2011 - The Year We Take Back Congress and Make Obama's Life Hell!

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Pelosi's Latest Role: 21st -Century Quisling

WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will visit Syria, a country President Bush has shunned as a sponsor of terrorism, despite being asked by the administration not to go.

"In our view, it is not the right time to have these sort of high-profile visitors to Syria," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters Friday.

Pelosi toured Jerusalem holy sites Saturday alongside a congressional delegation that included Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress.

The tour was part of the congressional delegation's first full day in Jerusalem, the first stop on their fact-finding trip to the Middle East. The group arrived here Friday.

Flanked by security guards, Pelosi and the delegation toured the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Christians believe Jesus' body was buried, in Jerusalem's Old City. They also visited the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, where Jews have gathered for centuries to pray.

Her second trip to the Middle East, an indication she plans to play a role in foreign policy, is also a direct affront to the administration, which says such diplomatic overtures by lawmakers can do more harm than good.

The TrekMedic adds:

Hey, Nancy: you're failing as Squeaker of the Mouse! You're not the United States' Empress! Leave diplomatic affairs to the diplomats!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Perhaps,..the ULTIMATE Truth?

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hot New Pic

For "24" fans TheFed and Wyatt at Support Your Local Gunfighter:

A Fox Polls Brings Scary News

NEW YORK — The latest FOX News poll finds that Americans think the next person to move into the White House will be a Democrat, and while many voters would be enthusiastic or pleased if any one of the current front-runners were to win, one candidate scares more people than the others — Sen. Hillary Clinton.

In addition, voters are twice as likely to say that Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards made the right decision to stay in the race despite his wife Elizabeth’s recent cancer diagnosis.

President Bush’s job approval rating dips a point this week to 33 percent, matching a previous low in approval almost a year ago (33 percent, April 18-19, 2006). Disapproval of the president’s performance has increased to 61 percent — the highest disapproval rating of his presidency.

Opinion Dynamics Corp. conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for FOX News from March 27 to March 28. The poll has a 3-point error margin.

Click here to view full results of the poll (pdf)

By 67 percent to 22 percent, American voters think the Democrats are going to win the 2008 presidential election. Fully 90 percent of Democrats think their party is going to be victorious and 60 percent of independents agree. Among Republicans, 44 percent think Democrats will win the White House and 45 percent think their party will hold on to the presidency.

If the current favorites were to win, the reaction would be mainly positive or middle-of-the-road. With 16 percent of voters saying they would be enthusiastic if she won, Sen. Clinton has the edge over Illinois Sen. Barack Obama at 14 percent "enthusiastic," former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani at 13 percent and Ariz. Sen. John McCain at 8 percent.

When those saying they would be "enthusiastic" and "pleased" are combined, Giuliani (41 percent) has a 1-point advantage over Clinton (40 percent), a 2-point edge over Obama (39 percent) and an 8-point edge over McCain (33 percent).

The bad news for Clinton is that she leads the pack at the negative end of the scale: 40 percent of voters say they would be displeased or scared if Clinton were to become the next president, 25 percent would feel that way if McCain won, 24 percent if Obama won and 24 percent Giuliani.

Furthermore, one of four voters — 26 percent — say they would be "scared" if Clinton were to win — that’s more than twice as many as those who say the same of Obama (11 percent) and McCain (9 percent) and more than three times as many as feel that way about Giuliani (8 percent).

"As we will repeat over and over again in the coming year, it is really too early to make hard judgments about the presidential race, "comments Opinion Dynamics Chairman John Gorman. "Hillary Clinton probably has the most stable position — not many of those who love or hate her are likely to change their positions. All the others have a lot of room to move as the public hears new things, good and bad, about them."

The TrekMedic adds:

Hillary scary??

What the hell gives you that idea??

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Shrillary's DoubleStandarddradnatSelbuoD?

HT to Mataharley at Sea2Sea for this one:

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday dismissed any comparison between the firing last fall of eight U.S. attorneys with the replacement of 93 U.S. attorneys when her husband became president in 1993.

"That's a traditional prerogative of an incoming president," Clinton said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Once U.S. attorneys are confirmed, they should be given broad latitude to enforce the law as they see fit, she said.

"I think one of the hallmarks of our democracy is we have a devotion to the rule of law," Clinton said.

She conceded that should she win the presidency in 2008, she likely would replace all of the U.S. attorneys appointed by President Bush. She said that's merely following traditions in which presidents appoint prosecutors of their own party.

Clinton argued that the Bush administration's firing of the eight federal prosecutors has caused an uproar because it is seen as a conservative push to shift the balance of power in favor of the executive branch.

Democrats have accused the Justice Department and the White House of purging the prosecutors for political reasons. The Bush administration maintains the firings were not improper because U.S. attorneys are political appointees.

On another topic, Clinton said the Senate is struggling to find a way to deal with an Iraq funding measure. A House-passed measure includes a timetable for pulling troops out of Iraq, but Clinton said there's no consensus in the Senate.

"We don't have the votes to pass anything," she said.

Clinton spoke after events earlier in the day in Des Moines. She held a forum, broadcast on ABC's "Good Morning America," focused on health care issues and she collected the endorsement of former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack.

At the forum, Clinton said she "learned a lot" during the failed health care effort of her husband's presidency.

"We're going to have universal health care when I'm president - there's no doubt about that. We're going to get it done," the New York senator and front-runner for the 2008 nomination said.

Clinton focused on health care issues during an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America" broadcast from the state where precinct caucuses will launch the presidential nominating season.

Asked how she could improve on her failed effort to reform health care during her husband's presidency, Clinton said pressure for change has built in the last decade and that would make tackling the issue easier.

"I believe the American people are going to make this an issue," said Clinton. "I believe we're in a better position today to do that than we were in '93 and '94. ... It's one of the reasons I'm running for president."

After the televised meeting, Clinton headed to a Des Moines elementary school to receive the endorsement of former Gov. Tom Vilsack and his wife, Christie.

"Hillary Clinton has been tried and tested like no other candidate for president," Tom Vilsack said.

His wife added, "To me, this is not just an endorsement but a commitment."

In her earlier appearance, Clinton argued that health coverage has deteriorated over the last decade, and that's increased public pressure to act.

"The number of uninsured has grown," said Clinton. "It's hard to ignore the fact that nearly 47 million people don't have health insurance, but also because so many people with insurance have found it's difficult to get health care because the insurance companies deny you what you need."

However, while Clinton said the issue continues to be a high priority for her, she has not offered up a specific plan. One questioner at the town hall meeting held up a copy of a DVD containing a detailed description of Democratic rival John Edwards' plan for universal health care, asking Clinton if she will also offer specifics.

The reason she hasn't "set out a plan and said here's exactly what I will do," Clinton said, is that she wants to hear from voters what kind of plan they would favor.

Edwards, a former North Carolina senator and 2004 Democratic runningmate, has said it's inevitable that taxes would have to go up to finance an expensive health care plan. Clinton disagreed.

"We've got to get the costs under control," said Clinton. "Why would we put more money into a dysfunctional system?"

Clinton sidestepped a question on whether she'd consider Vilsack as a potential running mate should she win the nomination.

"I am a very big fan of Governor Vilsack," Clinton said, adding that he has "the kind of practical but visionary leadership we need in our country."

More Truth the Left Probably Can't Handle,...

ROME — Hell is a place where sinners really do burn in an everlasting fire, and not just a religious symbol designed to galvanize the faithful, the Pope said.

Addressing a parish gathering in a northern suburb of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI said that in the modern world many people, including some believers, had forgotten that if they failed to "admit blame and promise to sin no more," they risked "eternal damnation — the Inferno."

