Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman Dies

Paul Newman has died after battling cancer. He was 83. The Houston Chronicle reports:
Paul Newman, a major figure in American cinema who created indelible characters for more than half a century, died Friday at his home near Westport, Conn., after a lengthy battle with cancer, publicist Jeff Sanderson said. He was 83.

An Ailing Newman in MayIn this May 10, 2008 file photo, actor Paul Newman watches from the pit area during practice for the Indianapolis 500. (AP Photo)

Newman's first movie, The Silver Chalice (1954), was an embarrassment, but he was lauded for his portrayal of the boxer Rocky Graziano in Somebody Up There Likes Me two years later.

He chose roles wisely. Among his highly regarded films are Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Long, Hot Summer, both of which were released in 1958. He made some of his biggest hits in the 1970s, including The Sting, in which he starred with Robert Redford, and The Towering Inferno.

As a young actor, the charismatic Newman never exhibited the soul-baring intensity of Brando or Dean — to whom he was sometimes compared — nor the unguarded vulnerability of Montgomery Cliff.

"He seems to me an uneasy, self-regarding personality, as if handsomeness had left him guilty," the critic David Thomson once wrote of Newman. "As a result, he was more mannered than Brando when young, while his smirking good humor always seemed more appropriate to glossy advertisements than to good movies."

The camera, however, loved Newman and so did movie audiences. His appeal clearly went beyond looks.

Writing of his role as a cad in Hud in 1964, the New Yorker's Pauline Kael wrote, "They could cast him as a mean man and know that the audience would never believe in his meanness."

Continuing, Kael said Newman was the type of actor who projected "such a traditional heroic frankness and sweetness that the audience dotes on them, seeks to protect them from harm or pain."

Newman received nine Oscar acting nominations and won once — in 1987 for his performance as Fast Eddie Felson in The Color of Money. The film was Martin Scorsese's sequel to The Hustler, the 1961 drama for which Newman received his second Oscar nomination and one of several roles for which he shall be forever remembered.

Additionally, Rachel, Rachel, a film Newman directed in 1968, was nominated for best picture. He also received two honorary Oscars, once in 1986 for his body of work and again in 1994 for his humanitarian efforts.

The Color of Money was widely seen as inferior to The Hustler, but it demonstrated that Newman seemingly had grown more relaxed in a face and body that, while still strikingly attractive, no longer looked as if they had been sculpted by Michelangelo.

Arguably, Newman did his best work in middle age and beyond, in films such as Money, The Road to Perdition (2002) and, especially, The Verdict (1982), Sidney Lumet's drama (from a David Mamet script) about an alcoholic lawyer past his prime who must try the case of his life.

with Joanne Woodward in Long Hot Summer

Newser says:
Newman got his start in theater and on television during the 1950s, and went on to become one of the world's most enduring and popular film stars, as well as a favorite of his peers. He was nominated for Oscars 10 times, winning one regular award and two honorary ones. He is survived by his wife, actress Joanne Woodward.

I always enjoyed Paul Newman on the Big Screen. His political opinions were typical Hollywood, and not worth remembering. Actors do age and pass on, but it seems the greatest are never really replaced. Thus we lose some fantastic talents every year, it seems, while no one appears able to pick up thier mantle.

We'll miss Mr. Newman.


Butch Cassidy: Then you jump first.

Sundance Kid: No, I said.

Butch Cassidy: What's the matter with you?

Sundance Kid: I can't swim.

Butch Cassidy: Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you.

Newman's finest fight scene:

"Rules? In a knife fight? No rules!" - Ted Cassidy

Click here for the final scene from Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid.

Kim Priestap notes Mr. Newman's passing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Moments With Obama

Yesterday, a little before 1:00 PM, as I was heading home from work - a three-mile drive of maybe 15 minutes duration - traffic ground to a halt at the intersection of Missouri Avenue and West Bay Dr. I wondered what the hold-up was about. I could see a few flashing lights through the windshields of the cars ahead, but nary a siren was wailing, and no smoke was rising from the intersection. Couldn't be an accident. At least not much of one.

One fellow in an SUV, ahead, got out and walked toward the intersection. He came back and spoke to the driver of the car next to his, then shrugged. I guess he didn't know what was going on ahead, and his short jaunt hadn't informed him. I waited, and wondered why the right lane wasn't turning to get out of the jam.

Now, since I was in the right lane, I impatiently waited for the cars ahead to either move up or turn into the parking lot of the store there. I'd just follow them in, pass around behind the store, and turn right onto West Bay and take the back route home. Cars were trying to edge to the right, so I knew others had the same idea. What the heck was going on?

Finally someone got the idea of escape, turned into the CVS lot, and the others followed - not always safely! What is wrong with some people? - and I finally made it up to the entrance and turned in, followed the truck ahead of me around the back of the CVS, and around to the West Bay Dr. entrance. Those ahead of me were turning right onto West Bay and escaping the stopped traffic. I got to the entrance and saw a cop car sitting in the middle of the road near the intersection to my left. The cop, in bright orange vest, waved and pointed at me.

I stopped. I ain't no fool!

He approached me, all the while turning his glance to the east, up East Bay. When he got to the side of my car he said, "You'll have to stay right there for a few minutes, sir."

Sir? Me?

"Barack Obama's motorcade is coming through and they want to keep the street clear."

"Okay," I said, and nodded. Well, at least here I was at the front of my own line, so I could see what was going on. And cars were lining up behind me, including one snot who insisted on honking the horn every few seconds. Guess he told me, huh?

The cop turned away, heading back to the middle of the road, then called over his shoulder, "They tell me it's about two minutes more."

I waved. Okay, I can take two more minutes, and now I know what's going on. That's an historical fact about Americans: they always want to know what's going on. Especially in a traffic jam!

I guess he must've thought a bit on how I looked - in my sweat-stained Wal-Mart-blue work-shirt - and decided to make sure. He stopped and looked at me, calling as he pointed at me, "If you take off, I'm gonna find you."

"All right," I answered him, "just bring some beer!"

He turned away, then looked over his shoulder at me, smiled, and yelled, "I wish I could!"

About two minutes later the whine of sirens rose from the east. Flashing headlights could be seen, grew closer, and a motorcade became visible. Cars flashing their lights, and a big bus with its headlights lit, then more cars behind. Loud sirens as the cars ahead zipped past me, heading west toward the beach. The motorcade went past fast - they were speeding, by the way! The limit is 30 mph through that stretch of road and they were going much faster! - and all I could see was darkened windows. *shrug*

And just like that the Obama motorcade had passed through downtown Largo. Where had they been? Dunno. Where were they heading? Dunno.

