Welcome to my World of Wonderment
This is another great video I found on Operation Itch
If it wasn't for protest in the 1960's, Barack Obama wouldn't have the opportunity he has now of becoming the next President of the United States. What if the leaders of the civil rights movement had been told, no you can't protest here, but you can protest over there, it's a free speech zone. The whole United States is free speech zone.
Warning, Spoiler Alert if you haven't read or watched the Lord of the Rings, and if you haven't, shame on you.
Indiana is the only state that discriminates against drug, grocery and convenience store customers by limiting the sale of cold beer to a single segment of the industry (package liquor stores).
This monopoly granted to package liquor stores not only defies common sense but also acts as a hidden tax on consumers- ever wonder why you are required to pay more at a liquor store for cold beer versus the same product warm?
Indiana is one of only fifteen states that completely prohibits the carry-out sale of alcoholic beverages on Sundays.
Since 2002, thirteen states have repealed laws restricting alcohol sales on Sundays.
Indiana is one of only three states that prohibits retailers from selling alcohol on Sunday yet allows restaurants, taverns and numerous sports and community events to sell alcohol by the drink on Sunday.
Sunday is the 2nd busiest grocery shopping day of the week, yet customers are inconvenienced by Indiana’s antiquated prohibition on Sunday carry-out sales.
Indiana loses tax revenue when Hoosiers that live in bordering communities travel to our neighboring states to purchase alcohol on Sunday.
In recent years, the Indiana General Assembly has passed a law extending the hours that bars, taverns and restaurants can sell alcohol on New Year’s Eve even if it falls on a Sunday and a law allowing carry-out sales on New Year’s Day, yet continues to prohibit carry-out sales on Sunday.
bush's Third Term
We're beginning to understand why Barack Obama keeps protesting so vigorously against the prospect of "george bush's third term." Maybe he's worried that someone will notice that he's the candidate who's running for it.
Most Presidential candidates adapt their message after they win their party nomination, but Mr. Obama isn't merely "running to the center." He's fleeing from many of his primary positions so markedly and so rapidly that he's embracing a sizable chunk of president bush's policy. Who would have thought that a Democrat would rehabilitate the much-maligned bush agenda?
Take the surveillance of foreign terrorists. Last October, while running with the Democratic pack, the Illinois Senator vowed to "support a filibuster of any bill that includes retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies" that assisted in such eavesdropping after 9/11. As recently as February, still running as the liberal favorite against Hillary Clinton, he was one of 29 Democrats who voted against allowing a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee reform of surveillance rules even to come to the floor.
Two weeks ago, however, the House passed a bill that is essentially the same as that Senate version, and Mr. Obama now says he supports it. Apparently legal immunity for the telcos is vital for U.S. national security, just as Mr. bush has claimed. Apparently, too, the legislation isn't an attempt by Dick Cheney to gut the Constitution. Perhaps it is dawning on Mr. Obama that, if he does become President, he'll be responsible for preventing any new terrorist attack. So now he's happy to throw the New York Times under the bus.
Next up for Mr. Obama's political blessing will be Mr. bush's Iraq policy. Only weeks ago, the Democrat was calling for an immediate and rapid U.S. withdrawal. When General David Petraeus first testified about the surge in September 2007, Mr. Obama was dismissive and skeptical. But with the surge having worked wonders in Iraq, this week Mr. Obama went out of his way to defend General Petraeus against MoveOn.org's attacks in 2007 that he was "General Betray Us." Perhaps he had a late epiphany.
Look for Mr. Obama to use his forthcoming visit to Iraq as an excuse to drop those withdrawal plans faster than he can say Jeremiah Wright "was not the person that I met 20 years ago." The Senator will learn – as John McCain has been saying – that withdrawal would squander the gains from the surge, set back Iraqi political progress, and weaken America's strategic position against Iran. Our guess is that he'll spin this switcheroo as some kind of conditional commitment, saying he'll stay in Iraq as long as Iraqis are making progress on political reconciliation, and so on. As things improve in Iraq, this would be Mr. Bush's policy too.
