Sunday, December 30, 2007

Growing Controversy over Tennessee Executive Mansion Renovations

Questionable politics is nothing new in the state of Tennessee in regards to the Governors office. Presidential candidate Fred Thompson was a part of bringing down the corrupt Blanton administration in the late 70's and early 80's for selling pardons, liquor licenses, and other favors from the governor's office. Former Governor Don Sundquist remains shrouded in suspicion of corruption during his administration for "no-bid" contractual awards for state work.

And now we have current Governor Phil Bredesen, a New Jersey native who grew up in New York. The Governor's tax positions have had him in hot water with voters during his second ("lame duck") term as governor, and now a situation that has been developing since his election and taking office during his first term is becoming a sore spot for the sitting Governor of Tennessee.

Group assails spending on governor's mansion

Associated Press

A taxpayer group funded by a neighbor of the governor's mansion is criticizing the spending for construction and renovation to the executive residence in upscale Oak Hill.

Tennesseans for Accountability in Government, created by a donation from a Nashville auto dealer, called on the state Tuesday to provide cost details on renovations and the addition of an underground banquet hall at the mansion.

Susan Kaestner, vice president of the group, said the facility was an irresponsible waste of taxpayer money and the governor could use existing venues in Nashville for meetings. She said the group was created by a donation from Lee Beaman, a neighbor, but this wasn't a neighborhood group focused solely on the local impact to the community.

"The renovations have gone way past reasonable," Kaestner said, adding that the state hasn't been forthcoming with plans and costs.

When Gov. Phil Bredesen took office in 2003, he agreed not to move in the home so it could be renovated. First lady Andrea Conte has said the new underground facility is needed so the mansion — which was a private residence before it became an official home for Tennessee's governors in 1949 — will have sufficient and suitable space for meetings and entertainment.

It's the underground facility that has raised such an uproar. While residents of the Oak Hill community are concerned about traffic involved with the renovations and events held at the mansion with the addition of the "party bunker," as some pundits have labeled the underground facility, other taxpayers around the state are concerned with the price tag that comes along with it, and from where the funding for the project will come.

Meeting doesn't ease concerns over hall at governor's mansion
State architect gets earful from nearby residents

Staff Writer

Angry neighbors lashed out at state architect Mike Fitts Thursday night during a public hearing about a proposed underground meeting hall at the governor's mansion.

The Oak Hill Planning Commission called the meeting to solicit comments for Fitts to consider as the state moves forward with plans to blast though rock under the mansion lawn to create a 13,000 square-foot, sky-lighted banquet hall.

The city of Oak Hill has no authority to veto the project on Curtiswood Lane, but state officials have said they want to work with the city and residents.

Mansion neighbors said Thursday they remain concerned about the disruption the new "Conservation Hall" will have on their neighborhood.

"The renovation of the mansion was a good thing, it was needed, but I don't see a need for this," said Martha Thompson Elder, who attended Thursday's meeting on behalf of her elderly mother who lives near the mansion.

"Curtiswood Lane is a narrow street, and what will they do with all that additional traffic? It just doesn't need to be in a residential neighborhood.

"Why are we building something that is not needed and putting the burden on taxpayers."

In the past, large parties have been held in tents set up on the lawn. The underground hall will cut down on the tents.

Fitts told The Tennessean previously that tents still might be required for events too large for the hall. It is designed to accommodate 160 guests for a sit-down dinner or up to 500 guests and staff for other events.

Oakhill resident Tom Lawless worries about the effect the additional traffic will have on the community, and believes a formal traffic study should be conducted and a disaster plan considered.

Bill Hobbs of the Tennessee Republican Party has put together a comprehensive time-line for the events surrounding the proposed renovations and addition to the executive mansion:


NASHVILLE - The Tennessee Republican Party calls on Gov. Phil Bredesen and his wife to “put the brakes on the ballroom” in light of documents uncovered that indicate the Bredesens have been playing a shell game to mislead the public about the true cost of – and who is really paying for - the massive underground ballroom and entertainment complex they intend to build on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion.

The documents from the State Building Commission – which the TRP is making available online for taxpayers, media and legislators to view – show a timeline of rapidly ballooning costs as the original project of needed renovations of the state’s executive residence metastasized to include the ballroom facility.

The documents also show a shell game designed to mislead the public as to the source of funding for the ballroom, in total disregard for taxpayers who are just now learning that they’re paying millions for a project they knew nothing about as it was concocted in secret.

“Gov. and Mrs. Bredesen have claimed that the ballroom is being funded with private donations rather than tax dollars, but that’s not really true,” said Bill Hobbs, communications director for the TRP. “The Bredesens shifted nearly $3 million in private donations to the ballroom project that had been given for the renovation of the mansion itself – and then replaced that mansion renovation money with tax dollars.

(A 20-page PDF file of the documents can be found online at the Tennessee Republican Party website, .)

The State Building Commission documents show that the original project for renovation of the
governor’s mansion, described as a “maintenance” project and identified as SBC Project No. 460/028-01-2002, was first discussed by the SBC on October 10, 2002, three months before Gov. Bredesen took office. It had an estimated cost of $350,000.

The project – and its cost to taxpayers – soon grew like kudzu.

Kudzu, for those of you who are not familiar with the plant, kudzu is a plant native to Japan and Asia that was introduced to the United States in the 1800's, and when it was introduced to the Southeast it was determined that the climate made the plant grow uncontrollably. If you drive through the rural Southeast today, you're likely to see acres upon acres of the vine where it has overtaken the native vegetation.

The questions many are asking as the price tag for renovations balloons to nearly $20 million are why is the price tag continuing to sky rocket, who is going to be awarded the contract for doing the renovations, will there be "payback" involved in the price (a ballooned price tag to pay back political favors done for the Governor), and could the money not be better spent in building a new executive mansion rather than investing millions of dollars in a property that is not currently appraised at even $1 million? Many are also questioning why other State owned banquet facilities are not sufficient for hosting State sponsored events.

