Thursday, May 31, 2007

Opposition in Venezuela Use Cell Phones, Text Messaging and YouTubeTo Counter Chavez

Revolutionary tools of global communication are now being used by protestors to oppose Victor Chavez in Venezuela and may make his tyrannical attempts to capture the heart and soul of freedom there much harder to accomplish.

How protesters are using text messaging and cell phones to oppose Chavez's move to take over Venezuelan media.

And how RCTV continues to broadcast its message on YouTube in spite of being closed down him last weekend.

Times are a-changing for would be dictators and mass murderers.
What with all these new ways for ordinary people to communicate, it's just not as easy as it used to be to take over a country and subjugate its people. The jury is still out, but Chavez, the man who would be Fidel, just may have bitten off more than he can chew this time.
And so may have Iranian president Ahmadinejad.

Bumper Stickers

There's no war on terror. If you don't like it, just sue, and I'll be your class action attorney. My haircut is better than yours. Silky pony. Style without substance. Two Americas.

Thanks for the Memory, Cindy

Saying goodbye to Cindy is so, so, so......much fun to do. Don't miss today's Vent with Michelle Malkin and The Ventilators on Hot Air TV. But, good as it is MM and BP, keep your day jobs, for a little longer anyway.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Venezuela, Where A Free Press Goes to Die, and Jimmy Goes to Grub

When U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who once championed the cause of Marxist Sandanistas in Nicaragua, complains about what's happening to the free press in Venezuela, you know the situation there is going from bad to worse.

In Dodd's own words,

"President Chavez's efforts to crack down on freedom of thought and expression are inconsistent with the rights and values that all democratic nations should embrace and protect. It also raises concerns about a much larger threat to human rights in Venezuela, one that we in the United States must not ignore."

With the shut-down of RCTV the biggest and most popular station in Venezuela by Chavez, leaving only Globalvision, the Fox-like station there to tell it like it is, it seems only a matter of time before the tyrannical dictator closes down all forms of free expression and reporting.

Then the already ailing economy and its fleeing capital markets will fall on its face and a widespread poverty will take over the land. That's the way it works with tyrants, they wreck everything, sooner rather than later.

How can the people in Venezuela let this happen? And how can we forget that our own former president Jimmy Carter went out of his way to give his blessing to the" free election" of this world-class Marxist thug?Jimmy again paves the way for dictators to thrive.

Zoellick Replaces Wolfowitz at the World Bank

Robert Zoellick was appointed Wednesday to replace embattled Paul Wolfowitz as president of the World Bank. Zoellick is currently a managing director at Goldman Sachs in New York.

But Larry Kudlow says nice as the Zoellick appointment may be, the World Bank and IMF are really obsolete:
"Free market capitalism is spreading like gangbusters across the
globe, and with it, the proliferation of private capital markets to channel
investment everywhere. Instead of making cheap loans at below market rates to
state planning governments in Africa and elsewhere, the real key to fighting
poverty is putting markets—not World Bank bureaucrats—in the driver’s seat.

Both the IMF and the World Bank are unnecessary artifacts from a bygone, post-WWII reconstruction era. Instead of government-to-government lending, poor nations need pro-market reforms that will then attract private capital flows. This will subject low-income nations to the same marketplace discipline that China, India, Russia, Eastern Europe and Latin America have all been subjected to."

Kudlow goes on to say that since capital markets are hijacking the World Bank's mission, and the bureaucrats there know it, it will be up to Zoellick to exercise discipline to keep the liberal bank employees from morphing the organization into a gargantuan global warming bureaucracy.

Also, Kudlow thinks it was Wolfowitz's pro-war stand in Iraq, rather than his girlfriend, that made him so unpopular at the bank.

Zoellick, who's rumored to have a sharp focus and even sharper temper, clearly has his work cut out for him. Eco-extremists, and all the AlGore crowd, already dislike him immensely.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Crack-Up of Bill Clinton

Wesley Pruden, editor-in-chief of the Washington Times writes a terrific piece on Emmett Tyrrell's new book on Bill Clinton entitled "The Clinton Crack-Up."

Pruden has become one of my favorite columnists of late. He's a terrific writer with a wicked sense of humor. I publish his current column for you here: on the Clintons, especially Bubba Clinton, our retired former president. "It's a yarn with new stuff told by a prankster." It's definitely going on my summer reading list.

The Merry Crack-up of Bill Clinton

By Wesley Pruden

Crack-ups have been good to Emmett Tyrrell, who has written best-sellers about both "the liberal crack-up" and "the conservative crack-up." Now we see Bill Clinton cracking up in the luxurious retirement he despises. The beds are soft, but they aren't in the White House. The limousine is big and black, but it has to stop for stoplights.

Despite the boodle and swag the 42nd president has collected from colleges, American industrialists, Arab sheiks, high-minded divines without congregations, mindless Hollywood glitterati and even British orphans willing to listen to his speeches about himself ($43 million over the first four years alone), retirement has not been kind to the Boy President, as Bob Tyrrell, the editor in chief of American Spectator magazine, calls him. The ex-prez has no focus, drive or access to compliant interns. Twelve of the 14 candidates he campaigned for last year lost.

Bubba is no doubt counting on the Sturm, Drang and frenzy of Hillary's presidential campaign to put the lead back in his pencil, but Hillary won't like many of the 292 pages of "The Clinton Crack-up," published by Thomas Nelson, in bookstores now. All the Clinton disasters, scandals, catastrophes, calamities and assorted misfortunes shared are here, all riotously told, carefully researched and conveniently indexed.

This is the season for books on Hillary, new ones by Carl Bernstein, Jeff Gerth and Don Von Atta, who dutifully recycle rumors, rehash gossip and rewrite the clips, many of them from Mr. Tyrrell's magazine. "The Clinton Crack-up" has new stuff, told not as the dreary cosmic cautionary tale so beloved by Washington's chattering class, but as a yarn told by a merry prankster.

Hillary may actually be the doomsday candidate, the dowager Queen of Drear, but she remains inseparable from Bubba. He's the outrageous baggage, she's the outrage. The Clintons once told voters to "vote for one and get one free," and Mr. Tyrrell's book demonstrates that the doughnut you get free is never as tasty as the one you pay for.

