Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Television Revolution

Funny thing happened to Hugo Chavez on his way to becoming the next Fidel Castro ... He screwed up by messing with the his peoples' television viewing.

Now in its' fourth day of massive protests in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, the police have been firing rubber bullets and tear gas into crowds of thousands of students and business people. The protests started after Radio Caracas Television (an anti Chavez station) was yanked off the air and replaced with a pro-government station. Chavez refused to re-new RC TV's license, because of their anti-government views.

  • Chavez has nationalized foreign companies ... no protests.
  • Chavez has dissolved the legislature ... no protests
  • Chavez has shut down a popular TV station ... massive protests

Let this be a lesson to all wannabe dictators out there, religion is no longer the opiate of the masses ... television is.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

As I was reading the local newspaper yesterday morning, I came accross an article about the funeral service of an indigent Korean War Vet. The Vet got a full military funeral and burial. Though he had no family or friends in the area, the service was attended by members of local veterans service groups.

This made me feel pretty good, that although this veteran could have easily slipped through the cracks, someone was looking out for him. Seems there is an organisation out there that goes by the name of Dignity Memorial. This is an association of funeral homes that makes sure that veterans are provided with at least a simple casket and cremation/burial services. The money for this comes out of the funeral homes' pocket.

Being a sucker for this kind of corporate charity, I immediately informed the wife that I want my funeral arrangements to be handled by the funeral home mentioned in the article. My wife, being the good-hearted woman that she is, told me she wanted this also.

For a listing of funeral homes in your area that participate in this program, you can go to:

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Saturday, May 26, 2007

President Al Sadr?

Radical Shiite Cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr is back in Iraq after a 4 month hiatus in Iran and is sounding like a politician.

Of course his speech was vehemently anti-American, but peppered into the speech was a criticism of the Iraqi governments' inability to provide basic services to the populace and a call for his followers to stop fighting with Iraqi security forces. Amazingly, he reached out to Sunni Muslims, calling them brothers and wanting to cooperate with them on all levels. He also appealed to Iraqi nationalistic pride. I think during his 14 weeks in Iran he just may have been studying American politicians that can reinvent themselves every so often, depending on the office they are running for and the political climate (not that Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney were intentionally trying to help al-Sadr).

Later that evening, al-Sadrs' Mahdi Army later laid siege to an Iraqi Police Station in the southern city of Basra. Either his fighters hadn't gotten the message yet about not engaging Iraqi security forces, or al-Sadr really learned his lessons well on American politics (talk a good game ... then do whatever you want).

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Friday, May 25, 2007

If We Left

Have any of our Representatives in Congress thought about what would really happen in Iraq if the US military just left, or do they even care? The most obvious corollary would be to what has been happening in the Darfur region of Sudan. The Iranian Government would play the role of Chad and arm the insurgency with weapons to topple the government. The Iraqi Government would arm the Shiite militias to stomp out the insurgency as well as get rid of those annoying Sunnis. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait would of course help the Sunnis. Meanwhile in the North, the Kurds would declare their Independence and force Turkey to make the decision as to whether to invade or not. Now instead of violence in just a couple of provinces, we have it spreading to all of Iraq. The Chinese and Russians would pick a side to support (just like they have in Darfur) ... they need the oil too badly to leave this one to chance. While all this mayhem is distracting the UN and governments of the world ... Iran will continue to work on getting a nuclear weapon ... Syria will re-exert its' influence in Lebanon ... and Israel may be forced to intervene for its' protection. Looks like a pretty good start on World War III.

We may have been wrong to invade in the first place ... but, no question, we would definitely be wrong to cut and run without first leaving a sustainable government in Iraq. Is my reasoning wrong?

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Too Scary For The Newspapers?

As I was perusing the USA Today the other day, I ran across a downright scary poll result. Seems that 26% of Muslim men between the ages of 18 and 29 that are living in the United States see nothing wrong with Islamic extremists using suicide bombs. Forget the fact that if we extrapolate that number out, we end up with 118,000 young Muslims that feel that way ... the poll went on to say that after the age of 29, the percentage drops down to 9%. The 9% is a more frightening number to me because I chock up that 26% to the foolishness of youth ... the 9% is a much more "hard-core" number and much more likely to act on their beliefs (they are also more likely to have the means to procure the explosives than their younger counter-parts).

