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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, July 31, 2008
Obama Discovers Alternative Fuel
by Cordeiro

I'm thinking about starting a 24 hour cable channel featuring nothing but off-the-cuff Obama riffs unaided by any electronic performance enhancing devices. I'll call it "Obama Unplugged". Here's the latest entry:


Yesterday (in yet another one of the places I used to call home) Obama stepped from behind his TelePrompTer equipped lectern in Springfield Missouri and announced that he had discovered the cure for America's dependence on foreign oil. Actually, he's discovered an alternative fuel that will make your car so fuel efficient its doubtful you'll ever need to fill your gas tank again.


What's this new fuel? Why I'm glad you asked. No, it's not Mr. Fusion.  It's not a hydrogen fuel cell. It's not even one of those smart cars that are so small they wouldn't survive a head on collision with my son's bicycle.


No, dear reader, Obama has gone above and beyond our mere mortal abilities of propulsion. He's discovered that using just plain old ordinary air will get America out of her current fuel crunch. No, I'm not making this up. Stop laughing and watch the video.


See? Now dagnabbit, I told you to stop laughing. You know the Obamessiah doesn't take kindly to being laughed at or about. Now go out and make sure your tires are properly inflated or Obama will again be embarrassed by your not heeding his wise counsel.


Obama knows about as much regarding improving fuel economy as he does about particle physics. Powerline's John Hinderaker has run the numbers – you know those cold hard things we like to call factual data – and has concluded


…it would take only 11,308 years of proper tire inflation to equal "all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling."


In the process of business decision making, the accountants always want to know what the "break-even" point is – in other words, the point at which the new venture will have made enough money to pay back the original investment. No business in it's right collective mind would ever enter or advocate a new venture who's break even point was 11,000 years out.


Of course, maybe by then our great (to the power of 24 or so) grandchildren will be flying around in cars powered by Mr. Fusion.
Here endeth the lesson.

Friday, July 25, 2008
Obama Takes The Show On The Road
by Cordeiro

So Barack Obama has now made his first ever trip to Berlin. I can't wait to see the T-shirt sales from the 2008 Obamamania tour. He's drawn huge crowds at every venue, whether it be the hotel gym at the Berlin Ritz Carlton or downtown at the Siegessäule.


The MSM – currently following Obama around like a bunch of love-sick band groupies – immediately compared Obama's speech to those made by Jack Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. In the unitary mind of the MSM, Obama has already won the White House – its only a matter of time before he and Michelle start making really important decisions, namely what color curtains to put in the Oval Office.


There's one glaring difference between the speeches made by Kennedy and Reagan and that made by Obama today. Both Kennedy and Reagan earned the right to stand in Berlin. Barack Obama has not earned any such right.


Kennedy and Reagan stood in Berlin during different decades but with the same enemy. They both looked across the Iron Curtain and poked America's finger in the eye of the Soviet Union. Kennedy stood in solidarity with the citizens of West Berlin – even to the point of getting away with calling himself a jelly donut in the process. Reagan dared Gorbachev to "tear down this wall" despite the best effort of linguini-spined State Department staffers who feared he was being too bold.


What risk did Obama take with his speech today? Not one. He decried Boston commuters and Beijing manufacturers for contributing to Global Warming. Notably spared by his wrath were the Germans – long manufacturers of some of the world's finest carbon emitting motor vehicles. Kennedy and Reagan wanted to help Europe grow closer to America. Obama would have America become more European.


Obama is now basking in the glow of what, by all reports will be a "successful" foreign tour. There was one type of venue notably absent from his Rock Star tour - any US military base. Evidently the Dali Bama had planned to visit Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, but the trip was deep-sixed because campaign staff would not be allowed to go with the Senator.


[Side note – Landstuhl Regional Medical Center is often the first place wounded soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines are sent to if their injuries cannot be tended to in the combat zone hospitals]


So, here's the moral of this story: no campaign staff or cameras = no Obama. He can make time for the media cheerleaders, throngs of foreign nationals, and any other wanna-be celebrity willing to lavish him with undeserved praise. But if you're an American serviceman or woman – or one of their family members living as a stranger in a strange land – Obama can't give you the time of day.


I'm sorry, Mr. Obama. You may have managed to buy a speaking platform in Berlin, but you didn't earn it.

Friday, July 18, 2008
The Unbearable Light-weighted Obama
by Cordeiro

Blogfather Hugh pointed me to a piece by the New Yorker's Ryan Lizza which details Barack Obama's reaction to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. He quotes from an Op-Ed written by Obama in Chicago's Hyde Park Herald on September 19 of that same year. This was long before Obama hit the big-time, so I'm pretty safe in assuming it was written by his own hand and not that of a speech writer.