"The Clinton Crack-up" reminds us of how much we've missed "the sempiternal turbulence in Bill's pants," the wreckage of the dignity of the Oval Office as it becomes the cloud over Hillary's campaign. In retirement, the Boy President no longer has the consolations of the White House interns who were his comfort women, but good times there are not forgotten. A Secret Service source tells the author that Bubba "will occasionally spend the night at houses of where he was only expected for dinner."

Mr. Tyrrell likens Bubba in retirement to the Flying Dutchman, calling his retirement "the Ghost Ship," endlessly circling the globe in pursuit of cash and adulation. In the year 2005, he visited 67 countries; in seven days, he stopped in six countries in Africa alone. Always dialing for dollars, he collected $100,000 from a society to aid children (some of them orphans) in London, $300,000 from an Australian organization fronting for Beijing's "peaceful reunification of China" (i.e., swallowing Taiwan), $200,000 for shilling for a developer of condominium apartments in China. But he took time to learn how to cultivate intimate friendships as mortal men do, sending (yellow) roses, perfume and embroidered towels to dear friends, and, on Rio's Ipanema Beach, purchasing three string bikinis for other figures that caught his eye ("none of which has been seen on Hillary").

Friends of Bill often chide Bubba's critics of being obsessed with the scandals of the Clinton years. But what else was there? If historians won't be kind, maybe the Guinness Book of Records will.

"Historians chronicling the Clintons' lives will have spent more time interviewing lawyers, prosecutors, police officers and federal agents than historians chronicling the lives of any other first family," writes Bob Tyrrell. "Born without a libido, Clinton would have presided over a much different presidency. To be sure, it would have had an abundance of lesser scandals, for Clinton's fundamental problem is low character, not high testosterone."

For all his emotional abuse of his wife, however, Bubba has given her something more useful to a candidate than string bikinis, the sympathetic role of deceived wife. We paid a lot for it."

sem·pi·ter·nal (sěm'pĭ-tûr'nəl) adj. Enduring forever; eternal. See Synonyms at infinite.

A Child in Southern Sudan

This photo was taken in southern Sudan, not Darfur. Darfur, in western Sudan, which is primarily Muslim, (where extremist Arab Muslims are slaughtering African tribal Muslims) isn't the only province in that country where radical Arab Muslim jihad is causing massive death, destruction and genocide to the native African peoples. Here, a child in southern Sudan which is mainly Christian, crouches in the dirt, as vultures await its tiny demise.

Thank you HR for sending me this image from your embattled country.

A Sign of Our (Depraved) Times

When I read that this dog (is it really a dog?) won the world dog show last weekend , I can only say, the end must be near. This contest must be made up of judges who evidently live on another planet from the one I live on. Can you imagine the maintenance this thing requires?

What, pray tell, has happened to real dogs, like real men, real women, real food, real whiskey, real life? If this is a sign of things to come, then God have mercy on us all.

Now here's my idea of a real dog. He can actually live outside and fend for himself, being what God created him to be: a dog.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A Memorial Day Serenade

Sincere appreciation to all our troops, past present and future, from the Land of Cotton.

Slopmadoodle Recipe for Kalli

Basic ingredients for Slopmadoodle:

4-5 cups dirt, finely crumbled
1-3 cups water
Bits of grass and privet leaves
Small paper sack with flour
Wesson Oil (best) or Crisco
Small sticks in tiny pieces
3 eggs, or as many as you can get your hands on
Chocolate sauce
Peanut butter
Ketchup, mayonaise, mustard (optional)


It's best to make slopmadoodle when you're four or five, Kalli, in an out-of-the-way spot in the backyard of your best friend, with your best friend. It helps if she's also your next-door neighbor.

This should be someone you think you might still be best friends with, oh say, fifty or more years down the road. However, making slopmadoodle may test your friendship. And it will certainly reveal your innate criminal nature. But I get ahead of myself and the recipe.

Equipment, Attire

If you don't have a proper bowl (snuck out of one of your mothers' kitchen cupboards because if either of them hears the word "slopmadoodle" they lock down the house, especially the kitchen) then dig a hole in the ground with a little shovel, a knife or spoon, or your bare hands.

Once you've figured out your container, you're ready to start.

Besides dirt, slopmadoodle requires water, so you'll need a garden hose that reaches all the way to your "staging area" hooked to the spigot, or an old bucket filled with water. Be careful not to slosh the water out of the bucket as you drag it to your mud hole or you may have to start over.

It's best to do this in shorts or a bathing suit and by all means barefoot. Squooshing mud between your fingers toes is one of the most glorious things about being four or five.

Next, you need to decide who goes into their house for ingredients like oil, flour, peanut butter, chocoloate sauce or anything else you think might be a good addition. Both of you pull up grass and sticks and tear them into small pieces and lay them beside the hole.

Someone has to voluteer to get the most important ingredient eggs from their mother's kitchen. This is a very tough assignment and often present the greatest challenge for four-year-olds. Mothers refuse to send eggs outside with small children who are up to great mischief, and covered from head to toe with dirt and mud. Eggs are impossible to get, if you've ever accidentally dropped them on the kitchen floor or on the back steps.

Sometimes you have to begin without all the necessary ingredients. It's best to just get started. One must learn to improvise, even at a young age. This serves you well later in life, as, in the words of Mick Jagger, we can't always get what we want.

Mixing the ingredients

Take three or four cups of dirt, preferably without worms or rocks. Put the dirt in the bowl or mud hole and begin to slowly, S-L-O-W-L-Y, add water. There's no need to rush this process because once your parents find out what you're doing, they'll forbid you to do it again for months, if not years. So enjoy it while it lasts.

Sticks are great for stirring but if you're lucky enough to possess a kitchen spoon, then stir the dirt and water together and watch it turn into thick mud. DO NOT add too much water, or it gets too runny and ruins your wonderful mess.

