Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saturday


Fly fishing on a high mountain stream is for people who think there are far too many words, even good words, in the world.

***********
UPDATE:
Tough day on the river. It wasn't the fishing, the water, the flies, or the weather. Pure and simple it was alcohol (vodka to be exact) and a most unpleasant decision to walk away from a man who, in my opinion, was drinking far too much, far too early in the day. I've never mixed alcohol and fishing (or driving or anything else)---especially the kind of walking/wading I/we prefer. This holds for me, the clients, family and friends I've fished with over the years. I don't make exceptions on this. There are simply too many possibilities for accidents, falling and drowning, not to mention getting mixed up with grizzly bears as it is, without tipping the balance any further.

I'm no prude, however, today, I was faced with a most painful situation with a friend, and sadly walked away from it and him. And now I'm turning in to dream of better days ahead.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bruce Willis on Fred, Does Celebrity Endorsement Matter To Voters? Candidates?

"He's a really good guy, he's a straight shooter," says Bruce.

Does it mean anything?

It shouldn't for real people who decide on issues rather than emotions and superficialities. This says more about Bruce than it does Fred. But I like what it says about Bruce, sort of.

Coming soon, a brief survey of what some Westerners I have met along the way think of Fred Thompson and his chances of becoming the next president. I will be updating this survey weekly while I'm in the West.

Ladies Day: Hiking in the High Country

To me, one of the greatest joys in life is finding people to share your passions with. Hiking in the great outdoors is one of mine. And so in the summer, I love to hike with friends--male and female---who share that passion, every chance I get. And we have the greatest of fun when we get together!

I see where President Bush, an avid exerciser who loves to mountain bike, is encouraging us all to get more exercise. I couldn't agree more. No matter where we live, what time of year, we are well served---mentally, physically and emotionally---to, at the very minumum, take a good brisk walk every day. In the heat of summer, that would be very early in the morning or in the evening.

Unfortunately, there are several forest fires burning in the area and the atmosphere is hazy and heavy with smoke----smoke from fires in California, Nevada and nearby in the Bridger Teton forest-----not a good sign for June. It's very similar to conditions in 1988 when the great megafires of Yellowstone captured world attention.

Those fires came within five miles of my cabin near Moran, Wyoming, before firefighters dropped a napalm bomb from helicopters and created a massive back burn that sent the inferno back in the opposite direction. We were ordered to evacuate several times by the U.S. Forest Service, before the end of that fire, when an early September snowstorm began to quell the flames.

But I digress.

Looking for balsamroot, larkspur, Indian paintbrush and forget-me-nots. Enjoying the stunning scenery, large vistas, great company and a chance to get a good aerobic workout.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Why Does Iran Now Need to Ration Gasoline?


Why is one of the world's richest oil countries now faced with the dilemma of rationing gasoline?

For the same reason the U.S. might one day be faced with a similar predicament.

It's the "r" word, stupid. R for refinery, R-E-F-I-N-E-R-Y. Without "in house" refinery capacity not all the domestic crude oil in the world is worth a hoot.

Iran may have vast amounts of crude which it extracts from the ground and exports to the rest of the world, but it only has enough refinery capacity to process about 60% of its needs. Therefore it must import up to 40% of refined gasoline. In America, we have only about 50% refining capacity to meet our growing needs. And what we have is often stretched to full capacity.

One could only shudder to think what might happen if there were a terrorist attack on one of our country's overloaded refineries. But for decades environmentalists have blocked construction of any new refineries in the USA. (It's like for years radical tree huggers have fought cutting timber on national forest lands, with devastating effects, such as the accumulation of fuel and now the attendant forest fires.)

Now faced with sanctions from the U.N. and the rest of the world because of its rogue nuclear program, or worse, faced with trade embargoes that would prohibit oil tankers with refined gasoline from entering the country, Iran sees the handwriting on the wall.

Like the cobbler who has no shoes, Iran faces the harsh reality of a looming energy crisis, a sagging economy with growing inflation and unpopularity in the Arab and non-Arab world. It also faces the possibility of war. And fighting a war---war that it and its chief loud mouth Ahmadinejad has been picking---without enough energy is a losing proposition.

And so Iran prepares for the worst, as it hopes for the worst.

We in U.S. should take note of the very real possibility that we may face gas rationing in this country. We use much more refined oil than we produce domestically. Our refineries are stretched to capacity. There hasn't been a new one built on U.S. soil in almost forty years.

Not only do we need to develop crude oil reserves, we also need to increase domestic oil refining capacity to meet growing demand and to eschew our dependency on foreign refined oil from countries like Venezuela. Exxon and Mobile are pulling out of Venezuela altogether with Chavez takeover of the oil industry there.

Remember the word for the decade is r-e-f-i-n-e-r--y. I think it now has a new meaning in Iran. It should also in the United States.

Fred Is About to Launch Himself July 4 in Nashville

As I predicted in a previous post, Fred Thompson is almost done laying the ground work for his July 4 official announcement in Nashville that he's running for president.

He's setting up his national headquarters in Nashville, as he should, and getting his startup committees operational. You better believe that the fund raising machine is getting in high gear. And you can also believe that Thompsom will jettison himself off to Iowa sooner rather than later.



The dems are afraid, very afraid, and are already bring out the heavy artillery to discredit any and everything they can. Look for Fred to use his legal background and extraordinary gift of gab to one by one discredit his detractors.

And already Fred's past lobbying history is being scrutinized, with commentary by Protein Wisdom.

Will add more to this post later in the day.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Thank You, Will, For Helping Me Get Things Pulled Back Together Here at Webutante


I almost ruined my blog last night by going into my template settings
and trying to make some "minor" changes. It was a near blog-aster.

I was reordering and adding to my links on the right hand sidebar when chaos struck--cutting and pasting on an Apple is not as easy as on a Windows/Dell system. Things got dropped in strange places. Then I tried deleting my indiscretions.

Next thing I knew, my blog looked like it had been to a drunk hairdresser.

I'll do a post on my sidebar changes later. More will be added as I have the nerve and assistance to go back into it one day. But I have been duly humbled.

Am fortunate to have someone in Tennessee---a genius--- who helped me set this blog up and is helping me now from afar to restore it to normal functioning.

It may take a few days to get everything back.

Meanwhile Will, thanks so much!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mr. Global Charming, Unhinged, Again

In characteristic fashion, Al Gore, Mr. Global Charming, has gotten his paddle out and this time he's taking scientists to the woodshed for a little tongue lashing he hopes they'll not soon forget. But lest you think he diverges from his script, all tirades do indeed lead back to his global nemesis Bush Vader, and this one's no exception.

You'll find his ho-hum hot rant here in The Independent.

If you like your weekly swig of Al Gore carbonated, then this one's for you, Bud.

Looks like it's going to be a long, hot summer.

Come on, Al, chill for a while. Eat some watermelon, take a plunge in the pool, pop a cool one, go play with some penguins. Does the word R-E-L-A-X mean anything to you?

