September 30, 2005

Posted by GM Roper at 11:50 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Gone for a bit!

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

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


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

Ronnie Earle Casts God as Democrat. Mel Gibson Stunned.

Prosecutor Ronnie Earle, who will go to any lengths to smear his opponents, is apparently doing it for God, as revealed in his upcoming movie. In an article by Byron York who has seen clips from this soon to be hit attacking Republican Tom Delay, Earle is filmed saying:

The root of the evil of the corporate and large-monied interest domination of politics is money. This is in the Bible. This isn't rocket science. The root of all evil truly is money, especially in politics. People talk about how money is the mother's milk of politics. Well, it's the devil's brew. And what we've got to do, we've got to turn off the tap. It's important that we forgive those who come to us in a spirit of contrition and the desire for forgiveness. That's important. But if they don't, then God help them.

Well, it's the devil's brew and it's right here in Travis County. Hey, I feel a song coming on (with apologies to "The Music Man"!)

Friends, money is the devil's play tool, trouble!

Ya got trouble

Oh, we got trouble

Right here in Travis County

With a capital 'T' and that rhymes with 'D' and that stands for 'Delay'

That stands for 'Delay'

We've surely got trouble

Right here in Travis County

We're in terrible, terrible trouble

That Hammer with the money is the devil's tool

Devil's tool

Remember my friends, listen to Earle,

because I pass this way but once.

Wow, I need to rest after singing that. I tell you, this Earle is one guy who can make Mel Gibson and Michael Moore both envious at the same time. Use God and attack Republicans--a great formula and what a switch! But, I didn't think that Democrats believed in God, but maybe I'm wrong since they use his name with the best swear words.

To go on and to add balance to the production, the article adds:

The film features commentary from a number of DeLay critics, including Lou Dubose, author of The Hammer: Tom DeLay: God, Money, and the Rise of the Republican Congress, columnist Molly Ivins, defeated political rival Martin Frost, Craig McDonald of Texans for Public Justice, and others.

Some people, though, seem less excited and throw water on the parade with logical comments like this:

"The problem that Ronnie has is that he sees something that he believes is wrong," says Roy Minton, an attorney for one of the organizations investigated by Earle. "If you ask him, when he says, 'They're doing this' and 'They're doing that,' you say, 'Alright, let's assume they're doing that, Ronnie, is that against the law?' He will say it's wrong. You say, 'Well, OK, let's assume that it's wrong. Where is it that it is against the law?'"

Just wait. I'm sure that Earle can find some activist judge or locate some international law to interpret the law however he wants--for God. Hallelujah! Oh, we have trouble...with a capital 'T' and that rhymes with 'E' and that stands for Earle. But, just like in "The Music Man," what the Democrats think they see and what's reality are not the same. And, Democrats begin with 'D' and that rhymes with 'T'....

Posted by GM Roper at 09:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)






Posted by GM Roper at 09:15 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

Boston Red Sox Need to Win "For the Children" [UPDATED]

The Braves wrapped up their division title and the Red Sox need to sweep the Yankees at Fenway to avoid a playoff game and for the possibility of a Braves-Red Sox World Series. But, there is more at stake than just a title. The Red Sox need to win "for the children." How's that? Well, follow the logic.

According to LiveScience, when the Red Sox win, emergency room visits dip. Who would have figured that? Here's what they say:

In a newly released study, researchers tracked hourly visit rates at six Boston-area emergency departments during the each of the 2004 American League Championship Series (ALCS) and World Series games.

During the lowest-rated games -- ALCS games 3 and 4, when the Red Sox were losing -- visits to the emergency room were about 15 percent above the volume expected.

Then the Red Sox won game 4. During game 5, Nielsen ratings surged and ER visits dipped about 5 percent below normal volume.

During the ALCS final game 7 and the World Series final game 4 (Boston won)-- the two most-watched games in which at least 55 percent of Boston-area homes tuned in -- ER visits dipped about 15 percent below the expected volume.

Kerry touchdown

Unidentified Red Sox Fan Signals Touchdown!

Got it? The Red Sox win and emergency room visits drop. How does that help "the children?" Well, as any parent knows, kids are always getting scrapes and bumps keeping emergency rooms busy. If the Red Sox win, then more kids stay safe and out of hospitals! Pretty good logic, huh?

So, come on Red Sox! Do it not only for the fans, but win "for the children!"--and, G.M. and his beloved Norma, too. Follow tonight's action and root for the Red Sox!

Saturday Update:

The Red Sox won 5-2 Friday night. It's not starting so well on Saturday, but they have to play all nine innings. Here's the play-by-play for Saturday's game with Yankee's pitcher Randy Johnson (3.79 ERA) and the Red Sox's Tim Wakefield (3.96 ERA). Boston has to win the remaining two games at home to avoid taking the division title game to New York.

Update: Yankees win. Boston has to win Sunday just to have a chance at the playoff game. If they don't, then they will have to hope to beat the Indians for the Wild Card, but let's not think that far ahead.

Correction: I hate it when I'm wrong, especially when it is not good news. To correct previous information, the Red Sox had to have the same record in both the league and in the series with the Yankees to force a playoff game. Since the Yankees will end up with more wins against the Red Sox, they became the division champion on Saturday. But there is some good news and some hope. If the Red Sox win or if the Indians lose the last game of the regular season, then the Red Sox get the Wild Card Title and will play the White Sox to start post-season. Winning the Wild Card can be good news, as the wild card team has been winning the last few World Series.

Posted by GM Roper at 06:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 29, 2005

Prosecuter Ronnie Earle Goes Hollywood! Filmmakers Get Inside Access on Delay Case

It can now be told that Texas District Attorney Ronnie Earle will star in a new movie covering his work to discredit House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. What film crew couldn't resist his good looks, charm, sex appeal, and his determination to indict every Republican that he can--using his wile and leaks to the press.

Ronnie Earle.jpg

Hollywood Heartthrob Ronnie Earle (Right)

Here are excerpts of from Byron York's article in the "National Review":

The DeLay prosecutor has let a film crew follow him through the whole case. For the last two years, as he pursued the investigation that led to Wednesday's indictment of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Travis County, Texas prosecutor Ronnie Earle has given a film crew "extraordinary access" to make a motion picture about his work on the case.

"We approached him [Earle], and he offered us extraordinary access to him and, to an extent, to his staff," (filmmaker) Birnbaum told National Review Online Thursday. "We've been shooting for about two years."

Earle "allowed us behind the scenes when the indictments came down last year, the first wave of indictments," (co-filmmaker) Schermbeck says. "We got to follow him back to his home a couple of times, which I understand he doesn't allow anybody to do."

"We're pretty low on everybody's radar," Schermbeck says. "We kind of took a gamble three years ago. We didn't know what was going to happen. We feel like, as documentary filmmakers, we gambled and it paid off."

Wow! What unexpected luck for them! And, don't let anyone convince you that Earle is violating Sections 3.07 and 3.09 of the Texas Rules of Disciplinary Conduct governing lawyers, which “strictly prohibits prosecutors from attempting to influence prospective jury members through pretrial publicity."

And, there is more great news! You can communicate directly with actor Earle, who would like to hear from you! Be sure to go to Earle's feedback site and share your enthusiam and views with him.

For previews of this blockbuster film, watch CBS and CNN every night, as they cover the real life heroics of up-and-coming film star Ronnie Earle over and over and over and over and over.... Move over Tom Cruise!

Posted by GM Roper at 07:20 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Federal Response to Louisiana Governor on Katrina


Pres. Bush forwards Gen. Honore's inquiry to Gov. Blanco

From Sondrak via Denny

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

Gov. Blanco Sticks Up Senators: "No Questions. Hand Over Your Wallets"

Marriage and politics and crime have some common threads.
Husband...Did I see that your car has been wrecked?!
Wife.........I don't want to talk about it.
Husband...Don't you think I deserve an explanation?
Wife.........No, and that's not why I came to you.
Husband...Well, what do you want?
Wife.........I want money for a new car.
Husband...Who do you think I am...a Republican senator?
Wife.........Give me the money or I'll accuse you of abuse and desertion.
Husband...How much should I write the check for?

That pretty much sums up the exchange between Louisiana's Democratic Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and the Senate Finance Committee, which asked her to appear and respond to former FEMA Director Michael D. Brown's charge that Louisiana officials were "dysfunctional" in handling the Hurricane Katrina disaster. She said that she wouldn't answer any questions, they said okay, and she asked for $40 Billion for job creation in her state. No questions, but where's my check?

Let me make a suggestion. Rather than giving her $40 Billion, cut it in half, give it to all of Louisiana's residents, and let them retire in luxury. But, the rest of us can work the rest of our lives to pay for this--without even knowing what happened...and, we didn't even get kissed, and there's the crime.

Posted by GM Roper at 11:20 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (2)

IFC Plans Scrapped - A Win For The Good Guys!

IFC copy.jpgThe so called "International Freedom Center (IFC) has been Scrapped. Governor Pataki (R-NY) announced that the IFC would be moved from the WTC memorial and moved elsewhere. The IFC board announced that moving the IFC would not be possible and scrapped the idea.

Now, that seems strange to me. If the IFC were truly about freedom, if the ideas presented in it were not about how evil America is (with plans to include past history such as slavery and the indian wars) than it should stand on it's own elsewhere. That they scrapped the idea entirely indicates, to me at least, that the whole reason for the IFC was to blame the victim for the attacks on the WTC.

The announcement from Take Back The Memorial was simple, direct and elegant:

We are very pleased to announce that Governor Pataki has announced the removal of the International Freedom Center (IFC) from Ground Zero. See The Washington Post for details."

"Every since June 8, 2005 when Debra Bulingame's op-ed, The Great Ground Zero Heist, appeared in the Wall Street Journal, we have fought together for the preservation of the dignity of Ground Zero. With your help, we have achieved a major victory toward that goal."

"We will continue to monitor the plans for Ground Zero to ensure that a fitting and proper memorial is built; one that is respectful of the victims murdered that day, their families, the first responders, and the American people."

"A press release on the removal of the IFC from the 15 family member groups is expected in the next 24 hours and we will post it at Take Back The Memorial as soon as it becomes available."

"Thank you again for your support, prayers, and dedication. We simply could not have done this without you."

It is notable that Hillary Clinton (running for President and doing this for political gain?) came out in favor of banning the IFC from the WTC site.

The concerned families of the WTC victims, numbering over 2000 were strongly against the inclusion of the IFC at the WTC grounds. Notably, the Washington Posts' article cited above stated:

The IFC proposed a museum that celebrated American ideals of freedom and tolerance, with exhibits on such leaders as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as documents like the Declaration of Independence and the South African constitution."
What the Post "forgot" to include in its slightly liberal slant was that the IFC would also contain denunciations of the attempts to prevent integration by people such as Bull Conners, George Wallace etc., highlight the ills, mistakes and missteps of the USA in it's 230 year history (and we've made a bunch of them) and NOT put the responsibility for the WFC attack directly where it belongs - on the Islamo-Facists.

