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Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words. - John Wayne

Thursday, September 29, 2005
Market Forces vs. Air America
by Cordeiro
Market Forces are beginning to be felt in the Ivory Towers of Air America Radio. Michelle Malkin points to an article in the Philadelphia Daily News detailing the decision of Philly's WHAT-AM 1340 to yank Al "Cheap Shot" Franken and company from the airwaves.

Al Franken and Randi Rhodes are getting the boot from Philadelphia airwaves, as WHAT-AM (1340) is pulling off programming from Air America, the liberal talk-radio network.

Friday will be the last day, and a new WHAT lineup will begin Monday, said general manager Kernie Anderson, adding that “things were not working out” with Air America after about a year.

WHAT aired Air America’s programming from noon to 7 p.m. weekdays, sandwiched between the rest of its lineup. The juxtaposition of liberal talk and WHAT’s African America-targeted talk programming seemed an odd fit from the start.

Ratings were abysmal.
Abysmal is a code word for Non-Existant.

HT Political Teen
Hammer Time
by Cordeiro
Yes, I know its a cheesy headline. Maybe I'm being co-opted by the MSM.

After three years and untold expense, Travis County (Texas) District Attorney Ronnie Earle has succeeded in indicting House Majority Leader Tom "The Hammer" Delay.

I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on this blog. However, I am able to read an indictment. I have read the four page indictment handed down by Mr. Earle's Grand Jury. Contained therein, I can find not one single charge against Mr. Delay. The case laid out against Mr. Delay is so skimpy that a Brazilian Bikini is modest by comparison.

Here are the facts. Tom Delay is very effective at what he does - pushing through the House the Republican agenda despite the best efforts of Nancy "Bella" Pelosi and her band of House Jackasses. Delay is abrasive, arrogant, and extremely good at what he does. Democrats have been unable to defeat him at the ballot box, and Earle's sorry excuse for an indictment is their best shot at cutting him down to a size they can deal with.

My best bet is this never makes it to trail, however the MSM will forever refer to Delay as having been indicted for corruption. Never will they mention he was indicted by a political hack.

Memo to Mr. Earle: Jack McCoy you ain't.

Here endeth the lesson.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Nagin Redefines Oxymoron
by Cordeiro
Today New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass announced his pending retirement from his position at the NOPD. Somehow that acronym is very telling. NO PD is right.

Compass cited personal reasons for his retirement. Its a very thin veneer covering the real reason. The police force he commanded all but evaporated in the face of Hurricane Katrina. Some 250 of the 1,700 NOPD officers abandoned their posts, thereby allowing what was left of New Orleans to descend into a lawless jungle.

He was the man in charge. If this is his way of taking responsibility for his department's failure, good. Fare thee well Eddie. Good luck.

That said, I cannot in good conscience let slide the comment of Mayor Nagin on Compass' retirement:

He is a man who is loved by many, and we will miss him. It's a sad day in the city of New Orleans when a hero makes a decision like this. He leaves the department in pretty good shape and with a significant amount of leadership.

Military - Intelligence
Almost - Pregnant
NOPD - Good Shape

Go figure.
View From An Earhole - Rather Rides Again
by Cordeiro
Some people just don't know when to quit. Dan Rather, former anchor of the last place CBS Evening News, a man whose career was effectively ended by his vitriolic, hate filled, and rage driven quest to end W's re-election bid has again entered the fray to defend the story that got him canned.

Yes, Dan, you were canned. Fired. Asked to leave. You torched the house that Murrow built and Cronkite maintained. This happened to you because you ignored the first rule of holes, going so far as to order up a steam shovel to dig deeper.

NewsBuster's Matthew Sheffield has the video and transcript of a conversation between Rather and former CBS'er Marvin Kallo. The video comes from CSPAN.

In this interview, Rather declares CBS will not allow him to pursue the disproved, fraudulent, and fabricated story regarding W's Air National Guard service during the Vietnam War. Declares Dan:

CBS News doesn't want me to do that story. They wouldn't let me do that story.
Dan Rather must live in the most insulated, under exposed, and clueless world known to man. It took the Blogosphere under four hours to rip the non-scandal story to shreds suitable only for starting a campfire. The documents upon which the story was based were complete and utter fabrications, and poor ones at that.

Dan Rather stands, much like Monty Python's Black Knight after his battle with King Arthur.

You'll forgive me if I'm not afraid of Dan coming to bite my bloody kneecaps off.
Monday, September 26, 2005
Cindy's Traveling Circus
by Cordeiro
Well, Cindy Sheehan brought her three ring circus (complete with its own side show freaks) to the Nation's capitol over the weekend. About 100,000 people came out for the show, a far cry from the 300,000 claimed by the march's organizers. Evidently Cindy & Company take counting lessons from Louis Farrakan.

