This is a tough period for those either seeking a new job or career, and those seeking to upgrade their job to a better job. Jobless figures and a downturn in economic analysis is very unfavorable. News organizations have been running stories about "how to keep your job in a bad economy" which doesn't help things either. It's a story that seems to snowball. The news is partially sensationalized.... the worse it is, the better the viewership ratings. It's definitely a bad time to be a job seeker.
For the employee, this means almost walking on eggs shells at work. We all know that bonuses and increases will be limited due to economic factors. Of course, the company also takes advantage of the endless media blitz by indirectly reminding you that you are happy to have a job at all. My view is that if you worked to make the company profitable, its the company's obligation to reward you. That's part of the deal, you work hard to get rewarded. It's individual accomplishment that matters, and companys' can't put the world's burden on your shoulders, particularly when you make them profitable over the past year. (Now if you are a lazy incompetent, you don't have a case here).
Of course, revenge is a dish best served cold. When things do turn around (and they will), companies that short-changed their employees when they didn't have to, don't deserve any loyalty or any favors. The King's advice is give them a week's notice at most, and remind them that staying any longer in the current role is costing you money.
So dear employee. Keep a chit list. All the HR baloney can be checked at the door. The fact is that if they really valued you, they would have showed it by giving you what they owe you. When its time to walk, its time to walk. It's not personal, its simply just business.
As for the burned bridge. Yeah well, its not your fault they burned the bridge. Why would you ever want to return to a place that used frivilous excuses to not give you your due.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
This is a tough period for those either seeking a new job or career, and those seeking to upgrade their job to a better job. Jobless figures and a downturn in economic analysis is very unfavorable. News organizations have been running stories about "how to keep your job in a bad economy" which doesn't help things either. It's a story that seems to snowball. The news is partially sensationalized.... the worse it is, the better the viewership ratings. It's definitely a bad time to be a job seeker.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Everyone is entitled to a little time off now and then.
The truth is that the last several months - particularly since the Convention, its been a tough pill to swallow to recognize that the GOP's candidate was doomed. An old, tired, moderate Republican who was willing to split the difference too many ways. An old war hero who ran his campaign into the ground, or worse his campaign helped run him into the ground. It's hard to tell which was which, but alas it didn't matter.
And to make things worse, the geniuses in the McCain campaign decided to keep us entertained by finding mediocre vice presidential candidate who instead of helping the ticket, served as an easy target for comics and Saturday Night Live audiences. The hockey mom that either on bad advice or no advice got slaughtered by Katie Couric and others. It was embarrassing. Let's make our own history, put a woman against a black guy and see if we can gain ground. The campaign stunk so bad that they made her substitive experience questionable while Obama's lack of experience doing much as out of bounds.
In the wings, stood Barack Obama who is barely qualified to manage a corporate retail office nevermind serve as CEO of the Free World. While folks like me barely could muster a cheer for McCain, we had silently hoped that an inexperienced, black upstart with an arab name and no resume would fall on his own. But the winds of change blew a storm that knocked the GOP on its arse.
Obama's cry of change and the emptiness of his plans beat out the old and tired. Conservatism was never in play. The names that McCain called out - Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan must have been turning in their graves at the thought of being involked by the likes of Big Mac and his empty rhetoric. The debates were embarrassing for the GOP. Everyone I know cringed; they tried to find a beacon of hope in pure confusion and darkness.
So election night came and went. I didn't want to write long diatribes about what was and what could have been. Mac lost me at the convention, and he probably lost America then too.
So I decided to take a few weeks and recharge.
So now the war for America is lost. And as of this writing it looks like the left wing will take the Senate with a filibuster proof majority (now that Alaska and Minnesota appear lost). So now we have a full blown war for the heart and sole of the GOP.
So what is it going to be? Are we going to be the liberal media's dream child? With John McCain as our leader wobbling too and fro and selling us out on the issues that mean the most? Or are we going to go back to what made us successful? Conservative principles - both economic and social. Will the party have the courage to make Newt Gingrich the next GOP Chairman? Or are we going to find some middle of the road collaborator who'll settle for second best, or worse choose a minority to impress high-minded liberals at the NYT?
Well the first shots have been fired.
Obama has already started down the road of making terrible choices. His new cheif of staff, Rahm Emmanuel is a well known liberal who has long time relationships with the Clintons and the rest of retreads from Bill Clinton's eight years of embarrassment.
But the worst choice possible for Barack has to be the shortsighted decision to put Hillary Clinton in the role of Secretary of State. Hillary and Billary will be calling the shots and Obama will lose and sense of control for the rest of his tenure. Is he just out of his mind? The Clintons and their allies back in power? Hillary serves Hillary's best interest. Obama can expect no loyalty and no support whatsoever.
If this turns out to be true. The choice of Hillary Clinton will be Obama's first undoing.
What a shame.
The big question
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
There are a lot of mindless articles on the web this morning that are talking about a new beginning for the GOP. Articles that claim that this election is good for conservatism, etc etc. I think before we can start our opposition movement, we need to clearly address the failure of our Republican leaders both national and local.
Be very careful today of those Republicans in power who are going to try and chaulk up this defeat to an inevitable loss due to the economic crisis, or George W. Bush's tenure. Obama won this election because the Republican Party and the Republican Nominee, John McCain were not up to the task. The Republican National Chairman should resign this morning for the sheer number of loses across the country (although luckily we avoided the magic number of six to avoid a fillibuster proof Senate).
John McCain may be a war hero, but he was a lousy, inept candidate for President. Disjointed, unimaginitive, stiff, old, and out of touch. This campaign was identical to the Dole campaign just a few years ago. John McCain barely had a chance. And the GOP and its old boy network of leaders decided that favors and backroom politics were to take precedence over practical evaluation of exactly what makes up an electable candidate.
Everyone deserves to primary, but in an eight-way race over a short period, sometimes a weak underdog emerges - no one had the dignity and courage to tell John McCain that at the end of the day - he just wasn't electable.
Democrats were better organized, grassroots organizations worked day and night, whether legallly or illegally - their foot soldiers never stopped working. The GOP never rallied their troops, and to be fair, our candidate never inspired them to work. And the decision to have John McCain throw President Bush under the bus as often as he did damaged the GOP and hurt him with conservatives beyond repair.
This is a terrible day, but final analysis is that Repubicans own this defeat.
Soon we will learn if we are willing to embrace that defeat, place blame where it lies and get rid of our leaders who led us down the path to failure. For now, don't buy into the the "it was unavoidable argument"; that's just an excuse and a lie.