That cop waved me out and I took off, following close behind the motorcade's tail. I thought for a moment how unsafe that position was. But in a moment I was at the next big intersection and I turned south (the motorcade had turned north). My Obama moment was over.

Wow! I'm all atwitter! Hah!

O'Keefe'sNote: It turns out that Obama was heading for lunch in Clearwater, on Tuesday. He dined at O'Keefe's, which is a nice Tavern and Grill that my folks and I enjoy. The Shepherd's Pie is to die for! O'Keefe's sits right across the street from the famed Morton Plant Hospital. I wonder how the traffic there was.

Obama inside O'Keefe's

It is reported that Obama ordered a Cheeseburger to go, then worked the lunch crowd for about an hour. A cheeseburger in an Irish Pub? I'm sure O'Keefe's makes a mean cheeseburger, but, come on! At least get the Fish and Chips! I doubt he had any of the fine beers, but probably ordered a glass of water. Sheesh!

Obama schmoozes
Does this look posed?

Well, when you're campaigning, it probably isn't a good idea to quaff a pint of Guinness as you talk in public, huh? I'll give him a pass on that, but a cheeseburger?

Obama Gets A Burger In Clearwater

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Moses' Horns: No Longer An Excuse

Misinterpret: mis·in·ter·pret [mis-in-tur-prit] - to interpret, explain, or understand incorrectly.

When we read a passage, whether in the newspaper, a letter, or a book, we base our understanding of what we are reading on our knowledge of the language. Thus, presented with information we have never before encountered, we must interpret the writer's intention, and meaning, using a limited amount of facts. Over the past few years the limited amount of facts have become nearly unlimited. That being the case we are no longer unable to see behind the writer's words, but have the ability, if we choose to use that ability, to see that the writer may be biased, mistaken, in error, even exactly correct.

Today no newspaper can get away with publishing out-and-out propaganda, half-truths, and hatchet-jobs with impunity. Not if the readers use the resources available now, and take the time to ferret out the facts. A writer can, once confronted with the evidence of error, claim misinterpretation by the reader, mistranslation by the writer's own source material, even, in extreme cases, claim the writing has been taken out of context. But the writer is no longer writing in a knowledge vacuum; the reader is no longer in a vacuum, either. The reader has tools readers of past ages never had, and can easily discover when the writer is pulling the wool over the reader's eyes. Or when the writer has made a mistake so as to draw the writer's attention to it.

We used to depend on the knowledge and expertise of the writers, believing that, as educated, trained professionals, their product was reliable. Such a case resulted in the Vulgate Bible. Jerome, commissioned by Pope Damasius I in A.D. 382, to revise the four Gospels from the Old Latin texts, eventually went beyond his original commission. Jerome would abandon some of the Greek translations to finally delve into the Hebrew texts of the Septuagint to produce a version of the Bible that was drawn from a purer source than the muddled Greek and Aramaic versions of the time. Although Jerome was considered fluent in Greek, and thus well-qualified to translate the Greek Gospels into Latin, his Hebrew was not fluent, though he moved to Jerusalem to perfect his understanding of the language. He was not wholly successful. But the end-product of his endeavors was better than the Bible the world then knew. Still, Jerome made errors, and they resulted in some very odd understandings which we can see today.

Moses by Michelangelo
Photo of "Moses" by prasenberg

I expect most of you have seen Michelangelo's magnificent sculpture of Moses. Wiki says:

The Moses is a marble sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti 1513-1515 which depicts the Biblical figure Moses.

Originally intended for the tomb of Julius II in St. Peter's Basilica, "Moses" and the tomb were instead placed in the minor church of San Pietro in Vincoli on the Esquiline in Rome after the pope's death.

You notice, of course the horns growing from Moses' head. This is not a political or religious statement by Michelangelo. Rather it is probably the result of Jerome's faulty Vulgate translation of Hebrew in Exodus 34: 29-35. The text contains the word "Haran" (or Qaran) which, depending on the context, can mean 'radiated (light)' or 'grew horns'. Jerome's mistranslation then became a regular image of Moses created by many artists, of Moses with horns growing from his head.
From Moses Hand:
Jerome took the basic meaning of the word and neglected its derived meaning of "to emit rays." Many times in Hebrew one must assign the meaning of a word based on its context. In Psalm 69:31 qaran is used to describe an ox or young bull. There the translation as "horn" is appropriate. But in Exodus 34:29 qaran is used in conjunction with the phrase "skin of his face." From the context of following versus[sic - should be verses] the meaning as "horns" is not supported. The Apostle Paul understood this to mean "shone" and not "grew horns" as can be seen from 2 Corinthians 3:7-13.

Horned Moses in stained glassThe Jews of Paul's time understood exactly what the passage meant. They knew and spoke Hebrew and understood it. But Christians of Jerome's time did not understand or speak Hebrew. Imagine all the beautiful art created by later Christians that are based on this simple mistranslation of a word - taken out of its proper context. Naturally, taken in context, the passage is powerful, but probably difficult to reproduce in marble:
Exodus 34

Verse 29: And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him.

Verse 30: And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.

Again, from Moses Hand:
As a result of this some Christian representations of Moses can be found with ram's horns. Further, some have taken this image and used it in their synthesis of Christianity with the Egyptian Amun and the Greek Aries to form mystic cults.


1965 Moses in terracotta by Joseph KiselewskiAt Syracuse University members of the Latino American Law Student Association, the Black Law Student Association, the Women's Law Caucus, the Lambda Law Student Association and the Jewish Law Student Association all lodged complaints against Mr. Kiselewski's Moses. They claim that the horns protruding from his head are demonic.

So much mischief from one little mistranslation, one tiny misinterpretation. Ages passed before that mistranslation was corrected. But in the interim, how many errors were compounded. So it is with the written word. What we read may be intended for good. But if it is in error we must challenge it. If only to correct what may be misunderstood by folks who will not look into the facts, or those who rely on misunderstandings to fuel their agendas.

You are responsible if you take as ‘gospel’ what is written as propaganda. You are responsible if you accept ugly rumors as truth without discovering the facts. You don’t have the excuse Jerome might have had. You have the Internet! Use it!