We hear you and have heard you time and time again. You're beginning to sound like Cindy Sheehan.

Our earthly point of no return may be only ten years away, but yours, dear Al, is fast approaching within the next ten minutes with me.

***********

UPDATE: Al, someone wants to make a wager with you.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Sunday Reflections


All shall work together for good, everything is needful that He sends, nothing can be needful that He withholds.....you have need for patience, and if you ask the Lord will give it. But there can be no settled peace, till our will is in a measure subdued......fight against every thought that would represent it as desirable to be permitted to choose for yourself. When your spirit is overwhelmed within you, He will not leave you to sink. And keep close to the throne of grace.
If we seem to get no good by drawing near to Him, we may be sure we shall get none by keeping away from Him.

----John Newton, author of Amazing Grace

Lon Solomon talks about the Tenth Commandment, Thou Shall not Covet, here.

Psalm 121
I shall lift up my eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: He that keepth thee will not slumber.
Behold, He that keepth Is'ra-el shall neither slumber not sleep.
The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall perserve thee from all evil: He shall preserve thy soul.
The LORD shall perserve thy going out, and thy coming in,
from this time forth and even for evermore.

In memory of Phronia, a native of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, who died January 8, 2007 at the age of 90.

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Dems War on Prosperity

Short on time for blogging today. However, I want to do a short post about something that caught my eye and stuck in my mind all week over at Larry Kudlow's Money Politic$.

He may or may not have coined the phrase "The Democratic War on Prosperity," but in any event he hits the nail on the head and uses the phase often and successfully.

There is indeed an unspoken war on prosperity going on in this country both in Washington and relentlessly in the MSM. As Investors Business Daily says in it's current series entitled "Beyond the Basics, how media incompetence leads to mass ignorance about the U.S. economy," I do think many, if not most, people are completely illiterate on how the economy really works.

The most glaring of the myths that are perpetuated in liberal la la land is that we need to raise taxes to increase state and federal revenues. Another is that government can solve each and every energy crisies through taxing the bejeebers out of the oil companies. None of this will work and in fact will have a depressing effect on our economy as well as our wallets; but you'd never know it from the ignorant MSM and such financial giants as Pelosi and company. And Hillary is the worst, the queen of wanting to wreck the economy and then having the nerve to want to redistribute our wealth. She, like John Edwards, will have to preach "two Americas" in order to justify her call to unceasing call to socialism and socialize medicine. She and Bill know what to do.

So thanks Larry for "The Libs War on Prospertiy." It's a good one that I plan to use more too.

And finally did you ever notice how the MSM always forecasts doom and gloom for the economy? It's amazing. Likewise when there's good news, even great news like there's been the past four years, it simply overlooks it and go back to its war on prosperity.

I learned a long time ago when the CEO of a big company is on the cover of an MSM magazine, it's time to sell the stock, rather than buy.

It's like saying babies come from storks to say higher taxes will boost the economy. And believe you me, if the likes of Hillary Clinton gets elected, God forbid, she'll do her best to stick big governement more and more into out lives and pocketbooks.

And below the greatest warrior on prosperity. And nice as her ideas sound, they're an abomination which perpertuates many myths that will wreck our economy and cut out many jobs. Her answer is always more and more government and it wars on prosperity. The redistribution of wealth by government is a socialist and communist concept and she promotes it without shame and with impunity. Oh Hillary, you're so vain and oh so ignorant. God help us all.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Israel, Stuck in the Middle


Earth to Olmert: No more land giveaways for peace. What sounds like a good idea at the time has always been to your great long-term disadvantage. No! to giving away the West Bank to the Palestinians. No! to making saints out of Fatah and a hero out of Abbas.

Now that Iran-in-bed with Hamas has taken over Gaza to the south of you, you're surrounded on all sides by Iran. Iran-in-bed with Hezbollah to the north of you in Lebanon, Iran-in-bed with Syria to the northeast, and you're ever more stuck in the middle.

Suicide bombers to the left of you, rockets to the right, you're stuck in the middle. Deeper and deeper stuck in the middle.

Do you really think giving away the West Bank to the Palestinian Fatah will settle things? It's wishful thinking on your part. And it seems like naivete on the part of President Bush.

How long, oh how long can you keep sticking yourself in the middle without even more devastating effects?

Iran-in-bed with Hamas could be in control of the West Bank in several years.

And you're getting stuck deeper and deeper in the middle, as things line up for a larger war ahead.

**********

I want to link to a post today on Bill O'Reilly's blog that certainly gives another in depth point of view. It's well worth reading.

In the post, written by the intelligence firm Stratfor, Israel's relationship with Egypt is emphasized more than its relationship with Iran. Very interesting indeed and oh so complex.

And yet another very good post, this one by Canadian columnist David Warren, on how Turkey might yet fit into the future conflagration.

Klaus Turns Up the Heat On Man Made Warmingism

Since man made global warming is fast becoming more a political than scientific issue, it's about time more high profile politicians stepped up to the plate and started slugging it out with the political correctness of our slippery times. At last we have a European no less daring to challenge the new fad religion, AlGoreism:

Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, argues in the Financial Times yesterday that ambitious environmentalism is the biggest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy and prosperity.

Klaus considers the religion of global warming caused by man as a greater threat to mankind than radical Islam.

Mr Klaus writes that “global warming hysteria has become a prime example of the truth versus propaganda problem” and the issue “is more about social than natural sciences and more about man and his freedom than about tenths of a degree Celsius changes in average global temperature.

Vaclav Klaus is a vocal critic of the notion that any global warming is anthropogenic(man-caused).

"Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so."

He has also criticized the IPCC climate panel as a group of politicized scientists with one-sided opinions and one-sided assignments. He has said that other top-level politicians do not expose their doubts about global warming because "a whip of political correctness strangles their voices."

In addition he says "Environmentalism should belong in the social sciences" along with other "isms" such as communism, feminism, and liberalism. President Klaus said that "environmentalism is a religion" and, in an answer to the questions of the U.S. Congressmen, a "modern counterpart of communism" that seeks to change peoples' habits and economic systems.

"Environmentalism, not preservation of nature (and of environment), is a leftist ideology.... Environmentalism is indeed a vehicle for bringing us socialist government at the global level. Again, my life in communism makes me oversensitive in this respect."

Below, Vaclav speaks at the Cato Institute in March, 2007.

Non-Stunner, MSM Give to Liberals 9-1 More Than to Conservatives

So what else is new? Is anyone really surprised?

I can only say if you're interested in seeing details, then click this link and graze a bit on it. Well worth perusing in my opinion. And lest we ever think the Wall Street Journal is really on the conservative side, then do check out its journalists donations. Its dumb and getting dumber, especially on its editorial pages.

Hat tip, Drudge.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Seen and Heard Around Boulder, Wild Oats/Whole Foods Merger


Boulder is the health food, granola center of the world, if not the entire known and unknown universe. Above is the original store, the old Alfalfa's Grocery, that ultimately became the mother lode of Wild Oats Market food chain at the corner of Arapahoe and Broadway in downtown Boulder.

