Restoring the Sacred

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lloyd Marcus on American Thinker

Stop Allowing The Left To Set The Rules

A great piece by Lloyd Marcus on American Thinker. My niece Carla's friend, Melissa, loves Lloyd Marcus; so do I, Melissa.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Brainy Bunch & The Banana Republic

The Brainy Bunch by Thomas Sowell on
National Review Online

Dr. Thomas Sowell is a national treasure. If, after reading the above article, you want to experience more of the best and most understandable writing on Economics, Education, and related topics, check out his website for a listing of his books, articles, speeches and more. Here's a link:

I Know this Kid!

This is the 5 year old San Antonio Flash riding on the back of that fierce looking sheep deep in the heart of Texas. He came in second with a score of 76.

Here's a photo of this newly minted mutton buster with his mutton bustin medal.

Pravda understands what the NYT and WP refuse to acknowledge

This article appeared in the English edition of Pravda (Russian State Newspaper).

American capitalism gone with a whimper

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American descent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

True, the situation has been well prepared on and off for the past century, especially the past twenty years. The initial testing grounds was conducted upon our Holy Russia and a bloody test it was. But we Russians would not just roll over and give up our freedoms and our souls, no matter how much money Wall Street poured into the fists of the Marxists.

Those lessons were taken and used to properly prepare the American populace for the surrender of their freedoms and souls, to the whims of their elites and betters.

First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics. Americans know more about their favorite TV dramas then the drama in DC that directly affects their lives. They care more for their "right" to choke down a McDonalds burger or a BurgerKing burger than for their constitutional rights. Then they turn around and lecture us about our rights and about our "democracy". Pride blind the foolish.

Then their faith in God was destroyed, until their churches, all tens of thousands of different "branches and denominations" were for the most part little more then Sunday circuses and their televangelists and top protestant mega preachers were more then happy to sell out their souls and flocks to be on the "winning" side of one pseudo Marxist politician or another. Their flocks may complain, but when explained that they would be on the "winning" side, their flocks were ever so quick to reject Christ in hopes for earthly power. Even our Holy Orthodox churches are scandalously liberalized in America.

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama. His speed in the past three months has been truly impressive. His spending and money printing has been a record setting, not just in America's short history but in the world.If this keeps up for more then another year, and there is no sign that it will not, America at best will resemble the Wiemar Republic and at worst Zimbabwe.

These past two weeks have been the most breath taking of all. First came the announcement of a planned redesign of the American Byzantine tax system, by the very thieves who used it to bankroll their thefts, loses and swindles of hundreds of billions of dollars. These make our Russian oligarchs look little more then ordinary street thugs, in comparison. Yes, the Americans have beat our own thieves in the shear volumes. Should we congratulate them?

These men, of course, are not an elected panel but made up of appointees picked from the very financial oligarchs and their henchmen who are now gorging themselves on trillions of American dollars, in one bailout after another. They are also usurping the rights, duties and powers of the American congress (parliament). Again, congress has put up little more then a whimper to their masters.

Then came Barack Obama's command that GM's (General Motor) president step down from leadership of his company. That is correct, dear reader, in the land of "pure" free markets, theAmerican president now has the power, the self given power, to fire CEOs and we can assume other employees of private companies, at will. Come hither, go dither, the centurion commands his minions.

So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a "bold" move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too.Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK's Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our "wise" Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.

Again, the American public has taken this with barely a whimper...but a "freeman" whimper.

So, should it be any surprise to discover that the Democratically controlled Congress of America is working on passing a new regulation that would give the American Treasury department the power to set "fair" maximum salaries, evaluate performance and control how private companies give out pay raises and bonuses? Senator Barney Franks, a social pervert and his Marxist enlightenment, has led this effort. He stresses that this only affects companies that receive government monies, but it is retroactive and taken to a logical extreme, this would include any company or industry that has ever received a tax break or incentive.

The Russian owners of American companies and industries should look thoughtfully at this and the option of closing their facilities down and fleeing the land of the Red as fast as possible. In other words, divest while there is still value left.
The proud American will go down into his slavery with out a fight, beating his chest and proclaiming to the world, how free he really is. The world will only snicker.

Stanislav Mishin) 1999-2009.. +PRAVDA.Ru;. When reproducing our materials in whole or in part, hyperlink to PRAVDA.Ru should be made. The opinions and views of the authors do not always coincide with the point of view of PRAVDA.Ru 's editors.

Source: Pravda.Ru

Monday, September 28, 2009

Why Are We Letting Iran Catch Up?

