Monday, December 29, 2008

Some football thoughts on a Monday morning

1) The purrfect season has come to an end, and with a 31-21 loss in Green Bay yesterday the 2008 Detroit Lions stamped themselves as an all-time horrible team, becoming the first NFL team to go 0-16. The last team to go through a season winless was the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who at least had the excuse of being an expansion team. Detroit was just inept, and that's the kindest way of putting it. I really didn't think it was possible for a team to do this--I mean, after all, the team was BOUND to get lucky one week, wasn't it?--but I was obviously wrong. And, the signs were there, too--last year's team lost seven of its last eight games. It will take a long time to right the ship in Detroit.

2) If there is one thing that can give Lions fans hope, it is the 2008 Miami Dolphins. Last year's Miami team went 1-15. This year, it's 11-5 and a division title, Miami's first in eight years. I'd like a show of hands on who saw this coming. I'll bet that the answer is no one. Sure, it was easy to predict that the team wouldn't go 1-15 again, and maybe some cockeyed optimists took a look at the easy schedule and even saw a possible 7-9 or 8-8 record. But 11-5? Not a chance.

3) I never imagined feeling badly for the New England Patriots, but when you go 11-5 after your MVP, Hall-of-Fame bound quarterback goes down in the first quarter of the first game of the season and STILL don't make the playoffs, you are entitled to some compassion. The Pats never quit, and they even found that their backup QB, Matt Cassel, can really play.

4) Is there a more gutless collection of wimps in the NFL than the Dallas Cowboys? We all know about the 'Boys struggles in December over the last ten years or so, but yesterday's performance in Philadelphia was abysmal even by Dallas standards. The Eagles ran roughshod over a Cowboys team that looked uninterested in being there. Here is the telling statistic: In the second and third quarters, the Cowboys turned the ball over on five consecutive possessions. FIVE. Tony Romo lived down to his reputation of coming up tiny in big games. Wade Phillips proved that Andy Reid may have competition as the worst game-day coach in the NFL. All in all, a disgraceful performance.

5) Still, the biggest choke act of the 2008 NFL season belongs to the Denver Broncos (I'll get to the grounded Jets of New York and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers shortly). Three weeks ago, they were 8-5 and needed to win ONE of their final three games to clinch the division. They lost all three, including a home loss to the nothing-to-play-for, offensively-challenged Buffalo Bills last week. So, last night's 52-21 throttling at the hands of the San Diego Chargers really shouldn't have come as a surprise. Now, at 8-8, San Diego is the AFC West Division Champ. Four week ago, who would have predicted that?

6) Ah yes, the New York Jets. Five weeks ago they had just crushed the previously unbeaten Tennessee Titans 34-13 on the road and people (including me) were speculating on what the city of New York would do if the Jets and Giants had to host conference title games on the same day. Instead, the Jets flopped miserably down the stretch, losing four of the final five games to miss the playoffs, including yesterday's finale at home against the Miami Dolphins. To add insult to injury, the Dolphins' QB was Chad Pennington, who New York unceremoniously dumped as training camp ended so that it could install Brett Favre as its signal-caller. Pennington gave Miami the leadership it needed and played mistake-free football. Favre ended the year with as many interceptions (22) as touchdown passes, including three terrible picks in yesterday's game. That move worked out well for New York, didn't it?

7) Giving the Broncos and Jets a run for their money were the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who four weeks ago were 9-3 and eying a first-round playoff bye. Instead, they lost their final four games of the year, including yesterday's inexplicable 31-24 loss at home to the awful Oakland Raiders, to miss the playoffs altogether. Still, I'm willing to cut the Bucs some slack, if only because I never thought that they would be any good and their 9-3 record was largely (in my mind) the product of some overachieving and good breaks.

8) So, the playoff matchups are as follows:
1) Philadelphia at Minnesota. The Iggles are favoured. Both teams feature strong defenses. The Vikes have NFL rushing leader Adrian Peterson, who is a threat to score from anywhere on the field. The Eagles have the more balanced offense and a better quarterback. I like them to come out of Minnesota with a narrow win, something along the lines of 20-17.
2) Atlanta at Arizona. Atlanta is another team that came out of nowhere to make the playoffs, and its coach, Mike Smith, will rightfully get consideration for the "Coach of the Year" Award. Arizona was the beneficiary of playing in the worst division in football. Atlanta wins this game, and rather easily, I think.
3) Baltimore at Miami. Two opportunistic teams meet in an improbable playoff match. I think that Baltimore's defense will shut down Miami's offense, and the Dolphins' cinderella story ends.
4) Indianapolis at San Diego. Two of the hottest teams in football meet, and while Indianapolis is the better team, in my mind, it has traditionally had a lot of problems with San Diego. I think that those problems continue and the Chargers win a bruising battle.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Where will this go?

After more or less non-stop rocket attacks from Hamas up through the entire "ceasefire", and then a sharp increase after that non-existent "ceasefire" ended, Israel has apparently finally had enough:,2933,473408,00.html. Hundreds have died (the MSM won't tell you this, but most have been Hamas officials, soldiers, leaders, etc.). The Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which can hardly be considered hawkish, believes that Israel had little choice and that Hamas badly miscalculated by continuing to push Israel:

So, the questions are, where do we go from here? Is Israel determined to really hammer Hamas this time? Is part of its goal the freeing of Gilad Shalit, who has been a prisoner for over two years? Will this spread beyond Gaza? Iran has already said that it is the "sacred duty" of every Muslim to defend Gaza. Libya's Moammar Khaddafy has screeched that the Arab response to the "Israeli aggression" has been cowardly. On the other hand, Hezbollah has said "Thanks, but no thanks" to requests that it open a northern front. Egypt has laid the blame for what is going on squarely at the feet of Hamas.

I'm not sure where this will end up, but I do know that the cowardly members of the U.N. Security Council, who have demanded that Israel call off the dogs, would never put up with a neighbour launching rockets at their cities, regardless of whether anyone died or not. But, when it comes to Israel, that seems perfectly acceptable to them. Then again, dead or injured Jews never bother anyone at the U.N., do they?

I truly hope that Israel finishes the job this time. How will we know that Israel has done so? When no more rockets fall on Sderot, Netivot, Ashdod, Ashkelon or any other Israeli town or city. We all know that Israel is going to be condemned no matter what it does, so it may as well do what it has to do to protect its own people. Nobody else is going to do it for them, and with the Obama Administration almost certain to adopt a more pro-Arab foreign policy, Israel had better get the job done now...........

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hockey Talk

Some hockey thoughts for a Tuesday morning:

1) Anyone else notice that Chicago Black Hawks are just five points back of Detroit for first place in the "Central" Division, with a game in hand? That team is maturing faster than many people thought it would.

2) At the risk of offending Ken, the Habs are the leas impressive 18-9-6 team in the league. After an 8-1-1 start, they have essentially treaded water. They're utterly incapable of putting together back to back good games, the power play is a joke now, the penalty killing is at best mediocre and there are very few players on the team with any heart at all. I can't believe that Bob Gainey, who examplified playing with heart, put this team together.

3) I haven't seen the San Jose Sharks play very often this season, but 26-4-3 speaks for itself. I have to wonder, though. If the 1976-77 Canadiens had played with shootouts and overtime, how much better would their record have been? They finished 60-8-12. Would they have ended up with 65 or 66 (or even more) wins?

4) The Philadelphia Flyers have a scary good offense. They are lights out on the power play, and their penalty killers are as much of a threat to score as the opposing teams' power play, and they're doing all of this without Danny Briere, who has been out most of the season with one injury after another. By season's end they will pass the NY Rangers, and I expect them to be no worse than the #2 seed in the Eastern (Prince of Wales!) Conference. They're deeper than Pittsburgh, and simply better than New Jersey, the loss to the Devils on Sunday notwithstanding.

5) A commentator on last night's Pittsburgh-Buffalo game remarked in passing on how this season's Boston Bruins remind him of the 2005-2006 Carolina Hurricanes--everyone kept waiting for them to fall flat on their faces and they never did. He might be right. 24-5-4 doesn't happen by accident. Boston is fast, talented and (unlike Montreal) plays with a ton of heart. What might hurt the Bruins is the loss of Patrice Bergeron to yet another concussion.

6) Very quietly, Wayne Gretzky's Phoenix Coyotes have gotten themselves into the hunt of a playoff berth. Yeah, I know that there are still 45+ games left to be played, but I think that it would be great for him and his team of they somehow made it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Some miscellaneous thoughts for a Manic Monday

Some random thoughts from across the political and sporting world on a cold, windy Monday morning.

