Friday, May 11, 2007

A POTATO BY ANY OTHER NAME IS...MOM?

For most of my life I have had a secret little affair with a certain aromatic effervescence. I can’t help it. Some people feel a rush when they walk in the rain, or take a shower or kneel in a garden. Some on a playing field, in the wilderness or on the water. Others bury their faces in sweet, fresh blooms or live for the aroma of chocolate or vanilla. Yet, more people feel a weakness for a puppy’s soft coat or a baby’s sweet breath. For me, many things make my knees buckle; the sound of children at play, watching doting fathers and military funerals. But my most guarded felicity? The fragrance of raw potatoes.

That’s right, potatoes. I have found myself feeling secure and loved while peeling potatoes. When potatoes are boiling, the steam clears my senses and washes me in peaceful resignation. When I was younger, though not much younger, I enjoyed eating raw potatoes, peeled and cut up into wedges just like an apple. I couldn’t eat a lot of the crunchy root, but it would make a reasonable snack.

So what on earth could endear a guy to the pungent, lingering smell of a raw potato?

I remember when I was a kid, curling up on my Mother’s lap while she sat in a rocking chair in our home in Lansing, MI. I had been in some trouble, maybe at school, maybe at the park, but I had clearly been in some trouble. Unlike sometimes when I had done something I would later regret, I was not in fear and I was not being punished. Instead, my Mom was gently asking me why I would do what it was that I did. I remember a certain softness, a gentle shushing, a warm, soft embrace. I remember being wrapped in a safe warmth. I remember a calm…so profound that it has lingered in my memory almost uninterrupted for all these years. It’s incredible how some memories are stamped into your conscious and subconscious at the same time. I think we’ve all had those moments in time, throughout our lives, which may or may not have been life altering events when they occurred. Some happenings are obviously indelible; the loss of someone we love, a traumatic event…All physically or mentally sufficiently painful as to ingrain itself into our psyche. Happiness also: A monumentally joyous event such as the arrival of a child. And these moments remain. We live and relive the experience, and welcome the memories…good or bad. Well, this was one of those moments in time that I would never forget.

I’ve always felt a deep attachment to my Mother, as probably most of us have. There isn’t a day in my life that she doesn’t bring a smile to my face. Although miles away and days apart, always a presence within reach. I thank God every day for her. I picture her smile, her melancholy, her sadness, her happiness every night before sleep, as I recite my prayers. As I fall asleep tonight, I’ll be rocking in my Mother’s arms. When I slip away into my final nap, she’ll be comforting me with her peacefulness until I’ve surrendered all, and then some.

Mothers Day is not a day I lay aside in my mind to personally reminisce about her. I have that every day. It is, however, just as good excuse as any to make it a point to visit with her, along with any of her other children who may be fortunate enough to participate in the day at such a personal level. She doesn’t know it, but she supplies the air I breathe every day. I wish I knew how to be as poetic when we’re discussing the remnants of the day or just delighting about the sunshine.

To stray a bit, my children are most fortunate to have the Mother they have. She is the closest thing I know of to her children, as mine was to me. My children have been blessed indeed. My daughter is a very special and wonderful Mother. My sisters are extremely good Mothers. My nieces are also wonderful Mothers. Proof, I guess, that not only genetics, but good, loving nurturing and exposure is contagious.

Oh, I almost forgot! What is it about potatoes? I come from a family of two wonderful parents. Yes my Dad is another story of another legend, and they brought seven children into the world. The Lord blessed us kids with love for each other and my parents nurtured that. While growing up, whenever I was physically very close to my Mom, I smelled potatoes. She was a Mom who cooked dinner every night for all nine of us and you see, potatoes were paramount to making a meal hardy, filling and healthy. Seemed like she was forever peeling potatoes and her hands were permeated with the sweetness of them.

