Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Senator Franken

Conservative pundits are taking one of two tracks regarding Al Franken's ascension to the United States Senate. They're either disturbed by the persona or happy to see him join the Democrats as they assume more and more responsibility for the leftist politics gripping the nation. I never thought Franken was very funny as a comedian. If anything was comic, it was his ratings meltdown with Air America. Still, I'll give him a chance at being senatorial, as I ponder the circumstances of his victory.

Fundamentally, those circumstances focus on what I believe was a laughably incompetent campaign run by his opponent, Norm Coleman. There are host of YouTube videos - I won't bore you with any of them - showing Coleman as a defensive, elusive candidate ducking the hostile "press," flubbing interviews, and surrounding himself with goons on camera. I don't care who your opponent is, this is not the way to win an election, especially if there's controversy. If you're deep on the downside of the pending landslide election, you could lose to a nasty comedian.

Lately, the good people of Minnesota have moved off center selecting government leaders. Who could forget Governor Jesse Ventura? Now they have Senator Franken whose political career will unfold over the next six years. Perhaps we'll be surprised by his performance. On the other hand, if the voter don't like him, there must be a juggler or fire eater somewhere in the state. After all, the show must go on.

As I Surrender Unto Sleep

The evening hangs beneath the moon
A silver thread on darkened dune
With closing eyes and resting head
I know that sleep is coming soon

Upon my pillow safe in bed
A thousand pictures fill my head
I cannot sleep my minds aflight
And yet my limbs seem made of lead.

If there are noises in the night
A frightening shadow, fleeting light
Then I surrender unto sleep.

Where clouds of dreams give second sight

What dreams may come both dark and deep

Of flying wings and soaring leap

As I surrender unto sleep
As I surrender unto sleep

Today's weather in Atlanta sang of the high desert: remarkably clear, hot, and exceptionally dry. Such perfection is normally reserved for a few days in Fall here, so I made a special effort to be outside. The joy of it all wore me out and I am left to sink into a welcomed sleep, cradled by the music of Eric Whitacre and lyrics from the pen of Charles Silvestri.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Where Is The Faculty Outrage At Duke?

As you may recall, from the outset of the now infamous Duke University lacrosse team rape case, the faculty sided with the "victim." She turned out to be a fraud and a wacko, but that didn't stop the enlightened ones from destroying a coach's career, wrecking the lives of at least four players, and tarnishing a once-respected university.

A few days ago, the news broke that Frank Lombard, Associate Director, Center for Health Studies at Duke, was arrested for offering his five year-old adopted son for sex. The whole story goes far beyond unsavory, but I have yet to hear the faculty mob stirring for what appears to be a confirmed case of criminal behavior. Has the Duke administration instructed its faculty to refrain from demonstrating their disgust? Perhaps the faculty that rallied behind one kind of rape isn't repulsed by another kind of rape? Maybe rape by administrator is different from rape by athlete? This is a grisly case, but it's going to be fun watching how things unfold. In the meantime, the silence is deafening.

"There's An Ant On Your Southeast Leg."

While we're on the subject of neuroscience, here's some information on research involving the role of language in shaping thought. The Lera Boroditsky link takes you to the full, and lengthy, report, but it makes great reading if you enjoy exploring frontiers in biology.

Wheelchairs With Ego-Drive

The Toyota Motor Company not only builds some outstanding cars - we own three of them - but also researches how to drive other vehicles, for example, wheelchairs. The company announced it has developed a technology that moves wheelchairs by simply thinking about it. Go left, go right, go forward. Just imagine the future applications. You can read about the research here. Fast forward a century and you can imagine the ease with which we will control our environment. I suppose this will work quite well if all the users are wired correctly, but I can't expect perfection. The Dr. Morbiuses of that world could make it most exciting.

Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of New Haven Firefighters; Overrules Sotomayor's Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a decision in the case of Ricci v. DeStefano, ruling in favor of the New Haven firefighters. This takes us one step closer to a color blind society, the kind of community envisioned by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. where people should be judged not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. This decision will, of course, upset those who make their living in the race industry. Their names will become apparent as the day progresses. For information on the decision, The Hill has the story here.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Something Completely Different: The Most Absurd Horror Film Posters Ever

Der Spiegel has a "Scream Quiz" for you entitled, "Plumb the Depths of Horror." Knowing just enough German to hang yourself makes this test a hilarious and enjoyable learning experience. Leap into the depths here.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Future Filmmakers Of America

If you have a creative streak driving you to make a film, here's some great news. We are indeed poised for a new age. Twenty years ago, I doubt anyone envisioned such a transformation in the visual arts and motion picture industries. I'm ready.

Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

Friday News Dump At The White House

The White House managed another Friday afternoon dump of unfavorable news when it announced President Obama was preparing a new executive order allowing certain terrorists to be held indefinitely. Sound familiar? It should because it's another Bush policy that Obama has adopted after railing against his predecessor for maintaining such a human rights travesty. Obama knows he'd better announce the news as quietly as possible because his rabid lefty followers who are still infected with Bush Derangement Syndrome will not be happy. The 24/7 coverage of Michael Jackson's death will help consign the news - and the cap and trade vote in the House - to a significantly smaller audience. For more information, check out this article at Hot Air.

Cap And Trade

A "cap and trade" energy bill passed the House of Representatives last night. Earlier in the day, the 1000 page bill originally introduced was either augmented or replaced by a 300 page "amendment." There's not a single person on the planet who has really read the bill, not even those who wrote it. The sponsors probably got some speed reading geek to whip through it, but I guarantee you the 435 people with votes never had the chance. The reason is simply that the final bill really hasn't taken shape. In effect, the House of Representatives passed a concept. Just how to put the concept into practice will come later.

I'd feel somewhat more comfortable if the justification for this concept rested on hard science rather than environmentalism that is too often backed by anti-capitalists and unhinged lefties drifting in search of a secure port. As readers know, OTR has some doubts about anthropogenic contributions to the warming of the planet.

I'd also feel better about this bill if I didn't see it as simply another power grab by the centralized government. With certainty, it guarantees the American people with a huge "tax" increase on utilities to the tune of $1000-1300 per family annually. Remember during the campaign when Obama said that taxes for 95% of us would not increase? This was and is shrewd politics because most people will complain to the "greedy" utility companies about the increases, not to the Obama government that imposed the "tax" on the companies themselves. And if you think China and India will reciprocate with equally tough policies on their energy suppliers, you are wrong. What this means to Americans is nothing less than higher taxes and continued corporate and job migrations to friendlier economic climates. American readers, do take heart. I expect this concept/bill to have a wonderful death in the Senate.

For more on the story, go here for some commentary by Powerline and links to the original story.

Illustration: An early poster from the Soviet Union, the caption reads," The smoke of chimneys is the breath of Soviet Russia." My, how times have changed.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farrah Fawcett: 1947 - 2009

Farrah Fawcett became a star long after I left college, so her poster never graced my dorm wall. I did, however, come to appreciate her as one stunningly beautiful woman. Here is a link to her Wikipedia entry.

Michael Jackson: 1958 - 2009

Freaky, but one hell of an entertainer.

The Face Of Evil

Check this link for a glimpse of pure evil. Negotiating with this insanity jeopardizes our very existence. Source: LGF

"Shades Of The Prison-House Begin To Close Upon The Growing Boy"

More fascinating observation and commentary, this time on the loss of childhood in the U.S. Thanks to the ever-brilliant John Derbyshire at NRO for the link.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of my favorite novels. As long as this book stays in print, there will be a link to the boy in every man. I'm sorry it - other Twain works, too - has fallen by the wayside in high school English lit classes.


If you are old enough to remember the day Ted Kennedy drowned a campaign worker when he drove off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts . . . . Michael Ramirez really nails this one on "the moral beacon of the Senate."

Thanks to Powerline for the link; Jonah Goldberg for the quote.

ABC: The All Barack Channel

Last night, ABC Television and it's once-respected news department took the final step in its transformation into a full-fledged state operated medium. I haven't watched the Big Three networks - or commercial television for that matter -for many years with the exception of sports. If there was a salvageable network until last night, it was ABC. Unfortunately, the chose unwisely. If they are willing to sponsor a night full of propaganda and crush any attempt at debate, we can say that journalism at ABC Television died last night. Will I trust ABC for news? No.

UPDATE: The show was a ratings bust: only 4.7 million people chose to drink the Kool-Aid during the 10:00 PM time slot.

