Friday, February 29, 2008

Take a leap!

A Leap Day, that is.
Go ahead.
Party like it's still February!
Or, like it's really already March!
Take your pick.
I really don't care!
Seriously, though, Leap Days are added to the calendar every 4 years to account for the fact that our boring old Gregorian calendar comes 6 hours short of the natural solar year.
Perhaps a larger lesson can be drawn from this time-management solution.
Perhaps it's a good idea to do some reassessing, at least every 4 years.
Perhaps there was a conspiracy afoot when the US presidential elections were slated to be held during Leap Years.
Perhaps I'm putting way too much thought into this calendar curiosity . . .


Thursday, February 28, 2008

In like a lion

Wow, the blustery entrance so often attributed to March came a couple of days early to Central Florida.

We had a fierce line of storms blow thru here last night.

The sky went from gray to black in the snap of your fingers. Then, it lit up with cloud-to-cloud lightning.

But, the howling wind was the most unnerving aspect of the storm.

It sounded so fierce in the narrow alleyway between my house and my neighbor's, that I actually dived in to my "safe room" under the stairwell for about 10 minutes.

Fortunately, Danny Treanor gave us the "all's clear" before too long.

But, now I have all kinds of debris (tree limbs, etc.) all over my yard, and my front door mat has gone missing. And, the temps have dropped down to the 30s!

Let's hope March goes out like a lamb, cuz this lion stuff is only fit for a zoo!


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

William F. Buckley, Jr. (1925-2008)

The conservative movement in America has lost one of its most distinctive voices today with the death of William Frank Buckley, Jr.

I am sure his contributions to the cause will be highlighted on all the major news outlets today.

But, I thought I'd let ye socks know why Buckley was always a favorite of yours truly.

Unlike many in the political arena today, Buckley was unabashedly politically incorrect. And, he wasn't afraid to get in the face of any liberal foolish enough to engage him in a debate.

The most classic example was that idiot Gore Vidal, kin to many prominent Democrats like the Kennedys, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore.

Back in 1968, Vidal squared off against the ruthless Buckley in a live televised debate that probably would not make it past the censors today.

Anyway, Vidal persisted in labeling Buckly a "crypto-Nazi," and received the following rebuke in front of a much-amused national audience, "Now listen, you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I will sock you in your goddamn face, and you will stay plastered!"

He said what many folks felt. And, that took guts. We need more of that these days.


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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Raisin in the Sun

I stayed up way too late last night watching ABC's tv adaptation of the old Broadway play by Lorraine Hansberry. For ye trivia buffs, the odd title comes from two lines in an even older Langston Hughes poem: "What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?"

As a child of the 80's, who could resist watching Phylicia Rashad playing a matriarch . . . albeit a very different one from the one she portrayed on The Cosby Show?

And, of course, there were the amazing acting skills of P. Diddy to keep one glued to the set. I mean, he really put Sidney Poitier (who played the role originally) to shame. NOT!

I do have to admit I was more than a little disturbed toward the end, when a foreign college professor belittles the daughter in the family because her dreams were purchased by a man's death. (Her father's insurance money was supposed to pay for her medical school tuition.)

The reason it bothered me is that it seemed like a more-than-subtle jab at Chrisitianity. You know the whole story about the crucifixion and redemption. Especially so, since the same daughter had declared herself an atheist in an earlier scene.

Much to my delight, in that scene the Phylicia Rashad character slapped her cocky unbelieving daughter across the face and made her repeat the statement, "There's still God in my mama's house!"

Anyway, this family drama was worth the forfeiture of sleep. It had some pretty good life lessons to teach.

Now, pass the coffee pot!

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Something for my Texas friends

Mike Huckabee needs your votes on March 4th!

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Miracle Guy on SNL

In case you missed this weekend's Saturday Night Live, Mike Huckabee once again demonstrated his trademark self-deprecating humor as a guest on "Weekend Update" with Seth Myers and Amy Poehler.

Was it just me, or was the joke about Super Delegates a subtle swipe at Hillary Clinton?

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Not just an echo.

Well, it was a yucky rainy day down here in usually-sunny Central Florida. So, yours truly ended up watching CSPAN.

Go ahead and laugh.

But, I found myself wrapped-up in the network's live coverage of the "Black State of the Union," organized by Tavis Smiley over in New Orleans.