With your basic mud and water mix, you're off to a good start. As you squat around the bowl or mud hole, you and your best friend talk about what to do next. A little flour? oil? a dash of grass for color? And of course, the most essential ingredient, eggs.

Got eggs?

Eggs transform an ordinary hole of mud and water into Slop-ma-doodle. One can go without many items like chocolate or mayonaise, but to go without eggs, is unthinkable.

If you're lucky, you have eggs. And at the proper time, you crack them over the mud and watch them plop into the mix. Then you both stir your hearts out. Eggs hold everything together.

Soon you will take the mixture into you hands, shape it into balls and patties and then lay them out to dry in the sun, you may take the leftovers and add more water for slopmadoodle soup or sauce. Later you will come back to see the finished product and perhaps have a "tea party" featuring slopmadoodle cakes. You may even offer some to your mothers with pride.

All's well with the world; you've had a glorious day with your best friend. The slopmadoodle was the best you have ever made. It will take days to get all the mud out from under you fingernails and toes. But it was worth it.

Not got eggs?

But let's just say, both of you tried and failed to get eggs out your mother's refrigerators. You're covered with mud and your mixture is not yet "official" slopmadoodle. You put your four-year-old minds together. There's got to be a way to get eggs. But what is it?

Ahhhhh, and then you come up with a brillant idea: There's a neighbor---an older widow nearby---named Mrs. Cunningham, who's got to have eggs, and you're pretty sure you can pull the wool over her eyes. One of you will knock on her back door, tell her that your mother needs eggs right now, and has sent you over to get them. And mother needs as many eggs as Mrs. Cunningham can spare. But any amount will be do.

The only thing left is to decide who, which one of the felons, is brave enough to approach Mrs. Cunningham and pull off the heist. The two of you argue at length as to who goes. You're both terrified. But still, you really need those eggs.

One of you, the greater fool, agrees to go while the other, the lesser fool, hides and watches behind the privet hedge. You hold your breath. The plan goes flawlessly. You get three eggs and giggle all the way back to your mud hole. You knew you could fool Mrs. Cunningham and you were right. There would never, ever be a shortage of eggs for slopmadoodle again.

That is, until Mrs. Cunningham calls your mother (read that my mother, I being the greater fool in this story) to say the eggs are on the way and does she need anything else?

You've just cracked the last of her eggs in your slopmadoodle that day when you hear the dreaded words out of mother's voice from the back steps of your house, "Come home this minute! This minute!"

The moral of the story, er recipe

A moment of utter bliss suddenly turns to terror and despair in a matter of seconds. Life can be that way.

It is hard to describe the rest of your day. Terror strikes your heart and soul, you find it hard to move. You know you've been found out and are in for a switching when your father comes home from work. You will be forbidden from leaving the yard for days, if not years. You'll certainly will have to go back over to Mrs. Cunningham's and tell her what you did---to her face!--- and that you're sorry and mean it! Your goose is cooked, and you know that life will never be the same again.

For a while, you're life is indeed miserable. You're mortified you were caught red-handed. But years later, you look back at this episode with a little more gratitude. You realize you might be in a federal penitentiary somewhere as a hardened criminal today were it not for getting caught that day by Mrs. Cunningham, while making slopmadoodle. You laugh at yourself and wonder what your four-year-old mind was thinking.

Well, that's the recipe and the story you've been waiting to hear. I'll leave you with one more thing to remember as you grow up, whether it's making mistakes over slopmadoodle or something else.

The song, which I dedicate to you, my dear Kalli, and Mrs. Cunningham, says it far better than I can: You can't always get what you want in life. It's something well worth remembering.

And by the way, my partner in crime is and was your beautiful late mother's mother. She (Pat to me, Nanna to you) has been my best friend since we were two years old, and time, thousands of miles, fights, disagreements, divorce, death, tragedy and heartache hasn't changed it one bit. We still fight, forgive each other, laugh together at ourselves and each other and share all the blessings we have in our lives. You are one of them, Kalli. Can you imagine that? So without further ado, I give you Mick:

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sunday, The Dreaded, Politically Incorrect "A" Word

Of all the politically, culturally, socially incorrect words in today's post modern lingo, nothing is considered more laughable, more obsolete and ridiculous than the dreaded "A" word.

Doesn't matter if you're a liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, for the War or 'agin' it, the dreaded "A" word gets short shrift where ever you are, where ever you go.

"Times have changed," is the summary dismissal when the "A" word is brought up. It is our constitutional right to abhor and disregard it and then demand to be released from all consequences of ignoring it. In fact we demand the government support us in disregarding it

So what, pray tell is the dread "A"word?

ABSTINENCE. Sexual abstinence, sexual purity. And it refers to all sex outside of marriage.

Commandment Number 7, given to Moses on Mount Sinai, "Thou shall not commit adultery," has a far more reaching effects than we make of it.

Lon Solomon, Senior Pastor at McLean Bible Church, talks today about the Seventh Commandment today. He spells out God's attitude for us towards sex, and what pleases and displeases God with respect to sex, and how abstinence comes into play.

In God's economy the boundary is plain and clear: Sex is to be enjoyed to the max within the bounds of marriage. All other sex is to be abstained from, in the physical as well as the heart and mind outside of marriage. It sounds so foolish to modern, sophisticated mankind. But oh the heartache it would save, if we but listened and obeyed. The good news is that it's never too late to listen and change the direction of our lives.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Weekend: Morning Coffee with Aguto and Bill

