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Free at Last – Free at Last

Judge Roger Vinson apparently has an insatiable need to be well known, not an unusual need for a Federal Judge. It’s been my experience that most Judges, especially those in the Federal Courts, have far more ego than common sense. By that standard, Judge Vinson fits the stereotype.

Vinson is the guy that pandered to the Tea Party by declaring the health care act unconstitutional. Like other simple minded myopes, e.g., Arizona buffoon in chief, Jan Brewer, Vinson says the Constitution somehow prevents the government from forcing people to buy health insurance. He justified his logic by announcing in his written decision, “It is difficult to imagine that a country which began, at least in part, as the result of opposition to a British mandate giving the East India Company a monopoly and imposing a nominal tax on all tea sold in American would have set out to create a government with the power to force people to buy tea in the first place.”

What the hell is this guy talking about? He’s a judge; surely he understands the concept of non-sequitor. As the Tea Party’s chief intellectual, Sarah Palin, calls them, this was clearly a WTF moment.

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I Confess – I Don’t Get It

The Republicans seem to have finally settled on a consistent, repeatable message. In a word, it is “No”. The ongoing rejection of any and all ideas that come from their opponents allows them to unite and parrot the simple refrain of “No”. Never mind they not only refuse to move the country forward, they refuse to move it in any direction other than backwards. At least they’re united in their quest for political power even if it’s at the expense of the wellbeing of the country in which they live.

 With their Kentucky poster child Jim Bunning leading the way in the Senate and flesh eating John Boehner of Ohio, the hit man in the House, the Republican propaganda machine is stunningly successful in recruiting tea baggers to the cause. Some of these people not only have difficulty seeing their stances as sources of embarrassment, they actually take pride in repeating the hateful, short-sighted rhetoric they’ve taken in suppository form while watching the right wing media outlets. It goes to the highest levels of the Republican Party. In his current reelection campaign, even John McCain, the man that was once an American hero, now stoops to disgusting hate speak against our current President. Hate hides the real issues and hope is beaten to the ground like Rodney King.

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The Lieberburger – Lots of Fat, but Short on Meat

For those of you inclined to ask the rhetorical question “Where’s the beef?”, here’s your answer: The Heart Attack Grill. Our friend Tommy was kind enough to visit us briefly in Scottsdale during our recent visit to that beautiful city. Tommy was good enough to come by and allow me to severely trounce him over the course of two rounds of golf and yet he won money from me. It sounds like Sarah Palin economics to me, but that’s what happened. Had he relieved of my money in such a manner anywhere but on the golf course, Tommy would have been charged with larceny or given an honorary degree from the Harvard Business School. Once he had thoroughly fleeced me, he then attempted to kill me.

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Lon Cheney and Jon Kyle’s Brain

I grew up in that time period when television was still a luxury. I still remember the small, black and white sets where the “vertical hold” was a critical adjustment. A slight deviation on the setting and the picture would roll up or down and drive my father whacky as he’d scramble to adjust it as he missed Bobby Lane’s long pass to Jim Doran as his Lions beat the Cleveland Browns on the way to the NFL championship in 57. My dad used to tune the TV with his right hand; he’d slap the side of the box until the screen finally held still for another minute or two.

It was a magic period in the land of television as the studios experimented with equipment, techniques, scripts and even shows broadcast in color.  Not many people could afford the color sets, but the color wasn’t too hot anyway so it was no big deal. It was a time when many of the shows were broadcast live.

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Healthcare One: Self-less Sacrifice

I am jumping on the bandwagon. Leaping into the fray. Piling on the quarterback. Call it what you will, but I am poised to dive into the abyss that has become the healthcare hullabaloo. Frankly, President Obama should slow down the train. Not because we should be happy with our current healthcare or that the system couldn’t benefit from reform. With rising costs, aging Baby Boomers and uninsured citizens we have a crisis looming of unprecedented proportions and reforming the system is our only hope. However, reform is another word for change and this change is monumental, involves the entire country, and threatens the survival of a myriad of special interests and re-electable Congressmen that are not going to take a possible hit lying down.  They have nothing to loose but everything to gain by spreading rumors and pandering to the ignorance of the masses through fear mongering.

My father, the Admiral, once told me that if change was easy, everyone would be doing it. This was more than apparent during my debating days in high school, where one began with the status quo and argued for change. The team that drew the status quo position always had the advantage. Right or wrong, good or bad, the status quo had been tried, tested and was a known quantity. Change is – not. Change is a leap of faith, a foray into the shadowy corners of the unfamiliar, and, in this case, a cry for the “Haves” to help the “Have-nots”.

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Town Hall – Fight or Fiesta?

Knowing how the media tends to blow things out of proportion, I thought it was time for a firsthand look. I attended one of the much publicized town hall meetings on the subject of healthcare reform. California Congresswoman Susan B. Davis would answer questions at the Hillcrest “town council” meeting in San Diego. The event was much heralded by both pro and anti healthcare reform groups and a large and contentious crowd was expected. I wasn’t disappointed.

By the time I arrived, a thousand people were in line to get into the meeting. The meeting room had capacity for a couple hundred. That would leave most of the crowd in the street for the duration. A thousand people held signs aloft and chanted slogans. Pro healthcare reform people seemed to outnumber the opponents by a factor of five to one. The atmosphere was more like one outside a Big Ten football stadium on a Saturday afternoon in October. The partisans cheered, chanted and waved their placards.

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More Hate Humor from the Right

My cousin is a war hero. Just ask him. He spent a career as a jet fighter pilot. He was my boyhood idol always pushing the envelope, living dangerously, attempting things others feared to try. He was a good student in school always excelling in whatever subject he faced. But like so many retired officers I have known, his lifelong immersion in the military world has left him narrow minded, myopic and brainwashed. It seems many retired officers can’t shake the perception that in civilian life, just as in military life, R.H.I.P. – Rank has its Privilege. They believe they’re entitled to our worship and respect and we’re entitled to their directives, orders we commoners frequently misinterpret as being only opinions.

Like other retired military officers, Will leans heavily to the right, so far right, he’ll make three successive right turns to avoid making one to the left. And to make matters worse, Will was raised in the south and tends to hold the belief that slavery wasn’t all bad. As you can now imagine, Will is not President Obama’s biggest supporter. Sadly, his criticisms are based on emotional appeal, knee jerk reactions, and a thinly veiled racial prejudice. He is so far right he believes Rush Limbaugh is a patriotic American and that FOX actually has something to do with the “news”.

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