On that note, I wish to all who read this, a
VERRY HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

JD.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

SAY NO MOORE

The pretend Blue Collar hypocrite from Davison, MI (not Flint as he tells everyone), Michael Moore seems to be in a bit of trouble with the Feds, OFAC specifically, for taking people to Cuba for medical treatment. This would be part of his dog and pony show to promote his film, “Sicko.” Who cares?!

But you may wonder why I would call our loveable, disheveled, baseball cap wearing, common man, Mike, a hypocrite. Let’s walk through some of his bull together, shall we?

This guy lives on 281 feet of prime waterfront on Torch Lake in Michigan (again, not Flint), a lake National Geographic calls one of the three most beautiful lakes in the world. That’s right, the world. He lives in a multimillion dollar mansion. Here he was cited by authorities for despoiling a wetland while trying to expand his private beach. In addition, our humble documentary filmmaker owns a penthouse in New York City. He lived there for ten years except when he was to reap millions for “Bowling for Columbine” in 2003 when he switched his address to Michigan again to avoid New York’s 7.7 percent tax, as apposed to Michigan’s 3.9 percent tax. The community he likes to call home in Michigan is 97.5 percent white and not a single African-American lives in their town.

According to an article published by the British Film Institute, when Moore flew to London to promote a film or visit folks at the BBC, he flew in a Concorde and stayed at the Ritz. But, here’s the really tricky stuff…He also booked a room at a cheap hotel down the street where he could meet with journalists and pose as the humble man he likes you and me to believe he is.

Despite his upcoming movie “Sicko,” where he lambasts the U.S. health care industry (you know, the one that world leaders show up to participate in when they’re sick), he owns stock in Pfizer, Merck, Genzyme, Elan PLC, Eli Lilly and Boston Scientific, according to the IRS… All of them healthcare and pharmaceutical companies. Although he savages HMOs in his film, he owns shares of Pharmacia Corporation and Tenet Healthcare…you guessed it, both HMOs. You see, he deposits the stock into his ‘foundation,’ registered in Michigan and run entirely by him and his wife, to give to any cause they see fit. There is no outside manager or trustee. But wait, didn’t he tell the online magazine “Salon” that he didn’t own any stock? I think he said “I don’t own any stock.”

On big oil? He says for every soldier killed in Iraq, Halliburton should execute a mid-level executive. Nice! Yet he owns shares of Sunoco, Noble Energy, Schlumberger, Williams Companies, Transocean Sedco Forex (world’s largest offshore drilling company) and Anadarko. He also, according to IRS filings, owned shares in Halliburton and sold them at a 15 percent profit. He also bought shares of Noble, Ford, General Electric (defense contractor) and McDonald’s. Oh, I almost didn’t mention a couple other defense contractors: Honeywell, Boeing and Loral.

Oh, and by the way, he doesn’t fly commercial. To promote “Bowling for Columbine,” he insisted on flying in a private jet, accompanied by a fleet of private SUVs and bodyguards. ARMED body guards (anyone see irony here?)! One of his bodyguards was recently arrested in New York City for carrying an unlicensed weapon. Hmmm.

In the Middle East, the terrorist group Hezbollah even worked with Front Row Entertainment of the United Arab Emirates to promote his film “Fahrenheit 911!” But he’s such a patriot!

We could go on and on…For example, about his hypocritical stance on unions. But maybe another day.

On another note:
Mike Wallace asked Mitt and Ann Romney (for an upcoming 60 Minutes episode) whether they engaged in premarital sex. Now there’s an important question…I’ll be on the edge of my bored seat! And thanks for the visual, Mike! I may be mistaken here, but I don’t specifically recall anyone at 60 Minutes asking Bill Clinton whether he ever raped anyone or sexually harassed anyone or if he asked for sex while interviewing a job candidate. Yet the women allegedly offended certainly said it happened. I guess that stuff just isn’t important if the interviewee is a Democrat! But there I go again…I’ll get to the GOP…soon.