I really tuned in because Hillary Clinton was scheduled to address the crowd, something Barack Hussein Obama declined to do. And, I wanted to see what kind of reception she would get after all of her husband's antics in South Carolina.

Anyway, Mr. Smiley's lead-in was a panel discussion of some sort. I didn't catch the entire thing. But, it was really quite interesting, and I was actually inspired by the words of one of the panelists.

He was a professor from Princeton University. He looked like a "nutty professor," and I could tell by most of his words that he and I probably disagree on just about every topic of political debate. However, he did (inadvertently, I'm sure) inspire me when he encouraged the audience to use their own voice, and not simply be an "echo of the past."

The substance behind this exhortation was the professor didn't want his listeners to rest on the laurels of the generations that came before them. Instead, he encouraged them to become actively involved in their community and nation.

I would take his argument one step further, in a direction I'm sure the professor would not like. Don't just do things because your parents and grandparents did them. Think about it first. Make your own decisions. Really speak with your own voice. You might just discover that voice doesn't belong to a single political party. And, you might find that independent voice resonates much more deeply than the echoes of the past.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Quotable quote

I don't think I have to explain why the following quote from Albert Einstein sprang to mind after watching last night's "debate" between Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Rob 'em Clinton:

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits."

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

The New York Times loses MORE credibility

I am so angry with NYT editor Bill Keller today, I could just spit nails.

Not because his paper ran an article yesterday about a rumored affair between Senator John McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman.

No, what makes me angry is that Keller and his editorial board SAT ON THIS STORY for months. In fact, Keller actually met with McCain to discuss the details last year.

But, he didn't bother putting it into print in his yellow rag until McCain had won enough GOP presidential primaries and caucuses to make him the party's presumptive nominee.

I think he did it INTENTIONALLY.

He didn't want GOP voters to catch a whiff of a potential scandal until after every Democrat's favorite Republican was far enough ahead in the delegate count.

In so doing, he and his editorial board have failed the public trust.

By denying the public access to this type of information, which could very well sway a voter's opinion, Keller and his cronies at the New York Times are tinkering with our democracy.

That's the real story here, not some supposed extra-marital affair being pimped by a disgruntled former aide. (The Washington Post at least identified the source for the rumor: John Weaver, who left--or, was asked to leave--the McCain campaign last year.) My question is, if the allegation makes McCain a flawed candidate, why did the Times endorse him? I would suggest it is because that is exactly what they want atop the GOP ticket this fall, because it will make it easier for their beloved Democrats to achieve a victory at the polls.

So much for the lofty pretensions of the most self-satisfied organ of the Fourth Estate.

The Times outrageously claims to publish "all the news that's fit to print." It seems it may only be defined as "fit" if it keeps the American public in the dark long enough to suit their patently partisan agenda.

For ye socks living in states that haven't held their primaries yet (are you hearing me TEXAS?!), I encourage you to send a message by voting for Mike Huckabee.

And, if you have a subscription to the Times, cancel it!

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Reagan is proved right . . . again!

I was only a punk kid back in 1983 when President Ronald Reagan introduced the concept of a "Star Wars" defense program.

The name was used, somewhat derisively at the time, because the bold initiative proposed the use of a defense shield to protect America and her allies from incoming missiles launched by foreign aggressors.

At the time, of course, "foreign aggressors" meant the Soviets and the communist bloc.

Today, the defense shield that many pooh-poohed in the 1980s is protecting the planet from errant satelites.

From some point west of Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean, our Navy's missile defense cruiser U.S.S. Lake Erie lobbed a missile nearly 130 miles into the stratosphere to blow-up an aging spy satelite that was threatening to come busting thru our atmosphere and wreak incalculable damage on Earth.

And, they hit their target on their first attempt.

Simply amazing.

Of course, today we are not so much worried about commies as we are about Islamofascists. And, the only major player on the world stage capable to similar missile launches is China. In early 2007, they destroyed one of their own weather satelites. But, they left 100,000 pieces of debris floating around in space.

The U.S. Navy was far more effective. Their target was obliterated. And, any chunks left over will soon be burning up as they re-enter Earth's atmosphere.

Once again, Reagan's principles are proving timeless. This time it is the necessity of a strong military, not just for national defense but for all the other benefits that spin-off of it.