Cox and Forkum Posted a couple of Cartoons that really gets to the core of the matter here and here.

Michael Yon, in a non-related post perhaps said it best about good people using information when they had access to good information:

Much world travel has convinced me that the “average American” is a good person. But even a good person needs information in order to act effectively on their best impulses. Oftentimes, good things do not happen simply because information does not make it to the right people."
The Take Back The Memorial people, the congress critters from New York and elsewhere, the former Mayor of New York, Rudi Guiliani and many of you who signed the petition enabled those in power to reach the right decision in the time allocated for that decision. This truly was "A Win For The Good Guys!"

Posted by GM Roper at 06:12 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (1)

September 28, 2005

Democrats on Tom Delay: End Justifies the Means [UPDATED]

You've likely heard that Republican House Majority Leader Tom Delay has been indicted (not convicted!) on one count of criminal conspiracy after extensive efforts by Democratic District Attorney Ronnie Earle--much to the delight of liberals, whose blogs are all aglow. If Delay is as corrupt and evil as the left portrays him, then why couldn't this partisan D.A. find something more serious than a charge of no substance? But, we know what's really going on and that the people behind the smear are misusing our legal system for political gains, and they don't care what it costs the taxpayers to prosecute. Why, getting the taxpayers to pay for the investigation, prosecution, and trial is just like extorting campaign contributions for the Democrats.

Isn't it ironic that the Democrats act dishonorably to bring down someone whom they accuse of being dishonorable? To many, that makes them worse than the person they accuse.

From Michelle Malkin comes this excerpted information on the D.A. by former DOJ official Barbara Comstock:

Ronnie Earle argues that Tom DeLay conspired to make a contribution to a political party in violation of the Texas Election Code. There was no contribution to a political party in violation of the Texas Election Code. There was no conspiracy. Ronnie Earle is wrong on the facts. Ronnie Earle is wrong on the law.

Ronnie Earle has a history of using his office for attacks on his political and personal enemies. Earle has demonstrated a past zeal for indicting conservative figures and even liberals with whom he has personal or professional disagreements. Earle's partisan prosecutions - which have frequently failed - are designed for political harm, not legal harm.

Ronnie Earle's three year political vendetta against Rep. DeLay has been marked by:
Illegal grand jury leaks,
A fundraising speech by Earle for the Texas Democrat party that inappropriately focused on the investigation,
Misuse of his office for partisan purposes, and
Extortion of money for Earle's pet projects from corporations in exchange for dismissing indictments he brought against them.

It's pretty obvious that the Democrats are willing to go to any lengths, or should I say depths, to attack their opponents because, to them, the end justifies the means. Is that how justice is meant to work?

UPDATE: More on the chicanery of Ronnie Earl here, and here, AND in an eerily prescient post by our own GM titled No Delay In The War On Delay noted "Stay tuned folks, this is going to get nasty." And so it is.

Posted by GM Roper at 08:40 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

September 26, 2005

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

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

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

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

September 25, 2005

GM's Funnies

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

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

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

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

How many's a brazillion?"

Info Theory

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

Dr. Helen is Back

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

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

September 24, 2005

Torn Together

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

A huge tip of the GM Chapeaux to The Hedgehog

Info Theory

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Reportage And The Iraq War ~ A View From The Home Front!


I have always admired Chris Muir, from his first cartoon to the most recent days of Day By Day. Chris is able to state clearly what most of America really thinks in regards to all the liberal shibboleths as reported in the so called Main Stream Media (MSM). There is a major difference between reporting the war from what really is going on, and reporting the war with a hidden political agenda as the cartoon above accurately points out. There is a major difference between what is going on in Iraq and what the MSM is telling you is going on in Iraq. The MSM won't tell you that, I just did! (Uh, Mr. Mondale, that is how you are supposed to say it...)

And significant differences there are! Not just in the quality of the reporting, but in the focus. One tries to portray a quagmire, the other a quality of life missing in Iraq for decades, if not tens of decades and the difference is telling. From the MSM:

BAGHDAD — Heavy fighting surged Friday in the Euphrates River city of Ramadi, police and hospital officials said, and the U.S. military reported the deaths of two more soldiers around the militant stronghold west of Baghdad.

In the Iraqi capital, a suicide bomber on a public minibus set off an explosives belt as the vehicle approached a busy terminal, killing at least five people and wounding eight, police said.

Also in Baghdad, gunmen killed a member of the commission that keeps former officials in Saddam Hussein's Baathist regime out of the Iraqi government, police said. Thirteen members of the commission have been killed since it was created two years ago.

Seven of the 29 U.S. troops killed this month have died in or near Ramadi. The latest deaths occurred Thursday, one in a roadside bombing between Ramadi and nearby Fallouja, the other in a gun battle in Ramadi. Those slayings raised to at least 1,912 the number of U.S. service members who have died since the Iraq war began in March 2003.

So, in the first four paragraphs (from what I've been told, that is where most readers stop unless it is really gripping) what have we learned from this tidbit of reportage? We learned that 1) heavy fighting and two more deaths; 2) a suicide bomber killed five; 3) gunmen killed a commission member, one of 13 killed in the last two years; 4) Seven of the nine US servicemen killed this month have died in or near Ramadi and that 1912 service members have been killed since 2003 Killed, killed, killed, killed. What, no mention of Quagmire? No comparison to Vietnam? Methinks the LATimes is falling down on their job, the MSM may revoke their liberal status.

Of course, it is absolutely not fair to pick on the LATimes (though Oh That Liberal Media! does it very well) So, let us take a quick gander at the NYTimes (no, not their expensive, overpriced, excessively liberal and hackneyed Op-Ed page) again, the first four paragraphs:

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- The leader of Iraq's largest Shiite political organization joined the country's most revered and powerful Shiite cleric Saturday in a strong public push for voter support of a new constitution, three weeks ahead of a national referendum.

Also, suicide car bombers killed five Iraqis in and near the capital, and the U.S. military said a soldier died in a roadside bombing Friday night in southeast Baghdad. The death raised to 1,913 the number of U.S. service members who have died in Iraq since the war started in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count.

In Basra, the country's southern oil hub and headquarters for Britain's 8,500-strong force, an Iraqi judge said he renewed homicide arrest warrants for two undercover British soldiers who allegedly killed an Iraqi policeman trying to detain them.

The Britons were rescued from jail early this week by British troops using armor to crash through the prison walls. In a sign of continuing tensions and Iraqi fury over the British operation, Katyusha rockets were fired at U.S. and British facilities in the city Saturday, causing no casualties.

OK, we learned 1) Shiite Cleric and politico join forces to support a vote for the constitution. You have to get to the 11th paragraph before the reporter mentions the minority Sunni could bloc the constitution by voting en masse against it; 2) 5 Iraqis killed and an American Serviceman killed bring the total to 1913 (note the higher count than given by the LATimes - only by one, but hey, who's counting?); 3) Arrest warrants issued for Brit soldiers who are; 4) broken out of jail by other brits. The fourth paragraph is particularly interesting, maybe we should look at it again:
The Britons were rescued from jail early this week by British troops using armor to crash through the prison walls. In a sign of continuing tensions and Iraqi fury over the British operation, Katyusha rockets were fired at U.S. and British facilities in the city Saturday, causing no casualties.
OK, Brits broke two Britons out of jail, the Iraqis are pissed at them so they fire rockets at the Brits and the Americans. Hey, what did we have to do with them being angry at the Brits? Oh, yeah, I forgot, Tony Blair is Dubya's Poodle - gee, I hate it when I forget those things. So, politicking, killed, arrest warrants, rockets. Still not convinced?

OK, two for two... lets take a look at the number three leading liberal paper in the country, the Washington Post:

BAGHDAD, Sept. 23 -- A suicide bomber driving a minivan with passengers aboard blew himself up near a bus depot in the center of the capital on Friday, killing seven people and wounding 20, police said.

The charred wreckage of the van smoldered in the hot sun while Iraqi police hurried onlookers away from the scene of the blast in Tayaran Square. The square, a major local bus terminal, was crowded with people enjoying the Friday holiday. Blood pooled in the streets around the station, a simple, open-air transit point surrounded by a brick wall.

As insurgents have stepped up attacks on crowds of civilians in public places in recent months, bus stations and markets have been frequent targets. A series of car bombings at the main bus station and a nearby hospital in Baghdad in August killed more than 40 people.

Three American soldiers also died Friday, the U.S. military said in statements. Two were killed by roadside bombs, one near Balad, about 50 miles north of Baghdad, and the other in southeastern Baghdad, the statements said. The third soldier was killed by small-arms fire in Ramadi, 60 miles west of the capital.

Once again into the breech dear readers. We learned from this tid bit of information that 1) a suicide bomber killed 7 and wounded 20; 2) a charred van smoldered while there was blood on the streets; 3) insurgents have stepped up attacks on civilians, killing over 40 in August (gee, had to reach back to last month for a high enough figure?) and 4) three more American Soldiers were killed. So, for the WaPo we have killed, burning & blood, killed and killed.

Gentle reader, if you are not convinced by now, you are either willfully ignorant or blind or can't see beyond your own prejudices. But, don't take my word for it. Lets take a look at different reporting, say by Chris Muir's friend, Michael Yon. Michael Yon has been reporting dispatches from the front lines where he has been embedded with our troops and he is doing this on his own, at his own expense. From Michael's And Now, The Rest Of The Story:

The formula followed by foreign (non-Iraqi) journalists here is different than that used by the local papers back home. Western media cannot free-range Iraq, asking questions and jotting answers on notepads, particularly where insurgents cut off the heads of anyone they do not agree with, later posting "news" videos of their own. Here in Iraq, where bullets are often the background noise, most news agencies get their daily facts spoon-fed straight from the military. The basic building block for just about any news item reported in mainstream press is something called a SIGACT.[READ THE REST]
A quick read of this and you will find out that there is a whole lot you haven't found out if you rely on the MSM (And here, I've used three newspapers as my foil, but you get the same info from the broadcast networks as well.) I'm not going to give a four paragraph review of Michael's latest, for Michael's dispatches from the front have been blogged on here, here, here and here by yours truly. You can also judge for yourself by reading any of his dispatches located here

Many of my leftish friends (and yes, this rightie does have lefty friends) say that the MSM can't possibly be liberal or biased to the left because they are owned by corporations. As if corporations staff the newsrooms, editorial desks, or go to journalism school. The fact of the matter is is that a corporation is interested in the bottom line, and they don't really care how they get a better bottom line. Those staffing the MSM do indeed have a leftish bias. Denying that means that you are only fooling yourself because the rest of us can see what the bias is, clear as day.

