On Point 
I just finished reading On Point by Roger Hayes. Roger chronicles his year in Vietnam from 67-68 serving with the 1/5 (mech) in the 25th Infantry Division. The book is an informative read that shows one draftee's view of things during his tour. He details many of the mundane and many of the dangerous things he experienced as a combat soldier. I am not going to give a full book review so I recommend that everyone read it. I will, however, quote one passage from it:

"The next morning we swept another area and found five NVA soldiers hiding in a clump of brush. We killed one and captured four along with two M16's, and AK-47, and two pistols. The butt plate on one of the pistols, a .38, was stamped 'St. Louis Police Department.' We had no idea how the NVA got that gun, but several possible scenarios came to mind. They could have found it on a dead GI or one that they had taken prisoner. We had heard that several antiwar organizations in America had sent weapons to North Vietnam to aid them in ridding themselves of foreign aggressors. We didn't understand how American citizens could do such a thing, but there was a lot about the feelings of our fellow countrymen that we failed to comprehend." (Hayes, p. 187)

Roger, you and I both. Antiwar organizations sent weapons to North Vietnam? I never knew this; oh, the irony, oh the treason. If people really did this and they are still alive, they should be hunted down and tried for treason and, if found guilty, executed.

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You Lazy Pieces of Shit 
It is so rare for me to swear on my blog but this article just roiled me to no end.

Able, but not Willing

From the story:

"Michelle Bailey, a slender, apparently healthy 22-year-old, used a scooter to get around a recent pool tournament at the Riviera hotel-casino. ''Four-inch heels,'' she explained with a laugh, pointing to her lipstick-red pumps"


"'It was all the walking,' 27-year-old Simon Lezama said on his red Merits Pioneer 3. Lezama, a trim and fit-looking restaurant manager from Odessa, Texas, rented it on day three of his five-day vacation, 'and now I can drink and drive, be responsible and save my feet.'"

So, you are too frickin' lazy to walk a few miles? Heels are uncomfortable? Too bad. It's too difficult to bar-hop in Vegas and walk from casino to casino? When it's said that people like America but not Americans, this is why. Our society's progressive and indulgent trend towards "if it can be done, why not do it?" and the erosion of morals, values, and ethics is the cause. No wonder companies send work overseas. It's not to save money on labor, it's because of sloth-butt people like this.

On a weekend where we honor our fallen soldiers, sailors, and marines, I have to open my paper and read this garbage. Those who have given all must be turning in their graves and be absolutely livid at how we have devolved as a society and at the sloth of some people who are obviously uneducated, lazy, thankless, and egocentric sycophants with no moral ground.

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Bah Hamburg 
Those of you have had the joy of driving on I-78 through Hamburg over the past year or so know what I mean when I say that the area is a mess. One day last fall we were traveling Eastbound and hit the stopped traffic just past exit 23 (Hamburg is 29), which is the last exit before the constriction (not a typo). Once you pass exit 23, there is no turning back and you are at the mercy of the constriction until you pass exit 29 and by that point you are just about out of it. We stopped at around 4:00 pm. We cleared the constriction zone at 5:30. It took 90 minutes to drive five miles.

On Sunday, we were going Eastbound again and this time we bailed at exit 23. Warning signs indicated that stopped traffic was around mile marker 26. We took the Blue detour through Shartlesville then Hamburg. We followed the signs but they abruptly ended. So I followed a sign to 22/78 and ended up having to get on 78 WEST and then exiting at 61 N, turning around in the parking lot in which I saw another Blue detour sign and swung down back to 78 East. Take the detour, it is quicker. I haven't done the Westbound detour yet but if I do, I'll give a report.

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I'll Bet He Wins 
I have a feeling Willie Singletary is going to be elected in November. From the article:

"Records Action News obtained show his drivers license is revoked until 2011 for a slew of traffic convictions, including driving with no insurance, reckless driving, careless driving, running a red light, driving an unregistered vehicle, an entire laundry list of charges that has netted him $11,412 in fines and a warrant for his arrest."