Now, let's talk about his other principles of lower taxes and a smaller federal government!

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Michelle Obama is walking a fine line.

A fine line between cheeky and saracastic, that is.

For quite some time now, I have found her speeches on the campaign trail to be as annoying as nails on a chalk board. And, not just because I vehemently disagree with her socialist tendancies. The real problem I have with her is her smarmy speaking style. She punctuates her sentencies with absurd facial expressions, and the sort of dismissive "ughs" typical of a 13-year old who is disgusted by having to explain something to their parents.

Well, it has finally caught up with her.

In case you missed every major news outlet today, the wife of the Democratic frontrunner Barack Hussein Obama stepped in big doo-doo in an appearance up in Wisconsin on Presidents Day.

Her speech was typically Obama-esque, heavy on platitudes about hope and change but light on any real substance.

However, there was one line that ruffled a LOT of feathers: "For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country."

It is simply outrageous that someone who has lived in this country for 44 years and benefited greatly as a result of her citizenship cannot recall another single moment in time when she was proud to be an American. Perhaps, she should take time away from "speechifying" and crack a history book or two to catch up with the rest of us . . .

Mrs. Obama went on to give just two reasons for her newly-discovered pride in the USA:
(1) Her husband is doing well.
(2) People are hungry for change.

Wow. Stunning. Two reasons.

I suppose it shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. The power couple from the south side of Chicago have consistently shown themselves to be less than patriotic. Remember when Barack Hussein Obama refused to wear a red, white, and blue lapel pin like everyone else in the U.S. Senate, dismissing them as "a substitute for true patriotism." Remember, too, when he alone stood out among the field of Democratic candidates attending Tom Harkin's annual steak fry out in Iowa last year, because he failed to put his hand over his heart during a rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner."

The more we learn about the Obamas, the more self-centered and ignorant they appear. And, I don't use those words lightly.

Woe unto this country if either one of them takes up residence in the White House.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Why Washington remains our greatest president.

On this Presidents Day, I am somewhat dismayed to hear modern polls show George Washington slipping in the rankings of our nation's greatest presidents. Modern revisionists have foisted the undeserving Lincoln and FDR to the top of the pack.

So, to counteract this trend, I offer ye socks the three reasons why yours truly believes George Washington remains the greatest president in the history of these United States.

1. He exercised self-restraint. At the end of the American Revolution, he could very easily have seized power and become a military dictator. Instead, he not only resigned his position as commander of the armies, but also refused to accept a crown as the head of a new monarchy. And, when he was eventually elected president, he agreed only to serve two terms.

Lincoln, on the other hand, exceeded his authority on numerous occasions, including his order to suspend the writ of habeas corpus. And, FDR is the only person self-satisfied enough to run for FOUR terms and to attempt to pack the Supreme Court.

2. He was non-partisan. Washington didn't believe in political parties. He thought they bred conflict, stagnation, and bad government. And, history has proved him correct. I doubt either Lincoln (a Republican) or FDR (a Democrat), much less their modern political heirs, would see things that clearly.

3. He believed in a meritocracy. Just as he didn't want another monarchy, he didn't believe in political dynasties or oligarchies. He didn't believe things should be handed to people based on the circumstances of their birth or on the basis of their surname. Rather, he made appointments based on a "fitness for office." Lincoln on the other hand was a product of his time, when cronyism was rampant in American politics. And, FDR was part of the oligarchy that developed. (Remember, he wasn't the first Roosevelt in the White House!)

I understand their are ebbs and flows in the interpretation of history. But, it is a sad to see a great man like Washington being lumped in with the likes of Lincoln and FDR. They were certainly men of great accomplishments. But, George Washington should forever remain first in the hearts of his countrymen.

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Acceptance of mediocrity is not happiness.

Is anybody else out there in the blogsphere as offended by tonight's broadcast of 60 Minutes, in which Morley Rigormortis trumpeted the country as Denmark as the "happiest in the world?!?"

Don't get me wrong, I don't begrudge anyone their happiness. And, the Danes have been good friends of the United States. Much better friends than some other European nations that shall remain nameless here.

But, according to 60 Minutes, their happiness is because they live in a nanny state that wipes their collective arse from the cradle to the grave.

They only have to work 37 hours a week.

They get 6 weeks paid vacation.