As Michael noted, the job of the MSM is not to report news, but to sell advertisements. To do that, they must have readers that the advertisement reaches and blood sells. But, you'd think that a little ballance would be appropriate wouldn't you? Report on the bombing by terrorists (they are NOT insurgents! ...ed.) by all means, but also report on the increasing hope the people of Iraq have in their own government and constitution. Report on the strife, but also report on the schools being built and staffed, on the increase in a free press and the absense of a secret police.

If the goal is to sell advertising, a larger audience just might make a difference to the purchaser of the advertising.

Update: Welcome Instapundit Readers. Please leave a comment whether you agree or disagree.

Info Theory

Posted by GM Roper at 01:14 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack (5)

Visions of Hell

If Dante could see earth from a satellite in his mind's eye as he penned "The Inferno" maybe this is something similar to what he saw. Prayers out to everyone in Rita's path and those catching the sides. latest_wv.jpg

Info Theory

Posted by GM Roper at 09:37 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

September 23, 2005

Ginsberg Usurps The Role of President and is stuck on stupid.

I always thought Ruth Bader Ginsberg was a flake. She advocated lowering the age of consent for sexual relations to a sex neutral age 12 and her votes on the USSC indicate to me that she is firmly on the lefty plantation with no hope of escaping, nor do I think she has any desire to escape.

Now she is telling the President WHO he must appoint to the vacancy caused by the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor.

Ginsberg has stated "...any woman will not do..." and this of course gives rise to more than one question. First, who says it has to be a woman, just because a woman is retiring? For that matter, why does it have to be any person of a given race, creed, national origin, or sex? Why not a black male or a black female or a hispanic female or ...? There is a pernicious belief, growing, that future nominees for the courts must meet some kind of quota. How stupid can we get. The next qualified nominee must be a good jurist first and foremost. Given that Bush was the victor, it should be someone who meets his political belief system and that says generally conservative. Other than that, and to be totally honest not even that, is all that Bush has to do.

Ms. Ginsberg, it is the PRESIDENT who makes the choice, who decides on the qualifications he is looking for and who is bound to make the best choice possible. Get that? Don't be stuck on stupid! (Gadzooks I love that phrase.)

Ginsberg says that "...some women who might be appointed who would not advance human rights or women's rights..." Uh, excuse me?

Since when does the constitution dicate that Federal Judges, including Justices on the United States Supreme Court are required to advance human rights or women's rights? I thought that the requirement is that they intrepret what the law says. Now, granted that many interpretations have stuck in my craw, and many have been overturned by higher courts, but that doesn't mean that the principle is not correct. If a court decision has the advantage of advancing "human rights" or "women's rights" or "men's rights" or the "right's of victims of crimes" or any other legally sanctioned "right" fine and dandy. But that is a side issue and not the issue itself. The issue at hand is deciding the law. That is all, that is it, that is what is required.

Seemingly, Justice Ginsberg then would decide in favor of a woman if the issue was a male vs. a female even if the law stated clearly that the male was protected under the law. How dumb can she be?

President Bush, please feel free to ignore the ravings of that particular Justice. She doesn't know what she is talking about whether it is about sexually active 12 year olds or about who the next Justice should be. She is "STUCK ON STUPID."

Others reporting on this issue: Ankle Biting Pundits, Shooting The Messenger, The Uncooperative Blogger, A Man Over Thirty, Conservative Thinking, The Not So Silent Majority, and many many others.

Info Theory

Posted by GM Roper at 07:11 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (1)

September 22, 2005

Swami Says: Braves - Red Sox World Series!

There are a lot of important issues in the world today, but right now the one weighing on my mind is which major league baseball teams are going to the playoffs. Everything looked so comfortable a week ago with my team, the Braves, seven games out in front and going after its fourteenth straight division title, and with G.M.'s team, the defending World Champions Red Sox, leading its division. Then, after a few bad games, things have changed and nothing is certain. The Braves are barely hanging on and the Red Sox will have to fight to get the wild card position unless it can get back into first. We don't think that Bush is to blame for this situation, and it's nice that baseball can take our minds off of other problems.

2005 World Series Logo.gif

Here's the link to the Playoff Race, as we enter the last week of the regular season. In the event of a tie in the AL East, the Yankees won a coin toss Monday and would host the Red Sox in a one game playoff. However, the schedule looks favorable to the Red Sox, which plays seven out of its last ten games at home with the last three games against the Yankees at Fenway. That will be a great series, and I'm pulling for G.M.'s team to make it to the playoffs along with the Braves, who still have their work cut out for them, which includes six games with the Marlins.

Help us pull for our teams, and enjoy the division races and playoffs. If all goes well, we'll have a Braves-Red Sox World Series, and I have tickets! Go Braves! ...and, Red Sox!

Info Theory

Posted by GM Roper at 10:10 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Just Don't Build It Here

I like Jeff Jarvis, I don't always agree with him on many issues; either I'm too far to the right on some or he is too far to the left. Having said that, I admire the heck out of his writing skills and this piece is absolutely amazing. Go, read, reflect then drop him a comment. Do Not Build It. Not Here!

Info Theory

Posted by GM Roper at 07:13 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Support This Blog

Today we had a shutdown. GM's Corner did something I never thought would happen, but we exceeded our total bandwidth for the month and for a while, no one could access the site. Woody called me and told me that he had tried to log on, but was unsuccessful because of bandwidth problems.

So, I'm asking all of our loyal readers and commenters to make a small donation of less than $5.00 per month or whatever you can afford so that we can continue to bring this site to you. If everyone chips in a dollar per month. We can continue to grow, if not.... well.

I'm not out to make money at blogging (although I'm sure there are those who do) but I don't want to go broke blogging either. It takes less than $20.00 per month to keep the site open and less than $30.00 per month for maximum bandwidth. Won't you help? Any month donations exceed the cost of hosting, I will remove the button from the sidebar until the first of the following month.

Thanks from from both of us at GM's Corner.

Info Theory

Posted by GM Roper at 02:39 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Suicide --- The Savage God!

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

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

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

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

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

The Center for Disease Control reports:

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

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

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

Risk factors for suicide include the following:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Info Theory

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

September 21, 2005

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GM & Woody
September 21, 2005


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

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

500 JOBS???? GONE???? What about caring about the little guy????

The Headline reads "NY Times Cutting 500 Jobs, 4 Percent Of Work Force." Of course, my partner in blog-crime Woody thinks the NYTimes is doing this just to hurt Bush's "jobs numbers." Woody, NOTHING the NY Times does would surprise me. Absolutely NOTHING (except maybe to report the news without a left leaning bias). Click on the link to read the whole story.

NY Times Cutting 500 Jobs, 4 Percent Of Work Force

I don't suppose we would be lucky enough to have Maureen Dowd, Paul Krugman, Frank Rich and Bob Herbert included in that count would we?

Posted by GM Roper at 02:23 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

September 20, 2005

A Tale of Two Germanys

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another Sad Milestone is Passed!

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

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

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

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

H/T to Pejman Yousefzadeh

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


IT IS TERRIFIC TUESDAY AND TIME FOR THE TTTT. Just post a trackback to this URL and get some lovely links. Happy Terrific Tuesday everyone.... besides, today is my birthday!

Posted by GM Roper at 07:26 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (4)

It's A Birthday Party

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 19, 2005

The Anchoress Discusses The Clinton

Relatively early in my blogging career I came across the Anchoress. We fought the brave fight to keep Terri alive, to no avail, but it was still a fight worth fighting. Today, I just finished reading her take on Bill Clinton and I gotta tell you, it is just brilliant. A a couple of telling grafs:

If you know nothing else about Bill Clinton than the fact that he grew up sort of “between fathers,” with a somewhat colorful and flamboyant mother, that he was a bright boy full to the brim with talent, but lugging around an aching void that was never filled and never healed, then you know enough about Bill Clinton to know why he dropped a bomb on George W. Bush yesterday.

Bill was the boy with nothing. George W. Bush was the boy with everything.

I’m not talking about material things, here. “Things” make one neither holy nor whole. Anyone who has read the letters of George H.W. Bush or really looked into the early years of George Walker Bush knows that the younger Bush grew up in a rather average house, with average playmates and a public elementary school. Nevertheless, George W. Bush had something Bill Clinton never had: a father who clearly loved him and a devoted mother whose first interest lay with her family. Forget material considerations. With those ample riches, the boy called Dubya grew up comfortable in his own skin and not needing to look outside of who he was, or who he loved, to find trustworthy affirmation and acceptance.

Now go read the whole thing and drop her a comment and let her know what you thought.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:38 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Tim Russert, You Get To The Woodshed Right This Moment, Do You Hear Me Young Man?

One of the funniest, if not THE funniest thing I've read in a very long time. WUZZADEM You Rock!

Posted by GM Roper at 05:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


porkbusters.jpgThe graphic design to the left is by Stacy Tabb and has been released via Glen Reynolds at Instapundit for use in helping the blogosphere identify fat in the federal budget that can be cut in light of the extra spending needed to help rebuild the gulf coast as a result of Hurricane Katrina, and with Rita in the wings, this might be more important than ever! Current forecasts show it aiming for Corpus Christi, Texas but that could change.

This blog has on several occasions complained about congressional spending and the lack of oversight on the budget or use of the veto pen. Most recently here and also here in my old site.

This whole concept is especially important given that we now have an example of what can happen if we do not restrain spending and continue with the nanny state to its logical conclusion. Germany has just elected "Who Knows" as the new chancellor. By that, I mean that as things currently stand, neither German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats (SPD) nor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (the CDU/CSU coalition) have enough of a lead to take control of the German Government. Merkel started out strong saying the Germany of the future could no longer afford the high spending/low income of the past and that market changes needed to be made to reduce the 11% unemployment rate and the cost of their cradle to grave social spending. But she dropped the ball by inelegantly fending off charges of a Flat Tax which Schroeder's SDU pegged as the poor paying more than millionaires in taxes...despite the fact that there was a generous $42,000 family income sheltered from the tax. The end result was an election in which the SDU garnered enough votes that there well may be 225 seats for each in the Bundestag. This all but guarantees "GRIDLOCK" in the German government.

coffinposter.jpgGermany currently has a difficult future UNLESS there are some substantial and fundamental changes in the way they do business. The cost of the social programs which most Germans are lothe to give up is staggering, unemployment is at 11% and shows no tendency to drop at the present time. Anti-American sentiment is rampant amoung the elete as the poster put up by one of Schroeder's compatriots (Rolf Schwanitz) in the SPD to garner votes indicates. It translates as "She [Merkel] would have sent soldiers" an obvious attempt to make the eastern German voter shy away from voting for the CDU/CSU coalition. Kinda reminds you of Johnson's girl picking daisys in 1964 doesn't it? And it also shows, given the SPD's vote total, how much anti-Americanism is present in Germany.