1) History is occurring in the Motor City, where the Detroit Lions, at 0-15, are just one loss at Green Bay away from completing the first 0-16 season in NFL history. Now, I was on the record last year as saying that I didn't think that a team could go 16-0, and the Patriots went out and proved me wrong. I've always thought that it's more difficult for a team to go winless than undefeated--at some point, the law of averages was going to kick in and a bad team was going to catch a nearly-as-bad team on day where the latter squad wasn't playing well. The Packers are hardly a powerhouse, but given the way Detroit rolled over and played dead yesterday at home in its 42-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints, it's hard to see the de-clawed Lions putting up much of a fight in the cold of Green Bay. So, let's all look forward to next Sunday, when Detroit (hopefully) makes football history!

2) So the feds are going to bail out the Big Three automakers after all. More of tax dollars go down the tubes. Yes, I understand the logic behind this--the ripple effect on the economy would be devastating if any of them failed (it wouldn't just be car manufacturer, after all; it would also be the dealerships, the parts suppliers and manufacturers, etc.), but the bailout provides no incentive to the Big Three to do anything to change their ways. They'll still be paying exorbitant wages to their union workers and the bailout doesn't provide for any wage rollback. How smart is that? Not very, I'd say. So, my guess is that in a few months, we'll be right back at this point, with them begging for more money.

3) Russia is selling advanced weapons to Iran, including the most advanced anti-missile weaponry the Russians have. As hard as it is to deal with Iran now, can you imagine how hard it will be to confront them after they have these weapons? Memo to President-Elect Obama: Cut the crap about Russia being our strategic partner. It isn't. It IS our enemy, and every one of its actions is designed to convey that fact to us.

4) If New York Yankees-haters such as myself weren't already dispirited enough by the Bronx Bombers' signings of A.J. Burnett and C.C. Sabathia, now NBC Sports is reporting that the Yankees may sign Manny Ramirez. Honestly, at what point does this end? I know that New York is by far the wealthiest franchise in Baseball (and probably the richest professional sports franchise in North America), but does this team REALLY need an All-Star at every position? I guess that Yankees fans will smugly respond with a "yes"................

5) Merry Christmas to all 0f my Christian readers and a Happy Hannukah to those who are Jewish. No generic "Season's Greetings" or "Holiday Wishes" to anyone. I hate that. I may be as Jewish as they come, but I am never offended by anyone who wishes me a Merry Christmas, because I know that the sentiment behind the expression, a wish that everyone have a wonderful holiday, is sincere and motivated by the best of intentions. So, feel free to wish me a Merry Christmas if you're so inclined!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Just Checking In!

No, I haven't forgotten about the blog. I have been distracted by the impending move of my firm and the many activities of the little BHG's. are some thoughts on various issues in the world:

1) A strange way to start this, but I read in this week's Sports Illustrated that former UConn Huskies women's basketball star Sue Bird (who, to be honest, I've always thought was very cute--let's just get that on the table right now!) was Jewish. Curious, I googled her name and the term "Jewish". Several inane entries popped up, including a Wikipedia entry on her (apparently, her dad is Jewish). However, the fifth entry that popped up on the Google search page was a posting on the Stormfront webpage (no, I'm NOT going to link to it). For those of you who don't know, Stormfront is a neo-Nazi/White Supremacist website. It asked if she was really Jewish, made some comments about how Jewish women are unattractive, etc. I felt sick just reading it. The thing is, there are people out there who really believe this crap............

2) We are now two weeks after the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Here's a note to Agence France Presse, the BBC, Associated Press, New York Times, etc.: The subhumans who did this were not GUNMEN. They were not MILITANTS. They were not ACTIVISTS. THEY WERE TERRORISTS. And, as an aside to the New York Times, you can stop speculating about how the Chabad House may have been "an unintended target". It's already come out that in the city of almost 20 million people, this one, tiny oasis of Jewish life was specifically targeted over a year before the terrorist attack. This was no coincidence, you morons at the Times.........

3) What's $243.5 million between friends? That's the price tag on the New York Yankees spending spree on two pitchers so far this off-season ($161 million over seven years for CC Sabathia, $82.5 over five for A.J. Burnett), and there is no sign that the Yankees are done. After, Derek Lowe, Mark Teixeira and Manny Ramirez are still out there, as is Ben Sheets. It's pretty clear that the Bronx Bombers will spend whatever it takes to return to the playoffs next year, and even if they stopped now, they're a virtual lock in my mind to get there. Apparently, missing the playoffs once ever fifteen years is unacceptable. I just don't see how other teams can compete with them from a financial standpoint. Right now, it's very depressing to be a fan of any other team in Baseball.

4) The on-again, off-again bailout of the Motown Three (GM, Chrysler and Ford) is off again, for now anyway. I have little doubt that it will be revived again in the very near future. The fact of the matter is that there are hundreds of thousands of jobs (not just those employed by the Big Three, but all of the various businesses who service the auto industry) depending on the viability of the Detroit automakers. If they go under, much of the country's economy will go down with them. That said, I have opposed a bailout, if for no other reason than the exorbitant wages being paid those affiliated with the United Auto Workers (UAW). What's the point in pouring money into any automaker when it's simply going to end up in union hands, leaving GM, Chrysler or Ford to come begging for more money in a year, or two, or three, or whatever. Until union wages are scaled back, no bailout as far as I'm concerned.

5) The stench emanating out of the Governor's Mansion in Illinois just grows more powerful by the day. I know that Chicago politics have an unsavory reputation around the country, and there's a reason for that--the city is rife with corruption. But, even by Chicago standards, what Governor Rod Blagojevich tried to do (allegedly, I know), which was sell off the soon-to-be vacated Senate seat of President-Elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder while daring the FBI to catch him doing it, was obscene. The man had and has no shame; if he did, he would have resigned already. The question now, will this become somehow tied to Mr. Obama? I personally doubt it, because A) I truly don't think that Obama knew what Blagojevich was doing (the same may not be said for certain members of his transition team, however), and B) Even if he did, NOTHING sticks to the guy. He's going to the first teflon President.

6) Has anyone else watched the pandemonium in the Canadian government. First, we had the three opposition parties, the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois, try to stage an informal coup by banding together to form a coalition which would oust the governing Conservative Party. That was followed by the leader of the Conservatives, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, tracking down the Governor General and getting her to suspend Parliament until January. Not to be outdone, the Liberals, who form the largest opposition party, promptly turfed out their only occasionally coherent leader, Stephane Dion, and are replacing him with Michael Ignatieff. Once Parliament is back in session, it is anticipated that the coalition maneuvering will resume. What fun! Who said that Canada is boring?

Sunday, November 30, 2008


The dust has now settled after one of the most devastating terrorist attacks the world has seen since 9/11. Note to the BBC, Reuters, AP, etc.: It was NOT an attack by "militants", "gunmen", etc. These WAS a terrorist attack. 195 people dead (so far), with over 300 (again, so far) reported injured. Contrary to initial reports, the terrorists do not appear to have been targeting foreigners such as Americans, Britons and Israelis. If they victims from those countries, it was by and large happenstance, with the glaring and obvious exception of the Jewish Community Center, Nariman House.

So, what is the practical effect of this week's devastation? Well, the Muslim world has already determined who was "responsible" for what happened (I'll give all of you ONE clue--It's the only country in the Middle East mainly inhabited by Jews). The MSM reporting was full of mealy-mouthed, amoral pronouncements, and not much else. We learned that the Indian security forces were clearly not ready for prime time. Most of all, we learned once again how fragile life is, and how life can be ended by virtue of simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

God bless those who were killed or injured.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, Everyone, and some thoughts on that and other miscellaneous subjects........

1) Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that everyone enjoys the holiday, and is able to spend it with friends and/or family about whom they care!

2) I made a big mistake the other day--I opened up my 401(k) statement. NOT a smart thing to do, as (if I had any hair) it would have caused it to fall out. I know that I have to keep repeating "I'm in it for the long haul", but it is really dispiriting to see that so much of my supposed "wealth" has vanished over the past 12 months...........

3) So far, President-Elect Barack Obama is hewing to a fairly centrist course in his cabinet nominees........with the possible exception of his selection as the head of the NSA, Admiral James Jones. Jones is no friend of Israel, and between him and presumptive Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (who is still tight with Yasser Arafat's widow, Suha), it looks fairly certain that we will see a more Arabist foreign policy out of the United States during an Obama Administration.

4) I read a column the other day from some nutcase leftist in the Detroit Free Press which called for Nancy Pelosi to start impeachment hearings for President Bush and VP Dick Cheyney immediately, "for the sake of the economy". Let's think about this for a second, shall we? President Bush is scheduled to leave office in 55 days, Does anyone REALLY think that he is going to be able to do all that much in the next eight weeks (minus one day), or is this just more delusional ranting on the part of another unhinged BDS sufferer who can't accept the fact that the Chosen One won't take power until January 20? Regardless, it isn't going to happen, and if it did, it would amount to a Coup D'Etat, making the United States look like nothing more or less than some tinpot third world dictatorship.

