11-23-2005 Thanks, but no thanks

The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home. I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq's history or its ethnic or sectarian makeup. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else.--Bill Clinton, Oct. 31, 1998, after he signed the Iraq Liberation Act.

Before I commence with any of my typically insane mutterings, I'd like to wish everyone in Culm County a Happy Thanksgiving. But be warned that while oozing oodles and oodles of heartfelt thanks for your being much, much, much more fortunate than the oft-bemoaned "less fortunate" among us, you must abide by the newly-issued regulations whereby being thankful must be a completely secularized undertaking.

Yes, being that the frustrated commie/politically correct crowd have demanded that this country must become Holland in every meaningful respect, you dare not thank God for your being able to acquire a 20-pound turkey and all of the edible peripherals normally associated with this holiday. Modern science has determined that God never existed in the first place, and that conclusion was backed up by Kevin Lynn, the High Priest of The Church of Smarmy Insults. And who could argue with "emperical" data such as that? Even if God did happen to exist back in the days when the dinosaurs dominated Congress, moral absolutism is now punishable by sodomy. So forget this God nonsense and get on with feeling guilty for not being a slacker and being able to afford a 20-pound turkey with all of the trimmings. God will provide? What a completely quaint, antiquated and disproven concept. The latest directive coming from Comrade Hillary's camp correctly points out that only government provides, and God is little more than an urban legend run amok in the trailer parks.

Teach a man how to turn fermented curd into cheese, and he can feed his family and maintain some modicum of dignity and self-worth. Give a man a free 5-pound block of cheese at the local shelter and be forever beholden of his vote. Well, provided that the substandard government-surplus imitation cheese remains readily available to the easily led and the easily duped. You see, in an enlightened and secularized socialist society such as ours, God has nothing at all to do with helping the "less fortunate." The government will provide for them. And if you lean left at the polls, the government will one day provide for the more fortunate also, thereby lowering their standard of living and leveling the 'capitalist pig' playing field that has held back income redistibution and fairness for far too long now.

Despite all of your college credits, your hard work, your 6-day work weeks, and missing out on too much of your kid's formulative years all in the name of earning a buck, it's time that you pay your fair share so the "less fortunate" can continue to drink all night and then roll out of bed somewhere around noon. And with the passage of some time, incremental but steady increases in taxation, and a future erosion of the American persona--personal responsibility--you too will be able to watch impatiently for the mailman on check day.

Enjoy your holiday. Give thanks.

Blessed are they who worship their fedrule govmint.

"We were not strong enough to drive out a half-million American troops, but that wasn't our aim. Our intention was to break the will of the American government to continue the war."--North Vietnamese General Vo Nguyen Giap

And the Democrats are falling for the public opinion war, literally, hook, line and sinker. Again!

Insensitivity on parade.

This is from WBRE's site:

UNC Food Basket Distribution 11/22/05

More food going to those in need for the holiday.

More than 1,800 families received Thanksgiving baskets today, just in time for the big meal on Thursday.

The United Neighborhood Centers handed out food baskets to eligible families.

People lined up to receive the gift at Scranton`s Watres Armory. United Neighborhood Centers also received a 25-thousand dollar gift from Bank of America to help needy families in other ways. United Neighborhood Centers will also hold a free dinner for seniors at the West Side Senior Center on Jackson Street on Thanksgiving day from 11 a-m to 1 p-m.

Try this one from a google search:

Feed a Friend

Feed-A-Friendís 2004 campaign raised $120,000 and fed 40,000 people!

Now in its 21st year, WNEP-TV Pepsi-Cola and our generous community has collected and distributed food to needy families during Thanksgiving.

Numerous agencies, civic groups, schools and businesses help bring in food and money to make this program a success!

WNEP-TV coordinates all the soliciting agencies. These agencies represent Food Banks, Soup Kitchens, Churches, Salvation Armies, Red Cross Chapters, Commission on Economic Opportunity and the United Neighborhood Center. All donations remain in the county in which it is collected. Participating representatives (see Agency listing) serve as coordinators and distributors.