Hell "really exists and is eternal, even if nobody talks about it much any more," he said.

• Read the original report in the London Times.

The pope, who as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was head of Catholic doctrine, noted that "forgiveness of sins" for those who repent was a cornerstone of Christian belief. He recalled that Jesus had forgiven the "woman taken in adultery" and prevented her from being stoned to death, observing: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."

God had given men and women free will to choose whether "spontaneously to accept salvation ... the Christian faith is not imposed on anyone, it is a gift, an offer to mankind."

Vatican officials said that the Pope — who is also the Bishop of Rome — had been speaking in "straightforward" language "like a parish priest." He had wanted to reinforce the new Catholic catechism, which holds that hell is a "state of eternal separation from God," to be understood "symbolically rather than physically."

Agostino Paravicini Bagliani, a Church historian, said that the Pope was "right to remind us that Hell is not something to be put on one side" as an inconvenient or embarrassing aspect of belief.
It had been misused in the Middle Ages to scare the impressionable with "horrific visions" of damnation, as described in Dante’s "Inferno."

It had a pedigree, however, that went back to Ancient Egypt and the Greek idea of Hades, and was described by St. Matthew as a place of "everlasting fire" (Matthew xxv, 41).

"The problem is not only that our sense of sin has declined, but also that the world wars and totalitarianisms of the 20th century created a Hell on Earth as bad as anything we can imagine in the afterlife," Professor Bagliani said.

In 1999 Pope John Paul II declared that Heaven was "neither an abstraction nor a physical place in the clouds, but that fullness of communion with God which is the goal of human life." Hell, by contrast, was "the ultimate consequence of sin itself ... Rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy."

In October the Pope indicated that limbo, supposed since medieval times to be a "halfway house" between heaven and hell, inhabited by unbaptized infants and holy men and women who lived before Christ, was "only a theological hypothesis" and not a "definitive truth of the faith."

Timely Visions

"From here are to be heard sighs, and savage blows resound: then the scrape of iron, and dragged chains. Aeneas stopped, terrified, and drank in the din."
Virgil, "The Aeneid"

"Outer darkness . . . there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
St. Matthew

"A whirling storm that turns itself / for ever through that air of endless black, / like grains of sand swirling when a whirlwind blows."
Dante, "The Divine Comedy"

Angels "rolling in the fiery gulf" of "ever-burning sulfur."
Milton, "Paradise Lost"

"Locked forever in a small room with two other people"
— Jean-Paul Sartre, "Closed Doors"

Monday, March 26, 2007

How the Dems Turn Bulls**t Into the Truth

Coeruleus at She Flies With Her Own Wings shows every Democrat how to do it (apparently, Dems need a how-to on this. Try reading the NY Times or the Washington Post sometime!)

Sometimes,..the Truth Hurts!

We all make mistakes, right? And when we do, we have several options: we can hope no one notices; try and fix it before anyone notices; or apologize, and do our best to make it right.

When you're a journalist, the stakes are higher. All we have is our credibility. If we make an error on-air, or on a page, it's out there for the world to see. We have to correct it, or our reputation (personally, and that of our organization) suffers.

I've certainly made mistakes. One memorable gaffe occurred at my first on-air job in Columbia, S.C. — I was filling in for the anchorman, and someone called our newsroom minutes before the 6:00 hour, to report that a local radio personality had been killed in a car crash. I told the producer about it, and instead of calling the hospital (or anyone else) to check, she told me to "go with it." So I did.

Minutes later, the DJ called to tell us he was, in fact, alive. There was no accident. We were the victims of a cruel joke.

On Sunday, The New York Times admitted it made a mistake. Actually, there were multiple "corrections" on page A2, including a pet food recall that was not expanded, and providing the right telephone number for a cabaret that was reviewed.

But the biggest correction, under the heading "Editor's Note," wasn't your garden variety misprint.

The Times admitted it distributed an article in the March 18 edition of its Sunday Magazine, while knowing the story contained some glaring inaccuracies. The article was about women who served in Iraq, the sexual abuse some say they endured, and their struggles in reclaiming their pre-war lives. But one of the women profiled, who said she'd been raped twice and suffered brain damage when a roadside bomb exploded next to her Humvee, was never actually IN Iraq. She lied. And, there was no roadside bomb. Readers were left to wonder if there'd been any sexual assaults.

The newspaper knew about the mistakes on March 12, six days before the magazine was distributed, and 13 days before it published the correction. The magazine was printed on March 9 — three days before the lies were discovered — but there was still plenty of time to reprint it. The cost might've been huge, but wouldn't it be worth it for a paper whose masthead proclaims "All the News That's Fit to Print?"

If the cost was prohibitive, why not run a correction the same day the magazine appeared? Why not let readers know that the newspaper had discovered one of the women profiled in the article lied to them? They did the best they could in confirming her story, found out too late for the printers, but in time for readers to know the truth. Why wait another week?

We asked The Times these questions, but they haven't given us any answers.

Their "Editor's Note" explains the woman in question, Amorita Randall, "... did not serve in Iraq, but may have become convinced she did." It also says, "If The Times had learned these facts before publication, it would not have included Ms. Randall in the article."

If this were true, why not set the record straight in a more timely fashion?

Viewers would certainly demand the same of us.

* After my story aired, I received a call from one of the other women quoted in the article. "Ann" wanted to be sure people know sex abuse exists in the military, and plenty of servicewomen are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Military Sexual Trauma (MST). She also says the military has some excellent programs to help women (and men) deal with these kinds of issues, and says the treatment has helped her and many others. She suggests contacting the Veteran's Administration, and/or the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Rick Leventhal has been a New York-based correspondent with the FOX News Channel since June 1997.

The TrekMedic adds:

Right-minded readers will recognize this ploy from the leftist NYTimes and other MSM media: make up a sensational, anti-administration story, hang it out long enough for it to makes its rounds through the blogosphere, then retract it later, after the damage has been done.

In this case, the anti-Bush/anti-war crowd was handed a biscuit. And remember: repeat a lie often enough, and it become the truth. I'm sure Akkam's Razor and SillyS**ts know that drill by heart!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Dick Cheney - Speaker of Truth

MANALAPAN, Fla. — Vice President Dick Cheney accused the Democrat-led House of Representatives of not supporting troops in Iraq and of sending a message to terrorists that America will retreat in the face danger.

"They're not supporting the troops. They're undermining them," Cheney told a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition at the oceanside Ritz-Carlton hotel in Manalapan, Florida, about 60 miles north of Miami.

On Friday, the House voted to clamp a cutoff deadline on the Iraq war, agreeing by a thin margin to pull combat troops out by next year.

The $124 billion House legislation would pay for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan this year but would require that combat troops come home from Iraq before September 2008 — or earlier if the Iraqi government does not meet certain requirements.

President George W. Bush has threatened to veto the legislation. Cheney said Bush will not withdraw troops before there is stability in Iraq.

A Worthy Charity

WASHINGTON — Laura Brown, a mother with a son who fought in the Iraq war, is trying to improve conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center — one laptop computer at a time.

The 50-year-old from Cody, Wyo., was chatting on the Internet with the mother of a wounded soldier two years ago when the mother mentioned she had to print out her son's e-mails and take them to him at Walter Reed because there weren't enough laptop computers to go around.

Brown, whose own son had recently returned safely from the war, thought the solution to that problem seemed incredibly easy.

"It just kind of hit me," she said. "If one person needed one, then there's others. ... I mean, my son had e-mail in Iraq. I was really stunned."

So Brown formed a group, Laptops for the Wounded, to raise money for the cause.

