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 26, 2005

Blogs Recently Discovered

The other day, I was surfing among the blogs I have posted to the right and went to Crossing the Rubicon2 - The blog of Susie Housecoat

Now, Crossing is one of my newer favorites, in fact, it's the object of my "Newly Discovered Blog" features. The author, Susie Housecoat, let's call her "Susie" is a former nurse (still?) who is from the New York area now living some 20+ years in the northern Virginia area. She is married to a former Rhode Islander and seems to have thrived living down south as it were. Her blog is fun to read with little snippits of humor, whimsy and occasional seriousness. Susie writes with her heart, and that is as it should be. But, Susie is wellllllll, I'll let you decide. The other day, when I last visited she had this photo up


Nice close-up isn't it? Really, really, really close! And I must admit, it's a nice eye, even Mark, one of her commenters noted it. (Mark is observant that way you know). Mark asked to see "the rest of her" (Susie Housecoat that is) Now, Mark too is a blogger at AuTerrific. (What? Do you bloggers just go around all day and post on each others' blogs? -ed. -- Why not? It keeps us off of the streets!)

Susie, being obliging put up her full photo in an alluring and fetching, if somewhat old fashion outfit. I think that I won't say more, I'll merely report, you decide.

Continue reading "Blogs Recently Discovered"
Posted by GM Roper at 04:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Zero Tolerance = Zero Intelligence

From "The Drug War Chronicles" comes this striking and earth shaking bit of news:

"One of the noxious side-effects of prohibition is the unthinking application of its edicts. In the name of "drug-free schools," administrators, school boards, and law enforcement routinely subject students to "lock-downs" where drug-sniffing dogs roam the halls and classrooms. They increasingly resort to urine testing of students without cause. And they create policies designed to punish students who would bring banned substances to school.

Even when implemented thoughtfully and flexibly, anti-drug measures that treat students as de facto "suspects" are dehumanizing, not to mention ineffective. But when implemented robotically by overzealous police and school officials entranced by the doctrine of "zero tolerance," drug prohibition's totalitarian tendencies produce results that would be laughable if they were not such a sad reflection on the society that produced them.

A case in point comes from Sikeston, MO, where 6-year-old Michaela Boyd is now enshrined in school district records -- and the mind of at least one local police officer -- as a drug offender. According to KFVS-TV "Heartland News" in the southeast Missouri town, young Boyd found an empty baggie on the ground during recess, filled it with dirt and debris, tied a ribbon around it, and gave it to a friend. But this was no harmless childish exchange in the eyes of school officials, who decided the bag of dirt looked like a bag of marijuana, and gave the child a punishment of two-days in detention for her alleged pseudo-pot peddling.

Young Michaela protested her innocence. "There was nothing in the bag. I just found it on the ground," the first grader explained. So she decided to make her friend a bag of goodies. "They said what did you make this out of? I said out of dirt. And what else? I made it with rocks, clover and dirt." Sticking with her story, Michaela said she then tied the bag shut with a purple ponytail holder and gave it to her friend, saying "here's a bag of dirt."

According to the child's mother, Michele Boyd, the trouble started when the recipient of the gift bag gave it to a teacher when recess when over. The teacher consulted the principal, and mom got a call. At a meeting with the teacher and principal, Boyd said, she was told the bag of dirt "looked like a bag of weed."

"They said it was kind of a drug," Michaela said. "I don't know what those are. I only see cigarettes. That's all I say."

Michele Boyd fears her daughter will be labeled a doper. "They said it would be on her school record as far as disciplinary that she made a look-alike drug, but I don't feel like that's right. Because she didn't do anything wrong."

While most people would probably roll their eyes at this ludicrous tale, Sikeston Police Sgt. Shirley Porter is not one of them. In a follow-up story on "Heartland News" a few days after the big bust, Porter said the case needs to be taken seriously. In Porter's eyes, 6-year-old Michaela Boyd was dealing fake drugs, and that's a crime. "If she would have been 14, we would have been arrested her and taken her to jail," Porter said."

Now, I'll admit that possession with intent to distribute is a crime, I'll even go so far as to agree that de-criminalization of small amounts of probably 90% of the illegal/illicit drugs is probably a good thing. I'm even libertarian enough to agree that more time needs to be spent on education and treatment rather than interdiction and prison. And I'll admit that as a counselor, I also see how much harm can be done by drugs and alcohol. However, I also have a God given brain and God expects me to use it. So, here is the big question, the $64,000 Question (Whoops, you just dated yourself. -ed.) Why the heck didn't the folks at this school and Officer Krupke (with apologies to the cast, crew and author of West Side Story....) (Whoops, you did it again. -ed.) use THEIR brains?

HT to Discarded Lies

Posted by GM Roper at 03:38 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

1000 Visits

1000 unique visits. Not a HUGE milestone, but a milestone none the less. In only 26 days too. The 1000th visit on my new site occurred at 9:57 this morning, was a 25 minute visit and 4 page views. Who ever you are, thanks!

(This does not count the old blogger site that I had for three months, and I only hit about 1500 visits that whole time. Having your own unique URL seems to help)

At any rate, onward and upward, Look out Mr. Reynolds, here comes GM's Corner - although it'll take me a while to get up to the stratosphere where you are.

Posted by GM Roper at 10:30 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 25, 2005

Alaska Blogging

There is a certain kind of beauty in the rain forrest.

skunk cabbage old growth forrest a.jpg

"Hey, wait a minute" I hear you say. "I saw the title of this and it said ALASKA, not some rain forrest."
Yep, it is both. This particular rain forrest is on Orca Beach. A rain forrest gets its name, not from being near the equator, but by the number of inches of rain it receives per year and the Tongas qualifies in spades. Beauty, almost un-equaled.

Continue reading "Alaska Blogging"
Posted by GM Roper at 08:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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)


To try to fight some fairly severe comment spam attacks recently, you will need to register one time for making comments. After that you should be able to comment without problems.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:57 PM | Comments (0) | 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 22, 2005

This German Also Gets It.... Could Europe Be Waking Up?

David Kaspar at David's Mediankritik is also showing some guts in the never ending "feud" between the thinking Europeans and the "Old" Europeans. 2 down, millions to go.... Go Get'em David, Go Get'em!!!!

Tip 'o the Chapeau to Glen Reynolds

Posted by GM Roper at 02:41 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Not All Europeans "Don't Get It." This One Does, Big Time!

I normally wouldn't publish this, and it has been published in a couple of blogs (here, here and here). What made me think about this is that you would think given the subject, the source, the country, et cetera, our MSM would have picked up on it, and yet, and yet - they didn't. Curious no? Actually, it isn't curious. Many on the right think of Europe as a bastion of leftists, many on the left think of Europe as an ally against the trepidations of the neo-cons. But, in point of fact, it's neither. Europe, Old or New is a conglomeration of thoughts and ideas. This one thought has been going through my mind again, and again after my kid brother sent me a heads-up. This one really does "get it." why don't others? The article in question was written by one Matthias Dapfner, Chief Executive of the huge German publisher Axel Springer AG, publishers of Die Welt (The World), the largest newspaper in Europe. This was printed first in November of '04 but has been updated with info about Saddam's victims and the "Oil For Food" scam promulgated by Koffi and Company.

EUROPE - THY NAME IS COWARDICE (Commentary by Mathias Dapfner CEO, Axel Springer, AG)

A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Europe - your family name is appeasement." It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because it's so terribly true.

Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to toothless agreements.

Appeasement legitimized and stabilized Communism in the Soviet Union, then East Germany, then all the rest of Eastern Europe where for decades, inhuman, suppressive, murderous governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities.

Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo, and even though we had absolute proof of ongoing mass-murder, we Europeans debated and debated and debated, and were still debating when finally the Americans had to come from halfway around the world, into Europe yet again, and do our work for us.

Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance," now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians.

Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore nearly 500,000 victims of Saddam's torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, has the gall to issue bad grades to George Bush... even as it is uncovered that the loudest critics of the American action in Iraq made illicit billions, no, TENS of billions, in the corrupt U.N. Oil-for-Food program.

And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of appeasement... How is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere? By suggesting that we really should have a "Muslim Holiday" in Germany.

I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial fraction of our (German)Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State "Muslim Holiday" will somehow spare us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists.

One cannot help but recall Britain's Neville Chamberlain waving the laughable treaty signed by Adolf Hitler, and declaring European "Peace in our time".

What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our free, open Western societies,and intent upon Western Civilization's utter destruction.

It is a conflict that will most likely last longer than any of the great military conflicts of the last century - a conflict conducted by an enemy that cannot be tamed by "tolerance" and "accommodation" but is actually spurred on by such gestures, which have proven to be, and will always be taken by the Islamists for signs of weakness.

Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush.

His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans know the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and virtual slavery.

And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed.

In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner, instead of defending liberal society's values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China.

On the contrary - we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those "arrogant Americans", as the World Champions of "tolerance", which even (Germany's Interior Minister) Otto Schily justifiably criticizes. Why? Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so materialistic, so devoid of a moral compass.

For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy - because unlike almost all of Europe, Bush realizes
what is at stake - literally everything.

While we criticize the "capitalistic robber barons" of America because they seem too sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our Social Welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive! We'd rather discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or our dental coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid vacation... Or listen to TV pastors preach about the need to "reach out to terrorists. To understand and forgive".