Full Disclosure, I was born in Germany in 1946 to American parents who were part of the then occupation. I love Germany and have many fond memories of living there. My wife and I were in Berlin on 9/11 and we are grateful to the citizens of Germany who kindly made sure that we were kept up to date and who protected our cruise ship against what could have been world wide strikes against American interests. It saddens me to see this farce being played out.

It saddens me more that unless congress does something, unless President Bush shows some fiscal restraint, we are in danger of turning into another Germany. Oh, not the nazi caricatures of the radical left vis-a-vis Bush, but their welfare state with declining population, increasing unemployment, and a budget busting spendthrift attitude that we will find the money "somewhere."

I have contacted my congressman and asked him to help cut the fat. My letter is as follows:

Dear Congressman. As you are aware, President Bush has called for massive spending in the wake of the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. Too, it appears that Hurricane Rita may be headed for our own coast and may cause further destruction on a grand scale.

I am very concerned that the amounts proposed, while greatly needed are also budget busters of the first magnitude. I know that there is plenty of so called pork in the federal budget that can be cut for the betterment of society as a whole, and not for a particular congressional district. For example, the Transportation bill recently signed by President Bush contains millions of dollars for a bridge from Ketchikan, Alaska to an island of only 1500 persons. Sir, I've been to Ketchikan, the good people there almost brag about how difficult it is to get there, boat or plane, that is it. And yet, it is a thriving town, and quite beautiful as well. This bridge is a boondoggle of the worst sort.

I'm hoping you can identify and lead the charge to eliminate this and other pork spending so that as a unified country we will be in fact able to afford those things that need to be done vis-a-vis natural disasters.

I am a blogger, yes, one of those dreaded "pajama clad" folk who put their opinions out for everyone to see. But I am also a patriot and a citizen of a great congressional district, a great state and a magnificent country. I will be willing to put your answer on my blog as an update to a current post and as a singular post as you so desire.

Sir, we have much to do and not much time to do it. Won't you please take the lead and begin the process, get other Democrats and Republicans behind the effort to reform the budget, realign our priorities and get our house in order?

George Roper
GM's Corner (

Ruben Hinojosa (D, 15th Congressional District) is a good man. His family has built H&H meats from a small business to a good sized operation with many, many employees. He, like many Democrats tend to spend too much, but he is also a patriot. Let's see what his response is. His only Republican opponent was in 1996 and '98 and though I am nominally a Republican, I've always supported Mr. Hinojosa. I've voted for Mr. Hinojsa each time he ran, let's see how his response is to this urgent matter.

UPDATE: Stephen Moore writing in the Wall Street Journal (both available in the dead tree edition and online) has a slightly different take on the Republican (and Democrat - my point, not his) spending spree. The "Money Grafs" (pun intended):

This flood of money comes on the heels of a massive domestic spending build-up in progress well before Katrina traveled its ruinous path. Federal spending, not counting the war in Iraq, was growing by 7% this year, which came atop the 30% hike over Mr. Bush's first term. Republicans were already being ridiculed as the Grand Old Spending Party by taxpayer groups. Their check-writing binge in response to the hurricane only confirmed, as conservative leader Paul Weyrich put it, that "the GOP, once the party of small government, has lost its bearings and the Republican establishment doesn't seem to get the message that the grass roots of the party is enraged."

Congressman Todd Aiken of Missouri complains that Congress was forced to vote on the $62 billion first installment of funds "even though we knew a lot of the money may go to waste." Mr. Aiken and several dozen other House conservatives proposed an amendment to the $62 billion hurricane relief bill that would offset at least some of the emergency spending by cutting other government programs a meager 2.5 cents out of every dollar that federal agencies spend.

Was the amendment defeated? No. The Republican leadership would not even allow it to come to a vote, on the grounds that there was no waste which could be easily identified and cut.

Dozens of other reasonable proposals to offset Katrina's tidal wave of deficit spending have been similarly repelled. Mike Pence of Indiana suggested a one-year delay on the multitrillion dollar new prescription drug benefit for senior citizens. For 220 years, seniors have managed without this give-away; one more year of waiting would hardly be an act of cruelty. It would save $40 billion, but there were no takers. Then there was the well-publicized idea by Republicans and several Democrats in Congress to cut $25 billion for bike paths, train-station renovations, nature trails, parking garages, auto museums and 6,000 other such pork projects in the just-enacted highway law. It was torpedoed by the powerful committee chairmen who patched this abominable bill together in the first place.

Someone needs to put away the checkbook, or figure out how to do it properly or both.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:46 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (1)

September 18, 2005

My New Car!

I just bought a new 2006 Automobile, but I returned to the dealer the next day, complaining that I couldn't figure out how the radio worked.

The salesman explained that the radio was voice activated. "Watch this!" he said, "Nelson!" The radio replied, "Ricky or Willie?"

"Willie!" he continued, and "On The Road Again" came from the speakers. I drove away happy, and for the next few days, every time I'd say, "Beethoven!", I'd get beautiful classical music, and if I said, "Beatles!", I'd get one of their awesome songs.

One day, a couple ran a red light and nearly creamed my new car, but I swerved in time to avoid them.


The French National Anthem began to play, sung by Jane Fonda and Michael Moore, backed up by John Kerry on guitar, Al Gore on drums and Bill Clinton on sax....

I LOVE this car !!!!!!!!!

Posted by GM Roper at 04:11 PM | Comments (15) | TrackBack (0)

The Falling Man

The Falling Man.jpgMy heart breaks everytime I see this photograph. Today I came across this story that I had never seen before titled "The Falling Man" and my heart broke all over again. But, I am not sad with a broken heart. My heart is broken and I am angry. Very, very ANGRY! Angry that OBL thought he could intimidate America, angry that many said that we deserved the attack, angry that too many Muslims cheered and danced over the death of so many Americans, angry that there is enough hatred in the world that this kind of thing can happen. Read the story by clicking on the photograph. If you are like me at all, you will be touched; and maybe get ANGRY too!

Posted by GM Roper at 01:59 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack (1)

September 17, 2005

The Empress of Fifteen Minutes

Napoleon II.jpgThe Deceased Gentleman, whose portrait appears to the left of this paragraph is Napoleon II. He isn't much as historical folk go, he didn't last very long as is noted in this from Wikipedia:

Three years after his birth in Paris, the First French Empire - to which he was heir - collapsed, and Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated the throne in favour of his infant son, who was taken by the empress to Chateau Blois in April 1814. In 1815, after his defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon again abdicated in favour of his son.

The Chamber of Representatives and Chamber of Peers recognised him as Emperor from the moment of his father's abdication (22 June 1815), but the entrance of the Allies into Paris (7 July) put an end to this short-lived regime. Despite his nominal reign, he is not normally referred to as "Napoleon II" except by Bonapartists who also call him the King of Rome. Nevertheless, the next Napoleon to come to the throne of France took the name Napoleon III in deference to him."

For 16 days, Napoleon II was "Emperor" and the equivalent of todays "15 minutes of fame" as envisioned by Andy Warhol. So, who is the Empress of Today's "15 minutes?" Why none other than Empress Cindy Sheehan I. It is said that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce and Ms. Sheehan has descended into Farce with a capital "F."

"...pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq."

Woody, my blogging partner in crime, noted below:
When nuts from the left get vocal, their words alone are enough to make one just shake his head and walk away stunned."
Oh, Woody, you ain't just whistling Dixie partner. But, her latest pronouncement that New Orleans is an "occupied city." is more than nuts, it's Farce, again with a capital "F." "...pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq." My God Ms. Sheehan, have you gone completely and irrevocably nuts? Wait, that was a rhetorical question! It doesn't need answering, really, it doesn't. Please, don't feel the need to put up another Huffington Post, I mean, it is bad enough that you put this one up, another may well cause massive cardiac arrests across the nation.

But Sheehan as Farce isn't limited to pronouncements on New Orleans, take a look at some of these quotes from the Empress of 15 minutes:

I look back on it, and I am very, very, very grateful he did not meet with me, because we have sparked and galvanized the peace movement," Sheehan told The Associated Press. "If he'd met with me, then I would have gone home, and it would have ended there."
you will find this and other quotes at here but more importantly is this graph showing the rise, and fall, of Cindy Sheehan. Note where I've circled two spots, the first when she started to become the MSM story, the second when she began her meteoric fall from the spotlight. The more she fell, the more bizzare her comments.
Rise and Fall of Cindy Sheehan.jpg
Note that she began her rise on August 3rd, and her fall on August 18th. Note also that this is the same length of time that Napoleon II was Emperor. The first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

Maureen Dowd, that paragon of punditry, 99 and 97/100ths percent pure (bull), fatuously said of Cindy Sheehan that because she lost her son in war, she had "absolute moral authority." Now, even Dowd ought to be able to figure out that all the other mothers who are proud of their sons and daughter's sacrifice even as they grieve their loss far out number the Sheehan's and so the moral authority ought to "tilt away" from Sheehan. And so it does.

Sheehan's writing in The Huffington Post is a miasma of pseudo-intellectualism with really little to say, and nothing to contribute. A few of the comments at the post are equally execrable:

Another well put post Cindy. We finally got another radio station here in California, in the central valley that is normally sickening with Limbaugh crap shows and Hanity types etc. Its a bit far left, but its sure nice to hear another view after 15 plus years of the same old same old conservative garbage, and whacky Christian right mularkey [sic]. Just wanted to see, keep plugging away. You need to consider running for political office one day. You have what it takes no doubt, and you represent a HUGE amount of people and they way they think. Everything is not right or left in the country. There are millions like you and I who can think clearly without touting party lines.
but others justifiably take her to task:
As a New Orleanian who was THERE with my family during the storm and fled the town with a loaded weapon the following evening because of the looting that we SAW with our own eyes, I cannot possibly fathom how you could say or think such lunacies. HOW DARE YOU! I hope you read these comments, and I hope you apologize for thinking you know about a situation that you never even saw. My family was there. We saw. We now know fear for our lives, and the lives of those around us.

Thank GOD for the national guard presence. They have brought stability to the city, and they are not shooting anyone who is not a threat to somebody's life. Soldiers are not robots. I was back in the city last Thursday and spoke with some of them. They don't want to shoot anybody. Thankfully, nobody I spoke to had to do so.

But until you wade in water up to your waist after dark with a loaded weapon and a flashlight for defense, drive a car through water over its bumper and over limbs that should pop your tires just to get out of a situation where you think somebody is going to kill you, don't you DARE tell me that you can understand the dynamic of what occurred in New Orleans following Katrina. Kindly leave our region and leave us alone.

The First Time As Tragedy, The Second Time As Farce.

Cindy has had her 15 minutes, and more, she has devolved from a grieving mother to a clown spouting nonsense after nonsense after nonsense. So put a sock in it Cindy, end the Farce.