Horned MosesNote: To be fair, some believe that artists portraying Moses with horns were promulgating an ancient artistic, or religious, tradition. According to Ruth Mellinkoff in "The Horned Moses in Medieval Art and Thought", as reviewed in The Art Bulletin:
St. Jerome's translation must have made sense at the time. . . . The reader of the Vulgate would have understood this passage in the light of an age-old tradition: the horned head or the head wearing a horned headdress symbolized divinity, honor and power in ancient civilizations. Such horned accouterments rated as devices which made manifest both magical power and protection.
Of course, the problem is that times have changed, so have our traditions and traditional understandings. I think it's a mistranslation. Jewish understanding would not agree with portraying Moses in such a way. The rays of light radiating from his face, after meeting with G_D, were as expected. Horns were something pagan.

Check Google for more on this oddity.

Maria has thoughts on this, too. Her take has nothing to do with my theme, but is interesting.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sarah Palin: 3 Weeks Later

So it's been nearly three weeks since McCain announced his choice as running-mate. The initial screams of horror from the unhinged Left have cooled to mostly dark mutterings and the normal Democrat Party scandal-mongers have gone into re-cycling mode as they continue their quest to find something - anything! - that will torpedo Sarah Palin, and by extension John McCain, in their bid for the White House in November. The attacks on Sarah Palin, of course, remain unutterable ugly.

We've watched as Sarah Palin's private email account was hacked and exposed to the Internet - nothing there? Aww, gee-whiz! - and had to shake our heads as the Left's handmaidens in the MSM have turned this felony into a non-story. The AP, which has proven itself a willing accomplice of the Democrat Party, called the stolen emails a 'leak' rather than admit that a crime had been committed.

A leak implies that someone was entrusted with information of a secret nature, but exposed it - for whatever reason - as the People's Right to Know. That simply isn't close to the case here. The AP knows it. So this election cycle has proven that the vaunted AP is in the bag for the Left, the Democrats, and thus for Obama.

And, by the by, there is no such thing as the 'People's Right to Know' beyond a certain point. Doesn't exist as it's portrayed in the political realm. It's a purely fictional pretence of the Media to exonerate the stealers of secrets. Well, except for the secrets revealed against Democrats. Then it's a crime. Hey, we get it! Really, we do.

Sarah Palin's choice to knowingly allow her Down's Syndrome-afflicted son to be born has been assailed non-stop. Seem she isn't allowed a 'choice' if that choice goes against the received wisdom of the Femi-Nazis or the Left (thanks for coining that word, Rush! It's perfect!). No matter that Palin and her husband may have beliefs that cause them to accept this child with love and acceptance. No matter that they are more than qualified to raise this child without demanding money from the taxpayers to do so. No, this is unacceptable to the Socialist-Fascists. That child should have been aborted! And for not aborting that horrid, damaged piece of tissue, the Palins must be excoriated.

It certainly doesn't matter that it's none of the business of these Nanny State architects. They may react in horror at the thought of government busybodies sticking their noses where they don't belong, but in this case, by Marx!, it's their absolute Right to castigate Sarah Palin for having the utter audacity to choose for herself. Marx damn her, she chose wrong! Sic 'er!

And so they have, those paragons of virtue and rectitude on the Left. And as the ugliness grows deeper, smellier, scarier in their endless attempts to destroy the family and thus candidacy of this Alaska Governor, the American electorate has to wonder ... what the hell's wrong with the Democrats? What's wrong with Senator Obama, that he sends his workers out to do this? Why is the media reporting the accusations but ignoring the truth, the facts?

What's going on?

Win or lose, come November, Sarah and Todd Palin will not be destroyed, nor will their family be permanently harmed by all this. No, the losers in this are the American people, who have watched the press slide almost completely into the waiting arms of the modern Democrat Party, and the majority of the Democrats in the country, who have seen their Party taken over by the most divisive, fanatical, radical members.

And certainly America is hurt when a once great political Party goes to pieces like this. Attacking a candidate for their words - not the edited version you swear are the actual words, Charlie Gibson! - is politics as it should be. Attacking a candidate's positions on the issues is politics as it should be. Attacking candidates for their friendships with oddballs and criminals is certainly politics as it should be. Attacking candidates on their records is politics as it should be. Hiding the facts and telling lies is not politics as it should be. Nor should threats.

Sarah Palin might not be the perfect candidate for the vice-presidency, especially if you are a Democrat, but that does not excuse the lies, distortions, criminal attacks, and all the rest that have been aimed at her. Debate her stances if you like, but stop tossing mud, hoping it will stick.

Try to act like an adult, won't you?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Another Voice On 9/11

DJ Drummond, at Wizbang, posted "On This Day", where he compares then versus now, and in which he says:
On this day then, evil came to America and murdered thousands of people, men and women, child and adult, soldier and civilian, Christian and Muslim and Atheist and Agnostic, in hopes of destroying Liberty.

On this day now, our soldiers fight to create Liberty in the very nations which spawned the evil which attacked us.

On this day then, thousands of our enemies cheered the death and pain brought about by villainy.

On this day now, millions of our new friends live in freedom and prosperity because of the efforts of Americans.

On this day then, monsters targeted people they knew to be innocent, in hopes of creating despair.

On this day now, our troops have destroyed many of the worst terrorists in the region, yet are careful to spare innocents, in hopes of fighting justly.


On this day then, some in America chose to side with the terrorists.

On this day now, sadly some in America still side with the terrorists.

On this day then, many in America supported the troops only in words.

On this day now, many in America support the troops only in words.

I suggest you click the link and read the entire post.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Years Ago

Flag found in the WTC rubble

American flag found in World Trade Center rubble at the Fresh Kills Landfill, Staten Island, New York. Transfer from the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Seven years ago. 19 Muslim murderers. 4 hijacked airplanes. 2,996 murdered innocent people. Seven years ago, today. The arithmetic of Islamist ignorance, envy, and hatred.

Helmet worn by FDNY Battalion Chief Joseph Pfeifer

Helmet worn by FDNY Battalion Chief Joseph Pfeifer, the first fire chief to arrive at the World Trade Center on September 11

The Left wants you to forget. The Left wants you to 'understand' why you deserved to be attacked. The Left wants you to stop targeting Muslims with your hatred. The Left wants you to forget why we have soldiers fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Seven years ago, today. Have you forgotten? Do you dare forget?

photographer's last photo

Bill Biggart’s last photograph, of the fallen south tower, taken shortly before the north tower collapsed

The World Trade Center, the Pentagon, a field in Pennsylvania. Islamist fanatics brought their ugly, savage, inhuman practices to the United States of America. We've been fighting them ever since, in one place or another; in one way or another. Have you forgotten?

