Friday, March 21, 2008


Don't put all of your eggs in one basket
Walk softly and carry a big carrot
Everyone needs a friend who is all ears
There's no such thing as too much candy
All work and no play can make you a basket case
A cute little tail attracts a lot of attention
Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day
Some body parts should be floppy
Keep your paws off other people's jellybeans
Good things come in small sugarcoated packages
The grass is always greener in someone else's basket
An Easter bonnet can tame even the wildest hare
To show your true colors you have to come out of your shell
The best things in life are still sweet and gooey.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Race and Politics
By Thomas Sowell
March 18, 2008
There is something both poignant and galling about the candidacy of Barack Obama.

Any American, regardless of party or race, has to find it heartening that the country has reached the point where a black candidate for President of the United States sweeps so many primaries in states where the overwhelming majority of the population is white.

We have all seen the crowds enthralled by Barack Obama's rhetoric and theatrical style.

Many of his supporters put their money where their mouths were, so that this recently arrived Senator received more millions of dollars in donations than candidates who have been far more visible on the national stage for far more years.

That's the good news. The bad news is that Barack Obama has been leading as much of a double life as Eliot Spitzer.

While talking about bringing us together and deploring "divisive" actions, Senator Obama has for 20 years been a member of a church whose minister, Jeremiah Wright, has said that "God Bless America" should be replaced by "God damn America" -- among many other wild and even obscene denunciations of American society, including blanket racist attacks on whites.

Nor was this an isolated example. Fox News Channel has played tapes of various sermons of Jeremiah Wright, and says that it has tapes with hours of more of the same.

Wright's actions matched his words. He went with Louis Farrakhan to Libya and Farrakhan received an award from his church.

Sean Hannity began reporting on Jeremiah Wright back in April of 2007. But the mainstream media saw no evil, heard no evil and spoke no evil.

Now that the facts have come out in a number of places, and can no longer be suppressed, many in the media are trying to spin these facts out of existence.

Spin number one is that Jeremiah Wright's words were "taken out of context." Like most people who use this escape hatch, those who say this do not explain what the words mean when taken in context.

In just what context does "God damn America" mean something different?

Spin number two is that Barack Obama says he didn't hear the particular things that Jeremiah Wright said that are now causing so much comment.

It wasn't just an isolated remark. Nor were the enthusiastic responses of the churchgoers something which suggests that this anti-American attitude was news to them or something that they didn't agree with.

If Barack Obama was not in church that particular day, he belonged to that church for 20 years. He made a donation of more than $20,000 to that church.

In all that time, he never had a clue as to what kind of man Jeremiah Wright was? Give me a break!

You can't be with someone for 20 years, call him your mentor, and not know about his racist and anti-American views.

Neither Barack Obama nor his media spinmeisters can put this story behind him with some facile election year rhetoric. If Senator Obama wants to run with the rabbits and hunt with the hounds, then at least let the rabbits and the hounds know that.

The fact that Obama talks differently than Jeremiah Wright does not mean that his track record is different. Barack Obama's voting record in the Senate is perfectly consistent with the far left ideology and the grievance culture, just as his wife's statement that she was never proud of her country before is consistent with that ideology.

Senator Barack Obama's political success thus far has been a blow for equality. But equality has its down side.

Equality means that a black demagogue who has been exposed as a phony deserves exactly the same treatment as a white demagogue who has been exposed as a phony.

We don't need a President of the United States who got to the White House by talking one way, voting a very different way in the Senate, and who for 20 years followed a man whose words and deeds contradict Obama's carefully crafted election year image.


Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His Web site is



Note -- The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of GOPUSA.
Mark Steyn: Obama's pastor disaster
Syndicated columnist

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright thinks that, given their treatment by white America, black Americans have no reason to sing "God Bless America." "The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America," he told his congregation. "God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human."

I'm not a believer in guilt by association, or the campaign vaudeville of rival politicians insisting this or that candidate dissociate himself from remarks by some fellow he had a 30-second grip'n'greet with a decade ago. But Jeremiah Wright is not exactly peripheral to Barack Obama's life. He married the Obamas and baptized their children. Those of us who made the mistake of buying the senator's latest book, "The Audacity Of Hope," and assumed the title was an ingeniously parodic distillation of the great sonorous banality of an entire genre of blandly uplifting political writing discovered circa page 127 that in fact the phrase comes from one of the Rev. Wright's sermons. Jeremiah Wright has been Barack Obama's pastor for 20 years – in other words, pretty much the senator's entire adult life. Did Obama consider "God Damn America" as a title for his book but it didn't focus-group so well?

