Monthly Archives: October 2012

Best Lines from the Final Presidential Debate

Watching the three debates between President Obama and Mitt Romney made me feel trapped between 2001: A Space Odyssey and Gone with the Wind.  While Obama insists on moving our country forward into the 21st century, Romney wants to take us back to the old days – when Negroes and Indians knew their “place” in society and grown men could screw as many little girls as they want and call it God’s righteousness.  Romney’s campaign slogan could be called, ‘The Audacity of Retrohope.’

As you all know, I’m no fan of politicians, but I fully support Obama in his battle against the bigots and moneyed elite that comprise the Republican Party.  Still, the last debate on Monday, the 22nd, provided some delectable oral treasures for the history books.

“I congratulate him on taking out Osama bin Laden and going after the leadership in Al Qaeda, but we can’t kill our way out of this mess.” – Romney

“Gov. Romney, I’m glad that you agreed that we have been successful in going after Al Qaeda, but I have to tell you that your strategy previously has been one that has been all over the map and is not designed to keep Americans safe or to build on the opportunities that exist in the Middle East.” – Obama

“Mr. President, the reason I call it an apology tour is because you went to the Middle East, and you flew to Egypt and to Saudi Arabia and to Turkey and Iraq.  And by the way, you skipped Israel, our closest friend in the region.  And by the way, they noticed that you skipped Israel.” – Romney

“When I went to Israel as a candidate, I didn’t take donors.  I didn’t attend fundraisers.  I went to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum there to remind myself of the nature of evil and why our bond with Israel would be unbreakable.” – Obama

“We don’t want another Iraq.  We don’t want another Afghanistan.  That’s not the right course for us.” – Romney

“You say that you’re not interested in duplicating what happened in Iraq, but just a few weeks ago you said you think we should have more troops in Iraq right now.  You’ve said that first we should not have a timeline in Afghanistan then you said we should.  Now you say maybe or depends, which means not only were you wrong, but you were also confusing and sending mixed messages both to our troops and our allies.” – Obama

“I have clear eyes on this. I’m not going to wear rose-colored glasses when it comes to Russia or Mr. Putin and I’m certainly not going to say to him, ‘I’ll give you more flexibility after the election.’  After the election, he’ll get more backbone.” – Romney

“Gov. Romney, I’m glad that you recognize that Al Qaeda is a threat because a few months ago when you asked what’s the biggest geopolitical threat facing America, you said Russia – not Al Qaeda – you said Russia.  The 1980s are now calling and asking for their foreign policy back.” – Obama

“I want a great relationship with China.  China can be our partner, but that doesn’t mean that they can just roll all over us and steal are jobs on an unfair basis.” – Romney

“Well Gov. Romney is right, you are familiar with jobs being shipped overseas because you invested in companies that were shipping jobs overseas.” – Obama

“Our Navy is smaller now than any time since 1917.  The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission.  We’re now down to 285.  We’re headed down to the low 200s if we go through a sequestration.  That’s unacceptable to me.  I want to make sure that we have the ships that are required by our Navy.  Our Air Force is older and smaller than any time since it was found in 1947.” – Romney

“You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916.  Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets, because the nature of our military’s changed.  We have these things called aircraft carriers, where planes land on them.  We have ships going underwater, nuclear submarines.  And so the question is not a game of battleship where we’re counting ships but what our capabilities are.” – Obama

“The president mentioned the auto industry and that somehow I would be favor of jobs being elsewhere. Nothing could be further from the truth.  I am a son of Detroit.  I was born in Detroit.  My dad was head of a car company.  I like American cars.  And I would do nothing to hurt the U.S. auto industry.” – Romney

“If we had taken your advice, Governor Romney, about our auto industry, we’d be buying cars from China instead of selling cars to China.” – Obama

“As I always do at the end of these debates, I leave you with the words of my mom, who said, ‘Go vote; it’ll make you feel big and strong.’” – Bob Schieffer, debate moderator.

Leave a comment

Filed under News

Ice Breaker

Normally, German folks are smarter than this.  But, I know they love their beer.  And, when men anywhere drink lots of it, something strange always happens!