East German Design

Here is a fascinating article about product design that evolved during the communist regime in East Germany, 1945-1989. Out of curiosity, I checked out the reference to the original source, Der Spiegel's award-winning history site called einestages.de. It was enough to make me want to learn German as I really don't like those on-line translators. If you have any interest in history and the arts - and your German is passable - this is a site you should know better. Thanks to LGF for the link.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Really Ancient Music

Yahoo News reports the finding of the world's oldest known musical instrument in a cave in Germany. It is an 8.5 inch long flute that made music 35,000 years ago.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

UPDATE: McMahon's Passing

Andrea Shea King has a fine glimpse of Ed McMahon in her article posted at Big Hollywood. Well worth reading. Be sure to watch the video. I saw that famous tomahawk toss live in 1964 or 1965.

Is America Entering Its "Lost Decade?"

Reason.tv draws some frightening parallels between the Japanese economic meltdown that began about 1989 and our own late economic problems. See their brief (3;37) video here. This is a complex story and no worthy economist would predict an identical response to three variables operating in two quite different national environments. At the same time, ignoring the similarities could put us at great risk.

Source: Instapundit

Ed McMahon, 1923-2009

"Heeeeeeeere's Johnny!"

What a team; simply the best. William Katz, blogging at Urgent Agenda, was a talent coordinator on the Tonight Show in an earlier life. Here are his comments on the passing of Ed McMahon.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Robert Samuelson Discusses Welfare America

OTR has talked before about the science of economics, and one of the strongest voices for economic studies in the United States is Robert Samuelson. Here is a sample of his assessment of the real meaning of "welfare state" that's in our future:

The U.S. welfare state is weakening; insecurity is rising. The sensible thing to do would be to decide which forms of public welfare are needed to protect the vulnerable and to begin paring others. Our inaction poses another dreary parallel with GM. It was obvious a quarter-century ago that GM the auto company could not support GM the welfare state. But the union wouldn't surrender benefits and the company acquiesced. Inertia prevailed, and the reckoning came.

Read the rest of the article here. Source: Instapundit.

The Coming Storm: Obama And American Jewry

Shmuley Boteach, writing in The Jerusalem Post, addresses the fragile coalition between Democrats and American Jews.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Who Is Victor Davis Hanson And What Does He Know?

This is a few days old, but it's a priceless - could say timeless - demonstration of how little the Obama White House knows about history. Western, eastern, American, whatever, the ignorance is profound. Forty years of turning history into social studies and injecting it with multiculturalism and political correctness has brought us to this sad and potentially dangerous situation.

If Victor Davis Hanson is new to you, go here for a profile.

Father's Day 2009

Best wishes to all dads on their special day. Below is a picture of my dad taken in 1917 when he was in the fourth grade. He grew up to be a lot happier than he appears here. Maybe it was the Great War or just a bad day.

Frankly Steyn

Mark Steyn should be a national living treasure for Canada, the place of his birth and citizenship. Where else in this world can you find encyclopedic knowledge of popular music, Broadway and the Great American Songbook; incisive, reasoned political commentary; and a fiercely entertaining writing style all in one person? The polymaths do lurk among us, but I doubt most of them have extraordinary communication skills. Steyn seems to qualify, though I don't know the full scope of his knowledge. Whatever the case, he provides us with a superb analysis of the dangers of neutrality for western powers in this piece, brought to my attention by Gaius at Blue Crab Boulevard.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Iran Unrest Grows: World Watches Live

Hot Air has a full roundup of today's events in Iran here. A few days ago, I commented about the information singularity. It would appear the post-election turmoil in the streets of Tehran and elsewhere in the country may be an illustration of this phenomenon. As the regime crushes dissent and slaughters its own people, sounds and images from hundreds of cell phone flash around the world at the speed of light. News reports and commentary cannot be written fast enough to address the moment. In its place, there is a stream of observations captured by the participants. As of 11:00PM, EDT, almost 1000 hits addressing the protests are available on YouTube.

Millions 0f viewers form their own conclusions from the raw input. This is the face of personal empowerment. The Western ancients would be pleased.

UPDATE: The state-run media operating in the U.S. cannot get away with falsehoods in light of the new empowerment. Bruce Kessler, blogging at Maggie's Farm, exposed The New York Times on its rigging of a nationalized health care poll appearing in today's edition. Gateway Pundit has the story here. Times readers may be liberal, but they're not stupid. Even they will tire of this arrogance and deception.

