Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Barack's History Primer

In this article on, presidential hopeful and freshman US Senator Barack Obama makes this comment:

“I agree with George W. Bush when in his second inaugural address he proclaimed a universal desire to be free,” Obama wrote. “But there are few examples in history in which the freedom men and women crave is delivered through outside intervention.”

I don't have much to say about Sen. Obama, but when I read this passage, the first example of men and women being given freedom with the help of outside intervention that came to my mind was our own American ancestors. Unless you read some odd not-founded-in-fact revisionist version of American history, it's clear that without the assistance of the French, the under-equipped, outgunned, outmanned American Revolutionaries would have been incapable of prevailing against the British. Oddly enough, the French were still ruled at that time by a monarch, although not for long. Of course, I believe that Divine intervention played a role as well. That's not to say that God didn't have a hand in influencing the French. Well, God, John Adams and Ben Franklin, right?

Should Obama be nominated by the Democratic Party I will not vote for him. A man who is clearly ungrateful for what we have in America and the obligation we have to spread freedom, an obligation that has never been greater, is not worthy of my vote.

Who would get my vote? Too soon to tell.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I still don't...

No one was happier for Floyd Landis the day he won the Tour. When he trailed after stage 16 by more than 8 minutes to Oscar Pereiro, even he was having his doubts. But an astonishing display of guts, grit and determination, all the qualities that define champions, in stage 17 put him back in contention. Eventually, Landis would prevail and keep the American streak at the TDF alive at eight.

Then the accusations of cheating came. I'm a more-than-amateur cyclist. I ride a middle-of-the-road Trek roadie, but, unlike most Americans, I understand team cycling. Having lived in Europe for two years, I gained a serious appreciation for the sport, especially for the TDF. I was in Segovia, Spain in 1989 when native son Pedro Delgado lost to my fellow Minnesotan, Greg Lemond. Since watching that Tour, I've been a fan of the road race.

That's why I can't believe Landis is guilty. Here's my case. Unfortunately, it is in no way based on evidence or science. It's all emotion and opinion.

1) Cycling has the most stringent anti-doping rules and tests in sport. You'd have to be an idiot to try to dope. You'd have to be an utter moron to do so DURING a race.
2) I trust Floyd. I don't know why. I've never met him. I trust him.
3) France is tired of losing their own race. In a sport that America did nothing in until Lemond won three Tours, France (and perhaps the rest of "Old Europe" are tired of Americans walking off with the honors. The problem for the rest of the world is that of our relatively small number of riders, the majority are found in the upper echelon of the classification.
4) I know how you can ride like crap one day and come back invincible the next. The human body is a strange thing. Some days it just comes up short, others it overperforms and surprises even the owner. On a 520-mile self-supported ride across Spain five years ago, I found this out. The distances we covered were nothing like those ridden by TDF-caliber riders, but for me, only making 25 one day on a flat stage and turning around and finishing 75 in about the same time with world-class climbs proved it to me.

Floyd: I believe you. Congratulations 2006 Tour de France champion!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Gump Worsley. Legend.

This is the first goalie who I remember seeing play. I think I was four or five. At any rate, he is the original ironman and tough guy as far as I'm concerned. The man played 21 seasons, 20 without a mask. Old school.

Click on this link and read about how Gump got shot up with horse serum so he could go and shut out the Chicago Blackhawks in game seven of the 1965 playoffs. Yes, horse serum. What the heck is that?

I played broomball in high school and remember having written, in black permanent marker, the phrase "Gump Worsley Lives" on the shaft of my broom. I repeated the feat in college intramural hockey, adult league roller and ice hockey in Southern California and plan to teach my son the ways of Gump so he can pay homage to the man.

Rest in peace, Gump. You'll be missed.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

One Nation, Under Attack...

This story was just posted today. In it, the root of the gang problem in Los Angeles is tied to needing "more education and better jobs" to solve it. Having spent the better part of the 90s and most of this decade in Los Angeles, on the frontlines investigating, I disagree.

The story documents how while crime in LA declined overall in 2006, violent gang-related crime increased 14%. The gangs have residents in the area living in fear. Fear of retaliation, fear of being caught in a crossfire. The root of the problem is not lack of education or jobs. Its genesis is in an ill-advised and unconstitutional little piece of public policy called Special Order 40. The link takes you to the ACLU's position on, and explantion of this little slice of idiocy. Note: If the ACLU approves of it, there is a 99.96% chance that it's bad for America. This is not one of thos .04% cases, either.

In my work fighting drug trafficking and gangs in Southern California and beyond, the majority of those involved were either here illegally or were first-generation children of illegal immigrants or so-called "anchor babies." They have no vested interest in America as a nation, but rather a vested interest in their own selfish pursuits. Their parents are not citizens of America, although they may live here. They have not integrated into the so-called "fabric of society" and therefore have taken little or no interest in integrating their children. It is no wonder then, that these "ni de aqui, ni de alli" (not from here, nor from there) children have no problem engaging in crimes that further spiral urban, and now suburban, areas into chaos and something mildly resembling Chechnya circa 1995.

