Saturday, August 28, 2010

Thank You, Greta

We salute Fox News program host, Greta Van Susteren, for her criticism of Glenn Beck's theatrics at the Lincoln Memorial on the Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "Dream" speech, August 28, 1963. She blogged:

Yes he has a First Amendment right to do it...but what about the wisdom of it? Glenn should move his event. It does not help heal the country on so many fronts if we poke a stick in eyes."

She went on to note, as we have, this situation parallels the Mosque at Ground Zero. Clearly in both instances, the Mosque sponsors and Beck have the constitutional right to do what they are doing, but what they are doing is so wrong.

While both Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are employed by Fox News, Fox News is not sponsoring nor is involved with the staging of Glenn Beck's Washington rally. It would have been helpful if Fox had gone  "on the record" to detach themselves from this charade. Regardless, they will be seen as responsible for anything that might go wrong with this rally. The rally is not sanctioned by nor planned by any factions of the tea party movement. This belongs to Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, two people those looking toward a more conservative, rational society would do well to separate from the movement immediately.

Friday, August 27, 2010

If You Disagree with the Radical Left, then You're a (..........)

The following column is a “must read.” Charles Krauthammer is one of the most lucid thinkers inside the Washington Beltway. What he has to say about the methodology of the left, demonizing their opposition by associating them with charges of bigotry, racism, homophobia, and other such hate group associations, reveals the total moral bankruptcy of their agenda. Further, it challenges all of us to be firm in our resolve and fight them with all we’ve got.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Beck's Reasoning -- Unhinged and Unwelcome

For those not familiar with Glenn Beck’s warped thinking and treachery, here are his comments about the upcoming event he has planned for Saturday, August 28 at the Lincoln Memorial, the 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous March on Washington, the occasion for his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, an event which marked a significant turning point in the nation’s support in favor of civil rights for all citizens.

Beck writes:

As Saturday approaches, it's pretty interesting to see the opposition to the 8/28 Restoring Honor event coming from the usual suspects on the left. They are dutifully organizing counter rallies and doing their best to label this a gathering of a bunch of hatemongers. Leave it to the partisan hacks of today to stand firmly in opposition to a non political event centered around 'Restoring Honor' and the values and principles that made America great in the first place.

Note: Quickly Beck seeks to take up sides – those for and against him attempting to generalize about who stands against his charade. This writer is conservative on most issues but is steadfast in his opposition to staging an event on such a significant historical anniversary for the sake of self-promotion for himself and Sarah Palin. To say it is a non-political event when Beck’s program deals primarily with political issues and that Sarah Palin is one of the most polarizing political figures in the country makes that argument a shallow lie.

But there are people opposing it, and yes that means you may hop off the bus after riding 3000 miles only to have some anti-honor stooge calling you names. And the media may even join in as they did with the tea parties. But whatever hassle you endure, it will be nothing like what the people faced on August 28, 1963. Being part of the civil rights movement back then meant risking a whole lot more than just being the object of ridicule. That’s bad enough, but it's only the first small step on the way to what eventually happened during the civil rights era: segregation, beatings, and even death were all common place. Can you imagine what was going through the minds of people as they marched through Washington on the way to the Lincoln Memorial? Cautiously moving forward, surveying the landscape to see if anyone was making a move, knowing at any moment all hell could break loose. Imagine as they listened to the speech, the excitement and hope were matched only by the fear of what would or could happen next. It wasn't unfounded - less than a month after the speech, 26 children walked into the 16th Street Church completely unaware that a timed bomb had been placed beneath the steps. The blast killed 4 young girls and wounded several others. Why was it set? Because racist bigots disagreed with desegregation in schools. Nearly half a century later, as crowds set to gather once again, the threat is the not nearly the same - but people are still risking a lot.

How shallow Beck’s understanding of August 23, 1963 is. People like Dr. King put their lives on the line every day. Beck and Palin risk nothing other than further revealing was misguided asses they are. Glenn Beck wasn’t even born on this historic day nor was Sarah Palin. Ironically, they were born one day apart, Glenn Beck was born on February 10, 1964; Palin on February 11. Their upbringing and lives provide neither one of them with any significant contact with biracial society or the issues struggled with since 1963.

Thankfully, we've come a long way since then. But one thing that remains the same is that those opposing the rally do so from a position of ignorance. They have no idea what this rally is going to be. I know that because the complete program details haven't been released yet. They are relying on the tired old partisan talking points. Those who are mocking and calling names aren't listening to, or are choosing to ignore, the actual message. It's not about bigotry or politics. It's about the content of character and merit. I hope those at the counter rallies this Saturday and others opposing this event actually listen to the words with an open mind. Who knows, maybe they'll come join us and lock arms as we celebrate the principles and values that unite every American.

The clear contradiction -- Beck choses to divide and point fingers, being petty and self surving. Doctor King sought to unite and truly understood the phrase Beck throws around like a cheap tennis ball, "the content of their character." King inspired deep spiritual thought requiring soul-searching for answers where Beck and Palin live in a fill-in-the-blank world of bumper sticker slogans.

Glenn Beck is dead wrong to argue those opposing his rally do so out of ignorance. One would hardly call Greta Van Susterain, a fellow Fox News commentator, ignorant but she has published her opposition to this staged event. Sure some will oppose this event simply because Beck is a right-wing talk show host and Palin is an outspoken member of a faction of the Republican party; however, those who understand American history (something Beck pleads his viewers should attempt to do) understand why what he and Palin are planning is so inherently offensive. Who cannot see this scheme as something that doesn’t reek of self-serving opportunism?

For a media figure hell bent on exploiting his media exposure and a politician who has a mad craving for craving an audience’s approval to satisfy some basic narcissistic impulses, choosing this particular date and site for a “restore honor” campaign cannot be seen in isolation of the bigger picture, that for those subject to the evils of racism, Beck’s plan is a wicked intrusion into a most solemn foundation of their lives as Americans.

Beck and Palin are on record as being opposed to the Islamic Center, a mosque being built in the shadows of the New York World Trade Center. Many Americans see the blatant insensitivity of something giving praise to Allah near such hallowed grounds horribly out-of-touch with reality given 2700 plus Americans died on that site when two hijacked airlines were crashed in the twin towers. The last thing the passengers on those planes heard were radical Muslims screaming all glories to Allah.

For African-Americans, a rah-rah celebration of good old heartland American values presented by a slickster like Beck, reminds them that the Americanism Beck celebrates used to be used as agents of their oppression until brave men like Martin Luther King stood up to the powers that be to change things.

Fox news is complicit in this horribly misguided plan. Whether they are sponsors of this event or not, Palin and Beck are on their payroll and as one of the nation’s most widely viewed sources of news, whether intended or not, their connection with this event and any possible negative outcomes will not escape their perceived responsibility.

No doubt, regardless of the intentions of those involved. There will be those intent on fermenting chaos Saturday. Whether plants from the left infiltrate Beck’s crowd, or others intent on creating a scene, this event is so loaded with possible sources of tremendous treachery. Few will investigate into the real sources of the trouble. Simple rumors that anyone from the Beck gang engaged in any kind of racist behavior could be used as proof positive that the tea-party movement is exactly what opponents want it to be seen as.

Beck and Palin are too ego-centered to realize when they are walking into something unwelcomed and their blindness combined with the extent to which it can create dreadful consequences supports Right Minded Fellow’s longstanding opposition to both of them as detestable figures in the national political/media scene. Beck and Palin have thrown themselves into something that is way over their heads full of their shallow sense of craving for attention with no intellect or meaningful thought to offer in return.

Write Fox news, comment on any websites supporting Beck or Palin, but make it clear as sensitive Americans, you are not supporting their dangerous publicity stunt.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Do the Right Thing!!!

Denounce Glenn Beck's and Sarah Palin's SHAMEFUL stunt scheduled at the Lincoln Memorial this Saturday, August 28th, the 47th Anniversary of Doctor Martin Luther King's history changing "I Have a Dream" speech.

