Wednesday, November 28, 2007

How to Waste Someone Else's Money Over, and Over, and ...

The Tampa Bay area has been a popular place for Spring Training by Major League Baseball for many, many years. The St. Louis Cardinals played at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg and the New York Yankees now make Tampa their spring home, the Toronto Blue Jays perch in Dunedin, the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater. Minor League teams play in the area as well, usually in the same Spring Training homes of their parent clubs. Baseball is quite popular here in the Tampa Bay area, as it is in all of Florida. But the local area Major League team - the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (oops! No longer Devil!) - is not so popular.

Why? Because so many residents of the area came here from somewhere else. You need only look at attendance at Tampa Bay Buccaneer football games to see a similar fact there. When the Chicago Bears would play here against the Buccaneers the majority of the fans at the stadium would be decked out in the colors and numbers of 'Da Bears'. With the recent success of the Buccaneers on the field (Super Bowl Champs in January, 2003!) this has changed a bit. But for nearly 30 years the home team has been far less popular than the visiting teams. So it is with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (now just newly renamed the Tampa Bay Rays! Wow! New uniforms! Wheee!) who now, after a few years of so-so on-the-field results, think that a brand new stadium is the answer to their attendance/popularity problems.

Bird's view of Tropicana Field

From Field of Schemes:
November 18, 2007

Rays: New stadium will bring cash windfall, rain of puppies

The Tampa Bay Rays owners don't even have a stadium funding plan yet, but they're already insisting that the deal, whatever it is, would be great for the city, issuing a 600-page report saying it would create 2500 jobs, $1 billion in new investment, and more than $20 million a year in new property and sales taxes.

I like that headline. A lot! When Tropicana Field was first envisioned (It would originally be named the Suncoast Dome - as this is the Pinellas Suncoast! - then renamed the Thunderdome - as the Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey Team made it their home - and then the naming rights would be sold to Tropicana) proponents made all sorts of grandiloquent promises about the minor costs - to themselves apparently - the amazing influx of jobs and revenues, and the best promise of all: we'd get a Major League Baseball Team! Oh, boy!

Of course the powers-that-be in MLB told the group that proposed to build this empty stadium, "Don't bother." They weren't prepared to open the bidding for an expansion team. Of course when multi-billionaire, and creepy guy, Wayne Huizenga put in a bid for an expansion club in Miami ("We don't need a domed stadium, gentlemen; we never have inclement weather here in Miami!"), the MLB ninnies sent him the Marlins.

But back in St. Petersburg the push was on to lure an unsatisfied team to the friendly environs of West Central Florida and a soon-to-be-built modern baseball stadium! The MLB teams used that offer to get their home cities to pony up the tax money to build their own new stadiums or refurbish their existing stadiums. What fun we had, here in the Tampa Bay area, listening to the rumors of the White Sox coming, the Mariners coming, and so on, ad nauseum.

Meanwhile the naysayers were being silenced by the great paradigm of Free Speech and Fiscal Responsibility - I speak of the St. Petersburg Times, of course - who demanded this brand new stadium to bring us all a Baseball Team! Oh, Boy! When the attempts were made to put the huge expected taxpayer cost to a vote, guess who came out against such taxpayer involvement? The St. Pete Times. After all they knew far better than we what to do with our tax monies. And so the great building project began.

First thing they had to do, of course, was to buy the land, condemn it - Eminent Domain, twisted out of shape again! - move the poor people out and into different neighborhoods, clean up the site - amazing! There was contaminated dirt there (Costs Triple for Cleanup at the Dome)! Used to be a Gas Plant on the site many years ago, thus the name of the neighborhood: Gas Plant. Oops! We didn't look into that, did we? - and begin the actual building. Ahhh, what fun! What glories to come. What costs, actually! And the taxpayers got to foot the bill (Still do, actually. This isn't paid for yet. The city owes more than $100-million in outstanding bond payments on the stadium.) while the Team Owners to come would get a brand-spanking new stadium.

From Around the Dome - Echoes of the past.:
By 1986, this much was accomplished:
285 buildings had been demolished.
522 households had been relocated.
More than 30 businesses had moved or closed.
Total cost: $11.3-million, about $2-million more than originally budgeted. The money came from federal community redevelopment grants, which were supposed to help lift people out of poverty.

And in July of that year, the St. Petersburg City Council voted 6-3 to build a new baseball stadium. Construction began in November.

You might recall there was nothing about baseball in the original plan. That plan had promised to rebuild the neighborhood with new, affordable housing and a modern-day industrial park. The plan also promised in writing 600 new jobs, with combined salaries of $5.6-million, by the end of the 1980s.

You see originally Baseball wasn't even a part of the equation. This was to be a redevelopment of the Gas Plant area. But as usual when taxpayer money is in play, cooler heads prevailed. "We have all this money to play with; let's do something big with it!"

Again, from Around the Dome:
Meanwhile, a group of powerful Pinellas County business people had been trying since 1976 to figure out how to lure a Major League Baseball team to the area. Their strategy: build a stadium in hopes that baseball would come.

Most attention focused on several sites on the north end of St. Petersburg, convenient to Clearwater and the main bridge to Tampa.

But many of the baseball boosters had strong ties to downtown, including the publisher of the St. Petersburg Times, John B. Lake. They and then-City Manager Alan Harvey began lobbying City Council members to bring the stadium downtown.

The cost of the stadium to the taxpayers? About $138-million, up from $85-million budget. Sound familiar, Taxpayers?

Once an expansion team was awarded to an Owner's group, they decided that this brand new stadium was insufficient for their purposes and demanded renovations and upgrades. And, no, they were not going to pay for it. St. Petersburg and its Sports Authority would have to foot the bill. The renovation now added some $70 million to the tax burden. All of this money come out of the pockets of the taxpayers of St. Petersburg and all Floridians. The owners pay nothing for the home these people have given them.

A short overview, with an exciting new twist! We gotta build a new stadium for the Rays! Read on ...

Tampa Bay, for years a popular area for Major League Baseball spring training games, finally got its own team beginning in 1998. It wasn't easy, however. In fact, the city of St. Petersburg went so far as to build a domed stadium, against the advice of MLB, to lure a major league team. It looked like the White Sox would occupy the new stadium until the people of Chicago voted to build them a new ballpark in 1989. A group of Tampa Bay investors called a press conference in 1992 announcing that the Giants were moving to Tampa Bay, but loopholes in the agreement allowed a local consortium to rescue the team from leaving San Francisco. Several other teams expressed interest in relocating to St. Petersburg, but to no avail. At last, on March 9,1995, MLB granted Tampa Bay a franchise.
Completed in 1990 as the Florida Suncoast Dome, it became the Thunderdome while the Tampa Bay Lightning NHL team were tenants. It was renamed Tropicana Field on October 4, 1996 per an agreement with Tropicana Dole Beverages.
The Rays have not had much success at Tropicana Field, either on the field or at the box office. MLB has made it known to the team that they must be out of their current facility by 2010. [Gee, thanks, MLB! We've still got too much money.]