Monday, November 3, 2008
At the time of this writing, we are hours from real election day. I use this term because all of the early voting madness is the kind of stuff that fraud stories are made up of... I mean the horror stories about Acorn, telephone voting, and drive up voting, etc during what has become election month.
With Republicans trailing in most polls its hard to fathom anything but an Obama win. That is unless the polls are all inaccurate, and there's a huge left wing conspiracy - well, we know there is at CBSNBCMSNBCABCPBS - all of which is very much in the Obama camp, certainly by everything we hear and see. The bias has never been so unbelievable open as it has this election cycle.
That being said, Republicans have run a terrible campaign. Shamefully inept, if not poorly coordinated. If Republicans cannot muster a win against a man who loves socialists and socialistic policies, then we are our own worst enemy. If a war hero and patriot with a strong record of accomplishment cannot defeat an unknown, unaccomplished, weak candidate like Obama then we deserve to lose.
If Republicans cannot defeat a man who for 25 years has attended the Church of a white hating, race bating minister who says "Goddamn America", who Barack Obama gave $50k over the last two years, then we deserve to lose.
If Republicans cannot defeat a man who hung out in the apartment of a traitor, Bill Ayers, who bombs buildings and served time in the Federal Pen, claiming afterward that "he did not do enough" then we deserve to lose.
If Republican allow a Democrat to lie openly about Democrat tax policy and let him get away with it, if not outright obsconding the tax issue all-together, then we deserve to lose.
I guess much more can be said, and will be said over the next several weeks.
Say a prayer, call your fairy-God mother, say a Hail Mary. There is this strange notion that perhaps if you wish upon a star that McCain may pull this one out. The notion that the world is lying to every pollster seems a bit remote even for this Sci-Fi fan, but who knows.
I guess we will tomorrow night.
Monday, October 13, 2008
This column appeared in the Washington Post. It couldn't be more accurate.
October 13, 2008
Fire the Campaign
By WILLIAM KRISTOL
It’s time for John McCain to fire his campaign.
He has nothing to lose. His campaign is totally overmatched by Obama’s. The Obama team is well organized, flush with resources, and the candidate and the campaign are in sync. The McCain campaign, once merely problematic, is now close to being out-and-out dysfunctional. Its combination of strategic incoherence and operational incompetence has become toxic. If the race continues over the next three weeks to be a conventional one, McCain is doomed.
He may be anyway. Bush is unpopular. The media is hostile. The financial meltdown has made things tougher. Maybe the situation is hopeless — and if it is, then nothing McCain or his campaign does matters.
But I’m not convinced by such claims of inevitability. McCain isn’t Bush. The media isn’t all-powerful. And the economic crisis still presents an opportunity to show leadership.
The 2008 campaign is now about something very big — both our future prosperity and our national security. Yet the McCain campaign has become smaller.
What McCain needs to do is junk the whole thing and start over. Shut down the rapid responses, end the frantic e-mails, bench the spinning surrogates, stop putting up new TV and Internet ads every minute. In fact, pull all the ads — they’re doing no good anyway. Use that money for televised town halls and half-hour addresses in prime time.
And let McCain go back to what he’s been good at in the past — running as a cheerful, open and accessible candidate. Palin should follow suit. The two of them are attractive and competent politicians. They’re happy warriors and good campaigners. Set them free.
Provide total media accessibility on their campaign planes and buses. Kick most of the aides off and send them out to swing states to work for the state coordinators on getting voters to the polls. Keep just a minimal staff to help organize the press conferences McCain and Palin should have at every stop and the TV interviews they should do at every location. Do town halls, do the Sunday TV shows, do talk radio — and invite Obama and Biden to join them in some of these venues, on the ground that more joint appearances might restore civility and substance to the contest.
The hope for McCain and Palin is that they still have pretty good favorable ratings from the voters. The American people have by no means turned decisively against them.
The bad news, of course, is that right now Obama’s approval/disapproval rating is better than McCain’s. Indeed, Obama’s is a bit higher than it was a month ago. That suggests the failure of the McCain campaign’s attacks on Obama.
So drop them.
Not because they’re illegitimate. I think many of them are reasonable. Obama’s relationship to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright is, I believe, a legitimate issue. But McCain ruled it out of bounds, and he’s sticking to that. And for whatever reason — the public mood, campaign ineptness, McCain’s alternation between hesitancy and harshness, which reflects the fact that he’s uncomfortable in the attack role — the other attacks on Obama just aren’t working. There’s no reason to think they’re suddenly going to.
There are still enough doubts about Obama to allow McCain to win. But McCain needs to make his case, and do so as a serious but cheerful candidate for times that need a serious but upbeat leader.
McCain should stop unveiling gimmicky proposals every couple of days that pretend to deal with the financial crisis. He should tell the truth — we’re in uncharted waters, no one is certain what to do, and no one knows what the situation will be on Jan. 20, 2009. But what we do know is that we could use someone as president who’s shown in his career the kind of sound judgment and strong leadership we’ll need to make it through the crisis.
McCain can make the substantive case for his broadly centrist conservatism. He can explain that our enemies won’t take a vacation because the markets are down, and that it’s not unimportant that he’s ready to be commander in chief. He can remind voters that even in a recession, the president appoints federal judges — and that his judges won’t legislate from the bench.
And he can point out that there’s going to be a Democratic Congress. He can suggest that surely we’d prefer a president who would check that Congress where necessary and work with it where possible, instead of having an inexperienced Democratic president joined at the hip with an all-too-experienced Democratic Congress, leading us, unfettered and unchecked, back to 1970s-style liberalism.
At Wednesday night’s debate at Hofstra, McCain might want to volunteer a mild mea culpa about the extent to which the presidential race has degenerated into a shouting match. And then he can pledge to the voters that the last three weeks will feature a contest worthy of this moment in our history.
He’d enjoy it. And he might even win it.
Monday, October 6, 2008
Just thought I'd remind everyone that the Boston Red Sox are in the playoffs once again. Meanwhile the so-called Bronx Bombers are once again sitting out the play offs. Thank God for the YES Network - where old games showing the Yankees winning each night - can be rehashed as if it were live TV.
If the Yankees Network and Yankees Organization had any class, they'd just simply shut down their operation until next year and stop pretending that the Yankees are relevant.
Meanwhile, the Sox have their hands full this time around. To win any one of these series is going to take work, particularly since both the Angels and Tampa Bay whipped our butts in the regular season serieses.
There is nothing magical about this year. It's been pretty painful if you ask me. Injuries, controversy, and stitching together enough wins to make it into the playoffs.
