Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Candidate

By Cathy of Alex

Today, Al Franken was officially declared and certified as Senator of the state of Minnesota. For the record, the election was nearly nine months ago. Norm Coleman ended his legal challenges and stated he would abide by the state Supreme Court's decision.

It so happens that Tim Pawlenty will not be running for the Governor's office in Minnesota in 2010.

I don't think Norm Coleman is going to go fishing for the rest of his life. He'll be back.

Maybe he'll run for Governor, maybe not. But, he will remain a political player. You can count on that.

I listened to the Coleman press conference this afternoon on Minnesota Public Radio's Internet stream. I found it VERY interesting that Coleman made a point out of mentioning, right away, that his wife Laurie, a Roman Catholic, was currently in Rome and was praying a Rosary at the Vatican when the Court decision was announced. Allegedly she even met up with Father Joseph Johnson of the Cathedral of St. Paul in Rome, said Coleman.

In all these years, I've NEVER heard Coleman mention his wife's faith (Coleman is Jewish). Is it possible that Coleman realizes that conservative Catholics are looking for a candidate? Coleman is savvy. He's an experience campaigner. He's not stupid.

You ask: Why should what happens in Minnesota matter? State races effect all of us. The balance of the legislators and executive offices matter. We know this. I expect, no matter who runs in 2010, money will pour in from all over to support the candidate whose agenda they like.

If Coleman runs for Governor he will not have an easy time of it. A lot will be thrown at him and some of it may stick. Plus, the field is huge right now. I've lost count of the number of announced candidates. It's almost easier to list who isn't running. Maybe Mitchell Hadley should run?! He's Catholic, he's got some political experience, he's smart, he's articulate, he's unemployed.....

But, seriously, elections matter. We need to pay attention.

It doesn't end with the election. We need to pay attention all the time. What are our elected officials doing? What aren't they doing?

It matters. Wake up.

Coleman-Franken reminiscent of Iranian Presidential Election

By Bobby

We have heard about the massive protests in Iran where the people supporting Mir Hossein Mousavi, whom most had called the winner, were defeated by totalitarian dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was declared the winner despite by most reports, having fewer votes.

This reminds me of what has happened in Minnesota, where the United States Senate seat that Norm Coleman won is now under scrutiny because of ACORN and other fraud-counters (such as MOVEON.ORG) have worked to seat Al Franken, who had fewer votes.

This election is crucial because should Mr. Franken be seated, the rules of the Senate would likely be changed to ensure the only persons allowed to speak will be leader Harry Reid and his 59 other Senators. This would make states such as Georgia, South Carolina, Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, Kansas, Arizona, and Kentucky to be made irrelevant as Senators from California, Nevada, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico, Hawaii, Virginia, Maryland, and Illinois will be able to run roughshod like monster trucks. Should Mr. Franken be seated, a no-debate, no-discussion Senate would be able to push the entire Obama agenda, and pack the courts that had numerous judicial vacancies caused by Patrick Leahy-led filibusters in the Bush administration filled by Obama judges that would form a clear majority of the judiciary by filling all vacancies. These judges would effectively move the nation's legislative capital to Bruxelles, Belgique as the transnationalist judges preferred by liberals would declare every law of this country they do not feel is right repealed by foreign law, a procedure which would have saved James Terry Roach.

Mr. Roach was a convicted murderer who was 17 when he was an accomplice in 22-year old Joseph Carl Shaw's rape and kill spree near Fort Jackson in 1977 by raping and murdering three people -- a serviceman's wife and a teenage couple. Mr. Shaw then returned to the scene of the crime to have sex with the corpses of the women he killed. For these gruesome crimes, both Mr. Shaw and Mr. Roach were sentenced to death in the electric chair at Central Correctional Institute, for which the two would die, 364 days of each other, from January 11, 1985 (Mr. Shaw) to January 10, 1986 (Mr. Roach). In 2005, the United States Supreme Court ruled European law takes precedence in banning 17-year old murderers from being execuited.

Furthermore, the homosexual, abortion, high taxation, environmental extremist, and other agenda of the Obama Administration, and the Far Left, would become the law as debate and discussion would be banned.

Are we headed to a bigger fight as Norm Coleman, the real winner of the Minnesota election, is shut down by Al Franken, who used the accomplices of ACORN and Iran-style vote fraud, to steal an election to advance the Obama Agenda?

Wish I'd Written That

By Mitchell

Many leaders operate in a comfort zone, where mediocrity is concealed by the size, prominence or wealth of the organization. Sometimes the mere fact of being president, chairman or CEO of a major international company, or being a cabinet minister, or a general or even an archbishop can be enough for you to be recognized as a giant in your field, almost irrespective of how well or how ineffectively you are doing the job. Such people can become over-protected by the infrastructure they inherit. They become self-important and distracted by their title, the acreage of their office, the private elevator, the prominence of their parking space and the sycophancy of their advisers. The endless courtesies and privileges are often highly intoxicating, not just for them but also for their spouses and even for their secretaries, yet they serve only to distract the leader from the key elements of what he or she is supposed to be doing. Power and influence can be destructive and dangerous commodities, and it is therefore not surprising that, when problems arise, many of these people prove unable to deal with them.

Jackie Stewart, Winning Is Not Enough

Monday, June 29, 2009

Billy Mays, R.I.P.

By Mitchell

We often hear it said of something that "this is something that could happen only in America." Which, I think, is why we note the passing of Billy Mays on Sunday.

Billy Mays was a quintessentially American phenomenon. Where else could a commercial pitchman become a national figure, someone recognized and liked around the country, every bit as well-known - if not more so - than the products he advertised? Thanks to Mays, entrepreneurs had a chance to prove that hard work and persistence could pay off, that if you invent a better mousetrap (and advertise it through infomercials), the world really will beat a path to your door. Could there be anything more representative of how capitalism is supposed to work?

He wasn't for everyone, and I don't think it was until he started the commercials for ESPN360.com that I really figured out it was just an act. Billy Mays didn't want you to take him seriously, but he did want you to believe in the products he advertised, because he believed in them. I don't think he would have risked his reputation otherwise.

We got a look at the man behind the pitchman this season during the Discovery Channel series Pitchmen, in which he co-starred with Anthony Sullivan. It was a charming, humorous, and ultimately insightful series that featured a lot of people willing to stake everything they had, and then some, on their belief in a dream - that they could invent a product that would fulfill a need, that would make life just a little bit better for people. Again, that's a sentiment that speaks to the very fiber of America - the idea that this was a land of opportunity, one in which everyone had a chance for success.

