Borders Held Hostage to “Immigration Reform”

June 21, 2010


And we might as well say it in plain English: our national border security is being held hostage to an effort at amnesty for a massive number of illegals.

Not all Congressmen are afraid to meet their constituents. Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) is one such. Last Thursday, he held a Town Hall meeting in North Tempe, and discussed, among other things, border security, and an initiative that I had not heard of, Operation Streamline, which is the concept that rather than sending illegals back to where they came from when they’re caught, they go to jail. What a concept! Kyl makes a good case for why this works, and why it should be expanded to include more border areas.

But of course the kicker (which really is no surprise) is what Sen. Kyl reports that the President told him in a one-on-one meeting recently:

OBAMA: The problem is, if we secure the border, then you all won’t have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform.

As you watch the video, listen to the audience reaction at the point where Kyl quotes Pres. Obama.

Allahpundit at Hot Air is all over this, as is Fausta’s Blog, but it’s so important that I think it really needs to be disseminated as widely as possible as quickly as possible.

Americans are being taken for a ride of massive proportions with this administration of thugs, grifters, and “what’s-in-it-for-me” politicians; and come November 2012, a lot of people are going to be demanding in the voting booths that we change course and get out of this damned handbasket.


100 Years Of Father’s Days

June 20, 2010

Every father’s day is still special to me because of my father’s patience and love. But today is a special father’s day for us all: Today marks the 100th anniversary of Father’s Day.  Although celebrated on a variety of dates in different countries, it all started  on June 19, 1910 through the efforts of Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington.

Every generation blames the one before
And all of their frustrations come beating on your door
I know That I’m A Prisoner To All my father held dear
I know I’m hostage to all his hopes and fears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years.

So begin the lyrics of the song “The Living Years” by Mike & The Mechanics – a song lamenting the loss of one’s father without having taken the time to let him know how much he was loved.

My brother and I were fortunate in that we had the chance to make peace with our father and he knew our love for him was unquestioned and everlasting.

How many of us have been blessed to have had the kind of father who always put the needs of his family first? Who did without so that his children would have? Looking back, I was indeed blessed to have had both a mother and father who both had those kinds of old-fashioned values… and made every effort to make sure my brother and I understood those values. But there was an additional piece that made it even more special:  We were both adopted.

There can be no greater mission in life than to fullfill one’s obligation as a parent… teaching, encouraging, and instilling values that perpetuate the family name in a proud manner. That said, I look at what passes for parenting these days and find myself wishing that God had somehow created a link between common sense and the ability to reproduce. If that were the case, however, perhaps the human race would be dwindling at a rapid pace.

In my family, it was my brother who went on to become the father (I divorced before having children). And in HIS son, I see a young man filled with the values my father taught my brother and me… some would say in spite of ourselves. I look at my brother with sincere pride and wonder if he realizes just how good a father he has been. I hope so.

It’s been 25 years since we said goodbye to our father. Yet with every passing year, my gratitude only grows greater for having been chosen to be one of his sons. I’ve tried to live my life with his values of fairness. And to be honest, if I can wind up being half the man my father was, I will consider it an accomplishment. 

The fact that my brother and I were able to be at my father’s bedside in the end is so very special to me. He left this life knowing his place in our hearts was and always will be secure.  And, thanks to my brother Pete’s efforts as a father himself, there’s a young man of who carries forward the family name with honor.  The circle of life, at least for the Ashley family, continues as my brother’s son became a father himself two years ago.

 To those of you lucky enough to still have your fathers, go easy on them if you’re making breakfast for them (see  how Doug Powers – guest blogger at – described his children’s morning offering – you’ll chuckle). In any event, I hope you will take the time to make sure your dads all know how much you appreciate their sacrifices.

And I hope you do so, in their living years.

