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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

Monday, March 31, 2008
 
A Democratic Savior?
by Cordeiro

As the electoral calendar creeps ever so slowly toward towards the Democratic National Convention in the Mile High City, the possibility increases that Hillary and Obama will continue the hammer throwing battle right through the summer

 

Some party insiders are fearful of what this might do to the party.  Their fears are not baseless.  Every day Hillary and Obama keep up the hammer toss is one more day McCain has to sit back, solidify his base, and sell popcorn to the spectators.

 

DNC Chairman Howie "I Have A Scream" Dean has set a July 1 deadline for the nomination to be sown up.  Evidently, Hillary either didn't get or threw away the July 1 memo because yesterday she vowed to stay in the race through the Denver convention.

 

Meanwhile, in the deep dark recesses of the Democratic party's formerly smoke filled rooms there are people formulating a contingency plan in the event neither Hillary nor Obama manage to secure the nomination.  One scenario being kicked around is the possibility that 100 or so "Superdelegates" could sit out the first ballot – thereby denying both Hillary and Obama of victory – and then those same 100 Superdelegates would offer the nomination to a different person "for the good of the party".

 

Who is this person to whom the party elders would turn?  Why, none other than Albert Arnold "Algore" Junior.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Algore would ride into the Denver Convention Center on a white Clydesdale horse (a stallion being unable to adequately support him) and save the Democratic Party from self-inflicted defeat.  Algore, the Vice-President during the Clinton (Sorry Excuse For) Administration.  Algore – the candidate who single-handedly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in 2000 by inexplicably losing three straight presidential debates to a man who takes the art of mangling the English language to new heights every day.

 

A side note to those readers suffering from eight years of Bush Derangement Syndrome.  Please spare me the "Selected Not Elected" diatribes.  Eight years of screaming it doesn't make it any more palatable.  Remember, if Algore had managed to carry his HOME STATE of Tennessee this debate would be moot.  End digression.

 

So, Democratic insiders are now looking to a man who has spent the better part of the past decade jet-setting around the globe warning of impending climactic disasters of biblical proportions unless we all reduce our carbon footprints by returning to the days of the horse and buggy.  Wait.  Scratch the horse – too much methane emissions.  Better go with just the buggy.  And don't breathe too deeply or exhale too much.  Remember, Algore preaches this stuff even though his personal carbon footprint is roughly equal to the combined carbon emissions of the states of Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky.

 

Oh, and one more thing.  These same insiders would take the nomination from either Hillary or Obama – both of whom have received millions of primary votes – and give it to a man who has received not a single vote since 2000.  Talk about thick irony.

 

And by the way, Al, Academy votes can't be used in the General Election.

 

Here endeth the lesson.


Sunday, March 23, 2008
 
The Tomb Is Empty
by Cordeiro
He is not here: for he is risen... - Matthew 28:6

Tuesday, March 18, 2008
 
A Victory in the War on Diabetes – Could It Really Be This Simple?
by Cordeiro

Some readers may remember a previous post on some promising medical research in the quest for a cure for a devastating disease commonly known as Diabetes.  While that research was focused on the ever popular stem cell front, I came across another researcher whose field focuses on a much simpler treatment.

 

Type I Diabetes – the most prevalent of the two types – occurs when a patient's pancreas ceases to produce enough of the insulin hormone to effectively break down the glucose from food or drink ingested by said patient.  High blood sugar results in a host of maladies which I will not here review.  I'll just simply state the disease really sucks.

 

One of the theories behind the demise of the patients pancreas is that the immune system mistakes the insulin producing beta cells for a disease.  The immune system then declares war on the beta cells and for all intents and purposes the pancreas is a worthless hunk of tissue.  Conventional wisdom and medical science has held the belief that the beta cells could not be resurrected.  New research might just debunk this theory.

 

Dr. Denise Faustman a scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School has been conducting experiments on mice using a generic tuberculosis vaccine which evidently kills the immune system cells which took out the insulin producing beta cells.  Here's the bottom line:

 

The real shock, however, was that with the killer T-cells eliminated, beta cells apparently regenerated enough to pump out sufficient insulin to cure the mice's diabetes. No one had any idea before this that a diabetes-ravaged pancreas might still harbor enough beta cells, or be able to resurrect them, to reverse diabetes, at least in lab animals. (Emphasis Added)

 

I'm not much of a medical expert, but that's pretty compelling evidence – something which in my mind is worthy of further study – and funding.  Here's the pathetic part of the story:  The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation declined to fund Dr. Faustman's research.  In fact, they went so far as to fund three research teams whose stated goal was to debunk Faustman's hypothesis.