Why Are We Letting Iran Catch Up? » The Foundry

The Heritage Foundation poses a very good question. One wonders how convinced the Poles and Czechs are that, according to administration officials, "Iran had made more progress than anticipated in building short- and medium-range missiles that could threaten Israel and Europe than it had in developing the intercontinental missiles that the Bush system was more suited to counter."

What comes to mind is a famous quote from former U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and Democratic Senator from New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “Intelligence is not to be confused with intelligence.”

Is Obamacare really paid for?

That's Marguerite Higgins, Director of Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation, once again speaking truth to rhetoric about Obamacare. As the columnist and author, Ann Coulter, is wont to say: "Dispute the facts."

What did George Shultz really mean?

This is my latest submission to American Thinker.

What did George Shultz really mean?

The American Thinker Blog is linked on the right side of this one under My Blog List.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sundays are for Beauty - Vivaldi

The Four Seasons is a set of four violin concertos by Antonio Vivaldi. They were composed in 1723, and published in 1725. The piece is Vivaldi's best-known work, and is among the most popular pieces of Baroque music.

Anne-Sophie Mutter is a world renown violin virtuoso, born in 1963 in Rheinfelden, Germany. She began playing the piano at age five, and switched to the violin soon after that. In 1980, she made her American debut with the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta.

She makes beautiful music, and Sundays are for Beauty.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tara and Bella

This morning I told my sister-in-law, Margaret, I would not be posting today because I needed a day away from the horrible state of affairs in which we find ourselves. It will take some time to recover from the apology for America and Americans speech delivered at the United Nations by our president this past Wednesday, but maybe this video can help get our minds off it for awhile.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Unilateral - a Definition

President of the Republic of Poland Lech Kaczyński

President of the Czech Republic Václav Klaus

Function: adjective

1 a : done or undertaken by one person or party b : of, relating to, or affecting one side of a subject : one-sided c : constituting or relating to a contract or engagement by which an express obligation to do or forbear is imposed on only one party.

Remember when the previous administration organized a "coalition of the willing" prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003? The administration was accused, daily, of acting unilaterally in the invasion. The coalition, though, consisted of 49 nations. Of those 49, only four besides the United States contributed troops to the invasion force (United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark and POLAND). 33 nations provided troops to support the occupation after the invasion, and six of the 49 original members have no military. Such an operation does not constitute a unilateral action according to the above definition.

What does constitute a unilateral action, according to the definition, was the decision to renege on an agreement with a loyal ally (POLAND) to install a missile defense system in that country. The Czech Republic got the same treatment. As if we were trying to add insult to injury, the decision was announced on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland (September 17, 1939).

Whether this obvious capitulation to Russia, at the expense of two long-time loyal allies, produces any positive results will be interesting to see. The point is that nowhere have I read or heard any charges of unilateralism regarding our decision to unilaterally cancel an agreement that both Polish President Lech Kaczyński and Czech Republic President Václav Klaus thought was final.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Leader who loves his country and its people

Would that our president had represented our country and us when he spoke at the United Nations General Assembly on September 23, 2009 (but it was all abut him). Benjamin Netanyahu is a man of courage who puts his country above himself. He sincerely loves his country and would never disparage it before a gathering of rogue dictators. Shouldn't we expect the same from our president?

It becomes more obvious every day that we have a president who doesn't like America or Americans very much, and I don't think that's the kind of CHANGE people voted for; surely not.

Here's a transcript of President Obama's speech:

Ukrainian Patriotism

Kseniya Simonova (born 1985) is a sand animator from Ukraine. She was the 2009 Winner of Ukraine's Got Talent, constructing the above animation that portrayed life during Ukraine's Great Patriotic War against the Germans in World War II.

The following is from internet sources:
In the above video, she recounts Germany conquering Ukraine in the second world war. She brings calm, then conflict. A couple on a bench become a woman’s face; a peaceful walkway becomes a conflagration; a weeping widow morphs into an obelisk for an unknown soldier. Simonova looks like some vengeful Old Testament deity as she destroys then recreates her scenes – with deft strokes, sprinkles and sweeps she keeps the narrative going. She moves the judges to tears as she subtitles the final scene “you are always near”.

More Krauthammer on Afghanistan - and Presidential Perfidy

From the transcript of Fox News Special Report, September 21, 2009 (video not available):

Bret Baier:
What about Afghanistan and the decision that lies ahead for the president? Let's bring in our panel, Fred Barnes, Executive Editor of "The Weekly Standard," Mara Liasson, national political correspondent of National Public Radio, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer — Charles?

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Well, I think what's really important here are two dates. The first is August 30. That's when the McChrystal report was sent to Washington. That is three weeks ago. Obama has not had single meeting since then.
He says he hasn't reached a conclusion, I suppose because he is spending all his time preparing for Letterman and speeches to schoolchildren to focus on a war in which our soldiers are in the field getting shot at and, as the president himself is saying, without a strategy.