Shanksville, Pennsylvania

Tim Shaffer’s photograph of investigators at the Flight 93 crash site, Shanksville, Pennsylvania

They brought their hatred to us. They brought their ugliness to us. They brought thier insanity to us. The Left wants you to forgive them and understand them. Do you understand them? The Left wants you to blame yourself for the attacks. Have you forgotten?

Images from the National Museum of American History's commemorative exhibition, September 11: Bearing Witness to History.

From Patrick comes this poem by an unknown author:

On Monday we emailed jokes

On Monday we emailed jokes.
On Tuesday we did not.

On Monday we thought that we were secure.
On Tuesday we learned better.

On Monday we were talking about heroes as being athletes.
On Tuesday we relearned who our heroes are.

On Monday we were irritated that our rebate checks had not arrived.
On Tuesday we gave money away to people we had never met.

On Monday there were people fighting against praying in schools.
On Tuesday you would have been hard pressed to find a school where someone was not praying.

On Monday people argued with their kids about picking up their room.
On Tuesday the same people could not get home fast enough to hug their kids.

On Monday people were upset that they had to wait 6 minutes in a fast food drive through line.
On Tuesday people didn't care about waiting up to 6 hours to give blood for the dying.

On Monday we waved our flags signifying our cultural diversity.
On Tuesday we waved only the American flag.

On Monday there were people trying to separate each other by race, sex, color and creed.
On Tuesday they were all holding hands.

On Monday we were men or women, black or white, old or young, rich or poor, gay or straight, Christian or non-Christian.
On Tuesday we were Americans.

On Monday politicians argued about budget surpluses.
On Tuesday grief stricken they sang 'God Bless America'.

On Monday the President was going to Florida to read to children.
On Tuesday he returned to Washington to protect our children.

On Monday we had families.
On Tuesday we had orphans.

On Monday people went to work as usual,
On Tuesday they died.

On Monday people were fighting the 10 commandments on government property.
On Tuesday the same people all said 'God help us all' while thinking 'Thou shall not kill'.

It is sadly ironic how it takes horrific events to place things into perspective, but it has. The lessons learned this week, the things we have taken for granted, the things that have been forgotten or overlooked, hopefully will never be forgotten again.

He has more. Visit him. AOW remebers, as does Victoria, and Bookworm. The Anchoress gives her thoughts. Chris Muir remembers.

Pejman Yousefzadeh posts "Seven Years" over at Red State. Jay Tea, and Lorie Byrd, at Wizbang, give thier thoughts.

Sister Toldjah posts her 9/11 thoughts and memory.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On Pigs & Lipstick

Okay, it’s time to calm down and get a grip. Sarah Palin’s a big girl and quite able to handle the smears of the rabid Leftists at the beck and call of the Obamamaniacs. So there’s no reason to leap to her defense based on yet another of Barack Obama’s clumsy public pronouncements.

Obama’s recent clumsy verbiage?
“You can put lipstick on a pig,” he said as the crowd cheered. “It’s still a pig.”

“You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It’s still gonna stink.”

“We’ve had enough of the same old thing.”

Okay, so this was on his teleprompter, thus obviously planned beforehand. So what? Did he mean to slime Sarah Palin as a pig? Did he intend to smear McCain as a smelly, old fish? Could be. So what? This is politics. As the old saying goes, it ain't beanbag. Politics gets ugly fast, and it gets personal. I would agree that some things are beyond the Pale, but that’s my opinion. As long as we are free to speak our minds, or whatever the Left uses for minds, we’ll have ugly attacks as a part of our political discourse. That’s the way it is.

So what to do, just ignore the dimwitted slaverings of the Democrat’s standard-bearer? No.

First, let’s not play the from the Democrat Party playbook. Do we need to whine and demand apologies? No. Let the girlie Left do that. It’s how they respond to every disagreement. So, stop whining!

Secondly, make sure every ugly, nasty, personal attack is posted and played for public consumption. Nothing makes American voters angrier than personal attacks based on lies, smears, and innuendo. The Press won't publish these things of their own accord, so you need to. Eventually the public will find out and they won’t be happy.

Thirdly, laugh! It’s funny! Watch the frenzy with which the Obamamaniacs screech in horror when their Messiah is mocked. Chuckle when their spokesloons try to explain away every silly gaffe The One utters. Mock Him, mock them, laugh! It’ll drive them crazier.

Whatever you do, though, stop going crazy every time Obama or his minions do something ugly, uncivilized, or phony. It’s what they do, so enjoy it and publicize it. There’s more to come. You know it! Get ready for it!

And laugh!

Cool & Refreshing

I'm not much of a fan of "soft drinks" though I occasionally have one. Soda or Pop are not what I choose to drink unless I'm having a "mixed drink". Since I don't really care for hard liquor I cut it with something - no, water doesn't cut it sufficiently!

Briardale Cola - originally the clor was red on whiteBut I got to thinking about soft drinks as opposed to "adult beverages" and I remembered a few of the ones I didn't mind terribly. Now, when I was growing up, and spending my summers at the Langhorn Country Club - I was a competitive swimmer for a long time, and was a part of their summer swim team for over a decade - they used to have a soda machine out behind the locker rooms. You could sip your soda while looking over the eighteenth fairway. Always a nice breeze in the summer, under the porch that held the country club building.

The soda I always liked - remember, I was a kid! - was called Briardale Cola. Not Coke or Pepsi. It never seemed as sweet as the rival colas, was a redder color, and had a kind of nutty, or nutmeggy, flavor to it. The logo was a horse's head - some versions had the horse's head coming through a horseshoe. I liked Briardale. I've never seen it any other place and have not had a Briardale Cola since 1973.

Never an After-ThirstOnce I moved on to a kind of adulthood, and might want to drink something a bit sweet, I discovered "Squirt". Squirt is a citrus soft drink. Unlike 7-Up, or other citrus-flavored drinks, Squirt's main flavor seems to be grapefruit! Yuck! I loathe grapefruit! But I like Squirt. Wonder why. Fact is Squirt is not nearly as sweet as the other brands. So, I guess it's more of an adult soft drink. Anyway, I do like Squirt. It is available in the supermarket.

Little SquirtSquirt was developed just before World War II. The lower sugar content was a plus considering the rationing of sugar at the time. Herb Bishop created a new carbonated drink that required less fruit and less sugar. In Bishop's opinion, it was the freshest, most exciting taste in the marketplace. He named it Squirt. Understanding that marketing was required to compete with the bigger soft drinks, Bishop and his partner, Ed Mehren, came up with a little mascot called "Little Squirt"which was a success.