Gerry Ashley

Mr. President, THIS Is What We Expected

June 18, 2010


Odds are that you already knew this from the news or your gut, but here are the things I think most Americans were expecting weeks ago from President Obama…

From James Carville:

These people are crying. They’re begging for something down here. And it just looks like he’s not involved in this! Man, you have got to get down here and take control of this! Put somebody in charge of this and get this thing moving! We’re about to die down here!

The President could have jumped quick and ugly on the Jones Act like Dubya did after Katrina.

And look! GulfCoastBamaFan has, not one, not two, but seven excellent ideas on exactly what to do. Among them:

Order BP to secure vacuuming supertankers, similar to or the same ones as those used by the Saudis in previous spills in another Gulf half a world away. This technology can collect, process and transport millions of gallons of oil per day, and could have made a huge dent in the amount of crude that reaches the shore.

Allow state governors to take whatever measures they deem necessary and appropriate to protect their coasts…

Get the Congress to plug the damned hearings until the leak is stopped…

Suspend enforcement of the Jones Act. The Act was intended to stop “tramp steaming” of foreign vessels between US ports. It was never intended to prevent foreign owned vessels to assist in oil spill recovery ops. Indeed, the ROV’s being used to feed live video to the surface are all foreign owned…

And finally there is everyone’s favorite, General Honore…

Yeah, yeah, yeah… You’ve heard this before, and no doubt started to think about this sort of stuff at least five weeks ago when we finally grasped the scale of the disaster.

But that is precisely the point. If you and I and the folks above could figure this out way back when, then where the hell was Obama and his “New Whiz Kids”?

Alan Speakman

Putting Things in Perspective

June 17, 2010

Things like the Gulf oil spill, that is.

Yes, it is an incredibly awful spill–a combination of greed, cut corners, broken rules, missed inspections, indifferent inspectors, out-of-control regulations, and sheer bad luck, among other things. A “perfect storm” of all that could go bad, if you will.

And yes, it’s going to take lots of time and lots of money and lots of patience and lots of work before things start to resemble anything near normal on the Gulf coast any time soon.

But consider this: we’ve been lucky. Other regions have not been nearly so fortunate.

Not to make light of the lives lost on the Deepwater Horizon, or to diminish the sheer awfulness of what is happening. But it could be worse. Much worse.


Image from Gavin Potenza infographics

Rough Costs: Gulf Spill vs. Exxon Valdez

June 17, 2010


Well, there are yet more numbers out there describing the Gulf oil “spew.” Now, the experts are mumbling numbers like 60,000 barrels/day of oil loosed upon the wave and shore. A bit of quick math (42 gal/barrel) says that we’re looking at something like 145 million gallons total so far, or 13 times that of the Exxon Valdez.

Of course, there are so many unknowns… We don’t really know how much oil has been lost; we don’t know what nearly a million gallons of dispersants are going to do to the area; we don’t know what happens to such a deep ecosystem given the 5,000′ depth of the blow-out; we don’t know how much crude will reach the shoreline and the wetlands… But even if we simply use the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill as a rough estimate, that was still a $4.5 billion cleanup–but Pricne William Sound is still feeling the effects. Using just that yardstick today ($654/gal), we’re looking at $95 billion, though that may in fact be just a fraction of the final amount.

And truth be told, the cleanup will no doubt reach a point of diminishing returns… For example (and this is just an example), BP might be able to remediate 75% of the damage at a cost of $40 billion, 80% at a cost of $50 billion, 83% at a cost of $75 billion, and 84% at a cost of $150 billion. Put another way, there will come a time when there just isn’t enough ecological bang for the (available) cleanup buck.

Obviously, that begs a nasty question… Just how many bucks does BP have? Try about $80 billion with their oil reserves. Uh oh. But as Reuters reported:

“The company generated cash of $7.7 billion from operating activities in the first quarter. Even after capital investment of $3.8 billion, it had $3.9 billion of free cash and the company says it has arranged significant credit lines…

“The upper end of analysts’ forecasts of total costs is around $30-$35 billion, with potential extra costs for lost fisheries business in years to come.

