May each of you have the heart to conceive, the understanding to direct, and the hand to execute works that will leave the world a little better for your having been here. -- Ronald Reagan

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Children Singing Obama's Praises

Children already singing praising the 'great leader'? This gives me the creeps.

Monday, September 29, 2008

McCain's 2005 Support of Fannie Mae Regulation

Mr. President, this week Fannie Mae’s regulator reported that the company’s quarterly reports of profit growth over the past few years were “illusions deliberately and systematically created” by the company’s senior management, which resulted in a $10.6 billion accounting scandal.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight’s report goes on to say that Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives. In the case of Franklin Raines, Fannie Mae’s former chief executive officer, OFHEO’s report shows that over half of Mr. Raines’ compensation for the 6 years through 2003 was directly tied to meeting earnings targets. The report of financial misconduct at Fannie Mae echoes the deeply troubling $5 billion profit restatement at Freddie Mac.

The OFHEO report also states that Fannie Mae used its political power to lobby Congress in an effort to interfere with the regulator’s examination of the company’s accounting problems. This report comes some weeks after Freddie Mac paid a record $3.8 million fine in a settlement with the Federal Election Commission and restated lobbying disclosure reports from 2004 to 2005. These are entities that have demonstrated over and over again that they are deeply in need of reform.

For years I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac–known as Government-sponsored entities or GSEs–and the sheer magnitude of these companies and the role they play in the housing market. OFHEO’s report this week does nothing to ease these concerns. In fact, the report does quite the contrary. OFHEO’s report solidifies my view that the GSEs need to be reformed without delay.

I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.

I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation.

The Bill: (1) in lieu of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), an independent Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Agency which shall have authority over the Federal Home Loan Bank Finance Corporation, the Federal Home Loan Banks, the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac); and (2) the Federal Housing Enterprise Board.

Sets forth operating, administrative, and regulatory provisions of the Agency, including provisions respecting: (1) assessment authority; (2) authority to limit nonmission-related assets; (3) minimum and critical capital levels; (4) risk-based capital test; (5) capital classifications and undercapitalized enterprises; (6) enforcement actions and penalties; (7) golden parachutes; and (8) reporting.

The Lying Democrats It IS Their Fault

How do the Democrats do this, lie and say they didn't do it, that they are not responsible for this financial mess?

Monday Monday (not just a pretty song)

Traditionally the second day of the week, though now the first, Monday is the Day of the Moon called Mnandae by Anglo-Saxons *** The Monday Effect is the trend in stock markets for share returns to be lower than average on Mondays compared to other days of the week *** Black Monday--Easter Monday, April 14, 1360, when the troops and horses of Edward III perished from cold on the outskirts of Paris *** The Dunmonw Flitch is the side of bacon awarded on Whit Monday to a couple in Great Dunmow, Essex, who had not repented their marriage for a year and a day *** The Monday Club is a luncheon club, founded in 1961 by a group of Conservatives, united in opposition to Macmillan's 'wind of change speech' on Black Monday *** Monday's Child is fair of face *** Black Monday is the public school slang for the first Monday of a new term. *** Plough Monday, the first Monday after Twelfth Night, was the day when agricultural workers resumed their toil after Christmas *** Americans use the term 'Monday morning quarterback' to describe the breed of armchair athlete who spends Monday criticising the actions of their team during the preceding weekend *** Black Monday, Oct 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Average fell by 22.6 percent *** At Scottish universities, Oatmeal Monday was a day mid-term when fathers of poor students would bring supplies of food (often oatmeal) to sustain their children *** The superstitious consider Monday a bad day to die, give money; move, or change jobs. Specifically unlucky Mondays include the first Monday of April and August, and the last Monday of December. --Schott's Almanac

Geraldine Ferraro and the NYTimes 1984

Dateline, New York Times, July 3, 1984: "Where is it written that only senators are qualified to become President?...Or where is it written that mere representatives aren't qualified, like Geraldine Ferraro of Queens?...Where is it written that governors and mayors, like Dianne Feinstein of San Francisco, are too local, too provincial?...Presidential candidates have always chosen their running mates for reasons of practical demography, not idealized democracy.... What a splendid system, we say to ourselves, that takes little-known men, tests them in high office and permits them to grow into statesmen.... Why shouldn't a little-known woman have the same opportunity to grow?"

Tweaking My Liberal Friends

What do the top ten cities with the highest poverty rate all have in common?
Detroit, MI (1st on the poverty rate list) hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1961;
Buffalo, NY (2nd) hasn't elected one since 1954;
Cincinnati, OH (3rd)... since 1984;
Cleveland, OH (4th)... since 1989;
Miami, FL (5th) has never had a Republican mayor;
St. Louis, MO (6th).. since 1949;
El Paso, TX (7th) has never had a Republican mayor;
Milwaukee, WI (8th)... since 1908;
Philadelphia, PA (9th)... since 1952;
Newark, NJ (10th)... since 1907.
Einstein once said, 'The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.'
It is the disadvantaged who habitually elect Democrats --- yet are still disadvantaged.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lettermen, Vogues, Friends

Last night was another of great conversation and music. How cool that Cory, Cindi, Glenda, Terry and I can sit around and graze at the buffet for two hours and talk music, politics, Bible, theology, and famous people. The talk about music is always so cool with these guys. It's like having the encyclopedia of rock and roll at the table. Bill Haley and the Comets, Lettermen, Vogues. Individual musicians and their contributions to rock. When did rock originate, who's credited with the first true rock and roll song? Talk about different translations of the Bible. Famous people we've met. It's amazing how all our lives cross at various times with talented musicians. Of course we all paid tribute to Paul Newman. After all this weekend dining at buffets all summer, I'm up six pounds and my tummy is round again. I like flat. So it's time to dust off the bench and free weights. The music at the concert is all we've come to expect. Lots of humor, laughter and just out of this world harmonies. Another perfect evening.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tribute to Paul Newman

Paul Newman is gone. I grew up watching his movies, and they were often great. Even his average movies were way better than some of the blockbusters of today. My favorite was "Cool Hand Luke". When we saw it in college, we made a game of counting the Christ archetypes. For example, when he was walking down the street at the beginning and destroying the parking meters; driving out the money changers. Eating the eggs was the last supper. Remember him lying on the table afterwords, arms spread? The Crucifixion. Him digging his own grave. Burial and Resurrection. His escape and return; the second coming. "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid", "Hud", "The Sting", "Somebody Up There Likes Me", "Exodus", "Hombre", "Slapshot". I just loved his work.
He stayed married and faithful. "I have steak at home, why go out for hamburger?" Newman told Playboy magazine when asked if he was tempted to stray. He served in the Navy, Pacific Theater in WWII. He was a philanthropist. His 'Newman's Own' line, started in 1982, by 2006 had donated over $200 million to charity. His "Hole in the Wall Gang Camp" for seriously ill children started in Connecticut in 1998, is now in Ireland, France and Israel. The camp serves 13,000 children every year, free of charge. In June 1999 Newman donated $250,000 to the relief of Kosovo refugees.
Here's tribute to a great man that lived a full life. He entertained, was humble, honorable and contributed to people in need. RIP