The slanted roof!

Tropicana Field’s main claim to fame is its slanted fabric roof - Hurricane resistant, so they say - and the interior roof catwalks which have been a source of much anger by players smacking towering hits toward the ceiling. The balls clang on the metal walk ways, bounce around, and sometimes fall to be caught. What fun! Other than that, there is nothing truly noteworthy about the stadium. Save its obscene cost to the taxpayers.

Lotta metal up there!

And so the promises begin again, the inflated claims of revenues and jobs, the minimized analyses of costs, the support of the Leftist St. Pete Times for this marvelous waste of Taxpayer's money. The site for this new stadium for these new Rays (new uniforms! No more Devil in the name! Wow!) is to be Historic Al Lang Field, which sits on he waterfront, and has been a home to Spring Training, Minor League games, and local events. The stadium is named for a famous Pittsburgh native-turned-local, and one-time Mayor of St. Petersburg, who convinced the St. Louis Browns to move to St. Petersburg for Spring Training. The present stadium is in its third or fourth incarnation at the site.

Al Lang Field todayOne sticky area for this terrible choice: the land is owned by the City of St. Petersburg. The voters would have to okay the sale to the Sports Authority in an election. Naturally I expect the apathy of the St. Pete voters to win the day for another waterfront giveaway. But we'll see. The residents of St. Petersburg have not been terribly successful keeping publicly owned waterfront land out of the hands of developers. What an ugly thought that a pretty site will become the latest in the over-built waterfront of coastal Florida. Just take a gander at Clearwater Beach to see what the developers can do a once-beautiful beach area. That’s if you can even find the beach anymore!

View of Al Lang Field from a postcard

Ain’t it about time that the Professional Sports Team’s Owners paid for the places in which their teams play? Don’cha think? If their teams are so good for the local economies, isn’t it time they opened their own bulging wallets and put their money where their mouths are? And can’t they stop trying to buy up prime land for these huge stadiums when perfectly good vacant land sits unused? Hey, here’s a thought: All that downtown land with the big office buildings - you know, where the buildings are 85% empty - why not buy up that land, raze those eyesores to the ground, and build your lovely, revenue and job generating arena there? How ‘bout that? Why not do that? And buy it with your own money. And build the thing with your own money, too. Because if you’re telling the truth about how successful that stadium/arena will be, why make somebody else pay for it?

*shrug* We can keep kissing our tax money goodbye. You know that’s the truth!

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Way To Deal With Terrorists: Clarity

A Jacksonian, leaving a comment on a waterboarding post at Bloviating Zeppelin (where do we bloggers come up with these names?), left a link to a post of his own called "Whatever did happen to clarity?".

The gist of the post related to dealing with terrorists caught in the field of battle by American forces. He gives us this item from our military's past:
Art. 82.

Men, or squads of men, who commit hostilities, whether by fighting, or inroads for destruction or plunder, or by raids of any kind, without commission, without being part and portion of the organized hostile army, and without sharing continuously in the war, but who do so with intermitting returns to their homes and avocations, or with the occasional assumption of the semblance of peaceful pursuits, divesting themselves of the character or appearance of soldiers - such men, or squads of men, are not public enemies, and, therefore, if captured, are not entitled to the privileges of prisoners of war, but shall be treated summarily as highway robbers or pirates.

The document from which this was pulled?

Prepared by Francis Lieber, promulgated as General Orders No. 100 by President Lincoln, 24 April 1863.

Guantanamo? Spoon-fed murderers and psychos? Hell, no! This was the Army of Abraham Lincoln. And he knew exactly how to treat terrorists on the fringes of the battle. The world would hate us for doing precisely what we should have done with those scum. But they hate us anyway, and they envy us, so where's the downside?

Instead we pretend that we can "deal" with these ignorant suicidal bastards. About time we went back to the things that work and make sense. Bring back Article 82!

Hang the scum!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Myth, Reality, And Learning

There is a body of historical thought that goes something like this: Now pay attention, because I’m going somewhere with this.

Home of the Assyrians - in grey
Home of the Assyrians in the Ancient World - just south of the Caucasus Mountains

When the Assyrians defeated the Kingdom of Israel - the northern Kingdom established after Solomon with the break-up of Israel - they moved the surviving populace far away. That was their tradition of dealing with defeated peoples. This remnant of the Israelites were moved far to the north-east into the area around the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains. Generations passed and the Southern Kingdom of Judah was defeated and enslaved by the Babylonians. The surviving populace was taken into Babylon.

Once the Persians defeated the Babylonians the Jews - which is what the people of the Kingdom of Judah were called - petitioned the Persian King, Darius, to be allowed to return to the land of Israel and rebuild their nation (and eventually the Temple in Jerusalem), and Darius agreed. These Jews, or Judahites, so it is said, sent emissaries to the Israelites in the area of the Caucasus Mountains, entreating them to join in the rebuilding of the nation, the Kingdom, of Israel. The Israelites declined, and deciding to leave their homes, passed into the Caucasus Mountains and were lost forever to history. The Jews went home and rebuilt the nation, and the Temple.

Hosea 1:9 & 10: "for ye [are] not my people, and I will not be your [God]. Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people, [there] it shall be said unto them, [Ye are] the sons of the living God."

Assyrian Empire
Assyrian Empire

Note: The Biblical Mount Ararat where Noah's Ark is said to have landed is sometimes regarded as the landmark of the ancient Armenian realm in the Caucasus. The peak of Ararat is seasonally capped with snow. In Greek mythology, the Caucasus or Kaukasos was one of the pillars supporting the world. Prometheus was chained there by Zeus . The Roman poet Ovid placed the Caucasus in Scythia.

Most of the preceding is accepted Biblical history and most is accepted as actual history. And here arises the legend of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. For the majority of the people of the Kingdom of Israel were of ten tribes, while the southern Kingdom of Judah were mostly of the other two (three, counting Levi) tribes. Now we enter into speculation, legend, myth, and some interesting stuff.

Modern Caucasus Area
Modern Caucasus Region

Not long after these occurences a vast migration began from the areas north of the Caucasus Mountains. The peoples and tribes were know as Scythians, Keltoi, Cimmerians. They were a hardy people, skilled at war, and seeking land of their own. Their Mythical Father was called Salmocses, which some linguists consider a form of ‘Moses’. Eventually some of them would become known as the Sacasunni - Saxons - which is considered a form of ‘Sons of Isaac’. From these warlike people came the Celts, out of which came the Teutons, the Germans, the Irish, Welsh, Scots. They were the forebears of the Angles and Jutes. (Please forgive my spelling - it's been many years since I read of these ancient things and my memory is not what it was.)