I consider any playing time in the post season gravy this year. If the magic runs out, it runs out. I'm just glad the Yankees aren't in it.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
It must be nice to live in a place where you can make unsound financial loans and when they go bust - simply call on the tax-payer via Washington to bail you out.
$700 million dollars is a lot of money to fork over for risky mistakes made. Or perhaps they weren't mistakes - the greedy saw a way to get greedier by making short term gains and hoping to stick someone else with the bill.
Everyone in their right mind, sees this. Yet the President and the Congress seem ready to take the plunge on behalf of all of us. What sickens me is not just the millions in bailout money, but its the fact that Congress seems willing to fork over millions to pet groups like Acorn and other scandalous organizations. Plus why not tack on few million in earmarks for districts like Joe Biden's.
What the hell is going on?
We send the most irresponsible people to Washington to bail out an even more irresponsible group of people. And the threats just keep coming. Bail out the Wallsheeters or their will be total economic collapse. Sure.
Call your Congressman and tell them to go tell Wall Street and the corrupt executives that agreed to risky mortgage loans to get new jobs and bail themselves out. What a insane, socialistic country we are becoming.
Posted by The King at 3:34 PM
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The most complicated thought process is understanding why someone would support Barack Obama. I think that generally speaking when you lay everything out, he's an incredibly hard sell. But there are those - those looking beyond merit and experience, who are squarely in the Obama camp.
Let's analyze their arguments to see what we come up with.
Rationale: I'm voting for Barack Obama because we've had eight years of George Bush and Republicans and we can do better.
Analysis: George Bush can take both credit and blame for a lot of things. This writer has found many faults with Bush as a leader, communicator and President. But President Bush's biggest downfall is his inability to articulate positions and ideals in a manner understood by his general audience. This gap hurt him and Republicans tremendously because principles and ideals could not be advanced by the man at the top. If you can't communicate economic policy or defense policy in other than non-complex terms, or draw analogies (or paint the picture) then its hard for folks to buy into your way of thinking. In fact, the Bush Administration has been mostly about the various military conflicts abroad, and less about domestic policy - which required far more attention than it received.
Few people, even on the Republican side, are sad to see George Bush leave office.
Republicans dug their own hole with the public by proving that they are no better than Democrats at dipping into the til to spend money on pet projects. Newt Gingrich spoke most plainly to this by saying that Republicans began to act like Democrats, except that the pork spending went into Republican districts. Republicans were promoted to control of Congress after putting together the Contract with America and committing to hold the line on frivolous spending. Republicans were seen to be no better than Democrats, and as memories are short - Republicans got the boot. And they deserved to get the boot. The problem with this argument though, is that Democrats have controlled Congress over the last two cycles and have been less productive then just about any Congress in the history of the the United States.
Democrats cannot claim to be part of the solution since their Congressional record is beyond dismal. Even with a poor communicator like George Bush in office, Democrats couldn't muster a counter-argument to any policy. Senate Leader Henry Reid (D) came across bitter and angry; and made himself irrelevant. And Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) seemed at best distracted and disengaged. Surely, no Congress has ever done so little with so much ammunition. And Democrat activists are coming unglued about the lost opportunty to have possibly advanced their agenda. And with both Presidential nominees coming from the U.S. Senate, we must admit that they are both part of the problem, and both fall within the 7% approval rating that Congress so justly deserves. That rating is far below the President's approval rating even at its lowest peak.
The other part of this faulty argument is that John McCain is not George Bush. In fact, the leadership styles are very different. Are the political stance different? Not quite sure on that one. We know that McCain has differed with his party on more than one occasion, but just because some agrees on where we need to get to, doesn't mean that they would follow the same path. In this respect, tying McCain to Bush is dishonest by any intellectual standard. While its true the platforms for Democrats and Republicans are different, approaches, plans and ideas should be evaluated on an individual basis, not a party line evaluation - particularly when it comes to John McCain.
Rationale: Obama is new and exciting. He's not an insider.
Analysis: It's true that Obama wasn't an insider at the start of his U.S. Senate career some 147 days ago before he was a Community Organizer. But one would have to say that he's probably just as much an insider as anyone is in the political establishment. The process to become a U.S. Senator, regardless of party, is rooted in favors, money, donations, pacs, special interest groups and a litany of other things that candidates seem to be always rallying against.
It's true he's new. But he's too new to know how things work. We do not elect dictators that come in on day one and start calling the shots. And moreover there are plenty of entrenched politicians in Congress, Lobbyists, and civilians lifers in every department that tend to be the ones that make the engine chug. Barack Obama has barely been in the Senate, he's barely proposed any solutions, and he's not managed to get a single piece of legislation approved by his peers. How do people expect him to come in and advance change on a global scale, when he cannot advance change in his own Chamber?
Rationale: Barack means change.
Analysis: Change to what? Change what? Barack Obama hasn't laid out any detail plans that reflect change we can believe in, let alone change we can't believe in. He's made the same general statements that most politicians wish to adhere to: better lives for middle class, getting along with our neighbors, ending the war on terror, better health care for everyone, on and on and on. In this respect, he's no different. But in one respect, given that the election is only two months away, he hasn't given out a hint of how all these wonderful goals can be achieved.
The only change we see is the one that he has gone out of his way to point out - that's he of a different ethnic background, and comes from a non-traditional background. But that alone isn't reason enough to select Obama.
Rationale: I hate Republicans. I'm voting for Obama.
Analysis: This by far is the most legitimate reason to vote for Barack Obama. The reason is that because behind this rationale, there is not need for discussion on merit, experience, resume, or detailed plans; its pure emotion and pure politics. There is no way to change the mind of someone that thinks like this (and there are those on the conservative side that will vote for McCain by the same argument).
Depending on where you come down on certain issues - we call such voters "one issue voters" that either McCain or Obama will be your candidate no matter what. For example, a die hard pro-abortion person will choose Obama, and a Christian conservative pro-life voter will choose McCain. But these issues are few and far between and make up a minority of the population. Their votes are already cast. It's the people in the middle - the independents, the loosely affiliated - those that may be members of a party but don't adhere to much of the platform, and those that are members of a party but may be so by chance or because they chose a party 20 some odd years ago.
If people really want new and untested. If they want to break the mold - they thing that seems to really excite the media because they enjoy a fairytale ending, then Obama will win in November. If Americans take the election seriously, and want the Nation governed by an experienced (work and real life) person, then McCain will get the nod.