This article was on page 6 or so ... my question is why wasn't it on the front page? We are fighting a "War On Terror" after all, is this not worthy of a front page story in a National newspaper? So I switched to a couple of other papers that are more local in nature. The New York Post had this on the front page (good for them), but it was buried in the Washington Post. In fact in the Washington Post the headline was "Most Muslims in the US disagree with suicide bombings". Talk about putting a PC spin on the news.

This poll scares me ... and it should scare all innocent, law-abiding citizens, both in the US and around the world. We need to get a handle on Radical Islam before it handles us. These newspapers with agendas are not helping things ... they only try to scare us when it suits their agenda.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Imigration Reform ... And The Crying Begins

First off, congratulations to our Federal Legislature for finally getting an immigration compromise bill that the President can and will sign ... just goes to show you that our Government can work (slowly ... but it can).

Under this agreement, the 12+ million immigrants in this country illegally can stay (after undergoing criminal checks, paying back taxes and fines up to $5000.00 per family and touching back and re-entering our country legally).

Right away we are hearing complaining from the far right that this is amnesty and un-fair to those that are lawfully waiting to immigrate by letting these illegals "jump the line". Well ... actually I agree with their argument. I felt that all 12 million should be deported and for each one deported, we should allow one of the ones on the waiting list to come in. But this is a compromise and since they are paying their taxes and fines and then re-entering legally ... I can live with it.

The far left is moaning about the fines ... These are poor people ... how are they going to come up with all that money? For a second, I sympathized ... but then I thought, don't they pay coyotes (immigrant smugglers) $800.00 to $2500.00 a person to be smuggled into the United States? This is a maximum fine of $5000.00 per family. After getting their Z Visa, they can then travel freely back and forth to visit without worrying about being caught. Seems our deal is better than the other one ... so I'm fine with it too.

Immigration activists such as The National Council Of La Raza think the plan is unfair because it awards a point system for future immigrants that doesn't give as many points to extended family members than the current system. On this one I don't even have to think ... it's more important to allow an aero-space engineer that is going to help NASA with a solid-fuel rocket solution than for someones' Uncle Bob to immigrate to our country, so sorry Bob, you will have to wait longer.

This deal is far from perfect, but that is what compromise is all about. Working in a car dealership has taught me that compromise is what the world is all about ... It's about time for our Government learns this too.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007


Several things struck me as I watched the GOP debate on Tuesday night.

1) Who was the idiot that scheduled them during the American Idol semi-final round? Was the object to get as little ratings as possible?

2) Is Ronald Reagan running again? I swore I heard his name mentioned at least a dozen times. Why is everyone trying to be Reagan and not trying to be themselves? Who was Reagan trying to be?

3) What is Ron Paul even doing there? Was he being paid by Rudy Giuliani to throw that softball comment so Rudy could hit it out of the park (and he did hit it out of the park)?

4) When are the second and third tier candidates going to quit so we can ask more questions of the candidates that really matter?

5) Do all of the candidates (except John McCain) really believe that torture is a good thing?

If anyone has an answer to any or all of these questions ... please let me know.

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Monday, May 14, 2007


Well, I spent Mother's Day with my family at my mother-in-laws' house. All in all, I thought everything went rather well (which is a miracle since the gathering totaled at least 50 people). Just goes to show how much attention (or lack of attention) I was paying.

Seems that my youngest daughter was confronted by one of her uncles and his wife. They told her that she should never have let her husband return to Iraq for his second tour of duty and that all the soldiers were too stupid to do anything else but follow orders and listen to what Bush said. And that all the soldiers were committing war crimes.

This upset my daughter, though she didn't want to cause a big scene at her grand-ma's house ... she held her feelings and her tongue. My wife is livid and will have it out with her brother next time she sees him. I will vent on this blog, because I try to stay out of fights with the in-laws.