I liked that about Billy Mays, and perhaps the obvious sincerity with which he went about his work was part of it. We often hear about how Ronald Reagan was a "happy warrior," but then so was Billy Mays. Perhaps in a different way than Reagan, but a way that was no less American.

Friday, June 26, 2009


By Mitchell

This, it must be said, has been a most strange week; and at some point one has to ask when all of life became a Fellini movie.

Thursday was the pinnacle, of course, with the deaths of two of the great pop figures of recent decades, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. (I was going to call them icons, but Jonah Goldberg provided a proper reason to avoid that terminology.) Fawcett's death was hardly unexpected, and her very public struggle with cancer brought a definite sense of dignity to a life that, as is the case with most lives, had its share of ups and downs.

Jackson's, on the other hand, was from out of the blue (although in the moments after it happened, one could find any number of people saying, in essence, that this was an accident waiting to happen) and the reported scene at the hospital - people weeping, information hard to come by, Jackson songs blaring through the hallways while a throng of people and reporters gathered outside - sounds as surreal as any image from Satyricon or Amarcord. It was a strange end to a sad life, and it is very hard not to pity Michael Jackson for the talent he had, and the strange waste his life appeared to become. Ed McMahon's death earlier in the week was almost forgotten, and you have to think that he deserved better than that.

Oh, and Jon & Kate, who brought televised self-immolation to new heights (or lows), announced they were divorcing. Couple this with the truly bizarre disappearance and reappearance of South Carolina Governor Sanford (as we discussed yesterday), and about all one can say is that it was a good week to be working in cable news.

Nor were we limited to news - the sports world provided its share of excitement. The U.S. defeated top-ranked Italy in soccer, and that must have sent someone scurrying to see if it was snowing in Hell. Formula One, playing against type, actually did something that made sense: Max Mosley (whom we talked about here) announced he wouldn't be running for another term as FIA president, and the renegade manufacturers announced they wouldn't be forming a breakaway group after all. Manny Ramirez, he of the drug suspension, now has his doctors being investigated by the DEA, and MLB says they'll cooperate. Phil Mickelson blew another U.S. Open golf championship, and it seemed that might have been the most normal thing about the week; it was all downhill from there.

I wrote at some length yesterday about how life imitates art, and this must be a final confirmation of the fact. Deists suggest that after the act of creation, God no longer took an active interest in life. Regardless of one's own religious beliefs, the last few days must certainly put a lie to that - for at the very least, Fellini seems to have a hand in the script, which suggests that someone up there is running things.

*For all you TV oldies out there, "That Was The Week That Was."

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Life Imitates Art

By Mitchell

I’ve often said, in relation to the news, that “you can’t make this stuff up.” Well, here’s one that you not only could make up, but someone already did. Almost, that is.

Now, it’s not unusual to see a movie or television program with a plot that seems suspiciously to have been “ripped from today’s headlines,” but how often do you see a real-life story that seems to have been ripped off from fiction? It occurs to me that, in reading the tragic/absurd/outrageous story of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, that this is the very kind of tale we might dismiss as ridiculous if we saw it in, for example, an episode of “Matlock.” Yet here is a true-life story that truly sets itself up for this kind of treatment.

In the TV movie The President’s Plane is Missing (1973, based on the novel by Robert Serling), the president’s plane – aka Air Force One – goes missing from radar screens. It isn’t missing for long, however, as the wreckage of the plane is soon discovered, the crash killing everyone on board including, presumably, the president. After all, he was on board, wasn’t he?

As you might expect, this story isn’t nearly that simple.

(Warning: Plot Spoilers Ahead!)

The surprise of The President’s Plane is Missing is that it isn’t really the President on the plane, you see. He’s off in secret conducting sensitive negotiations regarding a treaty that could defuse a potential nuclear war with China. Oh, that man whom everyone saw getting on Air Force One? Wasn’t him – it was an imposter (a relative, as I recall) whose purpose is to trick everyone into thinking that the President is headed out west for a little R&R in the midst of this Cold War tension. Meanwhile, the President can conduct the negotiations personally, without the glare and pressure of the press and others.

If you’re still with me here, then it’s obvious that the crash of Air Force One (due to sabotage) throws a bit of a monkey wrench into the President’s plan. Soon enough, it becomes clear that the President wasn’t on that plane at all – it’s not the plane that’s missing, it’s the President! The negotiations are at such a sensitive point that he can’t afford to come out in public and reassure the nation of where he is – so he has to let the mystery fester. Throw in an incompetent, insecure Vice President who assumes the mantle of Acting President with a determination to engage the Chinese in war, and you have the stuff of which potboilers are made.

Although there are some fairly preposterous twists and turns, it winds up being a pretty entertaining tale of politics, intrigue, and espionage, with a healthy dose of insight into what makes airplanes fly – and crash. (Which is to be expected from Serling, a noted aviation expert as well as the brother of Rod.) In the end though, both readers (of the novel) and viewers (of the movie) are left thinking that The President’s Plane is Missing is a gripping beach read, or a couple of diverting hours on television, and nothing more. A good story, in other words, but ridiculous.

Or is it?

When Governor Sanford was first discovered to be “missing,” the immediate question raised by many was what would happen if there was an emergency in South Carolina and the governor couldn’t be found. State law, apparently, requires a transfer of power from the governor to the lieutenant governor (if the governor is going to be traveling, for example) in order for the LG to exercise any executive power. Failing that, the speculation was, the state could have been up a creek if anything had happened while Sanford was incommunicado. Was he out on the Appalachian Trail, as his aides first reported? No, it turned out he was in Argentina, and – well, the rest of the story kind of goes downhill from there.

While it’s true that Sanford was incredibly incompetent in this whole situation (not to mention a real knucklehead), he also presented validation to a score of screenwriters, authors, and others who over the years have cooked up the kind of quasi-outlandish plots we saw in The President’s Plane is Missing. I mean, there are easily a half-dozen story ideas alone in this situation.

There is that natural disaster idea that so preoccupied everyone at first, that South Carolina is hit by a hurricane while the governor is out, and there’s nobody around to take charge. Sanford could have been injured or kidnapped in Argentina, with nobody knowing where he was. (Thrown in some kind of secret illness requiring medicine that he needs to live, and you’ve really got a story.) He and his mistress could have been involved in a auto accident that kills the mistress. (In that case I suppose he could place a call to Ted Kennedy for advice, but that’s a different story altogether.) Or it could have been Sanford killed or injured in the crash. (see: Fordice, Kirk.) As you can see, the possibilities are endless – and that’s without having to even touch Serling’s plot.