The Squirt BuildingAfter the war Squirt was marketed as a mixer in the 1950s, and it's market share has grown, expanding into Central and South America over the years. The Squirt brand is now owned by Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., a subsidiary of Cadbury Schweppes of London, England. Now, I don't remember ever seeing that mascot, Little Squirt. Probably because the company stopped using it long ago. But I do remember looking for Squirt at the store. It's one of my favorite non-adult beverages, I recommend it.

When we kids were young, and we'd get sick, Mom would dose us with Ginger Ale for nausea. As it was sweet it was easy to get us to drink it, even though it was served at room temperature. Ginger Ale does work for nausea, though peppermint is better, and tea works, too. But Ginger Ale seemed to be saved strictly for sick kids. We rarely saw it otherwise. My folks have never been tea-totalers, so I am well-acquainted with the mixers they used to use, way back when. Ginger Ale was always Schweppes or Canada Dry. In those days I don't think there was any such thing as a store brand. And that was the brand of Ginger Ale you got. Schweppes or Canada Dry. I didn't know there was any other brand out there.

Old Vernors Logo with GnomeWhen I moved myself to Florida in 1985, I discovered a soft drink called Vernors. It is billed as Ginger Soda rather than Ginger Ale. Is there a difference? A little, I guess. For one thing Vernors has a fuller body to it than your run-of-the-mill ginger ale. I think it has a touch of Cream Soda to it, which is how it was first recommended to me. Don't ask why, that was many years ago.

And the oddest fact is that Vernors is aged. How long do the bottlers age Ginger Ale? The very first batch of Vernors was, according to the Vernor family legend, aged for four years. Detroit-area pharmacist James Vernor put his drink concoction - made of 19 different ingredients, including ginger and vanilla - into a wood cask in 1862, then left for the Civil War. When he returned home, he opened the cask, and discovered something wonderful had happened in the meantime. The drink had acquired a zippy, gingery flavor. He had a hit on his hands. Vernors still takes four years of aging before it is bottled for the public.

Vernors history

As you can read here:
A golden colored ginger ale was being imported from Belfast, Ireland and was becoming quite popular throughout the United States (ginger ale would be the nations most popular soft drink for about seventy years). A nineteen-year-old James Vernor began experimenting with his own ginger ale recipe. However, like many young men his age, during 1862 in Detroit, he put his plans on hold and enlisted as a Union soldier with the Fourth Michigan Cavalry. Before leaving for war though, James placed his experimental ginger ale extract into an old oak cask. At the end of the Civil War, James would return home and open a drug store of his own at 235 Woodward. Another thing that James opened was that old oak cask. To his surprise, the four years of aging blended a select group of secret ingredients to perfection.

Turns out James Vernor was a bit of a fanatic when it came to quality control, so the fame of Vernors spread a little slowly. But spread it did. From the Cadbury Schweppes page:
A soda fountain owner who wrote to Vernor in 1898 noted that the ginger soda had acquired an enthusiastic following in his city. "Its purity, delicacy of flavor and great refreshing powers have been testified to by thousands of our soda customers," the franchisee wrote. In time, The Vernors Company would open a landmark bottling operation in downtown Detroit to handle its expanding business. This riverfront business became a favorite stopping place for locals and tourists alike in the 1940s. It was here one could sip a fresh Vernors for only a nickel and watch as it was being produced.

The Vernor family owned Vernors until selling it in 1966. Cadbury Schweppes owns Vernors now, as they do Squirt.

My last recommendation to you, beverage-wise, is Kool-Aid. Not just any Kool-Aid, but Watermelon-Cherry Kool-Aid. I don't know why they needed to add cherry flavoring to this, but maybe the watermelon flavor is too delicate. Anyway, my ex told me about it, and, being madly in love, I tried it myself.

One packet of Watermelon-Cherry Kool-Aid to a quart of water - no sugar! - and pour it over a glass of ice. You're an adult, so don't whine about the lack of sugar. Just try it! I'm talking about a refreshing drink. A nice flavor that refreshes! Try it!

PerkinsKool-Aid has an interesting history. Wiki's entry says:
Kool-Aid was invented by Edwin Perkins and his wife Kitty in Hastings, Nebraska. Its predecessor was a liquid concentrate called Fruit Smack. To reduce shipping costs, in 1927, Perkins discovered a way to remove the liquid from Fruit Smack, leaving only a powder. This powder was named Kool-Ade. A few years later, it was renamed 'Kool-Aid' due to a change in U.S. government regulations regarding the need for fruit juice in products using the term "Ade. Perkins moved his production to Chicago in 1931 and Kool-Aid was sold to General Foods in 1953.

A little inventiveness, a little chemistry and you have a popular drink! See this for more Kool-Aid history, and more on Mr. Perkins.

So, ignoring politics for a bit, I present to you three drink recommendations. Got any favorites yourself?

Leftist Arithmetic

By now I’m sure most of you have seen the typically moronic attacks on Sarah Palin’s slashing of funds for Special Needs students in Alaska. I say typically, because we’ve seen this odd type of arithmetic used by the Democrats before, and I say moronic because it just is so easy to disprove that you wonder how desperate they have to be to use such nonsense in the first place.

The first I saw of this funding shenanigans was from CNN’s own Soledad O’Brien. Part of Republican Convention coverage included this as part of an interview with McCain Advisor Nicolle Wallace. O’Brien said/asked:
“One area that has gotten certainly people sending to me a lot of e-mails is the question about as governor what she did with the special needs budget, which I'm sure you're aware, she cut significantly, 62 percent I think is the number from when she came into office. As a woman who is now a mother to a special needs child, and I think she actually has a nephew which is autistic as well. How much of a problem is this going to be as she tries to navigate both sides of that issue?”

Now, unfortunately, Wallace was not ‘up’ on that particular subject. Her reply was useless and did not really answer the question. And I have to wonder who sent the email(s) to O’Brien. Because they sound like they come from the Democratic Party itself. Want to give the public a scare? Tell them the Republicans are slashing funding for whichever program you choose. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Wallace should have said, simply, “Special Needs funding in Alaska was not cut at all. Look it up, Toots.”

Nobody can imagine O’Brien or her handlers to have truly done their homework on this, can they? It's not as if O'Brien is a disinterested party, either. So what is the basis of this lie about Palin’s record? Well, it seems that Palin moved certain school items from one place to another in order to streamline the education budget. Thus “slashing” the schools budget!