For decades, you could dash in to the lavish salad bar for lunch and after sitting down to eat overhear a conversation at the next table of, say, a Ward Churchill pontificating on the evils of capitalism and democracy. Ironic since affluent, relative reality Boulder is the crown jewel of the materialism in America today. Not to mention Bill O'Reilly's number one pick for the most liberal progressive city, and it's not a compliment either.

Alas, Wild Oats Market may be the product of its own success and soon gobbled up by the new 1000 pound gorilla on the block, Whole Foods Market.

Or is it?

In unsealed documents at the Federal Trade Commission hearing Tuesday on the Whole Foods/Wild Oats buyout, a lawsuit by the FTC seeking to block the merger alleges that such a move will eliminate competition and create a monopoly for the Whole Foods giant.

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey of Austin, Texas is quoted as telling his board that buying Wild Oats would allow their company's chain to avoid "nasty price wars" and "eliminate forever" the threat of say a Kroger or Safeway buying Wild Oats and becoming a chief competitor of Whole Foods.

Mackey has responded in an extensive blog post that his comments were taken out of context and contends that he doesn't consider WOM his company's chief rival in most metropolitan markets. Mackey further argues the merger would cause prices to go down and quality to go up.

Okay, okay, okay, like what else would you expect Mackey to say? He's a smooth operator. (He's also a good business man who's come up with one of the best corporate health savings plans for employees anywhere.)

A full hearing is set for July 31-August 1 in Washington, D.C.

My prediction is that Mackey will prevail, and Whole Foods will take over the smaller Wild Oats chain for better or worse for the consumer. The Whole Foods gorilla will become to organic foods what Toyota is to cars.

I personally prefer the size, scale and pricing of Wild Oats to that of Whole Foods, but I think I'm in the minority. I think Whole Foods over-seasons and put too much stuff on its prepared foods---too much balsamic, hot peppers and tamari for my liking.

So stay tuned and keep eating salads and lots of organics. Whole Foods isn't nicknamed "whole paycheck" for nothing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Two from the Road

Sunday, I was driving in the great plains of eastern Colorado about two hours out of Denver when these horses caught my eye. Although I've seen thousands like them, for some reason, I put on the brakes, pulled my car over to the side of the Interstate, grabbed my camera and ran down to the wind swept field where they were grazing. It was a great photo op and I was completely lost in the fun of it all. They came over we played for a while.

About ten minutes later, I turned to hike back and suddenly saw the famous flashing lights behind my car and a highway patrolman standing way up there peering down at me. At least he couldn't arrest me for speeding.

I rushed back up the hill, prepared to be chastised for leaving my car unattended. When I got within shouting distance, the patrolman was smiling at me, much to my surprise, and asked if I was okay.

"Oh yes sir," I assured him. "Just thought those horses were fine looking and that I'd run down and take some photos." He said he'd stopped to watch and make sure I didn't need anything.

We chatted a few minutes and then kindly wished each other a good day. I hopped back in my car and was on my way.

Now that's the way I like meeting a state trooper!

Loved this great, old car that passed me soon after, going ninety miles and hour!

Are Blogs An Early Warning Signal for Politicians, Even More Than Polls?

Here's a great piece at Ace of Spades on the blogosphere. Politicians should pay more heed, not because we're brilliant, in fact many of us are morons, but well, just because we do often reflect public opinion and often we articulate the reasons we reflect that opinion.

As for the amensty without security (immigration) issue Ace says:

"We are desperately attempting to get the attention of the Republican Party (and, also, the establishment Democrats willing to sell out sovereignty and blue-collar workers for some votes from "newcomers"). We are collectively pleading with you: Do not do this, or we will be forced to vote against you or sit out the next election, and yes, indeed, we are quite serious about this. This is the Rubicon, the last straw, the ultimate insult, the final nerve.

But they're not listening. Useless humps like Trent Lott are so used to legislating in secret and without public scrutiny that they've come to believe that doing so is their actual right, and that democratic pressure from the public is some sort of usurpation of the Divine Right of Legislators.

I will say it again: Do. Not. Do. This. If You Value. Your Political Lives. Don't consider it a threat; consider it an intervention."

Well said, Ace. And while we're at it I have a few suggestions for Fred Thompson soon.....

*************
A NOTE ABOUT COMMENTS:

Please note, I am no longer publishing anonymous comments. I accept pseudonyms, but not anonymous commenters. Just too difficult to keep them separate. Recently I've gotten a number that I haven't published because of this.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Soon, On the River, Into the Woods but Still On the Wilderness of the Web


I'm here for a few days in the high tech capital of the world (Boulder, CO) and also the liberal---as in lefty leaning politics---center of America. This could be where Al Gore might call heaven some day. My favorite computer has gone on the blink, and the place where I was staying had Internet problems and so I had to move.

I'm altitude and travel lagged, and in need of a day or so of rest and some serious exercise, while catching up with friends here. So it may be a day or two before I'm up and running.

But soon, God willing, I'll be back on the river, into the woods and still on the wildernes of the Web.

North by northwest soon I go, far away from here.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sunday Reflection

Tis not that I did choose Thee, for Lord, that could not be;
This heart would still refuse Thee, hadst Thou not chosen me.
Thou from the sin that stained me hast cleansed and set me free;
Of old Thou hast ordained me, that I should live to Thee.

’Twas sov’reign mercy called me and taught my op’ning mind;
The world had else enthralled me, to heav’nly glories blind.
My heart owns none before Thee, for Thy rich grace I thirst;
This knowing, if I love Thee, Thou must have loved me first.
— Josiah Conder (1836)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Weekend, On the Katy Trail, In the Footsteps of Lewis and Clark



By Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. (Colossians 1:16).

Angelina Jolie, A Woman Who Needs To Be in Control

Sometimes exercising our First Amendment right of discrimination, as Angelina has done with the press coverage of A Mighty Heart shows what control freaks we really are. She may be within her rights, but it sure shows her strong need to manage impressions and be in control.

Left-leaning actress Angelina may have left-leaning Brad in her hip pocket through strong sexual attraction, but not the world at large. She's gorgeous but has gotten a free pass for far too long on her looks and star power. The movie has gotten rave reviews, so why in the world does she need to be so heavy handed with the press?

Quotes for the Weekend

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary."

---Vince Lombardi

"Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."

---Siddartha Ganutama

When I see myself or others stuck in our lives, I know there's some hidden unforgiveness somewhere. We all think not forgiving hurts the one who's wronged us, but it's simply not true. Unforgiveness keeps us stuck in every aspect of our lives, and also keeps us stuck to the object of our dislike.

There's no better way to stay bound and stuck to another and the past than through anger and resentment. There's no better way to move on, scary as that may be, than through forgiveness. It's sets us free. That doesn't mean we become doormats, but rather allows us to try again with that person and/or to move on to a new situation. It helps us to take responsibilty for our part in a problem.