My guess is that the college crowd (those who are still living in a bubble), the unions, the liberals, and minorities will show en masse for Obama. And the conservatives, the small business owners, the Christians, and the guy who watches his wallet will probably hold his nose and vote for McCain (against the unknown underachiever).
As for Palin and Biden. They add little; they are merely distractions from the main event.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Just a quick entry...
We all just got back from a fabulous week at Cape Cod.
So much to rant about, and so little time. Two and half hours of driving, followed by unpacking, followed by bedtime routine leaves me to put out this meager entry...
I'm off to have a beverage or two. And then ... I'm sure I'll be out like a light.
Posted by The King at 8:03 PM
Monday, September 1, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Sadly, major news stations are reporting that presumptive Republican Nominee John McCain is just days away from selecting his Vice-Presidential Candidate. The alarming news is that McCain is actually considering Liberal Democrat Joe Lieberman as his running mate! Such as suggestions is repulsive to the conservative and even moderate end of the party.
First of all, a life long Democrat and social liberal like Joe Lieberman has been a Democratic party line voter for years. A little bit of rhetoric showing he understands the Republican viewpoint doesn't make him the "moderate" that the media often portrays him as. Singularly, he has been a supporter of United States military action in the Middle East, and has shown concern for reducing violence on television - but these votes alone do not qualify him to hold a post that should be reserved for a Republican - after all this is supposed to be the GOP nomination.
Herein lies more of the problem with John McCain. He boast of being a maverick, but is he too much of a maverick? Too out of touch with his party? Unwilling to fight for the principles that have defined the GOP over the years?
It's nice that he has a few friends across the aisle, but the Presidency is about more than putting your buddies in high places. And moreover, did anyone at GOP headquarters ever think that a life-long Democrat would be a heartbeat away from the Presidency should McCain's health deteriorate? Then what would happen when it came to cabinet, courts, economic policies, etc?
Let's hope John McCain isn't REALLY thinking about Joe Lieberman as his VP choice. In doing so he will alienate the Republican base, give his party no one to support, and give Barack Hussein Obama an assured win in November.
And surely, John McCain would have secured his place - as the worst nominee - in GOP history. To which I'm sure he'd reply as he does to everything else in our grand old party - "So what?
What a mess!
I can honestly say that if Lieberman is on the ticket, I may have to sit this one out or vote third party. And why not? If my party won't nominate Republicans then why should I support them?
Let your state chairman know that this doesn't sit well with you. And that you do have an alternative should Leiberman land on the ticket.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
WARNING: This post contains spoilers, so if you haven't seen the movie and don't want it ruined then PLEASE do not read on.
I've always been a fan of the Batman franchises even going back to the days when I was ten years old; although admittedly I didn't subscribe to Batman or pick up the Batman comics as a collector. I liked his role in the Justice League of America (70s/80s) and his team ups with other DC (Detective Comics) stars over the years.
When contrasting the various iterations of Batman over the years, the Batman TV character of the 50s and 60s was silly and pathetic. That show was more a spoof on Batman then a show intended to portray good versus evil with all the complexities of crossing the moral lines of whether or not vigilantes are outlaws and whether taking the law into your own hands (or perhaps let's just say dishing out punishments) is ever justified. Both recent movie series' (Keaton and Bale) have tried to deal with the complexities of the man behind the mask, both men seem to stop short of directly inflicted murder. And the Joker and his villainous friends know Batman has his limits. And the villains use this to their advantage at every turn. But this is what separates Batman or The Dark Knight from becoming a vigilante villain.
Do people die as a result of Batman's speedy chases in the streets of Gotham? Or from his misfired guns that seem to often miss their target? We don't know, we probably don't need to know.
Going on record, I did enjoy the Keaton films. They were the closest thing to what the comics portrayed Batman to be. This is how we wanted Batman to be portrayed. And I admit that I like prefer Keaton as Batman over Bale, although I also like the more realistic approach of the latest series slightly better than the Keaton series. As the saying goes, "you never get everything you want."
The latest Batman series which starts with Batman Begins takes a very different view of how Batman came to be. For us traditionalists, we lose this one element we know to be true - Joker murdered Bruce Wayne's parents. That element seems to be lost, but it doesn't spiral the storyline, it was still a thug who murdered Wayne's parents, but the Joker doesn't get the credit this time.
But the trade off is that the latest installment series is somewhat more realistic (if realistic even applies here). We learn about who Batman confides in, we learn how his toys are financed and built, and we see iterations of costumes and toys that require perfection. We gain some satisfaction that its not necessarily Bruce Wayne how at night stitching up new costumes, but that even The Dark Knight requires a little help from his friends. And Batman is even challenged by his co-workers on his manner of ethics - in the latest case, our noble Wayne Enterprise Chairman, Lucius Fox, threatens to resign since Wayne has rigged every cell phone in the city into one network to act as sonar to find the villains. Fox declares it as unethical, but agrees to use the technology one time - and it saves thousands.
I like other elements of the movie that brought character definition to the land of Gotham. We see the rise of Lt. Gordon to Commissioner - and they had me going for a minute, I was temporarily perturbed about them killing off Gordon about midway through the movie. I did enjoy his wife's response to seeing Gordon alive.
I enjoyed the fact that it was never intended that Wayne was going get the girl (ref to Vicky Vale: Keaton series). And that she died loving Harvey Dent, and only Alfred the Butler knows the truth, and destroyed all evidence of that fact.
I liked that the Joker is alive and well, although very saddened to know that that performance will be singular to Keith Ledger who passed away earlier this year.
I enjoyed seeing The Scarecrow return for a brief cameo.
I like the reference to Catwoman, which sort of tells you that there is a lot that has been going on between Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. That's the kind of stuff that allows your own mind to fill in the gaps. In the land of comics, writers and directors allow the readers and fans to have their own space for creativity - we can fill in the blanks with our own stories.
I liked the sub story of the annoying copycat Batmans. And how the serve as a detriment to Batman's reputation and often wind up as victims of their own stupidity.
What I didn't like...
The Death of Two Face. I thought this character could have had legs.
Wayne Manor is still being rebuilt.
The story line around employee Colman Reese. Hard to believe he didn't spill the bean about Bruce Wayne's identity to someone. This was a shady element of the storyline. Also, hard to really comprehend why Joker would try to stop Reese revealing Batman's identity.
The Death of Rachel. I liked the character.
The movie seemed to drag at times. Seemed a bit long.
Bale as Batman is OK. At times his portrayal of Bruce Wayne is a bit off. Some of this may have to do with the writing of the character, but all in all - at times the Wayne character comes off too aloof and rude. Bruce Wayne was never rude before this series.