It should be noted that Governor Bredesen and Tennessee First Lady Andre Conte have not resided in the Oak Hills Governors Mansion during his two terms as Governor, but have maintained residence in their Forest Hills home.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Bush Most Admired Man, Clinton Most Admired Woman in 2007

On the one hand, it says a lot about how many people actually hate George W. Bush. We have discussed in detail the phenomenon known as Bush Derangement Syndrome. I suppose I really shouldn't be surprised at Hillary Clinton's showing in this year's survey.

Hillary Edges Out Oprah as Most Admired Woman in ‘07
George W. Bush most admired man

by Jeffrey M. Jones

PRINCETON, NJ -- For the sixth year in a row, President George W. Bush is the most admired man and Sen. Hillary Clinton the most admired woman in Gallup's annual survey. But neither winner had a very decisive win this year, with former President Bill Clinton nearly tying Bush and Hillary Clinton barely topping talk-show host Oprah Winfrey. This is the seventh time Bush has been most admired man and the 12th time Clinton has been most admired woman.

These results are based on the Dec. 14-16 USA Today/Gallup poll, which asked Americans, without prompting, to say what man and woman "living today in any part of the world, do [they] admire most?" Gallup has asked the most admired man and woman questions in this format in all but two years since 1948.

Now, honestly, Oprah I can understand. I can't necessarily say that I agree with a great many of Oprah's views, but she's a likable lady, from all indications and from what I know from hearing things about her from people who know her. "Likable," however, isn't really something that comes readily to the lips when describing Hillary Clinton.

With 16% of total mentions for most admired woman, Winfrey had her strongest showing to date in the current poll. But Clinton also had a stronger-than-usual score in 2007 -- the 18% who mention the former first lady is the highest since 2000 (19%). Clinton's best performance was in 1998, when 28% said they most admired her, just as her husband was being impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives in the Monica Lewinsky matter.

Winfrey has now finished second on the most admired woman list every year since 1997 with the exception of 2001, when she was third (to Laura Bush and Clinton). During that time, she has come within two percentage points of Clinton for the top spot on one other occasion (2004) and within one point on two occasions (2002 and 2005).

After Clinton and Winfrey, the remainder of the top 10 most admired women are Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (5%), actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie (3%), first lady Laura Bush (3%), former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (2%), former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (2%), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, author Maya Angelou, and Queen Elizabeth II (all at 1%).

Eight of the top 10 women this year also made the list last year. Bhutto, who recently returned to Pakistan after several years in exile, finished in the top 10 for the first time, and Queen Elizabeth returned to the top 10 for the first time since 2004.

Simply fascinating. My most obvious question is "why?" What has Hillary Clinton done that has earned such admiration?

Absolutely amazing.

Once and Always, an (extremely bewildered) American Fighting Man


Friday, December 21, 2007

Trusting the word of our enemies

There is an old saying that goes "Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." It's far past time that we started doing exactly that.

Syria, Iran, and North Korea need to be officially put on notice that we will not sit idly by and allow them to sit and lie to us and the world about their weapons development programs, especially in regards to nuclear weaponry. Just a couple of months ago Israel conducted air strikes in Syria that were quickly covered up by the Syrians, who did not retaliate against Israel for the attacks. The speculation has been that the facility that was hit was involved in some sort of nuclear weapons development. Now we have this from North Korea:

North Korean Tubes Found to Be Contaminated With Uranium Traces

Friday, December 21, 2007

By James Rosen

WASHINGTON — North Korea recently turned over to the United States equipment found to be contaminated with traces of highly enriched uranium — HEU — apparently contradicting the country's stance that it never had such a program, FOX News has confirmed.

The equipment was described as a set of "smelted aluminum tubes" suitable for an HEU centrifuge program, a step necessary to make a nuclear weapon.

"They got some 'splainin' to do," one U.S. arms control official said when first told of the discovery about a month ago, he recalled to FOX.

However, North Korea claims the tubes were intended for use in the development of a conventional "artillery" weapon, sources told FOX News.

As part of a six-nation disarmament deal, North Korea is disabling its Yongbyon nuclear reactor and related nuclear facilities, and is obligated to provide a "complete and correct" declaration of all their nuclear programs, weapons, and materiel by Dec. 31.

American officials anxiously have been waiting to see whether, and to what extent, the North Koreans will acknowledge the existence of their HEU program, about which the United States first confronted Pyongyang in October 2002.

We have learned nothing, as a nation. As individuals, perhaps, but too few and far between. Pearl Harbor was attacked in the middle of "peace negotiations" with the Japanese. We leave our nations borders open for anyone to come across them carrying who knows what, with the left screaming about the "rights" of those who come here illegally. We already know that a number of terrorists have entered the country via the wide open Mexican border. What is it going to take for us, as a nation, to realize that other countries hate us and wish to see our national demise?

Enough is enough, we have got to stop pandering to these little tin gods in other parts of the world when they promise peace with their right hands extended and their fingers crossed behind their backs like school children.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Thursday, December 20, 2007

400 Scientists Dispute Man Made Global Warming Claims

400 Scientists Dispute Man Made Global Warming Claims

Let me start with what caught my eye first.

The over 400 skeptical scientists featured in this new report outnumber by nearly eight times the number of scientists who participated in the 2007 UN IPCC Summary for Policymakers. The notion of “hundreds” or “thousands” of UN scientists agreeing to a scientific statement does not hold up to scrutiny. (See report debunking “consensus” LINK) Recent research by Australian climate data analyst Dr. John McLean revealed that the IPCC’s peer-review process for the Summary for Policymakers leaves much to be desired. (LINK)

52 scientists participated in the UN IPCC Summary for Policymakers, stating that there was a "consensus" that determined that global warming was man made and yet 400 scientists disagree.

This was just released from the U.S. Senate Committee Environment and Public Works.

This blockbuster Senate report lists the scientists by name, country of residence, and academic/institutional affiliation. It also features their own words, biographies, and weblinks to their peer reviewed studies and original source materials as gathered from public statements, various news outlets, and websites in 2007. This new “consensus busters” report is poised to redefine the debate.

