Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

Defend this nation, and fly this Flag...

Before this happens (again)...

Too many have fought, suffered, bled and died for a Nation that has become the envy of the entire planet.  We, the People, must stand and yield not to the irrational hypersensitivity of those who don't know the first thing of what it is to maintain that which is most sacred.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sunday's Quote: Memorial Day

Originally called Decoration Day, what eventually became known as Memorial Day came to fruition on May 30, 1868 by proclamation (General Order No. 11) of Major General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic to commemorate the soldiers of both sides who fought and died in the War Between the States.

Major General James Garfield (future 20th President of the U.S.) gave a speech during the first observance of Decoration Day, after which 5,000 people decorated the graves of the more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Tomorrow, and always, remember those -- past, present and future -- who endeavor to protect and maintain this sovereign nation.  We owe them everything.

"Who kept the faith and fought the fight; the glory theirs, the duty ours."
-- Wallace Bruce (1844-1914), poet 

"The patriot's blood is the seed of Freedom's tree."
-- Thomas Campbell (1777-1844), poet 

"On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation!"
-- Thomas William Parsons (1819-1892), poet 

"It is the veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.  It is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press.  It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.  It is the veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.  It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.  It is the veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.  It is the veteran who salutes the Flag.  It is the veteran who serves under the Flag."
-- Author unknown

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Guilty Pleasures: The most awesomest ride ever

There was a time, not that long ago, when a mullet, a Motley Crue cut-off, and this "caruck" was your ticket in -- a proverbial backstage pass -- to whatever you wanted.  My how times have changed.

Friday, May 28, 2010

On This Day in History: May 28

585 BC: As predicted by Thales of Miletus -- a tremendously influential Greek philosopher, scientist and mathematician -- a solar eclipse occurred while Alyattes II, King of the Lydian Empire, battled Cyaxares, King of Media at the Battles of Halys.  Later known as the Battle of the Eclipse, the factions ended their five-year war when the solar eclipse appeared, as both sides took the phenomena as an omen from the gods to end their fighting.

This is most notable because the battle is the earliest historical event of which the date is known with exact precision, eventually becoming the cardinal event by which other dates could be calculated.

1754: In the first engagement of the French and Indian War, a Virginia militia led by 22-year-old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington defeat a French reconnaissance party in the Battle of Jumonville Glen in what is now Fayette County in southwestern Pennsylvania.

1937: The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (via Washington, DC), who pushed a button that signaled the go-ahead for vehicle traffic over the bridge.

1987: A West German pilot named Mathias Rust evades Soviet Union air defenses and lands a private plane in Red Square in Moscow.  He was immediately arrested and remained in confinement for over 14 months.

1996: Bill Clinton's (pictured) former business partners -- James McDougal, Susan McDougal, and Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker -- are convicted of fraud in the Whitewater land deal.  That ol' boy is now 10 years out of office, and he still can't stay out of trouble.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

When the time comes

My grandmother died 13 years ago today.  She was 65.  A friend at work died two days ago.  He was 30.

Grandma battled multiple myeloma for three years, but she battled me for the first 20 years of my life.  I'm sure she meant well.  My friend, Scott, on the other hand, was more or less his own worst enemy.

Enablers notwithstanding, Scott was morbidly obese.  His 6'3" frame barely supported his weight, which, as best as his colleagues and I could tell, topped 400 lb.  All efforts to persuade Scott into being more proactive with his health only revealed a level of denial I've rarely encountered.  It stopped being funny long ago.

He had an excuse for everything.  Defeatism is a killer.  Nobody should die of a heart attack at age 30.

The Ancients are right: life is but a vapor.  And when it's over, that's it.  Today is a gift, and tomorrow is guaranteed to no one.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

From My Own Camera: Maplewood Farm

Although I'm hardly a professional, I have taken a few decent shots over the years. Inspired by the Iconic Shot series, I'm adding a new feature to the blog entitled, From My Own Camera.

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Maplewood Farm in Mason, Tennessee

Iconic Shot: Eisenhower & his men

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General Dwight D. Eisenhower addresses paratroopers of the 502d Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division on the evening of June 5, 1944, just hours before the Normandy landings during World War II (a.k.a., Operation Neptune, Operation Overlord & D-Day).

© Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sunday's Quote: What a smile can hide

Born 15 years ago in Bedford, England, Phoebe Prince immigrated with her mother and siblings from a beach town called Fanore in eastern Ireland to South Hadley, Massachusetts in the autumn of 2009.  By mid-January, just several months after her arrival, Phoebe would be dead of a self-inflicted hanging -- the result of incessant bullying that pushed an innocent girl beyond her emotional limit.

Phoebe is not the first deeply wounded teen to commit suicide, nor, quite tragically, will she be the last.  Like most, I have not endured anything quite so suffocating.  Yet I have known taunting, abandonment, gossip and defamation, passive aggression, psychological manipulation, a couple of the most hardcore whisper campaigns ever, and ad hominem fallacies of numerous sorts, all of which are driven, as far as I can tell, by a self-centered neurosis that feeds on the perception of weakness.

I wrote of not one, but five personal experiences specifically for this post that have shaped me forever -- instances that could have led me to a fate similar to Phoebe's.  Yet I opted at the last minute to keep them to myself.  Close to me or not, to hell with my aggressors (and their Pavlovian dogs).

Some of the worst acts of iniquity in recorded history began with a smile and friendly word.  Justice is slow and rarely certain.  Not everybody gets a happy ending.  Believe me, a smile hides much.

"Never be bullied into silence.  Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one's definition of your life, but define yourself."
-- Harvey Samuel Firestone (1868-1938), founder of the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company and one of the leading industrialists of his time.

"Do not be bullied out of your common sense by the specialist; two to one, he is a pedant."
-- Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894), one of the great writers of the 19th century and a native of the area where Phoebe met her fate.

"If you let a bully come in your front yard, he'll be on your porch the next day and the day after that he'll rape your wife in your own bed."
-- Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973), 36th President of the United States

Saturday, May 22, 2010

It beats playing video games

Earlier today Jordan Romero, a freaking 13-year-old, became the youngest climber ever to reach the top of Mount Everest (29,035 feet above sea level), surpassing the previous record set by a 16-year-old Nepalese.  He is now one climb away from his quest to conquer the highest peaks on all seven continents.

What were you doing at age 13?

What he said

I had a fit over Mexican President Felipe Calderon's address to the House of Representatives last Thursday.  Later that day, however, Rep. Tom McClintock (R-California, 4th District) offered a rebuttal that hit the nail on the head.

There's no need to add anything.  He says it all.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

He said what?

What you are about to watch is not as unfortunate, or enraging, as when California Democrat Barbara Boxer chastised U.S. Army Brigadier General Michael Walsh last June for addressing her as "ma'am" instead of "Senator," but they're close.

Hank Johnson is a Democrat elected by the voters of Georgia's 4th Congressional District to replace Cynthia McKinney (a lunatic now aligned with the Green Party) in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Admiral Robert Willard, a 37-year veteran, is Commander of the United States Pacific Command, former Vice Chief of Naval Operations, and former Executive Officer of the Navy Fighter Weapons School ("Top Gun").  In case you missed their Q&A session, befittingly last April Fools Day, have a look at what our military sometimes has to deal with at home.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Just Thinking Out Loud: The 2012 Summer Olympics

Unveiled earlier today, these are the official mascots of the 2012 Summer Olympics (or, Games of the XXX Olympiad), scheduled to get started 800 days from now on July 27, 2012.

Intended to depict two drops of steel from a steelworks in Bolton (northwest England), "Wenlock and Mandeville" are the realization of a bad feeling I got during the closing ceremonies two years ago, as the metaphoric passing of the torch from Beijing to London seemed to lack a certain je ne sais quoi.  Let's hope London puts on a good show nevertheless.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Honesty vs. Catharsis

The original version of this commentary was written just weeks after Obama's election.  Initially posted on my Facebook page, I've opted to consign this slightly revamped piece because my words have held up more than I ever thought.


Although it was hardly the first time I was railed because of my political leanings, one acquaintance in particular referred to me as a "redneck" several days before last November's election because I defied conventional wisdom -- as dictated by pop culture and the majority of our news media -- and conceded that I was beyond the point of considering Barack Obama for President.

In fact there worse things than being identified as one whose neck is red, but the various retorts I experienced throughout the lengthy electoral process became largely platitudinal thanks in part to the purging of emotion that Obama inspires.  Funny how even the slightest trace of dissent can drive our "open-minded" rivals to wield such vacuous rhetoric.