Madam Boxer: Elitist Hypocrite From California

There's plenty happening around the world today, some of it extremely significant, including events in Iran. Instead of focusing on these larger stories, a much quieter, but equally important event occurred this week involving Barbara Boxer. It seems she has revealed her true colors with a "request" that she be referred to as "senator" rather than the term "ma'am" during a Senate hearing. The individual addressing her was Brigadier General Michael Walsh, an officer well-versed in protocol and quite correctly using the appropriate form of address.

Normally, I wouldn't be upset by this situation, but the depth of the hypocrisy coming out of the Democratic Party these days, along with a seemingly complete lack of knowledge of protocol, has forced me to respond. Boxer has been around a long time, unfortunately, and knows procedure. Could some of the arrogance descending from the White House be filtering into Boxer's brain? Whatever, as a Democrat, she is a member of what Jonah Goldberg calls the "coalition of the oppressed" and perhaps simply felt a personal need for status verification. Personally, I think her behavior revealed her for precisely what she is, an elitist and a hypocrite. The last time I checked, the Senate of the United States was not yet the seat of persons of title or peers. Sadly, Boxer's "request" assuredly places her above the commoners she represents. All commoners in California who vote "Democrat" should take notice that they are being had. "Ma'am" isn't good enough for her. She's above all that, "above the salt," so to speak. She is "Senator."

What else is the elitist, hypocrite "Senator" Boxer? Pick all that apply:

Class conscious

Add your own:

I think you get my point. Madam is up for re-election in 2010, but I doubt there will ever be enough achievers in California to keep the oppressed masses from returning her to office. Shameful.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Krauthammer Speaks Volumes

Charles Krauthammer has become one of the most significant voices of our time with his tight logic, common sense, and knowledgeable commentary on events, foreign and domestic. Here is his latest take on Iran along with comments from William Katz at Urgent Agenda. Krauthammer and Katz: two powerful forces for real journalism.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Expecting The Obvious

As the Middle East continues to destabilize, who would have thought that only 6% of Israelis considered the U.S. government to be pro-Israel. Gateway Pundit has the story here.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Planned Recovery Or Planned Destruction

Here's a Powerline post by John Hinderaker focused on a rather well-known political cartoon from 1934 that has a profound message for us in 2009. The more we hope and change the more things remain the same.

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Card: District Of Columbia

This card concludes the state and territory series copyrighted by Arbuckle Coffee in 1889. I hope you enjoyed looking back at this illustrated history of the nation just one generation removed from its redefinition through the Civil War. If there is continued interest on the part of OTR readers, please let me know and I will run another Arbuckle series later this year.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An Okie From San Jose

Between 2004 and 2007, around 275,000 Californians left their debt-ridden paradise for the Dust Bowl states of Oklahoma and Texas. Read about this interesting migration here. I'd like to know how many of these reverse Okies have a family connection to the original migration in the 1930s.

Political Singularity

Here are some interesting thoughts on what happens to a society when news of events and their interpretations reach the audience almost simultaneously. The singularity concept fascinates me. I hope to be around to see it happen with artificial intelligence.

Standing With Liberty

Sarkozy has denounced the vote in Iran. U.S. chooses not to "meddle." The sad story is here.

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Cards: Wyoming

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fascism By Any Other Name

A few days ago, we addressed the meaning of "Hispanic." Today we'll examine "Fascism" through the eyes of Dr. Sanity and others. The story begins here. It always amazing me how the meanings of words reside in people, not in the dictionary.

Walpin Firing Update

There's more coming out about the the illegal firing of Inspector General Gerald Walpin late last week. Powerline has the story and links here.

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Card: Wisconsin

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Flag Day

Show the colors!

Deconstructing "Hispanic"

Professor Jonathan Zimmerman provides us with a fascinating deconstruction of the term "Hispanic." This is another revealing exploration of perception and reality in American life. My thanks to NRO and Heather Mac Donald for the link.

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Card: West Virginia

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Destruction Of Justice

The Obama administration has fired an inspector general who investigated and revealed abuse of Americorps funds by a charity operated by Kevin Johnson, the former basketball player and a big Obama supporter. The employee, Gerald Walpin, is not a political appointee. This firing is illegal. Powerline has the short story and a link to a Byron York column with greater detail. The arrogance of this act, regardless of one's party affiliation or political loyalty, should concern every American.

1984 One More Time

The novel 1984 was published 60 years ago. David Pryce-Jones, blogging at NRO, has some observations on one of the most important books of the 20th century. Many authors over the years have addressed how science fiction has presaged fact or at least shaped some variables within reality. Orwell continues to amaze us as his fiction nudges the realities of the day.

