Friday, December 26, 2008

Song for a Soldier

Between now and December 31st, Billboard Magazine and the U.S. Army are teaming up for a cool program to offer free music downloads. Just go to fill out the form and they will send a unique pin number to a currently enlisted active duty member of the U.S. Army for two free music downloads. It's a free service and a pretty cool way to say Happy New Year to one of our hero's serving this holiday season. Remember, offer ends December 31st so check it out today!

Til Next Time...........

Picture of the Week

For those of you who have been concerned about all the chem trail stories floating around (no pun intended) or worried about the conspiracy theories that the government secretly has something to do with them......maybe our "Picture of the Week" will set your mind at ease.......

........or maybe not.

Til Next Time.............

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Remembering The Troops

This Christmas Eve, thoughts of friends and family serving our country around the world are filling my mind. Many of them haven't been able to make it home this year for the holidays. As a results, empty chairs and place settings will occupy family tables this holiday season. Our men and women serving overseas tonight will be sorely missed by friends and family this season, but they will not be their families or by the rest of us.

Tonight as you take a break from family activities, please spend a moment or two sending a digital holiday message of thanks and hope to a servicemember overseas. Thanks to the folks at Xerox, you can do just that for free. Just scroll down and follow the instructions...........

Again, thanks to all the men and women of our armed forces (some of you I know personally) for all you do. And thanks to Xerox for making the digital postcard service available.

And to all Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Til Next Time........

A Question At Christmas Time....

Do you know what this is?

Frosty The Snowman's

Baby Picture

LOL! Merry Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Norma Torres Has A Near Meltdown

Thursday night I wrote of the California State Assembly and their horribly bad and very illegal decision to add approximately nine billion dollars in new taxes on the population of a state that is already one of the most if not the most heavily taxed state in the nation. They accomplished this by calling the new taxes...."fees." This creative writing/terminology on their part lowered the threshold for the number of votes they needed to pass the illegal legislation. I call it illegal for one simple reason. Back in the 70's, the people of California passed the now famous Proposition 13. Prop 13 clearly states that the California State Assembly and the California State Senate must both have a two thirds majority vote in order to levy new taxes on the citizenry. What they did Thursday night was a clearly illegal effort to circumvent Prop 13 and the wishes of the people of the state of California.

One of the major proponents of Thursday nights action in Sacramento was Assemblywoman Norma Torres (D-Pomona). I wrote Thursday of her near meltdown on the floor of the state capitol as she tried to bully her fellow assemblymen and women to accept and support this illegal legislation. I finally managed to obtained part of the audio of that near meltdown. Give it a listen and see what you think.

This woman is supposed to be a professional legislator, not an emotional train wreck on display for the whole world. Even some people from her own assembly district don't like her. No wonder people in other parts of the country look at California and shake their heads.

For the record, both sides have been working on this budget for over a year. California's Republican Caucus has said time and time again they would be willing to look at new taxes. But only after the Democrats cut subsidized education and health care for illegal immigrants. A huge portion of the prison population in California is made up of illegals. Then there is the insane pension plan that many state workers get. Far above and beyond the pensions or 401k's of your average American. I haven't even mentioned the money and power hungry teachers and prison guards union leadership that on a routinely try to undermine Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger every time they get the chance. The libs however refuse to address any of this. So here we are. The only difference between the automakers and the state of California? We have stood up and said NO! No bailout for the wasteful spenders in the State Assembly and Senate. Still people like Ms Torres seem to float to the top every time there's money to be extorted from the people.

Unfortunately, the state of California is full of people like Ms Torres who like to play on people's fears, emotions, and lack of knowledge when it comes to matters of politics. She's a very sad lady and a big part of the problem here in California. But the problem isn't just in California. Every state in America has their own Norma Torres' using fear and intimidation to get their way.

Until those of us who reside in the middle of the political spectrum start paying attention and making our voices heard and getting involved in the process, the Norma Torres' of the world will continue to dominate the political landscape. California as a state and the United States as a nation are better than this. But we won't be if we don't get involved!!!

Til Next Time................

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Socialist Republic of California

For years, most of the rest of America has looked at California and just shook their heads at some of the insanity that comes from the left coast. Tonight....those Americans who are really paying attention are looking at California with a great deal of trepidation and fear. You see, tonight the state of California became a state whose leadership has finally shown their true and yellow with a hammer and sickle in the middle of the flag. Tonight the Democrat dominated state assembly flipped the middle finger to the people of the state with the type of resounding pride typically seen from gang bangers in the crime ridden sections of America's inner cities. Wow! That sounded pretty harsh right outta the let me explain.

Back in 1979 the people of the State of California passed Proposition 13 which requires the State Assembly muster a 2/3's majority in order to establish new taxes. Tonight our wonderfully bizarre group of legislators have decided they won't tax us anymore. Instead, their gonna "fee" us to death. Some of the new "fees" all Californians are facing? According to their plan, gasoline usage fees will increase the current "gas tax" by 50 percent. There is also an attempt underway to triple the auto registration "fees." And here's the kicker........As some of you may know, California has one of the highest state income taxes in the nation. Now they want to charge a fee of five percent of the total tax owed as a "filing fee." If these "fee's" are legal as they claim, I wonder why we're only seeing them now?

As of now Governor Schwarzenegger says he will veto the bill, but most observers are saying don't hold your breath. On the other side Norma Torres (D-Pomona) literally had a meltdown when trying to convince her fellow assembly members to support the new fee. Crying uncontrollably and using vulgarites on the floor of the state assembly, she seemed like a total lunatic that had lost any grip she made have had on reality. The arrogance of state senator Mark Leno (D) was sickening as he proclaimed December 18 as the day the Democrats "Saved California." Then there are the authors of this piece of socialist legislation: State Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. These two are nothing more that socialist is sheeps clothing.

If you live outside of California and are laughing and thinking we are getting what we forwarned. If this sort of disregard for the rule of law is allowed to succeed here in California, your state could be next.

If you are in California, simply call the numbers below and let them know what you think. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg
1-916-615-4006State Assembly Speaker Karen Bass
1-323-937-4747 or 1-916-319-2047

California is on the edge of a financial abyss and these people claim to have the best interest of California and it's citizens at heart. They do not. Don't fall for their propoganda. Pay attention to what's going on around us and be a part of the solution before these socialist troublemakers turn California into something resembling a third world nation.

Til Next Time.................

Monday, December 8, 2008

It Could Be Alot Worse.....

