hopperbach


Saturday, August 20, 2005

The plane truth about the Northwest strike

Mechanics at Northwest Airlines today staged their first major walkout in seven years:

The union mechanics walked out rather than take pay cuts and layoffs that would reduce their ranks almost by half. They said they don't believe the replacements will be able to maintain the fleet, the oldest among domestic airlines.

Saturday afternoon, Northwest was already facing at least two maintenance jobs in Detroit, one of its hubs.

One Northwest plane blew out four tires as it landed on a runway, and another made an emergency landing after flight attendants reported smoke in the cabin. No injuries were reported in either incident. The airline said the cause of the blow-out was likely "an anti-skid braking issue," the vapor appeared to be an air conditioning system problem, and neither had anything to do with the strike.


Hmmmmmm... four tires at once? That's a lot of malfunctioning rubber. But the fun doesn't end there:

Myers said there were reports from Detroit on Friday that some of the tractors used to push airplanes back from the gate had damage to their ignitions, and that keys were broken off in the locks of some jetways. But "we didn't see anything done to aircraft that would pose a safety threat," he said.


This is why I have never liked unions. Their tactics of sabotage and intimidation are childish at best and often-times outright dangerous. Furthermore the union negotiators usually end up screwing the very workers they claim to be protecting. This walkout will probably result in the loss of all of the mechanics' jobs whereas half of them could have stayed on without the strike.

However, having said that, there is still one question that bothers me: why is the top brass at Northwest not willing to cut their own pay? Don't get me wrong -- I hate class envy as much as the next conservative -- but I'm just looking at it from a financial and practical standpoint. A 25% cut across the board would reduce the bottom line -- possibly without having to lay anyone off -- and have the added benefit of keeping employee morale at a reasonable level.

Then again, I'm just a rabbit. Rabbits sometimes oversimplify. That's why you don't see them running airlines.


The lawyer is my shepherd

Fox News tells us about a “shepherd” who is working behind the scenes to guide John Roberts through the Supreme Court confirmation process and protect him from the wolves in the Senate.

Former Tennessee Republican Sen. Fred Thompson, who now plays District Attorney Arthur Branch on the hit series, "Law and Order," is the public face of President Bush and the nominee as he pushes the president's pick to replace Sandra Day O'Connor on the highest court of the land.

Thompson is being assisted by former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie. It is their job to guide Roberts through the often tenuous process that the administration hopes will lead to Roberts' installation on the bench.

"It's kind of a role that's been defined over the years by various people … it basically is to do what you're asked to do, by the White House, by the nominee, and it usually involves attending meetings with the nominees, briefing the nominee to who the senators are and their background


“See the large one with the red nose? That’s Kennedy. Try to refrain from using phrases such as ‘water under the bridge’ or ‘swimming against the tide’ when speaking to him. And that icy one in the red power-dress? That’s Hillary. Whatever you do, do not look her in the eye… You think I’m kidding, don’t you?”

As a former senator, Thompson is familiar with the ins-and-outs of Capitol Hill, is close with many senators who may be part of the firing squad set to pepper Roberts with questions, and he knows how to use political finesse when needed.

Thompson "absolutely" makes sense as an adviser, said Don Stewart, spokesman for Sen. John Cornyn (search), R-Texas, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "You wouldn't put a baseball player into the football game — it wouldn't make sense."


Nah, just leave him in the dugout and let Roberts hit for himself. From all accounts the Judge can handle the bat quite well (I hear he pulls the ball to the right.)

Patently Patriotic Post of the Day (8/20/05)

"Every child in America should be acquainted with his own country. He should read books that furnish him with ideas that will be useful to him in life and practice. As soon as he opens his lips, he should rehearse the history of his own country."

Noah Webster, On the Education of Youth in America, 1788

Friday, August 19, 2005

If only they made this much sense over here

Many of us have observed with frustration the continuous stream of one-sided terrorist-friendly commentary coming out of the Arab media. Well, one Saudi journalist joins the growing ranks of Muslim men who have bravely chosen to buck the trend and speak out against the poisonous dogma that is radical Islam:

Not everyone in the Arab world praises Osama Bin Laden and terror groups as heroes. Indeed, some Arabs have issued scathing attacks on radical Islamic groups and they manner in which they interpret Islam.

The criticism leveled at extremists by Saudi journalist Muhammad al al-Sheikh, however, is unusual in its harshness. In two pieces published in Saudi newspaper al-Jazeera, and presented courtesy of the Middle East Media Research Institute, al-Sheikh charged radical Islamists hold a similar, and even worse, ideology than radical Islam, and should be treated as Europeans coped with Nazism.


Right on! The libs like to throw that "Nazi" label around any time they don't like someone's views but here, at least, it is used appropriately.

In his first piece, al-Sheikh has some pointed words regarding a terrorist who had recently been released from prison:

The man is one of the forefathers of terrorism and he is the one who raised, through his books and radical interpretations, many of those belonging to terror groups.


They say a Jordanian court acquitted him of charges that include the blowing up of American facilities however, this dangerous terrorist did something much worse: he seized upon the down-and-out situation of many Muslim youths today in order to perpetuate violence, murder and destruction forever. In order to plant deep roots for the idea of suicide and to incite kids to commit suicide."

This is the root of the problem, said al-Sheikh.


Aaaaah... nothing like fresh air... Just a few more bold souls like al-Sheikh could well provide the spark that is needed to set off a blaze of rational thought across the Muslim community.

In the meantime he and his like-minded colleagues would be wise to sleep with one eye open...