Now, the other date is the 27th of March, when Obama gave a speech in the White House flanked by his Secretaries of Defense and State, in which he said, and I will read you this, because it is as if it never happened, "Today I'm announcing a comprehensive new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan."
So we for six months have been living under the new Obama strategy, of which he says today we have none. And his next sentence is, again in March, "This marks the conclusion of a careful policy review," not the beginning, the end of the policy review.
So it has been his policy, and now he tells us we don't have a cart and we don't have a horse.
What's happening here is he announced the strategy of counterinsurgency in March. He said at the time that we cannot afford an Afghanistan that slides into chaos. He said "My message to the terrorists who oppose us, we will defeat you," And now he's not sure he wants to defeat them.

Send in the Clown.

It now appears that President Obama is on the verge of ignoring the recommendations of General Stanley McChrystal and his boss, General David Petraeus, joined finally by the until now reluctant Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullin, to send additional troops to Afghanistan lest that “foreign contingency operation” end in failure. Instead of listening to mere generals, Obama appears ready to accept the recommendation of that internationally recognized military and foreign policy expert, Joe Biden.

Such speculation, which came to light yesterday, occasioned two immediate reactions in my thought processes:

First, I heard echoes of John McEnroe’s now famous line from his tennis playing days: “You cannot be serious!”

Second, it brought to mind the many times in Shakespeare’s plays when the King would accept the advice of his Fool over advice proffered by his advisors - except some of those Fools offered good advice.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What if Iran follows Honduras?

Unless you've been living in a cave in Afghanistan, you must be aware that the Obama administration, with the strong backing of our secretary of state, has thrown Honduras under the bus for legally, under their constitution, expelling their now former president, Jose Manuel ZELAYA Rosales from their country. He was trying to make himself president for life in emulation of his good friend Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, by calling for an illegal referendum. The rest of the story is all over the web if you're interested. Suffice to say, that we are on the wrong side of the issue, and have even gone so far as revoking the visa of Acting President Roberto Micheletti, and the nine members of that nation's Supreme Court. So, the Acting president of an ally of the United States cannot come to this country for the ongoing meeting at the United Nations, but Hugo Chávez will speak at the meeting. This is a scandal.

You also must know of the still ongoing demonstrations against the "president" of Iran by the Iranian people; it's been ongoing since the uprising caused by the phony election that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims to have won. The Obama administration seems to have lost its voice, and, if it is doing anything to assist the new revolution, it is doing it extremely covertly. Ahmadinejad, by the way, will also address the United Nations General Assembly at its meeting tonight.

Now a question: Should the Iranian people succeed in ousting Ahmadinejad, would we recognize the new government or be guided by the recent precedent set by our shoddy treatment of Honduras? Just a question.

On Timely Treatment

If anyone (including the president) tells you that the health care reform legislation being proposed in Congress will not lead to delays in needed treatment being administered, tell them you know better.

Follow-Up Questions Never Asked (2).

During last Sunday's blitz on the talk shows (excluding Fox News), President Obama was asked, during his CBS interview with Bob Schieffer, about a leaked report that General Stanley McChrystal was asking for 45,000 additional troops in Afghanistan, warning that the failure to provide the troops would result in failure. The following is from the transcript:

Schieffer: Well if he asked you for that many troops, you're going to have a hard time saying no, are you not?

Obama: Let's be clear, my central focus is, what are we doing to protect the American people and the American homeland? Afghanistan and Pakistan are critical elements in that process but the only reason I send a single young man or woman in uniform anywhere in the world is because I think it's necessary to keep us safe. And so whatever decisions I make are going to be based first on a strategy to keep us safe, then we'll figure out how to resource it. We're not gonna put the cart before the horse and just think by sending more troops we're automatically going to make Americans safe.

Follow-Up Not Asked: Mr. president, you are obviously aware of your overwhelming responsibility when sending a "single man or woman in uniform anywhere in the world," but wouldn't that also make you responsible for keeping those young men and women already sent as safe as possible and as well equipped as possible? How would you explain to the parents of a young man or woman who does not return from Afghanistan that you had not acted on the professional (rather than political) advice of your top generals and sent the additional troops who could have been watching the back of their son or daughter?
In his interview the same day with George Stephanopoulos of ABC, Obama got into a debate over the definition of the word "tax." Stephanopoulos finally read the official definition of "tax" from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, and Obama's reply was reminiscent of the famous presidential retort: "It depends on what the meaning of the word "is," "is." Stephanopoulos had called the mandate to purchase insurance a tax increase, and Obama replied in his usual way. The following is from the transcript:

OBAMA: No, but… but, George, you… you can't just make up that language and decide that that's called a tax increase.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I… I don't think I'm making it up. Merriam Webster's Dictionary: Tax…"a charge, usually of money, imposed by authority on persons or property for public purposes."