Since its fundraising effort began in November 2005, Brown's organization has donated 27 computers to military hospitals around the country — 24 of them to Walter Reed.

On Friday, Brown flew to Washington to deliver 10 donated laptops to the hospital in person.

The TrekMedic adds:

A similar project can be found at Valour-IT.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Caption It!

Friday, March 23, 2007

And Where's the ACLU??

CHICAGO — Two suburban Chicago students filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court claiming their high school violated one of the students' civil rights by not letting her wear an anti-gay T-shirt last year.

Heidi Zamecnik, 17, of Naperville, and Alexander Nuxoll, 14, of Bolingbrook — students at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville — filed the lawsuit seeking court permission to openly express their opinions on homosexuality during the National Day of Silence, scheduled for April 18.

On the Day of Silence, students can refrain from speaking as an effort to protest discrimination against homosexuals.

In response to a Day of Silence event at the school in April 2006, Zamecnik wore a shirt that read "MY DAY OF SILENCE, STRAIGHT ALLIANCE" on the front and "BE HAPPY, NOT GAY" on the back, according to the suit filed Wednesday.

According to the suit, one school administrator ordered Zamecnik to remove the T-shirt and another official ordered her to cross out "NOT GAY" with a marker.

The suit alleges Zamecnik suffered unlawful discrimination and humiliation because school officials didn't agree with her viewpoint. Nuxoll did not attend the school at the time of the incident.

Calls by The Associated Press to the Indian Prairie School District and Neuqua Valley High School were not immediately returned Thursday morning.

The Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, a conservative Christian litigation group, is representing Zamecnik.

"At its core, this is about students' fundamental right to express their beliefs, no matter how controversial or whether they are in the minority or not," said Nate Kellum, an Alliance Defense Fund attorney in Memphis, Tenn., who is representing the two students. "This is a fundamental First Amendment issue."

Gary McCaleb, senior counsel for the group, said the organization has filed at least eight similar lawsuits nationwide. McCaleb said the Alliance Defense Fund is trying to "enable Christian students to express a contrasting viewpoint on homosexuality."

McCaleb said Zamecnik and her parents discussed the incident with school officials to work out an agreement allowing the teen to wear a similar T-shirt during next month's Day of Silence event. The suit said school officials declined the request.

The TrekMedic adds:

Whither the Anti-Christian Liberals Union? Oh, yeah,...since the Alliance Defense Fund is handling this, the ACLU is probably loathe to appear in the same room as that group.

Make No Mistake,....Iran Wants a War!!!

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Naval forces of Iran's hardline Revolutionary Guards captured 15 British sailors and marines at gunpoint Friday in the Persian Gulf — an audacious move coming during heightened tensions between the West and Iran.

U.S. and British officials said a boarding party from the frigate HMS Cornwall was seized about 10:30 a.m. during a routine inspection of a merchant ship inside Iraqi territorial waters near the disputed Shatt al-Arab waterway.

Iran's Foreign Ministry insisted the Britons were operating in Iranian waters and would be held "for further investigation," Iranian state television said.

A U.S. Navy official in Bahrain, Cmdr. Kevin Aandahl, said Iran's Revolutionary Guard naval forces were responsible and had broadcast a brief radio message saying the British party was not harmed.

In London, the British government summoned the Iranian ambassador to the Foreign Office, and Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said he "was left in no doubt that we want them back."

Iranian TV quoted an Iranian Foreign Ministry official as saying the top British diplomat in Tehran had been called in to receive Tehran's protest of the "illegal entry" into Iranian waters.

The TrekMedic seethes:

OK, Pelosi, Reid, Murtha, Hoyer, et al: We've talked and talked and talked until we're blue in the f**king face. What part of "doesn't work" don't you assholes understand?? What you are witnessing at the hands of Ahmedinejad is what you will see in Iraq if we follow your "cut-n-run" policies!

The REAL Slow Bleed?

On Tuesday, White House Counsel Fred Fielding offered Congress a chance to question several top Presidential aides about the firing of eight U.S. attorneys--so long as the questioning was done privately, without a transcript, and the aides weren't under oath. Having thus been handed an olive branch, a House Judiciary Subcommittee promptly approved subpoenas yesterday for Karl Rove, Harriet Miers and other top current or former Presidential aides to testify before Congress, publicly and under oath.

The Beltway is now abuzz with talk of a "Constitutional crisis." We'd put it another way: What's at stake here is whether George W. Bush is going to let Congress roll up his Presidency two years early. Democrats are trying to use the manufactured outrage over the entirely legal sacking of Presidential appointees to insert themselves into private White House deliberations. Mr. Bush needs to draw a line somewhere, and fast, or Democrats will keep driving until the White House staff is all but working for Democratic Senate campaign chief Chuck Schumer.

These columns have long supported the principle of "executive privilege," though we realize it is not a blanket prerogative: Both the Burger Supreme Court in United States v. Nixon and the Rehnquist Court in Clinton v. Jones upheld the principle that a President cannot use the claims of his office to protect himself from criminal or civil legal claims.

But there's little doubt that this or any other President has the right--we'd say the obligation--to protect the confidentiality of internal White House discussions, especially over Presidential appointments. If Congress can solicit any email concerning advice to the President, or haul any White House official before Congress, then executive branch deliberations will soon be an oxymoron.

Mr. Fielding may already have been too generous in allowing Congress to question advisers, considering the core executive powers at issue. But let's assume that as the new White House counsel he was attempting to avoid a Constitutional showdown and show respect for Congress's power to conduct oversight. This week the Justice Department also turned over some 3,000 emails on the matter, and any number of Justice officials, including the Attorney General, have testified or soon will under oath. If this is a "cover-up," it is the most porous in history.

All the more so because the evidence so far suggests that this is a scandal without anything scandalous. Justice Department officials have certainly been the gang that couldn't get its story straight, and we can understand Congress's frustration with the evolving explanations. But the biggest blunder was for Justice to deny that the eight attorneys were dismissed for "political" reasons.

U.S. attorneys are "political appointees," and so by definition can be replaced for political reasons. If San Diego's Carol Lam was out of step with the Administration's priorities on immigration enforcement, or New Mexico's David Iglesias was judged insufficiently aggressive on voter fraud, then it was entirely appropriate for the President to replace them with officials more in line with his views. What's the alternative? Presumably, Mr. Bush's Congressional critics would have him--and his successors, Republican and Democratic--preside over political appointees who are unaccountable to anyone except Congress.

What would be genuine grounds for outrage is if a U.S. attorney were dismissed to interfere with a specific prosecution, or to protect some crony. This was the root of our objection, in 1993, to Janet Reno's dismissal (at Webster Hubbell's instigation) of all 93 U.S. attorneys in his Administration's earliest days. But there is no such evidence involving any of the eight Bush attorneys.

As for Congress's subpoenas, they are being issued largely for the political melodrama they create. Even if Congress serves the subpoenas, Democrats know that they can't be enforced without a long legal fight that would extend toward the end of the Bush Presidency. The point of this stunt isn't to learn what Karl Rove knows, or else Congress would accept the White House offer to interview him in private. The exercise is all about creating an aura of "cover-up" and "illegality," never mind the lack of any evidence.

Whether Attorney General Albert Gonzales or Deputy Paul McNulty now lose their jobs is a decision Mr. Bush will have to make. But no one should be under any illusions that their political sacrifice at the current moment would appease Democrats. Their real target is Karl Rove, and ultimately the crippling of the Bush Presidency. Whatever benefit Mr. Bush would gain by giving GOP Members a ritual sacrifice would be offset by the costs of putting even more Administration blood in the water.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Brighter Days Ahead for the Second Amendment?