Leave a comment

Filed under Curiosities

Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis

It was on October 22, 1962, that President John F. Kennedy announced to the nation that the U.S. government had photographic evidence of missiles on Cuba pointed towards South Florida.  An American U-2 spy plane had flown over Cuba earlier that month and, utilizing state of the art technology, snapped several black and white pictures of the missiles.  At the time, the U.S. was involved in the “Cold War” with the Soviet Union, and the Kennedy Administration believed the Soviets had installed the missiles on Cuba.  He had already met several times with his advisors before addressing the nation.  It led to a 13-day standoff between the two nations, after which the Soviets agreed to pull the missiles, and the U.S. agreed not to invade Cuba.  This is the complete 18-minute speech.

Leave a comment

Filed under Classics

In Memoriam – Russell Means, 1939 – 2012

Russell Means, a long-time activist for Native American rights, died this morning, October 22, at his ranch in Porcupine, South Dakota.  He was 72.  Means was born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota on November 10, 1939.  In 1942, his family moved to the San Francisco area.

Means is best known for his life-long efforts to bring attention to the plight of Indigenous Americans.  In 1970, he became the first national director of the American Indian Movement (AIM), a civil rights group founded in Minneapolis in 1968.  The United States had been mostly oblivious to the dire circumstances in which most Native Americans lived.  Even now, for example, Pine Ridge remains one of the most impoverished communities in the country.

Perhaps Means’ most controversial act was a 71-day standoff against federal agents at Wounded Knee on Pine Ridge.  Wounded Knee is the site of one of the worst massacres in Native American history: the slaughter of some 350 Sioux Indians on December 29, 1890.  As a protest against the deplorable living conditions of Pine Ridge’s residents, Means led a contingent of more than 200 fellow Indians to overthrow the reservation’s leadership.  The incident, which began on February 27, 1973, drew in the U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI and thousands of law enforcements officials.  Both sides were heavily armed and fired upon one another; killing 2 of the protestors and paralyzing one of the law enforcement agents.  After 71 days, Means and the other protestors surrendered.  The government charged them with assault and conspiracy, but dropped the indictments the following year.

Means continued his activism, marching on Washington, D.C., in 1978 to protest anti-Indian legislation, including the forced sterilization of Indian women.  Called the “Longest Walk,” Means led hundreds of people from San Francisco to Washington, the largest protest at the time.  Immediately afterwards, the House of Representatives passed a resolution stating that national policy was to protect the rights of Indians; to believe, express and exercise their traditional religions, including but not limited to access to sites; use and possession of sacred objects; and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rites.

Means highlighted the negativity associated with many sports team Indian mascots.  He joined a $9 million lawsuit against the Cleveland Indians baseball team for its “Chief Wahoo” mascot, calling it racist and derogatory.  In 1983, Cleveland settled out of court for a mere $35,000.  Means sought the Libertarian Party’s nomination for president in the 1988 presidential campaign, but lost to Rep. Ron Paul.  Means retired from AIM in 1988 and, four years later, began a new career as an actor when he was cast in “The Last of the Mohicans.”  He also appeared in “Natural Born Killers,” as the “Old Indian,” starred as “Sitting Bull” in the CBS mini-series “Buffalo Girls,” and provided voice talent for Disney’s animated film “Pocahontas.”

Means never gave up his mission to emphasize the struggles of Native Americans and even point out disparities in traditional American history.  In 1992, he stopped a scheduled Columbus Day parade in Denver, which had been meant to celebrate Columbus’ “discovery of America.”  Means and his constituents demanded the holiday be renamed “Indigenous Peoples Day.”

Like most people who lead a public life, Means became introspective in his later years.  “No one except Hollywood stars and very rich Texans wore Indian jewelry,” Means said about AIM.  And there were dozens, if not hundreds, of athletic teams “that in essence were insulting us, from grade schools to college.  That’s all changed.”  In his autobiography, “Where White Men Fear to Tread,” he admitted his fragilities – especially his battles with alcoholism, a common scourge among Native Americans – but also accentuated his successes.