When I was a kid/teenager, I still spent much of my time doing stuff outdoors. When I was younger, it was tag, hide and seek, and just a lot of good ol' fashioned curious exploration. Later, sports became the focus of my attention. I didn't spend a lot of time in front of the computer on the internet. That hadn't become a household item just yet. Video games consoles were still in their infancy too. Eventually, I did begin to enjoy the video games, as primitive as they were by today's standards. Now my video game playing is pretty much limited to the sports games on XBOX and PS3 and the occasional pc based game from one of the many websites devoted to the classic games from the early years.

However, my son spends much more time on the game consoles. I am constantly having to remind him of the time limits and guidelines he has to abide by in order to retain the privilege of playing. Then, today I came across this video and realized that even though he sometimes spends too much playing the games, it could be worse. Much much worse..........

Wow! I suppose I should be grateful he just plays them on the tv and that he's not out trying to imitate them on the streets the way this guy does. I just wish I had this much free time on my hands.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Dear Santa.....

Dear Santa,
I know it's probably a little late to be asking this question.....but......just how good would I have to be to get one of these?

I know I wasn't as nice as I could've been, especially to those pesky telemarketers, the politicians knocking at my door looking for a vote, and the neighbors upstairs who were always having parties at three in the morning. But I really tried. I really did! Just let me know what I need to do and I'll leave you a bunch of extra cookies and a cold one to wash'em down.

Thanks and Merry Christmas

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Open Letter to Lane Kiffin: Welcome To Knoxville!

I'm sure I'm not the first, but Mr Kiffin....Let me welcome you to "Big Orange Country!" You have seriously jumped from the frying pan into the fire. If you think life with Al Davis was tough, lose more than one or two games out of the chute and you'll find out what tough really is. Just Ask Johnny Majors and Phillip Fulmer. Blue skies can turn dark real fast on you if you aren't careful. You see SEC Football Fans expect a lot from our teams and our coaches....sometimes too much. Again, just ask your predecessor. At the beginning of this season, Coach Fulmer was the fifth winningest active coach in the NCAA ranks and he's even brought a National Championship to "Rocky Top"and it took him 16 years to do it. His 147-45 record at seasons start and that national trophy wasn't even enough to help him weather the storm or keep the most hardcore Volunteers among us from turning on him faster than the blue skies go dark during a summer rainstorm on the Plateau.
As a Tennessee native and a lifelong Volunteer, I believe Coach Fulmer should've been given a little more time to turn things around. However, I shall try to keep an open mind. I just hope you're bringing more to the dance than your experience as a Raider because Volunteer fans can be just as unpleasant as Al Davis if you don't turn things around quickly. Welcome to Knoxville Mr. Kiffin and good're gonna need it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pop Quiz

POP QUIZ: You're the CEO of a major investment firm and Wall Street is going down the tubes. What do you do? (hint: You're one of the few that isn't begging for a government handout.)

ANSWER: You call Michael Jordan for a quick pickup game in front of all your senior executives. See for yourself......

I'm not sure if this plain stupidity or a case of an extremely arrogant genius trying to keep his people motivated during very turbulent times. This video of Ariel Investments Chairman and CEO John Rogers was taken back on November 7th and has been making the rounds ever since.
What do you think?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bad Home Loans, Anger, and Barrack Obama

Earlier this evening I had the opportunity to listen to one of my favorite talk shows hosted by a man who arguably is one of the smartest men in talk radio today. His name is Gene Burns and he hosts the evening show on KGO-AM out of San Francisco. Mr. Burns is a self described Libertarian turned Democrat, who most of the time falls back on his Libertarian leanings as the basis viewpoints and commentary. This approach has made him very popular and well respected among his audience and his peers. While I disagree with him most of the time, I enjoy his show and respect his talent because, whether I agree with him or not, he always give me reason to stop and think...sometimes even re-evalutaing my position on certain topics.

However, his comments during the first part of this evening show left me somewhat perplexed. The topic was home ownership and the proposed government intervention on behalf of some homeowners who find themselves in the unenviable position of having to make payments on mortgage agreements that they can't afford and should have never been allowed to enter into to begin with.

Conversation about this topic on this day had begun earlier in the day on another show. Tonight Gene started his show with an excerpt from that earlier program in which a caller was voicing displeasure over the government intervention, characterizing the intervention as unfair to all the homeowners who worked hard pay their mortgages and improve the value of their investment while a next door neighbor looked to the government to intercede on their behalf. The type of intervention spoken of, in it's most basic terms, consisted a devaluation of the property to a level where the struggling homeowner could then afford the mortgage payments. When that occurs, the value of everyone's home goes down as well. That, to many homeowners, is just plain unacceptable.

Then there was Gene's first caller who was angry about a situation similar to the one above combined with a homeowner who didn't even have a job because, according to the caller, they chose not to work. For her part, the caller and her husband works a total of five jobs between them to pay the mortgage and their other bills. Needless to say she was angry and even though she didn't express herself very well, I got where she was coming from. Unfortunately, Gene didn't. He characterized both callers as self centered, greedy and part of the problem, saying that both callers would be much better off if there neighbors received the help from the government and were able stay in their homes. How someone, that is as smart as Gene is, could have that viewpoint is just incomprehensible.

If my understanding of the Libertarian Party philosophy is correct, this seems be quite the contradiction. All that aside, the anger Gene dealt with tonight is very real and very justified. You see, many Americans are growing rather tired of watching their hard work and success marginalized by a part of our society that, in many cases assisted by our government, is looking for nothing more than a free ride. This has been going on for decades and perpetuated by a government bureaucracy that provides social benefits without the kind of vetting required to truly ensure that a system designed to help people in need isn't being abused. Now that some homeowners are seeing that value of their investments devalued because of greed in some cases and laziness in others, that anger is boiling to the surface. It isn't just homeowners upset over loan bailouts that are angry either. Middle Class Americans, who are not homeowners, are fed up too. I have experienced this myself in the form of a neighbor who refuses to work and receives welfare and food stamps from the county. This month she decided she was fed up with paying rent, so she goes and applies for subsidized housing. Then I hear her bragging to her friends about how she can now afford that fancy car she wants and a big screen tv and all other kinds of cool toys. How much is her subsidized rent costing taxpayers......214 dollars a month. When you add in the welfare, medical insurance, and food stamps, the bill becomes much higher. That is just one small example from my incredibly small part of this world.

Then when you see these same type of people going for home loans that have no business getting and then getting "relief" from the government.......well, it's not really that hard to understand where all the anger is coming from. With the leadership we have in store for us the next four years, don't look for it to go away anytime soon. Hopefully, wiser minds will prevail, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Til Next time................