Upset that Hurricane Rita was getting more media coverage than she was, Ms. Sheehan posted a rambling commentary on the Daily Kos (go find it yourself, I'm not sending that windbag any traffic) berating the media for covering "wind and some rain" more than herself.

Still, most of the nation yawned. The rest were either watching Rita or football.

So, Cindy did the only thing left in her arsenal. She got arrested. Political Teen has the video. She was carried away, a smile on her face, as her supporters chanted "The Whole World Is Watching."

Yes, Cindy, the world is watching. Those who aren't laughing are cringing. In my humble opinion, your son is among those who cringe.

Here endeth the lesson.
Friday, September 23, 2005
New Orleans: Who Will You Listen to Now?
by Bonjo
In a shocking series of events today (pardon me while I yawn), the levees protecting New Orleans from the laws of physics and the forces of nature again broke open.

There has been much finger pointing since the Hurricane Katrina debacle last month. One person who continues to remain relatively unscathed is the mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin.

Ray Nagin is the person who shelved the NO evacuation plan--while a Cat 5 storm was bearing down on his below-sea level city.

Mayor Nagin is the same person who began re-opening his swamp, err, city, to residents--against the advice of leading Federal officials--as Hurricane Rita churned its way into the Gulf of Mexico earlier this week.

And now parts of New Orleans are again under water. This illustrates to me that, while there were undoubtedly shortcomings in the FEMA response to Katrina, there was obvious ineptitude and misguided leadership at the local level in the days leading up to the storm's landfall.

I now return to my weekend endeavors.
Just when I thought I was being absurd...
by Bonjo
And I thought I was being completely outrageous with my satire about President Bush causing Hurricane Katrina.

Seems there are some kooks in the world who think that kind of thing actually happens. Yeah, and I guess the Japanese mafia also made sure that the Gulf of Mexico was nice and warm, too? How'd they do that, with a secret underwater heating element the size of Texas?
Thursday, September 22, 2005
It's a Boy!
by Bonjo
Please pardon the personal nature of this post.

Earlier today my lovely wife and I welcomed our fourth son to this world. He came in at 8lbs 1oz, just shy of 21" long. He and his mom are doing well. Last time I saw him he was sleeping (quite literally) like a log.

Our first experience with childbirth was a little over four years ago. Not much has changed in this short period of time; the equipment is basically the same, the procedures are the same, etc. I did notice one difference, however.

I had joked with Mrs. Bonjo that I expected the hospital to provide high-speed Internet access. She replied that I was (A) not on a business trip, and (B) not in a hotel. When we arrived at her room this evening, I noticed a small sign that read, "For your convenience, a high-speed Internet access port is available under the desk." Some things have changed in the last few years!

In all, it was a very long, very enjoyable, and very memorable day. Witnessing the arrival of a precious new life into this world is nothing short of miraculous. I thank the heavens above for our new arrival!

(P.S.: Many thanks to the Cordeiro's and the Senior Bonjo's for watching and feeding our other kids!)
Hurricane Bonjo
by Cordeiro
The SOTR is pleased to announce the pending arrival of the Bonjo Boy #4. The fetching Mrs. Bonjo is currently hooked up to any one of a number of different drugs in anticipation of the arrival of this latest hurricane.

No word on how many drugs Bonjo is hooked up to in order to deal with his anticipation.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
Simon Wiesenthal, 1908-2005
by Cordeiro
Via Blackfive this morning - Simon Wiesenthal, also known as The Deputy for the Dead, died peacefully Tuesday at the age of 96. Like Matt, I will not attempt to summize Mr. Wiesenthal's life here. I will but point you to the Chicago Tribune and commend to you its 13 page obituary.

I will say but this, there was no one who worked harder, longer, or more diligently in the pursuit of justice for the horrors that were wrought upon those who suffered at the hands of the Nazis than Simon Wiesenthal. His legacy is unmatched, and his work brought justice to those who could no longer seek it for themselves.

Well done, Simon. Godspeed.
MSM - Stuck On Stupid
by Cordeiro
Political Teen has a down right hilarious clip from a press briefing given by Lt. General Honore regarding preparations in New Orleans for the possible effects of Hurricane Rita. When asked by an MSM reporter as to why some preparations were being done this time as opposed to those made for Katrina, the good general delivered the equivalent of a verbal body slam in saying the following:

You are stuck on stupid, I'm not going to answer that question
Looks like General Honore has been taking press conference lessons from Rummy.