OBAMA: George, the fact that you looked up Merriam's Dictionary, the… definition of tax increase, indicates to me that you're stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise, you wouldn't have gone to the… dictionary to check on the definition. I mean what...

Follow-Up Not Asked: OK, Mr. president, since you do not agree with the definition provided by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, what exactly is your definition of the word "tax."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

General Petraeus for President

Our nation has never been so bereft of leadership: That virtue does not exist presently in the Congress or in the White House. We are losing our way because of this lack of leadership, and there is only one man who can stop our decline, but he says he's not interested in politics - all the better!

We need to rally behind this American hero, and appeal to his love for our country - another virtue in short supply in Congress and non-existent in the White House. Should the general change his mind and agree to run, it might be a good idea for him to run as an Independent so as not to be beholden to either of two parties that have failed us so miserably, while spending their time and energy fighting each other at our expense.

For now, just consider the proposition. A proven leader in the White House who is more interested in preserving the republic than in his own self-aggrandisement sounds like a great idea to me.

Krauthammer on Afghanistan

If you don't watch Fox News Special Report at 6:00 PM ET, you really should. The show features, and ends with, The Panel, with members such as Steve Hayes and Charles Krauthammer - the most astute political commentator on television. Krauthammer's comments last night on the same topic are not yet available, but will be posted here as soon as they are.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Madeleine Albright - A Sovietphile, Who Knew?

Remember Madeleine Albright? She was our 64th secretary of state, appointed by President Bill Clinton. In 2000, she presented Kim Jung IL ("Dear Leader" of North Korea) with a basketball autographed by Michael Jordan, which was arguably the most memorable accomplishment in her career at State. We spoke earlier of politicians who don't really like America too much, but she gets a special award in that category. Turns out, Albright is a hopeless Sovietphile, and doesn't even like our form of government very much. She is an obvious globalist, and I can't think of a harsher pejorative to level at her. She, like her friend Al Gore, would interpret E Pluribus Unum as one of many rather than as: out of many - One. Neither she nor Al believe in American exceptionalism: We're just another country in the new world order.

She recently spoke at a forum in Omsk, Siberia, and Powerline reports that, according to Pravda (a Russian news source), her speech surprised the audience. (The emphasis in the below excerpt is mine.)

Madeleine Albright said during the meeting that America no longer had the intention of being the first nation of the world.

Ms. Albright started her speech in Russian. "Hello and thank you! It's a pleasure for me to be here," she said in Russian. Albright wrote in her autobiography that she was trying to learn some Russian during the 1960s.

The former US Secretary of State surprised the audience with her speech. She particularly said that democracy was not the perfect system. "It can be contradictory, corrupt and may have security problems," Albright said.

America has been having hard times recently, Albright said.

"We have been talking about our exceptionalism during the recent eight years. Now, an average American wants to stay at home - they do not need any overseas adventures. We do not need new enemies," Albright said adding that Beijing, London and Delhi became a serious competition for Washington and New York.

"My generation has made many mistakes. We give the future into the hands of the young. Your prime goal is to overcome the gap between the poor and the rich,' the former head of the US foreign political department said.

Powerline added this:

By the way, since "overcoming the gap between the poor and the rich" is the world's number one priority, do you suppose Albright waived her speaker's fee, which is listed coyly as more than $40,000? No, I don't think so, either.

A prediction from popblogger: Hillary Clinton will not go down in history as our worst secretary of state.

Sundays are for Beauty - Bach

That's the Freiburg (Germany) Baroque Orchestra performing J. S. Bach's third Brandenburg Concerto. He wrote six of them and they are widely regarded as among the finest musical compositions of the Baroque era. Most readers of this Blog are very familiar with the second, which served as the theme for William F. Buckley's Firing Line debate show on PBS for so many years.

The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra has been in existence since 1987, and performs around the world. This chamber ensemble is a specialty, and even if you prefer horns to strings (as I do, but I love that harpsichord), you have to admit they make beautiful music. Have a beautiful Sunday.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Follow-Up Questions Never Asked.

Did you ever watch an interview during which an answer by the interviewee cried out for an obvious follow-up question, only to be frustrated by the failure of the interviewer to ask it? Of course, when the interviewer is a thinly disguised cheerleader for the interviewee, we can't expect obvious follow-up questions to be asked, as they could tend to unmask the skillful obfuscation in the initial answer.