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Why Keith Olberman Is A Jerk

You know, there was a time when Keith Olbermann was at the top of his game and had fans around the world and I was one of them. On ESPN, Olbermann along with Dan Patrick and Chris Berman were the creme of the crop. Now, all these years later, Olbermann has given up and walked away from the truest of his talents to become just another talking head spewing partisan politics and hateful negativity on third place cable news outlet MSNBC. People talk about Rush Limbaugh's biased radio broadcasts and there's no doubt that they are. But in all fairness, if you want to talk about agressive, biased commentary, you have to include Keith Olbermann. All you have to do is watch this quick clip of his little catch phrases and jabs to understand why he has become one of the most incendiary hosts on television today.

Even now as he returns to NBC's Sunday night "Football Night In America" broadcast, it seems he just can't help himself as he injects subtle sarcastic political references while vo'ing the weekend's highlight reel. It's really too bad he has decided to go this route with his career. It seems such a waste of talent. I guess it just goes to show that a hatred of one man and a pretty hefty paycheck from the "Peacock" is enough to turn a once great broadcaster into a jerk.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Well, Here We Are.....

......and for the past couple of month's leading up to the election, I've pretty much kept my mouth shut about all the politics swirling around us. As I've mentioned before, I wasn't impressed by either of our major candidates for the presidency. Neither candidate had a real plan to bring this country out of it's current downward economic spiral. For his part, Obama still doesn't and what's left of Wall Street knows it. All you have to do is look at what has continued to happen economically and with the job market since the election. The only bright spot this fall has been the falling price of a barrel of oil.

What scares me more than Obama's liberal/socialist agenda is the reaction of so many Americans on election night. It was a historic night indeed and I truly believe it was a huge step forward for America when it comes to matters of race. But the unbridled show of emotion we saw on election night makes me wonder. Are we as a nation so unyielding when it comes to our distrust, dislike, and in many cases, plain ol' hatred of George Bush and his policies, that we are willing to just blindly hand over the reigns of the country to a man that we really don't know that much about (other than what the media has spoon fed us) and a man who has such limited experience?

For the record and despite my misgivings about the man, I voted for McCain because I've always subscribed to theory "Better the devil you know than the one you don't." At least that way you know what's coming and what you need to do to defeat it. With Obama and Biden it's gonna be a crap shoot and I'm afraid we are going to come out the losers in the end. Biden is nothing more than an overdressed/overpaid used car saleman that has been told no by the American people every time he has tried to run for President.

As for Obama, I'm trying really hard to keep an open mind despite my firm belief that his liberal/socialist agenda is absolutely the last thing this country needs right now. We've all heard the old saying "Be careful what you ask for........."

Well here we are. We asked for it. Now we're about to get it. I just hope it doesn't turn out to be a horrible mistake.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Weekend Funnies

Idiot Dad!

A guy at the supermarket sees an attractive woman waving at him.
She says "Hello!"
He's rather taken aback because he can't remember where he knows her from.
So he says..."Do you know me?"
To which she replies, "I think you're the father of one of my kids."
Now his mind travels back to the only time he has ever been unfaithful to his wife and he says, Are you the stripper from the bachelor party that I made love to while your partner whipped my butt with wet celery?
The attractive lady looks into his eyes and calmly replies............"No, I'm your sons teacher."

Mom's Not To Bright Either!

This is just wrong on so many levels!

Let's See If Junior Is Any Smarter......

The father was passing by his son's bedroom and was astonished to see that his bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then he saw an envelope prominently propped up on the pillow that was addressed to "Dad." With the worst premonition he opened the envelope and with trembling hands began to read........

Dear Dad,
It is with great sorrow and regret that I'm writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend to avoid a scene with mom and you. I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is real nice. But I knew that you would not approve because of all her piercings, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes, and the fact that she is much older than I am. But it's not only the passion...Dad, she is pregnant.

Stacy said that we will be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a whole stack of firewood for the winter. We share the dream of having many more children. She has also opened my eyes to the fact the marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone. We'll be growing for ourselves and trading it with people who live nearby for cocaine and ecstasy.

In the meantime, we will pray for science to find a cure for aids so that Stacy can get better. She deserves it. Don't worry Dad. I know I'm only 15, but I also know how to take care of myself. Someday, I'm sure we'll be back so you'll have a chance to get to know your grandchildren.

Your Son John

PS: Dad, none of the above is true. I'm over at Tommy's house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than report cards. You'll find that in my center desk drawer.
Please call me when it's safe to come home.

I do believe round one goes to Junior!!!
Til next time..................

Terry Tate Strikes Again!

Remember back in 2003, Superbowl 37, when Reebok first introduced us to Terry Tate:Office Linbacker? It was one of the many commercials that gained a lot of attention that year for their originality, creativity, and humor. Then once the game was over and all the hub-bub surrounding that years crop of Superbowl ads had subsided, Terry Tate endured the same fate as all the other "stars" of the Superbowl Sunday marketing blitz. He faded to the dark recesses of our memories, late night trivial pursuit questions, and obscure website pages........until now.

Terry has re-emerged onto the scene this presidential election year with a campaign designed to get the apathetic to polls. In typical Tate style, he has picked a side (and his first victim) so I'm pretty sure he won't entice too many conservatives to the polls with his latest video. But I have to admit it is kinda funny and it definitely gets your attention. Check it out.....

WOW! I'm not entirely sure who did the production on this piece, but my hat's off to them. The production was seamless. I spent a half hour trying to find the edit points with no luck. Very well done. I guess you could say that this piece give a whole new meaning to "Rock the Vote!"

Til next time..................

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Is It Just Me Or What? Pt. 2

Is it just me or am I the only one that has a really bad feeling about November 4th and the upcoming election? OH! But wait.....I already asked that question! That question was the first thing that came to mind again after listening to some of tonight's debate. Whether it was the barbed accusations between two men who really don't appear as though they like each other very much at all or the disingenuous and misleading answers both of them gave to questions sent their way, what we saw and heard tonight was quite the performance from two men who like to play fast and loose with the truth and will do or say anything to get elected to the highest office in the land. I was initially a McCain supporter, but now I'm just not sure I have faith in the man to be able to occupy the office of President in a manner this country deserves. Make no mistake though, I would never support Obama. Over that past several weeks, his campaign speeches are sounding more like those of a Socialist candidate than those of a Democrat. All in all, it's turning out to be a very disapointing election season this year.