In August 2011, Means announced that he had inoperable throat cancer and told the Associated Press that he would forgo standard medical treatment in favor of traditional Indian remedies.  Oglala Sioux spokeswoman Donna Saloman said wake services for Means will be held Wednesday on Pine Ridge and that his ashes will be spread in the Black Hills on Thursday.

4 Comments

Filed under News

Texas Limousine

It’s true!  Everything’s bigger in Texas!

Leave a comment

Filed under Curiosities

October 21, 2012 – 62 Days Until Baktun 12

Survivalist Tip:  I mentioned previously that you may need a water purification system when the apocalypse hits, considering that your electricity may go out.  But, you also need to have plenty of containers to hold that water.  I’m not talking about people who are overweight!  You’ll need some sturdy water storage accessories; preferably made of steel, but firm plastic ones will suffice.

Containers for long-term water storage come in a variety of sizes – from 55 gallons to 5 gallons.  If you plan to stay at home, I recommend the biggest ones you can get.  If your mind is thinking of something sexual, stop reading now and smack yourself.  You can keep these vessels in your garage or anywhere in the house or apartment.  Making certain the water stays fresh and drinkable is an obvious concern, so that’s where the aforementioned water purification system comes into play.  The ancient Mayans and their contemporaries around the world developed sophisticated water storage and purification methods without the benefit of electricity, computers, or utility companies.  Therefore, it’s paramount you learn to retain and treat your own water.  With these items in your possession, you’ll be assured of a stable environment, while chaos overwhelms everyone else.  And, once things settle down, you can use the containers to bury the bodies of anyone who tried to break into your home and steal your chocolate.

Leave a comment

Filed under Mayan Calendar Countdown

In Memoriam – George McGovern, 1922 – 2012

George McGovern, a former U.S. senator from South Dakota and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate, died Sunday morning, October 21.  He had just been admitted to hospice care in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is where he passed away.  He was 90.

McGovern was born on July 19, 1922, in Avon, S.D.  He had just married Eleanor Stegeberg on October 21, 1943, when he left to fly a B-24 in World War II.  He flew 35 missions and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross.

In 1956, he ran for Congress and became the first Democrat from South Dakota to be elected to the House of Representatives in 22 years.  After two terms, he ran for the Senate in 1960, but lost.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy asked McGovern to open an agency to send surplus food abroad.  By year’s end, McGovern had Kennedy’s “Food for Peace” program operating in a dozen countries.  The following year, he became the first Democrat elected to the Senate from South Dakota in 26 years.  His chief interest was world peace.  He challenged the United States’ “Castro fixation,” denounced America’s capacity for nuclear “overkill” and proposed a $4-billion reduction in the U.S. defense budget.  He also supported Medicare, school lunches and the war on poverty.

In 1963, McGovern became one of the first politicians to warn against the war in Vietnam, eventually opposing increased military involvement and ultimately deeming the conflagration a “moral debacle.”

He launched an unsuccessful bid for the presidency in 1968, losing the Democratic Party’s nomination to Hubert Humphrey.  But, although he earned the party’s nomination four years later, his campaign was troubled from the start.  He initially chose Sen. Thomas Eagleton of Missouri to be his running mate.  When Eagleton admitted that he’d had shock therapy to treat his depression, he bowed out of the race.  This was a time when no one discussed mental health issues openly, especially men.  McGovern selected Sargent Shriver of Maryland to replace Eagleton, but the public relations damage was too great to overcome.  McGovern lost in a landslide to incumbent President Richard Nixon.  Ironically, it was McGovern’s campaign that led to the notorious Watergate fiasco.

McGovern was an icon of liberalism in America.  He condemned the Iraq War and proposed impeachment for both President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton sent McGovern to Rome as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.  In 2000, Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.  A year later, the U.N. made him its first global ambassador to ease hunger.  In 2008, McGovern and his former Senate colleague Bob Dole shared the World Food Prize, often called the Nobel Prize for combating hunger.

Eleanor McGovern died in 2007.  Their son, Steven, died this past July.  McGovern is survived by his daughters, Ann, Susan and Mary, 10 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

Leave a comment

Filed under News