(As an aside, we haven’t even mentioned Fletcher Knebel’s novel Vanished (which, in 1971 was made into the very first two-part made-for-TV movie) dealing with a top presidential aide who – well, vanishes. As I recall, the plot of this story closely parallels that of Serling’s story, in that the vanished aide is actually conducting sensitive, top-secret negotiations. And perhaps that’s what Sanford should have been doing; as Jim Geraghty commented upon learning that Sanford was in Argentina, he’d better be returning with some long-lost elderly Nazi in handcuffs. But we digress.)

It is rare that one is handed such an opportunity in real life. We’re often fond of saying that art imitates life, but in reality life imitates art just as often. We should, one supposes, be grateful to Governor Sanford for providing us with the suspension of disbelief that so many of the summer blockbusters require. We can now go to the movies, watch television, and read potboiler novels without guilt, secure in the knowledge that what we’re really doing is researching how our national leaders operate.

The Return of Enron

By Bobby

We remember the scandals from an energy company in Texas known as Enron in the early years of this decade. Now we are learning that ghosts of Enron are in play with the proposed "cap and trade" bills that are prevalent now in Congress, and with the one-sided nearly filibuster-proof majorities in both chambers of Congress are willing to pass this appalling bill that continues the fringe environmentalist agenda of this country that led to the demise of the United States automakers by imposing a policy that promotes the only two types of energy that the Administration wants in this country -- wind and solar.

A letter that I received from a group of fellow investors in SCANA referenced their attendance at the 2009 SCANA shareholders' meeting, where they learned a minimum of nearly 13 km/h (8 MPH) was required constantly for wind power to even be usable, and that is at the bare minimum. It makes you wonder in calmer places where we do not receive such wind gusts why such a mandate was imposed. You may have to place these wind farms near the freeway, where it could be a road hazard, but liberals have the microcar mandate that will negate any advantage caused by larger vehicles creating wind power.

Are we headed to creating a federal Enron energy policy with cap and trade?


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Now, This Outsourcing Has Gone Too Far

By Drew

News item: South Carolina Governor Sanford Admits to Affair With Argentinian Woman. And my question to him is this - aren't American women good enough for you?

First, jobs; now, political mistresses. When will it all stop?

Opera Wednesday

By Drew

Regular readers might recall that John Adams has never been one of my favorite composers. It's not that his music is bad necessarily, just that it never seems to go anywhere.

Last season the Met telecast Adams' Doctor Atomic, the story of Oppenheimer and the creation of the atomic bomb, staring Gerald Finley. Now, I'm not sure I'd run right out and see it again - Terry Teachout referred to it more as an oratorio than an opera (something I'd like to get into in more detail some day) - but there were some striking moments in it, none more so than Finley's aria to close the first act, "Batter My Heart."

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Age Quackery in the Hospital: Reiki

By Bobby

Recently, Ingrid noted she was sent to a physical therapist for a neck injury, and was outraged at the "therapy" that featured strange music and therapy that she later learned was "reiki". She was not pleased and called the clinic that recommended she be sent to the reiki treatment centre. She called the occultic quackery for its cost and inefficiency that never helped her, but cost her in money with no treatment except for the New Age mind thinking.

At this rate, the Reiki and other forms of New Age thinking in the hospital are too dangerous for hospitals. What can you do when New Age treatment is the only thing in the hospital, and things that are known to work are not sued in favour of things what will not work?

Ed McMahon, R.I.P.

By Mitchell

It isn't easy, one supposes, to be a second banana. It's even harder to do it well, or with the grace and style one saw from Ed McMahon. He truly was a partner with Johnny Carson - even though everyone knew Johnny was top dog, the thought of Johnny without Ed was a tough one. Ed McMahon was the perfect foil, the straight man who fed the great lines to Aunt Blabby and Carnac the Magnificent:

If there was a difference between Johnny and Ed, it was that while one had a hard time imagining Johnny without Ed, one could - and did - see Ed without Johnny. Star Search, blooper shows, the Labor Day telethon with Jerry Lewis - Ed had a whole side career without Johnny.

Ed McMahon's television career didn't start with the Tonight Show, as was detailed in When Television Was Young, the delightful book to which he lent his name. He was a TV celebrity in Philadelphia long before turning up with Carson, first on Who Do You Trust and later on Tonight. He was not only a great sidekick, he was a wonderful pitchman, often handling the Tonight commercials live, and ready with the ad lib whenever one of those Alpo dogs didn't quite cooperate as planned. The jokes about his drinking were legendary and, one hears, somewhat exaggerated. His presence on TV was always comforting, reassuring, familiar. He felt like part of the TV family, and in a sense he was, being a trusted late-night guest in our homes.

Ed McMahon saw a lot of change in television over the years, and it has changed even more since he left as a regular, although he was never really off the air. Even today, the day Ed McMahon died at the age of 86, he lives on through DVDs, tapes, and - best of all - memories.

Heigh-Ho, Ed!

Monday, June 22, 2009

High Noon For Formula One

By Mitchell

When last we saw Max Mosley, president of FIA (the world automobile racing governing body), he was managing to extricate himself from a sordid Nazi-role-play sex scandal, thus confirming his status as the ultimate survivor. It now appears, however, that his time may have run out.

For the last few months, a battle for control of auto racing's premier class, Formula 1, has been brewing just below the surface. The battle pits Mosley and FIA against the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA), made up of the primary F1 manufacturers - Ferrari, McLaren, Toyota, BMW, Brawn - in other words, the cars that most gearheads want to see race. Mosley has proposed drastic changes to F1 - a spending cap being the most significant, though by no means the only change. Mosley insists that in the current economic climate, such changes are necessary for F1's survival.

FOTA, in response, has fought the draconian spending change, and has come out against other changes as well, including regulations that would make the cars more identical, less technologically advanced, and - well, taking away much of what makes F1 what it is. The manufacturers insist that Mosley's changes, if approved, would kill F1.

Over the last week, the issue has come to a head, with FOTA announcing their plans to start a breakaway racing season next year. Such a move threatens to plunge the sport into a disarray similar to that which came as a result of the American open wheel racing split a decade ago, from which IndyCar has yet to recover.

FIA is meeting in Paris on Wednesday, and word is that Max might find himself ousted, in which case FOTA might - just might - come back into the fold. Race fans are split on it; while many recognize the threat to the sport posed by a breakup, many more have simply had it with Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone, the president and CEO of Formula One Management (and a man with his own anti-fan club, as Bobby will readily attest). We should know more after that Wednesdsay meeting, but everyone seems to agree that Mosley is in serious trouble, and this time there may be no way out. If Max goes, the sport may be saved.