These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking hands, frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a robber breaking into a neighbor's house.

Appeasement? Europe, thy name is Cowardice.

Now, I'm going to take a nap while I try to figure out why the MSM didn't publish this piece when they don't mind printing articles that negatively portray the US.

hat tip to Doug Roper

Posted by GM Roper at 11:27 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Happy Birthday Mr. President, Happy Birthday!


Our first President and his contemporaries left us with a magnificent gift. Hope we can hold on to it.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:16 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 21, 2005

A Rhetorical Question

Reading today a piece on the impasse between North Korea and the United States regarding the NK position on nuclear arms, a thought occurred to me. How many of the folk (left, right or center leaning) who are demanding a different approach to NK, would feel comfortable critizing the effort of their government if they were citizens of North Korea standing in the square in Pyongyang?

As I said, this is a rhetorical question.

If you devoutly disagree with the current US approach, please use the comment section to answer.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:31 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 19, 2005

Newly Discovered Blogs

A blog I discovered while surfing conservative blogs (and yes, I occasionally surf left wing blogs, but they are generally all of a single mindset...lothebush)I thought to myself: "This looks to me like it's going to be a good read."

Wahabism Delenda Est! Reads the top of the sidebar. The motto of The Smallest Minority is "The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities." What a concept huh? At any rate, one of the entry's intrigued me and I took a closer look. One might first begin to think "What a gun nut this is, let's move on!" You'd be wrong dear reader! You would be very, very wrong. In fact, have you ever noticed that for far too many on the left, each amendment in the Bill of Rights means exactly what it says, including all the emanation's and penumbras EXCEPT for the 2nd and 10th. According to the Left, the 2nd is not declaratory at all except for being a member of a "well regulated militia." And of course, the 10th which no one, not even the federal government pays any attention to because of all those emanations and penumbras. But, I digress.

The site is authored by Kevin Baker, a 42 year old (for another couple of weeks he says), a married electrical engineer living in Tucson, AZ. Kevin has a stepdaughter and two grandchildren, which of course, leads me to wonder with two grandkids, how on earth does he find time to blog?

Kevin writes about politics, education and media topics along with technical and legal expose' pieces on media misrepresentation. Kevin says he has no formal legal training (that sounds like a bonus to me.)

Keven was a regular commenter on the DemocraticUnderground.com site until they booted himfor publishing a piece on KeepAndBearArms.com (mighty tolerant, and quite supportive of the 1st Amendment aren't they? -ed. Hey, that's only when you agree with them!) But, I digress. In time, Kevin discovered blogs and has been blogging since May, 2003.

There are a number of articles you need to read... Go there NOW!

Posted by GM Roper at 07:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Who Said It?

Here are a number of quotes from the last century. Can you figure out who said what. Write down your answers, Don't google the answers and click on "read more to find the answers.

1. "Here's my strategy on the... War: We win, they lose."

2. "The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

3. "The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant: It's just that they know so much that isn't so."

4. "Of the four wars in my lifetime none came about because the U.S. was too strong."

5. "I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandment's would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress."

6. "The taxpayer: That's someone who works for the federal government but doesn't have to take the civil service examination."

7. "Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other."

8. "If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under."

9. "The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program."

10. "I've laid down the law, though, to everyone from now on about anything that happens: no matter what time it is, wake me, even if it's in the middle of a Cabinet meeting."

11. "It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."

12. "Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it."

13. "Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book."

14. "No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."

15. "Mr. Gorbechov, tear down this wall."

16. "Ich bin ein Berliner."

Continue reading "Who Said It?"
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February 18, 2005

Evidence of Fraud

Early this morning, at about 0'Dark Thirty I was scanning some of my favorite blogs, including, as always, Dennis The Peasant. I found Dennis via Roger L. Simon's blog and linked to his site in my Newly Discovered Blogs section here.

But, I digress; what caught my eye in Dennis' entry was a brief mention of Jimmy Carter being attacked by (Drum Roll Please Maestro) a KILLER RABBIT

This, of course, triggered my sense of whimsy, a genetic defect, not of my own making, and certainly not my fault (I only said this because some liberals may be getting ready to blame me for the following). Again, I digress. At any rate, I remember the situation quite well, thinking at the time that President Carter knew he was in trouble politically, needed the help of the left wing of America for the upcoming election and was desperate to prove he was one of them. My evidence? Well, let us take a look at the image, preserved for posterity by none other than the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. The library of course had no intention of "preserving evidence" of course.Evidence of Fraud.jpg

My belief, again, is that Carter knew he was in trouble. Therefore a conspiracy was hatched to convince America that he (Carter) was (A)an environmentalist, (B) the founder and first member of PETAL (People for the Ethical Treatment of American Lefties) and maybe even PETA (Please, Eat The Animals). You have seen the Photo above, now let's look a little more closely.

Here, you can see for yourself that the rabbit is swimming in a direction NOT "directly for the president" as was initially claimed, and despite some of the comments by insidious fascistic, slavering, knuckle dragging Neanderthal, right-wingers and he did NOT swing his paddle at the rabbit. In fact, if you look closely, you can see from the wake of the rabbit that it wasn't swimming towards the President at all.

The Rabbit.jpg

In point of fact, the claim by the carter camp was that the President was merely using his paddle to "splash water" at the rabbit to chase it away. But, as you can tell from the immediately above photo, the rabbit is so far away, swimming away from the President that "chase it away" doesn't even enter the "picture" (no pun intended - did too, ed.) Secondly, from this section of the photograph,

the bobber.jpg

you can plainly see that his bobber is still attached to his pole (usually by hooking the fishing hook to one of the rings at the base of the pole - inserted for the elucidation of any non fisher types reading this blog). Now, I don't know about you, but if he was "paddling out" to fish, his pole would be lying at the bottom of his boat while he paddled and his net wouldn't be dragging in the water. If, on the other hand, (OTOH in bloggerese) he was actually fishing, his bobber wouldn't be still hooked on to his pole.

So, what does that leave us with? (1) This was a set up, to fool the American voter. (2) it was the most inept set up ever, except for perhaps the "18 minute" gap of the Watergate tapes, and (3) After the initial brouhaha, the "press" kind of clammed up about it, and it may have long remained a mystery until now. Now however it can now be revealed, "CASE CLOSED."

Posted by GM Roper at 09:34 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

February 17, 2005

Saving A Life - Please, Read, Follow Links and Do Something Now!!!

The Anchoress here has posted a remarkable entry regarding Terri Schiavo. She is joined by Dori at Whittenberg Gate, La Shawn Barber and others. The Anchoress' entry paragraphs:

"Suppose you are alive, but paralysed. Your mind seems to be in working order, but you can't say much. You're happy to see your family who come to visit you all the time, and you do make every effort you can to respond to your surroundings. You enjoy the sunshine in the morning, when your nurses open the curtains, and you like the sound of rain falling upon the window, and at night, you can see the moon travel across the sky, as you watch and wonder. You like to blow kisses and receive them.

Photos of Terri (taken from Terri's Fight.org)


Here is a photo of Terri responding to "her mother's playful attention" as noted in Terri's Fight.

Terri S.jpg

Some would say you don't have much of a life. Others would say, well, maybe not...but it is the life you HAVE, and it is your own, and the YOU that exists within that limited life is still the essential YOU, the absolute YOU...the YOU that God loved into being. You're still there. You're just not quite able to come out, all the way.

Now... suppose your husband, who once vowed to be faithful through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, has decided it's all too much for him - that he wants a life outside of what he can have with you. Hey, he's only human, who could gainsay it? He's now got a live-in lover and a couple of kids.

And he has decided that even though he now has the life he wanted, it would be wrong to simply divorce you and go on with his new life. No...he thinks that even though you are not actually dying...you probably should die. Your death, you see, would be a better and more compassionate thing than your being allowed to continue living...even though your family is more than willing to see you through to the end of your life.

Since you are not on a respirator that could simply be removed, and you do not have a fatal disease that will eventually take your life, since, as I say, you are not actually dying...a decision has to be made as to just how your life may be effectively ended.

So, your husband is working to have your feeding stopped, so that you can starve to death. You can lie in your bed and feel increasingly hungry and thirsty and weak. You can feel abandoned. You can feel the utter cruelty of unnecessary, willfull deprivation, for it is not as if you are on a deserted island somewhere, utterly alone and without aid or companionship, where your paralysis assists in your natural demise...no, you're in a civilized country in which the means to help you stay alive are quite available...only withheld. Because your life isn't meaningful enough.

You are not regarded, by many, as a creature capable of comprehension and understanding. However, in your agony of starvation, you will be be permitted to understand that your life is unimportant. You'll be allowed to understand that your death is desirable.

But since you won't be able to express yourself, or rail against those feelings, or beg for mercy...you will have to simply endure the helpless stares of your family and friends, as they watch you hunger and thirst, unable - by law - to respond to your dire circumstances.

Imagine your name is Terri Schiavo. And this is your life. And you may begin to die on February 22, 2005."

I have followed this story from time to time, wondering how in the world Terri's husband can stand to sleep with himself, look himself in the mirror or stand to reside in his skin. For the life of me, I can't understand it.

Terri's situation was caused by what a jury determined was medical neglect and a substantial award was given in court. During this period, that snake she married promised to do everything possible to keep her in rehab, to spend the award money on her care, in fact, everything you would expect a loving husband to do.