5) This thought just crossed my mind. Right now, the New York Giants and the New York Jets are both playing the best football in their respective conferences. The Giants look every bit as unbeatable as the Patriots did last season (which should send a chill down the spine of all Giants fans), and the Jets went into Tennessee last Sunday and absolutely crushed the previously unbeaten Titans 34-13. Let's say that the Giants make it to the NFC Championship game. No one would be surprised if that happened. But, it is not out of the question that the New York Jets will also host a title game, either if they catch Tennessee for the conference title (unlikely but not impossible, given that the Titans have a very tough schedule the rest of the way and the Jets do not), or if Tennessee gets knocked off before the AFC title game. So, my question is this: The Giants and Jets share a stadium. Both conference championship games would be on the same day--How would that work? Which team gets their logo painted in the end zones? Logistically, I just don't know how the NFL will work it.

6) The less said about my Montreal Canadiens, the better. After a hot start, Montreal can't get out of its own way, and is now staring up in the standings at the Boston Bruins, who look like they are ready to leave the Habs way behind. The Montreal power play is a complete mess, and the penalty killing is a joke. It seems as though teams have learned how to play against the Canadiens--let them make their pretty passing plays, clog up the neutral zone and force the team outside. The Canadiens can't seem to deal with this. The bottom line is this--unless things change quickly in Montreal, the 100th anniversary of the team's founding has the potential to be as disappointing a season as any in this team's history.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Where am I?

Some random thoughts regarding just about everything............

1) Has anyone else noticed how Senator Barack Obama, now that he's the President-Elect, is now delivering comments and speeches in font of a podium which reads "Office of the President Elect"? How %^@!! presumptuous and full of oneself can this guy be? Nobody has ever done anything like this before him. That is just the height of hubris.

2) Robert Malley was supposedly pushed out of the Obama foreign policy team, but that may not be true after all. It seems as though Mr. Malley took a trip to Cairo and Damascus shortly after the election to inform the dictators running those countries that they could expect some changes in U.S. foreign policy once Barack Obama is sworn in as the President: (translation: He will be more pro-Arab). Well, gee, I am shocked. It's only what I have been saying for months. Now, the groundwork is being laid for it to actually happen. Assuming that it does, every supporter of Israel who voted for him will have a lot of explaining to do.

3) I'm still stuck in a post-Disneyworld rut. No one ever wants a vacation to end, and this one was no exception. It's hard for me to believe that just a week ago today, I was trekking around Disney Hollywood (formerly Disney MGM) Studios. Mrs. BHG and I are already talking about the NEXT Disney vacation, which unfortunately won't be for a while. We'd like to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for that one. The oldest of the little BHGs already asked if we can go back next year. I had to break it to him that these vacations aren't exactly cheap.

4) I see that oil prices have dropped nearly 62% from their July high of $147/barrel. They are currently hovering around $56.50/barrel, with some analysts forecasting that they will continue to drop, possibly as low as $40/barrel. I don't know if it will go that low--OPEC will continue to cut production in order to prevent the price from dropping too far. However, while we are all happy about the over 50% decrease in gasoline prices over the last four months, we should also be mindful of the fact that the biggest reason for this decline is decreased demand caused not by the high prices but by the global economic slowdown (and in particular, the one here in the U.S.). If and when the economy picks up, so will the price of oil (and gas). The mantra I was chanting during the price run-up remains just as true now as it did then--We need to get ourselves off the oil addiction, and soon. All we are doing by continuing it is to fund countries who by and large hate us.

5) Amazingly, I got to see something the last week of October that this area of the country hadn't seen in a quarter century, which was a local professional sports franchise get crowned as a champion. The Philadelphia Phillies were deserving winners of the World Series, going 11-3 in the playoffs and losing no more than one game in any series. In the World Series, they throttled the American League Champion, the upstart Tampa Bay Rays. something that the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox had utterly failed to do in the post-season. Here's what I found most impressive about the Phillies' win: They didn't lose a game at home during the playoffs, going 7-0. In Baseball, home field advantage means less than it does in other sports, so that kind of a run is hard to achieve. I may be wrong about this, but I think that the last team not to lose a game at home in the playoffs was the 1998 New York Yankees, a juggernaut that won 114 regular season games (22 more than the 2008 Phillies). That's pretty impressive company. Better yet, on October 31 there was a season-ending celebration at Citizen's Bank Ballpark, where the team plays, and I was able to take the eldest of the little BHGs, who is a sports nut, to it. As I told him, sports champions from this area are all too rare, so he should enjoy this to the fullest.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Obama, President-Elect

It's over now. Barack Obama decisively won yesterday's Presidential Election, as I predicted months ago would be the case. As of this morning, he has 349 electoral college votes to 162 for John McCain, with Missouri and North Carolina still in the balance. Obama's victory was decisive--he captured every swing state that he contested; Virginia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Colorado, Florida and turned states that weren't supposed to be swing states into ones that John McCain had to defend (eg., North Carolina). He won 52% of the popular vote, become the first Democrat to capture that high a percentage since LBJ in 1964. This was no fluke and it was no upset.

So, the question becomes "Now what?", not only for the Republicans but for the country in general. The Republicans have been given a thorough beating in this election. In addition to the Presidency, they lost 20 House seats. They have lost at least five Senate seats, with several still being decided. The RNC needs to examine its strategy as to what it did wrong here, because it can't all just be blamed on Bush 43 or the economy. The primary process itself needs to be evaluated, because forcing people to constantly appease certain interest groups obviously isn't working.

As far as the country is concerned, well, I've been pondering the question as to how I feel about this. I just posted an entry about 40 minutes ago or so on Little Green Footballs where I said that I wasn't sure what to think. My initial thought was "Obama won, so he's MY President, too", but then I thought about all the comments I have heard from people on the left over the past eight years about how Bush 43 was not their President, and it gave me pause. I don't know if that type of thinking is helpful, but I certainly understand it now.

I guess that I'll end by saying this: President-Elect Obama is going to have a tough road down which he will have to travel to earn my confidence. He has made many promises, and I don't know how he'll be able to keep them. But, I'll be watching to see if he does. And, if he DOES keep them (without hiking my taxes to absurd levels or bankrupting the country), I'll give him credit. If he doesn't, I'll certainly point it out, and I'll keep my eyes on the prize, which is the next General Election, in November, 2012..........

Disneyworld, Part Two

So, now we've gone through Animal Kingdom (loved it), one day at the Magic Kingdom (watching the one-year old BHG scream with delight when she hugged Piglet was worth the entire cost of the trip), and yesterday at EPCOT (word of advice to all: Come to EPCOT during the food and wine festival. Then you too can eat and drink your way around the world!). Today it's back to the Magic Kingdom, and Disney Hollywood Studios tomorrow. The best ride so far: Soarin', at EPCOT. I absolutely loved it. The little BHG's loved the bad jokes made during the Jungle Cruise, and Splash Mountain was a huge hit...........

Saturday, November 1, 2008


My self-imposed break from blogging is over, at least temporarily. I am with the BHG family, as well as mother- and father-in-law BHG, at Disneyworld. Mrs. BHG and I haven't been here in 11 years, and it's the first time we've been here with the little heathens--I mean, the little BHGs. We're staying at the Polynesian, where I last stayed almost 29 years, when I was 14 years old. I love this place. It may be campy, it may be dated, but it never loses its appeal for me. The kids are thrilled so far, if a little hyperactive from sitting on the plane for 2 1/2 hours.

I'll post updates as I find the time. On tomorrow's agenda: Animal Kingdom.

To answer an inevitable, non-Disney question, I will post an entry on the Presidential/General election at some point while we are here. I just don't know when.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Break from Blogging

I'm going to be taking a break from the blog--I'm not sure how long it will be, but I simply have too much other stuff going on in my life right now to focus on the blog. I may post occasional entries here and there, but any posting will be sporadic at best. For the (few) readers that I have, thanks for checking in, and I hope to eventually resume normal posting.


Monday, October 6, 2008

No solution

The Wall Street bailout package (which contained more pork than all of the world's pig farms combined) hasn't done anything to alleviate the anxiety in the stock markets, which today have plunged to their lowest levels in four years: I could say "I told you so" I will. I was against this package from the get-go because it did nothing to address the fundamental problems which underpinned the credit crisis (bad business decisions by mortgage companies, politically correct lending practices by FannieMae and FreddieMac, etc., etc.). So, the market keeps tumbling, and guess what? It's going to continue to fall. It wouldn't surprise me to see us hit lows not seen since the market bottomed out after 9/11. For those of us who have 401(k) plans, the only advice I have is to grit your teeth and repeat "I'm in it for the long haul", because unless you're planning to retire in the next few years (in which case you really are in trouble), there is no point in selling your stocks now.

Why I think that it's (almost) over

The fat lady may not have started to sing for the McCain-Palin Presidential campaign, but it appears as though she has finished warming up and is waiting just offstage. Tracking polls are giving the Obama-Biden campaign a nearly insurmountable delegate lead: Most of the so-called toss-up states are leaning the Democrats' way. As well, it looks to be more or less certain the Republicans will lose even more seats in the Senate and the House. While it is unlikely that the the Democrats will get to the 60+ seats they need for a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate (they're going to come very close, though), they will add to their majority in the House of Represntatives, probably by at least 10-15 seats.

