Thanksgiving Proclamation, 2008

November 25, 2008


I’ve often thought that if I were President, this would be one of my favorite tasks:

Thanksgiving Day, 2008
A Proclamation by the President of the United States of America

Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to gather together and express gratitude for all that we have been given, the freedoms we enjoy, and the loved ones who enrich our lives. We recognize that all of these blessings, and life itself, come not from the hand of man but from Almighty God.

Every Thanksgiving, we remember the story of the Pilgrims who came to America in search of religious freedom and a better life. Having arrived in the New World, these early settlers gave thanks to the Author of Life for granting them safe passage to this abundant land and protecting them through a bitter winter. Our Nation’s first President, George Washington, stated in the first Thanksgiving proclamation that “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.” While in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln revived the tradition of proclaiming a day of thanksgiving, asking God to heal our wounds and restore our country.

Today, as we look back on the beginnings of our democracy, Americans recall that we live in a land of many blessings where every person has the right to live, work, and worship in freedom. Our Nation is especially thankful for the brave men and women of our Armed Forces who protect these rights while setting aside their own comfort and safety. Their courage keeps us free, their sacrifice makes us grateful, and their character makes us proud. Especially during the holidays, our whole country keeps them and their families in our thoughts and prayers.

Americans are also mindful of the need to share our gifts with others, and our Nation is moved to compassionate action. We pay tribute to all caring citizens who reach out a helping hand and serve a cause larger than themselves.

On this day, let us all give thanks to God who blessed our Nation’s first days and who blesses us today. May He continue to guide and watch over our families and our country always.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim November 27, 2008, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage all Americans to gather together in their homes and places of worship with family, friends, and loved ones to strengthen the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.


Thank you, Mr. President. We don’t say it often enough.



The Ol’ “Common-Sense-O-Meter” Seems Pegged on Empty

November 25, 2008


So where does it end? At what point do we as a culture stop being surprised by news like this tidbit concerning our nation’s once number-one Muslim charity channeling money to terrorists?

Why is it that we’re not noticing that radical Islam is growing in our prisons?

Dubya just announced 14 pardons, but not for Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean who shot a drug smuggler (he was transporting 700+ pounds of grass) in the rump. Why? I’d like to say that common sense had something to do with Bush 43rd’s decision, but I doubt it. Check out Lou Dobbs concerning this issue.

And so it goes… Where does this end? We’ve all see the news reports ad nauseum reporting that American Toyota employees make $48/hr and American GM employees make $73/hr. One of these companies is selling cars at a profit; the other at a loss (guess which is which). And yet GM wants a bailout, and we’re probably going to give it to them even though they make inferior products at bloated prices.

Borrowing from W.C. Fields, when do we as a society finally grab the bull by the tail and face the situation?

Never mind, never mind, never mind…

The “Common-Sense-O-Meter” is FUBAR’ed,

Alan Speakman

Music in the Forest Primeval

November 24, 2008


From FoxNews and the Cape Cod Times, a tale of nature, music, and abandonment.

HARWICH, Mass. —  Harwich police have a musical mystery on their hands: Who left a piano in the middle of the woods? And why?

The Baldwin piano discovered in the Bells Neck woods appears to be in perfect working condition and had a matching bench as if it had recently been played.

The piano was discovered Saturday by a woman walking along a path inside a conservation area at the woods.

Another question police would like to answer is how the piano got to such a remote location. The piano is heavy and it took more than a half dozen men to load it onto a truck to remove it.

Police said they’ve notified other police departments in the area to see if anyone has reported a missing piano.

Harwich is a small town on Cape Cod. It has a great deal of natural beauty, and much of the town is protected as conservation land. I know this because I live there. The entire town is stumped as to who would drop a piano off in the woods, and why.

For a brief glimpse, here is the mystery instrument:

Sounds like it could use a good tuning.

We’ll have more on this exciting story as it unfolds. Or after a nap.


H/T HotAir

For Your Viewing Pleasure

November 24, 2008


It is a time-honored tradition in many households including my own that before, after, and/or during the process of eating turkey and its innumerable accouterments, football must be watched. After the meal, after the dishes, after the genial conversation comes pie and football. And pie.