For sure, forgiveness is a process, often involving anger, grief and despair. The trick is not to get stuck too long in any one emotion but to flow through and come to a point of acceptance and letting go. It brings freedom, wisdom and greater maturity.

Jesus taught it over and over again. He taught us to forgive seventy times seventy.

Forgiveness is not for the person we forgive, it's for us, the one who forgives. It allows us freedom to move on with our lives. Children who can't or won't forgive their parents, for whatever reason, stay forever adolescents who cannot move on ---personally, professionally, spiritually---until they do. The same goes for anyone who won't forgive.

Want to feel close to someone in a negative way? Then take up a gripe with them and not forgive them. It's sort of a negative way out of lonliness, but oh so destructive, and only creates more loneliness in the end.

Friday, Triple Witching Day for the Markets


It's always nice to know when to expect volatility in the stock market. Today, Friday June 15, is just one of those days.
It's a triple witching day, when options, futures and commodities all expire at once. You can expect volatility and profit taking.
Tom S. my stock broker, was kind enough to send me a little piece on it:
"This week is Quadruple Witching Week and that, in and of itself, suggests a high probability of volatility in the markets.
That coincides with the fact that the NYSE Bullish Percent is at high levels and the short term indicators are on sell signals. Quadruple Witching occurs when stock options, futures, futures options, and stock futures options all expire on the same day.
June 15th will be the second triple witching of 2007, the first coming the third Friday in March.
One strategy that we have found that works well during this Quadruple Witching week is if you want to buy a stock put the order in a couple of points below the market, and if you want to sell a stock put the order in to sell a couple of points above the market. Sometimes you get executed on both your buy and sell tickets."
Thanks Tom for keeping me up and educated.
Won't go into anymore detail, but it's nice to know and adjust accordingly. Posts like this don't get many comments, however, I'm a student of the markets and so occasionally want to post what interests me here marketwise.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

John Prine and Mac Wiseman, Authentic Country At Its Best

Every now and then a country CD comes along that knocks my socks off. This one by John Prine and Mac Wiseman is right up my alley. With songs like Old Cape Cod, The Old Rugged Cross and I Come to the Garden Alone, just to name a few, you're sure to find a feeling tone that suits you. It's authentic country and gospel at its best with a twang.

And I, being an average person, love these standard songs.

Get it and then enjoy country music the way it's meant to be.

And thanks 2E, my northern citygirl friend for introducing me to this one, even though I should have been the one to introduce you.......a bit embarrassing for a southern, country girl to be shown up by a Yankee, of all things......humbled again.

Shame on the MSM for Dumbing Down the Dazzling Economy and the Beneficial Effects of Tax Cuts on Revenues


This from an editorial in Investors Business Daily today entitled: The Tax Story Media Invariable Bury:

"One of the assertions that the media make most often about the U.S. economy is that President Bush's tax cuts didn't do what he promised. But the data clearly show nothing could be farther from the truth.

"Bush lowered taxes in both 2001 and 2003. during the debate for both rounds of reductions, it was repeatedly asserted that tax cuts would lead to lower revenues and not pay off with higher economic growth.

"Wrong on both counts.

"A cursory look at the data---and that's all it takes, so shame on the media for misreporting---show tax revenues have surged, SURGED, since the tax cuts went into effect."

The truth is much of the MSM and members of Congress are shamefully illiterate about the ways the economy really works, and do a great disservice to our citizens in trying to perpetuate the myth that higher taxes bring in higher revenues.
IBD concludes its editorial today with the following:
"Another poll, this from the American Enterprise Institute, found that most people think they should be paying from 10% to 25% of income on taxes. Right now, the actual number is over 30%. So it's not a stretch to say that most people feel they're overtaxed.
"This is why Bush's tax cuts are so popular. And why they need to be kept in place.
"If they're allowed to lapse, as Democrats, and certainly Hillary, would like, it could be big troube for the economy. A study earlier this year by economists Tracy Foertsch and Ralph Rector found scrapping Bush's tax cuts would,
********deprive GDP by $75 billion a year.
********Cost 709,000 jobs annually.
********Lower personal incomes by almost $200 billion.
"Note to tax raisers in Washington and the media who carry their water: TAX CUTS WORK.
"They did for Coolidge, they did for Kennedy, they did for Reagan. Now they're doing so for Bush."
Amen, brothers at IBD.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fred Thompson's Most Recent Interview at the Hoover Institute



Well worth watching.

Boundaries of Israel, Ancient Verses Modern

Lest we think that modern Israel is taking up too much oxygen in the Middle East, above is a map of the Land of the Jews in Solomon's time, 3000 years ago in light yellow, verses the land of the Jews today, in green. Presently, Olmert is considering giving away even more of Israel---the Golan Heights---to appease the Palestineans!

Israel, the incredible shrinking democracy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Short-term Predictions: Fred Thompson


Predicting the future is always risky business, and obviously things can turn on a dime. Having said that, however, I'd like to make a few political predictions that cover the next few months:

First and foremost, I predict Fred Thompson will officially announce his candidacy for president of the United States on the same day this country declared its independence, July 4. He will do this in his home state of Tennessee, making his announcement on the steps of the state capital in Nashville. He will then visit his hometown of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, to get back to his roots because his campaign will in large measure highlight his southern, small town, working class origins.

Second, I think Fred will go great guns, entering and dueling in the Republican Iowa Straw Poll scheduled for August 11. Whether Giuliani or McCain decide they're in or out of the Iowa process, Thompson will be IN and KO at least one or two Republican contenders, most likely Mitt Romney.

Third, I predict Fred will turn his efforts for the rest of the summer to fundraising for the long campaign ahead. He will hone his Internet presence and make the most of his knack for campaigning his own way, on his own terms. The longer he's in the race, the more unique and authentic Thompson's campaign will become. He knows if he's not having some fun in the midst of all the terminal seriousness, all the money in the world won't get him elected.
Fourth, I believe Fred will be thinking long and hard about a running mate, if he wins the nomination. It will surely have to be either a woman or a minority candidate to contend with a Hillary/Obama or Hillary/Richardson ticket. Could a Michael Steele or Michelle Malkin be in his future?

And finally, Thompson's new wife, Jeri Kehn, will ride herd on him and make sure he watches his diet, exercises and gets plenty of rest on the campaign trail. Dr. Bill Frist will be watching over Thompson as well, making sure he behaves himself in the health department. If Thompson becomes President, he will appoint Frist to the post of U.S. Surgeon General. Frist will be much better at this than he was as Senate Majority Leader, because it's where his heart is.

Whatever happens next, Fred Thompson will liven the place up for the long seige ahead. So stay tuned and get plenty of rest cause we're all gonna need it! Oh, and save your sense of humor for some upcoming Fred Thompsonisms.

Gittyup!