They get free university educations.

They get 6 months paid paternity leave for new dads.

Sounds great, right?! No wonder their so blessed happy!

What you need to understand is who is paying for those short weeks, time off, tuition, and bonding time: their HUGE welfare system.

And, where does the welfare system get the money? Well, from payroll taxes, of course! 50% for most people. As much as 63% for some.

Whatever. They may choose to live like that, but don't try pimping it in this dryer.

What was most offensive to me was the last word the producers gave to this deadbeat who had dropped out of his college studies to be home with his newborn at his fellow Danes' expense. With an insipid grin, he tells the camera, "Don't believe in the American dream!"

Well, I'd much rather believe in that than the Danish twin nightmares of low expectations and lack of ambition.

Note to CBS: If you really want to start charging Bright House Networks to carry your programming, at least start airing news pieces that promote such free-market capitalistic ideals.

FAH! Piffle!

I so need an Ambien . . .

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

Visiting in Tallahassee

I'm enjoying a quiet day up in Tallahassee today, visiting with Gaga Lois and her daughters Joanna and Patricia.

One of the things we're doing to occupy our time is going thru some old family photos.

I thought ye socks might enjoy this one in particular.

It was taken in front of the old family home at #1 East Princeton Street in Orlando, in early 1926.

Left to right are my great-aunt Agnes Morgan Newell, her newborn daughter Lois (Gaga) who was born 1/25, my great-grandmother Sarah Cox Morgan, and her newborn son Billy who was born 1/18. (The cousins were born just one week apart!)

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Friday, February 15, 2008

On the road again

I guess I just like quoting the great Willie Nelson.

But, seriously, yours truly is hitting the road up to Tallahassee today to visit with Gaga Lois and help my cousin Joanna.

I'm still going to compose my blog posts over the next few days. But, it may take a couple of days to get them online.

Thanks to all who continue their prayers.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Drop the apostrophe and move the "s"

Ok, I don't want to engage in the debate over whether or not today is a holiday manufactured by Hallmark and the candy industry. Truth be told the Roman Catholic Church kinda invented it themselves to supercede the ancient pagan fertility festivals. Whatever.

But, the grammarian in me must tell all ye socks not to call it St. Valentine's Day.

It should be "Saints Valentine Day."

That's because the day traditionally celebrates not one but TWO early Christian martyrs named Valentine.

The first is St. Valentine of Terni was persecuted by the Emperor Aurelius and died in 197.

The second St. Valentine of Rome is my favorite. He died in 269, and his relics (at least some of them) ended up at the Carmelite Church on White Friars Street in Dublin, Ireland. It's the Irish connection I like.

Anyway, there are NINE other Saints Valentine. But, their feast days come later in the year, I guess.

History and grammar lessons over. Enjoy your VD, and spread it around. (Disgusting pun intended.)

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Stormy weather

This picture really has nothing to do with my post today, other than it makes me wonder if our local weather prognosticators drink their own bath water, too . . .

They had all of MetroOrlando in an uproar yesterday, warning everybody to get home by 6pm to batten down the hatches.

Apparently, we were in the cross hairs of two colliding air masses, the type that spawn the apocalypse.

Fire up your weather radios!

Designate a safe room!

Notify your next of kin!


All for naught.

I guess there was a twister over by the space center. But, that's 45 miles away on the coast.

All we got around these parts was a little rain. And, it was actually much-needed, says my brown lawn.

Oh, well, better safe than sorry, as the cliche goes.

But, someone should tell these people the story about the boy who cried wolf.

Thankfully, I had the season premieres of Big Brother and Jericho to entertain me on an otherwise dull evening . . .

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Democrats: Are they dumber than concrete?

That was the actual heading to Mike Thomas 's column in today's Orlando Sentinel. Gotta love it!

Oh, and Mike, the simple answer is "YES!"

Here's the full text of his colum for ye socks who find this sort of political talk interesting:

I am not a political analyst. But I was around for the great Florida voting fiasco of November 2000.And I'm getting flashbacks with talk of a brokered Democratic convention decided by "superdelegates."

Consider this scenario, which no longer seems so far-fetched:Barack Obama goes into the convention having won the majority of primaries and delegates. But he doesn't have enough delegates to win the nomination.

And so the superdelegates -- a group of politicians and political insiders -- go into their star chamber and pick Hillary Clinton.