Now, if you're like me - in other words, both a big fan of sports and an avid follower of politics - then F1 is a dream come true, combining the best (or worst) of both worlds. Formula One is, without doubt, the most political sport on this planet, a combination of Watergate and the Super Bowl: race results are overturned by rules violations that are discovered hours after the fact, cars refuse to race because of safety concerns, some races are decertified but go on anyway - you name it. Does Ferrari really control FIA? Are officials out to get McLaren? Is there, in fact, a bias against British racing teams? Will the United States ever get an F1 race again? In-fighting, name-calling, and lawsuits (both real and threatened) are a way of life. Truly, there is nothing more glorious in all of sport. Fans are drawn to the off-track drama as much as they are the races (many of which, to be honest, offer far less excitement as well). It is, literally, a fascinating thing to see, in the same way that a train wreck keeps your eyes glued to the scene. And only F1 could possibly offer up a scandal on the scale of Max Mosley's - and then go on to overshadow it.

If you detect any sarcasm, cynicism or parody in my words, don't make too much of it. F1 really is one of the world's most exciting sports, and there's no doubt the politics add some spice to it. This is what keeps us coming back for more - that and the talent displayed by the world's greatest racing drivers.

And, of course, to see what Max is up to next. You can't get that kind of entertainment anywhere else.

A June Weekend of Dignity

By Bobby

Some thoughts came to me over this week while reviewing news in regards to causes as Christians. A major Protestant denomination's doctrine of faith states the following:
In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death.
(The Baptist Faith and Message, 2000 edition, Section XV, "The Christian and the Social Order".

Social Engineering - Redefining Marriage for Federal Employees. President Obama's Social Engineering project made two huge advances this week. First, in violation of the aforementioned article, he is defying the Defense of Marriage Act by declaring homosexual partners "married" for benefits purposes for federal employees, defying the standards of the federal law and also many states which have constitutional amendments and laws that declare spouses, and the respective benefits, belong only to persons of the opposite sex who are married to that person -- and no "transgendered" people -- that declare in that state spouses must be of the opposite sex. The decision of the Obama Social Engineering Project to appease the sexual deviants shows once again that the Tim Gill money that has infiltrated local legislatures is now clearly in the hip pocket of Washington. Some believe this is one more step into pushing for their false marriages into the federal level, or even legalising polygamy, which is illegal. Remember in American history, Utah had to declare marriage as "one man" and "one woman" and ban polygamy in order to be admitted as a state. Polygamy was rampant in Mormonism (LDS) and currently in the Islamic world.

Social Engineering - Forcing Microcars Down Our Throats. It's well known now that liberal activists use social engineering to force the minicars and microcars down our throats. The "Cash for Clunkers" earmark in the "defense authorisation" bill is another example of liberals trying to use our defense authorisation bills to force their troubling agenda through. This is a government request to force us into the microcars they've wanted to force us to drive, and wean us out of our trucks, especially since the 2007 Pelosi energy act. Ford executive Alan Mulally has recommended fuel prices should be raised (by taxes) to two dollars a litre (now we see why they supported the microcar mandate; GM and Chrysler kept with trucks, and Obama seized them, reminiscent of Governor Sanford being seized in that he had to take Porkulus money when he refused), and foreign automakers' praise of the green auto standards, have shown what supporting this administration will do. Worse yet, two years ago, the defense authorisation bill was used to raise the minimum wage 40% to appease the labour unions in charge, which has been responsible for much of the unemployment turmoil in this country.

NRLC Charlotte 2009. Taxpayers would pay for abortions under plans of the socialised medicine plans that we have called "HillaryCare" or "ObamaCare". Rep. Christopher Smith (left) mentioned at the National Right to Life Convention Closing Dinner in Charlotte Saturday night of the dangers of such. Not only would we receive rationed health care of the likes in Europe, our taxpayer money would be used to pay for killing people, and one proposal floated would require all obstetricians to have killed at least one child (did not mention chemical, D&E, D&X, or other forms) through an abortion before being certified as an obstetrician. He also ran off a list of what he called "The Abortion President" and the numbers of pro-baby murder people in his cabinet, and described the mother of the "birth control" movement Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood) and her Eugenics movement, especially with the racist views of Miss Sanger. In times reminiscent of 1984 style doublespeak, he described the doublespeak of the abortion lobby:

  • "Safe" -- Never safe.
  • "Legal and Rare" -- Massive numbers of abortion, anywhere, at any time.
  • "Reproductive Care" (used as part of socialised medicine plans) -- Baby murder factories and full support.

Mr. Smith noted too that the President is forcing other nations to accept legalisation of abortion, but what I observed was while he wants other nations to adopt baby murder as full and legal for all nine months, he is having other liberal nations' laws override our laws passed by our state legislatures and federal legislators in all aspects of law, henceforth why I have often referred as the nation's legislative capital moving to Belgium. Furthermore, the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) has turned a blind eye on Peking's automatic abortion and eugenics policy in the People's Republic as part of the one child policy, comparing it to Hitler-era Germany's eugenics policy, and calling it a total capitulation of human rights abuses.

When you've been at the dinner table with Terri Schiavo's siblings (Bobby Schindler at the 2009 NRLC Convention, Suzanne Vitadamo at the 2006 SCCL pre-march dinner), been in the front lines of learning the agenda over twelve March for Life events, and even have heard Sean Hannity speak on this at the 2001 event in that venue, what do you expect?

The winner of the oratorical contest, Elizabeth Trisler, even mentioned that Jay Leno helped support the Feminist Majority Foundation at an April 29 fundraiser. This organisation is designed to force as many children to be killed as possible. She also said that her (then) four-year old brother could identify a "fetus" as a living child, something this government cannot identify. Another point she referenced was a 2004 report where four times as many mothers died in abortions than died in childbirth (101 vs 27).

We have ourselves a great up and coming speaker once she gets through college and law school, if she can keep her faith.