Monday, June 11, 2007

Iran and Its "Resistance Front" Allies

Flags of Iran's "World Resistance Front" nations are pictured above.
These are flags of countries Iran considers her greatest allies, aka our greatest enemies. Iran calls them its resistance front allies, and they include:
Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Palelstine (Gaza) all in the Middle East, North Korea in Asia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba all in South and Central America, Sudan and Zimbabwe in Africa and Belarus in the old Russian Empire.
Who knew? Let's see, aren't these countries that are free, peaceful, calm, and economically booming? Oh no wait! They're the saddest, poorest, most economically and politically deprived dictatorships on the face of the earth, where freedom goes to die...the real axis of evil to the rest of the world and to the human spirit.
And you know how misery loves company. They want us all to join them in bondage, poverty and hopelessness.
These countries are exporting terror, mayhem. genocide and WMDs to the rest of the world. They're the ones the USA and its allies most need to deal with because they want to destroy our way of life. Oh and, they don't have a very keen sense of humor either.
Hat tip: Serendip

Steve Gill's New Book on Fred Thompson Is a Must Read

Anyone who's interested in getting to know potential presidential candidate Fred Thompson better--- his history, positions, and possible path to the White House in the year ahead----should get and read this short, newly released primer by Middle Tennessee conservative radio host, Steve Gill.

It's a quick and simple read, but chocked full of facts and information. And, for me, it brings back many political memories going back thirty or so years. I had forgotten how instramental Fred was in bringing down one of Tennessee's most corrupt administrations, that of then Democrat Gov. Ray Blanton who sought to pardon many convicted criminals in exchange for money in his pockets near the end of his term in office. I headed a citizen conservation group here during that time and had to have a good deal of contact with Blanton's higher-ups who were blantantly corrupt. It was shameful time in our state's political history.

I often listen to Steve when tooling around town in my car and finally met him in person several weeks ago. Writing "The Fred Factor, How Fred Thompson May Change the Face of the '08 Campaign," Gill has done a service to Fred, voters who want to be better informed, political writers and bloggers, and his own reputation.

A link to Steve's website can be found here. I'll be blogging in the months ahead based in large part on information in Gill's book. Thanks, Steve, for doing this good book in record time.

Early Morning Walk

It's cool and overcast this morning in the land of cotton, the perfect time for a walk/run on the newly opened section of our local greenway. Saw this little heron in the stream below and couldn't resist snapping her. She's watching intently for a fish, a crayfish or a tidbit of terrapin for her early morning repast.

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If you're looking for the world's best chocolate chip recipe, then look no further. Nancy Rommelmann over at Pajamas Media tells us how to do it here. And if you'll scroll down to the comments section, I describe the one time I baked a cake during my first year of marriage. But be forewarned, it wasn't a pretty sight!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Sunday: Grace, Stealing, and No More Mr. Nice Guy

"Cheap grace is the enemy of the church. It means forgiveness of sins proclaimed as a general truth, an intellectual assent to the idea is held to be sufficient to secure remission of sins. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance........grace without discipleship......grace without a cross.....Costly grace is the gospel (of the church)....It is costly because it costs a man his life, and grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his son.....it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our lives. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God....when Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. That is why the rich young man was so loath to follow Jesus, for the cost of his following was the death of his will. In fact, every command of Jesus is a call to die, with all our affections and lusts."

---Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

Hat tip: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, New York

***********

In continuing his series on the life of Moses, Lon Solomon talks today about the Eighth Commandment, thou shall not steal. And as always, it goes much deeper than we want to think.

By the way, I wrote about the first time my own criminal nature came out publicly as a child in a recent post entitled "Slopmadoodle." Remember, children are notorious thieves. I know I was. But I was fortunate to have parents who did not tolerate the evidence of my criminal nature lightly, and punished me very severely.

*************

Think Christian men, and women for that matter, are supposed to be nice and wimpy? Well, think again, as the cliche goes. It's a mistaken notion that many people have because Christ commands us to love. But often we mistake what love is and isn't.

This week, Dr. James Dobson, of Focus on the Family, talked to author Paul Coughlin about the difference between being a nice guy and a good man. Coughlin has written a book entitled, "No More Christian Nice Guy," and it has implications for every aspect of a man's life, including his sex life. Women listen up too. Real men know what they stand for, say what they mean---however politically incorrect---and mean what they say. It's called character. They stay the course, no matter what the hardship.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 can be accessed here.

Well worth listening to and taking to heart, in my opinion.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Who Said It? And To Whom?

whenever......."they need an old, beat-up middle-aged guy who'll work for cheap, they call me....."

Thanks to: Steve Gill

Ahhh, The Sins of Our Youth,


This bumper sticker caught my eye the other day in the parking lot of Wild Oats Market. It's one of those stickers I love to hate and causes me to roll my eyes back in my head. Actually, it was a little potpourri of offensive slogans on a bright red Prius-like car. So I rolled my eyes and then went for my camera.

But, far be it from me to cast the first, big stone, since I was once a sixties liberal and espoused all the "ism" ideals au current at the time. Just give me another 'ism' and I'd embrace it, many years ago. (Though I never cared to put the manifestation of it on my bumper.)

But then reality bit. And reality can have very sharp teeth.

It bit all of us on 9-11.

Long before the attacks however, I began to see with new eyes. Thank God I was delivered from such foolishness and know now there is no co-existing with evil, or appeasing those who want to wipe us or others off the face of the earth. (Mr. Olmert, are you ever going to get it? )

The "wouldn't it be nice" bumper sticker above can best be viewed to the "wouldn't it be nice" Beach Boys music below, a real blast from our "wouldn't it've been nice until reality bit" past.


Peace on Earth will happen one day, but not until Christ comes again, as He surely will. That's Jesus Christ, not Al Gore, Hillary, Barack Obama or even Fred. May we all be ready--not just with bumper stickers on our cars, but by truly turning to Him.

Friday, June 08, 2007

No! No! No! Time To Resign!

I am deeply sadden over this report and will write more later. Meanwhile, it's time for Olmert to go, really, truly, madly, quickly, mercifully.

Come to think of it, that may be nuff said!

Report From Sudan: Many Refugees are Returning to Southern Sudan This Week


I am most grateful to know someone who is helping me understand the situation in Sudan and plan to write more about it as I can grasp it well enough to pass along.
For now, two things are currently happening there: first, President Bush has ordered economic sanctions on Sudan, and second, many refugees who left Southern Sudan years ago because of civil war and genocide by Arab Muslims on Christians, are now returning to the south because of a 2005 peace treaty:
This week, June 7, 2007, many refugees are returning to Southern Sudan.
An estimated four million people fled southern Sudan, during Sudan's 21-year civil war between the nation's ruling Islamist regime and southern rebels. It was during this time small boys orphaned during the horrendous assault on their villages and families in the south walked to Ethiopia and were named the Lost Boys of Sudan.

In 2005, a peace agreement ended the war, paving the way for the return to Southern Sudan of the largest refugee population in the world.