The fallout not only would cost Democrats the November election but would haunt them for many elections to come.

Now let's return to November 2000. Many blacks in Florida were blocked from voting when they erroneously popped on lists of convicted felons.

Many more who did vote had their ballots tossed out for technical errors -- for example, writing in Al Gore's name as well as punching it on the ballot. The problem was compounded by antiquated machines in rural counties.

More than half the rejected Florida votes in 2000 were cast by black voters. In its report, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights referred to "injustice, ineptitude and inefficiency."A subsequent analysis noted that nationwide, a million votes by blacks may not have been counted. This has been a rallying theme among Democrats.

In a speech to the NAACP during his 2004 campaign, John Kerry said, "Don't tell us that in the strongest democracy on earth that a million disenfranchised African-Americans and the most tainted election in American history is the best that we can do."

And so consider the fallout if eight years later, Democratic Party bosses basically do the same thing that they accused the Republicans of doing. They defy the will of the voters, including the vast majority of blacks, and rig the election for their candidate.

This system of superdelegates is a perversion of the very principles the Democrats pretend to follow.

How can you have a party that professes to be of the people when party bosses, who don't have to follow the will of the people, make up about 20 percent of the convention delegates. There is a public campaign played out in the various state contests and a secret campaign carried out on phone lines.

The Republicans are more democratic than the Democrats.

The backlash of a Clinton backroom win would be harsh.

John McCain would have the inside track on the independent vote. Those energized blacks who turned out with such passion for Obama would lose their zeal. So too would the growing number of young voters looking to the Democratic Party after eight years of George W. Bush.

The Democrats' only hope would be Obama taking the second spot on the ticket. But why should someone who came into the convention in the lead accept the Morgan Freeman role in Driving Miss Hillary?

Obama has won 19 state primaries and caucuses to 11 for Clinton. He also should win the next four primaries.

Yet many projections have Clinton ahead in the total delegate count because she leads among superdelegates.

If this dynamic continues to play out and Clinton wins the nomination, here are two words you can put in the bank: President McCain.

Mike Thomas can be reached at 407-420-5525 or

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Prayers for Gaga and her family

My cousin Joanna has taken her mother (affectionately known in family circles as "Gaga") into her home after noticing a decline in her health over the Christmas holidays.

She has lost 21 pounds over the last three weeks, and is unable to keep food down.

So, I'm asking ye socks for prayers both for her and her caregivers.

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How sick is this?!

Ye socks who have been checking this dryer for a while now know that my father passed away last March.

Well, recently, somebody went to visit his final resting place and left a personal letter for the family at his marker because they didn't have our mailing address.

"Somebody" came across this letter before we did, though. They opened it, took the letter, and put the empty envelope back on Dad's marker. Creepy, huh?

But, ye know how much yours truly enjoys solving a good mystery. And, I've gotten pretty good at it with all the practice I've had over the years.

Anyway, just so that "somebody" knows, we were able to make contact with the person who left the letter. We now know its contents and why you saw fit to leave only an empty envelope.

Trust me, though, none of it was surprising. It fits into your known pattern of behavior of doing creepy things like stealing letters off grave markers.

Just sick.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Super Saturday

I've got to get to bed, so can't stay up to see how exactly Washington state is going to go. But, the margin between Mike Huckabee and John McCain is razor thing out there.

If Huck ends up with the most votes out there, he will have swept all this weekend's GOP contests.

Kansas was a complete blow-out. Huckabee beat McCain there by a margin of 2 to 1.

Louisiana was closer, but Huck still ended up on top.

So, I'm going to turn-in now on the prayer that Washington goes Huckabee's way, too.

Go, Mike, go!

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Rick Perry is getting nervous

For ye socks unfamiliar with Lone Star politics, Rick Perry is the Governor of Texas. He succeeded George W. Bush about the same time Mike Huckabee started cleaning-up all the Clinton debris in neighboring Arkansas.

Ye may also be unaware that Mr. Perry made the mistake of endorsing Rudy Giuliani for president several months ago. And, since the former New York City mayor withdrew from the race, Perry has sheepishly followed him into the McCain camp.

All of this must be pretty embarassing for the governor, and is doubtlessly eroding his support among his conservative fellow Texans.

