August 10, 2009

The Long and Angry Road

I'm getting angrier and angrier, but after four years, my mouth has to remain muzzled -- I'm still part of the Fourth Estate.

But the only words I can use to describe how idiotic thing are gettingboth out in Flyover Country as well as here behind the pearly gates are two of my old favorites (and those of you who know and remember me knowwhat they are): "JUST DAMN."

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Nancy Pelosi's tantrum in USAToday Monday morning was more proof of the same. She (and byextension the remainder of the liberal wing of America) simply doesn'tgive a damn what anyone thinks who does not agree with her. She won'tlisten to reason. She won't listen to an opposing view. She won'tlisten to rational discourse. She won't listen to logic. She won'tlisten to anyone with a mind to think for themselves.

She's simply writing off anyone who is not part of the liberal elite inthe halls of power. She's waited this long for her land-grab, and nowit's almost in her grubby little paws.

And as witnessed by the lack of response to the physical attack on the St. Louis blackconservative over the weekend by the union thug from theSEIU, along with other incidents, race is going to be injected whereverpossible, and those of us with permanent suntans who disagree with theWhite House will be vilified and demonized as sellouts, Uncle Toms andfar, far worse.

No worries. I still believe. The road may be a bit longer and harderthan we all originally thought (sounds like the trailer from "StargateUniverse" -- but I digress) -- We are going to haveto be tough.But we will get survive this. We're made of stronger stuff.

Michael

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March 06, 2009

Shoe Pitched At Iran's Ahmadinejad; How Long Before Thrower Disappears?

Everyone remembers when an Iraqi journalist pitched a pair of shoes at President Bush.

Well, now, someone has taken bold to a new level, and hurled a shoe at Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

An Iranian website, Urumiye News, reported that a shoe was hurled at the president as his convoy drove through a central square. Security guards waded into the crowds but failed to find the culprit.

A hat was also thrown in Ahmadinejad's direction before his car sped away.

Of course, this begs the question, how long before the thrower (even if no one knows who he is -- right now) disappears....

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February 20, 2009

Jesse Jackson totally looks like...



Then again, do we really want to insult Cleveland?

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February 15, 2009

Wanna Impress Me? Change The Spread

Over the past few weeks, we've been treated to an endless litany of CEOs, executives and other suits parading before the cameras and Congress, telling us how they've learned their lessons, how they're going to change and help the American people, how they're working to help the nation in our time of need.

It's all a load of crap.

We keep hearing about how the bank and automotive CEOs are going to forgo their bonuses or salaries for the next year in order to help their companies. None of it impresses me.

None of them -- not a single one of them -- told us how many of their hirelings and underlings are making six and seven-figure bonuses, or how many of them are making seven-figure salaries. So the notion of standing before the cameras and telling the world about how they won't be taking bonuses or or how they won't be taking salaries means absolutely nothing.

If they want to impress me -- no, scratch that, if they want to impress the nation, then have the gumption to open up the salary process. Show us that the spread between the highest paid person in the company and the lowest paid person in the company is $500,000.

That's right, the entire spread -- from the CEO to the guy in the mailroom -- half a million dollars.

Now THAT would impress me.

That would show me that the companies are serious about making significant change in order to save itself and working to save the nation in the process.

And in addition, that would impress America. That would show the people of this country that while the companies are still concerned with remaining a for-profit concern, they are looking at an investment in the future. They would save thousands, no, millions of dollars themselves, while moving forward.

The sacrifice they'd have to make? Simple -- the 4th vice president in charge of paperweights might not get to have his country club membership paid. He might have to drive a Volvo instead of a Benz. Oh, well.

The future is worth it.

Not only that, but once America sees that a company is forward thinking and aggresive like that, they'll beat a path to their door. They want customers? Show everyone that they are serious about being a competitive, honest and fair player in the game. That means hiring Americans, and building their products in America. That means having customer service centers in the US, not in India. That means paying attention to quality and customer care. That means playing fair.

Unfortunately, the companies that have danced before Congress these past few months won't do it. They don't have the stones. They don't have the wherewithal to be that kind of forward-thinking concern. They are greedy. They are selfish. They feel that the American public is stupid and won't care if they don't do it.

And unless someone gets them out of the way, they may be the ruination of this nation.