But back to tonight's debate for a more than one point during the course of the debate, I heard both men make statements that just didn't seem right. It appeared that both of them were really "playing fast and loose with the truth." But nobody called them on it, not that they would in a debate format. Even in the post debate spin, nobody really seemed to want to point out some of the things that I thought "just didn't sound right." So, I thought, maybe it IS just me. Then I found this on the internet from the Associated Press.

Well, I guess maybe I'm not losing it after all. Maybe I can take some solice in that, but it still begs the question......"Is this really the best America can do?" I truly don't think so, but I looks like we're going to have to wait at least four more years to find out.

The Warrior

This past Saturday night I took my youngest son out for a night at the movies. In typical fashion for us we were a few minutes late. The lights had already dimmed and the stream of silly commercials, promos, and mindless movie trivia had been going for about five minutes. Whew! We didn't miss the start of the movie....but we did arrive just in time to see something that I'm really glad we didn't miss. A new Kid Rock music video and it wasn't just any video. It was the new anthem for all our citizen soldiers called "The Warrior."

In case you're not familiar with it, it is a project where Kid Rock teamed up with Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendricks Motorsports, and the National Guard for one the coolest music videos that Kid Rock has done in quite a while. Check it out below...........

If you like the sure to watch the end of the video for details on how you can get a free mp3 download of the song. Indeed! Kid Rock's and Dale Jr's support of our men and women in uniform is we needed another reason to be a fan!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

We Deserve It Dividend

You know I have spent a considerable amount of time over the last two or three weeks thinking about this silly 85 billion dollar "Wall Street Bailout." My initial reaction was (and still is) "HELL NO, NOT WITH MY TAX DOLLARS!" That said though, I will acknowledge that it is an extremely complicated mess that I'm not sure anyone has an answer to. Trying to figure out this mess created by the Wall Street greedmeisters is enough to make ones head spin like Linda Blair's did in the Exorcist.

Then, I received the following in my email. I'm not sure that it would have been the answer, but it couldn't have been any worse than the nonsense we've been getting from Washington and our two presidential candidates. Read on and see what you think.

To My Fellow Americans

I'm against the $85,000,000,000 bailout of AIG. Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in a "We Deserve it Dividend." to make the math simple, let's assume there are 200,000,000 bonafide U.S. citizens over 18 years of age. Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman, and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up. So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion and that equals $425,000. My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+ in a "We Deserve it Dividend." Of course, it would NOT be let's assume a tax rate of 30 percent. That means every individual 18+ would have to pay $127, 500 in taxes on their "We Deserve it Dividend." That would send $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam. It also means that every legal adult 18+ in America would $297, 500 in their pocket. A husband and wife would have $595,000.00. What could you do with $297, 500 to $595,000 in your family?

Pay off your mortgage?--most if not all of the housing crisis solved! Repay college loans?--what a great boost for new grads! Put away money for college? --It'll be there when you need it! Save in a bank? --You'd be helping to create new capitol to be responsibly loaned to budding new entrepreneurs! Buy a new car? --Help create jobs! Invest in the market? --Capitol drives growth! Pay for your parents medical insurance? --Health care improves! Deadbeat dads would have no excuse for not coming clean. Pay or go to jail! These are but a few examples and the list goes on and on.

Remember this is for every adult U.S. citizen 18+ including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers, AIG, and every other company that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces. If the liberals in this country are determined to redistribute wealth, let's really do it....instead of buying votes with a puny $1,000 economic incentive check that is being proposed by one of our presidential candidates. If we're going to do an $85,000,000,000 bailout, let's bail out every adult U.S. citizen 18+!

As for AIG -- LIQUIDATE IT!!! Sell it off in parts. Let American General go back to being general Americans. Sell off the real estate too. Let the private sector bargin hunters cut it up and clean it up. Here's my rationale....we deserve it and AIG doesn't. Sure, it's a crazy idea that would never work even if it wasn't crazy. Why? because THEY don't want it to. It would mean they lose a little of their power. But could you imagine the coast to coast block party that would occur this plan ever did happen? How do you spell economic boom? I trust that most of my fellow Americans would know much better how to spend 85 billion dollars. The geniuses at AIG and in Washington D.C. have already proven that they don't.

And the best part, this plan is even cheaper. Remember this plan will only cost 59.5 billion since 25.5 billion gets returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam. I feel so much better after getting that off my chest!

Kind personal regards,

Hank in Bull Hampsha

Like I said before, I'm not sure that this would've been the solution everyone was looking for, but consider this...........

For the past few weeks, all we've been hearing is that without this "reward for Wall Street," oops, I'm sorry.....I mean bailout, the American economy (and eventually the world economy) would crumble and we would all be facing difficult troubled times.

But here in California, in my little corner of the world, a gallon of gas is cheaper now than it has been in almost a year. Just a few days ago, I had to stand in a rather long check-out line at Walmart.....that's how busy the store was. Last night I took my son to see a movie in a theater that was packed with only one or two empty seats in the whole place. And finally, in today's paper, I read stories about modest gains in existing home sales and how it's getting better with every week that passes. They also said the coming months are looking better than expected too. I also read another story about how now is the perfect time to jump in the stock market and start buying stock in companies like General Motors and Yahoo. The reasoning....they are solid companies that have taken big hits but are primed for huge rebounds.

From the sounds of this, it doesn't seem that Main Street America (or at least this part of it) is running around like little girls with their hair on fire the way Washington, the bankers, and the greedmeisters in Martiniville are.

In other parts of the country, the rebound/recovery might take longer, but is it really necessary to reward what should be considered criminal behavior with an 85 billion dollar bailout? I say no!!! Let those greedy mortgage lenders, investment bankers, and the politicians who defend them twist in the wind for a bit. Just like the unsuspecting home-buyers were forced to twist when those adjustable rate mortgages started "adjusting."

I know the bailout is already a done deal....but maybe, just maybe America would've have recovered more quickly and been much better off if we had thrown the "criminals" in jail where they belong and presented the rest of the country with a "We Deserve it Dividend!"

What do you think?

Til next time..................

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Road To Failure

Of all the recent failures and near failures in the current banking crisis, the story of the Lehman Brothers investment banking firm is probably the most disappointing. The man above, Richard S. Fuld, Jr. was the final Chief Executive Officer of the company that many credit with financing the birth and growth of the American Railroad Industry in the mid 1800's. Lehman Brothers also played major roles in the financial growth of household names like Sears and Roebuck, RCA, and B.F. Goodrich. The company had a storied history and became a major player in the American economy since it's birth in 1850. So where did it all go wrong? One has to look no further than those classic sunday school teachings about the seven deadly sins and number three on that list.......greed.