The Future Of Sanity In Medicine

Many doctors are not happy with the prospect of a medical industry under the complete control of the federal government. Personally, I know one who has already quit full-time to home school her children and others who plan on quiting completely should "socialized medicine" be implemented. I was surprised today to read that Dr. Sanity will join them. Read about her decision here.

OTR On Leave For A Few Days

You'll notice that posting has been light these past few days. OTR is on the road, so it's going to stay that way until mid-week. I'm gathering information on a variety of topics during travels in North Carolina and Virginia. Interesting observations and comment to follow. UPDATE: Looks like there will be more posting than I originally thought.

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Card: Washington

Friday, June 12, 2009

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Card: Virginia

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Card: Vermont

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

"This Nut's Protege Is Now Running The Country"

How any rational person could sit in a church and listen to a "minister" like Wright is beyond explanation. Moonbattery supplies the latest here along with a reminder of the depth of the sickness.

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Card: Utah

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Robinson Interviews Kessler On Obama's Liberalism

Charles Kessler edits the Claremont Review of Books, a must read publication for center-right constitutionalist thinkers. This week, Peter Robinson interviews him at NRO TV's Uncommon Knowledge. May the Hoover Institution be forever blessed for funding Robinson and Uncommon Knowledge, two of the top offerings on "television" today.

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Card: Texas

Monday, June 8, 2009

The New Aristocracy

Urgent Agenda links to a great George Orwell quote here. I wonder how soon this book needs to move onto the non-fiction shelves?

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Card: Tennessee

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Thinking American

I spent many hours in the classroom studying the political philosophy that came out of the minds of leading Americans and followed that with four decades of observing and interpreting the American experience. These days, I'm more concerned with watering my bush beans, but still respond to articles on American ideas. If you enjoy the subject - I'll write about the beans later - here's some comment from Alan Guelzo writing at NRO.

Preservation Matters

Listening to the radio before church this morning, I was saddened to hear that another American architectural landmark could soon be demolished. In April, officials in Detroit decided that the Michigan Central Station, with its marbled Beaux Arts lobby and eighteen story Empire tower was an eyesore deserving quick removal. The station has been abandoned since 1988, but was maintained for a decade in hope that some use could be found. The fact that it has deteriorated so quickly is testament to why preservationists want people occupying historic properties.

Now looted and defiled with graffiti and trash, Michigan Central Station still dominates the skyline of western Detroit, greeting drivers as they loop their way into downtown on the Fisher Freeway (I-75). In its day, the station greeted millions as they migrated north to take advantage of the industrial opportunities offered by the region through most of the 20th century. Granted, a restoration would require millions, but this historic structure deserves such treatment as it is a symbol for a city with a rich transportation history.

But these are very hard times for Detroit. Finding a benefactor in lieu of public funding will be difficult. If demolition comes, I suspect that city leaders will someday regret the decision in much the same way that an unsuspecting owner regrets trashing a valuable piece of art. These days, once a heroic structure like the Michigan Central Station is gone, it's gone for good. I hope wiser heads prevail.

Here is a link to the NPR story.

And here is some background history and views of this beautiful structure in 1987.

Privilege Descending Into Corruption: A Case Study

How often have we heard that a life of privilege clouds perception and leads people astray? Much has been written about this phenomenon and its application to the American counterculture of the 1960s. Walter Kendall Myers was value programmed in the 1950s, in a world of post-war privilege in Washington. His father was a famous heart surgeon. His mother was the daughter of Gilbert H. Grosvenor of the National Geographic Society; her grandfather, Alexander Graham Bell. Last week, Myers and his wife, Gwendolyn, were arrested by federal authorities and charged with spying for Cuba for more than two decades. The Washington Post provides us with an informative look at Myers and his wife here.

Thanks to Babalu's Alberto de la Cruz for the link.

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Card: South Dakota

Saturday, June 6, 2009

D-Day, June 6, 1944

Remembering Cuba

Babalu's Ziva Sahl reminds us of the reality we are dealing with as Cuba resumes its membership in the Organization of American States. Indifference is costly.