Why would a man call his niece and her husband stupid for serving their country? Has the media and John Kerry so poisoned the minds of the American people that some Americans now look down on soldiers as some kind of sub-species?

The media need to balance their reporting with scenes of our soldiers building schools, protecting Iraqi civilians and all the other nation building projects that they are involved in (and proud of). But all we see ... night after night ... are pictures of the worst of the war (some of them taken from Arab media sources and not the most reliable).

I understand that the liberal media wants us to lose this war, but isn't journalism supposed to be fair?

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Saturday, May 12, 2007


Wow, who would have thought that the French would finally come to their senses. In a stunning victory for America, France elected center-right candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy as her next President.

With 85% of the electorate voting, Sarkozy received 53% of the vote to defeat Socialist candidate, Segolene Royal, and will assume the Presidency from the inept, anti-American, Jaques Chirac.

First off, kudos to the French for their fine showing at the polls. Can you imagine an election in the US with an 85% voting rate? Sadly, neither can I.

Being of French descent, and mostly embarrassed for the past 2 decades, I can finally claim my heritage instead of claiming French-Canadian lineage. Aside from personal feelings, let's look at what brought about this swing towards sanity among the French.

France has not been doing so well as of late. While the French people enjoy free education, health care and a 35 hour work week, the French economy is in the toilet. French youths run wild in the streets, burning cars to protest the slightest change, and their largest company, Airbus is years behind in getting its' newest plane into production. This is the direct result of years of weak leadership and liberal ideas, culminating in the disastrous presidency of Jaques Chirac. The French haven't has a real leader since Charles DeGaul.

Segolene Royal, the Socialist Candidate, represented more of the status quo. Though she was a beautiful woman and popular, the French people didn't want more of the same.

Nicolas Sarkozy, the son of Hungarian immigrants, was the antithesis of what the French usually want in a candidate. He didn't have a French name (the French are very snobbish about lineage and the fact that they elected what to them must amount to a foreigner speaks volumes) and he wanted the French citizenry to work more. Now, we could all get used to 35 hour work weeks, but what is the reason that we in America work an average of 52 hours per week ... to make more money of course. Sarkozy proposed that people wouldn't be taxed on the over-time hours that they worked. This struck a chord with most of the French people (who are some of the most taxed individuals in the world). Sarkozy also vowed to crack down on rioters and hooligans that were terrorizing the Paris streets at night. He also pledged to re-build relationships with the United States. These two things solidified his position in Paris, and in the French countryside (where people still remember the help they received from the US during two world wars). At this point, he and his opponent were probably neck and neck.

The tipping point in the election was probably a mistake made by Segolene Royal. She predicted that if Sarkozy won the election, there would be rioting in the streets of Paris ... BAD MOVE ... this put her in the camp of the rioters and Sarkozy in the camp of the majority of French citizens who are law abiding. As I said before ... Bad Move (fatal).

So once again we can enjoy French Fries, and put Freedom fries to rest (stupid name but it served its' purpose).

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Friday, May 4, 2007


I proudly support our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms ... but sometimes the NRA (National Rifle Association) can be as dense as the most maniacal pro-choice advocate.

Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) introduced a bill last week to ban the sale of guns to terrorism suspects. The NRA immediately went on the attack because they said the bill would "allow arbitrary denial of Second Amendment rights based on mere 'suspicions' of a terrorist threat".

The NRA needs to wake up and realize that there IS a continuous threat to the people of this nation, and this is not an attempt to undermine the second amendment. Common sense should tell them that you don't allow a suspected terrorist to purchase guns ... this used to be a group that, while strongly supporting the second amendment, could be reasonable. In the last 10 years or so, they have gotten more and more off the path of reason.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2007


Whenever I start feeling depressed and put upon, I just remember how good I have it here as a Blogger in a free society.

Abdel Kareem Nabil, a 22 year old student in Egypt ... and fellow blogger is now in jail for 4 years. He was sentenced to 3-yrs for insulting Islam in his Blog and for a year for insulting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Bloggers face similar repression around the world. There are currently 65 "cyber dissidents" imprisoned worldwide (50 of them in "surprise" China).

Kind of makes our problems seem minor.

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