I picked blogger (mostly because it was free and I could fit that into my budget with little problem) and played with it a few days before my first post on November 9, 2004. I let Marc know I had "started" and he was gracious enough to be one of my first commenters: "GM... Nice blog... Put on ur seat belt!" Michael Totten chimed in with "Welcome to the blogosphere,George. What took ya so long?" And I was off and running.

I moved to my current Moveable Type platform in January and I'm glad I made the move, much more control over the mechanics of blogging. Today, a few stats are in order On my old platform, I posted 62 posts; unfortunately comments and such weren't saved so I have no idea how many there were, there weren't many I do know that. I had some 1603 visitors during that two and two thirds months on blogger. Since moving to my current platform, I've done considerably better. I brought Woody onboard in June to help post while I was on vacation, and we've had a total of 636 entries, 2,516 comments and 187 trackbacks from other bloggers. Both Woody and I remember getting our first 10,000 visitors, then 20,000 and now, according to Site Meter, over 60,000 visitors. But that isn't the whole story. The statcounter on my website hosts server (which counts each request for information) lists 79,816 unique visitors and 167,048 visits since the end of January. I've had three or four "Instalanches" courtesy of Glen Reynolds. I entered the "King of the Blogs" contest and won three times in a row, establishing a "dynasty." That was fun.

I've made so many friends on this journey that it isn't funny, Tad Curtis and Howard Benjamen, are two especially good friends. One a fellow teacher locally, the other through the first who is now a blogger himself. I've asked for suggestions and help from others and have never been turned down, I've passed that on whenever I could and someone would ask me for advice on blogging.

I've learned from others to numerous to mention, I've joined a couple of groups including The Wide Awakes and South Park Republicans, one serious right wing stuff, the other a parody site, new and so far quite interesting. I've become a "MilBlogs" member celebrating the brave men and women of our Armed Services. I've had a ball.

But no remembrance would be complete without a special thanks to Woody, my blogging partner. I met Woody via Marc Cooper where he had no problem jousting with some of the more left wing commenters over there. When I asked him in late May if he would be willing, he stepped up and said that he would help "while I was gone." After a brief but steep learning curve, I took off and left my blog in his hands. Woody was more than capable and did a Yeoman's Job of it. In fact, he did so well that I asked him to stay on and he graciously accepted. Woody didn't contribute much to this particular entry, because yesterday was his 30th wedding anniversary. Congratulations Woody, I'm amazed that your bride has put up with you so long. ;-)

Blogs of note, and bloggers that I have made personal friends with are far too numerous to mention and include all of the Wide Awakes and South Park Republicans, each of you is special, each of you has made my life better. I've made friends with fellow bloggers who are in my line of work (mental health) including my friend Pat Santy, M.D. who writes at Dr. Sanity who has graciously nominated me for the Watchers Council weekly "contest".

One other thank you needs to go out, and that is to you, my readers. The 150,000 plus visitors have left an indelible mark on my heart and on my mind. I have had comments from friends and political foes, I've seen commenters come and go, but none ever go without leaving something of themselves to share with everyone else. I've had visitors from America, France, Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Spain, Portugal, The Ivory Coast in Africa, South Africa, China, The Republic of Korea, Japan, the Phillipines, Australia, New Guinea, Argintina, Brazil, Bolivia, Panama, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, and even from the Peoples Republic of Mass. from Taiwan, and one visitor from Left Field, but I banned him and he knows why.

Marc Cooper was right, this has been an incredible ride and I can't help but wonder what the next year will bring.

Cheers, and Thanks to all.

GM and Woody

Linked at Cao's Blog at Don Surber at Conservative Cat The Political Teen

Posted by GM Roper at 05:05 AM | Comments (18) | TrackBack (11)

November 08, 2005

Curse Of The Mummy

I grew up loving, and absolutely adoring all the America International horror shows! Dracula, The Wolfman all that stuff. Back in the days when monsters were just around the corner, when you screamed at the heroine "Don't go in the room." I also developed a fondness for the Hollywood versions of old tales such as The Mummy's Curse and Frankenstein.

In a way, I'm grateful for all the old horror flics, they prepared me for today's monsters like Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi (very big sarcastic grin pasted here).

But, be that as it may, I loved horror flics. I also loved them for the stupidity of some of the scenes which heightened my appreciation for weird senses of humor and lo and behold, one of my more delightful commenters (Maggie if you MUST know) sent me a link (here) regarding a new CURSE! The Iceman's curse. Now, the Iceman, or Oeggl as he has been named (How do they know his name wasn't "Jon," or "Sam," or even "Bartholomew," let alone an IceMan named "Sue?") or by some Oetzi (again, how the heck do they know, maybe his name was Rumplesteltskin) has a number of deaths attributed to those who have "handled" or had something to do with "desecrating" his remains. For Pete's sake! We even know his stomach contents (isn't that a disgusting thought?)

Some of you may remember the discovery of the Iceman in a glacier in the Alps some decade and a half ago. Well, the deaths mount... From the article:

Helmut Simon (67) The amateur climber who found Oetzi. He was killed during an unexpected blizzard in the Alps last year.
Dieter Warnecke (45) The head of the mountain rescue team sent to find Simon. He died of a heart attack within hours of Simon’s funeral.
Rainer Henn (64) A forensic pathologist who handled the body. He was killed in a car crash in 1992.
Kurt Fritz (52) The mountaineer who led Henn to the body. He was killed in an avalanche shortly after Henn died.
Rainer Holz (47) A filmmaker who made a documentary about removing the body. He died of a brain tumour.
Konrad Spindler (66) An archaeologist who was a leading expert on the body. He died of multiple sclerosis complications.

And now Tom Loy a molecular biologist who worked on the remains has died of a rare blood disease. Mr. Loy was 63.

[cue spooky music]

Posted by GM Roper at 07:36 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

November 07, 2005

France Is Hoist On Its Own Petard ~ UPDATED

Oddly enough, this individual is praying for France! The French are now at a crossroads of thier own making. By pandering to the labor unions, the government has dropped the work week and the work ethic to such low standards that unemployment in France is huge, some 10.1% (2004 est.) (and nearly triple that for the young) of the workforce is without jobs, and the highest levels are in the ghetto's of non-assimilated North African Muslims and other ethnic minorities.

Rioting in one area of Paris has spread to much of france (read here, here, and here) and no one seems to know how to bring a halt to 12 days of riots. Crackdown will happen, to the detriment of those rioting, but more importantly to the body politic of France.

Yet, a solution must be found, one that brings a halt to the destruction and a halt to the non-assimilation of legal immegrants to France, and much of the European Union. If the balkanization of the French polity continues, it will spread through the more socially aware [/sarcasm] countries of Europe and it may even be a portent of our own multi-cultural experiments. Too often, the ultimate end (though not the goal) of multiculturalism is isolation and ultimate radicalization of those who become isolated.

UPDATE: Below is a map showing the extent of the rioting. (HT to Instapundit for the tip) Click on the map for the source and the rest of the article.

riots in france.png

Pray for France, they need it!

UPDATE #2: The Brussels Journal has an in-depth look at the whole thing.l The money graf:

What is happening in France has been brewing in Old Europe for years. The BBC speaks of “youths” venting their “anger.” The BBC is wrong. It is not anger that is driving the insurgents to take it out on the secularised welfare states of Old Europe. It is hatred. Hatred caused not by injustice suffered, but stemming from a sense of superiority. The “youths” do not blame the French, they despise them.
Read the whole thing.

UPDATE #3: Hugh Hewitt has an excellent interview with Victor Davis Hanson that is not to be missed. (Again, HT to Instapundit) Go here and read the whole transcript. My favorite quote from Dr. Hanson? Easy:

Well, there's two messages. One, that we in America can see where an unassimilated un-integrated a population goes, and where that leads to, it leads to a sort of an apartheid. And two, we can see what happens with an EU that can't create real economic growth, and has high stagnant unemployment of 10%. And three, this is I think a little bit more controversial, that we can see what happens to a society that doesn't ask the immigrant to integrate, and the immigrant doesn't feel that he has to integrate, or to learn the language, or learn the traditions of the West. So you have this Orwellian situation when thousands of people are rioting, you want to say let me get this straight. You do not want to go back to the country, an hour or two away by air, that you praise in the abstract, but you surely want to stay in a country that you want to burn down to the concrete. It doesn't make any sense..."

UPDATE #4: Roger L. Simon has an excellent article on the riots as does Judy writing at Adloyada. Be sure and read all the comments as well.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:47 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)

November 04, 2005

You Gotta See This!

To all the doubters, the quagmirists or the folk who, like me, believe in human dignity and freedom.

Thank You America

The Other Iraq

Share The Dream

Posted by GM Roper at 07:10 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

British Muslims Celebrate Victory

London - Associated Press
Muhammad al Fawaz-Turki

There has been massive celebrating in London and throughout the British Empire as one of the most hateful and racist cartoon's and literary character has been banned by the Home Office. On Monday, Mamoud ibn Ukbar-Jihaddi filed a complaint stating that tens of thousands of Muslim children were not able to enjoy the stories of Christopher Robin and Winnie-The-Pooh because of the inherent anti-muslim character that can pop up in the stories. Deriding the character Piglet, ibn Ukbar-Jihaddi stated that muslims could even conceivably be irrevocably harmed psychologically by growing up without having a thourough understanding of the 100 Acre Wood. "After all," said ibn Ukbar-Jihaddi, muslims are people too and we have every right to live in a swine free environment."

Of course not everyone agrees with the ban. Contacted at the 100 Acre Wood, Tigger noted that he would have his workload increase beyond his ability to perform as he and Eeyore will have to now fill in for piglet. "Those folk (the Muslims) have no idea how difficult it is to keep up with Pooh and provide him amusement for the stories," said Tigger.

Eeyore agreed nodding his head and saying only "Uh-huh!" Cristopher Robin, attending the now mandatory Madarass in Lincolnshire could not be reached for comment.


Posted by GM Roper at 05:15 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (2)

November 02, 2005


Want to read something that will touch your heart? Want to read something that is a miracle all wrapped up in a single post? Want to feel a lump in your throat? Read This and if you aren't touched deeply, ask yourself "What the hell is the matter with me?"

Thanks Bill, you made me smile! You made me remember the joy when my beloved daughter was born and you made me remember the joy of watching her grow up into a fantastic adult.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 26, 2005

Wonderful Wacky Wednesday's Trackback Party

Got a great post you want to share with the whole wide world? Said something worth spreading around? Join today's Wonderful Wacky Wednesday's Trackback party. Just track back to this post with a link on bottom of your post with something like "Linked at GM's Corner" or "Spreading the Word at GM's Corner."

To get the trackback URL right click on the word trackback below and to the right and click on "Copy Shortcut" and there you go.

Gotta warn you though, we check trackbacks and those without the linkage to this post will be deleted. So, get 'em up, move 'em out!!!

Posted by GM Roper at 06:00 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (7)

October 25, 2005

ACLU & ASSAD vs. Reality

John Stephenson writing at Stop The ACLU takes the ACLU to task for "incomplete" reporting and "cherry picking" in the story of the 21 Arabs supposedly "murdered" by Coalition forces over the last two years since the invasion. The ACLU, via "Freedom of Information" requests obtained reports on the deaths, while in custody, of some 44 individuals.

As reported by Fox News:

WASHINGTON — At least 21 detainees who died while being held in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan were killed, many during or after interrogations, according to an analysis of Defense Department data by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The analysis, released Monday, looked at 44 deaths described in records obtained by the ACLU. Of those, the group characterized 21 as homicides, and said at least eight resulted from abusive techniques by military or intelligence officers, such as strangulation or “blunt force injuries,” as noted in the autopsy reports.

In response, Stephenson writes:

Notice the leap to calling these deaths homicides. The ACLU bases these allegations on what? Their own word? They cherry picked 21 deaths from 44, and slapped them with the label of homicide. What I want to know is how this is any of the ACLU’s business anyway, and who is funding this attack on the military. We’ve all seen the photos at Abu Ghraib, and investigations were put into place.

War is ugly, and you can be sure the ACLU, who feel the need to stick its nose in foreign affairs of war, will not be going after any of the killers that sawed off the heads of American contractors, or burned them alive! No, these are the ones the ACLU have decided to defend. How American of them.

Further, the head of the ACLU (it has a head?... ed.) holds forth with:

There is no question that U.S. interrogations have resulted in deaths,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU’s executive director. “High-ranking officials who knew about the torture and sat on their hands and those who created and endorsed these policies must be held accountable.”

And, of course, Stephenson responds with:

Oh, now I see! The ACLU are not concerned with soldiers who go overboard. They are concerned about “high ranking officials.” They are concerned about our torture “policies.” You’ve got to be kidding ACLU!

Credible evidence missing:

1) An endorsed policy of torture. Can we please see this policy, or is the ACLU making this up out of whole cloth?

2) High ranking officials knowing about these things and sitting on their hands. Can we please see this evidence presented ACLU?

3) The 21 alleged instances of homicide, at least one of which is being openly disputed by the father of the alleged victim, somebody you wouldn’t exactly expect to be covering for the perpetrators.

In my opinion, the ACLU is full of allegations and empty on evidence.

I can't fault my friend John Stephenson. "So, Roper, what does this have to do with Assad?" you may ask! And well you should, since you are obviously, reading this blog thus you are obviously more intelligent than the average ACLU member. The difference is obvious.

Assad and company have been accused in the murder of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri last February. This has been duly reported in numerous publications, with a scathing indictment of the U.N. and Kofi Annan here by James Taranto of the WSJ. Taranto, writing in Best of the Web Today says:

According to the Times, "Mr Annan had pledged repeatedly through his chief spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, that he would not change a word of the report by Detlev Mehlis, a German prosecutor":

But computer tracking showed that the final edit began at about 11.38am on Thursday--a minute after Herr Mehlis began a meeting with Mr Annan to present his report. The names of Maher al-Assad, General Shawkat and the others were apparently removed at 11.55am, after the meeting ended.

Last week we noted an Associated Press report that Secretary-General Kofi Annan had said that "he is determined to keep an upcoming report into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri from fanning tensions between Syria and Lebanon." Thanks to Bill Gates, now we know how far Annan was willing to go to protect the Syrian dictatorship."

The Complete Mehlis Document (before being "butchered" by Annan and Company) is here

The connection between the ACLU and Assad should be obvious by now. We go to great lengths to investigate and where appropriate, punish malefactors in our military. The UN and Syria, go to great lengths to cover up, hide, obfusticate and deride truth seekers.

To this cabal of true terror, France states, despite the completion of the Mehlis Report, that it is "Too Soon To Sanction Syria." Uh, haven't we been here before? Can you say "Saddam?" How about "Oil For Food?" Can you Say "Give (ineffectual) Sanctions time to work in Iraq?" OK, can you say "Screw the French?" And the ACLU too!

Posted by GM Roper at 07:35 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

October 23, 2005

Polls Schmolls But Miers Should Be Voted Down.

I am, or at least had been fairly neutral on the Miers nomination. On the other hand, as I read, watch and listen to others, trying to make an informed opinion, I've decided that I'm opposed to her being confirmed. N.Z.Bear has a tracking poll up on this and as of the last time I checked, opposing blogs were 70, Neutral were 10 and supporting blogs 15.

I suppose I owe my readers an explanation, so here it is. The President of the United States has the right and the obligation to nominate anyone he wishes to the United States Supreme Court. The Senate may, for good reasons or ill decline to give consent to that nomination. That is the way that it should be. But, we are not required to support this nomination and I chose not to based on her poor performance, so far, with questions from Senators, questions regarding what she did or did not give assurances for, her support of affirmative action and her history of being the counsel to the President. She would have to recuse herself from any questions coming before the court that impact advice she gave the President. This is enough for me to hope that the Senate will not vote her out of committee, or if they do, that she will not be confirmed by the Senate. Having said that, I also acknowledge that he may well do an exemplary job when questioned in committee. If so, I may change my mind again. I personally think that the President could have done much better by nominating Judge Brown or any number of others and if the Democrats are stupid enough to filibuster, we always have the "nuclear option."

But as it stands, "I oppose the Miers nomination."

Posted by GM Roper at 04:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

October 22, 2005

Pi To the Millionth Decimal Place


That is Pi to the first thousand decimal places. For the other 999,000 decimal places (yes, for Patty Murry that equals a million) go here

And a tip of the GM Chapeaux to Double Plus Good Infotainment

Posted by GM Roper at 09:30 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

October 19, 2005

Touch Me, I'm Human Too.

Read The Abortion Debate No One Wants To Have

Posted by GM Roper at 08:58 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

October 02, 2005

Visitor Appreciation Week - 50,000 Visitors Reached [WE HAVE A WINNER!]

GM started "GM's Corner" last November to great fanfare and about ten congratulating visitors that day. The site picked up a few more readers since then, and in June after seven months we reached the 10,000 visitor milestone. Now, we admit that larger sites get that much in an hour, but that was big news for us, and we appreciate every single visitor. Now, after just three more months, the site has reached 50,000 visitors. There's not enough that we can say to everyone who comes here and shares the site with us. All of you have taught us, inspired us, made us laugh, some made us roll our eyes (and your know who you are), but all have become part of our family. Thank you for participating with us and for coming back.

Now, G.M. is gone until Friday and has left it up to me to manage the site, and I want to make this week special. He didn't say that I was on a budget, but if I used 100% of what I've been paid, then that still comes to zero. Despite that, I am proclaiming this "Visitor Appreciation Week" and will be cleaning out my desk and closet for valuable prizes--if I can think up some contests on which to use them.

Maybe as a simple start, can you guess how many entries have been posted by G.M. and me up to and including this one? The first one with the correct answer or whoever gets closest will winnnnn...let me see what's in this drawer...okay!--an authentic Atlanta Braves foam tomahawk suitable for cheering the team or as a pin cushion if you like the Mets.

Tomahawk Chop.gif

Here's a hint. The answer approximates 100 visitors per entry. If we do well with this one, we'll try some more.

Thanks for visiting and for all you do to make GM's Corner what it is! Oh yeah, and Go Braves!

UPDATE: The answer, as also posted in the comment section, was 543 entries. Congratulations to the winner and thanks to the others for participating.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:20 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

September 30, 2005

Gone for a bit!

I'll be out of pocket for a while, I'll be in the wilds of Colorado at a workshop and I understand internet access is not available. If possible I'll post, but I'm not anticipating any posts till next Friday at the earliest. Woody, as usual and with his typical right of center aplomb will be covering. Give him all the support you usually do and please take care of yourselves.

Readers like you are the life of a blog and Woody and I appreciate each and every one of you.


Posted by GM Roper at 09:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 26, 2005

Help with Info Theory Maybe Earn some big(ger) bucks.

Paul Deignan was one of my earlier posts on "Newly Discovered Blogs" where I try to highlight new and interesting blogs. We have become friends over time and he has asked me to help him in designing a new way of looking at how people track info in what kinds of blogs. This will definately help bloggers understand their audiences better. And to sweeten the pot, Paul has decided to award 20 bucks $50 to any reader that clicks on his blog and is visitor number 15,000. If you leave a comment each time you visit if only to let him know where you came from (which blog you clicked on his from) he will also give a cash award to the referring URL.

So, click often (from here of course) on this entry. Info Theory and maybe you will be visitor number 15,000. I will put this link in all of my posts going back to September 1 so if you have a favorite, click from that post. Good Luck, and remember, this is for the advancement of science. (and the chance to earn 20 50 bucks.)

Posted by GM Roper at 09:14 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

September 25, 2005

GM's Funnies

The ability to laugh at yourself is a priceless gift. Thanks to LGF for the following:

So anyway, Rummy's giving George W the daily briefing. And he winds up saying, "And three Brazilian soldiers were killed."

W gasps and turns white and puts his head down on the table, groaning with grief. All the aides are deeply concerned at this display of strong emotion, since he had certainly weathered harsher storms with nary a flicker.

Then he raised his face, streaming with tears. "God, that's so horrible, I can hardly get my mind around it. Three Brazilians!

How many's a brazillion?"

Info Theory

Posted by GM Roper at 11:43 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Dr. Helen is Back

Dr. Helen Smith is back after a long hiatus. Who is Dr. Helen Smith? Glen Renyolds BETTER half of course. Go welcome her back! She doesn't accept comments, but I'm sure she'll know you were there. Besides, she has an excellent post up on boys, education and boys being ignored.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 24, 2005

Torn Together

One of the really neat things about the blogosphere is the chance to meet new friends, exchange ideas and see information that you may never have had a chance to see before. This short slideshow and music underscores the agony of the Jewish move from Gaza as enforced by the IDF. "How do you know that something is truly one and not many parts sewn together? Try to tear it apart..."

A huge tip of the GM Chapeaux to The Hedgehog

Info Theory

Posted by GM Roper at 08:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 22, 2005

Suicide --- The Savage God!

I have a good friend in the blogosphere, Kit Jarrell who writes at Euphoric Reality, a political blog from the right, as I am. Recently, a good friend of hers died at his own hand and she is understandably devastated by the news, by the sense of betrayal and by remembrances of other friends who have done the same.

Suicide is difficult to comprehend for the survivors; who often feel guilty for not seeing the signs, for not being able to understand WHY, for not being omniscient enough to have seen it coming. And yet, most will get through this night, saddened, usually burdened and always a little less for the experience.

As a psychotherapist, I'm frequently helping survivors deal with the consequences of suicide. It is tough for them, and because I care about my clients, tough for me at times. The following was originally posted in 2004 and again in March of this year. It is now coming on the "holiday" season and I think, in light of a suicide of a friend of a friend, time to post it again:

This article was originally posted on my old site in December 2004. However, in light of the recent death of Hunter Thompson, and the increasing interest that his suicide caused, I thought it appropriate to re post it. So, here it is in its entirety.
Earlier this month (December 10th), Gary Webb committed suicide. Mr. Webb was the author of Dark Alliance a book about the connection between the Contra's and Drugs and the CIA. My friend Marc Cooper wrote extensively about Mr. Webb here, & here.

Suicide - the killing of one's self is a mental health issue stretching back through the millennia. Whether it be from Alexander falling on his sword, Socrates drinking hemlock or Mr. Webb, suicide hurts everyone it touches, from the victim to the victims loved ones.

The Center for Disease Control reports:

* Suicide took the lives of 30,622 people in 2001 (CDC 2004).
* Suicide rates are generally higher than the national average in the western states and lower in the eastern and midwestern states (CDC 1997).
* In 2002, 132,353 individuals were hospitalized following suicide attempts; 116,639 were treated in emergency departments and released (CDC 2004).
* In 2001, 55% of suicides were committed with a firearm (Anderson and Smith 2003).

The CDC goes on to say that women attempt suicide three times the rate of men and men complete suicide four times the rate of women. It is a grisly set of statistics, especially at this time of year when one would think that being with family, the giving and getting of expressions of love, sharing with others etc., would be a happy time for all.

And yet, and yet, this is not the case. No, is there trouble in the world, with war, famine, disease and sorrow. And for far too many, despondency.

Risk factors for suicide include the following:

  • Previous suicide attempt(s)History of mental disorders, particularly depression
  • History of alcohol and substance abuse
  • Family history of suicide
  • Family history of child maltreatment
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
  • Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
  • Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
  • Physical illness
  • Easy access to lethal methods
  • Unwillingness to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental health and substance abuse disorders or suicidal thoughts
  • Cultural and religious beliefs—for instance, the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
  • Local epidemics of suicide
  • Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people

I know the feeling of despondency, of being cut off from others, of severe loss; and I know them far too intimately! In July, 1996 my first wife passed away from the complications of asthma. We were 15 days away from our 27th anniversary! As the family gathered around my daughter and me, I still felt isolated. When my wife's mother, brother and I went to our chuch to talk with the pastor about the memorial service my brother-in-law noted that my wife was no longer in pain, that we would soon enough be with her but we didn't want that now. I looked up at him with tears in my eyes and my heart breaking and said "I do." I meant that then, at that time in my life. I, to this day, don't know if I would have actually attempted suicide (obviously I didn't commit it); but I do know that if I had been crossing the street I wouldn't have hurried out of the way of a car speeding towards me, so great was my despondency. I survived that time, with the support and love of my friends and family, especially the love of my daughter Jennifer. I fell in love again (though I never thought I would) and re-married and am delightfully happy once again.

Suicide has been called the Savage God by A. Alvarez in his classic book, and part of my title comes from remembering reading that tome when I was in graduate school. In my 35 plus years of mental health work, I have dealt with the family survivors of suicide time and time again and it's never easy; on the therapist or on the family. The grief, the doubt and the pain go on and on in unremitting waves. Suicide is far too often not a well thought out action, but an action of desparation, of despondency of a belief that nothing will again be better. Gary Webb doubtlessly felt this way before shooting himself.

Suicide grows out of an irrational belief that nothing will improve - and no, I'm not talking about people with an incurable disease, with an immediate future of unremitting pain and ultimate death. I'm talking about people who in the depths of depression believe that nothing will improve. Nothing could be farther from the truth! While there is life, there is hope. Suicide dashes that hope for the victim and the surviving loved ones.

It is said that depression, like any mood is cyclical, that is that our moods go up and down in a normal fashion with a fairly predictable regularity. Clinical depression on the other hand is a gross exaggeration of this cycle. A psychiatrist friend of mine explained it once as waking up in the morning feeling lousy and down. Going to work someone notices and says "What's wrong?" to which you sigh and reply "I'm depressed!" The other person says "It's OK, things will get better" and sure enough, after a few days or a week or so it does. But depression, real depression is much more complex and much greater than just the "blues."

Depression is often mistakenly thought to be caused by one or more of the following:

  • Depression is the result of a medical condition involving an imbalance of hormones or neurotransmitters in the brain.
  • Depression is the result of "bad" thinking processes.
  • Depression is a result of significant psychological/physical trauma and it's aftermath.

The Depression Learning Path here has a terrific bit of information regarding depression. Read it all.

Depression is not the "cause" of suicide though, even if it is often directly and unavoidably linked to depression. I once had a patient who had lost her husband and two children in separate accidents a couple of years apart, lost her business and managed to cope with it all. She became depressed and had persistent thoughts of death and dying when her pet dog died. So, how did she cope with true tragedy but "fall apart" when a pet died? Perhaps it was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. Perhaps it was the time of year, perhaps her pet's death occurred as she was starting to realize the extent of her previous losses. I don't know. I do know that with the help of a psychiatrist and counseling she was able to recover and become a fully functioning happy person again.

The loss of belief in a future, despondency too often leads to suicide. For the family of the suicide, the resulting guilt and belief that they could have prevented it is wide spread, almost universal. There are warning signs, but they are not always present, and often the person contemplating suicide goes to great lengths to keep anyone from realizing what is about to happen. SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) has a great Question & Answer section on suicide, causes, prevention etc. I strongly, strongly, suggest a full reading.

Educate yourself about depression and suicide; the cost in lives ended, lives of survivers shattered and the cost in human suffering demands it. You may know someone who is contemplating suicide. If so, act, now, go to the internet and learn as much as you can and do something. Take a risk! Be proactive! Save someone you love, even if they get furious with you. You may not be ultimately successful, but you won't feel guilty if they eventually do take their lives.

UPDATE: From SAVE a bit of good news. President Bush signed the GarrettLeeSmith Bill.

President Bush signed into law a bill authorizing $82 million in grants aimed at preventing suicide among young people. The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act is named for the son of Oregon Republican Sen. Gordon Smith, who championed the legislation as a tribute to his 21-year-old son, who committed suicide last year. The senator, his wife Sharon, daughter Brittany and son Morgan attended the signing ceremony at the White House.The law authorizes $82 million over three years to provide grants to states, Indian tribes, colleges and universities to develop youth suicide prevention and intervention programs. It emphasizes screening programs that identify mental illness in children as young as sixth-graders, and provides referrals for community-based treatment and training for child care professionals.

Suicide can often be prevented if we all make a significant effort.

In the hopes that this re-posting may help someone or help someone help someone else, I urge all of you to get as much information as you possibly can. Suicide can be prevented most of the time.

Info Theory

Posted by GM Roper at 07:31 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

September 21, 2005

European Wants End of U.S. - History Lesson to Follow [UPDATED]

When Woody or I get a comment from a reader, and if we recognize that they may be a first time commenter, and if we have time we always try to send them an e-mail thanking them for commenting and inviting them back. This entry will be a change from the usual.

Our commenter, in a comment that was held in moderation is from the Netherlands and goes by the name of Dagon (which by the way is from mythology to whit: The chief god of the ancient Philistines, represented as half-man and half-fish.) Dagon did an internet search for “Larry Northern” and GM’s Corner came up number 9 overall in a Google search. There were other blogs ahead of ours, three to be specific and 5 news sources. The blogs: Crooks and Liars a decidedly lefty blog at which he did not leave a comment (or if he did it was still in moderation when I looked); also at Truthout.org also a left leaning site with no comments; and FreeRepublic a decidedly rightish forum where Dagon left no comment and then to our little blog where he dropped this little bon mot:

Despite all the disgusting chauvinism (nationalism) the U.S. exhibits, from the outside it looks more and more that country is irreconcilably divided, up to the point of slowly but certainly marching towards a civil war.

Give it a good financial crisis. Give it oil costing more than, say, 120$ a barrel. Give it a few lynchings, dollars being dumped by all foreign nations, a yanquis having to work in the local Mac franchise, the pop of a housing bubble, a few corporate schandals [sic], maybe even another little natural disaster...

I'm sure you get soldiers occupying big cities. Detainment camps. Government buildings on fire. Massive looting. Riots. Race riots. Poverty riots. And that'll lead to right and "left" going into a feeding frenzy and attacking each other.

It'll be the end of an empire US, and good riddance.

Oh my goodness, the sky is falling, the sky is falling, the end is near!!