Here’s what happened to Special Needs funding, according to
According to an April 2008 article in Education Week, Palin signed legislation in March 2008 that would increase public school funding considerably, including special needs funding. It would increase spending on what Alaska calls "intensive needs" students (students with high-cost special requirements) from $26,900 per student in 2008 to $73,840 per student in 2011. That almost triples the per-student spending in three fiscal years. Palin's original proposal, according to the Anchorage Daily News, would have increased funds slightly more, giving intensive needs students a $77,740 allotment by 2011.

So why the claim that Palin slashed special needs funding? Again, from
According to Eddy Jeans at the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, funding for special needs and intensive needs students has increased every year since Palin entered office, from a total of $203 million in 2006 to a projected $276 million in 2009.

Those who claim that Palin cut special needs funding by 62 percent are looking in the wrong place and misinterpreting what they find there. They point to an apparent drop in the Department of Education and Early Development budget for special schools. But the special schools budget, despite the similar name, isn't the special needs budget. "I don’t even consider the special schools component [part of] our special needs funding," Jeans told "The special needs funding is provided through our public school funding formula. The special schools is simply a budget component where we have funding set aside for special projects," such as the Alaska School for the Deaf and the Alaska Military Youth Academy. A different budget component, the Foundation Program, governs special needs programs in the public school system.

These funding foul-ups are old hat for the Democrats. If they propose 150% increase in funding for wart-removal research and the Republicans say, “it’s too much, let’s just hike funding 50%,” the Dems then trot out the same nonsense as always to the willing press hand-maidens: “The Republicans want to slash funding by 100%!” And that’s how it’s reported. Whenever I read the reports of funds being heartlessly slashed I consider the source and ignore it. It’s usually Leftist lies and their typical faulty arithmetic.

One commenter at had this reminder:
MSM did exactly the same thing with the “Republicans slash medicare benefits” story for over six months during 1996 Presidential campaign.

Every night Leno and Letterman parroted the Dems’ line of Republicans “cutting” benefits.

Truth: Reps. wanted about a 4% increase, while Dems. wanted a 6% increase. The 2% smaller increase was called a “cut” by Dems. In January 2007 Clinton signed a 5% increase and called it “medicare savings”.

Problem: MSM went along the whole year and NEVER explained the facts to the public; they just repeated the Dem. line.

As I said they’ve done this before. They will do it again. Don’t expect the MSM to check the information they get from the Dems. It’s no longer the job of the MSM to discover the facts and publish them. So you have to do that yourselves!

This election season the Dems have someone with a solid record to run against. Thus the lies are bigger, the smears uglier, the fear on the Left palpable. While Obama can snidely refer obliquely to Palin as a pig, he remains a man of no accomplishment, no record, no substance. His opponent remains a man of substance, record, and many accomplishments. Obama thinks he can use Sarah Palin as a target to get folks looking the other way. But Obama is still standing there, directing the hate, hiding behind his race to cover his basic flaws.

Don’t be fooled. Do your homework. It’s your country.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Sarah Barracuda!

Chris Muir gave us this great comic for the day. Do you remember "Heart"?:

Click here for a bigger image. Feel free to donate to keep Day By Day going!

Also ... Weasel had this to say about Sarah Palin and the Leftist MSM:
Okay, here’s what I don’t get. The moment I heard Sarah Palin was the nominee last week, I did what every self-respecting card-carrying noun-hyphen-adverb does in 2008 — I ran right to Google and plugged her in. I read up on her, old and new. Pro and con. Then I did a Google Images search and gave her the hairy eyeball. I wanted to hear her speak, so I watched footage of a debate performance in the Alaska gubenatorial race. I spent maybe an hour at it, and then I pretty much made up my mind.


So how the hell could our mainstream media be caught so flat-footed by her performance? We know they read D-KOS, because they helped spread that stupid lying trash about Trig Palin. So, like, we know they have computers with internet. How could they POSSIBLY not read a little news while they’re at it? (You know what this means: other than the echo chamber of the op/ed pages, they don’t consume their own product. No wonder it’s such shite).

You have to read this! Warning: Weasel writes with naughty words, too. But read it! He nails the MSM to their own booger-encrusted wall!

Note: Don't miss The Anchoress' round up, nor her live-blogging of Palin's speech. The Anchoress, as always, is spot on! Donate to her, too! She can use the help to keep her blog going.

Also, Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle spoke at the Convention. She didn't make a great speech, but it was worth listening to. And she did have this enjoyable line:
I find it especially amusing that the other party says Governor Palin lacks experience when their own candidates for president and vice president ... have NO executive experience ... ZERO! Neither Senator Obama nor Senator Biden has ever managed a multi-billion-dollar budget, or been a chief executive of any city ... or state, of any size ... or of anything for that matter.

Which gave me the inspiration to make this banner:


And this, too:


Palin Accepts, Impresses

Sarah Palin at the Republican ConventionPatrick has the entire speech here. Sarah Palin opened her acceptance speech:Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens:
I am honored to be considered for the nomination for vice president of the United States ...

I accept the call to help our nominee for president to serve and defend America.

I accept the challenge of a tough fight in this election ... against confident opponents ... at a crucial hour for our country.

And I accept the privilege of serving with a man who has come through much harder missions ... and met far graver challenges ... and knows how tough fights are won -- the next president of the United States, John S. McCain.

You can also read the speech here.

She gave a good speech, energetic, funny, tough, exciting. For those who have heard her speak publicly, this was the Sarah Palin they know. She's not a stranger to public speaking. For those who thought she'd betray some nervousness, or even fall on her face, this had to be a bit of a shock. She showed no nervousness at all. She's not afraid. And she's come to fight for the principles she believes in, the principles John McCain believes in, the very principles that made this nation the greatest nation on Earth.

She highlighted her family's special-needs child and spoke to the parents of other special-needs children, facing the issue head-on.

Sometimes even the greatest joys bring challenge.

And children with special needs inspire a special love.

To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters.

I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House.

Palin acknowledged the hits she's taken from the Left regarding her 'lack of experience':
Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.

And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening.

We tend to prefer candidates who don't talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.

John Hawkins, at Right Wing News, has this "Best Of" video from Sarah Palin's speech:

A winner!

Mike Huckabee gave a very good speech, too. One of the things that really sparked was this:
"I'm not a Republican because I grew up rich, but because I didn't want to spend the rest of my life poor, waiting for the government to rescue me."

Rudy Giuliani was great! His was a hard-hitting, funny, to-the-point crowd-pleaser. One of the things he said took aim at the misogynists on the Left:
How dare they question whether Sarah Palin has enough time to spend with her children and be Vice-President. How dare they do that. When do they ever ask a man that question? When?

