Monday, November 29, 2010

You Know You're Aging When

Newspapers were the source of news

Berkeley was the greatest university in the world

Downtown was for working, shopping and movies

Auto Row was where you bought cars

He’s from the government and he’s here to help us

Alfred E. Newman was political protest

What me worry?

Playboy was illuminating

Doctors made house calls

California was the Golden State

Penicillin cured all VD’s

Advil doesn’t cure all pain

“Look, but don’t touch” became “Look, but can’t touch”

Polio was the dreaded disease

Boy Scouts were known for their Jamborees

Walter Cronkite was the news

Johnny Carson was the man

John Wayne was the man

Bob Hope was the man

Folk Music ruled

Actors could act and musicians sing

Kirk Douglas and Charlton Heston were the action heroes

Comedies were Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Ma and Pa Kettle, and Francis the Talking Mule

Cartoons were Road Runner, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Popeye the Sailor Man, Looney Toons, Merrie Melodies, and Mickey Mouse

What’s up Doc?

Theatres offered Saturday afternoon double bills

Family shows were Ozzie and Harriet and Leave it to Beaver,

Dragnet was the police show

Maverick and Ponderosa led the oaters

I Love Lucy, the Jackie Gleason Show, Groucho Marx, Red Skelton, and George Burns and Gracie Allen were the comedies

Dr. Kildaire and Marcus Welby, M.D. taught you medicine

Perry Mason was your law professor

Ted Mack Amateur Hour and the Ed Sullivan Show
Your favorite animals are Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Trigger, and Cheeta

The great coaches were Vince Lombardi, Red Auerbach, Abe Ruff, John Wooden, Knute Rockne, Bud Wilkinson, Ara Parseghian, John McKay, Bear Bryant, Darrell Royal, and Woody Hayes

The 4 major bowl games were the Rose, Orange, Sugar, and Cotton


USC-Notre Dame

USF was a basketball power

Toys were Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs, and A.C. Gilbert’s Erector Sets, chemistry sets, and American Flyer Trains

Polaroid and Xerox were the great inventions

Punch cards ran computers

The Graduate and plastics

Speedy Alka-Seltzer and Chiquita Banana

Burma Shave

Andy Granatelli and STP

Avis tried harder

Kodak was photography, Singer sewing machines, IBM computers, Kodak photography, Schwinn bicycles, and Hoover vacuum cleaners

Airlines marketed stewardesses a sex symbols

3 in 1 Oil was the magic oil

The Marlboro Man rose high

Cigarette smoking was cool

Flick my Bic

PE was K-12

The Big Three were Chevy, Ford, and Plymouth

Muscle cars were in

Daddy drove station wagons

Detroit was 2 million people

As General Motors goes, so goes the country

GM’s Motorama

Motherhood, apple pie, the American Flag, and Chevrolet

Plan B, and not Medicare B, was the B

The inside word was antidisestablishmentarianism

Your first gray hair emerges

You are learning new medical suffices:



You looked at the Comics and Sports Before the Obits

I can’t hear you.

Those were the days.

TSA Miscues

The TSA is once again receiving bad press. The TSA has an impossible task – to safeguard millions of passengers and tens of thousands of flights daily from terrorist attacks. Risk free is an impossible goal to achieve with airline safety and security short of grounding all planes.

The magnitude of operations precludes TSA from adopting El Al’s effective security. El Al emphasizes looking at the person. TSA’s focus is searching for objects.

I have experienced no problems with TSA security checks at airports. I have found the TSA agents to be professionals. I’ve surrendered toiletries on a few occasions, but that’s my fault. My only complaint is one time when TSA opened a checked-in bag, they couldn’t figure out to rezipper the twin zippers. Thus the bag came down the luggage carousal with the zippers open and the clothes falling out.

Having said that, mistakes will be made by any agency with that many employees who have to be trained on short notice, both in policy decisions and implementation.

Some of these mistakes are ludicrous. Others are stupid, some offensive to the very sense of human decency, and some may be criminal.