“Analysts say BP may not be able to cover such costs, and pay its dividend, out of cashflow alone, forcing additional borrowing.

However, the oil giant is believed to be able to do so without bringing its gearing levels above its targeted 20-30 percent range.”

My over-priced $.02 concerning the final cost of the cleanup? I’m guessing at best $50 billion—$100 billion if we’re lucky. (Who knows what it will amount to if the relief wells flop.) As the summer slogs by watch the shenanigans, follow the money, and watch out for PetroChina. Oh goody.

Alan Speakman

The Speech

June 16, 2010

Once again, President Obama has made a speech on prime-time TV. And once again, I didn’t waste my time watching it. But there are others who did, God bless their little hearts, and actually live-blogged it while watching. Foremost among those live-bloggers is, of course, Steve Green of VodkaPundit.

According to Mr. Green, he switched from his premium brand to Absolut Citron at the very beginning of the speech, not wanting to waste “more of the good stuff on that guy.” And there wasn’t much good stuff about the speech, either, and sadly, what there was, came not from the Presidend, but from those watching and commenting.

From VodkaPundit:

5:01PM While we wait, the best we can do is hope and pray the President convenes a panel of experts. And panel of ass-kicking experts.

5:04PM Shorter Obama: “Hurricanes are easy. Leaks are hard.”

5:07PM Speed? Day 57, buddy. I’ve also heard that Gov. Jindal STILL doesn’t have permission to build the sea wall he just ordered built.

5:09PM The Secretary of the Navy is going to develop a plan. With a panel, and perhaps even a commission.

5:11PM I will lose hours of sleep and suffer nightsweats over the image of “corporations pleasing themselves.”

5:13PM They’re drilling a mile beneath the ocean because ANWR is closed and so are the shorelines. (The “you lying bastard” clause at the end is implied.)

5:19PM Well that was mercifully free of content.

5:20PM Seriously, I feel so unsatisfied.

5:20PM There wasn’t even enough meat to make proper fun of. Proper ass-kicking fun.

5:21PM I keep waiting for somebody else to come on TV, maybe a cabinet member, to read the real speech, the one that tells us… I dunno… stuff.

And from Althouse, whose commenters are among the smartest, cleverest, and snarkiest in the blogosphere (although their language is a bit salty at times):

The Drill SGT:I approved offshore drilling because I was told it was absolutely safe.” I also believe in the tooth fairy.

David: Lack of candor. “China is investing in clean energy.” And coal, of course, but why mention that?

The Drill SGT: “investing in clean energy jobs.” I can’t wait for the bill to come due

David: A Katrina mention was cool.  And Wind! Wow. He knows about wind. Accelerate the transition to wind . . .  Accelerate = subsidize.

mesquito: “addiction to fossil fuels” Take the booze away from the drunk, his life gets better. Take the oil from an industrial society, and life gets very, very bad.

mesquito: Holy sh*t. President Filibuster is already done!

JAL: “I approved offshore drilling because I was told it was absolutely safe” He said that? Who in their right mind would ever SAY that? He is lying. “China is investing in clean energy?”  He said that?  Hahahaha the biggest industrial polluters on the planet. Of course they *are* investing in clean energy. So am I when I buy a clothes line for outdoors.This is what happens when you elect someone with no real world experience in anything but schmoozing with the community of choice. He doesn’t even have good advisors. (Or he ignores the ones he has.)

Quayle: “We are addicted to oil.” I tried putting water in my car and it didn’t like it.

Dust Bunny Queen:  Think of the oil leak in real life terms in your own home.You didn’t watch your kids very well and they went and broke one of those light bulbs that contain mercury. (You know… the ones that Obama wants us to use.) So instead of cleaning up the mess you decide to throw out all of the light bulbs in your house, beat your children to within an inch of their lives and decide to invent a new light bulb. Nevermind that you will be sitting in the dark for 15 years or that you don’t have a f***ing clue on HOW to invent a light bulb. Meanwhile you have broken glass and mercury all over your house.