Ah, well, no, the senator told ABC News. The Rev. Wright is like "an old uncle who says things I don't always agree with." So did he agree with goofy old Uncle Jeremiah on Sept. 16, 2001? That Sunday morning, Uncle told his congregation that the United States brought the death and destruction of 9/11 on itself. "We nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye," said the Rev. Wright. "We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards."

Is that one of those "things I don't always agree with"? Well, Sen. Obama isn't saying, responding merely that he wasn't in church that morning. OK, fair enough, but what would he have done had he happened to have shown up on Sept. 16? Cried "Shame on you!" and stormed out? Or, if that's a little dramatic, whispered to Michelle that he didn't want their daughters hearing this kind of drivel while rescue workers were still sifting through the rubble and risen from his pew in a dignified manner and led his family to the exit? Or would he have just sat there with an inscrutable look on his face as those around him nodded?

All Sen. Obama will say is that "I don't think my church is actually particularly controversial." And in that he may be correct. There are many preachers who would be happy to tell their congregations "God damn America." But Barack Obama is not supposed to be the candidate of the America-damners: He's not the Rev. Al Sharpton or the Rev. Jesse Jackson or the rest of the racial grievance-mongers. Obama is meant to be the man who transcends the divisions of race, the candidate who doesn't damn America but "heals" it – if you believe, as many Democrats do, that America needs healing.

Yet since his early twenties he's sat week after week, listening to the ravings of just another cookie-cutter race-huckster.

What is Barack Obama for? It's not his "policies," such as they are. Rather, Sen. Obama embodies an idea: He's a symbol of redemption and renewal, and a lot of other airy-fairy abstractions that don't boil down to much except making upscale white liberals feel good about themselves and get even more of a frisson out of white liberal guilt than they usually do. I assume that's what Geraldine Ferraro was getting at when she said Obama wouldn't be where he was today (i.e., leading the race for the Democratic nomination) if he was white. For her infelicity, the first woman on a presidential ticket got bounced from the Clinton campaign and denounced by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann for her "insidious racism" indistinguishable from "the vocabulary of David Duke."

Oh, for cryin' out loud. Enjoyable as it is to watch previously expert tossers of identity-politics hand grenades blow their own fingers off, if Geraldine Ferraro's an "insidious racist", who isn't?

The song the Rev. Wright won't sing is by Irving Berlin, a contemporary of Cole Porter, Ira Gershwin and Lorenz Hart, all the sophisticated rhymesters. But only Berlin could have written without embarrassment "God Bless America." He said it directly, unaffectedly, unashamedly – in seven words:

"God Bless America

Land that I love."

Berlin was a Jew, and he suffered slights: He grew up in the poverty of New York's Lower East Side. When he made his name and fortune, his marriage to a Park Avenue heiress resulted in her expulsion from the Social Register. In the Thirties, her sister moved in with a Nazi diplomat and proudly flaunted her diamond swastika to Irving. But Berlin spent his infancy in Temun, Siberia (until the Cossacks rode in and razed his village), and he understood the great gift he'd been given:

"God Bless America

Land that I love."

The Rev. Wright can't say those words. His shtick is:

"God damn America

Land that I loathe."

I understand the Ellis Island experience of Russian Jews was denied to blacks. But not to Obama. His experience surely isn't so different to Berlin's – except that Barack got to go to Harvard. Obama's father was a Kenyan, he spent his childhood in Indonesia, and he ought to thank his lucky stars that he's running for office in Washington rather than Nairobi or Jakarta.

Instead, his whiny wife, Michelle, says that her husband's election as president would be the first reason to have "pride" in America, and complains that this country is "downright mean" and that she's having difficulty finding money for their daughters' piano lessons and summer camp. Between them, Mr. and Mrs. Obama earn $480,000 a year (not including book royalties from "The Audacity Of Hype," but they're whining about how tough they have it to couples who earn 48 grand – or less. Yes, we can. But not on a lousy half-million bucks a year.

God has blessed America, and blessed the Obamas in America, and even blessed the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose bashing of his own country would be far less lucrative anywhere else on the planet. The "racist" here is not Geraldine Ferraro but the Rev. Wright, whose appeals to racial bitterness are supposed to be everything President Obama will transcend. Right now, it sounds more like the same-old same-old.

"God Bless America

Land that I love."

Take it away, Michelle.

Is It a Matter of Character?

Newt Gingrich is concerned about Senator Obama's speech in a way that I touched on in a previous post but didn't identify: character.

Does this issue speak to Obama's character? Obama sat in Trinity United Church of Christ for twenty years listening to Reverend Wright's sermons. I'm not about to say all of Reverend Wright's sermons were as controversial as those sound bites we've all now heard, but Obama himself says he was there and heard at least some of the comments.