Two recent failures to ask obvious follow-up questions of the president continue to bother me:

1. The president, having been asked (as have many members of Congress) whether he and his family would opt for the government/public health insurance plan for their health insurance should that option be a part of any health care reform, answered something like this: Well. I'm the president of the United States, and I am followed by a doctor everywhere I go, etc, etc.

Follow-Up: I understand that, Mr. president, but someday you will no longer be president, so will you, today, pledge that the day you leave the White House you will enroll your family and yourself in any government/public option for health insurance that you and Congress are telling us will be so good for us? Please answer yes or no.

2. We've all heard the president explain that one of the ways he is going to help pay the astronomical costs associated with his health care reform is by cutting $250 Billion in "waste, fraud, and abuse" from medicare and medicaid.

Follow-Up: Exactly when did we discover that there was $250 Billion in "waste, fraud and abuse" in those programs; where did that figure come from, and why, if there is so much "waste, fraud, and abuse," are we not at this very moment doing everything possible to eliminate it?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Remembering Americans who loved and supported America.

When you have seven minutes to spare, please watch this video of a time when Americans came together for a common purpose. That spirit still lives throughout America, but unfortunately elected officials in Washington do not always share the same feelings. Much of that can be corrected in 2010 at the ballot box, and, should term limits ever be given a real chance, things can get better and stay that way. Those elected officials who simply do not like America are easy to spot; they're the ones who refuse to support maintaining the strength of our military, and are quick to criticize America at every opportunity. It's past time to demand that anyone who seeks your vote, has to, at the very least, pledge allegiance to the United States of America.

The video was forwarded by my friend, John Askins, in Tallahassee.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh, No! Is Jay Nordlinger a Racist too?

The inestimable Jay Nordlinger, National Review Senior Editor, writes a post on National Review Online today that possibly too succinctly touches on the missteps of the current administration. He does not even mention the newly developed reticence on the part of the president to pursue victory in the "good war" in Afghanistan - the one he criticized his predecessor for abandoning in favor of a "war of choice" in Iraq.

Here's a link to the post:

Dealing with What Has Come - Jay Nordlinger - The Corner on National Review Online

My All Time Favorites - Greatest American Hero

Blatant Duplicity on Health Care

That disparagement of Hillary Clinton's health care plan while she was opposing Barrack Obama in the primary elections in 2008, was used in an Obama 2008 campaign mailer. It appeared today in a Wall Street Journal editorial that pointed out what has become the hallmark of the current administration - duplicitousness. The editorial goes on to state:

The centerpiece of the Obama-Baucus plan is a decree that everyone purchase heavily regulated insurance policies or else pay a penalty. This government mandate would require huge subsidies as well as brute force to get anywhere near the goal of universal coverage. The inevitable result would be a vast increase in the government's share of U.S. health spending, forcing doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and other health providers to serve politics as well as or even over and above patients.

As ridiculous as it is to mention it, the WSJ risks being accused of racism for printing such facts,
but apparently that newspaper still believes in furnishing its readers with information that will help them understand the political process and how adversely it can effect them.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Time for Truth on the 9/12 Tea Party

That's Pamela Geller; she's the Blogger, Atlas Shrugs (her Blog is linked on the right of this one). Pamela pulls no punches and takes no prisoners. The below link gives credence to the adage: A picture is worth a thousand words; in this case we can make that a million.

Don't miss the captions under the pictures.

Thank you, Mr. Carter, for fueling non-existent flames.

That man is a former president of the greatest country on the face of the earth - even if he does not agree with that description of the United States of America. He seems, for a long time now, to be obsessed with disparaging the moral fabric of our country while simultaneously building the reputation of rogue regimes from Syria to North Korea. There are a number of things that could be said to describe ones feelings about him, but let's leave the name calling to people of his ilk. Suffice to say that until 2012, he will maintain his title as the worst American president in our history, and, should the current occupant of the White House grow in office and shun the radical Left wing that put him there, Mr. Carter's position as #1 will be preserved.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

ACORN Story Grows But Mainstream Media Refuse to Cover It

ACORN Story Grows But Mainstream Media Refuse to Cover It

The above was posted today on Andrew Breitbart's Big Government Blog. People who still trust, and are wedded to, the major media outlets most likely never have heard of ACORN. Very Scary.

Shared via AddThis

Sweden is Pro Choice- of Schools

Remember these kids from an earlier post on School Choice? We called them "Victims of Duplicitous Demagogues." Turns out if they lived in Sweden, they would actually have the freedom of choice as to which school they want to attend - which leads to real competition among the various schools in the country. The prior post was made, on April 30, 2009, and was titled: Victims of Duplicitous Demagogues, Part 2. It contains a letter to the editor of the Wall Street Journal concerning the abandonment of kids like these by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and President Obama. I was unable to provide a link, but you can use the search box on the right. Just type in "Duplicitous Demagogues," and scroll down to Part 2 to read the letter.