Again, John Hawkins shows us how good Sarah Palin was:
If the only thing you knew about Sarah Palin was what you heard from the Obama campaign's surrogates AKA the mainstream press, you'd think she was a poor little cupcake, in over her head, who'd probably stammer and cry at the podium and then run off stage to give up the vice-presidency.

Instead, after receiving a standing ovation from an adoring crowd, she walked out and delivered a A+ speech that was better than anything Barack Obama has done in the last two years, if not ever. Palin tried to do 3 things with the speech: build up her own resume, push John McCain, and hammer the hell out of Obama. To say she hit a home run at those three tasks is an understatement. Palin delivered a called shot, with the bases loaded, that went out of the park, across the street, crashed through the window of the Obama campaign headquarters, and rolled right up to the empty suit running the operation.

Heheheee! Good line, John!

The blogosphere is full of goodies and analysis. All I can say is, "I'm glad I stayed up late to watch!"

Have a great day, Folks!

Update: C-Span has the speech videos here. I recommend, not only Sarah Palin's speech, but the Mike Huckabee speech, and the Rudy Giuliani speech as well.

Here's the text of Mike Huckabee's speech.

Here's the text of Rudy Giuliani's speech.

And, just in case you missed it, here's video and text of Fred Thompson speaking at the Republican Convention Tueday night.

Brit writer from The Sun, Fergus Shanahan opines on the Palin Convention speech. Hey! There's sense in the U.K. still! (Thanks, Carol Mac!)

Another Update: Erick Erickson, at Red State, brings us this impressive bit:
Halfway through Sarah Palin's speech tonight at the RNC, people following the speech noticed she was deviating from the prepared text.


Unfazed, Governor Palin continued, from memory, to deliver her speech without the teleprompter cued to the appropriate point in her speech.

Contrast this to Barack Obama who, when last his teleprompter malfunctioned, was left stuttering before a crowd unable to advance his speech until the problem was resolved.

Go read it! Palin just keeps getting more impressive!

Victoria, at Sundries, has "Im-Palin", where she notes:
But it might surprise you to know, if you were one of the few in America last night not watching it, that it was she who came out to fight in the mean streets of American politics (Giuliani was merely content to warm up the gang, which he did magnificently).

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Palin Speech

I have not heard the entire speech given by Governor Sarah Palin, only snippets. Until now. I finally found the whole thing at Free Frank Warner. So, figuring a lot of you had not heard the speech in its entirety, or read the thing, I thought I'd post it for you.

Also, Google Video seems to have the entire speech here.

Sarah Palin's Aug. 29, 2008, speech in Dayton, Ohio:

"Thank you so much.

"And I thank you, Senator McCain and Mrs. McCain, for the confidence that you have placed in me. Senator, I am honored to be chosen as your running mate. I will be honored to serve next to the next president of the United States.

"I know that when Senator McCain gave me this opportunity, he had a short list of highly qualified men and women, and to have made that list at all -- it was a privilege. And to have been chosen brings a great challenge. I know that it will demand the best that I have to give, and I promise nothing less.

"First, there are a few people whom I would like you to meet. I want to start with my husband, Todd. And Todd and I are actually celebrating our 20th anniversary today, and I promised him a little surprise for the anniversary present, and hopefully he knows that I did deliver.

"And then we have as -- after my husband, who is a lifelong commercial fisherman, lifetime Alaskan -- he's a production operator. Todd is a production operator in the oil fields up on Alaska's North Slope, and he's a proud member of the United Steelworkers Union, and he's a world champion snow machine racer. Todd and I met way back in high school, and I can tell you that he is still the man that I admire most in this world.

"Along the way, Todd and I have shared many blessings, and four out of five of them are here with us today. Our oldest son, Track, though, he'll be following the presidential campaign from afar. On September 11th of last year, our son enlisted in the United States Army. Track now serves in an infantry brigade. And on September 11th, Track will deploy to Iraq in the service of his country. And Todd and I are so proud of him and of all the fine men and women serving the country in uniform.

"Next to Todd is our daughter Bristol; another daughter, Willow; our youngest daughter, Piper; and over in their arms is our son Trig, a beautiful baby boy. He was born just in April. His name is Trig Paxson Van Palin.

"Some of life's greatest opportunities come unexpectedly, and this is certainly the case today. I never really set out to be involved in public affairs, much less to run for this office. My mom and dad both worked at the local elementary school. And my husband and I, we both grew up working with our hands.

"I was just your average 'hockey mom' in Alaska. We were busy raising our kids. I was serving as the team mom and coaching some basketball on the side. I got involved in the PTA and then was elected to the city council and then elected mayor of my hometown, where my agenda was to stop wasteful spending and cut property taxes and put the people first.

"I was then appointed ethics commissioner and chairman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, and when I found corruption there, I fought it hard and I held the offenders to account. Along with fellow reformers in the great state of Alaska, as governor, I've stood up to the old politics as usual, to the special interests, to the lobbyists, the Big Oil companies and the 'good old boy' network.

"When oil and gas prices went up so dramatically and the state revenues followed with that increase, I sent a large share of that revenue directly back to the people of Alaska -- and we are now -- we're now embarking on a $40 billion natural gas pipeline to help lead America to energy independence.

"I signed major ethics reforms, and I appointed both Democrats and independents to serve in my administration. And I've championed reform to end the abuses of earmark spending by Congress. In fact, I told Congress thanks, but no thanks, on that "Bridge to Nowhere." If our state wanted a bridge, I said, we'd build it ourselves.

"Well, it's always, though, safer in politics to avoid risk, to just kind of go along with the status quo. But I didn't get into government to do the safe and easy things. A ship in harbor is safe, but that's not why the ship is built. Politics isn't just a game of competing interests and clashing parties. The people of America expect us to seek public office and to serve for the right reasons. And the right reason is to challenge the status quo and to serve the common good.

"Now, no one expects us to agree on everything, whether in Juneau or in Washington. But we are expected to govern with integrity and good will and clear convictions and a servant's heart.

"Now, no leader in America has shown these qualities so clearly or presents so clear a threat to business as usual in Washington as Senator John S. McCain. This -- this is a moment when principles and political independence matter a lot more than just the party line. And this is a man who has always been there to serve his country, not just his party.

"And this is a moment that requires resolve and toughness and strength of heart in the American president. And my running mate is a man who has shown those qualities in the darkest of places and in the service of his country. A colleague once said about Senator McCain: That man did things for this country that few people could go through; never forget that. And that speaker was former Senator John Glenn of Ohio. And John Glenn knows something about heroism.