 

The linked article doesn't go into much detail as to why the JDRF declined to fund Faustman's project.  I have a very uniformed guess based strictly on capitalsitic theory.  Simply put, Faustman's research is too simple.  The vaccine upon which her work is based has been on the market for nearly 80 years as a treatment for tuberculosis.  It's a generic drug which can be mass produced for pennies a dose.  Should Faustman's research result in a viable treatment for diabetes, it will be one of the cheapest cures ever found.  It doesn't involve fetal stem cells or overpriced technology.  The vaccine kills the cells that caused the problem and nature goes back to working the way it was meant to.

 

Faustman owes the fact that her work is going forward to the charitable inclinations of none other than former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca.  Mr. Iacocca lost his wife Mary to the ravages of Type I diabetes in 1984.  His foundation stepped in and donated $11.5 million to further the clinical trials of Faustman's research with the hopes that fewer people will lose their limbs, eyesight, and lives to this scourge.  Iacocca is a businessman and evidently he understands that a good, fast, and cheap cure is better than none at all.

 

Thanks, Lee.  Good luck Dr. Faustman.

 

Here endeth the lesson.


Thursday, March 13, 2008
 
Susan Estrich Issues Mea Maxima Culpa For Eliot Spitzer
by Cordeiro

Here's one for the Six Degrees of Separation crowd.  When you sit and wonder exactly how soon to be former New York "Luv" Governor Eliot Spitzer could have possibly gone so far off the legal reservation in his pursuit of high priced call girls, you can only question where exactly he got his legal education.

 

The answer to that question is, of course, Harvard Law.  Today, his criminal law professor issued a mea maxima culpa regarding her instruction of her former law student.  This guilt stricken professor is none other than Susan Estrich – now a USC law professor and left leaning Fox News Contributor.

 

Yes, Susan, Eliot Spitzer just might have missed that class you taught about how crossing state lines and using telephones magically transforms what would normally be a local matter into one involving the unlimited resources and reach of the federal law enforcement apparatus.  He did, in fact, take a whole bunch of stupid pills and wash them down with a naïve chaser.

 

Unlike Susan Estrich, I don't feel sorry for Eliot Spitzer.  I do feel sorry for his wife and three children.  It is they who have to live with the arrogant hypocritical idiot who rode a white horse by day but slummed in the gutters by night with the same people he prosecuted for crimes he himself committed.  Hopefully his family will outlive his shame.

 

As for Spitzer himself, he's stupid.  Some things you just can't fix.

 

Here endeth the lesson.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008
 
The VeepStakes
by Cordeiro

FDR's first – of three – Vice Presidents (John Nance Gardner) once famously compared his office to a "bucket of warm spit".  Actually, according to the New Yorker's Hendrik Hertzberg, he used another bodily fluid in his comparison - one that makes more sense but is outside the acceptable vernacular of this PG rated blog.

 

Be that as it may, I think it's safe to say the Office of the Vice-President isn't a historically exciting one.  There are very few actual duties associated with the VP.  The VP acts as the President of the Senate – meaning he/she casts the deciding vote in the event of a tie.  Other than that, the VP's job is to have a heartbeat when the President doesn't.

 

The sitting Vice-President has very much redefined the role of the #2 man on the ticket.  Never before in history has there been a more dynamic or involved Vice-President.  Love him or hate him, "Big Time" Dick Cheney has changed the way people perceive the VP.

 

Should John McCain win the election in November – which by the way he stands a pretty good chance of doing despite the MSM pontifications to the contrary – he will be the oldest man ever to assume the office for a first term.  This makes his choice of running mate very important.  Like it or not, mortality is a reality which necessitates there being a Vice-President.

 

Several people have weighed in on who should be on McCain's short list.  Thus far Fred Barnes and Karl "Sith Lord" Rove seem to think Mitt Romney would best fit the bill for McCain's #2.  

 

Politico's Jonathan Martin has the following transcript from Romney's appearance on Hannity & Colmes which aired last night.  Sounds to me like an audition for the VP job:

 

I think any Republican leader in this country would be honored to be asked to serve as the vice presidential nominee. Of course this is a nation which needs strong leadership. And if the nominee of our party asked you to serve with him, anybody would be honored to receive that call … and to accept it, of course.