You may recognize these peoples as the forebears of the English people and their close relatives and neighbors. Indeed, the Welsh call themselves the Cimri. You can easily see the descent from Cimmerians.

Now, we know that the Keltoi - Celts - were among the most feared of tribes in the ancient world. They sacked Rome and scared the Romans and most of their opponents with their battle tactics. Celts fought naked, dying their bodies blue, and using Lime to stiffen their hair into upright spikes. They did not fear death, believing in an afterlife. And they loved to fight even among themselves, as their Irish descendants have carried on to their sorrow. They were a very quarrelsome people.

But one strain of these people - the Teutons - headed into the far north of Europe, becoming the founders of Norway and Denmark. Denmark, by the way, means the “Borders of Dan” mark being a form of March, which means border. Denmark is 'Borders of Dan'. They took their myths and legends with them and they eventually took the name of one of their early tribal chieftains as their principle God. Wotan became Wodin, became Odin. No longer knowing their own ancient history or religion, they had nothing but the myths of old to base their theology upon. And they remained in the north and grew powerful and restive.

We know the descendants of these people as the Russians - from the Rus, or red, of their hair - and the Teutonic Germans, we remember their expansionist period as the Wikings - which we call Vikings from the Germanic pronunciation - and we marvel at their Mythology - which is a snarky way of describing a theology that we did not quite grasp.

All this is a way of coming at one of the legends of the Norse, the Teutons, the Germans. The legends, by the way, are eerily reminiscent of Christian End-Time theology, though not analogous. There is a reason for this, though you may not suspect.

There were among the Norse Gods, a class of semi-divine individuals whose duties included taking part of the dead from any battle, and carrying them to Valhalla. The other half were carried to Asgard, the home of Odin. These semi-divines were women, notable for their power and ferocity and unearthly beauty. They were called the Valkyries. Wiki says: The word "valkyrie" comes from the Old Norse valkyrja (plural "valkyrur"), from the words "val" (slain) and "kyrja" (choose). Literally the term means choosers of the slain.

They were sometimes believed to sway the tide of battle, but this is not certain. They rode wild Boars, or chariots pulled by huge cats. They did not ride horses. Some consider them to be a hazy approximation of the ancient, legendary Amazons. Among the Valkyries named in Norse Sagas is Svava. Sváva appears in Helgakviða Hjörvarðssonar . Her name means "Suebian". Suebians were a Germanic tribe, the remnant of which remains in Swabia, an area in Southern Germany, and are known as Swabians.

Now, hold that thought, remember where we are, and follow me back to the Caucasus Mountains once again. Remember that the people pouring out and spreading over the earth was at times called the Scythians?

Scythia - now north of the Caucasus

The Scythians were a warrior people. The Greeks considered that the Amazons were Scythian, though some of the Greek legends are all over the place, showing a typical Greek lack of understanding when it came to people who were “barbarians”. They were placed in an area of Modern Turkey by the shores of the Black Sea, though Scythia was a large, amorphous area in ancient times. The Greeks, however, did depict the so-called Amazons on pottery from the Classical Period, and shows an intricate and interesting dress of a Warrior on horseback. Look at the image below. That is an “Amazon” rider. A Scythian. Remember that costume.

Amazon Warrior on Horseback - Grecian Urn
Amazonian Warrior on Horseback - Grecian Urn ca. 420 BC

The Scythians as a part of this huge migration headed in a fan shape, becoming known as other tribes, but renowned as warriors wherever they went. The legend of Warrior Women - or Amazons - went with them. One Russian archaeologist, Vera Kovalevskaya, points out that when Scythian men were away fighting or hunting, nomadic women would have to be able to defend themselves, their animals and pasture-grounds competently. During the time that the Scythians advanced into Asia and achieved near-hegemony in the Near-East, there was a period of twenty-eight years when the men would have been away on campaigns for long periods. During this time the women would have had to defend themselves, and the legend continued.
Modern archaeologists have unearthed some of the Scythian burials of warrior-maidens entombed under kurgans in the region of the Altay Mountains and Sarmatia. The costumes are similar to the designs on the Greek urns. The Altay Mountains are in Central Asia, where Russia, China, Mongolia and Kazakhstan come together. The legend of the Amazons is no longer purely legend but is at least partially a fact. And they were not Greek but Scythian.

Scythians were described as short, stout, and blond. Not black or brown-haired, but blond. Their warrior women were blond-haired as well. On a PBS documentary I watched not long ago, an archaeologist had traveled into the areas of Mongolia where she believed the Amazon women to have gone. She tested blood - trying to find DNA matches based on the burials unearthed much farther West. Scythian burials. Amazonian burials. One of the families she found had one daughter with the Mongolian eyes - almond-shaped - but who had not the rich brown eyes of the rest of her family, but the bright blue of an unknown ancestor. The other difference between this girl and her parents and siblings? Her hair was blond. Her DNA - the mitochondrial strain used for such research - showed her to be a descendant of the Scythian Warrior woman who had been buried milennia before.
This Mongolian girl was a descendant of the Amazons. Amazons were fact not Myth or legend. They were blond-haired and blue-eyed.

Still with me here? Let’s head back to cold, icy climes of the Teutonic North of Europe and take one more gander at the Valkyries. How did the Teutonic peoples describe the Valkyries? First they were beautiful, but they all had blond hair and blue eyes. They were Warrior Women, with blond hair and blue eyes. As were the Scythian warrior women, as were the Amazons who were Scythians.

What does this all mean? Just this: Our teachers tell us things in school. We carry them with us into our adulthood. And they’re not always correct. Amazons were a part of Myth and Legend, but they were also real. They existed in reality in Scythia and then in parts east. They were remembered and celebrated by their family as it headed west and no longer needed their women to be warriors. They passed into Teutonic legends as semi-goddesses, and into Classical history as mere Myth and Legend. And their descendants, real people, went east and planted themselves there to give us tantalizing views of themselves in nomadic people and their children. And on festive occasions the women put on their homemade finery which bears a striking resemblance to the costumes worn by a Warrior Woman on an urn painted in Ancient Greece 2,500 years ago.

You are responsible for the information you know. Not the Press, not the government, not your teachers. You, and you alone. Do your homework.

Here’s Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries”. Just remember that the Valkyries he was writing about did not ride horses.

Free file hosting from File Den

Hosea 2:23 And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to [them which were] not my people, Thou [art] my people; and they shall say, [Thou art] my God.

Naturally I have more to say. And here's where I get very theoretical, and steer you into the mysteries of Jewish and Christian history.

If all this is correct - the Israelites heading into the Caucasus and becoming what we know as the Scythians and Celts, the history of these people makes sense from a Christian theological standpoint. GOD promised Abraham that his seed would become as numerous as the sands on the shore or the stars in he sky - without number, beyond counting. And he was speaking of the sons of Isaac not Ishmael.