Cross the border and get a free house

So what's the easiest way to get your own house if you're an illegal alien? Simply trespass onto someone's property and get yourself pistol-whipped:

DOUGLAS - Spent shells litter the ground at what is left of the firing range, and camouflage outfits still hang in a storeroom. Just a few months ago, this ranch was known as Camp Thunderbird, the headquarters of a paramilitary group that vowed to use force to keep illegal immigrants from sneaking across the border from Mexico.

Now, the 70-acre property about two miles from the border is being given to two immigrants the group caught trying to enter the United States illegally.

The land transfer satisfies judgments in a lawsuit in which the immigrants had claimed that Casey Nethercott, the owner of the ranch and a former leader of the vigilante group Ranch Rescue, had harmed them.


So a judge can just do that? Granted the marbles aren't completely accounted for with this paramilitary group but this is outrageous. Illegal immigrants should never, under any circumstances, be awarded American land. What if these had been potential terrorists?

Grrrrrr. Full story below:

Migrants awarded vigilante's Ariz. ranch

You just can't argue with a spruce beetle

It is official now. After an eye-opening trip to Alaska, John McCain and three other Senators have now conclusively confirmed the existence of global warming.

"We are convinced that the overwhelming scientific evidence indicated that climate change is taking place and human activities play a very large role," McCain said.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton concurred:

"I don't think there is any doubt left for anyone who actually looks at the science," Clinton said. "There are still some holdouts, but they are fighting a losing battle. The science is overwhelming, but what is deeply concerning is that climate change is accelerating."


Wow. Must be some powerful science the Senators are looking at. Lets get some more details:

McCain, accompanied by Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., spoke to villagers in Canada whose spruce trees are being attacked by the northward spread of spruce beetles. On Alaska's northern coast, they met Native Alaskans dealing with melting permafrost and coastal erosion.


Well I think this issue is settled then. Who needs sediment analysis and weather balloons when we have spruce beetles and the testimony of regional natives? When faced with that kind of science, even the most skeptical among us can only react in stunned silence. So what should we do now that we have this smoking gun evidence? Fortunately for us, the good Senators have a plan:

McCain and Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., are sponsoring legislation that would limit greenhouse gas emissions from utilities and industry. The Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act would cap U.S. emission levels at levels recorded in 2000.


As I've always said, the only thing that will stop the incessant march of this tragedy that we call global warming is more legislation. We just can't get enough of that. I, for one, eagerly await the return of our lawmakers from their recess so that we can get more and more laws. More and more and MORE laws. MORE and MORE and MORE and MORE and MORE laws! That's what our Founding Fathers envisioned for us when they established this representative republic of ours. If there is anything my public school education taught me it is that.

Missile attack on U.S. and Israel

Three missiles were fired from Jordan today, one going over the bow of a U.S. Navy ship, another one falling near a hospital in Jordon and another one going into Israel:

The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, based in Bahrain, said two American amphibious ships were docked in Aqaba when a mortar was fired toward them. The vessels later sailed out of port as a result of the attacks, U.S. Navy spokesman Lt. Cdr. Charlie Brown told The Associated Press in Bahrain.

FOX News has learned that a number of people are being hunted in the incident, including two Iraqis, one Syrian and possibly some Egyptians. The city of Aqaba has also been closed off.

A group linked to Al Qaeda claimed responsibility in an Internet statement. The statement purportedly from the Abdullah Azzam Brigades could not immediately be verified.


Former U.S. ambassador Mark Ginsberg shared his thoughts on the likely source of the missiles:

"Where do you get these rockets in the Middle East? From Hezbollah or Iran. The Iranians are the biggest supplier of these rockets to Hezbollah."


Okay then it's time for a joint U.S./Israeli strike against Iran. I know that the U.S. has told Israel to stay out of military skirmishes but why waste the most powerful air force in the Middle East and one of the most sophisticated in the world? They took out Iran's Osiraq nuclear reactor in 1981 and before that they took out the air-forces of three other countries in six days during the 1967 war. I think these guys can hold their own.

Patently Patriotic Post of the Day (8/19/05)



USS Nimitz (CVN 68) is an impressive sight. Nearly 1,100 feet long and displacing 95,000 tons, the sheer size of this "floating city" is staggering. But the real marvel of an aircraft carrier is the enormous amount of activity concentrated in such a relatively small area. On the flight deck and in the hangar bay, the air wing operates up to about 70 aircraft. Below in the engineering spaces, two nuclear reactors provide propulsion and electricity. There are repair facilities of all kinds, supporting the air wing, Nimitz, and all ships of the battle group. The enormous job of supporting the air wing falls on the crew, which must provide for all of their needs.

The size and complexity of an aircraft carrier only hints at the importance of these ships as part of America's Navy. No other country has ever deployed as formidable a ship as Nimitz and the other carriers in our Navy. These ships, far from being merely symbols or monuments, are the backbone of America's maritime force, and the men and women of Nimitz are the front-line guardians of our national security.


Stats:

Keel Laid: June 22, 1968
Launched: May 13, 1972
Commissioned: May 3, 1975
Propulsion system: Two nuclear power plants
Main Engines: Four
Speed: 30+ Knots
Propellers: Four
Blades on each Propeller: Five
Aircraft elevators: Four
Catapults: Four
Arresting gear cables: Four
Overall length: 1,092 feet
Overall width: 252 feet
Beam at waterline: 134 feet
Area of flight deck: About 4.5 acres
Full load displacement: About 95,000 tons
Accommodations: About 6,000 persons

Text and photo from USS Nimitz website.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

S'mearly politics

Timothy Kelly gives us an apt cartoon today in light of the recent rumblings we've been hearing from the left:

9/11 families say it's time for some REAL hearings

If we are learning anything from Able Danger it is that the 9/11 Commission is an absolute joke. To leave out not just a key piece of information but THE key piece of information that answers the big question they were supposedly there to answer is simply inexcusable. Now NewsMax tells us that some of the 9/11 families want a new investigation... and a new commission to do the investigating:

"I’m angry that my son's death could have been prevented," Diana Horning, whose son was killed at the World Trade Center, told the New York Post.