My Political Friday

Watching the government created financial mess, I'm appalled that Pres. Bush and the Democrats were so quick, ready and willing to take our money to clean up their mess and give the themselves yet more power. The Democrats and Rino's (Republican in Name Only) came out early and said they had a deal. This was pretty early Friday. Then the House Republican leadership came out about an hour later, and said there was no deal, that they weren't at the negotiations at all, that they weren't even given the opportunity to present another option. The option, instead of confiscating seven hundred billion (being the government you know that it'll be waaaay more than that), recommended that insurance must be purchased, loans made, assets sold by the companies that bought the bad paper. I want to see some heads roll. Franklin Raines was head of Fannie Mae from 1999 to 2005 and walked away with about 90 million, Jamie Gorelick with about 75 million. Since 1989, Fannie and Freddie have spent an estimated $140 million on lobbying Washington. They contributed millions to politicians, mostly Democrats, including Sen Dodd Chris (No. 1 recipient) and Barack Obama (No. 3 recipient, despite only three years in office). Given the propensity for the Democrats to investigate everything that Republicans do, I've got to think that the Republicans didn't have much to do with the political end of the meltdown, or Democrats and the Main Stream Media (MSM) would be calling for investigations. I want to see all the people mentioned above investigated by the FBI. I want to see Chris Dodd and Barney Frank taken off their respective financial committees until hearings are over; foxes in the hen house come to mind. You know if these two guys were Republicans the Democrats and press would be screaming for their heads. Kudos to the Conservative Republicans in the House that put the stops on this, and said 'no' to taking the money from tax payers to finance the results of the colossal stupidity and greed of Congress and corporate greedheads. If Bush, Paulson and Democrats really thought this theft of money from the American people were such a good thing, the Democrats could pass it easily without conservative Republicans. So why don't they?
The vile attacks on Sarah Palin continued, this time by Florida Congressman Alcee Hastings, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. "If Sarah Palin isn't enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damned well had better pay attention. Anybody toting guns and stripping [sic] moose don't care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks." Nice....
The day ended with the debates. Libs thought Obama won, Conservatives thought McCain won. Color me surprised.

Bananas and Milk Duds

This is an article written by Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated. He details his experiences when given the opportunity to fly in a F-14 Tomcat.

'Now this message is for America 's most famous athletes: Someday you may be invited to fly in the back-seat of one of your country's most powerful fighter jets. Many of you already have . John Elway, John Stockton, Tiger Woods to name a few. If you get this opportunity, let me urge you, with the greatest sincerity...

Move to Guam .
Change your name.
Fake your own death!
Whatever you do.
Do Not Go!!!
I know.

The U.S. Navy invited me to try it. I was thrilled. I was pumped. I was toast! I should've known when they told me my pilot would be Chip (Biff) King of Fighter Squadron 213 at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach .

Whatever you're thinking a Top Gun named Chip (Biff) King looks like, triple it. He's about six-foot, tan, ice-blue eyes, wavy surfer hair, finger-crippling handshake -- the kind of man who wrestles dyspeptic alligators in his leisure time. If you see this man, run the other way, Fast.

Biff King was born to fly. His father, Jack King, was for years the voice of NASA missions. ('T-minus 15 seconds and counting .' Remember?) Chip would charge neighborhood kids a quarter each to hear his dad. Jack would wake up from naps surrounded by nine-year-olds waiting for him to say, 'We have liftoff'.

Biff was to fly me in an F- 14D Tomcat, a ridiculously powerful $60 million weapon with nearly as much thrust as weight, not unlike Colin Montgomerie. I was
worried about getting airsick, so the night before the flight I asked Biff if there was something I should eat the next morning.

'Bananas,' he said.

'For the potassium?' I asked.

'No,' Biff said, 'because they taste about the same coming up as they do going down.'

The next morning, out on the tarmac, I had on my flight suit with my name sewn over the left breast.

(No call sign -- like Crash or Sticky or Leadfoot. But, still, very cool.) I carried my helmet in the crook of my arm, as Biff had instructed. If ever in my life I
had a chance to nail Nicole Kidman, this was it.

A fighter pilot named Psycho gave me a safety briefing and then fastened me into my ejection seat, which, when employed, would 'egress' me out of the plane at
such a velocity that I would be immediately knocked unconscious.

Just as I was thinking about aborting the flight, the canopy closed over me, and Biff gave the ground crew a thumbs-up. In minutes we were firing nose up at 600
mph. We leveled out and then canopy-rolled over another F-14.

Those 20 minutes were the rush of my life. Unfortunately, the ride lasted 80.. It was like being on the roller coaster at Six Flags Over Hell. Only without rails. We did barrel rolls, snap rolls, loops, yanks and banks. We dived, rose and dived again, sometimes with a vertical velocity of 10,000 feet per minute. We chased another F-14, and it chased us.

We broke the speed of sound. Sea was sky and sky was sea. Flying at 200 feet we did 90-degree turns at 550 mph, creating a G force of 6.5, which is to say I felt as if 6.5 times my body weight was smashing against me, thereby approximating life as Mrs. Colin Montgomerie.

And I egressed the bananas.

And I egressed the pizza from the night before.

And the lunch before that.

I egressed a box of Milk Duds from the sixth grade.

I made Linda Blair look polite. Because of the G's, I was egressing stuff that never thought would be egressed.

I went through not one airsick bag, but two.

Biff said I passed out. Twice. I was coated in sweat. At one point, as we were coming in upside down in a banked curve on a mock bombing target and the G's were flattening me like a tortilla and I was in and out of consciousness, I realized I was the first person in history to throw down.

I used to know 'cool'. Cool was Elway throwing a touchdown pass, or Norman making a five-iron bite. But now I really know 'cool'. Cool is guys like Biff, men with cast-iron stomachs and freon nerves. I wouldn't go up there again for Derek Jeter's black book, but I'm glad Biff does every day, and for less a year than a
rookie reliever makes in a home stand.

A week later, when the spins finally stopped, Biff called. He said he and the fighters had the perfect call sign for me. Said he'd send it on a patch for my flight suit.

What is it?? I asked.

'Two Bags.'

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

School Prayer and Dragnet

Just the facts. I had posted, on my MySpace blog, a school 'prayer' allegedly by a high school kid. I doubt it, but enjoyed some of the sentiments expressed nonetheless. Some Christians think school prayer was run out of schools by godless barbarians, and some non-Christians celebrate that those fire-breathing religious fanatics were stopped from running their religion down everybody's throat. Here's the facts about school prayer. There was a decision, United States Supreme Court, Engle v. Vitale in 1962. The New York State Board of Regents that runs the public schools, thought it a good public policy to have moral and spiritual training as part of educational development. Part of that was a prayer that was to be recited: "Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teacher and our Country."
The Board of Education of Union Free School District No. 9 in Hyde Park decided this prayer was not an option, and was going to force students to recite it daily. This ticked off some parents, and they sued using the first amendment, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". The state court ruled against the parents, and so did the appeals court. The Board of Education and the supporters of the prayer backed down a bit, and said, well, the kids could leave the classroom or not recite the prayer. Do any of us know, or when we were kids ourselves, of any child that would not do was was mandatory for fear of being ostracized? It all went to the Supreme Court, and they said government can't force people to pray. At the end of all the brouhaha, there never was prayer in schools, except maybe before math tests and athletic competition. Both sides need to take a deep breath. As a Christian, I want people to come to God by His Grace. All force does is create resistance. And on the secular side, well, I'll let the secularists think about how they want to act. Just the facts...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Astroturfing and Sockpuppets

"Astroturfing" is the attempt to create the feeling of a grassroots movement by planting stories around the web through the use of paid or volunteer spammers, when what is really happening is that a campaign or supporters of a campaign is putting out misinformation or just out and out lies. The online characters that put their names to these are called "sockpuppets".
Two smears against Governor Palin, one on YouTube, is a proven false rumor about Palin that she belonged to an Alaskan separatist movement was professionally prepared by a PR firm linked to the Obama campaign. When several blog watchdog groups found this out the video was pulled from YouTube. The voice-over artist on this video has worked directly for the Barack Obama campaign (his name hasn't been revealed yet). The PR firm being linked to this is headed by David Axelrod. The firm is named AKP&D Message & Media and has a write up in the March '08 issue of Business Week. His Chicago-based political consultancy business, ASK Public Strategies, is in the same building as AKP&D, but it's unclear if ASK is owned and run by them; they've refused to release their business information. Axelrod is Obama's chief campaign adviser. Another story to have surfaced is that Palin supports gay rights, which was allegedly from an anti-gay right wing group. Sarah Palin Supports Gay Rights is the web site that carried this news. A reporter by the name Jim Treacher followed the links to the source of the page and ended up at, the official Barack Obama website that's supposed to be defending him against smears. The "Jesus was a community organizer" "Pilate was a governor" statement that got spread all over has been linked to "a reader" on the Daily Kos, an extreme left wing blogsite, and was astroturfed.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tao te Ching VI

"Nothing in the world
is as soft and yielding as water.
Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible,
nothing can surpass it.