Well said, General. Sadly, stupid is the only setting most MSM reporters have.
Dusty Harry - "Roberts' Heart Not Big Enough"
by Cordeiro
In a stunning revelation reported in today's New York Times Senate Minority Leader Dusty Harry, (D-Circus Circus Casino) declared his intention to join the likes of Scotch Kennedy and cast his vote against confirmation of SCOTUS Chief Nominee John Roberts. His reasoning for doing so is eloquently summed up with this quote:

I'm not too sure if his heart is as big as his head.
Translation: Dusty Harry would prefer emotional basketcases with the IQ of an amoeba to sit on the SCOTUS.

There has been much hemming and hawing in the MSM regarding who W should appoint to fill the seat of retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Many are calling on W to send up a "moderate" in order to appease Senate Democrats and maintain the "ideological balance" of the SCOTUS. A "moderate" would show W's willingness to compromise.

If Dusty Harry, Scotch Kennedy and like minded members of the Senate Jackass Caucus cannot find it in their collective mind to support someone like John Roberts, there can be no compromise with them. Evidently Dusty Harry has given W a list of 10 people deemed to be "objectionable" and thus eligible for Dusty Harry's only remaining weapon - the filibuster.

Memo to Dusty Harry: W sends people to the Senate to be confirmed or rejected by a simple majority vote. You have no standing to tell W who is and is not worthy of the bench. Check your Constitution. Retake High School Civics. Get a clue.

If Dusty Harry and the Jackass Caucus want to dictate the conditions under which the Senate fulfills its Constitutional "Advise & Consent" role, they should do one simple thing.

Win an election.

Here endeth the lesson.
Monday, September 19, 2005
Bayou Quiz de Jour
by Cordeiro
Ok, folks, here's your Pop Quiz of the Day. To do so, you must put yourself in a mindset to answer the question. Here is your situation:

You are a displaced resident of the Crescent City, the City of New Orleans. A few weeks ago, you left your home, and most if not all of your worldly possessions in order to escape the wrath of Hurricane Katrina. You did this with your own resources, as the evacuation plan for New Orleans pretty much left everyone to their own devices.

You now hear two conflicting reports concerning whether or not it is safe for you to return to New Orleans:

First, Mayor Ray Nagin. His Honor, the Mayor, says it is time for New Orleans to breathe again. People will be invited back to the city by Zip Codes. It is safe to do so, at least according to Ray.

A conflicting opinion comes from Vice-Admiral Thad Allen, United States Coast Guard. He's in charge of the Federal effort to clean up and make safe the City of New Orleans. He notes there is little electricity, no running water, dangerous sludge in the streets, and a levee system that is barely keeping the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River, and Lake Ponchetrain from swallowing the city whole.

The question for you is, who do you believe? Do you believe Ray and Company - the same people who so effectively implemented the evacuation plan? Or do you believe Vice-Admiral Allen - a man under whose command thousands were rescued from Nagin's stunning incompetence?

If you have more than six brain cells, this shouldn't be too hard.

Here endeth the lesson.
Sunday, September 18, 2005
Kinlow Update
by Cordeiro
This post is a update on Chauncey Kinlow, eldest son of the late Sergeant James Kinlow, United States Army. Sergeant Kinlow was killed in the line of duty recently in Iraq.

I was, and remain, extremely impressed with the way the community of Lincoln County rallied around the family of this fallen soldier. To see the outpouring of support for this family makes me proud to be an American.

The latest in this great saga occurred a few weeks ago before a scrimmage game with the Lincoln County Red Devils. Prior to the game, the entire team signed a football and presented it to Chauncey. Sergeant Kinlow is a 1988 alumni of Lincoln County High School and was also a standout football player.

To me, however, the most uplifting thing about this story is this picture:

Somewhere, a proud father is smiling.

Play hard, Chauncey. Stay low. Stay square. Keep those feet moving. Don't dance with ugly offensive lineman.

Here endeth the lesson.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Tony Snow's Wisdom
by Cordeiro
I came across Tony Snow's latest piece via Michelle Malkin. I've always enjoyed listening to Tony. He's a great TV and Radio host - and generally adds some humor to his work which is just short of irreverent.

Also, he went through remodeling hell much like what I'm experiencing with Cordeiro Manor.

That said, I was unaware that he recently underwent treatment for cancer. He explains as much in his piece and I found his outlook rather refreshing. He quoted a friend who, having survived cancer in many forms, related this piece of wisdom:

When I was sick, my husband and I would sit in a group with other women who had the same thing. We sat in a circle, the same people each week.