I wonder: how could he sit there for twenty years, hearing even one such sermon per year and not object to what he was hearing? Here are a few of Obama's comments:

But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice...

...they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America...

As such, Reverend Wright’s comments were not only wrong but divisive, divisive at a time when we need unity; racially charged at a time when we need to come together...

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community. I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

I don't expect him to disown anyone. But, if he won't, or can't, stand up to the man who he considers his spiritual leader, or his grandmother, two people who should be able, through their love of him, to accept his thoughtful, loving, correction of their words and attitudes, can we hope he will be able to tell Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-il of North Korea, or even Raul Castro of Cuba to go pound sand if it becomes necessary?

Obama has explained his feelings toward Reverend Wright. Now we must thoughtfully consider our understanding his character.
Obama: A More Perfect Union

Full text of speech

I heard one statement during Senator Obama's speech that stood out to me:

Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes.

My question is: what did he think at the time he heard those statements? And what did he do about it? If he were like me, he would have given considerable thought to what was said. He might not have challenged Reverend Wright about it then, but did those statement make him uncomfortable? Or did he see nothing wrong with them? Sometimes, in the current context, meaning at that place and time, they would appropriate and made sense to the listener, but on reflection, not so much. Did he ever express concern to Reverend Wright? What did he do about the good reverend's reason for making the remarks?

Obama remained with that church for 20 years. He was married there and his children baptised there. That seems to tell me that he either agreed with the statements or did not have the motivation to confront the pastor. Confrontation is a part of a president's job qualifications. At some point, a president must confront Congress, an issue, another country's leaders.

And this one:

Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely – just as I’m sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed.

But what did he do about his disagreement? As I said, if he didn't go to Reverend Wright to express his concern, as far as Reverend Wright was concerned, Obama agreed with his statements. How would Reverend Wright know that his statements were of concern if no one, Obama included, told him? I doubt that among his many talents and skills, he counts mind reading.

Another statement:

I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother....

You doesn't have to disown the person, but you sure can disown what they say. When you are offended by someones comments, you have two options: either to tell that person you don't like what they said and why, or you can keep your mouth shut and tacitly agree with them. Obama has spoken out now, but has he said enough? And did he say it soon enough? He can't apologize for Pastor Wright, and I don't expect him to, but he can explain his feelings toward Reverend Wright's comments.

One more statement:

But the remarks that have caused this recent firestorm weren’t simply controversial. They weren’t simply a religious leader’s effort to speak out against perceived injustice. Instead, they expressed a profoundly distorted view of this country – a view that sees white racism as endemic, and that elevates what is wrong with America above all that we know is right with America; a view that sees the conflicts in the Middle East as rooted primarily in the actions of stalwart allies like Israel, instead of emanating from the perverse and hateful ideologies of radical Islam.

And this is the person he looks to for spiritual guidance? Actually, I think it's good that this controversy has come out now.
It's inevitable that race become a part of this campaign. Obama is a Black man, that can't be denied. I totally agree that it shouldn't make a difference what race anyone is, but I don't think we're far enough removed from the Civil Rights movement for that to be possible. There are still too many people who remember those days, who remember the days when "they" were to be feared. "They", of course, depends on what race you happen to be.

One day, that will be totally behind us. The Boomers are better than the previous generations, and Gen X'ers and Gen Y'ers and whatever follows will be even further removed. Perhaps then we can have an election where no one even notices if the candidates are Black, White, Pink, Yellow, or Blue. And hopefully, whether they are male or female.

Until then, if someone makes outrageous statements such as Reverend Wright has made, it is up to us to call them on it. We must stand up and say, you're wrong and this is why. Otherwise, we are tacitly agreeing with them. If the comments make you cringe, as Obama said of statements his own grandmother made, then you are honor bound to stand up for your race, your gender, or country, or whatever.

My religious training came from the Church of Christ/Christian Church. We are taught that if our brother or sister in Christ is saying or doing something they shouldn't be, it is our responsibility to go to them and help them understand what is wrong and how to find their way back to the right path. I can't say about the United Church of Christ. I don't know what their theology is, or if it's indeed any different than how I was raised.

I can only say that no matter the religion, I would expect someone who wanted to be a leader, much less anyone who wanted to run for public office, to step forward and say, "Reverend Wright, you are making comments that are very controversial and some say unchristian in nature. On a financial consideration, your comments could cost the church it's tax status as you could be seen as making political statements from the pulpit. On a more important note, let's discuss your comments from a Biblical perspective."