The soft overcomes the hard;
the gentle overcomes the rigid.
Everyone knows this is true,
but few can put it into practice.

Therefore the Master remains
serene in the midst of sorrow.
Evil cannot enter his heart.
Because he has given up helping
he is people's greatest help.

True words seem paradoxical." -Tao te Ching

I counted sixty-one verses with water in the Bible. An unofficial count. I read somewhere there are 722 references to water. Thinking about the history of Christianity, the religion conquered Rome without an army. Early Christianity moved like water, and wore the rigid Roman State down.
"This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered more millions that Alexander, Caesar, Muhammad, and Napoleon; without science and learning. He shed more light on matters human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined; without the eloquence of schools, He spoke such words of life as were never spoken before or since and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing a single line, He set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations, discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of great men of ancient and modern times." (Schaff)
So how do we Christians live the life of this spirit, wear down evil, wear down the rigidity of the State that is moving in a secular direction, wear down Christians that have become rigid in their dogma and doctrine? How do we bring people to accept Christ's truth without a bunch of in your face, scripture quoting, judgementalism and all the other things non-believers see as negatives in us? Truly, some Christians turn me off with this stuff! The answer of course is to walk the talk. Jesus is the model, the perfect blend of all we must be. More from Schaff: "His zeal never degenerated into passion, nor His constancy into obstinacy, nor His benevolence into weakness, nor His tenderness into sentimentality. His unworldliness was free from indifference and unsociability or undue familiarity; His self-denial from moroseness; His temperance from austerity. He combined childlike innocency with manly strength, absorbing devotion to God with untiring interest in the welfare of man, tender love to the sinner with uncompromising severity against sin, commanding dignity with winning humility, fearless courage with wise caution, unyielding firmness with sweet gentleness!"
He is the serene Master, his gentleness overcomes the rigid, evil cannot enter his heart, and he is people's greatest help. That's how we live, that's how we should do it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Fiancial Mess...Some Truths

Congress Lies Low To Avoid Bailout Blame

INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, September 18, 2008 4:30 PM PT

Congress says it likely will adjourn this month having done nothing on the most important issue in America right now: the financial meltdown from the subprime lending crisis.

IBD Ongoing Series: Uncommon Knowledge

Can Congress just walk away from a problem it helped create? Maybe, maybe not.

There's now some talk of a grand deal between the Treasury, the Fed and Congress for a "permanent" solution: creating a government agency to buy up all the bad subprime debt, just like the Resolution Trust Corp. did with bad real estate in the 1980s and 1990s.

Already, the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve are spending hundreds of billions of dollars to keep the subprime crisis from crashing the world economy. The collapse of twin mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, along with the failures of Lehman Bros., Bear Stearns and insurer AIG, expose taxpayers to more than $1 trillion in liabilities.

Until now, Congress has been surprisingly passive. As Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid put it, "no one knows what to do" right now.

Funny, since it was a Democrat-led Congress that helped cause the problems in the first place.

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently barked "no" at reporters for daring to ask if Democrats deserved any blame for the meltdown, you saw denial in action.

Pelosi and her followers would have you believe this all happened because of President Bush and his loyal Senate lapdog, John McCain. Or that big, bad predatory Wall Street banks deserve all the blame.

"The American people are not protected from the risk-taking and the greed of these financial institutions," Pelosi said recently, as she vowed congressional hearings.

Only one problem: It's untrue.

Yes, banks did overleverage and take risks they shouldn't have.

But the fact is, President Bush in 2003 tried desperately to stop Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from metastasizing into the problem they have since become.

Here's the lead of a New York Times story on Sept. 11, 2003: "The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago."

Bush tried to act. Who stopped him? Congress, especially Democrats with their deep financial and patronage ties to the two government-sponsored enterprises, Fannie and Freddie.

"These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis," said Rep. Barney Frank, then ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. "The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."

It's pretty clear who was on the right side of that debate.

As for presidential contender John McCain, just two years after Bush's plan, McCain also called for badly needed reforms to prevent a crisis like the one we're now in.

"If Congress does not act," McCain said in 2005, "American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole."

Sounds like McCain was spot on.

But his warnings, too, were ignored by Congress.

To hear today's Democrats, you'd think all this started in the last couple years. But the crisis began much earlier. The Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act forced banks to lend to uncreditworthy borrowers, mostly in minority areas.

Age-old standards of banking prudence got thrown out the window. In their place came harsh new regulations requiring banks not only to lend to uncreditworthy borrowers, but to do so on the basis of race.

These well-intended rules were supercharged in the early 1990s by President Clinton. Despite warnings from GOP members of Congress in 1992, Clinton pushed extensive changes to the rules requiring lenders to make questionable loans.

Lenders who refused would find themselves castigated publicly as racists. As noted this week in an IBD editorial, no fewer than four federal bank regulators scrutinized financial firms' books to make sure they were in compliance.

Failure to comply meant your bank might not be allowed to expand lending, add new branches or merge with other companies. Banks were given a so-called "CRA rating" that graded how diverse their lending portfolio was.

It was economic hardball.

"We have to use every means at our disposal to end discrimination and to end it as quickly as possible," Clinton's comptroller of the currency, Eugene Ludwig, told the Senate Banking Committee in 1993.

And they meant it.

In the name of diversity, banks began making huge numbers of loans that they previously would not have. They opened branches in poor areas to lift their CRA ratings.

Meanwhile, Congress gave Fannie and Freddie the go-ahead to finance it all by buying loans from banks, then repackaging and securitizing them for resale on the open market.

That's how the contagion began.

With those changes, the subprime market took off. From a mere $35 billion in loans in 1994, it soared to $1 trillion by 2008.

Wall Street eagerly sold the new mortgage-backed securities. Not only were they pooled investments, mixing good and bad, but they were backed with the implicit guarantee of government.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac grew to become monsters, accounting for nearly half of all U.S. mortgage loans. At the time of their bailouts this month, they held $5.4 trillion in loans on their books. About $1.4 trillion of those were subprime.

As they grew, Fannie and Freddie grew heavily involved in "community development," giving money to local housing rights groups and "empowering" the groups, such as ACORN, for whom Barack Obama once worked in Chicago.

Warning signals were everywhere. Yet at every turn, Democrats in Congress halted attempts to stop the madness. It happened in 1992, again in 2000, in 2003 and in 2005. It may happen this year, too.

Since 1989, Fannie and Freddie have spent an estimated $140 million on lobbying Washington. They contributed millions to politicians, mostly Democrats, including Senator Chris Dodd (No. 1 recipient) and Barack Obama (No. 3 recipient, despite only three years in office).

The Clinton White House used Fannie and Freddie as a patronage job bank. Former executives and board members read like a who's who of the Clinton-era Democratic Party, including Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelick, Jim Johnson and current Rep. Rahm Emanuel.

Collectively, they and others made well more than $100 million from Fannie and Freddie, whose books were cooked Enron-style during the late 1990s and early 2000s to ensure executives got their massive bonuses.