For nearly 70 years, the Second Amendment has been the Jimmy Hoffa of constitutional provisions - missing, its whereabouts unknown, and presumed dead. The right to keep and bear arms, though treasured by many Americans, was a complete stranger to the Supreme Court.

But recently, a federal appeals court did something no federal court had ever done before: It struck down a gun-control law as a violation of the Second Amendment.

The District of Columbia statute in question is one of the most stringent in the country. It bans the ownership of handguns except those registered before 1976, and it requires rifles or shotguns to be not only registered but also kept unloaded and equipped with a trigger lock. Such tight restrictions, the appeals court said, cannot be reconciled with the Bill of Rights.

The decision does not prove that the Second Amendment is alive and well. But it does mean that, finally, we are likely to get an answer from the Supreme Court on a question that has generated endless debate: Is the Second Amendment a meaningless anachronism, or a live guarantee? The court will be confronting the issue at a time when legal scholarship is increasingly inclined to say there is indeed a right to keep and bear arms.

The full text of the provision is: "A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." In its last significant Second Amendment case, in 1939, the court didn't exactly say there was no individual right. Instead, it said the firearm at issue, a sawed-off shotgun, would not be of use to someone serving in a militia. The question of an individual right was left unresolved.

The amendment is a puzzle because of those two separate clauses, one about militias and one about gun rights. Gun-control supporters generally read the first to nullify the second, while gun-control opponents do just the opposite. Trying to determine what the framers meant is hard because they barely discussed the right and what it might entail.

Second Amendment skeptics think any right is a collective one related to militias that no longer exist. Yes, the colonial Minutemen have vanished - but that doesn't mean they took the rest of the Second Amendment with them. It's hard to know exactly what the Second Amendment means by a right to keep and bear arms, but it must mean something.

Even some liberal constitutional experts now agree that gun ownership enjoys constitutional protection. The most notable is Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, who once subscribed to the collective-rights theory. The amendment, he writes, recognizes "a right (admittedly of uncertain scope) on the part of individuals to possess and use firearms in defense of themselves and their homes." The appeals court agreed, striking down D.C.'s prohibition of handguns in the home, as well as regulations on other guns.

It would be a stunning turnabout if the Supreme Court adopts that view. It would remove some of the most extreme laws from the books - such as the virtually total ban on handguns in Chicago and some suburban communities. Gun-rights advocates would feel sweet vindication.

But there is consolation for the other side as well. The appeals court made clear that a host of other limits on firearms possession are constitutionally permissible. States, it said, could forbid the carrying of concealed handguns, require registration of firearms, and mandate training for gun owners.

So if this decision is upheld, it will not change our treatment of guns very much. Complete bans would be off-limits, but they are already rarer than white buffaloes. Most other gun-control laws would remain on the books, and anti-gun groups would be free to press for additional ones.

The only obstacle would be the one that has stymied them in the past: insufficient public support. It wasn't the constitutional right to keep and bear arms that induced Congress to let the federal ban on "assault weapons" expire, or that persuaded 40 states to allow the carrying of concealed handguns. Those choices were the product of sentiment among citizens and legislators who see most restrictions on firearms as futile at best and dangerous at worst.

The bad news for gun-control advocates is that the Supreme Court may adopt an expansive view of the Second Amendment. The worse news is this may represent the will of the people.

Steve Chapman (schapman@tribune.com) is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

The TrekMedic appends:

JK from Three Sources posted another Second Amendment-related article. Click here for more details.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Shrillary Strikes Again!

HT to BobG at Sweet Spirits of Ammonia for this gem:

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

30,000 "Hecklers" Can't Be Wrong!

Hey, Akkam's Razor - here's your answer. Now, take your leftist whining and STFU, OK?

***Update: Heidi at Gathering of Eagles reports on the National Park Service estimate of the GoE turnout: 30,000 strong. The silent majority no more.***

***Update March 18, 2007 1:30am: The NYTimes lies...***

Pure bullcrap. Yup, the journalistic standard-bearers of the NYTimes relied on "several veterans of the antiwar movement" to give them crowd estimates of the Gathering of Eagles. It's the domestic equivalent of MSMers relying on dubious Iraqi stringers to provide them with war coverage while they sit in their comfy Green Zone offices in D.C. and Manhattan.

The TrekMedic adds:

Read the rest of the story. There a many more pics on Michelle's site of our well-organized defense of our President and his GWOT policies.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Heckling the Protesters,...or Protesting the Hecklers?

According to the WaPo, if you were against President Bush and the Iraq War, you were a protester.

However, if your were in favor of President Bush's Middle East policies, you were a heckler.

Need proof?

And a HUGE HT to Mary at Freedom Eden for the pic!

Not Surprisingly, the MSM is Shocked,...SHOCKED! by This,.....

WASHINGTON — Both campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama say they know nothing about a new and chilling campaign advertisement airing on YouTube that attempts to cast the Democratic frontrunner and New York senator as Big Brother.

The ad, an example of a "mashup," in which old and new elements are combined to create a new message, uses footage from the "1984" Super Bowl ad produced by Ridley Scott for Apple Computer but splices in footage from Clinton on the presidential campaign trail.

Click here to see the Clinton-Obama advertisement.

Borrowing the themes in George Orwell's book in which Big Brother forces conformity among the masses, the updated ad shows Clinton's face on a large video screen as she talks about holding conversations with the public. Human drones mindlessly watch until a female athlete carrying a sledgehammer races into the room and smashes the screen.

The end of the ad takes some of the language from the original commercial but changes part of it to say, "On January 14th, the Democratic primary will begin. And you will see why 2008 won't be like '1984.'" The screen then fades to an updated Apple logo showing a rainbow colored O and the Web address BarackObama.com at the bottom.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Latest TrekPoll Results

So,..WHO IS the most annoying Woman in America??

The people have spoken:

Hillary Rodham Clinton - 7 votes - 47%
Nancy Pelosi - 0 votes - 0%
Ann Coulter - 2 votes - 13%
Rosie O'Donnell - 6 votes - 40%
Katie Couric - 0 votes - 0%

No votes for Katie "the $15 Million Hooker" Couric? Oh, yeah,..that's right: nobody watches SeeBS's Evening News anyway.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

It's Time To Protest The Protestors/And Save The Viet Nam Memorial From Being Defaced

Cross-Posting from Marie's Two Cents:

These Anti-War, White Flag Waving, Cut-N-Run, Retreat-In-Defeat, Nutballs who got away with spray painting on the Capitol Steps during their last little "Peace March" Intend this time to do Damage to our Viet Nam War Memorial during this upcoming "Peace March" in March. This time there will be a Human Chain formed around our Viet Nam Memorial and the paint they intend to throw at it will be blocked!! This event is going to go on starting March 8, culminating on March 17, 2007. And of Course Mother Sheehan will be there, as well as "Hanoi" Jane Fonda, and a whole host of other Hollywood nutjobs, Freaks in General and Spawn of the Flower Children from the 60's who I guess have forgotten this is an ALL VOLUNTEER MILITARY, Every Soldier who is Enlisted said "Send Me", there is NO Draft and the 60's are OVER!!. What awaits them will be, well let's just say it might not be so Pleasant. They better be willing to put up with Rolling Thunder, Move America Forward, The Patriot Guard Riders, Viet Nam Vet's Other Conflict Vet's, A Gathering of Eagles, The Support The Troops Population, and whoever else shows up. IT'S TIME WE START PUSHING BACK! Whoever cant make it to Washington D.C. there will be rallys all over the Country as well, but our bodies are mostly needed in D.C. All the information for these events is located over at "Move America Forward", "Rolling Thunder", And "A Gathering Of Eagles" websites I have listed. Bring your friends and family and anyone else you can find. These Nutballs must be stopped!