No, I don't expect Obama to disown his close friend, Reverend Wright. What I do expect is for him to consider his reactions to Reverend Wright's comments and why he reacted as he did. I expect him to decide whether he wants to be a Black man or a man who transcends race. And can any man (or woman) do that?

Monday, March 17, 2008

An Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,
may the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and the rain fall soft upon your fields,
and until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand
The Legend of St Patrick

Just like many other holidays in the United States, St. Patrick's Day has its origins in ancient times. A young boy named Patrick lived in the British Isles, a land that had been invaded and conquered first by the Romans and then by Germanic tribes. Patrick was captured and taken as a slave from the British Isles to what is now Ireland. He lived there for several years herding sheep. He was a religious boy and he prayed that he would someday return to his homeland.

Legend has it that one night while he was praying, a voice told him to escape from the farm, and find a ship that was waiting for him two hundred miles away. Patrick got to the ship, sailed to Europe, and disembarked in what is now probably France. He led several of the ship's crew through a dangerous forest, praying all the time. Neither Patrick nor any member of his crew was captured. When some of the men were about to die of starvation, wild animals appeared for them to eat. Events such as these appeared to be miracles and gave rise to later legends surrounding Patrick.

At home, Patrick felt that he was called by God to perform an important mission. He believed it was his duty to go back to Ireland and convert the Celtic people to the Christian religion.

Patrick arrived in Ireland and became a missionary, travelling from village to village and talking about his faith. Once, several members of a tribe approached Patrick and told him that they found it difficult to understand and believe in the Holy Trinity. Patrick thought a moment, then stooped down and picked one of the plentiful shamrocks growing wild around Ireland. "Here are three leaves," he said, "yet it is one plant. Imagine the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit as each of these leaves. Here they are, yet they are one plant." The tribesmen understood, because Patrick had used a familiar object to explain. From that time on, the shamrock has been a revered symbol of Ireland.

Stories of Saint Patrick, for by then he was a saint, reached far and wide. His most famous feat is forcing the snakes out of the entire country of Ireland. Even though there are many different stories about how he accomplished such a task, it is probably not true.

St. Patrick died on March 17 and the Irish people set aside the day to mourn. He became the patron saint of Ireland. Mourning turned to commemorating him and celebrating his life. Americans have inherited this custom. On St. Patrick's Day in the United States, millions of people celebrate whether they are Irish or not!
Saints Be Praised! It's St Paddy's Day!

The day when everybody and his dog is Irish.

Murphy told Quinn that his wife was driving him to drink.
Quinn thinks he's very lucky because his own wife makes him walk.

The late Bishop Sheen stated that the reason the Irish fight so often among themselves is that they're always assured of having a worthy opponent.

An American lawyer asked, "Paddy, why is it that whenever you ask an Irishman a question, he answers with another question?"
"Who told you that?" asked Paddy.

Question - Why are Irish jokes so simple?
Answer - So the English can understand them.

Reilly, went to trial for armed robbery. The jury foreman came out and announced, "Not guilty."
"That's grand!" shouted Reilly. "Does that mean I can keep the money?"

Irish lass customer: "Could I be trying on that dress in the window?"
Shopkeeper: "I'd prefer that you use the dressing room."

Mrs. Feeney shouted from the kitchen, "Is that you I hear spittin' in the vase on the mantle piece?"
"No," said Feeney, "but I'm gettin' closer all the time."

Q. What do you call an Irishman who knows how to control a wife?
A. A bachelor.

Finnegin: "My wife has a terrible habit of staying up 'til two o'clock in the morning. I can't break her of it."
Keenan: "What on earth is she doin' at that time?"
Finnegin: "Waitin' for me to come home."

Kevin phoned the maternity ward at the hospital. "Quick!" he said. "Send an ambulance, my wife is goin' to have a baby!"
"Tell me, is this her first baby?" the intern asked.
"No, this is her husband, Kevin, speaking'."

"O'Ryan," asked the druggist, "did that mudpack I gave you improve your wife's appearance?"
"It did surely," replied O'Ryan, "but it keeps fallin' off!"

My mother wanted me to be a priest.
Can you imagine giving up your sex life and then once a week people come in to tell you the details and highlights of theirs?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Bathtub Test

During a visit to the mental asylum, a visitor asked the Director how do you determine whether or not a patient should be institutionalized.

"Well," said the Director, "we fill up a bathtub, then we offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him or her to empty the bathtub."

"Oh, I understand," said the visitor. "A normal person would use the bucket because it's bigger than the spoon or the teacup."

"No." said the Director, "A normal person would pull the plug. Do you want a bed near the window?"