This has been a bumpy ride. It's about to get bumpier.

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February 05, 2009

25 Random Things...

A blog friend of mine (thanks, LaShawn!) had the bright idea of taking the Facebook meme and posting it to her blog. Given that I couldn't tag many of the folks I would have tagged before running out of space, I thought I'd do the same thing....

1. I love baseball caps from obscure places/sports teams, the more obscure and unique the better (though I've backed off of getting ahold of as many as I used to).

2. Though I'm a long-time big time geek and have lived in Atlanta almost 15 years, I've never been to Dragon Con (the annual megageekfest in Atlanta every year).

3. I put up a gruff front, but spoil my kids where and when I can.

4. I've gone toe-to-toe with Bill O'Reilly on his TV show -- and won the argument.

5. A hidden guilty pleasure: reading paranormal romance novels (not the trashy ones though -- okay, maybe Laurell K. Hamilton's trashy ones).

6. Attention span? What's that?

7. I'm allergic to the edible skins of fruit (apples, pears, peaches, cherries, plums, et.al.) -- which breaks my heart. I grew up eating apples and pears from the trees in my grandfather's yard.

8. For the past four years, I've spent the early part of the year doing taxes with H&R Block.

9. Was almost virginal with my language in high school -- with rarely a cross word; these days, I cuss like a drunken sailor.

10. I have a morbid, no clinically paranoid fear of dentists or anyone else coming near my mouth. When I needed oral surgery and a root canal last year, I had to be put out cold for them to even get near me. (they only did half my mouth then; I am already apprehensive about getting the other half done) Come to find out when I was 4, I had my tonsils out (I knew that part). There were complications afterward. In the emergency room, the doctor needed to get into my mouth RIGHT THEN -- so he had my mom to hold my head, my dad to hold my feet, and he dived in. I don't remember that, but apparently, that's the source of my phobia. Can't do anything about it after this many years, but at least now I know.

11. My wife (She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed) describes me sometimes as the "smartest dumb blonde" she's ever met...

12. I procrastinate incessantly.

13. My columns have shown up in something like 400 newspapers back when I was doing them.

14. I'm quoted in Michelle Malkin's controversial book "Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild".

15. A 2003 column I wrote opposing reparations which has ties to a science fiction trueism has been widely quoted and is still cited in academic and political policy discussion circles today: "TANSTAAFL: There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch".

16. I've written testimony for several Congressional subcommittees, most notably for the Senate's confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

17. Despite walking away from active commentary in 2005, I'm still on Project 21's National Advisory Board. (Walking away was not as problematic as many might think. While I loved it, it didn't pay. Television work does. My kids have to eat. QED.)

18. I love gadgets -- like most guys -- but I didn't get a cell phone until a couple of years ago, and even then, only got a cheap pay-as-you-go Virgin Mobile throwaway.

19. I've suffered from migraines since I was in grade school (something I don't wish on anybody).

20. I was 150 pounds soaking wet the day I got married (which surprises folks who know me now), and am pushing twice that now (which surprises folks who knew me then)...

21. For years, friends and family have suggested that I go on Jeopardy, but the very idea terrifies me.

22. Black coffee, no sugar, no cream -- the stronger the better...I refuse to pollute mine.

23. My family's been able to trace backward to show family ancestry in England, Wales, France, Spain, the old Mississippean Indian nation here in the US, and quite probably Morocco in northern Africa.

24. The very first car I bought was a '74 MGB convertible, back in '84. Spent all of $1,000 on it. Got it restored, and drove it until we moved home in '89. I still kick myself today for selling it.

25. Find I have to "go away" for awhile every now and then to recharge my mental batteries. Rachel calls it "going on walkabout." I'll disappear -- drive about as far as I can go while getting back in a day's time, though I've done it overnight a few times before. I don't do it as often as I used to though.

26. Smoked cigarettes in college, then graduated to cigars, then a pipe, before giving it up when Rachel was pregnant with Jasmine.

27. Was into yoga and fitness long ago...keep threatening to get back into it

28. Told the kids that if any of their friends showed up with their pants around their knees, that I'd greet 'em at the door with duck tape and a staple gun...

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January 23, 2009

Somebody's gotta be the responsible ones here...



Somebody's gotta keep an eye on this bug-eyed monster before it devours us all.