The dinner was expensive but was the only event I could attend because of work (missed out on all the goodies, which I regret). Nevertheless, Christopher Smith's speech was huge, and the oratorical contest reminds me every school needs a pro-life oratorical contest in order for us to send our local winners to a regional contest, and be able to represent our state at the next NRLC in Pittsburgh. Of course, a nice dinner that could have been prepared by a member of the staff of a Fuji Television series (let's say it -- allez cuisine!), an NRLC intern who had great piano skills on that Gibson piano (Gibson, which has been in the piano business in 2004, shut down its US piano factory in Arkansas last year and has all pianos made in China after purchasing a state-owned firm in 2006) provided by the hotel (The adults had better music! The kids party was kids dancing to pop tunes of a bygone era and even into today, and was far worse than what I remember) playing during our meal, and the great speeches made it worth the wait, although some didn't like the hotel which held this year's convention. It was the same building as the last time NRLC was in the Queen City, but undergoing a sale and change in name meant many things weren't the same. (The last time it was in Charlotte, I attended it and saw Sean Hannity. The youth are smart enough that when I started to quote the theme song of the radio show, they knew it was Sean!)

Oh, by the way: please bring back the Carmina Burana to Sean's opening.

Protecting Baby Killers but not Feline Killers. My cat finds herself thinking as much as Rush Limbaugh's cat. But when an 18-year old who kidnaps and kills cats is prosecuted while so many who kill babies under the guise of "abortion" are being allowed off the hook, what gives? Why can't the babies be protected like the cats?

Ken Jennings Admits It. The three million dollar game show legend who won on Jeopardy! five years ago has assisted with Sony once again on a game show project. This past season, he was on Sony's Who Wants to be a Millionaire as an Ask the Expert panelist. Now he's admitted to taping a New York pilot for the proposed 2009 CBS revival of another Sony game show, Pyramid.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Watkins Glen Wants Fans to Donate Instruments to Schools: Takes Shot at Wild Thing's Guitar Shot

By Bobby

In light of Kyle Busch's impersonation of a rock musician (right) while winning the Federated Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Lebanon, TN June 6 (which should have been worth a $25,000 fine and 25 points) by smashing his trophy (traditionally in the Nashville market, feature race winners win guitars; when the Indy Racing League ran at the track, drivers talked about wanting the Gibson guitar), Watkins Glen International announced discount tickets for the August 9 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 350-kilometre race at the circuit for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Any fan who brings in a new or used musical instrument (pianos, winds, symphony instruments, et al, probably) to the track's ticket office will have the right to purchase at discount tickets to the Watkins Glen event. All instruments collected through the drive will be donated to local music organizations and local schools for use in their music departments.

Now that's a smart move to take a shot at the silly rock musicians (and professional wrestlers, plus the cartoon "Quick Draw McGraw") that taught us smashing a guitar is the right way to have it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Opera Wednesday

By Drew

From the 1992 world premiere production of John Corigliano's seldom-performed opera The Ghosts of Versailles (based on characters from The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro), here is an all-star cast: Renée Fleming as Rosina, Stella Zambalis as Cherubino, Teresa Stratas as Marie Antoinette, and Häkan Hagegärd as Beaumarchais (author of the "Figaro" plays, and a financier of France's role in the American Revolution). This is "Come Now, My Darling."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Out of the Past

By Mitchell

I don't often talk about myself here. For one thing, I lead an incredibly boring life. But I've been in a somewhat reflective mood lately. As some of our regular readers know (through personal conversation), I have recently become - temporarily, please God - unemployed. Among other things, this has given me more time to get into mischief than usual.

One of the things people tell you, when you're looking for a new job, is to network. You'd think that a guy who edits a blog would have no trouble networking, but alas such is not the case. So I've been pounding the keyboard lately, trying with all my might to connect with as many people as I can, friend and acquaintance alike. Such is the state of my desperation that I've even allowed someone, who shall remain nameless other than that she goes by the handle Cathy of Alex, to talk me into joining a networking site.

Curiosity being what it is, it didn't take me long to start looking for people I new, both at this site and at others. In doing so, I eventually ran across some of my old classmates from high school. Now, I have to explain that I was a transplant from Minneapolis to a very small town for grades 7-12 (what we old-timers used to refer to as junior and senior high school), and most of the kids in my class had all grown up together. As such, it was a tough area to crack. I eventually did so, I think (I was voted Most Likely to Succeed, which just goes to show you can fool all of the people some of the time), but it isn't as if I've stayed in touch since then. I haven't been back to that small town since I moved to college, hadn't attended any of the reunions, and in fact there are only a handful of classmates with whom I've come in contact.

Now, suddenly, here come some of those names from out of the past. And the thing was, even though I'd only known them for six years, there wasn't a name I saw that didn't produce some kind of memory. Many good, some not-so-good, most of them neutral. But they were there - one of a quiet boy whom I probably hadn't thought of for twenty-five years; another the name of a classmate who had faced down a serious illness; another who actually ran across my name while I was organizing a 4th of July parade and she was doing the publicity for one of the sponsors. There weren't that many of my classmates on this list but, as I say, I had a memory for each one of them.

It made me wonder - do they have any memories of me? After all, they'd all grown up together, but I'd been the outsider, the one who had come in for a brief (albeit brilliant) moment, only to disappear, returning from whence he came. There's no particular reason for me to stick in their memories. I'm not saying I was forgettable, but after thirty years with seldom a word (discouraging or otherwise), it's an understandable thought.

I suppose I'm going to have to follow this road. Curiosity, as I say, plus in the world of networking one never knows who might know someone who knows someone else. Can't take a chance on missing something.

If this surprises me, I really should wonder why. As most of you know, I write a great deal about television of the past, among other things. Shows that were only seen once, events that came and went, still made that indelible impression on the young skull filled with mush. Why, then, should not real, live people have the same effect? Is the life of someone you knew for a half-dozen years more important than a program you saw one autumn night in 1968? Maybe not, I suppose, but I'm not sure that's the right answer.

Anyway, one has to assume that the impact of the here-and-now is a lasting one, and so I suspect (and fear) that a good many of these people do remember something about me, and I cringe at what that might be. And yet I'm about to dive into that memory pool, not knowing quite what waits for me underneath those waves. Could be sharks, could be an oyster with a pearl. Might even be a job. Who knows? But go we must, because one of the few things we know for sure is that the past is bound to us forever, for better or ill; there's no way to escape it, so we might as well embrace it.

Friday, June 12, 2009

All the World's (Failures) a Stage

By Drew

Happy Friday everyone.

Our esteemed leader Mitchell sent me this email last night. I think he wanted me to do something with it, since he feels he's already been posting enough for one week - especially since he's technically still on sabbatical until the end of this month. (And on that score he keeps muttering something about "publishing later this year" or something like that, so I guess we'd better keep our eyes open.)