Some looked strong and vigorous; others were pale and weak. But none of that mattered. We discovered that we could figure out who was going to live and who would die just by looking into their eyes. The ones who were afraid didn't make it. The ones who were pessimistic didn't make it. The women who made it were the ones who wanted to live, and were ready to fight. Some of the big, strong women weren't ready to fight.
What does this tell me? Attitude is really everything. How we deal with adversity is at least as important as how we deal with prosperity.

One more thought from Tony:

Fear is a waste of time. The worst that can happen is that we'll die -- which happens to everybody, anyway. Until the Grim Reaper comes knocking, we're alive.
Amen, Tony.

Carpe Diem.

Here endeth the lesson.
Celebrating A More Perfect Union
by Cordeiro
In accordance with Public Law 108-447, signed by W on December 8th 2004, September 17th is designated as Constitution Day.

Take some time today to remember those who began this great experiment in self-governance by writing the inspired document which changed the world with the empowering words

We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
218 years later, and its still the envy of the world.
Friday, September 16, 2005
Surprising Reaction to W's Speech
by Cordeiro
Brent Baker over at Newsbusters has some interesting reactions to W's speech from Jackson Square in New Orleans' French Quarter.

Evidently ABCNews' Dean Reynolds was taking the pulse of a crowd at Houston's Reliant Center following W's address. Download the video excerpt here. I'm not familiar with Reynolds as a reporter, but from his line of questioning to this woman, Connie London,I believe he was taken aback by here reaction to the speech.

You see, somehow she missed the MSM conventional wisdom memo informing her that W is responsible for her troubles. She places the responsibility squarely on the shoulders of Mayor Nagin, Governor Blanco and other state and local officials. Under repeated questioning by Reynolds, she sticks to her guns.

Well said, Connie.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
I Drove My Chevy To The Levee...
by Cordeiro
...but the levee board was under a federal investigation for corruption.

Corruption? In New Orleans? I'm shocked I'tell you. Shocked.

Or, to quote Iago, the annoying parrot from Disney's Alladin:

Now that's a surprise. I think I'm going to have a heart attack and die from not suprise!!
HT: Hedgehog
Live From Jackson Square
by Cordeiro
Tonight, the President of the United States, affectionately referred to by this Blog as W, will address the nation from New Orleans' historic Jackson Square. The speech is scheduled for 9pm Eastern Time and will last for about 20 minutes. The stated focus, obviously, will be the effort to rebuild New Orleans and the other communities along the Gulf Coast that were literally blown off the map by Hurricane Katrina.

For those of you hypnotized by the MSM coverage of the hurricane, yes, there were other communities destroyed by Katrina's wrath. New Orleans just happens to be the epicenter of the MSM focus.

Yesterday, W took responsibility for the failings of the Federal Government related to Katrina relief and recovery efforts. This is as it should be. W is the head of the Federal Government. While he may not have been making every single decision related to the hurricane, he was in charge of putting the people in charge of the agencies whose responsibility it is to deal with these things. As the Chief Executive, their failings are his failings. That's what leadership is all about.

W is taking some heat from both sides for this perceived apology. From the Right he is being criticized for the appearance of caving to leftist criticism. From the Left he is taking heat because his admission of overall responsibility is not enough. For the Left it will never be enough. Even the public execution of the FEMA Director, Rummy, and Big Time Cheney would not be enough to appease their demands.

That said, W's speech from Jackson Square will most likely be cut to ribbons by the MSM and leftist politicians before the final syllable falls from his lips. This is sadly to be expected.

In a stunning admission, Louisiana Governor Blanco admitted responsibility for the state government slow and ineffective reaction to Hurricane Katrina. Her statement followed an inadvertent admission to her press secretary which was taped by network news feeds:

I really should have called for the military, I really should have started that in the first call.
As this statement was beamed around the country, she realized her goose was cooked and issued a follow up statement that was truly surprising:

The buck stops here, and as your governor, I take full responsibility.
The MSM coverage of this admission? Sorry, it must have been drowned out by those inane chirping crickets.

What are the chances we will ever see an admission of responsibility from such people as New Orleans' Mayor Nagin? Will he take responsibility for the non-implementation of the New Orleans Evacuation/Emergency Plan? Will he take responsibility for the evaporation of the New Orleans Police Department? Will he ever admit fault for not commandeering his own city's school bus fleet? Don't hold your breath. He'll continue to give nonsensical answers and rely on stalwarts like Al "Slim Shady" Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to deflect criticism.