Mr. Obama has also made ostentatious leaps toward Mr. Bush on domestic issues. While he once bid for labor support by pledging a unilateral rewrite of Nafta, the Democrat now says he favors free trade as long as it works for "everybody." His economic aide, Austan Goolsbee, has been liberated from the five-month purdah he endured for telling Canadians that Mr. Obama's protectionism was merely campaign rhetoric. Now that Mr. Obama is in a general election, he can't scare the business community too much.
Back in the day, the first-term Senator also voted against the Supreme Court nominations of John Roberts and Samuel Alito. But last week he agreed with their majority opinion in the Heller gun rights case, and with their dissent against the liberal majority's ruling to ban the death penalty for rape. Mr. Obama seems to appreciate that getting pegged as a cultural lefty is deadly for national Democrats – at least until November.
This week the great Democratic hope even endorsed spending more money on faith-based charities. Apparently, this core plank of Mr. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" is not the assault on church-state separation that the ACLU and liberals have long claimed. And yesterday, Mr. Obama's campaign unveiled an ad asserting his support for welfare reform that "slashed the rolls by 80 percent." Never mind that Mr. Obama has declared multiple times that he opposed the landmark 1996 welfare reform.
All of which prompts a couple of thoughts. The first is that Mr. Obama doesn't seem to think American political sentiment has moved as far left as most of the media claim. Another is that the next President, whether Democrat or Republican, is going to embrace much of Mr. Bush's foreign and antiterror policy whether he admits it or not. Think Eisenhower endorsing Truman's Cold War architecture.
Most important is the matter of Mr. Obama's political character – and how honest he is being about what he truly believes. His voting record in the Senate and in Illinois, as well as his primary positions, would make him the most liberal Presidential candidate since George McGovern in 1972. But he clearly doesn't want voters to believe that in November. He's still the Obama Americans don't know.
Blind Frenchman fined for drunk driving
Fri Aug 22, 7:54 am ET
NANCY, France (AFP) – A blind journalist was given a month's suspended jail sentence and fined 500 euros (750 dollars) by a French court Friday for driving while drunk and without a license.
The owner of the car, who was also drunk as he sat next to the blind man when he drove the vehicle, was given the same sentence and had his license suspended for five months by the court in the northeastern town of Nancy.
The pair were arrested on a country road in the early hours of July 25 by police who spotted their car zig-zagging suspiciously and moving at a very low speed.
The police were astounded when the 29-year-old driver informed them that he was blind, and when they breathalysed him and his passenger, a 52-year-old photographer, they found they had drunk twice the permitted level of alcohol.
"I really wanted to do it (drive the car)," the blind man told the court. "I expressed this wish. He (the owner of the car) agreed."
The owner said he saw "a lot of happiness emanating from him" as he drove, adding that he had "one hand on the handbrake and one hand on the steering wheel" as the blind journalist drove.
"I was very concentrated on the road," he said.
The judge retorted that, as he was well over the legal alcohol limit, "that didn't make you a vey reliable monitor."
The blind journalist had previously driven on a closed circuit, an experience which he had recounted in a regional newspaper in an article which was accompanied by his photographer friend who was in court with him Friday.
The Case Against Obama - In His Own Words
By Lorie Byrd
It would be hard to make a better case against a Barack Obama presidency than the one Obama has made in his own words. The most memorable thing about Obama's speeches is not generally what he says, but rather how large and enthusiastic the audiences are. If voters pay attention only to the symbolism and get caught up in the excitement of the Obamessiah and his throngs of fainting disciples, he stands a good chance of winning in November. If voters pay attention instead to the things Obama is saying, the case against an Obama presidency will be clear.
Obama's youthful appearance is often cited as one of his biggest assets, but when he opens his mouth he doesn't always come off as presidential or even particularly intelligent. The political figure who perhaps has received the most ridicule in the past twenty years is Dan Quayle (due largely to a misspelled word on a flashcard he read during an appearance at a school). I wonder how much more grief would have been heaped on Vice President Quayle if he had made any of the following gaffes committed by Barack Obama (from Michelle Malkin):
· Last May, he claimed that Kansas tornadoes killed a whopping 10,000 people: "In case you missed it, this week, there was a tragedy in Kansas. Ten thousand people died -- an entire town destroyed." The actual death toll: 12.