Then he started shacking up with a new "fiancee" and decided keeping the money was important and the only way he could do that was to inheret the money meant to provide for Terri's rehabilitation. So, he decided to let her die of thirst and starvation. He went to court to be able to do so, and won.

The Governor of the State of Florida pushed through Terri's Law, to keep her alive which the husband, in his kindness, his humanness, his great love for "family" fought in court and again won. Now, Terri is sentenced to death. Not for a crime, but for her husband's convenience. This MUST NOT be allowed to stand. Must Not! As the Anchoress has noted,

"The bloggers, we are told, are mouth-breathing, unethical, mob-ruled, bible-thumping cretins. They are cold, swarming, scheming, unsophisticated and incapable of really understanding the proper use and function of modern informational tools, which they are using to tear down lives and wreck havoc on all of the enlightened thinking of the last 40 years."
Well, so be it. The so called compassionate who resoundingly protest the use of the death penalty, who scream about any one who is "pro death penalty" who hold candle vigils at the site of any "interesting" execution and certainly verbal about executing anyone who is mentally impaired are totally hypocritical if they don't answer this call to arms. If you are against executing a mentally retarded individual or against executing a mentally ill individual, you MUST according to your own lights be against the execution by legal fiat of Terri Schivao. If you are anti-death penalty and you don't support saving the life of Terri, you are a hypocrite, a scoundrel and a lying snake in the grass who doesn't in the least bit have the courage of your convictions. Harsh? You damn betcha it's harsh and 100% accurate. Think of how much more harsh is knowing that you are starving, that you can't do anything about it and that you can't communicate well that this is NOT your choice.

The Anchoress gives a number of links to follow up on. Here,, here, here, here, and here.

Full Disclosure: I am absolutey anti-death penalty. I believe in the sanctity of human life and that every effort must be made to protect life when possible. War, with all its death and destruction takes too many lives as it is. And in the presence of those who war against others, we must respond. However, we are not at war with Terri and we are not at war with those on death row and we are not at war with babies in their mother's wombs (oh, wait, maybe, by law, we are...at least according to the majority of the "pro-choice crowd." Further, at our local university, I teach graduate and undergraduate Rehabilitation Counseling (Rehabilitation Services Department, University of Texas-Pan American) and I am incensed that some people think that the disabled life is not a life worth living. How callous, how.... words fail me.

UPDATE: go to this site "Info Theory" and read, then make a pledge.

UPDATE Juan Schoch at Tekgnosis has a number of interesting posts regarding saving the life of Terri, Read them all.

HT to PoliPundit. Thanks Lorie Byrd, Thanks!

Posted by GM Roper at 10:59 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (2)

Humor Time

A pirate walked into a bar and the bartender said, "Hey, I
haven't seen you in a while. What happened? You look terrible."

"What do you mean?" said the pirate, "I feel fine."

"What about the wooden leg? You didn't have that before."

"Well, we were in a battle and I got hit with a cannon ball,
but I'm fine now."

"Well, ok, but what about that hook? What happened to your

"We were in another battle. I boarded a ship and got into a
sword fight. My hand was cut off. I got fitted with a hook.
I'm fine, really."

"What about that eye patch?"

"Oh, one day we were at sea and a flock of birds flew over.
I looked up and one of them pooped in my eye."

"You're kidding," said the bartender, "you couldn't lose an
eye just from some bird poop!"

"It was my first day with the hook."

Posted by GM Roper at 10:29 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

1st Entry - Baltic Blogging


In contrast to the natural beauty of Alaska, there is much man-made beauty as well. The above photograph was taken in the "Amber Room" of Cathrine The Great's Palace. the room is huge, and completly covered in Amber. What a spectacular site. Talk about "conspicuous consumption." None-the-less, when you walk into this room the beauty of the amber is stupendous.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:34 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


This is likely to be the final Alaska Blogging for a while, time to start something new. I think the next "issue" will be Baltic Blogging (that has a nice ring to it don't you think?) Baltic Blogging will be a series of photos taken in Kobenhaven (Copenhagen), St. Petersburg, Berlin (on 9-11 no less), Talin Eastonia, Finland, Stockholm and other climes in the Baltic Sea areas as well as Holland and England. In the meanwhile, enjoy Alaska.Glacier-b.jpg

The size of this glacier is unbelievable. And yet, and yet, it's only about 1/4 the size it was before the grand melting. As you can see from the photo, the right side of the mountain shows the depth of the glacier. The melt has exposed much of the side of the mountain and greenery is beginning to grow where before there was only ice, cold and more cold. From the vantage point of taking this photo, you can notice how far this particular glacier has retreated, and yet, it is still huge.

One of the amazing things I discovered on this trip was that Alaska is an exhibit of God's nature that is not to be believed. If you EVER have a chance to go there, take it. Don't hesitate, don't think about it, just go. The rewards will far exceed any effort.

This next photograph was of a small very tiny seed, with it's "feathers" ready to take it in the air, floating with the wind and perhaps landing on the side of a mountain where a glacier is retreating. There, embedded in a tiny bit of soil, nurtured by warmth in the brief growing season, watered and fed, it will spark new life, die and in dying leave a bit of itself for the next season when the cycle starts all over again. In one of the "old" doctor shows many years ago the TV program opened with an aged physician writing on the Blackboard, "Life, Death, Infinity." In Alaska, this is as evident as the brilliant sunrise, or the spectacular, but sobering sunset. Life, Death, Infinity indeed!

seeds of life.jpg

Posted by GM Roper at 07:59 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 16, 2005

Alaska Blogging

Alaska Vacation 071b.jpg

New Life from Old

Old Growth Forrest in the Tsongas National Forrest. This tree stump is too huge to be believed-to the right of the stump you can see a hiker only about 20 feet away giving a hint as to the girth of the tree when it stood tall and proud. This stump is left over from the last time this forrest was harvested during World War II. It was picked because of an urgent need for ships masts following the attack on Pearl Harbor. From the stump, now more than 60 years old, has sprung new life. Which is one of the amazing things about an "old growth forrest," new life always, inevitably springs from old; it can't be stopped, it can't be hindered. It can't help but be wonderful.

Alaska Vacation 053b.jpg

This dying cypress, slowly returning to the dirt from whence it came, is surrounded (and supported) by fresh young life, perhaps a metaphor for how we should live our lives, with the old, aged and infirm surrounded and supported.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:03 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

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)

Leftish Munchausens

Jeremy Brown at Who Knew? has a terrific question on his blog and asked question of a "troll" on Michael Totten's blog where he has been guest hosting (and doing an excellent job by the way). The question is this:

How is it that people can claim that the newly elected Shiite Majority in Iraq is a surrogate for the Iranian Mullahs while at the same time claiming that Iraq is now governed by a puppet democracy installed by the U.S.? Why would the U.S. want to install an anti-American Iranian theocracy in Iraq? Is this supposed to be some sort of geopolitical Munchausen syndrome? I'd really like to understand that better.
If you click on the Munchausen link above, you will get an entry from Wikipedia. That's fine as far as it goes, but let's take it just a tad farther. Munchausen's Syndrome is a mental disorder in which the individual "fakes" or "feigns" illnesses or symptoms because being attended to for an illness is quite comforting for some. Some have even demanded surgery for their illnesses. Munchausen's Syndrome by Proxy is similar, but is usually a parent inducing or complaining about symptoms of their child. The DSM IV diagnosis is Factitious Disorder.

But the fun part is where the "diagnosis" came from. And here goes.

Hieronymus Karl Friedrich, Baron (Freiherr) von Münchhausen (the English title Baron comes from the German "Freiherr") was born in 1720 and died at the age of 77 in 1797.

From Books And Writers comes this little bit of history:

"Hieronymus Karl Friedrich, Freiherr v. Münchhausen (also known in England as Baron Muchausen) was born in Bodenwerder, Hanover. He was sent as a page to the court of the Duke of Braunschweig. At the age of seventeen he joined the army. He served in a Russian regiment and gained in 1739 the rank of Lieutenant and later he became cavalry captain. It is possible that he fought in two Turkish wars in 1737-39, although there are not much documents about his military career from this period. After resigning in 1752 he retired to his country estate. Münchhausen loved the company of his old friends, and storytelling, although he was not happy about his sudden fame as a liar, Lügerbaron. His straight-faced narrations of his supposed adventures as a soldier, hunter, and sportsman were based on his skillful improvisations..."
Indeed, the good Baron's tales were so fanciful and impossible, they were comedy. A sample:
"I made a balloon of such extensive dimensions, that an account of the silk it contained would exceed all credibility; every mercer's shop and weaver's stock in London, Westminster, and Spitalfields contributed to it: with this balloon and my sling I played many tricks, such as taking one house from its station, and placing another in its stead, without disturbing the inhabitants, who were generally asleep, or too much employed to observe the peregrinations of their habitations. When the sentinel at Windsor Castle heard St. Paul's clock strike thirteen, it was through my dexterity; I brought the buildings nearly together that night, by placing the castle in St. mGeorge's Fields, and carried it back again before daylight, without waking any of the inhabitants; notwithstanding these exploits, I should have kept my balloon, and its properties a secret, if Montgolfier had not made the art of flying so public." (from The Surprising Adventures of Baron Muchausen, 1895 by R.E. Raspe)

untitled 3.png
One of his more "outlandish" tales, that of riding "half a horse."