Update: Saturday linkfests for some great reading in addition to the above: The Political Teen, Stop The ACLU, Cao's Blog, My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Euphoric Reality, Basil's Blog, Wizbang, and the Mudville Gazette

Posted by GM Roper at 12:49 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

September 16, 2005

Cao's Blog

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

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

Tales from the Left - Sheehan: New Orleans is an "Occupied City"

I'm not going to say anything. I'm just speechless. When nuts from the left get vocal, their words alone are enough to make one just shake his head and walk away stunned. Well, here are recent comments about New Orleans from a post by Hero of the Left--Cindy Sheehan, who showcases the intelligence and logic of that side so well.

One thing that truly troubled me about my visit to Louisiana was the level of the military presence there. But what I saw was a city that is occupied. I saw soldiers walking around in patrols of 7 with their weapons slung on their backs. I wanted to ask one of them what it would take for one of them to shoot me. Sand bags were removed from private property to make machine gun nests.

If George Bush truly listened to God and read the words of the Christ, Iraq and the devastation in New Orleans would have never happened. George Bush needs to stop talking, admit the mistakes of his all around failed administration, pull our troops out of occupied New Orleans and Iraq, and excuse his self from power.

...Just sounds of silence as I walk away and ponder the significance of those words.

Update: Much more information on this and other topics at Stop The ACLU

Posted by GM Roper at 06:30 PM | Comments (19) | TrackBack (1)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Say Thank You, Dammit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 15, 2005

Red Skelton Audio on Pledge and "Under God" Addition

Many of you remember Red Skelton, a popular comedian, clown, actor, and television host. On a show in 1969, he explained the meaning of every word in our "Pledge of Allegiance." His presentation has touched many and has been read into the Congressional Record and received awards. Red Skelton ends the lesson by discussing the special meaning of "under God" in the pledge. This ties in with G.M.'s entry below and is worth taking the time to hear.

This site has the narrative and automatically starts playing his talk. I wouldn't want you to miss this and I want to remind others to hear it again.

Here's how it starts:

I remember this one teacher. To me, he was the greatest teacher, a real sage of my time. He had such wisdom. We were all reciting the Pledge Of Allegiance and he walked over. Mr. Lasswell was his name... He said: 'I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge Of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?'

...and, here's how it ends:

I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country, and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: Under God. Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer, and that would be eliminated from schools, too?

To do this justice, be sure to listen to the entire presentation. It's short but effective. Maybe the pledge has become routine with us, too, as it did the boys and girls in the class. It's good to think about every word in the pledge and, at this time, especially the two words "under God."

Posted by GM Roper at 09:50 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (1)

September 14, 2005

I Pledge....

1I pledge allegence to the flag

of the United States of America;

And to the Republic

For which is stands.

One Nation



With Liberty and Justice for ALL!


Posted by GM Roper at 03:22 PM | Comments (23) | TrackBack (0)

Democratic N.O. Congressman Redirects Rescue Efforts - Saves Laptop!

Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., who represents New Orleans, led a daring mission at the height of the flood crisis to help an African-American resident of New Orleans to salvage his possessions and to be evacuated. The complex mission involved a five-ton military truck, six National Guard military police, a Coast Guard rescue helicopter, the pilots, a rescue swimmer, then an additional truck with soldiers, and hours of time--but, it accomplished what this Democratic congressman wanted: to get to HIS OWN house to save HIS OWN possessions and to return HIMSELF safely. Oh, he cares! He wasn't sitting around like George Bush and FEMA--no sir!

Here are excerpts along with a link to the ABC News report:
Amid Katrina Chaos, Congressman Used National Guard to Visit Home (Excerpted)
By JAKE TAPPER (Sarah H. Rosenberg, Chris Isham and Ted Gerstein contributed), 09/13/2005

Amid the chaos and confusion that engulfed New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina struck, a congressman used National Guard troops to check on his property and rescue his personal belongings — even while New Orleans residents were trying to get rescued from rooftops, ABC News has learned.

Military sources tells ABC News that Jefferson, an eight-term Democratic congressman, asked the National Guard that night to take him on a tour of the flooded portions of his congressional district. (D)uring the tour, Jefferson asked that the truck take him to his home on Marengo Street, in the affluent uptown neighborhood in his congressional district. According to Schneider, this was not part of Jefferson's initial request.

Jefferson went into the house alone, the source says, while the soldiers waited on the porch for about an hour. Finally, according to the source, Jefferson emerged with a laptop computer, three suitcases, and a box about the size of a small refrigerator, which the enlisted men loaded up into the truck.

'I don't think there is any explanation for an elected official using resources for their own personal use, when those resources should be doing search and rescue, or they should be helping with law enforcement in the city,' said Jerry Hauer, a homeland security expert and ABC News consultant.

Jefferson said the trip was entirely appropriate. 'This wasn't about me going to my house. It was about me going to my district,' he said.

The Louisiana National Guard tells ABC News the truck became stuck as it waited for Jefferson to retrieve his belongings. The soldiers signaled to helicopters in the air for aid. Military sources say a Coast Guard helicopter pilot saw the signal and flew to Jefferson's home. The chopper was already carrying four rescued New Orleans residents at the time. A rescue diver descended from the helicopter, but the congressman decided against going up in the helicopter, sources say. The pilot sent the diver down again, but Jefferson again declined to go up the helicopter.

After spending approximately 45 minutes with Jefferson, the helicopter went on to rescue three additional New Orleans residents before it ran low on fuel and was forced to end its mission. 'Forty-five minutes can be an eternity to somebody that is drowning, to somebody that is sitting in a roof, and it needs to be used its primary purpose during an emergency,' said Hauer.

The Louisiana National Guard then sent a second 5-ton truck to rescue the first truck, and Jefferson and his personal items were returned to the Superdome.

(Lt. Col. Pete Schneider of the Louisiana National Guard) said he could not comment on whether the excursion was appropriate. 'We're in no position to comment on an order given to a soldier. You're not going to get a statement from the Louisiana National Guard saying whether it was right or wrong. That was the mission we were assigned.'

In an unrelated matter, authorities recently searched Jefferson's property as part of a federal investigation into the finances of a high-tech firm. Last month FBI officials raided Jefferson's house as well as his home in Washington, D.C., his car and his accountant's house. Jefferson has not commented on that matter, except to say he is cooperating with the investigation. But he has emerged as a major voice in the post-Katrina political debate.

It's interesting that the congressman's name is William Jefferson. Don't we know someone else whose name begins with that? Read the complete article for the congressman's side of the story; and, I guess that we can trust any story from a Democrat named William Jefferson--as long as he doesn't wag his finger at us when he tells it.

Anyway, now that the Democrat congressman has ventured into the flood and the mud, let's hope that he won't be flinging any more of it at Republicans and the federal response.

(Note: Don't look for this story on CNN or CBS.)

Posted by GM Roper at 11:10 AM | Comments (14) | TrackBack (0)

September 13, 2005

CNN Coaches Reporters and Guests to "Get Angry" with Bush

The Drudge Report blew the whistle on CNN, which is manipulating reactions of its reporters and guests. CNN has been coaching guests and commentators to "get angry" over the federal response to Hurricane Katrina. Why would they do that, and is it proper for a news network to fabricate angry reactions to a disaster? Isn't this making up a story--or, could we say that "the reactions, while fake, are accurate" similar to "the documents while fake, are accurate."

Before I knew the reasons, I wondered why CNN's Anderson Cooper was going way over the top with his outrage and rants. Cooper's reporting became so bad and obnoxious that I started switching channels whenever he was put on the air. Of course, all of this is clearer now--and, I consider manipulation of the news by the media as unacceptable from professional and ethical standpoints.

The Washington Times reported this as follows, which provides more explanation and motives:

Twisting the news Los Angeles Times pundit Michael Kinsley, who used to work for CNN, says the network is coaching guests to 'get angry' when they go on the air to discuss Hurricane Katrina. Mr. Kinsley said...'A Los Angeles Times colleague of mine, appearing on CNN last week to talk about Katrina, was told by a producer to "get angry."' CNN's political stance was more or less confirmed by a New York Times article yesterday that suggested CNN host Anderson Cooper was heroic for scolding a Democratic senator who failed to condemn the Bush administration.

(Footnote Update: Subsequent to his statement above, Michael Kinsley has been forced out at the Los Angeles Times.)

Others that have explored this CNN strategy, from both sides, include Trey Jackson and Power Line on the right and Slate, Crooks and Liars, and Reality Based Nation on the left. You can scan them to see which sources best identify with your values.

So, what will CNN say or do about this? Likely, nothing. But, that didn't stop me from expressing my displeasure about its breach of trust and unethical conduct, and I let them know. Unlike CNN, I'm not suggesting that you "get angry," but if you feel upset or disappointed by this news source that you thought that you could trust, then you can let them know by going to the CNN site for comments and feedback. It might make you feel better to express your views to them and it might, just might, influence how they report in the future.

CNN should know that instructions to reporters to act angry might have the effect of making viewers angry.

Posted by GM Roper at 01:10 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (1)

September 12, 2005

Guns and Butter; Partie Deux (Part Two)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fund states:

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

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

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

Fund goes on to say:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Technorati Tags: politics, Current Events

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Hurricane Recovery: Don't Be "Rich & Responsible"

In monitoring the hurricane clean-up, I've noticed comments which basically say that "rich" people who take care of themselves when others are hurting are "evil." Well, anyway, that's my take. Also, I disagree. It sounds as if the left is engaging in its politics of envy. Here are a couple of examples for you to consider. While I have excerpted comments for space, I have provided links and encourage you to read the articles in their entirety.

Mansions spared on Uptown's high ground
Hired security force watches over affluent neighborhood
By Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, 09/12/2005 (Excerpted and emphasis added)

(A caretaker) has made sure that when the boss returns to the mansion here at Audubon Place from evacuation in Aspen, Colo., (he) will find little out of place. This is a part of New Orleans where a small difference in geographic elevation and a huge gap in personal wealth provide a head-snapping contrast between good fortune and enormous loss. 'It's safe for the rich people,' says...a private security officer.... A small contingent of heavily armed private security officers is deployed throughout Uptown, where some homeowners have turned over their mansions to the officers to guard against looting. 'Today, I've been watching armed security people hired by the rich move valuables out of their homes for safekeeping. Yesterday, we were working in an area, giving out water to people who hadn't seen cold water for days.' 'We survived largely intact, and for that, we are truly blessed,' Uptown lawyer.... 'This is the highest ground in the city. That's why the rich white men who built this city put their homes here. The quality of life is good.'