"It outrages me because it's taken four years to come out."

Horning and other family members of 9/11 victims are up in arms over the disclosure that the elite military intelligence unit "Able Danger" had identified Mohamed Atta and three other Sept. 11 hijackers more than a year before the attacks, but military lawyers stopped the unit from sharing that information with the FBI.

"I don't think you can understate the significance here," Mindy Kleinberg, a member of the Sept. 11 Advocates, a coalition of family members, told the Post.

"You're talking about the four lead hijackers. If we shared information and did surveillance on them, there is no telling what we could have uncovered and what we could have thwarted.

"I think we do need a new commission, and that's really sad."


Yes we do. And the first two subpoenas need to have the names Gorelick and Berger on them.

America's steel resolve

I love this story from WorldNetDaily:

In tribute to victims of the 9-11 attack on New York City, the U.S. Navy is using 10 tons of steel from the World Trade Center to build a new warship that will help defend the nation from terrorism.

The USS New York, a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock, is scheduled to be commissioned in 2008, according to the European edition of the U.S. military newspaper Stars and Stripes.


You brought this steel down so now this steel is going to bring you down. What a hauntingly appropriate message to send the terrorists.

Now, lets build those two towers back like Trump proposed and really send them a message.

Warship built with steel from Twin Towers

Sheehan's mother suffers stroke

Cindy Sheehan is leaving Texas today to be with her mother after learning that she had suffered a stroke. I'm not going to comment on this one but you know what I'm thinking.

Antiwar mom leaving camp to aid ailing mother

Home on the deranged...

Air America's Randi Rhodes recently asked Barry Crimmins to be her official "kook in the field" at the Cindy Sheehan protest. Here are some excerpts from his breathless narrative:

There’s mercy in the August breeze in Crawford. It brings relief from the ever-present malevolent heat and humidity at Camp Casey, the makeshift settlement named in honor of Cindy Sheehan’s son, whose life is among the thousands that have been wasted in George W. Bush’s politically pornographic Iraq war/occupation.


Yes, there is indeed a lot of hot air out there. As the account goes on, we learn that the site for the ongoing vigil has turned into a veritable Moonbat Mecca:

Thanks to Mrs. Sheehan, some exceedingly friendly enzymes have been introduced into the Belly of the Beast. When you arrive in Crawford, right before the main railroad crossing where the gate comes down several times a day to allow the speedy passage of freight trains hauling bales of war cash to Houston, you cannot miss the Crawford Peace House. The CPH, opened by Texas peace activists on Easter Sunday 2003, is the nerve center of the staging operation for Camp Casey, which is seven miles farther into the rolling hills. At these two locations, the aforementioned Gold Star families and other organizations, such as Veterans for Peace, Iraqi Veterans Against the War, and Military Families Speak Out, coalesce with hundreds of people from across Texas and every state in the union, as well as from Japan, Australia, Iraq, and several European nations. Collectively, they are taking what is becoming the most fabled stand in these parts since the Alamo.

So much for the lone voice crying out in the wilderness. Crimmins goes on to brag about the sheer number of kooks that have fluttered to Crawford like moths to a lava lamp:

If Fox News had had a turnout as large and thoughtful as this one a few months back in Florida, the Terri Schiavo protest would have looked like Woodstock. The corporate media have minimized Cindy’s large crowds while somehow implying that Bush’s supporters are nearly as prevalent. The fact is that pro-war types have been consistently outnumbered by at least 10 to one[...]


That's because most of us pro-war types have JOBS.

Besides, why stand in the sweltering Texas heat when we can laugh at you leftist dingbats while watching Foxnews in the comfort of our air-conditioned homes?

[...]Maybe these people will think twice the next time they hear the inane and scurrilous charges the Bush attack machine levels at Sheehan with the same unconscionable malice it’s employed against everyone from the Dixie Chicks to Ambassador Joe Wilson. As ever, the target of its venom is guilty of nothing more than standing for truth. But with the machine’s most rabid attack dog, Karl Rove, busy fighting off Traitorgate[...]

Wow, I'm impressed that you found a way to work Karl Rove into this story. You even threw in the Dixie Chicks and Terry Schiavo for good measure. I know that wasn't easy. However...no mention of Dick Cheney or Halliburton? An "A" for effort but a little more attention to detail would have really rounded this piece out.

Israeli against Israeli

Today is the second day Israeli troops have used force in the Gaza evacuation. As expected many settlers aren't going without a fight.

NEVE DEKALIM, Gaza Strip (AP) - Israeli troops stormed the main synagogue of this Jewish settlement Thursday, one of the last bastions of resistance to the Gaza pullout, to remove about 1,500 protesters inside.

The protesters, who vowed not to leave after repeated warnings by police, locked arms and legs while lying on the floor, making it extremely difficult for the soldiers to carry them away. They grabbed at soldiers trying to remove their comrades, threw water and plastic bottles at them, and chanted, ``Jews don't expel Jews!''

Water and plastic bottles. That's about as violent as the Jewish citizens get. Imagine if these were Palestinians and imagine this was a mosque.

Saudi government kills top Al Qaeda leader

The Saudis have killed a man in Medina they say was the leader of Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula.

The man identified as Saleh Al Oufi was on a Saudi list of 26 most wanted people. The Saudis have since issued a new list with 36 names, but Oufi's death on Thursday would leave one person on the original list still free.