Well, first, Dagon doesn’t understand the hearts and minds of Americans though he probably thinks he does. . He does admit that he's from the outside, so that's understandable. On the other hand, he is from “Old Europe” and as such has probably been infected with the euro-wienie attitude that they are always right, and the USA is always wrong and a bunch of “cowboys” to boot. We fight among ourselves, but when faced with strife of significant import (WWI, WWII, Korea, etc) come to mind we bond strongly. Sometimes those bonds fray at the edges such as in Vietnam, Bosnia and Iraq. Dagon can't distinguish the "noise" going to the outside from the reality of what exists on the inside. He HEARS jackhammers destroying which he says is bad, while we SEE our people working together to build roads and add and replace office towers, which is progress in building our nation and correcting wrongs when we find them. In fact, our constitution has an honored place in the writings of man because it allows government by the people, but is not so tied to a system that is easily perverted. To understand that, merely look at the ups and downs of various governments in “Old Europe” and the effect those beliefs have had on mankind. For example, fascism is a product of the looseness of governing style prevalent in Europe in the early part of the 20th Century. The Netherlands had true empire stretching over much of the world, far more than say an upstart nation such as the USA. Netherlands were also early traders in slaves. What say you to that Dagon?
To his points, first, why is nationalism (patriotism) disgusting? Is it because it holds this country together, and the writer doesn't want that? Let us go a little further. The term Chauvinism comes from Nicolas Chauvin:

Nicolas Chauvin (possibly b. Rochefort , France , c. 1790 ) was a semi-mythical soldier and patriot who served in the First Army of the French Republic and subsequently in La Grande Armee of Napoleon Bonaparte . His name formed the origin of the term chauvinism .
He enlisted at age 18, and served honorably and well. He is known to have been wounded 17 times in his nation's service, resulting in his severe disfigurement and maiming. For his loyalty and dedication, Napoleon himself presented the soldier with the Saber of Honor and a pension of 200 francs.
Chauvin's distinguished record of service and his love and devotion for Napoleon, which endured despite the price he willingly paid for them, earned him only ridicule and derision in post-Napoleonic France . The nation had lost its earlier idealism, and passionate nationalism was less in vogue.
So, to be called Chauvinistic because you are patriotic is a good thing, not the derisive term it has come to mean by those who use the word and don’t really know it’s meaning in spite of maybe knowing it’s definition.
He doesn't understand the strength and will of America. We have survived wars for independence for ourselves and freedom for others. When the chips are down, we don't give up. We have survived and come back from deep depressions. We are not too proud to accept any work because all work is noble though too many of us have come to depend on government for our sustenance we don’t have the cradle to grave socialism found in many “Non Chauvinistic” European countries. Germany for example is rapidly going broke because of their social support system and they are so addicted to it, they didn’t know who to vote for in their elections only this last weekend. My mother (Woody speaking here) told me about PhD's selling apples during the depression. I actually knew rocket scientists in Huntsville who literally went to work FOR McDonald’s after the moon landings and budget cuts at NASA. We do what we have to do and for the most part we do it. We've been through OPEC's price gouging in the 1970's and made it. We've had corporate and political scandals, we've had natural disasters, we've had race riots...in fact, there's not many problems that someone can name that we haven't fought--and WON or are in the process of winning. He can't name anything that we haven't faced and handled, and we do it on our own without outside help. True, a number of countries have offered help following Hurricane Katrina, but they were pretty slow to do it compared to the US response to the tsunami and we were called “stingy” for that. When in actuality, we did far more than many other nations to provide relief to those folk.

He has fantasies of soldiers occupying cities, detainment camps, and anarchy. We are a nation of laws and give the greatest freedoms to people anywhere. People choose to come here to live rather than people here choosing to leave or overthrow our government. He's dreaming, nah, I take that back, he is having a nighmare.

He calls us an empire. He doesn't know what an empire is. We don't capture other nations, we don't take their resources for our use through force and without compensation, we don't send occupying armies throughout the globe when we and the world defeated the Axis in WWII we helped rebuild their countries, economies and instituted democratic forms of government which for the most part still stand. The fact that Dagon doesn’t salute a swastika and have German as his native tongue is in large part due to the men at arms of the United States. His sneer doesn’t hold water and is really counter productive. We are invited to have overseas forces and we pay for the military installations where we are based. Other nations see us as stabilizing rather than threatening.

If the term “empire” can be used in any way, the U.S. can best be compared to the Roman Empire--only because there are some parallels in our systems and destiny. Some of which he describes did happen to them (if looked at from their time) and might happen to us, but much will never happen.

There will be no civil war between right and left. (Wouldn't the left turn in all of their guns because they hate the second amendment? What would they use to fight..."spitballs," as Zell Miller asked?) However, the country, like Rome, could divide into factions, but not two groups at war with each other. If we learn from history, we can avoid that.

What problems do occur in our country, outside of natural disasters, is the ultimate result of human nature--not because of our nation's character and systems. What happened to Rome is a problem with ALL governments, including that of the country from which the commenter posts. Man, separated from God, turns to evil. That is why we stand up for having God in our pledge, on our coins, and in our government. While we don't have a national religion as many countries do, we recognize that God has been a historical bond and guiding light for us. Without God, man too often becomes a pseudo-god himself and destroys. The ACLU and others want power and want it without God, and if they prevail, that would be the end of this country as we know it today, but not the end of the country or most of it’s ideals. That's a big struggle and where we are at greatest risk.

Before he says good riddance to our nation, he better think about all that we have done for the world. We're the most generous nation on Earth and give more to help others. We protect the innocent and fight tyranny. We send food and medicine to starving nations. We're inventive and hard-working, and the world benefits from our innovations. Many life saving medicines, consumer goods etc have come out of our space exploration efforts. Like it or not, we've become the "daddy" of the world, and this commenter sounds like an unappreciative child who rebels--but, when he grows up, he'll come back and see his folly. He should be thanking us rather than kicking us, and I don't think that he would like to see what the world would be like without the United States of America.

The link to this post will be e-mailed to Dagon, I ask that any and all of our regular readers leave a comment regarding his charges. Dagon, read them yourself and respond as you will.

GM & Woody
September 21, 2005


The commenter referenced in this entry has offered a lengthy and polite rebuttal in the comment section. Since he has taken the time to do that and since he makes some interesting points, it is worth a read and possible response. We appreciate polite and sincere exchanges of views.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:30 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)

September 20, 2005

A Tale of Two Germanys

As Berlin goes so Germany goes. It is a city that condenses all the fragmentation and contradiction of this nation in one place. The name itself, iconic. It is at once a symbol of hope and doubt, joy and fear, triumph and tragedy. It is sophisticated and degenerate, inspirational and irritating, cosmopolitan and provincial. It is German.

The post-World War II West German Republic was never intended to be strong or politically efficient. Following the disaster of fascism, the last thing West Germans and the world wanted was a government able to effectively implement the majority will of its people, favouring broad consensus rather than popular dictatorship. Majority rule was unacceptable, proportional rule with significant power allotted minorities was the only conceived way to prevent a relapse into oppressive government. The post-war constitution and governments since 1949 have been an acknowledgement that Germans intrinsically do not trust each other, to a certain extent even fear each other.

Shame of being German starts at an early age, when young students are exposed to the horrors of the holocaust and the madness of Nazi militarism. It is hard to flip through an evening broadcast and not find some documentary detailing the grim history of German dictatorship and defeat in the first half of the 20th century. It is difficult to be a proud German, even today.

Among the many humiliations following their defeat in World War II was the redrawing of Germany’s borders and eventual division of the country into the communist East and the free West. The expulsion of Germans east of the Oder River from what became Polish territory consolidated the German people into the nation we now call Germany. By 1949 Germany was the subject of a great Cold War experiment, to prove once and for all the inferiority of socialism. Furthermore, many Europeans felt a divided Germany was in their best interests. Some still do.

If Germans had any semblance of an identity before the war, it was certainly eviscerated in the immediate years following. The west quickly became a towering demonstration of free market dynamism, the east a daily reminder of the backwardness of socialism. West Germans, though cognisant of their past, had much to be proud of in the decades following the war. Though partisanship existed, there was unity of vision and general solidarity of purpose with the nations of the west. Yet for many Germans in both the East and the West there lingered the dream of reunification. In 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the inevitable implosion of the communist regime of East Germany, this dream began its steady transformation into hard reality.

It didn’t take long after the euphoria of reunification for Germans to find themselves internally at odds with each other. The de facto one party dictatorship of the east was wiped away and the western system adopted. Yet the distortions of more than 40 years of Soviet style socialism in the East did not undergo the same organic healing process experienced in so many other Soviet Block nations. Many from the West quickly began to feel that they were subsidizing the dependency of those from the east that could now claim generous entitlements under the west’s “social model”. As the years went by, the parties positioned themselves to leverage advantage in an increasingly divided country. The socialists once led by such seeming moderates as Helmut Schmidt, moved decisively more to the left. Conservatives that held a virtual monopoly on the Chancellorship for 16 years found themselves out of power. What had seemed so promising was quickly turning ugly. The promise of a united Germany was slowly showing itself in reality to be a deeply divided Germany, perhaps more than it had been before. The dream of one Germany where its people could once again identify themselves as “German” seemed rather a pipe dream.

German political map.jpgGermans today effectively share one of two identities, 'Ossi' or 'Wessi'. Those from the former east are often viewed as ignorant, unrefined and lazy, the thankless beneficiaries of the west's 'solidarity' subsidization. Those from the west are often viewed as arrogant, cold and greedy, unwilling to accept their fellow citizens from the east as true fellow Germans. Today the hope and promise following the ‘Fall of the Wall’ more than 15 years ago has now eroded into fear and loathing. The rigidity of the German bureaucracy, combined with a hopelessly embattled multiparty proportional system of government has left a nation, compelled to restructure and reform itself, stagnating. Many recent graduates have their eyes set on careers anywhere but Germany.

Decades of socialization in both west and east programmed much of the German public to immediately turn to government for solutions to their problems. At the same time German voters feel distant and unable to influence their government. Sunday’s poll saw the second lowest turnout in post-war German history and by far its most disturbing result.

In Germany, parties rule and much of the public distrusts them. Voting is more often motivated by a desire to prevent a particular party from dominating than to support a particular platform. This “voting in the negative” only adds to existing public cynicism exacerbating the already significant divide in western and eastern public opinion. Accountability to one's party is the first law of survival for a German politician. Parties lay down the rules and decide who gets the privilege of leading. The layers of decision makers and interests, extend the distance between constituents and their living breathing representatives. Few Constuents have ever contacted their representitives office, much less know who they are. The party is the real representative, a colourful logo with a catchy slogan. These faceless institutions are entrusted with the duty to serve the people.

It is hard to know exactly where the buck stops in German politics, you often get the feeling it's nowhere. "What choice do we have?" is a common response from disenchanted voters. Passive political attitudes are not only typical among German voters but chilling in their implication, a haunting reminder of Madison's Federalist 10. Just how willing are voters to capitulate to a nebulous party organization, opaque institutions that have little personal accountability to constituents? How can such organizations effectively address the underlying needs of the German people in moments requiring decisive leadership? Are the institutional interests of a party able to adequately respond to the needs of the nation? These are the true great questions to arise out of the September elections. Called because of a crisis among the parties, little else.

Germans have much reform to consider, but I would venture to say following the disaster of this most recent election they must recognize that their party-based election system is broken. Today’s Germany requires leadership, not faction. The lessons of the past should invoke restraint, not fear of changing what is now a broken system. Germany needs flexibility to adapt to the rapid pace of change in the modern world and not continuously struggle with internal divisions that only irritate existing anxieties and hinder the growth, progress and great contributions of the German people.

This Article Was Written by Henry Nickel. Reprinted with full permission.

Henry Nickel is Chairman of the U.S. Republicans Abroad in Germany and a regular writer and commentator on Atlantic relations. He can be reached for comment or inquiry at hnickel@gopgermany.com.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Another Sad Milestone is Passed!

Simon Wiesenthal, the famed Nazi Hunter is dead at age 96. Rest In Peace, you earned it. You will be met by all the souls who have gone before you and who you remembered in your efforts. From the Washington Post a well written story:

Called the "deputy for the dead" and "avenging archangel" of the Holocaust, Wiesenthal after the war created a repository of concentration camp testimonials and dossiers on Nazis at his Jewish Documentation Center. The information was used to help lawyers prosecute those responsible for some of the 20th century's most abominable crimes.

Wiesenthal spoke of the horrors first-hand, having spent the war hovering near death in a series of labor and extermination camps. Nearly 90 members of his family perished.

After the Nuremberg Trials of the late 1940s, Wiesenthal remained a persistent and lonely voice calling for war crimes trials of former Nazis. This was later considered by many a remarkable achievement, coming during the Cold War when the major world powers were recruiting former Nazis to help govern countries along the Iron Curtain. There was little political will to relive World War II, and few cared to challenge that perspective.

H/T to Pejman Yousefzadeh

Posted by GM Roper at 05:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

It's A Birthday Party

Today we celebrate the birthday of a Great American. On this day, September 20, 1946 GM was born. I am now classified as an old fart but I revel in the designation because it means that I have survived everything thrown at me. My good friend Mustang who writes at Social Sense is even older. I have it on good Authority that he is the fellow that picked the figleaves that Adam and Eve wore. But I digress. I started this blog in early November 2004 at GM's Corner with Blog Spot with absolutely no expectations other than fame and riches. Both of which have thus far eluded me, sad to say. At the end of January, I moved my blog to LivingDot.com and have been more than satisfied.

At Blog Spot, I had some 1603 unique visitors in a little under 3 months, or about 500 per month on average. After moving to LivingDot.com the hits started coming a little faster and by June 20th we reached our 10,000th visitor. Moving right along we soon hit 15,000 then 20,000.

Our 20,000th visitor was none other than one of our favorite Liberal Type Commenters Jim Hitchcock. That was less than two months ago and today we hit our 40,000th visitor according to Sitemeter. But that doesn't tell the whole story. LivingDot.com provides internal statistics also that measure directly from the servers and these stats are updated constantly.

Allow me to brag. As of this writing, we have had 13,485 unique visitors in September alone

hits 2.png
and a total of 48,433 unique visitors at this site and a total of 103,101 visits and well over 2,100 comments, some quite lengthy.

While this number is so fantastic, it is not the point of this entry. You my dear and beloved readers are. You are both my friends, my confidants, my beloved opponents and believe it or not, my birthday gift. It is because of you, and only you that this blog has done well. Thanks, from the bottom of my heart and I really mean that.

I want to also take this opportunity to thank my very good friend Woody M. who graciously covered for me when my wife and I took a much needed vacation in the early part of the summer. When I returned, I asked Woody to stay on. He has been as much a part of this Blog as I have and he is a true gentleman. I've talked with Woody on the phone, we have exchanged ideas over the internet, co-written a few posts and I love him like a brother. Thanks Woody, you are truly one of the Good Guys!

On November 4th I will have my first "Bloggaversary" and we will see what the stats are then. Until then, come often, stay awhile, make comments when you feel the muse strike you and may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:00 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

September 16, 2005

Cao's Blog

Cao has a great new design at her blog It's really cool!, but then, so is she! Go see it, tell 'er GM sent you!

Posted by GM Roper at 07:44 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Will $200 Billion for N.O. Cover Slave Reparations? Ask the Brotherhood. Who?

Sometimes another person can say something that I can't because they have better standing or authority to address an issue. That is the case with slave reparations, which were proposed after the War Between the States and are still on the agenda for many. A blogger who is black and conservative addresses the issue of reparations and suggests that those who demand them can thank Hurricane Katrina, which will direct over a now estimated $200 billion for residents in a town that is over two-thirds black. He can say it--and has. You can imagine the comments if I said the same things.

Another connected point is that many people assume that blacks have to be liberal and Democrat or must be water boys for the Republicans. The author of the subject doesn't fit those descriptions and is part of a group of black, conservative bloggers called The Conservative Brotherhood, which describes itself as follows:

The Conservative Brotherhood is a group of African American writers whose politics are on the right hand side of the political spectrum. Expanding the dialog beyond traditional boundaries, they seek to contribute to a greater understanding of African Americans and America itself through advocacy and commentary.

It's refreshing to read the points of view that this group provides, and I admire their determination to say what they believe rather than say what is expected simply because of their race.

Back to the first point, that of reparations and the hurricane, Michael D. Cobb Bowen expresses his views as follows:

Say Thank You, Dammit

Now is the time for all good Reparationists to thank God for Katrina and thank George W. Bush for 60 Billion dollars.

Over at Booker Rising, an interesting angle cropped up on the matter of Reparations and Republicans. But my angle is this: Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana are basically the heart of Dixie. Anybody and everybody knows that most of the blackfolks who live there represent those too unfortunate to migrate. I'll state it plainly. If you didn't get out in the Civil War and you didn't get out after the failure of Reconstruction, and you didn't get out during the Great Migration of the 1920s and you didn't get out in the Civil Rights Movement and you are still stuck in the South and poor and black...DAMN!

Now let's say you didn't get out in Katrina either. Symbolically, is there anyone more oppressed and downtrodden and left behind than poor blackfolks who have, since Slavery, missed five generational opportunities to leave Dixie? I mean, DAMN!

Now I'm going to jump on the rhetorical bandwagon of one of my idiot commenters for a moment to make a point:

70 percent of New Orleans is African American. ...These are the people who are going to reap the benefits of SIXTY BILLION DOLLARS OF FEDERAL AID, FREE!. Those blackfolks from New Orleans typify the beneficiaries of those dollars that America just can't seem to give away fast enough. Unless Osama bin Laden drops a nuke on Harlem there is never going to be another opportunity for poor black people to get free Federal Aid on this scale for 100 years. THIS is Reparations.

...Anyway, this is what I'm thinking. Reparations is now. As they used to say around the way, if you're slow, you blow. You better recognize. And say thank you to your president, the Compassionate Conservative who cares about 60 Billion dollars worth.

The entire post can be found here at Cobb's site. While you are there, you might want to check out some of Cobb's other entries and cartoons, or those by some other members of the brotherhood.

By being their own persons, and smart, these bloggers can help enhance communication not only between races, but for something perhaps harder--understandings and changes within the black culture.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:10 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

September 12, 2005

Guns and Butter; Partie Deux (Part Two)

I have a confession to make; I read the Wall Street Journal both the dead tree version and the online version. I guess that makes me a capitalist toadie. Or maybe a Capitalist Running Dog! Or perhaps a member of the bourgeois with pretensions of becoming rich someday.

Well, OK, I am all of the above. What is more, I'd love to see all of the world equal or exceed that. Of Course, I know that that won't happen, but I can dream can't I. Well, for the nonce at any rate. Next week I'll be 59, perhaps a little late for riches, unless I win the Texas Lotto.

But all that aside, I'm upset with my president. I'm upset with congress, I'm upset with the whole idea of the way the federal dollar is being spent. Misspent perhaps.

I've been having a series of conversations with my beloved Uncle. In a recent e-mail, he noted that he used to be a Republican; back when the Republicans stood for fiscal restraint, good business principles etc. Can't fault him for that. I choose to stay in the Republican Party and work for change within, I'm NOT one happy camper at this moment.

Congress is spending money like a bunch of drunken sailors - in fact, I think maybe the afore mentioned sailors do better. The President seems disinclined to reign them in, and has yet to veto a single spending bill. NOT ONE!!!! And that scares the hell out of me. The recent transportation bill is a good example. As I told my Uncle, it was so loaded with Pork that I understand the Armour Company was thinking of purchasing it.

congressional Pork.png Can't you just see it, Canned Congressional Pork [Note, no Armour Star Products were harmed in the making of this photograph.] But, I digress. The transportation bill contains funding for a bridge in Alaska, essentially going to somewhere where no one except a few local inhabitants want to go. Yet, it is spending, jobs, etc. But, good lord people!

John Fund writing in the Wall Street Journal wonders if President Bush has the huevos to do what FDR and Truman did; Cut spending when a national crisis occurs. Now, some of you may be offended by my use of the word uevos meaning testicles or balls, but I'm from Texas and that gives mhe a certain amount of freedom, plus, being an author of this blog I claim a little artistic license AND, I'm ticked off.

Fund states:

With almost no debate and with precious few provisions for oversight, Congress has passed President Bush's mammoth $62 billion request for emergency Katrina relief. House Speaker Denny Hastert says the final total will "probably [be] under the cost of the highway bill" that Congress passed last month with a pricetag of $286.4 billion.

Despite such sums, there are few calls for offsetting cuts in other programs, apart from antiwar opportunists who see in Katrina a chance to undermine the Iraq effort."

Moreover, he is absolutely correct. The majority of those who are calling for spending cuts have also voted in the large pork measures that we have been seeing over the Bush presidency and the last years of the Clinton presidency and are only now calling for cuts because they think it will score political points in the fight against the fight as it were. Actually, these folk don't give a damn about spending, they just want to torpedo the war fighting in Iraq and, as a result, the people of Iraq and perhaps the whole middle east.

Fund goes on to say:

Neither the White House nor Congress appears to be in any mood, for example, to revisit the highway bill's 6,373 "earmarks," or individual projects for members, worth $24.2 billion. Alaska's Rep. Don Young, chairman of the House Transportation Committee, has bragged that the bill is "stuffed like a turkey" with goodies for his state. It includes $721 million for Alaska, including a $2.2 million "bridge to nowhere" connecting the town of Ketchikan (population 8,900) to an airport on Gravina Island (population 50). Another bridge, in Anchorage, has a $200 million price tag and is considered such a marginal project that even the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce opposes it.

Families hit by any disaster realize they have to reassess their situation and change their circumstances. There was a time when the nation acted the same way. After Pearl Harbor, the country sprang into action to win the war against Japan and Germany. But it realized that the old way of doing things wouldn't do. Dramatic changes in government policy resulted."

Did you get that, FDR a Democrat changed government policy to face a new reality. Here's what he did according to Fund: He cut spending.

Wow, did that resonate with anyone, he CUT SPENDING. According to Fund:

Less well known is FDR's decision to slash non-defense spending by over 20% between 1942 and 1944. Among the programs that were eliminated entirely were FDR's own prized creations. By 1944, such pillars of the New Deal as the Civilian Conservation Corps, the National Youth Administration and the Work Projects Administration had been abolished. In 1939 those three programs had represented one-eighth of the federal budget. Roosevelt and the Congress of his day knew what to do in an emergency."
Fund states that Truman did the same thing during the Korean war.

I've noted in past posts here and made some "modest" suggestions as to how to remedy the situation.

1. Cut Taxes on Corporations, because when you increase corporate taxes, the corporations only pass along those taxes to the consumers who do not need any more outgo of their own pocketbooks.

2. Tax Wealth, not Income. I would be willing to bet that the Soros and Kennedy types would squeal like stuck pigs then.

3. Perhaps cut the tax rate on income to a flat tax, but tax all personal income. For those below an agreed on poverty level, they will get a refund.

4. Abolish federal withholding. When each taxpayer has to make a monthly “tax deposit” to cover their income taxes, the outcry will go up demanding fiscal responsibility.

5. Abolish deficit spending and any congressional trick used to pass a spending resolution without having to do the work necessary for a real budget, tie specific deficit authorizations to national emergencies such as natural disasters (Florida Hurricanes, Terrorist Attacks, War, etc., etc.)

6. Abolish all federal spending on anything that is not in the national interest (this alone would eliminate 90% of the pork methinks, though I’m not sure of that).

7. Set time limits on entitlements and require a “sunset review” one year before the limit arrives. Only if the entitlement is truly needed may it be continued.

Now, I have no idea at all if these steps will work, but they are based on fairly sound principles, and the laughter of the tax and spend-a-holics at the Laffer curve be damned. EVERY TIME taxes have been cut, revenues have gone UP.

Mr. President, I'm really ticked off at you for not vetoing some of these crap spending bills. It's time to not just mimic some famous democrats (remember your support of JFK's tax cuts), but to incorporate some principles of FDR and HT and cut spending so that we can afford what we really need. Oh, and do it now!


Technorati Tags: politics, Current Events

Posted by GM Roper at 08:33 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

September 10, 2005

And all the world is a stage

9-10-05.pngThe site has been doing well putting out the conservative viewpoint, and spreading the news especially about General Honore. This is a world wide view of our last 500 visits as of 12:48 PM on September 10th, 2005. Having a world wide audience is a good thing. Thanks people, Thanks!!!!

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September 07, 2005

From England With Love

I received a comment on a post I had put up in July regarding the dastardly attack on England by the islamofascists. I thought it important enough to post here so everyone could see it. The comment is from Steve Beat from the UK:

Just a 'after-thought' - of sorts - regarding US/UK solidarity...

Just to thank everyone in the US for your thoughts in solidarity to the tragedy that has hit the UK in the past months. But also to say that solidarity is a two way process - and as such, our sympathies go to you during the event's of Hurricane Katrina.

Both tragedies may be a world apart -in both cause as well as geographically - but be assured we all stand together steadfastly in our mutual support.

I wish everyone in the US our best wishes in dealing with this catastrophy.

Steve, thank you, from the bottom of our collective hearts.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:08 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

September 04, 2005

The Pointed Finger

I didn't want to point any fingers for the disaster that is New Orleans, or any of the Gulf Coast that was hit by Katrina. I didn't want to think that there are people out there that would blame Bush for a force of nature. But some on the left have and if not answered it will become truth. "What Roper, the left has truth?" No, dear reader, members of the left (not all, if you are a lefty and this doesn't apply to you - good!) are fostering a bunch of lies, but if not answered, those lies will become a truth for the majority of people not hearing any real truths.

There is much to point fingers at, things done wrong, things left undone that should have been done, things no one thought of that should have been done. This is indicative methinks:

Much of New Orleans is below sea level, kept dry by a system of pumps and levees. As the hurricane charged through the Gulf of Mexico, more than a million people were urged to flee. Forecasters warned that a direct hit on the city could send torrents of Mississippi River backwash over the city's levees, creating a 20-foot-deep cesspool of human and industrial waste.

Residents with cars took to the highways. Others wondered what to do.

"They say evacuate, but they don't say how I'm supposed to do that," Latonya Hill, 57, said at the time. "If I can't walk it or get there on the bus, I don't go. I don't got a car. My daughter don't either."

Advocates for the poor were indignant.

"If the government asks people to evacuate, the government has some responsibility to provide an option for those people who can't evacuate and are at the whim of Mother Nature," said Joe Cook of the New Orleans ACLU.

What can I say except that this was not about Katrina, but about IVAN, almost a full year before Katrina hit. So, one must wonder why those lessons weren't learned.

Some facts we know. We know that President Bush called the Governor of La. and urged evacuation a full 24 hours before the Governor and Mayor of New Orleans , Ray Nagin did in fact order it.

We know that despite the fact that school and city busses were part of the plan to evacuate the poor, the medically compromised and those without transportation, those busses weren't even taken to higher ground, they sat where they were parked and "drowned." We know that when the Superdome was declared a "last ditch" shelter, that sufficient plans were not made to have any where near adequate supplies of food, water or medicines let alone security. We know that the "belief" that the government would take care of everybody and that the hurricane would probably miss and it wouldn't be a bad one anyway and the tooth fairy is just around the corner mentality was rampant in The Big Easy.

We know that the Governor of La. did not order the La National Guard to New Orleans until well after the crisis was already present. We know that City Police were part of the looting. We know that there was insufficient coordination between the state and FEMA.

We know, at least reports are, that the 17th avenue levee's old part, the part not worked on, didn't fail, the new part failed when struck by a barge.

We know that the levee system was designed for a Catagory 3 hurricane not a four or five, but this has been known for more than 40 years through both Democratic and Republican administrations but that hasn't stopped some on the left from laying the entire blame on President Bush.

We know that when Katrina entered the gulf and turned northward, many folks attitude was that it was going to hit Florida again, but that there was sufficient warning to know that it was headed for New Orleans.

We know that there was political pressure to re-roof the Superdome replacing a roof that had already withstood high winds with a new roof that did not.

We knew, or should have known, that disaster always brings out a few folk that would rather loot for the betterment of themselves than work constructively within society for the betterment of all.

We knew that the race-baiters would be out since NOLA is some 65+% black and this was too good an opportunity for them to decry republicans rather than take responsibility for being race-baiters and race-hustlers themselves.

We know that a huge cleanup costing billions of dollars is in the works, if NOLA is to be rebuilt. We also know that the shipping facilities that NOLA provided are essential for our national defense and for our agricultural industry so that not re-building is not an option.

We know that almost no lefty is going to accept any reasoning that punctures their own little scenario since it is the perfect chance to bash the McChimp, the evil Bushitler, the devious and evil Karl Rove or the duplicitious Halliburton/Cheney axis. We know.... Oh yes, we know all right, and we aren't going to let the left who want to spread the lies get away with the lies.

Posted by GM Roper at 01:18 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

September 03, 2005

William Rhenquist 1924 - 2005

william rhenquist.jpg

William Rhenquist died at home this evening. Rest In Peace!

Posted by GM Roper at 10:17 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 02, 2005

The Narcissistic Underground

One of these days, I'm gonna write about my experiences in my mental health practice and do a bit of diagnostics for you, my beloved readers. Until that time, go read Dr. Sanity. She is the best there is in terms of explaining some of the aspects of Bush Derangement Syndrome and you can learn a lot from a lady shrink.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:58 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

August 29, 2005

Guard Our Borders!

Lou Dobbs had it right on the money when he said, "We are a nation of immigrants, and there is no more diverse and welcoming society than ours. But we are first a nation of laws, and upholding those laws and our national values makes this great country of ours possible."

What happens if we do not uphold those laws? Dobbs goes on:

Failure to secure our borders means that we will continue to lose the war on drugs and lose a generation of Americans to those drugs. It also means the crushing burden of our failed immigration and homeland security policies will continue to fall exclusively on the shoulders of working men and women. Not only do illegal aliens and those who employ them cost the nation tens of billions of dollars in social services, principally in health care and education, they also depress wages for American citizens by an estimated $200 billion a year.
[Note: The following was written by Mustang, a retired Marine officer who blogs at Social Sense. This is reprinted in full with his gracious permission]

The number of Americans who believe that our borders should be secure from illegal entry is overwhelming. Not everyone agrees, obviously, but those who argue for open borders mostly represent organizations that have a peculiar agenda. Of those who demand (although not too loudly) a secure border, there are essentially two camps: One group worries about our security in light of terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001, and the other group voices concern over the economic implications of illegal immigration.

I have had a number of conversations with close friends on the subject of immigration gener­ally, and on the issue of securing our nation from those who would do our people harm. Even those who support President Bush seem to disagree with his view that people coming here illegally, no matter the point of their origin, are simply looking for work. As evidenced by the amount of attention this issue is getting nationally, however, the problem is not restricted to border-states. People throughout the entire country seem genuinely angry that our government lacks the will, or the resources, to halt the influx of people who come here illegally.