JD.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

WAITING TO EXHALE

Author Mark Ellingham, according to The Observer, tells us that travelling is so environmentally destructive that there is no such thing as a genuinely ethical vacation. This is bad news for the global warming sympathizers I know who list among their hobbies, travel. “Climate change is an issue that dwarfs all others and the impact of flying is key to this”, said Ellingham. “All of us involved have a responsibility to inform travelers as clearly and honestly as possible about the environmental cost of their journeys.”

Ellingham authored “Rough Guide to Climate Change” which is nominated for the Royal Society Prize for Science Books award, to be announced next week. Okay, you’re dying to know which book launched his career way back in 1981? Why, it was “Rough Guides,” which revolutionized the travel industry, particularly by encouraging young people to explore the world! It sure isn’t hard to find contradictions in this debate, is it?

Please look at two new takes on what has to be tackled to get a grip on this environmental problem we call ‘global warming.’ The think tank Optimum Population Trust has declared that children…yes children, are bad for the planet. John Guillebaud, co-chairman of OPT and emeritus professor of family planning at University College London, said: “The effect on the planet of having one child less is an order of magnitude greater than all these other things we might do, such as switching off lights. “The greatest thing anyone in Britain could do to help the future of the planet would be to have one less child.”

Seems those nasty child-creatures produce a greenhouse gas. They exhale carbon dioxide. That which we exhale and which feeds the plant life on earth, CO2, is a pollutant. Apparently, even at the level at which a child exhales!

To take it several billion steps further, Paul Watson, founder and president of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, warns that mankind is “acting like a virus” and is harming Mother Earth. By the way, Mr. Watson is also famous for militant intervention to stop whalers. (Save the Whales, Kill the Children!) “I once was severely criticized for describing human beings as being the ‘AIDS of the Earth.’ I make no apologies for that statement.”

The kind environmentalist, Mr. Watson, wants the world population to drop below 1 billion. That means that over 5 billion of us have to …how do you say…leave the planet! Watson essentially called for humans to return to primitive lifestyles. (More primitive than the Middle East?) “We need to stop flying, stop driving cars, and jetting around on marine recreational vehicles. The Mennonites survive without cars and so can the rest of us.” I wonder how many of my self proclaimed ‘environmentalist’ friends will entertain the prospect of taking measures like those? Actually, he calls for much of what Robert Malthus, an English political economist, called for a little while back…IN THE 1700s! None of this is new!

So no babies and five out of six of us have to go!

John Edwards said Tuesday that he worked for a hedge fund between campaigns to learn about, ready for this? Poverty! Of course he had to come up with something like that when asked about it because, well, a focus of his second White House bid is eradicating poverty. So I guess one of the better ways to accomplish this is to work for a hedge fund that traditionally caters to the rich. This guy is a slimy, snake-in-the-grass trial attorney - See my blog of April 26, “And the Loser is…,” for more about Edwards.

QUIT EXHALING – YOU’RE CREATING CARBON DYOXIDE!!!

JD.

SOMETIMES APATHY IS GOOD

According to a Rasmussen poll, 35 percent of American Democrat voters believe President Bush knew about the 911 attacks in advance and stood by as over 3,000 people were murdered. Worse, 22 percent of voters overall believe the same. What absolute lunacy!!! Not a shred of evidence even if it wouldn’t fail every test and measure of common sense. If there were, the leftstream media would be all over it. I rest my case about saying the American electorate is an ignorant, easily herded, pathetically uneducated and uninformed mass of humanity that has only itself to fault! I thank God that most of them remain apathetic. We don’t need any more people with that caliber of sensibility polluting our voting polls. If any of you disagree with me on that, please write, attach your real name, and I will post your comments, unedited (unless they’re filled with useless profanity) prominently on this page. I find it hard to believe that arguing against my assertion won’t be so transparent that it will help to complete my argument. You know, instead of spending blood, money and time on fighting terrorists, maybe we should spend it on education. Someone has to introduce curricula founded on the principal that the likes of Rosie, Sheryl and Bill Maher aren’t educators. In fact, they are extremely and dangerously unaware of anything beyond their limited surroundings. They are the indoctrinated reaching out to the gullible. And the gullible, being unable to self-educate for some reason, are poisoning our culture by sponging anti-pabulum simply through exposure of cavernous brain tissue. I’m sure there will be more on that later…