Yet we moderns count only the Jews as descendants of Israel, and they are easily counted, or numbered. But we do this without reckoning the “Ten Lost Tribes”. For they were children of Israel, too. And they were not lost, but hidden.

From their descendants would come the great European Civilizations which would conquer much of the world: the Frankish Empire of Charlemagne, the British Empire, and thus the United States of America. One of the descendants of this migration of warriors sits on the throne of England. One of her relatives sits in the White House.

If this is correct. And it means that GOD does mean what He says. And does what He says He will do. The greatest friend of the nation of Israel is the United States - which you would expect of family. Remember that the Gospel spread through the Gentiles, not the Jews - the Jewish Church disappeared with the Roman sack of Jerusalem - and the spread of Christianity, though not always peaceful or pleasant, came through the converted pagans of the Celtic peoples in Europe, and eventually the Protestant Church of England. After that it was the Americans who became the proselytizers of the world.

If all this is correct! And of course this is not original with me. In fact it became popular in the 19th century and became polluted with bigotry, fanaticism, and elitism. It was called British Israelism and sullied the research and facts unearthed. And it has disappeared under the weight of its own followers' zealotry and foolishness. But the theory and the facts remained, and directed research which continues to this day.

If all this is correct. Think about the Teutonic/Celtic peoples in all their different nationalities and ask yourself if they are nearly without number or beyond counting. Add in their religious cousins - the Jews - and you have an enormous number of people. And those people have been blessed wherever they have put down roots. The non-Christian world sees the Christian world as monolithic - it ain’t! - and it encompasses the mightiest nation on earth. Blessed, many Americans believe, by GOD.

If all this is correct. Common wisdom says no, the Ten Lost Tribes are mythical, nothing more, and disappeared entirely. That’s what we have been taught, and that’s what the experts want you to believe.

I know what I believe and what I think. And it makes me optimistic. Yet it’s all theory. It isn’t proven. But perhaps, seeing the troublesome nature of these unseemly people - the Israelites of the northern Kingdom - GOD saw fit to remove them from His protection, only to bless them later. HE does not forget, you know. And surely the people who sprang from these warlike nomads have been richly blessed.

What about you?

Note: Look into the Biblical prophecies regarding Manasseh and Ephraim. Very interesting, and pertinent to this discussion.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Have A Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

From Gina Cobb, these thoughts:
Something to keep in mind as you gather with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving.

  • It may be wise to overlook the undercooked turkey (as long as it's not in salmonella territory)
  • It may be wise to overlook someone else's outrageous political remarks at the dinner table. Just. Let. It. Go.
  • It may be wise to overlook a relative who eats way too much -- or way too little.
  • It may be wise to overlook the childrens' bedtimes, just this once.
  • It may be wise to overlook all the petty irritations that would normally irritate you, pettily.

But don't overlook your blessings! Never!

Count your blessings, each and every one. And give thanks!

pretty picture, huh?
Stuff you should know about turkeys! From InfoPlease:
How the Turkey Got Its Name
There are a number of explanations for the origin of the name of Thanksgiving's favorite dinner guest. Some believe Christopher Columbus thought that the land he discovered was connected to India, and believed the bird he discovered (the turkey) was a type of peacock. He therefore called it 'tuka,' which is 'peacock' in Tamil, an Indian language.

Though the turkey is actually a type of pheasant, one can't blame the explorer for trying.

The Native American name for turkey is 'firkee'; some say this is how turkeys got their name. Simple facts, however, sometimes produce the best answers—when a turkey is scared, it makes a "turk, turk, turk" noise.

Turkey Facts
  • At one time, the turkey and the bald eagle were each considered as the national symbol of America. Benjamin Franklin was one of those who argued passionately on behalf of the turkey. Franklin felt the turkey, although "vain and silly", was a better choice than the bald eagle, whom he felt was "a coward".
  • According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 45 million turkeys are cooked and eaten in the U.S. at Thanksgiving—that's one sixth of all turkeys sold in the U.S. each year. American per capita consumption of turkeys has soared from 8.3 pounds in 1975 to 18.5 pounds last year.
  • Last year, 2.7 billion pounds of turkey was processed in the United States.
  • In 1995, retail sales of turkey reached approximately $4.4 billion. They are expected to reach $4.7 billion in 2000.
  • Age is a determining factor in taste. Old, large males are preferable to young toms (males) as tom meat is stringy. The opposite is true for females: old hens are tougher birds.
  • A turkey under sixteen weeks of age is called a fryer, while a young roaster is five to seven months old.
  • Turkeys are only native to the Western Hemisphere.
  • Turkeys have great hearing, but no external ears. They can also see in color, and have excellent visual acuity and a wide field of vision (about 270 degrees), which makes sneaking up on them difficult. However, turkeys have a poor sense of smell (what's cooking?), but an excellent sense of taste.
  • Domesticated turkeys cannot fly. Wild turkeys, however, can fly for short distances at speeds up to 55 miles per hour. They can also reach speeds of 25 miles per hour on the ground.
  • Turkeys sometimes spend the night in trees.
  • Turkeys can have heart attacks: turkeys in fields near the Air Force test areas over which the sound barrier was broken were known to drop dead from the shock of passing jets
  • The ballroom dance known as the Turkey Trot was named for the short, jerky steps a turkey makes.

pretty picture, huh?
Don't forget those who go in Harm's Way on our behalf. Remember them in your Thanksgiving Prayers. They'd rather be home with loved ones. Keep them in your heart.

Carlson cartoon found at Screw Liberals. Thanks Jenn of the Jungle!

Brian Neudorff, Weekend Meteorologist at WJET-TV in Erie, PA, gives us this picture of what Thanksgiving Day's weather will be like. Nice image, isn't it?

Eat well, drink wisely, give thanks!
Dining! Oh, Boy!

It's Getting To Be That Time Of Year

It’s that time of year when we’ll be bombarded with Christmas music - the good, bad, and unendurable - wherever we go, the television schedules will be filled with various Christmas Specials - most of them cheap rip-offs of Dickens, etc. - and we might be lucky enough to find the few Holiday gems that we remember from days gone by. Among those gems you might watch for the umpteenth time “A Charlie Brown Christmas" with its non-PC rendering of Scripture from Linus, “White Christmas” with Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby. Perhaps you’ll sit through “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens in its many guises from the Alastair Sim as Scrooge to Bill Murray in the role in “Scrooged". My personal favorite - so shoot me! - is “Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol", a television cartoon I’ve loved since it first aired. (“..with Razzleberry Dressing ...”). I’m also partial to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” with Burl Ives (“Bumbles bounce!” “I want to be a Dentist!”).

But for me the Christmas is not the same if I don’t catch Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in “Holiday Inn” which is the film that debuted Irving Berlin’s most popular song “White Christmas”. As MCA/Universal describes the film:
"Holiday Inn has become one of the best-loved film musicals of all time for its delightful dancing, sensational story and Irving Berlin music that is simply unforgettable.