Much discussion has taken place over the "toxic" sub prime mortgage mess which figured heavily into the Lehman failure. This, however, was only part of Fuld's problems where Lehman Brothers was concerned. While painting a rosey picture to the shareholders and the public, behind the scenes, the picture was bleak. In an effort to save the company from his failed practices and deals, Fuld tried to broker yet more deals with other groups (including A.I.G) who had problems of their own. He sent people to both the Middle East and Asia to try and find fresh money with no success. As hard as he tried, he just couldn't find an acceptable deal that would save his crumbling empire. But again, how did he get to this point?

Greed. It wasn't enough that his company was, albeit small and independent, a heritage company in the investment banking business with a rather healthy portfolio. It wasn't enough that he had, by all reports, a fiercely loyal staff that would have walked through the fires of hell and back if he asked them to. It wasn't enough that he had over 800 million in company stock, an art collection said to be worth millions, and several luxury homes in his name. There had to be more and he was going to get it.

I can't imagine what it would be like to be that wealthy. Quite frankly, I'm not sure I want to know. But today Richard S. Fuld, Jr. still finds himself "working" for the company even though all of his once loyal employees have been dismissed and have lost their severance packages and health benefits. His current net worth? According to sources, Fuld is worth about 100 million dollars.

During a recent appearance before a House Committee on Government Reform, Fuld wanted to blame the media, the short sellers, the government and anyone else that came to mind. While he took responsibilty for the end result, he refused to acknowledge that Lehman's failure came about as a result of his poor choices and extremely risky deal making. Read the full transcript here.

It is often said that the road to hell is often paved with good intentions. In this case I would say it was greed, deceit, and extreme arrogance on the part of Richard S. Fuld, Jr. and his senior Lehman executives that paved The Road to Failure for one America's oldest investment banks.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Is It Just Me Or What?

Am I the only one the has a really bad feeling about this year's upcoming election? As I listened to tonight's debate, I got the sinking feeling that no matter who wins in November, our great nation is going to be in for some rough times over the next four years.

As I watched and listened, I saw one candidate that appeared old and tired and who sang pretty much the same song as Bush did eight years ago.....and so far that hasn't turned out too well. The other, young and vibrant but coming from the extreme opposite direction. At times he almost sounded like a socialist, especially when it came to taxes and entitlements. McCain, for his part, tried to respond.....but it just wasn't convincing, at least not to me. This country has some serious problems and neither of these guys have convinced me that they have the answer. As a independent conservative, I have never been as disappointed in my choices as I am this year.

What do you think? Who won the debate in your opinion...or did anybody really win? And looking at the bigger picture, is the two-party political system we have evolved into, really in America's best interest or is it taking us down a road we that we should not be traveling?

Til Next Time.....

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Migration Is Complete!!!! October 5, 2008

For those of you that have stumbled across this blog wondering...."HUH? What's up with all these old blog posts from a Yahoo site?"...well here's your explanation. Over two years ago, I originally started this on Yahoo 360 on a lark. After a while, it became obvious that I was striking a chord with some, providing a release for others, and even providing an escape with the humor (if only for a moment) for even more. I made a lot of great friends along the way AND I managed to find a way to make a few people laugh and ruffle a few feathers too. No matter what the topic, issue, or response, it was always (for the most part) good times and good friends on Yahoo 360. That is until Yahoo decided to start screwing with its 360 platform. I hung out for a while hoping it would get better but it never did.

So I decided to find another venue. That said though, I didn't just want to walk away from everything I had created on I brought it with me. LOL Little did I realize how much of a chore that would be. Since there was no migration mechanism readily available to me, that meant I had to do it manually. Oh what the wife always says I like doing things the hard way. So off we went.

Now, here we are....after months of working on the migration of this blog from the 360 platform, the task is finally complete.

That's a brief glimpse about what you've been seeing over the last few months. In the week ahead we'll starting posting fresh new material. Between politics, Hollywood, Wall Street, the world in general, my family, my work, and Lord knows what else.....we should have some fun here. A word of forewarning though.......everybody and everything is fair game. Even my favorites aren't above being smacked on the back of the head when they screw up!

To all my 360 friends who have stuck with me, thank you! To my new friends, welcome aboard! You are all welcome to chime in any time you like. I have only one rule.....NO DRAMA. At times, we will all disagree about this, that, or the other thing and that's okay. But rudeness and hostility directed at each other will not tolerated. One of my earliest mentors in the world of broadcasting (a man from Knoxville, Tennessee named Colvin Idol) once told me that "Reasonable people can always reasonably disagree....if they choose to." That is something that has always stuck with me, especially out here on the "left coast." That is a rule we will abide by here as well.

That said............Welcome to all and I look forward to hearing from all of you whenever you feel like popping in.

Till Next Time..........

Christmas With You, December 23, 2007

This year, there seems to be a plethora of new Christmas songs out there. Not "re-makes" or "covers" of songs that have been around for years, but instead, original songs that are timely for the days in which we live. One e of those songs comes from a person who hasn't had a hit record in many years, but still packs'em in at concerts. Rick Springfield has always been one of my favorites. Even though he hasn't had much commercial success lately, his recent songs all tell powerful stories of his life experience. None of his new stuff demonstrates this more than his current Christmas release called "Christmas With You." You can view the video below. All proceeds from the recording of this song donated to support the US military veterans organization American Gold Star Mothers, Inc.

Originally posted12-23-07 on Yahoo 360

Meaning of Globalization, September 08, 2007

This is from an email I received a few days ago. It's obvious by it's tone that it was meant to be an exercise in sarcasm. I started to delete it after a quick read, but hesitatated. After second more careful reading, I realized that on some rings of a sad and unfortunate truth. See what you think....................

QUESTION: What is the truest definition of Globalization?

ANSWER: Princess Diana's Death and You!

How you ask? Read on.

An ENGLISH Princess with an EGYPTIAN boyfriend crashes in a FRENCH tunnel, driving a GERMAN car with a DUTCH engine driven by a BELGIAN who was drunk on SCOTTISH whiskey and being followed closely by ITALIAN paparazzi on JAPANESE motorcycles. That BELGIAN driver would be treated by an AMERICAN doctor. Now, you are probably reading this on your computer that uses microchips from TAIWAN and monitors from KOREA. It was most likely assembled by BANGLADESHI workers in a plant in SINGAPORE, transported by INDIAN lory drivers, hijacked by INDONESIANS and unloaded by SICILIAN longshoremen....soon to be delivered to your local computer retailer by illegal MEXICAN truck drivers.