And after bailing out the banks and the auto industry, SOMEBODY's gotta hold the political morons on both sides of the aisle accountable.

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January 02, 2009

My Bank's Gonna Survive This. Is Yours?

Atlanta's Capitol City Bank and Trust is a small community-oriented bank based in Atlanta's West End community. Not long after I moved to Atlanta nearly 15 years ago, my wife and I looked for a smaller bank to do business with before settling on Capitol City.

George Andrews founded the bank to be one in touch with the community, and to be personable enough to take care of people in the community.

On Friday, in an interview with 11Alive's Marc Pickard, Andrews pointed out that Capitol City does not need nor want any of the federal bailout monies that the big name banks are on bended knee begging for on Capitol Hill. He said that Capitol City's policy was a simple one: they only lended mortgage monies to those who qualified for mortgages. Nothing elaborate, nothing novel, nothing inventive -- just simplicity.

Capitol City Bank is financially healthy. But that doesn't mean George Andrews is immune to what is going on around him. Capitol City Bank doesn't need any federal bailout money. They really don't even want any -- but they will take some if they qualify. They don't want their competitor down the street to get some and not them.

Andrews embraced a novel concept -- he issued mortgages only to people who qualified. That is why he is angry about what he sees.

"It is very, very frustrating that we find ourselves in this position when basically we had little or nothing to do with the situation," he said.

Perhaps when America's financial ship is righted, the industry will look to the example set by Capitol City Bank and other community banks. The thought of that makes George Andrews smile.

Andrews said that if monies are being made available to everyone, certainly, Capitol City will take advantage of it -- after all, it has to be able to compete, and if the feds are spreading the wealth to everyone, they'll take some of that, too. But Capitol City says that by doing business the old fashioned way, they're still around, and will stick around.

Personally, I'm thrilled. I love going into a bank where I know the people there, and the people there -- right up on the line -- know me and my family. I'm also glad that smart business practices are going to make sure that my bank is going to stick around for the long run.

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December 12, 2008

About the crash of the auto bailout...


Oblivion roller coaster at Alton Towers, England

I think Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) may have learned his lesson this time -- and just as well, as I didn't have enough time to call and let his office know this time.

Voter anger over Chambliss' support of the Wall Street/TARP bailout back in September nearly cost him his Senate seat in the November elections, and certainly was instrumental in forcing a runoff between he and Democratic challenger Jim Martin in early December (Chambliss won the runoff, by the way).

During the TARP bailout talks back in September, I called his office and let them know that I was against it. The clerk asked me whether I thought that was wise (what did she do that for!?). I told her then that if we gave Wall Street this money that they or someone else would be back with their hands out within months. Well, here we are.

I figure someone else will be next -- the airlines? (or were their bankruptcies enough to wisen them up) No, how about the newspapers and "old media?" After all, Tribune filed this week (which includes the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, WGN and my beloved Cubbies), and there are published reports that the Detroit Free Press will drop to a two-day-a-week delivery -- Thursday/Sunday -- shortly after first of the year.

We can't continue to print money to continue to hold up this house of cards. It's all gonna come down, and the longer we put it off, the worse it'll be when it falls.

It's gonna be a long, hard, dark ride. Fasten your seatbelts and hang on.

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September 23, 2008

Back On The Air

I'm slowly getting back on television...



This is from tonight's 11 p.m. newscast as I explain about how to find gas stations that actually have gas in the current gas crisis around Metro Atlanta.

I stood in front of our jumbo touchscreen computer and pulled up our interactive map that shows where you can find gas across the Metro.

Of course, had I known I was going to be on the tube, I'd have worn a tie and a jacket. (Lesson learned -- I'll put both in the car tomorrow)

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Duh....



Clay Aiken
on the cover of next week's People, talking about his decision to "come out."

Duh. As if we didn't already know!

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September 08, 2008

Fasten your seatbelts

Apparently, John McCain is keeping Sarah Palin on an awful short leash.

The two of them are continuing to campaign together -- although, ABC's Charlie Gibson landed the first one-on-one with Yukon Barbie the GOP VP-in-waiting, which will take place over a couple of days in Alaska later this week.

I'm no big fan of Palin's thus far, and am pretty fearful that we may see an implosion of Stockdale-like proportions by time we get to the debates.