As with any war, the defense must play catchup with the offense. Thus every new threat encourages a greater defensive response by TSA. Banned are box cutters, scissors and knifes, nail cutters, and liquids, and now the new full body scans and enhanced pat downs.

Some of the recent TSA foibles center around the new enhanced pat down rules, which prove that the truth can be stranger than fiction.

Thomas Sawyer, a bladder cancer survivor, wears a urostomy bag, which collects his urine directly from an opening in his stomach. TSA officers ignored his warnings about the bag. He cautioned the officer doing a pat down that if he continued to slide his hands down Sawyer’s chest, the seal on the bag would burst. The officer ignored his admonitions, and the bag burst, covering Sawyer with urine. The officers then told Sawyer to go to his plane.

A U.S. Airways flight attendant, a breast cancer survivor, was ordered to remove her prosthesis during a pat down. This practice, as well as enhanced pat downs, are more common than we might imagine for travelers with prosthetics and body replacement parts which set off the machines.

John Pistole, TSA’s Administrator, claims the agency is responsive to the needs of the disabled.

The TSA changed its procedures to require pilots and flight attendants to go through the same security checks as passengers. The Agency was obviously concerned that pilots would smuggle box cutters or explosives onto a plane. Bureaucracies often lack common sense. If a pilot wishes to destroy a passenger plane, all the pilot has to do is fly it into the ground or the ocean, as may have happened with EgyptAir Flight 990 on October 31, 1999 off Nantucket.

TSA just rescinded the rule for pilots, and then followed up with waiving the rules for flight attendants.

We can watch the recent videos of the young boy and three year old girl receiving the enhanced pat down. You and I would be subject to arrest for child abuse if we engaged in such conduct.

Administrator Pistole testified to Congress on November 17 that children under 12 are exempted from pat downs. The enhanced pat down of the young boy occurred two days later on November 19.


Over the weekend President Obama tried to defend the indefensible.

This is the same TSA that last January in New Orleans confiscated a child’s Christmas present from his grandmother – Play Doo, which is not on a proscribed list. The screener must have thought a child’s Play Doo contained plastic explosives.

At the same time five bottles of honey in checked in luggage shut down Bakersfield Airport.

Back in 2002 a privately employed security guard at JFK Airport, following TSA rules, forced a mother to drink from her three bottles of expressed milk before being allowed to board the flight to Miami. TSA regulations at the time allowed inspectors to require passengers to dink from “suspicious” containers.

Sikhs remain both confused at dismayed at TSA policies applicable to them. TSA in October 2007 gives screeners the discretion to pat down headwear, such as the turbans Sikhs wear.

As a side note, members of Congress, Governors, and cabinet members are exempt from the airport screening requirements if they are accompanied by armed escorts.

These TSA misadventures raise an interesting question. The liberal advocates of privacy who harangued the Bush Administration and the Patriot Act with federal officials hunting down your library records are strangely silent when the liberal Obama Administration is patting down flyer’s genitals. By any reasonable view of privacy, the enhanced TSA pat downs are much greater invasions of personal privacy affecting millions of flyers than a search, with a warrant, of a few people’s library records.

Here’s the problem as airport check ins become increasingly more intrusive as the threats rise. The underwear and shoe bombers failed. A year ago an unsuccessful attempt by a suicide bomber was made on the Saudi Deputy Interior Minister. The explosives were concealed in the suicide bomber’s body cavity.

Let’s see what TSA’s response will be when one of those goes off.

Perhaps Pogo was right. We have met the enemy and he is us.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Teach Your children Well - About Patriotism, America, and the American Flag

Teach your children

Teach your children well.

Teach your children that we are either immigrants, or the sons and daughters of Immigrants, to America, but that we are all Americans.

Teach any children that we are not of one race, religion, or ethnicity, but are Americans.

Teach your children therefore that our flag is America’s unifying symbol.

Teach your children that our national anthem, the Star Spangled banner, celebrates our flag.

Teach your children that we may be African-Americans, Chinese Americans, German Americans, Greek Americans, Irish Americans, Italian Americans, Japanese Americas, Jewish Americans, Mexican Americans, Native Americans, Vietnamese Americans, but we are Americans first.