Vietnam Veterans Plan Rally to Protect Memorial During Iraq War Protest

WASHINGTON -- Iraq war protesters are planning to converge on Washington next month and several organizations, including the POW-MIA group Rolling Thunder, are banding together to protect sacred ground for Vietnam War veterans.

The rally March 17 against the war, organizers say, is to get under way in a grassy park near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, known as the wall.

Two veterans' groups said Wednesday they fear protesters may deface the memorial.

"We're going there to protect our memorial and show support for our troops," said Artie Muller, founder and executive director of Rolling Thunder.

Muller said he and other veterans grew concerned because during a January anti-war rally, some protesters spray-painted graffiti on the steps of the Capitol, and spit at Iraq War Veterans.

The anti-war ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition is organizing the protest to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion, which was launched on March 20, 2003, in Iraq.

Becker declined to estimate the number of protesters expected. He said the crowd will include some Iraq war veterans and their families.

From the Vietnam War Memorial, the protesters plan to march to the Pentagon to demand an immediate withdrawal of U.S troops from Iraq.

Larry Bailey, a retired Navy captain, said he and other Vietnam veterans aim to guard entrance points to the wall to keep protesters away. "They stand for things that are a total anathema to those of us who were the next generation after the 'great generation,'" he said.

In late January, tens of thousands of protesters marched in a Washington anti-war demonstration. The rally drew celebrities including Jane Fonda and Sean Penn as well as active-duty service members.

A small group of demonstrators managed to spray-paint the steps on the west side of the Capitol. Capitol Police said the writing was cleaned off quickly.

This is the Caravan Map!


The Next Great Philly Rock Band!

Check out Even the Res!

The TrekMedic has had "Mystery Rose" on non-stop play on the TrekiPod for weeks!

Even the Res is made possible through the efforts of WMMR's Jaxon's Local Shots!

Mother Nature Gives Algore the Middle Finger Again!

OK,..it wasn't enough that on Wednesday, the TrekMedic was sweltering in his navy blue polyester uniform shirt, then last night he spent 12 hours rescuing village idiots from 5 INCHES of ice on the PA Turnpike!

Mark at White Lightning Axiom has a great series of videos rebutting Algore's "The Sky is Falling" (or warming - whatever).

Click here to view all of them!



Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Truth, Part 2

Speak truth to power.

The phrase conjures visions of Old Testament patriarchs or civil rights prophets stepping forward in difficult times to utter unpopular, discomfiting truths.

Of course, the phrase loses its power when commonplace. There's nothing biblical or righteous about an MSNBC promo for an announcer who "speaks truth to power," or a senator asking at a confirmation hearing, "Will you speak truth to power?" That's just politics.

So it was encouraging to see a recent example of the real thing.

During a trip to Asia last month, Vice President Cheney, in an ABC News interview, said the troop withdrawal ideas promoted by some leading Democrats were similar to al-Qaeda's plans for Iraq:

"If we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we'll do is validate the al-Qaeda strategy. The al-Qaeda strategy is to break the will of the American people - in fact, knowing they can't win in a stand-up fight, try to persuade us to throw in the towel and come home, and then they win because we quit... .

"You can't look at Iraq in isolation. You've got to look at it in terms of its impact, what we're doing in Afghanistan, what we're doing in Pakistan, what we're doing in Saudi Arabia. All those areas are part of the global battlefield... and you can't quit in one place and then persuade all your allies who are helping you in all those other theaters... to continue the fight."

How does he know the enemy's intent? They tell us.

Here's Osama bin Laden in a 2004 audio message: "The most important and serious issue today for the whole world is this Third World War, which the Crusader-Zionist coalition began against the Islamic nation. It is raging in the land of the two rivers. The world's millstone and pillar is in Baghdad."

Bin Laden's right-hand man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, laid out a plan in a July 2005 letter: "The jihad in Iraq requires several incremental goals. The first stage: Expel the Americans from Iraq. The second stage: Establish an Islamic authority or emirate, then develop it and support it until it achieves the level of a caliphate - over as much territory as you can to spread its power in Iraq. The third stage: Extend the jihad wave to the secular countries neighboring Iraq. The fourth stage:... the clash with Israel, because Israel was established only to challenge any new Islamic entity."

So Cheney was speaking a simple truth: Al-Qaeda wants the United States out of Iraq. And congressional calls to give up, regardless of conditions on the ground or what happens next in the wider war, validate that strategy.

That doesn't mean there can be no dissent to current policy. A free society debates issues, and there are plenty of reasons offered to quit: War itself is a mistake. The initial invasion was a mistake. The occupation has been a series of mistakes. Refereeing a sectarian struggle that goes beyond fighting al-Qaeda is a mistake.

People will advocate as conscience dictates. All Cheney did was point out that advocacy doesn't occur in a vacuum.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) called the vice president's remarks "beneath the dignity of the debate we're engaged in." Wrong. This is precisely the debate we should be engaged in. Everyone wants the war to end, to see the troops safely home. The question is how? Under what terms?

As U.S. leaders try to answer these questions, they can't pretend the discussion is an exchange of theories in a college seminar with no real-world implications. Words have meaning. They reassure allies and troops, or worry them. They dishearten enemies, or comfort them. If al-Qaeda's hopes for a precipitative U.S. withdrawal are echoed in congressional resolutions, that's got to be comforting. It may not be the intent, but it's the reality.

Pelosi said Cheney was questioning the "patriotism of those in Congress who challenge the Bush administration's misguided policies in Iraq."

Wrong again. And Cheney's reply was characteristically blunt and on target: "I didn't question her patriotism. I questioned her judgment."

There's reason to question many judgments when it comes to Iraq, but in this case Cheney is right. And he speaks from experience. He worked in the White House 32 years ago, for President Ford, when Southeast Asian allies were abandoned to their enemies. Millions were killed and displaced.

If that nightmare is replayed in Iraq, Pelosi and the anti-war powers will have to answer for the truths they've left unspoken.
Contact Kevin Ferris at 610-701-7629 or kf@phillynews.com.

The Truth, Part 1

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Come Up With Something Original, Hillary!

HT to Anthony at Opinionnation for this gem:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton told Democrats Tuesday the "vast, right-wing conspiracy" is back, using a phrase she once coined to describe partisan criticism.

Speaking to Democratic municipal officials, the New York senator used the term to hammer Republicans on election irregularities.

Clinton was first lady when she famously charged allegations of an affair between her then-president husband Bill Clinton and White House intern Monica Lewinsky were the result of a conservative conspiracy.

As evidence of the affair eventually came to light, the comment was ridiculed. But many Democrats have since insisted that Clinton was correct, pointing to the well-documented efforts by conservative financier Richard Mellon Scaife to fund a network of anti-Clinton investigations.

(TM - But George Soros and MoveOn.org are just fine?)

On Tuesday, she asserted the conspiracy is alive and well, and cited as proof the Election Day 2002 case of phone jamming in New Hampshire, a case in which two Republican operatives pleaded guilty to criminal charges, and a third was convicted.

"To the New Hampshire Democratic party's credit, they sued and the trail led all the way to the Republican National Committee," Clinton said.

"So if anybody tells you there is no vast right-wing conspiracy, tell them that New Hampshire has proven it in court," she said.

Former RNC operative James Tobin was convicted of telephone harassment and appealed his conviction. The investigation arose after Democratic organizers' phones were overwhelmed by annoying hang-up calls hindering their get-out-the-vote efforts.

Clinton accused the GOP of a number of other anti-voter actions, including intimidating phone calls during the contentious 2006 congressional elections.