Leadership, dear readers means standing up for your actions (or inactions as the case may be) even when the temptation to blame someone else. W knows this. Blanco is learning it. Nagin, it seems, hopes the issue will get lost in the recovery effort.

Here endeth the lesson.
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
9th Circus Court Rides Again
by Cordeiro
U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton, a Jimmy Carter appointee and member of the 9th Circus Court of Appeals in San Francisco today ruled (again) that the Pledge of Allegiance - as currently written - is unconstitutional and ordered the Elk Grove Unified, Rio Linda and Elverta Joint Elementary school districts to (again) cease requiring children to recite the Pledge in order that they might live a life "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God."
And, in case you were wondering, the lawsuit was brought by WOSABA Michael Newdow.  Newdow, unable to convince the SOCTUS of his standing to bring the same suit in defense of his estranged daughter, has evidently found three patsy families to act as his surrogates this time around.  Seems the Supreme Slap didn't leave a big enough impression on Newdow.
It will take some time for this ruling to work its way up the chain.  By then two new Justices will have taken their seats on the SCOTUS - neither of which (hopefully) will hesitate in yet again rebuking Newdow.
This is why it matters who wins elections - and who gets lifetime appointments to the Federal Judiciary.

Here endeth the lesson

Tuesday, September 13, 2005
Market Forces vs. Air America
by Cordeiro
In the world of talk radio, the left is constantly decrying the lack of balance in the market. Basically they don't like the success of conservative talk shows like Rush, Hannity, and Blogfather Hugh. They say that if only they were given access to the airwaves, the large, unseen, and mostly unheard left wing audience would rise up and trounce these conservatives - because of course the majority of Americans adhere to the left wing - they just don't have a voice.

The left's answer to the aforementioned three (and many others) is Air America.

So you'd think that in left coast strongholds such as Santa Cruz, California Al "Cheap Shot" Franken and his Air America crew would be making money hand over fist, as would their affiliate KOMY. Such is not the case. Brian Maloney tells the sad tale of KOMY's woes - to the point of owner Michael Zwerling's delcaration that if "it doesn't pick up soon, he's yanking the programming."

Perhaps, as Rush so eloquently advised, Mr. Zwerling should hit up the local Boys and Girls Club for an interest free loan of federal funds in order to continue broadcasting Air America's programming that nobody is listening to and fewer are actually willing to cough up cold cash to sponsor.
The John Roberts Show, Day One
by Cordeiro
Well, dear readers, its Lights! Camera! Showtime! for SCOTUS Chief Nominee John Roberts. The Senate Judiciary Committee got to primp and preen before the cameras as they made their introductory statements during the first day of what are sure to be contentious hearings.

The coming days will feature the very best shots the left has to lob at Roberts. I look forward to quoting the likes of "Scotch" Kennedy, Babs Boxer, Dusty Harry, Leaky Leahy and the rest of the Jackass Caucus that makes up the bulk of the Senate Democrats.

That said, John Roberts said more in six and a half minutes than the entire Judiciary Committee said in the seemingly interminable opening session. I will but quote a few lines from his statement:

Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But that is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ballgame to see the umpire...If I am confirmed, I will confront every case with an open mind. I will fully and fairly analyze the legal arguments that are presented. I will be open to the considered views of my colleagues on the bench. And I will decide every case based on the record, according to the rule of law, without fear or favor, to the best of my ability. And I will remember that its my job to call balls and strikes, and not to pitch or bat.
The left is and should be scared of this man. They rely on the judiciary to implement that which cannot be accomplished at the ballot box. If, and I surly hope this is true, Roberts intends the Supreme Court to be the arbiter it should be and not the activist the left requires, yet another bastion of liberalism will be on its way to the dustbin.

And with that, I'm going to go back to listening to Roberts calm evisceration of Leaky Leahy.

Here endeth the lesson.
Monday, September 12, 2005
See Mary Spin
by Cordeiro
Political Teen has an excellent video clip of Senator Bubblehead Landrieu's (D-LA) appearance on Fox News Sunday. She spins so much I got dizzy just watching her duck, bob, weave, and finally implode in her attempts to answer simple questions from Chris Wallace.

Wallace may want to invest in a fire extinguisher should Bubblehead come on his show again.
A Legend Departs
by Cordeiro
The leaves are starting to change. There's a slight chill in the morning air. All around the country, men both young and old are taking to the gridiron as there fathers and grandfathers before them.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, its football season. But this year, the game will be different.