In the interest of full disclosure, I never regarded the now-former Illinois Senator as a practical alternative because of the endorsements and affiliations he garnered over the 21 months leading up to the election.  Louis Farrakhan himself recently admitted that he and the Nation of Islam kept a distance because of how their presence could impact Obama’s run at the White House.  If that doesn't speak volumes, nothing does.

Possibly the most overlooked paradox is that Obama campaigned as an all-inclusive Moderate despite opinions, alliances, and a congressional voting record that confirm his Far Left marrow beyond a shadow of any doubt.  Further, a tenuous political resume' that would have hindered any other candidate did virtually nothing to inhibit the groundswell of support that only grew with every word out of Obama's mouth.

Considering that Liberals are outnumbered by Conservatives nationwide (44% vs. 21% according to Rasmussen), Obama's delicate positional jump from Left to Center became necessary in order to lasso the mass of self-described Independent voters that proved most responsible in the final result for pushing Obama to victory despite the hardcore fringe who still object nearly two months after his history-making triumph became official.

Last November over 69 million people voted for a man who, because of his chosen associations, would not qualify for a job with the Secret Service or FBI.  And because this is not the first time America has selected a smooth talker over a war hero with a proven record in the Senate (Clinton v. Dole '96), the 60 million who voted for the other guy are about to get their fill of Far Left enthusiasts feeding at the same trough whether they like it or not.

Taking all factors into account, a certain question still begs to be asked: Is it possible that my detractors are right about me?

Metaphorically, does my brand of patriotism lack a certain authenticity because I don’t break into a full body orgasm every time Barack Obama blesses us with the sound of his infusing voice?  Am I a racist because I prefer vanilla ice cream to chocolate?

Such bantering is countermanded by the fact that given conceptions were pushed into the national consciousness long ago.  Yet there comes a point where one tires of fending against attacks directed at their chosen candidate and persistent interrogations about why they are not a Democrat to begin with.

Irrespective of the condescension from those whom these assailments originate, Conservatives are particularly irritated by the conspicuous disregard of the name calling and cheap shots sustained by anyone who even considered voting for John McCain.  It's not that Right Wingers can't handle it, but there is considerable vexation over certain factions from within the print and televised media who would have been all over it (ad nauseam) had such blatant contempt emanated from the Conservative side of the aisle.  Enforcing distorted guilt trips and double standards, it seems, has its advantages.

Joe Biden is a gaffe machine who will likely provide us with many points of humor and contention for years to come.  But Obama, of course, is the one to be watched.  You wanted him, you got him.  Now you have to deal with him.  So enjoy your time in the spotlight, Democrats.  The honeymoon might very well be a short one.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday's Quote: Labels

"If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today."
-- Dr. Thomas Sowell, economist, author, syndicated columnist, social critic, senior fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and all-around powerful Black man.  In 2002 he was awarded the National Humanities Medal for prolific scholarship melding history, economics, and political science.  Sowell was also awarded the Bradley Prize for intellectual achievement in 2003.

Didn't see that one coming

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Taking it one step too far

Some of my fellow Right Wingers -- impassioned by their antipathy of Obama, his contemporaries, and their brand of politics (or hegemony) -- can, from time to time, go somewhat overboard in their drive to see the current President defeated in 2012 by mirroring tactics that are most commonly demonstrated by their sworn adversaries of the Left.

Possibly no greater kiss of death in the political arena occurs when the challenger only musters enough fortitude to serve up diluted versions of what the other side has been offering from the start.  Trouble may indeed loom when compromising the standard becomes the go-to rebuttal, regardless of how much momentum your side may, or may not, have.

Distorted, if not disturbing, caricatures are a prime example of what happens when even the most politically aware (and perhaps, creatively gifted) are led by emotion -- clear and precise evidence notwithstanding.  We should know that stooping to the level of our opponents only helps the other team, as it were, because it puts little discernible distance between us and them.  Understandably, however, some of us cannot resist.  Below are just four examples, in my opinion, of what not to do:

Friday, May 14, 2010

The complexity was inevitable

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A reporter from The New York Times, whose name at present escapes memory, was interviewed on NPR a couple of days ago about Facebook's ever-changing privacy settings (pictured).  Despite their best efforts, Fb's inability to settle is the result of 350 million Facebook profiles, the enormity of which guarantees a labyrinth of issues that may never end.