Anyway, what he sent me was a link to a quote from business writer Jim Collins, who has a new book out on how good companies go bad. Among other things, he lists five stages that lead to a company's self-destruction: (link courtesy of Stephen Spruiell at NRO)

Stage 1 is hubris born of success. The company's people become arrogant, regarding success as virtually an entitlement.

Stage 2 is the undisciplined pursuit of more — more scale, more growth, more acclaim. Companies stray from the disciplined creativity that led them to greatness in the first place, making undisciplined leaps into areas where they cannot be great or growing faster than they can achieve with excellence, or both.

Stage 3 is denial of risk and peril. Leaders of the company discount negative data, amplify positive data and put a positive spin on ambiguous data. Those in power start to blame external factors for setbacks rather than accept responsibility.

Stage 4 is grasping for salvation. Common "saviors" include a charismatic visionary leader, a bold but untested strategy, a radical transformation, a "game changing" acquisition or any number of other silver-bullet solutions.

Stage 5 is capitulation to irrelevance or death. Accumulative setbacks and expensive false starts erode financial strength and individual spirits to such an extent that leaders abandon all hope of building a great future. In some cases their leaders just sell out. In other cases the institution atrophies to utter insignificance.

Mitchell accompanied this with a cryptic note asking if this reminded me of "anyone you recognize?" I think we probably all do, whether a past or current employer, or a company we've witness hit the wall and sink without a trace (or even more frequently, to self-destruct spectacularly, creating more flames than the immolation scene from Götterdämmerung.

But, as NRO noted in linking to Collins' points, this doesn't apply simply to companies. It can apply to countries as well - and presidential administrations. Look at each of those five stages carefully. We may be looking not only at the past (as in a post-mortem), but at the future as well. And it isn't a pretty picture.

Regardless of the context, as always, we must keep in mind that those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. We have before us the blueprint for failure - will we choose to learn from it before it's too late?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wish I'd Written That

By Mitchell

Lisbon: And you know what’s weird about these guys? None of them seem to give a damn. A colleague of theirs falls out of the sky and they seem OK with it. Is that guilt or indifference?

Jane: Corporate brainwashing. Turns them into robots. Grief isn’t productive, and that’s all.

Lisbon: I don’t buy that. People make up their own minds. You can’t brainwash them.

Sure you can. That’s what these corporate retreats are all about. It’s primitive brainwashing via group suffering. It’s like office karaoke or fraternity hazing.

Lisbon: How so?

Jane: When the individual is humiliated, their perceived value of the group is raised.

I went on a retreat when I got promoted to head of the unit. I mean, I wasn’t humiliated. I wasn’t brainwashed.

Jane: So you say.

- Patrick Jane to Teresa Lisbon, The Mentalist, written by Bruno Heller.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Opera Wednesday

By Mitchell

Robert Merrill and Roberta Peters had some serious star power. Peters, who made her Metropolitan Opera debut at the age of 20, was vivacious, cute, perky - and enormously talented. Merrill could do it all, from high opera to "Autumn Leaves" with Victor Borge, to singing the national anthem for his beloved New York Yankees. Together, they made for a dynamic duo both on- and off-stage (they were briefly married in the early 50s), and were fixtures on popular television, appearing often with stars such as Sullivan and Carson. Ah, those were the days.

Here they are singing the conclusion of the aria "Dunque Io Son" from Act I of Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia in a 1962 broadcast of NBC's Bell Telephone Hour - a wonderful program that brought the best in classical music to the television audience through first-rate productions. (Little-known fact: every episode of the Bell Telephone Hour, from 1959 to 1968, was taped in color - a very forward-thinking move.)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Talk to the Hand (and What's Attached to It...)

By Mitchell

I've been in something of a classic TV rut lately. (I know, what else is new?) I might even get an article or two out of it, although quite frankly I think my claim that buying new DVD sets and TV Guides "for research purposes" is starting to get a little thin.

At any rate, check out this opening from one of the best TV Westerns of the late 50s and early 60s - Have Gun - Will Travel. Starring the brilliant Richard Boone, Have Gun was the story of Paladin - an intellectual, sophisticated gentleman who lived in high style in San Francisco, eating the best foods, associating with the best in society, well-read, speaking many languages. He was also a gun for hire, as evidenced by his calling card, with the words "Have Gun - Will Travel" set against his logo, a black chess paladin. Whenever he went to work, his wardrobe changed from an expensive suit to the black hat, shirt and pants of the gunman. Paladin held to a high standard of ethics, even turning against those who hired him should he find that he had been misled.

Have Gun - Will Travel existed in syndication for many years following the end of its original run on CBS. In 1968, it was singled out as one of the most violent programs on television in the witch hunts that followed the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. Today, such a claim would be laughable - the violence in a typical episode would pale in comparison to the opening credits of programs such as The Sopranos.

Speaking of opening credits, here's the memorable opening of Have Gun - Will Travel, with the ominous music and imposing figure of Boone, heard but not seen, addressing the audience with a line of dialogue from the upcoming episode.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Opera as a Metaphor to Society?

By Bobby

It continuously hit me throught performance Saturday at the Festival dei Due Mondi USA (as the great Gian Carlo Menotti would say) in Charleston (a short drive from home, considering I have friends there from college, and that's where I usually attend everything from minor league hockey -- Congratulations to the Stingrays for that third Kelly Cup -- to professional opera) that Gustave Charpentier's Louise. set to an original libretto by the composer, had me wondering about the current State of the Union, and how the opera's main characters symbolised this nation when thinking of the people (Louise), the values of the Grand America (her parents), the attractiveness of the Obama Administration and Staff (Julien and the Bohemian lifestyle of the people in Paris), and the battle between the worldviews.

As I watched the verismo opera, Louise, her parents, Julien, and the entire Paris, I had myself thinking how art could truly imitate life. I could see how an entire country (Louise) is lured into the "dark side" by the attractive Obama administration (Julien) and its values (the entire Bohemian lifestyle of Julien and his gang) going after the entire factory where Louise worked), and the resulting anger of those in support of strong Biblican values (the parents). I also noted unfortunately how the "free love" thoughts of that era could have led to some of the ugly culture of today, especially with the "freedom to marry" of the librettist that unfortunately has become code for the deviants who want to rewrite marriage to fit their own feelings, instead of what's in the Bible.

The Bohemian lifestyle, shown with the burlesque outfits and questionable behaviour, of Julien and the poets society that lured those workers, is seemingly to me shown as one which I would never want to be, while the parents are just angry at what has happened to their daughter, and it seemed that the parents' anger at the end with that has happened to Louise reminded me of what many have seen with the people (Louise) being attracted to the bad values of the Administration (Julien).