I am proposing a different course of action this year, however. No change for the turkey, the dishes, the conversation, or the pie. I’m suggesting that rather than watching football, watch a movie. In fact, watch a cheesy move, the cheesier the better. And with that proposal in mind, I have three guilty favorites to recommend for your entertainment:

  • Buckaroo Banzai (aka The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension): a quintessential 80s tale of a rock star / brain surgeon / quantum physicist and his wacky back-up band who accidentally release aliens from the 8th dimension. Hijinks ensue. This engaging classic has an all-star cast including Peter Weller, John Lithgow (in a star turn you’ll never forget), Ellen Barkin, Jeff Goldblum, and Christopher Lloyd, as well as a host of other faces you will recognize. Lots of great quotable lines in this movie.
  • Big Trouble in Little China: it was rumored that this was intended to be the sequel to Buckaroo Banzai which got derailed. Whereas Banzai definitely has a sci-fi vibe throughout it, Big Trouble is more mystical, with Kurt Russell starring as swaggering trucker Jack Burton who attempts to help a friend rescue his kidnapped fiancee. This one has lots more action, and is not quite so slyly subtle. Also starring a pre-Sex and the City Kim Cattrall, this is a kung-fu romp through San Francico’s Chinatown.
  • Tremors: an actual monster movie with fantastic subterranean creatures that terrorize and destroy a small town. This one features Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward as Val and Earl, odd job guys with big plans who get trapped in their small town by the heretofore unknown “graboids.” Between the two of them, they have to figure out a way to get the towns’ survivors to safety. The relationship between Val and Earl carries the story; and the supporting characters are hugely entertaining, particularly Michael Gross and Reba McIntyre as survivalist types who have a basement full of guns, ammo, and other little surprises. The graboids are wonderfully low-tech and yet believable.

So forget the football this year. Try a cheesy movie. You can thank me later.


And Another Thing…

November 23, 2008


I write this pursuant to my post of yesterday, in which I remarked on the number of folks on the left calling on Obama to take over, like, now, already.

So now we also have three opinion writers from the New York Times all calling for Bush to step down and let Obama have his chance almost two months early.

Paul Krugman wrote:

“How much can go wrong in the two months before Mr. Obama takes the oath of office? The answer, unfortunately, is: a lot. Consider how much darker the economic picture has grown since the failure of Lehman Brothers, which took place just over two months ago. And the pace of deterioration seems to be accelerating.”

Gail Collins, in a column coyly entitled, “Time for Him to Go”, opined:

“Thanksgiving is next week, and President Bush could make it a really special holiday by resigning.

Seriously. We have an economy that’s crashing and a vacuum at the top. Bush — who is currently on a trip to Peru to meet with Asian leaders who no longer care what he thinks — hasn’t got the clout, or possibly even the energy, to do anything useful. His most recent contribution to resolving the fiscal crisis was lecturing representatives of the world’s most important economies on the glories of free-market capitalism.”

And the latest is Thomas Friedman, who pennedWe Found the W.M.D.”

“If I had my druthers right now we would convene a special session of Congress, amend the Constitution and move up the inauguration from Jan. 20 to Thanksgiving Day. Forget the inaugural balls; we can’t afford them. Forget the grandstands; we don’t need them. Just get me a Supreme Court justice and a Bible, and let’s swear in Barack Obama right now — by choice — with the same haste we did — by necessity — with L.B.J. in the back of Air Force One.”

I’ve got a newsflash for you whiney liberals: you are part of the very reason our country is in the state it is today. You sit there on your loathsome spotty behinds, squeezing bla— oh, sorry, wrong rant. You sit there in your ivory towers which protect you from the humdrum world of the ordinary, and pretend you are not only smarter, but also better than most Americans. This is borne out by the opening paragraph of Friedman’s column:

“So, I have a confession and a suggestion. The confession: I go into restaurants these days, look around at the tables often still crowded with young people, and I have this urge to go from table to table and say: “You don’t know me, but I have to tell you that you shouldn’t be here. You should be saving your money. You should be home eating tuna fish. This financial crisis is so far from over. We are just at the end of the beginning. Please, wrap up that steak in a doggy bag and go home.”

What a sanctimonious load of crap. “You poor bastiches had better get home and eat tuna fish because you’re so stupid you don’t know that (in a dire tone) Worse. Is. Yet. To. Come.”

Yes, your smugness will protect you from the fall-out, and your superior intelligence will allow you and your friends to save us all from our stupid restaurant-steak-eating selves, and turn us into good little dolphin-safe tuna-consuming peons who look rapturously at our betters and march in lockstep, singing paeans to The One and his acolytes.

If any of you had written responsible articles, not just about the financial problems we’re having, but about the Iraq War, about President Bush, about the need for keeping classified information CLASSIFIED, about Obama’s past and current associates and donors, about, oh, any number of things, or better yet, all of the above, why then the few people who still read your trashy rag might have been better informed about what’s really going on in the world today.

They might have learned how best to help, rather than whinging about how a sitting President is so ineffective that he should simply step down. Well, I’ve got news for you all: you may not have caused some of the problems we’re facing today, but you damn well contributed to them and in many cases exacerbated them.