How so? Well, for the first time in some 20 seasons, and much to the relief of linebackers, defensive backs, defensive coordinators, and headcoaches around the NFL, Jerry Rice will not be on the field. He will not be slicing through their well thought out zones, and he won't be blowing by the free safety on his way to yet another touchdown.

You see, ever since he came out of a little known and seldom noticed college in Mississippi (Mississippi Valley State), Jerry Rice has made the art of the reception look easy. He came to play for the San Francisco 49'ers. At the receiving end of fellow legends and Hall Of Famers Joe Montana and Steve Young he went on to own just about every receiving record in the book.

How did he do this? His work ethic was second to none. No drill was beneath him. No ball was deemed uncatchable when Jerry Rice was within fifteen yards of it. He leaves the game with 38 NFL records including the most career receptions (1,549), yards receiving (22,895) and touchdowns receiving (197). In a game where 30 year old guys are considered ancient, Jerry (at 40) was still scoring touchdowns on kids who grew up watching him on television.

Jerry Rice represents something that is seldom seen in today's media frenzied, over hyped sports world. He very unassumingly played the game as a consummate gentleman. You never saw Jerry as a figure of controversy. He is very soft spoken, and a man of few words. When he had something to say, people listened. Otherwise, he just did his job to the very best of his ability. That ability, if you ask most defensive backs, bordered on the superhuman for most of Jerry's career.

Fare thee well, Jerry. Thank you for the thrills, the victories, and
most of all, for the way you played the greatest game God ever saw fit
to place on this earth. See you in Canton.

Here endeth the lesson

PS. In the Football Preview Issue of Sports Illustrated in the Fall of 1991, Jerry appeared in a full page Nike advertisement. I've always like the text of the ad, and I finally found it.

Jerry Rice, wide receiver, Mississippi Valley State

Mother and father told you repeatedly.
Crazy people talk to themselves.
Still you heard the voice.
Loud and clear.
Lear how to hit a fastball.
Work on your left hand shot.
Study harder. Study longer.
Get a raise.
Crazy people talk to themselves.
And still you heard the voice.
Lose the gut.
Master a third language.
Swim across a lake.
Climb the Tetons.
Go to the library and learn how electricity works.
Crazy people talk to themselves.
And still you heard the voice.
Bench press your weight.
Finish a marathon.
Develop a backhand.
Switch careers.
Crazy people talk to themselves.
And finally, you realize, only a madman doesn't listen.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
September 11 - Four Years Later
by Cordeiro
Last year I revisited my post regarding where I was on September 11, 2001. I looked it over again this year and I found I don't really have much to add to it. It has become part of history.

This year I decided to ask some of my fellow bloggers to post on how the events of that Tuesday morning have affected them. So far, I've received a post from Toni. I'll post links to others as they come in.

How did September 11 affect me? In many ways. I shared many of the same emotions as did my fellow countrymen that day. Shock. Sadness. Anger. Mourning. The events of that morning reminded me again what was really important to me. My family, my wife - the Ravishing Mrs. Cordeiro, and my young son.

The attacks of that day reminded me there is evil in the world and hiding from it - pretending it doesn't exist or wishing it away - is not an effective countermeasure. Evil must be opposed.

Today around the country, but especially in New York City, Washington, DC, and in a reclaimed coal mine in Pennsylvania, the heroes and victims of September 11 were remembered. Every name of the fallen was read by a friend or family member. It is all together fitting and proper this should be done every year. Personally I hope it continues.

I hope it continues in this fashion because popular culture has a very short memory. The popular memory little notes, nor long remembers much of anything. This phenomenon is good for maintaining optimism, but also runs the risk of forgetting those who made such optimism possible.

There is still a gaping hole in the heart of New York City. The veil of civility which covers the still raw emotions of that Tuesday in September is sometimes very thin. That is as it should be. It keeps those who continually call for "tolerance", "debate", and "moving on" from drowning out those who lost so much.

Many years ago, Billy Joel wrote a song entitled "Miami 2017 (Seen The Lights Go Out On Broadway)". It masterfully tells the fictional tale of the destruction of New York through the eyes of one who had long since moved to Florida. The last stanza of the song ends with this phrase:

You know those lights were bright on Broadway
But that was so many years ago...
There are not many who remember,
They say a handful still survive,
To tell the world about the way the lights went out
And keep the memory alive
I proudly consider myself one of that handful. Let us never forget the cause for which the fireman, cops, passengers, crew, and just plain old Americans going to work gave the last full measure of devotion.