New Hampshire Democratic Party chairwoman Kathy Sullivan said she absolutely agreed with the senator's description of the case.

"People think we're paranoid when we talk about the vast right-wing conspiracy, but there is a real connection of these groups - the same names keep popping up," said Sullivan. "They are the most disgusting group of political thugs that I have ever seen."

RNC spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt responded that Democrats "might be disappointed to learn that almost a decade later, the senator's playbook consists of little more than a resurrection of Clinton-era talking points."

Clinton made her charge of conspiracy in response to a question about her proposed bill that would make Election Day a federal holiday, and make it a crime to send misleading or fraudulent information to voters.

She also said the government should do more to end unusually long lines at certain polling places.

"It just so happens that many of those places where people are waiting for hours are places where people of color are voting or young people are voting. That is un-American, and we're going to end it," Clinton said.

The TrekMedic opines:

Yes, Hillary, there IS a right-wing conspiracy! Its called "talk radio" and its used to balance the rhetoric coming from the likes of MoveOn. org and your little lap dog, Rick Kaplan!!

You Go First, Schmuck,...I Mean, "Chuck!"

WASHINGTON — The Senate's No. 3 Democrat said Sunday that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should resign because he is putting politics above the law.

Sen. Charles Schumer cited the FBI's illegal snooping into people's private lives and the Justice Department's firing of top federal prosecutors.

Schumer said Gonzales repeatedly has shown more allegiance to President George W. Bush than to citizens' legal rights since taking his job in early 2005.

He branded Gonzales, a former White House counsel, as one of the most political attorney generals in recent history.

"Attorney General Gonzales is a nice man, but he either doesn't accept or doesn't understand that he is no longer just the president's lawyer, but has a higher obligation to the rule of law and the Constitution even when the president should not want it to be so," Schumer said.

"And so this department has been so political that I think for the sake of the nation, Attorney General Gonzales should step down," he said.

Sen. Joe Biden, a member of the Democrat-controlled Judiciary Committee, said Gonzales would be "better off" if he resigned.

The TrekMedic is ROFLHAO:

This is coming from a party that's putting our national security above the safety of its citizens!

Nice try Chuck,..no brownie points for that one!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Fair and Balanced?

Hmmm,...another DoublestandarddradnatselbuoD in the making here??

The Democratic Party, pushing again for the Fairness Doctrine, wants to allow for BOTH SIDES to be heard in the media. (Actually, they're just trying to stifle talk-radio, since Airhead America went belly-up)

So,...right-leaning Fox News sponsors a Democratic debate in Nevada,....and THE DEMOCRATS PULL OUT!!

H/T to BobG at Sweet Spirits of Ammonia for this terrific editorial on the whole, infantile mess:

Network co-sponsors state Democratic debate -- oh my!

Hard-core liberals can't stand the Fox News Channel. Passing a television that's tuned to the conservative favorite forces many of them to close their eyes, cover their ears and scream, "La la la la la la la la la!" Then they dash to their computers and fire off 2,500 e-mails condemning the outlet, none of which are ever read.

But liberals' aversion to Fox News has finally gone over the top. The Nevada Democratic Party had agreed to let the right-tilting network co-sponsor, of all things, an August debate in Reno between Democratic presidential candidates. Party officials were serious about drawing national attention to the state's January presidential caucus, the country's second in the 2008 nominating process. What better way for the party to reach conservative and "values" voters who might consider changing allegiances?

But the socialist, Web-addicted wing of the Democratic Party was apoplectic. The prospect of having to watch Fox News to see their own candidates would have been torture in itself. So they set the blogosphere aflame with efforts to kill the broadcast arrangement, or at least have all the candidates pull out of the event. Before Friday, the opportunistic John Edwards was the only candidate to jump on that bandwagon.

You'd think the deal called for having Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter mock the candidates between comments. No, even unfiltered, unedited, live debate between loyal Democrats couldn't be entrusted to Fox News.

The approach of outfits such as MoveOn.org is so juvenile it's laughable. Imagine if every political organization created litmus tests for news organizations before agreeing to appear on their programming. Republicans would have boycotted PBS, CBS, NBC, ABC, National Public Radio and The Associated Press decades ago.

This hyperventilation results from the fact that far-left Democrats have no comparable media outlet, nor any widespread national appeal, for their radical views in favor of heavy-handed regulation, wealth redistribution, diplomatic capitulation and economic protectionism. So they attack their rivals' messenger with a reckless barrage of rhetoric that cuts down their own allies with friendly fire.

By Friday, the Nevada Democratic Party caved in to the lunatic fringe and began seeking a more "appropriate" television partner.

Comedy Central, perhaps?

The TrekMedic adds:

Comedy Central?? Hmmm,..there might be some "truthiness" to this insanity, after all.

The NEXT TrekPoll

This Poll is now Closed. You can view the results here.

Again,..thank you for your input.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Why Algore Thinks the Air is Getting Hotter,....

Philadelphia Needs More People Like This Guy!

Owner fights back, kills robber

The luncheonette had been targeted before. "He was defending his family as far as I'm concerned," said a top Phila. police official.

By Joseph A. Gambardello
Inquirer Staff Writer

The owner of a West Oak Lane luncheonette pulled his licensed revolver and fired on a pair of armed robbers yesterday, killing one and wounding the other.

The owner was identified as Jason Lee, whose Sunrise Breakfast on the 1900 block of East Washington Lane had been the target of at least one stickup before.

"He was defending his family as far as I'm concerned," Chief Inspector Joseph Fox, chief of detectives, said earlier in the day. "He did what he had to do."

Lee told 6ABC last night that he was "sorry" for what happened. "I did not have a choice," he said, adding he feared for his life and that of his wife.

Police identified the slain robber as Cornell Toombs, 20, of the 1500 block of East Tulpehocken Avenue. The other suspect, Gary Williams, 24, of the 1700 block of East Mohican Street, was in guarded condition at Albert Einstein Hospital, police said.

Fox said Lee, his wife and a waitress were opening the restaurant about 6:30 a.m. when two men walked in, pulled revolvers and announced a robbery.

The actual sequence of events is under investigation, but Fox said one man got behind the counter with the owner.

The owner somehow grabbed his own revolver and "when he had an opportunity, he fired," Fox said.

The gunman behind the counter fell dead with a gunshot wound to the head.

The other man pegged two shots at the owner, who returned fire, hitting him in the face, police said.

What happened next was captured in a cell-phone video, which several local television stations broadcast in full.

The gunman stumbled out the door and fell to the sidewalk with the owner right behind him, gun in hand.

The owner ordered the man to stay down, turned back and went into the store. When the bandit got up and tried to walk away, the owner came back out, pulled the man down to the ground and put his foot on him while pointing the gun at the prone suspect.

After viewing the video, Fox said Lee's actions were something "you don't normally expect the average citizen to take." But, he added, "He did the right thing."

"It gives us an indication that the owner came out and didn't do anything but hold the suspect until police arrived," Fox said.

Gary Miles, who shot the video, said crime has been increasing in the neighborhood.

"I always thought there was going to be some trouble, and I was ready for it," he said.

In May, Jahbarie Francis, 8, who lives on the street behind the restaurant, was wounded in a crossfire.

Yesterday, his mother, Deserie Jones-Wright, stood in the late-morning chill outside Sunrise Breakfast, where, she said, her daughter had considered taking a job.

Her emotions fluctuated between a certain satisfaction and sadness.

"He sent a message, loud and clear," she said of the eatery's owner. "People aren't going to tolerate this.

"Still, it's sad, so sad. My son's shooting made me feel uncomfortable. This makes me feel even more uncomfortable... I feel sorry for the parents of whoever did this," she said, referring to the two would-be robbers.