If he believed more in the values that are most important to Texans instead of political opportunism, he wouldn't have to bounce around from one camp to another.

Today, we hear that he called Huckabee and practically begged him to suspend his campaign.

That took some nerve.

Rest assured, he didn't place that call out of any particular passion for John McCain.

He didn't do it for the best interests of the Republican party.

He didn't do it because he wants to necessarily defeat the Dumbocrats in November.

Rather, he acted out of fear and the instinct for self-preservation that are all too often the trademarks of most politicians. He can't afford to be seen as the supporter of TWO failed candidates. Think about it!

How much egg will Perry have on his face when Mike Huckabee wins Texas in March?!

Go, Mike, go!

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Sometimes, you just can't buy a vote . . .

Mitt Romney finally learned that lesson. Unfortunately, it was a lesson that cost him an estimated $87.6 million -- much of that his own money. But, I guess he could afford it.

As astronomical a figure as that may appear, it is still only slightly more than Barrack Hussein Obama ($85.2M) and Hillary Rob 'Em Clinton ($80.4M) have spent so far on their side of the aisle.

Still it is more than the combined total spent by John McCain ($48.8M) and his recently-withrdrawn buddy Rudy Giuliani ($39.1M).

And, it is many, many, many more dollars than our favorite candidate Mike Huckabee has had at his disposal. He's had to get out there and earn every vote and delegate, and is getting WAY more bang for his buck. So, ask yourselves, who do you want spending your tax dollars? Seems like Huck is the only one who knows how to stretch them!

Anyway, as nasty as Romney's campaign got out on the trail, I do offer him some grudging respect for knowing when to call it quits.

He says he's doing it for the party and for the country. In that order, which seems more than a little wrong. But, whatever.

According to Mitt, he needed to suspend his campaign to "forestall the launch of a national campaign" to prevent the Dems' from surrendering to the terrorists who want to destroy the civilized world. Fair logic.

But, note his use of the term "suspend." That's not the same as "end."

I'll bet you a dime to a donut he's going to hold on to his delegates until the convention on the off chance that something dramatic happens in the interim. And, even then, he will only release them to McCain or Huckabee when they can no longer be used as bargaining chips.

Mitt is a businessman. He is shrewd in that regard. But, politics is a peculiar sort of business. And, he's not proven himself particularly adept at it.

It's a shame he had to spend so much money to find that out!

At least ye conservatives out there finally have one candidate you can support to thwart the McCain juggernaut: Mike Huckabee!

Go, Mike, go!

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A great genealogy program on PBS

This one kept me up way past my bedtime for a typical work night, but it was well worth it. It is entitled "African American Lives 2," by Harvard history professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

The 2 is added to the end of the title, because he put out a similar program last year. But, that one focused only on media maven Opra Winfrey.

This latest production weaves twelve different family tales that actually transcend race and geography. They include, besides Dr. Gates' discoveries about his own roots:

Linda Johnson Rice - CEO of a media empire that includes "Ebony" and "Jet" magazines, who receives evidence of why her father left Arkansas for Chicago as a young man.

Don Cheadle - The actor is shocked to discover his ancestors were enslaved not by white plantation owners but by Chickasaw Indians.

Chris Rock - The comedian is amazed at the roller coaster life of his ancestor who (in just 15 years) went from being a slave, to fighting in the Civil War, to serving as a South Carolina legislator, to returning to farm land near Charleston.

Tom Joyner - the radio talk show host is stunned to discover two great-uncles were apparently framed from murder and sent to the electric chair.

Peter Gomes - a minister from Cambridge, Massachusetts, talks about the complicated racial identities of his Cape Verde ancestors and growing up in an overwhelmingly-white community.

Maya Angelou - the poet gained even deeper knowledge about the characters who feature so prominently in her masterpiece "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings."

Morgan Freeman - discovers an interracial couple in his family tree, who did whatever it took to stay together despite the prevalent racism in 19th Century Mississippi.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee - the Olympic runner draws strength from the examples of her East St. Louis ancestors.

Tina Turner - the mega-star is brought to tears when she discovers her elementary school was built on land donated by her great-uncle and that an ancestor performed 50+ wedding ceremonies in her Tennessee hometown.

Kathleen Henderson - a fan of the original episode had the legend behind her ancestor's Woodbridge surname disproved by the historical record.