(Above, Aguto talks legal immigration and citizenship over coffee with my friend Bill, a former assistant U.S. Distrct Attorney.)
Over the past six months, I've had the privilege of getting to know a young man named Aguto, about 23. He is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan.
Aguto Aguto is the official name on his Tennessee driver's license.
He was given this name by the Sudanese tribe which also gave him the slash marks on his forehead, forever identifying him with the people of his African homeland.
Years later, Kenyan authorities assigned Aguto an age and birthdate, though he can't be for sure exactly how old he is.
While not sure of his age, he remembers his parents and the location of the people and tribe he was forced to flee when, as young boy, war broke out in southern Sudan in 1991, killing many of his family and community.
Aguto, tall and thin, has been in the United States now for four years with the help of the U.S. State Department and the United Nations. He came here from Sudan by way of Ethiopia, then Kenya after taking a very long walk with over 30,000 other "boys" starting when he was seven.
After several "walks" (from Sudan to Ethiopia and back, then from Sudan to Kenya) he lived in refuge camps for ten years where he learned to speak English, got an elementary and high school education and was converted to Christianity.
Aguto, along with many of his surviving friends, is all too familiar with war, famine, drought, pestilence, death, destitution, dehydration, starvation, disease, eating dirt and grasshoppers, walking miles without shoes, being eaten by lions and just about anything else you could think of happening in the heart of darkest Africa.
One of the Lost Boys of Sudan, Aguto works today on the other side of the world as a cashier at the nearby Krogers near where I live, while struggling to make ends meet and attend school to earn a degree in criminal justice. He lives with five other "lost boys" from his former refuge camp in Kenya. Aguto estimates there are about 5,000 African refuges in Middle Tennessee. As it turns out, Aguto is one of the leaders of this local group and has been to Washington D.C. to testify several times before Congress about the dire situation in Sudan.
It is by talking with Aguto over coffee at Starbucks--often quite early in the morning after he gets off working the midnight shift at Kroger---that I am becoming familiar with what's going on in Sudan and Darfur, the western province in Sudan.
I am a slow learner and Aguto has a thick British accent requiring me ask him to repeat himself often and talk more slowly. Sometimes I have to read his lips, but I want to understand the incredible story he wants to tell me.
I am only beginning to grasp first hand his situation, the saga of his people and the horrific things happening in Sudan at the hands of radical Arab Muslims hellbent on taking over his country in the name of Allah and oil.
Aguto's story is about the war on terror, stupid. And how radical Islam will stop at nothing to spread its influence and domination to all parts of the globe and to all people.
I intend to blog more about Aguto and Sudan, as best I can, in the months ahead. It's a story worth hearing, and a story worth making an effort to grasp.

"Extremists came into their country..." is the opening quote in the above video. But make no mistake, the extremists being referred to are radical Arab Muslims who have come into the country and declared jihad against the African Sudanese, of all religions---including Christian Sudanese living primarily in the southern part of Sudan where Aguto is from, as well as indigenous Muslim Sudanese living in Darfur where Arab Muslims are conducting genocide on the natives in the most horrific ways. All in the name of Allah.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Memorial Day, A Brief History of Our Most Solemn Holiday

As we go into the weekend, it's good to recall the true meaning of Memorial Day. has a brief video, worth watching. Memorial Day was designed to be a sober occasion to remind us that freedom is never free.

Over the next three days is there a veteran you can thank? A wounded warrior you can befriend and visit?
"For what avail the plough or sail, Or land or life, if freedom fail?"
---Ralph Waldo Emerson
Speaking of freedom, I think war in Israel is fast approaching, perhaps as early as this summer. Joel Rosenberg, a Messianic Jew and best selling author is currently blogging from Israel. Please take time to read and listen to what he has to say.
Here's a link to a video from Sderot, on the border with Gaza. Click the blank space and the video will appear and play.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Cannonball White stands tall and happy before striding into his auto interior repair shop. Any resemblance to Charlie Daniels is purely coincidental, but he likes it.

Cannonball's on his way to show me he has exactly the right leather to fix the aging, cracked and split driver's seat of my '99 Ford Explorer which has 235,000 miles on it. The seat does too.

I tell him my children and several friends think I should consider getting a new car, but that... I'm. Just. Not. Ready.

"It's not about the money, Cannonball," I tell him, "it's cause I have the finest car in America for me, and why toss it if it ain't broken? And anyway, Cannonball, I've looked and the pansy auto makers no longer make SUVs with a standard transmission, which is a heinous travesty, in my opinion."

"Hells bells, honey," he assures me, "your car's just a teenager. A little upholstery, a new rubber mat on the floor near the accelerator will fix you right up, good as new. And while we're at it, let's build up this squashed down seat and give you a little better back support."

I like this man. He understands me. He "gets" me and my car. I joke that I've had better luck taking care of cars than a husband (except for the Peugeot diesel I blew up in 1980 when I forgot to put oil in it). He laughs uproariously.

A good ole southern boy, Cannonball is rather impressed that a former southern belle like me drives a standard transmission. I assure him that's why the car, and I, have held up fairly well over the years, thank you.

Cannonball owns and operates his own business, Cannonball's Covers, an interior upholstering and "decorating" shop in Nashville, Tennessee for cars and boats and anything else that comes with big motors and needs to be driven by restless, mobile modern man/womankind. He's a big man who has clearly found his place in the world and enjoys what he does immensely. And he knows how to deal with the likes of me.

Cannonball works on boat and car tops, auto upholstery, boat upholstery, boat covers, convertible tops, van conversions, auto and boat detailing, carpet, dash, and door panels , antique restorations, custom interiors and "headliners." (Whatever those are.)

I brought him just a "lil' job"-- a seat that needs a face lift, so to speak. But I'm tough about it. I tell him I don't want to leave the car more than one work day, and that's final.

Cannonball sees that I want out-patient surgery rather than a hospital visit. He agrees he can do the job in one day, once he orders the leather and as long as I get there by 7 in the morning. Piece of cake, I tell him. It's a done deal.

The "Day of Restoration" arrives, the driver's seat and floor undergoes its aforementioned transformation at the day spa for run-down interiors. A friend takes me to pick up my car.

"Go over there and sit in your car," Cannonball instructs me.

I do as I'm told. I feel like Cinderella suddenly sitting in a Lexus. I actually sit up high enough on the newly built seat so that--for the very first time in recorded history---I don't need to sit on an additional pillow to be up high enough. I am thrilled, really thrilled.

"Can you hear that sound?" Cannonball asks me.

"What sound? "

"Can't you hear that sound?"

"What sound, Cannonball?"

"That sound when you sit on your new built seat," then he begins to laugh.


"It's the sound of your butt giggling!"

I am momentarily speechless.

I have to admit, I've never heard of such a butt giggling?