Yes, a definite exercise in biting sarcasm.....but very true on more than one level.


Originally posted 9-8-07 on Yahoo 360

Dear Dog, August 29, 2007

Dear Dog,

I'm sorry for you being sent to the dog pound for the broken lamp, which you didn't break, the fish tank you didn't knock over, the carpet you didn't wet, and the wall you didn't mess up with red paint.

But, on the other hand, things here at the house are much calmer now. And to show that I hold no hard feelings against you, I'm sending a picture so that you will always remember me!

Best regards,


Which is your favorite? (closed poll)
Dogs 3
Cats 4
Originally posted 8-29-07 on Yahoo 360

Honoring Common Sense, July 23, 2007

Last Friday, California broadcasting icon Pete Wilson went into Stanford Medical Center for what supposed to be a routine hip replacement procedure. Acording to reports, all was going well until Pete went into cardiac arrest. He, sadly, never recovered.

Today, a stunned Bay Area asks why and how something like this could happen to a man, who by all accounts, was a picture of perfect health except for his recent hip injury. That is a question that will be answered in time I'm sure. But for now Pete Wilson is being remembered as a man who loved his family. He loved California and he loved to debate. Yes, Pete Wilson loved to debate. Not from the left and not from the right. Instead, Pete would engage listeners, viewers, and those around him from a position he commonly referred to as common sense. That, in and of itself, made Pete a much welcomed breath of fresh air in a decidedly and overwhelmingly liberal California. Part of that may be due to the fact that he was born and raised in the Midwestern United States. Throughout his career, he carried himself with style, professionalism, and a personality that made him a perfect fit here in California. All the while never losing the values and common sense instilled in him as child growing up in the Midwest.

In San Francisco, Pete worked for ABC owned and operated KGO AM 810 and ABC7 KGO-TV. On the KGO radio side Pete did a mid afternoon talk show. Each day at the shows conclusion he would go downstairs,put on his TV news anchor hat, and prepare for his 6pm newscast on ABC7.

For those of us who listened or watched on a regular's almost like losing a good friend or a member of your extended family. All we can do is offer our prayers and condolences to Pete's family and friends.

If you would like to read what Pete's TV colleagues are here.

From the Radio side......lots of audio remembrances and Pete's last monologue from the beginning of this past Wednesday's show(which, sadly, would turn out to be his last).

God Speed Pete................we will miss you.

Til Next time...............

originally posted 7-23-07 on Yahoo 360

A Few Thoughts on Father's Day! June 17, 2007

Father's Day......It's one of those days where, in the role of a child, we always make a big deal trying figure out which of us brothers could give Dad the coolest gift. However, now that I am the father, I find myself realizing that the gifts aren't that big a deal. Imperfect as we may be and not always right (you never heard me say that! lol), at the end of the day, we are just doing what we do.....being dad.

For me this Father's Day was much like any other Sunday in the Chase household. I slept in late, watched part of the race from Michigan on TV, washed and waxed the car, and later on took Kat and Eston to see the latest Pirates Of The Carribean flick (which I enjoyed immensely), helped Kat put away the laundry, and then sat down to do some writing. Somewhere between washing the car and going to the movies, I did get a really cool and totally unexpected suprise though. This is where I will begin to sound like a bit of a hypocrite, but that's okay. Nobody's perfect.....right?

Ericka, my daughter in law, baked a Fathers Day cake for me. It had lemon icing on it and she did a great job. Thank You!!!! It was totally unexpected and very much appreciated. The only thing that would have made it better was if Nathan could've been here to enjoy with us. For those of you who don't know, Nathan is our oldest and is currently serving overseas in the Marines. As a father, I'm damned proud of him too.

Looking back on this Fathers Day, I can honestly say it was a pretty darned good one! I am indeed a lucky man to have the family I do. In the end, even though we may have a day on the calendar set aside for us, we fathers wouldn't be who we are today if it weren't for our families, those who came before us (Thanks Dad!) and those we have with us today! Thank you all!

Til Next Time.........

Originally posted 6-17-07 on Yahoo 360

Information Overload, June 16, 2007

Okay-okay!!! I know I work in the radio/advertising/marketing industry and I would never bite the hand that feeds me (and my family).......however I think this is over doing it just a bit, don't you?

Originally posted on 6-16-07 on Yahoo 360

For Once, Dan Rather Gets It! June 12, 2007

In the past, I have been rather vocal about my feelings regarding TV news and corporate/investment banking involvment in radio, tv, and print journalism in general. "Big Money" is as bad an influence on journalism as violent video games are on children. Now, Dan Rather finds himself embroiled in a controversy with his former CBS boss Les Moonves over the direction Moonves has taken the once proud CBS News Division. While I am by no means a fan of Dan Rather or his politics (another subject I have been very vocal about), I find myself in total agreement with him on this topic. The clip below is an excerpt from the Fox News Channel that contains an interview that David Asman conducted with Rather while filling in for Neil Cavuto. One could reasonably question Rather's motive for singling out CBS News since the industry as a whole is guilty of "dumbing down and tarting up" the news. However, no reasonable person could deny that what he is saying is true. Watch the video and see if you agree......I think you just might.


Til Next Time!!!!

Do you agree with Dan Rather when he says that tv news has been "dumbed down and tarted up?" (closed poll) yes 2 no 0 don't know 0
Originally posted 6-12-07 on Yahoo 360

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hey!! I'm Still Here....I Think! May 20, 2007

Okay! I'm still alive and still here and yes still writing.......

The job I started in January is going well. I just didn't realize how much work there would be to do when I started it several months ago. It has been an experience to say the least. It's the same work I did before, but as with any job change there are some differences. The whole vibe in the building is like night and day from my previous gig. That is slowly changing though and that IS a good thing. For me personally, I love a challenge and this new job has provided me with just that. At my previous job, I had everything so dialed in that I could almost phone it in everyday. Now it's like going back to square one and starting over. As a matter of fact, that is exactly what it is. And yes, I consider that a good thing. It forces me to pay closer attention and not to take things for granted as much as I did before. In the end though, it's all good. Busy....but good.