How calculating and insensitive can two opportunistic, publicity starved figures with absolutely no known history of involvement in the Civil Rights Movement and no record of accomplishment benefiting African-Americans seize upon exploiting this most sensitive and historic day for those who were a part of history being changed on that famous afternoon in 1963. For the whitest of white people to use this historic anniversary to forward their agenda (neither one of whom shows much intellectual depth or real critical thinking) is the exact kind of insensitivity the vast majority of America condemns the forces behind erecting a monument to Islam in the shadows of where the twin World Trade Center towers once stood.

Shame on Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. The conservative and tea-party movement MUST cast them aside if they intend to make serious advances on liberal/progressive power in Washington.

Just because someone has the right to do something doesn't make it right. God forbid this event will stir up the dark forces of division.

Sprint Cup 2010: Race 24, Not Much Fight Left for Chase Spots

Only one position left up for grabs in the 2010 Chase. Do the math and it's only Clint Bowyer's to lose.

A week off and two weeks left to decide the field for the champsionship drive for this year, and the finalists are close to beign decided with little left to fight for but positions within the top 12.

So what’s left of the Chase? If Jamie McMurray won the lat two races before the field is set after Richmond’s race, Clint Bowyer would have to finish in 8th have to finish in 8th or lower for both races to tie in points giving McMurray the spot by virtue of his victories. The task gets tougher for Mark Martin with zero wins despite only being one point behind McMurray.

The “bubble” is toughing. Here’s the margin drivers are looking to overcome.

13- Jamie McMurray…100 points
14- Mark Martin…101 points
15- Ryan Newman…118 points
16- Kasey Kahne…136 points

Junior fans, forget about it, in 18th position, Little E needs to vault ahead six drivers not to mention 170 points. It’s over, and given Kyle Busch’s historical performance, if Rick Hendrick had it to do over, would he have let “Shrub” drift away for “Little E?”

For those who are ready to stick a fork in Jimmie Johnson for his dreadful performance dropping four positions in the standings Sunday, don’t forget, he is tied with Denny Hamlin with five victories. Unless Denny Hamlin wins another race, they will be tied for first in the “Chase” field. With three wins each, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch can only tie for first with Johnson and Hamlin. Meanwhile six top 12 drivers do not have a single victory in 2010, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth, and Clint Bowyer. Put another way, the top four drivers have 2/3’s of this years wins!

Sad Reality Settles In

With their loss Sunday to the Texas Rangers, the Orioles record stands at 44-81 guaranteeing no winning season for the 13th year in a row since winning the division in 1997. For the Orioles not to finish with 100 losses, they must go 18-17 the remainder of the season. At their current pace, they will finish the season at 57-105.

While that certainly is embarassing, here's the silver lining, on June 3rd after Dave Trembley's last game, they were on a 45-117 pace. On Juan Samuel's last day as manager, they were headed for a 49-113 finish.

It's tantalizing to think that the kind of improvement fans have seen since Buck Showalter's arrival will continue; however, after the upcoming roadtrip to Chicago and Anaheim, aside from seven games versus the fading central division, Tigers, all the rest of the games, one series at home and one a way versus each team, will be against the American League East with Boston desperately trying to get back in the fight while New York and Tampa Bay appear jousting for post season positions. The Toronto Blue Jays have been equally rough on the Orioles in recent years.

There's a new sheriff in town, and he's getting results. It's obvious there is a new clubhouse culture as players are playing for their jobs for next year. Can anyone on the coaching staff seem likely to return next year?  Doubtful, many are Trembley associates and the sooner the team can be sanitized from all Trembley influence the better. He might have been a nice man, but he was ill-equipped to face the enormous challenge of retooling a struggling franchise.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Pirates are now heading where the Orioles appeared headed. They have already cinched a losing season with 84 losses leading to a 53-109 ending having not won since 1992, the Barry Bonds/Jim Leyland era when they finished in 1st for three consecutive seasons before being dispatched in the playoffs. To think when the Orioles and Pirates met in the 1979 World Series, they were two of the proudest, most envied franchises in all of baseball!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin: Dreadful Self-Promotion Debases Anniversary of Martin Luther King's Dream Speech

The Far-Left's Two Most Powerful Weapons:  Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin

Message to all conservatives and right minded Americans; we must condemn in no uncertain terms what talk show ratings huckster and maniacal demagogue, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin, the short-term resigned governor of Alaska have planned for August 28th at the Lincoln Memorial. Glenn Beck is keeping the content of the proceedings largely secret at this point, but Sarah Palin will be a participant supposedly giving a quick presentation in support of “troops.”

There are no more detestable figures who have attached themselves to the conservative and Tea Party movement than these two people who simply cannot get enough publicity. Clearly, Sarah Palin is addicted to the allure of the spotlight and what she perceives as the adoration of her audience. Beck is a longtime media journeyman who first made his name as a morning shock jock but then saw greater fortunes in stirring up the angst of those who fear big government and increasingly feel alienated by the direction in which they perceive the country headed. Glenn Beck continuously tries to establish himself as a good guy, invoking the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, and using King’s phrase “the content of one’s character” as an extension to some of his talking points.

Here’s the God honest truth. The Lincoln Memorial on August 28th belongs to African-America and those who actively participated in the Civil Rights Movement. August 28, 1963 was the date of Dr. King’s famous, “I Have a Dream,” speech which is often credited as the wakeup call to Middle America to realize the time for the racist institutions of American society to be dismantled.

Just as the Muslims behind the attempts to erect a mosque in the shadows of the ghost of the World Center Towers ghost is contemptuously insensitive to those who lost loved ones or in any way suffered on September 11, 2001, for Beck and Palin to use the Lincoln Memorial on one of the most hallowed days for African-Americans reflects the same kind of arrogance. How are African-Americans, perhaps even some who were present at the famous 1963 event, feel about seeing two of the most conspicuously uber-White people in America using their sacred shrine on their sacred day for the sake of self promotion?

The chances of this event stirring up some kind of unfortunate incident are enormous. That would serve Glenn Beck just fine as notoriety leads to great TV ratings until and unless his conduct leads to a tremendous backlash.

A disturbing facet of Glen Beck’s narrative is his constant harping on apocalyptic themes warning that some kind of judgment day is on our doorstep. He speaks of some event could be coming soon that will radically change the course of history where we will all be forced to choose once and for all where we stand on the principles he professes are important largely a mixture of his religious beliefs and sanctification of The Constitution based on his interpretation of the document.

It sure would fit his sick vision if something went horribly wrong on the 28th. The collateral damage could be enormous. Sarah Palin’s high stature in the Republican Party could disgrace the party right as it is gaining tremendous momentum to make tremendous gains in November. Are not the chances high that there will be plants from the left who will do all they can to stir things up possibly hurling racist terms that could break things wide open? The Tea Party Movement could overnight be seen as what the radical members of the press have been saying all along. The racial tension that has been unfortunately fermenting since Obama’s election and the many attempts to use the race card to silence his critics. How much worse can it get?

Speak out. Condemn Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. If you have any influence to keep folks, you know from attending, do so. We must make sure the damage this insane event could cause does not happen. It won’t be easy. In Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, we are dealing with two extremely immature, intellectually-deprived, attention-starved, self-promoting charlatans whose voices must be silenced by a tide of truth and common sense silencing their nonsense.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sprint Cup 2010: Race 24: Bristol Saturday Night Madness

“Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” and the Sprint Cup boys hit Thunder Valley Saturday night in a race that is one of this writer’s favorite events of the year. Five hundred laps on a high banked half mile track with 160,000 fans looking on with but three races left before the field for The Chase is decided makes for some of the most intense, exciting racing of the year.

Could this be a breakthrough race for Roush/Fenway?

History says it could be. They won four out the last five events, but not last year when Kyle Busch took the honors. Carl Edwards won in 2007 and 2008. Matt Kenseth won in 2005 and 2006. Kyle Busch has two second place finishes (2008, 2006) to go along with his win. Kyle is the only driver with more than two top fives in that period. Does that tell something?