They got the bonuses. You get the bill.

Matters of the Heart

It was traditional in many cultures to eat the heart of defeated enemies in order to acquire their strength and knowledge - and to ensure they could never return from the dead.
Myth tells of the time that Zeus ate the still-beating heart of his son Zagreus (who had been torn to shreds by the Titans), and so was able to recreate his son's life in the form if Dionysos.
Chinese tradition associates the heart with the number five and the element Earth. The heart is also symbolic of Spring, which is considered a propitious season for marriage and new buildings.
The hieroglyphic art of Ancient Egypt represented the heart as a vase.
According to proverb, every heart has its own ache, and according to Proverbs 14:10 'The heart knows its own bitterness'.
In 1967 Christiaan Neethling Barnard performed the first human heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. The 54 year old patient lived for 18 days.
St Catherine of Siena is represented by a heart with a cross - an allusion to the legend where Christ replaced her heart with his own.
In Islamic tradition, the heart is not the organ of emotion but of the spiritual and contemplative side of man.

The Preacher's Horse

There was a preacher who was trying to sell his horse. A man stopped by to see how the horse rode. The preacher told the man that instead of saying, "walk", say "praise the Lord," and instead of saying "whoa" say "amen." So, the man got on the horse and said, "praise the Lord," and the horse started to walk. The man then said, "praise the Lord," again and the horse started to trot. He said it a few more times and the horse started galloping.

Suddenly a cliff appeared. The many yelled "Whoas!". But the horse didn't stop. He tried yelling all sorts of things and tried to pull the horse up, but it still wouldn't stop. Then suddenly he remembered what to say. The man said "amen" and the horse stopped right before they went over the cliff.

The man was so relieved, he put his hand on his forehead and said, "Praise the Lord!"

Friday, September 19, 2008

Yet More Sarah Palin Being Insulted (Can you tell I’m ticked!)

SHOCKER: Rep. Rangel Calls Palin 'Disabled'
Embattled Politician: It's Laughable That GOP VP Nominee Bases Foreign Policy On Being Able To See Russia
Republicans Infuriated; Rep. King Blasts Rangel
Marcia Kramer
NEW YORK (CBS) ― Already under fire for his tax troubles, Manhattan Congressman Charles Rangel really put his foot in his mouth on Friday.

In a CBS 2 HD exclusive interview, Rep. Rangel called Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin "disabled."

The question was simple: Why are the Democrats so afraid of Palin and her popularity?

The answer was astonishing.

"You got to be kind to the disabled," Rangel said.

That's right. The chairman of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee called Palin disabled -- even when CBS 2 HD called him on it.

CBS 2 HD: "You got to be kind to the disabled?"

Rangel: "Yes."

CBS 2 HD: "She's disabled?"

Rangel: "There's no question about it politically. It's a nightmare to think that a person's foreign policy is based on their ability to look at Russia from where they live."

Later Friday, Rangel issued a statement saying "disabled" wasn't the word he meant to use.

"Governor Palin is an obviously healthy person who in no way fits the description of disabled. I meant to say then, and I am saying now, that she entered the campaign with a disadvantage in the area of foreign policy," Rangel said in a statement.

"Any inference that my words were in any connected to her son, Trig, who was born with Down syndrome, is a real stretch -- and, I would have to think -- a way to make political points out of my poor choice of words," he added.

Republicans think Rangel's comments are insulting as well as shocking.

"Charlie Rangel's comments are clearly disgraceful," Rep. Peter King, R-Long Island, said. "This is just another liberal Democrat who can't accept an independent woman running for president."

King, who is co-chair of the McCain-Palin campaign in New York, watched Rangel's comments with CBS 2 HD. He was particularly upset because Palin's 4-month-old son, Trig, is disabled. He has Down syndrome.

"We should be sensitive to her or any woman who has a child or family member who has any affliction at all," King said. "And so to use the word disabled in the context of a female candidate for vice president who has a child who is disabled really is wrong. Charlie owes her and the entire disabled community and apology."

Advocates for the disabled are also upset.

"It makes me feel as if he's trying to put her down, trying to say she's not good for the presidency or the vice presidency," said Michael Imperiale of Disabled In Action Of Metropolitan N.Y.

"A disabled president ran this country. He was disabled. His name was Roosevelt."

A spokesman for the McCain-Palin campaign also piled on, saying that this kind of rhetoric has no place in politics.

Note to Rangle from me...Palin never said she could see Russia from her house, that was a line from the SNL skit. jeeeeeez charlie

More Vile Insults Against Palin

South Carolina Democratic Chairwoman Carol Fowler on VP nominee Sarah Palin: "whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn't had an abortion."

"Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton." Gloria Steinem

Heather Mallick (writer for the CBC Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, funded by the Canadian government),-described Sarah Palin’s supporters as “white trash,” compared the vice presidential candidate to a “porn actress”.

All these women support women's rights, breaking the glass ceiling, being incredible human beings that can accomplish anything, deserving of honor and respect for their accomplishments [especially beating the socks off men at their own game like she did to all those macho Alaskan men]; except, I guess, unless they are conservative and Christian.

Top Five Sexist Attacks on Palin

There’s a savage narrative developing among the media’s elite that suggests Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin will be a bad mother if she becomes the nation’s first female vice president.

MSNBC, CNN and the Washington Post have each hinted Palin may neglect her five children, including one with Down’s Syndrome should the Republicans win the White House in November. Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden even spent a considerable amount of time opining about Palin’s looks while attempting to lay out the differences between himself and Palin.

Here is a list of the five worst lines used so far to discredit Palin’s candidacy:

"There's also this issue that on April 18th, she gave birth to a baby with Down Syndrome. The baby is just slightly more than 4 months old now. Children with Down Syndrome require an awful lot of attention. The role of vice president, it seems to me, would take up an awful lot of her time, and it raises the issue of, how much time will she have to dedicate to her newborn child?” –CNN’s John Roberts, 8/29/08.

"And I do think, too, that you have to weigh the situation. It's one thing to have one or two or three children, especially if they are healthy children. And everyone knows that women and men are different and that moms and dads are different and that women -- the burden of child care almost always falls on the woman. But I think, when you have five children, one a 4-month-old Down syndrome baby, and a daughter who is 17, who is also a child and who is going to need her mother very much in the next few months and years with her own baby coming, that I don't see how you cannot make your family your first priority. And I think if you are going to be president of the United States, which she may well be, I think that's going to be a real stretch for her."- The Washington Post’s Sally Quinn on CNN’s “Newsroom” 9/2/08.


"Kristan, we've talked this morning about whether a mother of five can handle being the vice president. who looks after the kids when she's working? do you know?" - CBS' Maggie Rodriguez on the "Early Show.”

“From our perspective the whole deal is how does the government help you get back up without getting in the way?' Biden asked. 'There's a gigantic -gigantic -- difference between John McCain and Barack Obama, and between me and I suspect my vice presidential opponent. And that is that - ' The crowd laughed. 'Well there's obvious differences,' Biden said, beginning to ham it up. 'She's good looking,' he said, laughing. 'You know there's obvious differences.” -ABC’s Jake Tapper writing about what Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden told supporters at a recent campaign stop.-Amanda Carpenter

U.S. Air Force Birthday

"Born of the desire to defend liberty and spread its flame, the United States Air Force celebrated its 61st birthday on 18 September. The Air Force began life as the Army Air Corps but became a separate Armed Services Branch when the Department of the Air Force was created by the National Security Act of 1947. On 18 September 1947, W. Stuart Symington became the first Secretary of the Air Force. In wishing a happy birthday to the Air Force, Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, quoted Leonardo da Vinci: “Once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward.” He added, “When Americans look up, they see thousands of contrails carrying freedom and hope across the globe. And when Americans look up, they see the greatest Air Force the world has ever known!”-Patriot Post

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Mouse Trap Story

A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.