"And I'm going to make sure nobody does forget that in his campaign. There is only one candidate who has truly fought for America, and that man is John McCain.

"This is a moment -- this is a moment when great causes can be won and great threats overcome, depending on the judgment of our next president. In a dangerous world, it is John McCain who will lead America's friends and allies in preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

"It was John McCain who cautioned long ago about the harm that Russian aggression could do to Georgia and to other small Democratic neighbors and to the world oil markets.

"It was Senator McCain who refused to hedge his support for our troops in Iraq, regardless of the political costs. And you know what? As the mother of one of those troops and as the commander of Alaska's National Guard, that's the kind of man I want as our commander in chief.

"Profiles in courage, they can be hard to come by these days. You know, so often we just find them in books. But next week when we nominate John McCain for president, we're putting one on the ballot!

"To serve as vice president beside such a man would be the privilege of a lifetime, and it's fitting that this trust has been given to me 88 years almost to the day after the women of America first gained the right to vote.

"I think as well today of two other women who came before me in national elections. I can't begin this great effort without honoring the achievements of Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, and, of course, Senator Hillary Clinton, who showed such determination and grace in her presidential campaign.

"It was rightly noted in Denver this week that Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America. But it turns out the women of America aren't finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all.

"So for my part, the mission is clear. The next 67 days I'm going to take our campaign to every part of our country and our message of reform to every voter of every background, in every political party, or no party at all. If you want change in Washington, if you hope for a better America, then we're asking for your vote on the 4th of November.

"My fellow Americans, come join our cause. Join our cause and help our country to elect a great man the next president of the United States. And I thank you, and I -- God bless you, I say, and God bless America. Thank you."

And there you go!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Senator Obama: A Moment Of Class

Some have complained that Senator Barack Obama's statements regarding the media frenzy over Bristol Palin's pregnancy was tepid. Perhaps. But I disagree. I think his tone was exactly what it should have been. His words said what needed to be said, without going overboard. What Senator Obama said was this:
I've heard some of the news on this, and so let me be as clear as possible. I have said before and I will repeat again: I think people's families are off limits. And people's children are especially off limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Governor Palin's performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president. And so I would strongly urge people to back off of these kinds of stories.

I have little to praise when it comes to Senator Obama, but in this instance he was fine. However, it may be time for him to rein in his campaign. There is little doubt that much of the attacks coming from the loathsome MSM is being pushed by members of the Obama campaign, which has a very close relationship to such far-Left agitators as the Daily Kos. As long as Obama allows his campaign to be so closely linked to such a radical, unhinged group as DKos, he will be tarred with the Loony Brush just as they are.

As for the MSM, which has found so much interest in a 17-year-old's pregnancy, they continue to slip in the estimation of the American public. As the NYTimes falls so low that it's stock is considered 'junk', it continues to show a leadership wholly out of touch with the America most of us inhabit, and in bed with the Leftist ideology that protects and defends the enemies of the United States while tearing at the fabric of this nation.

As Peter Wehner writes, in The Corner, in his post "Obama Outclasses the Media":
[...] Obama's class stands in stunning contrast to many of his supporters, including bloggers whose conduct since the Palin nomination has been well-documented, disgraceful, and must surely be an embarrassment to their more serious-minded and mature colleagues.

Some of Obama's supporters took to the pages of The Atlantic months ago to explain why Obama matters, explaining that he could overcome "the bitter, brutal tone of American politics." It is ironic indeed. In their rabid effort to support Barack Obama, many of his supporters are acting in ways that are completely contrary to Obama's promise. They don't want to argue issues; they want to mock and destroy people. They are, in short, the antithesis of what they say Obama is, and what they say they want American politics to be.

I don't support Senator Barack Obama and will not vote for him. But when he spoke to reporters yesterday he showed the sort of class that those reporters will probably never understand or appreciate.

Monday, September 01, 2008

On Candidates' Experience

From Jim Manzi at "The Corner" comes "Experience and Presidential Performance". In this article Manzi defines his own list of the best 5 Presidents and the worst 5 Presidents. Then he compares their pre-White House 'experience':
In order to characterize pre-presidential experience, I've defined "Executive" experience specifically as a government seniormost executive (basically, governor of a state or supreme military commander, but excluding positions like vice president, cabinet member or subordinate general). I've defined "Legislative" experience as the national legislature – a U.S. senator of Member of the U.S. House of Representatives – but excluding tings service on a town council or in a state legislature.

Here are the Executive and Legislative backgrounds of the top 5:

  • Washington: Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army

  • Lincoln: Member of Congress

  • FDR: Governor of New York

  • Jefferson: Governor of Virginia; Delegate to the Congress of the Confederation

  • TR: Governor of New York

Here are the backgrounds of the bottom 5:

  • Buchanan: U.S Senator

  • Harding: U.S. Senator

  • Pierce: U.S. Senator; Member of Congress

  • Andrew Johnson: Member of Congress; Governor of Tennessee; U.S. Senator

  • Fillmore: Member of Congress

It's kind of striking that 4 of the top 5 had Executive experience (with the obvious, and towering, exception of Abraham Lincoln), while 4 of the bottom 5 did not. In fact, the best presidents have tended to have predominantly Executive experience, and the worst presidents predominantly Legislative experience.

Manzi could have added Ronald Reagan to this top 5 list, too. Most Republicans would put him that high. His pre-Presidential experience would be two terms as Governor of California.

And Jimmy Carter could have been added to the bottom 5 list. Most Republicans, not to mention an awful lot of Democrats, would put him down there. Carter's pre-Presidential experience would be the anomaly. He served as Governor of Georgia before running for the White House.

Experience is useful, helpful. But it's a bit of a bug-a-boo, really. If I'm going to look at the candidates I'm going to compare what I consider their judgement, as well as their character. And in that I would place John McCain and Sarah Plain heads-and-shoulders above Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Just my opinion, but I'll go with it.

Manzi closes with:
Of course, what this simple analysis also calls to mind is the comparable experience base for the other three members of both major tickets:

  • McCain: U.S. Senator; Member of Congress; No Executive experience

  • Obama: U.S Senator; No Executive experience

  • Biden: U.S. Senator; No Executive experience

Sarah Palin seems to be in good company.

Note: From the President of Planned Parenthood comes this uplifting thought:
What might have been encouraging news for women was just the opposite — somehow McCain had managed to find a woman running mate even more conservative than he is on women's rights. (As in, that wacko didn't abort the Mongoloid!)