Just a quick thought, are these people "fortunate," which implies that they are lucky, or are they wise and prudent to have taken care of themselves? It's more P.C. to say that they are fortunate, because to say that they are smart or diligent would make others who aren't to feel badly. We can't deal with truths when feelings could be hurt. Also, it almost seems that the writer would feel better if the mansions of New Orleans had been destroyed--as if the owners deserved it for being rich.

Well, let's go to the next case. Here are similar thoughts to the editor of a newspaper:

Monied (sic) America lacks moral goodness
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Letters to the Editor, 09/10/2005

Congratulations, monied America: You wanted your gated communities to keep out the poor, to protect yourselves from crime, to separate yourselves from undesirables. You took the high roads and built your gated communities on them so you would stay dry and clean while the stormwaters of filth and despair flooded their neighborhoods.

You did it. You kept out the poor, you concentrated the crime in the poor neighborhoods, effectively ensuring those neighborhoods would remain poor and broken. You separated yourselves from the undesirables.

And then you left them, to die in attics and on rooftops and in the streets and in the disgusting halls of commerce and sports. The richest nation in the world is the most destitute when it comes to true moral goodness. God could not bless this America at all.

Engle, of Atlanta, is director of the Kenneth Cole Fellowship in Community Building and Social Change and senior program associate in the Office of University-Community Partnerships at Emory University.

Well, this person says that wealthy America left people to die. Rather than give my response, here's what another has to say in response, and it is said with more force than I would use.

Nealz Nuze, 09/12/2005, (Excerpted)

Obviously Engle has a problem with achievement. In a word, she harbors great resentment toward those who have gone the extra mile to achieve success and wealth. Somehow she has convinced herself that the problems that afflicted the poor in New Orleans were due to the existence of gated communities and the presence of the evil rich. If there had been no wealthy neighborhoods in New Orleans the poor, somehow, wouldn't have suffered.

Engle also finds great fault with the idea that people would go to extra lengths to protect themselves from crime. How hideously insensitive of the rich! How very un-American! No doubt were we to locate Ms. Engle's automobile wherever it is parked while she is out there community-building, we would find it to be unlocked; ditto for her home. After all, Engle certainly wouldn't want to do anything to protect herself from crime, would she?

Engle feels that the evil rich 'kept out the poor' from their high-and-dry gated communities. Sorry, Sam, the poor weren't 'kept out' of those gated communities; they just failed to make the decisions in life that would have gained them access. The rich did nothing to them. They did it to themselves.

'Left them to die?' When police and firefighters, the fantastic first-responders we all rely on, went in to rescue the stranded they were fired on by roving gangs of thugs from the poor neighborhoods you so love – and this started happening on day one. ...(P)eople were risking death to rescue the poor, and you write that the poor were left to die?

Then you say that 'the richest nation in the world is the most destitute when it comes to true moral goodness.' Katrina has brought forth the greatest show of American generosity since 9/11. This is the America, an America of compassion and giving, that you say God would not bless.

It's too bad that individual initiative, achievement, success, personal responsibility, and stewardship--all of which helped to make this country great...and, to help some people survive--are attacked as wrong. Then, help and contributions from the same "rich" people, along with others, are ignored. That is puzzling.

All of this sounds like envy to me, and those who are being envious seem to be the ones who need attitude adjustments--not the "rich." Let's recognize and encourage behavior and choices that make people successful rather than the behavior and choices that make others dependent. With more people like the "rich," we would need less government to take care of us.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:20 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Bush Exploits New Orleans Flood - A View from the Left

In the sense of fairness, we're presenting the truth about George W. Bush and his hurricane response through the eyes of the left--and, the picture isn't pretty and just got worse. To recap so far, we have learned that Bush caused the hurricane because he ignored global warming, that he directed the storm to strike New Orleans which is under a Democratic mayor and governor, that he took money needed to upgrade the levees so that he could reduce taxes for the rich, that he sent the National Guard to Iraq making them unavailable for rescues, that he made no preparations for the disaster and appointed incompetent friends to FEMA, that he (and this is terrible) bombed the levees to flood the city and wouldn't save those washed out because they were black and Bush is a racist, that he blamed everyone else for his problems, that he conveniently hired Halliburton two months before the storm for the clean-up, that he won't recover bodies, and that, in general, he is totally clueless. Wow! I guess that covers it all. But, wait. Now, there's something else. You just have to see the picture below to believe it. It is horrible and speaks for itself. This guy should be impeached.

Caution. Don't go further if you support Bush.
Okay I warned you.

See. Bush's personal exploitation shows his insensitivity to the plight of those looters dying and homeless behind him. But, on the other hand, that is a pretty good looking fish. Good job, Mr. President!

via Denny in Atlanta

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September 11, 2005

Photographs and Memories

All of the photographs contained on this posting are from a variety of blogs with one thing in common. They remember 9/11/01 and they tell the story of those memories. Click on the photograph to see the site I got it from. If you tear up as I have, that's OK. If you get angry and furious and want to lash out at the animals that did this, that is OK too. If you want to curl up in a ball and hide from the world, that is NOT OK. Regardless of your feelings about the war on terrorism and on terrorists, please remember this; good people have died to maintain freedom, let us remember them.

Note: this Photographic History will stay up for one week and will be added to the whole time. If you have a photograph from a blog, and you would like to see it included, include the URL in the comments section, if it YOUR blog, please link/trackback to this entry.

Continue reading "Photographs and Memories"
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Berlin, September 11, 2001

It was the trip of a lifetime, planned, on board the SS Marco Polo with hundreds of fellow veterans, all courtesy of USAA travel. We had landed in Copenhagen, traveled to Tallinn, Estonia; to St. Petersburg, Russia; to Finland and Stockholm and then to Warnemunde, Germany where we were to take the train to Berlin. I was excited, taking my wife to Germany, land of my birth, home of many fond memories of my youth.

We disembarked at Warnemunde at 7:00 AM, for a three hour train ride to Berlin Arriving at 10:20 AM; 3:20 AM New York time a 7 hour difference. A cab ride shared with friends to the Brandenburg Gate. Walking through the Brandenburg gate, visiting Checkpoint Charlie and the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. Making a purchase of a piece of the Berlin Wall for my brother and other Berlin souvenirs for other family. Walking down Unter den Linden with a rain squall having made the street's damp and muggy. Waiting in line at the Bundestag but giving up when the rain started.

Grabbing a late supper we desperately hunted a cab to get back to the train station on time for the return trip and the cabbie, thinking we were just stupid tourists took the long way around. He was a little surprised when I let him know that I wasn't going to pay for the extra miles. Getting to the train station with a few minutes to spare, I looked up at the at the TV overhead and noticed a building on fire, but the train was boarding and I didn't have time to listen. It was probably just as well, my German was pretty poor anyway.

Settling down in the car with two others from the ship that we had befriended the train started on time. One of the passengers came in and said, America had been attacked. "What?" Confusion! By who, what happened? Questions flashing through my brain, concern on my wife's Face, rumor flashing from train car to train car!

Finally, one of the German guides came in and told us that the Twin Towers in New York had indeed been struck by planes and had since collapsed. Fear was on every face in the train.

It took longer than the trip down to get back to Warnemunde, a time that while only close to four hours, seemed like twenty four. All the time cut off from additional information. Worry traveled with us the whole way.

Arriving in Warnemunde we were warned that re-boarding the ship would take a while, and that we needed to be sure that we had no contraband and plenty of identification as everything would be closely checked. Our Guide said that the Deutsche Bundeswehr (German Army) was now in control of the port at Warnemunde and would be in charge of our safety. Walking the three blocks from the train station to the dock in the dark with only the occasional street lamp to guide us, and fear and worry accompanying us, we arrived safely to long lines.

Soldiers with grim faces and submachine guns at the ready stood guard along the dock and massed at the gangplank of our ship and the other cruise liner docked there. Two military vehicles were at the head of the dock with stern looking soldiers manning what appeared to be close to .50 caliber machineguns on the top of the armored personnel carrier type vehicles.

We slowly made our way to the ship, presented our passports and had our bags searched. On board at last, we made our way rapidly to our stateroom and turned on CNN. The scenes of the Twin Towers being struck, on fire, collapsing was played again, and again, and again. America! Struck by an enemy that cared not who he killed. Innocent civilians going about their jobs wiped out in a matter of minutes. Finally dropping off to sleep in the wee hours of the morning of the 12th, I slept fitfully, with images of fire and disaster haunting my dreams.

The rest of the trip was somewhat of a blur. I know we cruised the Kiel Canal to Amsterdam and then to Dover for the bus ride to London. In London, finally, at a hotel where we could decompress, the emotions hit, the tears flowed and anger coursed.

The next day, we traveled to the U.S. Embassy and went to the memorial garden set up by the peoples of England at the base of the statue of General Eisenhower. Some of the flowers and items left tore at my heartstrings, especially a little fire truck left by some small English child. Some of the photos of the memorial are below. The memories still haunt me from time to time. For the citizens of New York, it can only be worse.

Half Mast.jpg
The Flag at the Embassy, Half Mast

candles and flowers.jpg
Candles left by the Wonderful People of England

Cards of Condolence, expressions of Love

flag in flowers.jpg
The Flag in Flowers

The firetruck of a child reading in childish script "to all the firemen who died," the one photo that then, as now breaks my heart.

Thank you London, Thank you People of England, you took some of the pain away and left memories. Some bitter, some sweet, all worth having!

Posted by GM Roper at 12:01 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack (1)

September 10, 2005

And all the world is a stage

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

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September 09, 2005

After Hurricane, New Orleans Faces Worse Disaster - Jimmy Carter

Haven't the people of New Orleans suffered enough? Shouldn't we be showing them compassion and giving them hope? Wouldn't it be best if they had someone competent in charge of restoring their city? Well, if the answer to all of those is "yes," then why in the world would a former 9/11 commissioner recommend Jimmy Carter to be in charge of rebuilding New Orleans?

From the Drudge Report:

This morning on Fox's 'Fox and Friends,' former Indiana Democrat congressman and 9/11 commissioner Tim Roemer called on President Bush to name former President Jimmy Carter to the head of efforts to rebuild New Orleans.

Roemer told the stunned hosts: 'The second thing we should do is put somebody like former President Jimmy Carter in charge of rebuilding New Orleans.'

Carter Hammering.jpg
Carter Aims for Thumb

How can Carter rebuild a city when he spends his time hammering at a White House? He might let the United Nations determine the future use of New Orleans for the "world community." On the other hand, if Kerry were President, he might want to donate the Louisiana Purchase back to France while he apologizes for messing it up. At least we should be glad that no one suggested Al Gore, who could declare New Orleans as "wetlands" and make it a nationally protected wilderness.

The left never ceases to amaze.

Posted by GM Roper at 04:40 PM | Comments (10)

Sure, and tis a fine day when the Irish get it right!