The issue of illegal immigration generates emotional rather than thoughtful debates among the so-called talking heads of our national media. Screeching at one another on national television does not bring to the table thoughtful discussion or reasonable solutions to the problem. In the first place, most people do not understand the implications of illegal immigration, including the politicians whose job it is to frame laws, and provide funding for the enforcement of those laws.

The task of problem-resolution appears to fall into three stages: (1) Determine the true affect of illegal immigration, (2) Discover reasonable solutions, and (3) Implement programs that do not demean people of other ethnic groups or nationalities.

In spite of the fact that current statutes prohibit the employment of military forces in the pursuit of civil law enforcement duties, it may be time to reconsider such prohibitions. America's open border presents a real and present danger to the people of the United States in any number of ways, not the least of which might involve the illegal entry of Middle Eastern terrorists. In fact, at least one terrorist has been arrested, a female; it is not unreasonable to wonder how many others evaded arrest or detention. Discounting terrorists, however, Americans are harmed by “illegals” who perpetrate crimes against persons and property in the United States, and do so with some impunity.

Criminal activity along the border, according to this article, is getting out of hand. The federal government's unwillingness to address this problem is causing harm to American citizens, and of course it is the local taxpayer who has to defray the costs of increased local policing. It is little wonder that citizens have formed local groups to augment police departments, but that may not be enough. Contrary to Mr. Bush's position, these people are not vigilantes, but they could be if something isn't done — and soon.

There are also good arguments that illegal immigrants pose a significant economic danger to the United States. A source of information and discussion on this topic can be found at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). Among a wide range of issues, FAIR provides specific economic information relative to illegal immigration, breaking those costs down state-by-state. One might conclude, based on the data provided by FAIR, that the costs of doing a poor job in protecting America’s borders far outweigh the costs of hiring more law enforcement or border patrol officers.

For more on this topic, check out Kleptocracy to the South — a good read. The bottom line, folks, is that until citizens are fully informed about the ramifications of doing nothing, Americans cannot approach the three-step mentioned above to resolve this problem. It’s your country, dear reader, and the choice is yours — but Social Sense demands your involvement.

Posted by GM Roper at 04:49 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 22, 2005

Learning Curves and Other Inanities.

Timothy Birdnow writing in The Bird Blog is gamely learning to use his program's features. Keep it up amigo, your blog is good, you will learn the process as time goes by.

When I started GM's Corner, it was a total mess, but good people along the way helped out and they will make the difference in your blog too.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:46 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

August 17, 2005

The REAL Cost Of Gas - Today, Yesterday And Around The World

I had an unusual experience today. Normally, when I fill up for gas I use my debit card. Now, for those of you who may not know. When you use an automatic pump and pay with your credit card that you slide in (and remove quickly) the credit card authorization program makes sure you have at around $50.00 on your credit limit and uses that until the actual price is done. I always assumed that debit cards were pretty much the same. So today, I used my debit card and started to fill my tank (it holds 14.5 gallons actually 15.5, but I've never let it get all the way down to that level of dryness) and was surprised to see that the pump slowed down at $34.90 and stopped at $35.00. Obviously I had hit the internal limit for that particular transaction. I looked at the pump and saw that I only had pumped slightly more than 14 gallons, in other words, I hit the limit before my tank was full.

Now, at $2.49 a gallon, gas ain't cheap. I'm not worried though, while I know that this is up about 60 cents in a number of weeks (tell me how that No Blood For Oil thingy works again?) the REAL peak in gasoline prices came in at $3.03 per gallon in today's dollars way back in March of 1981. USAToday lists the prices in today's dollars going back to 1950 from a low of $1.81 in 1970 to today's $2.40

Meanwhile, President Bush, in his quest for oil profits (see last three comments here) has apparantly talked other cities in other COUNTRIES to jack their profits up as well. Morg in The Lesser of Two Evils has a terrific post up regarding the cost of gas. An exerpt denoting the cost elsewhere:

$6.48Netherlands Amsterdam
$6.27Italy Milan
$5.96Denmark Copenhagen
$5.93Belgium Brussels
$5.91Sweden Stockholm
$5.80United Kingdom London
$5.79Germany Frankfurt
$5.57France Paris
$5.54Portugal Lisbon
$5.35Hungary Budapest
$4.94Luxembourg $4.82Croatia Zagreb
$4.81Ireland Dublin
$4.78Switzerland Geneva
$4.74Spain Madrid $4.55Japan Tokyo
$4.24Czech Republic Prague
$4.19Romania Bucharest
$4.08Estonia Tallinn
$3.62Bulgaria Sofia
$3.52Brazil Brasilia
$3.12Cuba Havana
$3.03Taiwan Taipei
$2.84Lebanon Beirut
$2.63South Africa Johannesburg
$2.62Nicaragua Managua

So, until it hits $6.00 a gallon, I'll cease complaining.

Posted by GM Roper at 02:43 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (1)

August 13, 2005

Is It Possible To Have A "Moderate" Islam? Probably Not!

Jason Pappas writing at Liberty and Culture asks "Is Moderate Islam viable?" and answers the question too. An Exerpt:

Muhammad preached tolerance as he struggled for acceptance in Mecca. His subsequent rule in Medina, however, is marred with violence. He funded his nascent religion by raiding caravans on route to Mecca even during periods held sacred by regional custom. He encouraged the assassination of his critics, establishing a reign of terror that culminated in the ethnic cleansing of the Jews from Medina. In general, he conquered and subjugated most of Arabia. In doing so he created a supremacist warrior religion that is imperialist in nature."
This is a seminal work, read the whole thing.

A tip of the GM Chapeaux to Timothy Birdnow

Posted by GM Roper at 10:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

August 12, 2005

Victory! We've Won The Battle, Now Let's Win The War.

I received an E-Mail from Chris Muir this morning. What was to have been a 10 day campaign, was a two day campaign. Thanks to you my beloved readers!



www.cancerablation.com is on the 1st & 2nd pages on Yahoo and Google, under multiple search names, and the ad is on this Sunday!

The power of the blogosphere...and more importantly, what it says of
the people thereof.

My thanks to you. Many thanks.



Now, sit down and write a check to this fine organization; the battle was won, but there is still a war going on against the scourge of cancer and every day offered to a person with cancer and to their family is a precious day indeed:

American Cancer Ablation Center
1680 W. 2nd Street
Gulf Shores, Alabama 36542

And I add my thanks to all of you!

Posted by GM Roper at 06:44 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 11, 2005

Hey, Dems, Your Hypocrisy Is Showing!

In the election of 1960, some Republicans and Southern Baptists in particlular, but others as well argued that the election of John F. Kennedy would put the United States in the position of having to bow down to the wishes of the Roman Catholic Pontiff; that if Kennedy were elected he would "owe" more aligence to the Pope, than to upholding the Constitution. The creepoids making that argument were absurd then, and it hasn't gotten any better. Only now, the creepoids are (and have been for some time) members of the Democratic party.

In 1994, Mitt Romney had the gall to run against Teddy Kennedy (Whale, Mass) who promptly raised questions about Romney's Mormon Faith (The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints). Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe noted in a Town Hall.com article:

When Romney first ran for office in 1994 against US Senator Ted Kennedy, then-congressman Joe Kennedy -- the senator's nephew -- derided him as a member of a ''white boys' club" whose church treated women and blacks as ''second-class citizens." Kennedy later apologized, and said he didn't know the Mormon priesthood had been opened to blacks 16 years earlier. ''But the attack may have had the desired effect," Eastland notes. ''Ted Kennedy's poll numbers went up and stayed up."
Today, Adam Reilly says similar things in a lengthy article on Romney's faith (and little other than the impact of his faith on his politics) in the Boston Phoenix. Specifically Reilly states:
If there’s a moment that marks the beginning of the LDS ascendancy, it came in 1979, when right-wing Christian fundamentalist Jerry Falwell announced the formation of the Moral Majority, the anti-choice, anti-woman, anti-gay, pro-school-prayer group that reshaped American politics. In Falwell’s coalition, individual Mormons joined forces with Christian fundamentalists and conservative Catholics in an attempt to make American politics more godly. The oft-isolated LDS Church had finally found willing partners."
How's that for guilt by association?

When I first heard of Romney as a possible canidate for the Presidency, I thought "Ok, here come the anti-Mormon forces out of the darkness." I was right.

But, this isn't about Romney, I'll save that for sometime in 2007 (see, you have something to look forward to~). This is about Judge John Roberts' nomination to be a Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. And the anti-Catholic vultures are circling.

Christopher Hitchens, that irrascible tippler from the left whom I always enjoy reading, even when he is an ass (especially when he is an ass?) writes a decidedly anti-Catholic (as applied to Judge Robert's nomination) screed in Slate. Hitchen's states:

If Roberts is confirmed there will be quite a bloc of Catholics on the court. Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas are strong in the faith. Is it kosher to mention these things? The Constitution rightly forbids any religious test for public office, but what happens when a religious affiliation conflicts with a judge's oath to uphold the Constitution? Some religious organizations are also explicitly political and vice versa—the Ku Klux Klan was founded partly to defend Protestantism—and if it is true that Scalia is a member of Opus Dei then even many Catholics would consider him to have made a political rather than a theological choice. Are we ready for a Scientologist on the court rather than having him or her subjected to the equivalent of a religious test? I merely ask."
Now, why would Hitchens bring up Scientologists here? More guilt by association? Damn, those Dems are really good at this ain't they?

A simple Google search of "John Roberts and Roman Catholic Church" brings up over 360,000 articles/sites in less than 1/4 of a second. Amy Sullivan of Beliefnet states that the Republican defense of Robert's Catholic faith is libelous:

Not 24 hours had passed after Bush introduced Roberts to the world before conservatives played the Catholic card. In a move that could charitably be called a preemptive strike and more accurately called a political maneuver, Catholic League president Bill Donohue told Religion News Service that "Any scratching around this area would suggest that there's a veiled religious test by asking questions about his deeply held views." "Our antennaes will be up on that," he warned. In the same story, longtime Roberts associate and Washington attorney Shannen Coffin said he was concerned about "an anti-Catholic witch hunt."
A "pre-emptive" strike Amy? Why am I not surprised? A good offense the best sort of defense? Of course it is, and any argument to the contrary is hypocritical in the extreme.

The reality is that Roberts, like ALL CATHOLICS does not belong to a monolithic group that owes it's allegiance to the Pope. Catholics of all stripes have various ideas as to how their faith interacts with their public as opposed to their religious life. But the Dems aren't satisfied with this. They will attempt to belittle Roberts on his faith just as they are doing to Romney.

But note, the Constitution specifically prohibits a "religious test" for office and that would seem to include baring from office someone because of his faith. What don't the dems understand about these words:

Article VI of the Constitution of the United States:

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States. [emphasis added]

Not satisified with the wording of the Constitution, Christopher D. Morris of the Boston Globe opines:
Asking the bishops to testify would be healthy. If they rescinded the threats made against Kerry, then Roberts would feel free to make his decision without the appearance of a conflict of interest, and Catholic politicians who support Roe v. Wade would gain renewed confidence in their advocacy. If the bishops repeated or confirmed their threats, the Senate Judiciary Committee should draft legislation calling for the automatic recusal of Catholic judges from cases citing Roe v. Wade as a precedent.

Of course, such a new law should cover anyone whose religion makes it impossible for them to decide on their own whether abortion should be legal; therefore, testimony should be taken from the leaders of Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, and other faiths as well. It is clear that several mainline Protestant denominations separate the issue of abortion from church membership and personal salvation; judges from these faiths would face no conflict of interest.

Draft legislation for what amounts to a religious test? What part of the Constitution don't you understand Mr. Morris?

Mario Cuomo, the former Governor of New York, once considered a leading possibility for the Democratic nomination for President stated this last Sunday on Meet the Press:

The law today, we all know, is Roe against Wade. That was made my judges and it can be overturned by judges. To say that the rules that apply to legislators shouldn't apply to judges is, it seems to me, wrong.

Finally, Judge Scalia: Now, there's a Republican conservative, if there ever was one, on the bench. Judge Scalia dealt with this--tangentially, but he dealt with it--on the subject of the death penalty. He said judges, Catholic judges, may be bothered in their conscience in voting for the death penalty because the pope has said that it is evil. He said under those circumstances, the Catholic judge should resign. There is no question it's relevant. Everybody takes an oath to support the Constitution, including especially judges. So why not ask them: "Will you, Judge, apply a religious test to the Constitution? Will you start by saying, `I'm not going to support the Constitution if my pope tells me not to'?" [emphasis added]

Uh, Mario, what part of the Constitution don't YOU understand?

Attacking John Kennedy for his faith was wrong 45 years ago, it is wrong now to attack Roberts for his faith.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:14 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

July 25, 2005

Moron's Anonymous Meets at 7:00 PM

I'm pretty thick skinned, most of the time, but every once in a while someone manages to get under my skin like a chigger. In yesterday's post about Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll here I said very plainly on the post:

To anyone that doesn't like this post, tough, don't come here and post some half assed excuse for the CHB or in support of those who feel and act like her, for I will surely delete that message. This isn't about the war folks, this is about those who have lost a relative, a friend, a father, a husband, a son. This is about allowing private grief to remain private grief."

I also used the term CHB (go look at the original so I don't have to retype the whole phrase and made apologies to the Family Canidae (Dogs), the specific species I was thinking of, at the time, was Canis Lupis, the Gray Wolf because Knoll came as a wolf (to campaign) in sheep’s (a mourner) clothing.

The site was linked to by the good Professor Glen Reynolds of Instapundit and before long, the hits were rolling in. That was good, this was a story that needed to be told.

When Dr. Reynolds links to someone, especially to a small blog like this one, the usual procedure is to do an UPDATE on the bottom of the original post, thank Dr. Reynolds and to welcome those coming to your blog. But I felt that would detract from the story and so I didn't do that, I put it in the comments section instead. That just seemed right to me!

As far as the story went I had checked it out fairly well (considering I'm a pajama clad blogger and not a real newsman) and as best as I could figure out, it was true. So, imagine my surprise when some fellow sends a comment like this one:

Moron. You might actually want to wait to see Knoll's reply to these accusations -- which, frankly, don't ring true -- before going all of on the "bitch" routine."
Needless to say, I deleted that comment but hung on to the e-mail notification for 24 hours before deciding to write this post.

I'm almost at a lost for words. (Notice I said almost) Why would the commenter think I didn't do some checking first. I found out, that Lt. Gov. Knoll has a habit of saying things out of context, that she has been yelled at by her own party members because she doesn't know how to follow the rules of the senate, she has even mispronounced Governor Rendell's name with THE SCRIPT in front of her, calling him several times Edward G. Robinson, the actor that played mobsters a lot and not his real name, Edward G. Rendell. In fact, Lt. Governor Knoll is known to make comments at either an inappropriate time or inappropriate manner.

Moron? Check it out? Get her side? Well gentle readers, guess what? Governor Edward G. Rendell is issuing a written apology for his Lt. Governor's faux pass! Don't believe me? Check here, here, here, here, and here at The Mudville Gazette

Now, the fellow who called me a Moron has a website, but I'm not going to post his name or his site because I don't want to, and I don't want him to get any traffic. A little petty isn't it? Tough!

But I do have a suggestion for this fellow: Pick up your yellow pages, and look for a moron support group! Apparently you need it more than I do.

Oh, and whoever you are, please check here Moron

Posted by GM Roper at 10:53 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Now 20,000 Visits AND we actually know who it is!

An interesting thing about visitor milestones of this site is that we had no clue about the identities of the people who landed on those special numbers--like who was 5,000, 10,000, etc. Now that the site has hit 20,000 visitors, we have a winner and can actually identify this person. That even surprised us.

Before, we reveal the name, which is indicated "below the fold," let's look at some hints and see if you can guess the identity of this visitor.


01) Is a good person (most of the left just dropped out)
02) Dodger Fan (so, it must not be G.M. or Woody)
03) Logs on from both home and work (Oh, that really eliminated a lot.)
04) Does not require medications to control irrational behavior and flying off the handle (That eliminates...oh, you know, but we better not say who.)
05) Uses Microsoft Windows XP (Mac users, you're out.)
06) Lives on the Left Coast
07) Is a male
08) Regular commenter
.........Getting close yet?
09) Needs help in voting (That eliminates Republicans.)
10) Hates to move and loves airplane noise (That's a GOOD hint.)

That's enough! Who is it and what does he win??!!!

(Continue Reading by clicking the link below.)

Posted by GM Roper at 10:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 24, 2005

Cruella DeVille Is Alive And Well And The Lt. Governor Of Pennsylvania

Anyone who knows me, knows that I generally abjure foul language. I seldom use it, except occasionally, with very close friends or in private communication. I do not use it in political discourse generally, though there have been times when I'm so angry it has been used.

But, generally, I don't like curse words in political discussion, I find them to be offensive. Yet, the words do have their place on occasion. This is one of those occasions. Catherine Baker Knoll, Lt. Governor of the State of Pennsylvania is a cold heartless bitch BITCH(CHB from here on) and I apologize for the use of the word and to the slur cast on female members of the family Canidae.

The esteemed (NOT) CHB. recently showed up at the funeral of a member of the Armed Services, Staff Sgt. Joseph Goodrich, 32 who was killed in Iraq on July 10 of this year. The CHB was not invited to the funeral, and was seemingly there to, are you ready for this dear readers, campaign!

According to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette's story by Tom Barnes the family was handed her card and the CHB said "I want you to know our government is against this war."

Does this CHB have NO SHAME AT ALL? Believe me gentle reader, if this had been a conservative or a republican who said that, I would be equally infuriated. How dare she? This was a time of grief, of loss, of remembrance of the life of a loved one. It might even have been a celebration of the life of Sgt. Goodrich. It was not a place for politics, period and you would expect that the CHB would have understood that.

For what it's worth, I extend my sympathy to the Goodrich family, and to those who knew and loved Sgt. Goodrich. I hail his sacrifice for those who are much less fortunate, the people of Iraq. Sgt. Goodrich did not die in vain, but in a cause that is greater than all of us, the cause of freedom.

To, anyone that doesn't like this post, tough, don't come here and post some half assed excuse for the CHB or in support of those who feel and act like her, for I will surely delete that message. This isn't about the war folks, this is about those who have lost a relative, a friend, a father, a husband, a son. This is about allowing private grief to remain private grief.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:16 PM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (1)

July 21, 2005

John Howard - Gutsy PM of Australia

Transcript sent to Katheryn J. Lopez at National Review Online


Could I start by saying the prime minister and I were having a discussion when we heard about it. My first reaction was to get some more information. And I really don't want to add to what the prime minister has said. It's a matter for the police and a matter for the British authorities to talk in detail about what has happened here.

Can I just say very directly, Paul, on the issue of the policies of my government and indeed the policies of the British and American governments on Iraq, that the first point of reference is that once a country allows its foreign policy to be determined by terrorism, it's given the game away, to use the vernacular. And no Australian government that I lead will ever have policies determined by terrorism or terrorist threats, and no self-respecting government of any political stripe in Australia would allow that to happen.

Can I remind you that the murder of 88 Australians in Bali took place before the operation in Iraq.

And I remind you that the 11th of September occurred before the operation in Iraq.

Can I also remind you that the very first occasion that bin Laden specifically referred to Australia was in the context of Australia's involvement in liberating the people of East Timor. Are people by implication suggesting we shouldn't have done that?

When a group claimed responsibility on the website for the attacks on the 7th of July, they talked about British policy not just in Iraq, but in Afghanistan. Are people suggesting we shouldn't be in Afghanistan?

When Sergio de Mello was murdered in Iraq -- a brave man, a distinguished international diplomat, a person immensely respected for his work in the United Nations -- when al Qaeda gloated about that, they referred specifically to the role that de Mello had carried out in East Timor because he was the United Nations administrator in East Timor.

Now I don't know the mind of the terrorists. By definition, you can't put yourself in the mind of a successful suicide bomber. I can only look at objective facts, and the objective facts are as I've cited. The objective evidence is that Australia was a terrorist target long before the operation in Iraq. And indeed, all the evidence, as distinct from the suppositions, suggests to me that this is about hatred of a way of life, this is about the perverted use of principles of the great world religion that, at its root, preaches peace and cooperation. And I think we lose sight of the challenge we have if we allow ourselves to see these attacks in the context of particular circumstances rather than the abuse through a perverted ideology of people and their murder.

PRIME MIN. BLAIR: And I agree 100 percent with that. (Laughter.)

Howard is entirely right! As Marc Antony said in "Julius Ceasar:"

O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth,
That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!
Thou art the ruins of the noblest man
That ever lived in the tide of times.
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood!
Over thy wounds now do I prophesy,
--- Which, like dumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips,
To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue ---
A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;
Domestic fury and fierce civil strife
Shall cumber all the parts of Italy;
Blood and destruction shall be so in use
And dreadful objects so familiar
That mothers shall but smile when they behold
Their infants quarter'd with the hands of war;
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds:
And Caesar's spirit, ranging for revenge,
With Até by his side come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice
Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war;
That this foul deed shall smell above the earth
With carrion men, groaning for burial.

-- William Shakespeare

Info regarding the true meaning of the verse above is obtained from Thomas writing at Minstrels: from 'Julius Caesar'.

Context: This words are said by Mark Antony to Caesar's corpse. Antony, Caesar's most devoted friend, has just made his peace with Caesar's murderers (Brutus, Cassius et al.), hence the 'Pardon me'; yet, as these words make clear, he has already resolved to take revenge on the conspirators. As it turned out, his bloodthirsty words were indeed prophetic: for the next 10 years, the Roman empire was wracked by a series of civil wars, culminating (finally) in the ascension of Caesar's nephew Octavius (later known as Augustus) to power.

Commentary: As poetry, perhaps, this speech of Antony's may not be
remarkable, but as dramatic verse it is stunning. Note the gradual
escalation of tone and emotion, from the subdued and sorrowful 'Pardon
me' at the beginning to the heraldic fury of the four lines beginning
with 'And Caesar's spirit...' at the end - as Antony's feelings run
higher, his words become more intense and the imagery he uses becomes
simultaneously more complex and more powerful. At the end of the speech, one feels almost sorry for Brutus and his co-conspirators.

This short extract also illustrates Shakespeare's remarkable facility
for coining phrases which have passed into idiom - in just 20 lines
(that too, from a play not as highly regarded as some others), we have
'the tide of times', 'hot from hell', 'the dogs of war'...


And the real danger to the world at large is that these islamofascists cannot sense that they will not win, that they will be defeated. The world of civilized men and women will soon tire of the bloodthirstyness of these fascists and will rise up and smite them. I do not hope for that, but I know human behavior. The Islamo-Fascists MUST bring themselves to the table. If they do not, they will be slaughtered, by the ones, by the tens, by the hundreds until this scourge is lifted from the earth.

Posted by GM Roper at 01:43 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 17, 2005

Couldn't Resist

Routinely surfing this morning, I stopped by Raven's blog "And Rightly So" I noticed a picture of Jacques Chirac President of France, Junichiro Koizumi of Prime Minister of Japan and Tony Blair Prime Minister of England with Chirac saying something to Blair. I also noted Dr. Rusty Shackleford's Jawa Report (via Mad Dog Vinnie)linking to the entry and went there to see what was what.

Mad Dog Vinnie noted that he had "gratuitously stolen" the image from Raven, so I gratuitously stole it from both of them and added my own bon mot.


On a serious note Gregory Djerejian of the Belgravia Dispatch has written a serious piece on French perfidity following French leaks of erronius information. The French really are disgusting at times.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 14, 2005

15,000 Readers! G.M. Maxes Credit Cards for Prizes

It seems like only yesterday that we were giving away Richard Simmons motivational tapes, boxes of rubber bands, and invitations to a cookout and bowling with G.M. for those people who helped the site reach the 10,000 visitor milestone. Well, maybe not yesterday. It was actually less than a month ago. Well, those valuable prizes have done the job. Some time today, July 14, 2005, the site will reach the next milestone of 15,000 visitors! G.M. is digging deep into his pockets to come up with fitting prizes for this round of winners.

In all sincerity, we have to give thanks to the readers and commenters of this site for the great job that they do in their exchanges and for the encouragement that they give us. Because of all of you, in just a few weeks this site increased the reader count by fifty percent of the numbers that had previously taken the first seven months to reach!

Thank you for making this site interesting and for helping us to show support for our nation, our military, our faith, and, naturally, our politics. We even like those who don't agree with our politics, because we know that the fact that you are here gives us hope for you. Now, let's start on the next 5,000 and reach more people with the good news about our country.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:10 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

July 12, 2005

English Content, Global Awareness

Surprising absolutely no one, the vast majority of readers of this blog use browsers set as using English as the primary language. In fact, 95% of the readers of this blog use English thusly.

What was surprising were some of the other languages that have logged in at GM'S Corner. The other 5% are the following languages. German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Italian, Thai, Danish, Ukrainian, Turkish, Polish, Hungarian, Finnish and initially the most surprising of all, Farsi. But on reflection I shouldn't have been surprised. There is a growing freedom movement in Iran and I support that 100%.

So there you have it, GM's Corner goes Global!!!!

Posted by GM Roper at 05:56 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

July 10, 2005

Political Disagreement Or Tribalism?

One of the joys of the blogosphere, at least to me, is surfing around and seeing what others think and how others handle their blogs and getting a giggle or two from comical things. Yesterday I was cruising in the neighborhood of The Discerning Texan and noted he had a cartoon up. Got a chuckle, copied it and put it up on my blog too with a link to TDT and a tip of the old GM Chapeaux (that is hat for you non French speaking lefty types)(oh, wait, don't all lefty's speak, breath, eat, sleep, dream French? Or was that Just John Kerry?)

But I digress, getting up this morning bright and early around ohhhh, say O Dark FortyFive I logged on and found a 5:55 am comment from Jassalasca Jape who blogs at a blog of the same name. Still with me folks? I'm a-gittin-to-da point, shore am!

Now, JJ is a lib who has a "Devil's Dictionary" Type blog a'la Ambrose Bierce JJ's comment was thus:

What an amusing instance of cheerleading. Here are a few questions, for what it's worth. Has it ever occurred to the readers of this space that the United States might soon be forced to face up to crises for which there are no off the shelf solutions, and about which reasonable minds might differ? Will it be enough for you to say that it was someone else's fault? Is that the best that your nation can do? Is America really as tribal as it looks from the outside?
I think you should all know that JJ also calls a supporter of the war either a "cheerleader" and said of me that "GMRoper is a drums-of-war cheerleader with a blog..."

Well, those were good questions. So I responded. Here ya be:

Interesting comment. I'm not sure who is cheerleading for whom however. To the author of this space, the concept of "crisis" indicates that there is not an "off the shelf" solution. If there were, it would be a managable problem and not a crisis. Reasonable minds do in fact differ. From the comments on this blog, one can see a wide variety of differences, from radical lefty types to radical righty types and all types in between. In fact, that is one of the reasons my progressive friend Marc Cooper has my blog on his blogroll with the sobriquet "Reasoned discourse." Though sometimes the discourse is less than reasoned. ;-)

Fault is such a trendy word, lets use the term responsible instead. I was late to work many years ago and was involved in an accident when a drunk driver plowed into my car. I was not at fault in that accident, but I was responsible for being late, I was responsible for taking that route to work and I was responsible for being where I was when the accident occurred. Do you discern the difference.

If I anger you, and you punch me in the nose, that action is strictly and only your responsibility. I have some responsibility for what I said/did to anger you, but you and you alone are responsible for your actions.

The same is true with the actions of terrorists, regardless of what we do or do not do, they are totally and solely responsible for their acts of terror, for the death and destruction and for their choice of actions. To deny this is to fly in the face of reality.

Does America look "tribal" from the outside, or is that a misconception from the left. The fact of the matter is that most group interactions are somewhat tribal in nature. In strife or in competition, or in business, its is one side looking for an advantage over another. In most cases, both sides deal understanding that they can take or not take the deal. I don't have to pay one store $40.00 for a shirt if I can pay another store $35.00 for the same shirt.

Your "tribal" comment is a pejorative, but I don't accept that other than it's meaning as a group of people with a similar outlook. If your argument is that we look primitive instead, than you are grossly mistaken. Primitive is the concept of dihimitude, of burkas, of cutting off peoples heads for reasons of instilling fear and revulsion in others. It is the use of murder and calling it "honor killings." It is cutting the throat and shooting a film maker because you didn't like his film, it is declaring a fatwa against an author because he writes a book that is a less than glowing account mentioning Mohammad in a less than glowing light. Does that make me "judgmental?" You bet it does, but not one whit less judgmental than your description of our society as appearing "tribal."

JJ, not satisfied has responded while I was getting this post ready:
Personally, I've never been fond of the political correctness thing (and that goes for both sides of America's monotonous political spectrum). The "tribal" epithet is sure enough pejorative, and was used deliberately, to lend force to the question.

With respect, I believe that your reasoning highlights the atrophy of political debate in American society. Responsibility is indeed the issue. A truer word was never said. But responsibility has two meanings, and you yourself use it in two senses here. To hold someone responsible for a battery, to hold businessmen to their contracts, to exercise consumer choice, these forms of responsibility assume the pervasive, all-surrounding presence of a legal system, which enforces rights and obligations and imposes restrictions on behavior.

Legal systems don't do a perfect job of fixing people with responsibility. We are taught the importance of following the rules, and we teach the same to our children. But no matter how streamlined you try to make it, any organized process costs money, and that means that some bad acts go unpunished, and some people are able to avoid their obligations. Perfect justice is impossible, and anyone who has had the misfortune to experience the legal system up close and friendly has felt the frustration of that fact.

We all have a sense of moral responsibility, as well. In large, the rules of the legal system track our moral sense (hacking a person's head off, for example, would violate the criminal law in any one of the fifty states, as would the act of killing a person and eating their flesh, or the act of killing someone through slow poisoning with a view to inheriting their assets). Where the law fails, whether because of imperfect enforcement, or because of a hole in the law that we think should not be there, we feel frustration. Everyone does.

Osama bin Laden and his little band of suicidal assassins changed nothing. We have always wanted perfect justice, and we have always had to make do with second best. If there are limits to justice inside a well-ordered society, there is going to be more slack in the world beyond its borders. Everyone with common sense, which I do believe includes present company, knows this.