Speaking of my old job, I received a message from a friend Friday. This fellow was a co-worker at my old job who got fired for an accumulation of transgressions spanning almost two years. He is several years younger than I am and still has a lot to learn about the business. I always saw huge talent and potential in him, even when others didn't. Unfortunately, at the time, he didn't see the potential either. He was always make poor choices in his personal and professional life that others at the station had no tolerance or sympathy for. Those choices eventually cost the young lad his job. Now it seems though he is finally getting his priorities straight. After spending a few months unemployed here in California, he made the trek back home to the Midwest. He spent some time re-examining his life and career. He got a job at a small radio station near his home for a while and then this past Friday, I got a message from him with some good news! He's been hired by a station in the Denver market. Yes the young lad is about to hit the big time! I always saw that potential in him, even when he (and others) didn't. I just hope he keeps things on an even keel and keeps his priorities straight. And friend....... if you happen to read this......Just know that "I will personally come to Denver and kick your ass if you let this one slip through your fingers!"

Well, for everybody else, I guess that's about all for tonight. Now that things are starting to settle down a bit at work, I should have more time for writing. God knows, with everything going on in the world, there's a ton of stuff to write about.

So.....til next time!!!!!

Originally posted 5-20-07 on Yahoo 360

The Troops, The Libs, & The Out Of Touch Media...February 01, 2007

WELL.....Where to start? I had a whole stack of stuff I had considered as topics for tonights blog. Then I found the letter below in my email. I can't began to tell you how infuriated I became after reading it. After doing the research to try and determine the legitmacy of the letter I came across a couple of other things that just got me wound up...if you know what I mean. Strap yourself in. This could be be lengthy and no doubt infuriating not matter your viewpoint.

First off the I will address the picture above. I do not begrudge anyone's right to any opinion they choose on any topic they choose or their right to express that view. But for the love of mature about it. My 13 year old does the style of photoshop projects like the photo above because he thinks it's cute and funny. That's exactly what I expect from a 13 year old but not a supposed mature adult. If and those of you who agree with their point of view have an opposing viewpoint, please feel free to voice it. Many of us both past and present have taken an oath to defend your right to do precisely that. But when you do, try using a little maturity in your approach. You'll find that it'll will get you a lot further than you have so far with those of us who live in the real world.

Secondly, the letter below. This showed up in my email today. It was written by an Army Staff Seargent identified only as "Sgt D." currently stationed in Afghanistan. He had an experience recently while on mid-tour leave to see his wife and baby boy that was the last straw. Following the letter are two websites that received copies of the letter, determined it's legitimacy, and then posted it. Read on..........

Things that I am tired of in this war:

I am tired of Democrats saying they are patriotic and then insulting my commander in chief and the way he goes about his job.

I am tired of Democrats who tell me they support me, the soldier on the ground, and then tell me the best plan to win this war is with a “phased redeployment” (liberal-speak for retreat) out of the combat zone to someplace like Okinawa.

I am tired of the Democrats whining for months on T.V., in the New York Times, and in the House and Senate that we need more troops to win the war in Iraq, and then when my Commander in Chief plans to do just that, they say that is the wrong plan, it won’t work, and we need a “new direction.”

I am tired of every Battalion Sergeant Major and Command Sergeant Major I see over here being more concerned about whether or not I am wearing my uniform in the “spot on,” most garrison-like manner; instead of asking me whether or not I am getting the equipment I need to win the fight, the support I need from my chain of command, or if the chow tastes good.

I am tired of junior and senior officers continually doubting the technical expertise of junior enlisted soldiers who are trained far better to do the jobs they are trained for than these officers believe.

I am tired of senior officers and commanders who fight this war with more of an eye on the media than on the enemy, who desperately needs killing.

I am tired of the decisions of Sergeants and Privates made in the heat of battle being scrutinized by lawyers who were not there and will never really know the state of mind of the young soldiers who were there and what is asked of them in order to survive.

I am tired of CNN claiming that they are showing “news,” with videotape sent to them by terrorists, of my comrades being shot at by snipers, but refusing to show what happens when we build a school, pave a road, hand out food and water to children, or open a water treatment plant.

I am tired of following the enemy with drones that have cameras, and then dropping bombs that sometimes kill civilians; because we could do a better job of killing the right people by sending a man with a high powered rifle instead.

I am tired of the thousands of people in the rear who claim that they are working hard to support me when I see them with their mochas and their PX Bags walking down the street, in the middle of the day, nowhere near their workspaces.

I am tired of Code Pink, Daily Kos, Al-Jazzera, CNN, Reuters, the Associated Press, ABC, NBC, CBS, the ACLU, and CAIR thinking that they somehow get to have a vote in how we blast, shoot and kill these animals who would seek to subdue us and destroy us.

I am tired of people like Meredith Vieria from NBC asking oxygen thieves like Senator Chuck Hagel questions like “Senator, at this point, do you think we are fighting and dying for nothing?” Meredith might not get it, but soldiers do know the difference between fighting and dying for something and fighting and dying for nothing.

I am tired of hearing multiple stories from both combat theaters about snipers begging to do their jobs while commanders worry about how the media might portray the possible casualties and what might happen to their career.

I am tired of hearing that the Battalion Tactical Operations Center got a new plasma screen monitor for daily briefings, but rifle scope rings for sniper rifles, extra magazines, and necessary field gear were disapproved by the unit supply system.

I am tired of out of touch general officers, senators, congressmen and defense officials who think that giving me some more heavy body armor to wear is helping me stay alive. Speed is life in combat and wearing 55 to 90 pounds of gear for 12 to 20 hours a day puts me at a great tactical disadvantage to the idiot, mindless terrorist who is wearing no armor at all and carrying an AK-47 and a pistol.

I am tired of soldiers who are stationed in places like Kuwait and who are well away from any actual combat getting Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger Pay and the Combat Zone Tax Exclusion when they live on a base that has a McDonald’s, a Pizza Hut, a Subway, a Baskin Robbins, an internet café, 2 coffee shops and street lights.

I am tired of senior officers and commanders who take it out and "measure" every time they want to have a piece of the action with their helicopters or their artillery; instead of putting their egos aside and using their equipment to support the grunt on the ground.

I am tired of senior officers and commanders who are too afraid for their careers to tell the truth about what they need to win this war to their bosses so that the soldiers can get on with kicking the ass of these animals.

I am tired of Rules of Engagement being made by JAG lawyers and not Combat Commanders. We are not playing Hopscotch over here. There is no 2nd place trophy either. I think that if the enemy knew some rough treatment and some deprivation was at hand for them, instead of prayer rugs, special diets and free Korans; this might help get their terrorist minds “right.”