It gets worse, or better, depending on your beliefs.

Any time anyone affiliated with the government tells you "the debate is over," hang on to your wallet. Taxes (i.e, theft of your money by your government) are about to be imposed.

One of the first things they teach you in science classes is that there is no such thing as something being proven as a fact. There are only hypotheses that have been tested and stand as the basis of what we know unless and until they are disproved.

What we DO know, from the data and evidence collected, is what I have been harping on and saying and spouting for longer ago than I wish to remember. The Earth goes through periods of warming and cooling. There are times when it is WARMER (such as when T-Rex and the gang roamed the Earth) and times when it is COOLER (this would be the time period that Ug the caveman lived with his wife Ugli, and he spent the day hunting woolly mammoths so that she could cook a mammoth steak for dinner and make woolly mammoth clothes for the Uglings).

Warm periods...and COLD periods...

Right now we're between two cold periods, so that would lead us where, by using logic as our guide in developing a rational argument that isn't based on political hype and media hysteria? Yes, Johnny, that would lead us into a WARM period.

I theorized long ago while sitting in philosophy class in college (and probably concentrating more on the hot little brunette behind me than on the lecture, but that's just my mind rambling so let's just pretend I didn't mention that) that everything in the Universe operates on frequency ranges (as a telecommunications contractor, frequency is something I deal with from time to time). It hit me like a thunderbolt from a clear blue sky. My professor could tell I had had an epiphany, evidently, because he looked at me with this rather odd smile on his face that said "you've just stumbled on to one of the great truths of the Universe." I'm still waiting for someone with a bit more mathematical skill (OK, a lot more mathematical skill) to validate my hypothesis, but that was the thought that sprang into my mind.

Let me explain in a little more coherent way. Suppose you drew a straight line and then superimposed a sine wave over the line. It would look something like this:

Now, at the top of the wave, you could put "hot period," and at the bottom part of the wave, you could put "cold period," adjust the wavelength to represent the correct number of years, and voila, you have a frequency chart showing the Earth going through cycles of global warming and global cooling. As you look over the number of CENTURIES involved in the global cycles of warming and cooling, it would be logical to conclude that Man has made about as much difference on the temperature of Planet Earth as dinosaur farts did. In fact, I'm not the only one who thinks this way:

The bottom line is this: If you want to do something real about Global Warming, let's begin with removing politics from science. We can't continue to demand that scientists produce something by specific deadlines in order to justify their research. When we put that kind of political pressure on our scientists, we wind up with information that is geared toward telling the politicians what they want to hear rather than allowing the data and research to bear the true fruit of what the evidence shows. We wind up with scam artists like Al Gore preaching gloom and doom to us in order to have us buy "carbon credits" so that he can make a profit from it when people go out and buy trees from the companies he and other doomsday prophets are invested in.

Is this a politically correct way of thinking? No. It's a realistic way of thinking. Political correctness is an indoctrination into thinking like a group of people want you to think, rather than using your own rational mind to come to a conclusion based upon fact rather than feeling. If you think I'm wrong about how politics influences science, I'm going to leave you with this little reminder from Newsweek about global COOLING from 1975:

The Cooling World
Newsweek, April 28, 1975

There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production – with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now. The regions destined to feel its impact are the great wheat-producing lands of Canada and the U.S.S.R. in the North, along with a number of marginally self-sufficient tropical areas – parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indochina and Indonesia – where the growing season is dependent upon the rains brought by the monsoon.

The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree – a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars’ worth of damage in 13 U.S. states.

To scientists, these seemingly disparate incidents represent the advance signs of fundamental changes in the world’s weather. The central fact is that after three quarters of a century of extraordinarily mild conditions, the earth’s climate seems to be cooling down. Meteorologists disagree about the cause and extent of the cooling trend, as well as over its specific impact on local weather conditions. But they are almost unanimous in the view that the trend will reduce agricultural productivity for the rest of the century. If the climatic change is as profound as some of the pessimists fear, the resulting famines could be catastrophic. “A major climatic change would force economic and social adjustments on a worldwide scale,” warns a recent report by the National Academy of Sciences, “because the global patterns of food production and population that have evolved are implicitly dependent on the climate of the present century.”

Feel free to use your own minds to think about this, rationally. Just remember, as you do, that 400 scientists have come out denouncing Al Gore's 52 scientists and their "Inconvenient Truth."

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Felonious Slicing of Steak


You guessed it.

It's rant time.

The back story first.

Knife At Lunch Gets 10-Year-Old Girl Arrested At School

OCALA, Fla. -- A 10-year old Ocala girl brought her lunch to school and a small kitchen knife to cut it. She now faces a felony charge after being arrested. The school and the sheriff's office disagree on the reason for the arrest.

School officials say the 5th grader was brown-bagging it. She brought a piece of steak for her lunch, but she also brought a steak knife. That's when deputies were called.

It happened in the cafeteria at Sunrise Elementary School. The 10-year-old used the knife to cut the meat.

"She did not use it inappropriately. She did not threaten anyone with it. She didn't pull it out and brandish it. Nothing of that nature," explained Marion County School Spokesman Kevin Christian.

I can imagine it looked a LOT like THIS (click here if you subscribe via email):

Zero Tolerance policies are an excuse for school administrations to be lazy. Zero Tolerance is an excuse for school administrations not to have to think. It requires no thought process, no looking into a situation, no BRAINS, to sit and cry "Zero Tolerance Violation."

NAIL clippers fall under Zero Tolerance policies. Drawing pictures of guns can get you suspended under Zero Tolerance.

This little girl was TEN YEARS OLD and just trying to eat her lunch. She was ARRESTED, at the age of TEN YEARS OLD, for trying to eat her lunch. Now, I can understand her being arrested had she been brandishing the knife in a threatening way, eyes glazed over, and holding people at bay threatening to cut them if they did whatever. SHE WAS EATING HER LUNCH AND WAS ARRESTED FOR IT. And they're talking about charging her with a felony for it?