And we have this from today's Voice:

The almost full-page add I clipped that sucker from states: Annual CEO Thanksgiving Project, with the following tear-jerker thrown in for good measure: Feed A Hungry Child This Holiday.

Basically, the CEO add confirmed what I had already figured out on my own while doing a bit of holiday shopping at Schiel's.

This philanthropy bit is cool and all, and it sure makes us feel less guilty about not being one of the oft-mentioned "less fortunate." But I'm here to tell you that "1,800 families" lining up for some free eats has more to do with a sense of entitlement than it has anything to do with any true needs. Fact is, as the CEO coupon clearly points out, a half-decent Thanksgiving celebration demands somewhere around $25 being spent at the local supermarket. Call me what you will, but with the turkey being the biggest expense, I fail to see how most of the "less fortunate" folks cannot afford a Shur-Save self-basting turkey while it's priced at .79 cents a pound. One less 30-pack amounts to being able to snag that Turkey Day turkey without any generous person's help. That's a very, very old-fashioned concept for sure. Self-reliance.

In my demented mind, most of this my-selfless-concern-stamped-out-hunger-this-year is more shameless than folks who can easily afford turkeys lining up for free turkeys.

I really, really don't want to get into the leanest days of my existance again, but I do know something about being in need. But I also know something about glomming onto some semblence of pride in one's self and making do without those helping hands being extended from seemingly every nook and cranny. There was a time when a person would turn their back on a well-meaning handout from someone much more well-heeled who meant really well, but could never begin to comprehend how deep their well-meaning offer of help happened to cut.

I guess that one aforementioned word sums it all up in a nutshell: Pride.

Despite all of her obvious financial shortcomings, my dear ole' Mom always managed to table a Thanksgiving turkey for the four of us useless welfare cases. And even if she couldn't manage to produce a turkey and all of the other tasty goodies one would come to expect on Thanksgiving day, you would have never seen me standing in line for a few well-publicized freebies.

I don't know, but I'd eat a greasy-grimy-gopher-guts opened-faced Thanksgiving offering before I'd ever admit to a single soul that I was doing without something that I truly wanted, if not, truly needed. Whatever. I guess times have changed. The thing is, despite being staunchly self-sufficient these days, I have not changed with those changing times no matter how much politically correct pressure was brought to bare. For me, being dirt poor was frustrating beyond all comprehensible belief. But admitting as much was a far worse fate bordering upon the ultimate in indignities.

Feed a Friend?

There was a time not so very long ago when those words would be construed to be fightin' words. But times have certainly changed.

If an 80%-lean meatloaf, instant potatoes and the house brand generic veggies are much, much less than the poorest of the poorest folks in this ridiculous country can handle come holiday time, I'm wondering how the folks living in Somalia make do.


It's for the children.

"... if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the man's becoming in very fact an American and nothing but an American ... There can be no divided allegiances here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag,... we have room for but one language here, and that is the English language ... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."--Teddy Roosevelt -- 1907

From the e-mail inbox

Happy Thanksgiving From the Scrantons

Maryla joins me in sending your family our best wishes this Thanksgiving Day weekend. Our long list of blessings includes heartfelt thanks for people like you who honor us with friendship.

For hundreds of Pennsylvania's military families, this year's celebration takes on special significance. We join each of you in giving thanks to those serving far from home, and their steadfast commitment to the cause of global freedom.

We also thank those of you who are extending the hand of compassion to neighbors in need. The open doors of city rescue missions and tables set in dozens of church basements give hope and healing to thousands. More than a warm meal or shelter from the cold, your acts of kindness make sure no Pennsylvanian is forgotten.

Again, Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.


John Murtha, overnight American idol

Nov 23, 2005

by Brent Bozell

Making a mountain out of a molehill is becoming a national media specialty. The news media ought to be awarded advanced degrees for fixing their political microscopes on whatever amoeba of a story will serve their stubborn template: The Iraq war is hopeless; it's Vietnam in the desert.

Take Congressman John Murtha, the liberal media's overnight American Idol. Last week, he was almost anonymous. (Bet you couldn't name which state he represents.) By the weekend, he had his name in lights like Cindy Sheehan -- another helping of powdered instant media-manufactured anti-war hero.