The fight for The Chase is down to this. We can pretty much rest assured drivers in 9th to 11th are in having more than a 200 point margin over 13th place. However, Clint Bowyer only has a 35 point advantage over Mark Martin, 103 point advantage over Ryan Newman (and Joey Logano was wondering why he was racing so rough!?!?!?), 105 points over Jamie McMurray, 126 over Kasey Kahne, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans will cling to hopes that Junior is 129 points away. Everyone else knows Earnhardt’s chances are futile, but looking at his margin out compared to Kurt Busch’s and Greg Biffle’s margin in, shows clearly but one spot is truly open in the top 12.

Time is running short for chase contenders to get bonus points for their Chase standings for wins: Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin have 5 wins; Kevin Harvick has 3; The Busch brothers each have 2 wins; beyond that, Greg Biffle has only one win. Jeff Gordon in 2nd place in the standings has zero wins. Carl Edwards, Tony Stewart, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth, and Clint Bowyer have no wins. Five victories reside outside the Chase field including the two big ones from Jamie McMurray. Interestingly, Jimmie Johnson is the only driver in the top 12 who does not have at least one top five in the summer Busch race. For those thinking Johnson’s season has fallen to pieces, he is currently in 5th but will elevate to the top when the chase field is determined. He’s only six points behind Stewart in 4th place and 43 points behind Denny Hamlin in 3rd. His ability to run for a 5th consecutive championship remains EXCELLENT with perhaps Kevin Harvick his toughest rival.

Here’s to a great race Saturday night. Let’s have at it boys. “Saturday night is alright for fighting!”

Sprint Cup: 2011 Schedule - Hello Kentucky

Here it is race fans, the 2011 Sprint Cup Schedule, for some, notably Kansas and Kentucky, this will be good news. For some, this will be “be careful what you wish for, it might come true,” and for some, perhaps in Atlanta and Los Angeles or where dates have been moved around, this could be bad news. Still, the undeniable reality is that NASCAR brass is challenged to provide the most successful stages for Sprint Cup races. Full race tracks with paying customers provide greater benefit than just the gate receipt. While the cameras minimize empty seats, folks at home are aware. Empty seats aren’t good publicity for sure.

The recently added day off before Labor Day has been eliminated making July 25th the last weekend off for Sprint Cup. The placement of the lone Fontana race between Bristol and Martinsville certainly makes logistics more taxing, but perhaps the brain trust thought positioning Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Fontana together would be West Coast overkill. That’s probably true but perhaps a little later into April would be more sensible, perhaps on or about where the first Phoenix race was held.

So here it is… (Additions or major changes noted in capital letters.)

2/12 Bud Shootout

2/17 Gatorade Duel 125’s

2/20 Daytona 500


3/6 Las Vegas

3/13 …OFF DATE…

3/20 Bristol


4/3 Martinsville

4/9 Texas

4/16 Talladega

4/24 …OFF DATE…

4/30 Richmond

5/7 Darlington

5/15 Dover

5/21 All Star Race

5/29 Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte


6/12 Pocono

6/19 Michigan

7/26 Sonoma/Infineon Raceway

7/2 Daytona: Coke Zero 400


7/17 Loudon, NH

7/24 …OFF DATE…

7/31 Indianapolis: Brickyard 400

8/7 Pocono

8/14 Watkins Glen

8/21 Michigan

8/27 Bristol

9/4 Atlanta

9/10 Richmond

9/18 CHICAGO **Chase Begins

9/25 Loudon, NH

10/2 Dover

10/9 Kansas

10/15 Charlotte

10/23 Talladega

10/30 Martinsville

11/6 Texas

11/13 Phoenix

11/20 Homestead, Ford 400

Fox News and the Wasilla Wench

Is there any clearer example of "advocacy journalism" than how Fox News supports Sarah Palin?

First, she is employed by the network as a commentator. As such, how can any hard news coverage of her behavior not be considered possibly biased or used to promote her work for the network?

Second, all to often, critical comments of the Wasilla Wench or abusive comments from the entertainment industry receive top line news coverage as well as substantial notice on commentary programs from Neil Cavuto, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, and Greta Van Susterain.

Sarah Palin is an active participant in the political process because the conservative, libertarian, and anti-Democrat population has seen so much vicious attacks against the former Governor of Alaska who resigned due to the pressures of her office have helped create the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" phenomenon to set it. Sarah Palin's intellect is limited to little more than a passionate recitation of bumper sticker slogans. She is clearly as George Will noted, one of the least intellectually curious people he has ever observed. She lacks the critical thinking skills or analytical abilities for leadership.

Fox seldom broadcast anything critical of Ms. Palin unless it's giving left-wingers a chance to throw bottles at her.

While we often cite Fox News as the source for much of our commentary, we cannot let their organizational errors go unchallenged and certainly Geraldo and Glenn Beck are two of the most irresponsible figures in all of media.

We can never accept any news organization without keeping our skepticism in tact. Question everything!

MORE MOSQUE: Project Backers Will Not Rule Out Funds from Saudi Arabia and Iran

The mosque project gets uglier by the day. ABC News reports money from Iran and Saudi Arabia. The contradictions the possibility of this Mosque raises get trickier all the time. For the technical issue of Freedom of Religion if it applies to this situation, it is in defense of an organization that persecutes women and non-believers and openly works to deny religious freedom to Jews, Christians, Hindus and Bahai's.

ABC News Report:  (click for ABC's report)

No good will come from the Mosque being built. We must unite to stop it. If Nancy Pelosi accusing people like us as being "conspirators" doesn't motivate us further, what will?

Those Against the Mosque at Ground Zero: Now Hear this You're Part of that Great Right Wing Conspiracy According to Nancy Pelosi

Does anybody need proof Nancy Pelosi is a complete @#$h%-ing IDIOT!!!  Well, well, well, the great Speaker (or blabbermouth whiner) of the House wants an investigation as to who is funding opposition to the Islamic Mosque at Ground Zero. First, let this writer speak to this matter personally:

Listen hear you disgusting, idiotic BITCH. Nobody, not one person needs to pay me ANYTHING to be absolutely against radical Islam erecting a shrine to their conquest in the shadows of where over 3000 of my sisters and brothers were brutally murdered on September 11, 2001.  This is something that just being aware that it is going on is enough to make me oppose it. I don't need anybody else to help guide my decision, not the Republican Party, not Rush Limbaugh, not Fox News, not some Christian Church who you'd surely abhor. This is a decision of MY CONSCIENCE. 

Added note: I feel especially compelled to show as much contempt and disrespect for this sick bitch as possible for the extent to which she has brought dishonor to our institution, the House, and our society at large. To infer any respect for the sake of the respect which should be afforded her office simply cannot stand when an enemy to the American People, whether duely elected or not, is engaged in such treachory. The radical community of San Francisco she represents does not speak for the rest of America.

Clearly, this is exactly an attempt to do what Nancy Pelosi is accusing the other side of doing, politicizing the issue for the sake of the ideology of the Radical Left. When one looks at the public sentiments on this issue based on recent polls, this is one more issue where the left-wing of the already left-wing Democratic party is racing further and further away from mainstream American values.


Read more about Pelosi's idiotic statements here:

Didn't we see enough of how political the issue is when in observance of the Islamic Holiday of Ramadan last Friday, Barack Obama stated with absolute certainty that he was behind the Mosque project completely. Then the next morning, smelling the political backlash, the President tried to say something different trying to have it both ways. The public saw that waffling for what it was, political calculation and a lack of conviction.

The bottom line is a Mosque in the shadow of where 3000 people just like us died is unacceptable, period.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Mosque

Let's be real, nothing good could come from "an Islamic Community Center" being built within a couple blocks of the fallen World Trade Center towers in New York. There is an element of doing an endzone dance and unbelievable arrogance, insensitivity, and contempt placing a structure that will ridicule and torment those who still hear cries of Islamic terrorists proclaiming the glory of Allah as they murdered over 3000 Americans. Yes, they were motivated by their understanding of the Islamic faith, and yes there is language in The Koran that can be interpretted to act in such a way. The Koran is not just another culture's attempt to articulate what's in the Bible. Read it and find out.