Before I quote the most revealing paragraphs, I want you to stop and remember for just a minute. Remember where you were on that Tuesday morning in September. Remember what you saw, remember how you felt. Most importantly, remember the emotions evoked by the images of that morning. Now read Obama:


Even as I hope for some measure of peace and comfort to the bereaved families, I must also hope that we as a nation draw some measure of wisdom from this tragedy. Certain immediate lessons are clear, and we must act upon those lessons decisively. We need to step up security at our airports. We must reexamine the effectiveness of our intelligence networks. And we must be resolute in identifying the perpetrators of these heinous acts and dismantling their organizations of destruction.


That's about as decisive as he gets. "Identify" the perpetrators and "dismantle" their organizations. So much for soaring rhetoric. But it gets better:


We must also engage, however, in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness. The essence of this tragedy, it seems to me, derives from a fundamental absence of empathy on the part of the attackers: an inability to imagine, or connect with, the humanity and suffering of others. Such a failure of empathy, such numbness to the pain of a child or the desperation of a parent, is not innate; nor, history tells us, is it unique to a particular culture, religion, or ethnicity. It may find expression in a particular brand of violence, and may be channeled by particular demagogues or fanatics. Most often, though, it grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair.


So, I guess what Usama "Binny" Laden needs is a sit down real time interview with Dr. Phil. But I digress. Back to Obama:

We will have to make sure, despite our rage, that any U.S. military action takes into account the lives of innocent civilians abroad. We will have to be unwavering in opposing bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle Eastern descent. Finally, we will have to devote far more attention to the monumental task of raising the hopes and prospects of embittered children across the globe—children not just in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and within our own shores.


Perhaps I'm heartless. Maybe I'm cynical. Either way, the last thing I wanted to understand in the aftermath of September 11 was the "source of such madness". I wasn't interested in what happened during the childhood years of Mohammed Atta that caused him to fly a plane full of people and jet-fuel into that World Trade Center tower. I didn't give a rat's hindquarters for any of the other 19 Islamofacist Murdering Thugs either.


You might say, "Cordeiro, you're still harboring a lot of anger and resentment about a single attack so many years ago." And you're probably right. I am still angry. Why? Well, I traveled a lot for business in 2001. In the months leading up to that fateful Tuesday, I flew on nearly every route the terrorists used. I liked to fly on Tuesday or Wednesday because it reduced the chances of me being stuck in a middle seat on a cross-country flight.


In other words, dear reader, it just as easily could've been me on one of those planes. Forgive me if I take it a bit personally.


America has spent the past seven years waiting for the next shoe to drop. We've been fairly successful at preventing another attack on the air transportation system and that is not an accident. The fact of the matter is America will be attacked again – it's just a matter of where and when.


So, you have to answer a question. What kind of reaction do you want from the President of the United States in the event of a terrorist attack on American soil? Do you want someone who is willing to sit down, without preconditions, with the terrorist and attempt to "understand the source of his madness"? Do you want a man who is more concerned with why the terrorist inflicted his mayhem on innocent Americans than he is about eliminating said terrorist?


No matter how much Obama tries to build his "foreign policy cred" with his European Rock Star tour complete with wall-to-wall live coverage from ABC/NBC/CBS, his lectern sign which currently reads "Judgment to Lead" needs to be replaced with "Dangerously Naïve".
Here endeth the lesson. 


Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Mark Your Calendars
by Cordeiro

Things that will be happening on Monday, September 28, 2008:


Powerline's John Hinderaker notes that in order for the non-Dynamic Duo of House Speaker The Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Dusty Harry (D-Circus Circus) to keep gas prices at or above the $4/gallon mark they will have to act very publicly to do so – just days before the general election. My understanding of the legislative process leads me to believe that if they do nothing, the drilling ban expires and there will be a mad dash to the OCS by every person who ever even thought about drilling for Black Gold.


I seriously doubt the militant environmental BANANA lobby will allow the congressional drill ban to go quietly into the night. This means there is a distinct possibility said lobby will exert pressure sufficient to require a vote on an extension of that economy crippling drilling ban. Both presidential candidates would have the opportunity to cast what might be the defining vote of their respective senatorial careers.


With W having rescinded the Executive Order banning oil exploration/drilling on the OCS, the focus of attention about just who is responsible for America depriving her people of access to their own natural resources now falls squarely on Congressional Democrats.