Give the people of Philadelphia what they want. They want this guy as a traffic court judge? You got it. I wonder what the election turnout was in the primary. When the citizen fails to inform himself and fails to vote, he gets what he deserves. Of course, for those citizens who live in Philadelphia and vote, pulling the straight D ticket year in and year out doesn't seem to show any progress either. Perhaps the citizenry there just prefers to stay uninformed and pull that same lever blindly on every election day.

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Major Objective Achieved 
The MSM has reached one of their main objectives. It appears things are gloomy with no hope or opportunity for improvement. This is a major objective for the MSM on their quest to get a Democrat in the White House in 2009. After years of bleating how bad things are and that the only person who has any say in how you live your life is President Bush, the results are pouring in. It's bad. Your life is terrible. With Bush in power, you cannot achieve your goals. You cannot life your life the way you want. You have the urge to spend on your money on iPods, Plasma screen TV's, designer clothes, and eating out at restaurants every night. You are entitled to a $40,000 car no matter how much it costs you per month and you are entitled to a 3,000 square foot house and if you're "broke" after making the payments, it must be Bush's fault you cannot afford everything you want. Your desire to save money for the future is squashed because you gotta have it now. Gimme. Gimme. Gimme. Mine. Mine. Mine. Now. Now. Now. Freedom of Speech is a myth. People are jailed by the thousand every day for criticizing the President. People are arrested daily for going to a church of their choice. There is no opportunity here. Michael Dell, Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey were born billionaires and didn't have to work at all to get where they are. Yup. It's awful here. You know what? The poll is right. A culture of ingratitude, decadence, and entitlement is definitely on the wrong track.

This guy hits the nail on the head:
Made in the USA: Spoiled Brats

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A Nice Run 
As much as I like to complain about the weather, I must admit we've had a nice run over the past two weeks. According to Wunderground.com, the average high over the last 15 days has been 66.5 degrees F. The average high for this sample is 67.0 F. I still fear another repeat of 2005 when we had a miserable May; especially that second-half. I remember high temperatures in the 50's the week before Memorial Day. That year was the one of the coldest recorded Mays in Boston's history. Even the Boston Globe mentioned it. I don't know why an article from 2005 has a (c) 2006 footer though. Yes, I live 300 miles from Boston but the whole Northeast (and then some) was in the same weather glut that year.

I bought the plants today for my garden and that means the weather should turn sour again soon. Gosh, I can be so pessimistic sometimes. Anyway, I bought 12 tomato (Rutgers, Viva Italia, and Better Boy), four jalapeno, and four anaheim chili. I have two pumpkins started from seed as well as six sunflowers. I toned it down a bit from last year when I had 12 tomato, eight jalapeno, four generic hot peppers, four habanero, and one pumpkin. I still have jalapenos and some habaneros as well as habanero sauce left from last year and I also have some salsa and tomato sauce I made too.

Last week I checked my fencing. It appears to be small, furry animal-proof. In some areas there are actually three layers of fencing. I also reinforced the fence to make it six to seven feet high to, hopefully, deer-proof it. Other than that, I think I am ready to plant which I will do tomorrow or Sunday.

UPDATE: No sooner do I make this post then I go outside to see a rabbit in my garden. Granted, there were no plants in there yet but still. In six years of doing this, that was the first time I saw anything other than a deer in my garden. The deer, by the way, jumped the fence in October after I had pretty much harvested everything. That is when I found out a four-foot high fence isn't good enough. Anyway, as for the rabbit, I ran around the perimeter, which drove the rabbit nuts, to see where he would exit. He bounced off the fence a few times here and there and finally he got out through the gate. Needless to say, I will fix that gate today.

I also checked the forecast this week. Forecast lows for Sunday night are in the upper 30's. I may wait now until Monday or Tuesday to plant.