What food might this contain? The mouse wondered - he was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.

Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning:
There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, 'Mr.Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me.'' I cannot be bothered by it.'
The mouse turned to the pig and told him, 'There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!'

The pig sympathized, but said, I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray.
'Be assured you are in my prayers.'
The mouse turned to the cow and said 'There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!'
The cow said, 'Wow, Mr. Mouse. I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose.'
So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.
The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.
The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital , and she returned home with a fever.
Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient.

But his wife's sickness continued, so friends and neighbours came to sit with her around the clock.
To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.
The farmer's wife did not get well; she died.
So many people came for her funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.
The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.
So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn't concern you, remember -- when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.
We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.




One of the best things to hold onto in this world is a friend.

An Oft Overlooked Aspect of Forgiveness

We need constant reminding to be forgiving. I'm glad for it. The usual scripture referred to is Matthew 18:21, "Then Peter came to Him and said, 'Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?' Jesus said to him, 'I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.'" I don't think it ends there. Later in Luke Jesus says, "Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, 'I repent' you shall forgive him'." I hear many people, including pastors and theologians, say we should forgive mass murderers like Timothy McVeigh or terrorists, the pedophile, the rapist; because it is the Christian thing to do. I think it immoral and self-serving to do so. I think that the amoral thinking, the "peace out, man", and forgive unconditionally, is un-Christian. There should be penalty and repentance by the person that sins against you. I'll not forgive a person that keeps hurting someone, or me, because he thinks he has a license to do so because I "have" to forgive him because I'm a Christian. I'll forgive someone if they keep screwing up, but not if they're malicious and think they can get away with it. So I'll happily grant forgiveness, but I must be asked.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tao te Ching V

When Taxes are too high,
people go hungry.
When the government is too intrusive,
people lose their spirit.

Act for the people's benefit.
Trust them; leave them alone. -Tao te Ching

Romans 13:6 "Therefore you must be subject not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake. For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing. Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor."

We know, and we're experiencing, what every government, every time, does. They violate this principle of the Tao. Governments take and take not matter what ideology they espouse. St Paul says we should pay anyway, for two reasons. Wrath: if we don't, we get punished. For conscience sake: God created government like everything else. Christians should pay their taxes even if there's no punishment. I have to wonder what to do when government gets too intrusive. No matter, in this country, what your income level is, after all your fuel, point of sale, property, fees, and hidden taxes, forty to fifty percent of what we make goes to government. Then they spend and spend and spend and force us to pay more and more and more. When does it stop? Could you give more to charity if you had to give less to government? Could you take better care of your family? Would it be less of a struggle to tithe? Easier to give offerings? (For those not familiar with the difference between tithing and offering, an offering is what we give beyond our 10% tithe.) Paul and Jesus both, said give it to them, even if there's no punishment for not doing so. Where's the breaking point? Historically, rebellions begin when taxation is in the twenty - thirty percent range. This country is way beyond that. Even this isn't as bad as what they had to put up with from the Romans. Being a slave, and taxed? That's serious. Peter, in the Acts, said "We ought to obey God rather than men." That then must be the breaking point for Christians, when the government starts forcing us to disobey God, then we start denying them money, and become disobedient. That will take a lot of discernment.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Latest Obama Ad

Today the Obama campaign "I'm Barack Obama and I approved this..." The ad is about how out of touch McCain is, still stuck in the early eighties when he came to Washington, that he doesn't even know how to use a computer, that he doesn't even know how to send an email. I've heard the add. I'm disturbed. The reason McCain CAN'T use a computer, that his staff sends his emails, is because he CAN'T TYPE because of his war and torture injuries. Obama is moving from my column for honest political opposition to something much less. This angers me.

Boston Globe eight years ago:

McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain’s severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain’s encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He’s an avid fan - Ted Williams is his hero - but he can’t raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.

After Vietnam, McCain had Ann Lawrence, a physical therapist, help him regain flexibility in his leg, which had been frozen in an extended position by a shattered knee. It was the only way he could hope to resume his career as a Navy flier, but Lawrence said the treatment, taken twice a week for six months, was excruciatingly painful.

”He endured it, he wouldn’t settle for less,” said Lawrence, who rejoiced with McCain when he passed the Navy physical. ”I have never seen such toughness and resolve.”

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tao te Ching III

Fame or integrity: which is more important?
Money or happiness: which is more valuable?
Success or failure: which is more destructive?

If you look to others for fulfillment,
you will never truly be fulfilled.
If your happiness depends on money,
you will never be happy with yourself.

Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you. -Tao te Ching

Timothy 6:6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing , with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Nine Aims of a Gentleman - Confucius

To see clearly; to understand what he hears; to be warm in manner; dignified in bearing; faithful of speech; painstaking at work; to ask when in doubt in anger to think of difficulties; in sigh of gain to remember right.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sisterhood of the Protected Female Liberal Journalists by Michell Malkin

Let’s talk Mommy Wars, double standards, and the media elite. Last Friday, Obama Campaign National Finance Committee member Howard Gutman attacked Sarah Palin’s ability to be a good parent and have a high-powered public life at the same time. In a finger-wagging appearance on the Laura Ingraham radio show, Obama’s operative scolded the Republican mother of five children for not putting her professional career on hold.

“Your responsibility is to put your family first,” Gutman lectured as he singled out Palin’s Down’s Syndrome baby and pregnant teenage daughter. “The proper attack is not that a woman shouldn’t run for vice president with five kids, it’s that a parent, when they have a family in need,” should get out of the public sphere and stay home.

The Gutman standard has now been proffered by countless Obama hacks and water-carrying commentators. Damningly, it’s high-powered working mothers in the journalism business helping to broadcast the anti-Palin slams or doing nothing to defend her.

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien denied Palin attacks on her network, even as her colleague John Roberts asked: “”There’s also this issue that on April 18th, she gave birth to a baby with Down’s Syndrome…. Children with Down’s syndrome require an awful lot of attention. The role of Vice President, it seems to me, would take up an awful lot of her time, and it raises the issue of how much time will she have to dedicate to her newborn child?”

NBC’s Meredeith Viera asserted that only blogs went after Palin’s motherhood abilities while running for veep, even as her colleague Brian Williams slyly raised feminists’ “fears or doubts that she should be able to do this, that she should be doing this.”

How would CNN’s O’Brien like the Gutman standard applied to her? She’s been working overtime covering the presidential campaign season, anchoring daily coverage, nighttime conventions, and producing documentaries that require large chunks of time away from home. Disney’s Family Parenting website lauds her as “a modern mom balancing a thriving career as one of America’s top news anchors along with her four children” – two daughters now ages 7 and 6 and twin boys who are 4. Where are the Palin-bashers to lambaste O’Brien’s professional pursuits?

How about Katie Couric? Her husband died at 42 when her daughters were 6 and 2 years old. With two young children devastated by the loss of a father, she opted not to quit journalism. She anchored NBC’s Today Show through his illness and death, continued working an intensive, time-consuming schedule as one of America’s most visible broadcast journalists while a single mother with two fatherless children at home, and then jumped to CBS News, where she maintains a rigorous on-air schedule, travel plans, and off-air social calendar. Where are the finger-waggers?

Also at CNN, Campbell Brown flew to Las Vegas last year to moderate a political debate while 8 ½ months’ pregnant. Fox News host and left-wing blogger Alan Colmes, last seen questioning Sarah Palin’s commitment to prenatal care because she worked and traveld late in her pregnancy, had no comment. When she initially left the Today Show in 2007, Brown said she was stepping down to devote more time to family and baby. She immediately turned around the next day and jumped ship to CNN, where she has anchored wall-to-wall CNN Election Center coverage and will launch a new nightly show in November.