Well, now that doesn't sound like what Jeremy Brown was saying, and yet, it does. Oh it does indeed. Because Jeremy is absolutely right - oh, not that the troll he was talking about is feigning illness, but that there is an element of "liar" in the question he asks: Specifically "How is it that people can claim that the newly elected Shiite Majority in Iraq is a surrogate for the Iranian Mullahs while at the same time claiming that Iraq is now governed by a puppet democracy installed by the U.S.?" The claim that the many on the left, especially the leftist trolls that inhabit some blogs make is that Bush is the liar, about everything, yet, if the President can be discredited by making claims, even when those claims are contradictory ("The sun so hot I froze to death, Suzanna don't you cry" see what I mean) then they accomplish what they want. But, there is a consequence for that type of argument, and the consequence is this. They begin to look foolish, just as the good Baron did. JUST as the good Baron did!

Posted by GM Roper at 09:33 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Formation of the IAAAA

George M. Roper, III psychotherapist extraordinaire, teacher of rehabilitation, blogger par excellance announces the formation of the International Association of Attaboy and Attagirl Awarders (IAAAA)

According to Roper, this organization is to recognize anyone with whom the awarder agrees on any subject, any medium, any time.

Membership is open to anyone who has a body temperature greater than 96 degrees and is capable of reading, writing and drawing breath. To receive your official membership copy, comment on this post and leave a good email address. Your membership certificate will be emailed to you where you can download it and it will be suitable for framing.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:50 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

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)

VietPundit Strikes Gold

A couple of weeks ago in my "Newly Discovered Blogs" section I noted VietPundit after encountering him on Marc Coopers Blog. In fact, VietPundit was the very first to be profiled there.
Now, he has been mentioned by Glen Reynolds The Godfather of blogging (grandfather? - No aspersions as to age Dr. Reynolds)

It does my heart good to see this fine young man get noticed. I hope his blogging gives him all the pleasure it gives me. Now, if he would only do a little photography on his site....

Posted by GM Roper at 03:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Iraqi Elections

There is an ABSOLUTELY Must Read From Cherenkoff detailing so much very good news from Iraq. The posting is quite lengthy and detailed with many additional links. It's a don't miss! Also, Jeremy Brown has a solid posting here regarding the meaning of the Iraqi elections. Other good posts are by Mohammad at Iraq The Model here

If you really want to know what is going on in Iraq, read all three, this is no time to skip and you can be sure that the MSM isn't going to post all of this.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:32 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 13, 2005

Krugman Revisited: The Evidence

In the immediate previous post, I noted an unfortunate tendency on the part of Paul Krugman to write in Type M arguments. This whole brouhaha started when I called Krugman a Hack when a more liberal commenter on Marc Cooper's blog said he was knowledgeable. I should not have said that, I should have written why I thought he was a hack in clear and no uncertain terms without resort to his motivations and only reference to his ideas and the consequences of his ideas.

In the comments section "reg" disagreed with me and stated that I turned the argument from one about Krugman's ability vs his style of argument. That's not what I intended, but, given the law of unintended consequences, that is what I shall have to address so that "reg" can see the light, cease being so angry at anything republican or conservative and join the rest of the USA on it's way to SS solvency if we take charge and make repairs now. (Of course, I won't hold my breath, we are dealing with a bright, intelligent but emphatically liberal fellow.)

"reg" states that Krugman used the Congressional Budget Office's speculations regarding SS and the so called looming SS deficit. And, he further stated that the CBO was "bi-partisan." Now, it seems to me that when ever a liberal talks about "bi-partisan" it means "you can't argue with this because both parties agree on the issue (I know, I know, that is a Type M argument - but in this case, motivation is an integral part of the issue). Nothing of course could be further from the truth. Clinton's impeachment was bi-partisan, passing the Gulf of Tonkin was bi-partisan and so was the decision to vote down the Civil Rights act a number of times prior to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. You see how all of those "bi-partisan" efforts worked out don't you?

OK, let's examine the so called CBO projections of SS revenue vice SS expenditures. Both, it will be noted include Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI)figures. According to Krugman, there is no "crisis" the system is not insolvent in 2018 or beyond and that it will continue to be able to pay retiree's and the disabled far into the future. Get that, CBO projects, according to Krugman, no problem. So, let's turn to the actual Graphs put out by CBO.

cbo vs trusties.gif

The Light Blue Line (LBL) is the projected revenue vice expendature made by the Social Security Administration Board of Trustees, the Dark Blue Line (DBL) is the projections of the CBO. If you look closely, in both cases, the lines intersect and then diverge in a negative direction (income vice expendatures) around 2018 the same year that Krugman says that Bush and Company are lying about the system being insolvent.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines insolvent as:

in·sol·vent,adj. 1.) Unable to meet debts or discharge liabilities; bankrupt. 2.)Insufficient to meet all debts, as an estate or fund. Of or relating to bankrupt persons or entities. <> n.
1.)A bankrupt.
Well, it would seem that the CBO says that SS will be bankrupt in about 2018. Krugman says no and says he used CBO info to back that statement up.

Continue reading "Krugman Revisited: The Evidence"
Posted by GM Roper at 10:38 PM | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)

February 12, 2005


I got into an argument with “reg” over at Marc Cooper’s blog today, and I learned something about myself & about the “angry left” and I didn’t exactly like what I learned about either.

The argument started in Marc’s posting about the good Dr. Dean. A topic I've written about as well here. and, like most arguments, it was fairly senseless. Considering how Marc's column was about Dean, it's sometimes hard to imagine how we "commenters" could get so far afield, but that is often the nature of arguments.

At any rate, back to my present topic. I'm not a big fan of Paul Krugman, in fact, I find him to be primarily a partisan hack who uses his understanding of economics to bolster the anti-republican pro-democrat side of any argument. I believe that he engages in ad hominim attacks with a significant consequence in that others mimic his style and think that that is sufficient to carry the day for the left and the right thinks it must respond in kind.

The paragraph above contains only three sentences, the introductory sentence of 8 words followed by a Type M argument and then a Type C argument. This is the subject of todays entry. Now, as to the Type M argument, it should be obvious to me that I have made a bunch of them over the years, sometimes with humor, sometimes with biting sarcasm, sometimes well done, sometimes poorly done. And I've usually made them with more than a tad bit of anger after either hearing or reading someone else's Type M argument. Not that I'm not owning my own behavior, I am - though I am embarrassed to do so. So embarassed, in fact, that I thought that I needed to write this post. A Web Log (Blog) is of course, not only a means of discussion about what is going on in the world of politics, economics, business, humor, etc., but an on line journal in which people can sort out thier thoughts and come to some sort of balance.

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Alaska Vacation 377b.jpg

Glacier! Snow falls and is undisturbed until the next snowfall. Over the years, decades, centuries, eons the ice builds higher, higher and higher yet till it flow like a river, down towards the sea. There it breaks off, calving, sometimes in little pieces as shown here, sometimes in big pieces weighing many many tons. As the glacier melts, it withdraws up into the gorge allowing the sea to follow.

Alaska Vacation 351b.jpg

As the ice retreats, it scours the face of the rock leaving only multicolored striations and scratches where rock grinds on rock in its slow but never ceasing travel. When the ice is gone, only the bare rock remains. In time, dirt and dust will collect in the crevices and seeds, deposited by the wind or by birds will begin to sprout, bringing forth life, and life will out. It always does.

Alaska Vacation 112b.jpg

And as we travel through the inland passage, the sun breaks through, liming the distant mountains with a heady brightness.

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February 11, 2005


I was sent an e-mail by my good friend Lt.Col. Tad Curtis (USMC-Ret.) with a link to Dr. Adams Dr. Mike Adams is a professor of crimonology at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. This fellow is an absolute delight, skewering those who have misstated truths, used foul language and otherwise exhibit thinking patterns that no rational person would admit to. He also contributes numerous columns to Town Hall and you can find a series of his archived articles here

I don't know Dr. Adams, but I can tell you for sure that I wouldn't mind sitting down with him, having a glass of strong iced tea and talk of many things, of shoes, and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings. And why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.

Here's to YOU Dr. Adams.

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I don't often (ever?) post complete postings by other authors. But this one by Dr. Mike Adams (Dr. Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington) is not only important, but it is rife with constitutional issues. Dr. Adams missive to the president of Indian River Community College is right on the nose. Read on oh beloved readers, read on.

The Passion of the Censor
January 31, 2005

TO: Edwin R. Massey, President, Indian River Community College: 772.462.4701
CC: Johnny Moore, VP of Student Affairs: 772.462.7788; jmoore@ircc.edu

Dear President Massey:

When I first heard your college had prevented a Christian student group from showing the film The Passion of the Christ by Mel Gibson, I was taken aback. When I learned your college had previously hosted a live performance entitled “F*****g for Jesus,” I was disgusted by your school’s double standard. Now that I have learned administrators at your school yanked college students out of class demanding an apology for merely protesting your censorship, I am almost speechless.

Your recent effort to punish students for exercising the right “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” is the culmination of a disgraceful saga, which began with your attack on freedom of the press in November of last year. That was when your college rejected the Christian Student Fellowship’s (CSF) effort to post fliers advertising the showing of The Passion of the Christ.