 

He also included this broadside at both the Democratic candidates:

 

With Senator Clinton there is some confusion in perception that somehow being there while her husband was president made her a foreign policy-national security experienced person. She is not. She doesn't have any more experience, really, of a significant nature than Barack Obama does. But in Barack Obama's case, people recognize this guy was a state senator and before that he was a community activist. He has been a United States senator for a short, short period of time. He is in no significant way qualified to lead the country at a time of war, to lead the country out of an economic challenge. This is not a person who can stand up to Senator McCain. (Emphasis Added)

 

And finally, Romney said Listening to Obama and Clinton discuss their national security credentials is like

 

listening to two chihuahuas argue about which is the biggest dog.  When it comes to national security, John McCain is the big dog, and they are the Chihuahuas.

 

I think Romney just insulted all Chihuahuas.  Isn't there a smaller dog he could've chosen?

 

Here endeth the lesson.


Monday, March 10, 2008
 
A More Fitting Spitzer Statement
by Cordeiro
New York Governor Eliot Spitzer has been linked to a prostitution ring today. He has gone before the press and issued a quick statement full of political platitudes and signifying less than nothing.

I have consulted with the SOTR Editorial Board - made up of myself and Bonjo - and have decided to issue a more concise and informative statement on behalf of Governor Spitzer:
At least it was with a woman.

Here endeth the lesson.

 
Specialist Monica Lin Brown, United States Army
by Cordeiro

I've written of several praiseworthy medics from time to time.  It takes a special kind of person to charge into gunfire with the sole purpose of saving lives.  It is for this type of valor that combat medics or "Docs" are revered by soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines.  These warriors know the Combat Medic will place his or her live on the line to render aid when all hell is breaking loose around them.  Thus the warriors protect their medics.

 

In the case of Army Specialist Monica Lin Brown of Lake Jackson, Texas – assigned to the 4th Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team deployed to Camp Salerno in Afghanistan – she was called upon to play both the role of warrior and medic.

 

She put her life on the line – several times – to rescue soldiers wounded during an explosion on April 25, 2007.  In order to rescue her comrades she braved insurgent gunfire during her multiple trips to the scene.  For her cool actions under intense enemy fire and bravery above and beyond the call of duty, she will be awarded this nation's third highest medal for valor – the Silver Star. 

 

Specialist Brown is the first woman in Afghanistan and only the second woman since World War II to receive this commendation.

 

I have little to add to the account of her bravery except for this:  Hooahh!

 

Here endeth the lesson.


 
Time To Stop Breathing?
by Cordeiro

Well, maybe not cease respiration entirely.  I'm sure we could start buying carbon credits to cover the CO2 emissions we create simply by breathing.  Maybe we could breathe in shifts.

 

The Chicken Little Environmentalist Caucus has produced yet another "study" on global warming – a theory to which I won't even grand capital letters – warning of imminent global disasters of biblical proportion if all carbon emissions are not ceased immediately.  Okay, maybe not immediately – but at least by "mid-century".

 

I won't get into the science behind the gloom and doom predictions of the assembled scientists – mostly because the article doesn't go into the details.  The author simply refers to "advanced computer models" which spit out data which said scientists boil down to a simple message:

 

The world must bring carbon emissions down to near zero to keep temperatures from rising further.

 

This coming from the same scientists which have thus far been unable to write "advanced computer models" able to accurately predict - let alone influence – the weekly weather for my zip code.  Despite that inability, these scientists insist their modeling software will accurately predict the climate and average temperature of the planet well into the year 2300.

 

There are lies.  There are damn lies.  Then there are statistics.  The problem with statistical models is the fact the forecasts they produce rely entirely upon the data they're given to work with.  In short, it's a GIGO (Garbage In = Garbage Out).  You've heard of Outcome Based Education?  Well, in my opinion, this is Outcome Based Science.  This is what happens when researchers begin their experiment – or study – having already reached their conclusion.  They then "interpret" the study's findings in such a way as to support their pre-determined conclusion.

 

My high-school Biology teacher wouldn't have accepted this type of science project and neither will I.  As long as the Global Warming crowd continues to berate me for my Ford Mustang's carbon footprint whilst gallivanting around the world in Gulfstream V jets and pimped out Cadillac Escalades, I'm going to keep on ignoring their Chicken Little escapades.

 

And, for the record, I intend to keep on breathing.

 

Here endeth the lesson.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
 
The 2008 Race Viewed Through A Football Prism
by Cordeiro

I'm a sucker for football analogies.  As far as I'm concerned, football is life – the rest is just details.  Some people – leftist women and feminized men mostly – take great exception anytime a football analogy is used to describe a political contest.

 

Frankly, those people need to find something else to get worked up about.  As they get worked up about not a whole lot, that shouldn't be too hard.

 

CBS News' Dick Meyer – in what is evidently his final column as a CBS political correspondent – should win an award for the best football analogy of the 2008 election cycle.  Says Mr. Meyer:

 

The Democratic Party is choking.