Republicans will talk for years about this election the same way our grandparents talked about the 1932 election.................

Where our oil money is going

It's not towards anything useful. Nope, the money we send everyday to Saudi Arabia is going to fund terrorism and Wahhabi-oriented schools who teach their students to hate us. The money we send to Dubai goes to palm leaf-shaped islands and constructing buildings that are over half a mile high:

Isn't ANYONE troubled by this neverending transfer of wealth? Isn't anyone worried about the money we keep sending to countries that hate us?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Loons of the world, unite!

You have nothing to lose but your straitjackets! Cynthia McKinney never fails to amaze, or amuse for that matter. When she isn't spewing 9/11 conspiracy theories or anti-Semitic tripe, she is claiming that the Department of Defense killed 5,000 "prisoners" and dumped their bodies in the flood waters left by Hurricane Katrina. Yes, I'm serious:

I'm not a big fan of the Green Party, but I do acknowledge that they have as their primary focus a serious issue (environmentalism). So, why would they tie themselves in with a nutcase like McKinney? I don't get it.............

Iran so far away

I wish that I could. Iran is steaming towards becoming a nuclear-armed power, and nobody seems to be willing or able to do anything about it: Let's be perfectly clear, here. A nuclear-armed Iran is NOT the same thing as a nuclear-armed France, or a nuclear-armed Great Britain, or a nuclear-armed Russia, or a nuclear-armed China (or a nuclear-armed Israel). All of those countries are run by people who are if nothing else fairly pragmatic. They are not apocalyptic religious zealots like the Mullahs running Iran and their puppet, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The concept of nuclear deterrence is that one side doesn't want to attack the other because it will be attacked with nuclear weapons itself. That type of deterrence can't and won't work where the other side doesn't care if it dies.

So, we fiddle. And while we do, Iran pursues its nuclear goals. And, once it obtains them, it will be Israel (and maybe us as well) that burns.................

Vice-Presidential Debate Recap

I watched the debate last night between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden from beginning to end, and then flipped channels watching the various pundits and talking heads babble about who they thought had "won" the debate. Surprisingly, there was a consensus, albeit a weak one, that Sarah Palin may have won. I didn't see it that way at all--in my mind, the floundering McCain campaign needed a sharp boost from a strong Palin performance, and that's not what I saw last night. Rather, I thought that she was evasive, to the point of occasionally being stubborn in her refusal to answer the questions which were put to her. Now, Joe Biden had the same problem at times, but let's not forget, Barack Obama and he are in the lead. They didn't need a great showing last night. Coming out of the debate where they were when they went in was good enough for them, and that's exactly what happened.

The only explanation I have for the perception that Sarah Palin may have won might be that expectations of her were so low that she couldn't help but exceed them. Ultimately, I think that she needed to clean Biden's clock last night for John McCain's campaign to regain the momentum, and she didn't accomplish that.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Go away

Some nutcase religious leader in Pakistan has issued a "fatwa" against Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari because Zardari apparently had the temerity to comment on Sarah Palin's actrativeness: Apparently, this was "immoral and shameful".

Now, this particular "fatwa" didn't carry with it a death sentence, but how far down the road do you think that is?

Where's Kim Jong-Il?

Hanging out with Waldo? Who knows? What we do know is that he has been completely invisible of late, including at the recent Sixtieth Anniversary celebrations for North Koea, leading to widespread speculation that he is either in poor health or even deceased: Instability, especially in a paranoid, nuclear-armed regime such as that running North Korea, can be a very frightening thing, but as John Bolton notes, it doesn't have to be. Rather, it can also be seen as an opportunity (to hasten the passing of one of the world's most odious regimes).

The key to me would be China. Any actions we take, be they overt or covert, would draw the attention of the economic and military behemoth to the north of the Korean Peninsula, so whatever we do, the Chinese had better be kept "in the loop", or better yet, involved. I don't doubt that Chinese leaders wouldn't sanction military action against a headless North Korean state, but given that they crave stability, they also don't want anarchy on their border. The key for us will be to find that middle ground..........

Update on Flash

My thanks again to everyone who has continued to e-mail, post on the blog or send me messages on Facebook asking about Flash. He is recovering well from the surgery, and now that the vet has given him a clean bill of health--the tumour was benign and surgery is generally 100% curative--he should have no problems from this point forward. In fact, he's acting like his old, cantankerous and mischievous self, so I'd say that he's completely back to normal!

Once again, thank you to all.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

This ought to scare everyone

It sure scares me. There are reports that at least some of the pirates who commandeered that Iranian arms ship have become ill with what seems to be signs of radiation poisoning:,2933,430681,00.html. If so, that means that the Iranians are apparently in the business of exporting things that could clearly be used in terrorist attacks (likely against us or our allies). If so, the Iranians have gone way over the line from just being a hostile adversary. They are now bordering on something much more ominous and dangerous, not only for us but for the world at large. Maybe someone should pass this information on to Barack Obama, seeing as he wants to sit down and sing kumbaya with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad......

Trashing Sarah Palin, part 2,398,050,572,375

The MSM is nothing if not relentless, so I guess that the latest attack on Sarah Palin shouldn't be a surprise. Now, it's going after her foreign policy experience, screeching that she has only negotiated with one country, Canada: Well, first of all, given that Canada is by far the largest trading partner for the United States, that's kind of a big deal. Second, I don't recall seeing similar attacks on Bill Clinton when he ran for the Presidency, and I am fairly certain that President Peanut Farmer's credentials weren't scrutinized this way in 1976. Third, she's NOT at the top of her party's Presidential ticket; John McCain is. Fourth, what is Barack Obama's experience in this area? Other than his "world tour" this past summer, it's not too impressive.

Nope, no bias at all, just keep moving along, nothing to see here................

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


One of my favourite newspapers, the New York Sun, has ceased publication as of today. This is a very sad development for any fan of unbiased media coverage, or for those who weren't all that fond of (for example) the consistently amoral, pro-Palestinian slant found in 99% of the newspapers across the country. The closing editorial can be found here: For more on the newspaper's history, go here:

The paper will be sadly missed.........

This kind of proves the point, doesn't it?

Publishers were balking at putting out a novel based on one of Mohammed's wives, Aisha. Why? Because there were fears of violence by the nutcase Islamofacist elements out there. So, as if to prove the point, a Dutch publisher which is printing the book had its London office firebombed by (surprise, surprise), Islamofascists: Yeah, I'm stunned by this story. Of course, the inevitable mealy-mouthed denials of responsibility will be uttered, and our politically correct leaders will say nothing, but the facts are still the facts. You don't see this out of any other faith. If Jews acted violently everytime something was done which "insulted their faith", they would never stop acting violently..........

Where's Blackbeard?

Apparently, his heirs live on in the waters off the coast of Somalia, the prototypical failed state: I honestly can't believe that piracy lives on in today's world, but it is a problem not only here but in the waters off the Indonesian archipelago. However, in the waters off Somalia it is taking on a far more dangerous dimension, as we see the beginnings of a union (perhaps of convenience) between the pirates and Islamofascists.

As the article reports, the pirates are now going hutning for Americans and Israelis. Isn't that reassuring?

Ignoring a horror

Maybe it is a cultural problem and not a religious problem, as some insist. I honestly don't know. What I do know that is that so-called "honour killings" continue to be limited to the Islamic faith: You do not see them occurring in Catholic, or Buddhist, or Protestant, or Taoist or Jewish groups. You simply don't.

So........why doesn't this issue receive more attention? Why is it ignored by the MSM? Is this still MORE political correctness run amok, as I suspect is the case?

A great moment in public education

This makes me happy that the BHG family doesn't live in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh public schools are following a policy where students can no longer get an "F" if they get below 50% on an assignment. Instead, they get something called an "E", which is equivalent to a 50%: This is asinine. In other words, if you have a test where you get only one out of ten questions right, you still automatically get credit for getting five out of the ten right.

Here's a suggestion: How about grades that actually reflect a student's knowledge? I know that it's a radical concept but work with me on this. We could have schools that are not institutions focussed on building up a student's self-esteem but are instead oriented towards TEACHING children! Imagine that! We could even (I know that this is shocking, so I hope that you're all sitting down) reward students based on their knowledge!

I know, I know, too much to hope for.........

Come again?

Representative Alcee Hastings, a Democrat from Florida, offered Jewish voters in Florida a "good" reason not to vote for the McCain-Palin ticket, which is that she's a moose-hunter: Here is the one quote that jumped out at me: “Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks. So, you just think this through.”

Is Hastings suggesting that Sarah Palin would go hunting Jews and Blacks? What in the world is he trying to say here?

Shana Tovah!