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Card: South Carolina

Friday, June 5, 2009

"Student Of History" Blows It Again

It seems President Obama called himself a "student of history" during his speech in Cairo yesterday, then went on to declare that "the United States played a role in the [1953] overthrow of a democratically elected government in Iran." Wrong again. There was an overthrow, but it was far from a democratically elected government that U.S. and British forces destabilized. The historian, Judith Apter Klinghoffer, has the details in her post at History Network News. Please note her reference to the Wikipedia article that, I might add, includes 44 references, 14 sources for further reading, and 15 external links regarding what was called Operation Ajax.

Friends, though this coup is not a piece of history waiting to fall from our lips, it is by no means so obscure that it cannot be fact-checked by an apprentice among the president's speech writers. I will be interested in seeing if the White House press corps and the dinosaur media follow up on this error. Better still, will the White House issue a clarification? Somehow, I doubt we'll see much of a response. Instead, we'll see another error accepted as fact because it came from a respected source and a respected media had no response. To me, the question is, "At what point does the accumulation of historical error and distortion no longer matter to the executive or the electorate. Some would say we have already passed that point and moved comfortably into the arena of erasing historical fact to suit our personal ends. It most certainly will not be the first time in recorded history; however, that history also tells us a republic choosing to ignore truth does so at its peril. I suspect we'll need to be vigilant these next 1000 or so days.

Story Credit: Gateway Pundit
Photo: Tribunal of the Inquisition, by Francisco de Goya. I wonder if our unlucky wearers of the dunce caps capitulated to "the truth?"

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Card: Rhode Island

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Organization Of American States Lifts Ban On Cuba

On Wednesday, after 47 years, the Organization of American States lifted its ban on Cuba. There is no news on any change in policy on the part of the Castro regime so we must conclude that this is a good faith effort on the part of the OAS. With or without motivation, inviting Cuba to this table helps legitimize a long-standing dictatorship. One immediate outcome I see is access to more funding through the international banking system. The impoverished Cuban people may see some benefit from these loans while we can be assured los Castro will collect its generous share.

In the immediate future, all of this will transpire while hundreds of political prisoners continue to rot and free speech goes unheard. Will the softer approach offered by the OAS reach the heart of the dictatorship? It's possible, but the precedent of 47 years of "tough love" on this once-prosperous island should limit any softening in terms of both time and extent. I would like to think the OAS has already prepared a tool for assessing their wayward member's progress toward "good standing." And how refreshing it would be to see this venerable organization take the leading role in achieving liberation for Cuba.

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Card: Pennsylvania

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Be what you would seem to be -- or, if you'd like it put more simply -- Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.

The Duchess
Alice in Wonderland

In an interview prior to his departure for a trip to the Middle East and Europe, President Obama stated that the "U.S. could be considered one of the largest Muslim countries in the world." I already know that our president is intent on creating a "kinder, gentler" image of the United States in international circles. On the other hand, it's doubtful this approach will work if he keeps feeding his audience complete fantasies. As I've said before, Obama either has no training in world history or he's been exposed to delusional revisionists for so long that even the basic facts can't get through. This strategy may work if your audience is equally ill-informed which unfortunately for us, it is not. Despite all the "histortions" beyond our border, I believe other nations and leaders have a much better grasp of historical reality. Saudi Arabian royalty knows full well that Muslims are a tiny minority - less than two percent - in the United States. While most Americans might challenge such a statement, then move on, students of Arab culture know that a man who makes such a statement will be played to exhaustion much like a hooked fish. To us, it is a statement of ignorance; to Arab culture, it is submission. In diplomatic history, little good has ever come out of a submissive posture.

As our president departs for what appears to be another international "apology" tour, it pains me to think about what I'm going to hear from the leader of the free world.

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Card: Oregon

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

OJT Motors

My news sources are buzzing with the name, Brian Deese. Who? We need to know his name because he's the new guy in charge of taking General Motors through its bankruptcy, or as The New York Times called it, "dismantling." Deese is 31 years old, left Yale's law school a few credits short of graduating, and has what could be called a transparent employment resume because it's virtually empty.

There's no question we have entered an era of change. This appointment could not have occurred ten years ago. Any executive, in or out of government, would have been ridiculed even thinking of such a move.

Gateway Pundit has more details here, including a video assessment from Glenn Beck who seems to have recovered his senses after a few over-the-top rants in the last few weeks.

I wish Deese well as he faces this monumental challenge. In some respects, he cannot do worse than the management-union fiasco that destroyed this once-great corporation.

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Card: Oklahoma Indian Territory

Monday, June 1, 2009

Arbuckle Coffee Trading Card: Ohio