· Earlier this month in Oregon, he redrew the map of the United States: "Over the last 15 months, we've traveled to every corner of the United States. I've now been in 57 states? I think one left to go."
· Last March, on the anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march in Selma, Alabama, he claimed his parents united as a direct result of the civil rights movement: "There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama, because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born." Obama was born in 1961. The Selma march took place in 1965.
Some of Obama's gaffes go beyond simple slips of the tongue and confusion over numbers though and display a lack of knowledge on important issues as was the case when he commented on the war in Afghanistan and the lack of translators: "We only have a certain number of them and if they are all in Iraq, then it's harder for us to use them in Afghanistan." As Malkin pointed out, the real reason it's "harder for us to use them" in Afghanistan is because Iraqis speak Arabic or Kurdish, while Afghanis speak Pashto, Farsi, or other non-Arabic languages. Worse than the lack of knowledge of the languages spoken in other nations is that he lacks an understanding of the threat posed by some of them. Or maybe he doesn't. It is really a bit confusing. In Portland, Oregon, Obama said of Iran, "They don't pose a serious threat to us." The following day in Billings, Montana he said: "I've made it clear for years that the threat from Iran is grave." Maybe it depends what the definitions of "grave" and "serious" are. As I said, it is all bit confusing. Maybe that is why so many focus on the crowds at Obama's events, rather than to what Obama is actually saying to them.
If voters are paying attention to what Barack Obama says they will see not only a lack of knowledge of important issues, but on some of the issues where he is informed, an attempt to hide his true position and past votes.
In the Saddleback Church forum last week, in response to Rev. Rick Warren's question, "At what point does a baby get human rights in your view?" Obama responded: "Well, uh, you know, I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective or, uh, a scientific perspective, uh, answering that question with specificity, uh, you know, is, is, uh, above my pay grade." As blogger Cassy Fiano points out, the idea that someone running for President would dodge such an important question in that way is "beyond ridiculous" and obviously an attempt to be as ambiguous as possible so that he does not offend those who disagree with the very radical positions he has taken on the issue of abortion during his political career. Obama's past comments and votes on abortion legislation definitely say more about him than anything he is saying on the subject now.
Another example of actions speaking louder than words can be found when we listen to Obama's money talk. According to Obama's tax returns from 2000-2006, the Obamas have given far less to charity than John McCain has. In all but the two most recent years reported, the Obamas gave around 1% or less of their income to charity. Their contributions increased in 2005 and 2006 to 4.7% and 6.1% respectively, but still are far short of those of McCain who gave 28.6% in 2006 and 27.3% in 2007. But if you listen to Obama's words you will hear that he is very concerned about the least among us.
According to the following statement from an Obama speech earlier this summer, it appears pretty much everyone who isn't Obama is a lesser being: "...I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment -- this was the time -- when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals." If Obama is able to slow the rise of the oceans then ending poverty and securing peace should be a cakewalk. I suppose he will only be able to accomplish such feats if elected President though.
This week John McCain pulled ahead of Obama in many polls and projections. Maybe voters have finally started listening to what Obama has been saying now that the thrill of his oratory is wearing thin.
Lorie Byrd is a Townhall.com columnist and blogs at Wizbang and at LorieByrd.com.
12 Lanes 12 Strikes - video powered by Metacafe
I'm sure parts of India are beautiful, and the people I have met from there are nice, but I still don't think I would want to visit any time soon.
"The tradition of American democracy is special and unique not because we are loud in proclaiming it as such, but because that tradition though forged in a much different historical period, has proudly stood the test of time and successfully responded to the many crises in our republic's history. To rebuild U.S. diplomatic credibility in the world may require decades. The trick will be to have something to say to the rest of the world that does not sound either patronizing or bullying, like so many of the ugly pronouncements heard during the George W. Bush years."
