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.