Meanwhile, the politicians and social commentators are showing what totally wishy washy people without resolve some of us have become. On purely legal grounds, it is probably lawful for the Islamic group to build their victory center. However, everybody who lives and works in that area or lost loved one on 9/11/01 has something to say about it too. What about the Eastern Orthodox Church destroyed in the blasts?  Their church isn't rebuilt is it?

That these Islamic leaders would have called their center the Cordova project is even more foretelling of what it's all about. When the Moors conquered Spain, they built a Mosque on the site of their conquest with that name.

It's time to cut out the political correctness and be honest. Our culture is at war with Islam. Maybe we didn't want to go to war with them, but... Oh well, they chose to destroy us.

While all Americans are free to practice whatever religion they choose. Not all religions are created equally. The Islamic doctrine is full of invitations to murder and abuse toward anyone those who are in positions of power within Islam select to target.

We need to do all we can to assimulate Islamic people into our culture, our values, and our respect for life and mankind. That's our way of practicing our freedom of religion. Yes, it works that way too.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sprint Cup 2010: Race 23 -- Motor City Encore

Qualifying and practice for this weekend’s Michigan Sprint Cup race shows a mixed bag of results especially for those who are attempting to secure their chances for making the chase. Kasey Kahne, whose season has been dogged with a series of nasty crashes, sits on the pole. He must gain at least 133 points in four races hoping some other drivers will fall flat to allow him to succeed.

Clint Bowyer fell out of the all-important top 12 last week by only 10 points. To help his prospects for success Sunday, he starts 3rd, but for Mark Martin tenuously holding on to the 12th spot, his starting spot of (ironically) 12th would generally be helpful, were it not for Bowyer’s powerful success. The top 12 features six drivers in the top 12 and two drivers hoping to make the show.

1. Kasey Kahne, #9, Ford
2. Jimmie Johnson, #48, Chevy
3. Clint Bowyer, #33, Chevy
4. Tony Stewart, #14, Chevy
5. Juan Montoya, #42, Chevy
6. Greg Biffle, #16, Ford
7. Matt Kenseth, #17, Ford
8. Kevin Harvick, #29, Chevy
9. Martin Truex, Jr., #56, Toyota
10. Paul Menard, #98, Ford
11. Jeff Burton, #31, Chevy
12. Mark Martin, #5, Chevy

The remaining top 12 drivers start as follows: 13—Kurt Busch, #2, Dodge; 18—Kyle Busch, #18, Toyota; 24—Carl Edwards, #99, Ford; 33—Denny Hamlin, #11, Toyota; 36—Jeff Gordon, #24, Chevy.

Of those with a remote chance of making the chase: Ryan Newman starts 17th while Jamie McMurray starts 19th. If anyone still is holding out hope for Dale Earnhardt Jr. who is actually 23 points ahead of Kahne in 16th in the standings, his qualifying position puts him down with the parking lot attendants in 38th position. This was supposed to be the “no excuses” year for most popular driver whose career appears more headed to resemble the likes of Michael Waltrip’s or Kyle Petty’s than a true championship contender. No one expects him to pick up where his dad left off but given the way his career was surging forward in 2004, what’s happened since then is puzzling.

Meanwhile, the parking lot attendants will be clogging traffic early in the race with refuse-to-compete rides in 15th (Landon Cassill), 21st (Max Papis), 22nd (Joe Nemechek), and 43rd (McDowell). Four teams did not qualify, all of whom would have headed for the parking lot. Robby Gordon has two entries, the 07 car he’ll drive while P.J. Jones will drive the #7. We’ll see if they are going to attempt to race. There are also some driver shuffles. With David Stremme leaving the troubled #26 operation, Patrick Carpentier fills in. Tony Raines will drive the #34 car without ExtenZe sponsorship. ExtenZe announced its intention to go on “hiatus” from Sprint Cup sponsorship. While the team intends to complete races unsponsored, this leaves rookie-of-the-year candidate Kevin Conway without a ride though insisting they will continue to support him in the future.

Continuing its link to NASCAR’s historic roots, the “legendary” Wood Brothers are competing this week with Bill Elliott piloting the famous #21 Ford from 30th position.

Weather could be an issue Sunday. The forecast calls for temperatures in the low-mid 80’s with a 40% chance of thunderstorms dropping to 30% for most of the afternoon through sunset.

... and Now the Real Test

After 10 games, Buck Showalter has passed his audition as Baltimore Orioles' manager. With an 8-2 record and generally solid performances from his starting pitchers, the team is playing much more in the manner they were expected to perform at the start of the season. Also benefiting the Orioles is the return of 2nd baseman Brian Roberts, whose roll as leadoff batter sets up the rest of the lineup to score important runs and in the field provides some veteran leadership.

The Orioles now travel to St. Petersburg, Florida to play the Tampa Bay Rays, a team in hot contention for 1st place with the Yankees and the leaders in the wild card chase. The Orioles are 2-7 against the Rays this year, four of those losses by two runs or less.

To win the series in Florida this weekend would be a tremendous victory for a team looking to find its new direction and show once and all the lackadaisical days of the Trembley years are gone. They are playing for a manager set on winning and not a guidance counselor now.

Making things more interesting, the Saturday game at 4:00 pm will be a national telecast on Fox. What an ideal opportunity to show the nation, the O's are on the comeback.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Showalter Era: 6 Wins, 1 Loss

One Week on the Job, Buck Showalter has the Orioles ROCKING!!!

The "Buck Stops Here" era is off to a glorious start for the Baltimore Orioles. The Los Angels Angels have long been an Orioles nemesis. The Orioles swept the Angels, 3-0. In come the surging Chicago White Sox, first place in the AL Central, the Orioles win 3 our of 4. One would never see the team that was once on a pace to lose a record number of games in the modern era. There was not a sign of the resignation to losing that was the hallmark of the Trembley days. Clearly, the players got the message. They are auditioning for their future with the team. A word not spoken for too long was heard loud and clear, WIN!.

The road ahead will not be easy. September will be dedicated to home and away gigs against their AL East opponents, three of whom could be in contention, and the other team is one the Orioles have not mastered at all this year. It will still be a tremendous challenge not to lose 100 games. To finish with 99 losses, the Birds must play .500 ball for the rest of the year.

For this team, that might be looking too far ahead. As long as the team goes out with the attitude of focusing on that night's game and winning it, continued effort pays off as their performance on week into the Sholwalter era shows.

How refreshing it is to have a confident manager with a keen sense of purpose accepting no excuses for a poor performing team. Showalter even has the knack how to get on SportsCenter, his most recent employer, talking about what life is like at 3:00 am in the morning when some kid blows a save on the West Coast, and then having to travel to an all-night Taco Bell with a hungry John Kruk.

Welcome to Crab Town, Buck. Not since Davey Johnson, has the dugout had such a commanding presence. The off season will be difficult with little quality trade bait and a sparse free agent market. No one said it would be easy.

The Bitch is Back: Lavish Spanish Vacation for Michelle Obama is Finally Over

The Diva Dumpling Returns to Washington

Americans would almost have to be living under a rock not to have seen first lady Michelle Obama and her daughter, Shasha, took an elegant vacation in Spain. While the White House quickly pointed out that the Obama family covered her travel expenses, they can’t hoodwink the American people into realizing how much money in logistics, support services, and the Secret Service our country spent on two members of the first family enjoying the royal life in a five star hotel. While surely the first family deserves vacations and getaways, the symbolism of this is pure arrogance.

While the left-wingers surely will bring up the alleged amount of time George W. Bush spent on “vacation,” his getaway was typically his ranch in Crawford, Texas where all his executive functions could be faithfully executed. The cost of the President staying at his own ranch was relatively low compared to some of the more exotic destinations his office could afford him. Also, after the 9/11 attack, President Bush realized that signs of living the grand life would send out the wrong message to the American people. As such, he refrained from such things as playing golf. When First Lady Laura Bush travelled internationally, it was always in support of such things as women’s rights, literacy, and attacking the AIDS epidemic in Africa.