"What determines the quality of American democracy is the use we make of our power. We have institutions in place to help this country avoid the misuse of our power. Those institutions are Congress, the courts, and public opinion. The more we cut off true debate and the exchange of ideas, and let those in power use emotion, misdirection, and the manipulation of truth to whip the nation into action, the more likely we are to make dangerous mistakes in how we use our power. A representative democracy only works when the people are involved. We need them."
"If nothing else good comes from these last eight years under President Bush, it can at least be hoped that every citizen will come to understand that we can never take our values and our principles for granted and that we must constantly reaffirm and rearticulate them, not only for ourselves, but also for the world. We must be ever vigilant against the homegrown forces that would turn a nation founded on the universal rights of man into one now intentionally identified with torture, willing to hold people behind bars with no charges filed, willing to justify almost any extreme action on the basis of a highly warped and irrational view of the world."
"The public grows weary of perpetually being spoon-fed images of a grinning President greeting grinning supporters or talking incessantly about how great everything or everyone is. Leading a great country demands a deeper level of discourse, and it also demands a President able to use the mass media to make that discourse understandable to large numbers of people. The power of the bully pulpit must also be balanced by a deep regard for the manner in which it is used."
"It takes time to build the things that most matter. We built out tradition of democracy through more than two centuries, only to have our Constitution weakened during the last eight years. Those who tear down the work of generations in a self-serving frenzy need only a handful of years to wreak their havoc. Those of us who would build back our legitimacy must think instead of decades and centuries, not mere cycles."
"An entire nation cannot be held hostage to fear week after week and month after month and year after year without paying a catastrophic price. The American people and, yes, all too many of their political leaders have been manipulated and controlled in recent years through the most shameless use of fear that this country has ever seen. Sadly, and shocking as it must be to stare down so sobering a reality, even the infamy of Joseph McCarthy's reign of demagoguery in the 1950s did not threaten the Constitution as directly as we have endured of late."
"Understand the art and value of diplomacy, new President. You will have to invest major energy in restoring America in the eyes of the world. We must banish the image of the disingenuous bully, with one standard for our own behavior and a different one for everyone else's. The President is our Ambassador Supreme and he must restore an image for our country that reflects the character of the American people - tolerant, kind, fair, and willing to use force as a last resort, never a first. Consult often with our allies. We live in a global economy, with a growing international interdependency, and just because the job will be hard and require great patience and diligence does not make it any less necessary."
From Rolling Stone
How The Democrats Can Blow It ...In Six Easy Steps
A blueprint for losing the most winnable presidential election in American history
Posted Aug 21, 2008 9:09 AM
For years now, nearly every poll has shown that the American people are right in sync with the platform of the Democratic Party. They are pro-environment, pro-women's rights and pro-choice. They don't like war. They want the minimum wage raised, and they want a single-payer universal health-care system. The American public agrees with the Republican Party on only one major issue: They support the death penalty.
So you would think the Democrats would be cleaning up, election after election. Obviously not. The Democrats appear to be professional losers. They are so pathetic in their ability to win elections, they even lose when they win! So when you hear Democrats and liberals and supporters of Barack Obama say they are worried that John McCain has a good chance of winning, they ain't a-kidding. Who would know better than the very people who have handed the Republicans one election after another on a silver platter? Yes, be afraid, be very afraid.
In an effort to help the party doofuses and pundits — and the candidate himself — spare all of us another suicide-inducing election night, as the results giving the election to the Republican pour in, here is the blueprint from the Democrats' past losing campaigns. Just follow each of these steps and you, the Democratic Party establishment, can help elect John Sidney McCain III to a four-year extension of the Bush Era.
1. Keep saying nice things about McCain.
If you want to help elect McCain, keep blessing him as if he were the white knight who accidentally hopped on the wrong horse. Keep reminding a country at war that he, and he alone, is a war hero. That he's been "good on global warming" and campaign finance. Say that enough, and you know what happens? People start to believe it! You've sold them on the idea that McCain isn't a bad egg, and they do not hear the rest of what you have to say: "But John McCain is four more years of George W. Bush."