Facing nothing but open field ahead, the team can't get the ball in the end zone. The incumbent Republican president's unpopularity is historically high. The country is opposed to the Iraq war and worried about the recession. Gas prices are heading toward $4 a gallon. John McCain, the Republican nominee, is the oldest presidential nominee in history.

But the Democrats can't score. They're not even on the field yet. They're still stuck in the locker room of the primaries, bickering.
The veteran offensive line, the Clintonistas, won't block for the young players at the skill positions, the Obamists. They have the ball and are perfectly poised to fumble.

In sports, there are always "gimme the ball" players, the super-confident stars who want the ball with three seconds left in the game. Clinton and Obama want the ball, alright, but the rest of the team doesn't really want to win or know how to win. They're choking.

 

There are many reasons why Obama failed to "seal the deal" with the voters in Texas and Ohio on Tuesday.  Some of the credit/blame lies with Hillary.  A good chunk of it lies with Obama himself.  Regardless, it looks like these two are going to trade hammer and tong for the next three months or so – possibly all the way to Denver.  As a political observer, I'm pretty happy about that.  I'm happier that the party I can't stand is doing this to themselves.

 

The fact remains the Democratic Party is altogether unfamiliar with how to handle victory.  Neither candidate is willing to step aside for the good of the party and unite behind the other in order to make a November victory more likely.

 

Memo to McCain:  You owe Mitt Romney more than you could possibly imagine for having cleared the field for you.  You'd do well to remember that in some very public way.  End Memo.

 

I'm very fond of the Proverb which counsels

 

He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.

 

Well, by the looks of things, the Democratic Party is heading directly for a tornado.  The Denver convention floor might just look like a Kansas trailer park when the dust settles.

 

Blow, baby.  Blow.

 

Here endeth the lesson.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008
 
A Farewell To Favre
by Cordeiro

In writing this post, I feel it necessary to state for the record that I am not a great respecter of quarterbacks.  As a former defensive lineman, I came from the Howie Long school of quarterback pursuit.  Howie once eloquently stated that he'd never seen a quarterback maim anyone, so once he made it past the offensive lineman, Howie usually wouldn't put too much of a hit on the quarterback.  In Howie's mind, the chase was far more fun than the actual sack.  Howie is a wise man.

 

Most quarterbacks, regardless of the level at which they play, have enormous egos.  The quarterback position is the one most focused on by fans, media, and followers of the game.  If the team wins, the quarterback is a god.  If the team loses, the quarterback shoulders the blame.  Actually, most of the time he blames other players – there are after all 21 other positions on the team.  Any good student of football understands the game is won and lost at the point of attack – that being in the trenches with the lineman.  If a team doesn't dominate the line of scrimmage, what happens in the backfield won't really matter.

 

Very few quarterbacks – even at the professional level – understand this fact.  Brett Favre is one of the few.

 

Today he announced his retirement from the Green Bay Packers having played there for seventeen seasons.  The average NFL career hovers someplace around five to six years, so seventeen years is an eternity – especially for a quarterback.  That he managed to play so effectively for so long is a testament to his athletic skill and especially the skill of those massive humans tasked with blocking for him.

 

My professional football allegiance has and always will lie with the Denver Broncos – good seasons and bad – but I can honestly say I have a lot of respect for Brett Favre.  He is one of the few and quite possibly the only professional quarterback I have ever seen throw a block on a massive, ugly, hulking, enormous defensive end so the running back could gain a few more yards.  He did that throughout his career and earned the respect of defensive lineman across the league for doing so. 

 

As a general rule, defensive linemen don't hold quarterbacks in high esteem.  Favre's relationship with them was more collegial than anything else.

 

An era in professional football has come to an end.  I for one will miss seeing #4 take to the frozen tundra of Titletown's Lambeau Field.  It just won't be the same game without him.

 

Here endeth the lesson.


Monday, March 03, 2008
 
Can Texas And Ohio End The Long National Nightmare?
by Cordeiro
It began in 1992 when Bill and Hillary Clinton rode into Washington DC direct from Little Rock in their white El Camino specially equipped with an astro-turf bed liner. Strains of “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” could be heard from every car window and office radio. The “Man from Hope” – together with his Co-President – were going to save America from the ravages of twelve years of the accursed Reagan-Bush era.

Bill and Hillary Clinton had the Washington Trifecta (White House/House of Representatives/Senate) when they blazed into town. It took them less than two years to run their electoral hot-rod into the ground. After having successfully passed the largest tax increase (retroactive by the way) in American history the Clintons set their sights on their Holy Grail – the US healthcare system.