This is the film that introduced the Academy Award-winning classic 'White Christmas' into the public's consciousness. The song is the culmination of the charming story about two talented pals, one a singer (Bing Crosby) and the other a dancer (Fred Astaire) who find themselves competing for the affections of a lovely lady played by Virginia Dale. But when she dumps them both for a Texas millionaire, the two try to find other ways to occupy their time. Crosby would rather enjoy life than work, so he comes up with the idea of running a roadhouse that is open only for holidays. The joyful music that comes from this proposal includes 'Be Careful, It's My Heart' for Valentine's Day and 'Easter Parade' for Easter, of course. Dancing, singing, and humor light up the screen throughout.

One of the most memorable films ever created, Holiday Inn is as enchanting today as when it first wowed scores of happy crowds. This is a piece of Hollywood history that the family can treasure forever."

Fans of Astaire or Crosby have a lot to be thankful for in this movie. Bing’s singing is wonderful and Astaire dances to a fare-thee-well. One of the neatest dances Astaire does, seemingly on the spur of the moment, with his pockets filled with torpedoes and firecrackers. He looks so at ease as he dances around the stage blowing up the torpedoes and lighting and setting off the firecrackers - with the cigarette he’s smoking throughout the number (*gasp!* How un-PC!) - that it’s hard to believe that he filmed the dance 38 times until he was satisfied. Remember ... Astaire never allowed camera cuts during his dance scenes. They were filmed from beginning to end. So he performed this number, in part or in total, 38 times! Sheesh!

The dance number is called “Let's Say It With Firecrackers”, and perhaps it’s the only solo dance he did as memorable as the one where he dances up the walls and across the ceiling in “Royal Wedding”. The firecracker dance sequence required 3 days of rehearsal and took two days to film. Fred Astaire's shoes for the dance were auctioned off for $116,000 worth of war bonds.

You can watch the Firecracker dance by clicking on this still from the dance.

I wanted to find the video of the dance “I Can’t Tell A Lie” Astaire did for Washington’s Birthday in the film, but couldn’t find it. It’s funny as he and his partner attempt to dance while Bing Crosby changes the tempo of the number over and over again. Poor Fred ends up with his powdered wig askew. You have to watch the movie, Friends. Have to.

And if you are wanting some Fred Astaire magic right now, well, there’s this classic: "Pick Yourself Up", from the film "Swing Time". You should recognize his partner. It's Ginger Rogers. *sigh*

This is the first rendition:

And this is the second. Hmmm ... vast improvement by Fred, eh?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The "Stop Rudy Now!" Blogroll

Free Image Hosting at

Stop Rudy Now! 150 pixelsidAbove my "Run, Fred, Run!" Blogroll I have now added a new blogroll. This is the "Stop Rudy Now!" Blogroll. If you read my previous post you know what it's all about. This particular image is the one I use for my sidebar - anything wider and all the posts slide below the sidebar. What fun, eh? - and I have four sizes for you to choose from. Just slide your cursor over each image to see what the width is in pixels. The smallest is 150. Then click on the image to go to the actual properly sized image. It isn't hard at all.

Stop Rudy Now! 250 pixelsI'm not saying that I won't support Rudy Giuliani should he win the Republican nomination. I just do not agree with this idiotic idea of his "inevitability" as the nominee. There's still a lot - an awful lot! - of campaigning time remaining before the Conventions and even the primaries. Let's get the word out that we don't like Rudy and have other choices. And if we can stop him now then maybe we can recover the Republican Party from the Rockefeller wing that has slowly taken over again since the Reagan Revolution.

Remember that Reagan had pretty big coat-tails. I think if Fred Thompson can really get his message out, eluding the mealy-mouthed tendecies of campaigners, the voters may well sweep him into the White House with a Republican Congress. It's not as if the populace is enamored of the Democrat Congress. We can turn back from the Socialization of our nation. We can stop the Clinton machine from returning to the White House. We can make the Republican Party one to be proud of and one rooted in the U.S. Constitution rather than in the whims of the mob.

Stop Rudy Now! 200 pixelsHere's the place to start, if you like! Right here! Join the "Stop Rudy Now! blogroll!

So the "Stop Rudy Now!" blogroll is now open! I hope you'll join me in it. I've made the three logos, of differing sizes that you can use on your own blog or website. Or take the big image at the top of the post and size it to your own blog needs. Just email me at benning76 at verizon dot net, and I'll add you to the roll!

Here's the code for the blogroll:

<script language="javascript" type="text/javascript" src=""></script>

Note: Patrick, here's a picture Andy might enjoy. I found it at a Greek site here.

Free Image Hosting at

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I'm Not For Rudy! I'm For Fred!

In June of this year I posted on the slide of our nation from a representative republic - the intended model of the Founding Fathers - into a democracy, something feared by those same Founding Fathers as Mob Rule. The post garnered only 4 comments, but I don’t get that many and those comments were nice. Two of the comments ignored the body of the post and aimed at the addendum.
In my addendum to that post I said:
The only candidate I have read of, or heard, who hews closely to Constitutional principles is Fred Thompson. Whatever faults he may have, being merely human, he acts on the Constitution, not on the whims of the Mob. Think about that.

I have seen nothing since then to change my mind. I started a blogroll called “Run, Fred, Run!” supporting a candidacy by Fred Thompson to win the Republican nomination. A few bloggers joined it, and I waited for Fred Thompson to see the “Light” and begin the campaign. I may have to change that blogroll or rename it to “Go, Fred, Go!”

At that time the leading candidate for the Republican nomination was Rudy Giuliani, followed by the maverick - as the MSM loves to designate him - John McCain. McCain quickly went into a bit of a tail-spin and has since remained behind. But Rudy has been the front-runner all along. Why? Because he has the name recognition, he’s “America’s Mayor” following the 9/11 attacks, he sounds like a tough campaigner, and he’s been out there putting in face time and staying in the news.

Fred Thompson, on the other hand, was slow to start, causing some to wonder if he had the desire, slow to get rolling once he had announced his candidacy, and has been very choosy about where he will show up to speak, and how often. He seems a reluctant candidate. He says he isn’t.

Unlike the other candidates for their parties’ nomination, Thompson has a record on the issues of the day that he does not hide nor flee from. He doesn’t equivocate about where he stands. (Does Hillary support Driver’s Licenses for illegal aliens? Does she oppose them? What day of the week is this?) Fred Thompson stands with the U.S. Constitution. Where else could a President stand? He believes that some things are not the Federal Government’s business - the Constitution says so quite clearly - but reside with the individual States or with the people. He opposes adding amendments to the Constitution to ban flag-burning - don’t localities ban burning things in public without a permit? - or Gay Marriages, supports the appointment of Judges who will do their job and not attempt to legislate from the bench - the Legislatures have that power and duty, not the Courts! - and supports stiffer measures to stem the tide of illegals entering this country. After all, protecting the borders is not a State issue but a Federal one, and one the Feds have failed to do for many decades.