I'm not crazy about the Saudi government but anytime an Al Qaeda leader dies it is a good thing.

More below:

Saudi officials: Al Qaeda leader killed

Patently Patriotic Post of the Day (8/18/05)

Benjamin Franklin was born on January 17, 1706 in Boston Massachusetts. Franklin was one of the leading founding fathers of the United States of America. He signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, and served as the new nation's ablest diplomat.

Franklin's formal schooling ended early but his education never did. He believed that "the doors to wisdom are never shut," and read every book he could get his hands on. Franklin taught himself simple algebra and geometry, navigation, logic, history, science, English grammar and a working knowledge of five other languages.

Franklin had a simple formula for success. He believed that successful people worked just a little harder than other people. Benjamin Franklin certainly did. He built a successful printing and publishing business in Philadelphia; he conducted scientific studies of electricity and made several important discoveries; he was an accomplished diplomat and statesman; he helped establish Pennsylvania's first university and America's first city hospital. He also organized the country's first subscription library.

Franklin was also unequaled in America as an inventor until Thomas Edison. He invented the Franklin stove, bifocal eyeglasses and the lightning rod. Franklin wasn't greedy about his inventions, preferring to have them used freely for the comfort and convenience of everyone. Thomas Jefferson called Benjamin Franklin "the greatest man and ornament of the age and country in which he lived."

Frankilin had a strong belief that good citizenship included an obligation of public service. Franklin himself served the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the new United States of America, in one way or the other, for most of his life. To Benjamin Franklin there was no greater purpose in life than to "live usefully."


From Benjamin Franklin | American Statesman and Inventor

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

How to fill the impending kook void

Our friends at CNN are looking ahead and they are concerned that when the Cindy Sheehan show finally leaves town there will be nobody to replace her:

Who will be the next mother of a fallen soldier to confront the president? Surely this question vexes Bush, who calculates that talking to Sheehan just opens the floodgates to dozens, if not hundreds, of other mother/activists demanding to be seen, and heard.


To help things along, CNN has appealed to..er..suggested some possible candidates:

Will it be Celeste Zappala of Philadelphia, whose son Sherwood died in Baghdad on April 26, 2004? Will it be Jean Prewitt of Birmingham, Ala., whose son Kelly was killed in action during the first few weeks of the war in Iraq? Or Barbara Porchia of Camden, Ark., whose son Jonathan was killed in action in Baghdad on July 26, 2003? All three women are listed on the antiwar Veterans for Common Sense website as supporters of Sheehan and opponents of the war. Whether one of them becomes the next Cindy Sheehan remains to be seen.


Oh but they can still dream...

On another note, there is some counter activity stirring:

Meanwhile, the Right plans more anti-Sheehan pushback. The pro-Bush group, Move America Forward, will conduct the "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy" caravan beginning next week. It will feature military family members who have loved ones serving in the war against terrorism in Iraq or Afghanistan. The delegation will be led by Deborah Johns of a group called Northern California Marine Moms. Johns will lead the caravan to Crawford, where she and Move Chairman Melanie Morgan will lead a "We Support Our Troops and Their Mission" rally on Saturday.


Semper Fi! More power to you Ms. Johns.

Of course, you won't see this rally on TV and this is probably the last you will hear about it. In fact, CNN has now terminated the reporter who let this slip out and has fired off a legal letter to me demanding that I erase all knowlege of this rally from my memory. I'm not budging.

Now... what was I talking about?

U.N.-sponsored gloating...

The New York Sun reports on the United Nations' latest marketing campaign which is targeting Jews in Israel. When I say "targeting Jews" I don't mean Jews are the target market -- I mean they are the target:

The United Nations bankrolled the production of thousands of banners, bumper stickers, mugs, and T-shirts bearing the slogan "Today Gaza and Tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem," which have been widely distributed to Palestinian Arabs in the Gaza Strip, according to a U.N. official.

The U.N. support of the Palestinian Authority's propaganda operation in the midst of the Israeli evacuation of Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip has provoked outrage from Israeli and Jewish leaders, who are blaming Turtle Bay for propagating an inflammatory message that they say encourages Palestinian Arab violence.

"The intifada worked. That's contextually what this message is saying," the director of U.N. affairs for the Washington-based Jewish organization B'nai Brith, Amy Goldstein, said.

The Arabic slogan, which refers to disputed territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, has become ubiquitous in Gaza, where Israeli soldiers this week are evacuating 21 settlements. It's served as the central message of a Palestinian Arab effort to spin the withdrawal as a victory.

A special representative of the United Nations Development Program in the Gaza Strip, Timothy Rothermel, told Fox News that his office provided financial support for the production of materials that make up the Palestinian Authority's propaganda campaign, timed to coincide with the Gaza pullout. The Palestinian Authority's withdrawal committee developed and produced the posters and other items using U.N. money, Mr. Rothermel said.

In addition to the slogan "Today Gaza and Tomorrow the West Bank and Jerusalem," many of the materials displayed the logo of the United Nations Development Program, which operates in 166 countries and spends about half a billion dollars a year.

Asked by a Fox News correspondent about one of the banners bearing the words implying an impending Palestinian Arab takeover of the disputed areas, Mr. Rothermel, said, "That particular poster was prepared by the disengagement office with financial support from the United Nations Development Program."


It's time for America to pull out of the UN. And I mean now. Bring Bolton home, withdraw all US workers and representatives, eliminate all future funding -- the whole deal. They are a giant, nebulous, anti-Semitic, anti-American quivering glob of bureaucratic goo. These clowns would have no power or money if not for the U.S. and its time to strip them of both. Send that little runt Kofi home and let him flip burgers. I've HAD IT with these guys.