Teach your children that we may be Alaskans, Georgians, Hawaiians, Hoosiers, and New Yorkers, but we are first Americans.

Teach your children that we may live in Chinatown, Dutch Harbor, French Lick, Germantown, Holland, Japan Town, Little Ethiopia, Little Italy, Little Korea, Little Saigon, Little Tokyo, Moscow, Poletown, Spanish Harlem, and Thai Town, but that we are Americans.

Teach your children that the Marines raised the American Flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima.

Teach your children that the firefighters raised the American Flag at Ground Zero.

Teach your children not to wear an American Flag to Live Oak High School on Cinco De Mayo in Morgan Hill.

Teach your son not to celebrate America and display patriotism by attaching the American Flag to the back of his bicycle to Denair Middle School on Veteran’s Day.

Teach your children that some school administrators are supine and pusillanimous.

Teach your children that some administrators and teachers worship at the altar of political correctness.

But teach your children that the American people do not tolerate the trashing of the Flag.

Teach your children that when we stop being Americans, we stop being Americans and America.

Teach your children well.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's the Hispanic Vote, Estupido!

Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer won handily in California, Harry Reid won by a substantial margin in Nevada, and Michael Bennett and Patty Murray narrowly won. The underlying force in all these elections was the Hispanic vote.

Hispanics are a rapidly growing population in the United States, especially in the states of the Southwest.

Hispanics comprise 8% of the national voting block, but 22% in California.
Governor, and later President, George W. Bush, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and candidate Meg Whitman understood the need to assimilate Hispanics into the American Dream and not to discriminate against them.

Call it amnesty if you want, but assimilation is the goal.

Hispanics, like every other ethnic group in America, are not a monolithic voting bloc on most issues. We can distinguish Cubans, Puerto Ricans and Latin Americans from each other, but Jennifer Lopez, a Puerto Rican playing Selena, a Latina, expressed the commonality “We are all Latina under the skin.”

One can be anti-illegal immigrants without being racist against all Hispanics. A fine line separates the two. One can easily justify securing the borders, but a campaign against birth right citizenship sends a different message. Hispanics who have been here for generations, and those here as legal immigrants, often oppose amnesty for it hurts them as much as any American. However, when the rhetoric turns anti-Hispanic, that is, racist, Hispanics become united as one, against those spouting the racist language. That means they overwhelmingly vote Democratic, as do most economically disadvantaged immigrant groups.

Meg Whitman understood that capturing a large percent of the Hispanic vote we essential to her campaign, since winning a majority of the white vote will not, by itself, bring victory in California.

However, in the primary she campaigned as anti-immigrant when pushed by her primary opponent, Steve Poizner. As soon as her primary victory was secured, she ran ads in the Hispanic media touting her support for Hispanics. The image of speaking out of both sides of her mouth, or indecisiveness, quickly arose.

Her outreach to Hispanics fell apart when Gloria Allred held her press conference on September 29,alleging the candidate fired her nanny, Nicky Diaz Santillan, when she decided to run for governor. Whitman’s campaign collapsed as the tears rolled down Diaz’s face.

Jerry Brown carried the Hispanic vote by roughly a 2:1 advantage, and won by over 800,000 votes.

Senate candidate Carly Fiorina supported Arizona Senate Bill 1070, which is anathema to Hispanics. She polled worse among Hispanics than Meg Whitman, and fell short by almost 900,000 votes.

Former Congressman Tom Tancredo’s run for governor of Colorado as an independent, when the Republican candidate self-imploded after the primary, was doomed because of his anti-immigrant crusade. He lost by 14%.

Senator Michael Bennett won reelection by about 15,500 votes in Colorado.

Senator Reid assiduously courted the Hispanic vote, such as by scheduling a Senate vote on amnesty and the dream Act. He knew it would fail, but he showed the Hispanics that he was with them. So what if he was opposed to amnesty two decades ago. That was then; this is now.

Conversely, Sharron Angle in Arizona ran an anti-illegal immigrant ad and uttered offensive remarks about Hispanics. These actions helped bring out the vote for Senator Reid.