Clearly, a Cannonball original. I realize I've been Cannonballized.

One hundred and fifty years after the Civil War, can anything good come from a place named Cannonball's?

All I can say is, if any interior chassis that holds a motor you own, operate or have a long term love relationship with needs a little spiffing up, then walk, crawl or run to Cannonball's and let him put you back in business at his hospital/day spa for tired interiors.

And when you do, tell him Webutante sent you.

Wouldn't it be worth it just to hear the sound of your, er, butt giggling?

You've heard of kicking butt. Now there's giggling butt, thanks to my new best friend Cannonball White.

Thanks, Cannonball, from the bottom of uplifted seat cushion.

Above, Cannonball White in front of his shop.

Below, a Lexus-like seat in a Ford Explorer's body. A two-inch higher seat that helps me relate to my steering wheel better and lumbar support at mid-back, made and positioned just for my back. Priceless.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Quotes For the Day: Will Rogers

"I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts."

"Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for."

"Our Constitution protects aliens, drunks and U.S. Senators."

----Will Rogers, Noted American Humorist


Sometimes I have a million words to write and then I look around the blogosphere and see all the erudite things going on and get overwhelmed (after all I'm a woman). I decide there's absolutely nothing I can add to further the conversation, and, in fact, there are far , far too many good words out there already.

And often I feel a long post is the height of self -indulgence.

So I go for a bit of levity, brevity and humor from someone else. Thus, today I bring up Will Rogers who always makes me laugh. And, FYI, one of my favorite hiking spots in the world is the Will Rogers State Historical Park off Sunset Blvd. in LA. If you climb far and high enough, you can see all of LA, the Pacific Ocean all the way to Japan and have a not-so-straight hike to Malibu.

Hat tip RSC e-mail.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Listen Up, Mr. Carter, Like It Or Not, Mr. Bush's Exit Strategy in Iraq Is Simple: Victory First, Then Freedom For Its People

Those of us who occassionally remember history, recall President Bush saying the following to Congress and the American people on September 20, 2001:

"Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have seen. Our war with terror begins with al-Qaida, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated."

What praytell, Mr. Carter, don't you get about the words "lengthy campaign?" Have you never gotten over the Civil War and Sherman's March to the Sea through Georgia?

I think not and it shows in your pacifism, appeasement and lack of patience in this long war, unlike any other. You're a quitter and defeatist.

Does the phrase "Stay the course" mean anything to you? Lincoln and Sherman used it quite successfully in reuniting the Union and ending slavery in this country for once and for all.

Don't you recall these facts from history? All wars are frought with mistakes, near defeats and dark nights of the soul. Did General Dwight Eisenhower anticipate the Battle of the Bulge? Didn't President Lincoln have to fire the incredibly incompetent General George McClellan and install Generals U.S. Grant and William T. Sherman at a time when all seemed lost for the Union and his presidency?

Now Bush has hired General Petraeus to head the campaign in Iraq and implement a new "surge" strategy. And you want to cut and run before we've had time to let it work?

Disgraceful, Mr Carter. Simply disgraceful. And you have the nerve to befriend thugs and dictators like Chavez and Arafat and then speak to Bush with such disdain and arrogance. It's a disgrace.

And speaking of your corner of the world, Jimmy, sounds like you need to think about a withdrawal strategy yourself. (Hat tip, Pajamas Media). Oh, you're not willing to withdraw from the Carter Center.

However you may judge Bush in the near-term, I believe history will vindicate him on all the above.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sunday, More on Motherhood At McLean Bible Church

Lon Solomon talks about the humanness of Cathy Lanier, the new police chief of Washington, D.C., who credits her mother for never giving up on her, in this important sermon on motherhood.

What are the four best ways mothers can affect their children for Christ and thus their eternal destiny? How does a mother raise and then go on to civilize her children?

Lon gives a practical guide on what we can do from early life and encourages us to stay steadfast and immovable in whatever tasks are appropriate for us to do at the stage we are at with our children. And sometimes that is only to pray for them. I say "only" in the sense that it is also everything, as in the greatest gift we can give our children and loved ones.


Last night when commenter MizzE wrote about her mother's prayer when she was a little girl, I was so sleepy, I missed this wonderful link she left in her post. So I want to link to it today. It's a beautiful tribute to our mothers, "It Must Have Been My Mother's Faith." Listen and weep and don't miss LizzE's lovely comment too. It's so nice to have made her acquaintance these past few weeks. You can follow it back to her own beautiful blog too.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Tim Corbin Head Baseball Coach at Vanderbilt, A Man After My Own Heart

Last night, HG and I went to the Vanderbilt baseball game with LSU. The top rated college team in the nation beat LSU 6-2.

It was a beautiful evening to be outside, the fans have lots to be enthusiastic about and the newly renovated stadium is one of the nicest in the country--with seat backs on every single seat. Although I lost interest in Vandy's football teams decades ago as they continued to flounder in the SEC, this baseball phenomena is really fun to follow. Not since the Titans won the Superbowl a few years ago has this town had so much to be excited about sport wise. Eddie George may be long gone but now we have Mark Minor, Pedro Alvarez, David Price, and Dominic de la Osa.

Head Coach Tim Corbin is truly a man after my own heart in many ways: He loves the Waffle House, as I do, especially in the wee hours of the morning (they have the best coffee--so far and above Starbucks, in my opinion), and he says he can look at a team member's locker and how orderly and neatly it's kept and predict his future success in baseball and beyond.

What's there not to like about a man who has such wisdom?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fred Thompson Promotes Teaching History of Warfare

Saw this last night on ABCRadio and want to post it today. I couldn't agree more with what Thompson says. It's the same thing that Victor Davis Hanson has been writing and saying for years: We need to remember history more than ever, and learn from past mistakes and victories. I print this here in its entirety. Fred and I have the same alma mater. Think if he and I both stop giving at the same time, our good ole university will cave?!

(Here's to military history being taught again at Vanderbilt. And oh by the way, did ya know their baseball team is first in the nation! Going to a game tonight.)