The question I have to ask is if the steak felt overly threatened in any way? WAS there also a felonious use of A-1 sauce as well? Perhaps maybe just a misdemeanor offense of using Heinz 57 instead.

Ten years old and looking at a felony charge JUST because she was trying to eat her lunch.

This is INVERTED. We have reached a point where common sense has gone out the window. THINKING is becoming a lost art and a lost practice. School administrations have taken the lazy route of REFUSAL to think, to contemplate, to investigate, when situations such as this arise. When a LITTLE GIRL can't brown bag her lunch and eat it at lunch time with her little friends without being carted off by sheriff's deputies, we have lost touch with reality in our school systems. WE CAN NOT continue to go down this road where little girls are arrested for doing nothing more hazardous than eating their lunches.

I can hear the nay-sayers now, "Oh, but, you don't under STAND. She brought a WEAPON to school." Let me tell you that a pencil can be just as much a lethal weapon as a knife. I personally know more than a couple of ways to kill a person using nothing more than a wooden number 2 pencil like you'll find in any school in this country. What makes a pencil a weapon? Intent. What makes a steak knife a weapon? Intent. I would dare say that the only thing being THREATENED was the piece of steak that this child was trying to eat for her lunch.

I want to hear from you, America. I want those of you who feel like I do about this to leave your comments. I want those of you who read this site regularly to pass this around to everyone you know. Email it to people. Spread the word. At the end of this week I would LOVE to have a SIGNIFICANT number of comments supporting this child so that I can forward this piece to the Ocala school district demanding that this stupidity be dropped. I want us all to begin taking a stand RIGHT NOW that this "Zero Tolerance" mentality be scrapped in favor of the use of REASON in our school systems.

Zero Tolerance equals Zero Thought Process.

Enough is enough. Arresting a little girl for eating her lunch is one toke over the line.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Things that make you go hmmmmm...

For lack of any other explanation than I feel totally random today, we're going to take a look at some headlines that make you sit back and go "hmmmmmm," with a brief commentary on what I find (YES, I know I do this once in a while already, but at least today I'm giving the REASON behind why I do this. Sheesh, everyone's a critic).

First up is one that all of those with BDS are going to be frothing at the mouth about saying "you just KNOW those people at Wake Up America are going to be all FOR this because Bush can do no WRONG (insert appropriate levels of frothing and snarling, foaming at the mouth, and wild, crazed looks here). WRONG. First the bits of the article and then my thoughts on it.

Control sought on military lawyers
Bush wants power over promotions

By Charlie Savage
Globe Staff / December 15, 2007

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration is pushing to take control of the promotions of military lawyers, escalating a conflict over the independence of uniformed attorneys who have repeatedly raised objections to the White House's policies toward prisoners in the war on terrorism.

The administration has proposed a regulation requiring "coordination" with politically appointed Pentagon lawyers before any member of the Judge Advocate General corps - the military's 4,000-member uniformed legal force - can be promoted.

A Pentagon spokeswoman did not respond to questions about the reasoning behind the proposed regulations. But the requirement of coordination - which many former JAGs say would give the administration veto power over any JAG promotion or appointment - is consistent with past administration efforts to impose greater control over the military lawyers.

The former JAG officers say the regulation would end the uniformed lawyers' role as a check-and-balance on presidential power, because politically appointed lawyers could block the promotion of JAGs who they believe would speak up if they think a White House policy is illegal.

Okay, BAD idea. You can't take one corps of the military and change the rules and it not affect the other corps adversely. From my own experiences with the Graham-Rudman budget cuts on into the Clinton fiasco of hatred for our armed forces through until today, we've finally gotten our military back into a place where it's able to do what it needs to do more effectively and efficiently than at any time in our nation's history (that's my opinion, and is so stated as such, so DON'T start in with all your left leaning statistics and anti-military frothing and snarling, ok? good). In any event, there is already a system in place for the promotion of military lawyers, as they ARE military officers. There is no need for a separate system of promotions for JAG than for, say, the Corps of Engineers, the Infantry Corps, of the Armored Corps.

Next we move to Bolivia where we see that not all is well in relations between state and industry.

Four Bolivian regions declare autonomy from government

From Helena DeMoura

Tensions were rising in Bolivia on Saturday as members of the country's four highest natural gas-producing regions declared autonomy from the central government.

Thousands waved the Santa Cruz region's green-and-white flags in the streets as council members of the Santa Cruz, Tarija, Beni and Pando districts made the public announcement.

The officials displayed a green-bound document containing a set of statutes paving the way to a permanent separation from the Bolivian government.

Council representatives vowed to legitimize the so-called autonomy statutes through a referendum that would legally separate the natural-gas rich districts from President Evo Morales' government.

The move also aims to separate the states from Bolivia's new constitution, which calls for, among other things, a heavier taxation on the four regions to help finance more social programs.

"The statutes will be ratified," said Oscar Ortiz, Santa Cruz senator. "With a public referendum, the people of our region will legitimize their will."

About 35 percent of Bolivia's 9.5 million people live in the four states, according to The Associated Press.

Democratic Presidential candidates take particular notice at why these four regions are moving to secede from Bolivia; "a heavier taxation on the four regions to help finance more social programs." Taxing the productive to benefit the non-productive PISSES OFF the productive. In Ayn Rand's terms, this is what you call "looting." WE don't like that happening to us in THIS country, either.

Here's a story that should have all you Huckayucks out there reexamining your support of the former governor from Arkansas (like we really NEED another former Arkansas governor in the White House any time soon, oy vey).

Huckabee's theology degree? Now says ain't necessarily so
Campaign admits candidate doesn't have claimed religious credential
Posted: December 14, 2007
7:20 p.m. Eastern

Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee told the Christian Broadcasting Network he had a theology degree, he told voters in Iowa he had a theology degree, he repeated the claim in last month's CNN YouTube debate ... but, his campaign now says, it was not true.

Huckabee's claim began unraveling following his offhanded comment about Mormonism in a New York Times interview last weekend.