"Thirty six years I've been in this neighborhood," her friend Anne Dukes said, "and it seems things are just happening - not just here, everywhere."

Residents and shop workers in the neighborhood knew little about the owner - most did not know his name - but they said the luncheonette served good food and was busy during its hours of operation - 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Miles' daughter, Brandi Miles, 18, who knows Lee only by his first name, said: "He was easy to get along with - always smiling. I don't know why someone would do this."

Contact staff writer Joseph Gambardello at 215-854-2153 or jgambardello@phillynews.com.

The TrekMedic adds:

In another blow to the weak-kneed, "let's talk" liberals that allow these criminal elements to walk free:

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court on Friday overturned the District of Columbia's longstanding handgun ban, issuing a decision that will allow the city's citizens to have working firearms in their homes.

In the ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected city officials' arguments that the Second Amendment right to bear arms only applied to state militias.

District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty told reporters Friday afternoon that the District will appeal the ruling.

In a 2-1 decision, the judges held that the activities protected by the Second Amendment "are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued intermittent enrollment in the militia."

"This is a huge case," Alan Gura, the plaintiffs' lead lawyer, told FOXNews.com Friday afternoon. "It's simply about whether law-abiding citizens can maintain a functioning firearm, including a handgun, inside their house."

Gura said his six clients, all Washington residents, challenged three separate District of Columbia laws: A 31-year-old law that prevents handgun registration; a law that requires rifles and shotguns to be either disassembled or disabled when being stored; and a law that requires a permit to carry a gun in your own home.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Sad News for Phillies Phans - Another Philebrity Passes

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- There are many funny, sad and heartwarming stories about John Vukovich, as there should be for a man who touched so many lives.

A person who spends 41 years in baseball, on back fields, dugouts, buses, airplanes, restaurants and hotel rooms, is bound to earn tremendous respect and pick up a lifelong friends along the way.

That's what happened with "Vuk," who lost a second battle with cancer and passed away on Thursday at age 59.

"He was a Californian who married a Philly girl and never left," said broadcaster Chris Wheeler, who joined the organization in 1971 and considered Vukovich among his closest friends. "He loved Philadelphia because he kept saying these people are tough. He loved the area for that reason."

Vukovich, a former Phillies player and coach whose ties with the club dated to 1970, when he debuted as a Major Leaguer, was tough, too.

Diagnosed with a brain tumor in May 2001, he appeared to have recovered, proudly returning to the coaching box within two months. After more than five years of relatively good health, doctors discovered that the illness had returned after Vukovich experienced headaches and impaired vision.

In true style, Vukovich kept the news private from even his closest friends, saying everything was going to be fine. Word filtered out when he missed the Winter Meetings in Orlando in December. The family asked for and was granted privacy.

Despite recent optimism, news circulated on Wednesday within the organization that his condition had worsened, and none could hide their extreme sense of loss.

"He was a second father to me," said Greg Casterioto, the Phillies' manager of public relations, likely echoing the sentiments of his generation.

"He was like a brother to me," Wheeler said, echoing the sentiments of his generation.

A passionate man who always listed family first and baseball second (a really close second), Vukovich honed the fielding of a generation of infielders and wasn't afraid to tell players how they should wear the uniform.

The term often heard was "old school."

A fixture in the organization, Vukovich spent 31 of his 41 years in the sport wearing red pinstripes. The most important were the 17 straight -- from 1988-2004 -- that he spent as a Phillies coach, working with six different managers and showing extreme loyalty to each. Vukovich will be remembered this season with a black patch sewn onto Phillies uniforms.

In 2004, he passed former bullpen coach Mike Ryan to become the longest tenured coach in team history. A career .161 hitter over parts of 10 seasons in the Major Leagues, Vukovich often joked that his "second career was much better than the first."

Though the statistics won't lie about the first, Vukovich was the embodiment of a player who survived on sterling defense, personality and heart. He knew so much about the game and how it should be played.

"It would be the greatest second career for a .161 hitter," Wheeler said. "He was a great baseball man. He was a throwback. He felt there was a way to play and wear the uniform and didn't bend."

A third baseman selected by Philadelphia in the January 1966 draft out of American River Junior College in Sacramento, Calif., Vukovich received a $10,000 bonus when he signed hours before the deadline that would've thrown him back into the pool of eligible draftees. That summer, he tooled around his sleepy hometown in a sleek new Dodge Coronet 500, his one indulgence.

"I paid $3,400 cash for it," he later said. "My dad got a new truck."

In the Minors, Vukovich tasted winning as a member of three league champions: Spartanburg, 1967; Eugene, 1972; and Oklahoma City, 1970. He led his league in fielding by a third baseman four times. With Triple-A Eugene in 1970, he reached professional highs with 22 homers and 96 RBIs in 138 games.

He made his debut in 1970 and played parts of seven seasons with the Phillies, including the 1980 World Series championship team. He was also a member of the 1975 Reds, who won the World Series that season, and often recalled a story of how he was once pinch-hit for by manager Sparky Anderson in the first inning.

"He loved that story," Casterioto said.

On June 23, 1971, Vukovich played third base and caught the final out of Rick Wise's no-hitter.

He made a seamless transition to coaching after retiring as a player in 1981, beginning with the Cubs in 1982 and serving as a first base, third base and bench coach until leaving after the 1987 season.

While his departure created an opportunity in Philadelphia, the story of why he left is a testament to his loyalty. In fall of 1987, then-Cubs GM Dallas Green, whom Vuk had followed to Chicago, was preparing to name himself manager/GM and wanted Vukovich as his bench coach, with the intention of making Vuk the manager the following season.

Except that a funny thing happened.

"I flew into Chicago at 9 that morning and Dallas told me I was going to manage," Vukovich recalled. "I went to Tribune Tower and met with [CEO] John Madigan. Then we went back to Wrigley Field for a 5 o'clock press conference."

Less than five minutes later, Vukovich was unemployed.

"Dallas called me in and said, 'I resigned,'" Vukovich said. "He wanted me to stay and I said, 'Like hell I will.' I listened to the press conference [of Green's resignation] on the radio going to the airport."

Vukovich flew back to his home in Voorhees, N.J., and eventually landed again in Philadelphia. His coaching role with the Phillies included first base, third base and bench coach, plus coordinating Spring Training and working with the team's infielders. Vukovich got to manage the final nine games of the 1988 season, when Lee Elia was dismissed, and he went 5-4. In 1994, he was a coach for the National League All-Star team.

In 2000, he served as a coach for the MLB All-Star team that traveled to Japan, and in 2004, he was named the winner of the inaugural Dallas Green Special Achievement Award, presented by the Philadelphia chapter of The Baseball Writers Association of America for his coaching tenure.

Vukovich left the field after the 2004 season and became a special assistant to the general manager, working under Ed Wade and Pat Gillick. He and Larry Bowa are the only two men to wear a Phillies uniform at Connie Mack Stadium, Veterans Stadium and Citizens Bank Park.

He is survived by his wife, the former Bonnie Loughran, whom he met at Veterans Stadium; two children, Nicole Stolarick and Vince, and triplet granddaughters, Anna, Lena and Stella Stolarick. Vukovich is also survived by two brothers, Rich and Bill, of California.

Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Important News from Melanie Morgan!

HT to JG at Now for Something Different:

A Rip in the Islamic Veil??

Ex-Iranian official talks to Western intelligence

Deputy defense minister instrumental in founding of Hezbollah, officials say

A former Iranian deputy defense minister who once commanded the Revolutionary Guard has left his country and is cooperating with Western intelligence agencies, providing information on Hezbollah and Iran's ties to the organization, according to a senior U.S. official.

