Thursday, September 29, 2005

Things could always be worse: "At least Eye R not un Agie"

Looks like there will be no S.C. announcement until Monday, so I will sign off for the week. Tough sledding in these dog days of summer, but let's look at the bright side, with the aid of a couple of pics. Shall we?

Tough week? Heck, it's been a tough summer -- hurricanes, the bloody fight with jihadis, the indictment of Tom Delay, Demos circling like sharks in the water as Bush's poll numbers sink, etc., but remember ... it could've been a lot worse.
In the interest of full disclosure, in Texas we have problems. Occasionally wracked by hurricanes ... we are always inundated with Aggies. Fortunately, their limitations are self-evident:

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

One Day Moratorium on McCain Bashing Called

As the High Potentate of "Blogs for McCain's Opponent", my conservative bona fides and credentials should be unquestioned by now. For those not in the know, please take a look at the glorious post that started this noble endeavor.

I take my "leadership" of this mighty coalition of 45 yes 45, free-thinking, conservative blogs seriously. So, please understand that the following advisory is not given lightly:

There will be no authorized bashing of Sen. McCain for the next 24 hours.


It appears that Cindy "A Li'l Wind & A Li'l Rain" Sheehan ... met with Sen. McCain (now, why in the world he would ever do such a stu ... stop. Almost slipped.) and after the meeting Sheehan pronounced McCain a "warmonger".

Unconfirmed reports indicate that McCain, blood vessels bulging, screamed "anti-Semite!" and broke a chair over Sheehan's head.

Developing ...

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Texans are "living like cavemen" so ...

to avoid eating nails, I think I must laugh. You see, if I say "a little wind and a little rain", everything goes red and I see bright orange spots. Then, I wake up 45 minutes later. Again, I need to laugh. Release those good in-dolphins.

So, if you have hit the head recently, take a gander at this masterpiece by Iowahawk. I-a-Wack-Hawk gives us a "guest commentary" by Zarqawi from Iraq. It appears that the Jihadi Supreme Leader in Iraq was not impressed by the efforts of his war-protesting allies over the weekend. In fact, the whole experience was quite deflating, sort of like letting the helium gas out of a balloon:
Have you every been at Friday prayers when somebody just totally rips a gigantic falafel gasbomb while the Imam is cursing the crusaders and Jews? That's what it was like around the TV -- total dead silence. And with every shot of another placard-waving elderly hippie moron, every pachouli drum circle, possibly even more silence. Then, when the speakers started up, so did the uncomfortable buzz.
Not fully recovered from the foregoing description, I wiped the tears from my eyes to ponder the Zarqawi consoling his would-be suicide bombers that they would not be greeted in paradise by the likes of the females attending Sunday's anti-war protest:
I don't think I'll ever forget the look of horror in that poor Jordanian kid's eyes when the camera panned across that fugly forest of hairy vegan Heathers and uberbutch Andrea Dworkin manatees. And can you blame the poor trembling kid? Holy fargin' Prophet, sometimes I swear the only thing that keeps me motivated is knowing that a restored Caliphate means these hippie bowsers are gonna have their mugs and their bankles safely shielded under a burqqa.
If you are, like me, not in the know, you can look up "bankles" in the Urban Dictionary. Wack-Hawk provides the link. Oh, the horrah.

Now, I may be softening my stance on burkas.

The lights are coming back on ...

so I can see better now. Experience is a good teacher. Note to self: Get a generator. And thank God for neighbors who share their generators ... yes, share them. Or I would have no cold food left. So, now that the lights are back on, I offer some post-Rita thoughts.

My earlier stab at this was eaten by Blogger. But I press on, like the rest of the Gulf Coast. Stay tuned and read to the end, for I may curse. Or I may curse not. Indeed, the excitement builds.

You know, I didn't keep up with much in the way of national news over the weekend. I did, however, play checkers on the deck by Coleman lantern light with my boys. My 15-year-old holds a two-game win streak over me. This, of course, means that I will have to go to Florida 2000-Ohio 2004 measures -- that is, righteous cheating to preserve the natural order of things. But I digress.

But seriously, when you are sweating while trying to fall asleep, worrying about your family, trying to find gas to put in your vehicle, reading by flashlight, etc., your focus somewhat narrows. You aren't as interested in other national stories. This is not to say they don't matter, but the focus is sure different.

You will recall that Pres. Bush recently took some heat for making a national security speech in California while New Orleans was reeling from Katrina and the city was beginning to flood. I think the criticism was unfair to a certain degree, but I do understand better now. You see, we only had a glancing blow here from Rita, but getting our lives back to normal was priority one. So, rightly or wrongly, I can understand those in New Orleans thinking that the President didn't get it.

So, this morning I am scouring the headlines and look what do I find? It seems that some of Pres. Bush's adversaries -- indeed, some of the very same people who were vociferiously arguing about how out-of-touch he was/is because of his lack of focus while New Orleans was drowning -- yes, somehow these folks found it a-okay to focus on the Iraq War this weekend. Indeed, the anti-American Hard Lefties held their pathetic anti-war rally in Washington over the weekend. Details here.

Let me see if I've got this right ... the crowd (the Democrat base) highly and mightily criticizes this President at every turn with the mantra that he is out of touch with the plight of ordinary Americans, especially the hurting and the needy. Recently, at least, it appeared that the hurting included people affected by hurricanes.

Recall the words of the Giant Poison Pussbag himself:
The day the hurricane [Katrina] hit and the levees broke, Mr. Bush, John McCain and their rich pals were stuffing themselves with cake. A full day after the levees broke (the same levees whose repair funding he had cut), Mr. Bush was playing a guitar some country singer gave him. All this while New Orleans sank under water.
I know, I know ... Democrat talking point #967(b) says Michael Moore is not mainstream Democrat thought, or so it goes. Yet, I am talking about the same gentleman that was sitting next to Pres. Carter at the Demo Convention. You know, the hefty, unshaven guy in the ball cap.

I hereby offer the following observation to the Left, free of charge and as a public service: Demos attacking Michael Moore are a little like Ozzy Osbourne singing country. I mean, it's a bit awkward. But come to think of it, I don't recall them trying much.

Let's face it. Michael Moore is very much at home with the Democrat base. He is a part of it. And, speaking of faces, the new face of the Democrat base said this about Hurricane Rita on the very day the storm made landfall:
i am watching cnn and it is 100 percent rita...even though it is a little wind and a little is bad, but there are other things going on in this country today...and in the world!!!!

Where to start? The depth of the Hard Left's odiousness exceeds my ability to describe it. For this bunch that is lower than whale ordure (with apologies to whale ordure everywhere and many thanks to Hitchens for this exquisite deficatory reference) continues to sink to depths that few have ventured before.

So, if I am to understand correctly ... to the poor people in Port Arthur, Texas, wading out to what remains of their homes and offices, the anti-American Hard Left says, "Screw you. We've got an important anti-war, anti-Bush message to get out. It's just a little rain."

And to the people of Cameron, Louisiana, which is no more, especially to the minorities and Democrat voters, the Sheehan-Moore caucus says, "We'll see you in '08, when we need your vote. Right now, we need to move ahead with this anti-war message. After all, if you think about it, that 20-foot storm surge is just a little ocean water and a little rain piled on top of each other by a little wind."

And to Jasper, Texas, where there are a number of low-income people who have lost virtually an entire town: "Hey, excrement precipitates. Bush lied. Thousands died. Talk about some wind. Get a whiff of that coming from the White House. Hope that helps."

They are the protectors of the little guy, you know. They love those homeless union workers on the Gulf Coast. Just not right now. It's for their own good. Important things to attend to, you see. Like their precious anti-American agenda.


They had better stay out of Texas and Louisiana with their anti-American bilge.

Because the lights are coming back on.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The lights are back on ... only two days in the dark. Looks pretty ugly to the east, though, where the lights could be off for a long time.

Friday, September 23, 2005

We see the sun ... perhaps for the last time in a while ... as night falls. The storm veers east, but winds are gusting at 40 mph and rain is on the way.

Clouds rolling in ... who knows how much longer the power will last. We'll see.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The World Through the Eyes of a Houstonian

Life intervenes again ... so I blog not. Or at least blog not much. Spent Wednesday at a refinery in Beaumont. Funny, but the guys there were pretty sure that Rita was going to hit south of the Houston area, and they would thus be spared. Nonetheless, they were pretty interested in getting hurricane preparations done. It looks like it may have been a good thing.

Hurricane preparations have been going fast and furious here on the Gulf Coast. Frankly, people are a bit panicked, but with the media reports, who can blame them? The hysteria has spilled over such that WalMart doesn't have "D" batteries. Now, that is panic.

But seriously, I have stood back and watched in amazement as hundreds of thousands of cars hit the road ... and then just stopped. No shootings. No mayhem. No crying for Washington to help. Some complaining and grumbling for sure. Understandably so. But people have just been remarkable.

Local officials have been good. Houston Mayor Bill White and Harris County Judge Robert Eckels have been informative and have generally implemented this crazy evacuation plan about as well as you can. Some are griping about the inevitable glitches when evacuating more than a million people, but I think most of us understand that this is one of those "defication occurs" deals. In other words, when hundreds of thousands of people decide to gas up and hit the trail simultaneously ... Houston, we have a problem.

I left at 6:30 a.m. today in search of batteries and a couple of more lights ... for the inevitable power outage. Also, I was hoping to fill up my truck. Struck out on the gas hunt. But I did manage to get in line at Academy Surplus and snag a couple of lights. While waiting in the Academy parking lot for the store to open, I noticed that I had happened upon a makeshift rest area. People played with dogs. Women slept in cars with mouths wide open. One guy's generator on his trailer hummed loudly while he caught some shut eye. It was like a circus, but people were good natured and it was a pretty orderly circus.

I found no batteries at Academy. Not even at WalMart. They must not make 'em any more. Everywhere I went, people were in pretty good spirits under the circumstances, although there was some griping when we had to get in line and go into Academy no more than six at a time. Three other guys and myself were trying to make a "brotherhood" pact so we could go in as a family ... to no avail.

A few more stops. Still no batteries. No ice. Not much of anything. I mean, even WalMart ran out of bottled water. Okay ... looks like we're at the bottom of the barrel here. No gas. How many stations did I look at? I forgot.

A young man in the WalMart parking lot (basically a campground now) asks me how to get to College Station. We need to talk. Doesn't he know there are Aggies there? He can do better than that. But I digress ... I give him my super-secret "around Conroe" directions, all the while keeping him off the dreaded interstate. I have made a new friend. And then he asks: Aren't you going to leave? "No way. We are good up here. Besides, Pres. Bush is going to steer the storm toward Louisiana." Okay, so I didn't say the last part.

It was a day when strangers came together and talked about this memorable event. People asked for help, and it was usually given. A couple drove up beside me and asked for my secret directions to Highway 75. How did they know? I offered my map, but they had one. Maybe they were looking for College Station. Who knows?

The roads here are complete madness. You may have seen the pictures on TV, but it is hard to overstate the chaos and frustration that are the freeways in this area. Usually, they are simply unbearable. The last couple of days they are just insane. Miraculously, there have been no major gun battles. Or even any. Cars run out of gas after idling for hours on the freeways waiting to evacuate. Cars overheat. Some turn off their engines, put the vehicles in neutral and push to save gas. People get out of their cars and take a stroll on the freeway.

I finally arrived back home ... at 3 p.m. ... with a few paltry supplies. It only took me three hours to go about 15 miles to my house. The a/c was used sparingly while waiting in traffic, too. But at least it's only 100 degrees today.

Why do we live here again? Oh, yeah. The invention of the air conditioner. Let's face it, hurricanes are only part of the great climate here.

Yet, these things happen on the Gulf Coast. In 1961, Carla hit. In 1983 -- 22 years later -- Alicia's eye crossed at San Luis Pass in Galveston, and downtown Houston was devastated. Now, another 22 years later, the third most-powerful storm ever churns out in the Gulf.

In spite of all of this, though, we live here because some of the best, heartiest, salt-of-the-earth types you will ever meet call the Texas Gulf Coast their home.

I am staying. My family and I are a good 80 miles from the Coast. Plus, it looks like the storm is taking an eastward track.

Towards Beaumont. And Louisiana. Oh, my.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Real Ken Starr

This past weekend, I had the privilege of emceeing a fundraising banquet for a local group that assists young women encountering crisis pregnancies ... both before and after. And the assistance, although given from a pro-life perspective, is offered to all regardless of their choice. It was indeed a moving evening.

The keynote speaker was Judge Ken Starr. He remarks were fabulous. But the man himself is more impressive.

Here is my intro of the judge:
Our speaker this evening is from Vernon, Texas, where he was born in 1946. After graduation from Duke law school, Judge Starr went on to clerk for Chief Justice Warren Burger. Later, he served on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, widely regarded as the second most powerful court in the land, as well as a prime launching pad for future Supreme Court justices. Then, in 1989 the first Pres. Bush asked Judge Starr to be the U.S. Solicitor General. The S.G. is the nation’s advocate before the Supreme Court, and it is regarded as the top practicing lawyer job in the nation.

This career path may sound familiar. In fact, it sounds a lot like that of soon-to-be Chief Justice John Roberts. Indeed, Judge Roberts worked for Judge Starr at the Solicitor General’s office. So, the heir-apparent as our next chief justice once called Judge Starr, our speaker tonight … “boss”.

What most people know about Judge Starr, though, is his most famous job, which was, of course, his service as Independent counsel for 5 years during the Clinton Administration. Life is funny that way. Sometimes we are quote “known” and defined by things that really do not tell the whole story. For the truth is that, but for Judge Starr’s most famous assignment, he would certainly be on a short list to have a job with much more notoriety … as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. He is clearly one of our nation’s preeminent legal minds.

Since 2004, Judge Starr has served as the dean of Pepperdine University Law School … suffering for Jesus in Malibu, California.

Judge, I wanted to interview some witnesses … at least one … at Pepperdine to find out about the real you. So, I spoke with Ryan, your assistant, and she gave me the low down.

Judge Starr likes to sing, like in the office sing. She told me about a trip she was taking to Chicago, and this apparently brought on an impromptu serenade involving some Chicago song by Sinatra? She says the judge is pretty good, too.

But more importantly, I wanted to know what kind of man and boss he is. She expressed regret that she had not worked for the judge longer, and simply said, “He is a wonderful man.” She went on to say that he is revered and respected by all who work with him and for him. He treats every one with dignity and respect.

This is I already knew, but I went to get the evidence to present to you. So, it is now my privilege to introduce to you … a great lawyer, a great American, a great man … Judge Ken Starr.
I watched the judge interact with people throughout the evening. I watched him patiently pose for pictures, answer questions, take time with each person. He makes each person around feel like they have dignity. Because they do to Judge Starr. Each person is worthy of dignity and respect. Oh, that all judges would behave that way.

He is an amazing guy. I supported his work as the Independent Counsel, but I must say I think it is a shame that people know him primarily for this role. And his considerable achievements, too, only tell a fraction of the story. He is a great man, and it was a treat to get to meet him. I am richer for it.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

See you soon ...

like Monday. I note that my "Perfect Storm" post is looking prescient. What did Shakespeare say about he who "tooteth not his own horn"?

And ... Happy birthday today to my favorite 15-year-old and sometimes-reader of this blog and this one, too.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Monday, September 05, 2005

The Perfect Storm?

Well, looks like I will be out of pocket for the next couple of weeks or so, except for minor, brief updates at most. Great timing, huh? I mean, there's just the biggest natural disaster in US history, the confirmation hearings of John Roberts, the death of the Chief Justice, and, oh yeah, a war going on. I am not heading for R&R, however. Duty (as in the kind that pays me) calls.

And to keep tabs on the hurricane relief, et. al, just check in with Nickie Goomba. I understand that Nick is readying his magnum opus post: "How the Tsunami was really a Christian Soldier". But seriously, check out Goomba for all news here and in Italy. Nick will be reporting live from California.

So, since I will be out, let me give you the Cutter line on these subjects.

The Battle of New Orleans

The Bush haters have been salivating for so long to find something ... anything ... to bring down Pres. Bush. I have held my fire until now. But they've gone too far, and it's time to take them on.

The Ray Nagin Memorial Motor Pool is how the Junkyard Blog describes the picture above. Check out his post and see just how many buses that Mayor Nagin left in the water. Now that the New Orleans rescue operations are largely completed, perhaps we can start answering the questions of those who complained so loudly, like Mayor Nagin.

And check out this fantastic Texican analysis of the New Orleans finger-pointing. JR is right on.

And I am with John Hinderaker, who says that the truth about the scurrilous attacks upon the Bush Administration in the wake of Hurricane Katrina needs to be told.

Question: What does it say about some one who would capitalize upon thousands of deaths for political gain? To me, it says at a minimum that they can't be trusted with the power they crave.

In the hurricane aftermath, our attention and efforts should be principally focused on people and getting the Gulf Coast up and running again. And, in that regard, consider these most eloquent words written about this human tragedy by the incomparable Rhod:
The sweep and scope of this terrible thing is to be reminded of how complex, and fragile, all of our lives are. I look around my realm here and see columns and piles of things, but only a few which matter. None of them is waterproof or permanent but my life would be barren without them. I'm blessed to have them, and can do without the rest if anyone else needs it.

For countless thousands, even something simple like a prescription, or a single family photo of an immigrant grandmother, down to mortgage documents, a child's band instrument or a 3rd grade popstick and yarn dream catcher, a favorite book, a family bible, a lovely but annoying calico cat or mongrel dog, indeed maybe a spouse and all those helpful or irritable neighbors, are gone forever. Your life swept clean but scuffed, stained and water-marked forever in ways visible only to you.

The prattle and incessant yowl of the MSM on the agonies and loss are an intrusion upon the only way we can understand this misery, this churning horror and bottomless grief, and that is by making yourself aware of what was lost to others by measuring it against what you have. Then you can really give in the way you're supposed to give, fully aware of your surplus and the hollowness of want a thousand miles away or across the street. I won't do it as long as my hands are full and grabbing for more.

The Battle for the Supreme Court

With the Roberts' confirmation hearings set for September 6, the death of CJ Rehnquist will likely cast a large shadow over the hearings. It will be interesting to see how it plays out. Some Demos are already arguing for a delay. Shock.

I thought all along that the Demos would argue that a dual vacancy itself was an "extraordinary circumstance" justifying a filibuster. Thus, I believe that the decision was made by Rehnquist to hold off on retiring until Roberts was confirmed. Now, the Demos may be tempted to go to war over the Supreme Court even more. If they get ugly with Roberts, he will publicly annihilate the Demo buffoons on the Senate Judiciary Committee. It would be such a mental mismatch that it would likely make the Demos yearn for the good ol' days of the Oliver North hearings.

My prediction is unchanged: I think that Roberts will be confirmed. I also think the President will nominate either a conservative Hispanic or woman to fill the next vacancy. Actually, I think he is going to nominate Edith Jones. I hope so. Roberts could become the CJ then. Or maybe Jones. Stay tuned.

The Battle Against Militant Islam

Let's not forget that this war takes no storm holidays. I understand that Katrina has been "knighted" a holy warrior by some Big Shotty Jihadi. I wonder, though: Must a female-named storm wear a burka? I didn't think the jihadis took women warriors. I guess when you get your butts kicked on every battlefield there is, though, you take what you can get.

But seriously, the President has his hands full as the Iraqi constitution is yet to be approved and the Baathist-jihadi alliance still continues to stir up trouble. Note that the enemy is losing, though. I know it pains the MSM to admit this, but it is true. Still, there will be tough days and weeks ahead. The domestic turmoil will make finishing the mission in Iraq even harder.

So, you want to be president? Rather, you should want to be a blogger.

I predict that Pres. Bush will rise to the occasion. He has before. Plus, many people of goodwill are going to make the obvious conclusion: When in recent history has any president had to deal with so much? People will naturally rally behind the President when he leads from the front.

He needs to tack right on judges ... on immigration ... on the war ... Explain where he is going, and the people will follow.