Those Who Cannot Remember the Past, by Fred Dalton Thompson:

"If you went to college in the sixties, like I did, you might not know how much higher education has changed since then. Universities today are different places. At Vanderbilt, where I got my law degree, I hear you can take courses in third wave feminism or colonial governmentality.
Your guess is as good as mine.

On the other hand, some of the courses that we took for granted aren't around at all. One area of study that's almost disappeared from universities today is military history -- the history of warfare.

I was reminded of this recently, reading a piece in The New Republic by historian David Bell. He's certainly not the only person to mourn this change, though. One of my favorite historians, Victor Davis Hanson, wrote on the same subject several years ago in National Review.

There are a number of reasons that military history is no longer taught. Partly, it has to do with the ideological shift in university faculties over the past few decades. The post-Vietnam anti-war movement tends to see all wars as mutual mistakes -- with both sides in a conflict equally wrong. Some of these folks think war can be avoided by refusing to have anything to do with it.
Hansen thinks it also has something to do with the spread of nuclear weapons during the Cold War.

In an age with intercontinental ballistic missiles, the old subjects of strategy and tactics can seem obsolete. The importance of battles at Valley Forge or the Alamo might not be evident if you're thinking of warfare in terms only of pushing big red buttons.

The enemies of civilization, though, have adapted -- as they always do. Nuclear deterrence won't protect you if the other side thinks they win if we all die together. Furthermore, they've learned to hide among the innocent. Iran's missiles, nestled among civilian neighborhoods and UN outposts in Lebanon, were fired into Israel -- but Iran was never hit back. The British and the Spanish have discovered, through terrorist attacks on bus and train lines, that the enemy is studying us daily. They learn our every weakness by living and working among us – but our schools have stopped offering courses that would help us meet their challenge.

All of this means that if there were ever a time to put our best minds to the study of warfare, it is now. I know that, for many people, it's an unpleasant topic they would just as soon avoid -- but history that ignores the importance of warfare is not history. There is a reason that both sides in the Civil War studied Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” – though it was written in the 5th or 6th Century BC.

Hansen writes, "The hundred years of talking about slavery was not as important as two days at Gettysburg. The success or failure of Normandy affected Hitler more in an hour than had years of pleading with him in the 1930s."

If for no other reason than that we want to avoid war whenever we can, universities should at least offer the option of studying it. We know that students would sign up for the classes, because books on the subject are always reliable sellers. Television programmers have also responded to the sizable hunger for military history.

These alternate sources of information are important, but they don't replace the need for serious scholarship in our universities. If you agree, I have a suggestion.

One thing we know for sure about colleges, they're better than bill collectors at tracking you down. If you ever took a single class, you'll be asked for contributions the rest of your life. Next time you get one of those calls, ask that student fundraiser to pass on the message that you'd probably give more money to the old alma mater if the school were offering more classes in military history. It's worth a try, anyway."

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A Photo For Israel, From Iran With Feeling

Worth a thousand words, and serious as a heart attack.

Is being "wiped out of the face of the world" the same as being "wiped off the face of the earth?"

Does one refer to nuclear destruction, while the other only to weapons of mass destruction and suicide bombers? Or is mass annihilation and genocide the same anyway you cut it?

Just wondering.

Thanks, Jihad Watch.

Changes and New Links Here At Webutante

After almost eight months of blogging now, I want to make some changes in what I write, and whom I link to.

Want to write more commentary, process more information down to some simple nuggets, and link to several new people who have a fresh perspective on what's going on in our world. Change is a slow process for me and it remains to be seen what I will do over time with my new best intentions.

But for now I want to mention several blogs I am newly linking to which I think are well worth checking out, if you haven't already:

The Jungle Hut: This is a blog written from Venezuela by Jungle Mom, aka Rita Vernoy, who with her husband is a Christian missionary and strong political conservative in the land of Victor Chavez, a thug and dictator of the highest order. She has quite a following of family and friends--many of whom also blog, including her sister, Pam, at Midnight Musings whom I also like very much. Rita is thoughtful and solidly grounded in Biblical principles and conservative political traditions. I'm sure living in Venezuala has given her an even greater appreciation of many of the freedoms and responsibilities we take so for granted here.
I feel fortunate to have made Rita's and Pam's acquaintances! They are as solid as they get.

One Cosmos: Gagdad Bob is a husband, father, therapist and armchair philosopher who writes long posts daily about the difference between objective verses subjective reality. He works this subject from soup to nuts extolling the life-giving qualities of living in objective, God-fearing vertical reality ---where enduring Truth rules Life, whether we like it or not--- verses existing in the deadness of the relative, subjective, godless world of our own making based on feelings, truth with a little "t," political correctness and the demand for unlimited freedom without responsibility. He writes on heavy subjects with a clever sophistication and great sense of humor.

Don't have (make) time to read each of his long posts, but make a point to read his commentary several times a week. It's well worth my time and effort.

Iraq the Model (ITM): Intelligent, straightforward blogging from Iraq. And it's not what you read in the MSM (Main Stream Media). These two Iraqi men stand firmly for freedom in Iraq and sincerly appreciate what the United States is doing for their people there, in spite of it all. They want us to give our troops and the current surge there a fighting chance. Highly recommended reading, straight from the horses's mouth.

I have also de-linked from two bloggers that I sincerely think are far superior writers and bloggers than I could ever hope to be: One because of her unceasing strident tone and often poor and tasteless language which I find counter-productive. And the other because she rarely posts, among other things, and when she does, it's always about the same thing.

Nevertheless, I wish them both well in every way.

My other links stand and endure because I find them well worth reading and choosing from on a daily/weekly basis. Hopefully they represent a good cross-section of the best of conservative viewpoints available anywhere.
I mean what's not to like about the likes of Victor Davis Hanson, Bill Hobbs, Larry Kudlow, Neo-neocon, Helen Smith, Roger Simon, and Allahpundit, among others?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fred Thompson Responds to Michael Moore's Challenge for a Debate Over At Pajamas Media

With about a year-and-a-half to go until the presidential election, I only have one thing to say:

Whether Fred Thompson is ever elected president, he must run and have a helluva good time doing it. If he doesn't, we'll all die of boredom, terminal seriousness and utter exhaustion.