I am tired of seeing Active Duty Army and Marine units being extended past their original redeployment dates, when there are National Guard Units that have yet to deploy to a combat zone in the last 40 years.

I am tired of hearing soldiers who are stationed in safe places talk about how hard their life is.

I am tired of seeing Infantry Soldiers conducting what amounts to “SWAT” raids and performing the US Army’s version of “CSI Iraq” and doing things like filling out forms for evidence when they could be better used to hunt and kill the enemy.

I am tired of senior officers and commanders who look first in their planning for how many casualties we might take, instead of how many enemy casualties we might inflict.

I am tired of begging to be turned loose so that this war can be over.

Those of us who fight this war want to win it and go home to their families. Prolonging it with attempts to do things like collect “evidence” or present whiz bang briefings on a new plasma screen TV is wasteful and ultimately, dulls the edge of our Infantry soldiers who are trained to kill people and break things, not necessarily in that order.

We are not in Iraq and Afghanistan to build nations. We are there to kill our enemies. We make the work of the State Department easier by the results we achieve.

It is only possible to defeat an enemy who kills indiscriminately by utterly destroying him. He cannot be made to yield or surrender. He will fight to the death by the hundreds to kill only one or two of us.

And so far, all of our “games” have been “away games,” and I don’t know about the ignorant, treasonous Democrats and the completely insane radical leftists and their thoughts on the matter, but I would like to keep our road game schedule.

So let’s get it done. Until the fight is won and there is no more fight left.


I have personally talked with men and women (some of them family members) in the armed forces who have said the same thing to me almost verbatum. It's very discouraging to see our servicemembers disrespected the way they are today. But it's even worse when you come across arrogant self serving members of the media who (in their haste to belittle America, it's military, and all that is good about both) show themselves to be nothing more that flat out liars in all that they and speak. I am speaking in particular of NBC Military Correspondant and Washington Post Military Affairs Writer William Arkin. Arkin recently posted an entry on his Washington Post blog that has got to be the most hateful and inflamatory piece of journalism I have ever seen.

William M. Arkin on National and Homeland Security

The Troops Also Need to Support the American People

I've been mulling over an NBC Nightly News report from Iraq last Friday in which a number of soldiers expressed frustration with opposition to war in the United States.

I'm sure the soldiers were expressing a majority opinion common amongst the ranks - that's why it is news - and I'm also sure no one in the military leadership or the administration put the soldiers up to expressing their views, nor steered NBC reporter Richard Engel to the story.

I'm all for everyone expressing their opinion, even those who wear the uniform of the United States Army. But I also hope that military commanders took the soldiers aside after the story and explained to them why it wasn't for them to disapprove of the American people.

Friday's NBC Nightly News included a story from my colleague and friend Richard Engel, who was embedded with an active duty Army infantry battalion from Fort Lewis, Washington.

Engel relayed how "troops here say they are increasingly frustrated by American criticism of the war. Many take it personally, believing it is also criticism of what they've been fighting for."

First up was 21 year old junior enlisted man Tyler Johnson, whom Engel said was frustrated about war skepticism and thinks that critics "should come over and see what it's like firsthand before criticizing."

"You may support or say we support the troops, but, so you're not supporting what they do, what they're here sweating for, what we bleed for, what we die for. It just don't make sense to me," Johnson said.

Next up was Staff Sergeant Manuel Sahagun, who is on his second tour in Iraq. He complained that "one thing I don't like is when people back home say they support the troops, but they don't support the war. If they're going to support us, support us all the way."

Next was Specialist Peter Manna: "If they don't think we're doing a good job, everything that we've done here is all in vain," he said.

These soldiers should be grateful that the American public, which by all polls overwhelmingly disapproves of the Iraq war and the President's handling of it, do still offer their support to them, and their respect.

Through every Abu Ghraib and Haditha, through every rape and murder, the American public has indulged those in uniform, accepting that the incidents were the product of bad apples or even of some administration or command order.

Sure, it is the junior enlisted men who go to jail. But even at anti-war protests, the focus is firmly on the White House and the policy. We don't see very many "baby killer" epithets being thrown around these days, no one in uniform is being spit upon.

So, we pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them, we support them in every possible way, and their attitude is that we should in addition roll over and play dead, defer to the military and the generals and let them fight their war, and give up our rights and responsibilities to speak up because they are above society?

I can imagine some post-9/11 moment, when the American people say enough already with the wars against terrorism and those in the national security establishment feel these same frustrations. In my little parable, those in leadership positions shake their heads that the people don't get it, that they don't understand that the threat from terrorism, while difficult to defeat, demands commitment and sacrifice and is very real because it is so shadowy, that the very survival of the United States is at stake. Those Hoovers and Nixons will use these kids in uniform as their soldiers. If it weren't about the United States, I'd say the story would end with a military coup where those in the know, and those with fire in their bellies, would save the nation from the people.

But it is the United States, and the recent NBC report is just an ugly reminder of the price we pay for a mercenary - oops sorry, volunteer - force that thinks it is doing the dirty work.

The notion of dirty work is that, like laundry, it is something that has to be done but no one else wants to do it. But Iraq is not dirty work: it is not some necessary endeavor; the people just don't believe that anymore.

I'll accept that the soldiers, in order to soldier on, have to believe that they are manning the parapet, and that's where their frustrations come in. I'll accept as well that they are young and naïve and are frustrated with their own lack of progress and the never changing situation in Iraq. Cut off from society and constantly told that everyone supports them, no wonder the debate back home confuses them.

America needs to ponder what it is we really owe those in uniform. I don't believe America needs a draft though I imagine we'd be having a different discussion if we had one.

By William M. Arkin | January 30, 2007; 8:51 AM ET

There are so many inherintly incorrect statements of fact and assumptions in the preceding column that I couldn't begin to touch on them all. This blog would triple in length if I did. I will say this though about the last paragraph of this "op ed" piece. If Mr Arkin truly believes that "America needs to ponder what it is we really owe those in uniform," I would suggest he spend a couple of years living in a place like Iran, North Korea, or Cuba. Maybe then he would understand. If you would like to leave comments for Mr Arkin, you can email him at .

And finally, here's a clip from the Fox NewsChannel on Mr. Arkins antics. The man being interviewed is the same man who originally posted Sgt D's letter on

As I said before, I don't begrude anyone any viewpoint. But before you exercise your right to open your mouth, make sure you know what you are talking about and that you have a valuable contribution to make to the debate. Otherwise we'll exercise our right to tune you out!

TIL NEXT TIME...................