Sometimes, opera does seem to be a metaphor for our society. Louise, her parents, and Julien show what I've seen in this country with the Obama administration -- loss of common sense in favour of the attractiveness of something that's dangerous, and wrong.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Quality of Mercy

By Drew

We seem to be on a classical music bent this week, so let's continue with the first and third movements of the Kyrie from Bach's Mass in B Minor. As was the case with the Verdi Requiem, the Bach Mass is not meant for liturgical use. Nonetheless, this represents one of the most profound of readings of the phrase, "Lord, have mercy."

The first movement, lasting nearly ten minutes, contains the "shock and awe" of the Last Judgment; one can almost imagine the appearance of the Archangel Michael, towering before us.

The second movement, containing the phrase, "Christ, have mercy," has always been - to me - a secondary part of the three-movement Kyrie; hence, we won't be dealing with it here. It does, however, with its female chorus, introduce the angelic concept that we see fulfilled in the patented Bach fugue that comprises this third movement, lasting a little less than four minutes. There is a sinister, dark tone in the deep male chorus, lightened by the hope contained by the female voices. Which, come to think of it, neatly bookends the pleading, yet confident, voice with which we utter the phrase. The orchestra is the Munich Bach Orchestra, conducted by Karl Richter.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

More Gill Money: More False Marriage

By Bobby

Ah, yes.

Tim Gill's money trail is at it again. New Hampshire has now fallen to the Gill Project's false-marriage ideals with the passage of a bill that legalises the false "marriage" ideals of San Francisco's "Any Two-Some Newsom," as Dr. Weiner says. And once again, an investigation turned up the homosexual activist's cash in the hands of the ruling liberals in the Granite State. While the New Hampshire Motor Speedway is all about "Live Free and Race," the homosexual activists have a "Don't Let Anyone Live Free, Let's Put Our Facist Policies In" ideal. "If you're pro-family and support the Bible, you must die. You have no right to live" is the philosophy of the state leadership, bought and paid for by the homosexual activist Mr. Gill.

And it's a plan that he worked in many states, and now has more in his sights. I found he had contributed to a lesbian candidate in Charleston who lost, and nearly claimed the Congressional seat thanks to that cash. That candidate was an heiress to the empire that built a North Carolina supermarket that is now Belgian, and remember, Belgium is a country that accepts the false marriage.

Please, it's time we stop this push to false marriage. Can anyone stop this dangerous train?

Star Tribune
Citizen Link

Get the Point

By Drew

A friend of mine was complaining recently about one of those "team building" exercises that companies are so fond of. This one involved going to a outdoors camp where, he grumbled, they'd get to "sing camp songs and practice hatchet throwing." "I can't carry a tune," he said darkly, "but I wouldn't mind having a shot at the hatchet throwing."

As it turned out, the team building was cancelled due to "budget considerations," but that he wouldn't completely miss out on the experience, I offer you one of classic television's most famous clips:

Notice how, during all the laughter, you can literally see Carson's mind at work, the wheels turning to shape the one-liner to follow. And when he does spring it, it's carefully timed to coincide with the dying-down of the original laughter, prompting an even bigger roar from the audience. Carson not only knew how to think on his feet, he had the timing of a comic genius - which, in fact, he was.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Opera Wednesday

By Drew

OK, it isn't actually an opera, but Verdi's Requiem is generally found in the opera oeuvre because of its length, its operatic style, and its dazzling solo parts. Its theatricality prevents it from being appropriate for liturgical use, but it is a dazzling, powerful piece. Here's a clip from the harrowing Dias Irae, conducted by Herbert von Karajan.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Inside Scoop

By Ray

If you are at all inclined to read political gossip, one of the best that I have come across is Tom Roeser, a man born in Illinois but who got his degree some 60 years ago or so from St. John's, who dabbled in politics for a time, worked for a Minnesota Governor and a Congressman, and ended up back in the Chicago area where he ended up the publisher of a large suburban newspaper, and became one of the grand poobahs of Illinois political columnists. He's a joy to read.

Last week Roesser had a piece on Congressman Walter Judd (a medical doctor and a missionary) and Governor Elmer L. Anderson (an entrepreneur) who were two of the finest politicians that Minnesota has known. And lest you think it's all about politics with Rosser, some of his finest writing in his eponymous (I love that word) blog has been about Father Ernie, his philosophy professor up at St. John's in the 40s. Delightful and surprisingly instructive about the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas, mind you. Check it out.

And if you are interested in the gang that grabbed our president off of the streets of Chicago, made him an Illinois state senator and then a U.S. Senator and then the President of the United States, well, Tom Roeser has a lot of the inside story. You can find him at www.TomRoeser.com I won't give you any details on what Roeser has to say about Chicago politicians. I might end up in jail with him.

Mediocrity Isn't Good Enough

By Mitchell

In the interests of full disclosure, let me state at the outset that I consider myself a tried-and-true capitalist. If there's a better economic system functioning right now, I haven't met it.

Having said that, longtime readers of this site also know my healthy skepticism (read: contempt) for "Corporate America," which I consider more of a culture or a way of thinking than I do an economic entity. Suffice it to say that Corporate America, in my opinion, is its own worst enemy, and in many ways an enemy to all of us.

It was, therefore, with a great deal of interest that I read a piece by David Goldman (aka "Spengler") entitled "Mediocrity and Corruption in Corporate America." If there's anything in this piece I didn't agree with, I haven't been able to find it. A few choice bits:

Mediocrity breeds corruption. The business world is crawling with affable, industrious, intelligent people with nothing to distinguish them from ten thousand other affable, industrious and intelligent people, but who very much would like to be rich. . . These are the people most inclined to cheat, for they know that they have nothing unique to offer the world, and their ascent depends either on luck or unfair advantage. They cheat in every way possible, whenever they have a chance. One way they cheat is to steal from the stockholders by front-loading profits and back-loading risks. That is what destroyed the banking system. At the top of the market in 2006-2007 when risk compensation was stupidly low, bank managers made their return-on-equity numbers by adding leverage on top of leverage. Every one of them knew that it was a dumb and dishonest thing to do, but they all hoped that they would be promoted by the time the problem blew up in someone else's lap.


Dogged-as-does-it, steady-as-she-goes, unimaginative CEO's of the sort [David] Brooks' praises sat in front of spreadsheets, demanding that their subordinates make their numbers. Without keen insight, they simply piled on risk just as the portfolio hit the fan. The most imaginative, intelligent, and daring firm on Wall Street, namely Goldman Sachs, took out massive short positions against the subprime market. So did J.P. Morgan. Wonder why they are coming out on top? About those who came out on the bottom, a respectable silence is appropriate.