Personally, I'm tired of sending far too much of my hard earned money to a bunch of Islamofacist Murdering Thugs (yes, Mahmoud, I'm talking about you) for a commodity which could and should be produced in America. It will be interesting to see if Obama will flip-flop on this issue or whether he'll give McCain a giant club to beat him with all during the fall.
Here endeth the lesson.

Monday, July 14, 2008
UpChuck Schumer's Bank Run
by Cordeiro

Last week the McCain camp took a beating over some comments made by former Texas senator Phil Gramm regarding the economy. Evidently Gramm called America a "nation of whiners" and made some mention about the economy being in a "mental recession". While there may be some truth in Gramm's off the cuff remarks, the overall impact of his musings on the actual economy were and are negligible.


To listen to Team Obama, however, you'd think Gramm had insulted Grandma, Apple Pie, the Flag, Baseball, and NASCAR. In truth, it doesn't take much to get Team Obama up in arms.


So, this past Friday came the news that a huge financial institution, IndyMac Bank was taken over by the Feds.  In other words, the bank failed. In the wake of the Bear-Stearns flame out, this really isn't surprising.  IndyMac was heavy into the home mortgage fiasco and unless you've been living under a rock for the past year or so, that's not a great market to be in.


It turns out that, while IndyMac was on the edge of the proverbial financial cliff, it had some help going over that cliff. The Senior Senator from New York  (no, I'm not bashing Hillary), the (less-than) honorable Charles E. "UpChuck" Schumer gave IndyMac a good shove.  According to the Office of Thrift Supervision:


The OTS has determined that the current institution, IndyMac Bank, is unlikely to be able to meet continued depositors' demands in the normal course of business and is therefore in an unsafe and unsound condition. The immediate cause of the closing was a deposit run that began and continued after the public release of a June 26 letter to the OTS and the FDIC from Senator Charles Schumer of New York. The letter expressed concerns about IndyMac's viability. In the following 11 business days, depositors withdrew more than $1.3 billion from their accounts.


I know you're all shocked. I am too. Up until now I had forgotten the State of New York has two senators.


It has long been known that Washington DC's most dangerous location is between UpChuck Schumer and a television camera. He is stricken with a terminal case of Napoleon's Syndrome and now he's cost IndyMac $1.3 billion in 11 days. What IndyMac did to deserve Schumer's wrath is as of yet undetermined although there is a distinct possibility that the IndyMac executives did not perform the requisite bowing and scraping the last time they appeared before UpChuck's committee.


So, here's your comparison for the day: Team Obama unleashed a fusillade of withering fire aimed at Phil Gramm because he offended their easily offended over inflated egos. Will Obama come out and bash his fellow Democratic senator for causing a run on a bank reminiscent of the fictional run on a London bank caused by young Michael Banks' refusal to hand over his tuppence?


I'm not holding my breath. Gramm talked about a "mental recession". Schumer is actually trying to start a real one.
Here endeth the lesson.

Friday, July 04, 2008
July 4, 1776
by Cordeiro
232 years ago this morning, fifty-six delegates from the thirteen British colonies met at what would come to be known as Independence Hall in downtown Philadelphia. Most of them had spent the better part of the previous several months debating and arguing about the best course of action in regards to the ongoing conflict between the colonies and the crown.

The first months of 1776 had been anything but peaceful. Skirmishes, shootouts, and outright battles were raging from the Carolinas to Boston. Then General Washington’s Continental Army – though victorious in some instants – was dreadfully undermanned, badly supplied, and under-trained in the face of what was the most powerful army on the planet at the time.

Thomas Jefferson recorded that July 4, 1776 was an “unseasonably cool” day for Philadelphia. The aforementioned men gathered in the large room on the ground floor where they had spent so many days and nights to put their signatures to a document which could have very well become their own personal death warrants. They were, for all intents and purposes, committing high treason against the British Crown. King George would not look kindly upon their actions and would not have hesitated to execute the delegates had a few battles gone the other way.

Who were these men who had the audacity to put their names to a document so full of risk? Glad you asked.

Of the 56:
It is the Declaration of Independence, authored by Thomas Jefferson, which put on paper the longing of the human soul for freedom and the power to control one's own destiny. The signers boldly declared that:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. [Emphasis Added]

It should be noted that, at the time these 56 men signed their names to this bold Declaration, the outcome of the Revolutionary War was anything but certain. The war would grind on for over seven more years before Treaty of Paris was signed. I highly recommend David McCullough's 1776 to help illustrate just how tenuous America's beginnings truly were. Had Washington failed to rout the Hessians at Trenton - or had any one of a host of other narrow victories become a defeat - there's a good chance the Union Jack would still be flying over this nation and we'd still stop the world to have tea on time.