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It's not quite Googlezon, but it might be close; rumors flew yesterday that Microsoft might try to acquire Yahoo. Apparently, the talks died before they really began, luckily. I would really hate to have to stop using Alltheweb as my primary search engine or my Yahoo calendar. I think we will see some mega mergers in the coming years. Here are a few that I think could happen:

Google acquires Ebay

Wal-Mart acquires Amazon.com

Microsoft acquires Yahoo

Honda buys Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep

AT&T acquires Verizon or Verizon acquires AT&T

H-P acquires Gateway

Samsung acquires LG

Of these, I think the Google-Ebay move is more likely than it seems. Google easily has the power and means do something like auctions. Since Ebay is a monopoly, I wish someone with the power of Google would create some competition in that field. Perhaps they aren't because they see acquisition potential. Google rolls out a lot of stuff and I think it's only a fraction of what goes on there.

Walmazon - 'nuff said; sounds so natural.

Gateway is ripe for takeover. If it isn't H-P, it will be Dell or Sony.

I think Honda will try for Chrysler, if for nothing else, to acquire the Dodge truck line and Jeep SUV line. Toyota and Nissan already have popular truck lines and I don't really think Ford or GM are interested in Chrysler. Then again, maybe Daimler will break apart Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep and sell them individually so maybe Dodge will go to Honda and Jeep and Chrysler elsewhere.

Yahoo will be acquired and not by Google. That leaves only one other suitor.

As for the others, who knows what will happen; just some guesses on my part, that's all.

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Top Ten Movies 
Since it seems everyone likes lists, I decided to list my ten favorite movies. Granted, in the past ten years I have seen fewer than ten in a theater and probably rented fewer than ten in the past ten years as well. We bought a DVD player in December and up until a few days ago, had yet to rent, borrow, or buy a movie to play in it. We know it works because we have an "I Spy" DVD game that we have played in it a few times. Over the weekend, someone gave us our first DVD as a gift so know we own one DVD for our player.

Nonetheless, I do like some movies and my aversion is because most of what Hollywood puts out is junk and recycled junk at that so I have given up on going to the movies. I have seen two movies in the theater (both were at drive-ins, every time one closes, a bit of Americana is lost) since 2000. My list is a snapshot of how good movies used to be. Anyway, here are my top ten, in no particular order:

10. Patton - What's amazing about this movie is that is was released at the peak of the anti-war movement during Vietnam and yet it still won big at the Oscars.

9. Platoon - Oliver Stone's magnum opus

8. Saving Private Ryan - Forget Jaws, E.T., or Schindler's List, this is Spielberg's masterpiece

7. Stalag 17 - great to watch around Xmas as this takes place during Xmas, 1944; complete with some BBC "play by play" of the Battle of the Bulge.

6. Apocalypse Now - creepy, funny, and powerful, my favorite Coppola film. Normally I am not a big fan of Robert Duvall but he's fantastic in this one;
"Charlie don't surf!"

5. Blazing Saddles - Absolutely hilarious, some great one liners - "scuse me while I whip this out" "the sheriff is near..."; great stuff

4. Airplane! - way too many funny things to comment on but I can watch this, uncut, anytime

3. Dr. Strangelove or How I stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb - Stanley Kubrick's other great film, Peter Sellers at his finest showing why he was one of the premier actors of the 20th century

2. The Empire Strikes Back - the best of the five I have seen

1. 12 Angry Men (1957) - if I were to pick my favorite movie ever, this one might be it; so well done with superb acting, no special effects, no glitz, nothing, just a plain room with a few minutes from inside the men's room. The viewer is forced to follow the actors' words and actions and the movie delivers; a true masterpiece.

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Been Busy 
I've been fairly busy the past three or so weeks which comes as no surprise to those of you who know why and, thus, I've really only had time to scan the news of late. There have been some big stories, too, like what happened at Virginia Tech, Congress waving the white flag, and Toyota beating GM in sales for the quarter. I really only have time to make a quick comment on Congress.

It appears that the Commander-in-Chief will veto Congress' bill. Wasting taxpayer time and money on such an issue is malfeasance at its worst. Telling the world that we can't take pain and suffering is a mistake, too. I want our troops to come home as much as anybody but leaving now is a mistake. Maybe it was a mistake to invade Iraq but we need to fix it if we broke it. Let's suck it up and fix what we broke. Rhetoric and symbolic gestures fix nothing. What ever happened to "my country, right or wrong?" When we are wrong on something, it used to be improper to broadcast it to the world but that's not so anymore.

