Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Quick hits 5/5

Items of note from my stack of reading material:

The individual who wrote "Dear Lord . . . this year you have taken away my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress, Farrah Fawcett, my favorite singer, Michael Jackson, and my favorite salesman, Billy Mays. . . . I just wanted to let you know that Chris Christie is my favorite governor" in a New Jersey teacher’s union memo still has a job. Why is that, exactly?


Larry Elder on Michael Steele’s unfortunate decision to play the black victim card as excuse for his own incompetence:

Steele blames his difficulties on the "African-American … slimmer margin for error" — the same hazard that Obama deals with. Honestly. From the traditional media to the punditry class to academia to the monologues of late-night comics, never has any president enjoyed a more groveling, fawning, obsequious, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil, see-no-evil quasi-deification.


Charles Krauthammer on Obama’s nuclear foolishness:

Under President Obama's new policy, however, if the state that has just attacked us with biological or chemical weapons is "in compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)," explained Gates, then "the U.S. pledges not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against it."

Imagine the scenario: Hundreds of thousands are lying dead in the streets of Boston after a massive anthrax or nerve gas attack. The president immediately calls in the lawyers to determine whether the attacking state is in compliance with the NPT. If it turns out that the attacker is up to date with its latest IAEA inspections, well, it gets immunity from nuclear retaliation. (Our response is then restricted to bullets, bombs and other conventional munitions.)

However, if the lawyers tell the president that the attacking state is NPT-noncompliant, we are free to blow the bastards to nuclear kingdom come.

This is quite insane. It's like saying that if a terrorist deliberately uses his car to mow down a hundred people waiting at a bus stop, the decision as to whether he gets (a) hanged or (b) 100 hours of community service hinges entirely on whether his car had passed emissions inspections. […]

This administration seems to believe that by restricting retaliatory threats and by downgrading our reliance on nuclear weapons, it is discouraging proliferation.

But the opposite is true. Since World War II, smaller countries have forgone the acquisition of deterrent forces — nuclear, biological and chemical — precisely because they placed their trust in the firmness, power and reliability of the American deterrent.

Seeing America retreat, they will rethink. And some will arm. There is no greater spur to hyper-proliferation than the furling of the American nuclear umbrella.


Mickey Kaus: “It’s getting highly annoying to hear Obama and Senate Democrats pretend that to have effective border control we have to take a package deal that includes amnesty. They’re worse than the cable company when it comes to package deals.”


Phil Jackson, on the silly decision by the Suns to alienate more than half their fan base by making a heavy handed political statement tonight:

“I don’t think teams should get involved in the political stuff. And I think this one’s still kind of coming out to balance as to how it’s going to be favorably looked upon by our public. If I heard it right the American people are really for stronger immigration laws, if I’m not mistaken. Where we stand as basketball teams, we should let that kind of play out and let the political end of that go where it’s going to go.”

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One year ago, a good friend passed away from ALS. This is a poem written and read by Bob Stephenson at the funeral, to give you an idea of what it's like to live with that horrible disease:

For Tim…..

I’ve never been accused of being short on words
No one will charge me today.

Indulge me if you will for a moment.
If seated, wedge you’re hands beneath outer thighs, palms up.
Standing, hands in pockets and make a fist.

Close your eyes and imagine:
Feet nailed to floor like Messiah to cross.
arms bound by sides in slip knot straight jacket
two ton pressured heavy chest as the rope tightens

Your scalp
is a constant itch
a rolling twitch
as you beg for relief and forgiveness.
Accordion straw flagged water bottle taunts your thirst
the mere thought makes bladder burst
and you curse your maker for the life direction.

Every night
is a wrestling match
to avoid the 300 thread count strangle hold
Every day
a battle for the regularity
the world takes for granted
It’s been a year
since you enjoyed the solitude
of standing beneath hot shower
flushed and washed your hands
pulled on tube socks
buttoned a work shirt
buckled a belt
turned on a light
or opened a door for your neighbor.

You hold dear
the last time you drove car
pumped gas
buckled your kids safety belt
stood in line at a concession stand
and composed bucket lists

you can’t remember the last time
you licked garlic drenched lemon butter
from your finger tips
felt the gentle curved back
of a fork between thumb and index
tasted the metallic bullet
in aluminum beer can to lips
or scrubbed the black ink
from Sunday paper palms.

you miss that early morning stretch
from scissor arms above head
through lung filled chest
over extended calves to tipped toes
and the exhale moans deep
into vapors of morning coffee.

You long for sidewalk tricycle races
water wings and painted Halloween faces,
refrigerator art and butterfly pin wheels,
Electric trains and crashing Hot Wheels
Baseball cards instead of Pokemon Cards
Coin collections and assembly required directions

Your world is soothed
in a Daughter loving embrace
turned upside down
as you ache for son’s untied shoe lace
and the truth that pictures
don’t replace a thousand words.

tears run marathons from cheek to chin
salt trail trenches dig in
through belief and perseverance
but you search for divinity in death
as you count every breath
and lungs auto pilot is shattered

SO walk with your maker

take meek solace
from the hands of faith
place your dreams
in the arms of hope
receive communion
from the chalice of charity
gather comfort
in the pyre of courage
place blind trust
on the scales of justice
bleed your soul
in the well of temperance
and bathe
in the light of wisdom
with the peace that God ….
has made a place for you.