The casino moguls in Nevada supported the Senate Majority Leader. The SEIU, which represents a large percentage of casino workers, especially the African Americans and Hispanics, got the vote out for Senator Reid. Exit polls showed Hispanics constituted 1/6 of the vote in Nevada, and voted for the Senator by a 2-1 margin.
Angel may have thought she had a chance of winning, but she didn’t.

Politicians such as Angel, Fiorina, and Tancredo should learn lessons from Texas Republicans.

The conservative Texas Republicans have increased their political hold over the state even with an increasing Hispanic Party. They have done so by practicing the politics of inclusion rather than exclusion.

The political power in Los Angeles, and hence California, lies with the Hispanic/Labor coalition.

And yet, the Republicans can win with Hispanic candidates. Susana Martinez won the governorship in liberal New Mexico, while Brian Sandoval beat Senator Reid’s son by about 85,000 votes, twice the margin of the Senator’s victory, to win the governorship in Nevada. Marco Rubio won the Senate seat in Florida.

Think Texas. Inclusion, not insults!

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's Not Your Grandfather's Republican Party

Yes, we know the image of the GOP – a party of whites, with three population centers: 1) the South with the old segregationists who fled the Democratic Party after LBJ enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964; 2) farmers and rural, small town America, and 3) Orange County, California.

The Democrats are, of course, the party of Big Labor (public employee unions), minorities, immigrants, and the big cities.

The suburbs, originally a source of Republican power, have become swing districts.

If so, how do we explain that in last Tuesday’s election, the Republicans elected Nikki Haley, an Indian American as Governor of South Carolina, Susana Martinez, a Latina as Governor of New Mexico, Brian Sandoval, a Latino as Governor of Nevada, Marco Rubio, a Latino as a Senator from Florida, Allen West, an African American as a Congressman from Florida, and Tim Scott, an African American to Congress from South Carolina? Bobby Jindal, an Indian American, serves as the Republican Governor of Louisiana.

These election results send an incredible statement about America, the Deep South, and the Republican Party. Congressmen Scott and West are the first Republican Congressmen from the Deep South since Reconstruction. Congressman Scott’s district ironically contains Fort Sumter, where the Civil War began.

The Republican Party has never been a party of white supremacists. It was founded in 1854 by anti-slavery northerners. Abraham Lincoln was elected President six years later. His primary goal was to save the Union, but in the process he emancipated the slaves, backed by the Republican Congress.

FDR during the New Deal brought the blacks into his new Democratic coalition. Yet the Republicans continued to be open to civil rights. President Eisenhower sent in the 101st Airborne to enforce integration of Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957.

LBJ’s Civil Rights Acts were enacted over the opposition of the Southern Democrats by enlisting substantial support of the Republican members of Congress.

The first modern era African American Senator was Edward Brooke, a Republican from Massachusetts. He served in the Senate from 1966 to 1979, being defeated for reelection by Paul Tsongas because of scandals. Mel Martinez served as a Senator from Florida until he resigned last year.

Gary Franks, another Republican, served in Congress from Connecticut from 1991 to 1997, and J.C. watts represented Oklahoma in Congress from 1995-1003.

President Bush appointed Condoleezza Rice as his Secretary of State and Alberto Gonzalez as Attorney general.

No, this is a much different Republican Party than its reputation.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Quotes From the Midterm Elections

President Barack Obama:

“If Latinos sit out the election instead of saying, ‘We’re going to
punish our enemies and We’re going to reward our friends who stand with us
on issues that are important to us. '

"If they don’t see that kind of up-surge in voting in this election, then I
think it is going to be harder to pass immigration reform.”

“We don’t mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but
they gotta sit in the back.”

“If people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks
weren’t serious in the first Place.”

“We’re hard-wired not to always think clearly when we are scared.”

Vice President Biden “Stop whining.”

“The issues are too complicated for voters to understand.”

Senator John Kerry “We have an electorate that doesn’t always pay that much
attention to what’s going on so people are influenced by a
single slogan rather than the facts or
the truth or what’s happening.”