Reporter Zev Chafets wrote: "I asked Huckabee, who describes himself as the only Republican candidate with a degree in theology, if he considered Mormonism a cult or a religion. 'I think it's a religion,' he said. 'I really don't know much about it.'

"I was about to jot down this piece of boilerplate when Huckabee surprised me with a question of his own: 'Don't Mormons,' he asked in an innocent voice, 'believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?'"

In the interview, Huckabee's account of his education made no mention of his having earned a theology degree.
was ever rebellious or difficult, there's no record of it. He preached his first sermon as a teenager, married his high-school sweetheart and went off to Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia. There he majored in speech and communications, worked at a radio station and earned his B.A. in a little more than two years. He spent a year at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Tex., before dropping out to work for the televangelist James Robison, who bought him his first decent wardrobe and showed him how to use television."
Chafets wrote: "If young Mike Huckabee was ever rebellious or difficult, there's no record of it. He preached his first sermon as a teenager, married his high-school sweetheart and went off to Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia. There he majored in speech and communications, worked at a radio station and earned his B.A. in a little more than two years. He spent a year at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Tex., before dropping out to work for the televangelist James Robison, who bought him his first decent wardrobe and showed him how to use television."

The problem is, if he's willing to lie about something of such major importance as this...

Just a few thoughts from a pondering wandering man.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Friday, December 14, 2007

Of Soundbites and Showing of Hands

Are you tired of the Presidential Debates for the Republican Candidates yet? I'm not. There's a very simple reason for this; there haven't BEEN any Presidential debates for the Republicans yet.

That's right, you read it right.

I said there HAVE NOT BEEN any Presidential debates for the Republicans yet. There have been soundbite events. There have been question and answer sessions. But a debate? Not yet.

I offer as proof the little stunt pulled at the Iowa "debate" this past week. How about a show of hands from others who were as turned off by that as I was? Is it any WONDER that they're calling for a second debate in Iowa before the caucuses?

Iowa Republicans consider another debate

DES MOINES -- Dissatisfied with the debate here Wednesday that drew widespread scorn, Iowa Republicans will discuss on Friday the possibility of holding another forum before the January 3rd caucuses.

The debate this week, sponsored by the Des Moines Register and Iowa Public Television, was to have been the final gathering of the GOP contenders, but one well-placed Iowa Republican said tonight that they were interested in getting the candidates back together

"We'd prefer if the Register debate did not leave a bad taste," said this source, who requested anonymity. "Iowa deserves a little better than that."

So does the country.

The American public deserves more than 30 second sounbites and a few news blurbs showing candidates saying something designed for the express purpose of filling just a few seconds of a news clip on the evening news.

That isn't how we choose a leader.

What we need to see is a true, honest, open forum debate in which the candidates have time to fully express their views on real, hard hitting issues, NOT some silly "lets see a show of hands" on something as serious as the fraud being put upon the public called man made global warming.

Thank GOD Fred Thompson refused to answer.

The entire thing was a farce from the beginning, having a registered Democrat as the moderator.

Here's my idea of a real debate: Rush Limbaugh as the moderator, and the candidates NOT under some ridiculous 30 second limit on answering.

It's too important of a situation for the foolishness that we've seen thus far in the name of political debating.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Now THIS is the Fred Thompson we know in Tennessee

Debate by show of hands, anyone?

Sounds highly professional for a debate forum, doesn't it?

That's exactly how a question was posed to the Republican candidates participating in the Iowa debates the other night. Fred Thompson stepped up to the plate right away and refused to bow down to such tomfoolery in what SHOULD be a serious forum.

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin and to Jay at Stop the ACLU for this one.

(For our email subscribers, the video can be seen here.)

THIS is the Fred Thompson we elected to the Senate in Tennessee. THIS is Fred Thompson's refusal to play politics as usual in a game that we're all quickly becoming sick of.

THIS is why THIS Tennessean is still solidly behind Fred.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Leftinistra Talk Radio Loses Another

The left WILL lose the war of ideology so long as we maintain our resolve and don't give in to their propaganda.

KGO's Bernie Ward Nailed In Child Porn Bust

*** First Reported By The Radio Equalizer ***
*** Update Via Drudge: Lawyer Blames Bush! ***
*** Attempts To Update Ward's Wikipedia Entry Being Undone! ***
*** HuffPo Commenters Go Conspiratorial - See Below ***

In a shocking development from San Francisco, longtime liberal talk show host Bernie Ward has apparently been indicted on charges related to child pornography, according to several sources in Baghdad-By-The-Bay.

Your Radio Equalizer has learned that Ward, a married father of four, could face up to five years in prison if convicted on each of the two counts. The allegations include both possessing and forwarding child porn.

The onetime seminarian and frequent cable talk show guest was to be arraigned earlier today, photographed and fingerprinted. He was expected to plead not guilty to the charges.

As of yet, a request for information from the US Attorney's office in San Francisco has not met with a response.


It gets better, check out the link to Huffy-post where they're crying "conspiracy!"

Holy S---! Bernie of all people. From what I have read so far this prosecution stinks. What a novel way to remove one of the most vocal and credible voices against this corrupt administration from the air. Even if proven false the stigma this will carry may silence him. Just the fact that he has been indicted will turn many against him, no matter what the facts are. If this is a malicious prosecution being used to silence him, then anyone who raises their voice in opposition should be very afraid.

And we also see, once again, how it's Bush's fault.


Once and Always, an American Fighting Man

[Update-] San Francisco Chronicle reports what Ward's attorney says:

Ward's attorney said today that the charges are based on incidents that occurred more than four years ago and were part of research for a book.

"As everybody knows, Bernie, for over 20 years, has been a progressive, opposed to insensitive authority - he has been a champion of charities, nonprofits for the homeless," said Doron Weinberg, who appeared in federal court today as Ward's lawyer.

"More than three years ago, Bernie was doing research for a book he was doing on hypocrisy in America," Weinberg said.

As part of the research, Ward downloaded "a few images" of child pornography, and, Weinberg said, "it came to the attention of the government in late 2004."