Since the Obama’s have taken power how often have we seen in the news media ever careful to attempt to enhance his image has provided us with a cavalcade of imagery of the first couple living the life of opulence – date nights in New York, serenades from Paul McCartney in the White House, “date” nights, whooping it up with sports and entertainment figures, and travel, travel, travel. Meanwhile, some reporters going the extra mile performing a little due diligence are also showing us the price tag. Granted, in terms of the overall Federal budget, it might be chump change. Symbolism means everything. The President sets the tone for the nation and helps set expectations. At a time when millions are out of work, others are facing financial hardship, and many more are waiting for the other shoe to drop as Obama’s radical agenda of Federally controlled health care, higher taxes on small business owners and entrepreneurs, seeing the First Family living footloose and fancy free on our time is at very least a vulgar display of insensitivity. It also smacks of a very aristocratic sense of entitlement which is even more insulting.

Another argument is that the First Family should be left alone in political discussions. Fair enough up to a point. Surely, a president’s children should never be thrown into the political debate unless they are old enough to enter the fray to do so at their own choosing. The First Lady is a little more problematic. Some clearly define their roll as outside the political circus – surely that was the case with Laura Bush, Barbara Bush, Roslyn Carter and most first ladies before the era of feminism. Others such as Hilary Clinton and Nancy Reagan conspicuously threw themselves into the action. There can be no mistake whatsoever which option Michelle Obama has chosen. As such, her public behavior, choices, and demeanor are all fair game.

Meanwhile fashion designers worldwide are gawking at the prospects to wardrobe Michelle Obama and bloggers like Right Minded Fellow cannot resist the opportunity to run a story on her $540 Lanvin sneakers. Designers Jason Wu, Calvin Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Isabel Toledo, Narciso Rodriguez, Donna Ricco and Maria Pinto, the priciest elites in the business have clamored to serve as her clothier. You’d think being from Chicago, she’d at least opt for Air Jordans which aren’t quite so pricey.

The picture of Michelle Obama might be appealing to the fashion industry but to working America, it is of one arrogant elitist bitch. Even when she takes on a cause like childhood obesity, some comes across as condescending and dictatorial. Follow her statements and speeches, one hears the constant angry liberal theme, one of American society being cruel and nasty. Listen to her speak of her background whether it was from her family origins, far from poverty or how she felt ostracized as a black female student at Princeton, she speaks the language of class envy and racial victimization. One seldom hears Ms. Obama speak in glowing or positive terms about anything. We could describe her as the “First Whiner.”

How does this all add up?

Michelle Obama is fair game. Her public behave should and must be used to a strategic advantage to help further promote the narrative of what Obama-nation is all about. Her values and behavior demonstrate clearly exactly why the Obamas’ conduct goes far beyond their policies and politics in destroying the respect and aura the White House should have as the symbol of just, fair, and strong American leadership. We have two self-absorbed elitists, a stridently radical narcissist President with an aristocratic mean-spirited bitch as his partner. We must show them for who they truly are and use it to help turn our country back in the right direction.

Not all the media has been hoodwinked by the latest Obama overindulgence. The New York Daily News ran a headline that seems to say it all, “Material girl Michelle Obama is a modern-day Marie Antoinette on a glitzy Spanish vacation.”

How glitzy, leave it to the London Telegraph to provide some details. Not only were public beaches closed should the First Lady and daughter want to take a little dip, but roads were repaved, trees and flowers planted. Marbella, Spain will never be the same.

Given the way the locals were pushed out of the way to help the foreign dignitary have all the privacy and privilege she could enjoy, it’s hard to imagine beyond the gawking class and elites, such an appearance generates good will with Washington.

Who are we to advice Michelle Obama, but it would be in her best interest to lie low and not be seen. The United States and the World is on to her. No one is well-served by public figures who act entitled to the grand life by virtual of their status.

Crank-up the old iPod, and let Elton John’s classic rip, “The Bitch is Back.”

Monday, August 9, 2010

Same Sex Marriage -- The Big Question

The voters in California had spoken amending their state Constitution to ban same-sex marriages. 52% of the California voters supported Proposition 8, the Defense of Marriage amendment. This week, the measure was struck down by the first level of the Federal Judiciary. Judge Vaughan Walker, an openly homosexual judge, issued a 137 page ruling nulifying the law based primarily on the Federal Consitition's "equal protection under the law" provision.

The measure will now go on the the 9th District Court of Appeals, the most Liberal court in the nation's appeal system, and finally the Supreme Court itself will make the ultimate decision. Right now, the Supreme Court might appear slightly inclined to support the measure, but it will ultimately depend on what they determine the decisive grounds are.

While this writer has mixed feelings about this issue, more and more, one question becomes inescapable.  If the government were to grant marriage licenses to same sex couples, how would it impact this writer's life?  The answer is probably not at all. For all those who fervently oppose Same Sex marriage, be honest. How will same sex marriage affect your life?

Right Minded Fellow has long maintained what adults do behind closed doors in their private lives is nobody else's business. A state license might be a little more than that, but probably just a little. Why should it be anybody else's business what two people seek to do on their own? How would such behavior be intrusive in any way?

There surely are verses from The Bible that seem to argue clearly homosexuality is forbidden, but there are many things the Bible does not condone that are legal.  From strictly a matter of law, on what Constitutional basis can a law against same-sex marriage stand?

Only if both houses of Congress and 3/4's of the states vote by 3/4's margins could a Constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage be approved. That won't happen.

Whether the tide has turned in 2010 or not, same-sex marriage will be legal through out the United States sooner or later.

How does society benefit from continuing to fight what appears to be the inevitable?

Sports Coverage -- It's all About Celebrity Gossip Now

We posted a blog about Tiger Woods' downfall this weekend. It was commentary about Tiger Woods and his downfall not intended to be coverage of the Bridgestone Invitational. Still, are we guilty of getting into the cult of personalities?  Probably so.

What was more alarming was this evening's coverage on ESPN SportsCenter. While giving the PGA event top level coverage, the coverage was devoted almost exclusively to Tiger Woods' agony including a very broken looking Woods asked to account for his failings at the end of his play. That one of his shots hit a spectator and Woods responded by autographing one of his gloves and giving the fan the ball in play along with some splish-splashes, oops, how'd that get there shots, and lots of camera on a wincing, grimacing golfer continued to drive the story. The next big story line was devoted to Phil Mickelson, #2 in waiting, who likewise had a miserable day.

So didn't someone win the tournament? Did he or did he not face some competition in the back nine. It would be hard to know watching the Nation's premier sportscast. For the record, Hunter Mahan finished #1, 12 shots under par, a $1.4 million pay day. Ryan Palmer finished second, -10, taking home $840,000. How strange it is the fellow who finished tied for next to last in 78th place got all the attention. For his efforts, Tiger Woods took home $35,500, twenty strokes over par.

Following this precedent, should not ESPN spend most of Baseball Tonight's coverage following the Pittsburgh Pirates?

Next week, the tour moves on to the 4th major, the PGA. Could this please be about the competition for the lead and not the on-going soap opera about the former champ in disgrace?  Are we that sadistic we like seeing someone so miserable? 

Note to ESPN, we understand Tiger's mighty roar has been reduced to scared kitten's "mew," but there are dozens of other golfers whose story deserves to be told. Note to TNT and CBS, cover the golf not the soap opera. Let the cameras take us to Whistling Straits in Haven, Wisconsin for GOLF!!!

Sprint Cup 2010: Race 22 -- The Golden Road for Juan Pablo

How many drivers would have seemed more long overdue for a win than Juan Pablo Montoya? Don’t say Dale Earnhardt Jr.! More on him later. Aside from Jeff Gordon who is tied for second place for the most top 10’s with Kurt Busch (13) and tied for first in top fives with Kevin Harvick at 10, Montoya has to be the man. How many times has his car looked dominant only to have some late racing episode send him to the garage? The ill-fated final pit-stop where his crew chief, Brian Pattie, elected to put on four tires while most leaders opted for two, took him out of the running to win the Brickyard 400, and adding insult to injury an accident with the #88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. ride added insult to injury after having dominated the race so successfully. Marcos Ambrose was Montoya’s toughest adversary, but tire trouble reduced him to 3rd.