So in short, here’s a memo to the New York Times: Shut. The. Hell. Up.


P.S. to Thomas Friedman: if you really think there’s no difference between a vice-president assuming the presidency after the assassination of his predecessor and a peaceful transfer of power at the constitutionally-appointed time, then you’re an even bigger idiot than I thought, and you deserve every particle of scorn that is or will be heaped on you.

H/T Confederate Yankee, HotAir

Be Careful What You Wish For

November 23, 2008


UPDATE: Courtesy of HotAir, I, too, missed the Gail Collins editorial in yesterday’s New York Times. As I was saying…

Since the election, I have noticed a number of sites discussing whether it would be good for the country if President-elect Obama would simply take the reins and start his tenure as POTUS immediately. The opinions of those having this discussion seem to be a resounding “YES!”

In the New York Times, Paul Krugman probably doesn’t know better:

“How much can go wrong in the two months before Mr. Obama takes the oath of office? The answer, unfortunately, is: a lot. Consider how much darker the economic picture has grown since the failure of Lehman Brothers, which took place just over two months ago. And the pace of deterioration seems to be accelerating.”

USA Today quotes sitting Senator Christopher Dodd, who really should:

“The Obama team has to step up. In the minds of the people, this is the Obama administration. I don’t think we can wait until January 20.”

On his blog, CNN bloviator Jack Cafferty asks his few readers: “How can President Bush be most helpful to President-elect Obama in making the transition?” The majority response was stated variously as:

“Ummmmm. Oh wait. I know this one: Leave. Leave Now! Don’t bother packing, we will send you your clothes.”

“Bush needs to clean the bathroom, transfer the power bills to his new address and, oh, don’t forget to turn in your mailbox keys. See ya!”

“I can’t imagine President Bush doing anything positive, besides trying to lock up an agreement with the Iraqis to keep Obama from pulling troops out, I got a feeling he’s going to leave a lot of planted legislative bombs behind just to be annoying.”

“By not waiting until January 20, 2009 to leave office. Today would be just fine.”

And life just wouldn’t be as sweet if we couldn’t hear NPR‘s opinion:

“Moving up the inauguration date to Jan. 20 may have sufficed for President Franklin Roosevelt. Maybe it’s time to consider yet another change — inaugurating our president, say, on Nov. 10.”

It is pathetic that the Democratic party is quaking in terror of what a sitting president will do before leaving office after eight arduous years of service to his nation. Can you say, “Projection?”

Perhaps if the Clintons hadn’t left such a nasty example behind them as they left the White House in 2001; if the Left hadn’t raised Obama to the level of a god; if voters had demanded more information from the Fourth Estate about the candidates; if the fringe element of the Left hadn’t been embraced as the future of the party!

Perhaps then the Democrats would understand that this honorable man, our current president, will do his best to bring his duly elected successor up to speed on everything he needs to know, will graciously and gracefully hand over power at the appointed time, will wish Obama well in his endeavors, and will actually mean it.

However, aside from the fact that the Electoral College hasn’t even met yet, and that little matter of the 20th amendment, wouldn’t it be hilarious if Pres. Bush actually granted the wish of these nuts and resigned, and let Vice-president Cheney have the reins for a month?

Leftists, be careful what you wish for…


Suicide on Web and No One Intervenes…

November 22, 2008

Yeah, it’s worse than you imagine. A 19 year old commits suicide on the Web, and no one intervenes.

We’ve been down this road before… In 1964, Catherine Genovese was raped and stabbed to death over a period of 35 minutes in an alleyway, and the vile attack was witnessed by anywhere from 12 to 38 people who basically didn’t want to get involved.

Now this… A Web-based suicide, and nobody did a thing to intervene for “several hours”? Why do I have the feeling that something far more insidious than “not wanting to get involved” is afoot? My guess is that we’re now talking the “voyeur ‘id‘ gone wild“.

Look… I’m no prince. Not by a far shot. But it seems to me that in order to at least be a viable member of our society, you should have some shards of the following personal traits:

  • A tiny bit of intestinal fortitude. (So what if you get fooled by a hoax. At least have the guts to do the right thing.)
  • It only takes a wisp of character/decency/empathy to ‘fess up and think, “Geeze, I wonder if Biggs is actually killing himself?”
  • Common sense is good. When people start talking about suicide, you ought to think twice.

Like I said… I’m no prince. But somewhere in the thin shadow of my soul lies the barely-warm embers of guts, decency, and common sense. And if I’d tuned in to Abraham Biggs’ live stream, I would have picked up the phone and called someone for help. Anyone.

America, where are you?

Alan Speakman