Because we fixate on keeping up with people, the majority of whom we don't care about all that much, the number of Facebook users will continue to increase... unless the rumor of implementing a monthly charge becomes reality.  If that happens, Fb will go the way of MySpace.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

There I go again

The illegal alien contention in Arizona has many people (like me) fuming over the idiocy demonstrated by two kinds of people: 1) those who continue to demand the amnesty path to citizenship, and 2) those who appear more concerned with how they might be labeled instead of enforcing the laws that were in place long before SB 1070 took effect.

Adding to the mix, a recent AP report summarized Arizona Governor Jan Brewer's signing of a new bill that targets ethnic studies.  Says the Associated Press, "State schools chief Tom Horne, who has pushed the bill for years, said he believes the Tucson school district's Mexican-American studies program teaches Latino students that they are oppressed by [W]hite people.  'Public schools should not be encouraging students to resent a particular race', he said."

I couldn't resist adding my voice, once again, to the thousands of comments on this story alone.  In a brief offering (that received 19 "thumbs up" and four "thumbs down") I wrote the following:

"Oppressed by White people?  Anyone who feels this way should do the following: 1) Leave America.  2) Go to Mexico.  3) Discover real oppression.  4) Come back to America.  5) Teach our children about real oppression."

Someone named "Dan," purportedly a 55-year-old from California, thew me a comment: "You obviously feel you are entitled!  Is there fake oppression somewhere in the world?"

I studied his ill-prepared statement for a moment.  Still unsure of what he was getting at, I fired back:

"You evidently gave little thought to your rebuttal.  But yes Dan, I am entitled.  I am entitled as a citizen of the United States -- as guaranteed by the First Amendment -- to speak against any invader that attempts to dominate by employing guilt-trips, false labels and double standards in order to demand legitimacy without proper grounds for this, or any comparable claim.  Against such hypocrisy, I will always stand."

I'm not a bigot because I choose the welfare of this nation over hypersensitive nonsense.  So call me a racist, or whatever makes you feel good because I'm over it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Was Lou wrong?

As the reverb from our national orgasm over Barack Obama's election continues to wain, the American populace has begun to examine the disappointing afterglow -- not so much unlike prom night for many high schoolers -- of promises made, expectations unrealized, and reality checks deferred.  Despite the growing number of former protagonists who are now surprised by current trends, the circumstantial results just 16 months after Obama's "historic" victory were not unforeseen.

However afraid some were of being called a racist if they didn't cast a vote for "Change," "Hope," or "Yes We Can," there are individuals -- a brave faction by any standard -- who refused to overlook the potential dangers of those schooled in the Alinsky Method.  And thus far their warnings have proven close to prophetic.

Perhaps you have received something in your e-mail similar to the letter posted below.  Most are proven hoaxes, but this message is claimed by the one to whom credit was given and is absolutely worth a look.


An Open Letter to President Obama
by Lou Pritchett, former Proctor & Gamble Vice President
[Confirmed in mid-2009]

Dear President Obama:

You are the thirteenth President under whom I have lived and unlike any of the others, you truly scare me.

You scare me because after months of exposure, I know nothing about you.  You scare me because I do not know how you paid for your expensive Ivy League education and your upscale lifestyle and housing with no visible signs of support.

You scare me because you did not spend the formative years of youth growing up in America and culturally you are not an American.  You scare me because you have never run a company or met a payroll.

You scare me because you have never had military experience, thus don't understand it at its core.  You scare me because you lack humility and "class," always blaming others.

You scare me because for over half your life you have aligned yourself with radical extremists who hate America and you refuse to publicly denounce these radicals who wish to see America fail.

You scare me because you are a cheerleader for the "blame America" crowd and deliver this message abroad.  You scare me because you want to change America to a European style country where the government sector dominates instead of the private sector.

You scare me because you want to replace our health care system with a government controlled one.  You scare me because you prefer "wind mills" to responsibly capitalizing on our own vast oil, coal and shale reserves.

You scare me because you want to kill the American capitalist goose that lays the golden egg which provides the highest standard of living in the world.  You scare me because you have begun to use "extortion" tactics against certain banks and corporations.

You scare me because your own political party shrinks from challenging you on your wild and irresponsible spending proposals.  You scare me because you will not openly listen to or even consider opposing points of view from intelligent people.

You scare me because you falsely believe that you are both omnipotent and omniscient.  You scare me because the media gives you a free pass on everything you do.