Watkins Glen Top 10
1. Juan Montoya, #42, Chevrolet
2. Kurt Busch, #2, Dodge
3. Marcos Ambrose, #47, Toyota
4. A.J. Allmendinger, #43, Ford
5. Carl Edwards, #99, Ford
6. Jamie McMurray, #1, Chevrolet
7. Tony Stewart, #14, Chevrolet
8. Kyle Busch, #18, Toyota
9. Jeff Burton, #31, Chevrolet
10. Jeff Gordon, #24, Chevrolet

Points leader, Kevin Harvick, finished in 11th. Jimmie Johnson, in trouble and causing trouble finished in 28th pushing Denny Hamlin out of the race and a finishing position of 37th down with the quitters.

NASCAR’s most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. only managed a far removed 26th place finish. Now reduced to 16th in the standings, 121 points out of 12th place, only a series of miracles could put him in the Chase. Earnhardt, likewise ranks 19th in top 5 finishes tied with Joey Logano and Ryan Newman with just two. He also rests in 19th in top 10’s with only six. Add it up, this is not the mark of what would be a good season were it not for a couple tough breaks, it adds up to a mediocre, uninspired season. Junior, the ghost of your daddy is calling. Do you hear him? “Put a kerosene rag around your ankles so the ants won't climb up and eat that candy ass.” It’s hard not to like Dale Jr. He’s smart, personable, and respectful of others, but with all the promise that his move to Hendrick Motor Sports was supposed to fulfill. In his third year with racing’s most elite team, he still has just one win, June 15, 2008 in Michigan. With no wins in 2007, his lasat year with DEI and one win in 2005, it’s now been six years since Junior has posted multiple wins, having won six in 2004 where he won the Daytona 500, Atlanta, Richmond, Bristol, Talladega, and Phoenix showing the ability to handle all forms of racing skillfully. In the right circumstances, there is no question, he can still race with a champion’s intensity as he showed in the #3 Wrangler Chevrolet raced to honor his father’s induction into NASCAR’s Hall-of-Fame in July’s Nationwide Race at Daytona. The next level up, the #88 car seems to be a magnet for trouble. If there’s a late in the race mishap, almost certainly the 88 will be nearby.

The results from Watkins Glen didn’t turnout to a blender race in the Chase standings. Instead it mostly served to help sure up the field. While a 19th place finish would be nothing spectacular for Mark Martin, struggling to ease into the top 12 it proved sufficient to move ahead of Clint Bowyer whose 32nd place finish, a lap down, put him outside by a slim ten points.

The bubble report shows few possibilities with four races left. In the top 12, three drivers are on pins and needles but with Matt Kenseth in 10th with a 180 point advantage, he’d need to absolutely fall apart in the next four races to dive out of contention. Greg Biffle, his teammate and last week’s victor holds a 102 point advantage, still pretty strong.

Outside looking in, here’s the field and the points behind 12th place:

13. Clint Bowyer, -10
14. Ryan Newman, -83
15. Jaime McMurray, -94
16. Dale Earnhardt, Jr., -121
17. Kasey Kahne, -133
18. David Reutimann, -166

Realistically, does it not look like a dogfight between Mark Martin and Clint Bowyer, both of whom have looked strong at times but struggle to find consistency? Mark Martin scored more top 5 finishes, with five to Bowyer’s three. This flip-flops for top tens, with Bowyer entering the top ten, 11 times while Martin has six, one more besides his top fives.

The days ahead will be full of speculation what the 2011 schedule will look like. Kentucky Motor Speedway will join the lineup while Kansas will add a second date. Meanwhile, the early Atlanta race in March will be scrubbed as will an ISC venue for Kansas, most likely Fontana, CA. These changes will require a number of dates being shuffled with added speculation that the first race of “The Chase” will be at Chicagoland.

With talk of schedule changes in the air and having just finished Watkins Glen, naturally, there is talk that NASCAR should consider more road race courses and perhaps have one in The Chase. For the novelty they provide, they do not accommodate large audiences. Besides that, many have structural problems that would make them difficult to accommodate a 43 car Sprint Cup field. Road America looked beautiful for Nationwide, but it is far from major markets and its length could make a Cup style race difficult.

Next week, it’s back to Michigan, ten weeks since their last visit. For some there will be some comfort returning to the first “conventional” track since Chicago. However, those looking to participate in The Chase or improve their position within the sacred top 12, the competition intensifies. Ten drivers have victories in 2010. Four of them are not likely to be in the show. Look at this:

Denny Hamlin – 5 wins
Jimmie Johnson – 5 wins
Kevin Harvick – 2 wins
Kurt Busch – 2 wins
*Jaime McMurray – 2 wins
Kyle Busch – 2 wins
*Juan Montoya – 1 win
*David Reutimann – 1 win
Greg Biffle – 1 win
*Ryan Newman – 1 win

*indicates driver outside top 12 points standings. With four races to go before the field is settled, look at the advantage Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson have for the points lead they will have over their competition for victories. The job is not finished for top 12 drivers in the next four weeks.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

At Golf Event Named for Tires -- The Wheels Have Fallen Off Tiger Woods

“Life has changed. I haven’t practiced as much as I used to, nor should I. My kids are more important.”

Buried deep in the field on a course he once seemed to own, Tiger Woods goes into Saturday’s action at the Bridgestone Invitational at Ohio’s renowned Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio near the bottom tied for 72nd place six strokes over par. How far has the once emir of the sport fallen who won his past four entries in the tournament missing the 2008 event for surgery. 2009 was Tiger’s comeback after a season ended when surgery was required ACL surgery on his left knee with a double stress fracture in his left tibia.

A year ago, Woods won six major events finishing #1 on the money list. In 2010, Woods has no major victories and is lost in 74th place in earnings.

We needn’t repeat the soap opera scenario that started with his strange SUV accident last Thanksgiving then all the subsequent revelations, rehab, and media hoopla leading to this April’s Masters where Woods was clearly off the mark only flashing his brilliance occasionally. Since the Masters, 2010 has been an outright disaster. Though Tiger finished 4th at the Masters and US Open, both events showed Tiger was clearly off his game, but in other events, the results have been much worse, not one single top ten finish even failing to make the cut at the Quail Hollow Championship in Charlotte in April. He did not compete in the Players Championship the following week. Aside from the two 4th place finishes noted, his best effort was 19t in early June at the Memorial Tournament. His other results have been ties for 46th, 24th, and 23rd in the British Open.

Tiger Woods has lost his mojo. He doesn’t even look like Tiger Woods. The confident swagger and energy are gone. He looks like a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Prior to this week’s competition, Tiger addressed the media noting, ““Life has changed. I haven’t practiced as much as I used to, nor should I. My kids are more important.” As his divorce from Elin Nordegren heads toward settlement in what will be a historical payout, Tiger Woods is a broken man lost in a haze dealing with the consequences his sexual affairs and revelations have thrust upon him.

The fall is so severe and the Tiger Woods of today is so out-of-character for the fellow we thought we knew a year ago, he hardly seems to matter any longer. Each detail of what happens as the details of his personal life works its way off will make the gossip pages. What it seems we won’t see much of is Tiger on the leader boards.

The brooding, fragile creature Woods has become has made him more of a distraction to the PGA than a vital member of the sport’s most honored fraternity.

Who is to say if Woods will regain his form and when? The field is wide open for new leaders to emerge from the likable Phil Mickelson to some exciting new prospects, the game moves on and Jack Nicklaus’s records are starting to look much less vulnerable than they were just a year ago.