Then, your administration childishly demanded that you and Mr. Moore receive letters of apology from the students who had protested your school’s decision. It appears that your lower administration is wholly unconcerned with the First Amendment rights of your students. Instead, they choose to defend your right to run the college without having your feelings hurt by reasoned criticism.

Your written policies state that Indian River Community College (IRCC) “students are treated as mature adults.” Nonetheless, you treat them as children while modeling hypersensitive and childish behavior in your handling of this controversy.

Lori LaCivita, your Coordinator of Student Leadership Development, has recently demonstrated that your administration’s hypersensitivity is only exceeded by its arrogance. This is apparent in her demand for a letter of apology to you and Mr. Moore by CSF for simply addressing the college’s “higher authority” without her permission.

In December, IRCC’s attorney stated that the college had an absolute rule, which prevents R-rated movies from being shown at the college. Clearly, the “F*****g for Jesus” skit, which involved a character simulating sex with an image of Jesus, violated the spirit of your ban. But, now I have learned that you actually have no written ban on R-rated movies as you have suggested. This policy is simply a contrived excuse for censoring The Passion of the Christ.

Recently, IRCC spokesperson Michelle Abaldo admitted to the Palm Beach Post that the college previously approved a screening of Welcome to Sarajevo, an R-rated documentary film. The admission shows that you have both illegally and immorally violated the rights of CSF.

I sincerely hope that this letter does not offend your “higher authority,” given its lack of prior approval by Lori LaCivita and other members of your administration. I simply consider your fastidious squeamishness and private sentimentalism to be trumped by the considerations of the First Amendment.

I should also warn you that by the time you read this letter, I will have sent it to over 200,000 friends who share my concern with the erosion of First Amendment rights in higher education. Undoubtedly, hundreds, if not thousands, will be writing and calling you to express outrage at your school’s indefensible conduct.

Some of these communications may be calm; others may be R-rated. That is the price of living in a free society.

Dr. Mike S. Adams (www.DrAdams.org) called President Massey to confirm all facts in this article. Massey’s public relations spokesperson claimed that the facts of the case had been distorted by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (www.thefire.org). Dr. Adams gave the school 10 days to provide a list of those distortions. They were unable to produce any. The FIRE, on the other hand, produced independent evidence of the facts contained in this account. Dr. Adams has formed the opinion that IRCC is lying and the FIRE is telling the truth. He is pleased that the First Amendment allows him to voice his opinion.

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The Earthquake that is Germany

Tyler Cowen who writes for both Marginal Revolution and the Volokh Conspiracy has a series on German reform efforts. He repeats the "old" joke about German revolutions:

Question: Why don't they have a revolution in Germany?
Answer: Someone would have to step on the grass.
Cowen's series notes the difficulties of changing a "leisure society" in which workers have a vested interest in more pay and less work. In the latest of the series he notes:
"Germany's public employees, long perceived as lazy bureaucrats insulated from real-world pressures, are now facing the same demands for lower costs and more flexibility from governments that their counterparts in the private sector have been confronted with from German companies.

In negotiations taking place in Potsdam, just outside Berlin, federal and local governments are demanding not only a wage freeze but also the ability to extend working hours and curb overtime benefits, in what would be the biggest overhaul of state work rules in more than 40 years.

And what is the response from the labor unions?

"We are flexible, but we need to see a salary increase."

Other entrys in the series are here, here and here. Of course, not everyone agrees with Cowen as evidenced by an entry in Unions-Firms-Markets: More Blogs From The Other Side.

Needless to say, I tend to agree with Cowen. I would think that the attempts to improve the economy in Germany in spite of resistance is an important one.

I was born in Bayreuth, Germany in 1946 (I'm not going to say how old I am, you can do the math) and lived there from then till 47 and again from 1953 to 1957. I have many, many fond memories of the country of my birth. Too, my grandfather's father and mother immigrated from Hamburg, Germany and my grandfather spoke nothing but German until he learned English in the merchant marine and U.S. Coast Guard from around 1906 to 1915.

The tendency for some countries in Europe towards cradle to grave socialism has been a decades long experiment. The old Marxist/Leninist maxim of "from each according to his ability; to each according to his needs" has often been perverted to "from each, as little as possible; to each as much as he wants." A little harsh and overboard? Sure! Fairly accurate all too often? You bet! Now, the experiment is about to fold, the results in and the results are not pleasing. Germany, France are now experiencing the need to fold back previous expansions of the welfare state because the cost is becoming prohibitive.

Would that Mr. Bush and the spendthrift congress recognized that and cut back our own expanding bureaucracy and entitlement programs. Mr. Bush's newest budget may prove to be a nightmare. We are currently in a war, yet we are not being asked to sacrifice anything. The President is cutting back some programs, but replacing those with additional spending that may come back and bite us in the butt a' la "Guns and Butter" from the LBJ era.

But, I digress. It is good to see Germany begin to pull back. As long as we are "nations" with all that that implies, each citizen needs to "ask not what their country can do for them, but rather what they can do for their country." (with apologies, of course, to JFK)

Posted by GM Roper at 07:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)


News Anchor Dan Rather and Peter Jennings, NPR Reporter Cokie Roberts and a U.S. Marine were hiking through the desert one day when they were captured by Iraqis. They were tied up, led to the village and
brought before the leader. The leader said, "I am familiar with your western custom of granting the condemned a last wish. Before we kill and dismember you, do you have any last requests?"

Dan Rather said, "Well, I'm a Texan; so I'd like one last bowl full of hot, spicy chili." The leader nodded to an underling who left and returned with the chili. Rather ate it all and said, "Now I can die content."

Peter Jennings said "I am Canadian; so I'd like to hear the English National Anthem one last time". The leader nodded to a terrorist who studied the United States and knew the music was the same as to "My
Country Tis of Thee."He returned with some rag-tag musicians and played the music. Jennings sighed and declared he could now die peacefully.

Cokie Roberts said, "I'm a reporter to the end. I want to take out my tape recorder and describe the scene here and what's about to happen. Maybe some day someone will hear it and know that I was on the job
till the end." The leader directed an aide to hand over the tape recorder and Roberts dictated some comments. She then said, "Now I can die happy."

The leader turned and said, "And now, Mr. U.S. Marine, what is your final wish?"

"Kick me in the butt," said the Marine." "What?" asked the leader. "Will you mock us in your last hour?" "No, I'm not kidding. I want you to kick me in the butt," insisted the Marine. So the leader shoved him into the open, and kicked him in the butt. TheMarine went
sprawling, but rolled to his knees, pulled a 9mm pistol from inside his cammies, and shot the leader dead.In the resulting confusion, he leapt to his knapsack, pulled out his M4 carbine, and sprayed the
Iraqis with gunfire. In a flash, the Iraqis were dead or fleeing for their lives. As the Marine was untying Rather, Jennings and Roberts, they asked him, "Why didn't you just shoot them? Why did you ask them to kick you in the butt?" "What??" said the Marine, "And have you three jackasses call ME the aggressor??!!"

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February 10, 2005


Alaska Vacation 010.jpg

In the early morning mists the hint of a glorious day resides. Look with your nature lover's eye, and you can see through the mist to a faeryland of the glory that is Alaska

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From a Subscription Only online journal - President George Bush on Social Security:

In an address the President foresaw the need to move beyond the pay-as-you-go financing of the current Social Security system. "For perhaps 30 years to come funds will have to be provided by the States and the Federal Government to meet these pensions," the president allowed. But after that, he explained, it would be necessary to move to what he called "voluntary contributory annuities by which individual initiative can increase the annual amounts received in old age." In other words, his call for the establishment of Social Security directly called for today's reform agenda: "It is proposed that the Federal Government assume one-half of the cost of the old-age pension plan, which ought ultimately to be supplanted by self-supporting annuity plans," the President explained.

I know, I know, we won't run out of funds for 37 years, and we will only have to cut back 30% even then. Riiiight! I know, I know, I can hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth already, I can hear the wailing from many on the left (and a few on the right). However, folks, the fact of the matter, no matter who is saying it, no matter what your political persuasion is that SS is a ponzi scheme. I hear many saying "the money is in the trust fund" to which I respond, "NO! It is not." The "trust fund" consists of government IOUs in which the current taxpayer promises to pay for this years recipients, hoping they will still be able to collect from taxpayers in future years. Why do you think pyramid schemes are illegal? Because someone, somewhere at the bottom of the links gets the shaft while someone else gets the gold.

In the late 90's Both President Clinton and Vice President Gore talked about the looming problem with Social Security. Gore even campaigned on the absolute need for a "lock-box" to guard Social Security [aren't you getting tired of Typing out Social Security, why not just type SS?~ ed. Hey, not a bad idea. SS it is]from the trepidations of those who would "drain" the system, and the vast majority of the Democratic Party supported their stance. Well, nothing regarding SS has changed since then, so why are the Democrats resisting now? Why are they saying there is nothing wrong with SS? You don't suppose it would be politics as usual do you?

In the 1964 presidential race, Barry Goldwater campaigned on the need to reform SS before it went bankrupt. The Democrats despicable response was a commercial featuring a pair of hand tearing up a social security card. [hey, you just dated yourself!~ed. I know, I know, I'm older than dirt] Later, when it became apparent that there really was a problem with SS, congress took the brave stance of taking the thing "off budget" so that the IOU's to the "trust fund" won't be apparent. Like hell it was brave, it was solely and specifically designed to fool the public so congress and the president wouldn't have to deal with the "third rail of politics" after all, folk 60 years old and older vote and they vote to protect their SS checks above all else.