Slugger O'Toole (Mick Fealty) has it down PAT:

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush contributed to the death toll by sending so many national guard units to Iraq.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody recalls that those same columnists have spent the past two years blaming George Bush for another death toll by not sending enough national guard units to Iraq. Otherwise, people might wonder why they have never previously read a single article advocating large-scale military redeployment during the Caribbean hurricane season.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnist are asking how a civilised city can descend into anarchy.

The answer is that only a civilised city can descend into anarchy.

As the full horror of this sinks in, thousands of desperate columnists are asking if George Bush should be held responsible for the terrible poverty in the southern states revealed by the flooding.

The answer is almost certainly yes, provided nobody holds Bill Clinton responsible for making Mississippi the poorest state in the union throughout his entire term as president, or for making Arkansas the second-poorest state in the union throughout his entire term as governor. Otherwise, people might suspect that it is a bit more complicated than that."

Read the rest here.

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Staring Bill and W (Click Good Ole Boys below)


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September 08, 2005

General Russel Honore - Soldier Extraordinaire

Lt. Gen. Russel Honore copy.pngPeople are demanding to know more about Lt. General Russel Honore, tagged "John Wayne" by some, but a Guardian Angle by others. In an earlier post which has generated some 2000+ hits on this little blog, his niece had this to say:

Just wanted to 2nd all of the kudo's for Uncle Russ. Yes, he IS my uncle and Yes he IS just as honest out of uniform. A real hero to our family too."
General Honore must be equally proud of his family I would suspect.

A bio about the General says:

General Honore is a native of Lakeland, Louisiana. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant of Infantry and awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Vocational Agriculture upon graduation from Southern University and A&M College in 1971. He holds a Master of Arts in Human Resources from Troy State University as well as an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from Southern University and A&M College.
However, I suspect that this doesn't tell the whole story. The General was commissioned the year after I left the Army (I wish I had served with him, though I did serve with many fine soldiers)so, for the last 34 years he has made soldering his life's work.

The Army's ROTC programs have produced some of our finest American Officers (Did you hear that you colleges that don't want ROTC on your campus) and the General is no exception! He has served tours in Korea and Germany, and is currently in Command of the First United States Army based at Fort Gillem, Georgia.

General Honore gave a briefing and answered questions in a Department Of Defense (DoD) today that is well worth reading in full. The Transcript is here.

The blogosphere is bubbling with news about the "Ragin' Cajun" and stories about him abound. The problem is of course, separating the wheat from the chaff. So far, the stories have been mostly adulatory, and seemingly, that is exactly as it should be. General Honore stepped into a huge mess left by cronyism, ineptitude, stupidity and people caring more about politics than about saving people.

The stories before General Honore took charge ranged from such stupidities as Bush caused the Hurricane because he didn't back Kyoto to the city deliberately was abandoned because the majority of it's peoples were black.

Then, in the center of it all levee's collapse and the fingerpointing gets vicious. "See." Everyone said, "Bush cut money from levee construction." Of course, this ignores 40 years of neglect and more importantly perhaps, the 17th Ave Levee that broke was the NEW part, the part that had been worked on by the Corps of Engineers. Wow, ain't that somthin'. But it didn't stop the bashers, sometimes on both sides of the aisle.

Into this steps General Honore and as New Orleans Mayor said:

He came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussing and people started moving,"

Additionally, General Honore had to deal with ill informed reporters leading to these comments by the good General:

That's B.S. It's B.S...."

"I can tell you that is B.S. We have got 300 helicopters and some of the finest EMS workers in the world down there.

"There is no red tape ... there are isolated incidents that people take to paint a broad brush."

Honore also lashed out at questions from journalists at the Baton Rouge emergency operations center concerning the security situation in New Orleans.

"You need to get on the streets of New Orleans, you can't sit back here and say what you hear from someone else.

"It is secure, we walk around without any issues. Why the hell are you trying to make that the issue, if you can help, get there and help,"

Honore noted that people were being scared away by reports of violence.

When one reporter argued that there still reports of bureaucracy and unrest stalling relief efforts in some outlying parishes of New Orleans, Honore fumed:

"I don't care if it is Hancock County, Mississippi -- we are not going to have that kind of issue."

Tough spoken! Brutally honest! A Commanding General entirely worthy of the title Commander and the right man for the job.

General, I salute you!

UPDATE: For those who continue to harp and gripe about FEMA dropping the ball, here is an interesting quote:

We're starting to move the trailers in," said then-FEMA director and current Hillary favorite James Lee Witt, nearly a month after Floyd first hit. "It's been so wet, it's been difficult to get things in there" — an explanation that sounds familiar.

Witt was also a guest on Jesse Jackson's CNN show, "Both Sides Now," in Floyd's aftermath. Jackson complained then that "bridges are overwhelmed, levees are overwhelmed, whole towns underwater. . . . (It's) an awesome scene of tragedy."

That was regarding Hurricane Floyd that devistated the east coast in 1999. Hillary's carping is fully seen here (A Doffing of the GM Chapeaux to Glenn Reynolds)

Posted by GM Roper at 08:50 PM | Comments (40) | TrackBack (2)

Ted Kennedy Blows Harder Than Hurricane Katrina

Sometimes no comment is best. Let the remarks speak for themselves.

"What the American people have seen is this incredible disparity in which those people who had cars and money got out and those people who were impoverished died." --Ted Kennedy on Hurricane Katrina

"______" --Mary Jo Kopechne on Hurricane Katrina

From Opinion Journal from the WSJ via Atlas Shrugs (Thank you!)

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Democrats Help Themselves to Hurricane Donations

Hopefully, you have seen lists of charities accepting donations for the Hurricane Katrina victims and have given. Now, there is a new Katrina donation site courtesy of the Democratic Party. That's right! Our friends from the left decided that the best way to help victims is to capitalize on the tragedy by asking for hurricane money to elect Democrats rather than to help charities provide relief.

Here's pieces from the story:
Democrats' anti-Bush petition also seeks political contributions
By Devlin Barrett, Associated Press Writer, September 8, 2005

A new Democratic effort to whip up indignation about the Bush administration's handling of Hurricane Katrina also tried to raise money for Democratic candidates. Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat and the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, issued an appeal Thursday urging people to sign an online petition to fire the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency over his handling of the Katrina response. When recipients clicked on a link to the petition, the top center of the screen _ above the call to 'Fire the FEMA director' _ had asked for a donation to the DSCC (Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee). In recent days, Republicans hit back by accusing Democrats of trying to use the human tragedy for political gain. The letter, the GOP said Thursday, was proof. 'It's a disgrace to exploit Hurricane Katrina to raise political funds,' said Brian Nick, spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

There you have it. The Democrats put themselves ahead of the hurricane victims--unless, of course, they thought that all the homeless want a Democrat elected before having a place to live. When the Associated Press asked the campaign committee about this, the Democrats pulled the solicitation and said that they would donate the money to charity instead. Caught! It sure is embarrassing when that happens. Now, someone better make sure that the money ends up at a charity rather than in the underwear and socks of Sandy Berger.

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

Letter Home From A Marine

Raven who writes at And Rightly So, one of my very favorite blogging type people had a note up today regarding a letter home from a proud member of the United States Marine Corps sent to the New Hampshire Union Leader. After reading the letter, and noting that it exactly mirrors my feelings, as well as those of Raven apparantly, I decided to reproduce the letter in it's entirety as well. It is a message worth reading and pondering. The Letter:

I AM a U.S. Marine serving in Iraq. I am in the utilities field, installing temporary power grids and purifying water for the U.S. forces in my area of operation. I hear a lot of news about why we should be here and why we shouldn’t.

Well, I am tired of reading the same news about the fact that we are here. The truth is that the decision was made to come here and now it is time to stop bickering about if it was a right or wrong decision. The decision was made, and there are only two options the elected officials of our country face.

One is to pack up and leave everything as it sits right now. The second is to see the decision through and make a thriving country with the potential to succeed.

If we go with the first option, then yes, there is a chance that the citizens of Iraq will overcome the struggle for independence from the insurgent forces on their own and become a legitimate democracy. But after being here and watching the people learn what true freedom is, you can see they are still in the beginning stages of understanding what it truly means. They have been oppressed for so many years that anything other than complete control over their decisions is very different and hard for them to comprehend.

I know these are pretty bold stereotypical comments. There are many educated citizens of Iraq who do know full well what a westernized democracy can mean for their nation, but in the same note the majority of these educated people were in the hierarchy of the old regime and have lost a considerable amount of power because of the change.

In the second option, seeing things through to the end, the United States will carry a heavy burden on the deficit and will not see any monetary gain from this aid we are providing to the Middle East for many years to come. In any normal business, if you saw this loss versus gain, you would be a wise person to cut your losses and move on, but this is not a business, this is a civilization. This concerns a whole nation of people and not just a few jobs lost due to layoffs. [emphasis added]

At this point you are probably wondering what my point is, or what option I side with. Well, I do not take any side and my point is only this:

We have elected officials in our government to make decisions to guide our nation in the future. They are privy to a lot more information that you or I have not had the opportunity to review. They have made decisions, and it is our job to follow. I do not question why or how; I get things done.

Instead of criticizing what someone should have done, help find the solutions to bring about a quicker resolution that will benefit all concerned, not just yourself.

As a Marine, I am proud knowing that each day that passes here in Iraq we make it that much safer for more than the 99 percent of the populace of Iraq. There is still a threat, and there are still deaths each and every day. That is unavoidable.

As for me, I say, “Aye, aye, sir” and applaud the fact that we do not abandon a job unfinished."

Staff Sgt. Edward G. Bowie is a Marine serving in Fallujah. He grew up in Bristol.

Good Find Raven. One ATTA-GIRL is in the mail for ya.

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September 07, 2005

From England With Love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 06, 2005

Trips Down Memory Lane

Going through some earlier posts that I had done at my old blogspot location, I came across this quote from Ãœbermann James Walcott:

I root for hurricanes. When, courtesy of the Weather Channel, I see one forming in the ocean off the coast of Africa, I find myself longing for it to become big and strong--Mother Nature's fist of fury, Gaia's stern rebuke. Considering the havoc mankind has wreaked upon nature with deforesting, stripmining, and the destruction of animal habitat, it only seems fair that nature get some of itsown back and teach us that there are forces greater than our own.
THEN he modifies his post with the following:



There have been times when I thought that many liberals expressed faux empathy, certainly Bill Clinton mastered the art with a modest lip bite here and a gently wiped away tear there and don't forget the most famous "I feel your pain" line. But Wolcott is reveling in the post of his celebrating a hurricane that was probably the most destructive act of nature visited on these shores in the history of modern man. A little callous aren't you Jimbo? Still rooting for "Mother Nature" Jimbo?

I'm glad that Jimbo considers his post a gift, cause that makes it so much easier to consider him an ass.