Ali Rez Asgari disappeared last month during a visit to Turkey. Iranian officials suggested yesterday that he may have been kidnapped by Israel or the United States. The U.S. official said Asgari is willingly cooperating. He did not divulge Asgari's whereabouts or specify who is questioning him, but made clear that the information Asgari is offering is fully available to U.S. intelligence. (TM - The shocking part of this is, considering the source is the Washington Post, they haven't "leaked" his location, yet!)

Asgari served in the Iranian government until early 2005 under then-President Mohammad Khatami. Asgari's background suggests that he would have deep knowledge of Iran's national security infrastructure, conventional weapons arsenal and ties to Hezbollah in south Lebanon. Iranian officials said he was not involved in the country's nuclear program, and the senior U.S. official said Asgari is not being questioned about it. Former officers with Israel's Mossad spy agency said yesterday that Asgari had been instrumental in the founding of Hezbollah in the 1980s, around the time of the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut.

Gentlemen: Grab Some Kleenex!

No! Not for THAT reason. This reason:

Sniff, sniff ... 7 movies that make guys cry

“Dead Poets Society” (1989)
“Gladiator” (2000)
“Legends of the Fall” (1994)
“The Notebook” (2005)
“Rudy” (1993)
“Saving Private Ryan” (1998)
“Titanic” (1997)

The TrekMedic opines:

Obviously, nobody saw "Flight 93," did they?

Anyone care to add-on to the list?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Please, Rosie! Shut the F**k Up!

The TrekMedic would say "pick on someone your own size," but Michael Moore is on her side, too!

Do it For a Good Cause

HT to Charlie on the Turnpike.

Time to do a solid for those with MS,
such as MDMHVONPA of White Lightning Axiom!

This is MS Awareness Week.

Click here for more information!

Thank you for your support. We now return to the usual DemoSocialist bashing!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Yeah,....and Hillary Has ALWAYS Been a Yankees Fan, too!

Monday, March 05, 2007

New York Sen. Hillary Clinton has traveled a long road on her way to running for the Democratic nomination for president.

As a student, she traveled from Illinois to toney Wellesley, Mass.; as a politician's wife, she made the journey to the governor's mansion in Little Rock, Ark., and then on to Washington, D.C. as first lady; and, finally, as a senator, she moved into well-heeled Chappaqua, N.Y..

Wherever she's been, Hillary's made sure her voice is heard.

The question is, which voice is Hillary's? Has she traveled so far that she's suffering from dialect confusion? You decide:

Click here to view and listen to a clip of Hillary addressing the Democratic National Committee.

Now, click here to listen to Hillary addressing an audience Sunday at the First Baptist Church in Selma, Ala.

The TrekMedic, however, just thinks:

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Are You a Smart American?

You Are a Smart American

You know a lot about US history, and you're opinions are probably well informed.
Congratulations on bucking stereotypes. Now go show some foreigners how smart Americans can be.

To be fair, the questions are ridiculously easy. So easy, most Democrats might even get a few right!

Going it Alone,...

Tony Blair’s decision to withdraw 1,600 troops from Iraq is understandable. The prime minister had to make a difficult decision about where to allocate Britain’s scarce resources, and he decided, reasonably enough, that the top priority was to send reinforcements to Afghanistan, where 5,500 British troops are struggling to hold back a Taliban onslaught.

The tragedy is that he had to rob Peter to pay Paul because Britain can’t maintain 7,000 troops in Iraq and 7,000 in Afghanistan. Those are hardly huge numbers for a country of 60 million with the fifth-largest national economy in the world. Yet even as Britain has continued to play a leading role in world affairs, it has allowed its defenses to molder.

The total size of its armed forces has shrunk from 305,800 in 1990 to 195,900 today, leaving it No. 28 in the world, behind Eritrea and Burma. This downsizing has reduced the entire British army (107,000 soldiers) to almost half the size of the U.S. Marine Corps (175,000). Storied regiments such as the Black Watch and the Royal Scots, with histories stretching back centuries, have been eliminated.

Even worse hit is the Royal Navy, which is at its smallest size since the 1500s. Now, British newspapers report, of the remaining 44 warships, at least 13 and possibly as many as 19 will be mothballed. If these cuts go through, Britain’s fleet will be about the same size as those of Indonesia and Turkey and smaller than that of its age-old rival, France.

Britain is hardly alone in its unilateral disarmament. A similar trend can be discerned among virtually all of the major U.S. allies, aside from Japan. Canada is a particularly poignant case in point. At the end of World War II, Canada had more than a million men under arms and operated the world’s third-biggest navy (behind the U.S. and Britain), with more than 400 ships. Today, it has all of 62,000 personnel on active duty, and its navy has just 19 warships and 23 support vessels, making it one-fourth the size of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Of course, numbers aren’t the entire story. Both Britain and Canada have top-notch soldiers, allowing them to punch above their weight class in military affairs. But there is only so much that a handful of super-soldiers can accomplish if their numbers are grossly inadequate. Quality can’t entirely make up for lack of quantity.

This shortfall has serious repercussions not only for those countries but for the United States. With about 165,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq and more on the way, we are seriously overstretched ourselves. We need as much help as we can get, but there isn’t much more that our allies could do, even if they wanted to.

Look at Afghanistan, where NATO is always having trouble dredging up an extra helicopter or another infantry battalion to throw into the fray. The British and Canadians are doing more than their share; their willingness to fight hard and take casualties sets them apart from most NATO countries, which prefer to send troops to safe parts of Afghanistan rather than to the front lines in the south and east. But 5,500 British and 2,500 Canadian soldiers can cover only so much ground, even with another 1,500 Brits thrown in. As usual, the United States, with more than 27,000 troops in Afghanistan, is left to carry the lion’s share of the burden.

The primary culprit is declining defense spending among U.S. allies. According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies, defense budgets among NATO members, excluding the U.S., have fallen from 2.49% of gross domestic product in 1993 to 1.8% of GDP in 2005. Britain is actually above the norm, spending 2.3% of GDP, or $52 billion, on defense. Canada, with a defense budget of $13 billion, is below the norm, at 1.1%.

But all those expenditures fade into insignificance by comparison with the U.S., which spends $495 billion a year, or 4% of the world’s largest GDP, on its armed forces. That’s more than the rest of NATO combined, even though the other countries have, in aggregate, greater demographic and economic resources.

Unless the other NATO members are willing to step up their spending—and what are the odds of that?—there is scant chance that their gripes about American unilateralism will ever be rectified. We act alone, or almost alone, not out of choice but out of necessity.

The TrekMedic adds:

More than a decade of Liberal leadership in Britain has brought them to this sorry state. Imagine what will happen in the US if we continue to let Empress Nancy and Co. continue to run our nation?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Old Man and the Marine!

Once again, TheFed sends in a doozy!

One sunny day in 2008, an old man approached the White House
from across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he had been sitting on a park bench.

He spoke to the Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to
go in and meet with President Hillary Clinton."

The Marine replied, "Sir, Mrs. Clinton is not the President
and doesn't reside here."
The old man said, "Okay," and walked away.

The following day, the same man approached the White House and
said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President
Hillary Clinton".

The Marine again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday,
Mrs. Clinton is not the President and doesn't reside here."
The man thanked him and again walked away..

The third day, the same man approached the White House and
spoke to the very same Marine, saying, "I would like to go in and meet with
President Hillary Clinton."

The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at
the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here
asking to speak to Mrs. Clinton. I have told you already several times
that Mrs. Clinton is not the President and does not reside here. Don't you

The old man answered, "Oh, I understand you fine I just love
hearing your answer!"
The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow."