Auditions and Excerpts and Prayers, Oh My!

I know I’ve been quiet for a couple of days. Thanks to those emailing asking if I’m ok – yes, I am – just a bit overwhelmed! College-Girl, who now is really College-Girl-With-Graduation-In-Her-Sights, has been invited to an audition with one of the Service Bands and many, many arrangements had to be made quickly. Thankfully now all is booked, reserved and arranged and the only worry left is what shoes to wear (her destination is bitterly cold for a southern girl). The trip is an unexpected expense during a time when we’re belt-tightening, but it’s worth it to give her this opportunity.

So I covet your prayers – Sunday night when she and her father are flying north, Monday morning during the audition/interview time, Monday evening (and possibly Tuesday morning) when she and her father are flying home. Prays she plays well, shines in her interviews, and that there are no bumps or bad weather.

UPDATE: Thanks for the many good wishes. She didn’t win.

The First 100 Minutes

When a picture is worth a thousand words (h/t The Swamp):

obama_mad_magazine

Not the Bacchus throne you expected? No yammering groupies to catch the beads you fling from your lofty perch? What happened to the floating party?

One week in office and he’s proving he’s not up for the job. Talks with Iran – no problem! His US lapdog press is upset that he gave his first Presidential interview to al-Arabiya, an Islamist network, instead of throwing them the bone they so desperately desire. How can you trust any government official who can’t get their history straight?

So, the American President went on Arab television and told the Arab world and the rest of the world that, “right,” it was the Iraq war that started all the problems.

Yes, it’s disorienting. Also patently untrue.

Ultimately the whole interview is troubling. Obama seems to assert that “as recently as 20 or 30 years ago” relations between the US and the Arab world were good, and to conveniently forget the hostage-taking of 1975 or the bombings of the ’80’s – including the killing of US Marines.

And, yes, the attacks that averaged one every 18 months or so from 1992 through 2000, and focused on American interests and embassies and ummm…US Naval Vessels…they don’t seem to have happened in President Obama’s world. In his world, things were just fine until his predecessor invaded Iraq for no good reason, but because he just happened to be in the mood to invade Iraq after the Clinton Administration and every credible intelligence agency in the world, members of our own Senate Intelligence Committee and our own former Secretary of State and Former First Lady all agreed that Iraq was holding WMD, and 3,000 Americans had just died in a multi-targeted attack carried out on her soil.

And now, during this be-sotted global honeymoon, Obama is the insecure bridegroom all-too-willing to agree, in this interview, that he’s making love to a virgin.

Read the whole thing – The Anchoress always puts up the best round-ups when she has a deadline she’s avoiding!

The Hackable President

obama_blackberry So Obama gets his Blackberry. Most people would say, “So what’s the big deal?” I have worked in IT a very long time, with many years spent in system security. One thing I’ve learned is that no device is 100% safe or stable, 100% of the time. Any device is hackable and traceable if the intruder has the skills and patience. Believe me, our enemies have plenty of both.

I’m left with questions like does it have a self or manual destruct button in the event of loss or being stolen? There was no mention of finger print scan for access.

Ahem, I have a couple myself:

– In the case it is lost or stolen, can it be remotely signalled to self-destruct?
– Does it have a GPS signal?
– Could an intruder use the Blackberry’s signature to triangulate the President’s location?
– Is there a thorough vetting process for those given access to the email address, phone number, IP, RF signal, the hardware itself?
– Are there procedures in place to limit a technician’s access to reduce the risk of implanting any type of listening/tracking/harmful component within the device itself?
– Since this is a (sometimes) top secret device, will the transmissions be monitored by NSA or other national agency?
– Will Obama be able to override any functions on the device, thus compromising the integrity not only of the Blackberry, but possibly the office as well?

I’m sure there are more concerns from people who are smarter than me. Those who actually got their CISSP.

While I disagreed with all his decisions and actions during his campaign and his first three days of office, the last thing this country needs is the constitutional crisis that would result if the President were harmed, kidnapped or worse. Everyone is already on edge due to the racial tinge of his inauguration. Amazing, isn’t it, how one man’s vanity can potentially endanger an entire nation.

Remember when Paris Hilton’s PDA was stolen? The network feeding-frenzy, the numbers/emails posted all over the internet. Imagine the country’s surprise (as well as the NSA and CIA) if they found out that our President had new secret pen-pals in exotic places like Iran, Gaza and Venezuela.

He seems does intent on rubbing the opposition’s nose in it, doesn’t he? “I won.” Nanny-nanny-boo-boo. Three days in and he’s picking on his enemies like a playground bully. And he’ll keep that dang Blackberry, no matter what. And if you’re not just like him, forget it – no soup for you!

After dissing his media, the sycophants who licked his toes all the way into the Oval Office, he instructs his adversaries in Congress to stop listening to Rush. Is Obama channeling Locutus? Jim at Gateway Pundit asks:

Question: How many times did Bush single out and attack the liberal hacks in the media during his 8 year presidency?

Jim also quotes Eric the Red:

“In two days President Golden Calf takes jabs at an American citizen and sets free genocidal terrorists… Welcome to the future, suckers.”

A servant’s heart, see I do not. More training, this padawan learner needs.

Morituri te salutamus!

A must read over at The Return of Scipio: When the Wicked Seize a Nation (h/t American Digest)

We have become as Esau. Liberty is too burdensome, too demanding, too hard to maintain, and so we have sold it for the mess of pottage promised by those apes in silk who rule over us.

Strong words for trying times.

John Adams saw today 220 years ago.

“Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

Selective Patriotism

Read all of Victor Davis Hansen’s An Uneasy Feeling (h/t The Anchoress). Just a taste:

But America was always ours, the public, and the nation transcends the proposition of whether Obama gets elected or not—given that the United States, in its worst hour, was better than the alternatives at their best. So I think it would be wise to cool it on the “I am now proud of America” rhetoric. If getting your way means suddenly the dead at Iwo or those who were blown up in B-17s over Germany are at last your own and matter, then we are in deep trouble.

For millions, now is finally the time to admit to a wee bit of patriotic feelings. Forget the fact they have lived in the safest nation on the planet, worked (if they chose to) at a job they pursued, not one forced upon by the government, traveled when and where they wished (no papers), drove a vehicle of their choosing, lived where they wished, spoke freely (even if the words were disagreeable) without fear of retaliation, married/partnered who they chose, had as many or as few children as they wanted, shopped at grocery stores that would feed a third world country for months, tended gardens, practiced hobbies, read any book they wanted, watched their kids play the sports of their choosing (not what the government stated their kids were suited for), worshiped where and when they wanted or not at all, etc. etc. etc. They enjoyed the same freedoms that the dreaded right-wing nutcases enjoyed, because, after all, we were ALL Americans on January 19, 2009. Too bad they were too busy playing the imaginary victim game that they just figured this out on January 20, 2009.

America has a new President. Some things he will do I will like, and there will be others that I won’t. Just like all the Presidents before. But unlike his predecessors, he has a pretty steep learning curve. This is not some cushy foundation job, it is a job that assimilates the man, not vice-versa.

There’s another thought from Moe at RedState I wanted to expound upon, but the site is running slow right now so I will add it later.

Read VDH. Read it all.

UPDATE: Actually, it was Warner Todd Huston at RedState (sorry Moe).

Of course every American wants his president to be successful on every count that will benefit the country. No true American wants to see a monumental, destructive, Carteresque failure in the White House. My liberal co-worker is correct on that count. No one wants the next Buchanan, who, Nero-like, fiddled while Washington D.C. and the country burned. We want them all to be Reagans, Washingtons and Lincolns.

But, that is just it, isn’t it? We want them to do what is best for the country. That is what we mean by “success.” And, when you get right down to it, opinions vary of what “best” means. I do want Obama to be successful on what would be best for this country, absolutely. Unfortunately, there is little that he campaigned on that would be good for this country.

Now, let’s look at the very phrase this is all predicated upon. “I want Barack Obama to succeed.” Or, similarly, “I don’t want Obama to fail.” Both being the same premise. But, let’s face it, the devil is always in the details, isn’t it? What does “fail” or “succeed” even mean? Do I want Barack Obama to succeed in turning this country into a weaker, more communist copy of France? Hardly. But if he did succeed at that, it would be a success of a sort — especially should that have been his goal.

But I don’t want that sort of success.

[…] Now we arrive at where I stand on Obama’s relative “success.” I did not vote for the man. I do not support his socialist ideas. I stand four-square against his votes for infanticide, his votes to gut the Constitutional right to self-protection, his vague ideas of nationalizing various industries, his intention to enlarge government to unheard of proportions and his softening on terror producing countries. And since these are the things his entire life’s career point to as probable goals to “succeed” upon during his presidency… well, I want him to fail. And I want him to do so spectacularly. If Barack Obama is but a Trojan Horse for communism to push its nose under and into the tent, I want him to fail in the attempt.

Simply put I want these ideas to fail miserably because success for them would mean the destruction of this country. So, wishing Obama to succeed would be hoping for the destruction of my country if success means the accomplishments of goals like I mention above.

Needless to say, if he should accomplish the opposite of my laundry list of evils above, well, that sort of success I would heartily welcome.

The President of the United States should have a love of America so strong, so protective, so compelling, in every fiber of his being, you know that our nation is safe during his tenure. Does he possess a servant’s heart for our land?

As The Anchoress said,

The president is the servant of the nation, not the other way around, and when we reach a point where we can’t laugh at our president because it’s not “correct” to do so, then we can gauge our health as a democratic nation to be “unwell.” And fading.

Unwell and fading, indeed.

Goodbye and God Speed, Mr. President

Today is President Bush’s last day in office. Tomorrow he joins that exclusive club of Ex-Presidents on the golf course and lecture circuit. The Obama Four-Year-Circus begins.

bush-hug

He was known by the American people for his private compassion for families who paid the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. As CIC, he oversaw the most successful American military campaign ever. He held a nation together after the horror of 9/11. He ignored his numerous detractors and brought a quiet grace back to the office of the President. You wouldn’t know it, though, if you only got your news from the MSM.

Remember us, Mr. President. Remember us when we are burdened with new taxes, when we are silenced by new regulations as to what to say and when we can say it, when we lose our jobs, when we can no longer defend our families and lands against the murderers the new administration will welcome with open arms. Remember us, Mr. President, for we will never forget you.

Chesley Sullenberger, American Hero – UPDATED

Yesterday’s forced landing of a US Airways jet into the Hudson River brought back dark memories of another plane in the frozen Potomac in 1982. This time the outcome was not fatal. Thanks to the quick thinking, steady hand and cool head of Captain Chesley Sullenberger, all 155 passengers and crew evacuated safely with little to no serious injury.

Drudge captions it as the Miracle on the Hudson. That it is. Captain Sullenberger deserves a medal.

UPDATE: Fausta thinks he and his co-pilot, Jeff Skiles, should get an invitation to the inaugral ball. Amen to that!

Leave it to the Brits to have the best coverage and the highest praise for Sullenberger. Commuter ferries were the first at the scene.

On the New York side of the Hudson River, the ferry Thomas Jefferson had just pulled away the New York Waterways terminal at West 39th Street to head for New Jersey when Capt. Vince Lombardi saw the jet floating in the water.

Minutes later, he pulled his ferry up to the side of the aircraft as he and his 22 commuter passengers rushed to hoist passengers standing on the jet’s wings and floating in life rafts to safety aboard the ferry.

“They were cheering when we pulled up,” Lombardi said. “There were a lot of scared people. A woman was holding her child in a raft.”

He estimated his crew rescued 56 people to safety.

[…] Within minutes of the crash of US Airways Flight 1549, an ad hoc armada of commuter ferries, cruise lines and conventional rescue vessels from the Coast Guard, police and fire departments converged on the scene to execute a picture-perfect rescue of all 155 passengers and crew aboard the aircraft.

[…] In all, 14 New York Waterways ferries, the fleet at full strength for the coming rush-hour crowds, responded to the crash scene. “If it would’ve happened earlier in the day, there wouldn’t have been as many boats,” [Capt. Juan] Rosario said.

As the ferries surrounded the jet, passengers scrambled onto the aircraft’s wings, while others jumped into life rafts. Officials later said no passenger fell into the river and had to be plucked out – everyone went from the jet itself onto the waiting boats.

This continues to give me chill-bumps every time I think about it.

UPDATE II: Commenter John Harper reminds us that US Airways cut their pension plans through bankruptcy, so after years of loyal service, Sully the Hero has no retirement. (End update)

Another hero said goodbye last night. The Anchoress has great round-up on President Bush’s two terms. I believe history will remember him well, regardless of his harsh treatment by the press. Of all the words spoken about him the last few weeks, I think this picture best sums up his accomplishments:

iraqi voter

Thank you, President Bush.

Is Al Gore in Town?

Dang. It is frightfully cold down here. Usually in the winter, we get a few spikes of freezing weather. A nip here, some ice there, a snow day because 3 flurries flew around in a northern county for 5 minutes, then boom – it’s spring. Several days in a row of sub-zero wind chills are highly unusual. Thank goodness there is no moisture in the air! That results in a whole different subset of car happiness. I absolutely, positively DO NOT DRIVE in that stuff.

Just like houses on the West Coast are built for earthquakes and houses in Miami are built for hurricanes, houses in Georgia are usually built as a sanctuary from the brutal summer heat and humidity. We’ve not used our fireplace in about five years. Furnaces usually run for about four months. I only own one wool sweater (I’m a fleece girl now).

I can’t help but think that perhaps Al Gore is in town. Or maybe he’s used all that money he’s made off of fake carbon-offsets to built a dastardly particle beam gun to point at the atmosphere and wreak havoc with the weather. Or worse yet, maybe he’s died and is hermetically sealed in some top-secret cryo facility. His massive brain refuses to freeze with his body and is casting about like a frantic apparition, causing chaos in the weather models. Remember when Obi-Wan died (the Kenobi, not my brother)? His force was released from his body and he became even more powerful. Hmmmmm. Regardless, just remember the one-and-only cause of bone-numbing cold – it’s the global warming, stupid.

Somewhat aside: Evidently the frigid weather has frozen some brains over at the Georgia Dome. I putter past by the venue twice a day on the long, slow slog to and from work. This morning the outdoor jumbotron read, “Congratulations to the Atlanta Falcons. 11-5 season and a birth in the playoffs.”

Snort. I guess you don’t need no fancy learnin’ to type on that there big sign. The saddest part was this: how many others sitting the traffic around me knew it was incorrect? Or even cared? Or can read/write/speak the Queen’s English to begin with?

Best Star Trek Villian Ever, RIP

Richardo Montalban has passed away. Many will remember him as a dashing young gentleman with an exotic accent in old movies or as the dapper wish-fulfiller on Fantasy Island.

For me, he will always be the Shakespeare quoting, pectoral-flexing Kahn from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn. Not only the best Star Trek movie ever made, but the best Star Trek villain evah.

Remember when Kirk finally bested Khan? What a fabulous death scene, with Khan spouting Moby Dick – still believing that his was the superior intellect until the very last breath the last:

“…To the last, I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart, I stab at thee; for hate’s sake, I spit my last breath at thee.”

But only at the cost of a crushing loss. What a great movie.

RIP, dear Ricardo. You will be missed.

Jack, Jack, You’re So Whack

Previously on Obi’s Sister: Darth Bauer and Superman Wears Jack Bauer Pajamas

Thoughts on last night’s premier of this season’s 24:

When did Red Forman run for Senate?

The First Gentleman is a real nutcase. Hopefully Jack will be able to torture him.

The computer henchman and faux air traffic controller also played one of the creepiest villains ever on X-Files. Hopefully Jack will be able to torture him.

Speaking of X-Files, who does the new FBI agent remind you of?

If Jack is an unindicted co-conspirator in dozens of crimes, why did she keep handing him a gun?

Tony is the new sneer-meister. If his car really blew up, why doesn’t he have more than on itty-bitty burn scar? Did his face freeze that way after the explosion? Hopefully Jack will be able to torture him to find out who his plastic surgeon was.

Does Janeane Garofalo ever wash her hair? I have it on good authority that Jack DOES get to torture her.

Why was Jack wearing my dad’s raincoat?

Erick’s Excellent Lunch

Erick of RedState had lunch with Vice-President Dick Cheney just the other day. Here are Parts 1, 2 and 3 at Peach Pundit, his Georgia politics blog. How cool is that?

Looking back –

At the end of eight years, Cheney pointed out, the administration did not get a lot of credit for the stuff that did not happen. We’ve ended up in a situation where critics label everything the administration does as “torture.” “That word,” he sighed, “is used with reckless abandon.” Cheney was asked to assess whether President Bush and he would be leaving the Presidency in a stronger position than they found it. He thought so.

“Our system works best in this day and age with a strong executive,” he affirmed. He went on to say he thought the present administration had enhanced the ability of the President to do what needs to be done in the war given the circumstances. They made a conscious decision that they could not chance weakening the Presidency as happened after Vietnam. As a result, they made the decision to fight all the way to the Supreme Court on issues like the energy task force. Cheney said people told him if he had nothing to hide about the task force, why bother hiding. He said that wasn’t the point. “Henry Waxman does not tell me who he meets with” so why should I have to tell him who I meet with, Cheney argued. “You’ve got to be prepared to do these sorts of things to defend your turf.”

[…]He said he thinks the economy will be the immediate big issue the Obama administration will have to deal with and it will be important that the new administration not give up on the war on terror. Obama will also have to deal with Russia and China, both of which Cheney says he is interested to see how they fare in the current financial crisis.

[…] Regarding President Bush, Vice President Cheney was extremely complimentary. “He has been and is a remarkable man,” Cheney said of his boss. He admires Bush’s willingness to make and stand by tough decisions. He said he knows how hard President Bush has worked at the job and the depth of the President’s feelings over what he has had to ask people to do. “He has a great capacity to share with them and to an extent comfort” the families of the fallen and others, he said — going so far as to say the President was better at it than Cheney. He concluded saying that he thinks the President “will be very well regarded” in history for his handling of Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Global War on Terror over eight years.

As far as “Our system works best in this day and age with a strong executive…,” well, we’ll just have to wait and see how that works out with the new President. So far, I am not optimistic. After all, he got an interesting RSVP to his Inauguration this week.

Another New Link in the Blogroll

Today I found another funny blog, but this time for knitters, while I was ferreting out yet another free hat pattern that is way beyond my skill level. Yarn Harlot is now firmly ensconced in the blogroll here. What a great name. It fully describes me when I am anywhere near a yarn shop – I go into this trance and zombie my way in the door – “Yesss, Mahssster. Yesss Mahssster.” Like another magpie I know, I can ever get enough of beautiful fabric, fibers, beads…oh look, there’s another something that’s shiny!

Yarn Harlot made me laugh out loud the way Beofish used to make me laugh. She took a hiatus and when she came back, she’d made the blog “invitation only,” and sadly, I’m not invited. I miss the hilarity. But now I have Yarn Harlot to brighten my day.

Big Hollywood

The blogosphere has added a new star to its firmament*: Big Hollywood from Andrew Breitbart. Yes, that Breitbart.

I like the looks of it – the sordid tales of black-listed conservatives in Tinsel Town. The town that leans so far left, they are about to fall into the ocean.

By the way, check out the post on the upcoming season of 24. Jack – apologize? I didn’t think those two words would fit in the same sentence. I especially like the first comment, evidently from Jack himself:

Relax – I do get to torture and ice Janeane Garofalo. Hey, she’s been torturing us for years.

I’m gonna need a hacksaw.

*Ok, movie buffs, tell me what movie that line is from!

More on the “New Rules” and Other Bad Manners

Ed at HotAir points out more on the Pelosi House rule changes and how they plan to stop considering Medicare on an annual basis.

Democrats in Congress, led by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, plan on a spending spree that will push budget deficits to a trillion dollars while an entitlement-system crash awaits us in the next two decades. Until now, a House rule has forced the lower chamber each year to acknowledge the disaster awaiting the largest entitlement program by debating Medicare’s funding and direction. Now, according to CQ Today (subscription required), Pelosi and the Democrats have a solution to Medicare’s collapse — change the rule to skip the debate…

By skipping the debate, they effectively don blinders and remove the “Godzilla in the room” from their line of sight, leaving the monstrous fiasco for another generation to deal with. That’s right, it’s all about the children.

In an interesting twist, the rule change will still require Barack Obama to submit proposals to fix Medicare, as required by the statute. The House will simply ignore them. This anomaly will exist because Democrats won’t propose this as an amendment to the 2003 law, but only as a simple rule change, which they can use to govern only their own behavior. They cannot use a rule change to let Obama off the hook.

Steny Hoyer says that ending the trigger “will allow Congress to consider all options for improving Medicare financing to provide a balanced and equitable solution.” That’s exactly what the trigger prompts Congress to do. Killing the Medicare trigger allows Congress to ignore Medicare and the looming financial crisis coming our way. Hoyer, Pelosi, and the rest of the Democrats in the House don’t want to be reminded that while they spend money like there’s no tomorrow in the 111th Session, tomorrow will eventually come — and their upcoming spending spree will have made the situation exponentially worse.

Basically, this is the same as fixing the ENGINE TROUBLE light on your car by covering it with electrical tape and then launching a 3,000 mile road trip. What could go wrong?

Fausta calls out the WaPo on their shameful lie that Obama was “kicked out” of Blair House, when really the truth is Obama’s schedule didn’t gel with the openings there. They wanted to move in for several weeks, instead of the traditional five days before the Inaugration. Current heads of state are staying there now, but even in Obama’s mind, no one is more important than him. But hey, the MSM sticks to the script and twists it into yet another Bush bitchslap. Instead, the Obama’s get to live at one of Washington’s swankiest hotels for the several weeks, while getting their girls settled in their own posh little school. Boy, does this guy have a lot to learn. I wonder if he’ll have to hire someone to tell him which fork to use at his first state dinner.

UPDATE: According to the Australian press, you and I are “miffed”, “outraged”, and protesting the decision to have former Prime Minister John Howard stay at Blair House instead of President-elect Barack Obama this week. It’s a “hot topic” on the blogs and radio and TV talk shows. I’m glad someone let me know…

Really? I hadn’t heard a peep about it. Guess I’m listening to the wrong stations.

The Empty Suit Club

Case in point: Back here I quoted Z.Dwight Billingsley on upcoming The Obama Presidential Magical Mystical Amateur Tour.

That’s not to say that Obama’s election doesn’t come with a couple of interesting side effects. For example, henceforth no black man in America may be called unqualified for any job that he might seek, no matter his prior education or experience level. Want to be a nuclear scientist but lack a Ph.D. in physics? If the applicant is a black man, it’s no problem. Just offer hope to the profession and promise change from all those stuffy theorems that have given the discipline its structure over the years, and you’re in.

Obama’s pick for CIA Director, Leon Panetta fits the bill perfectly with exception that he’s not black. Who needs experience in intelligence during war time (or any time, for that matter!)? Ed says

Barack Obama sent a message with the selection of Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff, but apparently didn’t think enough people understood it. He sent a stronger message yesterday with his choice of Leon Panetta for Director of CIA, and this time, it’s unmistakable. Political considerations will trump competence and experience, even in the most critical roles Obama has to fill…

Just another empty suit, but this time one who can be manipulated by the Empty Suit in Chief. A real-life Pinocchio, but I doubt he’ll ever have the opportunity to turn into a real boy.

Meanwhile, The Crooks & Liars Club is up to its own brand of mischief. I heard a sound byte of Pelosi this morning, pledging to work in a bipartisan manner with all members of Congress. Of course, she was talking out of the “press-side” of her mouth.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to re-write House rules today to ensure that the Republican minority is unable to have any influence on legislation. Pelosi’s proposals are so draconian, and will so polarize the Capitol, that any thought President-elect Obama has of bipartisan cooperation will be rendered impossible before he even takes office.

Pelosi’s rule changes — which may be voted on today — will reverse the fairness rules that were written around Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America.” (Connie Hair at Human Events)

Her sidekick down the hall is stirring up his own brand of constitutional crisis. Excuse me, when did the Constitution become just a organized grouping of parliamentary suggestions?

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