This is a must-see video, exclusive to Pajamas Media. Click the link, the arrow and wait for it to load. Then enjoy this brief, sweet interlude.

What fun!

Fred is responding to a challenge to a debate by lefty film-maker Michael Moore who recently went to Cuba and declared the impoverished Cuban health-care system fostered greater health and longevity than the ours. Thompson subsequently critcized Moore for promulgating this radical and ridiculous perception.

Go for it, Fred, and don't worry about the outcome. Say what you think and mean what you smoke!

Oh, and Fred, go ahead and inhale!

Make our day.

The Little Things in Life: First-Class Letters Now At 41-Cents A Whack, and Size Really Does Matter

What is it about the human psyche that I can dread the rise in human postage stamps more than the rise in a gallon of gas? I know it's insane, especially since I use cell phones and e-mail more than ever, pay most of my monthly bills by automatic draft, and feel much more of a dent in my checkbook from higher gas prices, than I ever will from rising postage.

Still, knowing another 2-cent rise in standard first-class postage stamps is coming always fills me with some kind of uncanny sense of impending disaster. I dread having stamps left-over and unused, forgetting to use the right stamp after the deadline, having a letter returned for more postage, or worse being sent, unbeknownst to me, to the dead letter netherlands for all eternity.

That, of course, leads to the fantasy fear of a bill not getting paid on time, or at all, and then my home being sold on the public square while I'm out-of-town.

All because of ridiculous 2-cent rise in a postage stamp.

I know it's petty, but I think it's because it makes me feel older since I vividly remember when a first-class stamp cost 3-cents, then 5, then 11, a fortune to me at the time.

And now it's 41-cents! Where will it all end, after 13 rises in 32 years and another projected by next year? Did you ever wonder why stamps are always priced at odd numbers? What, praytell, could have been the rationale for it?

I begin to runinate on how long I will live, not in terms of biological age, but based on the cost of a stamp at the time I meet my Maker: 47-cents? 55? 1.11? 2.03? It's starting to sound like gasoline. Come to think of it, a stamp today costs what I can remember a gallon of gas cost when I was a little girl.

This morning, first thing on my to-do list was to run out to the post office and buy several sheets of stamps. Like a packrat, I like to stash them everywhere---in the car, my wallet, in kitchen and desk drawers, in coat pockets. Like stockpiling cash or gold, or whatever else other people like to have in reserve, I have this need to always have a few extra stamps in case of emergency.

Who knows, maybe the time will come when I can barter some stamps for a loaf of bread, or a cup of coffee or a pair of fingernail clippers.

While I was at the post office today, I asked my postlady what else I needed to know about the upcoming rules of the postage highway. We talked about the proposed "forever stamp," a way to lock in the cost today of a mailing a letter at a fixed rate anytime in the future. The plan is fraught with problems and possibilities, and will have to be dealt with in another post. But I see a huge market in stamp "futures" in our future.

I also see a growing market in custom stamps like the one below, printed to co-ordinate with an fancy invitation to the local symphony charity earlier this year (see below for link).

My postlady reminded me that odd sized first-classed letters take extra postage, and the USPS is going to get tougher and tougher in enforcing these rules: all square cards and envelopes cost extra money, along with thick 3-D cards, larger rectangular envelops and any letters weighing over 1 ounce. Anything with deficient postage will be spit out and back at us, so be forewarned.

Some trendy fine paper and stationery stores in town inform their clientele of the extra cost to send their unique shaped cards and invitations. They also advocate having custom stamps designed and printed at which cost even more to send, but which many stamp and stationery lovers say they are well worth the cost.

But as for me, I'm just interested in getting used to 41-cent stamps and stashing a few away for a rainy day.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


Thank you, Mother

Thanks, Mother. For all you did for me. For not giving up on me when there wasn't a doctor on earth who thought I would live. For giving me some of your spunk. But most of all for loving my father and being a faithful wife to him.
I miss you and will always appreciate the many things you did for us.

Mother's Day: The Ideal Woman, The Proverbs 31 Woman, with John MacArthur

The ideal woman and mother begins as the ideal wife. A woman of character and high ideals who will confront her husband when he's off the mark. She contributes to her own and to his and her children's spiritual development.

God's revelation of the perfect woman is found here, and John MacArthur talks about her in part 1 of a two part series.

She's discussed in contrast to the adulterous woman whose lips speak sweet words of flattery and unconditional, anything goes acceptance, and the noisy, contentious woman.

The model, ideal woman is priceless in every way to her husband, her children and family and a gift from God. How a man can choose a good wife for marriage and a woman can choose a good man: faithful, long-term prayer precedes such a priceless find.

Part 2 of the ideal woman, as inspired by God, and discussed by MacArthur is here. She's industrious and knows how to handle money and financial matters on her own for starters.

What a contrast to the popular, feminist concepts of the ideal woman that so many women today aspire to today.

But Truth never really goes out of style, and however short many of us modern women may have fallen, it's never too late to turn towards timeless principles and begin to walk with God and towards the ideals of true Biblical womanhood, however imperfectly we know we are.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Temper Tantrum After the French Elections

Hat tip Powerline.

Bill Hobbs Writes About the Other "Surge," and What It's Doing For Our Economy

It's the greatest story never told, and deserves to be belabored over and over again:

Our economy is booming in large part because of the Bush tax cuts, which has put more money in state and federal coffers, and in the pockets of the American people.

The tired, old conventional liberal wisdom is that to raise taxes is to raise government revenues. But of course, it's a myth.

The truth is, lower taxes brings higher government revenues and robustness to the economy.

Bill Hobbs says it best in a recent post:

"Not only are federal tax revenues surging, so are state tax revenues all across the country. According to the March 2007 State Budget Update from the National Conference of State Legislatures, 42 states "are finding themselves with unexpected revenue as they approach the end of the fiscal year."

What part of this do the Pelosis of the world not get?