Don't remind people that McCain wants to help the oil companies even more than Bush did. Don't bring up that he wants to outlaw abortion. Back away from painting him as the guy who thinks it's a good idea to stay in Iraq until pigs fly. That way, if you keep praising him, you can send a mixed message to the less informed, who are simply not going to figure it out. When they walk into a voting booth, they will see two names on the ballot:
Trust me, this ain't Sweden you're living in. War Hero wins every time.
2. Pick a running mate who is a conservative white guy or a general or a Republican.
Yes, it will seem like smart politics at first. Shore up Obama's lack of military experience with a hawk. Be true to Obama's message that he'll be a president for everybody by having him run with a Republican. Make a pitch to the purple states of Virginia and Indiana by putting one of their own on the ticket. Or make the red state of Ohio happy by handing the vice presidential slot to its governor. Just so long as Obama's running mate screams "same old, same old," making it harder for him to attract the new voters he needs to win.
There is nothing wrong with picking someone who can help him win a swing state or someone who has more experience than he does in certain areas. But when I hear pundits say things like, "He has to pick a Catholic," well, John Kerry was a total Catholic, and the Catholic vote went to Mr. W. I mean, here's one of the largest groups in the country — 66 million Catholics — and they/we have only allowed one Catholic to be president in 219 years. You would think they would have been flocking to Kerry in 2004. THAT IS NOT THE WAY PEOPLE THINK. IT IS THE WAY PUNDITS THINK. Keep listening to them and you can help elect John McCain the next President of the United States.
3. Keep writing speeches for Obama that make him sound like a hawk.
Here's what Obama said in front of the American-Israeli lobbying group the day after the final primaries:
"The danger from Iran is grave, it is real, and my goal will be to eliminate this threat."
And: "Let there be no doubt — I will always keep the threat of military action on the table to defend our security and our ally Israel. Sometimes there are no alternatives to confrontation."
Sounds like a speech McCain would give. Sounds like he's ready to invade Iran. Obama staked out an even worse position for the Palestinians vis-à-vis Jerusalem than the one held by George W. Bush. Keep that up, and more and more supporters will be less and less enthused. He also says he wants to send more troops to Afghanistan. The implied message of all of this is that the Republican plan is a good plan. So why would voters want to elect the candidate imitating the Republican when they can get the real thing?
4. Forget that this was a historic year for women.
Obama should be making a speech about gender like the brilliant one he gave on race back in March. Millions of people, especially women, had high hopes for the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Attention must be paid. And you don't pay attention to it by having your advisers run your wife through the makeover machine, trying to soften her up and pipe her down. Michelle Obama has been one of the most refreshing things about this election year. But within weeks of the end of the primary season, the handlers stepped in to deal with the "Michelle problem."
What problem? She speaks her mind? She wears what she wants? Her biggest sin, according to the punditocracy, was to say that, as a black woman, this may be the first time in her adult life she's been really proud of her country. Shock! Surprise! Outrage! But not from any of the black women I know.
You have to be white and stupid to not know what she was really saying. If you don't understand, let me ask you this: Have you been proud of what this country has been doing in the past few years? Are you proud your neighbors had their house taken from them? Are you proud to be sending a good chunk of your paycheck to the oil companies so they can post record profits? Are you proud to know your vice president outed one of our spies and put her life and the lives of others at risk?
That's all she was saying — what we are all feeling.
Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton both lost the white-male vote but won the White House. They did so by winning the black, Hispanic and female vote. That HAS to be Obama's strategy to win. Otherwise, Cindy McCain will be our new First Lady.
5. Show up to a gunfight with a peashooter.
Convince yourself that the Republicans are just going to roll over and play dead because there is simply no life left in their party. Convince yourself this one is in the bag! Convince yourself that if you play by the rules, the Republicans will too.
And when McCain and his people roll out their nuclear arsenal on you, just go all sweet and sensitive and logical. Believe that the truth shall prevail, that good people will see what the Republicans are up to. As they smear you, your family, your religious beliefs — cower, back down, go on the defensive.