Here endeth the lesson.
Friday, September 09, 2005
New Orleans Can Always Get Worse
by Cordeiro
And it surely will if anyone follows the advice of former Indiana Democrat congressman and 9/11 commissioner Tim Roemer. He states that his best advice is to

...put somebody like former President Jimmy Carter in charge of rebuilding New Orleans.
Carter's failures being in charge of anything other than a peanut farm are too numerous to mention here. New Orleans, and the surrounding disaster areas need someone who will first do no harm.

Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Photo Caption Contest
by Cordeiro
No, there is no prize, but I couldn't pass this one up. What is the woman facing Hillary thinking?

Katrina Exposé Exclusive: Bush Administration Concocted Epic Storm!
by Bonjo

In a stunning discovery today, Congressional Democrats and representatives from DreamOn.org announced the results of the joint-chamber congressional Hurricane Katrina Commission investigation.

"This storm was conceived, planned and born under the auspices of the Bush Administration," a haggard Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced. The chilling details of the historic storm are clear:

Senator John Kerry, the former Democratic Presidential candidate, reminded America that President Bush has a vested interest in creating oil shortages and excessive gas prices, and suggested that oil may have been the primary motive in generating the storm. He summarized with the following comments:

"And let's not forget that, as I pointed out in the 2004 debates, President Bush owns a lumber company. Who stands to make money from the reconstruction of the Gulf Coast? 'Big lumber', that's who, and they will realize record profits. That kind of money is unimaginable. Well, not to me, of course..."
The full text of the report will be available to anyone who does not currently have gainful employment and thus can afford the time to read all 2,000 pages.
Dems to Chertoff - Please Sugarcoat Your Briefing
by Cordeiro
DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff is taking some heat from Congressional Democrats about his briefing on the situation in the areas ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

The New York Times claims there is some dispute as to exactly what was said during this briefing - as it was closed to the press. Never the less, the SOTR has obtained a transcript of some of the proceedings and is please to provide them to the public in this forum.

Begin Transcript:

Representative Bernie Thompson (D-MS): Secretary Chertoff, I want answers!

Secretary Chertoff: You want answers?

Thompson: I think I'm entitled to them!

Chertoff: You want answers?

Thompson: I want the truth!

OK, maybe I took a few stylistic liberties with the transcript.

Here's the bottom line. Chertoff is giving an overall report regarding the rescue and recovery situation in the entire area (roughly 90,000 square miles). Thompson and company are looking at the images relayed to them via media outlets. Either Chertoff or Army Lieutenant General H. Steven Blum stated the sparse images coming out of New Orleans offered only a "small soda straw view of what was going on."

The media reports what it can see. It does not have the resources to see everything, and frankly horrific images make better news copy that do images of rescue and recovery. That's the truth. If it bleeds, it leads.

Nobody likes to think about the decisions that must be made in a disaster situation. Sometimes, no matter what decision is made, innocent people - men, women, children - of all races - will die. Trying to sugarcoat that truth does nothing except calm the senses of those on the receiving end of the briefing. Chertoff has better things to do.

What happened in the Superdome and Convention Center was truly horrible. I don't know of anyone who tries to waffle that issue. The causes for that disaster within a disaster need to be investigated and those responsible need to be held accountable. That said, that investigation should not shy away from the truth - no matter who it implicates.

Sugarcoating information for the sake of Congressional Democrats cannot be part of the process.

Here endeth the lesson.

UPDATE: Robert Tracinski over at The Intellectual Activist has some more thoughts sure to rile the Dems.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Mary Landrieu Threatens W
by Cordeiro
The little known and seldom noticed Senator from Louisiana, Mary Landrieu, vaulted to new heights of moon-batty-ness last Saturday. In a pre-emptive effort against any criticism of state and local Louisiana officials, specifically law enforcement, Senator Landrieu stated the following:

If one person criticizes our sheriffs, or says one more thing, including the President of the United States, he will hear from me - one more word about it after this show airs and I - I might likely have to punch him - literally.
Evidently Senator Landrieu is counting on W's gentlemanly nature in that he wouldn't return her sorry excuse for a punch with a well deserved smack that would land Senator Landrieu into the Biloxi area code.

For the record, Senator, it is a felony to threaten the President of the United States with any form of violence - cheap sissy punches included. Also, you're not cute when you're angry - you just look more and more like the bubblehead you are.

HT - Powerline.
The Katrina Blame Game
by Cordeiro
Those searching to find a way to blame W for the aftermath of Katrina are pointing so many fingers in so many directions one must stand in awe of the dexterity of their digits.