{deep breath} Happy place, hopperbach...happy place...

Leahy fires the first scud at Roberts

Sen. Patrick Leahy is taking the gloves off in the John Roberts Supreme Court battle. The recently released Reagan Library documents have become his new smoking gun proving what he suspected all along -- Roberts has opinions:

Firing his broadside one day after the release of 5,000 pages of Reagan-era records, Leahy said Roberts' views were "among the most radical being offered by a cadre intent on reversing decades of policies on civil rights, voting rights, women's rights, privacy and access to justice."


Aaah, so Roberts has been upgraded to radical now, eh? Keep it up Leahy. But I warn you that you might as well be throwing stones at Mount Rushmore -- you won't do any damage and you'll look pretty foolish when all is done.

Leahy's declaration came in advance of what is likely to be a string of announcements from groups going on the record opposing Roberts' confirmation.

Ralph Neas, president of People For The American Way, declined to comment on his own organization's plans Tuesday, but said a "significant number of progressive organizations will soon be coming out against the Roberts nomination."


Bring it on, guys. NARAL has some rope that you can borrow.

So just what is it about this Roberts guy that is bringing all of the kooks out of the crevices? In a word, the guy is nice -- Pat Boone nice. He's the Ned Flanders to the libs' Homer Simpson. He possesses those qualities that to the left are like fingernails on a chalkboard -- respect for God, respect for life, regard for Constitutional law, disdain for the influence of pop-culture.

To the libs, putting such a strick moralist in SCOTUS would set the Judiciary back 40 years.

Hmmmmm..... strangely this works for me....

Patently Patriotic Post of the Day (8/17/05)

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain
. . .

The author of "America the Beautiful," Katharine Lee Bates, was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts in 1859 and grew up near the rolling sea. Her graceful poetic style came through in poems such as "The Falmouth Bell:"

Never was there lovelier town
Than our Falmouth by the sea.
Tender curves of sky look down
On her grace of knoll and lea. . . .

Bates, who eventually became a full professor of English literature at Wellesley College, made a lecture trip to Colorado in 1893 and there she wrote the words to "America the Beautiful." As she told it, "We strangers celebrated the close of the session by a merry expedition to the top of Pike's Peak, making the ascent by the only method then available for people not vigorous enough to achieve the climb on foot nor adventurous enough for burro-riding. Prairie wagons, their tail-boards emblazoned with the traditional slogan, "Pike's Peak or Bust," were pulled by horses up to the half-way house, where the horses were relieved by mules. We were hoping for half and hour on the summit, but two of our party became so faint in the rarified air that we were bundled into the wagons again and started on our downward plunge so speedily that our sojourn on the peak remains in memory hardly more than one ecstatic gaze. It was then and there, as I was looking out over the sea-like expanse of fertile country spreading away so far under those ample skies, that the opening lines of the hymn floated into my mind."

On July 4, 1895, Bates' poem first appeared in The Congregationalist, a weekly newspaper. Bates revised her lyrics in 1904, a version published that year in The Boston Evening Transcript, and made some final additions to the poem in 1913.

For several years "America the Beautiful" was sung to almost any popular air or folk tune with which the lyrics fit: "Auld Lang Syne" was one of the most common. Today it is sung to a melody written in 1882 by Samuel Augustus Ward, a Newark, New Jersey, church organist and choirmaster. Ward originally composed the melody (also titled "Materna") to accompany the words of the sixteenth century hymn "O Mother Dear, Jerusalem." When the National Federation of Music Clubs sponsored a 1926 contest to elicit new music for Bates' poem but failed to find a winner, Ward's music prevailed.

"America the Beautiful" has been called "an expression of patriotism at its finest." It conveys an attitude of appreciation and gratitude for the nation's extraordinary physical beauty and abundance, without triumphalism. It has also been incorporated into a number of films including The Sandlot and The Pentagon Wars. Its lyricist, Katharine Lee Bates, died March 28, 1929, and is buried in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and its composer, Samuel A. Ward, died on September 28, 1903, in Newark, New Jersey.


From The Library of Congress, "I Hear America Singing"

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Chuck-be-nimble...

CNSNews reports that Sen. Chucky Schumer has a new plan as head of the DSCC to win back the Senate for the Democrats. In a fund-raising email he details a highly selective strategy which will involve running "the smartest and nimblest campaigns our party has ever seen,"

"I will be watching each and every race to determine precisely where and when our resources will help Democratic candidates win," DSCC Chair Schumer says in the email message.

Democrats will spend resources only on races they can win, Schumer promises: "I won't give a dime to campaigns that do not have the tools and staff they need to build a successful campaign infrastructure. Our strategy is to win elections and take our country back by putting resources in the states that will do the most good," he writes.


And the rest of you schmucks can flap in the wind!

As we read on we learn that Schumer has already hand-picked his golden boy for PA:

For example, Schumer says he "personally recruited Bob Casey," a Pennsylvania Democrat who is expected to run a close race against conservative Republican Sen. Rick Santorum.

"Keystone State voters are ready to reject Santorum for putting right-wing causes ahead of mainstream Pennsylvania priorities," Schumer writes. He says the DSCC has been "working daily with the Casey campaign to develop world-class fundraising and message strategies."


Translation: "We're teaching this puppet to sing and dance, baby!"

But Chuckie isn't just setting his sights on conservative Republicans... he plans to hunt some RINOs as well:

Even liberal Republicans are targets: Schumer says he knows Democrats can beat Sen. Lincoln Chafee "because he has consistently supported the far right agenda in Washington after casting himself as a moderate back home. I will make sure we have the tools and resources we will need to beat Chafee in November," Schumer writes.