At 34 years old, Tiger Woods could still have a brilliant career ahead of him, but how much of his golf was supported by a sense of invincibility and cool? How he will handle rebuilding his life and committing to the intense rigors of returning to the top of the game will evolve as the remainder of the 2010 season continues and in the years ahead.

A year ago, as Tiger dominated the Bridgestone, could anyone ever think he could be the pitiful person he is today?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sprint Cup 2010: Race 22 -- Road Racing at Watkins Glen

For those who make fun of gear heads for spending their Sunday afternoons watching a sport where the competitors simply drive fast and turn left, Watkins Glen is one of two races guaranteed to cause a little confusion. The 90 lap, 220.5 mile event features lots of curvy action and, yes, right turns.

Tony Stewart has dominated the track in recent years winning five races including last year's competition since 2002. Jeff Gordon has four wins at the track but none since 2001. A trip to victory lane would sure benefit Mark Martin attempting to secure a berth in the top 12. Martin has three consecutive victories at Watkins Glen from 1993 to 1995.

46 cars are entered to secure 43 starting positions including a number of "road racing specialists" in the cockpit for Sunday's unique style of racing. They include:

07 -- P.J. Jones, a second entry for Robby Gordon
26 -- Patrick Carpentier
35 -- Tony Ave
36 -- Ron Fellows
71 -- Andy Lally*
83 -- Boris Said*

*assured starting position based on Owner's points.

Eyes will focus on Australian driver, Marcus Ambrose, who has proven most effective at road courses all but having the June race at Infineon locked up were it not for a dreadful yellow flag blunder late in the race. Juan Pablo Montoya, a savvy road course driver, will surly look for a good finish or victory after recent bouts of embarrassing bad luck.

Weather should be agreeable with afternoon highs around 86 degrees under partly cloudy skies with little chance for rain.

Rest assured, drivers seeking to make "The Chase" are on notice, Watkins Glen is one of those blender races that can certainly mix up the standings dramatically with Bristol coming up in two weeks. While Watkins Glen has both left and right turns, for many teams, their efforts for 2010 have arrived at a fork in the road. Another trip in the wrong direction could finish any realistic hope for the Chase for Dale Earnhardt Jr., Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne and Jamie McMurray. A bad finish or failure to gain a substantial points advantage could put an end to hopes for being in the field of honor after Richmond.

US Postal Service Posts $3.5 BILLION Loss in 3rd Quarter

A recent article in Reuters reports the miserable state of the United States Postal Service's miserable financial condition, that the entity that delivers more than half the world's mail has reported net losses in 14 of the last 16 quarters. The agency's Financial Officer, Joseph Corbett, stated, "Given current trends, we will not be able to pay all 2011 obligations." Among some of the USPS challenges, a $.5 billion payment due September 30th to pay retiree health benefits.

Reuters' Source Article:

There's no question the challenges to the Postal Service are immense but the nature of their business inherently makes pursuing other options more attractive all the time. With the rise of email and electronic bill payment, the volume of conventional mail has deceased tremendously over the last two decades. Furthermore, UPS and FEDEX continue to upgrade service providing much more attractive parcel shipping over the US Mail. Being a government agency whose employees work under very favorable union conditions where their job performance and efforts to upgrade their productivity and professionalism is under constant attack from union obstruction, doing business with the post office can be a most frustrating customer experience. Thankfully, residential delivery, the aspect of postal service most citizens encounter on an almost daily basis continues to be considered very good in most regions of the country.

As postal customers have become accustomed to on an ever increasing basis in recent decades, a postage rate increase is just around the corner and the prospects of a fifty cent stamp looms closer and closer with each move upward. It's hard for younger Americans to imagine that for most of the first half of the 20th century, mailing a letter held at only three cents until 1958 when it was elevated to four cents and then five cents in 1963. By 1974, postage rates hit the double digits at tens cents a letter. In 1988, stamps went up to twenty five cents standing at thirty three cents at the turn of the millennium. The January 2, 2011 cost increase to $ 0.46, will mark the seventh increase since 2000.

Energy and manpower costs are at the heart of the rapid upturn in postal costs. Not only is the service inefficient with dreadful management policies, the cost in permanent benefits including generous pensions and life-long health care create insurmountable fixed costs while management has little authority to downsize and streamline operations and alter job descriptions.

The postal service serves as the perfect model how the government is incapable of providing cost effective, professional service and respond to economic and market forces proactively the way private sector operations can.

For those who aren't concerned about the extent to which the Federal Government has taken over more and more private sector operations, let the financial operation of the United States Postal Service service as exhibit A.

To illustrate the rapid upward movement of postal rates, see the following:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Message to Sarah Palin, the Wasilla Wench, STAY OUT OF MARYLAND!!!

If anyone with the slightest amount of political sense needs to be convinced Sarah Palin is a total idiot, here’s proof positive. The Maryland gubernatorial race has been a tight two-way battle between Democratic incumbent governor, Martin O’Malley, a filthy opportunistic big government, high taxes corrupt punk versus his predecessor, Republican Bob Ehrlich, the first Republican to be elected governor in Maryland since the 1960’s, though Ellen Sauerbrey probably got cheated out of the State House in the 1994 election thanks to some Baltimore City shenanigans. Maryland is one of the most securely held Democratic states in the union. Bob Ehrlich accomplished much despite tremendous opposition during his four year tenure including tax cuts; getting construction for a much needed highway in the Washington suburbs approved one that his predecessor, Paris Glendenning attempted to bury under legal restrictions such that it could never be built. Ehrlich also did much to push forward education reform in Maryland. On top of that, there are few politicians as squeaky clean and ethical as Bob Ehrlich. SO WHY THE HELL IS SARAH PALIN ENDORSING HIS PRIMARY OPPONENT, BRIAN MURPHY?

One thing is sure. Sarah Palin knows NOTHING about Maryland politics and how much trouble Martin O’Malley is causing the state. (Really, what does Sarah Palin know about anything as if there were ever a public figure of her stature so devoid of any sign of intellectual curiosity or expression.) Polls show Ehrlich and O’Malley running neck and neck but that’s with strong Republican support. What could be a greater gift to Martin O’Malley than to have the Wasilla Wench inject herself into the Maryland race?

She describes Murphy as “a commonsense conservative and a firm believer in the free market.” Well, duh! that description fits Bob Ehrlich to a tee. Bob Ehrlich is well-known in both Maryland and Washington where he served Maryland’s first congressional district from 1988 to 2002. While he has had to make some concessions realizing just how deeply entrenched Maryland is as a Democratic stronghold, he has consistently shown himself to be a rock solid, pragmatic conservative exercising tremendous fiscal responsibility. Quite frankly, it’s hard to imagine a Republican as skillful as Bob Ehrlich in such treacherous political waters.

A quick look at Brian Murphy’s campaign website shows zero political experience having worked for regional corporate giant, Constellation Energy, and involved in some community service.

There is no question Bob Ehrlich is overwhelmingly a much better choice – a rare gift to the state of Maryland.

Nevertheless, what is Sarah Palin if not good at stirring up chaos and creating a feeding frenzy with the news media with her every move? She is notorious for overstepping her grounds and shooting off her mouth revealing her absent intellect in the most revealing sorts of ways.

Sarah Palin continues to grab the spotlight because she’s good at stirring up chaos. Republicans and now Marylanders must recognize what a dreadful distraction she is and the sooner they hang her out to dry, the better. Let her give her cute little “mama grizzly” speeches but she’d be better off hunting for moose than stalking chaos in a state election where her involvement is not welcome.

Maryland Republicans and independents cannot allow this distraction to upset a chance to eliminate Martin O'Malley who has already demonstrated he intends to wage a filthy campaign, the likes of which Maryland has never seen. We cannot allow someone as ignorant as Sarah Palin and her rah-rah razzle-dazzle get in the way.

A Day of Mourning

On this date, August 4, 1961, an event occurred miles from the American mainland that would decades later threaten the strength and stability of our nation attempting to transform it into something it was never intended to be. Steeped in the ideology of Karl Marx, liberation theology, and corrupt big city machine politics, the very center of American power would be corrupted and disfigured throwing the nation into an unimaginable debt and ending historic programs where American technology and know-how led the world including manned space travel. The effects would be bold on the nation's social order polarizing social classes, ethnic groups, and the races while promoting lawlessness particularly along the southwestern border.