And at NBC, famous balancer of work-and-motherhood Viera replaced Couric on the Today Show. She has three children at home and a husband who has battled multiple sclerosis and two bouts with colon cancer. By the Gutman standard, Viera should have left the business years ago to tend to her family in need.

As a working woman in the media for 16 years and a working mother in the media for the last eight. I know the commitment and energy it took for these women to get to the top. I’ve filed columns from hospital beds, written books while nursing, brought my toddlers to TV studios, and told bedtime stories on the cell phone while boarding planes. I’ve worked hard to strike the “balance” we all seek. I’ve made good choices and bad choices, and have no regrets about the opportunities I’ve taken and the opportunities I’ve rejected. I couldn’t have done it without a supportive husband willing to forego his own career goals – the kind of spouse that the media has ignored in Todd Palin and the kind of spouse I’m sure the Sisterhood of the Protected Female Journalist all have.

I don’t challenge the commitment these fellow working mothers in the media have to their home lives. What I challenge is their silence and complicity as the Palin-bashers impose a “Family First” double standard on conservatives. The sorority is closed to the Right.

by Michelle Malkin - very successful mother and writer

Who am I?

Who am I?
" I'm under 45 years old, I love the outdoors, I hunt, I am a Republican reformer, I have taken on the Republican Party establishment, I have many children, I have a spot on the national ticket as vice president with less than two years in the governor's office. Who am I?"

Answer: Teddy Roosevelt

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tao te Ching II

"Do you want to improve the world?
I don't think it can be done.

The world is sacred.
It can't be improved.
If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it.
If you treat it like an an object, you'll lose it.

There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.

The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the center of the circle." -Tao te Ching

The Sabbath mind relates to improving the world, from Genesis:

"Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.Thus the heavens and the earth and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living thing."

Man has indeed tampered with God's creation, and has done some ruining to be sure. I'm struck by the Ecclesiastes "a time for". I'm struck too that it didn't rain, that the water misted over and watered the ground. Even though we faltered at the beginning, and continue to do so, God did create us in His image; moral, intelligent, with a soul, perception, and the capacity to take these things and use our God given abilities and talents to improve God's creation to more of what He intended. We should strive for that, to improve things on this earth, and improve things about ourselves too. He entrusted us with His image. Think on that for a while. He's given us all we need, all of Him. For God's blue earth that we can turn back to fulfill His vision, and for each of us individually, that we can turn back to fulfill his vision of us. To do any less...
I think too on the word 'good'. What God created He saw as good. What He created was perfect. There is perfection in goodness. Some mornings, when greeting people, and they ask "how are ya?", and I say 'good', it's sometimes thought that I'm not my usual exuberant self. When I say 'good', to me, at that moment, I am feeling God's perfection within, that I am perfect in His eyes, and am grateful for that. Very grateful.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Tribe of Sarah: A Guide for the Perplexed Media

Thomas Lifson Writes: Our friends in the media just do not understand the popular following Sarah Palin has attracted. In an effort to help, I thought I should explain her popular appeal to them in terms even an Ivy League graduate could understand.

If you consider yourself a member of the intelligentsia, think of Sarah's unexpectedly numerous admirers as a kind of tribe. We are going to examine a few of the folkways of strange and foreign people. Think of them as exotic and it may help you stifle any revulsion you may feel at their differences from your own familiar accepted ways.

Many of you probably read excerpts from Colin Trumbull's description of the Mbuti tribe of the Congo (The Forest People) in one college course or another. In a similar mindset you can begin to understand the values and the ways of the Tribe of Sarah, and maybe begin understand how the world looks to them, even though it is a very different way of understanding reality than your own.

(Okay, I admit the respectful insistence that these are also a complex people, well adapted to their environment and possessed of a beautiful spirituality is probably going to be a stretch for many of you. But still, it is worth a try while you still have careers left.)

We haven't got an entire semester, so I will just hit a few important concepts.

The basic values

Unlike your own refined and infinitely more complex moral understanding, these people believe in abstract concepts known among them as "right" and "wrong" (alternatively "good" and "evil.") They regard those among them whom see as championing the cause of right and defeating wrong as role models to emulate, and frequently accord them honors and deep respect.

Perhaps misinterpreting media characterizations of big oil companies, they see Sarah Palin as someone who stood up to wrong, and thus revere her example. They harbor a belief that she will continue to support good and fight evil, and accordingly project a vision of her success when leaving their world for your own in Washington, DC.

A side note for future reading: a widely believed legend among them has it that a great leader they call Jesus championed good, fought evil, and suffered horribly for it. This martyrdom and its aftermath are a subject of considerable elaboration in their folkways and ritual, and this cultural detail may conceivably amplify their anger when another honored champion is made to suffer.

The role of "Mom"

The person who is assigned the gender role of carrying unterminated fetal tissue mass is the central figure of the family structure among the tribe of Sarah. Known familiarly as "mom" (never "mother"), these moms organize the foundational structures of their civilization. The behavioral norms learned from a mom determine the entire life course of the children. Accordingly, moms are also deeply honored, indeed revered to the point of abject love and devotion among them. Those who threaten harm to a mom occasion deep disgust within the tribe.

Sarah Palin, as the mother of five, including one child facing serious life challenges, is a person widely admired among them for her devotion, which they regard as exemplary. One of their folk celebrations, the "Special Olympics" celebrates the achievements of these children. Nearly all of you have heard of the Clan of the Kennedys in your own tribe; it has actually played a major role in this particular festival. Perhaps that will help you make the mental leap required to understand the feelings engendered by Baby Trig.

Many of the tribe's moms, seeing Sarah's love for her baby with challenges and empathizing, regard attacks on her as an attack on themselves. Jung's concept of the archetype may be helpful to you in understanding this admiration and empathy for Sarah and explain their hostile response to your recent work.

Moms closely communicate with one another, and these information flows work to determine where the children attend school and under what conditions, where the family will obtain its staple foods, and see to the enforcement of behavioral norms among all members of the comunity. Think of them as sensitivity trainers, if it helps, but remember that nobody gets to leave at the end of the work day.

The moms have a number of distinctive organizations which channel their social ties and lines of communication. We have no time or space to cover major topics ranging from "church" to "kaffe klatsch." More material for future reading.


Sarah's followers know she first attained a formal leadership role in society within an organization called the "PTA," and a little context is helpful. Moms regard the shepherding of their offspring as their primary duty in life, aside from supporting the person assigned the male gender role, known among them as the "hubby." From the moment of the first child's birth until a phase decades later known among the tribe as the "empty nest," the development of children is regarded as the sacred duty of a mom and her hubby, as well as life's greatest and most rewarding experience.

PTA meetings are held at schools, with moms and a few hubbies gathering with teachers and discussing topics related to the education of the offspring. Because education is regarded as second only the mom's own influence on children, moms can have strong opinions on the content and processes of education. Frequently moms vie for honor among themselves, and seek to champion a change, or perhaps fight in opposition to one, resulting in very intense bursts of activity, communication and seeking of political support within the PTA community and beyond. Indeed, serious differences among moms can lead to feuds and vendettas, giving rise to colorful local legend that animate their communal folklore.

Members of the tribe regard someone who began a political rise within a PTA as evidence of adherence to the welfare of her children, and also as evidence of great political favor among members of her community, which subsequently elected her village head man, or mayor. But that term may confuse you, so a brief explanation.


Unlike the figures familiar to you such as Mayor Daley, those who carry the title of "mayor" in places like Wasilla must be available to their citizenry at all hours, and are expected to have met them face to face if they hope to gain their vote. Constituents feel little compunction about complaining personally to the mayor. A small town mayoralty qualifies as a rite of passage for nascent tribal politicians, ensuring their responsiveness.