And, finally . . .

Bliss Broyard - another non-famous participant was shocked to discover her father's true racial identity after his death in 1990.

If you like ancestor hunting and root digging as much as yours truly, check your local PBS listings to see when/if this great series will re-air.

You will not be disappointed.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Tuesday Song Dedications

To Mitt Romney: "West Virginia Mountain Mama," by John Denver. And, if you'd like a little cheese with that whine, we'll see what we can do for you in that other W state of Wisconsin . . .

To John McCain: "Georgia on My Mind," by Ray Charles. Close, but no cigar.

To Wolf Blitzer: "Tennessee River," by Alabama. Aren't you glad you didn't call one state before all the precincts came in?!

To all the prognosticators (especially Gloria Borger) who said there was no other alternative for conservative Republicans: "Sweet Home Alabama." I'll let them choose their own cheesy cover band.

To Hillary: The N'Sync song of your choice, since you look like Lance Bass in drag.

And, as the results tonight looked so good for Mike Huckabee, I'd also like to send this one out to all my Cajun friends who will be voting this weekend: "Louisiana Saturday Night!"

Get down your fiddle, and take down your bow, y'all!

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Monday, February 04, 2008

Zap2it channel guide

For ye out-of-town socks, today's post is going to be something of a disappointment, I'm afraid.


Just gotta "keep it real" for the Central Floridians in da house.

Anyway, the couch potatoes among you probably came home from work on Friday to notice the local Bright House Networks channels had all been switched-up.

Most annoying change was the move of the Zap2it guide, formerly on channel 49 and now on channel 9 in case you're still surfing around trying to figure out where it ended up on your "dial."

The change in itself is not nearly as annoying as the chick they've hired to voice-over the local weather forecasts.

Everytime I hear her overly-breathy voice, I want to throw my shoe at the tv screen. And, I paid good money for that flat panel!

The breathiness wouldn't be so bad if the earsore would learn how to pronounce words properly . . . or, at least not to OVER pronounce words.

Particularly jarring is the way she says "south." Her nails-on-the-chalk-board rendition comes out sounding like SOW-ooooth.

I'm not kidding.

And, you know how often the word south/SOW-ooooth comes up in a weather forecast!!

Late new year's resolution: Hit the "mute" button whenever I get the urge to visit channel 9 . . . or 49 . . . or wherever it is Bright House decides to park my channel guide from month to month.

Cranky out.

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Giants win!

Okay, I suppose I could have typed that headline without the exclamation mark.

Not because I care to spare the already wounded pride of ye Patriot fans out there. You could use some ego deflation.

Going into this year's Super Bowl, I really did not give a tinker's dam who won.

But, then I was reminded . . . frequently . . . that a New England win would knock the 1972 Dolphins from the pinnacle of pro football greatness.

And, we just can't have that.

18-1 is still second best to 17-0, especially when one of those 17 came with a Super Bowl ring.

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Sunday, February 03, 2008

Standing Still

That's the title of the worst piece of garbage Blockbuster has ever sent me for home viewing.

The premise sounds fairly interesting, but don't let it deceive you.

A group of college friends reunite for a wedding.

So far, so good.

Well, how many twenty-somethings do you know that own their own mansion capable of sleeping a dozen people?

Or, have access to a private jet that can whisk them away to Vegas for the evening?

Or, who would have a wedding and not invite any relatives, just their college clique?

What tripe!

Beyond the unbelievable scenario spun by the out-of-touch script, the acting was horrible.

Particularly offensive were that guy from Dawson's Creek, whose character was perpetually drunk; and Tom Hank's baby-faced son who had to spew an inordinate amount of profanities in his desperate (and ultimately failed) attempt to appear as if he belonged in the same age group as the rest of the cast.

If you have it on your list of movies to see, delete it now. Life is too precious to waste time on piffle like this!

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Skeleton key

My cousin Patricia asked me to meet a locksmith over at her mother's old house in College Park today. Of course, I was glad to oblige.

The neatest thing we discovered over there was the original skeleton key that opens all the interior doors.

The smith said he had been in the trade for about 20 years and hadn't seen the likes of that skeleton key before!

Neat thing #2 was the basement. You don't see them very often down here in Florida.

Anyway, it was fun to poke around an old house like that. It may sound trite, but they really don't build things they way they used to!

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