GOP pundits and the McCain camp are touting the post-convention bounce as if it's the be-all-end-all here, but keep in mind that historically, the post-convention bounces on both sides are generally erased by debate time.

Fasten your seatbelts. It ain't over yet....

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August 29, 2008

If it's true, then just damn...



If this is even remotely close to true, then the entire game is over before it's begun.

In addition, with an entire long weekend (and despite the RNC starting Monday) to percolate in the blogosphere -- just damn.

I hope this is wrong, and that no one in the McCain camp was so clueless as to not check out everything in Palin's background with a fine toothed comb.

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The GOP ticket is set



Sarah Palin is governor of Alaska and in her first term. The 44-year-old has a reputation as a hard-lined conservative, but to listen to her speech this afternoon, I have to wonder if McCain and company have lost their collective minds.

At this rate, the VP debate may turn into one of those cringe-worthy moments in television...

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August 28, 2008

In my lifetime...

"In my lifetime..."

My wife and I keep saying that as we look at Barack Obama accepting the Democratic nomination.

Regardless of our political affiliation, the gravity and magnitude of the night is fantastic.

Obama's speech tossed civility to the four winds, and jumped on John McCain with both feet, linking him solidly with George W. Bush and the myriad of problems that have come up during the latter portions of the Bush Administration. Despite all of the painting of McCain as the second coming of George W. Bush, John McCain is a separate man in and of his own making.

Thursday night's speech -- no, Thursday night's coming out party for Barack Obama --  was nothing short of incredible. The GOP must come out swinging for the fences next week -- and I'm looking forward to it.

And on that note, John McCain ran an ad Thursday that focused on the import of Obama's nomination and the fact that it was on the 45th anniversary of MLK's "I Have A Dream" speech.

"Senator Obama, this is truly a good day for America. Too often the achievements of our opponents go unnoticed. So I wanted to stop and say, congratulations. How perfect that your nomination would come on this historic day. Tomorrow, we'll be back at it. But tonight Senator, job well done." --John McCain.

That was a class move on McCain's part.

Now, despite the attack with both feet from Obama in his speech, let's see if we can finish this thing without the partisan vindictiveness that has characterized the nearly the past 20 years -- from both sides of the aisle. The infighting is getting old. Can we learn to disagree without being disagreeable?

As I've told a number of folks, I have reasons to like and not like both candidates. And though I am a conservative-libertarian by nature, I haven't made my decision yet. I'm not planning to make a decision until debate time.

The game is affot. May the best man win.

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August 21, 2008

Don't like our two choices for president?

Do you ever wish you could vote for somebody OTHER than Barack Obama or John McCain? (and no, Cynthia McKinney and Bob Barr do not count)

There's a new multi-day poll on 11Alive.com that gives you that option.

The poll for the first day includes presidents like Josiah Bartlett (Martin Sheen, "The West Wing"), Mackenzie Allen (Geena Davis, "Commander In Chief") and Tom Beck (Morgan Freeman, "Deep Impact")

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August 13, 2008

Olympic-sized Ouch!

Hungarian weightlifter Janos Baranyai's first Olympic Games went horribly wrong Wednesday, when while trying to snatch 148 kg (326.3 pounds) in his third lift in the men's 77-kilogram division, when his elbow popped out of socket. Backward.



Baranyi collapsed to the floor, screaming in pain, as Hungarian coaches and officials rushed to his aid, the barbell forgotten. The athlete lay on the floor, his arm horribly twisted out of socket like a disjointed chicken wing.

He was carried off of the floor on a stretcher and rushed to a local hospital for treatment. There's been no word thus far as to how extensive the injuries are to Baranyi's arm. According to medical experts there, if the arm has simply come out of socket, without any damage to surrounding ligaments, bones or other tissue, he should be able to make a full recovery in fairly short order.

In the snatch, the bar is pulled overhead in one continuous motion as the lifter settles into a squat, then rises with arms extended. When Baranyi was injured, he had picked up the weight into the squat position.

I'm sure NBC will refrain from showing video of Baranyi's injury during the zillions of hours of coverage, and as nasty as it looks, I'd be shocked if they didn't hold off.

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July 23, 2008

CNN has just discovered there are blacks in America!