"They investigated and they never found any involvement in child pornography other than this period that he accessed these images," Weinberg said. "The government knows that Bernie was doing this for an investigation he was doing for a book. But the government believes he violated the letter of the law and they have gone ahead and prosecuted him."

Weinberg stressed that "the fact that these events happened three years ago and they are just being prosecuted shows the fact that nobody believes that he is a child predator."

"He is just being prosecuted for a mistake he made (more than) three years ago," the lawyer said.

If, indeed, this stems from something that occurred more than 3 years ago, and he was arrested today, then that implies, contrary to Huffpo's "theory", that this has been an ongoing investigation that provided the evidence necessary to just now arrest him. [End Update]


Fred Doesn't Have a Hunting License, and Neither do I

I stopped watching CNN after they showed one of our soldiers being taken out by an enemy sniper. Through the years, they have done little more than piss me off anyway, so it was no big loss for my news hunting to do without the Caliphate News Network.

Now they're trying to call into question Fred Thompson's NRA and gun support because he doesn't have a current hunting license. Well big deal, I don't either, and haven't for several years. It's not that I don't like hunting, don't advocate it, and don't wish that I had the TIME for it, I simply DON'T have the time with my work schedule or I would be out there as much as I could doing the hunting and fishing I love to do and look forward to doing one of these days when I retire.

Thompson does not have hunting license

COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) — Fred Thompson has made a point of visiting gun shops and gun shows while hitting the campaign trail in New Hampshire and South Carolina, usually with camera crews in tow.

But Thompson said Wednesday he does not have a hunting license, nor has be been hunting recently.

"It's been too long, it's been too long," Thompson told CNN Wednesday.

Asked if he has a hunting license, Thompson said he currently does not.

"At the present time I do not, but I have been hunting plenty of times. I usually hunt birds and used to have my own skeet shoot, and I got a chance to shoot and practice a lot back then."

Thompson, an ardent defender of Second Amendment rights, was appearing in Columbia to pick up the endorsement of South Carolina Citizens for Life.


Thompson said Wednesday he wished he had more time to go hunting.

"It seems like other things seem to be getting in its way," he said.

I can certainly relate to that sentiment, all too well.

It's like this. The Second Amendment is about the right to bear arms, NOT the right to hunt. It's a stretch on the part of CNN to try to make this into something that it isn't, and, as usual, highly irresponsible of them to make this attempt.

One more instance of CNN trying to twist things. Seems to me they're afraid of Fred Thompson...

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


The Shape of Things to Come for the United States?

This is a very interesting story from Denmark. Given our own national income taxes, among all the OTHER taxes that we pay in our nation, the decline of industry, can we possibly see a glimpse of our own future as a nation here?

High income taxes in Denmark worsen a labor shortage
By Carter Dougherty
Published: December 5, 2007

COPENHAGEN: As a self-employed software engineer, Thomas Sorensen broadcasts his qualifications to potential employers across Europe and the Middle East. But to the ones in his native Denmark, he is simply unavailable.

Settled in Frankfurt, where he handles computer security for a major Swiss corporation, Sorensen, 34, has no plans to return to the days of paying sky-high Danish taxes. Still, an unknowing headhunter does occasionally pass his name to Danish companies.

"When I get an e-mail from them, I either respond negatively but politely," Sorensen said. "Or I don't respond at all."

Born and trained at Denmark's expense, but working - and paying lower taxes - elsewhere in Europe, Sorensen is the stuff of nightmares for Danish companies and politicians searching for solutions to an increasingly desperate labor shortage.

People like Sorensen, and there are many, epitomize the challenges facing the small Nordic country, long viewed across Europe as an example of how to keep an economy thriving and a society equal.

Young Danes, often schooled abroad and inevitably fluent in English, are primed to quit Denmark for greener pastures. One reason is the income tax rate, which can reach 63 percent.

No one who works, no one with a rational thought process, wants to give away their incomes to the government or to anyone else. And yet Hillary Clinton wants to raise taxes in our country if she's elected?

Thoughts to consider.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


No Brotherly Love for the Boy Scouts

[UPDATE] Link for Scouting Legal Defense Fund

Update on a story we brought you back in October.

I've never been one to advocate boycotts on business. I do understand, however, the power of the boycott and how that they can be an effective tool in changing things. I'm advocating, for the first time, the boycott of an entire city. I call for this in an effort to affect this city's tourism dollar. I do this because I find this city to be in contempt of the United States Constitution.

I do this because I was a Boy Scout.

It's time to send Philadelphia a clear and strong message that they are out of line in making demands of a private organization to change their policies.

Boy Scouts Lose Philadelphia Lease in Gay-Rights Fight

Published: December 6, 2007

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 4 — For three years the Philadelphia council of the Boy Scouts of America held its ground. It resisted the city’s request to change its discriminatory policy toward gay people despite threats that if it did not do so, the city would evict the group from a municipal building where the Scouts have resided practically rent free since 1928.

Hailed as the birthplace of the Boy Scouts, the Beaux Arts building is the seat of the seventh-largest chapter of the organization and the first of the more than 300 council service centers built by the Scouts around the country over the past century.

But over the years the fight between the city and the Scouts was about more than this grandiose structure in Center City.

Municipal officials said the clash stemmed from a duty to defend civil rights and an obligation to abide by a local law that bars taxpayer support for any group that discriminates. Boy Scout officials said it was about preserving their culture, protecting the right of private organizations to remain exclusive and defending traditions like requiring members to swear an oath of duty to God and prohibiting membership by anyone who is openly homosexual.

This week the Boy Scouts made their last stand and lost.

“At the end of the day, you can not be in a city-owned facility being subsidized by the taxpayers and not have language in your lease that talks about nondiscrimination,” said City Councilman Darrell L. Clarke, who represents the district where the building is located. “Negotiations are over.”

Mr. Clarke said talks ended this week when the deadline passed for the local chapter to change its policy; on June 1 the group will be evicted.