So, is it a "Perfect Storm"? Maybe so, but there is a difference here. That is, the Demos/Left/same things are not mere passive observers while President Bush and his team try to tackle this seemingly intractable set of problems. They've got to get in the water, too. And their positions ... on government management, judges, national security ... are not winning positions.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Farewell CJ Rehnquist

He looked down from the top for so long, but with humility and grace. He will be sorely missed.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Bad is Easier but Good is Stronger

The title of this post reflects truths both about the way God made human beings and the world. And thus, it encapsulates my thoughts in the midst of the Katrina relief efforts and aftermath.

Looters rampage. The sick get sicker. People die. Relief efforts bottled up by confusion and lawlessness. Pundits complain, while others inexplicably demonstrate their fallen nature by trying to score political points in the midst of the chaos. Our gift from Germany after the hurricane was a pronouncement by their "environmental minister" about how we should stop causing global warming. How do you say "thank you" in German, any way? Does it sound anything like, "You started WWII"?

It's harder to be constructive. That's why that when you consider the relief effots efforts underway, there is reason for hope.

I emailed my pastor this week with an idea that I learned about on Hugh's site -- adopting a local church in the New Orleans area to coordinate relief efforts. "Great idea," my pastor responded. But it was already underway. Later, I got another email from our youth director taking a head count for people who would be available over the coming weekend to participate in helping with Katrina relief.

Many Americans you will never hear about just want to do something to help. I went to a meeting of small business types yesterday morning. Hurricane relief wasn't on the agenda, but it became the topic. One man who builds homes is heading to Louisiana this weekend with a crew. Another woman alerted the local Red Cross of the hundreds of Louisiana residents who are filling local hotels in the Conroe, Texas area. Another man said his boy scout troop and others were opening up their campgrounds. Directions were given to donate clothes locally. A group email is forthcoming to coordinate further efforts. Here in the Houston area, it goes on and on ...

On the radio ... I learn that Houston-area apartment complexes are being challenged to donate at least 10-15 apartment units to Louisiana residents. That's right ... donate.

On the way home, I check out the talkers on the radio. Hugh is talking about how bloggers are making a positive difference (see my post below). He also informs me about a crew of medics from Alabama that is plucking seriously-ill children out of New Orleans by helicopter and saving their lives. At least four children, and probably more, will live because these heroes took the harder road.

Inexplicably, I change the radio station. Why do I do this? I hear that old screaming, blind squirrel -- Michael Savage. Yesterday, he was railing about how we need to cap gas prices and "cut off funding" to all illegal aliens, uh, to help in the hurricane aftermath. I am sure that the people on the Gulf Coast would be heartened by these suggestions. Now, if he had a plan to give some illegals' jobs to Louisiana residents (actually that's my plan, and it is constructive), then I would be all ears, but ...

Today, Savage is just railing and he says every one is bad, those trying to coordinate the relief efforts, that is ... especially and inexplicably the Administration, according to this "conservative". ... Why weren't the feds on top of the New Orleans levee situation? Michael Chertoff is an idiot for giving out a web site that details HOW TO GET AID TO PEOPLE WHO NEED IT!? Little Savage's mother had to tell him that blacks were not less than human? ... What?! Why do I do this? I am not any more. Click.

Complaining and carping is easier. I am discouraged again as I pull into my driveway.

My 8-year-old daughter meets me. She has a pad in her hand. On it is written some numbers (a couple are backwards, but I can make them out). "Dad, they said here's where you can call to give money to the people in the hurricane. It's the Red Cross."

Bad is easier, but Good is stronger. Don't doubt it.

My daughter's name is Hope.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

I will try to check in tomorrow with a few thoughts re: the Hurricane Katrina disaster and ongoing relief effort. Here on the Texas Gulf Coast, I continue to marvel at the great people who you will never hear about. They are just making it happen.

In the meantime, if you don't have a local charity, church, or relief organization that you are partial to, I would like to recommend one of my heroes for their work in The Sudan -- Samaritan's Purse. This is Franklin Graham's organization, and they are in the same business that the biblical Samaritan was, that is, putting chartible intentions into action and changing lives. If you want a list of other charities, check out Instapundit's Round-Up and Recommendations, which is also linked at the left sidebar. Check out NZ Bear's Relief Round-Up.

If you decide to make a donation, log your contribution with NZ. It will be interesting to see what the blogosphere can add to the relief effort.

And ... God bless the Gulf Coast, and the rest of America.