This is going to be a tough one, because there is no comparable concept in your culture. But associated with the abstract concepts of good and evil is one known as sin, defined as the commission of acts which partake of the quality of evil. Now what is really tricky about this admittedly complex cultural construct is that tribe members believe everyone sins. Even good people. They believe that sin is inborn. Rather than categorize someone as evil merely on the basis of sin, they have developed methods of driving away the unwanted effects of the sinful behavior. When one has successfully made the best of the situation, repented, and corrected the disapproved behavior, they speak of "redemption."

This has important consequences for the tribe's regard of your work on Sarah Palin. If you discover sin within her family, the tribe accepts that sin is inevitable. Instead, they judge how Sarah and the family deal with the consequences. And if they perceive that the "right" thing is being done, they admire her all the more.

In short, understanding the Tribe of Sarah is going to require you to stretch your minds and learn some new and unfamiliar concepts. Further reading will pay big dividends. But this sort of mental exercise can be both useful and fun, for it can enhance your understanding of yourself, too. That's the great benefit of cross-cultural studies.

Happy Learning!

Thomas Lifson is editor and publisher of American Thinker.

Quotable Quote

“If Obama is Hope, God save us from Despair.” —Mac Johnson

Three Writers on Palin

“Let me say of myself and almost everyone I know in the press, all the chattering classes and political strategists and inside dopesters of the Amtrak Acela Line: We live in a bubble and have around us bubble people. We are Bubbleheads... And when you forget you’re a Bubblehead you get in trouble, you misjudge things. For one thing, you assume evangelical Christians will be appalled and left agitated by the circumstances of Mrs. Palin’s daughter. But modern American evangelicals are among the last people who’d judge her harshly. It is the left that is about to go crazy with Puritan judgments; it is the right that is about to show what mellow looks like. Religious conservatives know something’s wrong with us, that man’s a mess. They are not left dazed by the latest applications of this fact. ‘This just in—there’s a lot of sinning going on out there’ is not a headline they’d understand to be news. So the media’s going to wait for the Christian right to rise up and condemn Mrs. Palin, and they’re not going to do it because it’s not their way, and in any case her problems are their problems. Christians lived through the second half of the 20th century, and the first years of the 21st. They weren’t immune from the culture, they just eventually broke from it, or came to hold themselves in some ways apart from it. I think the media will explain the lack of condemnation as ‘Republican loyalty’ and ‘talking points.’ But that’s not what it will be. Another Bubblehead blind spot. I’m bumping into a lot of critics who do not buy the legitimacy of small town mayorship... and executive as opposed to legislative experience. But executives, even of small towns, run something. There are 262 cities in this country with a population of 100,000 or more. But there are close to a hundred thousand small towns with ten thousand people or less. ‘You do the math,’ the conservative pollster Kellyanne Conway told me. ‘We are a nation of Wasillas, not Chicagos’.” —Peggy Noonan

“[Sarah Palin is]... the object of the cultural disdain of a left that loves the working class in theory, but is mystified or offended by its lifestyle and conservative values in reality. If there’s ever been an exemplar of the rural America that, in Barack Obama’s telling, ‘bitterly’ clings to its guns and religion, it’s Sarah Palin. It’s her misfortune to be a pioneer with the wrong ideology. So much bile was directed at Clarence Thomas because he was the ‘wrong’ kind of black man. Pro-life, pro-gun and a down-the-line, if populist, conservative, Palin is a traitor to her gender and thus encounters the sort of fury always directed at apostates... A lot of Palin-hatred is couched in terms of her lack of experience. Fair enough, but there’s a tone of contemptuous dismissiveness about the experience that she does have—fueled no doubt by her career in ‘fly-over country’ so remote no one really flies over it. The Obama campaign is loath to admit that she’s governor of Alaska, pretending instead she’s still mayor of tiny Wasilla, and the outraged commentary in the press makes it sound like the vice presidency is an office of such import that it would be better if the newcomer were at the top of the ticket and the wizened pro at the bottom—just like the Democrats.” —Rich Lowry

“[The media] claimed Palin was chosen only because she’s a woman. In fact, Palin was chosen because she’s pro-life, pro-gun, pro-drilling and pro-tax cuts. She’s fought both Republicans and Democrats on public corruption and does not have hair plugs like some other vice presidential candidate I could mention. In other words, she’s a ‘Republican.’ As a right-winger, Palin will appeal to the narrow 59 percent of Americans who voted for another former small-market sportscaster: Ronald Reagan. Our motto: Sarah Palin is only a heartbeat away! ... Within the first few hours after Palin’s name was announced, McCain raised $4 million in campaign donations online, reaching $10 million within the next two days. Which shortlist vice presidential pick could have beaten that? The media hysterically denounced Palin as ‘inexperienced.’ But then people started to notice that she has more executive experience than B. Hussein Obama—the guy at the top of the Democrats’ ticket. They tried to create a ‘Troopergate’ for Palin, indignantly demanding to know why she wanted to get her ex-brother-in-law removed as a state trooper. Again, public corruption is not a good issue for someone like Obama, Chicago pol and noted friend of Syrian National/convicted felon Antonin Rezko. For the cherry on top, then we found out Palin’s ex-brother-in-law had Tasered his own 10-year-old stepson. Defend that, Democrats. The bien-pensant criticized Palin, saying it’s irresponsible for a woman with five children to run for vice president. Liberals’ new talking point: Sarah Palin: Only five abortions away from the presidency. They claimed her newborn wasn’t her child, but the child of her 17-year-old daughter. That turned out to be a lie. Then they attacked her daughter, who actually is pregnant now, for being unmarried. When liberals start acting like they’re opposed to pre-marital sex and mothers having careers, you know McCain’s vice presidential choice has knocked them back on their heels. But at least liberal reporters had finally found someone their own size to pick on: a 17-year-old girl.” —Ann Coulter

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lovely Literary Passage

Henry Miller picked this letter up and has it entered in his book "Nexus", and he (and I) just felt wonderful after reading it. This is just a charming, lovely writing, with light, natural light, with more air, more beauty...

Honorable sir: I hope that you are well and enjoying good health during this very changeable weather that we are now having. I am quite well myself at the present time and I am glad to say so. I wish that you would do me a very kindhearted and a very special favor and kindly have the men of the Park Department go around now and start by the Borough Lines of Queens and Kings Counties and work outward easterly and back westerly and likewise northerly and southerly and remove the numerous dead and dying trees, trees all open at the base part and in the trunk part and trees bending and leaning over and ready to fall down and do damage to human life, limb and property, and to give all the good trees both large and small sizes an extra good, thorough, proper, systematic and symmetrical pruning, trimming and paring off from the base to the very top parts and all through. I wish that you would do me a very kindhearted and very special favor and kindly have the men of the Park Department greatly reduce all the top heavy and overgrown trees in height to a height of about twenty-five feet high and to have all the long boughs and branches shortened considerably in the length and all parts of the trees greatly thinned out from the base to the very top parts and thereby give a great deal more light, more natural light, more air, more beauty and very much more safety to the pedestrians, the general thoroughfares and to the surroundings along by the streets, avenues, places, roadways, roads, highways, boulevards, terraces, parkways (streets called courts, lanes, etc.) and by the Parks inside and outside.
I would generally, kindly and very urgently request that the boughs and branches be pruned, trimmed and pared off at a distance of from twelve to fifteen feet from the front, side and rear walls of all houses and other buildings of every description and not allow them to come in contact with them as a great many of them are very much marred by them coming in contact with them, and thereby give a great deal more light, more natural light, more air, more beauty and very much more safety.
I wish that you would kindly have the men of the Park Department prune, trim and pare off the boughs and branches at a distance of from twelve to sixteen feet above the sidewalks, flagging, grounds, curbs, etc. and not allow them to keep drooping away down low as a great many of them are now doing and thereby give plenty of height to walk beneath the same...
I wish that you would kindly have the boughs and branches pruned, trimmed and pared off and down considerably below the roofs of the houses and other buildings and not allow them to protrude over, lap over, lay over, cross over or come in contact with the houses and other buildings and to have the boughs and branches greatly separated between each and every tree and not allow the boughs and branches to lap over, lay over, cross over, entwine, hug cluster or come in contact with the adjoining trees and thereby give a great deal more light more natural light, more air, more beauty and very much more safety to the pedestrians, the thoroughfares and to the general surrounding around by all parts of Queens County, New York...