Yes, August 4, 1961, Barack Obama was born in Hawaii, and soon his march on history would begin. We should mark this day in solemn reflection of what our society could be and the tremendous challenges ahead to put things back on course and return power to the American people.

We must commit ourselves to the thorough destruction of the Obama administration and its influence on American life.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sprint Cup 2010: Race 21 -- Ford Finally Wins One for Jack Roush --- Elliott Sadler Surives Horrific Crash

The joy of a long overdue Ford victory will seem small to the lasting image of a car’s engine hurled upon the racetrack, the #19 car impaled into a barrier along the backstretch in one of the most terrifying crashes in recent history.

It’s long overdue and perhaps couldn’t have come an a more opportune time than the race after team owner Jack Roush was seriously injured in an aircraft accident, Greg Biffle brought home Ford’s first victory since last fall’s race in Talladega. Despite lack luster qualifying, Ford finally made inroads in Chevy’s massive domination. Fellow Roush team members were generally more successful too. Carl Edwards finished in 3rd while David Ragan placed in 14th. Matt Kenseth, however, only managed an 18th place finish though made it to the final lap. Richard Petty Racing’s day was surely overshadowed by Elliott Sadler’s horrific crash. Paul Menard had the best finish at 13th with Kasey Kahne not helping his chances of leaping to the chase contenders by his 19th place finish.

The lasting imagine from this year’s August race will not have to do with celebrations but an accident caused by the driver who lead the most laps and looked unbeatable through the middle phase of the race, Jimmie Johnson tapped Kurt Busch sending the #2 Miller Lite Dodge out of control creating a chain reaction which caused one of the most horrific single car crashes ever seen in NASCAR, destroying the #19 Ford throwing its engine on the track. Fortunately, driver, Elliott Sadler, who had just won the truck race the previous day, was only shaken up. The accident certainly speaks highly of the safety improvements in the new race car and use of the HANS device, but it also points to some very significant hazards that must be completed at the Pocono track, some of which were planned after Sadler’s teammate, Kasey Kahne, was engaged in a dreadful crash sending his car airborne and almost over a retaining wall in the backstretch.

The Pocono track needs serious improvements. The track design at the crash site where Sadler crashed is seriously flawed allowing for a high speed head on crash. The retaining wall along the backstretch is way too short and does not use SAFER barriers. Other areas are protected by guard rails. There is too much grassy area close to the racing surface creating further safety problems.

The possible field for “The Chase” is taking shape after Pocono’s results. Mark Martin is the one driver outside looking in with an excellent chance to move into the top 12 standing 34 points out with five more races remaining. The Roush boys and especially Clint Bowyer could tumble. Despite his win, Biffle holds an 88 point margin. Carl Edwards holds on to a 102 point advantage and his teammate Matt Kenseth is up by 118 points.

Dale Earnhardt Junior rests in 14th place -129 behind Clint Bowyer, but to overstep Mark Martin and pick up that many points would demand a level of consistent performance the #88 team just has not exhibited in 2010. While the team can rise up and have a good race at any time, they truly would need to rattle off victories to show they have the medal for serious competition. Michigan, in two weeks, is the site of his last victory. There isn’t one area where the team consistently comes up short. It can be mechanical, driver, or crew related not to mention being in the wrong place at the track to avoid accidents.

Ryan Newman at -138 points back and Kasey Kahne -168 points are two drivers capable of sustaining a surge, but with such wide point margins, too much would have to happen because not only would they have to excel remarkably, another team or teams would have to collapse.

The race started late due to light rain. The starting line up was littered eight "start and park" entries close to 20% of the starting field. Enough of the excuses for these pitiful performers, they do not belong on the track.

Next week, the Sprint Cup tour travels to the road track at Watkins Glen. This contest will be crucial for drivers looking to secure a place in the chase as the track is notorious for shaking up the finishing results.

Weiner: What's in a Name?

Some times there are events in the media that defy commentary. Such is the case with New York congressman, Anthony Weiner's explosion on the house floor last week. Is there any way a reasonable person can consider this tolerable behavior?  In what other forum would such overbearing, rude, out-of-control behavior be tolerated?

Civility has been long gone from Washington, DC, but apparently it still has a long way to go before hitting rock bottom.

Here's the video (loud and disgusting):

Holland, Michigan -- Community in Uproar over Basic Anti Sexual Preference Discrimination Ordinance

Holland, Michigan, a postcard perfect small city on Lake Michigan’s Eastern Shore is the latest city where the battle lines are drawn on the issue of discrimination against homosexuals. The city, nicknamed “Tulip City” for its lavish flower gardens resembling the town’s namesake, Holland (as in the Netherlands) originally settled by Dutch Calvinists, has a population of 35,000. City authorities sought to pass a simple ordinance banning discrimination due to sexual preference or gender identity, what has become an accepted practice through out much of the country. The opposition in this case is fighting the measure with especially spirited zeal backed by the Family Research Council and allegedly Request Food, a local company, whose CEO, Jack DeWitt, has been outspoken on such subjects. Meanwhile, as the measure advances through the city's legal system, similar ordinances are already in place in nearby cities Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids.

The advertisement is printed under the banner, “Is Homosexuality a Civil Rights Issue?” then go on to proclaim, “Pro-homosexual activists want you to believe so. They want Holland to give homosexuals special protections under employment discrimination laws.”

Where are the “special protections?” The proposal addresses forbidding discrimination. They then go on to assert it is not a matter of civil rights arguing, “Most civil rights lawsgrant protections based on characteristics that are inborn, involuntary, immutable, and innocuous (race, color, national origin, and sex) or protected in the Constitution religion). None of these is true of the choice to engage in homosexual behavior.”

Their inference is clear; homosexuality is a choice reflective of some clearly unacceptable values and motives. They then attempt to present a series of popular “myths” concerning homosexuality and refute it with what they claim to be “facts.”

The myths they cite are:

-People are born gay.

-Sexual orientation can never change.

-Ten percent of the population is gay.

-Homosexuals do not experience a higher level of psychological disorders than heterosexuals.

-Homosexuals are seriously disadvantaged by discrimination.

We are not going to go into a big long dissertation on the difference between fact and opinion or decry why so little of the public knows the difference. (Hint – poor public schools incapable of teaching critical thinking skills...) Likewise, we’re not going to provide all the information concerning the validity of these so-called myths much less offer points of debate against the so-called facts Family Research Council. Most of them speak for themselves and embody the very essence of the kind of kind of thinking which justifies anti-gay bigotry.

Why should this discussion ever go any further than why is the private conduct between two consenting adults anyone else’s business? Could anything be a more basic civil right than that? For those who’d argue that hiring homosexuals could create a distraction around the workplace, what would a homosexual do that could rival the distraction of a scantily clad female program in a low cut top or short dress or skirt? Of course, we’ve heard the self-established he-man types talk about what they would do to some “faggot” if one ever made an advance on those guys. Hmm, none of them seem to ever convince anyone else such an advance ever took place. It seems like observation would reveal most such advances are heterosexual white men “hitting on” women they find attractive.

For folks who throw up their hands and don’t know how to weigh in on this subject, in their day to day experience what is more frightening than the virulent expression of anti-homosexual prejudices – loud and boisterous “gay bashing.”

While it might be very difficult for a person to understand another person’s sexual preference than that of his or her own, isn’t the overriding virtue to “live and let live?” We must also ask ourselves how much of person’s private life is another person’s business. Surely, there is much about homosexuality we do not understand. There’s plenty about heterosexuality that is a mystery too. Perhaps some of it is part of our society’s subconsciousness based on some Puritanical heritage.

While the debate on same-sex marriages will surely continue on many levels, we’re long past the stage where a person should ever be denied the fruits of society or employment on the basis of sexual preference.