Apparently, the W Administration has the ability to control the weather patterns in the Gulf of Mexico to such an extent that a Force 4 Hurricane was directed to only blow poor neighborhoods off the face of the map. European talking heads and editorial writers claim Katrina's wrath was unleashed as a direct result of the United States withdrawal from the Kyoto environmental protocols - which still make no sense to anyone with more than six brain cells.

Lets get a few facts straight here.

1. New Orleans is a city built in a geographic bowl shaped area roughly six feet below sea level. The only thing keeping the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River, and Lake Ponchetrain from drowning the city is a complex network of pumps and levies. Said system has been built and maintained over many decades during which no hurricane of Katrina's force hit the city.

In short, Mother Nature made short work of man's effort to repeal her laws.

2. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is not a first responder. All the resources of the Federal Government cannot make up for the evaporation of the state and local government. Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco cannot and should not expect the Feds to come literally bail them out of a catastrophe when they themselves don't bother to follow their own emergency plan.

Of what use are emergency plans, drills, and exercises if no one pays attention to them when the disaster is looming?

3. For those of you in the ant-capitalist camp, you might want to consider this little factoid: In the aftermath of Katrina's devestation, Wal-Mart - a company much maligned and hated by the left - made a donation to the relief fund. The total amount is in the neighborhood of $25 million ($18M from the company and $7M from the Walton Foundation). You might want to consider that the next time you're out shopping for socks and motor oil.

4. It should be noted that the most effective response to Katrina has been the United States Military. If you're wondering who is keeping order in New Orleans, delivering supplies in Biloxi, and rescuing the stranded, you'll find its the Army National Guard, the United States Coast Guard, and other supporting personnel. This they do because its their job, though their own homes may be flooded and their own loved ones may be among the missing.

They'll be very busy doing what others claim can't be done.

To them we tip our collective hat.

Here endeth the lesson.
Friday, September 02, 2005
Pull the Plug on Governor Blanco
by Bonjo
It seems every time I turn on a television or radio, I see or hear an interview with Kathleen Blanco, Louisiana's governor.

This woman has come unraveled. Now I can't say I blame her--her state is struggling to deal with one of the worst natural disasters to affect the US in some time. She's under a considerable amount of stress and has probably not slept in days.

But, from my experience in watching people in the media, you pull yourself together before you face the media. You shake off the stress, you put on your best poker face, and you pull it together so you can get your message out. That's what worries me about Governor Blanco--this is pulling it together?!

She's only harming herself and her state by parading around on television as an emotional basket case, pointing fingers and heaping blame upon everyone but herself. As a citizen, in a disaster I don't care who's fault it is. I want to look at my leaders and see steadfastness and resolve. I want to hear them, and I want to feel comforted--even if they're telling me things aren't over yet.

I am not a citizen of Louisiana, and yet, I watch Governor Blanco and I am left feeling very uncomfortable. I can't imagine how I'd feel if she were my governor. I hope her handlers are paying attention; they should pull the plug on the media interviews until power is restored at Governor Blanco's neighborhood pharmacy--maybe some valium will help.

I now return to my adventures in capitalism.
Hurricane Katrina - Dig Deep
by Cordeiro
Dear Readers:

As I've been somewhat limited in my posting efforts over the past few days, I have been unable to comment on the situation faced by our countrymen and women living in and around the Gulf Coast. The situation in places like New Orleans, Biloxi, and the coastal regions of Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia is truly indescribable. Once thriving communities have been literally blown off the map.

What remains of the population of those communities is in desperate need of help.

There will be plenty of time for Monday Morning Quarterbacking, The Blame Game, and other ways to waste time, energy, effort and bandwidth - later. People need help now.

Here are some of the ways you can help. Cash is King - send all you can.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - The Mormons Sometimes they come knocking at your door to share religion, here they help the displaced, needy, and desperate.

American Red Cross

The Salvation Army

Pick one. Pick several. HT NZBear

And now on a personal note:

I have, after a brief internal debate, decided to add two entries on the lower level of Cordeiro's Sliding Scale of Humanity. I did not think it was possible to slide lower than "Contractor", but some slimeball thugs in New Orleans have managed to find a way to blow right by that level, and sink even lower. Today's entries are:

Looters. They take from those who have lost everything. I'm not talking about people ransacking grocery stores to feed their families. I'm talking about those thugs who loot flooded homes for jewelry. I'm talking about those who loot businesses just because no armed guards are there to stop them. Enjoy your loot people. Karma is a terrible thing.

Roaming Bands of Thugs who rob rescue teams and shoot at helicopters. Can you sink lower than trying to kill those trying to save others? Methinks not. Troops are coming, guys. They have a nasty habit of shooting back with large caliber weapons.

Here endeth the lesson.

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