The men gathered in that stuffy room at Independence Hall pledged to each other their "lives, fortunes and sacred honor". Some gave their lives, many gave all or most of their fortunes, but all kept their honor.

So, before you go and fire up the barbeque, watch the fireworks, and do the other fitting and proper things Americans do on this the nation's birthday, take some time and read or listen to the words behind the Patriot's dream that truly saw beyond the years.

Here you will find the single best Super Bowl commercial ever produced. If you can somehow watch Pat Tillman's widow read part of the Declaration of Independence without getting just a little choked up, You. Are. Not Human.

And, just in case you haven't read it for awhile, here's the text of the Declaration of Independence.

Some years ago, Rick Moran "live-blogged" the Continental Congress. Well worth the trip down Virtual Memory Lane. Rick gives an entirely new definition to the Historical Fiction genre.

And finally, I'll sign off with Red Skelton. Think about this the next time you recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Have a fantastic Fourth!
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Clark & Webb Tag Team McCain
by Cordeiro
This past Sunday, Wesley Clark, (General, United States Army - Retired), waded neck deep into the political swamp and started taking potshots at Senator John McCain (Captain, United States Navy – Retired) and his military service to the United States during the Vietnam War. Said Clark:
I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president.
Let’s get one thing straight, Wes. McCain didn’t “ride” in a fighter plane. He flew it. In order to fly his 23rd combat mission over Vietnam he had to first be flung off a pitching carrier deck in his A-4 Skyhawk. Taking off was the easy part. Landing that single engine/single seat plane on a carrier deck is like trying to land on a postage stamp in the middle of the ocean all the while hoping to snag one of three steel arresting cables with a hook welded to the back of your plane in order to stop you from flying off the end of the carrier into the ocean.

Very few people on the earth can do this. Only Americans do it well.

Wesley Clark hasn’t backed down from his ludicrous statement that shocked even CBS’ Bob Schieffer. Well, yesterday a man who I am sorry to say represents me in the United States Senate waded up next to Clark and added his endorsing comment. Yes, I’m talking about none other than Senator Jim “The Angry Potato” Webb (D-Washington Post).

Webb really is the accidental Senator. He owes his senate seat to the Washington Post and other MSM entities for their relentless trumpeting of George Allen’s macacca gaffe. Let me be perfectly clear – Allen ran a horrible campaign and deserved to lose. Allen lost his seat more than Webb won it.

But I digress.

Webb went on MSNBC’s Countdown (which means very few people actually saw him) and let loose with this stream of nonsense:
John McCain's my long-time friend, if that is one area that I would ask him to calm down on, it’s that, don't be standing up and uttering your political views and implying that all the people in the military support them because they don't, any more than when the Democrats have political issues during the Vietnam War. Let's get the politics out of the military, take care of our military people, or have our political arguments in other areas. [Emphasis Added]

This is just plain silly. Jim Webb’s entire campaign focused on the fact that he honorably served this nation during the Vietnam War and is a highly decorated marine. For crying out loud he wore his son’s combat boots for the whole campaign cycle! Were it not for his military credentials, Jim Webb would still be writing historical fiction books. Virginia elected Webb on the strength of his military street cred. To assert otherwise is to be someplace other than reality.

This election is about who is going to serve this nation as the Commander-In-Chief of the United States Armed Forces during time of war. John McCain is right to lay his silver eagles on the table and tell the nation that he has in fact been there, done that, and has the key to the Hanoi Hilton to prove it.

Wesley Clark would discount McCain’s wartime service entirely as a qualification to be Commander-In-Chief. Jim Webb wouldn’t discount it, but would remove discussions of military issues from the presidential debate. They would do this because their candidate has no military record to speak of and no executive experience what so ever. Actually, the Obama campaign has a hard time putting together any list of accomplishments which isn’t full of holes.

So, if military street cred doesn’t count as a qualification t sit in the Big Chair, what does? I’ll let Wes Clark answer that question:
Barack is not, he is not running on the fact that he has made these national
security pronouncements. He's running on his other strengths. He's running on
the strengths of character, on the strengths of his communication skills, on the strengths of his judgment. And those are qualities that we seek in our national

Character. Judgment. Communication skills. I don’t have to look too hard to find huge flaws in Obama’s “character” and gaping chasms in his “judgment”. That leaves communication skills. I guess that means as long as Obama has 24/7 access to a speechwriter and TelePrompTer, he’ll do just fine.

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