I'll bet you five Lincoln pennies that Chafee switches sides the minute he hears Chuckie rustling in the bushes. And I'll bet you five more that is exactly what Schumer wants to happen. Nothing would change except the letter falling after his name but that "D" is crucial. All it takes are six of them for Dems to be running the show again.

But Chuck overlooks one key point -- with all the money he plans to rain down upon his chosen ones, the Dems still do not have a message. There is hardly a single issue where their beliefs fall in line with the mainstream so they are left having to lie about what they believe to even stand a chance.

Throw a bunch of money into a big lie and all you get is a big expensive lie.

Strange circumstances surround Cypriot crash

When presented with news of a major airplane crash, most of us try not to be too hasty with our conclusions. But in these uncertain times, that "T" word always hangs in the back or our minds as we observe the ensuing investigation. In that vein, Debka.com brings us an interesting article on the many oddities of the recent Cypriot plane crash in Greece:

Why was no lunch served aboard Helios airliner before it crashed? At what point were crew and passengers overcome?

This is one of the key questions asked by investigators led by Akrivos Tsolakis of the transport ministry in Athens into the causes of the Cypriot plane's crash north of Athens en route from Larnaca to Prague. Cyprus and Greece are observing three days of mourning for the 121 victims who died in the disaster.

Another question relates to the two mystery people reportedly observed in the cockpit at moment of the communications break-off between the airliner and Larnaca control tower early in the fatal flight. Were they passengers trying to save the plane after the pilots were incapacitated? Or possibly hijackers making sure the plane would not survive the flight?


Full story here:

Do you want lies with that?

Radley Balko writes an expose on filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, famous for his fast-food documentary "Super Size Me" and more recently for the cable series "30 days". After examining Spurlock's print and television material Balko concludes that the fast-food mogul has been playing fast-and-loose with the facts:

Spurlock Food Scare a Super Size Scam

WorldNetDaily delivers the cache

A Google search by WorldNetDaily has revealed photos taken during the first Cindy Sheehan visit with President Bush:

While Cindy Sheehan continues to seek a second meeting with President Bush in connection with the death in Iraq of her son, Casey, there's been minimal coverage by the mainstream media of the first meeting between the pair, and no pictures.

But an online search by WorldNetDaily reveals a host of family photographs of the Sheehan family, including one showing President Bush kissing Mrs. Sheehan.

The photos were originally posted on a Sheehan family website featuring a large number of photos, but the images including President Bush posing with the family have since been removed from the original page, though they are still available in cached Google versions.


Below is the cached thumbnail (the full-size image is no longer available.)




WND describes the visit in more detail:

As WND previously reported, it was after this first meeting with Bush last June that Cindy was less abrasive about the president, telling the Reporter of Vacaville, Calif., "I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis. I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith."


Just reporting the facts, folks. It's my duty as a rabbit.

Roberts supported "memorial for fetuses"

Panic time for the moonbats -- more clarification on John Roberts' abortion views has now come to light thanks to the recently released Reagan Library documents:

As a young lawyer in the Reagan White House, Supreme Court nominee John Roberts concluded that a group's memorial service for aborted fetuses was "an entirely appropriate means of calling attention to the abortion tragedy."

Roberts' wrote the advice in an October, 1985 memo after he was asked to review a proposed telegram from President Reagan to the memorial service promoted by the California Pro Life Medical Association.

"The president's position is that the fetuses were human beings, or at least cannot be proven not to have been, and accordingly a memorial service would seem an entirely appropriate means of calling attention to the abortion tragedy," wrote Roberts.


Oh my. "Abortion tragedy" isn't gonna set well with the libs, now is it?

The tar is just about the right temperature -- all they are waiting on now are the feathers (drat that UPS guy).

Commercial airliner crashes

Another plane has crashed -- this one in eastern Venezuela and all 153 passengers on board died:

The West Caribbean Airways plane was en route from Panama to the Caribbean island of Martinique when its pilot reported trouble with both engines to Caracas' air control tower at around 3 a.m., said Francisco Paz, president of the National Aviation Institute.

Area residents claim to have heard an explosion and I'm assuming that this was from the crash itself.

Jet Carrying At Least 158 Crashes in Venezuela

Bill Clinton's alternate universe

Well it looks as if Bill Clinton is serving a third term -- in pure hindsight.

Ex-president Bill Clinton now says he would have taken out Osama bin Laden before the 9/11 attacks – if only the FBI and CIA had been able to prove the al-Qaida mastermind was behind the attack on the U.S.S. Cole.

"I desperately wish that I had been president when the FBI and CIA finally confirmed, officially, that bin Laden was responsible for the attack on the U.S.S. Cole," Clinton tells New York magazine this week. "Then we could have launched an attack on Afghanistan early."

"I don’t know if it would have prevented 9/11," he added. "But it certainly would have complicated it.”


But you did know that bin Laden was responsible for the first WTC bombing back in `93 and if I remember right you chose to sit on your hands. Oops...

So why make such absurd claims? Because for Bill Clinton, saying it is as good as doing it. He wants us to praise this "coulda shoulda woulda" brand of leadership as if it were the real thing.

But let's just play out this little fantasy of his for a moment -- let's assume that the CIA had presented a video to then President Clinton showing bin Laden with that pleasant little smile of his clutching a walkie-talkie and giving the official orders to attack the Cole. What would Clinton have actually done?

Answer: he would have implimented the tried and true Bubba Battle Plan -- lob a bunch of cruise missiles in bin Laden's general direction and when you run out of missiles, declare victory and take credit for ending terrorism as we know it. See? Easy as mommas apple fritters!

Now let's read on as Clinton lets us know how much more attuned he was to the al-Qaeda threat than our current President.