What I do not understand is the point of this pronounced tendency among Americans today to actively flog this dilemma for emotional impact (with images such as "cutting the throat", for example). Nor do I understand why Americans pretend that because there is a set of "Democrat ideas" and "Republican ideas", that one of those baskets of wisdom must necessarily be right. I see lots of churning, and no dialog between the partisans of these so-called political parties. The thinking, if there is any, seems to be taking place elsewhere. Between the heads of the tribes.

And I think that a reasonable lefty deserves a reasonable response.

JJ, May I call you that? Pending your answer I will because Jassalasca Jape is just to hard to type out each time. Besides, I think your blog and your name is kinda neat. But, what is Jassalasca?

I digress, JJ, you have called it "America's monotonous political spectrum." I'm not sure that I would disagree with you, there seems to be a decided lack of decorum on both sides at times, sometimes egged on by the other "side" and sometimes egged on by our side. But so what? Our society, and from your e-mail address I assume you live in Japan and perhaps are not an American (English perhaps or Australian?) or if you are, you are a "gone native" ex-pat (no, that is not intended as a pejorative); our society is built on competition, in our schools, our sports, business and of course politics as well as even the good old sibling rivalry - several times did I want to strangle my brothers or my sister (but I still love them).

You comment that my reasoning highlights the atrophy of political debate in American society. I disagree, equally respectively. While I do agree that the calumny has reached drastic proportions, it is the responsibilty of both party's to pull back. I believe that my comments are entirely within reason and do not overly castigate others. That is not my way. You can check with associates that I blog with and I'm positive that they would tell you the same thing. I admit to being an American Chauvinist, but I happen to believe that this Country is the ultimate hope of the world for freedom and for democracy. We have our problems, internally and externally but I would defend an American radical leftist with my life if he/she were threatened with an islamo-fascist.

You also commented that my use of responsibility was right on; for assault and for business, legal systems etc., leading to the term Justice. Howver, please note that my comments were directed towards the former. Justice, as a concept is imperfect at best, a goal to strive for, but one that can only sometimes be obtained fully. Our system is a system of laws, not of justice. Sometimes they can be the same thing, not usually however.

I would disagree that we all have a "sense of moral responsibility." That would seem to equate the morals of you or me or people we are intimate with and the morals of a terrorist. For they do have a "moral code." Not ours, and, if I need say it, one that is absolutely antithical to ours.

You comment that "Osama bin Laden and his little band of suicidal assassins changed nothing." Unfortunetly, so far you are correct but only to a point. The islamo-fascists have declared war on western civilization. Something that the left side of the aisle has yet to fully comprehend. Much is made in this country of the term "Neo-Con" usually meant as a former liberal turned by the events of September 11, 2001. Maybe so, but there have not been enough neo-cons formed if you will.

You seem to not understand that our two political parties are often seemingly at each others throats. It's called politics and it's the same the world over, whether between the Democrats and Republicans in the USA or between the Social Democrats and Christian Democrats in Germany or the Jiminto (Liberal democratic party) and the Minshuto (Democratic party) of Japan; the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) and the PAN (National Action Party) of Mexico. JJ, that is human nature, to think that your ideas are better than the ideas of someone else. Chauvinistic? Sure. Again, but so what? We must come to grips with what our nature is, not roll around in the clover and wish for something different.

On the site that you seem to "hang out" at, you find a similar lack of rectitude that you accuse my side of... do you remember calling me a "a drums-of-war cheerleader with a blog..." was that meant to foster debate? Or when you posted a comment on my blog and then went to the blog you hang out on and saying (bragging?) that you posted a stealth comment and wondered how long it would take for me to "delete" it. Well, are you satisfied that I don't delete comments unless the language is pretty foul. One commenter called me the banned fellow "glasses" with no more evidence than I have a pair of glasses on my side bar that "can be used to increase or decrease print size." How tolerant or even intelligent is that? A commenter on the "other blog" said I "trafficked in abused children." This is not only a great calumny, but I have spent almost my entire professional life working with severely disturbed individuals, sometimes running up thousands of dollars of pro-bono work. Yet, this "liberal" who probably preaches "tolerance" has the gall to say something as nasty as that. Bernhard, the moderator(?) of the blog/forum doubted that I had ever been to Russia based on my stupid mistake of calling St. Petersburg Stalingrad rather than the correct Leningrad. Yet, please believe that I can absolutely prove that I was there. That is respect of others that you seem to be wanting those on the right to have? If so, please do some more work on your side of the aisle before asking me to change those on my side. One last point JJ; you wonder why we "flog this dilemma for emotional impact" and cite "with images such as "cutting the throat" for esample." JJ, we did not put that out on the internet, they did. We did not fly planes into two occupied civilian sky scrapers, they did, we did not blow up schools, shoot children, dress our children in suicide bomber outfits, or even plant bombs on trains, busses or subway's, they did. But, if we do not remember, we will have a repeat for that is their tactic. Remember that JJ, that is their tactic. I hope you never have to experience terrorism in Japan, but I'm afraid that you eventually will. Because that is their tactic and world domination by islam is their goal. Not all Muslims believe as do these islamo-fascists, but there are enough of them to scare the hell out of me, and they ought to scare the hell out of you too.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:06 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

July 09, 2005

Moon Rise

Sometimes, no words are needed.

moon in sky.jpg

Posted by GM Roper at 01:38 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 03, 2005

Musical Treat From Iraq

This video is provided by the Royal Dragoon Guards. You may have already seen it, but that is no reason not to enjoy it again. Enjoy!

Tip of the GM Chappeaux to Tom Grey at Liberty Dad

Posted by GM Roper at 03:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

June 30, 2005

5000 Hits in June

5000 hits in a single month! Thank you America, thank you!

5000 hits.png

Posted by GM Roper at 11:05 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

June 29, 2005

GM's NEW Look

You may have noticed the first time you clicked on that this is a whole new site. Actually, its not! It is however a new design done by the genius of Michael Slobokan who runs Solbokan's Site O' Schtuff via the wonderful people at E.Webscapes.

Michael was so gracious in putting up with my "Can we...." "How about..." Can you adjust..." A brave man indeed. Comment on the design if you will, Michael is reading the comments.

Thanks Michael, you done good. Damn Good.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:06 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (0)

The Soft Approach To Terror

There is a concerted effort on much of the left to take different approach to Iraq and consequently the war on terror. Much of the left likes to argue that we need a "time table" or an "exit strategy." This is proof positive that they are not taking the WoT seriously. The failure of the United States to follow through on significant retaliation for such acts as the bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon, Mogidishu, embassy bombings in Africa, and the attack on the US Cole is precisely one of the major reasons we had 9/11.

The "enemy" whether you consider the enemy to be Al Qaeda or the whole gamut of islamofascists and their apologists such as Saudi Arabia, CAIR, and others, or you just consider Al Qaeda, knows that our history is to cut when things got "tough."

Examples abound: Korea where we used negotiations (there is an armistice in place); Vietnam where we defunded the south and let the North Vietnamese take over, Mogadishu, The Cole, Lebanon etc are all examples that the enemy is using to wait us out. And the MSM is aiding and abetting this.

Calls for an exit strategy by progressive sites on the internet such as here, here, and by mainstream media such as CNN, MSNBC, and CBS play up the need for an exit strategy.

Karl Rove, that oh so evil political operator nailed liberals for their wanting of a different response to 9/11 than what the congress and the President thought was necessary. The liberal establishment was up in arms over his, addmitedly, slightly over the top (but accurate) assessment. But those same liberals were silent when it came to dandy Dick Durbin's completely and totally inaccurate charges of gulag against American Service men and women.

So, what to do? Easy to say, difficult to do, but we must stay the course in Iraq untill Iraqi's can take charge of the war in their neck of the woods and hunt down the islamofascists. When they can do that, we can exit, no problemo! It just can't be like these three yoyo's who are "Sorry" that we need to stand up to folk who would behead these three in a heartbeat. So endith this rant.


Posted by GM Roper at 09:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 26, 2005


Every once in a while, you come across an entry on a blog that reaches out and smacks you in the face, and you relize you've just read some damn fine writing. This is one of those articles. Nunc Dimittis If you don't go read it, you won't know what you have missed, if you do, you will be touched.

Posted by GM Roper at 10:49 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

June 22, 2005

Cat Blogging

My wife adores cats, I like cats, my cat, the one that adopted me when my bride and I got married merely tolerates me unless I don't check the food bowl. In which case I'll get the message about 2:30 AM. At any rate, here are some different cat pictures:

Continue reading "Cat Blogging"
Posted by GM Roper at 06:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Too Precious For Words

I have no Idea who this is, but the image is just breath-taking.


Posted by GM Roper at 06:07 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (2)

Please let us know who you are!

If this is you, and you can send me a screen shot of your IP address from your computer, we have a special gift (dining gift card) for you as our drawn entry in the 10,000th visitor drawing.

drawn IP address.png

Posted by GM Roper at 09:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 20, 2005

GM's Corner Reaches 10,000 Visitors - I'm going to Disney World!

Just moments ago at 11:18 AM CDT (that's 11:18 in military time), this site achieved milestone visit number 10,000! GM is planning a big cookout at his house tonight for everyone who was part of this. Bring your own hamburger patties. Woody is going to Disney World (really).

An unofficial check, subject to verification, indicates that the 10,000th visitor came to us via a referral from The Mudville Gazette and through the domain pghdaniel.net. Congratulations! If G.M. can determine your identity or you would like to come forward and identify yourself with the IP address or time zone, etc., then you will win a night out of bowling with G.M. and other valuable prizes! Others who were in the hunt for the honor will also be recognized.

G.M., who is currently in a conference, will check in and express his personal thanks this afternoon to each of you who were part of the first 10,000. It could take a while. Further, G.M. will have more to say and will update this entry later with his emotional response. (You like me! You really like me!)

So, from me, a hardy congratulation, G.M.! --Woody

Woody, you deserve as many congratulations as I do. You are an integral part of this blog and I and our readers are lucky to have you.

Ahhh gentle readers, what can I say. It may not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but it is a milestone. 10,000 visitors to GM's Corner and well over 29,000 page views. This last one here: 10000th.png is the detail of what it looks like. Who ever you are, you started with Mudville Gazette this morning and dropped by. If you will e-mail us and attach a screen shot of your computers IP address, We'll send you something special. Don't know what yet, but something. Those wonderful people clicking on between 9950 and 1050 to help us reach that blog will be given a special drawing and soon we will announce who that person is and they too, will get something nice. Our way of saying thanks for being loyal and valued readers.

I started this blog in early November last year with a few ideas of where I wanted to go, but no idea of how to get there. I want to offer special thanks for the inspiration and encouragement I got from Marc Cooper, Michael Totten and Roger Simon, even if they aren't aware of the inspiration. Especially to Marc who kept encouraging, sent his readers over to welcome me and some of which have the gall to argue with me. (just kidding folks)

The blogosphere is an interesting medium, with some 8-10 million bloggers you can find a blog on any subject, from any point of view. It is this free exchange of ideas that will eventually improve our political life and allow for a true democratic response to our world.

Again, thanks gentle readers, thanks, thanks and thanks again.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:20 AM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (1)

June 19, 2005

On Becoming A Dad!

March, 1971. "Hon," I said, "did you make the appointment with the ob/gyn doc?"
"Next month he said, April 1. He want's to wait at least a full month since my last period."

April, 1971. "Congratulations Mr & Mrs. Roper, Cyndy. You are definately pregnant and you should have a baby around Thanksgiving or maybe a little later." More conversations regarding exercise, diet, frequency of appointments, where did we want delivery to be, payment, insurance etc.

Late November, 1971. "Well, it could be as late as mid December said Dr. Schorlemer. It's not uncommon to be late for a first child."

Christmas, 1971. "I don't understand said the good doc, there is no sign of fetal distress, perhaps you mis-judged, or perhaps you got pregnant just before coming in. We'll wait a few more weeks, I'll see you next week at the same time. Don't worry, both the baby and you are healthy."

January 21, 1972. "I'm starting to get concerned. While the monitor and other tests don't show any sign of distress for your baby, and there are no other signs of serious complications, if you haven't gone into labor by Monday morning, check into the hospital and we'll induce labor."

"Honey" said my mom to Cyndy, "I'm going on a canvass of the neighborhood for March of Dimes, would you like to take a walk, it'll take your mind off of this and it will do you some good to get fresh air."

8:30 PM, January 21, 1972. "Yes Doc, contractions are 8 minutes apart, we are leaving for the hosptial in a few minutes."

1:45 AM, January 22, 1972, waiting room at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio. "Mr. Roper, I've given your wife some twilight sleep, she will be fine. She's only at two centimeters and she needs to dialate to 10. Probably around noon today, relax, I'll let you know if anything changes.

5:20 AM, January 22, 1972. "Get some sleep Mr. Roper, I know you've been up all night, but really, your wife is doing fine, she is still at only 3 and a half centimeters. I'll have the nurses tell you if anything happens, I'm headed home right now, I'll be back in a couple of hours. Please, get some rest, when the baby is born she will need you alert and supportive."

5:39 AM, January 22, 1972. "Mr. Roper, Mr. Roper, wake up, you are the father of a healthy daughter. Dr. Schorlemer didn't even get out of the parking lot. Your wife is fine and so is your daughter."

I rushed over to the viewing window at the nursery. There she was, the most beautiful child ever born. She had her eyes wide open and was stareing me right in my eyes, as though looking at my soul and saying "So, your my dad huh? I hope you are ready for this."

Tears began to flow, copius tears, sobs of joy. I stuck around for another hour or two and spoke to Cyndy who was still pretty groggy. I took a last look at my kid and headed to my mom's house exhausted, and filled with a strange kind of warmth I had never known before.

All the way home the tears flowed. "You jerk," I said to myself, "why are you crying, you're supposed to be happy." "Oh, I am," I said to myself in response, "deliriously happy."

First Christmas, first birthday, grandparent's arguing about who Jennifer looked like, who she spent too much time with, or didn't spend enough time with.

First day of school with oh so many tears and the delight of hearing about her first day later that evening. Graduation from kindergarten teaching her to read and to have a love of reading. Good grades, sometimes not so good grades but usually good ones. Jr. High, High School. Directing the Sr. Play in school and having a part (The Little Shop of Horrors since you asked) and High School graduation. Jennifer's mom passed away from the complications of severe asthma. Jennifer was something else; she was my rock, as we both struggled to get through a tough time. College Graduation and first job teaching. Teacher of the year in only her 4th year of teaching. A call today, "Hey dad, happy Father's Day, Can I take you to a movie?

Card for Father's Day, a gift of love.

I know that today is a day to celebrate fathers. But, you know what? Without kids, none of us could be fathers. They say any male that is healthy can be a father, but only a real man can be a dad. You know, I have received lots of accolades over the years. National Honor Society, Outstanding Young Men of America, Who's Who Among America's Teachers, etc. But the very best accolade, the only one that really means anything is "Good night daddy, I love you."

I love you too Jennifer, thanks for letting me be your daddy.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:11 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

June 17, 2005

Hey Dems, How Ya Doin'?

John Hawkins has some thoughts on the number of Democrats in the US Senate. First, the graph he put up:


Then his comments:

A few quick thoughts inspired by this graph...

#1) The Democratic decline in the Senate is not a fluke. It has been a long, slow, steady slide that started during the Vietnam years, was masked for a short period in the post-Watergate years, and has sped up since the early nineties. So this is not a "band-aid" problem for the Dems, it's serious business.

#2) Also, notice that although there are peaks and valleys, the height of the peaks is getting progressively lower. Furthermore, now that the Dems have almost completely lost the South, they may not even have the capacity to get more than a seat or two above 50 for the foreseeable future.

#3) How low will the Dems go? Well, given the polarization of the country, that Bush took 31 states in 2004 and Kerry took 19, and the political die-off of "conservative" Southern Dems at the national level, it's entirely possible we could see the GOP reach the magical "60 number" sometime between 2008-2016, unless something changes. Of course, it goes without saying that's speculative....

#4) Here's a scary thought for Dems: the two biggest troughs on this graph occurred when Democrats took over the White House. If Hillary Clinton were to take the White House in 2008, that could be the very event that would help the GOP to finally go over the 60 seat mark.

Again Dems, do you want to re-think your reliance on "Senators" like Kennedy, Durbin, Kerry, Clinton, and Reid and with goons like Dean? Do you really want to go with that leadership? Really?

Posted by GM Roper at 08:00 AM | Comments (27) | TrackBack (1)

June 15, 2005

Right On Right Thinking Girl, Right On!

Another joy resulting from a few minutes surfing. Went to a new blog friend from Germany, Brushfires of Freedom with an article on our Flag Day The introduction to which translates something like:

In an English language blog with the unlikely name of Ex Scienta - Veritas (added to my blogroll), I found this small story which I found particularly worth reading. Particularly suitable because today is Flag Day in the United States.[note: any errors in translation are all mine, I made them, I own them, mine do you hear? All mine! - GM]
Now, I really like Mike's Ex Scienta Veritas blog (the latin is for "From Knowledge, Truth") and have had it on my blogroll since discovering it.

But, I digress, that story in Brushfires of Freedom led me to Mike's current entry here which led me back to Brushfires of Freedom. From there, I looked at Christian Arm's blogroll (Of course GM's Corner is there! How could you doubt otherwise?) and found this link to Right Thinking Girl and this story on how to win the War in Iraq.

So, that's my story, link, to link, to link to link. Brushfires of Freedom to Ex Scientia Veritas to Brushfires of Freedom to Right Thinking Girl. All leading to some excellent reading. Keep up the excellent work Christian, Mike, RTG.

Oh, and to my readers, please read all the stories I link to, in this post and others. They all lead to good reading, even if you don't agree with their politics (which I of course do).

Posted by GM Roper at 01:01 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

June 14, 2005

God Bless America - Land That I Love!

Today Is Flag Day


God Bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above.
From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam
God bless America, My home sweet home.

Irving Berlin

Posted by GM Roper at 07:03 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

June 13, 2005

New Blog Found Via Blog Surfing

One of the things I enjoy the most is surfing various blogs, liberal, libertarian and of course conservative ones. Every once in a while, you find a jewel. I found this poem at Sailor In The Desert (which goes on my blogroll tonight. Good job Sailor, and as you noted. Freedom isn't free, it's paid for with the lives and limbs of some very brave people.


A Soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.

He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, Soldier,
How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?"

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.

Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.

And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...

Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.

And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.

They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.

I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.

As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, Soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."

~Author Unknown~

Posted by GM Roper at 08:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Inside a REAL Twister

Ever wonder what it looks like inside a tornadoe? Me too. As a kid I lived for a few years in Arkansas and tornadoes were relatively common throughout Arkansas, Oklahoma and North Texas. Here, courtesy of National Geographic is what happens when you can get a tornadoe probe on the ground in front of a twister as it roars overhead. Watch the whole thing.

And a tip of the GM Chapeaux to Crossing The Rubicon2

Posted by GM Roper at 07:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 11, 2005

Scams Galore.... Sigh!

Isuppose everybody with an email address has received at least one copy of the infamous Nigerian Scam. You know, the one that begins with something like "My name is Obo Nedibobo, Manager of the Central National First bank of Nigeria. I manage the investment funds of Chief Jojo Umgahawa of Lagos who recently passed away with no heir........" Just send them your SS number and/or your bank account and password numbers and they will share that 25 or 35 million with you. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sometimes I send them rather colorful replies, sometimes I just delete. Today, I received a different "Nigerian" scam letter, this one purportedly from an American Soldier in Iraq:

Hey this is sgt 1st Class Steve Devo, an american soldier of 1-22 Infantry Battalion currently serving in Iraq.I am writing this message from bagdad in Iraq.we hit Iraq may 2003 and have moved around a few times building up f.o.b.'s around the western side of the country as well as missions into Bagdad.With attacks by insurgents everyday We managed to move funds belonging to Saddam Hussien's family.

The total amount is US$25 Million dollars in cash,mostly 100 dollar
bills.We want to move this money out of iraqi. no strings attached, just help us recieve it, Iraq is a warzone although partially ended. We plan on using diplomatic courier to ship the money out in one large silver box, using diplomatic immunity.

Therefore,If you are the type that can pull this string,kindly get back to me ASAP through email.As soon as i receive your positive reply,I shall furnish you with further details..

Please,note,this issue must be handled with utmost confidentiality as to avoid publicity
Sgt Steve Devo.

If the misspellings and grammar weren't enough of a tipoff, the "silver box" would be. Oh please, why can't these scam artists get a little more original.

Hey Sgt. Devo, I got your silver box right here!!!!

Update: My Reply to Stevearoonie who ever he is:

Dear Sgt Devo, too bad your spelling is so atrocious, too bad your grammar is so poor. Too bad I own a website and posted your e-mail for the world to see and laugh at. Too bad I forwarded a copy to the FBI for their review.

On the other hand, this is a relatively imaginative attempt at the Nigerian scam (NOT). Better luck next time idiot.


Posted by GM Roper at 09:26 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)

June 10, 2005

Free Thoughts

Jeremy Bol at American Warmonger has a great post up highlighting Free Thoughts. He says it so well, I'm not even going to try to add to him. So, here is Jeremy:

"Nickie "The Don" Goomba has given us all a directed blog launching. I can't really say that I blame him. Stefania's Free Thoughts has poor spelling, bad grammar, slow loads and unattractive design. So why am I giving her props after all of this? Because she tells it like it is better than most American bloggers I know. The best part is she isn't an American. She's off in Europe somewhere proving that not all Euros hate Bush and America...and she's doing one hell of a job. Go check her out and be amazed at how many people in the world actually love Bush and love America."
Now Go Visit Her!

Posted by GM Roper at 02:09 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Macho - Macho Man, I've Got To Be A Macho Man!

macho man.jpgRemember the Village People? Felipe Rose The Indian, Ray Simpson The Cop, Eric Anzalone The Biker, Jeff Olson The Cowboy, Alex Briley The Soldier, David Hodo The Construction Worker? Macho men all, by appearances at any rate. Well, move over Macho Man, there is now a replacement, The Metro-Sexual. According to Pierre Francois Le Louet, Paris fashion designer:

""The masculine ideal is being completely modified. All the traditional male values of authority, infallibility, virility and strength are being completely overturned," said Pierre Francois Le Louet, the agency's managing director.

Instead today's males are turning more towards "creativity, sensitivity and multiplicity," as seen already in recent seasons on the catwalks of Paris and Milan.

Arnold Schwarznegger and Sylvester Stallone are being replaced by the 21st-century man who "no longer wants to be the family super-hero", but instead has the guts to be himself, to test his own limits.

We are watching the birth of a hybrid man. ... Why not put on a pink-flowered shirt and try out a partner-swapping club?" asked Le Louet, stressing that the study had focused on men aged between 20 and 35.

Sociologists and other experts spent three months analyzing some 150 magazines and books and 146 Internet sites, as well as interviewing a dozen experts from Europe, the United States and China.

The traditional man still exists in China, Le Louet said, and "is not ready to go". But in Europe and the United States, a new species is emerging, apparently unafraid of anything."

OMG, this is so, so funny. If a fop, dandy, metrosexual like this one showed up at my doorstep I'm afraid (yes, very afraid) that I'd collapse in uproarious laughter and die on the spot. Who is Le Louet kidding?

The funniest aspect of this, besides the idiocy of wearing your suspenders backwards no less (I wonder if he went all out and put his T-Shirt on backwards as well) is that Howard Dean, as a presidential contender just last year, declaired himself a Metrosexual. Now however, Mr. Metrosexual Man doesn't know that Republicans work, thinks that we are all white christians etc., etc. The next time Dean speaks anywhere, to any audience, look around, see if you can find Mr. Flaming hair, striped shirt, lime-green pants who is so full of himself that he puts his suspenders on backwards as some sort of foolish fashion statement is in the audience. If he is, ask him if he votes democratic. Maybe that is whats wrong with the Democratic Party. That and Ted Kennedy of course.

Macho-macho man, I've got be a macho man!

A tip of the GM Chapeaux to James Taranto of Best Of The Web Today.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:47 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

June 07, 2005

Lost In Translation

If you want to read something that will bring a lump to your throat, a smile to your face, and perhaps a tear to your eye at the perseverance of a man, his family and his intent to make Iraq a better place go here. Thanks Michael. God bless you Qatou Samou Haji Aldanani.
Here is Mr. Qatou Samou Haji Aldanani and two of his grand children: "My children [and grand children]are free." (brackets added)
Yezidi man.jpg
A tip of the GM Chapeaux to Pierre LeGrand of The Pink Flamingo Bar & Grill.

Posted by GM Roper at 02:50 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

June 06, 2005

Let It Be Dean! Oh, Wait, It Is Dean; And He Is A DISASTER

In early February of this year (where has the time gone?) I posted a little ditty about Howard Dean noting that if the Republicans were lucky, we would have Dean to laugh at for the next 8 years. Well good people, Dean won(?) the chairmanship of the Democratic National Committee and has lots to show for it. However, before we get to his many victories, let's reveiew my little ditty, reprinted here for your edification, elucidation and all around education and once again, with apologies to the Statler Brothers, Willie Nelson, The Everly Brothers and anyone else who ever recorded or sang in the bathtub "Let It Be Me."

Repub's bless the day we found you
We want Dems to stay around you
And so we beg you, let it be Dean

Dems don’t take this heaven from one
If you must cling to someone
Now and forever, let it be Dean

Each time we hear Dean
We hear a big scream
Without your sillyness, what would life be?

So never leave us Dean-O
The Big ones Dems will blow-oh
And we hope they’ll always let it be Dean

Each time we hear him
We think of what can be
and with him chairman we’ll never loose

So never leave us Dean-O
The Big ones Dems will blow-oh
And we hope they’ll always let it be Dean

Now, on to the victories:
  • Raising More Cash Than The Republicans - - Nope, the Republicans have raised almost twice as much.
  • Putting Democrats out ahead in the "money on hand" issue - - Nope, the Republicans have almost 3 times as much money in the bank.
  • Getting moderate and conservative Democrats in line with the liberal wing of the party - - Nope, he has even alienated Joe Biden (who said "Not with that kind of rhetoric. He doesn't speak for me with that kind of rhetoric. And I don't think he speaks for the majority of Democrats. . . . I wish that rhetoric would change." and John Edwards who said "He's a voice. I don't agree with it."
  • Causing the Republicans to fear the coming onslaught by the Democrats - - Nope, we sit here chuckling at any one stupid enough to declare that "Republicans have never made an honest living in their lives."
  • Was the direct cause of lots and lots of Democrats to get elected - - Nope! On the other hand, there haven't been any elections, but believe me, those of us who typically vote Republican can't wait... just can't wait.

    Ahhhh, yes, nostalgia for the songs of our youth.... Let It Be Dean.

    Posted by GM Roper at 05:43 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
  • June 05, 2005


    The the intellectual support for the Islamo-fascist assault on liberal democratic legitimacy involves a very complex, comprehensive, multifaceted strategy. First, it involves a demonstration of the failure of Western democracies to meet their own standards which are regarded as utopian measuring rods. Second, it proceeds by continuous falsification of Islamo-fascist practices and assertions of Islamic loyalty to basic Western values. At the same time that it is suggested that we do not respect our own values, it is claimed by the Islamists that they do. Our flaws are exaggerated, theirs are simply denied. Third, the conclusion is, of course, inexorably arrived at, that there is, at best, not a dime's worth of difference between these two modes of governance.

    Full disclosure: I didn't write the above, I edited it and substituted islamo-fascism (and related terms) for the Soviet Union in an essay originally written by Jeane J. Kirkpatrick "The Myth of Moral Equivalence"

    Which brings us to the purpose of this essay. There have been a multitude of writers of the left/liberal/progressive/Democratic Party types who decry the conduct of the war on terror based on actions taken by some blockheads (I'm trying to be polite in describing these folk) in mistreating prisoners taken in the war on terror.

    Indeed, there is a large body of reportage describing how we have failed of our idealism as a nation by engaging in "torture" and other behaviors that have damaged our view of ourselves, damaged our reputation in the world and in the so called, much vaunted but entirely illusory "arab street."

    In a recent post on gulags the comments from those on the opposite side of the aisle came fast and furious. Of a total (to date) 26 comments fully 14 of those comments were from the left taking issue with me. That is well and good, the whole idea behind my essay, and indeed this blog, is to post my beliefs and thoughts and to engender argument from those opposed to my ideas. To this extent I have, at long last, succeeded. The intellectual battle is thus joined.

    From the left comes the argument that America and American style democracy is a failure because of Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, sending and the evidence that proves this was supplied by by none other than one George Soros:

    "After an introduction by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, billionaire financier George Soros told left-wing activists at a Washington function today the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal in Iraq is comparable to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States."
    "In January, Soros told an audience at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace no less than the future of the planet hinges on the results of the presidential election.

    "I'm ready to put my money where my mouth is," he said. "2004 is not an ordinary election. It's a referendum on the Bush doctrine. The future of the world hangs in the balance."

    Uhhh, George, you lost. America voted for Bush and by extension, the War on Terrorists.

    Yeppers, a true moral equivalence. What's the problem with the left, and please note, I'm not talking about Democrats, I'm not talking about liberals or progressives, I'm talking about the left, the hard core those who are so intellectually dishonest that they cannot tell the difference between abuse of prisoners (which has happened, only a person with their brain disengaged could say it didn't) and the stoning of gay folk, the execution by beheading of prisoners, the beating of women for a myriad of reasons, the imprisonment and sometimes execution of Christians in Saudi Arabia, the enslavery, torture (the real thing, not just abusive treatment), and execution of animists in Sudan. These are not equal behaviors.

    I'm sure this post will bring out those who argue that we have failed of our promise. But war, and here we didn't start this war, is an awful thing. Bad things happen in war. We know this, any intellectually honest person knows this. Yet, we also give Quran's to our muslim prisoners. Do you honestly believe that Al Qaeda gives bibles to those they have captured. Do you think that those captured by the islamists in Iraq have access to legal cousel or courts? Do you honestly believe that their actions are the equivalent of ours?

    This is the framework of the radical left. The left with an agenda. The agenda is simple, express outrage in logical and seemingly intelligent terms and decrease the effectiveness in the war on terrorists. Enlist Muslims in the condemnation of the trashing of the Quran and ask for more "sensitivity" in understanding the islamo-fascist. Don't believe me, how about "QURAN DESECRATION:
    Far Worse than Abu Ghraib" by M.A. Muqtedar Kahn here.