Sorry, blogging has been very light of late due to a heavy workload and the approaching Jewish High Holidays (which are now here!). I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of my Jewish readers the healthiest of New Years, one which I hope will be filled with health, peace, happiness and prosperity (no more 779 point drops for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, please!) for all!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Presidential Debate #1

Last night, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama had the first of their three debates. Frankly, I thought that both came across well. McCain kept true to his theme that Obama lacked the experience and wisdom necessary to be the President, Obama responded by arguing that for all of his supposed judgment, McCain had come down on the wrong side of many issues. Both scored points, but neither delivered a knockout blow. Media reports are all over the place; some have McCain as the winner (, others saw an Obama win (,8599,1845114,00.html).

Here's the problem for John McCain: He trails in the polls, and more importantly, he trails in the majority of the so-called battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico, Colorado, Virginia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. In those states where he is leading, i is generally within the margin of error and he has not made any inroads into any of the leads that Obama has held in those states where the Democratic nominee is leading. In fact, Obama has been slowly but steadily increasing his leads.

So, ultimately, John McCain can't afford ties in the debates. He needs wins. BIG wins. Last night, his first chance to get one went by the boards. Now, the attention will turn to next Thursday's Vice-Presidential debate. The bump that Sarah Palin gave the Republican ticket has worn off, and this will be her first real chance to try to regain the momentum. Given the way the campaign is playing out, this could very well represent the last, best chance for the Republicans to keep the White House in 2009.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Angry Left, meet Angry Islamofascists. Angry Islamofascists, meet Angry Left

I'm on an Iran kick today. While he was at the United Nations delivering his anti-Semitic tirade (for more on that, read this excellent piece from Anne Bayefsky:, Mahmoud Admadinejad found the time to meet with CODE PINK's leaders:

CODE PINK's leader, Medea Benjamin, seemed to think that it was absolutely wonderful that she got the opportunity to meet the world's Anti-Semite-in-Chief. In her warped view, HE'S a man of peace. The fact that he denies the Holocaust and wants to wipe Israel off the map seems not to bother her in the least. For that matter, she may even agree with him............

Moonbat electioneering, Canadian-style

A Liberal Candidate runing for Parliament in a Winnipeg riding is catching justified flack after a column she wrote as a freelance journalist came to light. In the column, she claimed that the Mossad and CIA knew in advance about the 9/11 terrorist atacks, and that Jewish-owned businesses had gotten out of the Twin Towers before they were attacked:

I don't know what motivates these conspiracy theorist wackos, but there are far too many of them and they are far too prominent.

Watch it happen

Iran is seeking the Asian seat for the United Nations Security Council:, a move which needless to say hasn't made Israel too happy: Don't be shocked at all that if the thrice-sanctioned Iranians get their wish. I fully expect Russia and China to support the move, and Lord knows, the bizarro world that is the U.N. General Assembly will certainly be behind the Iranians. And this being the U.N., where the Human Rights Commission can contain members such as Sudan, Libya, Cuba and China, does anyone want to bet against this taking place?

Are they ready?

John McCain? Barack Obama? Sarah Palin? Joe Biden? Paging all comers. As John Bolton notes, the next President, whoever that may be, will HAVE to deal with either a nuclear-armed Iran or preventing the Iranians from becoming a nuclear power: Honestly, I don't know which of the candidates will have what it takes to confront the Mad Mullahs, but certainly, Barack Obama's vow to meet with the leaders of Iran "without preconditions" doesn't exactly reassure me.

I'm pretty much at the point where I'm convinced that even seeing Tel Aviv reduced to a heap of radioactive rubble won't rouse the west out of its slumber with respect to the threat posed by Iran. Hell, a good number of the people here would probably stand up and cheer........

A hero scorned

I doubt very much that any of you have heard the name "Mithal al-Alusi". He is Iraqi, Sunni, MODERATE in every sense of the word. He opposed Saddam Hussein. Now, he favours strong ties between Iraq and the United State as well as (GASP!) Israel: So, what's happening to him? His own government wants to have him prosecuted for "humiliating" the country by his visits to Israel: His two sons were murdered. And, how does our government respond? With timidity, to say the least: Here is the exact quote: "The U.S. Embassy declined comment. "It is an issue for the Iraqi parliament, not the U.S. Mission to Iraq," said spokesman Armand Cucciniello."

What a pathetic, weak, shameful response...............

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Meltdown is only beginning

The dominoes keep falling, and no one seems to care, or even notice. We have the government proposing a bailout of the mortgage industry that will cost--best case scenario--$700 billion (roll that number around your heads for a while), though I think that it much more likely that it will go well past the trillion dollar figure. We have a dollar that was in freefall until a couple of months ago, when it finally levelled off. We have a deficit that is already absurd and which, if this bailout plan is finally passed, as seems likely, will reach a level from which it be impossible for us to recover, and I really do mean impossible.

How will this impact all of us? In the following fashion. Our dollar will collapse. Completely: And what will the effect of THAT be? Let me put it in terms to which everyone can relate:

1) Remember those $4/gallon gas prices from just three months ago? Well, keep in mind that oil is purchased and sold in dollars, so a dollar worth a lot less means that it will cost a lot more to buy a lot less of it. That's Economics 101. By the time prices stabilize, we'll likely be looking at gas which will cost $5 a gallon (at a minimum), and more likely $6/gallon, if not more.
2) I have four kids (and those three commando basset hounds). They cost money to feed, clothe, etc. So, that gallon of milk that you have to buy? It's now going to cost you $4. That American cheese you buy for the sandwiches? Get ready for $3+ per pound, as opposed to the current $1.99 a pound you pay on sale currently. The two litre bottle of Coke, the one that used to cost 99 cents a bottle? It'll now set you back $1.50 a bottle or more.
3) We all need clothes, shoes, etc. That pair of Levis, the one you get at BJ's Wholesale Club for $20, will now cost $25. The New Balance tennis shoes will jump up in price by at least 20%, and probably more.

I think that you all get the picture. A Dollar collapse will hit us all, everywhere. It will affect every aspect of our lives, from the way we live to, in some extreme cases, whether we live. Am I being alarmist? Maybe, but it would seem foolish on our part not to at least consider the scenario I have outlined. We can't overcome a problem by ignoring it, though too often that is exactly what our government (which is merely an extension of us) does. Can the collapse of the dollar be avoided? I don't know, but I have to hope so, because the future is frankly to scary to contemplate if it does.

Not much of a difference

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a speech at the U.N. yesterday in which he claimed that a "small group of Zionists" were manipulating the foreign policy of the United States (and some European countries) to suit its ends: Hmmm.........where have I read/heard that before? Why, it was from Professors Walt & Mearsheimer (see my first post from today), who were defended by Barack Obama advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Ahmadinejad may use more crude rhetoric, but I ask, what's the difference in the message?

So, it's racism again.....

Let's be honest about this. Is there a segment of the American population who will never vote for Barack Obama under any circumstances because he is Black? Absolutely. However many people that may be, it is too many. Of course, the flip side of that question, one that never seems to receive any attention at all, is why Obama has essentially completely locked up the African American vote, and no one at all is calling them racist for supporting Obama purely based on his race.

That said, I have another question: Why is is that for all of the cries of racism, it is only the left that seems to be obsessed with it: I have plenty of friends and acquaintances on both the left on the right, and it is inevitably those on the left who bring up the subject of race, who focus on it, and who preemptively blame their candidate's loss next month (as an FYI, I think that Obama is going to win, but that's neither here nor there) on racism. To me, this is a sign of a defective mind, one that cannot debate ideas, policies or candidates on their merits, so it must fall back on shrill, bitter claims that the adversary is evil. It's pathetic, frankly.

Actions speak louder than words

Barack Obama claims to support Israel, but very simply, I don't trust him. Look at his foreign policy team, which originally included Samantha Power and Robert Malley, two prominent anti-Israel academics. They were forced to resign when their presence on the Obama team became a source of embarrassment to the Democratic Presidential candidate. Now, we have Zbigniew Brzezinski, a steady critic of Israel (and the former Secretary of State under President Peanut Farmer) who has recently spoken out in defense of the Walt & Mearsheimer screed claiming that those nefarious Jews were manipulating American foreign policy for their own ends: Funny how Brzezinski , who asserted that the Israeli military was engaging in actions that amounted to "killing hostages" in the Second Lebanon War in 2006, seems to have absolutely problem with the Saudis or other Arab states lobbying the U.S. government.