Rudy Giuliani is ... well ... my blogging friend Patrick is saying it better than I ever could, first in “Stop Rudy Now!”:
I was one of the first to jump on the Rudy bandwagon and even started a "Run, Rudy, Run" Blogroll when he first announced. Why? Because I thought that we had a winner in "America's Mayor." But, as I learned more about him, I realized that I had made a mistake and I intend to make every effort between now and the primaries to ensure that he is not the GOP nominee.
I could dig up the dirt on Rudy but all the candidates have got some mud stuck to them and that doesn't seem quite fair. My growing dislike of Rudy is not easily explained in level-headed terms. I don't care about his pro-gay stance one way or the other. But I don't like his weaselly take on abortion. And I absolutely loathe his attitude toward the Second Amendment. That alone is enough to make me oppose him.

Then in ”Stop Rudy Now #2”, Patrick says:
If Rudy gets into the WH and then behaves like the statist thug that he really is beneath that phony grin, the GOP will be blamed for ruining the country. It's better to let the blame fall on the Clintons.

I keep reading conservative bloggers say; "But Rudy will be tough on terrorists." So what? All the GOP candidates (except Paul who is not a real Republican anyway) will be tough on terror. So why would we chose someone whose only "conservative" stance is his hawkishness? On nearly every other issue there is no difference between Rudy and Billary.

I don't want to have to face the choice between Rudy and Billary. It would not even be a choice between the lesser of two evils because they are both immoral, power hungry thugs. Rudy is not a conservative either politically or emotionally. He is a radical and maybe just as malignantly narcissistic as Billary and definitely as duplicitous.

"Oh, but look how he turned NYC around," those Republicans who've been fooled by Rudy's oily charm say. "But he was tough on crime and made the trains run on time." Yes, so did Mussolini and I don't want a thug in the WH.

For those of us who value the ideals of Goldwater and Reagan, it's essential to prevent Rudy from getting the nomination. Stop Rudy now!

Finally, in “The myth that only Rudy can beat Billary”, Patrick says,
If (BIG IF) Rudy gets the nomination, I will hold my nose and vote for him and then hold his feet to the fire. But some people will never vote for him because they think that Rudy will destroy the GOP and maybe even the USA. I'm not that pessimistic. We've had worse Republican Presidents in the past and survived and I'd still bet that Rudy would not be as bad for the USA as Billary. I don't think that Rudy will appoint commies to SCOTUS or give amnesty to 12 million illegals. Billary will and that will be the end of the Republic and the beginning of European-style socialism - or worse: a Third World banana republic.

Rudy may be bad for the GOP and set us back to the pre-Reagan era but we'll recover from that too. Reagan was a complete anomaly in the GOP. Let's face it: Bush Jr is no Reaganite and we've survived him. Most of the history of the GOP has not been Reaganite but Rockefeller/Bushite. We'll recover and keep pushing to advance the Reagan Revolution.

Amen, Brother!

I have not supported Rudy Giuliani in his quest for the White House. He’s never been my choice. He’s a Big Statist Liberal, a Rockefeller Republican, perhaps even a RINO. John McCain is a loose cannon who has stabbed many of his fellow Republicans in the back without so much as a “By-your-leave”, and strays from the Conservative path with his sponsorship of the McCain-Feingold horror, his support of amnesty for illegals, and many other things. Mitt Romney remains a bit of an enigma. What does he really think, support, care about? He seems okay, but ...? As for the lesser lights also running, Ron Paul is a Dennis Kucinich Republican: a loon who isn’t all there and probably isn’t any kind of a Republican. Huckabee is another Big Statist, Tancredo and Hunter are One-Trick Ponies whose fight to secure our borders I fully support. Either one would be a good choice, I think, for a Veep, but right now I would hew more toward Romney for that spot on a Fred Thompson ticket.

Go read Patrick's posts - heck just go surf his blog! It’s great! - and see what you think of Giuliani. I think you will agree, and will also agree with his conclusion that we can survive a Giuliani Administration. But why not try to avoid that or “Clinton, Part Deux” and support Fred Thompson? I will! What about you?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Musical Musing

In March of 1966 four Folk Music performers, having left the confines of the Folk Music scene behind and dabbled in some Rock ‘N Roll, debuted their first Rock ‘N Roll record album. Of the twelve songs on this debut album, three had already aired as singles and been charted on the U.S. and British Rock Charts. The debut album was titled, “If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears”, and the name the band had chosen for themselves was The Mamas & the Papas.

Debut AlbumI remember this record very well. It was the very first Rock ‘N Roll album my sister and I were ever allowed to purchase. And we didn’t purchase it for ourselves. We bought it as a gift for our Aunt Betsy - who was a mere decade older than we - and thus was acceptable to the powers that be in our home (Mom and Dad). For the times - the mid-60s - this was an innocuous album, full of harmonies and sweet melodies, displaying none of the drug-addled , alcohol-laced lyrics and guitar riffs of other bands of the era. Nor did it presage the difficulties the band would endure in their internal soap opera.

It is one of the best albums of its day, and it plays like a greatest hits compilation. Just look at the cuts from “If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears”:
  • "Monday, Monday" - 3:27
  • "Straight Shooter" - 3:27
  • "Got a Feelin'" - 2:31
  • "I Call Your Name" - 2:39
  • "Do You Wanna Dance?" - 2:57
  • "Go Where You Wanna Go" - 2:30
  • "California Dreamin'" - 2:41
  • "Spanish Harlem" - 3:21
  • "Somebody Groovy" - 3:15
  • "Hey Girl" - 2:27
  • "You Baby" - 2:19
  • "The 'In' Crowd" - 3:10

Mama CassNot one is a clunker, though not all are big hits. Some are old songs given new life by a very talented band. Their version of “Spanish Harlem” is simply beautiful and atmospheric, “Do You Wanna Dance” is given a new spin from the Bobby Freeman original of 1958 and the Beach Boys version of 1965.

And “I Call Your Name” is perhaps the finest remake of a Beatles tune ever. In fact “I Call Your Name” comes off as a Honky-Tonk Bar song, with Cass Elliot singing the lead vocals to a piano and drum, until the band joins in for the refrains and backing harmonies. This is a song that shows what a talented group can do with a remake other than a watered-down version of the original. It’s also the first real explosion of Mama Cass’s vocal talents for the world outside of the Folk music circle. She’s superb.