    The truth about Abu Ghraib is bad enough, in fact, it's sickening that American Soldiers could stoop so low. But the facts are also that those involved were also being investigated before the scandle broke, that charges were filed and courts martial were scheduled. Do those proposing a moral equivalence purport to tell us that the islamo-fascists would have done the same to those who beheaded helpless prisoners? I don't think so.

    A friend recently sent me an e-mail that speaks to the differences between how we specifically and the west in general treat muslims and how we in turn are perceived by those self same muslims:

    "Running the risk of sounding like one of those weird "conspiracy theorists," I must say that I do firmly believe that there is a very sophisticated, multi-faceted program to in time, supplant western culture (e.g., Christianity) with Islam. Remember, Islam is not "just" a religion; it is also a political power structure. When I say multi-faceted, I am saying that there is a concerted effort under foot to dismantle western culture, simultaneously, on several fronts. Farakan is working overtime to convert increasing numbers of African Americans, CAIR is working to indoctrinate school children through their programs of providing "free literature" and guest speakers to our public schools, more and more Muslims are becoming school teachrers, the Saudi government funds Madrassas almost exclusively, there are increasing numbers of mosques going up throughout US cities, there is a massive effort to garner political support for Islam within the Congress (Conyers), and through the ACLU and CCR lobbies, much effort is being placed on having Christians denounced as part of a "hate campaign" against the "tolerant" faith of Islam. MY concern is that this is working all too well, most Americans are not paying attention, and then what causes my deepest level of concern is that "they" are using "our" constitution to achieve their goals.

    I am not advocating any kind of red-neck hoe-down here . . . but I am saying that if the various investigative agencies of the U. S. government aren't looking carefully enough, we will soon see [radical-Wahabbi] mosques spewing their filth to the direct and long term detriment to American culture. It is already in full swing in Europe; we are next. I recently read an article where a Swedish teenaged girl was found guilty of being "insensitive" to minorities for (are you ready) wearing a small symbol the the national ensign. So you see, in some western countries, citizens are not even permitted to display national pride because it offends minority sensitivities. Could that happen here? It already does, in terms of the so-called "hate" crimes where even speaking truth can lead to lawsuits. One lady author living in NYC was recently indicted in Italy for publishing a book that speaks the truth about Islam, and Italian Muslims filed a criminal complaint.

    One person with whom I correspond, he is Greek American who lives in NYC, told me not long ago that he fully expects American cities will look similar to Beruit within another generation or so. I hope he is wrong, but I fear that he is not. I think my underlying concern is that the longer we wait to confront "the enemy within," the more difficult it will be to sort things out in defense of the American way.

    The American way -- where foreigners are welcomed to our shores with the expectation that they will embrace us, learn our language, educate their children, work hard, serve America when it is necessary, and take their places by our side. Muslims are being told to do just the opposite -- "remain apart, trust Christians not, do not offer a helping hand, even when they do good things for you, use the infidel's system against the infidel," and that kind of sh**. And, of course, dumb asses that we are, we do not perceive any of this as being a problem."
    Now I know that there will be some who decry this kind of language, but will also use equally intemperate language, indeed perhaps worse, to describe the author of the e-mail. Some of the terms I have been called in various forums are not to be believed (well, if you read DU, you can believe it).

    An Arab who is also a Christian states it fairly well:

    "The following is my analysis of Islamic invasion of America, the agenda of Islamists and visible methods to take over America by the year 2020! Will Americans continue to sleep through this invasion as they did when we were attacked on 9/11?

    1) Terminate America’s freedom of speech by replacing it with hate crime bills state-wide and nation-wide.

    2) Wage a war of words using black leaders like Louis Farrakhan, Rev. Jesse Jackson and other visible religious personalities to promote Islam as the original African-American’s religion while Christianity is for the whites! Strange enough, no one tells the African-Americans that it was the Arab Muslims who captured them and sold them as slaves, neither the fact that in Arabic the word for black and slave is the same, “Abed.”

    3) Engage the American public in dialogues, discussions, debates in colleges, universities, public libraries, radio, TV, churches and mosques on the virtues of Islam. Proclaim how it is historically another religion like Judaism and Christianity with the same monotheistic faith.

    4) Nominate Muslim sympathizers to political office for favorable legislation to Islam and support potential sympathizers by block voting.

    5) Take control of as much of Hollywood, the press, TV, radio and the internet by buying the corporations or a controlling stock.

    6) Yield to the fear of imminent shut-off of the lifeblood of America – the black gold. America’s economy depends on oil, (1000 products are derived from oil), so does its personal and industrial transportation and manufacturing -41% comes from the Middle East.

    7) Yell, “foul, out-of-context, personal interpretation, hate crime, Zionist, un-American, inaccurate interpretation of the Quran” anytime Islam is criticized or the Quran is analyzed in the public arena.

    8) Encourage Muslims to penetrate the White House, specifically with Islamists who can articulate a marvelous and peaceful picture of Islam. Acquire government positions, get membership in local school boards. Train Muslims as medical doctors to dominate the medical field, research and pharmaceutical companies. Take over the computer industry. Establish Middle Eastern restaurants throughout the U.S. to connect planners of Islamization in a discreet way. Ever notice how numerous Muslim doctors in America are, when their countries need them more desperately than America?

    9) Accelerate Islamic demographic growth via:
    Massive immigration (100,000 annually since 1961) No birth control whatsoever – every baby of Muslim parents is automatically a Muslim and cannot choose another religion later. Muslim men must marry American women and Islamize them (10,000 annually). Then divorce them and remarry every five years – since one cannot have the Muslim legal permission to marry four at one time. This is a legal solution in America. Convert angry, alienated black inmates and turn them into militants (so far 2000 released inmates have joined Al Qaida world-wide). Only a few have been captured in Afghanistan and on American soil. So far – sleeping cells!

    10) Reading, writing, arithmetic and research through the American educational system, mosques and student centers (now 1500) should be sprinkled with dislike of Jews, evangelical Christians and democracy. There are 300 exclusively Muslim schools with loyalty to the Quran, not the U.S. Constitution.

    11) Provide very sizeable monetary Muslim grants to colleges and universities in America to establish “Centers for Islamic studies” with Muslim directors to promote Islam in higher education institutions.

    12) Let the entire world know through propaganda, speeches, seminars, local and national media that terrorists have high-jacked Islam, not the truth, which is Islam high-jacked the terrorists. Furthermore in January of 2002, Saudi Arabia’s Embassy in Washington mailed 4500 packets of the Quran, videos, promoting Islam to America’s high schools--free. They would never allow us to reciprocate.

    13) Appeal to the historically compassionate and sensitive Americans for sympathy and tolerance towards the Muslims in America who are portrayed as mainly immigrants from oppressed countries.

    14) Nullify America’s sense of security by manipulating the intelligence community with misinformation. Periodically terrorize Americans of impending attacks on bridges, tunnels, water supplies, airports, apartment buildings and malls. (We have experienced this too often since 9-11.)

    15) Form riots and demonstrations in the prison system demanding Islamic Sharia as the way of life, not American’s justice system.

    16) Open numerous charities throughout the U.S. but use the funds to support Islamic terrorism with American dollars.

    17) Raise interest in Islam on America’s campuses by insisting that freshman take at least one course on Islam. Be sure that the writer is a bonafide American, Christian, scholarly and able to cover up the violence in the Quran and express the peaceful, spiritual and religious aspect only.

    18) Unify the numerous Muslim lobbies in Washington, mosques, Islamic student centers, educational organizations, magazines and papers by internet and an annual convention to coordinate plans, propagate the faith and engender news in the media of their visibility.

    19) Send intimidating messages and messengers to the outspoken individuals who are critical of Islam and seek to eliminate them by hook or crook.

    20) Applaud Muslims as loyal citizens of the US by spotlighting their voting record as the highest percentage of all minority and ethic groups in America.

    This site shows a few of the "debates" between the author of the above and Muslim leaders. Yep, Morally Equivalent for sure.

    For a last argument, let us return to Jeane J. Kirkpatrick:

    "But whenever anyone suggests that the world is dominated by superpower rivalries, they imply that we have some goal other than fostering and preserving a world of independent nations. Otherwise the concept of superpower rivalry makes no sense. But if there is only one power which seeks to undermine and subvert the independence of nations, then there is no question of superpower rivalry, and there isn't even a question of a contest between the United States and that imperialistic power. There is a contest between the imperialistic power and all other countries who desire to preserve their independence.

    UPDATE: Babalublog has a terrific post up about the true sense of what a real gulag is. No attempt at moral equivalence here. Good Job Val Prieto. Good damn job!

    Posted by GM Roper at 10:39 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (1)

    June 04, 2005

    Liberals, Progressives, The Left, The Right And The War On Terror - PART I

    Authors Note: This will be a multi part series spread over a week or two. Feel free to comment on each section or reserve your comments till the final product. Each part will contain a link to previous parts if you wish to refresh your memory before continuing on.

    Sometimes, usually in the wee hours of the morning if I've not gone to bed, or perhaps at "Oh-Dark-Thirty" if I've woken up early I'll pop over to the internet news and read some of my favorite blogs, even before my last cup of decaf if a latenight or my first cup of joe if early awake. And sometimes, I read things like "repugs," "Bushitler" "Moonbats," "wingnut" and I get weary all over again. At other times I read some really far out comments from a (left or right) wingnut and I laugh out loud at the sheer stupidity of the comment.

    Folk who would never think to cuss in their homes think nothing of using four letter words in a comment. Folk who are, in their day to day lives thoughtful, introspective, kind, generous etc., become those "repugs" or "demo-RATS on the internet and I wonder what it is that brings out such calumny and vituperation.

    The right blames it on the left, the left blames it on the right, the "middle" blames both and no one really is much interested in discourse or even being rational. How silly.

    Now, having said all of the above, I'm going to try to set out in a rational manner my thoughts on Liberals, Progressives, The Left and the War On Terror. "Wait Roper, you are a conservative, you don't know anything about the left, how the heck can you possibly say anything without it being some kind of repug rant?"

    Good question, and I'm going to try really hard not to rant, but to give a perspective of a thinking conservative. I think then, that after you've read my little essay and you wish to comment, please feel free to do so, but do so thoughtfully without any vituperation, calumny, ad hominem attacks or cursing. Especially no cursing.

    Let's begin with a few definitions shall we? (NOTE: All definitions are taken from The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Politics, Oxford University Press, 2nd Edition; 2003.) First, liberal.

    "In general, the belief that it is the aim of politics to preserve individual rights and to maximize freedom of choice. In common with "socialism" and "conservatism," it emerged from the conjnction of the "Enlightenment, the industrial revolution and the political revolutions of the seventeenth and eighteen centuries. Liberalism retains a faith in the possibiliteies of improvement in present social conditions, which is related to the idea of progress..."
    The term is used most often by the right as a slur; someone who is just to the right of Joseph Stalin perhaps, or worse, an out and out "stalinist," but this is a "new" definition of "liberal" one used to castigate "tax and spend" Democrats in the middle of the 20th century through the elections, at least, of 1988 when Dukakis was running.

    The term Progressive is defined as:

    "An amorphous, cross-party tendency towards economic and political reform prevalent in the United States especially from 1896 to 1916.

    it is difficult to place progressives on a conventional left-right spectrum. Whilst they were committed to reform they were also, in a sense, deeply conservative. They harked back to an alleged golden agae in American history - one of small farms, small towns, and small businesses where ther was opportunity for all and where self-government was a reality."

    Today, too often, a person adopts the them progressive, as in "I'm a Progressive," because the right was so successful in casting the term liberal as a putdown and the modern "progressive" doesn't want to be tarred with the "liberal" lable but they still want to uphold what they consider to be modern liberal cant.

    Leftist is a little harder to pin down:

    "In political terms, now indicative of the radical or progressive socialist spectrum, but originally literally a spatial term.

    What it is to be 'left(-wing)' varies so much over space or time that a definition is very difficult, but the following issue oreintations would normally be involved: egalitarianism, support for the (organized) working class, support for nationalization of industry, hostility to marks of hierarchy, opposition to nationalistic foreign or defence policy. 'Left' is used to distinguish positions within parties as well as among them. A left wing socialist is one who takes extreme positions on (some of) the items on the list.

    When folk speak of the "hard left" this is what they are thinking of. Not necessarily "within parties" as much as a dividing line between Liberal Democrats and Democrats in left field so to speak. Of couse, this asks a question: Are there liberal Republicans and is there a "left-wing" of the Republican Party. The answer is of course, both parties are relatively "big tents" although certain political beliefs will get you disdained in both parties. Pro-Life Democrats for example, McCain-Finegold supporters in the Republicans.

    Middle of the road or "moderates" really aren't anything. They have few or no core values, waffle on many if not most issues, are used by the "opposite party" as an example to hold up to the more committed members of the opposition and are generally talked about in fairly glowing terms, but are fairly despised by both ends of the political spectrum.

    Conservatives are equally hard to pin down as a political force. There is the favored picture of the conservative by the far left as (in one of my favorite phrases) "Knuckle Dragging Neanderthals" or the somewhat less acceptable "Wingnut" and a few others. Conservatives may have some libertarian leanings but are not libertarians. Libertarians are not conservatives by any stretch. Conservativism is then:

    "In general terms a political philosophy which aspires to the preservation of what is thought to be the best in established society, and opposes radical change.

    Mannheim*, faced with the considerable differences between Continental and English traditions of conservatism, concluded that the drive behind conservatism was a 'universal psychic inclination' towards traditionalism, the doctrinal form that expressed this inclination differeing between contexts. But he does detect a common negative strand to all conservatism, a critical response to 'natural law thinking'. Conservative ideas are, thus, more genuine and profound than many critics suggest..."

    * Mannheim, Karl (1893-1947) hungarian sociologist.

    PART II will begin an examination of the interactions between left, right and the War on Terror

    Posted by GM Roper at 09:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    June 02, 2005

    Gulags, American Gulags?

    Dear Amnesty International:

    The other day you released your report and one of the YOUR staff noted that the Guantanamo detention facility was "the gulag of our time."

    This set me to thinking about a myriad of possibilities regarding gulags/detention facilities/prisons. I'm left with two possibilities: (1) Either your idiotarian staff doesn't know what a gulag is, how it operates, what the political ramifications of a system of government that establishes and supports gulags is; or (2) See Number 1.

    Let's refresh our memories shall we? Gulags were established in the Soviet Union for the sole purpose of housing and working to death political prisoners. The conditions were abominable and few received quality medical care, good and plentiful food, religious tracts, bibles or korans.

    Gitmo on the other hand houses primarily illegal combatants, those individuals who in mistaken zealousness and loyalty to a perversion of religious belief have taken up arms against civilization. They do not have the rights of Prisoners of War, they could have been summarily tried and shot under the auspices of the Geneva Convention and under our own Supreme Court Rulings on illegal combatants.

    The islamo-fascists housed at Gitmo would take your staff member and cut her head off without a moment's hesitation, unless she submitted to Islam. They are murderous thugs, nothing more, nothing less.

    Some of them have probably been abused, people in the service are angry at them. That is not right, but it is understandable. When those individuals are caught in unwarranted and illegal behavior they are punished by the provisions of the UCMJ.

    One last word, actually perhaps a thousand words is this:

    Remember This.jpg

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:55 AM | Comments (27) | TrackBack (0)

    June 01, 2005

    Blog Giant - Interview with Michael J. Totten

    Few have influenced (positively in the widest possible sense) the blogosphere as has one of my most important influences - Michael J. Totten. Michael is difficult to pin down in terms of his interests. He is a traveler, an author, a blogger, a reporter, a photographer (and photoshopper) family man and a friend.

    In the Summer of ’02 I was going through a number of newspapers on the internet, the NYTimes, Washington Post, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Sun-Times, and a few smaller, less well known papers, McAllen Monitor, Arkansas Democrat Gazette checking on the war in Afghanistan, catching up on news, reading opinion, jotting entries into several online-forums.

    This was my early morning routine, read current affairs, make comments in forums from time to time, subscribe to a couple of online journals/magazines (National Review Online, Weekly Standard, The Hill etc) and I even clicked on to Drudge to check out his take and to click on some of my favorite columnists.

    I would print out Best of the Web, maybe an Opinion Journal editorial or two from the day before and read them while sipping coffee on the patio.

    Little did I know that I would soon discover the world of blogs. One of the first was, of course, Glen Reynolds, author of Instapundit, and from time to time, I’d click on a link read and perhaps linger a while on a fairly large variety of news sources, opinion sources and increasingly, blogs. One day, I clicked on a link somewhere, on some site and ended up at Michael Totten's Blog Don’t remember where I was when I found it, but I did! This was somewhere near the end of ‘03, beginning of ’04 and the world (mine at least) shifted to a whole new reality, a new frame of reference.

    Here is this guy Michael J. Totten, a liberal mugged by 9-11 supporting the WOT and Bush and Co.’s efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Not only that, but this guy is absolutely doing it in a professional manner. This was new to me. Being a frequenter of the Washington Post’s news forum I got occasionally disgusted with left and right wing rants, ad homonym attacks on each other and other sometimes tiring techniques of argument not resolving anything (and yes, I was occasionally guilty of the same things I tired of). In short, the forums were getting boring, and sophistic.

    Over the next several months, I left the news papers and began reading blogs, all kinds of blogs. Left, right, centrist, lib, commie-hippie-pinko, Democratic supporters, Republican supporters, middle of the road supporters. Sheesh, you name it, I read it. But I almost always started my day with Michael Totten’s blog to find out what was what. I started reading his articles on Tech-Central-Station and spread around to other blogs such as Kaus Files, Powerline, Roger L. Simon, and Polipundit

    I would occasionally post a comment or two, usually fairly innocuous in nature as this was a new medium for me and I felt a little uncomfortable and unsure of myself. Responses from Michael or other commenters were usually polite (well, Michael was always polite). Then I sent him an e-mail about something he stated in a post and lo and behold, I got an answer back. Wow, what a new experience.

    One morning in the early part of ’04, Michael suggested to his readers that they try a new blog by a friend of his, Marc Cooper. I did and found a “progressive” site that wasn’t afraid to call a spade a spade and point out the perceived flaws in both the left and right. I became a regular commenter at Cooper’s site, but still Michael was my morning “fix.”

    Then, in October of ‘04 I started blogging myself at the encouragement of Cooper, a decision that I have yet to regret. A little over two months ago, I contacted Michael and asked him about doing profile/interview of him and he agreed.

    Me, doing a profile on one of my blog heroes? Oh boy, was this going to be something. Michael and I corresponded a while and I sent him questions to ponder and answer. Then, things started heating up in Lebanon and Michael e-mailed me saying that our “project” might be delayed. “Uh Oh” I thought, there it goes down the tubes.

    I followed Michael’s postings from Lebanon and was increasingly glad that he had gone. His posts described a Cedar Revolution not found in the MSM. Insights based on direct observations and conversations with Lebanese, photographs of rallies, of people, families, children, a country in the throes of discovering its power.

    As you all know, Michael made it back, safe and sound and his articles on the Cedar Revolution are must reads.

    Through Michael, I’ve met, corresponded with, linked to and enjoyed many, many others. I’ve also made a friend. So, without further ado, here is Michael in his own words, with occasional comment from yours truly.

    I Googled Michael J. Totten and got over 75,100 hits in less than one second. How does that make you feel knowing there are that many mentions of you on the net?[addendum, today's Google produced 220,000 google "hits."]
    It’s kind of shocking, really. That’s a pretty big number. But the shock is lessened somewhat when I realize lots of those search hits are my own blog posts. I haven’t been quoted by 75,000 different people.
    [Michael is, I think being quite modest. Though he undoubtedly is correct that a lot of those “hits” are indeed his own posts, he would have to be far more prolific than he is to even have 20,000 items up there. So, that leaves, by this writing more than 200,000 different mentions on a google search… nice try Michael, but there is no need to be modest about this statistic - you done good!]

    You grew up in Oregon. What was it like to grow up in one of the more liberal places in America?

    Oregon isn’t liberal, it has a few liberal cities in it. Oregon isn’t really even a place. It’s a geographic abstraction with a government. The borders don’t make any sense.

    Let me explain. Portland - Oregon’s largest city - runs right up to the Washington state line. Some of our suburbs are actually inside Washington. If you drive north across that border you’ll eventually reach Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia. Not only will you cross a state border if you drive five hours north, you’ll cross an international border. And yet you’ll remain within the same Pacific Northwest cultural region even after you’ve cleared customs.
    But if you drive only an hour and a half to the east you’ll be in the desert. It’s cowboy country out there. And I mean real-deal cowboys, not wannabe urban guys with boots and a hat. Go to southeast Oregon and you’ll find not hipsters, hippies, and latte-sipping city boys like me. You’ll find people who came here from the Basque country in Spain. They spend all day silently herding scrub-grazing cattle by themselves. Believe me, Oregon’s desert country isn’t liberal or left. It is radically libertarian. I enjoy hanging out there because to me it’s foreign, exotic. It’s hard to believe the people out there are my fellow Oregonians, but they are. Portland really does have more in common with the Canadian city a few hours north.

    Salem, the state capital where I grew up, is more like a small version of Des Moines, Iowa, than it is like Portland, Seattle, Vancouver B.C., or the high desert. It’s a boring, conservative, provincial government town.

    To get back to your question, I didn’t grow up in liberal Oregon. I grew up in conservative Oregon. And I’m glad I no longer live there. It’s a cultural and intellectual void. If you want to watch a foreign film in the theater, let alone the opera, you have to drive to Portland or fly to San Francisco – except that you can’t fly anywhere from Salem, so never mind. If you’re into anything even remotely out of the ordinary (writing, art, dance, photography, or even physics) you’ll have a hell of a time finding anyone in Salem you can relate to. If you are able to find such a person, it’s almost guaranteed they’ll be planning an escape from the city.

    I may not toe the liberal line in politics anymore, but I don’t think I could live in a so-called “red” part of the country either unless it’s a blue city in a red state. I need the cultural and urban amenities that liberals and leftists create.

    [I think Michael is mistaken about creativity and varied interests in conservative places, but that is perhaps because his interests are not the interests of many conservatives. If you ask most people what they think is Oregon's political leanings, they will answer "liberal" but Michael is perhaps right in declaring a "state" not liberal, though the majority of the people are - folks in the high desert, Salem etc not-with-standing]

    Last year as part of a discussion on Hugo Chavez at Daily Thoughts you were quoted from your blog entry here: "Boy did I goof that one. ... Venezuela is now the closest thing Latin America has to a dictatorship outside Cuba."

    Any others you now believed you goofed on? What should the US do about Chavez, if anything.

    I’ve goofed on lots of my political opinions. And all my previously wrong opinions were liberal or leftist. That’s not because liberal ideas are more likely to be wrong than conservative ideas, but rather because I’ve hardly ever had any conservative opinions in the first place that I could later backtrack on.

    I once was a pacifist, but I no longer am. I used to think affirmative action was a good idea, but I’ve been against that for about ten years now. Until 2001 or so I was part of the anti-globalization crowd, but I’ve walked away from them since then. Until rather recently I didn’t understand the pro-globalization side of the argument. I do now, but I also think globalization’s cheerleaders are too dismissive of people who point out the very real dark side of the process. Globalization really does smash some people. Look at Flint, Michigan. You don’t have to be a Michael Moore groupie to see that what happened to Flint is a catastrophe.

    I have backtracked on two previously conservative opinions that I held when I was a teenager: I used to think gay marriage and abortion should be illegal. I no longer do.

    You have traveled extensively, last year blogging from North Africa notably from Libya. Libya is an acknowledged police state. Were you at any time concerned about your safety, any time a little bit paranoid about who may be near you listening in?

    I never felt even remotely threatened. One Libyan at an archeological site insisted no one would dare bother or harass foreign guests in any way. On the off-chance anyone does bother me, he said, just yell and everyone within ear- and eye-shot will come to my rescue. I believed him. I walked through some creepy-looking Tripoli neighborhoods, and I smiled at people to make myself feel better. They always smiled back, and their smiles were always warm, soft, and innocent. You have to understand – Muslim countries are the safest places in the world you can visit, as long as they aren’t currently war zones. Baghdad isn’t safe, but that’s because it’s a war zone not because it’s Islamic or because it’s a dictatorship. The only sort of harassment you’ll get in a place like Marrakech is a carpet tout who won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. The biggest problem I had with people in Tunisia was that the locals kept insisting I have tea with them when I had somewhere I wanted to go.

    Libya is a total surveillance police state. I did feel constantly watched. That’s because I was constantly watched – by my guides, the ubiquitous soldiers, and the not-at-all secret police in the hotel lobbies. But everyone is so nice it takes a bit of the edge off. I did have to keep my mouth shut, and I didn’t dare tell anyone I was going to write about the place. I only took notes in my hotel room. But I wouldn’t say it was scary. I just had to be careful and quiet.

    Guatemala is definitely sketchier, and it’s a free country. Lots of tourists go there.

    In December of 2003 Randy Paul of Beautiful Horizons posted on human rights. The conversation between the two of you was both enlightening and at the same time maddening. Do you suppose that most of the left will ever stop demanding perfection in their enemies and shrug off imperfection in their own? You can turn that question around for the right as well.

    I like Randy Paul and I don’t want to knock him around even though I do sometimes argue with him. One reason I argue with him is because he’s an eminently reasonable, as well as intelligent, person.

    I don’t think the “left” or the “right” really demand perfection from people on the other side of the political divide. Randy Paul is a mainstream Democrat. So if someone were to meet his idea of perfection that person wouldn’t be a Republican in the first place. Same goes for anyone who fits Sean Hannity’s idea of perfection. People are just more likely to criticize those on the other side than those on their own side because that’s how partisan politics plays out. It’s hard for a Democrat to admit George W. Bush might be right about anything, partly because they want to defeat George W. Bush. Saying “Bush was right” is counterproductive. It’s giving “ammunition to the enemy.”

    It’s exactly the same on the right. Bill Clinton said and did plenty of things that would have warmed the hearts of conservatives if George W. Bush had said or done them instead. (Signing NAFTA, reforming welfare, expanding the so-called “War on Drugs” to Colombia, etc.) But he was a Democrat. So instead of saying “good on him” the leading lights of the Republican Party seethed, whined, and lost elections instead.

    Yours was one of the very first blogs I ever read and for a long time you were my first read of the morning. You introduced me to your friend Marc Cooper and - whether you know it or not - your example and Marc’s push started me blogging. Why do YOU blog? You are/were a successful writer in many ways and blogging is essentially NOT a money making business - though some like Instapundit make a small fortune I’m sure.

    First of all, thanks. I’m happy to hear I inspired anyone to do anything. And I’m not at all surprised Marc Cooper pushed you to blog even though he thinks you’re wrong about almost everything. That’s the kind of guy Marc is.

    The reason I started blogging is because I worked in the high tech industry and wanted a writing career instead. I felt like I was wasting away in tech. The money was good, but I spent almost my entire adulthood studying writing, history, and literature. A blog seemed like the best way to build a little name-recognition and hopefully get some paid work on the side. It worked, too. I have been out of the tech industry for a year now. I took a gigantic pay cut, but I am able to cobble together a living from various freelance and part-time writing and editing gigs. Every single person who hired me since I lost my tech job started out as one of my blog readers. If I didn’t first have a blog I wouldn’t have any of the writing and editing work I have now.

    I also blog because it’s fun and the feedback is great. I still get some feedback from readers when I publish articles elsewhere. But both the quantity and the quality is less than what I get on the blog.

    Another reason I started a blog is simply because I read blogs and thought: I could do that.

    [I should note that Marc Cooper does indeed think I'm wrong on just about everything. That's OK, I love the guy anyway and he has every right to be wrong.]

    Yours is one of the most well-read blogs, with over 1.5 million visitors and more than 2 million page views. That is quite an accomplishment. Does that stroke your ego, or is it just another accolade?

    It does stroke my ego. At the same time, it’s humbling. Instapundit and Atrios are kicking my butt.
    [I should note that quantity does not equate to quality. Reynolds writes some really excellent stuff at Tech-Central-Station but his blog is not a lot of him, it is a lot of reporting what others are saying/thinking/doing and usually a brief opinion such as "Indeed!" or "Heh!" Both of which I love to see. Atrios on the other hand is also well read, but well, what can I say about an uber-liberal?]

    Update: Welcome readers from Michael Totten's blog. Michael states that I'm being too generous. Au Contraire, I don't think I was generous enough. If you agree with me, please leave a comment. If you disagree, please leave a comment.

    Continue reading "Blog Giant - Interview with Michael J. Totten"
    Posted by GM Roper at 05:21 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (1)

    WMDs - Who Really Armed Iraq

    Ian Wishart is an investigative journalist who has written a magazine article "PROJECT BABYLON: WHO ARMED IRAQ?" I found this while skimming the internet this morning and in the process of seeing who was saying what, I came across Cao's Blog with this interesting article. You really need to read the whole thing.

    It is interesting to read across the blogosphere the attempts of the left to blame the second Iraq war (which is really only a continuation of the first - given the UN mandates) on Bush and a cabal of neo-cons who plotted in deep dank dungeons to steal "Iraqi Oil" and to establish a neo-con paradise in the middle east. The attempt goes on with Amnesty International's calling Gitmo "The gulag of our times." What nonsense.

    Now, I'll be the very first to admit that I'm absolutely, positively, incontrovertably, convenced that Gitmo is not a place I'd want to spend a vacation in. On the other hand, those stupid enough to follow a perversion of Islam, raise arms against the United States, the World and their fellow Muslims don't get a whole lot of sympathy from me. They could be dead. Yes, that's right. Dead; captured, tried and summarily shot as illegal combatants under the Geneva Conventions.

    "But they are being tortured," you cry. Nonsense... you want to read about torture, here, go to the source article from Cao.

    Tip of the GM Chapeaux to Cao.

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:17 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

    May 29, 2005

    How Can They Be So Blind?

    A recent blog friend, Miguel Buitrago writes at MABB a blog about Bolivia; it's environs, it's politics and it's peoples. His latest here questions the thinking of a group of "rebels" blocking access to El Alto, a region in Bolivia. The actions of the rebels may end up costing the region most of it's jobs. Not a good way to keep a revolution going methinks. Miguel, perhaps they are indeed blind to the consequences of their actions, much as the so called insurgents in Iraq are murdering fellow citizens and fellow muslims. Perhaps they, like the islamofascists are more interested in attaining power and not really the interests of the people.