Despite his failure to launch such an attack, Clinton said he saw the danger posed by bin Laden much more clearly than did President Bush.

"I always thought that bin Laden was a bigger threat than the Bush administration did," he told New York magazine.


This is Barney Fife as an ex-President. I can almost see him snorting proudly as he says this. This guy is great entertainment. Keep it up Bubba and we look forward to your next installment from the sidelines.

Patently Patriotic Post of the Day (8/16/05)

"It is in vain, Sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace! But there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the North will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that Gentlemen want? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!"

Patrick Henry, "The War Inevitable" speech, March, 1775

Monday, August 15, 2005

More insight into the mind of Judge Roberts

Thanks to some 5400 pages of records released by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on Monday, we now have a little more information on John Roberts' political leanings (hint: it's not looking good for the moonbats). Serving as a a young lawyer working for the Reagan administration, Roberts wrote several memos and drafts where he weighed in on the issues of the day.

According to the library records, Roberts:

Supported the Alabama law mandating a moment of silence for meditation or prayer. Said Roberts, "The conclusion ... that the Constitution prohibits such a moment of silent reflection or even silent `prayer' seems indefensible." Roberts felt that Rehnquist may have been to blame defeating the law, arguing that had the Justice kept his focus on the moment of silence statute in writing his opinion, he wouldn't have lost the support of O'Connor and Lewis Powell: "Thus, as I see it, Rehnquist took a tenuous five-person majority and ... ended up losing the majority."

Was against the proposal that a new appellate court be created to lighten the Supreme Court's burden -- an idea being floated by then Chief Justice Warren Burger. Roberts wrote that "The fault lies with the justices themselves, who unnecessarily take too many cases and issue opinions so confusing that they often do not even resolve the question presented."

Supported the idea that recess appointments were free to be exercised at the President's discretion. This was in response to Robert "sheets" Byrd's vocal (and likely rambling) opposition to the prospect of President Reagan implementing this option (hmmm... sounds vaguely familiar).

Was against upholding the "comparable worth" ruling having to do with perceived pay inequalities of women vs. men arguing that to rule on such cases represented abuse of judicial power in economic matters.

Was against the proposed idea of having President Reagan send a letter of thanks to Michael Jackson for giving underprivileged children free tickets to Washington area concerts. Roberts wrote that "Frankly I find the obsequious attitude of some members of the White House staff toward Mr. Jackson's attendants, and the fawning posture they would have the president of the United States adopt, more than a little embarrassing."

Hmmmm...Could common sense be making it's way back into the High Court? No wonder the libs are getting fidgety...

Big Brother is watching the blogosphere

In a chilling account of an activist judge who didn't like the heat, it appears that a blogger has been arrested on a secret indictment:

Former Ohio attorney Elsebeth Baumgartner and the editor of a news blog, Bryan DuBois of Sandusky, Ohio, have been charged with intimidation and retaliation because a judge filed a complaint against them, claiming that he was intimidated by them and their charges of judicial corruption.

However, it appears that it is the Ohio officials who should be charged, not only in the alleged corruption that the pair have been reporting and spotlighting, but in abusing the criminal justice system to intimidate and retaliate against their critics.

Dr. Baumgartner has been a long-time critic of Ohioan government, both local and state, alleging massive federal and state grant fraud as well as abuses of power by public officials, particularly Erie County district attorney Kevin Baxter and numerous judges in northern Ohio. Baumgartner teamed up with DuBois in the publication of Erie Voices, www.erievoices.com/blog, a website that publishes articles and opinion alleging misconduct by public officials in several northern Ohio counties including Cuyahoga, Erie, Lucas and Ottawa.

We don't think it was any coincidence that they were arrested on a secret indictment the day after they served a federal lawsuit against Robert Taft, Governor of Ohio and other Ohio officials.

The rest of the editorial by June Maxam can be found here:

Ohio Case Showcases Judicial Tyranny At Its Worst

Dean mouths off about Iran

Okay so now we have it on record that Howard Dean sees Iran as a genuine danger:

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said Sunday that while Iran poses a genuine "danger" to the United States, the U.S. military is now too weak to respond.

Asked whether the U.S. might have to resort to military action against Iran, Dean told CBS's "Face the Nation" that President Bush had "squandered our resources in Iraq, which was not a danger to the United States."

His overall point is wrong as usual but we'll take note of his admission of the Iranian threat to our country. It could come in handy at a later date.

Amen to that

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay stated the obvious to a packed crowd gathered at a Nashville church on Sunday:

"All wisdom does not reside in nine persons in black robes," DeLay told the crowd. "The Constitution is clear on the point that the power to make laws is vested on Congress."


More here:

DeLay: Congress Makes Law, Not the Courts

Not a Sunni disposition for new constitution

After a tense battle on Sunday and conflicting statements on Monday, it looks as if the deadline for the Iraqi constitution may have to be extended:

Early Monday, Shiite and Kurdish leaders signaled they were prepared to submit the draft to parliament Monday evening even if they had to do so over Sunni Arab objections.

That risked a backlash among Sunni Arabs, who form the core of the insurgency, which could undermine the American goal of using the constitution to lure away Sunnis from the insurgency.

With stakes so high, public positions among the factions changed by the hour. As Monday's meeting time for the National Assembly drew near, Shiite and Kurdish officials were considering asking parliament to extend the deadline.


Iraqi Pols Mull Extending Constitution Deadline

Gaza pullout begins

Eviction notices are being served today as the deadline for the Gaza pullout has arrived. As expected, many of the Jewish settlers are not going easily with some of them locking community gates and others forming human chains:

Police and soldiers waited patiently in the sweltering sun and avoided confrontation at the behest of their commanders. One sobbing settler pleaded with a brigadier general not to evict him before the two men embraced.