There in lies the problem, as P.J. O'Rourke noted:

"Social Security is a government program with a constituency made up of the old, the near old and those who hope or fear to grow old. After 215 years of trying, we have finally discovered a special interest that includes 100 percent of the population. Now we can vote ourselves rich."
Only when we collectively recognize that we (collectively) are part of the problem will we find an acceptable solution.

I don't know, honestly, if the solution proposed by President Bush is a workable solution or not. I do know that if we do nothing, if we don't take the problem seriously, if we continue to hide our heads in the sand then the outlay by the government with regards to SS and/or Medicare our children, grand children and great grand children will pay a price they cannot possibly pay. And that, my friends may be the lever that tips democracy over and destroys it.

Now, I have a confession to make. The entry quote was not by George W. Bush it was by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and here is the whole thing:

"In an address to Congress on January 17, 1935, President Roosevelt foresaw the need to move beyond the pay-as-you-go financing of the current Social Security system. "For perhaps 30 years to come funds will have to be provided by the States and the Federal Government to meet these pensions," the president allowed. But after that, he explained, it would be necessary to move to what he called "voluntary contributory annuities by which individual initiative can increase the annual amounts received in old age." In other words, his call for the establishment of Social Security directly anticipated today's reform agenda: "It is proposed that the Federal Government assume one-half of the cost of the old-age pension plan, which ought ultimately to be supplanted by self-supporting annuity plans," FDR explained.

"What Roosevelt was talking about is the need to update Social Security sometime around 1965 with what today we would call personal accounts," says one top GOP member of the Ways and Means Committee. "By my reckoning we are only about 40 years late in addressing his concerns on how [to] make Social Security solvent."

My suggestion is that everyone start talking about the need for reforming SS and then demand that congress do someting in which we can all agree. Doing nothing, as most of the Democrats want, is not acceptable. Just is not acceptable.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:52 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

February 09, 2005

WFC's..... Ward Friggin Churchill

Dennis The Peasant has a terrific series of updates on Ward Churchill... I'm beginning to think we may need to invade UC to search for WFC's.... Sheesh, folks, this really is a free speech issue. as I noted in a comment section on another blog...

"I'm one of those wretched right wingers (say that three times quickly) and I UTTERLY reject any calls for Churchill to be fired over what is essentially a free speech Issue.

Specifically: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

What part of "make no law...abridging the freedom of speech..." doesn't anybody understand? If I don't give this idiot (churchill) the same rights I have, how long will it be before I lose those same rights. Or, to make it a bit more personal, how long before YOU lose that right?

If UC want's to fire him for falsifying application, or other fraud, fine, but they damn sure better have their ducks all in a row or I'll be one of the first to jump on that crap."

Having said that, go read Dennis's posts.. it is GREAT fun

Posted by GM Roper at 08:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


tiny bits of beauty.jpg

No matter where you look, if you look close enough you will find tiny bits of beauty. I've found this to be true no matter where I've traveled, from the slopes of glaciers in Alaska to the jungles in Panama, from the barrios of South Texas to mundane fields of grain in Germany. Beauty is all around, all you have to do is look. Here, the mist clinging to the little flowers is in stark contrast to this magnificent view of a glacier high in the mountains.

glacier in the sky 8-21-03.jpg

Just keep your eyes open, and if you carry a camera, keep it handy. The beauty you saw today, can then stay with you for a very, very long time.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:05 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

February 08, 2005

Dennis The Peasant Is Blogging.... Well, There Goes The Neighborhood

In reading Marc Coopers Blog and Roger L Simon's Blog, one of the more delightful and at times cantankerous commenters has been "Dennis The Peasant."

The other day, I was catching up on Roger Simon and lo and behold I find Dennis The Peasant has his own blog. Dennis has the most delightful sense of humor, or maybe he's just plain 'ole, well, you know, has issues? But it any way you slice it Dennis is a great read. Go there, read deeply and enjoy.

As Michael King would say: Just Damn!

Dennis, I read all of your blog to date and I loved everybit of it. Keep it up, you make jokers like John Kerry almost funny. Almost!

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February 07, 2005

David Corn, Mole

David Corn, avant-guard progressive about town has been accused of being a mole, no less, by some conspiracy critter named Miller. Read it here. As Corn says, he was going to ignore the critter, but then decided to find out what was what. Here's a sample:

In fact, the site's main man had previously accused me of being a CIA plant. (Yeah, that's must have been why I spent five years writing a book on one of the CIA's most notorious officers and why I repeatedly wrote about the CIA's internal reports that confirmed the agency had worked with drug dealers during the contra days. Oh, I forgot--that was just to build my cover. As was writing a book accusing the president of being a liar.) Anyone who believes I am a CIA operative is not to be believed on other matters. (But, hey, isn't that exactly what you'd expect a CIA mole to say?) By the way, I run this website with open comments, and many commenters often post 9/11-related remarks that do promote "alternative" views. (Aha! That must be so I can monitor them.)"
. Read the whole thing. I usually don't post on lefty type blogs (Marc Cooper being one of the very FEW [sole? ~ ed. ~ Ok, maybe sole] but I felt constrained to post this one:
"Mr Corn, I am a conservative blogger (http://gmroper.com) and am proud to call Marc Cooper a friend. Having established my bona-fides, I can clearly state that unless Mr. Miller can provide a certified copy of your "Internation Association of Moles and Related Underhanded Spies - US Chapter" than he is talking through his hat.

Seriously, while I often disagree with you on a number of issues, I consider you to be an honest progressive.

Nuff said?"

Reason/Hit and Run has a slightly different skew on the whole thing.

a tip of the Chapeau to InstaPundit

Posted by GM Roper at 03:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thanksgiving, Year 'Round


Re-published from GM's Corner at my old site: "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 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 the internet which allows folk like myself to publish thoughts about what ever they want. 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. 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 reminded daily of my friends at the University where I teach, especially Dr. Bruce Reed, Dr. Chuck Reid, Dr. Eva Miller and Dr. Irmo Marini. 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 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."

Posted by GM Roper at 01:38 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

February 06, 2005

More on Ward Churchill

Marc Cooper has an Update on Ward Chuchill in which he notes a longish posting on Churchill by one Timothy Burke, Professor of History at Swarthmore. Reading Professor Burke's piece I followed a link to Professor Margaret Soltan at the site University Diaries in which she questions Churchill's academic Credentials. Apparantly, the man calls himself a Ph.D. but doesn't have the credential at all. Interesting to say the least. Then Professor Soltan links to a 1903 article by the famous William James of Harvard University entitled the "Ph.D. Octopus" If you don't read both, you are cheating yourself of a very thoughtful time of intellectual stimulation. Go there - NOW!!! Oh, and enjoy.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:05 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

A Conservative's Look At The Left: A brief History of Agnes Smedley

This is the first entry in which I hope will be a long series on the people of the left, a fascinating if often a "wrong-headed" group. I hope you will come back often to take a look at the series, argue with my evidence if you wish, but take a realistic and honest look at the denizens of the left, the Stalinists to the true liberal/progressive, because that may increase understanding and with understanding comes cooperation where cooperation is desirable be you from the left, center or right.

A caveat: This is not to say that anyone on the left is part of a unified bloc. There are democratic leftist who utterly reject the stalinists, and there were/are democratic rightleaning folk who reject utterly the fascistic right. As my friend Marc Cooper (who I have previously identified as the Last Honest Progressive In America- here) states in a private email to me:

"There is no more of a unified left than there is a unified right. Agnes Smedley and other totalitarian stalinists are soundly rejected by entire sections of a more democratic left. just as you would reject all those nice free-market conservatives who served in General Pinochet's cabinet or the conservatives who were fellow travelers with Mussolini (and Hitler for that matter).

"I think, instead, there are people who have a genuine committment to democractic society and others who do not. I think it wrong to assume that either Left or Right has any more or less of either category... there is nothing inherently more or less democratic about either stance. Both the free market and sociaism share profoundly humanitarian and misanthropic acolytes. The world is rife with authoritarians and totalitarians of both stripes."

From the Oxford Concise Dictionary of Politics by Iain McKean and Alistair McMillan:

"What it is to be 'left(-wing)' varies so much over space or time, that a definition is very difficult, but the following issue orientations 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 defense 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 this list. Left-wing communism (described by *Lenin in a pamphlet of 1920 as 'an infantile disorder') may well be cynically defined as all forms of communism not supported by the prevailing leadership of the Communist Party. However, in the 1920s and 1930s, left-wing deviation meant encouraging revolution among the people without caring sufficiently about the leading role of the Party; right-wing deviation meant too much support for *NEP and the market."
Agnes Smedley, described in Nova Online was
"...a triple agent who worked for the Soviets, the Chinese Communists, and the Indian nationalists, was one of the most prolific female spies of the 20th century. Unlike most agents of the day, who were reasonably erudite, Smedley lacked a formal education and came from a poor, undistinguished family."
She began life in 1892 (some have it 1890) in Mo., the daughter of a laborer and homemaker. Her father deserted the family when she was 14 and her mother died of a ruptured appendix when she was about 17. She was forced to take care of her siblings, rather than continue working as a teacher in New Mexico where she had moved after passing New Mexico's teacher examination (in those days, a college degree was not necessary to become a teacher.)