Mr. Murtha boldly declared that the Iraq war could not be won militarily, going so far as to say American was making it far worse -- that we were "the problem," not the solution. Suddenly, by Thursday night, he was leading the nightly TV newscasts. ABC called him an "influential Democrat." CBS said "on military matters, no Democrat in Congress is more influential." NBC's Brian Williams put it this way: "When one congressman out of 435 members of Congress speaks out against the war in Iraq, it normally wouldn't be news. But it was today, because of who he is."

Really? Let's start here with some Journalism 101. How is Murtha actually the most influential Democrat in Congress on military matters? The networks certainly didn't think so before last week if we measure him by his TV time. They've been much happier discussing Iraq with Sen. Kerry over the last two years, and if you're not counting presidential candidates, Murtha can't hold a candle to Sen. Joe Biden, or Nancy Pelosi, or a number of other Democratic leaders. What they were trying to say was Murtha had sudden clout because he was, they say, a "hawkish" House Democrat for withdrawal.

But weirder yet, what was new in Murtha's Iraq stance? Doesn't his feeling that the war is hopeless have to be new to be defined as "news"? Answer: Of course not. It's the crude liberal propaganda value that matters. On May 10, 2004, he stood next to ultraliberal aspiring speaker Pelosi and said the war was unwinnable. (Ted Koppel liked that so much he awarded him a half-hour "exclusive" interview that night.) But wait, there's more. In the New York Times of Sept. 17, 2003, Murtha complained that the top Pentagon brass should be fired since they misled him into voting for war. In other words, Murtha's been anti-war for years.

But the really amazing turn in the rapid ascent of John Murtha, our instant Exit-Iraq-Now hero, was what happened next. On Friday, House Republicans finally showed some spine and did something wonderful. They called for an up-or-down vote on withdrawal, and put everyone formally on the record.

So much for the most "influential Democrat" in the Congress. The House -- Democrats and Republicans -- handed Murtha (and the press) one of the most lopsided, humiliating defeats imaginable. The House vote for withdrawal: three in favor, 403 against. So much for that "growing" public demand for the removal of American troops. The headline should have been "Overwhelming House Majority Votes to Support Bush in Iraq."

But no. The next morning, the newspaper spin was bizarre. The New York Times headline was "Uproar in House as Parties Clash on Iraq Pullout." Uproar? The story by Eric Schmitt didn't get to the overwhelming majority vote until paragraph five. Schmitt considered it more important to highlight obscure newbie Rep. Jean Schmidt of Ohio, who relayed to Murtha a message from a soldier suggesting that "cowards cut and run, Marines don't," and how when, Democrats screamed and howled, Rep. Schmidt withdrew the implication that Murtha was a coward.

The Washington Post story by Charles Babington began with news of an "explosion of angry words and personal insults" over Jean Schmidt's remarks. The vote was then summarily dismissed in the third paragraph: "The Republican-proposed measure was rejected 403 to 3, a result that surprised no one."

Amazing. After glorifying the prestige and influence of the man whose idea for rapid withdrawal is absolutely crushed, reporters declare there was now nothing of interest -- of news -- here. Even more bizarre: Babington strangely insisted Murtha's plea for withdrawal nevertheless "struck a chord" in the party that wouldn't vote for it.

The whole experience inspired Howard Fineman to write an article titled "Bush at the Tipping Point." The "political center of gravity" shifted," and liberal hero Murtha, the "gruff, taciturn pasha," was tipping Bush over. The vote was meaningless, a "trap" made to make Democrats sound "as cravenly anti-war as possible."

No, the vote was designed to make anti-war Democrats put up or shut up. Final vote: Bush 403, Murtha 3. Now it's time for reporters to shut up, too.

I Believe???

Despite all that went before, I've got my priorities straight for this particular holiday known for killing innocent birds. I'm going to enjoy the company of my wifey, my kids, and my nifty grandkids. But, most importantly, those God-damned Dallas Cowboys had better get their asses kicked tommorrow. Sorry, but the needs of the New York Football Giants supercede all other priorities.

It's for the children.

Have a good one.