The day begins at dawn. The honking horns signal that it is time for many refugees to leave.
Men, women and children hurry from their tents outside of Khartoum in the Muslim north, to get on board their assigned buses.

Three hundred and seventy one southern Sudanese began their journey home to the south, Thursday.

Twenty years ago, two million southerners left their villages and came north to Khartoum (where radical Arab Muslims now rule) to escape fighting during Sudan's civil war and genocide.

Here in the north, they faced racial and religious prejudice, which kept them confined largely to impoverished ghetto areas.

Southern Sudanese are African Christians or Animists.

Northern Sudanese are Muslims and pride themselves on their Arab heritage.
Suspicion and hostility are rife between Muslims and Christians in Sudan, as now in all parts of the world.
More later.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Response to William's Recent Comment

I would like to briefly respond to a comment of a few days ago, and break it off in several pieces.

Because I will be away from my computer today, I will post what I can and add more to this post over the weekend.

On June 5, William wrote,

"after reading your profile, I thought how could this woman be a conservative? Particularly, loving nature, hiking etc... and apparently supporting the worst environmental administration in our lifetime?"

And here's my response to that:
You're too young to know this, but our air and water quality, among many other things' is so vastly improved from when I was a child, and coming of age in the sixties, that it's hard for me to be too upset about how "bad" things are today in that department. It is truly a staggering improvement. That is not to say there's not always room for more improvement.

Did you know that CO2 levels actually decreased last year in the United States even as GDP went up several percentage points? Of course that won't satisfy you or your idealism, but it is a point worth noting here in the non-MSM.

But to a larger degree, I would bet that you and I vastly differ on what the true precursors of improved environmental quality really are. I'm sure you would say that more laws and regulations are required, not to mention our country's signing on the Kyoto Treaty. I've heard the arguments ad naseum.

You see, I believe, however politically incorrect, that democracy, free markets, the rule of law, low taxes, strong property rights and economic prosperity are the greatest enhancements of environmental quality there can be.

Conversely, where you find tyrannical regimes, dictators, controlled markets and economic impoverishment, you find environments and environmental quality in deep decline. I think of North Korea. Or the decimataion of Iraq's wetlands under Saddam. Or Cuba. And let's watch what will happen to the envronmental quality of Venezuela in the years to come.

This is all I have time for right now. I will address that and that alone. I am not willing to be assaulted by multiple comments, psychological studies and the like. Those are for your blog. I am sticking to my own knitting here. And remember, it's your First Amendment right to leave when and if you so choose.

Writing My Thank Yous to Our Wounded Warriors

First some photos from my dinner Wednesday night with a special group of Wounded Warriors in Nashville, Tennessee as they gathered for a weekend of reunion, fellowship and lots country music:

Above, standing on his own two feet in every way, Robert Doughty, former Special Ops Staff Sargeant in Iraq, waits outside the restaurant with his wife, Krissy and their two children. He lost both legs in Iraq when an IED went off at close range. With them is Dick Autrey who organized the first warrior/country music event last year, after his own son, Ryan, returned from Iraq with only one arm.

Organizer Dick Autry, a former Marine, and his son Ryan who now works in the beer distributing business.

Former Staff Sargeant Jason Pepper with seven month old daughter Cheyanne. He sustained massive injuries and lost both eyes, after throwing himself in front of two of his men as an IED exploded at close range in Iraq. He recovered in Walter Reed Hospital for two years. Today Jason has two prosthetic eyes and and other bionic implants that allow him to be a hands on husband and father and work his way towards a college degree in Business Administration using CDs and special computer software for studying and listening. He dreams of opening a restaurant and bar with wife, Heather, and other family members after graduating in two years.

Former Staff Sargeant Robert "Robbie" Doughtry, a true bionic man. with two prosthetic legs that allows him almost complete mobility. After USA Today featured his recovery at Walter Reed in the fall of 2004, he return to his family in Paducah, Kentucky. Four months later Michael Ilitch, founder and president of Little Caesar's Pizzas, called and offered Robbie, and another wounded vet who became his partner, a Little Caesars Pizza franchise for free. Now several years later, Robbie and his partner are planning to open a second franchise in Clarksville, Tennessee near Fort Campbell.
Doughtry has enrolled in a Special Ops program at Walter Reed starting in July, 2007 where he and other recovered vets will offer mentoring and encouragement to their fellow soldiers freshly wounded in the war. Meanwhile, Ilitch of Little Caesar's Pizza has started an official franchise program for injured vets, after making the initial gift to Doughtry.

June 7, 2007

Dear Fellows,

Welcome to Music City USA and the Country Music Festival!
Of course, mine is an unofficial greeting from a regular person who's neither a city dignitary or a country music star. (You'll surely get plenty of that as the weekend here unfolds.) But it doesn't diminish my heart felt appreciation for what you've done for your country and regular people like me. We people don't often take the time to know or thank you as we should.
Great meeting you last night for dinner at Maggionis! Getting to know you a little better over lasagne and Caesar salad, hearing your stories, sharing your dreams for the future were more than I bargained for.
Now you have names and faces, families and jobs, hopes and dreams and your share of challenges. Up until last night, you were only a concept to me." The Wounded Warrior" concept. Warriors injured in Iraq or Afghanistan. Soldiers who fought and survived, were injured and recovered "somewhere out there."
And now I see Wounded Warriors as real people.

I must confess, I was somewhat skeptical that our get-together might be a real downer, what with knowing all of you were banged up pretty bad in the Iraq War. Most of you survived massive IED explosions and were hospitalized for months, if not years at Walter Reed and Brooke Medical Center. So I stuffed some extra Kleenex in my purse when I came to the dinner, expecting that I might cry all the way home afterwards.

But I never used it. A funny thing happened over calamari: you lifted my spirits rather than dashing them. And rather than cry all the way home last night, I gave thanks for brave men like you who serve our country. Your courage in the face of hardships in are truly inspiring.
Thank you so much for all that you've done for all of us. We shall not forget you, so keep on keeping on. And remember, fellows, in the words of Sara Evans, you were born to fly.
God bless you and your families all,
Webutante


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Only A Black Man Can Say This About New Orleans

I don't usually post e-mails I receive from friends, but am going to make an exception today. The following was written by the Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson, a black man who founded BOND, Brotherhood of a New Destiny and authored "SCAM: How Black Leadership Exploits Black America." My response, "Amen, brother." So without further ado, and not knowing when he wrote this, I give you the Rev. Mr. Peterson; his message is for all of us:

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NEW ORLEANS WENT UNDER, by Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson

"Say a hurricane is about to destroy the city you live in. Two questions: What would you do? What would you do if you were black?

"Sadly, the two questions don't have the same answer.

"To the first: Most of us would take our families out of that city quickly to protect them from danger. Then, able-bodied men would return to help others in need, as wives and others cared for children, elderly, infirm and the like.

"For better or worse, Hurricane Katrina has told us the answer to the second question. If you're black and a hurricane is about to destroy your city, you'll probably wait for the government to save you.