You scare me because you demonize and want to silence the Limbaugh's, Hannitys, O'Reillys and Becks who offer opposing, conservative points of view.  You scare me because you prefer controlling over governing.

Finally, you scare me because if you serve a second term I will probably not feel safe in writing a similar letter in 8 years.

Lou Pritchett

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Iconic Shot: The U.S. & Russia, then and now

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President Ronald Reagan traveled to Moscow for his fourth summit meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev (far right) 22 years ago this month.  The man with the camera around his neck is the current Russian Prime Minister, and "former" President, Vladimir Putin.  At the time, Russia's new Bolshevik (descended from Lenin and Trotsky, via Stalin) was a KGB agent posing as a tourist.

Note: See comments portion for info on original source.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Self-righteous sedition

A couple of recent posts have dealt with the growing tensions involving illegal immigration.  Here's another:

Several students at Live Oak High School in Morgan Hill, California (near San Francisco) were recently told to remove their shirts because Live Oak officials felt the depiction of the American flag during Cinco de Mayo was disrespectful to the sensitivities of Hispanic students.  Perhaps this is where I would insert a bit of irony-based sarcasm, but at present I am unable to find words adequate enough to explain such profound absurdity.

Some 400 miles south on the UCLA campus, Santee Education Complex history teacher Ron Gochez (Google him) recently offered a fiery diatribe in which he boldly referred to "a global struggle against imperialism and capitalism," "where we now stand is stolen, occupied Mexico," "frail, racist White people," "at the forefront of the revolutionary movement is La Raza," "they know that we will no longer fall to these lies called 'borders'," "we see ourselves, all of us here, as the northern front of a Latin American revolutionary movement," "40 million potential revolutionaries north of the border inside the belly of the beast," and "we are a culture of revolutionary spirits."

Here's his speech in its entirety:

Although this contention is reminiscent of the Montebello High School flag incident (near Los Angeles, pictured) in March 2006, it remains difficult to comprehend that a history teacher, regardless of background, would so readily overlook the Texas Annexation of 1845 (leading to the Mexican-American War, which we won in under two years), the Mexican Cession of 1848, and the Gadsden Purchase of 1853, all of which make the areas in question -- especially present day Arizona and California -- the legal and rightful territory of the United States.

Yet this new breed of revolutionary, filled with every sort of emotion and vitriol, will continued their charade of patriotism and equality until the defenders of our sovereign nation -- from sea to shining sea -- become enlivened enough to see this movement for what it truly is.

Note: The second of the two clips originally posted was removed by YouTube because it was an unapproved promotional for a big budget movie about a native Mexican sent to assassinate a politician (played by Robert DeNiro) whose platform centers on sending illegals back across the border.
I'm glad the movie isn't about a Minuteman picking off illegals, or else that would be controversial.  I guess we should be glad the movie doesn't focus on Mexico's draconian immigrant laws, or else that would be racist.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday's Quote: Word to your mother

Happy Mothers Day...

"A mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take."
-- Cardinal Gaspard Mermillod (1824-1892), Bishop of Lausanne, Switzerland

"Men are what their mothers made them."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), essayist, philosopher, and poet

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gore's beachfront conundrum

There's a scene in Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" in which a computer-generated graphic depicts rising sea levels overtaking cities along the entire American seaboard.  Now compare that to an April 28 report from The Los Angeles Times:

"Former Vice President Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, have added a Montecito-area property to their real estate holdings, reports the Montecito Journal.  The couple spent $8,875,000 on an ocean-view villa on 1.5 acres with a swimming pool, spa and fountains, a real estate source familiar with the deal confirms. The Italian-style house has six fireplaces, five bedrooms and nine bathrooms."

Global warming is big business, and business is good.

© Tim Kelly,

Thursday, May 6, 2010

On This Day in History: May 6 (A most fascinating day)

1527: In an event generally considered to mark the end of the Roman Renaissance, Rome is sacked by Spanish and German troops aligned with the Holy Roman Empire amid the War of the League of Cognac (1526-1530).  Nearly 150 Swiss Guards died fighting the forces of Emperor Charles V in order to allow Pope Clement VII to escape.  To commemorate the bravery of the Swiss Guards, new recruits are sworn in every year on May 6.

1861: Arkansas secedes from the Union on the same day Richmond, Virginia is declared the new capital of the Confederate States of America.