Bill and Larry Kudlow are on the same page. Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

More Than 2.5 Million Watching Much Less TV Than Two Months Ago

Do you watch less television than you did a year ago? Then you, and I, are not alone:

"NEW YORK (AP) - Maybe they're outside in the garden. They could be playing softball. Or perhaps they're just plain bored. In TV's worst spring in recent memory, a startling number of Americans drifted away from television the past two months: More than 2.5 million fewer people were watching ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox than at the same time last year, statistics show. "

Read the whole thing here.

With the decline in quality of programming and the rise of computers, is it any wonder that this statistic isn't even greater? Look for that number to increase over time.

I'm doing my part: except for national crisies, I watch about 3 hours a month, if even that. And in summer, maybe I watch 1 hour per month.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

HRH Queen Elizabeth, The Queen, Visits the White House Yesterday

As a six-year-old child, I vividly remember watching The Queen's coronation on TV, as my baby sister stood and watched from her playpen. I remember the royal coach, the crown and every bit of the pomp and ceremony.

Even today, I love the thought that she still visits us here and that the Bushes get all dressed up for her stately arrival.

The Queen is the symbol throughout the world for dignity, good manners and decent good sense. And she leaves a longing in her wake.

Long live The Queen!

More coverage on the royal visit here.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Getting to Know Him: Fred Thompson Speech at the Lincoln Club, in Three Parts

Part 1: Above: "Government is too important to be left up to the government."

Part 2: Here.:

Part 3: Here.

Fred is looking more and more like a serious and formidable candidate for the Republican nomination for president.


UPDATE: Sarkozy on the rise in France.

But, Hillary is on the decline? Dick Morris says yes and tells why.
Click on the link and then scroll down.

A highlight from Morris:

"Her popularity has dwindled not because she is under fire or being hit with negatives. And, for once, she's not being chased by scandal. She's falling simply because she doesn't come across well. As Americans get to know Clinton better, they are coming to regard her as scripted, dogmatic, defensive, rigid and programmed."

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sunday: Lon Solomon on the Fifth Commandment Honoring Your Father and Mother

In his ongoing study of the life of Moses in the Old Testament, Lon Solomon of McLean Bible Church discusses the Fifth Commandment, the first of the "horizontal commandments," or the those dealing with our fellowmen.

What does it means to us as children? As adults?

How do we learn to submit to authority, first to parents' authority and then God's?

What if our parents aren't Christians or are bad parents?

What if parents ask us to do something horrible, or something we know is just plain wrong?

And how long do we submit to their authority as our Biblical obligation ceases as parents and what happens next?

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, so that your days may be long and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Hear how Mickey Mantle loved his parents, even before he came to Christ in the last days of his life.

A wonderful sermon which clarifies this important Commandment.

A Must-See Video with Fred Thompson

Fred Thompson talks about the over-riding issue in the 2008 presidential election here. Does he really want it? Can he casually run? Will he or won't he? Has he ever lost an election? Does the man fit the times? What is leadership? How will the Internet change the way a campaign is fought?
"Not running to be the biggest midget in the room."

Hat tip: Pajamas Media.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Beautiful, But Tough and Relentlessly Windy Conditions on the Delaware River Thursday and Friday

Our host, above, is a classic fly fisherman in the truest and best sense of the word. Here he enjoys a moment with his guide, par excellence, Darren, before releasing this big brown back into the Delaware.

Below, high rod for the week, Gabe grins and grimly bears it. Below again, this is what fishing is all about, whether you have a day of catching or just a day of fishing. To the real fisherman, it doesn't really matter. You're there enjoying every part of the experience and that's what matters.

Most people who flyfish love the togetherness and comraderie, as well as the solitariness.

Having another woman join the group who loves to fish, is willing to learn and has a terrific sense of humor, makes the whole experience for me even better! It helps not to be so outnumbered.

As conditions on the Delaware River outside Hancock, New York on Thursday and Friday shaped up to be tough, almost brutal, at times because of heavy winds that just wouldn't quit, eight of us divided into two groups of four and set out with our guides for two branches of the river--the east and the west. My group of fishermen were on the west. Here Steve our guide adds tippet to the leader material.

Lunch with conservative fishermen, talking presidential politics. These guys are smart and savvy and not one of them thinks Hillary or Obama is electable this time around. But they all think Obama will bide his time for 2012. Ugh. As we chat over lunch, we also watch the water for rising trout.

Floating in a drift boat is the only way to cover lots of water on a big river like the Delaware. Often when you do this, the guide anchors the skiff and fishermen get out to wade and fish the riffles. Yesterday, however, with wind and water high, everyone mostly stayed in the boat.

Lots of fishtales before, during and after. And beaucoups of laughs and ribbing. Fishing humbles all of us and on top of that, you'd better be able to take a joke. No one is spar

The conditions of high winds were so tough for casting that few of us caught fish. I don't think anyone brought in more than one. I felt very fortunate indeed to have reeled in a 15 inch little brown trout and was the high rod of the day in our boat which wasn't saying much
We all fish catch-and-release and put every fish back into the water---and indeed never take the fish out of the water at all----to be caught again on another day
We took off the river at 9 pm and headed to a fishermen's local tavern where we talked and poor-mouthed until we were too tired to go on. Great fun and today we'll do it all over again.
And so far, early this morning from the cabin, it looks like the wind has died down. Oh, for a windless day on the river! But any day is better than most alternatives!
UPDATE: There was plenty of wind on the Delaware on Friday. And the river has earned my respect as one of the most difficult rivers in American to fish. It's hard to learn new things, but for sure, fishing the Delaware will make us all better, more patient fly fishermen and women.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Fly Fishing 101: Dull, Dull, Quiet, Boring Lonely Practice, Practice, Practice, Practice

It all starts here in a lonely field, an empty parking lot, behind a shopping center. Fly fishing maniacs begin and end by working on their cast like this. For hours, days, weeks, years. Boring, focused, quiet, lonely, exhilerating.

And when you get out West and the wind gusts up to 40 miles/hour, this practice makes it all the more worthwhile. One can learn to cast well without being a good fly fisher, but one cannot be a good fly fisher without learning to cast and put that fly exactly where you intend to.

Bet you thought fly fishing mainly took place on water.