“Since we were founded, we believe that open homosexuality would be inconsistent with the values that we want to communicate with our leaders,” said Gregg Shields, national spokesman for the Boy Scouts. “A belief in God is also mentioned in the Scout oath. We believe that those values are important. Tradition is important. Our mission is to instill those values in scouts and help them make good choices over their lifetimes.”

In 2000, the Supreme Court decided a case — Boy Scouts of America v. Dale — involving an openly gay scout from New Jersey who was barred from serving as troop leader. The court ruled in a 5-to-4 decision that, as a private organization, the group had a First Amendment right to set its membership rules.

The City of Philadelphia is in clear and direct violation of the civil rights of the Boy Scouts of America.

John F. Street, Mayor
City of Philadelphia
Room 215 City Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Primary Phone: 215-686-2181
Fax: 215-686-2180
E-Mail: John F. Street, City of Philadelphia

This isn't over. Not while I draw breath.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Weighing in on Gitmo: Symbolism or Substance?

(Note: Special thanks to Jay at Stop the ACLU for emailing this information to WUA)

It disgusts me when I hear Republicans take symbolic stands over the substantive. Feel-goodism might work with the Democrats, it might win Democratic votes, but Republicans, or at least the Republicans I know and associate with, are turned off by it.

Most Americans were unaware, really, that the United States owns a little chunk of the Island of Cuba, known as Guantanamo Bay, until shortly after 9/11, when we started detaining terrorist suspects there. The left went into orbit over the fact that this facility is NOT in the Continental U.S. and they don't have access to it. They would prefer to have these people, these terrorist suspects and known terrorists, ON OUR SHORES so that they can make sure that they are given "due process" according to the mandates of the United States Constitution.

My question has been, and remains, since when does someone, who is not a citizen of this country and is suspected of committing crimes against our citizens, have the benefits of the rights of our citizenry?

As of right now, I know the positions of two of the Republican candidates for President in regards to Gitmo; that of Fred Thompson, and that of Mike Huckabee.

Mike Huckabee's position, frankly, I find appalling.

I’ve been to Guantanamo, I was there, I guess it’s been about a year and a half ago. I think the problem with Guantanamo is not in that its facilities are inadequate. It’s the symbol that it represents. It’s clearly become a symbol to the rest of the world as a place that has become problematic for us as a nation. I was quite frankly impressed with the quality of the facilities and even the attention to care that was given to the detainees, but that aside, it doesn’t alter that Guantanamo to the rest of the world is a symbol that is not in our best interests to continue pursuing.

So Mike Huckabee is worried about Gitmo for "symbolic" reasons. Symbolism. Symbolism over substance. This is leadership?

Fred Thompson on Gitmo:

I'm telling you, as President, if the lives of a bunch of American citizens were at stake and I thought that there was a good chance that an individual had information and could impart information that would help save those lives, I'm just saying, that I would do whatever is necessary to get that information from that person. I would authorize that. Whatever is necessary to save a number of American lives.

"I would do whatever is necessary..." In my mind, THAT is the thinking of a leader. THAT is a substantive position.

We've just experienced a year of politicians putting symbolism over substance. How many "non-binding resolutions" can Congress pass during a term? I suppose we'll have to see how many more are passed before this Congress comes up for reelection again next year before we can answer that.

We've seen the benefits of having a do-nothing Legislative branch this year. Our military is struggling to decide what non-mission essential programs to cut because of the lack of funding thanks to our do-nothing Congress.

Can our nation afford a do-nothing President who leads by symbolism instead of taking a stand and actually leading? I don't think so. And I don't think that the majority of Americans think so, either.

Symbolism or Substance, America.

The choice is up to us.

God have mercy on us if we choose symbolism.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Slapping a Bully in the Face

Remember the school yard bully? The kid that would take your lunch money? Smack you around because he didn't think you'd do anything about it? The kid that would call you names and laugh at you? The kid that backed down when the right person came along and socked him a good one in the eye?

Who were their victims? Pretty much anyone was fair game. I can remember being on the receiving end of it when I was younger. There were two very simple reasons for it. I was the new kid to the town (my parents had left the home town for a few years and I had started school somewhere else, then we moved back to my hometown and I was enrolled in it's school system), and I was scared. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't afraid of them. I was generally bigger than most of the people I was in school with, and in most cases stronger. I can remember tears of frustration at times from when I was a kid because I wouldn't hit back in my pre-high school days. I was afraid of me. Something down deep inside of me said not to let loose because I knew I wouldn't be able to control myself if I did. I knew it was going to take some severe restraint to hold me back if I ever did lay into someone, and I was right. The very last time one of the school bullies pushed (sometime around eight grade) I blacked out in the middle of throwing punches. My next memory was of being held back by some of my friends. It was the last time anyone messed with me. The next year, in high school, I discovered both weight lifting and Zen meditations, giving me two outlets for controlling a very, very hot and ugly temper.

New kids are often the target of school bullies, too. Or kids that have moved away and been gone for several years, then move back to a community. They have to come in and prove themselves to the instigators and agitators or suffer constant ridicule and harassment. That's no way to live. Just because the new kid is "different" from the locals doesn't give them any less right to be where they are, and be who and what they are.

When looking at the Middle East, this school yard scenario comes back to mind. Israel can be seen as the "new kid" in the neighborhood, having been forced from their ancestral homeland for so many centuries and having returned to it in the last century. Since their return to their ancient homeland, they've endured ongoing war and embattlement from their neighbors, many of whom have sworn to see Israel wiped off the face of the earth. Just weeks ago, Israel once again slapped the face of one of the bullies in the neighborhood, and the bully is still trying to figure out how to handle it.

From The Sunday Times
December 2, 2007
Israelis hit Syrian ‘nuclear bomb plant’
Uzi Mahnaimi in Tel Aviv and Michael Sheridan in Seoul

ISRAEL’S top-secret air raid on Syria in September destroyed a bomb factory assembling warheads fuelled by North Korean plutonium, a leading Israeli nuclear expert has told The Sunday Times.