Bill appointed Hillary – the smartest woman in the world if you asked Bill - as his point-person on healthcare reform. She failed in spectacular fashion and her plan to socialize what was one-seventh of the US economy is credited by most with setting up the Republican electoral blowout that was the 1994 election cycle. In the aftermath of such a devastating backlash, some pundits even went so far as to declare Bill Clinton a “half-term president”.

Scandal and the Clinton White House became nearly if not totally synonymous. From Whitewater to the mysteriously disappearing Rose Law Firm Billing Records (which were evidently beamed directly to Hillary’s White House Closet) to raw FBI Files, the hits just kept on coming, and coming, and coming. The White House Press Corps nearly ran out of creative ways to add “Gate” to the end of Clinton scandal terms.

The Clintons also introduced several new nouns and verbs into the American Lexicon. We all remember the ever increasing number of Bimbo Eruptions – both pre and post election. One of those Bimbo Eruptions nearly ended Bill’s time Oval Office and gave an entirely new definition to “Lewinsky”.

Did we ever really find out how Bill defined “is”?

Now after an exceptionally unremarkable eight-year stint as New York’s Junior Senator, Hillary Clinton is on the verge of joining the ranks of also-rans like Gary Hart and Howard Dean. At least Dean’s implosion was more of a screaming flame-out while Hillary has been more of a slow, painful leak. It appears that was to have been a Super Tuesday Coronation of Her Inevitableness is now on hold – at best.

Despite Hillary’s protestations to the contrary, the Texas and Ohio primaries will either give her campaign a shot in the arm or drive a stake through its heart. If you base your election predictions on the Big Mo Factor, I’d bet on a Texas sized stake.

The question remains as to whether Hillary and her campaign will go out with a whimper after Texas and Ohio or she’ll attempt to go out with a Big Bang in Denver. Personally, I’m rooting for the Mile High Big Bang.

It would certainly make for much more entertaining convention coverage.

Here endeth the lesson.
 
Can Texas And Ohio End The Long National Nightmare?
by Cordeiro

It began in 1992 when Bill and Hillary Clinton rode into Washington DC direct from Little Rock in their white El Camino specially equipped with an astro-turf bed liner.  Strains of "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" could be heard from every car window and office radio.  The "Man from Hope" – together with his Co-President – were going to save America from the ravages of twelve years of the accursed Reagan-Bush era.

 

Bill and Hillary Clinton had the Washington Trifecta (White House/House of Representatives/Senate) when they blazed into town.  It took them less than two years to run their electoral hot-rod into the ground.  After having successfully passed the largest tax increase (retroactive by the way) in American history the Clintons set their sights on their Holy Grail – the US healthcare system.

 

Bill appointed Hillary – the smartest woman in the world if you asked Bill - as his point-person on healthcare reform.  She failed in spectacular fashion and her plan to socialize what was one-seventh of the US economy is credited by most with setting up the Republican electoral blowout that was the 1994 election cycle.  In the aftermath of such a devastating backlash, some pundits even went so far as to declare Bill Clinton a "half-term president".

 

Scandal and the Clinton White House became nearly if not totally synonymous.  From Whitewater to the mysteriously disappearing Rose Law Firm Billing Records (which were evidently beamed directly to Hillary's White House Closet) to raw FBI Files, the hits just kept on coming, and coming, and coming.  The White House Press Corps nearly ran out of creative ways to add "Gate" to the end of Clinton scandal terms.

 

The Clintons also introduced several new nouns and verbs into the American Lexicon.  We all remember the ever increasing number of Bimbo Eruptions – both pre and post election.  One of those Bimbo Eruptions nearly ended Bill's time Oval Office and gave an entirely new definition to "Lewinsky".

 

Did we ever really find out how Bill defined "is"?

 

Now after an exceptionally unremarkable eight-year stint as New York's Junior Senator, Hillary Clinton is on the verge of joining the ranks of also-rans like Gary Hart and Howard Dean.  At least Dean's implosion was more of a screaming flame-out while Hillary has been more of a slow, painful leak.  It appears that was to have been a Super Tuesday Coronation of Her Inevitableness is now on hold – at best.

 

Despite Hillary's protestations to the contrary, the Texas and Ohio primaries will either give her campaign a shot in the arm or drive a stake through its heart.  If you base your election predictions on the Big Mo Factor, I'd bet on a Texas sized stake.

 

The question remains as to whether Hillary and her campaign will go out with a whimper after Texas and Ohio or she'll attempt to go out with a Big Bang in Denver.  Personally, I'm rooting for the Mile High Big Bang. 

 

It would make for much better convention coverage.

 

Here endeth the lesson.




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