"This was not always the case. Prior to 40 years ago, such a pathetic performance by the black community in a time of crisis would have been inconceivable. The first response would have come from black men. They would take care of their families, bring them to safety, and then help the rest of the community. Then local government would come in.

"No longer. When 75 percent of New Orleans residents had left the city, it was primarily immoral, welfare-pampered blacks that stayed behind and waited for the government to bail them out. This, as we know, did not turn out good results.

"Enter Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan. Jackson and Farrakhan laid blame on "racist" President Bush. Farrakhan actually proposed the idea that the government blew up a levee so as to kill blacks and save whites. The two demanded massive governmental spending to rebuild New Orleans, above and beyond the federal government's proposed $60 billion. Not only that, these two were positioning themselves as the gatekeepers to supervise the dispersion of funds. Perfect: Two of the most dishonest elite blacks in America, "overseeing" billions of dollars. I wonder where that money will end up.

"Of course, if these two were really serious about laying blame on government, they should blame the local one. Responsibility to perform legally and practically fell first on the mayor of New Orleans. We are now all familiar with Mayor Ray Nagin, the black who likes to yell at President Bush for failing to do Nagin's job. The facts, unfortunately, do not support Nagin's wailing. As the Washington Times puts it, "recent reports show [Nagin] failed to follow through on his own city's emergency-response p lan, which acknowledged that thousands of the city's poorest residents would have no way to evacuate the city."

"One wonders how there was "no way" for these people to evacuate the city. We have photographic evidence telling us otherwise. You've probably seen it by now the photo showing 2,000 parked school buses, unused and underwater. How much planning does it require to put people on a bus and leave town, Mayor Nagin?

"Instead of doing the obvious, Mayor Nagin (with no positive contribution from Gov. Kathleen Blanco, the other major leader vested with responsibility to address the hurricane disaster) loaded remaining new Orleans residents into the Superdome and the city's convention center. We know how that plan turned out.

"About five years ago, in a debate before the National Association of Black Journalists, I stated that if whites were to just leave the United States and let blacks run the country, they would turn America into a ghetto within 10 years. The audience, shall we say, disagreed with me strongly. Now I have to disagree with me. I gave blacks too much credit. It took a mere three days for blacks to turn the Superdome and the convention center into ghettos, rampant with theft, rape and murder.

"President Bush is not to blame for the rampant immorality of blacks. Had New Orleans' black community taken action, most would have been out of harm's way. But most were too lazy, immoral and trifling to do anything productive for themselves.

"All Americans must tell blacks this truth. It was blacks' moral poverty not their material poverty that cost them dearly in New Orleans.

"Farrakhan, Jackson, and other race hustlers are to be repudiated for they will only perpetuate this problem by stirring up hatred and applauding moral corruption. New Orleans, to the extent it is to be rebuilt, should be remade into a dependency-free, morally strong city where corruption is opposed and success is applauded.

"Blacks are obligated to help themselves and not depend on the government to care for them. We are all obligated to tell them so."

*******
The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson is founder and president of BOND, the Brotherhood Organization of A New Destiny, and author of "Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America."

Note From A Commenter; Questions I Thought You'd Never Ask


Every now and then a commenter comes along who is pure gold and actually puts you to the test by a searching assumption or question. Such a commenter appeared to me today named William. Because I think his point is interesting and actually well taken, I'm putting it on my front page. And not only that, I am going to respond to it in full. Unfortunately, I have a busy schedule away from the computer most of the day, but I shall not rest until I have addressed his points to my satisfaction at least. But be forewarned, this may take me several posts, or the rest of my life, whichever comes first!
So stay tuned, and thank you William, whoever you are (you're not my former husband are you?):
*******************
WILLIAM writes:
"I stumbled upon your blog and after reading your profile, I thought how could this woman be a conservative? Particularly, loving nature, hiking etc... and apparently supporting the worst environmental administration in our lifetime? It didn't make since until I noticed you were part of the Jesus cult . . . then it all made sense.

"From what I've seen around the blogging community - especially in the south, many Bush loyalists/conservatives tend to be devout Christians. The mindset that leads itself to an unquestioning and dogmatic allegiance to Christianity, is the the same mindset that supports a leader who is a professed Christian, despite any and all shortcomings. They will often support him to the end and turn a blind eye to the damage he's done. Typically, bloggers of this mindset will carefully moderate their blog and remove any comments that provide a valid argument or an inconvenient truth - unlike most all liberal blogs.

"Comment moderation has been enabled. Bingo."
*********************
Moderation is used to eliminate tasteless, obscene language and mean-spirited, hateful or obsessive, rapid-fire harangues which do nothing to further intelligent discussion or the flow of ideas. When someone through an assault of comments wants to make themselves or me the issue, rather than letting the issue be the issue, then they're no longer welcome here.
However, make no mistake, I and all people who have moderated comments, have the First Amendment privilege to accept or reject any comment that comes to me here at Webutante, for good reason or for no reason at all.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Heartbreaka! Vandy Loses Monday Night to Michigan 4-3

The end of the game, the regionals and the winning season for Vanderbilt came Monday night at the bottom of the 10th in overtime. Vanderbilt pitcher David Price, the #1 professional draft choice in the nation, gave away a homerun to a pinch hitter (with a .187 batting average!) for Michigan in the top of the 10th, after sizzling in the 9th. Vandy never got back its groove. It's 1, 2, 3 strikes you're out...at the ole ball game. What a shame!

The playoff was nonetheless spectacular. I don't think baseball gets any better than this, in spite of the loss. Great fun until the very end and a beautiful night to boot. Vanderbilt has shone this season as the #1 college team in the nation. Head coach Tim Corbin is to be congratulated. The sun went down this evening late in the 10th, but it will rise again. And shine. This team is a class act!

The crowd went absolutely wild in the bottom of the 9th with two men on bases. Vandy scored two points to tie the game 3-3, and to send the game into a tie-breaking 10th inning!

So, take me out to the ballgame, take me out with the crowd. Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack, I don't care if I never get back!


HG tells me the man leading the Cubs fans at Wrigley Stadium in the video above is named Harry Carey.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Hillary, Dillary, Dock; Immigration, Swimmigration

Mike Luchovick. hat tip, Pajamas Media.

UPDATE: Last weekend, Larry Kudlow said this about Hillary's plans to "help" the economy:

"Rudy blasted Hillary’s tax hike plan yesterday calling it an “astounding, staggering tax increase.” Good for him. Hillary’s been out proclaiming her government redistributionist message of “shared prosperity.”

"Her growth-paralyzing solution? Increase taxes on Americans making more than $200K a year.

"This is France before Sarkozy stuff."

"Incidentally, Hillary’s tax hike plan would slaughter somewhere around 25 million small, owner-operated businesses. How’s that for sound economic policy?"





What, praytell, are you thinking, Sir?