Smedley married in 1912 and followed her husband to San Diego, Ca. where she entered a teachers college. Smedley was fired following joining of the Socialist Party of America. Deciding that divorce was in her better interests, she and her husband divorced and she moved to New York where she became involved in East Indian radicalism and the movement to force the English from India.

Smedley spent a brief time in jail following an arrest for distributing birth control pamphlets and had been indicted for fraud having mis-represented some Indian Nationalists as bona-fide representatives of an Indian "government in exile mission."

Smedley was held briefly, returned to New York where she began agitating again in the more radical fringes finally signing up as a stewardess on a Polish freighter. Arriving in Gdansk, she jumped ship, went to Berlin and soon joined up with Virendranath Chatto-padhyaya, an Indian nationalist and international Communist agitator. This and more can be obtained from Dr. Dennis Casey of the Air Intelligence Command in San Antonio's Lackland Air Force Base.

Smedley had a long history of radical leftist intrigues in China. during the pre-war years in China, she worked as an advisor for General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell, a position in which she was able to help Mao Zedong by arguing for the sending of weapons from the American Arsenal to the Communists. Stilwell concurred in that he felt those weapons would be used against the communists. The Weekly Standard also has a good article on Smedley titled "An American Abroad
Agnes Smedley and the world of communism
" by Harvey Klehr noting, among other things:

"But now Ruth Price's The Lives of Agnes Smedley--a biography based on astonishingly thorough research in newly available Chinese, Russian, British, and American archives--demonstrates just how wide a swath Smedley cut through the radical movements of several continents and how deeply she was enmeshed in Soviet espionage activities.

Price succeeds in bringing to life an irritable, self-contradictory radical who managed to annoy and infuriate almost everyone with whom she worked. A product of a gritty working-class family, she retained for her entire life a steely contempt for middle-class radicals. A militant feminist, she endured years of abuse from her lover. An unrepentant individualist, she tried unsuccessfully to join several Communist parties. An eager recruit for the Soviet intelligence services, she blithely ignored their orders."

While in China, she became an associates of Richard Sorge, a Russian Spy who though originally based in China, was relocated to Japan where he spied for Russia. Smedley assisted in that effort, until Sorge was caught by the Japanese and hanged as a spy.

Following the war, Smedley was denounced as a communist spy by none other than General Douglas MacArthur. Returning to the US, she was "outed" as a person of interest to the FBI by the Chicago Tribune. A charge Smedley denied and the FBI did not take up for a number of years. When she was about ready to be subpoenaed by HUAC she left for England where she died in 1953 (some have it in 1950.) Her Ashes were sent to China for burial.

Several facts about Smedley are important. One, she was absolutely an Anti-Stalinist according to some, thouroughly stalinist according to others and indeed she knowingly helped Sorge, a Russian Spy. Two, she was caught up in the effort to lambaste Tail Gunner Joe McCarthy after HUAC "denounced" a number of probably innocent Hollywood types. Smedley organized and participated in the denouncing of HUAC and in the support of those individuals "outed" by HUAC. This is not to say that the folk from Hollywood were not communists, but the way the United States beat communism was in the marketplace of ideas and in the value of a capitalistic system.

Smedley was a spy, in fact, we now know that she was at various times a spy for Russia, China and the Nationalists in India. As the promo for Ruth Price's "The Lives of Agnes Smedley" notes:

"Her friends included such figures as Margaret Sanger, Langston Hughes, Emma Goldman, Jawaharlal Nehru, Mao Zedong, and many others. Perhaps most important, Price uncovers an astonishing truth: Smedley, long thought to be the unfair target of a Cold War smear campaign, was indeed guilty of the espionage charges leveled against her by General Douglas MacArthur and others. Smedley worked to foment armed revolution in India and gathered intelligence for the Soviet Union, seeing it as a bulwark against fascism. Price argues that Smedley acted out of a passionate idealism and that she exhibited a courage and compassion worthy of a renewed, if more complicated, admiration today."
So, was she a heroine of "passionate idealism? Probably. Did she exhibit a courage and compassion worthy of a renewed admiration today? Probably not, given the abject horrors the communists pounded humanity with. Was she an interesting character? You bet! Given a better understanding of the left and its permutations (the radical left to it's mirror image radical right) we are much more likely to know when to listen, and when to guard our wallets and our safety.

Posted by GM Roper at 02:28 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Culture, Counter Culture and Consternation

Victor Davis Hanson writing in National Review Online explains "Why the world’s elites gnash their teeth." Lede paragraph:

"Do we even remember "all that" now? The lunacy that appeared after 9/11 that asked us to look for the "root causes" to explain why America may have "provoked" spoiled mama's boys like bin Laden and Mohammed Atta to murder Americans at work? Do we recall the successive litany of "you cannot win in Afghanistan/you cannot reconstruct such a mess/you cannot jumpstart democracy there"? And do we have memory still of "Sharon the war criminal," and "the apartheid wall," and, of course, "Jeningrad," the supposed Israeli-engineered Stalingrad — or was it really Leningrad? Or try to remember Arafat in his Ramallah bunker talking to international groupies who flew in to hear the old killer's jumbled mishmash about George Bush, the meanie who had ostracized him."
This is an interesting concept from the left, a meme that our freely elected leader, in spite of the efforts to demonize him, was re-elected by a larger vote margin than his predicessor who had a healthy economy, no war to speak of, and was a glib, narcissist who had the unique ability to "feel the pain" of someone whom he had never met before but who asked a question in an open debate.

In the late 60's and early 70's, America was the evil one, shouts such as "Hey, Hey, LBJ. How many kids did you kill today?" or "Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh" while waving North Vietnamese flags and listening to such wights as John Kerry (a haughty, French looking Senator who, by the way served in Vietnam - to steal a phrase from James Taranto)as he confessed to war crimes, but worse, accused others of committing war crimes regularly with the consent of all levels of command. I'm still wondering how he could see so many war crimes in 4 months when others I have heard from hadn't seen any in 12 months (13 months if you were in the Marine Corps).

In the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, we were told many things.

1. There will be 10,000 American deaths just in the street fighting in Baghdad.
2. We will indescriminately kill millions of Iraqi's.
3. There are no WMD's (this one has so far proven true - so far)
4. America will find a way to postpone the elections.
5. The elections will prove to be a bloodbath as the "insurgents" slaughter people going to vote.
6. Iraqi's will be too afraid to vote.

I could go on and on, but, I think a bit more Hanson would be appropriate here:

"And give the old minotaur Senator Kennedy his due, as he lumbered out on the eve of the Iraqi voting to hector about its failure and call for withdrawal — one last hurrah that might yet rescue the cherished myth that the United States had created another Vietnam and needed his sort of deliverance."
Ah yes, Senator Kennedy that paragon of sobriety. Kennedy called for 12,000 troops to be withdrawn "immediately" knowing full well that the troop levels had been increased by some 12,000 for security prior to the election and the plan was to bring them home shortly thereafter. When Kennedy brags how Bush heeded his advice and saw the wisdom of his words remember that.

There is an honor to anti-war protesting. Some of the finest people I know were against the war in the 60's and early 70's and of course against the Iraq war. But I also noticed that many of them were silent when Clinton ordered the bombing of Belgrade without UN Sanction or without an authorization from congress. I know some anti-war folk that I would protect at all costs because their disagreement is principaled. Wrong headed, but principaled!

To quote John Stewart Mill (and I like this quote so much, it's near the top of my sidebar to the right)

"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse."
There have been errors to be sure in this war, sometimes collossal errors. But no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy. This war is part of the strategic war against terrorism and as such, there will be changes in tactics from time to time. Such is the nature of war and war fighting.

When my dad was alive, I remember him saying something to the effect that many on the left had better hope the communists don't win the cold war, as they will be some of the first lined up and shot. In similar fashion, if we do not win this war against the Islamo-fascists, the slaughter of those who fail to bow down to their perversion of Islam will be fierce indeed.

And now, a word from George W. Bush:

"Our policy has been one of patience and restraint, as befits a peaceful and powerful nation which leads a worldwide alliance. We have been determined not to be diverted from our central concerns by mere irritants and fanatics. But now further action is required, and it is under way; and these actions may only be the beginning."
And so we must be determined and we must take further action.

There can be no doubt, despite the naysayers, that the Islamo-Fascists, see this war in far more realistic terms than the European/American left. And they intend to win it. By fair means or foul, and they have no access to fair means.

Oh, one last quote from Hanson:

"Remember the twisted logic of the global throng as well: Anyone who quit the CIA was a genius in his renegade prognostication; anyone who stayed was a toady who botched the war. Three- and four-star generals who went on television or ran for office were principled dissidents who "told the truth"; officers in the field who kept quiet and saved Afghanistan and Iraq were "muzzled" careerists. Families of the 9/11 victims who publicly trashed George Bush offered the nation "grassroots" cries of the heart; the far greater number who supported the war on terror were perhaps "warped" by their grief.

"There were always the untold "minor" embarrassments that we were to ignore as the slight slips of the "good" people — small details like the multibillion-dollar Oil-for-Food scandal that came to light due to the reporting of a single brave maverick, Claudia Rosett, or Rathergate, disclosed by "pajama"-clad bloggers without journalism degrees from Columbia, sojourns at the Kennedy School, or internships with the Washington Post. To put it into Animal Farm speak: elite New York Times, CBS News, and PBS good; populist bloggers, talk-radio, and cable news bad.