There is only one truly effective way to control corporate corruption, and that is through creative destruction. Let the wild men, the warped geniuses, the chip-on-the-shoulder mad entrepreneurs loose on the established corporate world. Let big corporations go bankrupt right and left. Drive out mediocrity with the scourge of innovation. Let new companies emerge, and then go bankrupt when something better comes along. Real genius, as Heinrich Heine once rhymed, pays cash at the bar. The oddball entrepreneurial types don't cheat. They see life as a game and want to play it by their own rules. They are out to prove that they are smarter than their peers, and to cheat would be to miss the point of the game.

And I'll add that this is by no means limited to what we think of as "Big Business." It can be found throughout the business landscape, from non-profits to small companies to - oh, say, automakers. Goldman is spot on in saying that mediocrity has to be driven out - there's far too much of it at every level of management for as far as the eye can see. As Pat Buchanan once famously said, Corporate America has to "workship at a higher altar than the bottom line." Mere competence would, at least, be a start.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Obama's Social Engineering of the Auto Industry

By Bobby

I read an older issue of The Limbaugh Letter where Rush Limbaugh warned over a decade ago in his newsletter about an upcoming liberal war on the sport-utility vehicle.

Around the same time, the Big Three of General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler knew that despite government requests of them to manufacture small cars, they were not providing profits to the automakers the way production of minivans, sport-utility vehicles, crossovers (the Jeep Grand Cherokee is one), and trucks have to them, considering the durability. The automakers' advertising campaigns were built on trucks and their durability, as we have seen with country singers, NFL players, and Sprint Cup drivers marketing on trucks.

Environmentalists were very unhappy with the trend towards trucks because they demanded fuel economy to become the only standard, and wanted a push towards smaller vehicles, similar to what happens in Europe.

Meanwhile, the sales charts in the United States clearly favoured the truck market. Americans wanted vehicles that had rock-solid backbones in ladder frames, the ability to carry cargo that allowed them to tow a boat to their favourite fishing spot, their bicycles for a mountain bike climb, a kayak for rafting, or golf clubs to carry a foursome to the gold course. Businesses -- both small and large -- need trucks to carry the load for their work duties. Families, who could not purchase cars because of the government's fuel economy policies that made family wagons impossible, decided to buy vans and truck-based sport utility vehicles that could carry the load that the passenger cars, weakened by the standards of the CAFE and Gas Guzzler Tax standards, could not.

Environmental activists such as the Earth Liberation Front, Earth FIRST!, and others were tired of America's push for trucks. In some cases, trucks were torched, slashed, and damaged at dealership lots by such activists.

When the price of fuel increased, concerns grew about vehicle sales as people began looking at the weaker passenger cars to save fuel costs. Some legislators wanted to open major oil patches closed by liberal activists since the Carter Administration, only to be shot down by filibusters.

In 2006, the environmental activists, along with other liberal activists (homosexual special rights groups, unions, et al) took back the legislature, effectively naming Nancy Pelosi the new de facto leader of the United States. Under the Pelosi Administration, they put down the coup de grace against the US automakers, enforcing a new 35 MPG fuel economy standard designed to close the loophole of trucks that had become the cash cows of the automakers. Furthermore, they refused to drill for oil, and endorsed inefficient alternative energy that made little, if any, sense.

That, along with a recession caused by the economic policies of the Pelosi Administration, drove down American automakers who built their entire fortune on trucks. Liberal leaders knew the trick. Automakers had built their entire fortunes on trucks, and with the election of Barack Obama and the supermajorities in Congress, the activists had the perfect storm to brew.

Meanwhile, the American vehicle sales were clearly tipping towards trucks. Trucks were now over 50% of vehicle sales, and a pro-environmentalist administration could easily work on putting the brakes on US automakers that built their products based on trucks. The liberal leadership wanted the auto industry like the judicial system -- based on Modern Europe. Europe is full of minicars and microcars, with subcompacts being the "regular" size vehicles in the continent.

They could now use social engineering to attack the automakers. Ford caved first, by agreeing to discontinue production of the "Panther" line (Town Car, Crown Victoria), and converted a huge revenue-making truck plant to one that produced plug-in Focus. The Focus would become Ford's largest car, with the importation of the Fiesta minicar and Ka microcar in the planning stages.

But when General Motors' Rick Wagoner, who has clearly been the architect (along with Bob Lutz and others) of basing their lines on trucks, found the President, it was the President who fired the leaders on the spot, seizing the automaker in an attempt to bankrupt them and force them to produce the type of cars Ford produces, and Japanese automakers Toyota (iQ, Prius, Yaris) and Honda (Insight, Fit) produce.

Chrysler also had the same fate, considering their innovations have been truck-based, save for the Dodge Viper, since the 1980's, with the K-Car (which gave us the minivan), and the 1994 Dodge Ram truck, which rejuvenated the brand's trucks. Once again, the President demanded microcars, and forced a sale to Italy's Fiat, where they could force down microcars such as the Punto and Topolino, produced in Serbia at the former Zastava plant that gave us the Yugo. (Fiat bought Zastava in 2008.)

Sadly, the evidence is clear that crashes involving the type of cars the Obama Administration is forcing on what had been Detroit's three major automakers (one volunteered, two by force) is going to create severe problems. I have been in two nasty crashes, and was able to walk away from each. In the government-mandated microcars, the drivers would be severely injured, with death nearly certain from the worst of the crashes. Many of these crashes would require a driver to have a six-point safety harness, a crash helmet, and a HANS device just to survive, since basal skull fractures are almost certain to happen with a microcar colllides with a mid-size vehicle or larger.

What we are seeing with the automakers is that the President is using his social engineering and socialist policies to force Americans into the 2-seat microcars of Europe because they are the only vehicles he wants; he wants to legislate the family sedan, truck, SUV, and business vehicles out of business in order to support these environmentalist policies of the fringe of Gore, Hollywood, and other activists. He wants to outlaw America's love affair with the automobile and trucks of the past 50 years and replace it with a socialist engineering project similar to the Trabants of East Germany or Volkswagen Beetles of the 1930's.

When the only vehicles left on the market are Trabants, the Administration will have successfully defeated the automakers, and the people. But it shows how environmentalist activists are in excessive control of this nation to appease its worst offenders.


Wall Street Journal
NRO - Planet Gore
NRO - Planet Gore

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