All in all, I give it a B+. There is more hype around this movie than should be.
I'm sure there will be future installments to come.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Just back from his world-wind tour of the Middle East and Europe, Barack Obama was sighted over West Beach at Hammonassett State Beach Park in Madison, Connecticut.
Obama was easily spotted from as far as 5 miles away descending toward the beach. He was easily identifiable as black, round head with menacing eyes and large tentacles; most notable was that he was alleged to be full of hot air.
Reports were that he was pickpocketing bystanders from on high in order to demonstrate his new found proposed method for taking new revenue from middle class wage earners in order to advance his new spending agenda based loosely on the Robin Hood legend of take from those who have and redistribute to those who don't work.
Of course, this isn't Obama - it only looks and acts like Obama. It's actually a kite that we saw from Meigs Point. Pretty cool though.
"Look out Lady, Obama is headed for your pocket!"
Saturday, July 26, 2008
This article was originally posted on Radiofreewesthartford.com
Even the neutral observer would have to agree that the last few weeks for Barack Obama have been nothing short of stellar in terms of publicity and photo-opportunities. Meeting with heads of state, dining with kings and diplomats around the globe gives the Senator would-be standing in the world community. In contrast to the Victory Tower in Berlin – which Obama used as his most recent campaign backdrop, John McCain’s visit to the Sausage Haus, a German Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio was a sad attempt to either poke fun at or upstage Obama in some way. Its days like these that make you wonder whether or not the McCain campaign takes Obama as serious as they should. While Obama spoke in front of thousands of people to a world-wide audience, McCain should hands with a half a dozen people over beer and bratwurst in a dark lit restaurant.
The troubles of the McCain bid are a story for another day. To be fair, McCain and his campaign team are their own worst enemy. Tired, uninspiring, and reactive won’t produce the intended result in the media age of energy and glitz. That isn’t to suggest that substance and policy don’t matter – it does – but delivery is also a key element of any successful leader. And right now the McCain campaign has a long way to go to inspire even its own supporters.
Lately, and in the eyes of the media, Obama can do no wrong. Both the American and International Press coverage has been incredibly friendly – if not overtly pro-Obama, as few reporters have challenged him on his policy positions. Yesterday’s Lehrer NewsHour was a perfect example of how the media is aiding the Obama campaign. The PBS show invited three European journalists who instead of providing straightforward news analysis, opted to sing praises of Obama while at the same time being very clear that McCain, while somewhat respected by Europeans, represented views not welcome in Europe. The continuous references by our national media to “Obama-Mania” sweeping the continent are enough to make you question the fairness in news coverage. Could PBS’s news coverage do any more to support Obama? Jim Lehrer, once regarded as somewhat impartial, should be ashamed at the coverage of his news team. Not one challenging remark to anything Obama says or does. And his somber delivery of the news summary isn’t a substitute for fair, impartial reporting. Oh sure, he’s not responsible for the words of his guests, but he is responsible for the questioning by the segment host, and selecting guests with alternative opinions and mindsets.
In fact to show further evidence of further bias, yesterday afternoon MSNBC decided it was time to run a short story on President Bush’s twisting of words and phrases in the same segment as Obama’s European tour. Purpose? Overtly try to diminish our current President in order to make Obama look appealing and more presidential. It’s a sad commentary on MSNBC when executives can use their programming to help the Democratic Party achieve its goals.
Most of us know what Barack Obama’s international tour is really about. It is frankly nothing more than a planned attempt to quickly improve an otherwise poor resume – which lacks in experience on the international stage and understanding of complex international policy issues. The lack of substance in Obama’s speeches reflects his inexperience. Anyone can talk about a defeating tyranny, collaboration among nations, and working together for a brighter tomorrow. But those are the words of a dreamer and not a pragmatist, particularly when they aren’t backed up by substance and plans of any sort. Surely the media must recognize that for all the hype, Obama’s words equate to nothing more than poetic cheerleading on the world stage - words that appeal to emotion rather than thought. When previous American Presidents gave speeches in Berlin, they had something to say – not so with Barack Obama who says little, and calls for an empty appeal for change.
Obama says, “Now is our time.” Who’s time, and to do what? These are empty statements. And yet the propagandists in the network newsrooms found amazing ways to shape this into a meaningful speech of some sort. No one dared question his point and its purpose. No news anchor dared go against the script.
The fact is that this whole tour is embarrassing and shameful. United States Presidential Campaigns have sunk to a new low. Would-be candidates taking their propaganda, dog and pony shows on the road in front of international historic landmarks is sickening. Shouldn’t the media be asking if the words of Mr. Obama meet the same quality and stature of what the memorials he campaigns in front of stands for?
Well, of course not. That’s not the media’s job. For the last several years, their mission has been the same, well documented and observed – to tow the line of the Democratic Party, and to cast a dark shadow on Republican viewpoints (except of course when the Republican goes against his own Party). If this is a sign of what’s to come, McCain surely has an uphill battle.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Friday, July 18, 2008
When birthday's come and go, its not like the old days.
I'm lucky that my older daughter was born a few digits ahead of me in the July calendar. My birthday is sort of forgotten in the shuffle which I suppose is just as well.
The best present of all is seeing the little ones happy. The best present I can give them is our ability to make sure their birthdays are enjoyable. I'm not a needy person, and I don't care about the Joneses, but I do care that my kids are clean, properly dressed and positioned to have a great youth full of fond memories. This is why I work. If I were alone, I'd be on a sailboat drinking beer all the time not worrying about anything except the tide calendar and the weather.
But back to the main point, I think a key thing these days is making sure that my daughter and her younger sister understand that none of what they have received should be taken for granted, nor should it be simply expected. Material things are long forgotten - there are few presents that I distinctly remember as a kid - its the memories that remain.
Again, I really dislike my birthday. I dislike the weeks before and after. But I'm happy for my daughters' birthdays. Their anniversaries should be celebrated with all of the pageantry and glee possible.
Posted by The King at 5:23 PM
Friday, June 20, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Amazing history captured. Note the old time radios and quality of the sound. What's amazing is that United States, British and even German broadcasts still exist for preservation of history. Truly amazing.
Posted by The King at 9:49 PM
Saturday, June 7, 2008
My daughter was taking note of the camels and enjoying each and every exhibit.
While not technically a "petting zoo", there is a barnyard area that houses a number of sheep and other mild animals that are found around domestic farms. It's a great touch for the zoo to include these friendly animals too.