Am I the only one who feels like CNN has just figured out that there are black people in America?

For the past three months, CNN has been practically jumping up and down to promote their two-night event on the state of blacks in America. This is after they realized that no one was watching their 7 p.m. ET hour that tried to push racial issues -- I guess they want to build themselves a franchise.

But I think there are others that I would choose to front said franchise -- even within CNN -- than Soledad O'Brien. She comes across as judgmental, especially when she thinks she knows (but clearly doesn't) what she's talking about. I hate to sound mean, but she's clearly eye candy -- yet another in a long line of eye candy out there.

What's wrong with someone who has more credibility (and I'm sorry, Soledad's three or four years on CNN do not count -- mind you, her first foray into national television was co-hosting with a cartoon figure on the original incarnation of MSNBC; the notion of being a figure of authority is clearly lost on me)? If CNN were serious, they wouldn't treat this as a newly discovered fact, or a novelty. If CNN were serious, they wouldn't schedule this in the middle of the summer, when viewership is at its lowest. And if CNN were serious, they wouldn't put a glorified cheerleader on as the face of said special/franchise/event.

Someone call me when CNN pays more than glorfied lipservice to the true diversity and dicotemy of black America.

Now begs the next question -- how long before they pull the same stunt with Hispanics or Asians in America?

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June 12, 2008

DNC Protestors Afraid To Poop

Activists set to protest at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in August are running scared. There is word of a crowd control device that has been nicknamed a "crap cannon," to be used against them.

Also called “Brown Note,” it is believed to be an infrasound frequency that debilitates a person by making them defecate involuntarily…

Dr. Roger Schwenke - an expert acoustician who appeared on the Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters” in 2004 to test the phenomenon - told FOXNews.com there is no scientific evidence that proves such frequencies cause involuntary defecation…

But Schwenke acknowledged the low-frequency exposure did cause an adverse effect [in an experiment]. Several people — including himself — reported “abdominal discomfort,” he said, “which was easily alleviated by moving a moderate distance away from the source.”

Now, if they're serious, they'll lock up all the port-a-pottys at the same time...

(Hat tip to Hot Air & Peach Pundit)

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June 05, 2008

Why is this an issue?



I'd be the last person to consider Barack Obama a black conservative. But all the whoopla over his bumping fists with his wife Tuesday night after clinching the Democratic nomination is beyond me.

That's just something that we do.

I do it with my wife; I do it with my friends. Hell, I thought it had entered the mainstream -- after all, contestants on "Deal Or No Deal" do it with host Howie Mandel.

But to hear and see all of the commentary today, you'd think he'd done something revolutionary or crazy.

I kind of thought there were some legitimate issues to talk about -- gas is still at $4 a gallon. The border still leaks like a sieve. The mortgage mess still has millions worried about the value of their homes. The Iraqis still won't step up and take control of their own country. Mahmoud "Leisure Suit Larry" Ahmadinijad still keeps rattling his sabre and threatening to wipe Israel off the map. Oh, and Osama "7-11 Clerk" Bin Laden is still hiding in the hills of Afghanistan/Pakistan (if he's still alive).

If this is what we're going to have to be subjected to from a press that has nothing better to talk about between now and November, it's gonna be a long summer indeed.

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Why Is This An Issue?





I'd be the last person to consider Barack Obama a black conservative. But all the whoopla over his bumping fists with his wife Tuesday night after clinching the Democratic nomination is beyond me.



That's just something that we do.



I do it with my wife; I do it with my friends. Hell, I thought it had entered the mainstream -- after all, contestants on "Deal Or No Deal" do it with host Howie Mandel.



But to hear and see all of the commentary today, you'd think he'd done something revolutionary or crazy.



I kind of thought there were some legitimate issues to talk about -- gas is still at $4 a gallon. The border still leaks like a sieve. The mortgage mess still has millions worried about the value of their homes. The Iraqis still won't step up and take control of their own country. Mahmoud "Leisure Suit Larry" Ahmadinijad still keeps rattling his sabre and threatening to wipe Israel off the map. Oh, and Osama "7-11 Clerk" Bin Laden is still hiding in the hills of Afghanistan/Pakistan (if he's still alive).



If this is what we're going to have to be subjected to from a press that has nothing better to talk about between now and November, it's gonna be a long summer indeed.

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