    "None are so blind as those who will not see."

    Posted by GM Roper at 10:02 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (1)

    May 28, 2005

    Going Nuclear?

    Iran is going nuclear when everyone knows it shouldn't.

    The Republicans aren't going nuclear when any right thinking person knows they should.

    Any questions?

    Posted by GM Roper at 09:14 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

    May 26, 2005

    Bill Whittle - On Fire and On Target!

    Every once in a while you will be lucky enough to read something that will rock you back on your heels. It may be a religious publication such as a bible, a history, a biography or an autobiograpy, a novel, a screen play or, in this case an essay.

    Bill Whittle is the author of Eject! Eject! Eject! I first came across this guy's blog quite some time ago, early 2003 I believe, and shared his essay's with Tad, a great friend and a retired Marine. Tad's note when I sent him the first link was "Where did you find this guy, he is amazing."

    I can't disagree with Tad one iota.

    The first essay I read was simply titled "Victory". and as I noted at the beginning of this essay, it rocked me back on my heels. Each and every essay by Bill Whittle has done exactly the same thing. This guy is amazing! An exerpt from Victory:

    I can’t describe to you what that felt like that night. You really did have to be there, I guess. Not only did you have to be there, you had to know the history, the frustration, the humiliation and the almost unendurable, relentless disappointment that had been part of being a Gator fan for so many years.

    You could have watched it on TV, but you’ll never know what it was like to have that grin branded on your face, to walk up to homeless people and 85 year-old alumni and street thugs and kids and adults and everyone, everyone deliriously happy and dancing and hugging each other and just filled with such joy and elation and community. We had suffered together, lost together, come back year after year after year through endless defeats and dreams snatched away right under our noses, hoping together, and now, finally, this night had come. Next Year was here, at last.

    I was honored to have done the video tribute to the team a few weeks later, in a celebration that drew 65,000 to the stadium just to say thank you. And when Steve Spurrier got on stage and said, “This one’s for all those Gator fans up in heaven,” I remember thinking, God, if that is not the corniest thing I’ve ever heard before a giant sob leapt out of me and I looked up at 60,000 people crying like babies.

    Just like me.

    Now it is worse than folly to compare this to the feeling on the streets of Baghdad on April 9, 2003, when the statue came down and it began to dawn on Iraqis that the son of a bitch was really, truly gone. It is an insipid, indeed, an insulting comparison.

    So why did I make it? Well, because it’s all I’ve got. And that, in a strange and wonderful way, is exactly the point I want to make, for we have created a society so long immune from fear and repression, a safe and free and prosperous haven so encompassing that the deepest sense of liberation and victory that this American ever got to experience was when my college team won a stupid football game against the guys up the street.

    We have been so safe, and so free, for so long, that it has warped our sense of history and human nature. It is, of course, a trade I am happy to make, but this isolation from the true horror and depravity that are everyday experiences in many parts of the world has imbedded in it, like a particularly lethal virus, the seeds of our own destruction. And it is this threat, much more than that from fundamentalist Islam and its organs of terror, that we must look at – closely, and deeply, and often.

    I believe that many of those who opposed the war did so because they simply could not -- or in many cases would not – imagine what life under real oppression is like. Remember, these are the people who say, and seem to believe, that we in the US live in a police state, under a murdering dictator, where propaganda is spoon-fed to us like willing idiots and political opposition is crushed mercilessly.

    If you say such things long enough, and you spend all your time in the company of similarly tinfoil-hatted comrades, then you actually begin to believe that life in Baghdad under Saddam Hussein wasn’t that much worse than life in Berkeley under the racist, election-stealing, Wellstone-murdering, Earth-destroying Republikkkan administration."

    Of course, you really need to read the whole thing. Every word before you make up your mind about it.

    On returning from the cruise my bride and I recently too, I read his more recent essay "Sanctuary, Parts I and II" and it too rocked me back on my heels; and has taken a few days for the whole concept to sink in. A taste:

    "What’s worse than crawling under your beloved house and seeing the foundations rotten with decades of termite damage?

    NOT crawling under your beloved house and seeing the foundations rotten with decades of termite damage.

    I’ve been away for a while, doing a little thinking. Usually, my thoughts for these past few years have started at home and then taken me to Iraq, and the war. Lately, though, I have been thinking about Iraq, and my thoughts turn more and more to home.

    I started thinking along these lines six months ago, after a young Marine shot and killed a wounded Iraqi in a mosque in Fallujah

    The ideas behind this little adventure we are about to embark upon have changed enormously since then. I have, quite frankly, been at a loss to know how to put so many wide-ranging snapshots together into this montage, this image, this idea of Sanctuary that I think holds the key to many of the problems we face today.

    Stay with me -- our first stop is not our destination, but it is a necessary one. So let me first take you on that original journey, and show you how events in Iraq can show us how to fight and win a much wider and deeper conflict, right here at home."

    This too:
    "So why were the Taliban and Al Qaeda and Fedayeen insurgents treated so differently? Why the hoods and shackles? Why the humiliation at Abu Graib?

    It is not because these men shot at US soldiers. Regular Iraqi units, NVA units, North Korean Units, Germans, Japanese, Confederates and Redcoats have shot at American soldiers and upon their surrender their treatment has been, on the whole, exemplary. Why are these different?

    It is not because they are opposing us. It is – to put it as bluntly as possible – because they are cheating – cheating in a way that none of the above ever did.

    They have willfully and repeatedly broken the covenant of Sanctuary.

    Let’s speak to the Perennially Outraged as if they were the fully grown, post-pubescent children they pride themselves on being.

    What is the obvious difference between an enemy Prisoner of War, and an Unlawful Combatant? Suppose two of them were standing in a line-up. What one glaringly obvious thing sets them apart?

    That’s right! One is wearing a uniform, and the other isn’t.

    And why do soldiers wear uniforms?

    It certainly is not to protect the soldier. As a matter of fact, a soldier’s uniform is actually a big flashing neon arrow pointing to some kid that says to the enemy, SHOOT ME!

    And that’s exactly what a uniform is for. It makes the soldier into a target to be killed.

    Now if that’s all there was to it, you might say that the whole uniform thing is not such a groovy idea. BUT! What a uniform also does -- the corollary to the whole idea of a uniformed person – is to say that if the individual wearing a uniform is a legitimate target, then the person standing next to him in civilian clothes is not.

    By wearing uniforms, soldiers differentiate themselves to the enemy. They assume additional risk in order to protect the civilian population. In other words, by identifying themselves as targets with their uniforms, the fighters provide a Sanctuary to the unarmed civilian population."

    A final tease (before I command you to read the rest):

    "They violate the Sanctuary of the Uniform. They violate the Sanctuary of Surrender. And the most reprehensible of all is the violation of the Sanctuary of Mercy.

    Throughout the insurgency, and especially in places like Fallujah, enemy fighters with real or feigned wounds have called for aid. Not often does a soldier who has been in combat look down upon the wounded of either side without horror and sympathy. In places like Fallujah and Iwo Jima and Antietam it is an easy thing to see one’s own reflection in that grimace and that agony.

    So when a soldier out of uniform, who may have faked surrender to kill unsuspecting Americans, calls for aid and then willfully kills medics with a concealed grenade… where does that leave us? What unplumbed depths remain? When mercy is used as a weapon against the merciful, what horrors and abominations remain unplayed?

    THAT, dear left-wing Citadels of Conscience, is what we are up against. That is what you support against the decency, honor and kindness you mock in your own countrymen as they build schools and hospitals and, indeed, an entire democracy. That is the definition of “Unlawful Combatant.” It is not a legal nicety, and it is not a rhetorical flourish. It is a pattern of ruthlessness, deception and murder. And regardless of your motive, it is the side you find yourself taking.

    These are the kind of men in Guantanamo. Who controls such men? And when busloads of men from Afghanistan and Syria and Jordan and Egypt and Iran, men without uniforms, men not under the control of any officer, men who follow no code of conduct other than an oath to kill any American, anywhere – who among us with a gram of understanding and perspective can be surprised when such men are hooded and shackled on air transports? And being left to sleep in the open air is one thing in Northern Germany in the winter of ’44, and something else entirely in the middle of the goddam Caribbean! I mean, for the love of God, some of the people screaming themselves into a lather over such an outrage will pay tens of thousands of dollars for the same privilege a few miles away on a catamaran anchored off the coast of Jamaica."

    I've deliberately teased you with a bit of Bill Whittle, hopefully, if you are as smart as I think you are, you will go read the rest of Sanctuary. It will take about an hour, only an hour, 1/8760th part of a year. It will also take a couple of days for it to really sink in.

    Thanks Bill, once again you have provided me and hundreds of others food for thought, nurishment for our minds, and for most of us, reason spread on the tossing waves of confusion, hyperbole and hysteria of those who cannot see the way clear to beating down these islamofascists.

    A note to my beloved readers: Read the whole thing before commenting, and when you comment, just share what thoughts you had in your heart of hearts. Oh, and one more thing, take time to read the comments too.

    Posted by GM Roper at 10:51 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

    May 25, 2005

    Bookworm Strikes Again

    Bookworm has a delightful entry on Steyn, Englands contribution to conservative literature. I missed this one, spending too much time on the blogs I guess. (Hah, is that even possible?)

    Bookworm, I owe you a debt of gratitude for the report, the heads up and most of all for your outlook on life.

    Oh, and Steyn's tail end comments?

    When Christians get hot and bothered about a horny Jesus (The Last Temptation of Christ), a gay Jesus (Terrence McNally’s Broadway play Corpus Christi), or a Jesus floating in the artist’s urine (Piss Christ), columnists take to the barricades to champion the cause of free speech. When Muslim groups closed down a play in Cleveland because its revolting apologia for a Palestinian suicide bomber was insufficiently pro-Muslim, the silence of the media lambs was deafening.

    But somehow, when it’s the merest hint of a rumor of a canard about Bush stooges flushing the Koran down the toilet, Newsweek doesn’t bother thinking through the consequences. That’s the real problem here: not the reflex leftism but the pathetic hicky parochialism of a U.S. media unable to see things except through the tunnel vision of domestic partisan advantage. Who’s really the “culturally insensitive” ones here?

    As The Glen would say: "Indeed!"

    Posted by GM Roper at 09:55 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

    Progress In Iraq

    One of our new but hopefully regular commenters (from the left I might add) made this comment in the posting about Michael Yon's website:

    "Well, hang on, there's nothing extraordinary about that, that's the job of an occupier in any event, to provide needed infrastructure to a recovering vanquished country, no? how is it 'news'? News would be the reality that most Iraqis have not seen improvement in health infrastructure or much other infrastructure for that matter. That is news, since it explains much of the fact of a resistance to the occupation by the US."
    I need to explain, I think, that 'steve' and I have a long friendly antagonism dating back to my first days as a commenter on Marc Cooper's blog. We seldom agree about anything except our love for those fabulous, world champion Red Sox.

    Having said that, I hereby 'report' news from Iraq regarding the improvements in the infrastructure in Iraq. This can all be verified with a little effort with a good search engine. Here goes:

  • "Vaccinated over 3 million children under five and 700,000 pregnant women with vaccination campaigns that included monthly immunization days.
  • Provided supplementary doses of vitamin A for more than 600,000 children under two and 1.5 million lactating mothers.
  • Provided iron folate supplements for over 1.6 million women of childbearing age.
  • Screened more than 1.3 million children under five for malnutrition.
  • Distributed high protein biscuits to more than 450,000 children and 200,000 pregnant and nursing mothers.
  • Provided potable water for 400,000 persons each day in Basrah city and 170,000 persons in Kirkuk and Mosul.
  • Provided skills training for 2,500 primary health care providers and 700 physicians.
  • Trained 2,000 health educators, teachers, religious leaders and youth to mobilize communities on hygiene, diarrhea, breastfeeding, nutrition and immunization issues.
  • Disseminated information on essential health messages to families around the country.
  • Renovated 110 primary health care centers.
  • Provided vaccines and cold chain equipment to selected health centers.
  • Developed a national plan for the fortification of wheat flour with iron and folic acid.
  • Marshland restoration activities have included surveys, pilot sites, flow and marsh hydrology modeling, and infrastructure needs assessments.
  • Produced a technical assessment in June 2003 in collaboration with the Ministry of Water Resources and the a major university.
    Implementing a strategy for marsh restoration, which includes ecosystem monitoring, wetland reconstruction, hydrologic and hydraulic modeling, agribusiness, fishing and aquaculture, livestock and dairy production, and primary healthcare.
  • Improving capacity through laboratory and GIS development, study tours, training, and formulation of a strategy for international donor assistance and participation."
  • To the list we can add tens of thousands of students going to school in refurbished schools courtesy of the US Military, etc., etc., etc. I could go on, but I think my point is made to those willing to listen. To those not willing to listen, well, what can I say?

    Posted by GM Roper at 11:30 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

    If You Have Kids, If You Know Kids, If You Were EVER A Kid

    Mike at Ex Scientia, Veritas brought to my attention National Missing Children's Day an effort of The National Center For Missing And Exploited Children. They offer a lot of links, but this one for resources for parent's and guardian's is important

    I can imagine no worse feeling than having a loved child missing. I've lost to death, over the years, many beloved family members; my sister, grandparents, parents, my first wife, my brother in law. Each brought a great deal of grief, pain and sometimes even anger. But in my heart of hearts, I can only imagine the pain of not knowing where your child is; what happened to them, are they hurt, are they in pain, are they dead?

    A friend once said that when you lose your parents, you are an orphan, when you lose your spouse you are a widower, however when you lose a child, we have no word for that.

    Thanks Mike for bringing this to our collective attention!

    Posted by GM Roper at 09:57 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

    Reporting from Mosul

    Michael Yon has an excellent article up on how news actually gets from the battlefields and neighborhoods in Iraq (sometimes the same thing) to the front page in America (be sure and read the whole thing):

    "The formula followed by foreign (non-Iraqi) journalists here is different than that used by the local papers back home. Western media cannot free-range Iraq, asking questions and jotting answers on notepads, particularly where insurgents cut off the heads of anyone they do not agree with, later posting "news" videos of their own. Here in Iraq, where bullets are often the background noise, most news agencies get their daily facts spoon-fed straight from the military. The basic building block for just about any news item reported in mainstream press is something called a SIGACT.

    SIGACTs are Significant Actions; anything that significantly affects friendly or enemy forces, from sandstorms to IEDs. SIGACTs originate at the smaller units and feed to higher units quickly; sometimes in seconds. If a soldier dies on a dusty street in Mosul, his HQ on FOB Marez might know within seconds, and soon his higher HQ, then various HQs in Baghdad will learn. People at Central Command in Tampa might get the news moments later, as will the Pentagon in Washington. Good or bad, information travels faster than bullets. In fact, SIGACTs travel faster than bullets every minute of the day."

    This photo and the caption below explains why much of the "news" is so damned negative:

    Czech journalist.jpg
    Photo © by Michael Yon, 2005

    "Tailoring Facts to Fit Expectations. This Czech journalist told me the BBC did not believe it when he reported that American troop morale was high. They were concerned he was making friends with soldiers."

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:48 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

    May 24, 2005

    Banning The Words Racist, Homophobic and Heretic . . . Yeah Man!

    Reverend Mike at Rev. Mikes Homiletic Home Page has a post up on words that need to be banned in political discourse. The money grafs:

    "In the same manner in which the "N-word" has become unacceptable to use under any circumstances whatsoever, regardless of context, I'd like to propose a couple of others -- "racist" and "homophobic." I might add "heretic" to the list as well. Not because the words in themselves are not appropriate when used in their proper context. Not at all.

    I'd like to suggest that these words come to us far too easily outside of their proper context. They're showstoppers. When they enter into the conversation, they end the conversation. It's not that there are no such things as racism or homophobia or heresy. It's that they are incendiary. Because racism, homophobia and heresy are so morally repugnant, the latter more so for its inquisitional past, these words immediately put the person against whom the accusation is directed on the defensive, and they render the conversation untenable. They are the sine qua non of ad hominem attacks."

    Read the whole thing.

    Posted by GM Roper at 04:31 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    May 23, 2005

    The Complimenting Commenter

    While reading comments after my vacation, I came across this comment: "It's great to see kindness between bloggers. I hope that you had a great trip and will be back with good posts. Nice job to both of you," referring to banter between Woody, myself and our terrific readers. What a great concept, the The Complimenting Commenter. Go visit the site, you won't be sorry you did.

    Posted by GM Roper at 09:04 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    Back To Work

    There are times in one's life when mere thanks is not enough. This is one of those times. Woody McNair, a really good friend and a fellow conservative commenter on one of my favorite progressive blogs (Marc Cooper) stepped up to the plate when I and my bride of 7 years took a much needed vacation. Woody, I don't know how to thank you enough.

    More later today...

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:28 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)

    May 12, 2005

    Off To See The World - Well, The Caribbean At Any Rate

    Bills paid, cats arranged for, bags packed, last minute stuff arrainged off in the morning to see the Caribbean and Cancun, do a little gambling, a little deep sea fishing, a little vodka and tonic and hold hands with my beloved as we walk the deck. Ship leaves Sunday, tomorrow we drive to Beaumont to see my former Mother-In-Law. Saturday Houston for some shopping and see an aunt and uncle I haven't seen for far too long, Sunday, we're off.

    I've left the blog in excellent hands with Woody. Woody is a conservative with a heart of gold (my kind of guy) who practices as a CPA in Georgia. He is working hard at learning the blogging routine and I think he will do fine. Come and visit him often, leave comments (and more comments) so that Woody knows he is appreciated. He really is a fine guy. The only thing we disagree on is he is a Braves fan, I'm a Red Sox fan, but because I really like Woody, I allow him the opportunity to be just "wrong."

    I'll be back in 10 or 12 days. Y'all take care now, ya heah?

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:53 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

    May 09, 2005

    Photo Seen Around The World

    Soldier With Wounded Child.pngThis photo was shown by me a few posts ago (scroll down) but I didn't know where it came from, although the original posting was at Little Green Footballs and I picked it up from someone who picked it up from them. Then, I get a comment from a reader who has his own blog called Ex Scientia, Veritas - From Knowledge, Truth written by Dr. Michael Miller. Dr. Miller had decided to limit his blogroll to 12 blogs and selected mine to be one of them. I am indeed honored. When I went to his blog to thank him, I found the picture PLUS the blog site from the gentleman who took the photograph. I went to Michael Yon's Blog and was totally flabbergasted at the story behind the photograph. Michael Yon is a photographer par excellance and his blog DESERVES your regular attention. I'm adding his site to my blogroll and I urge you to visit both Michael Millers blog and Michael Yon's blog. It's Important.

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    White Lies?

    Ever tell a white lie? How about a green one, or a black one? Or, have you had some obnoxious bill collector call and said to your kids, "Tell them I'm not here." How about that extra deduction on your income tax form? Or perhaps "I'll still respect you?" Or even the nefarious "I'm from the government, I'm here to help." Well, lies have colors, and Tish explains it all.

    Posted by GM Roper at 05:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    May 08, 2005

    Shirley Melbert Roper 1920-1998

    When ever I remember my mom, I remember her as the compleat Lady. Mom was a feminist before the word was popular, insisting that in her professional duties she be treated as well as any man and respected for her ability, at home she was co-equal with my dad in every way. When she voted for John Kennedy in 1960, Dad was, to put it mildly, upset. Mom only looked at him and said "If you are foolish enough to not talk to me, you can be foolish enough to fix your own meals. After a couple of days of fried egg sandwiches (all Dad knew how to cook) he gave in.

    She did not suffer fools kindly in her work as a teacher, whether it be a fool of a superintendent, principal, fellow teacher or student; and yet, Mom was one of the kindest most gentle woman I have ever known.

    Mom had a sense of humor that boggled the mind and loved to tell stories and if someone remembered it differently, she'd say "I like my version better." But she'd say it with a smile. At one family gathering I started a shaggy dog story about when she gave birth to me prefacing the story with "I'll bet Mom never told you the TRUE story of how I was born." and then went into a long, drawn out, tale of her driving herself in a borrowed jeep to the trials in Nuremburg, having an auto accident near the hospital and when they delivered me I had a sheet metal screw right beside my navel. Mom just sat there nodding as if agreeing with the story. When someone asked what happened, I said, "The docs got a screwdriver, backed it out but then my fanny fell off." Mom's comment? "I didn't know where you were going with that tale, but it sounded interesting."

    Mom made everyone we knew "part of the family." She was a gourmet cook, a great party giver and knew the value of having a good time with friends. For years, Mom would prepare such delicacies as ceviche or marinated mushrooms. I'd not touch them for anything, and she only noted that I had no Idea what I was missing. As I grew up and my tastes developed, I learned to like the things I had missed and regret all the times I could have enjoyed some of her creations. She would look at me and say "See, I told you that you were missing something special."

    Mom was a military wife through and through holding the family together through three shooting wars (WWII, Korea and Vietnam) acting in the role of Mom and Dad and doing a superb job at it.

    Mom had her faults though, she could get lost in a closet. When we moved from Budigen, Germany to Bad Neuheim she took a wrong turn somewhere and we ended up in dead end in the middle of a corn field. Smiling big she said "Stick with me kids and we'll see Germany." My youngest brother Doug wailed "But I want to see daddy."

    Mom could be stern, but was always fair, loving but held you accountable for what you did or didn't do. Willing to forgive, but would remember in case an infraction occurred again. Mom was special and I miss her. God bless you Mom, Rest in Peace!

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:34 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    May 04, 2005

    137th Edition Of The Carnival Of The Vanities!

    This week’s Carnival of the Vanities is hosted by Fresh Politics, a student-run political blog based out of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. This is a truly fresh look at politics from the kiddos at UPenn, go read all of their stuff.

    The Carnival has some great reads (Including my Open Letter to John Kerry)

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:56 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

    Guest Blogger

    The beloved red-headed bride (of 7 years) and I will be taking a cruise in the very near future for a much deserved and really needed vacation with just the two of us on a romantic Caribbean cruise. To keep from disappointing my beloved readers (all 6 of you, you know who you are) I have engaged the services of a very good internet friend whom I've never met, but whom I've grown to admire over many months.

    Woody McNair will be filling in for me while I am gone, and will be posting interesting and thought provoking articles. Woody is a CPA, conservative, articulate and an all around nice guy. And I know that you will enjoy his posts. I've admired Woody's comments on other blogs over a period of time and I know he will do an excellent job. I'll be here still for the next 8 days, but while I'm cruising, I'll be thinking of you, my loyal readers and I'll rest easy knowing you are in good hands with Woody.


    Posted by GM Roper at 11:16 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

    As I Give Finals - Unrest In Academia

    Pat Santy writing in Dr. Sanity has a terrific post up on the "Plan to Retake Academia" complete with diagnosis, prescription and an observation or two. Dr. Pat (a practicing psychiatrist) has a unique ability to cut through the BS and focus on what a specific problem is. I can only imagine that this is a major benefit for her patients. In her practice, as well as in the practice of anyone who really cares about their patients, good diagnosis leads to good and efficacious treatment.

    Pat comments:

    "This past weekend I was at a dinner where I met several academics--one from English and one from a Social Work department. As is usual in such activites the topic turned to politics and unsurprisingly, the gratuitous comments about "those awful Republicans, don't you know" and "BushHitler" were made.

    I've been to too many of these affairs to be surprised at this, but everytime it happens it is simply mind-bogglingly breathtaking to me that my esteemed colleagues could possibly assume that everyone thinks exactly like they do!

    The tragedy is that they actually stopped thinking some time ago."

    I concur; Many times collegues in the therapy profession ask me how can I be a therapist and a conservative, let alone a conservative Republican. The answer is simple, as Pat Santy would say, I still know how to think.

    Posted by GM Roper at 10:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Slow Blogging

    Blogging will be a little slow as I give and grade final exams at the University. A chore I hate, but the kiddo's really want to know how they did and the grades they earned.


    Posted by GM Roper at 07:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    April 28, 2005

    Can Freedom Be Far Behind?


  • A feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger.
  • A state or condition marked by this feeling: living in fear.
  • A feeling of disquiet or apprehension: a fear of looking foolish.
  • Extreme reverence or awe, as toward a supreme power.
  • A reason for dread or apprehension: Being alone is my greatest fear.

  • Freedom:
  • The condition of being free of restraints.
  • Liberty of the person from slavery, detention, or oppression.
  • Political independence.
  • Exemption from the arbitrary exercise of authority in the performance of a specific action; civil liberty.
  • Exemption from an unpleasant or onerous condition.

  • There is a consensus among many that United States policy as it is being implemented in the Middle East, especially in Iraq, is wrong and wrong headed. The storyline was often "Arabs aren't ready for democracy" or perhaps "can't handle democracy." In some circles, the worry was a mass uprising of the "arab street" that would show the American Neo-Con Warmongers exactly what pan-arabia thought about Americans in general and American Policy (read Bush policy) in particular. None-the-less, Bush pushed ahead believing that all peoples would savor freedom given half a chance.

    To date, Bush seems to have the better of the argument. From the New York Times (No kidding?...ed.) comes this:

    In Cairo, more than 30 truckloads of riot police blocked the downtown streets around the Supreme Court. In a swift maneuver, plainclothes officers dispersed the first demonstrators to arrive by forcing taxis to halt, shoving the protestors inside and ordering the drivers to move along.

    In response, some 200 participants, including a smattering of well-known Egyptian writers, filmmakers and politicians, regrouped on the front steps of the nearby Journalists' Syndicate. They stood hemmed in by the police for more than four hours, chanting anti-government slogans including their trademark catchphrase of "Kifaya!" or "Enough!" in Arabic. This refers to their primary demand that President Hosni Mubarak step aside after 24 years in power.

    In Lebanon, Michael Totten has been reporting a lengthy series of articles the most recent of which is this poignant description of Beirut. Indeed, the much vaunted "arab street" is described by Totten as "Our Friend, The Arab Street:"
    "Right now we're seeing two revolutions at once: a literal revolution by the "Arab street" against a dictatorship, and an intellectual revolution in the West about what "Arab street" means in the first place."
    Totten has it right. Freedom is busting out all over. Lest we be overly zealous in our rejoicing however, there remain dangers and setbacks in the future. As the NYTimes reported:
    "Egypt's fledgling movement for political reform tried to extend its reach nationally today by organizing demonstrations in 14 major cities from Aswan to Alexandria, but a major deployment of riot police and scores of detentions drastically minimized the effort."
    The urge to repress is rampant among the powers that be in much of the Middle East. In part that is our fault, meaning the West in general, and the US in particular for shoring up many of these dictatorships and oligarchies. We too can be faulted for not doing something "more" about the mullah's in Iran and their devotion to islamo-fascism and support of terrorists; and this fault goes back decades - it is not a recent development.

    Carter blew it in Iran when he didn't take out Kohmeni in '79 following the act of war commonly called the "Embassy Hostage" crisis. Reagan screwed the pooch for not responding more aggressively when the Marine Barracks was bombed. Bush père didn't complete Gulf War I and Clinton tossed munitions at empty tents and camels.

    Of course 20/20 vision in hindsight is a wonderful thing. It allows us to see what whe should have done but didn't; and for reasons that seemed fairly cogent at the time.

    That was, as they say, then and this is now. Today, we have not only a strategic reason to support the democracy movements in the Middle East, but also a moral reason and that reason is simple: Free peoples seldom make trouble for other free peoples.

    If the Middle East is ever to realize its potential, freedom must ring out loud and clear, and all the nay-sayers, all the pundits, all the doubters need to get behind the freedom movement and PUSH.

    Posted by GM Roper at 04:14 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

    April 24, 2005


    America, We Stand As One!

    Watch it here.

    Corney? A little! A Great Truth Underlying The Concept? Absolutely!

    Posted by GM Roper at 01:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    April 20, 2005

    Whither Education? 11 years and out?

    HB over at Shades of Gray has some interesting thoughts about education. From a former teacher no less. As a college "professor" I too am concerned about the ability of High School Grads to function at the college level. Go read it all.

    Update: The Case Against College has good information about post secondary education as does Success Without College

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:48 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

    Andrew Sullivan - One Track Mind?

    Professor Bainbridge calls Andrew Sullivan an Ass. Now, I'm not sure I fully agree with the good professor, I've been reading Sullivan about as long as I've read anybody in the "net" and I really like the guy and the vast majority of his postings. But, as the good professor says, sometimes "Andrew Sullivan is an Ass."

    Please read the Professors entire post as well as that of Mr. Sullivan and make up your own mind. I will note also that the good professor has over 48 trackbacks to his post. That dear friends is awesome and is a comment sufficient unto itself as to the regard that the blogosphere holds for the good professor.

    Posted by GM Roper at 06:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    April 18, 2005

    Freedom's Chances

    Surfing the internet can be daunting, boring and sometimes exhilarating! This morning, while surfing I went to one of my daily reads (Ogres Politics and Views)and came across his entry on a new blog showcase. One of the blog titles seemed to be a title of interest and I went over there to discover a new blog (well, to me at any rate) One Billion Red Chinese And A Dog Named Liberty. Now, it wasn't just the title of the blog that interested me, though I would have gone there on that basis alone, but also the title of the posting Incremental Freedom.

    Liberty Dog, the nom de blog of the author discusses the use and value of compound interest and ties it directly to the compound interest of investing in FREEDOM. What a concept.

    If you are interested in the growth of freedom, this is a must read. It is so good, that the Carnival of Capitalism cited it as the Editor's Choice. Having read the entry and gone back and read the blog over a number of entries, I'd have to agree. This is one blog to keep your eye on and it is therefor enshrined in Newly Discovered Blogs.

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    April 17, 2005


    Dr. Pat Santy, a Psychiatrist writing at Dr.Sanity has a trio of articles on Narcissism and Society. If you would like to know where some of the "evil" in our world comes from, go there and learn. As a psychotherapist with some 35 years experience I stand in AWE of this lady. She is damn good!

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    April 16, 2005

    Welcome Back Bear

    N.Z.Bear is back from his honeymoon in Hawaii. My wife and I went there in 99 and it was a terrific place. The Bear has posted some terrific pictures, go and see some of God's paradise.