Rescind Special Order 40 and you've taken the first step to ridding Los Angeles of this internal cancer. Lest we remember, "illegal" equals "against the law" whether you're dealing drugs or working in construction. There's a right and wrong way to do things. Looking the other way while California continues to spiral out of control is definitely the latter.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Weather Channel Goes Political

I'm a Weather Channel junkie. I can name the on-air personalities on sight (with pretty good accuracy). I watch in the morning and evening...I care about the weather. As a business traveler, I rely on the forecasts to help me do everything from pack properly to anticipate airport delays or whether my fingernails will be left in the armrests of seat 2B.

That is why this disturbs me so much. TWC has caved to politics, the sort of politics that are being forced on it by Wonya Lucas. (Note: beware the HUGE picture of Ms. Lucas. Good golly this woman may have an inferiority complex.) Upon further review, you can get a fair idea for what Ms. Lucas may have "learned" while studying God-knows-what at Georgia Tech University.

This inability to allow dissenting viewpoints was honed as an undergrad. Now, fuse that with Dr. Heidi Cullen and her Columbia-educated ego and you've got one liberal trainwreck spinning out of control.

The full text of conservative radio personality Melanie Morgan of San Francisco appears here. I suggest you give it a read. For a dissenting viewpoint, click here. You make the call. Ask yourself, however, is the weather blue or red? Should it be?

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Note from Mom

A rather neat little "coincidence" happened this evening. I knelt down for bedtime prayers with my son who is three. He always asks for a little guidance, so in asking God for help, I asked him, who do you want God to help? He answered, "I want Heavenly Father to help Grandma get better."

I got an email from my Mother after my son went to bed regarding government funding for MS research, which included this link. Please visit the site and sign the petition. MS has robbed my Mother of mobility and a normal life for the better part of the last decade. It has done similar things to others I know. I've always said that there are more "glamorous" causes. One fact remains, however: No one chooses MS. It happens as a result of genetics, not choice. It slowly debilitates and eventually, because at present there is no cure, finishes its work with the affected.

Help fight MS...and thank you!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I can afford "free"

Click that link above and you're taken to a world of books whose copyrights have expired...and that are available for download FOC. There are over 20,000 titles in the Gutenberg Project's list. I'm not sure which to recommend, but given the price tag (free) and the subject matter (literature), I thought Adam Smith's "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" was an appropriate choice. Enjoy the read!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Message from the Front

I ride with a group of folks every year in the MS Bike Tour...those of you who know me well have most likely already been contacted by me for a donation in the past. This past year, we welcomed a pair of wonderful women to our team: Jennica and Karri. They're both amazing in their own way. Jennica inspired us all as she competed...and completed...the MS 150 while waging her own personal battle against MS. I cried tears of joy as we clasped hands and led the team across the finish line on day two. Jennica is incredible.

Karri has inspired be to do better in a different arena. I'm including an email I got from her today here, and she's given me permission to do so. After you read it, make note of what you have today because someone before you out of duty and bravery, paid the ultimate price for you to have it...even though you've never met. I welcome your comments and stories about how you've tried to make a difference in the lives of others, especially those serving our GREAT country.

God bless America. God bless our brave men and women in the armed forces.

From Karri Turner:

Hello friends!

Well, I made it home....back from Iraq. It was such an amazing trip during a history making time. I was sleeping in Saddam's palace the day he was about surreal. We were the only 4 entertainers there at that time.

We were able to visit many of the out laying bases that never get a visit due to the danger factor. My pal Judy who puts these shows together is a firm believer in getting to those remote sights. As it turns out, that is where they need it the most.

I traveled with 2 NFL football stars from the Chicago Bears: Jim McMahon and Kevin Butler....boy where they a HUGE hit! They let the guys and gals wear their Superbowl ring. We were also with Dave Price from the CBS Morning show....he is hilarious and made everyone laugh until our muscles were sore.

I'm emailing you because I managed to catch some cold/flu and it's just now rearing it's ugly head. I'll be recovering for a few days, but I just wanted you to know I was home and safe and as usual, so very proud to be an American.

Our men and women over there so unbelievably brave. We were in places where 19 mortars hit the day before. They lost some of their friends, and ask us to sign a tears your heart out. Meanwhile, we were able to attend briefings that showed that little by little we are changing things. We have started to turn the heads of the "leaders" in Iraq to our side and they are helping substantially. Don't believe everything you hear on the news....dirty laundry sells no one wants to hear that this war might actually work. To each his own, but as far as I can see, from super dangerous places like Rimadi, we are impacting the area in a huge way.

Ok, enough for now, off to bed/couch/bed/couch....tea.
Big hugs to everyone who kept me in their prayers....this trip was BY FAR the most dangerous due to the remote sites we visited....had to go pee in a kevlar jacket and helmet.

Karri "Commando" Turner