A piece on The Heritage Morning Bell today discusses how a socialist nation (Sweden) actually offers school choice to all the students in the country, while our soon to be socialist nation denies this opportunity to our kids. Here's the piece that appeared today on the Foundry - the Blog of The Heritage Foundation.

In socialist Sweden, universal school choice allows every parent to choose the best school for their child. The voucher program, which has been in effect since 1992 and was created to tackle the kind of problems plaguing the U.S. educational system, provides families with the opportunity to send their child to any type of school they like – public, private, religious, or even for-profit. Stuart Butler, Heritage Vice President of domestic policy studies, explains in Washington Times:
These independent schools, like the public schools, get a voucher payment for each child. They compete vigorously with one other because the money follows the child to the school of his or her choice. Schools must satisfy their customers … or lose them.
While schools must adhere to the Swedish national curriculum and testing, they are free to design their own programs and implement any teaching style they see fit. This arrangement has led to high levels of satisfaction among parents as well as a thriving private school market:
The growth of the competing private sector has been dramatic. Before the voucher program, less than 1 percent of Swedish children attended private schools. Now it is 10 percent. At the senior high school level, it is 20 percent. About one in five Swedish schools is now private, and roughly 10 percent of the private schools are church-based.
Swedes have somehow managed to do what the United States has been unable to do – placate the teachers unions, which vociferously oppose school choice. But while socialist Sweden has provided families with the opportunity to receive the best education possible for their children, lawmakers here at home shamefully deny such opportunity to American children. Butler concludes:
But it is ironic - and embarrassing - that if the 216 low-income D.C. children now effectively being barred from going to private school lived in socialist Sweden, they would be able to exercise choice in a free-market school system.
Lance Izumi of the Pacific Research Institute also highlights some of the logistics of the Swedish voucher system in a video op-ed in the New York Times. “We implemented competition in education…anybody can use their voucher to choose any school,” states Peter Fyles, CEO of Internationella Engelska school.
The universal school voucher system has worked beautifully in Sweden, providing families with choice and children with educational opportunity. If President Obama and Education Secretary Duncan want to stay true to their promise to do “what works” in education, Sweden certainly provides an effective template.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Forget Google. Try BING

American Thinker Blog: 'Google News' or 'Obama News'? (updated)

Lest anyone think that the Google search engine is not a political stooge for certain types of government (remember Google has already stooped to co-operating with China in the censorship of its content, which will prevent the Chinese people from learning too much truth), a reading of the above linked piece by Paul Shlichta on The American Thinker Blog, might engender some experimentation with the new Microsoft search engine: Bing. In case you're interested, here's a link:

Here's an excerpt from the American Thinker piece.

On Saturday, September 12, 2009, President Barack Obama spoke before about 15, 000 people at a healthcare rally in Minneapolis. A few hours earlier, a crowd of between 70,000 and 1,200,000 citizens gathered in Washington, DC to protest excessive federal spending and intervention. I think we can safely conclude that any Tibetan monk or Zulu, blissfully unaware of American politics, would nonetheless conclude that the second event was at least as newsworthy as the first.

They'd be wrong. Between 2:00 and 4:00 PM PDT of that day, I monitored the Google News website, which in recent years has acquired some of the aura of omniscient impartiality that the New York Times once enjoyed. As of 3 PM, here's how the two stories were treated:

"Obama Takes to the Road to Promote Healthcare Reform": 14,488 news articles

"Tea Party Protesters March on Washington": 126 news articles

I'm definitely giving BING a tryout.

Sundays are for Beauty - Bing Crosby

This is another clip from my all-time favorite movie: Going My Way, the highest-grossing picture of 1944, and the Academy Award winner for Best Picture that year. The previous clip was posted on Sundays are for Beauty - Part 13. Here's a link:

(In 2004, Going My Way was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.")

Swinging on a Star also won the Academy Award in 1944, for Best Music, Song. Those were the days - beautiful days.

Have a beautiful Sunday.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lloyd Marcus on The Tea Party Express

On Dealing with Terrorists

That's Judea Pearl, father of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal South Asia bureau chief who was abducted and brutally murdered by terrorists in Karachi, Pakistan, Jan. 31, 2002. Mr. Pearl is a professor of computer science at U.C.L.A. He published, in the Wall Street Journal, today an edited version of a letter he sent to the three task forces, set up in January 2009, by President Obama, to review and recommend strategies concerning various aspects of the Guantanamo detention facility. We can only hope that Attorney General Eric Holder, who to date seems determined to protect the non-existent rights of terrorists, will take the advice of Professor Pearl, and put the safety of our country and its citizens before his misguided idea of constitutional rights for terrorists.