1863: Despite being outnumbered by nearly 73,000 soldiers, General Robert E. Lee and Lt. General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson lead the South to victory over the Army of the Potomac at the Battle of Chancellorsville.

1889: The Eiffel Tower is officially opened to the public at the Universal Exposition in Paris.

1937: The German zeppelin Hindenburg (pictured) catches fire and is destroyed within a minute while attempting to dock at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in Manchester Township, New Jersey.  The 12-story blimp was the length of three football fields and was filled with seven million cubic feet of pure hydrogen.  Thirty-six people were killed in the incident, and why the airship ignited into flames remains a mystery to this day.

1940: John Steinbeck is awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Grapes of Wrath.

1941: Bob Hope performs the first of his nearly 200 USO shows at March Field Army Air Corps base in Riverside, California.

1954: Roger Bannister becomes the first person to run a sub-four-minute mile at Iffley Road Track in Oxford, England.

1984: Having suffered religious persecution during the 19th century, Pope John Paul II canonized 103 Korean Martyrs in Seoul, Korea.  

2000: I was 15 minutes late picking up a girl named Sarah for our first date.  Of the girls who have been in and out of my life, this little golden-haired cutie is the one who sticks out in memory the most.  In the end, I was only successful in turning her affection for me inside out because of what I could not do.

As I once wrote, years ago, about our first evening together...

"I knew that look on her old man's face.  Most fathers go through it at least once or twice.  I imagine it's similar to how an accomplished violinist would feel about handing a Stradivarius over to an unruly ape."

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

On a personal note by which I am possibly the only one who cares...

Congrats to Rangers F.C. for recently winning their 53rd Scottish League title.  Now if only the Gers could find their way out of the Champions League group stage.

Real Music: Axl Rose & Queen

Legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury died on November 24, 1991 from an AIDS-related illness.  The following February, two of Mercury's bandmates, Brian May (guitar) and Roger Taylor (drums), announced plans for a tribute concert at Wembley Stadium in London.

All 72,000 tickets were sold in four hours before a lineup had been announced.  Broadcast live in 76 countries, a concert that featured acts such as U2, Metallica, David Bowie, Elton John, and a slew of others, came to fruition on April 20, 1992 (Easter Monday).  Here's one of the better performances.  Enjoy.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Che? Really?

Do these demonstrators in Arizona believe the delineation of a Marxist like Che Guevara, who fought alongside Fidel Castro in a Cuban revolution that created a one-party Socialist/Communist regime, really helps their cause?  Perhaps this, all by itself, adequately explains the divide between those who have an issue with nearly a half-million illegals in one State, and those who demand citizenship without a legal leg on which to stand.

© Associated Press

Just Thinking Out Loud (w/ unnecessary euphemisms): Christina Hendricks

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A big, huge happy birthday is in order for a fellow native Tennessean, an enormous talent whose presence effortlessly fills out the screen with a prodigious endowment that inspires us all.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday's Quote: California Dreamin'

I'm listening to Sirius ch. 35 ("Chill") as I write this, just as I practically always do when I write much of anything.  This particular station, which almost by itself is worth the $14.93 I've paid each month since December 2006 -- even despite the frustrating inconsistencies of this emerging technology called satellite radio -- is similar in format to a weekly feature on local Memphis radio (hosted by "Babalu") called Waves.  And every bit of it takes me back to California.

The Eccentric Conservative is Southern to the bone, and that's an inherent quality which will never change.  But every time I feel relaxed, my head returns, if only for a moment, to a portion of the Golden State that stretches about 390 miles from Thousand Oaks to the South Bay.  It's been too long since I've returned, and while the last of my family left in the mid-90s, I have long maintained some aspiration of uprooting -- for reasons I cannot fully explain -- to the Central Coast or Emerald Triangle.

I resist making decisions based upon emotion, but somehow my resolution feels right.  And I suppose that's good enough.

"There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience.  And then there is California."
-- Edward Abbey (1927-1989), an iconoclast of sorts whose work was set primarily in the southwestern U.S.

"Big Sur is the California that men dreamed of years ago, this is the Pacific that Balboa looked at from the Peak of Darien, this is the face of the earth as the Creator intended it to look."
-- Henry Miller (1891-1980), novelist and painter

"Let's drink to California, way out by the sea, where a woman's ass and a whiskey glass made a horse's ass of me."
-- Anonymous toast