I don't want to get too political but abandoning something just because 1) we don't like it and 2) it's difficult is indicative of a society that doesn't want to deal with things that require work and patience. As a people, we are becoming lazy and impatient and that indolence is now beginning to creep into Congress.

I'll close with two links from some letters from a corporal in Iraq:

[Link 1]

[Link 2]

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Nothing to See Here, Move Along 
"A veteran California senator has resigned as chair of a powerful military construction committee after reports that for years she abused her position to award her husbandís companies billions of dollars in government contracts."

Since a prominent senator is involved in such flagrant ethics violations and obvious war profiteering, I wanted to see what the bastions of today's media outlets had to say on the matter. So I did some searching.

"feinstein military husband" on CNN's search yields seven results, none relevant. The same query on nytimes.com (searching the last year) yields 10, none relevant. If I change the search to "Dianne Feinstein military" I get 18 from the NYT and "Sorry, we are unable to perform your search because we are experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again later" on CNN.com; seriously, I did. So I tried CBSNews.com; "dianne feinstein military" yields nothing.

Well, I thought, maybe I am not using the correct terms. "feinstein committee" yields 22 results, none relevant, on the NYT, 10 on CBS, none relevant (but a few about Harriet Miers), and 174 on CNN. I narrowed the CNN search (it was working again) to "feinstein resigns committee" and got 24, none relevant.

Ok, so I just stuck to the basics. Just plain "Dianne Feinstein" into CBSNews yields 20, none relevant to the resignation and the same into CNN gives 351; by date, nothing through Feb. mentions the resignation. I typed "Dianne Feinstein" into the NYTimes search box and checked back 30 and 90 days. Surely, I would find something. I found nine results from the past 30 days and 28 from the past 90 and many of those 28 deal with the attorneys being fired so I know that the NYTimes is capable of covering current events; they just pick and chose which ones to cover.

Surely, her hometown newspaper is covering this story. A search on sfgate.com yields seven results from the past 30 days, nothing relevant.

Maybe the liberal bloggers who said we need ethical leadership in Congress are talking about it. "feinstein committee resigns" returns three non-relevant posts on Dailykos.com. At least Kos makes no bones about their agenda so I can't fault them.

As for the mainstream media, their duty is to inform. Liberal bias? Nah..., double standard? c'mon.... pushing an agenda? no way.... manufacturing Republican scandals with our track record of being balanced? nothing to see here, move along...

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"It's been so warm lately..."

Q: "So how warm has it been?"

A: "It's been so warm, that activists had to rename 'a national day of citizen action on global warming' to a 'climate change' rally." [Link]

It appears that they didn't have time to reprint the signs.

"Global warming rally cut short by cold weather"

That's a great headline; someone send it to Jay Leno. That belongs there with "Nothing destroyed in fire, but damage near $100,000" or "City increasing speed limit to slow down drivers" or "High crime areas said to be safer."

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The Most Powerful Man in America 
I am just as sick of hearing about Don Imus as anyone else but I can't help thinking about it. I think what concerns me the most is that Al Sharpton has become the most powerful man in America. If Al doesn't like what you say, then you are finished and the dinosaur media is more than willing to give him as much time as he wants with the bullhorn on a soapbox.

Like others, I am beginning to wonder who's next. Liberals who want Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and the ultimate prize - Rush Limbaugh - smell blood. Imus was none of those three, even if you disagree with them, Imus did not have the talent nor did he have the ratings of those three. It's possible CBS Radio and MSNBC were looking for reasons to can Imus and he gave them their reason but I doubt it. Al said "jump" and CBS Radio and MSNBC quickly responded with "how high?"

Still, I think this sets a dangerous precedent. Allowing a nobody to dictate policy is very dangerous.

I do wonder who's next. We can live without Imus. But will it stop there? I foresee a trickle down effect to the average blogger. Some bozos want bloggers to register as lobbyists so the intent is already there to monitor and restrict bloggers. Yes, we can do without Imus but we cannot do without the average person being able to post his beliefs without fear of being regulated, registered, or replaced.

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