Posted by GM Roper at 09:25 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

September 05, 2005

Lt. Gen. Russel Honore - Right Man for Katrina Efforts

Today I watched a press conference with the head of Homeland Security and some general heading up rescue efforts in New Orleans. A reporter asked the general a loaded question and, after watching him rip her a new one with some colorful language, I learned that his name is Lt. Gen. Russel Honore. As he bid them farewell, I thought, "Wow! Now, that's the guy for this job."

Apparently, New Orleans Mayor Nagin agrees.

(Lt. Gen. Russel Honore) is a "John Wayne dude" who can "get some stuff done. He came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussing and people started moving."

Gen. Honore.bmp

A picture's worth a thousand words, and this picture says it all. From now on, Lt. Gen. Russel Honore is no longer some general, but is Gen. Honore, Sir! The three-star general doesn't seem to take nonsense from anyone and knows how to get things done. We're going to hear a lot more about him, and he sure looks like the right man for the job.


Here's a sample and a report of the exchanges between General Honore (pronounced Onery) and the press mentioned above. As you read the words and to do them justice, insert the tone of an angry, impatient, and disgusted general and, with that, envision an accompanying glare and scowl. I guarantee that would rattle me. Ready? Here it is.

'John Wayne dude' general blasts Katrina complaints as 'B.S.'

Lieutenant General Russel Honore lived up to his 'John Wayne dude' nickname, blasting complaints that red tape or poor security were snarling relief efforts as 'B.S.'

'That's B.S. It's B.S.,' Honore raged. 'I can tell you that is B.S. We have got 300 helicopters and some of the finest EMS workers in the world down there. There is no red tape ... there are isolated incidents that people take to paint a broad brush.'

'You need to get on the streets of New Orleans, you can't sit back here and say what you hear from someone else. It is secure, we walk around without any issues. Why the hell are you trying to make that the issue, if you can help, get there and help,' he said, saying that people were being scared away by reports of violence.

That's telling it like it is. Do you think that the press will love him or hate him, now?

For more information and thoughts on the general, G.M. has followed up with his entry titled General Russel Honore - Soldier Extraordinaire.

Posted by GM Roper at 05:00 PM | Comments (38) | TrackBack (0)

New Modes Of Transportation

Given the gasoline crunch, may I recommend the following mode of transportation? It uses only grass and a little effort to kick start it. I would however recommend a rear mounted basket for the exhaust.

Continue reading "New Modes Of Transportation"
Posted by GM Roper at 09:53 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

September 04, 2005

Why Didn't We See This Coming?

I searched high and low for the photographic evidence, finally uncovering a never before seen photograph, never published, never printed. We've had 37 years to get ready for this, yet we totally failed to see it coming, IN SPITE of the evidence before us. How could we have been so blind? Why oh why didn't we take steps in 68 to prevent this travesty!

Continue reading "Why Didn't We See This Coming?"
Posted by GM Roper at 05:55 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0)

Moi? Orange? But Of Course!

Your Blog Should Be Orange

Your writing has a star quality - it's charming, bold, and flamboyant.
You write what's on your mind, without fear of embarrassment later.
You are one of the most honest bloggers around, and people appreciate your daring persona.

A tip of the GM Chapeaux to Smoke Eater

Posted by GM Roper at 05:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

The Pointed Finger

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

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

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

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

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

Advocates for the poor were indignant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 03, 2005

William Rhenquist 1924 - 2005

william rhenquist.jpg

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

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

Account From The Superdome

This was sent to me by a friend. It was written by his daughter, and is a first hand look at what went on in the Superdome. An exerpt:

Two friends of mine went to New Orleans last weekend, and refused to listen when told to evacuate. They decided to stick it out in their French Quarter hotel. During the actual storm, their window blew out, but the hotel stayed solid. Monday, the two decided to leave and seek shelter. They walked to I-10, where hundreds were already standing and waiting. Between them and the Superdome was rising water, but the situation on the road looked bad, so they trekked out through the water to the Dome.
Read the whole thing. Really scary!

Posted by GM Roper at 09:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Requiem For A Memory

I'm in mourning. For the people of a great city abandoned to the devastation of a hurricane by the city administration and the governor of La., not to point fingers, but to call a spade a spade. I'm in mourning for the hundreds, maybe thousands of people dead, some by floodwaters, some by disease, some by the hands of others, some by circumstance that may never be known and for the hundreds of thousands of people dislocated, anxious and afraid.

I'm also in mourning for a cherished memory, my memory of NOLA, of The Big Easy, The Crescent City, of Audubon Park and the carrousel with its brightly colored ponies, Neptune's Pool, which was really a park fountain, at Audubon where my grandfather took us "swimming" on hot summer days in the early 50's, Monkey hill where we slid down the hill on pieces of cardboard, shrieking with delight.

Of evenings at my grandfather's church, First Methodist and of the basement, on the ground floor that I always wondered about, listening to the giant fans with their belt driven blades. Memories of watching Daddy-Bah (our pet name for Grandad) in the pulpit, rapt at the sound of his melodious voice declaring the love of God. I mourn the memory of being a small boy standing on the steps of that church in the early 50's during a Mardi Gras parade and knowing that William Boyd, Hopalong Cassidy was waving at me, and at me alone and my cowboy hero, dressed in black, had saved that wave just for me as he rode by on that great white horse.

I mourn most of all for a city, which my fading memories tell me was an ideal for a small boy, visiting his grandparents, basking in history, sights, sounds, smells, and yes, of love.

My earliest memories of my grandparents and of New Orleans are bound together in an intricate knot filled with fact, reminisces, and flights of fancy. Driving there with my mom while dad was in Korea and we lived in San Antonio for the duration. Sleeping in the back seat of the car curled up in a more than spacious well or on the seat or even, if I dibbed it first, on the shelf behind the seat and beneath the rear window.

We always drove at night, when it was cooler and less traffic on the road. Arriving at my grandparents home on State Street, near Audubon Zoo Mye-mye, our pet name for Grand mom always had a bowl of crab gumbo ready with hot cornbread or buttery croissants and Daddy-Bah would always say Grace, thanking God for our safe arrival, going to bed in the middle bedroom with a big ceiling fan whump-whumping above us cooling and relaxing.

In the mornings, a first trip downstairs to see what miracles were in the basement (again, a basement on the ground floor - it wasn't until years later that I learned about floods and groundwater and cemetery’s with crypts and no in ground graves) the big oil fired furnace, the laundry sink, my grandfathers workbench with its magical tools and anvil/vice combination. His study under the stairs with miracle objects in it including a miniature skull with a hinged jaw, burned in a fire set by burglars. There was a wall near the front of the house, a small door, secretive, mysterious, and irresistible to a 6 year old for who knew what treasures lay beyond that door.

On the wall near an old bookcase an old castoff tapestry; depictions of Arabs and camels, of pyramids and date palms done in browns, subdued golden colors and a touch of black and dark red and it held my imagination for years.

Memories of walking down State Street and crossing St. Charles Ave. to go to the zoo. Of listening to the bells of the trolley cars go by, of walking around the corner and down another street to a mom and pop grocery and buying my first Bazooka bubble gum and my first baseball cards.

I have memories of a glorious summer in 1959 where I spent two months with my grandparents and another three weeks with my beloved Aunt and Uncle in Texas. While in New Orleans, being taken to Ponchatrain Park and riding a rollercoaster type ride called "The Mouse" with its sharp 90-degree turns, steep falls, and rapid climbs. Of eating cotton candy until I was sick. Of walking on the grounds of Tulane and Loyola Universities, awed by the size of the buildings, the beauty of the campuses and the hurry of students to classes during summer semester.

Memories of walking into Audubon Zoo and seeing the King Vulture first with their wildly reddish orange painted heads, the huge elephants and the little Dik-Dik. Monkey Island where I could throw peanuts and the Aviary where I saw more birds than I ever thought could exist.

Memories of sitting on branches of ancient Oaks, perhaps older than the country that they now existed in, when Indians roamed the area and the white man and Frenchmen hadn't yet trod. Of watching Spanish moss hang down wispy beardlike from the branches and grabbing a hunk of it for our own beards and the laughter that each new posture brought.

Of the little neighbor girl next door with the name Koko always a joy to see who was always smiling. Memories that can now never be recaptured and that causes a deep sadness, one not quenched by the knowledge that a trip will cause it to resurface, for the destination can never again be arrived at.

Will New Orleans be rebuilt? I fervently hope so. Will it be the same? No, a new city will take its place, and there I will find my ghosts, memories long fading.

Nevertheless, memories still present for the time, memories of joy, of wonder, of excitement and adventure.

Posted by GM Roper at 01:28 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

September 02, 2005

The Narcissistic Underground

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

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

Additional Katrina Relief News For Our Military!!!

From the Mudville Gazette: Useful public service request - help spread the word.

Contact info for military families displaced by Katrina (also a great collection of news releases on the military efforts in hurricane relief)

Info for Guard families impacted by the storm.

Info for getting deployed Guard members in touch with their families who might be displaced by the storm - and vice versa.

Mrs. Grey Hawk of the Mudville Gazette says: I compiled resources here here, but it's more important to get folks to those other pages.

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

September 01, 2005

Katrina Relief

I've been scrolling through the blogosphere to come up with a couple of links to provide for my readers that want to help with the relief effort. One that comes up consistently, but one highly recommended by people that I respect highly is Operation USA. This is an agency founded in 1979 specifically for disaster relief and they are good at what they do. Rosedog, who comments regularly at Marc Cooper's blog entry knows the founder personally and states that the reason they have an extremely low administration cost to relief efforts is:

The way Op USA works is that, rather than buying relief supplies, with few exceptions they get all their supplies donated then use their own donated cash to get the supplies to where they need to go. Most aid organizations, instead, buy their relief supplies on the open market at enormous cost and a big markup. International aid, in particular, is big business. It's slightly more complicated than what I'm explaining, but not only does Op USA use a comparatively tiny staff to accomplish a great deal, but all their collected funds are greatly maximized by the nature of their relief supply donation model.
I will be donating to them, as well as some to the American Red Cross and to the Salvation Army. If you, beloved readers, choose to donate to them, or to any one for that matter, note that the funds are specifically for Katrina Relief. If you donate to lesser known charities, or if you want to check out any charity go to the BBB's Wise Giving Site,

If you have some job skills that you want to donate and that you think can be use in disaster relief, call the Red Cross, The Salvation Army or FEMA. You may need to work through a bureaucracy but if you are persistent, you might find another way to help.

You can also find some great links for disaster relief at Little Green Footballs, Glen Reynolds, the FEMA website.

Techorati tags: Flood Aid, Hurricane Katrina

Update: _H_ at the Terrorism News blog recommends a housing entry. It is from a lefty site, but if you have housing available, please click on Housing Available.

Posted by GM Roper at 12:08 AM | Comments (18) | TrackBack (0)

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