If they say you should quit your church, quit your church! If they explode over your speaking the truth about the anger and despair of the white working class, take it all back! If they ask you to stand on your head and do the hokeypokey, snap to it and do it with a smile on your face — and don't forget to apologize for not doing the hokeypokey earlier; you meant no disrespect, and please don't take it as any indication that you do not love your country, your flag and your Christian God.
Do all of that and then listen for that sound — the sound of your supporters shuffling away in silence. They'll stop showing up at campaign headquarters. They'll say they're too busy to go on another door-to-door literature drop. On Election Day, they'll do their duty and vote, but they will not be up at 6 a.m. driving around the city's neighborhoods, picking up strangers who need a ride to the polls.
And on the way to the polls, some of them might just come to a stoplight, turn around and go home. Maybe they'll pick up a six-pack on the way. Maybe there's a new episode of Deal or No Deal on tonight. That would be nice. The girls are pretty, especially the blonde in the third row. Wait, they're all blond. No, not that one — THAT one! Oh yes, I see her. She is pretty. But the Man in the Booth has picked up the phone! He's calling down to you. Deal? Or no deal? No deal! No deal! Don't do it! Hey, I'm outta beer! Why didn't I pick up a case? Now I gotta spend eight bucks on gas to go buy more beer! Aaaaarrrggggghhhhhh!!!! HOWIE MANDEL ISN'T WEARING A FLAG PIN!! U-S-A! U-S-A!
6. Denounce me!
Obama, at some point, might be asked this question: "Michael Moore has endorsed you. But he recently said (fill in the blank with some outrageously offensive line taken out of context). Will you still accept his endorsement, or do you denounce him?"
And he better denounce me, or they will tear him to shreds. He had better back away not only from me but from anyone and everyone who veers a bit too far to the left of where his advisers have told him is the sweet spot for all those red-state voters. I won't take it personally. After all, I'm not the guy who married him or baptized his kids. I'm just the idiot who went to the same terrorist, Muslim school of flag-pin desecrators he went to.
I remember poor John Kerry not even being able to admit, when asked by Larry King, if he had seen Fahrenheit 9/11. "No," he said, "I haven't. . . . I don't plan to, right now." But he had indeed seen it. I sat there watching him say this, and I just felt sorry for him and for the election he was about to lose.
We can't take four more years of this madness, Barack. We need you to be a candidate who will fight back every time they attack you. Actually, don't even wait till you have to fight back. Fight first! Show some vision and courage and smoke them out. Keep asking why these lobbyists are McCain's best friends. Let's finally have a Democrat who's got the balls to fire first.
So Barack, by denouncing me, you can help McCain get elected. Because when you denounce me, it's not really me you're distancing yourself from — it's the millions upon millions of people who feel the same way about things as I do. And many of them are the kind of crazy voters who have no problem voting for a Nader just to prove a point.
Elections have been lost by just 537 votes. I don't want that to happen to you.
From the forthcoming book "Mike's Election Guide," by Michael Moore. Copyright © 2008 by Michael Moore. Reprinted by permission of Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY. All rights reserved.
Real Man's Olympics
Current Standings — 2008 Summer Games
1st: Ukraine 68.67
2nd: Communist China 63.09
3rd: Poland 41.07
Medal Counts Fundamentally FlawedIn 1978, Bruce Feirstein's classic Real Men Don't Eat Quiche blew away the medal count theory by observing that Bruce Jenner's accomplishment, winning the Decathlon, was far more impressive than the feats of Mark Spitz, who won several gold medals in swimming. Real Men don't shave their legs.
Medal counts simply don't work. The medal for prancing around a floor mat is not equal to the medal for super heavyweight boxing. The medal for jumping into water while making the smallest splash is not equal to the medal for throwing a 16-pound ball farther than anyone else. And did you know there are 20 different events for paddling across a pond, while there's only one Decathlon?
Real Man's Olympics determines the winning country the only way possible: by basing a country's score on the manliness of each event won. Judged events get marked down. Redundant events get marked down. Events requiring men to wear nothing but skin-tight underwear (this means you, cycling and swimming) get marked down.
You can change the manliness scores for the events and see how those changes affect the outcome.
More site information, including details about the scoring formula, is available here: Real Man's Olympics