Martin and Lewis - There's No Tomorrow

Great Urban Myth

During the final days at Denver's Stapleton airport, a crowded United flight was canceled. A single agent was re-booking a long line of inconvenienced travelers. Suddenly an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk and slapped his ticket down on the counter, saying "I HAVE to be on this flight, and it HAS to be first class." The agent replied, "I'm sorry, sir. I'll be happy to try to help you, but I've got to help these folks first, and I'm sure we'll be able to work something out." The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, "Do you have any idea who I am?" Without hesitating, the agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone. "May I have your attention, please?" she began, her voice bellowing through the terminal. "We have a passenger here at the gate WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him find his identity, please come to the gate." With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the agent, gritted his teeth, and swore, "(Expletive) you!" Without flinching, she smiled and said, "I 'm sorry, sir, but you'll have to stand in line for that too."

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Thoughts on the Tao te Ching and My Faith

I had mentioned the Tao Te Ching as a powerful influence in my religious development, and that I still use it. For those of you not familiar with the Tao, it was written circa 400 BCE by Lao Tzu. It's often referred to as "the way" or "the path". Of course, Jesus is the Way; I find the correlations wonderful and exciting. I re-read it today, a new translation, very modern and poetic. I liked it a lot. Here's a couple of things that stood out, and there may be some other passages and thoughts that I'll share later.
"If you want to become whole,
let yourself be partial.
If you want to become straight,
let yourself be crooked.
If you want to become full,
let yourself be empty.
If you want to be reborn,
let yourself die.
If you want to be given everything,
give everything up.
The Master, by residing in the Tao,
sets an example for all beings.
Because he doesn't display himself,
people can see his light.
Because he has nothing to prove,
people can trust his words.
Because he doesn't know who he is,
people recognize themselves in him.
Because he has no goal in mind,
everything he does succeeds.
When the ancient Masters said,
'if you want to be given everything,
give everything up,'
they weren't using empty phrases.
Only in being lived by the Tao can you be truly yourself."

This last line so reminds me of "Not I, but Christ within me". Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ: it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Remember too the story when Jesus told the wealthy man he had to give up all he had and follow Him. Relates here to the Tao, 'if you want to be given everything, give everything up'. If I want to be anything, I must empty myself, and fill myself with Christ. If you want to be reborn, let yourself die with Christ, "I have been crucified with Christ".

The Mayflower

On this day in 1620 the Mayflower departed Plymouth with 102 passengers on board and landed in the new world in December. The Mayflower Compact was executed on November 11. They recognized that previous settlements had failed because they did not have a government in place. The Compact begins:

"In the name of God, Amen. We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, etc.

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith and Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the First Colony in the Northern Parts of Virgina, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and one of another, Covenant and Combine ourselves together into a Civil Body Politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute and frame such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France and Ireland the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini 1620." Much of what was in this document was the foundation of the Constitution. It wasn't dreamy utopian idealism, but a structure for survival, and for relationships between God and Man, and man and man.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Word "Right" (Just for Fun)

The notion of a political left and right wing originated in the French National Assembly of 1789 where the nobility sat on the right of the President, and the Third Estate were ranged on his left.

Extreme right-wingers are inevitably described as being 'somewhere to the right of Genghis Kahn' - a name which translates as 'universal ruler'.

In Chinese tradition, the right hand was used for taking.

In the Amish card game Euchre, the right bower is the knave of trumps.

By custom, taxis and other cars drive on the right along the short stretch of road outside the Savoy Hotel in London.

On the occasion of an inauguration, with his right hand raised aloft, and his left hand placed on an open Bible, the new American President proclaims 'I do solemnly swear that I will faithful execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States'.

So superstitious were the ancient Romans about the danger of left and right that a young boy would be stationed at the threshold of affluent residences to warn visitors that they must enter with their right foot foremost.

The Right is the biblical direction of Heaven.

Schott's Amanac 2008

Monday, September 1, 2008

Leftist Attacks on Sarah Palin So Far

None of these have anything to do with policy and issues; and that's the Leftist mantra whenever Obama is asked about having friends that are convicted felons, communists, anti-Christians and racists..."discuss the issues, the American people want to discuss the issues". So over the weekend here's what the leftists have come up with: Palin's Downs-Syndrome baby is actually her granddaughter's. That the baby is actually the son of her oldest daughter. They presented a lot of pictures to try and prove it. Second attack is that she's only a small town mayor, with no experience. The answer to that is that she has twenty months as governor in addition to her being mayor, and on the city council. She's been part owner of a business, so knows personally the challenges of a businessman. She's commander in chief of the Alaska National Guard. I read one attack that she left the town she was mayor of millions of dollars in debt. We'll have to see how that plays out. On the other hand, Obama has a little less than four years in the senate, and the last two were spent campaigning. He's spent only about 150 days so far in at work in Washington, and passed on most controversial votes. He's never had a job like you and me. He's never run a business. Third attack was "trooper-gate". The attack is that she used her position as governor to fire her brother in law (the trooper) for personal reasons. In fact, the brother in law's boss should have fired him and didn't. The brother in law used a taser on his stepson, illegally shot a moose, was caught drinking beer in his patrol car. He told others his father-in-law would "eat a f'ing lead bullet" if he helped his daughter get an attorney for the divorce. This last was a witnessed exchange. Palin was in office as governor for eighteen months before the officer was fired. Standby for more unfounded attacks, and even though these first attacks have already been dis-proven, the leftists will keep repeating them. hoping, like all their lies, the adage that a lie repeated often enough will become believed.

On Sarah Palin

“Bingo. For weeks, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has been the Republican whom conservatives barely dared to hope could become John McCain’s pick as his running mate. For Republicans angry at Washington’s big-spending bonanza when Republicans controlled the White House and Congress, Palin, like McCain, is an antidote. She is the Alaskan who pulled state support for the infamous Bridge to Nowhere and bucked Alaska’s congressional and state Republican leaders. For social conservatives, the mother of five has impeccable credentials. She’s a member of Feminists for Life, who walked the walk in April when she gave birth to a son, shown by genetic testing to have Down syndrome... For conservatives, who felt that McCain has been at times too cozy with the Washington left, Palin is a conservative’s conservative—a moose hunter and co-owner of a commercial fishing operation. As an Alaskan, she favors drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Her husband works for BP on an Alaska oil field... McCain has been too much of a wishful thinker when it comes to energy policy. Palin could champion a more grounded approach to energy. As a female candidate, Palin just might attract disgruntled Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters—or at least give them pause before voting for the Obama-Biden ticket... Is she short on experience? Yes. Voters will have to watch her performance on the campaign trail to judge how she responds to high-stakes politics and the international arena. That said, as a governor, Palin she has more experience running a government than Obama, who began serving his first term in the U.S. Senate in 2005. And unlike Obama, Palin has shown herself willing to challenge [the] jaded ethical policies within her party. That’s change.” —Debra Saunders