I can’t believe this took so long, I’ve waited for days. Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) of Kansas blamed President Bush for the mess in Greensburg, saying they’re slow cleaning up the aftermath of the tornado because of a lack of heavy equipment. The shortage, according to the Governor, exists because we’ve shipped most of our equipment to Iraq. Apparently, Ms. Sebelius hadn’t checked on the Kansas National Guard before opining her partisan mouth…seems over 88 percent of the Kansas Guard is home in Kansas. At least 95 percent of the town lost, and she has to be political…pitiful!

Today, Barak Obama said in Detroit that it’s YOUR responsibility to see to it that Detroit automakers build fuel efficient cars. It’s also YOUR responsibility to buy and drive one. He also wants the federal government (that’s you and me, folks) to pony up and pay for UAW members’ health care. So go see your broker, buy a few shares of GM and Ford, and get those things taken care of. It’s just that easy. And don’t forget that part about bucking up for the UAW’s medical bills. What a peach!

By the way, he arrived here in a private jet…all by himself. No irony in that!

JD.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

UNINSPIRED

Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I have turned my nose up to every presidential candidate so far and have not pledged my life, allegiance and first born male child to B. Hussein Obama. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel I must be missing something, something that must be breathtakingly obvious in…the man, the myth.

Here is a guy who is basically an empty slate. Does anyone know what he’s done or what he stands for? I know he had a known mobster help him obtain his house, and an adjacent piece of property, for a pretty good price. But on the world stage, what has he done? I know he served a stint in the Illinois Legislature, but looking at his record, I see nothing spectacular, or even mildly interesting, leaving out the stuff that I would disagree with him on from a philosophical standpoint. Yet prospective voters are kneeling to kiss his ring in droves. They know nothing about him, except that the press treats him like a literal reincarnation of John F. Kennedy without the historical lack of relevance.

Now as a U.S. Senator, he says the war was a ploy to distract voters from domestic issues impacting minorities. Also, to “distract us from the a rise in the uninsured, a rise in the poverty state, a drop in the medium income, to distract us from corporate scandals and a stock market that has just gone through the worst month since the Great Depression. That’s what I’m opposed to.” Apparently he sees a different ticker tape than the rest of us who understand the stock market. But for real!...We invaded Iraq to divert attention from all that? We went to WAR for that? Does that sound dangerously na├»ve to anyone but me? On the other hand, I do recall one certain President who bombed a baby aspirin factory on the very same day he and his mistress were to have a meeting with the legal system…

Yet in his own book “The Audacity of Hope” he says he believed that Saddam had chemical and biological weapons, coveted nuclear arms, scoffed at UN resolutions and butchered his own people. Again, I’m so confused!!!

Could the appeal be due to his humble roots and personal story of struggle and pain? Let’s review:

- Born to a well-off middle class white woman and a Harvard PH.D. father.
- Attended private school his entire life.
- Admitted to Columbia University.
- Admitted to Harvard Law School.
- President of the Harvard Law Review.
- Oh, this must be the one - Children in private school, according to the Boston Globe, sometimes made fun of his unusual name.

INSPIRING! Yet the CNN.com poll question on a recent Saturday was “Does Barack Obama’s life story inspire you?”

In a recent speech, – actually, all his speeches are recent considering he was just invented – he asked Christians, Jews and Muslims to convene on Capitol Hill and give an “injection of morality” by opposing a repeal of the estate tax. A repeal of the estate tax? WWJP, what would Jesus pay?