The monkeys are a blast. There are a two very large windows to view the monkeys from and they don't mind showing off their acrobatics on their swings, toys, and trees. They seem to almost pose for the camera like movie stars and move on to the next group of photographers to make sure that everyone gets a chance to take a pic.
The zoo also has kangaroos like this one. The Kanga looked more annoyed with his or her surroundings. S/he occasionally looked up to see who was disturbing her nap!
Aside from animal exhibits, there was also this nice lady playing the harp. My daughter took an interest in the instrument, and she was even allowed to try it out.
So if you haven't been to Roger Williams Zoo Park, then I'd strongly recommend a visit.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
This is another black eye for Hartford - New England's so-called "rising star". It's not only the fact that the hoods behind the wheel are less than animals without a conscience, but the by-standers who simply opted to look the other way, walk by, or drive on. This is what Hartford has become - for all its so-called Liberal undertones, its pretty apparent that most of these people only care about themselves. Pray for Mr. Torres. Hartford Police: Please catch the villains; let's hope the justice system show's them no mercy. They don't deserve any.
Posted by The King at 7:04 PM
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
One of the more costly aspects of home ownership is yard maintenance. And sadly, the previous owners of the house were obviously were not big fans of beautiful lawns and land management.
And it also turns out that the soil in this area is particularly poor for growing much of .... anything. Notwithstanding the challenge, it's every (normal) guy's dream to have a plush green lawn - like the one you see on the Scott's lawn commercials or the one you see when visiting Fenway Park. Of course, in most parts of Connecticut the challenge is daunting and nearly unachievable. The reason for this is the types of soil we are forced to live with.
You either have the famous "Connecticut Clay" or sandy loam. Clay has a distinction for poor drainage. Loam is the opposite it barely holds enough water to sustain life. In both cases, the answer is to have truckloads of topsoil brought in and till it into the existing soil before seeding.
Before spending the money on bulk soil purchase, I experimented by buying about 15 bags of topsoil and chose a few locations to see if the grass would take with one or two inches of soil placed over the existing loam. The results were good. I used Scott's seed and somewhere between 14- 21 days I had new grass growing.
Of course the backyard has a bizarre look to it - almost as if there are islands of lawn inside a sea of dirt. The picture above was taken on May 8th. And doesn't show the lawn in its worse state by any means.
Another experiment of mine was using the Scott's PatchMaster for tackling round areas that either grubs or got knows what got to. My rating on the materials is a B- to C. It's actually a pain to work with and the results are far less than the bag promises to deliver. The only good thing that can be said of the product (and this is no reason to purchase it) is that birds and turkeys don't raid the seed as they do with normal seeding applications since the patch works as both an insulator and masks the actual seed (all two seeds per square inch that is).
Defeating the purpose of the purchase, but adapting to its positive attributes, I plant regular seed and throw some of the Patchmaster on topic to keep the birds from finding it. So what's the worst thing here? I guess I make use of the PatchMaster I have and never buy it again. Pretty simple.
New Found Villains
Country living has introduced me to new lawns foes.
First, I learned about the invasion of the moles. Moles are small little creatures that seem innocent enough at first. Then after you see how much damage they can cause by tunnelling to death, they move at light speed and turn your lawn into a three dimensional maze. Pretty frustrating.
When visiting Agway, I asked the lady behind the counter how to get rid of the moles. An older woman standing at the counter recommended using a shotgun. I could sense that I wasn't alone in my mole frustration. And the lady wasn't kidding about the shotgun.
The problem was more of an early spring annoyance. I tackled the problem through poison peanuts, Grub-Ex, and a mole trap. Sadly, the mole trap did nothing except nearly trip my poor sister-n-law who was playing with the kids in the backyard a few weeks ago.
The second villain is the the worst of the bunch. The wild turkey.
The wild turkeys are not easily vanquished. They are luck Tuskin Raiders - as Obi Wan Kenobi once said - and I'm paraphrasing - Raiders are easy scared off at first, but return in larger numbers.
I spoke to the folks at DEP about my wild turkey problem. They agreed that wild turkeys are not easily deterred. They offered two solutions - purchase a dog, and offer a hunter to come over and shoot them. Yeah, no kidding.
I was informed that hunting is a reasonable way to keep the population down, and that shooting them is within my right during the right season. I was sort of surprised that DEP would recommend killing animals, but I think that up unto that moment I was blending DEP and animal rights activists as one in the same. I guess I was wrong.
For the most part, I did a good job shooing away the turkeys. That is until two days ago when a wild turkey flew up onto my back deck - a good 20 feet off the ground, stood a top of my new grill, and proceeded to stare in at me through the window. My wife and younger child were amazed at the audacity of this beast.
For weeks I chased him out of the yard - of course he would sometimes hang out just beyond the boundaries of the lawn in the woods. He and his three friends were having a field day kicking up my straw where my new seed was growing. And there is nothing worse than seeing these beasts kick up your straw 40 feet from you.
So as I begin to create my beautiful lush lawn - full project deferred until fall, I'm aware that there are quite a few battles that lie ahead.
The battle to find decent topsoil to overcome the sandy garbage left behind by the builder.
The battle against the fowls of the air.
The battle against the wild turkeys.
And lastly, the battle to keep wandering children out of the growing area. Ugghh. I'm almost ready to tar the whole darn thing.
In any case, I found a great site that has a short video on growing grass; it can be found here. Here is another site that requires flashplayer. And this site located here that breaks down lawn watering.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
This blogsite is probably one of the best I've seen on soccer news.
This article struck me since it talks in detail to the amount of money being paid in TV revenue to each Premier League team. Top flight football in the Premier League is worth its weight in gold - even for the upstarts and mid-tier teams.
This article emphasizes the importance of the practice of relegation which makes each game count up and through the end. This is a huge contrast to American sports, where mediocre and poor teams are rewarded for one pathetic season after another, and where non-play-off teams go into cruise control mode for months when its clear they don't have shot at the post season. Just imagine what baseball or American football would be like if teams were bounced from MLB or the NFL for coming in last place or second to last place? The true NFL season would have a significant number of games that matter past week 10. Just think of it! How many people would pay to see New England, New York or Dallas relegated?
Fear of relegation makes every game count. Relegation means doom for many teams - loss of finances, loss of star power and/or premium players, loss of gate revenue, and demoralization of the team overall. And climbing back to contention for top flight is a whole nother matter. Do you really think Derby will bounce back after having the worst Premier League record in history?