"It's a painful and difficult day, but it's a historic day," said Israel's defense minister, Shaul Mofaz.

Palestinians showed their usual class and restraint:

Israeli troops fired in the air Monday to keep back hundreds of Palestinians, including a few dozen masked gunmen, who were marching toward southern Gaza's Gush Katif bloc of settlements in celebration of the impending withdrawal. The crowd burned a cardboard model of an Israeli settlement, complete with an army watchtower.


That's the spirit, guys. And what would a pullout be without the predictable nose-rubbing by Hamas:

In Gaza City, the Islamic terrorist group Hamas hung banners proclaiming the pullout is a result of attacks by militants on Israelis. "The blood of martyrs has led to liberation," one banner said.


Those Hamas guys can sure turn a phrase. Great bunch of folks. I see nothing but good coming out of this agreement. The love in the air is so thick you could just fire bullets into it.


Gaza Settlers Confront Soldiers

Patently Patriotic Post of the Day (8/15/05)


01/06/05 - An Aircrewman assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 2 (HS 2) "Golden Falcons" shakes the hands of the local citizens after delivering food and water to their village in Indonesia, Jan. 6, 2005. DoD photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Tyler J.Clements, U.S Navy.


01/06/05 - A lone salute is rendered by an Indonesian child as a U.S. Navy helicopter lifts off after delivering food and water in Lamno, Sumatra, Indonesia, Jan. 6, 2005. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Jordon R. Beesley)



Photos & captions from USA Patriotism!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

More info on the departure at NARAL

It has now been confirmed that the sudden resignation of NARAL's communications director on Friday was in protest to the pulling of the John Roberts attack ad on television:

A central player has voted with his feet in the drama over NARAL Pro-Choice America's decision to withdraw a television ad about Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. that outraged conservatives had branded as false.


Ummm... maybe so but it was actually the politically neutral Factcheck.org that called NARAL's bluff.

Some Democrats said their side should be tougher, and one of them is David E. Seldin, who as NARAL's communications director had defended the ad's linking of Roberts to violent abortion opponents as "100 percent accurate." A day after Thursday night's announcement that the ad was being yanked, Seldin sent an e-mail to friends saying that he was leaving his job immediately.


The {yawn} drama. From the very beginning the people at NARAL have demonstrated a stunning amount of arrogance and an inability to grasp the situation at hand. What this commercial amounts to is the pro-abortion industry's version of "Willie Horton" and it has backfired miserably. It was one of the left's more boneheaded miscalculations in recent history and it reveals the panic and desperation that has set in over the Supreme Court battle.

Sheehan's leftist agenda emerging through the tears

From mourning mom to moonbat mouthpiece -- let there be no further doubt as to where this woman is coming from and what her real agenda is. From Drudge:

Anti-war protestor Cindy Sheehan, whose soldier son Casey was killed in Iraq, is calling for Bush's "impeachment," and for Israel to get out of Palestine!

"You get America out of Iraq and Israel out of Palestine and you'll stop the terrorism," Sheehan declares.

Sheehan, who is asking for a second meeting with President Bush, says defiantly: "My son was killed in 2004. I am not paying my taxes for 2004. You killed my son, George Bush, and I don't owe you a penny...you give my son back and I'll pay my taxes. Come after me (for back taxes) and we'll put this war on trial."

"And now I'm going to use another 'I' word - impeachment - because we cannot have these people pardoned. They need to be tried on war crimes and go to jail."

The 48-year-old California mom remains tented up in a ditch along the one-lane road that leads to Bush's Texas ranch.

As her protest entered its second week, hundreds of people with conflicting opinions about the war in Iraq descended on the area.

TIME mag reports in new editions on Monday: Sheehan gets support from her surviving son, Andy, in principle, but he recently sent her a long e-mail imploring her, "to come home because you need to support us at home."

One day to go for Iraq

Iraqi leaders are being urged by the U.S. to hammer out an agreement for their new constitution one day before the scheduled deadline. Two key issues are holding up the talks:

Talks seem to be concentrating on the issues such as federalism and the role of Islam in the state issues which have for weeks blocked progress on the draft of the charter, which Washington considers a key part of the process to curb a Sunni-dominated insurgency.

Although there is still a lot of uncertainty as to what form this new government will take, it is still amazing to see this country at such a momentous point in it's history. This is a proud time for Iraqis and don't let a cynical press convince you otherwise.

Plane crashes in Greece

A Cypriot plane crashed in Athens, Greece today killing all 121 on board. Although the cause is unclear, it is suspected that a technical problem was responsible rather than terrorism. It is being called Greece's worst airline disaster.

A text message sent from a passenger on board gives us a sobering glimpse into the mind of a man resigned to his own fate:

A man whose cousin was a passenger on the plane told Greece's Alpha television he received a cell-phone text message minutes before the crash. "He told me the pilots were unconscious. ... He said: "Farewell, cousin, here we're frozen," Sotiris Voutas said.


Story here:

Airliner Carrying 121 Crashes in Greece


Patently Patriotic Post of the Day (8/14/05)

"Such being the impressions under which I have, in obedience to the public summons, repaired to the present station, it would be peculiarly improper to omit in this first official act my fervent supplications to that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aids can supply every human defect, that His benediction may consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the people of the United States a Government instituted by themselves for these essential purposes, and may enable every instrument employed in its administration to execute with success the functions allotted to his charge. In tendering this homage to the Great Author of every public and private good, I assure myself that it expresses your sentiments not less than my own, nor those of my fellow-citizens at large less than either. No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States."

President George Washington, first Inaugural Address
New York City, April 30, 1789