"In place of Harry Truman and JFK we got John Kerry calling the once-maimed Prime Minister Allawi a "puppet," Senator Murray praising bin Laden's social-welfare work, Senator Boxer calling Secretary of State Rice a veritable liar for agreeing with the various casus belli that Boxer's own Senate colleagues had themselves passed in October 2002. And for emotional and financial support, the Democratic insiders turned to George Soros and Michael Moore, who assured them that their president was either Hitlerian, a dunce, or a deserter."

In the 60's, the counter culture were hippies (and I was one of them to a degree), now-a-days, the counter culture are the elites from the Ivy League schools, the corridors of the Democratic Party and the filthy rich (Soros, Kennedy, Rockefeller, etc.) And that leads to consternation.

Mohammad from Iraq the Model probably gives the best justification for this war. "The will of the good have achieved victory, and that is enough for me to be optimistic, but those will not be as special as you were
2003; the year of freedom.
Before you I was mute, and here goes my tongue praying for the best,
Before you I was hand-cuffed, and here are my hands free to write,
Before you my mind was tied to one thought and here I find wide horizons and greater thoughts,
Before you I was isolated, and here I join the wide universe.
I will never forget you; you broke the chains for my people, and rid us from the big jail.
Many of my people never realized that we were in a prison, as we were born inside its walls and we knew no other world than our jail. But, we were looking through the tiny windows that were hard for the jailor to close, and we saw that our jail was not the best-as our jailor claimed- and we saw that our jailor was not the gift of god-as he tried to convince us-, but we were afraid of his prowess , and owe to the one who says
the opposite."

Oh, and the quote I attributed to George W., It's from John Kennedy in October of 1962 during the Missle Crisis. I hope it consternated a few leftists.

Posted by GM Roper at 02:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

February 05, 2005

Alaska Blogging ~ In the Tsongass National Forrest

Tree Fungus Tsongass National Forrest.jpg This tree fungus was growing on the side of a tree, barely hanging on to the very edge of a gradually crumbling cliff. the cliff is not more than 6 or 7 feet high, but there is a very cold stream trickling at the base of it. Already, you can see the horizontal roots exposed to the left of the trunk, perhaps now, a year and a half later, this tree is down, dead and the fungi is taking over. Carefully making my way on the edge of the cliff, I was able to get this shot. This next shot,

Faery fungus.jpg

is the same fungi seen from the angle of the cliff (I used the telephoto to get "close"). From this angle, you can almost see the Faeries dancing under the "Faerie Umbrella" while they wait out the summer shower. That is, if you have a good imagination and the wonder hasn't left your eyes, and the child hasn't left your heart.

All images taken with a Minolta Dimage F-100 set on auto focus/auto exposure.

Posted by GM Roper at 04:32 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

February 04, 2005

Alaska Blogging


Bonnie, this one's for you. This photo was taken at the head of Glacier Bay in Alaska. The ship was slowed down to super slow, the waters were calm, the air was quite cold, despite being late August. Tomorrow, one more.

Posted by GM Roper at 07:51 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Ward Churchill; Creepoid in Academia

I had planned to do an article about this individual. But, just before I finished it, my friend Marc Cooper did a better one than the one I planned. So, go there and read this, and read all of the comments too. They are fascinating; far leftists defending Churchill, rightists bashing Churchill, and Brilliant, Witty and Charming folk like Marc and Me doing our thing. ;-)

Posted by GM Roper at 06:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 03, 2005

Alaska Blogging

New Feature. From time to time, I will be posting photos taken in various places in Alaska's Inward Passage. The bride and I took a vacation there in 2003 and I have decided that God, in his Almighty Wisdom created Alaska to make up to the world for making gnats and mosquitoes

Wild Berrys - Valley of the Eagles.jpg

This photo is a close up of wild berries in the Valley Of The Eagles near Haines. Our guide couldn't tell me what they were, but the dew glistening in the morning light, softly brushed with fog made for a terrific photo. All photos were taken with a Minolta Dimage F-100. I hope you like this feature, I'll try to post at least one a week, and since I have over 1000 Alaskan photos, we can enjoy for a long time to come. The photo and close up of the Eagle in previous post were taken at the same location; In the sky, on the ground; magnificent Eagle, small little red berries equally beautiful.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

February 02, 2005

Did Howard Kurtz Pass Math 101?

Jon Henke at the QandO blog has a terrific article on Kurtz' number of Iraqi voters. Hard to argue with Henke. I hope Kurtz doesn't try, but I suspect he might

(tip of the chapeau to instapundit)

Posted by GM Roper at 02:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)



sent from the internet by Charles Straw. It has passed through many hands since sent by Straw. The photo was accompanied by the following:

Marine 1st Sergeant Brad Kasal (in the middle). I work with his older brother in Iraq (a former 82nd Airborne paratrooper who is a hero in his own right). This photo is from the most recent major offensive in Fallujah. Sgt. Kasal sacrificed his own safety to save a room full of fellow Marines. He ended up taking several AK rounds in the leg. Most of his lower leg was blown away but you can't tell it from this pic. He t! ook rounds in the back which his armor saved him from. He took one round through his butt which passed through both cheeks leaving 4 holes in him. And he also took the brunt of a grenade blast. He jumped on top of a younger Marine to cover him from the fire. He killed the terrorist who did most of the damage to him and his men, and despite a massive loss of blood he never stopped fighting. Notice that he's still holding his pistol. He has been put in for the Medal of Honor for his actions on that day. He already has several Purple Hearts for previous battles throughout his career and he has turned some down so that he could stay with his unit. While in the hospital he has met President Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and several other celebrities. He said that President Bush came in by himself and had a very long, sincere, and friendly visit with him.

Where do we get such exceptional people? I've never met you Sgt. Kasal, but I damn sure admire you.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:00 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Naysayers, Be Ashamed, Be Very Ashamed!

The Vote.jpg

Voting isn't a Chore for these Iraqi's. Would that women in our country typically lined up like this for the chance to vote, would that men would also. Every purple finger I see is a stick in the eye of the Islamo-Fascists. For more photos, See what's up at Friends of Democracy

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

Let It Be Dean!

Headline "Dean Emerging as Likely Chief for Democrats" in the Ny Times a short article by By ADAM NAGOURNEY and ANNE E. KORNBLUT. Delightful read and in honor of their contribution I have penned this little ditty (with apologies to Willy Nelson, The Statler Brothers, and anyone else who ever sang "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

Truly, if conservatives in general, and the Republican's in particular are lucky, they'll have dean to kick around for the next 8 years.

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

Eagle Blogging

Photo Taken with a Minolta Dimage F-100 with the lens held by hand at the eyepiece of a 4 inch reflector telescope. It was difficult to make sure that the camera and telescope were "in sync" so that the shot would be good. I took several shots just to make sure.

The "close up" is a blown up section of this original. The "close up" was corrected using Adobe's Photoshop Elements-2.0.

The guardian.jpg

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

New Feature: Blogs I've Recently Discovered

It occured to me this morning as I woke up at "O-Dark:Thirty" and signed on to the internet, that there are an awful lot of new blogs out there. Some well known already, some not so well known, but worthy of being well known IMHO. So, starting this week, I'll be posting a bit of information on a blog I've discovered in a special block in the column to your right. I hope this will accomplish a couple of things. One, is introduce new or newly discovered (though they may be up and running for a while but I didn't know about them) and two, if you keep coming here to see what's new, It'll increase my traffic also. (That's your real motive isn't it? - Ed.) No, it's not, well, maybe a little.

At any rate, our first and so far ONLY entry is a terrific blog by (Drum Roll if you Please Maestro.....) VietPundit.

I first saw this young fellow's nom de blog in a comment in Marc Coopers blog (one of the four or five GREAT blogs IMHO). Then I got an e-mailed comment from this blog (after I shamefacedly let everyone know about my new blog URL in Marc's blog (hmmm, do you owe him advertising revenue - Ed. - - No, but when he next comes to South Texas where I live, I'll buy him a libation). But, I digress. VietPundit sent me a comment on this blog and invited me to take a look at his new blog and I did. Wow, worth a look everyone. VietPundit is to the right of center politically and has a terrific "intro" to his (and that is a generic his - don't go PC on me you lefty readers of this blog) life and reasons for being here in this country. It is obviously heartfelt and well worth a read , so, go there - NOW, but be sure and come back.

Posted by GM Roper at 04:45 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (1)

February 01, 2005

When You're Out, Pick Good Fill In Writers

I've long been an admirer of Michael J. Totten. In fact, I owe him a friend ship with well known progressive Marc Cooper. In fact, because I enjoy Cooper and Totten and wanted in on the fun, is one of the reasons I started this blog.

When Michael steps down for a few days, I miss him. So, when he started involving others as guest bloggers, I had a little trepidation; would they be as good, would they reflect the mores and attitudes of Michael, would it be an exercise in drudgery to read the guests? Well, after careful scientific study, careful examination of the facts. The results are in: As good, do reflect, and are an exercise in joy to read. The two recent entry's by Jeremy Brown of Who Knew and Mary Madigan of Exit Zero reflect my own feelings about the war and the elections. Take a gander, enjoy as much as I have. There are four links there (not including Michaels link at the beginning of the entry.) READ THEM ALL, it's time well spent.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:44 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

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