Look at poor Leeds United. Once a proud top flight team, and now that are the talk of what once was. The only top flight games involving Leeds are found on the show Premier League Archives.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Some folks have criticized Joe Visconti for making the jump to run for Connecticut's first district House seat after only being in his West Hartford Town Council position for only a few months. Yet, you also have to admire Joe for having to the guts to not permit John Larson to run uncontested, unchecked where it matters most.
Everyone realizes that Joe has a tough job as it is. He painfully sits and listens to the debate between Democrats and alleged Republicans (RINOs) about - not whether or not taxes in West Hartford should be raised, but how high they should be raised all the while spending increases are soring through the roof. Sadly (but expectantly) Alder and Davidoff are hardly the opposition that Republicans clamoured for during campaign season. The record shows that these two have done nothing but sit on the sidelines and endorse the Democratic parties decision to give town employees a free pass instead of renegotiating budgets and even asking the question - as any responsible person should do. Occasionally, Adler might make a point or two in an effort to appear high-minded, but its merely lip service, because when it comes down to voting - he's not willing to make the tough choice and take a stand against backroom pals. Right out of the Joe Lieberman play book.
God bless Joe V for sitting week after week around the table with liberals from both parties, with only the ability to voice opposition and cast a "no" vote. The fix appears to be in. Everyone is on board the tax and spend express except Joe. And to think, five months ago, Davidoff talked openly about taking the Republican Party in a new direction. Well he's certainly done that - someone please buy him a shirt that reads "I sold out" so that he can show everyone that he's been honest to his word. As for Adler, well Adler is as Adler does. A walking, taking contridiction. It's pitiful. Poor Joe. He's a the lone wolf, the lone Republican. Can anyone really poo-poo him for seeking public office where he may actually be able to make a difference if he won?
Connecticut is full of districts where state senate or state house of representative seats are owned by Democrats (and I mean owned!) simply because the Republican Party can't seem to muster anyone to bother running. And those that tend to run sound a lot like Democrats anyway which gives voters little choice but to vote for the real thing anyway. It must be nice for the Democrats to live in a world where they can do anything and say anything without fear of losing their precious seats. Want a full fledged crusade against businesses by calling for new taxes? Or how about creating bills to bail out those who took opted to jump into risky variable mortgage schemes? And if that's not enough, why not spend time and money drafting bills to apologize to families related to witches of the 1600s?
Well, I wish Joe Visconti luck. It's been awhile since Republicans have had a solid candidate like this run for public office. Yeah, and buy the way, you guys at State Central may not be able to pull this candidates strings; and Joe has proven that he doesn't need party endorsements, or big money organized support to get his message out, or get elected. Nope. It's Joe Visconti, an average Joe. No millionaire connections, no movie stars, no law degree, no big corporation bucks, no royal ties, and no rears to kiss through favors owed. Self-made and a breath of fresh air.
If you haven't heard Joe speak, I strongly recommend taking the time to listen to a man who willing to put the little guy ahead of city hall, and speak his mind on issues that matter to all of us. No one is perfect, but he gets it right where it counts, and that's what matters.
So there's the difference. You have the Adlers and the Davidoffs, who are a ball of fun at Democratic cocktail parties slapping each other on the back over their lasted defection of principle, and then you have the real dea, Joe Visconti - a guy that is ten times the Republican that either of those characters will ever be. Someone that understands family, fiscal restraint, national interest, national security, economics, and what its like to get his hands dirty to earn a living without having a silver spoon handed to him. It's going to be nice to have a candidate that listens to you for a change.
Good luck Joe! I hope you make it all the way to Congress!
West Hartford Republicans
Sunday, April 27, 2008
The idea of introducing elements of "living green" into our daily lifestyle is hardly a new concept to most people. The last few weeks we've all seen a very good nation-wide campaign to educate people in the ways of incorporating green living options into our everyday lifestyle.
Speaking (or writing) as someone who's fairly conservative, I have to say that its unfortunate that Democrats have been seen as the folks who've owned these issues from the onset. And Big Money Republicans have traditionally been seen (and incorrectly so) as anti-environmental polluters. There is a paradigm here on this issue that would surprise most. Polluting and wasting is by far an American problem and not a political problem that is contributed to by everyday Americans at all income levels. It's apathy, laziness, and lack of respect that contributes to every day violations by neighbors and strangers right next door.
And it's easy to make the bad assumption that when a company is found dumping waste into lakes and streams, that 1) the company owned by a Republican (based on the belief that only rich Republican millionaires are capable of being CEOs), 2) the violation is advocated by Republicans, and, 3) that those who vote Republican aren't equally as angry and outraged at violators, polluters and so forth as would say - Democrats would be.
All of this classification by the left is ridiculous. But its also a foundation for Democrat candidates to run on/raise money one as traditionally, Republicans have never made environmental issues a top priority in their campaigns (if they mention the issues at all). Actually Republican candidates have been mute on the issues, even though THEIR biggest fundraising constituents have the most to gain by protecting the environment and keeping waterways and forests clean and protected.
Who are these folks? Hunters, fisherman, companies that deal in environmental clean up, and a host of other strange bedfellows that Republicans tend to forget about during election time.
Like everything, there is fraud and hyperactivity in every constituency. Al Gore and his merry men spent an astronomical amount of money to warn the world that Global Warming was annihilating the Earth and unless we do something - tomorrow - then we are all doomed. And that's the problem when fringe elements hijack causes. Even scientists disagree with Al Gore and his money-making phonies. It hard to take seriously anyone like Al Gore who tries to take credit for inventing the Internet. Isn't it?
But more to the point of the everyday violations that annoy me right here in Colchester, Connecticut.
What if the concept of "being green" is so remote that you have to start with the idea of "being clean"? What if the local population is so ignorant of acceptable behavior that "being green" is like a graduate level course, out of sight, out of mind from the norm?
Here are some observations about first steps to being clean in this environment....
1. People here seem to be disproportionally lazy. Garbage such as McDonald's wrappers and containers, soda cans, etc are often seen littering the streets of main and side roads. How lazy and ignorant can one be? Most destinations have garbage bins - can't these hicks put their garbage in a garbage can? What is the big thrill of throwing garbage out of your car pr 4x4 window?
2. The Town of Colchester doesn't even provide garbage bins in the town center or other places where garage can be discarded. Thus the town (run by Democrats) won't lift a finger to contribute to garage pick up. Colchester town officials set a poor example for residents by not bothering to provide receptacles.
3. Police officials don't pull people over for littering, gunning their engines in excess of every noise violation known, and they won't even chase speeding motorcycles as per their policy (another topic for another day).