In any event, Senator Obama seems to have this unfortunate tendency of associating himself with people who don't like Israel too much (does the name Jeremiah Wright ring a bell to anyone?), so I really have to wonder how any supporter of Israel can at the same time support him?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Update on Flash

As I type this (it's approximately 9:45 a.m. on Monday, September 19, 2008), Flash is undergoing his surgery to remove the tumour/lump in his neck that caused us to have to rush him to the vet on Friday. It was a stressful weekend at the BHG household. Neither Mrs. BHG nor myself could really focus on anything other than Flash, and we were both feeling very guilty for leaving him at the vet at all weekend, even though we know that it was (from a medical standpoint) the best thing to do for him. Worse yet, the little BHG's were full of questions, as one might expect, and the questions were not always ones we could answer. The number one question was "Is Flash DEFINITELY coming home?", a query undoubtedly motivated by their memories of 2005, when my father went into the hospital and never came home and then when later that same year, the other original commando basset hound, Sprint, was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma and had to be put down. They still talk about that and worry that Flash is following the same path. Honestly, Mrs. BHG and I worry about the exact same thing.

Flash should be out of surgery by lunch, barring complications, and we are hoping that he is able to come home tonight. I promise that I will update this post when I hear from the vet. Then, we will have to play the waiting game for the next week to ten days while they do a biopsy of the mass that is being removed.

I d0n't have it in me to post about politics right now (hence the post-less weekend). I may post about sports today or tomorow, but it will probably be later this week before I get back into the swing of commenting on the news stories of the day, and I apologize to everyone for that. I want to thank everyone who has posted on the blog about Flash and those who have e-mailed me privately or posted messages of support on my Facebook page. These sentiments are very much appreciated.

UPDATE (4:45 p.m.): Flash made it through the surgery, and the mass that was removed from him is being sent for a biopsy. Unfortunately, according to the vet who did the surgery, what was removed from him had the looks of something malignant, but we won't know for sure until the biopsy results come back in five to seven days. Then, we'll have some decisions to make, apparently.

Once again, thanks to all who have reached out to express their support. It means a great deal to me.

UPDATE 2 (7:55 a.m., 9/23/08): Flash is now home, and boy, is he ever ticked off at us. He seems to be a bit more "with it" this morning, but he still isn't eating or drinking, so that's something on which we'll to keep a close eye.

I'll post periodic updates about his condition over the next few weeks.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A worried dog post

I've posted occasionally on my blog about the commando basset hounds--those who read this blog know why; I love my dogs. They are part of my family and I care about them deeply. Today, Flash, the oldest dog, had to be hospitalized. He has had a growth on the left side of his neck for a while now--the vet told us that it was something called a lipoma, which is essentially (as I understand it) a benign tumour. It suddenly started growing about a month or so ago, and we brought him to the vet yesterday. The vet thought that it should come out, but that it was nothing that required immediate attention, so we scheduled surgery for October 2. Today, at the risk of being graphic, it started oozing blood, and we had to rush Flash to the vet once again. Now Flash is at the vet for the weekend and will have surgery Monday morning. As well, the vet was no longer talking about a lipoma--the word "biopsy" was mentioned (I watched both of my parents and my mother-in-law die of cancer--I know ALL about biopsies), and we're very alarmed by everything that is going on. On top of it all, Mrs. BHG and I are racked with guilt over leaving Flash at the vet for the weekend, but with the cyst/lipoma/tumour/whatever-the-hell-it-is seeping blood, we didn't know what else to do.

Right now, we are both very sad and worried...............

No wonder the U.N. loves him

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian President, is spewing his venom once again, repeating his vows that Israel will disappear and denying that the Holocaust occurred: However, what struck me most about the Associated Press article was this little nugget of information: "He might also be trying to repair damage caused by his vice president, Esfandiar Rahim Mashai, who was recently quoted as saying Iranians were "friends of all people in the world — even Israelis.""

"He might also be trying to repair damage"????? It's "damaging" to say that Iranians can be friendly even with Israelis? If that doesn't spell out the Muslim attitude vis-a-vis Israel, I don't know WHAT does............

And they talk about AMERICAN arrogance?

Growing up in Canada, one of the constant themes that was beaten into my head was that "Americans are arrogant". There was a perception on the part of just about everyone in my homeland that all Americans had a superiority complex. A funny thing happened after I relocated south of the 49th parallel: I realized that the exact opposite was true. If you want a Canadian to show his or her true stripes, get them to talk about Canada vs. the United States. What you will get (in many--NOT ALL--cases) is a stream of generalizations about how much better Canada is than the U.S., about how stupid and ill-informed Americans are, about how wasteful they are, etc., etc., etc. Here's a case in point, the column on September 5 (sorry that I'm late to this party) from one Heather Mallick on the CBC (note, the CBC is the official, government-funded radio and television outlet) heaping abuse on Americans in general and Republicans in particular: Here are some of her pearls of wisdom:

1) "She [Sarah Palin] added nothing to the ticket that the Republicans didn't already have sewn up, the white trash vote........"
2) "It's possible that Republican men, sexual inadequates that they are, really believe that women will vote for a woman just because she's a woman."
3) "Palin was not a sure choice, not even for the stolidly Republican ladies branch of Citizens for a Tackier America. No, she isn't even female really. She's a type, and she comes in male form too."
4) "John Doyle, the cleverest critic in Canada, comes right out and calls Palin an Alaska hillbilly. Damn his eyes, I wish I'd had the wit to come up with it first. It's safer than "white trash" but I'll pluck safety out of the nettle danger. Or something."
5) "White trash — not trailer trash, that's something different — is rural, loud, proudly unlettered (like Bush himself), suspicious of the urban, frankly disbelieving of the foreign, and a fan of the American cliché of authenticity."
6) "Palin has a toned-down version of the porn actress look favoured by this decade's woman, the overtreated hair, puffy lips and permanently alarmed expression. Bristol has what is known in Britain as the look of the teen mum, the "pramface." Husband Todd looks like a roughneck; Track, heading off to Iraq, appears terrified. They claim to be family obsessed while being studiously terrible at parenting. What normal father would want Levi "I'm a fuckin' redneck" Johnson prodding his daughter?"
7) "The conventioneers are nothing like the rich men who run the party, and that's the mystery of the hick vote. They'd be much better served by the Democrats. I know Thomas Frank answered this in What's the Matter with Kansas?; I know that red states vote Republican on social issues to give themselves the only self-esteem available to their broken, economically abused existence."

It goes on and on. Read it only if you have the stomach. And if that's not enough, she spewed her venom overseas as well, in an article in the Guardian (a case of preaching to the anti-American choir, I guess): After reading this puerile drivel, I don't want to hear from any Canadian about how "condescending and arrogant" Americans are, because I don't know of any creature on the planet who fits that definition more than a Canadian elite.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Once again, I'm a racist

The attacks grow ever more strident as Barack Obama supporters decry anyone who would dare vote against their candidate as being a racist: I'd love to say that this is an isolated incident, but the truth of the matter is that the very converse is true. I'm frankly sick of being told that there can be no reason to oppose Barack Obama's candidacy other than racism. It's wrong, and only people who can't argue intellectually with their adversaries would make this argument. So, why do Democrats keep doing it?

What if they held a terrorist attack and no one came?

Yesterday, terrorists bombed the U.S. embassy in San'a, Yemen, killing 16 people and causing significant damage to the embassy compound:,4644,5126,00.html. With all of the focus on the Wall Street meltdown, this story, which would ordinarily have been front-page, top-of-the-fold news, was relegated to an afterthought in most newspapers. Though no one has taken "credit" for the bombing, 25 people linked to al Qaeda have been arrested. I guess that it's a sad comment on the times, but my first reaction was "How will our politicians try to spin this to their advantage?"

Greed is good! Greed is right!

I remember that line from Gordon Geckko's speech to stockholders in the movie "Wall Street", and it seems particularly prophetic as I (and everyone else in the United States) ponder Wall Street's collapse over the past week, and in a more specific sense, the failures over recent months of Bear Stearns, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, FannieMae, FeddieMac, etc., etc., etc.: Here are some numbers for one and all to ponder: The Dow Jones Industrial Average ("DJIA"), which is considered by virtually everyone to be the bellweather for the health of the stock market, closed yesterday at 10,609.66, dropping almost 450 points. This followed Monday's 500+ point drop. On October 9, 2007, the DJIA closed at 14,164.53, its all-time high. After yesterday's close, it has dropped in value since that date by 3,554.87 points, or 25.1% (and those figures are even worse overseas), and that's despite the government pouring almost half a TRILLION dollars into the market to rescue some of those failed corporations. Like so many others, I have a 401(k) plan. That means that my investments--my FUTURE--are worth that much less today than they were 11 months ago. Given that so many people in the country have similar plans, that goes for them, too.

So, the inevitable question becomes, "Who is to blame for this mess?". To me, the answer is "All of us." At the risk of offending my conservative brethren, we overly deregulated in the late 1990s (thanks to a Republican Congress and a Democratic President). We the people over-leveraged our properties. Our banks got caught up in the property speculation boom and lent money to people who never should have received loans and then were shocked when those people couldn't repay the loans. The Federal Reserve pursued (in my opinion) a borderline idiotic policy regarding interest rates, making it far too easy for people to obtain loans that as noted above they could not repay. SOME CEO's (not all) looted their companies and then took golden parachutes as the company's employees were left hanging when the companies failed. We all followed Gordon Geckko's mantra; Greed is good, greed is right........