Professor Uzi Even of Tel Aviv University was one of the founders of the Israeli nuclear reactor at Dimona, the source of the Jewish state’s undeclared nuclear arsenal.

“I suspect that it was a plant for processing plutonium, namely, a factory for assembling the bomb,” he said. “I think the DPRK [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] transferred to Syria weapons-grade plutonium in raw form, that is nuggets of easily transported metal in protective cans. I think the shaping and casting of the plutonium was supposed to be in Syria.”

All governments concerned - even the regime in Damascus - have tried to maintain complete secrecy about the raid.

They apparently fear that forcing a confrontation on the issue could spark a war between Israel and Syria, end the Middle East peace talks and wreck America’s extremely complex negotiations to disarm North Korea of its nuclear weapons.

The political stakes could hardly be higher. Plutonium is the element which fuelled the American atomic bomb that destroyed the Japanese city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.

Critics in the United States say proof that North Korea supplied such nuclear weapons material to Syria, a state technically at war with Israel, would shatter congressional confidence in the Bush administration’s diplomatic policy.

From beneath the veil of military censorship, western commentators have formed a consensus that the target was a nuclear reactor under construction.

There are, of course, those who say that there is no sufficient evidence to support that the target was a nuclear facility. Whatever the case may be, Syria has been slapped hard and is scrambling to cover up the contents of the bombed site. Israel had information that showed that there was a threat to their sovereignty and security, and they struck.

I personally don't blame Israel for striking. Dealing with the torment of a bully is never fun, but sometimes, it has to be done.

Shalom, Israel.

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man


Assaults on the Second Ammendment - NRA update 2DEC07

From email:


Brady's Shamelessness-Will They Ever Learn? This week's outrage comes, not surprisingly, from the Brady Center. You may recall back in May, we reported on the Brady Center prescribing its remedies for the horrific Virginia Tech slayings well before any of the facts were known. Not content to stop there, they even sent out an extremely distasteful fundraising solicitation seeking contributions in the amount of $32-one dollar for each of the Virginia Tech slayings.

You'd think the Brady Center would have learned its lesson after being pilloried for this stunt by Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (among others), who said, "People who want to take this (the Tech shootings) within 24 hours of the event and make it, you know, their political hobby horse to ride, I've got nothing but loathing for them. To those who want to, you know, try to make this into some little crusade, you know, I say take that elsewhere. Let this community deal with grieving individuals and be sensitive to those needs."

Once again, though, the Brady Bunch has proven it has no learning curve.

Boston Gun Search Policy Raises Concerns:
Boston police may soon begin asking parents to allow searches of their homes and children's bedrooms for firearms-without notice or warrants.

STATE ROUNDUP (please click to see any updates on states not listed below.)

COLORADO: BLM Plans to Close Canyons of the Ancients to Recreational Shooting: The Bureau of Land Management has released a draft management plan for the 164,000-acre Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in southwest Colorado. All four management alternatives would close the entire Monument to recreational shooting. The BLM cites vandalism of cultural and natural resources and visitor safety as the reasons for closure. For more information about the plan, please go to Comments from the public are being accepted until January 25, 2008. It is critical that gun owners and sportsmen take an active role in this process!

BLM Plan Will Set Game Retrieval Restrictions: The Bureau of Land Management has released a draft management plan for travel routes on lands it administers within San Luis Valley, Colorado. The proposal will limit the retrieval of game off designated routes except to a perpendicular distance of 300 ft. from the edge of a route. Comments on the plan are being accepted until December 31. The document can be viewed at For further information, please contact Mark Swinney, Project Lead, by phone at (719) 655-2547, or by e-mail at Once again, it is critical that gun owners and sportsmen take an active role in this process!

ILLINOIS: Continue to Express Your Opposition to Proposed FOID Card Regulations! As we have previously reported, the Illinois State Police has proposed enacting an age limit to obtain an Illinois Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) card. This is apparently in response to an editorial by Daily Southtown columnist Howard Ludwig, who wrote an article about obtaining a FOID card for his ten-month-old son. Illinois law does not set an age requirement for issuance of a FOID card with a parent's consent, but imposing one could have disastrous effects on Illinois' rich hunting heritage and would endanger the lives of children. The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) will determine if this rule will be enacted, but you can still submit comments in opposition to the proposal. Please address your comments to: Mr. John M. Hosteny, Interim Chief Legal Counsel, Illinois State Police, 801 South 7th Street, Suite 1000-S, P.O. Box 19461, Springfield, IL 61794-9461. Please be sure to ask Mr. Hosteny to share your comments with the members of JCAR. You can also send your comments directly to the JCAR at 700 Stratton Office Building, Springfield, Illinois 62706 or email

VIRGINIA: Hunting With Hounds Under Review: The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has launched a review of hound hunting in the Commonwealth. Virginia Tech is conducting focus group meetings around the state during November and December. Trespass complaints from property owners have sparked this review. The Department's goal is "To provide diverse opportunities for hunting with hounds in Virginia in a manner that is fair, sportsmanlike and consistent with the rights of property owners and other citizens." The process includes many avenues for hound hunters to participate, such as focus group meetings with individual stakeholder groups, a survey conducted through the Department's website, opportunity to review all developments, public meetings, and by letter or e-mail. About half of the focus groups will be comprised of bear, deer, fox, and raccoon hound hunters. The remainder of the focus groups will be populated by landowners, government representatives, other hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. If you are a hound hunter, make your views known during this public process. Go to for more information about how you can participate.

WISCONSIN: Vote Scheduled for Critical Emergency Powers Legislation! Assembly Bill 581 is likely to be voted on Tuesday, December 4. Sponsored by Assemblyman Scott Gunderson (R-83), AB 681 would prevent the state of Wisconsin from restricting the possession, transfer, sale, transport, storage, display, or use of firearms or ammunition during a declared state of emergency. Please contact the members of the Assembly Committee on Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and respectfully urge them to pass this important legislation. Contact information for the Committee can be found by clicking here.

I ask again, what part of "...shall not be infringed" do these people NOT understand?

Once and Always, an American Fighting Man