4. Instead of using public works officials to clean up the messes along town streets (including the adjacent woods just off the road), town officials seek volunteers to do clean up around town. And the town's view is that if it doesn't get cleaned up, so be it. A pretty poor attitude shared with me by our public works department.
5. Attitudes about trash-riddled roadsides and building lots, and other areas of public disgust are chalked up as "country living". The truth is that this thinking is total BS and a cop-out. The problem stems from laziness, and the belief that "no one is going to do anything about it anyway." The problem is further exasperated by a lack of education on such topics in the schools and a failure of town and police officials to fine and punish violators.
Who'd a thought that being green was more complicated out here than it is in metro areas. In Farmington they argue about how uneco-friendly the recycle containers there are, out here they can't even recognize what a recylce bin looks like.
Good God. What a mess.
Posted by The King at 7:50 PM
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Finally, baseball season has arrived! I just hate these West Coast games since I'm usually in bed by 10:30 pm (so as to get an early start).
Dice K gets the mound in an hour. The goings are early so there's not much to be taken out of the first week or so of season. But let's face it, every win counts, particularly if it means winning the division or making a play off spot - and doing so by being only one or two games ahead of the next team in the end.
Repeats are rare. We've got the players to do it. But its a long season.
Time to crank up Joe Castiglione and enjoy the sounds of the boys of summer.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
The more you think of it, the angrier you get.
This is not just some one-off candidate running from a fringe party from obscurity. No, instead this is the Democrats most-likely nominee who is embroiled in a racist, anti-white, anti-American scandal caused by his 20 year friend, mentor, and spiritual guide, Rev. Wright.
It's funny. When Don Imus went on WFAN last year and made a single racist remark about the NCAA woman's championship team - without hesitation, Barack Obama called for Imus' dismissal, yet when the shoe is on the other foot, we get a lecture about how we don't know Rev. Wright, and lots of comments of personal support. Last time I checked, Don Imus created a wonderful place in the Midwest for kids with Cancer to get treatment and support - that apparently counted for nothing.
Hey Barack... so do you think Imus should be reinstated? Or is this a one way street?
This isn't going away. For the past two days, I've heard a lot of anger out of the then-Obama supporting crowd. Seems that even if the media is trying to prop him back up with accolades of "bravery" and "courage". What courage? The courage to change the topic? Sorry Barack, the soccer moms aren't buying it. Nor are the folks gathering around the water cooler at work. It's hard to dismiss as a one-off.
It's hard to equate 20 years of a strong relationship with someone who harbors such anti-white, anti-American sentiment, and simply dismiss it as "not important". Actually, its very important.
Choosing a house of worship is a very particular act that requires thought, and requires a connection of sorts on a spiritual and even and intellectual level.
Make no mistake about it. Barack Obama knew exactly what was being spewed and taught from the Black Nationalist lectern. He knew that the church's motto included "being apologetically black". Doesn't seem like a place that a white person would be welcome, does it?
The bottom line is that we now know what Obama thinks. All this nonsense about unity and something new is just a line of baloney - just a clever little scheme to campaign on. Now that we know his Pastor's thoughts, maybe we'll find out that he's also a member of other organizations that profess other elements of black nationalism. What else is behind the phony veil?
And how is Grandmother doing? I bet she's thrilled to be considered a White Racist now. She must be excited about all the new looks she receiving from friends and strangers alike. Class act!
Bill Clinton was right a few weeks ago in a statement he made. He just said it at the wrong time.... "This whole thing is one big fairy tale." It most certainly is. And not all of Aesop's fables have a happy ending.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Hillary is rising fast. A few more primary wins, and its off to the convention for a blood bath where she could become the nominee. It's going to become brutal. And the DNC isn't stupid either, they are seeing a mess for themselves if Barack is the nominee and the party has endure six months campaign commericals showing Rev. Wright superimposed over Barack Obama.
Friday, February 29, 2008
Thank you Reuters...
We get the subtle reference. Sort of blatant even from The King's perspective. I wouldn't want the media doing this to GOP candidates (although they take every advantage when the time arises) ....
In this case, the shoe does fit. We just didn't need a full blown picture to illustrate what we already know to be true. The Clinton campaign must be fuming this morning.
Well, the Clinton campaign made sure the picture of Barrack dressed in Islamic garb got circulated so maybe what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Early on during my high school experience, I took an interest in politics and public policy. I can't say that I was fully committed one way or another during those years, and despite his unpopularity with my teachers (most of whom were probably union Democrats) I favored President Ronald Reagan for his wisdom, words, and love of country. President Reagan was my introduction to conservatism, although at the time, I didn't understand what that really meant. It took me a decade later to understand just how great he truly was.
Somewhere in the middle of all this, I recall watching Magnum P.I. superstar Tom Selleck doing commercials for National Review. I can hear Selleck saying, "...and its a very funny magazine." If it was good enough for Tom Selleck, I'm sure it was good enough for all of us. This may have led to us watching Bill Buckley's show Firing Line on PBS (this was back when we used television antennas so the options were pretty limited back then... hehehe). Of course, WFB wasn't easy to understand from a adolescent's perspective, but it seemed somewhat interesting nonetheless.
When I got to college, I read authors on the right and on the left. During that time, I remember reading Up From Liberalism by William F. Buckley, Jr. In fact, there were a lot of books that William F. Buckley wrote which shaped my understanding of the American political system and process. And I still own so many of them. William F. Buckley indeed helped to open my mind to conservatism by forcing me to look at complex problems in public policy from an issue-based perspective.
I frequently remember watching Mr. Buckley debate worthy opponents on his show, and watching his opponents try to reach back two or three questions later to respond because it took them that long to catch up with Mr. Buckley's brilliant mind to finally realize he had whipped them on the particular question asked five or six minutes prior. In fact, we all noticed it. And we all enjoyed it. Every minute of it.
I also remember reading his many columns courtesy of the Conservative Chronicle newspaper. Each piece was a work of art. A well constructed argument, well-organized, and perfectly written. You knew you were reading greatness. While Rush Limbaugh talked on aimlessly for three hours, five times a week, WFB wrote a mini-500-word thesis that appeared only once a week - but was worth it's weight in gold. Each sentence was billiant, each essay flowed to a logical conclusion. And if you didn't catch yourself, you'd find yourself grinning Buckley-style by the end.
Ronald Reagan taught us about leadership, patience, and what it meant to be an American. William F. Buckley taught us to take the high road by winning debates on issues and substance while at the same time interjecting laughter at both our opponents ideas, - and our opponents. With Mr. Buckley, it was never personal, no, it just was.
Thank you Mr. Buckley. Rest in Peace. And may God bless and console your family.