Ultimately, the situation will iron itself out--it always does. However, the road back will be long, painful, and it will be years for the market to recover the ground lost since October of last year. That said, here's what I want out of our "leaders" in Washington: SHUT UP. Stop the posturing. Stop the finger-pointing. This isn't a Democratic problem. It isn't a Republican problem. It is an AMERICAN problem. Do your jobs and work for us. Figure this out. Or, am I asking too much of them?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Y? Because we love you!

Well, not everyone, apparently. A Saudi cleric has issued a declaration that Mickey Mouse must die: You see, mice are unclean vermin who must be killed. The same is true for their cartoon counterparts (look out, Tom and Jerrry). I wonder if this delusional freak feels the same way about Mickey Ha-Mouse, the cartoon character used by Hamas in its vile, anti-Israel propanda?

If you needed a good insight into the Wahhabi mindset, this would be a good way to get it.

Praise for the CBC?

I suppose that this could be classified under the "Pigs may fly" category, but regardless, credit is clearly due to the CBC for its series of reports on the threats facing Israel. Instead of the usual, meal-mouthed series of morally equivalent cliches that generally fill most reports (except for those which are overt in their anti-Israel bias), these reports actually try to outline the threats which Israel is facing. They can be found here:

Given that I have excoriated the CBC again and again for its persistent anti-Israel bias, I thought it only fair to note when it does a good job.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The quiet surrender

The United Kingdom is surrendering to Islam, but it's like watching the death by a thousand cuts--There is no violent explosion, not spectacular victory. Rather, there are a series of seemingly inoccuous victories by Islam, to the point where Shariah court rulings are now enforceable in the British court system:,2933,422661,00.html.

It's sad to watch a once-great bastion of freedom, democracy and tolerance to surrender this way, without even so much as a fight.

Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Sir Paul McCartney is apparently ticking off a few people (read: Islamofacsists) with his decision to play a concert in Israel, to the point where he is now openly receiving death threats from Islamic wackos upset by his decision to play the concert:

I credit McCartney for not backing down from this terrorist threat--he's a braver man than is publicly reported. I am sure that the security he receives will be second to none.

Very well said

Somebody by the name of Joseph Epstein has a fascinating piece on what it is like to the that most incongruous of people, a Jewish Republican: He's right, too. Other than perhaps African Americans, no group is identified more with the Democratic Party than Jews, going back to the days of Franking Delano Roosevelt.

The thing is, that Democratic Party is not today's party, which has taken a fairly sharp turn to the left and which is now home to many people who don't hold what I would call "Traditional Jewish Interests". For example, Jews are high achievers, by and large, yet the Democrats stridently support quotas which have the effect, albeit unintended, of keeping them out of certain positions. Jews support Israel by an overwhelming majority, yet the Democratic Party is home to the President Peanut Farmer ("Israel is an apartheid state!") and the denizens of the Daily Kos and, who regularly and loudly villify Israel in the most vile language.

Those are but two examples, and I don't know that anyone will agree with either Mr. Epstein or myself, but it's interesting nonetheless.

Maybe so, but.........

An Op-Ed in today's Wall Street Journal has a perfectly valid explanation for the increasingly bellicose behaviour of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez., to wit, "It's the economy, stupid.": Simply put, Venezuela's economy isn't doing so well right now, despite the billions in oil revenue that the country is taking in, and its ally in Bolivia is doing even worse.

HOWEVER......that doesn't mean that we should take Mr. Chavez lightly--by cozying up with our old Cold War enemy, Russia, he has indicated unequivocally that he will be a thorn in our sides, and with that oil revenue, he can be much more of a menace than Fidel Castro ever was.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

He can't be right..........can he?

I mean, if Barack Obama doesn't win in November, it HAS to be because of racism, doesn't it? There is NO other possible explation, is there? It couldn't possibly be because of policy differences, could it: Hasn't anyone watched MSNBC? CNN? Read the New York Times? Washington Post? Los Angeles Times? Time? Newsweek? Chicago Tribune? If you have, then you know with 100% certainty that if Barack Obama loses it could only be because the United is filled with vile, racist, hate-filled people. And if he's in spite of that dark streak in American society.

I know that it must be true because the MSM told me that it was.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Some political humour

Ice Fishing

The Presidential election was too close to call. Neither the Republican candidate nor the Democratic candidate had enough votes to win. There was much talk about ballot recounting, court challenges, etc., but a week-long ice fishing competition seemed the sportsmanlike way to settle things. The candidate that caught the most fish at the end of the week would win the election.

Therefore, it was decided that there should be an ice fishing contest between the two candidates to determine the winner.

After much of back and forth discussion, it was decided that the contest take place on a remote frozen lake in northern Minnesota .There were to be no observers present, and both men were to be sent out separately on this isol ated lake and return at 5 P.M. with their catch for counting and verification by a team of neutral parties. At the end of the first day, McCain. returned to the starting line and he had ten fish.Soon, Obama returned and had no fish. Well, everyone assumed he was just having another 'bad hair' day or something and hopefully, he would catch up the next day.

At the end of the 2nd day McCain. came in with 20 fish and Obama came in again with none.

That evening, Harry Reid got together secretly with Obama and said, 'Obama, I think McCain. is a low-life, cheatin' son-of-a-gun. I want you to go out tomorrow and don't even bother with fishing. Just spy on him and see just how he is cheating.'

The next night (after McCain. returns with 30 fish), Reid said to Obama, '"Well, tell me, how is McCain. cheating?'Obama replied, 'Harry, you're not going to believe this, but he's cutting holes in the ice ! '

Experience Counts.

Let the love flow

Check out this article from an entertainment publication--aside from being a lovefest for the singer Pink, who expounds with her "wisdom" about Sarah Palin, it is incredibly snide in the way it refers to anyone who dares to disagree with its left wing viewpoint:

And then people wonder why those of us not on the left of the political spectrum complain that there is a media bias?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Twice the reason to not care!

Bob Barr, the former Republican Congressman from Georgia who is now running for President under the Libertarian banner, has asked current Republican Congressman and one-time candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination to be his Vice-Presidential candidate: I only care about this story to this extent--Barr and Paul will inevitably draw some voters away from John McCain. The question is, will they do so in enough numbers to flip some states over to the Democrats? Of course, the flip side of that question is, will Ralph Nader do the same thing for the Republicans?

Good on Sir Paul!

Former Beatle Paul McCartney is apparently under pressure to cancel his upcoming concert in Israel, pressure which he has resisted: Good for him, I say. Too many artists have bought into the undeclared boycott of Israel, and it's gratifying to see at least one who has said "No!".

Their arrogance knows no ends

Quebec Separatists, if nothing else, are blessed with an abundance of hubris. Thus we have Gilles Duceppe, the leader of the separatist Bloc Quebecois, demanding that the Canadian Government recognize Quebec as a "nation": Translation: "We want you to accept our independence without our having to do anything to obtain it".

I sincerely hope that the Harper government has the good sense to tell Duceppe to go pound sand.

Let the wackos unite!

Nothing brings people together like a national crisis...........or a conspiracy about a national crisis. When you factor in the Arab mentality, which blames everything and anything for problems it causes, you get nutcase theories like these: 9/11 was President Bush's fault (the Angry Left in this country would go along with that one, wouldn't it?). 9/11 was Israel's fault (always a popular position in the Muslim/Arab world). 9/11 was orchestrated by the CIA, etc., etc., etc.

Funny how Arabs see eeryone as being responsible for 9/11 except for those who actually caused and took "credit" for it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

9/11/01, In Memoriam

The following were my posts from a year ago. As I did on the sixth anniversary of 9/11, in 2007, I will only post once today, out of tribute to those who were so horrifically murdered seven years ago today. Please give them a thought today.

This will be my only post today. Remember the victims, and never forget how you felt on September 11, 2001:

My personal memory of 9/11: Sorry that it's so long-winded, but here it goes: I was in court in Burlington County, NJ, and when I walked into the courtroom, it was a mob scene. Strangely, though, no one was talking. It was about five minutes to nine. I saw an attorney I knew and asked him why it was so quiet, and he said that he had no idea. Just as he finished talking, the Judge came out onto the bench and asked if there were any attorneys who were either from New York City or who had family living or working there. A small group of people responded affirmatively, and he asked them to come back to his chambers immediately. They went back, and I never saw them again.

By this point, there was a buzz in the courtroom--everyone was wondering why the Judge had called back the New York City attorneys. My case was the next one called back, and when I walked into the Judge's chambers, I saw immediately that the TV was on, something I had never seen before in this or any other judge's chambers. I could see clearly that one of the Twin Towers was on fire, and as I watched, the second plane hit. This Judge, who was and is one of the classiest men I have ever encountered on the bench, just looked at my opposing counsel and I and said "Holy S--t".