    Posted by GM Roper at 09:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    Taste The Pain


    A bottle of Blair's 4AM Hotsauce. This is one of only 999 bottles made and is for sale at Taste The Pain for only $900.00.

    ONLY $900.00?

    Now, I like peppersauce/hotsauce/spicy foods as well as the next guy, but paying $900.00 for the privilege seems a bit outlandish, even if the bottle is cool looking.

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:52 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

    April 12, 2005

    King Of The Blogs - The Last Coronation

    dynasty.jpgFor the third and final competition I was lucky enough to be crowned King of the Blogs. It wasn't easy, as in prior contests, this was one tough set of competetors and minor errors carried the day more than my efforts such as they were. I think I just made fewer errors. The two other sites, Jaded Sunburns and He Says-She Says have beautiful sites and their writing is top rate. I'm glad they were competetors and I hope that both blogs will continue in the competition. These are good people so go visit them often. I especially want to thank the Judges, Ogre, Smarter Cop and Songstress for all the work they put in on this contest week, after week, after week. They are fair, impartial and always give great tips to make your blog better. Thanks too to Nick Queen and Christweb for their efforts and of course the King of Fools as the Commissioner. Thanks to all my supporters and the great folk that linked back for me as well. And now dear readers, the dynasty sign goes on the sidebar and I retire to enjoy other kingly activities. Cheers.

    Posted by GM Roper at 11:26 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

    The Narcissist In All Of Us

    Dr. Pat Santy over at Dr. Sanity has an excellent post on Narcissism, and this is only part one. I can't wait for part II. As is typical of the good doctor, she is both eloquent and on target. A sample:

    "But what is not generally or readily seen (either on the Left or Right) is the flip side of "selfish" or "grandiose" Narcissism-- and that is what I will call Narcissism rooted in idealism, rather than selfishness, or "idealistic" Narcissism. This second kind of Narcissism (the flip side of the coin, if you will) is less obvious to an observer, since it is disguised with a veneer of concern for others. But it is equally—if not more—destructive and causative of human suffering, death and misery. Both kinds of Narcissism are a plague on the world; and both are well-travelled avenues for limiting freedom and imposing tyranny. The "grandiose" Narcissism is the stimulus for individual tyrants, while the "idealistic" Narcissism leads to groups imposing their will on others. We will talk more of this in Part II."

    I await the second part with bated breath. You will too. Go read the whole thing!!!!

    UPDATE: While reading the comments to Dr. Pat's article, I came across another site posted by a "Shrink" in ShrinkWrapped - A Psychoanalyst Attempts to Understand Our World. As does Dr. Pat, the author of this site has a great take on the subject. Go read it too. You'll be glad you did.

    Posted by GM Roper at 05:33 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    April 08, 2005

    SLIPPERY SLOPE - Revisited

    Not too long ago, in fact just last week, a woman was starved to death. "Court ordered", said the people. "Right to die," said the people. "Her husband is following her wishes," said the people. "This is WRONG," said the rest of us, "morally and ethically wrong!"

    Before long it will come to pass that any one who is not wanted or is "useless" will be euthanized, starved, unhooked, and will die, unwanted, maybe even unloved. "Oh no," said the people. "That will never happen," said the people.

    Well folks, it is happening and you can find the story here, here, and here. Good Lord I never wanted to be one to use "I told you so." But, I told you so!

    Thanx to Songstress for the tip.

    Update: More here, here amd here.

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:44 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

    April 06, 2005

    Excedrin Headache # 54

    3978623.jpgSEOUL, Korea -- The X-ray picture shows a 5-centimeter nail stuck in an unidentified South Korean patient's skull Thursday, Dec. 2, 2004. According to a Seoul hospital, doctors found the nail after the man came to the hospital, complaining about a severe headache. They speculate that the nail stuck in the man's head four years ago in an accident but the man didn't know about it. The nail was removed in a surgery last Saturday. (12/07/04 AP photo)

    4087193.jpgLITTLETON, Colo. -- A dental office X-ray reveals a four-inch nail embedded in the skull of Patrick Lawler, 23, which was removed at Littleton Adventist Hospital in suburban Denver. Lawler unknowingly shot himself with a nail gun Jan. 6 while working in Breckenridge, a ski resort town in the central Colorado mountains. The accident left Lawler with what he thought was a minor toothache and blurry vision. When painkillers and ice failed to stop the ache six days later, he went to a dental office where the nail was discovered. (01/14/05 AP Photo/The Family Dental Center via KUSA-TV via The Denver Post)

    I really don't need to add to this, but BOTH of these fellows didn't know they had a nail in their heads? Both of them? They must be congress-critters!

    Tip of the chapeaux to WFTV News

    Posted by GM Roper at 03:45 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


    Yes friends, the Democrats have once again flipped "TRUTH"


    Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette has a piece (go read it) on the so called "talking points" memo supposedly circulated by the Repubs prior to the Terri Schiavo vote.

    The only problem is, is that all 55 of the Republicans deny seeing or authoring it, none of the Dem senators has come forth to say they got it other than "Democrats said Republicans distributed the memo, and one Democratic official told The Post that a Republican senator gave it to a Democratic senator," but no Senator has identified who the Democrat or the Repub is and by reports, the only ones seen passing the thing around are Dem staffers. Ghosties within Ghosties Reporting on Ghosties?

    After the Dan Rather-gate fiasco you would think that the Democrats would be leery of putting out another fake memo. You would be WRONG. There is more than enough evidence to support another "faked" memo story; misspellings, no letter head, clumsy copying of info from a Republican Senator's website to support that it came from them nasty, knuckledragging, Neanderthalic Repubs. And yet, and yet... the Dems seem to be silent on the issue as to who did what and when and where. Why can't we get them to "find" the Senator? Well, one aid said that his boss was handed it, only trouble is is that his boss denies it.

    "Joe Shoemaker, a spokesman for Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat, said in several conversations over three days that his boss saw the memo on the floor.

    Asked independently, however, Mr. Durbin said he never saw it.

    "No, I did not see it," he said. "I heard about it reported on the news."

    Dems are already asking for a Senate Investigation. Why am I not surprised? Asking for an "investigation" of a faked memo when they are totally silent about Sandy Burgler pleading guilty to a misdemeanor of taking real memos, stuffing them into his pants, shirt, socks, where-ever and then "accidentally" cutting up three of the documents with scissors. ACCIDENTALLY? Sure, and if you believe that, I have a some nice ocean front property in Kansas to sell you.

    A tip of the chapeaux to The Big Trunk at Powerline

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)


    The Red Sox rallied to tie the score in the top of the 9th, then Derek Jeeter came to bat in the bottom of the 9th and responded with a walk-off shot. Sigh, I love to hate that guy. Today is their third game beginning at 1:05 Eastern Standard Time. Go Sox!!

    Game 2: 4-3 Yankees
    Yankees: Win-2 Lose-0
    Red Sox: Win-0 Lose-2

    Play Ball!

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    April 02, 2005

    John Paul II, R.I.P.

    Born Karol Jozef Wojtyla, May 18, 1920.
    Died John Paul II, April 2, 2005

    Requiescat In Pace

    Update: Three entrys that are Must Reads: Dr.Sanity, Captain's Quarters and The Anchoress ESPECIALLY The Anchoress' "Live Blogging The Lion's Last Breath" for it is breathless. Go, Now, read and ponder.

    Dr. Pat Santy at Dr.Sanity has one of John Paul II's poems. Captain Ed at Captain's Quarters offers St. Brigid's Prayer and The Anchoress has some thoughts worthy of pondering. Go, read and think good thougts of this kindly man who gave so much to so many.

    Posted by GM Roper at 03:00 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)


    Now we truly are engaged in a great civil war, not a war of swords, bullets or bayonets but a war of ideas, of the rights of the disabled, the handicapped and the helpless vs. someone else’s decision about what quality of life means. Ragged Edge, an online publication that is a voice for the disabled has numerous learned articles regarding Terri Schiavo and the condition she was in.

    One of the biggest controversies it seems to me is the issue of Terri's capacity to think or to be self aware, to have "consciousness". Was she aware, was she able to process thoughts, was she sentient? The vast majority of those on the so called "right to die" side stated that she was not, and because she was not it wasn't like we were "killing" somebody as opposed to "allowing" her to "die with dignity." As you, gentle reader may guess, this is a bunch of hogwash. Let us take a look at the "right to die" meme that has supported many of those who state pulling the feeding tube was in Terri's "best interest."

  • 1. She was not allowed to "die." Life was taken from her by judicial decree. In fact, the order stated that she was also not to be given anything by mouth; food or liquids. So, even if she could perhaps swallow, that chance was not to be given.
  • 2. This was nothing like the right to die with dignity, this was a circus.
  • 3. There was no written documentation that Terri exercised her "currently legal" right to make a choice in whether she wished to be maintained or not. The only indicators were the testimony of her husband, brother and sister in law. Hearsay at best! I can think of no other case in which hearsay testimony in a live/die situation would be allowed. Hearsay would not be allowed in a capital case, so why now?
  • 4. Terri was in a "Persistent Vegetative State (PVS)." - PVS is a medical diagnosis fraught with controversy. She is not in PVS as we shall see.
  • The Term PVS was coined/popularized by Jennet and Plum (Jennet, B., & Plum, F., 1972, Persistent Vegetative State After Brain Damage; A Syndrome in Search of a Name, Lancet, April 1, 1972) is certainly controversial to say the least. Also from the Lancet "There are different approaches to management, and clinical decision-making is further complicated by difficult moral and social questions." Indeed, it is the moral question that has raised so much controversy. Chris Borthwick capably demolishes the Jennet and Plum:

    The authors were conscious of the difficulties of providing external proof of internal mental states. Qualifications appear throughout the article; "as best as can be judged behaviourally", for example, the cerebral cortex in these patients was not functioning. One problem is that at the margin the behavioural characteristics that denote consciousness are minute. The authors were in fact particularly concerned to differentiate the condition from locked-in syndrome, named by Plum and Posner in 1965, which is a ìtetraplegic, mute but fully alert state where patients are entirely awake, responsive, and sentient, although the repertoire of response is limited to blinking, and jaw and eye movements. (Jennett & Plum, 1972, p. 736)

    If: "in a patient with decerebrate rigidity the eyes are open and may blink to menace, but they are not attentive." (Jennett & Plum, 1972, p. 734)

    then: "Few would dispute that in this condition the cerebral cortex is out of action." (Jennett & Plum, 1972, p. 734)

    If the eyes, however, blink on order, then the cerebral cortex is not out of action. The ability to control one muscle is decisive. A number of questions thus arise. There are medical conditions that affect eye control; could these be combined with locked-in syndrome to produce a presentation identical to PVS? There are conditions that involve only intermittent eye control; can we be sure that the doctor will be at the bedside at the applicable time?

    An extensive set of physical signs are said to prove cortical dysfunction; one further observation, that of purposive eye movements, does not modify or add to the diagnosis but rather overturns and reverses it completely; how much weight can we under these circumstances attach to the claimed undisputed consensus? Jennett & Plum go on to discuss specifically the issue of behavioural imputations of consciousness.

    ....there is a group of patients who never show evidence of a working mind. This concept may be criticised on the grounds that observation of behaviour is insufficient evidence on which to base a judgement of mental activity; it is our view that there is no reliable alternative available to the doctor at the bedside, which is where decisions have to be made. (Jennett & Plum, 1972, p. 737)

    The reasoning embodied in this paragraph deserves close attention. Decisions have to be made, they say, and must be made on the available evidence, however inadequate. One response might be to ask what decision the doctor is making at the bedside. What actions are to depend on a diagnosis of unconsciousness? First, however, we must note that Jennet and Plum are not at the bedside, and that a decision to incorporate unconsciousness into a clinical definition may require other arguments than practical necessity. It is surely illegitimate to reason, as here, that
    - we have insufficient evidence to make a judgement;
    - but we must make a judgement; therefore
    (and this term in the argument is implied only)
    - we must have sufficient evidence,
    and therefore
    - we do have sufficient evidence.

    If observation of behaviour is in fact insufficient evidence on which to base a judgement of mental activity, then it surely remains insufficient whatever the demands made on the individual practitioner. [NOTE: Emphasis added]

    And there we have it, video of Terri Schiavo definitively showed tracking of objects. She was NOT in PVS according to the definition of PVS by the very people that popularized the term.

    But this is only part of the problem. What happens to the remaining populace that have not provided a written living will? What happens to people when there is controversy as to what their wishes were? What happens to the severely brain compromised, helpless when someone somewhere wants to take their life? Has a precedent been set? Must someone prove senescence in order to keep some court somewhere from condemning their loved one to death?

    Two thoughts on consciousness:

    "Perhaps the last stronghold of autonomous man is that complex “cognitive” activity called thinking."
    ----B.F.Skinner in Beyond Freedom and Dignity.

    As Rene Descartes noted:

    "Cogito, Ergo Sum." (I think therefore I am)
    Perhaps the right to die folks corollary is "Nullus sententia haud vox ut vita." (No thought, no right to life.)

    Have we come to this? Is it now OK to starve/dehydrate the ones we believe are the useless, unloved, unwanted, and helpless among us?

    From The Ragged Edge again:

    We are left with this question: After Terri Schiavo, what about the rest of us? It might not seem a serious question, or the correct one. But it seems, from what we've read, that to many severely disabled people it is the overriding question.
    This is not idle speculation from the disabled, this is getting to be a life or death matter for many. "How silly," some may say. But they are not the ones facing the possibility that society will adopt an attitude of "euthanasia" for the useless that the "pull the tube" crowd seem to be heading for. In fact, it is the disabled that are MOST concerned. As Josie Byzek notes in "Articulating our perspective to progressives"
    We had a contract to get severely disabled people out of institutions and there was this one guy they'd park across from my desk. Talk about vacant stares! I always said, "Hi, Henry," when I saw him and one day he said "hi" back. I jumped and spilled my coffee. That was the first time I saw how wrong we can be about whether severely cognitively disabled people are "there" or not.

    My experience with Henry is practically a rite-of-passage experience in the disability rights movement. I hope it explains why many of us don't think nondisabled people know enough about our lives to determine whether we should live or die. It was nondisabled medical professionals who told our agency not to waste time with Henry, as he wouldn't know anyway."

    Let me repeat part of that: "I don't think nondisabled people know enough about our lives to determine whether we should live or die."

    At the university where I teach, we have a number of disabled professors and a number of disabled students. No one is currently thinking about euthanasia for them, but are we headed in that direction? England has already had a case of late term abortion because of a cleft palate. Death due to disability.

    Many of the currently functioning disabled are professors, students, reporters, therapists, judges, pundits, and many of them were in very severe straits when they first became disabled. Through rehabilitation, they function once again. Not better functioning, not worse functioning, different functioning!

    Are the currently helpless future fodder for a political movement? Will a slightly different rendition of the Association's Requiem for the Masses become popular in the future?

    "Black and white was the question that so bothered him
    He never asked he was taught not to ask
    But was on his lips as they buried him.... WHY???"

    Posted by GM Roper at 09:03 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    March 31, 2005


    Terri has died; God, wing her soul to heaven!

    Posted by GM Roper at 09:15 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    March 28, 2005

    Crossing the Rubicon2 is Back - Go Visit

    Gail at Crossing The Rubicon2 has returned from her spring break vacation with some terrific shots of Hawaii and two great posts (here and here) regarding Israel and the Palistinians. Welcome Home Gail!

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:22 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    Disgust At Some Of My So-Called FELLOW Human Beings!

    Tragedy brings out the worst in some people. The ongoing battle to save/end Terri Schiavo's life has cause some people to sink into the deepest pits of slime imaginable.

    While surfing I came across something put up by some brain dead but still moving around jerk called Terri Schiavo's Blog (and NO, I won't give the URL - I'm thoroughly disgusted by the author). The blog has five daily entries, all filled with meaningless cartoonish utterings such as "mmmmuggh."

    What is equally despicable is the number of jerks responding with jokes about her condition and filthy utterings regarding the condition she is in. How low can some people get?

    I do not find any humor, black or otherwise in making fun of a disabled person, and those that do have a serious emotional problem. I'd call them adolescent except that most adolescents I know have more couth.

    Enjoy yourselves while you can animals, you should be shunned by EVERY decent human being.

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:01 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

    March 25, 2005

    Iraq: Year 2

    Mohammad of Iraq The Model has a post up regarding the The 2nd anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam. For those of you who wonder if it was worth it, you need to read his posting. An exerpt:

    "Like most Iraqis, I don't want Iraq to go back to the days of Saddam; nothing can match the freedom that we won. And let's not forget that most of the Iraqis who lost their lives in the last two years were victims of terrorism not the military operation itself.

    Terrorism didn't come to Iraq after the fall of Saddam, only if one decides to consider that Saddam's doings are not terrorism: 5000 in Halabja in one day, 180 000 in Al-Anfal, 300 000 in the uprising in 1991, 70 000 from Al-Dawa party alone, many thousands of political opposition groups' members, thousands of people who refused to fight in Saddam's wars and were executed for no reason, amputation of limbs, tongues and ears, draining the marshes, depriving the people of all their basic rights and freedoms. The list can go forever."

    Now go read the whole thing before commenting.

    Posted by GM Roper at 02:14 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    March 21, 2005

    Recently Discovered Blogs

    I came across the Fourth Rail not too long ago and intended to post about it but got busy with a patient and promptly forgot about it (senior moments strike again). Bill Rogio author of the Fourth Rail is celebrating his first blogiversary (new word, coined by Bill) and writes a smart, and idea driven blog. Bill's subtitle is "History, Politcs and the War On Terror." He covers all three quite well. This is a highly readable blog with good design and good graphics. Bill writes about everything from the Easongate to Iraq and the WoT. I recommend it highly.

    P.S. Bill, you REALLY need another "G" entry on your blog roll, might I suggest GM's Corner?

    Posted by GM Roper at 05:01 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    March 19, 2005

    The Secularist Inmates Are Running the Asylum

    There are at least two wars going on right this minute in this country. The first is obvious and in the news frequently; the War On Terror. "Sure, I know that." you think to yourself. The other war? Ahh, that one is not so obvious. It's the war on faith, all faith in general, but on Christian Faith in particular. Chuck Colson (yes, he of Watergate fame who is now President of Prison Fellowship) writes in Friday's Wall Street Journal (here)

    "Americans are still spellbound by the saga of Ashley Smith, the young Atlanta widow held hostage by murder suspect Brian Nichols. Reporters covering the story seem mystified that anyone at the mercy of an escaped inmate--one who had that very day killed another woman and three men--could remain so calm."

    "The reason was that, as she herself implied in later interviews, Ms. Smith had learned to trust God. During her seven-hour ordeal, Ms. Smith--the widow of a murder victim who suffered much in her life--was able to enter into the suffering of the man who held her captive. She calmed him and told him that God just might have had a purpose in sending him to her apartment. She even served him, making him pancakes."

    "...Ms. Smith had learned to trust God." A simple statement reflecting the author's view of how Ashley Smith was able to transform what was a terrifying incident in her life into a minor miracle of redemption and caring for another, though the other was, as were Christ's fellows on the cross on Calvary Hill--thieves and murderers.

    A remarkable woman, who through expressing her faith and voicing that faith to an admittedly desperate man was able to escape what others that day could not. Death at the hands of a hardened criminal caught on video in the act of murder and many subsequent acts of mayhem.

    However, as remarkable as that story was, some pundits were not willing to accept that an act of faith had positive outcomes. Jill Porter of the Philadelphia Daily News had to declare that that act of faith "...is infused with the rhetoric of Christian evangelism." Also

    "But the universality of Smith's appeal is being compromised by the religious propaganda that seems to infuse the story more and more.

    The truth is, there could be any number of reasons why Nichols responded so remarkably to Smith."

    Religious Propaganda? Oh My Gosh. Since when is accurate reporting of facts propaganda? "Afterwards, she said that she'd read to Nichols from "The Purpose-Driven Life," a bestselling book that eschews the self-help ethos so prevalent in pop literature to say that salvation can only be found in God." Pop Literature? OMG again, sharing your faith, what you believe to be true is only a "self-help ethos?"

    Porter, states that she admires Smith for what she did, and then castigates those who report what Smith did; namely share her faith and Nichols was touched. More from Porter:

    "And the truth is that Nichols was receptive to his hostage's spiritual message, saying he thought Smith was "an angel sent from God," she later told reporters."
    James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal's "Best Of The Web Today" perhaps says it best:
    "You just have to feel sorry for Jill Porter. Why should other people's religious beliefs threaten her so? Why can't secularists just live and let live and be comfortable with who they are?"
    Good question, and the only answer I can think of is "misery loves company." Down on the Gulf Coast of Texas, there is an old saying about how if you want to keep a crab in a wicker basket when you go crabbing; you must put another crab in with him. As one crab tries to crawl out, the other will reach up and pull him back down. Apparently, the non-religious and perhaps even some religious types are pretty miserable in their seeing someone else declare their faith and just reach up with their "claws" and pull them back down.

    Ashley Smith is not the only example of this, there is a decided move to use "Happy Holidays" when "Merry Christmas" used to be the term. I don't recall anyone ever objecting to the use of "Happy Hanukkah" and I still wish my Jewish friends Happy Hanukkah and send them Happy Hanukkah cards. My Jewish friends of faith send me Merry Christmas cards as well. I long ago had a Muslim friend whom I wished the best on Ramadan and she wished me Merry Christmas. Being strong in our own faith does not mean that we cannot allow others to be strong in their faith. I wonder if Porter has written a column about the faith of the Islamo-fascists going about beheading people? I won't hold my breath waiting for an answer though.

    The war extends not only to matters of faith, but to its symbols as well. Take for example the battle by the ACLU to remove a tiny cross from the seal of the County of Los Angeles. The seal contains numerous symbols specific to the history of Los Angeles County. Including Spanish Galleons, cattle, oil derricks, even theLA County Seal.png ancient Roman goddess Pomona, goddess of gardens and fruit trees. As you can see from the seal itself, the cross embedded is a very small portion of that seal, and the cross represents the Spanish Missions established in Los Angeles County which arguably are a significant part of LA County's history. At any rate, it is not even the largest symbol. The largest single symbol is Pomona the Roman goddess of gardens and fruit trees. Since the basis of the ACLU's suit was that the cross broke the establishment clause by the government of LA County advocating Christianity, does the fact that the goddess Pomona is still on the seal indicate that the ACLU believes that it is OK for the County of Los Angeles to promote Roman polytheism?

    I have come to the conclusion that for many in this country, far too many if you ask me, there are some clauses and amendments in the Constitution of the United States that mean exactly what they say; things such as the establishment clause, the 14th amendment, etc. But they believe fervently that other clauses and amendments either don't mean what they say, or are irrelevant. Evidence? OK, try this on for size: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion," means what it says but "...or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." does not. The Fourteenth amendment means what it says; the Second does not. Many on the left don't even know the meaning or intent of the Tenth Amendment. I'll leave it there for now, but you can bet that I'll be back. My faith is my own, and I'll express it any way I choose. Jill Porter, the ACLU or no.

    Additional evidence is available of the war on faith. Blogs for Bush notes that:

    "The Boy Scouts of America is pulling the charters of thousands of scouting units from public schools in an effort to spare them from lawsuits threatened by the American Civil Liberties Union."

    "In a letter sent to the BSA last month, the ACLU vowed to take legal action against public schools and other taxpayer-funded governmental agencies that charter Scout groups, claiming their sponsorship amounts to religious discrimination and violates the separation of church and state."
    Now, why would the big powerful ACLU make war on children? Simple, the Boy Scout Oath states:
    "On my honor, I will do my best; To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight."
    Scouts have been and are being kicked out of schools, parks and US Military bases because they promise to do their duty to God, and because of this, the ACLU and others believe that any governmental agency that sponsors a scout troop or explorer post or even cub scout pack is promoting religion and violating the establishment clause. Are these people NUTS? (Oh, wait, dumb question.)
    I'm concerned that Martin Niemöller's poem may come to pass for those with faith in God. Niemöller was a U-boat Commander in WWI and became a protestant minister prior to WWII. He said nothing as he watched the Nazi's systematically destroy the fabric of German society until the fall of 1937. He was arrested and sent to a concentration camp from which it is suggested the wrote:
    "First the Nazis came…
    First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a communist;
    Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a socialist;
    Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a trade unionist;
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    because I was not a Jew;
    Then they came for me—
    and there was no one left to speak out for me."
    Niemöller's personal history (here)is important, because he proves, as much of history does, but proves it in a way that is both personal and direct that if we do nothing about the gradual loss of freedoms in this country, a day will come when we do not have any freedoms. "No one was left to speak for me." Indeed!

    If you need to be reminded, the First Amendment guarantees that the state shall not establish a religion, AND that we may worship as we please. Freedom of religion, not freedom FROM religion.

    The first amendment mentions nothing about the boy scouts, nothing about being afraid of Christianity or other religious expression and nothing about old missions, symbolized on a county seal. Would someone tell that to the idiots at the ACLU, and to Jill Potter and to the LA County Board of Supervisors? They really do need to know.

    Posted by GM Roper at 12:14 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (3)

    March 18, 2005


    From The SmarterCop:

    "Attorney Barbara Weller was with Terri earlier today. She told the media that, during his visit with Terri, she explained to her what was happening. According to Weller, Terri began to cry and could not be quieted. She tried to coach Terri to say "Let me live" but she simply was having too much difficulty."
    I'm heartsick! Nauseated, dumbfounded and heartsick! What is going on in this country that we have such a blind spot that we cannot see that what is going to happen is that a DISABLED PERSON, AWARE OF WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN as indicated by Terri Schiavo CRYING at her own impending death is about to be starved.

    Terri S.jpgThere can be NO DOUBT that Terri is aware of her impending death. Either she is objecting as indicated by her incosolable crying OR she is glad that her life is going to be over. Either way she is aware!!! That means, beyond any doubt that she is NOT IN A PERSISTENT VEGETATIVE STATE!This cannot be allowed to happen!

    I'm going to make a request of anybody living within 100 miles of Terri Schiavo. Please, go down to the police station and file a complaint. Do not call, if thousands or even hundreds of people call it will tie up the switchboards and perhaps prevent the police from responding to another life or death emergency. But, if you go there, and are orderly, even if there are only a few tens of people than the police will have something to act on. Maybe not, I'm not a police expert, but somebody has to do something to prevent the starving/dehydration of a sentient human being.


    Posted by GM Roper at 09:57 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

    March 16, 2005

    1,000,000 Visitors. Awesome Dude, Just Awesome

    Rusty Shackleford at the Jawa Report (Formerly MyPetJawa) has reached a million visitors. Someday, I might get there too...but you know what? I'm absolutely positive that Rusty is quite proud of his site, and justifyably so. But I suspect that the real joy is not the numbers (allthough that helps) but is watching your thoughts and words go out and seeing people respond. That is awesome to me.

    Of course, reaching a million is awesome too. Rusty says that he remembers when it was as few as 10 a day. Well Rusty my man, you've done good, damn good indeed.

    Posted by GM Roper at 06:02 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    March 12, 2005

    God Help Me, I Don't Want To Live Any More

    This article was originally posted on my old site in December 2004. However, in light of the recent death of Hunter Thompson, and the increasing interest that his suicide caused, I thought it appropriate to re post it. So, here it is in its entirety.

    Earlier this month (December 10th), Gary Webb committed suicide. Mr. Webb was the author of Dark Alliance a book about the connection between the Contra's and Drugs and the CIA. My friend Marc Cooper wrote extensively about Mr. Webb here, & here.

    Suicide - the killing of one's self is a mental health issue stretching back through the millennia. Whether it be from Alexander falling on his sword, Socrates drinking hemlock or Mr. Webb, suicide hurts everyone it touches, from the victim to the victims loved ones.

    The Center for Disease Control reports:

    * Suicide took the lives of 30,622 people in 2001 (CDC 2004).
    * Suicide rates are generally higher than the national average in the western states and lower in the eastern and midwestern states (CDC 1997).
    * In 2002, 132,353 individuals were hospitalized following suicide attempts; 116,639 were treated in emergency departments and released (CDC 2004).
    * In 2001, 55% of suicides were committed with a firearm (Anderson and Smith 2003).

    The CDC goes on to say that women attempt suicide three times the rate of men and men complete suicide four times the rate of women. It is a grisly set of statistics, especially at this time of year when one would think that being with family, the giving and getting of expressions of love, sharing with others etc., would be a happy time for all.

    And yet, and yet, this is not the case. No, is there trouble in the world, with war, famine, disease and sorrow. And for far too many, despondency.

    Risk factors for suicide include the following:

    • Previous suicide attempt(s)History of mental disorders, particularly depression
    • History of alcohol and substance abuse
    • Family history of suicide
    • Family history of child maltreatment
    • Feelings of hopelessness
    • Impulsive or aggressive tendencies
    • Barriers to accessing mental health treatment
    • Loss (relational, social, work, or financial)
    • Physical illness
    • Easy access to lethal methods
    • Unwillingness to seek help because of the stigma attached to mental health and substance abuse disorders or suicidal thoughts
    • Cultural and religious beliefs—for instance, the belief that suicide is a noble resolution of a personal dilemma
    • Local epidemics of suicide
    • Isolation, a feeling of being cut off from other people

    I know the feeling of despondency, of being cut off from others, of severe loss; and I know them far too intimately! In July, 1996 my first wife passed away from the complications of asthma. We were 15 days away from our 27th anniversary! As the family gathered around my daughter and me, I still felt isolated. When my wife's mother, brother and I went to our chuch to talk with the pastor about the memorial service my brother-in-law noted that my wife was no longer in pain, that we would soon enough be with her but we didn't want that now. I looked up at him with tears in my eyes and my heart breaking and said "I do." I meant that then, at that time in my life. I, to this day, don't know if I would have actually attempted suicide (obviously I didn't commit it); but I do know that if I had been crossing the street I wouldn't have hurried out of the way of a car speeding towards me, so great was my despondency. I survived that time, with the support and love of my friends and family, especially the love of my daughter Jennifer. I fell in love again (though I never thought I would) and re-married and am delightfully happy once again.

    Suicide has been called the Savage God by A. Alvarez in his classic book, and part of my title comes from remembering reading that tome when I was in graduate school. In my 35 plus years of mental health work, I have dealt with the family survivors of suicide time and time again and it's never easy; on the therapist or on the family. The grief, the doubt and the pain go on and on in unremitting waves. Suicide is far too often not a well thought out action, but an action of desparation, of despondency of a belief that nothing will again be better. Gary Webb doubtlessly felt this way before shooting himself.