Second AlbumHow did they choose their name? They began as “The Magic Cyrcle” but decided they wanted something easier for fans to remember. From Denny Doherty’s website:
We repair to The Landmark Inn laden down with food and drink and many exotic potions with which to celebrate our good fortune. Cass cooks one of her specialties: Duck a l'orange and after fulsome amounts of whiskey, and brandy and wine and grass and, in a few cases, Seconals - we're all just lying around vegging out watching TV and discussing names for the group. "The New Journeymen" was not a handle that was going to hang on this outfit. John was pushing for "The Magic Cyrcle". Eech, but none of us could come up with anything better, then we switch the channel and, hey, it's the Hell's Angels on this talk show . . .
And the first thing we hear is: "Now hold on there, Hoss. Some people call our women cheap, but we just call them our Mamas." Cass jumped up: "Yeah ! I want to be a Mama." And Michelle is going: "We're the Mamas! We're the Mamas!" OK. I look at John. He's looking at me going : "The Papas ?" Problem solved. A toast ! To The Mamas and The Papas. Well, after many, many toasts Cass and John are passed out. [...]

The MugwumpsThis is a foursome sharpened by a few years of traveling and performing, finding a sound that fit their vocal talents well, and capturing the opportunity to record when it struck. These were not “over-night” sensations, but seasoned pros. Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty had been a part of “The Mugwumps”, which also included Zal Yanovsky who would become an integral part of “The Lovin’ Spoonful”. John Phillips started in the Folk Music scene with a trio called “The Journeymen”, developing his craft in Greenwich Village where he would meet Elliot and Doherty. While touring California with The Journeymen, Phillips met Michelle Gilliam who would become his second wife (1962 - 1970) and the fourth member of the original Mamas & the Papas. Kicked out of the band after her affair with Doherty was revealed, Michelle was re-signed two-and-a-half months later, her replacement, Jill Gibson, being paid off with a lump sum. As I said earlier, an “internal soap opera”. However, by the time of Michelle's return, the band had lost focus, momentum and direction. While trying to create another album, Elliot left the group, bringing about the end of The Mamas & the Papas.

A short, meteoric career.

John Phillips was the primary songwriter and musical arranger of The Mamas & the Papas. Early in the band's history, John and Michelle were responsible for writing most of the band's songs. John would often come up with a melody and some lyrics, and Michelle would help him complete the lyrical portion of the song. Doherty, a Canadian singer and songwriter, had a fine baritone voice. Cass Elliot - known to her fans always as Mama Cass - was perhaps the most vocally-talented member of the band. She went on to a very successful solo career recording nine albums of her own. Following the second of two sold-out performances at London’s Palladium - to standing ovations - Cass Elliot died in her hotel room of a heart attack on July 29, 1974. The night before she died, she had called Michelle in L.A. to tell her how happy thrilled she was about getting standing ovations at The Palladium. Michelle Phillips says that Mama Cass "died a very happy woman."Papa John

Papa DennyDenny Doherty died on January 19, 2007 at his home in Mississauga, Ontario, from kidney failure following surgery on an abdominal aneurysm. After surviving a liver transplant in the 1980s, John Phillips died of heart failure on March 18, 2001.

Mama MichelleMichelle Phillips is the only surviving member of The Mamas & the Papas, and a successful actress.

The band existed for only a very short time, but they recorded some very fine music, and gave the world songs that survive to this day. They remain one of my favorite bands of the Rock Era. Here’s one of those debut album songs, “Got A Feelin’”. It’s sweet and pretty. Hopefully it will have loaded completely by the time you get here. Enjoy.

Free file hosting from File Den

The Mamas & the Papas

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Voting Ends: Angel Wins!

2007 Weblog Awards

Angel at Woman Honor Thyself has won the 2007 Weblog Awards in her category: Best of the Top 501 - 1000 Blogs Click the link to see the final tally on that page. If you'd rather not, then here's a screen shot I pulled from the page that shows the top three vote-getters.

Angel Wins the 2007 Weblog Award!

Defiant Infidel blogged on Angel's fine win and I stole his picture - why not? It's perfect! Please click the link and go read his take on Angel, her win, and her blog.
Cheers, Toots!

Angel's win is well-deserved. She blogs daily - well, perhaps hourly! - and is one of those bloggers who actually visits her blogging friends often, leaving comments as she goes. Her blog is chock full of information, opinion, links, and insights that spark other bloggers to blog themselves. It's a friendly blog to visit, so if you haven't seen it, then git on over!

Congratulations, Angel! You da Woman!

Of the rest of the categories I was watching - and voting in - closely, The Anchoress came in third to Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) and Lindsay Beyerstein (Majikthise)in the category of : Best Individual Blogger. I've visited the Instapundit but have never heard of Majikthise. Oh well, it's a good showing for the blog that I tried to emulate when first I essayed into the blogosphere.

Third Place For The Anchoress

Great showing, Ma'am, but you shoulda won!

Sister Toldjah was far back in the pack for Best Conservative Blog, but Captain's Quarters and Michelle Malkin were nominated (and Finalists) in other categories, and should not have been in this one. Sorry, that's the way I see it!

ST Back In The Pack

Bookworm also took third in her category: Best of the Top 1001 - 1750 Blogs She was concerned that she'd be embarrassed by a poor showing. Not a chance! Nice work, Bookie-pooh!

Bookworm Shows~!

To all the winners: Well done and Congratulations! To those who didn't win - you were Finalists and that means you are something special! Well done to you, too!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Assault On Christmas: Fort Collins Goes First (Updated)

(For Update scroll down)

It wasn't enough to order people not to say, "Merry Christmas" but instead to cheerily intone, "Happy Holidays", or to ban the display in publicly-owned places of religious symbols such as decorated Christmas Trees (Winter Solstice Trees), creches (infant human alternative sleeping places), Angels (Holiday Fairies), or even Hannukah Menorahs (Semitic Candelabra), but now Fort Collins, Colorado has decided, in its infinite wisdom to ban the use in public areas of red and green lights.
From WND:
A special task force in a Colorado city has recommended banning red and green lights at the Christmas holiday because they fall among the items that are too religious for the city to sponsor.

"Some symbols, even though the Supreme Court has declared that in many contexts they are secular symbols, often still send a message to some members of the community that they and their traditions are not valued and not wanted. We don't want to send that message," Seth Anthony, a spokesman for the committee, told the Fort Collins, Colo., Coloradoan.

"Not valued ..." One has to wonder when any governmental body had the unmitigated gall to think it had the right to "value" or "Not value" any religion or persons. When did it become the government's job to make all its citizens feel "wanted" or "esteemed"?

He [Anthony, a Fort Collins Libertarian] said the recommended language does not specifically address Christmas trees by name, but the consensus was that they would not fall within acceptable decorations.

What will be allowed are white lights and "secular" symbols not associated "with any particular holiday" such as icicles, unadorned greenery and snowflakes, the task force said.

The group was made up of members of the city's business and religious communities as well as representatives from some community groups. Members met for months to review the existing holiday display policy, which allowed white as well as multi-colored lights and wreaths and garlands.