Congressman Charles Rangel “It’s a dumb question, and I’m not going to respond.”

Congressman Bobby Bright Speaker Nancy Pelosi “might get sick and die”
before I have to vote for the speaker again

Governor Jerry Brown’s associate “What about saying she’s a whore?”

Sarah Palin “You idiot reporter!”

Some in the Alaska media are “corrupt bastards.”

Carly Fiorina “God, What is that hair?”

Christine O’Donnell “I am not a witch.”

Sharron Angle “I don’t know that all of you are Latino. Some of you
look a little more Asian to me.”

Harry Reid “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage
could be a Republican.”

Alvin Greene “Another thing we could do for jobs is make toys
of me, especially for the holidays.”

Frank Caprio The President “can take his endorsement and
really shove it.”

Carl Paladino Kirstein Gillebrand is “Schumer’s Little Girl”

“I’ll take you out, buddy.”

South Carolina State Senator Jake Knotts “We’e already got a raghead in the
White House, we don’t need another
raghead in the governor’s mansion.”

Stephen Colbert He doesn’t “want a tomato picked by a Mexican, then
sliced by a Guatemalan, then served by a Venezuelan,
in a spa where a Chilean gives me a Brazilian.”

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Random Thoughts About Rich Rodriguez

Everyone loves a winner. Nobody loves a loser, except occasionally as per the Marvelous Marv Thornberry of the original New York Mets, who were expected to lose.

A new coach, who takes over a winning program, and runs it into the ground is loved by no one.

That’s the position Rich Rodriguez of Michigan is in.

How the mighty have fallen – Colorado, Michigan, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Texas, UCLA, Washington, and to a lesser extent USC, Miami, and Florida State,

Comebacks from the abyss are possible, as with Alabama, LSU, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

The usurpers have names like Boise State, Oregon, Stanford, TCU, and Utah.

Three Big Ten coaches were on the hot seat at the beginning of the season, Tim Brewster at Minnesota, Ron Zook at Illinois, and Rich Rodriguez at Michigan. Brewster was fired a few weeks ago. Illinois is showing signs of improvement, and could well beat Michigan in Ann Arbor next Saturday. Their quarterbacks have looked great against Michigan the past two years.

That leaves Rodriguez.

Rich Rodriguez has shown with the right players the spread offense can rack up points, even in The Big Ten.

But Denard Robinson and the Michigan offense cannot outscore the Michigan defense, the porous Michigan defense

Michigan’s defense has for the past 32 games made every opposing quarterback look like an All-American, the most recent being a third-string, walk on at Penn State last Saturday night.

The defense has progressively deteriorated in each of Rodriguez’s three years.
He made it clear a few weeks ago that he coaches the offense and special teams, and spends little time with the defense. That is going to cost him his job. Rodriguez can recruit, but much of his recruiting has been with offensive players. Defense wins in The Big Ten.

The defense has talent, not s much as in the past, but it has talent. Their basic defensive scheme, the 3-4, or 3-3-5, doesn’t work. The theory is that the 3-3-5 allows the linebackers to provide support for the secondary. The reality is that with little pressure on the quarterback, he can stand back in the pocket 5-6 seconds and pick out an open receiver. The 3-4 was Rodriguez’s idea. Greg Robinson, the defensive coordinator, never coached a 3-4 before.

Coach Rodriguez is a good coach, but it’s increasingly clear that he is the wrong coach at the wrong time at the wrong school, Michigan. He can wear the Maize and Blue colors, but they don’t fit.

Coach Rodriguez is a good coach, but not a great coach. Great coaches, such as John Wooden or Bear Bryant, shape their team around the skills of the players. Good coaches fit their players into a fixed system. Rodriguez’s motto os it’s his way or the highway. I-95 to I-70 is the road back to West Virginia.

Scott Schaefer was Rich Rod’s first defensive coordinator at Michigan. He was fired after the first year. Ironically, he is doing a fine job as defensive coordinator at Syracuse, which fired Greg Robinson two years ago. Syracuse has shown marked signs of improvement, especially on defense since then.