Maybe we should have elected a MOM in chief instead of a planner. Mom would have cleaned up the mess, disciplined the kids and made some sandwiches.Oh….also…you plan to make all of your neighbors pay for your new project and take away all of their light bulbs too.

New “Hussein” Ham: “Well, that was a terrible speech!” Here’s how terrible it was … the booster club at MSNBC thought it was a horrible speech. If Barack Obama can’t get his own cheerleaders to root for the home team, he’s f***ing done.

Maybe we’ll try live-blogging his next speech, which will probably be in another week or two, when we’re running out of booms. Or maybe the President will address the nation again when he finally decides that the country is more important than his union thugs and waives the Jones Act. Or perhaps his next speech will be when BP declares bankruptcy.

Who knows? But let’s hope there will be more scope for mockery next time he addresses us peons.


Jimmy Dean: Far More Than Just A Country Gentleman

June 15, 2010

I’m at that awkward age where I’m able to remember what a great country America has been and how the freedom we have here enables anyone to rise from abject poverty to a millionaire if he/she has the right work ethic and the right values. Maybe that’s why it bothers me so to see what political correctness and the attempts by the Obama administration to “fundamentally change America as we know it” have done to us as a culture as well as a country.

And nothing better illustrates those simple, old-fashioned values than the life of a gentleman who passed away this past week-end: country music star and successful businessman Jimmy Dean. Many people remember him for his Jimmy Dean Sausages (and the folksy advertisements he did for the company). Most people my age and older also remember him for his success in the field of country music. 

I’ll always remember him for both, but principally as a country gentleman who stood by his word and expected others to do the same. He personified all of the promise that America offers to those who are willing to work for their goals.

Dean grew up during the Great Depression in Plainview, TX. He attributed his work ethic to his mother (Dean’s father abandoned his family when Dean was a child).  His mother made clothes for all her children out of old sugar sacks rather than take FDR’s “New Deal” government duds. That made a lasting impression on Dean who would pay tribute to his mother many years later in a narrative song called “I.O.U.”    

His folksy, gentlemanly demeanor was no put-on, but he wasn’t a country bumpkin either. Like Dolly Parton, Dean knew how to best market himself and his products. When he merged Jimmy Dean Sausages with Sara Lee Products, he became more wealthy than he could have ever imagined, but kept the low-key persona which continued to grow the brand… until new management took over and, in 2003,  phased him out as company spokesman for his own product, breaking an agreement that he would continue to be spokesman of Jimmy Dean products as long as he was alive.  

That experience left a bitter taste in his mouth. The company soon found out, however, that their country boy expected others to live up to their words too. Dean released a statement announcing “Somebody Doesn’t Like Sara Lee.”  He then sued the company, primarily on principal.

What bothered him most about his dismissal as spokesman wasn’t so much losing the job – he had all the money he would need for the rest of his life. He would later say in an interview in 2004:

“If people would just keep their word. I had a saying when I was running my own company. I said, ‘Do what you say you’re gonna do when you say you’re gonna do it, and try to do it a little better than you said you would’. Boy, that will work so well in business. I was told ‘You are the spokesman for as long as you live and you are the chairman of the board and we like the way the company is running’. They were crazy about it when they bought it. Then they got this whole new management team that came in and it was like ‘We’re going to show you country boy, and all your people, how to run a company’.”

Dean’s philosophy wasn’t just for business, however. It’s how he lived his life. And these days of fake transparency, political correctness, and the “Do unto others before they do unto you” approach so many take, surely we could all use a little more character like Mr. Dean. He’d be the first person to tell you he had a lot of ham in him. But there was no bull about him. 

Most tributes to Jimmy Dean feature his biggest hit, “Big Bad John.” But I found a real treat so share with you — something that personifies Dean’s character.  Good-bye Jimmy Dean… to paraphrase your biggest hit, you were “a big, big man…”  Perhaps more important: Your character represented a lot of what made this country great. 

Gerry Ashley