I can't imagine any thinking American patronizing the businesses owned or managed by the members of this P.C. group. As for the community groups involved, I wonder what sort of advocacy they have provided in the past, and which groups they have pushed for.
"I expect criticism from people who feel like we are taking Christmas away. And I expect we will get criticism from people who think educational display endorses religions," Anthony said. "(But) to the extent we can, recognizing that offending no one will be impossible, we want to be inclusive."

Inclusive? Funny how the word always comes after offending and disenfranchising as many Christians as possile. Inclusive. Sure. By all means let's include the pagans who celebrate the Winter Solstice, and the odd Afro-centric blacks who celebrate the fake non-holiday of Kwanzaa. But let us not include the celebrations of 805 of the populace without making damn sure they know their place in the public square, which is paying the taxes and keeping their beliefs to themselves.
City officials touted their own efforts.

"I am really delighted to see us taking this step," Mayor Doug Hutchinson said when the task force was being assembled. "I think Fort Collins is a great city, and I think great cities are inclusionary."

Gee whiz, Doug, I hope you are recalled for sheer stupidity and empty-headed platitudes as soon as is humanly possible. If the Mayor of Largo, Florida had the P.C. disease as publicly as this mouth-breather does, I would never cast a vote in his favor again. I would also make sure everyone I knew was told exactly why. Hey! Fort Collins! Get rid of that thimble-headed Gerkin you call a Mayor! He's a disgrace!

The Colororadoan has an online forum for this particular topic, and the comments seem to be mostly against this P.C. Task Force's recommendations. Oh, there are a few simple-minded, "Gee, can't you stop hating" style comments from the Dennis Kucinich wing of Americans in Colorado. But it looks like this could be voted down. As it should be.

Remember this, next time the Lefties and ACLU-types laugh at the assertion that Christmas is under attack. It is and they know it. Every year they try it again, in another city or state, from another direction and with yet another rationale for their perfidy. But the aim is always the same: destroy the Christians or the Jews. Create a Secular Utopia of the Left.

Happy Holidays? My ass!

Note: Bloggers are having some fun with this while angry with the underlying garbage. The Canadian Sentinel: "More PC Insanity: Red & Green Lights Ban Proposed
Because they're too Christmassy!"

Gayle's Liberal Lunacy: It's Official: Colorado City Officials Have Gone Around the Bend! And she asks,"Did you know that red and green lights were religious? I didn't know that. What next? Are they going to remove these?"

Update: Brooke brings news of another assault on Christmas, this time from those friendly folks at HUD. Read her post - its an eye-opener!
Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development officials have announced a ban on any decorations in HUD housing complexes that mention Jesus or represent religion for the Christmas season, and the American Family Association has responded with a petition drive to overturn the decision.

The very bureaucrats who live off the tax monies paid by Americans - which includes some 80%+ Christians - have decided that they have the authority to ban any reference to Christ at housing paid for by American taxpayers ( again: which includes some 80%+ Christians) and we're left to wonder how they managed to amend the Constitution to delete part of the First Amendment. You remember that one, don't you? That's the one the MSM and Lefties always quote by leaving out the part regarding Religion (the very beginning of their favorite Amendment):
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Brooke continues:
The issue arose at the Plant City Living Center in Plant City, Fla., where 85-year-old Mrs. Arnold was told that federal law now prohibits her from displaying anything that references religion – words, decorations and the like – in the common area of her apartment building, a HUD facility.

The AFA (The American Family Association) has set up a link to allow constituents to send e-mails to the HUD secretary or President Bush expressing their objections to the policy.

WND reports:
The family group noted the federal government has become increasingly active in banning Christianity from the public square, citing the National Park Service's efforts to conceal the words "Laus Deo," which is Latin for "Praise Be to God" at the Washington Monument, and the move by a Veterans Administration official to ban the script of a flag-folding ceremony that mentions "Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" and "Father, Son and Holy Ghost" at 100 national cemeteries.

However, "both of these were rescinded after AFA supporters sent e-mails to proper authorities," the AFA said. In the case of the Washington Monument dispute, Park Service officials told WND they got 26,000 e-mails in a morning.

It can be fought! We do still have the authority to defeat the secularists who would wipe out religion from this nation and our history! Find that link and go let HUD and the President know what you think. Don't forget: the government is yours! They work for you! You call the shots! That U.S. Constitution's not a limit on you and I, it is a limit on them! Go tell them! Don't dawdle! Thanks, Brooke! Great post!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Did You Remember ....

Got up bright and early this morning - actually dark and early, and was out the door a little earlier than usual. I had time to stop for gas, which is good when you're running on fumes, and get to the store with time to spare. I wandered in, ambled down the aisles heading for the time clock, nodding to the overnight folks.

Then a voice called out from behind me, "You realize it's only 4 O'clock!"

*Head smack!*

No, I hadn't realized it. I thought it was 5 o'clock. I had forgotten completely to set my clocks back an hour on Saturday night. That extra hour of sleep I'd been looking forward to had disappeared entirely.


So if you haven't set your clocks back yet, and are wondering why things seem to be behind schedule, it's earlier than you think!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Start The Voting!

The 2007 Weblog Awards

Voting for The 2007 Weblog Awards is now open. This is the big one, folks, and I have my list of favorites linked below. Oh, I got a nomination (in the "Best of the Top 1751 - 2500 Blogs" category) and four votes - or maybe it was five? - but didn't make the finals. But some of my regular haunts certainly did!

I'll start with the smaller blogs. Why not? I'm a small blog!

TTLB Ecosystem Based Categories
Best of the Top 250 Blogs ~ My VAST Right Wing Conspiracy
Best of the Top 251 - 500 Blogs ~ PC Free Zone
Best of the Top 501 - 1000 Blogs ~ Woman Honor Thyself (Angel)
Best of the Top 1001 - 1750 Blogs ~ Bookworm Room
Best of the Top 1751 - 2500 Blogs ~ Texas Rainmaker
Best of the Top 2501 - 3500 Blogs ~ Random Thoughts

Best of the Top 5001 - 6750 Blogs ~ Liberty Pundit

International Categories
Best Canadian Blog ~ Small Dead Animals
Best Middle East or Africa Blog ~ Treppenwitz
Best Latino, Caribbean, or South American Blog ~ Babalu Blog

Topic Area Categories
Best Military Blog ~ Michael Yon
Best Law Blog ~ Volokh Conspiracy
Best Science Blog ~ Junk Science

General Categories
Best Political Coverage ~ RealClearPolitics
Best Conservative Blog ~ Sister Toldjah
Best Comic Strip ~ PvP Online (or Day By Day)
Best Individual Blogger ~ The Anchoress
Best New Blog ~ Commentary Magazine - Contentions

And finally ....

Best Blog ~ Captain's Quarters (or Michelle Malkin)

You can vote in each category once each 24 hours. Polls close on the 8th of Novemeber, so get moving! Let your friends know about the voting, tell your blog visitors, too! Heck, send them here!

Vote! Have fun, too!

The 2007 Weblog Awards