Speaking of CNN, I just watched an interview on 60 Minutes with Lou Dobbs. He doesn’t seem to come across as a real bright guy, does he? When asked by Lesley Stahl why he doesn’t like President Bush, Lou stated the following; “Whether it’s outsourcing, the war in Iraq, just disregard for our middle class?” (I end that with a question mark because he ends his statements with an upward inflection, indicating uncertainty and insecurity, like so many white, straight liberal men…Lou is what’s becoming known as a SNAG, an acronym for Sensitive New-Age Geek!) This guy has his own show?! I’ve learned not to expect much from dopes like this, but “Outsourcing?” “Disregard for the middle class?” Clueless! Head-in-the-sand clueless. If you’re reading this and I have to explain the role of outsourcing in a market economy, let me know. If you forgot, or don’t know, that your taxes were lowered by the Bush tax cuts, let me know that too and we’ll have a review.

Let's end with the real important stuff:
When asked for her reaction to her recent sentencing, an obviously distraught Paris Hilton responded that she was treated unfairly and then….well, she said she was going shopping. Again, I don’t make this stuff up!

JD.

CONGRATULATIONS, RONNIE!

The Republican presidential candidates’ debate on MSNBC Thursday was a - how do you say - Yawner! By tuning in I suppose I increased viewership of that pathetic network by a good 20 to 25 percent. I mean, well, C’mon…MSNBC's rival, Fox News, had considerably more viewers during their coverage of the debate than MSNBC had for the actual event!

We got to see ten - count ‘em - 10 candidates crowded onto one stage, not counting the three who still may enter, Fred Thompson, Newt Gingrich and Chuck Hagel. And who moderated this dog and pony show? Democratic operative-turned-“journalist,” Chris Matthews and Democratic pundit and hatemonger, Keith Olbermann. On April 25, Keith Olbermann compared Rudy Giuliani with Osama bin Laden for speaking with “the same nonchalance of the Madman” to argue Republicans would keep America safer from Terrorists. Then a few days later, this guy moderated a debate that Mayor Giuliani participated in! And the Democrats won’t debate on the Fox Network? This is the usual, but sadly accepted, double standard we’ve seen for….ever?

And these moderators asked some lame, I mean l-a-m-e questions. To wit:

Stupid questions – “What don’t you like about America?” “What does the government do well?” “Do you believe in evolution?” “What is the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite Muslim?” (I SHIITE YOU NOT!). “Do you trust the mainstream media?” “Do your personal religious beliefs influence your foreign policy?” “What is your most significant weakness?” To Sen. Brownback, “Do you find any faults In Mayor Giuliani?” “In light of the scandals plaguing the current administration and its allies involving corruption and cronyism, which mistakes have you learned not to repeat?” (Huh? This wouldn’t be commentary, would it?) “Will you work to protect women’s rights?” “Seriously, would it be good for America to have bill Clinton back in the white house?” “How will you be different from President W?” “How many have been killed or injured in Iraq?” To Rudy Giuliani, “Bradley Winter of New York would like to know if there's anything you learned, or regret, during your time as Mayor in your dealings with the African-American community.” (Again, HUH???) To Mike Huckabee, “Thousands of reputable scientists have concluded, with almost certainty, that human activity is responsible for the warming of the Earth. Do you believe global warming exists?” (Case closed, I guess!?...What happened to the thousands who disagreed?) Later, to Tom Tancredo, “Will you work to protect women's rights, as in fair wages and reproductive choice?” (Duuhh)

WHAT THE @$#*& ?!?!?

And the clear winner? Ronald Wilson Reagan! President Reagan was invoked 19 times by this crew during the debate. The only thing this gang accomplished was to not break President Reagan’s eleventh commandment, “Do No Harm to Fellow Republicans.”

One last note: Kathy Hilton (Paris’s mom), after her daughter’s sentencing, called the LA District Attorney “pathetic.” I really don’t make this stuff up!

JD.