My first thought was "Jets just don't hit buildings." I knew then that we were under attack. I had no idea at the time that a friend of mine from 15 years earlier was going to die when the South Tower came down.

At that point, the Judge told my opposing counsel and I that he was going to dismiss Court for the day. He told us that he would call our case in again in a few weeks, and then went back out to the courtroom and told everyone that the Twin Towers in New York had been hit by airplanes and were on fire. He added that he was dismissing Court for the day, and then added "Counsellors, the world has changed today. Don't go back to your offices. Go to wherever your family is, and be with them." He then walked slowly back into his chambers.

I called my wife as I left the courthouse to tell her what was going on. She already knew, of course, but her employer (who was located in central New Jersey, about an hour from New York City), had banned employees from watching the television, telling her and everyone else "That's New York, not here. Get back to work". I told her that I was going to go back to work and drop my file off and from there I was going home to watch the news out of New York.

On the drive back, word came out of D.C. that the Pentagon had been hit as well, and as I walked back into my office, the fourth plane went down in Shanksville, PA. You have to understand something about my firm--it is run by and filled with workaholics. Yet, when I stepped off the stairs, I looked down the hallway at our main conference room and EVERYONE was in there, staring at the tv, including the main equity partners who you normally could not get out of their offices unless they were being threatened with death (and even then, I would say that it was only 50/50 that they would leave).

We all just sat or stood in the conference room, watching what was happening in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville. Occasionally, someone would cry. No one talked. Then, one Tower came down, followed by the other, each followed by gasps of horror. We SAW the people jumping out of the Towers. Imagine that, having to make a choice of dying in a fire or throwing yourself to your death from 100 stories up.

Around 11 a.m., the managing partners of our office walked up to the tv and turned it off. They announced that the firm was closing for the day, the only time we have ever done that except for a weather emergency. True to form, my wife's employer stayed open until 5 p.m., just like any other day.

I got home around 11:30 a.m. I spent the rest of the day watching tv, getting angrier, and making a promise that I would never forget how I felt that day, nor would I forget who had committed the terrorist atrocities. I still haven't...........

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

And how many electoral college votes do they have?

A BBC-commissioned survery of some 22,500 people in 22 countries across the world found that those polled overwhelmingly favoured Barack Obama over John McCain: Well, well, well, what a shocking development THAT is! Obama would defer to everyone, so why wouldn't those living in other countries like that in a U.S. President? The problem is, he's elected to represent US, not THEM. Ultimately, they have no stake in this election. They won't be the ones paying the taxes or the consequences of his policies. So, at the risk of sounding arrogant, I really don't care what they think.

Watch what you say!

A Jordanian court is seeking to prosecute 12 people for the horrific crime of "offending Islam": Lest anyone think that these are just the irrational actions of an isolated, nutcase judge, think again. Islamic countries are watching very carefully to see who resists this insidious movement, and make no mistake about it, they will go forum shopping to find countries who will in dhimmi-like fashion acquiesce to their power. With fifth columnists like CAIR here, how far back do you think we are from this exact scenario?

Like he has a clue

Ron Reagan, Jr., has opined that his father, the late President, would not have backed a ticket on which Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was a candidate: Of course, there is no way to know that for sure, but something tells me that Junior has no clue what his father would have done. After all, Ron Reagan, Jr., is unquestionably a Democrat, and his view of things is slightly skewed, to say the least.

When obscene just isn't enough

OPEC ministers have decided to cut oil production by 500,000 barrels a day, because the billions in oil revenue they have been raking in for over half a decade now apparently aren't adequate: Of course, there will be grumbling about this, but for the most part, the reaction on the part of the West in general and United States in particular will be..............nothing. I suppose that the inevitable response is "Well, what can we do?" The answer to that is, "We can drill here", everywhere and anywhere. We can do whatever it takes to find new sources of energy. Unfortunately, oil (like just about everything else), has become just another issue over which Republicans and Democrats can spar. Neither of them accomplishes a damned thing, nor do they care to do so.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

When evil people quarrel

Al Qaeda is apparently none too happy with Iran: Or Hezbollah and Lebanon's Shiites, either: No surprise there, really. Sunnis and Shiites aren't too fond of each as it is, and if one sees the other as committing the unpardonable sin of daring to cooperate with anyone in the West, the "accused" is toast, regardless of whether or not the belief is legitimate.

Frankly, I would love to see Hezbollah and Al Qaeda go at it. Let these human vermin kill each other off. The only fear I have is that the survivor would likely be a much more dangerous capable foe for us.

Another case of "Birds of a feather".....

Russia and Venezuela, two of the more odious regimes in the world right now, are planning joint naval exercises in November, a clear slap in the face of the United States: Then again, how can it be considered a slap in the face when the reaction of the United States so far has been nonexistent? With each provocation, Russia becomes more bold. As an analogy, do you think that that the Russians would put up with us conducting naval exercises in the Black Sea? I doubt it, so why are we putting up with this?

The latest rant from a very angry leftie

They don't get much more dishonest (or angry) than the Jew- and Israel-hating Juan Cole, and here he is in fine form, comparing Sarah Palin unfavourably with Islamic fascists: Sure, Juan, sure. I'll accept that comparison when Sarah Palin indicates her support for Christians who want to fly passenger jets into buildings in Mecca, or who want to strap bombs onto themselves and blow up Muslims around the world. Of course, that isn't happening, it's never happened and it never will, which is what makes Cole's comparison so specious. Try telling that to someone on the left, though.

It affects us

With all of the focus on OUR election, another very important campaign is taking place north of the 49th Parallel. Canada is holding its own general election in October, and the results there will have a significant impact on the United States: For one thing, the current Conservative government has been a strong supporter of the NATO mission in Afghanistan. The opposition Liberals (along with the smaller NDP and the Quebec separatist party, the Bloc Quebecois) are in favour of an immediate end to the Canadian participation in the mission, despite the fact that the Liberals are the party which committed to it in the first place. As well, the Liberals have a long history of having thorny relations with the United States.

The bottom line is that for those of us who like to see relations between the two countries go smoothly, we had best hope for a Conservative win.

What would they have us do?

An "independent" panel has criticized the Bush Administration for what the panel sees as a lack of effort on the part of the United States to make the country safer from a biological/chemica/nuclear attack: In particular, the panel cites to the growing rift between the U.S. and Russia. Well, what exactly SHOULD we do? Would the panel members have us ignore the Russian invasion of Georgia? Should we just look past Russian efforts to aid the Iranians as they attempt to develop nuclear weapons? I understand that international politics sometimes calls for us to deal with those who are not our friends, but that doesn't mean that we have to kowtow to them, either.

Or, does it?

Sleep does not come easy

I suppose that we've all had nights like this--I fell asleep around 10:00 p.m., woke up at 12:45 a.m., and have been up ever since. There's no point in tossing and turning in bed, and even with 100+ cable channels, it's amazing how little there is on television. I am online at 3:10 in the morning, mainly because I have absolutely nothing better to do.

For future reference, does anyone have any good recommendations as to what to do when one can't sleep? I can tell you that Ambien no longer does the trick for me, and I wouldn't take it now anyway, given that I have to "get up" (can one get up when one was never asleep in the first place?) in three hours?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hmm, wonder who did this?

There has been yet another anti-Semitic attack in Paris, and though the article seems to go out of its way to avoid saying it, it is fairly obvious that the attackers were Muslim: For the most part, this story has been ignored in North America (no surprise there, I know).

What I can't figure out is why any Jew would still want to live in Western Europe. Incidents like this are only increasing in frequency.

From the "Sky is Blue" Department

Apparently, even the nitwits who run MSNBC have realize that the average American, let alone those on the conservative side of the political spectrum, can't stand Keith Olbermann or Chris Matthews because of their incessant cheerleading for all things Democratic and Barack Obama-related specifically: So, Olbermann and Matthews are out as hosts of MSNBC's election night coverage. Apparently, even other liberals at the network were put off by the over-the-top behaviour of those two clowns.

All I can ask is, "What took so long?"

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Redefining Chutzpah

Let's see. Lebanon's governmental partner, Hezbollah, starts a war by invading Israel and kidnapping Israeli soldiers. Israel responds militarily, as is its right. So, what is the U.N. now prepared to do? That's right; order Israel to pay Lebanon $1 billion in reparations:

I'm not one given to the use of profanity, but is there a legalistic way of saying "F--- you!"?

And there it is again

The race card, though played in a less strident tone by Dick Polman of the Philadelphia Inquirer: Though Polman is quick to note that that people can be against Barack Obama based on policy issues, he can't help but come back to the same position that Slate's Jacob Weisberg maintained, which is that if Obama does in fact lose the election, it will inevitably be because of racism. This is the position that I said the left would take as soon as Obama became the presumptive (and now official) Democratic nominee for the Presidency. The straw man is being set up. Though I still see Obama winning, the Democrats have their scapegoat if he doesn't, and that scapegoat is you, me and everyone else in this (in their view) horribly racist country.