Dr. Thomas Sowell's quote recently posted on this Blog is appropriate here:

So many “rights” have been conjured up out of thin air that many people seem unaware that rights and obligations derive from explicit laws, not from politically correct pieties. If you don’t meet the terms of the Geneva Conventions, then the Geneva Conventions don’t protect you. If you are not an American citizen, then the rights guaranteed to American citizens do not apply to you.

Here is link to Professor Pearl's piece:

Friday, September 11, 2009


SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

Here SHE is, the USS New York, made from the World Trade Center! Notice the two twin towers on top. It was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center.

It is the fifth in a new class of warship - designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.

Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite, LA to cast the ship's bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept 9, 2003, 'those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence,' recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there.

'It was a spiritual moment for everybody there.'

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the 'hair on my neck stood up..' 'It had a big meaning to it for all of us,' he said. 'They knocked us down. They can't keep us down.. We're going to be back.'

The ship's motto?

'Never Forget'

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Finally, Something to Cheer About in 2009

Last night one of the nicest guys ever to play Major League Baseball tied another of the nicest guys ever to play Major League Baseball by getting his 2,721st hit as a New York Yankee. That other nice guy is Lou Gehrig, the Iron Man of the Yankees. The story of Gehrig's life was made into a great movie: The pride of The Yankees, in 1942.

Derek Jeter exemplifies what the Nuns at St. Timothy's always drilled into us: You can judge a man by the friends he makes. Derek Jeter's best friend on the new York Yankees is Jorge Posada (another of the nicest guys ever to play Major League Baseball).

An Interesting Question on Last Night's Speech

Scott, at the Powerline Blog, poses a very interesting question after reviewing the president's speech before a joint session of Congress last night. Here's a link:

Obama Misrepresents Insurance Case

In last night's speech before a joint session of Congress, the president accused others (straw men, as usual) of misrepresenting the facts, he outdid those straw men in his own misrepresentations. Check the below link to the Sweetness & Light Blog.

Obama Misrepresents Insurance Case | Sweetness & Light

Shared via AddThis

Obama: Pass the Bill or people will die. Really?

Rick Moran of The American Thinker Blog had this to say about the drama involved in the president's speech before a joint session of Congress last night.

American Thinker Blog: The 'news' made in the speech

Shared via AddThis

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My All Time Favorites - MAGNUM P. I.

Linda Douglass: Queen of Misinformation

Bob Moffit of The Heritage Foundation has caught White House Spokesman Linda Douglass spewing misinformation (apparently that's what we pay her to do) about the government take over of the health insurance industry.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Listening to a Liar by Thomas Sowell

Listening to a Liar by Thomas Sowell on National Review Online

Thank God for Dr. Thomas Sowell. The above video was made prior to the election of Barrack Obama, and could not be more prescient. Peter Robinson, the interviewer, is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution, and a former speechwriter for Ronald Reagan. He is the man who wrote the famous line: "Mr. Gorbachev, Tear down this wall!" for President Reagan.

The above article by Dr. Sowell was published on National Review Online yesterday.

Fact Checking the White House

Fact Checking the White House: Congressmen Did Opt Out of Public Option -The Foundry

The Heritage Foundation is on top of the health care debate more than any other organization. The video in the above link discusses yet another, shall we say, misstatement by a White House official concerning health care reform. The spokesman is Linda Douglass. Remember her? She's the one who wanted you to report anything "fishy" you might have heard about Obamacare (from friends or neighbors) to her at the White House.

Shared via AddThis

Monday, September 7, 2009

More on the Release of the Pan Am Bomber

Rick Moran, writing on The American Thinker
Blog, has some follow-up on the release of the Pan Am 103 Bomber that you won't see in any of the Main Stream Media. Here's a link to his piece:

Methinks he doth protest too much

The initial reports on the "compassionate release" by the Scots were covered in an earlier post on this Blog. Here it is:

That's Libyan leader Col. Muammar al Qaddafi welcoming the bomber home. That's the same Col. Qaddafi who renounced his WMD program after the fall of Saddam Hussein, and thereby caused former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to announce, on May 15, 2007, that the United States was removing Libya from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sundays are for Beauty - Chinese

When we introduced Sundays are for Beauty, on April 26, 2009, we did so by quoting John Keats:

“…Beauty is truth, truth beauty,- that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.”

Today marks the 20th Sunday in a row that we have found something beautiful to cheer our Sunday, and there is no end in sight.