Sunday, Lon Solomon Tells the Amazing Story of His Conversion to Christ

Lon Solomon, Senior Pastor at McLean Bible Church in Tysons Corner, Virginia, tells his fascinating conversion story here.

If you only have time for but one inspirational thing today, take time to listen to this. Completely amazing story!

Lon was born and raised in a Jewish home in Portsmouth, VA. While in college, Lon’s life became a relentless search for meaning and purpose. He sought to fill the void he felt on the inside with fraternity life, partying, gambling, and he even developed a serious drinking problem. When all this failed to supply the inner peace he was seeking, Lon became deeply involved in drugs, both as a user and a distributor.

He turned to “spiritual” things at this point, diving into psychedelics, Eastern religions and even attempting a return to mainstream Judaism. But all this failed to resolve his inner turmoil, and he decided that suicide was the only reasonable way out. It was at this time that Lon met a street evangelist in Chapel Hill who began to talk to him about Jesus Christ. God worked powerfully through months of interaction with this man, resulting in Lon’s decision to accept Jesus as his personal Savior and Messiah in the spring of 1971.

Lon is a marvelous example of God’s transforming power in action.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Recent Post on Al Gore Picked Up By Pajamas Media Today

My most recent post covering Al Gore's book signing Friday at my local bookstore was most kindly picked up by Pajamas Media . I have given them an exclusive to this until Tuesday, so if you'd like to read it, you can go here or here.

Thanks and best wishes to the good editors at Pajamas for taking a look at my writing and giving this citizen blogger a little wider coverage. But most of all I'd like to express appreciation for their putting together a loose-knit, diverse and power-packed community of conservative thinkers, writers and editors from around the world, who are making a differerence, especially in countering the liberal, biased, often far too politically correct MSM, in these increasingly treacherous times we live.

Saturday, Tom Rush Singing Some Modern Day Yuppie Blues



Thanks to good friend SG in Evergreen, CO for sending.

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Local Shopper/Blogger Meets the Local/Global Prophet

(Below is the unedited version of my story on Al Gore's book signing appearance in my, and his, local bookstore that was picked up by Pajamas Media recently and entitled GoreMania! My thanks to their fine editors.)

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A sign in the bookstore window caught my eye as I dashed out of the mall back to my car, "Assault on Reason, Gore Booking Signing, June 1, Noon."

That would be today.

I stopped. Stared. Glanced at my watch. It was 11:14 am.

Then I reached into my purse. Did I have my camera? A pen? I knew I had the back of a blank check to take notes on, if need be.

My brain---quicker than a flash---was morphing from consumer/shopper focused a $39 beach towel at Restoration Hardware into citizen blogger who had just happened upon an unscheduled bloggable event.

Al, the prophet, Gore, our local prophet, now Pope of Global Warming, Prophet to the World, was coming to our local bookstore, his local bookstore just a few miles from his Belle Meade mansion with carbon offsets. And was bound to prophecy again in about 45 minutes when his church would begin its mid-day service. It was a talk, followed by book signing.

For a few seconds, the shopper in me with stuff to do tried to regain control from my inner blogger. A brief struggle ensued. Even though I had left my camera at home, it was to no avail. The blogger won out.

At exactly 12:06, I ran back into the bookstore with camera in hand amidst a growing crowd of campaigners, TV and media crews, young and old believers, all buying books. Eveyone was talking about Al's new book of revelations, An Assault on Reason, and whether he would run for president in 2008. They--we--milled around and gathered down in the lower level waiting for his imminent arrival.

But I needn't have been so prompt getting back Five, ten, twenty, and then forty minutes elapsed, and still no Al. While three hundred people, packed like sardines on the lower level, waited and waited, a funny thing started to happen: it got very warm down there.

"Wow, it sure is warming up down here," you could hear from all over the room. Irony of ironies.
Bookstore warming. Serious bookstore warming. And the cause was fairly clear. It was human caused.

While we waited and warmed, a loud speaker again instructed us to buy Al's book on the first floor upstairs, get a number for the book signing line, and then proceed back down to the lower level to await his arrival.

Yes, he was scheduled to say a few words. Tension rose as the room got warmer.

At 12:40, Prophet Al arrived and suddenly stood before us. The crowd went wild. He was here, the wait was over.

Al looked formal in a dark navy suit and light blue George Bush tie. He appeared well-fed, scrubed up and slicked down, kind of like a Victor Chavez with Brylcreem. A little dab'll do you.

Then Al began in typical AlGore fashion. There is only one way to describe the way the pope speaks: pontification:

He was truly sorry for being so late, yes he was, but actually he did have a pretty good excuse. He smiled that little smile he does to let you know something big is coming, like inventing the Internet or something,

"The new president of France just called me this morning and wanted to talk about global warming." The crowd of faithful--- many of whom had on Gore 2008 stickers on their hats, lapels and t-shirts--- broke out in wild applause.

"And that's why I couldn't make it here on time to see all of you all. I'm sure you'll agree that I needed to take his call. But I am sorry and do appreciate your patience. Thank you all for being here."

Well that explained it. We knew there was a good reason, but this was a humdinger. And here I thought he was delayed trying to find his way out of his cluttered home office.

Al then, wasting no more time, rocketed himself off the launching pad. Away the prophet went with phrases that have become all too familiar to us:

"Everything Bush does is smoke and mirrors.....Saddam did not cause 9-11......The world awaits our moral leadership which had been sorely missing since Bush took office......The money of special interests has more influence on us and our politics than reason......Bush has left 150,000 soliers stranded in Iraq, bless their hearts........Current American democracy isn't working like the founders intended......Political will is a renewable resource.......There are people in this world and this administration who deny the facts, that have clearly proven to be right and are indisputable.... I know the way and I sure hope you will follow...."

And so the stemwinder by the prophet went. It ended to rousing applause and yells for Al to run in 2008. Then the crowd broke up, many to seek fresh air in the 90 degree tempatures outside the bookstore.

I did buy a book to give to one of my children but had no intention of waiting in line behind 300 people to get it signed. So I milled around a few minutes and took a few more pictures of Al's devotees who were fired up after touching the hem of their savior.

"Did you know Jimmy Carter called Al once a week for over a year to beg him to run for president. Al finally stopped taking his calls he was so sick of hearing it," one fan said.

"But to have Jimmy Carter call you every week and encourage you....how great is that?
Who wouldn't take calls from a wonderful man like Jimmy Carter?"

I looked at the couple who held their books as close to their hearts as they did their hopes for their prophet and his mentor Jimmy Carter.

I looked at them and decided to say nothing about either Al or the man I considered to be the worst American president in history. I smiled and wished them well, as I walked up the stairs and back out into the parking lot. I had once been a liberal and feasted in the Church of Relative Reality and Global Warming caused by man. But now I have seen the light of another reality.

I stuffed my camera back into my pocketbook and walked to my car. I had satisfied my inner blogger and even had time to run by the grocery and the bank. And then run home to begin to post on the man who would be prophet, pope and czar of the world. That, in my world, would be in small caps.

Global Swarming