If Michigan could not beat Penn State, Michigan State, or Iowa, no reason exists to think believe will defeat either Wisconsin or Ohio State.

Bill Martin, the AD who hired Rodriguez, was hired to turn around the finances of the Athletic Department. He turned a loss into a profit, expanded the football stadium, and built new facilities for the baseball and softball teams. But he botched the hiring of the replacement for Lloyd Carr, and threw out 40 years of Bo’s success.

The new AD, David Brandon Brandon, one of Bo’s boys, will do what has to be done at the end of the season. He must fill the Big House next season.

Random Thoughts on Tuesday's elections

If it’s close in Nevada, Washington or Minnesota, the Democrat will win. Washington proved that with Christine Gregoire winning in Washington for Governor after two hand recounts while the election day vote count showed a 261 vote victory for Dino Rossi, and in Minnesota when Senator Norm Coleman was ahead by 215 votes on election day , but then lost to comedian Al Franken by 312 votes on a recount. In both cases mysterious votes showed up in the recount for the Democrats. A similar result can be predicted in Chicago, based on precedence going back to JFK’s victory in 1960.
Nevada has already shown this year in Boulder City that votes for Angle show up for Reid. Walking around money still walks in Philly and may win it for Joe Sestak.

Hugh Hewitt is right. If the victory is large enough, they can’t steal the election.

And the Democrats claim that Bush stole the election in 2000!

The Democrats, being the party of trial lawyers, have lined up 10,000 lawyers to review the election results.

The Democrats had nothing to offer the voters in 2010, except fear.

The Republicans offered hope and change. That they will deliver, if only by stopping Obama for two years.

The voters voted for Democrats in 2006 and 2008 because they were rejecting the Republicans; they were not embracing the Democrats.

The voters are not embracing the Republicans in 2010; they are simply rejecting the Democrats.

Bill Clinton was right: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

President Obama had nothing to offer the voters, but himself. His appearances were to relatively small audiences, instead of the once large campaign rallies.

Nancy Pelosi will not be Speaker of the House in the next Congress – that’s an easy prediction, but she may not even be the Minority Leader. The surviving House Democrats, no matter how liberal, do not appreciate leaders who lead them to defeat.

The only way anything will get done in the next Congress is if President Obama compromises, and that’s not likely. If he doesn’t compromise, he will be the lamest of lame ducks for two years.

Either Hillary or another Democrat will run against President Obama in 2012.

The fight between Senator Richard Durban and Senator Charles Schumer to succeed Senator Harry Reid will be great spectator sport.

Negative ads, when done right, succeed even though voters say they don’t like them. Senator Barbara Boxer always wins on negative ads because she cannot run on her record.

Dirty tricks can also work.

Gloria Allred’s press conference with Nicky Diaz Santillan, claiming she was wrongly fired by Meg Whitman, turned the election around. Diaz was an illegal immigrant who used forged documents, including a drivers license, social security card, immigration papers and W-4’s, to secure a job.

Nicky Diaz was earning $23/hour.

FoxNews and talk radio have tremendous influence, but the mainstream media still has a broader reach with the public.

The media’s double standard between liberal women candidates and conservative women is even more pronounced this year.

President Obama is not campaigning for individual Democrats, or even his program, but for 2012.

The Republicans, even if they take both the House and Senate, will not be able to reverse his health care disaster, and the EPA can promulgate cap and trade, or some other carbon control, on its own. The NLRB can adopt card check on its own, and his Administration is toying with the idea of effectively granting amnesty to the illegals in America now.

The lame duck session will get little done. If nothing else, the Republicans in the Senate will block actions even if the shell shocked Democrats wish to pursue substantive initiatives, such as amnesty.

The Democrats and elites hysterically denigrate the tea Party not only because the Tea Party may win, but more significantly because the Tea party actually represents the people, which the Democrats profess to do every two years. The Tea Party is a manifestation of the people up rather than the Democratic Party down.

Regardless of who wins in California on Tuesday, California is headed for fiscal Armageddon. New York is headed the same direction unless the Republicans regain control of the state senate.

The most deserving loser will be Representative Al Grayson of Florida