This is the Capital Children's Choir from London performing, and theirs is quite a story. The following is from their webpage:

The Capital Children’s Choir began when a small group of 10 year old girls approached Rachel Santesso and asked her to start a singing club in St. John’s Wood, London. Over the years, the little group continued to grow and currently involves well over one hundred children from around the capital.

The Capital Children’s Choir is in constant demand and performs regularly for a wide variety of events: from historical occasions at the Vatican to singing alongside the Spice Girls at 18 arena shows.

The choir has also recorded at all of London’s major recording studios with repertoire ranging from medieval to current pop.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

More from Lloyd Marcus

Time to End the Hyphenated American Thing

Lloyd Marcus (see last Saturday's post on this Blog) posted this on The American Thinker Blog today.

As I recall, it was Jesse Jackson who pushed the use of the divisive hyphen, but then Jackson has always been anything but a uniter. It's time for Unity to triumph over Diversity.

Shared via AddThis

Out of the Mouth of Babes...

This video was made at a Tea Party at Tallahassee, Florida, on July 4, 2009. The speaker is Sara Warmack. She's eleven years old.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Capitol Hill - No Middle Class Haven

Kerry, Issa, Harman most wealthy; new kids of 09 are rich kids, too -

This is from The Hill, the congressional newspaper. Make sure to click on The Hill’s Rich List multimedia player (linked on the attached story) to see the Top 50 richest legislators who are looking out for you.

Jay Nordlinger on Interrogations

Jay Nordlinger on Interrogations

Jay Nordlinger, Senior Editor at National Review, majored in music at the University of Michigan. He is one of the best music critics currently practicing that craft, but he's much more. He writes often about human rights and has interviewed dissidents from places such as Cuba and Syria (who actually were tortured), so he is more familiar with the topic than, for instance, Eric Holder.

In 2001, Mr. Nordlinger received the Eric Breindel Award for Excellence in Opinion Journalism. If you have never read his Impromptus columns on National Review on Line, you have something to look forward to.

In the above video he is being interviewed by Will Cain of NRO TV.

Shared via AddThis

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My All Time Favorites - CHEERS

Politicizing the Arts

Of all the incremental steps being taken by the current administration to move our nation toward socialism, perhaps the most egregious is the one described by Patrick Courrielche, a Los Angeles-based arts consultant, in the above video.

The American Spectator Blog provided a couple examples of earlier tax payer-funded art in covering this story.

Here is some Soviet taxpayer-funded art:

Here is some German taxpayer-funded art:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Time to Start Over

With 57 percent of the American people expressing the desire to completely replace the U.S. Congress (one wonders whether the remaining 43 percent are paying attention), this is a good time to make a case for term limits.

This Blog addressed the issue on May 7, 2009. Here's a link to that post:

Here's the "Seven Step Modest Proposal to Improve Representation," listed in that post:

1. Members of the U. S. House of Representatives may serve only two (two year) terms in their lifetime, and those terms need not be served consecutively. They may thereafter serve in the U. S. Senate, but not in the term immediately succeeding their final term in the House.
2. Members of the U. S. Senate may serve only one six year term in their lifetime. They may thereafter serve two terms in the House of representatives but not in the term immediately succeeding their term in the Senate.
3. The House and the Senate will be modeled after the U. S. Military Reserve Force. Both Houses will meet in Washington D. C. one weekend each month, and for two weeks each summer. The weekend meetings, when possible, will be accomplished by way of telephone or video conferencing.
4. Each member of the House and Senate will have a full-time staff made up of two members in Washington D. C., and one in the home district. The Senate staff member may serve anywhere in the state, at the discretion of the Senator.
5. In order to be a candidate for either the House of Representatives or the Senate, the individual must have served in the U. S. Military. Those not eligible for active combat service must have served in some ancillary military capacity.
6. All candidates for seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate must pass an intelligence measuring test that demonstrates, at a minimum, competency in reading, writing, and balancing a checkbook.
7. All travel and living expenses of members of Congress in connection with their official duties will be reimbursed by the U. S. Treasury. Retirement and health insurance will not be provided, but a modest sum will be paid to each member, while serving, which can be used to contribute to any personal retirement or health insurance plan set up by the member.

Adoption of this modest proposal will, hopefully, lead to a new kind of legislator: one who will be motivated by service to country rather than by self aggrandizement. Their knowledge of the real world will serve them well as they legislate, and their legislative experience will make them even better citizens when they return to private life.

One of the principal arguments advanced against term limits, even less draconian than the above modestly proposed steps, is that such a Congress would not have nearly enough time to legislate. I would answer that argument with one word: EXACTLY!