    Suicide grows out of an irrational belief that nothing will improve - and no, I'm not talking about people with an incurable disease, with an immediate future of unremitting pain and ultimate death. I'm talking about people who in the depths of depression believe that nothing will improve. Nothing could be farther from the truth! While there is life, there is hope. Suicide dashes that hope for the victim and the surviving loved ones.

    It is said that depression, like any mood is cyclical, that is that our moods go up and down in a normal fashion with a fairly predictable regularity. Clinical depression on the other hand is a gross exaggeration of this cycle. A psychiatrist friend of mine explained it once as waking up in the morning feeling lousy and down. Going to work someone notices and says "What's wrong?" to which you sigh and reply "I'm depressed!" The other person says "It's OK, things will get better" and sure enough, after a few days or a week or so it does. But depression, real depression is much more complex and much greater than just the "blues."

    Depression is often mistakenly thought to be caused by one or more of the following:

    • Depression is the result of a medical condition involving an imbalance of hormones or neurotransmitters in the brain.
    • Depression is the result of "bad" thinking processes.
    • Depression is a result of significant psychological/physical trauma and it's aftermath.

    The Depression Learning Path here has a terrific bit of information regarding depression. Read it all.

    Depression is not the "cause" of suicide though, even if it is often directly and unavoidably linked to depression. I once had a patient who had lost her husband and two children in separate accidents a couple of years apart, lost her business and managed to cope with it all. She became depressed and had persistent thoughts of death and dying when her pet dog died. So, how did she cope with true tragedy but "fall apart" when a pet died? Perhaps it was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. Perhaps it was the time of year, perhaps her pet's death occurred as she was starting to realize the extent of her previous losses. I don't know. I do know that with the help of a psychiatrist and counseling she was able to recover and become a fully functioning happy person again.

    The loss of belief in a future, despondency too often leads to suicide. For the family of the suicide, the resulting guilt and belief that they could have prevented it is wide spread, almost universal. There are warning signs, but they are not always present, and often the person contemplating suicide goes to great lengths to keep anyone from realizing what is about to happen. SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) has a great Question & Answer section on suicide, causes, prevention etc. I strongly, strongly, suggest a full reading.

    Educate yourself about depression and suicide; the cost in lives ended, lives of survivers shattered and the cost in human suffering demands it. You may know someone who is contemplating suicide. If so, act, now, go to the internet and learn as much as you can and do something. Take a risk! Be proactive! Save someone you love, even if they get furious with you. You may not be ultimately successful, but you won't feel guilty if they eventually do take their lives.

    UPDATE: From SAVE a bit of good news. President Bush signed the GarrettLeeSmith Bill.

    President Bush signed into law a bill authorizing $82 million in grants aimed at preventing suicide among young people. The Garrett Lee Smith Memorial Act is named for the son of Oregon Republican Sen. Gordon Smith, who championed the legislation as a tribute to his 21-year-old son, who committed suicide last year. The senator, his wife Sharon, daughter Brittany and son Morgan attended the signing ceremony at the White House.The law authorizes $82 million over three years to provide grants to states, Indian tribes, colleges and universities to develop youth suicide prevention and intervention programs. It emphasizes screening programs that identify mental illness in children as young as sixth-graders, and provides referrals for community-based treatment and training for child care professionals.

    Suicide can often be prevented if we all make a significant effort.

    In the hopes that this re-posting may help someone or help someone help someone else, I urge all of you to get as much information as you possibly can. Suicide can be prevented most of the time.

    Posted by GM Roper at 08:11 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

    March 10, 2005


    The Honorable George W. Greer
    The Sixth Judicial Circut Court of Florida
    Pinellas County, Florida

    Dear Judge Greer:

    Today, March 10, 2005, I listened to the radio on the way home from an appointment. I heard on the 1:00 PM news that you had denied a petition to allow the adult protective services of Florida to investigate whether or not there was sufficient evidence to determine if Terri Schiavo had been mistreated by her guardian. This of course allows the current ruling of your court to stand and will ultimately allow Michael Schiavo to have the feeding tube disconnected causing the ultimate death of Mrs. Schiavo by starvation. I am at a total loss as to why you are in such a hurry to see this woman die, when you have been informed, doubtlessly by many sources, that this (the issue of mismanagement of her guardianship) is a distinct possibility.

    I am at a further loss to understand what the "big hurry" is to cause her death by starvation. I understand that this court action has taken years, but what possible harm (except perhaps to Michael Schiavo's ego and your own inability to see beyond your current rulings)a few more days or weeks to complete. If, as I and many others believe based on current information, Mrs. Schiavo's current guardian (Michael S.) has not functioned fully and completely as a guardian of an incompetant persons life, what is the hurry? You are in possession (and if you are not, you should be) of information that she was for a long period kept in isolation, nurses were instructed not to allow her to see outside, turn her or even brush her teeth. In fact, there can be a case made that Mrs. Schiavo has not been afforded the same protections given to any citizen of Pinellas County, The State of Florida or indeed to any citizen of the United States. Specifically the protections that are afforded are:

    “No person shall be deprived of any right because of race, religion, national origin, or physical disability”, and, “No person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” And, what due process is guaranteed? "The right of trial by jury shall be secure to all and remain inviolate."

    Some have suggested that the right to the protection of a jury is not applicable in Terri’s case because it is not a criminal case. But Florida’s own Supreme Court in Case No. 79,396 _B.J.Y., Petitioner/Appellant, vs. M.A., Respondent/Appellee. [April 29, 1993], has made it quite clear the protection of a jury is a vital part of Florida’s due process and “…is not to be narrowly construed.”
    Information readily available to you and to others gives sufficient evidence that all is not as it appears to be. There is significant doubt as to whether Mrs. Schiavo meets Florida criteria for persistant vegetative state (PVS) and more than sufficient evidence that she does not. If not, imagine if you can find it in your heart and in your imagination, what her feelings will be as she slowly starves and cannot imagine why she is not being fed. You will not even allow a study to be done to see if she can swallow on her own. Have you no humanity?

    Lastly, as an appeal to you personally, I watched each of my parent's die of irreversable illness on different occasions and I was with them both as they breathed their last. Both of these wonderful people had indicated to more than one person on more than one occasion that that would be their wish. This is not the case with Mrs. Schiavo, and her husband's claims to the contrary should at the very minimum give you pause. In addition, the story of Kate Adamson posted at Wittenberg Gate should give you pause. Kate was the victim of a brain-stem stroke and was thought to be in a persistent vegetative state. She pulled through and after many many months of being "a vegetable" is now back home with her family, actively particpating in her life. Terri has never had that chance because Mr. Schiavo has not provided the rehabilitation he promised the court he would provide.

    I'm hoping and praying you will listen to reason and find it in your heart to at least allow the investigation to continue and will allow other motions before your court to at least be considered before a great tragedy occurs. Life is too prescious to toss away in such a cavalier fashion.


    Posted by GM Roper at 02:13 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (2)

    Blog Wear for the Pajamahadeen


    "I fought The Blog ... And The Blog Won."

    Iheartbloggers.com has some awesome clothing for Bloggers...

    Go there, NOW

    Posted by GM Roper at 06:04 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

    March 07, 2005

    Bolivian President Resigns

    News from South America too often doesn't resonate in this country, much to our loss. We had Kissinger deeply involved in overthrowing the Allende administration, we talk about cocaine and the narco-terrorists, we hope that Chavez will stumble and free up oil imports from Venezuela, but other than that we (the US/Canada folk) tend to ignore South America except for the tourist spots.

    In my own case, I held a summer job in Panama in the summer of '68 and met a fellow student from Bolivia and we became fast friends even through his bad English and my much worse Spanish. Roberto and I lost touch in the intervening decades, but I still remember the laughter.

    Well, there is some shaking of the branches of government going on and we better pay attention. Miguel Buitrago of MABB posts on the resignation of President Mesa. He notes the demands of the protesters/strikers in La Paz, in El Alto, in Cochabamba and in Santa Cruz, and notes that Mesa is still quite popular. A.M. Mora y Leon at Publius Pundit has more including a timeline of the current situation. Please read both blogs for a update on the situation

    Recently, President Mesa of Bolivia and President Chavez of Venezuela were in a "shouting match" for which Chavez later apologized indicating that he wasn't in "favor" of interefering in the internal affairs of Bolivia. But to be honest, if I were a Bolivian, I'd keep my eye on Chavez none-the-less.

    I'm hoping readers will pick up on this information and study up on what is going on in our own hemisphere. We are NOT an island and we can't act like we are.

    HT to Instapundit

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

    February 28, 2005

    Blogging for Terri

    I've been asked twice now about why I'm blogging for Terri Schiavo. "You are in Texas, she is in Florida, what possible impact can you have?"

    Reminds me of the story of an elderly and frail gentleman walking down the storm swept beach with his young grandson in the early hour of the day, while it was still cool and damp.

    The storm the night before had been one of those storms that sent waves far up the beach, farther than usual. The detritus swept onto the beach included hundreds of starfish.

    As the old man would pass a starfish, he would reach down, pluck it from the sand where the heat of the day would surely kill it and gently placed it back in the water.

    "My beloved grandfather" said the grandson, "why do you do that?"

    "Because" said the old man, "though it is cool and damp this morning, by midday, the sun will be hot and the starfish will die." Then, he bent down and plucked another starfish off the sand and gently placed it too into the water.

    "Grandfather, the storm last night was vast, and there are hundreds of storms a year. Why go to the effort? You can't possibly make any difference in the number of those things dying."

    The grandfather, seeing another picked it up and placed it in the water also. He turned and looked gently on his grandson and said:
    "I made a difference to that one."

    I hope that I can make a difference for Terri, that's all, just a small difference.

    Posted by GM Roper at 02:07 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

    February 27, 2005

    Death, Dying, Grief and Fighting Back

    July, 1996
    "Honey" she said, "would you fix my shot, I'm having a hard time breathing."
    "Sure" I replied, glancing at the clock, 04:30 AM... what a way to start the day. The night before, she and I had been sitting up, looking at wallpaper samples and laughing uproariously.

    "How about green stripes with blue daffodils and orange crocodiles." and the laughter would start all over again. The last laughter as it turned out.

    Her breathing became more labored. I woke my daughter and said "Stay with your mom, I've called an ambulance and I'm going to make sure it doesn't pass the house." I went back into the bedroom.

    "I'm going to die," she said. "It'll be ok honey; the ambulance is on its way," I said. We had been through her asthma attacks before, lots of them, all of them scary, some of them terrifying.

    I heard the siren and ran outside to make sure it didn't pass, when the ambulance crew and I went inside, she had collapsed. Furiously we did CPR and after a while, she seemed to stabilize. The Ambulance Crew rushed her to the hospital, my daughter and I following. While we were registering her, the security guard came and said the doc wanted to see me, would I follow him? My daughter and I followed him into one of the treatment rooms and after what seemed like a wait of hours but was probably only 10 minutes the doc came in and told us she didn't make it. "I don't understand, is she going to be OK?"

    "No, I'm sorry but your wife died. We did everything we could, but we couldn't save her." It was an embolism he said, had she been in the ER when this happened, they couldn't have saved her. My life was over; my best friend was gone, my heart broken.

    I don't know how I made it through the next several months; and except for the love of God, my family, my beloved daughter and my friends I probably wouldn't have.

    I'm a counselor, a psychotherapist, I'm supposed to know how to handle grief, how to deal with psychic pain and emotional trauma. Hah... the daze I walked through seemed unreal. Friends tried to express how sorry they were. I couldn't hear them. I only felt my own pain and did not understand the pain of others.

    I eventually worked through the loss! I met someone, fell in love again and re-married.

    I usually don't share the above with any but a selected few, but I've been doing a "Grief Share" at my church, with people who have lost a loved one in the recent past. Because I'm a counselor, and I know what people have been though, my pastor felt that I would be in a good enough place to help others deal with the same pain, grief, loss.

    On the way home today, after church, I got to thinking about Terri Schiavo's parents. They are aware, that in a very few days, March 18, 2005 to be exact, the courts will allow her spouse to "terminate" Terri's existence. What a travesty of justice.

    In 1987, I began working in a private psychiatric hospital as the program director for the adult psychiatric unit. One of the books we used with clients was Judith Viorst's "Necessary Losses", a passage reproduced here:

    "In 1984, I watched three women I loved very dearly die of cancer. All of them in their fifties, all of them vitally in life, they -- all of them in cruel prematurity -- died. One faced her fate straight on -- she knew she was dying, she talked about death, she calmly accepted it. One, knowing death was near and wishing to choose her moment of dying, hoarded pills and committed suicide. And one, the blond-haired, blue-eyed interloper I'd known since birth -- my sister Lois -- fought against her death, until the moment she closed her eyes, with awesome ferocity."
    "With awesome ferocity." What a terrific phrase for someone that refuses to die.

    Won't face reality you say? Living (as it were) in a fantasy world you say? Can't accept death as part of life you say? Good Lord, how do I get through to people that think that? Of course, death is a necessary and wonderful part of life. My God, without death life itself would not be possible; but to apply that to NEEDLESS death, death as faced by Terri?

    I'm pretty sure that her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler, understand that in the normal course of events, given Terri's condition, that they are likely to outlive Terri. But, I doubt if Terri does. And that makes this travisty even more agonizing, Terri is being accorded less in the way of justice than mistreated and starved animals, less than convicted criminals on death row.

    If Terri could communicate her wishes, I have no doubt that she, like Judith Viorst's sister would fight with every thing she had to keep on keeping on.

    There are people like Lois at every age and with all kinds of fatal ailments who hang on to hope, who fight to stay alive, trusting in will, in spirit, in remissions, in brand-new miracle drugs or -- in miracles. "Don't they know they can't make it?" we may wonder, having heard the grim statistics. But they have heard them too, and what they do is tell us, and themselves, "I'm not a statistic."

    In videotapes about a thirty-nine-year-old doctor painfully dying of cancer, he -- and his wife, a brother, doctors and clergymen -- describe his harrowing struggle to stay alive. In his final weeks, refusing to quit, he insisted on being fed through a vein in his neck and as the pain worsened he grew so dependent upon narcotic drugs that he underwent -- observers agreed -- a personality change. Some doctors have said that by his insistence on taking command of his case, this man prolonged his life -- unnecessarily. But just before he died, when asked by his wife if his fight for survival had been worth it, he answered with an unequivocal "Yes."

    As Dylan Thomas said:

    "Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light."
    This is not the time, to stop fighting for Terri. Don't let the urgency of the last few days go out like a "candle in the wind." Keep the pressure on, blog, donate, call everyone in Florida that you can think of. Go to Dori's Wittenberg Gate and follow the links for Terri. For your sake! For your humanity! For Terri!!

    Posted by GM Roper at 09:12 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

    February 24, 2005

    Terri, Again, Again And Again, Till This Travesty Is Over

    In September, 1946 in Bayreuth, Germany, home of the composer Richard Wagner, a child was born. This wasn't a normal child, his legs were bent, his feet crooked, he would likely never walk normally, never run, never play soccer. In fact, had the German's won WWII, had the child's parent's not been American and the child's father part of the Constabulary (a branch of the Army of Occupation) that child would probably have been condemned, perhaps starved, killed with a bullet to the back of the head, smothered or tossed in a gas chamber. Condemned for the sin of being imperfect, useless, a waste of resources. Much like is being done to Terri Schiavo by our justice system and the machinations of one Michael Schiavo - new Protector of the Fit and Healthy, Grand High Commissioner of Dealing with the Disabled.

    That child, born 58 years ago was me. I don't remember any of that of course, I rember only what my parents told me. A German POW who was also an Orthopedic surgeon was brought in, the American Docs wanted to break my legs and feet and re-set them so they would grow strong and streight - maybe. The German said not needed and designed a set of progressive braces which I wore till I was 7 or so. Big hulking leather cuffs around my hips and knees, steel rods down the thighs and lower legs, ugly ungainly shoes with steel bars pushing here, pulling there. I vaguely recollect those braces, I remember the muscle aches growing up, I remember shuffling to the bathroom in my night-time braces. I remember unlacing them, removing them and hiding them under the bushes so I could play baseball like the other kids, and being laughed at when I couldn't run as fast as they could. I remember the love and attention paid to me by my mom and dad, by my older sister when she would sometimes rub my calf and thigh muscles.

    I eventually grew up with fairly normal legs, they still ache from time to time, I still have knock knees )( <-- like that rather than || <-- like that. But I'm a professional, I teach at a University, I have a private practice. I lived, even if I wasn't perfect, even if I may have been a burden.

    Steven Hawkings, perhaps one of the most brilliant minds of this current century isn't perfect, in fact, he couldn't talk, walk, speak, but man oh man could he think.

    Terri Schiavo isn't perfect, in fact, she is severely disabled by a traumatic brain injury. She may never walk, talk or hold her family in her arms. But She, Hawkings and I have one thing in common, our shared humanity, the love of our family, and the love & grace of Almighty God. Who are the Michael Schiavo's of this world to take that away?

    Posted by GM Roper at 09:37 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

    Terri Schivao's Last Days/Hours - Should That Come To Pass

    Terri Schivao has a reprieve, at least until the 25th of February at 5 PM. At that time, the final decision will have to be made on whether her spouse (I just can no longer bring myself to call him a husband) can order her not to be fed or given water. This poor excuse for a human being has been trying for eight years for permission to legally kill his wife. I am ashamed that he is part of the human race. Make no mistake, this is NOT about a right to die, this is NOT about a conscious and aware "million dollar baby" making a choice. This is about euthansia, killing off the unwanted, unloved, handicapped people because someone wants his hands on some money. Were it not so, he could just walk away, but no, he want's to walk away AND figuratively pull the plug on the very woman he promised to love, cherish and honor, who he told the courts that he would spend all of the award money on taking care of his wife and providing for what ever rehabilitation she needed.

    Let's be frank. Terri Schivao is not in a coma, she is not brain dead, she did not leave a living will. Terri communicates, poorly perhaps, but communicates with her environment, not by word, but by gesture. She is aware of friends and family coming to visit her, she knows and recognizes people. She is profoundly disabled.

    I teach Rehabilitation at our University. In blogging on this subject I'm reminded of one of our professors who is in a wheel chair for life because of a neck injury. Should we starve him? We had two students, recently graduated that have next to no muscle tone and have to be held into their motorized wheelchairs by straps. They have both finished advanced degrees. Dehydrate them to death? I've seen people with traumatic brain injury who can barely function, yet they are as fully human as anyone I know. This semester, I'm teaching a course in Disability in the Family. This weeks topic is the impact of disability on adults and the family. As I lectured, Terri's photo of her smiling at her mom wouldn't leave my mind. Quality of life? Impaired of course. Right to life - the exact same right that you and I have.

    I want to take you on a little journey, let's talk about what this whole damn process is really about. It is about taking a disabled person who is conscious and aware of her surroundings, but severely disabled and watching her die, bit by bit, day by day, with her being aware that she is hungry and thirsty and that she cannot do anything about it. The Nazi's in WWII ran experiments like this, how much can you "take away" before these "Untermenchen" die.

    Has Terri become a modern day Untermenchen? Is that where we as a people want to go? But I digress; the process of dehydration is as follows: (WARNING, GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS FOLLOW) Initially, Terri will be thirsty, just as you or I might be after a few hours of mowing the lawn or cleaning out the garage on a mild summer day. As that first day progresses, mild dehydration will set in. Symptoms will be mostly experienced by Terri, she will of course be fairly thirsty by now. her lips will be dry, as will her mouth and saliva will be hard to come by as the body struggles to keep water in. As she dehydrates further, she will cease sweating (we perspire ALL of the time, just not when we are hot, in addition, we lose moisture through the process of breathing)and her skin will begin to flush as her body temperature begins to rise. Terri will become tired and irritabile, though she may not be capable of showing that at this stage. She will develop a headache. Her urine bag (assuming she is cathaterized) will begin to show darker and darker urine because though she is not taking water in, her kidneys will continue to struggle to remove toxic impurities from the blood. With less water to work with, the urine becomes more concentrated and the output decreases, a viscious cycle. As she dehydrates further, you will see all the earlier signs of mild dehydration. In addition, her skin won't bounce back quickly when pressed, she will experience very dry mouth and will whimper, and plead to the best of her ability, her eyes will appear sunken. The output of urine will be limited and color of urine will be a very dark yellow. Her muscles will begin to very painfully cramp and her joints will become very stiff and painful. Her irritability, and fatigue will be significantly worse as the earlier headache becomes much more severe.

    Finally, severe dehydration will commence as she nears death. Because the body knows that it is loosing moisture, it will attempt to conserve. But, the rest will continue. Her lips will turn blue as her blood becomes thicker and as less oxygen is carried to her system. her skin will be come blotchy she will become confused and become very lethargic. Her hands and feet will be unbearably cold.

    Her breathing will be rapid, her pulse weak as her blood pressure drops. She may experience intermittent fainting and will begin running a high fever. She will be extremely miserable, but will be unable to pee or cry. Her body will attempt to conserve every bit of fluid, but her fever will go higher, resulting, perhaps, in convulsions and certainly in death.

    Not a pretty sight.

    Get up off of your butts folks, do something for a fellow human being. We can't solve all of the worlds problems, or save everyone on this planet, but surely, we can prevent a death to a human being. Were the husband to treat a couple of dogs like this, the law would be on him like bees on honey. But, apparantly not in this "enlightened" day and age. Apparantly not.

    Update: More posts here, here and here

    UPDATE2: Captain Ed at Captains Quarters has an excellent post. He notes rightly that we cannot and do not know what happened between Terri, her spouse and her parents, we weren't party to the discussions of life/death if any, that were held. But, there is an over-riding principle involved and that is, as Capt. Ed states

    "The issue is a society that treats its infirm and inconvenient as unnecessary burdens, weights that can simply be tossed in the trash as easily as fast-food wrappers"

    Posted by GM Roper at 03:01 AM | Comments (16) | TrackBack (2)

    February 23, 2005

    Ted Rall - Pusillanimous Projector of Putrid Punditry

    day by day.JPG
    Cartoon courtesy of Day By Day by the inestimable Chris Muir

    Ted Rall is ranting, again! So, what else is news?

    Rall takes on Captains Quarters author Ed Morrissey who responds back with far more wit and verve than a troglodyte like Rall deserves.

    Rall states that Morrissey isn't qualified to be the "new sheriff in town" because he manages a call center in Minneapolis;

    "Bloggers want you to know that there's a new sheriff in town. Edward Morrissey, writer of the right-wing blog Captain's Quarters, boasts to the New York Times: "The media can't just cover up the truth and expect to get away with it--and journalists can't just toss around allegations without substantiation and expect people to believe them anymore." And what are Morrissey's qualifications to police the media? When he's not harassing old-school journos like Dan Rather and CNN's Eason Jordan out of their jobs, Morrissey manages a call center near Minneapolis."
    Of course, we right wing, knuckle dragging, Neanderthals have folk that do research and step up to the plate with facts, something that some folk like Rall are reluctant to do (Eason Jordan or Dan "What's the Frequency Kenneth" Rather come to mind anyone?). John Henke of QandO blog reports that Rall's qualifications include graduating from highschool and having a Bachelors degree in History (Oh, yeah, that is a big qualifier!) and a certain talent with a pencil (he actually said crayon's - ed.). Rall on the other hand notes: "Bloggers are ordinary people, many of them uneducated and with nothing interesting to say." Well, MISTER Rall, let's see, this is a NEW blog (since January of 2005 here and a two month experiment at Blogspot) and I have moved from somewhere around 9000th place in the TTLB ecosystem to around 1500 in that short 1.05 months so, at least SOME people must like what I have to say. As far as being "uneducated" to add to that MISTER Rall, I have a Bachelors degree, a Masters degree and some 30 hours graduate work beyond the Masters. Do YOU?

    Rall calls bloggers "ordinary people, many of them uneducated" Well now, some on the right have called some on the left elite and effete. That seems to fit. Does Rall REALLY believe that only "extra-ordinary" people have a right to blog? That ordinary people aren't protected under the 1st Amendment and that therefore they MUST keep their worthless mouths shut?

    The GALL of RALL is astounding. He represents the absolute worst of thinking in this world. He calls right leaning bloggers the "New McCarthyism." Well, isn't that special? Lets see, Joseph "Tail Gunner Joe" McCarthy was famous for "branding" communists publicly with an implication, at least, that they were both un-American and had no place in any public discourse (and to the extent that anyone who was a communist who actively planned the overthrow of the US I would agree with McCarthy - to the extent that anyone in this country has an absolute freedom of thought, McCarthy was a jerk and an ass - that was pretty inelegantly stated. - ed. I know, but I'm in a hurry this morning.) So, Rall, by branding a group as "McCarthyists" is not doing the same thing? Smarter folks than I will have to expound on that thought.

    In closing, my Fellow Americans" let me just say, Ted Rall is an ass, a left wing ass, an expounder of falsehoods and half truths who doesn't know his absolute right to freedom of speech isn't balanced by our absolute freedom of speech to call him on his "Putrid Punditry."

    Dr. Cole at FullosseousFlap's Dental Blog perhaps has the best note of all: "Ted Rall should talk (remember people who live in glass houses.... something about throwing stones)." Oh, and I guess that Dr. Cole being merely a possessor of a Doctorate qualifies too as an "uneducated" blogger.

    Mr. Rall is hereby placed in GM's Corner as a bad boy, a very bad boy, for an indefinite period of time.

    UPDATE: It occurred to me to include Chris Muir's cartoon about Rall's work. Damon has it right, Rall is indeed laughable, and not even funny.

    Posted by GM Roper at 07:10 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

    February 15, 2005

    US POWs of Gulf War I Denied Court Ordered Compensation, By Their Own Government.

    This story by L.A. Times writer David G. Savage is building a bonfire under me. YOU NEED TO READ EVERY WORD. I'm getting steamed and I'll tell you why.

    While scrolling through my favorite lefty Marc Cooper's (click and read every word) blog I came across his latest entry. Marc goes into detail about how the US Government, OUR US Government is denying US POWs who were in Gulf War I court ordered compensation from Saddams Iraq, now replaced by force of arms. The suit was filed against and won against the govt. of Saddam, but just after the court ordered payment, our own Government said no! The CURRENT Iraq government was not responsible for the POW's treatment at the hands of Saddam is the DOJ's feeling and Iraq needs the money.

    Well, too damn bad folks, I empathize with the new Iraq government, but the rule of law, if it means anything means that governments ought to be responsible for their actions, even when those actions are of a former ruler.

    But, all is not lost. Even if you are a supporter of the war, a supporter of Bush and the US efforts in Iraq. We also need to honor and support those who suffered at the hands of Iraq when our own Courts have said so.

    Here are two links to find your Congresman and Senator and write them, DEMANDING justice. Here also is a link to the DOJ and the White House. Let EVERYONE know about this miscarriage of Justice. Close out this blog (never thought I'd say that) and do it NOW.

    UPDATE: There are some very interesting comments in Marc Coopers blog regarding this issue. Click here and read them all. As Marc said:

    "GM.. Old pal... interesting, dont u find, how the liberals and lefties on this board have joined GW Bush in promoting tort reform and capping liability when they are not so sympathetic to the victims. Likewise, the conservatives -- except in your case-- decide their own compassion is more with the official ideaologues in the beltway than with the poor bastards who got kicked around in Abu Ghraib by Saddam. Sort of renews one's faith in humanity, doesnt it?"

    Posted by GM Roper at 10:47 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

    February 14, 2005

    From Ramblings Journal

    I've enjoyed Michael King's Rambling's Journal (The Politically Incorrect Rambling's of a Black Conservative) for some time. He is one of the very first I added to my blog roll.

    Now he posts about some lady in Columbus Ga. who objected to a police officer eating a banana.

    I agree with Michael, this lady is fully, absolutely deranged.

    - Full Disclosure - I used to live in Columbus and went to the second grade at Benning Hills Elementary School, where I promptly fell in love with my teacher Mrs. Nichols. God Bless you Mrs. Nichols, where ever you are.

    Posted by GM Roper at 03:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

    January 28, 2005

    Who I Am!

    Hello, my name is George Mann Roper and I'm the author of this blog. You may be wondering why I named this GM's Corner, simple really: When I first started commenting on other's blogs, I used only my first two initials and last name, other's responded to me using GM and one told me to go to my corner after a fierce battle verbal battle. Hence, GM's Corner.

    I was born in Germany in 1946 to American parents. I grew up in the army (Yes, I'm PROUDLY an Army Brat AND an Army Veteran) and lived in many parts of the world. I attended 10 different schools in 7 towns, over 5 states and two continents before graduating from High School. Attended college and in 1969 I married a wonderful woman by the name of Cynthia, she passed away in 1996 after almost 27 years of marriage. I loved her dearly. I have remarried since and am deeply in love with my second wife and count myself blessed by having been loved by two wonderful women. I have a daughter, Jennifer, who is the delight of my life and a friend, confidant and daughter. I'm lucky beyond belief and have been blesssed by my maker.

    By day, I'm a Licensed Professional Counselor and Instructor at the University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas. At night and in my "spare time" (hah, what spare time?) I'm a political junkie addicted to all things political. My personal politics tend to the conservative side of things which to some would mean that I'm a knuckle dragging neanderthal with the intellect of a carrot or in DU parlance a slug. But the reality is that politics is about perception.

    Perception has to do with your learning from past experience, your ability to call up memories and relate those memories to your current environment. If you are say, of European descent with hints of English, French, German and Irish blood but were born and raised in Bolivia for example, you would speak Spanish, see things through "Bolivian eyes" and your world view would be colored by that set of circumstances.

    In real life (as opposed to those who say they are members of the so called "reality based community") nothing is set in stone, all things are variable except for integrety and honesty, those are absolutes. The lede for my blog is "This Is The Place Where Truth, Honesty and Integrety Are Honored Above All Else! Truth In Politics Is Often Perception; Integrity And Honesty Are Absolute!" and I believe that. So, for me at least, I will post about things that interest me, things I find humourous and things I believe to be true. True for me, may not be true for you, but I will be honest in what I say for it will be what I believe.

    So, welcome to my blog, look around and you will find something for everyone.

    Posted by GM Roper at 01:50 AM | TrackBack (0)

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